مصر فى دائرة الخطر

د. محمد السعيد إدريس
‏24 يونيو 2020

د. محمد السعيد إدريس يكتب: إيران تنتظر القول الفصل من هلسنكي ...

على الرغم من كل تلك التسريبات التى كان يتم تسريبها عن عمد من جانب دوائر معادية لمصر، تسريبات تشارك فيها أطراف متعدد تكشف مدى التربص بمصر وبالدور المصرى، إلا أن ما يحدث الآن من تهديد متعدد الأطراف وفى تزامن غير مسبوق تجاوز كل مضامين تلك التسريبات التى كانت تؤكد أن “مصر ستبقى مصدراً للتهديد يجب التحسب له”.

من أبرز تلك التسريبات كانت مقولة أن مصر هى “التفاحة الكبرى” أو “الهدية الكبرى” التى جرى إطلاقها فى غمرة تساقط العواصم العربية الواحدة تلو الأخرى، كانت تلك المقولة تحمل إشارات أن “موعد مصر لم يأت بعد”، وأن هذا الموعد “سيأتى حتماً”. الملفت أن معظم هذه التسريبات كانت أمريكية وإسرائيلية، ما يعنى أن توقيع مصر لاتفاق السلام مع إسرائيل، لم يكن كافياً لإرضاء غرور الإسرائيليين، ولم يتوقفوا لحظة عن التعامل معها باعتبارها “العدو التاريخى”، وإن كان الصراع معها يبدو “صراعاً مؤجلاً” لحين الانتهاء من حسم مصائر الملفات الأخرى مثار التهديد. لم تتوقف أنظارهم لحظة عن متابعة تطور القدرات العسكرية المصرية بقلق شديد، سواء من ناحية كفاءة التسليح وتنوع مصادره بعيداً عن “أحادية التحكم الأمريكية” فى مصادر التسليح المصرى، أو من منظور تطور الكفاءة القتالية المصرية. ولم تغب سيناء لحظة عن أطماعهم انتظاراً لمجئ الوقت والحوافز التى تفرض عليهم العودة إليها مجدداً كى يتحول شعار “إسرائيل الكبرى” من “حلم” أو “أوهام” إلى أمر واقع.

لم تكن إسرائيل وحدها هى من يناصب مصر العداء ولكن كانت تركيا وبالذات مع سقوط أحلام رئيسها فى إحياء عهد “الخلافة العثمانية” بالتأسيس لـ “عثمانية جديدة”، مع سقوط مشروع حكم الإخوان فى مصر، وكانت إثيوبيا، ولكن على استحياء، وربما بخبث ودهاء يفوق الدهاء الإسرائيلى ويتجاوز الرعونة التركية، لكن ما يحدث الآن من تناغم فى التخطيط ضد مصر، سواء بتنسيق أو عدم تنسيق، بين إسرائيل وإثيوبيا وتركيا، يكشف، وربما للمرة الأولى أن مصر باتت “فى عمق دائرة الخطر”. فهل من الصدفة أن يتزامن إعلان رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية بنيامين نتنياهو وتأكيده أن يوليو المقبل هو موعد البدء الإسرائيلى الفعلى فى فرض السيادة الإسرائيلية على الكتل الاستيطانية الإسرائيلية ووادى عربة فى الضفة الغربية المحتلة، مع إعلان آبى أحمد رئيس الحكومة الإثيوبية تحديد يوليو المقبل موعداً لبدء ملء خزان “سد النهضة الإثيوبى” بالمياه، دون انتظار، أو بالأحرى دون اعتبار، لتوافق مع كل من مصر والسودان حول القضايا الخلافية المثارة معهما؟

فرض السيادة الإسرائيلية، بإرادة إسرائيلية مستقلة وبدعم أمريكى على الجزء الأكبر من الضفة الغربية للشروع الفعلى فى تصفية القضية الفلسطينية وفرض مشروع “إسرائيل الكبرى” كدولة يهودية على كل أرض فلسطين، وفرض السيادة الإثيوبية على نهر النيل وتصفية كل الحقوق التاريخية لمصر والسودان فى نهر النيل، التزاماً بقول آبى أحمد رئيس الحكومة الإثيوبية أن سد النهضة “أصبح قضية شرف وطنى ولن نتخلى عنه” وتأكيدات وزير خارجيته بأن “الأرض أرضنا، والمياه مياهنا، والمال الذى يبنى به سد النهضة مالنا، ولا قوة يمكنها معنا من بنائه”. هل هذا كله يمكن أن يكون محض صدفة وأن يكون شهر يوليو المقبل، أى بعد ما يقرب من أسبوع من الآن هو موعد خوض “معركة السيادة” الإسرائيلية والإثيوبية ضد مصر، باعتبار أن مصر أول المعنيين بمصير القضية الفلسطينية من منظور الأمن الوطنى المصرى البحت باعتبار أن فلسطين مكون أساسى فى نظرية الأمن الوطنى المصرى ناهيك عن كونها قضية أمن قومى عربى بالدرجة الأولى، ومصر هى على رأس المعنيين بواقع ومستقبل هذا الأمن القومى العربى.

من الصعب أن نتعامل ببراءة، ولا أقول بسذاجة مع المدلول الفعلى للتزامن فى شروع تل أبيب وأديس أبابا خوض ما يسمونه بـ “معركة فرض السيادة”، فى ظل قوة العلاقات الإسرائيلية- الإثيوبية، ووجود مكون شعبى إثيوبى مهم ضمن مكونات “الشعب الإسرائيلى” (يهود الفلاشا الإثيوبيين) ومجمل الإتفاقيات التى جرى التوقيع عليها بين إسرائيل وإثيوبيا خلال زيارة رئيس الحكومة الإثيوبية لإسرائيل، وفى ظل تأكيدات بأن “إسرائيل طرف قوى فى ملف سد النهضة” و”أطماع إسرائيل فى مياه النيل” وكونها طرفاً مباشراً فى إدارة ملف سد النهضة وتداعياته، سواء من الجانب الأمنى فى ظل تسريبات تؤكد بأن شبكة صواريخ إسرائيلية متطورة باتت مسئولة عن حماية سد النهضة، أو من الجانب التقنى حسب ما أفصحت عنه نائبة المدير العام للشئون الأفريقية فى وزارة الخارجية الإسرائيلية أيثان شيلين فى لقائها مع هيروت زامين وزيرة الدولة الإثيوبية للشئون الخارجية، حسب ما أوردته وكالة الأنباء الإثيوبية الرسمية، حيث أعلنت إسرائيل على لسان إيثان شيلين “استعدادها لتبادل الخبرات مع إثيوبيا فى مجال إدارة المياه”، ووصفت العلاقات الإسرائيلية مع إثيوبيا بأنها “تاريخية وتدعمها علاقات قوية بين الشعبين”.

هل ما يحدث هو توافق أم تحالف إسرائيلى- إثيوبى لإحكام الضغط على مصر؟

السؤال تزداد أهميته، بل وخطورته بدخول تركيا كطرف مباشر فى ما يمكن تسميته بـ “معركة كسر إرادات مع مصر” وهذه المرة فى العمق الإستراتيجى لمصر بالأراضى الليبية. تركيا التى تقاتل بعنف فى شمال سوريا لفرض منطقة نفوذ تركية شمال سوريا معتمدة على تحالفها مع المنظمات الإرهابية المتطرفة، وتسعى لإسقاط النظام فى سوريا، سواء بتنسيق مباشر أو غير مباشر مع كل من الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل لتحقيق نفس الهدف تحت غطاء خوض معركة إخراج إيران من سوريا، اختارت هذه المرة فى عدائها المباشر مع مصر أن تتجاوز احتضان كل القوى المتآمرة ضد مصر على الأراضى التركية، وأن تنقل تهديدها إلى الحدود المصرية المباشرة فى إعلان تهديد مباشر للأمن المصرى من خلال دعم حكومة الوفاق برئاسة فايز السراج، دعماً عسكرياً بالأسلحة المتطورة وبالميليشيات الإرهابية لفرض السيطرة الكاملة على ليبيا. وفى إعلان تهديد مباشر للمصالح الاقتصادية المصرية من خلال السعى لفرض سيطرتها على حقول غاز المتوسط بالشكل الذى تريده إسقواءً بالسيطرة على القرار الليبى بهذا الخصوص.

تركيا تخوض الآن معركة خليج سرت، ويؤكد رئيسها رجب طيب أردوغان أنه “لن تكون تكون هناك أى مفاوضات سياسية، أو وقف لإطلاق النار فى ليبيا إلا بعد سيطرة قوات حلفائه على مدينة سرت” لذلك رفض إعلان القاهرة كمبادرة مصرية لحل الأزمة الليبية سياسياً، ويسعى للسيطرة على مدينة سرت باعتبارها “بوابة الشرق الليبى” حيث آبار النفط والغاز واحتياطياته الرئيسية، وإذا نجح فى هذه المعركة فإنه يعتقد أنه سيكون بمقدوره تكريس النفوذ التركى فى ليبيا سياسياً وعسكرياً.

يحدث هذا كله على حدود مصر الغربية بتزامن مع ما يحدث من تهديد إثيوبى لموارد مصر الحياتية من مياه النيل، ومع المخطط الإسرائيلى للتوسع والتهويد وفرض السيادة على معظم أنحاء الضفة الغربية فى وقت بدأت فيه الإدارة الأمريكية بفرض أقسى وأقصى عقوبات ضد سوريا ببدء تنفيذ أسوأ قانون عقوبات أمريكى على سوريا يحمل اسم “قانون قيصر لحماية المدنيين السوريين” لعلها تستطيع أن تحقق بالعقوبات الاقتصادية ما عجزت هى وحلفاءها عن تحقيقه طيلة السنوات الماضية، بالعمل العسكرى الذى تحول فعلاً إلى “حرب على سوريا” ابتداء من عام 2014، هدفه ليس فقط إسقاط الحكم السورى وإنهاء تحالفه مع إيران بل كان الهدف هو إسقاط سوريا كما أسقط العراق.
ما يحدث هو “هندسة للأزمات” المحيطة بمصر تضعها فى عمق “دائرة الخطر” الذى يجمع للمرة الأولى إسرائيل وإثيوبيا وتركيا فى تهديد مصر وأمنها ومصالحها الوطنية، تطور يفرض على مصر حسابات ومراجعات كثيرة للأهداف والمصالح والقدرات لمواجهة الخطر.

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الحروب في العالم ليست من إفرازات العصر الحالي بل كانت نتيجة طبيعية لقيام التجمّعات البشريّة منذ آلاف السنين. هذه التجمعات التي رأت في حيويتها الزائدة دافعاً للتوسع على حساب التجمعات المجاورة بداية، إذ لم يكن وعي الجماعة لوحدتها الاجتماعية قد ترسّخ بعد. وكان من الطبيعي أن ينتج عن الحروب نتيجة من اثنتين: النصر أو الهزيمة. ويكاد مجتمعنا السوري، بماله من خصائص جغرافية مميّزة، أن يكون من أكثر المجتمعات التي شهدت صراعات داخلية دافعها السيطرة وفرض أنظمة محددة من القوي على الضعيف من جهة، وخارجية هدفها أيضاً السيطرة لاستغلال الموارد الطبيعية والاستفادة من الموقع الجغرافيّ لتحصين المكانة الإقليمية أو العالمية. وما زال مجتمعنا حتى الساعة عرضة لموجات متتالية من الصراع على النفوذ أو من الاحتلال المباشر لأجزاء منه تنفيذاً لمخططات سياسيّة تعتمد على رؤى أيديولوجية بعيدة كلّ البعد عن المنطق والعدل الإنساني.

فالأوضاع الجيوسياسيّة التي فرضها علينا الاحتلال المزدوج الانكليزي – الفرنسي والتي أدّت إلى زرع الكيان الإسرائيلي في جنوبنا السوري، لم تزل تداعياتها تتفاعل لتؤدّي إلى نتائج سلبية تطاول مجتمعنا وإيجابية تطاول كيان العدو المغتصب. فالهزائم التي ألحقها هذا العدو البربري، المدعوم من القوى الظلامية العالمية، بعدد من الدول المسمّاة عربية جرّاء حروب ثلاث أدّت إلى تفكك المنظومة العربية التي حاول الاستعمار الترويج لها، لمعرفته المسبقة بعدم قابليتها للتنفيذ. فإذا بالجامعة العربية أسوأ بكثير من الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحّدة، إذ لا هذه ولا تلك تمكّنت من فرض تنفيذ قراراتها المتخذة في جلسات عامة وبمعظمها إمّا بإجماع الأعضاء أو بأغلبيتهم. وتفنّنت هذه الدول العربية بالتخفيف من وقع هزائمها فسمّتها أحياناً نكبة وأحياناً نكسة أملاً بأن يعقب النكسة نصر يمحو العار الذي لحق بهذه الدول نتيجة هزيمتها المخجلة والمعيبة والمذلة لمن أراد أن يصف النتيجة بما يتطابق مع الوقائع. وأكثر هذه الهزائم إيلاماً هي حرب الخامس من حزيران عام 1967 والتي استطاع العدو خلال أسبوع واحد أن يقضي على جيوش ثلاث دول عربية مجتمعة وكانت على علم مسبق بمخططات العدو. ولم تستطع هذه الدول نفسها الاستفادة من الأخطاء والثغرات فإذا بهزيمتها تتكرّر عام 1973 رغم أنها كانت هي المبادرة هذه المرة لشنّ الحرب. وربما نستطيع القول بأنّ مصر وحدها نظرياً استفادت من هذه الحرب التي سارع الخائن السادات إلى إنهائها نتيجة وعد بإعادة سيناء إلى أحضان مصر، وبدلاً من استغلال هذه النتيجة لصالح مصر وبقية دول الطوق التي سبّب لها إسراع السادات بوقف الحرب بخسارة المزيد من أراضيها وتدمير جيشها وإيقاع العديد من الضحايا والأسرى من أفراد جيشها، بادر السادات إلى استكمال خيانته وانهزاميته يوم أعلن استعداده لزيارة دولة الاحتلال وعقد الصلح معها، فدفع دمه نتيجة هذه الخيانة.

ولم يستطع العقل «العربي» أن يجاري العقل اليهودي بالتخطيط أو على الأقلّ بالتصدّي لمخططات العدو الذي انتقل، من القيام بالحرب المباشرة لقضم المزيد من الأرض، إلى الحرب غير المباشرة أيّ استغلال الآخرين لشن الحروب عنه (حرب الأميركيين على العراق، استغلال ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي وإدخال الإرهابيين الدواعش إلى كلّ من العراق وبلاد الشام، كأمثلة على ذلك)، وقطف نتائج هذه الحروب المدمّرة. وها هي جذور هذا التخطيط الجديد تعطي ثماراً إيجابية أفضل بكثير من ثمار الحروب المباشرة. فبدلاً من استعداء الدول العربية مجتمعة من الخليج إلى المحيط وعلى مدى عشرات السنين، استطاع خلال سنوات معدودات أن يجعل من الأعداء أصدقاء يعاونونه على من كان لهم بالأمس القريب، ليس فقط صديقاً، بل أخاً ينادي بما ينادون به من أخوة عربية ولاءات خشبية عن عدم الاعتراف بدولة العدو، أو عقد معاهدات سلام معها، أو حتى التفاوض بشأن السلام والاعتراف.

وانطلاقاً من مخططات العقل الجهنمي الخبيث المستحكم بنفسية عدونا استطاع أن يحوّل هزيمة الأنظمة العربية إلى انهزامية لم يسبق لها مثيل في تاريخ التجمعات البشرية قديماً وحديثاً.

فبدلاً من أن تدفع الهزيمة بالمهزوم إلى تحليل سبب هزيمته لكي يحاول العمل على تفادي هذه الأسباب مما يساعد على قلب الهزيمة إلى نصر، وجدنا أن المهزوم استطاب طعم الهزيمة والذلّ الذي لحقه من جرائها وإذا به يرضخ طوعاً لكلّ شروط المنتصر عليه، بل نجده يزحف راجياً المنتصر أن يمعن بإذلاله، دائساً على ما تبقى من كرامته وشرطه الوحيد إبقاء الزمرة الحاكمة في السلطة. والمؤسف أنّ هذه الزمر الحاكمة استطاعت أن تدجّن الناس وتقنعها بانّها إنّما تفعل ذلك لمصلحتها.

لقد وصلنا إلى زمن من الانهزاميّة المذلة لمن يفقه معنى الانهزام والاستسلام، في حين أنّ الخيانة أصبحت وجهة نظر، فكثرت هذه الوجهات وتعدّدت لتوافق ظروف وأوضاع كلّ كيان من كيانات الأمم العربية التي نجحت مرة واحدة بتجربة الوحدة (مصر والجمهورية العربية السورية)، بحيث كان مكتوباً على هذه التجربة الفشل لأنّها لم تنطلق من المفاهيم الاجتماعية المستندة إلى الحقائق التاريخية والجغرافية. وقلة من رجال الفكر والسياسة أعادوا النظر بمواقفهم على امتداد العالم العربي، هذه المواقف الارتجالية والتي كانت لها ارتدادات سلبية على قضايا أمم العالم العربي المصيرية. واحد من هؤلاء هو عبد الهادي البكار، وقلّة تعرفه أو سمعت به خاصة بين الأجيال الجديدة، وهو إعلامي سوري عاصر أيام الوحدة، وبعد سقوطها اضطهد وأجبر على المغادرة إلى مصر التي كان قد انجرف مع تيارها الناصري الطامح إلى قيادة «الأمة العربية». فكان لهذا الإعلامي الجرأة الكافية، بعدما خذلته مصر الناصرية أيضاً، للاعتراف بانجرافه العروبيّ الذي لم يستند إلاّ إلى وهم، «وأنّ الحلم الوحيد الباقي هو في (سورية الكبرى) التي ساهم في تشويهها حين كان التفكير أو الحديث في ذلك يُعرّض صاحبه إلى التشويه والتخوين». ويذكر الأستاذ سامر موسى على صفحته بأّنّ البكار قد فاجأ قراءه من خلال ما أورده في كتابه (صفحات مجهولة من تاريخ سورية الحديث)، والذي صدر عام 2008 عن (دار الذاكرة) في بيروت إذ قال بأنّه: «تأكّد له خلال العقود الأخيرة اعتلال الفكرة القومية العربية وربما اضمحلالها في العالم العربي، كما تأكّد خلالها احتياج بلاد الشام إلى استنهاض قوتها الذاتية الإقليمية، وأنّ دعوة أنطون سعاده إلى توحيد الأشلاء والأجزاء السورية لم تكن هي الخطأ أو الانحراف بل كانت هي الصواب». وبالرغم من عدم وضوح الرؤية القومية الصحيحة لدى البكّار إلّا أنّ اعترافه هذا يُعتبر خطوة أولى بالاتجاه الصحيح علّها تساعد أجيال المثقفين من التماهي معه لنفض غبار الدسائس التي شوّهت لبّ عقيدة النهضة القومية الاجتماعيّة التي بات كثيرون، ممن حملوا لواء محاربتها في الماضي، يؤمنون ليس فقط بصحتها بل بانّها الوحيدة القادرة على بناء الإنسان الجديد القادر على التصدّي لكلّ مثالب المجتمع، وعلى المساهمة في بنيان المجتمع الجديد القادر على الخروج من مفاهيم الانهزامية إلى مفاهيم الوعي المجتمعي القادر على إعادة زرع مفاهيم الكرامة والعزة والعنفوان التي تعيد للمواطن الثقة بنفسه وبأمته، وبأنّ الهزائم ليست قدراً، وبأنّ النصر ليس بالصعوبة التي يصوّرونها له إمعاناً بإذلاله وزرع اليأس في نفسه.

فما بين النفسية الانهزاميّة التي تبديها معظم كيانات الأمم العربية تبقى بارقة الأمل في كيانات الأمة السورية، صاحبة القرار الوحيدة عندما يتعلق الأمر بالمسألة الفلسطينية. وها هي هذه الكيانات تسطّر أرقى سطور المجد مسقطة أسطورة دولة الاحتلال التي لا تقهر. فمن العراق الذي أسقط انتصار داعش، إلى الشام التي باتت قريبة من دحر المؤامرة الكونية عليها، إلى فلسطين أطفال الحجارة الذين يواجهون بصدورهم العامرة بالإيمان الذي يؤكّد أنّ القوة وحدها تعيد الحقّ السليب، إلى لبنان الذي أعطت مقاومته دروساً تاريخية بالبطولة المؤمنة بصحة العقيدة والتي استطاعت أن تنهي عصر الهزائم وتعلن بدء عصر الانتصارات، سلسلة من المواقف التي تعيد للأمل تألّقه، وتبعث في النفوس الضعيفة القوة من جديد. هذه القوة هي اللغة الوحيدة التي يفهمها العدو، وهي نفسها اللغة التي تخلّت عنها معظم الأنظمة الانهزامية. فالهزيمة ليست قدراً بل هي حافز للتمسك بكلّ أسباب القوة التي تؤمّن الانتصار على مفهوم الانهزام أولاً، وعلى العدو المكابر ثانياً. فلنمسك بأسباب قوّتنا، ولنترك للانهزاميّين العيش في صقيع انهزاميّتهم.

جورج فلويد… 20 دولاراً مزوّرة ثمن خراب أميركا!

د. كلود عطية

الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي أشعلت العالم وأرهقت الشعوب بشعار الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان، واقتحمت بالسلاح والمال والإرهاب العقول البشرية الضعيفة علها تغيّر في مشاعرها المناهضة للسياسات الأميركية في مناطق مختلفة من العالم.. سقطت في العراق وأفغانستان، وفشلت بتركيبتها وصفقتها الصهيونية للسلام في المشرق، وتشوّهت صورتها الى الأبد بافتعالها الحرب على ما يسمّى الإرهاب، إلى جانب قضايا أخرى أبرزها تجويع الشعوب وزرع الفقر والجهل والمرض…

الولايات المتحدة التي خططت باسم الحرية لـ «الفوضى الخلاقة» وحرّكت الشوارع العربية وأخرجت الإرهابيين من السجون وسهّلت انخراطهم في أجندتها العنفية والإرهابية! الدولة التي سرقت مليارات الدولارات من الأماكن التي تواجدت فيها؛ نراها الآن تدفع ثمن جبروتها وظلمها رقماً من الدولارات قد لا يساوي قيمتها؛ 20 دولاراً مزوّرة ثمن خرابها..

هي الحرب المرتدّة على الظالم! وهي الشوارع الملتهبة بغضب الشعب الناقم على كذب السلطة الأكثر إجراماً وعنصرية في تاريخ البشرية! ملايين الأطفال والنساء والشيوخ التي انقطعت أنفاس وجودها في الحياة، وبعد رحيلها الى الموت، بفعل جرائم البيت الأبيض، تشهد على انقطاع أنفاس «جورج فلويد» الإنسان، المقتول عمداً بركبة شرطي في مدينة مينيابوليس في ولاية مينيسوتا… ليشهد العالم مجدّداً على منظومة القيم الإنسانية والأخلاقية المفقودة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، والتأكيد على أنّ الأزمة المفتعلة في هذا الكون هي أزمة أخلاق…

في هذا الإطار، نرى أنّ ما يحصل في أميركا قد تنبّأ به أنطون سعاده منذ أكثر من تسعين عاماً بقوله «الظاهر أنّ لمعان الدولارات قد أعمى بصيرة الأميركيين حتى أنهم أصبحوا يوافقون على الاعتداء على حرية الأمم بدمٍ بارد وعجرفة متناهية، غير حاسبين أنّ مثل هذا العمل الشائن الذي يأتونه جارحين عواطف أمم كريمة كانت تعتبر الأميركيين وتعتقد فيهم الإخلاص الذي أفلس في الغرب إفلاساً تاماً، هازئين بشعور تلك الأمم صافعيها في وجهها جزاء محبّتها لهم، وبين تلك الأمم من قد ضحّت بكثير من شبانها وزهرة رجالها في سبيل الذوْد عن شرفهم وعلمهم أثناء الحرب العالمية الهائلة التي كان المحور الذي تدور عليه الذوْد عن الحياة لا عن الشرف، عملاً معيباً. أميركا ما هي إلا بربرية مندغمة في المدنية، وسقوط أميركا من عالم الأخلاقيات»!

ما يثبت لنا أنّ القضية لا تتعلق برجل ركع فوق رقبته شرطي عنصري وهو يتوسّله بأنه لا يستطيع التنفس، وأن لا يقتله! بل هي قضية عالم بأسره يصرخ منذ زمن، وحتى الاختناق، في وجه الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، يكفي قتلاً وعنصرية وإجراماً واحتلالاً وسرقة وتدميراً…

وهنا لا نقف عند حدود العنصرية التي ما زالت متغلغلة في المجتمع الأميركي، ضدّ ذوي البشرة السوداء، بل نحن أمام إمبراطورية من القتل والإجرام والحروب العشوائية لاحتلال الأرض وإذلال الشعوب وسرقة الموارد والثروات..

وبالتالي، التاريخ لا يرحم ولا يتوقف عند انقطاع أنفاس فلويد… بل هو راسخ في ذاكرة البشرية لتاريخ الولايات المتحدة الأميركية الأسود، المكتوب بدماء الملايين من القتلى والجرحى من الجنود والأطفال والنساء والشيوخ.. من حروب وغزوات واحتلال وتدخلات خارج أراضيها، تكاد لا تسلم دولة في العالم من حقدها واستغلالها..

الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي أشعلت فتيل ما يسمّى بـ «الثورات العربية» ودعمت الاحتجاجات والتظاهرات في الشوارع العربية، وفي سورية، تتصدّر احتجاجات شعبها اليوم عناوين الصحف العالمية. إلا أنّ هذه المظاهرات العنيفة التي تجتاح المدن الأميركيّة قد تكون موجّهة ومفتعلة. وهذا ليس بالأمر الغريب على التركيبة السياسية الأميركية، خاصة أننا أمام مجتمع سياسي أميركي منقسم على ذاته، في الخطاب السياسي؛ وفي مخاطبة الجمهور، لنرى التشابه في الثقافة الأميركية القائمة على استغلال وتوجيه طاقات شعبها بما يخدم مصالحها الداخلية. وهي الثقافة نفسها، والخطاب السياسي نفسه، الذي يستخدم في السياسة الخارجية للولايات المتحدة الأميركية. والقائم على التقسيم، وتأجيج الصراع والعنف واستغلال الشعوب واضطهادها!

من هذا المنطلق، حادثة جورج فلويد، قد لا تكتفي بإعادة فتح ملف الاضطهاد الذي يتعرّض له المواطنون السود فحسب، بل هي تسير بخطى ثابتة وسريعة لتوجيه الاتهام الأساسي لإدارة الرئيس العنصري دونالد ترامب، وخطابه العنصري اللا إنساني واللا أخلاقي الذي زرع البغض والتفرقة في عقول المواطنين الأميركيين.

من هنا، كيف يمكن مقاربة ما افتعلته الولايات المتحدة الأميركية من إحداث شغب في العالم، مع ما تشهده من غضب وردات فعل قاسية وعنيفة على مقتل فلويد، من أعمال شغب، وسرقة محال تجارية وإحراقها، وإحراق سيارات الشرطة، ومهاجمة عناصرها!

هل تشبه «الفوضى الخلاقة» التي استخدمت في العالم العربي وسورية، هذه الفوضى العارمة غير الخلاقة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية؟ يبدو أنّ التحليل المنطقي لحقيقة ما يجري، يبيّن بوضوح أنّ هذه الاحتجاجات لا تؤكد فقط على السلوك العدائي للأميركيين أصحاب البشرة البيضاء، تجاه مواطنيهم من السود، بل تؤكد على الوجه الحقيقي للإدارات الأميركية المتعاقبة الذي افتقد للمساواة والعدالة والإنسانية واحترام حقوق الإنسان… هذه الحقوق التي لم تستطع الإدارة الأميركية تحقيقها في المجتمع الأميركي، فكيف يمكن لها أن تحققها لدول العالم؟.. ما يبيّن لنا بوضوح أنّ جورج فلويد ليس وحده الضحية، ولا المواطنين السود؛ بل نحن أمام سياسة أميركية حصدت ملايين الضحايا من كلّ الفئات المجتمعية والثقافية/ ومن كلّ مجتمعات العالم.

في النهاية، قد لا يجوز الحديث الآن عن الإرهاب في أحداث الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، باعتباره مرتدّاً على من يصنع الإرهاب ويرعاه! الا أنّ التحليل السياسي، قد يجيز لنا، أن نتوقع عودة الإرهاب الى بلده الأمّ.. ومن المتوقع أيضاً أن يجنّد البيت الأبيض المواطنين السود لمكافحته!

مدير الفرع الثالث لمعهد العلوم الاجتماعية – الجامعة اللبنانية – الشمال‎

من «كامب ديفيد» إلى «نيوم» مخطط إمبريالي صهيوني عسكري اقتصادي متكامل

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د. ميادة ابراهيم رزوق

ـ من اتفاقية كامب ديفيد إلى مشروع «نيوم» مخطط امبريالي صهيوني عسكري اقتصادي متكامل لشرق أوسط جديد وفق أجندة صهيوأميركية تشمل الكيان الصهيوني بدولته المزعومة (إسرائيل) كلاعب وجزء أساسي من المنطقة، وتكمن تفاصيل ذلك في كتاب «الشرق الأوسط الجديد» لوزير الخارجية الإسرائيلي شمعون بيريز الذي صدر عام 1993 ، وتضمّن رؤيته لمستقبل المنطقة بأحلام كبرى تربط بين (إسرائيل) وفلسطين والأردن ومصر والسعودية بمشروع سياسي اقتصادي يخلق سوقاً اقتصادية في المنطقة على غرار السوق الأوروبية المشتركة، وبتحالف عسكري موحد على غرار حلف الناتو، من خلال إنشاء شبكات كهربائية لا تعترف بالحدود، ومنطقة حرة بلا حدود بين السعودية ومصر و(إسرائيل) ليتوافق ويترجم ذلك وفي وقت لاحق بـ (رؤية2030 ) لولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان تحت اسم «نيوم» اختصار لجملة المستقبل الجديد، والذي يتضمّن إنشاء منطقة حرة تقع في قلب مربع يجمع السعودية ومصر والأردن وفلسطين المحتلة.

ـ بين هذا وذاك تتالت الأحداث على المنطقة ضمن إطار مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي حلم به قادة ومنظري الكيان الصهيوني وأبرزهم شمعون بيريز، وبدأ ذلك بعد اتفاقية كامب ديفيد عام 1979 التي أخرجت مصر من معادلة الردع العربي، والجيش المصري من حرب المواجهة والوجود مع كيان العدو الصهيوني، إلى حرب الخليج الأولى بدعم أميركي وتمويل خليجي سعودي بشكل أساسي للرئيس الراحل صدام حسين لإنهاك وإضعاف قوى وجيوش وإمكانيات إيران والعراق، مروراً بحرب الخليج الثانية /غزو العراق للكويت/ التي كانت سبباً رئيسياً وبتخطيط مسبق لتواجد القواعد والقوات العسكرية الأميركية بشكل كبير في المنطقة، ثم اتفاقيات أوسلو (1و2) ووادي عربة التي كانت أكبر مؤامرة على قوى وفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، وليس انتهاء بالاحتلال الأميركي للعراق بحجج كاذبة واهية تحت عنوان امتلاك أسلحة الدمار الشامل، وتفاصيل أخرى لا مجال لذكرها في هذا المقال تمهيداً لسيناريو ما يسمّى (الربيع العربي) الذي بدأ من تونس أواخر عام 2010 متدحرجاً إلى عدد من الدول العربية، واصطدم بصخرة الصمود السوري وقوة التعاون والتشبيك والتكتيك لقوى محور المقاومة من إيران إلى العراق وسورية وحزب الله في لبنان مع الحليف الروسي والصديق الصيني، ففشل في تحقيق أهدافه في تقسيم وتجزئة المنطقة، وتطويق روسيا والصين وإيران للسيطرة على منابع وأنابيب النفط والغاز.

ـ ترافق ذلك مع الجزء الأساسي الذي سنركز عليه في هذا المقال لعلاقته المباشرة بـ مشروع نيوم، وهو «عاصفة الحزم» الحرب على اليمن التي بدأت عام 2015، وقامت بها قوى التحالف المدعومة من الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والتي تضمّ إلى جانب السعودية ثماني دول أخرى هي الإمارات ومصر والأردن والسودان وموريتانيا والسنغال والكويت واليحرين، إلى توقيع مصر اتفاقاً عام 2016 بإعطاء النظام السعودي جزيرتين ضروريتين لربط مشروع نيوم بسيناء بانتقال جزيرتي تيران وصنافير إلى السيادة السعودية لتصبح الرياض جزءاً من اتفاقية «كامب ديفيد» بأثر رجعي، ثم إعلان ترامب لصفقة القرن والترويج لها عام 2017 لتصفية القضية الفلسطينية، وتنسيق جارد كوشنير صهر الرئيس دونالد ترامب ومستشار البيت الأبيض عام 2019 لورشة المنامة في البحرين الجانب الاقتصادي من صفقة القرن للتمويل أملاً بنجاح الصفقة، وصولاً لمشروع محمد بن سلمان المدينة الذكية «نيوم».

ـ تعتبر حرب الإبادة اليمنية أحد أهمّ تفاصيل مشروع «نيوم» للسيطرة على مضيق باب المندب والثروات النفطية اليمنية وخاصة في محافظتي مأرب والجوف، حيث يعتبر مضيق باب المندب ذا أهمية استراتيجية عسكرية أمنية اقتصادية كبيرة يربط بين البحر الأحمر والخليج العربي والمحيط الهندي، ويعمل كطريق ملاحة للسفن النفطية وغير النفطية التي تنتقل بين الشرق الأوسط وبلدان البحر المتوسط، وتأتي أهمية اليمن الاستراتيجية بالسيطرة على مضيق باب المندب بامتلاكها جزيرة بريم، ومرة أخرى مُنيت قوى التحالف في حرب اليمن التي تخوضها السعودية بشكل رئيسي بالوكالة عن الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والعدو الصهيوني بفشل تحقيق الأهداف وفق ما سبق، وتتالت انتصارات الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية وحركة أنصار الله رغم الصواريخ الباليستية والقنابل المحرمة دولياً ومعاناة المجاعة وانتشار الأوبئة في اليمن، وخلقت معادلات ردع جديدة من خلال استهداف بارجة حربية وناقلة نفط سعوديتين، وضرب منشأة «أرامكو» النفطية السعودية، وما تلاه من انهيار الإنتاج النفطي لأسابيع عدة، وأصبحت تطال صواريخ المقاومة في اليمن العمق السعودي بمطاراته ومنشآته النفطية، إضافة للتفوّق في الحرب البرية في استعادة وتحرير العديد من الأراضي اليمنية، وخاصة محافظة الجوف التي فيها أكبر الحقول والشركات النفطية، وذلك في ظلّ تصدّع قوى التحالف التي عانت من انسحابات متتالية من قطر إلى العدد الأكبر من الجنود السودانيين إلى غيرها من بقية الدول التي أصبحت مشاركتها رمزية.

ـ تستمرّ المعارك والعمليات العسكرية لتحرير محافظة مأرب معقل سلطة حزب التجمع اليمني للإصلاح (الإخوان المسلمين في اليمن) وهو المسيطر على المفاصل المهمة في ما تسمّى الحكومة الشرعية في اليمن، وأهمّ الحصون التي تتمسك بها قوات التحالف وبما تحتويه من مخزون نفط استراتيجي، وبتأييد الحاضنة الشعبية من مشايخ وقبائل مأرب التي ناشدت حكومة صنعاء لتخلصهم من سلطة الإخوان المسلمين.

ـ خلال الأيام او الأسابيع المقبلة وبتحرير مأرب، مع بدايات العجز الاقتصادي للنظام السعودي من انخفاض إيرادات النفط جراء حرب أسعار النفط إلى انعدام إيرادات الحج والعمرة من جراء جائحة كورونا، وتفشي الفيروس في السعودية داخل وخارج أفراد الأسرة الحاكمة مع ما تعانيه من أزمات داخلية أخرى، وبالتكامل مع إنجازات محور وحلف المقاومة على مستوى الإقليم ستتغيّر موازين القوى، لتكون سنة فارقة مهمة على صعيد التحوّلات الكبرى لصالح محور حلف المقاومة.

ـ وبالتالي فإنّ تفوّق قوى المقاومة على القوة الإسرائيلية الأميركية الإمبريالية وأدواتها التركية والرجعية العربية قد تكون مقدّمة لرؤية استراتيجية لمشروع تحدٍّ جديد لدول غرب آسيا في برنامج متكامل للتشبيك في الإقليم لإنشاء كتلة اقتصادية اجتماعية كبرى قادرة دولها على تحقيق التنمية الاقتصادية، وتأمين فرص العمل، والحماية الأمنية والرعاية الصحية والخدمية لشعوبها.

Syrian ‘Regime Change’ Architect: William Roebuck, US Ambassador of Destruction

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, May 06, 2020

Since 2006, William Roebuck, a US Diplomat, has been working toward ‘regime change’ in Syria at any cost. The destruction of Syria, hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries, and the migration of one-third of the population have been the price of the US policy under Roebuck’s tenure.  The ultimate goal of ‘regime change’ has never been about greater freedoms, democracy, or human rights for Syrians, but has been with the single target spelled out by Roebuck in 2006: to break the relationship between Iran and Syria. 

William Roebuck, US Ambassador ‘to the Kurds in Syria’

William Roebuck is a 27 year veteran of the US State Department, having served under Presidents Bush, Obama, and currently Trump.  His current title is Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. He is a former US Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain.  He has served in the US embassies in Iraq and chargé d’affaires in Libya under Obama. Seymour M. Hersh wrote about the US Embassy in Libya and its role in arming the terrorists used by the US in Syria.  For the past several years, he has been based in Northeast Syria and managing the Kurds.

Roebuck designed the 2011 “Arab Spring” in Syria

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed a plan concocted by William Roebuck, the former US Ambassador to Syria.  Wikileaks published US diplomatic cables, and chapter 10 of “The Wikileaks Files” concerns Roebuck’s cable sent on December 13, 2006.  Ambassador Roebuck wrote that the US should take action to try to destabilize the Syrian government by provoking it to overreact, both internally and externally. That plan was put into action in March 2011 at Deraa, where armed terrorists were interspersed among unarmed civilians in street protests. The terrorists were provoking the police and security forces by shooting at them, as well as shooting unarmed civilians which were blamed on the security forces.

The cables prove that ‘regime change’ had been the goal of US policy in Syria since 2006 and that the US promoted sectarianism in support of its policy, which built the foundation for the sectarian conflict which resulted in massive bloodshed. Roebuck advocated for exploiting Syria’s relationship with Iran, which makes Syria vulnerable to Israeli airstrikes. Roebuck advised that the US should destabilize the Syrian government by promoting sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia, which at the time was not an issue in Syria, which is a secular government and a tolerant society. By promoting sectarian conflict, which he had observed in the oil-rich Arab Gulf monarchies, Roebuck was crafting the destruction of Syrian society.  The ultimate US goal in Syria was to destabilize the Syrian government by violent means, resulting in a change of government, and the new government would be pro-Israeli, and anti-Iranian.

Roebuck’s memo leaked

In November 2019 an internal memo written on October 31 by Roebuck was leaked to the press. He criticized Trump for failing to stop Turkey from invading the Northeast of Syria. “Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll, represents an intentioned-laced effort at ethnic cleansing,” Mr. Roebuck wrote, calling the abuses “what can only be described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.”Empowering Terrorism to “Stop” Terrorism: America’s Foreign Policy in Syria Summed Up in Three Headlines

Roebuck praised the SDF as a reliable partner acting as guards to keep US troops safe while they occupied Syria illegally, to steal the Syrian oil, which is to be used to support the SDF, instead of the Pentagon payroll.

Two is the company, but three is a crowd

The US state department has a Syrian trio: William Roebuck, and the special representative for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey. Joel Rayburn is a deputy assistant secretary for Levant Affairs and special envoy for Syria.

Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish officials are often confused as to which US officials are in charge on any given issue, and whether their policies were personally driven, or reflected US foreign policy directives. Many analysts agree that the US foreign policy on Syria is a confusing mess.

Roebuck pushes the Syrian Kurds to unite

The Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) have begun direct talks which US diplomat William Roebuck has promoted. For the last two years, he has been working with the Syrian Kurds.  The goal is to unite all Kurdish parties in Syria in one body, which could be part of the UN peace talks in Geneva to end the Syrian conflict.  The KNC and PYD have had serious disagreements over the years.

The KNC is part of the Istanbul-based ‘Syrian opposition’ and aligned with the Kurdish nationalist Massoud Barzani and his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq.  The KNC received criticism as being pro-Turkish after the Turkish Army invaded the Northeastern region of Syria.

The PYD is part of the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who had been the US partner fighting ISIS.  PYD bases its political and organizational projects on the PKK’s ideology. The PKK is considered as an international terrorist group accused of thousands of deaths in Turkey over the decades.

The first direct negotiations between the KNC and PYD were held in early April at an illegal US military base near Hasakah, with William Roebuck, an SDF commander Mazlum Abdi in attendance.  Roebuck has met numerous times over the past three months with the KNC, trying to push the idea of unification among the Kurdish factions.

At an April 25 press conference in Qamishli, it was announced that Roebuck had presented a draft that called for a unified political vision for Syria.  After about four meetings, the two sides were in agreement on the following points: Syria is to be a federal, democratic, and pluralistic state; the current Syrian government in Damascus was not acceptable; the Kurdish northeast region was to be a political unit.  It was stressed that both parties were committed to resolving the Syrian crisis through the implementation of UN Resolution 2254, and the new Syrian constitution must recognize Kurdish national, cultural, and political rights.

The SDF and PYD do not have political representation in the Geneva talks because of Turkish opposition to their participation, given the fact that Turkey views the groups as terrorists.  Turkey rejects any project that would lead to Kurdish autonomous rule in Syria, which is the goal of the US. When Trump ordered the sudden withdrawal of US troops from the Northeast of Syria in October, the Kurdish leaders immediately turned to the Syrian government in Damascus to save them from extermination at the hands of the invading Turkish Army.  However, the US did not want the Kurds to be protected by Damascus. The US goal is ‘regime change’ using UN Resolution 2254 as their tool. To achieve that end, William Roebuck has continued to work with the Kurds of the Northeast and is now trying to get them united to be at the negotiating table in Geneva. The Kurds might unite, but they will always remain a small minority numbering only 7% of the population, but who are attempting to control 20% of the territory in Syria.  Will there be justice for the Syrian homeowners and landowners within the territory the Kurds call “Rojava”, who have been made homeless and destitute at the hands of the Kurds? Will the Syrians one day rise in a “Kurdish Spring” cleaning to regain their properties?

Ahed al-Hindi, a political analyst based in Washington, DC, told  Al-Monitor that the US goal to unify the Kurdish ranks in northeastern Syria is a part of a project designed to unify the entire Syrian north, including Idlib and the Kurdish Northeast.  The US goal is to prevent the Syrian government from access to the resources which could be used to rebuild Syria.

The next UN peace talks in Geneva

UN Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen gave a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Syria on April 29. He announced the agenda for the next session of the Constitutional Committee had been agreed between the co-chairs, and meetings in Geneva would resume as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions would allow. He continued to stress the importance of the current nationwide ceasefire, which was needed to combat and treat COVID-19.  He declared there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and the UN Security Council resolution 2254 must be used as the path to a political settlement that would be acceptable for the Syrian people while restoring the sovereignty, borders, and independence of Syria.

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Coronavirus Color-Revolution: California Declares Nation Statehood as Trump Moves to Quell ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’

Coronavirus Color-Revolution: California Declares Nation Statehood ...

Joaquin Flores April 24, 2020

Bloomberg published a stunning piece on April 9th promoting the secession of California from the U.S., in an op-ed by Francis Wilkinson titled Gavin Newsom Declares California a ‘Nation-State’, which resurrected John C. Calhoun in a neo-confederate argument favoring nullification.

Bloomberg is part a strategy to prevent Trump from a second term by way of legal means (election), and has now brought to the fore the spectre of secession or nullification. This does not mean we should normally expect some announcement by Governor Newsom that ‘The California Republic is an independent nation-state ’. Yet amazingly, it has been almost verbatim said in this way.

The Bloomberg article details how California Governor Newsom has begun using that term and also related legal constructions in discussing how California will manage the coronavirus response on its own.

Imagine an alternate timeline where Trump denied there was a significant threat posed by the coronavirus and adjusted policy to reflect that. After all, the mortality rate appeared very low compared to the infection rate. Then imagine that governors Cuomo and Newsom behaved similarly to how we’ve seen them perform over the past month or so. In fact, their behavior makes even more sense in our hypothetical, alternate reality. But imagine if their punches could land because there was some semblance of a reality that could support the barrage.

As we have made the point to communicate numerous times, 25% of Americans would like their state to secede from the United States peacefully.

In the Event 201 exercise which appears to have been made public on YouTube, the situation of Arab Springs being a result of political blow-back from coronavirus measures, is discussed briefly using the precise phrase ‘Arab Spring’. Dealing with destabilization and messaging in that context, consumes most of the last several stages of the simulation conducted in October 2019.

Those already familiar with the Arab Spring phenomenon as intentionally created ‘Color Revolutions’, will understand the connection between what appear as ‘bottom-up’ or grass-roots activism being coordinated covertly with dual-power structures within a country which is being targeted for regime-change. Given that the original Arab Spring was not only a Color Revolution, but used the ‘too-big-to-fail’ bailout money in 2008 to corner a market on perishable goods – prices affecting targeted countries were jacked-up, causing bread-riots and public protests. Regime-change was rarely a demand of protests, rather these related to the price of food. Foreign media like CNN and Al-Jazeera appeared to put words in the mouths of protestors and talked of revolution.

The take-away point here is that the ‘original’ Arab Spring was a concocted development, and so references to these in what many see in Event 201 as a descriptor of allegedly ‘concocted’ events now underway, as Mike Pompeo quipped is a ‘live exercise’, are quite apt. Because these are not simply matters of what we might read into the Event 201 proceedings, but how those involved in the event understood themselves and each other.

Having seen the repeated attempts to nullify the outcome of the 2016 election raises serious questions about the scope of the aims of the current presidency. The current president seems to provoke a highly unusual, extra-partisan and extra-political conflict that occurs no more than two or three times in a century, where it seems that sacrosanct geopolitical allegiances and long-reaching security policies risk being overturned. In our alternate time-line, we may see California moving further on the secession road and Joe Biden ‘talking sense and unity’ to California ‘President’ Newsom.

Bloomberg Hails Calhoun’s Nullification Argument

Here are some of the key fragments from the article which are particularly revealing:

<<The implications for the brewing civil war … .>>

<<…California “as a nation-state”>>

<<“Nation-state.” “Export”.>>

<<At some point this civil war by other means >>

<<Federalism has always had rough spots, but conflict is rising and resolutions are not>>

<<From Fort Sumter […], the blueprint for states opposing federal control has a recurring theme.>>

<<John C. Calhoun, who used the theory of states’ rights to defend the institution of slavery, […] Calhoun’s theory of nullification, which posited that states have the power to defy federal law, could be ripe for a comeback on the left coast. With the heirs of the Confederacy now reigning in Washington, turnabout might be very fair play.>>

We could also point to either the daily coronavirus press conferences headed by New York Governor Cuomo which have been broadcast nationally – positioning Cuomo as a sort of ‘anti-Trump’ or ‘alternate president’ – or we could point to the Atlantic’s fair treatment of the Texas secession movement in December of 2019. That piece deserves our attention, because it pins both the Texas and California secession movements as having had some Russian attention. The leader of the Texas movement makes an apology for having gone to Russia and attended a conference relating to Texas secession.

That part is critical in terms of a broader strategy being used now against the American president. This is one where ostensibly foreign tactics used in fourth-generation warfare (4GW) to destabilize power in the U.S., or alternatively, 4GW tactics used by the U.S. to destabilize a foreign power – can be used also by a power-structure from within the U.S. to destabilize a particular and opposing other vector in the same country – in this case, the presidency.

In a piece I authored at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace when such a tactic was tried and failed in Armenia, in what was called the ‘Electric Yerevan’, we explain how 4GW uses thousands of years-old hybrid warfare tactics combined with Baudrillardian hyper-reality simulation, and Freudian psychoanalysis to manipulate mass psychology. These are adapted to Gene Sharp and his student Srdjan Popovic’s developments on some of the ideas of Saul Alinksy on Color Revolution. With a federal government unresponsive to a public which is increasingly panicked over life and death questions, such as for example Covid-19, then a combination of conscious and subconscious themes are visible, leading towards destabilization and, in this case, secession.

But how could such a potentially foreign-backed project like California (or Texas) seceding from the United States operate under the radar screen of the NSA?

In short: insulating a country from foreign destabilization campaigns would reasonably involve taking over leadership of those campaigns. This means that intelligence would involve more than observation and intel gathering, but would also involve leading the organization – assumedly to frustration. But such an endeavor would equally well serve as a cover for actually operating the secession campaign towards success, if the aim was for the operating power-structure to leverage it against an opposing other vector such as the Trump presidency.

This is how the U.S. intel was able to explain-away organizing, recruiting, and administering aspects of the Al Qaeda/ISIS project when journalists or intel officers without a need to know, would encounter evidence that this was indeed occurring.

What we can understand from this Bloomberg piece in the broader context to be discussed in brief, is that this secessionist article is a fragment or artifact of another possible reality that appears to have been planned.

Trump’s Counter-Strategy

Trump showed signs as late as the end of February that he would continue to deny the reality of Covid-19 by calling some aspect of the public hype around it a DNC hoax, as we already h ad. In so doing, his political line was apparently predicted by the Deep State actors whom we may call team nullification. It seemed that Prime Minister Johnson’s ‘herd immunity’ approach and Brazil’s Bolsonaro’s  ‘hands-off’ attitude would soon be mirrored by Russia. Given that Russia now has just 47,000 cases and just three-hundred and sixty related deaths, and this is following a variation of the ‘internationally accepted’, symptoms-only method of determining Covid-19 (without an anti-bodies test), it would have made sense back then that Russia would down-play coronavirus following more realistic projections, if it would have the adverse effect of compounding economic woes and create problems for Putin.

Just as the tanking of the economy would work against Trump, the coronavirus pandemic appeared a ‘lose-lose’ scenario for him provided that the public had a restored confidence in mainstream media reporting, stemming from its handling of the epidemic, which could be weaponized against Trump. In other words, Americans would listen to the media and what the WHO said, as orchestrated by team nullification, and lay serious blame on the ‘science-denying right-wing’ of Trump, Bolsonaro, Johnson, and Putin.

That’s why the pre-coronavirus attacks on Trump as a ‘science-denier’ had much farther reaching designs than simply a manufactured public debate with Greta Thunberg over global warming. Remember that in the film Contagion it is deforestation that causes a bat to take residence at a pig-farm, where the novel coronavirus is born.

What happened as things played out? Bolsonaro stayed with his version, and was ultimately removed from actual power by the military. This serves as a critical reminder by itself of what our ‘alternate timeline’ may have had in store for Trump, if we consider the ramifications of California making bolder moves to secede. Boris Johnson apparently became so ill that he ‘saw the light’ and changed UK policy towards a strict quarantine.

Putin, however, never went for the predicted script and instead used the very low numbers relating to covid-19 to nevertheless issue a quarantine. This was a policy that somehow dovetailed with Trump’s, and was interestingly reinforced in the aftermath of their widely discussed phone call.

History as told through FOIA may someday reveal what team nullification, pairing up with never-Trumper Bill Gates, may have tried to pull off. It really brings us back to Pompeo’s statement.  More to the point what he knew – when he knew it was a live exercise, and under what conditions it was discovered, planned, or allowed to play out – and to what degree. ‘Deep State’ Department Mike is an interesting being who can appear to act as a diplomat and consensus builder on policy between the Deep State and Trump.

Trump bucked the probable response model that team nullification planned around. Instead he was very available to the needs of New York and California, and he approached his media strategy with three precise attacks.

One, he made a commercial showing various state leaders including Cuomo and Newsom thanking the president for his availability and the scope of his response. This is shown in contrast with recent attacks disputing that the president has the authority to ‘open the country’.

Two, he made a press-conference video showing how it was the WHO themselves who initially down-played the threat. This particular part shines in brilliance because leading up to and after Easter weekend, the vast majority of Trump supporters are what the mainstream media will no doubt soon be calling ‘covid-deniers’. This seemed to be leading up to some big announcement right after Easter from Trump that Covid-19 was a hoax, and attack WHO and defund it. But instead he was able to justify defunding WHO and bucking their predictive model, by showing how they underestimated the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Three, he took to twitter and openly called out the Newsom/Cuomo ‘mutiny’.Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

Tell the Democrat Governors that “Mutiny On The Bounty” was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!162KTwitter Ads info and privacy110K people are talking about this

None of these three moves happened randomly the week after Easter, but rather were aimed at countering moves on team nullification and on the part of Newsom and Cuomo, to declare that the president did not have authority over the states. This all happened immediately during the week of April 13th, and so the timing of the April 9th Bloomberg piece preparing the public for pro-secessionist talking points, was not random. Almost nothing is random.

While we enter May with an in-tact government, future transpiring events will no doubt become ‘interestinger and interestinger’ as we venture further down the rabbit hole.

سقوط تاريخيّ للمعادلات العربيّة

د. وفيق إبراهيم

جامعة الدول العربية بما هي آلية للتنسيق بين البلدان الأعضاء فيها ومجلس التعاون الخليجي الذي يضم دول شبه جزيرة العرب لتحقيق تنسيق متنوّع بينها وصولاً الى التكامل «المستحيل».

هذه الآليات وصلت الى حائط مسدود ومرحلة انكشاف كامل إنما بعد عام تقريباً على ولادة الجامعة ونحو خمسة عقود على تأسيس المجلس، بما يؤكد ان مستقبلهما اصبح من الماضي مستنزفاً كل الوعود والأحلام بغدٍ عربي مشرق أصبح ليلاً حالكاً مليئاً برائحة التآمر والتخلف. هذا على الرغم من مئات الاجتماعات وآلاف اللقاءات واللجان وحفلات الكوكتيل ونفقات التنقل والسفر واكلاف الموظفين والفنادق والهدايا والمكرمات. وها هما اليوم يقفان عاجزين امام الكورونا بشكل يبدوان وحيدين لا علاقة لهما بحركة التاريخ.

ولم يتمكنا في السابق من دعم فلسطين التي التهمتها «اسرائيل» بالكامل بمواكبة ارتفاع مستوى التواطؤ العربي مع كيان العدو برعاية من الجامعة العربية ومجلس التعاون معاً.

ويتضح أيضاً غياب أي مشروع اقتصادي مشترك كان من المفترض أن يؤسس لبدايات تطور اقتصادي نوعي. اما سياسياً فانصاعت دول هاتين الآليتين للنفوذ الأميركي بشكل أعمى ونفذت مشاريعه ما استولد صراعات داخلية بين الدول الأعضاء فاقمت من شلل الجامعة والمجلس على السواء.

بأي حال ظهر بوضوح في سياساتهما منذ 1990 ومن خلال تعاملها مع الاجتياح الأميركي للعالم العربي والإسلامي وحالياً في مجابهة جائحة الكورونا انهما لم يتأسسا الا للاستعمال الأميركي فقط الوريث الفعلي للبريطانيين، فكان المطلوب منهما إجهاض أي تقدم عربي او اعمال مشتركة تعيد تموضع هذه الدول في العصر الحالي فنجحا في هذه المهمة الى درجة إبهار المتابعين ويواصلان سياسات السيطرة على كل قرارات المجلس والجامعة فإما أن تكون ضمن الأوامر الأميركية او لا تكون أبداً. وهكذا تخلى العرب عن سورية وتركوها تجابه الأميركيين والأوروبيين والإسرائيليين والإتراك وكل انواع الارهاب والتآمر الخليجي والأردني، وتعاملوا مع جائحة كورونا بأسلوب المستسلم لقدره بترقب الرحمة من السماء والولي الأميركي فيجدون لهم دواء او لقاحاً يمنع عنهم المصير الاسود.

كيف استولى الأميركييون على هاتين المؤسستين وجعلوهما تنتقلان من مستوى الحياد الظاهري الى مرحلة تنفيذ المشروع الأميركي الاسرائيلي بشكل علني؟ استعملوا المحور الخليجي المصري الذي استفاد من الهيمنة القطبية على العالم.

ما جعلتهما تطيحان بسياسة تأمين الإجماع المطلوب لإصدار القرارات في هاتين الآليتين الى سياسة اكثرية الأصوات فتحولتا الى آلية أميركية كاملة تؤدي ادواراً عربية وخليجية واسلامية تعمل على خط ما يريده الجيوبوليتيك الأميركي وتنفذ المقررات التي تريدها المخابرات الأميركية ووزارة الخارجية الأميركية. فبدت السعودية ومصر وقطر والإمارات محور جامعة الدول العربية ومجلس التعاون الذي يصدر القرارات ويطرد من يشاء ويدعم الموالين.

هذا المحور هو الذي غطى الهجمات الأميركية على إيران وأفغانستان والعراق معلقاً عضوية سورية في جامعة الدول العربية. ومغطياً تدمير ليبيا والاضطرابات في تونس ومصر والسودان والجزائر مستولياً على القرن الأفريقي ومحاولا تدمير اليمن في حرب متواصلة منذ خمس سنوات.

للتوضيح أكثر فإن هذا المحور هو الذي أناط به الأميركيين مهمة اضعاف العالمين العربي والإسلامي بمحاولة اختراع فتنة مذهبية بين السنة والشيعة، فيتبين ان وكالات الاستخبارات الغربية توصلت الى أن إضعاف العرب يهدف الى ضرب القضية الفلسطينية وتشكيل حلف عربي إسرائيلي لسرقة النفط يشكل جزءاً من الجيوبوليتيك الأميركي في مواجهة الصين وروسيا وإيران، ولا يكون الا بالفتنة الشيعية السنية وهي أداة لخلق عدو قومي ديني جديد للعرب وهي إيران بديلاً من «اسرائيل».

هذا ما طبقته جامعة الدول العربية ومعها مجلس التعاون الخليجي.

الا ان ادوار هاتين الآليتين فشلت بسبب الصمود السوري الذي أحبط الاهداف الأميركية بالسيطرة على الدولة السورية وتقسيمها طائفياً وعرقياً وجغرافياً بالاضافة الى الصمود اليمني الأسطوري الذي منع العدوان السعودي الإماراتي من السيطرة على صنعاء متقدما الى خطوط قريبة من عدن على بحر العرب ونجران داخل الحدود السعودية في اعالي صعدة ومحرراً الكثير من أراضي الجنوب والوسط.

هناك ايضا انكشاف لا يقل سوءاً عن سابقاته ويؤكد على السقوط الدراماتيكي التاريخي لجامعة الدول العربية ومجلس التعاون الخليجي.

فأمام جائحة الكورونا، استسلمت الدول العربية لها وعاملتها على أنها قدر لا يمكن مجابهته بسبب تخلفها العلمي.

فلم تصدر أي دولة عربية حتى مجرد بيان عن هذه الجائحة وما فعلته في مجتمعها في مقاومة صحية او اجتماعية.

وباستثناء لبنان الذي تعامل مع هذا الوباء الخبيث بنشاط حكومي بدا فاعلاً في احتواء انتشار الكورونا، وسورية التي استفادت من الحصار التركي والأميركي والبحري عليها الذي منع الانتقال الخارجي للكورونا الى مناطقها الداخلية، فإن الدول العربية سقطت في فخ العجز حتى انها لم تتمكن من معاينة بيئاتها الريفية والصحراوية لنقص في الإمكانات والأجهزة وأدوات التعقيم وغياب البنية الصحية المتخصصة في التعامل مع حالات مماثلة.

امام هذا العجز تجاهل مجلس التعاون الخليجي وجامعة الدول هذا الأمر ولم يسارع الى تأمين تنسيق عربي وخليجي لمكافحة هذه الجائحة، وفيما كانت هاتان الآليتان عنيفتين في الإصرار على تعليق عضوية سورية في جامعة الدول العربية بدتا منكسرتين امام جائحة الكورونا ولم تتفتق عبقرياتهما عن اية دعوة او قرار للتنسيق بين المختبرات الطبية لأكثر من عشرين دولة فآثرت التزام سياسة الصمت المشبوه الذي لا يريد إزعاج الأميركيين مخلياً لهم الساح ليبتكروا علاجاً فيسارع العرب الى شرائه بمليارات الدولارات مع الكثير من الشكر والحمد..

يبدو هنا أن الأميركيين يمنعون اي تنسيق إيجابي بين العرب خشية إدراكه المستوى السياسي والتكامل الاقتصادي وهذا ممنوع لضرورات اختراق المصالح الأميركية للمنطقة العربية.

لذلك فإن هاتين المؤسستين ادركتا نهاية العمر الافتراضي لعجزهما عن تحقيق اي إنجاز له علاقة بالوظائف المفترضة لتأسيسهما فلماذا استمرارهما اذاً؟

يبدو أن سورية هي البديل والقادرة على توجيه دعوة للبلدان العربية المتمرّدة على الهيمنة الأميركية لتأسيس آلية عربية جديدة وبوظائف تنسيقية سياسية.

أنا يمنيّ وأحبّ إخواني اليمنيّين

 السفير د. علي أحمد الديلمي

اتخذت التقاطعات السياسية في اليمن أبعاداً مناطقية وطائفية ومذهبية وحزبية وظلت السياسة والحكم يعتمدان على هذه الأبعاد. عام 1962 قامت ثورة شمال اليمن وانتهى حكم الأئمة من آل حميد الدين على يد مجموعة من الضباط الأحرار الشباب من كلّ طوائف المجتمع اليمني ومذاهبه ومناطقه. لكنّ الخطأ الذي وقع بعد ذلك هو عدم الاستمرار في نهج الثورة نفسه، ذلك أنّ الخطاب السياسيّ الذي اعتُمِد بعد الثورة عمّق في أذهان الشعب اليمني فكرة أنّ الثورة كانت ضدّ الهاشميين وليست ضدّ نظام حكم، (لكون الحكام كانوا هاشميّين قبل الثورة)، مع العلم أنّ الثورة شارك فيها الكثير من العلماء والقادة العسكريين والمثقفين من الهاشميين.

انطلاقاً من هذا الواقع، وفي سياق تحليل العقلية والذهنية السياسية التي سادت اليمن بعد الثورة، نجد أنّ الكثير من الهاشميّين الذين أيّدوا الثورة والتغيير أصبحوا في حالة ارتباك بين اتهامهم بالإماميّة والكهنوتيّة والسلاليّة وبين تأييد الثورة، حتى أنّ الكثير من الأسر الهاشمية غيّرت ألقابها خوفاً من الاستهداف والاستبعاد من الوظائف وغيرها من الممارسات التي حدثت بعد الثورة مباشرة وكانت قاسية جداً بحقّ الهاشميين.

بعد ذلك، وفي فترة حكم الرئيسين الراحلين إبراهيم الحمدي وعلي عبدالله صالح تحديداً، بدأ اليمنيون في الاندماج بصورة مختلفة عمّا سبق، لا سيّما من الناحية الاجتماعية والثقافية، فأصبحوا أكثر اختلاطاً وقبولاً وتوطّدت علاقات المصاهرة، رغم استمرار استبعاد الهاشميين من الوظائف العليا، وأيضاً القادمين من تعز واليمن الأسفل، وإن بصورة أقلّ.

إذاً ظلّت تلك السياسة مُتّبعة، من تحت الطاولة، والقصد هنا ليس الحديث عن مظلومية لحقت بطائفة أو منطقة أو أسرة بعينها، بقدر ما هو التأكيد على أنّ الحكم في اليمن ظلّ يأخذ بالأبعاد المناطقية والطائفية والمذهبية والحزبية. فما حدث مع الهاشميين حدث مع الشوافع أيضاً حيث ظلّ أبناء تعز وما يُسمّى اليمن الأسفل ينظرون إلى أبناء الهضبة والطبقة الحاكمة في الشمال على أنها استبعدت أبناء هذه المناطق من المناصب القيادية العليا في القوات المسلحة والأمن ويعتبرون أنّ هذه الممارسات تجاههم لم تكن مُنصِفة.

ولم يكن الحال في الجنوب أفضل من الشمال، وإن بصورة مختلفة حيث تمّ اعتماد سياسة التمييز نفسها من خلال أطر الحزب الاشتراكي اليمني حيث كانت تتمّ التحالفات والانقلابات المناطقية والسياسية داخل الحزب وبدموية أكبر ممّا حدث في الشمال.

عام 1990 تحقّقت الوحدة اليمنية واستبشر اليمنيون بها خيراً وأملوا أن تكون الحجر الأساس لبناء الدولة اليمنية المدنية الحديثة التي تختفي فيها كلّ السياسات المُجحفة التي تحدثنا عنها، لكنّ الرياح جرت عكس ما اشتهته سفن اليمنيين، نظراً لما تبع هذه الوحدة من صراع على السلطة تداخلت فيه كلّ الأبعاد المناطقية والطائفية والمذهبية والحزبية. وظلّت هذه الذهنية سائدة لدى السلطة الحاكمة التي دمّرت كلّ فرصة لبناء دولة يتساوى تحت سقفها الجميع، إلى أن اندلعت حرب 1994 والتي كانت مثالاً لهيمنة الشمال على الجنوب، بالمفهوم السياسي، حيث تحالف الرئيس علي عبدالله صالح مع حزب الإصلاح في تلك الحرب. وفي ظلّ غياب الدولة القادرة على تحقيق التنمية والعدالة لأبناء الشمال والجنوب على السواء، تشكلت كيانات جنوبية طالبت بحقوقها في الوظائف العامة والموارد الاقتصادية، وبدأت في الشمال حروب صعدة عام 2004. هذه الأحداث مُجتمعة، أكدت أنّ كيان الدولة هش وأنّ الذهنية التي تحكمه لا تنفع لإدارة دولة فيها من التنوّع ما يجعلها من أقوى دول المنطقة.

عام 2011 جاءت أحداث ما سُمِّي «الربيع العربي» وخرج الشباب اليمني المستقلّ من كلّ المناطق والطوائف والمذاهب وكانت لديه رغبة حقيقية في التغيير وبناء دولة مدنية، لكنّ الأحزاب السياسية الفاسدة ركبت موجة الثورة وحاورت السلطة وتقاسمت معها الحكومة وبقيت الذهنية المُتخلفة تحكم البلد وتمّ استبعاد غالبية الشباب. بعد ذلك وقّعت كلّ الأطراف السياسية والرئيس السابق علي عبدالله صالح المبادرة الخليجية والتي تمّ بموجبها ترتيب نظام نقل السلطة في اليمن، وتبعت ذلك انتخابات رئاسية جديدة في شباط/ فبراير 2012، وجرى انتخاب الرئيس عبدربه منصور هادي الذي وقع «اتفاق السلم والشراكة» مع الحوثيين والأطراف السياسية اليمنية الأخرى، وما تلا ذلك من أحداث حتى تقديم هادي استقالته بعد استقاله الحكومة برئاسة خالد بحاح، ثم تراجعه عنها حيث عاد لممارسة مهماته «كرئيس شرعي للبلاد» من مدينة عدن، لينتقل بعد ذلك إلى السعودية.

في آذار/ مارس 2015 تدخلت السعودية عسكرياً في اليمن ضمن ما سُمِّي «التحالف العربي» تحت شعار «استعادة الشرعية»، ولا يزال اليمن منذ خمس سنوات يعيش في دوامة من الصراع لا يُعرف مُنتهاها، ولا تزال البلاد تُحكم بالعقلية المناطقية والذهنية عينها التي ذكرناها سابقاً.

النتيجة أنّ كلّ من وصل إلى الحكم في اليمن اعتمد الأبعاد المتخلفة التي ذكرناها. وجميعنا يعرف أنّ كلّ ما حدث سببه مجموعة من اللصوص والانتهازيين الذين يأكلون الحرام يومياً من دماء اليمنيين ولا يهمهم سوى مصالحهم والأموال والمكاسب التي يحصلون عليها.

انطلاقاً من كلّ هذه المصائب التي حلت بشعبنا ووطننا اليمن، فإنّ رسالتنا جميعاً يجب أن تكون: «أنا يمني وأحب إخواني اليمنيين جميعاً بغضّ النظر عن مناطقهم أو طوائفهم أو مذاهبهم وأتمنى أن نحيا معاً في دولة عادلة تحقق لنا الحياة الكريمة والحرة والآمنة».

فليكن نضالنا جميعاً ضدّ الفاسدين والقتلة واللصوص والانتهازيين ومَن دمروا بلدنا.. ضدّ كلّ من يحاول بثّ مشاعر الحقد والتفرقة بيننا.. واجبنا أن نعمل جميعاً ضدهم ويجب أن يعلموا أنه لا يمكنهم استغلالنا في معارك ليست معاركنا. فلتكن مصالحنا واحدة وأهدافنا مشتركة لنصل إلى بناء دولة عادلة للجميع.

اليمن لي ولك ولأبنائنا وللأجيال القادمة…

دبلوماسي يمني.

WHICH TARGET AFTER SYRIA?

Source

19 years of “war without end”

President George W. Bush decided to radically transform the Pentagon’s missions, as Colonel Ralph Peters explained in the Army magazine Parameters on September 13, 2001. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld appointed Admiral Arthur Cebrowski to train future officers. Cebrowski spent three years touring military universities so that today all general officers have taken his courses. His thoughts were popularized for the general public by his deputy, Thomas Barnett.

The areas affected by the US war will be given over to “chaos”. This concept is to be understood in the sense of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, i.e. as the absence of political structures capable of protecting citizens from their own violence (“Man is a wolf to man”). And not in the biblical sense of making a clean slate before the creation of a new order.

This war is an adaptation of the US Armed Forces to the era of globalization, to the transition from productive capitalism to financial capitalism. “War is a Racket,” as Smedley Butler, America’s most decorated general, used to say before World War II [1]. From now on, friends and enemies will no longer count; war will allow for the simple management of natural resources.

This form of war involves many crimes against humanity (including ethnic cleansing) that the US Armed Forces cannot commit. Secretary Donald Rumsfeld therefore hired private armies (including Blackwater) and developed terrorist organizations while pretending to fight them.

The Bush and Obama administrations followed this strategy: to destroy the state structures of entire regions of the world. The US war is no longer about winning, but about lasting (the “war without end”). President Donald Trump and his first National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, have questioned this development without being able to change it. Today, the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski thinkers pursue their goals not so much through the Defence Secretariat as through NATO.

After President Bush launched the “never-ending war” in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), there was strong contestation among Washington’s political elites about the arguments that had justified the invasion of Iraq and the disorder there. This was the Baker-Hamilton Commission (2006). The war never stopped in Afghanistan or Iraq, but it took five years for President Obama to open new theatres of operation: Libya (2011), Syria (2012) and Yemen (2015).

Two external actors interfered with this plan.
 In 2010-11, the United Kingdom launched the “Arab Spring”, an operation modeled on the “Arab Revolt” of 1915, which allowed Lawrence of Arabia to put the Wahhabi in power on the Arabian Peninsula. This time it was a question of placing the Muslim Brotherhood in power with the help not of the Pentagon, but of the US State Department and NATO.
 In 2014, Russia intervened in Syria, whose state had not collapsed and which it helped to resist. Since then, the British – who had tried to change the regime there during the “Arab Spring” (2011-early 2012) – and then the Americans – who were seeking to overthrow not the regime, but the state (mid-2012 to the present) – have had to withdraw. Russia, pursuing the dream of Tsarina Catherine, is today fighting against chaos, for stability – that is to say, for the defence of state structures and respect for borders.

Colonel Ralph Peters, who in 2001 revealed the Pentagon’s new strategy, published Admiral Cebrowski’s map of objectives in 2006. It showed that only Israel and Jordan would not be affected. All other countries in the “Broader Middle East” (i.e., from Morocco to Pakistan) would gradually be stateless and all major countries (including Saudi Arabia and Turkey) would disappear.

Noting that its best ally, the United States, was planning to cut its territory in two in order to create a “free Kurdistan”, Turkey unsuccessfully tried to get closer to China, and then adopted the theory of Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu: “Zero problems with its neighbours”. It distanced itself from Israel and began to negotiate peace with Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Iraq etc. It also distanced itself from Israel. Despite the territorial dispute over Hatay, it created a common market with Syria. However, in 2011, when Libya was already isolated, France convinced Turkey that it could escape partition if it joined NATO’s ambitions. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a political Islamist of the Millî Görüş, joined the Muslim Brotherhood, of which he was not a member, hoping to recoup the fruits of the ’Arab Spring’ for his own benefit. Turkey turned against one of its main clients, Libya, and then against one of its main partners, Syria.

In 2013, the Pentagon adapted the “endless war” to the realities on the ground. Robin Wright published two corrective maps in the New York Times. The first dealt with the division of Libya, the second with the creation of a “Kurdistan” affecting only Syria and Iraq and sparing the eastern half of Turkey and Iran. It also announced the creation of a “Sunnistan” straddling Iraq and Syria, dividing Saudi Arabia into five and Yemen into two. This last operation began in 2015.

The Turkish General Staff was very happy with this correction and prepared for the events. It concluded agreements with Qatar (2017), Kuwait (2018) and Sudan (2017) to set up military bases and surround the Saudi kingdom. In 2019 it financed an international press campaign against the “Sultan” and a coup d’état in Sudan. At the same time, Turkey supported the new project of “Kurdistan” sparing its territory and participated in the creation of “Sunnistan” by Daesh under the name of “Caliphate”. However, the Russian intervention in Syria and the Iranian intervention in Iraq brought this project to a halt.

In 2017, regional president Massoud Barzani organised a referendum for independence in Iraqi Kurdistan. Immediately, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran understood that the Pentagon, returning to its original plan, was preparing to create a “free Kurdistan” by cutting up their respective territories. They coalesced to defeat it. In 2019, the PKK/PYG announced that it was preparing for the independence of the Syrian ’Rojava’. Without waiting, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran once again joined forces. Turkey invaded the “Rojava”, chasing the PKK/YPG, without much reaction from the Syrian and Russian armies.

In 2019, the Turkish General Staff became convinced that the Pentagon, having temporarily renounced destroying Syria because of the Russian presence, was now preparing to destroy the Turkish state. In order to postpone the deadline, it tried to reactivate the “endless war” in Libya, then to threaten the members of NATO with the worst calamities: the European Union with migratory subversion and the United States with a war with Russia. To do this, it opened its border with Greece to migrants and attacked the Russian and Syrian armies in Idleb where they bombed the Al Qaeda and Daesh jihadists who had taken refuge there. This is the episode we are living through today.

Robin Wright’s "Reshaping the Broader Middle East" map, published by Robin Wright.
Robin Wright’s “Reshaping the Broader Middle East” map, published by Robin Wright.

The Moscow Additional Protocol

The Turkish army caused Russian and Syrian casualties in February 2020, while President Erdoğan made numerous phone calls to his Russian counterpart, Putin, to lower the tension he was causing with one hand.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to curb the Pentagon’s appetites if Turkey helped the Pentagon restart the “endless war” in Libya. This country is divided into a thousand tribes that clash around two main leaders, both CIA agents, the president of the Presidential Council, Fayez el-Sarraj, and the commander of the National Army, Khalifa Haftar.

Last week, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Libya, Professor Ghassan Salame, was asked to resign for “health reasons”. He complied, not without expressing his bad mood at a press conference. An axis has been set up to support al-Sarraj by the Muslim Brotherhood around Qatar and Turkey. A second coalition was born around Haftar with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, but also Saudi Arabia and Syria.

It is the great return of the latter on the international scene. Syria is the culmination of nine years of victorious resistance to the Brotherhood and the United States. Two Libyan and Syrian embassies were opened with great pomp and circumstance on 4 March, in Damascus and Benghazi.

Moreover, the European Union, after having solemnly condemned the “Turkish blackmail of refugees”, sent the President of the Commission to observe the flow of refugees at the Greek-Turkish border and the President of the Council to survey President Erdoğan in Ankara. The latter confirmed that an arrangement was possible if the Union undertook to defend the ’territorial integrity’ of Turkey.

With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.
With keen pleasure, the Kremlin has staged the surrender of Turkey: the Turkish delegation is standing, contrary to the habit where chairs are provided for guests; behind it, a statue of Empress Catherine the Great recalls that Russia was already present in Syria in the 18th century. Finally, Presidents Erdoğan and Putin are seated in front of a pendulum commemorating the Russian victory over the Ottoman Empire.

It was thus on this basis that President Vladimir Putin received President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Kremlin on March 5. A first, restricted, three-hour meeting was devoted to relations with the United States. Russia would have committed itself to protect Turkey from a possible partition on the condition that it signs and applies an Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area [2]. A second meeting, also of three hours duration but open to ministers and advisers, was devoted to the drafting of this text. It provides for the creation of a 12-kilometre-wide security corridor around the M4 motorway, jointly monitored by the two parties. To put it plainly: Turkey is backing away north of the reopened motorway and losing the town of Jisr-el-Chogour, a stronghold of the jihadists. Above all, it must at last apply the Sochi memorandum, which provides for support only for the Syrian armed opposition, which is supposed to be democratic and not Islamist, and for combating the jihadists. However, this “democratic armed opposition” is nothing more than a chimera imagined by British propaganda. In fact, Turkey will either have to kill the jihadists itself, or continue and complete their transfer from Idleb (Syria) to Djerba (Tunisia) and then Tripoli (Libya) as it began to do in January.

In addition, on March 7, President Putin contacted former President Nazerbayev to explore with him the possibility of deploying Kazakh “blue chapkas” in Syria under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This option had already been considered in 2012. Kazakh soldiers have the advantage of being Muslims and not orthodox.

The option of attacking Saudi Arabia rather than Turkey from now on has been activated by the Pentagon, it is believed to be known in Riyadh, although President Trump is imposing delirious arms orders on it in exchange for its protection. The dissection of Saudi Arabia had been envisaged by the Pentagon as early as 2002 [3].

Missiles were fired this week against the royal palace in Riyadh. Prince Mohamed ben Salmane (known as “MBS”, 34 years old) had his uncle, Prince Ahmed (70 years old), and his former competitor and ex-heir prince, Prince Mohamed ben Nayef (60 years old), as well as various other princes and generals arrested. The Shia province of Qatif, where several cities have already been razed to the ground, has been isolated. Official explanations of succession disputes and coronavirus are not enough [4].

Notes:

[1] “I had 33 years and 4 months of active service, and during that time I spent most of my time as a big shot for business, for Wall Street, and for bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster in the service of capitalism. I helped secure Mexico, especially the city of Tampico, for the American oil companies in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a suitable place for the men of the National City Bank to make a profit. I helped rape half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the American bank Brown Brothers from 1902 to 1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the benefit of American sugar companies in 1916. I delivered Honduras to American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927, I helped the Standard Oil company do business in peace.” Smedley Butler in War Is a Racket, Feral House (1935)

[2] “Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area”, Voltaire Network, 5 March 2020.

[3] “Taking Saudi out of Arabia“, Powerpoint by Laurent Murawiec for a meeting of the Defence Policy Board (July 10, 2002).

[4] “Two Saudi Royal Princes Held, Accused of Plotting a Coup”, Bradley Hope, Wall Street Journal; “Detaining Relatives, Saudi Prince Clamps Down”, David Kirkpatrick & Ben Hubbard, The New Yok Times, March 7, 2020.


By Thierry Meyssan
Source: Voltaire Network

Assad to Russia 24: Erdogan Aligned with Al Qaeda Because of his Muslim Brotherhood Ideology

March 5, 2020 Miri Wood

President Bashar al Assad told Russia-24 TV that Erdogan’s Muslim Brotherhood ideology, not Turkish national interests, is the cause of his sending troops illegally into Syria, to fight for al Qaeda in Idlib.

Dr. Assad also discussed the challenges of the American occupation of Syrian oil fields and Syrian monies stolen by foreign banks.

Syria News provides the full transcript of the recent interview by Yevgeny Primokov, courtesy of SANA.

Journalist:  Hello! This is “International Review” with Yevgeny Primakov. Today, we are in Damascus, in our temporary studio. His Excellency, President Bashar al-Assad, is not our guest in the studio; rather, we are his guests. Mr. President, thank you very much for receiving us and giving us the time to conduct this interview. We are happy to be with you and to see that you are in good health in these difficult circumstances.

President Assad:  You are welcome. I am very happy to receive a Russian national television station.

Question 1:  Thank you very much Mr. President. Clearly, the most important topic now, besides the war on terrorism that your country is waging, are the events in the Idlib governorate, and the danger of confrontation between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey. The Turkish forces are directly supporting what is called “the opposition,” although we see in their ranks elements which belong to terrorist organizations, which are affiliated to Al Qaeda and other organizations. Turkish troops are also taking part in attacks against Syrian forces. The question is: what has changed in the relations between you and Erdogan, between Syria and Turkey? Before 2011, Erdogan used to call you “brother,” and your two families were friends. What has changed and pushed things to where they are now?

