Syria Falls Victim to US Highway Robbery

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Vladimir Platov
Recently, you can very frequently see in the reports of the Middle Eastern media information that the United States is exporting military personnel and special equipment from Syria to Iraq.

In November alone the world saw several such reports:

– on November 29, the Syrian news agency SANA reported the advance of a military caravan consisting of 25 heavy weaponry vehicles from the Kharab al-Jir US military base in Syria to the Al-Walid checkpoint on the border with Iraq;

– On November 23, the United States transferred a convoy of 50 armored vehicles again through the Alwaleed border crossing;

– On November 16 and 20, 2 more American convoys with tanks and military trucks followed the border with Iraq from Syria;

– According to Syrian media, several dozen American servicemen have already left the US base in the village of Al-Malikiya.

An uninformed observer may be given the false impression that the Pentagon, in pursuance of repeated public statements by President Trump, is actively withdrawing its military presence from Syria. However, this fundamentally contradicts reality: there is a regular rotation of American troops in Syria and the strengthening of the US military presence in the country, including by increasing the presence of Washington-controlled private military campaigns (PMCs).

Media and eyewitness reports about dozens of American military convoys that were heading to Iraqi territory from Syria are primarily due to the need for a “combat escort” of oil stolen by the United States from Syria. Syrian media and many international observers have already repeatedly reported US caravans with illegally extracted Syrian oil crossing checkpoints permanently controlled by Washington bordering Iraq, evidence was clearly documented, including that obtained by the space reconnaissance of the Russian Aerospace Forces. SAR is sure that these minerals are mainly exported from the territories of oil fields in Deir ez-Zor and Hassek controlled by the American military and Kurdish formations. According to SANA, in November alone, more than 120 tanks with the stolen “black gold”, guarded by US troops and armored vehicles, crossed the Syrian border and headed towards Iraq …

Oil exports are carried out by the US-controlled Sadkab company, created under the so-called Autonomous Administration of Eastern Syria. The income from this smuggling, which even by rough estimates reaches $ 30 million a month, goes through the brokerage companies interacting with Sadcab to the accounts of American PMCs and the US intelligence services. When escorting caravans of oil stolen in Syria, US special forces units, heavy military equipment, and even combat aircraft are periodically used. Due to the fact that in this case “real money” is involved, amounting to tens of millions, which you do not need to report to anyone, either to Congress or to senators, US intelligence services actively engage in these operations to finance their so-called “gray” and black operations. And this practice is nothing new for the American special forces, which, in particular, can be confirmed by the famous Iran-Contra scandal or the CIA’s operations to transport drugs to the US and Europe from Asia during the Vietnam War, etc.

However, one must not forget that absolutely all hydrocarbon deposits and other minerals located on the Syrian territory do not belong to “American defenders against the terrorists of DAESH (prohibited in the Russian Federation – ed.)”, but solely to the Syrian Arab Republic. Therefore, what Washington is currently doing, namely, seizing and retaining oil fields in eastern Syria under its armed control is, simply put, international state banditry. Neither US law nor international law justify American troops protecting Syria’s hydrocarbon deposits from the Arab republic itself and its people. But the reason for Washington’s actions lies far from the ideals of freedom and slogans for the fight against terrorism it so loftily proclaims, from any legislative viewpoint.

However, in addition to stealing Syria’s national treasure – oil, the United States is also responsible for the policy of economic strangulation that harms the Syrian population. Due to unilateral US sanctions, the humanitarian crisis is aggravated in the SAR, which is a real economic genocide. By now, as a result of measures carried out by the Syrian government with the support of Russia, 2.5 million Syrians have already been able to return to their homeland. However, due to the package of anti-Syrian sanctions initiated by the United States under the general title of the “Caesar Act”, the restrictions affect almost all spheres of the economy and life of the Syrian Arab Republic. That is why it becomes obvious that the United States, in the face of the failure of its plans to forcefully remove the President of the SAR Bashar al-Assad, began to carry out an economic attack on the Middle Eastern state, staging an outright invasion using military force and economic leverage, and such actions should be served a clear international verdict.

The US has been in Syria for over six long years. During this time, the Americans captured a third of the country, controlling the situation on the ground through their junior allies in the person of the Kurdish people’s self-defense units. The only exception is Et-Tanf, where they often have to do all the dirty work themselves, including administrative, because there is now at least some stable opposition to Damascus, and besides, they have the largest and most effective military base.

However, the defeat of the terrorists means the inevitable expulsion of the Americans from Syria; it’s just a matter of time. Indeed, unlike even Afghanistan, where Washington has a controlled government, in Syria, US troops are in an extremely hostile environment. Do not forget that, along with the American military, there are many different Arab tribes in the Middle East, among most of which anti-American sentiments are constantly growing and, under certain conditions, they might attack to defend their soil. Even the Kurds, whom the United States has repeatedly insulted, betrayed, abandoned to be devoured by Ankara, are greatly offended at the United States and at some point may show Washington that it is not the boss in the region.

In addition to a possible armed confrontation, the cessation of US predatory activities and their military aggression in Syria can, of course, be facilitated by an intensification of the diplomatic offensive against Washington on this issue through various international forums and threats of court, where Russia, China, and other states friendly to Damascus will play the first fiddle.

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American Militarism Marches On: No Discussion or Media Coverage of Washington’s War Against the World

Philip Giraldi October 22, 2020

Nearly everyone has heard the comment attributed for former Clinton consigliere Rahm Emanuel that one should never let a good crisis go to waste. The implication of the comment is that if there is a major crisis going on the cover it provides permits one to do all sorts of things under the radar that would otherwise be unacceptable. That aphorism is particularly true in the current context as there are multiple crises taking place simultaneously, all of which are being exploited to various degrees by interested parties.

One of the more interesting stories carefully hidden by the smoke being generate by civil unrest, plague and personal scandals is the continued march of American militarism. The story is particularly compelling as neither main party candidate is bothering to talk about it and there is no discussion of foreign policy even planned for the final presidential debate. Last week eccentric multi billionaire Elon Musk announced that he and the Pentagon are developing a new 7,500 m.p.h. missile capable of delivering 80 tons of military cargo nearly anywhere in the world in under an hour. It would undoubtedly be a major advanced capability catering to those military planners who envision continued U.S. intervention worldwide for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, agreement on a new START treaty that would limit the proliferation of some hypersonic weapon systems is stalled because the White House wants to include China in any deal. Beijing is not interested, particularly as Donald Trump is also claiming that Beijing will pay for the multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages that the United States will ultimately require to combat the coronavirus “… because this was not caused by our workers and our people, this was caused by China and China will pay us back in one form or another. We’re gonna take it from China. I tell you now, it’s coming out of China. They’re the ones that caused this problem.”

Indeed, China and Russia continue to be the boogeymen trotted out regularly to scare Americans. Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s State Department issued a statement warning that “some foreign governments, such as those of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation, seek to exert influence over U.S. foreign policy through lobbyists, external experts, and think tanks.” Why the statement was issued at this time, so close to elections is unclear, though it is possibly an attempt to line up possible scapegoats if the electoral process does not produce results acceptable to whomever loses. In fact, Russia and China hardly find a place on the list of those who fund lobbyists and think tanks.

Also of interest is another story about how Washington has chosen to interact with the world, one involving both enemy du jour Iran and Venezuela. Readers will undoubtedly recall how the United States seized in international waters four Greek owned but Liberian flagged tankers loaded with gasoline that were bound for Venezuela. The tankers were transporting more than a million gallons of fuel to economic basket case Venezuela, a country which is in its sad condition due to sanctions and other “maximum pressure” imposed by Washington, which has also sanctioned Venezuela’s own oil industry. The fuel was seized based on unilaterally imposed U.S. sanctions on Iranian sale or export of its own petroleum products, a move intended to strangle the Iranian economy and bring about an uprising of the Iranian people. As the sanctions imposed by Washington are not supported by the United Nations or by any other legal authority, the seizure is little more than exercise of a bit of force majeure that used to be called piracy.

Even though foreign and national security policy has not really been discussed in either the Biden or Trump campaign, there is general agreement in both parties that Venezuela is a rogue regime that must be replaced while Iran is an actual, tangible threat due to its alleged misbehavior in the Middle East. It has been dubbed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the “number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Saner voices have observed that neither Venezuela nor Iran threaten the United States in any way and that the U.S. and Israel continue to kill many more civilians than Iran ever has, but they have been drowned out by the media talking heads who constantly spout the established narrative.

Well, the alleged Iranian fuel has arrived in New Jersey and a legal battle for custody of it has begun.  The fuel had been removed from the Greek tankers and transferred to other tankers for removal to the United States but the complication is that the Trump administration must now prove its case for forfeiture before the oil can be sold. The U.S. justification for seizing the cargoes is the claim that the fuel was an asset of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the Treasury, Justice and State Departments have conveniently designated a foreign terrorist organization. But that contention is disputed by the cargoes’ owners, who claim to have nothing to do with the IRGC. They include other energy exporters and shippers in the Middle East, namely Mobin International Limited, Oman Fuel Trading Ltd and Sohar Fuel Trading LLC FZ. They have filed a motion for dismissal and are seeking return of the fuel plus additional compensation for the losses they have suffered. One has to hope they win as it is the United States that is in the wrong in this case.

The entire saga of the tankers and the fuel is symptomatic of the undeclared economic warfare that the United States now prefers to use when dealing with adversaries. And there is considerable evidence to suggest that Washington is trying to goad Iran into responding with force, providing the U.S. government with a plausible rationale for responding in kind. President Trump has directly threatened Iran in an October 9th public statement in which he promised the Iranians that “If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.”

So, Washington’s aggression directed against much of the world continues with a national election less than two weeks away but no one is talking about it. That would seem odd in and of itself, but the sad part is that it is deliberate collusion on the part of government and media to make sure the voting public remains unaware the extent to which the United States has in reality become a pariah, a full-time bully in its foreign relations.

RAIN OF ROCKETS HITS US FORCES IN IRAQ. ISRAELI-UAE PEACE DEAL CRUMBLES DAYS AFTER ITS ANNOUNCEMENT

South Front

As it was expected, the ‘historic’ UAE-Israeli peace deal did not contribute to the stability in the Middle East. Instead, the situation has been slowly, but steadily moving towards a larger confrontation in the region.

Immediately after the announcement of the US-sponsored peace deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that his country is not going to fulfill one of its key provisions – the suspension of the annexation of West Bank territories. The prime minister emphasized that the annexation plan was just delayed, but not suspended.

“There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States,” Netanyahu said adding that “Israel will have comprehensive peace agreements with other Arab countries without returning to the 1967 borders.”

This unfortunate, but expected statement goes fully in the framework of the Israeli regional policy and contradicts position of the US-sponsored deal reached with the UAE. In particular, Crown Prince Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed emphasized that “it was agreed to stop Israel’s annexation of the Palestinian lands.”

The Israeli actions strengthened the already existing controversy over the deal and on August 15-16, the situation escalated in the Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Palestinian protesters with explosives tried to approach the security fence and then Palestinian forces launched at least 2 rockets at southern Israel. In its own turn, IDF aircraft conducted a series of airstrikes on what Tel Aviv described as Hamas targets.

If the Israeli leadership keeps its course on the annexation of the West Bank areas, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will expectedly escalate, and even possibly expand further. For example, in this scenario, an escalation could be expected in the area of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights and on the Lebanese-Israeli contact line.

On August 14, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah already declared that the movement “will not remain silent on the crime of the bombing the Port of Beirut if it is proven that Israel is behind it.” According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah would wait for results of an investigation into the Beirut port explosion and if it turns out to be an act of sabotage by Israel then it would “pay an equal price”.

The August 4 blast in the port of Beirut is still surrounded by mystery and uncertainties, and many sources, including the top US leadership, still consider the possibility that the tragedy was caused by some kind of ‘attack’. In this event, the main suspect is Israel, which has always been interested in the destabilization of neighboring Arab states to secure own dominance in the region.

Tensions are also growing between the United States and Iran. On August 14, the Department of Justice announced that US forces have seized some 1.116m barrels of Iranian fuel aboard 4 ships headed for Venezuela. The seizure came amid increasing attacks on US forces and facilities from pro-Iranian and anti-US armed groups in Iraq.

On the evening of August 16, a rocket targeted the Green Zone of Iraq’s capital Baghdad, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. The strike led to no casualties. Just a few hours earlier, the pro-Iranian armed group Ashab al-Kahf released a video showing an improvised explosive device attack on a US equipment convoy in the Anbar area. The group claimed that the convoy was fully destroyed. On August 15, two rockets targeted the biggest US military base in Iraq – Camp Taji. The base is located north of Baghdad. On the same day, a convoy carrying logistical supplies for the U.S.-led coalition was targeted on the highway between Dhi Qar and Basrah in southern Iraq. The attack was conducted by another pro-Iranian group, Usbat al-Tha’ireen. Pro-US sources denied any casualties as a result of the attack. These were just the most recent in about two dozen various attacks on US-affiliated targets in Iraq during the past few weeks.

If the US and Iran continue the current confrontational course, it is expected that the number and intensity of attacks in Iraq will increase boosting the chances of an open confrontation between the US and Iranian-led forces.

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US Navy seizes ship carrying supplies from China to Iran: Fars

By News Desk -2020-08-05

File Photo of U.S.S. Rampage

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – The U.S. Navy has allegedly seized a ship that was en route to Iran, carrying zeolite needed for manufacturing oxygen concentrators for coronavirus-infected patients.

According to the Fars News Agency, the U.S. warships seized the ship near the Chinese port of Qingdao on Wednesday morning.

“Only one imported part is used for production of oxygen concentrators, which is zeolite, and we are forced to purchase it from France and import it to the country through several intermediators,” Peyman Bakhshandeh-Nejad, the CEO of Zist Tajhiz Danesh Pouya company in Iran, told the Fars News Agency.

He said that that the ship’s cargo could lead to the production of 4,000 to 5,000 oxygen concentrator systems to be used by the patients.

An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream.

A pioneering knowledge-based company in Iran had also in April produced a special oxygen concentrator system which can be used by the coronavirus patients at home.

“Oxygen concentrator is the knowledge-based product of the company. When the lungs are not powerful enough to pump the necessary oxygen into the blood, the system can increase the purity of the lungs’ oxygen,” Ali Ebrahimi, the CEO of the company, said.

He added that the system has been manufactured in three home, central and portable versions.

Ebrahimi said that one of the most important applications of oxygen concentrator systems is for coronavirus patients who can use it at home without any need to visiting hospital.

Trump Attacks China and Others Falsely, Puts More Bodies in Bags

Trump Attacks China and Others Falsely, Puts More Bodies in Bags

By Nour Rida

Amid the coronavirus chaos, US President Donald Trump has shown that he is probably the worst at tweeting, his political discourse standards reached a new level of unprecedented frenzy and panic in US history and the best he could is ask people to explore disinfectants as a possible treatment for COVID-19 virus — an extremely dangerous proposition that medical experts warn could kill people.

He has also succeeded in a few things; attacking friends and foes and making accusations such as the case of China, cutting funds for international organizations like the case is with WHO or the UN, setting a blind eye to US theft of coronavirus aid and equipment if not giving consent to the hijacking of the medical aid of other countries, and attacking the people of his own country and carrying out racist and violent actions against them. Of course we must not forget his contradicting statements throughout the crisis reported by mainstream media outlets.

Media reports suggest that the growing public distrust in Trump’s ability to lead the country in its fight against COVID-19 is why he attacked China in first place, accusing it of spreading the virus.

“Trump is trying to divert public outrage over China as he is increasingly accused of the unwillingness the US has encountered in the pandemic. Because of this, Trump also targeted the World Health Organization [WHO],” read a report in late April.

Sarcastically, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement in late April debunking false claims about COVID-19 origins, saying that the virus was “not manmade or genetically modified.”

This came while China has extended a helping hand, sending out tens of millions of protective wards, masks, medical equipment, medicines as well as medical teams to the world, with Italy as a clear example.

Known now for his threads of racism, lies and imprecision, he used the term “China Virus” multiple times when referring to coronavirus, a phrase of racial discrimination which had drawn criticism for both domestically and internationally since it was coined in mid-March.

The World Health Organization has issued guidance against “stigmatizing certain communities” when naming illnesses. US lawmaker Judy Chu – a California Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus – was not impressed by Trump’s remarks, according to NBC News.

According to Chu, Trump’s comments would not “be necessary if he and his supporters had not already endangered so many by spreading this toxic xenophobia”.

With the mainstream media of the US and some of its allies creating a collective media campaign attacking China, the same media which claims impartiality sets a blind eye to reports on how US deportation flights increase the spread of the virus, which remains to be a fact and not just rumors.

According to Michele Heisler, medical director at the US-based nonprofit Physicians for Human Rights and a professor of internal medicine and public health at the University of Michigan, “the flights do not only put people in deportation proceedings at risk, but also threaten to spread the coronavirus to countries ill-equipped to deal with the disease.”

Countries in the region have been forced to deal with deportees infected with the virus, including Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Haiti, many of which have fragile health-care systems.

As the US sinks in its own chaos amid the incompetence of its administration in facing the coronavirus, it has been accused of “modern piracy”. One instance of it is redirecting 200,000 Germany-bound masks for its own use. The local government in Berlin said the shipment of US-made masks was “confiscated” in Bangkok.

Countries including the US, France, and Turkey have been accused of confiscating shipments, holding on to supplies, and last minute outbidding each other in an escalating war for supply goods.

Following Trump’s furies and fits, media reports have harshly criticized Trump and his attitude towards the pandemic and his justifications. Commenting on Trump’s dealing with the coronavirus crisis, the Foreign Policy wrote in a report “Like Bush, who couldn’t grasp the fact that al Qaeda was not the tool of an adversarial state, Trump refused to believe—or professed not to believe—that the virus was not an instrument of a hostile Chinese state, invented in a laboratory, and unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Just as Bush shifted the nation’s focus to Iraq, Trump seized the coronavirus to justify his obsession with China.”

The US did not stop at pouring all the blame falsely on China, or deporting thousands regardless of health concern warnings. In mid-April, Trump decided to suspend funding to the World Health Organization. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was “not the time” to be reducing funds to the WHO or any other organization fighting the pandemic.

“Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” Guterres said in a statement.

Reacting to Trump’s action and threats, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that it was not the time for such rhetoric.

“The focus of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicize this virus,” Tedros said at a press briefing in Geneva last week.

“If you want to have many more body bags, then you do it. If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it … We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave.”

Trump made his decisions; he keeps contributing in isolating America rather than making it great as he claims, and helps put more body in bags in the US as well as around the globe.

قانون قيصر أم قانون القرصان!

د. عدنان منصور

بعد أن فشلت الولايات المتحدة، ومعها «إسرائيل»، وحلفاؤها في المنطقة بتحقيق مآربها في سورية، منذ اندلاع الأحداث فيها عام 2011، وحتى اليوم، ورغم كلّ الدعم المادي، والعسكري، والمالي، والإعلامي، واللوجستي، والبشري المتواصل الذي قدّمته قوى العدوان، لعشرات الآلاف من الإرهابيين الأجانب القادمين من دول العالم، لم تستطع قوى الشرّ أن تحقق مبتغاها الهادف الى إطاحة النظام السوري، ورئيس الدولة، وإيجاد نظام بديل يكون أداة طيّعة في يد قوى الهيمنة، يبتعد عن قضايا بلده وشعبه وأمته، يتنازل عن حقوقه وسيادته، وأرضه المحتلة من العدو الصهيوني، وينهي حالة الصراع معه، ويقبل بالأمر الواقع الإسرائيلي، والتطبيع معه، ثم يدير ظهره للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين، ويقلّص الى حدّ كبير من مستوى التعاون مع إيران وروسيا…

فبعد أن وجدت قوى العدوان على سورية، بعد تسع سنوات من الحرب المفروضة عليها، انّ كلّ الوسائل والإمكانات والخطط العسكرية، والإجراءات المالية، والضغوط النفسية، والعقوبات الشرسة، التي طالت قطاعات مصرفية، ومالية، وتجارية وصحية، وصناعية، وعسكرية، وتكنولوجية، وكذلك شخصيات رسمية وفعاليات مدنية، واللجوء إلى الإفراط في استخدام القوة، والعمليات الحربية المدمّرة، لإخضاع سورية وإجبارها على رفع راية الاستسلام، أنها لم تستطع انتزاع القرار الذي تنتظره من الرئيس السوري، ولم تستطع تأليب الشعب على قيادته، او الرهان على تفكيك الجيش العربي السوري وانهياره، وأنها فشلت أيضاً في إبعاد سورية عن إيران وروسيا، وفكّ الارتباط مع الدولتين، كان لا بدّ من المتربّصين بسورية، ورعاة التسلط والاستبداد، أن يلجأوا الى سياسات أخرى أكثر قسوة وشدة كي تفي بالمطلوب.

