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

‘Clash of civilizations’ or crisis of civilization?

May 20, 2019

by Pepe Escobar : posted with permission

‘Clash of civilizations’ or crisis of civilization?

Talk about a graphic display of soft power: Beijing this week hosted the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations. 

Organized under the direct supervision of President Xi Jinping it took place amid an “Asian Culture Carnival.”  Sure, there were dubious, kitschy and syrupy overtones, but what really mattered was what Xi himself had to say to China and all of Asia.

In his keynote speech, the Chinese leader essentially stressed that one civilization forcing itself upon another is “foolish” and “disastrous.” In Xi’s concept of a dialogue of civilizations, he referred to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as programs that “have expanded the channels for communication exchanges.”

Xi’s composure and rationality present a stark, contrasting message to US President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign.

West vs East and South

Compare and contrast Xi’s comments with what happened at a security forum in Washington just over two weeks earlier. Then, a bureaucrat by the name of Kiron Skinner, the State Department’s policy planning director, characterized US-China rivalry as a “clash of civilizations,” and “a fight with a really different civilization and ideology the US hasn’t had before.”

And it got worse. This civilization was “not Caucasian” – a not so subtle 21st century resurrection of the “Yellow Peril.” (Let us recall: The “not Caucasian” Japan of World War II was the original “Yellow Peril.”) 

Divide and rule, spiced with racism, accounts for the toxic mix that has been embedded in the hegemonic US  narrative for decades now. The mix harks back to Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, published in 1996.

Huntington’s pseudo-theory, coming from someone who did not know much about the multi-polar complexity of Asia, not to mention African and South American cultures, was mercilessly debunked across vast swathes of the global South.  In fact, Huntington did not even come up with the original, flawed concept. That was the work of Anglo-American historian and commentator Bernard Lewis, who passes for a Middle East guru in the US.

Divide, rule, conquer

As Alastair Crooke, the founder of the Conflicts Forum, has outlinedLewis consistently preached divide and rule, tinged with racism, in Islamic states. He was a fervent proponent of regime change in Iran and his recipe for dealing with Arabs was “to hit them between the eyes with a big stick” because, in his world view, the only thing they respect is power.

Crooke reminds us that since the 1960s, Lewis has been a master at spotting vulnerabilities in “religious, class and ethnic differences as the means to bring an end to Middle Eastern states.” Lewis is a hero across a certain spectrum – a spectrum that includes former US Vice President Dick Cheney and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Now, we live in the era of “Lewis redux.” Given that the Islamic world is  largely subdued, in torpor or in turmoil, the clash of civilizations basically applies, on a downsized scale, to containing or destroying Shi’ite Iran.

Meanwhile the real clash – as the State Department insists – is with China.

Huntington, the sub-Lewis, did not include Russia among “The West.” The revisionist State Department does. Otherwise how could “Nixon in reverse”be justified? (“Nixon in reverse,” let us remember, is the Kissingerian recommendation to President Donald Trump: Apply divide and rule between Russia and China – but this time seducing Russia.)

A revisionist Pentagon also came up with the “Indo-Pacific” concept. The only justification for the amalgam is that these two zones should conduct a foreign policy subjected to American hegemony.

The logic is always divide and rule and clash of civilizations – divisions provoking chaos all across Eurasia. 

But this strategy is being applied against the background of a crucial historical juncture: The era when BRI is being configured as the road map for progressive Eurasian integration.

Quo vadis, humanity?

It’s not hard to detect the faintest of smiles on the faces of Chinese strategists as they survey “The Big Picture” from the vantage point of 5,000 years of civilization. The Christian West as the unique road map to deliver humanity from evil – in fact, the foundation of Pax Americana – is regarded as an amusing fiction at best.

That fiction is now looking downright dangerous, wallowing in exceptionalism and demonization of “The Other” in myriad forms. The Other – from the Islamic Republic of Iran to atheist China, not to mention “autocratic” Russia – automatically qualifies as a manifestation of “evil.”

China, by contrast, is polytheist, pluralist, multi-polar – embracing Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism. That is mirrored by the current drive towards a multi-polar world-system. What matters is unity in multiplicity – as Xi stressed in his keynote speech. In it, we find China and Persia, two ancient civilizations – not by accident linked by the Ancient Silk Road – thinking alike.

Then there’s the appalling state of the planet, which dwarfs the current appalling spectacle of political madness. UCLA geographer and global best-selling author Jared Diamond is not being terribly precise, but he estimates there’s a 49% chance “that the world as we know it will collapse by about 2050.”

As encapsulated by author Nafeez Ahmad: “Over the last 500 years or so, humanity has erected an ‘endless growth’ civilization premised on a particular patchwork of ideological worldviews, ethical values, political and economic structures, and personal behaviors. This is a paradigm that elevates the vision of human beings as disconnected, atomistic, competing material units, which seek to maximize their own material consumption as the principal mechanism for self-gratification.”

What we’re living now is not a clash of civilizations; it’s a crisis of civilization.

If the paradigm under which most of humanity barely survives is not changed – and there’s precious little evidence it will – there won’t be any civilizations left to clash.

إيران: الدفاع الذاتي في القانون الدولي

إيران: الدفاع الذاتي في القانون الدولي

مايو 9, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– بفارق سبع سنوات حمل كل من محمد جواد ظريف وغونداليسا رايس شهادة الدكتوراه في العلاقات الدولية من جامعة واحدة في أميركا هي جامعة دنفر، التي نالت رايس الدكتوراه فيها عام 1981 ونالها ظريف في عام 1988. والسنوات السبع هي فارق العمر تقريباً بينهما، وبتسلسل مشابه صعد كل منهما في سلم السياسة الدولية لدولتين، تتوزّعان طرفي التصادم على مساحة المنطقة الأهم في العالم، منذ سقوط جدار برلين وانهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي على الأقل. وهو الحدث الذي رفع مقام رايس من العلم إلى السياسة، حيث تركزت عليه كنموذج أطروحة الدكتوراه التي جعلتها مستشارة في البيت الأبيض لشؤون الاتحاد السوفياتي عام 1989، في عهد الرئيس جورج بوش الأب، لتصل إلى منصب مستشارة الأمن القومي ولاحقاً وزيرة الخارجية في عهد رئاسة إبنه جورج بوش وتخرج معه مهزومة بنظرياتها التي شكلت أساس السياسات الأميركية الفاشلة في المنطقة الأشدّ خطورة وحساسية في العالم، قبل أن تعود سياسات رايس للظهور على يدي من خلفوها في عهدي الرئيسين باراك اوباما ودونالد ترامب، بسبب الفراغ الفكري والأيديولوجي وفقدان وجود مفكر جديد مبهر يوازيها في صناعة النظريات القابلة للتحول إلى سياسات من موقع مصالح الدولة ونخبها الحاكمة.

– بدأ ظريف صعوده في الدبلوماسية الإيرانية معاوناً في سفارة بلاده في واشنطن، ليصير السفير لاحقاً ويتقدم وصولاً لتبوء منصب وزير الخارجية، ويثبت فيه، مقدماً مثالاً للسياسات المستوحاة من أطروحته التي نال عليها الدكتوراه، حتى يمكن القول إن الصراع الأميركي الإيراني هو بطريقة ما امتداد للصراع العلمي بين النظريتين اللتين تختصران أطروحتي الدكتوراه لكل من رايس وظريف، بعدما كانت مرحلة مادلين أولبرايت في عهد بيل كلينتون مرحلة كمون لنظريات رايس واختبار لنظريات أولبرايت، التي تنتمي لجيل المفكرين الاستراتيجيين النادر في حال السياسة الأميركية اليوم مع صعود رجال الأعمال المفتقرين للثقافة في عهد الرئيس ترامب، وأولبرايت هي إبنة جورج كوريل الذي كان عراب رايس العلمي ومرشدها، وقد حملت جامعة دنفر للعلاقات الدولية التي تخرجت منها رايس وتخرج منها ظريف مؤخراً اسم جورج كوريل تيمناً بدوره الكبير في الصعود العلمي للجامعة.

– تمحورت نظريات أولبرايت على الاحتواء الإيجابي في السياسة الدولية، فهي صاحبة نظرية احتواء طالبان في أفغانستان، ونظرية احتواء سورية في مفاوضات الشرق الأوسط لتحقيق السلام، وصاحبة نظريات تشكل منها عملياً ما عُرف باسم تقرير بايكر هاملتون الذي وثق فشل حربي العراق وأفغانستان، ودعا إلى الواقعية في فهم التوازنات الجديدة في السياسات الدولية ناصحاً بالتخلي عن الدعم المطلق لـ»إسرائيل» والانفتاح على صعود روسيا وإيران، وهي التي حذرت عام 2010 في تقريرها لحلف الأطلسي من نظريات التلاعب بالنسيج الاجتماعي لدول الشرق الأوسط التي تبناها المفكر برنارد لويس الذي كان شريكاً في لجنة الحكماء التي ترأستها أولبرايت بقرار من مؤتمر قمة حلف الأطلسي لرسم السياسة. ونظرية برنارد لويس المؤسسة على فهمه للتاريخ القائم برأيه على الديمغرافيا السكانية وهجراتها وليس على الجغرافيا، وهذا منطلق تبريره التاريخي لقيام كيان استيطاني على حساب السكان الأصليين وتصويره عملاً تاريخياً في كل من أميركا وفلسطين، ونظريات برنارد لويس تتلاقي في عمقها مع نظريات رايس التي توجتها بنظرية الفوضى الخلاقة.