President Assad:  The core of the issue is American policy.  At a point in time, the United States decided that secular governments in the region were no longer able to implement the plans and roles designated to them; of course, I am referring to the countries which were allies of the United States and not those like Syria which are not.  They decided to replace these regimes with Muslim Brotherhood regimes that use religion to lead the public.

In doing this, things would become easier for American plans and Western plans in general.  This process of “replacement” started with the so-called Arab Spring.  Of course, at the time, the only Muslim Brotherhood-led country in the region was Turkey, through Erdogan himself and his Brotherhood affiliation.  Prior to this, our relations with them were good in both the political and economic fields; we even had security and military cooperation.  There were no problems at all between Syria and Turkey.  We didn’t do anything against them and we didn’t support any forces hostile to them. We believed them to be neighbours and brothers.  But Erdogan’s Muslim Brotherhood affiliation is much stronger than all of this and he returned to his original identity and built his policies with Syria according to this ideology.

It is well-known that the Muslim Brotherhood were the first organisation to endorse violence and use religion to gain power. Now, if we ask ourselves, why are Turkish soldiers being killed in Syria?  What is the cause they are fighting for?  What is the dispute?  There is no cause, even Erdogan himself is unable to tell the Turks why he is sending his army to fight in Syria.  The single reason is the Muslim Brotherhood and it has nothing to do with Turkish national interests.  It is related to Erdogan’s ideology and consequently the Turkish people have to die for this ideology.  That’s why he is unable to explain to the Turkish people why his soldiers are being killed in Syria.

Question 2:  Is there any hope of establishing any kind of communication between Turkey and Syria gradually, at least between the military and the intelligence, and in the future, maybe, diplomatic relations?

President Assad:  During the past two years, numerous intensive meetings took place between Russian and Turkish officials, and despite the Turkish aggression a few meetings were held between Syrian and Turkish security officials.  Our shared objective with the Russians was to move Turkey away from supporting terrorists and bring it back to its natural place.  For Syria, and for you also, Turkey is a neighbouring country.  It is natural to have sound relations with a neighboring country; it is unnatural under any pretext or any circumstance to have bad relations.  So, as to your question, is it possible?  Of course it is, but we can’t achieve this outcome while Erdogan continues to support the terrorists.  He has to stop supporting terrorism, at which point things can return to normal because there is no hostility between the two peoples.  The hostility is caused by political actions or policies based on vested interests.  On the level of the Syrian nation and the Turkish nation, there are neither differences nor conflicts of interests.  So, yes, these relations should return to normal.

Question 3:  Is this your message to the Turkish people, that there is no hostility against them?  Have I understood you correctly?

President Assad:  Of course, we used to describe them as brotherly people, even now, I ask the Turkish people: what is your issue with Syria?  What is the issue for which a Turkish citizen deserves to die?  What is the hostile act, small or large, carried out by Syria against Turkey during or before the war?  There is none.  There are mixed marriages and families, and daily interactions and interests between Syria and Turkey.  In Turkey, there are groups of Syrian Arab origin and there are groups in Syria of Turkish origin.  These interactions have existed throughout history; it is not logical that there is a dispute between us.

Question 4: Mr. President, I realize that I am talking to a head of state; nevertheless, I can’t but ask about the human dimension. This person [Erdogan] shook your hand, was your guest, you received him, and he called you a brother and a friend, etc.. Now, he allows himself to say all these things. How does that affect you emotionally?

President Assad: I have met people who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood from different countries.  He is one of them from Turkey, there were some from Egypt, Palestine and others; they have all done the same thing.  

They used to say nice things about Syria or about their personal relationship with me, but when things change, they turn against the person.  That’s how the Muslim Brotherhood are: they have no political, social, or religious ethics.  For them, religion is not a form of good, it is violence; this is their principle.  Erdogan is a member of the opportunistic Muslim Brotherhood and so it is normal for him to do what he has done.  The lack of clarity and endless lying are part of their nature.

Question 5: The war in your country has been going on for nine years.  It is twice as long as the World War II, the Great Patriotic War, and soon we will mark the 75th anniversary of our victory in it, which is a very important event for Russia.  What strength does the Syrian people store that enables them to survive and triumph and avoid despair?  What is the secret?  Is it an internal strength, or something else?  Or is it simply that you have better weapons?

President Assad:  There are several factors which should be considered.  The fact that we are a small country, means these factors make us a strong country in this war.  First and foremost, national awareness and public opinion.  Without the widespread awareness of the Syrian people that what is happening is the result of a Western conspiracy against their country, Syria might have perished or been destroyed very quickly.  This popular realization produced a national unity despite different political leanings or different cultural and social affiliations – ethnic, religious or sectarian groups.  This awareness created unity with the state in confronting terrorism; this is a very important factor.

The second factor is the Syrian people’s legendary capacity for sacrifice, which we have witnessed primarily through the Syrian Arab Army.  Under normal circumstances, one would believe that these sacrifices can only be found in movies or novels, while in fact they were apparent in every battle and this is what protected the country.

In addition to the sacrifices of the army, the people themselves sacrificed.  They have been living in extremely difficult circumstances: continuous shelling, sanctions and bad economic conditions.  Nevertheless, the people remained steadfast with their country.

The third factor is the public sector, which has played an important role in keeping the state together.  In the worst of circumstances, salaries continued to be paid, schools kept running and daily essential services were provided to citizens.  Bottom line services continued to be provided so that life continues.

In addition to these factors, there is the fact that our friends have supported us, particularly Russia and Iran.  They have supported us politically, militarily, and economically.  All these factors together have helped Syria remain steadfast up until now.

Question 6: If you don’t mind, I’ll dwell on these factors for more details, and we will start with the Syrian society and what you have said about its diverse culture and tolerance among its different ethnic, cultural and religious groups. The extremist terrorists have struck a severe blow to this Syrian characteristic by promoting extremist demands and an extremist ideology. Yesterday, we were in the Old City of Damascus, and we couldn’t imagine what the situation would be like if the black flag of the caliphate appeared in Damascus, something which can only be imagined with horror. To what extent is Syria ready to rebuild itself as a multicultural state, tolerant, secular, etc.?

President Assad:  What I’m about to say may sound exaggerated, but by nature I speak in real terms and do not like exaggeration.  In actual fact, Syrian society today in terms of coherence and the social integration of its different segments, is better than it was before the war.  This is for a simple reason: war is a very important lesson to any society, a lesson that extremism is destructive and that not accepting the other is dangerous.  As a result, these segments within our society came together.

If you go to the Old City or to any area under government control, you will not see this problem at all.  On the contrary, as I mentioned, things are better than before.  The problem is in the areas which were outside government control.  That’s why I’m not concerned at all in this regard, despite the attempted Western narrative to show that the war in Syria is between sects, which is not true.  A war between sects means that you come today to this area and find one colour, and in another area you find another colour, and in another place a third and a fourth colour; this is not the case. You will see all the colours of Syria, without exception, in the state-controlled areas.  Whereas in the terrorist-controlled areas, they are not looking for a colour, but for parts of one colour, which is the extremist colour.  This is because only extremists at the far end of extremism could live with them and that is why a large number of people fled the terrorist-controlled areas to state-controlled areas.  That is why I’m not concerned at all in this regard.  The challenge, however, will be in the areas which were occupied by the terrorists.

Question 7: This raises the question of the possibility of granting an amnesty. There are many people who were misled by the propaganda of the terrorists and extremists. Some of them committed crimes. Others were members of armed groups which committed terrorist acts. But there are those who did not carry weapons, or carried them without killing people. What are the grounds on which the government can reach out to them? And can there be compromises through which such people can be forgiven? This is a very important moral question. And in addition to the moral dimension, there are legal aspects as to resolving their status and integrating them in society, and maybe in the army as well.

President Assad:  In this type of war, amnesty must be a core element of domestic policy.  We cannot restore stability if we do not grant amnesty for the mistakes that have been made.  From the very beginning of the war, we have regularly enacted amnesty decrees pardoning all those who acted against the national interest. In the areas which were controlled by the militants, we have conducted what we call local reconciliations that have resulted in the state legally pardoning individuals; all those who hand in

their weapons, receive amnesty provided that they return to their normal civil life under the authority of the state and the rule of law. This process has been very successful and restored stability to a large number of areas, and we are continuing to implement this policy.

There are very limited cases which cannot be granted amnesty, for example those who committed criminal acts and premeditatedly killed large numbers of people; most of these are terrorist leaders.  However, in terms of the broader situation, I believe that most people want to return to the state, because a large number of them who carried weapons were actually forced to do so.  They had no choice: either you carry weapons or you are killed.  These people are not necessarily extremists.  They do not have a terrorist past.  They are ordinary people who were forced to carry weapons.

Similarly, there are those who had to take political or public positions in the media in favour of the terrorists for the same reasons, we know this for a fact.  That’s why I believe that most of these people do support the state and were cooperating and communicating with us throughout.  So, I fully agree with you, we must continue providing amnesty and we must continue with this process in the new areas we liberate, especially since we want most Syrians inside and outside Syria to return to their country.

Question 8: Now, we will talk about rebuilding the state, but the state always consists of people. When we talk about terrorists, we either force them to drop their weapons or persuade them to drop them and go back to their senses. Conversely, there are those who have their perceptions of justice; and you certainly meet state officials, whether in the security or police agencies, who have to reach out and resolve the status of those who became terrorists on the other side. These officials might resent that and find it difficult to accept. For instance, if I see this individual who used to aim his weapon at me living with me now on the same street and buying bread from the same bakery as I do, how should I behave? What do you say to state supporters who are not always prepared to accept such an amnesty or such an act of forgiveness?

President Assad:  At the beginning of the war we used to see such cases.  I recall when I passed the first amnesty decree, many Syrians resented it not only within the government, but also the broader public because some may have lost a family member from the terrorism.  In the beginning, it was not easy to tell them that we will grant amnesty in order to restore stability.  However, this was the case for the first few months only.  Today, if you ask anybody or at least those who support the state, regardless of whether they work in the government or not, this is now accepted because they have seen the results.  In fact, in many cases they are the ones pushing for an amnesty and a settlement, which helps greatly.  So, there are no longer different viewpoints, because the facts on the ground have shown that this is the right thing to do and that it is good for Syria.

Question 9: As to the situation on the ground, I’ll not talk about who controls this or that area, because the situation on the ground is fluid and ever-changing and should be left to the military. But it is clear now that the state has restored large areas in southern Idlib governorate. Here, peaceful life will return, as happened in other areas, in Eastern Ghouta, Deir Ezzor, and the other areas liberated previously. What will the state do when it goes into the liberated areas? Where will it start its work? And what is the most important aspect to restoring peaceful life?

President Assad: In many of the areas we have liberated, there are no civilians since most had left when the terrorists arrived.  The first thing we do is to restore the infrastructure in order to enable the local population to return.  The first thing they need is electricity, water, roads, police, municipalities, and other services.  They need all these service providers; this is the first challenge.  The second, which is equally important, is rebuilding schools so that they are able to receive students.  If the infrastructure is available and I can’t send my children to school, what’s the point, it means I can’t go back to this area.  So, schools and health services are fundamental after the exit of terrorists and the restoration of security.  Later, of course, we engage with the local community to identify who was involved with the terrorists through various actions.  As I mentioned earlier, this is an important step towards reconciliation and resolving the status of these people in order to restore normal life to the city.

Question 10: What are the difficulties which emerge during this process? And are there sleeper cells which undermine the process of reconstruction? What are the problems facing you?

President Assad:  When I mentioned that the pardons and reconciliations have been successful, this doesn’t mean that the success was a hundred percent; nothing is perfect.  Some of these people still have terrorist leanings and extremist ideology, and are still cooperating with extremist groups in other areas and carrying out terrorist acts.  In the past few weeks, there have been a number of explosive devices planted in different places or under cars.  These terrorist acts have claimed the lives of many victims.  However, this doesn’t mean that we stop the process of reconciliations, but rather we need to hunt down these sleeper cells.  We have been able to arrest a large number of them, but there are others that are still active.  One sleeper cell might carry out a number of acts giving the impression that a full organisation exists.  Whereas in fact it is one cell made up of a group of individuals and by arresting them you are able to restore safety and security.  However, this challenge will remain, because terrorism still exists in Syria and outside support in the form of weapons and money is still at large.  Therefore, we do not expect to eliminate these sleeper cells in the foreseeable future.  We will continue to eliminate cells and others will appear, until things return to normal in Syria.

Question 11: Mr. President, in two months’ time, if I’m not mistaken, the country will hold parliamentary elections, in these difficult circumstances. How difficult will that be? Or, would they proceed according to plan, and nothing will stop or obstruct them?

President Assad: There is a constitution and we are governed by it.  We do not give in to Western threats or Western wishes, and we do not consider any factor other than the constitution.  The issue of postponing constitutional deadlines, whether for presidential or parliamentary elections, was raised with us several times and we refused to do so during the war.  Parliamentary elections will be held in a few months’ and we will proceed according to the constitutional agenda regardless of anything else.

Question 12: We talked about the domestic situation, let’s now talk about the outer environment. The Syrian Arab Republic has been subjected since 2011 to tightly-enforced isolation, not only by the Americans and the Europeans, which was expected, but also by the Arab League and its member states, including the Arab Gulf states. We know that the UAE embassy was reopened, and that Oman did not close its embassy and continued to work as usual. Do you see a positive change on the part of the Arab world, or is the situation still as it was, and that isolation persists? And what are the prospects of your contacts with the European Union? I’ll not ask about the Americans, for everything regarding them is unfortunately clear.

President Assad: Most Arab countries have maintained their relations with Syria, but not publicly for fear of pressure.  These countries have expressed their support for Syria and their wishes for us to defeat terrorism. However, Western pressure and American in particular, was severe on these countries to remain distant and not to open their embassies in Syria, particularly the Gulf states.  Europe however, is completely different.  In fact, for us, Europe for more than two decades and even before this war, has been absent on the global political arena. Europe has ceased to exist since 2003, after the American invasion of Iraq.  Europe surrendered completely to the United States and its role was limited to implementing what it was charged with by the American administration.

So, whether they communicate with us or not, the result is the same.  Whether they open embassies or not, there is no value.  We have met with a number of security officials from most European countries and they have been reasonable but they are unable to change course.  Some have frankly said, “we are unable to change, our politicians cannot change their policies because the European policy is linked to the American policy.”  They climbed the tree and are simply unable to come down.  That’s why we do not waste our time talking about a European role and European policy.  The master is the American.  We can talk about the Americans and this automatically includes the Europeans.

But in answer to your question, yes, there is a change.  There are clear convictions that this war has not achieved what those countries, or some of the colonialist countries wanted, that the Syrian people have paid the price, that stability has paid the price and now the Europeans are paying the price.  The problem of refugees in Europe is huge, but they will not change in the near future.  This is my conviction.

Question 13: Now, Turkey is blackmailing Europe by using the migrants. And this is what Erdogan is doing right now.

President Assad:  Turkey started sending the second wave of refugees to Europe as a form of blackmail.  Erdogan had threatened that he would send refugees.  Yesterday, there were videos on various media outlets about the beginning of a migrant movement towards Europe.

Question 14: In one of your answers, you touched on the relation with Russia. We consider it a relation of partnership. But this relation went through difficult years when Russia limited its presence in the Middle East and other parts of the world. Many people saw that as a betrayal, and that Russia turned its back on its old allies and partners. Now, how do you describe these relations which have been strengthened naturally during nine years of war? Since our aforementioned opponents, including the Europeans and the Americans, who are “evil tongues” as we say in Russia, claim that Syria is under Russian control. Is that true in reality. For our part, we look at this relation as a partnership and an alliance.

President Assad:  Our relations with you span more than six decades; this is not a short period of time and it covers several generations.  We know each other very well and this relationship has been through various experiences.  Through the different circumstances, including the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union, our relations with Russia have always been based on mutual respect, a peer-to-peer relationship.  We have never felt at any time, even during this war, that Russia is trying to impose its views on us.  They have always treated us with respect; even when we differed, they respected the views of the Syrian government.  This is a general rule that has governed the past decades and hasn’t changed because it is based on Russian customs, traditions, and perspectives.  So, on a bilateral level the relationship between Syria and Russia is clearly a partnership, particularly now after the war, this partnership has become stronger and more reliable.

However, if we wanted to view our relationship with Russia from a different perspective, which is Russia’s international role, the issue is different.  Today, many small countries and even countries of medium strength around the world, look towards Russia and rely to a large extent on its role, because it is Russia’s duty today to restore international balance to the global arena.  The presence of the Russian military base in Syria is not only aimed at fighting terrorism but also at creating an international political balance in the Security Council, as well as a military balance in different areas with a view of restoring the Russian role.  Restoring this role is in the interest of all states, including Syria and other small and medium-sized countries as I mentioned.   Therefore, we view this relationship from two perspectives: a partnership on the bilateral level and a relationship based on this international role, which we hope will continue to increase as has been the case since President Putin came to power in 2000 and restored Russia’s position.

Question 15: Now we are talking about military and political support. What about the economy? Going back to rebuilding Syria, are there large Russian – or non-Russian – projects which help in reconstruction? Is there a state or a company which is prepared to come and invest in the Syrian economy without fear of sanctions or political problems caused by the United States and Europe? For instance, there used to be a flourishing pharmaceutical industry in Aleppo, which used to export its products throughout the Middle East, and you, as a doctor, know that. Are there any ideas to restore industrial production in the pharmaceutical field or other fields? And to what extent the lack of resources will affect these economic projects, considering that oil is now outside state control and is controlled by a power, which came from beyond the Atlantic and built its bases there under the pretext of protecting oil?

President Assad:  When we built our infrastructure in Syria in the 1970s and the 1980s, we did not have oil at that time.  It was built with Syrian money and with Syrian capabilities.  So, we know we have the capabilities and can provide the resources.  There is a lot of Syrian capital within Syria and mostly abroad and should most certainly take part in this process.

Since 2018, there has been a great interest from big companies outside of Syria – Arab and non-Arab, to participate in the reconstruction.  However, what’s happening is that the Americans are applying huge pressure and threatening individuals and companies alike; this has no doubt frightened some of these companies.  This is happening even with regard to Russian companies.  There are several Russian companies which want to invest in Syria but fear taking any step.  Chinese companies have the same problem.

However, every problem has a solution.  Most recently, a number of large international companies have started to come to Syria using different methods which enable them to evade the sanctions.  So, there is a possibility now for these companies to work in Syria without facing sanctions.  Of course, I cannot discuss these methods, but we have started to see a return of foreign investment.  It is true that the movement is slow, but I believe it is a good start – a promising start, to support the reconstruction process which we have started.  We did not wait; we have begun in some areas and in order to expand there must be a larger number of companies and investments.

Question 16:  What are the areas which you consider priorities or most attractive to investors?

President Assad:  Of course, the most important is rebuilding the destroyed suburbs.  I think this will be of high interest for investment companies and several have already expressed interest; this is certainly a profitable area.  Another sector is oil and gas, which is also profitable.  There are already a number of Russian companies that have started operating in Syria during the past few years and are now planning to increase production.  The biggest obstacle preventing expansion in this sector is the terrorist and American occupation of the most important sites of oil wells in Syria.  The Americans know this of course, and that’s why they continue to occupy the oil wells and obstruct the reconstruction process.  In short, these are the most important sectors.  Of course, there are many other areas which any society needs, but are less important for international companies.

Question 17: As we know, there is a big problem caused by freezing Syrian funds in foreign banks.  Is it difficult to finance some contracts because of that?

President Assad:  That’s true.  This is robbery in every sense of the word; but if the money is stolen it doesn’t mean that as a state and as a society we should stop creating wealth.  We have many capabilities and this is one of the reasons why we have survived nine years of war.  They are well aware that if the war stopped completely, Syrian society is capable of rising in a strong manner and that we will be stronger economically than we were before the war. This is why they have resorted to threatening Syrian and foreign companies.  In other words, if a Syrian citizen wants to invest in Syria, they will likely be sanctioned, or oil revenues are prevented from returning to Syria. The more important factor is the ongoing war, which discourages companies and prevents them from coming to Syria.  If these three factors are eliminated, we have no problem in rebuilding the country.  We have strong human and material resources in Syria and we also have faithful friends like Russia and Iran who will help us.

Question 18: Mr. President, we talked about Idlib in general, and touched on the oil fields east of the Euphrates river controlled by the Americans, and we know that there is a power outage every four hours, and we know that power plants are mostly fueled by oil products. This factor – controlling oil and oil products – is crucial for Syrian economy. Do you have any plans to restore control over the areas east of the Euphrates? How are you going to proceed in that direction?

President Assad:  Militarily the priority now is Idlib, this is why we see Erdogan using all his force and no doubt under American directives.  This is because by liberating Idlib we will be able to move towards liberating the eastern regions.  As I have said on several occasions, for them, Idlib militarily is an advanced post.  They have used all their power to obstruct the liberation of Idlib, so that we do not move eastward.  However, despite not yet advancing towards the eastern region, we are still in direct communication with the population there.  There is a great deal of anger and resentment on their part against the American occupation and against the groups acting on behalf of the Americans.

I believe that this anger will build up gradually and there will be resistance operations against the occupiers.  It is the national and constitutional duty of the state to support any act against an occupying power.  As time goes by, the Americans will not have a population supporting them but a population standing against the American occupation.  They will not be able to stay, neither for the oil nor to support terrorists like ISIS and al-Nusra or any other reason.  The same of course, applies to the Turks who are occupying the northern part of Syrian territories.  If they do not leave through political negotiations, they must leave by force.  This is what we will do.  This is also our patriotic duty as Syrians.

Question 19: It’s good that we have arrived at this difficult issue. If we talk about the Kurds who live in the east and northeast of the country, and who might not be happy with the Americans and the Turks, particularly the Turks, with whom they have a longstanding enmity. Their relationship with Damascus is difficult because they are separatists and supported the United States at one point and became its allies. The question here is about reunifying the Syrian Arab Republic and reintegrating its territories within its legal borders. How are you going to build your policy regarding the Kurds, taking into account that Damascus has almost accused them of treason because they signed an agreement with the Americans. Do you have a plan in that regard? What’s the price for integrating them? What can you give the Kurds? And what are the things which you cannot give them?

President Assad:  We are in contact with the Kurdish political groups in northern Syria, the problem is that some of these groups, not all of them, operate under American authority.  We do not say “the Kurds” because the larger part of the Kurds are patriotic groups or tribes which support the state; however, these groups have no voice.  Those who control the area are small groups acting with the Americans.

As to what is sometimes referred to as the “Kurdish cause,” there is no such cause in Syria for a simple reason. Historically, there are Kurds who live in Syria; these groups which came to the north did so during the last century and only as a result of the Turkish oppression.  We have hosted them in Syria.  Kurds, Armenians and other groups came to Syria and we had no problem with that.  For example, there is no Syrian-Armenian issue.    There is a great diversity in Syria and we do not have an issue with that diversity, so why would we have a problem with the Kurds?!  The problem is with the groups that started to promote separatist propositions a few decades ago, mainly in the early 1980s.  Yet despite this, when the Turkish state during various periods oppressed and killed the Kurds in Turkey, we supported them.  We haven’t stood against their cause, if they call it a cause.  In Syria, they were given a nationality, even though they were not Syrian.  We have always been positive regarding the Kurdish issue.  Therefore, what is called “the Kurdish cause” is an incorrect title, a false title.

The problem right now is dealing with the Americans.  The Americans are occupiers; they occupied our lands.  The Americans are thieves stealing our oil.  You cannot play both sides: between those who protect the law and those who break it.  You cannot stand with the police and the thief at the same time, this is impossible.  You are either with the police or the thief.  So, we cannot reach results in any dialogue with them, even if we were to meet thousands of times, unless they take a clear position, a patriotic position: to be against the Americans, against occupation and against the Turks because they too are occupiers.

Quite simply, this is our demand.  This is a national position and as a government we are responsible for the constitution and for our national interests.  The whole Syrian people accept nothing less than them taking a stand against the occupation.  As for anything else, if they have other demands, the Syrian people have demands too.  How do we achieve results? We engage in discussions and then we can decide: do we change the constitution? Do we change the law? Or any other measure, this is all possible.  This is a Syrian-Syrian dialogue. However, the government in Syria does not own the constitution; the people own the constitution and therefore they are the ones who can change the constitution.

Question 20: If we take into account what is happening in Idlib, which we talked about at the beginning of the interview, and that Turkey is one of the main opponents of the Kurds, does the idea of reaching a reconciliation with the Kurds tempt you on these grounds? You can choose not to answer this question if you like.

President Assad:  On the contrary, this is a logical question.  These Kurdish groups which claim to be against Turkish occupation and issue statements that they will fight, did not fire a single bullet when the Turks invaded.  Why?  Because the Americans identified which area the Turks would enter and the boundaries that they should reach, as well as the areas that these groups should leave.  So, do we agree on statements or on actions?  We want to agree on the actions.  In their statements, they have said that they are against the Turks, but they are not doing anything against them at all.  They are neutral.  They are moving in line with the Americans and the Turks.  Only the Syrian government and other segments of Syrian society are fighting the Turks and losing martyrs every day.  Other than that, I agree with you.  If they were to say “we will agree with you against the Turks,” my response would be, we are ready, send your fighters so that together we can defend our land.

Question 21: In this region, there is also a very old enemy of the Syrian Arab Republic, which always reminds people of itself, Israel, or the Zionist entity as you call it. How do you see the “great” Deal of the Century, the gift given to us by American President Donald Trump? Where might it take us? I don’t mean to influence your answer in any way. I’m only recalling what is being discussed in Russia, that the deal as a solution for the Palestinian cause is simply a dead end.

President Assad:  Our relations with the United States were restored during the Nixon administration in 1974.  Since that time, we have met with numerous American officials in the administration, with presidents and members of Congress, and we have learned one thing only: anything an American politician does, is first and foremost to serve his personal interests in relation to the next elections.  They do not think of higher national American interests.  They do not think of world stability, or of international law, or the rights of peoples.  This doesn’t exist in their policies.  They only think of their elections and nothing else.

As to the ‘deal of the century,’ this proposition was made at this particular time only for the next American elections.  The presidential elections will be held at the end of this year.  So, the idea is meaningless, an empty shell.  The idea, if applied, is not harmful, but rather destructive to the Middle East and the peace process which started in the early 1990s.  However, when would their idea succeed and when would it fail?  It succeeds if the people of this region agree that it should succeed.  If you review all political and official statements, as well as public opinion on social media, you will find a total rejection of this plan, including from states and governments allied with America and those that have relations with Israel.  So, it’s safe to say that it is a stillborn plan.  Trump might be able to use it in his next elections in order to please the Israeli lobby in the United States.  But after that, we will probably not hear about the ‘deal of the century’ until the next elections. At which point there will be another and worse plan presented for the next elections.

Question 22: Thank you very much Mr. President. I have one final question, maybe a more emotional question. To what extent have these past nine years been difficult psychologically for you? To what extent have they been difficult to your family? Your wife has founded and manages one of the biggest charities in Syria which provides a great deal to children, to the wounded, and to restoration of normal life. I realize that I might be asking embarrassing questions, and I apologize for that, but to what extent have you suffered from what is happening within your family? And when you look back at what you have done during the past nine years, do you say to yourself that you haven’t done what you should have done on certain issues, or that a mistake was made in this regard and the right thing was done on another issue, and more should have been done?

President Assad:  There are two sides to this question: one is the formal, when I think about this war in my official capacity within the state and the other is the personal.

As an official, the first thing you think of in this situation is protecting the country; this is your duty as a head of state.  Here we can take as an example something that lives on as a tradition, which is the Great Patriotic War in Russia.  Your relations with Germany, like any other country, were good.  You had normal relations: agreements, engagements, meetings and you had not done anything against Germany.  Nevertheless, the Nazis attacked Russia and you lost 26 million martyrs, maybe more.  Was there any other choice but to defend your country?  No, that was the only choice.  The decision taken by the Russian leadership at the time was the right decision supported by the Russian people who defended their country.  Were there mistakes?  Of course, there are mistakes in every action.  Are there political or military decisions which could have been better?  Certainly, for everything has flaws and errors.  The same applies to us in Syria.  The decisions which we took from day one, were to preserve the sovereignty of Syria and to fight terrorists until the end, and we are still doing that.  After nine years, I believe that had we taken a different direction, we would have lost our country from day one.  That’s why this decision was the right one.  As to the mistakes made in daily matters, they are always there, of course.  Every time there is a mistake, we should correct it and change the decision.  This is the normal thing to do.

On a personal level, here I am like any other citizen; every individual has ambitions for his country.  Especially that before the war, we were advancing and achieving significant growth, and the country was developing at a fast pace.  It is true that we had many problems because when the reform process moves quickly, it has negative aspects, maybe in the form of corruption or policy mistakes.  But by and large, our national capabilities were improving and developing.  After nine years, when you see how far behind you are economically, technologically, culturally and educationally, of course there is a sense of frustration at times at a personal level.  Certainly, in the end, any war regardless of its causes or outcomes, is a very bad thing.  You cannot have a positive feeling towards any war.  You will always feel pain and frustration.  On a daily basis, you are losing good people and draining your resources.  So, there is certainly a kind of pain that you feel on a daily basis on a personal level.  However, at the same time, this pain should be the motivation and the incentive for you to do more and to have confidence and hope that you are capable of becoming stronger and better than before.

Journalist:  You have confirmed once again that a person like you can only have one position, the position of the statesman, because the views you have expressed are the views and the position of a statesman.

Mr. President, thank you very much for agreeing to give us this interview.  Today we have been with President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al-Assad, and this was “International Review.” I am Yevgeny Primakov, wishing you all the best.

President Assad: Thank you.

Other recent interviews:

Assad to Paris Match: France Should Return to International Law

President Assad’s Banned Interview with Rai 24: Europe Key Perpetrator of Terror in Syria

Assad Discusses Belt and Road, US Aggression, with China’s Phoenix Television

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Empires of the steppes fuel Erdogan Khan’s dreams

Source

March 04, 2020

Refugees wait Saturday to cross the border between Turkey and Greece near the Pazarkule border post, in Turkey. Thousands of migrants and refugees, including Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis, have massed at Turkey’s border with Greece after Erdogan announced on February 28 that Turkey would no longer prevent them from leaving for the European Union. Photo: AFP / Burcu Okutan / Sputnik

By Pepe Escobar : posted with permission

As Putin meeting looms, no one in Moscow believes any word, promise or cajoling from Erdogan anymore

The latest installment of the interminable Syria tragedy could be interpreted as Greece barely blocking a European “invasion” by Syrian refugees. The invasion was threatened by President Erdogan even as he refused the EU’s puny “offer you can refuse” bribe of only one billion euros.
Well, it’s more complicated than that. What Erdogan is in fact weaponizing is mostly economic migrants – from Afghanistan to the Sahel – and not Syrian refugees.

Informed observers in Brussels know that interlocking mafias – Iraqi, Afghan, Egyptian, Tunisian, Moroccan – have been active for quite a long time smuggling everyone and his neighbor from the Sahel via Turkey, as the Greek route towards the EU Holy Grail is much safer than the Central Mediterranean.

The EU sending a last-minute emissary to Ankara will yield no new facts on the ground – even as some in Brussels, in bad faith, continue to carp that the one million “refugees” trying to leave Idlib could double and that, if Turkey does not open its borders with Syria, there will be a “massacre.”

Those in Brussels spinning the “Turkey as victim” scenario list three conditions for a possible solution. The first is a ceasefire – which in fact already exists, via the Sochi agreement, and was not respected by Ankara. The second is a “political process” – which, once again, does exist: the Astana process involving Russia, Turkey and Iran. And the third is “humanitarian aid” – a euphemism that means, in fact, a NATO intervention of the Libya “humanitarian imperialism” kind.

As it stands, two facts are inescapable. Number one: the Greek military don’t have what it takes to resist, in practice, Ankara’s weaponizing of the so-called “refugees.”

Number two is the kind of stuff that makes NATO fanatics recoil in horror: Since the Ottoman siege of Vienna, this is the first time in four centuries that a “Muslim invasion” of Europe is being prevented by, who else, Russia.

Fed up with sultan

This past Sunday, Ankara launched yet another Pentagon-style military adventure, baptized as Spring Shield. All decisions are centralized by a triumvirate: Erdogan, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the head of MIT (Turkish intel) Hakan Fidan. John Helmer has memorably called them the SUV (Sultan and the Ugly Viziers).

Behlul Ozkan, from the University of Marmara, a respected Kemalist scholar, frames the whole tragedy as having been played since the 1980s, now back on the stage on a much larger scale since the start of the so-called Syrian chapter of the Arab Spring in 2011.

Ozkan charges Erdogan with creating “conquering troops out of five unlikely fundamentalist groups” and “naming the armed groups after Ottoman sultans,” claiming they are a sort of national salvation army. But this time, argues Ozkan, the results are much worse – from millions of refugees to the terrible destruction in Syria, and “the emergence of our political and military structures affecting national security in a dangerous way.”

To say that the Russian General Staff are absolutely fed up with the SUV’s shenanigans is the ultimate understatement. That’s the background for the meeting this Thursday in Moscow between Putin and Erdogan. Methodically, the Russians are disrupting Turk operations to an unsustainable level – ranging from renewed air cover to the Syrian Arab Army to electronic countermeasures totally smashing all Turkish drones.

Russian diplomatic sources confirm that no one in Moscow believes any word, promise or cajoling emanating from Erdogan anymore. So it’s useless to ask him to respect the Sochi agreement. Imagine a Sun Tzu-style meeting with the Russian side displaying the very picture of self-restraint while scrutinizing Erdogan on how much he is willing to suffer before desisting from his Idlib adventure.

Those non-nonsense proto-Mongols

What ghosts from the past evolve in Erdogan’s unconscious? Let history be our guide – and let’s go for a ride among the empires of the steppes.

In the 5th century, the Juan Juan people, proto-Mongols as much as their cousins the White Huns (who lived in today’s Afghanistan), were the first to give their princes the title of khan – afterwards used by the Turks as well as the Mongols.

A vast Eurasian Turco-Mongol linguistic spectrum – studied in detail by crack French experts such as J.P. Roux – evolved via conquering migrations, more or less ephemeral imperial states, and aggregating diverse ethnic groups around rival Turkish or Mongol dynasties. We can talk about an Eurasian Turk space from Central Asia to the Mediterranean for no less than a millennium and a half – but only, crucially, for 900 years in Asia Minor (today’s Anatolia).

These were highly hierarchical and militarized societies, unstable, but still capable, given the right conditions, such as the emergence of a charismatic personality, to engage in a strong collective project of building political constructions. So the charismatic Erdogan Khan mindset is not much different from what happened centuries ago.

The first form of this socio-cultural tradition appeared even before the conversion to Islam – which happened after the battle of Talas in 751, won by the Arabs against the Chinese.  But most of all it all crystallized around Central Asia from the 10th and 11th centuries onwards.

Unlike Greece in the Aegean, unlike India or Han China, there was never a central focus in terms of a cultural berth or supreme identity organizing this process. Today this role in Turkey is played by Anatolia – but that’s a 20th century phenomenon.

What history has shown is an east-west Eurasian axis across the steppes, from Central Asia to Anatolia, through which nomad tribes, Turk and Turkmen, then the Ottoman Turks, migrated and progressed, as conquerors, between the 7th and the 17th centuries: a whole millennium building an array of sultanates, emirates and empires. No wonder the Turkish president pictures himself as Erdogan Khan or Sultan Erdogan.

“Idlib is mine”

So there is a link between the turcophone tribes of Central Asia from the 5th and 6th centuries and the current Turkish nation. From the 6th to the 11th centuries they were set up as a confederation of big tribes. Then, going southwest, they founded states. Chinese sources document the first turkut (Turkish empires) as eastern Turks in Mongolia and western Turks in Turkestan.

They were followed by more or less ephemeral empires of the steppes such as the Uighurs in the 8th century (who, by the way, were originally Buddhists). It’s interesting that this original past of the Turks in Central Asia, before Islam, was somewhat elevated to mythic status by the Kemalists.

This universe was always enriched by outside elements – such as Arab-Persian Islam and its institutions inherited from the Sassanids,  as well as the Byzantine empire, whose structural elements were adapted by the Ottomans. The end of the Ottoman empire and multiple convulsions (the Balkan wars, WWI, the Greek-Turkish war) ended up with a Turkish nation-state whose sanctuary is Asia Minor (or Anatolia) and eastern Thrace, conformed into a national territory that’s exclusively Turk and denies every minority presence that is non-Sunni and non-turcophone.

Evidently that’s not enough for Erdogan Khan.

Even Hatay province, which joined Turkey in 1939, is not enough. Home to the historic Antioch and Alexandretta, Hatay was then re-baptized as Antakya and Iskenderun.

Under the Treaty of Lausanne, Hatay was included in the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon. The Turkish version is that Hatay declared its independence in 1938 – when Ataturk was still alive – and then decided to join Turkey. The Syrian version is that Hatay was acquired via a rigged referendum ordered by France to bypass the Treaty of Lausanne.

Erdogan Khan has proclaimed, “Idlib is mine.” Syria and Russia are responding, “No, it’s not.” Those were the days, when turcophone empires of the steppes could just advance and capture their prey.

تركيا عاصمة الخلافة الماسونية

د. قاسم حدرج

تحوّلت تركيا منذ ثلاثة عقود الى عاهرة أوروبا وفعلت كلّ شيء في سبيل أن يرضى عنها قوّادها فيمنحها الجنسية الأوروبية، وهو الأمر الذي لم يعجب منظمة بيلدربرغ التي تريد لتركيا الإسلامية ان تلعب دور الوسيط بين «إسرائيل» والعالم الإسلامي، بعد أن فشلت أدوات أميركا العربية في تحقيق هذا الهدف، وذلك تمهيداً لإعلان قيام الحكومة الموحدة للعالم بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية التي يتحكم بها المجمع الماسوني وجله من الصهاينة أمثال روتشيلد روكفلر ومورغن… وبناء على هذه الرؤية وبعد اجتماع المنظمة السري في العام 1999 والذي حضره حاكم مصرف تركيا المركزي سليمان غازي ووزير الخارجية ايمري غوننزاي، أعلن مسعود يلمز استقالة حكومته بشكل مفاجئ ليبدأ بعدها بثلاث سنوات عهد حزب العدالة والتنمية الإسلامي، وإلى يومنا هذا والهدف من وراء إعادة الإسلاميين الى السلطة بعد أن كان تمّ حظر أحزابهم والتشديد على مدارسهم الدينية وكلّ النشاطات التي تتعارض مع علمانية تركيا ذات الوجه الأوروبي هو إعطاء تركيا الصبغة الإسلامية في واقع أوروبا المسيحية بحيث ترفض انضمام 50 مليون مسلم إلى مجتمعاتها وبحيث انّ أيّ استفتاء سيحصل في العمق الأوروبي لانضمام تركيا الى الاتحاد سيقابَل بالرفض استناداً الى الخلفية الدينية، وهذا ما سيدفع تركيا وحكومتها الإسلامية الى العودة للتركيز على مصالحها وطموحها في منطقة الشرق الأوسط كشريك لـ «إسرائيل» في قيادة المنطقة وتحديد سياساتها والتي ستصبّ في مصلحة الرؤية الماسونية الهادفة الى قيام الحكومة الموحدة للعالم ولأجل هذا الهدف فقد عقدت منظمة بيلدربرغ اجتماعها السري في العام 2007 في اسطنبول لأنّ تركيا ستكون قطب الرحى في «إدارة» مشروع «الربيع العربي» الذي سيؤدّي الى بسط سلطة الاخوان المسلمين على عروش المنطقة بأكملها تمهيداً لعقد شراكة مع الدولة اليهودية.

وقد تمّ في هذا الاجتماع تنصيب أردوغان سلطاناً للأخوان المسلمين بحيث يستعيض عن ضياع حلم الانضمام للاتحاد الأوروبي بحلم أكبر وهو إعادة إحياء الخلافة العثمانية، ونلاحظ انّ التحضير لهذا الأمر بدأ بإنتاج العديد من المسلسلات التركية والأفلام التي تحاكي هذه الحقبة مثل حريم السلطان وقيامة ارطغرل وقيامة عثمان وفيلم محمد الفاتح ووادي الذئاب…

وجميعها ينطلق من خلفية دينية إسلامية وبأنّ تركيا هي الوريث الشرعي لهذه الخلافة، وبالفعل بدأ أردوغان بتنفيذ المخطط الماسوني وكلنا يعلم بأنه قام بتحضير المخيمات في العام 2010 أيّ قبل انطلاق «الربيع العربي» وأتقن تمثيل دوره في مسرحية مرمرة ليضفي على نفسه هالة الزعيم الإسلامي المتصدّي لهموم المسلمين، وبالتالي خلق أرضية صلبة لمخططه الجهنّمي وبدأ التنفيذ في العام 2011 انطلاقاً من تونس مروراً بمصر وليبيا في مسرحيات رعتها المخابرات الأميركية وتمّ تنصيب الاخوان المسلمين على رأس حكومات هذه الدول وكان قبلها قد نجح في وضع حركة حماس في قبضته ولكن العين كانت على دمشق درة التاج في هذا المشروع والتي سخر لها أردوغان كلّ إمكانياته الاستخباراتية واللوجستية والدينية والتجييش الإعلامي.

وتولّت قطر مهمة التمويل وكان المتوقع ان يسقط النظام السوري خلال أشهر على أبعد تقدير، وهو ما لم يحصل ودخلت إيران وروسيا على خط المواجهة وكذلك السعودية مما أدّى الى تعقيد المشهد وبدأت الارتدادات السلبية على الداخل التركي الذي خرج عن النص وبدأت عملية تدفق اللاجئين باتجاه أوروبا وفلتت بعض الجماعات الإرهابية من قبضة أردوغان مما نتج عنه قرار إزاحة أردوغان من خلال محاولة الانقلاب التي أفشلها الروسي واستطاع بعدها استيعاب جنون أردوغان الذي تقمّص حقيقة دور السلطان العثماني وجمح في تحقيق هذا الحلم، فاضطرت اميركا ساعتئذ الى محاولة تأديبه وترويضه عبر ورقة دعم الانفصاليين الأكراد وبعد أن نجح الروسي ودبلوماسيته الجليدية في استغلال التخبّط التركي وبحثه عن طوق النجاة من مقصلة الغرب نجح في تقليص الحلم الأردوغاني الى مستوى اعتباره شريكاً في رسم خارطة النفوذ الجديدة ملقياً على عاتقه أصعب مهمة وهي كبح جماح عشرات آلاف الإرهابيين الذين اعتبرهم ورقة قوة بيده سيلقيها على الطاولة لحصد الأثمان السياسية وخروجه من هذه الحرب الطاحنة كمنتصر من خلال اعتباره شريكاً رئيسياً في الحرب على الإرهاب وفي الداخل البطل القومي الذي استطاع القضاء على الخطر الكردي وعدم الرضوخ للإرادة الأميركية وتحقيق مكاسب اقتصادية عبر اتفاقية السيل لنقل الغاز الروسي وقرصنة الغاز في المتوسط من خلال اتفاقية رسم الحدود البحرية مع ليبيا مستغلاً حالة الانقسام والاقتتال الليبي ولكن ما أفشل مخططات أردوغان وهدّد تحقيقها هو موقف القيادة السورية وسعيها الى تحرير كلّ شبر من الأراضي السورية رغماً عن أنف أردوغان والتي وصف الرئيس السوري

تهديداته بالفقاعات الصوتية مما ضاعف من حالة جنونه فقام زجّ بالجيش التركي في هذا الأتون وهو ما لن يحتمله طويلاً وسيعرّضه للقصاص الداخلي بمباركة غربية لوقف تهديداته بتدفق اللاجئين وشرقية وبعد أن أصبح يشكل خطراً على العروش العربية واختزال أدوارها في معادلة النفوذ في المنطقة خاصة كعراب لـ «صفقة القرن» والتي من ينجح بتمريرها سينال حصة الأسد من الدعم الأميركي.

من هنا يمكننا القول بأنّ الحلّ الوحيد لأزمة أردوغان التي إن لم تنتهِ باغتياله على يد جيشه ذي النزعة العلمانية على حساب الجيش المحمدي كما يطلق عليه أردوغان فإنّ عليه أن يقوم باستدارة كلية تتمثل في مشاركته بقتال الجماعات الإرهابية.

وعمل فكي كماشة عليهم في إدلب ليسدل الستار على المسرحية الإرهابية على مشهد يبدو سوريالياً ولكنه ليس مستحيلاً وقد كان العمل جارياً عليه من خلال اللقاء الذي عقده اللواء علي مملوك وفيدال حاقان والذي لم يكتب له النجاح، ولكن المتغيّرات على الميدان قد تعيد إحياءه لأنّ أردوغان رجل بلا مبادئ وقد أيقن بأنّ حلمه قد تحوّل إلى كابوس ولم يتبقّ له أمل سوى بتحقيق حلم الصلاة في المسجد الأموي، ولكن في الصفوف الخلفية بإمامة

الرئيس القائد المنتصر الدكتور بشار حافظ الأسد.

*مستشار في القانون الدولي

زمن انتصارات محور المقاومة في حروب الجيل الرابع والخامس

د. ميادة ابراهيم رزوق

عرف العالم عبر تاريخه عدة أجيال من الحروب، ولكلّ جيل سماته من حيث أنواع الأسلحة المستخدمة وطبيعة الخطط والتكتيكات والاستراتيجيات وميادين المعارك وغيرها. ووفقاً لرأي بعض المحللين الاستراتيجيين والعسكريين وأبرزهم ويليام ستركس ليند فإنّ معاهدة «صلح ويستفاليا» عام 1648 وارتباطها بنشأة الدول القومية وامتلاكها القوة والأسلحة العسكرية، كانت بداية نشوء الحروب الحديثة، حيث تميّزت حروب الجيل الأول وهي حروب الحقبة من1648 حتى1860 بأنها حروب تقليدية بين جيوش نظامية وأرض ومعارك محدّدة بين جيشين يمثلان دولتين في حرب ومواجهة مباشرة، وتعتبر حروب القرن الـ 17 وَ الـ 18 وَ الـ19 ضمن هذا التعريف ومن أمثلتها الحروب النابوليونية في أوروبا 1815-1803.

أما حروب الجيل الثاني فهي حرب العصابات التي كانت تدور في دول أميركا اللاتينية، وهي شبيهة بالحروب التقليدية ولكن تمّ استخدام النيران والدبابات والطائرات بين العصابات والأطراف المتنازعة. وتعرّف حروب الجيل الثالث بأنها الحرب الوقائية او الاستباقية والتي انطلقت من وحي نظرية «الردع بالشك» وهي نظرية سياسية عسكرية ظهرت في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية عقب انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، وتعني عملياً الضربة الاستباقية وشنّ الحرب ضدّ كلّ ما من شأنه أن يهدّد الأمن القومي الأميركي او السلم العالمي. وتشكل الحرب على العراق نموذجاً عنها علماً أنه طور الألمان هذا الجيل من الحروب خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية باعتمادهم المرونة والسرعة في الهجوم فضلاً عن المفاجأة والحرب خلف خطوط العدو.

وبالانتقال إلى نوع آخر من الحروب الحديثة تدعى حروب الجيل الرابع والتي هي حرب أميركية صرفة طُورّت من قبل الجيش الأميركي وعرّفوها بـ «الحرب اللامتماثلة» حيث اعتمدت على أسلوب حرب العصابات والجماعات الإرهابية مثل (داعش والقاعدة والنصرة) لشنّ عمليات نوعية دون الحاجة إلى أرض معركة تقليدية كما في السابق ولا لنقاط التقاء بين جيشين متصارعين أيّ حروب بالوكالة أهمّ أدواتها «الإرهاب، وقاعدة إرهابية غير وطنية أو متعدّدة الجنسيات تستخدم تكتيكات حروب العصابات والتمرّد، حرب نفسية متطورة من خلال وسائل الإعلام الجديد والتقليدي والتضليل الإعلامي والتلاعب النفسي، منظمات المجتمع المدني والمعارضة، والعمليات الاستخباراتية والنفوذ الأميركي في أيّ بلد لخدمة مصالح الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وسياسات البنتاغون» وتستخدم فيها كلّ الضغوط المتاحة السياسية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية والعسكرية، بالإضافة إلى إحداث حالة الفوضى Creative chaos في مواقع الصراع بين أطراف محلية تتيح للدول الكبرى التدخل وتوجيهها لمصلحتها ومن التطبيقات العملية لهذه النظرية ما حدث في العراق عام2003 إلى ما عُرف باسم (الربيع العربي) الذي اجتاح عددا من الدول العربية من نهاية عام2010 ، ويمكن ربط ذلك بتوصيات تقرير لجنة «فينوغراد» بعد العدوان الصهيوني على جنوب لبنان في 12 تموز 2006 بعد فشل الحروب المباشرة بترميم قوة الردع واللجوء إلى الحرب الناعمة والذكية التي تستخدم الإعلام وشذاذ الآفاق كأدوات أساسية في تفاصيل أجندتها لصناعة الفوضى والفتن في سبيل الوصول إلى شرق أوسط جديد (إسرائيل) أحد أهمّ مكوّناته يُسند إليها الدور الاقتصادي والعسكري والسياسي والأمني في إدارته.

ولكن مع إرهاصات الفشل والهزائم التي مُنيَ بها محور حلف الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بمكوّناته «الأوروبية والإسرائيلية والتركية والسعودية وبقية حكومات الرجعية العربية» بكسر المهابة وعدم قدرة الردّ منعاً للتدحرج نحو حربٍ كبرى يخشون خوضها جميعاً، وذلك بدءاً من الانتصارات التي حققها الجيش السوري في الميدان إلى إنجازات أنصار الله في اليمن باستهداف المحمية الاقتصادية العسكرية الأميركية «منشأة أرامكو عملاق النفط السعودي»، إلى إسقاط إيران لدرة الصناعة العسكرية الأميركية الطائرة المسيّرة، إلى العملية النوعية التي قامت بها المقاومة الإسلامية «حزب الله» بتدمير آلية عسكرية صهيونية عند طريق ثكنة «أفيفيم» في الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، إلى انهيار القبة الحديدية الإسرائيلية تحت وطأة صواريخ فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة، إلى تغيير قواعد الاشتباك مع العدو الصهيوني في لبنان وسورية وفلسطين، مما دفع بالولايات المتحدة الأميركية إلى الاستمرار بسيناريوهات بديلة تعتمد جيلاً أكثر حداثة من الحروب يدعى بحروب الجيل الخامس جوهره استنزاف طاقة الدول الرئيسية وتشتيت تركيزها من خلال تهييج الشعوب وتفجير الساحات من الداخل لإسقاط الدولة الوطنية مستخدمة العقوبات المالية والحصار الاقتصادي ووسائل الإعلام والفضاء الالكتروني من أجل الانفجار الاجتماعي والاقتصادي والذهاب إلى الفوضى للاستمرار بالابتزاز السياسي من تهويل وتهديد ومناورة أملاً بتحسين أوراق التفاوض عند التسويات لإرساء قواعد اشتباك جديدة تحفظ أمن الكيان الصهيوني المحتلّ، مستندة بذلك إلى إمكانياتها وقدراتها في الميدان الاقتصادي من خلال امتلاك والتحكم بالنظام المصرفي العالمي وأنابيب النفط والغاز والمال وشبكة العلاقات الدولية والدبلوماسية، فعمدت في الساحات اللبنانية والسورية والعراقية والإيرانية إلى العمل على تجويع الشعوب وتفجير التناقضات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية وبالتالي تعميم نموذج الدولة الفاشلة التي لا تمتلك الامكانيات لتلبية حاجات ونماء شعوبها… لتراهن بذلك على انتهاء التسويات بإعادة ترسيم الحدود البرية والبحرية بين لبنان وفلسطين المحتلة، وتقييد سلاح المقاومة وحرية حركته في مواجهة العدو الصهيوني، وخروج إيران وحزب الله من الأراضي السورية والعودة إلى قواعد اشتباك 1974 مع الكيان الصهيوني على حدود الجولان السوري المحتلّ، وإخراج الصواريخ الثقيلة من يد الحشد الشعبي ليد الجيش العراقي وإلزام قوى الحشد الشعبي بعدم التحرك خارج حدود العراق.

في زمن الانتصارات تؤول هذه السيناريوهات إلى فشل جديد وخاصة بعد اغتيال القائدين قاسم سليماني وأبو مهدي المهندس التي وحدت كلمة وقرارات وطاقات الشعوب في محور المقاومة، إلى تصاعد انتفاضات شعبنل في فلسطين وتأييد العديد من الساحات العربية للقضية الفلسطينية بأنها قضية العرب المصيرية وصفقة القرن ميتة قبل ان تولد، وحكومات عراقية ولبنانية خارج الإملاءات الأميركية تعمل حثيثاً على إنقاذ البلاد من الانهيار المالي والاقتصادي والذهاب إلى الفوضى، وفي سورية دولة مؤسسات، دولة قوية وقائد حكيم مدرك ومحيط بتفاصيل المؤامرة بأبعادها العسكرية والاقتصادية والاجتماعية، وشرائح شعبية موالية بقوة تعمل على عزل أية حركات لها وظائف سياسية، وجيش أسطوري يحقق انتصارات في معركة إدلب تلقن أردوغان درساً وترسي معادلات جديدة تؤكد صعوبة العبث بالداخل السوري، فيكتب التاريخ أنّ صفقة القرن إلى مزبلته وأنه زمن إنجازات محور المقاومة بعد أن ولّى زمن الهزائم والنكسات والانكسارات.

القوميّون العرب يواجهون الإرهاب!