وإذا كانت الحرب الشاملة التي شنتها قوى العدوان على سورية، قد فشلت في تحقيق أهدافها، وغاياتها، بسبب بسالة وصمود الجيش العربي السوري، ووحدة الشعب، وإدارة قيادته الحكيمة للأزمة في أصعب وأحلك الظروف، وصمودها الذي بهر شعوب العالم ودوله، وهي تواجه العدوان والإرهاب، كان على الادارة الأميركية أن تبحث عن عقوبات أكثر إيلاماً وشراسة تطبّقها على سورية، علها تحقق الغاية المرجوّة منها. فكان «قانون قيصر»، الذي وقعه الرئيس الأميركي ترامب يوم 21 كانون الأول من العام الماضي، ليجسّد هذا القانون الظلم والقهر، الذي سيطبّق اعتباراً من منتصف حزيران 2020 بحق الشعب السوري، وبحق الدولة، لتشمل عقوباته مسؤولي الدولة السورية، وأجهزتها ومؤسّساتها وشركاتها وهيئاتها، وكلّ دولة أخرى تتعامل مع سورية، أو تساعدها على تنفيذ مشاريع فيها، أو تعمل على المشاركة في إعادة بناء المرافق التي هدمتها الحرب، حتى ولو كانت بعض المشاريع تنفذ مجاناً من قبل الدول او المنظمات او الشخصيات المانحة الصديقة.

لا يتوقف «قانون قيصر» عند هذا الحدّ، بل يشمل العقوبات المالية، وهي النوع الأخطر. إذ انه سيتمّ بموجبه، إلزام الدول والهيئات والمؤسسات المالية، وقف المنح والقروض التي قد تقدّم الى سورية، وكذلك المساعدات المالية، وتجميد الحسابات، ووقف الاستثمارات المباشرة وغير المباشرة. كما ستشمل العقوبات كلّ شركة أجنبية، تستثمر في قطاعي الطاقة والطيران، ومنعها من تزويد الطيران المدني السوري بقطع الغيار، أو القيام بأعمال الصيانة لصالحه. وسيفرض القانون أيضاً عقوبات على الدول والشركات التي تقوم بتوسيع قطاع الإنتاج المحلي للنفط والغاز السوري، حيث تستورد سورية أكثر من ستين بالمئة من حاجتها الى الغاز. كما سيعاقب «قانون قيصر» أيضاً، الشركات الأجنبية التي تعتزم التعامل مع سورية في مختلف المجالات، كما سيمنع المصارف الأجنبية من التعامل مع المصارف المحلية، بغية شلّ الحركة الاقتصادية، والمالية، بشكل واسع النطاق، مما سينعكس سلباً، وبشكل مباشر على النقد الوطني، وعلى تراجع سعر صرف الليرة السورية أمام الدولار الأميركي.

«قانون قيصر» الذي أراد منه ترامب على حدّ زعمه، حماية المدنيين في سورية، وتنحّي الرئيس بشار الأسد عن السلطة، ووقف دعم روسيا وإيران لدمشق، ووقف الحصار على المناطق التي تتواجد فيها الفصائل الإرهابية، المدعومة من قوى العدوان، وإحقاق العدالة لضحايا جرائم الحرب التي ارتكبها النظام السوري، على حدّ زعم عرّابي «قانون قيصر» ورعاته.

«قانون قيصر» يريد ان يجبر سورية على التوقف عن دعمها للمقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين ضدّ المحتلّ «الإسرائيلي»، والكفّ عن سعيها لامتلاك أسلحة متطوّرة، وعن السير في برنامج تطوير الصواريخ البالستية.

ما تريده الولايات المتحدة من سورية، من خلال قانون قيصرها، هو باختصار استسلام سورية للإرادة الأميركية، وتغيير النظام والنهج، والأسلوب والعقيدة، والمبادئ الوطنية، والاستراتيجية القومية، ومواقفها المقاومة، الداعمة للحق العربي، والرافضة بالشكل والأساس، لدولة الاحتلال الصهيوني، والتطبيع معها، وتصدّيها لنفوذ ومؤامرات قوى الهيمنة والعدوان المتواصلة ضدّها وضدّ شعوب أمتها.

«قانون قيصر» جاء ليعرّي الوجه الحقيقي للسياسة الأميركية حيال سورية، والأهداف المبيّتة ضدّها منذ عقود، وضدّ الأنظمة الحرة في المنطقة والعالم، التي آلت على نفسها ان تخرج من دائرة النفوذ والاستغلال الغربي، والتصدّي لها مهما كلف ذلك من ثمن وتضحيات.

انّ «قانون قيصر» الأحادي الجانب، الذي تريد من خلاله الولايات المتحدة، أن تلتزم دول العالم به، تحت التهديد بفرض العقوبات عليها، في حال عدم الأخذ به. يبيّن للعالم

مدى أبعاد البلطجة الأميركية، ومدى تأثير القانون على دول كبرى في أوروبا وخارجها، يكرهها رغماً عنها الالتزام به، وهو يحدّ من هيبتها، ومكانتها وقراراتها المستقلة، ويتعارض مع مصالحها وحقوقها السيادية.

انّ سورية التي استوعبت العقوبات الأميركية الظالمة منذ عام 1979، وحتى اليوم، قادرة بعزيمة قيادتها الوطنية العالية، ووعي شعبها، وإدراكها للذي تبيّته قوى العدوان ضدّها، وبصمود جيشها الذي أحبط كلّ الرهانات القذرة عليه، بأدائه وتماسكه ووحدته، قادرة على مواجهة تبعات «قانون قيصر» الجديد مهما غلت التضحيات، إذ تعرف سورية انّ هذا القانون الذي يستهدفها، وإنٍ حمل اسم «قانون قيصر»، فهو في الحقيقة، ليس إلا قانون القرصان.

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*وزير الخارجية الأسبق.

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Corona at a Time of War

Source

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 

In late January China sealed off Wuhan an industrial centre of about 11 million people . Though the Chinese government’s actions have been described as “Draconian” by some, with the passage of time they have also proven to be right.

As corona virus spread many countries tried to follow in China’s footsteps but were unable to and so the virus raged that the world might witness an immense corona virus explosion as reports indicate that in some poorer countries corona virus remains undetected or if detected has not been treated with the seriousness that it deserves.

The effects of the pandemic have not been limited to the health sector only but have had a volcanic effect on the world as we know it.

It revealed weaknesses in both countries and individuals  where so many countries hid behind the glamour of their state of the art technologies and their capitalist systems, corona came forcing them into the nude and depriving them of what they had thought of as “inalienable rights”. Maybe corona will change world order and countries that consider themselves in the lead will reconsider that claim. For to be in the lead is not only to have an abundance of guns and bombs, neither is it the ability to bully other countries into submissiveness but it is to have the backbone to stand straight in times of duress. It is never to forget our human compass, but foremost it is the ability to hold on to our principles, our ethics and our morals.

 With the rise of corona crime has in general plummeted. However, insecure and afraid people  have resorted to theft to secure their needs. Malls have been broken into and their goods stolen (Providence Mall, U.S.A. March23). Panic buying has led to many buying far more then their needs require, thus depriving others. But it is a more serious crime that should be looked into, for it seems that piracy has retuned to the forefront of the crime list. Countries have resorted to committing acts of piracy, stopping ships loaded with medical equipment and stealing what is on board. The U.S. was accused of diverting a shipment of masks intended for the German police. Others ships destined for particular countries never docked in the ports of these countries and their cargo was stolen.

Blame was distributed and distributed unjustly – China was blamed for the spread of corona when in reality the response of  European countries and the U.S.A was sluggish almost slow motion. Panic spread like wildfire and attacked health systems that were unprepared for the onslaught. The U.S. and the E.U. blamed each other and Trump’s decision to ban travel to the European Union (except for the UK, which has a rising number of infections) created an antagonistic atmosphere.

Bitterness spread amongst the countries of the E.U. Spain and Italy felt that they had been betrayed by the rest of the E.U. Italy witnessed the burning of EU flags on its streets, as well as Spain.

Russia and China however have rushed into help with China sending shipments of necessary medical supplies to European countries and even to the United States (though Trump has unceasingly referred to corona virus as the “Chinese Virus”).

The actions of both Russia and China have clearly portrayed to western countries that stereotyping is downright wrong and that they should, post corona, re think major aspects of intra European countries and should also specifically re think their strained relations with Russia and China. In this particular aspect capitalism has lost the war.

In the Middle East dealing with corona was never prioritized until late March. With so much fighting and confrontations going on, corona was dealt with as if it were a hazy danger one that couldn’t possibly be more threatening than all the shooting, killing and explosions that were already happening.  As a young reporter from Aleppo (Lama Al Khaly) put it “we have witnessed so much horror, seen so much bloodshed, prayed so much for our kidnapped ones and wept endlessly over our martyred loved ones that it has become so difficult to grapple with the idea of fighting an invisible enemy like the corona virus”. The idea of self isolation for Syrians who have lost their homes due to terrorism is sadly almost laughable. Many large families are cramped into one room with almost no help from UN humanitarian organizations and so the idea is simply not workable.

However the Syrian government took the necessary precautionary methods thus  reducing the risk of corona virus infections. It imposed a curfew, reduced the work load, banned all kinds of gatherings whether for joy or sorrow and suspended prayers. It will be a shy Ramadan this year for the Syrian lacking in its usual celebratory style. Even the ritual of Haj has been suspended this year (Haj is approximately two months and ten days after the end of Ramadan). Though banning Friday communal prayer and Sunday mass are thorny issues for most Syrians, they were accepted as they came within the package of precautionary measures in the fight against corona.

However for Syria the problem of fighting corona is for more complex and requires much more than imposing a curfew or a ban. Heavy sanctions imposed on Syria including ones in the pharmaceutical- field have led to shortages in many medicines (not forgetting that many factories that were specialized in the manufacture of medicines, mainly located in Aleppo were either dismantled and transported to Turkey or simply destroyed by the war. Syria prior to the war covered 97% of its own medical needs, even exporting to Arab and foreign countries). The U.S. and western medical sanctions on Syria have resulted in Syria having fewer ventilators then the bare minimum required- fewer raw medical supplies from which to produce effective medicine and fewer medical instrument. These sanctions are pointless as they have in no way affected the flow of the war but they have hit civilians hard-which makes them coercive and downright cruel. This collective punishment of a whole population during a pandemic is simply barbaric. Even the passage of aid ships to Syria has been forbidden.

There have been many calls made by Syria’s representative to the U.N to lift off international sanctions against Syria as they obstruct the country’s efforts to fight the corona virus.

Others joined in call for lifting the sanctions against Syria. Like Chine, Russia, the EU parliament and many other countries. The World Health Organization has also asked that sanctions be lifted off Syria. Up till now all these calls have fallen on deaf ears, as corona continues to spread worldwide.

Like all counties in the world the economy of Syria has been adversely affected. Many Syrians are day laborers and that pay has stopped with the current Corona. Businesses have shrunk and restaurateurs are out of work as all restaurants, coffee shops and eateries have been closed more than a month. Gingerly, Syria is reopening again, but the situation on the ground remains tense and Syrians are in need of a solution that is hard coming- a solution not only related to the corona virus but one that will ease their lives and allow them the medicaments they deserve to lighten the suffering of the ill.    

Editor in Chief

Reem Haddad                                   

باي باي أميركا جغرافيا العالم تُرسَم من جديد

محمد صادق الحسيني

في سبعينيات القرن الماضي، وفي معرض حديث صحافي له حول الصراع العربي الاسرائيلي، قال مستشار الامن القومي آنذاك، زبيغنيو بريجنسكي، باي باي PLO، ايّ وداعاً منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية…!

وهو بالطبع كان يقصد وداعاً للقضية الفلسطينية وثوارها نهائياً…!

ولكن القضية الفلسطينية والمنظمة لا زالت حية وحملة راية النضال والتحرير صاروا ذوي بأس اشدّ، رغم انف بريجنسكي، وحاملي تلك الراية الهادفة الى تحرير فلسطين وإعادة شعبها الى ارضه المغتصبة وإقامة دولته المستقلة وهم باقون على هذه الارض، بينما ذهب بريجنسكي وهو يمنّي النفس بزوال المنظمة ورواد التحرير…!

وها نحن اليوم نصل الى لحظة الحقيقة، التي تعكس موازين القوى الدولية والإقليمية والمحلية، والتي تجعلنا نقول: باي باي أميركا. نودع هذا البلد الذي هزم في كلّ معاركه بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية وها هو يُهزم في معركة وباء كورونا المنتشر في أرجاء العالم، ليس فقط من خلال فشل الإدارة الأميركية في التصدي للوباء، على أرض الولايات المتحدة، وانما من خلال الفشل الأكبر، على صعيد العالم أجمع، الذي لم يفاجأ بهذا الفشل.

فعندما يقوم الملياردير الصيني، جاك ما ( Jack Ma )، مؤسس وصاحب شركة علي بابا للتسوّق الالكتروني، بتقديم ثمانين مليون دولار لحكومة أوكرانيا لمساعدتها في التصدي لوباء كورونا، في الوقت الذي لم تقدّم فيه واشنطن لهذه الدولة، التي تحتاج المساعدة، سوى مليون ومئتي الف دولار، فإنّ هذا يعني الكثير…!

اذ انّ النشاط والحضور الصينيين في أوكرانيا لا يقتصر على هذا الملياردير وانما يتكامل مع نشاط الدولة الصينية، التي تستثمر أموالا طائلة في مجالات اقتصادية عدة، في هذا البلد الأوروبي الصناعي.

علماً انّ أهمّ تلك الاستثمارات هي تلك التي لا زالت قيد التفاوض، بين الحكومة الصينية وتلك الاوكرانية، حول شراء الصين للجزء الأكبر من المجمع الصناعي الاوكراني، الغاية في الأهمية، وهو مجمع: موتور سيخ Motor Sich. علماً ان هذا المجمع يضمّ أحد أكبر وأهمّ مصانع محركات الطائرات وتوربينات الغاز، التي تستعمل في محطات الطاقة، في العالم كله.

وانطلاقاً من هذا المثال، على الدور الصيني في مساعدة الدول المحتاجة في مواجهة وباء كورونا، فلا بدّ من الاشارة الى بعض العناصر الهامة، التي أدّت الى هزيمة الولايات المتحدة في الحرب العالمية البيولوجية التي لا زالت بعض معاركها في أوْجها او على اشدّها. ومن اهم تلك العناصر ما يلي:

1

ـ عدم امتلاك الولايات المتحدة لقاعدة البيانات اللازمة للتصدي لهذا الوباء، بسرعة ونجاعةٍ، كما فعلت الصين. اما سبب عدم امتلاكها لهذه القاعدة، التي تسمّى: «قاعدة البيانات الضخمة، او Big Data Base «، فيعود الى عدم امتلاكها للتكنولوجيا الضرورية لهذا الأمر. وهي التكنولوجيا التي يطلق عليها تكنولوجيا الجيل الخامس، او تكنولوجيا (5 G)، وما علينا الا النظر الى تصرفات الولايات المتحدة تجاه شركة هواوي، رائدة هذه التكنولوجيا في العالم، والحرب الشعواء التي تشنّها ضدّها على مستوى العالم. خاصة أنّ واشنطن تعلم تمام العلم انّ من يمتلك هذه التكنولوجيا هو مَن سيمتلك كرسي القيادة في العالم أجمع.

الصين استثمرت في قطاع المعرفة والعلوم وتطوير التكنولوجيا وتأهيل القوى البشرية، الضرورية لإدارة الحياة البشرية، في الصين وغيرها، مستقبلاً.

اما الولايات المتحده فقد استثمرت او استنفذت قدراتها المالية، ومنذ بداية الستينيات وحرب فيتنام في القرن الماضي وحتى اليوم، في سلسلة حروب عبثية فاشلة جعلتها أقرب الى الدولة الفاشلة غير القادرة على تأمين الكمامات حتى للأطباء الأميركيين في اهمّ المستشفيات الاميركية وليس فقط في المستشفيات الحكومية البائسة.

2

ـ عدم اقتصار الفشل، في مواجهة وباء كورونا، على الولايات المتحدة فقط وإنما امتداده الى أدواتها، في العالم أجمع. وهنا نشير بشكل محدّد الى كلّ من:

*الاتحاد الأوروبي.

*حلف شمال الأطلسي.

فعلى صعيد الاتحاد الأوروبي، وعند بدء اجتياح الوباء للدول الأوروبية، وعلى رأسها إيطاليا الأكثر تضرراً، امتنعت بقية الدول الأعضاء في الاتحاد الأوروبي عن تقديم أيّ دعم للحكومة الايطالية. لا بل إنّ حكومات مثل الحكومة الألمانية والهولندية قد منعت شركات القطاع الخاص من بيع مستلزمات طبية لإيطاليا وهي في أمَسّ الحاجة اليها. وكذلك فعلت الولايات المتحدة طبعاً، والتي لم تكتفِ بذلك، بل قرصنت كميات كبيرة من المستلزمات الطبية من شركات إيطالية، ونقلتها الى الولايات المتحدة بواسطة طائرات النقل العسكرية الاميركية، التي لا تخضع لرقابة الدولة الإيطالية.

كما استخدمت دول الاتحاد الأوروبي هذه السياسة تجاه اسبانيا ودول البلطيق، التي لم تجد من يقدّم لها المساعدة سوى روسيا والصين، تماماً كما حصل مع إيطاليا، عندما أقامت روسيا والصين جسراً جوياً نقل كميات ضخمة من المساعدات الطبية، الى جانب مئات الكوادر الطبية والاختصاصيين في الحرب البيولوجية والكيماوية والنووية (مهمات تطهير وتعقيم المستشفيات والمنشآت العامة).

ولعلنا نذكر قيام الرئيس الصربي بتقبيل العلم الصيني، كتعبير عن عمق شكره للصين حكومة وشعباً، وكذلك قيام الكثير من الإيطاليين باستبدال علم الاتحاد الأوروبي بعلم الصين او روسيا.

وهو ما يعني فشل الإدارة الأميركية السياسية، في أوروبا في تثبيت او تعزيز نفوذها في هذه القارة، الأمر الذي اضطرها للطلب من المسؤولين الألمان وغيرهم من التحرّك تجاه دول البلقان لعدم إفساح المجال لمزيد من تعزيز النفوذ الصيني الروسي في هذه المنطقة من العالم. وقد أجرت المستشارة الألمانية سلسلة اتصالات مع حكومات دول البلقان ثم أعلن الاتحاد الأوروبي عن تشكيل هيئة، أسماها: حملة المجموعة الأوروبية (Europe Team Campain) لمساعدة تلك الدول.

اما على صعيد حلف شمال الأطلسي، الأداة العسكرية للولايات المتحدة في أوروبا والعالم، فلا بدّ من التأكيد على انّ فشله لم يكن أقلّ من فشل الاتحاد الأوروبي، في التصدّي لوباء كورونا، فبدلاً من قيام قواعده العسكرية، المنتشرة في كلّ الدول الاوروبية، بما في ذلك دول البلقان، بتقديم المساعدات للدول المحتاجة، وبفتح مستشفياته العسكرية لمعالجة المصابين بالوباء، فانّ هذا الحلف قد صمَّ آذانه وأغلق عيونه عما يحصل في دول تمركز قواعده.

وهو الأمر الذي جعل كلاً من الصين الشعبية وروسيا تنطلق للإمساك بزمام المبادرة في تقديم المساعدات الطبية والتقنية لكلّ الدول المحتاجة. حيث أرسلت وزارة الدفاع الروسية والصينية عشرات طائرات النقل العسكرية، محمّلة بالمساعدات، وكان من بين الدول التي تلقت مساعدات من هذا النوع الولايات المتحدة نفسها.

3

ـ لكن الأمر لا يقتصر على المساعدات الطبية، المقدّمة من الصين الشعبية وروسيا وجمهورية كوبا الى الدول التي احتاجت لها، بل يتعدّى ذلك الى الأبعاد الاقتصادية والسياسية والعسكرية والاستراتيجية، على صعيد العالم كله. اذ انّ هذا الدور والحضور الدولي الواسع الذي قامت به كل من الصين الشعبية وروسيا يعزز نفوذهما ودورهما الدوليين، وعلى كلّ الأصعدة. الأمر الذي يضع الموقع الأميركي في الدرجة الثانية، من حيث التأثير على السياسات الدولية وبالتالي على طرق وأساليب حلّ الصراعات الدوليّة القائمة حالياً. كما أنّ هذا الواقع يخلق الظروف الموضوعية الضرورية لهندسة العلاقات الدولية على أسس جديدة، او تغيير قواعد الاشتباك كما يقال بلغة العسكريين، ونعني بأسس العلاقات الدولية الجديدة تلك القائمة على التعاون الاقتصادي والتفاهم المشترك واحترام قواعد القانون الدولي الناظمة لكلّ العلاقات الدولية.

وهو الأمر الذي سيقود الى تغيير جذري في كلّ مجالات حياة المجتمع البشري، والى وضع أفضل مما هو عليه الآن، خاصة أنّ التكنولوجيا المعلوماتية الجديدة سيكون لها الدور الأساسي، في كلّ الخطط والعلاقات المشتركة بين البشر في المستقبل، والتي من بينها وسائل وأدوات الإنتاج في القطاع الاقتصادي.

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ـ وبالنظر الى التراجع الذي شهده الدور الأميركي وأدواته الأوروبية، على صعيد النفوذ في العالم كما في مجال التطور العلمي التكنولوجي، فقد اقترح الكاتب الأميركي دانييل پي ڤايديخ (Daniel P. Vajdich) في موضوع نشره في مجلة

Is the United States About to Engage in Official State Piracy Against China? Strong Precedent Points to Worrying Trend

April 18, 2020

by A. B. Abrams for The Saker Blog

Is the United States About to Engage in Official State Piracy Against China? Strong Precedent Points to Worrying Trend

The Coronavirus crisis appears set to herald a new era of much poorer relations between China and the Western world, with Western countries having borne the brunt of the fallout from the pandemic and, particularly in the United States, increasingly blaming China at an official level for the effects.[1] Looking at the U.S. case in particular, at first responses to the virus were if anything optimistic – the fallout in China was seen as a ‘correction’ which would shift the balance of global economic power back into Western hands. Indeed, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated on January 30th that the fallout from the virus in China “will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America” with millions at the time placed under lockdown in Wuhan and elsewhere.[2] Western publications from the New York Times to the Guardian widely hailed the virus as potentially bringing an end to China’s decades of rapid economic growth – with a ‘rebalancing’ of the global economy towards Western power strongly implied.[3],[4] Against North Korea, the New York Times described the virus as potentially functioning as America’s “most effective ally” in achieving the outcome Washington had long sought – “choking the North’s economy.” [5]

The result, however, has if anything been strong resilience to the virus across much of East Asia, with Vietnam and South Korea being prime examples of successful handling alongside Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland – in contrast to a very sluggish and often ineffective response in the West.[6] From rot filled and broken emergency supplies in the U.S. national reserve[7] to nurses wearing bin bags due a lack of protective equipment,[8] the commandeering of supplies heading to other countries, [9] and the enlistment of prison labour to build mass graves in New York City[10] – signs have unanimously pointed to chaos. It should be pointed out that the U.S. reported its first case on the same day as South Korea – which had the virus fully under control several weeks earlier due to more effective handling and a lack of complacency.[11] The U.S. and wider Western world had a major advantage in its warning time over China in particular, but effectively squandered it.[12]

The results of the fallout from the Coronavirus in the Western world, and in the U.S. in particular, could be extremely serious given the context of escalating American pressure on China in the leadup to the outbreak. Blaming China for the virus across American press and in the White House itself – despite it having reached America primarily from Europe rather than Asia[13] – has heralded mass hate crimes against the Asian American community of unprecedented seriousness and scale since the targeting of Japanese-Americans in the 1940s.[14] Perhaps even more seriously, however, the official American response as public opinion is directed against China appears set to place the world’s two largest economies on a potentially catastrophic collision course. On April 14th U.S. Senator Josh Hawley unveiled highly provocative legislation which would strip China of its sovereign immunity in American courts and allow Americans to sue China’s ruling Communist Party directly for the damages caused by the coronavirus crisis.[15] Such legislation relies heavily on growing anti-Chinese sentiments and depictions of China as directly responsible – and contradicts evidence from the World Health Organisation among others that China’s response effectively stalled the global spread of the virus at its own expense with its lockdown.[16]

An unbiased analysts shows that the disproportionate fallout in the Western world relative to East Asia is overwhelmingly due to poor preparation – and had effective South Korean style measures been implemented from the outset America would have seen only a small fraction of the cases it currently suffers from.[17] Nevertheless, calls from the U.S. and to a lesser extent from within other Western states[18] to make China foot the bill are manifold. Scholars from the American Enterprise Institute and Stanford University’s Hoover Institution among others have made direct calls for Western states to unilaterally “seize the assets of Chinese state-owned companies,” cancel debts to China and expropriate Chinese overseas assets “in compensation for coronavirus losses.”[19] The Florida based firm the Berman Law Group has already filed two major lawsuits suing China calling for compensation for the outbreak – and the situation looks set to worsen considerably with many more suits to follow. Regarding how the crisis could play out, and how the U.S. could act on its massive claims against China over the virus which are expected to be in the hundreds of billions at least, there is an important precedent for American courts providing similar compensation to alleged victims of an East Asian government and the American state taking action accordingly – that of the Otto Warmbier case in 2018. Assessment of the Warmbier case sets a very important precedent with very considerable implications for the outcome of a Sino-American dispute.

Otto Warmbier was an American student arrested in North Korea in 2016 for stealing a poster and violating a restricted high security area in Pyongyang. The student was returned to the U.S. the following year in a comatose state, with his parents alleging that his teeth had been artificially rearranged and his body showed signs of torture. This was strongly contradicted by medical analyses, with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office carrying out an external examination of Warmbier’s body and dismissing the claim by his father that his teeth had been pulled out and rearranged by the North Koreans. “The teeth are natural and in good repair,” the office concluded, after Warmbier’s father had sensationally claimed that “his bottom teeth look like they [the Koreans] had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged them.” Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Kode Sammarco stated addressing the claim of forced rearranging of Otto’s teeth: ”I felt very comfortable that there wasn’t any evidence of trauma. We were surprised at the [parents’] statement.” She said her team, which included a forensic dentist, thoroughly evaluated the body and assessed various scans of his body.[20] Medical assessments showed no signs of mistreatment or any trauma to the student’s head or skull, with a blood clot, pneumonia, sepsis, kidney failure, and sleeping pills were also cited as potential causes of death.[21] Nevertheless, Warmbier’s parents would continue to claim against all available evidence that their son had been tortured to death – filing a lawsuit against the North Korean government. Where a full autopsy could have provided data to more completely undermine their claims, and was strongly recommended by doctors, they were adamant in their refusal and no autopsy was carried out. Forensic scientists were highly critical of this unusual and unexpected decision in this critical case.[22]

In response to the Warmbers’ claim against the North Korean state, which amounted to a staggering $1.05 billion in punitive damages and around $46 million for the family’s suffering in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Washington in October 2018, Pyongyang was asked to pay the couple $500 million.[23] This was despite no evidence for the couple’s claims of Korean culpability, but at a time when public opinion was strongly against North Korea and would have supported the motion. To seize the Warmbiers’ compensation, the United States Navy would later that year commandeer a North Korean cargo ship, the Wise Honest, and escort it to American territory where it was subsequently sold at auction. The couple was provided with a part of the ship’s value, and future seizures of Korean merchant shipping to meet the remainder of the American family’s claim remain possible under U.S. law.[24] The seizure of the ship, one of North Korea’s largest, represented a considerable loss to its fleet and complemented the effects of ongoing Western sanctions to undermine the country’s economy.

The significance of the Warmbier case is that it provides a strong precedent for the U.S. Military, should China inevitably refuse to pay the hundreds billions expected to be demanded in compensation, to engage in effective state level piracy against Chinese merchant shipping to provide funds for its increasingly struggling economy.[25] With trade war having failed to significantly slow Chinese economic growth and foreign trade, which had been its primary goal,[26] more drastic means may be adopted for the same end using the Coronavirus crisis as a pretext. Other similar recent cases of do exist, including unilateral seizure and sale of Iranian government owned properties by the Canadian government in 2019 to compensate alleged victims of terror of conflicts with Hezbollah and Hamas. This was despite neither of these being UN recognised terrorist organisations and Iran’s support for these non-state actors being entirely legal under international law.[27] The fact that these properties were on Canadian soil and governed under Canadian law however, rather than in international waters, makes this a considerably less provocative case than the Warmbier case one or than what is being proposed against China.

Further evidence that the U.S. would consider unilateral commandeering of shipping against China was provided by the U.S. Naval Institute, which in April published an important paper titled ‘Unleash the Privateers’ highlighting that it remained legal under American law for U.S. security firms to be tasked with commandeering and either sinking or capturing and selling Chinese merchant ships in the event of conflict. It highlighted that China was the largest trading nation in the world with a merchant fleet several times the size of its American counterpart – and that this provided a vulnerability the U.S. should be willing to exploit.[28] Taken together, the circumstances surrounding claims against China and moves to strip it of its sovereign immunity, the Warmbier precedent, the well timed and extremely radical naval institute paper and above all America’s need to reverse its losses and undermine China’s growing trade and economic prosperity to perpetuate its own hegemony, between them point to a high possibility of the U.S. adopting state level piracy against Chinese shipping as a future policy. While evidence strongly contradicts claims that China is responsible for the Coronavirus and the massive fallout the U.S. is now experiencing – much as evidence from American coroners and forensic scientists contradicted the claims of the Warmbier family – these inconvenient facts are highly unlikely to prevent the U.S. from taking action to secure its perceived rightful place as the leader of the global economy by seizing what it sees as its rightful property through attacks on Chinese trading vessels.

It is by no means a certainty that the United States will engage in such an escalatory course of action, and the nature of the overall Western response beyond the current harsh rhetoric and unfounded accusations is yet to be seen. It is important at this stage, however, to highlight the not insignificant possibility such a course will be taken by the U.S. and other Western parties to reverse the trend towards a decline in their economic positions relative to China. Repercussions from such seizures will almost certainly be far more severe than the relatively muted global response to the seizure and sale of a commandeered North Korean ship two years prior. While China’s Navy is concentrated in the Western Pacific and is poorly placed to defend its trade routes from the global reach of Western warships, Beijing and its allies have a wide range of means to retaliate which could deter the Western powers from taking such a course of action.

  1. ‘Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak,’ New York Times (accessed April 16, 2020). 
  2. Staracqualursi, Veronica and Davis, Richard, ‘Commerce secretary says coronavirus will help bring jobs to North America,’ CNN, January 30, 2020. 
  3. Bradsher, Keith, ‘Coronavirus Could End China’s Decades-Long Economic Growth Streak,’ New York Times, March 16, 2020. 
  4. Davidson, Helen, ‘Coronavirus deals China’s economy a “bigger blow than global financial crisis,”’ The Guardian, March 16, 2020. 
  5. Koettl, Christoph, ‘Coronavirus Is Idling North Korea’s Ships Achieving What Sanctions Did Not,’ New York Times, March 26, 2020. 
  6. Graham-Harrison, Emma, ‘Coronavirus: how Asian countries acted while the west dithered,’ The Guardian, March 21, 2020.Inkster, Ian, ‘In the battle against the coronavirus, East Asian societies and cultures have the edge,’ South China Morning Post, April 10, 2020. 
  7. Chandler, Kim, ‘Some states receive masks with dry rot, broken ventilators,’ Associated Press, April 4, 2020. 
  8. Glasser, Susan B., ‘How Did the U.S. End Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags?,’ The New Yorker, April 9, 2020. 
  9. ‘US Seizes Ventilators Destined for Barbados,’ Telesur, April 5, 2020.Willsher, Kim and Holmes, Oliver and. McKernan, Bethan and Tondo, Lorenzo, ‘US hijacking mask shipments in rush for coronavirus protection,’ The Guardian, April 3, 2020.Lister, Tim and Shukla, Sebastian and Bobille, Fanny, ‘Coronavirus sparks a ‘war for masks’ as accusations fly,’ CNN, April 3, 2020. 
  10. Crane, Emily, ‘Workers in full Hazmat suits bury rows of coffins in Hart Island mass grave as NYC officials confirm coronavirus victims WILL be buried there if their bodies aren’t claimed within two weeks after death toll rises to 4,778,’ Daily Mail, April 9, 2020. 
  11. ‘Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus,’ Reuters, March 18, 2020.‘Once the biggest outbreak outside of China, South Korean city reports zero new coronavirus cases,’ Reuters, April 10, 2020. 
  12. Johnson, Ian, ‘China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It,’ New York Times, March 13, 2020. 
  13. ‘New York coronavirus outbreak originated in Europe, studies show,’ The Hill, April 9, 2020. 
  14. De Souza, Alison, ‘Asian Americans tell harrowing stories of abuse amid coronavirus outbreak in the US,’ Straits Times, April 1, 2020.Chapman, Ben, ‘New York City Sees Rise in Coronavirus Hate Crimes Against Asians,’ Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2020. 
  15. Schultz, Maarisa, ‘Sen Hawley: Let coronavirus victims sue Chinese Communist Party,’ Fox News, April 14, 2020. 
  16. Wang, Yanan, ‘New virus cases fall; WHO says China bought the world time,’ Associated Press, February 15, 2020.Johnson, Ian, ‘China Bought the West Time. The West Squandered It,’ New York Times, March 13, 2020. 
  17. ‘Special Report: How Korea trounced U.S. in race to test people for coronavirus,’ Reuters, March 18, 2020.‘Once the biggest outbreak outside of China, South Korean city reports zero new coronavirus cases,’ Reuters, April 10, 2020. 
  18. Cole, Harry, ‘China owes us £351 billion: Britain should pursue Beijing through international courts for coronavirus compensation, major study claims as 15 top top Tories urge “reset” in UK relations with country,’ Daily Mail, April 5, 2020. 
  19. Stradner, Ivana and Yoo, John, ‘How to Make China Pay,’ American Enterprise Institute, April 6, 2020. 
  20. Nedelman, Michael, ‘Coroner found no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier,’ CNN, September 29, 2017. 
  21. Lockett, Jon, ‘Tragic student Otto Warmbier ‘may have attempted suicide’ in North Korean prison after being sentenced to 15 years for stealing poster,’ The Sun, July 28, 2018.Basu, Zachary, ‘What we’re reading: What happened to Otto Warmbier in North Korea,’ Axios, July 25, 2018.Tingle, Rory, ‘Otto Warmbier’s brain damage that led to his death was caused by a SUICIDE ATTEMPT rather than torture by North Korean prison guards, report claims,’ Daily Mail, July 25, 2018.Fox, Maggie, ’What killed Otto Warmbier?’ NBC News, June 20, 2017.Tinker, Ben, ‘What an autopsy may (or may not) have revealed about Otto Warmbier’s death,’ CNN, June 22, 2017.Nedelman, Michael, ‘Coroner found no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier,’ CNN, September 29, 2017. 
  22. Tinker, Ben, ‘What an autopsy may (or may not) have revealed about Otto Warmbier’s death,’ CNN, June 22, 2017.Nedelman, Michael, ‘Coroner found no obvious signs of torture on Otto Warmbier,’ CNN, September 29, 2017. 
  23. Brookbank, Sarah, ‘Family of Otto Warmbier awarded $500 million in lawsuit against North Korea,’ USA Today, December 24, 2018. 
  24. Lee, Christy, ‘U.S. Marshals to Sell Seized North Korean Cargo Ship,’ VOA, July 27, 2019.‘Seized North Korean cargo ship sold to compensate parents of Otto Warmbier, others,’ Navy Times, October 9, 2019. 
  25. Blyth, Mark, ‘The U.S. Economy Is Uniquely Vulnerable to the Coronavirus,’ Foreign Affairs, March 30, 2020.Schulze, Elizabeth, ‘The coronavirus recession is unlike any economic downturn in US history,’ CNBC, April 8, 2020.Schwartz, Nelson D., ‘Coronavirus Recession Looms, Its Course “Unrecognizable,”’ New York Times, April 1, 2020.Davies, Rob, ‘Coronavirus means a bad recession – at least – says JP Morgan boss,’ The Guardian, April 6, 2020.Lowrey, Annie, ‘Millennials Don’t Stand a Chance,’ The Atlantic, April 13, 2020. 
  26. Wei, Liu, ‘Trump’s Trade War on China Is About More Than Trade,’ The Diplomat, July 20, 2018. 
  27. Bell, Stewart, ‘Iran’s properties in Canada sold, proceeds handed to terror victims,’ Global News, September 12, 2019. 
  28. Cancian, Mark and Schwartz, Brandon, ‘Unleash the Privateers!,’ U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 146, no. 2, issue 1406, April 2020. 

Unmasked: NATO’s Dog-Eat-Dog Pandemic Reaction

Finian CunninghamApril 10, 2020

Unmasked: NATO's Dog-Eat-Dog Pandemic Reaction - Islam Times

Despite its charter proclaiming mutual defense and security, the NATO military alliance is showing a rather unbecoming dog-eat-dog individualistic reaction in coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States, the top dog in the 30-member pack of nations, is accused of “modern piracy” after it nabbed consignments of face masks which were bound for allies Canada, France and Germany to help those nations fight against soaring epidemics of the disease.

To think too that only last year, NATO celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1949 with lots of fanfare and vain self-congratulations of how noble the alliance is. Skeptics, though, see the bloc as a Cold War relic whose security claims are but empty Orwellian excuses for warmongering and propping up obscenely wasteful corporate militarism.

The latest incident involved the alleged commandeering of 200,000 anti-infection surgical masks by the US which had been originally ordered by German authorities for police officers in Berlin. The shipment was intercepted in Thailand and directed to the US instead.

It appears that the US firm, 3M, which sources the facial masks in China, was mandated by the Trump administration to increase its exports to the US due to the emergency circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, thereby over-riding the transaction with Germany.

However, Berlin state minister Andreas Geisel condemned the US intervention as “modern day piracy”.

There have been similar reports of medical equipment bound for Canada and France also being intercepted by US authorities. Last week, a planeload of masks about to take off from Shanghai for France was bought up by American officials who turned up at the airport at the last minute wielding wads of cash.

Washington has denied the American actions are underhand. Well, maybe not underhand, but the Wild West-style capitalism of outbidding others with bigger bucks over life-saving medical material certainly seems unethical. And what about all that jive about mutual defense and security? Where’s the fraternal coordination in a crisis?

It’s not just the US which is seen as saving its own skin in a panic. Germany and France have also imposed export bans on their companies sending medical supplies to other European countries. That has led to grievances voiced by Serbian leader Alexander Vucic and others complaining that there is no European solidarity.

Even European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was obliged to rebuke EU states for not displaying sufficient solidarity and for closing off borders and supplies to others in need from the pandemic.

In Italy and Spain, where deaths have soared above 10,000 in recent weeks, there has been popular outrage over the lack of collective response from European and NATO allies.

Given the rapidly growing threat to public health from the Covid-19 pandemic it is understandable that nations are taking desperate measures. From an initial indifference towards the disease in the US, the authorities there are now increasingly fearful that the infections and death toll may spiral out of control.

Last week, the global infection number surpassed one million with more than a quarter of those being in the US. The American death toll may peak at multiples of what we have seen in China or Europe. This is especially because of the deprived social conditions of American workers and due to under-resourced for-profit public health services.

Coming in an election year, President Trump is seeing his reelection hopes potentially going up in smoke along with the economy hit by coronavirus. That no doubt compels his administration to pull out all the stops to contain the pandemic, which would explain the snatching of vital medical equipment from allies.

No doubt too that was why Trump gratefully accepted medical aid sent from Russia last week. The US has also received supplies from China. Which puts into perspective how tawdry are American sanctions on Moscow and Trump’s trade-war wrangling with Beijing is.

Russia and China have both despatched medical aid to Italy to help it cope with the crisis. The Italian government and public have acknowleged the show of solidarity with gratitude.

Ironically, and cheaply, some US media outlets and European parliamentarians have accused Russia and China of exploiting the pandemic for alleged propaganda purposes. It is claimed that Russian and Chinese media are spreading disinformation over Covid-19 with the objective of undermining NATO and the European Union. That’s just another iteration of the usual anti-Russia mentality which is fixated on the notion of a supposed Kremlin plot to “destroy Western democracies”.

NATO and the EU are doing a pretty fine job of undermining themselves, never mind purported input from Russia or China.

The only time NATO seems to show “solidarity” is when its member-nations attack and destroy weaker foreign countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Somalia – at the behest of top-dog USA. When the chips are down, however, and survival instincts kick in, then it’s dog-eat-dog with a snarling “Screw You!”

The saga of stealing masks from one another is surely truth-by-parody.

مخاطر الأزمة

سعادة مصطفى ارشيد

يخوض الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب معركة الدعاية الانتخابية للرئاسة الأميركية مبكراً وقبل موعدها بكثير، مكرهاً على ذلك ومن موقع الضعف واختلال الثقة، فليس من دعاية انتخابية معاكسة له او مؤيدة لمنافسه سواء كان بايدن او غيره خير من الواقع الملموس الذي تعيشه الولايات المتحدة، أولاً بسبب وباء الكورونا وسياسات ترامب الخرقاء في إدارة الأزمة داخلياً وخارجياً، وثانياً بسبب تهافت أدائه خلال سنوات توليه الرئاسة، في الشكل والمضمون، الأمر الذي دعا المفكر الصديق فاضل الربيعي لأن يقارنه بالرئيس الروسي الأسبق بوريس يلتسين، وأن يقارن اللحظة الأميركية الراهنة باللحظة السوفياتية في عهد يلتسين وقبيل الانهيار الكبير للاتحاد السوفياتي.

على الصعيد الداخلي فقد بدا ترامب على حقيقته الفظة المتوحّشة. وهذه الحقيقة وانْ كان لا يخجل من إبدائها في السابق، لكنه كان يطلقها باتجاه خارجي، تجاه أوروبا وروسيا وإيران والصين، وحتى باتجاه أصدقائه السعوديين الذين لا يرى منهم إلا أموالهم ونفطهم، لكنه في هذه الأزمة فقد بدا على القدر ذاته من الانحطاط حتى في داخل بلاده وتجاه شعبه وجمهور ناخبيه، رجل بلا أخلاق، بلا مشاعر، مسعور جشع، لا يهمّه سوى المال والاقتصاد والبورصات والأسهم والسندات، ولكن فضيلة وباء الكورونا – إنْ كان لدى الوباء من فضائل – هي أنها فضحت تلك الايدولوجيا الرأسمالية وأزاحت عنها ستار ما تدّعيه من أنها مجتمع الرفاه والاستهلاك والترف، فبدت عارية من مساحيق التجميل، لئيمة وقذرة ومتوحشة. فالإنسان مهمّ بقدر ما هو قادر على العمل الذي يزوّد خزائنها بالمال، لذا تعقد هذه النظرية المقارنة على شكل معادلة رياضية: أيهما يعود بالنفع والمال أكثر، مكافحة الفيروس والقضاء على الوباء أم ترك الفايروس طليقاً ليدور دورته ويقتل الفائض عن حاجات الإنتاج من كبار السنّ وذوي الإعاقة والمرضى بأمراض مزمنة، مَن الذين يثقلون على صناديق الرعاية الصحية والمجتمعية بأكلاف علاجهم ورعايتهم، وهم لا يقومون مقابل ما يُصرَف عليهم بأيّ عمل منتج؟

على الصعيد الخارجي لا يجد ترامب وإدارته عيباً في السطو على مئتي قناع طبي كانت في طريقها من بانكوك إلى ألمانيا، بعد أن اشترتها الحكومة الألمانية ودفعت ثمنها، فمن يتابع التصريحات الأميركية لفظاً والمسلكيات عملاً، لا يجد وصفاً سياسياً لها وإنما يلجأ الى مستوىً متدنٍّ من الوصف، إنه سلوك الأزعر الذي يمارس البلطجة في الحواري والأزقة التي لا تصل إليها أيدي القانون، غير آبه بعيب او حرام، بقيم او بأخلاق.

في مجال خارجي آخر، فإنّ ترامب يرى من حقه توزيع الاتهامات لأيّ كان إلا لإدارته، مرة على الصين وأخرى على منظمة الصحة العالمية التي اتهمها بحجب معلومات عن الوباء في مدينة ووهان الصينية والتي لو توفرت حسب ما يقول لمنعت انتشار الوباء ووصوله الى بلاده، وتواترت الأنباء أثناء كتابة هذا المقال أنّ ترامب قد اتخذ قراره بوقف مساهمة بلاده في ميزانية منظمة الصحة العالمية.

احتمال لا يزال قائماً لدى عقلية كهذه في الهروب الى الأمام، فقد يجد ترامب في الحرب او المواجهات العنيفة مخرجاً من فشله، فها هو يلوح بالحرب حيناً على إيران وحيناً آخر على فنزويلا والصين بذرائع واهية لم يعد يحتملها حلفاؤه قبل أعدائه، ولكن تلك الدول بطبيعتها ليست لقمة سائغة او مكسر عصا، الأمر الذي قد يجعل من مواجهتها مغامرة غير محسوبة وتعود عليه بأفدح الخسائر. الأمر الذي قد يدعوه لتجربة حظه مع إحدى جمهوريات الموز في أميركا الوسطى أو إحدى أشباه الدول المنسيّة في أرخبيل الجزر في البحر الكاريبي وخليج المكسيك.

في مشرقنا وفي فلسطين، لا زال بن يامين نتنياهو يتصرّف كساحر ومقامر يقف الحظ الى جانبه، تخدمه الظروف والمصائب والأوبئة حتى اليوم، وهو باقٍ في مكانه رئيساً للحكومة الحالية، وليس في عجلة من أمره لتشكيل الحكومة اللاحقة، لذلك فهو يطيل من أمد المشاورات والمفاوضات مع الأحزاب والكتل البرلمانية، يستدرج بعضها ويفتّت بعضها ويهمل بعضها، وهو يعلن بصريح القول: “سنطبق السيادة الإسرائيلية على غور الأردن وبدعم أميركي كامل. هذه الأرض أرضنا، أرض إسرائيل، أرض التوراة، أرض الآباء والأجداد، عدنا إليها لنبقى لا لنغادر”. هذه التصريحات أصبحت مكان إجماع بينه وبين خصمه السابق وربما شريكه اللاحق بني غانتس وغيره من المرشحين لدخول الحكومة، لقد فرض عليهم ذلك دون عناء، فهم بالأصل يملكون النظرة ذاتها؛ الأمر الذي لا يثير استغراب المتابع للأحوال السياسية في “إسرائيل”، فما كانوا قد اختلفوا عليه لم يكن ولا مرة واحدة مسائل تتعلق بالسياسات الخاصة بما تبقى من أرض فلسطين وشعب فلسطين، وإنما خلافات حول تقاسم الوظائف والمواقع، وقد صرّح ناطق رفيع باسم حزب “أزرق أبيض” مؤخراً: “بغضّ النظر عن تفاهمنا مع نتنياهو حول مسألة السيادة الإسرائيلية على المستوطنات والأغوار، إلا أننا على غير استعداد لتقديم أدنى تنازل في مسألة اختيار القضاة”.

بهذا يكون بن يامين نتنياهو مرتاحاً في سيره البطيء، فموضوع الحكومة وإنْ تعثر فهو في النهاية من نصيبه، ومسألة ضمّ أراضي المستوطنات والأغوار قرار قد اتخذه وبقي إعلانه وتطبيقه على أرض الواقع، فهو مطلق اليدين معطى الحرية ليفعل ما يريد، أمامه وأمام دولة الاحتلال فرصة قد لا تتكرّر وتمتدّ الى الثالث من تشرين الثاني موعد الانتخابات الرئاسية في الولايات المتحدة.

صحيفة “التايم” الانجليزية العريقة والمحافظة تنشر مقالاً تتساءل فيه عن شكل العالم الجديد الذي هو قيد التشكل وتستطرد في السؤال هل سنشهد نهاية العهد الأميركي؟ الأمر الذي تؤكده وتضيف انّ العالم سيشهد تشكيل هياكل عالمية جديدة، هذه الأخطار التي تواجه العالم عموماً وتواجهنا خصوصاً ذات علاقة بتداعيات الوباء، ولا تقلّ خطراً علينا من الوباء نفسه، فعلينا الاستعداد لأيام مقبلة لا تقتصر على تحدي الكورونا وإنما تتجاوزه بكثير…

*سياسيّ فلسطينيّ مقيم في الضفة الغربية.

«تايتانك» أميركا تغرق والربيع الصينيّ يجتاح العالم!

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ شيء في زمن الكورونا يشي بانهيار منظومة أو معادلة المنتصرين في الحرب العالمية الثانية وتبلور منظومة جديدة بديلة لها رويداً رويداً..!

إنّ الصراع الدولي المحتدم، بين قوى الإمبريالية العالمية بقيادة الولايات المتحدة والدول الداعية الى إقامة علاقات دولية قائمة على المنافع المشتركة بعيداً عن روح الهيمنة والسيطرة على ثروات الشعوب ومنع استكمال الدول لسيادتها على أراضيها وثرواتها ومسيرتها المستقبلية، التي تحدد استقلالها الاقتصادي وتأمين نمو وتطور شعوبها من عدمه، في ظلّ اجتياح وباء كورونا لمعظم دول العالم قد بدأ يأخذ أبعاداً استراتيجية ستقود العالم الى تغييرات جذرية في قيادته.

وأولى نتائجه الحتمية ستكون إنهاء سيطرة الولايات المتحدة على القرار الدولي وعلى قيادة العالم، وهو تحوّل نوعي لم يحدث منذ انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي حتى الآن.

فالولايات المتحدة، التي ظلّ ينكر رئيسها بكلّ صلف وعنصرية وجود وباء كورونا حتى قبل أيّام، أصبحت هي المركز الرئيسي لهذا الوباء في العالم، مما جعلها في موقف أكثر ضعفاً في حروبها التجارية ضدّ الصين وفي فرض عقوباتها على روسيا وإيران وسورية وغيرها من الدول. فها هي مجموعة الـ 77 وغيرها من القوى الدولية تطالب الولايات المتحدة بإنهاء عقوباتها ضدّ إيران وغيرها. كما انّ الصين وروسيا كانتا تناديان بذلك منذ أمد بعيد.

من جهة أخرى فإنّ مظاهر الضعف، التي تعاني منها واشنطن، لا تقتصر فقط على فشلها في التصدي لوباء كورونا في الولايات والمدن الأميركية، إنما كذلك في فشلها الذريع في حماية العسكريين الأميركيين من هذا الوباء. فبعد إصابة أكثر من 1500 من موظفي البنتاغون بوباء كورونا ها هم جنود البحريه الأميركية، على متن حاملة الطائرات الأميركية، ثيودور روزفلت، المنتشرة في غرب المحيط الهادئ (جزيرة غوام) مع مجموعتها القتالية، التي تعمل بالطاقة النووية، وعلى متنها 5000 بحار أصيب عدد منهم بالوباء مما اضطر قائد الحاملة، الكابتن بريت كروزيير، إلى طلب الاستغاثة من مسؤوليه والذين أصدروا أمراً بطرده قبل يومين، من سلاح البحرية الأميركية، بدل إغاثته، ولكنهم اضطروا، على الرغم من ذلك، الى إخلاء أربعة آلاف من أولئك البحارة وإخضاعهم للحجر.

ولم يقف الأمر عند حاملة الطائرات، ثيودور روزفلت، بل إنّ عدداً من بحارة حاملة الطائرات الأميركية، رونالد ريغان، المنتشرة مع مجموعتها القتالية، كجزء من الأسطول السابع الأميركي، في قاعدة يوكوسوكا Yukosuka البحرية في اليابان وقد اضطرت قيادة سلاح البحرية الأميركية الى إخلاء الآلاف من بحارتها الى اليابسة وإخضاعهم للحجر أيضاً.

ولكن ما علاقة هذا بذاك؟ أيّ ما هي العلاقة بين إصابات الجنود الأميركيين بوباء كورونا وصراع بلادهم مع الصين حول قيادة العالم؟

لتوضيح هذه العلاقة لا بدّ من الإضاءة على بعض النقاط المهمة، التي لا تُرى بالعين المجردة، تماماً كما هو حال فيروس كورونا. ومن بين أهمّ هذه النقاط ما يلي:

1

ـ إنّ إصابة قرابة عشرة آلاف بحار أميركي، في المحيط الهادئ وبحر اليابان، بوباء كورونا وخروجهم من الخدمة عملياً، يعني أنّ حاملتي طائرات أميركيتين في تلك المنطقة، على متنهما حوالي 180 طائرة حربية قد خرجتا من الخدمة أيضاً. وهو الأمر الذي يشكل خللاً كبيراً في ميزان القوى العسكري، بين الصين وروسيا من جهة والولايات المتحدة وحلفائها من جهة أخرى.

خاصة أنّ القوات البحرية الصينية، المنتشرة في بحر الصين الشرقي وبحر الصين الجنوبي، ومعها سلاح البحرية الروسية، في غرب المحيط الهادئ، أيّ في المنطقة العسكرية الروسية الجنوبية الشرقية/ مقاطعة فلاديفوستوك، الى جانب سلاح البحرية والقوة الصاروخية في كوريا الشمالية. كلّ هذه القوات تحاصر، استراتيجياً، القوات الأميركية المنتشرة في غرب المحيط الهادئ وفي عمقه الشرقي، باتجاه سواحل الولايات المتحدة الغربية، وكذلك تلك القوات المنتشرة في بحر اليابان. الأمر الذي يجعل القوات الأميركية، في مسرح العمليات المذكور أعلاه، تواجه العديد من المشاكل التي تجعل وضعها غاية في الصعوبة، في حال حصول نزاع مسلح مع تلك المنطقة. او بالأحرى في حال قرّرت الولايات المتحدة التحرّش عسكرياً بالصين او التعرّض لقواتها البحرية في بحار الصين.

2

ـ أما النقطة الثانية، التي تجب الإضاءة عليها، فهي انّ السيطرة السريعة للدولة الصينية على وباء كورونا وحصر انتشاره بشكل كامل في مناطق صغيرة نسبياً من الصين، ومنع انتشاره بين أفراد القوات المسلحة الصينية، بكلّ صنوفها، أفشلت مشاريع المخططين العسكريين الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين، الذين كانوا يأملون غير ذلك ويمنون النفس بانتشار الوباء بشكل واسع بين أفراد الجيش الصيني، وبشكل يؤدّي الى شلل في قدراته الصاروخية والبحرية، خاصة في منطقة أرخبيل سِنكاكو (Senkaku) شمال شرق جزيرة تايوان، المنشقة عن الصين الأمّ والمدعومة اميركياً، مما يجعل نجاح الولايات المتحدة في تنفيذ اعتداءات عسكرية ضدّ الصين الشعبية ممكناً.

3

ـ وهنا، عندما انقلب السحر على الساحر، وفشلت مخططاتهم، بدأت القوى الخفية، التي تحكم الولايات المتحدة، وتحرك الكثير مما يطلق عليه في واشنطن مراكز صنع القرار، بدأت تلك القوى بشنّ حملة إعلامية مركزة، في وسائل إعلام أميركية وأوروبية، تركز فيها على مخططات الصين لمهاجمة جزيرة تايوان المنشقة ونشر المزيد من القوات البحرية، الرديفة لسلاح البحرية الصيني، وهي قوات تنتشر على طول بحار الصين وعرضها، وخاصة في مناطق جزر باراسيل (Paracels) بحر الصين الجنوبي وجزر سِنكاكو، في جنوب بحر الصين الشرقي، وهي جزر صينية خالصة. ولكن الولايات المتحده تتهم الصين بنشر القوات البحرية الرديفة (عبارة عن جيش من الصيادين مقَسَّم الى مجموعات صغيرة مجهّزة بزوارق صيد… ايّ ما يشبه جيش الزوارق السريعة الإيرانية ولكن على نطاق أوسع بكثير)، نقول إنّ واشنطن تتهم بكين بنشر هذه القوات لتثبيت سيطرتها على الجزر الصناعية، التي أقامتها الصين في بحارها لتعزيز أمنها، والتمهيد لغزو جزيرة تايوان وضمّها للصين الأمّ… أو للبرّ الصيني.

4

ـ وبناءً على ما تقدّم فإنّ النتيجة النهائية، قريبة المنال، في الصراع الدولي على بحار العالم، وبالتالي على مقدّرات هذا العالم، إذ ستكون بالتأكيد لصالح المحور المعادي للهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية. وستضطر الولايات المتحدة، مجبرة، للبدء في سحب قواتها البحرية والجوية من كلّ البحار المُشار اليها أعلاه دون قيد أو شرط، وعلى عكس ما تريده واشنطن تماماً. اذ انّ المخططات الأميركية تهدف الى إخضاع الصين وإرغامها على التفاوض مع الولايات المتحدة، تماماً كما هو الحال الذين تتمنّاه مع إيران، من موقف الضعيف.

5

ـ لكن الصين، كما تؤكد الوقائع في العلاقات الدولية الحالية، قد تجاوزت هذه المرحلة (مرحلة الخضوع للضغوط) بكثير، وبدأت هجوم الربيع في كامل مسرح المواجهة الدولي مع الولايات المتحدة. فها هو طريقها الواحد وحزامها الواحد يتفرّع الى طرق عدة وأحزمة عدة. فهناك الطريق البري، من بكين الى مدريد، وهناك الطريق البحري من موانئ الصين المختلفة الى مرسيليا الفرنسية، وهناك الجسور الجوية الى مختلف الاتجاهات وكلها تنقل المساعدات والتجهيزات الطبية الصينية لمساعدة شعوب العالم على الانتصار على الوباء المنتشر حالياً. وهذا يعني، بالترجمة الفعلية الدقيقة أنّ الصين قد بدأت في الجلوس على عرش العالم، المستند الى التعاون الدولي الحقيقي والمثمر، وفي ظلّ انكفاء كامل للولايات المتحدة الأميركية عن المسرح الدولي، إذا ما استثنينا أعمال القرصنة الجوية التي تمارسها إدارة واشنطن، لسرقة التجهيزات الطبية الصينية المرسلة الى شعوب العالم، كما حصل مع الطائرة التي كانت تحمل شحنة كبيرة من هذه التجهيزات وتتجه الى ألمانيا عندما استولت عليها، قبل يومين، جهات أميركية مجهولة، في مطار بانكوك وحوّلت اتجاهها عنوة إلى أميركا. وهو الأمر نفسه الذي حصل مع شحنة مساعدات كندية متجهة الى فرنسا تمّت قرصنتها، من قبل واشنطن، قبل أيّام في كندا.

6

ـ كما تجب ملاحظة أنّ هجوم الربيع الصيني هذا لا يقتصر على المساعدات الإنسانية والطارئة فحسب، بل انه يمتدّ الى مجالات الاستثمار المستدام، في طيف واسع من المشاريع الإنتاجية والخدمية، التي تعزّز اقتصاد الدول النامية وتبني قاعدة لاستقلال وطني حقيقي لهذه الدول وانفكاكها من نير الاملاءات الأميركية.

فها هو البنك الدولي يؤكد في آخر إحصائية له، حول الاستثمارات الصينية، إنّ مجموع ما استثمرته الصين في الدول الأفريقيّة، قد وصل الى 208 مليارات دولار… إضافة الى استثماراتها في العديد من الدول الأخرى ومن بينها دولة الاحتلال الإسرائيليّ. إذ إنّ الجهات التنمويّة المعنيّة في الصين قد استثمرت مبالغ كبيرة في ميناء حيفا الفلسطيني المحتلّ، كما استثمرت بقوّة في قطاع الصناعات الدوائيّة، واستحوذت على كبريات مصانع الأدوية هناك. وهي استثمارات استراتيجيّة أثارت غضب سيد البيت الأبيض. إلا أنّ حكومة الاحتلال وافقت عليها، رغم أنها أشدّ التصاقاً بالسيّد الأميركي، من بعض الأذناب العرب الذين يرفضون فتح باب التعاون مع الاستثمارات الصينية، رغم أنها غير مشروطة على الإطلاق ولا ترتبط بأيّ أهداف سياسية، سوى تمتين العلاقات الدولية على قاعدة المصالح المتبادلة.

وتلك الأيام نداولها بين الناس.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Germany Accuses US of ‘Modern Day Piracy’ for Seizing a Shipment of Medical Equipment

 April 4, 2020

masks

A senior German politician on Friday accused the Trump administration of “modern piracy” after nearly 200,000 face masks ordered by Germany were seized by US authorities.

Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Berlin state, confirmed media reports that about 200,000 FFP2 masks purchased for the Berlin police were seized at an airport in the Thai capital Bangkok following intervention by American authorities.

“We view this as an act of modern piracy,” he said in a written statement, stressing that such behavior between transatlantic partners is unacceptable.

“Even in times of global crisis there should be no wild west methods. I am urging the [German] federal government to demand the US respect international rules,” he added.

According to German public broadcaster RBB, Berlin had purchased the masks from U.S. company 3M, which has factories in China.

The shipment destined for Germany was stopped at the Bangkok airport following intervention by American authorities and was diverted to the U.S., local media reported.

US criticized by France and Canada

French politicians have also recently accused the US of buying up medical protective gear including face masks in China that had been meant for France.

Valerie Pecresse, president of the hard-hit Ile-de-France region, said this week that a shipment of protective masks were snatched at the last minute by “Americans who made a higher bid,” French news agency AFP reported.

“The Americans pay cash sight unseen, which obviously can be more tempting for people just looking to make money off the entire world’s distress,” she said. Pecresse did not give further details on the buyers.

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday he felt “concerned” by a report that a mask order arrived smaller than expected and that some of it was bought by “a higher bidder.”

“We understand that the needs in the US are very extensive, but it’s the same in Canada, so we have to work together,” Trudeau said.

Most countries worldwide, unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic, don’t have the capacity to manufacture the millions of masks needed on a daily basis for health workers alone.

Many governments are turning to China and other Asian manufactures to meet the demands for medical gear.

Source: Agencieshttp://english.almanar.com.lb/987637

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