شبح الحرب الأهلية يحوم في الولايات المتحدة

اب 31  2022

علي دربج 

المصدر: الميادين نت

نتائج استطلاع أميركية جديدة مقلقة، تشير إلى أنّ أربعة من بين كل 10 أميركيين، يعتقدون أن حرباً أهلية قد تكون محتملة في العقد المقبل.

شبح الحرب الأهلية يحوم في الولايات المتحدة

    ليس الوقت كأي لحظة في الماضي، إذ يتطلع الأميركيون اليوم بخوف إلى المستقبل، وقلق من شبح حرب أهلية، وهم يرون هذا الخطر يحوم فوق بلادهم بسبب الأزمة السياسية التي تشهدها الولايات المتحدة حالياً.

    وتعود جذورها إلى مرحلة فوز الرئيس الحالي جو بايدن في الانتخابات الرئاسية الأخيرة، بعد رفض غريمه المهزوم الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب الاعتراف بالنتائج، وتعبئة أنصاره وتحريضهم على اقتحام مبنى الكونغرس في 6 من كانون الثاني/يناير عام 2021، لتبلغ ذروتها أخيراً مع الغارة التي شنها مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي FBI على مقر إقامة ترامب في مارالاغو بولاية فلوريدا بحثاً عن ووثائق ومستندات سرية كان ترامب قد عمد إلى إخفائها.

    خصوصاً أن من في الداخل الأميركي، من الحزب الجمهوري ومعه الجماعات اليمينية المتطرفة، يهيئون لها الظروف والأسباب، ويعدّون لها الأرضية الخصبة، وينفخون في النار طمعاً في إضرامها، لا سيما أنهم يعتبرونها خشبة الخلاص الوحيدة من إدارة بايدن وحكومته ودولتهم العميقة. 

    ولكن ما مؤشرات الحرب الأهلية في أميركا؟ 

    هناك مجموعة واسعة من الأصوات، بما فيها أصوات بعض الساسة الجمهوريين والديمقراطيين، والأكاديميين الذين يدرسون الصراع الأهلي، فضلاً عن المتطرفين على الضفة الأخرى يروّجون جميعاً الآن فكرة أن الحرب الأهلية باتت قريبة أو ضرورية.

    والأهم أن هؤلاء جميعاً، يشيرون إلى عدد من الأدلة والوقائع والمعطيات التي تدعم رؤيتهم تجاه عدم استبعادهم وقوع حرب أهلية في أميركا، ويمكن تلخيصها بـ3 معطيات: 

    أولا: إطلاق عاصفة من التهديدات شملت عملاء مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي، والقضاة، والمسؤولين المنتخبين، وأعضاء مجالس إدارة المدارس (لكونهم يخالفون نظرة الجمهوريين إلى تنشئة الطلاب)، فضلاً عن المشرفين على الانتخابات. 

    ثُانيا: إقامة معسكرات شبه عسكرية مغلقة يتدرّب فيها المتطرفون المدججون بالسلاح لمواجهة حكومتهم 

    ثالثا: نتائج استطلاعات الرأي التي تظهر أن وجود أميركيين يتوقعون صراعاً عنيفاً، وأن حرباً أهلية حقيقة قد تدق أبوابهم في أي لحظة، لاسيما مع اقتراب موعد الانتخابات التشريعية النصفية. 

    عند النظر في نوعية الأصوات الأكاديمية التي تعمقت في قضية الحرب الأهلية الأميركية وأصحابها نجد في مقدّمهم ستيفن ماركي، مؤلف كتاب “الحرب الأهلية التالية: رسائل من المستقبل الأميركي” الذي قدم مقاربة، قال فيها إن تهديدات المتطرفين أصبحت أكثر وضوحاً وتحديداً، وأن خطابهم قد تسرّب إلى شريحة كبيرة جداً من الأميركيين وأثّر فيهم.

    ويستدل على ذلك بما أقدمت عليه حكومة ولاية تكساس والحزب الجمهوري فيها، اللذان تحديا السلطة الفيدرالية، بعدما وافق آلاف الناشطين الجمهوريين إثر اجتماعهم في هيوستن (كبرى مدن ولاية تكساس) في حزيران/يونيو الماضي، خلال مؤتمر الحزب في الولاية، على قرار يرفض نتيجة الانتخابات الرئاسية لعام 2020، ويعلن بايدن “رئيساً بالنيابة”، فضلاً عن سعيهم لاستفتاء الناخبين بشأن الانفصال عن الولايات المتحدة.

    ما يلفت أن ماركي، الروائي الكندي الأصل، الذي كان يقرع جرس الإنذار مما هو آتٍ على أميركا، تسارعت وتيرة تحذيراته أخيراً، وأصبحت أكثر إلحاحاً، بعدما رأى مجموعات صغيرة من المسلحين يتدرّبون على قتال عملاء الحكومة، وعلّق على هذا الأمر قائلاً “هذا النوع من الفوضى الذي أصفه يشبه الغضب على الإنترنت: يمكنك أن تعده تمثيلاً مسرحياً أو قد يكون خطراً جداً، ويمكن أن يكون متعة عطلة نهاية الأسبوع، أو الإعداد العسكري الفعلي.

    يشارك ماركي في الرأي محللون آخرون، قالوا إن الضجيج الحالي مؤشر قوي إلى أن حرباً أهلية ساخنة – يرجح أن تشهد تفجيرات واغتيالات واعتداءات على المؤسسات الفيدرالية والمسؤولين- قد تكون قريبة.

    وفي تقاطع مع أفكار ماركي، توقّع الكاتب المحافظ كورت شليشتر حرباً أهلية، وخلص في كتابه الجديد وعنوانه “سنعود: سقوط وصعود أميركا” أن “الولايات الزرقاء تواجه تحدياً، وأردف قائلاً من الجيد الاحتفاظ بالمدن، ولكن إذا كنت لا تحتفظ أيضاً بجميع الأراضي الريفية بين المدن، وكذلك الطرق المؤدية إلى الأماكن التي تحصل فيها على طعامك ووقودك، فلديك مشكلة حقيقية”.

    ومن الشخصيات الأميركية المعروفة أيضاً، التي لا تستبعد الحرب الأهلية الأميركية، روبرت رايش، وزير العمل في عهد الرئيس بيل كلينتون، الذي كان قد لفت إلى أن “الحرب الأهلية الأميركية الثانية تحدث فعلاً” واستطرد قائلاً خلال حديثه إلى صحيفة الغارديان، “لكنها ليست حرباً، بقدر ما هي نوع من الانفصال الحميد المشابه للمتزوجين غير السعداء الذين لا يريدون أن يمروا بصدمة الطلاق الرسمي”.

    المثير في الأمر، أن رايش لا يرجّح حصول تقسيم عنيف للبلاد، بل شيء “مشابه لخروج بريطانيا من الاتحاد الأوروبي – قرار متبادل ومتقطع للذهاب في طرق منفصلة في معظم الأشياء، مع الحفاظ على اتصال بشأن بعض الأشياء الكبيرة (مثل الدفاع الوطني والسياسة النقدية والحقوق المدنية والسياسية)”.

    وماذا عن الآراء التي تستبعد الحرب الأهلية؟ 

    في مقابل هذه الفئة المتوجسة والقائلة بإمكان حدوث حرب أهلية، نجد جماعات أخرى تنفي هذا الخيار مثل رابطة مكافحة التشهير وغيرها من جماعات المراقبة الأميركية التي لا ترى هذا النوع من التخطيط المحدّد من قبل الميليشيات الخاصة والتجمعات عبر الإنترنت للمتطرفين بالوضوح نفسه الذي كان قائماً قبل تمرّد 6 كانون الثاني/يناير العام الماضي، وقبل مسيرة تفوق البيض في شارلوتسفيل عام 2017.

    هذا الرأي يتبناه كذلك أورين سيغال، نائب رئيس مركز مكافحة التطرف، الذي أوضح في حديث إلى الإذاعة الوطنية الأميركية بالقول “لقد مررنا بهذا الأمر منذ فترة طويلة، ولا أرى الناس قد يجتمعون معاً في تنظيم متماسك مثل الذي رأيناه في السادس من كانون الثاني/ يناير”. 

    المحللون من كلتا الفئتين، سواء الذين يقولون إننا نتجه نحو حرب أهلية، وأولئك الذين يرون أن منظومة التهديد تقتصر إلى حد كبير على أشخاص منفردين، ومجموعات صغيرة غير منظمة، لا تشكّل أعمالها الخطرة والمشتتة حرباً أهلية هم يتفقون ولا يستبعدون معاً، إمكان حصول هجوم منظم وعنيف على الحكومة أو السلطات المحلية أو تلك التابعة للولايات (ولو محدودًا)، وحمل السلاح ضد نظرائهم الفيدراليين.

    إضافة إلى هذا الانقسام الحاد حول ما إذا كانت سلسلة الهجمات الفردية والجماعات الصغيرة، يمكن أن تؤدي إلى صراع شبيه بالحرب يزعزع استقرار البلاد، إلا أن الخطر الأكبر الذي يلوح في الأفق، ويقضّ مضاجع الجانبين في نقاش الحرب الأهلية، هو أن الاتجاه الأكثر إثارة للقلق هو فقدان الثقة والأمل والشعور بالانتماء على نطاق واسع في مجتمع تضرر بشدة. 

    ما مصدر إلهام المتحمسين للحرب الأهلية؟ 

    في الحقيقة، يُرى ويليام بيرس، أستاذ الفيزياء الذي تحوّل إلى منظّر للنازيين الجدد، مصدر إلهام ومنبع أفكار القتل والتصفية والقضاء على الحكومة الأميركية، للمتطرّفين اليمينيين الأميركيين. 

     فقبل ربع قرن، وبعد تفجير المبنى الفيدرالي في أوكلاهوما سيتي، عُثر في سيارة المهاجم تيموثي ماكفي الذي اتخذ رواية بيرس “يوميات تيرنر” وثيقة تخطيط له لشن حرب أهلية، على مقتطفات من الكتاب في سيارته عندما قتل 168 شخصاً وأصاب مئات آخرين ومعظم من الأطفال.

    الكارثة لدى القادة الأميركيين الحاليين، أن بيرس، كان فخوراً جداً بشعبية كتابه بين المتعصبين البيض وغيرهم من المتطرفين، إذ إن هدفه وهدف أولئك الذين كان يأمل أن يقرأوا كتابه هو إطاحة الحكومة.

     ولهذا قال بيرس “الناس لا يستخدمون الكتاب كمخطّط، ولكن كمصدر إلهام”. وأكّد أن “ليس لدي الوقت للكتابة للترفيه وحسب. إنما لشرح الأشياء للناس. أود أن أرى أميركا الشمالية قارة بيضاء فقط”.

     وما يزيد الطين بلة لدى الأميركيين، أن لدى بيرس رؤية مدمّرة للنظام الأميركي، إذ أوضح أنه “إذا لم ندمّر النظام قبل أن يدمرنا -إذا لم نقطع هذا السرطان من لحمنا الحي- فسيموت جنسنا كله”.

    بيرس، الذي توفي عام 2002، كان قد تنبأ في كتابه بتآمر المتعصبين البيض لتفجير مقر مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي وإشعال حرب أوسع على الحكومة. وتوقع كذلك أن تتكرّر أعمال العنف الفردية، معتبراً أن “الإرهاب لا معنى له إلا إذا كان مستداماً.. وفي يوم من الأيام سيكون هناك إرهاب حقيقي ومنظم يجري وفقاً لخطة تهدف إلى إسقاط الحكومة.

    ماذا عن حماسة ترامب والحزب الجمهوري للحرب الأهلية؟

    طوال عقود، بقيت “يوميات تيرنر” لبيرس، نصاً يستخدمه المتطرفون العنيفون، ويظهر على نحو متكرر عبر الإنترنت في أحاديث المشاركين في هجوم 6 من كانون الثاني/يناير وأنصار الرئيس ترامب. 

    ليس هذا فحسب، فقد أصبح الخطاب العدائي أيضاً جزءاً من حملات بعض الجمهوريين اليومية. وفي هذا الإطار كتبت لورا لومر، المرشحة الجمهورية في منطقة مجلس النواب الـ11 بولاية فلوريدا، التي كانت قد خسرت بفرق ضئيل في الانتخابات التمهيدية الأسبوع الماضي، على Telegram في 8 آب/أغسطس الماضي أن “الوقت قد حان لخلع القفازات.. إذا كنت أميركياً محباً للحرية، فعليك إزالة الكلمات اللائقة والكياسة من مفرداتك”.

    وبالمثل، غرد اليوتيوبر المحافظ والبودكاست ستيفن كراودر، يوم حدوث غارة FBI في مارالاغو، قائلاً إن “الغد هو الحرب”. وأضاف “لقد حان الوقت للقتال من أجل كل بوصة مربعة” ثم كرّر كلامه في اليوم التالي، مؤكداً أنه الوقت لمكافحة النار بالنار، حان”. كما كتب موقع النقاد المؤيد لترامب عبارات تصب في خانة التحريض مثل “هذا. يعني. الحرب”.

    فضلاً عن ذلك، تحدث الناس على منصات التواصل الاجتماعي المؤيدة لترامب، عن شراء الذخيرة والبحث عن مواجهة العملاء الفيدراليين. “حرب أهلية! التقطوا السلاح أيها الناس”، غرد أحد الغاضبين. 

    كان مثل هذا الحديث أشبه بالدعامة الأساسية لسنوات ترامب. في الصيف الماضي، زعم النائب ماديسون كاوثورن وهو جمهوري من كارولاينا الشمالية، ومن الذين أنكروا نتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية، أن أنظمة الانتخابات الأميركية “مزورة”، مشدداً على أنها “ستؤدي إلى مكان واحد، وهو إراقة دماء”

    حتى إن ترامب نفسه، الذي كان قد تحدث ضد تدريس نظرية العرق الناقدة في تجمع حاشد في كارولينا الجنوبية هذا الربيع، أشار إلى أن مصير أميركا “يعتمد في نهاية المطاف على استعداد مواطنيها للتخلي عن حياتهم للدفاع عن بلدهم، وعليهم القيام بذلك”.

     وعلى المنوال نفسه، أكد أحد أبرز منتقدي ترامب في حزبه، النائب آدم كينزينغر (إلينوي)، في وقت سابق من هذا العام في برنامج “The View” على شبكة “إيه بي سي” أن الحرب الأهلية يمكن أن تندلع” وقال “علينا أن نحذر ونتحدّث عن ذلك حتى نتمكن من إدراك ذلك والقتال بقوة ضده”.

    مع أن كتاب بيرس لا يزال يلهم الجهات الفاعلة الفردية والمجموعات الصغيرة، إلا أن حربه الأوسع نطاقاً لم تقترب قط من أن تؤتي ثمارها بعد.

    اليوم، “الحرب الأهلية” هي صرخة قوية، عكسها بعض الأميركيين في سلوكهم، بارتدائها على القمصان، وبعضهم الآخر يتدرّب عليها علناً بأسلحة هجومية، مثلما يفعل ابن القس، هيونغ جين مون، الذي يتولى رعاية الدورات التدريبية في مجمّعه في تكساس وبنسلفانيا من أجل حرب “وطنية” أخرى على “الدولة العميقة والكلام له. 

    وماذا تقول استطلاعات الرأي عن احتمالات الحرب الأهلية؟

    يعتقد عدد من الأميركيين أن حرباً أهلية حقيقية وعنيفة مقبلة. ففي استطلاع للرأي أجرته هذا الربيع جامعة كاليفورنيا في برنامج أبحاث الوقاية من العنف في ديفيس، قال الذين شملهم الاستطلاع بمعظمهم، إنهم يتوقّعون حرباً أهلية في السنوات القليلة المقبلة.

    إضافة إلى ذلك، أظهر استطلاع آخر أجراه مركز المسح حول الحياة الأميركية، وهو مشروع غير حزبي تابع لمعهد أميركان إنتربرايز المحافظ، أن ما يزيد على ثلث الأميركيين يوافقون على أن “طريقة الحياة الأميركية التقليدية تختفي بسرعة كبيرة، حتى إننا قد نضطر إلى استخدام القوة لإنقاذها”.

    وكشفت نتائج استطلاع جديدة مقلقة نشرتها YouGov، وهي شركة رائدة في مجال أبحاث السوق، أن أربعة من بين كل 10 أميركيين، يعتقدون أن حرباً أهلية قد تكون محتملة في العقد المقبل. وتوضح يوغوف أن من بين أولئك الذين يقولون إنهم صوتوا لترامب عام 2020، أكثر من 50% يتوقعون أيضاً أن يزداد العنف السياسي في السنوات المقبلة.

    أكثر من ذلك، يشير استطلاع آخر لـ”يوغوف”، كان قد أجري لمصلحة مجلة الإيكونوميست، إلى أن نحو 14 في المئة من المستطلَعين، قالوا إن الحرب الأهلية “محتملة جداً في غضون 10 سنين. فيما صرح 29 في المئة أنها “مرجّحة إلى حد ما”. ولكن، بين ناخبي ترامب، كانت هذه الأرقام 19 في المئة، و34 في المئة، على التوالي، أو 53 في المئة في المجموع. ومن بين ناخبي بايدن، كان المجموع يزيد قليلاً على الثلث.

    في الحصيلة، يشعر الأميركيون بأن الانقسامات بين الأمة تبرر أو تسبق صراعاً عنيفاً. 

    Hezbollah: Forty Dimensions of Uniqueness In Local & Regional Contexts [1/3]

    August 26, 2022

    By Housam Matar | Al-Akhbar Newspaper

    Translated by Al-Ahed News
     
    Hezbollah holds a special place among national liberation movements, especially on a regional level. Its success is manifested through its outstanding military efficiency in confronting “Israel” to liberate territory and deter aggression. This success is also evident in the group’s soft and hard regional influences, and in its ability to politically adapt within the Lebanese system.

     
    The triumphs and accomplishments have their own reasons and circumstances. These are both subjective and objective, to which the party adds metaphysical and spiritual factors (divine guidance) that are linked to its religious identity.
     
    When talking about the success of this model throughout its history one must acknowledge the fact that it is not free of problems, weaknesses, and failures, and this is the case for every political actor from the greatest empires to the smallest political groups.
     
    Hezbollah is a small organization fighting “Israel”, which is a regional entity and project with unlimited international support. Therefore, it needed material and financial assets, cadres, an incubating environment, a logistical structure, a dynamic and charismatic leadership, and a strategic geopolitical depth (national and supranational). How did Hezbollah achieve this?
     
    The dimensions of this success and its historical circumstances are intertwined, but it is necessary to sort and disassemble them to get a clearer picture.
     
    Also, focusing on the elements of success and uniqueness does not translate into ignoring the obstacles, challenges, and changes. Shedding light on these elements contributes to enhancing our understanding of their importance and their role in the party’s march, in a way that encourages interaction with them in terms of reform, correction, and care. Hence, their inclusion is not the result of complacency or vanity.
     
    1- The founding generation gains experience: The first generation of Hezbollah gained experience and expertise within Lebanese and Palestinian political and military movements, during difficult times of civil war and confronting the “Israeli” enemy.
     
    They experienced challenges, problems, and failures that reinforced their desire and need for changes and acquiring the necessary resources, skills, and networks of influential interpersonal relationships.
     
    A number of cadres belonging to the first generation had plenty of experience in large parties such as the Amal movement, local Islamic movements, mosque groups, and a few of them were part of non-Islamic resistance forces (Fatah movement).
     
    This generation experienced communist and nationalist ideas, argued with them, responded to them, and often competed with them.
     
    This generation suffered the disappointments of the defeat of the Nasserist project, the kidnapping of Imam Musa al-Sadr, the assassination of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in Iraq, the repeated “Israeli” aggressive operations, and the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization from Jordan and then Lebanon.
     
    All of these prompted the founders to try and think in a different way. For example, from a military point of view, their collective experience contributed to the planning and implementation of the most dangerous military and security operations during the 1980s, which established a solid foundation for the party’s saga.
     
    2- Taking inspiration from the Islamic Revolution and integrating with it.
     
    The victory of the revolution in Iran transformed the broader Islamic world. For the Shiites this was a historic opportunity to break out of the state of oppression.
     
    The Lebanese Shiites were the first to network with the victorious revolution, especially since some of the cadres had built strong personal relations with Iranian cadres opposed to the Shah’s regime and provided them with assistance in Beirut, in addition to religious relations with Iranian figures due to contacts through the Hawzas in Najaf and Qom.
     
    Thus, the benefits of the Islamic revolution reached Lebanon quickly. The most prominent of these was the arrival of the training groups sent by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by order of Imam Khomeini to the Bekaa Valley through Syria following the “Israeli” invasion in 1982.
     
    To carry on and grow, this resistance required organizational frameworks that gradually took shape until the structure of Hezbollah emerged.
     
    The existence of this regional support for the resistance is indispensable in light of the imbalance of power. The Iranian regional political support and Iranian material resources (arms, training, and money) enabled Hezbollah throughout the decades to focus on the conflict with the “Israeli” enemy without needing to be constantly preoccupied with securing support or searching for compromises with regional powers in pursuit of protection.
     
    The religious/ideological link between the party and the Wali al-Faqih [guardian Islamic jurist] organized the party’s relationship with Iran and facilitated an understanding between them. It allowed the latter to look at the party from several perspectives, namely the Islamic revolution, which is hostile to the American system of hegemony in the Islamic field (specifically the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine) and Iranian national security as well as preserving Shiism.
     
    3- Solidifying the historical resistance framework of the Lebanese Shiites
     
    Hezbollah engraved and reproduced the history of the Lebanese Shiites from the angle of their role in resisting the Ottomans, the French, and the Zionists.
     
    Imam Khomeini’s fatwa for the delegation of the nine (they formed the nucleus of establishing Hezbollah) on the duty to resist the “Israeli” occupation with the available capabilities, no matter how modest, played a pivotal role in activating the resistance project as a religious duty first and foremost.
     
    Thus, Hezbollah became a natural extension, compliment, and boost to the experiences of the Shiite revolutionaries at the beginning of the twentieth century and the positions of their great scholars such as Sayyed Abdul Hussein Sharaf al-Din and Imam Musa al-Sadr. All these are figures deeply enshrined in the conscience of the Shiite community, especially Imam al-Sadr (the founder of the Lebanese resistance regiments “Amal”) due to the temporal rapprochement between its experience and the birth of Hezbollah.
     
    Therefore, loyalty to the resistance project is no longer loyalty to the party, but to the sect’s heroic role in defending the natural unity of Syria and in the face of the “Israeli” occupation since the beginning of its aggression against occupied Palestine.
     
    4- Spreading power and confidence within an oppressed sect
     
    The historical grievances and the structural marginalization of the Lebanese Shiites, especially after the defeat of their revolution in 1920 (and they had been defeated before that in the second half of the 18th century in Mount Lebanon), contributed to their thirst for changing their reality and the presence of a high revolutionary readiness that was being nourished by the restoration of the revolutionary practices of the Imams of Prophet Muhammad’s household (PBUH).
     
    Hezbollah presented the resistance project under the title of confronting occupation and hegemony to which the sectarian system is affiliated. This would free the society from marginalization and oppression – the world in the party’s ideology is divided between the oppressed and the arrogant.
     
    What helps the party perpetuate this narrative is its already strong presence among ordinary people born after the mid-1940s.
     
    Hezbollah recalls this marginalization, which the society is actually experiencing firsthand – once directly as Shiites and once as part of the center’s marginalization of the parties in the north, the Bekaa, and the south. These areas are inhabited by an Islamic majority, and this made it easier for the party to communicate with various national groups under the rubric of confronting deprivation and marginalization.
     
    Accordingly, Hezbollah’s success with resistance had multiple dimensions, serving as a remedy for dissipated pride dating back nearly two hundred years.
     
    5- Filling the void in the shadow of a failed state
     
    The civil war and the resulting settlement, which the party was not a part of, led to the emergence of a weak state incapable of carrying out many of its sovereign duties.
     
    This allowed the party to carry the responsibility of the resistance and conduct social work for relief and development.
     
    This state was not, in several stages, in agreement with the resistance project. It was even hostile towards it at times, including the era of Amin Gemayel and later Fouad Siniora’s destitute government.
     
    However, it [Siniora’s government] was too weak to confront the resistance even with the help of external supporters.
     
    This chronic state deficit that resulted in a lack of sovereignty reinforced the popular legitimacy of the resistance and forced the party to assume responsibilities that were not at the heart of its project, especially with the deterioration of the economic situation in the past two years.
     
    6-  Benefiting from the advantages of Lebanese Shiism, which tested nationalist, leftist, patriotic, and Islamic currents and produced a large number of intellectual and scholarly figures (Sheikh Muhammad Jawad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mohsen al-Amin, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, and Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din, etc.).
     
    It was historically characterized by a moderate tendency resulting from the peculiarities of the highly diverse and complex Lebanese reality, and later due to the many waves of migration towards Africa and the West.
     
    In recent decades, the Shiite community has also witnessed the phenomenon of displacement to urban centers (Beirut, the southern Matn coast, and Tyre) and integration into the contracting and trade sectors, which had repercussions on their social class and political awareness.
     
    Hezbollah had to work and grow within this type of complex Shiism, and therefore, its relationship with the general Shiite environment is based on a mixture of loyalty to it and negotiation at the same time.
     
    This requires the party to be distinguished by social flexibility and targeted communication for each circle of its incubating environments, each of which has its own cultural, class, and regional characteristics for the Shiites themselves.
     
    The party gradually attracted elements and cadres from these circles, which was reflected in an internal organizational vitality capable of understanding the complexities of the Shiite scene, dealing with it, and understanding its various internal sensitivities.
     
    7-   Maneuvering within the complexities of the Lebanese system resulting from deep-rooted sectarianism, its exposure to external interference, and its highly centralized financial-business economic model, required Hezbollah to maintain a safe distance. The movement positioned itself on the system’s external edge and approached it only to the extent that was needed to protect the resistance from local players with foreign ties to the United States and its allies.
     
    Therefore, this complexity imposed on Hezbollah to weave broad horizontal relations in the general political sphere (it had to develop its political thought and initiatives to build a network of cross-sectarian national alliances) and restricted vertical relations within the political system.
     
    However, the deterioration of the political system and its poles, leading to the danger of the state’s disintegration, put the party in a historical dilemma; it must work through the system itself to ward off the danger of the state’s collapse (a concern that has grown in the party’s awareness after the devastation that befell Syria and Iraq and the accompanying disintegration of state structures) with apprehension that engaging in regime change or reform would lead to an externally backed civil war.
     
    From the beginning, Hezbollah, in particular, had to be aware of the external interference in Lebanon, its channels, borders, and goals, as they represented an imminent threat to it.
     
    Just like that, the party’s local political choices could have reinforced tension or appeasement with local and international forces.
     
    It was not possible for the party to estimate the direction of the policies of foreign powers (such as America, Saudi Arabia, and France) in internal affairs and how to deal with them regardless of the international and regional situations.
     
    Therefore, the party has developed complex decision-making mechanisms from its developing experience in Lebanese politics, which are mechanisms that it can employ in other areas related to the resistance and its regional role.
     
    8- The rapid positioning within the Lebanese political arena of conflict is crowded with competitors. Hezbollah came into existence amid a heavy presence of political forces, armed and unarmed, most of which have external relations. It had to expand its influence within all this fierce competition.

    In its infancy, the party underwent several field tests and intense political competition with major Lebanese forces rooted locally and forces with a regional reach.
     
    Then the party became vulnerable to severe political attacks from the anti-resistance forces, especially after 2004. The burden of this competition increased after Hezbollah confronted the leadership of a national alliance with the so-called March 8 forces and the Free Patriotic Movement.
     
    Hezbollah’s opponents receive extensive external support and are distinguished by their presence in various cultural, media, and political spheres in the form of parties, elites, platforms, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, which are entities closely integrated with regional and international financial and political networks hostile to the resistance.
     
    Some of these adversaries play security roles that double their threat. This reality produces constant pressures on the party, forcing it to dedicate part of its resources and capabilities to the local political sphere. It also makes it accumulate skills, frameworks, and criteria for managing political competition in a way that guarantees it the local and national stability necessary to avoid open internal conflicts that distract it from its main mission.
     
    9-   Intellectual rivalry in a complex and open public sphere resulting from the richness of the Lebanese political and intellectual life, contrary to what is the case in most Arab countries.
     
    The party had to present its Islamic thesis in a highly competitive intellectual market where leftist, liberal, and nationalist currents have deep roots and prominent thinkers in the region.
     
    This is what the party quickly realized in its infancy and prompted it to self-review the Islamic state and the Islamic revolution.

    The party is constantly confronting political and cultural arguments that are highly critical of its political and cultural project (apart from a fierce information war) that prompted a number of its elites and institutions to engage in this “market” and root the party’s proposals on issues such as Wilayat al-Faqih, the homeland, the Lebanese system, multiple identities, the legitimacy of the resistance weapon, American hegemony, and social justice.
     
    As a result, despite the party’s intense preoccupation with the issue of resistance and its requirements from the tactical cultural discourse, it finds itself obliged to engage in many discussions and develop its intellectual, research, and scientific institutions and cadres – a challenge still facing the party.
     
    10- The ability to transform geography into its environment.
     
    The geographical contact of the Shiite communities in Lebanon with occupied Palestine in southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa made this environment targeted by “Israeli” aggression and under constant and imminent threat.
     
    Thus, the party gained enormous influence and wide embrace within these communities through the success of its experiment in resistance, liberation, and deterrence.
     
    This contact and the success of the party produced what is called the incubating environment, which is the most important element in the success of the resistance’s experiences.
     
    The party has succeeded in completely assimilating into this environment, including its fighters, cadres, leadership, voters, and supporters.
     
    This contact gave rise to a historical Shiite awareness of the Palestinian issue resulting from the historical personal and commercial ties between the Shiite and Palestinian communities and then Shiite engagement with Palestinian organizations and the residents of Palestinian camps after the 1948 Nakba.
     
    On the other hand, this contact with “Israeli” aggression had a significant impact on Shiite urbanization and migration, as the occupied areas witnessed extensive Shiite migration to Africa and North America, and internally to coastal cities, specifically Tyre and Beirut.
     
    This migration was a decisive element in the social and political rise of the Shiites, as well as giving Hezbollah popular incubators in vital areas and providing it with necessary human and material resources.
     
    11- The participatory nature of the relationship with Iran:
     
    The two sides dealt from the beginning on the basis that Iran’s role is to support the party’s decisions that it takes in accordance with the data of the Lebanese reality, especially since the Iranian state was preoccupied with major internal and external challenges.
     
    Therefore, the Wali al-Faqih used to grant legitimacy to the act, provided that the party takes the necessary decisions. Later, Hezbollah was able, due to its successes and the role of its Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to become a partner in the Iranian regional decision-making process, especially in the files related to the resistance project.
     
    This partnership is reinforced by the influence of the Revolutionary Guards within the Iranian national security establishment, and the broad respect for the party’s experience among the Iranian people is a lever for this partnership.
    The Iranians were keen from the beginning to play the role of an assistant to Hezbollah, which is why the decision was to send trainers instead of fighters to Lebanon after the “Israeli” invasion.
     
    This independence is reinforced by the theory of Wilayat al-Faqih itself, which recognizes local and national specificities.
     
    With the Wali al-Faqih having the authority to command in all administrative affairs, but according to wisdom, justice, and the ability to understand interests and conditions of time, which are among the obligatory attributes of the Wali al-Faqih, he realizes that every local and national society has deep peculiarities that its people tell about.
     
    Therefore, the Wali often leaves the party to determine the interests after he adjusts their terms.
     
    This partnership had a direct reflection on Hezbollah’s regional influence, as the Iranians realize that the party’s Arab identity, along with what it has accumulated in the Arab conscience, makes it, among other arenas and files, a major player in managing the resistance project.
     
    12- Mastering the administration in connection with the experience of Iranian institutionalization.
     
    Hezbollah has benefited from its deep ties with Iranian institutions, whether the Revolutionary Guards, the civil services, or even the hawza in Qom, to draw inspiration from the experience of building institutions and organizing administration, which is one of the historical characteristics of the Iranian experience.
     
    A number of the institutions of the Islamic Revolution either initially opened branches in Lebanon and then were run by the party, or transferred their experience to the party, which copied it with a local flavor and peculiarities.
     
    Iranian experts in management and human resources have transferred knowledge, skills, and administrative systems to party cadres that worked to build and develop active and efficient civil institutions in the fields of education, development, party organization, health, services, and local administration.
     
    The party’s institutions usually benefit from Arab and Lebanese experts and academics from outside its environment to gain access to qualitative experiences and new knowledge.
     
    The above-mentioned party institutions in the capital and the outskirts attracted thousands of young men and women graduates of universities who chose these majors or who were encouraged by the party to study in them to benefit from modern sciences in management and human resources.
     
    This institutional momentum contributes to the efficiency of the party’s activities and its ability to meet its needs, to preserve and transfer experience, to development, to attract energies, and to adapt to transformations, especially since the “Israeli” enemy has repeatedly targeted these institutions.
     
    13- Building strategic interests with Syria after years of mutual anxiety.
     
    The relationship between the party and Syria was characterized by mistrust and suspicion at the beginning, with several field frictions between the two parties taking place, which reinforced the mutual distrust.
     
    Damascus aspired to gain the regulating position of the Lebanese reality with international and regional recognition and to employ this in Syria’s internal stability, regional influence, and balance with the “Israeli” enemy.
     
    Some Syrian government officials were apprehensive that the party’s agenda, identity, and relationship with Iran could disrupt their Lebanese project.
     
    But with the war on Iraq, after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the failure of the Arab-“Israeli” settlement project, the end of the Iraqi-Iranian war, and Hezbollah’s steadfastness in the face of the “Israeli” enemy in the 1993 aggression, a new path was launched, the beginning of which was to prevent President Hafez al-Assad, at the initiative of the then commander of the Lebanese army, Emile Lahoud, using the army to clash with the resistance in 1993.
     
    Since then, it can be said that a door for direct communication opened on the issue of resistance between the party and President al-Assad, regardless of the complexities of the so-called Syrian-Lebanese security system.
     
    This relationship was strengthened during the “Israeli” aggression in 1996 when Syria played a key role in the birth of the April Understanding.
     
    The relations between the two parties were strengthened after the American invasion of Iraq and Resolution 1559, as Syria realized its need for the party and its necessity regionally and in Lebanon.
     
    Syria also became a vital strategic depth for the party with the expansion of the confrontation arena after 2011, which was proven by the party’s entry into the war in Syria in 2013.
     
    The party succeeded in understanding Syria’s concerns in Lebanon and kept pace with its vital interests by not clashing with the post-Taif regime and revealed to it its weight in the conflict with the “Israeli” enemy. The strategic partnership that developed over time between Syria and Iran helped in this.
     
    14- The awakening of the marginalized Arab Shiites.
     
    With its rise, the party became the center of the Shiites’ eyes, hearts, and minds in the Arab world. They have experienced decades of exclusion and abuse, similar to the Zaydis in Yemen.

    Thus, they found in the successes of the Shiite Hezbollah a possible entry point for Islamic and national recognition. This oppression of the Arab Shiites served as an amplifier for Hezbollah’s achievements and a motivator for being identified with it and drawing inspiration from it.
     
    Thus, Hezbollah’s regional influence is primarily a product of its soft power, a power characterized by long-term results and acceptable costs. It is a fully legitimate influence.
     
    The party supports the choice of these Shiites in peaceful struggle, encourages climates of dialogue with their partners and the governments of their countries, emphasizes Islamic unity, respects their national privacy, helps them in the media to raise their voice to demand rights, and urges them to political, media, and popular participation in support of the resistance project within the region.
     
    15- Healing the Arab psychological defeat through victory over the “Israeli” enemy and support for the rising resistance project in Palestine.
     
    A large part of Arab societies took pride in Hezbollah’s resistance, interacting with it and getting closer to it, as they found it a response to decades of disappointment and defeats.
     
    Hezbollah has been keen to highlight its Arab identity in its political, cultural, and media discourse and in its artistic products (anasheed) and has strengthened its institutions concerned with communicating and engaging in dialogue with Arab elites, parties, and groups.
     
    This Arab fascination with the party’s experience in fighting the “Israeli” enemy and in its leadership constituted a provocative factor for the Arab official regimes that emerged from the conflict with the enemy, as the party’s successes practically undermined the discourses of complacency and the legitimacy of its advocates.
     
    This explains the insistence of a number of regional regimes on creating sectarian tensions that have had negative repercussions on the party’s relationship with part of its Arab incubators.
     
    But the decline of the sectarian wave as the party continues to lead Arab resistance efforts against the “Israeli” entity can create conciliatory atmospheres with Arab incubators on the basis of understanding and dialogue, organizing differences, and neutralizing them from the resistance project.
     
    16- Inspiration, representation, and transfer of experience
     
    Hezbollah has limited material, human, and financial resources. Therefore, its building of partnerships and alliances at the regional level within the resistance project had to be based on its most prominent assets, namely its ability to inspire and transfer its experience and lessons learned to its peers within movements and forces that practice the act of resistance.
     
    What made this possible was that the party’s victories revived the spirit of resistance in the Arab and Islamic spheres (for example, the comparison between Sayyed Nasrallah and President Abdel Nasser abounded) and thus stimulated the desire of many groups and elites to understand and benefit from the party’s experience.

    The most prominent results of this appeared in occupied Palestine, especially in the second intifada.
     
    Therefore, Hezbollah was interested in transferring its experience in resistance, administration, media, and organization to a large network of Arab and Islamic non-governmental political actors involved, militarily or politically, in confronting the American hegemony system.
     
    The transfer of experience naturally includes the transfer of values, ideas, patterns of behavior and practical culture, as well as establishing networks of links and relations with the cadres of these movements and parties.
     
    Thus, over time, additional groups joined the equations of force and deterrence for the resistance project. The Zionists started talking about multiple circles of the resistance axis that extend to Iraq and Yemen.

    Nasrallah: ‘Israel’s’ threats regarding demarcation deal are worthless

     August 23, 2022

    Source: Al Mayadeen Net

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    On the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Hezbollah, Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah calls back the legendary steadfastness in the July 2006 war that nipped the so-called “New Middle East” project in the bud.

    Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah

    Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday that the 2000 victory ended the so-called “Greater Israel” project and shattered the myth of the “invincible army”.

    Sayyed Nasrallah’s speech came during a festival organized by Hezbollah on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its establishment.

    The Resistance leader considered that one of the results of the legendary steadfastness in the July 2006 war was thwarting the so-called “New Middle East” project and ending the “Greater Israel” project, not to mention the Resistance’s engagement in the file of restoring Lebanon’s oil and gas rights.

    Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that propaganda campaigns, distortion attempts, and lies can never destroy the will of this Resistance.

    “In 2006, they failed to crush the Resistance, which came out stronger and more powerful than ever,” he stressed.

    He also indicated that the Resistance is heading in the direction of developing its military structure and capabilities to keep pace with the developments at the level of weapons and technology.

    During his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that the “Army, People, and Resistance” golden equation has become solid, whether included in the ministerial statement or not, stressing that liberating the rest of the occupied Lebanese land is a national responsibility.

    The Lebanese leader pointed out that the Resistance’s responsibilities in the next stage are to establish the deterrence equations necessary for protecting Lebanon’s land, people, and wealth.

    Regarding the file of border demarcation with occupied Palestine, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that the Israeli threats are to no avail, adding that Hezbollah’s decision and approach are clear and “we are waiting for the coming days to act accordingly.”

    In his speech, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah underlined that the Palestinian cause is part of the religion, culture, and honor of this nation, stressing that there is no place for abandonment, neutrality, or retreat when it comes to this cause.

    The core of Hezbollah’s strategy toward the Palestinian cause is based on the ultimate conviction that the Palestinian people will continue to resist and reject nationalization and normalization, he indicated.

    “Our bet is on young people like Charbel Abu Daher and Nadia Fawaz, who refused to compete against the Israeli,” he said.

    Addressing Syria, which Hezbollah Secretary-General described as the backbone of the Axis of Resistance and the steadfastness front, characterized by ultimate refusal to Israeli conditions, he stressed, “By the day, we grow increasingly convinced of the validity of our choice and decision to go to Syria.”

    In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “if Syria is exposed to any similar attacks, we will not hesitate to engage in the battlefields on its side.”

    He said, “It is our duty to thank our fellow brothers in Syria who, throughout 40 years, stood by us, welcomed us with arms wide open, and provided us with political, diplomatic, and security protection, which we deeply thank Syria and its leadership for.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah added, “We will remain an integral part of the Axis of Resistance, which we trust will always be the solid basis for confronting hegemony projects and defending holy sites,” pointing out that “Iran is the major regional power on which all the Resistance movements and the downtrodden people in the region rely.”

    He also revealed that Hezbollah contributed within its capabilities to fighting ISIS in Iraq and stressed that “if Iraq is exposed to this again and asks us, as in previous years, for help, we will not hesitate to send our leaders and fellow freedom fighters to go and fight side by side with our Iraqi brothers there.”

    On the relationship with Gulf states, the Lebanese leader said, “We had no problem in developing Lebanon’s relations, especially with the Gulf, but some aim at turning Lebanon into an affiliate, which cannot be tolerated.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that Hezbollah “will never be dragged and will not go into a civil war or engage in a sectarian strife,” recalling the Tayouneh ambush, in which a number of Lebanese citizens were martyred after snipers opened fire at unarmed peaceful protesters in Tayouneh, Beirut from the rooftops of buildings where they had stationed themselves.

    Therefore, he called for addressing this issue, just as others, as it is linked to civil peace.

    Hezbollah chief stressed that throughout the party’s 40 years in Lebanon, “we avoided slipping into any civil war or sectarian strife, and this was what was being prepared for Lebanon in 2005, but we cooperated with the political forces to save Lebanon from going into war and falling prey to sectarian strife.”

    In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah considered that “internal security and stability are the responsibility of the state and should be governed by the cooperation of the various state components.”

    “Some are making every effort to drag the Resistance into a clash with the Lebanese army and security forces, and this is a permanent and declared American project,” he stressed.

    To this end, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded the people that “the shooting on the Airport Bridge demonstration against the Oslo agreement was not the decision of the army, but rather a major breach within the personnel on the ground.”

    The Resistance leader pointed out that among the achievements is the transition of the relationship between Hezbollah and the Amal movement from a negative position to a very positive one, leading to integration.

    He said that Hezbollah is keen to maintain a permanent relationship with the Amal movement that is based on integration, cooperation, and unity, especially on major issues, pointing out that in the next stage, “we will remain keen on maintaining our understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement, as well as strengthening and developing it.”

    Nasrallah affirmed that Hezbollah will continue to be present in future governments to defend the people’s interests mainly due to the party’s clear political vision about the internal situation, indicating that Hezbollah’s main aim in the next stage is to cooperate with various political forces in order to build a just and capable state.

    “We strongly believe in the principle of partnership between the Lebanese components away from exclusivity,” he said.

    The Hezbollah Secretary-General stressed that the Resistance party will continue to serve people in all frameworks, institutions, and regions, despite the siege, sanctions, pressure, and threats against anyone who donates money to Hezbollah, reiterating that the Lebanese party will strengthen its institutions and that serving people is a core commitment and one of the greatest acts of worship. 

    “We are now in the eye of the storm, and this expresses the extent of our commitment to alleviate the living conditions and economic situation of the Lebanese people,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

    The Lebanese leader considered that “we are looking forward to a real sovereign country that is not subjugated to an American embassy or any other embassy or foreign hegemony,” noting that “the interference of the US embassy in the affairs of the Lebanese ministries is at its utmost level.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that Hezbollah sees that the international developments are positive and “in the interest of the Axis of Resistance and true sovereignty.”

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    The Real Global Agenda Pushing for War with China

    August 02, 2022

    Source

    By Cynthia Chung

    “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”

    • Henry John Temple, aka Lord Palmerston (Britain’s Prime Minister from 1855-1858, 1859-1865), oversaw Britain’s First Opium War (1839-1842) as Head of Britain’s Foreign Office and the Second Opium War (1856-1860) as Britain’s Prime Minister against China.

    Snow is Now Black

    Bertrand Russell discussed in his book “The Impact of Science on Society” (1952) that the subject which “will be of most importance politically is mass psychology,” that is, the lens in which an individual views “reality” and “truth.” Russell is very clear, such “convictions” are not generated by the individual themselves but rather are to be shaped by the State.

    Of course, individuals are not encouraged to think about an absolute truth or reality, rather they are encouraged to think on a much smaller scale, on individual “facts,” for this is much easier to control and shape and also limits “problematic” thinking such as the ponderance on purpose and intention.

    Russell, in his “Impact of Science on Society,” goes on to talk about how one could program a society to think snow is black rather than white:

    First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.”

    This is of course a program for the most ambitious “reframing” of “reality”. However, as we see today, we do not need to start before the age of ten for other sorts of “reframing,” and nowhere does this seem to be the most successful and effective with any age group than the West’s “foreign” policy.

    For snow is something that we see and experience regularly. It is much more difficult to “reframe” something familiar, however, something that is “foreign” has always been a rather blurred and undefined concept for millennia, and thus is a much easier candidate for the State to “reframe” as our collective “reality,” our collective “existential fear.”

    Thus, for most of history, our understanding of who is our “friend” and who is our “foe” has rarely been determined by the people themselves but rather their governing structure.

    Such a governing structure is free to determine for us what is “truth” vs. “falsehood” what is “fact” vs. “fiction,” because the people, despite all the abuse and exploitation from such a governing force still look to this very thing to protect and shield them from the frightful “unknown.”

    People have become accustomed to thinking “Better the Devil you know.” In this paper we will see if that is indeed the case or not.

    [This is Part 2 of a two-part series. For Part 1 refer here.]

    “Our Interests are Eternal and Perpetual”

    It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

    • Buddha

    Before I get into the geopolitical situation of today and attempt to address this question of what the global agenda behind pushing for war with China is, I would like to share a brief overview of some very important history, for I assure you, this plays a prominent role in what is shaping today’s dynamics.

    For the sake of brevity, the story starts with the First Opium War (1839-42).

    In short, the British Empire had made a move towards a free trade system in the 1840s, modelled on Adam Smith’s ‘A Wealth of Nations’. In this new system of trade it was believed that if there is a demand for a product, a country has no right to intervene in its transaction. Protectionism, which had been practiced by Britain up until that point, had now been deemed an unfit practice by…Britain, and all other countries were naturally to follow along according to the “new rules” chosen for them.

    Britain, however, would grant itself to be the sole country permitted to continue the practice of protectionism while it enforced its “free” trade on others.

    In the case of China, the trade of opium was ultimately banned by the Chinese, and severe punishments were to be delivered to those involved in smuggling the product into the country, which included British merchants. The British Empire considered this a direct threat to its ‘security’ and its new enforcement of free trade. Thus, when China did not back down, the First Opium War (1839-1842) was waged. The result was the forced signing of the Nanking Treaty in 1842.

    This treaty, known as the first of the “unequal treaties”, ceded the territory of Hong Kong to Britain and allowed British merchants to not only trade at Guangzhou but were now also permitted to trade with five additional “treaty ports” and with whomever they pleased.

    Created in 1600 with a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I, the East India Company was from its inception indistinguishable from the British Empire itself, rising to account for half of the world’s trade. As is aptly said by Lord Macaulay in his speech to the House of Commons in July 1833, since the beginning, the East India Company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.

    In other words, the East India Company was to facilitate the geopolitical chess game that the British Empire wished to see played out. Not only the trade contracts it received but whole colonised territories won by the British Empire were handed over to this company to manage, along with a large sized private military, all under the decree of the Crown. This would be most evidently seen in the freedom it was given to control opium production in British India and to then facilitate its trade within Hong Kong and other colonised parts of Southeast Asia.

    China was deemed uncooperative to the conditions signed under the Nanking Treaty and a Second Opium war was declared on them by the British Empire, lasting from 1856-60. [There is an excellent Chinese movie called “The Opium War” that goes over this story, you can watch it for free here.]

    The British (with French assistance) defeated the Chinese defenses after a four-year war. China, an ancient civilization with an advanced society both culturally and scientifically was forced to be entirely beholden to British foreign policy and its enforced free trade of opium.

    On the 18th of October 1860, the British burned down the Summer Palace, also known as Yuanmingyuan (Gardens of Perfect Brightness), the French apparently refused to assist. The razing of the building took two days.

    When the war was won, British and French troops (and mercenaries) looted and destroyed many artifacts, many of which remain abroad, scattered throughout the world in 47 museums[1]. An ongoing reminder of their spoils from the Opium Wars. How ironic that so many enjoy gazing upon such works of beauty and forget the horror that was committed in attaining them.

    A British-friendly bank needed to be created to facilitate trade in the region, connecting the Empire’s newly acquired treasures Shanghai and Hong Kong with its British India (the major world producer of opium) along with the rest of the British Empire and Europe. HSBC was founded in 1865 for this purpose, that continues to this day.

    This bank was not only meant to facilitate foreign trade within China in whichever way it deemed fit, but in addition was created namely to trade in the product of opium. It is important to note that although the founder of HSBC is credited as Thomas Sutherland of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, a Scottish merchant who wanted the bank to operate under “sound Scottish banking principles”, the bank had been created from the start to facilitate crooked trade on behalf of the British Empire.

    China refers to this period as its “Century of Humiliation,” also known as the “hundred years of national humiliation,” describing the period from 1839 to 1949.

    What happened in 1949?

    The Chinese had fought a 22 year long civil war (Aug 1927-1949), which overlapped the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) where the Chinese also fought against Japanese fascists for their very existence. The Japanese fascists wanted to ethnically cleanse China, as well as the entire eastern coastline of Asia. Ho Chi Minh led the valiant fight against the Japanese fascists in Vietnam. The Japanese fascists committed the most brutal genocide, perhaps in all of history, known as the Asian holocaust and to which westerners often are completely unaware (for more on this refer here and here).

    The most notorious of these was the Nanjing Massacre, or the Rape of Nanjing, starting on the 13th of December 1937 and lasting for six weeks. It is estimated that over 300,000 were massacred and over 80,000 brutally raped and tortured.

    The Chinese heroically fought back the Japanese fascists and kept their country intact by the end of WWII. Though many European countries did not even last a week against invasion by the German Nazis, China had resisted a Japanese take-over for eight years, while fighting a civil war. There is certainly not even remotely close to enough respect given to the Chinese people for this incredible and heroic accomplishment.

    On October 1st, 1949, the Chinese Communists led by Mao Zedong won the civil war against Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang army and Mao declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China. This is a complicated history that is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in satisfactory detail, however, I will make a few points.

    Sun Yat-sen, of whom I speak in more detail in Part 1, was instrumental in China’s Revolution against the corrupt Qing dynasty. He also received training in Hawaii and became an adherent to the American System of economics (for more on this refer to Part 1.) He was Christian but he was also Confucian, seeing no contradiction in their true teachings.

    Because of Sun Yat-sen’s leadership, China won its revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1911. Sun became President of the Republic of China in 1912 but voluntarily stepped down (in order to maintain the peace) to Yuan Shikai. Yuan Shikai was a warlord and was a greedy puppet to British interests. Sun had no choice but to step down because he understood that if he failed to do so, Britain would militarily intervene.

    China had won its revolution but was still beholden to Britain’s dominion.

    Sun Yat-sen was no fool and understood the situation with clarity. China’s problem with Britain, was the same problem the colonies of the United States faced almost 150 years earlier.

    Sun Yat-sen writes in his book “The Vital Problem of China,” published in 1917:

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    In another section of the same book, Sun Yat-sen writes:

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    And lastly:

    Reference for the images with quotes: https://risingtidefoundation.net/immortal-quotes/

    It looks like Sun Yat-sen was very clear in his understanding of what was China’s “vital problem.”

    Sun Yat-sen is known as the Father of the Republic of China. It was Sun Yat-sen who founded the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek was Sun’s selection for next in line. During this time, many subsequent members of the Chinese Communist Party were originally members of the Kuomintang, such as Zhou Enlai (who was later instrumental in the formation of the Five Principles for Peaceful Co-Existence and a vital participant in the Bandung Conference, see Part 1).

    Sun Yat-sen died in 1925 and China’s civil war broke out two years later. It is my belief that if Sun had remained alive longer, China would have never fallen into a civil war.

    As the civil war broke out, Madame Sun Yat-sen (Rosamond Soong Ch’ing-ling) who was an extremely intelligent Chinese political figure in her own right, after some delay, picks in favour of the Communist Party of China. Chiang was no longer the man Sun once thought able to lead the Chinese people. Madame Sun Yat-sen’s sister who married Chiang was also politically astute and continued to back her husband.

    This decision of Madame Sun Yat-sen, regarded as the true living embodiment of the philosophy and teachings of Sun Yat-sen, was treated by most, as if Sun himself had spoken to the Chinese people.

    This caused an alignment with numerous other Chinese political parties and institutions to side with the Communist Party against the Kuomintang, which at that point was regarded as being in bed with foreign interests (British and American) and that Chiang was more concerned with keeping his power and influence than on the actual fate of China.

    [Madame Sun Yat-sen held several prominent positions within the People’s Republic of China from 1949 on. For more on this refer here.]

    Numerous times during WWII, there had been a call to unite both sides in order to focus on defeating the Japanese fascists, however, Chiang always essentially refused. Chiang wanted to use the Japanese fascists against the Communist Party in order to win the civil war. There was also the unsettling question of whether Chiang was starting to view Japanese totalitarianism as a model for governance.

    Taiwan, which is an island just 100 miles from China’s mainland, has a history that goes back for many thousands of years. From the late 13th century on, Chinese people gradually came into contact with Taiwan and started settling there. By the late 17th century, Taiwan became increasingly integrated into China, with mostly Chinese people living there (the indigenous population still lives in Taiwan to this day).

    When Chiang lost the civil war, he retreated to the island of Taiwan, which was at that point considered part of China and was inhabited by mostly Chinese people. Chiang continued to call himself the only true representative of the teachings of Sun Yat-sen and the only true leader of the Republic of China, even though, Madame Sun Yat-sen refused to recognise his legitimacy as well as the majority of those living in China.

    Chiang ruled Taiwan, essentially under a dictatorship, from 1943 to the year he died in 1975.

    The balkanization of China and the extermination of her people was a very real threat that China not only survived during this period but fought back with remarkable fortitude and courage. Those who are responsible for saving China are rightly seen as heroes in the eyes of the Chinese, and we would be foolish in under-estimating the will and courage of the Chinese people after such displays of valor (for more stories of China’s valor refer here and here).

    Thus, the year 1949 was to mark the end of China’s “Century of Humiliation.”

    The City of London

    “Hell is a city much like London.”

    – Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Over and over again we have seen that there is another power than that which has its seat at Westminster. The City of London, a convenient term for a collection of financial interests, is able to assert itself against the government of the country. Those who control money can pursue a policy at home and abroad contrary to that which is being decided by the people.”

    • Clement Attlee, UK Prime Minister (1945-1951) and political opponent of Churchill.

    The City of London is over 800 years old. It is arguably older than England herself, and for over 400 years it has been the financial center of the world.

    During the medieval period, the City of London, otherwise known as the Square Mile or simply the City, was divided into 25 ancient wards headed each by an alderman. This continues today.

    In addition, there existed the ominously titled City of London Corporation, or simply the Corporation, which is the municipal governing body of the City. This also still continues today.

    Though the Corporation’s origins cannot be specifically dated, since there was never a “surviving” charter found establishing its “legal” basis, it has kept its functions to this day based on the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John in 1215, which states that “the City of London shall have/enjoy its ancient liberties”. In other words, the legal function of the Corporation has never been questioned, reviewed, re-evaluated EVER but rather it has been left to legally function as in accordance with their “ancient liberties”, which is a very grey description of function if you ask me. In other words, they are free to do as they deem fit.

    Therefore, the question is, if the City of London has kept its “ancient liberties” and has upheld its global financial power, is the British Empire truly gone?

    Contrary to popular naïve belief, the empire on which the sun never sets (some say “because God wouldn’t trust them in the dark”) never went away.

    After WWII, colonisation was meant to be done away with, and many thought, so too with the British Empire. Countries were reclaiming their sovereignty, governments were being set up by the people, the system of looting and pillaging had come to an end.

    It is a nice story, but could not be further from the truth.

    In the 1950s, to “adapt” to the changing global financial climate, the City of London set up what are called “secrecy jurisdictions”. These were to operate within the last remnants of Britain’s small territories/colonies. Of Britain’s 14 oversea territories, 7 are bona fide tax havens or “secrecy jurisdictions”. A separate international financial market was also created to facilitate the flow of this offshore money, the Eurodollar market. Since this market has its banks outside of the UK and U.S., they are not under the jurisdiction of either country.

    By 1997, nearly 90% of all international loans were made through this market[2].

    John Christensen, an investigative economist, estimates that this capital that legally belongs to nobody could amount to as high as $50 trillion within these British territories. Not only is this not being taxed, but a significant portion of it has been stolen from sectors of the real economy.

    So how does this affect “formerly” colonised countries?

    According to John Christensen, the combined external debts of Sub-Saharan African countries was $177 billion in 2008. However, the wealth that these countries’ elites moved offshore, between 1970-2008, is estimated at $944 billion, 5X their foreign debt. This is not only dirty money, this is also STOLEN money from the resources and productivity of these countries’ economies.

    Thus, as Christensen states, “far from being a net debtor to the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor” to offshore finance.

    Put in this context, the so-called “backwardness” of Africa is not due to its incapability to produce, but rather that it has been experiencing uninterrupted looting since these regions were first colonised.

    These African countries then need to borrow money, which is happily given to them at high interest rates and accrues a level of debt that could never be repaid. These countries are thus looted twice over, leaving no money left to invest in their future, let alone to put food on the table.

    And it doesn’t stop there. Worldwide, it is estimated that developing countries lose $1 trillion every year in capital flight and tax evasion. Most of this wealth goes back into the UK and U.S. through these offshore havens, and allows their currencies to stay strong whilst developing nations’ currencies are kept weak.

    However, developing nations are not the only ones to have suffered from this system of looting. The very economies of the UK and U.S. have also been gutted. In the 1960s and onward, the UK and U.S., to compensate for the increase in money flow out of their countries decided that it was a good idea to open their domestic markets to the trillions of dollars passing through its offshore havens.

    However, such banks are not interested in putting their money into industry and manufacturing. They put their money into real estate speculation, financial speculation and foreign currency trade. And thus, the financialization of British and American economies resulted, and the real jobs coming from the real economy decreased or disappeared.

    Although many economists try to claim differently, the desperation has boiled over. We have reached a point now where every western first world country is struggling with a much higher unemployment rate and a significantly lower standard of living than 40 years ago. Along with increased poverty has followed increased drug use, increased suicide and increased crime (for more on the sin City of London refer here, and on Britain’s opium bank HSBC refer here).

    Now, we are ready to look at today’s global agenda behind the push for war with China.

    China’s Belt and Road Initiative Put Into Perspective

    BRI seeks to back an array of projects, but to date, the vast majority of funds has been allocated toward traditional infrastructure—energy, roads, railways, and ports. Though principally aimed at developing countries, with Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka among the largest recipients of BRI funds, BRI also includes developed countries, with numerous U.S. allies participating. If these U.S. allies were to turn to BRI to build critical infrastructure, such as power grids, ports, or telecommunications networks, this could complicate U.S. contingency planning and make coming to the defense of its allies more difficult.”

    The Council on Foreign Relations, a major shaper of U.S. foreign policy, has made it clear in its numerous reports that it regards it as the duty of the United States government to counter China’s economic relationship and partnership with every country in the global sphere.

    It should be noted that the Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) based in London, England. It should also be noted that Chatham House itself was created by the Round Table Movement during the Treaty of Versailles Conference in 1919.

    Thus, deterrence to all American “allies” in forming partnerships with China has also been heavily enforced.

    Why are China’s international relations seen as a threat to U.S. national security? The short answer to this is competition, and the slightly longer answer is that China is forming an alliance of countries against the economic strait jacket that was first imposed by the British Empire under its free trade doctrine and which is enforced today in the interests of the Anglo-American Empire.

    In 2014, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) launched the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI), based in Washington, DC. In June 2020, SAIS-CARI published a report titled “Debt Relief with Chinese Characteristics.”

    I would like to share of few lines from this report, which begins with:

    In December 2019, a Zambian economist commented: ‘Chinese debt can easily be renegotiated, restructured, or refinanced.’ Is this true?

    In this working paper, we draw on data from the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) to review evidence on China’s debt cancellation and restructuring in Africa, in comparative and historical perspective. Cases from Sri Lanka, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Angola, and the Republic of Congo, among others, point to debt relief patterns with distinctly Chinese characteristics. In nearly all cases, China has only offered debt write-offs for zero-interest loans. Our study found that between 2000 and 2019, China has cancelled at least US$3.4 billion of debt in Africa. There is no ‘China, Inc’…We found that China has restructured or refinanced approximately US$ 15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. We found no ‘asset seizures’ and despite contract clauses requiring arbitration, no evidence of the use of courts to enforce payments, or application of penalty interest rates.”

    It continues:

    During the debt crisis of the late 20th century, we saw that many sovereign borrowers simply did not service the interest-free loans lent by the Chinese government. Because the interest-free loan program was diplomatic in nature, a core part of China’s foreign aid, pressing hard for loan repayment was simply not done. As of 2019, with a much wider variety of loans in play—many commercial–rescheduling is no longer so easy, although it is happening. Beijing’s main tool to press for payments when a country goes into arrears is to suspend disbursements on projects currently being implemented (which slows their completion but also hurts Chinese contractors), and to withhold approval of new loans.

    … A committee led by China’s Ministry of Finance (which has overall authority for debt relief), with delegates from MOFCOM, China’s Exim Bank, and China Development Bank will approve or reject the debt cancellation request. ‘The Chinese government will see how the money was used. They will consider this thoughtfully. They will refuse applications from some whose economy is doing well’ a Chinese official told one of the authors.”

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    The SAIS-CARI report concludes:

    Chinese debt relief for Africa has been going on for many decades, following the ups and downs Africa’s economic recessions, recoveries, and booms… As Zhou Yuyuan, a researcher with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, noted in a recent article: ‘the cost for violating the contract is actually quite low for the borrowers.’ Furthermore, Beijing is concerned with its international reputation and its long term political and diplomatic relationship with individual countries. In addition, Chinese contractors, who usually advance their own money to get a project launched before being reimbursed through Chinese bank disbursements, suffer from project suspensions. Although loan contracts provide for arbitration in case of default, there is no evidence that Chinese banks have ever used this option, or that a judgment could actually be enforced, were it to be in their favor. We also see no evidence of penalty interest rates.

    …We started this paper with a quote from a Zambian economist. A fuller version of that quote is:

    It’s the US$ 3 billion worth of eurobonds that are the problem, not the Chinese loans…with eurobonds, you don’t play around when the payments are due. Chinese debt can easily be renegotiated, restructured or refinanced’.

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    According to the Jubilee Debt Campaign in 2017, China owned 24%, the IMF and World Bank owned 20%, the Paris Club 10%, the private sector 32%, and other multilateral institutions 15% of Africa’s debt.

    The Center for International Policy’s “Africa Program,” based in Washington DC, tracks and analyzes U.S. foreign policy toward the nations of Africa. Interestingly they conclude:

    As a debt crisis looms, there has been a growing demand from various advocacy groups for debt cancellation and the issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the IMF. According to the Advocacy Network for Africa (AdNA), the SDRs are the IMF’s reserve currency that could ‘enable countries to boost reserves and stabilize economies, helping minimize other economic losses, without any cost to the U.S. government.’ Although SDRs offer African countries a lifeline, the U.S. has yet to support the initiative, adding yet another hurdle in their attempt to break free from their debt trap. In addition to advocating for SDRs, organizations like the Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) are also urging the IMF to sell its stockpile of gold to cancel the debt of the poorest countries. According to JDC, the profit from selling less than 7% of IMF’s gold (worth $11.8 billion), ‘would be enough to pay for cancelling all debt payments by the 73 countries eligible for the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the next 15 months’ and ‘would still leave the IMF with $26 billion more gold than the institution held at the start of 2020.

    The efforts of debt-cancellation advocates seem to continue to fall on deaf ears, as the IMF and the World bank refuse to make any move towards cancelling the debt of African countries. The Bank’s hypocrisy is observed in the fact that it continues to pressure China, Africa’s largest creditor, to cancel its debt to poor countries while itself has yet to cancel the debt it is owed.”

    China is Africa’s largest creditor, it is also Africa’s largest debt canceller and is the most flexible in its renegotiation of debt and does not penalise through interest rates as we saw with the Johns Hopkins report. As the Center for International Policy confirms, it is in fact the IMF and World Bank loans, who refuse to be flexible in repayment of these debts. It is they who refuse to make any significant cancellation of debt owed to them by Africa, and who maintain these loans at exorbitant interest rates, which are behind the debt problem in Africa.

    In addition, contrary to the enforced conditionalities that come from IMF and World Bank loans that discourage essential infrastructure like electrical grids (Africa has been kept dark for decades), China is actually building infrastructure in Africa to the admitted dismay of the Council on Foreign Relations!

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    This is what President Putin was referring to in a speech from 2018 to light up Africa.

    In 2019, Reuters reported that the United States’ top African diplomat warned that African countries running up debt they won’t be able to pay back, should not expect to be bailed out by western-sponsored debt relief.

    “We went through, just in the last 20 years, this big debt forgiveness for a lot of African countries,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa for African Affairs Tibor Nagy, referring to the somewhat condescendingly named HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) program, started by the IMF and World Bank in 1996 as a nice window dressing.

    “Now all of a sudden are we going to go through another cycle of that? … I certainly would not be sympathetic, and I don’t think my administration would be sympathetic to that kind of situation,” he told reporters in Pretoria, South Africa.

    Hmmm, imagine if a Chinese diplomat were to have said that, how it would have been viewed by the west, but apparently when a westerner says it, it is somehow not exploitive and predatory…

    Let us look at another example. What about Sri Lanka’s debt crisis, surely China is to blame like we have all been told repeatedly?

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    This is a graph included within an article by the German news press DW. As we can see, China owns only 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt. The Asian Development Bank owns 13% but don’t be fooled by its name, it is modeled off of the World Bank and has only held Japanese presidents on its board. Japan is beholden to the west’s diktat in all of its foreign financial affairs.

    So, who owns this 47% market borrowings share of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt? Well, according to NIKKEI Asia, the world’s largest financial newspaper based in Tokyo, Japan:

    By the end of 2020, a year into Gotabaya’s term, the country’s foreign debt was $38.6 billion, accounting for 47.6% of the central government’s total debt, according to the IMF. International sovereign bonds made up the largest share, at $14 billion, followed by $8.8 billion in loans from multilateral lenders and $6.2 billion in bilateral debts. The top 20 ISB [International Sovereign Bonds] holders included BlackRock, Allianz, UBS, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and Prudential, according to Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank.”

    It is here that we start to see the truth behind such graphs that hide behind vague titles such as the “private sector,” “other multilateral institutions” or “market borrowings”. These are predominantly British and American banks and investment firms who are extending loans at exorbitant interest rates. Why are the names of these institutions not even mentioned, conveniently hidden behind such generic and seemingly benign labels?

    We also see the outright slander and lying that is occurring against China in being blamed for Sri Lanka’s debt crisis. How can such an accusation be justified if China owns only 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt?!

    Once again, we see, it is not China that is responsible for the economic mayhem that is occurring today in Sri Lanka (formerly the British colony Ceylon, and who was a significant organiser of the Bandung Conference). In fact, there is great reason to believe that the National Endowment for Democracy is behind much of the chaos in Sri Lanka (refer here for more).

    What about the IMF? They do not seem to be hardly mentioned in these debt trap charts, they don’t seem too bad right?

    You may be surprised, that the example I am about to give of an IMF economic horror story is not located in either Africa or Asia, but rather in Europe.

    Ukraine today is a tragic story on multiple levels.

    Ukraine used to be among the richest countries in Eastern Europe, known as “the breadbasket of Europe.” However, this economic fact is harder and harder to come by since Ukraine was a part of the USSR when their economy was at its peak. A most inconvenient truth. It is for this reason that you will be hard pressed to find any GDP graph of Ukraine that begins earlier than 1991, the date of their independence from the USSR. From 1991 to 1997, Ukraine lost 60% of their GDP[3] and suffered five-digit inflation rates.[4] Who was Ukraine beholden to during this massive recession that has never really ended for Ukrainians? The International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    During the EU Deal dispute that was used to trigger the Ukrainian protests, it has since been discovered that part of the conditions of this “deal,” which was strong-armed by the IMF, was the demand that a significant rise in utility rates (first and foremost electricity and gas) be implemented while the income of Ukrainians stayed the same.

    The Ukrainian people had no idea. The very deal they were fighting and dying for was to directly benefit corrupt gas companies such as Burisma Holdings and their foreign shareholders, to the economic detriment of the Ukrainian people. A similar situation to what most of Europe is facing today under a plethora of glorious “EU Deals” in the midst of an energy crisis.

    It turns out much that was behind the youth protests in Ukraine was funded by not only the American government directly, but also by the National Endowment for Democracy, the American department of color revolutions.

    Jeremy Kuzmarov for Covert Action Magazine writes in an article titled “National Endowment for Democracy Deletes Records of Funding Projects in Ukraine”:

    “The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)—a CIA offshoot founded in the early 1980s to advance ‘democracy promotion’ initiatives around the world—has deleted all records of funding projects in Ukraine from their searchable “Awarded Grants Search” database.

    The archived webpage captured February 25, 2022 from 14:53 shows that NED granted $22,394,281 in the form of 334 awards to Ukraine between 2014 to the present. The capture at 23:10 the same day shows “No results found” for Ukraine. As of right now, there are still ‘No results found’ for Ukraine…

    The erasure of the NED’s records is necessary to validate the Biden administration’s big lie—echoed in the media—that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was ‘unprovoked.’ [emphasis added] (for more on the NED refer here.)

    So just to be as clear as possible here, the economy of Ukraine was beholden to the IMF after their independence in 1991 (after the dissolution of the Soviet Union). It was almost immediately afterwards that the Ukrainian economy began a downward trend, entering an economic recession and creating Ukrainian oligarchs overnight. [Russia also went through a serious recession and had its overnight oligarchs because of the introduction of the Perestroika, which was a western restructuring of Russia’s internal finances. In time, Russia has been able to gain in part its economic and financial sovereignty, but it has been a long process which still has elements that are beholden to the western diktat such as the Russian Central Bank.]

    This is what makes up the “Moscow on the Thames” in London, overnight Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs who benefitted from the suffering of their own people. These are men who are servants to the City of London. These are traitors to their country, who would sell their grandmothers for the right to sit in the hallway of their masters, as President Putin said in a recent speech.

    Both the Orange Revolution (2004) and the Maidan Revolution (2014) were at the end of the day, about economic despair. The Ukrainians died for the EU deal and closed out Russia. What did they gain for this? Before the start of this year, Ukraine was by far the poorest country in all of Europe as a result of signing onto the EU Deal seven years ago. They then foolishly allowed themselves to be led into a war with Russia in service of Anglo-America, which was the entire time never about Ukrainian freedom but about triggering an economic collapse within Russia, which has very clearly failed.

    We would perhaps do well to remember Lord Palmerston’s words, “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”

    The Ukrainian people who bought into this were played. The result of this “Revolution of Dignity” is that Ukraine now lies in ashes.

    Now the Taiwanese people are being asked to follow suit.

    The Sunflower Movement: Taiwan’s Color Revolution

    What many likely do not know, or at least do not connect together, is that Ukraine’s “Revolution for Dignity” occurred during the same year as Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution” aka “Occupy HK” as well as Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement. Yes, they all happened in the same year and they were all funded by the National Endowment for Democracy along with western NGOs.

    Let us first start with the case of Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong, which was a part of China for many centuries, was established as a temporary colony of the British Empire after China lost the First Opium War. After the Second Opium War was lost, Britain expanded the colony to the Kowloon Peninsula, and in 1898, obtained a 99-year lease of Hong Kong.

    In 1997, Hong Kong was returned to China as per the 99-year lease agreement with Britain. However, Britain did not release Hong Kong fully.

    Laura Ruggeri, who has been living in Hong Kong since 1997 and has done excellent reporting on the 2019 Hong Kong protests, writes in her paper “Agents of Chaos: How the US Seeded a Color Revolution in Hong Kong”:

    By all appearances, the process of creating a sense of identification with, and loyalty to, China was still in its infancy. In contrast, transnational actors, most notably churches, NGOs and advocacy networks regarded by the US as “vectors of influence” and “catalysts of democratization” were well-entrenched in the Hong Kong civil society. Working in concert with US-sponsored local media and pro-democracy parties they subjected both China and the local government to constant criticism, exploiting domestic grievances in order to deepen rifts in society and achieve the sort of partisan and ideological polarization that would make Hong Kong ungovernable.

    Hong Kong lawmakers failed to acknowledge that the political feasibility of One Country Two Systems ultimately rests on the stability of One Country, without which any talk of Two Systems becomes preposterous.

     when British rule ended in 1997 it left behind a toxic legacy of colonial institutions, British-trained civil servants and a damaged collective psyche precariously held together by a false sense of superiority towards mainland China.

    …The US began laying the brickwork for a colour revolution in Hong Kong even before the 1997 handover: NED funding for Hong Kong-based groups dates back to 1994 and was described as “consistent” by Louisa Greve, who was vice president of programs for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa until 2017. Its first strategic objective was to prevent the enactment of a national security law (Article 23) in Hong Kong, as this would effectively make the activities of NED and other foreign-funded organizations illegal.

    When in 2003 the Secretary for Security Regina Ip announced a Bill to implement Article 23[5], as if on cue, half a million people marched against the government proposal, Mrs. Ip became the target of a coordinated vilification campaign that forced her to resign from office and the Bill was eventually withdrawn.

    …foreign agents and fifth columnists. Their task was to scupper the One Country Two Systems governance model and contrast any rise of patriotic feelings towards China. If the One Country Two Systems model failed in Hong Kong, the U.S. would also achieve another strategic goal at no cost, because Taiwan wouldn’t be tempted to adopt it in the future.” (For more on this refer to Laura Ruggeri’s exellent articles.)

    Thus, as you see with all of these NED funded revolutions, the people are never actually protesting something that will harm their freedom and prosperity, but rather the very opposite. They have been fooled into protesting something that is actually to their benefit. They are played by the prejudice that has been fueled by foreign agents in their education system, media and government, to hate and remain distrustful of what is actually a better outcome for them.

    In the case of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, this was incredibly started as an Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement, in response to Hong Kong’s introduction of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill on extradition. Why did the Hong Kong government introduce this bill? Because a young girl was hacked into pieces and shoved into a suitcase. Her boyfriend who committed the horrific crime left her body in Taiwan and took a flight back to Hong Kong that evening.

    Hong Kong’s law, due to the “one country, two systems,” did not allow for China’s extradition of this criminal, thus the introduction of the bill. Something that not even the Australian government saw as an issue in their cooperating with before the fervour of protests in Hong Kong. What this meant, was that those participating in the 2019 Hong Kong protests were ultimately protesting China’s right to “intervene” into how Hong Kong people live their lives, even if they are to commit crimes within China.

    In other words, these protesters were saying that China had no right to intervene in crimes committed by Hong Kongers, even though Hong Kong is a part of China… Does that sound like a democratic peace-loving movement to you?

    Let alone that they violently attacked any Hong Kong resident who disagreed with their views during the 2019 protests, including the elderly.

    The 2014 “Occupy HK” received $400,000 in funding from the NED. Hong Kong received $1.7 million in grants spent by the NED from 2017 to 2019 for the 2019 protests.

    The NED is also funding separatist groups in Tibet (2021 link) and Xinjiang (only called East Turkistan by the radicalised separatists and the NED). NED has recently scrubbed their Xinjiang list of funding, however, if you go to the “awarded grants search” within the NED site you will find that their primary funding goes to the World Uyghur Congress, which services US government foreign policy, and is the primary organiser and funder behind claims that China is committing a genocide in Xinjiang (for more on this refer here).

    When Anglo-America made a second attempt to reclaim Hong Kong in 2019, it again failed to separate Hong Kong from China. If they had succeeded, it would have been used as a model for Taiwan’s separatist movement.

    Strangely, there has been this claim circulating around the web by such news agencies like The Guardian, criticizing China for claiming that Hong Kong was never a British colony because China never recognised the treaties that ceded the city to Britain. This is true in the sense that it was the corrupt Qing dynasty that signed over Hong Kong to the British for a 99-year lease. When the Chinese people overthrew the Qing dynasty and eventually formed the People’s Republic of China, this treaty was never recognised. In other words, the Chinese government never recognised such a treaty in support of British colonialism.

    What is disturbing in this sort of criticism of China essentially refusing to acquiesce to a colonial identity, is that the reaction from the British press is “how dare they!” You see how old habits die hard.

    China recognised, as also confirmed by the observations by Laura Ruggeri’s work, that it needed to take back their education system in Hong Kong, not because they are some sort of dictatorship that censors freedom of speech but because those textbooks were continuing to teach a British colonial view of the world and Chinese history that was essentially anti-Chinese.

    How ironic that these so-called freedom lovers in Hong Kong and their supporters are so quick to side with a colonial framework. Anything to sit in the hall of their masters…

    The Guardian article goes on to say, how dare China teach in their schools that the 2019 Hong Kong protests were driven by external forces. What this means is; how dare China not accept the separatist movement in Hong Kong that is still brainwashed with a colonial mentality as genuine.

    A group of people holding flags Description automatically generated with medium confidence

    Picture of the 2019 Hong Kong protestors holding British flags.

    Hmmm.

    I would like to make a quick note here, that part of my family comes from Hong Kong, and it is most clearly the case that they saw themselves as superior to the Chinese living on the mainland, whom they viewed as dirty peasants, and likely have retained this prejudice despite mainland China now economically thriving with many cities being much more affluent and beautiful than Hong Kong. My family that grew up in Hong Kong, largely identified with western idealisation, and my mother and siblings have even confessed to me that they wished they had been born with more western features in their appearance. Does that sound like freedom to you?

    Lastly, let us take a look at Taiwan’s “Sunflower Movement.”

    Taiwan, in case you were not aware, is legally a part of China and is recognised as so by the entire international community, except 13 small countries and the Vatican City, Holy See. And I would go so far as to say that it was not the decision of these small countries to do so, who are beholden to the Anglo-American diktat.

    The United States, despite sending weapons over to Taiwan, and having a small number of US troops in Taiwan, also recognises Taiwan as part of China.

    On the US Department of State website they write, “We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side; we do not support Taiwan independence.

    So why all the belligerence from the United States? It appears it is the United States who is in violation of the law.

    Quite ridiculously, Newsweek published an article which is the same sort of fiction that is being published all over media right now, titled “China Warplane Fleet Enters Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone.”

    Below are the images published by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, showcasing China’s aircraft “violation,” that were used by the Newsweek article.

    Chart Description automatically generated

    Do you notice something strange? Taiwan’s Self-Declared Air Zone overlaps with the actual mainland of China. According to Taiwan, China should not even have the right to fly above a section of its own mainland!

    In addition, according to Taiwan, China has no right to pass over or through the Taiwan Strait, but a US Navy Destroyer can enter “its” waters, which happened just a few days ago and was not the first time.

    CNN writes the very misleading headline “US Navy Destroyer enters Chinese-claimed waters for third time in a week.” Um, “Chinese-claimed waters”? The US Department of State recognises Taiwan as part of China, so yeah, it is in Chinese waters. Are you beginning to see what China is having to deal with?

    Lastly, if you see the flight routes that China is taking in the image above, you can see clearly that China is making it crystal clear that those flight paths are not meant to pass over Taiwan. China is giving Taiwan its space, even though it is a part of China.

    As, ex-Marine Corps, Brian Berletic’s The New Atlas has pointed out in his informative videos, Taiwan is completely dependent on trade with China, thus, if China really wanted to cause Taiwan’s “submission” to China, there would be no need to “invade” Taiwan, they would simply stop trading with Taiwan. China makes up 49.04% of Taiwan exports and 23.8% of Taiwan imports.

    Chart, treemap chart Description automatically generated
    Chart, treemap chart Description automatically generated

    In 2014, the Sunflower Movement, like the Ukrainian “Revolution for Dignity” was over an economic deal. In the case of Taiwan it was over a free trade deal with China, which makes sense since Taiwan is part of China, therefore why would you not want free trade within the same country? Once again, we see that the protests were against something that was in fact to their benefit.

    One of the leading organizations behind the Sunflower Movement was the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy which is directly connected to the NED and has received funding from the NED (for more on this refer to The New Atlas).

    On the NED webpage “Taiwan’s Destiny,” the remarks by Carl Gershman, former US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council and who has served as president of the NED since its founding in 1984 to 2021, states:

    I visited Taiwan for the first time 25 years ago to encourage it to join the community of countries that was fostering democracy through non-governmental institutions like the National Endowment for Democracy. Taiwan was not ready for this idea at the time.

    In the quarter of a century since that conference, Taiwan has consolidated a dynamic, stable, and successful liberal democracy, exemplified by President Tsai herself, who is the first woman to be elected President of Taiwan. Elsewhere in the world, however, democracy has entered a period of crisis…and authoritarian countries like Russia and China have become more aggressive and threatening.

    Taiwan has not chosen to be a global symbol of democratic universalism, and I did not anticipate that it would become one when I came here 25 years ago, hoping that Taiwan might establish an institution to promote democracy in the world. It now has such an institution, and for that I’m very grateful. And as I said last year when I spoke at the TFD’s 15th anniversary celebration, I hope that the Taiwan government will increase the Foundation’s budget, as the U.S. Congress may soon do for the NED. The work is so important.

    …Because of Taiwan’s sacrifice and commitment, I believe that day will come.”

    Like what the sacrifice of the Ukrainian people brought for Ukraine in obeisance to this?

    It is clear from the words of Carl Gershman that Taiwan’s Foundation for Democracy is an NED created and funded institution to encourage the separation of Taiwan from China.

    And just like Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, the Sunflower movement allowed for the demand of a new government, a new government that would be picked and shaped by the US government. People such as Joseph Wu who is Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and is also the Vice-Chairman of Taiwan’s Foundation for Democracy.

    Some Parting Thoughts

    So, is it truly better the Devil you know? I always found this saying a confusing one, it essentially is describing one situation or person that we know for sure is monstrously bad and the other to which we acknowledge we do not “know.” So why the assumption that the choice is between one monstrous thing or another?

    As we see with the technique especially of color revolutions, the ignorance of the people in siding with the Devil they know, is that they have chosen rather simply to remain in the hell they find themselves in. They are so fearful to travel into the unknown (which can become rather quickly known if one informs themselves) that they would rather stay with their captor.