د. محمد سيد أحمد

في ظلّ حالة من الإحباط واليأس مما يحدث داخل وطننا العربي منذ مطلع العام 2011 حيث هبّت رياح الربيع العربي المزعوم وبدلاً من أن تكون نسائم ربيعية لطيفة منعشة، وجدناها رياحاً خريفية محمّلة بالأتربة التي تزكم الأنوف، وشتاء قارص البرودة محمّلاً بالأمطار الثلجية والصواعق الرعدية المرعبة، وصيفاً شديد الحرارة تحرق نيرانه كلّ من يتعرّض لها، وخلال أيام قليلة من الأحداث كنا قد تكشفنا حقيقة المؤامرة التي تتعرّض لها أمتنا العربية، ونبّهنا وبحّ صوتنا بأنّ ما يحدث هو مؤامرة كبرى على أوطاننا بهدف تقسيمها وتفتيتها من جديد – بعد التقسيم والتفتيت الأول في مطلع القرن العشرين – ضمن مرحلة جديدة من مراحل المشروع الاستعماري الغربي بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية واصطلح على تسمية هذه المرحلة بـ «الشرق الأوسط الجديد».

وفي إطار مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد قامت القوى الاستعمارية باستخدام آليات جديدة تماماً في العمل على تقسيم وتفتيت أوطاننا ومن بين هذه الآليات تطوير آلية العنف والتطرف والإرهاب التي هي بالأساس صناعة استعمارية غربية نشأت مع الاستعمار القديم في مطلع القرن العشرين حيث احتضنت بريطانيا القوى الاستعمارية الكبرى في ذلك الوقت التنظيمات الإرهابية الوليدة داخل مجتمعاتنا المحتلة ومنها جماعة الإخوان المسلمين، حيث قامت أجهزة الاستخبارات البريطانية بدعم حسن البنا وتنظيمه الذي خرجت من تحت عباءته كلّ التنظيمات الإرهابية الحديثة في ما بعد، وخلال العقود الأخيرة ومع تبلور مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد وجدت القوى الاستعمارية الجديدة متمثلة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية الوريث الشرعي للاستعمار الغربي في ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية أنه يمكنها استثمار هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية لتقسيم وتفتيت مجتمعاتنا العربية من الداخل دون الحاجة للتدخل العسكري المباشر كما كان في الماضي خاصة بعد خسائرها الباهظة في أفغانستان والعراق حين قرّرت السير وفق المنهج القديم.

ومع مطلع العام 2011 كانت قد أعدّت العدّة وتمّ الاتفاق والتنسيق بين القوى الاستعمارية الغربية والتنظيمات الإرهابية لتعمل بالوكالة في تنفيذ أجندة المشروع التقسيمي والتفتيتي لمنطقتنا العربية باستخدام ورقة الفتنة الطائفية والمذهبية والعرقية، حيث أشعلت هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية النيران بالداخل ودارت الآلة الإعلامية الغربية الجهنمية الجبارة لتغسل أدمغة الرأي العام العالمي وإيهامه بأنّ هناك ثورات شعبيّة داخل هذه المجتمعات العربيّة ولا بدّ من دعم هؤلاء الثوار من أجل إسقاط الأنظمة الدكتاتوريّة وتحقيق العيش والحرية والعدالة الاجتماعية والكرامة الإنسانية لشعوب هذه الأوطان، وتمكّنت الآلة الإعلاميّة الغربية ومعها الآلة الإعلامية العربية العميلة من خداع الرأي العام داخل مجتمعاتنا والأمر نفسه تمّ في الوقت الذي كانت القوى الاستعمارية الغربية تدعم وتجيش وتسلح الجماعات الإرهابية للاستيلاء على الحكم لتقوم بعد ذلك بعملية التقسيم والتفتيت التي تستهدفها في الأصل.

ورغم النجاح النسبيّ لمشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد في مرحلته الأولى في مطلع العام 2011 حيث تمكن من إشعال النيران بالداخل العربي في تونس ومصر واليمن وليبيا وسورية إلا أنّ هذا النجاح لم يتمكّن من الاستمرار طويلاً حيث تمكّن الجيش المصريّ من إحباط وإفشال المخطط عبر مواجهة شرسة مع الوكيل الإرهابي مما أجبر الأصيل الاستعماري الأميركي على التراجع مؤقتاً عن مشروعه في مصر، وفي الوقت ذاته كانت المواجهة الشرسة والمعركة الكبرى والحرب الكونية بين الجيش العربي السوري والوكيل الإرهابي على كامل الجغرافيا العربية السورية حيث نجح في إحباط وإفشال المخطط عبر معارك لا زالت مستمرة حتى اللحظة الراهنة في إدلب. واستطاعت سورية أن تقلب موازين القوى الدولية عبر تحالفها مع روسيا التي عادت من جديد كقوة عظمى بعد غياب عقدين كاملين عن الساحة الدولية كانت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية خلالها هي القطب الأوحد في العالم. ووقفت روسيا ولا زالت مع سورية في حربها ضدّ الإرهاب المدعوم أميركياً، لدرجة جعلت الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين يصرّح بأنه لن يترك معركة الإرهاب في سورية حتى لو وصلت الحرب إلى شوارع موسكو، وفي الوقت نفسه يصرّح وزير خارجيته سيرغي لافروف هذا الأسبوع أنّ القضاء على الإرهاب في إدلب آخر معاقل الوكيل الإرهابي على الأرض العربية السورية أمر حتمي، وهو ما سيجبر الأميركي عن التراجع مؤقتاً عن مشروعه في سورية.

وفي ظلّ محاولات جيوشنا الوطنية التصدّي للوكيل الإرهابي كان موقف النخب العربية مخزياً فهناك من قام بالانخراط في دعم الوكيل الإرهابي سواء بشكل مباشر أو غير مباشر، وبذلك أصبح في خندق الأصيل الاستعماري الذي يسعى لتقسيم وتفتيت مجتمعاتنا، وهناك من فضّل الانسحاب من المعركة ولزم الصمت سواء بوعي أو دون وعي وهو ما يصبّ في النهاية في صالح مشروع الوكيل والأصيل، وهناك من قرّر خوض المعركة إلى جانب وطنه وجيشه، وعلى الرغم من قلتهم إلا أنهم صمدوا صموداً أسطورياً، وفي ظلّ هذه الأجواء الكئيبة والمحبطة على مستوى النخب العربية يأتي من بعيد بصيص من الأمل عبر ضوء خافت في ظلام دامس، مجموعة من الشباب القومي العربي في المهجر يتحرّكون ويجوبون العالم شرقاً وغرباً في محاولة لتأسيس هيئة شعبية عالمية لمناهضة العنف والتطرف والإرهاب، لتكون صوتاً مدوياً مدافعاً عن أوطاننا داخل أروقة المنظمات الدولية الرسمية وغير الرسمية، ليقولوا للعالم أجمع أننا من وقف وتصدّى للإرهاب، ونحن مَن تآمر الغرب الاستعماري على أوطاننا عبر الوكيل الإرهابي لتستمرّ عمليات سرقة ونهب ثروات شعوبنا المغيبة عمداً مع سبق الإصرار والترصد، فلهم كلّ التقدير والاحترام. اللهم بلغت اللهم فاشهد.

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Lebanon: Soleimani Was Transnational, Multi-dimensional Personality that Scared Trump

Iran’s Cultural Attaché in Lebanon: Soleimani Was Transnational, Multi-dimensional Personality that Scared Trump

By Nour Rida

The martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani has created a ripple effect in Iran and the region, still being the talk of the town.

It is the political dimension of his assassination that is mostly discussed in the media. However, it is important to note that the martyr, was not merely a military personnel despite the fact that most of his pictures come in army clothing or on the battle fields. Gen. Soleimani was multi-dimensional personality that scared Trump, he was unique, humane, and fought against imperialism and the colonialism of minds.

In an interview with al-Ahed news, the Cultural attaché of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lebanon, Dr. Abbas Khameyar said that media has not shed enough light on the reality behind martyr Soleimani’s personality, which he described as “transnational”. He assured that when he was alive, he foiled all attempts of dissecting the region and stood in face of all hegemonic schemes.

Military serves to protect civilization

“We should pay attention to the different dimensions of General Soleimani’s personality. He wore his military clothing most of the time, he was in the battlefields among the soldiers fighting Takfiri groups in the region. However he was like a shelter or umbrella protecting Iran’s civilization and culture,” Dr. Khameyar said.

He noted “When we talk about Iran and the major accomplishments of the Islamic Republic, the first thing that comes to the mind of people is: military accomplishments. Of course we confirm that Iran’s accomplishments and capabilities on the military level are amazing, but it is not the end. This strong military that Iran has built over a period of time and with perseverance is in fact a force of deterrence and serves as protection to all other accomplishments. In other words, the military was never a goal that Iran sought to reach, it is a means by which it protects its culture, civilizations, existence, sovereignty and other. It is a power of deterrence that protects Iranian accomplishments in the different scientific fields.”

The diplomat underscored that the military character of Hajj Qassem holds a lot of dimensions within its folds. He had a mission to protect Iran’s humanitarian, cultural and civilizational existence as well as its Islamic civilization. In fact, Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei stresses this aspect. “The battle between us and our foes is a battle of civilization par excellence. We have to realize that holding on to our civilization, customs and traditions is an integral part of our identity and existence and that the military serves to protect it.”

Targeting Civilization

Touching on US President Donald Trump’s threat to target 52 historical sites, Dr. Khameyar highlighted that “the uncivilized opponent knows that targeting our civilization hurts, and so he does it on purpose.”

Since the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to free itself from the manacles of American supremacy in 1979, the US has become so occupied with attempts to destroy Iran’s civilization and culture. This is not an unplanned thing, it is calculated and intentional. Iran’s heritage is the oldest among many across the world. It also enjoys a strategic geographical position which makes the US more obsessed about controlling it.

Targeting cultural heritage: a mindset

According to Dr. Khameyar, “Trump’s words and his threat to target Iran’s sites was not a slip of a tongue, but rather part of the hegemonic mindset. To understand this, we can look at historians like Bernard Lewis and the strong impact he had on the US decision-making. He wrote a paper in 1979 under the title “Iran in history” and presented it in Tel Aviv.”

Dr. Khameyar pointed out that “this policy of dissecting the region and ruining its heritage and culture was seen across the region in what some call the ‘Arab Spring’ and others call the ‘Arab awakening’; names do not really matter and it is the legacy of Lewis and people who have adopted his thought. We have seen the destruction of museums and libraries in Iraq after the collapse of the Saddam regime, and the same scenario in Egypt. The head of the National Museum of Iraq told me in person that in less than 36 hours after chaos spread when the Saddam regime collapsed, more than 15 thousand antiquities were either destroyed or stolen. Also in Syria, the Takfiri groups adopted the same policy of destroying cultural and historical heritage in Aleppo, Palmyra and other cities. If it were not for the popular and youth groups that quickly took action, all this heritage would have been destroyed.”

The diplomat noted “Lewis says Iran is one of the civilized countries that was immune in face of any attempts to ruin its heritage and culture for at least two centuries. His advice to confront such countries like Iran is through division, so Iran should be divided into a great Baluchistan, a great Khorasan, a great Azerbaijan and so on. ”

Bernard Lewis, a British-American historian of the Middle East, has been formidably influential in America – his policy ideas have towered over presidents, policy-makers and think-tanks, and they still do. For those who might not have known this: The “Bernard Lewis plan”, as it came to be known, was a design to fracture all the countries in the region – from the Middle East to India – along ethnic, sectarian and linguistic lines. A radical Balkanization of the region. He seems to be Mike Pompeo’s intellectual hero. For example, Pompeo says: “I met him only once, but read much of what he wrote. I owe a great deal of my understanding of the Middle East to his work … He was also a man who believed, as I do, that Americans must be more confident in the greatness of our country, not less.”

Soleimani preserves heritage, humanity

Assassinating General Soleimani comes within the same context.

Dr. Khameyar added “The military façade of general Soleimani is indeed a shield that protects and preserves the humanitarian, cultural and historical heritage of Iran and the region. His personality was also multi-dimensional. He was on the battlefields to help fight terrorist groups, but he was also among the poor inside Iran, trying his best to help them out. During the floods that struck Khuzestan last year, he was among the first to be there and provide help. Tens of stories have emerged after his assassination, showing a person of modesty, chastity and humanity and this is what made him so popular among the Iranians and this is why millions poured down the streets to participate in his memorial.”

The Iranian diplomat explained that the people called him the general of hearts and love. “This has its roots in Iranian poetry and literature. When we talk about “Eshq”, meaning love, the great poets of Persia cross our minds like Hafez and Rumi. They are internationally well-known for their ingenious and unique works. And when we mention the Shahnameh, which is the book of epics we talk about heroic characters. Today, General Soleimani is an epic, a real one though. He also exemplifies Karbala, which is an integral part of Iranian and Islamic culture and history.”

Demonstrations renew Iran legitimacy

Dr. Khameyar underlined that the millions of people who attended his funeral or headed to the streets in all the Iranian cities in fact were like a sea of human beings, with its tides extending outside the borders of Iran as well.

“The huge ceremonies in which most Iranians participated represents another referendum to the legitimacy of the Iranian government. It is also like a consensus and approval to the resistance front or what is known as the axis of resistance in the region. Despite the desperate American attempts to destroy Iran and despite the sanctions, pressure and different means adopted to harm Iran, the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem fixated the resistance front and united the Iranian people. Today, we can say that the resistance has become globalized, since martyr Soleimani is a transnational personality that transcends borders and geography.”

A smart-power personality

Describing the personality of martyr General Soleimani, Dr. Khameyar said that we can perhaps call it a smart-power personality; it combines both soft and hard power together.

“This smart-power is demonstrated in a few things: the spread of the culture of resistance among Iranians and other peoples of the region, the strengthening of the popular will, the persistence and perseverance of the Iranians in face of all difficulties and the rising voices “We are all Soleimani” across Iran and the region. It is also exemplified in what happened in the Iraqi parliament, where MPs urged US forces to leave the Iraqi territory, and in the marches of millions of people also outside Iran. Now hard power comes in the form of the missiles that precisely targeted the Ain al-Assad US military base located in Iraq, and maybe new strikes in the future to deter the occupiers, who knows. This military strike was not intended to kill, it was a clear message that US hegemony can be defeated, and that the US army is not invincible.”

Dr. Khameyar also noted “Today, the resistance axis is globalized, and the resistance forces are stronger on all levels. Again, when we say resistance we do not mean a military resistance only, we rather mean an axis of resistance that is developed on all levels.”

Describing General Soleimani with Iranian poetry, Dr. Khameyar said the poem of “The Breath of the Christ” fits him really well.

Hafez said “I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through-listen to this music.” The Music of the Divine, of the breath of Christ – Music that melts and opens the heart and frees the soul of any willing to listen.

For the Arabic version click here

LIVE: Putin holds annual press conference in Moscow

December 19, 2019

The version from RT on Twitter is the best one available currently:

https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1dRKZLQDDYDJB

English Soundtrack:

Putin holds annual press conference in Moscow

Vladimir Putin addressed State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin.

Dear friends, we have gathered here today in connection with an issue that is of vital, historic significance to all of us. A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms.


More than 82 percent of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96 percent of them spoke out in favour of reuniting with Russia. These numbers speak for themselves.

To understand the reason behind such a choice it is enough to know the history of Crimea and what Russia and Crimea have always meant for each other.

Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride. This is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptised. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilisation and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The graves of Russian soldiers whose bravery brought Crimea into the Russian empire are also in Crimea. This is also Sevastopol – a legendary city with an outstanding history, a fortress that serves as the birthplace of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is Balaklava and Kerch, Malakhov Kurgan and Sapun Ridge. Each one of these places is dear to our hearts, symbolising Russian military glory and outstanding valour.

Crimea is a unique blend of different peoples’ cultures and traditions. This makes it similar to Russia as a whole, where not a single ethnic group has been lost over the centuries. Russians and Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and people of other ethnic groups have lived side by side in Crimea, retaining their own identity, traditions, languages and faith.

Incidentally, the total population of the Crimean Peninsula today is 2.2 million people, of whom almost 1.5 million are Russians, 350,000 are Ukrainians who predominantly consider Russian their native language, and about 290,000–300,000 are Crimean Tatars, who, as the referendum has shown, also lean towards Russia.

True, there was a time when Crimean Tatars were treated unfairly, just as a number of other peoples in the USSR. There is only one thing I can say here: millions of people of various ethnicities suffered during those repressions, and primarily Russians.

Crimean Tatars returned to their homeland. I believe we should make all the necessary political and legislative decisions to finalise the rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars, restore them in their rights and clear their good name.

We have great respect for people of all the ethnic groups living in Crimea. This is their common home, their motherland, and it would be right – I know the local population supports this – for Crimea to have three equal national languages: Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar.

Colleagues,

In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia. This firm conviction is based on truth and justice and was passed from generation to generation, over time, under any circumstances, despite all the dramatic changes our country went through during the entire 20th century.

After the revolution, the Bolsheviks, for a number of reasons – may God judge them – added large sections of the historical South of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic make-up of the population, and today these areas form the southeast of Ukraine. Then, in 1954, a decision was made to transfer Crimean Region to Ukraine, along with Sevastopol, despite the fact that it was a federal city. This was the personal initiative of the Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev. What stood behind this decision of his – a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass repressions of the 1930’s in Ukraine – is for historians to figure out.

What matters now is that this decision was made in clear violation of the constitutional norms that were in place even then. The decision was made behind the scenes. Naturally, in a totalitarian state nobody bothered to ask the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol. They were faced with the fact. People, of course, wondered why all of a sudden Crimea became part of Ukraine. But on the whole – and we must state this clearly, we all know it – this decision was treated as a formality of sorts because the territory was transferred within the boundaries of a single state. Back then, it was impossible to imagine that Ukraine and Russia may split up and become two separate states. However, this has happened.

Unfortunately, what seemed impossible became a reality. The USSR fell apart. Things developed so swiftly that few people realised how truly dramatic those events and their consequences would be. Many people both in Russia and in Ukraine, as well as in other republics hoped that the Commonwealth of Independent States that was created at the time would become the new common form of statehood. They were told that there would be a single currency, a single economic space, joint armed forces; however, all this remained empty promises, while the big country was gone. It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realised that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered.

At the same time, we have to admit that by launching the sovereignty parade Russia itself aided in the collapse of the Soviet Union. And as this collapse was legalised, everyone forgot about Crimea and Sevastopol ­– the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. Millions of people went to bed in one country and awoke in different ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former Union republics, while the Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders.

Now, many years later, I heard residents of Crimea say that back in 1991 they were handed over like a sack of potatoes. This is hard to disagree with. And what about the Russian state? What about Russia? It humbly accepted the situation. This country was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests. However, the people could not reconcile themselves to this outrageous historical injustice. All these years, citizens and many public figures came back to this issue, saying that Crimea is historically Russian land and Sevastopol is a Russian city. Yes, we all knew this in our hearts and minds, but we had to proceed from the existing reality and build our good-neighbourly relations with independent Ukraine on a new basis. Meanwhile, our relations with Ukraine, with the fraternal Ukrainian people have always been and will remain of foremost importance for us.

Today we can speak about it openly, and I would like to share with you some details of the negotiations that took place in the early 2000s. The then President of Ukraine Mr Kuchma asked me to expedite the process of delimiting the Russian-Ukrainian border. At that time, the process was practically at a standstill. Russia seemed to have recognised Crimea as part of Ukraine, but there were no negotiations on delimiting the borders. Despite the complexity of the situation, I immediately issued instructions to Russian government agencies to speed up their work to document the borders, so that everyone had a clear understanding that by agreeing to delimit the border we admitted de facto and de jure that Crimea was Ukrainian territory, thereby closing the issue.

We accommodated Ukraine not only regarding Crimea, but also on such a complicated matter as the maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. What we proceeded from back then was that good relations with Ukraine matter most for us and they should not fall hostage to deadlock territorial disputes. However, we expected Ukraine to remain our good neighbour, we hoped that Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine, especially its southeast and Crimea, would live in a friendly, democratic and civilised state that would protect their rights in line with the norms of international law.

However, this is not how the situation developed. Time and time again attempts were made to deprive Russians of their historical memory, even of their language and to subject them to forced assimilation. Moreover, Russians, just as other citizens of Ukraine are suffering from the constant political and state crisis that has been rocking the country for over 20 years.

I understand why Ukrainian people wanted change. They have had enough of the authorities in power during the years of Ukraine’s independence. Presidents, prime ministers and parliamentarians changed, but their attitude to the country and its people remained the same. They milked the country, fought among themselves for power, assets and cash flows and did not care much about the ordinary people. They did not wonder why it was that millions of Ukrainian citizens saw no prospects at home and went to other countries to work as day labourers. I would like to stress this: it was not some Silicon Valley they fled to, but to become day labourers. Last year alone almost 3 million people found such jobs in Russia. According to some sources, in 2013 their earnings in Russia totalled over $20 billion, which is about 12% of Ukraine’s GDP.

I would like to reiterate that I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop short of nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.

The new so-called authorities began by introducing a draft law to revise the language policy, which was a direct infringement on the rights of ethnic minorities. However, they were immediately ‘disciplined’ by the foreign sponsors of these so-called politicians. One has to admit that the mentors of these current authorities are smart and know well what such attempts to build a purely Ukrainian state may lead to. The draft law was set aside, but clearly reserved for the future. Hardly any mention is made of this attempt now, probably on the presumption that people have a short memory. Nevertheless, we can all clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.

It is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now, nobody to talk to. Many government agencies have been taken over by the impostors, but they do not have any control in the country, while they themselves – and I would like to stress this – are often controlled by radicals. In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke – this is reality.

Those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives, in preventing the events that were unfolding and are still underway in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkov and other Ukrainian cities.

Naturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress. This would have been betrayal on our part.

First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their free will regarding their own future. However, what do we hear from our colleagues in Western Europe and North America? They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law – better late than never.

Secondly, and most importantly – what exactly are we violating? True, the President of the Russian Federation received permission from the Upper House of Parliament to use the Armed Forces in Ukraine. However, strictly speaking, nobody has acted on this permission yet. Russia’s Armed Forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement. True, we did enhance our forces there; however – this is something I would like everyone to hear and know – we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.

Next. As it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Incidentally, I would like to remind you that when Ukraine seceded from the USSR it did exactly the same thing, almost word for word. Ukraine used this right, yet the residents of Crimea are denied it. Why is that?

Moreover, the Crimean authorities referred to the well-known Kosovo precedent – a precedent our western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country’s central authorities. Pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 1 of the United Nations Charter, the UN International Court agreed with this approach and made the following comment in its ruling of July 22, 2010, and I quote: “No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence,” and “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence.” Crystal clear, as they say.

I do not like to resort to quotes, but in this case, I cannot help it. Here is a quote from another official document: the Written Statement of the United States America of April 17, 2009, submitted to the same UN International Court in connection with the hearings on Kosovo. Again, I quote: “Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, had everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? The actions of Crimean people completely fit in with these instructions, as it were. For some reason, things that Kosovo Albanians (and we have full respect for them) were permitted to do, Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not allowed. Again, one wonders why.

We keep hearing from the United States and Western Europe that Kosovo is some special case. What makes it so special in the eyes of our colleagues? It turns out that it is the fact that the conflict in Kosovo resulted in so many human casualties. Is this a legal argument? The ruling of the International Court says nothing about this. This is not even double standards; this is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow. According to this logic, we have to make sure every conflict leads to human losses.

I will state clearly — if the Crimean local self-defence units had not taken the situation under control, there could have been casualties as well. Fortunately this did not happen. There was not a single armed confrontation in Crimea and no casualties. Why do you think this was so? The answer is simple: because it is very difficult, practically impossible to fight against the will of the people. Here I would like to thank the Ukrainian military – and this is 22,000 fully armed servicemen. I would like to thank those Ukrainian service members who refrained from bloodshed and did not smear their uniforms in blood.

Other thoughts come to mind in this connection. They keep talking of some Russian intervention in Crimea, some sort of aggression. This is strange to hear. I cannot recall a single case in history of an intervention without a single shot being fired and with no human casualties.

Colleagues,

Like a mirror, the situation in Ukraine reflects what is going on and what has been happening in the world over the past several decades. After the dissolutionof bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading. Our western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.

This happened in Yugoslavia; we remember 1999 very well. It was hard to believe, even seeing it with my own eyes, that at the end of the 20th century, one of Europe’s capitals, Belgrade, was under missile attack for several weeks, and then came the real intervention. Was there a UN Security Council resolution on this matter, allowing for these actions? Nothing of the sort. And then, they hit Afghanistan, Iraq, and frankly violated the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing the so-called no-fly zone over it they started bombing it too.

There was a whole series of controlled “colour” revolutions. Clearly, the people in those nations, where these events took place, were sick of tyranny and poverty, of their lack of prospects; but these feelings were taken advantage of cynically. Standards were imposed on these nations that did not in any way correspond to their way of life, traditions, or these peoples’ cultures. As a result, instead of democracy and freedom, there was chaos, outbreaks in violence and a series of upheavals. The Arab Spring turned into the Arab Winter.

A similar situation unfolded in Ukraine. In 2004, to push the necessary candidate through at the presidential elections, they thought up some sort of third round that was not stipulated by the law. It was absurd and a mockery of the constitution. And now, they have thrown in an organised and well-equipped army of militants.

We understand what is happening; we understand that these actions were aimed against Ukraine and Russia and against Eurasian integration. And all this while Russia strived to engage in dialogue with our colleagues in the West. We are constantly proposing cooperation on all key issues; we want to strengthen our level of trust and for our relations to be equal, open and fair. But we saw no reciprocal steps.

On the contrary, they have lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed us before an accomplished fact.This happened with NATO’s expansion to the East, as well as the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They kept telling us the same thing: “Well, this does not concern you.” That’s easy to say.

It happened with the deployment of a missile defence system. In spite of all our apprehensions, the project is working and moving forward. It happened with the endless foot-dragging in the talks on visa issues, promises of fair competition and free access to global markets.

Today, we are being threatened with sanctions, but we already experiencemany limitations, ones that are quite significant for us, our economy and our nation. For example, still during the times of the Cold War, the US and subsequently other nations restricted a large list of technologies and equipment from being sold to the USSR, creating the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls list. Today, they have formally been eliminated, but only formally; and in reality, many limitations are still in effect.

In short, we have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today. They are constantly trying to sweep us into a cornerbecause we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. And with Ukraine, our western partners have crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.

After all, they were fully aware that there are millions of Russians living in Ukraine and in Crimea. They must have really lacked political instinct and common sense not to foresee all the consequences of their actions. Russia found itself in a position it could not retreat from. If you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this.

Today, it is imperative to end this hysteria, to refute the rhetoric of the cold war and to accept the obvious fact: Russia is an independent, active participant in international affairs; like other countries, it has its own national interests that need to be taken into account and respected.

At the same time, we are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea; we are grateful to the people of China, whose leaders have always consideredthe situation in Ukraine and Crimea taking into account the full historical and political context, and greatly appreciate India’s reserve and objectivity.

Today, I would like to address the people of the United States of America, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to hold freedom above all else. Isn’t the desire of Crimea’s residents to freely choose their fate such a value? Please understand us.

