Biden’s Diverse Strangelove Pentagon Bombs Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

Breaking News Syria News

Biden’s diverse Strangelove Pentagon dropped an undisclosed number of bombs on undisclosed areas of eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, around 1830 Langley time, 25 February.

Taking a war criminal page from little urchin Hollande who war criminally bombed Syria after a French national engaged in terrorism in Paris (who then bombed Syria again after the Frenchman magically escaped to Brussels, which is in Belgium which is not Syria), Centcom reported on the Pentagon statement that the US aggressive bombings were of an Orwellian self-defensive nature, somehow in fascist retaliation for the recent bombings of some US military bases in Iraq, which is not in Syria.

No mention was made that after the Trump assassination of Soleimani in Iraqi, the Iraqi Parliament had taken the first step to formally eject US troops from its country.

War criminal Centcom utilizing Newspeak for US war crimes.

The Biden diverse Strangelove Pentagon issued a statement “attributed to” Press Secretary John Kirby who was adamant that the latest round of US war crimes against the Syrian Arab Republic were “defensive.”

The Pentagon paid perfunctory lip service to President Biden being in charge of the most recent war criminal bombing of the SAR by the US, but let us show some integrity in sharing this pre-inaugural screenshot when Dr. Jill let go of hubby’s arm for a moment, and he started to wander just prior to the time they were to head down the ramp:


At this writing, the Syrian Arab Republic has not released an official statement of the Biden regime/Strangelove Pentagon war crimes against the homeland.

This is the 4th US/ Israeli illegal bombing of Syria since Biden’s diverse regime took over from his predecessor war criminal Trump, blatant aggression against a sovereign state and founding member of the United Nations by a permanent member state of the Security Council supposedly responsible for painting peace and security around the world and upholding international law and the UN Charter, not breaching each article of them the way the US is doing with no accountability.

— Miri Wood

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Biden’s Journey: Change Is Imperceptible

Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi

February 25, 2021

Biden has been a major disappointment for those who hoped that he’d change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts.

The new White House Team has been in place for more than a month and it is perhaps time to consider where it is going with America’s fractured foreign policy. To be sure, when a new administration brings in a bunch of “old hands” who made their bones by attacking Syria and Libya while also assassinating American citizens by drone one might hope that those mistakes might have served as valuable “lessons learned.” Or maybe not, since no one in the Democratic Party ever mentions the Libya fiasco and President Joe Biden has already made it clear that Syria will continue to be targeted with sanctions as well as with American soldiers based on its soil. And no one will be leaving Afghanistan any time soon. The Biden team will only let up when Afghanistan is “secure” and there is regime change in Damascus.

A big part of the problem is that the personnel moves mean that the poison from the Barack Obama years has now been reintroduced into the tottering edifice that Donald Trump left behind. Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice once made the case for attacking the Libyans by explaining how Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi provided his soldiers with Viagra so they could more readily engage in mass rapes of presumably innocent civilians. Unfortunately, Sue is back with the new administration as the Director of the Domestic Policy Council where she will no doubt again wreak havoc in her own inimitable fashion. She is joined at the top level of the administration by Tony Blinken as Secretary of State, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, Samantha Power as head of USAID and retired General Lloyd J. Austin as Secretary of Defense. All of the appointees are regarded as “hawks” and have personal history working with Biden when he was in Congress and as Vice President, while most of them also served in the Obama administration.

Be that as it may, Joe Biden and whoever is pulling his strings have assembled a group of establishment warmongers and aspirant social justice engineers that is second to none. Those who expected something different than the usual Democratic Party template have definitely been disappointed. Hostility towards China continues with warships being sent to the South China Sea and the president is seeking to create a new Trans-Atlantic alliance directed against both Beijing and Moscow. The Europeans are reportedly not enthusiastic about remaining under Washington’s thumb and would like some breathing room.

In a phone conversation where it would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall, Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States would no longer ignore his bad behavior. The official White House account of the call included the following pithy summary: “President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. He also raised other matters of concern, including the SolarWinds hack, reports of Russia placing bounties on United States soldiers in Afghanistan, interference in the 2020 United States election, and the poisoning of Aleksey Navalny.”

And to be sure, there have already been a number of issues that Biden might have dealt with by executive order, like lifting the illegal and unjustified blockade of Cuba, that could have inspired some hope that the new administration would not be just another bit of old wine in new bottles. Alas, that has not taken place but for a series of moves to unleash another wave of illegal immigration and to “protect LGBTQ rights globally.” Biden has also retained a heavy military presence in Washington itself, possibly as part of a Constitution-wrecking plan to tackle what he is referring to as “domestic terrorism.” The domestic terrorists being targeted appear to largely consist of people who are white working and middle class and voted for Trump.

In some ways, foreign policy might have been the easiest fix if the new administration were really seeking to correct the misadventures of the past twenty years. Quite the contrary, Biden and his associates have actually reversed the sensible and long overdue policies initiated by Donald Trump to reduce troop strength in Germany and bring the soldiers home from Syria and Afghanistan. Biden has already committed to an indefinite stay in Afghanistan, America’s longest “lost” war, and has covertly sent more soldiers into Syria as well as Iraq.

As regards Latin America, the U.S. clearly is prepared to double down on regime change in Venezuela, continuing its Quixotic support of Juan Guaido as president. Meanwhile, the new Secretary of State Tony Blinken has clearly indicated that there will be no end to deference to Israeli interests in the Middle East. Under questioning by Congress, he has insisted that Israel will be “consulted” on U.S. policy to include arms sales in the region, which has been interpreted to mean that Jerusalem will have a veto, and has confirmed that his view on Iran is identical to that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Both are apparently promoting the view that Iran will have enough enriched uranium to construct a weapon within a few weeks, though they have not addressed other technical aspects of what would actually be required to build one. Netanyahu has been making the claim about the Iranian threat since the 1980s and now it is also an element of U.S. policy.

Biden and Blinken have also moved forward slowly on a campaign commitment to attempt renegotiation of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran that President Trump withdrew from in 2017. As a condition to re-start discussions, the Iranian leadership has demanded a return to the status quo ante, meaning that the punitive sanctions initiated by Trump would have to be canceled and Iran would in return cease all enrichment activities. Biden and Blinken, which admittedly sounds a bit like a vaudeville comedy duo, have reportedly agreed to withdraw the Trump sanctions but have also suggested that Iran will have to make other concessions, to include ending its ballistic missile development program and ceasing its “meddling” in the Middle East. Iran will refuse to agree to that, which means that the bid to renegotiate could turn out to be nothing more than a bit of theater involving multilateral “discussions” hosted by the European Union and the pointless hostility between Washington and Tehran will continue.

And speaking again of Israel, there have been concerns expressed by the usual suspects because Biden had not called telephoned Netanyahu immediately after the inauguration. It may be true that the president was sending a somewhat less than subtle message signaling that he was in charge, but the call has now taken place and everything is hunky-dory. As a separate issue, the Jewish state has, of course, the world’s only secret nuclear arsenal, estimated to consist of at least 200 bombs, and it also has several systems available to deliver them on target. For no reasons that make any sense, the United States since the time of President Richard Nixon has never publicly confirmed the existence of the weapons, preferring to maintain “nuclear ambiguity” that allows Israel to have the weapons without any demands for inspections or constraints on their use. The most recent four presidents have, in fact, signed secret agreements with Israel not to expose the nuclear arsenal. Biden has apparently not done so yet, but appeals by international figures, including most recently South African Desmond Tutu, had produced some expectations that the new administration might break with precedent.

Giving aid to Israel is, in fact, illegal due to the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act, which bans U.S. economic and military assistance to nuclear proliferators and countries that seek to acquire nuclear weapons. But Biden has already indicated that he would not under any circumstances cut aid to Israel, so the matter would appear to be closed. In any event the Symington Amendment includes an exemption clause that would allow the funding to continue as long as the president certifies to Congress that continued aid to the proliferator would be a vital U.S. interest. Given Israel’s power in both Congress and the White House it is not imaginable that its aid would be affected no matter what Netanyahu and his band of criminals choose to do.

So, it would seem that Biden is unprepared to either pressure or pursue any distancing from Israel and its policies, not a good sign for those of us who have encouraged some disengagement from the Middle East quagmire. And one final issue where some of us have hoped to see some movement from Biden has also been a disappointment. That is Julian Assange, who is fighting against efforts to have him extradited from England to face trial and imprisonment in the U.S. under the Espionage Act. Many observers believe that Assange is a legitimate journalist who is being set up for a show trial with only one possible outcome. The entire process is to a large extent being driven by a desire for revenge coming largely from the Democratic Party since Assange was responsible for publishing the Hillary Clinton emails as well as other party documents. Biden has already indicated that the process of extraditing Assange will continue.

So, Biden has been a major disappointment for those who expected that he might change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts while also having the good sense and courage to make relations with countries like Iran and Israel responsive to actual U.S. interests. Finally, it would be a good sign if Assange were to be released from the threat of trial and prison, if only to recognize that free speech and a free press benefit everyone, but that is perhaps a bridge too far as the United States moves inexorably towards a totalitarian state intolerant of dissent.

America’s Middle East Policy Is Outdated and Dangerous سياسة أميركا في الشرق الأوسط خطيرة وعفا عليها الزمن

**Please scroll down for the Arabic Version first published in Al-Mayadeen **

A New Approach to the Gulf States Needs a Better Foundation

U.S. aircraft at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, April 2016

By Chris Murphy

February 19, 2021

In his 1980 State of the Union address, which came in the wake of the oil shocks of 1973 and 1979, U.S. President Jimmy Carter described in grave terms the risks of losing access to Middle Eastern oil. “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America,” he said. “Such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.” That pledge became known as the Carter Doctrine, and it has remained a defining feature of U.S. Middle East policy ever since.

At the time of Carter’s pronouncement, the United States relied heavily on oil imports to power its economy, and 29 percent of that oil came from the Persian Gulf. Even two decades later, little had changed: in 2001, the United States still imported 29 percent of its oil from the Gulf. But it’s not 1980 or 2001 anymore. Today, the United States produces as much oil as it gets from abroad, and only 13 percent comes from Gulf countries. The United States now imports more oil from Mexico than it does from Saudi Arabia.

Yet even as the driving rationale for the so-called Carter Doctrine has become obsolete, it continues to shape the United States’ approach to the Gulf—emblematic of a broader failure of U.S. policy to catch up with the broader changes to U.S. interests in the region since the 1980s. President Joe Biden should acknowledge new realities and reset the United States’ relationships in the Gulf in a way that promotes American values, keeps Washington out of unnecessary foreign entanglements, and prioritizes regional peace and stability.

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There are myriad reasons for strong relations between the United States and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The decisions by Bahrain and the UAE to establish formal ties to Israel are a clear sign of the positive influence these countries can exert. Kuwait and Oman play powerful roles in mediating regional conflicts. The United States’ counterterrorism partnerships with GCC countries, while frequently flawed, are still crucial, as these governments often have information on extremist networks that U.S. intelligence cannot glean on its own. And the United States is broadening its people-to-people ties with the region: today, tens of thousands of students from the Gulf study at U.S. colleges and universities. Accordingly, the United States must make clear to Gulf allies that its goal is not to pull away from the region but instead to create a more substantive and stable link between the United States and the GCC.

But it is past time to admit that there is a central design flaw in the United States’ current approach to the Gulf: the top two GCC priorities for the relationship—sustaining U.S. military assistance to fight regional proxy wars and maintaining U.S. silence on domestic political repression—will, in the long run, destroy the GCC countries themselves. The United States’ objective must be to replace this broken foundation with a new system that supports a peaceful Gulf replete with stable, diversified national economies and responsive governments—the kind of future that leaders such as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman staunchly claim the Gulf is seeking. A U.S.-Gulf relationship built on economic, diplomatic, and governance ties, rather than just brute security partnerships, will accrue to the benefit of both U.S. and Middle Eastern interests.

AVOIDING PROXY WARS

The first step is for the United States to disengage from the GCC’s proxy wars with Iran. The Iranian government is a U.S. adversary, but the festering series of hot and cold conflicts in the region—in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen—has simply served to strengthen Iran’s influence and create cataclysmic levels of human suffering. A pullback from U.S. intervention in places such as Syria and Yemen will, no doubt, cause immediate consternation in the Gulf. By now, however, the enormous costs of the false belief that the United States can indirectly steer the outcomes in Syria and Yemen are crystal clear. In both theaters, the United States’ tepid, halfway military involvement was never substantial enough to tip the balance and has served instead to extend the conflicts. Washington suffers from a hubristic confidence in its ability to accomplish political goals through military interventions. Instead, the most significant effect of recent U.S. Middle East adventurism has been to fuel perpetual wars that embolden extremist groups and allow anti-American sentiment to grow.

It is past time to admit that there is a central design flaw in the United States’ current approach to the Gulf.

Although the United States should retain its security partnerships with Gulf nations, the U.S. footprint should be smaller. Before the Gulf War, the United States was able to protect its interests in the region without massive military bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and without billions in annual arms sales to these same nations. The foreign policy community in Washington acts as if this massive military presence is now mandatory to protect U.S. interests, even though it wasn’t prior to the creation of the post-9/11 security state. U.S. bases are costly, drawing focus away from increasingly important theaters such as Africa and Asia; they create pressure on the United States to ignore serious human rights abuses lest criticism puts the troop presence at risk; and they stand out as military targets and propaganda fodder for Iran, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State (or ISIS). As U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin undertakes a global review of the United States’ military posture, the Biden administration should seriously consider reducing its military basing in the region. Reconsidering the costs and benefits of basing the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain would be a good start, as the United States’ massive footprint is becoming more trouble than it is worth.

Finally, although the United States should continue to sell military equipment to its partners, Washington should ensure that it is selling truly defensive arms. Today, too many American weapons are used irresponsibly and in violation of international law. Others, such as the recently announced Reaper drone sale to the UAE, fuel a regional arms race that runs counter to U.S. security interests. As it pulls back on systems with more offensive capabilities, however, the United States should still be willing to provide more advanced defensive weapons, such as Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile technology, that fit the Gulf’s real security threats.

If Washington does these things, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will inevitably complain that the United States is abandoning them and empowering Iran. The Biden administration’s task will be to convince them that there is an alternative to a never-ending military contest with Tehran. A regional security dialogue that includes all parties can replace the arms race and proxy wars. This may sound like a utopian fantasy, but it is far from it. The green shoots of this dialogue have been showing for years, and able U.S. leadership, applying both vinegar and honey, can begin to create a structure for détente. And although the United States should not give the Emiratis or Saudis veto power over a bilateral nuclear agreement with Iran, a regional dialogue would tie the Gulf countries closer to the United States on Iran policy and likely give the GCC greater input on any future agreement Washington makes.

TESTING DE-ESCALATION

The Biden administration is best positioned to test the region’s readiness for this kind of de-escalation in Yemen. The pieces that have been missing—meaningful pressure and a credible interlocutor—are now moving into position as the Biden administration ends U.S. support for offensive operations and appoints a new special envoy to support the UN peace process. The United States is the only nation that can move the ball forward. If Washington can find a path toward peace in Yemen, where an inclusive post-Hadi Yemeni government coexists with Houthi leaders as the country rebuilds with international aid, it could be proof of concept for a broader dialogue.

De-escalation should be wildly appealing to the United States’ Gulf partners. Declining oil revenues mean these nations will soon need to make hard choices between investing in economic reforms and fighting wars in foreign countries. Given these persistent conflicts and the state control of local economies, attracting meaningful foreign investment to the region is largely a fantasy. For the United States, another benefit to decreased tensions between the Gulf and Iran is fewer incentives for Gulf interests to spread Wahhabi Islam throughout the Muslim world. This ultraconservative and intolerant brand of Islam often forms the building blocks of extremist ideology, and the Gulf-Iran feud fuels its export (alongside its revolutionary Shiite counterpart).

Biden has a chance to reset Washington’s partnerships with Gulf nations.

The United States must also drive a harder bargain with the Gulf states on questions of human rights. In the wake of Donald Trump’s attacks on American democracy, it will be even more important for Biden to match his talk of the rule of law and civil rights with actions at home and abroad. The United States has difficult work ahead to rebuild its global brand, but ending Washington’s hear-no-evil, see-no-evil approach in the Gulf will help.

Still, the U.S. conversation with the Gulf on human rights should be realistic. These countries will not become modern democracies overnight. If the Gulf really wants to attract international investment, however, it must address ongoing brutal crackdowns on political dissent and the lack of the rule of law. Serious outside private investment is unlikely as long as these nations torture political prisoners, maintain a draconian “guardian system” that restricts women’s ability to travel, and constantly harass dissidents abroad. Frankly, Gulf leaders should see expanding political rights as an existential issue. The United States must help these regimes understand that their long-standing social bargain of “no taxation, but no representation either” cannot last. As population growth outstrips oil revenues, royal families will soon no longer be able to afford that payoff. Once subsidies atrophy but repression remains, a disastrous storm of unrest will brew. Luckily, there are models of limited reform in the Gulf that can help the laggards inch along. Kuwaitis, for instance, elect a parliament that maintains some independence from the crown. Although this is far from modern participatory democracy, it provides some guideposts to which more repressive regimes can look.

NO COLD WAR REDUX

In pursuing this new course, some sky-will-fall adherents to the status quo will argue that if the Biden administration drives too hard a bargain, Gulf leaders will turn away from the United States and toward China or Russia. This argument is a red herring, one that plays on a misunderstanding of both the irreplaceability of military alignment with the United States and the willingness of China and Russia to get their hands dirty in Middle Eastern politics. This isn’t the Cold War: Russia has little to offer in the region, and as global oil usage continues to fall, Moscow will inevitably compete with Gulf countries for buyers. Although China will continue to look for economic opportunities in the region, it will be unwilling to play a real security role anytime in the near future. The Chinese navy isn’t going to come to the aid of a Gulf country under attack. If the Bahrainis, Emiratis, or Saudis threaten to turn to other powers, Washington can afford to call their bluff.

As a general matter, U.S. foreign policy has become dangerously anachronistic, an instrument tuned to play a song that the orchestra no longer performs. But U.S. policy is, perhaps, most inconsonant in the Gulf, where the United States’ interests have changed but its policy has not. Biden has a chance to reset Washington’s partnerships with Gulf nations. It will be difficult, painful, and arouse loud protest. But the resulting order will be mutually beneficial, advancing U.S. interests while moving Gulf states closer to the future they claim to aspire to. As they say, the most worthwhile endeavors are never easy.

سياسة أميركا في الشرق الأوسط خطيرة وعفا عليها الزمن

الميادين نت

*ترجمة: ميساء شديد

طائرة أميركيّة في قاعدة العديد الجويّة في قطر - أبريل 2016 (رويترز)

كريس مورفي – “فورين أفيرز” 19 شباط 22:39

السيناتور الأميركي كريس مورفي، يشدد في مقال له في مجلة “فورين أفيرز“، على أنّه لدى الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن “فرصة لإعادة ضبط شراكات واشنطن مع دول الخليج”.

السيناتور الأميركي كريس مورفي يؤكد في مقال له في مجلة “فورين أفيرز“، أنّ السياسة الخارجيّة للولايات المتحدة “عفا الزمن عنها”، مبرزاً أنّ “السياسة الأميركيّة غير متسقة في الخليج، ولدى بايدن فرصة لإعادة ضبط شراكات واشنطن مع دول الخليج”. فيما يلي نص المقال: 

في خطاب حالة الاتحاد الذي ألقاه في أعقاب أزمتي النفط عامي 1973 و1979، وصف الرئيس الأميركي جيمي كارتر بعبارات خطيرة مخاطر فقدان الوصول إلى نفط الشرق الأوسط. وقال إن “أيّ محاولة من قبل أيّ قوّة خارجيّة للسيطرة على منطقة الخليج، ستعتبر اعتداء على المصالح الحيويّة للولايات المتحدة الأميركيّة.. وسيتمّ صدّ مثل هذا الهجوم بأيّ وسيلة ضروريّة بما في ذلك القوّة العسكريّة”. أصبح هذا التعهد معروفاً باسم “مبدأ كارتر” وظلّ سمة مميّزة لسياسة الولايات المتحدة في الشرق الأوسط منذ ذلك الحين.

حين أدلى كارتر بهذا التصريح كانت الولايات المتحدة تعتمد بشكل كبير على واردات النفط لتزويد اقتصادها بالطاقة وكان 29% من هذا النفط يأتي من الخليج. حتى بعد عقدين من الزمن لم يتغيّر شيء يذكر: في عام 2001، كانت الولايات المتحدة لا تزال تستورد 29% من نفطها من الخليج. لكننا لم نعد في عام 1980 أو 2001 بعد الآن. واليوم تنتج الولايات المتحدة نفس القدر من النفط الذي تحصل عليه من الخارج وتستورد 13% فقط من دول الخليج. تستورد الولايات المتحدة الآن نفطاً من المكسيك أكثر مما تستورده من السعوديّة.

ومع ذلك بالرغم من أن الأساس المنطقي لما يسمى عقيدة كارتر قد عفا عليه الزمن، إلا أنه يستمر في تشكيل نهج الولايات المتحدة تجاه الخليج – وهو رمز لفشل أوسع لسياسة الولايات المتحدة المتمثلة بتغييرات أوسع للمصالح الأميركيّة في المنطقة منذ الثمانينيات. يجب على الرئيس جو بايدن الاعتراف بالوقائع الجديدة وإعادة ضبط علاقات الولايات المتحدة في الخليج بطريقة تعزز القيم الأميركيّة وتبقي واشنطن بعيدة عن التشابكات الخارجيّة غير الضروريّة وتعطي الأولويّة للسلام والاستقرار الإقليميين.

هناك عدد لا يحصى من الأسباب لإقامة علاقات قويّة بين الولايات المتحدة ودول مجلس التعاون الخليجي – البحرين والكويت وعمان وقطر والسعودية والإمارات. إن قرارات البحرين والإمارات لإقامة علاقات رسميّة مع “إسرائيل” هي علامة واضحة على التأثير الإيجابي الذي يمكن أن تمارسه هذه الدول. تلعب الكويت وعمان أدواراً قويّة في التوسط في النزاعات الإقليميّة. إن شراكات الولايات المتحدة في مكافحة الإرهاب مع دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي بالرغم من كونها معيبة في كثير من الأحيان، لا تزال مهمة حيث تمتلك هذه الحكومات غالباً معلومات عن الشبكات المتطرفة التي لا تستطيع الاستخبارات الأميركيّة جمعها بمفردها.

وتقوم الولايات المتحدة بتوسيع علاقاتها الشعبيّة مع المنطقة: اليوم هناك عشرات الآلاف من الطلاب من الخليج يدرسون في الكليات والجامعات الأميركيّة. وبناءً على ذلك يجب على الولايات المتحدة أن توضح لحلفائها الخليجيين أن هدفها ليس الانسحاب من المنطقة، ولكن بدلاً من ذلك إنشاء رابط أكثر موضوعية واستقراراً بين الولايات المتحدة ودول مجلس التعاون الخليجي.

لكن حان الوقت للاعتراف بوجود خلل مركزي في نهج الولايات المتحدة الحالي تجاه الخليج: أهم أولويتين لمجلس التعاون الخليجي في العلاقة – الحفاظ على المساعدة العسكرية الأميركية لخوض حروب إقليمية بالوكالة والحفاظ على الصمت الأميركي تجاه السياسات الداخلية لدوله. القمع – سيدمر على المدى الطويل دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي نفسها. ويجب أن يكون هدف الولايات المتحدة هو استبدال هذا الأساس المكسور بنظام جديد يدعم خليجاً مسالماً مليئاً باقتصاديات وطنيّة مستقرة ومتنوعة وحكومات متجاوبة – مستقبل من النوع الذي يدعي قادة مثل ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان بقوّة أن منطقة الخليج تسعى إليه. إن علاقة بين الولايات المتحدة والخليج مبنية على العلاقات الاقتصاديّة والدبلوماسيّة والحوكمة بدلاً من مجرد شراكات أمنيّة وحشيّة سوف تعود بالفائدة على مصالح الولايات المتحدة والشرق الأوسط.

تجنب حروب الوكالة

الخطوة الأولى هي أن تنفصل الولايات المتحدة عن حروب دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي بالوكالة مع إيران. الحكومة الإيرانيّة هي خصم للولايات المتحدة لكن سلسلة الصراعات الساخنة والباردة في المنطقة – في العراق ولبنان وسوريا واليمن – عملت ببساطة على تعزيز نفوذ إيران وخلق مستويات كارثية من المعاناة الإنسانية. لا شك أن الانسحاب من التدخل الأميركي في أماكن مثل سوريا واليمن سيسبب ذعراً فورياً في الخليج. ومع ذلك  فإن التكاليف الهائلة للاعتقاد الخاطئ بأن الولايات المتحدة يمكنها توجيه النتائج بشكل غير مباشر في سوريا واليمن باتت واضحة تماماً.

في كلا المسرحين لم يكن التدخل العسكري الفاتر للولايات المتحدة جوهريّاً بما يكفي لقلب التوازن وخدم بدلاً من ذلك إطالة أمد النزاعات. تعاني واشنطن من ثقة متغطرسة في قدرتها على تحقيق أهداف سياسيّة من خلال التدخلات العسكريّة. بدلاً من ذلك كان التأثير الأكثر أهمية للمغامرات الأميركيّة الأخيرة في الشرق الأوسط هو تأجيج الحروب الدائمة التي تشجع الجماعات المتطرفة وتسمح للمشاعر المعادية لأميركا بالنمو.

على الرغم من أن الولايات المتحدة يجب أن تحتفظ بشراكاتها الأمنية مع دول الخليج إلا أن البصمة الأميركيّة يجب أن تكون أصغر. قبل حرب الخليج كانت الولايات المتحدة قادرة على حماية مصالحها في المنطقة من دون قواعد عسكريّة ضخمة في البحرين والكويت وقطر والسعودية ومن دون مليارات من مبيعات الأسلحة السنويّة للدول نفسها.

يتصرّف مجتمع السياسة الخارجيّة في واشنطن كما لو أن هذا الوجود العسكري الضخم أصبح الآن إلزامياً لحماية المصالح الأميركيّة، على الرغم من أنه لم يكن كذلك قبل إنشاء الدولة الأمنية بعد 11 سبتمبر. القواعد الأميركيّة مكلفة ما يجعل التركيز بعيداً عن المسارح ذات الأهمية المتزايدة مثل أفريقيا وآسيا؛ إنهم يمارسون الضغط على الولايات المتحدة لتجاهل الانتهاكات الجسيمة لحقوق الإنسان خشية أن تعرض هذه الانتقادات وجود القوات الأميركية للخطر؛ وهي تبرز كأهداف عسكريّة ومادة دعاية لإيران والقاعدة وداعش.

بينما يجري وزير الدفاع الأميركي لويد أوستن مراجعة عالميّة للوضع العسكري للولايات المتحدة يجب على إدارة بايدن التفكير بجديّة في تقليص قواعدها العسكريّة في المنطقة. إن إعادة النظر في تكاليف وفوائد تأسيس الأسطول الخامس في البحرين ستكون بداية جيدة حيث أصبح الدور الهائل للولايات المتحدة مقلقاً بالرغم من أن الأمر لا يستحق.

أخيرًا على الرغم من أن الولايات المتحدة يجب أن تستمر في بيع المعدات العسكريّة لشركائها، يجب على واشنطن التأكد من أنها تبيع أسلحة دفاعيّة حقيقيّة. اليوم يتمّ استخدام الكثير من الأسلحة الأميركيّة بشكل غير مسؤول وفي انتهاك للقانون الدولي. البعض الآخر مثل بيع طائرات “ريبر” بدون طيار التي تمّ الإعلان عنها مؤخراً للإمارات، يُغذي سباق تسلح إقليمياً يتعارض مع المصالح الأمنيّة الأميركية. مع تراجعها عن أنظمة ذات قدرات هجوميّة أكثر يجب أن تظل الولايات المتحدة على استعداد لتقديم أسلحة دفاعية أكثر تقدمًا مثل تكنولوجيا الصواريخ الدفاعية الطرفية عالية الارتفاع (ثاد) التي تناسب التهديدات الأمنيّة الحقيقيّة في الخليج.

إذا فعلت واشنطن هذه الامور فستشتكي السعودية والإمارات لا محالة من أن الولايات المتحدة تتخلى عنهما وتمكنان إيران. تتمثل مهمة إدارة بايدن في إقناعهما بوجود بديل للمنافسة العسكريّة التي لا تنتهي مع طهران. يمكن لحوار أمنيّ إقليميّ يشمل جميع الأطراف أن يحلّ محل سباق التسلح والحروب بالوكالة. قد يبدو هذا وكأنه محض خيال لكنه بعيد كل البعد عن ذلك.

كانت البراعم الخضراء لهذا الحوار تظهر منذ سنوات ويمكن للقيادة الأميركيّة أن تبدأ في إنشاء هيكل للانفراج. وعلى الرغم من أن الولايات المتحدة لا ينبغي أن تمنح الإماراتيين أو السعوديين حق النقض (الفيتو) على اتفاقية نوويّة ثنائيّة مع إيران، فإن الحوار الإقليمي من شأنه أن يربط دول الخليج بشكل أقرب إلى الولايات المتحدة بشأن السياسة الإيرانيّة ومن المرجح أن يعطي مجلس التعاون الخليجي مساهمة أكبر في أيّ اتفاق مستقبلي.

اختبار خفض التصعيد

إن إدارة بايدن في وضع أفضل لاختبار استعداد المنطقة لهذا النوع من التهدئة في اليمن. القطع المفقودة من ضغوط ذات مغزى ومحاور موثوق به تتحرك الآن إلى موقعها مع إنهاء إدارة بايدن دعم الولايات المتحدة للعمليّات الهجوميّة وتعيين مبعوث خاص جديد لدعم عملية السلام التابعة للأمم المتحدة. الولايات المتحدة هي الدولة الوحيدة التي يمكنها تحريك الكرة إلى الأمام. إذا تمكنت واشنطن من إيجاد طريق نحو السلام في اليمن حيث تتعايش حكومة يمنيّة شاملة مع قادة الحوثيين وتعيد البلاد بناءها بمساعدة دولية فإن ذلك سيكون على مفهوم حوار أوسع.

يجب أن يكون وقف التصعيد جذاباً بشدة لشركاء الولايات المتحدة في الخليج. انخفاض عائدات النفط يعني أن هذه الدول ستحتاج قريباً إلى اتخاذ خيارات صعبة بين الاستثمار في الإصلاحات الاقتصاديّة وخوض الحروب في البلدان الأجنبيّة. بالنظر إلى هذه الصراعات المستمرة وسيطرة الدولة على الاقتصادات المحليّة فإن جذب الاستثمار الأجنبي الهادف إلى المنطقة هو إلى حد كبير أمر خيالي.

بالنسبة للولايات المتحدة هناك فائدة أخرى لتقليل التوترات بين الخليج وإيران تتمثل في حوافز أقلّ للمصالح الخليجيّة لنشر الإسلام الوهابي في جميع أنحاء العالم الإسلامي. غالباً ما تشكل هذه العلامة التجاريّة المتشددة وغير المتسامحة للإسلام اللبنات الأساسيّة للإيديولوجيا المتطرفة، ويُغذي الخلاف الخليجي الإيراني تصديرها (إلى جانب نظيرتها الشيعية الثوريّة).

يجب على الولايات المتحدة أيضاً أن تقود صفقة أكثر صعوبة مع دول الخليج بشأن قضايا حقوق الإنسان. في أعقاب هجمات دونالد ترامب على الديمقراطيّة الأميركيّة سيكون من الأهم بالنسبة لبايدن أن يطابق حديثه عن سيادة القانون والحقوق المدنيّة بأفعال في الداخل والخارج. أمام الولايات المتحدة عمل صعب لإعادة بناء دورها العالمي لكن إنهاء نهج واشنطن الذي لا يسمع ولا يرى الشر في الخليج من شأنه أن يساعد.  

ومع ذلك يجب أن تكون محادثة الولايات المتحدة مع دول الخليج حول حقوق الإنسان واقعيّة. لن تصبح هذه البلدان ديمقراطيات حديثة بين عشية وضحاها. ومع ذلك إذا كانت دول الخليج تريد حقاً جذب الاستثمار الدولي فعليها أن تتصدى للحملات القمعيّة الوحشيّة المستمرة ضد المعارضة السياسيّة وغياب سيادة القانون.

الاستثمار الخاص الخارجي الجاد غير محتمل طالما أن هذه الدول تعذب السجناء السياسيين وتحافظ على “نظام وصيّ” صارم يحد من قدرة المرأة على السفر ويضايق المعارضين في الخارج باستمرار. بصراحة يجب على قادة الخليج أن ينظروا إلى توسيع الحقوق السياسيّة على أنها قضيّة وجوديّة. يجب على الولايات المتحدة أن تساعد هذه الأنظمة على فهم أن الصفقة الاجتماعيّة القائمة منذ فترة طويلة المتمثلة في “غياب الضرائب والتمثيل السياسي” لا يمكن أن تستمر.

نظراً لأن النمو السكاني يفوق عائدات النفط فلن تتمكن العائلات المالكة قريباً من تحمّل هذا المردود. بمجرد ضمور الإعانات واستمرار القمع ستندلع عاصفة من الاضطرابات الكارثية. لحسن الحظ هناك نماذج للإصلاح المحدود في الخليج يمكن أن تساعد المتقاعسين في التقدم. ينتخب الكويتيون على سبيل المثال برلماناً يحافظ على بعض الاستقلالية عن العرش. على الرغم من أن هذا بعيد كل البعد عن الديمقراطيّة التشاركيّة الحديثة إلا أنه يقدم بعض النقاط الإرشاديّة التي يمكن أن تنظر إليها الأنظمة القمعيّة.

لا داعي للحرب الباردة

في متابعة هذا المسار الجديد سوف يجادل بعض أتباع الوضع الراهن بأنه إذا دفعت إدارة بايدن عن صفقة صعبة للغاية فسوف يبتعد قادة الخليج عن الولايات المتحدة ويذهبون أكثر باتجاه الصين أو روسيا. هذه الحجة مضللة وهي حجة تلعب على سوء فهم كل من عدم إمكانية الاستغناء عن الاصطفاف العسكري مع الولايات المتحدة واستعداد الصين وروسيا لتسخير أيديهما في سياسات الشرق الأوسط.

هذه ليست الحرب الباردة: ليس لدى روسيا الكثير لتقدمه في المنطقة ومع استمرار انخفاض استخدام النفط العالمي ستتنافس موسكو حتماً مع دول الخليج على المشترين. على الرغم من أن الصين ستواصل البحث عن فرص اقتصاديّة في المنطقة إلا أنها لن تكون راغبة في لعب دور أمني حقيقي في أي وقت في المستقبل القريب. البحريّة الصينيّة لن تقدم المساعدة لدولة خليجيّة تتعرض للهجوم. إذا هدد البحرينيون أو الإماراتيون أو السعوديون بالتحوّل إلى قوى أخرى، يمكن لواشنطن ألا تنطلي عليها خدعهم.

بشكل عام عفا الزمن عن السياسة الخارجيّة للولايات المتحدة بشكل خطير وهي أداة تمّ ضبطها لعزف أغنيّة لم تعد الأوركسترا تؤديها. لكن ربما تكون السياسة الأميركيّة غير متسقة في الخليج، حيث تغيّرت مصالح الولايات المتحدة ولكن سياستها لم تتغير. لدى بايدن فرصة لإعادة ضبط شراكات واشنطن مع دول الخليج. سيكون الأمر صعباً ومؤلماً ويثير احتجاجاً شديداً. لكن النظام الناتج سيكون مفيداً للطرفين حيث سيعزز المصالح الأميركيّة بينما يقرب دول الخليج من المستقبل التي تزعم أنها تطمح إليه. كما يقولون فإن أكثر المساعي الجديرة بالاهتمام ليست سهلة أبداً.

*ترجمة: ميساء شديد

إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي الصحيفة حصراً

Six Years after Obama-Biden Approved Aggression against Yemen, Why is Yemen Biden’s Priority?لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن؟

**Please scroll down for the Arabic original version published in Al-Mayadeen **

Six Years after Obama-Biden Approved Aggression against Yemen, Why is Yemen Biden’s Priority?

Source

Six Years after Obama-Biden Approved Aggression against Yemen, Why is Yemen Biden's Priority?

Yemen: In a letter signed by members of Joe Biden’s team, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan convey that “the United States owes itself and the victims of the war (in Yemen) to learn something from the disaster.”

The thing that the Biden administration learns from the disaster is the recognition of the US responsibility in the tragedy of Yemen for moral and strategic reasons, in the words of Blinken, who said will return the file of the war on Yemen to the US State Department, and restore the relationship with Saudi Arabia to what it was in Barack Obama period.

Urgently, the Biden administration appointed the US special envoy, Tim Lenderking, along with a political and military team, to accomplish the mission, and it hopes to prepare a road map that will restore respect to the US that bin Salman has slurred it in the Yemeni mud.
In this context, the US State Department began to drive the vehicle, by reversing the classification of Ansarullah as part of the list of terrorism, and activating the decision of Congress and the Senate in 2019, which decided to withdraw from hostilities in Yemen.

Despite condemning the defense of Ansarullah and the Yemeni army in Marib and Al-Jawf, and the attacks of Abha airport and Khamis Mushait, Tim Lenderking is discussing with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan what he called the “Yemeni political solution”, in reference to the cut off the backstage link between bin Salman and Trump.

This trend caused the UN envoy Martin Griffiths for the first time to visit Iran, seeking help in putting pressure on Ansarullah, seeking cheering Biden and waiting for the promised US hopes. However, Tehran guided him to Sana’a, which decided a solution and confronted the aggression, and he heard the Iranian initiative.

On the other hand, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi clarifies that Sana’a does not accept wishes unless the Biden administration goes to stop the siege and aggression and acknowledge practical steps indicating atonement for crimes.

Tehran and Sanaa are indicating that the Biden administration should solve this crisis resulting from the US responsibility in the crime of aggression and the biggest humanitarian disaster in Yemen. This aggression led to a rift in the US Democratic Party between the Bernie Sanders wing, described as progressive on the left, and the traditional wing, as well as other sectors represented by Chris Murphy.

It is the rift that forces Biden to solve the Democratic Party’s crisis in the first place, hoping to overcome the crisis of his split, just as the crisis facing the Republican Party after the fall of Trump, especially since the anti-aggression wing on Yemen expresses structural changes in the US demography, which are indicated by the weight of “foreigners or the black race in American political life. This was the reason why Biden used the presidency for breaking the creep of white racism.

The US’s crisis that Biden hopes to alleviate in the same context, was caused by the Yemeni issue, not only before the Democratic Party, but also before the people of the world, especially the European peoples.

The United States is the one who covered the participation of European governments in crimes with Trump, and as soon as the coverage reduced the rhetoric so far, the European Parliament issues a resolution calling on the European Union to commit to halting the arms supplies for Saudi Arabia and to work for the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia and the UAE from Yemen.

The deeper crisis that exposed America’s racism inside and outside it is the loss of what Biden calls the US values. These values, exemplified by the theses of human rights, individual freedoms, and democracy … are a weapon in the hands of the US administration, to divert attention from the results of its brutality model in the misery of mankind and threatening the life of the planet.

It is a weapon of covering and launching the war to destabilize the fragile stability in some countries hostile to America, in order to open their markets and advance US interests and strategies on the other hand. The US’s responsibility for the Yemen disaster caused this weapon to rust for four years, which led Biden to make the Yemeni issue a priority, hoping to recharge it.

Mohammed bin Salman is the man whom Biden seeks to hang America’s dirt on; The front of the aggression against Yemen and America’s most brutal partner in killing. Biden is using him to relieve this heavy burden, not only because of the Yemen disaster, but also because of the human rights weapon.

In fact, Biden does not only turn the page of Trump, but also turns part of Obama’s page with Saudi Arabia and the partnership of Mohammed bin Salman. In his article in Foreign Affairs with Stephen Bomber, Robert Malley quotes a senior Obama administration official, at a National Security Council meeting in March 2015, as saying about bin Salman’s partnership: “We knew we might be riding in a car with a drunk driver.”

Iran and Sana’a intersect with Biden’s intentions to solve the US crises, if its solution helps in a solution for which Yemen made superhuman sacrifices for its sake and was subjected to various crimes against humanity, then the defeated is unable to impose conditions that he did not obtain in a destructive war, and he does not ask for free assistance to root out its thorns.

Translated from Al-Mayadeen

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في اختياره اليمن أولوية إدارته، يأمل بايدن تضميد جراح أميركا المتورّطة بالهزيمة فيه، لكنه في هذه الأولوية يضع نصب عينيه التخلّص من محمد بن سلمان.

لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن؟
لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن؟

في رسالة وقّع عليها أعضاء فريق جو بايدن، المرشّح للانتخابات الرئاسية في العام 2018، ينقل وزير الخارجية أنتوني بلينكن ومستشار الأمن القومي جيك سليفان أن “الولايات المتحدة مدينة لنفسها ولضحايا الحرب (في اليمن) بأن تتعلّم شيئاً من الكارثة”.

الشيء الذي تتعلّمه إدارة بايدن من الكارثة هو الإقرار بمسؤولية أميركا في مأساة اليمن “لأسباب أخلاقية واستراتيجية”، بحسب تعبير بلينكن، الذي أخذ على عاتقه إعادة ملف الحرب على اليمن إلى وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، وإعادة العلاقة مع السعودية إلى مرحلة باراك أوباما بطي صفحة ترامب وابن سلمان.

على وجه السرعة، عيّنت إدارة بايدن المبعوث الأميركي الخاص تيم ليذر كينغ، إلى جانب فريق سياسي وعسكري، لإنجاز المهمة، وهي تأمل إعداد خريطة طريق تعيد الاعتبار إلى أميركا التي مرّغ ابن سلمان وجهها في الوحول اليمنية، ما انعكس على الداخل الأميركي، وعلى أميركا في العالم، وفي السعودية نفسها.

في هذا السياق، بدأت وزارة الخارجية الأميركية الانتقال إلى مقود العربة، بالتراجع عن تصنيف “أنصار الله” ضمن لائحة الإرهاب، وتفعيل قرار الكونغرس ومجلس الشيوخ في العام 2019، القاضي “بالانسحاب من الأعمال العدائية في اليمن”.

وعلى الرغم من الإدانة الأميركية لدفاع “أنصار الله” والجيش اليمني في مأرب والجوف، وفي هجومي مطار أبها وخميس مشيط، فإن تيم ليذركينغ يبحث مع وزير الخارجية السعودي فيصل بن فرحان ما سماه “الحل السياسي اليمني”، في إشارة إلى قطع صلة الكواليس بين ابن سلمان وجوقة ترامب.

هذا المنحى أطلق تحرّك “المبعوث الأممي” مارتن غريفيث لأول مرّة إلى إيران، طلباً للمساعدة في الضغط على “أنصار الله”، رجاءً بالتهليل لبايدن وانتظار الآمال الأميركية الموعودة، لكن طهران أرشدته إلى صنعاء التي تقرّر الحل ومواجهة العدوان، وتعيد على مسامعه المبادرة الإيرانية. في المقابل، يوضح القيادي محمد علي الحوثي أن صنعاء لا تأخذ بالأماني ما لم تذهب إدارة بايدن إلى وقف الحصار والعدوان والإقرار بخطوات عملية تدلّ على التكفير عن الجرائم.

طهران وصنعاء ترميان كرة اللهب في ملعب إدارة بايدن لحل أزمات أميركا الناتجة من مسؤوليتها في جريمة العدوان وفي أكبر كارثة إنسانية في اليمن. هذا العدوان أدّى إلى شرخ في الحزب الديمقراطي الأميركي بين جناح بيرني ساندرز الموصوف بالتقدمي اليساري، والجناح التقليدي، فضلاً عن تشقّقات أخرى يمثّلها كريس ميرفي.

هو الشرخ الذي يفرض على بايدن حلّ أزمة الحزب الديمقراطي في المقام الأوّل، أملاً بتجاوز أزمة انشقاقه، كما الأزمة التي يواجهها الحزب الجمهوري بعد سقوط ترامب، ولا سيما أن الجناح المناهض للعدوان على اليمن يعبّر عن متغيرات بنيوية في الديمغرافيا الأميركية، يدلّ عليها ثقل “الأجانب” من غير العرق الأبيض في الحياة السياسية الأميركية، وهو الذي حمل بايدن إلى الرئاسة على ظهر كسر زحف العنصرية البيضاء.

أزمة أميركا الأخرى التي يأمل بايدن تخفيف حدّتها في الإطار نفسه هي المسؤولية عن تمريغ وجهها في الوحول اليمنية، ليس فقط أمام الحزب الديمقراطي والأميركيين “الأجانب” فحسب، بل أمام شعوب العالم أيضاً، وفي مقدمتها الشعوب الأوروبية.

إن الولايات المتحدة هي التي غطّت مشاركة الحكومات الأوروبية في الجرائم بمعيّة ترامب، وما أن تخفّف التغطية بالكلام حتى الآن، يُصدر البرلمان الأوروبي قراراً يدعو فيه الاتحاد الأوروبي إلى الالتزام بوقف إمدادات العدوان بالسلاح، وإلى العمل لانسحاب السعودية والإمارات من اليمن.

الأزمة الأعم الأكثر عمقاً التي كشفت عنصرية أميركا في داخلها وخارجها، هي فقدان ما يسميه بايدن “القيَم الأميركية”، فهذه القيَم المتمثّلة بأطروحات حقوق الإنسان والحريات الفردية والديمقراطية الأميركية… هي سلاح ماضٍ في أيدي الإدارة الأميركية، لإشاحة النظر عن نتائج نموذج التوحّش الأميركي في بؤس البشرية وتهديد حياة الكوكب.

هي سلاح تغطية من جهة، وسلاح حرب لزعزعة الاستقرار الهشّ في بعض الدول المعادية لأميركا، من أجل فتح أسواقها وتعزيز المصالح والاستراتيجيات الأميركية من جهة أخرى. إن مسؤولية أميركا عن كارثة اليمن أصابت هذا السلاح بالصدأ طيلة أربع سنوات، ما أدّى إلى تعويل بايدن على أولوية اليمن، أملاً بإعادة شحذه.

المشجَب الذي يسعى بايدن إلى تعليق أوساخ أميركا عليه هو محمد بن سلمان؛ واجهة العدوان على اليمن وأكثر شركاء أميركا وحشية في القتل العاري، وهو يضع نصب عينيه التخفّف من هذه الورطة الثقيلة الأعباء، ليس بسبب كارثة اليمن فحسب، بل بسبب سلاح حقوق الإنسان أيضاً.

والحقيقة أن بايدن لا يقلب في هذا الأمر صفحة ترامب فحسب، إنما يقلب كذلك جانباً من صفحة أوباما مع السعودية وشراكة محمد بن سلمان. ففي مقالة روبرت مالي في “فورين أفيرز” مع ستيفين بومبر، ينقل عن مسؤول كبير في إدارة أوباما، في اجتماع لمجلس الأمن القومي في آذار/مارس 2015، قوله بشأن شراكة ابن سلمان: “كنا نعلم أننا ربما نستقلّ سيارة مع سائق مخمور”.

قد يكون هذا المسؤول الكبير هو بايدن نفسه الذي لم يسمّه روبرت مالي، بدليل قطع اتصال بايدن مع ابن سلمان وإزالته عن جدول الأعمال، بحسب المتحدثة باسم البيت الأبيض جين ساكي، وبدليل آخر أكثر جدية عبّرت عنه إدارة بايدن في عزمها على ملاحقة ابن سلمان في جريمة قتل خاشقجي، بدءاً بنشر تقرير الاستخبارات الأميركية، وعزمها على ملاحقته بتحريك الدعوى التي قدّمها مستشار محمد بن نايف سعد الجبري أمام محكمة واشنطن ضد ابن سلمان وأعوانه.

أزمات أميركا الحادة التي تدفع بايدن إلى مساعي أولوية اليمن والتخفّف من ابن سلمان هي مشكلة أميركا وإدارة بايدن، فإيران وصنعاء معنيّتان بانسحاب قوى العدوان وفك الحصار والذهاب إلى حوار بين اليمنيين لإزالة آثار العدوان والاتفاق على الحل السياسي.

إيران وصنعاء تتقاطعان مع نيات بايدن لحل أزمات أميركا، إذا كان حلّها مساعداً في حل قدّم اليمن في سبيله التضحيات البطولية الخارقة، وتعرّض من أجله لشتى الجرائم ضد الإنسانية، فالمهزوم يعجز عن فرض شروط لم ينَلها بحرب تدميرية، ولا يطلب المساعدة المجّانية لقلع شوكه.

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FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

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FM Sergey Lavrov gave an extensive interview to the RBK Media Holding – Communication between Brussels and Moscow has completely fallen apart

February 20, 2021

A good sub-title for this interview could be “Lavrov Unplugged”.

A quote from the transcript (which incidentally was available faster than any other transcript from the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation ):

“… when it became clear that Russia did not want to live in the house of “a self-appointed boss,” all these complications began to emerge.

….

All this started when this signal was not perceived (to be more precise, Russia was seen again as a “hoodlum” in the world arena and they were again going to teach it “good manners”). In any event, the West began its ideological preparations, for its current actions, at that time.”

Video in Russian without subtitles or English voiceover as yet.

Question: There is a feeling that the West is very annoyed by the appearance of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. At first, they were very aggressive and wouldn’t let it go. When I talked with Minister of Trade and Industry Dmitry Manturov, he called it “the vaccine war.” Now the opinion has changed. Is this about the quality of the vaccine or is politics involved in this?

Sergey Lavrov: I think it is possible to use the logic of the Russian proverb that can be translated into English as “love it so but mother says no.” Western experts know that the Sputnik V vaccine is definitely one of the best, if not the very best. Otherwise, there would not be such a stream of requests for it, which is growing geometrically.

On the other hand, they realise that the spread of Sputnik V and other Russian vaccines that will soon enter the international market, will enhance our authority and status in the world. They do not want this to happen. But they have come to realise that their first response was simply outrageous in the context of the facts and medical science. When President Vladimir Putin announced the development of the vaccine in August 2020, the offensive was completely undiplomatic. Their response just betrayed their irritation, you are perfectly right.

And now many countries (the Czech Republic and others) are saying they can’t wait for the certification of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency. In Hungary, they believe they are ready to start vaccination and supplies are now underway. The number of requests from Europe is steadily on the rise. Just the other day, Prince Albert II of Monaco sent a request for the vaccine for the entire population of his principality.

After independent agencies published their scientific evaluations, the West had to admit that the vaccine was good. Yet, attempts to discredit it continue.

Just yesterday I read a somewhat ambiguous statement by President of France Emmanuel Macron. He put us and the Chinese into the category of those who are trying to gain advantages in the world arena at the expense of their medical achievements. The day before yesterday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen spoke with an emphatically negative connotation about the supplies of the Russian vaccines to foreign countries.

We must follow the correct position of principle, first voiced by President of Russia Vladimir Putin, notably, that we were the first to develop the vaccine, and we will continue to increase its production. This is not easy, we do not have enough capacities, and this is why we are negotiating with India, South Korea and other countries. At the same time, he said we are open to the broadest possible cooperation.

There is one more important point. When this issue was discussed at the UN the other day, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the countries that have this vaccine or have the money to buy it, not to forget about the poor. In the meantime, attempts are being made to accuse us of trying to gain geopolitical favour by supplying it abroad. This is an obvious discrepancy. It is clear that the West is poorly prepared for this discussion.

Question: So, it’s about the same as when President Putin said at the Davos Forum that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit the “golden billion,” and we are actually accused of supplying the vaccine for the benefit of the “golden billion.” Still, are they talking about the vaccine like this just because it was made in Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t see any other reason, because no one even tried to conduct a medical or a scientific test. They just said right away that it was impossible just because it’s impossible, meaning that “no one can do this that quickly.” It was only in October 2020, when the West said they would be able to report on their achievements. President Putin announced in August that the Russian-made vaccine was ready for rollout.

Unfortunately, I often see that the response to everything we do, say or offer is, at best, questioned right off the bat. Usually, they say that “the Russians are playing their geopolitical games again.”

Question: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who was here recently and met with you, said that Russia is distancing itself from the West. At the same time, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said we are open to cooperation with Europe. You said we are ready to break up, but we are not breaking off our relations. What really stands in the way of normal relations between the EU and Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: A biased attitude, by and large. I worked with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, a good colleague of mine, when he was Spanish Foreign Minister. Now many, in an attempt to give a controversial dimension to the High Representative’s visit to Russia, forget how it all began. In May 2019, Mr Borrell said: “Our old enemy, Russia, says again ‘here I am,’ and it is again a threat.” We then asked his protocol service to confirm what he said. We were told that it was a figure of speech and that he was misunderstood. However, this attitude shows.

We are seen as a stranger. In my interview with Vladimir Solovyov, replying to his question as to whether we are ready to break off with the EU, I gave an affirmative answer because there are no relations to talk about. As former US President Barack Obama once said (although he said it about the Russian economy), relations have been “torn to shreds.”

Indeed, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement [between the EU and Russia] entered into force in 1997. It contained a number of declarative goals for moving towards common economic, humanitarian and cultural spaces. For many years, we used a mechanism of summits, which were held every six months in Russia and in the EU alternately. In fact, our entire Government held annual meetings with the European Commission to discuss the participants’ responsibilities in the context of over 20 sector-specific dialogues. We were building four common spaces and roadmaps for each of them. These were 100 percent substantive and specific projects. It was all destroyed, just like the Partnership and Cooperation Council, within which the Russian Foreign Minister and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy reviewed the entire range of relations. This disappeared long before the Ukraine crisis.

Many in our country are just waiting for a chance to pounce on the Russian Government’s foreign policy. We are being asked how we can say that we are ready to break off with the EU when it is our largest trade and economic partner. If we take the EU as a collective partner, it is our largest partner in terms of gross trade. For example, in 2013 (before the Ukraine events) Russia became a WTO member. From that moment, our trade relations were built on the principles advocated by that organisation rather than the EU’s principles. As a single trade bloc, the EU also participated in the WTO. We traded with member countries based on WTO guidelines. If you think the EU is a valuable trade and economic partner, here are some statistics for you: in 2013, the United States was the EU’s biggest trading partner with about $480 billion, followed by China with $428 billion and Russia with $417 billion. That is, these numbers are of the same order of magnitude. Where do we stand now? In 2019, EU’s trade with the United States stood at $750 billion, with China $650 billion, and with Russia at about $280 billion. In 2020, it was $218 billion, if counting with Great Britain, and $191 billion without it.

The reason? It’s the sanctions imposed by our “valued” and largest economic partner for reasons that have never relied on any facts whatsoever. At least, no facts have ever been presented to us. We understand Crimea. We understand Donbass as well. It’s just that the EU admitted its inability, or perhaps, unwillingness, to prevent the anti-constitutional coup with an open Russophobic slant and chose to turn things upside down. Brussels shifted the blame to us and imposed sanctions on Russia rather than the putschists, who, by and large, spat on the guarantees of the European Union, which signed the corresponding agreements, totally ignoring, as I said, the fact that the actions of the government, which they supported, were openly and violently anti-Russian.

Question: Without the events in Ukraine, would our relations with the West have sunk to where they are now?

Sergey Lavrov: It is difficult for me to talk about this. After all, later there were other events linked with the accusations of “the poisoning in Salisbury.” No facts were presented. We were not allowed to meet with our citizens. No evidence was offered. Everything was similar to what is happening now with the alleged poisoning of Alexey Navalny.

Question: It seems the West is looking for a pretext to spoil our relations.

Sergey Lavrov: They are looking but there are many pretexts: it’s always possible to use something as an excuse to put the relationship on the required track. But it’s not that they want to spoil relations. I don’t think this is their main goal. They want to bolster their self-esteem. Now they are starting to act like the US, revealing the mentality of an exclusive group of states. I quoted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. When asked why they continue discussing sanctions against Russia and what goals they had achieved by imposing sanctions, he replied that he didn’t believe sanctions should be used for any purpose. What matters is that they don’t leave any action by the Russian Federation unpunished.

The concealment of facts that could somehow confirm accusations against us started long before the crisis in Ukraine. We can recall 2007 – the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in the hospital. There was a coroner’s inquest. Later this trial was declared “public.” In George Orwell’s logic, in Britain this means a “secret trial” during which no inquisitorial procedures of the secret services may be presented. You know, these are system-wide problems.

I listed what we used to have in our relations with the European Union. Nothing is left now, not even sporadic contacts on some international issues. As regards the Iran nuclear programme, we are taking part in the work of the collective group of countries, which are trying to somehow put this programme back on track. This is not part of our relations with the EU proper. In the Middle East, we have a Quartet of mediators consisting of Russia, the US, the EU and the UN. In other words, this is multilateral cooperation rather than our relations with just the EU.

With regard to who is taking steps to prevent our relations from further decline, at least a little, we were thinking about that when Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was getting ready to visit Moscow. He suggested cooperating in healthcare and vaccines. We have already discussed this here. As a Brussels institution, the EU will hardly be allowed to contact Russian agencies or companies independently regarding the vaccines. We would sooner cooperate directly with the producers of AstraZeneca, as this is already taking place.

On the eve of Mr Borrell’s visit, we invited his experts to make a joint statement on the Middle East by the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Our positions are nearly identical on the matter and we thought it would be appropriate to urge the Quartet to resume its activities and call for direct Palestinian-Israeli talks, respect for the relevant UN resolutions, and so on.

We gave them a page and a half text that was easy to approve after the first reading. Several days prior to his arrival, we were told that “it did not work out.” I will reveal a secret because this is a blatant example. I asked Mr Borrell at the negotiating table: “What about this statement? Why didn’t it work out?” He started turning his head all around. It was clear from his reaction, and he confirmed this later, that nobody had even told him about it. These are the people that deal with what some of our liberals call “relations with the EU.”

Question: Concluding this theme, I’d like to say that as a man born in the USSR, I understand that during the Soviet-Western confrontation we had different ideologies, economies and so on. Later, I thought that everything was the same on both sides. They were for democracy and we were for democracy; they had a market economy and we had a market economy. So what are the differences? Why do we fail to find a common language to this day? I thought we found it in the 1990s? Why did we find it then?

Sergey Lavrov: We found it at that time because nobody in the Russian Federation disputed the answer to the question of who was ruling the show. President of Russia Vladimir Putin has talked about this many times. We decided that was it – the end of history. Francis Fukuyama announced that from now on liberal thought would rule the world. Now there are attempts to push this liberal thought to the fore again in a bid to gain international influence. But when it became clear that Russia did not want to live in the house of “a self-appointed boss,” all these complications began to emerge.

