Political Crisis in Pakistan: Foreign Conspiracy or the Nationalist Card?

8 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Ruqiya Anwar 

While Imran Khan insists that there is an ongoing foreign-backed regime change conspiracy against his government, the no-confidence motion’s defeat and the dismissal of parliament have cast doubt on Pakistan’s entire constitution.

Analysts also predict that the development will aggravate Pakistan’s already tense relationship with the United States

Pakistan is currently experiencing a major political and constitutional crisis. On 3 April, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly threw out a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan, which was projected to receive a majority of votes. The rationale given was the alleged presence of a foreign conspiracy to topple the elected government, of which the no-confidence motion was considered part.

Significantly, Pakistan’s political environment has shifted dramatically in recent months, with the two biggest opposition parties, the PML-N and the PPP, uniting against the government. It is, without a doubt, the most significant political challenge that the present government has faced in its more than half-term. In addition, the government faces a greater challenge from within its party. No Pakistani prime minister has ever served a full term, and Khan has faced the most serious challenge to his leadership since taking office in 2018.

Khan’s removal is being sought through a no-trust motion filed by opposition parties in the National Assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led the opposition, two traditionally feuding dynastic factions that dominated national politics for decades until Khan allied against them. 

However, the plotted no-trust resolution against Pakistan Prime Minister was dismissed by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, and it was against Pakistan’s Constitution and laws. Therefore, the plot to destabilize the government has failed. The legislature has been dissolved, and elections will occur in 90 days.

Khan is accused of mismanaging Pakistan’s economic and foreign policies. Whereas, in his address to the nation, Khan categorically said that he would not resign and resist foreign meddling, rejecting his opponents’ accusations of misrule. He also stressed that he would emerge victoriously. He will not, under any circumstances, allow this conspiracy to succeed.

Whereas few observers believe it is anything more than a planned effort on the part of the prime minister to bolster the assumption of a foreign conspiracy against his government. Moreover, playing the nationalist card in times of crisis is a common populist strategy.

However, in Pakistan’s political history, no elected government has ever been toppled by a no-confidence vote. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected calls from the opposition to resign, accusing the US of attempting to destabilize his government.

The US was accused of interfering in Pakistani affairs. The opposition parties were plotting with Washington to remove the government because Pakistan refused to support the US and Europe in global conflicts with Russia and China.

Khan cited the United States as the source of a “memo” that Khan claimed confirmed a “foreign conspiracy” sparked by his travel to Russia when President Vladimir Putin launched the special military operation in Ukraine. Foreign elements claimed to be enraged with Pakistan. If Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan loses a no-confidence vote, they will forgive Pakistan. However, if the referendum fails, Pakistan will suffer major consequences. The alleged conspiracy was intended to punish him for pursuing a Pakistani foreign policy independent of the United States.

Analysts also predict that the development will aggravate Pakistan’s already tense relationship with the United States. The developments will harm the US-Pakistan relationship. Relations haven’t been great in recent months; they’ve been unsure and uneasy but not disastrous. The disclosures, rhetoric, and accusations pushed into the public sphere in recent days will put things back.

While on the other side, it’s neither a fight between ‘good and evil’, as Prime Minister Imran Khan would have us think, nor a fight for democracy, as the combined opposition insists. The Prime Minister has used religious and nationalist slogans to rally his supporters and tackle the situation. He has attempted to rally his supporters by using religious slogans and portraying the power fight as a battle between “good and evil”.

Notably, PM Khan maintains that his life is in danger, but he is unconcerned and vows to fight for an independent and democratic Pakistan. Attempts are being made to change Pakistan’s government using foreign funds. While Analysts believe Khan is attempting to sway public opinion against the opposition by blaming the West. It was a first-of-its-kind assault on democracy and the constitution by a democratically elected government. If the acting speaker’s actions are upheld, any future administration will be free to deploy a made-up conspiracy to avoid a vote of no-confidence. They have subverted the country’s rule of law. As a result, Pakistan’s democracy has suffered a setback (DW, 2022).

Since the United States withdrew from Afghanistan last summer, the relationship between the two countries has been strained. The growing rapprochement between China and Pakistan also puts a pall over US policies toward the country.

The opposition’s no-confidence movement against Prime Minister Imran Khan was defeated, which might have major consequences for Pakistan’s democratic system. The no-confidence motion’s defeat and the dismissal of parliament have cast doubt on Pakistan’s entire constitution. On the other hand, Khan’s supporters and advisers are confident that their leader will not only survive the current constitutional crisis but will also win a majority in the next parliament.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Roller-Coaster of Pakistan-US relations.

April 08, 2022

By Zamir Awan

“To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.” — Henry Kissinger. The United States became one of the first nations to establish relations with Pakistan, just two months and six days after the independence of Pakistan through the partition of British India, on 20 October 1947. Since then, the relations kept on expanding in all fields, cooperation in Education, Science & Technology, Agriculture, Economy, Trade, Defense Investments, etc., were the major areas of collaboration. In spite of China being the largest importer and exporter of Pakistan’s market, the United States continues to be one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment in Pakistan and is Pakistan’s largest export market (till 2016).

The cooperation and collaboration in the defense domain were much prominent. Pakistan was a leading member of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) from its adoption in 1954–to 55 and allied itself with the United States during most of the Cold war. In 1971–72, Pakistan ended its alliance with the United States after the East-Pakistan war in which the US showed a cold shoulder despite having a defense treaty and obliged to support Pakistan, failed to assist Pakistan to fight against India. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the United States refused to provide any military support as against its pledge. This generated widespread anti-American feelings and emotions in Pakistan that the United States was no longer a reliable ally.

Pakistan remains a close ally with the US during cold-war era against the communism threat. Pakistan provided full support and military bases to the US and countered the expansion of communism. In the Afghan war against the former USSR invasion, Pakistan was a front-line state and fully cooperated with the US till the evacuation of the USSR’s troops from Afghanistan. Pakistan stood with the US during its war on terror and declared a non-NATO close ally.

Pakistan was serving and looking after the American interests in this region for almost seven decades. Although Pakistan is a small country with a poor economy, its geostrategic location, and commitment made it possible for the US to achieve its all strategic goals in this part of the world.

Pakistan played an instrumental role in bridging US-China relations. President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger took advantage of Pakistan’s close relationship with the People’s Republic of China to initiate secret contacts that resulted in Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China in July 1971 after visiting Pakistan. The contacts resulted in the 1972 Nixon visit to China and the subsequent normalizing of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. China always recognized and valued it, whereas the US overlooked it.

True, Pakistan was one of the largest beneficiaries of US AID too, but, most of the aid was dispersed among the ruling elite and US officials only. There was hardly any trickle-down impact on society. Only a few individuals were the beneficiary of this aid in Pakistan or in the US, the general public was deprived.

But, Pakistan has to pay a very heavy price for siding with the US. Only due to its support to the US in the Afghan war, we did sacrifice 80,000 precious human lives. The economic loss was estimated to be US Dollars 250 Billion. A huge setback to the social and economic growth of the country. Due to unrest, economic activities were halted, and society deteriorated. Extremism, Intolerance, Terrorism, Drugs, and Gun Culture were additional gifts for Pakistan. By design the society was radicalized, individuals and groups were funded, brainwashed, trained, armed, and exploited against the state.

The US penetrated into our society and understood the weaknesses of the society. They identified corrupt, disloyal, greedy, disgruntle, and destitute Pakistanis. They offered them money, visas, migrations, etc., and cultivated them to be utilized against the state. Today, there are many Pakistanis having US nationality, Green Card, Multiple Visa, etc., and serving American interests. Some of the ruling elite are keeping their wealth, either white or black money, in the US, keeping their families in the US, considering their future in the US. In fact, few of the ruling elite are more loyal to the US and yet serve Pakistan. Their stakes are with America, not with Pakistan.

The US has a history of intervening in the domestic affairs of Pakistan and kept on dictating, even, in small matters, of posting, transfer, promotions, and appointments of public servants in Pakistan. As a matter of fact, they install their own loyal in key posts in Pakistan, who are serving their agendas, instead of solving the domestic issues. Under the banner of democracy, they always imposed their agenda on Pakistan. Under the cover of friendship, they have cultivated a strong lobby in Pakistan to influence domestic politics.

Although the publicized documents show that the US has been involved more than seventy times in the change of regimes during the cold war. But, after the cold war, in the unipolar world, this frequency must have been increased many folds. The change of regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Arab Spring, etc., are only a few examples known to the rest of the world. But, actual numbers of similar activities may be outnumbered.

However, the rise of China and the revival of Russia has created a counterbalance and the world has transformed into a multipolar once again. The major reason for the failure of the US in changing the regime in Syria was Russia. This phenomenon has checked America and made it clear that the US is not only a unique superpower.

The recent victims of American friendship are Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Both were close allies with the US and are punished for their friendship. Sri Lank was pressing smoothly and was a very stable country. But, the US intervention made it unstable and damaged the democratic and economic system of the country. It is passing through a civil war-like situation and the economy has been destroyed almost.

Pakistan is also facing a similar situation. Ex-Foreign Minister Mr. Shah Mehmood Qureishi, informed publically that the US was asking Pakistan to cancel the Mosco visit. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with President Putin was not digested and was punished. Although the meeting was decided long ago and has nothing to do with the Ukraine issue, the US is linking it illogically. Pakistan was asked to roll-back China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and keep its distance from China. Although Pakistan always kept close relations with China as well as with the US during the cold war era. The US was a beneficiary of Pakistan’s close relations with China too.

Regarding, Pakistan’s stance on Ukraine, it was independent and motivated for reconciliation. But, the US was annoyed for abstaining from the UN. Although, many other countries also opposed or abstain during voting on the US-Backed resolution in the UN. Especially, India also abstained from the sane resolution. And violating sanctions. India is buying cheaper oil from Russia, procuring S-400 and etc., but US-Administration kept silent.

The irony is that the US does not want to be a friend of Pakistan, not it allows any other country to be friendly with Pakistan. To understand American mentality, the above-quoted saying of Henry Kissinger is a perfect example. The US might succeed in punishing Prime Minister Imran Khan, but, the narrative he has left among the youth of this nation will remain alive. Pakistan will not bow to any foreign power and will resist any pressure and coercion. The US has been exposed and lost its credibility as a sincere friend. The US is neither friend nor well-wisher of any country or nation. All countries and nations should learn from Pakistan’s experience. The UN is urged to intervene in stopping the interventions in the internal affairs of any sovereign state.


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

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Pakistan Parliament Rejects Khan’s No-Confidence Motion over ‘Foreign’ Interference

April 3, 2022

Source

The Pakistani parliament has rejected a no-confidence vote that seeks to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying “foreign powers” are interfering in the country’s democratic process.

Qasim Khan Suri, National Assembly deputy speaker, dismissed the no-trust move against the prime minister on Sunday, terming it as “contradictory” to Article 5 of Pakistan’s Constitution.

Suri said that the motion was presented on March 8 and should be according to the law and the Constitution, stressing, “No foreign power shall be allowed to topple an elected government through a conspiracy.”

The president later dissolved the National Assembly on Khan’s advice.

“The President of Pakistan, Dr Arif Alvi, has approved the advice of the Prime Minister,” a statement from his office said, meaning fresh elections must be held within 90 days.

The opposition vowed to challenge the move in the country’s Supreme Court.

Khan’s fate is now in a state of limbo which would lead to fresh political instability in the country.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, head of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), promised a sit-in at the parliament. “We are also moving to the Supreme Court today,” he told reporters.

The opposition needs a simple majority of 50 percent plus one to topple the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.

Khan needs 172 votes in the 342-seat house to foil the bid. Some defections in the PTI and cracks in his coalition partners have dented his chances to accumulate the 172 votes, needed to hold on to power.

Media reports said there was a heavy police and paramilitary presence on the streets of the capital Islamabad on Sunday, with shipping containers used to block off roads. Police were seen detaining three supporters of Khan’s ruling PTI party outside parliament.

Khan on Saturday accused the United States of being behind a parliament debate on the no-confidence motion, saying the move is an attempt at regime change backed by Washington.

The Pakistani premier had earlier accused an unnamed “foreign power” – in a clear reference to the United States – of funding a “conspiracy” to topple his democratically-elected government.

If Khan had lost on Sunday, he would have been the first prime minister to be removed through a vote of no confidence.

The cricketer-turned-politician has been accused by the opposition of mishandling the economy and foreign policy since coming to power in 2018.

His embattled government has been banking on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to release a 6 billion-dollar rescue package, but the move has been obstructed by the US.

Imran Khan takes on America

The government in Pakistan has alleged that Sunday’s no-confidence motion to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan from power was masterminded in Washington

April 02 2022

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan rallies his countrymen against a US-backed plot to unseat his democratically elected government.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Ejaz Akram

After a humiliating defeat in Afghanistan and loss of credibility over Ukraine, the era of US unipolarity seems to be entering its terminal phase, marked by lashing out ferociously in all directions. The most recent of these offensives occurred last week when the government of Pakistan alleged that Washington was trying to engineer regime change in Islamabad.

This time the US was caught red handed. The claim was not made via a leak or a fringe observer, but by the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, himself. While the US State Department has denied any involvement, the political drama has only just begun.

Emerging from a crucial meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors, China’s top diplomat took a public whack at Washington’s behavior. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China will not allow the US to drag smaller nations into conflict and sharply rebuked the ‘US Cold War mentality.’ Beijing is determined not to allow the US to steal Pakistan from its inner circle of vital Asian partners that today include Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and others.

On Wednesday, when a coalition partner of the governing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) announced its seven members would switch to the opposition, Khan essentially lost his majority in the National Assembly, consisting of 342 parliamentarians. More than a dozen of his party members also threatened to cross the political aisle.

But the Pakistani opposition had mistakenly believed that as soon as they showed their required numerical majority in the parliament, the prime minister would either step down or resign. But that is not what appears to be happening.

Instead, in the next 24 hours, the voting will begin in parliament to count the actual numbers. Many analysts see this as the end of the Khan government in Pakistan; others believe the prime minister’s hold on power will be consolidated and the opposition and their foreign underwriters will suffer a permanent blow.

If the courts entertain the government’s petition to look into the foreign meddling and bribery cases, then Khan may have more time to develop a full court reaction. In just a few days, Khan has already displayed a modest demonstration of his street power. The mood and sentiment across the social media spectrum, as of now, is lopsidedly in favor of the prime minister. Large segments of the public has loudly rallied around him as the spokesman of their aspirations, while opposition party leaders are being characterized as corrupt individuals who want to topple an elected government.

The country’s main opposition parties are the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), both dynastic groups that ruled for decades until Khan came along with his campaign promises to root out the rampant corruption and cronyism that has plagued Pakistani politics for years.

The letter

Millions of Pakistanis poured out to see PM Khan speak on 27 March, when he alleged that “foreign powers are engineering a regime change in Pakistan.” Waving a letter drawn from his coat pocket, Khan threatened to reveal direct, written threats to Pakistan and himself.

Top cabinet members [Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives] Asad Umar and [Minister of Information] Fawad Chaudhry held a joint press conference where they revealed further details of this controversial letter. Khan then invited several members of his cabinet, media and the Pakistani security community to view the document first hand.

Government opponents dismissed Khan’s allegations outright, amidst an enormous amount of hubris and posturing soon to follow. Pakistani opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif (an aspirant for the prime minister position) proclaimed that he will jump ship and join Imran Khan if the letter is real and the PM was speaking truthfully. Similarly, prominent anti-establishment TV anchor Saleem Safi said that if the letter were real, he would retire from his position and drop out of media altogether.

But within hours, a mysterious petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) with the Chief Justice Islamabad Athar Minallah issuing a legal opinion that Imran Khan may not share this letter in public because of his secrecy oath. Such a swift ruling could not have come from Pakistan’s highest judicial authority about a fake letter, surely?

The next day, the country’s National Security Committee (NSC) convened for a meeting. In attendance were Pakistan’s prime minister, the army chief, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and naval chiefs, the National Security Advisor (NSA), and several other important officials.

Opposition members boycotted the meeting, but participants took a unanimous decision to reprimand the United States for its actions and ensure that Pakistan would not allow US authorities off the hook so easily. Subsequently, the Foreign Office called the acting US ambassador and reprimanded him – none of which could have conceivably been done on the pretext of a false letter.

What’s in the letter?

According to statements made by Khan during the NSC meeting, senior officials from the US State Department (believed to be an Undersecretary of State) sent the letter on 7 March via Asad Majeed Khan, the Pakistani ambassador in Washington.

The document reportedly states that there will be a no-confidence motion (NCM) against the prime minister soon, that Khan should know that it is coming and that he should not resist the NCM but go down with it. If he tries to resist it, the letter allegedly continues, Khan and Pakistan will face horrible consequences.

The letter mentions the NCM about eight times. The next day, on 8 March, a no-confidence vote was indeed announced. According to Khan, he has security agency information on how the illegal buying and selling of votes took place among Pakistan’s parliamentarians during this time. Then, on 9 March, the nation’s military leadership declared itself ‘neutral’ between the opposition parties and the prime minister.

Khan criticized the military for taking a neutral stance, saying a vital institution of the state should not show “neutrality” to those openly and willfully being used as tools of regime change, orchestrated by the adversaries of Pakistan. But after Foreign Minister Shah Qureshi’s return from Beijing, the military now appears to be favoring Khan’s position. It seems that either a phone call or a message must have come directly from Beijing.

Consequences of US involvement

If the foreign meddling case is a priori to the no-confidence motion, then it is possible that Khan will have legal relief and those accused of collaborating, aiding and assisting an external regime-change conspiracy will be indicted. This would include opposition political party members and Pakistani media personalities who have purportedly been traipsing to and from the US embassy in the days, weeks and months preceding the motion – now set for a seat-gripping vote on Sunday. If this can be proven in a court of law, many opposition leaders may end up behind bars.

According to Pakistan’s highest national security office and judging from the IHC notice, it appears clear that the letter was legitimate and the US is guilty of meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs. But this is not 2001 when former Pakistani president, General Pervez Musharraf, capitulated to the Americans upon receiving a single phone call. Today’s Pakistan has a stronger self-identity after two decades of grueling and unrecognized sacrifices for Washington’s unsuccessful war on terror. Equally, they now also understand that the US is a declining power.

Most Pakistanis do not care about US sanctions any longer, especially as they watch other nations circumvent them with new allies. The public mood and sentiment is to dismiss sanctions threats, recognizing that there will be consequences from the Pakistani side which could lead to the expulsion of American diktats from the Af-Pak-Iran region.

During his 1 April interview on national television (PTV), Imran Khan exhorted the Pakistani nation to reject the alliance of corrupt parties and western-backed media. He believed that the west’s next step will be to take his life. Pakistan’s information minister had said the same only a day earlier.

If Khan didn’t have the ability to rally the street, they could have spared him, but his current popularity and obstinate resistance to US bullying tactics make him a prime target for assassination. Most Pakistanis have long considered the killing of leaders such as Liaquat Ali Khan, Z.A. Bhutto, Zia al Haq and Benazir Bhutto to be the work of US intelligence. To those citizens, any perceived threat to PM Imran Khan’s life is a real and imminent danger. Very rapidly, the security around him has been reshuffled and new measures have been taken to provide him with extra protection.

Khan’s narrative about US interference has gained heavy momentum in the past week. The storyline is one of two sides butting heads at a critical juncture in the country’s history: on one side, an Indo-US alliance, corrupt Pakistani opposition parties, the country’s corporate media, and a handful of western-styled liberals. On the other side, a legally elected, popular and feisty prime minister, supported by the Russo-China alliance and an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis.

With those odds, it may be politically and legally impossible for Pakistan’s military to maintain its ostensible posture of neutrality no matter how much US pressure comes at it. Time may be on Khan’s side.

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

Pakistan PM Names ‘Foreign Power’ That Wants Him Toppled, Summons Its Ambassador

April 1 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Pakistani PM Imran Khan ‘accidentally’ named the United States as the culprit when he claimed “a foreign country I can’t name” was eager to see him removed from his post via a no-confidence vote.

“America has – oh, not America but a foreign country I can’t name” sent the leader the message in an effort to meddle in his country’s politics, Khan said in a televised address on Thursday, after a no-confidence vote against him was rescheduled.

Khan received a briefing letter from the Pakistani ambassador to the US that included a recording of a senior official from Washington implying the relationship between the two countries would improve in Khan’s absence, local media reported on Thursday.

“They say that ‘our anger will vanish if Imran Khan loses this no-confidence vote’,” Khan said, describing the contents of the letter.

Soon after, Pakistan’s foreign office summoned the acting US charge d’affaires to lodge a strong protest over Washington’s meddling in the internal affairs of the country.

Pakistani media, citing diplomatic sources, said on Thursday that the senior US diplomat was handed over the protest note for the language used by an American official during a formal communication regarding a no-confidence motion in Pakistan’s parliament aimed at ousting Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The English-language Dawn newspaper said the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, had in a meeting with Pakistan’s envoy Asad Majeed warned that there could be implications if Khan survived the opposition’s no-confidence motion on April 3rd.

A Pakistani foreign office official confirmed that a “demarche” was handed over to the acting US envoy in Islamabad, adding that Washington was told that the use of such undiplomatic language was unacceptable.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price insisted there was “no truth” to the allegations, claiming that Washington was “closely following developments in Pakistan” but that it “respect[ed] and support[ed] Pakistan’s constitutional process and the rule of law.”

It’s not the first time Khan has accused Washington of meddling in the country’s internal affairs and trying to influence its policy decisions. He broached the issue at a Sunday rally where he sought to draw on supporters’ energy as his political opposition has attempted to oust him and reminded his supporters during Thursday’s broadcast that Pakistan had gotten nothing from supporting the US’ war on “terror” except a lot more terrorists and drone bombings.

Khan has refused to bow to American pressure and condemn Russia for sending troops into Ukraine, arguing Pakistan had nothing to gain by such a move. However, this has made him a target for the US and its allies, who are already upset that neighboring India has also refused to join their sanctions campaign against Moscow.

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Russian military is no joke either: Shock waves across US?

21 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

When it comes to the Ukraine crisis, US citizens are stressing: “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”

The crisis in Ukraine is raising considerable anxiety and rising global uncertainty. It appears that neither war nor heavy economic penalties would bring a sustainable solution to the current situation, which extends beyond Russia and Ukraine. The only way out is through diplomacy. That possibility was squandered when the US and NATO, in response to Russia’s concerns, limited NATO’s eastward expansion.

However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The special military operation will strive to “denazify” Russia’s sovereign neighbor, its mission is to protect citizens who have been bullied and subjected to genocide for the past eight years. And to do this, Russia will work to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Even as President Joe Biden imposes more sanctions and promises a greater response that could draw retaliation from Moscow, there is little interest among Americans for a US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Joe Biden has been criticized by a faction of the Republican Party for opposing Putin’s plans for Ukraine, with some even suggesting that Russia has the right to invade. 

As history has shown, economic sanctions would only harm innocent civilians, particularly women and children. The rising oil costs owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia are affecting the entire world, particularly the poor nation-states.

With the general public’s memories of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover still fresh, much of the worry on both the right and left is centered on the US avoiding military involvement in Europe. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have indeed been particularly loud in their opposition to US intervention in Ukraine, and stressed that “In the Ukraine conflict, we don’t have a dog in the fight”. There should not be a single American soldier killed there. There should not be a single American bullet fired there.

Significantly, Ukraine has no legitimate reason to be a member of NATO, and NATO, as a Cold War relic, may have no present purpose or goal. Getting involved in a military crisis is not in the best interests of the United States.

Similarly, many Americans prefer that the US stay out of the crisis, the escalating violence, and political ramifications are already hitting their budgets. As traders reacted to geopolitical tensions, the price of oil, which has been climbing for the past year, hit an eight-year high this week. According to experts, if US lawmakers pass another round of sanctions, gas prices will certainly rise considerably more.

Moreover, the restriction on wheat or metals, on the other hand, might push the worst spell of inflation in decades even higher. Consumers in the United States will pay more for gasoline and other necessities as commodity prices rise, leaving less money for discretionary expenditure. As costly as another European conflict would be inhuman and economic terms, the financial strain would fall disproportionately on the lower and middle classes in the United States.

Furthermore, the US economic growth could be cut by 1% as a result of tougher sanctions on Russia. Stock market turbulence can also have a psychological impact, undermining consumer confidence and reducing expenditure, thus, slowing down US economic growth. Sanctions implemented by the United States and other countries may worsen inflation in the United States, and stock prices in the United States have collapsed already.

Consumer pricing and consumer confidence in the United States are likely to be affected by the sanctions. Gas prices in the United States have reached new highs, and Biden warned that they will go up even more.

Notably, the issue of “who are they?” lies at the heart of much of the doubt about America’s intervention in Ukraine. Who are they to lecture about national sovereignty and international law when they have a significant history of invasions and interventions? Who are they to set themselves up as paragons of freedom and human rights, given the record of slavery and discrimination, their foreign record of supporting sympathetic tyrants, and the continued injustices of American life? People on the left frequently pose such concerns. Only about one out of every three Americans can locate Ukraine on a map of Europe.

Biden’s presidency is already on the verge of collapsing. His approval rating has dropped to 41%. His grip on the White House is already tightening. Therefore, Presidents in such dire trouble have a history of suffering crushing defeats in midterm elections during their first term.

The US and Europe have already become major victims of the crisis, both economically and geopolitically, and the worsening of the conflict could spell disaster for the continent and the world. Europe, as the continent that saw two previous World Wars erupt, must demonstrate greater foresight and courage in stepping up its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

The Last American War … will be in Europe

Two weeks into the Ukraine conflict, the Atlantic alliance is already fraying. Europe, which helped destroy much of West Asia, is now the battlefield for the Last American War.

March 09 2022

By Abdel Bari Atwan

During the second US-led war on Iraq in 2003 and its resulting invasion and occupation, I wrote an article in the British daily, The Observer, commissioned by its editor-in-chief, entitled ‘America is an expert in destruction not construction.’ That title proved to be dismally accurate as US warplanes bombed all Iraqi infrastructure facilities from water and electricity stations to bridges, and killed more than a million Iraqis, according to the international medical journal Lancet.

Joe Biden said he would target Russia when he became US president. But, his war with Russia will have mainly European casualties.Photo Credit: The Cradle

Nearly 20 years later, the article springs to mind again as I follow the developments of the Ukrainian war, the associated military and diplomatic posturing of global stakeholders, and the potential ignition of a nuclear war that could lead to catastrophic consequences for the world – starting with Europe.

Battlefield: Europe

It is Europe, after all, which will be the main theater of a nuclear clash unless current mediation efforts bear fruit. And any ‘political solution’ of the conflict spells victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his country, as Moscow will not accept anything short of a complete purging of NATO’s strategic depth in Ukraine.

It was the United States that instigated and ignited this war, and Ukraine and its good people were merely victims of US President Joe Biden’s declaration upon entering the White House that Russia is the number one enemy of the United States, followed by China. He simply made Ukraine the “poisoned bait” to draw the Russians into a long war of attrition that could sap their economy and cause sedition from within.

The US-European threat of “sanctions from hell” was a double plan: these would either deter Putin from invading Ukraine, or provoke him into doing exactly that. The former would be paraded as a Russian defeat, and the latter would be used to financially bankrupt the Russian state, turn its citizens against their government, and isolate Moscow.

But, about two weeks after the first Russian tank entered Ukrainian territory, the naivety of the western plan was fully exposed. Not only did it incorrectly assess the speed at which Moscow might achieve its aims, but it thoroughly underestimated Russia’s ability to counter western punishments with its own.

The western plan has instead triggered a backlash of monumental proportions, whose first line of victims will be residents of both Europe and the United States.

Ukraine, the flint to start a fire

As the dust settled, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky began to show signs of shock and hysteria, lashing out at NATO’s “weakness,” amassing battalions of right-wing neo-Nazis to replace deserting Ukrainian army soldiers, and putting out a global call for foreign fighters to come to Ukraine and fight the Russians.

Zelensky has by now realized that NATO was only prepared to stand by his side and provoke his anti-Moscow rants until the Russian armored vehicles rolled in. He discovered quickly that he was abandoned by all, especially the United States, whose representative to the United Nations said yesterday that it would not send a single soldier or plane to Ukraine.

As oil prices skyrocketed to around US $130 per barrel this week, European countries, including Germany, Bulgaria, and France have said that they cannot manage without Russian oil and gas imports. Those words are the first tangible indication of a crack in the Atlantic alliance, and should be expected to extend to the NATO alliance as the fissures grow.

Europe ostensibly derives its strength from the power of its economy, and the so-called “common values” of the waning liberal order premised on democracy, human rights and social justice. Now, these elements are being eroded one by one as censorship, authoritarianism and war-profiteering take hold within western governance.

The masks have dropped. Those “values” are instead being rapidly replaced by overt racist sensibilities, favoring the “blond-haired and blue-eyed” citizen over all others, and mobilizing neo-Nazi and extremist movements to maintain the western “rules-based order.”

Economy is power: the western alliance collapse

The economic prosperity, security and stability enjoyed by the west since the end of the Second World War will be the first victim of this confrontation taking shape in Ukraine, and it looks near certain that financial collapse, political chaos and intra-state geographic fragmentation may ensue.

The decades of punishing sanctions imposed by the United States as an alternative to direct military intervention in North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela have not achieved their goals. They have not caused the ‘regime-change’ that was intended, and it is highly unlikely that the current sanctions on Russia, if imposed (so far, Russian oil and gas flow is paid for through the SWIFT financial system) in whole or in part, will prove an exception.

Alexander Novak, Russia’s deputy prime minister in charge of energy, warned late Monday of “catastrophic” consequences for world oil and gas markets if the US implements its threats to impose a ban on energy exports from his country.

These actions, he predicted, would result in a ten-fold rise in the price per cubic meter of natural gas and an unprecedented US $300 dollars per barrel for oil. Novak further threatened that Moscow would retaliate by halting gas supplies to Europe through their Nord Stream 1 pipeline, especially if Germany continues to suspend its Nord Stream 2 counterpart in response to US pressure and if Washington imposes a ban on Russian oil.

Nord Stream 1 currently operates at 100 percent and pumps nearly 60 billion cubic meters per year to Europe.

The United States destroyed Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya, and has not participated in the reconstruction of any of its destruction.

But the victim now will be Europe, which, while able to bully those weaker states, will not be able to do so with a much bigger, stronger global power like Russia, led by a shrewd geopolitical strategist like Vladimir Putin.

Europe is now lending its territories to this last American war. It is facing a nuclear power that is allied with other nuclear states like China, North Korea and, potentially, India. This time, the magic may be turned on the magician, and the destruction on the USA.

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

Lebanon Heading to Blackout, Humiliation in Lines under a US Embassy Decision – Info-graphics

March 9, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

Reading in the positions of Mr. Nasrallah with d. Waseem Bazzi

Sayyed Nasrallah: Were Hezbollah Ruling Lebanon, US Embassy in Beirut Would Never Intervene in Domestic Issues

March 8, 2022

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stressed on Tuesday that trusting the promises of the US administration is matter of foolishness, urging the Lebanese officials to emancipate themselves from the US hegemony.

Addressing Hezbollah Wounded Fighter Day ceremony, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the US pressures on the Lebanese officials are preventing them from approving an agreement with a Russian oil firm.

Sayyed Nasrallah narrated that a Russian oil firm offered to build a refinery and provide the crude oil without costing the Lebanese government to pay fresh dollars, adding that the firm accepts the Lebanese national pound to be paid in return.

“The firm offered to refine 160,000 barrels of oil, or 200,000 barrels, through the large refinery. This would cover the Lebanese it needs. Lebanon would export oil derivatives, and the company sells the state in Lebanese pounds.”

His eminence clarified that such an agreement would enable Lebanon to cope with its power crisis and gasoline shortage, adding that the US embassy in Beirut has prevented the Lebanese officials from concluding the deal in order to avoid witnessing quarrels and brawls at gas stations.

Were Hezbollah ruling Lebanon, this agreement would have been concluded one year and a half ago, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah urged Lebanese president and council of ministers to approve the agreement with the Russian firm, saying, “If you want to please USA, you must know that their demands are limitless.”

If you start submitting to the US dictates, you will not be able to stop, Sayyed Naasrallah addressed the Lebanese officials.

Sayyed Nasrallah called on the Lebanese officials to keep committed to freedom, independence, national interest and patriotism, adding that Lebanon has never benefited from the US false promises.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that the US State Department has not yet provided Egypt and Jordan with any official waiver in order to allow the gas and power transaction to Lebanon to occur, adding that US ambassador to Lebanon power pledge was a mere false promise.

Sayyed Nasrallah called on the Lebanese officials to show the Americans that Lebanon can have several economic choices, in order to push them to make concessions or give alternatives, adding that Hezbollah accepts that oil firms invest in Lebanon oil sector if they manage to end  the crisis.

Tell the Americans that the Lebanese are not their slaves in order to preserve the national sovereignty, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the Lebanese officials.

Providing another evidence that Hezbollah does not control the state in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the Lebanese official condemnation of Russian operation in Ukraine.

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that Lebanon should have refrained from voting for the UN denunciation of the Russian operation in Ukraine, adding that the Lebanese Foreign Ministry statement which denounced the Russian operation was drafted by the US embassy in Beirut.

Sayyed Nasrallah wondered how the neutrality proponents in Lebanon refrained from rejecting the Lebanese Foreign Ministry statement which involves Lebanon in a dispute with a great country, Russia.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that all the neutrality calls on Lebanon were aimed at averting assuming the responsibilities towards the Palestinian cause, Syria, and Yemen in order to please the US administration.

“Hezbollah rejects neutrality, but why have neutrality proponents abandoned their principle in the case of the Ukrainian war?” Sayyed Nasrallah asked.

Hezbollah Secretary General underscored the US administration’s betrayal of the Ukrainian President, adding that Volodymyr Zelensky’s disappointment  about the West’s unkept promises of support in face of Russia is reflected in his readiness to compromise.

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that trusting United States of America is matter of foolishness, stupidity, and ignorance, highlighting the moral fall of the West as reflected by the racial discrimination among the refugees in Ukraine.

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that US officials accuse Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine and disregard the American massacres in numerous countries, highlighting also the European crimes in Africa, the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Saudi aggression on Yemen.

Sayyed Nasrallah added that the International community laments days-long siege on Ukrainian cities and disregards the Israeli blockade on Gaza as well as the Saudi blockade on Yemen.

Sayyed Nasrallah also noted that the international community resorted to silence about the US-fabricated suicide bombers’ crime of attacking a mosque in Pakistan last week.

His eminence also recalled how the US warplanes raided weddings in Afghanistan and claimed that the targets are military camps, highlighting the double-standards policy admitted by Washington.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the moral fall of the West reflected by the racial discrimination among the refugees in Ukraine.

Hezbollah Secretary General had first congratulated the faithful Muslims on the inception of Rajab Month, during which believers are supposed to prepare themselves spiritually to welcome the Holy Month of Ramadan, and the birthday of Imam Hussein (P), Al-Abbas bin Ali (P), Imam Ali bin Hussein (P).

Sayyed Nasrallah started his speech with a focus on the occasion of the Wounded Fighter Day,which falls on the birthday of Al-Abbas, the brother of third Shia Imam Hussein Bin Ali (P), highly appreciating their sacrifices for the sake of the nation.

We congregate here to express our pride of your sacrifices, struggle, steadfastness and patience, Sayyed Nasrallah said, highlighting the contribution of the wounded Resistance fighters to the victories and their repercussion on the whole national security and stability.

Sayyed Nasrallah underscored gratitude to the wounded Resistance fighters in the epoch of ungratefulness, hinting at those who forget the sacrifices of the wounded for the sake of the whole nation.

Sayyed Nasrallah also said that Imam Abbas, the role-model of the wounded Resistance fighters, was the patron who did not avert his responsibilities despite his injuries, adding that Imam Jaafar Al-Sadek (P) underscored Al-Abbas concentration on insight and firm faith.

In this regard, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted the importance of insight which enables the person to know more about the conditions of his country and the whole region.

The ceremony was started with a recital of a number of Holy Coranic verses before one of the wounded Resistance fighters reiterated allegiance to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Everyone Loses in the Conflict Over Ukraine

March 02, 2022

By Ralph Nader

Global Research,

OpEdNews.com 1 March 2022

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Today, the dangers of military escalation are beyond description.

What is now happening in Ukraine has serious geopolitical implications. It could lead us into a World War III scenario.

It is important that a peace process be initiated with a view to preventing escalation. 

Global Research condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Bilateral Peace Agreement is required.


When two scorpions are in a bottle, they both lose. This is the preventable danger that is growing daily with no end game in sight between the two nuclear superpowers led by dictator Vladimir Putin and de facto sole decider Joe Biden.

Putin’s first argument is Washington invented the model of aggressive, illegal invasions, and destruction of distant countries, that never threatened U.S. security.

Millions have died, been injured, and sickened in defenseless countries attacked by U.S. armed forces. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney killed over a million innocent Iraqis and devastated the country in so many ways that scholars called it a “sociocide.”

Putin’s second argument is that Russia is being threatened on its sensitive western border which had been invaded twice by Germany and caused the loss of 50 million Russian lives.

Soon after the Soviet Union collapsed the West’s military alliance against Russia began moving east. Under Bill Clinton, NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) signed up Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in 1999, leading to major arms sales by the U.S. giant munitions corporations.

More recently, Putin sees U.S. soldiers in these countries, ever closer U.S. missile launchers, U.S.-led joint naval exercises in the Baltic Sea, and intimations that Ukraine and Georgia could soon join NATO. Imagine if the Russians were to have such a military presence around the U.S. borders.

Even often hawkish New York Times columnists – Thomas Friedman and Bret Stephens – made this point this week about the brazen U.S. history of military hypocrisy while tearing into Putin. Stephens brought up the Monroe Doctrine over the entire Western Hemisphere in raising repeatedly the question, “Who are We?”

The chess game between Russia and the West has become more deadly with Putin’s military moves followed by immediate Western sanctions against some Russian banks and oligarchs close to Putin.

Travel bans and freezing the completion of the second major natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany are in place with promises of much more severe economic retaliation by Biden.

These sanctions can become a two-way street. Western Europe needs Russian oil and gas, Russian wheat, and essential Russian minerals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

Sanctions against Russia will soon boomerang in terms of higher oil and gas prices for Europeans and Americans, more inflation, worsening supply chains, and the dreaded “economic uncertainty” afflicting stock markets and consumer spending.

The corporate global economy gave us interdependence on other nations instead of domestic self-reliance under the framework of corporate-managed free trade agreements.

Repeating 1970s Strategy of Grand Chess-Master Brzezinski: Biden Appears to Have Induced Russian Invasion of Ukraine to Bankrupt Russia’s Economy and Advance Regime Change

So how many billions of dollars in costs and a weakened economy will Joe Biden tolerate as the price of anti-Putin sanctions that will blowback on the American people?

How much suffering will he tolerate being inflicted on the long-suffering Russian people? What will be the impact on the civilian population of more severe sanctions? And who is he to talk as if he doesn’t have to be authorized by Congress to go further into this state of belligerence, short of sending soldiers, which he said he would not do?

Is Congress to be left as a cheerleader, washing its hands of its constitutional oversight and foreign policy duties?

Also, watch Republicans and Democrats in Congress unify to whoop through more money for the bloated military budget as pointed out by military analyst, Michael Klare.

What energy will be left for Biden’s pending “Build Back Better” infrastructure, social safety net, and climate crisis legislation?

In recent weeks, the State Department said it recognizes Russia’s legitimate security concerns but not its expansionism. Well, what is wrong with a ceasefire followed by support for a treaty “guaranteeing neutrality for Ukraine similar to the enforced neutrality for Austria since the Cold War’s early years,” as Nation publisher and Russia specialist Katrina Vanden Heuvel urged. (See: Katrina vanden Heuvel’s Washington Post article and her recent Nation piece).

Putin, unable to get over the breakup of the Soviet Union probably has imperial ambitions to dominate in Russia’s backyard. Biden has inherited and accepted the U.S. Empire’s ambitions in many other nation’s backyards.

Events have polarized this conflict over Ukraine which is not a security interest for the U.S., into two dominant egos – Putin and Biden – neither of whom want to appear weak or to back down.

This is a dangerous recipe for an out-of-control escalation, much as it was in the lead-up to World War I. Neither the people nor the parliaments mattered then as seems to be the case today.

Putin isn’t likely to make a cost-benefit assessment of each day’s militarism. But Biden better do so. Otherwise, he will be managed by Putin’s daily moves, instead of insisting on serious negotiations.

The Minsk II Peace Accords of February 2015 brokered by Germany, France, and the United Nations, that Russia and Ukraine agreed to before falling apart due to disagreements over who should take the first steps still makes for a useful framework.

It is too late to revisit the accords to stop the invasion but it should be proposed to introduce a climate for waging peace.

Already, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has spoken about an increase in cyberattacks and ransomware demands in her state in recent weeks.

Has Biden put that rising certainty in his self-described decades-long foreign policy expertise?

Watch out for what you can’t stop, Joe.

*

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Copyright © Ralph NaderOpEdNews.com, 2022

السيد نصرالله: السيد عباس الموسوي أفنى حياته وشبابه في سبيل نهج حزب الله 

01/03/2022

أكّد الأمين العام لحزب الله سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله في كلمة له خلال رعايته مؤتمر  “سيدُ شهدائِنا فكرًا وسيرة” الذي يقام في بيروت إحياء لثلاثينية سيد شهداء المقاومة الإسلامية السيد عباس الموسوي أنّ “أعمال المؤتمر يمكن أن تشكل بداية حقيقية تحتاج إليها مسيرة المقاومة بعد مضي 40 عامًا على انطلاقتها”. 

ولفت سماحته الى أن الدراسات والمحاضرات والنقاشات ستتحوّل إلى وثائق وكتب تحتاج اليها مسيرة المقاومة، لافتًا الى أنّ من واجبنا توثيق تضحيات المجاهدين الجسام والحقيقة البهية للمسيرة المباركة وحفظها للأجيال المقبلة والآتية، مشددًا في هذا السياق على أنّ ما حصل في مرحلة السبعينيات والثمانينيات أصبح بمثابة أمور مسلمة ومقبولة وهي نهجنا الذي نتبعه ونمارسه في هذه الأيام.

كان يؤمن بالعمل الحركي والتنظيمي والحزبي

وفي معرض حديثه عن صفات السيد عباس، لفت سماحته الى أنّه كان للسيد الشهيد الإيمان الراسخ بفكرة حاجة الأمة إلى قائد فقيه عالم أو ما نسميه “ولاية الفقيه” وقد آمن بهذه الفكرة والتزم بها بدقة حتى آخر يوم في حياته، موضحًا أنّ السيد عباس كان يعتقد بأهمية قيام حوزات دينية محلية ما دفعه إلى تأسيس الحوزرة العلمية في بعلبك.

وأكّد السيد نصرالله أنّ السيد عباس كان يعتقد بأهمية دور المرأة في عملية التبليغ الدينية وأن هناك مساحة لا يمكن ملؤها إلا بالسيدات المبلغات، كما كان يعتقد بوجوب حركة علماء الدين نحو الناس في مقابل فكرة أخرى كانت سائدة حينها بأن عالم الدين يجلس في بيته وعلى الناس أن يأتوا اليه.

وشدّد السيد نصرالله على أنّ السيد عباس كان يؤمن بأهمية العمل الجماعي عمومًا وعلى المستوى العلمائي خصوصًا بالإضافة إلى العمل المؤسساتي المنظم، لافتًا الى أنّ السيد الشهيد كان من أشد الداعمين لتشكيل تجمع العلماء المسلمين من السنة والشيعة، كما كان يؤمن بالعمل الحركي والتنظيمي والحزبي، وفي الدائرة الشيعية كان السيد عباس الموسوي يعتقد بأهمية ووجوب الانفتاح والتعاون والتكامل حتى مع الاختلاف الذي كان قائمًا. 

عمل في الليل والنهار من أجل تحقيق الوحدة الإسلامية

ولفت السيد نصرالله الى أنّ القائد الموسوي كان من المؤسسين لتشكيل الإطار التنظيمي لحزب الله وتحمل فيه العديد من المسؤوليات، ولم يكن للسيد عباس سوى حزب الله وقد أفنى حياته وشبابه ووقته في سبيل هذا النهج. 

وأشار الأمين العام لحزب الله الى أن السيد عباس كان يؤمن بحق بالوحدة الإسلامية والتقريب والتعاون بين المسلمين، وقد عمل في الليل والنهار من أجل تحقيق هذه الوحدة.

وأوضح السيد نصرالله أنّ السيد الشهيد كان يؤمن بالناس ومحبتهم والتواضع لهم والتحبب لهم والثقة بهم والرهان عليهم وخدمتهم والحفاظ على كرامتهم وأمنهم، كما 
كان يؤيد المشاركة في الانتخابات البلدية والنيابية ووظائف الدولة والحكومة وكان يؤمن بأنه لا يمكن لأي بلد أن يستمر من دون دولة. 

كما كان السيد الموسوي يؤمن بوجوب إقامة مؤسسات في حزب الله الى جانب التنظيم الشعبي والمقاومة لأجل خدمة الناس وكان أول ما عمل لأجله وبذل جهدًا شخصيًا لتأسيسه مؤسسة جهاد البناء.

العطاء الكبير والجهاد العظيم أنجزه السيد عباس خلال عمر قصير

وأكّد سماحته على أنّ السيد عباس واكب الانتفاضة الأولى في الثمانينات كل ساعة وكل يوم باعتباره أحد القادة البارزين في حزب الله، وكان يعتقد بالموقف الحازم من “إسرائيل” وأنه يجب أن تزول من الوجود، كما كان يعتبر إيران حلم الأنبياء الذي تحقق من خلالها وهي الدولة المركزية، ولم يكن للنأي بالنفس والحياد مكان لدى السيد الشهيد وهذا غريب عن ثقافته الدينية، فهو حمل هم الأمة كله بمعزل عن الإمكانات وهذا أضعف الايمان. 

وأشار السيد نصر الله الى أنّ رؤية السيد الشهيد تجاه أميركا هي نفس رؤية الإمام الخميني التي تؤكد أنها الشيطان الأكبر.

ورأى سماحته أنّ الملفت أن هذا العطاء الكبير والجهاد العظيم أنجزه السيد عباس خلال عمر قصير قبل أن يختم له الله بالشهادة فكانت سنواته زاخرة بالعطاء والتعب والسفر الدائم فكان هذا العطاء مباركًا وما زال يثمر ويعطي ويلهم بسبب إخلاصه الشديد لله تعالى. 

ما يجري بين أوكرانيا وروسيا خطر جدًا بمعزل عن الموقف تجاه المعركة القائمة

ولفت السيد نصرالله الى أنّ بركات السيد عباس حاضرة حتى يومنا هذا ونحن نحتاج الى بصيرة سماحته خلال هذه المرحلة، مشددًا على أنّ ما يجري بين أوكرانيا وروسيا خطر جدًا بمعزل عن الموقف تجاه المعركة القائمة، وما يجري اليوم فيه الكثير من العبر والدروس التي يجب أن يبنى عليها في منطقتنا.

ورأى سماحته أن هناك ازدواجية معايير في التعاطي من قبل دول العالم، مشيرًا الى الكيفية التي تصرف بها العالم عندما غزت أميركا أفغانستان والكيفية التي يتصرف بها الآن مع دخول روسيا الى أوكرانيا وبدء معركة عملية عسكرية، ويضيف سماحته :”لأن أميركا قوية ومتجبرة يسكت العالم على ظلمها وآخرها قيام جو بايدن بسرقة أموال الشعب الأفغاني حيث أن البنك المركزي الأفغاني لديه في أميركا 7 مليارات دولار اذ اتخذ بايدن قرار بتقسيمها ووهب نصفها لضحايا 11 ايلول”. 

وتابع السيد نصرالله :” أميركا هي المسؤولة عما يجري في أوكرانيا الآن فهي التي حرضت ولم تساعد على إيجاد حل دبلوماسي ولم تفعل شيئًا لوقف الحرب بل دفعت باتجاهها وفي النهاية من سيدفع الثمن هو الشعب الروسي والأوكراني بينما أميركا ستكون هي الرابح في وقت تعرض فيه العالم كله للخطر”. 

وفي الختام، لفت سماحته الى أنّ” المأساة القائمة والأخطار التي يواجهها العالم تتحمل مسؤوليتها أميركا الشيطان الأكبر”. 

حزب الله: إذا استمرّت ضغوط واشنطن علينا سنبني بلدنا كما يجب أن تُبنى الأوطان

الاثنين 21 شباط 2021

البناء

أكد حزب الله، أنه “إذا استمرّت ضغوط واشنطن ولؤمها وحقدها علينا سنبني بلدنا كما يجب أن تُبنى الأوطان، لافتاً إلى أن “مسيّرة حسّان حملت للعدو رسالة بليغة جداً وقد قرأها جيداً» وشدّد على أن   «المقاومة تُعدّ وتستعدّ وتبذل وسعها لتوفّر الحماية لبلدنا ولسيادته ولشعبنا المستهدف».

وفي هذا الإطار، اعتبر رئيس المجلس التنفيذي لحزب الله السيد هاشم صفي الدين، خلال احتفال في بلدة زوطر الشرقية الجنوبيّة “أنّ مقاومتنا تمكّنت من أن تصمد وهي جاهزة لأن تبني مستقبلاً ولبنان جديداً، لأنها مقاومة شعبية وسياسية وجهادية وثقافية واجتماعية وقدّمت نماذج مهمّة ورائدة في كلّ المجالات».

وأضاف “يجب أن يعرف كل اللبنانيين ويجب أن يعرف الأميركيون وسيعرفون عاجلاً أم آجلاً، إذا استمرّت هذه الضغوطات واستمرّ هذا اللؤم وهذا الحقد على اللبنانيين في معيشتهم وفي مالهم، لن يكون أمامنا خيار إلاّ أن نعتمد على أنفسنا وأن نبني بلدنا كما يجب أن تُبنى الأوطان والبلدان، ونمتلك من العقول والإمكانات والقدرات التي تؤهّلنا مع كل المخلصين والشّرفاء لإعادة بناء لبنان الجديد القويّ المنيع المقاوم المحصّن المستقلّ، والذي يحفظ سيادته البحريّة والبرّيّة ونفطه وثرواته المائية ويحفظ حاضر ومستقبل هذا البلد للأجيال الآتية».

ورأى أنه “في حال أراد الأميركي أن يأخذنا للضغط الأقصى، يجب علينا أن نذهب إلى الخيار الأقصى في الاعتماد على أنفسنا لبناء وطننا وعندها نُكنّس الأميركي وأزلامه في لبنان». وقال “من هذه الضغوطات سنجترح معجزة بناء لبنان الجديد على أولويات جديدة وعلى ثقافة جامعة حقيقية لكلّ الطوائف والمذاهب والمناطق، بعيداً عن الزعماء والمتسلّطين والإقطاعيّين الذين تحكّموا بالبلد على مدى أكثر من سبعين أو ثمانين عاماً إلى يومنا هذا».

بدوره، شدّد رئيس كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة، النائب محمد رعد، خلال افتتاحه المركز الرئيسي لجمعية «وتعاونوا» في بلدة النميريّة الجنوبيّة، على «أن المقاومة تتصدّى للعدوان الصهيوني والتكفيري الغاشمين وهي تقوم بواجبها في هذا المجال، وتُعدّ وتستعدّ وتبذل كل الوسع من أجل أن توفّر الحماية لبلدنا ولسيادته ولشعبنا المستهدف وأن تُنشئ معادلات ردع تمنع العدو من التطاول على أمننا وسيادتنا».

ولفت إلى أن «مسيّرة حسّان، الشهيد القائد، ليست إلاّ واحدة من الأساليب والوسائل التي تبتدعها المقاومة من أجل توفير معادلة ردع تمنع العدو من أن يتعدّى وأن يتطاول وأن يمسّ أمن شعبنا ودولتنا ومجتمعنا المتعدّد الطوائف والمذاهب والاتجاهات».

وأضاف «بقدر ما نحن معنيون أن نحمي سيادة بلدنا ونمنع العدوان ونحفظ كرامة شعبنا واستقلال قرارنا، بقدر ما نحن معنيون بأن نُبلسم جراحات أهلنا، خصوصاً أن هذه الأزمة مفتعلة وممنهجة وموجهة منذ بدايتها وصولاً إلى حلقتها التي باشر المجتمع التحضير لها وهي حلقة الانتخابات، كل الهدف هو محاصرة المجتمع المقاوم وكسره ومنع هذا المجتمع أن يصدح برأيه».

وأشار إلى أن «كل ما يجري هو لحماية الأمن الإسرائيلي وتمهيد الطريق للتطبيع مع هذا العدو الذي لا يعرف للإنسان قيمة».

وأكد عضو المجلس المركزي في حزب الله الشيخ نبيل قاووق، خلال احتفال في بلدة عيتيت الجنوبيّة لمناسبة ذكرى الشهداء القادة وانتصار الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية «أن المقاومة في العام 2022 في أقوى مراحلها التاريخية كمّاً ونوعاً، ولا يُمكن لأحد أن يهدّد وجودها لا بالحرب ولا بغير الحرب»، مشدّداً «على أن المعادلات قد تغيّرت في زمن انتصارات المقاومة، حيث أن المسيّرات الإسرائيلية كانت تخترق الأجواء اللبنانية، واليوم أصبحت المسيّرات اللبنانية تخترق أجواء الكيان الإسرائيلي».

وأشار إلى “أن الصهاينة اليوم غارقون في بحر الذعر لعدم قدرة جيشهم على حمايتهم»، مشدّداً على أن “لمسيّرة حسّان رسالة بليغة جداً جداً، وقد قرأها العدو جيداً، وهي أصابت القدرات العسكرية الإسرائيلية بصدمة ومهانة ومذلّة تاريخية».

Sitrep: Venezuela Elections – Landslide for United Socialist Party (PSUV)

November 22, 2021

Disciplined and well-organized elections held in Venezuela yesterday, lead to a clear win for the ruling party. President Nicolás Maduro called it a ‘Historic Victory of the Revolution’.

Beirut Shootings: How Western Media Manipulation Hides the Murky Hand of US Imperialism

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Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on 

Steve Sweeney

The attack bore all the hallmarks of a US-backed intervention, and it doesn’t take much digging to find the links between the murky hand of Washington and the dark forces behind the bloodshed on the streets and a cover-up by a compliant western media.

Last week’s killing of seven people in the Lebanese capital Beirut, widely believed to be carried out by a far-right Christian fascist militia, is a worrying sign that the US wants to provoke a new civil war to destabilize the country in a change in its Middle East strategy.

The attack bore all the hallmarks of a US-backed intervention, and it doesn’t take much digging to find the links between the murky hand of Washington and the dark forces behind the bloodshed on the streets and a cover-up by a compliant western media.

Supporters of the Shi’ite Amal and Hezbollah movements were fired upon as they made their way to the Palace of Justice for a peaceful demonstration against what they perceive as the politicization of a probe into last year’s devastating port explosion.

The judge heading up the investigations, Tarek Bitar, is being directed by the US Embassy they claim, accusing him of unfairly and disproportionately targeting their allies while ignoring those close to Washington.

They may have a point. But the debate over the fairness and transparency of the judicial report is a side issue to the events that took place in the Tayouneh district of Beirut last week.

A peaceful march that had been approved by the authorities was fired upon by snipers placed on buildings along its route. It was an ambush by US-backed fascists who are hell-bent on plunging Lebanon into chaos.

None of the seven people killed in the protest were armed. Among the dead was Meryem Farhat, a mother shot through the head as she was getting ready to collect her child from kindergarten. Delivery driver Ali Ibrahim was also killed by sniper fire.

Not that you would know any of this judging by how the incident was reported by the western press. Readers would be forgiven for thinking that it was a Hezbollah march that turned violent, with the movement seemingly responsible for the deaths of its own supporters.

Liberal British mouthpiece The Guardian explained to its readers: “The trigger for the clashes in neighborhoods near the justice courts, which left dozens more injured, was a protest by members of Amal and Hezbollah, two predominantly Shia political parties, against a judicial probe into the massive blast in the port last year.”

“…eyewitnesses said they heard at least two explosions near the site where a protest was supposed to be held by Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah against a judge who is investigating last year’s devastating blast at Beirut’s port. Thursday’s shootings mark the deadliest civil violence in Beirut since 2008,” reported the part Saudi-owned Independent.

It concluded in carefully chosen language: “The heavily armed Hezbollah has accused Mr. Bitar of conducting a politicized probe.”

The Independent failed to mention the Lebanese Forces at all. Instead, it opted to make vague references to ‘unidentified gunmen.’ The Guardian mentioned their name once, but only to say that Hezbollah ‘claimed’ to have been shot at by the Christian militia.

The rest of the article followed a similar pattern to that of The Independent, containing snippets such as ‘chants of “Shia, Shia, Shia’ were heard on the streets.

“Large numbers of men brandishing weapons took to the streets throughout the day, and gun trucks flying Hezbollah and Amal flags paraded through the Bekaa Valley in a show of strength not seen since Hezbollah overran west Beirut in May 2008…” it added, failing to mention that Bekaa is nowhere near the Lebanese capital. This was the crowning glory of The Guardian hatchet job, evoking images of violent Muslims seeking to overthrow Lebanon, no doubt to impose an Islamist caliphate.

France 24 went with: “Last week, Hezbollah led a protest to demand his dismissal. It sparked a gun battle in the heart of Beirut that left seven people dead and reignited fears of new sectarian violence.”

It continued with a paragraph about “hostage diplomacy and what it means for those imprisoned by Tehran” in an exceptionally tenuous attempt to link the shootings to Iran.

That they let the Lebanese Forces, a US-backed right-wing militia led by a war criminal, off the hook is no mere accident.

Nor is the reporting down to lazy journalism. This would be to deny the role of the media as a propaganda tool used and manipulated by western imperialism to manufacture a consensus among the public.

That is that Hezbollah and Amal are the bad guys and it is up to the west, always the good guys in any situation, to step in and save the people of Lebanon from their evil clutches.

The use of descriptions such as ‘Iran-backed Shia militia Hezbollah’ is a not particularly subtle, but deliberate attempt to paint the movement – which is a legitimate political force with representatives in the Lebanese parliament – as a foreign-controlled entity.

The irony of this is, that it is, in fact, the very group responsible for the attack that is in hock to external forces, namely the US, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia who see the Lebanese Forces as its proxy inside the country.

It is perhaps best known in the west for its role in the brutal massacre of thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children on behalf of “Israel” at the Sabra and Chatila camps during the Lebanese civil war.

I visited the camps and met survivors of the three-day pogrom in Beirut earlier this year and they described how the Christian militia raped and executed more than three thousand defenseless people, as the camps were surrounded by Israeli soldiers.

The leader of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, has been convicted of war crimes, sentenced to life in prison for ordering four political assassinations, including that of former prime minister Rashid Karami in 1988.

For many, he will always be associated with the massacre of scores of people, including the bombing of Sayidat al-Najat church in Jounieh killing 10 people and wounding 54, with Christians also targeted by the bloodthirsty Geagea.

But he was released under an amnesty in 2005 following Lebanon’s so-called Cedar Revolution which took place after the assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri, the perpetrators of which have never been brought to justice.

Geagea’s propulsion into the limelight once more comes with the US suffering a series of defeats across the Middle East, including its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan and its failure to dislodge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

His reelection in May has led many Arab and European nations to restore diplomatic relations with Damascus, with border crossings reopening along with the return of ambassadors and consulates as they recognize political reality.

But Assad could not have held on to power without the explicit support of the Syrian people. No leader could have withstood the pressure exerted on him without it.

Not only has he defeated Washington’s regime-change operations – he has come out the other side stronger, having faced down five US presidents; Bill Clinton, George W Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and now Joe Biden.

The US now appears to be strengthening its relations with Kurds in the north of the country once more where its soldiers are based as an occupying force. The Biden administration recently announced there would be no troop withdrawal, reassuring Kurdish officials after the debacle in Afghanistan.

Despite Assad’s plans for decentralization announced in April, the Kurdish administration there is pursuing a policy that seeks political recognition from the US. It is a move that has alienated many of its supporters and undermines its dismissal of claims it acts as a “proxy force” in the region.

Having lost the military and now the political war on Syria, it seems logical that the US would change its strategy to foment further instability in Lebanon, with a return to civil war only serving to benefit Washington and Tel Aviv as they hope for the sectarian division of the country.

The hands of the US were all over the Tayouneh attack, which came straight out of the Washington/CIA copybook, mirroring its interventions and use of proxy forces to oust governments or prop up its client states in Latin America and across the world.

Geagea’s militia – many of whom have been trained by “Israel” – would be an obvious choice for the US given his previous overtures to Washington, confirmed in a 2008 Wikileaks cable.

He claimed that the Lebanese Forces had as many as 10,000 well-trained soldiers, telling the US embassy: “We can fight against Hezbollah. We just need your support to get arms for these fighters.”

But, speaking in a public address on Monday, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah explained that the Shi’ite movement commands a 100,000 fighters-strong military structure, dwarfing that of the Lebanese Forces. The difference between the two, he pointed out, is that Hezbollah’s forces protect the Lebanese people.

It may be enough to concentrate the minds of the more pragmatic US officials, but the links between Washington and the Lebanese Forces run much deeper than that of Geagea who, despite his delusions of grandeur, remains a marginal figure and is unlikely to be trusted with a leading political role.

Walid Phares, a former leading light in the Lebanese Forces, now acts as a national security advisor and consultant on Middle Eastern politics in the US. Fleeing the country in 1990, he went on to advise the presidential election campaigns of Mitt Romney and then Donald Trump.

During the Lebanese Civil War, Phares told Christian militiamen that they were the vanguard of a war between the West and Islam. He justified the fight against Muslims by saying “we must have our own country, our own state, our own entity, and we have to be separate.”

Despite his peddling of far-right, Islamophobic conspiracy theories, he has rebranded himself as an academic and has testified to international bodies including the European Parliament and UN Security Council on international security matters and the Middle East.

He does not appear to have held any official government post, but his closeness to a former president and his movement in elite circles is clearly a cause for alarm.

The links do not end there. Soon after the shootings, journalist Hosein Mortada claimed to have identified one of the snipers as Shukri Abu Saab – who he said works as a security official at the US embassy.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there has been a blanket media silence over the revelations, while the embassy itself has not responded to the allegations, raising suspicions further.

US ambassador Dorothy Shea has long been accused of using the embassy as an outpost for the imperialist carve-up of Lebanon and opening the country up to the mercy of the World Bank and the IMF.

It may be passed off as a mere coincidence that under secretary of state Victoria Nuland was in the Lebanese capital at the time the ambush took place, pledging an additional $67 million to the country’s armed forces as she demanded economic reform and the need to hold elections as a prerequisite for continued US support.

It also may be a mere coincidence that the Lebanese army changed its narrative of events soon after the US cash boost to appear to blame Hezbollah for its own supporters being shot at. This is despite footage circulating that appears to show a Lebanese soldier shooting at protesters.

But the attempts to destabilize Lebanon came soon after the formation of a new government, ending 13-months of political deadlock, along with the US failure to disarm Hezbollah despite sanctions and other external pressure.

The US is also angered after Hezbollah smashed sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran and Syria, by importing oil to alleviate Lebanon’s fuel crisis. This slap in the face for imperialism was a humiliating defeat, breaking the siege of Lebanon with ease and at the same time rendering the restrictive measures meaningless.

It also exposed the declining power of the US on a global stage, with the dollar at risk of losing its position as the world currency and with it Washington’s ability to control global financial markets.

Solidarity among nations has proved vital in defeating the US, and it is solidarity among the Lebanese people that will help the country rise up once more and consign the likes of Geagea and the Lebanese Forces along with all those who seek to destroy Lebanon to the dustbin of history.

Iraq’s Agriculture Reaps the Despoiled Seeds of US Meddling

October 5, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Farah Hage-Hassan

The poisonous effects of American interference and failed policies are still affecting Iraq’s agricultural sector today. Here’s how.

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  • Decades of US interference have plagued Iraq’s agricultural sector
  • “You lied!”

    Those were the screams of former US Army veteran Mike Prysner echoing in the lecture hall during a speech by George W. Bush, and the lasting trauma still resonates in the ears of millions of Iraqis and Americans today, almost two decades later.

    From a full-scale invasion under the pretext of overthrowing Saddam Hussein to the insurgence of ISIS, Iraq has been plagued with endless wars and destruction. This invasion and endless interventions aggravated the marginalization of sectors in Iraqi society and allowed the internal state of Iraq to crumble under sectarianism and violence.

    The lasting effects of the US policies are especially present within the aftermath of the agricultural sector among others. Farmers across the country continue to be displaced and doubt remains overcast on Iraq’s environmental capabilities and the future of agricultural development.

    American invasion 

    One of the many false pretenses for the heavily documented war was the alleged harboring of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell infamously claimed that the US was aware of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and their role in terrorism. Powell’s bold statements and deceptive assertions regarding the evidence that was available have ultimately haunted the US for what has become known as the very public “campaign of lies” the US tricked global citizens into believing.  

    For over 7 years, Iraq was invaded and bombed by the US and the coalition of the willing, not to mention their use of white phosphorous munitions. Although they claimed that white phosphorus was used whilst fully considering the incidental effects on civilians, the secondary effects on Iraq’s agriculture were most definitely not taken into account.

    Deliberate destruction

    The invasion and destruction that accompanied the war did not only permanently damage arable lands with mines and cluster ammunition, but the suspension of government agricultural institutions and irrigation projects also caused disastrous results to the population.

    From 2002 to 2008, agriculture’s contribution to the country’s GDP has decreased from almost 9% to 3.6% due to challenges created by war, social instability, and institutional and economic concerns. 

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  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value-added, % of GDP (Source: World Bank)
  • In a final blow after causing significant damage to the agricultural sector, the US secured its monopoly over the Iraqi farming industry and the future of agriculture by issuing Order 81. The Order was described as an attempt to “rebuild” Iraq’s agriculture industry by the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer.

    What was Order 81?

    After Coalition Provisional Authority Order 81 was implemented, farmers were forbidden from conserving, distributing, or propagating harvested seeds, resulting in a dependency on big businesses such as Monsanto, Cargill Inc., and Dow Chemical. As a consequence, Iraq has only been able to meet 4% of its seed demands since 2005. These distributors are known to patent their seeds and collect fees without considering if crops were proven to contain their proprietary genetic information.

    Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation founded in 1901, is notorious for its contribution to the neutron initiators inside the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, as well as for producing Agent Orange. The US military used Agent Orange in Vietnam during the infamous operation Ranch Hand, destroying crops and ultimately causing half a million Vietnamese children to be born with birth defects and millions of others left with cancer and other serious health conditions. 

    Dying of thirst

    Reconstruction efforts in Iraq also targeted the distribution of safe drinking water. 

    Millions of dollars were lost in the attempt and efforts failed, with only one-third of the objectives reached in the context of providing safe drinking water. 

    Iraq’s infrastructure was heavily bombed in the 1990s after the US-led coalition conducted massive airstrikes on the region during the gulf war. Water and sewerage treatment facilities were heavily damaged. As people suffered from a lack of access to clean water, diseases multiplied.

    The US war has critically aggravated the water crisis. Water is scarcely passing through the Tigris and Euphrates as is, causing contaminated water to reach crops, and in turn poisoning much of the population. The UN Security Council described the effects of the war as returning Iraq to the “pre-industrial age”, and warned of the imminent catastrophe that would hit the Iraqi population. 

    The Tigris River is bordered by Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Along with the Euphrates, they create a river system that encircles Mesopotamia known as the Fertile Crescent. The Tigris is an important source of transportation and irrigation, with a history dating back to the earliest known civilizations.

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    Tigris River (Global Atlas)

    Scorched earth

    The catastrophic insurgence of ISIS ripped Iraq’s already suffering sectors into developmental and economic shreds. 

    The US policies created a weak state that resulted in the marginalization of considerable sectors of Iraqi society. ISIS militants, armed partially with CIA-funded weapons, developed into one of the goriest terrorist organizations of our time. 

    The world watched in horror as ISIS became globally renowned for unspeakable atrocities like beheadings, kidnapping of women and children, and numerous suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that not only affected the Middle East but many western countries, especially Europe. 

    ISIS used the burning tactic to terrorize inhabitants, laid landmines, and destroyed agricultural equipment. IEDs were frequently utilized to fortify their defense. They attempted to meticulously carry out a form of ecocide, as their “scorched earth” tactics took hold. Oil wells were set on fire and thousands of civilians came close to suffocation and others suffered respiratory complications.

    In a final effort to devastate their targets, they booby-trapped escape routes, barns, and pump stations. 

    The presence of the terrorist group forced agricultural workers and farmers to evacuate their farmlands during the bloody conflicts. Numerous families retell their experiences of being forced to abandon their farming communities when ISIS militants surrounded the area in mid-2014. The same families who evacuated their homes reported returning to their homes post-ISIS and finding them heavily booby-trapped. Numerous families have lost children and relatives after bombs inexplicably detonated on their properties. 

    A glimpse of hope

    Away from the nightmares that haunt Iraq, as one of many initiatives, Iraq’s holy shrines have begun to establish massive farms for relying on agricultural production and providing national agricultural products that are distinguished by quality, as well as meat at subsidized prices.

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  • Farms administrated by the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine (Website)
  • Agricultural cities are being established to provide the cultivation of wheat, barley, yellow corn, fodder, jet, and cattle, as well as raising sheep and cows.

    Despite the seemingly irreversible effects of America’s assaults and intrusion on Iraq’s wellbeing have undoubtedly damaged the country, things can still be turned around. With Iraq’s Parliamentary elections looming, the crucial vote of the youth may have the power to carry Iraq out of decade-long darkness and into the light. 

    Hezbollah MP: The Blatant American Interference in the Lebanese Affairs Has Reached Its Maximum

    October 4, 2021

    Hezbollah MP: The Blatant American Interference in the Lebanese Affairs Has Reached Its Maximum

    By Staff

    Member of Hezbollah’s “Loyalty to the Resistance” Parliamentary Bloc Sayyed Ibrahim Al-Moussawi asserted that “The American administration is practicing a policy of dictation, where the blatant American interference in the Lebanese affairs has reached its maximum, as it is permeating all the levels, amid the silence of some parties about the American violations.” 

    MP al-Moussawi condemned the “The US blatant breach to decimate Lebanon” in a radio interview, inviting the Lebanese foreign minister to take a stance that condemns this interference.

    He also stressed that the bet in this context is on those who have wisdom and reckon the nature of the United States.

    Regarding the cabinet affairs, Sayyed al-Moussawi said that “the cabinet should fully take its chances,” adding in the context of the ministerial committee that aims at negotiating with the International Monetary Fund: “Let’s give the cabinet a chance as long as we are part of it and we support it.”

    Regarding the “Biqaa Nitrate”, MP al-Moussawi underscored that “there is a big conspiracy that is being gradually revealed,” stressing that “it’s the right of the victims’ families to learn the truth of the Beirut Port blast.”

    On the other hand, Sayyed al-Moussawi stressed that “Hezbollah is going for the initiative of distributing the Iranian diesel oil”, considering that “the unity of the Lebanese people is being renewed today in this regard.” He added that “we are working on alleviating the suffering of people as much as possible, and we stress that we aren’t an alternative to the government.”

    “Hezbollah is currently studying a plan regarding offering a special help regarding transportation to schools, notably official schools, through providing as much as possible diesel oil supply,” he added.

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    Sayyed Nasrallah: More Iranian Ships to Follow, Iranian Drilling Companies Ready to Extract Offshore Oil and Gas

    August 20, 2021

    Sayyed Nasrallah: More Iranian Ships to Follow, Iranian Drilling Companies Ready to Extract Offshore Oil and Gas
    Video

    Zeinab Essa

    Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Sunday a speech during the memorial ceremony of martyr Hajj Abbas Al-Yatama.

    At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah offered condolences to the family of martyr Al-Yatama as well all his beloved people, congratulating them for the fact that this prominent leader has reached his goals. “I personally know martyr Al-Yatama, who belongs to the generation of Hezbollah’s establishment in 1982,” he said, noting that “When speaking about people like Hajj Abbas Al-Yatama, I like to recall the founding generation of the Islamic Resistance, they’re the people of 1982.”

    On the characteristics of the martyr, His Eminence highlighted that “Martyr Abbas had a beautiful soul, like his beautiful appearance. He was brave and courageous.”

    He recalled that Abu Maitham “joined this resistance at the age of 17, and soon his personal characteristics became evident in front of his brothers. Martyr Abbas started as a fighter, then a trainer and later assumed various leadership responsibilities. He was personally present in the field operations.”

    According to the Resistance Leader, “Among the personal characteristics of the martyr Abbas were faith, etiquette, forbearance, patience and good behavior. He further possessed excellent leadership capabilities.”

    “Martyr Abbas was one of the military leaders in the South. He is from Hermel and he was as a resistance’s military leader in the South,” he stated, pointing out that “Martyr Abbas, like his brothers, the rest of the martyrs are witnesses that the honorable people of this region embraced the resistance and sacrificed it with the best of their youth.”

    In addition Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled that “Abu Maitham was among the military leaders who took part in the July war in South Lebanon, and he was the one who wrote the letter of the Mujahideen [for me] during the war, which conveys his loyalty to the resistance.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah further revealed that “When the events in Syria began, martyr Abbas was one of the first leaders who joined the battle and was present in the most dangerous places. Abu Maitham has been to the most dangerous zones from Aleppo, to the besieged city and airport, as well as the road of Ethriya-Khanaser.”

    “Martyr Al-Yatama was a field commander next to senior Syrian Army commanders, resistance leaders such as Haj Mustafa Badriddine, and Iranian Generals in Syria, atop of whom was martyr leader Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” His Eminence added.

    Emphasizing that “The secret of the resistance’s strength is that it has never sought gains here or there,” Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that “Since the establishment of the state, the Bekaa region has received nothing but deprivation and negligence, but return it has offered honesty, the best of its youth and pure blood.”

    “These people spared nothing, neither in confronting the Zionist scheme nor the American project. The people of Baalbek-Hermel did not wait for anyone to defend their villages and all of Lebanon,” he said.

    Moving to the political front, Hezbollah Secretary General explained that “The Americans do believe that we are people who seek the worldly life, as if by threatening us with this life they might be able to change our stance. They didn’t understand until now what does it mean to belong to the Islam pf Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and the Karbala of Imam Hussein [AS].”

    In parallel, His Eminence clarified that “The battle that is being waged in Lebanon against the resistance and the true national forces has been run by the American embassy since 2005. However, they have failed.”

    On this level, he uncovered that “Tens of billions of dollars have been spent since 2005 in order to distort the image of the resistance, and they failed.”

    “The US seeks to set Lebanon under its control so that it does not pose any threat to “Israel”,” Sayyed Nasrallah reminded, warning that “The US embassy in Lebanon is responsible for targeting the livelihood of the Lebanese people as it interferes in every single aspect.”

    He also underscored that “The US and Saudi embassies have been working in the past years to ignite a civil war in Lebanon. The American embassy wants to make Lebanon move into chaos. It seeks to strike the Lebanese society and the Lebanese person with his dignity and family.”

    Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that “After spending $30 billion for political parties that were not able to serve them, they turned to the civil society.”

    Urging the Lebanese state to shoulder its responsibility in facing the current crisis, he viewed that “It is not Hezbollah that can open the country in front of Chinese and Russian companies for investment. This is the state’s duty. We urged them to buy from Iran by the Lebanese pound, and they replied that the Americans would put us on the sanctions list. We offered the state options and proposals for which it turned a deaf ear, and Lebanon continued in the path of declining.”

    Amid this negligence, Sayyed Nasrallah clearly announced: “Our second ship will sail from Iran within days, and other ships will follow.”

    He further stressed that “It is not a matter of one ship or two; this is a path which we will keep moving on as long as Lebanon needs it,” noting that “The goal is to help all the Lebanese people and ease their sufferings.”

    However, His Eminence assured that “We-in Hezbollah- are neither a substitute for the state nor for importing companies or stations. We do not want to compete with anyone.”

    “We will bring in fair amounts of oil derivatives to ease the pressure against companies, gas stations and the black market,” he said, noting that his party seeks “to break the greedy prices and ease the people’s sufferings.”

    In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “We are not supposed to bring Lebanon’s full demand of gasoline and diesel but rather good quantities that alleviate pressure off the companies and the stations.”

    Once again, he urged the government to alleviate the suffering of the people and assume its responsibilities.

    In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah denounced “Those monopolizing oil derivatives” calling for arresting and imprisoning them.

    Regarding US ambassador Dorothy Shea’s initiative towards Lebanon, His Eminence welcomed the Egyptian gas, the Jordanian electricity project and anything that might help Lebanon.

    However, His Eminence reminded that “If the US seeks to help Lebanon, it should lift its veto on providing support to Lebanon.”

    To the Lebanese people, he elaborated that “What is important for the Lebanese to know is that the proposal of the American ambassador requires a period between 6 months and 1 year to be done. The US project needs negotiations with Syria and could not be performed in the dark night.”

    “The US ambassador is talking illusions, but in case her project could be achieved we won’t be annoyed as this means breaking the siege on Lebanon and Syria.”

    To the US administration and its ambassador in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “If you want to help Lebanon, tell your administration to stop preventing other countries from helping Lebanon, and we wouldn’t want neither your initiative nor your money.”

    On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah asked “Who will shoulder the responsibility for the Tuleil incident in Akkar, and where did the investigations reach?”

    To the Lebanese government, Hezbollah Secretary General said: “If you accept, we have companies that are able to extract oil and gas and sell it. The companies that I mentioned are not afraid of the “Israeli” bombing, and they can extract gas and oil and sell it. If the companies fear “Israel” and the sanctions, we are willing to bring an Iranian drilling company to extract offshore oil and gas, and let “Israel” bomb it.”

    “The Resistance after July 2006 war became stronger and after every battle it maintained its existence and ended stronger than before,” he said, concluding that “The enemy and the Americans, and their affiliates, will discover that their popular and political losses will be very huge.”

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    Short news update from the Saker (UPDATED 2x)

    Short news update from the Saker (UPDATED 2x)

    July 07, 2021

    Dear friend,

    Today I am starting a new kind of post – a short news update.  This is not an open thread where everybody shares all the latest information during a crisis, nor is it a full analysis.  In this new category, I plan to include several small news which are relevant to what was discussed in the past or factoids/developments which might be discussed in a full analysis in the near future. I will include links to my sources only when I have them readily available, otherwise you will have to wait until my analyses to get the full sources.  Note that this new category will appear under the “Saker Analyses and Interviews” section to give it maximal visibility.  Finally, and just to make this clear, the regular rules of moderation will apply to this new section too.  I hope that you will find this feature useful (by all means, let me know). 

    Cheers

    The Saker

    PS: please feel free to also contribute short news items in the “short news update” section!


    • Amazing!  The US forces in Afghanistan left the (Soviet built) airbase in Bagram at night, not even informing their supposed Afghan “allies”.  The base was looted for several hours as the US Americans left A LOT of stuff, including guitars and plenty of weapons (all of which will now go on sale in the various public markets in Afghanistan.
    • Comparing the Soviet and the US performance in Afghanistan is quite amazing.  To make a long story short, I find the performance of Uncle Shmuel’s forces absolutely appalling and laughable.  Killed lots of people, built nothing, never controlled much of the country, fled in the middle of the night and abandoned its allies.   They literally switched off the electricity in Bagram and then fled.  Absolutely typical “garden variety” for all US interventions.  The Soviets even left with all their dignity safe – but the wannabe world hegemon had to leave in shame, like he always does.
    • The Taliban are now shooting Afghan collaborators in the streets, and floods of terrified refugees are now running for the border in the hope of escaping the Taliban’s wrath.
    • Did you know that since the US invasion of Afghanistan the volume of heroin produced by this country increased FIFTEEN FOLD!
    • Bottom line: the US+NATO+EU were defeated by the Taliban.  Totally and comprehensively.
    • Today Russian Su-30SM has intercepted a US Poseidon aircraft over the Black Sea and forced it to turn away from the Russian border.
    • Three more days left for Sea Breeze 2021.  Never say never, and we can’t be sure, but I don’t believe that NATO will try to breach the Russian maritime border again (these guys lost a long war to the Afghans, I don’t think they have the stomach for Russia!).

    This is how the Soviet Forces left Afghanistan:

    And this is how the “greatest military force in the Milky Way” left Afghanistan:

    • There are several reports, so far unconfirmed, that US bases in Iraq and Syria have come under attack.  There has also been a huge explosion in the port of Dubai.
    • UK Foreign Minister Raab just repeated in the British Parliament that the British Navy fully intends to repeat the actions of the HMS Defender.

    Maduro: EU Demand to Delay Election in Venezuela ‘Impossible

    Source

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has dismissed as “impossible” the EU’s suggestion to postpone the country’s December 6 election to meet the bloc’s conditions to dispatch an observer mission, blaming the idea on US pressure.

    “It is impossible because there is a very clear constitutional mandate,” Maduro said Thursday in a nationally televised address. “We want to have a good relationship with the European Union, but Washington does not let them.”

    Maduro has repeatedly maintained that the administration of hawkish US President Donald Trump is persistently plotting to topple his government in a coup to seize control of the oil-rich nation’s huge crude oil reserves.

    Relations between Caracas and Washington have drastically deteriorated in recent years amid multiple efforts by the US government to impose sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company and other industries in its bid to destabilize the country.

    Venezuela’s constitution requires a new poll every five years while US-backed opposition parties have vowed to boycott the election.

    European and Latin American ministers in the International Contact Group (ICG) declared after their video conference on Thursday that conditions were not ripe to send observers to Venezuela’s parliamentary elections next December.

    “ICG members concluded that conditions are not met, at the moment, for a transparent, inclusive, free and fair electoral process,” the group announced in a statement following the conference chaired by EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell.

    The ICG groups European countries including Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as well as a number of Latin American countries. Argentina is back in the group while Bolivia has left it.

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza invited observers from the United Nations and the European Union, in letters addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Borrell early this month, to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.

    In the letters, Arreaza outlined “the broad electoral guarantees agreed for the upcoming parliamentary elections.”

    Maduro pardoned over 100 legislators and associates of US-sponsored opposition figure Juan Guaido to promote national reconciliation ahead of the congressional elections in December.

    Guaido pushed Venezuela into political turmoil by dismissing the results of the 2018 presidential election after Maduro won nearly 70 percent of the votes. The opposition figure declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January last year and later launched a US-backed abortive coup to oust Maduro’s elected government.

    Source: Agecnies

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