A LEMMING LEADING THE LEMMINGS: SLAVOJ ZIZEK AND THE TERMINAL COLLAPSE OF THE ANTI-WAR LEFT

JUNE 23RD, 2022

JONATHAN COOK

Have you noticed how every major foreign policy crisis since the U.S. and U.K.’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 has peeled off another layer of the left into joining the pro-NATO, pro-war camp?

It is now hard to remember that many millions marched in the U.S. and Europe against the attack on Iraq. It sometimes feels like there is no one left who is not cheerleading the next wave of profits for the West’s military-industrial complex (usually referred to as the “defense industry” by those very same profiteers).

Washington learned a hard lesson from the unpopularity of its 2003 attack on Iraq aimed at controlling more of the Middle East’s oil reserves. Ordinary people do not like seeing the public coffers ransacked or suffering years of austerity, simply to line the pockets of Blackwater, Halliburton, and Raytheon. And all the more so when such a war is sold to them on the basis of a huge deception.

So since then, the U.S. has been repackaging its neocolonialism via proxy wars that are a much easier sell. There have been a succession of them: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela and now Ukraine. Each time, a few more leftists are lured into the camp of the war hawks by the West’s selfless, humanitarian instincts – promoted, of course, through the barrel of a Western-supplied arsenal. That process has reached its nadir with Ukraine.

NUCLEAR FACE-OFF

recently wrote about the paranoid ravings of celebrity “left-wing” journalist Paul Mason, who now sees the Kremlin’s hand behind any dissension from a full-throttle charge towards a nuclear face-off with Russia.

Behind the scenes, he has been sounding out Western intelligence agencies in a bid to covertly deplatform and demonetize any independent journalists who still dare to wonder whether arming Ukraine to the hilt or recruiting it into NATO – even though it shares a border that Russia views as existentially important – might not be an entirely wise use of taxpayers’ money.

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It is not hard to imagine that Mason is representative of the wider thinking of establishment journalists, even those who claim to be on the left.

But I want to take on here a more serious proponent of this kind of ideology than the increasingly preposterous Mason. Because swelling kneejerk support for U.S. imperial wars – as long, of course, as Washington’s role is thinly disguised – is becoming ever more common among leftwing academics too.

The latest cheerleader for the military-industrial complex is Slavoj Zizek, the famed Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual whose work has gained him international prominence. His latest piece – published where else but The Guardian – is a morass of sloppy thinking, moral evasion and double speak. Which is why I think it is worth deconstructing. It encapsulates all the worst geostrategic misconceptions of Western intellectuals at the moment.

Zizek, who is supposedly an expert on ideology and propaganda, and has even written and starred in a couple of documentaries on the subject, seems now to be utterly blind to his own susceptibility to propaganda.

COD PSYCHOLOGY

He starts, naturally enough, with a straw man: that those opposed to the West’s focus on arming Ukraine rather than using its considerable muscle to force Kyiv and Moscow to the negotiating table are in the wrong. Opposition to dragging out the war for as long as possible, however many Ukrainians and Russians die, with the aim of “weakening Russia”, as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wants; and opposition to leaving millions of people in poorer parts of the world to be plunged deeper into poverty or to starve is equated by Zizek to “pacifism.”

“Those who cling to pacifism in the face of the Russian attack on Ukraine remain caught in their own version of [John Lennon’s song] ‘Imagine’,” writes Zizek. But the only one dwelling in the world of the imaginary is Zizek and those who think like him.

The left’s mantra of “Stop the war!” can’t be reduced to kneejerk pacifism. It derives from a political and moral worldview. It opposes the militarism of competitive, resource-hungry nation-states. It opposes the war industries that not only destroy whole countries but risk global nuclear annihilation in advancing their interests. It opposes the profit motive for a war that has incentivised a global elite to continue investing in planet-wide rape and pillage rather than addressing a looming ecological catastrophe. All of that context is ignored in Zizek’s lengthy essay.

Instead, he prefers to take a detour into cod psychology, telling us that Russian president Vladimir Putin sees himself as Peter the Great. Putin will not be satisfied simply with regaining the parts of Ukraine that historically belonged to Russia and have always provided its navy with its only access to the Black Sea. No, the Russian president is hell-bent on global conquest. And Europe is next – or so Zizek argues.

Even if we naively take the rhetoric of embattled leaders at face value (remember those weapons of mass destruction Iraq’s Saddam Hussein supposedly had?), it is still a major stretch for Zizek to cite one speech by Putin as proof that the Russian leader wants his own version of the Third Reich.

Not least, we must address the glaring cognitive dissonance at the heart of the Western, NATO-inspired discourse on Ukraine, something Zizek refuses to do. How can Russia be so weak it has managed only to subdue small parts of Ukraine at great military cost, while it is at the same time a military superpower poised to take over the whole of Europe?

Zizek is horrified by Putin’s conceptual division of the world into those states that are sovereign and those that are colonized. Or as he quotes Putin observing: “Any country, any people, any ethnic group should ensure their sovereignty. Because there is no in-between, no intermediate state: either a country is sovereign, or it is a colony, no matter what the colonies are called.”

SOVEREIGN OR COLONIZED?

The famed philosopher reads this as proof that Russia wants as its colonies: “Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Finland, the Baltic states … and ultimately Europe itself”. But if he weren’t so blinded by NATO ideology, he might read Putin’s words in a quite different way. Isn’t Putin simply restating Washington realpolitik? The U.S., through NATO, is the real sovereign in Europe and is pushing its sovereignty ever closer to Russia’s borders.

Putin’s concern about Ukraine being colonized by the U.S. military-industrial complex is essentially the same as U.S. concerns in the 1960s about the Soviet Union filling Cuba with its nuclear missiles. Washington’s concern justified a confrontation that moved the world possibly the closest it has ever come to nuclear annihilation.

Both Russia and the U.S. are wedded to the idea of their own “spheres of influence”. It is just that the U.S. sphere now encircles the globe through many hundreds of overseas military bases. By contrast, the West cries to the heavens when Russia secures a single military base in Crimea.

We may not like the sentiments Putin is espousing, but they are not especially his. They are the reality of the framework of modern military power the West was intimately involved in creating. It was our centuries of colonialism – our greed and theft – that divided the world into the sovereign and the colonized. Putin is simply stating that Russia needs to act in ways that ensure it remains sovereign, rather than joining the colonized.

We may disagree with Putin’s perception of the threat posed by NATO, and the need to annex eastern Ukraine, but to pretend his speech means that he aims for world domination is nothing more than the regurgitation of a CIA talking point.

Zizek, of course, intersperses this silliness with more valid observations, like this one: “To insist on full sovereignty in the face of global warming is sheer madness since our very survival hinges on tight global cooperation.” Of course, it is madness. But why is this relevant to Putin and his supposed “imperial ambition”? Is there any major state on the planet – those in Europe, the United States, China, Brazil, Australia – that has avoided this madness, that is seeking genuine “tight global cooperation” to end the threat of climate breakdown.

No, our world is in the grip of terminal delusion, propelled ever closer to the precipice by capitalism’s requirement of endless economic growth on a finite planet. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing great ecological damage, but so are lots of other things – including NATO’s rationalization of ever-expanding military budgets.


UKRAINIAN HEROISM

But Zizek has the bit between his teeth. He now singles out Russia because it is maneuvering to exploit the consequences of global warming, such as new trade routes opened up by a thawing Arctic.

“Russia’s strategic plan is to profit from global warming: control the world’s main transport route, plus develop Siberia and control Ukraine,” he writes. “In this way, Russia will dominate so much food production that it will be able to blackmail the whole world.”

But what does he imagine? As we transform the world’s climate and its trade routes, as new parts of the world turn into deserts, as whole populations are forced to make migrations to different regions, does he think only Putin and Russia are jostling to avoid sinking below the rising sea waters. Does he presume the policy hawks in Washington, or their satraps in Europe, have missed all this and are simply putting their feet up? In reality, maneuvering on the international stage – what I have called elsewhere a brutal nation-state version of the children’s party game musical chairs – has been going on for decades.

Ukraine is the latest front in a long-running war for resource control on a dying planet. It is another battleground in the renewed great power game that the U.S. revived by expanding NATO across Eastern Europe in one pincer movement and then bolstered it with its wars and proxy wars across the Middle East. Where was the urge for “tight global cooperation” then? To perceive Ukraine as simply the victim of Putin’s “imperialism” requires turning a blind eye to everything that has occurred since the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago.

Zizek gets to the heart of what should matter in his next, throw-away line:

Those who advocate less support for Ukraine and more pressure on it to negotiate, inclusive of accepting painful territorial renunciations, like to repeat that Ukraine simply cannot win the war against Russia. True, but I see exactly in this the greatness of Ukrainian resistance.”

Zizek briefly recognises the reality of Ukraine’s situation – that it cannot win, that Russia has a bigger, better-equipped army – but then deflects to the “greatness” of Ukraine’s defiance. Yes, it is glorious that Ukrainians are ready to die to defend their country’s sovereignty. But that is not the issue we in the West need to consider when Kyiv demands we arm its resistance.

The question of whether Ukrainians can win, or whether they will be slaughtered, is highly pertinent to deciding whether we in the West should help drag out the war, using Ukrainians as cannon fodder, to no purpose other than our being able to marvel as spectators at their heroism. Whether Ukrainians can win is also pertinent to the matter of how urgent it is to draw the war to a close so that millions don’t starve in Africa because of the loss of crops, the fall in exports and rocketing fuel prices. And arming a futile, if valiant, Ukrainian struggle against Russia to weaken Moscow must be judged in the context that we risk backing Russia into a geostrategic corner – as we have been doing for more than two decades – from which, we may surmise, Moscow could ultimately decide to extricate itself by resorting to nuclear weapons.

INTELLECTUAL CUL DE SAC

Having propelled himself into an intellectual cul de sac, Zizek switches tack. He suddenly changes the terms of the debate entirely. Having completely ignored the U.S. role in bringing us to this point, he now observes:

Not just Ukraine, Europe itself is becoming the place of the proxy war between [the] U.S. and Russia, which may well end up by a compromise between the two at Europe’s expense. There are only two ways for Europe to step out of this place: to play the game of neutrality – a short-cut to catastrophe – or to become an autonomous agent.”

So, we are in a U.S. proxy war – one played out under the bogus auspices of NATO and its “defensive” expansion – but the solution to this problem for Europe is to gain its “autonomy” by …

Well, from everything Zizek has previously asserted in the piece, it seems such autonomy must be expressed by silently agreeing to the U.S. pumping Ukraine full of weapons to fight Russia in a proxy war that is really about weakening Russia rather than saving Ukraine. Only a world-renowned philosopher could bring us to such an intellectually and morally barren place.

The biggest problem for Zizek, it seems, isn’t the U.S. proxy war or Russian “imperialism”, it is the left’s disillusionment with the military industrial complex: “Their true message to Ukraine is: OK, you are victims of a brutal aggression, but do not rely on our arms because in this way you play into the hands of the industrial-military complex,” he writes.

But the concern here is not that Ukraine is playing into the arms of the war industries. It is that Western populations are being played by their leaders – and intellectuals like Zizek – so that they can be delivered, once again, into the arms of the military-industrial complex. The West’s war industries have precisely no interest in negotiations, which is why they are not taking place. It is also the reason why events over three decades have led us to a Russian invasion of Ukraine that most of Washington’s policy makers warned would happen if the U.S. continued to encroach on Russia’s “sphere of influence”.

The left’s message is that we are being conned yet again and that it is long past the time to start a debate. Those debates should have taken place when the U.S. broke its promise not to expand “one inch” beyond Germany. Or when NATO flirted with offering Ukraine membership 14 years ago. Or when the U.S. meddled in the ousting of the elected government of Ukraine in 2014. Or when Kyiv integrated neo-Nazi groups into the Ukrainian army and engaged in a civil war against the Russian parts of its own populace. Or when the U.S. and NATO allowed Kyiv – on the best interpretation – to ignore its obligations under the Minsk agreements with Russia.

None of those debates happened. Which is why a debate in the West is still needed now, at this terribly late stage. Only then might there be a hope that genuine negotiations can take place – before Ukraine is obliterated.

CANNON FODDER

Having exhausted all his hollow preliminary arguments, we get to Zizek’s main beef. With the world polarizing around a sole military superpower, the U.S., and a sole economic superpower, China, Europe and Russia may be forced into each other’s arms in a “Eurasian” block that would swamp European values. For Zizek, that would lead to “fascism”. He writes: “At that point, the European legacy will be lost, and Europe will be de facto divided between an American and a Russian sphere of influence. In short, Europe itself will become the place of a war that seems to have no end.”

Let us set aside whether Europe – all of it, parts of it? – is really a bulwark against fascism, as Zizek assumes. How exactly is Europe to find its power, its sovereignty, in this battle between superpowers? What vehicle is Zizek proposing to guarantee Europe’s autonomy, and how does it differ from the NATO one that is – even Zizek now seems to be conceding – actually just a vassal of the U.S., there to enforce Washington’s global-spanning “sphere of influence” against Russia and China.

Faced with this problem, Zizek quickly retreats into mindless sloganeering: “One cannot be a leftist if one does not unequivocally stand behind Ukraine.” This Bushism – “You are either with us or with the terrorists” – really is as foolish as it sounds.

What does “unequivocal” mean here? Must we “unequivocally stand behind” all of Ukraine’s actions – even should, say, neo-Nazi elements of the Ukrainian military like the Azov Brigade carry out pogroms against the ethnic Russian communities living in Ukraine?

But even more seriously, what does it mean for Europeans to stand “unequivocally” behind Ukraine? Must we approve the supply of U.S. weapons, even though, as Zizek also concedes, Ukraine cannot win the war and is serving primarily as a proxy battleground?

Would “unequivocal support” not require us to pretend that Europe, rather than the U.S., is in charge of NATO policy? Would it not require too that we pretend NATO’s actions are defensive rather intimately tied to advancing the U.S. “sphere of influence” designed to weaken Russia?

And how can our participation in the U.S. ambition to weaken Russia not provoke greater fear in Russia for its future, greater militarism in Moscow, and ensure Europe becomes more of a battleground rather than less of one?

What does “unequivocal” support for Ukraine mean given that Zizek has agreed that the U.S. and Russia are fighting a proxy war, and that Europe is caught in the middle of it? Zizek’s answer is no answer at all. It is nothing more than evasion. It is the rationalization of unprincipled European inaction, of acting as a spectator while the U.S. continues to use Ukrainians as cannon fodder.

MUDDYING THE WATERS

After thoroughly muddying the waters on Ukraine, Zizek briefly seeks safer territory as he winds down his argument. He points out, two decades on, that George W. Bush was similarly a war criminal in invading Iraq, and notes the irony that Julian Assange is being extradited to the U.S. because Wikileaks helped expose those war crimes. To even things up, he makes a counter-demand on “those who oppose Russian invasion” that they fight for Assange’s release – and in doing so implicitly accuses the anti-war movement of supporting Russia’s invasion.

He then plunges straight back into sloganeering in his concluding paragraph: “Ukraine fights for global freedom, inclusive of the freedom of Russians themselves. That’s why the heart of every true Russian patriot beats for Ukraine.” Maybe he should try telling that to the thousands of ethnic Russian families mourning their loved ones killed by the civil war that began raging in eastern Ukraine long before Putin launched his invasion and supposedly initiated his campaign for world domination. Those kinds of Ukrainians may beg to differ, as may Russians worried about the safety and future of their ethnic kin in Ukraine.

As with most things in life, there are no easy answers for Ukraine. But Zizek’s warmongering dressed up as European enlightenment and humanitarianism is a particularly wretched example of the current climate of intellectual and moral vacuity. What we need from public thinkers like Zizek is a clear-sighted roadmap for how we move back from the precipice we are rushing, lemming-like, towards. Instead he is urging us on. A lemming leading the lemmings.

Feature photo | Graphic by MintPress News

Jonathan Cook is a MintPress contributor. Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Belarus reveals mass executions of Iraqi refugees by Polish soldiers

22 Jun 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Belarus says it informed an Iraqi delegation of the details of an investigation concluded about mass executions and secret burial of Iraqi refugees killed by the Polish army.

Iraqi migrants at the Belarus-Poland border

The Investigative Committee of Belarus said that an Iraqi delegation visiting Minsk was handed over evidence and information about the mass and secret executions of Iraqi refugees by Polish soldiers on the Polish side of the border with Belarus.

According to a statement published on the website of the Committee, a meeting was held with the Iraqi delegation in the Committee’s central office.

During the meeting, the Iraqi side was informed of the details of the investigation concluded about mass executions and secret burial of refugees killed by the Polish army.

The Iraqi side also received information on the progress and results of the investigation into the crimes against humanity, propaganda for war, and willful endangerment of others, as well as details related to violations committed by officials in Poland such as illegal acts including deportation, cruelty, torture and deliberate failure to provide assistance that led to the death of refugees from West Asian countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

The statement mentioned that these crimes had been assertedly committed on the basis of race, nationality, nationality, and religion.

According to the statement, “Belarusian investigators documented criminal actions committed against 135 Iraqi citizens, who were physically injured as violence was used against them by Polish security forces.”

The Investigative Committee of Belarus is also investigating three cases related to bodily harm and illegal expulsion from the EU to Belarus, which led to the death of Iraqi citizens.

It is noteworthy that in February 2023, the International Criminal Court in The Hague will look into the statement of Belarusian human rights activists on the genocide of migrants in Poland.

On January 25, Poland’s border guards announced the start of construction of a 186-kilometer (115-mile) fence at the border with Belarus after thousands of migrants from West Asia streamed to the border in an attempt to cross into the European Union.

زلّة لسان

الإثنين 23 أيار 2022

بثينة شعبان 

صحيح أن العيون تتّجه إلى أوكرانيا لمعرفة نتيجة الحسم العسكري بين روسيا وحلف الناتو العدواني هناك، ولكن ما يجري بالتوازي من إعادة تشكُّلات وصياغات في عالم اليوم قد يكون هو الأهم.

لم تكن زلّة لسان الرئيس جورج بوش الابن لتحدث في ظروف أكثر مواءمة وخدمة لما تحاول الصين وروسيا أن تؤكداه، وسط أحداث متسارعة ومعقدة؛ فقد قال الرئيس بوش الابن: ” قرار رجل واحد لشن غزو وحشيّ غير مبرّر للعراق… آه… أقصد لأوكرانيا”، وضحك الجمهور، وأعاد هو: “العراق، العراق”، وسط أنباء جادة يتحدّث بها الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ عن شكل العالم المقبل، في كلمته المهمة في الـ 21 من نيسان/ أبريل لمنتدى بواو الآسيوي، ووسط إعلان وزارة الخارجية الروسية بعد مناقشة نسخة جديدة من مفهوم السياسة الخارجية الروسية في ضوء الحرب الغربية على روسيا باستخدام أوكرانيا.

زلّة لسان

وبدلاً من أن يستنكر القرّاء والمشاهدون كل القرارات الأحادية والحروب غير الشرعية التي شنّتها الولايات المتحدة على الشعوب الآمنة في أفغانستان والعراق وليبيا وسوريا واليمن، فقد أتت زلّة لسان جورج بوش الابن، المسؤول هو وأبوه عن مقتل الملايين من المدنيين العراقيين حصاراً وقتلاً وإرهاباً ووباءً، لتكشف ما حاول هو وإدارته والإدارات السابقة واللاحقة أن يخفوه، وبرهن (ولتبرهن) أنه يسكن في “لا وعيهم” من غزو ظالم وغير مبرر للعراق، ما زال الشعب العراقي يدفع ثمنه في كل يوم من حياة أبنائه.

كما أنّ عمليات النهب الأميركية للموارد العراقية والليبية والسورية جريمة تطال لقمة عيش جميع أبناء الشعب العربي في هذه البلدان، لأن هذا النهب الاستعماري لموارد الشعب السوري واحتلال أرضه وسرقة نفطه وقمحه قد تمثّل زلّات لسان لرؤساء ومسؤولين أميركيين في المستقبل، ولكنه (ولكنها) جريمة إبادة جماعية لما سببه (سبّبته) من آلام وموت للمدنيين المحاصرين.

ولكن العالم اليوم لم يعد بحاجة إلى الكشف عن المستور، لأنه لم يتبقَّ هناك مستور أصلاً سوى حملات التضليل الإعلامية التي يصدّرها الغرب للعالم، وينسج من خلالها أكاذيبه وأوهامه. والخطوة الأولى المجدية في عالم اليوم هي أن يتبنّى جميع الحريصين على حياة البشر إما مقاطعة هذا الإعلام الغربي المزيّف، وإما التساؤل بشأن كل سردية يتبنّاها حيال أي قضية في العالم. إنني أجد نفسي أعيد صياغة ما أقرأه من إعلام غربي حول سوريا أو فلسطين أو لبنان أو إيران أو أوكرانيا أو الصين، وأتساءل اليوم ما هي جدوى قراءة إعلام أصبحنا نعلم علم اليقين أنه مكرّس لخدمة أهداف استعمارية لمن يشنّون الحروب على دولنا ويقومون باحتلال أرضنا ودعم الإرهاب ضد شعبنا وتمويله وإرسال الإرهابيين وتسليحهم واحتلال أرض أشقائنا وأصدقائنا، ويعطّلون أيّ قرارات أمميّة تحاول أن تحقق ولو جزءاً من العدالة للشعوب المستضعفة؟؟ 

فإذا كان اجتماع وزارة الخارجية الروسية قد ناقش مهامّ السياسة الخارجية الروسية في ضوء الحقائق الجيوسياسية المتغيّرة جذرياً، فإن هذه الحقائق قد تغيّرت بالنسبة إلى العرب منذ وعد بلفور وسايكس بيكو واحتلال فلسطين من قبل عصابات الإرهاب الصهيونية، ومنذ غزو العراق وقصف ليبيا، وشنّ حرب إرهابية على مدى عقد ونيّف على سوريا، وتدمير حياة المدنيين العرب في اليمن، ومع ذلك لم يعقد العرب اجتماعاً واحداً لدراسة الوضع المستجد حيالهم، ودراسة الخطوات التي يمكن اتخاذها لحماية أنفسهم من سياسة التشظّي وتفتيت البلدان والشعوب إلى طوائف وأعراق وإثنيات على حساب اللُحمة الوطنية المنشودة، وهي سياسة فرّقْ تسُدْ الاستعمارية التي تستهدف العرب جميعاً.

إنّ النقاش الدائر في روسيا والصين يُري أن البلدين يدركان أن العالم قد تغيّر، وأن لا عودة تُرتجى إلى عالم ما قبل الـ 24 من شباط، وهو تاريخ انطلاق العملية العسكرية الروسية في أوكرانيا، ولذلك فإنهما منشغلان بوضع المرتسمات الجديدة لعالم ما بعد اليوم وعالم المستقبل. ومن يقرأ كلمة الرئيس شي جين بينغ يجد أنها تضع رؤية للتحديات التي طرأت على عالم اليوم، ومساراً للتعامل معها بجدية لضمان السير إلى الأمام رغم كل التحديات. ويؤكد خطاب بينغ أن زمن الحرب الباردة ونزعة الهيمنة وسياسة القوة ستكون جزءاً من الماضي، وقد طرح مبادرة الأمن العالمي من خلال التمسّك بمفهوم الأمن المشترك والشامل والتعاوني والمستدام، والعمل معاً على صيانة السلام والأمن في العالم، ومعارضة السعي إلى الأمن القومي على حساب الأمن القومي للغير.

في هذه المرحلة المفصلية بتشكُّل عالم جديد وسعي الأطراف في الشرق لأن تكون فاعلة في تشكيل هذا العالم، لاقتناعهم بأنّ أسس الهيمنة الغربية آيلة إلى الزوال، وأنها أصبحت مرفوضة وغير قادرة على الاستمرار، وأنها تخوض معركة منازعة أخيرة مهما بدت أنها طويلة اليوم، ولكنها ستكون الأخيرة.

في هذه المرحلة يتهدّد العرب جميعاً خطران أساسيان، إضافة إلى خطر الصهيونية الجاثمة على ضمير الأمة وأرض فلسطين والجولان، ألا وهما: الخطر العثماني الإخواني، وخطر أن لا يجد العرب لأنفسهم موطئ قدم إذا ما استمروا في حالة الفرقة والتشظّي التي يعيشونها اليوم، والتي لا يبدو أن هناك جهداً حقيقياً وواعداً للتخلص منها. فالخطر العثماني الإخواني اليوم حقيقي على سوريا والعراق وليبيا، حيث يحتل الأرض ويقيم القواعد وينشر لغته وثقافته وأكاذيبه وعملاءه من إخوان الشياطين، ويُلبس هيمنته لبوس الحرص على اللاجئين أو المسلمين أو محاربة التنظيمات الكردية، وهو لبوس لا يقل خطراً علينا جميعاً من وعد بلفور واتفاقية سايكس بيكو.

واللافت أنه بدأ بأسلوب مختلف بمحاولة تدنيس أرض الجزائر الطاهرة، من خلال اتخاذ الجزائر بوابة للدخول إلى شمال أفريقيا وأفريقيا، بعد أن فشل في أن تكون تونس منصة انطلاقه لنشر فكر الإخوان المسلمين وعقيدتهم في شمال أفريقيا. وفي هذه البلدان تتعدّد أساليبه وأدوات مكره؛ فحيث لا يستطيع (يتمكّن من) الاحتلال المباشر، قد يلجأ إلى التسلل الاقتصادي أو العقائدي كي يثبّت أقدامه في المكان، وينطلق منه لتحقيق غاياته وأهدافه التي لا تختلف بين شمال قبرص والشمال السوري والشمال العراقي والليبي والعمق الجزائري.

صحيح أن العيون تتّجه إلى أوكرانيا لمعرفة نتيجة الحسم العسكري بين روسيا وحلف الناتو العدواني هناك، ولكن ما يجري بالتوازي من إعادة تشكُّلات وصياغات في عالم اليوم قد يكون هو الأهم، لأنه هو الذي يُرسي أسس العالم الجديد وشكله، وسوف تكون الغلبة، ولا شكّ، لمن يخطط ويفكّر من اليوم أو من البارحة، أين سيكون تموضعه في هذا العالم، وكيف وما هي الميزات والأدوات التي يمتلكها كي يكون رقماً صعباً في عالم يسهم في بنيانه ويشكّل جزءاً من هويته وتوجّهاته.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

The brutal invasion of Iraq: Media – he made an unfortunate mistake

May 19, 2022

This speaks for itself and needs no comment.

Iraqi resistance group warns of attacks against US, Israeli targets in Kurdistan region

Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba says Kurdish leaders have turned Iraqi Kurdistan into a ‘legitimate target’ for hosting of US and Israeli occupying forces

May 17 2022

Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are seen in Zumar, Nineveh province, Iraq October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal – RC1E698CF530

ByNews Desk

Iraqi resistance group Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba (HHN) has threatened to target Israeli and US positions in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region (IKR).

In a statement published by the Sabereen News media outlet, the leader of the group, Akram al-Kaabi, said: “By hosting the US military bases and the positions of the Mossad, leaders of the Iraqi Kurdistan region have not only compromised the security of the northern Iraqi people but have also turned the area, infested with spies and occupying forces, into a legitimate target for Iraqi resistance groups.”

The statement was accompanied by a caricature showing the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, with two crows marked as Israel and the US sitting on his head, while he invites other evil crows to his sphere of influence.

It also depicted the commander of the Nujaba resistance movement ordering his forces to smash the nests of crows perched atop Barzani’s head.

The HHN, also known as the 12th Brigade, is a Shia resistance group affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi.

Last December, Iraqi lawmaker Ali al-Fatlawi said resistance groups could legitimately force US-occupation troops to withdraw from the country.

He added that the withdrawal of foreign occupation troops from Iraq was “non-negotiable,” as in early 2020 parliament passed a resolution calling for the full withdrawal of the occupying forces in the wake of the US assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and PMU deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes.

In March of this year, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a precision missile strike against a Mossad base in the city of Erbil.

Speaking exclusively to The Cradle, a senior Iranian security source revealed that three Mossad agents were killed during the strike.

In another exclusive, the official spokesman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party’s Erbil office, Azad Jolla, confirmed that the Israeli spy agency Mossad has long been active in the capital of the IKR.

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Several US military convoys come under attack in Iraq

May 15 2022

Iraqi resistance groups have stepped up strikes against US military convoys in recent months

ByNews Desk

US soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar, western Iraq. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Susannah George, File)

US military convoys have come under attack by unknown militant groups in several Iraqi cities, according to a 15 May report by Mehr News Agency.

Citing local sources, the report states that three US military logistics convoys came under attack in the Iraqi cities of Al Diwaniyah and Samawah.

There have been no reports about the details of the damages, casualties, nor of any groups claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Another attack on a US military convoy, also in Al Diwaniyah, was reported by Sabereen News on 11 May.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq have seen an uptick in recent months after Baghdad’s failure to implement a law passed by parliament to expel foreign occupation forces from the country.

The vote came in the days following the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy-chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in 2020.

Roadside bombs have also recently targeted US forces in Dhi Qar and Anbar.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to only lay down their arms after the full withdrawal of US forces in Iraq.

Recently, US troops stationed at Harir Air Base in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) opened fire on a number of houses and one car in Erbil’s Basrma district on 9 May.

The Governor of Basrma, Jangawar Azhgayi, told Rudaw that US troops were conducting drills when the accident happened. He also confirmed that no casualties were reported.

A video released by Telegram news channel Sabereen News on 28 April allegedly showed the transfer of ISIS fighters by two US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters inside Iraq.

Over the years, US occupation forces in Iraq and Syria have faced several accusations of collaborating with the Takfiri armed group, despite claims to the contrary.

In August 2017, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported seeing US choppers transporting ISIS fighters in and out of the city of Deir Ezzor multiple times.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that a new airdrop was carried out in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, by the forces of the International Coalition … reliable sources confirmed to the [SOHR] that the International Coalition transported members of the ‘Islamic State’ organization.”

الرئيس الأسد في طهران: الحلف القويّ يزداد قوّة

الجمعة 13 مايو 2022

المصدر: الميادين نت

جو غانم 

استراتيجيّات دمشق وطهران المشتركة، فقد تجاوزت بأشواط بعيدة هوامش العلاقات والمكاسب والمصالح السياسية.

الرئيس الأسد في طهران: الحلف القويّ يزداد قوّة

في الشكل السياسيّ العام، قد لا تُشكّل زيارة الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد إلى طهران، يوم الأحد 8 أيّار/مايو، مفاجأة لمتابعي الملفات السياسية في المنطقة والعلاقات بين البلدين الحليفين، حتى لو ابتعدت نحو 3 سنوات عن الزيارة السابقة، فهي تأتي ضمن الحراك السياسيّ البينيّ المتوقّع في أيّة لحظة، وذلك ربطاً بطبيعة العلاقات بين البلدين، وبتطورات المنطقة المرتبطة بكلّ تفاصيلها السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية بالعاصمتين اللتين شكّلتا محور الأحداث في المنطقة، ووجهة أهداف كلّ المشاريع الدولية للإقليم على مدى العقد الأخير على وجه الخصوص.

لكنْ، ومن جهة أخرى، إنّ هذه الزيارة بعيدة كلّ البعد، في الشكل والمضمون، عن كونها زيارة روتينيّة أو تواصلاً عاديّاً ودوريّاً بين قيادتي بلدين حليفين أو صديقين، فمعظم الحراك السياسيّ الإقليميّ والدوليّ الذي شهدته المنطقة في الأعوام الأخيرة، وما رافقه من تطورات اقتصادية مفتعلة أو قسريّة، وتحرّكات أو خطط وهجومات عسكريّة، كان يستهدف فكّ هذا الحلف المتين بين البلدين أو على الأقلّ إضعافه.

إن دمشق تحديداً تلقّت أكبر قدر من الاستهدافات والضغوطات والإغراءات التي تركّزت بمجملها على هذا البند – الإيرانيّ والمقاوم – الثابت في طريقة التعاطي معها منذ انتصار المقاومة الإسلامية في لبنان، واندحار العدو الصهيوني من الجنوب في العام 2000، ثم اجتياح العراق ودخول مشروع “الشرق الأوسط الجديد” حيز التنفيذ، حتى اللحظة.

تأتي زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى طهران بعد أقلّ من شهرين على زيارته العاصمة الإماراتية أبو ظبيّ، والتي اعتبرها العديد من المحللين والمتابعين وقتذاك منعطفاً مفصليّاً في السياسة الدولية والإقليميّة حيال الشام، بعد 10 سنوات من محاولات تحطيم سوريا بكلّ السبل، وكسر إرادة دمشق الوطنيّة، وعزلها في أقصى زوايا الضعف السياسيّ والعسكريّ والاقتصادي، لترفع آخر راية بيضاء يمكنها نزعها من مزق خيمة المقاومة، بعد أنْ صبغ العالم الغربي وأدواته الداخلية والإقليمية خريطتها كلها بلون الدم الأحمر. 

لقد قيل الكثير عن زيارة الرئيس الأسد للإمارات، وما سيليها، وذهب البعض بعيداً في الحديث عن نجاح العمل الغربي – العربيّ بإحداث خرق على خطّ دمشق – طهران، متّكئين على تداعيات الحصار الخانق الذي تعانيه سوريا، وحاجتها إلى طوق نجاه يُبعد شبح الجوع المُخيّم على بيوت مواطنيها ومؤسساتها.

وهناك من تحدث عن تحقيق العرب المطبّعين مع العدو الإسرائيليّ نقاطاً جديدة تخدم مشروع العدو، على حساب مشروع المقاومة التي تقف دمشق وطهران على رأسه وفي قلبه.

وقد تحدّثنا حينذاك في “الميادين نت” عمّا أثبتته دمشق دائماً بأنّ كل تلك التحليلات والاستشرافات تثبت جهلاً بالسياسة السورية وثوابتها الوطنية والاستراتيجية، وتنمّ عن ضعف في قراءة حقيقة طبيعة العلاقات السورية – الإيرانيّة، واستسهال في دراسة النتائج والتحديثات الاستراتيجيّة المتتالية التي عمل ويعمل عليها محور المقاومة الممتد ميدانيّاً من طهران إلى أقصى الشمال والشرق السوريّيْن، مروراً باليمن والعراق ولبنان، وبمركزه فلسطين المحتلة.

لذلك كله، يأتي هذا التواصل السوري الإيرانيّ الجديد، وكل تصريح أو جملة وردت خلال هذه الزيارة على لسان الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد، والسيد علي خامنئي، والرئيس الإيراني إبراهيم رئيسي، لتعطي فرصة جديدة لمن يريد قراءة الحدث كما ينبغي، ولاستشراف مستقبل المنطقة انطلاقاً من إرادة “محور القدس” وخططه ومشاريعه لمنطقته وشعوبه، لا من زاوية المشاريع والخطط الأميركية والإسرائيلية للمنطقة، والتي تهاوت وتتهاوى تحت ضربات هجوم مضادّ على امتداد ساحات المقاومة في المنطقة وميادينها، وصولاً إلى ميدان الصراع العالميّ الأشمل حول العاصمة الأوكرانية كييف، وعلى مشارف الحدود مع حلف الناتو.

لقد أصرّ الرئيس الأسد بدايةً على تذكّر الشهيد قاسم سليماني، ودوره الكبير في النضال في مواجهة المشاريع الغربية في سوريا تحديداً، وفي المنطقة عموماً، ومحبته لسوريا ومحبة سوريا له، ودوره في ترتيب زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى طهران قبل 3 سنواتٍ.

وحين يكون اسم اللواء قاسم سليماني، بكلّ ما يعنيه هذا الاسم لأهل المقاومة وأعدائها الذين استهدفوه شخصيّاً، فاتحة الحديث بين قادة البلدين، ويكون خلَفه اللواء إسماعيل قاآني الذي رتّب هذه الزيارة وحضر كل تفاصيلها، فهذا يعني أننا لسنا أمام لقاء روتينيّ وعاديّ لقادة سياسيين عاديين، بل أمام لقاء بين قادة ميدانيين يقاتلون كتفاً إلى كتف لبلوغ غايات استراتيجية كبيرة تتعدّى كلّ ما هو عاديّ وروتينيّ في العلاقات بين الدول.

نحن هنا، وبناءً على كلّ كلمة قيلت في هذه القمّة أو خبرٍ رشح عن كواليسها أمام لقاء بين قادة محور مقاومٍ يتحدّثون لغة واحدة، ويستهلّون كلامهم ويختمونه بالحديث عن المقاومة وحاضرها وجدواها ومستقبلها وطرق تصعيدها وحصد نتائجها، ويبحثون في السياسة من قلب هذا السياق تحديداً، وتبدو وحدة الحال بينهم أمتن وأقوى من أيّ وقت مضى، منطلقين من واقعٍ عمليّ واستراتيجيّ اشتغلوا عليه معاً لسنوات طويلة، وقدّموا فيه الكثير من الأثمان الباهظة والتضحيات النفيسة، ويرون أنّ نتائجه حتى اللحظة باهرة وعظيمة، وتستدعي ظروفه الراهنة لقاءً مثل هذا للتباحث والتشاور ووضع الخطط الاستراتيجية القادمة. 

إنّ فلسطين تشتعل تحت أقدام المحتلّ الذي يتخبّط تحت وقع عمليّات فدائيّة يعجز عن التعامل معها، كما يعجز عن القيام بردّ عسكريّ شامل ومدمّر كعادته في أزمان خلت على مدن فلسطين وقراها، حيث تهدّد قوى المقاومة الفلسطينية العدو بالويل والثبور إذا ما أقدم على ذلك أو على اغتيال أيّ قائد من قادة المقاومة، والعدو يعرف أنّ المقاومة جدّية وقادرة، وهي على قدر التهديدات هذه المرّة، ويعرف أنّ فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية التي تُشكّل عصب هذا المحور، أذابت الكثير من الفروقات والتناقضات والخلافات لمصلحة الهدف الأسمى، كما يعلم أنّ هذا العمل استلزم جهد جميع أطراف محور المقاومة لبلوغه، وعلى رأسهم طهران ودمشق. كما أنّ الواقع الميدانيّ في سوريا واليمن والعراق، والسياسيّ – الانتخابيّ – في لبنان، يُظهر تقدّماً كبيراً وراسخاً لقوى محور المقاومة، مقابل عجز واضح للمحور المعادي وأدواته المحليّة.

وانطلاقاً من هذا كلّه، فإنّ حديث قادة المقاومة في سوريا وإيران خلال هذه الزيارة عن نظام عالميّ جديد هو حديث يصدر عمّن ساهم وشارك في صنع هذا النظام على مستوى الإقليم على الأقلّ، الأمر الذي ساعد كثيراً القوى الدولية الحليفة والصديقة، وعلى رأسها روسيا والصين، في السير باتّجاه المواجهة مع النظام العالمي الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة، والسعي إلى إزاحته وإرساء نظام جديد.

لقد ساهمت دمشق وطهران وقوى محور المقاومة في المنطقة بشكل أساسيّ ومباشر وفاعل في كسر أخطر المشاريع الغربية والإسرائيلية لمنطقتنا في السنوات العشر الأخيرة وإفشالها، وها هو الرئيس السوريّ بشار الأسد يقف إلى جانب إخوة السلاح في طهران – بعد حديث عن لقاء جمعه بالسيد حسن نصر الله قبل الزيارة إلى طهران – ليعلنوا معاً تمتين هذا الحلف الاستراتيجي، ويبحثوا في سبل ترسيخه وتقدّمه على جميع المستويات، وخصوصاً الاقتصاديّة منها، وذلك بعد أنْ بلغ المستوى العسكريّ والأمني درجة كبيرة من الوضوح في التقدّم والأفضليّة.

 ولعلّ تدشين خطّ ائتمان إيراني جديد باتّجاه سوريا، بالتزامن مع الزيارة، لإمداد دمشق بموارد الطاقة اللازمة للفترة القادمة، أفضل مؤشّر على طريقة العمل الواثق الذي تنتهجه قيادة البلدين. 

من هنا تحديداً، يجب أن يعيد المهتمّون في الإقليم والعالم قراءة العلاقات الثنائية بين سوريا وإيران، قبل أيّ قراءة في تفاصيل النشاطات السياسية التي تضطرب وتعتمل في المنطقة، والتي تشتغل دمشق وطهران معاً على هوامشها المتاحة لتحقيق إنجازات سياسية واقتصاديّة مدروسة تماماً، ولا تخرج عن المصلحة العامة لاستراتيجية المحور، فيما قد تحقّق بعض الهدوء وربط النزاعات على عدة جبهات وميادين، قد يبدو أنّ المحور الآخر يستفيد منها مرحليّاً أو يحدّ من خسائره على الأقلّ. 

وحين يركّز قادة سوريا وإيران في أحاديثهم خلال هذه الزيارة على شعوب المنطقة العربية وموقفها من القضية الفلسطينية، والهوّة الساحقة بينها وبين قادتها وحكوماتها، وهو ما تجلّى في الاحتفال بيوم القدس العالميّ، فإنّ الرسالة تعني تماماً وتحديداً الثقة بقدرة أهل المقاومة وشعبها في المنطقة على عزل كيان الاحتلال الإسرائيليّ، ورهان قادة محور المقاومة الثابت على فشل كلّ محاولات التطبيع العربية مع هذا الكيان المؤقت، أو دمجه في المنطقة ككيان طبيعي ينتمي إلى جسم الإقليم. 

هذا الأمر تحديداً يُظهر موقف دمشق وطهران الدائم من التطبيع، ويضع حدّاً للتأويلات الجديدة والضعيفة التي برزت بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد إلى الإمارات العربية المتحدة في آذار/مارس الماضي، وخصوصاً أنّ الرئيس الأسد أكّد في تصريح له خلال زيارته طهران أنّ مجريات الأحداث في المنطقة “أثبتت مجدّداً صواب الرؤى والنهج الذي سارت عليه سوريا وإيران منذ سنوات”، وخصوصاً في مواجهة الإرهاب والمشاريع الغربية للمنطقة. وغنيّ عن القول إنّ دمشق وطهران تصنّفان كيان الاحتلال قوّة إرهابية عالميّة مدمّرة، كما تصنّفان الجماعات الإرهابية المتطرفة أدوات لهذا الكيان وللغرب الراعي له.

من المفترض أن يكون كل تعويل خارجيّ أو إقليميّ على كسر حلف طهران – دمشق أو إضعافه قد سقط في هذه الزيارة، كذلك المراهنات على تداعيات الحصار الغربي لسوريا، والحديث عن محاولات عربيّة لإحداث خرقٍ من خلال الانفتاح على دمشق وتعويضها اقتصاديّاً وسياسيّاً، فالاستراتيجية الوطنية السورية تعمل على مسار آخر تماماً، بعيد كلّ البعد عن المقايضات السياسية والاقتصادية، وهي ترى أنّ أيّ انفتاح عربيّ أو دوليّ عليها فرضه صمودها وقتالها المرير على مدى 10 سنوات، وإلى جانبها الحليف والشريك الإيرانيّ، وباقي الحلفاء في محور المقاومة والعالم.

وقد كان تمتين الحلف الاستراتيجيّ بين البلدين وجميع قوى محور المقاومة الموضوعَ الرئيسيّ في هذا اللقاء، وجرى البحث في كلّ السبل الواجب اتّخاذها فوراً لتعزيز هذا الحلف، ولسدّ كلّ نقص اقتصاديّ على جبهاته الداخلية، فقد كان المسؤولون السوريون والإيرانيون يوقّعون اتفاقيات وتفاهمات اقتصادية جديدة، حين كان الرئيس الأسد يقول للمرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامئني والرئيس إبراهيم رئيسي: “إنّ ما يمنع الكيان الصهيونيّ من السيطرة على المنطقة هو العلاقات الاستراتيجية السورية الإيرانية”، وهو السياق الذي اتّبعه جميع المسؤولين في البلدين في تصريحاتهم أثناء الزيارة وبعدها.

ولعلّ قول وزير الخارجية الإيرانيّ السيد أمير عبد اللهيان بعد اللقاء إنّ “زيارة الرئيس الأسد فتحت مرحلة استراتيجيّة جديدة بين البلدين”، وحديثه عن “العزم الإيراني السوريّ على الرقيّ بالعلاقات الثنائية وصولاً إلى أفضل مستوى لائق”، يدلان بشكل واضح على النحو الذي ستجري فيه الأمور على هذا الصعيد في المرحلة القادمة. 

بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد هذه لإيران، هناك زيارة لأمير قطر على رأس وفد رفيع إلى طهران، وذلك بعد وقت قصير من إعطاء واشنطن أمير قطر صفة “الحليف الاستراتيجيّ”، وفي هذا مؤشّر على أنّ طهران ودمشق استطاعتا وأد جميع الرهانات التي جرى العمل عليها طوال السنوات العشر الماضية، والتي كانت تهدف إلى إسقاطهما وهزيمتهما أو عزلهما تماماً على الأقلّ.

 ومن الواضح أنّ انتصارهما وتقدّم حليفيهما الروسيّ والصينيّ على الجبهات العسكرية والاقتصادية على مستوى العالم، يدفعان دول المنطقة إلى السّعي نحو تعزيز العلاقات معهما، باعتبارهما قوّتين لا يمكن تجاوزهما بعد الآن. 

أمّا استراتيجيّات دمشق وطهران المشتركة، فقد تجاوزت بأشواط بعيدة هوامش العلاقات والمكاسب والمصالح السياسية العادية بين الدول، وبلغت مرحلة العمل كقوّة واحدة مع الشركاء في قوى المقاومة في المنطقة، وها هي تلك الاستراتيجية تعمل بأقصى قوتها على أرض فلسطين المحتلة الآن، إذ تُكمل المقاومة الفلسطينية مهمّة رسم النظام الإقليميّ الجديد.

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

Andrei Martyanov: Debunking Fakes – May 9th, Zmeinnyi Island fiasco, Pentagon, Fakes, Nuclear subs in… Black Sea

May 10, 2022

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The Value of Russia’s Contract Army in Modern Warfare (Rostislav Ishchenko)

May 05, 2022

Source

Attacks on headquarters and “what did we do?”

https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20220422/1033832507.html

April 22, 2022

Translated by Leo V.

Modern warfare is very difficult to wage. Especially a long war. On the one hand, the population of any country is easily excited and demands severe punishment for the insidious enemy, smashing his capital to rubble in response to the theft of a chicken from our territory. On the other hand, people like war only as long as the losses associated with it do not personally concern them.

After the very first difficulties, cries of “the German queen”, “treason in the palace”, “incompetent leadership” began. And after a couple of months, deputies and generals shouting about treason, under the hooting of armed gopoti (feminine men), they force the abdication of their own monarch, not considering it a betrayal.

The task of any leading government is to maintain a balance between victories at the front and peace in the rear. The ideal is achieved if these two sides of life do not intersect at all: the army is fighting somewhere, the media reports every day about the captured settlements, destroyed enemies and equipment, advancement for tens of kilometers and other “flags on the turrets”, and behind that lives a familiar life, weakly distinguishing on the screen the frames of the past war from the frames of the current war.

A modern contract army allows such a war to be waged. The American Army, its NATO allies and PMCs suffered cumulative losses in Afghanistan comparable to the losses of the Soviet Army in the Afghan war. But if for Soviet society 13 thousand dead in 10 years became a terrible tragedy that shook the foundations of the USSR, then the West simply did not notice its losses. Although earlier, during the colonial wars of the 50-70s of the last century (up to the Vietnam War), they really noticed.

The fact is that both the West, up to and including Vietnam, and the USSR in Afghanistan, had a draft army. That is, each family of a conscript, until he served, felt the threat of sending their son (or grandson) to the front and subsequent death or serious injury. The human psyche is so arranged that we perceive an eventual threat more acutely than a real one. When a real danger comes, you can fight it and the brain concentrates on the fight, forgetting about fear. If the danger is postponed for the future (“hovering in the air”), the brain concentrates on this danger, the person feels helpless in the face of the threat, since it is impossible to fight what has not yet come, the psyche begins to decompose.

The fighting that is waged by a contract army (or a mixed one in which only volunteer contract soldiers go to hot spots) is not perceived by every family as a threat. Only contractors who voluntarily chose such work associated with risk can die. Working in the police is also associated with risk, as well as the work of rescuers and many other professions. Society long ago, centuries ago, got used to the presence of constantly risky professional groups and did not react to it too sharply. In the same way, medieval Italians were absolutely not interested in the fate of the condottieri (soldiers signing the “condotta” – this is how the Italians of that time called a military contract. The results of the battles were of interest only insofar as they could bring profit or cause damage to their city, and therefore to its entire community.

In terms of the psychological stability of society to war and losses, a contract army has serious advantages over a draft one. But it also has its shortcomings. The contract army does not have such a large trained reserve. This is a group of professionals that can only be replenished by the same professionals whose previous contract has expired, but they do not mind signing a new one. The conscripts of such an army (if it is a mixed conscription army, as it is now in Russia) are needed mainly to protect the rear at home, maintain order in the barracks and military camps, but most importantly, to get acquainted in practice with the terms of the future contract – the bulk of contract soldiers (at least in peacetime) are conscripts or recently served, who have decided, have chosen a military specialty for themselves and who have decided to continue their service by contact.

The limited reserve makes each individual soldier a valuable resource, which, in turn, determines army tactics that involve the maximum preservation of personnel. The captain of the condottieri or the commander of the European mercenary army of the XVII-XVIII centuries, only then does it mean something if he is able to attract the maximum number of soldiers under his banner, and they will go to him, if he fights successfully, his people eat well, earn a lot, and rarely die.

Therefore, European tactics until the advent of mass armies of the XIX century (in which the soldier became expendable) consisted entirely of maneuvers and small fights. The commanders tried to defeat each other, eliminating the risk of a general battle. Modern generals, commanders of contract armies, quickly come to the conclusion, which has been fairly forgotten over two centuries of domination of mass armies on the battlefields – a well-prepared and trained professional soldier is an independent value, he must be protected more than technology. The workers will make new equipment or repair the old one, but military professionals is something that “women don’t give birth to.” A professional must be brought up, recruited for military service, motivated, trained and prepared. It takes years and it becomes truly golden.

Times have changed and in order to save personnel, they are now using not a maneuver, but the consistent destruction of the enemy by artillery, aircraft and missile weapons. Ideally, infantry and armored vehicles set in motion and occupy cities and villages when the enemy has already completely or partially lost combat capability. They do not break through battle formations, but finish off an enemy that has already been brought to this condition. Bloodless or almost bloodless blitzkriegs, like the Crimea in 2014, are rare and, as a rule, due to a combination of circumstances, among which the surprise of the strike is the final task, the main thing is the demoralizing lack of reliance on the local population by the defending side, as well as the complete military-technical superiority of the advancing side, which moreover, has the massive support of the local population.

So, a modern contract army in its classic form fights for a long time and economically. But this does not impress the population, which is hungry for beautiful victories on TV (especially since family members do not die at the front, but watch the same TV). Even more, it does not suit politicians. A long war does not make it possible to accurately calculate the political risks. Everything that is outside of six months or a year is subject to sudden critical changes and is not calculated.

Faced with the need to wage a protracted campaign, politicians (at least part of the political elite) prefer the conclusion of a compromise peace, without achieving the decisive goals declared in advance, to uncalculated risks. This is how it was with the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. We recently encountered a similar attempt during the Russian special operation.

However, our main enemies (the US and the EU), having used sanctions weapons against Russia in the hope of an economic blitzkrieg, they found that a quick economic victory is impossible – the Russian economy survived, and in the medium term (2-4 years) their sanctions will destroy their own economy. As a result, there were statements about the need to defeat Russia on the battlefield.

But for Ukraine, this is not enough. Ukraine can drag out the conflict for six months, a maximum of a year, but its resource base does not allow it to last longer. That is, the time during which Ukraine can hold out, the West would need to spend on expanding the theater of operations and bringing in new members of the anti-Russian coalition, ready to field armies. This is not a trivial task, but, given enough time, it can be solved.

Accordingly, Russia needs to either reduce the activity of the West in order to wait for the collapse of its economy, after which it will not be able to wage an active hybrid war against Moscow. Or minimize the duration of hostilities in Ukraine in order to deprive the West of a pretext and opportunity to expand the conflict.

The latter is possible either with the help of a compromise peace, which not only will not be accepted by Russian society, but the West will not allow Ukraine to conclude it. Either with the help of intensification of hostilities, which is in conflict with the basic tactics of a contract army, but is achievable with a large number of former contract soldiers who have served, but still romanticizing the war (including those with experience in PMCs) of a medium (35-45 years) age.

At the same time, one must understand that they will present higher requirements for security and monetary maintenance. But the most important thing is that this is far from an inexhaustible source of endless reserves, as in the usual mobilization of a draft army. It is possible to attract several tens of thousands, and perhaps even a couple of hundred thousand people at a time. But that’s where the main line ends. That is, all the problems of current operations will have to be solved based on the finiteness and limitations of the available forces and the absence of a ready and trained reserve to continue high-intensity operations outside the autumn of this year.

So, we again return to the contradiction, which consists in the need for strict economy of available resources on the one hand, and the acceleration of the breakdown of Ukrainian resistance on the other. Part of our society, instinctively feeling the presence of this contradiction, offers a radical way out in the form of the promised “attacks on headquarters”, and demands to hit directly on Washington and London.

This option could be considered as a working one, but society is not morally ready for the possible costs. The same people who demand a massive nuclear strike on the United States, as soon as they hear the term “nuclear war” and “retaliation strike”, in the best Ukrainian traditions, they start shouting “what is that for?!” and “how dare you even think of a nuclear war!”

Such reaction confirms that, despite all the problems of recent years, we are still one people. But this also means that the possibility of a sharp increase in rates, and the option of destroying convoys with weapons for the Kiev regime in the territories of Western countries has been exhausted for us at this stage. The people, accustomed to seeing the war on TV, are not ready for the possible consequences of such decisions outside their window.

Consequently, the value of a prompt, effective and successful operation against the Ukrainian group in the Donbass is greatly increased. In fact, a general battle is now beginning there, on which depends not the fate of the “special operation” with all its “stages”, but the fate of Russia’s war with the West for its existence.

Andrei Martyanov: Nuclear false flag, timing and victory in Ukraine – Geopolitical Reality

April 23, 2022

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Mind tricks: Why resistance to Israel and imperialism are called ‘Shia causes’

April 20 2022

The Arab and Muslim street remains firmly opposed to western imperialism and Israel. So their Arab Sunni rulers began calling all resistance ‘Shia.’

By Omar Ahmed

Would Sunni Arab monarchs be able to continue conspiring with the west and Israel without labelling those who resist collaboration as ‘Shia?’Photo Credit: The Cradle

The past several decades have seen the political ascendency of Shia Muslims in West Asian geopolitics. While initially ignited by Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, it was the aftermath of the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 which accelerated this political shift by paving the way for Iraq’s Shia majority to govern.

A year after US troops occupied Iraq and overthrew its Sunni president Saddam Hussein, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, fearing a growing influence of Iran among Iraq’s Shia majority and their regional coreligionists, coined the phrase “Shia Crescent.” This so-called ideological belt, it is hypothesized, runs from Tehran through several Arab capitals, including Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut, and later Sanaa.

The idea has been criticized as it treats the Shia as a monolith and greatly exaggerates the extent of control or influence Iran exerts over the region.

Tehran’s efforts to forge ties with friendly governments, powerful political parties, and militia forces are arguably based on pragmatism and self-interest rather than sectarian ideology. Among the state and non-state actors that provide Iran with its regional strategic depth – and therefore, influence – are Sunnis, Druze, Christians, Alawis, Zaidis, and other non-Shia populations. This alliance is more commonly – and accurately – known as the Axis of Resistance and its fundamental tenet is opposition to both western imperialism and the Zionist project, and a desire for self-determination.

Axis of Resistance

With Tehran at its nexus, this network consists of both state and non-state actors. Notable Shia factions include Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and Afghan and Pakistani brigades.

Sunni Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also considered to be a part of the axis, and an armed affiliate of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Resistance Brigades (also known as Saraya), is composed of Sunnis, Maronite Christians and Druze. At the state level are the mostly Zaidi, Ansarallah-led, de facto government of Yemen and the Alawite-dominated government of Sunni-majority Syria.

While not part of the axis per se, Sunni-majority Algeria has also consistently opposed Zionism and could strengthen its ties with Iran, especially in light of growing tensions with neighboring Morocco whose government has recently aligned with Israel.

Traditional western-aligned Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have all expressed their own concerns about this Shia-majority, ‘Iran-led’ axis, and along with Israel have opposed the Resistance Axis. It is due to these mutual interests that there have been several proposals for a “Sunni-Jewish alliance.”

Arab normalization with Israel

This new public alliance tangibly materialized in 2020 with the signing of the Abraham Accords and the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE, Sudan, Morocco and Bahrain (the latter is a Shia majority nation ruled by a Sunni royal family). Certainly, it ended years of speculation that there were indirect, covert ties between Tel Aviv and several Arab states.

However, it is important to differentiate between the policies of these governments and the popular sentiments among their citizens. According to an opinion poll carried out between 2019-2020 by the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), the majority of the Arab world (88 percent) opposes any normalization with Israel. This includes the Persian Gulf: “Refusal to recognize Israel is proportionally the highest in the Gulf region,” the report found.

Nevertheless, last month’s Negev Summit ushered in an unprecedented level of security cooperation between Israel and Arab states and may be a precursor to an ‘Arab-Israeli NATO‘ equivalent intent on confronting the Axis of Resistance, especially over heightened fears of a nuclear-powered Iran, should efforts in Vienna to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) fail.

The Palestinian issue

After the humiliating and resounding failures of pan-Arab nationalism to liberate occupied Palestine following the Six Day War in 1967, Egypt lost its position as the leader of the Arab world. This was cemented after Egypt made peace with Israel under Anwar Sadat in 1979, the same year as Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

As one of, if not the most pressing and long-standing Arab and Muslim issues of our time, the Palestinian cause was essentially abandoned by the Sunni Arab leadership, only to be championed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its regional allies. Symbolically, the first statesman to visit revolutionary Iran was Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat who was given keys to what was once the Israeli diplomatic mission-turned Palestinian embassy, as it remains to this day. “We shall liberate the land of Palestine under the leadership of Imam Khomeini,” Arafat declared during his historic visit.

Significantly, during the 1990s, Iran’s support to Palestinians was not merely diplomatic but military too, as Iran has consistently been the main patron of Palestinian armed resistance factions Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), something acknowledged by the movements themselves.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, itself established with the help of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has also been instrumental in assisting Palestinian factions in training and developing weapons capabilities. Early last year, IRGC Aerospace Force commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated, “All the missiles you might see in Gaza and Lebanon were created with Iran’s support.”

‘Iranian-backed’ doesn’t make these ‘Shia causes’

Well before the Abraham Accords, there were signs that a regional narrative was being developed to aid Arab autocrats in breaking with the popular causes of the Arab/Muslim world, namely resistance to Zionism and western imperialism.

Two years after King Abdullah’s ‘Shia crescent’ narrative began to be employed, the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war broke out. Although a historic ‘Arab nation’ victory against Israel was achieved that year, in a new public turn, the Arab League and the Saudis in particular were instead scathing in their criticism of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah for what they said was an unprovoked and irresponsible conflict.

We have now reached an epoch, whereby vocal or material support for a plethora of resistance efforts in West Asia is seen as being ‘Shia’ or even ‘Persian’ rather than Arab or Muslim causes. These include the central issue of Palestine, as after all at the crux of it – that is to say armed struggle – it is only the Resistance Axis that now provides support where it materially matters.

The Palestinian cause has not always been a ‘Shia’ cause, argues Hussain Abdul-Hussain of the pro-Israel Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who alludes to the anti-Palestinian sentiments in South Lebanon before the rise of Hezbollah. He claims – a criticism parroted by the pro-west Sunni monarchs – that Iran “found in Palestine a good tool to undermine the sovereignty of Arab Sunni governments” and to win over support from “Arab Sunni masses.” This assessment disregards the fact that even before the revolution, under the rule of Iran’s Shah, Iran’s religious and secular opponents were popularly pro-Palestine and opposed the Shah’s support of Israel.

Who else will oppose Zionism and western imperialism?

In Iraq, there is a lingering threat from pockets of ISIS remnants and legitimate grievances about continuing US military presence, which is likely to continue for years to come. Both of these threats to Iraqi sovereignty have been targeted by “Iranian-backed Shia militia,” many who are an integral part of Iraq’s armed forces in the form of the PMUs. Ironically, these anti-ISIS forces were in fact initiated by a religious ruling from within Iraq, independent of Iran’s diktats.

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, is in Yemen which has been bombed and besieged almost relentlessly for seven years by a US/UK-backed and armed, Saudi-led coalition. Yemen’s resistance to this foreign aggression is led by the Ansarallah movement and its allied Yemeni armed forces. Here too, the Arab Sunni monarchs’ narrative has played a nefarious role, labelling Yemen’s resistance as ‘Shia,’ where in fact they are mainly Zaidis, who are in many ways closer to Hanafi Sunnis and who pray in Sunni mosques. As Iran and its regional axis support anti-imperialism, they are naturally more aligned to the Yemeni resistance, who are almost always now labelled as ‘Iran-backed’ or ‘Shia’ for their resistance against decades of exploitation and subjugation by Saudi Arabia.

For the divisive case of Syria, supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state against the aggressions of hostile states has also been cast as a ‘Shia’ cause, despite the fact that Syria’s Shia community – not to be confused with the Alawites – form a very small minority in the majority-Sunni country. Yet when contextualized as an important actor in the Axis of Resistance, in particular as a transit point between Iran and Lebanon and occupied Palestine, the sectarian designation becomes apparent.

The common denominator for these conflicts is that there is an opposing force to the Axis of Normalization and its US backer. It has become imperative, especially for the burgeoning Sunni Arab-Israeli alliance, for these forces to be deliberately cast as ‘Iranian-supported Shia proxies’ in order to dampen their own populations’ support for popular resistance.

Arab and Muslim populations everywhere would otherwise likely support operations to purge western military interventionism and Israel’s aggressions from West Asia. But say ‘Iran,’ ‘Persia’ or ‘Shia’ and the Arab Sunni elite manage to confuse and quash mass popular resentment of their own malign behaviors.

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

Nasrallah: The war in Ukraine unmasked the racism and hypocrisy of the West

April 19, 2022

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on March 8, 2022, on the occasion of the Day of the Wounded.Source: video.moqawama.org

Translation: resistancenews.com

[…] O my brothers and sisters, the events happening around us in terms must strengthen our awareness, our lucidity and our understanding of things, the conclusions we draw from them for the current equations, as well as the lessons and teachings we learn from them. This brings me to the current events that are currently occupying all minds. I start with the events between Russia and Ukraine to state that these are very important events in terms of lessons and learning. As last time, I will just mention some brief points before I come to the internal Lebanese situation.

The first point is that the U.S. representative to the Security Council said in addressing Russia, “Any attack on civilians is considered a war crime, and we are recording all events.” In the sense that the US is monitoring everything closely, and will then try Russia for its (alleged) war crimes. That’s what she said to Russia. But what does she say about the massacres against civilians perpetrated by the US in all its wars? No war waged by the US happened without attacks on civilians, massacres, civilians killed, atrocities against civilians and civilian infrastructure, etc. From the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose environmental and health effects are still felt today, with traces and effects that persist to this day, to Iraq, the siege of Iraq, the starvation of Iraq and the death of tens of thousands of Iraqi children due to the siege, then the invasion (of Iraq in 2003), etc. According to the Americans themselves, they have killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians. How many times have American planes or drones bombed Afghan wedding ceremonies, turning them into funerals, and then claiming that they were training camps, despite the presence of women, children and old people? But they claimed that they were training camps. What about the Zionist massacres in Palestine for more than 70 years, and the massacres Israel regularly perpetrates? What about the Israeli-Zionist war crimes in Palestine? What about the siege of Gaza? Today, the whole world is shedding tears because this or that city in Ukraine has been under siege for 5, 6 or 7 days. But Gaza has been under siege for many years, for 15 years! But the world remains silent.

What about the massacres of the Saudi-American aggression in Yemen, and the tens of thousands of civilian martyrs in Yemen, children, women, men, old and young? And the entire civilian infrastructure is destroyed in Yemen. What about the siege imposed on Yemen for the past 7 years? And currently, the siege is increasing on oil derivatives (fuels), and we saw yesterday the angry demonstrations in Yemeni cities. But the whole world remains silent about this. Why is this so? Simply, and don’t mind me saying it so bluntly, it’s because all these people are not White, they are not blond and they are not blue-eyed – even if in reality there are some blond and blue-eyed white people among them, but it doesn’t matter. These people do not belong to the world of the White man. I’ll go even further than that: for the United States, even those who belong to the White man’s world are only means, tools, instruments, and have no human value.

This is the case with Ukraine [the US has no hesitation in sacrificing the Ukrainian and European population in general to advance its interests]. Thus, based on the logic of the representative of the United States, it would have been necessary today, before threatening Russia or other countries with trials, to establish dozens and hundreds of sessions to judge the Americans, the British and the Western and European armies for their crimes in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Africa, in all corners of the world, in India, Pakistan… It is these files that we must start by examining if we want to base ourselves on these principles.

This hypocrisy and double standard is confirmed day after day. Last Friday, in Peshawar, Pakistan, during Friday prayers, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing dozens of people, including the Imam of the mosque, and injuring dozens more. And the whole world remained silent. This is natural. Because these takfiris suicide bombers are Made in CIA, Made in America. They serve the American project. The whole world must remain silent because it is the US and its tools in the region. Day after day, it is confirmed that the American “values” do not respect humanistic principles, morals, international law, fundamental rights, etc. Nothing matters to them but their political and economic interests and their hegemony. When their political interests ask them to condemn, they condemn. When their political interests ask them to support, they support. On the subject of the massacres perpetrated by Israel, the United States is not content with not condemning, they prevent the Security Council from condemning them! They prevent the whole world from condemning them! They defend the (Israeli) murderers and butchers who shed (Palestinian) blood! This is the truth of the United States, which we have known (for a long time), but we take advantage of the current events to remind it, so that those who have not yet opened their eyes do so, and that those who already know gain in awareness and lucidity, and in clarity of vision.

Also, and this is my second point, every day there is more evidence in the world that trusting the United States is an act of imbecility. I say this to get to Lebanon next. Trusting the United States is stupid and foolish. It is an act of ignorance that endangers the global Muslim community, the nation and the interests of the people. This is what it means to trust the Americans. A few months ago, we saw with our own eyes, and the whole world saw, the experience of the United States in Afghanistan, and how they abandoned and forsook the country. The images of the planes and the airport are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Let’s not forget the statements of the Afghan officials who collaborated with the Americans for many years: the Afghan President on the run, who was 100% with the Americans, to the point that if they told him not to negotiate with the Taliban, he didn’t do it –while the United States themselves negotiated with them–, if they asked him not to go to Tehran, he didn’t go there, if they wanted him to go to such and such a country, he went there, and so on. He was 100% subservient to the US… So the former Afghan President says: “My mistake was to trust the United States and its international allies.” He claims that he gave them his opinion and thoughts, but they did not respond to him and did not take them into account, considering that it was their vision that was right, that they were the strategists, that the data was in their hands and that they had efficiently anticipated the consequences and results (of their actions), but the result is (the humiliating American debacle) that we saw in Afghanistan. They have abandoned (all their allies).

Today, in Ukraine, the whole world knows that the United States and Great Britain in particular (are the main culprits of the crisis). The rest of the European countries are really poor wretches. It is clear that a number of European countries did not want this problem, like Germany for example, Germany in the first place, and also France to some extent. Other European countries felt that they would be trampled and sacrificed (on the altar of NATO’s aggression against Russia), that their interests were in great danger. The United States, and with them Great Britain, which has left the European Union, have aggravated the situation in Ukraine and pushed it into the lion’s den. But of course, they acted according to precise calculations. For Biden has announced in his strategy that his priority is the fight against Russia and China. With China, the confrontation has its own calculations and its own ways. And as for the confrontation against Russia, Biden is certainly not going to wage a world war against it, because he is not capable of it, and so he has thrown Ukraine against Russia to prevent any agreement between Ukraine and Russia and to provoke this war.

This is demonstrated by the fact that after the first few days (of war), we can all listen on television to the statements of the President of Ukraine, his head of government, his foreign minister and his deputy, and his advisers. What do they say? “They let us fight alone.” Because either (the U.S.) had promised Ukraine that they would fight with them in case of war (against Russia), or, because of the trust of Ukrainians in the U.S., they believed that they would fight alongside them. And that is why Ukrainian leaders are now expressing that their hopes have been dashed. They say they have been left alone to fight. It was the Ukrainian President who said so. Ukraine is calling on the United States (and NATO) to fight on its side, but they are responding that they cannot endanger their States and their people and risk a devastating world war for the sake of Ukraine. I just said that in their eyes, even the White man has no value. (They will not risk a nuclear war) for the sake of Ukraine, for the people of Ukraine, for the White man in Ukraine, in any case. They are not ready for that. “Fight on your own, dear friends. Because as far as we are concerned, we are not ready to fight.” And that’s why they say every day that they will not send any American soldiers to Ukraine, no American planes to Ukraine. But it is you, the United States, who caused this situation and called this catastrophe on Ukraine!

Of course, my statement is not an invitation to the United States to go and fight Russia in Ukraine. I say this only to draw lessons from the current situation, for all those who trust the United States and place their hopes in them. The Ukrainian President asks (the US) to establish a no-fly zone in the skies over Ukraine to prevent Russian planes from hitting them. But they reply he gets is “Sorry, we can’t, because that would mean shooting down Russian planes, which would lead to war, and we are not ready to go to war with Russia for the sake of Ukraine.” Ukraine is calling for a total Western embargo on (Russian) oil and gas, which some countries are ready for, but others have responded frankly that they cannot do without Russian gas. Russian gas is still being sold, and its price has risen. So look at (the inconsistency): on the one hand, they impose sanctions on Russia, and on the other hand, they buy gas from it at high prices. That’s a (telling) example. The same goes for the Ukrainian request to obtain warplanes: the West refuses, because this would make it participate directly in the war. Are there not lessons to be learned there? They let Ukraine fight alone, because they are not ready to go to war for its sake. At most, they impose sanctions, a blockade, consistent with the American objective of weakening Russia. The US is acting in its own interest, not in the interest of Ukraine. This is the truth.

Today, if we could enter the hearts and minds of Ukrainian officials, we would find a feeling of maximum abandonment and neglect. And that’s why (Zelensky) starts to come down from his pedestal: he announces that he is ready to negotiate, to discuss the neutrality of Ukraine and other Russian demands. Why is he starting to reconsider – if his American masters allow him, of course? Because he has realized that those who promised to stand by him, those in whom he trusted and in whom he placed all his hopes, those who put him in this situation, have abandoned him in the middle of the road. I and you have known this lesson (that the United States are treacherous) by heart for a very long time, but I repeat it because Biden is a new proof of it. And before coming to Lebanon, I conclude on the international situation by pointing out the moral collapse of the West. The West lectures us about Western civilization, morality, humanistic values, human rights, etc. But the situation shows their moral decay. Look at how they treat refugees. Black Africans are treated differently, as well as Asians, Muslims, etc. There is discrimination on the basis of religion, race, skin color. Is this the famous Western civilization that they harp on day and night, presenting it to us as a model to follow? Whole States are acting in this way, in an official way! One of the Presidents of these countries, in order to justify this decision (to discriminate in favor of the White Ukrainian refugees), answered that it was the will of his people, who had elected him on this basis. It is therefore a racist culture, which has no connection with humanism or morality!

As far as Lebanon is concerned, I would like to say to the (pro-Western) political forces that if they aspire to please the US, they will never succeed, because the American demands are unlimited and never stop. If anyone thinks that the US can be satisfied with this or that demand, they are deluding themselves, because tomorrow they will demand one, two, three, a hundred, a thousand other things. Their diktats do not stop at any limit. And satisfying them is detrimental to Lebanon’s interests without giving us any compensation. What did the Lebanese officials get in return for their submission? We are already deprived of electricity, gas and dollars by the American sanctions or vetoes, what more could they do?

Lebanon voted against Russia at the UN, when it could have chosen to abstain, as 35 countries did. This is what Lebanon’s national interest demanded: abstention. The Prime Minister of Pakistan said a few days ago, in the face of Western pressure for his country to take an anti-Russian position, “We are not your slaves.” This is an excellent position. It would be good if Lebanon would one day dare to stand up to the American embassy and say, “We are not your slaves.” This would be a proof of freedom, patriotism, sovereignty, independence. But the worst thing is the statement of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our level of submission is such that the US embassy demanded that this communiqué on Russia and Ukraine be amended to be more virulent against Russia, and this rewriting was made directly by the US embassy. […]

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The fog of war and the global paradigm shift

April 13, 2022

Source

By Fabio Reis Vianna

Perhaps the maxim of the Brazilian thinker José Luís Fiori that “expansionism and war are two essential parts of the machine that produces power and wealth in the interstate system” has never been so pertinent and seems to be confirmed at the exact historical moment we are witnessing.

The extraordinary events that resulted from the Russian intervention in Ukraine, which began on February 24, leave indelible marks and confirm some of the perceptions that have already been mentioned in other articles by us.

The western-led international order is clearly being questioned in its hierarchy of power, and the war in Ukraine is a clear symptom of this questioning.

What really causes astonishment, however, is the perception that this war aims at something much bigger than it might seem at first sight, because it would not be a regional war, but a war of global proportions: a hegemonic war.

The paradigm shift represented by the Russian intervention in Ukraine consolidates, therefore, the path of a new international system, more fragmented, and where Western power is weakened. In this scenario, the tectonic plates of the international system are slowly moving in the face of the new, and unprecedented, world that is unfolding.

Therefore, like it or not, the elites of countries like Brazil, so subservient to the security strategy of the United States, are being pushed towards a consensual solution in the direction of the Eurasian experience through the BRICS. In this way, the brazilian military, so reactionary and obedient to Washington, is facing a new world, apparently already understood by the diplomatic tradition of “Itamaraty”, and even by the powerful Brazilian agrobusiness lobby.

In the opposite direction, the blindness of the European elites causes astonishment by feeding a game that plunges Europe back into what it has always been: the great stage of military interstate competition of the last 500 years.

Therefore, taking this terrible premise into consideration, the armistice that made possible the creation of the European Union, as well as the common currency, would have been a mere interregnum of peace, until the next war.

Retaking its tragic place in the classical international system, Europe is once again the scene of the old theater of death, and the maxim that “peace is almost always a truce which lasts for the time imposed by the expansive compulsion of the winners, and the need for revenge of the losers,” has never been more apposite.

In this context, the german humiliation represented by the American veto of the Nord Stream II gas pipeline is paradigmatic. On February 7, in the middle of the White House, and even before the Russian intervention in Ukraine, Joe Biden publicly disavows the newly appointed german chancellor Olaf Scholz, stating categorically that the Nord Stream II pipeline would be stopped.

This attitude could be considered the trigger for Russian intervention and the opening of Pandora’s Box for the new world that is opening. Besides representing, in symbolic terms, the humiliation of Germany as a sovereign country, it consolidates the definitive “Coup d’Etat” in the European integration project.

With Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky being a kind of spokesman of a script written in Washington – or, who knows, Hollywood – the repeated attacks on European leaders who have worked so hard for the normalization of Russian-European Union relations, as is the case of the recent attack on former chancellor Angela Merkel, indicate that the instruments of fourth generation war, already used by the United States in other regions of the planet, are intensifying in the heart of the western alliance.

Not only the maintenance, but the deepening of the continuous and unlimited reproduction and expansion of the American military empire is a reality that became even clearer after the first Russian tank entered Ukrainian territory, even if this meant destabilizing, or even destroying, old and loyal allies.

In this sense, the old premise carried by many scholars of the “realist” school of International Relations, as well as by great thinkers of the World System, that the concentration of global power in a single state would be an essential condition for lasting world peace, falls to the ground.

The “Hyperpower Paradox” is confirmed as a slap in the face of the enormous theoretical consensus developed since the mid-1970s of the last century.

In other words, since the first minute of the US bombing of Iraq in 1991, which followed the 48 military interventions of the 1990s, and the 24 interventions in the first two decades of the 21st century – which in turn culminated in 100,000 bombings around the globe – the International System is immersed in a somber process of permanent, or infinite, war, which contradicts the Kantian utopia of perpetual peace reflected in the idea of hegemonic stability.

Thus, it was a mistake to consider that the unipolar global power that emerged with the victory in the cold war could exercise its hegemony in the name of peace and global stability, assuming, therefore, a responsible leadership and in the name of a great global governance.

On the contrary, what we have witnessed over the last 30 years is the escalation of interstate competition, with the reaction of other states to the insane and inconsequential process of power expansion carried out by the American military empire.

As a result, we find ourselves before a world that seemed to belong only to the history books; where the national interests of the great powers return with the force that, as it turns out, they never stopped having, but were only dormant.

This new (old) geopolitics of nations, therefore, leaves its clearest mark with what Russia imposes in its intervention in Ukraine: contesting the primacy that only westerners have the legitimacy to impose their will through war.

This is the novelty that shakes the structures of the International System.

In the face of this imminent war of global proportions, resulting from the Russian challenge and the intensification of the arms race – with the alarming return of Germany and Japan to the game – we are inexorably heading for a deepening of the interstate systemic chaos, as well as the escalation of systemic social conflict, particularly in Europe.

As in other moments in the history of the World System, Europe is once again the nerve center of the global power struggle. And as in other tragic moments in history, the behavior of European leaders is once again irrational; in the midst of a negative-sum game. The Europeans lose.


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.

Sitrep: A few of Mr Lavrov’s comments

April 11, 2022

While we wait for a video and transcript to be available, I’ve gathered these quotes from Mr Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya 24 –

Amarynth


“Our special military operation is designed to put an end to the reckless expansion and reckless course towards complete domination by the United States and, under them, the remainder of Western countries on the world stage.

This domination is built on gross violations of international law and under some rules, which they are now hyping so much and which they make up on a case-by-case basis,”

“Kosovo can be recognized as independent without a referendum. Crimea cannot, despite holding a referendum observed by [many international monitors],”

“In Iraq, 10,000 kilometers away from the US, they imagined some threat to their national security. They bombed it, found no threat. And didn’t even say they were sorry,” “But when right at our border they grow neo-Nazi ultra-radicals, create dozens of biolabs … working on bioweapons, as documents prove, we are told we are not allowed to react to those threats,” he added.

The EU’s role has shifted during the Ukraine security crisis.  Previously it didn’t act as a military organization “fighting collectively against an invented threat.” Lavrov said the change was the result of pressure put on the bloc’s members by Washington, which has pushed it closer to NATO.

“This is an utterly serious change, even in the policy that the EU and the West under US leadership – there is no doubt about it – began to pursue after the start of our special military operation. A policy that reflects anger, in some ways even frenzy, and which, of course, is determined not only by [the situation in] Ukraine, but by Ukraine being transformed into a foothold for the final suppression of Russia”,

Regarding Josep Borrell

When a diplomatic chief … says a certain conflict can only be resolved through military action… Well, it must be something personal. He either misspoke or spoke without thinking, making a statement that nobody asked him to make. But it’s an outrageous remark,”

“Western propaganda shifted gear into depicting Russia as pure evil and [Ukraine] as pure good. The current Ukrainian regime is presumably a beacon of democracy, justice, freedom that is drawn to everything European, to the values that Europe claims it always adhered to,” the minister said.

Hegemon USA’s History of War Crimes

April 7, 2022

Russia’s Sputnik News reported examples of US war crimes post-WW II.

My own examples follow below. First Sputnik’s:

The July 1950 No Gun Ri massacre occurred one month after Truman’s war of aggression on nonbelligerent, nonthreatening North Korea.

Covered up for nearly half a century, what happened took the lives of around 300 men, women and children.

From December 1968 – May 1969, US forces indiscriminately massacred thousands of North Vietnamese civilians in so-called “free-fire zones” during Operation Speedy Express — to cause maximum numbers of casualties.

In February 1991 near end of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, civilians and fleeing combatants were massacred along the so-called Highway of Death.

In May 1999 near Korisa, Kosovo, US terror-bombing massacred civilian refugees — ones who unsuccessfully sought shelter out of harm’s way.

In the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004 — during the Second Persian Gulf War — US and UK forces terror-bombed Iraqis with banned weapons, including white phosphorous, incendiary bombs, and radiological weapons.

Thousands were massacred in cold blood, largely civilians.

In October 2015, US forces terror-bombed a Kunduz, Afghanistan hospital on the phony pretext of targeting Taliban fighters.

Dozens were killed, dozens more injured.

During the siege of Mosul, Iraq in 2017, an estimated 40,000 Iraqi civilians were massacred on the phony pretext of combating US created and supported ISIS jihadists. 

Similar mass slaughter occurred in the same year against Raqqa, Syria civilians.

US genocides began by mass-exterminating countless millions of Native America to expand the nation from sea-to-shinning sea — by stealing their land, livelihoods and lives.

In his book titled, “A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present,” Ward Churchill explained that the nation’s indigenous population was reduced to at most 3% of its original numbers before it all began — by butchery and other forms of brutality.

During the infamous Middle Passage transatlantic slave trade — the African holocaust — millions perished en route in extreme discomfort.

Around 100 million human beings arriving in America were sold like cattle.

Describing the centuries-long horror, historian Howard Zinn said the following:

US slavery was “the most cruel form in history.”

It reflected a “frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was master, black was slave.”

Post-WW II US genocides occurred against North Koreans, Southeast Asians, Central and Latin Americans, Africans, other Asians, Yugoslavs, Afghans, Yemenis, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians and others.

With no end of it in prospect, unparalleled genocide has been ongoing by kill shots throughout the West and elsewhere since December 2020 — the human toll unknown because of coverup and denial.

If continues longterm, billions may perish out of sight and mind — unwanted people that US/Western dark forces want exterminated to more greatly empower and enrich the privileged few at their expense.

During America’s dirty 1898 – 1902 Spanish-American War against Spain to cede control of the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were brutally slaughtered.

US cutthroat killer general Jacob Smith ordered his troops to:

“Kill and burn.”

“This is no time to take prisoners.”

“The more you kill and burn, the better.” 

“Kill all above the age of ten.”

Then “turn (the country into) a howling wilderness.”

Few people anywhere suffered longer, more horrifically with anguish than Haitians for over 500 years and still counting.

They endured genocidal oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, untreated diseases, unrepayable debt, and natural calamities unprotected.

Along with strategic bombing to destroy an adversary’s economic and military might, US terror bombings targeted civilians to break their morale, cause panic, weaken an invented enemy’s will to fight, along with inflicting mass casualties and punishment.

Geneva and other international laws prohibit it. 

The Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907 Hague IV Convention’s Article 25 states:

“The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or building which are undefended is prohibited.”

Fourth Geneva protects civilians in time of war.

It prohibits violence of any kind against them and requires treatment for the sick and wounded. 

The 1945 Nuremberg Principles forbid “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity.” 

These include “inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war,” including indiscriminate killing and “wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.”

In virtually all US wars of aggression against invented enemies, the above and similar war crimes occur with disturbing regularity.

During the firebombing of Dresden, Germany in February 1945 — when what Russia calls its Great Patriotic War was virtually won — the US and UK gratuitously incinerated around 100,000 city residents.

The morally indefensible high crime was repeated against Tokyo the same month in similar fashion after virtual surrender by imperial Japan was rejected by Franklin Roosevelt. surrendered and accepted defeat.

In August 1945, Harry Truman gratuitously destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear immolation.

When WW II was virtually over, hundreds of thousands were killed.

To this day, future generations were scarred with birth defects and other serious health issues. 

During the post-WW II period, countless millions more were massacred during US imperial wars — accountability for the highest of high crimes never forthcoming.

Genocidal wars were waged against nonbelligerent North Korea, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and worldwide against unwanted people.

US use of chemical, biological, radiological and other banned weapons is well-documented throughout US history.

From smallpox infected blankets against Native Americans to chlorine gas during the US Civil War to today’s chemical, biological, radiological and other banned weapons, anything goes has been official US policy throughout its history.

Deadly dioxin-containing Agent Orange and nerve gas were used by US forces in Southeast Asia.

So were other terror weapons in all US wars of aggression.

It’s not a pretty picture. 

The self-styled indispensable state’s history is pockmarked with virtually every type crime imaginable at home and worldwide.

They’ve gone on by endless wars of choice against Native Americans to the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli to the present day at home and abroad worldwide — with no end of them in prospect.

Negotiations: a primer for Zone A residents

March 30, 2022

Okay, I am going to ask you to make a real effort and, for a while at least, drop your certitudes and what you believe is a good or a bad way to prosecute a war.  Instead, I am going to appeal to your common sense.

Long before the Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) in the Ukraine started, but following the Russian ultimatum, I indicated many times that what Russia would be doing is the following: ask for negotiations and if the other side rejects them, Russia would turn up the “pain dial”, slowly, step by step.  If the other side agreed to negotiations, but then used them to stall and negotiate in bad faith, same response: Russia would turn up the pain dial.  A little.  Step by step.

And do WHAT exactly next???

What is the point of turning on the pain dial and remaining silent?

The purpose of the pain dial is to convince your enemy to agree to substantive talks.  Conversely, that means that turning the pain dial WITHOUT offering talks simply makes no sense.

Yeah, yeah, I know, in Zone A NOT to negotiate with the enemy is a sign of manhood, virility, courage, prowess and being “Presidential”.  Which did not stop the Ubermacho Trump from… … negotiating with “Rocket Man” and then end up being totally screwed over by him.  So, I get it, when you are used to stupid politicians, you do not want negotiations, or you end up with SNAFUs like Biden telling the 82nd in Poland about “we you will be there” (that is in the Ukraine!).

But please understand that Russian politicians are not as stupid as yours.

And a country with smart and well-educated diplomats does not need to fear talks, quite the contrary.

Lavrov vs Bliken – you get what I mean?

Next, another Zone A hangup: the goal of a war.

In Zone A, wars are to be fought towards maximal destruction of lives and infrastructure.  That is what the US promises its enemies “we will bomb you to the stone age” and that is what Uncle Shmuel did to Iraq.  Only to eventually lose that war too (ditto for all the other wars the US has ever fought since WWII).

In Zone B people understand that the goal of a war is to achieve a political outcome.

As Ho Chi Minh tried to explain to his ignorant counterparts “you can kill ten of our men for every one we kill of yours. But even at those odds, you will lose and we will win“.

“Just” mass murder achieves very little and the little it does achieve is never long lasting.  And nobody looks very “Presidential” after getting his ass handed to him!

For the Kremlin, this is a no brainer: you always talk to anybody worth talking two, especially if these talks increases your chances to:

  • Lose less soldiers
  • Lose less equipment
  • Kill less people (on both sides)
  • Preserve the civilian infrastructure
  • Get a sense of how your enemy is doing and feeling
  • Prove to your own and foreign public opinion that you are using violence only as a last resort
  • Only slowly increasing the pain on your pain dial, thereby making each increase more sensitive
  • Save immense sums of money
  • Have somebody on the other side to sign a declaration of surrender
  • Allow the country which you defeated to recover faster and better

What did the US ignoramuses do in Iraq?

  1. First they did bomb it viciously and genocidally (Madeleine Aldumb admitted that openly!)
  2. Then they invaded with the “kill! kill! kill!” mindset.
  3. Then they declared victory.
  4. Then they got stuck and defeated.
  5. Then they shamefully had to run with their tails tucked.

General Shamanov vs General Petraeus – you get what I mean?

Now I do NOT want Russia to follow this no doubt “brilliant” US plan.

Turning the Ukraine into Iraq is NOT what Russia wants or needs.

So, and especially for those alternatively gifted or really mentally stuck in Zone A:

Russia is doing the absolutely correct thing by negotiating and talking with pretty much everybody and anybody.  The problem is not the fact of talks, it is the dismal way the Russians (superb negotiators but sub-pathetic PR people) presented the information, which they did only partially, rather ambiguously and with all the wrong faces doing the talking.

The benefit of this PR disaster was a wave of rage and patriotism which is now even way higher than it was at the initiation of combat operations.  There is a kind of an informal referendum going on in Russia where people vote with their feet to go to the local recruitment center and volunteer for combat in the Ukraine!

Now the center of gravity of this operation is clearly going to go to the big cauldron containing two more cauldrons in the Donbass.

Nobody really knows how many Ukrainian soldiers are left alive there, what their condition and morale are, and how much of their deep defenses still stand.  But here is what we do know:

  • This is the biggest Ukrainian force in the entire theater of operations
  • There are AT LEAST several TENS OF THOUSAND soldiers still left
  • These were the best trained and equipped forces of the Ukrainian military
  • The way the Nazis organized them is, roughly, that in each Ukrainian “brigade” there is at least one bona fide Nazi “battalion” tasked with making darn sure that nobody negotiates with the Russians or, if they do, that those who do quickly get dispatched.

In these conditions a direct assault by Russian forces is always an option, they have proven in Mariupol and Avdeevka that they can do that when needed.  I remind you that during WWII the Soviet Union liberated 1’200 (one thousand two hundred!) towns and cities from Nazi occupiers.  The Russian military knows more about urban warfare than any other army on the planet, especially modern urban warfare.

But it would be INFINITELY better to convince these Ukrainian forces (which are doomed, and they understand that!) to surrender and, for that goal, offer them some kind of “out” which would include some tangible concessions/rewards for those units who will accept the inevitable and surrender.

The same goes for the “big” top level negotiations in Belarus or Turkey.  Here is what Lavrov declared today about these talks.  The Ukrainian side agreed to:

  • No nukes for the Ukraine
  • No NATO for the Ukraine
  • No alliances of any kind and a neutral Ukraine
  • Give up any claims on Crimea and the Donbass

Now if you do not see these as major concessions, you have issues I cannot help you with.

I will just say that many Ukie propagandists instantly dismissed it all as “false” just as they have, apparently, “resurrected/transported” the two Ukrainian soldiers who tortured Russian POWs to a location in Kiev.  The truth is that these are painful and major concessions.  Hence the desperate Ukie (and, really, US!) needs to present ANY negotiations as “5min to total surrender” by the Russians – the reality is too awful for the leaders of the Empire of Lies to even contemplate, let alone admit.

Add to this the “disarmament” of the Ukraine by the Russian armed forces and you will see that things are going pretty fantastically well, especially for such a short and RELATIVELY small and limited operation.  At least that is true for the military aspect.  Info operations, alas, not so much 😦

Finally, and as always, I remind you that this is not, repeat, NOT, about the Ukraine.

Disarming and denazifying the Ukraine is only a means towards a much more important goal: the future collective security architecture of a post-NATO Europe which, in turn, is just the cornerstone of all of international security.

So, the goal is NOT to denazify the Ukraine, that is a means towards the goal, the real goal is to denazify the planet.

Oh I know, very few, if any, in Zone A will see that as anything but totally over the top hyperbole.  Why?

It’s a mental block: most folks in Zone A think of themselves and their country as somehow “indispensable”, but they are wrong.  Far from being indispensable, they need to be permanently re-educated (over several generations!) and eventually integrated into Zone B as a “normal”, morally and mentally sane, country.

This, by the way, also implies NEGOTIATIONS with the US, NATO and all of Zone A!

And if Zone A does not want to negotiate anything?  Correctomundo!  You turn up the pain dial, and ask again.  Then repeat until Zone A accepts talks.

It’s that simple, really.

My very last comment will be this: right now, the purely military aspects of the SMO are taking second place to the economic cataclysm which Zone A brought upon itself (and much of the world).  The Eurolemmings especially are only slowly beginning to discover the immene joy and privilege of being a member of the European Reichsgau of Empire of Lies truly is!

What can I say?  They SO richly deserve this….

And if all of the above is just Putinist propaganda, by all means, send a letter to the Russian General Staff, ask for a meeting, and explain to all these boneheads how warfare “your way” is so much superior to warfare “their way”.  Begin by listening all the heroic victories which your country has ever won.

Or apply to the CIA.  They actually might hire you! 😆

Andrei

Sitrep: Operation Z

March 29, 2022

Source

By Nightvision

Several big developments are giving us an idea of a shifting picture on the ground today. First let’s start with the fronts where the largest changes took place, and then give a broader strategic analysis.

-Many reports today confirm our previous determination that Russia is in fact conducting a major regrouping of its forces following what Shoigu today has called the successful conclusion of the main objectives of the first phase of operations:

“Shoigu: In general, the main objectives of the first phase of the operation have been achieved. The combat capabilities of the VSU have been significantly reduced, which allows us to focus our main attention and main efforts on achieving the main goal – the liberation of Donbass.

This is in conjunction with the announcement from RF that some VDV units will be withdrawn from the Kiev region as a sign of good faith for the negotiations.

Of course the Western press/analysts have predictably spun this news as, ‘Attritioned Russian forces are pulling out and downscaling their operation in order to concentrate on more realistic objectives in the east’.

There is a very informative thread by Scott Ritter today who explains the simple concept of a military ‘feint’ (misdirection, deception, diversionary tactics etc) we’ve often mentioned before in the discussion of Russia’s opening maneuvers which seemed to many of us who actually follow military matters, to be a ‘pinning strategy’ that keeps Ukrainian forces from redistributing and relieving their primary forces in Donbass and elsewhere.

“1/ Big Arrow War—a primer. For all those scratching their heads in confusion, or dusting off their dress uniforms for the Ukrainian victory parade in Kiev, over the news about Russia’s “strategic shift”, you might want to re-familiarize yourself with basic military concepts.

2/ Maneuver warfare is a good place to start. Understand Russia started its “special military operation” with a severe manpower deficit—200,000 attackers to some 600,000 defenders (or more). Classic attritional conflict was never an option. Russian victory required maneuver.

3/ Maneuver war is more psychological than physical and focuses more on the operational than on the tactical level. Maneuver is relational movement—how you deploy and move your forces in relation to your opponent. Russian maneuver in the first phase of its operation support this.

4/ The Russians needed to shape the battlefield to their advantage. In order to do this, they needed to control how Ukraine employed it’s numerically superior forces, while distributing their own smaller combat power to best accomplish this objective.

5/ Strategically, to facilitate the ability to maneuver between the southern, central, and northern fronts, Russia needed to secure a land bridge between Crimea and Russia. The seizure of the coastal city of Mariupol was critical to this effort. Russia has accomplished this task.

6/ While this complex operation unfolded, Russia needed to keep Ukraine from maneuvering its numerically superior forces in a manner that disrupted the Mariupol operation. This entailed the use of several strategic supporting operations—feints, fixing operations, and deep attack.

7/ The concept of a feint is simple—a military force either is seen as preparing to attack a given location, or actually conducts an attack, for the purpose of deceiving an opponent into committing resources in response to the perceived or actual actions.

8/ The use of the feint played a major role in Desert Storm, where Marine Amphibious forces threatened the Kuwaiti coast, forcing Iraq to defend against an attack that never came, and where the 1st Cavalry Division actually attacked Wadi Al Batin to pin down the Republican Guard.

9/ The Russians made extensive use of the feint in Ukraine, with Amphibious forces off Odessa freezing Ukrainian forces there, and a major feint attack toward Kiev compelling Ukraine to reinforce their forces there. Ukraine was never able to reinforce their forces in the east.

10/ Fixing operations were also critical. Ukraine had assembled some 60,000-100,000 troops in the east, opposite Donbas. Russia carried out a broad fixing attack designed to keep these forces fully engaged and unable to maneuver in respect to other Russian operations.

11/ During Desert Storm, two Marine Divisions were ordered to carry out similar fixing attacks against Iraqi forces deployed along the Kuwaiti-Saudi border, tying down significant numbers of men and material that could not be used to counter the main US attack out west.”

By the way, von Manstein, considered one of the greatest German WW2 generals famously employed such tactics, particularly in the same Donbass region against the Soviet forces, where he utilized feints and strategic retreats in order to capture a much larger encroaching force by way of misdirection and diversions). You can watch videos such as this one to see how an extremely agile mechanized force can employ diversionary tactics and misdirection to bait a much larger force https://youtu.be/vL1BiYvG-38

A source from Kiev further has reported that “Russia now has MORE armor units accumulated on the border than it did prior to the war…” This is extremely telling, and if true, a clear sign that a major phase 2 operation is in the preparatory stages. And there’s many sightings/videos of new forces coming in such as this one: https://twitter.com/MotolkoHelp/status/1508794997184897024

The full statement: Russia has pulled more equipment to the border than it was before the invasion – according to Ukrainian resources affiliated with the intelligence of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The intelligence community “Informnapalm” specifies that specifically in the Kursk region a huge amount of military equipment is recorded – more than it was on February 24th.”

(photo of earlier build up for reference)

-Now onto a few actual tactical updates:

By far the most actively successful theatre for RF forces has been Izyum. Kamyanka was mostly captured and there are now reports that fighting has been recorded as far south / down the road as Krestyshche (likely just advance/scout forces), which is right on the outskirts of Slovyansk. Similarly in the SW direction from Izyum, fighting continues around Barinkove and more and more forces continue to pour into this area via pontoon bridge crossings on the Donets river. This will become a bigger and bigger focus in the coming days as the “regrouping” pivots towards full Phase 2, as this area will become the main pincer of the north to enclose the ‘Great Cauldron’.

-In Mariupol, cleansing continues and Ramzan Kadyrov has flown in to help oversee the final stages of the Mariupol liberation and continue giving his troops morale on the frontlines. The city is divided into small pockets which are strategically being pushed by RF aligned forces towards the Azovstal factory so that they can concentrate and bottleneck all the remaining Azov forces there. The verdict is still out whether, as some have expressed, Russia will choose to “sacrifice the factory” once all of Azov is in there (via massive bombing), to get rid of them all in one shot, or instead cleanse it piece by piece so as to salvage it intact. The factory is an important industrial center that was once amongst the largest in the world for steel, so likely Russia is hesitant to completely destroy this heritage to Soviet industry.

And by the way, though we don’t know the exact force distribution in Mariupol, it has become clear that there are at least 3 distinct groups operating in several directions which have finally ‘linked’ at central points and are now often operating together. These are 1. the DPR forces from the north, the Chechen forces from the East, and now a special Russian Marine force from the West – what appears to be ‘Naval Infantry’. Several videos can be seen of these forces now operating in conjunction, though how the command is distributed between them is uncertain as of yet:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/aXEDgonE4vTY/?feature=oembed#?secret=6XCpE5tZ3f

Also, this might be graphic but a must-see. This is what Azov battalion has become in Mariupol: https://www.bitchute.com/video/lVf6xGHKXEBx/

A Ukrainian transport helicopter was also shotdown yesterday in a desperate last ditch attempt to save some of the Azov leadership. It tried to come in stealthily, flying low over the Azov Sea, bypassing Russian land corridor / radar coverage, but once it got in close it was nevertheless detected and obliterated.

-The administrative center building in Nikolayev was hit by Kaliber missile this morning. Official Ukrainian estimates claimed only 20-30 casualties (wounded plus killed), but chatrooms of Nikolayev have apparently begun to leak actual lists of casualties of confirmed casualty names on Telegram, and reports indicate there’s 200+ so far and possibly will be higher than the barracks of the 79th Brigade which was struck last week. Rumors after that hit last week stated that Ukraine command issued an immediate decree to no longer allow publishing of any ‘aftermath’ photos like the ones on the 79th which showed gruesome dead of the UAF. This means we likely won’t see much photo confirmation but the sheets with casualty names can be seen on the Telegrams of Colonel Cassad and others.

-In other news, Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee Vladimir Shamanov today has announced that ‘Russian Spetsnaz’ have caught some of the perpetrators of the horrific torture / war crimes done to our artillery troops on the eastern outskirts of Kharkov the other day. Here is his statement:

“Today they are lying at their feet, asking for mercy” – Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee Vladimir Shamanov claims that those who mocked Russian servicemen in Ukraine were captured by Russian special forces.

“Those who bullied our servicemen did not rejoice for long, after three days our special forces captured these bastards. Today they roll at their feet, begging for mercy. I will call their names. One bastard was called Sergei Velichko, nicknamed Chile. The second – Konstantin Nemechev. Both bastards grew up as Nazis from a fan group of the local Metalist football club. This is what they themselves told during the first interrogations. And so it will be with everyone who is unworthy, violating the Geneva Convention, to act with our prisoners of war.”

Some however are skeptical of these claims until Russian leadership produces photos/videos proving these people are captured.

-In economic news, the Ruble has now almost fully, miraculously recovered to its pre-war exchange rate against the USD.

Let’s recall that the West claimed the Ruble would catastrophically drop to 200 against 1 USD. Instead it spiked to a high of 130-150 and has been steadily rebounding, now almost completely back to normal, which was in the 75-80 range prior to February 24 and the onset of the special operation. This is a massive economic shock and humiliation to the entire West, to say the least.

On top of that, Russian stocks have opened back up and they are gaining positively as well:

-One last thing to note. I’ve said numerous times now that U.S. and Western equipment in general has been a catastrophic failure in the Ukraine. But there’s some additional important news that continues to reveal the veracity of these claims.

Firstly, this Pentagon reporter has stated that the Pentagon plans to buy hundreds of FEWER Javelin missiles this year than it did last year, DESPITE giving away thousands of them to Ukraine. https://twitter.com/JackDetsch/status/1508517753413636096

It is now clear that the Pentagon leadership has seen the utterly dismal performance of the Javelin and now wants to phase it out from U.S. forces. Remember, out of thousands of Javelins supplied, thousands of videos published by Ukraine, not a single successful usage of the system has ever been recorded. In fact the vast majority of successful Ukrainian defeats of Russian armor happens at the ends of legacy Soviet/Russian systems and mostly artillery. Russian forces continue to find Javelin units completely unused because Ukr troops have found them to be unwieldy and impractical in combat – too long to set up and use, too heavy to carry around, and not effective even when used. For urban combat where troops have to be as light, mobile, and agile as possible, the Javelin is absolutely worthless with its large CLU interface and overly-bulky design. The Pentagon has clearly seen the failure of the over-hyped system.

-In another sudden and unexpected report, the Pentagon now wants to scrap DOZENS of F-22’s.

https://www.rt.com/news/552870-pentagon-budget-f-22-jets-boneyard/

They have suddenly decided they want to ‘divert funding’ to the next generation platform. There is clearly connection here to something the Pentagon has witnessed in Ukraine that has left it scrambling to rethink its approach to modern warfare. You see all proxy wars are laboratories for Great Powers to test and assess their equipment. The F-22 was the flagship of the U.S. airforce, the ONLY plane forbidden by Congress to sell to any ally even in ‘export version’. The F-35 was meant for the export market while F-22 was supposed to be solely the unique and unmatched great hope and pinnacle of American engineering that would lead to victories in future wars. But it seems now that the Pentagon has had a taste of what modern Russian air defenses / radars are capable in Ukraine and is no longer confident of the F-22’s chances. It has suddenly scrambled to desperately dump the F-22 and prepare for the “next generation” platform titled the ‘Next Generation Air Dominance’ project, which would consist of heavily utilizing integrated drone warfare and possible drone swarms controlled by the pilot. This appears to indicate the U.S. sees no other way to defeat Russian air defenses and airpower in general apart from massive over-utilization of integrated drone saturation – it can no longer count on F-22’s after seeing how Russia has completely nullified the Ukrainian air and anti-air capabilities, which by the way were orders of magnitude greater than the capabilities of the Serbians in the 90’s who humiliated the U.S. air force several times.

-Also, following Lugansk Head Paschenik’s statements earlier, that a referendum would be conducted for Lugansk to officially join the RF, the head of DPR Pushilin today has also issued statements saying that the DPR will hold a referendum to officially join the Russian Federation but only after the conflict has ended. Either way, it is big news for LPR/DPR to look forward to after cessation of hostilities. If successful, this would add another massive 3.8 million population injection into the RF which, added to Crimea, would bring RF’s total population in the range of 148,000,000. Keep in mind, prior to the events of 2014, RF’s population was 143 million.

-Lastly, many people have been asking why Russia isn’t crippling Ukrainian internet capabilities. Today’s report claims massive Russian cyber attack has brought Ukraine internet connectivity to a mere 13% nationwide. 

https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/internet-provider-ukraines-military-hit-most-severe-cyberattack-invasion

Gonzalo Lira on Victoria Nuland (MUST SEE!)

March 28, 2022

Ukraine is not Palestine, Russia is not Israel

March 26, 2022

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (Photo: Government of Ukraine, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Issa Khalaf

Most people of goodwill and strong politico-moral sense who seek justice and fairness, all of us who are just plain human, naturally desire to be consistent in how we assess and judge the world outside us.  However, we cannot speak intelligently without acknowledging that one must navigate the inherent tension between moral-legal consistency and context and veracity.

There was no lack of just war theory academics, including within the rich Catholic tradition, actually arguing, at the time, that the 2003 US invasion and obliteration of Iraq, which killed hundreds of thousands, mostly civilians, displaced millions of mostly Sunni Arabs (decimating the core of the educated, secular, professional middle class), constituted a just war.

We cannot but be moved and outraged at the strong tormenting the weak.  Palestinians, at the receiving end for close to seventy-five years, are especially aware and sensitive to occupation, oppression, refugees, war.

But this is not the complete reality of and in Ukraine.  Yes, civilians are suffering and many escaping from active war zones—notwithstanding context or who is at fault, who is the victim.  Rare in war are there good and bad sides, villains and heroes.  Nor am I arguing the legality or otherwise of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, or that preemptive war is legal, or weighing the legal merits of Russia’s “responsibility to protect” in the Donbass.  And no, civilians should not be punished for the reckless idiocy of their leaders.

Neither the “might makes right” premise of the “realists” nor the war gods of “the liberal international order” is moral or legal.  Still, we can’t be mired in the exegesis of rights.

The argument for the Ukrainian state’s justice and presumed victimhood, its innocence and helplessness in face of Russian power, rings hollow.

What is particularly disappointing, are those Palestinian and Arab-Americans who seem to have accepted the received wisdom—including of young people tweeting their outrage, transferring their virtue signaling to a place many can’t find on a map—of legal and moral right for Ukraine.  Advancing basic arguments about double standards and inconsistencies in the application of international law and norms, viewing Ukraine as the recipient of unmitigated, unregenerate Russian aggression and brutality, emphasizing that international law cannot be selectively applied to Palestine and Ukraine, they presume to convince those who have never done right by them.

Palestine will not, ever, obtain redress, justice from the US/EU and certainly not if the Israeli ruling fanatics imbued with Zionist ideological craziness can help it.

The appeal to international law misses the essential geopolitical correctness of the Russian case, of aggressor and aggressed, aggravator and aggrieved, but also the implications for Palestine, the Middle East, and the world, of US/Western actions: specifically, at this critical juncture in history, the destabilization of international order and security, festering local conflicts and disputes, endless wars, and continuing impoverishment of the world’s under-classes.

Russia of course is a major power, with a great asymmetry in strength between it and Ukraine, thereby stymieing any further critical comparison, much less nuance, scrutiny or context.

Russia, it can be argued is acting out of defense, Israel is not.  Ukraine, backed by creeping, belligerent US/NATO expansion to Russia’s borders, demanding of its Western backers before the war to acquire nuclear capability is a real, present danger to Russian national security; Israel, armed with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, is a dangerous, destabilizing threat to regional and world peace.

Russia is not fighting a defenseless state, but one de facto allied and armed by US/NATO, with an armed forces count of about 300,000, including paramilitaries; Israel’s is perhaps the strongest military in the Middle East.

The Russian offensive is not motivated by ideologically-inspired expansionist motives; Israel is a hyper-expansionist, colonizing apartheid state.  Russia does not engage in dispossession and ethnic cleansing, Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia does not conduct war with criminality; Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia aspires to a secure, fair, economically prosperous neighborhood and world, Israel hinders this locally and doesn’t give a damn globally.  (For Israel’s extremely well-organized and financed supporters—aka lobbies—in Washington and other Western capitals, there’s only one state that comes first.)

Russia does not have an institutionally racist, exclusivist ideology, Israel and Ukraine do.  Russia is not a religio-ethnic or ethnolinguistic state, Israel and Ukraine are.  Ukraine is not a stateless, occupied, captive population, Palestine is.  Israel is interested in using the Ukraine conflict to “ingather” Ukrainian Jews to solidify its demographic lead and disappear Palestine, Russia does not do this in Ukraine or elsewhere.

The Ukrainian and Israeli regimes enjoy the support of the same imperial, global hegemon, are hostile to their neighbor(s), and are extremists unaware that their long term survival, security and prosperity hinges on peace and coexistence with the others within them and around them.  Both suffer from suicidal myopia.

With the exception of innocent people suffering, there’s little political or moral equivalence between Palestine and Ukraine, including schoolyard talk about Ukraine’s right to join NATO.

Residing in the US or other Western countries, apprehending from the centers of power, saturated with a monolithic narrative, you would believe that Russia’s leader is unspeakably evil, even neurotically demented, out of control, the Russian people deserving their comeuppance.  Russians’ vulgar cruelty, their crude methods in prosecuting war, indiscriminate killing of civilians, women and children included, is the Orwellian propaganda we’re fed, and apparently, legions of Americans and Europeans have internalized these lies.

There is another side to this narrative told by military experts worth listening to: Russia’s offensive is designed to minimize the physical and immoral impact of war, its movement methodical, patient, restrained.  It is simultaneously pursuing war and diplomacy; has not targeted vital physical and social infrastructure, including utilities; encircled but not leveled cities; created “cauldrons” around the enemy’s large military formations rather than annihilating them to effect surrender; opened humanitarian corridors everywhere for civilians to exit cities, provided food, water, medical care; and refrained from using air power (so far) to minimize damage to property.

The objective is not to kill and destroy, but to preserve.  Kiev has not been attacked for that reason, the Russians aiming to have their political demands met including neutrality and demilitarization, and thus ending the war.  (How Ukraine is politically-territorially-administratively organized after it’s over remains to be seen.)

Astoundingly, one would never know any of this. The leading newspaper of record and warmongering, The New York Times, beats the Ukraine victim narrative while insisting that Ukraine is stronger and Russia weaker than thought in this war.  What am I saying?  That people are indeed getting killed and uprooted; that stray munitions hit civilian buildings; that some low-level crimes may occur, but the killing and destruction by the professional, disciplined Russian military are comparatively small and unintentional.  Has anyone in American media verified any Ukrainian claim of destroyed, civilian-filled swimming pools, theatres, hospitals, shopping centers, art schools or investigated the Russian version?

Not that one lost life is morally defensible, but we cannot critically process without facts.

Contrast the Ukraine war with the inveterate display of Israeli barbarity.  Indiscriminate murder from air, ground, sea against defenseless populations, Gaza being the prime example; use of horrible weapons from cluster to phosphorous bombs; destruction of schools, hospitals, water systems, laying medieval sieges to punish civilians by starving them; use of human shields, sniping at old men, women and children; and all manner of crimes against humanity (not to mention unprovoked attacks against neighboring states).

These crimes are of course well documented, including dozens of UNSC resolutions regarding the Israeli occupation’s egregious violations of international law, much less any semblance of morality.

The Ukrainians aren’t much better.  Aside from their genocidal war against ethnic Russians, including unspeakable brutality in the Donbass, their army and hardcore Nazi formations have in fact terrorized and killed their own civilians to prevent them moving through the humanitarian corridors (as in the homicidal Azov battalion in Mariupol where 125,000 civilians are held captive), placed artillery and military formations in neighborhoods as a hostage to avoid Russian attack, moved into civilian buildings, used human shields, murdered journalists, those deemed to be politically incorrect towards war, and opposition figures, shelled their own civilian facilities, presumably accidentally, and blamed it on the Russians, and early on in the war, the regime’s security services murdered one of its own negotiators.

Ending the war is of the utmost urgency, but the Kiev regime is, under US pressure and its own extremists, stalling and escalating even when its army is scattered and surrounded, the US imperative being to maintain the stream into Ukraine of lethal weapons and neo-Nazi fighters and other assorted mercenaries trained by the CIA (and British) since at least 2015, and assiduously work overtime to cause a Russian quagmire even at the growing risk of a nuclear cataclysm.

It needs reiteration: Ukraine’s ruling military/oligarchic/xenophobic elite is intensely corrupt, right-radical, chauvinistic, and undemocratic, violently imposing its authority on a country of intensely divided identities.

This elite’s sociopolitical and cultural base is in parts of the western half of the country with its anachronistic Galician-Polish loathing towards Russia and ethnic Russians in Ukraine, and whose nationalists and crypto-Nazis view Russians as Asiatic mongrels.  Though accounting, with their supporters, for some 10 percent of the population, neo-Nazi and old-fashioned Nazi groups have had a huge, outsized effect on the state.

Many are familiar with the quote from a leading expert, the late Stephen F. Cohen, that Kyiv “encouraged” and “rehabilitated” neofascists, “even memorializing Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms and their leaders during World War II, renaming streets in their honor, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them…”

We are talking about monuments to western Ukrainian Nazis who, along with that other equally virulently Russophobic state, Poland, collaborated, in their territories, with the German Nazi occupation in the murder of millions of Jews in the Holocaust.

In the racist, supremacist realm, the Ukrainian and Israeli regimes ironically have much in common.

Aside from the war’s material and political realities, there’s the astounding matter of the “information war,” so tightly controlled and orchestrated by the West and which hands down leaves Russia in the dust, that most of us are clueless regarding up from down, war from peace, criminality from humanity, victim from victimizer, legal from illegal, fake from real.  The intense propaganda is directed at American and Western publics to convince them of war and economic sacrifice.

The information blackout and frenzied emotional manipulation by the mass and social medias, including a deluge of misinformation and manufactured stories and false images from other places and conflicts, the terrifying assault on dissenting voices in context of iconoclastic madness, the fear and censorship of speaking out makes this whole affair disgusting, rife with hypocrisy, and horrifyingly fearsome.

Which leads us to Volodymyr Zelensky, that erstwhile, scripted hero whose racism towards Palestinians exactly matches the screeching anti-Palestinian racists and killers heading the Israeli government.  One would think a hero is empathetic, altruistic, just, unselfish, honest, and much else.  Instead, Zelensky thinks Israel, towards which he feels a cozy kinship, is the sufferer and victim of the Palestinians.

A bizarre, unholy mix, this story, featuring cynicism, immorality, illegality, duplicity:

–A president-comedian-actor and a Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch, the wealthiest in Ukraine, who made and enriched Zelensky and financed his TV show (as well as his real presidential run) in which he played president and whose indoctrinating message was the wonderful utopia of joining NATO and the EU;

–This president in tenuous control of the armed forces and neo-Nazi formations and police state methods of the interior ministry and security services, ruling alongside radical nationalists and many in the regime who hate Jews;

–All regime factions super-racist towards the Palestinians and viciously anti-Russian;

–Tel-Aviv doing the aliyah-shuttle for Ukrainian Jews, not other Ukrainians, unless one counts the tokens;

–Israel involved in arming race-mixing-hating neo-Nazi militias and training nefarious elements;

–Israelis coming and going, feeling at home as if Ukraine were their business playground;

–All sides enabled by an ideologue-managed US, its “deep state” massively projecting its denial-rage, incapable of strategic empathy, apparently willing to blow up Europe than be denied global control.

The victims here are truly the Ukrainian people abused by all sides, followed by the rest of us.

-Issa Khalaf has a D. Phil. in political science and Middle East Studies from Oxford University. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

‘Israeli’ Operatives in Kurdistan Region Will Drag Iraq into War: Kataib Hezbollah

March 21, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

The Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah [Brigades] resistance movement said the presence of operatives affiliated to the ‘Israeli’ spy agency Mossad in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region will drag the Arab country into a military confrontation.

Speaking in an interview with Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV network, the resistance group’s spokesman Jafar al-Husseini warned against attempts aimed at turning Iraq into a launchpad for attacks on regional countries and stated that such bids will exacerbate the existing tensions.

He noted there is substantial evidence that ‘Israeli’ operatives are freely active in the Kurdistan region, and that the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] exports crude oil to the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories.

The spokesman of Kataib Hezbollah, part of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU] or better known by Arabic name of Hashd al-Shaabi, underscored that the Palestinian cause remains a cornerstone of Iraqi resistance groups’ doctrine, stating that the forces are coordinating with their Palestinian and Lebanese comrades.

Husseini went on to say that Iraqi resistance forces are on the great march of progress and are expanding their capabilities to defend the country’s airspace.

Last week, the spokesman for Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] said the elite military force will not hesitate to strike other Zionist bases in the Iraqi Kurdistan region if its officials do not dismantle them.

“It is our natural right to destroy any base from which any attack is carried out against the security of Iran and this is a red line” for us, Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif told Yemen’s al-Masirah network on March 17.

According to Sharif, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq Iraj Masjedi had on several occasions warned the Iraqi Kurdistan region about the presence of the Mossad base, which was recently attacked by the IRG, and two other similar bases.

“If Iraqi officials do not take action to remove other bases of Zionists in this country while our security continues to be threatened from this region, we will respond without hesitation,” the IRG’s spokesman added.

Days earlier, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq had said the latest IRG missile strike on secret Mossad bases in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region was strictly necessary, as operations against Iran’s security were being plotted and orchestrated there.

Masjedi said ‘Israeli’ operatives used the Iraqi Kurdistan region to plot and launch operations against Iran’s security, emphasizing that Iranian officials had time and again warned the KRG authorities against their activities, but to no avail.

The Iranian diplomat highlighted that the missile attack was carried out in order to safeguard Iran’s security, “and was neither intended to violate Iraq’s sovereignty nor was meant to insult the Arab country and its nation.”

In the early hours of March 13, a dozen ballistic missiles hit secret Mossad bases in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, reportedly leaving several Zionist operatives dead.

In a statement issued later in the day, the IRG indicated that the operation was in response to a recent ‘Israeli’ airstrike on the Syrian capital of Damascus, in which two IRG officers were martyred.

The IRG identified the two officers as colonels Ehsan Karbalaipour and Morteza Saeidnejad, warning that the Tel Aviv regime would pay for this crime.

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