Australian submarines: an immature and potentially devastating move

September 23, 2021

Australian submarines: an immature and potentially devastating move

by Jean-Luc BASLE  for the Saker Blog

In a September 20th interview with French newspaper Ouest France, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian explains that the Australian submarine contract was part of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy – a strategy which included India* and whose objective was to ensure stability in a region critically important to world peace and prosperity and, incidentally, where two million French people live. This tripartite de Gaulle-type initiative on the part of France in an area the United States regard as its private reserve since the late 19th century, could not be tolerated. Washington DC had to put an end to it. It did it in a rather abrupt and inimical way, considering France is its oldest ally.

In practical terms, what will come out of this new AUKUS alliance? Nothing, if we believe Scott Ritter, former US Marine Corps intelligence officer which views it as a “dangerous joke”. Why a joke? Because Australia has neither the industrial nor the financial wherewithal not to mention the personnel necessary to build (partially) and fully manage a fleet of nuclear submarines. Why dangerous? Because Chinese leaders see AUKUS as a threat directed at China, and also because other countries may follow suit Australia’s example.

Noting that “a US ally could be armed with nuclear weapons anytime” and that the international community has reason to question Joe Biden’s sincerity when he states that the Australian submarines will not be equipped with nuclear weapons, Yang Sheng observes that: “a nuclear submarine is one tasked to launch a second-round nuclear strike in a nuclear war”. Furthermore, Chinese leaders consider the submarine contract as a violation of the non-proliferation treaty and a de facto legalization of “the acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines by all countries”. In a rather corrosive article, the Bulletin of American Scientists stigmatize the members of the AUKUS Alliance, especially the United States, for facilitating “the proliferation of very sensitive military nuclear technology in the coming years”. It further notes that there is little the International Atomic Energy Agency can do to stop Iran from acquiring “enriching uranium to HEU levels** to pursue a submarine program”.

 Will this lead to a new arms race between the United States and China, as some people fear? Hopefully not. China knows it is winning its competition with the United States. Why waste useful resources in such a race? Chinese are patient people – a virtue Westerners lack.

 In his bi-weekly foreign policy video, geopolitical analyst Alexander Mercouris sees AUKUS as further proof of U.S. amateurish foreign policy. Amateurish, indeed, but potentially devastating for world peace coming after George W. Bush’s cancelation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In its January 2020 bulletin, the board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists move the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight – the closest to midnight it has ever been in 75 years. In their January 2021 bulletin, the board left it there. Where will it be in January 2022? The French initiative, for all its shortcomings and challenges, had the advantage of not upsetting the global apple cart. Brutally left in the cold by its Anglo-Saxon friends, the French should waste no time in offering its nuclear-powered Barracuda submarines to India in replacement of the nuclear-powered submarines the Indian Navy leases from Russia. What a sweet victory this would be.

*India is a long-time client of France’s armament industry.

** Highly Enriched Uranium

دروسٌ من هزيمة الأميركيين وحِلف الناتو في أفغانستان

Visual search query image

الإثنين 16 آب 2021

المصدر: الميادين نت

د. عبد العزيز بن حبتور

أهم الدروس هي للمتعاونين مع المحتل وأصدقائه بأنَّ التُربة الحُرة لن تقبلهم، وسيظلون هاربين في أرجاء الأرض مقابل خيانتهم لوطنهم ودينهم وتاريخهم.

سيتذكَّر العالم بِرمَّته هذا اليوم، وهذا التاريخ بالذات

سيسجّل التاريخ الإنساني يوم الأحد الموافق 15 آب/أغسطس 2021م، باعتباره يوم هزيمةٍ نكراء تجرَّع فيه حِلف شمال الأطلسي كُلّه بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية كأس الهزيمة المُر، وستبقى مرارته عالقة في نفسيات القادة السياسيين والعسكريين الغربيين وذهنياتهم لعقودٍ طويلة قادمة.

سيتذكَّر العالم بِرمَّته هذا اليوم، وهذا التاريخ بالذات، وأنَّ محطة جديدة إضافية من محطات الهزائم والنكسات التي صاحبت مسيرة “الإمبراطورية الأميركية” أضيفت إلى نكسات وهزائم في حروبٍ سابقة في فيتنام وكوريا والصومال والعراق ولبنان.

وكما هو حال الأحداث العظيمة التي حلَّت بالتاريخ الإنساني، والتي ينقسم حولها المفكرون والمنظرون والمحللون من الإعلاميين والسياسيين، تجد أن القِسم الأول يتشفى بفرحٍ عامر لمشاهدة سيناريو الهزيمة التي تُلطِّخ جبين الحِلف العسكري الأكبر على مستوى العالم، وأن ثمة قسماً ثانياً يتألم حسرةً لما آلت إليه النتائج بعد مضي 20 عاماً تقريباً على غزو الأراضي الأفغانية واحتلالها من قِبل حلف الناتو العسكري.

لقد كان يوم الأحد، ومُنذ الصباح الباكر، بكلّ ساعاته ودقائقه الثقيلة، محط اهتمام وسائل الإعلام الغربية العالمية الوازنة، ومعها الوسائل الإعلامية العربية والإسلامية، التي كانت تنقل مشهد الهروب المُخزي لطاقم الموظفين السياسيين والدبلوماسيين عبر الطائرات المروحية من الساحة الخضراء في العاصمة كابول، حيث تتواجد السفارات الغربية، والتي لا تبعد عن مطار كابول الدولي سوى بضعة كيلومترات معدودة.

ومع ذلك، إنَّ حركة المروحيات لم تتوقَّف جيئةً وذهاباً، وكانت تنقل طواقم السفارات إلى المطار حاملين الخفيف من أمتعتهم اليدوية ووثائقهم الأساسية، وكما يقول المثل الشعبي، “أخذ ما خف وزنه وغلي ثمنه”، لأنَّ طلائع المقاتلين الأفغان من جماعة “طالبان” بدأوا الزحف على العاصمة كابول من جميع الاتجاهات.

من بين المغادرين عبر المطار هو سفير الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، كآخر رمز من رموز الهزيمة المدوية. وقبلها بساعاتٍ معدودة، أقلعت طائرة الرئيس الأفغاني أشرف غني، وهو الصديق الصدوق للأميركيين، وبرفقته كبار أعوانه من أركان حُكمه، رغم أنَّه ألقى خطاباً حماسياً قبل يومٍ واحد في القصر الجمهوري، وقال ما معناه إنهم سيدافعون ويقاتلون عن أفغانستان والشعب الأفغاني، ولو بقوا يقاتلون لوحدهم في القصر الجمهوري. مثل ذلك الخطاب الأجوف ألِفنا سماعه مراراً من ساسة عرب ويمنيين، وما زال مُوثقاً في سجلات التاريخ المعاصر.

أبرز الدروس المستقاة من حدث التجربة الأفغانية 

أولاً: دأب الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن على القول في الأسابيع الأخيرة إنَّهم يرتبون لنقل المترجمين إلى بلدان عديدة، حتى يُؤَمِنوا لهم الإقامات اللازمة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية. وهُنا يُقصد بطبيعة الحال تلك الجماعات المتعاونة معهم من العُملاء والمرتزقة الأفغان، لأنَّ بقاءهم في البلاد يُعرِّضهم للانتقام والمحاسبة من قبل الشعب الأفغاني، وهو درس لجميع العُملاء والمرتزقة في العالم أجمع، ومنهم المرتزقة اليمنيون.

ثانياً: أية تُربة وطنية حُرة في العالم لا تقبل أي مُحتل، مهما كانت قوته وجبروته. ولذلك، إنَّ القواعد الأطلسية وجنودها من الأميركيين والبريطانيين والألمان والفرنسيين والإيطاليين، ومن بقية أعضاء الحِلف، أصبحوا مطرودين حاملين خسائرهم المادية والبشرية، وكذا جرحاهم. كُل ذلك سيبقى وجعاً دائماً في ضمير شعوب تلك البلدان المُعتدية على أفغانستان وشعبها المسلم.

ثالثاً: يتذكَّر العالم أجمع أحداث الحادي عشر من أيلول/سبتمبر 2001، أثناء تدمير بُرجي التجارة في نيويورك، والتي راح ضحيتها قرابة 3000 إنسان وأكثر، وتمَّ تحميل تنظيم “القاعدة” وجزء من “طالبان” هذا الفعل المتهور، لكن أنْ تأتي أميركا بقضها وقضيضها مع حلف الناتو، ويغزوا الدولة والبلد الأفغاني بقوة الحديد والنار في العام 2001م، دونما أدلة ثابتة على تورط حركة “طالبان” في الأحداث، فهذا هو قِمّة الصلف والعجرفة والتكبر، من دون أدنى اعتبار للإنسان والمجتمع الأفغاني بِرُمَّته. وقد مارسوا أثناء غزوهم أبشع أنواع الجرائم بحق المواطنين الأفغان. ولذلك، إنَّ الدرس المهمّ هُنا هو هزيمتهم وهزيمة مشروعهم الاستعماري الوقح.

رابعاً: طريقة التفكير الغربي المتعالي لم تتغير مع مرور الزمن، وهي مُحاولة لإخضاع الشعوب والأمم الحُرة بالأسلوب ذاته والطريقة ذاتها. ولذلك، تجدهم يُكرِّرون أخطاءهم كمنظومة سياسية ثقافية رأسمالية ليبرالية غربية. ما حدث في كابول تكرر في سايجون وهوشي منه ومقديشو.

خامساً: تكبَّد حلف شمال الأطلسي خسارة الآلاف من جنوده بين قتلى وجرحى ومفقودين، مع عتاد عسكري هو الأكثر تطوراً على مستوى العالم، وخسر الشعب الأفغاني من مقاومته ومواطنيه أضعاف تلك الأعداد. وبانهزام الحِلف اليوم، ترك بلداً مُمزَّقاً فقيراً تنعدم فيه وسائل الحياة العصرية، وهذا حال الغُزاة على مدار التاريخ، لكن تظل قيمة الحرية التي استعادها الشعب الأفغاني خير قيمة وأعظم دلالة في المشهد بِرُمَّته.

سادساً: بدءاً من اليوم الإثنين وما بعده، يقع على عاتق قيادة حركة “طالبان” استيعاب المتغيرات على المستوى الاجتماعي المحلي والمستوى الدولي لدول الجوار، وعليها استيعاب تحديات المرحلة القادمة لحُكم البلاد وفقاً للقانون، والتوافق مع جميع القوى السياسية والاجتماعية، وحتى المذهبية. هكذا تُدار الدول والحكومات. أما الانفراد بالسلطة واحتكارها، فنتائجه ستكون وخيمة، والتعلم من دروس 20 عاماً وما قبلها هو المحك للحركة وتوجهاتها المستقبلية.

سابعاً: أهم الدروس هي للمتعاونين مع المحتل الغازي وأصدقائه بأنَّ التُربة الحُرة لن تقبلهم، وسيظلون هاربين في أرجاء الأرض مقابل خيانتهم لوطنهم ودينهم وتاريخهم.

الخلاصة: يُنبئنا التاريخ الإنساني، ومُنذ فجر التاريخ، بأنَّ مصير الغُزاة الأجانب لبلدان غيرهم هو الفشل، حين يعود ذلك الغازي إلى بلده مهزوماً مكسوراً مُنكس الرايات، يرافقه المرتزقة الذين قبلوا أن يكونوا تابعين له.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Was the Tanker Attack an Israeli False Flag?

AUGUST 10, 202121

An incident that could lead to a much bigger war

PHILIP GIRALDI 

Source: The Unz Review

In the United States we now live under a government that largely operates in secret, headed by an executive that ignores the constitutional separation of powers and backed by a legislature that is more interested in social engineering than in benefitting the American people. The US, together with its best friend and faux ally Israel, has become the ultimate rogue nation, asserting its right to attack anyone at any time who refuses to recognize Washington’s leadership. America is a country in decline, its influence having been eroded by a string of foreign policy and military disasters starting with Vietnam and more recently including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine. As a result, respect for the United States has plummeted most particularly over the past twenty years since the War on Terror was declared and the country has become a debtor nation as it prints money to sustain a pointless policy of global hegemony which no one else either desires or respects.

It has been argued in some circles that the hopelessly ignorant Donald Trump and the dementia plagued Joe Biden have done one positive thing, and that has been to keep us out of an actual shooting war with anyone able to retaliate in kind, which means in practice Russia and possibly China. Even if that were so, one might question a clumsy foreign policy devoid of any genuine national interest that is a train wreck waiting to happen. It has no off switch and has pushed America’s two principal rivals into becoming willy-nilly de facto enemies, something which neither Moscow nor Beijing wished to see develop.

Contrary to the claims that Trump and Biden are war-shy, both men have in fact committed war crimes by carrying out attacks on targets in both Syria and Iraq, to include the assassination of senior Iranian general Qasim Soleimani in January 2020. Though it was claimed at the time that the attacks were retaliatory, evidence supporting that view was either non-existent or deliberately fabricated.

Part of the problem for Washington is that the US had inextricably tied itself to worthless so-called allies in the Middle East, most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. The real danger is not that Joe Biden or Kamala Harris will do something really stupid but rather that Riyadh or Jerusalem will get involved in something over their heads and demand, as “allies,” that they be bailed out by Uncle Sam. Biden will be unable to resist, particularly if it is the Israel Lobby that is doing the pushing.

Perhaps one of the more interesting news plus analysis articles along those lines that I have read in a while appeared last week in the Business Insider, written by one Mitchell Plitnick, who is described as president of ReThinking Foreign Policy. The article bears the headline “Russia and Israel may be on a collision course in Syria” and it argues that Russia’s commitment to Syria and Israel’s interest in actively deterring Iran and its proxies are irreconcilable, with the US ending up in an extremely difficult position which could easily lead to its involvement in what could become a new shooting war. The White House would have to tread very carefully as it would likely want to avoid sending the wrong signals either to Moscow or Jerusalem, but that realization may be beyond the thinking of the warhawks on the National Security Council.

To place the Plitnick article in its current context of rumors of wars, one might cite yet another piece in Business Insider about the July 30th explosive drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the northern Indian Ocean, which killed two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian. The bombing was immediately attributed to Iran by both Israel and Washington, though the only proof presented was that the fragments of the drone appeared to demonstrate that it was Iranian made, which means little as the device is available to and used by various players throughout the Middle East and in central Asia.

The tanker in question was the MT Mercer Street, sailing under a Liberian flag but Japanese-owned and managed by Zodiac Maritime, an international ship management company headquartered in London and owned by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. It was empty, sailing to pick up a cargo, and had a mixed international crew. Inevitably, initial media reporting depended on analysis by the US and Israel, which saw the attack as a warning or retaliatory strike executed or ordered by the newly elected government currently assuming control in Tehran.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who could not possibly have known who carried out the attack, was not shy about expressing his “authoritative” viewpoint, asserting that “We are confident that Iran conducted this attack. We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming.”

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) also all too quickly pointed to Iran, stating that “The use of Iranian designed and produced one way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs is a growing trend in the region. They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”

Tehran denied that it had carried out the attack but the Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was not accepting that and threatened to attack Iran, saying predictably that “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now… Now is the time for deeds — words are not enough. … It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds. Otherwise the attacks will continue.” Gantz also confirmed that “Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes…”

New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also made the same demand, saying Israel could “…act alone. They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over. We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone.” If the level of verbal vituperation coming out of Israel is anything to go by, an attack on Iran would appear to be imminent.

After the attack on the MT Mercer Street, there soon followed the panicked account the panicked account of an alleged hijacking of a second tanker by personnel initially reported to be wearing “Iranian military uniforms.” The “…hijacking incident in international waters in the Gulf of Oman” ended peacefully however. The US State Department subsequently reported that “We can confirm that personnel have left the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess… We believe that these personnel were Iranian, but we’re not in a position to confirm this at this time.”

So, the United States government does not actually know who did what to whom but is evidently willing to indict Iran and look the other way if Israel should choose to start a war. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan is right to compare the drone attack on the Mercer Street to the alleged Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, which was deliberately distorted by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration and used to justify rapid escalation of US involvement in the Vietnam War. Buchanan observes that it is by no means clear that Iran was behind the Mercer Street attack and there are a number of good reasons to doubt it, including Iranian hopes to have sanctions against its economy lifted which will require best behavior. Also, Iran would have known that it would be blamed for such an incident in any event, so why should it risk going to war with Israel and the US, a war that it knows it cannot win?

Buchanan observes that whoever attacked the tanker wants war and also to derail any negotiations to de-sanction Iran, but he stops short of suggesting who that might be. The answer is of course Israel, engaging in a false flag operation employing an Iranian produced drone. And I would add to Buchanan’s comments that there is in any event a terrible stink of hypocrisy over the threat of war to avenge the tanker incident. Israel has attacked Iranian ships in the past and has been regularly bombing Syria in often successful attempts to kill Iranians who are, by the way, in the country at the invitation of its legitimate government. Zionist Joe Biden has yet to condemn those war crimes, nor has the suddenly aroused Tony Blinken. And Joe, who surely knows that neither Syria nor Iran threatens the United States, also continues to keep American troops in Syria, occupying a large part of the country, which directly confront the Kremlin’s forces. Israel wants a war that will inevitably involve the United States and maybe also Russia to some degree as collateral damage. Will it get that or will Biden have the courage to say “No!”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

Has the US begun its “great retreat”?

AUGUST 06, 2021

THE SAKER • AUGUST 5, 2021

I have to begin this column by admitting that “Biden” (note: when in quotation marks, I refer to the “collective Biden”, not the clearly senile man) surprised me: it appears that my personal rule-of-thumb about US Presidents (each one is even worse than his predecessor) might not necessarily apply in “Biden’s” case. That is not to say that “Biden” won’t end up proving my rule of thumb as still applicable, just that what I am seeing right now is not what I feared or expected.

Initially, I felt my the rule still held. The total US faceplant in Alaska when Blinken apparently mistook the Chinese for woke-neutered serfs and quickly found out how mistaken he was.

But then there was the meeting with Putin which surprised many, including myself. Initially, most Russian observers joined one of two groups about the prospects for this summit:

  1. This summit will never happen, there is nothing to discuss, Biden is senile, his Admin is filled wall to wall with harcore russophobes and, besides, the (US) Americans are “not agreement capable” (недоговороспособные) anyway, so what is the point?
  2. If the summit takes place, it will be a comprehensive failure. At best a shouting match or exchange of insults.

Neither of these happened. Truth be told, we still do not really know what happened. All we have are some vague declarations of intent and worded pious intentions. And even those were minimalistic! In fact, after the summit most Russian observers, again, broke into two main camps:

  1. “Biden” threw in the towel and gave up. Russian won this round. Hurray!
  2. “Biden” only changed tactics, and now the new US posture might well become even more aggressive and hostile. Russia is about to see a major surge in anti-Russian provocations. Alarm!

I think that both of these grossly oversimplify a probably much more complex and nuanced reality. In other words, “Biden” surprised many, if not most, Russians. That is very interesting by itself (neither Bush, nor Obama nor Trump ever surprised the Russians – who knew the score about all of them – in any meaningful way).

My strictly personal guess is that there is some very serious infighting currently taking place inside the US ruling class. Furthermore, that serious infighting is not about core principles or even strategy – it is a dispute over tactics only.

We have to keep in mind an old truism about outcomes: John F. Kennedy once said that “victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan” and he was right. When any group seizes power and effectively controls its interests, all is well, and everybody is busy consuming the proverbial milk and honey. But when this group suffers a series of humiliating defeats, a typical cascade of events begins:

  • Finger pointing: everybody blames everybody else (but never himself/herself)
  • Hindsight wisdom: “if I had been in charge, this would not have happened!
  • Infighting over quickly shrinking spoils of war
  • A collapse of the centralized center of authority/decision-making centers
  • Generation of subgroups, fighting each other over their sub-interests

In other words, following many years of extremely weak presidential administrations (since Clinton, imho), it is hardly a surprise that infighting would take place (in both parties, by the way). In fact, an apparently chaotic set of uncoordinated, or even contradictory, policies is what one should expect. And that is exactly what we have been observing since 1993 and this dynamic has been getting worse and worse with each passing year).

Needless to say, the main outcome of such defeat-induced infighting is to weaken all the groups involved, regardless of their objectives and policies. Some might believe that this is a positive development, but I am not so sure at all (see below).

That being said, there are some observations which might be helpful when trying to at least (indirectly) identify who are the main groups fighting each other.

The hardcore, really nutty, russophobes are still here, especially in the US media which seems to be serving not so much “Biden” as much as some “crazies in the basement” kind of cabal. Next to the legacy ziomedia, there is an increasing number of US/NATO/UK military officials who are foaming at the mouth with threats, warnings, complaints and insults, all against Putin and Russia. This is important because:

  • The “Zone A” media has comprehensively and very effectively concealed the very real risks of war with Russia, China and Iran. And if this was mentioned, the presstitutes always stressed that the US has the “best military in the history of the galaxy” and that Uncle Sam will “kickass” anybody he chooses to. If the people of the USA were informed of the truth of the matter, they would freak out and demand that this path to war be immediately abandoned and replaced with a meaningful dialog.
  • US/NATO/UK authorities have talked themselves into a corner where they have only two outcomes left: they can do what the US always does, that is to “declare victory and leave”, or they can force Russia to protect her borders on land, air and sea and, thereby, face a major military humiliation delivered by Russia.

Truth be told, during the recent naval exercises UK and US officials made a lot of threats and promises to ignore Russian warnings, but in the end, they quietly packed and left. Smart choice, but it must have been painfully humiliating for them, which is very dangerous by itself.

How much of these statements/threats actually were done with “Biden’s” approval? I don’t know. But I am unaware of any reprimands, demotions or any other action taken against the crazies who are calling for a war against Russia, China or Iran. That does not mean that it did not happen, only that it was not publicized. My feeling is, however, that even if “Biden” did object to this kind of dangerous sabre rattling, “he” is too weak to do anything about it. It is quite possible that “Biden” is gradually losing control of his own administration.

I recently had a good laugh hearing NATO naval personnel saying that Russians made “imitation attacks” on NATO ships by overflying them several times. Apparently, these folks sincerely think that gravity bombs are the main/only threat from the Russian Aerospace Forces and coastal defenses which, in reality, can sink US/UK/NATO ships without ever approaching them or even getting in their radar range. Not to mention 6-7 extremely quiet and heavily armed advanced diesel-electric subs of the Black Sea Fleet. While I don’t doubt the “diversity” of these NATO naval crews, I am now having major doubts about even their basic competence.

There will be many more NATO exercises in the Black Sea in the future. Ditto for USN operations off the Chinese, Iranian or DPRK coasts. This (always explosive) combo of ignorance, arrogance and incompetence could result in a major war.

Another option is the terminally delusional UK government (supported by those Brits who still have phantom pains about their lost empire and, of course, by the largely irrelevant 3B+PU gang) might do something really stupid (say, like this) and trigger a war with the DPRK, Russia, China or Iran and then the US would have to move to defend/save a British Navy which is mostly a joke (at least by Russian or Chinese standards). The main problem here being that the USN is also in a terrible shape and cannot compete against Russian and Chinese standoff weapons (I mean that literally, there are currently no defenses against maneuvering hypersonic missiles! The only exception would be the Russian S-500). The latter two nations, by the way, have joined into an informal and unofficial military alliance for many years already; check out this article and video or this one for a recent update).

But opposite, de-escalatory developments are also taking place. First and foremost, “Biden” seemed to have “farmed out” the “Ukrainian dossier” to the Germans and washed Uncle Shmuel’s hands from it. If so, that was a very slick and smart move (which is something we have not witnessed from any administration in decades!). I highly recommend this translation of a most interesting article by arguably the best Ukraine specialist out there, Rostislav Ishchenko.

Ishchenko goes into a lot of interesting details and explains what “Biden” apparently just did. Frankly, the Germans richly deserve this full-spectrum mess and they will be dealing with the consequences of this disaster for a long time, possibly decades. In fact, the Germans are stuck: they want to be the Big European Leader? Let them. After all, the EU politicians, led by Germany, did all they could to create what is now often called “country 404” – a black hole in the heart of the European continent. Germany is the biggest economic power of the EU? Good, then let the Germans (and the rest of the EU) pay for the eventual reconstruction of the Ukraine (or of the successor-states resulting from the breakup of the country)! Russia simply cannot foot that bill, China most definitely won’t (especially after being cheated several times by the Ukies) and the USA has absolutely no reasons whatsoever to do so. I would even argue that chaos (social, economic, political, cultural. etc.) in Europe is probably seen by the US ruling class as highly desirable since it 1) weakens the EU as a competitor 2) justifies, however hypocritically and mistakenly, a “strong US presence” in Europe and 3) gives NATO a reason (however mistaken, misguided and even immoral) to exist

The US is protected from the fallout (immigrants, violence, extremism, etc.) of the Ukrainian disaster by distance, the Atlantic, a much stronger military (at least compared to anybody else in NATO). The US can print money in any way it wants and has no interests whatsoever in the (dying) Ukraine. If Ishchenko is right, and I agree with him, then there is somebody (possibly a group of somebodies) who is a lot smarter than anybody in the Trump Admin and who figured out that the Nazi-occuppied Ukraine should be an German/EU problem, not one for the US.

There is, of course, also the pessimistic analysis: the US is on the retreat everywhere, but only for the following reasons:

  • Regroup, reorganize, buy time to develop some kind of coherent strategy
  • Focus on each adversary separately and prioritize (divide et impera at least!)
  • Re-analyze, re-plan, re-design, re-develop, re-train, re-equip and re-test pretty much everything in the US armed forces (which have not been shaped by any rational force planning in decades)

Those who believe the strategic retreat theory (I am not personally discounting this version, but I do not see enough evidence – yet – to endorse it either) typically add that “the US only left Afghanistan to hand it over to the Taliban/al-Qaeda and unleash them against “soft underbelly of Russia”. Now, that is utter nonsense, if only because Russia does not have a common border with Afghanistan.

Yes, sure, what is currently taking place in Afghanistan greatly worries all the leaders of the region, including the leaders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. But it just so happens that the Russians have been in intense consultations with all these regional powers. Not only that, but Russia already has forces deployed in the region (including the 201st base in Tajikistan) and she has been substantially reinforcing them with no protests from the Empire (at least so far). Finally, all of Central Asia, the Caucasus and even the Middle-East is well within reach of numerous types of Russian long-range standoff weapons. Apparently, the Taliban know that, because they went to great lengths to promise all their neighbors that the (now inevitable) regime-change in Kabul will not represent a threat for anybody. Can we trust them? Nope, of course not. But can we trust them to be smart enough to realize that while they are currently the biggest force in Afghanistan, they don’t even come close to having what it takes to fight a war against any of Afghanistan’s neighbors? Yes, I think we can. After many years of fighting, and the Taliban already in control of part of Kabul, the Taliban will finally achieve their goals and become the true, official, leaders of Afghanistan. Should they try to attack or destabilize any of their neighbors, the very first thing they would lose would be Kabul and any chance to be accepted as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Remember that, like the US, neither Russia nor Iran need to invade Afghanistan to strike at the Taliban, they can use proxies and they have the kind of weapon systems and launch platforms from which the Taliban cannot protect themselves. Last, but certainly not least, the Taliban know how the Russians and the Iranians fought in Syria, and they will not want to trigger anything similar in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, Russia’s “soft underbelly” is a 19th century concept. In the 21st century only the least informed and least competent people would ever use such a concept. Furthermore, only somebody with zero knowledge of actual military capabilities of the Southern and Central Military Districts of Russia could mention such a silly and outdated notion with a straight face. Besides, while the Afghans can be superb guerillas (but not always, contrary to the popular myth!), they cannot conduct combined arms offensive operations, while Russia and Iran can. Again, I will never say never, especially with Takfiris in the loop, but I don’t see the Taliban attacking anybody, least of all Russian or Iranian allies in the region

Coming back to “Biden’s” great retreat: if “Biden” is smart enough to hang the Ukraine on Germany, “he” is probably too smart to predicate the US foreign policy towards Russia predicated around the “soft underbelly” thingie. As for all the “fire and brimstone” threats of war against Russia, they are not impressing anybody as the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians know that a confident and powerful country does not need to threaten anybody, if only because the actual capabilities of these country are a very telling “threat” by themselves. But when a former superpower is weak, confused and frightened, it will make many roaring statements about how it can defeat the entire planet if needed (after all, the US military is “the best military in the history of the galaxy”! If you doubt that, just listen to Toby Keith!). In other words, while in the West threats are an instrument of foreign policy, in Russia, and in the rest of Asia, they are inevitably seen as a sign of weakness, doubts and even fear.

Then there seems to be a long list of weapons systems, procurement plans and “defense” monies which have been pulled back, including the (truly awful) LCS and F-35. While it is true that the US is gradually phasing out fantastically expensive weapons systems and platforms which were also more or less useless, this show the ability to at least admit that all that talk about super-dooper US superweapons was just that, talk, and that in reality the US MIC is incapable of producing the kind of superb high quality systems which it used to produce in large quantities in the past (Arleigh Burke, F-15, Jumbo 747, the Willys Jeep, F-16, A-10, Los Angeles SSN, KH satellites, etc.). This is why the F-15X is designed to “augment” the F-35 feet (by itself a very smart move!).

Such an admission, even if indirect and only logically implied, might show a level of maturity, or courage, by “Biden” which his predecessors did not have.

Could it be that the folks at the Pentagon, who do know the reality of the situation (see here for a very good Moon of Alabama article about this), figured out that Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump vastly over extended the Empire and now they need to regroup and “re-everything” to achieve a more sustainable “defense” posture?

Could it be that “Biden” will deliver what Trump promised, i.e. to end the useless (and unwinnable!) wars, stop caring too much about the agonizing EU, silently accept that Russia has no intentions (and no need!) whatsoever to attack anyone and focus on the biggest non-military threat out there: China. Maybe.

As far as I know, many (all?) simulations – by RAND and the US military – and command staff exercises have shown that the US would lose badly to both Russia or China. Could it be that “Biden” wants to put Russia and China on the backburner and “deal” with Iran first? The latest news on the US/Israel vs Iran front is not good, to say the least.

I still believe that following the murder of General Suleimani and the retaliatory Iranian missile strikes the US seems to have given up on the idea of a direct attack on Iran. After all, not only did Trump let the “most powerful military in the history of the galaxy” be humiliated and seriously scared – for good reason – by the extremely accurate Iranian missile strikes, but the entire world witnessed this humiliation. After that disaster, why would “Biden” decide to attack?

Could “Biden” be even dumber than Trump? I very much doubt it. Besides, both Trump and Biden were equally subservient to the Israel Lobby anyway, so I would never say never, especially since all Israel has to do to force the US to attack Iran, is to attack first, then present any Iranian response as a planned “genocide of 6 million Jews” (what else?), but this time in Israel and by the Iranians (who might even use gas, who knows?). At these words, both the GOP and the Dems will snap to attention and immediately rush to save America’s most precious and beloved “ally” (in reality, its colonial master and overlord, of course). About Israel, we can only sadly conclude that it really makes no difference whatsoever whether the Demolicans or the Republicrats (mostly RINOs anyway) happens to be in the White House.

So what are we left with?

Frankly, I am not sure.

I think that there is very strong, even if only indirect, evidence which there is some very serious in-fighting taking place in the “Biden” administration and there is also strong, but also indirect, evidence that the military posture of the United States is undergoing what might end up being a major overhaul of the US armed forces.

If true, and that is a big “if”, this is neither good news nor bad news.

But this might be big news.

Why?

Because, objectively, the current US retreat on most fronts might be the “soft landing” (transition from Empire to “normal” country) many Trump voters were hoping for. Or it might not. If it is not, this might be a chaos-induced retreat, indicating that the US state is crumbling and has to urgently “simplify” things to try to survive, thereby generating a lot of factional infighting (at least one Russian observer specialized in “US studies”, Dmitrii Drobnitskii, believes to be the case: see the original article here, and its machine translation here). Finally, the state of decay of the US state might already be so advanced that we can consider it as profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing/collapsed. The first option (soft landing) is unlikely, yet highly desirable. The second option (chaos-induced retreat) is more likely, but much less desirable as it is only a single step back to then make several steps forward again. The last option (profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing/collapsed) is, alas, the most likely, and it is also, by far, the most perilous one.

For one thing, options #2 and #3 will make US actions very unpredictable and, therefore, potentially extremely dangerous. Unpredictable chaos can also quickly morph into a major war, or even several major ones, so the potential danger here is very real (even if totally unreported in Zone A). This, in turn, means that Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela or Cuba all have to keep their guard up and be ready for anything, even the unthinkable (which is often what total chaos generates).

Right now, the fact that the US has initiated a “great retreat” is undeniable. But the true reasons behind it, and its implications, remain quite obscure, at least to me.

I will conclude by asking you, the readers, for your opinion: do you think that the US is currently in a “contraction phase”? If yes, do you believe that this is a short-term only phenomenon, or will this retreat continue and, if yes, how far?

Iraqi Resistance Groups Vow to Force US Troops to Leave Humiliated

 July 30, 2021

Visual search query image

By Staff, Agencies

Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah resistance movement has emphasized that the American military troops must withdraw from the Arab country, vowing that it is ready to force the occupation troops to do so.

The anti-terror group, which is part of the Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Shaabi, announced in a statement on Thursday that it has and will firmly oppose the dominance of “evil” colonial powers over the natural resources of Iraq.

The statement noted that Kataib Hezbollah will continue to carry out its duties regardless of pressures and challenges it might face.

“All resistance groups have become a thorn in the eye of the American enemy. We are fully prepared to once again drive US forces out of Iraq in humiliation,” it also read.

Kataib Hezbollah warned that further surprises await American occupation forces in case they insist on their presence on the Iraqi soil.

Jafar al-Hussaini, spokesman for the resistance movement, said the Iraqi factions would not target diplomatic missions in the country, describing attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone as false-flag operations aimed at deceiving the Iraqi nation.

“Diplomatic facilities in Iraq are not on the list of targets by resistance forces. Attacks on the evil US embassy in Baghdad are meant to disrupt equations and trick Iraqi people,” Hussaini told Beirut-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen TV on Thursday.

“The perpetrators of attacks on the evil embassy are pursuing destructive interests, and their affiliations are suspicious,” he added.

In the same context, Leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq Movement, Qais al-Khazali, said the United States does not intend to withdraw its forces from Iraq, stressing that the cost of continued presence of American forces in the country will be heavy.

“US overflights in Iraq are aimed at espionage purposes. Baghdad-Washington negotiations will not result in the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. This is just a deception game,” he added.

Khazali described the Iraqi government’s negotiations with the United States and the agreement purportedly ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021 as “deceptive” and “bogus.”

He said the agreement does not explicitly state the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and fails short of addressing the violation of the Iraqi airspace by US military aircraft.

“The agreement has simply been struck in order to change the title of US forces. This is what we had earlier reported about. US overflights in Iraq are being carried out to spy on resistance groups. Our demand concerning the pullout of foreign military forces is legitimate,” Khazali said.

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Monday sealed an agreement formally ending the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of the current year, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the Arab country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the White House meeting, Biden claimed that the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

Related Articles

US bombing of Iraq and Syria is illegal aggression – Occupiers have no right to ‘self-defense’

Visual search query image

Independent journalist focused on geopolitics and US foreign policy.

 July 28, 2021

Source

Ben Norton

Militarily occupying Iraq and Syria is a thoroughly bipartisan policy in the United States. And bombing West Asia has become a favorite pastime that unites both Democrat and Republican presidents.

The United States believes it has the right to bomb, militarily occupy, and economically strangulate any country, anywhere, without consequence. But the world’s peoples are standing up more and more to the global dictatorship of US hegemony.

Visual search query image

On June 27, Washington launched airstrikes against forces in both Iraq and Syria, two sovereign countries illegally occupied by the US military, which have repeatedly called for American troops to leave.

The US attack proved to be a gift to the genocidal extremists in ISIS: it helped provide cover as remnants of the so-called “Islamic State” launched a terror attack on a power grid in northern Iraq. Similarly, the US bombing killed several members of Iraqi government-backed units who had been protecting their nation from ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

It is far from the first time Washington has clearly been on the same side as far-right Takfiri fanatics. For example, current US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan admitted in an email to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 that “AQ is on our side in Syria.” And the US government supported al-Qaeda extremists in its wars on Yemen and Libya.

In addition to aiding notorious terrorist groups, these US strikes on Iraq and Syria were glaringly illegal under international law. Moreover, they constitute a clear act of aggression against the peoples of West Asia, who for decades have struggled for self-determination and control over their own, plentiful natural resources – resources that the US government and its all-powerful corporations seek to control and exploit.

The Pentagon tried to justify its attack claiming it was an act of “self-defense.” Absurdly, the US Department of Defense – the world champion in violating international law – even cited international law to try to legitimize the airstrikes.

In reality, the US military’s presence in Iraq and Syria is illegal. And under international law, a military power that is illegally occupying a territory does not have the right to self-defense. That is true just as much for apartheid “Israel” in its settler-colonial aggression against Palestine as it is for the United States in its imperial wars on the peoples of Iraq and Syria.

Iraq’s prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, made that clear. He condemned the US strikes as a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.”

In January 2020, in response to Washington’s assassination of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis – a criminal act of war against both Iraq and Iran – the democratically elected parliament in Baghdad voted 170 to 0 to expel the thousands of US troops occupying Iraq.

Washington simply ignored the vote, silencing the voices of the Iraqi people – while threatening more economic sanctions on their government. In addition, the Pentagon stressed that the vote was nonbinding. Still, even the US government-backed RAND Corporation acknowledged that there “is no treaty or status of forces agreement (SOFA) authorizing the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq.”

Likewise, the United States is illegally occupying one-third of Syrian sovereign territory. The internationally recognized government in Damascus has repeatedly called on the US military occupiers to leave, but they have refused, in a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty.

“The presence of Americans in Syria is a sign of occupation, and we believe that all nations and governments must stand up to their unlawful presence in the region,” Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis declared in 2020, after the US assassinations of the top Iraqi and Iranian military leaders.

While former Republican President Donald Trump radiated a kind of neocolonial arrogance, boasting that US troops would illegally remain in Syria because “we want to keep the oil,” the Democratic Joe Biden administration has not acted much differently.

President Biden appointed hardline neoconservative operative Dana Stroul as the top Pentagon official for Middle East policy. In 2019, Stroul bragged that Washington “owned” one-third of Syrian territory, including its “economic powerhouse,” which includes the vast majority of its oil and wheat reserves.

Stroul’s promotion was an unambiguous sign that the Democrats are endorsing the same sadistic Trumpian strategy, to militarily occupy Syria, steal its natural resources, starve its government of revenue, deny its people bread and gasoline, and prevent reconstruction of what Stroul snidely referred to as the widespread “rubble.”

The reality is that militarily occupying Iraq and Syria is a thoroughly bipartisan policy in the United States. And bombing West Asia has become a favorite pastime that unites both Democrat and Republican presidents.

Trump launched airstrikes against Syria in April 2018 on totally unsubstantiated accusations that Damascus had carried out “gas attacks,” claims that have since been proven false by multiple whistleblowers from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Then in December 2019, the Trump administration bombed anti-ISIS militias in both Syria and Iraq.

Biden carried out a similar, illegal attack on these same fighters in eastern Syria in February 2021. Another example of Washington serving as the de facto air force for the remnants of the so-called “Islamic State.”

The December 2019, February 2021, and June 2021 US airstrikes targeted the Iraqi government-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMFs), known in Arabic as the al-Hashd al-Sha’abi. In its official statement on the June bombing, the Pentagon stated unequivocally that it was attacking Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, two prominent Iraqi armed groups in the Hashd.

The Department of Defense misleadingly referred to these units as “Iran-backed militia groups.” The US government and the corporate media outlets that act as its obedient mouthpiece always describe the Hashd as “Iran-backed” to try to downplay their role as indigenous protectors of Iraqi sovereignty and deceptively portray them as foreign proxies of Washington’s favorite bogeyman.

In reality, the PMFs are Iraqi units supported by the elected, internationally recognized government in Baghdad. The Hashd played a leading role in the fight against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other extremist Takfiri groups in both Iraq and Syria – while the United States, apartheid “Israel”, and NATO allies spent billions of dollars backing Salafi-jihadist death squads in their genocidal war on the people of Syria.

The Hashd do indeed receive assistance from Tehran, and they have every right to do so. After all, Iran is Iraq’s neighbor, whereas the United States is on the other side of the planet. But Washington, NATO, and their de facto stenographers in the corporate press corps seek to discredit all resistance to criminal US aggression in West Asia by erasing its organic, indigenous roots and lazily depicting it as a vast conspiracy controlled by an omnipresent Iranian controller.

The PMFs made it clear that they will not tolerate Washington’s assault on their nation’s sovereignty. “We reserve the legal right to respond to these attacks and hold the perpetrators accountable on Iraqi soil,” the Hashd declared.

Unlike the US military occupiers, the people of Iraq and Syria do have a right to exercise self-defense in response to strikes by foreign aggressors. They can legally resist American military occupation and neocolonialism, just as the people of Palestine have the right to resist Israeli military occupation and Zionist settler-colonialism. It is a right enshrined in international law – and an inalienable right that any nation would defend.

If Washington wants to stop attacks on its troops, there is an easy way to do that: withdraw them from the region where they are not wanted. American soldiers will be much safer at home.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Nujaba: Entire US Military, Including “Criminal” Air Force, Must Leave Iraq

27 Jul 2021

Visual search query image

By Staff, Agencies

Iraq’s al-Nujaba resistance movement has called for a complete pullout of American forces from the country, saying the planned withdrawal under the newly-inked agreement between Baghdad and Washington must include the US military’s “criminal” air force.

“We have no confidence whatsoever in Americans, and do not agree to their presence under any circumstances. We fiercely oppose the US military presence, and demand a complete pullout of American forces,” Nasr al-Shammari, Nujaba’s spokesman, told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen news network in an interview on Monday night.

The comments followed a meeting between Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and US President Joe Biden in Washington, where they sealed an agreement formally ending the US “combat” mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, more than 18 years after US troops were sent to the country.

Under the agreement, however, US military forces will continue to operate in Iraq in what has been termed as an “advisory role.”

A joint Iraq-US statement issued after the meeting said the “security” relationship will be focused on “training, advising and intelligence-sharing.”

Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Biden said the US would continue to “train, to assist, to help and to deal with ISIS as it arises,” when the combat mission comes to an end.

The US currently has about 2,500 troops in Iraq. It is not known how many troops will stay in the country beyond 2021. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said “the numbers will be driven by what is needed for the mission over time.”

Shammari hailed Kadhimi’s latest remarks that Iraq no longer requires American combat troops.

The Nujaba official said the withdrawal must also include the US air force, which, he said, controls Iraq’s airspace and has been behind many of the American military’s crimes in the Arab state.

“The US military’s crimes in Iraq, especially the assassination of military commanders Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani [of Iran] and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were carried out by its air force,” Shammari said.

He said the US military offered no help to Iraq to prevent the rise of the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] initially, or to defeat it later on.

“American forces did not warn against the Daesh militant group’s threats until after it captured more than a third of the Iraqi soil. Additionally, the troops did not provide any assistance to confront the terrorists,” he said.

Shammari said certain Iraqi factions want to promote themselves though foreign support and thus seek a prolongation of the US military presence in the country.

“Who can guarantee that American forces in Iraq will not be reinforced under the title of advisors?” he asked.

Meanwhile, prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr praised the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, saying, “We are waiting for a complete withdrawal of American troops.”

Sadr praised the role of Iraqi resistance fighters in speeding up the American pullout in a post published on his Twitter page, and wrote “The occupiers finally announced the start of the withdrawal of all their combat forces.”

“We are waiting, just as you are, for the complete pullout of the occupying forces,” he said in an address to resistance groups, while appreciating “efforts aimed at striking this agreement, especially those made by brother al-Kadhimi.”

He added, “We have already announced our conditions, and the military operations of resistance forces will stop completely once they are met. We must work to support Iraqi armed forces, including the army and law enforcement, so they can secure Iraqi territories and protect the country against terrorism, violence and proxies.”

Separately, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halboosi hailed the agreement to end US combat mission in Iraq, and stated that his country is moving confidently towards the full realization of its capabilities.

He described the agreement as a diplomatic and political achievement in line with Iraq’s national interests, establishment of full sovereignty and the creation of a capable Iraq.

Anti-US sentiment has been growing in Iraq since the assassination in January 2020 of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units, along with the region’s legendary anti-terror commander General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad.

They were targeted along with their companions on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike authorized by former US president Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport.

Two days after the attack, Iraqi lawmakers approved a bill that requires the government to end the presence of all foreign military forces led by the US.

“Kata’ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada”: US May Back a Military Ruler in Iraq

27 Jul 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

After many Iraqi stances refusing to legitimize the US presence in Iraq, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi warns against a plan to destabilize the elections and appoint a US-backed military ruler in Iraq.

Visual search query image
Al-Fartousi: The Iraqi government made a grave mistake

In an interview for Al Mayadeen, the “Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada” Spokesman Kadhim al-Fartousi considered that “the negotiations between the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his accompanying delegation with the US administration are aimed at legitimizing the US presence in Iraq.”

In response to the Biden-Kadhimi agreement to end the US military combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year, al-Fartousi said that “the Iraqi government made a grave mistake when it undertook the role of a mediator between the Resistance and the US.” 

“By doing so, the Iraqi government recognized the presence of US combat troops in Iraq,” he added.

Concerning the Iraqi parliamentary elections and Iraq’s political future, Al-Fartousi confirmed that “the circulated information suggests that the upcoming elections will not bring anything new to the political structure. As a result, a decision was made against them.”

Al-Fartousi warned that “a military figure, who accompanied the Iraqi delegation to the US, may be nominated as a military ruler,” he added.

The Secretary-General of “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” Qais al-Khazali said that the Iraqi Foreign Minister’s statement about the need for US forces was “unfortunate”, noting that “the statement is rejected and does not reflect the reality of the capabilities the Iraqi forces have attained.”

On Monday, the Deputy Secretary-General of Iraq’s “Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement” Nasr al-Shammari expressed to Al Mayadeen his distrust in the Americans.

“Iraq’s Al-Nujaba Islamic Resistance Movement rejects the US presence in Iraq,” al-Shammari emphasized.

Commenting on some Iraqi stances which call for the continuation of US presence in Iraq, Al-Shammari  said, “Whoever demands a continued US military presence in Iraq aims to gain internal power through the foreign powers.” 

“US forces in Iraq did not provide an early warning against ISIS invasion, nor did they assist in confronting it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hussein Fuad had lately stressed that his country’s security forces are still in need of the training, armament, equipment, and capacity-building programs provided by the US.

On his part, Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji has recently announced that the US has been informed that “Iraq does not need any foreign combat force” on its soil.

Related

White House: Biden, Al-Kadhimi Agree on Continued Security Partnership

27 Jul, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi affirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, the rule of law, and promoting a secure environment for Iraq’s upcoming elections in October.

Visual search query image
US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC | AFP

United States President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to discuss strengthening bilateral coordination under the Strategic Framework Agreement. The two parties discussed expanded initiatives on climate, energy, education, and combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The White House stated Tuesday “the two parties are committed to a continued security partnership to ensure that ISIS can never resurge and to allow communities recovering from terror to rebuild with dignity even as the United States shifts to a purely advisory role.”

Today President Biden met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi of the Republic of Iraq. Together they discussed initiatives on climate, energy, education, combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, and their commitment to maintaining a strong partnership between the U.S. and Iraq. pic.twitter.com/b06fIOVHu5— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 26, 2021

“The leaders reaffirmed their respect for Iraq’s democracy, the rule of law, and promoting a secure environment for Iraq’s upcoming elections in October. The leaders agreed on the vital importance of holding these elections on time and welcomed the UN monitoring mission to support their full transparency and fairness,” the White House added.

“They discussed the important role of Iraq in the region and the significant diplomatic efforts led by Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi to improve and strengthen Iraq’s relationships in the region,” the readout of the meeting continued.

The two parties concluded by saying that Iraq’s stability was central to the stability of the entire region.

US President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi sealed an agreement on Monday, which formally ends the US combat mission in Iraq by the end of 2021, but US forces will still operate there in an advisory role.

“Our role in Iraq will be … to be available, to continue to train, to assist, to help, and to deal with ISIS as it arises, but we’re not going to be, by the end of the year, in a combat mission,” said Biden.

Al-Kadhimi expressed his happiness with the continued cooperation with the United States, stating that the relationship with Washington has many aspects.

Nord Stream 2 ‘Deal’ Is Not an American Concession, It’s Admission of Defeat

See the source image

July 23, 2021

Source

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington’s geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia’s prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia’s vast energy resources will ensure Europe’s economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany’s export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would “weaponize” energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)

Another vital objective for Washington is to thwart any normal relations developing between Russia and the rest of Europe. American hegemony and its hyper-militaristic economy depend on dividing and ruling other nations as so-called “allies” and “adversaries”. This has been a long-time necessity ever since the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War decades, the latter constantly revived by Washington against Russia. (So much for American claims that Russia is a “revisionist power”!)

However, there is a fundamental objective problem for the Americans. The empirical decline of U.S. global power means that Washington can no longer bully other nations in the way it has been accustomed to doing for decades. The old Cold War caricatures of demonizing others have lost their allure and potency because the objective world we live in today simply does not make them plausible or credible. The Russian gas trade with the European Union is a consummate case in point. In short, Germany and the EU are not going to shoot themselves in the foot, economically speaking, simply on the orders of Uncle Sam.

President Joe Biden had enough common sense – unlike the egotistical Trump – to realize that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 was futile. Biden is more in tune with the Washington establishment than his maverick predecessor. Hence Biden began waiving sanctions imposed under Trump. Finally this week, the White House announced that it had come to an agreement with Germany to permit Nord Stream 2 to go ahead. The Financial Times called it a “truce” while the Wall Street Journal referred to a “deal” between Washington and Berlin. (Ironically, American non-interference is presented as a “deal”!)

The implication is that the United States was magnanimously giving a “concession” to Europe. The reality is the Americans were tacitly admitting they can’t stop the strategic convergence between Russia and the rest of Europe on a vital matter of energy supply.

In spinning the eventuality, Washington has continued to accuse Russia of “weaponizing” trade. It warns that if Russia is perceived to be abusing relations with Ukraine and Europe then the United States will slap more sanctions on Moscow. This amounts to the defeated bully hyperventilating.

Another geopolitical factor is China. The Biden administration has prioritized confrontation with China as the main long-term concern for repairing U.S. decline. Again, Biden is more in tune with the imperial planners in Washington than Trump was. They know that in order for the United States to have a chance of undermining China as a geopolitical rival the Europeans must be aligned with U.S. policy. Trump’s boorish browbeating of Europeans and Germany in particular over NATO budgets and other petty issues resulted in an unprecedented rift in the “transatlantic alliance” – the euphemism for American dominance over Europe. By appearing to concede to Germany over Nord Stream 2, Washington is really aiming to shore up its anti-China policy. This too is an admission of defeat whereby American power is unable to confront China alone. The bully needs European lackeys to align, and so is obliged to offer a “deal” over Russia’s energy trade.

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

Biden Incites against Hezbollah, Extends ‘National Emergency’ for Lebanon

July 21, 2021

Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden claimed that Hezbollah’s activities ‘undermine’ Lebanon’s sovereignty, in a clear instigation against the Lebanese Resistance movement.

In a letter to the Congress on Tuesday, the US president extended the so-called ‘state of national emergency’ in Beirut.

“Certain ongoing activities, such as Iran’s continuing arms transfers to Hezbollah — which include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems — serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in the region,” the letter read.

Hezbollah activities “constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Biden added in his letter.

“For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13441 with respect to Lebanon,” he was quoted as saying.

The US first declared a “state of national emergency for Lebanon” during the George Bush administration in 2007.

For the fourteenth consecutive year, the so-called national emergency for Lebanon will be extended for another 365 days.

SourceAgencies

Related Videos

Bomber Joe Biden Strikes Iraq and Syria: Retaliation Breeds More Incidents

See the source image

July 15, 2021

Philip Giraldi

Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

Joe Biden is continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy.

In less than six months in office President Joe Biden has already developed a national security policy that appears to lean strongly towards proactive use of military force in questionable circumstances, as if war is the answer to every problem. Biden should nevertheless be applauded for his persistence in withdrawing from Afghanistan after twenty years of ill-considered nation building, but even the departure from that country appears to be characterized by a lack of coordination, rather reminiscent of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof in Saigon in 1975.

For the second time the president has ordered a US bombing raid on two targets in Syria, and for the first time, he also attacked a site inside Iraq. According to one report possibly as many as seven Iraqis died in the attacks which targeted alleged weapons storage facilities along the Syria-Iraq border belonging to Kata’ib Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada militias. The US claims that the two Iraqi militias have ties to Iran, which may be more than usually true because the Iraqis and Iranians have cooperated regularly in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). The Pentagon also claims that the militias were behind recent attacks on American targets, see more below.

After the attacks carried out by US fighter-bombers, the excuse provided was the same one employed after Biden’s first air attack in February, namely that the US, as described by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, “conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region.” He added verbiage what has now become a regular feature of all US military actions, that “the United States acted pursuant to its right of self-defense.” For those who are intrigued by Pentagon newspeak the expression “defensive precision airstrikes” must be considered as a new entry in the crowded field of phrases that largely have no meaning.

The strikes were framed as being retaliatory, but the most interesting aspect of this latest bombing is that the initial US government justifications for the action were on somewhat tentative. Reportedly, someone had used drones with explosives attached for mostly night-time attacks directed “against places where Americans were located in Iraq,” which were further described as including diplomatic, intelligence and military facilities. The Pentagon refers to the drones as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or UAVs. No Americans were killed in the alleged attacks and there were no reports of any substantial damage, though the Pentagon is apparently collecting information and preparing a comprehensive report which the public undoubtedly will not be allowed to see.

Oddly, the initial media reporting on what had occurred and who had been blamed for it included a weasel word, “suspected.” In government-speak that frequently means there was little or no evidence that the militias that had been targeted were actually the perpetrators, but it is convenient to assume that they are responsible, making them “suspects.” After all, it is relatively easy to transport a number of drones on the bed of a pickup truck, drive with it to a location where one is unlikely to be observed and then release them at a fixed target. Even if you don’t hit anything, you will spread fear and trigger a response that might well be exploited to vilify the occupying forces. You will also provide justification for your own retaliation.

The Iraqi government, which was not informed in advance of the US bombings, not surprisingly reacted strongly, registering its opposition to such activity on the part of its so-called ally, though occupier has been suggested as a more appropriate description. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s office called the airstrikes a “blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security.” After the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad Airport in January 2020, the Iraqi Parliament had called for the departure of all US forces, but the Trump Administration ignored the demand, claiming that it was in Iraq to help the Iraqis in their fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups.

The US currently has a claimed 2,500 soldiers in Iraq who, it asserts, are in country advising and training their local counterparts. Meanwhile, “Fighting terrorists and training friendly forces” is roughly the same excuse that has been used to justify remaining in neighboring Syria, where the US has deployed roughly 500 soldiers who have been taking possession of the production of the country’s oil fields, which it then provides to Israel. The US is also, by the way, trying to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government in Damascus, using some of the very terrorists it claims to be fighting to do the job, but that is of course another story.

If the United States government is beginning to sound a bit like the Israeli government that should surprise no one, as Israel is clearly heavily involved in whatever on goes vis-à-vis Syria and Iran directly and in Iraq by proxy. One almost expects new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to provide an endorsement, parroting the Pentagon line as well as his own country’s rhetoric, saying “the US has a right to defend itself.” Of course, the unasked question then becomes “to defend itself against what?” Israel was at least able to pretend that there was some kind of threat coming from Gaza since the two share a border, but the United States would be hard pressed to explain why it has soldiers in Syria and Iraq at all, particularly since the Iraqi government has called upon them to depart.

A neocon journalist supportive of a global crusade to spread “democracy” once quipped that the nice thing about having an empire is never having to say you are sorry, but that has not meant that mindless acts of violence inflicted throughout the Middle East are have been consequence free. One has to suspect in this case that the use of force to include a target within the borders of a nominal ally was also mostly intended to send a signal to Iran. A Pentagon spokesman ironically boasted afterwards that “This action should send a message to Iran that it cannot hide behind its proxy forces to attack the United States and our Iraqi partners.” The spokesman appears to be oblivious to the fact that it was Iraqi militiamen tied to the government that had been killed, not Iranians. And his assumption that it would reduce the level of violence also proved wrong as there have been a number of new drone, rocket and mortar attacks against American targets in Iraq since Biden’s “defensive precision airstrikes” were launched. One of the militias that lost fighters to the US airstrikes, said it would “avenge the blood of our righteous martyrs.”  Another Iranian supported group, the Popular Mobilization Forces went further, threatening to “enter an open war with the American occupation.” In short, all the attacks really accomplished was to anger the Iraqi people over the continued US presence and to guarantee more incidents.

Biden’s “sending a message to Iran” would undoubtedly be intended to do the same to the Iraqi government, telling them that drawing any closer to the Iranians is too close as far as the Pentagon and White House are concerned. In terms of the timing of the airstrikes, it is also important to note that the US has been working closely with the new Israeli government to establish a unified policy on Iranian “regional aggression” and its nuclear program. Biden met recently with retiring Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the White House and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has been having discussions with Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid. Iran was the focus of both meetings.

So, Joe Biden and whoever is advising him are continuing down the path that began with George W. Bush, with military action used as a substitute for any real foreign policy. The problem with the meddling in the Middle East is primarily that it permits no exit strategy. It will end ignominiously when it ends as is happening in Afghanistan, without any remorse and little to show for all the expense and the deaths. Given that reality, rather than concoct largely fabricated reasons to keep US troops in Iraq and Syria the Administration should be looking for ways to end the torment for everyone involved.

Related Video

Red Alert in Iraq… Time for the U.S. to Decide

Visual search query image
amro@amrobilal.net), is an independent Palestinian writer and Political researcher. He writes for various Arabic news outlets, some of which are Al-Akhbar newspaperAl-Mayadeen Satellite News ChannelArabi 21, and Rai Al-Youm, and UPROOTED PALESTINIANS

July 15, 2021

By Amro Allan

‘President Joe Biden may be nearly done with America’s two-decade military involvement in Afghanistan, but another nearby war zone, where U.S. troops have been based for almost as long, is threatening to become a major thorn in the White House’s side: Iraq’, says Foreign Policy in its Situation Report on July 8, 2021, entitled ‘Red Alert in Iraq’. This comes after two fairly heated weeks in Iraq and Syria, where an escalation in the resistance groups operations against American troops was noticeable, both in frequency and in nature.

For instance, on Wednesday, July 7, 14 rockets hit Ain al-Assad Air Base, the largest military installation in Iraq housing U.S. troops, wounding at least two American soldiers. Another suicide drone attack, a day before, targeted U.S. forces based in Erbil airport, not far from where the U.S. consulate is located. Also, there were multiple improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against convoys transporting U.S. military logistic supplies, that took place in various Iraqi towns and cities in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, in Eastern Syria, U.S. occupation forces were busy fending off suicide drone and rocket attacks targeting al-Omar oilfield and nearby areas. Al-Omar oilfield is the largest in the country, and It is invested with both the U.S. forces and their collaborators  the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

No American soldiers have been killed in these recent intense activities in Iraq and Syria. However, Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, explains ‘It’s already very intense. The strikes aren’t killing people, but they could, easily, if they want them to’, and he adds ‘The missile defences are quietly working quite well. But what we haven’t seen is determined efforts to kill Americans’.

Many analysts consider this escalation a retaliation for the second round of U.S. airstrikes under Biden’s administration on June 27. Those airstrikes used the pretext ‘Iran-backed militia’, although in reality, they targeted a static Iraqi-Syrian border position of the Iraqi security forces (Popular Mobilisation Forces) under Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, killing four members of brigade 14 of the PMF.

While agreeing with this analysis in principle, I believe widening the scope would put the latest events in the broader context they deserve.

It is quite clear that Biden’s administration’s main foreign policy strategy, and indeed the U.S. establishment’s attitude in general of late, is to concentrate its overseas efforts on opposing the rise of China and Russia:  what Biden dubbed defending and strengthening democracy. This focus shift first took shape during Obama’s days in 2012 with his (unsuccessful) ‘Pivot to Asia’ policy and it has remained in principal a U.S. foreign policy objective since. But this shift naturally requires an improved allocation of U.S. resources.

Thus, when Biden came to power, he followed in the steps of his two predecessors in aiming to disengage from the ‘Middle East’ and West Asia in general as much as possible.

As the QUINCY Paper No. 7 entitled ‘Nothing Much to Do: Why America Can Bring All Troops Home From the Middle East’, published on June 24, 2021, poses the question ‘Three successive American Presidents — Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden — have pledged to end the post 9/11 wars and reunite U.S. soldiers with their families.

Yet, fulfilling that pledge has proven tougher than expected. Do U.S. interests in the region require so much of the U.S. military that full-scale withdrawals are not feasible?’. The paper argued that ‘the United States has no compelling military need to keep a permanent troop presence in the Middle East.

The two core U.S. interests in the region — preventing a hostile hegemony and ensuring the free flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz — can be achieved without a permanent military presence. There are no plausible paths for an adversary, regional or extra-regional, to achieve a situation that would harm these core U.S. interests. No country can plausibly establish hegemony in the Middle East, nor can a regional power close the Strait of Hormuz and strangle the flow of oil. To the extent that the United States might need to intervene militarily, it would not need a permanent military presence in the region to do so’.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, to be presumably fully completed by September 2021, was the first manifestation of Biden’s drawdown policy from West Asia. However, when it came to Iraq and Syria, the equations were quite different.

Despite Biden’s pledge to return to the JCPOA in his election campaign, there was an assessment that was widely spread between Iranian officials which says that the Biden administration would capitalise on Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ policy to extract concessions from Iran, before re-joining the JCPOA. Those concessions are related to two aspects:

  • Change in Iran’s foreign policy, especially its support for resistance groups in the region. This is to  the benefit of the Zionist entity, which remains a core influence on U.S. foreign policy.
  • Imposing restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles programme.

This American approach became apparent after Biden took office, and during the latest Vienna talks to salvage the nuclear deal. However, contrary to Biden’s false assumptions, the Americans found out that Iran will not give them any concessions, and that it meant what it said when Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei stated back in 2015 ‘We negotiated with the U.S. on the nuclear issue for specific reasons. The Americans performed well in the talks, but we didn’t and we won’t allow negotiation with the Americans on other issues’.

This has put the Americans in a quandary. Biden found that he could not withdraw from Iraq and Syria without getting guarantees from Iran and the Axis of Resistance related to the security of the Zionist entity, as the Axis of Resistance will never offer any guarantees at the expense of the Palestinians’ inalienable rights. Nor could Biden maintain the same level of American involvement in the ‘Middle East’ indefinitely. As this would be at the expense of the main U.S. foreign policy strategy, “Facing the Chinese challenge”, according to the terminology the  U.S. uses.

Furthermore, this American quandary has deepened after the battle of the ‘Sword of Jerusalem’ exposed many of the Zionist Entity’s [Israel]  weaknesses tactically and strategically in the face of the Axis of Resistance.

Based on this overview, we can expect a fairly heated summer for the U.S. occupation forces in the region, as from the Axis of Resistance point of view, the negotiations for the American withdrawal from the ‘Middle East’ and West Asia in general are not open-ended.

And it seems that the U.S. needs a nudge to decide whether: to start a meaningful and peaceful drawdown, with minimal losses; or risk a new ‘Middle East’ all-out war by trying to impose its sovereign will on the whole region.

And I believe, based on the Americans’ experience of the past two decades, that the consensus within the U.S. institutes is that the latter option would be highly costly. Not to mention that based on the current balance of powers in the region, as we read them, the outcome is not guaranteed to be in the favour of the U.S., nor in the favour of  “Israel” its closest ally.

Entranced Earth: the hegemonic dispute engulfs Brazil

July 13, 2021

Entranced Earth: the hegemonic dispute engulfs Brazil

By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

Even if the rhetoric and the interim security strategy of the Joe Biden administration itself tries to give a multilateralist veneer to the idea that the benevolent hegemon would be back, the reality imposed by the increase in competitive pressure, which deepens after the outbreak of the pandemic, and acquires dramatic contours in the so-called “vaccine war”, reveals a challenging scenario for the coming years.

The gradual increase in competitive pressure, symptom of a phenomenon justified in the theory of the Expanding Universe, would have its origins after the September 11 attacks, when the “universal war on terrorism” unveils a world where the power of an omnipotent hegemon revealed itself in the need for the permanent expansion of power through the use of its military infrastructure.

Then arises the figure of the “terrorist enemy”, which could be any person or group, inside or outside the United States, a universal enemy that could be destroyed anywhere, even if that meant violating individual rights or the sovereignty of other states.

The unilateral power expansionism carried out by the Americans after September 11 would therefore have generated the seed of escalation in conflicts, leading to increased destabilization and consequently to a reactive movement of the other states in the world system.

As if in a movement of self-protection, former powers of the interstate system return to a game that seemed dead, but in practice was only sleeping: the old geopolitics of nations, where national interest and the resumption of sovereignty would return to play the cards against the dogmas of globalization and liberal order.

The return of Russia, which in 2015 intervened in the Syrian war – demonstrating a warlike power not seen for some time – represented a turning point, which apparently began with the reelection of Vladimir Putin himself in 2012, but also with the coming to power of the current Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013. From then on, the interstate dispute would have accelerated considerably with the rise of these two Eurasian giants.

The spread of international competition and instability would be, therefore, in line with the idea that for international political actors the effort for changes in the system would be preponderant for the achievement of their own interests.

The appearance of new emerging actors in the world system, even if considered a destabilizing factor of the system itself, on the other hand, would boost in the hegemonic state the expansionist impulse necessary for it to remain at the top of the system.

The global instability caused by the clash between the powers that would be benefiting from the instituted international order, and those states that would aim to climb the power ladder, would suggest the end, or at least an interruption of the minimum consensus necessary for harmonious coexistence within what Hedlley Bull would call a “society of states”.

From this perspective, the hypothesis of war would emerge as an almost inevitable expedient to resolve the tensions caused by power imbalances and global instability. It is from war, therefore, and especially from the so-called hegemonic war, that the state or coalition of states that would lead the new international order would emerge.

At the moment in which the crisis or the end of the so-called liberal order created in the 20th century and led by the United States of America is being discussed, what seems evident is the occurrence of an increasingly deeper questioning of the current international order by other nations.

In this sense, the global instability reflected in the increase of competitive pressure would be explicit in the context of a generalized conflictive ambience, or on the way to generalization.

To better conceptualize this idea, Robert Gilpin’s Theory of Hegemonic War would indicate that a generalized conflictive environment, even if not configured in an apparent hegemonic war, would already suggest such a situation if we think that what differs a hegemonic war from other categories of war would be precisely the systemic conception existing in the relations between individual states. This being so, and given that it is a systemic relationship, the whole structure itself would be affected by it.

What has been happening internally in a country like Brazil is a very peculiar and local-scale example of this global phenomenon that has spread throughout the interstate system.

Therefore, just as the pandemic accelerated and deepened the global systemic crisis, internally it had a devastating effect by fusing conflicts and contradictions within societies in many countries around the world.

At a time when the parliamentary commission investigating the pandemic crisis is exposing the viscera of corruption in the Bolsonaro administration, exposing the Armed Forces to a public embarrassment not seen for some time, the repudiation note of the three military commands in a clear threat to the National Congress confirms the thesis that the internal war within the institutions and oligarchic elites is something real and increasingly out of control.

The strange visit of the CIA director to Brasilia, and his meeting behind closed doors with Bolsonaro and the head of Brazilian espionage, General Augusto Heleno, sounded like an intimidating message to Brazilian civil society that the Biden administration would endorse a hypothetical regime closure in Brazil.

As it happened during the Jimmy Carter administration – when the military dictatorship was strongly pressured by the United States -, even if the pressure of American public opinion may lead the Biden administration to abandon the nefarious Bolsonaro administration, it is still very useful for the current American security strategy that a vassal government like the Brazilian one ensures the removal of the Eurasian presence in the “Western Hemisphere”, and even contributes to the destabilization of hostile countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba.

The erratic way in which the privatization of Eletrobrás is being carried out – which will lead to an unprecedented increase in costs – as well as the energy crisis that is looming, signal a growing distancing of powerful sectors of the business elites from a government that reveals an openly militarized, authoritarian face that is oblivious to reality.

The fraying, therefore, of social relations at the top of the Brazilian pyramid reveals a scenario that finds historical precedent only in that period that led to the so-called Revolution of 1930, when the dispute between the oligarchies of the time reached its peak.

Following the example of what is happening at this very moment in Cuba and South Africa, the escalation of systemic social conflicts seems to have no end, and even if for different reasons, it would be the result of the pandora’s box opened by the pandemic.

Even if at first glance it doesn’t seem relevant, certainly the deepening of tensions at a global level – within the universe of the great hegemonic dispute – will be decisive for the future of the much debilitated Brazilian democracy.

The classic “Entranced Earth”, by the great filmmaker Glauber Rocha, never came so handy for the Brazilian reality.


Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws (LL.B), MA student in International Relations at the University of Évora (Portugal), writer and geopolitical analyst. He currently maintains a column on international politics at the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

Biden Occupation Regime Criminally Brings more Weapons into Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

US American forces in Syria - Biden - Hasakah - Deir Ezzor - Raqqa - Archive

Biden invaders and occupation regime criminally entered Syria — again — on 12 July. This supremacist convoy contained 37 trucks “loaded with weapons and ammunition” and logistical equipment, along with “three trailers carrying new armored military vehicles and eight other trailers loaded with huge camouflaged boxes” and three four-wheeled cars equipped with machine guns.”

The criminal US military convoy came in through the illegitimate al Walid crossing from Iraq, part of the ”autonomous zone” that voted against being an independent country, a couple of years ago.

For NATO colonialists among our readers, we return to our friends, the maps. The first one shows the location of both Syria and the US; the second, the location of al Walid, Hasaka governate, which is in Syria, which is not in the United States.

Biden imperial US again helping to destroy Syrian water supply.
This map clearly shows that Syria is not part of the US.
Arrow shows al Walid crossing, which the Biden regime uses illegally.

When not criminally using the al Walid crossing, the Biden regime forces — American illegals — criminally use the al Yaaruibayah crossing from that (Kurdish) autonomous region in Iraq, that would collapse without the US and other NATO criminals holding it up; sometimes the American illegals switch them up, using one for Biden continuing Trump’s oil and grains stealing, and the other for criminally bringing NATO weapons into the Levantine republic.

As H.E. Bassam Sabbagh has mentioned to the NATO junta ruling the UNSC, Biden forces illegal enter the SAR with the aplomb of traveling between New York and New Jersey.

Biden regime also criminally uses the al Yaarubiyah crossing.

At this time, the only difference between the Trump and Biden regimes in Syria is that the latter has not yet torched any wheat field, he only stole wheat from the Syrian wheat silos.

Joseph Biden inaugural ceremonies

On 7 July the supremacist Biden regime convoy was a bit larger, with 44 US occupation vehicles bringing in oil tankers, refrigerated tankers, trailers carrying ”bulldozers for the aim of reinforcing the occupation’s bases” in Syria, which is not in the US, as we have noted in the map, above.

While stenographer journalists are all aflutter over the US fake leaving Afghanistan, they have made no comments about our criminals remaining in Syria, a breach of both international law, and the noble UN Charter, both of which are ignored by NATO supremacists. The increase in the criminal American military fortification appears to be related to the ongoing bombings of the Biden illegals, by the resistance groups (akin to true anti-fascist partisan underground operations when civilized human beings were trying to rid their homelands of actual fascists and assorted occupiers, in Europe and in Libya — where Omar Mukhtar led the resistance against fascist Mussolini’s Quarta Sponda occupiers.).

Banned in Italy, 1982, lest Italians be reminded that they were once under fascist dictatorship.
Banned in Italy, 1982, lest Italians be reminded that they were once under fascist dictatorship.

The resistance has been busy since soon after 28 June, when the Biden regime criminals bombed both Syria and Iraq from within Syria (both Operation Mockingbird leftist success stories — bleating daily about racism — and the rightwingers who see no racism, are aligned in support of these colonial, supremacist war crimes).

Immediately, the resistance bombed back the Biden occupiers. The Syrian resistance even celebrated the Fourth of July by bombing Biden occupiers in Deir Ezzor.

The resistance continues to celebrate America’s independence day with ongoing bombings of the Biden regime occupiers.

One other difference between the Trump and Biden regimes: Trump claimed US troops in Iraq bombed by resistance groups after the Soleimani assassination had some ”headaches,” while the Biden-Dr. Jill-Harris-Nance-Pentagon collective presidency claims zero casualties.

— Miri Wood

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost to you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

“الإنذار الأحمر” وفشل الرهان الأميركي

11/07/2021

عمرو علان

المصدر: الميادين نت

لا يأتي التصعيد العسكري ضد القوات الأميركية في العراق وسوريا مفاجئاً لبعض متتبّعي السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة.

قالت مجلة “فورين بوليسي”، في “تقرير الوضع” ليوم الخميس، 8 تموز/يوليو 2021، إن العراق دخل في حالة “الإنذار الأحمر”. وأضاف التقرير أنه ربما يكون الرئيس جو بايدن على وشك التخلص من أعباء الانخراط العسكري الأميركي في أفغانستان، والذي امتد إلى قرابة عقدين من الزمن، إلاّ أن هناك ساحة حربٍ أخرى توجد فيها قواتٌ أميركيةٌ، وتُنذر بأن تتحوّل إلى شوكةٍ في خاصرة “البيت الأبيض”، في إشارةٍ إلى الساحة العراقية. 

Visual search query image

يأتي إعلان “الإنذار الأحمر” بعد تصاعد العمليات العسكرية ضد القوات الأميركية في الساحة العراقية، وتوأمها الساحة السورية، بحيث قامت قوى المقاومة المسلَّحة، خلال الأسبوعين الأخيرين، باستهداف عدة مواقع في العراق وسوريا توجد فيها قواتٌ أميركيةٌ، كان بينها – على سبيل المثال لا الحصر – استهداف “قاعدة الأسد” الجوية في العراق بأربعة عشر صاروخاً، أدَّت إلى وقوع إصابات في صفوف الأميركيين. وتمّ أيضاً استهداف مطار أربيل، الذي تتمركز في داخله قوات أميركية – والذي يقع بالقرب منه مبنى القنصلية الأميركية – بعدة مُسَيَّرات مفخَّخ.، وبالإضافة إلى تلك الهجمات، تعرَّضت عدة قوافل دعمٍ لوجستيٍّ للقوات الأميركية لهجماتٍ عبر عبواتٍ ناسفةٍ في أكثر من مدينةٍ عراقيةٍ.

أمّا الساحة السورية فشهدت، في الأيام القليلة الماضية، عدةَ هجمات بالمُسَيَّرات المفخَّخة على مواقع لقوات الاحتلال الأميركي الموجودة في حقل العمر النفطي.

لا يأتي هذا التصعيد العسكري ضد القوات الأميركية في العراق وسوريا مفاجئاً لبعض متتبّعي السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة. لعلّ القراءة الأدقّ تضع هذه الهجمات في سياق المعركة المستمرة من أجل إنهاء الوجود العسكري الأميركي في منطقة الهلال الخصيب، لا لمجرد كونها ردّاً ظرفياً على العدوان الجوي الأميركي الأخير في 27 حزيران/يونيو، والذي استهدف مواقع الحشد الشعبي العراقي المرابطة عند الحدود العراقية السورية. 

من خلال متابعة أداء إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن لبضعة شهور، منذ تولّيه دفّة الحكم، يبدو أنها جاءت، وفي مخيِّلتها مقارَبة لوضع المنطقة، تقوم في جزءٍ من جوانبها على أساس الاستثمار في سياسات إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب السابقة، والمتعارَف عليها بـ”سياسة الضغوط القصوى” تجاه إيران، بحيث بات واضحاً في السياسة الأميركية الخارجية الميل إلى محاولة التَّخفُّف من أعباء منطقة غربي آسيا العسكرية قدر المستطاع، بهدف التركيز على منافسة صعود جمهورية الصين الشعبية في الساحة الدولية. ويبدو أن رؤية التخفُّف هذه كانت تقوم على تصوُّرين اثنين:

– التصور الأول يقوم على الانسحاب العسكري من أفغانستان، كما يجري الآن فعلاً، في محاولةٍ لإقفال باب الاستنزاف في هذه الساحة، ولاسيما أن الانسحاب الأميركي مِن أفغانستان لا يؤدّي إلى زيادة التهديدات على أمن الكيان الصهيوني. 

– أمّا التصور الثاني فيقوم على العودة السريعة إلى الاتفاق النووي الإيراني، على أساس قراءةٍ تقول بوصول إيران إلى مرحلة الإنهاك التامّ، بفعل “سياسة الضغوط القصوى”. وعليه، صارت اليوم إيران جاهزةً لتقديم التنازلات المطلوبة أميركياً في سياساتها الخارجية في الحد الأدنى، ولاسيما تلك التي تتعلق بمنطقة غربيّ آسيا ودعم حركات المقاومة في الإقليم، الامر الذي يجعل استمرار الوجود العسكري الأميركي – ولو في حدوده الدنيا – في العراق وسوريا، غير ذي تكلفةٍ تذكر. وكذلك، من الممكن إجبار إيران على تقديم تنازلاتٍ في برنامجها الصاروخي الساعي لتطوير الصواريخ الباليستية في الحد الأقصى، بحسب الفهم الأميركي.

إلاّ أن التصور الثاني اصطدم بمعطيين، أحدهما قديمٌ والآخرُ مستجدّ. أمّا المعطى القديم، فيتمثّل بأن إيران كانت قد رفضت، على نحو حاسمٍ، مناقشة برنامجها الصاروخي في أثناء جولات التفاوض التي أفضت إلى توقيع الاتفاق النووي مع إدارة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق باراك أوباما في عام 2015، ناهيك برفض إيران القاطع المساومةَ خلال جولات التفاوض تلك على سياساتها الخارجية ودعم حركات المقاومة في الإقليم. فدعم حركات قوى المقاومة، ضمن السياسة الخارجية الإيرانية، مبنيٌّ على رؤيةٍ استراتيجيةٍ، تندرج ضمن مشروعها الأشمل في الإقليم الذي يقضي بمجابهة القوى الإمبريالية العالمية، بالإضافة إلى التأصيل الشرعي لهذا الالتزام الأخلاقي بدعم المستضعَفين ضمن نظام حكم الجمهورية الإسلامية.

ويضاف إلى هذا وذاك أمرٌ رئيسٌ، يتمثّل بأنَّ حركة قوى المقاومة في الإقليم تنطلق من إرادةٍ ذاتيةٍ لطرد المحتل عن أراضيها، وهي لا تأتمر بإرادة أيّ قوى إقليميةٍ، بل إن المسألة تكمن في تكامل أهداف قوى المقاومة ومصالحها مع المشروع الإيراني الأشمل في المنطقة، والذي يرمي إلى التخلص من هيمنة القوى الإمبريالية العالمية على عموم منطقتنا.

بعد الخروج الأميركي الأحادي الجانب من الاتفاق النووي، عبر قرارٍ من إدارة الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب، أكّد المرشد الإيراني السيد علي خامنئي في عدة تصريحاتٍ، أنه في حال العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، يجب على الحكومة الإيرانية التزام هذه الضوابط التي تمنع التفاوض على كلٍّ مِن برنامج إيران الصاروخي وسياساتها الخارجية. وعلى ما يبدو، فإن إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن أخطأت عند تصنيف هذه التصريحات على أنها تصريحاتٌ تفاوضيةٌ، ليتبيّن لها بعد ذلك، في محادثات جنيف، أنها كانت مواقف مبدئية لا يمكن لأيّ حكومةٍ إيرانيةٍ تجاوزها، فخاب رهان إدارة جو بايدن على لجم حركات المقاومة في كلٍّ مِن العراق وسوريا، من خلال محاولة الضغط على إيران.

أمّا المعطى المستجدّ، فكان معركة “سيف القدس” التي كشفت فيها فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية المسلّحة في غزة هشاشةَ الكيان الصهيوني، وأظهرت بوضوحٍ مدى التهديد الذي تمثّله حركات المقاومة المسلّحة في فلسطين وفي الإقليم على أمن الكيان الصهيوني ومستقبله، ولاسيّما في ظلّ فشَل الرهان الأميركي على انتزاع ضماناتٍ من إيران وسائر أركان محور المقاومة، ترتبط بحفظ أمن الكيان الصهيوني في مقابل العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، بحيث كان رهاناً مبنياً في الأصل على قراءةٍ خاطئةٍ لحقيقة موقفَي حركات المقاومة وإيران كما أسلفنا.

لهذا، نجد الأميركي اليوم كمن “بلع المنجل”، فلا هو قادرٌ على الانسحاب من سوريا وتخفيف حضوره العسكري في العراق، ليتفرّغ لمواجهة الصين قبل تأمين ضمانات لأمن الكيان الصهيوني ومستقبله، ولا هو قادرٌ على البقاء أبداً بالزَّخَم نفسه في المنطقة لحماية أمن الكيان الصهيوني، بسبب ما لهذا من آثار سلبية فيما بات يعدّها معركته الرئيسة ضدّ الصين، وتِباعاً روسيا.

يمكن التنبّؤ بكون محور المقاومة يقرأ هذا المأزق الأميركي. فإن صحّت هذه النبوءة، وأظنها صحيحة، فعندها يمكن فهم سياق التصعيد العسكري في وجه القوات الأميركية في الأسبوعين الأخيرين. وهذا يُبشِّر باستمرار هذا التصعيد، وبصيفٍ ساخنٍ نسبياً للقوات الأميركية، لإفهام الأميركي أن استحقاق الانسحاب من المنطقة هو استحقاقٌ جديٌّ، وأن عملية التفاوض على سحب قواته لن تستمر إلى ما لا نهاية.

Saudi Arabia: Why Biden will leave Mohammed bin Salman in charge

Madawi al-Rasheed

2 July 2021 11:43 UTC 

Despite Biden’s rhetoric, American national interests are allied with those of the authoritarian crown prince in Riyadh

US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP)

In the Middle East in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, many activists and human right defenders hoped that newly elected US President Joe Biden would turn the page on the Trump era, when rulers in the region had carte blanche to continue their authoritarian practices and repressive measures.

Many hoped that Biden would exert pressure on the US’s most loyal Arab dictators to reverse the tide and respond to calls for democracy, ensure freedom of speech, and halt mass executions. 

It is unlikely that Biden will encourage his removal from office or openly challenge his abuse of human rights domestically

But in Riyadh, among other places, such unrealistic wishful thinking is beginning to be dashed. Realpolitik is settling in, to the demise of Washington’s reputation and its endless rhetoric about promoting democracy. 

American myths about the country’s own historical position as the leader of the free world, promoter of democratic values and protector of individual rights are always exposed in the Arab world at the hands of none other than its most loyal man in Riyadh. Indeed, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues his campaign of detentionsexecutions and surveillance, unchecked by Washington.

Biden slightly embarrassed the crown prince when his intelligence services published a four-page report that held the Saudi ruler responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and placed several suspects on a list of sanctioned operatives. The crown prince himself was untouched by these superficial measures.

Loyal prince

Today, Biden and his advisers remain silent on the future of the Saudi crown prince. But American media and think tanks have been promoting his nemesis, former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who has been placed under house arrest and allegedly suffered ill treatment. Ex-CIA officials want their partner in the war on terror back in the driving seat in Riyadh. 

How can Washington ignore its loyal prince, who allegedly helped save the lives of Americans as he shared intelligence with US security services, they ask. In this view, it’s an American betrayal of bin Nayef, who provided valuable information that helped to foil terrorist attacks on US soil.

Once the darling of the CIA, bin Nayef is now helpless without the US pushing for his release, let alone his rehabilitation, as its man in Riyadh. This sounds like a familiar story: use the man in Riyadh, then dump him when he faces his fate at the hands of his kinsmen.

Mohammed bin Nayef has been promoted by some as an alternative Saudi leader (AFP)
Mohammed bin Nayef has been promoted by some as an alternative Saudi leader (AFP)

In fact, Biden should resist calls to bring back the deposed prince, who never stopped using violence against peaceful activists and put them on trial in the terrorism courts that he established. Mohammed bin Nayef used the pretext of the war on terror to spread fear and torture. His most famous victims included founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association – activists such as Abdullah al-Hamid, who died in prison, and Sulaiman al-Rashoudi. Activist Waleed Abu al-Khair remains in prison, alongside many others. 

Many of the men and women Mohammed bin Nayef put in prison have been subjected to solitary confinement. Perhaps the arrest of the former crown prince by the current crown prince fulfilled the hopes of those who suffered at his hands for years – but unfortunately, they had no power to arrest him, put him on trial or seek justice. 

Perverse revenge

In his own way, Mohammed bin Salman is punishing the deposed prince, but for different reasons. When the mafia fights its own battles within its own rank-and-file, the weakened society may achieve some perverse sense of revenge that is momentary and emotional. 

But both Mohammed bin Nayef and his empowered cousin, the crown prince, need to be put on trial for crimes against their own citizens. US intelligence services obviously want the devil they know, but many Saudis want justice for their lost sons and tortured relatives, who either linger in prison or have already been executed. Many of their corpses have yet to be returned to their relatives for proper burial. Biden must end Trump’s alliance with Mohammed bin Salman

Many of Mohammed bin Nayef’s old cronies and right-hand men are not only free, but have the gall to protest – among them Saad al-Jabri, who escaped to Canada and is now facing a court case for allegedly stealing billions of dollars when he was in charge of purchasing anti-terrorism and surveillance technology. The court case may shed new light on how the opaque and corrupt interior ministry conducted its affairs and plundered billions under the pretext of fighting terrorism. 

The day will come when the prosecutor, Mohammed bin Salman, will himself face a similar fate for his crimes against activists and dissidents. For now, the Biden administration remains silent on the crown prince’s present and future. It is unlikely that Biden will encourage his removal from office or openly challenge his abuse of human rights domestically. 

So far, Biden has a better record on pushing the crown prince to temper his adventurist foreign policies. It is easier for Biden to force him to seek reconciliation with Qatar, offer a peace treaty to Yemen’s Houthis, flirt with Iran via Iraq, and endear himself to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But when it comes to political reforms, a muted US is neither willing nor able to see the merits of promoting a process that will eventually lead the kingdom on a path to democracy. At the moment, US national interests are allied with those of an authoritarian crown prince, so why rock the boat.  

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

Madawi al-RasheedMadawi al-Rasheed is visiting professor at the Middle East Institute of the London School of Economics. She has written extensively on the Arabian Peninsula, Arab migration, globalisation, religious transnationalism and gender issues. You can follow her on Twitter: @MadawiDr

Recommended

First we take Tel Aviv…

July 5, 2021 – 21:17

Iran remains unmoved as Israel resorts to military threats

TEHRAN – With the Vienna nuclear talks hitting a deadlock after the sixth round, Israel finds itself more isolated on Iran and is unable to influence the talks, something that prompted it to try out a new military stunt in order to get the talks moving in line with Israel’s interests.

During his recent trip to Washington, Chief of Staff of Israeli Armed Forces Aviv Kochavi reportedly conveyed clear messages to the U.S. administration regarding the possibility of the U.S. returning to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. These messages included threats of an Israeli military attack inside Iran. The Israeli general held behind-closed-doors meetings with several high-ranking American officials including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, CIA Director William Burns, and DIA Deputy Director Suzanne White.

In these meetings, Kochavi claimed that Israel had made a decision to dismantle the alleged Iranian military nuclear program a year before the U.S. 2020 presidential election and the start of the buzz over a return to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). According to Israeli reports, Kochavi also told his American interlocutors that the Israeli army has devised at least three military plans in order to thwart the Iranian nuclear program, and that the previous Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, put aside funds for these plans, and that the current government, led by Naftali Bennett, pledged to add large sums in order to fill gaps related to readiness as soon as possible.

This saber-rattling came against a backdrop of a diplomatic war of words between Iran and the U.S. after the sixth round of the Vienna talks which resulted in little progress compared to previous rounds. The U.S. demanded a commitment from Iran to discuss other thorny, non-nuclear issues such as Iran’s missile program and its regional influence while rejecting Iranian demands regarding the lifting of all Trump-era sanctions and the provision of a guarantee that Washington would not withdraw from the deal again once it is revived. In fact, disagreements between the two are so deep that the mere resumption of the talks now hangs in the balance, with Russia is now insinuating that the talks may not be resumed any time soon.

This charged atmosphere has led Israel to remarkably increase diplomatic contacts with the U.S. in the hope that these communications would affect the U.S. stance toward the Vienna talks. But the Israelis themselves have acknowledged that they are unable to influence the U.S. Iran policy. 
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday that Tel Aviv can no longer influence the new deal that the Biden administration seeks, one that would be “longer and stronger” than the existing one that is the JCPOA. 

But the Israelis seem not to be giving up on their anti-JCPOA crusade. They appear to have reverted to the decades-long dream of getting the U.S. to do their own job with American blood and treasure: an American military strike against Iran. Haaretz reported that Israeli officials are trying to convince the U.S. into bringing up the military option against Iran if it continued its nuclear activities, hoping that making hostile announcements would create deterrence against Iran. 

But one diplomat predicted that the Biden administration was less likely to attack Iran if it violated the terms of the agreement, Haaretz said, adding, Americans do not currently want the potential for a military conflict in terms of their priorities.

In doing so, the Israelis signal their assessment that threats of military strikes work with Iran, something that belies the most recent bouts of escalation during the Trump administration. Over the course of the Trump presidency, the U.S. issued a whole range of stark threats against Iran from attacking cultural sites to starving the Iranian people but none worked with Tehran. In addition, the Israelis themselves launched what they call the “campaign between wars,” a military doctrine mostly aimed to confront Iran’s spheres of influence in the region while keeping the confrontation below the threshold of an all-out war, to eliminate its regional influence and undermine its nuclear program. But they failed to achieve their goal as Iran’s nuclear program continues to advance and the country’s sway continues to expand.

RELATED NEWS

أميركا عادت… ماذا عن أفغانستان؟

 ناصر قنديل

خلال أسبوع سمعنا خطابين تاريخيين للرئيسين الروسي فلاديمير بوتين والصيني جينغ شي بينغ، والخطابان يتكاملان في إعلان صلابة الثبات بوجه السياسات الأميركية، تظللهما سنوات من التقدّم في جغرافيا آسيا اقتصادياً عبر خريطة الحزام والطريق، وعسكرياً عبر شبكة أس أس 400، وتتوسطهما شريكتهما إيران وهي تقود شبكة حركات المقاومة ومحورها في المنطقة، ويصير خطاب ولّى زمن التنمّر، مكملاً لخطاب ولى زمن التهميش، ومعها خطاب ولّى زمن التهديد، الذي ترجمته حركات المقاومة بخطاب ولّى زمن الهزائم، ويقابل كل ذلك خطاب أطلقه الرئيس الأميركي من اجتماع حلف الأطلسي تحت عنوان أميركا عادت، فهل عادت أميركا؟

يستغرق كثيرون، بعض نيات طيبة وعدم انتباه وبعض بتنفيذ تعليمات، في ترويج نظرية التفرغ الأميركي للمواجهة مع الصين، بإيحاء أن كل ما يجري يجد تفسيره في معرفة ما تريده أميركا، وهو إيحاء مخادع للعقل، حيث أميركا متفرّغة لمواجهة ثلاثي روسيا والصين وإيران خلال عقد طويل شهد الحروب والعقوبات والتفاوض ومحاولات الإغراء والاستفراد، وانتهى بالفشل الأميركي، لأن روسيا والصين وإيران مثلث قوة آسيا وصعودها، نماذج لدول الاستقلال الوطني ومفهوم خصوصية الدولة الوطنية في قلب العولمة، في مواجهة نموذج العولمة المتوحشة، ونهاية التاريخ عند النموذج الأميركي وتعميمه. وما يجمع بكين وموسكو وطهران هو قرار بإخراج أميركا من آسيا بصفتها قوة أجنبيّة، وإعادة صياغة العلاقات الآسيوية الغربية على أسس المصالح واحترام حقوق السيادة، وإلغاء كل وجود عسكري أجنبي، والتصدي لكل محاولات للهيمنة السياسية والاقتصادية، انطلاقاً من أن الدول المعنية هي دول آسيوية فاعلة تمثل أكثر من نصف مساحة آسيا وعدد سكانها وحجمها الاقتصاديّ وقوتها العسكرية.

عودة أميركا تعني إما تقدماً في مشروع الهيمنة يحتاج استثمار فائض قوة عسكرية، لا تملكه أميركا، ويعترف بايدن أنه لا يملك القدرة على التفكير بجعله مشروعاً لولايته، مكثراً من الحديث عن الدبلوماسية كبديل، وإلا فالبديل هو التراجع عن مشروع الهيمنة والتصالح مع الشعوب والاعتراف بحقوقها، وهذا يحتاج إلى فائض قوة أخلاقيّ يبدو واضحاً أن بايدن لا يملكه ولا يتجرأ على التصريح به كخيار، فهو يعد بإنقاذ مشروع الهيمنة، تحت شعار الدبلوماسية والاستعانة بالحلفاء، فهل حملت لقاءات السبعة الكبار خطة قادرة على منافسة الصين، وقد خرجت بمناشدة الصين إعادة النظر بتوسيع استثماراتها في البنى التحتيّة لدول آسيا، وبعدم مواصلة بيع منتجاتها بأسعار لا يملك الغرب قدرة منافستها. وهل خرج مؤتمر حلف الأطلسي بخطة للتفوق العسكري على تصاعد القوة الروسية، وكانت آخر منتجاتها هي الرهان على نجاح الرئيس التركي بإقناع الرئيس الروسي بتغطية نشر قوات تركية في أفغانستان وأذربيجان، قبل أن يصل الجواب الروسي الحازم والقاطع بالرفض؟

تقدم أفغانستان صورة واضحة عن المشهد الدولي الجديد، أو على الأقل مشهد آسيا الجديد، حيث كانت الحرب الأميركية على أفغانستان قبل عشرين عاماً تماماً، وخلال هذين العقدين قال الأميركيون إنهم رعوا قيام بناء دولة جديدة في أفغانستان، وهم اليوم يعلنون الانسحاب ويتهيأون للاحتفال بذكرى الحرب وقد خرجت قواتهم، التي قالوا إن بعضاً منها سيبقى لحراسة المنشآت والعناصر الدبلوماسية، بينما كل شيء يقول في أفغانستان إن الجيش المحلي الذي رعاه الأميركيون ينهار ويتفكك على إيقاع الانسحاب، وإن الآلاف منه هربوا الى باكستان، وتبدو العاصمة كابول مرشحة للسقوط سريعاً، ومعها لن يكون متاحاً للأميركيين حتى الحفاظ على القوة التي قرروا الحفاظ عليها في كابول، بما يستعيد للذاكرة مشهد مغادرتهم لفييتنام، فماذا يستطيعون القول إنهم حققوه خلال عشرين عاماً كلفت تريليونات الدولارات وآلاف الجنود القتلى؟

منذ انتصار سورية وحلفائها في معركة حلب، وآسيا دخلت مرحلة التحرّر من مشروع الهيمنة الأميركية، واليمن مثال صارخ على حال الحليف المالي الأول للأميركي في المنطقة، وفلسطين مثال على حال الحليف العسكري للأميركي في المنطقة، وما يجري في أفغانستان مثال على ما سيجري في كل ساحات آسيا، حيث الاحتلال الأميركي.

فيديوات متعلقة

فيديوات متعلقة

الانتخاب التاريخيّ المنعطف الشهداء يعودون والعودّ أحمد…

 محمد صادق الحسيني

إنه الرجل الذي سيحمل راية الجمهورية الثوريّة الثانية بكل ثقة وثبات.

لم يسمع بالفقر في المواعظ المنبريّة، بل عاشه ولمسه منذ الصغر.

عاش يتيماً بعد أن فقد أباه وهو في سن الخامسة. لم تكن عائلته تتمكّن من شراء كيلو رز دفعة واحدة ولا كيلو كامل من اللحم، بل كانوا يشترون من ذلك بمقدار ما يصلهم من رزق.

أمه أرسلته مبكراً الى البازار ليعمل فيه عاملاً بسيطاً يبيع سجادات الصلاة ليساعدها وأهله في تحصيل معاشهم اليومي.

أمه لا تزال تعيش في بيت تحت المتوسط في إحدى نواحي مشهد الفقيرة وترفض الانتقال لطهران العاصمة.

هذا هو الرئيس الإيراني الجديد، المنبعث من بين جمهور الناس، وليس من طبقة الأشراف التي تستمتع بالسلطة منذ النطفة…

لذلك عندما يقول رئيسي إنه سيشكل حكومة ثورية مناهضة للفساد كما ورد في أول تصريحاته بعد فوزه بالرئاسة، فهو صادق وجادّ وسيفعل ذلك بالتأكيد.

رئيسي ليس «محافظاً» كما يوصف في وسائل الاعلام، بل هو أصلاً لا ينتمي لأيّ من الأجنحة السياسية في البلاد.

انه من جنس الشهيد رجائي والشهيد بهشتي والشهيد قاسم سليماني…

إنه من جنس الفقراء، من الناس الذين يمشون في الأسواق ويأكلون الطعام…

دعوني أحاول أن ألخص لكم ماذا يعني تسلم السيد إبراهيم «رئيس الساداتي» الحكومة في إيران، بلغة متفاوتة، كما أراها ـ من وجهة نظري ـ المنتمية إلى عالم ما فوق الميول والاتجاهات السياسية الإيرانية:

فأن يتسلّم السيد رئيسي السلطة التنفيذية في البلاد يعني ذلك ما يلي بلغة الناس:

أولاً ـ إنه سيحبط مشروع إسقاط النظام بالجمهور. وهو الأمر الذي فعله في يوم الانتخاب والذي سيسقطه يومياً في أدائه العملي، كما سيطيح بمقولة الفصل بين الدولة والدين او بين السياسة والدين أو بين رجل الحكم ورجل الدين التي لطالما حاولوا فرضها على إيران، مرة والى الأبد…

لقد حاول الأجانب جهدهم منذ أول الثورة ان يقولوا للشعب الإيراني أنّ رجال الدين يجب ان يذهبوا الى المساجد ويتركوا الحكم للأفندية، ومن ثم تصاعدت المؤامرة وتشعّبت لتقول للأمة الإيرانية بأنّ هؤلاء (أيّ رجال الدين) لا يفقهون بعلوم العصر، ولا بالتعامل مع الدنيا، وأخيراً باتهامهم بأنهم يريدون مصادرة كلّ أشكال الديمقراطية الحديثة وعلوم الحداثة لصالح «الحكومة الإسلامية» المعادية للحريات وحقوق الإنسان والمرأة، فإذا برئيسي وعلى نهج رئيسه وقائده وقائد الثورة والأمة الإسلامية يفاجئهم بحرص مضاعف لا نظير له على كلّ هذه الأمور واعتبارها جزءاً أساسياً من مشروعية النظام، لا مفهوم للجمهورية الإسلامية ولا معنى لها ولا تستقيم من دون الجمهور وصناديق الاقتراع التي حرصوا على احترامها لمدة أربعة عقود متتالية حتى وسط حروب مدمرة للمدن والبلدات، وأن يظهر لهم رئيسي وزوجته جميلة علم الهدى متعلمين ومتبحّربن بالعلوم الحديثة أكثر من سائر المرشحين، بل وأعمق من مرشحين في ديمقراطيات عريقة بينها لندن وباريس وواشنطن.

ثانياً ـ إنه سيحبط مشروع فرض النظام السياسي والاقتصادي النيوليبرالي على إيران. أيّ انه سيعمل ليل نهار على مكافحة الفساد والرشوة ونظام البنوك الروتشيلدية، ويقارع مقولة «أنّ الغرب وحده بيده مفتاح الازدهار والتنمية السياسية والاقتصادية» للبلدان النامية والصاعدة ويطيح بها في الداخل الإيراني بنظرية ومشروع الاقتصاد المقاوم الذي يعتمد الدورة الاقتصادية الإنتاجية الداخلية أولاً، ومن ثم التوجه شرقاً والخروج على هيمنة الدولار الأميركي من خلال إقامة تعاون استراتيجي عميق مع الصين وروسيا وكلّ بلدان العالم المناهضة للاحادية الأميركية.

ثالثاً ـ سيحبط بحزم مشروع فرض «أوسلو» نوويّ على إيران الذي كانوا يعدّونه ويعملون عليه بقوة منذ أيام أوباما ولا يزالون.

وما فرضوه على إيران من شروط حتى الآن لم يكن سوى مقدّمة وتمهيد (من وجهة النظر الغربية) لفرض شروط إضافية تتعلق بفرض محدوديات على المنظومة الصاروخية الإيرانية، وإخراج إيران من المعادلة الإقليميّة من خلال فرض شروط ضرورة تخليها عن حركات التحرّر العربية والاسلامية لا سيما في فلسطين ولبنان وسورية واليمن والعراق.

سيكون رئيسي حازماً كما يريد الإمام الخامنئي، في تعامله مع ما يُسمّى بـ المجتمع الدولي الانتهازي والمنافق، ولن يسمح له لا باستنزاف الديبلوماسية الإيرانية في مفاوضات لا طائل من ورائها، ولا بعزله وحشره في زاوية إما القبول بشروط «أوسلويّة» أو الصدام، بل انتهاج نظرية حليفه الثوري سعيد جليلي الذي ربما تسلّم الخارجية الإيرانية والتي تقضي بإنهاك المفاوض الغربي وجعله هو مَن يلهث وراء المفاوض الإيراني كما فعل به جليلي يوم كان رئيساً لمجلس الأمن القومي في حكومة نجاد.

تذكروا انّ الإمام السيد علي الخامنئي لطالما كرّر بعض الثوابت في هذا السياق ستكون بمثابة قناديل مضيئة لرئيسي في هذا المضمار وهي:

1 ـ إذا أراد الغرب تمزيق الاتفاق فنحن سنحرقه.

2 ـ إذا تطلّبت حاجاتنا ومصالحنا التخصيب بنسبة 90 بالمئة فسنخصّب ولن نفاوض أحداً.

3 ـ نستطيع ان نطوّر صواريخنا إلى مديات 5 آلاف لكننا فعلاً لا نقوم بذلك الآن، وعندما نريد سنفعل ولن نفاوض أحداً.

4 ـ إحباط مفعول العقوبات أهم من إنجاز رفعها.

وبالتالي في زمن رئيسي أظننا لم نعد بحاجة لأمنية عودة واشنطن الى الاتفاق ولا لرفع العقوبات عنا…

تذكروا أنّ السيد رئيسي في مناظراته الانتخابية أعلن بوضوح:

أنه مع المفاوضات حول النووي ولكن بشروط القائد التسعة (الخطوط الحمر المشهورة)، وانّ هذا لن تتمكّن منه إلا حكومة قوية وحازمة.

لقد تخطّت إيران المنعطف التاريخي الداخلي على طريق دخول الجمهورية الثورية الثانية، بقي تحدّي المنعطف التاريخي الدولي وهو الذي ستتخطاه مع مجموع قوى محور المقاومة، باذن الله.

وعليه نستطيع أن نلخص ربما بلغة أكثر قرباً للغة الناس أقول:

السيد ابراهيم رئيسي «الحزب اللهي»، سيتخذ سياسة ثورية حازمة متحركة واضحة شفافة تريد التعامل مع الدنيا بعقل منفتح نعم، وغير منعزلة عن العالم نعم، ولكن ايضاً ليست هجينة ومتردّدة و»رجل بالبور ورجل بالفلاحة» على طريقة:

«هذا قبر سيدنا حجر بن عدي رضوان الله عليه قتله سيدنا معاوية رضوان الله عليه»!

لا أبداً، هذه السياسة ستنتهي وإلى الأبد، وستتمّ تسمية الأشياء بأسمائها، ما يثلج صدر الثوريين الداخليين ومن محور المقاومة.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

America’s Soup-Brained President Says the U.S. Never Interferes In Other Countries’ Elections

June 17, 2021

By Caitlin JOHNSTONE

During an astonishingly sycophantic press conference after the Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin, President Biden posited an entirely hypothetical scenario about what the world would think of the United States if it were interfering in foreign elections and everybody knew it.

When AP’s Jonathan Lemire asked the president of the most powerful government in the world what “consequences” he’d threatened the Russian leader with should the Kremlin interfere in US elections going forward, Biden meandered his way through one of his signature not-quite-lucid word salads, and then said the following:

“Let’s get this straight: How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it? What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he is engaged in? It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power.”

The fact that the entire press corps did not erupt in side-splitting laughter at this ridiculous utterance is in itself proof that western news media is pure propaganda. The United States has directly interfered in scores of foreign elections since it began its ascent to global domination at the end of the second World War, to say nothing of all the coups, color revolutions, proxy conflicts and regime change military invasions it has also participated in during that time. The US openly interfered in Russia’s elections in the nineties, and literally just tried to stage a coup in Bolivia by interfering in its democratic process. The US is far and away the single most egregious offender in the world on this front, which is largely why it is perceived around the world as a greater threat to democracy than any other government.

This is not a secret, internationally or in the United States. Anyone who has done any learning about the US government’s actual behavior on the world stage knows this. Hell, a former CIA director openly joked about it on Fox News a few years ago.

Fox’s Laura Ingraham unsurprisingly introduced former CIA Director James Woolsey as “an old friend” in a 2018 interview about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, in which Woolsey unsurprisingly talked about how dangerous Russian “disinformation” is and Ingraham unsurprisingly said that everyone should actually be afraid of China. What was a bit surprising, though, was what happened at the end of the interview.

“Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries’ elections?” Ingraham asked in response to Woolsey’s Russia remarks.

“Oh, probably,” Woolsey said with a grin. “But it was for the good of the system in order to avoid the communists from taking over. For example, in Europe, in ’47, ’48, ’49, the Greeks and the Italians we CIA-”

“We don’t do that anymore though?” Ingraham interrupted. “We don’t mess around in other people’s elections, Jim?”

Woolsey smiled and said said “Well…”, followed by a joking incoherent mumble, adding, “Only for a very good cause.”

And then they both laughed.

The fact that not one person in the press pool questioned or criticized Biden’s outrageous remarks tells you everything you need to know about the western media and what its real function is. This is further illustrated by the rest of the behavior of these odious propagandists during the summit, which was illustrated quite well by the glowing praise of Democratic Party insider Andrea Chalupa on Twitter:

“The winners of #GenevaSummit2021 are the White House press corp,” Chalupa said. “Excellent questions confronting Putin and challenging Biden on holding a summit with a ruthless dictator. And they literally held their ground when shoved by Putin’s security and propagandists.”

That actually says it all. Western reporters are forbidden by their oligarchic owners from ever confronting power in any meaningful way; the closest they’re ever allowed to get to punching up is challenging the leaders of CIA-targeted governments, and demanding to know why their own officials aren’t being more hawkish and aggressive toward those leaders.

As RT’s Murad Gazdiev pointed out, “ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, and many other Western outlets were invited for Putin’s press conference. No Russian media was invited to Biden’s press conference.” The whole thing was a navel-gazing, masturbatory cold war propaganda orgy where western “journalists” made up fantasies about their soup-brained leader staring down Putin, where they yelled nonsense about Alexei Navalny at the Russian president and then fangirled at Biden’s response.

Can anyone imagine a US corporate journalist screaming at Biden: “Why do you fear Assange so much?”

Always easy to condemn the acts of the governments your country tells you to see as Enemy. Much harder – and way more meaningful – to challenge your own government’s repression. https://t.co/CtzeU37pn3

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 16, 2021

Real journalists go to Belmarsh Prison for exposing US war crimes. Western propagandists ask Putin why he’s such a doodoo dumb dumb poopy head and then dream about Pulitzers all night.

Western news media exists to funnel propaganda into the minds of the public. It is controlled by plutocrats who work in alliance with opaque government agencies to weave narratives about why the US government needs to do the things it had already planned on doing anyway. This gets more obvious by the day.

caityjohnstone.medium.com

%d bloggers like this: