US Waging Wars on Multiple Fronts: Cold Wars, Hot Wars, Economic Wars, Propaganda Wars …

Supported by both hawkish wings of its war party, the US is waging hot wars, cold wars, economic wars, financial wars, trade wars, anti-social justice wars, anti-human rights wars, anti-democracy wars, propaganda wars, sanctions wars, tariffs wars, protest wars, homeland wars, and environmental wars on multiple fronts worldwide — ordinary people everywhere the losers.

During decades of Cold War years, the US got along with Soviet Russia, even if uneasily at times. Nixon went to China. Relations today with both countries and many others are more dismal and dangerous than any previous time in the post-WW II period.

New wars could erupt without warning. The threat of possible nuclear war is ominously real by accident or design.

The land of opportunity I remember as a youth is now consumed by its hubris, arrogance, rage to colonize planet earth, control its resources and exploit it people.

New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Society years I grew up in were replaced by neoliberal harshness, endless wars on humanity at home and abroad, a growing wealth disparity exceeding the robber baron years, along with mass unemployment and underemployment, growing homelessness, hunger, and poverty, as well as a ruling class dismissive of the public welfare.

Current US leadership is militantly hawkish and anti-populist, led by a racist geopolitical/economic know-nothing/reality TV president.

Dark forces run things, headquartered on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms, the rule of law replaced by police state governance, a free and open society by mass surveillance and growing totalitarianism.

Challenging authority disruptively with collective activism when vitally needed is absent.

The US reached peak power, prominence, influence, and leadership on the world stage following WW II, the only major nation left unscathed by its ravages.

Its preemptive war of aggression on nonbelligerent North Korea, a nation threatening no one, started its downward trajectory.

Today it’s a nation in decline while China, Russia and other countries are rising. It spends countless trillions of dollars for militarism and warmaking against invented enemies. No real ones exist.

Its preeminence as a military super-power was overtaken by Russia, China heading toward becoming the world’s leading economic power one day, multi-world polarity replacing unipolarity the US favors to dominate other nations.

Its rage for maintaining a global empire of bases as platforms for endless wars of aggression came at the expense of eroding social justice on the chopping block for elimination altogether.

The myth of American exceptionalism, the indispensable state, an illusory moral superiority, and military supremacy persist despite hard evidence debunking these notions.

Democracy in America is fiction, not fact, a system of governance its ruling class abhors, tolerating it nowhere, nations like Venezuela targeted to replace it with fascist rule.

The US is plagued by the same dynamic that doomed all other empires in history.

It’s an increasingly repressive/secretive/intrusive warrior state, spreading death, destruction and human misery worldwide.

It exploits ordinary people to serve privileged interests — a pariah state/declining power because of its unwillingness to change.

Its war machine never rests. Its criminal class is bipartisan. Its governance meets the definition of fascism — wrapped in the American flag.

It’s a corporate/political partnership over the rights and welfare of ordinary people, exploiting them for power and profits — at home and abroad.

It’s way too late for scattered reforms. The American way is too debauched to fix.

Nothing short of revolutionary change can work. Yet there’s not a hint of it in prospect because of a know-nothing populace distracted and controlled by bread, circuses, and the power of state-approved/media disseminated propaganda.

A decade ago, the late Doug Dowd said “(t)he world now stands on a cliff’s edge.”

He envisioned “four related groups of horrors: existing and likely wars, a fragile world economy, pervasive and deepening corruption, and the earth dangerously near the ‘tipping point’ of environmental disaster.”

It’s not a pretty picture, things worse now than years earlier.

A permanent state of war exists with no prospect for peace in our time — while freedom in the US and West erode toward disappearing altogether the way things are heading.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

 

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Strategic Plan’ To Take Turkey Down

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has drawn up a plan to target Erdogan’s government following Khashoggi’s murder

By David Hearst, Ragip Soylu – Middle East Eye

Saudi Arabia has begun implementing a “strategic plan” to confront the Turkish government, after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman decided he was being “too patient” with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

The plan is detailed in a confidential report based on open- and closed-source intelligence prepared by the kingdom’s ally, the United Arab Emirates.