Initially, having become President, Vladimir Putin and his team tried to convey this message through diplomatic signals that educated and smart people would be bound to understand. But nobody listened. Then the explanations had to be made politely but openly in the Munich speech. All this started when this signal was not perceived (to be more precise, Russia was seen again as a “hoodlum” in the world arena and they were again going to teach it “good manners”). In any event, the West began its ideological preparations, for its current actions, at that time.

Question: Regarding the sanctions. Bloomberg posted a news item today that new sanctions against Russia are planned concerning the Nord Stream 2, however, they are not going to be tough but rather “soft.” On the other hand, they report that the Americans want to thwart the Nord Stream project but without irritating Germany. Where are we in this situation?

Sergey Lavrov: We are a country that completely complies with the contractual obligations undertaken by our companies that are part of the project, along with the EU companies that joined it. The current situation is largely due to a decision taken by what we call the European Union, a decision that proves beyond doubt what sort of alliance it is. A few years ago, when the Poles, and others sharing their attitude, attempted to impede the Nord Stream project, the Legal Service of the European Commission was asked for legal advice, official opinion. The service presented a document which stated in no uncertain terms that the investment project had been launched long before amendments were made to the EU’s gas directive, the Third Energy Package. That’s it. Period. This issue should be closed for any person who has respect for the law. But no, the European Commission took this opinion and launched its own quasi-legal procedure which resulted in the conclusion that the project had indeed been launched much earlier, yet it fell under this third energy package and the gas directive. That’s what kind of a partner we have in this “relationship.”

This is about how we can “pounce” on them and express readiness to break relations with them when they are our main economic partner – that’s what kind of a partner they are. Meanwhile, now Germany alone is fighting for the project.

And in fact, Joe Biden’s administration will not cancel anything which was done by Donald Trump except for leaving the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Democrats are returning there now.

The NATO defence ministers meeting has just ended. But there was no let-up in US demands to pay 2 percent of a country’s GDP for defence needs, i.e. for purchasing US weaponry. There was no backing off the demands on Europe regarding Nord Stream 2 – to stop participating in some matters that undermine European security. They see it better from across the ocean, right? This is about who is the boss. Europe also wants to run the house but it was taken down a peg. The situation around Nord Stream 2 is straightforward.

For now they are saying publicly that bargaining is underway and possible agreements between Washington and Berlin are being discussed, including that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline may be allowed to be completed and even start operating. However, if at the same time gas transiting via Ukraine is going to be falling, then Nord Stream 2 must be shut off. I cannot decide for Germany, however, it is obvious to me that this proposal is humiliating. As Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his meeting with parliamentary party leaders, this is yet further evidence that they want Russia to pay for their Ukraine geopolitical venture.

Question: Do we have to pay for this geopolitical project?  Why do they think we have to pay for it?

Sergey Lavrov: Because they don’t feel like lashing out on it. They need the Ukrainian regime for the sole purpose of constantly irritating Russia and finding new reasons to support their Russophobic policy. They want to weaken anything around us – Belarus, Central Asia, and now also the South Caucasus, as they got nervous after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful mediation mission between Armenia and Azerbaijan: why was this done without them? They are now trying to infiltrate this region and step up their activities there. All of that has nothing to do with the Cold War-era ideology of a showdown between the two systems you talked about a few minutes ago. It has to do with the fact that our Western partners are unwilling, unprepared and unable to speak on an equal footing, whether with Russia, China, or whoever. They need to create a system where they will be the boss regardless. This is why they are taking an increasing dislike to the United Nations since they cannot have total control of it.

Question: Do you see the EU as a monolith, or as something more loose, with certain processes unfolding inside and some countries, no matter what, starting to talk about their willingness to be friends with Russia? In the case of the sanctions, the key figures behind them are, strange as it may seem, the Baltic States, which do not play a prominent role in the EU but, for some reason, everyone is listening to them.

Sergy Lavrov: It sounds inappropriate to refer to the EU as a monolith a mere couple of months after Brexit. This “monolith” is not the same as before. If you mean a monolith in a figurative sense, my answer is no. Quite a few countries are maintaining relations with Russia. The visit of Josep Borrell was the first trip by an EU official of this level to Russia in three years. In the same three years, about two dozen ministers from European Union member countries have visited Russia. We are having a great dialogue, without wasting too much time on confrontation and moralising. Indeed, all of them do have their assignments – a couple of sheets of paper from which they read a script approved by the “party committee” in Brussels.

Question: Do you mean they bring a notebook with instructions with them?

Sergey Lavrov: Certainly. They do not dare to veer off course. This, for example, goes for Alexey Navalny, or the Skripals as in the previous case, or human rights. Now scientist Yury Dmitriyev from Karelia is in the spotlight. They flatly refuse to accept evidence of his involvement in crimes, like pedophilia. They read from their notebook and I would adduce my arguments to the contrary and describe our vision of this or that situation and wonder why we cannot obtain evidence on the Navalny case or the Skripal case. In response they simply read again from their notebook. Apart from this discipline induced by the bloc member states’ solidarity, we discuss things normally. Yes, the EU sets the terms on which [its member countries] participate in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while we are trading with these countries in the WTO on the terms that were agreed on for Russia to join this organisation. But the EU has nothing to do with this cooperation in trade and investment activity, except for its attempts to restrict trade and economic ties with the sanctions.

You mentioned the Baltic States. Indeed, they run the show in this respect to a great extent. I have talked to your colleagues about this on more than one occasion. When in 2004 there were hectic activities to drag them into the EU, Russia and Brussels maintained a very frank dialogue. The President of the European Commission at the time was Romano Prodi. In 2005, the objective was set to move to visa-free travel.

Question: Nobody has any memories of this today.

Sergey Lavrov: We remember this when we reply to those who ask how we dare say that we are ready to break relations with the EU. You mentioned the Baltic States. We had long been negotiating an updated version of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Russia and the EU, which the EU terminated in 2014. It was expected to go a bit beyond the boundaries of the WTO rules and allow us to negotiate additional trade preferences. At one time there was an objective to establish a free trade zone, but this has long since fallen into oblivion. However, there were plans to update the agreement in order to liberalise trade even more, in addition to the WTO rules. In 2014, they ceased to exist – another example of breaking down our relations.

A visa-free travel agreement was also finalised back in 2013. We had met all of the EU requirements: we agreed that only people with biometric passports would be eligible for visa-free travel and that those who violated EU entry rules or any other EU rules while in an EU country during a visa-free period would be subject to readmission. We signed the relevant agreement. Everything they asked for, and that suited us, was done. Later, when it was time to sign the agreement and then ratify it, the EU said: “Let’s wait.” It did not take us long to learn why they had said this, all the more so as they did not try to conceal their motives. This Brussels team decided that it was politically incorrect to approve a visa-free travel agreement with Russia prior to offering it to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Question: In other words, Russia was made dependent on other countries?

Sergey Lavrov: It sure was, at the Baltic States’ initiative. This is also important for understanding the nature of our relations. This is an attitude from people who decided that they were European, which is not at all the case. Russia sees Europe in all its diversity. If the “party committee” in Brussels does not like it, we cannot force them to.

Question: Europe stretches at least to the Urals.

Sergey Lavrov: Correct. In 2009, when Jose Manuel Barroso was President of the European Commission, we held a Russia-EU summit in Khabarovsk. Our European colleagues arrived later in the day. We went out for a walk along the embankment. We were showing them around the city and Mr Barroso said: “It’s amazing. It took us 13 hours to get here from Brussels, and it’s still Europe.” This is the key message behind the slogan “Europe from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”

Question: I’m going to ask you about one other country, Belarus. There will be a presidential summit on February 22. President Lukashenko will come to Russia. Recently, Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei gave an interview to the RBC media holding and mentioned Belarus’ multi-directional foreign policy. Do you think we have managed to work well with Minsk on integration? What should we expect from these talks?

Sergey Lavrov: The term “multi-directional” should not be used as a profanity. Most normal states want it. Russia, too, has used a multi-directional approach as the basis of its foreign policy since 2002. In our understanding, a multi-directional approach is possible only if based of equality, respect and a balance of interests, as well as mutual benefit. This is the only way it can work.

First, they threaten us with sanctions, and then the same people are saying that we “had it coming” and impose unilateral restrictions on us, and then say that we are “bad” because “we are looking to the East.” Everything has been turned upside down.

Russia is a Eurasian country. We have close contacts with Europe, which have been cultivated for centuries, before anyone even thought of a European Union, and the Europeans fought and competed against each other. By the way, we often helped them achieve peace and fair outcomes in wars.

Question: We even saved the monarchies?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and they are aware of it. The republic in the United States, too, to a certain extent.

However, our European neighbours have severed almost all of our ties and left only sporadic contacts on international crises that are of interest to the EU in order to keep a profile on the international arena. In many ways, the EU is driven by a desire to be seen as an important operator in Syrian and other matters. If we are not welcome here, we will simply continue to work with our other neighbours who are not prone to whims like that.

Objectively, our trade with the EU is almost half of what it was in 2013. Our trade with China has doubled over the same period.

Question: Back to Minsk. What can we expect from talks between President Putin and President Lukashenko on February 22?

Sergey Lavrov: There are some who want to interpret Minsk’s words about the multi-directional nature of its foreign policy as proof of its “unreliability” as a partner and ally. I do not think so.

In the Council of Europe, of which Belarus is not a member yet, we advocate the CoE establishing relations with Minsk. We supported the accession of Minsk to a number of Council of Europe conventions. We have always been in favour of Belarus enjoying normal relations with its western neighbours. I’m not sure what the CoE will do next. Russophobia has swept over most of the EU countries, and the most “violent” ones are in charge of the agenda.

I read the remarks by President Lukashenko (not all his interviews, but they were cited) to the effect that he sees no obstacles to deepening integration. Progress will depend on how President Vladimir Putin and President Lukashenko agree on things.

There are two more days to go before the talks. I don’t think we should be speculating on the outcome of the summit. We will know everything soon.

Question: Recently, US President Joseph Biden said the United States will no longer be “rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions” (ostensibly, Donald Trump did this). How can we build our relations now? Are there subjects we can discuss with Washington? Are they ready to talk with us?

Sergey Lavrov: These comments on who is rolling over or will be rolling over in the face of someone’s actions illustrate a very deep split in US society. It reached a level of personal enmity that is aggressive and contrary to American political culture. The politicians did not particularly mince their words during previous presidential campaigns or prior to elections to Congress, but I don’t remember anything comparable to what is being said now.

Our liberal media promote a tough pro-Western line. In looking for objects of criticism in Russia, they are infringing on the threshold of decency and getting personal. They are very crude, and behave not like journalists but like inveterate propagandists, accusing others of propaganda.

The fact that the New Start Treaty was extended in time is a very positive step. This shouldn’t be overrated, but it shouldn’t be underrated, either. In his election speeches Joseph Biden mentioned his willingness to extend it, but these were election speeches after all. His promise could be interpreted differently later, but he extended this important document for five years without any conditions, like we suggested. If this had not happened, there would not have been a single instrument of international law, not only in Russian-US relations but in the entire range of multilateral ties, that contained any restrictions in the sphere of disarmament, arms control and nuclear weapons non-proliferation.

It is very important that just a few days prior to February 5, 2021, the date the treaty was extended for five years, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and US President Joseph Biden reaffirmed their intention to promote talks on strategic stability in these new conditions, in their first telephone conversation after the US presidential election. The situation has changed substantially since 2010: We and the Americans have acquired new weapons some of which are covered by the treaty. We announced this last year. We said that they must be taken into account. Some other weapons are not covered by the treaty – they are basically very different because of their physical characteristics.

Question: Are you talking about hypersonic weapons?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, the United States also has such weapons. Hypersonic weapons are partly covered by the New START Treaty, if these are ballistic missiles.

The New START Treaty already covers some weapons systems, so we now have to include these weapons systems in the Treaty for the next five years and see how all this will be verified. But it does not cover some weapons.

The United States has developed a new system called the Prompt Global Strike (PGS). By the way, this system implies a non-nuclear strike. We have suggested negotiating all issues without exception that have an impact on strategic stability and the legitimate interests of the contracting parties.

Question: Did they agree to this? Are they ready?

Sergey Lavrov: In October 2020, we submitted draft joint understandings to the Trump administration. This rough outline shows how we can sit down and start negotiating the agenda. We have received no reply from them. Instead of addressing this matter, Marshall Billingslea, the Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control, mostly made vocal statements that the United States was all for it but that the Russians did not want to do this.

When I spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, I reminded him that Russia had submitted its proposals to the Trump administration, which dealt with this matter and many other issues, including cybersecurity and concerns over interference in each other’s domestic affairs. We would like to get back to them, and to hear the Biden administration’s opinions in this regard. We realise that they now need some time to settle down in the White House and the Department of State. I hope that this will not take too long.

There are still some questions on disarmament, for example, the lineup of participants in the disarmament process. The US position on China, approved by Donald Trump, remains unchanged; the same concerns a number of other matters.

Regarding multilateral talks, first of all, this should not annul Russian-US agreements because we have several times more nuclear weapons than other nuclear countries. Second, if we make this a multilateral process, then all prospective participants, primarily the five nuclear powers, should reach a voluntary agreement. We will never try to persuade China. We respect the position of Beijing, which either wants to catch up with us or proposes that we first reduce our arsenals to China’s levels and then start on the talks. All circumstances considered, if this is a multilateral process, then we will get nowhere without the United Kingdom and France. The Trump administration insisted that China should take part and at the same time said about its allies that they were the good guys, literally. This sounds funny. Apart from the complicated and lengthy disarmament process, we do not have so many promising spheres where we can cooperate constructively.

Question: Does this mean that their vision of the issue is entirely different or that they are reluctant to negotiate?

Sergey Lavrov: They think that they are the boss, and this mentality is still here and it determines the perception of their enemies. So far, they have not designated China as an enemy, but they have called us an enemy a couple of times. Democrats have an additional motivation for expanding this policy. Their position is that, supposedly unlike with Donald Trump, they will be “no Russian tail wagging the dog.”

Question: Don’t you think that Democrats have come to power with the intention of taking revenge against Russia, and that they will implement Donald Trump’s anti-Russia plans that he failed to accomplish in four years.

Sergey Lavrov: They made such statements during the election campaign. Joe Biden and his supporters said openly that the Trump administration had gone soft, that it was constantly making advances and working for the Russian intelligence. Donald Trump said that he was conducting the toughest policy with regard to Russia. He said that he liked Vladimir Putin, but he introduced more sanctions than all of his predecessors taken together.

We are also witnessing a cowboy-style showdown there. But this is normal for US politics, especially today. Disagreements between liberals who considered liberalism an irreversible trend have become aggravated to the greatest possible extent. Donald Trump, who did not like liberal principles and approaches, suddenly took over. He tried to think more about the basic interests of the American founders, the people who moved there (and it has always been a nation of immigrants), and who accepted its laws. So, the big question is whether people should remain loyal to the country that has accepted them, or do they want to erode its principles?

Question: Should they try to fit in?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, and they want to be the boss. Everything boils down to this once again.

Question: Karabakh, the subject of that. Fortunately, the war is over and a peace agreement has been inked. We covered extensively the role Russia and Azerbaijan played. I have a question to do with Turkey. I was in Azerbaijan during the war and heard many people say that the Azerbaijanis are supportive of the Great Turan idea (a state that covered the territory from Turkey to Central Asia). Is Moscow concerned by Turkey becoming a stronger state?

Sergey Lavrov: This opinion is entertained by a portion of the society. I’m not going to give a percentage of how many people support this idea. I’m not sure many of those who informed you about this really know what “Great Turan” is all about.

The relations between Turkic-speaking peoples have become an integral part of cooperation between Turkey and the corresponding countries, including Azerbaijan and a number of Central Asian states.

There is the Cooperation Council of the Turkic-Speaking States, in which we participate as observers. A number of our republics are interested in contacts with it and are promoting their specific projects.

There is TURKSOY  ̵  the International Organisation of Turkic Culture. There’s also the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries. All of them have been functioning for a long time now. They draft their own plans and hold functions. Their cooperation is mainly based on cultural, linguistic and educational traditions.

Speaking about the Great Turan as a supranational entity in a historical sense, I don’t think that this is what Turkey is after. I don’t see how former Soviet and now independent countries can be supportive of this idea in any form. On the contrary, their foreign policies and practices focus on strengthening their national states.

Turkey has its interests which include its fellow tribesmen who speak the same language. We also want the Russian World to communicate. We have created an extensive network of organisations of our compatriots living abroad; we are opening Russian World centres at universities in different countries with purely linguistic, educational and scientific goals.

The Centre for the Russian Language and Culture created by the Russkiy Mir Foundation was recently closed in Krakow. This is an obvious step for Poland, as well as for the Baltic States, which are fighting everything that is Russian. Ukraine followed in their footsteps and shut down several media outlets and imposed a language ban. We are well aware of all this. We will keep raising this matter at the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the corresponding UN agencies. One cannot pretend that this comes with the “growth” and the “coming of age” of the Ukrainian nation, which, as they say, is an “ill-fated” one. The Ukrainians claim that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great. In that case, they should be responsible for the orders they introduce. The EU, and Germany and France as the Normandy format participants, avoid performing their duties when it comes to “educating” Ukraine in terms of making it comply with the Minsk agreements, and this has become a chronic behaviour pattern which does not reflect well on Germany or France.

Question: It was announced that Ukraine was recognised an unfriendly state. How will this affect relations between us?

Sergey Lavrov: This is just a descriptive attribute. What’s friendly about it? Russian schools are being closed, customers and shop assistants are not allowed to speak their native language, and the Nazis are burning Russian flags.

Question: This is reminiscent of the Baltic States 20 to 30 years ago.

Sergey Lavrov: Back when the Baltic States were about to be admitted to the EU, we asked the Brussels bureaucrats, the Eurogrands, whether they were sure they were doing the right thing. The problems that are at odds with the membership criteria persist, including non-observance of the rights of the Russian-speaking minorities in Latvia and Estonia. We were told that the Baltic States are phobic of Russia (war, the so-called occupation, etc.), the EU will bring it into its fold, it will calm down and ethnic minorities will be happy and contented. Things turned out the other way round. The Russians were not granted any rights, and statelessness is still there.

Question: Let’s go back to Turkey: Ankara’s stronger position, its active role in the Nagorno-Karabakh war, President Erdogan’s visit to Northern Cyprus (which a Turkish leader has not done for quite a while). What does Moscow think about it?

Sergey Lavrov: As far as Turkey and Northern Cyprus are concerned, we see it as Ankara’s relations with its “fellow countrymen.” I have not heard about Turkey refusing to honour the UN obligations accepted by the conflicting parties. These obligations include seeking a mutually acceptable solution and creating a bicommunal bizonal federation. There is a discussion of whether the federation will be strong or weak. But there is no disagreement about the fact that it must be one state. Although not so very long ago, it was the common opinion that the entire project would fail and they would have to create two states. We understand that Ankara is interested in Cypriot Turks living in equality and their rights being observed. We support the idea that the same motives with which Turkey explains its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, including with respect to hydrocarbons, should determine its dialogue with Greece and Turkey.

On February 17, 2021, I spoke with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias who told me that on January 25, 2021, he had had a probing conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. They did not iron out all issues. But it is good news that a dialogue was established. They agreed to continue it. On February 18, 2021, I spoke with Mevlut Cavusoglu. We continued sharing opinions following the telephone conversations between President Putin and President Erdogan on Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and our bilateral relations. New power units of a nuclear power station are under construction; the TurkStream project is ongoing. There is much common ground between our countries when it comes to energy.

In October 2019, the first Russia-Africa Summit in history was held in Sochi. A record number of heads of state and heads of government attended. In the course of the preparations for the summit, we reviewed the development of our relations with African countries and the current state of affairs, including from the perspective of expanding our presence on the continent which political scientists consider to be the most promising in the long term. We reviewed other countries’ presence in Africa. Since 2002, the number of Turkish embassies in Africa has increased from 12 to 42. Turkey’s trade with the region is estimated at around 20 billion dollars a year and Russia’s trade is around 15 billion dollars. This is to say that Turkey has an eye for potential.

Question: Perhaps Turkey is disappointed with the EU because nobody accepted it?

Sergey Lavrov: I believe it could partially be the case. In its contacts with the EU, Ankara continues to insist that the EU promised it accession. Turkey is spreading its wings and gaining weight despite the existing economic problems at home. Turkey mainly goes on by accumulating its national debt but this model is widely common around the world.

Question: 2020 is the year of the pandemic. During such times, countries should join forces and help each other. Do you think that this was the case? Or did the world fail to put aside disagreements and rally together even when it came to the COVID-19 infection?

Sergey Lavrov: Now this conversation is back to square one. There are no ideologies anymore. But this ideology-based, politicised perception of the Russian vaccine was not a very good signal. The Sputnik V vaccine was announced in August 2020, many months after the G20 summit (March 2020) where Vladimir Putin strongly advocated cooperation in vaccine production. Even then, we were ready to create joint scientific teams. But Western countries and their companies, unwilling to help competitors, did not respond to that proposal. So much for unification in this purely medical field.

There is also the humanitarian sphere. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet made calls during the pandemic to suspend all unilateral sanctions in fields directly affecting food, the supply of medicine and medical equipment, in order to alleviate the suffering of the population in countries that were under unilateral sanctions (regardless of their reasons). There was no reaction from the initiators of those sanctions (primarily the US and the EU). Also, there was no response to President Vladimir Putin’s proposal, at the G20 summit, to create ‘green corridors’ for the period of the pandemic, to move goods under the most relaxed rules – without tax, duties, tariffs, delays, or special customs inspections.

We are all in the same boat, and it’s not so big. Some forecasts say this situation will continue for a long time, and the coronavirus will be a seasonal infection, and it is not at all the same as the flu or other diseases, so we will have to use precautions permanently, use PPE. This realisation should somehow prod countries to more open cooperation, especially those that up until recently had some doubts.

True, there have been some good shifts. One of them is the United States’ return to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Some hotheads in Washington believe that, now that they have returned, they will make others do their bidding. There are fewer than 50 Chinese people in the WHO Secretariat, 25 Russians, over 200 Americans, and more than 2,000 NATO representatives. The past US administration said China was manipulating the WHO. That is not true. Otherwise, we are admitting the complete helplessness of 2,000 NATO members who should be the majority in the WHO Secretariat.

Nevertheless, there are some positive results though. This problem has been recently considered at the UN General Assembly and the Security Council. It is important now to focus on equitable collaboration within the WHO. Besides the attempts at carrying out “soft coups” and establishing their own rules in the organisation, hardly based on consensus, an idea has been suggested to move the main decision-making on global health policies outside the universal organisation. We have been pointing out this tendency for some time now – the one to replace international law with a rules-based world order. As it turns out in reality, those rules boil down to working out all decisions in a circle of those who agree with you rather than in a group with universal representation where you have to argue your case and search for balances and compromises. And then you just present the decision as ‘the ultimate truth’ and demand that everyone respect it.

This underlies the Franco-German initiative for a new multilateralism and some limited partnerships in the West. For example, Paris has launched an International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons. Under this non-universal, non-UN partnership, the EU creates the so-called ‘horizontal’ regime of sanctions to be imposed on anyone that France-initiated partnership points at. A similar sanctions regime is being created for cybersecurity. Instead of any open-ended discussion, the French are promoting some partnership to defend freedom in cyberspace. This is another example of rules on which ‘order’ will be based.

There are attempts to start similar groups outside the WHO. But people’s health is not a field where one can play geopolitics. Unless there is a conspiracy behind this to reduce the population of the Earth. Many are now starting to develop such theories and concepts.

U.S. WANTS TO NEGOTIATE WITH IRAN AS ISRAEL AND HEZBOLLAH EXCHANGE THREATS

South Front

Read this article in German: LINK.

Hezbollah, one of Israel’s sworn enemies and a staunch ally of Iran continues its tough rhetoric against Tel Aviv.

On February 17th, the group released a 2-minute video titled “Oh Zionists, You Have Military and Security Targets Within Your Cities.”

The footage contained a threat to strike 10 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targets throughout Israeli cities.

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was shown warning Aviv Kochavi, Chief of General Staff of IDF with “total war”.

The Hezbollah video warning of war if the IDF chose to initiate it came in response to large-scale drills that the IDF held in recent weeks.

During the exercise, IDF pilots trained to hit up to 3,000 targets per day in case of all-out confrontation.

This tougher rhetoric from Hezbollah is not something uncommon. What makes it significant is that the movement can afford to make it even tougher due to the Biden Administration formally being less supportive of Israel.

On February 18th, US President Joe Biden told Iran that it was ready to take part in EU-sponsored talks to restore the Iran Nuclear Deal.

This seems as a large concession, and causes a sense of urgency in Israel. For the first time since he entered into office, Biden accepted a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the conversation, Biden affirmed the US commitment to Israel’s security, and mutual defense cooperation. He said that the flow of weapons, equipment and funding would continue. It all appeared very hollow and according to script.

Similarly, to what US President Barack Obama did, Biden promised to increase Israeli military aid, but that also means it will not get any more “tangible” support.

This is all good and well, but it simply means “you will not feel as special as you were when Donald Trump was around.”

Separately, another Axis of Resistance enemy, Saudi Arabia is suffering by Yemen’s Ansar Allah (the Houthis).

On February 17th, the Houthis captured the significant Marib Dam, as they push towards Marib city and consolidate power in the surrounding areas.

The city is the last major stronghold of the Saudi-led coalition in central Yemen. If it falls, which seems quite plausible, the Houthis will have even more opportunity to push into southern Saudi Arabia.

In their past raids they have captured hundreds of Saudi-led coalition soldiers and various equipment.

February 2021 seems to be the month of the Axis of Resistance, with Iran’s campaign of non-compliance with the Nuclear Deal giving fruit. Hezbollah, the Houthis and the pro-Iranian groups in Iraq and Syria further seem to be achieving limited success.

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What a return to the Iran nuclear deal means ماذا تعني العودة إلى الاتفاق النوويّ الإيرانيّ

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

What a return to the Iran nuclear deal means

Dr. Wafiq Ibrahim

The conditions for returning to the nuclear agreement are increasing, and with it the possibility of building a real world peace between the most powerful countries in the world increases.

The reason for this optimism is that four members of the agreement — France, Britain, Germany and the United States — will meet at night for the first time since the Americans withdrew from the agreement in 2016.

Since Russia is also committed to its membership and Iran, there is a high probability that the nuclear agreement will be reintroduced as stipulated in its basic terms in 2015.

The conditions for return do not seem to be difficult despite Saudi-Israeli attempts to block it and pressure the United States not to return. This is because these two countries are determined to continue to regard Iran as an enemy of the Western public order and its alliances in the Middle East.

Former U.S. President Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2016, claiming Iran had violated it. But the rest of the member states and the International Energy Organization did not agree with his claims, which led to the disruption of the work in the last four years in a row and turned into a U.S.-Iran conflict in which Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE entered alongside the Americans, but France, Britain and Germany continued to demand Iran to remain a member of the agreement alongside Russia, which since the beginning of the dispute has declared strong support for Iran.

It is therefore a political struggle that takes the form of technical disagreements. As for the reasons, it is Iran’s success in building deep alliances, starting with Afghanistan with its main forces, and ending with deep political influence in Pakistan. Iran has also managed to penetrate Into India, where it succeeded in building deep relations with its Shiites and in Yemen, where it forged one of the most important relations with the Houthis, who form its main force and defeated with them Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the British and the Americans in battles that continue.

Iran also supported Iraq and allowed it to defeat the Americans, their allies, and ISIS. As for Syria, it is a great story in which Iran supported preventing the overthrow of the Syrian state and its expansion into three quarters of its country. As for Lebanon, Iran was able to support Hezbollah in such a way that it became the main force in a major axis standing in the face of “Israel” and its slaves in the region.

These achievements are the root cause of The U.S. Western Saudi-Israeli hostility to Iran, and it is the reason for the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

Can Iran bow to renegotiating its alliances extending from Afghanistan to Lebanon?

There are reasons to prevent this.

Firstly, the West knows that Iran’s alliances have become armed forces within their own countries and it is not easy to confront them, and it has become almost impossible to attack them by “Israel” or any Arab forces. As for the negotiations over its status, this is a hopeless act, because it is close to catching their countries.

Therefore, the only thing left for the Americans and their alliances is to search for new means of rolling into politics, meaning that the Americans accept political settlements between the forces allied with Iran and the forces affiliated with the Americans, but not within the framework of imposed truces, but rather agreements that lead to the conduct and regularity of public business in the country.

Will a return to the nuclear agreement lead to regular internal actions in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon?

It seems that things are going to this direction because there is no alternative, especially since the two parties to the conflict are never thinking of leaving the areas they are sponsoring in Iraq and Syria due to their national and regional importance.

It turns out, then, that the nuclear agreement is an internal agreement that grasps many internal regions of countries in the Middle East, and this makes it very important and confiscates the external powers of these countries, i.e. it can use the entity that controls it in the Middle East conflicts, which is also an international one that serves the interest of recommending another team in the conflicts of the countries to control the most important oil and gas region in the world.

It is clear that the nuclear agreement is an internal agreement that holds a lot of the internal areas of the countries in the Middle East and this makes it very important and confiscates the external powers of these countries, i.e. it can use the entity that controls it in the Middle East conflicts, which is also an international one that serves the interest of recommending another team in the conflicts of the countries to control the most important oil and gas region in the world.

Will the European-American meetings succeed in preparing for a return to the nuclear agreement as a mechanism for turning Middle Eastern conflicts into draft agreements and freezing their flames?

There is a vague point in this agreement and you go on to wonder if Russia actually accepts to work on an international agreement that excludes China from what is the actual instrument of conflict with the U.S. side?

There is an ambiguous point in this agreement and it raises the question whether Russia actually accepts working on an international agreement that excludes China from it, whereas China is the actual tool for the conflict with the American side?

This is a difficult point for which the Russians may find a solution, namely, limiting the nuclear deal to the Iranian nuclear issue exclusively, provided that the bulk of international relations remain free, and this would re-weave the Sino-Russian-Iranian relations that they believe can catch up with the American giant and possibly overtake it after awhile.

Therefore, the world is in the atmosphere of the Iranian nuclear agreement and is awaiting its results on which it will build its next movement.

If the U.S. movement wants to attract Iran from the Sino-Russian axis, then the Russian role has taken upon itself to freeze the Iranian role at the steps of the nuclear agreement, providing that it paves the way for a Sino-Iranian-Russian movement that will not delay the completion of building a system of alliances that may include more countries than the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia believe. This means that the nuclear deal will not reduce international conflicts and may establish deeper and more violent international conflicts.

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ماذا تعني العودة إلى الاتفاق النوويّ الإيرانيّ

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د. وفيق إبراهيم

ظروف العودة الى الاتفاق النوويّ تزداد ويرتفع معها احتمال بناء سلام عالميّ فعلي بين الدول الأقوى في العالم.

أسباب ارتفاع هذا التفاؤل هو انعقاد لقاء ليليّ بين أربعة من أعضاء الاتفاق هم فرنسا وبريطانيا والمانيا والولايات المتحدة للمرة الأولى منذ انسحاب الأميركيين من الاتفاق في 2016.

وبما ان روسيا متمسكة بعضويتها وإيران ايضاً فهذا يعني وجود احتمال كبير لإعادة العمل بالاتفاق النووي وفق ما نصت عليه شروطه الأساسية في 2015.

يبدو أن ظروف العودة ليست صعبة على الرغم من المحاولات السعودية الإسرائيلية لعرقلتها والضغط على الولايات المتحدة لعدم العودة. وهذا سببه إصرار هذين البلدين على الاستمرار في اعتبار إيران عدواً للنظام الغربي العام وتحالفاته في الشرق الاوسط.

وكان الرئيس الأميركي السابق ترامب انسحب من الاتفاق النووي في 2016 بزعم أن إيران خرقته. لكن بقية الدول الأعضاء ومنظمة الطاقة الدولية لم توافق على ادعاءاته، ما أدى الى تعطيل العمل به في السنوات الاربع الأخيرة على التوالي وتحوّل الأمر نزاعاً أميركياً – إيرانياً دخلت فيه «إسرائيل» والسعودية والإمارات الى جانب الأميركيين لكن فرنسا وبريطانيا والمانيا ظلت تطالب إيران بالبقاء في عضوية الاتفاق الى جانب روسيا التي أعلنت منذ انطلاق الخلاف تأييدها القوي الى جانب إيران.

هو إذاً صراع سياسيّ يرتدي شكل خلافات تقنية، أما الأسباب فهي نجاح إيران في بناء تحالفات عميقة بدءاً مع أفغانستان مع قواها الرئيسيّة وصولاً الى نفوذ سياسي عميق في باكستان. كما أن إيران تمكنت من التوغّل في الهند، حيث نجحت في بناء علاقات عميقة مع شيعتها ولم توفر اليمن، حيث نسجت واحدة من اهم العلاقات مع الحوثيين الذين يشكلون قوتها الأساسية وهزمت بالاشتراك معهم السعودية والامارات والبريطانيين والأميركيين في معارك لا تزال متواصلة.

كذلك فإن إيران دعمت العراق وأتاحت له فرصة الانتصار على الأميركيين وحلفائهم وداعش. أما سورية فهي حكاية كبرى دعمت فيها إيران منع إسقاط الدولة السورية وساندت تمددها الى ثلاثة أرباع بلادها. أما لبنان فتمكنت إيران من إسناد حزب الله بشكل أصبح فيه القوة الأساسية في محور كبير يقف في وجه «اسرائيل» وزبانيتها في المنطقة.

هذه الإنجازات هي السبب الأساسي للعداء الأميركي الغربي السعودي الإسرائيلي لإيران، وهي سبب الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق النووي.

فهل يمكن لإيران الرضوخ لإعادة التفاوض على نقاط تحالفاتها الممتدة من افغانستان الى لبنان؟ هناك معطيات تحول دون هذا الأمر.

اولاً الغرب يعرف ان تحالفات إيران أصبحت قوى وازنة مسلحة داخل بلدانها وليس سهلاً التصدي لها، كما أنه أصبح شبه مستحيل مهاجمتها من طريق «إسرائيل» او اي قوى عربية. اما لجهة المفاوضات حول وضعها فهذا عمل ميؤوس منه لأنها تقترب من الإمساك بدولها.

لذلك لا يتبقى أمام الأميركيين وتحالفاتهم إلا البحث عن وسائل جديدة «كامنة» تتدحرج نحو السياسة، أي أن يقبل الأميركيون بتسويات سياسية بين القوى المتحالفة مع إيران والقوى المحسوبة على الأميركيين انما ليس في إطار هدنات مفروضات بل اتفاقات تؤدي الى تسيير الأعمال العامة في البلاد وانتظامها.

فهل تؤدي العودة الى الاتفاق النووي الى انتظام الاعمال الداخلية في افغانستان واليمن والعراق وسورية ولبنان؟

يبدو ان الأمور ذاهبة الى هذا المنحى لانتفاء البديل خصوصاً أن طرفي الصراع لا يفكران أبداً بترك المناطق التي يرعونها في العراق وسورية وذلك لأهميتها الوطنية والإقليمية.

يتبين اذاً ان الاتفاق النووي هو اتفاق داخلي يمسك بالكثير من المناطق الداخلية للدول في الشرق الأوسط وهذا يجعله هاماً جداً ويصادر القوى الخارجية لهذه الدول أي يصبح بإمكانه استعمال الجهة التي يسيطر عليها في الصراعات الشرق اوسطية وهي ايضاً دولية تصبّ في مصلحة تزكية فريق آخر في صراعات الدول للسيطرة على أهم منطقة نفط وغاز في العالم.

فهل تنجح اللقاءات الأوروبية – الأميركية في التمهيد للعودة الى الاتفاق النووي كآلية تحول الصراعات الشرق أوسطية الى مشاريع اتفاقات وتجمّد لهيبها؟

هناك نقطة غامضة في هذا الاتفاق وتذهب الى التساؤل اذا كانت روسيا تقبل فعلاً العمل في اتفاق دولي يُقصي الصين عنه بما هي الأداة الفعلية للصراع مع الطرف الأميركي؟

هذه نقطة صعبة قد يجد الروس لها حلاً وهي اقتصار الاتفاق النووي على الموضوع النووي الإيراني حصراً على أن يبقى القسم الأكبر من العلاقات الدولية حراً وهذا من شأنه إعادة نسج علاقات صينية روسية إيرانية ترى أن بإمكانها اللحاق بالعملاق الأميركي وربما تجاوزه بعد مدة من الزمن.

العالم اذاً في أجواء الاتفاق الإيراني النووي يترقب نتائجه التي يبني عليها حركته المقبلة.

فإذا كانت الحركة الأميركية تريد جذب إيران من المحور الصيني الروسي، فإن الدور الروسي أخذ على عاتقه تجميد الدور الإيراني عند مندرجات الاتفاق النووي على أن يفسح المجال لحركة صينية – إيرانية روسية لن تتأخر في استكمال بناء منظومة تحالفات قد تشمل من الدول أكثر مما تعتقد الولايات المتحدة و»إسرائيل» والسعودية. بما يعني ان الاتفاق النووي لن يختزل الصراعات الدولية وقد يؤسس لصراعات دولية أكثر عمقاً وأشد عنفاً.

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The start of the return to nuclear deal train انطلاق قطار العودة للاتفاق النوويّ

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

The start of the return to nuclear deal train

Nasser Kandil

– The speed with which the administration of US President Joe Biden deals with the Iranian nuclear file does not apply to what is being fancied and promoted by those who linked their fate in the region with the illusion of American supremacy and Iran’s weakness, who said that months will pass before Washington considers the Iranian nuclear file, within a week of Biden’s inauguration, he appointing Robert Maley, known for his positions calling for returning to the agreement without delay, as special envoy on Iran, for returning to the agreement without delay and discussing issues of disagreement under the umbrella of the agreement, to the point of the choice that the President adheres to.

– A month before Biden entered the White House, two files were moving in parallel, the file of the restoration of US-European relations being the entrance to the understanding on the road-map to return to the nuclear understanding with Iran, which was translated by a meeting, the first of its kind in five years, that includes the US Secretary of State and foreign ministers. France, Germany and Britain, during which Washington announced its readiness to attend a meeting within the framework of the 5 + 1 formula, with the presence and participation of Iran. US President Joe Biden expressed to the Munich Security Conference his readiness to engage in a formula that would open the way for a return to the nuclear agreement with Iran, with reference to the files of the dispute with Iran, and the intention to solve it by negotiating and annexing it to the agreement, which of course is rejected by Iran. In parallel, the second file, which is the U.S. pressure on Saudi Arabia from the gate of stopping arms deals under the slogan of stopping the war on Yemen, and declassifying Ansar Allah from the lists of terrorism, to release the investigations related to the killing of journalist Jamal Al-Khashoggi and the role revealed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

– Washington began the preparations for the return to the agreement, with President Biden’s contact with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and putting him in the form of the American decision, as reported by Reuters, and Washington took decisions in the size of legitimising the return to the agreement and withdrawing the US legal cover for any sanctions that were imposed on the third parties after the American withdrawal from the agreement in the era of former President Donald Trump, by withdrawing the request submitted by the Trump administration to the UN Security Council to re-impose the UN sanctions on Iran that were lifted in accordance with the UN resolution that approved the agreement, and the withdrawal book that recognises the illegality of the previous US request, and in parallel it cancelled Washington restrictions that the Trump administration had imposed on Iranian diplomats in New York.

– Iran welcomed Washington’s steps, but it was not satisfied that it did not solve the issue of sanctions, which depends on Iran’s retreat from the measures it has taken to reduce its obligations stipulated in the agreement, and the most important measures that it will take within days unless Washington offers convincing measures for Iran to back down from the sanctions. In the days leading up to February 23, there are signs that Tehran is asking Europe to take steps that translate its commitment to the Iran agreement, and Washington’s withdrawal of an earlier request to return to UN sanctions on Iran and prove the illegality of the request, putting at the forefront the hypothesis that Europe will activate a mechanism Financial trading with Iran called  Anstex, which Europe was unable to operate in the time of the Trump administration and can now be activated and proven to be useful, with billions of dollars belonging to Iran held in European banks, and Iranian deals with European companies frozen pending payment mechanism.

– President Biden has repeated more than once the phrase, that America has returned, boasting that this is an expression of America’s diplomatic strength, meaning that America has returned to its glory days and its ability to determine the paths of the world, and which is being said that America has only returned to the nuclear agreement, and that the way back is not according to the whims and desires of its president, who discovers every day the limitations of his options and the difficulty of acting as dictated by the balance of power that is no longer in favour of his country in the world, in parallel with preserving face, claiming supremacy, the ability to draw paths, and demonstrating retreat in the form of dictation. Time has changed, the equations have changed, the options are limited, and the state of denial will not help, and swallowing the bitter cup one time, is less bitter.

انطلاق قطار العودة للاتفاق النوويّ

ناصر قنديل

لا تنطبق السرعة التي تتعامل من خلالها إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن مع الملف النووي الإيراني مع ما يتوهّمه ويروّج له الذين ربطوا مصيرهم في المنطقة بوهم التفوّق الأميركي وضعف إيران، والذين قالوا إن شهوراً ستمرّ قبل أن تنظر واشنطن في الملف النووي الإيراني، فبدأ تعيين روبرت مالي مبعوثاً خاصاً حول إيران، خلال أسبوع من تسلّم الرئيس بايدن، وأشارت شخصية هذا المبعوث المعروفة بمواقفها الداعية للعودة إلى الاتفاق من دون إبطاء ومناقشة قضايا الخلاف تحت مظلة الاتفاق، إلى وجهة الخيار الذي يلتزمه الرئيس الأميركي.

قبل أن ينقضي شهر على دخول بايدن الى البيت الأبيض، كان ملفان يتحرّكان بالتوازي، ملف ترميم العلاقات الأميركية الأوروبية من مدخل التفاهم حول خريطة طريق العودة الى التفاهم النووي مع إيران، الذي ترجمه اجتماع هو الأول من نوعه منذ خمس سنوات يضمّ وزير خارجية أميركا ووزراء خارجية فرنسا وألمانيا وبريطانيا، أعلنت خلاله واشنطن استعدادها لحضور اجتماع ضمن إطار صيغة الـ 5+1، بحضور ومشاركة إيران، وتوجه موقف الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن أمام مؤتمر ميونيخ للأمن بالاستعداد للانخراط في صيغة تفتح الطريق للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، تحت سقف دائم للإشارة لملفات الخلاف مع إيران، ونيّة حلها بالتفاوض وضمها للاتفاق، وهو طبعاً ما ترفضه إيران. وبالتوازي كان يتحرك الملف الثاني وهو الضغط الأميركي على السعودية من بوابة وقف صفقات السلاح تحت شعار وقف الحرب على اليمن، وإلغاء تصنيف أنصار الله عن لوائح الإرهاب، وصولاً للإفراج عن التحقيقات الخاصة بقتل الصحافي جمال الخاشقجي وما تكشفه من دور لولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان.

بدأت واشنطن إجراءات التمهيد للعودة إلى الاتفاق، باتصال أجراه الرئيس بايدن برئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو ووضعه في صورة القرار الأميركي كما أوردت وكالة رويتر، واتخذت واشنطن قرارات بحجم شرعنة العودة للاتفاق وسحب الغطاء الشرعي أميركياً عن أية عقوبات نجمت على الأطراف الثالثين بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق في عهد الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، وذلك من خلال سحب الطلب الذي قدّمته إدارة ترامب إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي لإعادة فرض العقوبات الأمميّة على إيران التي رفعت بموجب القرار الأمميّ الذي صادق على الاتفاق، وما في كتاب السحب من اعتراف بعدم شرعية الطلب الأميركي السابق، وبالتوازي ألغت واشنطن تقييدات كانت إدارة ترامب قد فرضتها على الدبلوماسيين الإيرانيين في نيويورك.

إيران رحبت بخطوات واشنطن، لكنها لم تكتف بها باعتبارها لا تحل قضية العقوبات التي يتوقف على رفعها تراجع إيران عن الإجراءات التي اتخذتها بتخفيض التزاماتها التي نص عليها الاتفاق، والأهم الإجراءات التي ستتخذها خلال أيام ما لم تُقدم واشنطن على إجراءات مقنعة لإيران بالتراجع عن العقوبات. وفي الأيام الفاصلة عن موعد 23 شباط ستشهد خطوات، برزت مؤشرات على وجهتها بمطالبة طهران لأوروبا باتخاذ خطوات تترجم التزامها بالاتفاق مع إيران، وبسحب واشنطن لطلب سابق بالعودة للعقوبات الأممية على إيران وإثبات عدم شرعية الطلب، ما يضع في الواجهة فرضية إقدام أوروبا على تفعيل آلية المتاجرة المالية مع إيران المسمّاة أنستكس، والتي عجزت أوروبا عن العمل بها في زمن إدارة ترامب وبات بإمكانها تفعيلها وإثبات جدواها، مع مليارات الدولارات العائدة لإيران والمحجوزة في المصارف الأوروبية، والصفقات الإيرانية مع شركات أوروبية والمجمّدة بانتظار آلية التسديد.

كرر الرئيس بايدن في أكثر من مرة عبارة، إن أميركا عادت، متباهياً بأن ذلك تعبير عن القوة الدبلوماسيّة لأميركا، قاصداً أن أميركا عادت الى أيام عزها وقدرتها على تقرير مسارات العالم، والذي يجري يقول إن أميركا عادت فقط إلى الاتفاق النووي، وإن طريق العودة ليس على هواها ومقاس رئيسها، الذي يكتشف كل يوم محدودية خياراته وصعوبة التصرّف بما تمليه موازين القوة التي لم تعد لصالح دولته في العالم، بالتوازي مع حفظ ماء الوجه وادعاء التفوق والقدرة على رسم المسارات، وتظهير التراجع بصورة الإملاء من فوق. فالزمن تغير والمعادلات تغيّرت، والخيارات محدودة، وحال الإنكار لن تنفع، فتجرّع الكأس المرة دفعة واحدة أقل مرارة.

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The US is Duplicitous over Jerusalem, but the PA Stays Silent

February 18, 2021

The city of Jerusalem. (Photo: Ekaterina Vysotina, via Pixabay)

By Ramona Wadi

The Biden administration is adopting a confusing position regarding Jerusalem, signaling a possible effort to square the circle of taking the US back to the fold of international consensus on Palestine and Israel, while maintaining the gifts which former US President Donald Trump handed on a plate to Israel. As usual, Washington is being duplicitous. Also as normal, the PA is staying silent.

In a recent briefing by the US State Department, spokesman Ned Price seemed to contradict the diplomatic position taken by the US under Trump, declaring the issue of Jerusalem to be “a final status issue which will need to be resolved by the parties in the context of direct negotiations.” Such a statement puts the US in line with two-state politics and international consensus.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated clearly that he recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a Trump-era move that ushered in the probability of further annexation. Even more telling was Blinken’s dithering when asked whether the US would support a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. Playing upon the fact that diplomatic negotiations are stalled, Blinken answered, “What we have to see is for the parties to get together directly and negotiate these so-called final status issues.”

If President Joe Biden is determined to pursue two-state diplomacy within the framework of Trump’s legacy, Palestinians are in for a worse time than they were under his predecessor.

The “deal of the century” was explicit in its determination to strip Palestinians of their political rights. A mix of two-state politics and the deal of the century constitutes a double effort to ensure that the Palestinians are the losers, which will be exacerbated with the Palestinian Authority’s brand of acquiescent politics.

In the absence of a clear policy on Palestine, the PA has given too much importance to Biden’s overtures so far. Restoring relations with the PA is, of course, a necessity, but Mahmoud Abbas has still not spoken about US-Palestinian diplomacy, while Biden has not yet formulated a policy and is still hovering between Trump’s actions and pursuing the two-state paradigm.

So far, the US has stated that it will not move the US Embassy back to Tel Aviv, thus clearly endorsing Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital. The PA has preferred not to mull over this significant strategy.

The restoration of relations and the promise of humanitarian aid have instilled a resolve in Abbas to resort to the usual time-waster of an international peace conference, in which participants will overlook the fact that the US can’t possibly adhere to the two-state paradigm without recognizing that occupied East Jerusalem should serve as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Abbas and the international community are still clinging to the obsolete two-state hypothesis, while the US will abide by international consensus as long as it does not have to completely renege on what Trump achieved. When Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, Abbas called for protests.

What will he do if Biden does not explicitly endorse East Jerusalem as the capital of a State of Palestine? Will Abbas call out the US for its duplicity, or will he continue to stay silent as long as the PA can once again lay claim to a minor presence in the circle of America’s diplomatic relations?

– Ramona Wadi is a staff writer for Middle East Monitor, where this article was originally published. She contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.

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Will the US-Turkish conflict explode from Erbil? هل ينفجر الصراع الأميركيّ – التركيّ انطلاقاً من أربيل؟

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Will the US-Turkish conflict explode from Erbil?

Dr. Wafiq Ibrahim

Kurdistan is a red American line that divides Iraq into sects and nationalities.

Here, the Americans wanted to establish their movement in the Syrian-Iraqi axis, which constitutes a link between the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, Iran and Turkey. They had what they wanted to push the Iraqis towards a separation between north, center and south while supporting the formation of highly contradictory party mechanisms linked to the Americans, Saudis, Kurds, Israelis and Emiratis, until the regions of Iraq became the scene of regional interventions of all kinds, which produced a large and strong entity allied with Iran that holds almost all political power in exchange for Cantons enjoy the support of the Americans, Saudis and Emiratis, with the exception of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region at the level of geopolitics, military and economic, which is supported by the United States, the Gulf and Israel.

There is, then, an American-Turkish conflict over Erbil, the direct cause of which is the killing of 11 Turkish soldiers who were kidnapped by Kurdish gunmen and killed, but the main reason is that Turkey does not accept a Kurdish state at its border swaying some 15 million Turkish Kurds waiting for a small chance to seek independence from the Turks. Likewise, neighboring Iran, which in turn, fears an uprising of about 6 million Iranian Kurds on its soil.

Turkey, then, received the Kurdish slap and did not respond to the violent Turkish way and the violent Turkish way, and was satisfied with statements accompanied by stray bullets that may have hit some passers-by. As for the reason for this Turkish prudence, it is the new US President Biden, who has not presented his Middle Eastern plan yet. What everyone, except Hezbollah, is forced to wait. This is what Turkey has done, awaiting a new opportunity to attack the Kurds in Erbil and the entirety of Kurdistan.

Therefore, Kurdistan is in the stage of waiting for quadriplegic conflicts between Iran, Turkey and America with some Israeli and Gulf intruders. But how long can Iran and Turkey wait while the Kurds daily support their positions in Kurdistan, confiscate the region’s oil, take Israeli weapons and UAE and Saudi funds, and prepare Syrian and Turkish Kurds for nearby missions. As for Iran’s Kurds, Barzani does not approach them “now” because they are not “ready”.

Suffice it to indicate here that the Iranians and the Kurds are cousins ​​who have almost one language and both and the Germans as one race, as Hitler used to say.

The struggle over Kurdistan is therefore an American-Turkish-Iranian one in which Israeli and Gulf elements are intertwined, but it is currently afflicted with a stalemate in connection with the stalemate in Biden’s policies, the latter is still in the process of preparing for his global policies, including Kurdistan of course. However, this Turkish-Iranian patience cannot wait for long, and with it also the State of Iraq, which sees opportunities for a movement in the rebellious Kurdistan region with the aim of weakening it or stirring up differences between its components.

Will the situation explode there? This explosion may take the form of Iranian-Turkish conflicts with the Kurds in the form of sporadic clashes in most areas of the region. Will the Americans allow this? Will the Israelis and the Gulf remain silent, and leave the situation on its own?

The truth is that the stakeholders in restoring Kurdistan to mother Iraq are the Iraqis, along with the Iranians, and the third of them are the Turks. However, the Americans consider the Kurdish issue an essential part of their movement in the region and a way to drain the power of Iraq. They also see that the Kurds in Syria are a natural extension of the Iraqi Kurds and a means to weaken and fragment Syria. Therefore, there is an American contradiction with Iran, Turkey and the Iraqi state, how can this contradiction be controlled?

There is no doubt that President Biden is exploring the best means for more investment in the Kurds, based on their proximity to Iran, Turkey and the State of Iraq from the middle side. Therefore, experts expect that the conflict over Kurdistan between the Turkish-Iranian-American triangle is going to escalate, and it seems that the State of Iraq will not remain silent on this issue and believe that it can mobilize groups loyal to the state that play a positive role in this regard.

The Iraqis believe that the intensification of the Russian role in eastern Syria would enhance the Syrian role in Iraq and the east of the Euphrates, pushing towards the establishment of a Syrian-Iraqi alliance capable of playing a broad regional role, but the problem is that the Americans will not accept this matter because it affects dairy cow in the Arabian Peninsula from Qatar to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, there is a violent conflict project that is still latent between Iran, Turkey, America and Iraq, but its conditions and circumstances are present.

It is believed that the retreat of Americans in the eastern Euphrates is the main factor that encourages Iraq, Iran and Turkey to end the Kurdistan region with a knockout blow, thus restoring Iraq’s fleeing territory, turkey’s retreat from the Kurdish threat, and Iran’s silence as its usual.

There is a Turkish problem that makes Erdogan not dare in this matter, which is that Turkey has been deploying huge forces in the vicinity of Cyprus, Greece, the Mediterranean and Libya, and it has forces in Yemen operating under the name of the Brotherhood Reform Party. This makes them think a lot before taking any step in Iraqi Kurdistan. It may need a major change in US policy in order to dare to penetrate Kurdistan, even though it exists in many of these areas for security reasons or to preempt terrorism.

Kurdistan, then, is a land of deep conflict, and its fate will determine the new trends that the Biden administration is drawing on in the framework of determining its movement in the world.

Kurdistan, then, is the land of deep conflicts and Erbil is like it. There is a political oil conflict on them, and the fate of these areas determines the new trends that the Biden administration is drawing in determining its movement in the world.

The question here is that America is drawing up its global project, is Russia unable to do so?

The battle for the east of the Euphrates is crucial in this way, and it seems that the victor is the one who is taking over the battle of Kurdistan in conjunction with the Iranians and Turks.

هل ينفجر الصراع الأميركيّ – التركيّ انطلاقاً من أربيل؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

كردستان خط أميركيّ أحمر يشكل الخط الذي يقسم العراق الى طوائف وقوميات. هنا أراد الأميركيون تأسيس حركتهم في المحور السوري العراقي بما تشكله من ربط بين جزيرة العرب وبلاد الشام وإيران وتركيا. وكان لهم ما أرادوا من دفع العراقيين نحو الانفصال بين شمال ووسط وجنوب مع دعم تشكيل آليات حزبية شديدة التناقض مرتبطة بالأميركيين والسعوديين والأكراد والإسرائيليين والإماراتيين حتى باتت مناطق العراق مسرحاً للتدخلات الإقليمية من كل الأنواع ما أنتج كياناً كبيراً وقوياً متحالفاً مع إيران يمسك تقريباً بمعظم السلطة السياسية مقابل كانتونات سياسية تحظى بتأييد الأميركيين والسعوديين والإماراتيين، وذلك باستثناء اقليم كردستان شبه المستقل على مستوى الجغرافيا السياسية والعسكرية والاقتصادية والمدعوم أميركياً وخليجياً وإسرائيلياً.

هناك اذاً صراع أميركي – تركي حول أربيل سببه المباشر مقتل 11 جندياً تركياً اختطفهم مسلحون أكراد وقضوا عليهم، اما السبب الأساسي فهو أن تركيا لا تقبل بدولة كردية عند حدودها تحرّك نحو 15 مليون كردي تركي ينتظرون فرصة صغيرة لطلب الاستقلال عن الأتراك. وكذلك إيران المجاورة التي تخشى بدورها من انتفاضة نحو 6 ملايين كردي إيراني على أراضيها.

تركيا اذاً في قلب معمعة أربيل، تلقت الصفعة الكردية ولم تجب على الطريقة التركيّة العنيفة واكتفت بتصريحات مترافقة مع طلقات نارية طائشة ربما أصابت بعض المارة. اما سبب هذا التعقل التركي فهو الرئيس الأميركي الجديد بايدن الذي لم يعرض خطته الشرق أوسطية بعد. ما يفرض على الجميع باستثناء حزب الله انتظاره. وهذا ما فعلته تركيا التي تتحيّن فرصة جديدة للانقضاض على الأكراد في أربيل ومجمل كردستان.

كردستان اذاً في مرحلة انتظار صراعات رباعية بين إيران وتركيا وأميركا مع بعض المتطفلين الإسرائيليين والخليجيين. انما الى متى بوسع إيران وتركيا الانتظار فيما يدعم الأكراد يومياً مواقعهم في كردستان ويصادرون نفوط المنطقة ويتجهّزون بالسلاح الإسرائيلي وأموال الإمارات والسعودية ويعملون على تحضير أكراد سورية وتركيا لمهام قريبة.أما أكراد إيران فلا يقترب منهم البرزاني «حالياً» لأنهم ليسوا «حاضرين».

تكفي الإشارة هنا الى ان الإيرانيين والأكراد هم اولاد عمومة لديهم تقريباً لغة واحدة ويجمعهم بالألمان عرق واحد، كما كان يقول هتلر.

الصراع على كردستان هو اذاً أميركي – تركي – إيراني تتداخل فيه عناصر إسرائيلية وخليجية، لكنه مصاب حالياً بجمود ارتباطاً بالجمود الذي يعتري سياسات بايدن، فهذا الاخير لا يزال في طور التحضير لسياساته العالمية بما يشمل كردستان بالطبع. لكن هذا الصبر التركي – الإيراني لا يستطيع ان ينتظر طويلاً ومعه ايضاً دولة العراق التي ترى ان الفرص متوفرة لحركة ما في الإقليم الكردستاني المتمرد بهدف إضعافه او إثارة خلافات بين مكوناته.

فهل ينفجر الوضع هناك؟ هذا الانفجار قد يرتدي شكل صراعات إيرانية تركية مع الاكراد على شكل اشتباكات متقطعة في معظم نواحي الإقليم. فهل يسمح الأميركيون بهذا المدى؟ وهل يصمت الاسرائيليون والخليجيون بدورهم ويتركون الوضع على غاربه.

الحقيقة أن أصحاب المصلحة باستعادة كردستان الى العراق الأم هم العراقيون ومعهم الإيرانيون وثالثهم الأتراك. إلا أن الأميركيين يعتبرون الموضوع الكردي جزءاً اساسياً من حركتهم في الاقليم وطريقة لاستنزاف قوة العراق. كما يرون أن الأكراد في سورية امتداد طبيعي للأكراد العراقيين ووسيلة لإضعاف سورية وتفتيتها. هناك اذاً تناقض أميركي مع إيران وتركيا والدولة العراقيّة، فكيف يمكن ضبط هذا التناقض؟

لا شك في أن الرئيس بايدن عاكف على البحث أفضل الوسائل لمزيد من الاستثمار بالأكراد انطلاقاً من مجاورتهم لإيران وتركيا ودولة العراق من جهة الوسط، فهم تقريباً يشكلون الفئة الوحيدة القابلة للاستثمار الأميركي من دون أي ممانعة. لذلك يتوقع الخبراء أن الصراع على كردستان بين المثلث التركي الإيراني الأميركي ذاهب الى تصاعد ويبدو أن دولة العراق لن تبقى صامتة على هذا الموضوع وتعتقد أن بإمكانها تحريك مجموعات موالية للدولة تؤدي دوراً إيجابياً في هذا الصدد.

ويرى العراقيون أن اشتداد الدور الروسي في شرق سورية من شأنه تعزيز الدور السوري في العراق وشرق الفرات دافعاً نحو تأسيس حلف سوري – عراقي قادر على أداء دور إقليمي واسع، لكن المشكلة هي أن الأميركيين لن يقبلوا بهذا الأمر لأنه يصيب بقرتهم الحلوب في جزيرة العرب من قطر الى السعودية.

هناك اذاً مشروع صراع عنيف لا يزال كامناً بين إيران وتركيا وأميركا والعراق لكن شروطه وظروفه موجودة.

المعتقد في هذا المضمار أن تراجع الأميركيين في شرق الفرات هو العامل الأساسي الذي يشجع العراق وإيران وتركيا على إنهاء إقليم كردستان بضربة قاضية فيستعيد العراق بذلك إقليمه الفار وتستكين تركيا من الخطر الكردي وتصمت إيران كجاري عادتها.

هناك مشكلة تركية تجعل أردوغان لا يتجرأ على هذا الأمر وهي أن تركيا تنشر قوات ضخمة في محيط قبرص واليونان والبحر المتوسط وليبيا ولديها قوات في اليمن تعمل تحت مسمّى حزب الإصلاح الاخواني. وهذا يجعلها تفكر كثيراً قبل الإقدام على أي خطوة في كردستان العراق. قد تحتاج لتغيير كبير في السياسة الأميركية حتى تتجرأ على اختراق كردستان على الرغم من انها موجودة في الكثير من هذه المناطق بدواعٍ أمنية او لإجهاض الارهاب.

كردستان اذاً ارض صراعات عميقة وأربيل مثلها. فهناك صراع نفطي سياسي عليهما ويحدد مصير هذه المناطق الاتجاهات الجديدة التي تقبع إدارة بايدن على رسمها في إطار تحديد حركتها في العالم.

السؤال هنا هو أن اميركا ترسم مشروعها العالمي، فهل تعجز روسيا عن ذلك؟

غن معركة شرق الفرات حاسمة في هذا المنوال ويبدو أن المنتصر فيها هو الذي يتولى معركة كردستان بالاشتراك مع الإيرانيين والأتراك.

Biden Seeks to Sideline Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Biden Seeks to Sideline Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner- The Guardian

The Biden administration has said it expects Saudi Arabia to “change its approach” to the US and signaled that it wants to minimize any direct contact between the president and the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The stance marks an abrupt change compared with the Trump administration, which showered the young heir with attention and praise. It comes as intelligence officials are preparing to release – possibly as early as next week – a declassified report to Congress that will describe its assessment of the crown prince’s alleged culpability in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the US-based Washington Post journalist who was killed by Saudi officials in 2018.

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, this week said Joe Biden intended to “recalibrate” the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, and considered King Salman – not Prince Mohammed – to be his counterpart. While the designation might technically be true, the 35-year-old prince is widely seen as running Saudi Arabia and has direct relations with other foreign leaders.

In Washington, the question now is whether the latest remark merely represented a symbolic snub, or whether it was more significant, and suggested the US was trying to exert pressure on the king to change the line of succession and demote Prince Mohammed.

In response to a question about whether the administration was seeking to press for such a change, a state department spokesperson said Saudi Arabia was a key partner on “many priorities” but that the partnership needed to “reflect and be respectful of the values and interests the US brings to that partnership”.

“The American people expect that US policy towards its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia prioritizes the rule of law and respect for human rights. Accordingly, the United States will cooperate with Saudi Arabia where our priorities align and will not shy away from defending US interests and values where they do not,” the spokesperson said.

The person added: “President Biden has also said he would want to hear how Saudi Arabia intends to change its approach to work with the new US administration, and we look forward to those discussions to shape the future of our relationship.”

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Biden was sending a clear message to the Saudi royal family that as long as “MBS” – as the crown prince is known – was in the line of succession, Saudi Arabia would be treated “as a pariah”.

“I don’t know what the administration is thinking but the best outcome would be [for Saudi Arabia] to remove him. He can retire to his chateaeu in France,” Riedel said.

Other analysts said it was more likely the administration was seeking to demote and de-emphasize the relationship, even as it has made clear that it has a partnership with the kingdom. Biden used his first foreign policy speech to announce that the US would end support of the Saudi-led offensive campaign in Yemen, and was ending sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in the conflict. At the same time, the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said it “remains committed to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s defenses”.

Michele Dunne, the director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East program, said it appeared that the Biden administration was seeking to send several signals at the same time: that it wants to end US complicity in the Yemen war; wants to pursue an agreement with Iran; and believes there is a legitimate need for Saudi to defend its borders.

“There may also be a new signal now that the new administration is not invested in MBS. Whether that means they are hoping to use US influence to suggest a change in succession, I don’t know. They may be seeking to distance themselves a bit,” Dunne said.

She added that the Biden administration’s concerns probably went far beyond the US intelligence assessment that Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

“The whole world has a problem on its hands when it comes to MBS ascending to the throne because we have all seen how reckless and brutal he is,” Dunne said.

Biden’s approach appears to be roiling Prince Mohammed’s inner circle.

In a comment to Politico, the Saudi businessman Ali Shihabi, who is close to the royal family, pointed out that King Salman was “functioning but very old”.

“He’s very much chairman of the board. He’s not involved in day-to-day issues. Eventually, they’re going to want to be talking directly to MBS,” he said.

Seth Binder, who works in advocacy at Pomed (Project on Middle East Democracy) said he did not believe Prince Mohammed was being particularly singled out by Biden, who had so far decided not to contact many of the region’s leaders. Biden spoke to “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

“Ultimately the distinction they are trying to make is that MBS is one individual and not the whole country, which is contrary to the image MBS himself tries to portray. The idea that [Prince Mohammed] is a reformer who is bringing Saudi Arabia into a new age, it just isn’t true,” Binder said. “While the US might work with autocratic countries, it needs to distinguish between the rulers and the country itself. So its engagement with Saudi Arabia going forward should continue to do this.”

The criminal court decision is an achievement that must be maintained قرار محكمة الجنايات إنجاز تجب صيانته

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

The criminal court decision is an achievement that must be maintained

Saadah Mustafa Arshid

Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, occupied Palestine.

On the fifth of February, the Palestinian achieved a remarkable achievement, according to what the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs. Judge Fatuben Souda announced: This court found that the Protocol of Rome, signed in 2002, which governs its work, allows the imposition of its legal jurisdiction on the Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 war, i.e. Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

This resolution marked an important point in favour of Palestine in its conflict with the occupying Power, and represented a happy event in a political atmosphere that did not look good. Although Palestinian diplomacy and some local associations have an undeniable role in this achievement, the role and thanks largely to Mrs. Fatuben Souda, who has always stood against (Israel) in her defense of the Palestinians who are subjected to Anglo Zionist aggression. Mrs. Fatuben Souda was attacked and criticized, especially by the previous American administration, and was subject her to sanctions, including the freezing of her financial assets in American banks and preventing from entering the United States. State Department of the new administration issued a statement expressing concern about the court exercising its powers over the (Israeli) military, while Netanyahu added, saying that the court has proven that it is a political rather than a judicial body, and that such decisions would undermine the right of democracies to defend themselves against terrorism.

The ICC, based in The Hague, was established in 2002 under the Rome Protocol to try individuals accused of war crimes, genocide, killing of civilians and crimes against humanity. The message of the Ethics and Human Rights Tribunal is that it will not allow these criminals to be above legal accountability, to escape punishment for crimes committed by some States. Some countries headed by the United States and Israel, with a black and bloody record opposed the establishment of the court, and later refused to sign the Rome Protocol, and submit to its jurisdiction. The extension of the court’s sovereignty over the Palestinian territories would place hundreds of (Israeli) military and senior officers in the (Israeli) army, facing accountability and the possibility of arrest, and with them, of course, a number of politicians, businessmen and senior corporate managers who are retired officers, in the event that they travel to the signatory countries of the convention. Perhaps this decision will have legal and political dimensions that go far beyond that. On the one hand, this decision will place (the Israeli state) since its establishment under accountability for the massacres against Palestinians and forced mass deportation, which are issues that are not subject to the statute of limitations. On the other hand, the decision recognizes the legal personality of the Palestinian state over the entire land occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and therefore the court refuses to recognize the annexation measures that have been or will be undertaken by (Israel) in Jerusalem and other territories.

However, the sad Palestinian, has become accustomed to a narrow and short space of joy, as experience and history have told him that heroic sacrifices paid on the scale of the nation, homeland, did not have results commensurate with their size and inputs, and that victories, if not preserved, nurtured, developed and invested in the field of politics Perceived, knowledgeable, and driven patriotism, they will be blown off by the wind and sold or given up cheaply. Here lies the concern, and it is worth paying attention to the maintenance of this profit. Life is a struggle that accumulates, not negotiations, as the late negotiator Saeb Erekat put it.

The concern about this achievement lies in two issues, the first is international and the second is internal Palestinian: Internationally, Judge Fatuben Souda’s mandate ended after fierce battles between her and the supporters of official crime and heroes of genocide and war crimes. In the past days hostile actors, led by England, this time, and with the support of (Israel) and the United States, were able to install a new public prosecutor to inherit Mrs. Bin Souda, who is the Anglo-Pakistani lawyer Karim Ahmed Khan, and the Hebrew channels rushed to welcome this news, saying that Karim Khan is the best for (Israel), as well as the United States, and since the decision to include the Palestinian territories under the custody of the Court has become a fait accompli, and it is not possible to reverse it, what Karim Khan can do is to is to delay the procedures, or to put obstacles in the way of hearing cases against the (Israeli) and American soldiers, and possibly tampering with evidence, which makes the decision greatly lose its judicial effectiveness.

Palestinians, circles in Ramallah are optimistic about the return of democrats to power in Washington, and the authority talk about optimism about returning to negotiations, as they see that the atmosphere of the new American president is supportive for that. This is an early optimism that is misplaced, and shall have an impact on the activation of the authority, for the cases filed against the (Israeli) military.

In the last days of 2008, (Israel) launched a massive aggression against Gaza, using the dirtiest and deadliest weapons it possessed, and spared the worst of its hatred, bloody and brutality, to the point that it struck the world at the time with astonishment. The aggression caused unprecedented devastation in Gaza in in all its areas, with 1,285 martyrs, 900 civilians, while 14 (Israelis) were killed, 11 of them soldiers. As a result, the United Nations Human Rights Commission formed an investigation committee, headed by Judge Goldstone from South Africa, and the commission was known by his name later. The Commission, was tasked with investigating whether war crimes had been committed in that aggression. Nearly 600 pages, in which the Commission stressed that (Israel) did not hesitate to commit war crimes, before the aggression by besieging Gaza and imposing collective sanctions on its citizens, and during the war in using civilians as human shields, and throwing phosphorous bombs and shells stuffed with nails, with suspicions of using depleted and undepleted uranium, At the time, local and international human rights organizations celebrated the fair report, as well as the friendly circles of Palestine, but the unpleasant surprise was that the PA, through its ambassador in Geneva, requested to withdraw the report and not discuss it. With the appointment of a new US envoy to the Middle East – George Mitchell, PA has decided that the conditions are ripe for a return to the policy of negotiation, and that the presentation of the Goldstone report would strain the atmosphere of that negotiation, which ultimately yielded nothing.

Today, we wonder: Is the Biden administration about to enter us into a new negotiating pattern, and does the new negotiating system need to calm down the atmosphere that has only been soured by the ICC decision? This is what needs vigilance and attention

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*Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, occupied Palestine.

قرار محكمة الجنايات إنجاز تجب صيانته

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سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد*

حقق الفلسطيني في الخامس من شباط إنجازاً لافتاً، بما أعلنته المدعية العامة في محكمة الجنايات الدولية السيدة القاضية فاتوبن سودا، فقد وجدت هذه المحكمة انّ بروتوكول روما الذي تمّ التوقيع عليه عام 2002، الناظم لعملها، يسمح بفرض ولايتها القانونية على الأراضي الفلسطينية التي احتلت في حرب 1967، أيّ غزة والضفة الغربية شاملة القدس الشرقية.

سجل هذا القرار نقطة مهمة لصالح فلسطين في صراعها مع دولة الاحتلال، ومثل حدثاً سعيداً وسط أجواء سياسية لا تبدو طيّبة. هذا وإنْ كان للدبلوماسية الفلسطينية وبعض الجمعيات المحلية دور لا ينكر في تحقيق هذا الإنجاز، إلا أنّ الدور والفضل الأكبر يعودان إلى المدعية العامة، السيدة فاتوبن سودا، التي لطالما وقفت في مواجهة (إسرائيل) في دفاعها عن الفلسطينيين الذين يتعرّضون لعدوانها والولايات المتحدة واتهمتها بارتكاب جرائم حرب في أفغانستان، والغرب عامة، وتعرّضت للهجوم والانتقاد، خاصة من الإدارة الأميركية السابقة التي عرضتها للعقوبات ومنها تجميد الأصول المالية الخاصة بها في المصارف الأميركية ومنعها من دخول الولايات المتحدة، فيما هاجمتها الإدارة الجديدة عبر وزارة الخارجية التي أصدرت بياناً يعبّر عن قلق أميركا من ممارسة المحكمة صلاحياتها على العسكريين (الإسرائيليين)، فيما أضاف نتنياهو قائلاً إنّ المحكمة قد أثبتت أنها هيئة سياسية لا قضائية، وإنّ قرارات كهذه من شأنها أن تقوّض حق الديمقراطيات في الدفاع عن نفسها في مواجهة الإرهاب.

أنشئت محكمة الجنايات الدولية عام 2002 بموجب بروتوكول روما، واتخذت من لاهاي في هولندا مقراً لها، وجعلت من مهماتها محاكمة الأفراد المتهمين بارتكاب جرائم حرب، وجرائم الإبادة الجماعية وقتل المدنيين، والجرائم ضدّ الإنسانية، فرسالة المحكمة الأخلاقية والحقوقية أنها لن تسمح لأولئك المجرمين من أن يكونوا فوق المساءلة القانونيّة، وأن يفلتوا من العقوبة على ما اقترفت أيديهم من جرائم، عارضت بعض الدول ذات السجل الدمويّ والأسود إنشاء المحكمة، ولاحقاً رفضت التوقيع على بروتوكول روما والانضمام لها والخضوع لولايتها، وعلى رأس تلك الدول الولايات المتحدة و(إسرائيل). من شأن بسط سيادة المحكمة على الأراضي الفلسطينية، أن يضع المئات من العسكريين (الإسرائيليين) وكبار الضباط في الجيش (الإسرائيلي)، أمام المساءلة وإمكانيّة الاعتقال، ومعهم بالطبع عدد من السياسيين ورجال الأعمال وكبار مدراء الشركات من الضباط المتقاعدين، وذلك في حال سفرهم للدول الموقعة على الاتفاقية، ولعلّ هذا القرار أن يكون له أبعاده الحقوقية والسياسية التي تتجاوز ذلك بكثير فمن جانب، سيضع هذا القرار (الدولة الإسرائيلية) منذ قيامها تحت المساءلة لما ارتكبت من مجازر بحق الفلسطينيين وترحيل جماعي قسري، وهي مسائل لا تسقط بالتقادم، ومن جانب آخر، فإنّ القرار يعترف بالشخصية القانونية للدولة الفلسطينية على كامل الأرض التي احتلت عام 1967، بما فيها القدس وبالتالي فإنّ المحكمة ترفض الاعتراف بإجراءات الضمّ التي قامت أو ستقوم بها (إسرائيل) في القدس وغيرها من الأراضي. لكن الفلسطيني الحزين، قد اعتاد على أن تكون فسحة فرحه ضيقة وقصيرة، فالتجربة والتاريخ قد أخبراه أنّ البطولات والتضحيات على جسامتها، التي سفحت على مذبح الوطن، لم تأت نتائجها متناسبة مع حجمها ومدخلاتها، وأن الانتصارات إنْ لم يتمّ صونها ورعايتها وتطويرها واستثمارها في حقل السياسة الوطنية المدركة والعارفة والسائرة نحو الهدف، فإنها ستذروها الريح وتباع أو يتمّ التنازل عنها بثمن بخس، وهنا يكمن القلق، ويجدر الانتباه لصيانة هذا الربح. فالحياة هي نضال يتراكم لا مفاوضات، حسب تعبير المفاوض الراحل صائب عريقات. يكمن القلق على هذا الإنجاز في مسألتين الأولى دولية والثانية فلسطينية داخلية: دولياً انتهت ولاية السيدة القاضية فاتوبن سودا، بعد معارك ضارية بينها وبين أنصار الجريمة الرسمية وأبطال الإبادة وجرائم الحرب، استطاعت في الأيام الماضية الجهات المعادية وعلى رأسها إنجلترا هذه المرة، وبدعم من (إسرائيل) والولايات المتحدة، من تنصيب مدّعٍ عام جديد يرث السيدة بن سودا في المنصب وهو المحامي الانجلو – باكستاني كريم أحمد خان، وسارعت القنوات العبرية إلى الاهتمام والترحيب بهذا الخبر قائلة إنّ كريم خان هو الأفضل لـ (إسرائيل)، وكذلك الولايات المتحدة، وبما أنّ قرار شمول الأراضي الفلسطينية تحت وصاية المحكمة قد أصبح أمراً واقعاً، ومن غير الوارد الرجوع عنه، فإنّ الذي يستطيع أن يفعله كريم خان هو المماطلة في الإجراءات، أو وضع العراقيل أمام النظر في القضايا المرفوعة ضدّ العساكر (الإسرائيليين) والأميركان، وربما التلاعب بالأدلة، مما يفقد القرار كثيراً من فاعليته القضائية.

فلسطينياً، تتفاءل أوساط رام الله بعودة الديمقراطيين للحكم في واشنطن، ويتحدث أهل السلطة عن تفاؤلهم بالعودة للتفاوض حيث يرون أنّ أجواء الرئيس الأميركي الجديد داعمة لذلك، وفي ذلك تفاؤل مبكر في غير محله، الخشية أن يكون لذلك أثر على تفعيل السلطة، للدعاوى المرفوعة ضدّ العسكريين (الإسرائيليين)، وللتذكير، ففي الأيام الأخيرة من عام 2008، شنّت (إسرائيل) عدواناً واسعاً على غزة، استعملت فيه أقذر وأفتك ما لديها من سلاح، ونفّست عن أبشع ما تضمره من حقد ودموية ووحشية، لدرجة أصابت العالم في حينها بالذهول، سبّب العدوان دماراً غير مسبوق أصاب غزة في جميع مناحيها، مع 1285 شهيداً، 900 من المدنيين، فيما قتل 14 (إسرائيلياً)، 11 منهم عسكريون، اثر ذلك شكلت لجنة حقوق الإنسان التابعة للأمم المتحدة لجنة تحقيق، برئاسة القاضي غولدستون من جنوب أفريقيا، وقد عرفت اللجنة باسمه في ما بعد، كانت المهمة الموكلة إليها التحقيق في ما إذا ارتكبت جرائم حرب في ذلك العدوان، عملت اللجنة باجتهاد وتابعت أدق التفاصيل، استمعت للشهود، فأحصت الأدلة والبيّنات، ثم أصدرت تقريرها من قرابة 600 صفحة، أكدت فيه أنّ (إسرائيل) لم تتورّع عن ارتكاب جرائم حرب، قبل العدوان بحصارها لغزة وفرضها عقوبات جماعية على مواطنيها، وأثناء الحرب في استخدامها المدنيين كدروع بشرية، وإلقائها القنابل الفوسفورية والقذائف المحشوة بالمسامير، مع شكوك باستخدامها اليورانيوم المنضّب وغير المنضّب، احتفلت في حينه منظمات حقوق الإنسان المحلية والدولية بالتقرير المنصف، كذلك الأوساط الصديقة لفلسطين، ولكن المفاجأة غير السارة كانت بأن طلبت السلطة الفلسطينية عبر سفيرها في جنيف بسحب التقرير وعدم مناقشته، وقيل في ذرائع السلطة ما قيل مما لا أودّ ذكره باستثناء ما قيل بعد فترة من الزمن، بأنّ السلطة قد ارتأت في تعيين مبعوث أميركي جديد للشرق الأوسط – جورج ميتشل، أنّ الظروف مواتية للعودة للسياسة الراسخة، سياسة التفاوض، وأنّ طرح تقرير غولدستون من شأنه توتير أجواء ذلك التفاوض، الذي لم يسفر عن شيء في نهاية الأمر. نتساءل اليوم: هل إدارة بايدن في صدد إدخالنا في نسق تفاوضيّ جديد، وهل يحتاج النسق التفاوضيّ الجديد إلى تهدئة الأجواء التي لم يوترها إلا قرار محكمة الجنايات الدولية؟ هذا ما يحتاج إلى اليقظة والانتباه…

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*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة.

USA Sitrep – President’s Day in a Divided Nation

USA Sitrep – President’s Day in a Divided Nation

February 15, 2021

by John Lockwood for the Saker Blog

February 15th is Presidents’ Day.

America has two Presidents on this day, besides Washington and Lincoln.
One half of the country believes Trump rightfully won.

Yet the events of Jan. 6th still hang like a cloud over Washington.
Critics fault his claims of a stolen election for provoking the protests.

But what if the Democrats really did steal the election? Wouldn’t the fault be theirs?
And how can we know whether they really stole it?
Claims of “Massive fraud” on one side vs. “No sign of fraud” on the other — who is right?

One thing is crystal clear:
Unconstitutional, illegal changes to voting laws generated millions of irregular ballots — a hundred times greater than the margin between the candidates, in some swing states. If the balloting is illegal, there is no way the count can be correct.

An unconstitutional vote can only produce an unconstitutional result. Everything that followed — the certification of the popular vote, the electoral college vote, and the inauguration — none of these steps had any legal foundation.
Bad data makes bad decisions. Since Nov. 3, our machinery of government has been spinning off course on erroneous, unlawful inputs.

The only solution in such cases is to correct the error.
Until runoff elections are held in conformity with the law, we will still have two Presidents.
Only one of them can be the rightful one.

Critics of President Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech

Critics of President Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech

February 15, 2021

from Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

The only optimistic part of President Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech is, “We’re also stepping up our diplomacy to finish the war in Yemen — a war which has produced a humanitarian and strategic catastrophe. I’ve asked my Middle East squad to ensure our support for the United Nations-led initiative to enforce a truce, open humanitarian channels, and restore long-dormant peace talks. This morning, Secretary Blinken appointed Tim Lenderking, a career foreign policy officer, as our special representative to the Yemen war. And I appreciate his doing this. Tim is a life — has a lifetime of experience in the region, and he’ll work with the U.N. representative and all parties of the conflict to push for a diplomatic resolution. And Tim’s diplomacy will be reinforced by USI- — USAID, working to guarantee that humanitarian aid reaches the Yemeni people suffering un- — an unendurable [sic] — unendurable destruction. This war has to finish. And to underline our commitment, we are terminating all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales. Mr. Secretary, it’s great to be here with you. And I’ve been seeing forward a long time to be able to call you “Mr. Secretary.”

It is yearned that there will be an end to bloodshed and loss of human lives.

The most important is he believed, “As I said in my opening address, we will heal our alliances and involve with the world once again, not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s. American leadership must encounter this new era of advancing authoritarianism, including the growing ambitions of China to rival the United States and the determination of Russia to damage and disorder our democracy.”

He pointed out to strengthen alliances to counter China and Russia. It means a new cold-war he is going to launch. The world has hurt a lot during the cold war from the 1850s to the 1980s. Although the former USSR was disintegrated as a result of cold-war, the rest of the world has suffered a lot. There is a fear that if a new cold war is initiated against Russian and China, it will divide the world again, hate will be promoted. The lessons learned from the previous cold-war promoted understanding, tolerance, cooperation, and harmony, to develop the world into a better place for our next-generations.

On the other hand, ex-President Trump has annoyed and humiliated the allies so much that some are unwilling to be part of any alliance created to spread hate and coerce any other nation.

The most important ally, Germany, is annoyed, and Chancellor Angela Merkel alleged that the “cold war of alliance” is a new diplomacy devising type since the United States’ Biden administration came to power. It is “the starkest manifestation that one country resists the growth of another country.” Germany believes that China has the right to the upswing. The United States has no right to force other European countries into compliance with the “selfishness” practice of serving the United States. She has condemned the US Biden administration for “forming gangs” against China. The “cold war alliance” act open-minded European countries and the World why Germany asserted this position. She made it clear that Germany will not participate in any US-led activities aimed at “encirclement and suppression” China. She also endorses other countries not to join in this “hegemonic” behavior! Because it will procure no other benefits besides damaging European unity and world economic recovery! She said that the new U.S. Secretary of State Blincoln unabashedly dispensed new threats and sanctions against China in Washington. At the same time, he harshly condemned Europe and should not sign an investment treaty with China behind its back. Great disgust, anxiety, and restlessness in Europe.

Spain, France, and Switzerland shared similar views. Youth in Europe are quite mature and are opposing any initiative for the cold-war.

Regarding the U.S. as custodian of democracy is a false narrative. The U.S. was involved in killing democracy in some of the countries and supporting dictatorship in many countries. The toplinig of democratically elected Adil Morsey, the President of Egypt, is a typical example. Supporting General Sesi is openly supporting dictatorship. U.S. history is full of hypocrisy where they have openly endorsed dictators in their own interests. In the Middle-east, Africa, and many other parts of the world, the U.S. is standing with certified dictators. Even today, the U.S. is supporting many dictators around the globe. The U.S. has double standards and stands with dictators when their interests coincide.

Regarding human rights, the U.S. was using human rights as a political tool to coerce some countries while engaged in human rights violations in the middle-East, Latin America, South America, Africa, and other parts of the world, etc. President Joe Biden was part of policymaking under various presidents in the past to launch a crusade against Muslims, war-crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. He may be in the habit of dictating American terms and conditions during the unipolar world. He may need to change this type of mindset.

Recently, the U.S. uses this tool to coerce China and make propaganda of Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues and keep criminals silent on Human rights violations in Kashmir and Palestine. India and the State of Israel are the two countries that have surpassed the record of human rights violations, but the U.S. is being a close ally with them, kept eyes closed.

Although President Joe and Trump’s rivalry is their internal issue, it seems that President Joe is determined to undo all initiatives and policies launched by President Trump. From Pandemic to foreign policies, he has indicated to reverse Trump’s policies. He has hinted out undo troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, as announced by President Trump earlier. It might have severe consequences on the regional peace and stability. However, President Joe Biden’s approach to re-engage Iran for Nuclear Deal is positive thinking.

President Joe has been served under various Administrations during the last few decades. He is well-matured, well-mannered, and familiar with diplomatic etiquettes, and may not embarrass others. But President Joe is still in the mindset of a unipolar world, where the U.S. was the only superpower. He needs to re-evaluate the geopolitics and understand the revival of Russia and the rise of China. With this changed geopolitics, he needs to assert in an acceptable manner. His team, especially the scholars, intellectuals, and think tanks , may advise him appropriately.

The world needs peace and stability much more than ever. Understanding, tolerance, and harmony is the only option to cooperate with each other to turn the world into a safer place to live with dignity and honor. Any initiative to serve humanity is welcomed, and any policy disgracing humankind is rejected by all equally.

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

Washington to Organize Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to Challenge Russia in the Black Sea

By Paul Antonopoulos

Global Research, February 15, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

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One of Washington’s main strategic objectives is to consolidate and organize Eastern European states to oppose and contain Russia. Supporting Black Sea countries against Russia has become a major American priority as Turkey is now an unreliable partner, and therefore Washington is attempting to create a new alliance officially outside of the NATO structure but attached to it indirectly. The creation of a military bloc between Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova is a Washington-led initiative, but is unlikely to have any major impact in limiting Russian influence.

Last week, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba revealed details of his conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Kuleba said that Kiev, with the support of Washington, will start forming a trilateral military alliance comprising of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. Although Moldova is not directly on the Black Sea like Ukraine and Georgia, it does have relatively easy access via the Port of Giurgiulești on the Danube River. The bold statements by Kiev’s leaders do not usually provoke significant global interest, but this is special as the order came directly from the White House. Therefore, it unsurprisingly proves a continuation of Washington’s hostile policies towards Russia under new U.S. President Joe Biden.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, almost immediately after Blinken’s endorsement, began to check the combat readiness of his troops in Donbass and stopped the transmission of “pro-Russian” television stations on February 3. Then a week later on February 10, Ukraine made a provocative proposal to NATO by urging the Alliance to use the airspace in the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR) over Russia’s Crimean Peninsula for its operations.

