The Highland Park Shooting and American Fascism Now

JULY 8, 2022

Fireplug and Coneflowers in the Author’s Garden, Highland Park, Illinois, 2013. Photo: The Author.

BY STEPHEN F. EISENMAN

I heard about it from my daughter, Sarah, in Chicago.

“Dad, did you hear about Highland Park?” That was an ominous beginning. She continued: “There was a shooting during the 4th of July Parade. A bunch of people were killed.”

My heart sank. I lived in Highland Park for almost 15 years, from 2001-2015. Sarah too. I had been there just a few weeks ago to visit my dear neighbors Hannah and Joe, and to meet up with Sarah.

“You ok, sweetie?”

“Yeah, but it’s really bad.”

“Let me hang up and find out more.”

I looked at the NYTimes and Guardian and texted Hannah – she and her husband were out of town and ok. I told my wife Harriet, who was out pulling weeds in the garden. I was tearful; she consoled me. Though I hadn’t lived there in a while, Highland Park was a big part of my life. It was where I bought a house with my former wife in late 2001; where I ran hundreds of miles in the beautiful forest reserves; where I taught my dog Echo how to catch a frisbee; where I wrote three books; where I recovered from injuries after a bad car crash; where Sarah went through a very challenging (for all of us) adolescence; where I started a new life after my divorce; and where Harriet and I were married by a rabbi, with Echo as our witness, in 2014.

I never made many friends there, but I didn’t care about that. I had friends enough in Chicago and L.A. And then there was the gift of Hannah – a brilliant and funny art historian (U. of Illinois, Chicago), and her kind businessman husband, Joe Reinstein. Joe and I didn’t have that much in common except for being Jewish, enjoying gardening and liking to make jokes. He sounds a little bit like Jack Benny. Many of you, dear readers, won’t have a clue as to who that is, so please look him up on YouTube.

Highland Park, a city of 30,000, is about one-third Jewish. When my former wife (Catholic) and I moved up to there in 2001, some of our Northwestern University colleagues were surprised that we relocated to such a bourgeois suburb. To quiet the teasing, I told them that we moved there so I could “be among my people.” That shut everybody up. Then as now, identity politics ends discussion. In truth, though I am a cultural Jew, I haven’t stepped inside a synagogue since my bar mitzvah in 1969, not including other people’s bar mitzvahs and weddings.

Now, after the shooting, Highland Park was going to become one more of those names on a list that includes Parkland, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, and Uvalde. The grim consolation is that the list is now so long – and growing longer every day — that Highland Park will soon be displaced in memory by another mass casualty event. In a few years, it will be a footnote. But not for the people whose family members were killed or wounded; not for the town’s other residents who will remember that infamous day, and not for a north Florida transplant who remembers the place with fondness.

Outline of a critique of fascist violence

In time, we’ll find out much more about the confessed killer, Bobby Crimo. But my friend Sue Coe nailed the profile in an email she sent me before he was identified: “He will be a 20-something white male, who hunts, goes online in his bedroom, and over excites himself.  His mother/grandmother/caretaker, who he hates, does his laundry, and cooks his food.  He won’t have many friends; past fellow students will say he was a loner. Maybe there’s a manifesto, posted online, ripped off from some other moron.” She forgot to mention that he will be a Trump supporter, rare for someone his age, and rarer still in Democratic Highland Park or nearby Highwood where the killer lived with his father and uncle. Sue is clever but not clairvoyant – she described what has recently become the typical profile of the mass shooter.

Crimo may have a diagnosable psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or delusional disorder. Alternatively, he might suffer from a less totalizing, but still debilitating mental illness such as borderline personality disorder or depression. He apparently attempted suicide in 2019. In online raps (or rants), he claimed to be compelled to kill. But whether there is a plausible diagnosis or not, the question will be the same: Why did this 21 y.o. kid decide to buy an assault weapon and kill or injure dozens of people he didn’t even know? Answers won’t be found in the DSM but in the convergence of fascism and Republican Party politics.

Fascism is a well-understood political formation, but easier to recognize in hindsight than foresight. It cannot be defined, as some have tried to do, by a delimited set of attributes, for example: 1) militarism and a culture of violence, 2) the leadership (Fuhrer) principle, 3) antagonism to democracy, 4) deferral to the authority of elites, 5) racism, 6) strict control of both gender expression and sexual reproduction, 7) denigration of science, 8) the ubiquity of lies and conspiracy theories, and 9) the bringing of government and civil society to heel in order to enforce one-party rule. The problem with this list or any other, is that it establishes an ideal type that exists nowhere except the mind of the investigator.

Then what use are the words fascist and fascism today? They serve as a warning, enabling us to recognize especially toxic political speech and behavior, and prepare ourselves for the behemoth lying in wait. Does the rampant racism, violence, corruption, and electoral fraud of the last president and current Republican Party mark a fascist turning point in the United States? Does Republican debasement of the Supreme Court – marked by its denial of women’s autonomy, endorsement of gun culture, refusal to accept EPA authority to prevent a climate catastrophe, and endorsement of a theocratic state — indicate the rise of fascism?

To be sure, U.S. capitalist democracy was deranged from the start by slavery and genocide. When those practices were ended or curbed, it was still marked by racial oppression, gross inequality, and environmental degradation. Despite that, U.S. politics has been self-correcting to a surprising degree, staving off fascism when it seemed imminent. The first Ku Klux Klan (1865-1900) was stymied by Progressive Era legislation and policing, and the second (1915-1940) by the Great Northern Migration (which depleted the Black population of the South) and by the democratic solidarity that arose after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and Germany’s declaration of war against the U.S. Fascism in other words, has frequently been incipient, but countervailing tendencies were always stronger. However, that pattern – a glide to the right matched by a lurch back to the center — may be changing.

During the last three decades or so, neo-liberal capitalism has sustained a highly productive collaboration with Christian nationalism and other versions of far-right, populist extremism. They are strange bedfellows. The goal of the first is to ensure the highest possible profits for the longest possible time, regardless of the human or environmental consequences. The climate crisis has made this stance existential. Continued economic growth and increasing profits – the lifeblood of large business enterprises — is simply incompatible with environmental responsibility. For that reason, fossil capital, along with its confederates in the weapons, aerospace, steel, and home building industries, is waging a war against the coming era of environmental regulation and economic planning that must inevitably curb growth. That’s what the recent Supreme Court decision, West Virginia vs EPA, was all about. It was a big win for capital against the environmental movement and American labor. Working people, especially the non-white sector, are the first victims of climate change. In addition, the Court’s ruling will be used to attack workplace health and safety laws.

The goal of the second group, the far-right Christian nationalists, anti-abortionists, militias, and self-proclaimed fascists, is to establish a new nation of white Christian, Aryan, or “legacy” Americans who will reclaim the power they believe was taken from them by the Jews, Blacks, feminists, and queers who sought to “replace” them. Their cultism (QAnon, Stop the Steal, anti-Vax, etc), gun-rights militancy and religious enthusiasm has little in common with the secularism and public reserve of the corporate heads, lawyers, bankers, lobbyists, and advertising executives who comprise the neoliberal faction of U.S. conservatism, but they share one fundamental principle: that the only salient economic and political unit is the individual and the family. The neoliberal faction adds a proviso — codified by the Supreme Court in Citizens United — that corporations have many of the same rights as people.

For neoliberal capital, this means that state or federal programs to regulate production, improve social welfare, and protect the environment are both non-sensical and counterproductive; they are based on the mistaken premise that societies exist and have collective interests that need to be safeguarded. For the far right — Christian nationalist, militia, anti-abortion, and the rest — exclusive focus on individuals and families means that any concatenation of social groupings that opposes their apocalyptic vision must be cast aside if not eliminated. Social movements of feminists, queers, Blacks, or any others, are anathema.

This mixture of neo-liberal and far right-populist extremism is highly volatile. It is also the basis of MAGA and Republican Party identity. When that world view is offered up by the former president and his congressional and mass-media followers and apologists, the consequences can be catastrophic: Witness the January 6 coup attempt, and the earlier, far right killings in El Paso, Pittsburgh, Poway, Buffalo, Uvalde…and now Highland Park.

MAGA triggers and the alien within

When I lived in Highland Park, I never locked my door. I know that’s a cliché about small-town life, but it was true. That doesn’t mean the practice is wise. Our house was broken into once, but instead of walking through the unlocked front door, the would-be thieves broke through a locked, glass side door. They didn’t manage to steal anything and hastily exited the front door, likely chased by Echo – notably nippy with strangers — who would not have passed up the chance to licitly bite a burglar. The police came five minutes after we called them and had great sport playing detective – dusting for fingerprints, checking for signs of forced entry, looking for shoe prints in the wet soil outside. They never caught the guys.

The idea that the Highland Park Police would ever have to deal with a murder, much less a mass murder was unimaginable to me. From 2000 to 2020, there hadn’t been a single killing in town. But everyone was aware of the threat guns posed, especially after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December 2012. In June 2013, Highland Park’s City Council and Mayor Nancy Rotering introduced a measure banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines. I spoke in favor of the it at the June meeting dedicated to the subject, as did many others. However, there were a few who spoke up in opposition, repeating the standard NRA line that people, not guns kill people. One older woman waved a coffee mug and said it could be used as a lethal weapon – a wag near her dared her to try. Another speaker invoked the second amendment with the reverential awe usually reserved for the second commandment – people sniggered. The ban passed easily. It was unsuccessfully challenged in multiple courts, and ultimately survived a Supreme Court review – I doubt it would today.

I now wonder if the confessed killer’s father, Robert Crimo II attended that City Council meeting. He’s a gun lover and Trump supporter who helped his son obtain the rifle used in the shooting. He also ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019 against the incumbent Mayor Rotering, losing by a margin of 2-1. In April that year, police visited the Crimo home after a report that Robert III (Bobby) had attempted suicide. No action was taken after his parents gave assurances that mental health professionals would be contacted. In September, the police again came to the Crimo household after receiving a call that Bobby had threatened to kill his family. They searched his room and found in his closet 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword. His father later that day claimed they were his, and the weapons were returned. The Highland Park Police promptly reported to the Illinois State Police that Bobby was a “clear and present danger” to himself and others. Despite that, in December 2019, the 19-year-old – who eight months earlier attempted suicide — applied for and was issued a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). Because he was underage, the application was co-signed by his father.

The FOID application should have been denied because under state law, no gun permit can be issued to someone “whose mental condition is of such a nature that it poses a clear and present danger to the applicant, or any other person or the community.” In addition, a FOID must be denied to anyone who “has been a patient at a mental health facility in the last five years.” If Bobby’s parents had in fact contacted mental health professionals after the boy’s attempted suicide, they would have had to take him to “a mental health facility,” most likely Northshore Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center in Highland Park, just half a mile from where they lived. Apparently, both the Illinois State Police and the physician or psychologist who treated Bobby, failed to send notification to the Illinois Department of Health Services FOID reporting system.

A few days after being granted his FOID, and then again between June 2020 and September 2021, Crimo bought at least five guns, including two rifles, one of which was the semi-automatic Smith & Wesson M&P15 used in the killings. That’s similar to the guns used by the young, far-right killers in Buffalo and Uvalde. In late September 2020, Bobby attended a Trump rally in Northbook, Illinois. On January 2, 2021, four days before the capital insurrection, Crimo joined other Trump supporters to greet the soon-to-be- ex-president at an unidentified airport. On June 27, 2021, he posted a video of himself draped and dancing in a Trump flag. Sometime later, he had the number “47” tattooed on his face and painted on the side of his car. If Trump is re-elected in 2014, he will be the 47th president, though if the numbers are transposed — 7/4 – they represent the date of the Highland Park shootings.

We know less about Crimo’s actions in the weeks before the shooting, though more information may soon emerge. We know that in some of his most recent YouTube and other postings, he revealed his identification with soldiers, spies, assassins (Lee Harvey Oswald) and warriors — especially with the German SS. After the massacre in Highland Park, he drove up to another, famously Democratic Party stronghold, Madison, Wisconsin, with the intention of shooting up their July 5 parade too. Fortunately, he abandoned that plan when he got there and returned, more or less to the scene of the crime, where he was captured. Was the ongoing Trump saga – the former president’s unrelenting “stop the steal” rhetoric, claims of persecution, exhortations to “take our country back,” endorsement of the NRA, and invitations to violence – a trigger for Crimo? But if they were, why did Crimo attack innocent people at a patriotic parade? There is no obvious answer.

In Male Fantasies (1987), Klaus Theweleit described the transformation of de-commissioned German soldiers after World War I into mercenary militias called Freikorps. Those bands were responsible for political assassinations and the brutal repression of protesting German workers, communists, feminists, and social democrats. By the late ‘20s, they became the stormtroopers (Sturmabteilung) that enabled Hitler’s rise to power. Some became prominent Nazis, like Rudolf Höss, commandant of the Auschwitz concentration and death camps.

Many of the men studied by Theweleit were subjected to stern discipline as children – part of a normally pathological Prussian upbringing — and then further brutalized as soldiers in wartime trenches. Consequently, they developed a sense that they had been hollowed out, or that they had been overcome by an “alien within.” This foreign being was hungry and dangerous, and could find relief only in violence, especially against a crowd. While the solider was stern, bounded, firm and resolute, the crowd was vivid, thriving, shapeless, feminine, social, communal, and sexual – everything he was not, and it had to be destroyed.

Theweleit’s two volume book is widely cited – too widely – in studies of male sexual violence and the psychology of Nazism. There is no easy way to map a wide-ranging study of the literature the psychopathology of World War I veterans onto the mind and behavior of young, mass shooters today. But the preoccupations of the Highland Park killer – assassinations, school shootings, the SS, spies, guns, knives, and militias – suggests comparison with the young fascists in Male Fantasies who emerged in inter-war Europe, scarred and deadly dangerous, who hated crowds, and were ready to follow the orders of a charismatic leader.

Fascism, unlike Covid, can’t be diagnosed with a nose swab; but its symptoms are unmistakable and sometimes fatal. It’s fair to say it killed seven people in Highland Park and injured 30 others. It was also deadly in El Paso, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Uvalde. Urgent action is needed to stop the proliferation of assault weapons and guns with large magazines. But this essay is not about the need for gun control, or “gun safety”, essential as that is. It’s about the violence that again struck a U.S. community last week, and the need to resist the Republican far-right – both its corporate and Christian nationalist wings. Until their assault upon our health, safety, bodily autonomy, religious (or irreligious) freedom, and environmental future is stopped, the killing will continue.

Stephen F. Eisenman is Professor Emeritus of Art History at Northwestern University and the author of Gauguin’s Skirt (Thames and Hudson, 1997), The Abu Ghraib Effect (Reaktion, 2007), The Cry of Nature: Art and the Making of Animal Rights (Reaktion, 2015) and many other books. He is also co-founder of the environmental justice non-profit,  Anthropocene Alliance. He and the artist Sue Coe and now preparing for publication part two of their series for Rotland Press, American Fascism Now.

أفكار غربية مِن خارج الصندوق: روسيا هي مَن يكسب الحرب

 الخميس 23 حزيران 2022

وليد شرارة

خلال الأشهر الماضية، أعرب عدّة مسؤولين أميركيين وغربيين عن اقتناعهم بأن الحرب في أوكرانيا ستكون طويلة. آخر هؤلاء هو الأمين العام لحلف «الناتو»، ينس ستولتنبرغ، الذي دعا من واشنطن، بعد لقائه الرئيس الأميركي، جو بايدن، في الثاني من الشهر الحالي، الغرب إلى الاستعداد لحرب استنزاف مديدة في هذا البلد. عكس هذا الاقتناع في الواقع توجّهاً غربياً للسعي لتحويل أوكرانيا إلى «أفغانستان جديدة» بالنسبة إلى روسيا، من أجل إضعافها وإلحاق هزيمة بها، كما جرى مع الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق. يتساءل بعض المراقبين «الخبثاء» عن «العقل الفذّ» الذي يقف خلف مثل هذه الاستراتيجية. ارتبط «الفخّ الأفغاني» باسم زبيغنيو بريجنسكي، أحد كبار الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين، ومستشار الأمن القومي للرئيس الأميركي آنذاك، جيمي كارتر. أراد بريجنسكي، البولوني الأصل والشديد العداء للسوفيات، الانتقام لهزيمة فيتنام عبر إلحاق أخرى شبيهة بها بموسكو في بلاد الأفغان. جميع حروب أميركا الكبرى في النصف الثاني من القرن العشرين، بمعزل عن نتائجها الفعلية، أدارها أصحاب خبرة لا يستهان بهم في الشؤون الاستراتيجية والدولية كهنري كيسنجر وروبرت ماكنمارا وجورج بوش الأب وجيمس بايكر، وآخرين. مَن هو «السيد» أو «السيدة» أوكرانيا، كما يلقَّب عادةً المكلّفون بالإشراف على ملفّ محدّد في الإدارات الأميركية، في فريق بايدن؟ هل هو جايك سوليفان، مستشار الأمن القومي، أو أنتوني بلينكن، وزير الخارجية، أو فيكتوريا نولاند، مساعدة وزير الخارجية للشؤون السياسية، أو غيرهم؟ أقلّ ما يمكن أن يقال بالنسبة إلى نتائج الحرب بعد أكثر من 100 يوم على اندلاعها، ولتداعياتها الاستراتيجية والاقتصادية الإجمالية، هو أنها مخالفة، ومتناقضة في العديد من المجالات، مع «التوقّعات» الأميركية والغربية.

لم تمنع المواجهة المحتدمة في أوكرانيا، فلاديمير بوتين، من التأكيد، في الخطاب الذي ألقاه أمام «منتدى بطرسبرغ الاقتصادي الدولي»، أن العالم الأحادي القطب قد انتهى، على رغم المحاولات المضنية لإحيائه، وأن الثقة في العملات العالمية تقوّضت كرمى للطموحات والأوهام الجيوسياسية التي عفا عليها الزمن. قد يكون الأنكى بالنسبة إلى بايدن وفريقه هو مشاطرة شخصيات أميركية وازنة لمِثل هذه الاستنتاجات، والإعلان عنها في مداخلات علنية ومقالات، ما يسهم في المزيد من إضعاف الإجماع الداخلي حول سياسات هذا الفريق. التداعيات الكارثية لحروب أفغانستان والعراق الكارثية على الموقع الدولي لواشنطن، لم تشفها من إدمانها على الحروب المباشرة، أو تلك التي تُخاض بالوكالة، ظنّاً منها أنها ستوقف انحدارها. وعلى الرغم من أن أصواتاً بارزة، محسوبة تاريخياً على المؤسسة الحاكمة، أو أخرى معارضة، كبرنت سكوكروفت، مستشار الأمن القومي لبوش الأب، أو بريجنسكي المذكور سالفاً، أو إيمانويل والرشتاين، حذّرت مراراً من مغبّة المضيّ في هذا النهج، فإن صنّاع القرار المتتالين لم يكترثوا لتحذيراتهم.

عن شخصيات شاركت بقوة في الحرب الباردة ضدّ الاتحاد السوفياتي، وأدّت إحداها، والمقصود هنري كيسنجر، دوراً حاسماً في استكمال تطويقه عبر هندسة صفقة استراتيجية مع الصين نجحت في استمالتها إلى واشنطن ضدّه. عارض كيسنجر، في كلمته أمام «منتدى دافوس» الأخير، الهدف الأميركي من الحرب، والذي أفصح عنه وزير الدفاع، لويد جونسون، والمتمثّل في إضعاف روسيا، معتبراً أن «المفاوضات يجب أن تبدأ خلال الشهرَين المقبلين قبل أن تؤدي الحرب إلى اضطرابات وتوترات لن يكون من السهولة بمكان التغلّب عليها. ومن الأفضل أن يكون الهدف هو العودة إلى الوضع السابق على اندلاعها»، أي الموافقة على تقديم أوكرانيا تنازلات لروسيا، عبر التخلّي عن أراض لها. وهو طالب القادة الغربيين بعدم «الانجراف في مزاج اللحظة» ، وبإجبار أوكرانيا على التفاوض.
محارب آخر من زمن الحرب الباردة، وهو غراهام فولر، أدلى بدلوه في النقاش الدائر حالياً. وفولر، لِمن لا يعرفه، عمل لمدّة 27 عاماً مع المخابرات المركزية ووزارة الخارجية الأميركية، وهو عُيّن من قِبل الوكالة نائباً لرئيس المجلس الوطني للاستخبارات في 1986. فولر متخصّص في الشؤون الشرق أوسطية والروسية، وخبير في الحركات الإسلامية، ويُحسب أنه من دعاة «انفتاح» واشنطن عليها، وكان لدراساته ومقالاته الكثيرة عن هذا الموضوع تأثير أكيد على اتخاذ قرار الحوار معها من قِبل إدارات أميركية متعاقبة. هو رأى، في مقال على مدوّنته بعنوان «بعض الأفكار الجادة عن ما بعد الحرب في أوكرانيا»، أنه «على العكس من البيانات الانتصارية لواشنطن، فإن روسيا هي مَن يفوز في الحرب، وأوكرانيا مَن يخسرها. أما بالنسبة إلى خسائر موسكو الطويلة الأمد، فهي قابلة للنقاش. العقوبات الأميركية ضدّها اتّضح أن مفاعيلها كارثية على أوروبا أولاً. الاقتصاد العالمي يتباطأ، والعديد من البلدان النامية تعاني من نقص في المواد الغذائية وقد تتعرّض لخطر مجاعات واسعة… ستندم أوروبا الغربية على اليوم الذي انقادت فيه بشكل أعمى خلف الولايات المتحدة للتورّط في حرب ليست أوكرانية – روسية، بل أميركية – روسية تُخاض بالوكالة حتى آخر أوكراني». وهو يشير إلى أن مصادرة الموجودات الروسية في البنوك الغربية تحفّز بقيّة العالم على إعادة النظر في الاعتماد الحصري على الدولار كعملة احتياطية: «لقد بات تنويع الأدوات الاقتصادية الدولية مطروحاً، وهو سيُضعف موقع واشنطن الاقتصادي المهيمن سابقاً، واستخدامها الأحادي للدولار كسلاح». ويختم فولر لافتاً إلى أن الشراكة المتعاظمة بين موسكو وبكين هي الرهان المستقبلي لروسيا، التي تمتلك «علماء لامعين، ووفرة في مصادر الطاقة والمعادن النادرة، والتي سيكون فيها لقدرات سيبيريا الزراعية أهمية فائقة في ظلّ الأزمة البيئية. الصين لديها الرساميل والأسواق والقوة الإنتاجية للمساهمة في بناء شراكة طبيعية معها في أوراسيا».

جوزف ستيغليتز، أحد كبار اقتصاديّي «البنك الدولي» سابقاً، والناقد المعروف للعولمة النيوليبرالية، لم يشارك في الحرب الباردة، غير أنه لا يكنّ ودّاً خاصاً لروسيا. هو رأى في مقال بعنوان «كيف يمكن أن تخسر الولايات المتحدة الحرب الباردة الجديدة»، أن من الأفضل للولايات المتحدة، التي تبدو جادّة في منافستها للصين على الريادة العالمية، أن تركّز على إعادة ترتيب بيتها الداخلي. هي لا تريد أن تُزاح عن موقعها المهيمن، لكن الأمر حتمي، لأن عدد سكان الصين 4 أضعاف عدد سكانها، ولأن اقتصاد الأولى ينمو بوتيرة أسرع بثلاث مرّات من سرعة نموّ اقتصادها. الأسوأ بنظر ستيغليتز، هو فقدان واشنطن صدقيّة نموذجها وجاذبيته أمام بقيّة شعوب الكوكب، بسبب حروبها العدوانية، واستشراء العنصرية والفوارق الاجتماعية في داخلها. وقد كشفت الأزمة المالية والاقتصادية في 2008 وجائحة «كورونا» هشاشة نموذجها، وكذلك انتخاب دونالد ترامب والانقسام السياسي الذي نجم عنه ومحاولة «الكابيتول» الانقلابية عند خسارته الانتخابات في 2021. هي ليست مؤهّلة لإعطاء الدروس وقيادة جبهات عالمية ضدّ الصين، «التي لم تعط دروساً، لكنها قدّمت للبلدان النامية بنى تحتية حيوية بالنسبة إليها».
قد لا تلقى هذه الآراء آذاناً صاغية بين صنّاع القرار في واشنطن، لكنها ستجد اهتماماً بين النخب وفي أوساط الرأي العام، وخاصة مع اشتداد التضخّم والأزمة الاقتصادية – الاجتماعية المرشّحة للتفاقم، والوثيقة الصلة بتداعيات الحرب في أوكرانيا. أصبحت أغلبية الأميركيين وبقيّة شعوب العالم تعرف أن المحافظين الجدد هم المسؤولون عن تسارع الانحدار الأميركي بسبب السياسات التي أوصوا بها، وهم سيهتمّون بلا شك بمعرفة «العقل المدبّر» للحرب على روسيا، والتي لم تنجم عنها حتى اللحظة سوى الخسائر.

Sitrep Operation Z: Cauldrons and Fatigue

June 22, 2022

by Saker Staff

Best again today, is Military Summary and worth listening to and watching.  He is ‘predicting’ a ‘riot’ in among the Ukie troops in the cauldron.  There is an update on Snake Island (Serpent Island).

What does become clear is that the map is going to turn very red in large areas very soon.

Yes there is a cauldron with estimated 1,500 to 2,000 Ukrainian forces.  This is where Military Summary expects the ‘military riot’.

The main take-away from the Russian MoD report is this:  “The enemy suffers considerable losses.”

Now we wait for

  • cessation of the shelling into the Donbass and
  • the results of all oil refineries in the Ukraine now non-functional and the results of
  • … this Kadyrov announcement: the imminent encirclement of Lisichansk and the subsequent cleansing of the city.

The Russian Defense Ministry also reported that as many as 500 Ukrainian troops from a single brigade were killed in the city of Nikolaev.

In the wider world, Ukraine War fatigue is setting in.  We still get reports that this country or another country will be sending wizzbang weapons, but if you read the fine print, it is usually dependent on arrival of US or other weapons in exchange.  Here is only one example:

Slovakia is trading with Germany on the terms of military assistance to Ukraine, writes Buisness Insider.According to the publication, Slovakia agrees to supply Kiev with 30 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, but in return requires 30 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Berlin.Germany does not like this formula, they are ready to supply only 15 tanks there — one Leopard for two T-72s.  As a result, all tanks remain in their places, deliveries are delayed, the newspaper notes.

While Ukraine War Fatigue is setting in in the western climes, the fear of cold and a powerless future is also setting in.  The disgust and fatigue with the Ukrainian refugees are now palpable.  What also is turning decidedly red, is some faces of the greens, because we hear that in various places in the EU, they are un-mothballing their old coal power plants.  It is of course not easy to recommission these plants, and one can only laugh because at least 70% of European thermal coal, is imported from Russia.

Our own Mr P, who knows about power plants and engineering wrote up a piece for us in the Cafe.  It is worth taking a look at: http://thesaker.is/moveable-feast-cafe-2022-06-18/#comment-1111759

A central idea is that the coal power plants can be taken out of mothballs, but what about the old skilled craftsmen?

Some overall themes that are appearing, are that Turkey may want to leave NATO (or should we say, subtext, Break NATO) and the EU cannot agree on anything, so, they want to change their ways so that they do not need 100% agreement or approval on anything from the member states.  What this should indicate to us, is that NATO may just be history in a while and the EU as well, in its current form.  Something else can be predicted to change its current form, and that is the United States.  In Texas they have this referendum to determine if it will secede from the US.  It won’t be the last state either.

We are in a tsunami of change, but there is one term that can be used and that is the old military term SNAFU everywhere.  This applies to Zelensky as well, as Zelensky fatigue has now really set in.   Zelensky addressed the African Union and only 4 out of 55 invited heads of state attended the virtual session.

2 Short Updates

The US Embassy in Moscow has a new address (https://t.me/donbassr/22283): 1 Donetsk People’s Republic Square.

Putin: The issue of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of BRICS currencies is being worked out.  The Russian President also invited representatives of the BRICS countries to the economic forum in Vladivostok in September.

Tucker Carlson: Violence is already beginning

May 07, 2022

Snapshot

March 10, 2022

Source

By Fred Reed

Everybody and his goat are talking about the Ukraine. Why not me? You might ask, But Fred, what do you know about it? To which I would respond, Look, this is journalism. You don’t need to know anything, just wing it, preferably using words you can spell. Admittedly this is more of a limitation than it used to be. Anyway, here goes:

Why did Russia invade the Ukraine? Contrary to American media, the invasion was not unprovoked. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, America has been pushing NATO, which is a US sepoy operation, ever closer to Russian borders in what, to anyone who took fifth-grade geography, is an obvious program of military encirclement. Of the five countries other than Russia littoral to the Black Sea, three, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria, are now in NATO. America has been moving toward bringing in the Ukraine and Georgia. After Georgia would have come Azerbaijan, putting American forces on the Caspian with access to Iran and Kazakhstan. This is calculated aggression over the long term, obvious to the—what? Ten percent? Fifteen percent?—of Americans who know what the Caucasus is.

Putin has said, over and over, that Russia could not allow hostile military forces on its border any more than the US would allow Chinese military bases in Mexico and China or missile forces in Cuba. Washington kept pushing. Russia said, no more. In short, America brought on the war.

Among people who follow such things, there are two ways of looking at the invasion. First, that Washington thought Putin was bluffing, and he wasn’t. Second, that America intentionally forced Russia to choose between allowing NATO into the Ukraine, a major success for Washington’s world empire; or fighting, also a success for Washington as it would cause the results it has caused.

From the latter understanding, America pulled off, at least at first glance, an astonishing geopolitical victory over Russia. Nordstream II blocked, crippling sanctions placed on Russia, many of its banks kicked out of SWIFT, economic integration of Europe and Asia slowed or reversed, Germany to spend 113 billion on rearming (largely meaning buying American costume-jewelry weaponry), Europe forced to buy expensive American LNG, and Europe made dependent on America for energy. All this in a few days without loss of a single American soldier. This presumably at least in part engineered by Virginia Newland who, though she looks like a fireplug with leprosy, seems effectively Machiavellian.

Next victim, China. Divide and conquer. Or at least that’s the theory. At the same time reinstate the JCPOA and use economic baubles to try to pry Iran away from Beijing.

Here we need some context. Everything Washington does internationally aims at maintaining America’s largely military near-hegemony over the world. This involves several elements:

First, military dominance. This includes the many hundreds of bases around the world, naval supremacy, and the huge military expenditure. Thy latter will be maintained at any cost to domestic needs, and apparently it is going to be increased.

Second, control of the world’s supply of energy. Washington is trying to starve Venezuela, with its vast reserves of petroleum, into submission. Submission means letting American-dominated oil majors exploit the country’s oil. Washington is doing the same with Iran and its enormous reserves. It has troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, has confiscated Syria’s oil lands, crushed Libya, and so on. Keeping the European vassals from buying more Russian gas through Nordstream II is part of this energy control and an important part.

Third, and crucial, keep Eurasia—note the “EU”—from coalescing into a vast continent-spanning trade zone, which is exactly what China contemplates in its BRI, Belt and Road initiative. This is too much subject for a few paragraphs, but some thoughts: China is a manufacturing juggernaut in explosive growth. Economic power is the basis of all power. China has the advantage of inner lines of communication: it can build rail, fiber optics, highway,s and pipelines in Asia, where America has little access. China has money because it has a for-profit economy, and America doesn’t. The pull of China’s gigantic market and manufactures was beginning to loosen America’s control of Europe. Eurasian integration had to be stopped.

Fourth, the dollar. Washington controls the dollar, the IMF, SWIFT, and in general the international financial system. It uses this control brutally as a weapon to impose sanctions, crippling the economies of such countries as Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and now Russia. Seeing this intimidates other countries. Washington may have gone too often to this well. Having made England, its chief bootlicker, confiscate Venezuela’s gold reserves, and now freezing Russia’s reserves, Washington has served notice that no country is secure from this treatment. Here I speculate freely, but this may prove America’s worst mistake since 1619 as it may greatly accelerate the search for other payment systems—CIPS from China, SPFS from Russia, and the upcoming digital yuan. Washington, methinks, is betting the farm.

So much for the world. Meanwhile, America seems to be sinking into irreversible decadence that muss eventually—I would say soon—affect its international position. As the world’s economic and, laggingly, technological center of gravity moves east to Asia, an internally collapsing America will be less able to maintain the empire. Consider:

Washington’s printing of money, equivalent to the debasing of the coinage characteristic of failing societies, has resulted in high inflation and a potentially catastrophic national debt. This will cause political perturbation as voters seek to find which of the two essentially identical parties will not behave like the other one. Unrest will grow. Trust abroad in the dollar will decrease.

America suffers from a massive and growing trade deficit, largely with China, about which nothing can be done, certainly not soon, because America no longer makes things it needs. Manufacturing cannot be brought back, excep perhaps in niche markets like semiconductors, because the US no longer has the necessary engineers and trained work force, and American labor costs more than Chinese, so reshoring would increase inflation. The importation of cheap Chinese products keeps inflation down,.

The heavy flow of national wealth into Wall Street and the military in addition to offshoring has led to real poverty in Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and the rural Deep South. This has produced some 100,000 opioid deaths annually in despairing populations. Simultaneously large and growing homeless aggregations appear in LA, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, St. Louis, on and on, estimated at 60,000 in LA and 50,000 in New York, making the subways dangerous. Bush world conditions presumably do not make for political stability, as neither does the governmental inattention to them.

Crime is out of control, not a sign of a healthy polity. Some 700 homicides annually in Chicago, 300 in Baltimore, and similar numbers elsewhere are now routine, almost all of the killers and killed being black. To countries like Japan and South Korea this must seem barbaric. The situation is not First World.

America’s racial problem is grave. The southern border is open, the southwestern states either majority Latino or soon to be. This is not as bad as it could be as the races seem to get along, but it imposes heavy economic and other costs. At the same time across the country cities have huge black ghettos with appalling semiliteracy, no prospects for the young, all of this apparently irremediable. Racial attacks on whites and Asians grow in number and so, almost everywhere, do racial killings, mostly by blacks. Governments at all levels fear blacks who they know will burn cities if provoked, which leads tax bases to flee from cities, making things worse.

This adds to potentially explosive resentment. There is a substantial White Nationalist movement, that wants no non-whites in America (a bit late for this), Republican Chambers of Commerce, that want more illegal Latinos for the cheap labor but won’t say so, and the high-tech sector, which wants more East Asian and Indian immigrants on which America, with a failing educational system, increasingly depends.

Overall, government is weak, unable to prevent crime, riots, and looting. Washington does not control, but is controlled, being a storefront operation for special interests. Elections do not change policy but only the division of the spoils. Presidents perform their three essential duties, protecting Wall Street, Israel, and the military budget, but not much else.

Schooling is being dumbed down in stark contrast with China. Excellence everywhere is discouraged in the name of equity. Native white talent dwindles in the elite schools, from high-end high schools through CalTech, as Asian majorities predominate. Measures of talent, such as SATs and Medcats, are dropped or downplayed. English grammar and arithmetic are dropped as racist. None of this seems likely to improve America’s future competitiveness.

Finally, the media are controlled. This allows Washington freedom of action abroad as enough of the public will believe anything they are told by television (The Russians are coming, the Chinese are coming, the Iranians are coming, the Guatemalans….) Internally censorship may keep the lid on, for now anyway, by keeping enough of the population from knowing what is going on. By preventing discussion of problems, or their mention, it assures that nothing will be done. I suspect this is having the effect of winding a spring.

Where is all of this leading?

Biden is playing as if this were 1960 and the US enjoyed rock solid military and economic superiority and the population were firmly behind him. This is the world he remembers, being an aging cold warrior. He seems to believe that he consequently can do what he pleases with no repercussions for America. This may be true, or true enough. Perhaps he believes that Russia will collapse in domestic rebellion or simply surrender to the US. It is not how I would bet.

But—and this is sheer speculation—it is not clear what would happen if Russia cut off gas and petroleum and wheat and such things as neon gas from Europe. The West is accustomed to bombing remote countries, not to going without. Would Russia collapse under privation before Europe decided it wanted to trade with Moscow after all?

If Biden and the hawks decide to play hardball with China, they may realize that America is an economic dependency of Beijing. If—again, very hypothetically—China cut off all trade with America, the US economy would die instantly. Almost everything on American shelves is made in China. An American public already very unhappy would explode, which it is on the point of doing for various reasons. Reflect on the Floyd riots. China would be hurt, but it has other markets and a nationalistic population more united than the American.

Them’s my thoughts, probably worth what you pay for them.

تصاعد منسوب التحذير من نشوب حرب أهلية أميركية

2022 الأحد 26 شباط

 د. منذر سليمان وجعفر الجعفري

 إمكانية تجدّد الحرب الأهلية في الولايات المتحدة أضحت مادة متداولة على منابر المؤسّسات الإعلامية الأميركية المتنوّعة، بعد أن كانت محصورة على نطاق ضيّق بين أوساط ما يسمّى اليسار أو بقايا أنماط التيارات اليسارية المتعددة. النخب السياسية والاقتصادية الأميركية النافذة عبّرت عن مخاوفها عبر صحيفة «نيويورك تايمز»، 18 كانون الثاني/ يناير 2022 ، وكذلك عبّر معهد كارنيغي للدراسات والأبحاث، 16 أيلول/ سبتمبر ، 2021، إضافة إلى مؤسسات أخرى مرموقة.

الحدث الأبرز في اللحظة الراهنة كان انضمام النخب المالية والمصرفية حديثاً إلى إثارة المسألة بصورة أوضح وتوصيف أشدّ قسوة، عبر تعليقات رئيس أكبر مجموعة مالية في سوق المضاربات، راي داليو، 10 شباط/ فبراير الحالي، الذي حذّر على صفحته الإلكترونية من نضوج عوامل نشوب حرب أهلية أميركية، أبرزها «تركيز مصادر الثروة في أيدي النخب المالية، وتوسّع الفجوة الفاصلة في معدلات المداخيل»، إضافة إلى «ارتفاع منسوب التطرف والصراع بين اليمين واليسار» في معادلة تسوية صفرية. المؤسّسة العسكرية أيضاً شاركت في حملة التحذير والإعداد لمواجهة أنماط متعددة من الصراعات المسلحة. ونشرت صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» مقالاً مذيّلاً بتوقيع 3 من كبار جنرالات سلاح الجيش المتقاعدين، ذوي خبرة عسكرية لا تقلّ عن 30 عاماً لكل منهم، بعنوان «المؤسّسة العسكرية يجب أن تستعدّ الآن لعصيان مدني في 2024»، موسم الانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة (17 كانون الأول/ ديسمبر 2021).

 وجاء في تحذير القادة العسكريين من تبلور انقسامات حادة في الانتخابات الرئاسية أنّه «قد يتّبع البعض أوامر صادرة عن القائد الأعلى الحقيقي للقوات المسلحة، بينما قد يتّجه الآخرون نحو (المرشح) الخاسر ترامب». أمام هذه الحالة المرئية، ليس مستبعداً رؤية «تصدّع في القوات العسكرية، قد يؤدي إلى نشوب حرب أهلية».

 جدير بالذكر ما خبره المشهد السياسي الأميركي من حالة استقطاب حاد منذ فوز الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، ولا تزال فصولها تتمدّد ومفاعيلها تتجذّر، نظراً إلى طرقه وتراً حساساً من العنصرية الكامنة والنزعة الشعبوية المتجدّدة.

 في هذا الصدد، من المفيد المرور على رؤى نخب الأجهزة الاستخبارية لما يتوفر لديها من معلومات حقيقية شاملة ونصائح «واقعية» لصنّاع القرار. وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية، «سي أي آي»، تموّل مجموعة بحثية تُعرَف باسم «فريق عمل عدم الاستقرار السياسي»، مهمّتها إنشاء قاعدة بيانات شاملة للبنى المعنية بالصراعات السياسية الداخلية، كمؤشّر على «انهيار السلطة المركزية، والتنبّؤ بأمكنة اندلاع الصراعات».

 وأبرزت صحيفة «نيويورك تايمز»، 18 كانون الثاني/ يناير 2022، العضو البارز في المجموعة، السيدة باربرا وولتر، عقب إصدارها كتاباً بعنوان « كيف تبدأ الحروب الأهلية»، بتسليطها الضوء على 3 عوامل، تقارب فيه اندلاع صراع داخلي بقيادة مجموعات عنصرية، تحاكي نموذجي «إيرلندا الشمالية أو حرب الغوار في كولومبيا»، محوره اعتماد العنف السياسي لتهديد الأمن العام.

 عوامل اندلاع حرب أهلية، بحسب وولتر، هي: انتقال السلطة إلى نموذج حكم ديموقراطي أو نظام حكم استبدادي؛ الاصطفاف الشعبوي أو الفئوي، وهو الأخطر؛ تضعضع المكانة الاجتماعية لمجموعة ما، وما يرافقه من خسارتها لنفوذها السياسي.

 في المحصّلة، تؤكد وولتر، التي أمضت 3 عقود في خدمة المؤسّسة الأمنية، أنّ المجتمع الأميركي يسير بسرعة نحو «اصطفاف شعبوي وحكم استبدادي يقترب من مرحلة اندلاع العصيان المدني». وتضيف أنّ تضافر تلك العوامل يعني أنّ أميركا «أقرب إلى مرحلة اندلاع حرب أهلية بقدر أعلى ممّا يعتقد بعضنا».

 دراسة معهد «بروكينغز»، السالفة الذكر، تؤكّد سوداوية خلاصات السيدة وولتر. وقد أشار المعهد إلى نتائج استطلاع شامل للرأي، نُشر في 4 شباط/ فبراير 2021، تفيد بأنّ أغلبية معتبرة من الأميركيين، 46%، يعتقدون بنشوب حرب أهلية، مقابل 11% ممن ليس لديهم رأي محدد، ومقابل 43% لا يؤيّدون نشوبها. وأضاف أنّ النسبة السوداوية ترتفع بين أوساط الجيل الناشيء إلى 53%. كما أن للتقسيم السكاني الجغرافي، بين الشمال والجنوب، دلالة أكبر بتأييد نحو 49% من مواطني الولايات الجنوبية لنشوب حرب أهلية، مقابل 39% من سكان ولايات الساحل الشرقي «ليبرالية التوجه» لا يؤيّدونها، بشكل عام.

 المشهد السياسي الأميركي، بحسب «بروكينغز»، بالغ التعقيد ويشهد «حروباً حدودية» بين الولايات، أرضيتها المساحة الضيقة بين «حقوق الولايات كما تراها حكوماتها المحلية، وصلاحيات الدولة المركزية»، أبرزها سنّ الأولى تشريعات تعارض القوانين الفيدرالية السارية وتناقضها، مثل حق المرأة في الإجهاض، الذي تنقلب عليه تدريجياً المحكمة العليا بفعل ميزان القوى الراهن بين تيّاري الحزب الديموقراطي، الأقلية، والجمهوري الذي ينعم بالأغلبية.

كما أنّ التباين الحادّ بين المناطق الريفية، وهي الأغلبية جغرافياً، والمدينية، الموسومة بمعظمها بالميل نحو التيار الليبرالي، سيتفاقم مجدّداً عند أولى تباشير المواجهات. وشهد بعض ولايات الساحل الغربي، مثل كولورادو وولايات جبال الروكي، سلسلة مواجهات مع القوى الأمنية المركزية، تتعاظم حدّتها باضطراد.

 إحدى ميّزات «المواجهة المقبلة»، بحسب إجماع معظم الخبراء الأميركيين، أنّ الولايات الجنوبية وفي جبال الروكي، التي كانت تعاني من شحّ في مصادر التصنيع والموارد المالية إبان الحرب الأهلية، قبل نحو 150 عاماً، لم تعد تعاني من ضعف اقتصادي منذ مساعي التحديث والتصنيع التي اعتمدتها الحكومة المركزية منذ بداية عقد الستينيات في القرن الماضي.

وتنظر الدولة المركزية بقلق إلى ولاية كبيرة مثل تكساس، المستقلة بمواردها النفطية ومداخيلها المرتفعة نسبياً، ونزعاتها المتجدّدة نحو الانفصال عن الحكومة المركزية، رغم الإدراك العام أنّ ذلك الهدف لن يتحقق في المستقبل القريب، لكنه يبقى عنصر تهديد يزداد زخماً مع تفاقم الأزمة الاقتصادية العامة وترهّل الحكومة الفيدرالية في تقديم خدماتها العامة، باستثناء قطاع الأمن، لتلك المناطق التي يعتبرها كثيرون «مناطق نائية»، لكنها حبلى بالأحداث.

أوجزت دراسة معهد «كارنيغي»، السابقة الذكر، بعض التحديات للحكومة المركزية باعتبار أنّ «سمّية المناخ السياسي الراهن تعقّد مساعي تفاوض الفريقين (الديموقراطي والجمهوري) بشأن قضايا مهمة لكلّ منهما، وتدفع بمنسوب الغضب لدى العامة إلى أعلى مدياته ضدّ الحكومة الفيدرالية التي يسودها نظام المنتصر يحصد كلّ الجوائز».

بيد أنّ النخب السياسية لا تزال منقسمة بشأن اندلاع حرب أهلية من عدمه، والتعامل معها بدوافع رغبوية وفئوية من قبل الطرفين: الليبراليون يستبعدون الحرب، والمحافظون لا يؤيّدونها علناً، بل يسعون لإنضاج الظروف المؤدّية إلى انحسار خيارات الطرف المقابل.

الطرف الأول يتسلّح بالمؤسسات الدستورية، وأبرزها المؤسّسة العسكرية، والثاني لديه ميليشيات مسلحة لا تتبع قيادة مركزية، وهي منتشرة في أكثر من ولاية، ليس في وسعها إشعال معركة طويلة الأمد، كما تشير معظم التقديرات. كما أنّ ضبابية الانقسام، بين الشمال والجنوب في الوصفة الأهلية السابقة، تعقّد حسابات تلك الميليشيات وداعميها، في ظلّ انقسام مديني/ ريفي بصورة أدقّ. كما أنّ وفرة السلاح الفردي (434 مليون قطعة سلاح، 19% منها تقريبا أسلحة رشاشة) لدى الأميركيين تشكّل أرضية خصبة لاندلاع العنف.

المحصّلة العامة للمشهد الأميركي تشير إلى أزمة بنيوية في النظام الساسي، وما شهده من أحداث دامية إبان «غزوة الكابيتول»، 6 كانون الثاني/ يناير 2021، لم يكن معزولاً عن سياق الانقسام العام والاصطفافات الحادة، إضافة إلى رصد ظاهرة ارتفاع موجة تهديدات أعضاء الكونغرس بنحو 107% منذ ذلك الحين، والتي شملت أيضاً موظفي الدوائر الانتخابية.

التحدّي الماثل أمام المؤسّسة السياسية فريد من نوعه، بمقاييس العصر الراهن. إذ استطاعت المؤسّسة تجاوز تحديات حروبها المتتالية منذ هزيمتها في فيتنام، والأزمة الاجتماعية العامة خلال احتجاجات متتالية طبعت عقدي الستينيات والسبعينيات من القرن الماضي. لكن فقدان الثقة العامة بالمؤسّسة يتعاظم بشكل متدرّج، وهو الأخطر على مستقبلها.

تضافر عوامل الانقسام السياسي، وإعادة رسم خطوط الدوائر الانتخابية لمفاضلة الحزب الجمهوري، وربما ارتفاع معدلات حوادث الإرهاب الداخلي والمصادمات المسلحة «الموسمية»، يعزّزها جميعاً تدنّي الأوضاع الاقتصادية وتنامي معدلات البطالة واتساع هوّة المداخيل، ستبقى حاضرة في المشهد اليومي، لكنّها تحت سيطرة الدولة المركزية، التي لا تزال تعتبر نشوب حرب أهلية «خطاً أحمر».

أميركا بعيون المعجبين والمراهنين لا بعيوننا

 ناصر قنديل

يؤخذ دائماً على الذين يقفون في خندق المواجهة مع السياسات الأميركية أنهم يقومون بشيطنة النموذج الأميركي، بمثل ما يفعل المعجبون بأميركا والذين يراهنون عليها عندما يتناولون خصومها، ولذلك تتعرض كل التحليلات التي يقدمها ويتبناها مناهضو السياسات الأميركية والتي تقول إن أميركا تغيرت، وأنها نموذج يتهاوى، وأن تفوقها الأخلاقي الذي كان يتباهى به مريدوها لم يعد قائماً، للطعن والانتقاد بصفتها تحليلات وتوصيفات مبنية على الرغبات لا على الوقائع. وكذلك اتهام كل توصيف للتراجع الأميركي بتسويق التمنيات على حساب الواقع، ووصف كل استنتاج يتحدث عن سقوط نموذج الديمقراطية والاندماج الاجتماعي الأميركي، وخطر انهيار الوحدة الوطنية وخطر سقوط التنافس الديمقراطي كإطار للنظام السياسي الأميركي، بصفتها أحلام وردية لخصوم أميركا، لكن عندما يأتي هذا التوصيف من معجب كان ولا يزال يأمل بأن أميركا هي قبلته السياسية، ومثاله الأعلى لما يجب أن تأخذه بلادنا، ومثال للسياسة الدولية وركن يمكن الاعتماد عليه ويجب الاعتماد عليه، فالأمر بذاته حدث يستحق التوقف.

الكاتب اللبناني سام منسى يكتب في صحيفة الشرق الأوسط انطباعاته عن زيارته إلى أميركا بعد غياب سنوات «ولأول مرة منذ أكثر من 20 سنة على انتمائي إلى هذا البلد برغبة وتصميم يسكنني انطباع قد يخالفني فيه البعض، بأن أشياء كثيرة تغيرت فيه «، ومهم اسم الكاتب واسم الصحيفة لتظهير مصدر الشهادة، التي ورد فيها «أول ما يلفتك هو تراجع الخدمات أو الفاعلية في تلبيتها بسرعة ودقة وهي خاصية لطالما ميزت أميركا، إلى ارتفاع ملحوظ بالأسعار جعلت كلفة المعيشة باهظة، بعدما عرفت على مدى عقود باعتدالها مقارنة بالدول الأوروبية. وتبدأ مؤشرات هذا التراجع من المطار مع خدمة تأجير السيارات مثلاً، لتجد موظفاً واحداً يهتم بجميع المسافرين وما طلبته غير متوفر وتنتظر ساعة ونيف ليجهزوا لك بديلاً. وتصل إلى الفندق حيث لا خدمة غرف ولا مطاعم بمفهوم المطعم، بل مقصفاً تنتظر فيه بالدور لتحصل على طعام بأطباق بلاستيكية! وينسحب ذلك على الخدمات في المصارف ومؤسسات الدولة».

ينتقل الكاتب المغرم بالسياسات والنموذج الأميركيين إلى انطباعاته عن مصير النموذج الأميركي فيقول «الأمر الآخر الذي فوجئت به هو غلبة الهويات الفرعية على الهوية الوطنية تحت مظلة تخوف البيض من «اسمرار أميركا»، وتخوف السود كما اللاتينيين والآسيويين من انتفاخ مؤيدي «تفوق البيض». ناهيك برهاب المسيحيين من المسلمين وشعور هؤلاء بأنهم عرضة للتمييز.

أما الشعبوية التي انتعشت في أكثر من دولة في العالم الغربي، فلم تسلم منها أميركا باعتبارها محصنة كما اعتقدنا. وعلى الرغم من أنها بلد المهاجرين إنما تميزت بأنها صهرت القادمين بتحلقهم حول العلم الأميركي، وفي الوقت نفسه تركت لهم الحرية كاملة لشؤون عيشهم وممارسة عاداتهم وتقاليدهم ومعتقداتهم. إنما اليوم بتنا تشعر بأن هناك هويات فرعية تحاول القفز فوق الهوية الأميركية الجامعة»، وإلى الانقسام العمودي للمجتمع انقسام عمودي آخر للبيئة السياسية والحزبية، يقول فيها المحب والمعجب: «فوجئت بعد غياب بحدة الانقسام الحاصل في الولايات المتحدة وبطبيعته المتشددة المستجدة التي بدأت مع الانتخابات الرئاسية الأخيرة وما رافقها من رفض لنتائجها وتشكيك بنزاهتها. هذا الانقسام بات يطال القواعد الرئيسية التي قام عليها نظام القيم الأميركي الذي أرسته أميركا نفسها عبر النظام العالمي بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية. الأميركيون هذه الأيام منقسمون إزاء نظام القيم هذا، وبات قسم لا يستهان به منهم لا يؤمنون بالمبادئ التي يقوم عليها، ما ترجم خلافاً حول مفاهيم عدة كالحرية والعدالة والمساواة في الداخل».

يأتي دور السياسة الخارجية ومصير سياسات التدخل والردع، والرهان على مكانة أميركا الدولية لمواجهة خصومها ومساندة حلفائها، فيقول الكاتب اللبناني في صحيفة «الشرق الأوسط» السعودية من واشنطن: «سقوط سياسة الردع ترافق مع سياسة القيادة من الخلف، ثم سياسة الانسحاب لتأتي بعدها سياسة التخلي، حتى قيل إن الولايات المتحدة لا تنتصر إلا على حلفائها. لن نعدد أخطاء أميركا الكبرى في الإقليم بل خطاياها، إن في تعاطيها مع الأصدقاء والأعداء، لكن يكفي ذكر إغلاق عينيها عما جرى في سوريا ويجري في اليمن ولبنان، وانسحابها من أفغانستان وتقديم البلاد على طبق من ذهب إلى «طالبان»، كما قدمت العراق سابقاً إلى إيران، وطريقة إدارتها لمفاوضات الملف النووي الإيراني الذي أقل ما يقال فيها إنها قصيرة النظر تعيد ارتكاب الأخطاء «الأوبامية» نفسها مع اختلاف بسيط؛ أن أوباما لم يشارك حلفاءه في المنطقة بمآلات المفاوضات الأولى، أما إدارة جو بايدن فهي تشركهم إنما عبر الضغط عليهم للقبول بالعودة إلى الاتفاق من دون معالجة جدية لهواجسهم».

يختم الكاتب إحباطه بمعادلة يستوحيها من جداريات البيت الأبيض، فيقول: «أكثر ما نخشاه هو تحول القوى العظمى الأميركية إلى صليب أحمر أو منظمة غوث، تقتصر مساهماتها في العالم على مد المحتاج بالمساعدات، وفي رمزية تدل على ذلك، فإن الرئيس جو بايدن استبدل صورة للرئيس فرنكلين روزفلت في البيت الأبيض بصورة للرئيس جورج واشنطن، في دلالة على تغليبه نظرة روزفلت في أهمية البعد الاجتماعي بإدارة الشؤون الداخلية وأولوياته على أدوار الولايات المتحدة الأخرى كدولة عظمى. علّنا نتعظ!».

كلام يشبه ما كنا نقوله مراراً ويصنف في دائرة شيطنة النموذج الأميركي، والسعي لإحباط المراهنين عليها والمعجبين بنموذجها، وليس لنا اليوم إلا أن نقول عسى أن يتعظ المغرومون والمعجبون بأميركا وأن يستفيق المراهنون عليها!

الكاتب اللبناني سام منسى

Andrei Martyanov on the possibility of war

December 04, 2021

Please support Andrei Martyanov on his website and Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/martyanov
https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

Posted by permission from Andrei Martyanov

Reconsidering Regionalism in the United States

November 10, 2021

By Walt Garlington for the Saker Blog

The existential questions regarding the future of the present American union continue to grow more complex and more dire:

What comes after liberalism?

Can nationalism restore unity and purpose?

At the heart of these questions and others like them is a problem that has plagued the States since their independence in 1776: the belief that a political ideology is enough to create a homogenous cultural identity. Early on, Thomas Jefferson was writing about an ‘extensive’ ‘empire of liberty’; John Adams, about America as mankind’s second chance at the paradise of Eden. These strands of political mysticism merged into a messianic melody sung into existence by Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address in which the cause of union and its preservation became a sacred act that all future generations of Americans must take part in if representative government is to remain and ‘not perish from the face of the earth.’

Our eyes have been full of the stars of these philosophical dreams for many years. Until lately – when the weakness of a political creed as a foundation for a lasting culture is being exposed. But this is to our benefit as we can now place the emphasis where it should have been all along: on the various regional cultures that exist within the United States. These have a lasting character; it is on these that we should build our future.

Certain books are foundational for beginning this process of rebuilding, as they reveal the origins and the durable characteristics of those who settled the various regions (reviews of some of these books are linked):

Albion’s Seed by David H. Fischer;

The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau;

American Nations by Colin Woodard; and

Regionalism and Nationalism in the United States: The Attack on Leviathan by Donald Davidson, which made Dr Russell Kirk’s list of ten essential conservative books – high praise indeed.

Through works like these we can begin to see the main cultural materials with which we can build: for New England, the traditions of the east of England (Essex, East Anglia); for the South, the traditions of southwest England (Wessex, etc.), the borderlands of Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, and parts of Africa, France, and Spain; for the Great Plains, the German and Scandinavian cultures; for the desert Southwest, Spanish is a major influence; Hawai’i carries the traditions of the native Pacific islanders, and on from there.

A unified culture is what gives rise to a unified nation, tribe, society, etc. This is what the regions possess, but it is precisely what the United States taken together have always lacked. To the extent that there is such a thing, it is, as Dr. Clark Carlton once said in one of his Faith and Philosophy podcasts (which sadly seem to have disappeared into the cyberspace ether), merely the vapid secular consumerism that overtook all the States after New England and her northern children won the victory in the War between the States. If we add to this the political mysticism mentioned above, we will be very close to the definition of that sad little creature called ‘American culture’.

The idea of separating the current union into smaller, regional confederations is not new. Below is a list of some past proposals to that end provided by Mr Terry Hulsey:

• The Vermont Republic (1777)

• The New York proposal by its Senator Rufus King and Oliver Ellsworth to dissolve the Union (1794)

• Opponents of Jefferson’s 1803 Louisiana Purchase, notably Josiah Quincy III

• The New England secessionists during the War of 1812

• The Hartford secessionists and their supporters in the Essex Junto (1814-15)

• The secessionism of Federalist and former President John Quincy Adams (1839)

• Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and the New England Anti-Slavery Conventions (1834, 1844, 1858)

• The proposed secession of five Middle Atlantic states (1860).

But if the union is to remain in existence, it should be reformed such that it resembles much more the Articles of Confederation or the United Nations, a federation in which the coordinating authority has few powers that it can wield over the region-nations that are part of it, and in which each of those participating will have a veto that it can use to stop any action – legislative, executive, or judicial – from going into effect.

Such a sweeping decentralization (or separation) will yield great benefits at home and abroad. Domestically, it will help put an end to the deeply polarizing cultural battles that constantly inflame anger and tension between the progressive cultures of New England and the West Coast and the more conservative/traditional cultures of the South and Midwest; each region would be able to decide those matters for herself rather than facing the prospect of one or more of the other sections forcing its beliefs about drug legalization, transgender rights, law and order, abortion, etc., upon her.

Internationally, it would help reduce the risk of needless wars by taking out of geopolitics the hegemonic-messianic behavior of the swaggering Indispensable Nation that has tasked itself with converting all the world to its liberal, democratic creed.

Yes, the regional cultures which we have written about have grown very faint after decades of living within the corrosive atmosphere of liberalism. Yet the alternative – attempting to trudge along under the existing paradigm – is worse, for it is a fantastical chimera based on false and failing economic, political, and religious ideas. But our forefathers in these various cultural spaces have left us with plenty of material to help us in our work of restoration: poems, novels, histories, biographies, theological works, geographies, music, recipes, and the like. With these and with a determined will and God’s help (for He is a God of Resurrection), each section can nurse its native life back to health.

The end of the current union seems inevitable for a number of reasons: The instability inherent in the ideology of selfish individualism that reigns in most parts of it; the plans of the globalist technocrats to dismantle it, as detailed by their spokesmen like Jacques Attali in his book A Brief History of the Future; prophecies by Orthodox Saints like the holy Elder Ephraim of Arizona; and so on. Prudence would have us prepare properly to meet this event that seems likely to occur, rather than be caught flat-footed as the maelstrom approaches.

The advantages of reinvigorated regionalism are many; the drawbacks are few. Let the Great Reorganization begin.

Big, huge changes, in the near future (a tentative list)

SEPTEMBER 26, 2021

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Note: I will be terminating the fund drive today, and I want to thank ALL those who donated, be it prayers, words of support or money.  You have made a huge difference to us in a difficult moment and I want to thank you all for this!  As for the blog, it is now doing better than ever and I have you all to thank for it.

***

Truly, tectonic changes are happening before our eyes, and today I just want to list some of them but without going to deep into specific analyses, that I plan to do later in the coming weeks.  But just looking at this list is impressive enough, at least for me.  So, here we go:

The Anglos are circling the wagons:

The planned sale of US/UK SSNs to Australia is nothing short of a HUGE game changer.  It is also just the tip of a big iceberg:

  • The US seems to have de-facto given up on Europe, not only because the UK left or because the EU is crashing and unmanageable anyway, but because the political grip the US had on the continent is now clearly slipping: NATO is a paper tiger, the “new Europeans” have outlived their utility and Russia has basically successfully diffused the threat from the West by her titanic effort to develop capabilities which make an attack on Russia suicidal for any country, including the USA, whether nukes are involved or not.
  • By screwing over France, the US has jettisoned a pretty useless ally which had a short hysterical fit, but is already going back to its usual groveling and begging (BTW – those who think that de Gaulle was the last French patriot capable of telling Uncle Shmuel to “take a hike” are wrong, Mitterrand was the last one, but that is a topic for another day).
  • Of course, in political/PR terms, the US will continue to declare itself committed to NATO and the EU, but the “body language” (actions) of the US directly contradicts this notion.
  • For all its immense progress since the 80s and 90s, China still has two major technological weak points: aircraft engines and SSNs.  It just so happens that these are also two real US strong points.  By deploying 8 more SSNs near China, the US is very intelligently maximizing the use of its best assets and hurting China were it will hurt the most.  This does come with some very real risks, however, which I will discuss below.

The BRICS is close to becoming useless:

Brazil is currently run by the US and Israel.  South Africa is in a deep crisis.  As for India, it is doing what it has been doing for decades: trying to play all sides while trying to weaken China.  So it sure looks like the BRICS are becoming the “BRICS” which really leaves us with “only” the “RC” alliance which actually has a real name: the Chinese call it the “Strategic comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era”.

Again, I don’t think that anybody will formally dissolve what was a rather informal alliance to begin with, but de-facto the BRICS seems to be loosing much of its former glamour and illusions.  As for Russia and China, they are not going to “save” the former BRICS members out of some sense of sympathy especially not against their own will: let them save themselves, or at least try.  Then, maybe.

Also, let’s be honest here, BRICS was an economic concept which was mostly an alliance of weak(er) countries against the big economic and military powers of the North and West.

As for the Russian-Chinese alliance (let’s call it that, even though formally that is not what this is), it is, by itself, already more powerful than BRICS and even more powerful that the united West (US+NATO+EU+etc.).

The SCO is changing (thanks to Uncle Shmuel), fast

If Biden was a secret “Putin agent” (“KGB agent” is the preferred term in the US, at least by those who do not seem to realize that the KGB was disbanded thirty years ago) he could not have done “better” than what he did in Afghanistan.  Now, thanks to this galactic faceplant, the small(er) guys in the SCO (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) are now getting seriously concerned about what will happen next.  Even better, the (very powerful) Iran will officially become a SCO member this month!  Again, neither Russia not China “need” the SCO for their defense, but it sure makes things easier for them.  Speaking of Afghanistan, Pakistan is already a SCO member, as is India.

It is important to note that the SCO will not become an “Asian NATO” or an “anti-NATO” or anything similar.  Again, why would Russia, China and other want to follow a failed model?  They have repeated ad nauseam that their alliances are of unions of (truly!) sovereign states and that this union will not impede on this sovereignty in any ways (besides, neither Russia not China need to limit the others SCO members sovereignty to begin with).

The EU is slowly committing economic and political suicide

Initially, France had a major hissy fit, but is probably not doing the only thing France should do after what happened: leave NATO and slam the door on it, very loudly.  De Gaulle or Mitterrand would have done so immediately, but Macron?  Being the ultimate spineless fake that he is, it would be miraculous if he did anything meaningful (other than brutally repressing all the riots in France).

At this time of writing the result of the elections in Germany are too close to call, but even if NS2 is allowed to function, the level of russophobic hysteria in Europe is so extreme that the following will almost certainly happen: the EU will continue with its rhetoric until the prices go even further up, at which point they will turn to the only country which the EU desperately need to survive: the much hated and feared Russia.  Don’t quote me on that, but last week I remember the following prices for 1000 cubic meters of gas in Europe (just under 1000 dollars), the Ukraine (1600 dollars) and Belarus (120 dollars).  I might have memorized this wrong (I was traveling), and this might have changed, but the bottom line is this: only Russia can’t give the EU the energy it needs, and she has exactly ZERO reasons to make those russophobic prostitutes any favors (other than symbolic).  And even if my memory played a trick on me, what is certain that the prices for energy are soaring, the EU reserves are very low, and the temperatures falling.  Welcome to the real world 🙂

I won’t even go into the “multiculturalism” “inclusivity” “positivity” and other Woke nonsense which most of the EU countries have accepted as dogmas (even Switzerland caved in).

The US is like an aircraft breaking apart in mid-air

As most of you know, I have decided to stay away from internal US politics (for many different reasons).  So I will just use a metaphor: the US is like an aircraft which, due to pilot incompetence and infighting, is breaking apart in mid-air with its passengers still arguing about who should be the next pilot as that could make any difference.  Some passengers will continue to argue until the hit the ground.  Others are engage in “mid-air fistfights” apparently believing that if they succeed in beating the crap out of the other guy, they will somehow prevent gravity from doing what it does.

The reality is much simpler: a system that is not viable AND which cannot reform itself (too busy with self-worshiping and blaming others for everything) can only do one thing: collapse and, probably, even break-apart.  Only after that can the US, or whatever the successor state(s) will be called, rebuilt itself into something totally different from the US which died chocking on its own arrogance this year (like all the other empires in history, by the way, the latest one being the Soviet one).

The Russian elections

The results are in and they are yet another galactic faceplant for the AngloZionist Empire.  The main Kremlin Party took a hit, the Communists did very well, Zhirinovski’s LDPR lost a lot and a new (moderately pro-Kremlin) party made it in for the first time.  Considering the many billions of dollars the West has spent on trying to create a Belarus-like crisis in Russia (Navalnyi, Petrov, Boshirov & Co.), this is yet another truly gigantic failure for the West.  If anything, the rise of the KPRF shows that a lot of people are fed up with two things: 1) what they see as a tepid, if not outright weak, Russian foreign policy towards the West and 2) with the liberal (economically speaking) policies of Putin and his entourage.  Absolutely NOBODY in Russia wants “better relations” or any kind of “dialog” with the rabidly russophobic West.  And to the extend that Russia and the USA simply *have* to talk to each other (being nuclear superpowers) they, of course, will.  But the EU as such is of zero interest to Russia.  And if Russia needs to get something done (like what anyway?), she will talk to the US, not its EU underlings.  For all its problems, the US still matters.  But the clowns of the EU?

[Sidebar: the word “Communist” usually elicits a knee-jerk reaction from brainwashed US Americans.  But for the rest of them, let me just say that while I don’t think the KPRF is what Russia needs and while I have nothing good to say about Ziuganov or most of the KPRF leadership, I will say that KPRF does not mean Gulags, hammers and sickles smashing Ukie babies, Russian tanks in downtown Warsaw or any such nonsense.  There are several “Communist” parties in Russia, and none of them are even remotely similar to the kind of party the bad old CPSU was.  So while US politicians feel very witty to speak of the CCP-virus and that kind of nonsense (Ted Cruz is officially my “favorite idiot” in Congress now), this is so far detached from any reality that I won’t even bother explaining it here.]

The COVID pandemic

Wow, just wow.  Where do I even begin???  Biden’s speech on this topic was hateful declaration of war on all those who don’t fully accept the “official” White House line.  The fact that many (most?) of those who do not accept the official party line DO accept an even dumber version of events does not make it right to force them into choosing between their beliefs and, say, their job, or their right to move around.  Again, after listening to Biden I kept wondering if he was a “Putin agent” as his actions are only accelerating the breakup of the “US aircraft” I mentioned above.  You can say many things about COVID-dissidents, but you can’t deny them two things: 1) a sincere belief in their ideas and 2) an equally sincere belief that their core freedoms, values and rights are trampled upon by pathological liars and crooks (aka politicians + BigPharma).

They will resist and, yes, violently if needed.  Because for them it is a both a matter of personal human dignity and even survival!

At least, and so far, the US still has a powerful Constitution which will make it very hard for the current nutcases in the White House to do what they apparently want to do (force 80M US Americans to obey “or else”).  Furthermore, Federal courts cannot be simply ignored.  Also, US states still have a lot of power.  Finally, most US Americans still hold dear the ideals of freedom, liberty, small government, privacy, etc. But EU countries have no such protections from governmental abuse: true, in the US these are all rights are weakened by the day if not the hour, but at least they have not been *officially* abrogated (yet?).

If you want to see how bad things can get without such rights, just look at the pandemic freak show in Canada, Australia or New Zealand!

Finally, and irrespective of its actual origin (I am still on the fence on that), the COVID pandemic wiped all the make-up and has showed the entire world the true face of the West and its rulers: weak, ignorant, arrogant, hypocritical cowards whose only true concern is to cover their butts and “grab whatever can be grabbed” before the inevitable and final explosion (nuclear, economic or social).

Now back the the Aussie SSNs

The sale/lease of these SSNs is not only a danger for China, but also one for Russia.  Simply put, Russia cannot and will not allow the Anglos to strangle China like they did with Japan before WWII.  The good news is this: the latest Russian SSNs/SSGNs are at least as good as the latest Seawolf/Virginia class, if not better.  Ditto for ASW capabilities.  What Russia does lack is the needed numbers (and Anglo submarine fleets are much lager, even “just” the USN alone) and funds, both of which China has (or can have).  From the Kremlin’s point of view, the Anglos are trying to create an “Asian NATO”, something which neither China nor Russia will allow.  The Chinese already informed the Aussies that they are now a legitimate target for nuclear strikes (apparently, Australia wants to become the “Poland of the Pacific”), while the Russians only made general comments of disapproval.  But take this to the bank: the Russian General Staff and the Chinese (who both probably saw this coming for a while) will jointly deploy the resources needed to counter this latest “brilliant idea” of the Anglos.  In purely military terms, there are many different options to deal with this threat, which ones China and Russia will chose will become apparent fairly soon because it is far better to do something prevent that delivery from actually happening than to deal with eight more advanced attack submarines.

By the way, the Russians are also semi-deploying/semi-testing an advanced SSK, the Lada-class, which has both very advanced capabilities and, apparently, still many problems.  SSKs are not capable of threatening SSNs in open (blue) waters, but in shallower (green/brown) waters such as straits or littorals, they can represent a very real threat, if only by “freeing up” the SNNs to go and hunt into the deep (blue) waters.  Also, the main threat for subs comes from the air, and here, again, China and Russia have some very attractive options.

Conclusion: interesting times for sure…

Like the Chinese curse says, we are living in very interesting times.  The quick collapse of the Empire and the US is, of course, inherently very dangerous for our planet.  But it is also a golden opportunity for Zone B nations to finally kick the Anglos out and regain their sovereignty.  True, the US still has a lot of momentum, just like a falling airliner would, but the fact  remains that 1) they ran from Afghanistan and 2) they are circling their Anglo wagons shows that somebody somewhere does “get it” and even understood that in spite of the huge political humiliation both of these development represent for narcissistic politicians and their followers, this was a price which absolutely HAD to be paid to (try) to survive.

In my article (infamous) analysis ” Will Afghanistan turn out to be US imperialism’s “Last Gleaming”?” (it triggered even more hysterics and insults than usual, at least on the Unz review comments section) I wrote this: “the British Empire had the means of its foreign policies. The US does not.

This is now changing.

Yes, what the Anglos (aka 5 eyes) are doing is a retreat.  But it is a *smart* one.  They are cutting off all the “useless imperial weights” and going for the “smaller but stronger” option.  We might not like it, I certainly don’t, but I have to admit that this is pretty smart and even probably the only option left for the AngloZionist Empire. At the very least, it is now clear that the Anglos have no allies, and never had them.  What they had where colonial coolies who imagined themselves as part of some “community of civilized, democratic and peace-loving, nations”.  These coolies are now left in limbo.

So, who will be the next one to show Uncle Shmuel to the door?  My guess is the Republic of Korea.  And, frankly, since the DPRK is not a country the Empire can take on, and since China will only increase its (already major) influence on both the DPRK and the ROK, the US might as well pack and leave (maybe for Australia or occupied Japan?).

Okay, end of this overview of developments.

Now it’s your time to chime in as I am pretty sure that I missed quite a few things while in a short trip.

Cheers

Andrei

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

September 11, 2021

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Twenty years have passed since 9/11, so where do we stand today?  I will give my short answers as bullet points and then let you post your own conclusions.  Here are mine:

  1. Numerous engineers, architects, chemists, researchers and others have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that 9/11 was a controlled demolition.
  2. There is very strong, albeit indirect, preponderance of evidence that the Israelis were deeply involved and that they had accomplices inside the USA.
  3. From the two above I think that it is reasonable to assume that the Israelis were working with the US Neocons on a common project.
  4. Al-Qaeda (which is a CIA creation in the first place!) had some parts of it activated by the US/Israeli deep states (which are trying run the Takfiris everywhere), but only to play the role of a patsy (there were a few Saudis and there were real aircraft, but they did not bring down any buildings in NY).
  5. It remains unclear to me what really happened at the Pentagon, but I think that we can take the notion that the aircraft over DC and NY were remotely piloted as a pretty good working hypothesis (which still needs to be proven).
  6. Directed energy weapons, Russian naval nuclear cruise missiles, mini-nukes and the like are crude disinformation responses to the 9/11 Truth movement by the US deep state.  These were only moderately effective and only convinced a, shall we say, specific type of “truthers” which are all rejected as idiots (at best) by the mainstream 9/11 movement.
  7. The truth about 9/11 is now slowly getting “JFK status” which is “everybody either suspects/knows, but nobody really cares anymore”.  It’s old news, especially in a society with an attention span somewhere between 2 mins and 2 days.
  8. The real goal of 9/11 was to create a “patriotic pretext” to launch the GWOT and change the entire Middle-East into a compliant entity à la Jordan.
  9. The GWOT was a total failure and one of the worst military campaign in military history.
  10. The plan to create a “new” Middle-East have totally failed and, if anything, created a stronger anti-Israeli environment than before 9/11.  The fact that GWOT medals are handed out by the ton means nothing: after the Grenada faceplant Uncle Shmuel gave out more medals than participants took place in the entire operation.
  11. The AngloZionost Empire died on January 8th, 2020 and the USA, as we knew it, died on January 6th 2021 (see here for a detailed discussion of these dates and context), almost exactly one year later.
  12. By being murdered by the USA, General Soleimani won the biggest victory in his life.
  13. The US will have to leave both Iraq and Syria sooner rather than later.
  14. The Zionist entity calling itself “Israel” is now in a major political and even existential crisis and is now on the ropes and desperate.  But they hide it a lot better than the US propagandists.  But the Palestinians “feel” that, as do quite a few Israelis too.
  15. Both Biden and “Biden” are now fighting for their political lives not only due to “Kabul” but also due to the way Biden has just declared war on those who refuse vaccines.
  16. Anti-vaxxers might be many things, but nobody can deny them the following qualities: they are very strongly driven, for them the entire issue is not medical, but one of self-image, of identity and resistance to tyranny.  Okay, some will quietly cave in, but many will not.  That is why I strongly believe that Biden’s “declaration of war” against the unvaccinated “deplorables” (he did not use the word, but his contempt and hate was obvious) is a huge mistake.  At least in the USA, I believe that there are plenty of anti-vaxxers who will rather die in a firefight than being vaxxed (which they sincerely believe will either chip them, or kill them in a couple of years).  In other words, I do not believe that “Biden” has the means to force 80M+ anti-vaxxers to get the jab, in fact, if anything, his entire speech was a highly divisive slap in the face of millions of US Americans.  Violence is almost inevitable by now.  First isolated incidents, but possibly something bigger too.
  17. The US economy is not growing or recovery.  That is just playing with numbers or, “statistics” in Churchill’s sense of the word.  The truth is that the country is breaking apart and slowly going “3rd world” (okay, there are already plenty of “3rd world” areas of the USA, but these are now expanding).  The real Chinese economy is about 1.5 times larger than the real US one.  Point, set, game and match China.  By the way, the real Russian economy is comparable or bigger to the real German one, and the Russian economy has pretty much recovered from the COVID crisis (but it is not over, cases are still rising in some areas of Russia).
  18. The US military has totally lost its ability to function as a real military.  Ditto for NATO.  They were publicly humiliated pretty much everywhere they set foot.  This process is now irreversible. Point, set, game and match Russia, China and Iran.
  19. Internally, the USA losing its cohesion and that centrifugal process is being accelerated by the truly insane internal policies of “Biden” (just Woke and Covid are a declaration of war against millions of US Americans).  I am not at all confident that “Biden” can bring states like Florida or Texas to heel.  I won’t comment any further on the internal US situation, but that needed to be mentioned.

Conclusions:

  1. As with all Neocon type policies, they initially look “brilliant” only to end up in an abject clusterbleep and the Neocons hated by pretty much everybody else.
  2. The Taliban won the GWOT (even at its best, Uncle Shmuel “controlled” about 40% of the country, max!).
  3. The entire Zone B and a big part of Zone A now realize that (whether they openly admit it or not).
  4. There is a good chance that the very public disaster in Afghanistan will now force the Europeans to distance themselves from a clearly senile, demented and weak Big Brother.
  5. The core Anglosphere (UK/CA/NZ/AUS) seems to be consolidating around the “Biden USA” which might put them on a collision course with the EU.  We are not quite there yet, but that’s were we are heading.
  6. The COVID pandemic effectively “exploded” all the societies in Zone A which are now all in a low-level “brewing” pre-civil war condition.  I do not see what anybody could do to change that.
  7. The COVID pandemic will only get worse, which will only trigger more attempts by Zone A government to try force their population to “obey” and that, in turn, will only further destabilize all, repeat, ALL the regimes in power in Zone A.

The bottom line is this: 9/11 and the GWOT were initial, very short lived, tactical successes which resulted in a strategic disaster or, better, in a strategic collapse of both the AngloZionist Empire and the USA.

And, finally, this.  I cannot prove it, but my reading of modern history and regime collapses brings me to believe the following:

I have always said that US policies, internal and external, are not really the result of careful planning as they are the result of various interests/entities using their influence and power to “pull” US policies in the way they want.  And since there are A LOT of various interests/entities, especially in important cases, what we see is not a “policy outcome” but only a “sum vector”, an “outcome” which is the sum of all the different pulling and the relative strength of the folks doing that pulling.

I believe that this process has only been magnified but by an order of magnitude.  What we see today in the US ruling elites is a huge “cover your ass”, “run for your life”, “protect yourself and your future” and even “grab it while you still can” and NOT, repeat, NOT “real” policies.  Those who believe in a grand conspiracy fail to realize that what happened in Kabul is not the exception, it is the rule!  Kabul was a giant spotlight which finally showed the true face of the US military to the entire planet: not the Tom Clancy kind of patriotic delusional hallucinations or Hollywood, but the “real reality” filmed “on the ground” on cheap but ubiquitous cellphones, by both Afghani and even US/NATO servicemen’s!

The problem for the delusional patriots is this: far from being “Putin agents” or anything like that, the million of folks out there who have cellphones with cameras (no matter how old or cheap) produce such a raw volume of data which makes it impossible to suppress.  The exact same goes for the Israelis, by the way, who have paid a huge price in terms of “losing the propaganda war” since the Palestinians (and quite a few Israelis too!!) now use their cellphones more effectively than any Palestinian rocket or suicide-bomber ever would.  That is also what really screwed up the recent US elections: ubiquitous cellphones (well, and CCTV cameras).

If we imagine the US/Israeli propaganda machine as a huge powerful animal (BILLIONS are invested into this) you can think of poor, oppressed people with cheapo cellphones as fire ants.  Let’s just conclude by saying that time is not on the side of the big powerful heavy animal, but on the fire ants’ side.

Andrei

PS: yes, I mentioned the POLITICAL aspects of the COVID pandemic.  I get to set the rules, since this is my blog.  The COVID topic remains banned on the entire Saker blog (Cafe included), EVEN if I get to mention it if/when it is part of my political analyses (I won’t touch the medicals aspects of COVID anymore, I have said all I have to say on this topic already anyway).  Do do NOT, repeat, NOT try to “sneak in” some COVID comments or you will be banned.  For the alternatively gifted: the article above is NOT about vaccines or the dangers of mRNA, it is about the political evaluation of 9/11 and the GWOT.  Stay on topic or else…

ELECTION SEASON NEARS IN THE UNITED STATES AS POLITICAL CRISIS GAINS TRACTION

 03.09.2021 

Election Season Nears In The United States As Political Crisis Gains Traction

The United States 2021 elections are drawing near, with the majority of them taking part on November 2nd, 2021.

Many are taking place on the surrounding days.

It is a volatile season, as the Democratic Party won the Presidential Elections in the face of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and holds a majority thanks to the vice president in the Congress.

In the House of Representatives, the Democrats hold the majority.

Interestingly, in the Senate the Republicans have 50 senators, but still Democrats hold majority with 48 senators, due to Kamala Harris swinging the vote.

Political instability was introduced in the United States following the fiasco that the withdrawal from Afghanistan turned into.

Americans were abandoned, Afghan allies were left behind, and an ISIS terror attack left 13 Americans and hundreds of Afghans dead.

This political instability didn’t simply appear out of nowhere with the fiasco in Afghanistan.

It was brewing when former President Donald Trump faced Joe Biden in the polls, and even before that.

This could also be a way to set the stage for Biden’s resignation, for health reasons or otherwise. A power grab is in order by Vice President Kamala Harris and the neoliberals she represents and whose interests she fights for.

Conservatives and traditionalists would surely come in the spotlight and receive quite a bit of negative attention focused at them. After all, they are the ones who elected Trump, and almost even re-elected him.

Various neoliberal movements, such as BLM and others will become the norm at Washington level, and that is when the true suppression attempts can begin.

This leading ideology will marginalize the states that are more conservative. There will likely be an ideology split within the United States, and even within singular states themselves.

Local authorities, as well as the local business elites and opinion leaders, will be strained, they will need to guide the population in one direction or another.

As a result, every state that’s strongly conservative or liberal will play a significant, leading role in the upcoming events ahead of the election, and after it.

If Texas remains strongly conservative, pro-Republican, as there is not even a Democrat candidate, it is likely that changes might be coming. Some states may wish for more independence in spending, development, legislation and more and be freed from some compulsory factors coming from Washington.

This doesn’t relate to a splitting of the federation into smaller countries, but rather a US in “two speeds”, similar to what is being observed in the European Union.

Texas is second in the US – second richest, and with its 29.1 million residents in 2020, is the second-largest U.S. state by both area and population. It is also a staple of conservatism and the Republican party, it promises to remain as such.

Naturally, the winner of the elections will become an important figure.

Currently, the governor of Texas is Greg Abbott, from the Republican Party.

Election Season Nears In The United States As Political Crisis Gains Traction

He seems like a rather conservative, but adequate leader of his state, with the population having a generally positive opinion of him.

It is an up-and-down, however.

Recently, the most radical abortion law in the US has gone into effect, despite legal efforts to block it.

A near-total abortion ban in Texas empowers any private citizen to sue an abortion provider who violates the law, opening the floodgates to harassing and frivolous lawsuits from anti-abortion vigilantes that could eventually shutter most clinics in the state.

Senate Bill 8 ushered through the Republican-dominated Texas legislature and signed into law by the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, in May, bars abortion once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, which is around six weeks, and offers no exceptions for rape or incest.

He is also widely considered to have failed the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas was also woefully unprepared for the freezing cold, and citizens were left without power and heat for days.

Still, despite controversy, he is the favorite.

When CPAC, the nation’s leading conservative political conference, met in Dallas earlier this month, speakers included former Dallas state Sen. Don Huffines. And while Huffines bashed President Biden, he spent most of his time on stage blasting a fellow Republican: Gov. Greg Abbott.

Huffines invoked the story of the Alamo and praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, then said:

“Well, we don’t have a Donald Trump as governor. We don’t have Ron DeSantis as governor. We don’t have William B. Travis as governor. Unfortunately, we’ve got a career politician that’s a political windsock, a RINO (Republican in name only.)”

Abbott, citing the kickoff of the legislative special session, wasn’t there to defend himself. Huffines used his absence against him, attacking Abbott’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He doesn’t want to face you,” Huffines said, “because he shredded our constitution. He put 3 million Texans on unemployment and dependent on the government in one day.”

But Huffines wasn’t just speaking out of passion. He’s also one of two candidates challenging Abbott as the governor seeks a third term in 2022. The other: former Texas Republican Party chairman Allen West, who’s made many of the same charges against Abbott’s pandemic response.

Essentially, the situation in Texas is such – the Republican party, more or less, has the victory certain. The favorite appears to be Greg Abbott, but his two main competitors are also from the Republican party.

The two main candidates: Don Huffines and Allen West are simply pushing the same platform, and want to win over the state away from Abbott, who has gone rogue, according to them.

There’s little to mention about West, he simply wants to “overthrow” Abbott, and he even gave up on the chairmanship of the Republican Party in Texas for the purpose. Both him and Huffines are on the same “team”.

In the case of Huffines, experts say that he didn’t win his own seat when he ran for Senate (in 2018), and it’s a seat that was more Republican than the state as a whole when he lost it. It is unlikely that this time he would have success.

Still, when he announced his campaign, he made no mention of Abbott.

It took aim at “politicians who offer nothing but excuses and lies” and promised to take on the “entrenched elites of the Austin swamp.” In promising more decisive action, Huffines said Texas needs to “finally finish the [border] wall” and that he would put the state “on a path to eliminating property taxes.”

Huffines was a strident conservative in the Senate. His announcement highlighted his record on issues important to the right, as well as his successful push to shut down the Dallas Public Schools bus agency amid reports of financial mismanagement there.

He got to the Senate in 2015 after unseating Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, in the primary, attacking him as too moderate. But the Dallas-based Senate District 16 swung toward Democrats under former President Donald Trump, and Johnson beat Huffines by 8 percentage points in 2018.

Huffines stayed politically active after leaving the Senate and especially so in the past year, as conservative angst simmered over Abbott’s pandemic management. Even then, Huffines has an interesting family connection to the governor’s circle: His brother is James Huffines, whom Abbott tapped last spring to chair the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas.

Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson said the odds are that Republicans will ultimately get everything they’re pushing in the current special session, even if it takes several more special sessions to get those priorities passed.

“Right now, the Republicans have the Democrats strung up by their thumbs with their feet barely touching the ground,” Jillson said. “I think the Republicans are going to win on the substance, and how the Democrats frame their eventual loss very much will determine whether or not the two bases are equally energized by this fight or one is energized more than the other.”

In his most recent gubernatorial race in 2018, Abbott won with 55.8% of the vote.

Abbott has money too.

He’s sitting on a war chest of $55 million.

But despite rampant rumors that former Congressman Beto O’Rourke or even actor Matthew McConaughey will get into the race, Democrats still don’t have a declared candidate for governor.

Still, the Democrats appear to have given up on Texas, as there is no candidate, two months prior to election.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

إعلان نهاية زمن القوة وتفكك الناتو والولايات المتحدة


الخميس 18 آب 2021

ناصر قنديل

تقول القرون الثلاثة الماضية أنّ الدول الغربية التي تولت بالتتابع قيادة الغرب بمشاريع استعمارية لم تبنِ قوتها العسكرية لحفظ أمنها، أو الدفاع عن جغرافيتها، أو ردع من يستهدفها، فالبرتغال وهولندا وإسبانيا وبريطانيا وفرنسا، وقد ورثتهم جميعاً وتولت توحيدهم وقيادتهم أميركا، بنوا قواهم العسكرية وحرصوا على فائض قوة هائل، لمنح المشروع الاستعماري الذي ظهر مع النهضة الصناعية  كتتمة لا بد منها للسيطرة على مصادر المواد الخام، والمعادن خصوصاً والنفط والغاز لاحقاً، والإمساك بالأسواق الاستهلاكية ولاحقاً باليد العاملة المهنية الرخيصة، وبدا واضحاً أيضاً أنّ كل تغيير شهدناه كان في شكل المشروع الاستعماري وعناوينه وليس في جوهره، فالحديث عن تصدير الديمقراطية هو تتمة الحديث عن تعمير بلدان ما وراء البحار، والقوة العسكرية كانت دائماً هي أداة الإخضاع والردع وبناء الحكومات التابعة، وحول هذه القوة تمّ بناء الأحلاف، ورُسمت السياسات، وجرى تحديد الاستراتيجيات.

عندما يقف الرئيس الأميركي ومن خلفه النخبة الحاكمة للإعلان عن أنّ الانسحاب من أفغانستان هو إيذان بنهاية زمن صناعة السياسة بواسطة القوة العسكرية، وأن هذا الانسحاب يترجم معادلة جديدة قوامها عدم استعمال القوة العسكرية لبناء دول تتبع النموذج الغربي، فهو يعلن نهاية قرون شكلت خلالها هذه القوة العسكرية صانع السياسة الأول، وكانت مهمّتها الرئيسية بناء حكومات تابعة في دول العالم، وهذه النهاية ستطرح أسئلة كبرى حول نوع القوة التي يحتاجها الغرب الذي تقوده أميركا للمهمة الجديدة التي قال الرئيس الأميركي أنها تنحصر بحماية الأمن القومي من خطر الإرهاب، وردع أي محاولة للاعتداء على الداخل الأميركي، كما يطرح السؤال حول مبرر الاحتفاظ بتلك القوة التي كانت لازمة لإخضاع العالم وخوض حروب السيطرة والهيمنة، واستطراداً ما هو مبرّر بقاء حلف الأطلسي الذي قال قادته أنه يحصد أكبر هزيمة في تاريخه، وقال قادته أنّ زعيمة الحلف قد خذلتهم، وأنهم عاجزون عن رسم سياسات بديلة من دونها، والسؤال حول  مستقبل حلف الأطلسي ليس مبالغة، فالدول المنضوية في الحلف لا تخشى من غزو خارجي بل كانت تتطلع لغزو بلاد الآخرين، فإذا كان هذا زمن مضى فلم تحتفظ بتمويل ولم تخصص الجهود والجنود للحفاظ على هذا الحلف؟

في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ستتم عملية فكّ وتركيب اقتصادية وسياسية وفقاً للمنظور الاستراتيجي الذي فرضته الهزيمة في أفغانستان، فالقطاعات الاقتصادية المرتبطة ببناء الجيوش وتجهيزها وتخديمها، غير تلك الخاصة بالأسلحة النووية، باتت بلا جدوى، وحجم الجيوش صار موضع نقاش، والانتشار العسكري في العالم صار بحاجة إلى تدقيق، لصالح نظرية الحفاظ على بعض الوجود النوعي المتحرك بحرياً لحماية الملاحة في الممرات والمضائق، وترك اليابسة، وفي ظل فشل حروب السيطرة والصعود الروسي العسكري التقليدي، والصعود الصيني الاقتصادي، بالإضافة لذلك وتداعياته البنوية، وفي ظلّ هذه التحولات، يحقّ للشركات الأميركية التي كانت تستثمر على القوة العسكرية طلباً للسيطرة على المواد الخام والأسواق، وفرض معادلات التسعير في هذين المجالين بما يناسبها ويضعف فرص منافسة خصومها، أن تسأل عن مبرر مواصلة ذلك، وبمثل ما كانت عملية نهب المستعمرات وتحويلها إلى أسواق استهلاكية، مصدر الرفاه الداخلي في بلدان الغرب، ستخرج الولايات الغنية في أميركا ومثلها الولايات البيضاء العنصرية، لتسأل عن مبرّر البقاء تحت ظل الدولة الفدرالية والقيام بتمويلها، طالما أن هذه الدولة الفدرالية تستقيل من المهمة الرئيسية التي كانت تبرّر وجودها، وهي مهمة الهيمنة على العالم، تحت شعارات الديمقراطية.

الهزيمة الأميركية والغربية في أفغانستان زلزال عالمي أكبر من زلزال فييتنام، وتداعياته على الداخل الغربي والأميركي، أكبر من تداعيات الانسحاب على أفغانستان ودول الجوار، فالتداعيات الإقليمية تبدو تكتيكية وقابلة للاحتواء من القيادات الأفغانية ودول الجوار، بخلاف التداعيات الغربية والأميركية  التي تبدو استراتيجية إن لم تكن وجودية أصلاً، ويبقى السؤال الكبير الذي يطرحه قادة كيان الاحتلال هل يشمل هذا التغيير فرضية القتال الأميركي دفاعاً عن الكيان إذا ظهر مهدّداً بالزوال ومعرضاً للتفكك؟

مقالات متعلقة

سقوط مدوّ لنظرية «خطة أميركية منسّقة وراء الانسحاب»


الاربعاء 18 آب 2021

ناصر قنديل


سادت نظرية لدى بعض المتابعين والمحللين للحدث الأفغاني مع بدايات الانسحاب الأميركي، تقوم على تقديم فرضية وجود خطة أميركية منسقة ومتفاهَم عليها مع حركة طالبان، تجعل الانسحاب الأميركي جزءاً من خطة تسليم وتسلّم لأفغانستان، وترتكز هذه النظرية على اعتبار أنّ الأميركي استبدل السعي للسيطرة على أفغانستان وموقعها الاستراتيجي، باستخدام هذا الموقع عبر تجييره لحركة طالبان لتتولى إرباك المشهد الإقليمي، وتحويل أفغانستان الى مشكلة لجيرانها وخصوصاً إيران وروسيا، وساق أصحاب نظرية الخطة الأميركية لتدعيم منطقهم التاريخ المشحون بين طالبان وموسكو منذ زمن الإتحاد السوفياتي، والتنابذ المذهبي الذي سيفجّر حرباً بينها وبين إيران، كما ساق هؤلاء لنظريتهم حججاً من نوع أن الإنهيار السريع للحكومة الموالية للأميركيين وجيشها جاء بقرار وبُني على عدم إبلاغ وتهيئة هذه الحكومة وقواتها لنوعية التحديات التي تنتظرهم، مقابل التسهيلات الممنوحة لطالبان لتحقيق تقدم سريع نحو العاصمة كابول، مستعيدين نظرية قوامها انّ واشنطن كانت وراء إنشاء طالبان.

كنا منذ البداية وقبلها نخالف هذه النظرية، ونرى فيها تعبيراً فكرياً عن فوبيا القدرة الأميركية، التي يعجز المصابون بها حتى من خصوم أميركا ومن مؤيدي مقاومتها، عن تقبّل فكرة انّ أميركا يمكن ان تهزم وتذلّ بهذه السهولة التي ظهرت بها مشاهد أفغانستان، خصوصاً انّ تداعيات الهزيمة كبيرة ولن يكون سهلاً حصرها في أفغانستان، واذا كان ممكناً لأصحاب النظرية إبقاءها في التداول مع الساعات الأولى للحدث فإنّ تطورات الساعات الماضية تجعله هلوسات سياسية غير قابلة للتفكير، فأمامنا وقائع تجعل هذه الفرضية ضرباً من التخيّل الأقرب الى فرضيات الخيال العلمي، فتداعيات الهزيمة المدوية بدأت تهزّ أميركا نفسها، وتضع حلف الأطلسي كله على المحك كما قال الأمين العام للحلف، والحديث عن أول هزيمة من نوعها في تاريخ الحلف، كما تلاقى كلّ شركاء واشنطن الذين تلاقوا على تحميلها مسؤولية المهانة التي لحقت بمكانة الحلف الدولية، وخرج الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن يرسم عناوين وخلاصات للخبرة الأفغانية عنوانها، التخلي عن نظرية تعميم النموذج الأميركي للحكم بالقوة العسكرية، وهو ما كان عنوان الحروب الأميركية للعقدين الماضيين تحت شعار تعميم نموذج الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان، وكلّ هذا الانهيار الفكري والنفسي والسياسي، والانهزام الإعلامي، والإحباط الفلسفي لا يمكن ان يشكل فصولاً من مسرحية تمّ توزيع الأدوار فيها، إلا إذا افترضنا انّ أميركا وحلفاءها خططوا للانتحار؟

بالتوازي مع الإنهزام المسيطر على المقلب الأميركي، خرج قادة حركة طالبان، لتقديم خطاب تصالحي نحو الداخل الأفغاني والخارج الدولي وخصوصاً الجوار، وأعلنت موسكو وطهران إرتياحهما للضمانات التي تلقوها من قيادة طلبان، وبادر هؤلاء القادة الى تظهير خطوات إيجابية تجاه البعد المذهبي لعلاقتهم بشيعة أفغانستان عبر رفع رايات عاشوراء والمشاركة في إحياء لياليها، وهنا لا بدّ من تقديم بعض المعلومات التي تجعل تخيّلات البعض لمشهد دموي بعيدة عن الواقع، فطالبان حركة سياسية عسكرية ينحصر نفوذها وإمتدادها في قومية واحدة من قوميات أفغانستان، وهي قومية البشتون التي تمثل أكبر القوميات لكنها تقارب نصف السكان، والحركة تمثل القوة الأوسع نفوذاً في قبائل البشتون، لكنها محاطة بحضور تنافسي مع نخب وقيادات وزعماء قبائل، فأغلب قادة الإغانستان يتحدّرون من البشتون، وهم في كابول أقلّ من نصف السكان، ومثلما هناك الأوزبك والطاجيك، هناك الهزارة الذين يمثلون نصف نسبة تمثيل البشتون أيّ أقلّ بقليل من ربع سكان أفغانستان الأربعين مليون، وهم من الشيعة المقرّبين لإيران، ويشكلون ثلث سكان العاصمة، وفي إيران أربعة ملايين لاجئ أفغاني أغلبهم من أنصار طالبان، والتبادل التجاري بين أفغاستان وإيران يعادل ثلث التبادل التجاري لأفغانستان مع الخارج المقدّر بعشرة مليارات دولار سنوياً، وأفغانستان تعتمد على إيران بالمحروقات وجزء أساسي من الكهرباء واللوم والخضروات، وتخيّل المناخ التصادمي الدموي فيه الكثير من التجاهل لتعقيدات ضخمة تنتظر طالبان ستحتاج فيها لإيران سياسياً واقتصادياً وأمنياً، أكثر من العكس، ومهمّ أن نتذكر انّ قائد فيلق القدس الحالي الجنرال إسماعيل قآني كان مسؤولاً عن إدارة الملف الأفغاني قبل استشهاد الجنرال قاسم سليماني، وأنّ الأميركيين كانوا يتهمونه بالوقوف وراء تصعيد عمليات طالبان ضدّ القوات الأميركية بعد اغتيال سليماني، والبيان التنديدي باغتياله الذي أصدرته طالبان.

من الصحيح القول إنّ العلاقة بين طالبان والأميركيين كانت جيدة بين عامي 1979 و1989 خلال المواجهة مع القوات السوفياتية، لكن بشرطين، الأول إدراك أنها كانت تقاطع مصالح في مواجهة ما يسمّيانه عدواً مشتركاً، وهو ما يفسّر التصادم اللاحق بين الطرفين بعد الإنسحاب السوفياتي، والثاني انّ طالبان ليست القاعدة أو داعش، اللتين تمثلان حركات بلا أوطان، أسّسهما الأميركي وإستعملهما وقاتلهما عند الضرورة، لكن طالبان هي حركة قومية دينية أفغانية، مثلها طالبان باكستان، وهما حركتان تأسّستا من طلاب الشريعة الذين قرّروا الإنخراط في مشروع يقوم على قاعدتي رفض الإحتلال الأجنبي وإقامة حكم يستند الى الإسلام، والحركتان اللتان وقفتا ضدّ السوفيات حتى خروجهم من أفغانستان وقفتا ضدّ الأميركيين بسبب إحتلالهم لأفغانستان، ورغم الطابع المتطرف لفهم الشريعة الذي يؤمن به قادة طالبان، بسبب تأثرهم بالشراكة مع القاعدة خلال حقبة القتال ضدّ السوفيات، فإنّ الخلفية المختلفة لطالبان عن القاعدة وداعش ترتبط بكونها لا تنتمي للسلفية بفروعها المختلفة، فخلفيتها العقائدية المنطلقة من المذهب الحنفي تجلعها أقرب الى الواقعية السياسية، ورفض التكفير بين المذاهب، والتمسك بهويتها الوطنية والقومية، وتداخل مذهبها الحنفي مع الصوفية يفتح نوافذ كثيرة للعلاقة مع المذهب الشيعي وإيران، نظراً للمكانة الهامة للإئمة الشيعة عند الصوفية، ولرفض الحكم الأموي من قبل أصحاب الطرق الصوفية.

يمكن براحة ضمير وبعيون مغمضة الجهر بالقول انّ أميركا تلقت أبشع هزائمها التاريخية في أفغانستان، وان الأيام المقبلة ستحمل المزيد من الهزائم التي تحملها مسارات أفغانستان وعلاقتها بالجوار، وفي المقدمة مع إيران كدولة إسلامية مناهضة للهيمنة الأميركية، تملك حدوداً مشتركة لقرابة الألف كيلومتر، تشكل فرصة  لطالبان أكثر مما تشكل تحدياً، ولعلّ واحدة من الخبرات التي قدمتها تجربة حزب الله لبعض قادة طالبان كما يقولون هي الطريقة التي أرادوا دخول كابول عبرها بما يستعيد طريقة دخوله الى المناطق المحررة في جنوب لبنان عام 2000، بينما تقدّم تجربة طالبان خبرة جديدة لحركات المقاومة قوامها انه ليس ضروريا مطاردة العدو حتى الرحيل قتاليا ليتحقق النصر، بل أن  الصمود وحده يمكن ان يصنع نصرا عندما يزرع اليأس في عقول العدو عن امكانية تغيير الواقع، كما لخص بايدن المعادلة، لو بقينا عشرين عاما أخرى فانّ شيئاً لن يتغيّر.

سترتكب حركة طالبان الكثير من الأخطاء قبل ان تستقر على صورة نهائية لنمط الحكم وإدارة أفغانستان، لكن المخاض الذي بدأ للتو يجب ألا يسمح بالتسرع في إصدار الأحكام على المسار الذي سترسو عليه، وهذا يستدعي منح الفرصة للمراقبة والتفكير، والتقييم الهادئ كي لا نقع في فخ يصنعه التسرع عنوانه الحكم المسبق، والحكم الصحيح هو على كيف تقارب طالبان كأي حركة سياسية العلاقة بقضيتي الاستقلال والبناء، وقد فازت طالبان في إمتحان الإستقلال حتى الآن وهي رفضت بشدة أن يتسلم الأتراك مطار كابول، واعتبرتهم احتلالاً انْ فعلوا ذلك رغم التدخل القطري لتسويقهم بعدما كلفهم الأميركي بذلك كمكون في حلف الأطلسي، يبقى تحدي قضية البناء، وهو شائك ومعقد لكنه يستحق الإنتظار.

Official: Biden Must Learn From History, Drop Language of Force against Iran

Official: Biden Must Learn From History, Drop Language of Force against Iran

By Staff, Agencies

An Iranian official says the Islamic Republic will never engage in any negotiations with the United States under pressure and threats, warning new American President Joe Biden against making the same mistakes that his predecessors made in their treatment of the Iranian nation.

In a tweet on Friday, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who advises the Iranian Parliament’s speaker on international affairs, said “Biden must learn lessons from history” and avoid going down the same path of confrontation taken by previous US administrations vis-à-vis Iran.

“The great and mighty nation of Iran should be addressed with the power of logic rather than the logic of brute force,” wrote the official. “Without any doubt, no negotiations will be held with the United States under pressure and threats.”

Amir-Abdollahian once again reaffirmed Iran’s position and ruled out any negotiations with the United States on the nuclear deal.

“The United States should first focus on negotiations with its own nations, which has become bipolar,” referring to the political chaos that broke out in America following the disputed 2020 presidential election.

“The sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran are taking their last breaths,” he added.

The comments come amid a diplomatic spat over the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement, whose fate has been shrouded in doubt since Washington’s unilateral pullout in May 2018.

Following its exit, the US under then president Donald Trump re-imposed the tough economic sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the UN-endorsed agreement in an abortive attempt to force Iran back to the negotiating table so Washington can get more concessions from Tehran and secure a “better deal.”

Under Trump, tensions between Iran and the US reached a new high as the hawkish president unleashed a so-called maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic with the aim of paralyzing its economy and international dealings.

Washington also successfully pressured its European allies in the deal – France, Germany and Britain – (to evade their own contractual commitments to Tehran, mainly neutralizing the US economic sanctions).

Correction by Brother roberthstiver,: the above Para should read:  “to evade their own contractual commitments to Tehran that had mainly neutralized the US economic sanctions“.

Following a year of strategic patience, Iran began to retaliate by resorting to its legal rights under Article 36 of the JCPOA and suspending its obligations stipulated in the accord.

Now, Biden – who served as vice president when the Iran deal was inked – has indicated a desire to rejoin the deal, but, in practice, he has so far adhered to his predecessor’s pressure policy, despite criticism of Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

Turning a blind eye to the fact that it was the US that first threw the deal in crisis, the Biden administration says Tehran should take the first step towards reviving the deal by resuming its commitments before Washington comes back to compliance.

Iran, however, insists that the ball is in America’s court, and that it will not reverse its countermeasures unless the US lifts all the sanctions it imposed on the Islamic Republic after quitting the deal practically and verifiably.

Amid the spat, the Biden administration offered last month to attend joint talks with Iran and other parties to the deal over the matter. Tehran, however, says no such talks or meetings are needed and Washington can only rejoin the negotiations after meeting Tehran’s condition.

USA Sitrep – President’s Day in a Divided Nation

USA Sitrep – President’s Day in a Divided Nation

February 15, 2021

by John Lockwood for the Saker Blog

February 15th is Presidents’ Day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biden: Surrounding Contradictions and Ineffectiveness بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

By Nasser Kandil

Many questions are raised about what the new US President Joe Biden’s ascent to the Presidency will bring in the shadow of the dark page represented by ex-President Trump’s time in office. Many rush to envision a rosy period represented by Biden due to the large thorns left behind by Trump, although the real picture is different. Biden’s rule as “Walking between the dots,” and “Ma bisheel al zeer min al beer” as a popular Arabic saying goes implying ineffectiveness, are invitations to lower expectations. The options awaiting Biden are complex and difficult, and the contradictions which surround the pressing dossiers he will be presented with will guarantee the every supposedly possible option to undertake will create a crisis of equal peril in parallel to the one he will resolve. This suggests that the utmost that Biden will be capable of is crisis management to keep big explosions at bay, while lacking the ability to achieve major breakthroughs.

The position the US finds itself in is similar to that the Occupation is in, namely both the inability to wage war and to forge settlements, for structural reasons in both situations. The Israeli Occupation, whose leaders and generals have gotten to the point of acknowledging the inability to wage war, appears unfit for something else.  When the Occupation emerged victorious from its wars, it fell under the illusion that making settlements was superfluous, and drew illusory high ceilings for settlements, which made them impossible. When the Occupation failed to realize its goals in the wars it waged or was defeated in, it considered any realistic settlement as a confirmation of its resounding defeat and its dissolution as an entity based on power. The powerful “Israel” does not make settlements because it feels no need for them, but rather feels the desire to impose on its opponents conditions of surrender. “Israel” the weak, weakens first in the view of its extremists, which then robs any ruling politician of the needed delegation to enter into the realm of settlements, and to the same extent robs that politician of the ability to wage more wars.

In the American case, Biden faces challenges of the caliber of reaching understandings with Moscow and Peking on the basis of partnership and not merely the diffusion of conflict. Based on the opinions of all the experts, an entrance into such assumed partnership constitutes an American acknowledgment of loss in stature which Biden knows he has to avoid for the duration of  his internal war with the Extreme Right which has become more powerful, and the title for  dangerous domestic polarization, and which asks for proof of hanging on to American distinctiveness and excellence. In parallel, what Biden needs in the Middle East is to appear as a defender of “Israel” and able to decrease tensions, when pursuing either course will cause damage to the other. He has to prove the efficacy of the Nuclear Agreement with Iran in comparison to Trump’s policies, without allowing Iran appearing to benefit. He also has to reunify his allies, starting with Europe, Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf, which raises the question about what he will do with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Libya. If he gives precedence to the alliance with Egypt, France, and the Gulf over the alliance with Turkey, how will he prevent losing Turkey and the risk of her positioning more clearly with the Iranian-Russian alliance? In consequence, conceding a Russian Iranian Turkish cooperation ending in a compete American defeat in Syria and Iraq?

What will Biden do in the domestic arena, and could he take steps to decrease the level of anger and anxiety among the Black, Latino, and Muslim Minorities without increasing the level of anger among the White racist and organized extremists? Would he succeed in containing the Extreme Right through cooperation with the Republicans without making concessions at the expense of economic and social programs which impinge on the rich in favor of the poor and weak, whose proportion has much more than doubled with COVID? And could fracturing in the ranks of Democrats be avoided with concessions to Republicans?

The first matter which has to addressed by Biden is foreign, namely the consideration of how to deal with the Nuclear Agreement, which will be under domestic scrutiny, and the scrutiny of all of Washington’s allies and opponents and their evaluation – a dossier in which Biden has  little room for maneuver.  Any discussion of requests related to Iran’s missile program and regional crises, and even calls about a basis for return to the Nuclear Agreement or calls for going back on nuclear escalation steps Iran had undertaken are outside of Iranian consideration.

Biden faces two difficult choices. Lifting sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017, a clear  Iranian condition for mutual return to the same Nuclear Agreement without negotiations, will result in increased domestic polarization and a widening of the gap with opponents, and an  escalating Israeli and Gulf climate. Keeping sanctions under the slogan of anticipated negotiations which will not materialize, at the risk of transforming his Administration into another Trump Administration, which will close Peking and Moscow doors, and result in the staggering and fall of the Nuclear Agreement, and in an escalation in regional tensions.

بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

ناصر قنديل

أسئلة كثيرة تحيط بما سيحمله تولي الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن لمقاليد الرئاسة، في ظل الصفحة السوداء التي مثلها حكم الرئيس المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب، ويتسرّع الكثيرون في رؤية مرحلة وردية يمثلها بايدن بسبب حجم الأشواك التي تركها ترامب، لكن الصورة ليست كذلك. فحكم بايدن سيمرّ بين النقاط كما يُقال، ولن يكون بايدن قادراً أن «يشيل الزير من البير» كما يقول المثل الشائع، في توصيف الدعوة لتخفيض سقف التوقعات، فالخيارات التي تنتظر بايدن صعبة ومعقدة، والتناقضات التي ستحيط بالملفات الملحّة المطروحة أمامه تتكفّل بجعل كل من الخيارات الافتراضيّة سبباً لأزمات لا تقلّ خطورة عن التي سيعالجها، ويمكن القول بحساب هذه الفرضيات أن أقصى ما يستطيعه بايدن هو إدارة الأزمات بما يستبعد فرص الانفجارات الكبرى، لكن دون القدرة على صناعة الانفراجات.

وضع أميركا اليوم يشبه في الاستعصاء الذي يقع فيه وضع كيان الاحتلال بالعجز عن خوض الحروب والعجز عن صناعة التسويات، ولأسباب بنيوية في الوضعين. فكما أن كيان الاحتلال الذي بلغ باعتراف أركانه وقادته مرحلة العجز عن خوض الحروب يبدو غير صالح لغير ذلك، فهو عندما خرج منتصراً في حروبه توهّم أنه يُغنى عن صناعة التسويات ورسم لها سقوفاً وهميّة عالية، ما جعلها مستحيلة، وعندما هزم في حروبه أو فشل في تحقيق أهدافها، بات يعتبر كل تسوية واقعية تكريساً لهزيمة متمادية ستتكفل بانحلاله ككيان قائم على القوة، بحيث إن «اسرائيل» القوية لا تصنع التسوية لأنها لا تشعر بالحاجة إليها بل الرغبة بفرض شروط الاستسلام على خصومها، و»إسرائيل» الضعيفة تضعف أولاً أمام المتطرفين فيها، فيفقد أي سياسي حاكم التفويض اللازم للخوض في غمار التسويات، بمثل ما يفقد القدرة اللازمة على خوض المزيد من الحروب.

في الحالة الأميركيّة أمام بادين تحدّيات من عيار الوصول لتفاهم مع موسكو وبكين على قواعد شراكة لا مجرد ربط نزاع، ووفقاً لكل الخبراء يشكل الانخراط الأميركي في هذه الشراكة المفترضة تسليماً بتراجع المكانة الأميركية يعرف بايدن أن عليه تجنبه طالما أن معركته الداخلية مع اليمين المتطرّف الذي زاد قوة، وصار عنواناً لانقسام أهليّ خطير، تتم تحت عنوان إثبات التمسك بالتميّز الأميركي والتفوق الأميركي. وبالتوازي ما يحتاجه الرئيس الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط الجمع بين الظهور كمدافع عن «إسرائيل»، وقادر على تخفيض التوتر؛ والسير بواحد من الاتجاهين يصيب الآخر بالضرر، وعليه أن يثبت أهليّة التفاهم النووي مع إيران بالمقارنة مع سياسات ترامب، من دون أن يسمح بظهور إيران مستفيدة، وكذلك عليه أن يُعيد توحيد صفوف حلفائه، بدءاً من أوروبا وتركيا ومصر والخليج، فماذا يفعل بالإخوان المسلمين؟ وماذا يفعل بليبيا؟ وإذا قرر تغليب التحالف مع مصر وفرنسا والخليج على تركيا كيف يستطيع منع خسارتها وتموضعها بصورة أوضح ضمن الحلف الروسي الإيراني؟ وبالتالي التسليم بتعاون روسي إيراني تركي ينتهي بخسارة أميركية كاملة في سورية والعراق؟

ماذا سيفعل بايدن في الشق الداخلي، وهل يمكن السير بخطوات تخفض منسوب الغضب والقلق عند الأقليات السمراء واللاتينيّة والمسلمة من دون رفع منسوب غضب القوة البيضاء العنصرية المتطرفة والمنظمة، وهل يمكن احتواء الشارع المتطرّف من خلال التعاون مع الحزب الجمهوري من دون تقديم تنازلات على حساب البرنامج الاقتصادي الاجتماعي الذي يفرض المزيد من الأعباء على الطبقات الغنية لصالح المزيد من الضمانات للفقراء والضعفاء، الذي ارتفعت نسبتهم بأضعاف مع نتائج وباء كورونا؟ وهل يمكن تفادي تصدعات في صفوف الديمقراطيين مع كل تنازلات يتمّ تقديمها للجمهوريين؟

الاستحقاق الأول الذي ينتظر بايدن سيكون خارجياً، البتّ بكيفية التعامل مع الملف النووي الإيراني، وسينظر كل الداخل الأميركي لكيفية تعامله مع هذا الملف، كما سيقيم كل من حلفاء واشنطن وخصومها هذا التعامل ويبني عليه تقييماته، وفي هذا الملف حدود ضيقة للمناورة، فإيران ليست بوارد أي بحث بطلبات تتصل بملفها الصاروخي وأزمات المنطقة، ولا حتى بقواعد العودة للتفاهم النووي ودعوتها للتراجع عن خطواتها النووية التصعيدية، وأمام بايدن خياران صعبان، العودة عن العقوبات التي فرضت على إيران منذ 2017 كشرط إيراني واضح عنوانه عودة عملية متبادلة الى قواعد الاتفاق نفسه من دون تفاوض. وفي هذه الحالة سيجد بايدن نفسه أمام تصاعد الانقسام الداخلي واتساع الفجوة مع الخصوم، كما سيجد مناخاً «إسرائيلياً وخليجياً تصعيدياً، أو خيار المضي بالعقوبات تحت شعار انتظار التفاوض المفترض الذي لن يتمّ. وفي هذه الحالة سيفتتح ولايته بالتحول الى ترامب آخر، فتنغلق الأبواب أمامه في بكين وموسكو ويترنح الاتفاق النوويّ نحو السقوط، ويرتفع منسوب التصعيد في المنطقة.

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

كيف سيخرج الأميركيّون من عنق الزجاجة؟

عقيدة بايدن وقانون العودة الى العلبة في السياسة الخارجية – الحلقة 3 من ستون دقيقة مع ناصر قنديل

ناصر قنديل

Photo of إيران تستعدّ لعمل كبير

مع بداية التزام الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن بالعودة للاتفاق النووي مع إيران، حمل خطاب بايدن كل الموروث المرافق لمرحلة سلفه الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، موزعاً على نوعين من العقد، فتحدث في العنوان الأول عن حتميّة العودة للاتفاق النووي مع إيران مضيفاً ثلاثة شروط، الأول البحث بمستقبل ما بعد نهاية مدة الاتفاق بعد خمس سنوات، والثاني الصواريخ البالستية الإيرانية، والثالث الأوضاع الإقليمية وما يُسمّى بالنفوذ الإيراني فيها، وفي العنوان الثاني ربط بايدن العودة الأميركية للاتفاق بالعودة الإيرانية لشروط الاتفاق أولاً ومن ثم التحقق من هذه العودة وعندها ستفعل واشنطن المثل، ودائماً كان بايدن وأركانه يتحدّثون عن إنجاز كل ذلك بالشراكة مع الحلفاء.

يعرف بادين أن الشروط التي وضعها تعني أن لا عودة الى الاتفاق، فبعض هذه العناوين كانت مطروحة على إيران كشرط لتوقيع الاتفاق عام 2015، ولاقت صداً ورفضاً إيرانيين وكانت النتيجة تخطيها وتوقيع الاتفاق، كملف الصواريخ وشراكة الحلفاء في التفاوض، وخصوصاً «إسرائيل» والسعودية، أما ما يسمّيه الأميركيون رسمياً بالنفوذ الإيراني الإقليمي، فهم في التفاصيل يتحدثون عن ملف عراقي وملف سوري وملف لبناني وملف يمني كل بصورة منفصلة ويطرحون خلاصات ومواقف بعضها يسلّم بالقراءة الإيرانية وبالفشل الأميركي للسياسات المعتمدة، وها هم يبدأون بمقاربة الملف اليمني بلغة وقف السعودية والإمارات للحرب ويمنعون عنهما السلاح، ويتحدّث رموزهم عن الحاجة لمقاربة جديدة لسورية.

خلال اليومين الأخيرين وجد الأميركيون مخرجاً من هذا المأزق عبر تصعيد اللهجة عن خطورة امتلاك إيران مقدرات إنتاج سلاح نوويّ خلال أسابيع. وقد كرّر هذا التحذير وزير الخارجية توني بلينكن ومستشار الأمن القومي جيك سوليفان، للوصول الى صيغة معلنة تتحدّث عن اتفاقين ومرحلتين، اتفاق أصلي قائم يجب العودة اليه ثنائياً من واشنطن وطهران، واتفاق ثانٍ يصفونه بالأعمق والأقوى والأمتن يضمّ باقي العناوين، أي شراكة الحلفاء وملف الصواريخ ومدة الاتفاق على طريقة الترحيل أفضل سبل التعطيل، فيصير الأخذ بهذه النقاط مشروطاً بقبول إيران بدلاً من أن يكون قبول العودة للاتفاق مع إيران مشروطاً بقبولها بهذه النقاط، والعذر أكثر من كافٍ، الوقت لا يسمح بالمناورة ويجب الإسراع بالحؤول دون بلوغ إيران مرحلة الخطر التي حدّدها بلينكن وسوليفان بأسابيع.

يبقى العنوان الثاني وهو آليّة العودة، ونظرية أنت أولاً، التي تحدّث عنها روبرت مالي قبل أن يصير مبعوثاً خاصاً للملف الإيراني. وهي هنا مهمته لتذليل تعقيداتها وفقاً لما وصفه ببناء الثقة، التي يعترف بأن فقدانها من طرف إيران بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق مشروع، ويقوم مقترح مالي وفقاً لما يقرأ بين سطور حواره مع مجلة لوبوان الفرنسيّة قبل تعيينه مبعوثاً خاصاً، على الخطوة خطوة، أيّ الاتفاق الضمني على جدول طلبات متبادلة، تتم تلبيتها بالتتابع والتزامن والتوازي ضمن مهلة زمنية يتفق عليها، كصعود السلم ونزوله للتلاقي في منطقة وسط، ويبدو الطلب الأميركي على لسان بلينكين أمس، بالإفراج عن معتقلين أميركيين في إيران، بينما يبدو من الجانب الإيراني، الإفراج عن أموال إيرانية مجمّدة في مصارف خارج أميركا بفعل العقوبات الأميركية، والإفراج عن مشتريات إيرانية خاصة بمواجهة وباء كورونا، ويمكن أن تكون الخطوات الخاصة باليمن بعضاً من خطوات التدرج نحو العودة إلى الاتفاق، الذي يدخل مرحلة حرجة في شهر آذار المقبل، حيث تنتهي المهلة المعلنة من إيران بتصعيد درجة تخصيب اليورانيوم، ويحل موعد الاجتماع المقرّر للجنة وزارية للموقعين على الاتفاق الذي ستحضره إيران ويترك الباب مفتوحاً لنضج ظروف حضوره من الجانب الأميركي، ليعلن من هناك إطار العودة المتزامنة.

فيديوات ذات صلة

المأزق الأميركي الداخلي استعصاء بين الخيارات – الحلقة 2 من برنامج ستون دقيقة مع ناصر قنديل
انحلال الامبراطورية الاميركية – 1 – فوز بايدن لا يلغي خيار الحرب الاهلية – العودة للتفاهم النووي
التطورات اللبنانية والإقليمية مع ناصر قنديل رئيس تحرير جريدة البناء

مقالات ذات صلة

The 1776 Commission Repor

31 January 2021)

by Lawrence Davidson

About me
Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history. 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.

Part I—National Ideals

One of Donald Trump’s efforts to restructure, or maybe de-structure, the U.S. was the establishment of a 1776 Commission. Its job was to recast American history in an extravagantly patriotic fashion so as to assert U.S. exceptionalism. There is a Platonic correlate to this: the ideal is more real than the actual. Thus, ideals laid down in the nation’s founding documents are presented as more real, more instructive, than actual policies of U.S. national and state governments, and the behavior of their citizens.

The actual Donald Trump, of course, does not care about history, of which he knows little. Maybe that is why he did not bother to put any professional historians of U.S. history on the commission. But as president, he knew who his allies were, and if they wanted to prioritize myth and canonize ideals, it was all right with him. And so the major premise of the 1776 Report is that the United States was founded upon, and remains an expression of, “universal and eternal principles.” For instance, the Declaration of Independence’s assertion “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” would be one such.

As far as the report’s authors are concerned, these basic yet universal “founding principles” of the nation should be front and center in the teaching of national history. The authors are angered by the fact that, in their eyes, this is not being done. Quite the opposite. They believe that what is being taught are the shortfalls from such eternal ideals. How is that a problem? Well, to dwell on the actual, inequitable and often unjust national behavior of Americans is to undermine the unity of the nation and bring low its image. And, for the 1776 Report authors, that is not what education is all about.

Part II—Education

The authors of the 1776 Report believe that “the primary duties of schools are twofold: 1. teach students “practical wisdom.” That is, teach “the basic skills needed to function in society, such as reading, writing, and mathematics.” In other words, education should prepare the student for the job market. This has actually been a recognized goal of schooling since children ceased following in the careers of their parents and home-learned skills consequently no longer sufficed.

Then there is the other “essential” goal of schools: 2. the passing on of “transcendent knowledge.” This too is a
long-recognized goal which, the report says, was endorsed by the founding fathers of the nation. “Educators must convey a sense of enlightened patriotism that equips each generation with a knowledge of America’s founding principles, a deep reverence for their liberties, and a profound love of their country.” Put the two educational goals together and you get the transmission of “transcendent knowledge and practical wisdom that had been passed down for generations and which aimed to develop the character and intellect of the student.”

For the authors, all of this sums to nothing less than “teaching the truth about America.” To be clear, the authors of the report do not want us to so much ignore “the faults of our past” as to “stand up to the petty tyrants in every sphere who demand that we speak only of America’s sins while denying her greatness.” It should be noted that the authors do not address the problem that for those born and bred in poverty, say either in Harlem or Appalachia, the nation’s greatness might not be so real.

Part III—Universal and Eternal Tenets?

The report’s repeated use of the words “universal and eternal,” along with “transcendent,” in describing the founding documents of the United States, transforms those documents into sacred texts existing beyond critique. To use such “eternal” references as teaching points—as necessary attributes of what is really “true” about the United States—is to trade history for a semi-religious faith. Granted, this sort of substitution is not original to American conservatives. However, in this case, one gets a strong impression upon reading the 1776 Report that the hidden message is the cultural and religious superiority of a white Christian version of America.

You don’t have to be a professional historian to recognize that there is no perfection in human history, America’s or anybody else’s. There are no eternal and universal tenets, either, when seen in the light of actual historical events. For example, the alleged “eternal and universal” rights to “liberty and happiness” had not been recognized, at least not formally, in thousands of years of human history prior to 1776, and even then, in the emerging United States, they proved immediately unachievable.

As the report concedes, the “eternal” principle cited above from the Declaration of Independence had to be set aside in 1776 just to keep the thirteen confederated American states together. That was done specifically in reference to slavery. The founding fathers were able to find the necessary escape clause in another, more pragmatic, but still semi-sacred principle that the government should be based on the consent of the governed. It turned out that a lot of the (white) governed favored slavery.

It is in this way that the 1776 Report gets off on an illogical and ahistorical foot. Its authors confuse “transcendent” things wished for with things as they have historically been and continue to be. They can do this because, in the end, they believe in the following Platonic-like maxim: “We must first avoid an all-too-common mistake. It is wrong to think of history by itself as the standard for judgment. The standard is set by focusing on unchanging principles that transcend history.”

Part IV—Progressive Enemies

Who actually believes that we should make judgments on the basis of actual history while ignoring the “the unchanging principles” that supposedly “transcend history”? It turns to be the same “petty tyrants” who “speak only of America’s sins while denying her greatness.” Specifically, the 1776 Report points to “progressive reformers” who are also mixed together with “activists of identity politics.” But aren’t these the folks who demand change so that the United States might more closely conform to its ideals? Not according to those who say history is not a good standard for judgment.

For the report’s authors the progressive reformers’ approach is just a hunt for someone to blame for social ills. And the hunt divides Americans into “oppressed and oppressor groups.” As an aside, one might point out that long-term injustice resulting from institutionalized social ills inevitably does the same thing. The report claims that the real aim of the progressives is to make the original oppressed into new oppressors, and the former oppressors into new oppressed. While one can imagine such a flip taking place against the backdrop of revolutionary upheaval, to assign such a reversal to “progressive reformers,” most of whom seek not revolution but rather policy reforms, is gross exaggeration.

If the report’s authors are afraid of reform, what do they have to offer in its place? As best I can make out, they want us all to be patient and nice to each other because the “American people have ever pursued freedom and justice, though not perfectly.” If we really have faith in the nation’s “eternal and universal” ideals, things should work out in the end. What if this seems to take forever? Well, it might be that the imperfection has no real cure and so it must be accepted and lived with lest attempts at reform lead to the destruction of society—echos of Edmund Burke.

Part V—Other Problems

There are other problems with the report. Here are just some of them:

—The report tells us that for a republic to endure, the people must “share a commonality in manners, customs, language and dedication to the common good.” But, of course, the United States has never been such a place. It has always been a land of immigrants with a constant underpinning of many manners, customs and languages. As for the common good, there has never been any agreement on that. While the report claims that “the Constitution has proven sturdy against narrow interest groups,” this is simply inaccurate. The nation’s governing practices rest on a longstanding, if often corrupt, foundation of interest group politics.

— The report’s authors make the common historical mistake of pointing fingers at the British crown, that is, King George III, for the “tyranny” to which the colonies were allegedly subjected. But in 1776, for all practical purposes, the king did not make policy for the British Empire. Parliament did that. The founding fathers decided it would be too awkward to blame a representative body, somewhat similar to the one they were going to create, of the crime of “tyranny.” So they blamed the monarch.

—Then there is the ahistorical assertion that “the world is still and always will be divided into nations.” Gee whizz! What about all those multicultural empires both of the past and present? What of the constant fluctuation of boundaries? Look at all the peoples once encapsulated within the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, or more recently the Soviet Union and China.

—Finally, there is the problematic statement, “the right to keep and bear arms is required by the natural and fundamental right to life.” Well, perhaps, if we were all living in a Hobbesian jungle. This, along with praise for the anti-abortion cause, certainly confirms where on the political spectrum the authors of the 1776 Report are coming from.

Part VI—Conclusion

There has been much criticism of the 1776 Commission and its conclusions. Newly elected President Joe Biden did away with the commission on his first day in office and removed its report from government websites. His spokesperson observed that it “erased” America’s history of racial injustice. Well, perhaps it hadn’t erase it, but it certainly equivocated about it.

It should be noted that some of this criticism was nearly as naive as the report’s conclusions. For instance, David Blight, a Civil War historian from Yale, said that the report was “an insult to the whole enterprise of education” which “is supposed to help young people to learn to think critically.” Perhaps that is Professor Blight’s educational purpose, and all the more power to him. However, both historically and contemporaneously, the “enterprise of education” has never given more than lip-service to such a goal. Maybe this is because independent and critically thinking kids scare their parents.

Finally, as an indicator of the nation’s deep divide, both supporters and opponents of the report accused the other of coming from “ideologically driven positions” and aiming at producing “political propaganda.” Such mutual recriminations are by now part and parcel of a larger social civil war.

US House: Trump Singularly Responsible for Capitol Assault, Should Be Convicted

US House: Trump Singularly Responsible for Capitol Assault, Should Be Convicted

By Staff, Agencies

The House of Representatives impeachment managers have filed a lengthy pretrial brief, saying former President Donald Trump was “singularly responsible” for the assault on the Capitol last month and that he should be convicted.

The House impeached the ex-president over his role in the invasion on January 6 that left five people dead, including a member of law enforcement.

Trump was blamed for inciting an insurrection when the lawmakers were busy certifying the victory of Joe Biden in the November 3 election.

The House introduced an article of impeachment to the Senate late last month.

In an 80-page brief filed on Tuesday, the impeachment managers – nine House Democrats led by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin –  outlined the arguments they planned to make when the Senate trial opens next week, arguing that Trump should be barred from holding public office.

“President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election,” the House brief reads.

“The framers of the Constitution feared a president who would corrupt his office by sparing ‘no efforts or means whatever to get himself re-elected,’” wrote the nine House Democrats, quoting directly from the 1787 debate in Philadelphia.

“If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a joint session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team responded to the charges against him, arguing that the Senate “lacks jurisdiction” to try a former president.

“The Senate of the United States lacks jurisdiction over the 45th president because he holds no public office from which he can be removed, rendering the article of impeachment moot and a non-justiciable question,” the lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen, wrote in their 14-page response.

The lawyers also asserted that Trump believed he “won it by a landslide,” and, thus, was within his First Amendment rights to “express his belief that the election results were suspect.”

Trump had told his supporters, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” His lawyers, however, said such remarks were not meant as a call to violent action, but were “about the need to fight for election security in general.”

Trump’s assertions about the election results could not be disproved, the lawyers added, because there was “insufficient evidence.”

Related

%d bloggers like this: