Remarks by Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Putin addressed the 17th annual Valdai Club session in Moscow at a time of likely protracted economic Depression and endless US-initiated global conflicts.

Commenting on whether the world order abides by rules or ignores them, he said the following:

“Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying…” 

US hegemonic aims create global disorder, not the other way around.

Putin mocked the notion of “import(ing) democracy,” calling it “a shell or a front (without) a semblance of sovereignty,” adding:

“People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals.” 

“(T)he overlord decides everything for the vassal.”

“(O)nly the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest(s).”

Nothing less than remaining free from external control is acceptable. Without it, sovereignty and fundamental freedoms are lost to a higher power.

“A strong, free and independent civil society is nationally oriented and sovereign by definition,” said Putin, adding: 

“It grows from the depth of people’s lives and can take different forms and directions.”

It’s free from interests of exploitive foreign powers.

“The duty of the state is to support public initiatives and open up new opportunities for” it people, said Putin.

“This is the guarantee of Russia’s sovereign, progressive development, of genuine continuity in its forward movement, and of our ability to respond to global challenges.”

“Some countries (seek) to divide the (global) cake…to grab a bigger piece” for themselves.

There’s no ambiguity about where Putin’s fingers pointed.

Russia is a significant country on the world stage, its status growing in importance, not ebbing.

Putin: “(T)hose who are still waiting for Russia’s strength to gradually wane, the only thing we are worried about is catching a cold at your funeral.”

As Russia, China, and other nations rise, the US “can hardly claim exceptionality any longer.”

The more unacceptably it behaves toward nations free from its imperial control, the more it furthers its own decline.

Separately on the 70th anniversary of China’s involvement in Washington’s preemptive war on North Korea — the first of many more US post-WW II acts of aggression against nonbelligerent states — Xi Jinping warned US hardliners about Beijing’s determination to challenge their unacceptable actions.

China “resist(ed) US aggression” against North Korea from 1950 to an uneasy 1953 armistice — after which Washington’s war on the country by other means began and continues to this day.

“Seventy years ago, the imperialist invaders fired upon the doorstep of a new China,” said Xi, adding: 

“The Chinese people understood that you must use the language that invaders can understand – to fight war with war and to stop an invasion with force, earning peace and respect through victory.”

“The Chinese people will not create trouble but nor are we afraid of (it), and no matter the difficulties or challenges we face, our legs will not shake and our backs will not bend.”

If US aggression rears its ugly head again in East Asia, China is prepared to defend its security and sovereign rights.

“(U)nilateralism, protectionism, and ideology of extreme self-interest are totally unworkable, and any blackmailing, blockades and extreme pressure are totally unworkable,” Xi stressed. 

“Any actions that focus only on oneself and any efforts to engage in hegemony and bullying will simply not work – not only will it not work, but it will be a dead end.”

China promotes world peace, stability and cooperative relations with other countries.

Washington’s agenda is polar opposite, seeking dominance over other nations — wars by hot and other means its favored strategies. 

Over time, its drive for hegemony is self-defeating.

If the US provokes war with China to dominate the Asia/Pacific unchallenged, Xi’s message is that Beijing will resist with the full force of its considerable might.

The same goes for Russia. Along with China, Kremlin leadership wants peace, but will capably defend itself against US aggression if occurs.

Neither country will bend to the will of another at the expense of their sovereign rights.

Xi laid down a red line, saying “people of China are now united, and are not to be trifled with.”

Beijing long ago confronted US aggression when the military strength of both countries greatly favored Washington.

While still superior to China militarily, the disparity between both countries greatly narrowed.

Beijing’s nuclear and other super-weapons would pose a formidable challenge to US preemptive war on the country.

According to political scientist Xie Maosong, Xi’s message to Washington was “we will fight and we will win” if the US war party pushes things too far.

Worlds apart differences between both countries are irreconcilable because of US hegemonic rage.

It’s waging war on China by other means to undermine its development on the world stage.

Hostile US actions risk direct confrontation. Unthinkable hot war is possible — because of escalating provocations by Washington that threaten China’s national security.

The US is a warrior state, a violent state, a destabilizing state, an outlaw lawless state, a belligerent state at war on humanity in pursuit of its imperial aims.

Instead of stepping back from the brink in the Asia/Pacific, both wings of its war party continue to heighten tensions — risking possible war with China or Russia. 

If attacked by a foreign aggressor, they’re able to hit back hard and effectively anywhere worldwide.

Neither will sacrifice its sovereign rights to a foreign power — what no nation should do.

Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU

Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU

October 21, 2020

by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, is the world’s foremost diplomat. The son of an Armenian father and a Russian mother, he’s just on another level altogether. Here, once again, we may be able to see why.

Let’s start with the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, Russia’s premier think tank. Here we may follow the must-watch presentation of the Valdai annual report on “The Utopia of a Diverse World”, featuring, among others, Lavrov, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Dominic Lieven of the University of Cambridge and Yuri Slezkine of UCLA/Berkeley.

It’s a rarity to be able to share what amounts to a Himalayan peak in terms of serious political debate. We have, for instance, Lieven – who, half in jest, defined the Valdai report as “Tolstoyian, a little anarchical” – focusing on the current top two, great interlocking challenges: climate change and the fact that “350 years of Western and 250 years of Anglo-American predominance are coming to an end.”

As we see the “present world order fading in front of our eyes”, Lieven notes a sort of “revenge of the Third World”. But then, alas, Western prejudice sets in all over again, as he defines China reductively as a “challenge”.

Mearsheimer neatly remembers we have lived, successively, under a bipolar, unipolar and now multipolar world: with China, Russia and the US, “Great Power Politics is back on the table.”

He correctly assesses that after the dire experience of the “century of humiliation, the Chinese will make sure they are really powerful.” And that will set the stage for the US to deploy a “highly-aggressive containment policy”, just like it did against the USSR, that “may well end up in a shooting match”.

“I trust Arnold more than the EU”

Lavrov, in his introductory remarks, had explained that in realpolitik terms, the world “cannot be run from one center alone.” He took time to stress the “meticulous, lengthy and sometimes ungrateful” work of diplomacy.

It was later, in one of his interventions, that he unleashed the real bombshell (starting at 1:15:55; in Russian, overdubbed in English): “When the European Union is speaking as a superior, Russia wants to know, can we do any business with Europe?”

He mischievously quotes Schwarzenegger, “who in his movies always said ‘Trust me’. So I trust Arnold more than the European Union”.

And that leads to the definitive punch line: “The people who are responsible for foreign policy in the West do not understand the necessity of mutual respect in dialogue. And then probably for some time we have to stop talking to them.” After all, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had stated, on the record, that for the EU, “there is no geopolitical partnership with modern Russia”.

Lavrov went even further in a stunning, wide-ranging interview with Russian radio stations whose translation deserves to be carefully read in full.

Here is just one of the most crucial snippets:

Lavrov: “No matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.”

Question: “Their national security strategy states that they will do so.”

Lavrov: “Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.”

Question: You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?”

Lavrov: “It’s the other way round. I can use the language I’m not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance, and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I’m convinced that we must abide by international law.”

Moscow stands unconditionally by international law – in contrast with the proverbial “rules of the liberal international order” jargon parroted by NATO and its minions such as the Atlantic Council.

And here it is all over again, a report extolling NATO to “Ramp Up on Russia”, blasting Moscow’s “aggressive disinformation and propaganda campaigns against the West, and unchecked adventurism in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan.”

The Atlantic Council insists on how those pesky Russians have once again defied “the international community by using an illegal chemical weapon to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny. NATO’s failure to halt Russia’s aggressive behavior puts the future of the liberal international order at risk.”

Only fools falling for the blind leading the blind syndrome don’t know that these liberal order “rules” are set by the Hegemon alone, and can be changed in a flash according to the Hegemon’s whims.

So it’s no wonder a running joke in Moscow is “if you don’t listen to Lavrov, you will listen to Shoigu.” Sergey Shoigu is Russia’s Minister of Defense, supervising all those hypersonic weapons the US industrial-military complex can only dream about.

The crucial point is even with so much NATO-engendered hysteria, Moscow could not give a damn because of its de facto military supremacy. And that freaks Washington and Brussels out even more.

What’s left is Hybrid War eruptions following the RAND corporation-prescribed non-stop harassment and “unbalancing” of Russia, in Belarus, the southern Caucasus and Kyrgyzstan – complete with sanctions on Lukashenko and on Kremlin officials for the Navalny “poisoning”.

“You do not negotiate with monkeys”

What Lavrov just made it quite explicit was a long time in the making. “Modern Russia” and the EU were born almost at the same time. On a personal note, I experienced it in an extraordinary fashion. “Modern Russia” was born in December 1991 – when I was on the road in India, then Nepal and China. When I arrived in Moscow via the Trans-Siberian in February 1992, the USSR was no more. And then, flying back to Paris, I arrived at a European Union born in that same February.

One of Valdai’s leaders correctly argues that the daring concept of a “Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok” coined by Gorbachev in 1989, right before the collapse of the USSR, unfortunately “had no document or agreement to back it up.”

And yes, “Putin searched diligently for an opportunity to implement the partnership with the EU and to further rapprochement. This continued from 2001 until as late as 2006.”

We all remember when Putin, in 2010, proposed exactly the same concept, a common house from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and was flatly rebuffed by the EU. It’s very important to remember this was four years before the Chinese would finalize their own concept of the New Silk Roads.

Afterwards, the only way was down. The final Russia-EU summit took place in Brussels in January 2014 – an eternity in politics.

The fabulous intellectual firepower gathered at the Valdai is very much aware that the Iron Curtain 2.0 between Russia and the EU simply won’t disappear.

And all this while the IMF, The Economist and even that Thucydides fallacy proponent admit that China is already, in fact, the world’s top economy.

Russia and China share an enormously long border. They are engaged in a complex, multi-vector “comprehensive strategic partnership”. That did not develop because the estrangement between Russia and the EU/NATO forced Moscow to pivot East, but mostly because the alliance between the world’s neighboring top economy and top military power makes total Eurasian sense – geopolitically and geoeconomically.

And that totally corroborates Lieven’s diagnosis of the end of “250 years of Anglo-American predominance.”

It was up to inestimable military analyst Andrey Martyanov, whose latest book I reviewed as a must read, to come up with the utmost deliciously devastating assessment of Lavrov’s “We had enough” moment:

“Any professional discussion between Lavrov and former gynecologist [actually epidemiologist] such as von der Leyen, including Germany’s Foreign Minister Maas, who is a lawyer and a party worm of German politics is a waste of time. Western “elites” and “intellectuals” are simply on a different, much lower level, than said Lavrov. You do not negotiate with monkeys, you treat them nicely, you make sure that they are not abused, but you don’t negotiate with them, same as you don’t negotiate with toddlers. They want to have their Navalny as their toy – let them. I call on Russia to start wrapping economic activity up with EU for a long time. They buy Russia’s hydrocarbons and hi-tech, fine. Other than that, any other activity should be dramatically reduced and necessity of the Iron Curtain must not be doubted anymore.”

As much as Washington is not “agreement-capable”, in the words of President Putin, so is the EU, says Lavrov: “We should stop to orient ourselves toward European partners and care about their assessments.”

Not only Russia knows it: the overwhelming majority of the Global South also knows it.

Yemen’s Never Ending War

Western Hegemony, Gulf State Despots and Modern-Day Genocide of the Yemeni People

By Timothy Alexander Guzman

Global Research, October 21, 2020

Recently, US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a statement on his promise to end his country’s support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen saying that “under Biden-Harris Administration, we will reassess our relationship with the [Saudi Arabia] Kingdom, end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil.”

It’s an absurd statement coming from a former vice-President to Barack Obama who supported Saudi Arabia’s brutal war on Yemen in the first place.

Saudi Arabia’s intervention was to regain its once influential hegemonic power over Yemen since the Houthis gained power by ousting President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi who fled to Saudi Arabia soon after. The Saudi-led coalition and its air force began using American and British made weaponry targeting mostly civilians and helped create al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Earlier this month, the prime minister of Yemen’s National Salvation government, Abdulaziz bin Habtoor issued a powerful statement that condemned Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for murdering the Yemeni people with Western and Israeli support. They are “commemorating the death of thousands of Jews during Germany’s “Nazi era” he said. Abdulaziz bin Habtoor was referring to the recent peace agreements sponsored by the Trump administration between the UAE, Bahrain and Israel that was signed in Washington on September 15th. He said that “the Houses of Saud and Nahyan must first and foremost remember that they are killing their (Arab) brethren in Yemen, than to commemorate Jews killed by Nazi forces” and that “the neo-Nazis are Al Saud and Al Nahyan families as well as all those who stand with them against Yemeni people, and support their unjustified killing of civilians” according to AhlolBayt News Agency (ABNA) based in Iran.

Yemen is in a never-ending war.

The Yemeni people are facing a catastrophe with more than 91,000 people dead, an economy that has basically collapsed, diseases, famine with an increase of refugees who left the war torn country. Since the start of the war, the Yemeni people experience death and destruction on a daily basis due to their opposition to the Saudi-backed President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently said that 20% of the Yemeni population is currently suffering from mental health disorders because of the ongoing war. Hadi was part of a long-list of political puppets of the US and Saudi Arabia who were responsible for the continued economic and political policies that favored his foreign backers for decades. The Yemeni people’s only crime was their resistance to Western hegemonic powers and its Saudi lap-dogs in their own country, and they pay the ultimate price.

The civil war in Yemen began in September 2014 when the Houthis, a shia-led movement and other elements including Sunni and Shia factions who were disenfranchised began a popular revolt to overthrow the Hadi government. The Houthi-led movement and military forces that are made up of both Shia and Sunni loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh began an offensive by advancing to the southern provinces defeating Hadi loyalists as time went on. Since then, the Saudi Coalition whose warplanes, attack helicopters, bombs, missiles, naval fleets and mid-air refueling planes which are all supplied by Western arms dealers allowed them to wage a bombing campaign on the Yemeni population targeting their schools, hospitals, mosques, funerals, family homes, farms, power utilities with reports of even graveyards being hit. Military personnel from the US and the UK has played a major role in the destruction of Yemen by providing intelligence, mid-flight aerial refueling assistance to both the Saudi and UAE Air Forces while targeting Houthi positions that has killed numerous civilians in the process.

As the Houthis gained territorial control, Saudi Arabia began Operation Decisive Storm and launched military operations with airstrikes attacking positions held by the Houthi militia and loyalists of the former President of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh who the West and Israel claim is backed by Iran. Saudi Arabia’s coalition included the Gulf State puppets of the West including the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain who was joined by Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and long-standing US ally since its Frankenstein creation, Israel. The coalition was allowed to operate from military bases in Africa that included Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia. The US and the UK in many cases supported the coalition with intelligence and logistical support and to add insult to injury, saw an economic opportunity for its arms industry that sold weapons to the coalition.

Washington’s long-standing relationship with one of the coalition’s members is with the UAE. The US and the UK currently has thousands of military personnel in the UAE along with its fighter jets and an array of drones. The UAE is probably one of the most loyal subjects to Western Imperial powers next to Saudi Arabia that has “expeditionary forces” in a number of countries including Afghanistan and Yemen. The UAE also has overseas bases even in Africa. The UAE is a former British protectorate became a country in 1971 with its national military force made up of a federation of several ‘sheikhdoms’ that entered the US-led 1991 Gulf War that pushed Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. In 1999, the UAE joined NATO-led forces into Kosovo in what was called a peace mission. After the September 11 false flag attacks, the UAE sent special forces to Afghanistan alongside its Western allies against the Taliban. It is well-known that the UAE hosts US and other Western forces at its military bases. Since the start of the war on Yemen, the UAE has joined Saudi-led forces in attacks against rebel strongholds. In other words, the UAE is a complete puppet regime.

The Mainstream Media’s Silence on US Involvement in Yemen

The Western powers with help from its mainstream-media (MSM) all repeat the same narrative and that it is Iran who is sponsoring the Houthis thus allowing Saudi Arabia and the UAE to justify the bombing of Yemen into oblivion. The MSM including CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, NBC, ABC, CBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Sky News and the BBC to name a few, all repeat the same propaganda that the Houthi movement is “Iran-Backed.” A perfect example of propaganda is from a recent article published last month by The Washington Post who headlined with ‘U.S. launches new terrorism review of Iran-backed rebels in Yemen’ claiming that “The Trump administration is considering new steps to intensify pressure on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, including a potential foreign terrorist organization designation, according to several officials, in a bid to further isolate the group’s patron, Iran.” To be clear, Iran and the Houthis do have a common faith, but not a military alliance, it can be best described more or less as a political and diplomatic relationship.

To this day, the MSM is involved in a cover-up of the US and its allies involvement in Yemen’s genocide. In March of 2018, MSM watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (Fair.org) published a story by Adam Johnson based on MSNBC’s reporting on the war in Yemen who he compared to Breitbart ‘In Run-Up to Vote to End Yemen War, MSNBC Remains Totally Silent: MSNBC outflanked from the left by Breitbart’:

MSNBC’s three major stars—Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell—haven’t used their sizable social media followings to highlight the issue either. None of the well-paid pundits has tweeted about the topic of Yemen in 2018. While Hayes has handwrung about the topic on Twitter in the past, he hasn’t covered it on his show since summer 2016. O’Donnell has tweeted about Yemen once in 20,000 tweets since joining the social media platform in June 2010; Maddow has mentioned it in four out of 7,000 tweets, two of those mentions in 2010. Even as frequent MSNBC guests Bernie Sanders and Chris Murphy, as well as celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon, lobby directly for the bill, MSNBC has not dedicated a single segment to the war, or to the recent high-profile efforts to end it

An article by Johnson from 2017 ‘Ignoring Washington’s Role in Yemen Carnage, 60 Minutes Paints US as Savior’criticized one of the MSM’s longest running news programs ’60 Minutes’ on their coverage of Yemen’s humanitarian crisis without mentioning the role the U.S. has played in the genocide:

In one of the most glaring, power-serving omissions in some time, CBS News’ 60 Minutes (11/19/17) took a deep dive into the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and did not once mention the direct role the United States played in creating, perpetuating and prolonging a crisis that’s left over 10,000 civilians dead, 2 million displaced, and an estimated 1 million with cholera. Correspondent Scott Pelley’s segment, “When Food Is Used as a Weapon,” employed excellent on-the-ground reporting to highlight the famine and bombing victims of Saudi Arabia’s brutal two-and-a-half year siege of Yemen. But its editors betrayed this reporting—and their viewers—by stripping the conflict of any geopolitical context, and letting one of its largest backers, the United States government, entirely off the hook

Once a Salesman, Always a Salesman: Trump Sells Weapons to the House of Saud

In March 2018 and with the war in full-force, the Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) decided to meet Trump for a business meeting with the intentions of buying weapons from US arms manufacturers. Bloomberg Newsreported what was the purpose of the visit by the prince of Saudi Arabia:

The 32-year-old prince will meet Donald Trump on March 20, his first trip to the U.S. since taking over as de facto leader of the world’s largest oil exporter. The aim is to strengthen their bond after he rolled out the red carpet for the U.S. president last May in Riyadh. On that visit, both sides played up their mutual interests in containing Iran, tackling Islamic extremists and enhancing business ties

And of course, the Bloomberg report also mentioned that MBS and the former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster who was replaced with neocon warmonger John Bolton spoke about Iran as a threat and “the humanitarian crisis in Yemen” they helped create:

Since then, things have changed. Prince Mohammed locked up dozens of the Saudi business elite in November for about three months in a declared crackdown on corruption. The kingdom is also likely to delay the sale of a stake in oil giant Aramco until next year. Cuts to government subsidies are proving trickier and there’s uncertainty about how the country’s ultra-conservatives are reacting to social changes.

Prince Mohammed “will try to convince the U.S. business community that the anti-corruption campaign is not a threat to commercial operations in Saudi Arabia,” said Hani Sabra, founder of New York-based Alef Advisory. “He will play up his social reform agenda to try to repair the image of Saudi Arabia in the U.S. He will advance the narrative that he’s the steward that will take the country in a more liberal direction.”

The White House said the visit will strengthen ties between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Prince Mohammed will also dine with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster to discuss $35 billion of business deals, Iran’s threat to their interests and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, according to a National Security Council spokesperson

Since the meeting between Trump and MBS, the Saudi coalition has increased its bombing campaign in Yemen. In August 2018, the Arab coalition conducted an airstrike in Yemen that targeted a busload of children and the surrounding area that killed more than 100 people. Now a Yemeni court has sentenced high-ranking members from Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and members from Hadi’s government. The incident took place in the Sa’ada province where a missile strike hit a school bus killing more than 40 children with ages that ranged from 10 to 13 years old and wounding more than 79 other people close to the bombing. Mehr News Agency which is based in Iran said that “According to Saba news agency, the Specialized First Instance Criminal Court in Saada province has ruled to execute ten of the defendants in killing Dhahyan’s students by the aggression coalition’s warplanes. The verdict sentenced ten of the defendants to death for targeting and killing the students in Dhahyan in Saada.” Those convicted are high-ranking officials from the Houthis enemy list:

According to the ruling issued in the session presided over by the court Chief Judge Riyadh al-Ruzami, the court sentenced to death ten of the convicted for targeting and killing students in Dhahyan in the airstrikes, they are as follows: 

1) Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, 2)Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, 3)Turki bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, 4)Donald John Trump, 5)James Norman Mattis, 6) Giselle Norton Allen Schwartz, 7) Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, 8)Ali Mohsen Saleh al-Ahmar, 9) Ahmed Obaid Bin Dagher, 10) Mohammad Ali Ahmad al-Maqdashi

The report mentioned the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) which produced an analysis in 2019 that paints a clear picture of the Saudi Arabia’s war crimes that has claimed the lives of more than 91,600 Yemenis since 2015. “The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.” The report on casualties is grim and there is no end in sight:

ACLED records over 91,600 total reported fatalities1 from the start of 2015 to the present

Approximately 17,100 were reported in 2015; 15,100 in 2016; 16,800 in 2017; 30,800 in 2018; and 11,900 in 2019 thus far

More than 39,700 conflict events have been reported since the start of 2015

Approximately 7,700 in 2015; 8,700 in 2016; 7,900 in 2017; 10,200 in 2018; and 4,900 in 2019 thus far

Overall, 2018 is the war’s deadliest and most violent year on record

Yemen’s war continues unabated. The world is witnessing one of the worst catastrophes in modern human history with the majority of Yemen’s population including more than 12 million children caught in the crosshairs in a brutal civil war since 2015. The Saudi Coalition with help from its Western allies including the US and the UK has carried out numerous deadly airstrikes on Yemen. Despite what’s going on in Yemen, the drumbeats of war grows louder by the day as the US and Israel increase tensions with Iran, Syria and Lebanon (Hezbollah). Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East will continue to suffer a humanitarian crisis. The MSM remains silent on the issue while Washington, London, Tel Aviv and Riyadh continue their quest for dominance in the region which confirms that Yemen is just another victim of Western Imperialists, Israel and their puppet Monarchs from the Gulf states. As long as the Western powers continue their support of the Saudi coalition and their war on the Houthi-led resistance, more bloodshed is only guaranteed. This war needs to end now before it becomes the most catastrophic period in Yemen’s history.

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Timothy Alexander Guzman writes on his blog site, Silent Crow News, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

All images in this article are from SCNThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Timothy Alexander Guzman, Global Research, 2020

The Stormtroops Of Regime Change And Counter-Revolution

South Front

October 17, 2020

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

The West is facing an unprecedented threat to its hegemony, as more agile, innovative, and cohesive non-Western powers are growing by leaps and bounds, to the point of making a transition to a global non-Western hegemony for the first time in history. During the last five centuries, the baton had passed from one European power to the next, and ultimately to the United States. Should the United States falter under the double weight of its global imperial overstretch and domestic oligarchy plundering even its own society, there will not be another Western state there to pick up where it left off. European Union, once touted as a likely successor or possible candidate for US-EU co-hegemony, is showing few signs of consolidating into a federation. Thus America’s decline would in all likelihood lead to the People’s Republic of China becoming the global hegemonic power.

Russia certainly has problems with oligarchy as well, but at least there the oligarchs are essentially treated as a “necessary evil” of capitalist economy and kept in check by the national security wing of the Russian state that is directly answerable to the President. Likewise China’s billionaires are kept at arms length from political power, lest they use In the West, on the other hand, the oligarchs run the show and the national security state is kept under close ideological surveillance to ensure that it will come to the defense of the oligarchy “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. US service academies, which admit on the basis of recommendations by elected US officials, who themselves are creatures of special interests and Big Money, are an example of that ideological oversight. And ultimately the US political system’s apparent inability to reform itself, to make itself more fair and meritocratic, means that it’s bound to lose the great power competition to those who are simply marginally less corrupt.

But that simply won’t do, which means the more effective competitors have to be brought down by other means, up to and including open warfare for which the United States is actually preparing. The current US modernization programs appear to be intended to give the US the ability to wage offensive warfare even against nuclear weapons states by not later than 2030. In the meantime other tactics will be used, such as economic warfare, information warfare, and of course the use of various proxy forces.

Since in an oligarchy property of the elites becomes of paramount importance, right-wing militants have long been used as a means to suppress socialists and communists. Very often these right-wing paramilitaries operate jointly with the official law enforcement and security forces. Examples here include the SA stormtroopers operating as Hilfspolizei in support of German police forces combating left-wing parties in Weimar Germany, the autodefensas in Colombia, even the drug cartels whose own politics tend toward the reactionary end of the spectrum. We are seeing exactly the same process emerge in the United States, in the form of right-wing, white supremacist militias who are allowed to openly flaunt laws of the United States and are invariably, without exception, treated as allies by US police departments, though not at the federal level just yet. The situation is only marginally better in the EU, but even there right-wing militants are treated with kid gloves and, like their Islamist brethren, are allowed to travel to Ukraine and obtain combat training and experience in the Azov Regiment. Considering that, in the view of European leaders, “there is no alternative” to economic neoliberalism, there is little doubt Europe’s far right will be weaponized in support of the regime should pro-democracy protests in European countries rise above the level of the Yellow Vest ones we have seen so far.

But that is only the defensive aspect of weaponizing right-wing nationalists. It keeps the ruling classes secure against threats from below, but does not contribute anything to the struggle against China, Russia, other “emerging threats” to Western hegemony.

Thus whereas extremists are the stormtroopers of counter-revolution waiting in the wings in case there is an actual threat of revolution or even substantial reform in countries of the West, in non-Western countries they are used as the spearhead of regime change. These extremists come in two flavors. The first prong is Islamic extremism, and so far to the extent that Western governments cultivate such individuals (as seems to be the case in Europe), it’s done exclusively for foreign consumption, as it were. For the most part, Western intelligence services displayed remarkable equanimity as French, Belgian, even German islamists traveled back and forth between their home countries and various MENA war zones. Invariably in cases of “blowback” in the form of terror incidents, the perpetrators were described as “known to the security services”. CIA’s investment in Al Qaeda in the 1980s, in particular, did result in fair amount of “blowback” in the form of 9/11, but even that has not dissuaded Western powers from promoting this type of proxy fighter.

The second prong are the ethnic nationalists of Russia and other CIS states. Before Ukraine, not having a war on which to sharpen their claws, they adopted the guise of “soccer hooligans” and, courtesy of UEFA, quickly developed international links. There is little known on Western services’ efforts to utilize these contacts, but it is evident Western countries actually keep track of their “hooligans” in order to occasionally prevent them from international travel if there is danger of excessive violence. Kiev’s ‘hooligans” were in force on the Maidan and formed the lion’s share of Parubiy’s “Maidan security force”. There is also a lot of overlap between these “hooligans” and various right-wing organizations like Right Sector, Azov, C14, and others. But in order to be fully effective, these right-wing militants must be mobilized by someone with big money, usually an oligarch disaffected with the system who enjoys the secret blessing of the US and EU.

In Kiev that scenario worked to perfection. Yes, there were right-wing nationalists, and yes, there were disaffected oligarchs willing to bankroll their organizations and mobilize them to achieve their purposes, which was beforehand blessed by Western powers that be. In Hong-Kong this approach faltered, apparently largely because Beijing was able to reach a behind-the-scenes agreement with the island enclave’s oligarchy which then abandoned its militants to their own devices. Consequently that uprising has all but flared out. In Belarus neither of these conditions were satisfactorily met. The country does not really have oligarchs capable of raising a de-facto army of street-fighters, and the street-fighters themselves are none too numerous. While there is evidence Ukrainian entities participated in grooming Belarusian shock troops, including in the trenches of the Donbass, in the end their numbers and/or enthusiasm was not what the Western curators of Belarus’ coup anticipated. After a few nights of violence, that segment of the protest movement vanished out of sight due to effective Belarusian counter-intelligence efforts. Atlantic Council practically disclosed a state secret when it bemoaned the absence of “robust young men” capable of going toe-to-toe with the security forces. It is evident Lukashenko’s survival took them by surprise, and it is probable someone over-promised their ability to deliver said “robust young men” onto Minsk streets.

Could this work in Russia? Probably not, due to both Russia’s own preparations and the West characteristically shooting itself in the foot. Preparations include formations like Rosgvardia which are meant to combat the low-to-middle intensity scenarios like the Maidan. But the Western economic warfare against Russia, the freezing of assets of Russian firms and individuals, have encountered a consolidation of the Russian oligarchs around the country’s political center. The West overplayed its hand there: expecting a quick, Maidan-like resolution in Moscow, it sent a signal it does not respect Russian individuals’ property rights, and which oligarch wants to have their property rights disrespected?

The tragic irony of it all is that while the strategy of destabilization using the disaffected oligarch—young extremist combination has been progressively less effective with coming years, as governments worldwide have drawn appropriate lessons from color revolutions and are determined not to be undone in a similar manner. Is United States experiencing a genuine, home-grown, grass-roots pro-democracy movement that is not bank-rolled by oligarchs or spearheaded by racial extremists? To be sure, elements in the Democratic Party think it can be used as a “get out the vote” device against Donald Trump, but on the other hand there is mounting evidence it is having an opposite effect. America’s middle bourgeois, being easily frightened and anxious to protect what little property it still has, just might decide Trump’s the guy to keep them safe going forward. But even, or perhaps especially, if Biden is elected one should expect more use of various paramilitaries to maintain order. Unfortunately America’s internal instability will mean even more erratic and reckless international behavior.

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After Hiroshima and Nagasaki: U.S. and Australian Brutalisation of Women on the Japanese Mainland

August 24, 2020

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki: U.S. and Australian Brutalisation of Women on the Japanese Mainland

by A.B. Abrams for The Saker Blog

Over a year ago I published the book Power and Primacy: The History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific, which was an attempt to fill what I saw as a gap in scholarship on the subject. I found that while several scholars had covered individual cases of Western powers intervening in the region, from David Easter and Geoffrey B. Robinson’s works on the Western-engineered coup and massacres in Indonesia of an estimated 500,000 to 3 million people[1] – to Bruce Cumings and Hugh Deane’s works on the Korean War, there were no major works assessing broader trends and consistencies in Western intervention. Power and Primacy was thus written to show the consistencies in Western designs towards the region and the means used to achieve them over a period of more than 70 years, from the Pacific War which began in 1941 to Western policies towards China and North Korea today.

This month marks the 75th anniversary of the dismantling of the Japanese Empire, and the famous declaration by General Douglas MacArthur that, with the region’s only non-Western military power and the world’s only non-Western naval power now defeated, ‘The Pacific is now an Anglo-Saxon lake.’ While the U.S. and its allies portrayed themselves as a benevolent and democratising force in the region, the darker aspects of East Asia’s time under the new hegemon, which starkly contradict this, have seen very little discussion or coverage. It is notable, for example, that after the Japanese Empire’s fall not only did living standards in southern Korea fall dramatically after it was placed under the rule of an American military government, but mass rapes, the use of comfort women, and serious human trafficking – the very things used by many to justify the American embargo on Japan which had started hostilities in 1941 – not only continued but were expanded under U.S. control. The government of Syngman Rhee, the Princeton-educated Christian radical the U.S. placed in power, killed 2% of its population at the most conservative estimate within five years, placing hundreds of thousands more in concentration camps and exercising a level of brutality not seen even under the Japanese Empire.

With Japan today having seen 75 uninterrupted years with tens of thousands of Western soldiers based on its territory, where they appear set to remain indefinitely, this is a suitable time to reflect on the nature of the relationship between the country and the West – which is very far from that of equal sovereign powers with shared goals and ideals. Evidence for this has ranged from massive involvement of American intelligence in the political process, including funding pro-Western political parties and supporting their election campaigns,[2] to the testimonies of multiple officials. Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, for example, noted regarding his country’s inability to reach a deal with Russia over the Kuril Islands due to an effective American veto over all major foreign policy decisions: “I think it represents a big problem that when making foreign policy decisions, Tokyo is always guided by the United States’ approach. Japan depends on America.” He further stated: “The Japanese media and government… always take America’s side. Tokyo is dependent on the US’ views … Japan will continue to side with America and the G7 countries.”[3] Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, who in the 1950s had also sought to resolve the dispute with Moscow and sign a peace treaty on the basis that Japan would receive two of the four islands, was harshly threatened by the U.S. and was ultimately forced to concede to Washington’s demands not to go through with an agreement. Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori came to a similar conclusion regarding the country’s lack of effective sovereignty in an interview with Russian state media in 2018. [4]

Beyond these political indicators, however, are more human indicators of the nature of America’s place in post-war Japan which cannot be overlooked, and which contrast very strongly with portrayals in the vast majority of Western media including both documentaries and popular media. An extract from the book Power and Primacy, pages 66-69, given below, recently reached over 3 million viewers on social media and highlighted the true consequences for Japan’s population of subjugation by the United States. The full references are provided in the book itself. Perhaps most importantly, this is not presented as an isolated set of cases of U.S. and Western conduct towards an East Asian population placed under their power – rather it is part of a much wider trend which if anything was considerably more extreme in Vietnam and in both South and North Korea – the latter of which was briefly occupied by U.S. forces in 1950. An understanding of the past is key to comprehending the nature of Western involvement in the Asia-Pacific region today, which is why I found that this project was particularly essential now in light of the ‘Pivot to Asia,’ the North Korean nuclear crisis, the Trump administration’s recent ‘Tech War’ on China and other key events which have increasingly placed the region at the centre of determining the future of world order.

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There was a far darker side to the U.S. and allied occupation of Japan, one which is little mentioned in the vast majority of histories – American or otherwise. When Japan surrendered in August 1945, mass rapes by occupying forces were expected… [despite setting up of a comfort women system which recruited or otherwise trafficked desperate women to brothels] such crimes were still common and several of them were extremely brutal and resulted in the deaths of the victims. Political science professor Eiji Takemae wrote regarding the conduct of American soldiers occupying Japan:

‘U.S. troops comported themselves like conquerors, especially in the early weeks and months of occupation. Misbehavior ranged from black-marketeering, petty theft, reckless driving and disorderly conduct to vandalism, assault, arson, murder and rape. Much of the violence was directed against women, the first attacks beginning within hours after the landing of advanced units. In Yokohama, China and elsewhere, soldiers and sailors broke the law with impunity, and incidents of robbery, rape and occasionally murder were widely reported in the press [which had not yet been censored by the U.S. military government]. When U.S. paratroopers landed in Sapporo an orgy of looting, sexual violence and drunken brawling ensued. Gang rapes and other sex atrocities were not infrequent […] Military courts arrested relatively few soldiers for their offences and convicted even fewer, and restitution for the victims was rare. Japanese attempts at self-defense were punished severely. In the sole instance of self-help that General Eichberger records in his memoirs, when local residents formed a vigilante group and retaliated against off-duty GIs, the Eighth Army ordered armored vehicles in battle array into the streets and arrested the ringleaders, who received lengthy prison terms.

The U.S. and Australian militaries did not maintain rule of law when it came to violations of Japanese women by their own forces, neither were the Japanese population allowed to do so themselves. Occupation forces could loot and rape as they pleased and were effectively above the law.

An example of such an incident was in April 1946, when approximately U.S. personnel in three trucks attacked the Nakamura Hospital in Omori district. The soldiers raped over 40 patients and 37 female staff. One woman who had given birth just two days prior had her child thrown on the floor and killed, and she was then raped as well. Male patients trying to protect the women were also killed. The following week several dozen U.S. military personnel cut the phone lines to a housing block in Nagoya and raped all the women they could capture there – including girls as young as ten years old and women as old as fifty-five.

Such behavior was far from unique to American soldiers. Australian forces conducted themselves in much the same way during their own deployment in Japan. As one Japanese witness testified: ‘As soon as Australian troops arrived in Kure in early 1946, they ‘dragged young women into their jeeps, took them to the mountain, and then raped them. I heard them screaming for help nearly every night.’ Such behavior was commonplace, but news of criminal activity by Occupation forces was quickly suppressed.

Australian officer Allan Clifton recalled his own experience of the sexual violence committed in Japan:

‘I stood beside a bed in hospital. On it lay a girl, unconscious, her long, black hair in wild tumult on the pillow. A doctor and two nurses were working to revive her. An hour before she had been raped by twenty soldiers. We found her where they had left her, on a piece of waste land. The hospital was in Hiroshima. The girl was Japanese. The soldiers were Australians. The moaning and wailing had ceased and she was quiet now. The tortured tension on her face had slipped away, and the soft brown skin was smooth and unwrinkled, stained with tears like the face of a child that has cried herself to sleep.’

Australians committing such crimes in Japan were, when discovered, given very minor sentences. Even these were most often later mitigated or quashed by Australian courts. Clifton recounted one such event himself, when an Australian court quashed a sentence given by a military court martial citing ‘insufficient evidence,’ despite the incident having several witnesses. It was clear that courts overseeing Western occupation forces took measures to protect their own from crimes committed against the Japanese – crimes which were largely regarded as just access to ‘spoils of war’ at the time by the Western occupiers.

As had been the case during the war, underreporting of rapes in peace- time due to the associated shame in a traditional society and inaction on the part of authorities (rapes in both cases occurred when Western militaries were themselves in power) would lower the figures significantly. In order to prevent ill feeling towards their occupation from increasing, the United States military government implemented very strict censorship of the media. Mention of crimes committed by Western military personnel against Japanese civilians was strictly forbidden. The occupying forces ‘issued press and pre-censorship codes outlawing the publication of all reports and statistics “inimical to the objectives of the Occupation.”’ When a few weeks into the occupation Japanese press mentioned the rape and widespread looting by American soldiers, the occupying forces quickly responded by censoring all media and imposing a zero tolerance policy against the reporting of such crimes. It was not only the crimes committed by Western forces, but any criticism of the Western allied powers whatsoever which was strictly forbidden during the occupation period – for over six years. This left the U.S. military government, the supreme authority in the country, beyond accountability. Topics such as the establishment of comfort stations and encouragement of vulnerable women into the sex trade, critical analysis of the black market, the population’s starvation level calorie intakes and even references to the Great Depression’s impact on Western economies, anti-colonialism, pan-Asianism and emerging Cold War tensions were all off limits.

What was particularly notable about the censorship imposed under American occupation was that it was intended to conceal its own existence. This meant that not only were certain subjects strictly off limits, but the mention of censorship was also forbidden. As Columbia University Professor Donald Keene noted: ‘the Occupation censorship was even more exasperating than Japanese military censorship had been because it insisted that all traces of censorship be concealed. This meant that articles had to be rewritten in full, rather than merely submitting XXs for the offending phrases.’ For the U.S. military government it was essential not only to control information – but also to give the illusion of a free press when the press was in fact more restricted than it had been even in wartime under imperial rule.

By going one step further to censor even the mention of censorship itself, the United States could claim to stand for freedom of press and freedom of expression. By controlling the media the American military government could attempt to foster goodwill among the Japanese people while making crimes committed by their personnel and those of their allies appear as isolated incidents. While the brutality of American and Australian militaries against Japanese civilians was evident during the war and in its immediate aftermath, it did not end with occupation. The United States has maintained a significant military presence in Japan ever since and crimes including sexual violence and murder against Japanese civilians continue to occur.”

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For Full Manuscript of Power and Primacy

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For A. B. Abrams’ upcoming work, scheduled for publication in October 2018, titled Immovable Object: North Koreans 70 Years at War with American Power:

  1. ‘Indonesia’s killing fields,’ Al Jazeera, December 21, 2012. ‘Looking into the massacres of Indonesia’s past,’ BBC, June 2, 2016. 
  2. Weiner, Time, ‘C. I. A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50’s and 60’s,’ New York Times, October 9, 1994. 
  3. ‘Stationing American troops in Japan will lead to bloody tragedy – ex-PM of Japan,’ RT, (televised interview), November 6, 2016. 
  4. ‘Ex-Japan FM: I Told Putin We Follow U.S. Policy as We’re Surrounded by Nuke States,’ Sputnik, May 22, 2018. 

Western Media’s Favorite Hong Kong ‘Freedom Struggle Writer’ Is American Ex-Amnesty Staffer in Yellowface

By Max Blumenthal

Source

 

Hong Kong Tsung Gan Brian Kern yellowface media f92af

An American man with ties to Amnesty International and key Hong Kong separatist figures has been posing online as a Hong Kong native named Kong Tsung-gan. Routinely cited as a grassroots activist and writer by major media organizations and published in English-language media, the fictitious character Kong appears to have been concocted to disseminate anti-China propaganda behind the cover of yellowface.

Through Kong Tsung-gan’s prolific digital presence and uninterrogated reputation in mainstream Western media, he disseminates a constant stream of content hyping up the Hong Kong “freedom struggle” while clamoring for the US to turn up the heat on China.

Whispers about Kong’s true identity have been circulating on social media among Hong Kong residents, and was even mentioned in a brief account last December by The Standard.

The Grayzone spoke to several locals outraged by a deceptive stunt they considered not only unethical, but racist. They said they have kept their views to themselves due to the atmosphere of intimidation looming over the city, where self-styled “freedom fighters” harass and target seemingly anyone who speaks out publicly against them.

In this investigation, The Grayzone connected the dots between Kong and an American man who has become a major presence in Western media and at protests around Hong Kong. Our research indicates that Kong’s editors and prominent protest cheerleaders were likely aware of the deceptive ploy.

Kong Tsung-gan bursts onto Hong Kong Twitter scene, becomes go-to source for anti-China content

The Twitter user Kong Tsung-gan (@KongTsungGan) first appeared in March 2015. Kong Tsung-gan’s earliest tweets featured commentary about Tibet and the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.

At some point, Kong changed his Twitter avatar to a black-and-white headshot of an unknown Asian person. A search of the Wayback Machine internet archive shows that this photo remained up until sometime in late 2019.

Later, Kong changed his Twitter avatar to an image depicting Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo was a right-wing ideologue who celebrated the US wars on Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and was rewarded with the 2014 Democracy Award by the National Endowment for Democracy – the favorite meddling machine of the US government.

As of August 2020, Kong Tsung-gan’s Twitter account boasts more than 32,000 followers. He live-tweets during protests, posts incendiary commentary about the Communist Party of China (CPC), likens the Hong Kong “struggle” to Tibet and Xinjiang, begs the United States to ram through sanction bills like the Hong Kong Safe Harbor and Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Acts, urges NBA star Lebron James to “find out about our freedom struggle,” retweets Nancy Pelosi and other US politicians, promotes his books, maintains an ongoing tally of arrests in his regular “#HK CRACKDOWN WATCH UPDATE,” and disseminates images of protest posters.

At around the time he created his Twitter account, Kong Tsung-gan published his first Medium post. He has since filled his Medium feed with protest timelines, lists of recommended human rights books and journalism (including a link to the questionable China “expert” Adrian Zenz), and “first-hand accounts” of his protest experiences on the ground. In one account, Kong Tsung-gan claimed he attended a Band 1 government school, implying he was a native Hong Kong resident.

Kong’s work has been amplified by Joshua Wong, the Hong Kong protest poster-boy who has enjoyed photo-ops with neoconservative Republican senators like Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton.

Thanks to his continual stream of content on Twitter and Medium, and his platform on the website Hong Kong Free Press, Kong Tsung-gan has become one of mainstream Western media’s go-to sources for soundbites.

Kong Tsung-gan: Darling of the Western press

Since bursting onto the Hong Kong Twitter scene, Kong Tsung-gan has been quoted by a who’s who of Western corporate media outlets. He has been described as an “author” (CNNGlobe and MailTime), “writer and activist” (New York TimesWashington Post), “activist and author” (LA Times),“activist” (AFPAl Jazeera), “writer, educator and activist” (Guardian), “political writer” (Foreign Policy), “writer” (Vice), and “Hong Kong writer and activist” in an op-ed posted by the Nikkei Asian Review.

Kong has also been cited as a “Hong Kong journalist and rights activist” by Radio Free Asia and as a “rights activist and author” by Voice of America, two subsidiaries of the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Tasked with a mission to “be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States,” the USAGM budgeted around $2 million to support protests in Hong Kong in 2020.

When he is not churning out commentary on Twitter and Medium accounts, Kong Tsung-gan is a columnist at Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) and publishes books about the Hong Kong “freedom struggle,” whose proceeds go directly to HKFP.

Hong Kong Free Press describes itself as an “impartial non-profit media outlet” and “completely independent.” The outlet also boasted that it “gets full marks” from a supposed journalism ethics verification initiative called News Guard, which happens to be overseen by a collection of former US government national security and law enforcement officials.

HKFP editor-in-chief Tom Grundy has boasted of rejecting article pitches from deceptive figures operating behind false identities. At the same time, Grundy has provided a regular home for Kong’s commentary.

The Grayzone emailed HKFP to request a comment on Kong’s identity, but received no reply.

The distinctly American voice of Kong Tsung-gan

To burnish his reputation as a reliable source, Kong Tsung-gan has furnished audio interviews to Western outlets. In July 2019, Kong Tsung-gan was featured on Louisa Lim’s Little Red Podcast alongside National Endowment for Democracy fellow Johnson Yeung, lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick, and former Hong Kong Chief Secretary Anson Chan.

Around the same time, an American man in Hong Kong named Brian Kern spoke to RTHK at a march commemorating the Tiananmen anniversary.

A close listen to both audio clips, along with an interview Kong furnished to an Italian interviewer, demonstrates that Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Kern are the same person.

Listen for yourself here, or in the video embedded at the top of this article:

Indeed, the distinctively American voices of Kong Tsung-gan and Brian Kern are the same.

So why have news outlets like Hong Kong Free Press failed to disclose that Kong Tsung-gan is a pen name for an American man? Who is Brian Kern? And why is he yellowfacing as Kong Tsung-gan?

In plain sight: American teacher coordinating with Hong Kong protesters

Brian Patrick Kern has been a fixture at the Hong Kong protests since they erupted in 2019. He has been profiled by the Chinese press, photographed cleaning egg stains off the walls of the police headquarters and escorting his children to demonstrations.

Kern has even been filmed coordinating with protesters and rioters in videos circulating on social media.

*(Brian Kern conferring with Hong Kong protesters)

In another video that went viral on social media, Kern was filmed screaming at the police: “You’re a communist puppet! … Kill us all!… With your bug gun, shoot me! I’m so violent! I’m a violent rioter! Shoot me! Your communist masters will love you!”

Brian Kern also writes for the HKFP as a guest contributor under his own name.

Clearly, Kern enjoys the spotlight, and has no apparent fear of local authorities.

But few people know that Brian Kern also hides behind the persona of Kong Tsung-gan, furnishing quotes to media outlets across the West as an expert native source on the Hong Kong “freedom struggle.”

Brian Kern publishes anti-China books under at least two pseudonyms

Not only does Brian Patrick Kern write as Kong Tsung-gan, which he romanized to seem like a Hong Kong native; he also writes under the pen name Xun Yuezang, romanized to appear as a Chinese mainlander. Writings under both aliases are filled with warnings of the “creeping control of the Chinese Communist Party.”

As Kong Tsung-gan, Brian Kern has published three booksUmbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong (Pema Press), As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle in the post-Umbrella Movement era, 2014-2018 (Pema Press), and Liberate Hong Kong: Stories from the Freedom Struggle (Mekong Review).

As Xun Yuezang, Brian Kern has published Liberationists (Pema Press), which “tells the story of a human rights worker who disappears while crossing the border between Hong Kong and mainland China.” One reviewer wrote, “like many debut novels, [Liberationists] a work weighed down by its own good intentions.” In the book, “Xun Yuezang” discloses that it was published under a pseudonym.

No matter which alias he is employing, Brian Kern’s mission is clear: To portray the CPC as one of the world’s most dangerous evildoers.

Kern’s books also are filled with clues exposing him as the man behind both Xun Yuezang and Kong Tsung-gan. Xun Yuezang dedicated the book Liberationists to Mayren “who struggled so long to be free.” Brian Kern’s mother is named Mayren.

Liberationists was also dedicated to someone referred to simply as “Y.” Similarly, Kong Tsung-gan dedicated Liberate Hong Kong: Stories from the Freedom Struggle to “Y, for the shared struggle.” The name of Brian Kern’s wife, Yatman, begins with the letter “Y.”

Pema Press is the publisher for the work by Xun and Kong. Brian Kern’s daughter happens to be named Pema – the same name as the publisher. (It is possible Kern named both his publishing house and his daughter after Jetsun Pema, sister of the Dalai Lama, with whom he and his wife worked in the Tibetan Children’s Villages charity.)

Kern’s Orientalist stunt could be compared to that of Michael Derrick Hudson, a white middle-aged poet from Indiana who struggled to get his work published until he began submitting it to journals under the pseudonym Yi-Fen Chou.

Unlike Hudson’s fake Chinese persona, however, Kern is a political actor posing as a native grassroots activist to spread propaganda. His ploy is therefore more reminiscent of the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax, in which Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old American graduate student at the University of Edinburgh, posed as a Damascus-based lesbian activist named “Amina Arraf” to gin up left-liberal support for regime change in Syria throughout 2011.

Kern’s personal profile is similar to MacMaster’s as well. Both are activist-minded liberal internationalist types with PhDs in literature. But unlike MacMaster, who forged a career in academia, Kern also has a record of work in the human rights industry.

Amnesty and US regime change links

Brain Kern grew up in Minnesota and completed his PhD in Comparative Literature at Brown University in 1996. In 1998, he began teaching at the Red Cross Nordic United World College (UWCRCN) in Norway, where he met his wife, Yatman Cheng.

Cheng graduated from UWCRCN in 2002 and received a Jardine Foundation scholarship to attend Oxford. In 2003 or 2004, as a university student, she volunteered with the Tibetan Children’s Villages in India on a trip organized by her college and led by Brian Kern.

In 2004, Cheng became a summer intern at the Hong Kong think tank Civic Exchange, which has received funding from the National Democratic Institute, a subsidiary of the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. Cheng and Kern lived in London in 2007, where Kern worked for Amnesty International as a member of their education team.

In 2008, they moved to Hong Kong, where Kern began teaching at the Chinese International School and established its human rights club.

A few of Kern’s former students appear to work with him behind the cover of his false Asian identity. Several have translated work by Joshua Wong for Kong Tsung-gan’s Medium blog, and one designed the cover for one of Kong Tsung-gan’s books.

Where is Brian Kern now?

Brian Patrick Kern was last seen in public on May 24, 2020, marching with lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-Dick in a demonstration against China’s National Security Law.

Weeks later, Kong Tsung-gan published his next book, Liberate Hong Kong: Stories From The Freedom Struggle. Hong Kong’s last British colonial governor Chris Patten praised the tract as “a fascinating insider’s look at what has happened, which will be a defining issue for China’s place in the twenty-first century.”

Did Chris Patten know Kong Tsung-gan was a made-up person?

And how about Tom Grundy, the editor-in-chief of Hong Kong Free Press? Did he know that his columnist, Kong, was actually an American named Brian Kern?

Below, Kern can be seen warmly greeting Grundy during the June 2019 Wan Chai Police station siege:

This August, Kong Tsung-gan published a long-winded diatribe against China’s National Security Law in the Mekong Review, clamoring for harsh US sanctions on Beijing. While acknowledging in small print at the end of the essay that Kong was a pen name, Kern continued to insinuate that he was a Hong Kong native.

“An indication of just how draconian the CCP edict is, is that I could be arrested, charged with ‘colluding with foreign forces’, and face up to life in prison just for calling for sanctions on CCP and HK officials,” he wrote.

In reality, the author was not colluding with foreign forces. He was the foreign force.

According to Hong Kong locals contacted by The Grayzone, Kern is rumored to have left the city.

Facing Difficulties, Do not React Defensively

Facing Difficulties, Do not React Defensively

August 10, 2020

by Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

At the end of the year 2019, I wrote: „From my point of view, 2019 was a very positive year and I am convinced that the same will be the case for 2020.“ Unfortunately, my expectations for 2020 have turned out to be too optimistic. There is however no reason to hang one’s head. The general outlook remains positive, a Western dominated world has gone forever.

Shit Happens

The year 2020 started badly with to murder of general Soleimani. Even, US-president Trump could „proudly“ claim that he was responsible for this abominable act, without paying an appropriate prize, until now. The reaction of the Iranian people and of other peoples in the region were very impressive, but there was also this accident with the Ukrainian civil aircraft. Next, there was a very positive offensive of the Syrian army and its allies against the terrorists in Idlib. However, an impertinent invasion of Turkey, openly supporting the terrorists and partly replacing them, was able to stop the offensive. It is true that, in March, there was an agreement between Russia and Turkey concerning the situation in Idlib. But this agreement was not as positive as expected. The Syrian government and the Syrian Army did not obtain an adequate place in this agreement. Since then, the situation in Idlib and in the other parts of Syria occupied by Turkey or USA or Israel is rather blocked, the Syrian side could not make real progressses in the liberation of her country.

Next came this pandemic. Again, it is true that in the first phase, the rich European and North-American countries were the most touched. But in the sequel, the countries of the global South were more and more affected, in particular in Latin America. In Russia also, the pandemic has become a big problem. And while it is clear that the economy in the rich European countries is really suffering, the situation for the peoples in the global South is even worse, for obvious reasons. Among other things, their central banks cannot so easily provide lot of money.

And now, there is this terrible explosion in Beyrouth.

Some Positive Developments

Nevertheless, the post-Western side has made progresses, in a calm and solid way. China has adopted a key law concerning Honk Kong which gives better possibilities in order to fight against the criminals there, the latter being openly supported by the West. In Russia, important amendments of the constitution were adopted by a clear majority. An economic collaboration between Iran and Venezuela is developing, despite the stubborn opposition of the USA. A plan for a long term, big partnership between China and Iran has been elaborated. Also, Iran and Syria have formally strengthen their military cooperation. The patriotic forces in Yemen could liberate more parts of their country and are now close to the strategic city of Ma’rib.

During the pandemic, Cuba has gained many friends because of her medical system. Countries like China, Vietnam, Syria, as well as the Hezbollah in Lebanon have reacted fast and predominantly correct, better than many other countries. Due to the fact that the economy in East Asia and Southeast Asia seems to recover quite well from the pandemic, it can be expected that the Western influence in this crucial region will further weaken. And I would say that the general situation in China remains very pleasant.

Destructive Attitude of the Hegemonic West

The hegemonic West is in the defensive. Their behavior is more and more destructive. The USA are no longer capable of developing their proper strength so they just concentrate on bothering the others. The sanctions against Syria and Lebanon, against Huawei, and against the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 are typical examples.

The West is still in a big crisis. In the USA in particular, the crisis is quite enormous. Also in Israel, with the repetitions of elections and an unstable government, the current conditions are not so well. Nonetheless, the USA and Israel remain as aggressive and as brutal as ever and, at least for the moment, they are not stopped. However, one gets the strong impression that their actions are increasingly desperate.

The rich European countries do not intend to change something important in order to do more for a world of more justice. They continue with their anti-Chinese, anti-Russian, anti-Iranian, anti-Syrian, and anti-Venezuelan politics, more or less with impunity. On the other hand, during the pandemic, the popularity of the USA in the rich European countries has got weak and the general pressure for a more autonomous European politic is clearly increasing.

Blame the West or Strengthen the Own Position ?

The combination of the occurring problems described above and the destructive attitude of the West often provoke a reaction which blames the West for all these problems. The meaning is quite popular that the Ukrainian plane was hit due to Western sabotage, that the pandemic was a US bio-attack against China, or that the Beyrouth explosion was the result of an outside strike. Of course, all this is possible. Morally speaking, Western hegemonists and Zionists are certainly able of such criminal acts, there have been enough examples in the past.

Nevertheless, there is also the question of a wise general approach to the current situation. What signifies this spontaneous leaning to see the West as the responsible? Certainly, on the one hand, there is the intention to counter the Western media for which it is inconceivable that the West is behind atrocities. On the other hand, there is also the result that the West appears as almighty. This is a defensive position which lacks confidence in one’s own strength.

Objectively speaking, Western hegemonism is much weaker now than in the past. They are not almighty. They are not at all able of planing all in advance – and of acting accordingly. They are not omniscient and they are not unbeatable masters of manipulation.

Look at Hassan Nasrallah’s speech of August 7. This is a very good example of concentrating on one’s own strength. Nasrallah focused on Lebanon and the Lebanese people. He expressed his feelings for the affected families and promised help for them. He called for solidarity and unity in Lebanon. He spoke of his conviction that Lebanon will be able to establish the causes of the explosions, to identify those who are responsible, and to hold them accountable. He insisted that this tragedy also gives opportunities for Lebanon. He spoke in positive terms of the international solidarity, which happens despite the US sanctions against Lebanon. Nasrallah finally clearly stated that all those who try to exploit this tragedy in order to attack Hezbollah, will fail.

China is another example of this mood. Since the Chinese people has stood up in 1949, China has learned to carefully analyze the own situation and to accept that not all problems come from outside.

Similarly, when you are against capitalism, it is notwithstanding wrong to blame capitalists for all economic problems. And governments in the Western countries are not always wrong and are not always corrupt. Moreover, you cannot blame the Western media for all your erroneous ideas – nor can I blame somebody else when my proper ideas turn out to be mistaken.

During the pandemic in the Western countries, the same type of questions arose. Who should be blamed, who can be made responsible? Attacking routinely the governments is rather defensive. Insisting during months on the question whether wearing a mask is a good thing, is a job for specialists, not for anti-hegemonic people. And all these claims that the whole pandemic is essentially a big manipulation, show a quite immature viewpoint.

I can only repeat: In order to build a post-Western (and post-Zionist) world, it is not enough to blame the West (and the Zionists). Own values and own concepts are required. If there are problems, one should look for opportunities.

Very probable, the difficulties inside the anti-hegemonic movement of the last months are temporary, they are not due to a reinforcement of the hegemonic camp. Remaining calm, solid, confident, and positive is an appropriate attitude.

هدنة غربيّة وبعض الداخل اللبنانيّ مذعور

د.وفيق إبراهيم

ميزة النفوذ الغربي ـ الأميركي أنه يستعمل كل إمكاناته الضخمة والمتنوعة لترسيخ سيطرته على العالم. فلا يوفر الحروب والقتل والاغتيالات والانقلابات والحصار الاقتصادي وتعميم الجوع والقنابل الضخمة والنووية والتفجير والطوائف والقبائل والجهات.

لكنه عندما يستهلك آلياته الشديدة التنوّع والفتك يبحث عن تسويات ومهادنات تحفظ له شيئاً من سيطرته، حتى يتمكّن من إعادة بناء توازنات جديدة قد تعيد له ما فقده.

من جهة القوى السياسية في لبنان فإنها وباستثناء نموذج حزب الله المختلف عنها الى حدود التناقض، تعمل منذ تأسيس لبنان الكبير على قاعدة تنفيذ المشاريع الخارجية مقابل حشرها في مواقع السلطة الداخلية.

لم يتغيّر هذا المشهد التاريخيّ منذ زمن القناصل وحتى مرحلة السيطرة الأميركية الاحادية على العالم، تكفي هنا العودة الى سجلات القناصل الفرنسيين والانجليز والبروسيين والروس وذكريات المستعمرين العثمانيين حتى ينكشف التماثل الكامل مع الوضع الحالي.

وكما كانت تلك القوى الداخلية لا تملك قدرات تغيير في المشهد السياسي في تلك المرحلة، لا شعبياً ولا عسكرياً، فكانت تؤدي أدوار بيادق في خدمة الصراعات الدولية والإقليمية التي كانت مندلعة آنذاك، فإن القوى الحالية نسخة عنها بلباس القرن الحادي والعشرين.

أليس هذا ما يحدث اليوم مع استثناء بنيوي وحيد هو حزب الله الذي يشذ عن قاعدة «البيدق الأجير» بانياً مقاومة تنتصر في معادلة موازين قوى صعبة للغاية وضع في وجهها جهاديّته التاريخية.

فما الفارق بين جعجع وجنبلاط والحريري والجميل والكهنوت الدينيّ وشمعون وبين قوى الطوائف منذ قرنين.. هي نفسها تحمل مفهوم الاستزلام للغرب المتنوّع لتنفيذ مشاريعه ونيل مكافآت كما الأطفال، بعض الحلوى المسروقة من الدولة.

هذا ما يجري في لبنان حالياً مع اختلاف التوازنات الداخلية والإقليمية، فهناك قوى عربية منصاعة للنفوذ الأميركي ترشوه بمليارات الدولارات ليواصل حمايتها، الى جانب التقليد اللبناني المتنوع والطائفي الذي يناشد الغرب الفرنسي والأميركي لاحتلال لبنان وإنقاذه مما يدعوه «هيمنة حزب الله».

هذا الشعار يفضح بسرعة أصحابه، لأن حزب الله «لبناني ولديه قاعدة شعبية تشمل لبنان»، وهذا يعني ان لبنانيين يطلبون من قوى أجنبية تحطيم لبنانيين آخرين.

أما على مستوى المشروع، فيكفي أن حزب الله أخرج القوات المتعدّدة الجنسية من لبنان في 1983 محارباً الاحتلال الاسرائيلي حتى طرده من الجنوب في العام 2000 وردعه في 2006.. مقاتلاً الإرهاب في سورية منذ 2013 بشراسة المدافع عن بلاده ووطنه، ودحره في جرود عرسال اللبنانية في الشرق.

كانت الاشارة الى هذا التاريخ الجهادي ضرورية للمقارنة مع قوى لبنانية تطالب الغرب بتجريده من سلاحه.. فمن يستفيد من هذه الخدمة بالمباشر هما «إسرائيل» والإرهاب؟ وعالمياً هو النفوذ الأميركي الغربي الذي أحدث حزب الله ثقوباً واسعة في سيطرته الإقليمية، من اليمن الى لبنان فالعراق وسورية ناشراً فكرة ان النفوذ الأميركي قابل للهزيمة وأن «إسرائيل» قابلة للكسر، على الرغم من أنها هزمت الدول العربية منذ 1984 وحتى اليوم.

يتّضح بالاستنتاج أن هذه القوى تتبنى المشروع الغربي الذي يؤكد أن حزب الله هو المعوّق الأساس لنفوذ في الشرق ويشكل تهديداً كبيراً لهيمنته على العالم الإسلامي، وذلك عبر نظرية التقليد، فالكثير من القوى في الشرق الأوسط تميل الى تقليد حزب الله في مجابهة الأميركيين والإسرائيليين، خصوصاً بعد انتصاره في أكثر من نزال لبناني وخارجي.

لذلك فإن هذه القوى الداخلية فقدت لبنانيّتها لأنها تهاجم حزباً يواصل الدفاع عن لبنان منذ 38 سنة على الاقل، مقابل أن هذه القوى تتعامل مع الكيان الاسرائيلي منذ 45 عاماً على الأقل، وقادة بعض فئاتها استقبلت قائد جيش الاحتلال ووزير دفاعه شارون في قصورها، فيما نسق البعض الآخر في لبنان مع الاحتلال الاسرائيلي منذ 1982.

ليس غريباً على هذه القوى أن تكون أداة داخلية للمشروع الغربي ـ الاسرائيلي الدائم بالإمساك بلبنان وخنقه.

هناك تغيير ما أحدث تغييراً في المشهد اللبناني الرتيب، يتعلق بانتصار حزب الله مع تحالفاته ووصول المشروع الأميركي الى حائط مسدود، وهذا يتطلب في لغة الدول البراغماتية التنقيب عن هدنة ضرورية للمحافظة على ما تبقى.

ضمن هذه المعادلة، يستعمل الأميركيون قواهم اللبنانية لتحسين موقعهم في الهدنة، وهذا ما لا يفهمه لبنانيوها الذي يعتقدون أن الهجوم الأميركي مستمر. وهذا يكشف ان الأميركيين يوهمون آلياتهم اللبنانية، انهم يريدون تكسير حزب الله.. والضحايا هم بالطبع جعجع والكتائب وبعض الكهنوت الديني والحريري، ويبتهل جنبلاط لكنه اصبح خبيراً بالتلاعب الأميركي فيضع كعادته رجل ولده تيمور في الفلاحة ورأس رجله مروان حمادة في البور، مطلقاً هجمات على الفاسدين علماً أنه لا يزال ينال حصة على كل استهلاك للبنزين والغاز والمازوت، فيما يتقاضى الحريري من شركائه نصف المبالغ الرسمية المخصصة للباخرتين التركيتين اللتين تنيران لبنان بالكهرباء.

هناك إذاً خدعة أميركية يصدقها جعجع – جنبلاط – الحريري في حين أن تحركاتهم الفوضوية في شوارع بيروت يستعملها الأميركيون والاوروبيون للإبقاء على نفوذهم في لبنان ومنعه من الرحيل نحو الصين وروسيا والعراق وإيران وبلدان اخرى على رأسها سورية التي لا يمكن للبنان الاستغناء عنها.

بذلك يتضح أن هذه القوى اللبنانية تدفع بالبلاد نحو حرب اهلية وبحماقة تاريخية تسألهم اذا كان الأميركيون والإرهاب فشلا في إلحاق هزيمة بحزب الله، فهل تستطيعون انتم بامكاناتكم التلفزيونية والطائفية؟ واذا كانت «اسرائيل» مذعورة من حزب الله فهل انتم اقوى منها؟

وهذا يوضح ان هذه القوى لا تهتم بمصلحة بلدها بل بالسيطرة على الدولة للاستمرار في مفاسدها وسقوطها التاريخي مقابل تقديم البلاد هدية للنفوذ الأميركي الخليجي الاسرائيلي.

للتوضيح، فإن هذه القوى تعتقد أن بإمكانها الفرار للاحتماء بطوائفها عند الهزيمة، وهناك مَن يجيبها بأن لبنان بأسره لن يسمح لها مجدداً بالاحتماء بأسوار الدين المسيّس، وقد تصبح عبرة لكل المتعاملين مع الغرب في الشرق الأوسط.

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‏يظلّ لبنان هو القوي، ‏لا ماكرون ولا غير ماكرون ولا كل زعماء الأرض من كبيرهم الذي علمهم السحر الى صغيرهم أزعر الحارة المختبئ خلف بعض أقزام السياسة هنا او هناك…

نعم ثمّة مبادرة فرنسية طرحها ماكرون على عجل بخصوص حكومة وحدة وطنية او تشاركية

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وثانياً ليتم امتصاص محاولات توظيفها السيئ والتخريبي من جانب الذين تعودوا التبعية للخارج من احزاب السفارات…

‏ومع ذلك يجب أن لا تغرّنكم استعراضات مانويل ماكرون ولا بهلوانياته الكلامية…

‏اطمأنوا انه لم يكن ليزور بيروت أصلاً حتى مع هذا الحدث الجلل لولا صمودكم أنتم يا جمهور وبيئة المقاومة ووقوفكم بعزم وحزم خلف قيادتكم الحكيمة والرشيدة والمسددة..

‏ولم يكن ليتجرأ اصلاً على التمايز ولو ظاهرياً مع الأميركي ويلتقي وبخصوصية ظاهرة للعيان مع من اسمه على لوائح الإرهاب لولا شعوره بان ما تبقى له من أتباع في لبنان باتوا شحاذين على الطرقات…

‏لقد جاء ليستعيد بعض ما خسره على شواطئ المتوسط والهلال الخصيب، وتحديداً بعدما يئس من سورية والعراق وليبيا…

ومع ذلك نقول لكل من راهن او يراهن على الخارج بان عقارب الساعة لن تعود الى الوراء، كما ان الزمن ليس زمن القرن التاسع عشر ولا زمن إمارة لبنان الصغير ولا الكبير.

‏إنه زمن المقاومة والشموخ والعز وزمن السيد الأمين…

موازين القوى على الأرض تغيرت كثيراً جداً…

‏وحكومة دياب هي حكومة مخلصة تبلورت من تضاريس أوجاع الناس وآلامها وهي أشرف من كل تاريخ الفاسدين والمفسدين الذين تربوا في أحضان الدول الكبرى والقناصل والسفارات..

‏وهي ستعمل حتى الساعة الأخيرة من زمن الصمود والتصدي قبل أن يقرر أصحاب القرار الحقيقيون اللبنانيون من استبدالها بحكومة أخرى، فزمن الوصاية قد ولى

‏ ولبنان بات أكبر من ان يتطاول عليه احد.

واما ماذا يعد الغرب السلطوي الهيمني وتحديداً الأميركي للبنان فإليكم تقديرنا:

فخلافاً لما كان يعتقده البعض بأن الأميركيين كانوا يريدون التهدئة خلال المرحلة المتبقية لهم الى حين استحقاق الرئاسة الأميركية، فقد كان الاعتقاد الأقرب ان الاميركي سيستمر في تنفيذ برنامجه، وقد أعد للموجة الثانية من الضغط على المقاومة واصدقائها في لبنان، بالتزامن مع إعلان الأحكام النهائية للمحكمة الدولية في السابع من آب، الا ان الانفجار «المفاجئ «الذي حصل في مرفأ بيروت من خارج أجندة ترامب في الظاهر أربك اجندته واستعجل حلفاء أميركا في استثمار هذه المأساة الانسانية لقلب الأوضاع وتحميل حزب الله والحكومة الحالية المسؤولية والعودة الى مقولة إخراج كل الرؤساء من الحياة السياسية اللبنانية عبر دفعهم للاستقالة، بتفكير ساذج تقوده القوات والكتائب وحراس المدينة والاشتراكي والحريرية الباطنية بدفع أميركي، معترضين على النهج السياسي الذي ستسلكه الدول الغربية وعلى رأسهم فرنسا – التي يبدو أنها خذلتهم – وبعض الدول التي تحركت لاستيعاب محور قوي على وشك السيطرة على غرب آسيا ومحاصرة «اسرائيل» المحور المتجه شرقاً بقوة، مما يعني خروجهم النهائي من المنطقة، لذا فإن هذه الاندفاعة للاستقالات من البرلمان والاحتجاجات بالشارع هي محاولة اليائس من إحداث تغيير لصالحه في لبنان وبسرعة.

وما تفعله وسائل الاعلام المعروفة ونزولها الى الدرك الاسفل من المهنية والمناقبية والأخلاقية، والتزامها امام مشغلها الاميركي بقيادة الجماهير الغاضبة وتأطيرها لصالح التحشيد ضد ايران والحزب تمهيداً لطرح الشعار المنتظر كما في العراق إيران بره بره…

وحزب…. بره بره…

لهذا الغرب ولأتباعه الصغار نقول بان أميركا الشيطان الأكبر واولئك المتمسكين بذيلها لقد فقدتم المصداقية وباتت جوقتكم تصرخ في واد سحيق لا قرار له ولا صدى، بسبب وعي الجمهور اللبناني المتنامي، وانكشاف كذبكم وتضليلكم وغشكم، ولن تنفع كل محاولات التضليل لهز إيمان الجمهور المستهدف بجرّه لحرب أهلية بقضيته ووطنه ومعرفة عدوه الحقيقي.

نقولها وبكل يقين المرحلة القادمة ليست لكم وسيخيب ظنكم وأملكم حتى ولو بعد صدور قرار المحكمة الدولية، لأن المشروع والبرنامج الأميركي بات واضحاً جدا ولا احد يمكنه الدفاع عنه لأنه بات بدون مصداقية ومكشوف جداً.

المعركة مستمرة وهي في لبنان تتعقد في ذروة اشتباك أمني اقتصادي سياسي واجتماعي استراتيجي، يحتاج للكثير من الصبر والبصيرة والتروي والحكمة للانتصار على هؤلاء الشياطين المتمرسين في الشيطنة.

أخيراً وليس آخرا يبقى الأمر لنا بيقين الاوفياء والمخلصين والعاضين على الجراح.

‏ وعصابات الهاغانا «اللبنانية» من أزلام السفارات التي نزلت للشارع لإكمال فاجعة هيروشيما بيروت وإخفاء او إتلاف وثائق الإدانة بحرقها للوزارات…

لن تتمكن من تحقيق مآرب أسيادها…

‏واما الهجوم الديبلوماسي الاستعراضي الغربي لإغاثة لبنان

‏فإن الهدف منه قطع الطريق على طريق الحرير الصيني في محطة لبنان…

‏هل لاحظتم ‏صمت الناطق الصينيّ الروسيّ الإيراني…!؟

‏ وسمو سيد الحرب والسلام في خطابه الأخير..!؟

‏إنهم يتجرّعون السم

‏ونحن نحضّر لصعود الجليل.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

An Attack on Edward Said’s Legacy

Source

by Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson | Author | Common Dreams

Part I—Meeting Caroline Glick

I traveled to Israel and the Occupied Territories in the early 2000s with the progressive group Faculty for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. We made an effort to gain insight into most of the players in the conflict, and so a series of interviews was arranged with members of the Israeli right wing. I remember that one of them was Caroline Glick, an ardent American-Israeli Zionist. She lectured us on the positive personal relationships allegedly prevalent between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. 

It was an interesting and somewhat embarrassing experience. Glick and I are both American and both Jewish. Growing up, I had this understanding that American plus Jewish always meant being anti-racist. To be so was, in my mind, the prime lesson of modern Jewish history. What being anti-racist meant to Glick was unclear. She spent the better part of an hour giving us a defense of Israeli-Jewish treatment of Palestinians based on the classic “some of my best friends are Black” (read Palestinian) defense. In the words of the New York Times journalist John Eligon, this line of argument “has so often been relied on by those facing accusations of racism that it has become shorthand for weak denials of bigotry—a punch line about the absence of thoughtfulness and rigor in our conversations about racism.” And so it was with Glick, who explained that she, and many other Israeli Jews, had Palestinians who do small jobs for them and are treated well, and that this proves a lack of cultural and societal racism. It was such a vacuous argument that I remember feeling embarrassed for her. 

Things haven’t gotten much better when it comes to Ms. Glick’s worldview. She is now a senior columnist at Israel Hayom (Israel Today, a pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by the family of Sheldon Anderson) and contributor to such questionable U.S. outlets as Breitbart NewsShealso directs the Israeli Security Project at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. There can be little doubt that she continues to see the world through the distorting lens of a particularly hardline variant of Zionism.  

Part II—Glick’s Attack on Edward Said’s Legacy 

Recently, Caroline Glick launched an attack on the legacy of the late American-Palestinian scholar and teacher Edward Said. Entitled “Edward Said, Prophet of Political Violence in America,” it was recently (7 July 2020) published in the U.S. by Newsweek—a news magazine with an increasingly pro-Zionist editorial stand. As it turns out, one cannot find a better example of how ideology can distort one’s outlook to the point of absurdity. Below is an analysis of Glick’s piece in a point-by-point fashion. Ultimately, the ideological basis for her argument will become clear. 

1. Glick begins by resurrecting a twenty-year-old event. “On July 3, 2000, an incident occurred along the Lebanese border with Israel that, at the time, seemed both bizarre and … unimportant. That day, Columbia University professor Edward Said was photographed on the Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese side of the border with Israel throwing a rock at an Israel Defense Forces watchtower 30 feet away.” She goes on to describe this act as “Said’s rock attack on Israel” and the “soldiers protecting their border.”

We need some context to put all of this in perspective: Israel is an expansionist state, and the original Zionist aim (as presented to the Paris Peace Conference following World War I) was to incorporate parts of southern Lebanon into what is now Israel. Southern Lebanon also briefly became a staging area for Palestinian retaliatory attacks into Israel. Thus, Israel invaded Lebanon multiple times only to be forced to withdraw in the face of resistance led by Hezbollah, a strong Lebanese Shiite militia in control of much of southern Lebanon.  

Said relates that during his 2000 visit to the Lebanese border with his family, he threw a pebble (not a “rock”) at a deserted Israeli watchtower (no Israeli soldiers were “defending their border”).  Said saw this as a symbolic act of defiance against Israeli occupation. Over the years stone throwing by Palestinian youth had become just such a symbolic act. And, it was from their example that Said might have taken his cue.

2. However, Glick wants to draw highly questionable consequences from Said’s act. She tells us that “with the hindsight of 20 years, it was a seminal moment and a harbinger for the mob violence now taking place in many parts of America.” By the way, the “mob violence” in America she is referring to is the mass protests against police brutality that followed the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on 25 May 2020.

3. Now that sounds a bit odd. How does Glick manage this segue from Edward Said’s symbolic stone toss in the year 2000 to nationwide inner-city rebellions against police brutality in 2020 America? Here is the contorted sequence she offers: 

a. Said was a terrorist because he was an influential member of the alleged “terrorist organization,” the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). “Terrorist organization” is a standard Zionist descriptor of most Palestinian organizations. Actually, the PLO is the legally recognized representative of the Palestinian people and as such has carried on both a armed and a diplomatic struggle to liberate Palestine from Israeli Occupation. In 1993, the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist. This made little difference to the Zionist right wing who, like Glick, continued to use the terrorist tag for propaganda purposes. It is to be noted that all liberation movements are considered to be “terrorist” by those they fight against. And, indeed both sides in such a struggle usually act in this fashion on occasion. Certainly, Israel is no innocent in this regard. 

b. For Glick, Said’s alleged terrorist connection transforms his “rock attack” into a terrorist act. This is simply an ad hominem assertion on Glick’s part. There is no evidence that Said ever engaged in any act, including the tossing of stones, that can sanely be characterized as terrorism.

c. Glick tells us that, at the same time Said was ‘committing a terrorist attack’ on Israel, he was also “the superstar of far-Left intellectuals.” It is hard to know what she means here by “far-Left.” It is seems to be another ad hominem slander. Said was a scholar of Comparative Literature and, when not in the classroom, he advocated for the political and human rights of oppressed Palestinians—how “far-Left” is that?

d. Nonetheless, Glick goes on to assert that as a “far-Left” academic, Said waged a “nihilistic” and “anti-intellectual” offensive against Western thought. He did so in a well-known work entitled Orientalism published in 1978.

What does Orientalism actually say? Using mostly 19th century literary and artistic examples, the book documents the prevailing Western perception of the Near East and North Africa, which stands in for the Orient. This perception reflects a basically bipolar worldview—one which, according to Said, reserved for the West a superior image of science and reason, prosperity and high culture, and for the Orient an inferior somewhat mysterious and effeminate image of the “other” fated for domination by the West. Over time this view became pervasive in the West and influenced not only literary and artistic views of the Orient, but also impacted political, historical, anthropological and other non-fictional interpretations. Having helped create a superior sense of self, this orientalist perception served as a rationale for Western world dominance. It should be said that whether one agrees with every one of Said’s details or not, there is no doubt his well researched and documented work has made most scholars more aware of their biases.

e. Glick refuses to see Orientalism asjust an influential academic work. Instead, in what appears to be a pattern of illogical jumps, she claims that “in Orientalism, Said characterized all Western—and particularly American—scholarship on the Arab and Islamic worlds as one big conspiracy theory” designed to justify empire. This then is the heart of Said’s alleged “nihilistic” repudiation of Western scholarship. She particularly points to Said’s claim that “From the Enlightenment period through the present every European, in what he could say about the Orient, was a racist, an imperialist and almost totally ethnocentric.” While this is a far-reaching generalization, it basically reflects an equally pervasive, very real Western cultural bias. What Glick describes as a “conspiracy theory” is Said’s scholarly demonstration of how that bias has expressed itself. And, it should be noted that such pervasive biases are not uniquely American nor even Western. Chinese, Japanese, Arab/Muslim, Hindu and Jewish civilizations have their own variants of such biases. Yet, it is Said’s effort to expose and ameliorate the orientalism of the West that seems to madden Caroline Glick.

f. For Glick, Said’s suggestion that both past as well as many present scholars have culturally biased points of view of the Orient becomes an accusation that any “great scholar” with a classical Western worldview “is worse than worthless. If he is a white American, he is an agent of evil.” Glick is now building a real head of steam and her account becomes more and more grotesque. She now claims that Said’s work is “intellectual nihilism.” How so? Because it “champions narrative over evidence.” What Glick is implying here is that Said’s work is an anti-Western screed presented without evidence. This is demonstrably wrong, but nonetheless provides a platform for Glick’s further assertion that Said’s fantastical narrative is told in order to “manipulate students to engage in political violence against the United States.”

Part III—What Is This All About?

Caroline Glick makes repeated illogical jumps. As egregious as these are they actually point the way to her larger ideological agenda.

  1. Said is a terrorist because he opposes Israel and supports the Palestinians. Participation in the PLO is her proof of this. 
  2. Because Said is a terrorist, his throwing of a stone at the southern Lebanese border is a terrorist attack against Israel and its defense forces. 
  3. Somehow, Said’s throwing the stone was also “a harbinger for the mob violence now taking place in many parts of America.” The connector here is Said’s tossing of an intellectual “rock”—his thesis presented in Orientalism.
  4. Just as his “rock attack” was terroristic, so Said’s book, Orientalism, is itself an act of terrorism as well as a “nihilistic” project. 
  5. It is all these nasty things rolled into one because it calls into question established cultural assumptions that had long underpinned colonialism and imperialism, and which also just happens to underpin Israel’s claim to legitimacy.
  6. But there is more. Glick tells us, “Said’s championing of the Palestinian war against Israel was part of a far wider post-colonialist crusade he waged against the United States. The purpose of his scholarship was to deny American professors the right to study and understand the world [in an orientalist fashion] by delegitimizing them as nothing but racists and imperialists.”
  7. And finally, “Orientalism formed the foundation of a much broader campaign on campuses to delegitimize the United States as a political entity steeped in racism.”

Part IV—Conclusion

Glick’s attack on Edward Said’s legacy is beset with leaps of illogic. So let me conclude this analysis with my own leap, hopefully a logical one, to an explanation of what may be Glick’s larger agenda. Glick is attempting to turn the ideological clock back to a time before decolonization. Specifically, she wishes to resurrect an overall acceptance of Western colonialism as a benevolent endeavor whereby progress and civilization was spread by a superior culture. 

Why would she want to do this? Because if we all believe this proposition, then Israel can be seen as a legitimate and normal state. After all, Israel is the last of the colonial settler states—the imposition of Western culture into the Orient. It rules over millions of Palestinian Arabs as the result of a European invasion made “legal” by a colonial document, the Balfour Declaration, and its acceptance by a pro-colonial League of Nations. Our post-colonial age in which Edward Said is a “superstar intellectual,” is seen as a constant threat to Zionist Israel’s legitimacy. 

Edward Said’s legacy provides a strong theoretical foundation for understanding why the Western imperialists thought and acted as they did, and hence helps both Western and non-Western peoples to confront their own modern historical situation. However, Glick cannot see any of this except through the Zionist perspective. Thus, Said’s legacy is just part of an anti-Israeli conspiracy—an attack on those scholars who support the legitimacy of an orientalist point of view and of the Zionist state. 

She also suggests that Said’s undoing of historically accepted biases lets loose the “mob violence” seen in the U.S. There is no evidence for this, but it may be Glick’s  roundabout way of undermining student support for Palestinian rights on American campuses. 

Ultimately, what Glick is interested in is preserving the image of Israel as a Western democratic enclave in an otherwise uncivilized sea of Arab and Islamic barbarians. That fits right into the traditional orientalist belief system and justifies the continuing U.S.-Israeli alliance. Said has successfully called that perspective into question. Hence Glick’s assault on his legacy. 

Finally, Glick’s present attack on Said, and her attempt to tie his work into the protests that followed George Floyd’s murder, shows how frightened the defenders of one racist state, Zionist Israel, become when their principle ally, the United States, comes under attack for racist practices. Said as a “superstar” foe of all racism becomes the lighting rod for that fear. 

لماذا الحياد الآن؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

مبادرة الحياد التي دعا إليها الكاردينال بشارة الراعي، تجد صعوبة في تسويق شروطها على المستوى اللبناني، كآلية تنقذ لبنان من الحصار الأميركي – الغربي عليها. فتذهب في اتجاه محاولة إلغاء الانتصارات التي حققها الشعب اللبناني ممثلاً بحزب الله منذ العام 1982 وحتى 2019.