The Simferopol FIR includes Ukraine’s Kherson Oblast, the Crimean Peninsula and the central part of the Black Sea. International air routes over Crimea have been banned by Eurocontrol (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) as the Simferopol dispatch center is Russian operated and the only flights to Crimea come from Russia. The sky above the peninsula and the adjacent waters of the Black and Azov Seas are effectively protected by the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Russian Navy. Therefore, Ukraine’s invitation for NATO to fly over Crimea with military aircraft is an insidious military ingenuity and an attempt by Zelensky to force the Alliance into a conflict with Russia.Georgia and Ukraine Joining NATO Will Likely Have the Opposite Effect Against Russia

The intensification of Ukrainian military operations in Donbass, even with the promised support of the U.S., will only lead to a new humanitarian catastrophe, but more importantly a changing of the frontlines that will not be in Kiev’s favor. We cannot overlook that the Donbass People’s Militia defeated the Ukrainian Armed Forces and their advance was only halted because of orders from Moscow. President Vladimir Putin has already announced that he will never allow the repression of Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine to occur, but authorities in Kiev have not shown any sign in ending their hostilities.

Kiev, as well as decisionmakers in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, dream of complete NATO support in any future war against Russia. Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia in 2008 and Ukraine’s military actions against Donbass in 2014 should serve as stark reminders that NATO is not willing to go to war with Russia for their sake. This is even despite Washington’s encouragement for these countries to be openly hostile against Russia.

In the Global Firepower military ranking, Poland ranks 23. The Pentagon has promised to assist Warsaw within five days of any conflict breaking out. However, recent computer simulations of a possible conflict between Poland and an adversary from its east (i.e. Russia) suggest that assistance will be shortcoming. Given the logistical problems, a five-day transfer of U.S. troops to Poland is an overly optimistic forecast. Using the realistic background of Poland which directly borders several friendly states, such as Germany which has a huge contingent of American soldiers, the geographical separation between Ukraine and Georgia is discouraging if they are supposed to be in an alliance to counter and/or contain Russia.

A hypothetical military bloc between Ukraine (ranked 25 by Global Firepower), Georgia (ranked 92) and Moldova (ranked 107) seems extremely unconvincing in being able to contain Russia. Although Moldova has a “non-aligned” Constitution, new Russophobic President Maia Sandu is more than willing to carry out demands made by Washington.

The U.S. and NATO are attempting to turn the post-Soviet space into a state of permanent military hostility and conflict as they believe it is the best guarantee for Western countries to keep Russia distracted and weak. However, close coordination between Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova is unlikely to be a major concern for Russia in security terms as they don’t have navies.

As Turkey has become an unreliable NATO member, the U.S. is hedging their bets on NATO members Bulgaria and Romania, and NATO-friendly states like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, to serve Turkey’s role in pressuring Russia in the Black Sea. Although the U.S. and Turkey conducted military exercises in the Black Sea to the condemnation of Moscow only days ago, there is little suggestion that if a conflict broke out in the Black Sea involving NATO and Russia, Turkey will commit to its Alliance obligations. It is for this reason that Washington is pushing Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to more closely cooperate with NATO against Russia despite not being Alliance members.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

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Problems of the new US foreign policy (4) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (4)

 Researcher and political economist and 
former Secretary General of the
 Arab National Congress

 Ziad Hafez

Part four : Some files in the Arab world

We will enter here to some of the intertwined files related to the Arab world though each separate file has its own reasons. But the intertwining of history and geography makes it difficult to approach the files independently of one another. The new administration, like all previous administrations, looks at the various arenas from a geostrategic perspective and not as separate files, although in some cases it is necessary to divide the matter because of the difficulties facing US politics.

The files of Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Lebanon are what concern us in the first degree because they are the arenas of the ongoing struggle in the region. The question we are asking is what can the United States do? In this context, it must be recalled that the line of the American role is a regressive line. After the failure of direct military engagement in the region through the faltering American project in Iraq and the emergence of the Baker-Hamilton Committee, which imposed a reconsideration of the way in dealing with the countries of the region, the Barack Obama era had launched the theory of smart force or proxy war. The exploitation of the Arab peoples’ resentment against their rulers was through the so-called Arab Spring. The bet was that changing the regimes in the countries loyal to the United States and enabling moderate Islamic groups from Turkey to Morocco to establish a solid base for an American century in the Arab world. But the stubbornness in dealing with Syria, contributed to the stumbling of the project in Egypt, led to the global war, still going against Syria. However, the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab Army and the people gathered around its leadership thwarted the American project in Syria.

The Trump era was an extension of Obama’s policy, with his repeated calls for the withdrawal of American forces, which the deep state had opposed. The statements of the former US envoy in charge of the Syrian file, James Jeffrey, acknowledge that US President Donald Trump was defrauded to thwart the attempts to withdraw American forces from eastern and northeastern Syria. Today, Jeffrey, in an article in « Foreign Affairs », calls on President Biden to continue the policy of sanctions and starvation against Syria and to make Syria a swamp to drain Russia, as happened in Afghanistan in the eighties of the past century. The goal was and remains to overthrow the regime and topple President Assad. So the law of Caesar, to strangle Syria economically and prevent the re-reconstruction. But all of this did not lead to the desired results . So what next?  If the direct engagement has failed to achieve its goals despite the occupation of Iraq and the overthrow of the regime, and if the United States global war on Syria failed  by proxy, what remained in the American arsenal ? More of force, or review of that policy?  The steadfastness of the Syrian people, gathered around their leadership and army, was not taken into consideration. 
In our estimation, we do not believe that the new administration will be able to frustrate the will of the people to withstand and reject the military dictates. The day will also come for the conviction of the various ruling elites in the Arab world that what the US administration wants or does has no value. What is important is what Arab societies do, and the focus is on what they want without concern for the opinion of others.

Biden backs down in front of Syria as Obama?

The tendency of the nominated officials to put more pressure on Syria through supporting the fanatic armed groups, and the “SDF” is not new and the balance of power in the field negates the effectiveness of that policy. Moreover the severe internal division, the United States cannot justify direct involvement as compensation for the failure of the proxy war.

In this context, we refer to an interview conducted by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with Michael Morrell, former Director-General of the Central (CIA) on the program “Intelligence Matters” (Intelligence Matters) broadcast by the American “CBSB” station (which confirms the organic relationship between intelligence and corporate media!. This interview, conducted in late 2020, reflect the biblical role of the United States in preserving the empire and manifested destiny that confirms its exceptionalism. In that interview, he said that there is a need not to directly implicate US forces in what he called “permanent wars,” but this does not prevent “limited operations” carried out by the Special Forces to support local agents in their implementation of the required agendas. Here, the “SDF” will receive military support from the United States. What supports Blinken’s position is the statement of Trey McGurk, who succeeded James Jeffrey. Terry McGurk resigned in 2019 from his duties in following up the Syrian file, when Trump expressed his desire to withdraw the American forces from Syria. McGurk wants more American military presence in Syria. In recent weeks, we have witnessed the return of ISIS cells in the Badia, the attempts to sabotage reconciliation in southern Syria, and the provocative operations of the “SDF” forces in the northeast of Syria. All of this happened after the presidential elections and before Biden assumed the reins of power, but these measures have the approval of Secretary of State Blinken and are indicative of their continuation. On the other hand, and in the context of trying to polish the image of the United States, there is talk in the American corridors about the possibility of an implicit understanding for Russia to hand over the Syrian file to ensure the security of the Zionist entity. If the Russian initiative succeeds in securing the entity’s security, that means not supporting the strategy and objectives of the Axis of Resistance, then this is a gain for the United States and the entity. And if those efforts falter, then for every incident there is a talk and the implicit understanding is disavowed. In our opinion, all these attempts only indicate the inability of the United States to initiate and change its backward trend in the region. There is no evidence that Russia will accept the “mission,” nor is there any indication that the Syrian state will respond to this initiative. The question becomes of able to bear more attrition? The American bet is that the endurance of the Syrian state is limited, and thus it will resort to making “concessions” to stop the economic and social deterioration, and these “concessions” will bring about the “desired change” by the Americans and Zionists. On the other hand, however, the new administration cannot change the balance of power on the ground if the Syrian state proceeds to complete the restoration of the occupied territories in the north and east. Syria has allies who were and still committed to defending Syria defend Syria .

There are those who believe that any settlement with Iran will inevitably lead to “breakthroughs” in the Syrian file, without specifying what the breakthroughs are. They may think that it is due to some amendments to the constitution and the change in the top of the pyramid, but all of this are just wishes that are not based on material facts. Syria is not an instrument of the Islamic Republic, but an ally of it, and it has its own independent decision. Syria, which rejected the dictates of Colin Powell at the height of the American arrogance in the occupation of Iraq, will not bow to America, which hit the weakness and is on the threshold of decline because of the division of internal and because of the lack of ability to Expansion and impose its hegemony .

Do you return Rumsfeld’s theory ?

The Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni and Iraqi tension was the work of the Obama administration, in which Biden was a key partner. Does the latter pursue a different policy? Evidence to date indicates that Donald Rumsfeld’s theory is what controls the minds of the American elites, including the new administration: If force fails to achieve the goals, the solution is more power. During their tenure in the Obama administration, the nominated officials in the new administration had criticised Barack Obama for not using more force. The named officials are Zionists and thus their priority is the entity. The new president declared his Zionism, even though he was not a Jew, but a Catholic.

However, the balance of power on the ground neutralised all the means used to achieve the goals of the American administration. So what is “more power”? Despite declaring its commitment to the Zionist entity, the administration is not able to impose on the US Congress new war options in Syria in favour of the entity because the general mood in the turbulent atmosphere at home does not allow foreign adventures without guaranteed results, especially since Syria is no longer alone, but rather is part of a strong axis. The experience of 2013 indicates that at that time the balance of power was not in USA favour in launching a direct aggression against Syria, so was the Russian mediation and the solution to dismantling the chemical system. Today, the balance of power is more favourable to Syria than it was in 2013, so what remains for the United States is either to retreat or reduce the ceiling of the confrontation and be content with linking a conflict. What concerns the Syrian state is the exit of the American forces from the east of the Euphrates, and this is possible because the number is small and the logistical support for them is difficult, especially if they are completely removed from Iraq.

Regarding Iraq, we must not forget that Biden, since the presidency of Bush Jr., has been considering the division of Iraq. Here, too, the balance of power governs the administration’s policies, as the capabilities have become limited. The Iraqi political forces supporting the American presence could no longer call for that after the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, along with Qassem Soleimani. The bombings in central Baghdad on the first day of Biden’s mandate will not lead to the maintenance of the US forces under the pretext of the return of ISIS, which the United States claimed that it “defeated”! In fact, the opposite may happen. Understanding with the Iraqi government may contribute to facilitating the easy exit of US forces from Iraq, because the alternative to that is to repeat the scene of the forces leaving Vietnam.

Theater ready to stop war Yemen

With regard to Yemen, the theatre is set in the US Congress to stop the war and give the UN a role after instructing Saudi to stop the aggression. It has become clear that the Biden administration will cancel the designation imposed by the Trump in its last days. However, there are forces within the ruling coalition in the United States that will seek to maintain tension in Yemen. The American armament company Raytheon supplies weapons to the Saudis and the Gulf states. New Defence Minister Lloyd Austin is a member of the company’s board of directors. It is not clear who can decide the US position, and what we want to point out is the contradiction of interests within the coalition of forces supporting Biden, as we explained in the first part of this series.

As for the relationship with Saudi Arabia, the mood in the new administration is, until now, negative towards the crown prince and the style of government. The repeated statements of the new US president about the need to hold officials in Saudi Arabia accountable for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi are evidence of this. It is an indication of the nature of the expected relations between the new administration and the leadership in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the administration will stick to the “Abrahamic agreements” and may develop them after “changes” are implemented in Saudi Arabia. But the crown prince is not as weak as some imagine and that the administration’s options are limited here as well. But in any case, the relationship between the two capitals will not be a quiet relationship, at least in the first phase of Biden.

Most of the foreign policy team are Zionists

Regarding the Palestinian file, the president-elect declared his commitment to the two-state solution, but he did not disclose what was the fate of the settlements in Palestine or the fate of the capital. He will adhere to the decision to move the embassy (not forgetting that the decision was taken by the Congress in Clinton State) and will return to communication with the P-authority and facilitate financial transfers of the authority. On the other hand, the new administration’s commitment to the security of the entity is one of the constants of the ruling elites in America, but this commitment will not be dragged into adhering to Netanyahu, who we believe is on the way out of the political stage. All these measures are of a formal nature, because the new administration cannot provide anything radical, given that pressure is mounting within the Democratic Party to recognise the rights of the Palestinian people. But we must not forget that most of the foreign policy team of the new administration are Zionists, who will not allow any substantive “concession” towards the Palestinians. There is no justification for betting on new positions in the administration to give some impetus to the negotiation policy that has proven fruitless.

As for Libya, the disaster that struck it was the work of the Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton. The administration’s new foreign affairs officials were in the Obama administration and were still defending their policies at the time. It is not clear what the administration can offer, as there is no statement or writing for any of them about the complex Libyan file internationally and regionally. But we must point out that the delegate named to represent the United States in the United Nations and the Security Council, Linda Tomas Greenfield, is a long-standing diplomat of African descent. She was removed from the State Department in Trump’s state.  Prior to that, she held several positions in Africa such as Nigeria and Liberia. She stated some time ago, according to “Sputnik”, that all parties to the conflict, locally and internationally, should reduce the ceilings of demands and work to find a solution. It is not clear if this statement was a personal opinion or a reflection of a change in the US administration.

What role does Robert Malley have?

The last file is the Lebanese file. Until the preparation of this approach, no official in the new administration issued any position regarding Lebanon. Thus, what can be presented is based on Jeffrey Feltman’s statement more than a year ago before the Congressional Foreign Relations Committee. The new administration could adopt the approach of Feltman, who knows Lebanon well. We also have to take into account that the United States looks at the Lebanese file from the standpoint of the security of the Zionist entity and from the angle of interconnections with the various files in the region. The conclusion of Jeffrey Feltman’s approach is that pushing Lebanon over the abyss will not result in a positive outcome for the interests of the United States and the Zionist entity. Consequently, the pressures exerted on Lebanon must be reconsidered and accommodation as was the case in the Obama era with the resistance, as there is no allied regional power that can disarm the resistance in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1702. Linking the dispute may raise the veto on the participation of the party in one form or another in the government. It could also contribute to supporting the French initiative to financially rearrange the internal situation. But there is no sign that the new administration officials share that view.

On the other hand, there is a proliferation of talk in the American corridors about the major role of Robert Malle in approaching the Iranian, Palestinian and Lebanese file. Robert Malle is very close to Anthony Blinken. If it is proven that the talk in the  corridors is serious, then this means that diplomacy will play a major role in approaching the hot files in the region, which may be reflected in a solution, albeit limited, towards the Lebanese scene, especially since the tools of the United States have proven their disastrous failure repeatedly, and that there is no point in escalating the situation that may topple what remains. From the influence of the American role.

However, during the first 100 days of Biden’s term, the true directions of the new administration will be clearly seen. We believe it will not be too far from the approach we presented above.

These are some of the expectations in the hot files awaiting the administration, and we do not expect any change from the previous policies, whether only in style or tone. It is incapable of change and unable to continue. This is its dilemma, and the world’s countries are not responsible for solving the American impasse. The shifts in the field will produce the facts that will govern American policy, which one day becomes useless. It has no ability to wage new wars, even if its desire to do so is certain, and it has no ability to make concessions to reach settlements. The break-up of the American empire may coincide with the dissolution of the republic. At best, what the new administration will do is connect a conflict without solutions and without wars. At worst, it is a question of its existence as a superpower. The only danger lies in the continuation of the state of denial and consequently the committing of follies that accelerate their demise and the consequent loss of life.

Previous Parts

(4) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة

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باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

زياد حافظ

الجزء الرابع: بعض الملفات في الوطن العربي

ندخل هنا إلى بعض الملفّات المتعلّقة بالوطن العربي والمتشابكة وإنْ كان لكلّ ملفّ على حدة حيثياته الخاصة. لكن التشابك الناتج عن التاريخ والجغرافيا يجعل من الصعب مقاربة الملفّات بشكل مستقلّ عن بعضها البعض. والإدارة الجديدة كسائر الإدارات السابقة تنظر إلى مختلف الساحات من منظور جيواستراتيجي وليس كملفّات مستقلّة عن بعضها وإنْ اقتضى الأمر في بعض الحالات تجزئة الموضوع بسبب الصعوبات التي تواجهها السياسة الأميركية.

ملفات فلسطين وسورية والعراق واليمن وليبيا ولبنان هي ما تعنينا في الدرجة الأولى لأنها ساحات الصراع القائم في المنطقة. السؤال الذي نطرحه هو ماذا تستطيع ان تفعل الولايات المتحدة؟ في هذا السياق لا بدّ من التذكير بأنّ الخط البياني للدور الأميركي هو خط تراجعي. فبعد فشل الانخراط المباشر العسكري في المنطقة عبر تعثّر المشروع الأميركي في العراق وبروز لجنة بيكر هاملتون التي فرضت إعادة النظر في الطريقة في التعامل مع دول الإقليم، كانت حقبة باراك أوباما قد أطلقت نظرية القوّة الذكية أو الحرب بالوكالة. فكان استغلال نقمة الشعوب العربية على حكّامها عبر ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي. الرهان كان أنّ تغيير الطقم الحاكم في الدول الموالية للولايات المتحدة وتمكين مجموعات إسلامية معتدلة متواصلة من تركيا إلى المغرب لتثبيت قاعدة متينة لقرن أميركي في الوطن العربي. لكن الاستعصاء كان في التعامل مع سورية ساهم في تعثر المشروع في مصر فكانت الحرب الكونية التي قادتها الولايات المتحدة على سورية وما زالت حتى الساعة. لكن صمود الجيش العربي السوري والشعب الملتفّ حول قيادته أفشل المشروع الأميركي في سورية.

حقبة ترامب كانت امتداداً لسياسة أوباما مع مطالبته المتكرّرة بسحب القوّات الأميركية التي عارضته الدولة العميقة. تصريحات المبعوث الأميركي السابق المولج بالملف السوري جيمس جيفري تقر بأنه تمّ التحايل على الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب لإفشال محاولات سحب القوّات الأميركية من شرق وشمال شرق سورية. واليوم يدعو جيفري في مقال له في مجلّة «فورين أفيرز» الرئيس بايدن إلى الاستمرار بسياسة العقوبات والتجويع ضدّ سورية وجعل سورية مستنقعاً لاستنزاف روسيا كما حصل في أفغانستان في الثمانينيات من القرن الماضي. فالهدف كان وما زال قلب النظام والإطاحة بالرئيس الأسد. أضف إلى ذلك فإنّ قانون قيصر الذي تمّ بموافقة الحزبين الديمقراطي والجمهوري هدفه خنق سورية اقتصادياً ومنع إعادة إعمارها وذلك لتعزيز النقمة الداخلية وفرص انتفاضة على نظام الحكم. لكن كلّ ذلك لم يؤدّ إلى النتائج المرجوة. فماذا بعد؟ فإذا كان الانخراط المباشر قد فشل في تحقيق أهدافه رغم احتلال العراق وقلب النظام وإذا فشلت الحرب الكونية على سورية بالوكالة عن الولايات المتحدة فماذا بقي في الترسانة الأميركية؟ المزيد من القوة والضغط أم مراجعة لتلك السياسة؟ فصمود الشعب السوري الملتفّ حول قيادته وجيشه لم يكن في الحسبان وأفشل كلّ المحاولات. وفي تقديرينا لا نعتقد أنّ الإدارة الجديدة تستطيع أن تحبط من عزيمة الشعب في الصمود ورفض الإملاءات العسكرية. كما سيأتي يوم تترسّخ القناعة عند مختلف النخب الحاكمة في الوطن العربي أنّ ما تريده الإدارة الأميركية أو تقوم به لا يعنيها ولا قيمة لها. المهمّ هو ما تقوم به المجتمعات العربية والتركيز هو على ما تريده دون الاكتراث إلى رأي الآخرين.

بايدن يتراجع أمام سورية كما أوباما؟

آراء المسؤولين المسمّين لتولي السياسة الخارجية توحي أنّ الميل سيكون إلى المزيد من الضغوط على سورية والدفع نحو التقسيم. ذلك سيكون عبر دعم المجموعات المسلّحة وإنْ كانت من جماعات التعصّب والغلوّ والتوحّش يضاف إليهم مجموعة «قسد». لكن موازين القوّة في الميدان تنفي فعالية تلك السياسة. وليس بمقدور الولايات المتحدة في ظلّ الانقسام الحادّ الداخلي إمكانية تبرير تورّط مباشر تعويضاً عن فشل الحرب بالوكالة. ونشير في هذا السياق إلى مقابلة أجراها وزير الخارجية أنطوني بلينكن مع مايكل موريل المدير العام السابق بالوكالة لوكالة الاستخبارات المركزية (سي أي آي) على برنامج «قضايا استخبارية» (انتليجنس ماترز) الذي تبثّه محطة «سي، بي، أس» الأميركية (ما يؤكّد العلاقة العضوية بين الاستخبارات والإعلام الشركاتي!). جاء في هذه المقابلة التي أجريت في أواخر 2020 والتي لم تخلُ من العبارات التي تؤكّد النظرة التوراتية لدور الولايات المتحدة في الحفاظ على الإمبراطورية لأنّ ذلك قدرها المتجلّي الذي يؤكّد استثنائيتها. وفي تلك المقابلة قال إنّ هناك ضرورة لعدم توريط مباشر للقوات الأميركية في ما سمّاه بـ «الحروب الدائمة» ولكن هذا لا يمنع من «عمليات محدودة» تقوم بها القوّات الخاصة لدعم عملاء محلّيين في تنفيذهم للأجندات المطلوبة. هنا تحضر «قسد» التي ستتلقّى دعماً عسكرياً من الولايات المتحدة. وما يدعم موقف بلينكن تصريح المسؤول الجديد القديم عن الملفّ السوري تري مكغورك الذي خلف جيمس جيفري. فتري مكغورك كان قد استقال سنة 2019 من مهامه في متابعة الملف السوري عندما عبّر ترامب عن رغبته بسحب القوّات الأميركية من سورية. ومكغورك يريد المزيد من التواجد العسكري الأميركي في سورية. وشاهدنا في الأسابيع الماضية عودة خلايا داعش في البادية ومحاولات تخريب المصالحة في جنوب سورية والعمليات الاستفزازية لقوّات «قسد» في الشمال الشرقي لسورية. كلّ ذلك حصل بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية وقبل تسلم بايدن مقاليد السلطة، غير أنّ هذه الإجراءات تحظى بموافقة وزير الخارجية بلينكن وتدلّ على استمرارها.

من جهة أخرى، وفي سياق محاولة تلميع صورة الولايات المتحدة هناك حديث في الأروقة الأميركية عن إمكانية تفاهم ضمني لتسليم روسيا الملف السوري لضمان أمن الكيان الصهيوني. فإذا نجحت المبادة الروسية في تأمين أمن الكيان، يعني عدم دعم استراتيجية وأهداف محور المقاومة، فهذا مكسب للولايات المتحدة والكيان. وإذا تعثرت تلك الجهود فلكلّ حادث حديث ويتمّ التنصّل من التفاهم الضمني. في رأينا، كلّ هذه المحاولات لا تدلّ إلاّ على عجز الولايات المتحدة في المبادرة وتغيير المنحى التراجعي لها في المنطقة. وليس هناك من دليل أنّ روسيا ستقبل بـ «المهمة» كما ليس هناك من مؤشر أنّ الدولة السورية ستتجاوب مع تلك المبادرة. المسألة تصبح من يستطيع أن يتحمّل أكثر الاستنزاف؟ الرهان الأميركي هو أنّ قدرة التحمّل للدولة السورية محدودة وبالتالي ستلجأ إلى تقديم «تنازلات» لإيقاف التدهور الاقتصادي والاجتماعي وهذه «التنازلات» ستأتي بـ «التغيير المنشود» أميركياً وصهيونياً. ولكن في المقابل لا تستطيع الإدارة الجديدة تغيير موازين القوّة على الأرض إذا ما أقدَمت الدولة السورية على استكمال استعادة الأراضي المحتلة في الشمال والشرق. فلسورية حلفاء كانوا وما زالوا ملتزمين في الدفاع عن سورية.

وهناك من يعتقد أنّ أيّ تسوية مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ستؤدّي حتماً على «انفراجات» في الملّف السوري دون تحديد ما هي الانفراجات. ربما يعتقدون أنها تعود إلى بعض التعديلات في الدستور والتغيير في رأس الهرم، ولكن كلّ ذلك مجرّد تمنّيات لا تستند إلى وقائع مادية يمكّنها من تحقيقها. فسورية ليست أداة للجمهورية الإسلامية بل حليفة لها ولها قرارها المستقلّ. وسورية التي رفضت إملاءات كولين باول في ذروة الغطرسة الأميركية في احتلال العراق لن ترضخ لأميركا التي أصابها الوهن وهي على عتبة الأفول فالانهيار بسبب الانقسام الداخلي وبسبب عدم قدرتها على التوسّع وفرض هيمنتها.

هل تعود نظرية رامسفيلد؟

التوتّر السوري والليبي واليمني والعراقي من صنع إدارة أوباما الذي كان بايدن شريكاً أساسياً فيها. فهل ينتهج الأخير سياسة مغايرة؟ الدلائل حتى الساعة تفيد أنّ نظرية دونالد رامسفيلد هي التي تتحكّم في عقل النخب الأميركية بما فيها الإدارة الجديدة: إذا فشلت القوّة في تحقيق الأهداف فالحلّ هو المزيد من القوّة. المسؤولون المسمّون في الإدارة الجديدة كانوا قد وجّهوا خلال عملهم في إدارة أوباما انتقاداتهم لباراك أوباما لعدم استعمال المزيد من القوّة. والمسؤولون المسمّون هم من الصهاينة وبالتالي أولويتهم الكيان. والرئيس الجديد أعلن عن صهيونيته وإن لم يكن يهودياً بل هو كاثوليكيّ.

لكن موازين القوّة على الأرض حيّدت كافة الوسائل المستعملة لتحقيق أهداف الإدارة الأميركية. فما هو «المزيد من القوّة»؟ ليس بمقدور الإدارة رغم إعلان التزامها بالكيان الصهيوني أن تفرض على الكونغرس الأميركي خيارات حرب جديدة في سورية لصالح الكيان لأنّ المزاج العام في الأجواء المضطربة في الداخل الأميركي لا يسمح لمغامرات خارجية غير مضمونة النتائج خاصة أنّ سورية لم تعد بمفردها بل هي جزء من محور قوي يستطيع إيقاع الخسائر الفادحة بالمصالح الأميركية والصهيونية في المنطقة. كما أنّ تحالفات سورية الدولية تمكنها من تحييد العمل الانفرادي الذي قد تقدم عليه الولايات المتحدة. فتجربة 2013 تشير إلى أنّ آنذاك لم تكن موازين القوّة لصالح الولايات المتحدة في شنّ عدوان مباشر على سورية فكانت الوساطة الروسية وحلّ تفكيك المنظومة الكيمياوية. اليوم، موازين القوّة أكثر ميلاً لصالح سورية مما كانت عليها سنة 2013 فما يبقى للولايات المتحدة إما التراجع وإما تخفيض سقف المواجهة والاكتفاء بربط نزاع. ما يهمّ الدولة السورية هو خروج القوّات الأميركية من شرق الفرات وهذا ممكن لأنّ العدد قليل واللوجستية الداعمة لها صعبة خاصة إذا ما تمّ إخراجها كلّياً من العراق.

في ما يتعلّق بالعراق، لا يجب أن ننسى أنّ بايدن منذ ولاية بوش الابن ينظّر لتقسيم العراق. هنا أيضاً موازين القوّة تحكم سياسات الإدارة حيث أصبحت الإمكانيات محدودة. والقوى السياسية العراقية المؤيّدة للوجود الأميركي لم يعد باستطاعتها الدعوة إلى ذلك بعد اغتيال أبي مهدي المهندس ومعه قاسم سليماني. والتفجيرات في وسط بغداد في أوّل يوم من ولاية بايدن لن يؤدّي إلى إبقاء القوّات الأميركية بحجة عودة داعش التي ادّعت الولايات المتحدة أنها «هزمتها»! بل العكس قد يحصل. فالتفاهم مع الحكومة العراقية قد يساهم في تسهيل الخروج الميسّر للقوات الأميركية من العراق لأنّ البديل عن ذلك هو تكرار مشهد خروج القوّات من فيتنام. ستحافظ الإدارة الأميركية على علاقات وثيقة مع إقليم كردستان غير أنّ كلّ ذلك لن يمنع تكريس الانكفاء من العراق وسورية. لكن هذا لا يعني أنّ الساحة العراقية ستنعم بالهدوء بل العكس كما تبيّن من الانفجارات الأخيرة. المسألة ستكون في ضبط الإيقاع بين التوتر والتفاوض والكرة في ملعب القيادات العراقية.

المسرح مهيّأ لوقف حرب اليمن

في ما يتعلّق باليمن فالمسرح مهيّأ في الكونغرس الأميركي لإيقاف الحرب وإعطاء الدور للأمم المتحدة بعد الإيعاز لبلاد الحرمين بوقف العدوان. وبات واضحاً أنّ إدارة بايدن ستنظر في موضوع تصنيف الحوثيين كمجموعة إرهابية وإلغاء التصنيف الذي فرضته إدارة ترامب في أيامها الأخيرة. لكن هناك قوى داخل التحالف الحاكم في الولايات المتحدة ستسعى للحفاظ على التوتر في اليمن. شركة التسليح الأميركية رايثيون تورّد أسلحة لبلاد الحرمين ودول الخليج ووزير الدفاع الجديد لويد اوستن عضو مجلس إدارة الشركة. ليس من الواضح من يستطيع حسم الموقف الأميركي، وما نريد أنّ نشير إليه هو تناقض المصالح داخل تحالف القوى الداعمة لبايدن كما أوضحناه في الجزء الأول من هذه السلسلة.

أما العلاقة مع بلاد الحرمين فالمزاج السائد في الإدارة الجديدة سلبي حتى الساعة تجاه ولي العهد وأسلوب الحكم. التصريحات المتكرّرة للرئيس الأميركي الجديد حول ضرورة مساءلة المسؤولين في بلاد الحرمين حول اغتيال جمال الخاشقجي دليل على ذلك. انها مؤشر عن طبيعة العلاقات المرتقبة بين الإدارة الجديدة وقيادة بلاد الحرمين. في المقابل ستتمسّك الإدارة بـ «الاتفاقات الابراهيمية» وربما قد تطوّرها بعد إنجاز «تغييرات» في حكومة بلاد الحرمين. لكن ولي العهد ليس بالضعف الذي يتصوّره البعض وأنّ خيارات الإدارة الأميركية محدودة هنا أيضاً. لكن في مطلق الأحوال، لن تكون العلاقة بين العاصمتين علاقة هادئة على الأقلّ في المرحلة الأولى من ولاية بايدن.

معظم فريق السياسة الخارجية من الصهاينة

بالنسبة للملف الفلسطيني أعلن الرئيس المنتخب التزامه بحلّ الدولتين لكنه لم يفصح عما هو مصير المستعمرات في فلسطين ولا مصير العاصمة. سيتمسّك بقرار نقل السفارة (لا ننسى أنّ القرار اتخذ من قبل الكونغرس في ولاية كلينتون) وسيعود التواصل مع السلطة وتسهيل الحوالات المالية للسلطة. في المقابل التزام الإدارة الجديدة بأمن الكيان من ثوابت النخب الحاكمة في أميركا ولكن لن ينجر هذا الالتزام إلى التمسّك بنتنياهو الذي نعتقد أنه على طريق الخروج من المسرح السياسي. فكلّ هذه الإجراءات طابعها شكلي لأنه لا تستطيع الإدارة الجديدة تقديم أيّ شيء جذري علماً أنّ الضغوط تتصاعد داخل الحزب الديمقراطي للإقرار بحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني. لكن لا يجب أن ننسى أنّ معظم فريق السياسة الخارجية للإدارة الجديدة من الصهاينة الذين لن يسمحوا بأيّ «تنازل» جوهري تجاه الفلسطينيين. فليس هناك ما يبرّر المراهنة على مواقف جديدة في الإدارة ليعطي دفعاً ما لسياسة المفاوضات التي أثبتت عقمها.

بالنسبة لليبيا فإنّ الكارثة التي حلّت بها من صنع إدارة أوباما وخاصة من صنع هيلاري كلنتون. المسؤولون الجدد في الإدارة للشؤون الخارجية كانوا في إدارة أوباما وما زالوا يدافعون عن سياساتهم آنذاك. ليس من الواضح ما يمكن أن تقدم عليه الإدارة فليس أيّ تصريح أو كتابة لأيّ منهم حول الملف الليبي المعقد دولياً وعربياً وإقليمياً. لكن لا بدّ لنا من الإشارة إلى أنّ المندوبة المسمّاة لتمثيل الولايات المتحدة في الأمم المتحدة ومجلس الأمن ليندا تواماس غرينفيلد ديبلوماسية عريقة منحدرة من أصول أفريقية. وكانت قد أقصيت من وزارة الخارجية في ولاية ترامب. قبل ذلك شغلت مناصب عدة في أفريقيا كنيجيريا وليبيريا. صرّحت منذ فترة وفقاً لموقع «سبوتنيك» أنّ على كافة الأطراف المتنازعة محلّياً ودولياً تخفيض سقوف المطالب والعمل على إيجاد حلّ. ليس من الواضح إذا ما كان ذلك التصريح رأياً شخصياً أم انعكاساً لتغيير ما في الإدارة الأميركية.

أيّ دور لروبرت مالي؟

الملف الأخير هو الملف اللبناني. حتى إعداد هذه المقاربة لم يصدر أيّ موقف عن أيّ مسؤول في الإدارة الجديدة حول لبنان. وبالتالي ما يمكن عرضه مبني على مواقف سابقة للإدارة الديمقراطية وإفادة جيفري فيلتمان منذ أكثر من عام أمام لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في الكونغرس. ويمكن أن تتبنّى الإدارة الجديدة مقاربة فيلتمان الذي يعرف لبنان جيّداً. كما علينا الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أنّ الولايات المتحدة تنظر إلى الملف اللبناني من زاوية أمن الكيان ومن زاوية الترابط بالملفات المتعدّدة في الإقليم. خلاصة مقاربة جيفري فيلتمان هي أنّ دفع لبنان إلى الهاوية لن يأتي بمردود إيجابي لمصالح الولايات المتحدة والكيان الصهيوني. وبالتالي يجب إعادة النظر في الضغوط التي تمارس على لبنان والتساكن كما كان في عهد أوباما مع المقاومة حيث لا توجد أيّ قوّة إقليمية حليفة تستطيع نزع سلاح المقاومة وفقاً لقرار مجلس الأمن 1702. التساكن قد يرفع الفيتو على مشاركة الحزب بشكل أو بآخر في الحكومة. كما يمكن أن يساهم في دعم المبادرة الفرنسية لإعادة ترتيب الوضع الداخلي من الناحية المالية. لكن ليس هناك من أيّ دلائل أنّ المسؤولين الجدد في الإدارة يشاطرون ذلك الرأي.

من جهة أخرى تكاثر الكلام في الأروقة الأميركية عن دور كبير لروبرت مالي في مقاربة الملف الإيراني والفلسطيني واللبناني. وروبرت مالي مقرّب جدّاً من انطوني بلينكن. إذا ثبت أنّ الكلام الجاري في الأروقة جدّي فهذا يعني أنّ الدبلوماسية ستلعب دوراً كبيراً في مقاربة الملفات الساخنة في المنطقة قد تنعكس بحلحلة ولو محدودة تجاه المشهد اللبناني خاصة أنّ أدوات الولايات المتحدة أثبتت فشلها الذريع تكراراً، وأن لا جدوى من تصعيد الموقف الذي قد يطيح بما تبقّى من نفوذ للدور الأميركي.

على كلّ حال، خلال المئة اليوم الأولى من ولاية بايدن سيتبّن بشكل أوضح التوجهات الحقيقية للإدارة الجديدة. ونعتقد أنها لن تكون بعيدة عن المقاربة التي عرضناها أعلاه.

هذه بعض التوقّعات في الملفات الساخنة التي تنتظر الإدارة والتي لا نتوقع أيّ تعديل عن السياسات السابقة سواء فقط في الأسلوب واللهجة. فهي غير قادرة على التغيير وغير قادرة على الاستمرار. هذا هو مأزقها وليس مسؤولة دول العالم حلّ المأزق الأميركي. التحوّلات في الميدان ستفرز الوقائع التي ستحكم السياسة الأميركية التي تصبح يوماً بعض يوم غير ذي جدوى. فلا قدرة لها على شنّ حروب جديدة وإنْ كانت رغبتها في ذلك مؤكّدة ولا قدرة لها على تقديم تنازلات لعقد تسويات. فانفراط الإمبراطورية الأميركية قد تتلازم مع انحلال الجمهورية. في أحسن الأحوال ما ستقوم به الإدارة الجديدة هو ربط نزاع دون حلول ودون حروب. في أسوأ الأحوال بالنسبة لها مسألة وجودها ككيان لدولة عظمى. الخطورة تكمن فقط في استمرار حالة الإنكار وارتكاب بالتالي حماقات تسرّع في زوالها وما سيرافق ذلك من خسائر في الأرواح.

Previous Parts

Joe Biden Adopts a Trump Approach to Iran

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

An Analysis () by Lawrence Davidson

9 February 2021

Part I—Joe Biden, the Good Stuff

All right! Let’s hear it for Joe Biden! Our new president is leading us in the direction of domestic sanity, and there are even hints of progressive potential in his evolving agenda. Under his leadership, we might soon master the Covid-19 plague and dig ourselves out of our near-depression economic straits. This is terrific!

Some good news when it comes to foreign policy as well. You’ll remember that in Trump’s determination to “make “American great again” (MAGA), the former president decided that international organizations and cooperation were impediments to national greatness. Thus, he systematically withdrew from a number of alignments and also scorned international law. This approach appears to have been part of a MAGA scheme to subvert international order. Its nihilistic undertones were highlighted by the creepy leaders who seemed to warm Trump’s heart. He found men such as the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, along with a long list of dictators ranging from Rodrigo Duterte in Philippines to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inEgypt, to be really congenial. There was also Trump’s warm admiration for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

President Biden has saved us from this sort of delinquency. He is now operating under new and saner marching orders: “diplomacy is back” and multilateralism is in. The U.S. has recommitted to the international effort to slow down global warming and has rejoined the World Health Organization. Biden has ended all participation in the immoral Yemen civil war and, so it is reported, told the Russians to keep their invasive cyber-fingers to themselves. 

At this point you might have the urge to celebrate what appears to be a full 180-degree turn from Donald Trump’s demented worldview. But hold on, that is not quite the case. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, it appears that a residual lawlessness can be found in at least one the Biden’s foreign policies. We can recognize it in the game he is playing with Iran. 

Part II—Scuttling the JCPOA

Recall that in 2015 then-President Obama invested a lot of political capital, not to mention putting forth a remarkable display of good sense, in helping to negotiate a multilateral agreement with Iran. This is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and it was multilateral because it included not just the U.S. and Iran but also the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China as well as Germany (collectively referred to as the P5+1). Basically, the agreement stated that, under a regime of international monitoring, Iran would forgo any development of nuclear weapons and convert its nuclear facilities to peacetime pursuits. In exchange, the P5+1 would lift all nuclear-related economic sanctions, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and the release of frozen assets. It was a rare display of effective diplomacy and it worked—until Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, unilaterally scuttled the deal. 

Trump withdrew from the agreement in early May 2018. By January 2020 he had increased the number of Iran-related sanctions to over one thousand. In 2019, Trump was suggesting that if Iran wanted to enter into new negotiations with the U.S., he would consider lifting some of the sanctions. Iran refused to begin the negotiating process over again with Trump. On 15 January 2021, five days before leaving office, Trump added new sanctions. Why did he display such maliciousness? Besides a bizarre hatred for anything Obama had achieved, and the disdain for international cooperation which supposedly stood in the way of his MAGA fantasies, there are other factors. Trump is a truly amoral schemer (we might think of him as a modern-day lawless Borgia). And so he almost naturally fell in with amoral regimes with active domestic lobbies in the U.S. (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), as well as a “pay to play” approach for the votes and donations of Americans who have a grudge against or fear of Iran. Here we can name not only the Zionists, but also the wealthy Iranians who took refuge in the U.S. after Iran’s 1979 revolution. Many of these are Iranian monarchists who want to see regime change in Iran through the return of a shah (king).

Under the circumstances, the Iranian government reaction has been understandable: they see themselves as the aggrieved party. They had negotiated the JCPOA in good faith. They had met the conditions of the agreement to the satisfaction of international monitors. The other side had failed to respond as promised. Not only had the U.S. broke the agreement without cause, but it had then blackmailed its European allies into breaking their commitments under the agreement. This was done by the Trump administration declaring that any party that broke Washington’s sanctions against Iran would themselves be sanctioned.

After a year or so, Iran, noting that it was the only party paying attention to the deal and that the sanctions still applied, began to slowly back away from the nuclear agreement’s provisions. However, it was not until January 2020 that the Iranians announced they would no longer limit their number of centrifuges and thus their capacity to enrich uranium. Even then it was not the obscene number of American sanctions or the gross failure of the Europeans to abide by their promises that finally “broke the camel’s back.” It was Trump’s ordering of the murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on 3 January 2020—essentially an act of war, and certainly one in violation of international law.

Part III—Joe Biden, the Bad Stuff

Now Trump is gone and we have Joe Biden, who, by the way, has not done the right thing and affirmed that his administration would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Instead he declared that “I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” (my emphasis). Later he said that the subsequent negotiations would involve the Islamic Republic’s “violations of human rights and Iran’s role in the regional conflicts.” On its face, this is not an invitation to return to a stabilizing status quo ante, or even a supposed “credible path back to diplomacy.” It is a take-it-or-leave-it demand. This position is remarkably similar to that of Trump posturing for new negotiations back in 2019. And since, as of 7 February 2021, Biden has refused to lift sanctions on Iran—has refused to cease driving that country into poverty—these are no longer Trump’s sanctions. Biden now owns this horror show. Here are some of Biden’s fatal steps.

It was about nine days into the new administration that Biden’s officials began to reference foreign policy and Iran. First appeared Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, who told the U.S. Institute of Peace that “a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they [Iran] move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon.” One wonders if Sullivan got his start in advertising, because his description is a purposeful mischaracterization of the situation. The descriptor “escalating nuclear crisis” is a woeful exaggeration. If there is any “crisis” at all, it is because Washington has failed to meet its commitments under the 2015 agreement. The Iranians have repeatedly made it clear that they have no interest in nuclear weapons. And, one can imagine the only thing that could change their mind is an existential outside threat. To date, the only ones that pose such threats are allies of the U.S.: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Then stepped up Tony Blinken, Biden’s new secretary of state, to continue the new administration’s maneuvers. To wit, Blinken stated “Tehran must resume complying with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal before Washington would do so.” This sort of statement is a rather childish, you-go-first challenge. Blinken then explained that if Iran returns to the deal, Washington would seek to build what Blinken called a “longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with other “deeply problematic” issues. He did not name these, but Biden for his part has drawn attention to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxy forces in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

It took the Iranians no time at all to recognize this gambit for what it is, an effort to enlarge restrictions on Iranian military capacity beyond the scope of the original 2015 agreement. Almost immediately, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, responded that the U.S. position was not practical and will not happen and then added in an op-ed in Foreign Affairs,“once a party leaves an agreement, then that party has no authority demanding others’ compliance to that agreement.”

The Iranians did come back with a more doable proposal to deal with the “who goes first” dilemma. Teheran proposed a timed, mutual U.S. and Iranian return to the original agreement. In an interview with CNN, the Iranian foreign minister said “both countries should synchronize their JCPOA-related moves under the supervision of the European Union”—in other words, achieve the goal with a step-by-step coordinated process. The Biden administration said no to Zarif’s offer, and sane minds, noting the rejection, could hear eerie Trump-like snickering in the surrounding ether. 

Part IV—Conclusion

We have already asked why Trump decided to act in such a malicious manner toward Iran. Now we can ask why Joe Biden has decided to mimic his predecessor and continue a callous, hard-line approach to that same country. As it turns out, the answer is not all that different. Biden is subject to the same lobby pressure from groups to which he has a demonstrated sympathy. Among these are some of the well known suspects mentioned above, but first and foremost are Israel and its Zionist supporters (a rundown of these can be found in a full-page ad in the 5 February 2021 New York Times). 

We can also add one other grouping to this list—various civil rights organizations who would use the moment to pressure Teheran to increase the level of civil liberties allowed in the country. However, as Behrooz Ghamari Tabriz, writing in  Counterpunch notes, “It is a hard sell for those who are genuinely concerned with the question of human rights to ask the American government to be the agent of that change. So long as our government supports the region’s most oppressive regimes, it is hard to imagine that it has any moral authority or political capital to spend on issues of human rights in Iran.”

It is hard to know what exactly is going on inside Joe Biden’s head on this issue. We can assume that it is nothing really analytical. His administration’s actions have, so far, run counter to the other precedents he is laying down in the areas of international cooperation and leadership. They also go against logic. One can imagine no better way to move the Iranians toward nuclear weapons capability than the policies now being pursued. Until Biden acts, in terms of Iran, in the interests of achievable nuclear restraint and stability, that is in the real interests of the country he leads, rather than this or that interest group, he will carry around the residual chains of Donald Trump’s miserable legacy. 

Why Israel is joining the Pentagon’s ‘Arab Nato’ لماذا تنضم “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة المركزية الأميركية

Israel’s inclusion in Centcom will further harm the Palestinian cause, drive a wedge between Arab states and raise the heat on Iran

Flags of the US, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem’s Old City in celebration of Israeli normalisation deals with the UAE and Bahrain, 15 September 2020 (AFP)
Jonathan CookJonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net

Jonathan Cook

2 February 2021 12:21 UTC 

With none of the usual fanfare associated with such a momentous decision, the Pentagon announced last month a major reorganisation to bring Israel – for the first time – inside its military command in the Middle East alongside the Arab states.

Until now, Israel has belonged to the US military’s European command, or Eucom, rather than the Middle Eastern one, known as Central Command, or Centcom. The decision effectively jettisoned the traditional wisdom that Israel’s inclusion in Centcom would increase friction between the US and Arab states, and would make the latter more reluctant to share intelligence or cooperate with the Pentagon. 

Those concerns were felt especially keenly when the US had large numbers of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back in 2010, David Petraeus, then Centcom’s commander, expressed fears that the price of too-overt military collusion with Israel could be exacted on US forces stationed in the region. 

But Israel’s long-standing goal has been to force the Pentagon to restructure Centcom, and pressure had mounted from pro-Israel lobby groups in Washington in the final months of the Trump administration. The decision looked very much like a “parting gift” to Israel from President Donald Trump as he stepped down.

Military ‘normalisation’

Israel’s formal transfer to Centcom has not yet taken place, but the move was cemented last week with the first visit to Israel by General Kenneth McKenzie, the current head of Centcom, since Joe Biden entered the White House. Alongside Israel’s military chief of staff, Aviv Kohavi, McKenzie planted a tree – officially to mark the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat but symbolically representing a new era in their strategic partnership. 

The decision to bring Israel inside Centcom is best viewed – from Washington’s perspective – as the culmination of efforts to push the Arab states into public ‘normalisation’ with Israel

On Friday, after a meeting with the US general, Benny Gantz, Israel’s defence minister, issued a statement praising the Pentagon’s reorganisation, saying it would “afford Israel opportunity to deepen cooperation with new regional partners and broaden operative horizons”.

The decision to bring Israel inside the US military command in the Middle East is best viewed – from Washington’s perspective – as the culmination of efforts to push the Arab states into public “normalisation” with Israel. 

Military normalisation can now be added to the political, diplomatic and economic normalisation that formally began last September when two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, signed the so-called Abraham Accords with Israel. Morocco and Sudan have also announced their own peace deals with Israel, and other Arab states are likely to follow suit once the dust settles with the incoming Biden administration. 

Since the signing of the Abraham Accords, the UAE has been forging strong trading ties with Israel and has helped to establish the Abraham Fund, designed to finance the infrastructure of occupation Israel has used to deprive the Palestinians of statehood. When flights to Dubai were launched in November, Israeli tourists poured into the UAE to take advantage of the new friendly relations and escape lockdown restrictions back home. 

In fact, it is widely reported that such visits have become one of the main ways Israel has imported new variants of Covid-19. Last week, Israel effectively closed its borders – except to General McKenzie – to keep the virus in check. 

Growing confidence

On the face of it, Israel’s desire to move into Centcom – a kind of Middle East Nato covering several Arab states with which Israel still has hostile relations – appears counter-intuitive. But, in fact, Israel will make major strategic gains. How Gulf states became business partners in Israel’s occupationRead More »

It will align US security interests in the region even more closely with Israel’s, at the expense of its Arab neighbours. It will aid Israel’s continuing efforts to crush the national ambitions of the Palestinians, with many Arab states’ either explicit or implicit cooperation. It will accentuate political tensions within the bloc of Arab states, further weakening it. And it will help to build pressure on recalcitrant Arab states to join the broader consensus against Israel’s one remaining significant regional foe: Iran.

It is significant that Washington’s long-standing concern about Israel’s presence in Centcom damaging US relations with the Arab states has apparently evaporated. 

Once, the US was careful to distance itself from Israel whenever the Pentagon got deeply mired in the region, whether it was the US Gulf war of 1990 or the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Those calculations no longer seem relevant.

The move demonstrates a growing US confidence that the Arab states – at least those that matter to Washington – are unperturbed about being seen to make a military accommodation with Israel, in addition to political and economic engagement. It underscores the fact that the oil-rich Gulf states, alongside Israel, are now the key drivers of US foreign policy in the region and suggests that the most important, Saudi Arabia, is waiting for the right moment to sign its own accord with Israel. 

Move out of the shadows

Israel, it is expected, will continue to conduct military exercises in Europe with Nato countries, but will soon be able to build similar direct relations with Arab armies, especially those being rapidly expanded and professionalised in the Gulf using its oil wealth. 

US Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. (L), Commander of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), shakes hands with Saudi military officers during his visit to a military base in al-Kharj in central Saudi Arabia on July 18, 2019.
US General Kenneth McKenzie (L), commander of US Central Command (Centcom), shakes hands with Saudi military officers on 18 July 2019 (AFP)

As the Israeli scholar Jeff Halper has noted, Israel has shown how effective it is at translating its military and security ties with armies and police forces around the world into diplomatic support in international bodies. 

The Middle East is not likely to be different. Once Israel has become the linchpin of more professionalised armies in the region, those states dependent on its help can be expected to further abandon the Palestinian cause.

Regional divide-and-rule

Another dividend for Israel will be complicating Washington’s relations with the Arab region. 

Not only does Centcom operate major bases in the Gulf, especially in Bahrain and Qatar, but it leads the proclaimed “war on terror”, with overt or covert operations in several Arab states, including Iraq and Syria. 

With Israel inside Centcom, the US and its most favoured Arab states are also likely to be more directly implicated in Israel’s major military operations against the Palestinians, such as the repeated ‘wars’ on Gaza

It will be harder for the US to disentangle itself from Israel’s own openly belligerent operations, including air strikes, in both countries, that are conducted in flagrant violation of international law. Tensions between the US and Baghdad have in the past escalated over Israeli air strikes in Iraq, with threats to limit US access to Iraqi airspace.  

With Israel inside Centcom, the US and its most favoured Arab states are also likely to be more directly implicated in Israel’s major military operations against the Palestinians, such as the repeated “wars” on Gaza. 

This will pose a significant challenge to the region’s cooperative institutions such as the Arab League. It is almost certain to drive an even deeper wedge between pro-Washington Arab states and those accused of being on the wrong side of the “war on terror”.

The result could be a regional divide-and-rule policy cultivated by Israel that mirrors the decades-long, disabling divisions Israel has generated in the Palestinian leadership, most pronounced in the split between Fatah and Hamas.

Anti-Iran front

The biggest bonus for Israel will be a more formal alliance with Arab states against Iran and shepherding more ambivalent states into Israel’s orbit. 

That appears to have been the purpose of the recently well-publicised reconciliation between the UAE and Saudis on one side and Qatar on the other, achieved in the dying days of the Trump administration. One of the chief causes of the lengthy blockade of Qatar related to its insistence on maintaining political and economic ties with Tehran.

the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps Hossein Salami (R) watching a launch of missiles during a military drill in an unknown location in central Iran
Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami (R), watches missiles being launched during a military drill in central Iran on 15 January 2021 (AFP)

Israel’s aim is to force the Biden administration’s hand in continuing Trump’s belligerent anti-Iran policy, which included aggressive sanctions, assassinations and tearing up the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran signed by Barack Obama. That deal had given inspectors access to Iran to ensure it did not develop a nuclear bomb that might neutralise the strategic clout Israel gains from its nuclear arsenal.

Once Israel has become the linchpin of more professionalised armies in the region, those states dependent on its help can be expected to further abandon the Palestinian cause

Inside Centcom, Israel will be able to work more closely with Gulf allies to sabotage any efforts inside Washington to revive the nuclear accord with Tehran. That point was underscored last week when an online security conference, hosted by Tel Aviv University, was attended by two Gulf ministers.

At the conference, Kochavi, Israel’s military chief of staff, issued an unprecedented public rebuke to Biden over recent statements that he wished to revive the nuclear deal. Kochavi called the agreement “bad and wrong strategically and operatively”, claimed that Iran would launch nuclear missiles at Israel once it had them, and declared that a go-it-alone attack by Israel “must be on the table”. 

Bahrain’s foreign minister, Abdullatif al-Zayani, observed that Israel and the Gulf states would have a better chance of preventing any US conciliation towards Iran if they spoke in a “unified voice”. He added: “A joint regional position on these issues will exert greater influence on the United States.” 

That view was echoed by Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s foreign affairs minister.

Middle East bogeyman

In a sign of how the Biden administration is already fearful of taking on a broad Middle Eastern alliance against Iran, the new president’s pick for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said last month it was “vitally important” to consult with Israel and the Gulf states before re-entering the deal.Is the UAE plotting with Israel against Palestinian refugees?Read More »

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, desperate to bolster his electoral fortunes and deflect attention from his looming corruption trial, has every incentive to prise open that chink. 

Ensuring Iran remains the Middle East’s number one bogeyman – the focus of western hostility – is in the joint interests of an Israel that has no intention of ending its decades-old obstruction of Palestinian statehood and of Gulf states that have no intention of ending their own human rights abuses and promotion of Islamic discord.

Mike Pompeo, Trump’s departing secretary of state, planted a landmine last month designed to serve Israeli and Saudi interests by highlighting the fact that a number of al-Qaeda leaders have found shelter in Iran. That echoed the Bush administration’s – in this case, entirely fanciful – claim of ties between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein as a pretext, along with non-existent WMD, for the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

With Israel’s arrival in Centcom, the lobbying for a repeat of that catastrophic blunder can only grow – and with it, the prospects for renewed conflagration in the Middle East.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition

“ميدل إيست آي”: لماذا تنضم “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة المركزية الأميركية

المصدر: ميدل إيست آي
11 شباط 12:24

إن انضمام “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة المركزية الأميركية سيزيد من إلحاق الضرر بالقضية الفلسطينية وسيدق إسفيناً بين الدول العربية ويزيد من حدة التوتر مع إيران.

صورة تجمع ماكينزي بغانتس وكوخافي خلال زيارته

كتب جوناثان كوك مقالة في موقع  “ميدل إيست آي” البريطاني قال فيه إن البنتاغون أعلن الشهر الماضي عن إعادة تنظيم كبيرة لإدخال “إسرائيل” – لأول مرة – داخل قيادتها العسكرية في الشرق الأوسط، القيادة المركزية الأميركية ، إلى جانب الدول العربية، وهذا القرار الخطير لم يحدث أي من الضجة المعتادة.

وأضاف: حتى الآن، تنتمي “إسرائيل” إلى القيادة الأوروبية للجيش الأميركي، أو ، بدلاً من القيادة في الشرق الأوسط، المعروفة باسم القيادة المركزية . لقد تخلص القرار بشكل فعال من الحكمة التقليدية القائلة بأن إدراج “إسرائيل” في القيادة المركزية الأميركية من شأنه أن يزيد الاحتكاك بين الولايات المتحدة والدول العربية، وسيجعل الأخيرة أكثر إحجاماً عن مشاركة المعلومات الاستخباراتية أو التعاون مع البنتاغون. فقد تم الشعور بهذه المخاوف بشكل خاص عندما كان للولايات المتحدة أعداد كبيرة من القوات في العراق وأفغانستان. في عام 2010، أعرب الجنرال ديفيد بتريوس، قائد القيادة المركزية الأميركية آنذاك، عن مخاوفه من احتمال دفع ثمن التواطؤ العسكري الصريح مع “إسرائيل” على القوات الأميركية المتمركزة في المنطقة.

لكن هدف “إسرائيل” الطويل الأمد كان إجبار البنتاغون على إعادة هيكلة القيادة المركزية، وقد تصاعد الضغط من جماعات الضغط المؤيدة لـ”إسرائيل” في واشنطن في الأشهر الأخيرة من إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب. وكان القرار يشبه إلى حد كبير “هدية وداع” لـ”إسرائيل” من ترامب أثناء تنحيه.

تطبيع عسكري

وأوضح الكاتب أنه لم يتم الانتقال الرسمي لـ”إسرائيل” إلى “سنتكوم” بعد، ولكن تم تعزيز هذه الخطوة مع أول زيارة الشهر الماضي إلى “إسرائيل” من قبل الجنرال كينيث ماكنزي، الرئيس الحالي للقيادة المركزية، منذ دخول الرئيس جو بايدن البيت الأبيض. إلى جانب رئيس أركان الجيش الإسرائيلي، أفيف كوخافي، زرع ماكنزي شجرة، رسمياً بمناسبة العيد اليهودي لتو بيشفات، لكنها تمثل رمزياً حقبة جديدة في شراكتهما الاستراتيجية.

وبعد اجتماع مع الجنرال الأميركي، أصدر بيني غانتس، وزير الأمن الإسرائيلي، بياناً أشاد فيه بإعادة تنظيم البنتاغون، قائلاً إنه “سيوفر لإسرائيل فرصة لتعميق التعاون مع شركاء إقليميين جدد وتوسيع آفاق العمل”.

وقال الكاتب إن قرار إدخال “إسرائيل” داخل القيادة العسكرية الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط – من وجهة نظر واشنطن – يعتبر تتويجاً لجهود دفع الدول العربية إلى “التطبيع” العلني مع “إسرائيل”. وأضاف: يمكن الآن إضافة التطبيع العسكري إلى التطبيع السياسي والدبلوماسي والاقتصادي الذي بدأ رسمياً في أيلول / سبتمبر الماضي عندما وقعت دولتان خليجيتان، الإمارات العربية المتحدة والبحرين، ما يسمى بـ”اتفاقات إبراهيم” مع “إسرائيل”. كما أعلن المغرب والسودان عن اتفاقيات السلام الخاصة بهما مع “إسرائيل”، ومن المرجح أن تحذو دول عربية أخرى حذوها بمجرد انتهاء الغبار مع إدارة بايدن.