The intelligence report is one of a monthly series written by the Emirates Policy Centre, a think tank with close links to the Emirati government and security services.

Entitled “Monthly Report on Saudi Arabia, Issue 24, May 2019”, the report is of limited circulation and intended for the top Emirati leadership. It does not appear on the think tank’s website. A copy has been obtained by Middle East Eye.

It reveals that in Riyadh in May, orders were given to implement the strategic plan to confront the Turkish government.

The aim of the plan was to use

“all possible tools to pressure Erdogan’s government, weaken him, and keep him busy with domestic issues in the hope that he will be brought down by the opposition, or occupy him with confronting crisis after crisis, and push him to slip up and make mistakes which the media would surely pick up on”.

Middle East Eye contacted the Emirates Policy Centre for comment, with no reply by the time of publication.

Restricting influence

Riyadh’s aim is to restrict Erdogan and Turkey’s regional influence.

“The kingdom would start to target the Turkish economy and press towards the gradual termination of Saudi investment in Turkey, the gradual decrease of Saudi tourists visiting Turkey while creating alternative destinations for them, decreasing Saudi import of Turkish goods, and most importantly minimizing Turkish regional role in Islamic matters,” the report says.

According to the report, Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, took the decision to confront Turkey following the assassination of Khashoggi by a team of Saudi agents in their country’s Istanbul consulate.

The murder of the Saudi journalist, a Middle East Eye and Washington Post columnist, created international outrage, in large part due to Turkey’s insistence on Riyadh providing accountability and transparency over the affair.

“President Erdogan … went too far in his campaign smearing the kingdom, especially the person of the crown prince, using in the most reprehensible manner the case of Khashoggi,” the reports says.

In the document, the Emirates Policy Centre claims Turkey did not provide “specific and honest” information to assist the Saudi investigation into the killing, but instead leaked “disinformation” to the media “all aimed at distorting the image of the kingdom and attempting to destroy the reputation of the crown prince”.

Riyadh had concluded that Erdogan failed in his attempt to politicize and internationalize the case and now was the time to mount the fightback, the report says.

Both the CIA and leading members of the US Congress have accepted the Turkish intelligence assessment of Khashoggi’s murder.

The CIA also concluded that Mohammed bin Salman almost certainly signed off on the operation, an assessment based on its own intelligence as well.

“The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved,” said a US official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions, the Washington Post reported.

Since then, a report by United Nations human rights investigator Agnes Callamard detailed the difficulties the Turkish authorities had in investigating the murder and gaining access to the consulate building and the home of the consul-general.

Callamard concluded independently that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

The pressure begins

Last week came the first public sign of the campaign detailed in the Emirati document coming to life.

Saudi authorities blocked 80 Turkish trucks transporting textile products and chemicals from entering the kingdom through its Duba port.

Three hundred containers carrying fruit and vegetables from Turkey had also been held in Jeddah’s port, according to a Turkish official who spoke to MEE on condition of anonymity.

The number of Saudi tourists visiting Turkey decreased 15 percent [from 276,000 to 234,000] in the first six months of 2019, according to official data released by the Turkish tourism ministry.

Saudi Arabia has approximately $2bn worth of direct investment in Turkey, according to the Turkish foreign ministry data from 2018.

That year, Turkish exports to Saudi Arabia were valued at around $2.64bn, while imports from the kingdom stood at $2.32bn.

Behind the scenes, other signals have been sent to Ankara.

The Emirati report says “in a sign that the Saudi leadership has severed its relationship with … Erdogan and started treating him as an enemy”, King Salman approved “without hesitation” a recommendation from an advisory committee not to send an official invitation to attend a high-profile Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Mecca.

The Turkish president’s name was added to the list of those excluded from the summit, alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Eventually, King Salman decided to allow the Qatari emir to attend the event in Mecca, though Erdogan’s invitation was not forthcoming.

The Turkish government is aware of the Saudi crown prince’s attempts to sever relations and is trying to combat them through keeping direct communications with his father, King Salman.

A senior Turkish official, speaking anonymously, said the existence of a Saudi strategy to punish Turkey over its stance on the Khashoggi case wasn’t surprising.

“We are aware of what they are doing. It is almost public, to the extent that you could see their activities on Saudi-backed social media and Saudi state media,” the official told MEE, noting that they had openly called for a boycott.

“Tourist arrivals are decreasing, while we are having problems related to Turkish exports. We are closely following the situation.”

The Turkish official said, however, that Ankara does not believe that Saudi citizens are altering their stance on Turkey, despite the government in Riyadh’s efforts.

“Istanbul, for example, is still full of Saudi tourists. Saudi officials should check the BBC’s poll on Erdogan’s popularity in the Middle East. Then they will realize that they are failing,” the official said.

Erdogan phoned the king on Thursday, raising the problem of Turkish exports being held at Saudi ports.

Another Turkish official, also speaking anonymously, said Erdogan’s phone call with the Saudi king was cordial and focused on regional developments, such as Syria and the Palestine question.

The official, who was informed about the call, said the king was lucid and supportive of Turkish concerns with regard to Syria.

In the same call, Erdogan invited King Salman and his family, including the crown prince, to Turkey.

Source

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An Attack on Iran Would be an Attack on Russia

Moscow is proposing a diametrically opposed vision to Western sanctions, threats and economic war, one that is drawing it ever closer to Tehran

Global Research, August 06, 2019R

Russia is meticulously advancing Eurasian chessboard moves that should be observed in conjunction, as Moscow proposes to the Global South an approach diametrically opposed to Western sanctions, threats and economic war. Here are three recent examples.

Ten days ago, via a document officially approved by the United Nations, the Russian Foreign Ministry advanced a new concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf.

Moscow stresses that “practical work on launching the process of creating a security system in the Persian Gulf” should start with “bilateral and multilateral consultations between interested parties, including countries both within the region and outside of it,” as well as organizations such as the UN Security Council, League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Gulf Cooperation Council.

The next step should be an international conference on security and cooperation in the Persian Gulf, followed by the establishment of a dedicated organization – certainly not something resembling the incompetent Arab League.

The Russian initiative should be interpreted as a sort of counterpart of, and mostly a complement to, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is finally blossoming as a security, economic and political body. The inevitable conclusion is that major SCO stakeholders – Russia, China, India, Pakistan and, in the near future, Iran and Turkey – will be major influencers on regional stability.

The Pentagon will not be amused.

Drill, baby, drill

When the commander of the Iranian Navy, Hossein Khanzadi, recently visited St Petersburg for the celebration of Russia’s Navy Day, the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Russian Defense Ministry signed an unprecedented memorandum of understanding.

Khanzadi was keen to stress the memorandum “may be considered a turning point in relations of Tehran and Moscow along the defense trajectory.”

A direct upshot is that Moscow and Tehran, before March 2020, will enact a joint naval exercise in – of all places – the Strait of Hormuz. As Khanzadi told the IRNA news agency:

“The exercise may be held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, which flows into the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz and also the Persian Gulf.”

The US Navy, which plans an “international coalition” to ensure “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz – something Iran has always historically guaranteed – won’t be amused. Neither will Britain, which is pushing for a European-led coalition even as Brexit looms.

Khanzadi also noted that Tehran and Moscow are deeply involved in how to strengthen defense cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Joint drills already took place in the Caspian in the past, but never in the Persian Gulf.

Exercise together

Russia’s Eastern Military District will be part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) anti-terrorist exercise in Thailand and China early next month. According to the Eastern Military District, the training is part of “preparations for a practical phase of an ASEAN anti-terrorist exercise in China.” This means, among other things, that Russian troops will be using Chinese military hardware.

Exercises include joint tactical groups attempting to free hostages from inside official buildings; search for and disposal of explosives; and indoor and outdoor radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance.

This should be interpreted as a direct interaction between SCO practices and ASEAN, complementing the deepening trade interaction between the Eurasia Economic Union and ASEAN.

These three developments illustrate how Russia is involved in a large spectrum from the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia.