– قامت نظرية رايس الدراسية في أطروحة الدكتوراه على بناء العلاقات الدولية وفقاً لمعادلتي التصادم القيمي، وميزان القوى المالي، وراهنت على تفكيك الاتحاد السوفياتي بقوة الثبات على التسابق على الإنفاق العسكري، والإخلاص بالتبشير بنظام ديمقراطي يحترم الحريات والحقوق الأساسية للتعبير، والانتصار المبهر الذي رفعها إلى مراتب عليا في السياسة، قابلته هزيمة مدوية عندما جرى اختباره في المنطقة الأخطر في العالم بوجه إيران، وكانت حرب العراق وبعدها حرب تموز 2006 على لبنان، ومحاولة إخضاع سورية فيهما، عنوان خطة رايس كمستشارة للأمن القومي ووزيرة للخارجية بعدها، ويُعتبر فوز حركة حماس بالانتخابات الفلسطينية في كانون الثاني 2006 الذي لم تستطع رايس تحمّل تبعاته وتقبل التعامل معه وفقاً لنظريتها، الفشل الأكبر قيمياً لما بشرت به من إخلاص لقيمتي الحرية والديمقراطية، بينما تعتبر العقوبات على إيران وفشلها في وقف تقدم البرنامج النووي الإيراني التعبير عن الفشل الآخر للجناح الموازي لنظريتها القائمة على القوة المالية الأميركية، خصوصاً عامي 2007 و2008 رغم بلوغ إيران أدنى مراتب إنتاجها من النفط الذي وصل إلى 700 ألف برميل يومياً بدلاً من مليونين ونصف مليون برميل.

– ما تفعله إدارة ترامب اليوم ليس إلا اجترار هزلي لنظريات رايس التي تعامل معها ظريف من قبل، وقد كان يشغل منصب سفير بلاده في الأمم المتحدة، حتى عام 2007، وشغل منصب مستشار في مجموعة التفاوض على الملف النووي التي كانت برئاسة رئيس مجلس الأمن القومي آنذاك، الرئيس حسن روحاني بين عامي 2003 و2007، قبل أن يعود وزيراً للخارجية عام 2013. وأطروحة ظريف التي نال الدكتوراة على أساسها وتشكل مصدر أفكاره وإدارته للدبلوماسية الإيرانية، تقوم على إمكانية إنتاج سياسة دولية لقوة ثورية من ضمن القانون الدولي، وفي ظل موازين القوى الطاغية لصالح مشروع الهيمنة الذي تمثله السياسات الأميركية.

– يعرف المتابعون للسياسات الإيرانية أن نظرية الدفاع الذاتي في القانون الدولي والسياسة، التي تمثل عنوان مشروع ظريف، تتسع للفصل بين الموقف العقائدي للدولة وبين سياساتها الخارجية، فلا مانع من الانفتاح على ترك واشنطن تغزو أفغانستان والعراق، رغم عدم الموافقة على هذا الغزو، لأن الدفاع الذاتي للدولة يجب أن يشتغل بطريقتين مختلفتين، عندما تصبح مصالحها العليا في دائرة الخطر، وعندما يتم التعارض مع مبادئها، رغم أنه في الحالتين يمكن للدفاع الذاتي أن لا يبدو خيار مواجهة في الظاهر، عندما يكون الاستدراج إلى ملعب مناسب للمواجهة، أو لتعظيم المخاطر، أو للاحتواء، وهذا ما حصل في حربي العراق وأفغانستان، لكنه ما يحصل مع الاتفاق النووي الذي ظن كثيرون أنه ترجمة لسياسة اعتدال إيرانية تريد مسايرة الأميركيين والغرب، وصنفوا ظريف معتدلاً على هذا الأساس، بينما يظهر اليوم أنه منصة استدراج لمواجهة من داخل القانون الدولي، ربحت إيران جولته الأولى ببقاء أوروبا تحت مظلته وخروج أميركا وحيدة من أحكامه واستحالة العودة لمعاقبة إيران على برنامجها النووي بقرارات أممية، وتتجه إيران الآن لربح جولته الثانية على أوروبا. وهذه نظرية الدفاع الذاتي في القانون الدولي التي يبدو أن إدارة ترامب تفتقر لمن يقرأ ليفهم حركتها، ويدرك الفشل الكبير الذي ينتظره في المواجهة معها، كما كان فشل الفوضى البناءة بالاعتماد على الدفاع الذاتي الذي قادت عبره سورية بالتعاون مع إيران وقوى المقاومة الحرب التي شنتها واشنطن بدعم دولي وإقليمي استثنائيين، لتسقط فيها قيمياً وعملياً بفعالية الدفاع الذاتي في القانون الدولي.

– الإجراءات الإيرانية الأخيرة وما سيليها فصول جديدة في علوم السياسة الدولية، بمقدار ما هي خطوات سياسيّة مثيرة.

Related Videos

RELATED NEWS

%d bloggers like this: