ناقلات إيران تعلن تصدع القطبية الأميركيّة!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

اختراق الناقلات الإيرانية محيطَيْن وخمسة بحار وحصاراً أميركياً غربياً – خليجياً مفروضاً على إيران منذ اربعين عاماً لا يندرج في اطار تحدّ أحادي يحدث مرة ويعجز في أخرى.

إنه إعلان عن سقوط مرحلة العصر الأميركي الكامل الذي هيمن على العلاقات الدولية منذ سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989.

هذه المرحلة التي استمرّت حتى 2020 قطعت أنفاس العالم في ثلاثة عقود سقط فيها ملايين القتلى في اجتياحات عسكرية أميركية في أميركا الجنوبية وآسيا الوسطى في افغانستان الى العراق وسورية واليمن والخليج ومصر والسودان والجزائر وأفريقيا وصولاً الى بحر الصين وجنوب شرق آسيا.

لقد تمكن الأميركيون في هذه المرحلة من أمركة البحار والمحيطات وتدمير الدول وبعثرة الشرق الأوسط وفرض الحروب بأسلوب الحصار والمقاطعات الاقتصادية حتى أصبحت هذه القرارات الأميركيّة الخارجة على القانون الدولي وتطبقها من دون اعتراض.

فتحوّلت المحيطات والبحار الى ملاعب للبحرية الأميركية وميادين الدول ساحات لفيالقها، فأمركت البحار والمحيطات وميادين الدول وسط غياب روسي وصمت صيني وشرود أوروبي.

لكن الأميركيين ركزوا في هذه المرحلة على اسقاط الجمهورية الإيرانية التي اعلنت منذ انتصار الإمام الخميني على الحاكم السابق شاه إيران في 1979 التمرد على مسألتين هما النفوذ الأميركي ورفض الاحتلال الاسرائيلي لفلسطين المحتلة. وهذا اساء للخطة الأميركية بإنهاء القضية الفلسطينية وإنشاء حلف عربي اسرائيلي للمزيد من ارساء القطبية الأميركية الاحادية في العالم.

لم تكتفِ إيران بالتمرد السياسي على المشروع الأميركي. بل سارعت الى ملء الفراغ المصري الذي أحدثه الرئيس المصري السابق انور السادات الذي صالح «اسرائيل» ساحباً مصر من حالة العداوة معها الى مرحلة التحالف، فأرسلت مساعدات كبيرة ودائمة للمنظمات الفلسطينية ودعمت العراق وسورية عسكرياً معادياً في حروبهما ضد الأميركيين والمنظمات الإرهابية. وساندت مجابهة الأميركيين في افغانستان واليمن، لكن علاقتها بحزب الله شكلت العمود الفقري لنمو مقاومات شكلت حالة جهادية ثابتة لمجابهة الأميركيين والاسرائيليين، ونشرت فكراً تحررياً في الشرق الاوسط وآسيا الوسطى وصولاً الى أميركا الجنوبية. بذلك نجح الإيرانيون ببناء علاقات راسخة في الشرق الاوسط وآسيا وافريقيا وأميركا الجنوبية وكادت تؤسس نتوءاً كبيراً في المناطق الاسلامية في ساراييفو والبوسنة وألبانيا لولا الاستخدام الأميركي لمهارات السعودية في بناء الفتن المذهبيّة لعرقلة التوسّع الإيراني.

إن هذه الإنجازات الإيرانية تقاطعت مع تطبيق عقوبات أميركية عليها هي الأقسى في تاريخ العلاقات الدولية وكان بإمكانها خنق النظام السياسي الإيراني وإسقاطه لولا نجاحه في بناء صناعات بديلة واسلحة كافية لصد الهجمات وتطوير الزراعة والخدمات.

لقد تطوّرت هذه المبارزات الإيرانية – الأميركية وسط بداية استيقاظ روسية وتوسّع اقتصادي صيني ونجاح حلفاء إيران في الشرق العربي وتحول حزب الله الى أيقونة الحركات الجهادية حتى ان كوبا وفنزويلا اللتين كانتا مكتفيتين بصمود صامد لا يعترضان عليه استفادتا من التمرد الإيراني على الهمجية الأميركية وابتدأتا بالاعتراض العلني الإعلامي مع إبداء استعداديهما لمقاومة الأميركيين عسكرياً ودعم إيران بكل السبل.

يتبين أن إيران نجحت في رفض الهيمنة الأميركية عليها، ببناء تحالفات قوية، استفادت منها روسيا التي دخلت طرفاً اساسياً في ضرب الإرهاب في سورية، بداية من خلال الدور الإيراني والسوري تطوّر لاحقاً الى دور روسي جيوبوليتيكي خاص بها.

كذلك الحال بالنسبة للصين، التي كانت تتحلى بصبر أيوب إزاء الاستفزازات الأميركية العسكرية في بحر الصين وكوريا الشمالية والاقتصادية في الأسواق العالمية التي كان الأميركيون يحاولون منع السلع الصينية من التموضع في حركتها التجارية.

لقد استفادت هذه القوى الكبرى من الاختراق الإيراني الواسع للنفوذ الأميركي فبنت عليه وبدأت تسجل الرفض تلو الآخر للقرارات الأميركية الجائرة، لكنها لم تصل كإيران الى مرحلة صدامات عسكرية متفرّقة معها، لم يفعلها احد مع الأميركيين مباشرة منذ 1990.

صحيح ان روسيا اقتطعت بالقوة مناطق فيها غالبية روسية من أوكرانيا وتحرّكت في جورجيا، لكنها لم تدرك ما فعلته إيران من قصف لأهداف أميركية خالصة في العراق، وتحدتها في بحر الخليج بأسلوب العين بالعين والسن بالسن، واتهمها الإعلام الغربي بقصف اهم مؤسسة نفطية سعودية لها علاقة رحمية بالغرب هي ارامكو، لكن إيران نفت وتبنت العملية اليمن في صنعاء.

ضمن هذه المعطيات ووسط تأثير جائحة الكورونا في تهدئة العلاقات الدولية المحتربة، أرسلت إيران في حركة اخترقت فيها الحصار الأميركي الذي يستهدفها ناقلات تحمل وفوداً الى فنزويلا المحاصرة بدورها واخترقت بحار الخليج والأحمر والمتوسط والمحيط الأطلسي الى بحر الكاريبي قبالة فنزويلا لتفرغ حمولتها هناك، ولم تأبه للتهديد الأميركي بقصفها. كما ارسلت ايضاً ناقلات للصين من طريق بحر الصين.

هذا يعني ضربة استراتيجية لعقوبات أميركية كادت ان تصبح اهم من القوانين الأممية وتلتزم بها اوروبا ومعظم آسيا واوستراليا وكندا وبعض وافريقيا والشرق الاوسط.

لذلك القوة إن ناقلات إيران اخترقت حصارين أميركيين على بلادها أولاً وفنزويلا ثانياً وفتحت طريقاً بحرية على الصين كانت ممنوعة عليها منذ 1980.

وهذا قابل للاقتداء به عالمياً من قبل الدول المصابة بعقوبات أميركية بما يعني أن عصر الرعب من الأميركي بدأ يتراجع وله تداعيات هامة على مستوى القطبية الأميركية بما يؤدي الى تصدعها كأكبر قوة معروفة في التاريخ الى مستوى قوة أساسية توجد قوى أخرى تنافسها بتوازن.

إن هذا الاختراق الإيراني مقدمة للتصدع الأميركي المرتقب بعد كورونا والجسر الذي يربط بين قوى تحالف جديد هي الصين وروسيا وإيران، التي تبدأ مسيرتها لإعادة النفوذ الى القانون الدولي بديلاً من قانون القوة الأميركية الذي حكم العالم بهمجيّة غير مسبوقة منذ ثلاث عقود.

فهل بدأت رحلة إيران نحو القطبية العالمية؟

China, the World System and Brazilian dystopia

May 22, 2020

China, the World System and Brazilian dystopia

By Fábio Reis Vianna for the Saker Blog

When Admiral Cheng Ho ordered the retreat of his naval fleet around the year 1424, he left, in the words of the anthropologist Abu-Lughod, “a huge power vacuum”. The first great Chinese expansionist project, started during the Ming Dynasty, was prematurely interrupted there.

After impressive naval expeditions that reached territories as far away as the Indian Ocean and the coast of Africa, and in a decision not yet fully clarified by scholars of the subject, China would abruptly give up the first great expansionist project on a global scale.

It would take no more than 70 years for the Europeans to occupy the great void left by the Chinese and actually begin the adventure that gave rise to what we today call world system.

Six centuries later, China led by Xi Jinping finds itself in an unprecedented crisis in its recent successful history as the undisputed leader of the globalization process. The Covid-19 pandemic that abruptly hits the entire planet, for China in particular, was a hard blow that created an imbalance in its model of political and economic stability.

In the first three months of 2020, trade between China and the rest of the world fell by 6.4%, a figure unthinkable by Chinese standards. In particular, trade with the United States, the European Union and Japan declined 18.3%, 10.4% and 8.1% respectively.

Even with the strong decrease of contagion within Chinese territory, there is a great concern to accelerate the reopening of productive activities. The concern with increasing poverty and political destabilization are evident. In his recent visit to Shaanxi province, Xi Jinping made a point of underlining in his speech the importance of the fight against poverty.

In addition to incentives to businesses, investments in infrastructure and financial aid to the population, a series of structural reforms are planned to enable the country to overcome the terrible crisis triggered by Covid-19. An important annual session of the National People’s Congress is scheduled for May 22nd, and more details can be examined there.

Meanwhile, Brazil, one of the countries that in the recent past could be considered one of the most important allies of the Eurasian integration project outside Eurasia, is experiencing the greatest political-economic crisis in its entire history and is sinking deeper and deeper into an unprecedented internal war.

Something that is being discussed internally among the Chinese establishment is precisely the creation of mechanisms to contain the risk of instability that the social tensions arising from economic difficulties could trigger.

Brazil had already been experiencing cascading crises that had accumulated year after year since June 2013, when the country was the target of a destabilization process – or hybrid war – that triggered a series of other more or less orchestrated events (such as the lawfare against specific targets) that culminated in the weakening of institutions that had been strengthened since the enactment of the 1988 Constitution.

To make matters worse, and in contrast to the Chinese stance in seeking to contain internal instability, the country is astonished at the erratic attitudes of President Bolsonaro, under the consenting silence of his military orbits.

Having been chosen to occupy the highest position in the Republic, in all probability during the fateful visit of the then American secretary of defense, James Mattis “Mad Dog”, in August 2018 (two months before the presidential elections), when in a peculiar and closed meeting between the American and the High Command of the Armed Forces the password was given, and Bolsonaro was anointed to the mission to prevent the return of the left and realign Brazil to the satellite condition of the United States.

Everything leads us to believe that the crumbling of the Brazilian institutions has lit a warning signal within the Brazilian Armed Forces, which, in a mixture of sincere concern and sense of opportunity, took advantage of the power vacuum to move forward in the resumption of a protagonism that has been dormant for over 30 years.

Many forget, but the presence of the military – and especially the army – in the Brazilian political tradition dates back to the proclamation of the Republic in 1889, which opened the series of military coups that guided the entire Republican period to this day.

It is worth remembering that the occupation of strategic positions by the military became more visible when the current Minister of Defense, Fernando Azevedo e Silva, strangely, was appointed by the president of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, to the position of special advisor.

Curiously, this has been happening in the month of September 2018 (between the visit of Secretary James Mattis and the election of Bolsonaro), where Dias Toffoli said he would have invited General Azevedo e Silva after requesting a nomination to the then commander of the army, General Eduardo Villas Bôas.

General Villas Bôas is the same man who, in April 2018, wrote on Twitter a veiled threat to the ministers of the Supreme Court if they found the habeas corpus request of former President Lula to be justified. The day after the constitutional remedy was judged, former President Lula would have his arrest ordered by then-judge Sergio Moro.

As a kind of Ayatollah, General Villas Bôas reproduces a classic character of Brazilian politics until the 1950s: the military chief.

At that time, personified by the figure of Brigadier Eduardo Gomes, the military chief was a kind of “guardian of morals and good customs” of the nation and justified the political action of the military as holders of an unwritten “moderating power”. In this way, the military attributed themselves to the exercise of the “veto power” of the Republic. In the context of the Cold War, the power of veto was invoked to curb the communist threat.

After more than 60 years, and when many thought that the Brazilian Armed Forces would be totally professionalized and away from politics, we find ourselves led by an Executive Power integrated by no less than 3 thousand military personnel; not to mention the eight ministries occupied by men in uniform.

As in a trench battle, the military had been advancing day after day in the control and tutelage of state organs and institutions of the Republic, but if there was a well articulated strategy of occupation of power, with the arrival of Covid-19 the pieces definitely shuffled.

Today Brazil is moving forward to become the world epicenter of Covid-19, and as the pandemic seems to get out of control, the more the military tries to control the internal systemic chaos.

Moreover, if before Covid-19 there was some cohesion in the Brazilian establishment around the neoliberal reforms carried out by the Ministry of Economy, with the bursting of the health crisis, it is every day more evident the split between business sectors, the big media, the National Congress and the Judiciary, which are now frontally positioned in opposition to the government.

The recent meetings between the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia, and the President of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, with the Minister “eminence parda” of the Palácio do Planalto, General Braga Netto, were a subtle attempt at intimidation and framing of two of the most important civil authorities of the Republic by the Bolsonaro government.

At the same time that the basements of the government’s disinformation machine slanders adversaries and agitates the low ranks of the Armed Forces and the military police of the states (its faithful allies), the country sinks in what is certainly the greatest existential crisis in its history.

As if all this were not enough, the rest of the world coexists with the prospect of incurring a public debt only seen, according to the British magazine The Economist, “amid the rubble of 1945”.

Beyond the health crisis itself, the economic consequences of the post-Pandemic will be devastating from the fiscal point of view, because the compulsory closure of industry, offices and various segments of the service sector will certainly bring about a fall in government revenues.

As many analysts have already noted, the world is experiencing the exact moment of transition between what no longer exists and what is yet to be born.

Even before the pandemic, the acceleration of interstate competition is noticeable, which denotes the phenomenon of deconcentration of power that throughout the history of the world system always occurs in periods of decline in the long cycles of international politics.

Something that the Brazilian elites, especially the military elites – psychologically trapped in imaginary enemies such as Chinese communists and “cultural Marxists” – have not yet realized, is the dimension of Brazil’s importance in the geopolitical context of this new century that is beginning.

With the shattering of Bretton Woods institutions and the liberal order hegemonized by the United States, the world draws – and we are all characters – a systemic configuration that has not yet been defined. In process.

As it had happened between about 1550 and 1640, when the world, still dominated by the powerful Spain, saw the movements of contestation to the empire that had built its power in the newly discovered America flourish.

Trapped by the wealth of gold and the medieval system of government that no longer corresponded to reality, the Habsburgs – in their alliance with the papacy – fought so that their hegemony would not disintegrate amid the rise of the newest actors in the system, namely, France, Holland, Sweden and England.

At that time, Europe was swallowed up by an unprecedented escalation of wars stemming from those new realities of power whose new actors, emerging in the northwest of the old continent, were unwilling to submit to Spanish power.

The translation of that scenario was the deepening of the systemic chaos that would be pacified only with the advent of the Treaty of Westphalia. Any resemblance to the present world moment is no mere coincidence, at least for geopolitical scholars.

Going back to the year 2020, it is very likely that some aspects will prove to be clearer and bolder in the post-Pandemic. Technological competition, more visible around 5G, tends to radicalize in many other areas. And the search for natural/energy resources is already a reality and places not only Africa, but South America itself as the target of the new imperialist race that should also deepen.

For now, the Brazilian establishment is a mere spectator of the rapid changes that the world system will see in the coming years.

China, even though it has been severely hit by the Covid-19 meteor, is reinventing itself in its policy of global humanitarian aid to effectively combat the virus and is focusing its action on strengthening the Eurasian integration project; in particular the Belt and Road Initiative – BRI.

Demonstrating impressive resilience, despite the strong retraction in exports to central countries, the Chinese saw an increase of 3.2% with the New Silk Road countries. Although not comparable to previous years, it shows that BRI’s infrastructure projects have not been so strongly affected by the adverse effects of the health crisis.

Nothing more appropriate to the thought and conduct of Confucian cosmology, based beyond mere rambling, in a concrete act, an action.

Thus, the Chinese follow their journey towards the central helm of the world system, consciously absorbing the pillars of Western modernity, but without ever losing the essence of Confucian thought, the Tao-to that always seeks effectiveness beyond mere thought.

Next June marks seven years of uninterrupted political-institutional instability in Latin America’s largest country. May the history of the oldest peoples and the winds of change teach us to guide the helm of our own destiny.


Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws ( LL.B), writer and geopolitical analyst. He is currently a columnist in international politics for the printed version of the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

COVID-19: The Slippery Slope to Despotism is Paved with Lockdowns, Raids and Forced Vaccinations

By John Whitehead

Source

Until now, the police state has been more circumspect in its power grabs, but this latest state of emergency has brought the beast out of the shadows.

You have no rights. That’s the lesson the government wants us to learn from this COVID-19 business. Well, the government is wrong.

For years now, the powers-that-be—those politicians and bureaucrats who think like tyrants and act like petty dictators regardless of what party they belong to—have attempted to brainwash us into believing that we have no right to think for ourselves, make decisions about our health, protect our homes and families and businesses, act in our best interests, demand accountability and transparency from government, or generally operate as if we are in control of our own lives.

We have every right, and you know why? Because we were born free.

As the Declaration of Independence states, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights—to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness—that no government can take away from us.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the government from constantly trying to usurp our freedoms at every turn. Indeed, the nature of government is such that it invariably oversteps its limits, abuses its authority, and flexes its totalitarian muscles.

Take this COVID-19 crisis, for example.

What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) has become yet another means by which world governments (including our own) can expand their powers, abuse their authority, and further oppress their constituents.

Until now, the police state has been more circumspect in its power grabs, but this latest state of emergency has brought the beast out of the shadows.

This road we are traveling is paved with lockdowns, SWAT team raids, mass surveillance and forced vaccinations. It is littered with the debris of our First and Fourth Amendment freedoms.

This is what we have to look forward to in the months and years to come unless we can find some way to regain control over our runaway government.

The government has made no secret of its plans.

Just follow the money trail, and you’ll get a sense of what’s in store: more militarized police, more SWAT team raids, more surveillance, more lockdowns, more strong-armed tactics aimed at suppressing dissent and forcing us to comply with the government’s dictates.

It’s chilling to think about, but it’s not surprising.

We’ve been warned.

Remember that Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command? The one that anticipates the future domestic political and social problems the government is grooming its armed forces to solve through the use of martial law?

The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints a dystopian picture of the future bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.

But here’s the kicker: what they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.

This COVID-19 crisis is pushing us that much closer to that dystopian vision becoming a present-day reality.

For starters, let’s talk about the COVID-19 stormtroopers, SWAT team raids and ongoing flare-ups of police brutality.

With millions of dollars in stimulus funds being directed towards policing agencies across the country, the federal government plans to fight this COVID-19 virus with riot gear, gas masks, ballistic helmets, drones, and hi-tech surveillance technology.

Indeed, although crime rates have fallen dramatically in the midst of this global COVID-19 lockdown, there’s been no relief from the brutality and violence of the American police state.

While the majority of the country has been social distancing under varying degrees of lockdowns, it’s been business as usual for the nation’s SWAT teams and police trained to shoot first and ask questions later.

In Kentucky, plain-clothed cops in unmarked cars used a battering ram to break down Breonna Taylor’s door and carry out a no-knock raid on her home after midnight. Fearing a home invasion, the 26-year-old emergency medical technician and her boyfriend—who had been in bed at the time of the invasion—called 911 and prepared to defend themselves. Taylor’s boyfriend shot one of the intruders—later identified as police—in the leg. Police fired at least 20 shots into the apartment and a neighboring home, killing Taylor. The drug dealer who was the target of the late-night raid lived 10 miles away and had already been arrested prior to the raid on Taylor’s home.

In Illinois, police opened fire in a subway station, shooting a 33-year-old man who allegedly resisted their attempts to tackle and arrest him for violating a city ordinance by passing between two cars of a moving train. Ariel Roman, a short-order cook, claimed he was suffering from an anxiety attack when he was “harassed, chased, tackled, pepper-sprayed, tasered and shot twice” by police.

In Maryland, police dispatched on a nuisance call to break up a crowd of neighborhood kids (half of them teenagers, and the other half youngsters around 4 and 5 years old) gathered in an apartment complex parking lot opened fire on a 29-year-old man seen exiting his car with a gun. An eyewitness claimed, “the officer pointed a flashlight and his gun at the group immediately and began chasing and shooting a minute or two after getting out of the patrol car.” Police reportedly shot the man after he threw down his gun and ran in the opposite direction.

In Virginia, more than 80 local, state, and federal police agents risked spreading COVID-19 to “a highly vulnerable population” when they raided a low income, public housing community in an effort to crack down on six individuals suspected of selling, on average, $20 to $100 worth of drugs.

In Texas, a SWAT team backed up with a military tank Armored Personnel Carrier raided Big Daddy Zane’s Bar whose owner and patrons were staging a peaceful First and Second Amendment protest of the governor’s shutdown orders.

Battlefield America: The War on the American PeoplePolice have even been called out to shut down churches, schools and public parks and beaches that have been found “in violation” of various lockdown orders.

Now there’s talk of mobilizing the military to deliver forced vaccinations, mass surveillance in order to carry out contact tracing, and heavy fines and jail time for those who dare to venture out without a mask, congregate in worship without the government’s blessing, or re-open their  businesses without the government’s say-so.

There are rumblings that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will start thermal screenings to monitor passengers’ temperatures in coming weeks. This is in addition to the virtual strip searches that have become routine aspects of airport security.

Restaurants in parts of the country are being tasked with keeping daily logs of phone numbers, emails, and arrival times for everybody who participates in dine-services, with no mention of how long such records will be kept on file, with whom they will be shared, and under what circumstances.

With the help of Google and Nest cameras, hospitals are morphing into real-time surveillance centers with round-the-clock surveillance cameras monitoring traffic in patients’ rooms. Forget patient privacy, however. Google has a track record of sharing surveillance footage with police.

And then rounding out the power-grabs, the Senate just voted to give police access to web browsing data without a warrant, which would dramatically expand the government’s Patriot Act surveillance powers. The Senate also voted to give Attorney General William Barr the ability to look through the web browsing history of any American — including journalists, politicians, and political rivals — without a warrant, just by saying it is relevant to an investigation. If enacted, privacy experts warn  that the new provisions threaten to undermine the free press by potentially preventing the media from exposing abuses of power or acting as a watchdog against political leaders.

If we haven’t already crossed over, we’re skating dangerously close to that line that keeps us on the functioning side of a constitutional republic. It won’t take much to push us over that edge into a full-blown banana republic.

In many ways, this is just more of the same heavy-handed tactics we’ve been seeing in recent years but with one major difference: this COVID-19 state of emergency has invested government officials (and those who view their lives as more valuable than ours) with a sanctimonious, self-righteous, arrogant, Big Brother Knows Best approach to top-down governing, and the fall-out can be seen far and wide.

It’s an ugly, self-serving mindset that views the needs, lives and rights of “we the people” as insignificant when compared to those in power.

That’s how someone who should know better such as Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, can suggest that a free people—born in freedom, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, and living in a country birthed out of a revolutionary struggle for individual liberty—have no rights to economic freedom, to bodily integrity, or to refuse to comply with a government order with which they disagree.

According to Dershowitz, who has become little more than a legal apologist for the power elite, “You have no right not to be vaccinated, you have no right not to wear a mask, you have no right to open up your business… And if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.”

Dershowitz is wrong: while the courts may increasingly defer to the government’s brand of Nanny State authoritarianism, we still have rights.

The government may try to abridge those rights, it may refuse to recognize them, it may even attempt to declare martial law and nullify them, but it cannot litigate, legislate or forcefully eradicate them out of existence.

Up to now, we’ve been largely passive participants in this experiment in self-governance. Our inaction and inattention has left us at the mercy of power-hungry politicians, corrupt corporations and brutal, government-funded militias.

Wake up, America.

As I  make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, these ongoing violations of our rights—this attitude by the government that we have no rights—this tyrannical movement that is overtaking our constitutional republic and  gaining in momentum and power by the minute—this incessant auction block in which government officials appointed to represent our best interests keep selling us out to the highest bidder—all of these betrayals scream for a response.

To quote the great Rod Serling:

If we don’t listen to that scream—and if we don’t respond to it—we may well wind up sitting amidst our own rubble, looking for the truck that hit us—or the bomb that pulverized us. Get the license number of whatever it was that destroyed the dream. And I think we will find that the vehicle was registered in our own name.”

Professor Sunetra Gupta: ‘COVID Epidemic on Its Way Out’

Source

UnHerd: Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and head of the team that released a study in March which speculated that as much as 50% of the population may already have been infected and the true Infection Fatality Rate could be as low as 0.1%. In her first major interview since the Oxford study was published, she goes further by arguing that Covid-19 has already passed through the population and is now on its way out. She said:

On antibodies:
• Many of the antibody tests are “extremely unreliable”
• They do not indicate the true level of exposure or level of immunity
• “Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behaviour”
• “Much of the driving force was due to the build-up of immunity”

On IFR:
• “Infection Fatality Rate is less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000.”
• That would be somewhere between 0.1% and 0.01%

On lock-down policy:
• Referring to the Imperial model: “Should we act on a possible worst case scenario, given the costs of lockdown? It seems to me that given that the costs of lockdown are mounting that case is becoming more and more fragile”
• Recommends “a more rapid exit from lockdown based more on certain heuristics, like who is dying and what is happening to the death rates”

On the UK Government response:
• “We might have done better by doing nothing at all, or at least by doing something different, which would have been to pay attention to protecting the vulnerable” On the R rate:
• It is “principally dependent on how many people are immune” and we don’t have that information.
• Deaths are the only reliable measure.

On New York:
• “When you have pockets of vulnerable people it might rip through those pockets in a way that it wouldn’t if the vulnerable people were more scattered within the general population.” On social distancing:
• “Remaining in a state of lockdown is extremely dangerous”
• “We used to live in a state approximating lockdown 100 years ago, and that was what created the conditions for the Spanish Flu to come in and kill 50m people.”

On next steps:
• “It is very dangerous to talk about lockdown without recognising the enormous costs that it has on other vulnerable sectors in the population”
• It is a “strong possibility” that if we return to full normal tomorrow — pubs, nightclubs, festivals — we would be fine.

On the politics of Covid:
• “There is a sort of libertarian argument for the release of lockdown, and I think it is unfortunate that those of us who feel we should think differently about lockdown”
• “The truth is that lockdown is a luxury, and it’s a luxury that the middle classes are enjoying and higher income countries are enjoying at the expense of the poor, the vulnerable and less developed countries.”

Watch this highly informative discussion with UnHerd host Freddie Sayer and Dr Gupta on the current status of the COVID-19 epidemic:

 

China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’

China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’

May 19, 2020

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

Chinese General Qiao Liang argues, ‘If we have to dance with the wolves, we should not dance to the rhythm of the United States’

A Chinese anti-US propaganda poster from the Korean War era. Photo: Facebook

In 1999, Qiao Liang, then a senior air force colonel in the People’s Liberation Army, and Wang Xiangsui, another senior colonel, caused a tremendous uproar with the publication of Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America.

Unrestricted Warfare was essentially the PLA’s manual for asymmetric warfare: an updating of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. At the time of original publication, with China still a long way from its current geopolitical and geo-economic clout, the book was conceived as laying out a defensive approach, far from the sensationalist “destroy America” added to the title for US publication in 2004.

Now the book is available in a new edition and Qiao Liang, as a retired general and director of the Council for Research on National Security, has resurfaced in a quite revealing interview originally published in the current edition of the Hong Kong-based magazine Zijing (Bauhinia).

General Qiao is not a Politburo member entitled to dictate official policy. But some analysts I talked with agree that the key points he makes in a personal capacity are quite revealing of PLA thinking. Let’s review some of the highlights.

Dancing with wolves

The bulk of his argument concentrates on the shortcomings of US manufacturing: “How can the US today want to wage war against the biggest manufacturing power in the world while its own industry is hollowed out?”An example, referring to Covid-19, is the capacity to produce ventilators: “Out of over 1,400 pieces necessary for a ventilator, over 1,100 must be produced in China, including final assembly. That’s the US problem today. They have state of the art technology, but not the methods and production capacity. So they have to rely on Chinese production.”

General Qiao dismisses the possibility that Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and other Asian nations may replace China’s cheap workforce: “Think about which of these countries has more skilled workers than China. What quantity of medium and high level human resources was produced in China in these past 30 years? Which country is educating over 100 million students at secondary and university levels? The energy of all these people is still far from being liberated for China’s economic development.”

He acknowledges US military power even in times of epidemic and economic difficulties is always capable of “interfering directly or indirectly in the Taiwan straits question” and finding an excuse to “block and sanction China and exclude it from the West.” He adds that, “as a producing country, we still cannot satisfy our manufacturing industry with our own resources and rely on our own markets to consume our products.”

In consequence, he argues, it’s a “good thing” for China to engage in the cause of reunification, “but it’s always a bad thing if it’s done at the wrong time. We can only act at the right time. We cannot allow our generation to commit the sin of interrupting the process of the Chinese nation’s renaissance.”

General Qiao counsels, “Don’t think that only territorial sovereignty is linked to the fundamental interests of a nation. Other kinds of sovereignty – economic, financial, defense, food, resources, biological and cultural sovereignty – are all linked to the interests and survival of nations and are components of national sovereignty.”

To arrest movement toward Taiwan’s independence, “apart from war, other options must be taken into consideration. We can think about the means to act in the immense gray zone between war and peace, and we can even think about more particular means, like launching military operations that will not lead to war, but may involve a moderate use of force.”

In a graphic formulation, General Qiao thinks that, “if we have to dance with the wolves, we should not dance to the rhythm of the US. We should have our own rhythm, and even try to break their rhythm, to minimize its influence. If American power is brandishing its stick, it’s because it has fallen into a trap.”

In a nutshell, for General Qiao, “China first of all must show proof of strategic determination to solve the Taiwan question, and then strategic patience. Of course, the premise is that we should develop and maintain our strategic force to solve the Taiwan question by force at any moment.”

Gloves are off

Now compare General Qiao’s analysis with the by now obvious geopolitical and geo-economic fact that Beijing will respond tit for tat to any hybrid war tactics deployed by the United States government. The gloves are definitely off.

The gold standard expression has come in a no-holds barred Global Times editorial: “We must be clear that coping with US suppression will be the key focus of China’s national strategy. We should enhance cooperation with most countries. The US is expected to contain China’s international front lines, and we must knock out this US plot and make China-US rivalry a process of US self-isolation.”

An inevitable corollary is that the all-out offensive to cripple Huawei will be counterpunched in kind, targeting Apple, Qualcom, Cisco and Boeing, even including  “investigations or suspensions of their right to do business in China.”

So for all practical purposes, Beijing has now publicly unveiled its strategy to counteract US President Donald Trump’s “We could cut off the whole relationship” kind of assertions.

A toxic racism-meets-anti-communism matrix is responsible for the predominant anti-Chinese sentiment across the US, encompassing at least 66% of the whole population. Trump instinctively seized it – and repackaged it as his re-election campaign theme, fully approved by Steve Bannon.

The strategic objective is to go after China across the full spectrum. The tactical objective is to forge an anti-China front across the West: another instance of encirclement, hybrid war-style, focused on economic war.

This will imply a concerted offensive, trying to enforce embargoes and trying to block regional markets to Chinese companies. Lawfare will be the norm. Even freezing Chinese assets in the US is not a far-fetched proposition anymore.

Every possible Silk Road branch-out – on the energy front, ports, the Health Silk Road, digital interconnection – will be strategically targeted. Those who were dreaming that Covid-19 could be the ideal pretext for a new Yalta – uniting Trump, Xi and Putin – may rest in peace.

“Containment” will go into overdrive. A neat example is Admiral Philip Davidson – head of the Indo-Pacific Command – asking for $20 billion for a “robust military cordon” from California to Japan and down the Pacific Rim, complete with “highly survivable, precision-strike networks” along the Pacific Rim and “forward-based, rotational joint forces” to counteract the “renewed threat we face from great power competition.”

Davidson argues that, “without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China and Russia will be emboldened to take action in the region to supplant US interests.”

Watch People’s Congress

From the point of view of large swathes of the Global South, the current, extremely dangerous incandescence, or New Cold War, is mostly interpreted as the progressive ending of the Western coalition’s hegemony over the whole planet.

Still, scores of nations are being asked, bluntly, by the hegemon to position themselves once again in a “you’re with us or against us” global war on terror imperative.

At the annual session of the National People’s Congress, starting this Friday, we will see how China will be dealing with its top priority: to reorganize domestically after the pandemic.

For the first time in 35 years, Beijing will be forced to relinquish its economic growth targets. This also means that the objective of doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020 compared with 2010 will also be postponed.

What we should expect is absolute emphasis on domestic spending – and social stability – over a struggle to become a global leader, even if that’s not totally overlooked.

After all, President Xi Jinping made it clear earlier this week that a “Covid-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available,” won’t be subjected to Big Pharma logic, but “will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.” The Global South is paying attention.

Internally, Beijing will boost support for state-owned enterprises that are strong in innovation and risk-taking. China always defies predictions by Western “experts.” For instance, exports rose 3.5% in April, when the experts were forecasting a decline of 15.7%. The trade surplus was $45.3 billion, when experts were forecasting only $6.3 billion.

Beijing seems to identify clearly the extending gap between a West, especially the US, that’s plunging into de facto New Great Depression territory with a China that’s about to rekindle economic growth. The center of gravity of global economic power keeps moving, inexorably, toward Asia.

Hybrid war? Bring it on.

China was, is, and will be peace builder and promoter in West Asia: envoy

Source

May 17, 2020 – 18:37

TEHRAN- Chinese ambassador to Tehran Chang Hua in an interview with the Mehr News Agency criticizes the U.S. baseless accusations over the outbreak of coronavirus. 

Ambassador Chang also said, “China was, is and will be peace and stability builder and promoter in the region.”

On Saturday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published an article on COVID-19, rebutting claims from the U.S. on ties between COVID-19 and China. In the article, China rejected 24 claims.

Following the U.S. accusations against China, there have been some reports on the U.S. possible measures to punish China. 

According to CNN, the Trump administration is formulating a long-term plan to punish China on multiple fronts for the coronavirus pandemic, injecting a rancorous new element into a critical relationship already on a steep downward slide.

Multiple sources inside the U.S. administration said that there is an appetite to use various tools, including sanctions, canceling U.S. debt obligations, and drawing up new trade policies, to make clear to China, and to everyone else, where they feel the responsibility lies.

To shed more light on the issue Mehr reached out to Ambassador Chang to discuss the issue and some other issues with him.

Here is the full text of the interview:

Q: It seems that the U.S. is trying to create an international consensus against China by repeating accusations that China has not provided the international community with the right information about COVID-19. What is your take of this? What are the real motives behind this?

A: Certain people in the U.S., out of political calculations, went from bad to worse, stigmatizing and smearing China with all they’ve got in an attempt to shift the blame. China has been open, transparent and responsible in releasing information on the epidemic. It can stand the test of history. We hope the U.S. can also make sure that what they say and do and their data is responsible to the people and could stand the test of history.

When Wuhan was locked down on January 23, there was only one officially confirmed case in the U.S. When the U.S. closed its border to China on February 2, there were 11. When the U.S. announced a nationwide emergency state on March 13, there were 1264. When the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan on April 8, there were already 400,000. Today, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. tops 1.3 million with more than 80,000 deaths. It took less than 100 days for the number to jump from just one to over one million. What has the U.S. government been doing during these 100 days? The WHO head said that to all countries around the world, the warning from China is the same and the signal is clear. Why is it that some countries made adequate reactions and effective interventions, while the U.S. failed to do so? Blaming others won’t solve one’s own problems and bring back lost lives. We genuinely hope that those American politicians who are so bent on the blame game will change course and focus on fighting the epidemic inside the U.S. so that more lives will be saved and their people’s health and security be better protected.

Q: If the U.S. and its allies become able to create such a consensus against China, what can be the consequences for China?

A: The U.S. is exerting pressure on its Allies and on other countries as well. Actually the U.S. is asking them to be an accomplice in framing China. As we all know, the U.S., out of domestic political needs, has repeatedly ignored the facts so that it can dump the blame on others. It is true that a choice has to be made by Europe and others, not between China and the U.S., but between lies and facts, between unilateral bullying and multilateral cooperation. It is easy to make such a choice and in fact, many countries have done so with action. On strengthening solidarity and cooperation to combat the epidemic, China has always stood firmly with the UN, the WHO, and other countries and made every possible contribution, while the U.S. stands on the opposite side of the vast majority of the international community.

Q: Do you see any relation between these claims and the U.S. major strategy to contain Beijing as its main rival?

A: The development of China-U.S. relations over the past 40 years has proven that China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. China-U.S. relations have far gone beyond the bilateral scope and assumed great significance to world peace, security, stability, and prosperity. While China-U.S. relations once again stand at a crossroads, China has always been on the side of cooperation and hopes the United States meet us halfway.

Q: How do you see the cooperation between Iran and China in the fight against COVID-19? How did you find Iran’s capabilities and medical infrastructures in this fight?

A: In this fight against the epidemic, the solidarity and mutual assistance between China and Iran fully demonstrate the profound friendship between the two countries and peoples.

Chinese and Iranian high-level officials maintain close communication. President Xi Jinping and President Rouhani have held telephone conversations and exchanged letters. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Zarif have also made several phone calls. At the critical moment of the Chinese people’s fight against the epidemic, Iran was the first country to extend sympathy and provide materials to China. We will always remember that. After the outbreak of the epidemic in Iran, the Chinese government and various institutions, enterprises, and the public of China also extended a helping hand to Iran. China sent its first medical expert team to Iran to assist its fight against the epidemic. The epidemic has caused temporary difficulties for bilateral cooperation but cannot cut off the strong ties between the two countries. The epidemic will end, and the mutual support during the epidemic will surely consolidate and further our comprehensive strategic partnership.

We are happy to see that under the leadership of the Iranian government and with solidarity and the rigorous response of the Iranian people, the measures taken by Iran are producing results as its epidemic curve is steadily leveling off. WHO officials also commended Iran’s response, saying that Iran ’s health officials and medical workers are working very hard to contain the epidemic and save lives. The government is also mobilizing the strong national health system and disaster management capabilities to tackle the epidemic. We are confident in the Iranian government and people’s last victory over the epidemic.

Q: Many believe there will be fundamental changes to the world order in post-corona era. What is your assessment?

A: The international order is always changing in the direction in favor of the common interest and homeland of mankind. The current international order was established after World War II and centered on the United Nations with multilateralism as its basic norm.  It lays the foundation for peace, stability, and common development of the world conforms to the trend of peace, development, win-win cooperation of our times, and should be cherished and upheld by the international community. The Covid-19 epidemic has made it clear to various countries that mankind rise and fall together and that only through building a community with a shared future can mankind find the right path to future, and only with solidarity and cooperation can countries remove prejudice and achieve synergy in epidemic response.

What will the world look like in the post-epidemic era? Some people argue that the world will never return to the past. I believe that the epidemic will not change the world theme of peace and development, nor will it stop the historical trend of multi-polarization and globalization and mankind’s yearning for civilization and progress.

Q: Do you see any relation between the U.S.’s recent decision to withdraw its patriot air-missile air-defense system from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. efforts to endanger the energy route in the Middle East (West Asia) that China’s economy is heavily dependent on the oil coming from the region?

A: As a major energy importer and consumer in the world, China hopes that the international energy market could be kept stable. The mutual trust between nations and close interaction of interest through cooperation is the reliable guarantee to security, while military deterrence is not. As to the regional security in the Middle East, China has made its own contribution to the security and stability of the Middle East in accordance with UN resolutions and the aspirations of regional countries. China was, is, and will remain a builder of peace, a promoter of stability, and a contributor to the development of the Middle East.
 

Iran Is Not A Victim, It Is One of The Most Influential and Strong-Minded Nations on Earth

By Andre Vltchek

Source

Soleimani Iran Hero 26624

When facing mortal danger, its people unite, harden themselves and get ready to face invaders, no matter how threatening they might be.

Iran is home to one of the oldest and deepest cultures in the world, and it’s precisely this culture that helps Iranian people to survive the most frightening moments.

And one such moment is sadly, right now.

US battleships are sailing right next to the Iranian territorial waters. One mistake, one false move, and war could erupt, engulfing the entire region in flames. Iran is a proud nation, and it takes its independence extremely seriously.

Right now, the country is facing one of the most unjust embargos in human history. It is being punished for nothing; or more precisely, for sticking to all the points of the agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also known as The Iran Nuclear Deal, which it signed in 2015 with China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany, and which the United States abandoned, without providing any logical explanation. While not particularly happy about the U.S. withdrawal; Germany, France and U.K. are doing all they can not to anger their senior partner, and its leaders in Washington.

Add COVID-19, and inability of the country, due to sanctions, to buy medical equipment, at least in the West, and you have the perfect scenario for a national calamity and even for imminent collapse.

Or more precisely, anywhere else this would be the case, but not in Iran!

After receiving terrible blows from the West, one after another, Iran has never fallen to its knees. It has never abandoned its internationalist and socialist course (socialist, with Iranian characteristics), and it has preserved its dignity.

What it has managed to achieve is amazing, nothing short of heroic, given the circumstances.

If you look at the latest, 2019 HDI (Human Development Index, compiled and published by the UNDP), Iran is in the High Human Development bracket, and only 3 steps from the Highest Human Development group of countries. Which is thoroughly amazing, given the above-mentioned sanctions, embargos and constant military intimidations.

Whenever I visit Iran, I am astonished by its public spaces, cultural institutions, public transportation, fountains, comfortable trains… The country is functioning well, showing incredible grace under pressure. Its television channel – PressTV – is one of the most important anti-imperialist news outlets in the world. I don’t see extreme misery, or homelessness, there. Iranians are polite, well-educated and proud. They have to deal with complex exchange rates, which I do not understand. Whenever I pay in a café or taxi, I simply extend my hand full of local currency, and I never get cheated. Things are solid and reassuring there; I feel it and really appreciate it.

Iran is an internationalist country. Not unlike Cuba or Venezuela, who are its long-term allies. Even when injured, itself, it helps others, those who need solidarity even more. This can never be forgotten, particularly in places like Latin America, or Syria.

Hezbollah, Iran’s close ally in the Middle East, is fighting the most dangerous terrorist groups in Syria; those groups that have been injected there by the West, but also by Washington’s allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey. But Hezbollah is also essentially the only social net for the poor in Syria’s neighbor – Lebanon. And not only for the Shi’a Muslims, but also for the disadvantaged Sunni citizens, for the Christians, and non-believers. Whoever is destitute in Lebanon, comes to Hezbollah, for assistance. I was based in Beirut for five years, and I know what I am talking about. All this, while the Lebanese elites are burning money in Paris, in Nice, in the nightclubs of Beirut, driving their lavish cars through the slums. And the more Iran and Hezbollah help the region, the more frustrated, outraged and aggressive the West gets.

Look at Palestine. When it comes to the liberation of the Palestinian people from the long and brutal Israeli occupation, the Gulf countries just talk and talk. In the end, some of them side with the West and Israel. The closest, the most determined allies of the long-suffering Palestinian people in the region, are, without doubt, Iran and Syria. That, everybody in the Middle East, knows, and it is only “a secret” to Westerners.

In Afghanistan, particularly in Herat, I witnessed long lines of Afghan people in front of the Iranian consulate. Devastated by the NATO occupation, Afghanistan is in despair, rated as a country with the shortest life expectancy in Asia, and the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) on the Asian continent. Tens of thousands of Afghan people have been traveling to Iran in search of jobs. Without Iran, Herat would most likely starve to death. And now, Iran is searching for ways, (together with China and Russia), how to help Afghanistan to find a political solution, and send the NATO forces packing.

For years, all the Socialist countries of Latin America, could always rely on Iran. Be it Bolivia, before the legitimate government of Evo Morales was overthrown, or Cuba and especially Venezuela. Iran has been building social housing, it was helping with oil technology, and with many other social essentials.

Iraq and Iran, two great nations, in the past brutally pitched against each other by Washington, are once again cooperating, working together. The Western occupation has already thoroughly ruined Iraq (as it has ruined Afghanistan), historically one of the richest countries in the region. However, more positively Iran gets involved in neighboring Iraq, the more aggressively the West behaves. It now habitually crosses all the lines of acceptable behavior. In January 2020, a U.S. drone strike murdered Iran’s national hero, General Quasem Soleimani, while he was traveling right near the Baghdad International Airport.

For years now, Iran has been standing shoulder to shoulder with Russia, China, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba; the nations which are openly and bravely deterring the aggression and brutality of Western imperialism.

It seems that no matter what the West tries to do, Iran cannot be broken. Despite the embargos and sanctions, it demonstrates that it is capable of producing and shooting satellites into space, or of producing its own medical equipment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. While the nation creates its great scientific and technological achievements, Iranian filmmakers keep producing their cinematic masterpieces. What a nation!

Unfortunately, all this is hidden from the eyes and ears of the public, both in the West, and in the client states. There, Iran is portrayed as a “threat”.

Look at this irony. On April 30, 2020, Reuters released a report about the German move to ban Hezbollah:

“Last December, Germany’s parliament approved a motion urging Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to ban all activities by Hezbollah on German soil, citing its “terrorist activities” especially in Syria.

On a trip to Berlin last year, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped Germany would follow Britain in banning Hezbollah. Britain introduced legislation in February of last year that classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”

When the West says “Terrorist activities, especially in Syria”, what it really means is “fighting the terrorism injected by the West and its allies, into Syria”. Everything is twisted, perverted and turned upside-down by the propaganda outlets operating out of the United States, Europe, Israel and the Gulf.

“Terrorist activities” outside Syria, also means supporting the Palestinian struggle for independence, as well as at least moral support for Syria, in its attempts to regain the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, an occupation which has never been recognized, even by the United Nations. It also means helping Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Latin American countries, which are brutalized (or should we say ‘terrorized’), relentlessly, by Washington and its allies.

This is precisely the logic and lexicon which was used by German propagandists during WWII, to describe resistance forces in its colonies. Freedom fighters and partisans were labeled as terrorists, in France, Yugoslavia, Ukraine.

Even the otherwise mainstream newspaper – The Independent – published on May 1, 2020 a report critical of the bizarre US scheming against Iran:

“The United States is pushing ahead with a scheme to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran that is due to be lifted in October as part of the nuclear deal that Washington abandoned two years ago.

To force the extension, Washington will attempt to lobby the Security Council to continue the arms embargo, which bars weapons sales to or from Iran.

But it also is making what legal experts and diplomats describe as a convoluted argument that it is still part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action it left, and hence able to use one of its provisions to “snapback” the embargo.”

This weird political somersault has been, according to The Independent, criticized even by one of Washington’s allies, the French President Emmanuel Macron:

“China and Russia have already vowed to use any means to block the US plan. France’s Emmanuel Macron has been working behind the scenes to sabotage the Trump scheme because of what it sees as an attempt by the White House to destroy international legal norms, said a well-placed European diplomat.”

France, the UK, Germany and other EU countries are not necessarily happy with Washington’s foreign policy towards Iran, but their outrage is far from being moral indignation. Iran is big and it is far from being poor. European companies are losing billions of euros in trade, because of the sanctions. For instance, in the recent past, two Iranian airlines were ready to purchase large numbers of brand-new Airbus aircraft, in order to compete with Qatar Airways and the Emirates. Such plans collapsed, because of the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, and the almost immediate imposition of new, senseless but brutal sanctions against Teheran. Now even Mahan Air, a civilian airline, is facing sanctions, allegedly because of its flights to Venezuela, and to several Middle Eastern destinations.

Now, many are perhaps wondering, what triggered, in the West, such hate towards Iran?

There is a well-hidden (again, in the West) secret regarding Iran: “It is a Socialist country. Socialist with Iranian characteristics.”

In his latest and by all means ground-breaking book about Iran (“Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism”), which our publishing house Badak Merah will be publishing later in May 2020, an Iranian author and the PressTV Paris chief correspondent, Ramin Mazaheri, passionately defends the Iranian socialist concept:

“I think that if open-minded leftists would simply become aware of the facts and… modern socialist interpretations of Iran’s policies – many of which I’m sure are being presented in English for the first time – I’m sure that they would not be waiting breathlessly for the collapse of the Middle East’s greatest bulwark against imperialism and capitalism.

It is urgent that Western leftists understand that the reversal of Iran’s popular, democratic revolution would have incredibly negative ramifications for the anti-imperialist movement in the Middle East, and thus the global anti-imperialist movement, and it certainly would be the cruelest loss for Islamic Socialism, which is taken quite seriously in the Muslim world even if atheistic Trotskyism cannot even discuss the concept without resorting to insults.

And, of course, a counter-revolution in Iran would be a major blow for global democracy, as there is no doubt that the Iranian People support their revolution, constitution and unique system in a democratic majority.”

Like Russia and China in Euro Asia and in Asia, like Venezuela, Cuba and before the coup, Bolivia, Iran is spreading hope and revolutionary optimism in its entire part of the world. And it is an extremely wounded part of the world, where hope is absent, but desperately needed.

Spreading hope – that is never forgiven by the Western empire, which, like some gigantic and sadistic prison warden, constantly demands submission, while spreading depression and fear.

In the entirety of modern history, Iran has never invaded, never attacked anyone. Iran is a peaceful nation. But at the same time, it is a powerful, brave and proud country.

The United States and its turbo-capitalist regime understand brutal force, only. They do not comprehend, do not appreciate cultural nuances, let alone depth. Pity! There is so much to learn from Iran and its culture.

Iran will not attack anyone, that is clear as is proven by history. But if physically confronted, it will defend itself, and its people. It will fight, well and bravely.

The West should know: if it triggers a war with Iran, the entire Middle East will be consumed by terrible fire.

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