The Complete History of Nasser, the Icon of Arabism [English Subtitles]

A must see to understand why Syria and its LION are WANTED

 

Iran and Hezbollah respond to Donald Trump

February 18, 2017

Iran and Hezbollah respond to Donald Trump

by Sayed Hasan

Since his election campaign, Donald Trump has not hidden his fierce hostility to the international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, calling it the worst of the agreements in history and promising to dismantle it. On February 2, 2017, following a conventional ballistic missile test by Iran that did not contravene the agreement, Trump said in a Tweet that Iran, as a dissipated student, had been “formally warned” and should be “grateful” for the “horrible” deal with Tehran by the Obama administration. On February 3, new US sanctions were announced by the US Treasury Department. And on February 6, in an interview, Trump declared Iran the “number one terrorist state”.

Sayed Ali Khamenei never concealed the fact that he considered the diplomatic efforts of the Rouhani administration vain, convinced that the United States were not sincere in their approach and would renounce their commitments. Iran had already denounced several times violations of the letter and spirit of the agreement by the United States under Obama, and is now threatened with new sanctions and even aggression, which can only strengthen a nation that has been submitted to 38 years of international and unsuccessful wars aimed at destroying the Islamic Republic, and is now a regional power that cannot be ignored. Tehran, which in addition to its traditional allies, Syria and Hezbollah, now has two major strategic allies, Russia and China, has responded with its own sanctions against the United States, and by a message of the Supreme Leader.

As for Hezbollah, which also became a first-class armed force after its victories against Israel and against the Daech nebula in Syria, it certainly constituted, with Iran, the main subject of discussion of the meeting between Trump and Netanyahu on February 15. Sayed Hassan Nasrallah also wanted to send a small message to Donald Trump before its holding.

PS: About the nuclear deal, see also The Triumph of the Islamic Republic and The Islamic Republic sticks to its guns

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Sayed Ali Khamenei : Trump Reveals the True Nature of America (video)

Speech by Sayed Hali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with commanders and personnel of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, on February 7, 2017 

The meeting was held on the occasion of the historic pledge of allegiance of Air Force officers to Imam Khomeini on the eve of the triumph of the Islamic Revolution.

Source : http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4625/The-New-US-President-Reveals-the-True-Nature-of-America

Transcript : 

[…] A Quranic ayah in holy Sura Noor says, “Their deeds are like a mirage in sandy deserts, which [the man parched with thirst] mistakes for water.” Like a mirage, a thirsty individual mistakes a piece of dry land for water. Later on when he gets closer, he sees that there is nothing: “Until when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing: But he finds God ever with him” [The Holy Quran, 24: 39]. He sees that there is nothing. Pinning one’s hope on shaitans is like this. Pinning one’s hope on materialistic and satanic powers is like this.

Employing reason and adopting a reasonable approach on different matters – matters related to diplomacy, management of domestic affairs in the country, resource provision, knowledge, industry and other such areas – is a necessary task, but trusting shaitans and trusting those individuals who are opposed to the essence of your existence is a grave mistake.  A power that cannot endure and accept the essence of the Islamic Republic’s existence and the essence of Islamic power cannot be trusted and relied on: “Like a mirage in sandy deserts, which [the man parched with thirst] mistakes for water.”

This is a statement that each and every one of us should keep in mind forever. Each and every person among the people of Iran should keep this in mind. You should try and work hard, you should show innovation, you should bring your real and God-given power to the arena and you should move forward with reliance on God and on His assistance and then God will help. However, if you sit and wait for Shaitan – the Great Shaitan – to come and help, then the ayah “Like a mirage in sandy deserts, which [the man parched with thirst] mistakes for water” will come true because no good comes from Shaitan.

Now, the gentleman that has recently taken office in the United States says that we should be grateful to America and to Obama administration. Why should we be grateful? We are not grateful at all. He was part of the same system that imposed those heavy sanctions on the people of Iran with the purpose of paralyzing the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation. They hoped to paralyze us. Of course, their hope was not fulfilled and it will never be fulfilled because no enemy can paralyze Iran. He says that we should be grateful, but this is not the case and we are not grateful at all. Why should we be grateful? Because of sanctions? Because of creating DAESH? Because of setting fire to the region? They set Syria on fire. They set Iraq on fire. Why should we be grateful? Should we be grateful because of supporting the fitna that they created during the elections of the year 1388 [2009]?

On the one hand, he wrote a letter to me expressing his respect, kindness and cooperation and on the other hand, he supported the seditionists openly saying to them that they had stood behind them, thus revealing their intention to provoke fitna in the country. This is the true face of hypocrisy. He was wearing that velvet glove to cover his iron fist. I have spoken about this many times.

We do not thank them at all. We know what they have done. We know what they were doing. He says that we should thank Obama and that we should be afraid of him [Donald Trump]! We are not afraid of you either! On the 22nd of Bahman [February 11th], the people will respond to these threats and statements on the streets. They will show what position the people of Iran adopt in the face of threats. We are not afraid of anyone’s threats either.

Yes, we thank to the mister who has taken office recently. We thank him because he saved us the trouble of revealing the true nature of America. What we having been saying repeatedly in the past 30-plus years – about political corruption, economic corruption, moral corruption and social corruption in the ruling apparatus of America – was fully displayed and manifested by that mister as he revealed the naked truth about America during and after the elections. In the present time too, he is showing the truth about America with the things that he is doing. He is showing what American human rights means- they put handcuffs on a five-year-old kid- this is their human rights!

The people of Iran have found their path. The people of Iran are pushing their movement forward and taking this path with logic, reason and reliance on God and they are doing so at great speed and in a self-confident manner. Today, the people of Iran trust themselves. Our youth are working with self-confidence. Our academic organizations and institutes are filled with new thoughts in the area of science. The same is true of the area of infrastructure and various other areas. Today, rationality is the first important issue in the country. However, it is accompanied by reliance on and trust in Allah the Exalted. We know that the people of Iran will surely achieve victory on this path and that they will attain their ideal results and desires.

God’s mercy be upon our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) who clarified the truths about these matters for the people of Iran during the 10 years of his blessed life in the beginning of the Revolution. You should look at Imam’s (r.a.) speeches. He identified the friends and the enemies. He knew who the people of Iran were and he identified the goals. The reason why Imam (r.a.) said over and over again that we should not trust Shaitan and the enemy and the reason why he said that we should beware of trusting the enemy was that he knew the enemy. Of course, we used to make these statements, but today they are on the screen and everyone is watching it. The behavior of that gentleman reveals what the true nature of America is and of the comments that they make about human rights, philanthropy and other such matters. This is what we can obtain from this situation and from deliberating on Imam’s (r.a.) statements.

I hope that the Lord of the worlds bestows success on you. I hope that by Allah’s favor, you youth will be prepared so that you can carry out the great task that befalls you. Your generation should carry out a great task. The generation before you accomplished great tasks, but there are other important tasks that you should accomplish. I hope that you will prepare yourselves with reliance on Allah the Exalted and that you will deliver this duty – which you have held in trust – to future generations.

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings.

Hasan Nasrallah: Trump must be thanked for his bluntness and stupidity (video)

Speech of Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, on February 12, 2017, during the funeral of Cheikh Hussein ‘Obaid

Source :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfOIOSg59Is

Translation :  http://sayed7asan.blogspot.fr

Lastly – on Thursday [February 16], if God keeps us alive, we will speak specifically about the regional situation, but allow me only to say a word to all those who have declared and written in the last weeks… (I have seen many statements) that Hezbollah is worried, that Hezbollah is intimidated, that Hezbollah is frightened. What is it about, friends? Trump took power. Yes, Trump is here. So what? What’s new?

The new, as said His Eminence the Guide Sayed Khamenei, may God prolong his noble life. What changes is that before, there was someone who had put on his face a veil of hypocrisy [Obama]. A veil of hypocrisy. He speaks to you in a convivial way, he sends you his greetings for your holidays, but what does he do? He imposes sanctions on you, he wages an international war against you, he makes thousands strikes that have killed thousands of civilians, he supports and becomes involved in wars like the one against Yemen where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, wounded, starved and besieged. He supports despotic regimes such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. He does all (evil) and creates Daech for you, so that it may sully your religion, your Prophet, your Qur’an, that it may shed your blood, take your women captive, demolish your society and your countries. But he’s jovial, and your heart is supposed to burn for him because his skin is black.

The new positive thing is that now there is someone who has put hypocrisy aside, and who says – and that is why His Eminence the Imam Leader [Khamenei] said, we should thank Trump because he revealed again the true face of the racist, cruel, criminal, murderous American government, which spills blood, represses liberties, seizes the wealth of others, plots unceasingly against the oppressed peoples.

Thank you! We are not sorry, we are grateful to Trump. Because since he took power, the real face of the American administration has been revealed, and the peoples whose discernment has been obscured and misled can finally understand it.

As for fear, it is something long gone (for Hezbollah). To all those who write, discourse, think, analyze, I say [in the name] of the white hair of Sheikh Hussein ‘Obaid, one of the great founders of Hezbollah in 1982 : We were here in 1982, and we are now in 2017. In 1982, we were only a handful of oppressed believers, fearing at any time to be captured by our opponents [Cf. Quran, VIII, 26]. The invincible Israeli army occupied half of Lebanon. 100,000 Israeli officers and soldiers were in Lebanon. 25,000 US, French, British and Italian officers and soldiers were in Lebanon [along with Israel]. There were the internal problems in Lebanon, the battleship New Jersey and others in the sea… And we were only a handful, we and the other members of the factions and resistant parties. And we were not afraid. We were not worried. We did not hesitate. Our cause was clear and certain. And after, after, after, George Bush came, with the armies again, with the battleships, aggressing countries, pushing Israel to war against us, but we were not worried nor frightened nor hesitant. We had the certainty that God would grant us victory.

This victory that God promised us in His Book, and which Imam Khomeini promised us, to Sheikh Hussein ‘Obaid, to Sayed Abbas, to the House of the brothers [founders of Hezbollah], when they went to see the Imam at the beginning of the creation of the movement, and he confirmed to them that the choice of the Resistance was the only one, and told them not to count on anyone, to expect nothing from whoever in the world, nor from us [Iran], but to rely on God and on yourselves, carry out the tasks that are incumbent on you.

And on that day, as the documents testify, on that day, when many in the Arab and Islamic world considered Lebanon to have entered the Israeli era, Imam Khomeini told the 9 [Hezbollah] people, including Sayed Abbas al-Musawi (former Secretary General of Hezbollah) and Sheikh Hussein ‘Obaid: “If you resist, I see victory engraved on your foreheads.”

This victory was achieved in 1985 (Israeli withdrawal in southern Lebanon), in 2000, in 2006, and is being realized today in Syria, in Iraq, and it will be realized in Yemen, God willing. Neither Trump nor his father nor his grandfather, neither George Bush, nor his father, nor his grandfather, or any of these racists, can infringe upon the courage, will, determination or faith of any of our children, so what about our men (adults) and our elders ?

That is why we are not at all worried but very optimistic, because when the White House is inhabited by a fool who (openly) displays his stupidity, this is the beginning of liberation for the oppressed in the world.

May God have mercy on our great and dear Sheikh, whose sad loss we regret, and may He make him dwell in His vast paradise, and raise him up with the martyrs, and let the peace of God be upon you all, His Mercy and His Blessings.

معادلة القرن ترامب والسيد: مَن يمنع الوهم ومَن يردع الحقيقة؟

معادلة القرن ترامب والسيد: مَن يمنع الوهم ومَن يردع الحقيقة؟

ناصر قنديل

– في الفوارق بين مدرستين في الحرب النفسية ظهرتا في حرب تموز عام 2006 جهد الباحثون والعلماء المختصون بعلوم الحرب، خصوصاً الحرب النفسية لتمييز الفوارق بين المدرستين، واحدة هي المدرسة «الإسرائيلية» التي ذاع صيتها خلال خمسين عاماً سبقت الحرب بصفتها من أقوى المدارس العالمية، حتى بدأت تدرّس في كليات الحرب الغربية بصفتها المدرسة النموذجية، التي حلّت مكان المدرسة الألمانية النازية ونجمها غوبلز الذي ذاع صيته في الحرب العالمية الثانية وكيف كانت خططه الإعلامية تنجح بإسقاط عواصم ودول بإطلاق إشاعة أو خبر، حتى صار غوبلز مدعاة سخرية بفعل الدعاية «الإسرائيلية» التي استهدفته كمنافس في علوم الحرب النفسية، ولم يبقَ من مدرسته إلا نظرية «اكذب حتى يصدقك الآخرون»، ونجح «الإسرائيليون» بتسخيف مدرسة غوبلز وتبوأوا الصدارة مكانها ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية. حتى جاءت المدرسة الثانية، مدرسة المقاومة في الحرب النفسية التي يمثل الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله بطلها الأول، ومؤسسها وصانع إنجازاتها، وجاء انتصارها في حرب تموز ليمنحها صفة المدرسة المتفوّقة على المدرسة «الإسرائيلية». وبدأت البحوث تسعى لتبيان الفوارق ومصادر القوة الجديدة التي نجحت بالتفوق على المدرسة التي نظر إليها العالم بإعجاب كأولى مدارس العالم المتفوقة في خوض الحرب النفسية وتحقيق النصر فيها.

– كان التفوّق الذي تختزنه المدرسة «الإسرائيلية» يقوم على فلسفة كيّ الوعي التي أطلقها مؤسس الكيان المحتلّ ديفيد بن غوريون، وقوامها اللجوء للقوة المفرطة بوحشية التدمير والقتل لتعميم ثقافة الموت كثمن لكل مَن يفكّر في مقاومة الاحتلال، ولاحقاً في استعمال كل مصادر القدرة الحربية والنارية في مناطق الألم لكل دولة تفكر باللجوء للحرب على «إسرائيل»، ومواكبة هذا السلوك الميداني بالرسائل الإعلامية والنفسية التي ترسخ فكرة العجز عن المواجهة والقدر المحتوم بالهلاك والفناء لمن يفكّر فيها أو ينوي سلوك طريقها، فيصير تصريح «إسرائيلي» صحافي كافياً لتراجع دولة عن بناء منشأة مدنية، مثل مشروع جر مياه الوزاني في لبنان عام 1964، ويصير اللجوء لإحراق طائرات شركة طيران الشرق الأوسط اللبنانيّة فوق مدرجات مطار بيروت، رسالة كيّ وعي كافية عام 1968 للقول إن كلفة الوجود الفلسطيني المقاوم لـ«إسرائيل» أكبر بكثير من كلفة مواجهته. وتنطلق حضانة لبنانية لحرب على الوجود الفلسطيني المقاوم من وحي هذه الرسالة.

– بعد ظهور المقاومة وتناميها في جنوب لبنان وصولاً للتحرير العام 2000 دخل اللاعب الجديد المنتصر في الحرب الواقعية التي حدثت فعلاً، ليصير شريكاً على ساحة خوض الحرب النفسية، بينما «إسرائيل» تواصل ما كانت عليه من دون أن تقوم بتقييم مدى صلاحية مدرستها على مواصلة الطريقة التقليدية ذاتها التي نجحت في الماضي من دون التحقق وفحص مدى صلاحيتها للحاضر والمستقبل. وقد ظهر من نتاج الحرب «الإسرائيلية» مع المقاومة أن كيَّ الوعي قد أخفق في ردع مئات من اللبنانيين صاروا ألوفاً عن تشكيل حركة مقاومة والسير بها حتى نهاية التضحيات وأعلاها كلفة، وصولاً لجعل المسار معكوساً بإيصال رسالة قوامها، «لا جدوى من مواصلة احتلالكم أرضنا»، بدلاً من لا جدوى من تفكيركم في المقاومة». وفي الواقع تلقت «إسرائيل» رسالة المقاومة وسارت في النهاية بموجبها عبر انسحابها عام 2000، فيما تعطلت الرسالة «الإسرائيلية» عن الوصول والفعل، ولم تنفع المكابرة «الإسرائيلية» والمضي قدماً في المدرسة نفسها في منع نمو المدرسة الجديدة للمقاومة، التي رسمت معادلتها الذهبية في ساحة بنت جبيل بالكلمة الشهيرة لسيد المقاومة التي لا زال صداها يتردّد «إسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت». وجاء كل شيء بعد هذا التاريخ لحرب إرادات يجب أن تحسم النتيجة لصالح تأكيد المعادلة أو نفيها، وبالتالي تثبيت أي من المدرستين أبقى. وكانت حرب تموز عام 2006 هي اللحظة التي ستحسم، كيّ الوعي أم وعي الكيّ وكيّه بوعي جديد. بعد الحرب أمكن للمقاومة أن تخرج وتقول مجدداً بلسان سيّدها، «نعم إسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت»، بعدما أضافت إلى مخزونها في الحرب النفسية معادلات من نوع، «أردتموها حرباً مفتوحة فلتكن حرباً مفتوحة»، وانتظرونا «لقد أعددنا لكم من المفاجآت ما سيغيّر وجهة الحرب».. وهكذا كان تفجير المدمّرة ساعر وسواها من المفاجآت، وصولاً إلى الرد على معادلة تدمير صواريخ المقاومة بمعادلة «حيفا وما بعد حيفا وما بعد ما بعد حيفا».

– تميّز التفوق الجوهري في مدرسة المقاومة بكونها لم تطلق معادلات تراهن على التهويل والخوف والردع النفسي في تجنيبها الاختبار العملي، بل تجنّبت إطلاق أي معادلة تخشى اختبارها الفعلي في الميدان، وربّما حرصت على جعل معادلاتها المعلنة أدنى مستوى من قدراتها الفعلية دائماً، فصارت قوة الردع النفسي مضاعفة. فعندما تقول المقاومة ما بعد حيفا لا يصل لعقل العدو التحسّب ليافا بل للنقب وإيلات، لأن المقاومة دائماً لديها مفاجآت. بينما بقيت مدرسة «إسرائيل» تقوم على توظيف ميراثها السابق من التفوق واستحضار ذاكرة أمجاد الحروب التي خاضتها لترمي معادلات أعلى من قدرتها على خوض اختبارها العملي، كما حدث مع معادلة «ما بعد الليطاني» في حرب تموز، أو «سحق حزب الله»، أو «تدمير القدرة الصاروخية وإسكاتها»، وكلها معادلات أثبتت الحرب أنها فوق قدرة «إسرائيل». بينما بدأ سيد المقاومة الحرب بمعادلة قوامها، لسنا كحركة مقاومة معنيين بالدفاع عن خط جغرافي معيّن، فقد يصل العدو إلى الليطاني وما بعد الليطاني، لكننا نعده بحرب يحمل فيها على ظهور جنوده أشلاء قتلاه ودباباته، وفرقه العشرة التي يقول إنه أعدّها لنا ستعود أشلاء مقطّعة. وانتهت الحرب عند خط الحدود وقد مُنع «الإسرائيليون» من التقدّم شبراً داخل الأراضي اللبنانية إلا كأشلاء رجال ودبابات، والخاتمة بنصر مدوٍّ لمدرسة المقاومة في الحرب النفسية.

– تظهر خطابات الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، أن المدرسة «الإسرائيلية» للحرب النفسية هي مولود من رحم المدرسة الأميركية، وأن ترامب يخوض حرباً نفسية، عنوانها كيّ الوعي، تهدف لتحقيق منجزات سياسية وميدانية بالرهان على الرعب والذعر من خروج أميركا للحرب، والرهان على التلويح بها لتحقيق أهدافها، من دون خوضها. ويبدو التركيز على إيران كقلعة لحركات المقاومة في المنطقة وسندٍ لها، هدفاً مباشراً للتحدي الأميركي الذي يسعى ترامب للتعامل معه، ويجهد مع شريكه بنيامين نتنياهو لوضعه تحت مجهر التصويب. ووفقاً لخطة مايكل فلين الذي رحل قبل أن يفرح باستقبال نتنياهو من موقعه كمستشار للأمن القومي، فالتصعيد الكلامي على إيران يجب أن ينتهي برسالة مضمونها أن على إيران أن تختار بين انسحاب حزب الله من سورية أو المواجهة المفتوحة. وهذا يعني تأمين متطلبات الأمن «الإسرائيلي» من الجبهة الشمالية الشرقية مقابل أمن الملف النووي الإيراني.

– تعاملت إيران بالتجاهل التام مع الرسائل الأميركية، وأرسل الإمام الخامنئي ردوداً من العيار الثقيل على التهديدات الأميركية، فعندما قال ترامب إنه سيلغي الاتفاق النووي، قال السيد الخامنئي إن كنتم ستلغون الاتفاق فنحن سنحرقه. وعندما قال الأميركيون إن الخيار العسكري على الطاولة ردّ السيد الخامنئي لماذا تبقونه على الطاولة هاتوه لنختبره في الميدان، ووصل تصاعد الاشتباك بمفهوم الحرب النفسية إلى الذروة، حيث لقاء نتنياهو ترامب يقترب، فخرج ترامب بمعادلة قوامها، سنمنع إيران من امتلاك السلاح النووي مهما كلّف الثمن، وهو يعلم أنه يقاتل وهماً، لأن الامتناع عن امتلاك السلاح النووي هو قاعدة الاتفاق الذي هدّد بإلغائه أولاً، ولأن الامتناع هو فعل طوعي معلَن من إيران ثانياً، ويصير التهديد الأميركي هنا كالتهديد للرئيس السوري ما لم يقبل بحلّ سياسي، وهو صاحب الدعوة الأصلية للحلّ السياسي، بينما كانت واشنطن صاحبة الدعوة للحل العسكري، ومنع المعارضة من قبول التفاوض، أو تهديد موسكو ما لم تقبل وقف التجارب النووية، وموسكو هي مَن يدعو لذلك. وهذا الحال هو التعبير عن هزال الحرب النفسية وتدنّي مفاعيل القوة إلى أدنى مستوياتها.

– في الذروة يسقط ترامب ومعه نتنياهو، وفي الذروة يخرج سيد المقاومة إلى حربه النفسية وهما يجتمعان ليقطعا اجتماعهما ويستمعا للمعادلة الجديدة، ليس على «إسرائيل» تفريغ مستودعات الأمونيا من حيفا فقط، بل تفكيك مفاعل ديمونا، لأن الحرب المقبلة ستتيح للمقاومة استعمال السلاح الكيميائي بتفجير مستودعات الأمونيا واستعمال السلاح النووي بتفجير ديمونا. والمعادلة هي أن إيران التي تقاتلونها وتهدّدونها لأجل خوفكم من دعمها لحزب الله، لأنه الواقف على الحدود وخطوط الاشتباك مع «إسرائيل»، وتريدون الشعور بالأمان إلى أنها لن تمتلك سلاحاً نووياً، وبالتالي لن يصير السلاح النووي جزءاً من معادلة الردع لدى المقاومة، فها نحن نبلغكم من الآن أن سلاحكم النووي الحقيقي، سيكون سلاحنا النووي لتدميركم به، من دون الحاجة لامتلاك سلاح نووي لا نحتاجه، ولن نحتاج لسماع تهديداتكم لمنع امتلاكنا له، فهو بين أيدينا ما دام مفاعلكم النووي في مرمى صواريخنا.

– في التوقيت والمضمون والدقة، رسم السيد معادلة الردع لترامب ونتنياهو معاً، معادلة حرب نفسية للقرن الحادي والعشرين.

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Hezbollah is the new Middle East Army حزب الله جيش الشرق الأوسط الجديد

Hezbollah is the new Middle East Army

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The West and the Zionist movement strived during half of a century since 1947 to make Israel alone the power which possesses an actual army in the Middle East, to be the feared army of the Middle East, which is capable to wage a war whenever it wants and wins due to two criteria a swift war and a decisive victory. Therefore the war of 1967 after twenty years of the birth of the entity was the actual reflection of that aspiration, but after confused experience with the Israeli, French, and British tripartite aggression on Egypt in 1956 Washington was obliged to intervene immediately in order not to enter in a war of attrition through stopping the war. In the war 1973 the image of army of the Middle East has distorted through the achievements of the Syrian and the Egyptian armies in the war of October and the fall of the Israeli defenses armies, surprising them by the decision of war. But Washington has intervened once again to get Egypt out of the war in a way that was neither a winner nor a defeated as Washington wanted in preparation for the final exit of Egypt from the state of war and where Israel can regain the feature of the Middle East Army. The invasion of Lebanon was a sign of the recovery of Israel from the complex of the war of October. Thus the Agreement of Philip Habib of the withdrawal of the Syrian troops to Bekaa, the final exit of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, having a Lebanese President for the Republic within the confines of the occupation, and signing a peace agreement that devotes the high control to Israel which was known by the agreement of the Seventeenth of May are the outcomes of the return of the spirit to the project of the Middle East Army which sticks to the decision of war.

The importance of the Israeli army has been increased according to the West and the Americans in particular especially after the Iranian Revolution and the disintegration of the army of Shah, which was considered the most advanced army among the armies of Washington’s allies. The coups which ravaged of Turkey have encouraged keeping the focus on the Israeli army which has received fixed military aids entitled; that the military superiority must be kept in its favor among the armies of the region. Because of its army Israel has received financial and technical aids that help it to breathe economically.

Furthermore, the Israeli aggressions have received legal and diplomatic protection in order to keep the army able to wage wars, using the banned weapons, and committing the  atrocities and the brutal crimes, they have disrupted all the projects of the settlement of the Arab- Israeli conflict which do not meet the essential condition which is keeping the high control to Israel, normalizing the relation with Israel as well as legitimizing what it occupied of the Palestinian territories, as a condition for any peace , but even a condition for any distinctive relation with Washington in the region.

The US documents which were published of how to deal with the rule of the President Mohammed Mosseadegh in Iran and preparing for a coup against him after the popular revolution which brought him and the desire of his rule to make good relations with Washington clarified that. The reason is his refusal to make relations with Israel as the Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes who was toppled by planned coup for the same reason, despite what the US documents mentioned of American preference of each of Mossadegh and Menderes to Shah and the Turkish military, as what Boutros Boutros-Ghali the former Secretary-General of the United Nations said about the birth of Camp David accord and the visit of the Egyptian Former President Anwar Al Sadat to Jerusalem, he said that the intention of Al Sadat was to visit Washington to sign a cooperation agreement, but the American response was that the way to Washington passes by Jerusalem. The meaning here is the satisfaction of Israel.

Since the eighties of the last century the Middle East Army entered a war of attrition which the Americans tried to save it from in the war of the year 1956, when Syria and Iran despite their concerns and preoccupations they put their importance for its success, they supported without limits the Lebanese resistance which Hezbollah has formed its matured outcome and its pivotal strength, and which its rise has been culminated by two successive victories in the years 2000 and 2006. The Israeli has entered in a historic strategic impasse where it lost its inherent characteristic as the Middle East Army. The war on Syria has occurred to form the challenge and the opportunity for both Hezbollah and Israel to win the title of the Middle East Army. Israel betted on overthrowing Hezbollah through the gate of this war, by a direct confrontation with the force which tried to compete it for the title of the global Middle East Army. The meaning here is Al –Qaeda organization and its factions. After years of the war of Syria it seems that Al-Qaeda organization is at the last gasp, and Israel looks fading, while the hour of raising the sign of victory by Hezbollah by announcing the winning of the title seems close.

Hezbollah’s achievement in Aleppo’s fields and all the war arenas in Syria coincides with the military show which combines between the regular structure, the semi regular structure, the structure of the war of the secret resistance for an army that includes thousands of fighters or ten thousands of fighters, and which forms the center which fights with the capacity of allied and supportive formations, it does not include the regular armies of the allied countries as Syria and Iran, but the popular formations which are similar to armies, from the National Defense in Syria and the Popular Crowd in Iraq and the Popular committees in Yemen that are estimated with approximately million fighters that spread in the Middle East, They participate Hezbollah in its wars, positions, and issues, putting its leader in a special status as a reference in the wars of the Middle East. The new army which is equipped with the latest weapons technology and which perfects the arts of war emerges after it had exceptional experiences from all of its wars with the regular wars, with the modern air weapons, without compromising of the privacy of war of people and guerilla warfare, and having distinguished skilled courage capable elite forces. While Hezbollah proves this capability within a network of allies, the President of the Republic arrives to the Lebanese presidency from the confines of the resistance, Hezbollah responded to the overthrowing of the Syrian return to Beirut by Washington through tearing the agreement of Philip Habbib through the decision of 1559, and what has led to the exit of the Syrian troops by tearing Sykes Picot Agreement which divided the entities of the region, so it performed its military show with the consent of the Syrian country and its blessings inside the Syrian borders, making the extent of the eastern borders toward Al Qalamoun and the northern borders toward Al Quseir a vital extension of the resistance outside the range of the Lebanese political game and its attractions with the consent and the encouragement of the Syrian country and the protection of its common missile networks with Russia, as the Popular Crowd and Ansar Allah create similar situations in the geostrategic areas in the Middle East. The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Jayad Zarif in a conference held in Tehran read the new balances of the phase which he described as the international regional transitional phase from the site of Iran which canceled the golden American rule of making Israel a mandatory way to make an agreement with it, Washington was forced to sign the understanding on the Iranian nuclear file without the knowledge of Israel and despite its desire not to sign. Zarif said that the most prominent feature of this phase is the emergence of Hezbollah as a capable force and a force of safety to the movements of the people of the region and the world.

While Israel is losing the title of the Middle East Army, Al-Qaeda organization falls as a supportive project to Israel, the Saudi financial and political role retreats, and while Saudi Arabia and its army sink in the swamps of the war of Yemen, Hezbollah and the network of its allies proceed as a fragile country that lives in the confines of many countries, that does not compete them however integrates with them, coexists with them as a deterrence force and strategic additive value. So it becomes the most important fact which born in the early of the twenty-first century in drawing the equations of the strategies, while the Russian capacity takes the responsibility of paralyzing the regional capabilities such as Turkey, the American capability regresses, and its regression is culminated by the presidential elections that devote the regression to the inward. So there is no longer power that can threaten the growth of the new Middle East Army which is extended from Lebanon to Afghanistan and from Aleppo to Bab Al Mandab.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

حزب الله جيش الشرق الأوسط الجديد

 

عرض عسكري ضخم لـ حزب الله في القصير في «يوم الشهيد»
بمشاركة مئات المقاتلين… وسلاح المدرّعات والمدفعيّة

ناصر قنديل
– جهد الغرب وجهدت الحركة الصهيونية خلال نصف قرن ممتدّ منذ العام 1947 أن تكون «إسرائيل»، وحدها من يمتلك جيشاً فعلياً في الشرق الأوسط، فتكون جيش الشرق الأوسط المهاب الجانب، القادر على خوض الحرب ساعة يريد، ويفوز بها بمعيارَيْ، حرب خاطفة ونصر حاسم. وكانت حرب العام 1967 بعد عشرين عاماً على ولادة الكيان الترجمة الفعلية لهذا التطلع، بعد تجربة مرتبكة في العدوان الثلاثي الإسرائيلي الفرنسي البريطاني على مصر عام 1956، اضطرت واشنطن للتدخّل مباشرة لاستنقاذه من الدخول في حرب استنزاف عبر وقف الحرب، وجاءت حرب 1973 لتهزّ صورة جيش الشرق الأوسط، عبر إنجازات الجيشين السوري والمصري في حرب تشرين وسقوط الدفاعات «الإسرائيلية»، ومباغتتها بقرار الحرب، لكن واشنطن تدخلت مرة أخرى لإخراج مصر من الحرب تمهيداً لوقفها على الجبهة السورية بصيغة أرادت لها واشنطن أن تكون لا غالب ولا مغلوب، تمهيداً لخروج نهائي لمصر من حال الحرب، واسترداد «إسرائيل» صفة جيش الشرق الأوسط، ليكون اجتياح لبنان علامة تعافي «إسرائيل» من عقدة حرب تشرين، ويكون اتفاق فيليب حبيب بانسحاب القوات السورية إلى البقاع والخروج النهائي لمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية واستيلاد رئيس جمهورية لبناني في كنف الاحتلال، وتوقيع اتفاق سلام يكرّس اليد العليا لـ «إسرائيل» عُرف باتفاق السابع عشر من أيار، كثمرات لعودة الروح لمشروع جيش الشرق الأوسط الممسك بقرار الحرب.

– زادت أهمية الجيش الإسرائيلي بعيون الغرب، والعيون الأميركية، خصوصاً مع الثورة الإيرانية وتفكّك جيش الشاه الذي كان يعتبر الجيش الأشدّ تقدّماً بين جيوش حلفاء واشنطن، كما شجّعت الانقلابات التي عصفت بتركيا في بقاء التركيز على الجيش الإسرائيلي ، الذي حظي بمساعدات عسكرية ثابتة عنوانها أن يبقى التفوّق العسكري في ضفته بين جيوش المنطقة، وحظيت إسرائيل بسبب جيشها بمساعدات مالية وتقنية تتيح لها التنفس اقتصادياً، كما حظيت الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية بالحماية القانونية والدبلوماسية، حفاظاً على اليد الطليقة لجيشها في خوض الحروب واستخدام الأسلحة المحرمة وارتكاب الفظائع والجرائم الوحشية، وعطلت كل المشاريع لتسوية الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي التي لا تلبّي الشرط المحوري وهو بقاء اليد العليا واضحة جلية.إنها اليد الإسرائيلية ، وجعل التطبيع مع إسرائيل وشرعنة ما تحتله من الأراضي الفلسطينية، شرطاً لأيّ سلام، بل شرط كلّ علاقة مميّزة بواشنطن تريدها أيّ دولة من دول المنطقة، كما توضح الوثائق الأميركية المنشورة عن التعامل مع حكم الرئيس محمد مصدق في إيران وتحضير الانقلاب عليه بعد الثورة الشعبية التي جاءت به ورغبة حكمه بعلاقات جيدة مع واشنطن، والسبب هو رفضه إقامة علاقات مع إسرائيل ، مثله مثل رئيس الوزراء التركي عدنان مندريس الذي أطاحه انقلاب مدبّر للسبب ذاته، رغم ما تقوله الوثائق الأميركية من تفضيل أميركي لكلّ من مصدق ومندريس على الشاه والعسكر التركي. ومثل ذلك ما يقوله بطرس بطرس غالي الأمين العام الأسبق للأمم المتحدة عن سياق ولادة اتفاقية كامب ديفيد وزيارة الرئيس المصري الأسبق أنور السادات للقدس، فيقول كانت نية السادات زيارة واشنطن لتوقيع معاهدة تعاون، فكان الجواب الأميركي أنّ الطريق إلى واشنطن يمرّ من القدس والقصد رضا إسرائيل .

– منذ ثمانينيات القرن الماضي كان جيش الشرق الأوسط يدخل حرب الاستنزاف التي سعى الأميركيون لاستنقاذه من مثلها في حرب العام 1956، والتي وضعت سورية وإيران رغم كثرة همومهما وانشغالاتهما، ثقلهما لإنجاحها، فقدّمتا الدعم بلا حدود للمقاومة اللبنانية، التي شكل حزب الله ثمرتها الناضجة وقوتها المحورية، ليتوّج صعوده بنصرين متلاحقين في العامين 2000 و2006، ويدخل إسرائيل في مأزق تاريخي واستراتيجي فقدت معه صفتها الملازمة كجيش للشرق الأوسط.

جاءت الحرب على سورية لتشكل التحدي والفرصة لكلّ من حزب الله و إسرائيل ، للفوز بلقب جيش الشرق الأوسط، فراهنت إسرائيل على إسقاط حزب الله عبر بوابة هذه الحرب بمواجهة مباشرة مع القوة التي سعت لمنافسته على لقب جيش الشرق الأوسط العالمي. والقصد تنظيم القاعدة ومتفرّعاته، وبعد سنوات على حرب سورية، يبدو تنظيم القاعدة يحتضر، وتبدو إسرائيل تذبل، وتبدو ساعة رفع شارة النصر من قبل حزب الله بإعلان الفوز باللقب قريبة.

– يتزامن إنجاز حزب الله في ميادين حلب وسائر ساحات حرب سورية، مع العرض العسكري الجامع بين بنية نظامية وبنية شبه نظامية، وبنية حرب المقاومة السرية، لجيش يضمّ آلاف المقاتلين، أو عشرات الآلاف من المقاتلين، ويشكل النواة التي تقاتل بقدرة تشكيلات رديفة وحليفة، لا تضمّ الجيوش النظامية للدول الحليفة كسورية وإيران، بل تشكيلات شعبية موازية للجيوش ورديفة لها، من الدفاع الوطني في سورية والحشد الشعبي في العراق، واللجان الشعبية في اليمن تقدّر بقرابة مليون مقاتل يمتدّ انتشارهم على مساحة الشرق الأوسط، ويشاركون حزب الله حروبه ومواقفه وقضاياه ويضعون قائده في منزلة خاصة كمرجع لحروب الشرق الأوسط. ويظهر هذا الجيش الجديد، المزوّد بأحدث تقنيات السلاح، والمتقن فنون الحرب، وقد امتلك خبرات استثنائية من جمع حروبه مع الجيوش النظامية، مع أسلحة الجو الحديثة، دون التفريط بخصوصية حرب الشعب وحرب العصابات، وامتلاك قوات نخبة مميّزة فائقة المهارة والبسالة والقدرة، وبينما حزب الله يثبت هذه القدرة، ضمن شبكة عنكبوتية للحلفاء، يوصل رئيس جمهورية من كنف المقاومة إلى سدة الرئاسة اللبنانية، ويردّ بعد إسقاط واشنطن للعودة السورية إلى بيروت بتمزيقها اتفاقية فيليب حبيب، عبر القرار 1559، وما انتهى إليه من خروج للقوات السورية، بتمزيقه لاتفاقية سايكس بيكو التي قسّمت كيانات المنطقة، فينجز عرضه العسكري برضا الدولة السورية ومباركتها، داخل الحدود السورية، جاعلاً مدى الحدود الشرقي نحو القلمون والشمالي نحو القصير، امتداداً حيوياً للمقاومة خارج نطاق اللعبة السياسية اللبنانية وتجاذباتها، برضا وتشجيع الدولة السورية وحماية شبكاتها الصاروخية المشتركة مع روسيا، مثلما يبني الحشد الشعبي ويبني أنصار الله أوضاعاً شبيهة في المناطق ذات الصفة الجيواستراتيجية في الشرق الأوسط، ويخرج وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في مؤتمر منعقد في طهران، ليقرأ في التوازنات الجديدة لما وصفه بالمرحلة الانتقالية الدولية والإقليمية، من موقع إيران التي مزقت القاعدة الأميركية الذهبية بجعل إسرائيل ممراً إلزامياً للاتفاق معها، وأجبرت واشنطن على توقيع التفاهم حول الملف النووي الإيراني، من وراء ظهر إسرائيل ورغماً عن رغبتها بعدم التوقيع، فيقول ظريف إنّ السمة الأبرز لهذه المرحلة ظهور حزب الله كقوة اقتدار وأمان لحركة شعوب المنطقة والعالم.

– بينما تفقد إسرائيل لقب جيش الشرق الأوسط، ويسقط تنظيم القاعدة كمشروع رديف لـ إسرائيل ، ويتقهقهر الدور السعودي المالي والسياسي وتغرق السعودية وجيشها في مستنقعات حرب اليمن، يتقدّم حزب الله وشبكة حلفائه العنكبوتية، كدولة رخوة تعيش في كنف دول عدة، لا تنافسها، تتكامل معها، تعيش وتنمو برضاها كقوة ردع وقيمة مضافة استراتيجية، ليكون الحقيقة الأهمّ التي تولد مطلع القرن الحادي والعشرين، في رسم معادلات الاستراتيجيات، وبينما تتكفل القدرة الروسية بشل قدرات إقليمية مثل تركيا، تتراجع القدرة الأميركية ويتكلل تراجعها بانتخابات رئاسية تكرّس الانكفاء نحو الداخل، فتغيب القوة التي يمكن أن تهدّد نمو جيش الشرق الأوسط الجديد الممتدّ من لبنان حتى أفغانستان ومن حلب حتى باب المندب.

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Unit 8200 … ’Israel’s’ Electronic Surveillance Unit

Saleh Na’ami

Revelations concerning the vast espionage operations carried out by the American National Security Agency [NSA] against US allies, led commentators and writers to shed light on the role played by “Unit 8200”, which is “Israel’s” massive electronic surveillance unit.Unit 8200 ...

“Israeli” military commentator Amir Rapaport stressed that the role played by “Unit 8200” – a branch of the “Israeli” military intelligence [Aman] – has made “Israel” second only to the United States, in the field of eavesdropping.

In an article he wrote for the online edition of “Israeli” Maariv newspaper, Rapaport explained that the tremendous strides made by the entity in the field of producing high-tech equipment has been largely employed in the development and expansion of eavesdropping operations carried out by the unit.

He also referred to a prominent role played by private companies in supplying the unit with inventions to boost its eavesdropping capabilities.

Rapaport pointed out that the sophisticated computers belonging to ‘Unit 8200′ are able to monitor messages of intelligence value by processing millions of communications channels and billions of words.

In the same context, an investigation conducted by military commentator Yoav Limor revealed a shift in how the unit, led by a senior officer with the rank of Brigadier General functions, since the eruption of the Arab revolutions.

“A graduate of Unit 8200 became synonymous with the word genius”, and service in this unit has become “a passport in the eyes of “Israeli” youths” to become millionaires because of their absorption into leading technology companies, or their participation in the start-up of companies.

Social Media Sites

He pointed out in his investigation, which was published on the “Israel” Today website that Unit 8200 has become interested in observing social networking sites frequented by young Arabs – especially Facebook and Twitter – to acquire insight into the possible changes in the Arab world, so that “Israel” won’t be caught by surprise, as was the case with the outbreak of the Arab revolutions.

Limor pointed out that Unit 8200 is also responsible for leading the electronic warfare in the “Israeli” army, in addition to its photography operations. Meanwhile, officers and soldiers working in it are in charge of conducting field operations during wars and military operations.

Limor explained that the unit includes officers and soldiers among its ranks that escort the infantry troops during military operations and wars, charged with gathering tactical intelligence on the battlefield. Limor points out that the unit played a key role in electronic warfare against the Iranian nuclear project, and contributed to the development of the “Stuxnet” virus, which in 2009 targeted and disabled the computerized systems that control the centrifuges responsible for uranium enrichment in Iran’s nuclear facilities.

New documents, recently uncovered by the “Israeli” official Archive on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the 1973 War, showed that the unit is responsible for what has become known as the “special means”, which includes planting listening devices in the offices and vital facilities in Arab countries, especially countries that are in a state of hostility with “Israel”.

Unit 8200 closely works with the “Sayeret Matkal” unit, the most elite special unit in the “Israeli” army, which is under the direct command of the head of the Military Intelligence Division.

In addition to its specialization in assassination operations carried out across the Arab world, “Sayeret Matkal” plays a central role in intelligence gathering through planting listening devices and photography, based on prior coordination with Unit 8200.

Advanced leading technology companies in “Israel” compete to absorb the officers and soldiers who end their service in Unit 8200 due to their significant abilities in the technical field.

According to a report recently aired on “Israel’s” Channel Ten, service in Unit 8200 has become “a passport in the eyes of “Israeli” youths” to become millionaires because of their absorption into leading technology companies, or their participation in the start-up of companies.

Source: Al Jazeera, Translated and Edited by website team

06-04-2016 | 12:10

How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself


For the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will.

Saudi oil

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of “Israel” during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

“If I was the president,” Secretary of State Henry Kissinger fumed to his deputy Brent Scowcroft, “I would tell the Arabs to shove their oil.” But the president, Richard M. Nixon, was in no position to dictate to the Saudis.

In the West, we have largely forgotten the lessons of 1974, partly because our economies have changed and are less vulnerable, but mainly because we are not the Saudis’ principal target. Predictions that global oil production would eventually peak, ensuring prices stayed permanently high, never materialized. Today’s oil crises are determined less by the floating price of crude than by crude regional politics. The oil wars of the 21st century are underway.

In recent years, the Saudis have made clear that they regard the oil markets as a critical front line in the Sunni Muslim-majority kingdom’s battle against its Shiite-dominated rival, Iran. Their favored tactic of “flooding,” pumping surplus crude into a soft market, is tantamount to war by economic means: the oil trade’s equivalent of dropping the bomb on a rival.

In 2006, Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi security adviser, warned that Riyadh was prepared to force prices down to “strangle” Iran’s economy. Two years later, the Saudis did just that, with the aim of hampering Tehran’s ability to support Shiite groups in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere.

Then, in 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former chief of Saudi intelligence, told NATO officials that Riyadh was prepared to flood the market to stir unrest inside Iran. Three years later, the Saudis struck again, turning on the spigot.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (R) shakes hands with Saudi Prince

But this time, they overplayed their hand.

When Saudi officials made their move in the fall of 2014, taking advantage of an already glutted market, they no doubt hoped that lower prices would undercut the American shale industry, which was challenging the kingdom’s market dominance. But their main purpose was to make life difficult for Tehran: “Iran will come under unprecedented economic and financial pressure as it tries to sustain an economy already battered by international sanctions,” argued Mr. Obaid.

Oil-producing countries, especially ones like Russia, with relatively undiversified economies, base their budgets on oil prices not falling below a certain threshold. If prices plunge below that level, fiscal meltdown looms. The Saudis expected a sharp reduction in oil prices not just to hurt the American fracking industry, but also to hammer the economies of Iran and Russia. That in turn would weaken their ability to support allies and proxies, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

The tactic had been brutally effective in the past. This was the grim scenario that confronted the Shah in 1977 when the Saudis flooded the oil market to rein in Iran’s influence. The 1977 flood was not the sole cause of the Iranian revolution, but it certainly was a factor: The shah’s rule was destabilized just as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini mounted his offensive to replace a pro-Western monarchy with a theocratic state. In that sense, the oil markets fueled the rise of political Islam.

The price of oil also helped end the Cold War. Then, like Russia today, the Communist superpower was a global energy producer heavily reliant on revenues from oil and gas. In 1985-86, the Saudis’ decision to flood the market – which some believe was encouraged by the Reagan administration – led to a collapse in prices that sent the Soviet economy into a tailspin.

“The timeline of the collapse of the Soviet Union can be traced to Sept. 13, 1985,” wrote the Russian economist Yegor Gaidar. “On this date Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the minister of oil of Saudi Arabia, declared that the monarchy had decided to alter its oil policy radically.”

Today, in Russia, fully half of government revenue comes from oil and gas. Even if oil returns to $40 a barrel – it twice fell below $30 earlier this year – that depressed price still creates “a dangerous scenario,” according to Mikhail Dmitriev, a former Russian deputy economic minister. Inflation in Russia hit double digits last year; its sovereign wealth fund, which bails out struggling Russian companies, is depleted; and factory closings are fueling labor unrest.

Unhappily for President Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’s fiscal crisis has coincided with his military interventions in eastern Ukraine and Syria. If Russia’s economy worsens and Mr. Putin feels cornered, he may look for ways to distract the Russian people with more rally-round-the-flag provocations, as well as induce panic in the oil markets about supplies and gin prices back up.

Future shock has already arrived for oil producers like Venezuela, whose economy has been gutted by lost revenues from oil, which makes up 95 percent of its export earnings. With inflation predicted by the International Monetary Fund to reach 720 percent this year, Venezuela has become a financial zombie state – a harsh reminder of what can happen to countries that rely so heavily on a single unstable commodity price. President Nicolás Maduro is at the mercy of the markets that, every day, nudge his tottering regime nearer the abyss.

Another oil producer, Nigeria, is running out of money, hobbling President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign against the Islamist Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast. The plunge in oil prices has also shaken Central Asia, where Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have expressed interest in emergency bailouts from the I.M.F. and other lenders.

In the Middle East, reduced oil revenues have restricted Iraq’s ability to wage war against “ISIS”. Persian Gulf oil producers like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates estimate collective losses of $360 billion in export earnings in the past year. Such a big budgetary hole poses problems with maintaining order at home while fighting wars in Syria and Yemen, and propping up cash-strapped allies like Egypt.

And then there is Saudi Arabia itself.

All the evidence suggests that Saudi officials never expected oil prices to fall below $60 a barrel. But then they never expected to lose their sway as the swing producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC. Despite wishful statements from Saudi ministers, the kingdom’s efforts last month to make a deal with Russia, Venezuela and Qatar to restrict supply and push up prices collapsed.

The I.M.F. has warned that if government spending is not reined in, the Saudis will be bankrupt by 2020. Suddenly, the world’s reserve bank of black gold is looking to borrow billions of dollars from foreign lenders. King Salman’s response has been to promise austerity, higher taxes and subsidy cuts to a people who have grown used to state largess and handouts. That raises questions about the kingdom’s internal cohesion – even as the king decided to shoulder the burden of regional security in the Middle East, fighting wars on two fronts. Has there ever been an oil state as overleveraged at home and overextended abroad?

Meanwhile, by concluding the historic nuclear agreement, Iran is getting out from under the burden of economic sanctions. It will not be lost on Riyadh that this adds another oil producer to the world market that it can no longer control.

The instability and economic misery for smaller oil-producing states like Nigeria and Azerbaijan look set to continue. But that’s collateral damage. The real story is how the Saudis have been hurt by their own weapon.

Source: NYT, Edited by website team

14-03-2016 | 15:38

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