But the key element remains the Russia-Iran alliance, which must be interpreted as a key node of the massive, 21st century Eurasia integration project.

What Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said at the recent, historic trilateral alongside White House national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli National Security Council Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat in Jerusalem should be unmistakable:

“Iran has always been and remains our ally and partner, with which we are consistently developing relations both on a bilateral basis and within multilateral formats.”

This lays to rest endless, baseless speculation that Moscow is “betraying” Tehran on multiple fronts, from the all-out economic war unleashed by the Donald Trump administration to the resolution of the Syrian tragedy.

To Nur-Sultan

And that leads to the continuation of the Astana process on Syria. Moscow, Tehran and Ankara will hold a new trilateral in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh capital, possibly on the hugely significant date of September 11, according to diplomatic sources.

What’s really important about this new phase of the Astana process, though, is the establishment of the Syrian Constitutional Committee. This had been agreed way back in January 2018 in Sochi: a committee – including representatives of the government, opposition and civil society – capable of working out Syria’s new constitution, with each group holding one-third of the seats.

The only possible viable solution to the tragedy that is Syria’s nasty, rolling proxy war will be found by Russia, Iran and Turkey. That includes the Russia-Iran alliance. And it includes and expands Russia’s vision of Persian Gulf security, while hinting at an expanded SCO in Southwest Asia, acting as a pan-Asian peacemaking mechanism and serious counterpart to NATO.

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This article was originally published on Asia Times.

Featured image is from en.kremlin.ru

US-led War of Terror Against Syria, Attrition Terrorism Phase

SN

July 22, 2019

phosphate train attack

US/EU supported terrorists attacked phosphate train in Homs, latest crime in terrorist attrition. Credit: SANA

The US-led war of terror against Syria continues its most recent attacks via attrition terrorism, the brutal form of slow genocide against the Syrian citizenry. Yesterday, NATO countries beloved ‘armed moderates’ attacked a phosphate freight train in eastern Homs.

The phosphate freight train in the eastern Homs countryside was attacked 21 July by a sabotage terrorist, which led to the towing of the locomotive, the passenger car, the calibration truck, the phosphate tanks, the fire in the locomotive, the train crew were injured and the necessary treatment and treatment provided. The Ministry of Transport said in a statement received by SANA copy that terrorists infiltrated the site of the railway between the positions of the gap and insight and planted an explosive device on the train line next to the phosphate mines in the region of Khnevis in the eastern Homs. The ministry indicated that its technical workshops have begun work to remove the damage caused by the terrorist attack, repair the railway and resume transport operations.

As the sons and daughters of Syrians — the Syrian Arab Army — continue to make military gains to cleanse every inch of the Republic from foreign-owned savages, attrition terrorism has seen a massive spike, in recent weeks.

In less than one month, oil and gas pipelines have been sabotaged around the country:

  • 22 June, undersea pipelines from tankers to the Baniyas Refinery were cut. Though Syrian engineers and technicians were able to quickly make repairs, oil pollution traveled 26km. It is noteworthy that MSM, UN, and ecology activists were all mute over this near disaster, but that NATO-media came to life to cheer the English royal thugs piracy against an Iranian tanker that was suspected of carrying crude to the SAR (warmongering media now screeching that the EU is screeching about a Brit tanker boarded by the government of Iran, in compliance with international law). Empire media also remains mute over the economic terrorism euphemistically called ‘sanctions‘ imposed against the Syrian people.
  • 14 July, NATO and Gulfie armed savages engaged in attrition terrorism, sabotaging the al Shaer Gas pipeline in Homs, which was almost immediately repaired.

Though the warmonger media of NATO countries have ignored the recent spike in attrition terrorism against Syria’s essential infrastructure, they have continued to pimp out emotional war porn, breaching Nuremberg Principle VI, crimes against humanity: On 11 July, Channel 4 ran a report that could fit into an insanity screenwriting genre.

AFP again is demanding its readers engage in Hollywood suspension of disbelief; while ignoring the atrocities against Syria, today it shamelessly runs another photo, one of an ongoing series of miracles in the lives of the stethoscope-less, CPR-less, spinal precautions-less death squad fake paramedics.