وتابع كوك: منذ توقيع اتفاقات إبراهيم، أقامت الإمارات علاقات تجارية قوية مع “إسرائيل” وساعدت في إنشاء صندوق إبراهيم، المصمم لتمويل البنية التحتية للاحتلال الذي استخدمته “إسرائيل” لحرمان الفلسطينيين من إقامة دولة. وعندما تم إطلاق الرحلات إلى دبي في تشرين الثاني / نوفمبر، تدفق السياح الإسرائيليون على الإمارات للاستفادة من العلاقات الودية الجديدة والهروب من قيود الإغلاق في الوطن. ويُقال على نطاق واسع إن مثل هذه الزيارات أصبحت إحدى الطرق الرئيسية التي استوردت بها “إسرائيل” أنواعًا جديدة من  فيروس كوفيد -19 الشهر الماضي، إذ أغلقت “إسرائيل” حدودها فعلياً – باستثناء استقبال الجنرال ماكنزي – لإبقاء الفيروس تحت السيطرة.

ورأى الكاتب أنه في ظاهر الأمر، فإن رغبة “إسرائيل” في الانتقال إلى “سنتكوم ، وهو نوع من حلف شمال الأطلسي في الشرق الأوسط يغطي العديد من الدول العربية التي لا تزال “إسرائيل” لديها علاقات عدائية معها، تبدو غير بديهية. لكن في الواقع، ستحقق “إسرائيل” مكاسب إستراتيجية كبيرة. وستعمل على مواءمة المصالح الأمنية الأميركية في المنطقة بشكل أوثق مع مصالح “إسرائيل”، على حساب جيرانها العرب. وسوف تساعد جهود “إسرائيل” المستمرة لسحق الطموحات الوطنية للفلسطينيين، مع تعاون العديد من الدول العربية سواء بشكل واضح أو ضمني. وسيزيد من حدة التوترات السياسية داخل كتلة الدول العربية، ويزيد من إضعافها. وسيساعد على زيادة الضغط على الدول العربية المتمردة للانضمام إلى إجماع أوسع ضد العدو الإقليمي الوحيد المتبقي لـ”إسرائيل”: إيران.

وقال الكاتب “إن من الأهمية بمكان أن قلق واشنطن الطويل الأمد بشأن الوجود الإسرائيلي في القيادة المركزية الأميركية الذي يضر بعلاقات الولايات المتحدة مع الدول العربية قد تبخر على ما يبدو. فذات مرة، كانت الولايات المتحدة حريصة على إبعاد نفسها عن “إسرائيل” كلما غرق البنتاغون بعمق في المنطقة، سواء كانت حرب الخليج الأميركية عام 1990 أو غزو العراق واحتلاله عام 2003. هذه الحسابات لم تعد موجودة. فقد أظهرت هذه الخطوة ثقة الولايات المتحدة المتزايدة في أن الدول العربية – على الأقل تلك التي تهم واشنطن – غير منزعجة من أن يُنظر إليها على أنها تقدم تسوية عسكرية مع “إسرائيل”، بالإضافة إلى المشاركة السياسية والاقتصادية. إنه يؤكد حقيقة أن دول الخليج الغنية بالنفط، إلى جانب “إسرائيل”، أصبحت الآن المحركين الرئيسيين للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية في المنطقة، وتشير إلى أن أهمها، المملكة العربية السعودية، تنتظر اللحظة المناسبة لتوقيع اتفاقها الخاص مع إسرائيل”.

وأضاف: من المتوقع أن تستمر “إسرائيل” في إجراء التدريبات العسكرية في أوروبا مع دول حلف الأطلسي (الناتو)، لكنها ستتمكن قريباً من بناء علاقات مباشرة مماثلة مع الجيوش العربية، وخاصة تلك التي يتم توسيعها بسرعة واحترافها في الخليج باستخدام ثروتها النفطية. ومن المحتمل أن يخرج الضباط الإسرائيليون قريباً من الظل ويقومون بتدريب الجيوش الإماراتية والسعودية وتقديم المشورة لهم كجزء من أدوارهم المشتركة في القيادة المركزية. إن خبرة “إسرائيل” الخاصة، التي تعتمد على عقود من المراقبة والسيطرة والقمع للفلسطينيين، ستكون مطلوبة بشدة في دول الخليج التي تخشى المعارضة الداخلية أو الانتفاضات.

وكما أشار الباحث الإسرائيلي جيف هالبر، أظهرت “إسرائيل” مدى فعاليتها في ترجمة علاقاتها العسكرية والأمنية مع الجيوش وقوات الشرطة في جميع أنحاء العالم إلى دعم دبلوماسي في الهيئات الدولية. ومن غير المحتمل أن يكون الشرق الأوسط مختلفاً. فبمجرد أن تصبح “إسرائيل” العمود الفقري للجيوش الأكثر احترافاً في المنطقة، يمكن توقع أن تتخلى تلك الدول التي تعتمد على مساعدتها عن القضية الفلسطينية.

فرّق تسد 

ورأى الكاتب أن المكاسب الأخرى لـ”إسرائيل” ستكون تعقيد علاقات واشنطن مع المنطقة العربية. إذ لا تقوم القيادة المركزية الأميركية بتشغيل قواعد رئيسية في الخليج فقط، وخاصة في البحرين وقطر، ولكنها تقود “الحرب على الإرهاب” المعلنة، مع عمليات علنية أو سرية في العديد من الدول العربية، بما في ذلك العراق وسوريا. وسيكون من الصعب على الولايات المتحدة أن تنأى بنفسها عن عمليات “إسرائيل” العدائية العلنية، بما في ذلك الضربات الجوية، في كلا البلدين (سوريا والعراق)، والتي تتم في انتهاك صارخ للقانون الدولي. 

وأضاف: تصاعدت التوترات بين الولايات المتحدة وبغداد في الماضي بسبب الضربات الجوية الإسرائيلية في العراق، مع تهديدات بتقييد وصول الولايات المتحدة إلى المجال الجوي العراقي. لكن بوجود “إسرائيل” داخل القيادة المركزية الأميركية، فمن المرجح أيضاً أن تكون الولايات المتحدة والدول العربية المفضلة لديها أكثر تورطًا بشكل مباشر في العمليات العسكرية الإسرائيلية الكبرى ضد الفلسطينيين، مثل “الحروب” المتكررة على غزة. سيشكل هذا تحدياً كبيراً للمؤسسات التعاونية في المنطقة مثل جامعة الدول العربية. ويكاد يكون من المؤكد دق إسفين أعمق بين الدول العربية الموالية لواشنطن وتلك المتهمة بالوقوف في الجانب الخطأ من “الحرب على الإرهاب”.

وخلص الكاتب إلى أنه يمكن أن تكون النتيجة سياسة “فرق تسد” الإقليمية التي ترعاها “إسرائيل” والتي تعكس الانقسامات التي دامت عقوداً، والتي عطلتها “إسرائيل” في القيادة الفلسطينية، والتي تجلّت أكثر في الانقسام بين حركتي فتح وحماس.

الجبهة المناهضة لإيران

وأوضح الكاتب أن المكافأة الأكبر لـ”إسرائيل” ستكون تحالفاً أكثر رسمية مع الدول العربية ضد إيران ورعاية دول أكثر تردداً في فلك “إسرائيل”. ويبدو أن هذا الأمر كان الغرض من المصالحة التي تم الإعلان عنها أخيراً بين الإمارات والسعوديين من جهة وقطر من جهة أخرى، والتي تحققت في الأيام الأخيرة لإدارة ترامب. فمن الأسباب الرئيسية للحصار المطول على قطر إصرارها على الحفاظ على العلاقات السياسية والاقتصادية مع طهران. وتهدف “إسرائيل” إلى إجبار إدارة بايدن على مواصلة سياسة ترامب العدائية المناهضة لإيران، والتي تضمنت عقوبات صارمة واغتيالات وتمزيق الاتفاق النووي لعام 2015 مع طهران الذي وقعه الرئيس باراك أوباما. وقد سمح هذا الاتفاق للمفتشين بالدخول إلى إيران للتأكد من أنها لم تطور قنبلة نووية قد تكسر النفوذ الاستراتيجي الذي تكسبه “إسرائيل” من ترسانتها النووية. 

وتابع الكاتب: داخل القيادة المركزية -سنتكوم، ستكون “إسرائيل” قادرة على العمل بشكل أوثق مع حلفاء الخليج لتخريب أي جهود داخل واشنطن لإحياء الاتفاق النووي مع طهران. فقد أصدر كوخافي، رئيس أركان الجيش الإسرائيلي، توبيخاً علنياً غير مسبوق لبايدن بشأن التصريحات الأخيرة التي قال فيها إنه يرغب في إحياء الاتفاق النووي. ووصف كوخافي الاتفاق بأنه “سيء وخاطئ استراتيجياً وعملياً”، وادعى أن إيران ستطلق صواريخ نووية على “إسرائيل” بمجرد امتلاكها، وأعلن أن هجوم “إسرائيل” بمفردها “يجب أن يكون على الطاولة”.

وأشار وزير خارجية البحرين، عبد اللطيف الزياني، إلى أن “إسرائيل” ودول الخليج ستكون لها فرصة أفضل لمنع أي تسوية أميركية تجاه إيران إذا تحدثت “بصوت موحد”. وأضاف: “الموقف الإقليمي المشترك بشأن هذه القضايا سيكون له تأثير أكبر على الولايات المتحدة”. وكرر هذا الرأي أنور قرقاش وزير الخارجية الإماراتي.

وفي إشارة إلى كيف تخشى إدارة بايدن بالفعل الدخول في تحالف شرق أوسطي واسع ضد إيران، قال انتوني بلينكين، وزيرة الخارجية الأميركي، الشهر الماضي إنه من “المهم للغاية” التشاور مع “إسرائيل” والخليج قبل العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي.

رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو، اليائس لتعزيز ثرواته الانتخابية وصرف الانتباه عن محاكمته التي تلوح في الأفق بالفساد، لديه كل الحافز لفتح هذه الفجوة، وذلك لضمان أن تظل إيران البعبع الأول في الشرق الأوسط – محور العداء الغربي – في المصالح المشتركة لـ”إسرائيل”، التي لا تنوي إنهاء عوائقها المستمرة منذ عقود للدولة الفلسطينية، ودول الخليج التي لا تنوي إنهاء انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان وتعزيز الانقسام الإسلامي.

مايك بومبيو، وزير خارجية ترامب، زرع لغماً أرضياً الشهر الماضي مصمماً لخدمة المصالح الإسرائيلية والسعودية من خلال تسليط الضوء على حقيقة أن عدداً من قادة تنظيم القاعدة وجدوا ملاذاً في إيران. وردد ذلك صدى ادعاء إدارة الرئيس جورج بوش الإبن – الوهمي تماماً – بوجود روابط بين “القاعدة” وصدام حسين كذريعة، إلى جانب أسلحة دمار شامل التي لم تكن موجودة، لغزو العراق واحتلاله عام 2003.

وختم كوك تحليله بالقول إنه “مع وصول إسرائيل إلى القيادة المركزية، فإن الضغط لتكرار هذا الخطأ الكارثي يمكن أن ينمو فقط، وتنمو معه احتمالات تجدد الحرب في الشرق الأوسط”.

ترجمة بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World

February 12, 2021

Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World

The White House Briefing Room

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

This memorandum reaffirms and supplements the principles established in the Presidential Memorandum of December 6, 2011 (International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons).  That memorandum, for the first time, directed executive departments and agencies (agencies) engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons everywhere.  This memorandum builds upon that historic legacy and updates the 2011 memorandum.

All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love.  Around the globe, including here at home, brave lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) activists are fighting for equal protection under the law, freedom from violence, and recognition of their fundamental human rights.  The United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out and standing strong for our most dearly held values.  It shall be the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.

Through this memorandum, I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.  Specifically, I direct the following actions, consistent with applicable law:

Section 1.  Combating Criminalization of LGBTQI+ Status or Conduct Abroad.  Agencies engaged abroad are directed to strengthen existing efforts to combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBTQI+ status or conduct and expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBTQI+ status or conduct.  The Department of State shall, on an annual basis and as part of the annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151n(d) and 2304(b)), report on human rights abuses experienced by LGBTQI+ persons globally.  This reporting shall include anti-LGBTQI+ laws as well as violence and discrimination committed by both state and nonstate actors against LGBTQI+ persons.

Sec. 2.  Protecting Vulnerable LGBTQI+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers.  LGBTQI+ persons who seek refuge from violence and persecution face daunting challenges.  In order to improve protection for LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers at all stages of displacement, the Departments of State and Homeland Security shall enhance their ongoing efforts to ensure that LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers have equal access to protection and assistance, particularly in countries of first asylum.  In addition, the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security shall ensure appropriate training is in place so that relevant Federal Government personnel and key partners can effectively identify and respond to the particular needs of LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers, including by providing to them adequate assistance and ensuring that the Federal Government takes all appropriate steps, such as potential increased use of Embassy Priority-1 referrals, to identify and expedite resettlement of highly vulnerable persons with urgent protection needs.

Sec. 3.  Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and Advance Nondiscrimination.  Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs shall expand their ongoing efforts to ensure regular Federal Government engagement with governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector to promote respect for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and combat discrimination.  Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs should consider the impact of programs funded by the Federal Government on human rights, including the rights of LGBTQI+ persons, when making funding decisions, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

Sec. 4.  Swift and Meaningful United States Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBTQI+ Persons Abroad.  The Department of State shall lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons abroad.  When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.

Sec. 5.  Building Coalitions of Like-Minded Nations and Engaging International Organizations in the Fight Against LGBTQI+ Discrimination.  Bilateral relationships with allies and partners, as well as multilateral fora and international organizations, are key vehicles to promote respect for and protection of the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and to bring global attention to these goals.  Agencies engaged abroad should strengthen the work they have done and initiate additional efforts with other nations, bilaterally and within multilateral fora and international organizations, to:  counter discrimination on the basis of LGBTQI+ status or conduct; broaden the number of countries willing to support and defend the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons; strengthen the role, including in multilateral fora, of civil society advocates on behalf of the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons; and strengthen the policies and programming of multilateral institutions, including with respect to protecting vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers.

Sec. 6.  Rescinding Inconsistent Policies and Reporting on Progress.  Within 100 days of the date of this memorandum or as soon as possible thereafter, all agencies engaged abroad shall review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take steps to rescind any directives, orders, regulations, policies, or guidance inconsistent with this memorandum, including those issued from January 20, 2017, to January 20, 2021, to the extent that they are inconsistent with this memorandum.  The heads of such agencies shall also, within 100 days of the date of this memorandum, report to the President on their progress in implementing this memorandum and recommend additional opportunities and actions to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.  Agencies engaged abroad shall each prepare a report within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, and annually thereafter, on their progress toward advancing these initiatives.  All such agencies shall submit these reports to the Department of State, which will compile a report on the Federal Government’s progress in advancing these initiatives for transmittal to the President.  The Department of State shall make a version of the compiled annual report available to the Congress and the public.

Sec. 7.  Definitions.  (a)  For the purposes of this memorandum, agencies engaged abroad include the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and such other agencies as the President may designate.

(b)  For the purposes of this memorandum, agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs include the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, USAID, DFC, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and such other agencies as the President may designate.

Sec. 8.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d)  The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

                    JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

Ibn Khaldoun and The American Empire ابن خلدون والإمبراطوريّة الأميركيّة

By Nasser Kandil

       There has been no agreement between European and Arab social scientists about the precise  roots of the historic scholar Ibn Khaldun’s political sociology theories in in his examination of phenomena associated with the rise, disintegration, and  demise of states. Any reader of Ibn Khaldun’s texts in the current American epoch will believe that this great scholar had written his work to explain what is going on in America today, with his phenomena having a degree of congruence approaching prophesy.

       With the departure of the ex-President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in the White House, world and regional attention has been focused on new American policies. Part of the discussion about the Trump phenomenon will remain in the background of the American scene, along the political competition which will dominate the future mid-term elections two years from now, and the Presidential election in four years, both preceded by the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial before the Senate.

        The cardinal long-range question is whether what America is witnessing is a political crisis, or a structural crisis, or is it more the beginning of the demise of the empire? The beginning of the end of the American Empire era in response might be seen by many as an exaggeration and a prevalence of wishful thinking over reality. However, a systematic examination impervious to political cacophony will reveal a reality more profound than political discourse, economic outlook, durability of institutions, concept of deep state, and foreign policy headlines, despite their great importance. An examination from the perspectives civilization, culture, and society is even more important today than an examination from political, economic and military perspectives.

       Ibn Khaldun draws the course for the rise of states, and not any state, but rather of empires.  He points to the presence of a zealotry which becomes the foundation for the establishment of a state, and the success of such zealotry in possessing the might to hold power. He maintains that it is followed by legitimizing dominance through a project of statehood and nationhood, which succeeds in convincing the people and enfolding them, and provides them with opportunities for agriculture, production, trade, cultural, educational, and artistic activity.  It instills in them a belief and hope in the value of such effort and its role in the development of civil and political peacefulness based on stable legal standards. In turn, such ascent establishes the ground for expansion through raids and the accumulation of sources of power and stature, which results in  a spread in means of comfort and an increase in demand for them, new economic endeavor, and new consumption. He posits that it continues until it reaches the stage when further expansion becomes impossible, and such lack of possibility coincides with an imbalance in the standards for ascent and descent in the social ladder, when excessive luxury juxtaposes harsh poverty, and standards to energize economic activity become absent. As a consequence, hope dies, stature declines with the insurgence in foreign dominions, exaggerated spending on armies emerges and depletes resources, disease and epidemics spread and become widespread, the economy freezes and shrinks, and zealotry becomes divided unto itself.  The people who had accepted its project of nationhood and statehood becomes dissatisfied, merchants and industrialists no longer find the security necessary to continue their activity, and the decline of the empire begins.

       A review of the course of the decline of the Soviet Union will reveal many intersections with the course outlined by Ibn Khaldun, in that the Communist Party and its Russian branch constituted the zealotry nucleus, while a reading of the American course will reveal even more intersections with Ibn Khaldun’s outline. In the United States, the European Whites who founded the country constitute this nucleus of zealotry, and the revolt against the results of the 2020 Presidential elections and accompanying sharp vertical national divide with tens of millions on either side, signals only the tip of the iceberg of historic exhaustion and the beginning of decline.  The zealots are no longer satisfied with the grounds they had laid for their project of state and nation, and want a more exclusive hold on power and resources, while the rest of the American population comprised of non-whites are no longer accepting of a second-class citizenship.

       All indicators suggest that in the last two decades all US wars failed as defense spending increased, protection for the poor decreased, poverty doubled, and the gap between rich and poor widened. The scale for socio-economic mobility became unbalanced, the 2008 banking and real estate crisis emerged, along with the phenomena of extreme richness versus wide sector of poverty, leading to widespread talk about despair and the plummeting of standards.  Procurement of weapons by individuals and groups became more rampant, while the political discourse reached moral rock bottom, and the White zealotry fractured into a majority represented by racists calling for exclusivity, and a minority holding on to the project of country and nation backed by the rest of the non-White population.

       A point of note is that Ibn Khaldun believes that pandemics are a sign of the decline of the state, “ the empire”, because it is the result of opulence and irresponsible behavior towards natural resources. In the scholar’s words:” A pandemic is mostly from air pollution due to over-building and associated decay and putrefied dampness…When purification is strong, illness befalls the lungs, which is what plagues and its associated illnesses specific to the lung are, with the reason for such excessive rot and putrefied dampness and abundant over-development being the decline of the state.”

       Ihsan Abdel Kuddus’ novel  ”I Will Not Live In My Father’s Robe”  summarizes the perspectives of the White Majority and Non-White Minorities across the United Sates. The White Fathers invested in civil decades to build an economy, the basis for labor of which were the non-Whites, who in turn found a great accomplishment in the semi-justice meted by the  White Fathers in comparison to bloodthirsty racism.  The sons of the White fathers feel constricted by the robe of the civilized decades with the dwindling in resources and regression in development. More importantly they became apprehensive about demography and the fear of the slip of their control over the state because of legislature they had forged for the country’s  administrations, and now talk about the country as theirs in which they host others.  This has coincided with a feeling of constriction by the father’s robe among the sons of non-Whites who no longer are accepting of the gap between the civilized culture and racism, translated into an existential apprehensiveness with the rise in calls for ethnic cleansing and militant extremism, along with the widening in differential in securing a living and procuring means of comfort.

       The United States, balanced in the number between Whites and Non-Whites, will become an arena of bloody confrontation, and will not be assuaged by Biden’s incantations. States with a majority of one of the two groups will organize according to the desires of the ethnic majority, the hold of the central authority will diminish, and independence projects in some States will be witnessed, while the empire reels for the duration of the pandemic

ابن خلدون والإمبراطوريّة الأميركيّة

ناصر قنديل

تباينت آراء علماء الاجتماع الأوروبيّين والعرب في تحديد جذور النظريّات التي صاغها العلامة التاريخي ابن خلدون حول علم الاجتماع السياسيّ، في تعامله مع ظواهر نهوض الدول وتفككها وأفولها، لكن قراءة نصوص ابن خلدون في الزمن الأميركي الحالي سيجعل القارئ يعتقد أنه كتب نصوصه لتفسير ما يجري اليوم في أميركا، حيث العقل نسبة التطابق في رسم الظواهر التي يشير اليها ابن خلدون عن حدود، ليبدو بعضها أقرب للنبوءة.

مع المشاهد التي طواها يوم أمس، لرحيل الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، ودخول الرئيس الحالي جو بايدن الى البيت الأبيض، ينصبّ الاهتمام في المنطقة والعالم حول السياسات الأميركية الجديدة، وقدر من النقاش حول ظاهرة ترامب التي ستبقى حاضرة في خلفيّة المشهد الأميركي، والتنافس السياسي الذي سيحكم اللعبة الأميركية في استحقاقات انتخابية مقبلة، من الانتخابات النصفيّة للكونغرس بعد عامين، والانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة بعد أربع سنوات، وقبلهما مصير الملاحقة القضائية التي سيشهدها مجلس الشيوخ بحق ترامب.

السؤال الجوهريّ الأبعد مدى، هل ما تشهده أميركا هو أزمة سياسية، أم أزمة بنيوية، أم أكثر بداية أفول الإمبراطورية، والجواب بالاعتقاد ببدء نهاية العهد الإمبراطوري الأميركي قد يبدو مبالغة بنظر الكثيرين، ويبدو تغليباً للرغبات على الوقائع، لكن التدقيق المنهجي البعيد عن ضجيج السياسة سيفتح العين على حقيقة أعمق من الخطاب السياسي، والرؤية الاقتصادية، ومتانة المؤسسات، ومفهوم الدولة العميقة، وعناوين السياسة الخارجية، وكلها أمور غاية في الأهمية، لكن ما يفوقها أهمية اليوم في مقاربة ما يجري في أميركا، حضاري وثقافي واجتماعي قبل أن يكون سياسياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً.

يرسم ابن خلدون مساراً لنهوض الدول، والأصح هو الإمبراطوريات وليس كل الدول، بوجود عصبية تشكل أساس مشروع الدولة، ونجاح العصبية بامتلاك القوة اللازمة للإمساك بالسلطة، ثم قوننة سيطرتها بمشروع دولة وأمة، ينجح بإقناع من يسمّيهم بشعب الدولة والأمة بالانضواء في هذا المشروع، وتوفير فرص المتاجرة والمصانعة والمزارعة، والنشاط الثقافي والتعليمي الفني، وبث الأمل بجدوى النشاط ودوره في توفير التقدم في السلم الاجتماعي والسياسي وفقاً لمعايير مستقرة، قانونية، ويؤسس هذا النهوض الأرضيّة للتوسّع عبر الغزوات، وزيادة مصادر الثروة والمهابة، فتنتشر وسائل الرفاه ويزداد الطلب عليها فتنشأ أنشطة اقتصادية جديدة، واستهلاك جديد، حتى بلوغ مرحلة تجتمع فيها حالة العجز عن المزيد من التوسّع مع اختلال استقرار قواعد الصعود والهبوط في السلم الاجتماعي، وانتشار الترف المبالغ فيه مقابل ظهور الفقر الشديد، من دون معايير تتصل بالنشاط الاقتصادي، فيموت الأمل، وتتراجع المهابة مع تمرّد الأمصار، اي مناطق السيطرة في الخارج، وتظهر المبالغة في الإنفاق على الجيوش وتستنزف الموارد، وينتشر الوباء ويتفشى، فيتجمّد الاقتصاد ويضمُر، وتنقسم العصبيّة على نفسها، ولا يعود الشعب الذي قبل مشروعها لبناء دولة وأمة راضياً، ولا يجد التجار والصناعيون الأمن لمواصلة نشاطهم، وتكون بداية أفول الإمبراطورية.

مَن يقرأ مسار انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي سيجد الكثير من التقاطعات مع السياق الذي رسمه ابن خلدون، حيث الحزب الشيوعيّ وفرعه الروسي هو نواة العصبية، ومَن يقرأ المسار الأميركي اليوم سيجد تقاطعات أكثر، حيث نواة العصبية هي الجماعة الأوروبيّة البيضاء التي أسست الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، والإشارة التي مثلها العصيان على نتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية مسقوفاً بانقسام عمودي حادّ بين عشرات الملايين المصطفين على طرفي الصراع، ليس إلا رأس جبل الجليد لبلوغ هذا المشروع الإمبراطوري مرحلة الاستنفاد التاريخي وبدء الأفول. فالعصبية لم تعد راضية بقواعد هي وضعتها لمشروعها للدولة والأمة، وتريد الانفراد أكثر بالسلطة والموارد، والشعب الذي يشكله في الحالة الأميركية غير أصحاب البشرة البيضاء، لم يعد راضياً بمواطنة الدرجة الثانية، وكل شيء في أميركا يقول إنه خلال عقدين فشلت كل حروب اميركا، وتزايد إنفاقها العسكري، وتراجعت الحماية الاجتماعية للطبقات الفقيرة التي توسعت وتضاعفت، واختلّ نظام الصعود والهبوط بين طبقات المجتمع، فخرجت من أزمات 2008 المصرفية والعقارية، ظواهر فاحشة الثراء وشرائح واسعة من الفقراء، وصار الحديث عن فقد الأمل شائعاً وعن سقوط المعايير، وانتشر التسلح، وهبط مستوى الخطاب السياسي الى أدنى مستوياته أخلاقياً، وانقسمت العصبية البيضاء بين أغلبية يمثلها عنصريون هم دعاة التفرّد، وأقلية تتمسك بمشروع الدولة والأمة، تقف وراءها فئات الشعب والأمة من غير البيض.

بالمناسبة يعتقد ابن خلدون أن الوباء هو من علامات سقوط الدولة، “الإمبراطورية”، لأنه من ثمار الترف والتصرّف غير المسؤول تجاه الثروات الطبيعية، ويقول العلامة “وقوع الوباء سببه في الغالب فساد الهواء بكثرة العمران لكثرة ما يخالطه من العفن والرطوبات الفاسدة… فإن كان الفساد قوياً وقع المرض في الرئة، وهذه هي الطواعين وأمراضها مخصوصة بالرئة… وسبب كثرة العفن والرطوبات الفاسدة في هذا كله، كثرة العمران ووفوره آخر الدولة”.

في رواية الكاتب احسان عبد القدوس «لن أعيش في جلباب أبي»، اختصار لمعادلة نظرة الأغلبية البيضاء والأقليات من غير البيض، على مساحة الولايات الأميركية، حيث الآباء من البيض استثمروا على العهود المدنية لبناء اقتصاد قاعدته العاملة من غير البيض، ووجد غير البيض من الآباء في شبه عدالة إنجازاً كبيراً بالقياس للعنصرية الدموية المفرطة، أما الأبناء من الغالبية البيضاء ضاق عليهم ثوب العهود المدنيّة مع ضيق الموارد وتراجع النهوض، والأهم الشعور بالقلق الديمغرافي وخطورة انزلاق السيطرة على الدولة من بين أيديهم بسبب تشريعاتهم هم لإدارتها، ويتحدثون عن هذه الدولة بصفتها دولتهم ويستضيفون فيها آخرين، بينما ضاق ثوب الآباء بين أبناء غير أصحاب البشرة البيضاء وما عادوا يقبلون بالفجوة بين المدنيّة والعنصريّة، وترجمتها بقلق وجودي مع تصاعد دعوات تطهير عرقي وتطرف ميليشيوي، وتراجع الفورة واتساع التفاوت في الوصول لوسائل الرفاهية، وقبلها ضمانات العيش.

الولايات الأميركية المتوازنة عددياً بين مكوناتها من البيض وغير البيض ستكون مسرحاً لمواجهات دمويّة لن تنفع معها تعويذات بايدن، والولايات التي تسودها أغلبية من أحد الطرفين ستنظم أمورها على هوى الأغلبية العرقية، وستضعف قبضة السلطة المركزية، وستشهد مشاريع استقلال لبعض الولايات، والى أن ينتهي عهد الوباء ستترنّح الإمبراطورية.

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