The Vaccine Race Is The Next Phase Of The COVID World Order

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

24 JULY 2020

The Vaccine Race Is The Next Phase Of The COVID World Order

The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) warned last week that the world is at risk of being further divided by the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines that leading Great Powers are expected to publicly unveil in the coming future, which would make the vaccine race the next phase of the COVID World Order that’s quickly changing life as everyone knows it, including International Relations.

Welcome To World War C

The planet is in the midst of what the author previously referred to as World War C, which is his neologism for the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes that were catalyzed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the global community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain it. This is part of what he also earlier called the COVID World Order, which specifically relates to the everyday changes brought about by this development but which are also quickly making their impact felt in the sphere of International Relations as World War C continues.

The Vaccine Race

The latest escalation in this unconventional competition between states occurred last week when Canada, the UK, and the US accused Russian hackers of trying to steal information about a British vaccine, a charge that Moscow promptly denied. The day after, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, warned the Financial Times in an exclusive interview that the world is at risk of being further divided by the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines that leading Great Powers are expected to unveil in the coming future.

This would in effect make the vaccine race the next phase of the COVID World Order as countries scramble to carve out exclusive markets for what’s being presented as their life-saving product. It’s neither here nor there how anyone personally feels about vaccines or even the reported lethality of COVID-19 since it should be objectively recognized that this epidemiological situation has already been politicized and is being resultantly instrumentalized for grand strategic purposes.

Necessary Disclaimer

To be clear, the author believes that COVID-19 is real, it’s lethal for certain at-risk members of the population, and is reportedly highly contagious. He also recommends that the reader use their personal discretion in deciding which guidelines to apply to protect themselves, their families, and everyone else in society. Still, this doesn’t mean that governments aren’t fearmongering about COVID-19 in order to expand their powers at home and abroad since that’s precisely the case when it comes to the latest accusations against Russia.

Reputational Ramifications

On the surface, the claims are predictable enough since they correspond with the Mainstream Media’s narrative about the so-called “Russian threat” that’s supposedly lurking behind every corner just waiting to undermine the West at each turn. Accusing Russia of trying to steal vaccine information makes sense from their perspective since many of their people are already scared to death of this disease and it thus serves their governments’ interests to make it seem like Russia is somehow trying to sabotage their inoculation efforts.

There might be a more nefarious motive behind all of this than just attempting to ruin Russia’s international reputation, however, since the country’s rivals are likely thinking a few steps ahead as usual. Firstly, they aim to protect their own reputations at home and abroad since they’ll understandably be embarrassed if the same country that they tried to convince everyone else was “backwards” and “isolated” ends up releasing a COVID-19 vaccine before they do. Saying that Russia stole it helps them “save face” a bit.

No Western Vaccine, No Western Travel?

Secondly, peddling this false narrative could create the basis to sanction those countries that buy Russia’s forthcoming vaccine or receive it free of charge as humanitarian aid. The US and its allies can claim that they’re receiving something that was produced with stolen trade secrets and that they should instead buy “the real thing” from them. If those states don’t comply, then their citizens might be banned from traveling to Canada, the UK, and/or the US if those governments claim that Russia’s vaccine “doesn’t work” or “isn’t reliable”.

To put it another way, the Western countries can implement blanket travel bans on the basis that they can’t be certain that foreign guests are inoculated against COVID-19 unless they receive one of their or their allies’ vaccines. Considering how much more closely connected most of the world is to the Western economies as opposed to Russia’s, this might be sufficient enough of a threat to force their governments to comply under pane of suffering unacceptable economic damage if trade is predictably affected as a result of these bans.

Challenging China

Looking ahead, this strategy might be experimented with against Russia in order to gauge its success prior to modifying it for use against China. The challenge there, however, is much more formidable since many countries nowadays are even more closely connected to China than they are to the West so such pressure tactics would amount to a de-facto ultimatum forcing their governments to take a clear side in World War C. It’s unclear how many of them will go with the West, but there’s a credible enough chance that some of them will.

Even so, the soft power victory might just be superficial since China is unlikely to make its own similar ultimatum. The People’s Republic probably won’t ban travelers who weren’t inoculated with a Chinese vaccine so the citizens of those countries that feel pressured to choose Western ones for the previously mentioned reasons can still trade with the world’s second superpower without any problems. If Western vaccines are proven to be ineffective and/or dangerous, however, then that policy might of course change.

“Global South” Guinea Pigs

Returning back to the overarching theme of this analysis, the COVID World Order’s vaccine race, it might very well be a fait accompli that people the world over will be compelled to receive some sort of vaccine in order to travel or even use basic services in their home country. This might especially be the case with the more desperate masses of the “Global South” who could be exploited as guinea pigs by some of the leading Great Powers in order to test the safety of these vaccines in exchange for humanitarian aid and preferential trade.

Concluding Thoughts

However it plays out, the global masses should expect the widespread proliferation of COVID-19 vaccines within the next year. This is no longer only an issue of public health, but is now a geopolitical instrument of power for various governments to wield against one another and their own citizens alike. The epidemic has been politicized and there’s no going back to the innocent assumption that the world might work together “for the common good” to fight this disease. That was never true to begin with, and forthcoming events will prove it.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the online session “Russia and the post-COVID World”

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Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the online session “Russia and the post-COVID World”

10 July 2020 15:55

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during the online session “Russia and the post-COVID World,” held as part of the Primakov Readings international forum, Moscow, July 10, 2020

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for inviting me to once again speak at the Primakov Readings. This is a young, but also one of the most respected platforms for discussing international matters. Unfortunately, we cannot meet in person due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, thanks to modern technology we could keep it on schedule. I am glad that my colleagues were able to take part in the preceding sessions of these readings. Judging by their feedback, this was a useful experience.

I will not delve into the question of how the coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives, and what it will bring in the future. We already feel its effect on the economy and in personal contacts, from official visits and talks, to humanitarian, cultural and education exchanges. There seems to be a consensus that it will take quite some time for things to get back to normal. How long it will take and what the new norm will be is anybody’s guess. That said, all tend to agree that things will change.

By the way, I cannot fail to mention that our foreign service has had to face serious challenges. There were confirmed cases both at the Foreign Ministry head offices and our representative offices in the regions, as well as in our affiliated institutions. Thank goodness, we did not face a massive outbreak or severe cases. There were also people in our missions abroad affected by the pandemic. When borders closed, all our foreign missions without exception were mobilised to assist Russian nationals stranded abroad. Along with other agencies represented in the Emergency Response Centre, primarily the Transport Ministry, the Federal Air Agency, the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare and the Communications Ministry, we complied repatriation lists. This was a lot of work, fraught with many mistakes, mostly unintentional rather than deliberate, that had to be rectified. At the same time we had to make arrangements to pay support allowances to those stranded abroad without funds. We have already done a great deal on this front, although there are still people asking to be repatriated, and some have come forward only recently. It seems that looking at the developments in the countries where they are staying and considering the uncertainty as to when all this will come to an end, they finally opted to return home.

Speaking of other ways in which the pandemic influenced our work and the way we perform our professional duties, the virus has aggravated other pre-existing challenges and threats. They have not gone away, including international terrorism. As you know, some speculate that terrorists are thinking about somehow using the strain of this virus, or maybe even creating new strains to achieve their malicious ends. Drug trafficking, cybercrime, environmental issues, climate and, of course, the many conflicts around the world – all these problems are still with us. And all this overlaps with the specific nature of the Trump administration and its deliberate policy of undermining all legal and contractual frameworks without exception on arms control and international cooperation, for example, regarding UNESCO, the WHO, the UN Human Rights Council, etc.

Of course, we keep a close eye on all these developments and analyse them. We still believe that sustainable solutions to various crises, conflicts and problems in the interests of all countries, and taking into consideration each and everyone’s concerns can only result from collective efforts based on the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, by respecting UN Security Council prerogatives, mobilising consensus-based associations, including the G20, as well as BRICS, the SCO and associations on the post-Soviet space. Unfortunately, not everyone has been ready to work together during the pandemic, to engage in collective efforts and approaches. We are witnessing attempts to push through narrow-minded agendas, and use this crisis to continue strangling unwanted regimes. The call from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to suspend unilateral sanctions, at least during the pandemic, that impede the distribution of medial and other humanitarian goods, and other essential items to the corresponding countries, was completely ignored. The same goes for attempts to assign blame for the infection in the midst of the pandemic, when what we need is to think about how we can help medical workers, doctors and virologists. You know very well what I am referring to.

Like 75 years ago, when Victory over a common enemy was won only by working together and rising above the ideological differences of the time, we now also need to realise that we will resolve these issues only if we cooperate. I’m sure we’ll talk about the future of the WHO later. We are in favour of resolving any issues based on the UN Charter, which is a collective security platform.

Our Western colleagues – I’ve already mentioned this many times – are trying to actively introduce the concept of a “rules-based order” into diplomatic, political and practical usage. This is not international law. This is something else (we can also talk about this in more detail during the discussion). Clearly, this is an attempt to regain the dominance that the historical West has enjoyed for almost 500 years now. This attempt takes the form of convening a “group of interests” and various partnerships, where convenient countries are invited that either share the attempts to adopt unilateral approaches to international affairs, or will yield to pressure and join these initiatives. Not everyone is invited. Those who have their own outlook on things and are ready to defend it are left out. Later, when a concept, say, on chemical weapons, is fabricated, or an attempt is made to create a club of the select few who will decide on who is to blame for violating cybersecurity, they will start selling it as universally applicable norms. We are witnessing this now as it’s happening. These are very serious problems.

I would like to conclude my opening remarks. Our main goal, as before, is to protect our national interests and create the most favourable external conditions for the country’s development. You may have noticed that we come up with ideas that unite. Convening a summit of the UN Security Council permanent members is our top priority. This effort is ongoing. We are now focusing on the substantive part of the event, because, of course, it will play the decisive part.

The current hardships in international relations increase the importance of these discussions and, in general, the contribution of the expert community, and academic and political circles, into the efforts to analyse the situation and make reasonable realistic forecasts. I’d be remiss not to mention the case study concept that Yevgeny Primakov introduced into our foreign policy and political science. We appreciate the fact that the participants and organisers of the Primakov Readings always help us draw from a rich well of ideas, from which we then pick the ones that we submit to the President to determine our policies in specific circumstances.

Question: Five years ago, an IMEMO strategic forecast assumed that a new bipolarity might emerge as one of the four scenarios for the future world order.   At that time, this hypothesis was based on the relative dynamics of the synergetic power of China and the United States.  The COVID-19 pandemic has provided plenty of evidence of this theory. Of course, a different – asymmetrical – bipolarity is emerging, where the strategic parity is between Russia and the US, and the economic parity is between China and the United States, which is distinct from what was the case in the 20th century.

Do you think that the US-PRC conflict has passed the point of no return? It is obvious that any exacerbation of this confrontation is not in Russia’s interests. Will Russia be able to act as a swing power in order to maintain stability of the world system, including based on your unique experience of multilateral diplomacy?

Sergey Lavrov: I remember the forecast you have mentioned. I would like to say that, certainly, a lot has changed over these past five years, primarily in terms of confirming that the confrontation, rivalry, antagonism, and the struggle for leadership between the United States and China have, of course, been mounting. Before I pass directly to an analysis of this bipolar process, I would like to note that the real situation in the world as a whole is much more complicated. After all, the world is growing more polycentric than it was previously. There are numerous players apart from the US and China, without whom it is very difficult to promote one’s interests, if some or other capital suddenly decides to do this single-handedly.  I think we will yet discuss some other possible options in this sense. Let me mention the fact that Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics   Sergey Karaganov has commented on this subject in an article for Russia in Global Affairs, a journal published by Fyodor Lukyanov.

It is quite clear that we should take into consideration, in our practical work, the entire diversity and totality of political, economic, military, historical, and ideological factors that are manifesting themselves in the multipolar world, a world that Yevgeny Primakov predicted. We are assessing the US-Chinese controversy against this backdrop and through this prism.  That it is not existing in a vacuum is, as a minimum, confirmed by the fact that each of the sides is seeking to recruit as many supporters of their approaches as possible to the WHO or any other subject that in some way or other is associated with Washington and Beijing as defining contradictions in their approaches.

The Americans are certainly perceiving the growth of the PRC’s total state power as a threat to their claims to retaining the world leadership against all odds. Back in 2017, the US National Security Strategy listed China, along with Russia, among the main threats. It was for the first time that China was put before Russia as a threat to the United States.

Russia and China were directly accused of seeking to challenge the American influence, values and prosperity.  It is quite clear that the US is waging a struggle by absolutely unsavoury methods, as is obvious and clear to everyone. They are putting forward unilateral demands that take into account solely the US interests. If demands are turned down, they say the refusal is unacceptable and introduce sanctions.

If a discussion is suggested, the discussion rapidly degenerates into delivering an ultimatum and ends up in selfsame sanctions – trade wars, tariffs, and lots more.

A highly indicative fact is how the Americans and the Chinese managed to come to terms on phase one of the trade talks in January and what the fate of this agreement is now. The US authorities are accusing Beijing of drawing off jobs and glutting the market, while showing reluctance to buy US products. According to the Americans, China is implementing the Belt and Road project intended to steamroll all world economy mechanisms, production chains, and so on.  China allegedly was concealing information on COVID-19 and is engaging in cyber espionage. Notice how zealously the Americans are forcing their allies and others to give up any collaboration with Huawei and other Chinese digital giants and companies. China’s hi-tech companies are being squeezed out of the world markets.  China is being charged with expansionism in the South China Sea, problems on the actual control line with India, human rights violations, and [misbehaviour with regard to] Tibet, the Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. All of this is taking place simultaneously. A powerful wave of fault-finding, a perfect storm is being raised. I hope, of course, that common sense will prevail and the situation will not pass the point of no return mentioned by Mr Dynkin.

We hope that there are people in the United States, who are figuring out how to reassure the world of the dollar system’s reliability in the post-election period. The US Secretary of the Treasury is speaking about this all but openly. He is warning that they should be wary of overstepping the red line, after which people will just start fleeing from America, saying that the dollar is no good anymore because it is being brazenly abused.

There is, of course, hope that the Chinese possess a political, diplomatic and foreign policy culture that always seeks to avoid various imbroglios.  But there are also some very alarming signs that, despite these rays of hope, which must be nurtured and cherished, US and Chinese officials start getting personal, occasionally in a very harsh form. This bespeaks a high degree of tension on both sides. And, of course, this is really alarming.

I do hope that our Chinese and US partners have some diplomatic methods, ways of classical diplomacy tucked up their sleeve. People should not insult each other in public or accuse each other of all sins, as the Americans are doing on every street corner. A better option is to sit down [to the negotiating table] and recognise that your opposite number is a great power and that every state, be it a great power or otherwise, has interests that must be respected.  The world certainly should seek to function based on a search for a balance of these interests.

Now let me pass to the second question – that this aggravation is not in Russia’s interests. I think that it is totally at variance with our interests, the interests of the European Union, and those of other countries as well. If you take the EU, China-EU trade is absolutely comparable with trade between China and the US. I think it is also necessary to pay attention to the EU’s increasingly publicised aspirations as regards a strategic autonomy not only in the military-political and security sphere but also in trade and the economy. Incidentally, the EU also wants to start repatriating its industries and localise as many trade and distributive chains as possible on its territory. In this regard, it is entering direct competition with the Americans.

The EU is unlikely to support the United States on every count in its desire to bleed the Chinese economy white by “pumping over” all development-friendly processes to its territory. There will be a lot of wrinkles, tension and clashes of interests.

Today, unlike in 2014, when the EU, under atrocious US pressure, introduced sanctions against Russia, it is showing signs of sound pragmatism towards our country. Specifically, they have publicly announced that they will revise the notorious “five principles” that Federica Mogherini formulated several years ago to guide relations with Russia.  They also say that it is necessary to overhaul their entire approach so that it should be more consistent with EU interests.

Incidentally, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell gave a talk recently on EU and China and on EU and Russia. Asked, why not impose sanctions on China for Hong Kong and human rights, he said that sanctions were not a method to be used in relations with China. We inquired whether sanctions were, in his opinion, a method that could be used in relations with Russia?  Our European friends will be thinking about this. It is a tough question.

I think that the European Union and Russia have a stake in cooperating, but not to the detriment of anyone else.  Basically, we do not ally with others to organise some actions against a third party.  We prefer pragmatism and shared benefit. I think Brussels will be doing something to overcome the myopia of the recent period.  The survey of EU policy vis-à-vis Russia will give more heed to an analysis of the real benefits inherent in promoting relations with Russia and the EAEU.

I do not see any benefits that Russia could derive from a trade war between Washington and Beijing. We will not benefit from relations with the EU and India either. Relations with India are traditionally friendly and other than time-serving. I do not envisage any changes in this area. We have proclaimed a “specially privileged strategic partnership” with India. I do not see any reasons why our Indian friends should sacrifice the gains that exist in the context of our partnership and prospects that it opens.

Question: You have mentioned Russian-US relations. Of course, international security and strategic stability depend on them. The situation is rather alarming now because of a deep crisis in the arms control regime. It is possible that the last key treaty in this sphere will expire in six months. There are many reasons for this, both geopolitical and technological. I believe we have to admit that public opinion is not pressuring the political elites to maintain arms control as much as during the Cold War, when large-scale demonstrations were held, as we well remember. The highest priority threats for the public now are the pandemic, climate change and terrorism. The fear of a nuclear war has receded into the background. What can be done to change this, or will it take a new Cuban crisis for the public to become aware of the nuclear conflict threat and to start expressing its opinion?

Jointly with our academic community we are now holding many videoconferences with American experts. You have said that there are rational people in the United States. It can be said that these conferences offer an opportunity to coordinate a number of new proposals, which could be used to formulate our initiatives. Of course, we update the Foreign Ministry and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov about our activities. But it seems that today we need to think about some radical action, possibly in connection with the proposed summit of the five nuclear states, in order to create conditions that will help prevent the dismantling of the arms control regime and launch the creation of a new system of international security and strategic stability suited to the conditions of the 21st century.

Sergey Lavrov: I fully agree with you. Nuclear risks have increased dramatically, and the situation in the sphere of international security and strategic stability is visibly deteriorating. The reasons for this are obvious to everyone.  The United States wants to regain global domination and attain victory in what it describes as great-power rivalry. It has replaced the term “strategic stability” with “strategic rivalry.” It wants to win, whatever the price, as the saying goes. It is dismantling the arms control architecture so as to have the freedom to choose any instrument, including military force, to put pressure on its geopolitical opponents, and it wants to be able to use these instruments anywhere around the world. This is especially alarming in light of the changes in the doctrines of the US military-political authorities. These changes have allowed the limited use of nuclear weapons. It is notable that, like in the case of other strategic stability topics, the Americans have once again alleged that it is the Russian doctrine that permits the limited use of nuclear weapons and escalation for the sake of de-escalation and victory. They have recently issued comments on our doctrines, claiming that there are some secret parts where all of this is stipulated. This is not true. Meanwhile, we can see that the United States has adopted a number of practical programmes to support their doctrines with military and technical capabilities. This concerns the creation of low-yield nuclear warheads. American experts and officials are openly discussing this.

In this context, we are especially alarmed by the Americans’ failure to reaffirm – for two years now – the fundamental principle that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that therefore it must never be unleashed. Early in the autumn of 2018, we submitted to the American side our written proposal that has been formulated as the confirmation of what People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinov and US President Franklin Roosevelt had coordinated and the notes they exchanged. We have reminded them about this proposal several times. They have replied that they are analysing it. Of course, we will raise the issue of the inadmissibility of fighting a nuclear war and winning it at the upcoming summit meeting of the five nuclear powers. It is important for our arguments to be no weaker than the arguments in the relevant Soviet-US documents. The slackening of these formulations has shown that the Americans would like to dilute the fact that there is no alternative to this principle and it cannot be repealed.

You have said that civil society is not paying sufficient attention to these threats, and I fully agree with you on this count. It is vital to attract public attention to this problem, to tell the people about the risks in understandable terms, because technicalities are often difficult to understand, and the form in which the analysis of this situation is presented to people is very important. Of course, we should count not only on official establishments but also on civil society and its politically active part – the NGOs and the academic and expert community.

I have said that I agree with you on this count, but I would also like to caution against going too far with raising public awareness of nuclear risks, so as not to play into the hands of those who want to prohibit all nuclear weapons and not to raise other concerns. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons openly contradicts the Non-Proliferation Treaty, creating confusion and problems. The necessary balance can be found with the help of top quality professionals, and I believe that we have more of them than any other country.

As for public sentiments, they do not always determine the reality. During the election campaign of US President Donald Trump, public sentiments were largely in tune with his declared plans and his calls for normalising Russian-US relations. Since then, the public has calmed down, and nobody is staging any riots over this matter.

Of course, it is vital to continue to interact directly with the nuclear powers and their authorities. We would like reasonable approaches to take priority.

You have mentioned that political consultations are underway between you, your colleagues and American experts. We appreciate this. Your contribution and assessments, as well as the information we receive following such consultations are taken into account and have a significant influence on the essence of our approaches, including in situations when we submit several alternatives to the leadership; this helps us analyse the possible scenarios and all their pros and cons.

The United States, as well as Britain and France, which are playing along with it, would like to limit the summit’s agenda to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. China sees this as an attempt to press through the idea of expanding the number of negotiating parties at the talks on nuclear weapons by one means or another. China has put forth its position on the idea of multilateral talks clearly and more than once. We respect this position. By the way, the Americans are clever at twisting things. They use only the parts of our statements and those of the Chinese that suit their position. The Chinese have said recently that they will join the arms control talks as soon as the Americans reduce their capability to the level of China’s arsenal. A day later, Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea announced that the United States welcomed China’s readiness to join the multilateral talks and invited Beijing to Vienna. The next round of Russian-US consultations at the level of experts will be held in late July, following on from the late June meeting between Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov and US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea, when the Americans made a show with Chinese flags. The Americans have once again stated publicly that they would like to invite the Chinese to Vienna but it would be better if Russia met with China before that so as to tell Beijing what Washington expects from it. I think everyone can see that this is impolite and undiplomatic. When we say that we proceed from the assumption that China is free to take whatever stand it deems necessary, it shows our respect for China’s position. I would like to add that the Americans have not put on paper anything of what they said about the need for transitioning to a multilateral format. Let them at least document what they have in mind. But they seem to be categorically averse to this.

We are ready to take part in multilateral talks, but it should be a voluntary and independent decision of everyone. Only voluntary participation can be effective.

None of the reservations are being taken into account. They say that Russia supports their call for multilateral talks. What do we hear when we add that multilateral talks must also include Britain and France? Special Envoy Billingslea didn’t blink when he said the other day in reply to a question about the possible involvement of Britain and France that they are sovereign states who are free to decide whether to join the talks or not, and that the United States will not make the decision for them. Why has it actually made the decision for China then?

Knowing the US negotiating party, I am not optimistic about the New START, for example, but it’s good that we have started talking. Sergey Ryabkov and Marshall Billingslea have agreed to set up three working groups within the framework of the process they are supervising. They will hold a meeting of the working group on space, nuclear and weapons transparency plus nuclear doctrines in Vienna between July 27 and 30. We’ll see what comes of it. We never refuse to talk, and we will try to make negotiations result-oriented.

Question: Extending the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is one of the critical items on the agenda of Russia-US relations, primarily in the sphere of arms control. If Russia fails to reach an agreement with Washington to renew this treaty before February 2021, what will it do next? If there’s a pause in the dialogue with Washington in the sphere of arms control, and if the treaty is not renewed, what will the arms control system become and will the multilateral formats that we are talking about now be possible in the future?

Sergey Lavrov: It appears that the United States has already decided not to renew this treaty. The fact that it insists that there’s no alternative to taking the deal to the trilateral format suggests that everything has been already decided. In addition to this, they want the latest Russian weapons to be part of the deal which, by and large, is nothing short of trying to force an open door. We told the Americans earlier on that when Avangard and Sarmat become fully deployed, they will be subject to the restrictions established by the treaty for as long as it remains valid. The other systems are new. They do not fit into the three categories covered by START-3, but we are ready to start talking about including the weapons that are not classical from the START-3 perspective in the discussion, of course, within the context of a principled discussion of all, without exceptions, variables that affect strategic stability that way or another. This includes missile defence, where we are now able to see that the once existing allegations that it was designed solely to stop the missile threat coming from Iran and North Korea, were lies. No one is even trying to bring this up anymore. Everything is being done solely in terms of containing Russia and China. Other factors include high-precision non-nuclear weapons known as a programme of instant global strike, openly promoted plans by the Americans and the French to launch weapons into space, the developments related to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and a number of other factors too. We are ready to discuss new weapons, but to do so not in order to humour someone or to respond to someone’s initiatives, but to really reduce the threat to global stability and security.

To this end, we need to look at all the things that create these threats, pushing us to create antidotes, as was the case with our hypersonic weapons, which were developed in response to the global deployment of the US missile defence system.

Speaking specifically about the START-3 Treaty, we need an extension as much as the Americans do. They see some kind of a game in our calls to extend it for five more years without any preconditions. Russia, they say, has modernised its entire nuclear arsenal, but we are just beginning the modernisation, so they want to “tie our hands.” This is absolutely not so. We need to extend the START-3 Treaty as much as the Americans. If they refuse to do so, we will not insist. We know and we firmly believe that we will be able to ensure our security in the long run, even in the absence of this treaty. I think it is premature to discuss our actions if this treaty expires without any further action, but we are indeed ready for any turn of events. If the renewal is turned down, our options may be different, but I can assure you that overall we will continue the dialogue with the United States on strategic issues and new weapons control tools based on the facts that underlie strategic stability, as I just mentioned.

With regard to the multilateral talks, we already said back in 2010, when we were signing START-3, that the signing of this treaty puts an end to the possibility for further bilateral reductions and that, talking about future reductions, I emphasise this term, we will need to take into account the arsenals of other nuclear powers and start looking for other forms of discussions, if we’re talking about reductions. If we are talking about control, I think the bilateral Russian-American track has far more to offer. Losing all forms of control and transparency would probably be an unreasonable and irresponsible thing to do in the face of our nations and other nations as well. I believe the fact that there’s a transparency group (this is a broad term that includes measures of trust and verification) among the Russian-American working groups which will be meeting in Vienna soon, is a good sign.

Question: The Eurasian countries regard Russia as a mainstay that can connect the EU and Asian countries. How do you see Russia’s role in this space?

Sergey Lavrov: The situation on the Eurasian continent is fully affected by almost all global factors. This is where a number of the most important world centres are located, including China, Russia, India and the European Union if we are talking about the continent as a whole. For various reasons, each of these actors is motivated to pursue a foreign policy independent from the United States. This includes the EU.

Calls for strategic autonomy extend to the development area as such. We in Eurasia feel the influence of forces that would like to put together interest-based blocs and try to introduce elements of confrontation into various processes. We increasingly see centripetal tendencies. I am referring to ASEAN in the east and the EU in the west of our continent.

Located in the centre is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Union. We would like to promote unifying, not divisive approaches in this space  and intensify trans-regional collaboration based on equality, mutual benefit, and most importantly, we would like to realise the obvious comparative advantages of cooperation on the continent via integration entities created in the West, East, and Centre, with respect for each of these unions and the search for natural forms of collaboration. This is the goal of what we call the Greater Eurasian Partnership that President Vladimir Putin suggested establishing at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi a few years ago. We think this is an absolutely realistic action plan.

Let me note parenthetically that there are opposing approaches. They are mostly promoted by the United States through so-called Indo-Pacific concepts aimed at undermining the central systematic role of ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. I am referring to an attempt to put together a group of countries that would openly – this is not even hidden – contain China’s development.

I would favour identifying points of contact among all integration processes. Of course, there is China’s Belt and Road concept. The EAEU has an agreement with China that includes identifying points of contact and the harmonisation of any project that will be implemented as part of Eurasian integration and China’s project. Of course, there is a clash of economic interests in a number of cases, but the sides’ willingness to be guided by international legal principles, respect for each other, and mutual benefit makes it possible to agree on these economic interests based on the search for balance. It is in this way that our relations with our EAEU partners, China within the SCO, and ASEAN, are built. We invite the European Union, as has been repeatedly stated, to consider how it can become part of the development of our common geopolitical and primarily geo-economic space with benefits for itself and for others.

Question: The Middle East and North Africa remain a troubled region. New divides continue to crop up there; the potential for conflict remains and the old conflicts that everyone knows about persist. The humanitarian situation is aggravated due to the West’s unfair sanctions against a certain part of the region. Various asymmetries are growing deeper. What are Russia’s strategic interests in the region today? What do we want to achieve there, given the post-COVID nature of the era we are now entering?

Sergey Lavrov: We have very good relations in this region, possibly the best in the history of relations between this country, in its various capacities, and the region. I mean relations with all sides: the Arab countries, regardless of the conflict potential within the Arab world, and Israel. We will proceed from the need to promote positive contact with all these countries and seek to understand their problems and needs, and take this into account in our relations not only with a specific country but also with the countries that this particular partner has problems with.

In the beginning, I was asked whether Russia was ready to perform as a balancing influence in relations between the United States and China. If they ask us to, if they are interested, we would not decline this. We have established contacts with both sides and our historical development record enables us to see that we have potential.

If there is interest in mediation services that we can offer in this region or elsewhere, we are always ready to try to help, but of course, we will not push ourselves on anyone. Our own interest is primarily in precluding new military crises and in settling old crises so that the Middle East and North Africa become a zone of peace and stability. Unlike certain major countries outside the region, we have no strategic interest in maintaining controlled chaos. We have no such interest whatsoever.

We are not interested in engineering head-on clashes between countries in the region so as to create a pretext and a motive for continuing, and sometimes expanding, our military presence there. We are interested in promoting mutually beneficial trade, economic, investment and other ties with these states. In this respect, we would not like any other country in the region to have the same fate as Libya, which was robbed of its statehood and now no one knows how to “sew it together.” This is why we will be actively involved in efforts to reestablish an international legal approach to avoid any further toothpowder-filled test tubes passed off as VX and lies about weapons of mass destruction in other countries in the region as is now happening in Syria. Some have already started talking about “undiscovered” chemical weapons in Libya. All of these are inventions. How they are concocted is no secret.

We would like to derive economic benefits from our relations with the countries in the region. For this, we primarily have much in common in our approaches to problems in the contemporary world: international law, the UN Charter, and inter-civilisational dialogue, something that is also important, considering the Muslim population in the Russian Federation. Russia’s Muslim republics maintain good ties with the Gulf countries and other countries in the Arab world. We would like to support and develop all this. We will not gain anything from the chaos that continues in the region. As soon as the situation stabilises, the Russian Federation’s reliability as a partner in economic cooperation, military-technical cooperation, and the political area will always ensure us important advantages.

Question: My question is related to the recent changes in Russia. The new wording of the Constitution, which has come into effect, includes a provision according to which any actions (with the exception of delimitation, demarcation and re-demarcation of the state border of the Russian Federation with adjacent states) aimed at alienating part of the Russian territory, as well as calls for such actions, shall be prohibited. This provision is understandable. This brings me to my question: Does this mean that our years-long talks with Japan on the so-called territorial dispute have become anti-constitutional because they contradict our Fundamental Law? As far as I recall, the terms “delimitation” and “demarcation” have never been applied to the Kuril Islands, or have they?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, you are spot on. Our relations with Japan are based on a number of agreements. The Russian Federation as the successor state of the Soviet Union has reaffirmed its commitment to all of the agreements signed by the Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin has confirmed this more than once. This includes the 1956 Declaration under which we are ready to discuss and are discussing with our Japanese colleagues the necessity of signing a peace treaty, but not a treaty that would have been signed the next day after the last shot, that is, immediately after the termination of the war, as some of our Japanese colleagues would like. The state of war between the Soviet Union and Japan was terminated by the 1956 Declaration, which provides for the end of the state of war and for the restoration of diplomatic relations. What else do we need? In other words, a peace treaty we are negotiating should be modern and comprehensive, and it should not reflect the situation of 60-70 years ago but the current state of affairs, when we believe that we should develop full-scale ties with Japan. This document must be essential and inclusive, that is, it should include issues of peace, friendship, neighbourliness, partnership and cooperation, and it should cover all spheres of our relations, including economic ties, which are improving but not in all economic sectors. It should be remembered that our Japanese neighbours have imposed sanctions on Russia, although they are not as all-embracing as the US restrictions, but anyway.

A peace treaty should also cover security topics, because Japan has a close military alliance with the United States, which has essentially declared Russia to be an enemy. Of course, a comprehensive peace treaty should also include our views on foreign policy interaction, where, to put it simply, we disagree on all disputable matters, as well as humanitarian and cultural ties and many other factors. We have offered a concept of such a treaty. Our Japanese colleagues have not responded to this concept so far.

It is clear that the outcome of WWII is the fundamental issue that should determine our relations. Japanese officials have stated more than once that they recognise the results of WWII excluding the decision concerning the South Kuril Islands, or the “Northern Territories,” as they say. This position contradicts the law. Japan’s position must be based on the fact that the country ratified the UN Charter, which essentially means that the actions taken by the winner countries with regard to the enemy countries are beyond discussion.

Of course, our Japanese neighbours keep saying that they would sign a peace treaty as soon as the territorial dispute is settled. This is not what we have agreed to do. We have agreed to focus on signing a peace treaty as stipulated in the 1956 Declaration.

Question: Russia often criticises the US for promoting non-inclusive associations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans to isolate “uncomfortable” states. I am primarily referring to the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad. Obviously, the very existence of such formats turns the region from a zone of cooperation into a zone of confrontation. We are certainly not interested in that. However, for all its minuses, the Quad concept is obviously finding understanding from Russia’s strategic partners, for instance, India. The Quad Plus project, where the US plans to invite Vietnam, our strategic partner as well, is also under discussion. Apparently, there is a need to enhance security in the region. Can Russia offer an alternative to such formats to prevent our two strategic partners from being in a position where they have to deter a third one?

Sergey Lavrov: I talked about the appearance of concepts and strategies on forming what US diplomats call “a free and open Indo-Pacific” several years ago. When some initiative calls itself free and open, I always have the impression that this includes a tinge of PR because how can it be called open if every state the region without exception is not invited to join?

When the term “Indo-Pacific strategies” appeared we inquired if they did not deal with the Asia-Pacific Region the contours of which are clear: the APEC, and the mechanisms that were established around ASEAN (the ASEAN regional security forum, the meeting of the ASEAN defence ministers and the partner countries, which is very important and, of course, the East Asia Summit (EAS), a forum that will be a decade old this year). We asked why the established term, Asia-Pacific Region, was replaced with this “Indo-Pacific strategies.” Does this mean that these strategies will embrace more countries, including all Indian Ocean coastal states? We received a negative answer. But what does “Indo” mean then? Will the Persian Gulf, which is part of the Indian Ocean, take part in the new format? We got a negative answer again. The Gulf has too many problems to be involved in these initiatives.

As for the ideas pursued by this Quad, as I have said, they are not really hiding them. These ideas come down to attempts to deter China. Our specially privileged partner India is fully aware of this. Pursuing its multi-vector policy, India is certainly interested in developing relations with the US (and who isn’t?), Japan and Australia. We are also interested in this. But India does not want to benefit from this cooperation at the price of further aggravating its relations with China. They had sad incidents on the Line of Actual Control but we welcome their immediate contacts between militaries, which are ongoing. They reached agreements on de-escalating tensions. Their politicians and diplomats also met. We can see that neither India nor China want their relations to get worse. Therefore, before talking seriously about Indo-Pacific strategies as a future for our large region, it is necessary to explain the choice of wording. If this was done to please India because of the Indian Ocean, just say so.

There are things that have already been established. I mentioned a diverse network of institutions and mechanisms around ASEAN. ASEAN brings together a group of countries that promote unifying approaches in the context of their civilisations and cultures. Everything is aimed at searching for consensus based on a balance of interests. For decades, the members have been absolutely content with developing relations in this venue with its regional security forum, defence minister meetings and East Asia Summits. There is even an expression: “ASEAN-way.” They always emphasise that they want to handle matters in “the ASEAN-way.” This means never to seek confrontation or launch projects that will create problems for other members. Regrettably, Indo-Pacific strategies may pursue different goals, at least under their initial concept.

In the beginning of our conversation, I mentioned the tough claims made by the US against China. They sound like an ultimatum. This is a mechanism for exerting and intensifying pressure. We do not see anything positive in this. Any problems must be resolved peacefully, through talks. Let me repeat that ASEAN is an ideal venue where every participant can discuss its problems with another member without polemics or tension. We are actively forming bridges with ASEAN (I mentioned the EAEU and the SCO). Their secretariats have already signed related memorandums. We will continue promoting ASEAN’s core role in the South Pacific Region.

We will only welcome Indo-Pacific strategies if they become more understandable, if we are convinced that they lean towards joining the ASEAN-led processes rather than try to undermine its role and redirect the dialogue against China or someone else. However, we are not seeing this so far.

Question: A week ago, experts were polled on US allegations that Russian military intelligence, the GRU, had offered rewards to the Taliban for killing US troops in Afghanistan. All of the analysts agree that the allegation could be rooted in domestic, primarily political reasons. Your subordinate, Special Presidential Representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov, has pointed out that one of the factions in the United States is against the planned troop withdrawal from Afghanistan because US security services have become deeply involved in the drug trade over the past few years. We have not asked you about this situation yet. What do you think about this uproar?

Sergey Lavrov: We have already responded to the hype in the United States over Russia’s alleged connection with the Taliban, who were allegedly financed to fight US troops and even offer bounties for the murder of American military personnel. I can only tell you once again that all this is a dirty speculation. No facts have been provided to prove anything. Moreover, responsible officials in the US administration, including the Secretary of Defence, have said that they know nothing about this.

These allegations fit in very well with the political fighting during an election year in the United States, as if they were invented – and it appears that this is so – for this purpose. The objective is to disgrace the US administration and to discredit everything it has been doing, especially with regard to Russia. I would like to repeat that there are no facts to prove these allegations. But there were facts in the late 1970s and 80s, when the US administration did not make a secret of helping the Mujahedeen, of supplying them with Stingers and other weapons, which they used against Soviet soldiers.

As I have said, we would like both Russia and the United States to draw lessons from the experience they have accumulated in that long-suffering country and to help launch an intra-Afghan dialogue together with the other countries that could help allay tensions there, primarily China, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan’s other neighbours. We have been working actively towards this end.

As for the United States, we have been acting within the framework of this political process under the agreements being advocated by the United States in its dialogue with the Taliban and the Afghan Government. We are using our channels to make these agreements possible. There is a mechanism for consultations between Russia, the United States and China, which Pakistan sometimes joins and to which Iran has been invited. However, Iran has not acted on the invitation because of its problems with the United States and the actions Washington has been taking against Iran around the world. These consultations are a mechanism for cooperation that is being used to define the spheres where signals could be sent to the sides. This is being done within the framework of the logic of the so-called Moscow format, which brings together all of Afghanistan’s neighbours without exception, as well as the United States, Russia and China. This is more than adequate.

Now, regarding Afghanistan’s drugs and the possible involvement of the US military in the drug business. We have received numerous reports, including through the media, according to which NATO aircraft are being used to smuggle Afghan opiates to other countries, including to Europe. The governors of the concerned Afghan provinces have stated more than once that unmarked helicopters are flying in the area. It should be noted that the sky over Afghanistan is controlled by the NATO coalition. Other reports have mentioned other forms of smuggling opiates.

Of course, we cannot verify such information to the dot, but it has been reported so regularly that we cannot ignore it. If combat aircraft were used in Afghanistan (as I mentioned, it could only be NATO aircraft), the flights could only be made by military or intelligence personnel. These circumstances should be investigated, first of all in the United States. The Americans have agencies that are in charge of monitoring compliance with American laws. Second, investigations should also be held in the country where military personnel are deployed, that is, Afghanistan. This is exactly what Zamir Kabulov said. By the way, established facts show that over the 20 years of the deployment of the US and other coalition members in Afghanistan the volume of drugs smuggled into other countries, including in Europe and our neighbours, as well as into Russia, has increased several times over. Neither the United States nor the other members of the NATO coalition are seriously fighting this drug business. By the way, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko noted in a recent report that there are opium poppy plantations right next to NATO bases. This is an established fact. And this is possibly not right from the viewpoint of the US stand on the drug business.

We have regularly tried to attract the UN Security Council’s attention to this issue when we listened to reports on NATO coalition operations in Afghanistan, and we also did this via bilateral channels when we urged our partners to combat the drug industry. They replied that the mandate of the NATO mission in Afghanistan did not include drugs, that it only stipulated counterterrorist activities. But it is a well-known fact that the drug business is used to finance terrorism and is the largest source of funds for terrorist organisations. You can reach your own conclusions. As I have pointed out, we take this problem very seriously.

QuestionA few hours after this meeting of the Primakov Readings is over, an extraordinary UN General Assembly session on combating the pandemic will begin at 10 am New York time. This session was convened by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). How important is this session? Who will represent Russia? Do you think the UN is late in responding to the pandemic? What do you think about the Non-Aligned Movement’s principles in these conditions?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, we are aware that a special session of the UN General Assembly on the subject of COVID-19 will be convened upon the initiative of the Non-Aligned Movement chaired by Azerbaijan this year. It will take place a little later. Today, on July 10, the procedural registration of the rules to be used for convening the session begins, since amid the coronavirus infection, all remotely held events are subject to coordination in terms of their organisational and procedural aspects. Only this matter will be discussed today. The date for convening the special session itself has not yet been determined.

I don’t think we have any reason to believe that the UN is slow or late in responding to the coronavirus infection challenges. The UN General Assembly met twice some time ago at an early stage of this situation. Two resolutions were adopted which were dedicated to the international community’s goals in fighting the coronavirus infection. Most recently, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on COVID-19. We were unable to do this for a long time because the Americans strongly opposed mentioning the role of the World Health Organisation in the document. Eventually, we found words that allowed us to mention this role and to ensure consensus approval.

Let us remember that the World Health Assembly, by the way, with the participation of the Americans, held a special session in May. The WHA adopted a resolution supported by the US in which the WHO’s role was objectively reflected. It was agreed at that session that as soon as the pandemic and all major programmes are completed, an international assessment of the lessons we learned from the WHO’s work in this area would be made, but without pointing a finger at anyone. It is an objective scientific evaluation of independent professionals.

Of course, the Non-Aligned Movement is our close partner. We are a guest country that is regularly invited to NAM summits and ministerial meetings in this capacity. This body was created in a wholly different historical context at the height of the Cold War, when the developing countries that formed this movement wanted to emphasise the principle of neutrality with respect for the two military blocs. Nevertheless, the Non-Aligned Movement remains a significant factor in international politics even after the Cold War. I think this is good, since the attempts to cobble up certain blocks again (we have already discussed this today) continue. It is important that this neutrality, non-commitment and focus on advancing the principles of international law be preserved at the core of NAM activities.

By the way, another NAM summit was held in Baku in October 2019. We attended it as a guest. Important joint statements were agreed upon. We confirmed our support for strengthening multipolarity in the international arena and respect for the UN Charter principles. NAM statements in support of Palestine and Bolivia were adopted as well. Back then, these were important topics. We are interested in seeing our status in NAM help us actively work on issues of common interest.

Question: Did Dmitry Kozak give an ultimatum at the talks on the Minsk agreements, telling Kiev to draft amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine on the special status of Donbass as soon as possible? If so, why has this demand become so tough only now that these agreements are already five years old?

Sergey Lavrov: There were no demands or ultimatums. Working as Normandy format advisors, the assistants of the four leaders that are part of our Contact Group, we are trying to ensure, in cooperation with the OSCE, the direct dialogue that Kiev is required to conduct with Donetsk and Lugansk. Conceptually, we are striving for only one goal – we are asking our Ukrainian partners to reaffirm their full commitment to the Minsk agreements as they were drafted, signed and approved by the UN Security Council. When we are told that Kiev is committed to the Minsk agreements but that it is necessary to first establish control of the Ukrainian Army and border guards over the entire border, this has nothing to do with the Minsk agreements. This is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. When we are told, at the top level, that the Minsk agreements must be preserved to continue the sanctions against Russia, we would like to know if Ukraine is primarily interested in these agreements because of the sanctions, why it signed them and whether it is still committed to what is written in them rather than this absolutely artificial and inadequate link with sanctions. The majority of EU members consider this link incoherent. This is an approach of principle. I talked with the foreign ministers of France and Germany. Mr Kozak spoke with his counterparts as well. We would like our French and German partners to continue to express their views about this as participants in the Normandy format. Every day, we hear Kiev’s official statements that simply discard the agreements that were reaffirmed by the UN Security Council after the talks in Minsk.

For all this, we continue to hold pragmatic conversation with a view to coordinating specific steps on promoting all aspects of the Minsk agreements: security, socio-economic, humanitarian and political issues. At the recent, fairly productive meeting of the leaders’ assistants of the Normandy format states, the participants reached a number of agreements on yet another detainee exchange, and the Contact Group’s security arrangements, including reconciliation of the texts of the orders that must be adopted by the parties to the conflict (Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk) and describe in detail the actions to be banned by these orders. These issues were agreed upon. The third negotiated item on the political agenda is the presentation by Ukraine of its vision of the document that will contain amendments to the Constitution to reflect the special status of Donbass fully in line with the Minsk agreements.

Understandings were reached in these three areas and were supposed to be formalised in the decisions of the Contact Group that ended its session the other day. In Minsk, the Ukrainian delegation disavowed everything that was agreed upon in Berlin. We noted this, and Deputy Chief of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak sent a related message to his colleagues. So, this is no surprise at all. We have always insisted that the Minsk agreements must be carried out in full and with the due succession of actions. It’s not that we are losing patience, but patience helps when there is a clear understanding of what comes next. President Vladimir Zelensky came to power under a slogan of quick peace in Donbass. However, at this point, we have no idea what the attitude of his administration is to the actions that must be taken under the Minsk agreements.

Question: Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton writes in his memoirs that US President Donald Trump was unhappy about the sanctions over Salisbury and Syria. Did you hear about this? Is the agreement with the US on the exchange of top level visits still valid? Is Russia’s participation in the extended G7 format being considered?

Sergey Lavrov: I haven’t read John Bolton’s memoirs but I’m familiar with some parts of his book. Clearly, Mr Bolton has his own view of Russia-US relations, the US mission in the world, and America’s vision of the world order and what it should be. Apparently, every author wants his or her book to sell well (and in America practically every person writes a book after serving in the government for one or two years). To achieve this, it is necessary to make it interesting, and “hot issues” are helpful in this respect. I’ll leave all this on the conscience of Mr Bolton: both his presentation of this material and the spicy and sensitive details. I’ll also leave on his conscience his obvious embellishment of US actions in different situations.

Nobody has signed any agreements on exchanging top level visits because such an agreement implies a certain date for a visit, and the name of the city and geographical location. But nobody is discounting the possibility of such meetings, either. We are willing to work with the Americans at all levels and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has good relations with US President Donald Trump. From time to time, I talk with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Our deputies also maintain a dialogue. So, if the Americans are interested, we do not see any obstacles. We don’t want our relations to be seen as some appendage to the election campaign and the tough actions taken by the sides as regards each other on the eve of the US election.

As for the G7, I think we have already said everything we wanted to say on this issue. Russia was a full member of the G8. The G8 did not meet in 2014 and not due to any action on our part. Our partners — Europe, North America and Japan — decided not to hold this event in full. This is their choice. President Vladimir Putin said in one of his comments that as before we will be happy to host the entire G8 in the Russian Federation. If our colleagues do not want this, love cannot be forced.

As for the G7, the list of countries invited to attend, as mentioned by US President Donald Trump, shows that the G7 can no longer accomplish much on its own. But even the countries that were mentioned will not make any radical change because the list is incomplete. We are convinced that the serious issues of the world and global finances can hardly be resolved effectively. Apparently, these reasons — the need to involve the main players in world financial, economic and commodity markets — have prompted the resumption and upgrade of activities in the G20. This is an inclusive mechanism that relies on consensus and the principles of equality. We believe the G20 format must obviously be preserved, encouraged and actively used if we want to talk about the underlying causes of current economic problems rather than their use in foreign policy disputes or any other sort of rhetoric.

Question: In Russia, they always say that they are ready to work with any president that is elected by the American people. Can you predict potential development of bilateral relations if former US Vice President Joe Biden wins? Do you think some analysts are correct in believing that he could revise some of President Donald Trump’s decisions, which do not benefit Russia, such as withdrawal from the INF Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty?

Sergey Lavrov: We do not comment on election campaigns. This is done by the media in all countries. The election campaign in the US is creating much interest in the entire world. This is understandable, but officially we proceed from the correct assumption that the choice of the head of state is up to the American people. This is a domestic US affair.

As for how this or that outcome might affect Russia-US relations, if we reason in a perfectly abstract way, we can quote some analysts that have commented on how this will influence disarmament talks. There is an opinion that is probably buttressed by some facts, that the Democrats are less prone than the Republicans to destroy the agreements on strategic stability and disarmament that had been reached over the past few decades. But we have not forgotten that a major anti-Russia campaign was launched during the Democratic administration of Barrack Obama. Many elements of this campaign, including sanctions, are now an element of bipartisan consensus. I don’t want to guess. This situation is unpredictable. Let me repeat, let the American people make their decision.

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights that is in charge, among other things, of monitoring elections, has conducted such monitoring remotely and distributed a report that was recently presented at the OSCE Permanent Council. The report contains many critical remarks about the correlation of election processes to American laws. I will not go into details. You can read this report yourself. But the report mentions, in particular, that for a variety of reasons at least 2 million US citizens are deprived of the right of the vote to which they are entitled by law. Interestingly, the report notes such a congenital defect in US election legislation, notably, a two-stage election process.

At first, people elect the Electoral College that later on chooses the president. The report also noted that the creation of the electoral districts is unfair to different ethnic groups. This is an indicative observation on behalf of the OSCE. We have spoken about this for a long time. I also recall that when Condoleezza Rice was US Secretary of State, she complained about our elections. I replied that if she had specific grievances, we had international and domestic observers and many other mechanisms and the entire process would be analysed. I reminded her that in the US a nominee can win a popular vote but a different candidate can be elected president because of different shares of votes in the electoral districts and the Electoral College. This is what happened in 2000 when the Florida votes were recounted for such a long time. Eventually, this process was stopped by the Supreme Court. George Bush Jr became US President and Alexander Gore accepted his defeat. Ms Rice told me then that they know this is a problem but this is their problem and they will settle it themselves. They probably will respond to the OSCE report in the same way.

As for the prospects and the projection of this or other decision on treaties, including the Open Skies Treaty, in line with the current schedule and its own announced decision on withdrawal, the US is supposed to end its participation in the treaty on November 22 or two and a half weeks after the election. No matter who becomes president, the new administration will assume its duties on January 20. Therefore, this decision will not likely be revised if the treaty expires. If the new administration, Democratic or Republican, decides to return to the treaty, the talks will have to be started from scratch. Therefore, at the extraordinary conference of the signatories of the Open Skies Treaty that was held online on July 6 of this year, we urged all remaining parties to the treaty to try and preserve it. We are prepared to continue with it but will take our final decision on whether we should remain part of it after analysing all consequences of the US decision on withdrawing from it, that is unlikely to be revised. It is final and irreversible as we are seeing, in my opinion. This is also confirmed by what happened with the INF Treaty. The decision was announced. This was followed by attempts at persuading them to keep it but to no avail.

But let me return to what I said in replying to one of the questions. We are ready for a situation where nothing will be left of arms control due to the US’s persistent line to throw all of these agreements out. But we are also prepared not to start from scratch but continue our contacts with the Americans on all strategic stability issues. I am confident that all members of the international community will support this approach. That said, we will keep the door open for multilateral talks as well. Let me repeat that these talks must rely on common understanding, voluntary participation and a balanced lineup of participants.

The implications of declining U.S. leadership

By Mahmood Monshipouri

June 5, 2020 – 20:14

The Trump administration’s ongoing policy of withdrawal from international institutions—including the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the 2016 Paris Climate Change Accord, the Open Skies Treaty, and now the World Health Organization (WHO) in the middle of the greatest global health crisis—demonstrates the declining U.S. leadership ever since the post-World War II order was created.  This latest move is made at a time when the world relies heavily on the WHO’s leadership to steer the COVID-19 pandemic response.  

While as recently as two months ago praising China in the hope of salvaging bilateral trade ties between the two countries, Trump has now turned against China and the WHO.  The latter has been instrumental in managing and treating the worldwide spread of malaria, tuberculosis, SARS, HIV-AIDS, and other infectious and non-communicable diseases.  Trump’s recent announcement (May 29, 2020) to permanently end the U.S. contribution to the WHO, and even to withdraw U.S. membership, is yet another attempt to distract the public from his mishandling of the current coronavirus crisis—a move that will lead to further global U.S. isolation, ironically putting China in a much stronger position to influence that organization’s  policies.
      “Trump’s policies have been consistently unsuccessful both at home and abroad.”     
Over its more than seventy-year life, since its inception in 1948 within the UN framework, the WHO has had major achievements, such as eradicating smallpox, and failures, such as its sluggish reaction to the Ebola outbreak in 2014.  On balance, however, the World Health Organization’s raison d’être has never been called into question.  The significance of the organization will be amplified when and if a second wave of the coronavirus returns, again posing an existential threat to all the countries around the world.   Second waves have a history of striking back even harder than the initial outbreak, as was the case for the 1918 Spanish flue pandemic.
What does the U.S. withdrawal from this organization mean?  It means, among other things, that the United States is retreating from its global leadership role—morally and from the standpoint of its soft power.  On both accounts, the Trump administration’s unilateral approach has dramatically undercut the ability of the United States to influence the behavior of other states through the attractiveness of its culture and the persuasiveness of its policies.  The U.S. withdrawal from the WHO will further accelerate the ongoing decline in the perceived competence of the United States to effectively address new global challenges.  Most ominously, however, this development is likely to fuel a great-power discord between China and the United States, dehumanizing the former while damaging the long-term relationship between the two countries.
To fully understand the implication of the U.S. withdrawal from the WHO, one needs to note that the WHO relies on assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.  In 2019, according to one study, the United States provided the WHO an estimated $419 million, representing roughly 15 percent of the World Health Organization’s total revenue over its current two-year budget period.  This move will most likely delay the discovery phase as well as clinical trials necessary to develop a global vaccine.  Perhaps, more importantly, this decision will weaken the effectiveness of the organization and the broader cooperation among countries to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic around the word.
“Instead of healing the wounds of racial and systemic discrimination and police brutality, Trump’s rhetoric, tweets, and public gestures have deepened the divides in an already polarized nation, significantly diminishing trust in his leadership skills and damaging his populist image beyond repair. “
Trump has ceaselessly harkened back to his outdated notions of building walls and imposing travel bans in pursuit of his populist policies at a time when the stakes have never been higher.  All of this flies in the face of the clear lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 crisis that the virus knows no boundaries and that walls and borders cannot separate one nation’s public health and safety from those of others.  Needless to say that a virus anywhere is potentially a virus everywhere in a world that has become increasingly globalized, hence the need for collaborative, multilateral governance.  Trump’s claim that virus is “going away very soon” runs counter to the growing spike in confirmed cases around the world.
Furthermore, Trump’s disregard for the detrimental effects of climate change, as well as his policies reversing pollution standards, have exacerbated the deleterious effects not only on environmental sustainability but also, more subtly, on human sustainability.  Earth scientists remind us that humans are altering the environment at a much quicker pace than at any other time in history, a fact that has contributed to the evolution, the mutation, and the spread of all types of viruses.  Human encroachment into animal habitats—consider, for example, how deforestation and forest degradation have contributed to global warming—has created further contact between humans and animals, rendering disease transmission more likely than ever before.At home, Trump’s mishandling of nationwide and global protests over the death of George Floyd—an African-American man who died at the hands of a white police officer while still in custody—was on vivid display on the Internet, as captured on several bystanders’ smartphones.  The incident has dramatically weakened Trump’s presidency, is likely to defang his entourage, and could possibly demoralize the riot police in the face of widespread national and global protests.  The nationwide and racially diverse protests, dominated by youth and vibrant civil society movements, have captured the world’s imagination, while posing the most serious challenge to the Trump administration.  Instead of healing the wounds of racial and systemic discrimination and police brutality, Trump’s rhetoric, tweets, and public gestures have deepened the divides in an already polarized nation, significantly diminishing trust in his leadership skills and damaging his populist image beyond repair.  The result has been obvious: Trump’s policies have been consistently unsuccessful both at home and abroad.           

Mahmood Monshipouri, Ph.D., is a professor of international relations at San Francisco State University and a lecturer at UC-Berkeley. He is the editor, most recently, of Why Human Rights Still Matter in Contemporary Global Affairs. (mmonship@sfsu.edu and mmonship@berkeley.edu) 

Waiter, I’ll have the soup of the day followed by the vaccine

Waiter, I’ll have the soup of the day followed by the vaccine

May 27, 2020

by Denis Conroy for The Saker Blog

Statistics suggest that one and a half billion day-labourers throughout the world need work to avoid starvation. This fact suggests that clarity of mind may only exist apropos of external conditions. This thought of itself suggests that man’s inhumanity to man is really a war on human rights. Clarity of mind may be the ace in the pack, but the problem is, the pack is rigged.

Watching Donald Trump respond to the Covid-19 enables us to observe just how myopic the American way of doing business is, especially when their idea of ‘progress’ is interrupted. When the twin prongs of capitalism, investment and expediency were curtailed by the novel Covid-19 virus, and the music faltered, the ‘establishment’ honchos quickly sought to place their fat arses on seats paid for by tax-payers’ money as the game of musical-chairs came to an abrupt halt. Under cover of institutional privilege, the wily controllers of external conditions were quick to consolidate their advantage.

Adherents of the house-of-cards economy, a system designed for elites to engorge themselves at the expense of main street took fright when the mechanics of their Ponzi scheme began to splutter under the pressure of the pandemic. Soon afterwards, a forlorn sense of angst began to pervade the zeitgeist. An unknown force was interfering with the ‘norm’.

What followed from this point onwards was a babble-fest conducted by inhouse-gurus of the institutional-stripe who quickly appeared at centre stage like marionettes competing for a Nobel Prize in atonal gibberish. Their pronouncements concerning the nature of something that would only be understood in hindsight or through ongoing research made little sense, but such is the role of the marionette.

In the heat of the Covid-19 moment, institutional bodies that normally underpin the status quo were seriously challenged by the social dimensions of the pandemic. Instead of a unified or clarified front we observed a host of snide internecine tensions emerge to fuel political division as well as giving crackpottery free rein. The burden of proof had become the meat in the political sandwich. For we (the masses) who had been relegated to the role of mere spectator, the deep-state was seen for what it really was, a collection of inept coterie-managed institutions now successfully privatised and without any real connection to the public domain. Authoritarianism was having a field day.

What the pandemic has taught me to date is that there is no deep state. Power, it would seem, needs spokespersons, and institutions meet this need by providing honchos to personalise the hobby horses that they have taken charge of ; think church, royalty, the ‘defence’ department, banks (Bank of International Settlements?), The New York Times, Disneyland, Donald Trump, Monarchy, etc. etc. etc…and one notices that the only thing they have in common is that they provide services that have surface value.

Therefore, the realization that surface values…known knowns…were being used as pugnacious tools when dealing with scientific facts relating to Covid-19 had me reaching for the whisky bottle.

What has kept Donald Trump’s quiff (well-stuck) from blowing in the wind is the institutional glue that keeps American mythology alive and unwell…a vapid narrative born of a need to keep the scales of injustice tilted toward protecting its own predatory appetites…a congenital aberration peculiar to unfettered capitalism perhaps?

Hence the myopic messages endlessly militating for more of the same for the purpose of keeping alternative flavours at bay… Trump declares churches ‘essential’ (Evangelical Christians et al?) and calls on them to reopen. But alas, open and reopen are merely extensions of Trump’s interpretation of what is ‘essential’. In his mind, ‘essential’, it would seem, means doing the sort of deals that keep the status quo buoyant for the privateers.

Nevertheless, when it comes to motivation, this great twit is not without a high degree of artistry. He has brought new meaning to the expression ‘out of sight, but not out of mind’, and he does it very well…embarrassingly well!

Bewitched by the voodoo of contemporary Neo-con economics, Trump’s essentiality can be best understood in terms of business motivation separated from conscience or science. He is a child of his time who tweets a story based on lies, cheating and widespread corruption which is frequently criminal as well. He has managed to ensconce himself as titular head of a business-as-usual culture that bailed out the corrupt banks in 2008 …$4.6 trillion have already been paid out…and the farce continues as structural change is blocked at every turn by means most queer! He is of a class of people who are there to prove that economics is not a science.

But stranger than strange, it could be the case that Covid-19 has the power to affect the national (or personal) psyche. As psychic reality ultimately possesses the power to temper thought, this phenomenon has the capacity to deal with the restructuring of systemic issues. That we have become used to accepting co-adjustments relating to our wellbeing per hefty amounts of bureaucratic verbiage, it does not exclude the fact that this pandemic has the potential for us to re-prioritize adjustments.

A more worrisome aspect…here in Australia…is the fact that the Covid-19 has become a ‘for-profit’ issue, and the best way of getting into the action is to get behind the guy with the biggest stick. Trump as world sheriff has deputised our lacklustre prime minister for the purpose of weaponizing the Covid-19 issue with the intention of whacking-a-mole (a yellow-peril mole as is the case down here) because it is becoming ever more proficient in ways that suggest the emergence of a culture that is capable of producing an improved world order…ScoMo, our great leader wants all us boy and girl scouts to get behind this ‘deal’ … I can almost hear his deft fingers knead the national psyche from my place in lockdown.

And while in lockdown, my thoughts now focus on what a nightmare might look like in the mind of Donald Trump…or for many Americans for that matter. Trump the child screaming his way out of a bad dream and his mother rushing in to comfort him. He, telling her that he had an awful dream. He, having dreamed that peace had broken-out across the world. He, saying to his mother, “But mum, no more weapons of mass destruction sales to Saudi Arabia or our other allies”, and she, his mother saying, while attempting to comfort him, “shush dear boy, America would never allow that to happen, now go back to sleep, everything will stay the same my dear child, the world outside is evil and it needs to be bombed. Bombing is how America sleepwalks through time.”

While the above reverie occurred in lockdown, another troubling thought quickly followed on its coattails. What is it in the American constitution (culture) or psyche that enables the general public to myopically sustain belief in their ‘democracy’ in spite of the fact that their use of excessive military force throughout the globe is there for all to see. Has horror been normalized?

As much of the world observes how America has become possessed of a pathology wherein sadism and paranoia define the inhumane hubris that MAGA lauds, a vulgar complacency now conceals what John Steinbeck’s Ethan felt in “The Winter of Our Discount”(published in 1961)…a parabolic reality wherein the main character Ethan is surrounded and influenced by family and friends who urge him to be less honest, abandon integrity, take bribes because anything else is futile in a corrupt society…restore the status of the family by any means!

And corruption breeds contradictions. Here in Australia one can still encounter the spirit of what the average Oz calls ‘a fair go’…but for how long will it last if American corruption continues to spill-over into Australia. Our Prime Minister ( ScoMo) is a political clone and devotee of Neo-con economics…a blinkered pallbearer dutifully shouldering the demise of colonial grandeur…a functionary on a mission to nowhere who finds it impossible to reimagine a genuinely independent Australia.

No doubt there are difficulties here as elsewhere, but until the spirit of young Australian awareness comes to the rescue, we are likely to continue to elect the usual idiomatic pageboys of last resort. After all, Australia is no longer a white-sliced-inbred Anglo culture strutting the stage with pin-striped aplomb to impress the natives. We have become a diverse society in spite of the White Australia Policy that once-was.

So, the times are a ’changing and the Covid-19 is a kind of mirror held up to reality. What we see when we peer into the mirror is a redundancy which makes us wonder at the ineptness of Western leadership. The Covid-19 itself being a mirror that discloses the fact that power in the hands of charlatans is power wasted.

So, when we hear people talk about a return to normalcy, we are left wondering whose interpretation of the norm is relevant. Clearly, the political honchos are marching to a different drum beat and the Pentagon is there to keep it that way.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

Minister Lavrov’s Remarks on Conflict Between the US & China

May 18, 2020

From Wuhan to Baghdad with Trump and Bush

Source

May 11, 2020  

by Lawrence Davidson

I have been writing these analyses for ten years. Really not a great amount of time, but enough that you see leaders ignorantly repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. You also notice that most of the media, and almost all of the citizenry, appear not to notice the repetitions. Just such a rerun is now playing itself out. 

Part I—Covid-19 and the Wuhan Lab Claim

According to a New York Times (NYT) article, President Trump and his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have begun pressuring the U.S. government’s intelligence agencies to come up with evidence that the Covid-19 virus originated in a Chinese lab in Wuhan—specifically, that city’s Institute of Virology. 

Let’s state up front that there is no reliable evidence that this is the case. As the NYT puts it, “Most intelligence agencies remain skeptical that conclusive evidence of a link to a lab can be found, and scientists who have studied the genetics of the coronavirus say that the overwhelming probability is that it leapt from animal to human in a non-laboratory setting, as was the case with H.I.V., Ebola and SARS.” This is also the opinion of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s own top infectious disease expert. 

Alas, this is not what the Trump-Pompeo duet wants, or needs, to hear. What they want and need is something to support their already stated position that the Covid-19 virus is a “Chinese virus.” Thus, Trump told a reporter on 30 April that, while there were many theories about how the virus originated, he took the Wuhan lab contention seriously. He claimed that he had personally seen “intelligence that supported the idea” and that “we have people looking at it very, very strongly. Scientific people, intelligence people and others.” He then stated that he was “not allowed” to share the intelligence. Pompeo followed up in a 3 May ABC interview by describing the evidence as “enormous.”

It has also become apparent that Trump would like to tie the World Health Organization (WHO) into the Wuhan lab theory. “Administration officials had directed intelligence agencies to try to determine whether China and the World Health Organization hid information early on about the outbreak.” This seems to be the result of the president’s personal dislike of the WHO. He believes it has praised China’s fight against the pandemic more strongly than his own quasi-efforts. So annoyed has he become that he cut off U.S. aid to the organization in the midst of its fight against Covid-19—an almost universally condemned act. 

In the end Trump seems to think that nothing less than evidence supporting the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory will help shift popular attention away from his own abysmal failure to react to the pandemic in a timely fashion. So it doesn’t matter if the president is corrupting the intelligence agencies for personal political advantage, or that “the odds are astronomical against a lab release as opposed to an event in nature.” That is the state of our knowledge according to assessments based on science. What the president is demanding is a world that accords with his personal needs. It’s the latter he expects the intelligence agencies to serve. 

Part II— Nuclear Weapons in Iraq Claim

Where have we heard this sort of demand before? Well, how about during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq?

Back in late 2002 and early 2003, George W. Bush was planning an invasion of Iraq. His public reason for doing so was the assertion that the country’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, was on the verge of developing nuclear weapons. The real reason went beyond that charge and involved a long-range plan for “regime change” in the Middle East—a thoroughly implausible goal. However, Bush’s initial, obsessive need was a way to rally the American people behind his planned war. Why Iraq? Bush seems to have had a hate-filled preoccupation with Saddam Hussein and a desire to finish the job his father began with the First Gulf War. Or, maybe, as he claimed, it was because God told him to do it

At first he tried to connect Saddam Hussein to the 11 September 2001 attacks on the U.S. Though he never gave up on that stratagem, the lack of evidence made it difficult to shift popular attention, already fixated on Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan, onto Saddam Hussein and Baghdad. However, the nuclear weapons gambit appeared to have more potential, not because there was any hard evidence for the charge, but because supposedly reliable witnesses, in the persons of mendacious exiled anti-Saddam Iraqis, kept whispering to Bush and others in the administration that the nuclear story was true.

So, what we had was (1) a U.S. leadership cadre who were itching to revolutionize the Middle East, (2) informants who, in order to precipitate the overthrow of Saddam, were willing to tell the tale of alleged atomic weapons, and (3) a president with enough of a personal grudge against Saddam to use anything in support of his desire to invade Iraq.

Bush proceeded to put pressure on the U.S. intelligence agencies to find evidence for the nuclear weapons claim. In essence, this pressure threatened to politicize and contaminate the White House’s normal source of intelligence. When the CIA and its military counterpart, the Defense Intelligence Agency, did not come through in this regard, Bush went so far as to create a shadow operation: the “Office of Special Plans (OSP),” staffed mainly by rightwing amateurs, to find him a nuclear “smoking gun” that would justify invasion.

Simultaneously, the U.S. insisted that the United Nations send in arms inspectors to scour Iraq for evidence of a nuclear weapons program. None of this resulted in the required evidence. This so frustrated President Bush that on 19 March 2003 he launched the invasion of Iraq without any proven reason to do so. This, by the way, constituted a war crime under international law. The president did have the expectation that, once in occupation of the country, American troops would surely find those nukes. They did not. 

Bush ended up blaming his appalling mistake, which led to the death and injury of tens of thousands, on “faulty intelligence.” He never admitted that the intelligence at fault was his own. 

Part III—Conclusion

What do Donald Trump and George W. Bush have in common? They are both know-nothing Republican leaders. (You can get Democrats like this too. They are just less common.) They are know-nothing in the sense that neither of them know the difference between their own desires and objective reality. If Trump needs a Wuhan lab to shift blame from his own failings, then there must be a lab out there and it is the job of the intelligence agencies to find it. If George W. Bush needs Iraqi nuclear weapons to justify his obsessive desire to invade that country and depose Saddam Hussein, then they must be out there and it is the job of the intelligence agencies to find them. Both Bush and Trump, and a whole lot of their staff, were/are caught up in delusions. And, tragically, they both had/have the power to spread their respective delusion, like a “virus,” to large segments of a historically ignorant American public. 

Now, if this writer can recognize the similarity between these two men and brand the connecting events described here for the delusional episodes they are, you would think that at least some of the media folks bringing us the “news” could do so as well. And maybe in the privacy of their offices and studies they do see the connection and its dire potential. But they are having a hard time translating that into public knowledge. One can only wonder why! As long as that is the case, most of the general public, focused on their local affairs, will not be able to recognize the danger such irresponsible behavior represents, and will once more be dragged along in whatever perilous direction their present muddled leaders take them. 

Lawrence DAVIDSON | West Chester University, Pennsylvania ...

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

نتائج حرب كورونا… هل تسرع أفول عصر الإمبراطورية الأميركية

حسن حردان

تزداد المؤشرات التي تؤكد أن نتائج حرب كورونا العالمية سوف تسرع من التحولات في العالم التي بدأت قبل ظهور جائحة كورونا، وتجلت في التغيّر الحاصل في موازين القوى العالمية، وتراجع وانحسار نظام الهيمنة الأميركي الأحادي القطب. ما هي المعطيات والوقائع التي تدلل على ذلك؟

أولاً، من المعروف أن نتائج الحرب العالمية الثانية أسفرت عن أفول الإمبراطورية البريطانية التي كانت الشمس لا تغيب عن مستعمراتها، وإسدال الستار على نظام دولي قديم، لمصلحة ولادة نظام عالمي جديد ثنائي القطب.. كتلة شرقية بقيادة الاتحاد السوفياتي، وكتلة غربية بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، استمر هذا النظام العالمي حتى انتهاء الحرب الباردة وتفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي لمصلحة هيمنة الولايات المتحدة على النظام الدولي وولادة نظام القطب الأوحد.

ثانياً، كان لدى كبار الخبراء الاستراتيجيين قناعة بأن نظام القطب الأوحد لا يمكن أن يستمر على قاعدة الهيمنة الأميركية، لأن مثل هذا النظام يؤدي إلى استفزاز الدول الكبرى والإقليمية التي ستعمد إلى التكتل للدفاع عن مصالحها التي تتجاهلها الولايات المتحدة.. وهو ما حصل فعلا.. فبعد أن استعادت توازنها، سارعت روسيا بالتعاون مع الصين إلى تشكيل منظمة شنغهاي التي تضم إليهما، الهند، طاجيكستان، قيرغيزستان، كازاخستان وأوزبكستان، باكستان، فيما حصلت أربع دول اخرى على صفة مراقب فيها، وهي.. إيران، منغوليا، أفغانستان وبيلاروسيا.. وقد نجحت هذه المنظمة في تطوير العلاقات الاقتصادية فيما بين أعضائها وتشكيل قوة اقتصادية عالمية في مواجهة القوة الأميركية الغربية، وكان من أبرز ما سعت إليه المنظمة العمل على وضع حد لنظام الهيمنة الأحادي القطب، والدفع لإنشاء نظام دولي متعدد الأقطاب.. وكان من أهم القرارات التي اتخذتها المنظمة مؤخراً في هذا السياق، قرار اعتماد العملات المحلية الوطنية في التبادل التجاري والاستثمار الثنائي وإصدار سندات، بدلاً من الدولار الأميركي الأمر الذي اعتبر نهاية لعقود طويلة من الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم في التجارة والذهب والتعاملات النفطية.

ثالثاً، منذ عام 2001 وعلى إثر هجمات 11 أيلول التي استهدفت برجي التجارة العالمية في نيويورك، أقدمت واشنطن، وتحت عنوان محاربة الإرهاب، على شن الحرب على أفغانستان واحتلالها، ثم شنت الحرب على العراق واحتلته، لكن الهدف الحقيقي من وراء هذه الحرب السيطرة على أهم احتياطات النفط والغاز في العراق وآسيا الوسطى وطرق إمداد الطاقة من أجل التحكم بالقرار الاقتصادي العالمي ومحاصرة روسيا والصين وتقويض جهودهما لإقامة نظام دولي متعدد الأقطاب بديلاً عن نظام الهيمنة الأمريكي الاحادي.. غير أن الولايات المتحدة فشلت في تحقيق أهدافها المذكورة، نتيجة المقاومة الشعبية والمسلحة التي استنزفت قواتها المحتلة في العراق وافغانستان..وجعلت احتلالها مكلفاً مادياً وبشرياً، فاضطرت واشنطن إلى الانسحاب من العراق عام 2011، وتقليص عديد قواتها في أفغانستان إلى أن عقدت مؤخراً اتفاقاً مع حركة طالبان يقضي بسحب قواتها المتبقية من افغانستان.. في حين أن العدوان الصهيوني على لبنان عان 2006 للقضاء على المقاومة، وحروبها الإرهابية غير المباشرة التي شنتها ضد سورية والعراق فشلت هي الأخرى في محاولة التعويض عن الهزائم الأمريكية العسكرية، وإعادة تعويم مشروع الهيمنة الأميركي الاحادي في المنطقة والعالم.. وكانت النتيجة أن بدأت تولد من انتصارات سورية، وبدعم من حلفائها في محور المقاومة وروسيا، معادلات وموازين قوى جديدة، دولية واقليمية، في مواجهة القوة الأميركية..

رابعاً، في وقت كان العالم ينتظر أن تترجم معادلات وموازين القوى الدولية والإقليمية سياسياً، وأن تسلم الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بهذه المعادلات، بعد وصول دونالد ترامب إلى البيت الأبيض، عادت واشنطن من جديد إلى مواصلة سياسة الهيمنة، بضغط من المحافظين الجدد واللوبي الصهيوني الأميركي في الولايات المتحدة، وذلك عبر استخدام اخر سلاح متبقي بجعبتها وهو سلاح الهيمنة على القرار المالي الدولي بوساطة الدولار، فلجأت إلى رفد الحصار الاقتصادي الذي تنفذه واشنطن ضد الدول التي ترفض هيمنتها، وضد حركات المقاومة، بحصار مالي يمنع اي تحويلات او تعاملات بالدولار مع إيران وسورية، وعن كل مؤسسة أو شخصية تتعامل او لها صلة بحركات المقاومة في فلسطين المحتلة ولبنان واليمن.. إلخ..

خامساً، راهنت إدارة العدوان في واشنطن على سلاح الحصار الاقتصادي والمالي لتحقيق ما عجزت فيه حروبها العسكرية المباشرة وحروبها الإرهابية بالوكالة، وعمدت إلى تغذية تحركات اجتماعية ومطلبية في لبنان والعراق في محاولة لتغيير المعادلات السياسية في البلدين بإقصاء قوى المقاومة وحلفائهم عن السلطة.. لكنها اصطدمت بموازين قوى وصمود قوى المقاومة، وترافق ذلك مع ظهور فايروس كورونا الذي اجتاح دول العالم دون استثناء، ما أدى إلى شلّ الاقتصاد العالمي وحركة المواصلات وبالتالي احداث ركود اقتصادي عالمي يذكر بأزمة 1929.. وقد أسفر ذلك عن خسائر اقتصادية بمئات المليارات من الدولارات وإفلاس الشركات، وعشرات ملايين العاطلين عن العمل، وزاد الطين بلة، انهيار اسعار النفط إلى نحو 20 دولار للبرميل، ما تسبب بتفاقم أزمات الدول التي تعتمد في مداخيلها بشكل أساسي على عائدات النفط مثل السعودية. وكان واضحاً أن الولايات المتحدة كانت الأكثر تضرراً اقتصادياً ومالياً واجتماعياً بسبب انتشار الفايروس فيها على نطاق واسع بسبب استهتار واستخفاف ترامب منذ البداية بخطر فايروس كورونا..

لقد فاقمت هذه الأزمات الناتجة عن جائحة كورونا، الأزمات التي تعاني منها أميركا أصلاً بفعل تكاليف حروبها الفاشلة في العراق وافغانستان، وأدت إلى تلاشي كل المكتسبات الاقتصادية التي حققها ترامب باعتماد سياسة تدعم الاقتصاد الأميركي في الداخل وابتزاز دول العالم، لا سيما السعودية بالحصول منها على مئات مليارات الدولارات التي اسهمت في إنعاش الاقتصاد الأميركي وتوفير فرص العمل للعاطلين.. وبات ترامب اليوم في وضع صعب عشية الانتخابات الرئاسية يعاني تراجع شعبيته، ويزيد من أزمته فقدانه إمكانية الحصول على المال من السعودية لأن الأخيرة باتت تعاني من عجز كبير في موازنتها، بعد انهيار أسعار النفط وتوقف مواسم الحج والعمرة بسبب كورونا، والتكاليف الباهظة لحرب اليمن.. وهو ما دفع الحكومة السعودية إلى البحث عن الاستدانة لمعالجة العجز في موازنتها والمبالغ نحو 50 بالمئة .. أمام هذا الواقع اضطر ترامب إلى العودة لإحياء شعاره الانتخابي أميركا أولاً، والعمل على تقليص نفقات بلاده في الخارج إن كان لدول أو منظمات دولية، ولأن ذلك لا يكفي لمواجهة الأزمة الناشئة عن حرب كورونا، قرر القيام بتقليص وجود القوات الأميركية في الخارج لخفض النفقات، وفي السياق سحب ترامب بطاريات باتريوت من السعودية، وقرر خفض مستوى التوتر مع إيران، والقول إن وجود قواته في سورية يقترب من الصفر، في وقت كشف النقاب عن اتصالات أميريكية مع روسيا بشأن الحل السياسي للأزمة..

انطلاقاً مما تقدم يمكن القول إن نتائج حرب كورونا سوف تؤدي إلى تسريع أفول عصر الإمبراطورية الأميركية، وإسدال الستار على نظام القطب الأوحد، لمصلحة التعجيل بولادة نظام عالمي متعدّد الأقطاب، لا سيما أن أميركا ظهرت في ظل مواجهة كورونا، دولة عاجزة عن التصدي للأزمة، وغير قادرة على لعب دور عالمي، فيما الصين تقدمت بدلاً منها ولعبت هذا الدور، وهي مرشحة لأن تخرج من هذه الحرب العالمية، الدولة الأقوى اقتصاديا والتي تملك القدرات على النهوض بالاقتصاد العالمي، في وقت تحتاج فيه أميركا للمساعدة، وهو الأمر الذي يذكر بما حصل بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية عندما خرجت أميركا من الحرب أقوى دولة على المستوى الاقتصادي وقامت بمساعدة أوروبا في إعادة إعمارها في إطار مشروع مارشال.. فالصين اليوم تحلّ مكان أميركا، وما يؤكد ذلك سرعة سيطرتها على فايروس كورونا، وعودة آلتها الإنتاجية للعمل وتسجيلها معدلات نمو 3.5 بالمئة في الشهرين الأخيرين، فيما اقتصاديات أميركا والغرب وغيرها من الدول تعاني من الركود والنمو السلبي بين 7 و9 في المئة تحت الصفر..

China refutes ‘two dozen lies’ by US politicians over COVID-19 pandemic

May 10, 2020 

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo taken on February 23, 2017 shows Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan. (Photo by AFP)
China refutes 'two dozen lies' by US politicians over COVID-19 pandemic

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an article has strongly refuted two dozen “preposterous allegations” and “false claims” by some leading US politicians over its handling of the new coronavirus outbreak.

The 30-page article posted on the ministry’s website on Saturday night rebutted 24 untrue claims from the US, including calling the novel coronavirus “the Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” and claims that the Wuhan Institute of Virology created the virus.

The article said that all evidence shows the virus is not man-made and that the institute is not capable of synthesizing a new coronavirus.

Rejecting suggestions by US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the new coronavirus should be called the “Chinese virus”, the article cited documents from the World Health Organization (WHO) to say the name of a virus should not be country-specific.

It also roundly rejected accusations by US politicians, especially Pompeo, that China had withheld information about the new coronavirus.

The piece of writing cited media reports that said Americans had been infected with the virus before the first case was confirmed in Wuhan.

The article provided a timeline of how China had provided information to the international community in a “timely”, “open and transparent” manner to rebuke US suggestions that it had been slow to sound the alarm.

The article repeated and expanded on the refutations made during the press briefings, and began by invoking Abraham Lincoln, the 19th century US president.

“As Lincoln said, you can fool some of the people all the time and fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” it said in the prologue.

It rejected Western criticism of Beijing’s handling of the case of Li Wenliang, a 34-year-old doctor who had tried to raise the alarm over the outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan.

His death from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, prompted an outpouring of grief and was later named among “martyrs” mourned by China.

The ministry article said Li was not a “whistle-blower” and he was never arrested, contrary to many Western reports.

Trump has described the coronavirus pandemic as the worst attack ever on his country while pointing the finger at China, saying the outbreak has hit the United States harder than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor during WW ll or the 9/11 attacks two decades ago, which led the country to wage two deadly wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

China believes that the US president is trying to divert attention from his poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak in his country in order to back up his presidential bid.

Trump claimed last week that he had seen evidence linking the virus to a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan and threatened new trade tariffs on China. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said there is “enormous evidence” backing the coronavirus-leak scenario.

The World Health Organization, senior US scientists and even the US intelligence community have rejected the claim despite pressure from the White House.

Below are the 24 false claims and truths listed by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

No.1

Lie: The novel coronavirus is the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.”

Fact: The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines have advised against giving infectious diseases names that associate them with specific countries and regions.

No.2

Lie: Wuhan is the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fact: Although the city first reported the outbreak, Wuhan is not necessarily the origin of the virus. The origin of COVID-19 is still unknown. Its source should remain a matter of science and should only be determined by scientists and medical experts based on scientific facts.

No.3

Lie: COVID-19 was created by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fact: All of the evidence so far has shown that the virus evolved naturally. It is not man-made.

No.4

Lie: COVID-19 was accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fact: The P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a collaborative project with the French government. It is not capable of designing and producing COVID-19, and there is no evidence that any sort of virus leaked from the lab or that any staff got infected.

No.5

Lie: China could have contained the outbreak from spreading outside Wuhan, but it let the virus spread to the world by not limiting international flights.

Fact: China implemented the most restrictive prevention and control measures in the shortest possible time to prevent major outbreaks in places other than Wuhan. The statistics show that only a few imported cases are from China.

No.6

Lie: Chinese people contracted the coronavirus from eating bats.

Fact: Bats are never Chinese people’s cooking ingredients.

No.7

Lie: China reopened its wildlife market. It should close its “wet market” immediately.

Fact: China does have “wet markets.” China has completely banned the illegal hunting and trading of wild animals.

No.8

Lie: China’s initial cover-up of the outbreak has led to the virus spreading to the world.

Fact: The outbreak was caused by a new type of virus, which required time to fully understand it. China has published the related information in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

No.9

Lie: China arrested “whistleblower” Dr Li Wenliang.

Fact: Dr Li Wenliang is not a “whistleblower,” and he was not arrested.

No.10

Lie: China’s delayed report on human-to-human transmission mislead the United States and the world on how contagious and deadly the virus is, thus causing them to miss the opportunity to take early measures.

Fact: China has been updating the WHO on the severity of the virus. The US should have been crystal clear about how lethal the virus is.

No.11

Lie: China’s data on COVID-19 is not transparent. The real number of confirmed and deceased COVID-19 cases is at least 50 times more than reported.

Fact: China’s released data is completely transparent and can stand the test of time.

No.12

Lie: Wuhan’s revision of the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities proves that China covered up the actual number of infected patients during the initial stage of the outbreak.

Fact: Data revision is a common international practice, which actually approves China is open, transparent and responsible in reporting the data.

No.13

Lie: China spreads disinformation about the outbreak.

Fact: China publishes COVID-19 data in an open and transparent way. But some US politicians and anti-China scholars have smeared China. China is a victim of disinformation.

No.14

Lie: China’s political system is the root of the problem.

Fact: The virus doesn’t distinguish ideology or social systems. The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have played a decisive and crucial role in leading the Chinese people to prevail against the epidemic. China’s political system has effectively organized and mobilized 1.4 billion people in China’s vast territory of 9.6 million square kilometers to overcome the difficulties faced by developing countries. It unites all forces, pools all resources and provides a strong political guarantee to overcome the epidemic. It has been proven that the social system and development path chosen by the Chinese people fit China’s domestic situation, and the Communist Party of China has won firm and broad support from Chinese people. China also has no intention of exporting its political system.

No.15

Lie: China expelled US journalists to cover up the outbreak.

Fact: China’s expulsion of the US journalists is a reciprocal countermeasure against the US for its long-term suppression of Chinese media agencies in the US, especially the recent expulsion of 60 Chinese journalists. China releases information in a timely manner in an open, transparent and responsible manner.

No.16

Lie: China controls the WHO and uses money to woo the organization.

Fact: China firmly supports multilateralism. China has maintained good communication and cooperation with the WHO, but China has never manipulated the WHO. Notably, it is the US, the largest source of funding for the WHO, that has suspended funding of the international body, a move that was unanimously opposed by the international community.

No.17

Lie: Taiwan issued a warning to the WHO about the human-to-human transmission of the new coronavirus pneumonia from as early as December 31, 2019, but it was not taken seriously.

Fact: China’s Taiwan region was not issuing a warning to the WHO, but seeking additional information from the WHO after the Wuhan Health Commission filed a report on COVID-19.

No.18

Lie: China prevented Taiwan from joining the WHO and endangered the health of Taiwanese.

Fact: The truth is, Taiwan, as a part of China, has no right to participate in the WHO that only sovereign states can join. The channels of technical cooperation between China’s Taiwan and the WHO are always open.

No.19

Lie: China should be held responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. China should be investigated and sued for compensation.

Fact: There is no legal basis for holding China responsible for the pandemic and asking for compensation. Such claims are just tricks some American politicians use to shift blame for their own political gain.

No.20

Lie: China has hoarded protective medical resources, taking advantage of the pandemic to yield huge profits. It tightened the export of virus containment resources and equipment and limited exports, especially ventilators, which led to the US not having sufficient stocks.

Fact: Although China’s own virus containment is arduous, China is still doing its best to provide anti-COVID-19 medical supplies to other countries.

No.21

Lie: China’s assistance is “political generosity.”

Fact: China’s foreign aid for fighting against the pandemic is sent to countries that supported China during the early phase of the outbreak. It is also based on the concept of a community of shared human destiny.

No.22

Lie: China is interfering in the US election, trying to prevent US President Donald Trump from being re-elected.

Fact: China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. “Attacking China” is just a smear tactic that some US politicians are attempting to use as their campaign strategy.

No.23

Lie: China recently required that enterprises that export masks, test kits, ventilators and other materials must provide customs with declaration forms, which can be seen as an attempt to ban the export of anti-COVID-19 medical supplies.

Fact: The Chinese approach aims to strengthen quality control.

No.24

Lie: China’s Guangdong Province discriminated against African nationals.

Fact: China’s prevention and control measures never discriminate between Chinese and foreign nationals. It adopts a zero-tolerance attitude toward discriminatory words and deeds.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Could Taiwan Have Saved the World from the Coronavirus?

May 05, 2020

Could Taiwan Have Saved the World from the Coronavirus?

by Allen Yu for The Saker Blog

Many people in the West – apparently led on by the U.S. government – believe that the Chinese had covered up information regarding initial extent of the epidemic in China. Some had asserted that the death toll in China was actually magnitudes higher. When that could not be proven, some are taken to the notion that China kept data regarding human-to-human transmission from the world. The supposed evidence? An email Taiwanese authorities sent to the WHO on December 31.

This email has often been presented to constitute evidence that Taiwan had learned of and warned the WHO of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan, but that the WHO ignored. Turns out, the email did not make any such assertion. No one has been able to present an email from Taiwan to the WHO reporting any information about human-to-human transmission.

The Taiwan CDC has now put up a page indicating the “facts” about that email. As it turns out, Taiwan concedes now that when it sent out the email, it did not have any evidence about what was happening in Wuhan other than “online sources” and “rumors that were circulating.” Taiwan CDC insists however that because the mainland authorities used the term “atypical pneumonia,” which was used in SARS in 2003, Taiwan authorities had speculated that human-to-human transmission was a possibility.

Well … of course transmission was considered a possibility! However, epidemiology and public policy are not about speculations. No one wants a repeat of the H1n1 fiasco of a few years ago. (See, e.g., Sound the Alarm? A Swine Flu Bind, New York Times, 2009The elusive definition of pandemic influenza, Bulletin of the WHO, 2011Swine flu: is panic the key to successful modern health policy?, J. of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2010) What is needed is evidence to inform a commensurate response. This is what the Chinese experts and authorities worked so hard to figure out.

Evidence would soon come forth. Chinese researchers would determine a novel coronavirus to be the cause of these new pneumonia cases on January 8. On January 11, they would publish the sequence to the world. And On January 20, they would confirm human-to-human transmission. (For a detailed review of the Chinese early response, see, e.g., this report).

The allegation that Taiwan provided early warning of human-to-human transmission that China had covered up thus simply does not hold up to scrutiny. In the crucial early days of the outbreak, Taiwan did not do work relating to the virus and did not contribute any knowledge to the world regarding virus.

Below are some more details of Taiwan’s supposedly smoking gun email on China’s cover-up of Covid-19 (Chinese followed by English translation).

新华社北京4月17日电 国台办发言人朱凤莲17日应询向媒体表示,民进党当局声称,台防疫部门曾于去年12月31日向世卫组织发函“示警”新冠肺炎病毒“人传人”,世卫组织未向全球公开这项信息。这些说法完全不符合事实。

Xinhua News 4/17 PRC Taiwan Affairs Spokemans Mr. Zhu responding to journalist questions regarding Taiwan’s recently alleged that Taiwan had sent in an email on 12/31 to the WHO to warn of human-to-human transmissions and that the WHO has yet to disclose.

朱凤莲指出,新冠肺炎疫情发生以来,我们及时向世卫组织以及有关国家和地区通报疫情信息。去年12月31日,武汉市卫生健康委在官方网站首次对外发布《关于当前我市肺炎疫情的情况通报》,通报了27例病例,明确说明已采取隔离治疗措施。这既是向社会大众、也是向国际社会公布疫情信息,体现了我们对待疫情公开、透明、负责任的一贯态度。世卫组织当天也获悉有关情况。可以说,武汉卫健委公布的信息,为世卫组织立即决定自1月1日在该组织三个层级组建事故管理支持小组,并进入抗疫紧急状态发挥了关键作用。

Mr. Zhu has pointed that since the inception of Covid-19, we have notified the WHO as well as other relevant nations and authorities regarding the epidemic. On 12/31, Wuhan CDC announced on its website the up-to-date information, regarding 27 mysterious pneumonia cases and clearly detailing the quarantining measures being taken. The reports were presented to the public as well as to the international community and constituted our effort to a transparent and responsible. On the same day, we also sent a report to the WHO. WHO would soon set up IMST (Incident Management Support Team) across the three levels of the organization, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak.

朱凤莲说,台方所称12月31日邮件,仅是引述武汉卫健委公布的内容,并没有其他信息,也就是说武汉卫健委发布的信息是台方邮件内容的唯一信息来源。去年12月31日,台卫生部门还向国家卫健委发函了解武汉卫健委公布的信息,国家卫健委通过两岸医药卫生合作协议联系窗口书面回复台方,请其参考武汉卫健委公布的情况通报。事实很清楚,大陆方面首先公布信息,台卫生部门再进行转述,不存在所谓台方首先向世卫组织报告的情况。台方邮件也未提及“人传人”,主要是向世卫组织了解情况。台卫生部门1月4日、6日发新闻稿表示“并没有明显人传人现象及医护人员感染”。3月15日后台方却把去年12月31日转述邮件包装成首先“示警”信息。如果从“示警”角度看,这封邮件也不过是证明了武汉卫健委第一时间向社会公众和国际社会发布信息。可见,民进党当局的炒作是一个伪命题,目的就是作政治文章。一些外国政客跟风炒作,以讹传讹,借此攻击大陆和世卫组织,完全是别有用心的。

Mr. Zhu indicates, the so-called Taiwan email to the WHO on 12/31 merely quoted the contents of Wuhan CDC’s announcements and contained no other information. To stress, Wuhan’s CDC announcement on its website on 12/31 is the only source for Taiwan’s email to the WHO on 12/31. Taiwan CDC did contact Mr. Zhu seeking more information, and through Taiwan Affairs Department, Mr. Zhu did direct Taiwan CDC to public bulletins available on Wuhan CDC’s website. The timing is very clear. The Mainland side first announced information relating to unknown cases about pneumonia to the world. Taiwan side then sought more information. Taiwan DID NOT disclose information to the WHO before China had already provided the information to the WHO and the world. Taiwan’s email to the WHO was geared at soliciting information from the WHO and did not make any mention of “human-to-human” transmissions. In Taiwan CDC’s press briefings on 1/4 and 1/6, it is stated that there were “no obvious signs of human-to-human transmissions or transmissions to medical workers.” It is only after 3/15 that Taiwan side began promoting its 12/31 email to the WHO as an “early warning.” The email however was not an early warning and if anything supports the opposite proposition that the “early warning” came from Wuhan CDC. This whole recasting of Taiwan’s email to an early warning is but an attempt for political jockeying….

朱凤莲表示,台方称无法与世卫组织进行沟通,这封邮件却证明此言不实。台湾地区卫生机构通过世卫组织《国际卫生条例》架构下的联络窗口,可以及时获取世卫组织发布的信息并直接向世卫组织更新信息。台湾地区医疗卫生专家一直以适当身份参加世卫组织的会议。从2019年初到2020年3月,16批24人次台湾地区专家参加世卫组织举办的技术会议。大陆方面1月12日至14日即安排台湾专家到武汉实地考察,了解新冠肺炎确诊病人诊治和疫情处置情况。截至4月13日,大陆方面向台湾方面通报疫情信息127次。对这些情况,民进党当局一再回避,讳莫如深,始终不如实向岛内民众说明,不断炒作所谓“防疫缺口”,现在又大肆炒作“邮件示警”,可见其用心并不是公共卫生防疫。其实这些都不难理解,民进党当局这么做,不过是不断暴露“以疫谋独”的政治目的而已。

Mr. Zhu also pointed out that the idea that Taiwan authorities have no ability to community with the WHO is also utterly incorrect. Under the international framework provided under the WHO, Taiwan has the ability to communicate with and obtain most updated information with the WHO. Taiwan public health and medical workers have always had ability to join WHO meetings and conferences. From 2019 to March 2020, Taiwan has sent teams of 24 to WHO meetings and conferences some 16 times. From 1/12-1/14, the Mainland side has invited Taiwanese experts to Wuhan for visits and studies, to get the up to date information and to see measures we are taking on the ground. By 4/13, Mainland has already given Taiwan 127 official updates. We wish the Taiwan authorities would be clear and transparent about all this to the Taiwan public. It is unfortunate the Taiwan side has chosen to obfuscate truth and try to make political advantage out of this.

朱凤莲强调,世卫组织是由主权国家组成的联合国专门机构。台湾是中国的一部分,其参与世卫组织等国际活动,必须在一个中国原则下处理。民进党当局炒作世卫组织涉台问题、企图“以疫谋独”,是不可能得逞的。

Mr. Zhu stressed, WHO is an organization made up of sovereign nations. Taiwan is a part of China and not a sovereign nation. To join world activities, Taiwan must live up to the one-China principle.

Allen Yu is an IP attorney in Silicon Valley, a founding blogger at blog.hiddenharmonies.org, as well as an adjunct fellow at the Chunqiu Institute for Development and Strategic Studies. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a D. Engr., M.S., and B.S. from UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. 

GEO-ECONOMIC BATTLE FOR RUSSIA

Geo-Economic Battle for Russia
REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

As the world struggles to achieve any semblance of normality amid the developing economic and coronavirus (COVID-19) cries, China is playing towards increasing its influence throughout Eurasia.

In the first quarter of 2020, China bought a record high number of Russian oil (Urals) – 4 million tones. As a comparison, in the fourth quarter of 2019, China received only 2.5 million tones. The previous record of the supplies of Russian oil to China was registered in the third quarter of 2018 – 2.7 million tones. Therefore, China expanded its import of Russian crude by 1.6 times.

This decision of the Chinese leadership could be seen as a politically-motivated move; especially if one takes into the account the declining demand to oil supplies and massive discounts by Saudi Arabia on the Asian market.

Thus, Beijing is choosing to purchase Moscow’s crude oil, as a sort of a “grant” in the conditions of an economic crisis, taking place amid the coronavirus hysteria. How the liberal-controlled economic bloc of the Russian government pushed the country to the brink of the crisis despite years of preparations for the current situation is another question.

Some critics could call the purchase of Russian crude by China a sort of political bribe, which would ensure either Russia’s compliance, or at least Moscow not getting in the way, while Beijing works to realize its geopolitical agenda.

This, however, leads to a bit of eyebrow raising, as Moscow and Beijing have, for a while now, cooperated in various fields of interest, as well as various common regions of interest.

This support from China towards Russia is not unexpected, and it is not surprising, as it also fits into the expected format of new strategic partnerships in Eurasia, that wish to compete with the United States’ ambitions. Purchase of crude oil or not, it is apparent that when it comes to geopolitical activity, China expects that Russia to either support or simply does not stand against the Chinese national security interests.

For example, China formed two administrative units aimed at specifically managing the artificial islands it constructed in the South China Sea.

“The State Council has recently approved the establishment of the Xisha and Nansha districts under Sansha city.”

According to the notice, the Xisha administration will be based in Woody Island, also known as Yongxing Island. Meanwhile, the Nansha administration will be placed in the Fiery Cross Reef, referred to as Yongshu Reef in Chinese.

The US strongly opposes China’s attempt to seize a larger area under its jurisdiction in the South China Sea, not least because it is the region through which the most trade passes year-round.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan hosted a meeting with Chinese Ambassador Zhang Xiao.

Kazakhstan’s side reacted an article published on a Chinese website http://www.sohu.com titled “Why Kazakhstan is eager to return to China”.

“The meeting pointed out that an article of such content does not correspond to the spirit of eternal comprehensive strategic partnership reflected in the Joint Statement of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the People’s Republic of China, signed by the Heads of State on September 11, 2019. The parties agreed to closely cooperate in the fields of spreading information and mass media.”

Various plans of China’s territorial expansion are actively being discussed in the Chinese society itself. And this appears to be taking place into most directions. Alongside all of this, the intensification in the confrontation between China and the US appears to be all but avoidable.

Another important factor is that the increasing supplies of energy resources from Russia will allow China to be covered in the event of a new military conflict in the Persian Gulf (it will likely involve the US and Iran). In these conditions, Russia, as a key Chinese partner, becomes the apparent and vital supplier of energy resources by contrast with Saudi Arabia and other large oil suppliers.

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the dire situation in which the markets and state economies already were. The crisis deepened the global and inter-regional competition, including those between the two key economic players: Beijing and Washington.

Russia is both an object and a subject of the global geo-economic standoff.

It is an object by virtue of its size – it has a massive market which needs materials (raw and otherwise), but it also produces its fair share of products and energy. It is a subject in terms of the simple fact that it is the world’s second largest military power and is one of the leaders on the international diplomatic scene.

Due to the same reasons, the US might also move towards easing the rhetoric towards Russia, and attempt to expand trade and economic cooperation, something which China would likely also plan to do. Even the media organization of Michael Bloomberg, a key Donald Trump competitor said that it was a possibility.

“Yet a small opening exists to professionalize a segment of bilateral U.S.-Russia ties. Russia has long been interested in pulling the United States into coordinating the global oil market. Although the United States does not need to join OPEC+ and its pledges to mandate production cuts, having regular exchanges about global energy trends could create a niche for constructive discussions between Russian and U.S. officials. It is not crazy to think that a dialogue around common energy interests could evolve into a more meaningful conversation about how to deal with Venezuela’s collapse, for instance,” one of the recent Bloomberg articles says.

However, in the current situation, it is understandable that the Russian leadership is more inclined towards cooperating with China. Beijing has demonstrated itself as a complicated, but also consistent and stable partner. In contrast, the US has spent the last almost 30 years in very apparent attempts to entirely undermine any semblance of Russian strategic power and shake the foundations of the Russian state itself.

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حلف الأطلسي ما بعد كورونا إما التعاون أو الموت المحتّم

محمد صادق الحسيني

إنّ التهديدات التي كان يعيشها العالم، قبل انتشار وباء كورونا، وبغض النظر عن طبيعتها، قد اختلفت تماماً بعد ظهور هذا الوباء القاتل والخطير جداً، على البشرية جمعاء وليس على شعب بعينه.

وعليه فإنّ منطلقات الدفاع الأوروأطلسية، التي أقيم على اساسها حلف شمال الأطلسي (الناتو) قد انقلبت رأساً على عقب، لا بل انتفى وجودها من الأساس. فمن المعلوم ان أمين عام حلف شمال الأطلسي كان قد لخص مهمات الحلف بالكلمات التالية:

‏To keep Russia out , Americans in , German down.

أي:

*إبعاد روسيا.

*تمكين أميركا.

*قمع ألمانيا.

لكن الظروف التي كانت سائدة آنذاك قد انتهت تماماً، بعد تفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي وكتلة الدول الاشتراكية وضعف قدراتها العسكرية بشكل عام، وتمدد حلف شمال الأطلسي شرقاً، وضمّه جميع الدول التي كانت أعضاء في حلف وارسو للدول الاشتراكية الى عضويته، ووصول قوات الناتو الى حدود جمهورية روسيا الشمالية الغربية، بحيث أصبحت مدينة لينينغراد الروسية في مرمى مدفعية قوات الحلف الأطلسي، وذلك على عكس الضمانات التي أعطيت لآخر رئيس للاتحاد السوفياتي، ميخائيل غورباتشوف، عند توقيع اتفاقية سحب القوات السوفياتية من المانيا ودول أوروبا الشرقية.

هذا وقد اختفى التهديد السوفياتي المزعوم، من قبل الناتو والولايات المتحدة وأذنابها الأوروبيين، مما جعل الناتو، بقيادة واشنطن، يبدأ بالبحث عن أعداء جدد، ومنذ بداية تسعينيات القرن الماضي، لتبرير وجود هذا الحلف العدواني، الذي هدّد السلم العالمي منذ نشأته. وقد ترجمت هذه السياسة العدوانية، الأميركية الأطلسية، في خطوات الحلف التالية:

الحرب العدوانية، التي شنتها قوات الحلف والجيش الأميركي، ضد العراق سنة 1991.
حروب البلقان، التي هندستها وموّلتها وسلمت لاعبيها، بهدف تفكيك جمهورية يوغوسلافيا، صديقة العرب والقضية الفلسطينية، وتدمير قدراتها العسكرية، وذلك عبر حرب بدأتها سنة 1992 واستمرت حتى 1996.
الحرب الشاملة، التي شنتها الولايات المتحدة وقوات حلف شمال الأطلسي، ضد جمهورية صربيا، اليوغوسلافية السابقة، سنة 1999، والتي أدت الى تدمير شبه كامل للبنى التحتية الصربية واقتطاع إقليم كوسوفو وفصله عن الدولة الصربية، بحجة أن أغلبية سكانه من القومية الألبانية.
الحرب الأميركية الاطلسية ضد العراق سنة 2003 واحتلاله وتدمير الدولة العراقية بالكامل اضافة الى تدمير البنى التحتية المدنية والتي لا زالت تعاني من آثار تلك الجريمة حتى يومنا هذا.
5 ـ الحرب على ليبيا، سنة 2011 والمستمرة حتى اليوم، والتي دمّرت ليس فقط الدولة الليبية وإنما كل بناها التحتية وجميع مقومات الحياة في هذا البلد العربي المنكوب.

كما لا بد من الإشارة باللون الأحمر الى الحرب العدوانية على الشعب اليمني والتي بدأها محمد بن سلمان سنة 2015 بدعم أميركي أوروبي غربي وإسرائيلي مباشر.

وما ان استنفدت مبررات وجود هذا الحلف من جديد، مع بداية الألفية الثالثة، حتى تفتق عقل المخططين الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين والأوروبيين عن اختراع عدو جديد، يمتد وجوده المزعوم على امتداد العالم، اطلق عليه اسم: الارهاب.

فكان أن شنت واشنطن، بالتعاون مع الحلف ودول أخرى، إثر هجمات 11 أيلول 2001 في نيويورك، حربها على افغانستان إبتداءً من شهر 10/2001، والتي لا زالت مستمرة حتى اليوم. ثم تبع ذلك خلق وتفقيس تنظيمات إرهابية أميركية، تحت مسمّيات مختلفة، ونشرها في دول عربية عدة، مستخدمة إياها للأسباب المذكورة ذاتها أعلاه. حيث قام تنظيم داعش بالاستيلاء على أجزاء واسعة من سورية والعراق وأعلن ما اسماه «دولة الخلافة الاسلامية» سنة 2014، كمقدمة لتفكيك الدولة السورية والعراقية.

وقد سارعت واشنطن آنذاك لتشكيل «تحالف دوليّ»، بحجة محاربة الإرهاب، زجّت به من جديد بقوات حلف شمال الأطلسي، في مسرحية عسكرية، هدفت الى تمديد عمر حلف شمال الأطلسي الافتراضي، الذي كان قد انتهى بزوال الاتحاد السوفياتي. ذلك التحالف الذي لم يكن له أي دور يذكر، في محاربة وجود التنظيمات الإرهابية، مثل داعش والقاعدة، وإنما اقتصرت محاربة هذه التنظيمات على الجيش العربي السوري، مدعوماً بقوات إيرانية وأُخرى من حزب الله اللبناني، الى جانب قوى المقاومة العراقيّة ومن ثم الجيش وقوات الحشد الشعبي العراقي، التي تشكلت إثر اجتياح الإرهاب الأميركي الأسود لمناطق واسعة من سورية والعراق، سنة 2014.

هذا الصمود، الذي كان لإيران دور أساسيّ وفاعل في تحقيقه، والذي أدّى الى شعور القيادة الروسيّة بخطر الإرهاب، واحتمال تمدّده الى داخل الأراضي الروسية، من خلال مقاتلين من دول الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق في آسيا الوسطى، مما جعلها، وانطلاقاً من أهداف استراتيجية دولية، الى التدخل العسكري المباشر، في شهر أيلول 2015، لدعم الدولة السورية ومنع إسقاطها، من قبل الولايات المتحدة وحلفائها الغربيين (دول الناتو).

وهو الأمر الذي أدى الى فشل حلف الناتو وسيّد البيت الأبيض في المهمة، ما يعني إفراغ هذا الحلف من محتواه مجدداً، وطرح السؤال الحاسم حول جدوى استمرار وجوده ومبررات ذلك الوجود. علماً ان الإجابة على هذا السؤال أصبحت اكثر الحاحاً، بعد اجتياح وباء كورونا معظم دول العالم وتسببه في موت وإصابة الملايين من البشر، على امتداد العالم.

من هنا، وفي ظل استحالة تمكّن أي دولة بمفردها من مواجهة هذا الوباء، وغيره من الأوبئة المحتملة في المستقبل، وفي ظل العجز المرعب والنقص المخيف في التجهيزات الطبية اللازمة، الذي أظهرته الولايات المتحدة والدول الأوروبية جميعها، في مواجهة هذا البلاد الذي حل بالعالم، وبالنظر الى التداعيات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والسياسية الكارثية، التي ستنجم عن انتشار هذا الوباء، فإننا نرى ان من الضرورة بمكان ان نؤكد على النقاط التالية، كمخرج آمن وحيد من الأزمة الحاليّة وأي ازمات مستقبلية:

أولاً: الحل الفوريّ لحلف شمال الأطلسي، بفروعه السياسية والعسكرية والتنظيمية وغير ذلك، وإنهاء وتصفية وجوده بشكل نهائي ودائم، وتوجيه الأموال التي تنفق على الحلف حالياً، الى مجالات الاستثمار في البنى التحتية والنشاطات الاقتصادية الإنتاجية في دول الحلف نفسها.

ثانياً: في ظل الهدر المتزايد لثروات الكرة الأرضية واستغلالها بشكل مجحف، من قبل القوى الرأسمالية الليبرالية المتوحشة جنياً لمزيد من الأرباح وتركيزاً للثروة العالمية في أيدي بضع عائلات فقط، فقد اصبح من الملح جداً، على جميع دول العالم، أن تتداعى للبحث في آليات جديدة تكون ناظمة للعلاقات الدولية، عوضاً عن سياسات التهديد العسكري المباشر والعقوبات المالية والاقتصادية، التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة والدول الغربية، ضد العديد من دول العالم من إيران، الى جمهورية الصين الشعبية وروسيا الاتحادية، وصولاً الى خلق قاعدةٍ دولية للتعاون الاقتصادي الدولي المتوازن والمستند الى خطط علمية دقيقة، عوضاً عن سياسات النهب الشامل لثروات الارض، من قبل قوى خفية تفتقر الى وجود أية روادع أخلاقية او إنسانية وتحكمها الأنانية المطلقة، التي لا تتوانى عن شنّ الحروب وتدمير الدول وقتل شعوبها، حفاظاً على المصالح الذاتية لهذه القوى.

ثالثاً: من هنا فإن الحل الشامل والناجع، لمشاكل البشرية بشكل عام، لا يكمن في مواصلة سياسة اللعب بالنار، التي تمارسها الولايات المتحدة ودول الناتو الأخرى، على حدود روسيا الشمالية الغربية (لينينغراد)، ولا في مواصلة التحرّشات العسكرية، التي تنفذها البحرية الأميركية، في بحر الصين الجنوبي والشرقي، وفي غرب المحيط الهادئ، ومحاولات اختلاق «عدو جديد» للولايات المتحدة وحلف الناتو، الذي تواصل واشنطن استخدامه، في تنفيذ عمليات ألعاب نارية، هنا وهناك، مرة ضد إيران وأخرى في مواصلة توجيه التهديدات للصين الشعبية والعمل على دق إسفين بين روسيا والصين، من خلال إغراء روسيا بمعاملة تفضيلية، إذا ما ابتعدت عن الصين الشعبية وأوقفت التعاون معها، وإنما الحل لا يمكن إلا في التعاون الدولي، لمواجهة التحدي المشترك، المتمثل في وباء كورونا وغيره من الأوبئة.

رابعاً: ولعل أقرب الطرق للوصول الى تصور مشترك وخطة عمل مشتركة لمواجهة تحديات المستقبل، على الصعيد الكوني، هو العودة الى اقتراح الرئيس الروسي، فلاديمير بوتين، الداعي الى عقد اجتماع طارئ لرؤساء الدول الدائمة العضوية في مجلس الأمن، لتدارس إمكانيات إيجاد آليات لمواجهة التحديات المستقبلية التي تواجه البشرية جمعاء. ذلك الاقتراح او المبادرة، التي أطلقها الرئيس الروسي بتاريخ 27/1/2020، في مناسبة الذكرى الـ75 لتحرير قوات الجيش الأحمر السوفياتي لمعسكر الاعتقال في بلدة أوشفيتس، الواقعة جنوب غرب بولندا، بتاريخ 27/1/1945.

وهذا يعني، من الناحية الواقعية وانطلاقاً من المبدأ السياسي، الذي أسسة المستشار الألماني السابق ڤيللي براندت بداية سبعينيات القرن الماضي، ويطلق علية اسم « رِيالْ بوليتيك Realpolitik « –، وتعني السياسة الواقعية، والتي أسست لبدء سياسة الانفتاح الألماني على دول المعسكر السوفياتي بشكل عام وجمهورية المانيا الديموقراطية (الشرقية) آنذاك بشكل خاص، نقول إن هذا يعني:

إن على الولايات المتحدة، خاصة في ظل انتشار وباء كورونا، العدو المشترك لكل دول العالم، أن تتخلى عن سياسة المواجهة والعدوان العسكري والعقوبات المالية والاقتصادية، وتجلس الى طاولة المفاوضات وتجترح، بالتعاون مع الدول العظمى الأخرى، خريطة حلول دبلوماسية سياسية للمشكلات الدولية، الأمر الذي سيساعد واشنطن على البدء بعلاج جنودها المصابين بفيروس كورونا وسحب قواتها، من قواعدها العسكرية التي يزيد عددها عن ألف قاعدة منتشرة في العالم، وتصفية هذا الوجود العسكري المكلف وباستثمار الأموال المهدورة في استثمارات داخل الولايات المتحدة او في المشروع الصيني العملاق: طريق واحد… حزام واحد. خاصة أن التاريخ يُعَلِّم أن سبب انهيار الإمبراطوريات الرئيسي هو إنفاقها على حضورها العسكري الواسع في العالم والذي يفوق إمكانيات الإمبراطورية المالية والاقتصادية.

ولا بد من الإضافة، الى كل ما تقدم، بأن جمهورية الصين الشعبية وروسيا الاتحادية ليستا جمهوريتي موز، او ممالك رملية، كمملكة محمد بن سلمان في السعودية، كي تتمكن واشنطن من ابتزازهما بالتهديدات المستمرة، بإصدار قوانين عقابية ضد الصين، تشبة قانون جاستا الخاص بتعويض « أقرباء ضحايا « 11/ أيلول 2001. فالدولتان قادرتان، ليس على مقاومة الضغوطات الأميركية فحسب، وانما على إلحاق هزيمة عسكرية نكراء، بالولايات المتحدة الأميركية، في حال تجرأت على ارتكاب أي خطأ عسكري تجاه أي من الدولتين.

اما حديث ترامب، عن نيته تدمير الزوارق الايرانية، اذا ما «تحرشت» بسفن البحرية الأميركية في الخليج، وحديث وزير خارجيته، مايك بومبيو، عن ضرورة معاقبة إيران على إطلاق الحرس الثوري قمراً صناعياً بنجاح، فلا تنم لا عن سياسة واقعية ولا عقلانية وانما تؤشر الى استمرار السياسة الأميركية العدوانية والعنجهية، التي لن ينتج عنها سوى انهيار الإمبراطورية الأميركية من الداخل، بسبب المشكلات الداخلية، وتفكك الولايات المتحدة وتحولها الى الولايات المتقاتلة بدلاً من المتحدة.

وهي نهاية حتمية لسياسة اعتباطية ومعادية لأصول المنطق والعلم والمنهج والتخطيط الإيجابي الخلاق.

إنها السنن الكونية التي لا مناص منها.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله.

The AngloZionists are launching a strategic PSYOP against China

THE SAKER • APRIL 22, 2020 

Maybe the “the Russians did it” narrative is getting stale. Or maybe the leaders of the Empire have finally figured out that China is even more dangerous to the Empire than Russia. But my personal gut feeling is simply that the AngloZionists are freaking out about the “full-spectrum” loss of face they suffered with their massive mishandling (medically and, even more so, politically!) of this pandemic-induced socio-economic crisis and that they now are pointing fingers pretty much at everybody (including each other).

Russia did play a crucial role here, since it was in its informational war against Russia that the leaders of the Empire came up with what I now call the “Skripal rules of evidence” aka “highly likely”. This latest principle being subserviently accepted by all Europeans in the name of “solidarity” (solidarity with what exactly is rarely specified), it was, shall we say, “naively reasonable” that it would work this time around again. Again, I am personally not so sure about that at all. Much has changed over the past two years: not only did the Europeans eventually find out how utterly stupid and incredible the entire Skripal fairy tale was, but the level of disgust and even hatred with Trump and the US has sharply gone up. Furthermore, China has a lot more to offer to Europe, than the disintegrating (dis-)United States – so why side with the losing party? Last, but most certainly not least, the Europeans will find out (and some already have), that the US literally does not give a damn about not only regular Europeans, but even about the European ruling classes.

A quick study of history shows that when exploiting elites are doing great, they all faithfully support each other, but when things start to go south, they immediately turn on each other. The best recent example of this phenomenon is the schism in the US ruling elites who, since the election of Trump, have immediately turned on each other and are now viciously fighting like “spiders in a can” (to use a Russian expression). In fact, this is so true that it can even be used as a very reliable diagnostic tool: when your enemies are all united, then they are probably confident in their victory, but as soon as they turn on each other, you *know* that things are looking very bad for your opponents. Likewise, we now see how southern Europeans are getting really angry with their northern “EU allies” (Macron seems to be falling in line behind Trump even if he uses a more careful and diplomatic language). Finally, the way the US CIA has one foreign policy, the Pentagon another and Foggy Bottom one of its own (even if limited to sanctions and finger-pointing) tells you pretty much all you need to know to see how deep the systemic crisis of the Empire has become.

While there are very few truly intelligent people left in the US government, there are still plenty of “horizontally clever” ones and it did not take them long to find out that this pandemic gave then a golden opportunity to pin all their own failures and mistakes on China. The elements? Simple really:

  1. Anti-Chinese propaganda has a long history in the US and it was really easy to re-kindle it.
  2. Most Americans have a completely irrational reaction to the word “Communist” so it is really easy for any US propaganda outlet to mention the CCP and “lies” in the same sentence and sound credible, irrespective of what else the sentence claims (like, say, factual evidence).
  3. The US plutocracy is terrified of the Chinese economic and industrial power, hence the vilification of companies like Huawei or DJI which are declared a national security threat to the US. Blame everything on the Chinese and the US oligarchs will love it!
  4. China and Russia are in a relationship which is even far deeper than an alliance. I call it a “symbiosis” while the Chinese speak of a “Strategic comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era” while the Russians speak of a “crucial alliance”. The terms don’t really matter here, what matters is that Russia and China are standing together ( that is what they mean by “coordinating”) against the Empire and that the (admittedly few and clumsy) US attempts are breaking this alliance have totally failed.
  5. As with any new pandemic, it did take China time to figure out the nature of what was happening and it was extremely easy to accuse China of deliberate obfuscation (while keeping the fact that China did inform the world as early as December 31st is, obviously omitted, as is the presence of a multi-national WHO delegation to investigate this issue. In reality, one might as well accuse China of being TOO open, and allowing various estimates and hypotheses to circulate even before the Chinese government had all the facts established. It is a perfect case of dammed if you do and damned if you don’t.
  6. The US political culture is that 99.99% of Americans will believe literally ANY lie, no matter how self-evidently stupid, about the rest of the world rather than accepting any unpleasant truth about the US. So scapegoating another power, especially a Communist one, gets a knee-jerk reaction of approval from the overwhelming majority of Americans.
  7. When the WHO clearly did not buy into the US propaganda, it was a great move for Trump to defund it. Not only did the US already owe the WHO millions of dollars (50-200, depending on who you ask), so the easy pretext not to pay was to accuse it of being pro-Chinese. It is obvious that Trump has no use for the UN other than as a whipping boy, and this was a prefect way to target it again.
  8. As with any scary event, a true tsunami of completely unsubstantiated and outright silly rumors began as soon as it was clear that this was a major event and all the US propaganda machine had to do was to speak in serious tones about some of these rumors and to make it appear that the media was “just reporting” rather than planting stories.
  9. China is also a major threat to US interests in Asia, and this pandemic provided a perfect opportunity for the US to present reports from Taiwan as reports from China (that is an old trick). As for the Taiwanese government, they were more than happy to find yet another pretext to hate on China, nothing new here either.
  10. Finally, US economists did not take long to figure out that this pandemic would have devastating effect on the “best economy in the history of the galaxy” so preemptively blaming it all on China is the perfect way for Trump and his Neocon masters to deflect the blame from them.

The stories which were then planted were truly magnificent. Here are a few of my personal favorites

There are many more, I am sure that you have seen them too.

Eventually, and inevitably, this strategic PSYOP upped the ante and FOXnews (logically) aired this true masterpiece: “Sen. Hawley: Let coronavirus victims sue Chinese Communist Party“. Truly, this is brilliant. “I lost my job, let the evil Chinese commies pay me back” is music to the ears of most Americans.

Right now, most of the US statements are simply lies, but as China will, with time, eventually release more corrected and accurate information, these corrected/updated statistics will immediately be interpreted as the proof that initially the Chinese were deliberately lying and not as the effect of the Chinese themselves gradually getting a better picture of what actually happened. Again, this is the typical case of dammed if you don’t and dammed if you do.

I should mention that there is another reason which might contribute to the decision of the US to blame it all on China: it is still not clear where this virus came from, but one possibility is that it originated in the US and was brought to China by Americans (whether deliberately or not is not the issue here). As for the reports which claim that the US is deliberately covering up the real magnitude of the disaster in the US, they are ignored.

Furthermore, it is now painfully obvious that the US politicians totally misread the situation and began by saying either that it was a Chinese problem or that it was “no worse than the seasonal flu”, or both. This is just the latest case of what I call the “US narcissistic messianism” leading US leaders to believe in their own propaganda only to find out that reality still exists out there and that it is dramatically different from the delusions held by most Americans.

Now all these US politicians (the Republicrats as much as the Demoblicans) all have to run and cover their collective butts. What better way to achieve that than to blame it all on China?

As I said above, this his clever, but definitely not very intelligent.

The US is already locked in an unwinnable war against Russia (as I always remind everybody, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic). To open a full-scale “second front” makes sense in terms of short term political expediency, especially in an election year, but in the long term it is self-defeating and disastrous. In fact, if there is anything history teaches us, is that opening a second front when you can’t even handle the first one is suicidal. But who cares about history, especially in the “United States of Amnesia”? And, besides, when you are both totally exceptional and totally superior, why would you care about the history of the common “deplorable” people and nations out there? Just call them “shit holes” and wave your (Chinese made) flag. That is what passes for “looking Presidential” these days…

Regardless of anything said above, the momentum of this sinophobic campaign is too big to be reversed or stopped. And since most of the US political class supports it, this will probably continue even after the US Presidential election (assuming it takes place).

Still, all this begs the question: what did really happen? What is the truth?

The truth is that nobody really knows. It will probably take years to get the full picture and, even more so, the correct numbers. What correct numbers? Well, ALL of them: carriers, resistance, age groups, comorbidity, the exact characteristics of this virus (and of its various mutations), how effective the various tests are, which antiviral medication might help, its side effects, whether the BCG vaccine somehow helps the body to fight off the virus, etc.

Right now, I don’t believe that anybody really knows, even the percentage of asymptomatic carriers changes by an order of magnitude depending on whom you ask. Sure, some guesses are closer to the truth than others, by definition, but which ones are closer is still very hard to ascertain.

They key thing to keep in mind now is that most of what we see now has very little in common with any scientific investigation. What we see is an attempt to use this pandemic for political, financial and geostrategic purposes.

And please don’t think that it is only Trump! Just remember what Pelosi was saying as late as February!

https://youtu.be/eFCzoXhNM6c (video to be embedded)

That was almost two months after China had warned the WHO that there was a major crisis developing!

But Pelosi, just like Trump, only thinks about power, money and influence, not the safety of the “deplorables” which the Dems hate so much (as do the Republicans, of course, they just don’t say so openly like Hillary did; but just Trump’s “grab them by the pussy” says all you need to know about his true respect for his fellow human beings!).

Then there is another very real risk: as the situation gets worse and worse for the US and, specifically, for Trump’s reelection, he might well decide to do what many politicians do in such a situation: start a big war. Before the pandemic, the US clearly had no stomach to start a war with Iran, but now that the pandemic is crippling the world economy and that all the ugly sides of the transnational capitalist system are becoming obvious, I would not put it past Trump to start a war with Iran just to deflect the many accusations against him. The Idiot-in-Chief has now ordered USN forces off the coast of Iran to, I kid you not, “shoot down & destroy” any Iranian gunboat which would “harass” the USN. Apparently, he still cannot understand that should any USN ship execute any such order it would soon find itself dealing with a swarm of Iranian anti-shipping missiles. Clearly, messianic narcissism and a rabid megalomania simply don’t allow Trump to understand that the Iranians are for real, that they absolutely mean business and that they, unlike the US, have carefully modeled the consequences of any war between Iran and the US and while they won’t deliberately provoke such a war, they will fight it if needed, with infinitely more staying power than the US.

Like a typical US flag-waving politician, Trump probably thinks that if all goes to hell, the US can nuke Iran and prevail. He is right about the former, but oh SO wrong about the latter. If nukes are used against Iran, then there will be a total and long war to kick both the US and the Zionist entity out of the Middle-East. But that is a topic for another day.

A new mascot for both US parties?

A new mascot for both US parties?

US politicians remind me of a person living in a arctic cabin who decide to burn down the cabin to get much needed heat: sure, this strategy will work, for a while, but only at the cost of a much bigger disaster down the road. This is what pretty much ALL US politicians did with this pandemic, and this is why they will never ever accept any responsibility for anything.

Check out this cute little donkey on the right.

Would he not make the perfect mascot and symbol for both US political parties and for the many US politicians who can think of nothing else than covering him?

There is one more thing I would like to mention here: there are a lot of folks out there who like to carefully note all the instances when somebody predicted that this pandemic would happen. They take these warning statements as evidence of a conspiracy. The truth is that the scientific community and even the general public (at least those few who still read books) fully knew that it was just a matter of time before such a pandemic would happen, because our society made such an event inevitable. Just one example:

In distant 1995 the US journalist Lorrie Garrett published an excellent book called “The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance” in which she explained why and even how a global pandemic would naturally emerge due to the very nature of our modern society. I highly recommend this book in spite of the fact that it is now a quarter of a century old: it is very well written, easy to read, and it makes a very strong case that such pandemics were inevitable (and with no need to appeal to unsubstantiated biowarfare theories).

History will show that we all, our entire planet, did not take this and many other warnings seriously. Ask yourself, what is easier for a politician: to accept that our entire socio-political order is unsustainable and outright dangerous (or “out of balance” to use Garrett’s expression), or to blame it all on the Chinese commies and their “secret biowarfare program”?

I think that the answer is self-evident.

سورية تعاني أبشع جرائم العقوبات

التعليق السياسي

قد تكون العقوبات الأميركية على كوريا الشمالية المبنية أصلا على عدم اعتراف أميركي بدولة كوريا الديمقراطية الشعبية، بعد حرب ضروس كانت بين الأميركيين والكوريين لسنوات، هي التي تسبق بالبشاعة والقسوة العقوبات التي تفرضها واشنطن على سورية، والتي تعادل وتوازي العقوبات المفروضة أميركياً على إيران والتي ترتبط بنزاع أميركي إيراني علني معلوم العناوين والمواضيع. وتبقى العقوبات على سورية وحدَها من دون موضوع معلن ومفسّر في علاقات الدول. فليس بين سورية وأميركا أي نزاع سوري أميركي بالمفهوم الدبلوماسي للعلاقات الدولية.

الأزمة التي تكشفت عن حرب معلنة لإسقاط سورية منذ العام 2011، شهدت عدواناً أميركياً على سورية وليس العكس، ولم تكن عنواناً يفسر المزاعم الأميركية بمبررات العقوبات، وعندما تمّ تقديمها سبباً تم ربطها مرة بقبول الحكومة السورية الانخراط في عملية سياسية تحت راية الأمم المتحدة بهدف الوصول إلى حل سياسي، ورغم تواصل العملية منذ سنوات لم تغير واشنطن في مسار العقوبات إلا تصعيداً. وفي سياق الأزمة التي تكشفت حرباً، ربطت واشنطن العقوبات بالسلاح الكيميائي السوري، ورغم وجود إطار أممي يشرف على إنهاء هذا الملف لم تتحرك العقوبات إلا صعوداً.

الأزمة الإنسانية التي يمثلها زحف وباء كورونا وما تفرضه من استثناء الملفات الصحية والطبية من التأثر بالملفات السياسية، لم تتحرك العقوبات الأميركية على سورية إلا صعوداً، وكل تفكير بسيط سيكتشف أنها آخر ما تبقى بيد واشنطن للتفاوض على مكتسبات لصالح أمن «إسرائيل»، الذي كان في الأصل سبب الحرب التي قادتها واشنطن على سورية، وترغب واشنطن، بعكس كل ما تفرضه القيم الإنسانية والأخلاقية، وما تعبر عنه المواثيق الدولية، بأن تشكل أزمة كورونا سبباً لمزيد من الأذى الإنساني بحق سورية ما يدفعها لقبول هذا التفاوض.

سورية صمدت وتصمد ولن تركع وستتخطى المحنة كما تخطت غيرها من محن.

As The Trump Administration Legitimizes COVID-19’s ‘China Lab’ Origins Conspiracy Theory, Remember Iraqi ‘WMD’

As The Trump Administration Legitimizes COVID-19’s ‘China Lab’ Origins Conspiracy Theory, Remember Iraqi ‘WMD’

By Scott Ritter – RT

By publicly entertaining theories linking the COVID-19 virus to Chinese research laboratories, US President Donald Trump and his administration are setting China up as the witch in a new political witch hunt.

As the United States begins to grapple with the scope and scale of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the national economy, as well as the heavy human toll the disease has taken on its population [676,676 documented cases as of April 17, with 34,784 deaths], it was only a matter of time before politicians began looking for someone to blame. Recently, US President Donald Trump has come under increasing scrutiny for what has been depicted as a delayed response to the threat posed by COVID-19, with many critics pointing out that his administration was virtually silent on the issue throughout the month of February, thereby losing precious time that could have been spent mitigating against the spread of the disease.

Purposeful non-denial

Rather than confront these allegations, the president and his national security team have instead sought to deflect blame from their shoulders onto China, and in doing so have breathed life into a baseless conspiracy theory that COVID-19 originated in a biological research laboratory located in the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the global pandemic brought about by that disease. When asked about reports of the virus escaping from the Wuhan lab, Trump was somewhat circumspect. “More and more, we’re hearing the story, and we’ll see,” Trump said. “We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened.” Trump was also asked about his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding the Wuhan laboratory’s role in spreading COVID-19. “I don’t want to discuss what I talked to him about the laboratory,” Trump responded. “I just don’t want to discuss, it’s inappropriate right now.”

The president of the United States possesses the world’s most influential bully pulpit – when he speaks, the world listens. As the leader of the most militarily and economically powerful nation in the world, Trump’s words possess an inherent credibility, affixing an imprimatur that cannot be ignored. In rapid succession, members of the president’s cabinet began to echo Trump’s “concern” about the Wuhan laboratory, thereby breathing life into the story. General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters: “On the lab piece… it should be no surprise to you that we’ve taken a keen interest in that, and we’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that.”

General Milley’s concerns were furthered by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “[We] know they have this lab,” Pompeo told the press. “We know that the virus itself did originate in Wuhan. So, all those things come together. There’s still a lot we don’t know, and this is what the president was talking about today. We need to know the answers to these things. The mere fact that we don’t know the answers – that China hasn’t shared the answers – I think is very, very telling.”

The statements made by General Milley and Secretary Pompeo should send a chill down the spine of anyone familiar with the history of what happens when American intelligence used to promote a baseless theory about a weapon of mass destruction [Trump’s indirect allusions to China weaponizing COVID-19 would place the virus in this category] for political purposes. Pompeo’s words harken back to statements made by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell in December 2002 regarding Iraq. Like Colin Powell’s flawed case against Iraq, the conspiracy theory postulated by President Trump and subsequently echoed by General Milley, Secretary Pompeo and others is premised on a chimera – there simply is no factual link between the Wuhan laboratories in question and COVID-19.

Just enough truth to speculate

The conspiracy theory promulgated by Trump and his Cabinet contains just enough factual foundation to make it look legitimate in the eyes of those ignorant about reality. There are, in fact, two laboratories in Wuhan. One, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has no connection with any research activity into coronaviruses. It did, however, spearhead the investigation into the initial outbreak of COVID-19. The other, the State Key Laboratory of Virology [sometimes referred to as the Wuhan Institute of Virology], is a biosafety level 4 [BSL-4] laboratory certified to handle the world’s most deadly pathogens, and is located approximately eight miles from Wuhan’s city center.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology was, in fact, involved in studying the link between bats and coronaviruses in China, and in March 2019 published a peer-reviewed paper which warned that this link could serve as the origin for a future pandemic. “It is highly likely that future… coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China,” the study noted. “Therefore, the investigation of bat coronaviruses becomes an urgent issue for the detection of early warning signs, which in turn minimizes the impact of such future outbreaks in China.”

So far, so good. But in January 2018, following a visit by US Embassy personnel to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, concerns were raised by the Americans about a shortage of appropriately trained specialists within the Wuhan Institute of Virology needed to operate the lab at the levels required of a BSL-4 facility capable of handling the most dangerous biological threats. The US Embassy communicated these concerns back to the State Department as part of a request, made on behalf of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, for funding to support the hiring of additional specialists under an existing grant overseen by a US research institution [the request was denied].

Building the bonfire

These State Department cables have become the heart of the US case against China; the fact that China requested additional specialist support from the US to help operate a BSL-4 lab that was conducting publicly acknowledged research into the link between bat coronaviruses and humans has somehow been turned into a conspiracy theory predicated on Chinese malfeasance and secrecy.

In many ways, the US ‘investigation’ into the Wuhan laboratory resembles the famous witch inquisition undertaken in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’: a witch burns, so she is made of wood; wood floats, as does a duck. Conclusion: a duck is made of wood. This kind of stupefying enquiry would normally be beyond the remit of professional intelligence agencies. However, the United States has a well-documented history of using intelligence to suit the political purposes of those in power. What is taking place today regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology is little more than an old-fashioned witch hunt.

There is little difference between Monty Python’s skit and the US intelligence investigation into China – both seek to prove that a duck is made of wood. Both are little more than farce, but whereas Monty Python’s is intended to generate mirth, Trump’s witch hunt could have dire consequences for US-China relations going forward. At a time when the global community needs to be coming together to deal with the dire impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump’s political deflection is the last thing the world needs.

Why Trump Scapegoats China

U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question from CNN's chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta about hospitals and frontline health care workers reporting shortages of masks and coronavirus tests during the coronavirus response daily briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2020.

17.04.2020

by Finian Cunningham

President Trump this week said no-one believes China’s official figures on Covid-19 casualties. Along with his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Trump accused Beijing of a cover-up on the scale of the disease.

Almost in the same breath, the White House has also accused the World Health Organization of colluding with China in deceiving other nations about the pandemic danger. To supposedly prove his point, Trump cut off US funding to the WHO.

China has slammed claims of it conducting a cover-up, saying it provided early warning to the rest of the world about the deadly outbreak.

Part of Trump’s skepticism towards China’s data appears to stem from the country’s relatively low numbers of infection cases and deaths. This week, China’s infection cases were about 82,000 while its deaths numbered over 4,000. That was after an upward revision on earlier data concerning the city of Wuhan where the new coronavirus disease erupted in December. Beijing says such revision is normal practice by all countries as mortality information is gathered. In Britain, for example, it is reckoned that deaths have so far been greatly underestimated due to lack of counting deceased in elderly care homes. Is anyone accusing the British government of a cover-up?

In any case, what seems to be bothering The Donald and other Western leaders is just how low China’s pandemic figures are by comparison with their own.

In the US this week, the infection cases and death toll are upwards of 700,000 and 34,000, according to this global counter. That’s massively greater than figures in China. Likewise the casualty rates in Italy, Spain, France and Britain are way out ahead of what China has reported.

That huge disparity has led Western politicians to accuse China of a cover-up or at least not coming fully clean with evidence. Because to reflect on the enormously discrepant figures it otherwise makes the Western countries look extremely bad in their mishandling of the public health crisis. The exploding casualties indicate gross ineptitude and dereliction of public health services (which is correct). In which case, it is politically expedient, and indeed imperative, to find a scapegoat in order to cover-up for the monumental incompetence of Western leaders. Ironically, it’s not China which is doing the covering up. It is the West and their criminally incompetent governments and their slavish adherence to capitalist priorities. Private profit before people.

The US and President Trump are potentially most acutely exposed for their ineptitude in coping with the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic ripping through American society is down to Trump’s callous complacency which was displayed for weeks after both China and the WHO explicitly warned of a public health crisis as far back as the end of January.

The American crisis is also down to the parlously insecure state of American workers living on the edge of financial ruin and an underfunded crumby health care system that puts corporate profit before human need.

Same goes for Britain and many other Western states. The fact is that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed all their chronic failings to protect public health. That’s why it is imperative for the Western culprits to blame China for allegedly deceiving them into supposedly not being able to make adequate preparations.

The Western inference that China’s Covid-19 figures are unreliable are contradicted by data from South Korea. It was one of the first countries outside China to be put on alert over the epidemic. But it was early and rapid action by South Korea’s government that ensured the impact was kept relatively low. Out of a caseload of 106,000 infections, some 230 South Koreans have died from the disease. Compare that with Britain, where the caseload as of this week is similar, but the death toll stands at over 14,000, two orders of magnitude greater.

© REUTERS / KIM HONG-JIA couple takes a walk near a cherry blossom trees street, closed to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Seoul, South Korea, April 1, 2020

South Korea’s effectiveness in containing the Covid-19 pandemic shows that the right government action of massive testing, tracking and quarantining can succeed. China’s record is apparently not as good as South Korea’s, but nevertheless is comparable in the scale of its success. Western governments and media are not accusing South Korea of a cover-up. And if South Korea can succeed in the way it did, then it is entirely feasible that China did also by the same proactive intervention of testing, tracking and lockdown. To claim China is lying about its figures is to willfully ignore the success of South Korea against Covid-19.

Trump and other Western leaders are scapegoating China over Covid-19 because they can’t allow the public to ponder on the shameful and awful truth: that their governments let them die unnecessarily.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Coronavirus Removes Anti-terrorism Mask Off US Sanctions’ Face: Iranian Gov’t Spokesman

Coronavirus Removes Anti-terrorism Mask Off US Sanctions’ Face: Iranian Gov’t Spokesman

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic disclosed the reality of the US sanctions and removed the anti-terrorism mask off its face.

“The truth is that coronavirus, removing the anti-terrorism mask off the sanctions’ face, disclosed an ignored dimension of them to the public opinion in the world. With all its evil and horrible nature, the virus indicated that the victims of the sanctions are the very ordinary Iranian people and a nation’s will to live is far greater than one can label it as terrorist or expansionist,” Rabiei wrote in an article in the Persian-language daily ‘Iran’ published on Saturday.

He further noted that Iran’s rightfulness regarding Human Rights and diplomacy has challenged the fake legitimacy of the sanctions so that the anti-Iran lobbies are scrambling to deny the reality of them.

Those people, according to the spokesman, hide behind US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim that “Iran has failed to invest in its health system”; but Iran’s health infrastructure and its hardworking staff during the pandemic proved the emptiness of such claims, Rabiei added.

“The death and war lobbies use such expressions as ‘government-made coronavirus’ as they’re afraid of the legality of sanctions being questioned by the world public opinion even in the West and America itself,” he went on to say.

This was seen in a televised debate in which Richard Nephew, former US State Department sanctions official who was also among the architects of Iran sanctions, questioned the inhumane image of the sanctions, according to Rabiei.

He stressed that many NGOs, including special decease communities and those working in the field of child labor and the disabled, made a lot of efforts to shout out the difficulty of procuring special medicine under the sanctions pressure.

Rabiei underlined that the fight against sanctions should not be considered an international political issue, because it is concerned with the lives of workers, retired people, the poor and elderly Iranians.

The deadly coronavirus radiating from Wuhan, China, in December 2019 has affected over 2,240,000 people across the world, killing more than 154,000 people.

More than 79,400 people in Iran are infected with the virus, while it has killed over 4,950 Iranians. Relatively, 0ver 54,000 Iranians have also recovered.

Bogged Down Saudis Look for Exit from Yemen Quagmire Using COVID-19 as ‘Fig Leaf’

Bogged Down Saudis Look for Exit from Yemen Quagmire Using COVID-19 as ‘Fig Leaf’

By Staff, The Economist

Saudi Arabia is reportedly using the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic as a “fig leaf” for an exit from the quagmire in war-torn Yemen, where the Ansarullah revolutionaries now have the upper hand against Saudi-led invaders.

An article published by The Economist newspaper on Saturday raised doubts about the objective of the so-called ceasefire declared by the Riyadh regime in Yemen earlier this month.

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging the war on Yemen since 2015 to reinstall the regime of pro-Riyadh fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, claimed that its unilateral two-week truce in Yemen was designed to head off the outbreak.

“Cynics doubt that compassion is truly motivating Saudi Arabia, a majority Sunni nation. For years its bombs have hit hospitals, houses and schools in Yemen—often, it seemed, on purpose. Rather, the war is turning and the Saudis are losing heart,” the report said.

It also referred to Saudi Arabia’s failure to purge the Yemeni capital of resistance fighters more than five years into the aggression, adding that the kingdom is now seeking to stop the Ansarullah’ retaliatory attacks on its own territory.

“Despite its vicious air campaign, Saudi Arabia has been unable to dislodge the [Ansarullah] from most of Yemen’s population centers, including the capital, Sana’a. Its main international ally, the United Arab Emirates, began scaling back its involvement in the war last year,” the report said. “In recent months they have held secret talks with the Asnarullah. Gone is the hope of returning Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, the exiled Yemeni president, to Sana’a. Now the kingdom’s goal is to stop Yemeni missile strikes on its own territory.”

Yemeni Analyst Abdulghani al-Iryani emphasized, “The Saudis want a way out and are using the coronavirus as a fig leaf.”

However, the report said, the Ansarullah sense Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s “desperation,” reject the ceasefire and want a better deal that makes Saudi Arabia lift its air and sea blockade of Yemen, pay reparations for the damage it has caused on the impoverished country and recognize the Yemeni Army as the legitimate government.

If the Saudis do not agree, the Ansarullah promise “a major escalation inside the kingdom,” it added.

The Ansarullah have dismissed the truce claim as “false and misleading,” saying Saudi Arabia has even escalated its offensives against Yemen in recent days.

Will This Pandemic Finally Mark the End of the US Carrier Fleet?

THE SAKER • APRIL 16, 2020 

Frankly, I have never considered USN carrier strike groups as a “Cold War capable” element of the US Navy. Yes, in theory, there was the notion of forward deploying these carriers to “bring the war to the Soviets” (on the Kola Peninsula) before they could flush their subs and aircraft through the GUIK gap and into the Atlantic. In theory, it should have been a 600 ship navy too, but that never happened. In reality, of course, US strike groups were the ultimate “colony disciplining” instrument which Uncle Shmuel would park off the coast of a country disobedient to the demands and systematic plundering of the USA. Since most countries in the 20th century could not sink a US carrier or prevail over the comparatively advanced aircraft deployed on them, this was, all in all, a very safe game to play for the USA.

As for “bringing the war to the Soviets”, the truth is that had it ever come to a real war, the US carriers would have been kept far away from the formidable Soviet cruise missile capability (delivered simultaneously by aircraft, surface ships and submarines) for a very simple reason: every time such an attack was modeled a sufficient number of Soviet missiles successfully passed through the protective cordon around the carrier and successfully hit it with devastating results (while sinking a carrier is not that easy, damaging it and making it inoperable does not take that many missile hits).

And that was long before hypersonic missiles like the Kinzhal or the Zircon!

Truly, as an an instrument to deter or defeat the Soviets the USN strike groups were already obsolete in the 1980s, that is long before the the Russians deployed their hypersonic missiles which, as my friend Andrey Martyanov explained in his books (see here and here) and on his blog (see here), basically made the entire US surface fleet obsolete not only to fight Russia, but also to fight any country which possesses such missiles. Such countries already include India and China, but there will be many more soon, probably including Iran!

Today, however, I won’t discuss the missile issue, but what happened recently on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which you probably know about: her captain got fired for writing a letter (according to his accusers, bypassing the chain of command) asking for help because his crew got infected by the virus. His letter was published by the San Francisco Chronicle and you can read it here.

Interestingly, when the captain, Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, left the ship, his sailors gave him a standing ovation:

Next, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly called Captain Crozier “stupid. That also became public, and he had to apologize and resign (clearly, Modly is not exactly a genius himself!). Then even more of the crew of the carrier got sick, including Crozier himself!

This is what is known in the US military jargon as a “clusterbleep”…

There is, however, also a lot of interesting stuff coming out from this story.

First, the obvious: USN carriers cannot operate effectively under a bio-attack (a truly weaponized virus would both be much more transmissible than SARS-COV-2 and it would be far more deadly). This also indicates that they would probably do no better under a real chemical warfare attack either.

Considering that in reality USN carriers are a instrument of colonial repression and not ships to be engaged against the USSR (which had real biowarfare capabilities), this makes sense (while most university labs & the like could produce some kind of virus and use it as a weapon, truly weaponized viruses, the kind effectively used in special delivery systems, can only be produced by a limited list of countries). However, in theory, all the formations/units/subunits/ships/aircraft/armor/etc of a military superpower should be trained to operate in case of a nuclear, chemical and biological attack. Clearly, this is not the case with US carriers, most likely because nobody in the USA really expected such an attack, at least not during the Cold War.

For the current situation, however, I think that the lesson is clear: the USN simply does not have an effective capability to operate under NBC attack conditions.

By the way, this appears to also be true of the French, whose only carrier has 30% infected sailors!

Second, I agree that going outside the chain of command is wrong, but let’s also consider the following here: the fact that the USS Theodore Roosevelt was having a large number of infected sailors is not something which could have been kept secret anyway, especially while in port. Not only that, but how do we know that Capt. Crozier did not write other memos through the regular chain of command before he wrote the one which became public? After all, any such memos could very easily be classified and never made public.

Finally, I will admit that my sympathies are squarely with the man who placed the lives of his man and women above all else, and not with the bureaucratic drone who put procedures and ruffled feathers above the lives of sailors and called the real officer “stupid” for his actions (wait! a USN carrier captain stupid?! Somehow I don’t think so…..).

At the time of writing (April 14th) there have been 600 sailors from the Theodore Roosevelt who contracted the virus and one death.

Finally, over 4000 sailors have now been evacuated from the ship (1000 are still onboard to operate the nuclear reactor and other key systems).

In other words, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is now completely inoperable!

The quoted CNN article concludes with:

Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten told reporters Thursday the US military needed to plan for similar outbreaks in the future as the Defense Department works to cope with the virus’ impacts. “I think it’s not a good idea to think the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue. We have too many ships at sea, we have too many deployed capabilities. There’s 5,000 sailors on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. To think it will never happen again is not a good way to plan. What we have to do is figure out how to plan in these kind of Covid environments,” Hyten said.

Yet more proof that the USN never took a bioattack threat seriously.

To be honest, it seems that the US Army has similar problems, here is a map of affected US bases I found on Colonel Cassad’s blog:

It appears that the US-based forces never expected any real attack (other than maybe one by terrorists equipped with small arms) so NBC security was never a priority.

Note, in Russia, at least so far (April 14th), there are zero cases of servicemen infected with the virus. This will almost inevitably change in the future, but for the time being, this is true, in spite of having Russian military units helping to fight the virus both in Russia and outside. Just saying…

However, this is not a fair comparison. First, bases located on land have far more interactions with the outside world than ships, even ships in port. Second, and much more importantly, in case of a pandemic or chemical/biological attack, bases located on land can better isolate those affected, bring in more resources or quickly disperse the personnel to better protect them. You can’t do that on a ship. In fact, the bigger the ship, the more it looks like an “armed cruiseliner” which, as we now all know, is a gigantic Petri dish.

Questions such as those above will only increase in number as the pandemic finally shed a much-needed light on the shocking reality about “the best! most powerful! best equipped! and best trained military force in the Galaxy!”: it can’t even protect itself from a relatively weak virus, never-mind defeat a competent enemy.

Will we get answers? Eventually, probably yes. But for the time being, the US is all about covering your ass while pointing fingers and blaming others(especially China, Russia and even the WHO!). This strategy has been an abject failure for the past decades and it will be an abject failure in the future.

Trump’s latest decision to defund the WHO (to whom the US already owes a ton of money anyway) is arguably his worst act of “international PR seppuku” which will further increase the disgust the USA already inspires worldwide. As for our Israeli friends, they are proud that their Mossad actually steals medical equipment from other countries: after all, every Israeli know that Jewish blood is sacred, while goy blood is worthless. Another case of self-inflicted “international PR seppuku” for “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

But since that is all US politicians know how to do, this is not stopping anytime soon. Likewise, what is known as the “carrier fiction” will be upheld for as long as possible, especially since there is a lot of money involved for the US ruling classes.

أميركا تخسر حرب الكورونا وفي طريقها للخروج من المحيط الهادئ

محمد صادق الحسيني

لم يكن إعلان “سفارة الأمر الواقع” الأميركية في تايوان، يوم الجمعة 10/4/2020، حول تعاون الولايات المتحدة مع هذه الجزيرة لسنوات مقبلة (أمراً واقعاً لكونها غير شرعية بموجب اتفاق 1979 بين جمهورية الصين الشعبية والولايات المتحدة، والذي أكد وحدة الصين الواحدة ومن ضمن أراضيها السيادية هذه الجزيرة، التي انشقت عن الصين الأمّ عام 1949)، نقول إنّ هذا الإعلان لم يكن هو الاستفزاز الأميركي الأول تجاه جمهورية الصين الشعبية.

كما لم يكن مرور المدمّرة الأميركية USS Barry DDG 52، يوم السبت 12/4/2020، في مضيق تايوان هو الاستفزاز العسكري الأميركي الأول ضدّ بكين. اذ انّ الاستفزازات الأميركية قد بدأت عندما شرعت الولايات المتحدة في تقديم الدعم العسكري الواسع لعميلها، الجنرال الصيني المنشق جيانغ كاي شيك (Chiang – Kai – Shek)، الذي هرب من البر الصيني إثر هزيمته وقوات الكومينتانغ عام 1949 إثر انتصار قوات الثورة الصينية، بزعامة ماوتسي تونغ وحرّرت كامل البر الصيني.

نقول إنّ استفزازات الولايات المتحدة لجمهورية الصين الشعبية قبل ذلك الإعلان بزمن طويل، حيث قام الرئيس الأميركي، هاري ترومان، بنشر الأسطول السابع الأميركي في محيط هذه الجزيرة ومضيق تايوان، قبالة الشواطئ الصينية، وذلك لمنع قوات الثورة من السيطرة على الجزيرة وتحريرها. وقد اتبعت واشنطن انتشار قواتها العسكرية في تلك المنطقة بتوقيع اتفاقية، بينها وبين جيانغ كاي شيك، سنة 1955 أطلقت عليها اسم: اتفاقية الدفاع المشترك والتي وقعت في واشنطن بتاريخ 3/3/1955.

وقد استمرّت واشنطن في ممارسة سياستها العدوانية، ضدّ بكين، طوال السنوات التي تبعت توقيع الاتفاقية، المشار اليها أعلاه، وحتى نهاية سبعينيات القرن الماضي، عندما اتفقت واشنطن وبكين، على وضع أسس ثابتة لعلاقات بين الدولتين، تكللت بتوقيع اتفاقية الاعتراف الديبلوماسي المتبادل بين البلدين بتاريخ 1/1/1979، تلك الاتفاقية التي أعادت التوازن، ولو جزئياً لميزان القوى السياسي، في تلك المنطقة من العالم، خاصة أنها اعتبرت جزيرة تايوان جزءاً لا يتجزأ من أراضي جمهورية الصين الشعبية، الأمر الذي أدّى إلى أن تشغل بكين مقعد الصين الدائم في مجلس الأمن الدولي بدلاً من الجزيرة المنشقة.

وهو الأمر الذي شكل قاعدة العلاقات الأميركية الصينية، وتطوّرها، حتى تسلّم ترامب للسلطة في واشنطن، عام 2017، وبدئه اتباع سياسات استفزازية، تصعيدية وعدائية ضدّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية. ومن بين أهمّ تلك الإجراءات العدائية هي التالية:

موافقة ترامب، منذ عام 2017 وحتى الآن، على تزويد جزيرة تايوان الصينية المنشقة بأسلحة متطورة قيمتها 4,12 مليارات دولار ( مساحة الجزيرة / 35000 كم مربع / أيّ أكثر بقليل من مساحة فلسطين).

توقيع الرئيس الأميركي ترامب قانون زيارات تايوان، بتاريخ 23/2/2018، والذي يسمح لكبار المسؤولين السياسيين الأميركيين، بزيارة الجزيرة المنشقة وعقد لقاءات سياسية مع مسؤوليها، وكذلك زيارة سياسيين تايوانيين منشقين للولايات المتحدة وعقد لقاءات مع نظرائهم الأميركيين، وذلك لأول مرة منذ الاعتراف المتبادل بين الصين الشعبية وواشنطن سنة 1979. وهو الأمر الذي أثار سخطاً شديداً لدى الأوساط الرسمية والشعبية الصينية لأنه اعتبر انسحاباً ضمنياً من اعتراف واشنطن بسيادة بكين على جزيرة تايوان.

توقيع الرئيس الأميركي على قانون النفقات الدفاعية الأميركي، بتاريخ 20/12/2019، والذي يتضمّن بنوداً تدعو لتقوية العلاقات (ومنها العسكرية طبعاً) مع تايوان وإبطاء رفع العقوبات عن شركة الاتصالات الصينية العملاقة، هواوي. اضافة الى وجود نصوص أخرى، تتعلق بهونغ كونغ ومنطقة شينغ جيانغ Xinjiang الصينية. الأمر الذي اعتبره ناطق باسم الخارجية الصينية، السيد يو فينتز إي You Wenze، ووكالة الأنباء الصينية، تدخلاً سافراً في شؤون الصين الداخلية.

وهنا تجب الإشارة الى إعلان، سفارة الأمر الواقع الأميركية في تايوان، بخصوص التعاون المستقبلي بين واشنطن وتايبِه، بما في ذلك التعاون العسكري، وهو ما يُعتبر إعلاناً أميركياً رسمياً عن بدء تطبيق قانون النفقات الدفاعية، الذي وقعه ترامب والمشار إليه أعلاه، ما يشكل خرقاً صارخاً لكلّ القوانين الدولية ولا يمكن مقارنته إلا بقيام الصين الشعبية، او ايّ دولة أخرى في العالم، بتقديم الدعم لولاية أميركية منشقة عن الحكومة الفدرالية في واشنطن.

طلب البنتاغون رسمياً، من خلال رسالة موجهة للكونغرس الأميركي، الأسبوع الماضي، تمويلاً إضافياً بقيمة عشرين مليار دولار، بحجة مواجهة التوسع العسكري الصيني وإقامة شبكات دفاع صاروخي ودفاع جوي وأنظمة رادار وحرب إلكترونية وتقوية الدفاعات الأميركية، البحرية والجوية، في قواعد جزيرة غوام ومنشآت أميركية أخرى في المحيط الهادئ، لوقف هذا التوسّع الصيني المزعوم. علماً أنّ من قدم الطلب هو قيادة المحيط الهندي/ الهادئ في البنتاغون (Indo – Pacific Command).

وقد بررت هذه القياده طلبها، المذكور أعلاه، بالقول إنّه دون وجود ردع موثوق به، في وجه روسيا والصين، فانهما ستعملان على تقويض نفوذ ومصالح الولايات المتحدة في تلك المنطقة والحلول مكانها. علماً انّ الجيش الأميركي قد اطلق على هذه العملية، في رسالة طلب التمويل، اسم: استعادة التفوق (Regain Advantege). علما أنّ التمويل سيبدأ اعتباراً من السنة المالية 2021.

وبما انّ وزير الحرب الأميركي السابق، جيمس ماتيس، قد أعلن منطقة جزيرة غوام وغرب المحيط الهندي منطقة عمليات ذات الاولوية، واعتبار العسكريين الأميركيين الحاليين جزيرة غوانتينامو خط الدفاع الأول عن الولايات المتحدة فهم يخططون الآن لإقامة “خط دفاع ثانٍ” يتجه غرباً، وصولاً الى ما يطلق عليه البنتاغون: سلسلة الجزر الاولى، اي سلسلة الجزر الصينية، في بحار الصين الجنوبية والشرقية. غيرها. وهو ما يعني تضييق الخناق على الصين ودمج جزيرة تايوان في خط الدفاع الثاني، الذي يعملون على إقامته، من خلال التمويلات الجديدة وغيرها.

وعليه فلا بد من تذكير عضو الكونغرس الأميركي عن ولاية أوكلاهوما، جيمس إنهوف ( James Inhofe )، وهو رئيس لجنة القوات المسلحة في المجلس انّ ما يحمي اميركا ومصالحها، في مسرح العمليات ذي الاولوية (Priority Theatre)، ليس تمويل المزيد من مشاريع التسلح والتوسع ومحاصرة الصين، التي لا يمكنكم ان تحاصروها، بل ان ما يحمي الولايات المتحدة ومصالحها هو استثمار هذه المليارات في مشاريع إنتاجية ومشاريع لتحديث البنى التحتية، ومن بينها ثلاثة آلاف جسر مهدّدة بالانهيار بسبب انعدام الصيانة.

هذه هي الاستثمارات التي قد تعيد الحياة الى الاقتصاد الاميركي، الذي خسر حرب كورونا، امام المعسكر الأوروآسيوي. وذلك لانّ الدولة التي ستكون قادرة على اعادة عجلة دوران اقتصادها الى الوضع الطبيعي هي التي ستكون، وحلفاؤها، في وضع من يقرّر مستقبل العالم، وتخليصه من سيطرة الأحادية القطبية والتوحش الرأسمالي، الذي ساد العالم الغربي خلال السنوات الأربعين الماضية.

لن تكون خطوط الدفاع تلك وانما الكتلة الدولية المُشار اليها اعلاه، خاصة انّ الاقتصاد الصيني، وحسب التقارير الدولية المختصة قد نجحت في إعادة تشغيل وتفعيل اقتصادها بنسبة تفوق 80 %، الأمر الذي سيجعلها أكثر حظاً في ترسيخ دورها القيادي العالمي، بالتعاون مع روسيا وربما الهند، ولو بشكل جزئي في البداية.

يهلك ملوكاً ويستخلف آخرين.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

هل هناك خلاف فعليّ بين الأميركيين وآل سعود؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يثير التهديد الأميركي لآل سعود بقطع التعاون معهم على مستويات التغطية السياسية والاستراتيجية والتسليح والتدريب والرعاية وسحب المستشارين والعسكريين الاميركيين المنتشرين في الخليج، الدهشة لأنه لا يتصل بأي توتر سابق بين الطرفين ولا يعكس تاريخاً طويلاً ومتواصلاً من الولاء السعودي الكامل للسياسة الاميركية في كل بقاع الارض.

فهذه العلاقات تطورت بعد توقيع معاهدة كوينسي في 1945 بين الرئيس الاميركي روزفلت والعاهل السعودي عبد العزيز على اساس التغطية الكاملة مقابل الولاء والتسهيلات النفطية والتبعية الاقتصادية بما جعل هذا التاريخ رمزاً لانصياع سعودي كامل وعلني وضع كامل الإمكانات الاقتصادية والدينية في خدمة الجيوبوليتيك الاميركي متيحاً بدوره للسعودية فرصة حيازة ادوار في كبيرة في الخليج والتأثير في جوارهما المباشر في العراق واليمن والعالمين العربي والاسلامي.

على هذا الاساس قامت معادلة القطبية الاميركية التي تشكل السعودية جناحها في محوريها العربي والاسلامي مع أهمية دولية نسبية.

اللافت هنا ان هذا الوضع لا يزال معتمداً حتى هذا التاريخ ويبدو منفصلاً الى درجة غريبة من نوعين من التهديد الأميركي.

الاول اطلقه الرئيس دونالد ترامب محذراً صديقته السعودية ومنافسته روسيا من الاستمرار في رفع انتاجيهما النفطي وإلا فإنه متجه الى فرض ضرائب ورسوم على صادراتهما من البترول.

اما الثاني فكان أشد عنفاً واطلقه الحزب الجمهوري الاميركي الذي ينتمي اليه ترامب معلناً فيه استعداد الدولة الاميركية قطع كامل علاقاتها مع السعودية اذا لم تتراجع عن رفع انتاجها النفطي الى مستويات اقل مما كان عليه قبل شهرين فقط.

وهذا يعني إعادته من 13 مليون برميل يومياً كما هو الآن الى تسعة ملايين كما كان في كانون الثاني الماضي… مع امل على خفضه اضافياً في اطار خفض جماعي لدول منظمة اوبيك يتعادل مع التراجعات الاقتصادية التي فرضها انتشار جائحة الكورونا المتواصل حتى الآن.

المدهش هنا أن الاميركيين يصرون على هذا الخفض رافضين تحديد سقف لإنتاجهم من النفط الصخري الشديد الكلفة والبترول العادي ويبررون بأن نفوطهم تراجعت في الآونة الأخيرة بسبب تراجع اسعار البترول الى 23 دولاراً للبرميل بعد الرفع السعودي – الروسي لإنتاجيهما فكان ان توقفت شركات النفط الصخري عن العمل، لأن كلفة استخراج البرميل الواحد من هذا النوع تتعدى الأربعين دولاراً، ما ادى الى تدهور كبير في اقتصاديات هذه الشركات الاميركية وتريد خفض الاسعار العالمية لإعادة انعاش الشركات الاميركية التي تؤمن وظائف لعشرات آلاف العمال وتؤدي دوراً مركزياً في التفاعلات الاقتصادية الكبرى، لذلك فإن هذه التطورات تدعو الى التساؤل عن اسباب صمت الاميركيين عن رفع السعودية لإنتاجها النفطي في تاريخ رفعه قبل أشهر عدة، ولماذا يعترضون الآن؟

الواضح أنهم في المرحلة الأولى اعتقدوا ان رفع الإنتاج السعودي يؤدي فوراً الى ضرب الاقتصاد الروسي المعتمد على النفط والغاز بمعدل اربعين في المئة من موازناتهم ويضاعف مصاعب ايران التي يقاطعها الاميركيون ويحاصرونها مع نفر كبير من دول تؤيدهم او تخشاهم.

لكن انتشار الكورونا والشلل الاقتصادي في العام احدث شللاً كبيراً وخطيراً وعاماً في الاقتصاد الاميركي وشركات النفط الصخري وذلك عشية انتخابات رئاسية واصبح المشروع الاميركي بضرب روسيا عبر استخدام النفط السعودي كارثة على الاميركيين ايضاً.

وإذا كان إقناع السعوديين بخفض إنتاجهم عملاً ممكناً بسهولة، فإن إقناع الروس هو المشكلة الفعلية لانهم سارعوا الى رفض الطلب الاميركي مصرين على خفض متواز بين دول «اوبيك +» اي اوبيك زائد روسيا مع النفط الأميركي.

في حين أن الأميركيين يريدون خفضاً عالمياً يسمح لشركاتهم بالعودة الى الإنتاج والتوظيف بقوة ما يسمح لترامب بكسب أصوات الفئات الشعبية في الانتخابات المقبلة.

الموضوع اذاً بالنسبة للبيت الابيض هو اقتصادي في جانبه المتعلق بإنتاج النفط وتحديد اسعاره، وهو أيضاً سياسي لعلاقته بالانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني المقبل، وهو أيضاً استراتيجي جيوبوليتيكي لتعاطفه مع حالة التنافس الشديد مع روسيا، وتحالفاتها في ايران والصين.

الأمر الذي يوضح ان رفع الانتاج السعودي هو قرار اميركي لكن العودة عنه لم تعد كذلك بل اصبحت معادلة تحتاج الى موافقة روسيا ومنظمة الاوبيك وهناك تكمن المشكلة، لان الروس يقبلون بالخفض بمعدل يواكب تداعيات كورونا على تراجع الاقتصاد العالمي لكنهم يشترطون ان يسري هذا الخفض على النفط الاميركي ايضاً بما يؤدي الى عرقلة عودة النشاط النفطي الى الاقتصاد الاميركي.

لذلك فإن اقتصار هذا الخفض على السعوديين لن يؤدي الى النتائج الاميركية المطلوبة، فجاء التهديدان الاميركيان للسعودية بمثابة إنذار لروسيا لحلحلة تصلبها وخطاباً عاطفياً للناخبين الاميركيين بأن الحزب الجمهوري الاميركي لن يتورع عن معاقبة صديقة بلاده الاساسية اي السعودية اذا اكملت سياسة رفع انتاجها الموازية لشركات النفط الصخري وآلاف الاميركيين العاملين فيها، الامر الذي يكشف انهما ليسا اكثر من دبلجة لغوية غير قابلة للتطبيق العملي لان السعودية هي البقرة الاميركية الحلوب التي تنعش الاقتصاد الاميركي وتؤمن للسياسة الاميركية مدى اسلامياً واسعاً يزداد انصياعاً لواشنطن عندما يستعمل آل سعود أهمية بلادهم الدينية والتغطية في خدمته.

اما على المقلب الآخر الذي يذهب الى التساؤل حول امكانية آل سعود مقاومة الاميركيين بطلب خفض انتاج نفطهم فيثير الضحك لان آل سعود لم يبنوا دولة متماسكة تؤمن بشعبها وتعمل على رفع مستويات النمو والتقدم، بل عملوا على مفهوم من القرون الوسطى يعتبر ان الارض والناس والثروات والمياه هي ملك للسلطان يوزعها على من يشاء ويمنعها عما يريد، فهو ولي الامر واحكامه مطبقة على السمع والطاعة.

هناك نقطة اضافية وهي ان الحكم السعودي لم يؤسس منظومة تحالفات عربية واقليمية تعينه في اوقات الشدة، فهو يعادي ايران معتمداً على اميركا لاسقاط جمهوريتها ويعبث بالامن الاجتماعي والسياسي للعراق متلاعباً بمكوناته وطوائفه ويرتكب مجازر في اليمن تطال مئات الآلاف في هجوم مستمر من خمس سنوات ويدعم الارهاب في سورية ويعادي قطر متدخلاً في ليبيا والسودان والجزائر ومتعاوناً مع «اسرائيل».

فكيف يمكن لبلد من هذا النوع يفتقد لتأييد شعبه مثيراً كراهية جواره السياسي ان يقاوم الاوامر الاميركية وهي اصلاً غير موجودة حتى الآن؟

يتبين ان السعودية لا تزال حاجة ماسة للاميركيين بوضعيتها السياسية الحالية، وهذا يعني ان آل سعود مرتاحون ويواصلون سياسة الاسترخاء السياسي مع خنق شعبهم بأساليب القرون الوسطى.

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