Here we have yet another photo of man ‘rescued from the rubble.’ As with every other similar photograph, this man has no crushing injuries — which would be expected if a bombed building fell on him. He is fully ambulatory and is able to move all extremities. He has nicely painted the shade of Helmets Gray Rubble, and his hair was coiffed before having been painted.

Another miraculous Zombie Man rescue. No crushing injuries. Fully ambulatory.
This absurdity — or another in ongoing miracles — is not quite as ludicrous as other Helmets Productions, shown here.

Attrition terrorism is not limited to the wanton, criminal destruction of essential infrastructure. Attrition terrorism includes ‘brain drain’ assassinations; in the early days, when all of al Qaeda in Syria was FSA, these ‘moderates’ murdered professors, physicians, and heads of hospitals, while NATO media remained silent. Attrition terrorism includes trying to destroy joy, as was attempted with the terror bombing of the Damascus Fair in 2017, and more recently, in the mortar attacks on Aleppo, as the city celebrates its rebuilding, creation of a mini-renaissance.

syria

Syria’s President, Dr. Bashar al Assad, #EveryInch

Related:

From January, Syria to Provide Crimea with Phosphate & Other Goods

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UAE Denies Reports of Oil Tanker Loss in the Strait of Hormuz

Source

July 16, 2019

UAE vessel yemen

Oil tanker Riah, which, according to vessel location tracking websites, stopped transmitting signals on its location in the early hours of 14 July, didn’t issue any emergency signals, a highly-profile Emirate official said on Tuesday.

“The oil tanker is not owned, and nor is used by the United Arab Emirates, it hasn’t trasmitted any SOS signals,” the speaker told a television channel, busting reports that the vessel had changed its course and got lost in the Strait of Hormuz off the Iranian coast.

The tanker, which was making its way through the Strait of Hormuz, stopped reporting its location over two days ago.

Earlier in the day, an unnamed US defense official told The Associated Press that America “has suspicions” that Iran seized an oil tanker based in the UAE.

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Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

Source

July 13, 2019

by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog

Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

It appears that the information revolution is redefining cultural aspirations at a time when mass production has become a concave-convex supernova offering everybody (in theory) the right to ‘have everything’, regardless of the cost to fellow beings or to nature itself.

In the West, free enterprise had become an object lesson in short-sightedness and purblind avarice, suggesting that it’s time to revisit an age-old conundrum; the conflict between capitalist expediency and enlightened social wellbeing. Having successfully focused consumers on the many ways in which self-gratification can be experienced, the consumer-economy, committed to seducing the somnambulant among us, while turning a blind eye to the damage that comes with gauche and expedient ways of can-do-ness, suggest that collectively, we in the West have become befuddled pilgrims in a vainglorious journey to nowhere.

In the West we live in a world where militarism and the production of arms has come to represent the pulse of capitalism. The journey that began at the tribal level has moved through a succession of capitalist incarnations to become the singular purpose of investment-capital and a business model in every respect. As it was never intended to be an exercise in creating homogeneous wellbeing…socialism… this model remains as the one best suited to the elites who manage money. Not surprisingly, the rest is history as they say. The story of capitalism’s right-of-passage towards its colonial adventures and onwards into its imperial hegemonic phase is one of bloody-mindedness.

Until recently in the West, it was the growth of personal wealth and middle-classness that underpinned the reality of ‘collective-individualism’…an oxymoronic capitalist state of mind that encourages wealth accumulation. Skills effecting upward mobility were highly sought after. The desire to embrace cultural norms that defined progress as freedom to enjoy lifestyles enhanced by copious amounts of disposal income, soon became everyone’s dream.

So, when the economy lost it’s bearing in the heat of the bizarre excesses leading up to the 2008 economic crisis, ‘collective-individualism’ was left to pick up the pieces. Struggling with the legacy of a febrile narrative that served the interests of Wall Street, middle-classness lost some of its shine. The market had spoken, the individual was merely a unit in a bourse that had little time for niceties or human fallibility. Banking had become a low feeder-operation where the devil would take the hindmost.

It was the banking crisis of 2008 that revealed how ‘collective-individualism’ had become merely an adjunct of Wall Street’s insidiously covert private-banking system. Having cocooned itself in the system, the banking establishment managed to present itself as the face of liberal democracy…albeit pseudo… for the purpose of gratifying its own insatiable appetite. As a result of the 2008 debacle, fake-expertise-babble was required to disguise the signs of senescence now appearing in a banking system sliding toward obsolescence.

With the emergence of bureaucratic capitalism in China, the monumental task of moving countless tens of millions of people out of poverty was commenced and the results have been spectacular. Along with this operation came the realization that proportionality should be the linchpin for securing the principles of collective enterprise. The words Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong spoke in 1927 at the beginning of the Chinese Civil War; “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” were replaced by notions of incremental change occurring for the betterment of the entire community.

Using the resources of the state to improve the wellbeing of the many would mechanically elevate the population to a level of heightened social order. By any measure, a great awakening had occurred…an age-old trading culture had reassembled its resources in order to find common cause. Through the medium of central planning, the path toward achieving internal hegemony reappeared in a distinctly Confucian way.

With an agenda designed to eliminate poverty by utilising the collective potential of the state to solve problems, statistics suggest that a modicum of proportionality has already been achieved within China’s sovereign territories and that plans are on track to achieve what the revolution sent out to do. Namely, a way of floating all its boats…one billion and a quarter of them…on the rising tide of a renascent imagination collectively focused on technological ascendancy.

Alert to the potential within the Chinese tech garden to achieve yet another Spring and Autumn period, the core interchangeable elements of Confucianism, collectivism and hegemony militate to emphasize personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

History shows us that the Chinese city of Guangzhou (Early Modern Guangzhou) represented the reference point that enable one to understand the changing context of Sino-foreign economic and cultural relations in the nineteenth century. A great trading city that would ultimately reconstitute itself as a commercial centre for maritime exports and debut as post-modern Guangzhou. It was always the city that identified China as a maritime trader surfing the waves of silk road opportunities. Unlike most European nations, its expansionism was benign. It never went into the business of exporting armaments or colonizing the natives along its trade routes.

From the traditional trading posts in Quanzhou and Guangzhou, to the modern treaty ports of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Shanghai, to the contemporary metropolis Hong Kong and Taiwan and special economic zones in Shenzhen and Pudong, southern coastal cities in the last five hundred years and beyond have connected China to the outside world and the global economy. Throughout this time, China never sought to colonise its neighbours or occupy continents or countries across the globe…trading remained its modus operandi…and besides, Confucius the thinker, never confused occupation or dominance with the Chinese notion of hegemony!

Conversely, the colonial West’s predilection for gunboat diplomacy and stand-over tactics produced an entirely different trading model. With the advent of the industrial revolution in Europe, sorties of the ‘dalek’ kind…robotic incursions into exotic lands for the purpose of procuring the resources and territories belonging to people of colour became the norm.

It was as though the industrial revolution had spawned a concept of superiority that ultimately resulted in the white race distilling a notion of its own exceptionality that would justify its own work-ethic as proof of its right to exploit people whose appearance did not please their albino imagination. In the succeeding centuries, the march of the ‘daleks’ would in effect enslave, slaughter and exploit non-white peoples with impunity, all the while deluding themselves that their actions were progressive…a code word for exploitation…and justifiably, the ‘white-man’s-burden’…a program adopted in support of their assumption that the non-white peoples were inferior.

In time, institutional racism would achieve the kind of value an asset might have in a bourse. The concept of democracy would be privatised in accordance with the wishes of those who were there to do the thinking for all those of a lesser stripe. Patriotism would become a mantra of majestic proportions in the West to assure white people that they were on the winning side of history. Proof of same would be diligently manufactured. Strangely, Western powers who imagined they owned ‘democracy’ felt the need to garrison the globe with 800 military bases, fearing that those ‘others’ may have sovereign economic models of their own they might wish to develop.