    Colonial Stockholm Syndrome one might say?

    B.F. Skinner, a scary behaviourist, discovered a phenomenon in his work with rats which is now called, very creepily, “the Skinner box,” or by its somewhat less creepy title the “operant conditioning chamber.”

    What Skinner found was that rats that were tortured within this box in the specific manner he does with conflicting messaging of reward and punishment, these rats would form a sort of dependence on this created “reality” as a coping mechanism to future stresses. It was found that when the rat was allowed to leave the box and was subjected to a stimulus that caused pain or fear that its immediate reaction was to run back into the box for its own perceived security out of its own volition!

    Think about that.

    There is a reason why behaviourists became extremely giddy over this “discovery” of Skinner, and it wasn’t because of its applications on rats…

    We are told that we live in a complicated world. A world that is divided, a world that is full of hate and war and greed. And it is most certainly the case that the west in particular has descended into its own self-created hell. But that is the key right there.

    As John Milton would say in his Paradise Lost, “The mind is its own place and, in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.

    Ironically, what many do not know is that Milton wrote a follow-up titled “Paradise Regained.” How interesting that we only focus on Paradise being Lost and seemingly have no care for Paradise Regained? Or that everyone has heard of Dante’s Inferno and perhaps Purgatorio but few have heard of Dante’s Paradiso which was meant to be read as a whole. Why do you think that is?

    If we choose to walk in this life blind to what is the good, we will certainly condemn ourselves to living in a hell, but that is not reality, that is our self-made creation.

    The choice is yours to make.

    “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

    – Buddha

    The author can be reached at cynthiachung.substack.com

    1. “Old Summer Palace marks 157th anniversary of massive loot”. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2018-06-30. 
    2. “The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire” (2017) Documentary. 
    3. Can Ukraine Avert a Financial Meltdown?“. World Bank. June 1998. Archived from the original on 12 July 2000. 
    4. Figliuoli, Lorenzo; Lissovolik, Bogdan (31 August 2002). “The IMF and Ukraine: What Really Happened“. International Monetary Fund. 
    5. Article 23 is an article in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. It states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.” 

    انتخابات رئيس المجلس بالأرقام النيابيّة: لبنان ليس بخير

     ناصر قنديل

    يتولى الغبار السياسي والضجيج الإعلامي إنتاج عملية خداع بصري لإخفاء ما تقوله الأرقام. فالمعركة الدائرة حول انتخاب رئيس المجلس النيابي بالأرقام النيابية، ليست معركة سيادية ولا إصلاحية ولا تغييرية، رغم المزاعم العالية الصوت، فنحن اليوم أمام مشهد شديد الخطورة يوحي بأزمة في الحياة الوطنية، تهدّد بما هو أعظم. والقضية ليست بفوز الرئيس نبيه بري بالموقع، ولا برمزية عدد الأصوات، والرسائل التي يريد أصحابها توجيهها، أو العناوين التي يتخذونها متاريس لمواقفهم. ففي الحصيلة التي ستكون أمامنا سيكون 50 نائباً من المسلمين من بينهم كل النواب الشيعة، أغلبية كاسحة من النواب الدروز، وأغلبية نسبية من النواب السنة، قد صوّتوا للرئيس بري، وسيكون 50 نائباً من المسيحيين قد حجبوا أصواتهم عن الرئيس بري، وسيكون واضحاً أن النواب المسلمين الذين حجبوا أصواتهم قد انتخب أكثر من نصفهم في كنف الرعاية الأميركية السعودية، بينما أكثر من نصف النواب المسيحيين الذين منحوا أصواتهم للرئيس بري قد انتخبوا في بيئات وفي ظل خيارات تاريخية متجذرة في العروبة عبر البوابة السورية وخيار المقاومة، والأكيد أن هذا الاصطفاف، الذي تغلفه شعارات عالية السقوف بهدف حجب صورته العارية عن العيون، يقول إننا في العام 1982 وليس في العام 2022.

    القضية ليست بالإجابة عن أسئلة من نوع، أليس هناك لدى الشيعة سوى نبيه بري لرئاسة المجلس، أو هل أنت راضٍ عن أداء المجلس النيابي خلال ثلاثة عقود كان بري خلالها رئيساً يتحكم بكل شاردة وواردة فيه. القضية هي في من هم الذين يحجبون أصواتهم عن بري، وهل هم أكثر تجذراً والتزاماً منه في العناوين التي يرفعونها بوجهه؟ وهل هم أقل مسؤولية عن التدهور والانهيار منه؟ فلو كنا أمام مشهد انقسام سياسي بسيط حول الخيارات، بصورة عابرة للطوائف بتوازن معقول، لاختلف كل النقاش، ولو كنا أمام انتخاب يحترم معادلة طالما رفعها الذين يحجبون أصواتهم عن بري اليوم، وهي معادلة احترام نتائج تصويت المكون الطائفي الذي تنتمي إليه الرئاسات، وخرج عنها نواب تغييريون، أو معارضة ديمقراطية جديدة أو تجديدية، لاختلف الأمر أيضاً، وقد ذهب هؤلاء يطلبون قياس قانون الانتخاب لربط النائب وصحة تمثيله بعدد منتخبيه من أبناء طائفته، على قاعدة اعتبار هذا المعيار شرطاً لانتظام الحياة الوطنية، وهم يدركون ما يفعلون إذاً عندما يقرّرون ادارة الظهر لإجماع ناخبي طائفة على نوابها وإجماع نوابها على مرشح وحيد للرئاسة.

    – نحن أمام رسالة بؤس الحياة الوطنية وفشل تجربة العيش المشترك، مهما ارتفعت تعويذات الحديث عن الوحدة الوطنية، الا إذا قبلنا أن السيادة والإصلاح والتمدن عناوين مسيحية، والتبعية والفساد والتخلف عناوين إسلامية، بالنسبة نفسها لتوزع الـ 50 صوت نائب مسلم لصالح بري، والـ 50 صوتاً مسيحياً ضده، خصوصاً أن الذين يرفعون معايير السيادة بوجهه، كانوا عام 82 عندما أطلق بري نداء الجهاد وحمل بندقيته بوجه الاجتياح الإسرائيلي، يحتفلون على الدبابات الإسرائيلية، بوصول مرشحهم لرئاسة الجمهورية بقوة الاجتياح ودباباته، والذين يرفعون بوجهه دعوة الإصلاح، يدركون أنهم يستعيرون الدعوة التعجيزية للعلمنة الفورية من الراحلين بيار الجميل وكميل شمعون، وهم يعلمون أن المرجعيات الدينية المسيحية والمسلمة تتكفل بتعطيلها، فتكون المعادلة العلمنة الكاملة او الطائفية الكاملة لتفوز الطائفية الكاملة، وقد خاض بري خلال الثمانينيات في مواجهة شمعون والجميل معركة إلغاء الطائفية، حتى لو أصبح من رعاتها وفقاً لنظرية “عالسكين يا بطيخ”، وبعلم الجميع ان الامتحان الحقيقي للإصلاح ومكافحة الفساد كان ولا يزال وسيبقى في مدى الجرأة على تحرير الشأن العام والوظيفة العامة من القيد الطائفي، الذي يعطل المحاسبة، كما يحدث مع الحماية التي توفرها مراجع روحية عليا اليوم لحاكم مصرف لبنان وترسم حوله خطأ أحمر.

    أما نواب التغيير الذين يبحث بعضهم عن إخراج مناسب لحجب تصويتهم عن بري، فهم يبتكرون نظرية ترشيح غير شيعيّ لرئاسة المجلس، وتلك لا طائفية عندما يقوم بها شيعي وهي قمة الطائفية عندما يقوم بها نائب غير شيعي، لم يجرؤ أن يترشح عن غير مقعد طائفته في دائرته ليضمن وصوله وفق ما يسمح القانون، وبعدما وصل جاء يمارس الفانتازيا والعبث، وهم يعلمون أن من يريد الخروج من الطائفية فليبدأ بقانون انتخاب خارج القيد الطائفي سنكتشف مدى صدق نواب التغيير معه عندما نصل اليه!

    ليس صعباً أن نكتشف أننا أمام انتخابات 1982، وأن التصويت يجري على العيش المشترك وليس على رئاسة المجلس النيابي، ويكفي للتحقق أن نتذكر كيف جمعت حملة لا يشبهوننا متناقضات السياسة في المكوّن الطائفي الواحد، ولولا أن الحرب الأهلية مستحيلة لكان لبنان على أبوابها، لكن من حظنا أن من يريدها لا يقدر عليها ومن يقدر عليها لا يريدها.

    Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Stronger than Ever, Al-Aqsa Provocations to Explode the Region

    May 26, 2022

    Batoul Wehbe

    Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah emphasized on Wednesday that any harm against Al-Aqsa mosque will lead to dire consequences, warning that the resistance is stronger than any time before.

    In a speech via Al-Manar TV marking the May 25, 2000 Victory over the Israeli occupation, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “At this moment, and since 1982, the resistance has never been stronger, it’s stronger than you can imagine. Let no one do any wrong calculations in this regard.”

    His eminence congratulated all people on the joyful day of Resistance and Liberation, calling it one of the happy days that have passed over the Lebanese for decades, “this is how people felt when returning to their liberated villages.”

    One of Allah’s Days

    Sayyed Nasrallah extended his thanks to God Almighty for the promise he made to the believers, describing the day of victory over ‘Israel’ and liberation from its hegemony as one of Allah’s days.

    “2000 Victory is the greatest achievement in the modern history, it’s a matter of pride on the Arabic, Islamic, and national level,” Sayyed Nasrallah said. “This victory proved the resistance’s ability to break the image of the ‘invincible army’, and gave hope to the Palestinian people and the peoples of the region on the prospects of achieving liberation and victory, by striking the final nail in the coffin of the Zionist scheme.”

    Hezbollah’s leader pointed to the May 2000 Liberation’s aftermath, saying the moral achievement of the resistance is its behavior on the border with the occupying entity and with the collaborators who committed massacres against the Lebanese. Another moral achievement, Sayyed Nasrallah said, is that the resistance didn’t monopolize operations or achievements, it thanked everyone.

    “The new generation shall acknowledge the humiliation and suffering the Lebanese endured at checkpoints and in prisons,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the Lebanese shall realize the true face of the Zionist regime which tries to hide. “He who resisted the occupation shall be recognized, and who conspired against his homeland shall be exposed, in order to avoid outbidding,” His eminence indicated, pointing that Hezbollah and the Amal Movement played the biggest role in resisting due to geographical reasons.

    We’re Not Power Seekers

    Making it clear that the resistance has never sought power in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “We did not fight for the sake of power in Lebanon, we fought to defend our country… We entered parliament to be the resistance voice, in 2005 we were obliged to join the government to protect the resistance’s back. Our presence in the government and parliament is aimed at protecting the resistance’s back and contributing to resolving people’s issues.”

    The secretary general criticized those who ask ‘who entrusted you with resisting?’ calling it a bizarre question as though they do not consider ‘Israel’ to be an enemy and a threat. “Our moral, religious, and national duty obliged us to mount the resistance against occupation,” he reiterated. “Some in Lebanon do not consider ‘Israel’ as an enemy, they later labeled it so as a flattering.”

    “The resistance is protecting the homeland and this does not need a permission from anyone. This resistance has obliged ‘Israel’ to send reassurance messages to Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, illustrating that differences and sparring over the resistance are too old, “there has never been unanimity over it.”

    Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “the resistance and its precision-guided weapons are what keep the occupation on alert, and protect Lebanon in light of the division.” “It is true that any attempt to disarm Hezbollah by force would lead to civil war,” he warned, advising that “the country is falling into an abyss, there might not remain a state to hand it over our arms.”

    From a strong position, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed the call for partnership and cooperation, voicing readiness to discuss the national defense strategy. Nevertheless, he said the state should first handle the economic and political crisis in the country before discussing defense strategies.

    “We are before two options, the first is the choice of a strong and rich Lebanon, and the other is the option of a weak and beggar Lebanon,” his eminence indicated, reiterating that Lebanon is strong because of the golden equation (Army, people, resistance formula). “Lebanon can be a rich state through oil and gas, we want a rich Lebanon as much as we want it powerful,” he said, adding “If you want to discuss the defense strategy, let us discuss how to protect and extract our offshore oil and gas first.” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that this ‘requires daring’, criticizing how Lebanon “stands idly by while the enemy entity concludes contracts to sell its gas.”

    “We told them to leave the resistance alone and focus on the economic crisis the Lebanese are facing, but to no avail.”

    Al-Aqsa… A Redline 

    At the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah warned that within days, things might happen in the region and might lead to an explosion, referring to the so-called Flag March planned by the Zionist entity on Sunday. “Any harm against Al-Aqsa mosque will lead to dire consequences as such issue provokes Islamic sentiments,” Hezbollah leader said.

    “The Palestinian resistance is unanimous in responding, and things may lead to a major explosion inside Palestine. Any attack on al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock will explode the region as it provokes every free and honorable person,” his eminence warned.

    Sayyed Nasrallah called for “anticipation, attention, and preparation for what might happen around us and have major repercussions on the region, this depends on the folly of the enemy.”

    Pointing to the drills (Chariots of Fire drill) the Zionist army is conducting now, Sayyed Nasrallah said Hezbollah was still on alert and mobilized.

    Words of Thanks

    Hezbollah’s S.G. began his speech by expressing gratitude and saluting all those who took part in the course of Lebanon’s liberation in 2000 from the Israeli occupation. He saluted all who sacrificed, factions and sects, for the sake of the resistance, thanking all who provided help and assistance to the Lebanese resistance during past years, especially “Syria, Iran, and whoever stood beside the resistance during that critical time even if it was only a word of support.” Hezbollah’s leader extended gratitude to the Lebanese army for its help, especially in the late 90s.

    Source: Al-Manar English Website

    Related Videos

    The Liberation of May 2000 in Southerners’ Memory
    Journalist Ghassan Jawad in a special episode on Liberation and Resistance Day
    Resistance and Liberation Day in Lebanon in its twenty-second year
    America..society cracked and influence eroded

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    نقاش داخل عقول محبطة حلمت بالتغيير عشيّة الانتخابات

    May 13, 2022

     ناصر قنديل

    لو تخيّلنا مشهداً انتخابياً طبيعياً في لبنان بعد الانهيار المالي والاقتصادي وثورة 17 تشرين، لكان المنطقي أن نتوقع أن النقاش الأساسي في البلد يدور حول الخيارات والبرامج الاقتصادية والمالية والاجتماعية، نحو عقد اجتماعيّ جديد وسياسة اقتصادية ومالية جديدة، وأن نتوقع تراجع الجدل حول القضايا التي كانت تطفو على السطح وهي ليست أولويات اللبنانيين، كنقاش جنس الملائكة، فلا إلغاء الطائفية وإقرار الزواج المدني يتمان بأغلبية نيابية، ولا تقرير مستقبل سلاح المقاومة تحسمه أغلبية نيابية، وليس هناك بالأصل أغلبية لبنانية علمانية كاسحة تمنح الأمل لدعاة الدولة المدنية لينقلوا الخلاف حولها إلى مرتبة الأولوية في الاستحقاق الانتخابي. ولا لدى مناوئي سلاح المقاومة مثل هذه الأغلبية ليشجعهم الأمل بالفوز الفئوي لمشروعهم على نقل الأمر إلى صدارة الأولويات. ولا البديل الوطني المتمثل بجيش قوي قادر جاهز لتولي حماية لبنان، أو يمكن أن يجهز بفترة وجيزة في ظل الفيتو المانع لتسليح الجيش اللبناني بأسلحة نوعيّة، بحيث يصير نقل هذه العناوين الى مرتبة الأولويات الانتخابية مجرد كيد سياسي بلا طائل، أو تخديم لرغبة خارجية بتسجيل نقاط على المقاومة.

    غاب البرنامج الاقتصادي والمالي عن الأولويات، وصار سلاح المقاومة عنوان الاصطفاف الذي يقود الاستحقاق الانتخابي، والقوى التي خرجت من ساحات 17 تشرين صارت ضمن هذا الاصطفاف على جبهة المناوئين لسلاح المقاومة، وحشد السفراء أموالهم وتصريحاتهم ووسائل الإعلام التي يمولونها لجعل هذا العنوان جامعاً لتشكيلات كان يبدو مستحيلاً أن تجتمع، وأبعد الرئيس سعد الحريري عن المشهد السياسي والانتخابي لمجرد انه اقترح بدلاً من المواجهة مع سلاح المقاومة، ربط النزاع معها حوله، وهو المنطق الأقرب واقعياً لكل مناوئ للمقاومة يفكر بوضع البلد بعقل سياسي لا مخابراتي، وصار الانتخاب مجرد استفتاء يراد منه تشكيل محطة اختبارية لقياس نتائج حملة الضغوط التي تعرضت لها بيئة المقاومة، وقراءة نتائج الحصار الذي فرض عليها، لأن الخارج الذي بات هو مدير الحملة الانتخابية ضد المقاومة بوضوح يعرف ان نيل الأغلبية ضدها لا يفيده في تغيير موازين القوى الفعلية ضدها، لكنه يفيده في الإجابة عن سؤال، هل ثمة جدوى من مواصلة الضغوط والحصار؟ وهل يفعلان فعلهما في إنشاء بيئة لبنانية معادلة لها يمكن البناء عليها، وهل يمكن الرهان عليهما لتفكيك التأييد الذي تناله في بيئتها؟

    أما وقد صار الأمر كذلك، فماذا يفعل من يرغب بالتصويت لصالح التغيير في نظام فاشل سياسياً واقتصادياً ومالياً، حتى الانهيار، والمقاومة لم ولن تضع ثقلها وفائض قوتها لتلبية رغبته بإنجاز هذا التغيير بالقوة، وحجتها في ذلك الحرص على السلم الأهلي وخشيتها من الفتنة. وهو يدرك أن خياره الأول الذي كان خلال أيام الحماسة بعد 17 تشرين شبه محسوم في وجدانه، بالتصويت لقوى تغييرية، قد بدأت تشوبه الشكوك وهو يرى هذه القوى قد اصطفت تحت لواء خطاب العداء للمقاومة، وهو يعلم أن لا سبب لبنانياً لذلك، ولا مبرر وفق أولوية مواجهة قوى النظام أن تكون المقاومة العدو الأول، والمكونات التاريخية للنظام قد بدلت ثوبها وصارت قوى ثورة وتغيير. فيسقط هذا الخيار بالضربة القاضية، وهو يرى مَن يسمون أنفسهم دعاة ثورة وتغيير قد تحولوا إلى مجرد أبواق تصطف وراء مومياءات النظام القديم، وتقدم التبريرات لتبييض سياسي يشبه تبييض الأموال، في نظرية الحلف السيادي، الذي لا تشغل باله أدوار السفراء في رعاية نشاطاته وحملاته.

    هنا يتقدم الخيار الثاني الذي يتبادر لذهن هذا المؤمن بالتغيير، والذي لا يرى العداء للمقاومة مبرراً، ولا جعل البحث بسلاحها أولوية، وأغلب هؤلاء لم يروا من هذا السلاح إلا التحرير والحماية، وينتمي كثير منهم إلى بيئتها التاريخية. والخيار الثاني هو عدم المشاركة بالانتخابات. وهنا تنطرح الإشكالية، فهو يعلم أن في لبنان معادلة ونظام، معادلة حررت وحمت وتمنع الحرب الأهلية، ونظام فاسد فاشل، والمواجهة الدائرة هي حول تغيير المعادلة لجهة كسرها بحجة تغيير النظام، وهو كتغييري معني بأن يمنع سرقة هويته وتجييرها لأعداء المعادلة الذين ينتمي أغلبهم للنظام، أو الحالمين بدخول جنته باسم التغيير، وهو معني أكثر إذا لم يكن التغيير الى الأفضل ممكناً أن يمنع التغيير الى الأسوأ. وهو يعلم أن نيل خصوم المقاومة للأغلبية وتشكيلهم حكومة تملك هذه الأغلبية مشروع حرب أهلية يهدد بتخريب كل الإيجابيات والمكاسب التي تحققت ما بعد الطائف، لصالح تعزيز السلبيات التي حملتها تلك المرحلة، من التحرير الى حماية البلد بمعادلة المقاومة بوجه الأطماع الاسرائيلية إلى تحصين السلم الأهلي وفق معادلة أن من يقدر عليها لا يريدها، فلا خوف إن أرادها من لا يقدر عليها، لكن نيل الأغلبية وضم مقدرات الدولة لمن يريدها سيجعله يتوهم أنه قادر عليها.

    عند عتبة التفكير بالخيار الثالث وهو المشاركة بالانتخابات والتصويت للوائح المقاومة، تلمع فكرتان، الأولى تشجع على المشاركة والثانية تدعو للتردد والتبصر. الأول هو أنه يراقب هذا الحماس الخارجي للتصويت ضد المقاومة، والاهتمام بقراءة نتائج التصويت لمعرفة ما اذا كانت خيارات مواصلة الضغوط والحصار ذات جدوى، وهو كمواطن لبنانيّ أولاً صاحب مصلحة بوقف الضغوط والحصار وإيصال أصحابها باليأس، وهو معني أن يقول بأن المقاومة التي يعتب عليها في عناوين داخلية، سواء كان مصيباً أم مخطئاً، وسواء كانت حجتها في مخالفته صحيحة أم خطأ، هي مقاومة تحظى بكل الدعم والتأييد شعبياً في ما تمثله المعادلة، أما الثانية فهي شعوره بالإحباط تجاه مستقبل البلد، بلا كهرباء بلا ودائع بلا ليرة، فما جدوى الدخول بلعبة معلوم سلفاً أنها مجرد تفليسة ميؤوس منها؟

    هنا يستمع هذا التغييري الى آخر معادلات السيد حسن نصرالله، التي تضمنت وضع معادلة الردع في كفة ومستقبل ثروات النفط والغاز في كفة، واعتبار هذه الثروات بوليصة تأمين كافية لانتشال لبنان من قعر الانهيار ورد الاعتبار لودائع الناس وللعملة الوطنية، وإطلاق النهوض وحل مشكلات الكهرباء، فهل يصدق الوعد؟

    تجربته تقول إن السيد هو سيد الوعد الصادق، وهو الذي سبق في حملات انتخابية سابقة أن قال لا تنتخبونا طلباً للخدمات، وإن كانت همكم فنحن لن نفيدكم، فيستحيل أن يكون وراء كلامه مجرد حملة انتخابية. فغداً تنتهي الانتخابات ويبقى وعد السيد، فيقرر المشاركة والتصويت، ومن باب التحفظ يقول سأنتخب اللائحة ولكنني سأقرأ الأسماء بتمعن، وان لم أجد اسماً يقنعني فلن اضع صوتاً تفضيلياً.

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    Sayyed Nasrallah: Lebanon Has the Right to Drill in Its Territorial Water, We Seek A Strong State

    May 10, 2022

    By Al-Ahed news

    Sayyed Nasrallah to the Lebanese: You are between two choices..Lebanon is a master or idles in front of the doors of an embassy
    Sayyed Nasrallah: “When we entered the government in 2005, we did so against the background of protecting the back of the resistance.”

    Welcoming the audience in the Dahiyeh’s electoral festival and thanking them for their massive participation, Sayyed Nasrallah underlined that “The massive contribution in Today’s [Tuesday] festival, and the one we witnessed yesterday in South Lebanon, and that we expect in Beqaa is the biggest message to those betting on the overturning of the people of resistance.”

    Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech in Beirut’s southern suburb [Dahiyeh] ahead of May 15th parliamentary elections.

    “Neither there is Arabism without Palestine and al-Quds nor with normalizing ties with the ‘Israeli’ entity,” His Eminence confirmed.

    Hailing the vote of the Lebanese expatriates, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “Voting for the lists of resistance express expatriates’ bravery and loyalty.”

    “In the past days and after al-Quds Day’s speech and the mobilization of the resistance in Lebanon. I have received a message via a diplomatic channel that the ‘Israelis’ do not want a war with Lebanon, but we do not trust the enemy nor its premier, and we will maintain the state of alert that we declared on Quds Day,” he announced.

    The Resistance’s leader further announced that “Our mobilization and preparedness will remain as they are until the end of the ‘Israeli’ maneuvers, and the situation is the same for the Palestinian resistance groups,” noting that “All what have been voiced by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri conveys the thoughts of the national duo.”

    On the internal front, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that “The presence of the state is important and essential since the alternative isn’t but chaos.”

    “Hezbollah doesn’t present itself as a state within the state, and nobody can replace the state on all levels; even in the issue of resistance, it doesn’t propose itself as a replacement for the state, it’s why we always talk about the Army, people and the Resistance,” he emphasized.

    Warning that “Lebanon’s situation is very precise and sensitive and tackling its issues couldn’t happen through enthusiasm and revolutions like other countries,” His Eminence underlined that “The civil war is a redline which the Lebanese people must view as a treason.”

    On this level, he recalled that “During the previous period, many tried to bring about dramatic changes, and the country was heading towards a civil war,” noting that “Through lies, accusations and siege, some bet over the past years that the resistance’s environment would turn against it.”

    As he reiterated that Hezbollah doesn’t present itself as an alternative to the state, even in the issue of resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “What we seek is a fair, strong and capable state. This is what we announced in our 2009 political document. The state’s wealth belongs to all of the people and they have the right to access this wealth through fair and developmental projects.”

    He also mentioned that “We neither did nor will ask the state to protect the resistance, rather we demand that nobody within the state stab the resistance’s back.”

    “The Parliament is the mother of institutions that results from elections. This means that the electoral law is the key. The majority law was biased, while the proportional law is the most equitable one,” he stated, pointing out that “A fair state is that presents an electoral law whose citizens feel that they are able to be represented in the parliament.”

    According to His Eminence, “There is great injustice when things are related to the voting age. The youth under 21 works and pays taxes, and the struggle must concentrate on giving the 18-year-olds the right to vote.”

    Meanwhile, he detailed the aspects of the aspired strong state: “A strong state is one that can protect its sovereignty from any aggression. A fair state is one that practices balanced development among all regions, because state funds are for people and must reach them through development projects. The state should take care of citizens who are unable to work, including the elderly, orphans and those with incurable diseases. The fair and capable state is the one that is able to protect its sovereignty in land and water. It’s a state with an army capable of defending the land and does not place the burdens of liberation and protection on its people. A fair and capable state is the one that provides security to its citizens so that they feel that they are safe and away from any regional discrimination.”

    Hoping that “A day comes when we have a strong state and a strong army that assumes the responsibility of defense,” Sayyed Nasrallah lamented the fact that “The Lebanese naval force can’t reach a depth of 300 or 400 meters to rescue the drowned victims in the ‘death boat’ in Tripoli.”

    “We have been and will always be against taxes on the poor and the tax system must be progressive,” he highlighted, pointing out that “Given the sectarian Lebanese system, any talk of majorities and minorities is not realistic.”

    In parallel, the Resistance Leader clearly stated: “If I say that Hezbollah alone is capable of building a fair and capable state, I won’t be honest. No one can do that alone in Lebanon. Rather, this needs cooperation between parties and movement, as we are in a country based on partnership.”

    “Our country is built on partnership and non-elimination. Everyone must be represented in parliament according to their natural sizes, and the majoritarian electoral law did not do that but rather the proportional representation law,” he explained, warning that “Elimination and exclusion under the slogans of majority and minority would plunge Lebanon into adventures. I stress that we are with national partnership in order to pull Lebanon out of its crises.”

    In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “Hezbollah feels that it is more responsible than before. From 1992 until 2005 we weren’t represented in the government because of our opposition to the policies that led to the current economic situation in Lebanon. We entered into the government because of the tense atmosphere in the country and in order to protect the resistance’s back from the political party that was allied with George Bush seeking a ‘New Middle East’.”

    Once again, Hezbollah Secretary General clarified that “Lebanon can’t handle a leading sect nor a leading party, no matter how much this party may enjoy strength and popular support.”

    “We insist on being present in any government, regardless of its nature, structure and program, in order to protect the resistance’s back. Now we insist to be present in the state with efficiency, seriousness, and responsibility,” he declared, noting that “The economic, living and financial situation needs a recovery plan that must be discussed honestly and seriously, without turning Lebanon into a dependent country. Hezbollah will seriously discuss this issue in the Parliament.”

    However, His Eminence hinted that “The electoral and political alliances don’t mean that there are no differences between the allied parties and political groups.”

    Urging the state to head towards both the east and the west, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “The government’s decision not to open the doors to companies from the east because of the US, means that we’ll achieve no progress.”

    “We have treasure in the Lebanese water while the Lebanese people suffer from unemployment, hiking of prices, and starvation; why don’t we extract our treasure? Do we fear the Americans? If Lebanon goes to find its treasure, it will receive tens of billions of dollars. What can they do more than what they did in terms of sanctions, money smuggling, etc.?” he asked.

    Meanwhile, His Eminence raised some points regarding the Lebanese maritime wealth: “Why doesn’t ‘Israel’ wait for the demarcation of the borders and explore the disputed regions? Why doesn’t Lebanon work within its waters and borders? I say that Lebanon has the right to drill as it believes that it is its territorial waters. Had the ‘Israeli’ enemy been able to prevent our exploration, Hezbollah can also prevent it from doing so.”

    “Lebanon is neither poor nor bankrupt, but there are those who are conspiring against it to destroy it completely. There are those who rush to sell the state’s property. It’s not permissible to turn Lebanon into a country of beggars,” he went on to say, pointing out that “We are able to prevent the ‘Israeli’ enemy because Lebanon is rich and strong, so why should we turn to beggars and wait for the International Monetary Funding?”

    Back to the internal files, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “The file of bank depositors resembles a tragedy for hundreds of thousands of Lebanese.”

    “The new parliamentarians’ signatures on the draft resolution presented by the Loyalty to Resistance bloc preserve the rights of the depositors. It is a major injustice for depositors to bear the responsibility for losses and the main culprit is Lebanese banks,” he said.

    Moreover, His Eminence added that “The Lebanese judiciary must be dealt with, and a fair state means having a fair and transparent judicial system as well as qualified judges.”

    To the Lebanese, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Some call for partnership and cooperation while others call for exclusion; and you have to choose between those two choices. Had those who have this exclusionist mentality been able to exclude us, they would’ve done this since ages ago, but indeed they couldn’t. There are political parties today that present themselves as the opposition, while they are from the 1950s in politics.”

    “Today you are in front of either choosing a team that insists on civil peace and serving the people and another team that kills people in broad daylight. The Lebanese are asked to choose between those who call for civil peace and cling to it despite being killed on the roads of Tayouneh and those who offer their services to foreign forces and are ready to make a civil war in Lebanon. Today you choose between those who employ their foreign relations to make Lebanon a strong nation, and the other team that brings the foreign money to add it to their bank accounts. Today you choose between a team whose main concern in Lebanon, and another team whose main concern is to please the US and other countries. You have to honestly select between those who shoulder the responsibility no matter what are the difficulties and between the team that has been deceiving you for years. You are in front of electing the real sovereigns who want Lebanon a strong nation, and the fake sovereigns who want it an exposed country,” he addressed the crowd.

    Highlighting that “We, in Hezbollah, are neither tools nor agents nor chess pieces,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained that “The Islamic Republic does not interfere in Lebanon, neither in politics nor in elections, and you have seen which ambassadors are touring Lebanon.”

    “The truthful are the ones who did not abandon Lebanon. As for the deceivers, they are the ones who will jump from the boat of responsibility, with what they earned from their money, and then present themselves as saviors. You the people of resistance, those whose houses and companies have been destroyed, who sacrificed thousands of martyrs and endured, we’re certain about your response and that your votes belong to the resistance and its allies,” he concluded.

    حبيب الشرتوني: أتوقّع أداءً مختلفاً من القيادة الجديدة للحزب أقرب إلى فكر المؤسّس

    الأخبار 

    الثلاثاء 10 أيار 2022

    رغم غيابه عن الساحة الإعلامية، يبقى اسم حبيب الشرتوني حاضراً على ألسنة اللبنانيين، عند كلّ مناسبة واستحقاق حيث تحضر النقاشات التقليدية حول موقع لبنان من الصراع ومستقبله والنظرة إلى العدو والصديق. في المقابلة التالية، يعلّق الشرتوني على التطورات السياسية في لبنان قبيل استحقاق الانتخابات النيابية ومطامع العدو الإسرائيلي بلبنان ودور المقاومة المسلّحة في حماية لبنان وموارده، من دون أن يفوّت الإضاءة على الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي

     ملفّك هو الوحيد الذي بقي عالقاً في القضاء منذ أيام الحرب الأهلية.
    ملفي عالق لأسباب لوجستية أكثر مما هي قانونية أو ثأرية. الجهة الأكثر تأثيراً في القرارات السياسية والقضائية والإجرائية في لبنان معروفة، ويخشى قسطٌ حليفٌ أو صديقٌ لها من المنظومة الحاكمة تأثيري على شريحة لا بأس بها من المجتمع، ما قد يحدث تغييراً لا يخدمُ فسادَه وخططه القائمة على امتيازات طائفية، والمرتبطة بتمويلٍ خارجي، وخصوصاً أن إطلالاتي في الإعلام وعلى وسائل التواصل ــــ ولو كانت نادرة ــــ أثّرت عبر السنوات في جزءٍ وازن من الرأي العام لم يعد بسواده الأعظم يعتبرني ــــ كما في البداية ــــ مرتكباً لجرمٍ سياسي وفارّاً من وجه العدالة، بل بطلاً وطنياً منفذاً لحكم الشعب وفق الدستور، والأمثلة على ذلك باتت منتشرة من خلال الشعارات المحبّذة للمقاومة والمُدينة للعمالة.

    ولا حاجة، بالتالي، إلى التذكير بوضع الحزب القومي طوال ثلاثين عاماً كمؤسسة سياسية لا كأفراد. إذ لم يعد خافياً كيف أُدير هذا الحزب وكيف أدّت سياساتُه وتحالفاته إلى التخلّي فعلياً لا شكلياً عني. كان من الممكن طيّ هذا الملف في فترة زمنية مؤاتية خلال وجود الجيش السوري وإعادة بناء الدولة على أسسٍ وطنية. وقد تولّينا مع بعض المحامين والقانونيين وضع دراستَين معمّقتَين لتفنيد المسألة في ضوء القوانين اللبنانية، لكن المخرج لم يكن يوماً في القانون بل في السياسة. لا أعني بكلامي هذا القيادة الحالية للحزب التي تشكَّلت منذ سنة ونيِّف، إذ نتوقَّعُ منها أداءً مختلفاً أقرب إلى منطلق الفكر القومي وغاية مؤسّسه. وقد بدا فعلاً هذا النوع من الأداء على المواقف التي سجَّلتها، رغم الصعوبات التنظيمية الموروثة والضغوط السياسية المفروضة عليها من القوى المتحكّمة بزمام الأمور.

     كيف تقرأ المرحلة الراهنة وما رأيك بالواقع السياسي والاقتصادي والأمني؟
    من الواضح أن الشعب اختار سلطته ونوابه وحكامه بعدما وضع الانتدابُ له شكلَ النظام، وهو لم يحزِمْ أمورَه بعد لتغيير هذا النظام المتخلّف، ولا يزال يلجأ إلى الاستفادة مما تقدِّمه له الأحزاب الطائفية التي فرضتها تركيبةُ النظام ولو من موارد البلد، ولا يزالُ يؤيّد علانيةً زعماءها الذين أشعلوا الحروب المحلية وساهموا في الصفقات والتهريب عبر تغطية الفاسدين والسارقين والمهربين، وأداروا بعد انتهائها دفّة الفساد والرشى والمحاصصات وسوء الإدارة، ما أفلسَ الدولة. ومن الواضح أيضاً أن عدداً من المعارضين لهم والمنضوين في منظمات غير حكومية، تربطهم علاقات، مكشوفة أو مستورة، بالسياسيين أو بالسفارات الأجنبية والعربية مما لا يبشِّرُ بالسعي لتحقيق المصلحة العامة بتجرّد. وقد يكمنُ السبب في حاجتهم إلى المال ككل الأحزاب والمنظمات.

    هؤلاء قد لا يوقعون الضرر بالقدْر الذي أوقعه الساسة وفي مقدمهم أمراء الحرب، لكن عدم اتحادهم في أشكال تنظيمية وائتلافية وعدم اتفاقهم على آلية التغيير وعلى لوائح انتخابية مكتملة وفاعلة في كل الدوائر، مردُّه تغليب المصالح الفردية لبعض وجوههم البارزة، ما يشيرُ أيضاً إلى بعدهم نسبياً عن العمل بمفهوم الوطن والمواطنة. ولا أرى في ظل أجواءٍ كهذه إمكانيةً للتغيير أو للإصلاح، رغم وجود أمل بالمستقبل طالما أن هناك بداية وعي شعبي ولو بطيء.
    أما الوضع الأمني المرتبط بمصالح الجهات السياسية وقادتها وبمصالح التمويل الخارجي، فالثابت هو أنّ مؤتمر الطائف عُقِد لغايةٍ واحدة هي وقف الحرب الأهلية، فيما لم يكن الوضع العام ملائماً لتطبيق سائر بنوده التي بقيت نظرية، ما دفع مع حلول الألفية الجديدة إلى أزمةٍ كادت أن تشعل حرباً أهليةً ثانية، وساهم في إطلاق عدوان تموز لضرب قدرات المقاومة العسكرية وإضعافها في الداخل، وأدّى بعد فشل العدوان إلى اتفاق الدوحة. وقد تخلل هذا المسار اختراق أمني للتنظيمات التكفيرية بموازاة تحركاتها الإرهابية حول العالم، ما أدى إلى اغتيال بعض الشخصيات البارزة وأهمها رفيق الحريري، وبالتالي إلى انسحاب الجيش السوري في ظل المناخ السياسي الداخلي والخارجي.

    ما موقعك الحالي بالنسبة إلى الحزب القومي؟

    أطلقت موقعاً خاصاً لبيع بعض مؤلفاتِك افتراضياً بسبب منعِك من طباعتها وتوزيعها، لكنه لم يلقَ بعد رواجاً كموقعك السابق الذي نشرتَ فيه مقالات وصوراً للمرة الأولى تثبتُ تعاملَ بشير الجميّل مع إسرائيل.

    أطلقتُ الموقع السابق عندما اعتُقل لفترةٍ وجيزة بعض الأصدقاء والرفقاء بسبب مؤتمر صحافي في بيروت عام 2005، وطلبتُ تطويره عام 2011 حتى لا يبقى جامداً بموادِّه وبتُّ أديره وأدرجُ مقالاتي فيه بالتوازي مع حسابي على وسائل التواصل ومع بعض الحوارات الصحافية، وقد سجَّل دخول 700 ألف زائر من أرجاء العالم، قبل أن أضطرّ لظروفٍ قاهرة إلى إغلاقه بعد عام 2012. أخيراً، وبعدما أيقنتُ أن لا مجال لإصدار أيّ كتاب الآن أو لاحقاً، أطلقت موقعاً خاصاً ببيع الكتب من دون أن أتمكن لأسباب ظرفية من إدارته أو الترويج له. بعدما أطلقتُ على الموقع الأول historylaw.com سمّيت الثاني history-law.com بحكم أن شركة قانونية يابانية أعجبها الاسم الأول فسرقتْهُ. وقد ضمَّت المؤلفات المدرجة في الموقع كتابَ شعرٍ كان الوحيد الذي طُبع في بيروت عام 2011، وكتاباً آخر جمعتُ فيه المقالات والمدوّنات التي نشرتُها في الموقع السابق، وكتاباً أرشفَ مجمل ما قيل حول مقتل بشير الجميّل، إضافةً إلى مؤلفات غير سياسية غير صادرة بعد.

    في 24 نيسان بلغت الرابعة والستين وأنت تعيشُ حياةً في الظل. كيف تمضي أوقاتك؟
    لست من النوع الذي يخشى شيئاً أو يختبئ كما يشيعُ البعض. لا ينهي حياتك البائسة إلا الذي منحك إياها، وليس الموت عقوبةً بحد ذاته كسَجنِ الجسدٍ وتعذيبه، بل بدايةً لحياةٍ أُخرى قد تكون أهمّ بكثير من التي نحياها هنا. أما عيشي حياةً شبه عادية كسائر الناس، لكن في الظل، فأمرٌ بديهي بالنسبةِ إلى شخصٍ لا محل له من الإعراب إلا معنوياً.

    كيف ترى مستقبل لبنان والمنطقة؟
    لا شكّ أن وجود الكيان الإسرائيلي في المنطقة يعيدُ دائماً خلطَ الأوراق بسبب التدخُّل العدائي في شؤوننا لتأمين مصالح هذا الكيان المركَّب والغريب وأمنه، ولا شكّ أيضاً أن الأطماع لدى بعض دول الجوار والمصالح الخاصة للدول الكُبرى تؤدي دوراً أساسياً في ما نمرّ به. فهم الذين يكتبون تاريخنا، ومن يجرؤ على كتابة أيّ فقرة من هذا التاريخ يدفعُ ثمنَ فعلتِه شخصياً ولا يتعرَّف عليه أحدٌ من بيئته. المستقبل يحمل دائماً الأمل، لكن التفاؤل من دون توفُّر المعطيات الإيجابية عبارة عن أملٍ فارغٍ من أي مضمون. لذلك، أستنتجُ من حيوية شعبنا في لبنان ومحيطه الطبيعي، رغم كل الأخطاء والتخلّف عن اللحاق بقطار البشرية السريع، مؤشراً إيجابياً يوحي بالسير إلى الأمام. ويدعم هذا التفاؤل وجود ثروات طبيعية إلى جانب الثروة البشرية ولو لم تستخرج بعد، ربما حتى لا تُسرق أو تُهدر. لقد شاهدنا عبور دولٍ عدة بأزماتٍ مشابهة تمكنت من تخطّيها. أما في مجال الدفاع عن النفس ومقاومة العدوان، فنشهَد لبسالة الفلسطينيين وما يقدمونه من تضحيات حتى أرسوا مدرسةً تلقّن شعوب العالم كيفية الصمود في وجه الاحتلال والحصار والاعتقال والتنكيل. ولا ريب أن للجيش السوري أيضاً، إلى جانب الجيش العراقي مع كل القوى المشاركة، فضلاً كبيراً في ضرب التنظيمات الإرهابية والتكفيرية وتحجيمها. أما الواجب القومي المتمثِّل بوضع حدّ لخطر التمدُّد التركي شمالاً فلا بدّ من الاستمرار في بذلِه من دون توقّف.

    تحدّثتَ عن فكر أنطون سعادة في ما مرّت البشرية بتجارب فكرية عديدة.

    صحيحٌ أن دولاً عدة خاضت تجارب سياسية مبنية على عقائد وأفكار دينية ودنيوية، ولكن لا يمكن وضع دستور ونظام على أساسٍ ديني فقط، بما أن الدِّين يخاطبُ الماوراء ولا يولي الاهتمام الأساس للدنيا، وهذا لا يتيحُ المجال لإيجاد صيغةٍ بنيوية تقومُ على أساسها الدولة، ما يحتّم اللجوء إلى التشريع الإنساني لوضع الدساتير والقوانين والنظُم الملائمة للمجتمعات. لكنّ بعض الدول ذات الصبغة الدينية، نجحت نسبياً، كإيران مثلاً التي وجدت ضالّتها بعد حكم الشاه في الخط الديني الملائم والموحّد لمجتمعها وقوميتها ومصالحها، فيما انقرضت الممالك والإمارات والسلطنات القائمة على أسس دينية عبر التاريخ، ولم تتمكّن الحركات الوهابية والسلفية والتكفيرية من إعادة إحيائها. وهذا المشروع الذي يخدمُ في عصرنا وجود دولة إسرائيل كدولة يهودية، كان يمكن أن ينجح ويُعمّم في المنطقة على دويلات سابحة في فلك الأقوى من بينها، أي إسرائيل، لو نجح في إقامة دولة في لبنان كالتي طمحت إليها فئة من اللبنانيين واعتبرتها حلماً مجسَّداً بشخصٍ لم يتوانَ عن ارتكاب الفظائع المبررة للغاية. وإلّا عن أي حلمٍ يتحدثون حتى يومنا هذا، فيما خرج هذا الشخص من جلدِ المنظومة التقليدية الحاكمة والفاسدة ولم يُحرم من أيّ امتيازات سخّرت البلد من أجله.
    أما بالنسبة إلى الأيديولوجيا الماركسية ــــ اللينينية، أو الشيوعية، فلقد فشلت في تجربة الاتحاد السوفياتي لثلاثة أسباب رئيسة، وهي محاربة الكنيسة وقمع رجال الدين كما جرى منذ عهود الوثنية، وحرمان المواطن من الملكية الخاصة مما لا يشعره بالانتماء إلى وطنه، وعدم منافسة الغرب على الصناعات المتنوعة، بل التركيز على العسكرية منها، فيما نجحت الشيوعية نسبياً في تجربة الصين وكوبا وكوريا الشمالية وفيتنام لأسباب قومية وحّدت شعوبها حول قضايا محقّة وجرّاء اتباع سياسات إدارية وتنموية ودفاعية ملائمة لبيئاتها.

    ونجدُ في المقابل تطوُّر النظام الغربي الرأسمالي في الأصل بشكلٍ عام، ليغدو أكثر اجتماعيةً واشتراكيةً من خلال الضمانات كالشيخوخة والتقاعد ومن خلال توفير الطبابة والعلم المجانيَّين أو الرواتب اللائقة. وفيما تقاتل المنتمون إلى أحزاب عالمنا العربي بسبب الاختلاف العقائدي، أدركوا أخيراً أن المعيار الأساس يكمنُ في مدى نجاحهم في تطبيق مفاهيمهم العقائدية على أرض الواقع، وأن الفرز ليس بين الأفكار والعقائد بل بين الوطنيين الراغبين في تحسين أوضاع بلادهم وبين العابثين بمصيرها وبمستقبل أجيالها.

    في مقال لك عشيّة محاكمتك حسمتَ بحتمية صدور حكم الإعدام. كيف عرفت سلفاً بماهيّة الحكم، وما رأيك بالعهد الذي حاكمك وبالأحزاب اللبنانية؟
    بعد بلوغ دولة لبنان عمر المئة، يمكن أن نستنتج مدى نجاح التجربة أو فشلها، بحسب الخلفية الفكرية والوطنية التي نعتمدُها في التحليل. وبما أن للبنانيين رأياً في مختلف المسائل، لا أعتقد أن هامش إعادة النظر بآرائهم وانتماءاتهم واسع بحكم الواقع الطائفي والسياسي والعام. فهم يعيشون قدراً لا يختارونه بالكامل، فيما تتقدَّم عادةً القوى الطليعية على عامة الناس في استشراف الآتي وفي تدارك المخاطر والدعوة للمعالجة والتغيير. فإن أعطيتُ رأياً غير إيجابي بأداء أحد الزعماء الطائفيين أو الأحزاب لا يعني ذلك تأييدي لزعيمٍ أو حزبٍ في الجهة المقابلة. الثابت هو تأييدي مع كل الوطنيين في بلادنا للمقاومة مهما تلوَّنت لافتاتُها حتى تقوم الدولة القادرة والعادلة والجامعة، وليست المقاومة حرفةً أو هواية أزلية وخصوصاً بالنسبة إلى المجتمعات والأوطان المظلومة والمحتاجة للدفاع عن نفسِها. لا ريبَ أن قسطاً وافياً من الآراء لا يزالُ يأخذ في الاعتبار سلوك الأحزاب خلال الحرب الأهلية. لكن إذا أردنا تقييم نجاح أيّ حزب أو فشله، نفعلُ ذلك بناءً على برنامجه وقوة حجته وصدقيّته والتزامه بقضايا الناس. ومن الأمثلة البارزة الممكن إعطاؤها: نجاح التيار الوطني الحر فترة تراجع، لا بل إفلاس، قرنة شهوان وعودة ميشال عون، ونجاح حزب الله فترة صموده وإعماره لما تهدَّم خلال حربه مع العدو التي أخذت اتجاهاً بطولياً ومحترفاً. وإذا لمّحنا إلى ممارسات الأحزاب تاريخياً، لن يكون من الصعب تقييم تلك الممارسات وما جلبته على الشعب من خيرات أو ويلات، أحياناً لأسباب مزاجية وشخصية وليس فقط لأسباب طائفية وميليشيوية. وحتى لا أقول ما لا لزوم له، أختصر جوابي بإشارة مازحة إلى شعار التيار العوني بمسدسٍ قاطعٍ للطريق بإصبعين وإلى شعار القوات بيدين ترمزان إلى العضو النسائي، من دون أن يكلِّف مسؤولو هذين الحزبين أنفسهم معرفة مصدر هذين الشعارين.

    تتهمك تصريحات لمسؤولين كتائبيين وقواتيين بأنك عميلٌ مزدوج لسوريا وإسرائيل؟
    أجبتُ في إحدى المقابلات بأني لم أكن، قبل حصول العملية، أعرف شخصياً أحداً من السوريين أو الفلسطينيين الذين اتهمتُ أيضاً بالانتماء إلى منظمتهم، ولو كنت على علاقة تنظيمية واستخباراتية بالسوريين كالعديد من السياسيين في لبنان، لربما ساعدوني باستصدار عفو فترة وجودهم في لبنان أو امتنعوا عن إزعاجي واستدراجي لمشاكل وحوادث جانبية في فترات معيّنة. أما بالنسبة لإسرائيل، فعندما لم يستطيعوا إقناعها باغتيالي بعدما فوجئوا بخروجي من المعتقل روّجوا بدعة عمالتي للعدو. ناهيك عن عدم عثورهم على ذريعة مخجلة ومعيبة حيال قيامي بما قمت به، ما لا يساعدهم على تبرير عمالتهم وخيانتهم للوطن والمجتمع للأسباب الطائفية المبررة بنظرهم.

    ما رأيك بالجدل القائم حول ترسيم الحدود البحرية وربما البرية؟
    لم يكن لبنان مهتماً في السنوات الماضية بترسيم حدوده البحرية ولم يكن الموضوع مطروحاً بإلحاح قبل اكتشاف ثروات طبيعية في حقول الغاز الواقعة على الحدود الجنوبية مع فلسطين. وبعد أن بدأ الإسرائيليون بالتحضير لاستخراج الغاز الذي قُدّر بكميات كبيرة، طرحوا موضوع الترسيم من خلال الأميركيين على بساط البحث، ومن البديهي أن تنحاز الإدارة الأميركية حتى لا يحصل لبنان على حقوقه كاملةً ما يخفّض الإنتاج الإسرائيلي لصالح الشركات التي ستتولى استخراج الغاز بالاتفاق مع الدولة اللبنانية، ونظراً لمعرفتها بأولويات حلفائها في لبنان.

    لست من النوع الذي يخشى شيئاً أو يختبئ كما يشيعُ البعض. لا ينهي حياتك البائسة إلا الذي منحك إياها


    وبما أن المسألة تتعلّق بالأمن القومي والاقتصادي وبما أن لبنان بات محاصراً وخاضعاً لشروطٍ مذلة حيال أزمة الشرق الأوسط، ومفتقداً لعوامل الازدهار والاستقرار، ويتعرّض لعملية إفقار تضع مجتمعه على حافة الانفجار، لا أجد شخصياً أي مخرج للأزمة غير منع الطرف الإسرائيلي من استخراج هذا الغاز قبل الاعتراف بحقوق لبنان البحرية المتمثّلة بالخط 29 وفق المسار القانوني والاتفاقيات الموقعة والوثائق المقدَّمة، ويتلخَّص هذا المنع في ضرب المقاومة لأي منشآت في حال تشييد إسرائيل لها، ولن تكون الخسائر التي سنتكبّدُها إن لم نحصل على حصتنا من هذه الثروة أقل من تلك التي سندفعها في تلك المواجهة العسكرية بل أكثر. وقد أعلن أخيراً رئيس كتلة نواب حزب الله عن موقفهم المشرّف من هذه المسألة، بعد أن تنازل أركان السلطة عن الخط، لأسباب مبهمة أو ربما من باب المناورة.

     هل يسعى حزبا القوات والكتائب للنيل منك وكيف تواجه ذلك؟

    ليس سراً رصد حزب القوات ميزانية غير متواضعة لتحقيق هذا الغرض، كما لم يكن سراً أداء عائلة الجميل ومتابعتهم لهذه القضية منذ البداية، وفي المقابل لا نجد جهة رسمية تتولى حمايتي أو الدفاع عني وعن ذويّ كما يظن البعض، فكان بالتالي لزاماً عليّ الدفاع عن نفسي حتى لا يحصل معي ما حصل ويحصل مع كل الاستشهاديين أو المضحّين في سبيل هذه الأمة، وقد وفّقتُ حتى الآن في ذلك.

    كيف تقيّم الأداء عشية الانتخابات النيابية؟
    من المؤسف ألا نرى مرشحين إصلاحيين حقيقيين ومستقلين بأعداد كافية لتغيير النظام الطائفي والفاسد. ومن المؤسف أيضاً أن نرى هذا الكم من التهافت والتشنج والكذب والافتراء، واستثماراً لكل عملٍ اجتماعي في السياسة، بينما اكتفى اللبنانيون من الساسة ووعودهم ويحتاجون اليوم إلى تفعيل العمل الاجتماعي أكثر من أي عمل آخر. أعتقد أن اللبنانيين يعرفون تاريخ وحاضر مرشحيهم ولا يجهلون انتماءاتهم وولاءاتهم. وبعدما حُسمت معالم التحالفات والكتل والخيارات، لا أجدُ حاجةً لعملية تقييم شاملة، إنما أكتفي بالتعليق على ما يُسمى بفريق 14 آذار أو ما بقي منه من خلال حملة القوات الانتخابية. إن الذين يؤيدون القوات لأسباب طائفية يتجاهلون تاريخها منذ نشأتها كوحدات عسكرية تجاوزت بدمويتِها كل أحزاب تلك المرحلة. ويحاول حزب القوات منذ أعوام تبييض صفحته في العمل السياسي والإداري بعد أن نقل البندقية من الكتف الإسرائيلي في زمن الحرب إلى الكتف السعودي في زمن السلم. والجميع يعلم الجهة التي مولت اجتياحات لبنان ومولت الأطراف الموالية لسياسة أميركا المؤيدة لإسرائيل في المنطقة والمخاصمة للمصلحة الوطنية، ورغم ذلك يصطفُ فريقٌ إسلامي آخر في هذا الخندق متجاهلاً بدوره ما جرى ويجري حتى بحقِّه. وهنا بدأوا بتبرير موقفهم بانحياز الطرف الآخر إلى إيران إلى حد رفع شعار الاحتلال الإيراني. ومع أنني لا أؤيدُ نفوذَ طائفةٍ أو حزب على المجتمع، فإن امتلاك حزبٍ ذي انتماء ديني قدرات عسكرية استُعملت لحماية البلاد وليس ضدّ أهلها، لا يعني أبداً أننا نعيشُ تحت انتداب إيراني أو كأن اللبنانيين سيغضّون الطرف عن إيران لو سلكت مسار معاداة لبنان. ليس من عاقل يقبلُ بكلامٍ كهذا.

    امتلاك حزبٍ ذي انتماء ديني قدرات عسكرية استُعملت لحماية البلاد لا يعني أبداً أننا نعيشُ تحت انتداب إيراني

    وقد تمنيتُ من جهة ثانية، منذ أشهر، على أحد مسؤولي الحزب القومي أن يعلنوا عن موقفٍ حيال صدور حكم الإعدام كي لا يخسروا نسبةً مرتفعة من أصوات ناخبيهم في حال تحالفهم مع التيار الوطني الحر، وأن لا يتنازلوا عن دور الحزب وحقوقه، كما حصل مع القيادة السابقة لقاء الحفاظ على مواقع شخصية، أو أن يعزفوا عن المشاركة في الانتخابات إذا فُرض عليهم ما يشبه الرشوة الانتخابية، كي يعلنوا جهاراً انتصار فكر سعادة في تشخيصه لطبيعة النظام في لبنان وكي يتحولوا للعمل الاجتماعي. وفيما استمهلني هذا المسؤول وقتاً حتى يتمّ الاتفاق بحجة أن لا شيء محسوماً بعد، قدّرت أن الموقف لن يتعدّى الشكليات ولو تمّ الاتفاق، بحكم أنه لم يعد بإمكانهم فعل شيء في الملف الذي جرى تجاهله في الفترة السابقة التي كان من الممكن فعل شيء خلالها، وبعد أن بات الحزب في موقفٍ أضعف، خصوصاً أن كل ملفات الحرب أغلقت باستثناء هذا الملف. وقد شاهدنا بأُم العين ما توقَّعتهُ من تدهور حال العهد بعد إصدار الحكم لكسب أصوات مسيحية لم يكسبها بل انقلبت عليه، في وقت تطمح القيادة الحزبية الحالية لاستعادة كتلة نيابية فقدتها، علّها تحقق نجاحاً ولو محدوداً وتساهم في إحداث تغييرٍ ما، أو علّها تجري إحصاءً لأصواتها في مختلف الدوائر لتُحتسَب مع الحلفاء الافتراضيين في أية انتخابات مقبلة، نظراً إلى أن بعضَهم يهمّشُ دورَها، في الوقت الذي لم يؤسس الحزب عبر السنوات بنية تحتية للعمل الاجتماعي.


     منذ 4 آب 2020 كثُرَ الحديث عن انفجار مرفأ بيروت وتداعياته.
    لستُ خبير متفجرات ولا قاضياً، ولا ملفات أو معطيات بين يديّ، ولكن لديّ نظرة عموماً بمختلف الأمور. وعندما لاحظتُ عدم معرفة معظم القضاة والسياسيين بنيترات الأمونيوم وكيفية عملها، بحثتُ وراسلتُ واستفسرت عن هذه المواد. المسؤول الأول عن إدخال هذه المتفجرات هي الأمم المتحدة المسؤولة عملياً عن دخول أي مواد حربية منذ عام 2006 وفق القرار 1701. وليس سراً أن هذا القرار هدفَ لمنع حزب الله من إدخال الأسلحة ومواد مستخدمة في صناعة الصواريخ. أما إضاعة التحقيق بإلقاء اللوم على وزراء مدنيين وموظفي المرفأ، فغايته عدم إلزام الأمم المتحدة بالتعويض على المتضررين وبناء المرفأ من جديد، وليس خفياً من هي الجهة النافذة في لبنان التي تقرر وتُملي على معظم السياسيين والمسؤولين والعسكريين ما تريدُه، ولا قدرة لهم على معارضتها خشية العقوبات. إذا كان الهدف مقتصراً على عبور النيترات نحو موزمبيق، كما أُشير في الوثائق والبوالص، لماذا سمحت الأمم المتحدة بإدخالها إلى المرفأ، ولم تتابعها طيلة سبع سنوات؟ أشير هنا إلى عدم فائدة اتهام المستورد لأنه غير مسؤول عن القرار القضائي الذي سمحَ بإنزال واحتجاز 2750 طناً من النيترات طيلة 7 سنوات. والغريب في مسار التحقيق أنه لم يُكشف حتى الآن عن حيثيات ملفتة للنظر وكامنة في الفارق الزمني بين انتهاء عملية التلحيم واشتعال المفرقعات والمواد الحارقة، ولا كُشف عن لغز تخزين مواد تشكّل خطورة إلى جانب النيترات في العنبر 12 ذاته. وأسمح لنفسي بطرح سؤال مقتصر على الثغرة غير المفهومة الكامنة في الفارق الزمني بين عملية التلحيم التي حصلت قرابة الثالثة بعد الظهر واشتعال المفرقعات بعد انتهاء التلحيم بأكثر من ساعتين، ولوقتٍ طويل نسبياً قُدّر بـ30 إلى 45 دقيقة ريثما وصلت فرق الإطفاء والدفاع المدني، قبل اشتعال المواد الحارقة في العنبر وحدوث الانفجار، مما يثيرُ الريبة ويشير إلى عملٍ تخريبي وليس إلى إهمال كما يريد التحقيق إثباته للحصول على تعويض شركات التأمين التي لا تعوّض في حالات العمل الحربي أو التخريبي.

    كيف ترى الحرب بين روسيا وأوكرانيا؟
    قرر الغرب منذ زمن محاصرة روسيا والمعسكر الشرقي السابق، وكتبتُ قليلاً عن ذلك سابقاً على مواقع التواصل. اليوم أرادوا محاصرة بوتين لأسباب استراتيجية ولانتزاع أوراق تعزز حربهم ذات الطابع الاقتصادي حتى الآن ضدّ الصين التي لا تُخفي حقَّها باستعادة جزيرة تايوان. من هنا دعمت الصين بشكلٍ غير مُعلن خطوة بوتين. وتذكّرني خطوته بسيناريو الاجتياح الإسرائيلي للبنان بحجة تجريد المقاومة الفلسطينية من سلاحها، فيما سعوا مع حلفائهم اللبنانيين لانتخاب رئيس للجمهورية مطلق الصلاحيات وترك وديعة متمثلة في نظامٍ موالٍ لهم، لأن لا غطاء شرعياً لإسرائيل في لبنان، بهدف العبور في الخطوة التالية إلى دمشق وتحقيق سلامهم الخالي من أية حقوق. وعندما فشل مشروعهم بسبب مقتل بشير، ولد مؤتمر أوسلو الذي وصفه الرئيس الأسد بأنه ولِد ميتاً.
    لقد استبق بوتين الهجمة عليه وأيّد إعلان الجمهوريتين الروسيتين في أوكرانيا ثم دخل إلى كييف من أقرب نقطة جغرافية لها ليس لمجرد احتلالها، بل لترك نظام فيها لا يعادي مصالح بلاده ولا يهدد أمنها القومي، مراهناً بذلك على انطلاق عملية تغيير النظام العالمي المفروض بعد سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي نحو نظامٍ جديد، ما يقتضي وقتاً ومواجهةً متعددة الوجوه وطويلة الأمد. وفيما لم يفعل ذلك السوريون واللبنانيون، ما أدّى للاجتياح واغتيال بشير، أكملوا بنفس الطريقة، أي لم يستفيدوا من مرحلة ما بعد الاجتياح لتفرضَ الأحزاب أو الحركة الوطنية مع الجيشين السوري واللبناني السيطرة العسكرية الكاملة على الأراضي اللبنانية، مما أطالَ سنوات الحرب.

    لن أدخل الآن في تحليل الأسباب والخلفيات، إنما أرى أن خطوة بوتين التي كشفت عن مدى عنصرية الغرب وحرفيتَه في إدراج ثقافات ومصالح شعوب العالم ضمن قوالب جاهزة يفهمُها، والتي ستنعكس تصعيدياً على موقف دول عدة ممانعة أو رافضة للنظام العالمي المفروض من الولايات المتحدة وأتباعِها، ستعزز في النهاية وصول المفاوضات النووية مع إيران إلى خواتيمها.

    الانتخابات والأولويّات: خطر الحرب الأهليّة بين السطور

     May 6, 2022

     ناصر قنديل

    السؤال الرئيسيّ الذي يجب أن تمتلك القوى السياسية التي تخوض الاستحقاق الانتخابيّ هو عن خطتها في اليوم الذي يلي الانتخابات في حال نيلها التصويت الذي طلبته من الناخبين. والمقصود هو التصور الواقعيّ لما سيحدث وكيف سيكون المسار الذي توضع عليه البلاد. وهنا يظهر لدى أي مراقب أن هناك ثلاثة أنواع من الخطاب السياسي، الأول هو خطاب قوى كبرى مناوئة للمقاومة، ربطت كل الأزمة بحضور المقاومة وسلاحها، واتهمتها بالهيمنة على قرار الدولة وتجييره لمشروع خارجي، واعتبرت ذلك هو السبب بالأزمة المالية والاقتصادية التي أوصلت لبنان للانهيار، واختصرت رؤيتها للانتخابات باعتبارها فرصة لاستعادة الدولة من هذه الهيمنة وتغيير مسارها، عبر نيل أغلبية نيابية تمثل تفويضاً لتشكيل حكومة تتولى مهمة المواجهة مع المقاومة وسلاحها، من موقع مؤسسات الدولة الدستورية والسياسية والأمنية والعسكرية والقضائية. والنوع الثاني من الخطاب هو للمقاومة وقوى كبرى حليفة لها، يقوم على طرح أفكار لحلول لبعض عناوين الأزمة لكنه يقول إن الأصل يبقى في التوافق السياسي سواء لتطبيق الحلول الاقتصادية، أو لمعالجة الخلاف حول المقاومة وسلاحها، وحول النظام السياسي وفرص إصلاحه، ولذلك يدعو هذا الخطاب الى حكومة وحدة وطنية تضمن أوسع تمثيل سياسي للقوى التي تفوز بالانتخابات.

    الخطاب الثالث هو الذي يحاول التميّز على الضفتين، فبعضه يشترك مع مناوئي المقاومة في خطابهم الذي يحملها مسؤولية الانهيار ويضيف اليها تركيبة النظام والفساد والسياسات المالية، وبعضه يشترك مع القوى المؤيدة للمقاومة في رؤيته لها كحاجة وضرورة في حماية لبنان واستقراره، لكنه يضيف خصوصية في خطابه للملفات الداخلية الاقتصادية والإصلاحية، ويقدم تعهدات بملاحقتها سواء بما يتصل بمواجهة الفساد أو بعناوين مثل أموال المودعين وإصلاح النظام المصرفي، ومشكلة هذين الفريقين أنهما يعرفان ويعترفان باستحالة قدرتهما على نيل أغلبية مستقلة تمكن أياً منهما بوضع خطابه الخاص في موقع تسيير الدولة ومؤسساتها، فيصير الجواب عن سؤال ماذا في اليوم الذي يلي الانتخابات، مربوطاً بالجواب على سؤال في أي من الأغلبيتين سيقف كل منهما، حيث يبدو وبوضوح أنه مهما كان هامش مناورة البعض المناوئ لسلاح المقاومة بنكهة مجتمع مدنيّ، فسوف يجد الخطاب الذي يقول بتزكية حكومة أغلبية للفائزين من مناوئي سلاح المقاومة، ويقتصر تميزه على طلب مراعاته بترشيح نواف سلام بدلاً من فؤاد السنيورة، بينما على مستوى البعض الآخر المتميز بين حلفاء المقاومة، فسوف يجد نفسه أمام استحقاق تشكيل حكومة جديدة يكرر ما سبق وفعله، بالسعي للحصول على أفضل فرص التمثيل فيها، مع إدراك صعوبة بل استحالة تشكيل حكومة أغلبية من حلفاء المقاومة، وحتمية السير بحكومة أوسع تمثيل ممكن، كما جرى مع تشكيل حكومة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي.

    في الخلاصة سيتم صرف فائض قوة التصويت في الانتخابات بوضع لبنان أمام أحد مسارين، الأول إذا فاز خصوم المقاومة، وواضح جداً أنه سيترجم بتسمية شخصية تتراوح بين فؤاد السنيورة ونواف سلام لتشكيل حكومة لون واحد تستند الى الأغلبية ولو كانت طفيفة، وستكون جمعيات المجتمع المدني فرحة بالانضمام، بما في ذلك تشكيلاتها التي تشعل الإشارة نحو اليسار، لكنها تعطف في النهاية الى اليمين، ولو سلمنا جدلاً بفرصة تحقيق هذه الفرضية فهي ستعني ان حكومة جديدة بلون واحد ستضع يدها على مقدرات الدولة وتحاول استخدام هذه المقدرات القانونية والقضائية والأمنية والعسكرية والدبلوماسية لرفع أي غطاء شرعي عن المقاومة، وبدء حملة لمواجهتها، ستكون خلالها الحرب الأهلية وتفكيك مؤسسات الدولة العسكرية والأمنية أقل المخاطر المتوقعة، لأن الوصفة التي تمثلها حكومة الأغلبية، هي نسخة ما بعد اتفاق الطائف، الذي نقل صلاحيات رئيس الجمهورية الى مجلس الوزراء، كما جرى خلال حكم الرئيس أمين الجميل، حين كانت المقاومة أضعف، ولم يكن هناك سلاح فلسطيني، وقرّر تصفية هذه المقاومة بقوة الدولة وزج بعشرات الآلاف في السجون، واجتاح الجيش المناطق وقصفها، وكانت النتيجة تدمير الدولة والجيش والبلد.

    المسار الثاني هو ما ستؤول إليه الأمور إذا فاز حلفاء المقاومة بالأغلبية، حيث سنكون أمام مشاورات لتسمية شخصية توافقية لرئاسة الحكومة، ربما تطول منعاً للوقوع في حكومة اللون الواحد، ومثلها سنكون بعد التسمية أمام مشاورات لضمان أوسع مشاركة في الحكومة، وربما تطول أيضاً، وربما نبلغ الانتخابات الرئاسية والحكومة الحالية في حال تصريف أعمال، وعندما تتشكل حكومة سيكون برنامجها الحوار للتوافق على حلول للأزمات ومنها الأزمة المالية، وهو مسار لا يعد بحلول جذرية ولا بحلول سريعة، لكنه يعد بحماية نعمتين كبيرتين حققهما اللبنانيون، تصح فيهما مقولة “الصحة والأمان نعمتان مفقودتان”، أي أننا لا ندرك مكانتهما حتى نفقدهما، والنعمة الأولى هي ردع الخطر الإسرائيلي والثانية هي عدم المخاطرة بالسلم الأهلي، وفق معادلة تقول إن أكبر الخسائر الناتجة عن طول الأزمة حتى تحقيق التوافق، هي أقل بكثير من الخسائر التي ستنتج عن التهاون ليوم واحد بتعريض السلم الأهلي للخطر بداعي فرض رؤية فريق بالقوة.

    الذين سيذهبون للانتخابات مدعوون قبل النظر في الوعود الانتخابية والانفعالات والعواطف والشعارات، إلى السؤال، هل تصويتهم سيجعل خطر الحرب الأهلية أقرب أم أبعد؟

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    نقطة تحوُّل على حافة الهاوية: «إسرائيل» بين الحرب الإقليميّة والحرب الأهليّة


    الخميس 21 نيسان 2022

    ناصر قنديل

    معادلتان قاسيتان تعبران عن مأزق حكومة كيان الاحتلال، هذه الحكومة وأي حكومة لاحقة. المعادلة الأولى هي معادلة الردع التي فرضتها قوى المقاومة في المنطقة عموماً، والتي وضعت سقفاً لحدود القدرة العسكرية الإسرائيلية في فرض السياسات، بغياب قدرة أية حكومة إسرائيلية على كسر الجمود السياسي بمبادرات قادرة على إحياء المسار التفاوضي، ونجحت معركة سيف القدس بتسييل معادلة الردع العامة هذه الى معادلة خاصة، تضع مستقبل توحش وتغَوٌل المستوطنين والمتطرفين الدينيين اليهود في كفة تعادل نشوب حرب، تبدأ بين غزة وجيش الاحتلال، وتبقى فرضيّة تحوّلها الى حرب إقليمية مفتوحة. والمعادلة الثانية هي معادلة التبعية للتيارات المتطرفة بين المستوطنين والجماعات الدينية في الكيان، بصفتها الجماعات الوحيدة الباقية في السياسة، بعدما غادرت الأحزاب التاريخية المسرح وتلاشى بعضها، كنتاج لموت السياسة في الكيان، حيث الحرب والتفاوض في حالة موت سريريّ، وكما يبتز بنيامين نتنياهو حكومة نفتالي بينيت بالوقوف وراء المتطرفين أملا بالعودة الى المسرح، سيجد من يفعل معه المثل عندما يعود، وسيجد أنه يفعل ما فعله بينيت وهو في الحكم، وقد سبق لنتنياهو أن فعله مع معركة سيف القدس الأولى، قبل أن يطرده بينيت بقوة اللعبة ذاتها.

    شيئاً فشيئاً يضيق هامش المناورة أمام أية حكومة في كيان الاحتلال، وتجد رأسها مضغوطاً بين فكي كماشة يقتربان من بعضهما تدريجياً، بحيث يصير على الحكومة، سواء كانت حكومة بينيت او نتنياهو وشارون، إذا عاد من قبره، أن تختار بين اثنتين، أولاهما، الذهاب بعيون مفتوحة نحو توفير الغطاء لتحركات المستوطنين والمتطرفين، المدفوعة بقوة عدم الثقة بالحكومات والسياسة، وبقوة القناعات العقائدية المتطرفة، التي تقوم على قتل العرب من مسلمين ومسيحيين، ووضع اليد على أملاكهم وتدمير مقدساتهم. وفي هذه الحالة تكون الحكومة مدركة بكامل وعيها أنها ستدفع ثمن تماسك المتطرفين والمستوطنين وراءها، بالمخاطرة بالذهاب إلى حرب جديدة مع المقاومة في غزة، ولاحقاً في المنطقة، وأن لا أمل يرتجى من الفوز بهذه الحرب عسكرياً، ولا قدرة على تحمل دفع الثمن اللازم سياسياً لوقفها، لأنه يبدأ بالأخذ على أيدي المستوطنين والمتطرفين، والتعهد بعدم انتهاك حقوق المقدسيين ومقدساتهم، وثانيتهما، التموضع بعيداً عن المستوطنين والمتطرفين تفادياً لخطر الحرب، وهذا سيعني لاحقاً الأخذ على أيديهم ومنعهم من التفلت من الضوابط التي تمنع نشوب الحرب، وهذا سيعني المخاطرة بالتصادم معهم، والانتقال تدريجيا الى مناخ انقسام أهلي يهودي، بين مفهوم سلطة تبحث عن الاستقرار الإقليمي في لحظة ضعف قاسية، ومفهوم مجتمع متطرف ومسلح ولا حدود لاستعداده لمواجهة مؤسسات السلطة عندما تعترض طريقه المرسوم بقوة العقيدة التي قامت على أساسها السلطة ذاتها, وبين خياري الحرب الإقليمية والحرب الأهلية، قد تطول الرحلة نسبيا، لكنها ستتقدم مهما حاولت حكومة الكيان، أية حكومة، التذاكي والسير بين النقاط تفادياً للبلل، لأن ما يبدو مجرد رذاذ اليوم سيكون غداً مطراً غزيراً.

    كما ابتكرت حكومات الكيان نظرية المعركة بين حربين، لتفادي الاعتراف بالعجز عن خوض حرب، وهي تعلم أن صيغتها المبتكرة لا تغير في موازين القوى، ولا تشكل بديلاً عن خيار الحرب أو العودة للمسارات السياسية، وتعزّي نفسها بأنها تنجح بشراء الوقت أملاً بمجهول لا تعلمه ولا تملك أدنى إشارات على ماهيته وإمكانية قدومه، فيكفي شراء الوقت لترحيل اللحظة الحاسمة من حكومة إلى حكومة، ستبتكر هذه الحكومة وما يعقبها من حكومات نظرية ضربة على الحافر وضربة على السندان، فتبيع المستوطنين والمتطرّفين معركة يخوضونها وتقف وراءهم، كما فعلت في تبنيها زيارتهم الاستفزازية للمسجد الأقصى، ومن ثم تلجمهم كما فعلت في منع مسيرة الأعلام، من الوصول الى باب العامود، ولكن ذات مرة ستتحول واحدة من هاتين او كلتيهما الى مواجهة خطرة، وسيكون على حكومة الكيان، أية حكومة، أن تختار بين الحرب الإقليمية والحرب الأهلية، وما حدث بالأمس هو نقطة التحول على حافة الهاوية التي دخلتها حكومة بينيت وسترثها منها أية حكومة لاحقة.

    The risks, challenges, and crisis of the Ukraine war.

    April 21, 2022

    Source

    By Zamir Awan

    The last few decades have witnessed several wars, like the Iraq war, Libya war, Yemen war, Syria war, the Afghan war, etc. But all of such wars were designed by the US and executed along with NATO/ US allies. The US-style of wars, was first building a narrative, using media as propaganda, and then, involving the UN and international community, or convincing the rest of the world for its war acts. As a result, the US achieved its objectives without getting blamed for wars, aggressions, invasions, etc. Although millions were killed, millions were injured, many serious with lifetime disabilities, millions of houses were destroyed making millions of people homeless, forcing millions of people to live in refugee camps or take asylum in other countries and spend the rest of their lives in misery. Infrastructure was damaged, the economy was destroyed, social systems were damaged totally, changed regime installed puppets and dictated them to serve American interests, etc.

    All wars are equally bad and harmful to humankind. Either the victims are Muslims, Christians, Jews, or any other religion. Whether, the victims are black, yellow, or white, are equally precious. Irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or social status, all lives deserve equal treatment and respect. The UN charter guarantees the protection of all humankind equally.

    But Ukraine war is very special and bears different consequences:-

    • The Russia-Ukraine conflict has not only created a worldwide political, diplomatic, economic, food, and energy crisis but has also exposed the double standards of the world powers towards the principles of international politics and global governance.
    • It is expected the conflict to be a long-drawn-out affair. This is reinforced by the fact that despite the inclination of the Russian leadership or military to end the war at an early stage, on the ground trends in the shape of military armament and around 50,000 non-state actors in Ukraine offer a very alarming specter.
    • The war is not a choice but perhaps a strategic compulsion that Moscow felt for several reasons like challenges ranging from the global world order to the expansion of NATO and also concerns regarding the political leadership of Ukraine and its policies.
    • It is an ideational conflict that shows the level of violence and degree of pain and cost that could be inflicted on Russia by the US-led western alliance. The war seems to be a grave miscalculation on Russia’s part because the ability of the western world to cause pain in an enduring fashion across several domains beyond the kinetic tactical or operational battlefield of Ukraine will make it very difficult for Moscow to sustain and achieve its objectives.
    • China views this conflict with a lot of concern because it offers more challenges than opportunities. A weakened Russia is not in the Chinese interest. Moreover, the revival and rearmament of NATO also indirectly do not augur well for Beijing in terms of future prospects. Another aspect is that although China wants to sustain its global economic growth but not at the cost of disturbing its trade relations with the west.
    • It is highlighted the buildup of the Quad, the Indo-Pacific strategy, and the recent rise of QUAD 2.0. If all these are added up most of these things are aimed at containing China and disrupting its global rise. This conflict has perhaps reminded Washington that they cannot afford to only concentrate the major share of their hard power only on Asia-Pacific and need to maintain their security commitment towards the west and Europe as well.
    • In the regional context, India was seen in flux because its military forces are heavily dependent on Russia for meeting its technological and operational needs but it is facing a very difficult challenge due to its growing diplomatic and economic ties with the US. As such Delhi will find it rather difficult to balance these contrasting challenges.
    • The Muslim world was urged to introspect because they have been accused of over 20 years of terrorism but this reality dawning in eastern Europe allows them to look at how other civilizations and value systems call upon non-state actors and militant organizations when they are challenged and how they are presented in the Western-dominated media.
    • In terms of identity, it poses a simultaneous challenge in terms of race, religion, and nationalism. The western alliance sees this as the frustration of the Russian orthodox Christianity facing the challenge of the western world order which is characterized by the Protestants and Catholics.
    • The societal aspect should be seen in the context of globalization and the perpetual process of the interconnectedness of the different civilizations, societies, peoples, cultures, and economies. This is perhaps the biggest challenge globalization has received in terms of a counter-globalization movement.
    • The economic aspect is not just playing out in the sanctions regime but also the trade and currency wars, and the grave concern that Beijing has because to sustain its economic expansion and global influence it is heavily dependent on Western Europe and America for maintaining its export market which is worth over $600 billion. The increasing energy prices pose a huge challenge for the developing world and the governments, especially immediately after the COVID crisis.
    • In the political domain, it is the greatest test of the current world order and a complex contest between the ideational powers, revivalist powers, and states that want to be identified based on nationalism. It is an ideational challenge to the status quo world order by a frustrated and provoked Russia which wants to be respected for its economic, political and strategic revival.
    • In terms of the security domain, the conflict has led to the revival and rearmament of NATO, which does not augur well for China and Russia. It also has reduced Russian energy leverage and soft power on Western Europe and revived sub-conventional warfare as a means of great power contest in the east European theater.
    • Russia is angered by the eastward expansion of NATO and has challenged the Western-led world order. He also said that Western sanctions could affect Pakistan’s ability to benefit from improving ties with Moscow, in terms of meeting its energy needs.
    • Ukraine conflict has created a worldwide economic, energy, and food crisis that has affected all the countries including Pakistan.
    • The conflict represents a Russian challenge to the US exceptionalism which the Western world is contesting by supporting the Ukraine government through militants which presents the world an opportunity to recover from its excessive focus on the Muslim world.
    • The Western powers cannot have one set of rules for themselves and another for other countries in terms of security and prosperity and Russia is no longer willing to access this contradictory Western approach.
    • Ukraine War is an ideational conflict for the US which should not merely be seen in a geopolitical context while Russia, through this military operation, wants to show the world that it is back on the world stage.
    • This conflict offers more challenges than opportunities for Beijing and although the Western powers view China as standing on the Russian side a weakened Russia is not in Chinese interests.
    • India faced a complex dilemma of maintaining its very close defense cooperation with Russia and simultaneously building deep and long-term strategic and diplomatic ties with the United States.
    • Muslim societies should start thinking of alternative arrangements, such as a monetary union and common market, to address their concerns during international crises.
    • The world banking system and global energy supply chain have badly suffered due to this conflict. He said that more than one trillion dollars have been stuck in the global banking system due to the war.

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

    What Is Bin Salman’s Role in Hariri’s Disengagement? From Financial to Political Liquidation

    27 Jan 2022

    By Ali Abadi

    Did Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Saad Hariri surprise anyone by announcing the suspension of his political career? What was the motive behind it?

    Had it not been for the upcoming parliamentary elections in May, perhaps there would have been no reason for [Saad] Hariri to return to Beirut and take a position like the one he announced yesterday. There is confusion and disorder surrounding the behavior of the leaders and representatives of the Future Movement in dealing with this development, which requires logistical and popular preparations and alliances without any delays. However, Hariri was late in responding to pressure from the leaders of the movement to determine the steps for dealing with the elections. And he had told key leaders in the Future Movement – according to recently published reports – that he was not interested in what was going on and that he wanted to close the offices of the movement. Hariri did not deny the authenticity of these reports.

    Hariri reached a point of despair due to the enormous Saudi pressures placed on his shoulders. These pressures did not ease despite his eagerness in recent times to show solidarity with Saudi Arabia on every occasion and at every Yemeni military action against Saudi Arabia and after every Lebanese political statement criticizing the Saudi leadership. All his efforts to rectify and restore this relationship were repelled.

    The repercussions of the internal Saudi conflict

    There are two reasons why Hariri fell out of favor with the Saudi royals after a long embrace:

    The first is Saudi Arabia’s internal dimensions, which is the main reason. The second is a Lebanese-political reasoning related to Hariri’s position on Hezbollah, as the Saudi crown prince asked him to confront the party, which the former prime minister saw as a civil war.

    It is useful to dwell on the first reason, because it highlights the background that drives the relationship between the current Saudi leadership and Saad Hariri. There is no doubt that the Hariri family, starting with the late Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, gained their political role based on the support that was provided to them due to the close relationship with King Fahd bin Abdulaziz. This relationship was the result of a partnership in the business world that linked Hariri the father and King Fahd bin Abdulaziz through His favorite young son Abdulaziz. Becaause of it, the business of Saudi Oger Company in the Kingdom has grown tremendously, and its project revenues amounted to billions of dollars, which put it at the forefront of the major companies in the Arab world, according to a business website.

    This relationship remained solid after the assassination of Rafic Hariri in 2005, and his son Saad assumed general political and financial responsibility. Things began to change with the second generation of the ruling Saudi family taking charge, and Saad Hariri’s relationship with Muhammad bin Nayef, the Minister of the Interior [and later the Crown Prince] was sensitive after the leakage of an audio recording of Hariri that was considered offensive to bin Nayef. Moreover, Mohammed bin Salman, who later came to the scene, viewed Hariri as someone who allied himself with a system of princes that stood in his way to power.

    It goes without saying that everyone who is related to the reign of King Abdullah has become a target for the new crown prince. Towards the end of his life, Abdullah decided to direct the compass of his succession to his son, Prince Miteb, the commander of the National Guard, by appointing his half-brother, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, as deputy crown prince – the second in line after Prince Salman, the Crown Prince. The latter must have understood the significance of this step. And developments accelerated dramatically in the last months of Abdullah’s life, as the race to gain power became clear through royal appointments and decrees.

    As soon as Salman reached the first place after Abdullah’s death, he reversed everything that his predecessor did and immediately dismissed Muqrin and appointed his nephew, Muhammad bin Nayef as crown prince [as a way of maneuvering within the ruling family]. He put his beloved son, Muhammad bin Salman, on the path of succession by appointing him as deputy crown prince. Then, a few months later, the dismissal of bin Nayef and the appointment of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince followed, and a deputy crown prince has not been appointed until today. After this, there is nothing left to say about the rift in the royal family due to the conflict revolving around the center of power.

    But the conflict did not end with decisions around the main posts. As soon as bin Salman, full of doubt, reached the throne, he began a campaign to strip his opponents of their sources of power and forced them to give up an essential part of their wealth and companies. Hence, Hariri paid the price in Saudi Oger, so did the sons of Bin Laden, the owners of the giant contracting company, Walid al-Ibrahim, who runs the MBC Media Group and is the brother of one of King Fahd’s wives, as well as major investor Alwaleed bin Talal, and many others.

    It is important here to point out how bin Salman subjugated Saudi Oger and the Bin Laden Company. He stopped the payment of their dues to the Saudi government, using pretexts such as the existence of mismanagement and corruption in Saudi Oger and accusing the Bin Laden Company of negligence in an accident [was it just an accident?] involving a crane that fell in the Grand Mosque in Mecca on September 11, 2015, killing more than 100 people and injuring about 250 others. King Salman subsequently took strict measures against the Bin Laden Company that led to its dismantling and seizure.

    It is noteworthy that all these measures were taken simultaneously and were later followed by a crackdown on a large group of princes who were detained at the Ritz Hotel in Riyadh. Bin Salman accused Hariri of disloyalty and that he was aware of an alleged move by some princes against him and did not take the initiative to tell him. Thus, Hariri’s financial liquidation was a prelude to his political liquidation in Lebanon; he was lured to Riyadh in November 2017, after staying away from it for a period of time for fear of being detained with the princes. But what he feared happened; he was then forced to read a statement of resignation from the premiership of the Lebanese government. Although the issue was ostensibly settled after the intervention of French President Emmanuel Macron in favor of releasing Hariri, who holds a French citizenship, returning him to Lebanon, and then retracting his resignation, Bin Salman did not change the way he dealt with Hariri. He summoned him again to Riyadh in October 2018 when he needed him for propaganda at the height of Bin Salman’s crisis in the case of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

    One of the remarkable things is that Saad Hariri’s family is still in Riyadh. Despite the mediation of Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, he was unable to evacuate them to Abu Dhabi for an inexplicable reason, other than to be a political hostage.

    The escalation of the conflict in Lebanon

    The second reason for the distance between the two sides was Bin Salman’s insistence on putting Hariri to confront Hezbollah. The head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, played a role in destroying Hariri’s standing with the Saudi crown prince and took his place as the preferred model in dealing with Hezbollah. The Saudi ambassador, secretly and publicly, frequented Maarab, shutting his door to Hariri. This Saudi behavior aroused the astonishment of many Lebanese Sunni leaders, who consider Saudi Arabia a political and religious mecca.

    Therefore, it is its duty to support the Sunni leaders in Lebanon and not the leader of the Lebanese Forces, who risks the interests of others to benefit himself and to pit the Sunnis and the Shiites against each other, specifically when it comes to Hariri and Hezbollah.

    It is not surprising that Hariri’s supporters pointed the finger directly at Mohammed bin Salman while demonstrating to denounce his temporary reluctance to work in politics. They also blamed Samir Geagea, who dreams of garnering Sunni votes and perhaps a number of their parliamentary seats in the upcoming elections by nominating those who support his political line.

    Perhaps, by doing so, Hariri wanted to create a double shock: the supporters loyal to him, who had been denouncing him for some time because of criticisms over his political performance, are now sympathizing with him as a “victim of a conspiracy” internally and externally. And the message to the Saudi authority is to make it reconsider its dealings with him and give up the decision to destroy him financially and politically.

    In this, Hariri is using popular support to create a strong protest wave with the aim of thwarting any attempt to create alternatives to his leadership and making the electoral battle that is to be waged without him difficult against Hezbollah under Saudi and American sponsorship [it should be noted that Hariri announced a “suspension” and not an “end” of his political role. He also linked the suspension of the participation of the leaders of the Future Movement with his so that none of those aspiring to take his place in his absence get any ideas].

    Will the capitals concerned with the decision reconsider after this development, which may have several repercussions in the Lebanese political arena, especially on the side facing Hezbollah, and will this have an impact on the course of the elections and perhaps on the decision to hold them in the first place?

    كلام جعجع عن سعر الصرف وكلام شيا عن الغاز والكهرباء

    الاربعاء 12 كانون أول 2022

     ناصر قنديل

    اذا وافقنا على دعوة حزب القوات اللبنانية لقراءة كلام رئيسه عن ربط تحسّن سعر الصرف تلقائياً إذا فازت القوات بالانتخابات، بنيّة حسنة بصفته ربطاً يستند الى قراءة القوات لأزمة سعر الصرف، كما قال جعجع، بصفتها أزمة انعدام ثقة سببها وجود أغلبية نيابية وسياسية حليفة للمقاومة، وأن انقلاب هذه الأغلبية سيعيد هذه الثقة، وبالتالي سيعيد لسعر الصرف معادلته الاقتصادية، بدلاً من السياسية، والسعر الاقتصادي للدولار، كما قال جعجع، أقل بكثير من سعر السوق، فإن هذه القراءة بالنية الحسنة لن تكون لصالح القوات ورئيسها على الإطلاق، ولعلها تكون مدخلاً لاستنتاجات أشد قسوة بحق القوات ورئيسها من القراءة التي تتهمها القوات بشيطنة كلام رئيسها، وأخذه في سوق المزايدات الاتهاميّة.

    سننطلق من كلام جعجع نفسه ودون أية إضافة، كما ورد أعلاه، ونثبت نقاط اتفاق معه، أولها أن السعر السائد والمرتفع والمتصاعد ارتفاعاً، هو سعر سياسي وليس مطابقاً للسعر الاقتصادي الأدنى حكماً من هذا السعر السياسي، وثانيها أن وراء هذا السعر السياسي هو هذا الصراع على وجهة لبنان السياسيّة بين وجهتين، واحدة تمثلها المقاومة وتحالفاتها، والثانية تمثلها جبهة داخليّة يقدّم جعجع وحزبه نفسيهما كطليعة لها، وتضم معهما مرجعيّات روحيّة وقوى وشخصيّات وأحزاباً ومنظمات مجتمع مدني، وكل منهم يجاهر بموقفه المعادي للمقاومة، ويتهم الوجهة السياسية التي تمثلها بالتسبب بعزل لبنان عربياً ودولياً وحرمانه من دعم قوى خارجية تملك قدرات مالية كبرى، ما تسبب بأزمته المالية ويتسبب بتفاقمهما؛ وتقف وراء هذه الجبهة الداخلية، جبهة خارجية تبدأ من واشنطن وتنتهي في الرياض، تقول إنها تخوض علناً معركة تحجيم واضعاف حزب الله وتحالفاته، وتعتبر الانتخابات النيابية فرصة لتحقيق هذا الهدف، وتربط علناً كما تقول بيانات وزارة الخارجية الأميركية ومجلس الوزراء السعودي، أي مساعدة للبنان بوقوف اللبنانيين بوجه حزب الله ومقاومته، وتعاقب قوى سياسية بتهمة التحالف معه، وتعلن استعدادها لفك هذه العقوبات إذا فكت هذه القوى حلفها مع حزب الله.

    هذا التفسير الذي يقدّمه الفريق الذي يتصدر جعجع وحزب القوات النطق بلسانه داخلياً، عبرت عنه السفيرة الأميركية دورتي شيا عندما أرادت الرد على سفن كسر الحصار التي جلب حزب الله عبرها المازوت الإيراني الى لبنان عبر سورية، فأعلنت بلسان إدارتها كسر العقوبات الأميركية المفروضة على لبنان لمنع استجرار الكهرباء الأردنية والغاز المصري، فالأمر الذي تحدّث عنه جعجع ليس مجرد تكهّن سيكولوجي، بل هو معرفة الشريك بالشريك وما يفعل، فالسلة العقابيّة التي يقع لبنان تحت وطأتها ثمن فكها أن يتخلى لبنان عن خيار سياسي وينتقل الى خيار معاكس. والسلة هي، أولاً فتح وإغلاق الأسواق الخليجية أمام الصادرات اللبنانية الزراعية والصناعية ورفع او إقامة الحظر عن السياحة والودائع الخليجية الى لبنان، وثانياً تصنيف لبنان الائتماني لدى الشركات الأميركية الممسكة بأسواق المصارف العالمية وما يترتب على التصنيف من تعامل مع الديون والخطوط الائتمانية واستطراداً تعامل الصناديق والبنوك الدولية مع طلبات لبنان للقروض، وثالثاً السماح بحرية التبادل التجاري بين لبنان وسورية والعراق وإتاحة قيام مشاريع جر النفط العراقي واقامة مصافي النفط اللبنانية، ورابعاً الإنجاز السريع لترسيم حدود ثروات النفط والغاز اللبنانية وفق ما يحقق مصلحة لبنان ويتيح له استثمار ثروات بالمليارات، ويحرر الشركات المعنية بالتنقيب من القيود التي منعت، ولا تزال، قيامها بالتزاماتها. وتكفي مراجعة الخطوات الأميركية والسعودية تجاه لبنان لعشر سنوات مضت ورؤية عكسها لمعرفة ما يبشرنا جعجع بأنه سيحدث إذا انقلب لبنان لصالح الرؤية الأميركية السعودية، التي يجاهر جعجع بتمثيلها، لكن السؤال هو هل سيحدث فعلاً؟

    لا حاجة للقول إن وهم نيل الأغلبية كحل سحري لن يبدل وجهة لبنان التي بدأ العقاب الأميركي السعودي لتغييرها، يوم كانت الأغلبية النيابية مع حلفاء واشنطن والرياض قبل عام 2018، ولا حاجة للقول إن نقطة البداية التي يعد بها الأميركي والسعودي هي مجرد نقطة بداية، أولها خذوا الأغلبية، ثم القول هذا غير كاف فشكلوا حكومة لون واحد، ثم خذوا قرارات تشبه قرار حكومة السنيورة في 5 أيار 2008 بتفكيك شبكة اتصالات المقاومة، وصولاً لوصفة الحرب الأهلية الكاملة، وعندها يتفرّجون على لبنان يحترق، وربما تشترك «إسرائيل» في المحرقة، وبعدها لا نفط ولا غاز ولا مَن يحزنون بل هيمنة «إسرائيلية أحادية على ثروات لبنان طالما أن القوة التي يحسب لها «الإسرائيليون» الحساب لم تعد قادرة على فرض معادلة الردع، ولا أسواق مفتوحة مع الجوار ولا من يسوّقون، بل تسوّل للمساعدات على طريقة الدول التي ترتضي دور الملحقات في المحور الأميركي السعودي، ووضع شرط مضمونه الإلتحاق بركب صفقة القرن بعنواني التطبيع وفتح الأسواق للمصارف الإسرائيلية والمرافئ الإسرائيلية، وتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين وربما النازحين السوريين في لبنان، طالما ان الجهة التي عطلت على «إسرائيل» وشركائها مسار صفقة القرن والتطبيع والتوطين قد تم إضعافها.

    وحدها وصفة الوفاق الوطني تنقل لبنان الى ضفة يحفظ فيها أسباب القوة التي تحمي ثرواته السيادية ومصالحه الوطنية العليا، وتبني دولة قادرة على وضع سياسات اقتصادية ومالية عنوانها القرار السيادي في النفط والغاز والانفتاح على دول الجوار، وتعزيز مكانة الاقتصاد المنتج، وهيكلة القطاع المصرفي الذي كان شريكاً ومعه مصرف لبنان في تدمير لبنان مالياً وتضييع ودائع اللبنانيين، ووضع آلية قضائيّة غير انتقائية لملاحقة الفساد، لكن ما يقوله سمير جعجع واضح، لبنان محاصَر ومعاقَب ومحروم من حقوقه بقرار أميركيّ سعوديّ، وأنا رجل الأميركي والسعودي وإذا انتخبتم القوات كمحور للأغلبية ولاحقاً سمير جعجع رئيساً للجمهورية عندي ضمانات برفع هذه العقوبات وهذا الحصار. فهل يشَرّف أحداً أن يكون شريكاً في حصار بلده وأهله وأن يحمل لهم شروط الذل التي يفرضها عليه من يحاصره ويعاقبه؟

    Palestinian Refugees are Struggling to Survive amid Lebanon’s Deepening Crisis

    December 23, 2021

    – Katarzyna Rybarczyk is a Political Correspondent for Immigration Advice Service, an immigration law firm based in the UK but operating globally. Through her articles, she aims to raise awareness about security threats worldwide and the challenges facing communities living in low and middle-income countries. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

    By Katarzyna Rybarczyk

    As a result of the ongoing Israeli occupation, more than seven million people have fled Palestine to nearby countries. Unfortunately, leaving Palestine does not always mean that their dreams of finding peace and better quality of life are fulfilled. On the contrary, often they find themselves living in degrading conditions and being pushed to the margins of host societies that were supposed to protect them.

    In Lebanon, for example, there are nearly half a million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and almost half of them live in the country’s twelve official refugee camps for Palestinians. Not only are the living conditions there very poor but refugees receive practically no support from the state.

    The situation of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was concerning even before the crisis but now, faced with meager savings, limited employment opportunities, and skyrocketing inflation, they are destitute and unable to meet their basic needs.

    Ghetto-like Settlements

    Some Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in informal tented settlements, but the twelve official camps have turned into permanent dwellings that resemble small impoverished cities with tall concrete houses.

    One of the places that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon now call home is the Shatila refugee camp, located on the outskirts of southern Beirut. Shatila, established in 1949, is known primarily for the Sabra and Shatila massacre that lasted for approximately thirty-six hours from 18:00 on 16 September to 08:00 on 18 September 1982. During this time the Lebanese Christian militia, which was under the command of the Israel Defence Forces, slaughtered as many as 3,500 civilians. The exact number of victims is not and most likely will never be known, though.

    Initially, Shatila was supposed to temporarily house five hundred people but since its establishment, the camp has grown tenfold. The biggest problem associated with that is that, as refugees in Lebanon are not allowed to build outside of the state assigned camp areas, the growth has mainly been vertical. To accommodate the rapidly expanding population of the camp, new stories keep being added randomly without careful planning or solid foundations being laid first.

    Flags with Yasser Arafat in Shatila. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

    Since Shatila was frequently targeted during the civil war in Lebanon, a significant proportion of the camp was destroyed. To this day, the infrastructure has not been renovated and those who reside there often live in buildings that pose a threat to their lives or that have no windows, doors, or running water.

    Furthermore, the Lebanese government does not get involved in what is happening in refugee camps, so there is no garbage collection system in place, no security forces, and no education or healthcare services provided by the state.

    The situation is similar in all other Palestinian camps, or even worse in the ones that house more people such as the Ein El Hilweh Camp, which has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees in the country.

    Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon Lack Fundamental Rights

    The exclusion of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is apparent not only when looking at the conditions they live in but also at their legal status. They are not entitled to Lebanese citizenship and they pass on the refugee status to their children. That means that even new generations of Palestinians born and raised on the Lebanese territory are stuck in the limbo of limited employment opportunities and being stuck in refugee camps.

    Palestinian refugees in Lebanon do not have the right to own property and work in certain skilled professions. Even if they want to undertake menial jobs in agriculture or construction, they face obstacles as many of the Lebanese exercise pressure on them to return to violence-ridden Palestine rather than try to settle down in Lebanon. Consequently, Palestinian refugees work mainly in the informal sector where abuses and exploitation are common.

    Moreover, to avoid closing their doors completely during Lebanon’s almost total collapse of the economy, employers often have no choice but to lay off some employees. Sadly, unskilled Palestinian workers are usually the first ones to be let go.

    Not being able to obtain Lebanese citizenship, Palestinians cannot get Lebanese identity cards and therefore, they cannot access social assistance and government services. To receive medical help or any other form of humanitarian aid, they need to turn to UNRWA and charities.

    But as the demand for their services is rising and the costs of preparing food baskets or distributing medicines are going up, UN agencies and aid groups are struggling to cope with helping all those who need it.

    The Palestinian Issue is Not a Priority

    With seventy-eight percent of the Lebanese living below the poverty line, the economic meltdown and political crisis have caused unimaginable suffering for a significant part of the country’s population, not only for refugees.

    Lebanese families desperately need support to cover basic needs, including food. After all, as the Lebanese lira loses value each day, going grocery shopping often means spending one’s whole monthly wage, now equivalent to around $34.

    Hence, aid organizations have been focusing primarily on reaching out to the vulnerable Lebanese. Still, more attention needs to be given to the alarming situation of Palestinian refugees as Lebanon is now their home too.

    And yet, looking at the Shatila camp reveals the fact that the conditions Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in are humiliating. Walking around the narrow streets paved with garbage, one is under the impression that those living there are not just ill-treated but have been completely abandoned.

    A narrow street filled with waste in the Shatila refugee camp. (Photo: Katarzyna Rybarczyk, supplied)

    These people have been in Lebanon for more than seventy years, waiting for the moment when Palestine is stable enough for them to go back. Now, Lebanon is becoming unlivable so thousands fear that they might lose their newly found safety and have to once again seek protection elsewhere.

    In Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, Palestinian flags can be seen at every corner but instead of representing pride, it seems like they signify longing to return to their motherland. As the prospects of that happening are currently slim, however, Lebanon needs to at least give refugees a chance to live in dignity.

    Related News

    أصحاب الحياد والفيدرالية يريدون الفوضى فقط

     ناصر قنديل

    منذ سنتين وفي أعقاب أحداث 17 تشرين 2019 ، خرجت بقوة ووضعت في التداول نظريات سياسية وتبنتها مراجع كبيرة، ما أوحى بجدية هذه الطروحات من جهة، وأنشأ جدلاً واسعاً حولها بين مؤيد ورافض، ولدى تفحص هذه الطروحات ستظهر من بينها دعوة الحياد والدعوة للفدرالية في المقدمة، ويظهر فوراً أنهما كغير طروحات مشابهة تنطلقان من سياق تفكيري واحد، هو السياق الذي بنيت عليه الحملة الأميركية ضد المقاومة، وقوامها تحميل المقاومة مسؤولية الأزمات القائمة في البلد، بينما تبدو وظيفة الدعوات المرافقة تثبيت معادلتين في اللاوعي الجمعي لجماعات لبنانية، الأولى ربط مشكلات لبنان بالمقاومة، والثانية تأكيد استحالة العيش مع المقاومة وطروحاتها، أكثر مما هو السعي لتحقيق هذه الطروحات، التي يبدو لدى تفكيك منطقها، أن الحوار الوطني بين المقاومة ومخالفيها طريق أقصر للتفاهم من الدعوة المسبقة للطلاق المستحيل.

    النظر في الدعوة للحياد بمعزل عن صحتها، من زاوية واقعيتها، أي قابلية تحقيقها، يبدأ من طرح سؤالين، الأول يتصل بشرط التقدم بها نحو الخارج المطلوب موافقته ودعمه وحماسته، والشرط هو وجود توافق وإجماع وحماسة في الداخل لحساب الدعوة للحياد، والتدقيق في هذا الشرط في البحث عن الحد الأدنى للحد الأدنى لأدنى إمكانيات التوافق  من دون طلب الحماسة، سيوصلنا إلى أن التلاعب بمفهوم الحياد لوضع استثناء رئيسي فيه هو العداء مع «إسرائيل»، يمكن أن يزيل بعض التحفظات الداخلية على الدعوة، ويمنع تحول الدعوة للحياد من دون مراعاة هذا الشرط التوافقي سيذهب بلبنان إلى حرب أهلية وحرب مع سورية، التي لا يمكن لطلب الحياد أن يحظى بالجدية من دون موافقتها وفقاً للقواعد القانونية لطلبات الحياد، وعندما ننطلق من إجماع داخلي مشروط بالعداء لإسرائيل نحو الخارج ونسأل ما هو الشرط الخارجي الذي يضمن الحد الأدنى من الحد الأدنى لأدنى مقومات القبول الغربي، خصوصاً الأميركي بحياد لبنان، سنجد أنه بوضوح لا لبس فيه أن يكون هدف الحياد هو الحياد عن الصراع مع «إسرائيل»، ويسهل علينا هنا معرفة أن دعوة الحياد مفخخة يتكفل شرطها الداخلي وشرطها الخارجي بتفجير فرصها من الطلقة الأولى.

    الدعوة للفيدرالية تنطلق بلسان الدعاة إليها من شروحات نظرية وقانونية، كما هو الحياد، لمنح النظرية شرط الفخامة، فيشرحها متخصصون قانونيون درسوا النموذج السويسري، ويسرفون في شرح الكيفية التي تدار بها المقاطعات والكانتونات، ومقابلهم آخرون درسوا النموذج البلجيكي ويقفون يباهون بقدرته على إدارة التنوع، فيجيبون على سؤال غير السؤال المطروح، ويبقى السبب في مكان والنتيجة في مكان، فمنطلق البحث في الفيدرالية سياسياً هو القول إن سياسات المقاومة لا تلقى إجماع اللبنانيين، وأن جماعات لبنانية طائفية غير مستعدة لتحمل تبعات هذه السياسات، سواء لجهة ما ينتج من أزمات مع  الدول العربية والغربية أو ما يترتب على الاقتصاد واستطراداً وضع الليرة، ومن هنا تطرح الفدرالية كجواب خاطئ على سؤال خاطئ، أو بأحسن الأحوال جواب خاطئ على سؤال صحيح، أو جواب صحيح على سؤال خاطئ، لكنها قطعاً ليست الجواب الصحيح على السؤال الصحيح، فبعيداً من صحة وعدم صحة ربط الأزمات بخيارات المقاومة، لا تشكل الفيدرالية  ببساطة جواباً صالحاً، لأنها تقوم على وحدة السياسات الدفاعية والخارجية ووحدة العملة الوطنية، بينما تتيح الفيدرالية تطبيق مقاربات مختلفة لشؤون داخلية مثل قوانين الأحوال الشخصية، والضرائب، واللغات والديانات سواها من مظاهر التنوع، لحساب احتفاظ الدولة الفيدرالية الجامعة بسياسة دفاعية وسياسة خارجية وعملة موحدة، فمن يريد التخلص من عائد السياسات الخارجية والدفاعية والتحرر من تبعات ذلك على العملة لن تفيده الفيدرالية بشيء.

    الطريق المسدود لهذه الدعوات لا يبدو خافياً عن أصحابها، لكنهم على رغم ذلك يقومون بتكرارها والتشبث بها، بحيث يبدو العائد الوحيد لطروحاتهم، هو تكريس الانقسام، وزرع فكرة اليأس من تحقيق التفاهم بين اللبنانيين، وزرع نظرية تحميل المقاومة مسؤولية الأزمات، وهذه كلها وصفات للفوضى وليس للاستقرار.

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    Hezbollah MP: Lebanon Has Left the “Israeli” Era and Will Not Return To It

    Nov 30, 2021

    Translated by Al-Ahed News

    The head of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc MP Mohamad Raad said, “We smell a coup against the Taif Agreement. This coup aims at reassuring the ‘Israeli’ enemy that the Lebanese people can’t face its aggression, so that it dictates its normalization and authoritarian policies and control even deciding the fate of our gas wealth in our territorial waters, as gas exploration is confined to certain companies of certain countries. Despite all this, we still talk about independence and sovereignty, but we are incapable of building one power facility that supplies Lebanon with power 24/7”.

    Raad made the statement during the memorial ceremony held by Hezbollah on the 40th day on the passing of Martyr Muhammad Jamal Tamer.

    He added, “Our national currency collapsed because it depends on foreign currency. Tomorrow, our policy will collapse because it also depends on foreign policies. If the Lebanese people want this, it’s up to them, but we are sacrificing our blood and souls to protect those who don’t know where there interest is in this period. Is it required that we commit suicide so that others are satisfied? We are keen to preserve the common living in this country; we want it to rule sovereignly and independently, and that its interests are in accordance with the aspirations, will, and national decision”.

    “If anyone thinks that the equation has gone wrong and that the power balance became in the interest of the ‘Israeli’ axis and normalization and wants to turn against the Taif, we tell our people to pay attention to this miscalculation because Lebanon has gotten out of the ‘Israeli’ era and will not return to it; as all the methods of force that were used to twist the arm of the Resistance failed, and the sponsors of strife realized that the Resistance benefits from the national consensus on its role in Lebanon. So, let us not allow a faction of the Lebanese to undermine this consensus… The weapon of the Resistance has become on everyone’s lips, and media outlets have been bought in order to promote this issue,” Raad added.

    Regarding the Tayouneh crime, Raad said, “What happened is not just a clash between the people of two areas, it’s rather a designed and planned aggression in order to cause a strife and to push people to fight among themselves and mess up the whole situation, so that the killer gives his credentials to the people who hired and pay him regionally or internationally”.

    Raad concluded saying, “From now on and without wasting time and opportunities, let’s figure things out. Don’t let anybody drag you to a new civil war in order to impose on you a settlement with new balances of power, as long as people are open to each other and ready for dialogue, and as long as they appreciate their common interests and have no enemies but one enemy, which is still occupying our land”.

    Judges protecting judges: why the Beirut blast investigation is a dud

    October 28 2021

    Can the Beirut blast’s lead investigator, Judge Tarek Bitar, take on his negligent colleagues? Events so far suggest he won’t.Photo Credit: The Cradle

    Lead investigative Judge Tarek Bitar refuses to prosecute his judiciary colleagues who signed to unload, store, then ignore the ammonium nitrates that devastated Beirut last August.

    By Radwan Mortada

    The Lebanese are split on the performance of Judge Tarek al-Bitar, the lead judicial investigator in the massive 4 August Port of Beirut explosion last year.

    One side blindly trusts the man, believing Bitar will spearhead the fight against Lebanon’s existing corrupt political class and discover the identities of those responsible for the deadly port blast.

    The other side views him as a foreign tool used to create sedition in Lebanon by targeting political figures critical of the US. The Lebanese resistance, Hezbollah, was the first to draw suspicion to Bitar’s performance, whose arbitrary and biased allegations seemed to target only one side of the political divide.

    Hezbollah’s charges have gradually escalated over the months. When Bitar first took on the blast investigation – the second judge to do so – Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah urged him to publish the blast site’s technical report so it would quash unsubstantiated rumors about the group’s role in the explosion, or allegations that it stored ‘weapons’ at the Port of Beirut.

    Bitar did not respond to Nasrallah’s request for transparency, however, and allowed political and media disinformation to go unchecked during a national crisis.

    In one example of this, an alleged ‘witness’ named Imad Kashli appeared in a Lebanese media outlet claiming that he transported ammonium nitrate for Hezbollah from the Port of Beirut to a village in the south, in what was later discovered to be false testimony. Bitar failed to take any action against Kashli under the pretext that he was ‘sick,’ and media outlets never bothered to refute or retract the fabricated story.

    Furthermore, Bitar’s political targets say the judge’s own allegations are not comprehensive, but deliberately selective. His interrogation roster focuses overwhelmingly on personalities belonging to one political affiliation, while unjustifiably excluding officials in the very same posts with opposite political views. Bitar has interrogated former Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) Commander Jean Kawahji, for instance, while skipping over current LAF Commander Joseph Aoun, a Washington-favored army man.

    U.S. Ambassador Richard Meets Army Commander General Joseph Aoun - U.S.  Embassy in Lebanon

    Aoun cannot be bypassed or absolved of responsibility. The explosion happened on his watch, during his tenure. Bitar’s detractors rightly point out that the ultimate responsibility for the Beirut blast must focus on the Lebanese judiciary and the military. The former signed the papers that allowed in and continued to store tons of illegally-stored ammonium nitrate in Beirut, and the latter has the final word on any explosives inside Lebanon’s legal boundaries.

    The fact that Bitar has ruled out questioning the current army leadership, most of the judges, the Ministers of Justice and Defense, and the Justice Ministry’s cases commission from has raised eyebrows, obviously. Nasrallah did not mince his words when he stated, in a recent speech, that the greatest responsibility for the 2020 calamity rests with the judges who gave permission to unload vast amounts of ammonium nitrate explosives from a foreign ship seized by Lebanese authorities, and then gave permission to store these substances in dangerous conditions inside the Port of Beirut.

    Bitar’s choices lead to armed confrontations

    Leaked reports in the media and from within the corridors of Lebanon’s Judiciary, instead deflected blame onto cabinet ministers and members of parliament (MPs), revealing that they would be arrested even before Bitar issued the summons. Furthermore, he has been quoted as saying that he wanted to fight, not avenge, the political class, which he did not deny in a press interview – thus, confirming the words attributed to him.

    His behavior and the investigation’s bias has only reinforced suspicions against Bitar, who was expected, at the very least, to handle these processes and suspects impartially, and to display good faith by muzzling rumors and disinformation.

    The judge’s questionable performance finally prompted supporters of Hezbollah, Marada, the Amal Movement, and members of professional organizations (lawyers, etc) to hold a protest in front of the Beirut Palace of Justice.

    On 14 October, a peaceful demonstration by these groups was ambushed in Beirut’s Tayouneh neighborhood by far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) party gunmen. Rooftop sniper fire quickly escalated into an armed clash that killed seven Hezbollah and Amal supporters and injured dozens of others.

    The Black Record of Samir Geagea

    The attack could have easily spiraled into a civil war had it not been for Nasrallah’s public calls for restraint, which gave space for an investigation by army intelligence, under the supervision of the judiciary, that this week summoned LF leader Samir Geagea for interrogation. That case continues.

    Judiciary and military responsibility for the explosives

    Why has Bitar overlooked the judicial and military responsibilities for the ammonium nitrates and its storage at the port for seven years? Why does he persist in focusing his investigation on cabinet ministers and parliamentarians mainly, despite the fact that the explosion was primarily a security and judicial failure?

    If the army had carried out its function, entrusted exclusively to Lebanon’s military under the country’s Weapons and Ammunition Law, by supervising the nitrate storage, destruction, or re-export, the devastating explosion would have been averted.

    Similarly, if judges had done their job, a legally binding – not a political one – decision would have ensured the destruction or immediate exportation of the explosive materials from Warehouse 12 in the Port of Beirut.

    Despite the negligence of his judicial colleagues, Judge Bitar has been noticeably timid about addressing their liabilities in the lead-up to the explosion. The politicization of his investigation has all but buried the legal distribution of responsibility – the truth, so to speak – for the blast.

    The judges who escaped Bitar’s ‘judgement’

    Gassanoff on Twitter: "المجرم القاضي جاد المعلوف هو المسؤول عن انزال  النيترات لمصلحة من أمر بانزالها او بطلب من من؟ من هنا يبدأ التحقيق مع  المجرم جاد المعلوف .هذا هو الصندوق الاسود…
    Judge Jad Maalouf

    To this day, the ‘guardians of justice’ continue to remain unaccountable. But the names of seven judges and a state attorney suspected of negligence have been identified as those most liable for the judiciary’s failings: Judges Jad Maalouf and Carla Shawah from the Beirut Urgent Matters Court, Ministry of Justice Judges Marwan Karkabi and Helena Iskandar, head of the Beirut Executive Department Mirna Kallab, government commissioner at the Military Court Judge Peter Germanos, Appeals Court Attorney General Ghassan Khoury, and state attorney Omar Tarabah.

    Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) had identified these judges in a report presented to Judge Bitar at the start of his investigation.

    The judiciary’s responsibility in the blast has also been lost amid blanket local media focus on Lebanon’s political class since 17 October 2019, when a street ‘revolution’ arose in response to the country’s economic collapse. The prevailing trend in the country has been to lay all blame on the politicians and bankers who let this happen.

    So there would be little fallout for Bitar if he took the easy path, focused on the easy ‘villains,’ and didn’t rock the boat with his judicial colleagues or Lebanon’s ‘neutral’ military establishment.

    Bitar checked some boxes, but basically played softball with the judiciary.  As an example, he formally requested that the Cassation Court’s public prosecutor separately verify the negligence of Beirut Judges Maalouf and Shawah in order to charge them with the crime of probable intent, like the rest of the defendants in the case.

    Although more than a year has passed since the blast investigation began, any action against the judges, or even checking their files or hearing their statements, has been delayed for months, although the role of one of them – Jad Maalouf – is critical.

    Maalouf signed off on the decision to unload the ship’s ammonium nitrate cargo and appoint a judicial guard as the head of the port, Mohammad al-Mawla. After Mawla claimed that he did not hold the keys to the warehouse, Maalouf was supposed to appoint another judicial guard and establish a time period for guard duty, which did not happen. Bitar listened to the statements of Maalouf and Shawah as witnesses only, unlike others who he intends to prosecute. Why?

    The file of the ammonium nitrate shipment had swung back and forth for years between the General Customs Directorate and Beirut Urgent Matters Judge Maalouf. Several letters were sent to the Director General of Customs Badri Daher to re-export the goods, but Judge Maalouf kept writing down the request and sending it to the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, which responded only once by approving the re-export.

    Maalouf was assigned to transfer the ownership of the goods within a week, even though Article 13 of the UN’s Hamburg Convention permits the destruction of goods – and if they are hazardous, without transferring their ownership – without paying compensation to the owner. The Hamburg Convention, signed in 1978 and enforced in November 1992, is the UN’s ‘Hamburg Rules’ on cargo sea shipments that unified a legal system regulating the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers, and consignees under the contract of transport of goods by sea.

    According to legal experts, Judge Maalouf should have ruled to destroy these highly dangerous materials based on both Article 13 of the Hamburg Convention as well as the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 579 of the Lebanese Code of Civil Procedure; that is, without a request from anyone and regardless of the rights of their owners, who are not entitled to compensation for the destruction of hazardous goods.

    Instead, four years were spent on issuing notifications, or requesting discussions on jurisdiction and the legality of selling or destroying the goods. If Judge Maalouf had taken the decision to destroy the ammonium nitrates immediately, Lebanon would have certainly avoided its destructive consequence last August.

    The same reasoning applies to suspected Judge Shawah, who was referred to the prosecution with Maalouf, but judicial sources tell The Cradle that she has not received any document or review from anyone since she took over the ammonium nitrates case from Maalouf.

    Judge Bitar has also asked the Appeals Court public prosecutor to verify the suspected negligence of Public Prosecutor Judge Khoury for authorizing the closing of the nitrates file. But Bitar did not do that for months, and until the day before, he believed that the Court of Cassation might recuse him based on the lawsuits submitted by the defendants and ministers accusing him of bias.

    It appears that Bitar initially suspected Khoury of involvement in criminal activities that contributed to the death and injury of people and causing damage to public property as a result of the judge’s decision to shelve the State Security’s investigation report. Then, inexplicably, Judge Imad Qabalan, the Court of Cassation’s public prosecutor, decided those suspicions were unjustified and threw out Bitar’s inquiries by saying he considered “the report of the judicial investigator [Bitar] dated 24 September 2021 to be empty of any suspicions and does not prove fault in the job duties of Judge Khoury.”

    The fourth and fifth judges, Helena Iskandar and Marwan Karkabi, who headed the Justice Ministry’s cases commission, are suspected of years of procrastinating before responding to the correspondence of the Director General of Customs and the Urgent Matters Judge. Although they received several letters, they responded only once by proposing to re-export the nitrates without following up on the case, which is one reason the ammonium nitrates remained in the heart of Beirut.

    The sixth judge, Peter Germanos, was contacted by State Security investigators – when he was the government representative at the military court regarding the ammonium nitrate stores – to notify him about the high risk of these materials. But Germanos told them this case was not in the jurisdiction of the military prosecution because the Urgent Matters Judge had ruled to remove that material from Warehouse 12.

    Although the issue is related to the Lebanese state’s national security and clearly falls within the jurisdiction of the Army Intelligence, Germanos decided that it is not within the powers of the Military Public Prosecution. Why?

    Judge Germanos has denied on Twitter that he received any reports or minutes on the ammonium nitrates from the State Security or any other agency. Here, Bitar’s investigation needs to discover which side is telling the truth, bearing in mind that most communications between the judicial police and public prosecutor were conducted orally, over the phone, until written investigation minutes are stamped and referred to the Public Prosecution.

    The seventh judge – Mirna Kallab, head of the Executive Department in Beirut – following correspondence from the Justice Ministry’s cases commission on the sale of the nitrates, was tasked specifically with appointing an inspections expert. A dispute emerged from the start between the Ministry of Works and the cases commission over who should pay the expert’s fees, which did not exceed 700,000 (approximately $467) Lebanese pounds.

    Here, state attorney Omar Tarabah’s name appears for procrastinating for more than a year over correspondence related to paying the expert’s fees to inspect the Rhusos, the ship which transported the ammonium nitrate to the Port of Beirut.

    In a nutshell, it is believed that the reason for Bitar’s leniency in holding negligent judges accountable for the Beirut blast is due to the prevailing conviction among judges of the need to protect and provide their colleagues with immunity, lest they next become scapegoats for the political class who would also wish to protect their colleagues with immunity.

    Bitar should have refused to cater to the judiciary and military establishments, and made a beeline for whomever he suspected of negligence, regardless of their affiliations. Having failed to do so, this investigation is now a bust. Unless Bitar changes course and takes on these two protected institutions, only scapegoats will be charged for Lebanon’s deadliest explosion in history.

     ارتباك أميركي أمام خياري الحرب الأهلية والانتخابات

    ناصر قنديل

    على الطاولة الأميركية تحت عنوان محاصرة حزب الله، خياران رئيسيان غير الاستسلام والتأقلم والتساكن، الأول يشجعه الإسرائيليون وعنوانه تصعيد مناخات الضغط الاقتصادي والمالي والسياسي على لبنان وصولاً لرفع منسوب الاحتقان والفوضى، تمهيداً لتفجير الوضع الطائفي بوجه حزب الله، أملاً بأن هذا سيعني استنزاف الحزب في الحرب الداخلية، وتوفير فرص مؤاتية لشن حرب إسرائيلية على الحزب، أما الخيار الثاني الذي تشجعه لوبيات في الكونغرس والسفارة الأميركية في بيروت، فعنوانه الاستثمار على مناوئي الحزب المحليين، سواء المعارضة الحزبية أو التقليدية، أو المعارضة التي تمثلها جمعيات المجتمع المدني التي تلوذ بالسفارة أو سفارات الدول الصديقة لواشنطن، لتوفير مناخات منسقة للفوز بعدد وافر من المقاعد الانتخابية يعيد تشكيل المشهد النيابي تحت عنوان نقل الغالبية من يد الحزب وحلفائه إلى يد الخصوم.

    الإشكالية التي يطرحها خيار التفجير الطائفي تنطلق من ثلاثة عناصر، الأول استحالة الجمع بينها وبين الحفاظ على الجيش اللبناني وفاعليته ووحدته، فالتفجير الطائفي يستدعي تحييد الجيش وتهميشه على الأقل، وهو ما لا يمكن أن يستمر في ظروف استقطاب طائفي حاد كما تقول التجارب السابقة في لبنان، إذ سرعان ما تنتقل الانقسامات الطائفية لتصيب بنية الجيش، بينما الحفاظ على الجيش ووحدته وتقدمه للصفوف فيستدعي قيامه بمهمة التصدي لمخاطر التفجير وقمع مسببيه، الذين لن يكون الحزب بينهم، في ظل سياسة ثابتة للحزب بأن يفعل المستحيل لتفادي التورط في أي تفجير طائفي، وأن يكون آخر الداخلين فيه إذا فرضت عليه واستحالت سبل صده، وهنا يظهر العنصر الثاني فالمخاطرة بخسارة الجيش تعني مخاطرة بخسارة أغلب الجغرافيا اللبنانية وقبول الاكتفاء ببعض الجغرافيا التي تسيطر عليها الميليشيات المساندة، والتي لن تزيد على ربع مساحة لبنان، ولن يكون مضموناً ثباتها وصمودها في ظل موازين قوى معلوم وضعها، أما العنصر الثالث فهو التساؤل عما إذا كان التفجير الطائفي سيوفر فرصة حرب إسرائيلية، قال الإسرائيليون إنها ستتوافر من انخراط حزب الله في الحرب السورية، واكتشفوا أنه قادر على تلبية مقتضيات مشاركته فيها، بالتوازي مع الجاهزية لمواجهة فرضيات الحرب الإسرائيلية، وبالمقارنة ليس ثمة ما يقول أن الوضع سيكون مختلفاً.

    الرهان على الانتخابات النيابية يبقى نظرياً حتى الدخول في التفاصيل، حيث تظهر أولى النتائج باستحالة إحداث اختراق في ساحة تحالف ثنائي حركة أمل وحزب الله مع وجود حاصل مرتفع لحجز أي مقعد نيابي في دوائر البقاع والجنوب، بينما في الساحات الطائفية الأخرى فسيكون أي تقدم لمرشحي الجماعات الجديدة المدعومة أميركياً على حساب الحلفاء التقليديين في هذه الساحات، خصوصاً، فزعزعة تيار المستقبل على سبيل المثال والرهان على وراثته مع تأثير مسار الضغط السعودي عليه، واحتمالات عزوف رئيسه عن الترشيح، ستعني نشوء فراغ ستتسابق قوى كثيرة على ملئه، سينال منه جماعة السفارة نسبة، وينال سواهم نسبة، وسيكون لحلفاء حزب الله نسبة، وربما يصح الشيء نفسه في ساحة الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي بنسبة أقل، بحيث يصير الصراع محصوراً في الساحة المسيحية، حيث تفرض الدوائر الانتخابية نتائج من نوع استحالة تحقيق ما يزيد على عدد النواب المستقيلين بأكثر من ثلاثة إلى أربعة مقاعد في أحسن الأحوال، فدوائر المتن وكسروان وبيروت الأولى وزغرتا إهدن بشري البترون، لا تتيح رهانات على نيل المزيد، بل تخلق تصادمات بين من يفترض أنهم الحلفاء في المعركة بوجه الحزب، والحصيلة ستكون مجموعة أقليات لا غالبية فيها، بل أقلية كبرى يمثلها الثنائي تشكل النواة الأشد صلابة بين التكتلات النيابية، توازيها نواة ثانية تضم حزب الله ونواب التيار الوطني الحر، وكل من الكتلتين سيتشكل حولها إطار من تحالفات، يقف مقابلها عدد من الكتل الوسطى والصغيرة، مع استحالة تشكيل جبهة موحدة بين مكوناتها، بما يعيد إنتاج مشهد شبيه بالمشهد النيابي الحالي.

    مقابل الخيارين الإشكاليين المطروحين على الطاولة، ثمة خيار ثالث يتقدم منذ تجربة سفن كسر الحصار، عنوانه التساكن والتأقلم، وهو خيار محكوم بخلفية المسار الذي رسمه قرار الانسحاب من أفغانستان، وما سترسمه تطورات المنطقة خلال الشهور المقبلة، سواء في سورية أو اليمن، أو في العلاقة مع إيران.

    فيديوات ذات صلة

    مقالات ذات صلة

    The geopolitical aims & revolutionary gains of Iran’s annual Islamic Unity Week

    The geopolitical aims & revolutionary gains of Iran’s annual Islamic Unity Week

    November 03, 2021

    by Ramin Mazaheri posted with permission and both parts cross-posted with PressTV

    As a numerical minority – of course Shia are the Muslim group most interested in Muslim unity: It means survival. It has meant this since the very death of Prophet Mohammad, and both “Muslim unity” and “the survival of Shi’ism” have been inseparable ever since.

    The logic of that concept – that “Muslim unity” is the best protector of the largest minority in the Muslim world – should be self-evident. Minorities need peace to thrive – they are outnumbered in conflicts/votes.

    Picture 1

    It is only divisive imperialists, and their puppets in some Muslim countries, who reject this logical idea and propagate the opposite – that, instead, Shia are trying to divide the Muslim community; that the minority Shia are bent on war with Sunnis. Of course, that is a war which is already prohibited by Islam – faith can never be forced on someone – so such persons (and I refer to isolated extremists who hold no democratic political power anywhere in the Muslim world) are always rejected as being un-Muslim.

    No thinking Muslim needs a conference to restate this millennia-old conversation and settled law. Iran’s annual International Islamic Unity Conference, which just concluded its 35th meeting, is light years beyond these phony non-issues.

    What the Conference does is to provide a forum to create an Islamic-geopolitical path to resolve insecurity in the Muslim world. Such insecurity is allowed to occur, in our modern area of imperialism, because there is disunity on fundamental topics of political modernity among Muslims.

    Islamic Unity Week was initiated in 1987 and is held on the week of the birthday of Prophet Mohammad. The conference is not held to proselytize in favor of Shi’ism (again, proselytizing in Islam is forbidden, which is why there are no Muslim missionaries) but to strengthen unity among Muslims in a practical sense.

    Yes, the event is held under the auspices of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, which paves the way for Islamic scholars to get to know and understand one another. Creating theological empathy and respectful intellectual understanding among Islam’s many sects is indeed an integral part of the conference. But the presence of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the heads of Iran’s Foreign Minister and Minister of Culture, major Iranian political leaders, political scientists, communication specialists, and others attest to the very practical, very real-world results which the conference is expected to produce.

    A fundamental tenet of the conference is that Muslims cannot be united as long as foreign powers take away the sovereignty of Muslims in their own countries. Thus, the practical basis of the conference is anti-imperialism, a struggle so bloody and necessary that correct unity of any type must be utilized.

    We should always remember that unity among any broad masses has always been called “divisive” by the powers of imperialism – whether such powers were feudal kings who rejected even meager parliaments, or the stockholders of the East India Tea Company, or the “200 families” of France whom Leon Blum had to negotiate with, in 1936, for an 8-hour day because “Who else was there for me to negotiate with?”, or today’s 1% and the media they own all of – because the united power of any masses against the elite will effect a modern revolution in any society.

    Political unity should be easier than religious unity, but the Muslim world has more of the latter than the former

    When there is Muslim unity on a merely national level the result takes the form of an “Islamic republic”. It must be a republic because monarchy – the preservation of privileges which are based on blood, elitism, and favoritism, and thus the necessary rejection of economic and political equity – is always cruel and unusual punishment of the nation’s masses and their resources.

    That idea did not come along in the history of the Eastern hemisphere until the advent of the 19th century, and places like Europe fought the Napoleonic Wars, smothered the democratic wave of 1848, spread the false glory of their monarchs around the globe in violent and arrogant colonialism and embarked on the horror known as World War One simply because monarchs (in alliance with their aristocracy, both old and nouveau riche) wanted to preserve their privileges. It is truly as simple as that, and to say otherwise is a lie.

    Monarchy – i.e. autocracy, authoritarianism, inequality before the law, unearned privilege, and arrogance – still has enormous support and backers among most of Western Europe, and these countries have propped up their royal brethren in the Muslim world.

    It is incorrect to expect global unity on a religious plane, but are we expected to still wait for unity regarding the truly horrific demands of kings and queens?

    “Republican imperialism” – of which France and the United States are shining examples – is not a true republic but one which merely mouths the words of equality before the law, yet whose policies preserve the nouveau riche and keep imperialism firmly in place. In such places, patriotism is the most exalted virtue, and because it places the nation higher than even God it degrades positive patriotism into fanatical jingoism.

    Following World War One the idea that a nation of people has superior characteristics, deserve special privileges, and are destined to rule over others was then changed into “fascism”. The differences between monarchy and fascism are slight as there was no fundamental overturning of property relations as in, for example, the Iranian Islamic Revolution – the banking system, medium and heavy industry, and foreign trade remained in the hands of a tiny cabal instead of the people’s hands for the people’s benefit.

    Because Western nations are either former or current colonizers and/or strongholds of monarchism (either overt or latent), they suffer themselves from a vicious sectarianism. Their callous, entrenched, self-serving elite tries to foist that same sectarianism onto the Muslim World. The policy of “divide and conquer” is not something they fail to use domestically as well, of course.

    This is properly called “sectarianism” outside of the West but inside the West it is given a more innocuous-sounding name – “identity politics”. Both are the politics of battles for elite privileges, of “us versus them”, of anti-unity, of an individualism which strives to know no legal bounds.

    “Identity politics” is anti-republican because it is sectarian. One hears this constantly in France – they do have a revolution-from-the-masses history to draw from, after all. In the US, identity politics is cynically viewed as a necessary evil in a world with only heartless societies.

    The elite who profit seek divisiveness both in California and Nebraska, just as they want divisiveness in Lebanon and Iraq, just as they now want divisiveness within Afghanistan with a flaming urgency.

    It is Afghanistan that this year’s conference was focused upon, as it’s currently ground zero in the struggle for unity in the Muslim world regarding the global war against a sense of arrogant privilege which some persons call “reactionary”, which other persons call “fascism” and which other persons call “evil”.

    In Part One the geopolitical foundations of Islamic Unity Week have now been described, which allows us to see the accuracy of the title of Part 2, “Iran’s Islamic Unity Week: A place free from fascist/reactionary/anti-Muslim influences”. In 2021 the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan makes just such a haven incredibly necessary for Islamic Unity as well as global harmony.

    Iran’s Islamic Unity Week: A place free from fascist/reactionary/anti-Muslim influences ( Part 2)

    The intellectual unity of the Muslim World has long been established. They are similar to the Buddhists in this – they similarly have had very few epochs of “fitna” (civil war) – and dissimilar from their Christian Abrahamic brothers, who seemingly have embraced the idea that Christian unity is neither achievable nor even desirable but fundamentally antagonistic and overly-intrusive.

    Indeed, it is not surprising that the Western media did not cover Iran’s 35th annual International Islamic Unity Conference, which just concluded, as it does not appear to see divisions among Christianity as a subject worth covering either?

    Part One discussed the geopolitical foundations of the Conference: The struggle for unity in the Muslim world regarding the global war against a sense of arrogant privilege which some persons call “reactionary”, which other persons call “fascism” and which other persons call “evil”. Certainly, “imperialism” can be used interchangeably with all three.

    The anti-imperialist victory of the Taliban over the United States-led Western coalition may wind up not being anti-imperialist at all – this was the underlying concern of this year’s conference.

    The Taliban themselves were indeed this year’s target audience: it should be easily understandable that the primary aim was to show the Taliban that they are being monitored, and that there are demands by 52 Muslim countries that Shia and other groups be protected in the name of both Afghan unity and Muslim unity.

    The expulsion of the Western coalition may prove to be a failure in the anti-imperialism fight if Daesh and other terrorists – who foment Muslim disunity via attacks on Shia – are not totally rejected and subdued by the new Taliban leadership. Without an inclusive government and zero tolerance for “sectarianism/identity politics”, then certainly Daesh will continue to terrorize and thus provide grounds for yet another western invasion. That would mean more decades of disunity in Afghanistan, in a victory for imperialism.

    However, a Taliban which is inclusive and which expels Islamic fundamentalists would be a victory for both anti-imperialism as well as Muslim unity. It should be easy to see why for Muslims the two are the same in 2021 It should be easy to see why to the colonialist project of Israel and the individualist-worshipping Western 1% Muslim unity is as threatening to their profit lines as anti-imperialism is; as any broad unity of the masses is.

    The Taliban say they have changed from decades of fighting – the conference is a reminder that 52 Muslim nations are studying them closely for proofs.

    Daesh and other groups – which are known to be funded by Western imperialist nations even though they find democratic approval in no Muslim region – keep getting Western guns and money precisely because they allow the West to station Western troops in Muslim countries. It is a fundamental tenet of the International Islamic Unity Conference that Muslim nations must provide for their own security, as Iran does. The West repeatedly insists that only they are capable of providing security in the Muslim world, but the double-dealing and murderous hypocrisy of Western history in the modern Muslim world is well-known to all.

    Indeed, the Muslim world is so thwarted and denied chances of self-empowerment that they are now relying on the Taliban – originally a terrorist group supported by the United States to topple a democratic government – to break the cycle of Western-backed terrorism within Muslim countries.

    It seems like a very weak leg upon which to rest the Conference’s politically-modern version of Muslim unity, no?

    But there is no worldwide revolution coming to save the Muslim world: The nation of Afghanistan has proven exceptional in its ability to overcome foreign invasion, and now they must prove that their exceptional ability was based on the modern political ideas of grassroots demands for sovereignty, social equity, and religious harmony.

    In a real way, Iran’s Conference is an open invitation, and a plea, and a humble request for communication in order to show the Muslim world that there is another version of what is acceptable in Islam other than what is offered by the house of Saud and the obscenely-monied (which is also to say “obscenely privileged”) Persian Gulf countries. The differences are not cultural values – because Islam is the essence of all these cultures – but the most fundamentally modern political values, i.e. the rejection of feudalism, monarchy, unequal privilege, Muslim disunity, and the violence always required to uphold any of these outdated concepts.

    The Conference shows that the petrodollar’s true printers and the Arab League do not have a monopoly on the political direction of the Muslim world, and – in my opinion – their actions and comprador complicity in recent decades show that they do not deserve one.

    Iranians believe that due to their Islamic and modern revolution they are not some sort of shining example for the Muslim world but simply a guaranteed safe space – a place that can host open dialogue and which excludes undoubtedly reactionary/fascistic/evil intentions.

    Such dialogues must be held in the name of Muslim unity, which should be about as controversial as motherhood but which are controversial because Muslim unity would upend two centuries of Western dominance, colonization and forced regression/stagnation. In 2021 the Muslim world looks to Afghanistan as a place of newfound military sovereignty – grassroots, republican and Muslim unity must immediately follow.


    Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

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