US Made Years-long Efforts to End Boycott of ‘Israeli’ Goods in Yemen

12/07/2021

US Made Years-long Efforts to End Boycott of ‘Israeli’ Goods in Yemen

By Staff, Agencies

The Ministry of Information presented on Sunday a number of official documents that reveal early American efforts to end the boycott of ‘Israeli’ goods in Yemen.

The documents presented by the Ministry of Information revealed the US embassy’s request from the Saleh regime to end the economic boycott of ‘Israeli’ products and not to participate in anti-US-‘Israeli’ activities. They also revealed US-‘Israeli’ annoyance at boycotting their goods in Yemen, while confirming that the majority of American companies have a relationship with the Zionist entity.

A document issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated May 9, 1993 showed that the US State Department carried out a campaign of pressure on the authority to open the country to the goods of the Zionist enemy and the companies associated with it.

The Foreign Ministry’s document showed that the Assistant Undersecretary of the US State Department at the time, called for a “reconsideration of the boycott policy imposed on American companies that have a relationship with ‘Israel’, since most of the important American companies have a strong relationship with ‘Israel’. The companies complain about the conditions imposed by the boycott, which calls for proving the absence of a relationship with ‘Israel’, adding that this is contrary to US laws and deprives Yemen of benefiting from the investments of these companies.”

The brief meeting between Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi and the American ambassador in Sanaa, Thomas Krajeski, on Wednesday, June 1, 2005, showed that the US employed Saleh’s authority for lifting the Arab boycott system against the Zionist entity.

The document stated that the American ambassador conveyed a direct American directive to the authority to take a clear position on the Arab boycott conference, which takes place in the same month in the capital, Damascus. The document stated: “The ambassador made it clear that the US sees the futility of the boycott and the need to lift it, not only boycott of the second and third degree but rather the boycott of the first degree for companies that do business with [‘Israel’].”

The US ambassador said: “There is an increasing number of Arab countries that are working to violate the trade boycott system with [‘Israel’].”

The same document did not show at that time opposing the American pressures. The then foreign minister said that “the boycott system is fragile and there is no real boycott, as many Arab countries have opened commercial offices for ‘Israel’ on their lands,” as stated by al-Qirbi.

The documents include a memorandum classified under “Urgent” issued by the US Embassy in Sanaa on the 4th of November 2007 and addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It stated a number of US directives to the former regime, chief among them: “Not to support or send representatives to the biannual boycott meeting held by the Arab League in the office of the Arab League in the Central District of Damascus.

The embassy memo stated: “The Arab boycott meeting not only represents an obstacle to peace in the Middle East, but also constitutes a barrier to participation in the global economy, attracting foreign investment, expanding trade, and improving relations with the United States and the international community. Yemen’s accession to the World Trade Organization requires that the government of the Republic of Yemen has to abandon its initial boycott of ‘Israeli’ goods and services.”

The same document also reveals that the US administration was implementing a wide campaign of pressure targeting the Arab countries whose people adhere to the boycott. “The time has come for the Arab League to take a decision to close the central district office in Damascus.”

The Ministry of Information, publishing these documents to the public opinion as evidence of the American guardianship imposed on Yemen prior to the September 21 revolution, called on the masses of the Yemeni people to commit to the weapon of economic boycott, which has a high effect on the US-Saudi enemies of the nation, and to continue supporting the Palestinian people and confronting aggression against our country until victory.

Entranced Earth: the hegemonic dispute engulfs Brazil

July 13, 2021

Entranced Earth: the hegemonic dispute engulfs Brazil

By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

Even if the rhetoric and the interim security strategy of the Joe Biden administration itself tries to give a multilateralist veneer to the idea that the benevolent hegemon would be back, the reality imposed by the increase in competitive pressure, which deepens after the outbreak of the pandemic, and acquires dramatic contours in the so-called “vaccine war”, reveals a challenging scenario for the coming years.

The gradual increase in competitive pressure, symptom of a phenomenon justified in the theory of the Expanding Universe, would have its origins after the September 11 attacks, when the “universal war on terrorism” unveils a world where the power of an omnipotent hegemon revealed itself in the need for the permanent expansion of power through the use of its military infrastructure.

Then arises the figure of the “terrorist enemy”, which could be any person or group, inside or outside the United States, a universal enemy that could be destroyed anywhere, even if that meant violating individual rights or the sovereignty of other states.

The unilateral power expansionism carried out by the Americans after September 11 would therefore have generated the seed of escalation in conflicts, leading to increased destabilization and consequently to a reactive movement of the other states in the world system.

As if in a movement of self-protection, former powers of the interstate system return to a game that seemed dead, but in practice was only sleeping: the old geopolitics of nations, where national interest and the resumption of sovereignty would return to play the cards against the dogmas of globalization and liberal order.

The return of Russia, which in 2015 intervened in the Syrian war – demonstrating a warlike power not seen for some time – represented a turning point, which apparently began with the reelection of Vladimir Putin himself in 2012, but also with the coming to power of the current Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013. From then on, the interstate dispute would have accelerated considerably with the rise of these two Eurasian giants.

The spread of international competition and instability would be, therefore, in line with the idea that for international political actors the effort for changes in the system would be preponderant for the achievement of their own interests.

The appearance of new emerging actors in the world system, even if considered a destabilizing factor of the system itself, on the other hand, would boost in the hegemonic state the expansionist impulse necessary for it to remain at the top of the system.

The global instability caused by the clash between the powers that would be benefiting from the instituted international order, and those states that would aim to climb the power ladder, would suggest the end, or at least an interruption of the minimum consensus necessary for harmonious coexistence within what Hedlley Bull would call a “society of states”.

From this perspective, the hypothesis of war would emerge as an almost inevitable expedient to resolve the tensions caused by power imbalances and global instability. It is from war, therefore, and especially from the so-called hegemonic war, that the state or coalition of states that would lead the new international order would emerge.

At the moment in which the crisis or the end of the so-called liberal order created in the 20th century and led by the United States of America is being discussed, what seems evident is the occurrence of an increasingly deeper questioning of the current international order by other nations.

In this sense, the global instability reflected in the increase of competitive pressure would be explicit in the context of a generalized conflictive ambience, or on the way to generalization.

To better conceptualize this idea, Robert Gilpin’s Theory of Hegemonic War would indicate that a generalized conflictive environment, even if not configured in an apparent hegemonic war, would already suggest such a situation if we think that what differs a hegemonic war from other categories of war would be precisely the systemic conception existing in the relations between individual states. This being so, and given that it is a systemic relationship, the whole structure itself would be affected by it.

What has been happening internally in a country like Brazil is a very peculiar and local-scale example of this global phenomenon that has spread throughout the interstate system.

Therefore, just as the pandemic accelerated and deepened the global systemic crisis, internally it had a devastating effect by fusing conflicts and contradictions within societies in many countries around the world.

At a time when the parliamentary commission investigating the pandemic crisis is exposing the viscera of corruption in the Bolsonaro administration, exposing the Armed Forces to a public embarrassment not seen for some time, the repudiation note of the three military commands in a clear threat to the National Congress confirms the thesis that the internal war within the institutions and oligarchic elites is something real and increasingly out of control.

The strange visit of the CIA director to Brasilia, and his meeting behind closed doors with Bolsonaro and the head of Brazilian espionage, General Augusto Heleno, sounded like an intimidating message to Brazilian civil society that the Biden administration would endorse a hypothetical regime closure in Brazil.

As it happened during the Jimmy Carter administration – when the military dictatorship was strongly pressured by the United States -, even if the pressure of American public opinion may lead the Biden administration to abandon the nefarious Bolsonaro administration, it is still very useful for the current American security strategy that a vassal government like the Brazilian one ensures the removal of the Eurasian presence in the “Western Hemisphere”, and even contributes to the destabilization of hostile countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba.

The erratic way in which the privatization of Eletrobrás is being carried out – which will lead to an unprecedented increase in costs – as well as the energy crisis that is looming, signal a growing distancing of powerful sectors of the business elites from a government that reveals an openly militarized, authoritarian face that is oblivious to reality.

The fraying, therefore, of social relations at the top of the Brazilian pyramid reveals a scenario that finds historical precedent only in that period that led to the so-called Revolution of 1930, when the dispute between the oligarchies of the time reached its peak.

Following the example of what is happening at this very moment in Cuba and South Africa, the escalation of systemic social conflicts seems to have no end, and even if for different reasons, it would be the result of the pandora’s box opened by the pandemic.

Even if at first glance it doesn’t seem relevant, certainly the deepening of tensions at a global level – within the universe of the great hegemonic dispute – will be decisive for the future of the much debilitated Brazilian democracy.

The classic “Entranced Earth”, by the great filmmaker Glauber Rocha, never came so handy for the Brazilian reality.


Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws (LL.B), MA student in International Relations at the University of Évora (Portugal), writer and geopolitical analyst. He currently maintains a column on international politics at the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

Jewish Supremacism (Zionism) is Coming to an End (Part Two)

By VT Editors -July 13, 2021

In the Name of All- beneficent, All-merciful God (Allah).

God has kept his promise to Jesus ( peace be upon him) that his followers will have the upperhand over his enemies until the day of judgment.

Today the Christian population of the world is 2.3 billion and the Jews, who refused to recognize the Holiness of Jesus and his Holy mother Mary and showed enmity towards them, are only 14.7 million (in pure form) and including their sub categories they are  20 million or so, and the Idol worshippers of then Rome, who wanted to kill Jesus and killed many of his followers, are extinct now.

If a person is told, “God has sent a message that you will never enter paradise and you are definitely going to hell” How  do you think he is going to act?

I think he is going to be enraged and he is going to commit every possible sins and crimes against others and try to destroy others’ lives out of envy, just like what has happened to Satan, when Allah cursed him and drove him away from the Garden, as he refused to obey Allah’s order.

Also, if someone is told that he is going to heaven no matter what, then nothing will stop him from committing crimes against others, since he is assured of heaven. This is the case with the Zionist Jews; they think they are chosen by God. It should be asked: “Chosen” for what, heaven or hell?

Had God really made this promise to any one, He would have first removed the evil intentions from his soul completely, so that he is preserved from all sins and not commit crimes against others, to get what he desires. This is the logical path.

Then, when we see the Zionist Jews are committing great sins and crimes against other human beings, then we have no doubt they have fabricated this saying: “We are not going to be punished for this.”

This very sentence of them, “We are the chosen people” is the root cause of their transgressions in their private and social lives, which had begun long before Jesus arrived, almost two thousand years ago. God says in the Holy Quran:

“The faithless among the children ( descendants) of Israel  were cursed on the tongue of David and Jesus son of Mary. That, because they would disobey and they used to commit transgression.’ (5:78)

A strange looking transgression by Israeli Occupation forces need to be looked at and be given much attention to. Every time Israel attacked Lebanon, it did not forget to  shell Cana, a south Lebanon town bordering northern Galilee. They have killed many innocent civilians there intentionally, even though there were no Hezbollah positions there during those incidents . Much was written about it in Lebanese media at that time and in subsequent anniversaries. The famous and distinguished journalist, late Robert Fisk, covered these stories at length.

Lebanese town of Cana is not like any other town, it is famous for pilgrimage for the Christians and the Muslims. It is said, Jesus( peace be upon him) showed his first miracle there, changing water into a Heavenly wine or drink for his disciples. Some say, he also cured a woman there, his first time, with his miraculous power.

WHY do Israeli Occupation Forces shell this place every time they attack Lebanon?

Questions must be asked to the Christian world, specially to the US politicians:

1. Which is more financially beneficial for the USA, friendship with 20 million Jews or 1.8 billion Muslims?

2. Why are the Jews so dear to you who think Jesus was a fraud?

3. And why are the Muslims so detestable to you, while the Quran is full of beautiful praises for Jesus and his Holy Mother ?

3. Was not Hitler a Christian who killed Jews in Europe? Why have you implanted European  Jews in Palestine? Does Jesus agree with this kind of justice?

4. Why should Muslim be killed and evicted from Palestine  to make space for European Jews, whom you Christians have killed in hundreds of thousands? Why not create a safe heaven for them in Europe or in the USA, if you are so concerned about their plight? What kind of atonement and upholding human rights is that?

5. Is it socially and securitywise an advantage for the USA to support Israel in inhumane crimes against Palestinians and their neighbors and thereby antagonize the 1.8 billion Muslims? (Thanks to American internet, that brings news and footage of American and Israeli crimes against the Muslim world, to every Muslim home everyday)

6. Are you afraid that, if you don’t support  Israel, you are going to lose all the Jewish business people’s money?

In that case, where are they going to go with their money?

7. Why don’t you tell your Jewish friends  “Stop whispering venoms in my ears against Muslims, they have the same rights as you have! They are not hurting you, it is us who have hurt you many times!”

If you do not have the courage to tell it to the Jews, then borrow courage from these verses of the Holy Quran, where God speaks to the faithful through Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his infallible family):

” O you who have faith ( faith in God an His messengers and the Judgment Day)!
Be maintainers of justice and witness for the sake of Allah, even if it should be against yourselves or [your] parents and near relatives, and whether it be [someone] rich or poor, for Allah has a greater right over them. So do not follow [your] desires, lest you should be unfair, and if you distort [the testimony] or disregard [it], Allah is indeed well aware of what you do.”
(Quran, 4:135)

And here is another instruction from God which blows away any racism, religious bigotry and other reasons that unfairly treat people, be they Jews, Christians and Muslims:

“O you who have faith!
Be maintainers of justice, for the sake of Allah, and ill feeling for a people should never lead you to be unfair. Be fair; that is Godwariness, and be wary of Allah. Allah is indeed well aware of what you do.

Allah has promised those who have faith and do righteous deeds, forgiveness and a great reward.” (Quran,5:8-9)

And He praises the upright people:

” So give good news to my servants who listen to the word and follow the best of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided, and it is they who possess intellect.” (Quran, 39:17-18)

More than 1400 hundred years ago, Allah revealed to Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him and his infallible family) that he was going to defeat the big forces of the idol worshippers and take back the control of Holy Kaba, which was built by his forefather prophet Abraham (pubh), known as The idol smasher. These were the verses:

“When Nasrallah ( Allah’s help) comes  with victory, and you see the people entering Allah’s religion in throngs, then celebrate the praise of your Lord, and plead to Him for forgiveness. Indeed He is all-clement.” (Quran, 110-:1-3)

And it happened exactly so. The idol worshippers all fled from Macca before putting up a fight due to great fear.  That fear in the hearts of the pagans was the help from Allah.

This time we have a person named Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah (Allah’s help), the Leader of  the Lebanese Hezbollah, promising the same, that his forces, along with his friends from the region, will liberate entire Palestine from the Zionists with the help from the oppressed Palestinians. Thereby also liberate Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on behalf of the Muslim world.

Is Nasrallah name just a coincidental similarity? Or is it divinely ordained for the liberation of Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem?

In last 22 years he has always made good on his pledges. In the year 2000, he promised to his country men that they would drive out the Israeli forces from south Lebanon, and they did. After the victory he declared to his nation that “There will be no more defeats for Lebanon against Israel.”

In 2006, on the first day of the war, which was imposed on Lebanon by Israel, he warned the Israeli people on a televised speech that their war was not only against Lebanon, but their war was also against Prophet Mohammad and his family (peace be upon him and his family). He declared that his forces were given a divine pledge, that they were surely going to win the war and they will humiliate the Israelis, and it happened exactly so.

After 4 weeks of fighting Israel realised that it was not going win the war and actually was losing, it requested the USA to arrange a cease-fire with Lebanese PM. Before the cease-fire, for a face saving result, Israel pressed hard with a very big number of their best tanks against Hezbollah . I remember, three days before the cease-fire, Israel lost 34 tanks, two days before the cease-fire it lost 55 tanks and on the last day it lost 74 tanks. A real face saver huh?

With his mentioning of the divine guarantee and the great victory, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah proved he has divine connections with Prophet Mohammad and his family ( pubh& his family).

Before Hezbollah entered the Syrian war against the Al Qaeda and the ISIS terrorists, at the invitation of the Syrian government, Sayyed Nasrallah again pledged victory, and he made good on his pledge again. By this, he once again proved he is spiritually connected to the higher world, from where he gets his clues.

My conclusion is, Israel will give up fighting due to extreme fear of death. All of their officers and soldiers know that Sayyed Nasrallah never lies; when he says something, it happiness. We are going to see what used to happen during the days of the prophets and for that, there is no better arena than Palestine.

A few days ago presstv.ir reported that Sayyed Nasrallah has said, while meeting the Hamas Leader Ismail Hanyeh:

“The resistance front has always stood by its words, and fulfilled it’s pledges. The obliteration of Israel and liberation of al-Quds are now within reach and can happen closer than ever. When the resistance front vows to obliterate Israel, it relies on established facts and not illusions.”

Israeli settlers have announced that they are going to enter the Al Aqsa Mosque on 18th of July with the demand that the Dome of the Mosque structure be demolished for building the Temple of Solomon. According to the Jews, their Messiah will appear any time after that.

Allah has a notice for the Zionists though:

” And when your Lord proclaimed that He would surely send against them, until the Day of Resurrection, those who will inflict on them a terrible punishment. Indeed your Lord is swift in retribution, and indeed He is all- seeing, all-merciful.”
( Quran, 7:167)

Irfan al-Huq
Bangladesh

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Yemen: Biden Shrugs Off Campaign Promise as US Backs New Saudi Offensive and AQAP Support

July 13th, 2021

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

The US has refused calls to stop arming Saudi Arabia amid its devastating war in Yemen and is now doubling down on a military solution, falling back on its reliance of armed militant groups that it used to devastating effect in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

AL-BAYDA, YEMEN — President Joe Biden gave a lot of people a sense of cautious optimism when he took to the campaign trail and promised to bring a swift end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The oil-rich monarchy, supported heavily by the United States, has been waging arguably the deadliest military campaign of the past decade on the forgotten country for over six years, exacting a brutal humanitarian toll on its civilian population.

To his credit, Biden sent Tim Lenderking to lead a team of negotiators in an attempt to broker reconciliation between the conflict’s many belligerents. But without the political will to stand up to the Saudi monarchy and the varied American interests that profit handsomely from its wars, Lenderking had little chance of success. Now it seems the Kingdom — once again emboldened, armed, and covered by the United States — has all but abandoned any pretense of reconciliation and doubled down on its brutal war.

A Piercing Star falls to earth

Last week, the Saudi-led Coalition began a massive military operation they’re calling al-Najm al-Thaqib, which translates from Arabic into The Piercing Star. The operation ostensibly aims to recapture large swaths of territory in central Yemen’s al-Bayda province, which was captured by Ansar Allah after a series of long and grueling battles with militants from al-Qaeda on the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) last fall. AQAP had been entrenched in the province for decades, somehow persevering through concerted military efforts by both the Saudi-led Coalition and at least four consecutive U.S. administrations to dislodge it — including Barack Obama’s infamous drone war.

On August 28, 2020, local tribal partisans backed by Ansar Allah defeated AQAP and myriad extremist allies, including elements of IS, in a week-long operation. This victory came just as AQAP was preparing to sweep the Yemeni provinces of al-Bayda, Dhamar, and Sana’a in an operation that aimed to repeat the scenarios seen in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria, where ISIS was able to take and hold a so-called caliphate extending from western Iraq to into eastern Syria.

Al-Bayda and the surrounding provinces saw a state of relative calm in the wake of the operation, as residents experienced life without the yoke of al-Qaeda, some for the first time in their lives. Now, some of those residents fear that Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States, is attempting to resettle those groups in al-Bayda as a hedge against Ansar Allah.

Saudi jets have carried out scores of airstrikes in al-Bayda in recent weeks, flying in from the north to unleash tons of bombs made and supplied by the United States and giving AQAP a potential avenue to retake the province, as the airstrikes have targeted Ansar Allah and their local tribal allies almost exclusively.

According to the nonprofit Yemeni Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC), American-made cluster bombs — which even the U.S. military has pledged not to use, due to their high rate of collateral damage — including the CBU-58, CBU-105, CBU-87, M26, and DPICM M77, have all been used in the offensive.

