U.S. Attacks Syrian Government Forces – It Now Has To Make Its Choice

By Moon Of Alabama

The Syrian army is on the way to liberate the ISIS besieged city of some 100,000 and garrison of Deir Ezzor in the east of the country. The U.S. has trained a few thousand “New Syrian Army” insurgents in Jordan and is reportedly prepared to march these and its own forces from Jordan through the east-Syrian desert all the way up to Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. About a year ago it occupied the al-Tanf (al-Tanaf) border station which consists of only a few buildings in the mid of the desert. The station between Syria and Iraq near the Jordan border triangle was previously held by a small ISIS group.

A U.S. move from the south up towards the Euphrates would cut off the Syrian government from the whole south-east of the country and from its people in Deir Ezzor. While that area is sparsely populated it also has medium size oil and gas fields and is the land connection to the Syrian allies in Iraq.

With the western part of the country relatively quiet, the Syrian government and its allies decided to finally retake the south-eastern provinces from ISIS. They want to lift the ISIS siege on Deir Ezzor and close the border between Syria and Iraq with its own forces. The move will also block any potential U.S. invasion from the south by retaking the road to al-Tanf and the Syrian-Iraqi border (red arrows). The sovereign Syrian state will not give up half of the country to an illegal occupation by ISIS or the U.S. At the same time as the eastern operations are running consolidation and clearing operations against ISIS in the middle and west of the countries will take place (green arrows).
Map by OZ_Analysis (modified by MoA)

Yesterday a small battalion size force (~2-300 men) of the regular Syrian army, Syrian National Defense Organization volunteers and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU of the Kata’ib al-Imam Ali) marched on the road from the west towards al-Tanf. They were about 23 kilometers away from the border station when they were attack by U.S. aircraft coming in low from Jordan. The U.S. jets directly fired at the convoy, allegedly after earlier giving some “warning shots”. At least one Syrian tank and several other vehicles were destroyed. Six Syrian government forces were reported killed and more were wounded.

The U.S. command claimed that this was a “defensive” move to “protect” its soldiers at the al-Tanf station. There are U.S. and British special forces stationed near the station who lead and train the NSA contingent – all together a few 100 men.

The U.S. attack was clearly a willful, illegal attack on Syrian ground against legitimate forces of the sovereign Syrian government. (The Iraqi PMU contingent in Syria is a legitimate allied force under control of the Iraqi prime minister.) There is no clause in international law, no U.N. resolution or anything similar, that could justify such an attack. The U.S. military has no right at all to be at al-Tanf or anywhere else in Syria. There is nothing to “defend” for it. If it dislikes regular Syrian and Iraqi forces moving in their own countries  towards their own border station and retaking it, it can and should move out and go home. Moreover – the U.S. claims it is “fighting ISIS” in Syria. Why then is it attacking the Syrian government forces while these launch a large move against the very same enemy?

The coalition led by the U.S. military claimed it asked Russia to intervene and that Russia tried to deter the Syrian force to move towards al-Tanf. I am told that this claim is incorrect. Russia supports the Syrian move to the east and the retaking of the border. The move will be reinforced and continue. The revamped Syrian air defense will actively protect it. Russia will support it with its own forces if needed.

The illegitimate occupation forces, the U.S. and British forces and their proxies, will have to move out of al-Tanf or they will have to directly fight the Syrian government forces and all its allies. They have no right to be there at all. The Iraqi PMU in Syria, some of which were hurt in yesterday’s U.S. attack, are an active part of the coalition against ISIS in Iraq. If the U.S. fights it in Syria it will also have to fight it in Iraq (and elsewhere). Russia is able and willing to reinforce its own contingent in Syria to help the government to regain the Syrian east.

The U.S. has no legitimate aim in Syria. It is somewhat tolerated in the north-east where it helps Syrian-Kurdish forces to fight ISIS and to liberate Raqqa. That does not give it ANY right to occupy Syria’s east or to attack Syrian government forces. When Raqqa is done all U.S. forces in the north-east will have to again move out.

Together with its many subordinate NATO and Gulf allies the U.S. has the military and economic power to destroy the Syrian military. It can eliminate the Syrian government under President Assad and occupy the whole country. That would be a large war which would probably escalate into a global fight against Russia, Iran and other countries. It would necessitate a several decades long follow-up occupation for “nation building” while constantly fighting against a large al-Qaeda aligned Takfiri insurgency in Syria and all its neighboring countries (especially in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey where U.S. friendly governments would fall). The war would cost several trillion U.S. dollars, a large number of casualties and cause decades long chaos in a geo-politically sensitive region.

The U.S. has a simple choice: Either go in with full force and bear the above consequences, or concede to the sovereign Syrian government and its allies and coordinate with them to retake the country from ISIS and al-Qaeda. This will have to be done as they, not the U.S., see it proper to do. To believe that the U.S. can take the east and convert into some peaceful vassal statelet is pure fantasy. Way too many regional forces and interests are strung against that. There is little grey between these black and white alternatives.

The only tactically thinking U.S. military and intelligence services will try to avoid to choose between these. They will use their Jihadist proxy forces in west-Syria to break their current ceasefire with the Syrian government side and launch a diversion for their moves into the Syrian east. The Syrian government would then probably have to delay its larger operations in the east.

But that would not change the strategic situation. The choice the U.S. people and their government have to make will still be the same. The point in time to finally accept it may move out a few month while the fighting escalates and causes more damage on all sides. The choice would still be the same. It is all-in or out. The best time to take it is now.

Addendum (6:00am):

There are some maps flowing around which assert that Iran is seeking a military land communication route via Iraq into Syria and beyond. They show some fantasy route up north through Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish territory as the “current route” and the roads between Damascus and Baghdad as “future route”. The claim is that military equipment moves along these roads.

It is nonsense. Iran did not and does not need such land routes for military exchanges with its allies in Syria and Lebanon. Where was that Iranian land route in 2006 when the U.S. occupied Iraq while Israel attacked Lebanon? Where was that land route when ISIS occupied half of Iraq and Syria? There was no such route and Iranian support still reached Hizbullah in 2006 and later Syria. It came by air, by ship and, most important, by other means.

By holding up such fantasy maps certain interests want to insinuate that the area is “strategically important” for the U.S. and that the U.S. must therefore occupy south-east Syria. It is true that the road network between Syria and Iraq has some economical importance. Like all roads these are used for local commerce. But history demonstrates that they are not militarily strategic asset in the sense of an essential, overarching need.

This article was first published by Moon Of Alabama

See also

Int’l coalition’s attack on Syrian military site exposes its fake claims of fighting terrorism; The attack, which took place at 16:30 pm on Thursday, left a number of people dead, in addition to causing material damage, the source said.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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من محمد مرسي إلى إيمانويل ماكرون فأنجلينا جولي

من محمد مرسي إلى إيمانويل ماكرون فأنجلينا جولي

ناصر قنديل

-صمّمت المخابرات الأميركية خططها للسيطرة على العالم على قاعدة إدراك أهمية وجود أنظمة حكم تابعة في البلدان ذات الأهمية الكبرى في الجغرافيا السياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية. وقد اتسمت هذه الخطط في مرحلة الحرب الباردة مع الاتحاد السوفياتي بالاستناد إلى الانقلابات العسكرية والحكومات العسكرية الديكتاتورية، كما كان حال معظم أنظمة شرق آسيا وأميركا اللاتينية وأفريقيا التي حظيت بالدعم الأميركي والتي شكّل سقوط نظام الشاه أول مؤشرات أفول نجمها، وشكل انهيار تركيا تحت قبضة العسكر الضربة القاضية لها، وجاء لجوء واشنطن إلى تغيير آخر الحكام الموالين لها من نتاج هذه الحقبة في بلدان الشرق الأوسط عبر ما سمّي بالربيع العربي.

-يعترف كبار مهندسي السياسات في المخابرات الأميركية بالتضادّ الأخلاقي والقيمي بين النموذج الذي تستطيع واشنطن حمايته والدفاع عنه، وبين الأنظمة الموالية لها. كما يعترفون بأنّ قضايا الاستقلال الوطني تشكّل نقطة الضعف التي تصيب الأنظمة التابعة بمقتل. وقد اشتغل مفكرو ومهندسو السياسات على ابتكار صيغ لتفادي هذا التضادّ من جهة، وذلك المقتل من جهة أخرى، آخذين بعين الاعتبار ما قدّمته تجارب الثورات المناهضة لهم أو حالات النهوض المواجهة لسياساتهم. ويقع النموذجان الإيراني والكوبي على الضفة الأولى والنموذجان الصيني والروسي على الضفة الثانية.

-يسلّم المهندسون بأنّ تلافي التضادّ وتجاوز العقدة شبه مستحيلين، لأنهما من شروط الاستراتيجية. فلا مناص من أن تكون هذه الأنظمة مخادعة لشعوبها وأن تكون تابعة لواشنطن، ولذلك توجّهوا للاشتغال على مراحل تشتري الوقت والحقب والأجيال، بدلاً من الوقوع ضحية بحث عقيم عن حلّ سحري لمعضلة بنيوية لا حلّ لها. وهذا التوجّه يستند إلى مفهوم نظري عنوانه استبدال القيم الثابتة التي تقاس عليها علاقة أنظمة الحكم بشعوبها بتسويق قيم جديدة وجعلها معياراً يترسّخ تدريجياً في عقول الشعوب وقلوبها ووجدانها، وتحرير المشهد المحيط بها من المعيقات التي تعيد تظهير المعايير المتجذرة تقليدياً، ليتمّ القياس على القيم الجديدة وتفوز الأنظمة التي جرى تصنيعها وفقاً لمقاساتها ومعاييرها.

-تحتلّ البلاد العربية موقع المركز في الاهتمامات الأميركية لكلّ الأسباب الجيوسياسية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، وقد توقفت أمامها كلّ الدوائر المعنية في واشنطن من تقرير الطاقة الصادر عن الكونغرس في العام 2000، إلى تقرير لجنة العراق عام 2006 وكلّ منهما حاز شراكة وقبول نخب الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي، وأغلب من تولّوا بالتتابع مناصب هامة في الدبلوماسية والمخابرات طوال نصف قرن.

-المرحلة الأولى التي وضعتها الدوائر الأميركية في حسابها كانت مرحلة الإخوان المسلمImage result for ‫الرئيس مرسى واردوغان‬‎ين، والعثمانية الجديدة، كتعبير عن محاكاة وجدان جمعي ثقافي عقائدي وسياسي، تمثل تركيا حزب العدالة والتنمية مركز قيادته. وكانت سورية الحلقة المركزية لقياس نجاح وفشل هذه المرحلة، بعدما مثل وصول محمد مرسي لرئاسة مصر ذروة النجاح في هذا المشروع. وظهر من التجربة أنّ القوى التي استنهضها هذا المشروع لقتاله في سورية ترتبط بصورة رئيسية بمصدر قيمي شديد القوة ينبع من وهج القضية الفلسطينية، والذي يبقى رغم العصبيات الطائفية والمذهبية مصدر تأثير كبير في صناعة الاصطفافات والتوازنات. ومن دون إيجاد أمل بحلّ هذه القضية لن يسحب فتيل الاصطفاف والتفجير الناتج عنه حولها، ولن يكون متاحاً إضعاف مصادر قوة الجبهة المناوئة وتجريدها من تفوّقها القيمي، وخوض الصراع حول منظومة قيم مستحدثة.

فلولا فلسطين لتحوّل حزب الله وإيران بنظر السوريين إلى مكوّن طائفي مجرد، ولولا فلسطين لأمكن الرهان على منافسة الرئيس السوري انتخابياً بمرشحين ليبراليين يحظون بدعم الغرب، ولولا الصراع المفتوح مع «إسرائيل» لأمكن حصار حزب الله وسلاحه في لبنان، ولولا الصراع حول فلسطين لصار الحلف الخليجي «الإسرائيلي» مقبولاً ومطلوباً لدى شرائح عربية واسعة، وفقاً لحصيلة التقييم الأميركي.

-سقوط نسخة الإخوان المسلمين التي كان مقدّراً لها شراء ربع قرن من السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط لم يدفع مهندسي المشاريع في واشنطن لإلقاء أسلحتهم، بل لتصميم وبرمجة صيغة جديدة، قوامها التركيز على حلّ للصراع العربي «الإسرائيلي» يوفر أمن «إسرائيل»، ويمكن توفير تغطية عربية وفلسطينية لتسويقه، ثم تسويق نماذج للحكم تستوحي الليبرالية وقيمها، يكون عنوانها شباناً في مقتبل العمر، يتمتعون بوجوه يافعة وملامح جادّة ويحملون قصة نجاح شخصية وصعود سريع إلى الواجهة وسيرة مغامرة، ويجيدون المخاطبةأنجلينا جولي في يونيو 2014 عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، وتقنياته الأشدّ عصرنة وحداثة ويشكل الرئيس الفرنسي الجديد إيمانويل ماكرون النسخة الأولى من هذا الجيل، الذي يسعى محمد بن سلمان للتدرّب على مقتضياته ومعه جملة من جيل القادة الذين يقعون في دائرة الرهانات الأميركية في لبنان والبلاد العربية.

وتشكل الحقبة التي تليه أو تجاوره حسب المقتضى، حقبة المرأة الشابة الجميلة الساحرة القوية المثقفة، الإنسانية والمهتمّة بقضايا الفقراء والمشرّدين والضحايا، نموذج تتقدّمه أنجلينا جولي، وأخريات يجري تدريبهنّ على خوض غمار هذه التجارب من العرب وغير العرب.

-مََن يتفرّس وجوه نجوم صاعدة بسرعة ويطرح صعودها الكثير من الأسئلة، يستطيع أن يكتشف الكثير من الأجوبة.

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Sayyed Nasrallah Speech in the Israeli Eyes: Surprises and More!

February 20, 2017

Sayyed Nasrallah speaking in the ceremony held in commemoration of Hezbollah martyred leaders

“(Sayyed) Hasan Nasrallah threatens in a military speech to hit the nuclear reactor in Dimona as well as the ammonia tank in Haifa. He also determines the targets which will be hit in the upcoming war between Israel and Hezbollah,” a TV presenter in Israeli Channel 2 said on Thursday.

As Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah ended his speech during the Martyred Leaders Day ceremony, his threats were on the top of Israeli media’s news and talk shows.

In a televised speech marking the Martyred Leaders Anniversary on Thursday, Sayyed Nasrallah threatened the Israeli enemy with game-changing surprises should it launch any stupid war against Lebanon.

His eminence stressed that Hezbollah missiles will hit ammonia tank wherever it was moved across the Zionist entity, advising the Israelis to dismantle the Dimona reactor.

“Nasrallah moved to talk about events that would take place in case a war erupts between Israel and Hezbollah. He says that Hezbollah knows how to make from the Israeli nuclear arsenal a threat to Israel itself,” Ehud Yaari, Israeli analyst said during a talk show on Israeli Channel 2.

“Nasrallah also said that Hezbollah can easily target the ammonia tank wherever it was moved to as well as what he describes as the ‘Antique’ reactor, referring to Dimona reactor,” the Israeli analyst added.

The Israeli media focused meanwhile, on the other messages delivered by Sayyed Nasrallah during his speech. It tackled Hezbollah S.G.’s threat regarding the fate of Israeli elite forces in case they were engaged in a ground offensive on Lebanon.

“Hezbollah Chief (Sayyed) Hasan Nasrallah has just finished a speech in which he made many threats against Israel,” another presenter on Israeli Channel 2.

“Nasrallah wondered what the Israeli forces would do if a war erupts, recalling what happened with Golani Brigade when they tried to get into Gaza in 2014,” Ehud Yaari said.

“He also said that surprises are Hezbollah’s style and strategy, stressing that the group has surprises that Israel has no idea about,” the Israeli analyst said referring to the Lebanese resistance leader.

The enemy’s media also pointed out to Sayyed Nasrallah’s stance on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks, during his meeting with US President Donald Trump, in which Netanyahu talked about an alliance between the Zionist entity and some Arab states.

Source: Al-Manar

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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

*******

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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The US warning to Iran الإنذار الأميركي لإيران

The US warning to Iran

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It can be said after the ratification of the Congress on adopting the new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the US President Donald Trump has completed the formation of his presidential team, thus it can be said too that Trump has tested with the decision of banning the nationals of the seven countries which were included in his decision the extent of his ability to go on through the popularity of his electoral statements as an agenda for his presidential mandate, and the size of the complications which will confront him badly if he continues going on in this path. Now he is in front of internal unenviable situation in respect of media, popularity, and law, and he is in front of external protest campaign that caused the disintegration of his allies and their disavowal of his policies from Britain to France and starting from his closest neighbor Canada which always obeys the US decisions.

The international checker of Trump is full of issues, full of blocks, and traps, the search for an achievement does not seem available with a decision, and the decision needed by Trump must achieve two goals together; to preoccupy the people away from the randomness of his rash procedures and to be in conformity with the image of the strong man which he wanted, but there is no opportunity to do that under forming a safe zone in Syria according to the common previous description, as an area of aerial embargo that includes a risk of military collision with Syria, which soon may turn into collision with Russia. This was said previously by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey before the Congress, and  will affect the agenda of Trump which is based on the search for a cooperation with Russia in many issues, he considered that the US failure in them is due to the avoidance of the previous administration to cooperate with Russia, while the transfer of the US embassy to Tel Aviv will relieve his relation with the occupation government and its supporters in America who are many and do not belong neither to the Republican party nor the Democratic one, they are active in media, so they will ensure the promotion of his influence into the US borders, but the political result will complicate the act of any US administration regarding the peace issues and will embarrass all the Arabs of America in addition to the Palestinian authority, it will lead to provoke the Arab Islamist background against America, that is added to the decision of banning ,but it will not disable it, on the contrary it will be accumulated because the two decisions are an expression of racism against the Arabs and the Muslims. According to Israel the profit will be politically and in media but in the ground, it will be a trouble that outbreaks the Palestinian street which is already igniting. So what will tyrannize over the failure that affects the image of the President in his first days in the office and tenses his followers and allies, and shows that Israel is the most important for presenting the image of the strong President even in negotiation? It is only Iran.

The information that came from Yemen shows that the issue has started with the US military leadership and the bloc of the military industries with the destruction of the Saudi barge which was hit by a missile by the Yemeni army and the popular committees. It was among the US advanced destroyers which was received recently by Saudi Arabia, its status surpasses the status of the Israeli Sa’ar which was bombed by the resistance in the war of July in 2006 off the coast of Beirut. The information shows that the barge has been completely bombed, and approximately two hundreds of military, navigators and technicians were killed on its board knowing that among them there were Americans. In this regard the US tension surpasses the tension in the issue of the tests of the Iranian Ballistic missiles which the Americans know that they are the outcome of the understanding on the nuclear program. They know that the speech of the President Trump regarding this understanding which did not have too much attention of the US media according to what was quoted by a phone talk between Trump and the Saudi King has formed qualitative regression of his electoral speech where the talk about the strict application of the agreement has replaced its reconsideration.

Trump and his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn takes a first step in escalation with Iran by talking about a warning stems from an incident that they know that it is difficult to be repeated as bombing the Saudi destroyer or the Saudi Sa’ar as nominated by the Yemenis, and it is difficult to punish Iran for it legally even if the Americans said that the incident was under the leadership, the supervision, and the arming of Iran. While in the issue of the tests of the Ballistic missiles the Americans know that Iran will not stop them and that lifting the tension to the level of warning recalls the uptime to interpret this warning with first new similar test which will surely happen. So will Trump and his team resort to sanctions or the military messages in this case? This is the change which will present new image. Everything shows that the media escalation will focus on the Red Sea in the light of destroying the Saudi Sa’ar to avoid the military confrontation, and transferring the talk about the ballistic tests to the diplomatic and escalated talk and the sanctions in order to avoid a confrontation, which the administration of Trump knows that the reason for not going on in it by who preceded it was not the cowardice but the inability.

By the time the outcome of the test of the meaning of the US warning becomes clear, Trump may have ignited what is enough to prevent the outcome of his own decision of banning the nationals of the seven countries. This was the first advice of Michael Flynn; addressing a strong message then get the satisfaction of the allies in the Gulf and Israel, getting the attraction of Iran for a serious dealing, and thus overcome the crisis of the nationals through the smoke of escalation.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

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الإنذار الأميركي لإيران

ناصر قنديل

– يمكن القول مع تصديق الكونغرس على اعتماد وزير الخارجية الأميركية الجديد ريكس تيليرسون يكون الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب قد أكمل تشكيل فريقه الرئاسي، وبالتالي يمكن القول إيضاً إن ترامب قد اختبر مع قرار منع رعايا البلدان السبع التي شملها قراره مدى قدرته على السير بشعبوية بياناته الانتخابية كبرنامج عمل لولايته الرئاسية، وحجم التعقيدات التي ستواجهه وتنفجر بوجهه إذا مضى في هذا السبيل، وها هو أمام وضع أميركي داخلي لا يُحسد عليه من الزوايا الإعلامية والشعبية والقانونية، وأمام حملة احتجاج خارجية سببت انفكاك حلفائه من حوله وتبرُّئهم من سياساته، من بريطانيا إلى فرنسا وانطلاقاً من الجار الأقرب كندا الذي لم يشق عصا الطاعة يوماً على قرار أميركي.

– رقعة الشطرنج الدولية على طاولة ترامب تحفل بالملفات، لكنها تحفل بالمطبات والفِخاخ، فالبحث عن إنجاز لا يبدو متوفراً بقرار، والقرار الذي يحتاجه ترامب يجب أن يحقق له هدفين معاً، أن يُشغل الناس عن عشوائية ما ارتكب بإحراءاته المتسرّعة، وأن ينسجم مع صورة الرئيس القوي التي أرادها لنفسه، ولا فرصة لفعل ذلك تحت عنوان إنشاء المنطقة الآمنة في سورية، وفقاً للتوصيف السابق والرائج لها كمنطقة حظر جوي، تتضمّن مجازفة بصدام عسكري مع سورية، سرعان ما قد يتحوّل لصدام مع روسيا، وهو ما قاله سابقاً رئيس أركان الجيوش الأميركية مارتن ديمبسي أمام الكونغرس، وما يقلب جدول أعمال ترامب القائم أصلاً على البحث عن عمل مشترك مع روسيا في العديد من الملفات، التي اعتبر الفشل الأميركي فيها عائداً خلال الإدارة السابقة، لتجنبها التعاون مع روسيا، أما نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى تل أبيب فسيريح علاقته بحكومة الاحتلال ومناصريها في أميركا وهم كثر وعابرون للحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي، وفاعلون إعلامياً، وسيتكفّلون بتسويق صورته داخل الحدود الأميركية، لكن النتيجة السياسية ستعقد عمل أي إدارة أميركية على ملفات السلام، وتُحرج كل عرب أميركا، عدا عن السلطة الفلسطينية، وتتكفّل بإنتاج مناخ عربي إسلامي ملتهب بوجه أميركا يُضاف لقرار المنع ولا يحجبه، بل يتغذّى به ويفعّل الحملة عليه باعتبار القرارين تعبيراً عن عنصرية معادية للعرب والمسلمين، وبالنسبة لـ«إسرائيل» سيكون الربح إعلامياً وسياسياً، لكنه ميدانياً سيكون ورطة تفجّر الشارع الفلسطيني المشتعل أصلاً. فماذا تبقى من الملفات التي يمكن لها أن تطغى على الفشل الذي يصيب صورة الرئيس في أول أيامه، ويشدّ عصب جمهوره وحلفائه، ويُري «إسرائيل» فيما هو أهم، ومعها يشكل رأس جسر لتقديم صورة الرئيس القوي ولو تفاوضياً، ليس هناك إلا إيران.

– تفيد المعلومات الواردة من اليمن أن القضية بدأت عند القيادة العسكرية الأميركية وتكتل الصناعات الحربية مع تدمير البارجة السعودية التي أصابها الصاروخ الذي أطلقه عليها الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية، هي من المدمّرات الأميركية المتطورة التي حصلت عليها السعودية حديثاً، وتضاهي مكانة ساعر «الإسرائيلية» التي فجّرتها المقاومة في حرب تموز 2006 قبالة شواطئ بيروت. وتقول المعلومات إن البارجة تفجّرت بالكامل وقتل على متنها قرابة مئتي عسكري وملاح وتقني، وإن بينهم أميركيين، وإن التوتر الأميركي بهذا الصدد يفوق التوتر في قضية تجارب الصواريخ الباليستية الإيرانية، التي يعرف الأميركيون أنها خارج التفاهم على الملف النووي، ويعرفون أن كلام الرئيس ترامب الذي لم يتوقف أمامه الإعلام الأميركي ملياً عن هذا التفاهم، في ما نشر عن الحديث الهاتفي بين ترامب والملك السعودي شكل تراجعاً نوعياً عن خطابه الانتخابي، حيث حل الحديث عن التطبيق الصارم للاتفاق بدلاً من إعادة النظر فيه.

– يخطو ترامب ومستشاره لشؤون الأمن القومي مايكل فلين خطوة أولى نحو التصعيد مع إيران، بالحديث عن إنذار ينطلق من حادث يعرفون أنه صعب التكرار، كتفجير المدمّرة السعودية، أو ساعر السعودية، كما يسمّيها اليمنيون، ويصعب محاسبة إيران عليها قانونياً، ولو قال الأميركيون إن الحادث بقيادة إيران وإشرافها وتسليحها، بينما في شأن التجارب الباليستية الصاروخية فيعرف الأميركيون أن إيران لن توقفها، وأن رفع الموقف منها لمستوى الإنذار يستدعي الجهوزية لترجمة هذا الإنذار مع أول تجرية مماثلة جديدة، وهي آتية حكماً. فهل سيلجأ ترامب وفريقه للعقوبات أم للرسائل العسكرية في هذه الحالة؟ هذا هو التغيير الذي يمكن أن يقدّم صورة جديدة، وكل شيء يقول إن التصعيد الإعلامي سيركز على البحر الأحمر في ضوء تدمير ساعر السعودية لتفادي المواجهة العسكرية، ونقل الحديث عن التجارب الباليستية إلى سجل الحديث الدبلوماسي التصعيدي والعقوبات تفادياً لمواجهة تعرف إدارة ترامب أن سبب عدم سير من سبقه إليها ليس التخاذل بل العجز.

– حتى يحدث ما يستدعي اختبار معنى كلمة الإنذار الأميركي وترجمته، يكون ترامب قد أشعل ما ينتج الدخان الكافي لحجب سحب التفاعلات الناجمة عن قراره الخاص بمنع رعايا الدول السبع، تلك أولى نصائح مايك فلين، نوجّه الرسالة القوية، ونرضي الحلفاء في الخليج و»إسرائيل»، ونجذب إيران لجدية التعامل معنا، ونتخطى أزمة الرعايا بدخان التصعيد.

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US vs Iran – a war of apples vs oranges

February 07, 2017

This article was written for the Unz Review

One of the most frustrating tasks is to try to debunk the Hollywood myths imprinted on the mind of Americans about warfare in general and about special forces and technology in particular. When last week I wrote my column about the first SNAFUs of the Trump Presidency I pretty much expected that some of the points I made would fall on deaf ears and that indeed did happen. What I propose to do today is to try, yet again, to explain the vast difference between what I would call “the American way of war” as seen in propaganda movies and the reality of warfare.

Let’s begin by the issue of the use of special operation forces and immediately say what they are not: special operation forces are not SWAT or anti-terrorist forces. The US propaganda machine has imprinted on the mind of people in the West that if a force is “elite” and looks “tacti-cool” it is some kind of special force. By that criteria, even some riot cops could be considered as “special forces”. This is, by the way, not only an American sin. The Russians have gone down the exact same ridiculous road and now you have “spetsnaz” forces all over Russia – even the Russian equivalent of the US department of correction which now has “spetsnaz” forces to deal with prison riots! Likewise, the famous anti-terrorist unit “A” (mistakenly called “Alpha” as opposed to the US “Delta”) is exactly that – an anti-terrorist unit and not a military special force. So what are, stricto sensu, special forces? They are a military force which participates to the overall war effort but autonomously and not in direct support of the main/conventional fighting force. Depending on the country and service, special forces can deal with a variety to tasks ranging from providing “advisors” to what Americans call direct action operation such as the recent ill-fated attack on the al-Qaeda compound in Yemen. Just like airborne forces, special forces have often been misused, especially when conventional forces could not be counted on, but that does not mean that SWAT and anti-terrorist forces should be thought of as “special forces”. Special forces are always military forces and they operate in support of military operations.

[Sidebar: some American readers who where miffed by my assertions that US special forces have a terrible real-life record have tried to counter with a logically fallacious argument: what about Russian special forces, are they any better? Examples given where Beslan, Nord-Ost and Budennovsk. There are two problems with this argument: one, none of these events can be considered as “special operations” and, two, even if the Russian special forces have a terrible record, this hardly means that the US special forces’ record is good or, even less so, better. Besides, these three tragedies are totally different. The Budennovsk hospital hostage crisis was, indeed, a total disaster which occurred against the backdrop of another total disaster, the First Chechen war, and which resulted in 130 dead civilians out of a total of about 2000. That is a 93.5% of hostages which survived. Considering that the civilians political authorities were arguably the worst in Russian history and considering that the hostage takers were well over 100 hardened Chechen terrorists, I think that this is not the “disaster” that civilians like to think of. Next, let’s look at Beslan. Here we have well over 1000 hostages when 385 fatalities – much more of a “disaster” indeed. But let’s remember what happened that day: a bomb, apparently one of the biggest one held in the sports hall, blew up which resulted in local civilians (parents) spontaneously storming the school. At this point, the anti-terror forces simply joined in to save as many people as possible and many of them died by shielding the kids with the own bodies. There is simply no way that Beslan can be blamed on Russian anti-terrorist forces. As for Nord-Ost, this is one of the most successful hostage rescue operation in history: about 900 hostages are taken by about 45 terrorists. As a result of the operation, all of the civilians are freed, all of the terrorists are killed and all the anti-terrorist troops survived. Not a single bomb was detonated. However, the tragedy happened after the operation when the medical services simply did not have enough manpower to revive the freed hostages, some of whom even died in buses on the way to medical care. In theory, every single one of these hostages had undergone a full anesthesia (without being intubated) and every single one of them needed to be revived by a medical team. In their worst nightmares the Russian anti-terrorist forces had never expected to deal with such a huge number of civilians needing immediate specialized medical care. The civilian emergency medical response units were completely overwhelmed and did not even know what gas had been used. As a result, 130 hostages died, or about 15% of the hostages. Had the Russians not decided to use gas the most likely casualty figure would have been well over 500 if not more. That is hardly what I would call a failure of the entire operation, including the civilian support. In terms of pure anti-terrorist operation is probably the most successful hostage liberation operation in history. Let me end this sidebar with a simple question: when is the last time that any anti-terrorist force in the West had to deal with a situation involving over 1000 hostages taken by a large number of ruthless military-trained terrorists?]

If one is absolutely determined to assess the Russian record on special operations I would point to the capture of the Ruzyne International Airport in Prague in 1968, the storming of the Tajbeg Palace in Afghanistan in 1979 and, of course, the Russian operation to seize Crimea in 2014. But, again, there is no logical need to prove that Russian can do it well/better to assert that Americans can’t.

Now let’s turn to the issue of a possible war between Iran and the United States.

The dumbest possible thing to evaluate the possible outcomes of a US attack on Iran would be to do compare all the technologies available to both countries and come to some kind of conclusion. For an example of that kind of nonsense, check out this typical article. Generally, the obsession with technology is a typical American pathology which is a direct result of fighting overseas wars against vastly out-gunned enemies. I call that the engineer’s view of war, as opposed to the soldier’s view. That is not to say that technology does not matter, it does, but tactics, operations and strategy matter a whole lot more. For example, while it is true that a modern M1A2 Abrams is vastly superior to an old Soviet T-55, there are circumstances (high mountains, forests) where the T-55, properly engaged, could be a much better tank. Likewise, putatively outdated WWII anti-tank guns can be used with devastating effect on modern APC just as outdated air defense guns can by turned into absolutely terrifying assault fire support vehicles.

US vs Iran – a war of apples vs orangesIn the case of the US attack on Iran, only a total ignoramus would suppose that as soon as the Iranians detect the US attack they would scramble their mostly dated air force to try to achieve air superiority or that they would hope to stop the US attack using their air-defenses. Let me remind everybody here that Hezbollah made exactly zero use of their air defenses (only MANPADS anyway) during the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006 and that did not prevent Hezbollah from inflicting upon the IDF the most crushing defeat in their history. Why?

Because generally the American way of war doesn’t really work. What do I mean by “American way of war”? Using airstrikes and missile attacks to degrade the enemy’s capabilities to such a degree that it forces him to surrender. This was tried against the Serbian military in Kosovo and resulted in an abject failure: the Serbian forces survived the 78 days of massive NATO bombing completely unscathed (a few MBTs and APCs were lost, that’s about it). When that failure became apparent to the NATO commanders they did what the US military always does and turned against the civilian Serbian population in retaliation (same as the Israelis in Lebanon, of course) while offering Milosevic a deal: you surrender and we leave you in power. He accepted and ordered the Serbian military out of Kosovo. This was a spectacular political success for NATO, but in purely military terms, this was a disaster (well-concealed from the western public opinion courtesy of the best propaganda machine in history).

In one case only once did that American way of war really work as advertised: during the first Gulf War. And there is a good reason for that.

During the Cold War US force planners and strategist had developed a number of concepts to prepare for a war in Europe against the Soviet Union. Such concepts included the AirLand Battle doctrine or the Follow-on-Forces Attack (FOFA) which I shall not discuss in detail here, but which all placed a heavy emphasis on long-range reconnaissance-strikes systems and the use of air forces to defeat an assumed Soviet conventional superiority, especially in armor. I believe that these were fundamentally sound doctrines which could have been used effectively in the European theater. By the time Iraq invaded Kuwait, the USA had honed these concepts to quasi-perfection and the US armed forces were well trained in applying them. Saddam Hussein then committed a series of unforgivable mistakes the worst one being to give the USA many months to deploy into the KSA (this blatantly contradicts Soviet military doctrine which tells me that Saddam Hussein did not listen to this Soviet-trained generals or that these generals were afraid to speak up).

Apparently, Saddam Hussein believed that having fought the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988) he was ready to take on the USA. Well, he wasn’t. In fact, the way the Iraqis prepared for a US attack was a dream come true for US force planners and analysts because Saddam gave them the absolutely *perfect* target: large armored formations deployed in a desert with no air cover. The US, who for years had prepared to fight a much more sophisticated Soviet conventional military in the complex central European terrain (“Mischgelende” forests, many villages and town, rapid streams, steep hills and riverbanks, etc.) could simply not believe their luck: the Iraqis deployed in the worst possible manner making them an ideal target, much easier in fact that what was practiced for in US desert trainings. The result was predictable, the USA simply crushed the Iraqis and almost took no casualties.

Guess who observed that from right across the border with rapt attention?

The Iranians, of course.

If anybody seriously believes that the Iranians will prepare for a US attack by trying to out-American the Americans I have a few bridges to sell to them.

What Iranians, and Hezbollah, perfectly understood is that the key to prevail against the USA is to deny them the American way of war and to impose them a type of warfare they absolutely loathe. We can call that the Iranian way of war. Here are a few of its key components:

1) Assume that the American will establish air supremacy in 24 hours or less and deny them any lucrative targets. Sounds simple, but it is not. This requires a number of steps which can take years to implement including, but not limited to, concealing, hardening and deeply burying the most valuable civilian and military assets, creating an highly redundant network of communication and prepare for semi-autonomous operations when communications fail, creating a country-wide system of local civilian-military cooperation aimed at the survivability of essential government services including law and order, have procedures in place to compensate for the disruption of energy distribution and the destruction of key transportation nodes, etc. It might be my Swiss training speaking here, but I would assume that over the past 30 years the Iranians have dug thousands of miles of underground tunnels and command posts which allows the country to literally “go under” for as long as is needed.

2) Develop a number of key advanced technologies such as GPS-spoofing, computer network penetration and disruption, electronic counter-measures warfare, advanced mine warfare, small boat operations and, of course, missile strikes not to deny the US forces any portion of the Iranian territory, but to dramatically increase the risks and costs of US operations. This is were a limited number of advanced air defense systems can make a critical difference, especially if successfully concealed.

3) Engage in “horizontal escalation”: rather than wasting efforts in trying to shoot down US aircraft, use missile strikes to destroy US airfields (and ports) in the region. That is, by the way, official Iranian doctrine. Or strike at US forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. Target Israel or, even better, the Saudi regime. Force the US Navy to either engage in brown-water or, at most, green-water operations (here the Russian Kilo-class subs will excel) or force them to move back and shut down the Strait of Hormuz (the US Navy hates brown and green water operations, and for good reason, the USN is a blue-water navy par excellence) and the Americans are acutely aware of what happened to the US-built Israeli Sa’ar 5-class corvette when it got hit by Hezbollah fired Chinese-built C-802 missile.

4) Play the time card: time is always against the US military as the expectation is a short, easy war, with as little as casualties as possible and then a quick “out”. The Israelis ran out of steam in 33 days, NATO in 78 – so plan for at least a 12 month long conflict. Western forces have no staying power, let them hope for a “quickie” and then see how they react when it ain’t happening.

5) Use the traditional American sense of superiority and condescension for “sand niggers”or “hajis” and don’t bother trying to intimidate them. Instead, try to use that racist mindset to make them commit crucial strategic mistakes as Iran did when it used fake Iraqi “defectors” who spread disinformation about non-existing Iraqi WMDs to convince the US Neocons to lobby for an attack on Iraq to protect Israel. I find the notion of using US Neocons to make the US get rid of Saddam Hussein and basically hand over Iraq to Iran nothing short of pure genius. This is, of course, why it is never mentioned in western sources 🙂

6) Force the Americans to present you more targets: the more US forces are deployed near Iran, the more targets they offer for Iranian counter-attacks and the more they get politically bogged-down (as shown by the recent Iraqi threat to revoke visas for US servicemen in Iraq in response to Trump temporary visa-ban; the threat is empty, but clearly nobody in the White House or Foggy Bottom ever considered such an option). Basically, being being everywhere CENTCOM forces are hated everywhere.

The above are just a few examples from a long list of things the Iranians can do to respond to a US attack on Iran. We can expect the Iranians to come up with a much longer and far more creative list. By the way, there is nothing new or original in the list I made above, and the Americans are quite aware of it. There is a reason why even though the US has come as close as being hours away from striking at Iran they always backed down at the last second. So we have that endless tug-of-war: the US politicians (who believe their own propaganda) want to strike Iran, while US military specialists (who know better than to believe their own propaganda) constantly try to prevent such an attack. I want to mention Admiral William Fallon here, a true hero and patriot, who bluntly declared about a possible attack on Iran “not on my watch” in direct defiance of his political superiors. I hope that one day his service to his country in a very difficult situation will be finally recognized.

One more thing: Israel and the other regional powers. They are basically the equivalent of the vegetables served in a steak house: decoration. Just as NATO is a pretend force, so is the IDF and all the rest of the locals, including the Saudis, at least compared to Iran and Hezbollah. Yes, sure, they spend a lot of money, purchase expensive systems, but should a war break out, the Americans will be carrying 90%+ of the burden of real warfare, as opposed to politically correct coalition-building. Iran is a very large country with a complex geography, and the only ones who have to kind of power-projection capabilities to strike at Iran other than symbolically are the Americans. Of course, I am quite sure that should the US strike at Iran the Israelis will feel obliged to strike at some putatively nuclear target, return home and declare yet victory of the “invincible Tsahal”. But to the extend that Iran will be meaningfully hurt, it will be by the US, not Israel.

So does that mean that Iran would come unscathed from a US attack? Absolutely not. What I expect the Americans to do is what they have always done: engage in the mass murder of civilians in retaliation for their military failures. I know that this will, yet again, offend some doubleplusgoodthinking patriots, but massacring civilians is an American tradition dating from the very foundation of the United States. Anybody doubting that ought to read the superb book by John Grenier (USAF Ret.) entitled “The First Way of War 1607-1814: American War Making on the Frontier” which explains in exquisite detail how the US anti-civilian terror operations doctrine was developed over the centuries. This is, of course, what the Anglos did during WWII when they engaged in mass bombings of German cities to “break their spirit of resistance”. And this is what they did in Iraq and Serbia and what the Israelis did in Lebanon. And this is exactly what we should expect will happen in Iran. At least, this is the worst case scenario. There are really fundamentally two basic options for a US attack on Iran and I outlined them in my 2007 article about Iranian asymmetrical response options:

Broadly speaking, we see the Neocon Empire has having two options in an attack on Iran:

  1. A short, limited, attack on some Iranian nuclear and government installations. The goals of that kind of attack would be solely political: to appear to have “done something”, give the despondent Americans and Israelis some flags to wave, to “show resolve” and “send a firm message” – the kind of State Department nonsense. If lucky, they could hope to kill some Iranian leaders (although what exactly that would achieve is anyone’s guess). Lastly, it would punish the Iranians for their “bad behavior”.

  2. A more significant military attack, which could not be limited to an air campaign and one which would have to include at least some insertion of ground forces. That would be similar to the strategy outlined in my How they might do it article. The goal of this option would be radically different from the first one: “to punish the Iranian population for its support of ‘the Mullahs’ (as the expression goes in the USA) via the ballot box. This is exactly the same logic which brought the Israelis to hammer all of Lebanon with bombs, missiles and mines – the same logic by which they killed over 500 people in Gaza – the same logic by which the U.S. bombed all of Serbia and Montenegro and the same logic which explains the bizarre embargo of Cuba. The message here is: if you support the bad guys, you will pay for it.

The option I discussed today is the 2nd one, because this is the one which would get most people killed. But make no mistake, since neither one of these options would result in anything remotely resembling a victory (this is a political concept defining an achieved political objective) one would have to conclude that both of these options would result in failure and defeat. Such an attack would also seal the end of the US political role in the Middle-East unless, of course, being a despised elephant in a porcelain store is considered a “role”. But make no mistake, even if the Iranian casualty figures go in the hundred of thousands, or even over a million like in Iraq, the Iranians will not surrender and they will prevail. For one thing, terrorizing civilians has never worked. Genocide can be a much more viable option, but there are too many Iranians to do that and they are too well dug-in in their country to contemplate such an option (sorry, Israelis, even nuking Iran will not result in a “victory” of any kind). The Iranians have been at it for, what, 3000-9000 years (depending on how you count) and they will not be subdued, submitted or defeated with 200 or 70 year old states, or by an AngloZionist Empire in terminal decline.

I suspect that by now quite a few readers will be thoroughly irritated with me. So what better way is there for me to end this discussion than by adding religion to the mix? Yes, let’s do that!

Most Iranian are Shia, that is well known. But what is less well-known is one of the key motto’s of the Shia which, I believe, beautifully expresses one of the key features of the Shia ethos, is: “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala”. You can find an explanation of this phrase here. It basically expresses the willingness to die for the truth at any time and in any place. Millions of Iranians, even those not necessarily very pious, have been raised with this determination to fight and resist, at any cost. And now think of Donald Trump or General “Mad Dog” Mattis and try to imagine how hollow and grotesque they and their threats look to their Iranian counterparts.

Should I write an analysis of Chinese response options to a US attack? Nah – let’s just say that if the US doesn’t have what it takes to prevail over Iran, an attack on China would be simply suicidal.

Next week, alas, I will probably have to turn back to the dramatic events in the Ukraine.

The Saker

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