هذا واحد من جوانبها، لأنّ الثاني يستلهم الجانب الأول معتبراً أنّ تحالف التيار الوطني وحزب الله وحركة أمل والأحزاب الوطنية، لم ينجح في بناء منطق سياسي محايد، ما يتوجّب عليه الانسحاب من الحكم، بما يؤدّي إلى عودة سعد الحريري والقوات والكتائب والسيد علي الأمين وجنبلاط إلى إدارة الحكومة ومعهم بعض الشيعة المتساقطة من رحلة المسير نحو… الكرامة.

أما الجانب الثالث فيرتبط بتصحيح العلاقات الخارجية للدولة، على نحو يؤسس لانصياع كامل وفق ما تريده مبادرة الكاردينال الحيادية.

هذا يتطلب الإجابة عن السؤال الأساسي «لماذا المبادرة الآن؟».

وسرعان ما يجيب المنطق ببراءة حمل وديع أن إطلاقها متزامن مع تراجع أميركي في الشرق الأوسط ومحاولات أميركية لابتكار آليات جديدة لعرقلة القوى الصاعدة في الشرق الأوسط.هذه القوى تبحث في لبنان عن تحالفات اقتصادية مع محاور صينية وعراقية وإيرانية بديلاً عن الاقتصاد العربي المتلكئ

حالياً في دعم لبنان إلى درجة تركيب حصار خانق حوله.بالنسبة للبنان تحديداً، رأت مبادرة الكاردينال أن انتصارات حزب الله وصعود المحور الروسي – الإيراني، وإمكانية توجّه الاقتصاد اللبناني نحو الخط السوري – العراقي على الأقل أو الإيراني والصيني عند الضرورة القصوى، رأت خطراً على التبعية اللبنانيّة من 75 عاماً للنظام الغربي – الفرنسي – الأميركي.واعتبرت صعود حزب الله في الدولة اللبنانية مؤشراً على تراجع الوصاية الغربية على لبنان، وانكفاء القوى الداخلية المرتبطة بالحلف الأميركي – السعودي.

ولأن الكاردينال يعرف مدى الصعوبة التي تعترض طريق مبادرته للحياة، فاتجه لتغليفها بـ»عدائية لغوية» لـ»إسرائيل»، وهذا من اليقظة السياسية، لأن الفريق المحيط بنيافته يعرف أن تجميد أي علاقة مع محاور صينية – إيرانية – عراقية أو سورية، لا يعني إلا تأكيد النفوذ الأميركي – الفرنسي بمفرده.وهذا النفوذ يحاصر لبنان حالياً مصراً على واحد من أمرين:

إما خنق حزب الله، أو خنق لبنان.

فتشكل مبادرة الراعي الآلية الأميركية المطلوبة لتحقيق البديل من تراجعاتها الإقليمية.

إن خطورة هذه «الحياديّة» تظهر عند دفعها لكتلة 14 آذار لتسلّم الحكم أو لنصب حالة احتراب شعبي بين فريقين لبنانيين، ما يعطل الطابع السلمي للعلاقات بين اللبنانيين ودفع الخارج الأميركي – الإسرائيلي لشن حروب على حزب الله، فتبدو مبادرة الكاردينال «آلية أميركية جديدة» لتغيير نتائج الحروب المظفرة لحزب الله في جنوب لبنان وشرقه، والمعنويات الضخمة التي يحوز عليها من مجابهاته للإرهاب في ميادين سورية.لذلك تذهب المبادرة إلى أكبر كمية ممكنة من تحشيد داخلي ذي طابع طائفي.

إما أن تعود 14 آذار إلى الحكم، وإما أن تعود أيضاً إليها بواسطة تدخل عسكري إسرائيلي – أميركي، وإلا فإن الكاردينال يجهز سلاحاً خارقاً ثالثاً وهو عدم الاعتراف بنتائج الانتخابات النيابية أو بالأكثريات الطائفية، كوسيلة للعودة إلى العلاقات الفدرالية بين الطوائف، وهذا طرح لا يكتفي بالفدرالية الدستورية بل يذهب مهرولاً مع كونفيدراليات في بلد تحتاج إلى مكبّر ضخم لتراه، بما يعطل الأدوار الإقليمية الداخلية للحزب، مؤسساً لعلاقات واسعة لبعض الكانتونات المحلية مع إسرائيل وبشكل حربي.

وهذا ما يجعل من مبادرة الحياد للكاردينال الراعي محلية في لبنان وسورية أيضاً، وبذلك يتأكد من اندراجها في إطار الآليات التي يريد الأميركيون أن تمنع تراجعهم في الشرق وتعرقل في آن معاً الصعود الإيراني – السوري – العراقي واللبناني المتعلق بحزب الله.

فمن كان يتصوّر أن نيافة الكاردينال يعلق بأنه لا يلتزم بأي أكثريات نيابية أو شعبية، ما يدفع إلى التساؤل التالي عن ضرورة هذه الانتخابات وبناء الأكثريات الشعبية طالما أن بكركي لا تعترف بها، وتكمل مسيرة العلاقات الحاسمة بين طوائف وعلى مستوى مراكزها الدينية الأساسية.

مبادرة الراعي إلى أين؟

تحمي هذه المبادرة بشكل إضافي الطبقة السياسية اللبنانية ومجمل النظام الطائفي.

أولاً تحاول إبعاد الصراع الداخلي عن الطبقة السياسية باختراع مادة خلافيّة جديدة لا تفعل إلا إنقاذ مئات السياسيين الذين أفلسوا لبنان ورهنوا بمئات مليارات الدولارات.

فاليوم يبدو القسم الأكبر من المتورطين بالفساد زاحفين إلى مقر الكاردينال الصيفي في الديمان لإعلان ولائهم له ولمبادرته في مرحلة كان يعتقد المحللون أنها مرحلة استعادة الأموال المنهوبة ومحاسبة النظام السياسي لإنتاج نظام جديد غير طائفي ويبتعد عن الزبائنيّة.

لكن مبادرة الكاردينال تلعب دوراً كبيراً في حماية النظام السياسي من جهة والعلاقات السياسية التي يجب أن تستند إلى الطائفيّة حصراً.

هل تنجح مبادرة الراعي؟

موازنات القوى الفعلية لا يمكن شطبها بتحريض ديني مستهلك ولا بإشعال تحالفات سقطت في العقدين الماضيين بالانتخابات من جهة والانتصارات على الإرهاب من جهة أخرى، وتماماً كما تراجع النفوذ الأميركي في معظم دول الشرق فإن وضعه في لبنان أسوأ من حالته في العراق وسورية، ففي بلاد الأرز تمكن التيار الوطني الحر بالتحالف مع حزب الله وحركة أمل والأحزاب الوطنية من رعاية سياسة معتدلة تمنع وضع البلاد في خدمة الغرب الفرنسي والأميركي، بما يؤكد أن إنهاء مبادرة الكاردينال لا تتطلب الكثير من الجهد، كما أن الانفتاح على الصين وروسيا والعراق وإيران وسورية، ليست سياسة شرقيّة بل استدارة نحو مصادر بوسعها مساعدة لبنان على الخروج من عملية الخنق الأميركية التي تتم بوسائل مصرفية ومبادرة الراعي في آن معاً.

مقالات متعلقة

WHO’s Conflict of Interest?

By David Macailwain

Source

Pompeo Meets Ghebreyesus 2e5bb

Last week the French National Assembly convened an inquiry into the “genealogy and chronology”  of the Coronavirus crisis to examine the evident failures in its handling and will interview government ministers, experts and health advisors over the next six months. While we in the English-speaking world may have heard endless arguments over the failures of the UK or US governments to properly prepare for and cope with the health-care emergency, the crisis and problems in the French health system and bureaucracy have been similar and equally serious. Given the global cooperation and collaboration of health authorities and industry, the inquiry has global significance.

Judging by the attention paid by French media to the inquiry, which comes just as France is loosening the lock-downs and restarting normal government activities, it is set to be controversial and upsetting, exposing both incompetence and corruption.

Leading the criticism of the Macron government’s handling of the crisis are the most serious accusations that its prohibition of an effective drug treatment has cost many lives, a criticism put directly to the inquiry by Professor Didier Raoult, the most vocal proponent of the drug – Hydroxychloroquine. At his institute in Marseilles, early treatment with the drug of people infected with Sars-CoV-2 has been conclusively demonstrated to reduce hospitalization rates and shorten recovery times when given along with the antibiotic Azithromycin, and consequently to cut death rates by at least half.

Raoult has pointed to the low death rate in the Marseilles region of 140 per million inhabitants compared with that in Paris of 759 per million as at least partly due to the very different treatment of the epidemic in Marseilles under his instruction. The policies pursued by local health services there included early widespread testing for the virus and isolation and quarantining of cases, aimed both at protecting those in aged care and in keeping people from needing hospitalization with the help of drug treatments.

It incidentally seems quite bizarre that some countries – notably the US, UK and Australia, are only now embarking on large testing programs – and claiming a “second wave” in cases – which Raoult calls a “fantasme journalistique”. The consequent reimposition of severe lock-downs in some suburbs of Melbourne, and in Leicester in the UK is a very worrying development.

The efficacy of HCQ and Azithromycin is well illustrated – one should say proven – by this most recent review of its use on 3120 out of a total of 3700 patients treated at the Marseilles hospitals during March, April and the first half of May. Unlike the fraudulent study published and then retracted by the Lancet in May, the analysis in this review is exemplary, along with the battery of tests performed on patients to determine the exact nature of their infection and estimate the effectiveness of the drug treatment. The overall final mortality rate of 1.1% obscures the huge discrepancy in numbers between treated and untreated patients. Hospitalization, ICU, and death rates averaged five times greater in those receiving the “other” treatment – being normal care without HCQ-AZM treatment – equivalent to a placebo.

The IHU Marseilles study and its discussion points deserve close scrutiny, because they cannot be dismissed as unsubstantiated or biased, or somehow political, just because Professor Raoult is a “controversial figure”. There is a controversy, and it was well expressed by Raoult in his three hour presentation to the inquiry. His criticisms of health advisors to government include conflicts of interest and policy driven by politics rather than science. Raoult has been vindicated in his success, and can now say to those health authorities “if you had accepted my advice and approved this drug treatment, thousands of lives would have been saved.”

This is quite unlike similar statements in the UK and elsewhere, where claims an earlier imposition of lock-down would have cut the death toll in half are entirely hypothetical. As Prof. Raoult has also observed, the progress of this epidemic of a new and unknown virus was quite speculative, and its handling by authorities has failed to reflect that. In fact, one feels more and more that the “response” of governments all around the world has followed a strangely similar and inappropriately rigid scheme, of which certain aspects were de rigueur, particularly “social distancing”.

There seems little evidence that would justify this most damaging and extreme of measures to control an epidemic whose seriousness could be ameliorated by other measures – such as those advocated by Raoult’s Institute – which would have avoided the devastating “collateral damage” inflicted on the economy and society in the name of “staying safe”.

Prof. Raoult’s vocal and consistent criticism of the political manipulation of the Coronavirus crisis is hardly trivial however, to be finally excused as a “failure”- to impose lockdowns sooner, to have sufficient supplies of masks or ventilators, or to use more testing and effective contact tracing. What lies beneath appears to be, for want of a better word, a conspiracy.

As previously and famously noted by Pepe Escobar, French officials seemed to have foresight on the potential use of Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 infection, with its cheapness and availability being a likely hindrance to pharmaceutical companies looking to make big profits from new drug treatments or vaccines. Of even greater significance perhaps, was the possibility – or danger – that the vast bulk of the population might become infected with the virus and recover quickly with the help of this cheap drug treatment, while bypassing the need, and possibly interminable wait for a vaccine.

Now it can be seen that in Western countries the demand for a vaccine is acute, and the market cut-throat, despite assurances from many quarters that “vaccines must be available to all” and that “manufacturers won’t seek to profit” from their winning product. (the profit will naturally be included in what their governments choose to pay them) The clear conflicts of interest between health officials, public and private interests make such brave pronouncements particularly hollow. Just one case is sufficient to illustrate this, as despite its unconvincing performance in combatting the novel Coronavirus, the drug developed and promoted by Dr Anthony Fauci and company Gilead, Remdesevir, was rapidly approved for use following a research trial sponsored by the White House.

More concerning however is what appears to be a conflict of interest in the WHO itself, possibly related to the WHO’s largest source of funding in the Gates organization. While the WHO has not actively opposed the use of Hydroxychloroquine against the virus infection for most of the pandemic, neither has it voiced any support for its use, such as might be suggested by its obvious benefits, and particularly in countries with poor health facilities and resources.

Had the WHO taken at least a mildly supportive role, acknowledging that the drug was already in widespread use and there was little to lose from trying it against COVID-19, then it is hard to imagine that those behind the recent fabricated Lancet paper would have pursued such a project. Without claiming that the WHO had some hand in the alleged study that set out to debunk HCQ treatment, it should be noted that the WHO was very quick to jump on the non-peer-reviewed “results” and to declare a world-wide cancellation of its research projects on the drug. And while it had to rescind this direction shortly afterward when the fraud was exposed, the dog now has a bad name – as apparently intended.

This stands in sharp contrast to the WHO’s sudden enthusiasm for the steroidal drug Dexamethasone, recently discovered by a UK research team to have had a mildly positive benefit on seriously ill COVID19 patients:

“The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with coronavirus to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid could help save critically ill patients.

The benefit was only seen in patients seriously ill with COVID-19 and was not observed in patients with milder disease, the WHO said in a statement late Tuesday.

British researchers estimated 5,000 lives could have been saved had the drug been used to treat patients in the United Kingdom at the start of the pandemic.

“This is great news and I congratulate the government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the press release.”

There is something more than ironic in the WHO’s interest in a different cheap and available drug that has also been widely used for decades, but which is no use in protecting those people in the target market for the vaccine. To me, and surely to Professor Raoult and his colleagues, this looks more like protecting ones business interests and investor profits, at the expense of public health and lives.

Postscript:

It has just been announced that GILEAD will start charging for its drug Remdesevir from next week at $US 2340 for a five-day course, or $US 4860 for private patients. Generic equivalents manufactured in poorer countries will sell for $US 934 per treatment course. Announcing the prices, chief executive Dan O’Day noted that the drug was priced “to ensure wide access rather than based solely on the value to patients”.

It seems hardly worth pointing out that six days treatment with Hydroxychloroquine costs around $US 7, so for the same cost as treating one patient with Remdesevir, roughly four hundred could be given Hydroxychloroquine. If this is compounded by the effective cure rate, Remdesevir treatment costs closer to one thousand times that of HCQ. The addition of Azithromycin and Zinc doubles the cost of HCQ treatment, but also increases its efficacy considerably.

New Guiding Principles Have Emerged

May 23, 2020

Having Confidence In Your Case Is a Virtue or New Guiding Principles Have Emerged

Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

PART I

Living in a rich Western country is by far not without problems. Sure, until now, I do not suffer from material worries. No sanctions are imposed on the country. No bombs are put on the roads or fall from above. Police is not knocking on my door and I can move more or less without restrictions (no, no, I will not cry because of some limitations due to the Covid-19 crisis). I am even not forced to hate anyone or to believe in anything. As long as I pay my taxes and do not violate the laws, more or less nobody disturbs me. You may call this a privileged situation. You may even dream of such a life.

The other side is less funny. Whatever newspaper I open – whatever day – I find at least one article which is profoundly anti-Chinese, or anti-Iranian, or anti-Russian, or anti-Syrian. On the whole, this has stopped upsetting me, but still, it is really boring. And then there is the absence of all sense of logic. When US-ships are far from at home, in the Persian Gulf or in the South China Sea, say, then this is just „normal“ for these professional journalists. But when Iranian ships are going to Venezuela, then this is much less „business as usual“. Or, for them, more or less every problem of the USA is a result of the craziness of Trump. But miraculously, as soon as the USA act against China or Iran or Russia or Syria, then the Trump’s craziness is like blown away.

There is a big mental problem in the West: a sickly conviction in the own superiority combined with systematically blaming others for the own weaknesses. No, no, you cannot say that this is just the fault of the ruling classes or of the evil monopoly capitalists. It is not that simple. Quite many „ordinary people“ think in this way. Of all sorts of education or profession. And they have no real excuse. Still, I will not condemn them. I will not throw the first stone. Nevertheless, I would like to be less alone with my feelings, my convictions, and my ideas.

Since quite some time, I have named four guiding principles for me: autonomy, humility, perseverance, and positivity. Let me explain them a little bit. Autonomy stands for a proper mind. Feel, act, think in your own way, on your own responsibility. Support President Assad as one of the outstanding leaders of our time, even when many of your own friends and relatives see him as a criminal. Be just astonished by the existence and the amazing strength of Hezbollah as one of the authentic miracles nowadays, even when the government of a neighboring country has declared Hezbollah as a threat and when you can see no big protest in this neighboring country against this cowardly act.

Humility is crucial for a citizen in a Western country. After centuries of world domination, every criticism (in the West) of non-Western countries should be taboo. Not because of the (wrong) idea that non-Western countries are without problems or better by principle. Just by humility; you cannot life in a rich Western country and give lessons to others. This also includes accepting that the driving force for a better world is not a Western one; as citizens in a Western country, we are only a supporting force, at best. During this Covid-19 crisis, I was very disappointed by some genuine anti-imperialist Western people who were admiring Western scientists and professors as heroes, due to some criticism against their government. But what about scientists and professors in China, Iran, Syria, or Hezbollah? Stop thinking that Western scientists and professors are better.

Perseverance was not always easy for me. As a gifted child, things were sometimes too simple for me. I had to learn not crying about every small problem. You have to work hard for many years in order to get expert in some domain, even when you are gifted. This Western style of life with all these amusements and conveniences is not very beneficial for perseverance. And this ideology of just believe in yourself and realize your dreams is very lightweight.

Positivity is truly important. Being angry and full of hate cannot help much. Even when there is a reason. For example, I usually avoid writing about Israel, I even avoid thinking about Israel. This is merely in order to keep my mental health. I prefer by far to write and think about Iran, Syria, Hezbollah. My aim is another world, which, by the way, is already existing. I agree, blaming is sometimes necessary. But blaming is also quite easy. Look at this Covid-19 crisis. You cannot expect that your government makes no mistake during this crisis. What would YOU do in such a situation? Ok, it is probably not your job to govern. But even in your job, new, unexpected situations arrive and you have to struggle in order to find a solution. This might be difficult, even when you are well intended.

Overall, this is the logic behind my four guiding principles and I have tried to describe the „state of the art“ such as it existed some weeks ago. But meanwhile, my perspective has changed. I am still judging these principles as positive; however, I am now convinced that they are somewhat outdated and much too defensive. A step forward is urgently needed. What follows is a first try – which surely has to be adjusted subsequently.

PART II

In March 2020, in a joint letter to UN Secretary General Guterres, the ambassadors of eight countries, namely China, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, urged that the present pandemic should not be politicized. They underlined that the fight against the pandemic is difficult – if not impossible – for countries facing sanctions. The latter are described as illegal, coercive measures of economic pressure.

The common action of these countries is highly noteworthy. It is well known that they all have to counter Western sanctions of different degrees, ordered by the USA. Even if there are rather big differences among the eight countries, let me try to treat them as a unity, as the representatives of the now world, together with some other forces, Hezbollah and Ansarullah in particular. From their point of view, what can be said concerning my four guiding principles?

Autonomy or independence are derived values. They are related to somebody else, you are independent of somebody. In particular, one may be autonomous or independent with respect to Western hegemony. Obviously, this does not correctly describe the current situation. Independence is no longer the big problem. The new forces have already taken their own way. They are neither imitating nor competing the Western system. They just try to advance, based on their own historical experiences and their own wisdom. They know that Western hegemony would like to stop them. While they take this threat seriously, they are not at all paralyzed by it. The hegemonists have become quite predictable, with few creative ideas. Of course, the possibility exists that they will act still more desperately. But this is life and one has to be prepared.

Advancing on their own way naturally needs competences. This was one of the advantages of the West in the past. But the new forces rapidly cutch up and are already in the lead in some domains. In short, the main task of the new forces (I repeat that, simplifying, I look at these forces as a unity) is resolving the problems and obstacles which they meet on their way, prudently, confidently, creatively, competently. So, „autonomy“ has to be replaced by something like „firm self-confidence and competence“.

I would say that arrogance is the most typical behavior of Western hegemonists. Certainly, humility is not an adjusted answer, the hegemonists would just laugh about. Humility is too weak and too defensive. Manifestly, strength and courage are required. Of course, they have to be combined with caution. Yet, we may be assured that the new forces have accumulated enough knowledge about Western tactics and tricks. The Western arsenal is quite limited. Essentially, it consists of a big mouth and nothing behind. Nevertheless, one should not be impressible nor provokable. I would like to propose something like „robustness and solidity“ instead of „humility“.

Perseverance is not enough. The new forces need a long-term strategy. The Western hegemony has lasted for some centuries while we may say that the new forces exist since some 100 years. These 100 years were however quite wild and unbalanced. At least, a lot of experiences was acquired. In some sense, the „youth“ of the new forces is now over. They have entered the age of adults. They take more and more responsibility.

Related to perseverance is the question of rigor. In the ascending period of Western hegemony, rigor was essential. In the middle of the last century, rigor was still a strength of the West. This is now over. The new forces show more rigor. Their societies are more serious and much less exposed to Western amusements and decadence. You may look at Hassan Nasrallah and Netanyahu with respect to rigor and you immediately see that there is no comparison; to the point that something in me strongly objects putting these two names in the same sentence, it is like a sacrilege. Here is another illustration: Clearly, Karl Marx was exemplary as a rigorous scientist. But the European left of today see rigor, seriousness, and discipline merely as suspect. Quite to the opposite of someone like famous German supermodel Claudia Schiffer who knows very well that without discipline, there is no career.

So, let us replace „perseverance“ by „perspicacity and rigor“.

Finally, what may signify positivity for the new forces? What immediately comes to mind is confidence. Confidence in their case, confidence in their struggle, confidence in their success. For example the confidence of the Chinese that they will reach their target of eliminating poverty in their country at the end of 2020. Or the confidence of the Syrians that they will liberate every inch of their country.

Some weeks ago, on May 9, I was very impressed by the text written for this blog by Faina Savenkova, a child of 11 years from Lugansk. Above all by her confidence. This is really a deciding factor. It is as she writes: „I know for sure […] that the war will end sooner or later, and we will create a new future.“

Accordingly, let us replace „positivity“ by „deep confidence“.

I recapitulate. My guiding principles have emerged from „autonomy, humility, perseverance, positivity“ to something like „firm self-confidence and competence, robustness and solidity, perspicacity and rigor, deep confidence“. This is less static, less neutral, less defensive as well as more dynamic, more purposeful, more optimistic. And more in line with existing reality. We may trust in this new world. Which is in the process of being created, before our eyes.

Who controls the British Government response to Covid–19? (Part 1)

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants” — Albert Camus

As Britain hurtles headlong towards neo-feudalist governance with heightened surveillance, micro-management of society and an uptick in fascistic policing of the draconian measures imposed to combat the “threat” of Covid–19, it is perhaps time to analyse the real forces behind this “new normal”.

There is now serious doubt over the correlation between lockdown and saving lives. Reality is creeping into the Covid–19 dialogue. It is becoming apparent that people are getting sick because they are being isolated and effectively living under house arrest, condemned as “murderers” if they so much as think about breaking curfew, being snitched on by neighbours for “gathering” more than two people together in their back gardens.

The following graph was produced by UK Column and demonstrates the lack of correlation between lockdown and “saving lives”:

Updated 21/4/20

The numbers game is acting in many instances as a smokescreen. It is impossible to rely upon “official” statistics, that vary wildly from one website to another: statistics that rely upon unreliable and sporadic testing procedures. and based upon death certificates that misrepresent the actual cause of death as Covid–19, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions. Statistics, too, that were set in stone very early on in the development stages, when the perspective was limited and compressed, before a true picture could be seen. The newly emerging statistics are now increasingly undermining initial conclusions and pointing to the futility and negative consequences of lockdown.

It is now accepted that there is a high mortality rate among the elderly in care homes in the UK and globally — among the same elderly civilians who are being “asked” to sign DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate) forms. This amounts to signing their own death warrant, should they present any of the Covid–19 symptoms. They will be neglected, isolated from their families when at their most vulnerable and left alone to die, even though it is possible that they have not contracted the virus.

Instead of offering proactive and positive suggestions that will enable our immune systems to combat the disease, the British Government is ensuring conditions that will suppress immune systems to dangerous levels and create the perfect environment for Covid–19 to flourish.

Britain has now received an estimated 1.4 million new benefit claims for welfare payments, “about seven times the normal level”. The government has pledged to bail out “80% of pay of workers who are temporarily laid off” but I have personally spoken to self-employed individuals who find themselves falling between the cracks that qualify them for financial support and now face an indefinite period of time without income.

These measures are being imposed in a country that, since 2012, has seen an exponential growth in child poverty to potentially sub-Victorian levels. In March 2019, the number of children living in “absolute poverty” grew by a staggering 200,000 in a twelve-month period, to a total of 3.7 million. How will this number be further impacted by lockdown?

How did we arrive at this point? Who steered the UK Government towards this questionable and alarmist lockdown policy? The unexamined assumption is that conclusions were formed on the basis of sound epidemiological analysis and research by doctors and scientists who care about our welfare.

The reality is what we will examine in this article. Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College, was responsible for the modelling of a response to Covid–19. His virtual model was recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and it passed through into policy with virtually no scrutiny. Ferguson’s dramatic prediction of 500,000 deaths in the UK became the foundation of Boris Johnson’s U-turn from herd immunity to collective quarantine.

While some understood that Ferguson later reduced his mortality calculations, he actually doubled down on his projections on Twitter, insisting that without drastic lockdown measures being taken, the numbers would be even higher.

Who is Neil Ferguson?

Ferguson is acting director of the Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (VIMC), which is based at Imperial College in London. According to Ferguson’s biography on the website, “much of [his] work is applied, informing disease control policy-making by public and global health institutions.”

The professor who derailed Johnson’s semblance of “herd immunity” strategy is no stranger to controversy and is described as having a “patchy” record of modelling pandemics by one of his academic peers, Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University, an expert in animal diseases.

Ferguson was instrumental in the modelling of the British Government’s response to Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 2001, which Thrusfield describes as “not fit for purpose” (2006) and “seriously flawed” (2012). Thrusfield has highlighted the limitations of Ferguson’s mathematical modelling methods, and applied the doubts he expressed over FMD to the current Covid–19 “crisis” response.

An estimated twelve million animals were slaughtered as a result of Ferguson’s 2001 initiative. The farming community was devastated by suicides and bankruptcies that irretrievably altered the landscape of British agriculture — forcing healthy smallholdings into agri-corporate mergers and empowering the EU central governance in the agricultural sector.

Image copyright: Nick Green

Insight: Slaughtered on Suspicion, a documentary made by UK Column in 2015, provides a shocking insight into the suffering precipitated by Ferguson’s model and the “new normal” imposed upon Britain’s farming community. The following is a statement made by one of the contributors to the programme:

12,000,000 animals [Meat & Livestock Commission statistic] were slaughtered but that did not include lambs at foot, aborted lambs, calves or piglets. Further, tens of thousands of chickens were slaughtered in the early months — on welfare grounds, apparently. 88% of all animals slaughtered had not contracted FMD [source: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs].

Great Orton airfield was used to slaughter sheep under the “voluntary” cull: that was anything but voluntary, and farmers not participating were ruthlessly threatened. There was only one mild case of FMD recorded from the thousands of blood tests done at Great Orton [source: DEFRA].

There was a travelator that ran from the slaughter tent at Great Orton to the graves. This ran 16 hours a day, transporting “dead” young lambs. Slaughtermen working there told me that many of the lambs were buried alive.

The man that advised Blair during this fiasco was, as many will know, Prof. Ferguson of Imperial College. He was [reportedly] sacked by DEFRA late on during the epidemic, but the damage had been done! Prof Ferguson was awarded an OBE in 2002 for his work during FMD 2001.” [Emphasis added]

In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would die from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, better known as “mad cow disease”, increasing to 150,000 if the epidemic expanded to include sheep. The reality is: “Since 1990, 178 people in the United Kingdom have died from vCJD, according to the National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit at the University of Edinburgh.” (2017)

In 2005, Ferguson claimed that up to 200 million people would be killed by bird-flu or H5N1. By early 2006, the WHO had only linked 78 deaths to the virus, out of 147 reported cases.

In 2009, Ferguson and his team at Imperial College advised the government that swine flu or H1N1 would probably kill 65,000 people in the UK. In the end, swine flu claimed the lives of 457 people in the UK.

Now, in 2020, Ferguson and Imperial College have released a report which claims that half a million Britons and 2.2 million Americans may be killed by Covid–19. The report has still not been peer-reviewed; despite this and Ferguson’s glaring record of mathematical sensationalism, the British Government has adopted the devastating socio-economic lockdown that Ferguson has proposed.

Why is the British Government so quick to follow Ferguson’s plan?

1. GAVI and Imperial College

The VIMC is hosted by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College. VIMC is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by “GAVI, the vaccine alliance” (GAVI’s own title for itself). Bill and Melinda Gates began funding Imperial College in 2006, four years before the Gates Foundation launched the Global Health Leaders Launch Decade of Vaccines Collaboration (GHLLDVC) and one year after Ferguson had demonstrated his penchant for overblown projections on mortality numbers from H5N1.

Up to the end of 2018, the Gates Foundation has sponsored Imperial College with a whopping $185 million. That makes Gates the second largest sponsor, beaten to the top spot on the podium by the Wellcome Trust, a British research charity which began funding Imperial College prior to Ferguson’s FMD débâcle and which, by the end of 2018, had already provided Imperial with over $400 million in funding. I will examine the Wellcome Trust’s connections in part two of this series.

Wellcome trust also has a focus on global immunization programmes.

The Gates Foundation established the GHLLDVC in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF and the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The following is taken from the Gates Foundation website:

The Global Vaccine Action Plan will enable greater coordination across all stakeholder groups – national governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, the private sector and philanthropic organizations — and will identify critical policy, resource, and other gaps that must be addressed to realize the life-saving potential of vaccines.

The Collaboration’s leadership council at the time included the Director-General of the WHO, the Director of NIAID, the Director of UNICEF, the President of Gates Foundation Global Health, and the Chair of the African Malaria Alliance. The steering committee included the Director of Immunisation, the UK Department of Health, and many other representatives from the WHO, UNICEF and associated organisations. It is a cluster of immunisation-focused individuals controlling the policy of world health governing bodies, who claim to be neutral.

The WHO was nominated as the “directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations system” and was set up to be responsible for “shaping the health research agenda”, among other tasks linked to the policy of global immunisation.

UNICEF, the “world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries” has on-the-ground access to children in over 150 territories and countries (2010).

We are already seeing the potential for some serious conflict of interest behind the Ferguson model on Covid–19, and this will become even more apparent as the connections are now made to an entire pharmaceutical complex potentially protecting its own interests over any genuine concerns for the health and welfare of global populations.

Gavi, the vaccine alliance

“Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.”

GAVI is funded and partnered by the same network that forms the GHLLDVC, with some noticeable additions: the World Bank and donor/implementing country governments. The Gates Foundation is a primary sponsor, but is topped by the British Government, which was instrumental in creating GAVI and is its largest donor.

While many sectors of British society have seen their living standards plummet, with the elderly severely neglected, a National Health Service in decline and homelessness on the increase, the British Government, via UKAID, has pledged £1.44 billion to GAVI for 2016–2020 and will be hosting the 2020 GAVI pledging conference, which is due to take place in June 2020 to “mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.” (Emphasis added)

The conference promises to bring together political leaders, civil society, public and private donors, vaccine manufacturers and governments to support GAVI, the vaccine alliance — which boasts that it has “helped vaccinate almost half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases”. This claim will be met with praise from the pro-vaccine lobby but concerns over the efficacy and safety of these mass vaccination programmes must be taken into account, particularly when being tested in poorer, developing countries.

Global vaccination market revenue worldwide is projected to reach $59.2 billion by 2020; this number may well increase with the arrival of Covid–19. The British Government’s investment in GAVI alongside vaccine promoter Bill Gates must, again, raise the issue of conflicts of interest. To what extent is the British Government protecting its own assets in forcing the lockdown upon its population? Vaccines are set to be a major source of income for the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations, and the British Government is invested in that lucrative future.

The GAVI replenishment conference is to be hosted by a British Government whose lockdown policy is effectively shattering the domestic economy and is collectively punishing the most vulnerable in British society.

When Bill Gates partnered with GAVI twenty years ago, he had been considering where next to focus his philanthropy and was “increasingly focusing on the power and potential of vaccines”. It was Gates’ substantial sponsorship that launched GAVI, and ten years later Gates launched his own “vaccine decade” plan for the 2010s.

The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) 2012–2020, endorsed by the 194 member states participating in the World Health Assembly (2012), is led by the same members of the Gates “vaccine decade” consortium, promoted by the WHO, and brings together governments, elected officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, global agencies, research and development, civil society, media and the private sector — to promote global immunisation. This is a profit-driven corporate complex harnessing the “humanitarian” sector to lend credence to the claims of philanthropy, or more realistically, philanthrocapitalism.

2. GAVI and ID2020

A glance at the partner page of the GAVI website reveals that not only is GAVI heavily invested in immunisation campaigns, it is also closely connected to the Gates, Microsoft and Rockefeller Foundation seed-funded ID2020 project (Digital Identity Alliance), which incorporates Accenture, Microsoft (Gates), Ideo-Org and Rockefeller Foundation into the GAVI alliance, all with ties to the ID2020 initiative.

ID2020 is promoting the concept that there is a need for universal biometric verification, because “to prove who you are is a fundamental and universal human right,” as asserted on the ID2020 website. An article by journalist Kurt Nimmo for Global Research dismantles the “humanitarian” alibi for tyranny.

OffGrid Healthcare explains:

What they really want is a fully standardized data collection and retrieval format, and cross-border sharing of identities of the entire population of the planet, in order for the stand-alone AI-powered command center to work without a hitch, and for purposes of calculating everyone’s potential contribution, and threat to the system.

Nimmo describes the potential for Covid–19 to be used as cover for mandatory biometric ID. An April article carried by Reuters confirms the suspicion that biometric ID might soon be introduced, ostensibly to “help verify those who already had the infection and ensure the vulnerable get the vaccine when it is launched”. This may sound perfectly sensible to those who are buying the government strap-lines on Covid–19 but — as Nimmo warns us — “COVID–19 is the perfect Trojan horse for a control freak state itching to not only micromanage the lives of ordinary citizens but also ferret out critics and potential adversaries and punish them as enemies of the state.”

Prashant Yadav, senior fellow at the US-based Center for Global Development, has said:

Biometric IDs can be a gamechanger. They can help governments target population segments e.g healthcare professionals or the elderly population, verify people who have received vaccination, and have a clear record[Emphasis added]

Such statements can easily be interpreted as the harbingers of mandatory vaccination and the inclusion of biometric ID in the “humanitarian” package.

Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Technologies introduces an even more sinister projection into the mix. Armstrong talks about a digital certificate that verifies you have been vaccinated, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Microsoft, which will merge with ID2020. Covid–19 will be exploited to encourage us to accept digital implants and tracking devices that will enable authorities to keep an eye on us. Armstrong argues that just as 9/11 conditioned us to accept X-ray booths at airports, now we will be chipped alongside our dogs and cats.

The road to 2020 – the future for digital identity in the UK. (Title of Innovate Identity article June 2019)

At this point, it is worth remembering that UKAID is heavily involved in GAVI, and one presumes they are on board with the digital ID2020 project. Rob Laurence, director at UK-based Innovate Identity, presented proposals for the future of digital identity back in June 2019. The UK Government Verify scheme was identified as a fledgling version of the future of digital ID.

Laurence describes the digital ID “ecosystem” that is emerging: Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office (the British Government’s co-ordinating department), will form a new Digital ID Unit to “pave the way for the government to consume digital identities from the private sector”. Laurence describes 2020 as the “now-or-never year for government and industry to collaborate” in the creation of an “interoperable digital identity market”.

Covid19 provides the opportunity that might just fulfil these predictions.

It is no coincidence that a British start-up — Microsoft-funded Onfido — has recently raised $100 million to “boost its ID technology” to enable the creation of “immunity passports” for governments “battling coronavirus”.

In December 2019, researchers at MIT created a “microneedle platform using fluorescent microparticles called quantum dots (QD) which can deliver vaccines and at the same time, invisibly encode vaccination history in the skin”: the QDs can be detected by specially adapted smartphones. The “new normal” will mean we are tracked and monitored by our own communication systems to an even greater and more intrusive extent.

The future is being modelled — but not for our benefit

In part one of this two=part series, my intention has been to raise questions over who is driving the British Government response to Covid–19. Those who have influenced the lockdown policy have very clear conflict of interest question marks over their agenda.

The scientific clique influencing government decisions is one that is incorporated into a for-profit Big Pharma industrial network which will, undeniably, benefit from the measures being taken by the British Government — a government that is financially embedded in the same complex.

Why are the views of epidemiologists, doctors, scientists, analysts and health advisors who challenge the lockdown being ignored or censored by the media and by government? Why is the government not widening the circle of advisors to take into account these opposing perspectives that might bring an end to the misery that is a consequence of enforced quarantine? Off-Guardian has recorded these views herehere and here. It is also worth following Swiss Propaganda Research for regular updates on emerging analysis and statistics that you will not always find in the mainstream media.

World Economic Forum report on the psychological experiment that is the Covid19 lockdown.

Instead, the British Government is effectively endorsing the breeding of distrust in society, the erosion of public assembly, the isolation and state-sanctioned euthanasia of the elderly, the emerging police state, snitch lines, loss of dignity and livelihoods, greater dependency upon the state for survival, depression, suicide and voluntary incarceration.

An article in New York Times reports on the death toll in care homes which “reflect a global phenomenon” in a world under lockdown.

The UN has issued a warning that the economic downturn could “kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020”. Gates, the WHO, the British Government and UNICEF are focused on global immunisation for a “pandemic” that is not living up to the alarmist virtual projections sponsored by Gates and the Big Pharma complex, while children really will start to die from malnutrition, neglect and a myriad of consequence of extreme poverty generated by the “steepest downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s” (IMF).

In part two, I will delve deeper into the interlocking interests of state and private corporate sectors that should not be interfering in policies which affect the welfare of British citizens. I will reveal how the same players are influencing the media response and ensuring that their interests are given the most powerful platforms to promote their agenda.

The questions must be asked: Who is really in charge of the Covid–19 response? Who benefits most? Who will suffer most from the long term consequences? And who will provide respite from those consequences when the “pandemic” has disappeared from view?

من وحي كلمة السيد نصرالله

ناصر قنديل

بالرغم من تأكيده على تخصيص كلمته للمناسبة الدينية التي يمثلها منتصف شعبان، أطلق الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله في كلمته جملة من العناوين، التي ترتبط بالأسئلة العميقة الثقافية والفكرية والوجودية التي طرحتها هذه الهيمنة المطلقة لجائحة كورونا على البشرية أفراداً وجماعات وعقائد وأنظمة وأنماط حكم، بصورة لم تطرح فيها من قبل. فالبشرية التي عرفت أحداثاً غيّرت مسارها في العلم عبر الاختراعات والمبتكرات والاكتشافات والثورات العلميّة، وفي الحروب العالمية والإقليمية، وفي الأمراض والأوبئة، وظهور الفلسفات والعقائد، والتي كانت لها آثار كمية ونوعية هائلة في مجال فعلها ومدى تأثيرها، في زمانها وما بعده، لم يحدث أن برزت ظاهرة تشغل البشرية كلها في وقت واحد على مساحة الكرة الأرضية كلها، وتصير شغلها الشاغل، بأجيالها، وأعراقها، كباراً وصغاراً، رجالاً ونساء، أغنياء وفقراء، متعلمين وغير متعلمين، حكاماً ومحكومين، وهم جميعاً مصابون بالتسليم بالعجز والضعف والذهول والحيرة، ومفروض عليهم السكون والشلل والانكفاء والتجمد، لشهور ليس لها رغم كل الجهود العلمية والحكومية، نهاية واضحة بعد.

مسار البشرية كان دائماً محكوماً بالسعي للتخلص من الشعور بالضعف، وتوظيف العلم والمال والسلطة كثلاثي لإبعاد هذا الشعور الذي كان يتحدّى البشر منذ بدء التاريخ، وتوهّم التخلص من هذا الشعور بالضعف أوقع البشرية في الطغيان. فالتهافت على المال كان أساس الجشع ليس باعتباره وسيلة للتمتع بخيرات الحياة وحسب، بل أيضاً كوسيلة لصد ضغوطها ودرء أخطارها، وها هو اليوم لا يفيد مالكيه لا بتحقيق التمتع ولا بضمان الشعور بالقوة، والتنافس والنزاع على السلطة كان دائماً رغم دوافعه ونوازعه العديدة مسقوفاً بالسعي للشعور بالقدرة على التحكم بمصادر الخطر، ومصادر القوة، ومصادر الثروة، لتحقيق أعلى درجة من السيطرة على المصائر، مصير مَن يمسك السلطة ومصير الآخرين، وها هي السلطة اليوم لمن يمسك بمقاليدها لا تنفع في التحكم بشيء، لا في الاقتصاد الذي كابر البعض لرفض وقف دورته، ولا في الأمان الشخصي والعام، والفيروس يجتاح كل يوم آلافاً جديدة ويقتل مئات جديدة، ولا يعرف الحاكم نفسه متى يكون هو من ضحاياه، رغم إمساكه بأزرار الحرب النووية التي ظنّ طويلاً أنها أعلى درجات الخطر، وقد وضعها تحت السيطرة، والسعي للعلم بصفته كاشف أسرار الكون والطبيعة والوسيلة المثلى لمواجهة النوائب واتقائها، وقد جمع منه البشر أفراداً وحكومات وجماعات، ما توهموا انه كافٍ ليمنحهم الشعور بالسيادة على مصائرهم ومصائر غيرهم، يقف هو الآخر عاجزاً، والفيروس يحصد علماء الفيروسات والأطباء، وأول العجز هو العجز عن فهم الذي يجري وتفسيره.

عودة البشرية إلى شعور الإنسان الأول بالضعف والعجز، تأتي بعدما دار الزمان دورته ومنح البشر الوهم بأنهم مسيطرون على كل شيء، ومن ميزات كورونا اليوم أنه يفرض على البشر الشلل، خلافاً لكل ما مر عليهم من أحداث كبار، كانوا يواصلون حياتهم في ظلالها، أو كان بعضهم على الأقل يفعل ذلك. وهذا الشلل التام، يجعل التأمل المشفوع بالعجز والخوف والضعف، فرصة للتفكير والتقييم، وإستخلاص النتائج، واولها وأهمها، الذي أراد السيد تسجيله هو أن ربط البشرية للإيمان بالخالق بمعيار الضعف وتخيل الاستغناء عن هذا الشعور سبب للتخلي عن الله، يوضع كخلاصة خاطئة مجدداً على الطاولة للنقاش. وفيما يسترد الإيمان اعتباره، كتسليم عميق بالعجز، يستردّ التدّين اعتباره أيضاً كضابط إيقاع أخلاقي بين البشر واستثمار مواردهم ومصادر قوتهم. فهو ليس التدين الذي يقسم البشر وينشر الكراهية بينهم، ويحرّض على الحروب والقتل، بل التدين الذي يردع عن كل أذى وينهي عن كل استثمار للعلم بما يؤذي الطبيعة والبيئة والإنسان، والتدين الذي يشجع على توظيف عقل البشر وعلومهم لتحقيق المزيد من رفاههم وخيرهم وصحتهم، بضوابط الأخلاق والقيم، ويدعو لكل ما يسهم بضبط اقتصاداتهم بمعايير الخير العام ومحاربة الفقر وإحقاق العدل، ورفع الظلم والاحتكار والاستغلال عن رقابهم وموارد رزقهم، تحت سؤال كبير يرتبط بزمن كورونا، عن ماذا نفع المال والعلم والسلطة أصحابهم، ليضمنوا أنهم من الناجين، خارج مشروع بشري للنجاة معاً، تاهوا عنه وأضاعوه بوهم أنهم قد استغنوا، وأنهم يسيطرون على مصادر الخطر ومكامن القوة.

عندما يربط السيد أطروحته بعقيدة الظهور والمهدويّة، فهو لا يغفل أبداً عن وضع المعيار أمام الناس بالعمل في مواجهة التحدي الواقعي. وهو هنا لا يطرح تحدياً غيبياً أو دينياً، بل يعتبر القرب من ملاقاة الغيبي والديني هو بدرجة القرب من مداواة جروح الناس، والسعي لخيرهم، وتأمين أسباب الحياة الكريمة لهم، وتوفير شروط الصمود لعائلاتهم بانتظار نجاح البشرية في التقاط أنفاسها وإيجاد علاج أو وقاية يتيحان الخروج من النفق المظلم.

كلمة السيد نصرالله في مناسبة دينية، لكنها محاولة لملاقاة الأسئلة الكبرى التي تجتاح البشرية، من موقع المتغير الكبير الذي رافق هذه الجائحة العالمية، ومحاولة للتأسيس لمفاهيم، ركيزتها ثقافة الإنسانية القائمة على الخير والتواضع والعمل، وهي ببعدها اللبناني الذي قد لا يكون اليوم ظاهراً بقوة، لكنه لن يتأخر عن الظهور كثيراً، فمعايير ومقاييس اختيار رجال ونساء الشأن العام في بلدنا، لم يعد ممكناً أن تبقى بمعايير الماضي، حيث السلطة لصاحب المال، والمال لصاحب السلطة، وهي دعوة للتفكير على نطاقنا الضيق، من ضمن التفكير البشري على النطاق الأوسع بنظام عالمي جديد، أي نظام لبناني جديد سيولد من رحم هذه المواجهة مع تحدي جائحة كورونا. فاليوم سيتقرر مصير مستقبل دور أصحاب المال، ومثلهم مصير الزعامات العريقة والعتيقة، واليوم سيتقرّر مستقبل دور المثقفين وجمعيات العمل الأهلي، ومستقبل الحكم على تجارب الأحزاب، ومعايير قيام الحكومات والحكم عليها، والشعب الذي يعيش هذه المحنة الصعبة لا بد أن يخرج منها وقد تعلّم الكثير الكثير.

Sick West Goes Viral

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM SATURDAY 4 APR 20

The world is in a sick place. We’re not just talking about the escalating coronavirus pandemic, serious though that is with global deaths doubling over the past week. What is also sick is the way gestures of solidarity are being cynically twisted.

Take the arrival of Russian medical aid to the US this week. That was promptly arranged after US President Donald Trump asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call for help in coping with the coronavirus crisis. Even before the Antonov-124 cargo plane touched down at JFK airport certain US media outlets were labelling the gesture of solidarity as a “propaganda gimmick” by the Kremlin.

It was surmised that the Russian response to the US request for aid was “to push efforts for relief from sanctions” imposed by Washington. The cynical inference is that supposed Russian conniving and deceit knows no bounds in the black art of manipulation.

A Russian made Antonov An-124, one of the biggest cargo planes in the world, is pictured on May 29, 2019, on the tarmac of the airport in Brest, Western France.

© AFP 2020 / FRED TANNEAU

How about just simply acknowledging the evident fact that Russia is sending vital medical help to the US at a time of need motivating by no other sentiment than basic humanitarian compassion? The fact that Russia has been slapped with numerous US sanctions over recent years since the Ukraine crisis as well as stemming from bizarre claims of Moscow meddling in the 2016 US presidential election – only goes to show Russia’s capacity for magnanimity. Simple as that folks.

The same pathetic distortion was earlier voiced regarding Russian and Chinese aid to Italy and other European countries stricken with the deadly virus.

This week a European Union so-called media watchdog warned that Russia and China were engaged in a disinformation campaign to “undermine public trust in national health-care systems”.

There are also reports of claims by US intelligence and other officials that China is to blame for spreading the disease because it deliberately under-reported the outbreak that initially occurred in December, thereby allegedly leaving Western nations ill-prepared to withstand the pandemic.

Those claims are patently false. China had alerted the world to the seriousness of the disease as early as January when it was itself getting to grips with the uncertain public health crisis. Western nations had three months to learn from China’s experience, as well as from neighboring South Korea, where authorities clamped down on the epidemic. But Western governments for various reasons, no doubt primarily due to budgetary costs, chose instead to ignore the threat.

Trump and Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson in particular showed stupendous nonchalance bordering on callous indifference. Both of them dismissed the looming Covid-19 crisis as a “passing flu”. Only last week Trump was touting the US “getting back to business by Easter”.

What is abundantly evident is that the US, Britain and other Western states are not prepared to deal with the present crisis because of their rundown public health services. That structural problem is a matter of government neglect over many years to ensure that their citizens are adequately protected in a time of crisis. And that neglect stems from deliberate policy choices, such as showering the rich with tax breaks and squandering trillions on militarism, while relentlessly cutting funds for public services.

In short, the coronavirus crisis is a reflection of a deeper crisis in the capitalist system that prevails among Western states, as American professor Richard Wolff explains. Societal human needs are always sacrificed on the altar of elite private profit.

Men wearing protective masks stand as people hike along a section of the Great Wall in Badaling in Beijing, on its first day of re-opening after the scenic site's coronavirus related closure, China, 24 March 2020.

© REUTERS / THOMAS PETER

The fact that in the US and Britain there is a paltry number of test kits for checking the disease and a dearth of vital protective equipment for medical staff is a national disgrace due to inherent political and economic reasons. That is what needs to be focused on. That is where the public anger should be directed. Why have citizens been so abjectly betrayed by their governments whose first duty of care should be to protect them?

It is absurd and contemptible for certain media and pundits to try to distract from the central issue of bankrupt democracy by seeking to disparage Russia over humanitarian aid or scapegoat China for the systemic failures of Western governments.

One senses, however, that the ploys of Russophobia and Chinaphobia have become hopelessly threadbare in credibility. In Britain, for example, normally Conservative-supporting media are asking angry questions on their front pages about government dereliction. Are we to believe that such anger is the result of Russia and China “sowing disinformation to undermine public trust”?

No, it is simply a case of citizens realizing – slowly and painfully – that their governments and society organized on capitalist priorities is a shambles unworthy of the name “democracy”.

The sickness of smearing and blaming others instead of dealing honestly with inherent problems will only embolden the public even more to exact retribution from their culpable authorities. As millions of workers and their families reap poverty and illness, one senses too that the pitchforks are being taken down from the barn roofs.

Sickness in the West is going viral, but maybe some lasting benefit may come from this crisis in the end, if societies are overhauled for the greater good of citizens.

Finian Cunningham

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism (2019).

الوباء والسياسة (2

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

تعرّضت في مقالي السابق إلى الوباء وماذا يمكن له أن يغيّر في هذا العالم، من الأكيد أن تغيّراً جذرياً لا بدّ سيطرأ على أشكال التوحّش والغطرسة التي مارستها ولا تزال الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ومن ورائها الغرب الأوروبي الذي جعله عجزه وتراجعه يبدو أقلّ عدوانية.

يشمل التغيّر العالم بأسره، ففي حين تناصب الولايات المتحدة الصين العداء، ويتهمها وزير خارجيتها بومبيو أنها وروسيا تضللان العالم، في المقابل يرى العالم الصين وروسيا تبديان التزاماً عالياً بسلامة مواطنيهما وبسلامة الإنسان عبر العالم أجمع. روسيا التي تعاني من انخفاض مداخليها بسبب التراجع في الطلب على النفط وانخفاض أسعاره وهي ليست في حال جيدة، تحيل لإيطاليا مليون قناع واقٍ دون مقابل، وترسل طائراتها محمّلة بالأطباء والخبراء والأدوية والمعدّات لمساعدتها في السيطرة على الوباء. الصين بدورها والتي كانت أول من أصيب بالوباء وأول من تصدّى له ترسل بدورها الأطباء والمعدّات والخبراء وفرق الصليب الأحمر الصيني وعلى رأسهم الخبير شوشينغ الذي نجح في إدارة أزمة مدينة ووهان، وهو يقود اليوم الفرق الصينية – الإيطالية لمكافحة الوباء في مقاطعة لمباردي حيث تتكاثف حالات الإصابة، كما تبدي الصين استعدادها لتقديم المساعدة للولايات المتحدة في المجال ذاته ولا تلقي بالاً للتصريحات الأميركية المعادية، كوبا الفقيرة مالاً والغنيّة في الجود والعطاء ترسل إلى دول عديدة فرقها الطبية المشهود لها بالخبرة والمهارة التي كانت خير مَن كافح الإيبولا الأفريقية بالطبع تطوّعاً لا مأجورة.

مجلة فورين بوليسي (FOREIGN POLICY) الفصلية وفي عددها الصادر في 20 آذار/ مارس طرحت سؤالاً على فريق من السياسيين والمفكّرين الاستراتيجيين والجنرالات: كيف سيبدو العالم بعد الكورونا؟ تنوّعت الإجابات ولكنها اتفقت على مجموعة من النقاط والمشاهد في هذا المقال منها:

أولاً: أنّ المنتصر في حرب الكورونا هو مَن سيكتب التاريخ ويحدّد المستقبل.

ثانياً: أنّ الولايات المتحدة والغرب قد فشلا في إدارة العالم أثناء الأزمة، الأمر الذي سيعطي الصين ودول جنوب شرق آسيا دفة قيادة العالم.

ولما كانت التغيّرات الجذرية ستشمل العالم بشرقه وغربه، فما هو الممكن والمتاح ان يتغيّر على صعيد العالم العربي. يبدو أنّ أمام مشرقنا أكثر من فرصة متاحة تلوح في الأفق لإحداث انفراجات أو حلول في بعض الأزمات التي استعصت على الحلّ والانفراج، ولا ينقصها إلا توفر الإرادة السياسية لذلك بعد أن أنضجت التطوّرات المتلاحقة وعلى رأسها الوباء ظروفاً مناسبة، خاصة أنّ الطرق العنيفة التي تمّ اتباعها، قادت وستقود – في حال تواصلت – إلى مزيد من الخسران للجميع على حدّ سواء، الأمر الذي يسمح بالخروج من هذا النفق المعتم بمعادلة لا غالب ولا مغلوب.

البداية في اليمن التي دخلت الحرب عليها عامها السادس منذ أيام، ويزعم الطرف المعتدي أنها حرب يمنية ـ يمنية، وانه يقوم فقط بحربه من أجل دعم الحكومة الشرعية الزائفة لعبد ربه منصور هادي، ويرى كذلك في هذه الحرب امتداداً للحرب غير المباشرة التي أعلنها على إيران، وطالما ادعى السعودي انه سينقل الحرب إلى داخلها وأنه سيقلّم أظافرها ويحول دون تمدّدها في الإقليم، ومع بدء العام السادس نرى انه لم يحصد غير الزوان ولم يجنِ إلا الشوك، فهذه الحرب العبثية التي جعل من وقودها ناس اليمن وحجارتها بيوتهم الآمنة ومدارسهم ومستشفياتهم، قد عادت عليه بالهزيمة والخيبة وأكلاف تجاوزت نصف تريليون دولار، والتمدّد الإيراني لا يزال على تمدّده لا بل يزيد، وأصبح الحوثيون في وضع أقوى وأفضل وتحوّلوا بدورهم من لاعب يمني إلى لاعب إقليمي تصل دوائر نشاطهم إلى ضفاف غزة، عندما أعلن قائدهم عن عرضه لمبادلة أسرى سعوديّين لديه بسجناء فلسطينيين في السجون السعودية. يقيني أنّ نصف تريليون دولار التي أحرقت في هذه الحرب لو أنها استثمرت في نشاطات تنموية واقتصادية في اليمن لأعادته يمناً سعيداً متقدّماً متطوّراً، ولكانت كافية لا لوقف التمدّد الإيراني فقط وإنما لوقف أيّ تمدّد.

منذ أشهر وجه اليمنيون ضربة موجعة لمجمع «أرامكو» عطّلته عن العمل والإنتاج، ومنذ أيام قليلة بدأت صورايخهم البالستية تحوم فوق الرياض، في إشارة يمنية لتوسيع دائرة الاستهداف، وهي بذلك تضرب القلب من جسد الدولة السعودية. إنها فرصة سانحة لوضع حدّ لهذا العبث الدموي أمام جائحة الوباء، وأمام التراجع المريع في الطلب على النفط وأسعاره، فإمكانية الوصول إلى صيغة لا غالب ولا مغلوب من شأنها إخراج الفريقين من المأزق.

في سورية تتقدّم الدولة السورية بعسكرها وحلفائها بشكل متواصل. فالانتصارات التي أحرزها الجيش السوري في مواجهة الأتراك والجماعات المدعومة منهم، وترافقها مع المشروع الداعي لطرد الوجود الأميركي من المنطقة عقب اغتيال الفريق قاسم سليماني، قد بدأت تأخذ أبعاداً جدية، والاتصالات بين دمشق والأكراد المحبطين من الأميركان والخائفين من تركيا ترجح عودتهم إلى أحضان الدولة السورية فيما تنوء أنقرة بتراجعها المستمرّ وبأحمال تتزايد عليها، فأعداؤها بازدياد وحلفاؤها خذلوها، والجماعات المدعومة منها في حالة إحباط، أمام حقيقة أنّ خط النهاية لهذه الحرب قد أصبح معروفاً وأنّ الدولة السورية ستنتصر. جاء الوباء مترافقاً مع التراجع الشديد في سعر صرف الليرة التركية وتضاؤل قيمتها الشرائية، ومع انقطاع السياحة التي تمثل رافداً اقتصادياً مهماً، ومع عجز أصحاب المشاريع عن سداد ديونهم للبنوك، ومع تفاقم مشكلة اللاجئين السوريين الذين كانت تدفع بهم أنقرة إلى أوروبا قبل أزمة الوباء، فأوروبا اليوم أصبحت تتردّد في استقبال السائحين الأثرياء فكيف لها أن تستقبل اللاجئين؟

يوماً بعد يوم، ترتخي تلك الحبال التي كانت تطوق سورية، وقد تتحوّل بالقريب إلى أعمدة دعم الدولة السورية، الأمر الذي بدا واضحاً في إعلان الإمارات عن الاتصال الهاتفي الذي بادر إلى إجرائه ولي عهدها بالرئيس السوري وتأكيده له: «إنّ سورية بلد شقيق، لن نتخلى عنه، ولن نتركه وحيداً في هذه الظروف الدقيقة».

إنها أيضاً فرصة قد لا تتكرّر أمام الرئيس التركي ليخرج من الأرض السورية ويغسل يديه من دماء السوريين، ويحافظ على ماء وجهه وعلى شيء من مصالح بلاده المهدّدة في حال استمرّ في طريقه الحالي.

تعاني فلسطين من الاحتلال الجاثم على صدرها، وتعاني من حالة انقسام سياسي وجغرافي منذ العام 2007، وهو انقسام له أسبابه المتعلقة بالرؤى والبرامج وأسباب داخلية شتى، وقد كان للانقسام من يرعاه فمن جانب داخلي ظهرت على ضفتيه طبقة متنفذة مستفيدة من استمرار هذا الوضع الشاذ، ومن جانب آخر فإنّ قوى خارجية وأولاها الاحتلال وثانيتها داعمو الاحتلال وأصدقاؤه من عرب وغرب وقد وجدوا أنّ أكثر ما يضعف الحالة الفلسطينية هو الانقسام الذي يجب أن يستمرّ ويتعمّق، ولجأت تلك القوى إلى حدّ التهديد بقطع المساعدات وبإجراءات عقابية في حال حدوث مصالحة.

في الأيام الماضية، استطاع بن يامين نتنياهو بدهائه وقدراته الاستثنائية، على تفتيت خصومه وشرذمتهم والبقاء في رئاسة الحكومة، وسقط رهان كلّ من اعتقد أنه قد خرج من الحياة السياسية، لقد أثبت تفوّقه على كلّ خصومه، ووضع على هامش السياسة مَن أراد، وجعل أهمّهم يعمل في خدمته، ويبدو أنه يخطط للبقاء في رئاسة الحكومة لسنين طويلة مقبلة – ربما ما دام حياً -. سياساته واضحة ودعمه من أصدقائه في الإدارة الأميركية ثابت على الأقلّ حتى تشرين المقبل، الأمر الذي سيجعله مطلق اليدين لفعل ما يريد ومتى يريد، ولا يكفيه دعم واشنطن فقط وإنما يخدمه الانشغال العالمي بالوباء والانقسام الفلسطيني وحالة الهوان العربي.

أما آن للفلسطينيين والحال كذلك في كلّ من رام الله وغزة أن يتجاوزوا خلافاتهم وأن يتوحّدوا في وقت تمرّ فيه المسألة الفلسطينية في وضع دقيق وفي زمن حرج، يدعو الكلّ الفلسطيني لتدارك مخاطر المرحلة، في ظلّ الوباء ومخاطر التغوّل غير المسبوق لنتنياهو القوي، الذي لن يعطي شيئاً… هل تتوافر الإرادة؟ وهل تتفوّق إرادة الفلسطيني على الضغوط؟ هذا هو السؤال…

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Another Reminder of Western Barbarianism

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Another Reminder of Western Barbarianism 

By Darko Lazar

During the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999, the Western military alliance devastated the country’s civilian infrastructure. The long list of targets included 19 hospitals, 18 kindergartens, 176 cultural monuments and 44 bridges. 

Several weeks into the military campaign, which was fiercely opposed by Russia and China, a total of five satellite-guided bombs, delivered by American B-2 bombers, slammed into the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. 

The attack on the symbol of Chinese sovereignty in the heart of the Balkans killed three Chinese nationals and wounded twenty others. 

Washington and Brussels claimed the attack was a mistake. But NATO’s increasingly bloody push eastwards would have unintended consequences. 

The Belt and Road Initiative vs. Western dictates 

Just a few months after the bombing of Serbia, Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin was quietly pushed out of office and replaced by the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin.

When Putin won his first election in 2000, he is rumored to have had two inauguration ceremonies. One was held in full view of the global media and another unfolded in the Kremlin’s underground chambers. 

There he was joined by a small group of Russian military officers and operatives from the country’s security apparatus. These men understood that it was only a matter of time before NATO bombs started falling on downtown Moscow, and the decision had been made to confront Western expansionism. 

In the years that followed, China and Russia would join hands with Iran to suppress American influence though the creation of a Eurasian union made up of sovereign and independent nations. 

This ambitious scheme reached Serbia in the form of Russian military hardware and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. 

Beijing found a reliable partner in the government of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, and in less than a decade, the Chinese poured billions of dollars in investments into the Balkan state. 

The investments propped up critical industries in Serbia, including a copper mine, a steelmaker, and a thermal power plant. While safeguarding tens of thousands of jobs and driving much-needed growth, the Chinese were also building new bridges, roads, and ports. 

Meanwhile, Vucic adopted an intelligent foreign policy – one made possible by the reemergence of a multipolar world. He reached out to both east and west and then took the best deal on the table. But the West had little to offer. 

Most of the exchanges with Brussels consisted of dictates. No longer able to bomb embassies, the West demanded Belgrade introduce ‘political reforms’ and restrict Chinese investments. 

Western political elites remained convinced that China and Russia have nothing to offer countries like Serbia that could rival joining ‘democratic’ Western alliances. 

The coronavirus pandemic delivered yet another serious blow to this arrogant and abominable point of view.     

Solidarity and fairytales

As coronavirus infections spiked dramatically across Europe earlier this month, Vucic declared that “European solidarity does not exist.” 

“This was a fairytale on paper,” Vucic said as he announced a state of emergency in his country. “Today I sent a special letter to the only ones who can help, and that is China.” 

He explained that he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping “not only as a dear friend, but as a brother” to provide Serbia desperately needed assistance after the EU imposed a ban on exports of medical equipment.  

Once again, when time came for building bridges instead of destroying them, the great humanitarians of the West had nothing to offer. Meanwhile, Chinese gear and experts flooded Serbia virtually overnight.

Beijing’s assistance and strict measures imposed by the government early on helped Serbia stave off disaster.   

But Serbia isn’t the only country receiving planeloads of supplies from the east. Chinese medical equipment is being sent to Iran, Iraq, and a number of European states including Italy where over 10,000 people have thus far perished due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Italy – the first EU state to embrace the Belt and Road Initiative in 2019 – turned to China after its plea for help from its European neighbors was refused. 

Similar acts of solidarity came from the Russians and some Latin American states. The Cubans flew their doctors to Italy and were asked to return to Brazil where they were expelled in 2018 and labeled “Communist spies” by the right-wing government of Jair Bolsonaro. 

Meanwhile, Western powerhouses are looking inwards. As they cling onto stocks depleted by years of healthcare cuts, the Trump administration was reportedly caught offering piles of money for ‘exclusive rights’ to a Covid-19 vaccine.

Imprisoned by their own twisted interpretations of human rights, many of these governments were slow to react. They hesitated in following the Chinese model and imposing drastic restrictions on freedom of movement. Instead they were worried about profits and how the stock markets would react. 

And even as the U.S. becomes the new epicenter of this pandemic, President Donald Trump expressed his readiness to potentially risk millions of American lives by reopening the country in just a few weeks.

This brutal face of capitalism is also on full display for Washington’s adversaries, namely Iran and Venezuela, where unilateral sanctions are preventing the delivery of desperately needed medical supplies.  

As such, Western governments and their policies are not only endangering individual nation states. At a time when a highly infectious disease is spreading at an unprecedented speed, these policies are threatening the entire global population. 

De omnibus dubitandum est

Despite extensive global coverage of this pandemic, very little is actually known about Covid-19. We don’t know how dangerous the virus is or its concrete consequences. And we certainly don’t have tangible details about what caused the outbreak. 

This leaves plenty of room for speculation, conspiracy theories, and even talk about aliens. Whatever the truth, biological warfare involving powerful political currents can never be ruled out. 

In an op-ed published more than two years ago, Al-Ahed pointed to the existence of hundreds of American military biological laboratories across the Eurasian continent. The labs were being used by the Pentagon to gather intelligence on microorganisms – vital for the creation of highly effective biological weapons. 

There is no doubt that the coronavirus transcends borders and religions and doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor. But that doesn’t mean that the virus isn’t helping further certain political agendas. 

The coronavirus has done what “Israel’s” politicians have failed to do for over a year. It’s brought an end to the political deadlock with indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set to form the next government. 

By bringing the global economy to a screeching halt, Covid-19 has given birth to another Great Depression and paved the way for the collapse of certain governments. 

Equally important is the fact that the virus has the potential to determine the outcome of every single election process in the Western world for some time to come, including the U.S. presidential race. 

At times like these, it would be wise to remember the words of the late Danish philosopher Soren Aabye Kierkegaard who titled one of his books, De omnibus dubitandum est or “everything must be doubted”. 

ما أكثر العِبَر

بقلم د. بثينة شعبان

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يقول المثل العربي: «ما أكثر العِبَر وما اقلّ الاعتبار»؛ ذلك لأن الاعتبار يعني التفكّر في العبر وفهم المغزى الحقيقي لها والتصرف على أساس الدروس المستقاة منها، ونحن نجد اليوم عبراً لا تحصى في التجربة الإنسانية بكل أشكالها وتجلّياتها ولكن الاستفادة من هذه العبر محدودة أحياناً وتكاد تكون معدومة أحياناً أخرى.

 والمثال الأكبر والأهم والذي يشغل بال البشرية اليوم هو فيروس كورونا الذي صدف أن بدأ انتشاره في جمهورية الصين الشعبية وظنّ الآخرون أنهم في منأى عن هذا الخطر نتيجة البعد الجغرافي واختلاف العرق وأخذوا يطلقون نظريات لا علاقة لها بالعبر التي يجب أن تكون مستمدة من هذه الحال إلى أن بدأ بالانتشار في كلّ أنحاء المعمورة تقريباً وإن يكن بدرجات متفاوتة وبتفاوت أكبر في الاستعداد والتصدّي له.

والعبرة الأولى التي يجب أن يتعلمها الإنسان من هذه الكارثة الكونية هي أننا جميعاً مؤتمنون على سلامة هذا الكون وأن البشرية في قارب واحد وأن ما يؤذي أهلنا في الصين سيلحق الأذى بنا عاجلاً أو آجلاً، ولذلك علينا أن نعمل وفق الآية الكريمة «وتعاونوا على البرّ والتقوى ولا تعاونوا على الإثم والعدوان». ولكنّ القوى التي تعتبر نفسها فوق كلّ قانون وفوق الجنس البشري بدرجة، مع أنها منه، مازالت سائرة في الطريق الذي أوصل الجميع إلى هذه الحال التي لا يحسد عليها أحد، وما زالت تتبنى العقوبات والحظر والإرهاب والحرب والمنع والترهيب أسلوباً للتعامل مع الدول والمجتمعات البشرية خارج إطار حدودها ولم تفهم إلى حدّ الآن أن ارتدادات عقوباتها تصل إليها بطريقة أو بأخرى.
وعلى سبيل المثال لا الحصر فقد استخدمت هذه الدول على مدى سنوات الإعلام المضلّل لتشويه صور الآخرين وإرسال أنباء مزيفة عمّا يجري على أرضهم وإقناع العالم أن هؤلاء يستحقون القدر الذي حلّ بهم والعقوبات التي تفرضها القوى الغربية أو المنظمات الدولية المؤتمرة بأمر هذه القوى أصلاً. واليوم وفي محاولة التصدي لفايروس كورونا نجد أن هذه الدول الغربية ذاتها وحكامها هم ضحايا إعلامهم المضلّل، الذي أضلّ بهم الطريق حتى عن قدراتهم وإمكاناتهم لمواجهة مثل هذه الكارثة التي تنتشر أذرعها الأخطبوطية إلى الجميع اليوم؛ ففي الوقت الذي كان يعتقد معظم الناس في هذه الدول وربما حكامها أيضاً وفي الدول التي مازالت تدور في فلكها بأنها تمتلك نظاماً ومؤسسات صحية وأساليب عمل قادرة على مواجهة أي خطر يعترض أسلوب حياتها، فوجئ الجميع بأن هذا التصوّر هو نوع من الوهم الذي لا يحاكيه الواقع أبداً وأن المؤسسات الصحية والقدرات الاحتياطية الموجودة لديها لمواجهة كارثة ما هي إلا قدرات ضعيفة ولا يمكن لها مواجهة هذه الكارثة التي تحلّ بالبلاد.

وفي الوقت الذي كان هذا الإعلام ذاته يبثّ الشعور بالتفوّق على الشرق والعالم برمّته اضطر بعد أن عايش أداء الصين المتميّز في التصدّي لهذا الوباء أن يعترف أن الصين مثال يحتذى وأن خير ما يمكن أن يقوم به أي بلد هو أن يستفيد من تجربة الصين في مواجهة هذا الوباء، ولحسن الحظ فإنّ الصين تصرفت بكِبَر وبدأت بإرسال مساعداتها وعرض الإفادة من خبرتها وأسلوب معالجتها لكل الراغبين في الاستفادة منها.

ولكنّ الغريب في الأمر هو أنه وبالرغم من أن العبرة من هذه الكارثة البشرية واضحة للعيان فإن الولايات المتحدة مازالت منشغلة بفرض عقوبات على إيران وروسيا وسورية، ومازال معاون وزير خارجيتها يستقبل الرأس المدبّر لإرهابيي الخوذ البيضاء، ومازال مسؤولوها يتحدثون بلغة تجافي الأدب والمنطق والواقع أيضاً عن «الفيروس الصيني» إمعاناً منهم في محاولة تشويه صورة الصين التي برهنت للعالم برمته أن أنظمتها التقنية والسياسية والتنظيمية وأخلاقها المجتمعية جديرة بالفعل لأن تكون أنموذجاً للعالم برمته. فقد دعت الصين إلى رفع العقوبات عن إيران من أجل مساعدتها لمكافحة فايروس كورونا وهذا أول درس يجب أن يكون قد توصل إليه الجميع من هذه الكارثة. وهذا هو الدرس المنطقي والإنساني والمعقول لمصلحة البشرية إذا كنا نؤمن فعلاً، أو توصلنا إلى الإيمان، بأن البشرية في قارب واحد وأن ما يصيب البعض يصيب الكل في النهاية.

في هذه الحال كما في أحوال شتّى وعلى مدى عقود برهنت النخب الرأسمالية الحاكمة في الغرب أنها تصمُّ آذانها وتغمض عينيها عن واقع وصل إلى عقر دارها، وعن ناقوس خطر يكاد صوته يصمّ سمع البشرية وذلك في محاولة ومكابرة منها لتبقي هيمنتها على العالم رغم ترهل أدوات قيادتها ورغم ظهور قيادات أكثر قدرة وحكمة على قيادة السفينة البشرية التي ننتمي لها جميعاً. ولكنّ هذه المكابرة، التي يعتبر الإعلام المضلّل أحد أهم أدواتها، لن تجدي نفعاً أبداً بعد اليوم ولا حتى على المدى القصير لأنّ الضرر وصل إلى الجميع ولابدّ لهم من مواجهته وبعد ذلك التعّرف إلى أسبابه ومحاولة معالجتها. مازالت الدول الغربية في سباق من أجل مصادر الثروة وطباعة الدولار والسيطرة الكاملة على منابع النفط في العالم ولا تريد أن ترى أن مقوّمات القوة لا تعتمد على الثروة المادية وحدها بل تعتمد على العلم والمعرفة والأخلاق أيضاً؛ «وإنما الأمم الأخلاق ما بقيت، فإن هم ذهبت أخلاقهم ذهبوا». وهذا ليس شعاراً وليس ترفاً وإنما حقيقة واقعة نلمسها عبر التاريخ.

اليوم يكتشف مواطنو الدول الغربية أن الشعور بالقوة والتقدّم والحضارة لا يرتكز على حرص عميق على الإنسان بل يرتكز على الثروة المادية فقط التي تمتلكها نسبة ضئيلة جداً من مواطني هذه الدول.

السؤال اليوم:

هل سيسجل التاريخ أن الحرب الكونية لمكافحة كورونا كانت أهم من الحرب العالمية الثانية في فرز القوى المؤهلة لقيادة العالم في المستقبل؟ وهل سيتمخّض العمل ضد هذا الفايروس عن قيم سياسية واجتماعية ونظم مختلفة تماماً عمّا عهدناه قبل كورونا؟ وهل سيصبح من الصعب بعد كورونا أن يلعب الإعلام المضلّل لعبته لأن الناس قد اكتشفت من خلال خطر الموت حقيقة الأمور ولا يمكن لأي قوة دعائية أن تعلّم الإنسان أكثر مما تعلمه من التهديد المباشر لحياته ووجوده؟

هل سيتذكر العالم تجربة كورونا بعد الانتهاء منها بأنها كانت الحدّ الفاصل الذي سقط بعده النظام الرأسمالي في الامتحان الأهم، وبرهن النظام الاشتراكي أنه الأجدر والأقدر على قيادة البشر لما فيه خيرهم وصحتهم وأمنهم وأمانهم؟ لا شك أن الإمبراطوريات لا تسقط بين عشية وضحاها وأنها تستغرق وقتاً ولكنّ هذا المفصل في مواجهة هذه المعضلة الصحية يبدو لي مفصلاً دقيقاً ومهماً جداً في تاريخ النظم السياسية وتقييمها وقدرتها على البقاء والمنافسة، وهل هذا يعني أن العالم سيشهد بعد كورونا تغييراً جذرياً في النظم والشرعة الدولية التي نظمت العلاقات بين الدول منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية وحتى اليوم؟

لقد شهد العقد المنصرم الذي نعيش عامه الأخير هذا العام استهتاراً متزايداً من الغرب بالشرعية الدولية وحقوق الإنسان وسيادة الدول، وشهد تجبّراً من الدولة الأقوى عسكرياً، وتدخّلاً من هذه الدولة وحلفائها وعملائها في الشؤون الداخلية للبلدان المستقلة، وطمساً للهويات وحقوق السكان الأصليين لا يمكن وصفه إلا بشريعة الغاب، كما شهد انتهاكاً للبيئة والمناخ والجغرافيا والتاريخ وكلّ ما منحنا الله إياه على هذه الأرض من ثروات طبيعية وتبدّل جميل في الفصول واختلاف في البيئة والجغرافية ما سبب احتباساً حرارياً وفيضانات وجفافاً وكوارث طبيعية لم يشهدها الإنسان من قبل. واليوم علّ هذه الكارثة التي حلّت بالبشرية من خلال فيروس لا يمكن رؤيته بالعين المجرّدة ويشكّل هذا التهديد الخطير للحياة البشرية برمتها؛ علّ هذه الكارثة تدفع البعض إلى التواضع وتخفّف من عوامل تجبّرهم واستكبارهم وجبروتهم على حيوات ومقدرات الآخرين، وعلّها أيضاً تدفع الإنسان للعودة إلى الأصول والاهتمام بالأرض والبيئة والمناخ والحضارة والتاريخ وإعادة الاعتبار للقيم الإيجابية المتوارثة من الآباء والأجداد والمبادئ الدينية الداعية إلى المحبة والسلام بعيداً عن العنصرية والاستكبار.

علّ هذا الفايروس يذكّر البعض بوهن الإنسان وضعفه أمام خطر من فايروس لا يُرى بالعين المجردة ويدفع هذا الإنسان إلى التخلّي عن سياسة العقوبات والاستهداف النابعة من التجبّر والاستكبار والعودة إلى التواضع والتفاهم والتصرّف كأعضاء في أسرة إنسانية واحدة والتي هي في الواقع جسد واحد إذا أصيب منه عضو تداعت له سائر الأعضاء بالحمّى والسهر.

   ( الاثنين 2020/03/23 SyriaNow) 

تحديات محور المقاومة… وتقدّم على مختلف المحاور

رأي سمير الحسن 

الخميس 27 شباط 2020

متواصلة بعناد، وبلا هوادة، عدوانية الغرب على الشرق. طاقة عدوانية غريبة باستمراريتها، وثباتها، وجبروتها، لا تلبث أن تتعدّى وتدمّر وتقتل وتخرّب، وإن خسرت فببعض ردّ فعل مقاوم من شعوب الشرق، الذي لم يغب عن لسانه طعم هذه العدوانية الشرسة على مراحل تاريخية مختلفة.

والاستعمار ليس أماً حنوناً، كما صوّره كاتبو التاريخ الحديث، ولا الإمبريالية أباً للشعوب. الأم وابنتها دمرتا الكرة الأضية، وحياة الشعوب عليها. جاء الاستعمار الفرنسي، ودخل دمشق، وأوّل ما قام به قائد القوات الفرنسية، الجنرال غورو، خلال الحرب العالمية الأولى، أنه قصد قبر صلاح الدين الأيوبي، أحد أبرز رموز هزيمة الصليبيين من الشرق، ورفسه بقدمه قائلاً: «يا صلاح الدين أنت قلت لنا إبان الحروب الصليبية: إنكم خرجتم من الشرق ولن تعودوا إليه. وها نحن عدنا فانهض لترانا في سوريا».

كرّس غورو النزعة الاستعمارية لبلاده، وللغرب برمّته؛ فالصليبية كانت أوروبية الطابع، ولم تنتمِ إلى دولة محدّدة، وقومية معيّنة. لم تكن جرمانية، تحديداً، ولا إفرنجية تحديداً، ولا أنكلو ساكسونية تحديداً. كانت كل ذلك، مع غيرها من مختلف القوميات الأوروبية. زرعت لمام شعوب من مختلف دول العالم مكان شعبٍ آخر في فلسطين، فكان الكيان الصهيوني. ثمّ تنبعث اتحاداً أوروبياً، بعد قرون طويلة على حدود الألفيتين الثانية والثالثة.

وتتجدّد العدوانية بصلافة وإصرار مع الوريث الأشرس، الإمبريالية الأميركية، فتستبيح العالم وتقتل وتدمر، ولا تكلّ عدوانيتها، كما لا يضعف إصرارها على العدوان. تغزو أفغانستان، ثم العراق، تستبيح أميركا اللاتينية بمؤامراتها، ولا تكلّ أمام هزيمة من هنا، أو ضربة من هناك، فتستعيد قوّتها، وتعيد هجومها العدواني، مستفيدة ممّا يشبه وحدانية سيطرتها وبطشها في العالم. تكرّس حضورها المباشر، وغير المباشر في سوريا والعراق ولبنان، مستهدفة تكريس سيطرتها، وكذلك محاولة مجابهة أي نهوض آسيوي، فتضع إيران في أول استهدافاتها، وتخطّط للصين منعاً لنهوض يقضّ مضاجعها.

جملة تحوّلات وانتصارات تكتيكية تُعزّز من حضور محور المقاومة في كل الساحات وتضع المنطقة في مرحلة التحرير المباشرة


لكنّ حركة التاريخ لا تعود إلى الوراء، بل تتقدم مهما كان ببطء، وفي ظل نهوض آسيوي غير منضبط، تعجز الإمبريالية الأميركية عن مجابهته، يتقدّم المحور الشرقي بتؤدة، خطوة خطوة، لا يريد للمجابهة أن تصل إلى ذروة عنفوانها، لأنه لا يريد أن ينجرّ وراء نزعة الإمبريالية الأميركية إلى تدمير الحياة البشرية على الأرض بمجابهة شاملة. وبقدر ما هي غريبة النزعة العدوانية بصلفها واستمراريتها، مستوى الرد الشرقي منضبط في الحدود المرسومة له: تقدم من دون تراجع، ولا تسرّع. يتضمن الرد في طياته قراراً نهائياً بالمجابهة حتى نهايتها، التي قد تطول تحت مؤثرات الضبط المرسومة لعملياتها على المستويات الاستراتيجية والاقتصادية والسياسية. لذلك، تطول المجابهات العسكرية المباشرة الشرسة في سوريا، واليمن، وتتخذ في العراق ولبنان منحى الحراك الشعبي.

في هذه الأجواء، نلاحظ تطورات ميدانية في سياق التحولات الاستراتيجية الواقعة في سياق مواجهة المشروع الأميركي في المنطقة. ولا بدّ من التوقف عند التطوّر العسكري على جبهتي اليمن وسوريا؛ هجومان يعبّران ضمناً عن الهجوم الشامل الذي تقوده جبهة المقاومة لدفع أميركا وحلفائها إلى مزيد من التراجع؛ فالجيش السوري دخل مرحلة متقدمة لحسم معركة إدلب. وفي اليمن، سجّل الجيش اليمني و«أنصار الله» تقدماً استراتيجياً على جبهة مأرب، والجوف، بعد النجاحات الكبيرة على جبهات نهم، وكتاف، ما يعني دخول الجيش السعودي مرحلة حرجة في اليمن.
في لبنان، قال فلتمان إذا لم تضعوا حداً لحزب الله، فسيعود لبنان إلى العصر الحجري. هي لغة الأم المزعومة بالحنون. «إما لبنان لنا، أو… لا لبنان». هكذا يريد الغرب لبنان الذي رسمه على قياس مصالحه، ومن أجل مخططاته، وواهم من لا يزال يعتمده وطناً قائماً بحدّ ذاته، موئلاً دائماً لأبنائه المقيمين فيه. وعندما حاول الحكم اللبناني التوجّه نحو الشرق، انطلقت الحركة التي يعتمدها فلتمان في استراتيجيته، إما لإعادة لبنان إلى أحضانه بالتمام والكمال، خالياً من المقاومة، أو لإعادته إلى العصر الحجري كما هدّد فلتمان، ابتداءً منذ السابع عشر من تشرين الأول / أوكتوبر المنصرم. وفي العراق، تتخذ الحركة منحًى أكثر تجذّراً، حيث تجمعت كل القوى الوطنية في المجابهة، يعزّزها الحضور الإيراني المقاوم الذي حسم قراره بإخراج الأميركي من المنطقة.

جملة تحوّلات، وانتصارات تكتيكية، تعزّز من حضور محور المقاومة في كل الساحات، عسكرياً وسياسياً، وتضع المنطقة في مرحلة التحرير المباشرة، كما تقرّبنا من الهزيمة النهائية لغورو الاستعماري، وفلتمان الإمبريالي، بانتظار تحقيق النصر الاستراتيجي، إن على المستوى العسكري أو الاقتصادي ــ وهو من أهم عناصر المجابهة ــ أو السياسي، مهما امتدت المجابهة، وطال أمدها.

*كاتب وباحث في الشؤون الاستراتيجية

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