I believe that the Europeans, first and foremost, the Germans, will also understand me. Let me remind you that in the course of political consultations on the unification of East and West Germany, at the expert, though very high level, some nations that were then and are now Germany’s allies did not support the idea of unification. Our nation, however, unequivocally supported the sincere, unstoppable desire of the Germans for national unity. I am confident that you have not forgotten this, and I expect that the citizens of Germany will also support the aspiration of the Russians, of historical Russia, to restore unity.

I also want to address the people of Ukraine. I sincerely want you to understand us: we do not want to harm you in any way, or to hurt your national feelings. We have always respected the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state, incidentally, unlike those who sacrificed Ukraine’s unity for their political ambitions. They flaunt slogans about Ukraine’s greatness, but they are the ones who did everything to divide the nation. Today’s civil standoff is entirely on their conscience. I want you to hear me, my dear friends. Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that. As for Crimea, it was and remains a Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean-Tatar land.

I repeat, just as it has been for centuries, it will be a home to all the peoples living there. What it will never be and do is follow in Bandera’s footsteps!

Crimea is our common historical legacy and a very important factor in regional stability. And this strategic territory should be part of a strong and stable sovereignty, which today can only be Russian. Otherwise, dear friends (I am addressing both Ukraine and Russia), you and we – the Russians and the Ukrainians – could lose Crimea completely, and that could happen in the near historical perspective. Please think about it.

Let me note too that we have already heard declarations from Kiev about Ukraine soon joining NATO. What would this have meant for Crimea and Sevastopol in the future? It would have meant that NATO’s navy would be right there in this city of Russia’s military glory, and this would create not an illusory but a perfectly real threat to the whole of southern Russia. These are things that could have become reality were it not for the choice the Crimean people made, and I want to say thank you to them for this.

But let me say too that we are not opposed to cooperation with NATO, for this is certainly not the case. For all the internal processes within the organisation, NATO remains a military alliance, and we are against having a military alliance making itself at home right in our backyard or in our historic territory. I simply cannot imagine that we would travel to Sevastopol to visit NATO sailors. Of course, most of them are wonderful guys, but it would be better to have them come and visit us, be our guests, rather than the other way round.

Let me say quite frankly that it pains our hearts to see what is happening in Ukraine at the moment, see the people’s suffering and their uncertainty about how to get through today and what awaits them tomorrow. Our concerns are understandable because we are not simply close neighbours but, as I have said many times already, we are one people. Kiev is the mother of Russian cities. Ancient Rus is our common source and we cannot live without each other.

Let me say one other thing too. Millions of Russians and Russian-speaking people live in Ukraine and will continue to do so. Russia will always defend their interests using political, diplomatic and legal means. But it should be above all in Ukraine’s own interest to ensure that these people’s rights and interests are fully protected. This is the guarantee of Ukraine’s state stability and territorial integrity.

We want to be friends with Ukraine and we want Ukraine to be a strong, sovereign and self-sufficient country. Ukraine is one of our biggest partners after all. We have many joint projects and I believe in their success no matter what the current difficulties. Most importantly, we want peace and harmony to reign in Ukraine, and we are ready to work together with other countries to do everything possible to facilitate and support this. But as I said, only Ukraine’s own people can put their own house in order.

Residents of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the whole of Russia admired your courage, dignity and bravery. It was you who decided Crimea’s future. We were closer than ever over these days, supporting each other. These were sincere feelings of solidarity. It is at historic turning points such as these that a nation demonstrates its maturity and strength of spirit. The Russian people showed this maturity and strength through their united support for their compatriots.

Russia’s foreign policy position on this matter drew its firmness from the will of millions of our people, our national unity and the support of our country’s main political and public forces. I want to thank everyone for this patriotic spirit, everyone without exception. Now, we need to continue and maintain this kind of consolidation so as to resolve the tasks our country faces on its road ahead.

Obviously, we will encounter external opposition, but this is a decision that we need to make for ourselves. Are we ready to consistently defend our national interests, or will we forever give in, retreat to who knows where? Some Western politicians are already threatening us with not just sanctions but also the prospect of increasingly serious problems on the domestic front. I would like to know what it is they have in mind exactly: action by a fifth column, this disparate bunch of ‘national traitors’, or are they hoping to put us in a worsening social and economic situation so as to provoke public discontent? We consider such statements irresponsible and clearly aggressive in tone, and we will respond to them accordingly. At the same time, we will never seek confrontation with our partners, whether in the East or the West, but on the contrary, will do everything we can to build civilised and good-neighbourly relations as one is supposed to in the modern world. 

Colleagues,

I understand the people of Crimea, who put the question in the clearest possible terms in the referendum: should Crimea be with Ukraine or with Russia? We can be sure in saying that the authorities in Crimea and Sevastopol, the legislative authorities, when they formulated the question, set aside group and political interests and made the people’s fundamental interests alone the cornerstone of their work. The particular historic, population, political and economic circumstances of Crimea would have made any other proposed option — however tempting it could be at the first glance — only temporary and fragile and would have inevitably led to further worsening of the situation there, which would have had disastrous effects on people’s lives. The people of Crimea thus decided to put the question in firm and uncompromising form, with no grey areas. The referendum was fair and transparent, and the people of Crimea clearly and convincingly expressed their will and stated that they want to be with Russia.

Russia will also have to make a difficult decision now, taking into account the various domestic and external considerations. What do people here in Russia think? Here, like in any democratic country, people have different points of view, but I want to make the point that the absolute majority of our people clearly do support what is happening.

The most recent public opinion surveys conducted here in Russia show that 95 percent of people think that Russia should protect the interests of Russians and members of other ethnic groups living in Crimea – 95 percent of our citizens. More than 83 percent think that Russia should do this even if it will complicate our relations with some other countries. A total of 86 percent of our people see Crimea as still being Russian territory and part of our country’s lands. And one particularly important figure, which corresponds exactly with the result in Crimea’s referendum: almost 92 percent of our people support Crimea’s reunification with Russia. 

Thus we see that the overwhelming majority of people in Crimea and the absolute majority of the Russian Federation’s people support the reunification of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with Russia.

Now this is a matter for Russia’s own political decision, and any decision here can be based only on the people’s will, because the people is the ultimate source of all authority.

Members of the Federation Council, deputies of the State Duma, citizens of Russia, residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, today, in accordance with the people’s will, I submit to the Federal Assembly a request to consider a Constitutional Law on the creation of two new constituent entities within the Russian Federation: the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and to ratify the treaty on admitting to the Russian Federation Crimea and Sevastopol, which is already ready for signing. I stand assured of your support.

Sayyed Nasrallah: One Color Gov’t Rejected, US Taking Advantage of Protests

Source: Al-Manar

December 14, 2019

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah tackled the latest internal developments in a speech he delivered Friday.

Dividing his speech into four parts, his eminence started with the US intervention in the Lebanese situation. Second, he covered the government formation file, third he talked about the security situation and finally he referred to the economic and social responsibility.

US Intervention

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the US interferes in every movement that takes place in the world in order to divert the public demands to serve their own interests not the people’s interests.

“The Americans take the side of protests worldwide and express their support for their demands but in reality all the aid they offer is that which serves the US interests. This was the US role in the Arab Spring, Latin America, and East Asia, and this the US approach in general,” he said.

His eminence referred to US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft’s statement saying: “Craft talked about ongoing protests in Lebanon, Yemen, and any place which Iran is present in, not any place which has corruption. She also considered that strikes will continue if pressure did not bring results. The Americans regard the protests as means to put pressure on Iran.”

“The Americans assumed that the Lebanese protests are against Hezbollah and Iran, knowing that they did not propose anything like that. Their slogans were economic and righteous ones while the Americans assumed since the first day that they were public protests against Hezbollah… and Arab and international media tried portray that,” he added, noting that “US Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo called on the Lebanese to get rid of this obstacle called “Hezbollah” and the US is ready to help them with that.”

Sayyed Nasrallah asked: “Do the US and Israel want to help the Lebanese people or blackmail them? The US equation for the Lebanese is for the latter to abandon their strength element so that the US helps them… The US and Israel have failed for decades to solve the obstacle which the resistance formed, therefore they are trying to take advantage and blackmail the Lebanese to achieve that.”

In parallel, his eminence referred to “Israeli” statements which considered that this is a historic opportunity to weaken Hezbollah and to make an agreement with Lebanon on the oil and gas.

Sayyed Nasrallah assured that “Hezbollah is a great threat. A threat on US agendas and interests not on the Lebanese interests. In contrast, it is the defender of the Lebanese interests and dignity.”

His eminence further indicated that “the Israeli is building a wall on the border because the resistance left this issue to be dealt with by the Lebanese government. If the resistance spoke against that the Israeli would have thought a thousand times before taking this step. The same applies on the oil digging in the regional waters.”

Sayyed Nasrallah called on the Lebanese not to trust the US promises, noting: “look how the US left its allies in the middle of the crises and humiliated them. Look how the countries who submitted to the US role became regular countries after having had a great role in the world. They want us to abandon our power, independence, and sovereignty… but if the Lebanese cooperated, they are capable of getting out of this crisis.”

Fabrication of Iranian statement

Concerning the latest fabrication of a statement by an Iranian official in which he was quoted as saying that “Iran will respond to any attack on it, and the response will be from the Lebanese territories”, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that there are sides who seek to create tension and incite against Iran in order to put Hezbollah, the presidency and allies in a critical situation, and these sides fabricated this statement which is not true in any way.

His eminence said Hezbollah instantly contacted their Iranian allies to ask about the statement and the latter denied its existence to instantly issue a clarification after that.

In this context, Hezbollah SG indicated that “some think that if Iran was attacked it will refer to its allies to defend it, and let me correct this misconception and assure that Iran will defend itself by itself, it will not stay silent and will not accept to be defended by anyone… If its allies wanted to take action, that would be their own decision.”

Government formation

Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that “Hezbollah was against the government resignation in the first place because the formation of a new government would take time and the economic and financial situation does not bear vacuum. Some considered that the resignation of the PM was a victory but in contrast, it was time wasting and instead of responding to the demands and initiating with the reformations people had to focus on the government formation.”

“The best case scenario would have been for the government to stay and the protests to continue and in that case many achievements would have been made,” he added.

“We are now in front of several choices, the first is a one color government which could get the highest number of votes in the parliament, and our political opponents were pushing toward that, while in our political team some supported it and others didn’t. We, as Hezbollah and Amal movement refused this choice because it poses danger on the country, besides that it contradicts the constitution. Just like we refused a one color government in the past and called for a unity government, we refuse it now even as we have become the majority. The current crisis requires everyone’s cooperation. The second choice is a one color government formed by the opposing political team, and we refuse that because the country’s situation is unbearable. The third and fourth choices are partnership governments which protest delegates take part in, I don’t know how this can happen as the latter was incapable of choosing a leadership or form a delegation to visit the president. The third choice is a partnership government headed by Saad Hariri and the fourth choice is a partnership government headed by someone else. The third choice was not implemented because Hariri put unacceptable conditions so we moved to the fourth choice and accepted all the PM names that were proposed by Hariri but this did not succeed. The third and fourth choices are still on table, what’s important is to form a government that could make reformations and just as we refused a government that does not include the Future Movement, we will refuse a government that does not include the Free Patriotic Movement.”

Security Situation

Sayyed Nasrallah saluted people for their patience on the road cutting which aimed at causing riots and dragging them into clashes, adding: I call for further patience as we are getting closer to the solution.

His eminence assured that some media outlets’ claims that Hezbollah and Amal movement were attacking protesters are not true and great efforts were made to control the street and absorb the anger.

Economic situation and social responsibility

Sayyed Nasrallah called for social solidarity in order to overcome this tough situation. He called upon business owners not to take advantage of this crisis to raise prices of their products but instead lower the prices and get little gains until we get over this phase. No one should manipulate or take advantage of anything related to people, from bread, medicine, fuel, etc… these must not be used as pressure tools.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: The US is Exploiting Lebanon’s Protests, No for One-Sided Gov’t

Sayyed Nasrallah: The US is Exploiting Lebanon’s Protests, No for One-Sided Gov’t

Zeinab Essa  

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a speech in which he tackled the latest internal developments on the Lebanese level, particularly the formation of a new government.

Warning that Lebanon is passing through a sensitive moment regarding the formation of a new government, Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that “Whenever protests erupt in a certain country, we find the Americans quickly interfering and seeking to exploit these protests in a rude and clear way that serves their own interests and not those of the protesters.”

On this level, His Eminence explained that

“the Americans try to convince the world that they are orchestrating these protests, whether that is true or not. This is the case Latin America as well as in Hon Kong as well in the so-called Arab spring.”

Image result for kelly craft unHe cited the US envoy to the UN, Kelly Craft who said that the demonstrations will continue in Lebanon and Yemen and wherever Iran is and not in any place where there is corruption. “The Americans view the demonstrations as tools to pressure Iran.”

“Since the first day, the Americans assumed that these demonstrations reflect the Lebanese revolution against Hezbollah and the resistance’s resistance, and some Arab and Gulf media helped them in this, knowing that no one raised this issue,”

Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted noting, that

“The Americans are either deceiving themselves or the world, or some Lebanese are sending wrong and misleading reports.”

Commenting on the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statements on Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled that

“Pompeo’s statements regarding the demonstrations claimed that the stalemate in Lebanon was caused by Hezbollah, and thus he called them to get rid of it.”

Slamming Pompeo’s statements as reflection of the US silly approach, His Eminence underscored that

“Pompeo’s statements reflect his pressure on Lebanon to remove Hezbollah from the state, which is impossible due to its popular presence. The US evaluation of the Lebanese protests  is wrong.”

“The American exploitation to the Lebanese demonstrations is clear, parallel to the “Israeli” consideration that what is happening in Lebanon forms an opportunity for them,” he highlighted, pointing out that

“Pompeo, with his comments, considers himself to be the mouthpiece and expresser of the Lebanese people’s opinion!”

In response to Pompeo, the Resistance Leader stressed that

“Hezbollah poses the first threat to “Israel” in the face of its ambitions as well as a threat to the schemes of the American hegemony in Lebanon and the region. Hezbollah never formed a threat to the interests of the Lebanese people, but rather a defender to their interests.”

“Both the Americans and the “Israelis” are practicing the policy of blackmail,” His Eminence warned, cautioning that “the American equation that they want to impose on the Lebanese people is ‘give up what preserves your sovereignty so that we help you’.”

To the Lebanese, Sayyed Nasrallah raised the following question:

“Do not believe the American promises. Draw lessons from the countries that surrendered to the US conditions. Have they overcome their financial woes?”

He also urged the Lebanese to be aware of and not to be affected by the US deceptive calls and incites pushing towards sedition and chaos. “Everyone who has a problem and is protesting should not allow the Americans to take advantage of his movement.”

“From the beginning, we did not agree on the government’s resignation because the country cannot tolerate a vacuum,” His Eminence stated, noting that “the government’s resignation has made matters worse on various levels. “It also paralyzed state institutions that should have been implementing reforms.”

Regarding the recent fabrications, Sayyed Nasrallah revealed that

“Some Gulf countries are fabricating statements attributed to Iranian officials. The IRGC  general mentioned nothing about Lebanon in his statement. Some parties are fabricating statements attributed to Iranian officials in order to embarrass some Lebanese parties.”

“Iran itself will respond to those who attack it [whether the US or “Israel”] and it will not depend on its allies,” he added.

Back to the Lebanese internal scene, His Eminence declared: “Forming a government of one color requires courage, but the risks and ramifications have been studied. We in Hezbollah and the brothers in Amal Movement are against a one-color government. In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah wondered:

“If a one-color government is formed in light of the existing situation, the situation will get worse and how can it deal with a crisis with this level of danger?”

He reminded that “The National Pact forbids the formation of a one-sided government.”

“The consultations are supposed to take place Monday and we hope a PM-designate will be named,” he went on to say, predicting that

“The formation of the government won’t be an easy process. After the designation of a PM, we will talk about the line-up and we would negotiate and cooperate with the PM-designate to form the government.”

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “The solution to the current crisis is cooperation and concessions to save the country.”

He once again explained that

“Hezbollah had no objection on a government headed by PM Saad Hariri. However, he proposed inappropriate conditions. A reformist government does not necessarily mean a technocrat government.”

In addition, he announced that Hezbollah insists on the Free Patriotic Movement’s representation in the government as no party should be eliminated. “The parliamentary blocs have not yet agreed on a PM’s name and the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc is to unveil its position on Monday.”

On the same level, His Eminence urged “The caretaker government to shoulder its responsibilities regarding the economic situation.”

Calling on the Lebanese army and its leadership to accelerate the opening of any road that is being cut, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that

“blocking the roads during the protests put people at risk as some seek chaos and clashes.”

Once again, His Eminence called on supporters of Hezbollah and the Amal movement to control nerves, and be patient so not to be drawn to any tension. “On the security level, the Lebanese have so far acted with responsibly. We, God willing, are nearing the end.”

Regarding the social aspect of the economic crisis, Sayyed Nasrallah urged “People to come together socially and to show solidarity with each other.”

To whoever is taking advantage of the situation and raising profits, His Eminence said:

“Now the situation needs everyone’s solidarity. And if the country collapses, everyone will be severely affected. Everything that has to do with the lives of the people from bread to gasoline and medicine shouldn’t be manipulated.”

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Quo Vadis, Lebanon?

Global Research, December 03, 2019

Good bye, Lebanon, metaphorically and truly.

Good bye to a country which, many believe, actually has already ceased to exist.

For five long years I have been commuting between the Asia Pacific and the Middle East.And Beirut, for all that time, was one of my homes.

I arrived in Beirut when the situation in the region was beginning to be unbearable; when destabilized, tortured Syria commenced losing its children in large numbers. They were forced to leave their homeland, heading for Beirut and the Beqaa Valley, and in fact, to all parts of the world. I arrived when Syrian refugees were freezing to death, exploited and brutalized in ancient, godforsaken villages lost in the deep, lawless Lebanese valleys.

I was not supposed to write about it, but I did. I was not supposed to see what I saw. It was the UN’s shame, a well-hidden and well covered one, obscured by technical jargon. Refugees were not called refugees, and camps were not really officially registered as camps. What you had clearly seen with your own eyes, you were told, was actually totally something else. But it wasn’t. Eyes hardly lie.

Lebanon’s mirages, sandcastles and myths. If you live here, they surround you, suffocate you, choke you, all the time.

I arrived when the Palestinians began rebelling inside the horrific camps; hopeless, monstrous places where tens of thousands of human beings have been forced to live, for decades, without help, with hardly any rights.

And I left when the country collapsed. When the gap between the haves and have nots reached such enormous proportions, that it often began to appear that there were actually two different countries, even universes, on the same tiny geographical territory that is called Lebanon.

*

But before I left, there was an uprising.

Of course, periodically, there are rebellions here, which are misleadingly called “revolutions”. The“revolution” of 2005, of 2015, and now again, in 2019.

I worked in the center of Beirut, in the squares packed with the protesters. I tried to understand, to analyze, to find context.

And what did I witness? Huge clenched fists, those of the Serbian “Otpor”, a CIA-Serbian (extreme right-wing) ‘organization’, which forced the government of Slobodan Milosevic out of power, and which later infiltrated and destroyed genuine revolts all over the Middle East; revolts cynically called by the Western mass media – “Arab Spring”.

I actually saw many signs of Otpor, a sister group of Canvas, and when I asked protesters in Beirut whether they knew what these organizations represented, they replied that “no”, they didn’t but “they’d definitely ask their designers”.

There was a lot of waving of flags, plenty of singing, and even dancing. Rebellion Lebanese-style. One big party. Smiles, laughter, even when things get desperate.

Protesters have many grievances, and they are willing to discuss them, openly: corruption, hardship, almost non-existent social services, and hardly any future.

But do not look for any signs of ideology here, in 2019: this is not a communist, or even a socialist, rebellion, although historically, Lebanon has vibrant socialist and communist movements, both of them.

One thing is certain: protesters “do not like ‘elites’”, but you will search in vain for slogans denouncing capitalism; something that is so common in Chile and of course, in Bolivia (but not in Hong Kong, where the riots are clearly backed by the West and by some local ‘elites’).

Protesters do not like electricity blackouts, water shortages, filth accumulated everywhere because of the failed garbage collection and recycling. The protesters hate the high prices, and traffic jams.

But what do they want, really?

*

They want a “better Lebanon”. But what is that?

A Lebanon free of racism, for instance? No, I never saw any signs denouncing racism.

When I first began living here, I was horrified by the bigotry of the locals.

A driver working for one of the UN agencies, did not even try to hide his ‘beliefs’:

“The Turkish nation has improved. In the past, they only screwed Asian women, and as a result, they all looked like dogs. After they conquered the Balkans, and began screwing European women, their stock got better.” 

Arriving at Rafik Hariri International Airport, I often saw humiliated Philippine, Ethiopian, or Kenyan women, locked in crowded rooms, guarded by Lebanese security forces. They looked like slaves, treated like meat. Unhurriedly, their “owners” would come to fetch them, signing release papers, leading them away.

The abuse of domestic workers in Lebanon is horrific; torture, rape and death are common. Foreign workers are regularly committing suicide. While there is hardly any legal protection for them.

Is this going to change? Are protesters demanding a “better Lebanon” which would once and for all finish with this sort of discrimination?Again, I have never heard about such demands.

And what has been sustaining Lebanon, financially, for decades?

All over West Africa, unscrupulous, racist and brutal Lebanese businesspeople have been exploiting local folks, while plundering natural resources. The things that I heard in Ivory Coast, would shock even the most hardened readers. But are there any slogans in Beirut demanding theplunder of West Africa stop?

Another fabled source of income are the narcotics, grown and processed in the Beqaa Valley. If it were to be marijuana, who cares? But Lebanon is producing heroin and cocaine, but above all, so-called “combat drugs”, including Captagon, which is used on the battlefields of Syria and Yemen. Captagonis regularly smuggled out of the country by the Saudis, and used in jihadi operations, as I have reported.

Is this going to end? Are Lebanese protesters demanding a “better Lebanon” without drugs that are helping to kill and torture tens of thousands of innocent people, all over the region?

What are the other sources of income here? Banking, of course. Banks that operate all over the Middle East, and the Gulf.

And, of course, “foreign aid”. Aid which is supposed to “help the immigrants”, as well as the poor Lebanese who are “suffering from the waves of refugees”, arrivingfrom countries destabilized by the West. These funds regularly disappear, fully or partially”,into the deep pockets of the Lebanese elites, who make sure to generate profits no matter what: when the refugees keep arriving, and even when they leave.

Before I departed, I spent one week wandering all around Beirut, day and night, searching foranswers, looking for signs that the protesters were really determined to change the country. Not just for themselves, but for everyone in Lebanon, and for the entire Arab world.

I encountered too many abstract slogans, most of them of Western origin. Not even a trace of Syrian Pan-Arabism. Nothing that would even remotely resemble internationalism. This was clearly a “European-style” rebellion.

*

As always, the Lebanese security forces were intimidating me and many others.

Coming to Martyr’s Square, at night, I only pointed the lens of my camera in the direction of a group of lazy, cynical looking soldiers, and it propelled them immediately into action. They tried to force me to delete the images, to apologize. I did not budge. I had no problem photographing police in Hong Kong, or in Paris, Chile or other places. And I have had enough, after 5 years here, of these inept and arrogant brutes.

But here, the armed forces are “unique”; not much is expected from them. It is Hezbollah which comes to the rescue of Lebanon whenever it is attacked by Israel. Hezbollah fighters are well trained, and they are disciplined. While the Lebanese army (and its various “forces”) is manned by those who cannot find a decent job. If it protects somebody or something, it is the Lebanese regime, sustained by the West and Saudi Arabia.

I refused to hand over my phones and cameras to them.

Arrest me,” I offered, extending both my hands.

They did not. It would be too much effort, and paperwork.

Later, the protesters hugged me:

“It is great that you did not surrender your material to them. You see, if it was us, the Lebanese, they would beat us up, and smash our cameras.” 

A lady protester added:

“You never know what they are hiding, but they are hiding something, always. Perhaps they did not want the world to see how lazy they are. They stand here, in clusters, doing nothing, chatting. Then, when they get tired of doing nothing, they mobilize and attack us. They are unpredictable.”

A couple of months ago, during the short conflict between Israel and Lebanon (Israeli drone attack and Hezbollah retaliation), I managed to drive to the border, as I had on several previous occasions.

Almost the entire defense of Lebanon has been resting on the shoulders of Hezbollah, with UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) troops, consisting of Indonesian, South Korean, Italian, Ghanaian and others forces, patrolling the frontier in armored vehicles, and providing mostly psychological deterrence from the large fortified bases, including the one at Naqoura.

Lebanese armed forces have very little ability to defend their country. That includes the Lebanese Air Force, which mainly counts on things that could be described as toy airplanes, with converted Cessna models.

Now, theLebanese army and police are facing and confronting their own people, protecting the regime in Beirut, as well as foreign, mainly Western and Saudi, interests.

*

But back to the main question which is, surprisingly, very rarely asked by the Western mass media outlets: “What do Lebanese people really want? What is the goal of the uprising?”

Rebellion began on October 17, against proposed tax on WhatsApp calls. It soon turned into call for resignation of the entire government; call for total overhaul of the Lebanese system. Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, resigned. Others stayed, but country has been paralyzed for weeks.

Some Lebanese call what is happening on the streets of Beirut, Tripoli and other cities, an “October Revolution”, but in reality, this uprising has very little to do with the iconic Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

However, one positive thing is that many Lebanese people are now calling for direct democracy, and for a people’s parliament.

Alessandra Bajec recently wrote for The New Arab newspaper:

“Protests and strikes are not the only nationwide thing dominating Lebanon. Open discussions held by groups of citizens is the latest phenomenon happening on the streets of Lebanon. 

A series of open discussions led by a variety of groups of citizens are held daily around Lebanon helping to feed the hearts and minds of the revolutionary movement since the start of the country’s so-called “October Revolution”. 

I witnessed those gatherings in Beirut. It is an impressive idea, in a way far more advanced than what has been observed in Europe, during the recent protests in France and elsewhere.

It is clear that Lebanese rebels have had enough of the sectarian politics, of savage capitalism (although, this is not being pronounced as such), and of the endemic corruption.

For decades, after the devastating Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), thecountry remained bitterly divided. Again, it is actually something that is not supposed to be discussed, even mentioned, but allegiances in this nation of (officially) 4.4 million, have been commonly pledged toreligious leaders and movements, and not to the state.

David Morrison wrote in Labor & Trade Union Review:

“Lebanon’s political system has a uniquely confessional character, which has its origin in the National Pact of 1943.  Under this unwritten Pact, the President of the Republic must be a Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim and the President (Speaker) of the Parliament a Shiite Muslim. 

What is more, 50% of the 128 seats in the Parliament are allocated to Christians, and 50% to Muslims, and these allocations are further sub-divided for Christian and Muslim sects.  In total, seats are allocated to each of 18 sects.  Nationally, the 64 Christian seats are allocated as follows: Maronite 34, Greek Orthodox 14, Greek Catholic 8, Armenian Orthodox 5, Armenian Catholic 1, Protestant 1 and Others 1; and the 64 Muslim seats are allocated as follows: Sunni 27, Shiite 27, Druze 8 and Alawite 2. 

So, in total Christians have 50% of the seats, and the Sunni and Shiite communities just over 20% each. 

There was no provision in the National Pact for altering these allocations to reflect demographic changes.  And there is still none today.  These allocations may have corresponded to the proportion of each sect in the electorate at one time, but they certainly don’t today.  But it’s impossible to say with any precision what they should be, since there hasn’t been a national census since 1932.  This is a very sensitive issue within Lebanon, an issue that has the potential to trigger civil conflict.” 

Naturally, this sclerotic and stale system of secretive divides and coalitions, led to outrageous corruption. Religious and family clans managed to amass tremendous wealth, while enjoying almost absolute impunity.

Discussing sensitive political issues with various Lebanese protesters and activists in 2015 (“You Stink” movement), as well as during the recent uprising of 2019, I came to the clear understanding that most of the educated protesters (and Lebanon is without any doubt one of the most educated nations in the Arab world), have been totally rejecting the sectarian system. In fact, they were thoroughly disgusted with it.

As early as in 2015, one of the main demands was to “unite Lebanon”; to make sure that it gets governed by people elected based on their virtues and excellence, instead of religious beliefs.

Particularly young people have had enough of those escapes to Cyprus (in order to get married), if a couple belonged to two different religions, or if one or both individuals had no religion at all. They were revolted by the fact that their child could no be registered in their own country, if there was no official Lebanese marriage certificate.

And most of the people I spoke to, understood that the shocking lack of transparency on which the Lebanese regime has been thriving, only serves those very few extremely rich individuals and families. The economy of the country is shattered, debt is at 150% GDP, basically unserviceable, and the divide between the rich and poor, monstrous. For millions, leaving the country became the only option. But luxury marinas are full of lavish yachts, while Maserati sport cars and Range Rover SUVs are parked all over the capital, in front of luxury restaurants and bars.

The Lebanese revolutionaries are organizing open discussions, but that is not all – they want a totally new political system.

The problem is, they are not sure, which one.

But, they are certain that by holding open forums and public meetings,they will, eventually, find out what precisely it is they want.

Alessandra Bajec continues witha description of direct-democracy groups:

Rachad Samaha, a social activist and core member of the free discussions group adds, “We were talking among ourselves about how we could be more involved in the revolution… not just by joining protests, but through helping to bring people together to discuss issues that we are all fighting against. We can then reach some common ground.” 

Centering such group discussions over the need to change the current political system, and put an end to sectarianism, and possible ways to fix the country’s rapidly declining economy has been the leading drive for prompting exchanges of views between people from within the largest protest movement. 

The major matters of national concern voiced by citizens taking part in the talks include the accelerating economic crisis, the embezzlement of public funds, the decades-long ruling political elites who are being held responsible for the deepening crisis, and the confessional system, where power is divided among sects and has created patronage networks and clientelism at the detriment of the population.” 

All this is true. But this is Lebanon, the Middle East, where nothing is really simple.

Here, the West has a tremendous influence, and so do the best allies of Washington in the region, the Saudis. All this money ‘wasted’, all that eye-closing, simply ought to have guaranteed certain allegiances.

Under the surface, the West, Israel and Saudi Arabia are all after Iran, and Iran is allied with Hezbollah, and Hezbollah is the only true and powerful social force in Lebanon, where almost everything public has been already privatized, or stolen, or both.

Hezbollah is also the only true protection that Lebanon has, against Israel. While the West does not want anyone to be protected against Israel.

Predictably, Hezbollah is on the “terrorist list” of the United States, and on the lists of several of its allies.

Hezbollah had a strategic alliance with the previous government of Hariri, who resigned several weeks ago (and Hezbollah was warning against pushing for the collapse of the government, and even tried to clear the roadblocks erected by the protesters).

Now, what will really happen if the protesters win? Who will be benefiting? What if the old regime collapses; what if there is no more Hezbollah, and no more protection against the “Southern Neighbor”?

*

What kind of Lebanon can replace this present, terribly inefficient, even brutal and corrupt state?

If you are in Achrafieh neighborhood, the richest place in Lebanon, where the old Christian money resides, you would be told, by many, things that you would most likely not want to hear.

You’d be “explained” that Lebanon was supposed to be a Christian country, that the French created it as the only Christian state in the Middle East. You would hear Palestinians being insulted, horribly, and you would see posters of extreme-right-wing political leaders.

Once, there, I had a haircut, and an old barber parted with me, by raising his right hand into the air, and shouting: “Heil Hitler!” (After that, I quickly switched to a Syrian barber).

A neighbor once told me:

“French imperialism? Oh, but we would love to have the French back! That would be brilliant, to be colonized by them, again, no?” 

It was not a joke. He meant it. Each and every word, that he uttered.

These things are not supposed to be written about, at least not in the mainstream press. But this is not the mainstream press, and I believe that without understanding these nuances, it is impossible to understand Lebanon, and what could happen if the revolution wins.

Who is singing and dancing at the center of Beirut? Who is demanding for the resignation of the entire regime? Are these mainly Christians or Muslims? I am not sure. Judging by the number of headscarves, most likely, the majority are not Muslim. But again, I am not sure. This is not a question that one can present, to the protesters.

This is definitely not a revolution that would advance the interests of the Muslim-socialist Iran. And the same could be said about what is going on, simultaneously, in Iraq.

Can Western-backed “secularism” convert Lebanon into a Western outpost in the Middle East? Could it further hurt, even damage, Syria? Theoretically, yes. Could it hurt the interests of non-Western, anti-imperialist countries like Russia and China? Most definitely.

Is that what is happening? Could this be another shade of the “Color Revolutions”, or a continuation of the so-called Arab Spring?

No one can answer these questions, yet. But the situation has to be monitored, extremely carefully. Given the history of Lebanon, given its position in the world, its political and economic orientation, as well as education, the country can go either way. Given the choice, people could opt for a socialist state, or of returning to the Western colonial realm.

The West is doing all it can to bring Lebanon into its orbit. The clenched fists of Otpor are clear proof and warning of it. It is a well documented fact, that Canvashas been operating here at least since 2005.

 

*

Leaving Beirut, at the gate, I was once again stopped by anofficer of the security forces. He was rude. They always search for Israeli stamps or for exit stamps, or something, in the passports. And I had enough of him. Here, at Rafik Hariri, I saw them, for years, humiliating Ethiopian women, crushing Syrians, while treating like gods, white visitors from Europe and the United States.

“Why not fight Israelis, instead of women and children?” I suggested to him, grinning.

And all hell broke loose. And they dragged me away from the gate. And the giant Boeing 777-300 had to wait, as Air France refused to back down and download my luggage and leave me behind.

They called some generals back in Beirut. They were jumping around, shouting something, bluffing. I couldn’t care one single bit. My work here was finished. In Paris, I had nine days to kill, writing, before departing for South America. Waiting there, or in some filthy jail in Lebanon, made very little difference to me. I would have liked to be in Damascus, but my visa had already expired. So, I just waited.

In the end, they let me go. Prisoners who are not scared, are not fun to hold.

The airplane maneuvered towards the runway, then the engines roared, and we took off. Halas.

My memory cards are holding hours of footage from all corners of Lebanon. I was not sure what will I do with it.

Above all, I was not sure what the Lebanese will do with their own country.

A giant clenched fist was stickingout from the Martyr’s Square. Was this a foreign implant, a well-planned sabotage, or a genuine symbol of resistance?

On Independence Day, the fist was burned down, destroyed. Vandals!, screamed foreign media. I am not sure: this is extremely complex country.

The country was collapsing. Perhaps it has already collapsed. People were talking, shouting, singing. Some were living in dire misery. Others were driving Ferraris and torturing imported maids.

The country has been desperately trying to go forward. But forward could mean many, many different directions. In Lebanon, for each person, for each group: forward is towards somewhere else!

*

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Andre Vltchek

Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including China and Ecological Civilization. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published.

All images in this article are from the author

Assad to Paris Match: France Should Return to International Law

 

Syrian President Bashar Assad interview Paris Match
Syrian President Dr. Bashar al Assad explained that France needs to return to International Law, in Paris Match interview.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad received Régis Le Sommier in Damascus, for one of those rare interviews given to western journalists whose countries engage in war crimes against Syria. Le Sommier, co-editor of the Paris Match weekly, immediately reminded Dr. Assad of their meeting in November 2014. He did, however, show some decency by not mentioning his book, Assad, based on the earlier interview, and about which Paris Match once remarked, How can a journalist face up to a tyrant? Exclude him from his scope of investigation? Or approach him, try to grasp his mechanics? The question arises regularly at the whim of the dictators who parade at the head of certain states. 

It is fascinating to view the derivative outcomes of these “rare” interviews. Le Sommier created a book, published in 2018. In May 2013, Marcelo Cantelmi used his ‘rare interview’ to launch a scathing attack on Syria and its President al Assad, before releasing dribbles of the interview, over a few days. In January 2015, Foreign Affairs managing editor, Jonathan Tepperman, used his rare interview to also launch a series of anti-Syria propaganda reports — including his complaints that the presidential palace was not bullet-ridden, and rat-infested — via his report on the interview and his being interviewed about the interview…weeks before the actual interview was published.

Le Sommier was discreet enough not to mention Paris Match‘s sweet report on Belgian Michel, armed terrorist in Syria, who returned home to a more simple life as a baker’s assistant. It is possible that Belgian Michel would be a household deity in the western world, had it not been for those annoying terrorist attacks in Paris, mere weeks after that interview.

weapons-crimes-against-syria
Shortly before the attacks in France, Paris Match ran a lovely report on Belgian Michel’s life after returning from ”fighting’ in the SAR

On 27 November, Paris Match published its “exclusive” interview, except the fine print noted it was only exclusive “excerpts.” The bottom of the excerpted interview contains a clear warning, Toute reproduction interdite.

These excerpts shockingly missed significant points made by President Assad: France needs to turn to the standards of International Law; Erdogan is immorally threatening blackmail against Europe; terrorists against the Syrian state are subject to Syrian law.

It is a breach of International Law for one or more countries to arm an insurrection against another country. It is a breach of International Law to engage in military aggression against any country, except in self-defense. It is a breach of International Law for any country to deploy its military into another country, without that country’s explicit invitation.

Syrian President Bashar Assad interview Paris Match
President Assad tutors Le Sommier in International Law, 20 November 2019.

The bottom of the Paris Match excerpts contains a clear warning, Toute reproduction interdite. One might wonder if this prohibition is a Kafkaesque authorization for other media to engage in monkey dung flinging journalism, as one of the UK tabloids immediately did.

Daily Mail flung its dung in one of the most outrageous headlines since the NATO Spring was dumped into Syria: Jihadis face execution without trial in Syrian jails as Assad says foreign ISIS members will be hanged. Nowhere in the Paris Match interview does Dr. Assad say such a thing. He says, We have courts specialized in terrorism and they will be prosecuted.

Daily Mail continues to fling more dung, hitting peak colonialism in wailing about the Brit terrorist John Letts being stuck in an overcrowded jail — poor baby, let us wail for him and ignore the UK’s part in dumping their human garbage into Syria, shall we?

UK, US Holding Tabqa Dam Hostage in Syrian Negotiations?
English terrorist, John Letts, at Syria’s Tabqa Dam.

Continuing with its coprophilia journalism, Daily Mail reached back in, and flung even more, this time in the form of the Saydnaya overcrowded, “torture” jail, as Syria is that paradoxical Utopia where there are no actual criminals, but the prisons are overflowing, nonetheless.

image-saydnaya prison
The Saydnaya Prison building.

The following is the transcript of the Paris Match Le Sommier interview with Syria’s President Bashar al Assad:

Question 1:  Good morning.  I met you five years ago, specifically in November 2014.  At that time, your government controlled only a third of the country.  Today, your army has returned to the border regions with Turkey.  Do you feel that you have won the war?

President Assad:  Let’s be precise, it is not my war to win or lose.  The narrative pushed by the West is: the war of the President who wants to remain in office; while in fact, it is a national war – the Syrians’ war against terrorism.

You are correct in your statement that we have made significant progress in this war, since we last met, but that doesn’t mean that we have won.  We will win when terrorism is eliminated.  It is still present in certain areas in the north, and what is more dangerous is that support for this terrorism still continues from Turkey, and from Western countries – whether it’s the United States, Britain, or France.  That’s why it is too early to talk about victory.

Question 2:  Do you really think that France continues to support terrorism?

President Assad:  Definitely; in previous periods, they were supplying weapons.  This may have changed in the previous months, or last year, but let’s put things into perspective: when French forces come to Syria without an invitation from the legitimate government, this is occupation.  There’s no real difference between supporting terrorism and providing military forces to occupy a country.  It is the same context, but with different titles.

Intervention:  But the French came to support the Kurds who were fighting ISIS.  That was their mission.

President Assad:  But, can we send Syrian forces to fight terrorism in France, without the request of the French government?!  Globally, states are governed by international law, not by their intentions.  It is not enough to have the desire to fight terrorism; there are international rules for fighting terrorism, and of course, here, I am presuming that there are good intentions.  However, we do not believe that there are good intentions.  The Syrian government is fighting ISIS, why wasn’t it supported?  And why does the French government fight ISIS and yet support al-Nusra, when in fact they are both terrorist organisations?!

Question 3:  Perhaps you are referring to the period when Hollande was President of the Republic.  Actually, the French Foreign Minister, Fabius, himself said at a certain point that you do not deserve to remain alive.  What is the position now with Emmanuel Macron?  Have you felt a change in the French position?

President Assad:  In form yes, in substance no.  When there is occupation, it is one form of terrorism.; we need to acknowledge this fact.  We need to talk about change in substance not in form.  We are not interested in statements, but with action on the ground.

Question 4: How do you want change to happen on the ground?

President Assad:  Simply, by going back to international law.  We do not ask the French government for anything; we do not ask for political, economic, or security assistance.  We don’t need them, and we are capable of managing our own affairs in Syria.  But we want them to return to the international order, which doesn’t exist at the moment.

Today, there is international chaos.  We don’t want them to support the President, this is of no concern to me; it doesn’t concern us if they say he is good or bad, this is also a Syrian matter.  But what we do demand is that they stop supporting everything that could cause more bloodshed, killing, and suffering in Syria.

Question 5:  France faces a real problem related to the Jihadists in Syria.  Do you have Jihadists in your prisons?

President Assad:  Regardless of nationalities, this is a matter for the competent authorities who have the statistics.  But in any case, if there are Jihadists, they are subject to Syrian laws.

Intervention:  But you should know if there are French nationals in your prisons?

President Assad:  I don’t have any statistics.  For us, terrorists are terrorists, whether they were French or Syrian.

Question 6:  If you signed an agreement with the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units,” and the army entered that region and restored all this land, you’ll find that there are prisons, and in these prisons, there are 400 French Jihadists.  What are you going to do with them?

President Assad:  Every terrorist in the areas controlled by the Syrian state will be subject to Syrian law, and Syrian law is clear concerning terrorism.  We have courts specialized in terrorism and they will be prosecuted.

Intervention:  So, you don’t intend to repatriate them to Europe as Recep Tayyip Erdogan has done, for instance?

President Assad:  Erdogan is trying to blackmail Europe.  A self-respecting man doesn’t talk like this.  There are institutions and there are laws.  Extraditing terrorists or any convicted person to another state is subject to bilateral agreements between countries; but to release people from prison knowing that they are terrorists and sending them to other countries to kill civilians – this is an immoral act.

Question 7:  Going back to the ongoing conflict, eight years of war, the country devastated, whole cities destroyed, half the population are displaced or refugees, and hundreds of thousands of deaths.  Do you acknowledge that you wouldn’t have won this conflict or this war without Russian or Iranian support?

President Assad:  War is tough and not easy, and we are not a superpower.  We have been fighting against the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world.  Logically, there is no doubt that the support of our friends has reduced losses and helped us regain our territories.

If we are to ask, whether Syria would have, without this support, gone towards partition or full defeat?  This is a hypothetical question now, because sometimes it is difficult to predict the result of a tennis match involving two players, let alone a war with tens of players and hundreds of thousands of fighters!

Question 8: Have you thought, for a single moment during this war, of leaving, going into exile, for instance?

President Assad:  In fact I haven’t, for a simple reason: the option neither existed nor was it considered, it was only suggested by Western officials.  As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t exist and it doesn’t concern me.  I would not consider this option unless it was suggested by the Syrian people, and when I say the Syrian people, I mean the majority.  I do not mean a terrorist minority, nor a minority hatched up by foreign intelligence services, nor a minority of those who demonstrated because they were paid to do so by Qatar.  This option was never suggested by the majority and that’s why I remained.

Question 9: But militarily, al-Nusra Front reached places only a few kilometers from your residence in 2013, to al-Abbasiyeen neighborhood, al-Abbasiyeen Square.

President Assad:  That’s true. Damascus remained almost besieged for years, sometimes completely, sometimes partially; shells were falling on us on a daily basis.  This in itself was a greater motive for me to remain and defend my country, not to flee.  I am doing my constitutional duty in defending the people against terrorism.

Question 10:  Now, let’s talk about reconstruction.  It is said that reconstruction will cost 300 or 400 billion Dollars.  Do you have a plan to get the people out of this conundrum, despite the embargo and the sanctions imposed on you which actually harm the people and increase their suffering?

President Assad:  This is absolutely true. Nevertheless, some of our industries have expanded, not the other way around. The pharmaceutical sector, for instance, has expanded.  As to rebuilding what has been destroyed, you can visit Aleppo, which had suffered large-scale destruction at the hands of terrorists, and year-on-year, you can see a difference and that the state is rebuilding the city together with its population.

Intervention:  But the Syrian Pound is in very bad shape, at an all-time low, and you need to find foreign investment.  Does China, for instance, and other countries want to invest?

President Assad:  Most recently, in the past six months, some companies have started to come to invest in Syria.  Of course, foreign investment remains slow in these circumstances, but there are ways to circumvent the sanctions, and we have started to engage with these companies, and they will come soon to invest.  But this doesn’t mean that the investment and reconstruction process is going to be quick, I am realistic about this.

Intervention: What are your estimates, how many years?

President Assad: This depends on how many years the embargo will continue, and the methods it will use.  It also depends on Syrians returning from other countries, which they are starting to do so gradually.  It’s difficult to give an answer to this question, but of course, it is a process that will be on-going for years.

Question 11: How many Syrians have returned to Syria?

President Assad:  Over a million Syrians in less than a year, and the process is accelerating, particularly after Damascus and the southern region and its environs were liberated.  Of course, the return of Syrians is also related to rebuilding the infrastructure and the availability of other services, like electricity, schools, and hospitals; regrettably, these three sectors have been the worst-affected by the embargo.  Furthermore, there is Western pressure for refugees not to return to Syria, for them, this is a humanitarian card which can be used to achieve political objectives.

Question 12:  A large number of immigrants left the country because they opposed you, and because they suffered from the atrocities of the army.  How can you invite them back?  How do you encourage them to come back?  Would they be covered by a general amnesty, for instance?

President Assad:  First, most of them are supporters of the state and not the opposite.  The evidence of this was the presidential elections which they took part in 2014 and voted for the President.  The largest number immigrated because of the war itself and its economic consequences, so there is no problem with their return; these people can return normally and without an amnesty.  Others are dissidents who have not committed any crimes and there is no warrant for them, the fact that they oppose me is not an issue, since we have dissidents within Syria and we are constantly engaging with them.

With regards to the amnesty, we have granted amnesties more than once, most recently a few months ago, because some people fear returning without an amnesty and believe that they will be arrested; although only those who carried weapons are arrested, and even those have been pardoned.

Syrian President Bashar Assad interview Paris Match
President Assad and reporter Le Sommier were in the same room, on the same planet, despite what some monkey dung flinging journals might infer.

Question 13: Last year, when al-Ghouta returned to government control, I went there and met some young rebels who carried weapons.  The Syrian officers were asking them to hand in their weapons and that they will not be harmed.  Their response was: you want us to give up our weapons because you want us to join the army, and we don’t want to.  They left to Idleb.  What’s your take on that?

President Assad:  In actual fact, some of those who went to Idleb left their families with us (government-controlled areas) and we are taking care of them; if they were afraid, they would not leave their families. This is the first point, the second, is that there are some militants who went to Idleb but later returned to our side. They asked and we allowed them to return. They received an amnesty, because the majority of them were told that the army will kill you. This happened of course when they were isolated from the state for seven years, but when the army went into al-Ghouta, normalcy was restored, and people now live a normal life. We must realise that some of them were fighting not because they were extremists, but they had no other choice: either to fight with the terrorists or to be killed. They are returning to us gradually after the felt reassured.

Question 14:  Today, there are numerous demonstrations in Iran, and the same in Lebanon and Iraq.  And all those demonstrators are asking for dignity and for wealth not to be concentrated in the hands of the few in their country.  Wasn’t that the case of the demonstrators who went out at the beginning of the Syrian crisis?

President Assad:  If we want to talk about the banners that were being pushed – like dignity, freedom, and others, they can be beautiful masks but what lies behind them is ugly.  Let me give you some examples:  Bush killed a million and a half Iraqis under the pretext of democracy; Sarkozy contributed to killing hundreds of thousands of Libyans under the pretext of freedom for the Libyan people; and today, France, Britain, and America are violating international law under the pretext of supporting the Kurds, who are a part of the Syrian population, not an independent group.  In Syria in 2011, these very same banners – dignity and freedom – were used to kill policemen and civilians, and sabotage public property.  Therefore, we should be more concerned with the facts on the ground and what’s actually happening than with headlines.

Intervention:  But in the beginning, there was a popular uprising, and real demands.  There was no existence of Al Qaeda.  Why did you use violence at the beginning?

President Assad:  Let’s talk numbers: the largest number of demonstrators in Syria was 170,000.  For arguments sake, let’s assume this number is inaccurate and so let’s multiply it several times over to reach a million demonstrators; the Syrian population is over 23 million, so these figures are not representative of anything.  So, in terms of size it is not a popular uprising.  Second, a popular uprising does not occur when people are paid by Qatar to demonstrate.  Third, I wouldn’t have been able to remain, with the government, in power for nine years in the face of a popular uprising.  No one can withstand a popular uprising, and an example here is the Shah of Iran – despite all attempts and Western support, they could not keep him in power.  So, calling it a popular uprising is wrong or at least unrealistic.

Question 15: At the beginning of the war in 2011, you released prisoners from Sednaya.  You are accused of doing that in order to inject Jihadist poison in the ranks of the opposition.  How do you respond?

President Assad:  Every few years, we grant an amnesty to prisoners in Syria.  This was a general policy before the war.  When an amnesty is issued, there are some categories which are excluded like espionage, drug trafficking and others.  However, in the law we did not have a category called extremists and so the amnesty includes everyone.

In 2011 specifically, there were convicts who were released because they had served their sentences and not because of an amnesty.  What do we gain if we release extremists or terrorists in order to kill officers of the Syrian Army and civilians?!  The Western narrative said that we did so in order to demonize the peaceful demonstrations; but in fact, they demonized themselves because in the early weeks, they posted videos – which can be found on the internet – where they killed policemen, attacked and slaughtered civilians.  This is actually what happened concerning the release of prisoners.

Question 16:  I talked a short while ago about Sednaya, but you have other prisons and detention centers.  A colleague of mine named Manon Loizeau who made documentaries about rape cases in your prisons.  What do you say to that?

President Assad:  There is a difference between policy being implemented and individual action.  Harassment or rape are not prevalent in Syrian society; but if there are such cases, they are punished by law.  These are individual cases.

We condemn any such policy anywhere in the world because it is immoral; it also undermines stability in Syria.  You cannot talk about stability and a peaceful relationship among the population if there was killing, torture, or any other kind of abuse.

Intervention: Those documentaries were filmed with Syrian witnesses, and these incidents happened to them. They were not talking about things happening in their society because they were ashamed of them. But they were witnesses who suffered from these practices?

President Assad:  No. You are talking about a story. A story is one thing and documented proof is another.  Everything that was presented was unsubstantiated, the photos were not verified.  Who are those witnesses?  They were hidden and not named.  In most of these cases, Qatar financed these reports, and adopting them would need a professional investigation.  If we were to put morality aside, logically, we do not have an interest in such acts.

This is against our interests, so why should we do it?!  What do we achieve through torture?! What is the result – revenge?!  If you go to the areas which were under the control of the opposition and then were retaken by the state, you will see the opposite.  We are not schizophrenic: tolerant in one place and torturing people in another.  These are mere political allegations.

Intervention:  Once again, I stress, i.e. there is an emphasis on this point, but these witnesses were not funded by Qatar.  They were witnesses who were met in refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan.  And they suffered.  And the person who documented these testimonies is a very trusted journalist.

President Assad:  There is no such thing as trust in these cases.  There are mechanisms and there are verified facts, there is no room for stories.  Who verified the witnesses’ stories?  Who verified that those witnesses had actually suffered to start with?  I can discuss this story with you when I have the facts in front of me, but I can’t discuss rumors or stories.  When facts exist, those who commit any crime are prosecuted by Syrian law, this is the norm.

Question 17:  Donald Trump mentioned Syria when he extended thanks upon the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  Did you give the Americans information, and did you know the whereabouts of al-Baghdadi?

President Assad:  I always laugh when this question is raised, because the more important question which should be asked is: was al-Baghdadi really killed or not? And did this “fantastic play” staged by the Americans take place in reality?

Intervention: But ISIS acknowledged that!

President Assad:  Yes, of course.  But ISIS was created by America; ISIS is part of the play and they taught al-Baghdadi how to act when he was in American prisons in Iraq.  That’s why I’m saying did this big play actually take place?  We don’t know.  It doesn’t mean that he wasn’t killed, but if he was, it wasn’t because he was a terrorist.  They were able to strike ISIS when it was taking oil from Syria to Iraq, but they didn’t; and when ISIS attacked the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor, the Americans bombed the Syrian Army instead of ISIS.  So, no, we did not cooperate with the Americans over anything. You cannot cooperate in the fight against terrorism with those who are supporting terrorism.

President Assad:  It’s one of Trump’s cute jokes.  It’s a joke.

Question 18: In our meeting in 2013, you assured me that the Syrian Army never used chemical weapons in al-Ghouta.  But after that came the case of Khan Sheikhoun, and then Douma. Why is the evidence mounting up suggesting that the Syrian Army used chemical weapons?

President Assad:  To date, there isn’t a single shred of evidence; the use of these weapons would have caused the deaths of hundreds or thousands of people and this did not happen.

As to this build-up: firstly, it was because the Syrian Army was advancing in the fight against terrorism and they were looking for a pretext to strike at it, and that’s what happened.  This narrative was used in two situations: either because we had made a significant advance, and it was an attempt to threaten us in the hope we’d stop, or because we were preparing for a large operation, and so it was an attempt to threaten us before the start of the operation.

Second: we were advancing and making good progress, so why would we need chemical weapons?  That is the question.  More importantly, every place we enter, there are civilians whose lives return to normal.  How could they remain there while we were using chemical weapons?!  In fact, the lies in Western media and in Western politics have no limits on this subject.

Journalist : Thank you.

— Miri Wood

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