In a press conference, YEMAC displayed unexploded American bombs used in the operation, including the same GBU-39 and GBU-31 that were used with deadly effect in Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza. YEMAC held the press conference after an unexploded U.S.-made GBU-24 was recovered from a civil-defense building in Sana’a.

While there is not yet conclusive evidence of direct coordination between the Saudi Coalition and AQAP in the offensive, AQAP militants began pushing into al-Bayda from the south almost as soon as the Saudi airstrikes began. The southern villages of al-Zaher and al-Sma’h — including the areas of Jumaima, Wafaa, Sharadeh, al-Sous, Shabakat Dhi Madahi, Akrama, Shawkan and others — have already been recaptured by al-Qaeda according to a number of Saudi state-funded media outlets, which celebrated the putsch as a victory for the Saudi-led Coalition.

No “Certain Victory”

However, the celebrations were short-lived, as Ansar Allah has already begun to recapture areas it gained last August in a military operation it has dubbed al-Nasr al-Mubin, an Arabic phrase meaning “Certain Victory.” That operation has already seen the defeat of AQAP and militants allied with Saudi Arabia in the al-Zahir Directorate as well as dozens of military sites in the al-Dahaki and Al-Soma`h districts, and even areas that Ansar Allah failed to capture from AQAP during its August offensive, according to a statement it issued on Tuesday.

Yemen Marib
An armored vehicle belonging to Saudi-backed militants shows a poster that reads, “martyr commander brigadier general Self Abd al-Rab al-Shadady.” Al-Shadady” was recently killed in clashes in Marib, Yemen, June 19, 2021. Nariman El-Mofty | AP

On Friday, the media bureau of the Houthis’ Operations Command Center published a video showing some of its victories in al-Bayda. Several senior AQAP commanders were killed or captured in the battles, including the infamous Abu Dharr al-Tayabi, Tawfiq al-Farawi and Othman Ahmad Abdullah al-Mushdali. A spokesman for Ansar Allah said:

Despite having mobilized members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh (IS) Takfiri terrorist groups, Saudi [Arabia] failed and has so far reaped nothing other than defeat on every front. The coalition has received severe blows in al-Bayda, even though it has hired al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists.”

But Ansar Allah is far from a decisive victory. Fierce clashes continue near Lahj province and coalition warplanes continue to pound al-Bayda.

US cooperation with a Jihadi recruiter

According to members of the Houthi negotiating delegation, who spoke to MintPress on condition of anonymity, the escalation in al-Bayda is being used to pressure Ansar Allah to halt its advance on the oil-rich Marib province and to force it to accept conditions that Saudi Arabia and Lenderking’s envoy have imposed on Ansar Allah as a precondition for a peace deal.

For their part, the Houthis have promised to retaliate by resuming drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi oil and military targets in the Kingdom’s southern provinces, according to Brigadier General Abed Al-Thor and General Aziz Rashid, who told MintPress that military pressure on the Kingdom will only be increased in the wake of the recent Saudi escalation.

The attacks on al-Bayda come in the wake of meetings between the Saudi-backed vice president of Yemen, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. Cooper pushed for intelligence sharing and support for armed militant groups under the banner of curbing the arming of the Houthis by the Iranian government.

Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar
Al-Ahmar speaks to journalists during a 2011 press conference in Sanaa, Yemen. Hani Mohammed | AP

Al-Ahmar has been tied to various extremist groups in Yemen and, according to Reuters, “The Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni Islamists gained strength, particularly under … al-Ahmar, who built a power base in the army. Jihadist fugitives formed al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).” According to a 2000 New York Times report, al-Ahmar even “traveled to Afghanistan in the 1980s to meet Osama bin Laden, and assisted in recruiting militants from across the Muslim world for the Afghan struggle.”

The U.S. has long been involved in the training and arming of militants in Yemen, whom it saw as a hedge against Ansar Allah. Al-Ahmar has publicly praised the U.S. for cooperating with him to combat what he called “the Iranian project.”

Grim prospects for peace

On July 1, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States was “beyond fed up” with the Houthis’ advance in Marib and laid the blame for the humanitarian situation in Yemen squarely at the feet of the Houthis, claiming it was they who failed to work with the “other parties … who are actively working towards peace,” a reference to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the country.

Price’s statements and the Biden administration’s about-face on Yemen has raised questions among activists struggling to stop the war, especially as the U.S. has largely refused calls to stop arming Saudi Arabia amid a devastating civilian death toll, and now seems to be doubling down on its commitment to a military solution to the conflict, falling back on its habit of supporting armed militant groups that it used to devastating effect in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The Biden administration should have stopped providing weapons and training to the warring parties to ensure that the war would not continue, and not support one at the expense of the other, so logic and reality say,” Dala al-Matari, an activist from the Stop the Bombing of Yemen campaign said. Like many Yemenis, al-Matari believes that President Biden used his seeming opposition to the highly controversial war as a trump card to boost his chances in last year’s presidential election.

For its part, Ansar Allah has outright accused the Biden administration of giving a green light to Saudi forces to attack al-Bayda so that it can more easily provide al-Qaeda and IS with weapons and intelligence information. Officials in Sana’a say the Biden administration is playing with fire by not only destroying peace efforts but also resettling and supporting al-Qaeda, especially amid a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan.

Dhaif Allah al-Shami — the spokesman for the Sana’a-based Yemeni government run jointly by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress, the largest political party in the country — said that the United States had “run the recent military escalation in al-Bayda.” He accused the Biden administration of being behind the plan, stating: “The United States, which falsely and wrongly claims to be concerned with peace in Yemen, is [the one] fueling the bitter clashes in the al-Zahir district of the province.”

Major General Nasser Al-Atif, minister of defense in the Ansar Allah-led government, said in a statement on Monday:

We have a new strategy to face the new Saudi escalation that will cost the coalition a heavy price if they continue to support terrorist elements, and this is something they should understand well. Saudi Arabia and the United States claim that they are keen on peace, stopping the war, and addressing the inhumane issues, but in fact they are talking all this just for media consumption and the exploitation of international and regional positions.

Article by Vladimir Putin ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“

July 13, 2021

Article by Vladimir Putin ”On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians“

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66181

July 12, 2021

During the recent Direct Line, when I was asked about Russian-Ukrainian relations, I said that Russians and Ukrainians were one people – a single whole. These words were not driven by some short-term considerations or prompted by the current political context. It is what I have said on numerous occasions and what I firmly believe. I therefore feel it necessary to explain my position in detail and share my assessments of today’s situation.

First of all, I would like to emphasize that the wall that has emerged in recent years between Russia and Ukraine, between the parts of what is essentially the same historical and spiritual space, to my mind is our great common misfortune and tragedy. These are, first and foremost, the consequences of our own mistakes made at different periods of time. But these are also the result of deliberate efforts by those forces that have always sought to undermine our unity. The formula they apply has been known from time immemorial – divide and rule. There is nothing new here. Hence the attempts to play on the ”national question“ and sow discord among people, the overarching goal being to divide and then to pit the parts of a single people against one another.

To have a better understanding of the present and look into the future, we need to turn to history. Certainly, it is impossible to cover in this article all the developments that have taken place over more than a thousand years. But I will focus on the key, pivotal moments that are important for us to remember, both in Russia and Ukraine.

Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians are all descendants of Ancient Rus, which was the largest state in Europe. Slavic and other tribes across the vast territory – from Ladoga, Novgorod, and Pskov to Kiev and Chernigov – were bound together by one language (which we now refer to as Old Russian), economic ties, the rule of the princes of the Rurik dynasty, and – after the baptism of Rus – the Orthodox faith. The spiritual choice made by St. Vladimir, who was both Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev, still largely determines our affinity today.

The throne of Kiev held a dominant position in Ancient Rus. This had been the custom since the late 9th century. The Tale of Bygone Years captured for posterity the words of Oleg the Prophet about Kiev, ”Let it be the mother of all Russian cities.“

Later, like other European states of that time, Ancient Rus faced a decline of central rule and fragmentation. At the same time, both the nobility and the common people perceived Rus as a common territory, as their homeland.

The fragmentation intensified after Batu Khan’s devastating invasion, which ravaged many cities, including Kiev. The northeastern part of Rus fell under the control of the Golden Horde but retained limited sovereignty. The southern and western Russian lands largely became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which – most significantly – was referred to in historical records as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia.

Members of the princely and ”boyar“ clans would change service from one prince to another, feuding with each other but also making friendships and alliances. Voivode Bobrok of Volyn and the sons of Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas – Andrey of Polotsk and Dmitry of Bryansk – fought next to Grand Duke Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow on the Kulikovo field. At the same time, Grand Duke of Lithuania Jogaila – son of the Princess of Tver – led his troops to join with Mamai. These are all pages of our shared history, reflecting its complex and multi-dimensional nature.

Most importantly, people both in the western and eastern Russian lands spoke the same language. Their faith was Orthodox. Up to the middle of the 15th century, the unified church government remained in place.

At a new stage of historical development, both Lithuanian Rus and Moscow Rus could have become the points of attraction and consolidation of the territories of Ancient Rus. It so happened that Moscow became the center of reunification, continuing the tradition of ancient Russian statehood. Moscow princes – the descendants of Prince Alexander Nevsky – cast off the foreign yoke and began gathering the Russian lands.

In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, other processes were unfolding. In the 14th century, Lithuania’s ruling elite converted to Catholicism. In the 16th century, it signed the Union of Lublin with the Kingdom of Poland to form the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Polish Catholic nobility received considerable land holdings and privileges in the territory of Rus. In accordance with the 1596 Union of Brest, part of the western Russian Orthodox clergy submitted to the authority of the Pope. The process of Polonization and Latinization began, ousting Orthodoxy.

As a consequence, in the 16–17th centuries, the liberation movement of the Orthodox population was gaining strength in the Dnieper region. The events during the times of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky became a turning point. His supporters struggled for autonomy from the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

In its 1649 appeal to the king of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Zaporizhian Host demanded that the rights of the Russian Orthodox population be respected, that the voivode of Kiev be Russian and of Greek faith, and that the persecution of the churches of God be stopped. But the Cossacks were not heard.

Bohdan Khmelnytsky then made appeals to Moscow, which were considered by the Zemsky Sobor. On 1 October 1653, members of the supreme representative body of the Russian state decided to support their brothers in faith and take them under patronage. In January 1654, the Pereyaslav Council confirmed that decision. Subsequently, the ambassadors of Bohdan Khmelnytsky and Moscow visited dozens of cities, including Kiev, whose populations swore allegiance to the Russian tsar. Incidentally, nothing of the kind happened at the conclusion of the Union of Lublin.

In a letter to Moscow in 1654, Bohdan Khmelnytsky thanked Tsar Aleksey Mikhaylovich for taking ”the whole Zaporizhian Host and the whole Russian Orthodox world under the strong and high hand of the Tsar“. It means that, in their appeals to both the Polish king and the Russian tsar, the Cossacks referred to and defined themselves as Russian Orthodox people.

Over the course of the protracted war between the Russian state and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, some of the hetmans, successors of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, would ”detach themselves“ from Moscow or seek support from Sweden, Poland, or Turkey. But, again, for the people, that was a war of liberation. It ended with the Truce of Andrusovo in 1667. The final outcome was sealed by the Treaty of Perpetual Peace in 1686. The Russian state incorporated the city of Kiev and the lands on the left bank of the Dnieper River, including Poltava region, Chernigov region, and Zaporozhye. Their inhabitants were reunited with the main part of the Russian Orthodox people. These territories were referred to as ”Malorossia“ (Little Russia).

The name ”Ukraine“ was used more often in the meaning of the Old Russian word ”okraina“ (periphery), which is found in written sources from the 12th century, referring to various border territories. And the word ”Ukrainian“, judging by archival documents, originally referred to frontier guards who protected the external borders.

On the right bank, which remained under the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the old orders were restored, and social and religious oppression intensified. On the contrary, the lands on the left bank, taken under the protection of the unified state, saw rapid development. People from the other bank of the Dnieper moved here en masse. They sought support from people who spoke the same language and had the same faith.

During the Great Northern War with Sweden, the people in Malorossia were not faced with a choice of whom to side with. Only a small portion of the Cossacks supported Mazepa’s rebellion. People of all orders and degrees considered themselves Russian and Orthodox.

Cossack senior officers belonging to the nobility would reach the heights of political, diplomatic, and military careers in Russia. Graduates of Kiev-Mohyla Academy played a leading role in church life. This was also the case during the Hetmanate – an essentially autonomous state formation with a special internal structure – and later in the Russian Empire. Malorussians in many ways helped build a big common country – its statehood, culture, and science. They participated in the exploration and development of the Urals, Siberia, the Caucasus, and the Far East. Incidentally, during the Soviet period, natives of Ukraine held major, including the highest, posts in the leadership of the unified state. Suffice it to say that Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev, whose party biography was most closely associated with Ukraine, led the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) for almost 30 years.

In the second half of the 18th century, following the wars with the Ottoman Empire, Russia incorporated Crimea and the lands of the Black Sea region, which became known as Novorossiya. They were populated by people from all of the Russian provinces. After the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire regained the western Old Russian lands, with the exception of Galicia and Transcarpathia, which became part of the Austrian – and later Austro-Hungarian – Empire.

The incorporation of the western Russian lands into the single state was not merely the result of political and diplomatic decisions. It was underlain by the common faith, shared cultural traditions, and – I would like to emphasize it once again – language similarity. Thus, as early as the beginning of the 17th century, one of the hierarchs of the Uniate Church, Joseph Rutsky, communicated to Rome that people in Moscovia called Russians from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth their brothers, that their written language was absolutely identical, and differences in the vernacular were insignificant. He drew an analogy with the residents of Rome and Bergamo. These are, as we know, the center and the north of modern Italy.

Many centuries of fragmentation and living within different states naturally brought about regional language peculiarities, resulting in the emergence of dialects. The vernacular enriched the literary language. Ivan Kotlyarevsky, Grigory Skovoroda, and Taras Shevchenko played a huge role here. Their works are our common literary and cultural heritage. Taras Shevchenko wrote poetry in the Ukrainian language, and prose mainly in Russian. The books of Nikolay Gogol, a Russian patriot and native of Poltavshchyna, are written in Russian, bristling with Malorussian folk sayings and motifs. How can this heritage be divided between Russia and Ukraine? And why do it?

The south-western lands of the Russian Empire, Malorussia and Novorossiya, and the Crimea developed as ethnically and religiously diverse entities. Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Karaites, Krymchaks, Bulgarians, Poles, Serbs, Germans, and other peoples lived here. They all preserved their faith, traditions, and customs.

I am not going to idealise anything. We do know there were the Valuev Circular of 1863 an then the Ems Ukaz of 1876, which restricted the publication and importation of religious and socio-political literature in the Ukrainian language. But it is important to be mindful of the historical context. These decisions were taken against the backdrop of dramatic events in Poland and the desire of the leaders of the Polish national movement to exploit the ”Ukrainian issue“ to their own advantage. I should add that works of fiction, books of Ukrainian poetry and folk songs continued to be published. There is objective evidence that the Russian Empire was witnessing an active process of development of the Malorussian cultural identity within the greater Russian nation, which united the Velikorussians, the Malorussians and the Belorussians.

At the same time, the idea of Ukrainian people as a nation separate from the Russians started to form and gain ground among the Polish elite and a part of the Malorussian intelligentsia. Since there was no historical basis – and could not have been any, conclusions were substantiated by all sorts of concoctions, which went as far as to claim that the Ukrainians are the true Slavs and the Russians, the Muscovites, are not. Such ”hypotheses“ became increasingly used for political purposes as a tool of rivalry between European states.

Since the late 19th century, the Austro-Hungarian authorities had latched onto this narrative, using it as a counterbalance to the Polish national movement and pro-Muscovite sentiments in Galicia. During World War I, Vienna played a role in the formation of the so-called Legion of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen. Galicians suspected of sympathies with Orthodox Christianity and Russia were subjected to brutal repression and thrown into the concentration camps of Thalerhof and Terezin.

Further developments had to do with the collapse of European empires, the fierce civil war that broke out across the vast territory of the former Russian Empire, and foreign intervention.

After the February Revolution, in March 1917, the Central Rada was established in Kiev, intended to become the organ of supreme power. In November 1917, in its Third Universal, it declared the creation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR) as part of Russia.

In December 1917, UPR representatives arrived in Brest-Litovsk, where Soviet Russia was negotiating with Germany and its allies. At a meeting on 10 January 1918, the head of the Ukrainian delegation read out a note proclaiming the independence of Ukraine. Subsequently, the Central Rada proclaimed Ukraine independent in its Fourth Universal.

The declared sovereignty did not last long. Just a few weeks later, Rada delegates signed a separate treaty with the German bloc countries. Germany and Austria-Hungary were at the time in a dire situation and needed Ukrainian bread and raw materials. In order to secure large-scale supplies, they obtained consent for sending their troops and technical staff to the UPR. In fact, this was used as a pretext for occupation.

For those who have today given up the full control of Ukraine to external forces, it would be instructive to remember that, back in 1918, such a decision proved fatal for the ruling regime in Kiev. With the direct involvement of the occupying forces, the Central Rada was overthrown and Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi was brought to power, proclaiming instead of the UPR the Ukrainian State, which was essentially under German protectorate.

In November 1918 – following the revolutionary events in Germany and Austria-Hungary – Pavlo Skoropadskyi, who had lost the support of German bayonets, took a different course, declaring that ”Ukraine is to take the lead in the formation of an All-Russian Federation“. However, the regime was soon changed again. It was now the time of the so-called Directorate.

In autumn 1918, Ukrainian nationalists proclaimed the West Ukrainian People’s Republic (WUPR) and, in January 1919, announced its unification with the Ukrainian People’s Republic. In July 1919, Ukrainian forces were crushed by Polish troops, and the territory of the former WUPR came under the Polish rule.

In April 1920, Symon Petliura (portrayed as one of the ”heroes“ in today’s Ukraine) concluded secret conventions on behalf of the UPR Directorate, giving up – in exchange for military support – Galicia and Western Volhynia lands to Poland. In May 1920, Petliurites entered Kiev in a convoy of Polish military units. But not for long. As early as November 1920, following a truce between Poland and Soviet Russia, the remnants of Petliura’s forces surrendered to those same Poles.

The example of the UPR shows that different kinds of quasi-state formations that emerged across the former Russian Empire at the time of the Civil War and turbulence were inherently unstable. Nationalists sought to create their own independent states, while leaders of the White movement advocated indivisible Russia. Many of the republics established by the Bolsheviks’ supporters did not see themselves outside Russia either. Nevertheless, Bolshevik Party leaders sometimes basically drove them out of Soviet Russia for various reasons.

Thus, in early 1918, the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic was proclaimed and asked Moscow to incorporate it into Soviet Russia. This was met with a refusal. During a meeting with the republic’s leaders, Vladimir Lenin insisted that they act as part of Soviet Ukraine. On 15 March 1918, the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) directly ordered that delegates be sent to the Ukrainian Congress of Soviets, including from the Donetsk Basin, and that ”one government for all of Ukraine“ be created at the congress. The territories of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic later formed most of the regions of south-eastern Ukraine.

Under the 1921 Treaty of Riga, concluded between the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and Poland, the western lands of the former Russian Empire were ceded to Poland. In the interwar period, the Polish government pursued an active resettlement policy, seeking to change the ethnic composition of the Eastern Borderlands – the Polish name for what is now Western Ukraine, Western Belarus and parts of Lithuania. The areas were subjected to harsh Polonisation, local culture and traditions suppressed. Later, during World War II, radical groups of Ukrainian nationalists used this as a pretext for terror not only against Polish, but also against Jewish and Russian populations.

In 1922, when the USSR was created, with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic becoming one of its founders, a rather fierce debate among the Bolshevik leaders resulted in the implementation of Lenin’s plan to form a union state as a federation of equal republics. The right for the republics to freely secede from the Union was included in the text of the Declaration on the Creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and, subsequently, in the 1924 USSR Constitution. By doing so, the authors planted in the foundation of our statehood the most dangerous time bomb, which exploded the moment the safety mechanism provided by the leading role of the CPSU was gone, the party itself collapsing from within. A ”parade of sovereignties“ followed. On 8 December 1991, the so-called Belovezh Agreement on the Creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States was signed, stating that ”the USSR as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality no longer existed.“ By the way, Ukraine never signed or ratified the CIS Charter adopted back in 1993.

In the 1920’s-1930’s, the Bolsheviks actively promoted the ”localization policy“, which took the form of Ukrainization in the Ukrainian SSR. Symbolically, as part of this policy and with consent of the Soviet authorities, Mikhail Grushevskiy, former chairman of Central Rada, one of the ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism, who at a certain period of time had been supported by Austria-Hungary, was returned to the USSR and was elected member of the Academy of Sciences.

The localization policy undoubtedly played a major role in the development and consolidation of the Ukrainian culture, language and identity. At the same time, under the guise of combating the so-called Russian great-power chauvinism, Ukrainization was often imposed on those who did not see themselves as Ukrainians. This Soviet national policy secured at the state level the provision on three separate Slavic peoples: Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian, instead of the large Russian nation, a triune people comprising Velikorussians, Malorussians and Belorussians.

In 1939, the USSR regained the lands earlier seized by Poland. A major portion of these became part of the Soviet Ukraine. In 1940, the Ukrainian SSR incorporated part of Bessarabia, which had been occupied by Romania since 1918, as well as Northern Bukovina. In 1948, Zmeyiniy Island (Snake Island) in the Black Sea became part of Ukraine. In 1954, the Crimean Region of the RSFSR was given to the Ukrainian SSR, in gross violation of legal norms that were in force at the time.

I would like to dwell on the destiny of Carpathian Ruthenia, which became part of Czechoslovakia following the breakup of Austria-Hungary. Rusins made up a considerable share of local population. While this is hardly mentioned any longer, after the liberation of Transcarpathia by Soviet troops the congress of the Orthodox population of the region voted for the inclusion of Carpathian Ruthenia in the RSFSR or, as a separate Carpathian republic, in the USSR proper. Yet the choice of people was ignored. In summer 1945, the historical act of the reunification of Carpathian Ukraine ”with its ancient motherland, Ukraine“ – as The Pravda newspaper put it – was announced.

Therefore, modern Ukraine is entirely the product of the Soviet era. We know and remember well that it was shaped – for a significant part – on the lands of historical Russia. To make sure of that, it is enough to look at the boundaries of the lands reunited with the Russian state in the 17th century and the territory of the Ukrainian SSR when it left the Soviet Union.

The Bolsheviks treated the Russian people as inexhaustible material for their social experiments. They dreamt of a world revolution that would wipe out national states. That is why they were so generous in drawing borders and bestowing territorial gifts. It is no longer important what exactly the idea of the Bolshevik leaders who were chopping the country into pieces was. We can disagree about minor details, background and logics behind certain decisions. One fact is crystal clear: Russia was robbed, indeed.

When working on this article, I relied on open-source documents that contain well-known facts rather than on some secret records. The leaders of modern Ukraine and their external ”patrons“ prefer to overlook these facts. They do not miss a chance, however, both inside the country and abroad, to condemn ”the crimes of the Soviet regime,“ listing among them events with which neither the CPSU, nor the USSR, let alone modern Russia, have anything to do. At the same time, the Bolsheviks’ efforts to detach from Russia its historical territories are not considered a crime. And we know why: if they brought about the weakening of Russia, our ill-wishes are happy with that.

Of course, inside the USSR, borders between republics were never seen as state borders; they were nominal within a single country, which, while featuring all the attributes of a federation, was highly centralized – this, again, was secured by the CPSU’s leading role. But in 1991, all those territories, and, which is more important, people, found themselves abroad overnight, taken away, this time indeed, from their historical motherland.

What can be said to this? Things change: countries and communities are no exception. Of course, some part of a people in the process of its development, influenced by a number of reasons and historical circumstances, can become aware of itself as a separate nation at a certain moment. How should we treat that? There is only one answer: with respect!

You want to establish a state of your own: you are welcome! But what are the terms? I will recall the assessment given by one of the most prominent political figures of new Russia, first mayor of Saint Petersburg Anatoly Sobchak. As a legal expert who believed that every decision must be legitimate, in 1992, he shared the following opinion: the republics that were founders of the Union, having denounced the 1922 Union Treaty, must return to the boundaries they had had before joining the Soviet Union. All other territorial acquisitions are subject to discussion, negotiations, given that the ground has been revoked.

In other words, when you leave, take what you brought with you. This logic is hard to refute. I will just say that the Bolsheviks had embarked on reshaping boundaries even before the Soviet Union, manipulating with territories to their liking, in disregard of people’s views.

The Russian Federation recognized the new geopolitical realities: and not only recognized, but, indeed, did a lot for Ukraine to establish itself as an independent country. Throughout the difficult 1990’s and in the new millennium, we have provided considerable support to Ukraine. Whatever ”political arithmetic“ of its own Kiev may wish to apply, in 1991–2013, Ukraine’s budget savings amounted to more than USD 82 billion, while today, it holds on to the mere USD 1.5 billion of Russian payments for gas transit to Europe. If economic ties between our countries had been retained, Ukraine would enjoy the benefit of tens of billions of dollars.

Ukraine and Russia have developed as a single economic system over decades and centuries. The profound cooperation we had 30 years ago is an example for the European Union to look up to. We are natural complementary economic partners. Such a close relationship can strengthen competitive advantages, increasing the potential of both countries.

Ukraine used to possess great potential, which included powerful infrastructure, gas transportation system, advanced shipbuilding, aviation, rocket and instrument engineering industries, as well as world-class scientific, design and engineering schools. Taking over this legacy and declaring independence, Ukrainian leaders promised that the Ukrainian economy would be one of the leading ones and the standard of living would be among the best in Europe.

Today, high-tech industrial giants that were once the pride of Ukraine and the entire Union, are sinking. Engineering output has dropped by 42 per cent over ten years. The scale of deindustrialization and overall economic degradation is visible in Ukraine’s electricity production, which has seen a nearly two-time decrease in 30 years. Finally, according to IMF reports, in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Ukraine’s GDP per capita had been below USD 4 thousand. This is less than in the Republic of Albania, the Republic of Moldova, or unrecognized Kosovo. Nowadays, Ukraine is Europe’s poorest country.

Who is to blame for this? Is it the people of Ukraine’s fault? Certainly not. It was the Ukrainian authorities who waisted and frittered away the achievements of many generations. We know how hardworking and talented the people of Ukraine are. They can achieve success and outstanding results with perseverance and determination. And these qualities, as well as their openness, innate optimism and hospitality have not gone. The feelings of millions of people who treat Russia not just well but with great affection, just as we feel about Ukraine, remain the same.

Until 2014, hundreds of agreements and joint projects were aimed at developing our economies, business and cultural ties, strengthening security, and solving common social and environmental problems. They brought tangible benefits to people – both in Russia and Ukraine. This is what we believed to be most important. And that is why we had a fruitful interaction with all, I emphasize, with all the leaders of Ukraine.

Even after the events in Kiev of 2014, I charged the Russian government to elaborate options for preserving and maintaining our economic ties within relevant ministries and agencies. However, there was and is still no mutual will to do the same. Nevertheless, Russia is still one of Ukraine’s top three trading partners, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are coming to us to work, and they find a welcome reception and support. So that what the ”aggressor state“ is.

When the USSR collapsed, many people in Russia and Ukraine sincerely believed and assumed that our close cultural, spiritual and economic ties would certainly last, as would the commonality of our people, who had always had a sense of unity at their core. However, events – at first gradually, and then more rapidly – started to move in a different direction.

In essence, Ukraine’s ruling circles decided to justify their country’s independence through the denial of its past, however, except for border issues. They began to mythologize and rewrite history, edit out everything that united us, and refer to the period when Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union as an occupation. The common tragedy of collectivization and famine of the early 1930s was portrayed as the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Radicals and neo-Nazis were open and more and more insolent about their ambitions. They were indulged by both the official authorities and local oligarchs, who robbed the people of Ukraine and kept their stolen money in Western banks, ready to sell their motherland for the sake of preserving their capital. To this should be added the persistent weakness of state institutions and the position of a willing hostage to someone else’s geopolitical will.

I recall that long ago, well before 2014, the U.S. and EU countries systematically and consistently pushed Ukraine to curtail and limit economic cooperation with Russia. We, as the largest trade and economic partner of Ukraine, suggested discussing the emerging problems in the Ukraine-Russia-EU format. But every time we were told that Russia had nothing to do with it and that the issue concerned only the EU and Ukraine. De facto Western countries rejected Russia’s repeated calls for dialogue.

Step by step, Ukraine was dragged into a dangerous geopolitical game aimed at turning Ukraine into a barrier between Europe and Russia, a springboard against Russia. Inevitably, there came a time when the concept of ”Ukraine is not Russia“ was no longer an option. There was a need for the ”anti-Russia“ concept which we will never accept.

The owners of this project took as a basis the old groundwork of the Polish-Austrian ideologists to create an ”anti-Moscow Russia“. And there is no need to deceive anyone that this is being done in the interests of the people of Ukraine. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth never needed Ukrainian culture, much less Cossack autonomy. In Austria-Hungary, historical Russian lands were mercilessly exploited and remained the poorest. The Nazis, abetted by collaborators from the OUN-UPA, did not need Ukraine, but a living space and slaves for Aryan overlords.

Nor were the interests of the Ukrainian people thought of in February 2014. The legitimate public discontent, caused by acute socio-economic problems, mistakes, and inconsistent actions of the authorities of the time, was simply cynically exploited. Western countries directly interfered in Ukraine’s internal affairs and supported the coup. Radical nationalist groups served as its battering ram. Their slogans, ideology, and blatant aggressive Russophobia have to a large extent become defining elements of state policy in Ukraine.

All the things that united us and bring us together so far came under attack. First and foremost, the Russian language. Let me remind you that the new ”Maidan“ authorities first tried to repeal the law on state language policy. Then there was the law on the ”purification of power“, the law on education that virtually cut the Russian language out of the educational process.

Lastly, as early as May of this year, the current president introduced a bill on ”indigenous peoples“ to the Rada. Only those who constitute an ethnic minority and do not have their own state entity outside Ukraine are recognized as indigenous. The law has been passed. New seeds of discord have been sown. And this is happening in a country, as I have already noted, that is very complex in terms of its territorial, national and linguistic composition, and its history of formation.

There may be an argument: if you are talking about a single large nation, a triune nation, then what difference does it make who people consider themselves to be – Russians, Ukrainians, or Belarusians. I completely agree with this. Especially since the determination of nationality, particularly in mixed families, is the right of every individual, free to make his or her own choice.

But the fact is that the situation in Ukraine today is completely different because it involves a forced change of identity. And the most despicable thing is that the Russians in Ukraine are being forced not only to deny their roots, generations of their ancestors but also to believe that Russia is their enemy. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the path of forced assimilation, the formation of an ethnically pure Ukrainian state, aggressive towards Russia, is comparable in its consequences to the use of weapons of mass destruction against us. As a result of such a harsh and artificial division of Russians and Ukrainians, the Russian people in all may decrease by hundreds of thousands or even millions.

Our spiritual unity has also been attacked. As in the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a new ecclesiastical has been initiated. The secular authorities, making no secret of their political aims, have blatantly interfered in church life and brought things to a split, to the seizure of churches, the beating of priests and monks. Even extensive autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church while maintaining spiritual unity with the Moscow Patriarchate strongly displeases them. They have to destroy this prominent and centuries-old symbol of our kinship at all costs.

I think it is also natural that the representatives of Ukraine over and over again vote against the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism. Marches and torchlit processions in honor of remaining war criminals from the SS units take place under the protection of the official authorities. Mazepa, who betrayed everyone, Petliura, who paid for Polish patronage with Ukrainian lands, and Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazis, are ranked as national heroes. Everything is being done to erase from the memory of young generations the names of genuine patriots and victors, who have always been the pride of Ukraine.

For the Ukrainians who fought in the Red Army, in partisan units, the Great Patriotic War was indeed a patriotic war because they were defending their home, their great common Motherland. Over two thousand soldiers became Heroes of the Soviet Union. Among them are legendary pilot Ivan Kozhedub, fearless sniper, defender of Odessa and Sevastopol Lyudmila Pavlichenko, valiant guerrilla commander Sidor Kovpak. This indomitable generation fought, those people gave their lives for our future, for us. To forget their feat is to betray our grandfathers, mothers and fathers.

The anti-Russia project has been rejected by millions of Ukrainians. The people of Crimea and residents of Sevastopol made their historic choice. And people in the southeast peacefully tried to defend their stance. Yet, all of them, including children, were labeled as separatists and terrorists. They were threatened with ethnic cleansing and the use of military force. And the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk took up arms to defend their home, their language and their lives. Were they left any other choice after the riots that swept through the cities of Ukraine, after the horror and tragedy of 2 May 2014 in Odessa where Ukrainian neo-Nazis burned people alive making a new Khatyn out of it? The same massacre was ready to be carried out by the followers of Bandera in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk and Lugansk. Even now they do not abandon such plans. They are biding their time. But their time will not come.

The coup d’état and the subsequent actions of the Kiev authorities inevitably provoked confrontation and civil war. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that the total number of victims in the conflict in Donbas has exceeded 13,000. Among them are the elderly and children. These are terrible, irreparable losses.

Russia has done everything to stop fratricide. The Minsk agreements aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas have been concluded. I am convinced that they still have no alternative. In any case, no one has withdrawn their signatures from the Minsk Package of Measures or from the relevant statements by the leaders of the Normandy format countries. No one has initiated a review of the United Nations Security Council resolution of 17 February 2015.

During official negotiations, especially after being reined in by Western partners, Ukraine’s representatives regularly declare their ”full adherence“ to the Minsk agreements, but are in fact guided by a position of ”unacceptability“. They do not intend to seriously discuss either the special status of Donbas or safeguards for the people living there. They prefer to exploit the image of the ”victim of external aggression“ and peddle Russophobia. They arrange bloody provocations in Donbas. In short, they attract the attention of external patrons and masters by all means.

Apparently, and I am becoming more and more convinced of this: Kiev simply does not need Donbas. Why? Because, firstly, the inhabitants of these regions will never accept the order that they have tried and are trying to impose by force, blockade and threats. And secondly, the outcome of both Minsk‑1 and Minsk‑2 which give a real chance to peacefully restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine by coming to an agreement directly with the DPR and LPR with Russia, Germany and France as mediators, contradicts the entire logic of the anti-Russia project. And it can only be sustained by the constant cultivation of the image of an internal and external enemy. And I would add – under the protection and control of the Western powers.

This is what is actually happening. First of all, we are facing the creation of a climate of fear in Ukrainian society, aggressive rhetoric, indulging neo-Nazis and militarising the country. Along with that we are witnessing not just complete dependence but direct external control, including the supervision of the Ukrainian authorities, security services and armed forces by foreign advisers, military ”development“ of the territory of Ukraine and deployment of NATO infrastructure. It is no coincidence that the aforementioned flagrant law on ”indigenous peoples“ was adopted under the cover of large-scale NATO exercises in Ukraine.

This is also a disguise for the takeover of the rest of the Ukrainian economy and the exploitation of its natural resources. The sale of agricultural land is not far off, and it is obvious who will buy it up. From time to time, Ukraine is indeed given financial resources and loans, but under their own conditions and pursuing their own interests, with preferences and benefits for Western companies. By the way, who will pay these debts back? Apparently, it is assumed that this will have to be done not only by today’s generation of Ukrainians but also by their children, grandchildren and probably great-grandchildren.

The Western authors of the anti-Russia project set up the Ukrainian political system in such a way that presidents, members of parliament and ministers would change but the attitude of separation from and enmity with Russia would remain. Reaching peace was the main election slogan of the incumbent president. He came to power with this. The promises turned out to be lies. Nothing has changed. And in some ways the situation in Ukraine and around Donbas has even degenerated.

In the anti-Russia project, there is no place either for a sovereign Ukraine or for the political forces that are trying to defend its real independence. Those who talk about reconciliation in Ukrainian society, about dialogue, about finding a way out of the current impasse are labelled as ”pro-Russian“ agents.

Again, for many people in Ukraine, the anti-Russia project is simply unacceptable. And there are millions of such people. But they are not allowed to raise their heads. They have had their legal opportunity to defend their point of view in fact taken away from them. They are intimidated, driven underground. Not only are they persecuted for their convictions, for the spoken word, for the open expression of their position, but they are also killed. Murderers, as a rule, go unpunished.

Today, the ”right“ patriot of Ukraine is only the one who hates Russia. Moreover, the entire Ukrainian statehood, as we understand it, is proposed to be further built exclusively on this idea. Hate and anger, as world history has repeatedly proved this, are a very shaky foundation for sovereignty, fraught with many serious risks and dire consequences.

All the subterfuges associated with the anti-Russia project are clear to us. And we will never allow our historical territories and people close to us living there to be used against Russia. And to those who will undertake such an attempt, I would like to say that this way they will destroy their own country.

The incumbent authorities in Ukraine like to refer to Western experience, seeing it as a model to follow. Just have a look at how Austria and Germany, the USA and Canada live next to each other. Close in ethnic composition, culture, in fact sharing one language, they remain sovereign states with their own interests, with their own foreign policy. But this does not prevent them from the closest integration or allied relations. They have very conditional, transparent borders. And when crossing them the citizens feel at home. They create families, study, work, do business. Incidentally, so do millions of those born in Ukraine who now live in Russia. We see them as our own close people.

Russia is open to dialogue with Ukraine and ready to discuss the most complex issues. But it is important for us to understand that our partner is defending its national interests but not serving someone else’s, and is not a tool in someone else’s hands to fight against us.

We respect the Ukrainian language and traditions. We respect Ukrainians’ desire to see their country free, safe and prosperous.

I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.

Today, these words may be perceived by some people with hostility. They can be interpreted in many possible ways. Yet, many people will hear me. And I will say one thing – Russia has never been and will never be ”anti-Ukraine“. And what Ukraine will be – it is up to its citizens to decide.

ليست ذكرى 15 سنة بل مسيرة توالد الحقائق الجديدة: حرب تموز سياق مستمرّ وليست مجرد جولة حرب

ناصر قنديل

كان العام التالي لاجتياح جيش الاحتلال للبنان مدعوماً بقوات أميركية فرنسية لفرض نتائج الاجتياح السياسية، كافياً لرسم خلاصة ستؤكدها سنوات لاحقة عن الخط البياني للمواجهة بين مسار المقاومة في نقطة الانطلاق المفتوح على النمو والتعاظم، ومسار السيطرة الأميركيّة الإسرائيليّة على الوضع اللبناني بأعلى مستويات الحضور والقوة، ورغم أن اللبنانيين عموماً لم ينتبهوا لهذه الخلاصة ولم يسجّلوها في أدبياتهم السياسية فإن الأميركيين والإسرائيليين انتبهوا لها جيدا وبنوا عليها سياساتهم اللاحقة، فقد أظهرت هذه المواجهة بعناوينها الأولى، أن مولوداً يصعب احتواؤه وتصعب هزيمته يستعدّ للتحول الى عملاق المشهد الجديد، فلم يتخيّل قادة الكيان وخبراؤه أن يكون أول تفجير لعمل مقاوم يستهدف جيشهم سيكون الأضخم من حيث الخسائر التي ألحقها بهم منذ نشأة الكيان، عندما أطاحت عملية استشهاديّة متقنة بدقة بمئات كبار ضباط جيش واستخبارات الاحتلال في مدرسة الشجرة في صور التي اتخذها المحتلون مقراً لحاكمهم العسكري؛

ومثلهم لم يتخيّل القادة العسكريون الأميركيون ولا خبراؤهم أن يسقط لجيشهم الوافد حديثاً إلى الشرق بأبهة الحضور على صهوة حصان نتائج الاجتياح، مئات أخرى بعد عام من التفجير الذي أصاب جيش الاحتلال، وأن يبقى حتى تاريخه ما سقط للجيشين خلال هذين التفجيرين أعلى رقم تسجله عمليات استهدفت هذين الجيشين اللذين يتباهيان بجبروت القوة. وجاءت الانتفاضات الشعبية في الجنوب وبيروت لتكمل مشهد الإتقان والفعالية والقدرة ليكتمل المشهد بانتفاضة شعبية شاملة في بيروت في 6 شباط 1984.

بدأ الأميركيون بالرحيل وارتضوا إسقاط اتفاق 17 أيار، الذي كان بنظر محلليهم أعظم إنجاز سياسيّ بعد اتفاقيّات كامب ديفيد، وبدأ «الإسرائيليون» انسحابات تدريجيّة من المناطق التي احتلّوها، وفيما كان اللبنانيّون ينشغلون بحروب السيطرة، كان التوقّع الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» بأن المشهد الذي بدأ للتوّ بعد سيطرتهم على لبنان، سيتحوّل إلى كرة ثلج تتعاظم وتهدّد مصير الكيان والسيطرة الأميركيّة على المنطقة، فلم تكد تنجز واشنطن أحادية سيطرتها على العالم، مع سقوط جدار برلين وتفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي، حتى استدارت الى المنطقة بمشروع يقوم على وقف الحرب العراقيّة على إيران، ووقف الاصطدام مع سورية، والتمركز في الخليج، والتقدّم بمشروع واسع لتحقيق السلام في المنطقة، تحت عنوان مؤتمر مدريد، ولد اتفاق الطائف في رحمه، كسياق متمّم لشروط استئصال الخطر الذي أوحت به المواجهات التالية لاجتياح لبنان، وكانت خريطة الطريق تقوم على احتواء سورية بثنائية إعادة الجولان وتفويض مفتوح في لبنان، مقابل إطلاق مشروع اقتصادي عملاق من بيروت تموّله السعودية كشريك لسورية في إدارة لبنان الجديد، يواكبه انسحاب إسرائيلي من لبنان ضمن صفقة التسوية الشاملة مع سورية، لكن هذا المشروع كله سقط مضرجاً بدماء رئيس وزراء كيان الاحتلال اسحق رابين على أيدي حراس الكيان الفعليين وممثلي عقيدته التوسعية والاستيطانية، بعدما نجحت المقاومة بتفادي الانزلاق الى التصادم مع سورية، ومع المشروع الاقتصادي السياسي الجديد للبنان الذي كان يحظى بتصفيق اللبنانيين. ففي سنوات الرهان على التسوية والنظام الجديد لبنانياً وإقليمياً، ضبطت المقاومة إيقاع حركتها بحذر وحكمة وحيّدت نفسها عن كل ما يبرر استفزازها واستدراجها الى المواجهة، بما في ذلك مواجهة السياسات الاقتصادية التي كانت تعلم مخاطرها وتدرك أنها محاولة لبناء نموذج جاذب خارج مشروعها، حتى جاء دورها في رسم المعادلات الجديدة مع تفاهم نيسان عام 1996.

شكّل العام 2000 فرصة مثلثة للمقاومة، حيث فشلت آخر جولات التفاوض الأميركي السوري في جنيف، وفشلت آخر جولات التفاوض الفلسطيني «الإسرائيلي» في كامب ديفيد، وفرضت المقاومة على جيش الاحتلال خروجاً مذلاً من جنوب لبنان، واسترد مفهوم الصراع مع كيان الاحتلال صدارته الإقليميّة، وظهرت المقاومة بعد إنجاز التحرير مثالاً يُحتذى، ورغم الحروب الأميركية التي رافقت صعود المحافظين الجدد لتعديل التوازن الذي اختل بهزيمة جيش الاحتلال عام 2000، نجحت المقاومة باستكمال استعداداتها للحرب التي كانت على يقين من أنها آتية لمحو آثار نصرها في أيار 2000. وجاءت حرب تموز 2006 محاولة أميركيّة لتعويض فشل حروبها الإقليمية ومحاولة «اسرائيلية» لاسترداد ميزان الردع، وتكللت المحاولتان بالفشل الذريع،

وخلال خمسة عشر عاماً بعد الحرب خيضت حروب سريّة وعقوبات علنيّة لمنع المقاومة من مراكمة أسباب القوة، وتعديل توازن القوى لصالح فرصة حرب جديدة يخوضها جيش الاحتلال معوّضاً هزيمته وهزيمة واشنطن من خلفه. ويعترف الطرفان بأن ظروف الحرب تبتعد كل يوم أكثر، وفجوة أسباب القوة تزداد اختلالاً لصالح المقاومة بالقياس لموازين حرب تموز، كل يوم، وقد جاءت معركة «سيف القدس» قبل أسابيع لتقول ذلك بما لا يقبل جدالاً ولا يشوبه شك.

فشلت الحرب في إضعاف المقاومة وقطع طريق نموها، وفشلت الحرب المموّهة والمعلنة على سورية في خلق وقائع جديدة تعرقل مسار نمو المقاومة وأسباب قوتها، فإذ بها تستدرج الحضور الروسي وتفشل في تحقيق أهدافها، ومنذ ذلك التاريخ طرأ تغيير في قواعد الحرب، فالذين كانوا يتباهون بما سمّوه معجزة البناء الاقتصادي اللبناني الذي أرادوه طريقاً لحصار المقاومة تحت شعار الدعوة للاختيار بين نموذجي هانوي أو هونغ كونغ، ويوزّعون دروع التكريم وأوسمة العبقرية على صناع المعجزة في عواصم العالم، قرروا أن يدخلوا المقاومة إلى التحدي الاقتصادي، فبعدما كانوا يدعونها للبقاء جميلة وتصمت، تحت شعار ابقوا في المقاومة فأنتم تتقنونها ولا تتقنون سواها، ودعوا لنا الاقتصاد فنحن نتقنه، فقرروا أن يسقطوا الهيكل على رؤوس الجميع، وأن يحمّلوا المقاومة مسؤولية سقوطه، وأن يتركوا الركام على الرؤوس ليقولوا للمقاومة، هذا شعبك فماذا فعلت له وهل يأكل ويشرب عزة وكرامة، بغياب الغذاء والدواء والكهرباء والمحروقات، والأكيد أن هذا السقوط المبرمج بدليل أنه قام على التضحية بالنظام المصرفي الذي يقوم على الثقة، وإعلان إفلاسه وامتناعه عن السداد، لكن السقوط لم يصب أصحاب المصارف ولا شركاءهم من أصحاب النفوذ، الذين بدأوا مبكراً بتهريب أموالهم إلى الخارج، وحيث كان صعباً تحميل المقاومة مسؤولية السقوط، وهي التي كانوا يبعدونها عن كل ما له صلة بالملف الاقتصادي، وسط ارتياح شعبي عام لوهم نجاح نموذج الدين والفوائد وسعر الصرف المريح، فإن المقاومة كانت مضطرة لقبول التحدّي المتصل بكيفية النهوض، باعتباره الاستكمال الطبيعي لمشروعها الشامل لبناء مقدرات القوة، والناس هم ناس المقاومة، وأهم مصادر قوتها.

العقول التي قرأت قواعد الصراع واستنبطت خيارات المواجهة خلال أربعين عاماً، وبنت مقدرات تمكنت من هزيمة أعتى قوتين دولية وإقليمية، كانت جاهزة للمرحلة الجديدة، وقادرة على التعامل مع الملفات الاقتصادية بمنهج العلم والواقعية والانفتاح على الأفكار الجديدة، التي شكلت مدرستها في خوض الحرب العسكريّة، ورغم الحاجة للوقت لاستكمال شروط الحماية الشعبية اللازمة للخيارات، ولإنضاج الخيارات ذاتها وتوفير شروط السير بها، والوقت مليء بالآلام بلا شك، أنجزت المقاومة أجوبتها وبدأت بوضعها على الطاولة، واليوم يبدأ البحث الجدّي لدى القيادتين الأميركية و«الإسرائيلية»، بالاختيار بين المضي قدماً في سياسة الدفع نحو الانهيار أو استباق نجاح المقاومة بفرض خياراتها، فما نراه وما نسمعه عن دراسات مركز الأمن القومي في تل أبيب حول الدعوة لوقف مسار الانهيار اللبناني، وما نشهده من حراك أميركيّ فرنسيّ سعوديّ، مؤشرات تشبه تلك التي رافقت الانسحابات الأميركية والإسرائيلية في الثمانينيات لمنع تعاظم المقاومة، لكن المقاومة بقوا أم رحلوا تتعاظم، وهذه هي العبرة الأهم التي قدّمتها لنا حرب تموز عام 2006 كلحظة تاريخيّة للاصطدام بين تاريخين وجغرافيتين واقتصادين، التاريخ الممتد لآلاف السنين والتاريخ الملفق للمستوطنين، والجغرافيا الراسخة بحدود الأوطان مقابل جغرافيا حيث تطأ اقدام الجنود، اقتصاد الأصول الثابتة للثروات الحقيقية واقتصاد البورصات والأرقام الدفترية الافتراضية، المواجهة دارت ولا تزال بين مسارين ونمطين، واحد يمثل القوس الصاعد في حياة البشرية القائم على الحق والحقيقة، وآخر يمثل الأفول لأوهام السيطرة وأحلام التوسع الإمبراطوري رغم التوحش والإنكار والمكابرة.

Biden Occupation Regime Criminally Brings more Weapons into Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

US American forces in Syria - Biden - Hasakah - Deir Ezzor - Raqqa - Archive

Biden invaders and occupation regime criminally entered Syria — again — on 12 July. This supremacist convoy contained 37 trucks “loaded with weapons and ammunition” and logistical equipment, along with “three trailers carrying new armored military vehicles and eight other trailers loaded with huge camouflaged boxes” and three four-wheeled cars equipped with machine guns.”

The criminal US military convoy came in through the illegitimate al Walid crossing from Iraq, part of the ”autonomous zone” that voted against being an independent country, a couple of years ago.

For NATO colonialists among our readers, we return to our friends, the maps. The first one shows the location of both Syria and the US; the second, the location of al Walid, Hasaka governate, which is in Syria, which is not in the United States.

Biden imperial US again helping to destroy Syrian water supply.
This map clearly shows that Syria is not part of the US.
Arrow shows al Walid crossing, which the Biden regime uses illegally.

When not criminally using the al Walid crossing, the Biden regime forces — American illegals — criminally use the al Yaaruibayah crossing from that (Kurdish) autonomous region in Iraq, that would collapse without the US and other NATO criminals holding it up; sometimes the American illegals switch them up, using one for Biden continuing Trump’s oil and grains stealing, and the other for criminally bringing NATO weapons into the Levantine republic.

As H.E. Bassam Sabbagh has mentioned to the NATO junta ruling the UNSC, Biden forces illegal enter the SAR with the aplomb of traveling between New York and New Jersey.

Biden regime also criminally uses the al Yaarubiyah crossing.

At this time, the only difference between the Trump and Biden regimes in Syria is that the latter has not yet torched any wheat field, he only stole wheat from the Syrian wheat silos.

Joseph Biden inaugural ceremonies

On 7 July the supremacist Biden regime convoy was a bit larger, with 44 US occupation vehicles bringing in oil tankers, refrigerated tankers, trailers carrying ”bulldozers for the aim of reinforcing the occupation’s bases” in Syria, which is not in the US, as we have noted in the map, above.

While stenographer journalists are all aflutter over the US fake leaving Afghanistan, they have made no comments about our criminals remaining in Syria, a breach of both international law, and the noble UN Charter, both of which are ignored by NATO supremacists. The increase in the criminal American military fortification appears to be related to the ongoing bombings of the Biden illegals, by the resistance groups (akin to true anti-fascist partisan underground operations when civilized human beings were trying to rid their homelands of actual fascists and assorted occupiers, in Europe and in Libya — where Omar Mukhtar led the resistance against fascist Mussolini’s Quarta Sponda occupiers.).

Banned in Italy, 1982, lest Italians be reminded that they were once under fascist dictatorship.
Banned in Italy, 1982, lest Italians be reminded that they were once under fascist dictatorship.

The resistance has been busy since soon after 28 June, when the Biden regime criminals bombed both Syria and Iraq from within Syria (both Operation Mockingbird leftist success stories — bleating daily about racism — and the rightwingers who see no racism, are aligned in support of these colonial, supremacist war crimes).

Immediately, the resistance bombed back the Biden occupiers. The Syrian resistance even celebrated the Fourth of July by bombing Biden occupiers in Deir Ezzor.

The resistance continues to celebrate America’s independence day with ongoing bombings of the Biden regime occupiers.

One other difference between the Trump and Biden regimes: Trump claimed US troops in Iraq bombed by resistance groups after the Soleimani assassination had some ”headaches,” while the Biden-Dr. Jill-Harris-Nance-Pentagon collective presidency claims zero casualties.

— Miri Wood

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Jerusalem Conflict: Identity Theft on top of Everything Else

By VT Editors -July 11, 2021

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2021/07/11/jerusalem-conflict-identity-theft-on-top-of-everything-else/

by Seth Ferris, for VT and New Eastern Outlook

As many previous colleagues have discovered, writing about Israel is a thankless task best avoided, especially by a self-hating Jew. Before people even read a given article, they have made up their own minds about Israel and cross-checked their views against others they hold to see if they are ideologically sound, i.e., politically correct.

Then the information presented is processed to fit whatever views people already hold, and it is well-nigh impossible to convey what might actually be happening in the real world.

In many places, readers also have to look over their shoulders. What is the Israeli lobby in a certain place going to think or say if they take any notice of your opinion, as they surely will? If you knew who your friends were before you thought this or that, will you have the same friends afterwards, and will they want you?

However the recent Jerusalem protests, still on-going but beneath the global news radar, have raised a general issue which cuts across nationality and statehood. Few will be surprised by how they have been presented. But why do we accept such a presentation as the norm?

Israel was founded to give a homeland to people who had a certain identity, even if their actual nationalities or backgrounds were widely different. It endures because that identity has a right to exist, to live in peace and to make its own decision on its own development.

This identity is recognised by all, whatever their views on the State of Israel or whether it should be there or take the form it does. So why is it that everyone is queuing up to deny Israelis the very thing – identity – which forms the basis of their proffered nation state, or opposition to their so called state?

Israel is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t, and must always live with this fact. But is there any point in continuing to deny its residents basic humanity, using the same old tricks which led to Israel being established in the first place?

Flags in False Colours

In any conflict situation, such as that Israel lives in perpetually, everyone tries to categorise the sides. Not simply those involved do this, but outsiders who want to know who to cheer for and who to oppose – or simply want to help, and therefore want an understanding of the people they are dealing with.

Sometimes these categorisations are merely ethnic or national – all Serbs or Cubans are supposed to believe this, and all Croats or Americans must believe that. But very often political opinion is used as a means of drawing distinction – these are the “right”, those are the “left”, or variations thereon.

Those who identify themselves as Israeli, or Jewish, or Friends of Israel, come from all shades of opinion. They have demonstrated this throughout the history of the country, where government has swung between left and right wing blocs comprised of parties of widely differing persuasions – for example, Israel once had two Liberal parties, whose views were closer to one another than to those of any other party, but one was part of the Likud bloc and the other part of the Labour Alignment.

Yet the protestors in Jerusalem—and by extension those who are closer to their side than to those they are protesting against, are routinely described as “right-wing”. Yes, some of them are, and yes, such actions attract, and are often organised by, political groups who are comfortable with that label. But is everyone on that side of the argument “right-wing”? Really?

Arab media outlets are predictably fond of using this term. Many of these outlets are highly professional, often more so than their mainstream media counterparts in the Western world. Yet even the rightly respected Aljazeera is jumping on this bandwagon to express its own position rather than tell us what is happening.

It is common for newly independent countries, however they obtained their independence, hook or crook, to descend into civil war soon afterwards. This because people who were part of the independence movement, bound together by a common cause, find that with that cause gone, the differences in their opinions become more important, but dissent means dissent with the new system, not between partners in the same political system.

This process demonstrates what is going on in Jerusalem. Israelis are not hitching themselves to the star of far right groups they are unlikely to vote for. They are simply expressing their identity – and whether we like it or not, and agree with it or not, this is always going to happen in a place founded to encourage just that.

The US has fought many wars, and started many others, to protect us all from Communism, which it would have eradicated long before if it had directed those same energies at Communist states. What they were actually fighting against wasn’t Communism, but localism – people who felt they belonged to a particular group of the population wanted better lives, a very American thing to want, and this merely happened to coincide with the Communist aim of overthrowing a US-supported government, even though the Communist solution was not one most of the population wanted.

Ho Chi Minh was held up as a repressive Communist when the US was engaged in the Vietnam War. In many respects this view was justified. But Ho also fought against colonial rule by the Japanese and French, and famously paraphrased the US Declaration of Independence as the basis of his reasons for opposing Imperial Japan. Ho may have thought independent Vietnam should be Communist, but independence was the point, and most of his countrymen, of all political persuasions, agreed with him.

So why does everyone who recognises a national or ethnic identity have to be right-wing, left-wing or anything else? Why can’t identity be enough? Because if you have a certain persuasion, you can only have certain friends – and therefore can only be listened to for as long as those friends are tolerated by those with the most power.

Embraced to Death

Whether someone is right-wing, left-wing, moderate or radical is decided by who the speaker thinks their friends are, or should be. Aljazeera is more likely to call the Jerusalem protestors “right-wing” than an Israeli outlet for its own political and commercial reasons. But while they are doing this, Israeli outlets are using the same terminology to describe opponents of the same new Israeli government which authorised the nationalist march.

If you are described as right- or left-wing it means you have particular friends who the speaker doesn’t like. These will be politicians, governments and whole races of people who the speaker feels are “other”. Within the speaker’s own spectrum, everyone is different and has an individual voice. Those on the other side are all the same, and all have something wrong with them which means like can always be compared with like.

During the Cold War the West was very fond of lumping all Communist countries together in one joke bag. China and the Soviet Union were never on the same side, and Yugoslavia broke with the Warsaw pact to pursue its own path. Yet whether a given country was allied with, or even talking to, either China or the Soviet Union they were all the same, whereas the United States always had a different identity to Western Europe, and each individual Western country was distinct from the other.

This is one purpose of claiming that identity has to have a political slant – giving you an excuse to attack particular people with any weapon. The other is the opposite – to develop a coalition of fellow travellers, until such time as it is no longer useful.

A number of Arab countries have had, or still have, governments of a supposedly socialist character – Syria, Egypt, Iraq. When seeking friends, they call upon those of the same political persuasion first of all, rather than other members of the Arab League, or any other international organisation they may belong to, where governments of a different complexion often hold sway.

Even today, this is used as a means of justifying alliances with greater powers of the same political slant – “we have to go running to Big Brother in Moscow/Beijing/Havana because they have the means to help their own, and there are many of us. Greater powers then use the same arguments in reverse – “We have to help our brethren to succeed in our own struggles, and they are natural allies, and therefore natural takers of our rules, because we say so”.

Consequently an expectation forms that if you see yourself a certain way, you have to support a particular set of friends and oppose a particular set of enemies. Yanukovych’s Ukraine again provides a good example of this – though Russia could understand it having relations with the EU, the same didn’t apply in reverse, because if Ukraine wanted to work with both sides it couldn’t be a democracy, in the Western understanding.

Many of these new friends would be natural rivals in any other time or context. A right-wing government in India is expected to be more anti-Pakistani than a left-wing one, and the same is true in reverse in Pakistan. Nevertheless, they can all serve a purpose for a particular time, and exploit the assumptions made about them for their own benefit until the international wind changes – an art which China, invited to buy up every Western country whilst remaining Communist.

But all of this is done at the expense of national identity, even if it is meant to enhance it. Who loses when that happens? Every country which needed to do this so to make friends, which can be easily discarded for not being right-wing, left-wing or moderate or radical enough when a new game comes to town.

There is an old saying, “Show me who your friends are, and I’ll show you who you are”. The next step of course is, “If you want to change your friends, this is what it makes you”. A leading politician can associate with kings and with crooks without anyone caring. But those beneath them have to be in one category or the other, exclusively – because they are somehow expected to earn the identity they already have by existing, and to jump through the required hoops to do so.

Only a Person Can Win

There will never be peace in the Middle East until identity is allowed to have its own face. Neither individuals nor states have to be always one collection of things and never another collection of things, and to wear the label which goes with that. If they could be what they are and talk about what was bothering them, we would all get somewhere.

Israel should be leading the way in this, as it is only there because its people share a deep common identity, not politics or friends or even religion, per se. With a new coalition now in power there, including Arab parties, and an imperative to heal the wounds created by the previous administration and its more exclusive composition, it can create a blueprint which will help its diverse neighbours solve their own problems, which are largely caused by being told they have to be this or that to be true believers in someone else’s view of Israel.

Herding people and countries into this and that camp, and then into others when the need arises, only debases those people and countries and empowers those who are herding them. The Jews have not torn off their yellow stars – quite the contrary, they wear them as red badges of pride, courage. whilst those who pinned them on reap the benefits of not having this identification.

When a politician gets into trouble, their supporters insist that they can be many things, and that there will always be those who call them every name under the sun. Some think they are too hard, some too soft, some too extreme, some not extreme enough. The higher you rise, the more it goes with the territory. But should only the biggest and best have the right to be seen this way?

Taking away identity throws people into the arms of modern day Pol Pots who want to dehumanise everyone so that only they can rule. Israel is the last place where such behaviour should be accepted. If only it actually did its job, even its greatest enemies would have much more to gain than lose by merely living.

Seth Ferris, investigative journalist and political scientist, expert on Middle Eastern affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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“سيف القدس” وإخراج دمشق من الفخّ الكارثيّ

تموز 9 2021

أحمد الدرزي

المصدر: الميادين نت

لم تكن فلسطين في العقل السوري في أي يوم من الأيام إلا جزءاً من البيئة الجغرافية السورية.

Visual search query image
قد تكون دمشق الرابح الأكبر بعد الفلسطينيين في معركة “سيف القدس” باعتبار أنها كشفت دورها السابق والمستقبلي تجاه فلسطين.

تلقَّفت دمشق نتائج الانتصار الكبير للمواجهة الأخيرة بين “إسرائيل” والمقاومة الفلسطينية، التي توحّدت بمستوويها المدني والعسكري، وبقطاعاتها الثلاثة في غزة والضفة الغربية والأراضي المحتلة العام 1948، بسعادة كبيرة، لظهور نتائج موقفها الداعم للمقاومة الفلسطينية الذي لم ينقطع، رغم كل ما أصابها من بعض حركة “حماس” أثناء قيادة رئيس مكتبها السياسي السابق خالد مشعل، ما دفع الرئيس الأسد إلى استقبال قادة المقاومة بشكل علني، والتركيز على ضرورة إبراز الدور السوري في كلِّ الانتصارات، بما في ذلك الانتصار الأكبر، عملية “سيف القدس”، التي غيرت المعادلات داخل فلسطين، وأظهرت مدى هشاشة الكيان الذي لا جذور له في هذه الأرض، حتى تاريخياً، والَّذي تشبه خرافة قوّته خرافة وجود يهوذا و”إسرائيل” ومعبد سليمان في أرض فلسطين. كما أدركت دمشق بحسها السياسي الخبير بالشؤون الدولية أنَّ هذا الانتصار سينعكس عليها إيجاباً في المدى القريب إقليمياً ودولياً.

لم تكن فلسطين في العقل السوري في أي يوم من الأيام إلا جزءاً من البيئة الجغرافية السورية، التي حدَّدها أغلب الجغرافيين العرب بمصطلح بلاد الشام، ومنهم الإدريسي الأشهر، باعتبارها المناطق التي تمتد من شمال وغرب السويدية، التي تشكل الحد الفاصل بين بلاد الشام وبلاد الأرمن، إلى العريش أو رفح جنوباً. وقد قُسِّمت إدارياً في عهد السيطرة العثمانية في القرن التاسع عشر إلى 3 ولايات، هي دمشق وحلب وبيروت.

ولَم يكن الفلسطينيون يتعاطون مع دمشق إلا باعتبارها مركزهم السياسي والاقتصادي، وهو ما دفعهم إلى الاشتراك في مؤتمر سوريا الأول في دمشق في العام1918 ، بوفدٍ مؤلف من 17 شخصية فلسطينية، على رأسهم ممثل نابلس الباحث والمؤرخ عزة دروزة، الذي اختير نائباً لرئيس المؤتمر وقام بتلاوة بيانه الختامي، الذي عبَّر فيه عن رؤية مشرقية للهلال الخصيب ضمن إطار عربي.

لَم تغب هذه الرؤية عن أغلب الفلسطينيين من الناحية الفعلية، حتى بعد تشكّل المقاومة الفلسطينية بفصائلها المتنوعة، واختيارها دمشق مركزاً وحاميةً لها أثناء احتلال بيروت وإبّان تحريرها من العدو الإسرائيلي، والأهم من ذلك، حركتا “حماس” و”الجهاد” الإسلاميتان، رغم التناقض الأيديولوجي بينهما. وخير من استطاع أن يعبر عن هذا التوجه العام، رغم كل ما شاب المواقف السياسية، هو الشهيد نزار بنات الذي عرّف عن نفسه بأنه سوري فلسطيني.

هذا ما يفسّر دوافع العقل السياسي السوري بالتعاطي مع القضية الفلسطينية، ففضلاً عن كونها قضية حقوقية أخلاقية إنسانية ذات بعد عربي وإنساني، فإنها قضية احتلال لأرض سورية تشكّل بعداً استراتيجياً للتواصل مع مصر وادي النيل وقارة أفريقيا بأكملها، وهي أهم منطقة سوريَّة يقتضي التركيز عليها أكثر من لواء إسكندرون وبقية المناطق المحتلة، كما أنَّها قضية وجودية بسبب طبيعة الكيان التوسعية وأبعاد سياسات الهيمنة والاستعباد التي تشكّل من أجلها ضمن دوائر متعددة، أقربها إليه سوريا ومصر.

ورغم خروج سوريا من معظم الفخاخ التي نصبت لها، وخصوصاً في الفترة الفاصلة بين العامين 2006 و2011، بفضل حرب تموز في جنوب لبنان، التي ساهمت بها بشكل كبير وواسع، واعتبرتها نصراً كبيراً لها، ما دفع الولايات المتحدة إلى نصب فخّ اقتصاديّ، برفع اتهامها المزوّر بقتل رئيس الوزراء اللبناني رفيق الحريري عنها، وتوجيهه إلى “حزب الله”، ودفع دول السّعودية وقطر والإمارات العربية المتحدة وتركيا ومصر إلى الانفتاح على سوريا، ومحاولة تغيير تموضعها الجيوسياسي بين الشرق والغرب بالسياسات الاقتصادية الليبرالية التي يغلب عليها الطّابع الخدمي والنمط الاستهلاكي.

ورغم ما تحقَّق من ذلك، فإنَّ دمشق عندما وُضعت بين خياري الشرق والغرب في مشاريع نقل الغاز القطري إلى تركيا عبر الأراضي السورية، ودعم المقاومة لأجل فلسطين وتسليمها كي يتم ذبحها، فإنها رفضت المساومة، ما تسبّب بتعرّضها لأكبر كارثة في تاريخها، باستخدام نمط الجيل الرابع من الحروب لتدميرها (حروب الوكالة)، والذي أدّى إلى حدوث صدع اجتماعيّ كبير، بفعل النجاح في إثارة الهويات الفرعية لدى طيف واسع لا يُستهان به من السوريين.

تدرك دمشق، أياً كان صاحب القرار فيها، عمق القضية الفلسطينية في وجدان وعقل السوريين الذين اندفعوا للتطوع في حرب 1948، رغم تنوع الهويات الفرعية بأشكالها القومية والدينية والمذهبية والقبلية والعشائرية والمدينية والريفية، وهي تشكّل القاسم المشترك الأكبر القادر على تجاوز هوياتهم الفرعية نحو إبراز هويتهم السورية الجامعة. وقد تجلت خير تجلٍ أثناء حرب تموز، باندفاع كل السوريين لاستقبال اللبنانيين الذين لجأوا إليهم بعد العدوان الإسرائيلي الواسع التدمير للجنوب اللبناني، وهي الآن بأمسِّ الحاجة لرأب الصدع الاجتماعي الكبير والعميق الذي تسبّبت به الحرب الكارثية على سوريا والسوريين.

تأتي أهمية معركة “سيف القدس” الأخيرة التي لا تُقدر قيمة نتائجها الكبرى حتى الآن لسوريا والإقليم، وقد تكون دمشق الرابح الأكبر بعد الفلسطينيين فيها، بأنها كشفت دورها السابق والمستقبلي تجاه فلسطين، واختبرت من جديد مدى قدرة الالتزام بالمواجهة الحقيقية المباشرة مع “إسرائيل” وإيقاظ وجدان أغلب السوريين للعودة إلى سوريّتهم، على الرغم من كوارث الحرب والحصار، وعقوبات “قيصر”، وتغوّل اقتصاد الظلّ وسيطرته على معظم مفاصل الاقتصاد، والانحسار الكبير لدورة الحياة الاقتصادية الطبيعية، وهي الآن تحتاج إلى الخروج من الكارثة بمعالجة 3 مسائل أساسية مترابطة وعاجلة، لا يمكن الفصل في ما بينها، أولها الملف الاقتصادي الذي تتطلَّب معالجته إرادة وإدارة وعقلية جديدة، ورأب الصدع الاجتماعي، واستعادة الدور الإقليمي الحامي لها واللائق بموقعها الجيوسياسي الأخطر.

وقد وفَّر انتصار عملية “سيف القدس” عاملين مهمين للخروج الناجح من الفخ الأخطر، وهما الدور الإقليمي الذي سيعود إليها إلى حد كبير، ودور عامل الرفض لبقاء “إسرائيل” ومقاومتها بإزالة الصدع الاجتماعي.

ويبقى العنصر الأهم والضاغط الذي يتعلَّق بإعادة الدورة الاقتصادية الطبيعية، وفقاً للموارد المتاحة ومساهمة الحلفاء والأصدقاء، وتحجيم اقتصاد الظل إلى الحدود القصوى، وهو ما ينتظره السّوريون بعد السابع عشر من هذا الشهر، كي يتابعوا تحرير ما تبقّى من أراضيهم المحتلّة في الشمال السوري من الاحتلالين التركي والأميركي، فهل تتحقَّق آمالهم بذلك؟

Al Mayadeen Sources: Ambassadors’ Actions Prelude Lebanese State Failure Announcement

11 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen net

In light of the continuation of the stifling political and economic crisis that Lebanon is experiencing, sources express their fear to Al-Mayadeen Net about the dangerous slide that Lebanon is heading towards.

The foreign ministers of the US, France and KSA discuss the Lebanese crisis during the G20 summit
The foreign ministers of the US, France, and Saudi Arabia discuss the Lebanese crisis during the G20 summit

Lebanese political sources have expressed to Al-Mayadeen net their fear of the dangerous path Lebanon is heading towards, in light of the existing difficulty in forming a government, and the difficulty of producing local facilitations that secure the minimum level of political, economic, security, and social stability, to deal with the challenges and risks facing this country. 

The sources saw the escalating international movement, and the US-French-Saudi meetings devoted to the Lebanese situation, which took place on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, as a “preparation for a stronger and more dangerous rerun of the 2005 scene, following the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri, which was followed by the coup against Syria and the expulsion of its forces from Lebanon, seizing power and besieging the resistance, in preparation for its isolation, and the consequences of this path on an internal level, as well as the July Israeli aggression in 2006.”

The same sources considered that “the same scene is being rehearsed, but with different tools, circumstances, and personalities, and with more insidious and influential titles, including tightening the financial and economic noose, pushing the country to collapse, ensuring the explosion of local contradictions, all while giving sensitive files, such as the explosion of the Beirut port on August 4, 2020, corruption and responsibility for the collapse, sectarian dimensions which would, in turn, dismantle the state and strengthen the disuniting logic of the cantons,” as the sources put it.

According to the sources, the American-French-Saudi movement “suggests a readiness to deal with the upcoming expected economic and social collapse in light of the political crisis, disintegration, and division, and the economic crisis and its effects on citizens and their choices, to invest in it, direct it towards opponents and hold them responsible for the collapse ahead of the parliamentary elections. The elections are expected to take place next year, which will allow them, according to their outlooks, to recover Lebanon from Hezbollah and its allies,” as they put it.

They added, “this expression is an initial title for the project of the new guardianship over Lebanon, and its inclusion in the maps of international-regional influence that are being redrawn on the shores of the Mediterranean, from Libya to Syria, where Western military bases are linked to sources of oil and wealth, while the people of the country quarrel among themselves,” according to the sources. 

What reaffirms the solemnity of this movement, according to the same sources, is “the international claim that it is impossible to form a government, despite the aforementioned trio’s ability to help in this matter, and talking about this political deadlock being a strictly internal issue is pure deception.” 

They went on to say that “whoever knows the Lebanese scenery is aware of the extent of overlap between internal and external factors, and anyone who is aware of the Lebanese economic formula knows that it is in the grip of the outside,” going even further in describing it as “a literal reflection of the external will, despite the responsibility of the Lebanese corrupt politicians for decades of poor governance and management and looting of public money.”

The sources considered that “neglecting to talk about consensus between the Lebanese and pushing them towards understandings that would reconfigure power dynamics, deal with challenges and alleviate the crisis, confirming that the (American-French-Saudi) trio does not want to help the Lebanese to overcome internal obstacles, but rather wants to invest politically in convolutions, as it thinks and works to manage them for its own benefits, rather than working to solve them.”

The sources wondered: “Otherwise, what does it mean to talk about the apparatuses of “humanitarian, health and educational aid for the Lebanese people?” Doesn’t this talk confirm the transition of these foreign forces towards the option of crisis management through further involvement in local affairs, under the humanitarian, nutritional, and health headings? Isn’t this an acknowledgment of the imminent collapse of institutions and the announcement of the state’s failure? 

In this context, the same sources consider that the recommendation issued by the Defense and National Security Council of the French Parliament is a “prelude to a sort of guardianship and external military intervention under humanitarian headings, regardless of its feasibility, and the possibilities of its success in achieving the desired goals, given the local balance of power.”

The sources added, “With the approaching PM-designate Saad Hariri’s resignation, the insane rise in the dollar exchange rate against the Lebanese pound, and the electricity and fuel crisis, there are those who are preparing for Lebanon to move to a new level of crisis and danger entitled: (A broken, divided and helpless country), and it is suffering from severe economic crises, social chaos, and more intervention and regional international involvement in the crisis.”

The sources confirmed to Al-Mayadeen Net that “the form reflects the content, as it has never occurred in the history of diplomatic relations that an ambassador assigned to one country traveled to another country to discuss issues related to the country in which they serve!” -referring to the travel of the American and French ambassadors in Lebanon to Saudi Arabia-, considering that “this is an indirect announcement of the fall of institutions, the state, presidencies and ministries, and a declaration of the country’s entry into the orbits of internationalization by establishing (consuls) as a reference point for the state.” 

The sources concluded by saying: “Never have these people met and discussed Lebanese affairs without storms and crises lurking behind their meeting.” 

Demonize first, then kill: a note on the role of media and social networks in imperialist domination

Atilio A. Boron
Sociologist, political scientist, and journalist.

Atilio A. Boron

5 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

“Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorship” – Noam Chomsky 

The sentence of the great American linguist offers a good starting point for these reflections that we intend to propose as inputs for a discussion as crucial as pressing. This is so because, according to experts in hybrid or Fifth-Generation Wars, the capacity to control consciences and hearts – or “minds and souls” to put it in a poetic form- has reached unmatched levels, unthinkable until a decade ago. The progress of neurosciences and political neuro-marketing has enormously increased the ability of the dominant classes and imperialist powers to control the beliefs, desires, and behavior of millions of people worldwide.

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Demonize first, then kill

The revolutionary advances in Artificial intelligence, the “Internet of Things”, communications technologies (5G), along with the unprecedented penetration of Social Networks and the mass media, have created a new battlefield in which popular movements of national liberation will have to wage their struggles. 

Unfortunately, this transition from conventional warfare to media and cyber warfare has only been recently acknowledged in its full effectiveness by the anti-imperialist forces, at a time it has been thoroughly used by the dominant powers of the international system, especially the United States government. Few examples would be more illustrative than the following to clarify our argument. At a hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this century, a four-star general said that “in today’s world, the anti-subversive war is waged in the media, and no longer in the jungles or the decaying slums of the Third World.” Therefore, he concluded, “now the media and the social networks are our main operational theater.”  

Both Fidel and Chávez were precociously aware that the media oligarchies constituted one of the most serious threats hanging over the future of democracies and anti-imperialist struggles. Indeed, their uncontrolled power and nefarious role in the calculated processes of “de-education”, alienation and brutalization of the citizenry, became formidable bulwarks against the advancement of the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist consciousness. Their complete abandonment of the journalistic function in favor of a propagandistic work also constituted a fortification to that end. This is proven day by day in Latin America by observing the news manipulation intended to cover up the crimes perpetrated by the Iván Duque regime in Colombia against peaceful protesters. This was also evident in the brutal repression launched by the Añez dictatorship in Bolivia, the acts of the Piñera government in Chile, and, today, the manipulation of the electoral institutes and the dominant circles to prevent the proclamation of Pedro Castillo as the new president of Perú.   

The negative role of media is also patent in press operations intended to “iron armor” information that is not supposed to be known by the public. For instance, the open links between the successive “narco-governments” in Colombia and the cocaine cartels; or the corruption of the Macri government in Argentina as proved in the Panama Papers were all carefully concealed by the hegemonic media. Moreover, nothing is said about the unjust, scandalous imprisonment of Julian Assange, one of the heroes of press freedom on a global scale.

As the writings of the imperial strategists recognized, the media and, more recently, “digital networks” have been key players in the destabilization of progressive or left-wing governments around the world. Wherever the empire, through its own troops, its cultural mercenaries, and its local henchmen, decides to attack, the media immediately occupies the vanguard positions. The demonization of the adversary and his government – let’s say leaders like Nicolás Maduro, Evo Morales, Bashar al Assad, Saddam Hussein, Muammar al Gadaffi, and Vladimir Putin – is the first step. Then, their methodical defamation and the disinformation applied on a large scale through the press, television, radio, and digital networks become crucial weapons in creating the climate of opinion required to be able to apply naked violence against those rulers. The “artillery of thought” seeks the demolition of the attacked population’s defense mechanisms. The end goal is to confuse it and make it doubt the integrity or patriotism of its rulers by presenting them to the public opinion as wicked monsters and their governments as infamous “regimes”, depicting them as ferocious police states that violate the most basic human rights. Under this storm of misinformation and “fake news”, many people will be led to think that perhaps their attackers are right and really want to free the people from the sway of their nasty oppressors. Even more, it is aimed at making them think that the pretense of “changing the world” is nonsense; – a childish illusion to build the paradise on earth that could only result in falling in the inferno. Once the cultural defenses of society are “softened” (equivalent to the bombings that prepare the way for the frontal assault) and the media battering ram has pierced the wall of social conscience poisoned it with hundreds of “fake news” and “post-truth”, and demoralized or at least confused the population and the cadres of the anti-imperialist social forces, then the ground will be ready for the final assault. It is the moment in which the imperialist forces launch an all-out attack displaying the full capacity of their arsenal to give the shot of grace to their demonized enemies: Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gadaffi, for instance. 

This is not only an account of the heartbreaking past but a description of today’s strategies that the US government applies worldwide. We should be aware of this and be prepared to start an adequate counter-offensive, and the broadcasting of the Al Mayadeen programs in English is a significant step in this direction.

Mleeta National Monument of Resistance – the “Miracle of Lebanon”

Steve Sweeney
International Editor of the Morning Star newspaper in Britain.

11 Jul 2021

Steve Sweeney

Source: Al Mayadeen

“the National Monument is not about war, it is about peace.”

“We are blessed” Mohammad tells me, a sentence he would repeat a number of times during our gatherings.

He is referring to the so-called “Miracle of Lebanon,” the 2006 war that catapulted Hezbollah to legendary status in the country, as it became the first Lebanese force to defeat “Israel”.

And it was a loss that led to serious recriminations in Tel Aviv as Israeli soldiers were humiliated by the resistance fighters, in a war they were expected to win, but instead, ended up weakening the Zionist regime and strengthening the very forces they hoped to crush.

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The victory remains a source of national pride and certainly boosted the standing of the Shia political movement in the minds of the Lebanese people.

This was a war that pitted resistance fighters against one of the most technically advanced nations on the planet. “Israel” has the world’s fourth-largest military and, despite denials, is a major nuclear power.

But as Robert Taber points out in his seminal work ‘The War of the Flea’, a conventional army cannot defeat a resistance force fighting for a sacred cause that carries the support of the civilian population.

“Yes, here, the resistant had much more than the support of his own people,” Mohammad said, “all inhabitants in surrounding areas were part of the forces that fought against “Israel”. The resistance couldn’t have survived and arisen without the support its people.”

We are at the National Monument, in the mountainous village of Mleeta in southern Lebanon, the site of the 2006 resistance base, described disparagingly by Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper as “Hezbollah’s Disneyland.”

It was clear that the newspaper, known for supporting Nazi Germany during the 1930s has never set foot in the former Hezbollah military post that has been turned into a museum commemorating the 2006 war.

Far from the “theme park where children are indoctrinated the glory of martyrdom,” the Mleeta museum is a respectful commemoration to the Lebanese people martyred during “Israel’s” war.

In fact, it is not different from war memorials in other countries, including Britain’s Imperial War Museum or the Museum of the Battle of Normandy in France.

But not for the first time, the Daily Mail was missing the point as Mohammad explained “the National Monument is not about war, it is about peace.”

Opening in 2010 to mark the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Hezbollah’s ability to oust “Israel” from Lebanon. The popular tourist site consists of original Hezbollah bunkers and a 200 meter tunnel that was made a fully operational resistance command center.

An array of weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, that were used in the defeat of the Zionist entity are displayed on the so-called Martyr’s Hill, which also commemorates all those who sacrificed their lives defending Lebanon.

“We are blessed” Mohammad told me once again. 

He is referring to the natural green blanket that provided the resistance fighters with camouflage, making the base impenetrable and undetectable despite the close proximity of the Israeli Sujud military post.

“The trees here remain green all year round, Mohammad told me, “Night vision doesn’t work. They didn’t know Hezbollah was here, they never discovered the military base” my guide explained as he pointed at the mountain opposite where the Zionist soldiers were located.

“Nature always defeats technology,” he said,” It is the master of everything. This is the nearest place to God.”

But life in the mountains was tough. The nearest hospital was over an hour away and it was difficult for those who were wounded to receive treatment. 

Movements were restricted to avoid detection and it was cold – fires were not allowed to avoid them being spotted by Israeli surveillance planes.

“There were no roads as there are now,” Mohammad explained. “Volunteers were expected to make their own way here, which wasn’t easy as they would have to carry weapons and missiles too.”

A large part of the resistance was what Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah has described as “the brain war” which had a huge impact on moral as “Israel” did not know what technology Hezbollah fighters were using.

His infamous statement stressing that “Israel” is “weaker than a spider’s web” is encapsulated in a showpiece at the entrance of the museum, which proudly displays helicopters and tanks downed by the resistance.

“This was a turning point in the war” Mohammad said as he indicated the destroyed Merkava tank. Known as God’s chariot, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) believed that it was indestructible.

“The resistance did something that “Israel” didn’t expect,” he added. “This was one of their most elite tanks and it was destroyed by the resistance forces. It was a harsh damage to the Israeli military and people’s moral, who turned against the war.”

The war that was supposed to be won swiftly by “Israel”, ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire and the withdrawal of IDF troops just a month after the invasion was launched.

Nearly 2000 Lebanese people were killed and around one million internally displaced as Israeli missiles destroyed civilian infrastructure.

During the war, the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada backed “Israel”. Washington provided “Israel” with precision-guided missiles as part of the so-called “War on Terror.”

The British government, led at the time by Tony Blair, shamefully blocked a move by the European Union to call for an immediate ceasefire.

This was a stark contrast to the people of those nations who demonstrated, claiming an end to “Israel’s” war.

Chants of “We are all Hezbollah” reverberated on the streets of London which provoked some controversy as leading figures in the smaller left-wing parties scurried to tell their members not to join in.

What it reflected was an expression of unconditional solidarity with the resistance party, rejecting the media’s portrayal of Hezbollah, classified as an “Islamist terrorist party.”

It was a British, European, US classification that triggered nervousness around the chants.

Another guide named Mohammad – “we are all called Mohammad here” he joked – said that this was a hypocritical move designed to delegitimize the resistance.

“They are guilty of double standards” he added as we discussed Operation Timber Sycamore – the covert CIA program; millions of dollars in cash, weapons and training were channeled to a myriad of Salafi groups in Syria.

“We are against terrorism” he told me, as he went on to condemn any actions against the people of Europe, Britain and the US.

At the time of writing, Lebanon is going through another crisis – an economic crash due, in large part, to the US Caesar sanctions that aimed people’s starvation and submission, with the intention of disarming Hezbollah.

To do so would be to leave the people of Lebanon at the mercy of “Israel” and trigger a potential massacre. The monument in Mleeta serves as a reminder of why that must never be allowed to happen.

It is not up to the US – or for that matter the Western liberal left – to determine how the Lebanese people resist. The only beneficiaries of a disarmed Hezbollah are “Israel” and US imperialism.

We saw during “Israel’s” recent bombardment of the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza strip efforts to delegitimize the resistance through the media and other channels by branding Hamas – the democratically elected government – as terrorists.

Deranged, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has used the Hezbollah bogeyman to demonize Venezuela, Cuba and other Latin American countries, insisting on having operating cells there.

This dangerous narrative shifts the focus away from the real global terrorists – US imperialism. 

Washington has at least 800 military bases across the world and has funded death squads and supported coups in Latin America and the Middle East at great human cost.

Fearful of the decline of the dollar as the world currency – and with it the ability of the US finance capital to control world markets – it has embarked on a new Cold War against China and imposed crippling sanctions on other countries during the middle of the pandemic.

As Sayed Nasrallah said about “Israel”, the US is weaker than a spider’s web. But this also makes it more dangerous.

Hezbollah remains an important force in the fight against US imperialism and supporting the rebuilding of Lebanon. We might not agree on everything – in fact we almost certainly don’t. But this is to miss the point.

The future of Lebanon must be determined by its people, not external forces driven by their own imperialist interests.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

US Oil Thieves in the Syrian Deir Ezzor Oil and Gas Fields Bombed, Again

ARABI SOURI 

Biden US oil thieves in Al Omar oil field in Deir Ezzor Syria bombed again

US oil thieves are getting bombed more frequently in the northeastern Syria Deir Ezzor oil and gas fields, 2 attacks within 12 hours, the Pentagon is imposing a media blackout on its casualties.

In the morning today, Sunday 11 July 2021, the US oil thieves based in the Al Omar oil field were bombed with several rockets, local sources informed the Syrian news agency SANA. Al Omar oil field is the largest oil field in Syria and is located in the southeastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, in the northeast of Syria.

The US Army built a military base within the Al Omar oil field, maybe to spread democracy and freedom in the oil field, they also occupy the housing complex in the southern part of the oil field compound.

The US pentagon and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorist group denied the oil field was attacked today despite the sounds of explosions, sirens, and the smoke rising from the site.

The video is also on  Bitchute.

Yesterday evening’s bombing of the US illegal army base in the Conoco gas field to the north of Al Omar field resulted in a fire as well, the sounds of explosions were massive and the flames were high. The pentagon’s spokesperson admitted this field was destroyed but claimed their invincible super oil thieves were not hurt.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, the Syrian resistance is active against the US oil thieves, their Kurdish SDF terrorists, and their buddies in ISIS.

The head of the propaganda office for the Kurdish separatist SDF terrorists, a person who goes by the name Ferhad Shami claimed that the attack on the Al Omar oil field earlier today was part of a joint military drill of his forces with their US patrons. It would be a first where a highly trained superpower army and a heavily armed terrorists group carry out a military drill which includes firing rockets on their own positions next to the most inflammable sources of natural gas fields with the widest firebases imagined!

US forces are in Syria illegally to only control oil and gas fields, steal oil and wheat depriving the Syrian people of their fuel and food, and help the separatist Kurdish terrorist groups Israelize parts of Syria. Biden’s most inclusive and diverse junta is continuing Trump’s policies which were continuing the previous Biden’s policies under Obama who started all the mayhem in the Arab world dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’ in order to create anti-Islamic emirates ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood international radical organization with its political head the Turkish madman Erdogan and their armed fighters of Al Qaeda and their religious doctrine is the Saudi Wahhabi teachings that contradict the bases of Islam.

With 4 attacks directly bombing the US oil thieves and their Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists in the oil fields in less than a month, the Biden junta should consider withdrawing their troops from Syria sooner than planned or prepare their body bags

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Biden Regime Escalates War on Russia and China by Other Means

July 11, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Hostile to peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries, and rule of law principles, Biden regime hardliners escalated illegal sanctions war on Russia and China.

On Friday, a US Commerce Department press release said the following:

Its Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) “added 34 entities to the (illegal US) Entity List,” falsely claiming:

It’s “for their involvement in, or risk of becoming involved in, activities contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US (sic),” adding: 

“Of these 34 entities, 14 are based in…China.”

The Biden regime falsely accused them of “enabl(ing) Beijing’s campaign of repression (sic), mass detention (sic), and high-technology surveillance against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and members of other Muslim minority groups in” Jinjiang (sic).  

Claiming the “PRC continues to commit genocide (sic) and crimes against humanity (sic)” is unsupported by evidence because there is none. 

“Commerce added another five” Chinese firms to its Entity List — on the phony pretext of “supporting the PRC’s military modernization programs related to lasers and C4ISR programs.” 

In response to the above hostile actions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the following:

“The so-called (US) ‘entity list’ is in essence a tool for suppressing specific companies and industries in China under the pretext of human rights, and means the US uses to destabilize Xinjiang and contain China.” 

“China firmly opposes this.”

“China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and foil US attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

Three Russian firms and six nationals were also illegally targeted.

According to the Biden regime, they’re blacklisted for “attempt(ing) to procure items, including US-origin items, for activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the US (sic).”

In response to the hostile action, Russia’s US envoy Anatoly Antonov said the following:

“This is another confrontational step as part of Washington’s deliberate efforts to restrict the access of domestic enterprises to high-precision technologies from abroad,” adding: 

“This fundamentally contrasts with the statements of US authorities, including during…Geneva (talks last month), about the need to normalize the entire range of bilateral relations.”

The Biden regime blacklisted “Moscow-based companies engaged in microelectronics.” 

“At the same time, the US side again did not provide any specifics (on alleged) violations.

“They used the notorious ‘likely,’ saying that our companies allegedly bought electronic components from the USA for some Russian military programs.”

“This approach does not stand up to scrutiny.”

According to Eurasia Group analyst Ali Wyne:

“A tightening nexus of military frictions, technological competition and normative clashes will reinforce the momentum behind selective disentanglement between the United States and China,” adding:

“While the economic and security risks of an unconstrained embrace have come into sharper view in recent years, the risks of a wholesale rupture merit closer consideration.”

The same goes for Russia, Iran and other US targeted countries for refusing to yield to a higher authority in Washington.

Separately, White House press secretary Psaki said the Biden regime is assessing whether so-called ransomware attacks on US businesses occurred with Kremlin knowledge or “approval.”

On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov explained the following:

“We are constantly accused of hacking, undermining interests of almost all Western countries, but so far our multiple proposals to seriously start a joint work – in order to substantially…solve the emerging issues and deal with real difficulties – have been left without a specific response” by Washington.

Despite both countries agreeing to work cooperatively on this issue, the US side did nothing to fulfill its pledge. 

It’s further proof that it can never be trusted, and that diplomatic outreach to its regimes is a colossal waste of time virtually always.

On Friday, Putin spoke with Biden’s double by phone, an exercise of futility like Geneva talks that accomplished nothing positive.

Reportedly, Biden’s impersonator told Putin “we will respond” against so-called ransomware attacks regime hardliners falsely accuse Russia of ignoring or endorsing.

Putin reportedly said that despite Russia’s outreach to work with the Biden regime cooperatively on his issue and others, the US side stonewalled Moscow’s outreach.

Since undemocratic Dems usurped power by the most brazen election fraud in US history, Biden regime relations with Russia sank to a post-WW II low.

Nothing in prospect suggests improvement ahead. Just the opposite is most likely.

A Final Comment

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the Biden regime of serious human rights abuses domestically and abroad — in breach of core international law and its own Constitution.

One of the most egregious examples abroad is Washington’s trade embargo and other hostile actions against Cuba for the past six decades with no relief in prospect.

For the 29th straight year last month, the US voted against lifting its de facto blockade of the island state.

So did apartheid Israel — in defiance of support for Cuba by 184 other nations.

US hostility toward the island state is all about its independence from hegemonic control, the same thing true for Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other nations for the same diabolical reason.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also accused the Biden regime of racial and other discriminatory policies against Americans, notably of African, Latin, and Asian ethnicity, adding:

US “citizens’ rights of access to information are being violated by large (domestic) private corporations” in breach of their legal obligations.

Systemic violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms” persist throughout the West.

Yet their ruling regime refuse “to bring the (unacceptable) situation under control.”

Say hello to the diplo-Taliban

Say hello to the diplo-Taliban

July 09, 2021

Deploying diplomatic skills refined from Doha to Moscow, the Taliban in 2021 has little to do with its 2001 incarnation

by Pepe Escobar with permission, and first posted at Asia Times

A very important meeting took place in Moscow last week, virtually hush-hush. Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, received Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security adviser.

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Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (center) and other members of the Taliban arrive to attend an international conference in Moscow on March 18, 2021. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko / AFP

There were no substantial leaks. A bland statement pointed to the obvious: They “focused on the security situation in Afghanistan during the pullout of Western military contingencies and the escalation of the military-political situation in the northern part of the country.”

The real story is way more nuanced. Mohib, representing embattled President Ashraf Ghani, did his best to convince Patrushev that the Kabul administration represents stability. It does not – as the subsequent Taliban advances proved.

Patrushev knew Moscow could not offer any substantial measure of support to the current Kabul arrangement because doing so would burn bridges the Russians would need to cross in the process of engaging the Taliban. Patrushev knows that the continuation of Team Ghani is absolutely unacceptable to the Taliban – whatever the configuration of any future power-sharing agreement.

So Patrushev, according to diplomatic sources, definitely was not impressed.

This week we can all see why. A delegation from the Taliban political office went to Moscow essentially to discuss with the Russians the fast-evolving mini-chessboard in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban had been to Moscow four months earlier, along with the extended troika (Russia, US, China, Pakistan) to debate the new Afghan power equation.

On this trip, they emphatically assured their interlocutors there’s no Taliban interest in invading any territory of their Central Asia neighbors.

It’s not excessive, in view of how cleverly they’ve been playing their hand, to call the Taliban desert foxes. They know well what Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been repeating: Any turbulence coming from Afghanistan will be met with a direct response from the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

In addition to stressing that the US withdrawal – actually, repositioning – represents the failure of its Afghan “mission,” Lavrov touched on the two really key points:

The Taliban is increasing its influence in the northern Afghanistan border areas; and Kabul’s refusal to form a transitional government is “promoting a belligerent solution” to the drama. This implies Lavrov expects much more flexibility from both Kabul and the Taliban in the Sisyphean power-sharing task ahead.

And then, relieving the tension, when asked by a Russian journalist if Moscow will send troops to Afghanistan, Lavrov reverted to Mr Cool: “The answer is obvious.”

Mohammad Suhail Shaheen is the quite articulate spokesman for the Taliban political office. He’s adamant that “taking Afghanistan by military force is not our policy. Our policy is to find a political solution to the Afghan issue, which is continuing in Doha.” Bottom line: “We confirmed our commitment to a political solution here in Moscow once more.”

That’s absolutely correct. The Taliban don’t want a bloodbath. They want to be embraced. As Shaheen has stressed, it would be easy to conquer major cities – but there would be blood. Meanwhile, the Taliban already control virtually the whole border with Tajikistan.

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New face of the Taliban: The insurgents’ spokesman Mohammad Suhail Shaheen speaks to media in Moscow on February 15, 2021.

The 2021 Taliban have little in common with their 2001 pre-war on terror incarnation. The movement has evolved from a largely Ghilzai Pashtun rural guerrilla insurgency to a more inter-ethnic arrangement, incorporating Tajiks, Uzbeks and even Shi’ite Hazaras – a group that was mercilessly persecuted during the 1996-2001 years of Taliban power.

Reliable figures are extremely hard to come by, but 30% of the Taliban today may be non-Pashtuns. One of the top commanders is ethnically Tajik – and that explains the lightning-flash “soft” blitzkrieg in northern Afghanistan across Tajik territory.

I visited a lot of these geologically spectacular places in the early 2000s. The inhabitants, all cousins, speaking Dari, are now turning over their villages and towns to Tajik Taliban as a matter of trust. Very few – if any – Pashtuns from Kandahar or Jalalabad are involved. That illustrates the absolute failure of the central government in Kabul.

Those who do not join the Taliban simply desert – as did the Kabul forces manning the checkpoint close to the bridge over the Pyanj river, off the Pamir highway; they escaped without a fight to Tajik territory, actually riding the Pamir highway. The Taliban hoisted their flag in this crucial intersection without firing a shot.

The Afghan National Army’s chief, General Wali Mohammad Ahmadza, fresh into his role by appointment from Ghani, is keeping a brave face: ANA’s priority is to protect the main cities (so far, so good, because the Taliban are not attacking them); border crossings (that’s not going so well), and highways (mixed results so far).

This interview with Suhail Shaheen is quite enlightening – as he feels compelled to stress that “we don’t have access to media” and laments the “baseless” barrage of “propaganda launched against us,” which implies that Western media should admit the Taliban have changed.

Shaheen points out that “it’s not possible to take 150 districts in just six weeks by fighting,” which connects to the fact that the security forces “do not trust the Kabul administration.” In all districts that have been conquered, he swears, “ the forces came to the Taliban voluntarily.”

A smoke plume rises from houses amid an ongoing fight between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the western city of Qala-i- Naw, the capital of Badghis province, on July 7. The Taliban launched its first major assault on a provincial capital since the US military began its final drawdown of troops from the country.

Shaheen makes a statement that could have come straight from Ronald Reagan in the mid-1980s: The “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are the real freedom fighters.” That may be the object of endless debate across the lands of Islam.

But one fact is indisputable: The Taliban are sticking by the agreement they signed with the Americans on February 29, 2020. And that implies a total American exit: “If they don’t abide by their commitments, we have a clear right of retaliation.”

Thinking ahead to “when an Islamic government is in place,” Shaheen insists there will be “good relations” with every nation, and embassies and consulates will not be targeted.

The Taliban “goal is clear: to end the occupation.” And that brings us to the tricky gambit of Turkish troops “protecting” Kabul airport. Shaheen is crystal clear. “No NATO forces – that means continuation of occupation,” he proclaims. “When we have an independent Islamic country, then we will sign any agreement with Turkey that is mutually beneficial.”

Shaheen is involved in the ongoing, very complicated negotiations in Doha, so he cannot allow himself to commit the Taliban to any future power-sharing agreement. What he does say, even though “progress is slow” in Doha, is that, contrary to what was previously reported by media in Qatar, the Taliban will not present a formal written proposal to Kabul by the end of the month, The talks will continue.

Going hybrid?

Whatever the “Mission Accomplished” non-denial denials emanating from the White House, a few things are already clear on the Eurasia front.

The Russians, for one thing, are already engaging the Taliban, in detail, and may soon strike their name off their terror list.

The Chinese, for another, are assured that if the Taliban commits Afghanistan to join the Belt and Road Initiative, connecting via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, ISIS-Khorasan will not then be permitted to go on overdrive in Afghanistan bolstered by Uyghur jihadis currently in Idlib.

And nothing is off the table for Washington when it comes to derailing BRI. Crucial silos scattered across the deep state must be already at work replacing a forever war in Afghanistan with hybrid war, Syria-style.

Lavrov is very much aware of Kabul power brokers who would not say “no” to a new hybrid war arrangement. But the Taliban for their part have been very effective – preventing assorted Afghan factions from supporting Team Ghani.

As for the Central Asian “stans,” not a single one of them wants any forever wars or hybrid wars down the road.

Fasten your seat belts: It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

“Unchallenged Orientalism”: Why Liberals Suddenly Love the Lab Leak Theory

By Alan Macleod

Source

The lab leak theory bears a striking resemblance to the WMD hoax of 2002, not only in the fact that one of its key players is literally the same journalist using potentially the same anonymous sources, but also in the bipartisan political and media support it enjoys.

WUHAN, CHINA — The theory that the COVID-19 pandemic began life in a Chinese laboratory is going viral. Once considering it an anti-science conspiracy theory, the corporate press has done a full 180° turn — and many progressive, alternative media figures are following in its footsteps.

Progressive news show “The Young Turks” recorded what was effectively an apology video to their audience, explaining their new direction. “It does appear that there is some indication that a lab leak in Wuhan, China, is the origin of the coronavirus pandemic,” host Ana Kasparian told viewers. Condemning the scientific journal The Lancet, co-host Cenk Uygur explained that he had falsely placed his faith in scientists with political motives who had led him astray. Writing in The Guardian, left-wing commentator Thomas Frank flagellated himself for his “complacency” in believing the idea was a far-right conspiracy theory. The lab leak is “the most likely explanation for the origin of COVID-19,” Saagar Enjeti told his mostly progressive viewership of “Rising,” announcing that, from now on, we should be “ten times more skeptical of the Chinese government.”

This new change in outlook for so many progressive media outlets is not based on new evidence. Rather, it appears to be a result of two new articles and a change in stance from the Biden administration itself. In early May, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists republished a Medium blog post by controversial science writer Nicholas Wade. In an 11,000-word essay, Wade claims that Wuhan itself is simply far too far away from Yunnan Province — where coronavirus-carrying bats make their home — for it to be the natural source of COVID-19. The most logical explanation, Wade asserts, is that the virus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Wade claims that the virus’s furin cleavage site —  a point on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 where the protein can more easily divide to better infiltrate and take over human cells — must be man-made, as no such site exists in natural coronaviruses. He also notes the previously undisclosed conflict of interests that zoologist Peter Daszak has. Daszak was an organizer of the 2020 Lancet letter signed by dozens of top scientists calling the lab leak hypothesis a “conspiracy theory.” However, he did not disclose that his company, the EcoHealth Alliance, has links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Wuhan Institute of Virology
A view of the P4 lab and the Wuhan Institute of Virology is seen in China’s Hubei province, Feb. 3, 2021. Ng Han Guan | AP

Later that month, The Wall Street Journal released a report alleging that three employees of the Wuhan Institute of Virology came down with flu- or COVID-like symptoms in November 2019 and sought treatment in hospital. Although based solely on anonymous accusations from U.S. officials who refused to go on record, the story went viral and was picked up by a wide range of outlets, including Reuters, The Guardian, Forbes, NBC News, Business Insider, CNN, The New York Post, Yahoo News and The Hill.

Adding some intellectual weight to the theory was a letter published in Science Magazine, in which some 20 academics wrote that further inquiry into the source of the pandemic was necessary (although many, including its chief organizer, were at pains to state elsewhere they were highly skeptical of the lab-leak conspiracy). And after Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was “not convinced” of COVID-19’s natural origin, the Biden administration abruptly changed its position, the President ordering an intelligence-services investigation into the idea, launching the lab leak theory from a discredited fringe idea to an official position with surprising rapidity.

Professor David Robertson — Head of Viral Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of Glasgow, U.K. — told MintPress:

It’s not very clear, given the lack of new (or any) credible evidence for a lab leak, why it’s been getting so much attention. There was a letter published in Science in May that quite sensibly supports the need for further investigation but this seems to have been hijacked by a vocal minority who are essentially advocates for a lab being involved as opposed to looking at the broader range of possibilities, and what the available evidence points towards.”

In addition to mainstream outlets like The New York TimesThe Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, a host of alternative media figures have lent credibility to Wade, basing their new opinions on his work. On the “Bad Faith” podcast with former Bernie Sanders Press Secretary Briahna Joy Gray, Thomas Frank described Wade’s article as an “incredible piece of journalism,” “quite impressive” and “the likeliest explanation.” Gray appeared to agree, the two having a long conversation about the origins of COVID-19 as if Wade’s thesis has effectively been proven correct. Journalist Michael Tracey wrote that Wade’s words prove the theory is “highly plausible.” Current Affairs Editor-in-Chief Nathan J. Robinson praised Wade’s report, agreeing that it is “at the very least, a spectacular coincidence” that COVID-19 exploded so close to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Meanwhile, Enjeti based a segment called “Media’s Lab Leak Failure Is the Next Iraq WMD” on the Wall Street Journal article, telling viewers that the lab leak theory is now “the most likely explanation for the origin of COVID-19.” Popular writer Matt Taibbi also took The Wall Street Journal’s accusations at face value, claiming that “the toothpaste [is] fully out of the tube: there [is] no longer any way to say the ‘lab origin’ hypothesis [is] too silly to be reported upon.”

A theory resting on shaky ground

What is particularly worrying in all this is that there are huge, gaping flaws in the analysis. First, Wade is not some neutral expert but a discredited, racist pseudoscientist. His 2014 book, “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History,” contends that humanity could be broken down genetically into three distinct groups — Africans, Caucasians and East Asians — and that each are sufficiently genetically distinct from each other as to qualify as subspecies. He argued that Caucasians’ genes could explain “the rise of the West” and that African nations are poorer because they are inherently more violent and lazy, writing: “Variations in their nature, such as their time preference, work ethic and propensity to violence, have some bearing on the economic decisions [Africans] make.” Laughably, he later speculates that Asian women have smaller breasts because that is what is “much admired by Asian men.”

Nicholas Wade
Nicholas Wade, next to the Chinese edition of his seminal work, “A Troublesome Inheritance.”

Perhaps his most controversial claim, however, is that Jewish people have evolved to be genetically predisposed to hoard money, writing:

From a glance at an Eskimo’s physique, it is easy to recognize an evolutionary process at work that has molded the human form for better survival in an arctic environment. Populations that live at high altitudes, like Tibetans, represent another adaptation to extreme environments; in this case, the changes in blood cell regulation are less visible but have been identified genetically. The adaptation of Jews to capitalism is another such evolutionary process.

The book was universally panned by scientists but was acclaimed by a host of neo-Nazi figures. Former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, for instance, hailed the work as a “fascinating insight into how Jewish Supremacists attempt to guard the gates of scientific debate.” Of all the many alternative media figures praising Wade’s new revelations about Wuhan, only Robinson mentioned his past. Why a respected organization like The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists published such a person remains a mystery; MintPress asked the Bulletin for clarification but has not received an answer.

Wade’s pseudoscientific claims about the coronavirus furin might have been enough to convince progressive media stars who have no background in the field (as Frank wrote: “I am no expert in epidemics”). But they cannot fool trained scientists, who have hit back.

Virologists Angela L. Rasmussen and Stephen A. Goldstein counter that the furin site of SARS-CoV-2 has odd features that no human would ever design, making it “overwhelmingly likely” that it is natural in origin. Its sequence is suboptimal, meaning that it is relatively inefficient, bearing the hallmarks of “sloppy natural evolution.” “Any skilled virologist hoping to give a virus new properties this way would insert a furin site known to be more efficient,” they conclude.

Furthermore, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s proximity to the outbreak is not inherently suspicious. Wuhan is a gigantic metropolis, larger than any city in the United States. It is an enormous transport and business hub situated in an area well-known for outbreaks of similar diseases and is, therefore, a natural choice for a research facility such as this. Yet there is a tendency in the West to think of it as some obscure village dominated by a virology lab. There is a myriad of laboratories in Los Angeles conducting not altogether dissimilar research. Yet if an epidemic were to break out there, it is unlikely that a natural origin would be so easily dismissed.

The SARS outbreak of the early 2000s was sparked in the markets of Guangdong, a similar distance from Yunnan as is Wuhan, with few at the time raising any eyebrows. Epidemics and pandemics usually begin in large cities as “pathogens often require heavily populated areas to become established,” one scientific study reminds us.

That is why it is particularly problematic that liberal icons like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert can ridicule the zoonotic transfer hypothesis believed by the vast majority of scientists to be the most likely explanation. “There’s been an outbreak of chocolatey goodness near Hershey, Pennsylvania. What do you think happened?” Stewart joked to an audience of millions. “Maybe it’s the fucking chocolate factory!”

If anything, The Wall Street Journal article is more suspect, given that it is based on nothing but anonymous state officials who refuse to share the evidence or go on the record. National security state operatives are among the least trustworthy sources it is possible to encounter, journalistically speaking, as it is part of their job to plant false information in order to alter public discourse. The only group less deserving of blind faith than natsec officials would be anonymous natsec officials. Yet many of the biggest and most embarrassing media blunders in recent years have been based on dodgy data from shadowy spooks feeding dubious intelligence to credulous dupes in the press.

Without a name to match a quote, a story’s credibility immediately drops, as there are no repercussions for the individual if they are untruthful. Sources (or journalists themselves, for that matter) could simply make up anything they wanted with no consequences. Therefore, using anonymous sources is strongly discouraged. The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics insists reporters “identify sources whenever feasible” and that journalists must “always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity.”

Even worse, The Wall Street Journal article’s lead author is Michael R. Gordon, the reporter infamous for co-authorship of a notorious 2002 New York Times article claiming Saddam Hussein was seeking to build weapons of mass destruction, a piece widely credited as a keystone of the push to invade Iraq the following year. For that article, Gordon also relied upon anonymous state officials. That figures in alternative media are blindly repeating his evidence-free assertions while invoking the Iraq WMD scandal, as Enjeti did, is profoundly ironic.

Gordon, famous for co-authoring a notorious NYT article peddling the now-debunked Iraqi WMD claims, is a major proponent of the lab leak theory

Gordon’s claim — that three virologists were hospitalized with flu or COVID-like symptoms in late 2019 — has been categorically rejected by Dr. Shi Zhengli, a director at the Institute. Zhengli challenged the U.S. to provide the names of those who got ill, but has received no response. It has also been disputed by the only Western scientist working there at the time. “If people were sick, I assume that I would have been sick — and I wasn’t,” said Dr. Danielle Anderson, who says she is “dumbfounded” by the portrayal of the lab in the West: “What people are saying is just not how it is.”

Josh Cho, a media critic at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, told MintPress that embedded in much of the discussion about the lab leak is a distrust of China and Chinese people, explaining:

There is a largely unchallenged Orientalism or Sinophobia among Western progressives that makes them predisposed to think the Chinese government or Chinese scientists could or would hide evidence for a laboratory origin due to an innate and exceptional penchant for ‘authoritarianism,’ ‘secrecy’ or ‘dishonesty.’ This leads to a presumption of guilt, and an interpretation of every action of the Chinese government as suspicious, when it is most likely what any other government would do in China’s situation.”

Even if the anonymous U.S. intelligence proves to be accurate, it may not be particularly surprising or revealing. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is an enormous institution with hundreds of employees. That three people there might develop flu-like symptoms in November is far from suspicious. Furthermore, the implications of going to hospital in China are completely different from in the U.S. In China, healthcare is nationalized and so a hospital visit is not something an individual avoids at all costs — unlike in the U.S., where it can bankrupt you. Moreover, many general practitioners work from hospitals rather than out of small clinics, meaning that “hospital” could simply translate to “sought basic medical consultation.” Thus, if confirmed, The Wall Street Journal scoop still could be completely mundane.

Cold warriors’ favorite theory

As former MintPress staff writer Alex Rubenstein reported late last month, the lab leak theory has been mainstreamed by hackish, hawkish frauds who, for years, have been pushing for war with China. Among its early adopters was Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who claimed in March 2020 that COVID-19 was a Chinese bioweapon unleashed on the world. While advising Trump, Bannon constantly fear mongered about China and declared he had no doubt that the U.S. would be at war with Beijing within a few years. Then-President Trump, who claims that global warming was a “hoax” invented by China to destroy the U.S., insisted he had evidence the virus began in a Chinese lab but refused to divulge it. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, among the biggest China hawks in Washington, also repeated the conspiracy.

While distinctly unfashionable in 2020, the lab leak idea was kept alive by warmongering neoconservative journalists like Josh Rogin of The Washington Post, who is now a regular guest on progressive media platforms like Krystal Ball and Enjeti’s “Breaking Points.” “You almost have to see it to believe how depraved this is. Indistinguishable from ‘Fox and Friends,’” remarked a dismayed Sam Sacks of Means TV.

These neocon talking points have been laundered into alternative media by those critiquing the establishment, Democratic-aligned press for its complete about-turn on the issue. Appearing on Fox News, Glenn Greenwald praised Rogin and condemned corporate media for their groupthink. “Journalists so often judge things not by what is true or not true but by what is politically beneficial to the partisan audience that they’re serving,” he said, even adding that “maybe Trump was right” about the virus’ origins.

Appearing on “The Jimmy Dore Show,” Taibbi was of a similar mindset, stating:

Originally what happened with this story was that, like everything else in the Trump era, the coverage of COVID was heavily politicized from the very start. The idea of a lab origin for COVID was associated with Trump, Mike Pompeo and Tom Cotton, so it was automatically bad and a conspiracy theory. And that’s really how the press treated it for the better part of a year.”

Dore responded that the media were a bunch of “spineless cowards” who pushed a “false narrative” about the lab leak theory being wrong.

Going unconsidered, apparently, is that the Democrats’ change of heart might not have anything to do with new scientific evidence and more to do with the fact that they now control the reins of power and are cynically using the same tactics Republicans used before them to ramp up hostility towards China.

During the Trump administration, Democrats condemned the treatment of immigrants on the border, raising hell about “concentration camps” and “kids in cages.” Yet, as soon as they found themselves in office, the pretense dropped and they pursued largely the same policies on the border. Speaking in Guatemala, Vice-President Kamala Harris sounded positively Trumpian as she warned those listening “do not come” to the United States. “The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our borders,” she added. Meanwhile, immigrant children are still being detained in cages, except that media have rechristened them “overflow facilities” and the camps have the word “bienvenidos” (Spanish for “welcome”) painted on their roofs. Despite this, no one in alternative media claims that Trump was right all along about the kids in cages.

Going further back, Obama and the Democrats condemned the Bush administration’s endless wars. Yet once in office, Obama expanded them, and was bombing seven countries simultaneously by the end of his tenure.

Stopping China’s economic rise is a bipartisan priority, and the Biden administration has proven to be every bit as committed to increasing aggressive actions towards Beijing as Trump was. None of this is to say that criticizing establishment media’s abrupt change of direction on the lab leak theory is not important or noteworthy. But it is all being done from the assumption that now the media are on the right track, that the global scientific community is not to be trusted, and that Bannon, Cotton and the rest were ahead of the curve. What many in alternative media appear not to have considered is the possibility that now that the Democrats are in office, they are attempting to weaponize the same smears as a way of increasing the pressure on China, with the media following suit.

Ignoring the science

A large majority of the public now believe COVID-19 started in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Last month, more than three times as many Americans told pollster YouGov that the theory was true than said it was false. Some 83% of Americans also support punishing China if the lab leak is proven correct, including by sanctioning it and forcing it to pay reparations to the dead or affected — something that could bankrupt the country almost overnight. This is music to the neocons’ ears, who likely can barely believe that so many progressive, anti-war voices are going along with their theory.

What is striking about the tone and outlook of the media coverage of the lab leak theory is how strongly it jars with the opinion of scientists. As Cho told MintPress:

A lot of the progressive commentators who are now giving more credibility to the lab leak theory because they are persuaded it’s more plausible now than before don’t seem to be aware of the latest scientific developments and arguments [and] that most scientists are making for the case that SARS-CoV-2 developed naturally.”

Professor Robertson was of a similar opinion:

At some point the lab-leak narrative seems to have become a story in its own right and has been written about as if it’s an equivalent possibility to a natural origin for SARS-CoV-2, which is simply not the case. The available evidence supports zoonotic spillover similar to the first SARS-virus.”

In March, a large team of international experts from the World Health Organization traveled to China and concluded that a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.” The leader of the team, Danish scientist Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, said that after visiting Wuhan he is more confident than ever that the idea is false. Yet media reporting on the study came away with exactly the opposite conclusion, sowing discord and doubt. “Theory that COVID came from a Chinese lab takes on new life in wake of WHO report,” ran NPR’s headline.

covid protest
A woman holds a sign at a protest against stay-at-home orders outside the Missouri Capitol. Jeff Roberson | AP

Writing in Wired, scientist and science communicator Adam Rogers criticized much of the coverage. “The evidence hasn’t changed since spring of 2020. That evidence was always incomplete, and may never be complete. History and science suggest the animal-jump is way more likely than the lab-leak/cover-up,” he wrote, comparing lab leak theorists to evolution deniers and tobacco lobbyists sowing doubt by insisting we “teach the controversy” where there is none.

Dan Samorodnitsky, senior editor of Massive Science and a figure who has a background working in virus research, was even more scathing about the return of the theory. “If the question is ‘are both hypotheses possible?’ the answer is yes…If the question is ‘are they equally likely?’ the answer is absolutely not,” he wrote, explaining:

One hypothesis requires a colossal cover-up and the silent, unswerving, leak-proof compliance of a vast network of scientists, civilians, and government officials for over a year. The other requires only for biology to behave as it always has, for a family of viruses that have done this before to do it again. The zoonotic spillover hypothesis is simple and explains everything. It’s scientific malpractice to pretend that one idea is equally as meritorious as the other.

“I would be embarrassed to stand up in front of a room of scientists, lay out both hypotheses, and then pretend that one isn’t clearly, obviously better than the other,” Samorodnitsky concluded.

Confidence in a natural origin of COVID-19 has actually grown over time, as the virus’s evolutionary trajectory has undermined the idea that it was artificially designed, not that one would guess that from listening to media or to politicians. Meanwhile, as more investigation is done into the earliest patients, it is clear that a majority of them — including two of the first three documented cases — were at the Huanan wet market where a wide range of wild animals that could potentially carry the virus were sold. There are still zero confirmed cases of staff falling ill at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a building over 17 miles away from Huanan market, where data mapping shows that early cases were clustered around.

Earlier this week, The Lancet, which came in for considerable criticism for its previous publication condemning lab leak conspiracy theorists, refused to back down, maintaining that the idea “remain[s] without scientifically validated evidence that directly supports it” (It did however, include a conflict of interests section this time, tacitly accepting that this part of Wade’s criticism was indeed valid). Its authors also directly warned of the danger of scapegoating China. “Recrimination has not, and will not, encourage international cooperation and collaboration,” they wrote. “It is time to turn down the heat of the rhetoric and turn up the light of scientific inquiry if we are to be better prepared to stem the next pandemic, whenever it comes and wherever it begins.”

The coming war on China

The backdrop of the Biden administration’s sudden change of heart to parrot its predecessor is the increased U.S. buildup of hostilities against Beijing. President Joe Biden recently stated that the defining struggle of the 21st century will be that of the U.S. against China. Throughout 2020, the President’s team quietly stated that their entire industrial and foreign policy would revolve around “compet[ing] with China,” with their top priorities being “dealing with authoritarian governments, defending democracy and tackling corruption, as well as understanding how these challenges intersect with new technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology.”

Earlier this year, NATO think tank the Atlantic Council published a 26,000-word report laying out its strategy to suffocate the People’s Republic. It advised Biden to draw a number of red lines around the country, past which the U.S. would directly intervene (presumably militarily). These include Chinese attempts to expand into the South China Sea, an attack on the disputed Senkaku Islands, and moves against Taiwan’s independence. A North Korean strike on any of its neighbors would also necessitate an American response against China, the report insists, because “China must fully own responsibility for the behavior of its North Korean ally.” Any backing down from this stance, the Council states, would result in national “humiliation” for the United States. If this could all be established, it noted, regime change in Beijing could be a distinct possibility. Top military officials like Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster have called for the establishment of an “Asian NATO” to achieve this dream. already there are well over 400 military bases encircling the country.

The U.S. is also conducting military operations in the region, readying itself for a potential war. Last summer, American ships sailed to the Chinese coast, the U.S.S. Rafael Peralta coming to within 41 nautical miles of the coastal megacity Shanghai. Meanwhile, American planes, including nuclear bombers, fly overhead, attempting to gain intelligence on Chinese defenses.

In addition to the military buildup, the U.S. has begun an economic and information war against Beijing, the Trump administration placing sanctions on the country and attempting to halt the expansion of the Belt and Road initiative, block Huawei’s global 5G rollout, and force Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to sell to an American company. At the same time, Twitter, under counsel from a U.S.-funded think tank, decided to delete more than 170,000 Chinese accounts in a single day, the think tank having accused them of spreading pro-China narratives.

The result of the increased hostilities has been the meteoric rise of anti-China sentiment in the U.S., along with a similar spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. The number of Americans seeing China as their number one enemy has more than doubled in 12 months. This is not a partisan issue, according to Pew Research, with a similar increase in “get tough on China” attitudes among Democratic and Republican voters.

It is this context in which the return of the lab leak theory should be seen. Lab leaks do happen. But there is precious little hard evidence that such is the case here. That so many of the nation’s top alternative news figures — individuals who stood against U.S. wars and against similar campaigns, such as RussiaGate — are buying into this one is remarkable. This is especially the case in light of the fact that the evidence is so weak and comes from highly discredited sources, while scientists remain highly skeptical of the theory.

The lab leak hypothesis was first pushed by the far-right and signal boosted by President Trump. In recent weeks, the Democrats have appropriated it wholesale, as they have with several other Republican policies. Corporate media’s newfound interest in the theory has nothing to do with its veracity, as many in alternative spaces have alleged.

The lab leak theory bears a striking resemblance to the weapons of mass destruction hoax of 2002-03, not only in the fact that one of its key players is literally the same journalist using potentially the same anonymous sources, but also in the bipartisan political and media support for the project, all while ignoring the opinions of the scientific community. That so many in alternative media who question war and U.S. intervention not only cannot see that, but are invoking the WMD story to bolster their own side, is extraordinary, and shows how badly the need is to build up a healthy media ecosystem.

Between 2001 and 2003, the public was subjected to a constant barrage of pro-war propaganda. But at least nascent alternative media offered a dissenting voice. Anti-war voices pushing the lab leak theory might one day find it is too late to stop the clock on the dangerous drive towards a second Cold War. If there is any conflict with China, it will make Iraq look like a tea party by comparison. But truth, in war, is always the first casualty.

إنزالات الأطلسيّ لفكّ التحالف الروسيّ الصينيّ الإيرانيّ

10 July 2021

 محمد صادق الحسينيّ

لا بدّ لأيّ محلل سياسيّ، ينتهج أسلوب البحث العلمي الموضوعي والمستند الى المنطق، ان يعود قليلاً بالذاكرة الى الوراء، كي يتمكن من تقديم تحليل موضوعيّ وتقدير موقف دقيق للمناورات البحرية الواسعة النطاق، التي تجريها القوات البحرية لدول حلف شمال الأطلسي، الى جانب قوات بحرية إسرائيلية ومن أربع دول عربية هي: مصر، المغرب، الإمارات وتونس! منذ 28/6/2021 وتُختتم اليوم 10/7/2021، خاصة أنّ المهمة، التي تتدرب هذه القوات البحرية على تنفيذها، تتمثل أساساً في:

أولا: عمليات إنزال بحرية على ارض العدو.

ثانيا: تنفيذ عمليات برية على أرض العدو. وهذا يعني في العلم العسكري القيام بعمليات الإنزال البحري لإقامة رؤوس جسور للقوات المدرّعة والمشاة الميكانيكية، التي سيتم إبرارها من سفن الإنزال، بعد نجاح تثبيت رؤوس الجسور على أرض العدو (وهي في هذه الحالة روسيا بلا أدنى شك لأنها البلد الوحيد في حوض البحر الأسود، التي تتعامل معها الولايات المتحدة وحلف الأطلسي كبلد عدو).

ثالثا: عمليات بحرية تنفذها وحدات من الضفادع البشرية، التابعة لدول حلف الأطلسي (وهي بالتأكيد عمليات زراعة ألغام بحرية في طرق تحرّكات الأساطيل الروسية المدنية والحربية في البحر الاسود، إضافة الى القيام بعمليات تخريب لمنشآت عسكرية بحرية روسية في موانئ البحر الأسود.

رابعا: التدرّب على حرب الغواصات.

خامسا: التدرّب على عمليات الدفاع الجوي وعمليات القوات الخاصة. (وهذا يعني، من الناحية العسكرية، إنزال قوات خاصة تابعة لحلفخامس الأطلسي خلف خطوط العدو وتقديم الغطاء الجوي لها لتمكينها من تنفيذ العمليات المكلفة بها من دون أن تتعرّض لنيران المقاتلات الروسية في ارض المعركة. بالاضافة الى تأمين الغطاء الجوي لعمليات الانزال البحري وللسفن الحربية الاطلسية المشاركة في العمليات ايضاً، وذلك حسب ما أعلن على الصفحة الرسمية لسلاح البحرية الأميركي، قبيل بدء المناورات.

 إذن فإن الهدف من هذه المناورات هو التدرب، وعلى مقربة شديدة من الأهداف الروسية، على عمليات عسكرية اطلسية تُشنُ على أراضي جمهورية روسيا الاتحادية، بحراً وجواً.

علماً أن خطة المناورات، التي تجري حالياً في البحر الأسود، هي نسخة طبق الأصل عن خطة عسكرية بريطانية فرنسية، جرى البدء بالتخطيط لها في شهر 12/1939 وأنجزت في شهر 1/1940، وأطلق عليها اسم: عملية الرمح – Operation Pike – وتمثلت أهداف الخطة آنذاك في:

أ) قصف كافة آبار النفط السوفياتية، في منطقة القوقاز الشمالي، خاصة في باكو وغروزني، وتدميرها تدميراً كاملاً.

ب) أسندت قيادة العمليّة لجنرال سلاح الجو البريطاني، سيدني كوتون، والذي بدأ بإعداد أول الصور الجوية لمناطق الحقول المستهدفة في شهري آذار ونيسان 3 و4/1940.

ج) بعد استكمال عمليات الاستطلاع الأخيرة للأهداف بدأت قيادة العملية، تحت إشراف وزارتي الحرب البريطانية والفرنسية، بنقل ثلاثة أسراب من الطائرات المقاتلة البريطانيّة الى الموصل، في العراق، وستة أسراب جوية فرنسيّة الى سورية. وقد ضمّت هذه الأسراب طائرات من طراز: فامرمان / ف 221 / طائرات مارتن ميري لاند ، وطائرات فيكرز . بحيث أصبح العدد الإجمالي، لطائرات القوة الجوية البريطانية الفرنسية، المكلفة بتدمير آبار النفط السوفياتية، هو 117 طائرة.

د) وفي الوقت نفسة تابعت القيادة العامة للعملية استكمال بعض التفاصيل الميدانية على أن يبدأ تنفيذ عمليات القصف الجوي لموانئ كل من: باكو / باتومي / باتو / على البحر الأسود، إضافة الى مدينة غروزني في جمهورية الشيشان، في نهاية شهر حزيران 1940.

ه) لكن قيام الجيش الألماني الهتلري بشن هجومه على فرنسا، بتاريخ 20/5/1940 واحتلالها بسرعة قياسية، وعثور فرقة الدبابات التاسعة الألمانية، بتاريخ 16/6/1940، على خطة العملية البريطانية الفرنسية، في هيئة أركان الجيش الفرنسي في ناحية La Charité – sur Loire، قد كشف العملية.

و) ومن الجدير بالذكر أن الماريشال هيرمان غويرينغ ، وهو وزير الطيران الحربي الألماني الهتلريّ، قد أكد في محكمة نورينبيرغ، التي حوكم فيها من بقي على قيد الحياة من القادة النازيين، أن قيادة الاستطلاع الاستراتيجي الألمانية كانت قد سجلت تحشيداً جوياً، بريطانياً فرنسياً، استعداداً لتنفيذ عملية السهم.

كان الهدف المعلن في خطط هيئة الأركان، من قبل لندن وباريس، لهذه العملية هو حرمان ألمانيا النازية من الموارد النفطية السوفياتية، خاصة بعد توقيع اتفاقية التعاون الاقتصادي السوفياتية الألمانية، في صيف 1939، حسب الوثائق السرية المتعلقة بهذا الموضوع والتي رفعت عنها السرية قبل فترة وجيزة.

لكن الأهداف الحقيقية من وراء ذلك كانت مختلفةً عما تضمنتة وثائق هيئة الأركان الفرنسية والبريطانية. إذ إنهما كانتا تهدفان الى البدء بتدمير موارد النفط السوفياتية تمهيداً للبدء بعمليات هجوميّة بحرية وجوية ضد أراضي الاتحاد السوفياتي، تحت حجة التعاون السوفياتي الألماني. أي ابتزاز الاتحاد السوفياتي تحت تهديد العدوان العسكري بهدف إلغاء اتفاقياته مع ألمانيا.

 وفي هذا الإطار قام السفير البريطاني في موسكو ريتشارد ستافورد كريبس ، في شهر 10/1940، بتقديم عرض لوزير الخارجية السوفياتي، مولوتوف ينص على تخلي بريطانيا عن عمليات تدمير حقول النفط السوفياتية مقابل أن يتخذ الاتحاد السوفياتي موقفاً محايداً في الحرب الألمانية البريطانية.

وهذه هي السياسة نفسها، التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية مستخدمة حلف الاطلسي ومجموعة من الدول العميلة لها، في ابتزاز القيادة الروسية الآن لتقديم تنازلات سياسية، سواء على الصعيد الاستراتيجي الدولي او في مواضيع إقليمية تهم الأمن القومي الروسي، كموضوع العلاقة مع إيران وسورية وغيرها من المواضيع والملفات.

إلا أن هدف واشنطن الاستراتيجي الاول، من وراء مواصلة الضغط العسكري على روسيا، من خلال التحركات العسكرية الاستفزازية، لواشنطن وحلف الاطلسي على حدود روسيا الشمالية الغربية وفي البحر الأسود، انما هو محاولة لوقف التعاون الصيني الروسي، على الصعيد الاستراتيجي الدولي، خاصة في مجال الدفاع المشترك، او ما تسميه واشنطن منع تشكل وتعمق الحلف العسكري الروسي الصيني المتنامي، الذي “يهدّد” الأمن القومي الأميركي.

وهو ما يؤكد أن سياسة الدول الاستعمارية الغربية هي السياسة العدوانية التوسعية نفسها، القائمة على الابتزاز وفرض الهيمنة، وتهديد السلم الدولي. ولكن موازين القوى الدولية الحاليّة ومنطق حركية (ديناميكية) العلاقات الدولية الحاليّة، بما في ذلك وجود محور مقاومة معادٍ للسياسة التوسعية الأميركية، ومستنداً الى دعم سياسي ودبلوماسي، وعسكري في بعض المواقع، من كل من جمهورية الصين الشعبية وروسيا الاتحادية، نقول إن كل ذلك سيفشل النسخة الجديدة من السياسة الاستعمارية الغربية، التي تجمع بين التهديد العسكري والعدوان الاقتصادي المباشر، عبر فرض العقوبات الاقتصادية والمالية على العديد من الدول وعلى رأسها الصين وروسيا وكوريا الشمالية وإيران وسورية وفنزويلا.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Al-Kaabi Warns US That Liberation Will Continue

Source: Al Mayadeen

Today 10/7/2021

Al-Nujaba Movement Secretary-General in Iraq warns the United States that the resistance will not stop until every square inch of Iraq is liberated and US forces are departed, demanding they stay out of Iraq affairs.

Al-Kaabi Wans US That Resistance Will Not Give Up Liberation
Al-Nujaba Movement Secretary-General Akram al-Kaabi

Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi, the Secretary-General of the Al-Nujaba Movement in Iraq, addressed the United States, asserting, “How can we stand by while you occupy our land and violate our country’s sovereignty?”

Sheikh Al-Kaabi added, “How could we ignore you, and our vengeance is unclaimed when you killed the leaders of victory and liberation in cowardice and treacherousness?”

He said, warning the Americans, “We will not leave you, and the resistance will remain a thorn in your side until the last inch of Iraqi land is liberated from your desecration.”

On his Twitter account, Sheikh Al-Kaabi continued: “When the insolence of the ‘United States State Department of Evil’ drives them to ask the resistance in Iraq to leave them alone, for that to happen: ​​we will tell them that it is you that should leave us alone, to leave Iraq, to stop your blatant and destructive interventions in our country – most of our problems are because of you.”

He added in the tweet, “How can we stand and watch while you occupy our country, steal its oil and its goods, and tamper with its institutions and electricity? Everyone knows that you have seized all the electricity distribution stations in Iraq with a corrupt contract, because of which the country has lost a lot, impeding the proper distribution of electricity.”

The Al-Nujaba Movement said a year ago that the transfer of large numbers of terrorists, including ‘ISIS’ leadership, from Syrian territory to Iraq is only a prelude to the United States’ new project to destabilize Iraq.

The “right freedom of speech” is killing the West

The “right freedom of speech” is killing the West

July 09, 2021

by Batko Milacic for The Saker Blog

Free speech has long been a cornerstone of Western society. However, within the past few years the situation has completely changed. Recently, one of the Western`s oldest public figures – the legendary leader of the Western Civil Liberties Union Ira Glasser, who for many years fought against racism, violation of the rights of workers and employees, and government corruption, spoke about a discussion that took place at one of the leading Western universities following a lecture he had delivered there. Young people, from student to professor, argued that freedom of speech is incompatible with social justice because it cannot fully guarantee the rights of LGBT people, migrants and non-white minorities. Glasser, who had fought for the equal rights in Western society for many years, was frightened to see Western democracy dying right before his eyes.

In a modern society freedom of speech cannot be absolute. Defamation, personal, racial, gender and other insults are inadmissible. There are courts that are supposed to protect the rights of those offended, but no one can deprive a person of the right to express his or her opinion on such issues as illegal migration, the destruction of the education system, the tax system or when heterosexuals serve in the army alongside representatives of sexual minorities. Or maybe already can? In the midst of the pandemic, freedom of speech has become lopsided – the “cancellation culture” has led to calls for violence against members of the successful middle class, who in turn are no longer able to raise their voice in defense of their rights. What is even more outrageous is that this was done to please the old political elites … mostly white and very wealthy.

However, while previously high-profile cases such as Watergate, the Bill Clinton sex scandal and others got in the media spotlight leading to the conviction and often impeachment of politicians, in the course of the past five years the situation has changed. Facts are no longer needed. Investigative journalism has been replaced by fakes and unfounded statements. Certain political forces clearly benefit from this new reality. Democrats support BLM, LGBT people and migrants. Therefore, any accusation against them is a lie, a manifestation of racism and intolerance. Any evidence presented was fabricated in Moscow and Beijing and handed over to Trump. All media outlets that do not support Democrats are lying.

As a result, Joe Biden’s supporters got a powerful trump card – almost complete impunity. Supporting corporations such as Amazon can exploit their employees any way they like, but any complaints about their inhuman work schedule is a provocation by the Trumpists, because Amazon is a company where gender equality is respected and they have diversity directors. The situation at the largest startups in Silicon Valley, the main sponsors of the Democratic Party, is the same.

Accordingly, any accusations against the party of the current President cannot be considered objectively – after all, these are all lies told by the enemies of minorities. Consider, for example, the 2016 scandal with $84 million, which, thanks to Hillary Clinton, replenished the Democrats’ election coffers, in violation of the law on maximum party funding. Trump has long tried to initiate an official investigation of all this, but without success. The same with the scandal surrounding Biden Jr., for whom his father secured a cushy job on the board of Ukraine’s Burisma Company with a monthly salary of a hefty $50,000. When the Ukrainian opposition tried to initiate an investigation into this, Joe Biden simply replaced the country’s disloyal Prosecutor General. Moreover, he brags about it in his public speeches. And brag he certainly can, because changing the prosecutor in a semi-colony is a truly democratic way to go. Attempts by Trump supporters to prove that the Bidens’ activities were illegal have failed despite all the evidence corroborating the charge. The “Democrats” simply said it was a fake.

The same about the Clintons, whose lobbying structures worked hard defending the Bangladeshi banker Muhammad Yunus accused of corruption. Hillary Clinton personally threatened the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. The news about this appeared in the media, but there were no investigations either. Biden, just like the Clintons and other leading Democrats are all hereditary politicians representing the top tier of American society. Most of the Democratic party leaders came to power from Ivy League universities, not from street protests or black neighborhoods. However, it was they who initiated and spearheaded the LGBT and BLM protests, launched the “cancellation culture” and are now enjoying the fruits of their labors. Getting into their closed club is no easy matter. It is easier to leave it, as did Bernie Sanders, a popular politician but a bit too independent for the taste of the Democratic Party bosses. As a result, he was forced to pull out of the presidential race.

At first glance it may seem that Western’s Big Business has nothing to gain from protests and new cultural codes, which theoretically make it possible to declare a boycott of any company. However, while stores in many cities were being burglarized and calls were being made to abolish the “white privileges,” Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates and other corporations spent more than $200 million to push new and tighter labor legislation through the courts, thus dealing another blow to the middle class, which now pays for everything. By the way, this whole process was set in motion by Tony West, the son-in-law of the new Vice-President Kamala Harris, the first woman of color in this post, who comes out as a champion of minority rights.

So, let the protests and all the noise being made about the “oppressed minorities” not fool you. This only makes the “Democratic Party” inviolable, so welcome to the beautiful new West – a one-party system with “right” freedom of speech. If you want more evidence and examples to arrive to the same conclusions as did the author of this article, spend a few minutes watching a good video that is going viral every day:

Batko Milacic is an independent analyst who lives in Podgorica (capital of Montenegro), he is 30 years old. He graduated history at University of Montenegro and his graduate thesis was: “Foreign Policy of Russia from 1905 to 1917”. He has been doing analytics for years, writing in English and Serbian about the situation in the Balkans and Europe.  He participated in several seminars for young journalists, organized in the Balkans.

Press release on consultations with a Taliban delegation

July 09, 2021

8 July 2021 19:30 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

On July 8, Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov held consultations with a delegation from the Taliban’s political office. The discussion focused on the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the prospects for starting intra-Afghan talks.

The Russian side voiced their concern over the mounting tensions in the northern regions of Afghanistan and urged [the Taliban] not to allow these tensions to spread outside the county. The Taliban delegation reassured the Russian side that the Taliban would not violate the borders of the Central Asian counties and also provided guarantees of the safety of foreign countries’ diplomatic and consular missions in Afghanistan.

The representatives of the Taliban reaffirmed their interest in securing a lasting peace in their country through negotiations, taking into account the interests of all ethnic groups living in the country, as well as their readiness to observe human rights, including the rights of women, in keeping with Islamic standards and Afghan traditions.

It was separately emphasised that the Taliban is firmly determined to ward off the threat of ISIS in Afghanistan and eradicate drug production in the country after the end of the civil war.

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