In fact, disproportionality had reached such levels of lethality that the doyens of liberal democracy became citizens of cloud-cuckoo-land in possession of a foreign policy committed to kneecapping…sanctioning… other nation’s economies if they didn’t do what they were told to do. China in moving to re-embrace the “maritime silk road” once again, soon became the fly in the competitive ointment. Westerners, as heirs to the traditional colonial trading-throne decided that carrying a big ballistic stick was the only way to do business. Alarmed at seeing how China could engage in trade without threatening its clients, it chose the American way of doing business. In true American style, the military budget was given a massive blow job.

In 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower ended his presidential term by warning the nation about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex. Before and during the Second World War, American industries had successfully converted to defence production as the crisis demanded, but out of the war, what Eisenhower called a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions emerged. Eisenhower had no need of a crystal ball to see where the emerging disproportionality would lead his country to. His fear, rightly, was that disproportionality of this kind would ultimately obfuscate the principles of the Democratic Republic of America.

Had he lived to see the colossal damage his country wrought on the Middle East he would have understood that a permanent armaments industry must do what a permanent armaments industry must do…use and sell what they produced in order to justify their budget.

What Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to as a permanent armaments industry could equally be applied to the permanent propaganda industry that has overtaken America. Together, these two industries have created a narrative for Americans to reassure them that a system based on might, is right for them. By every measure, the fourth estate and the fourth-of-July have synthetized into a narrative that is big on self-adulation.

On the occasion of the most recent fourth-of-July parade, the presence of Apache attack helicopters, ballistic missiles, M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and F-22 Raptors were assembled to reinforce the notion that corporate-capitalist-democracy existed to deliver a patriotic narrative capable of turning the key that could unlock the potential of the American psyche and find greatness by shoving its hardware and unique ideas of identity into the face of all and sundry.

As the fourth of this and that got under way, it became ever more evident that America’s unique identity possesses an internal form of hegemony seeking greatness through strictly military means. After military might was chosen as the path to dominance and greatness, America developed external hegemonic programs to curtail un-American activities such as Iranian Mullahs imagining that they can export oil to whomever they choose to, or China and Russia talking multilateralism, or Venezuela resisting imperial vassalage…or just about anything that moved, squeaked, farted or failed to avow the American way of doing business. Non-compliance would be met with sanctions or military invasion.

On the occasion of the recent fourth-of-July celebrations, Donald Trump (dealer extraordinary) stood before the statue of Abraham Lincoln to demonstrate his ability to wind up the patriotic narrative; he spoke thusly; “As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” said he, “ Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told…The Story of America.”

But strangest of all were the ‘daleks’ flying overhead and the steel-clad ‘daleks’ rumbling past on terra firma for the purpose of bonding the vast gathering of patriotic stalwarts in hegemonic unity. The crowd, agog with admiration for the men and women flying overhead in their wonderful flying machines were proud to witness the “The American Story” in all its first-hand glory. Most noticeably, they were indifferent to the fact that the things they found admirable in this show of strength were designed to annihilate people. They were no less enamoured of the wet pointy cone bits of the ballistic missiles…glistening like killer-candy… as they were rained upon.

All in all, “The Story of America” reverberates across the globe as the story of meaty stealth. Its true colours were made available for all to see, or for anyone with the nous to join the dots… message delivered; American style hegemony is great for boys with schizoaffective disorders and the lethal toys that find them.

As America-the-circus moves into election mode its military arrive here in Australia to set up a military base in Darwin. As few…if any…of their political clowns will broach the subject of their lethal foreign policy, why should anyone in their right mind welcome one of their bases here? As for now, better we wait until Uncle Sam creates a peace bureau and sends an emissary of a different stripe to us.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

Trade War Hangs Over the G20

Image result for Trade War Hangs Over the G20
June 29, 2019 © Photo: kremlin.ru

Two words were on the lips of world leaders as the curtain went up on the Group of 20 gathering in the Japanese city of Osaka. On Friday, all the early statements and gossip revolved around the “trade war.”

Xi Jinping set the tone. China’s president warned about the dangers of protectionism at a meeting between the BRICS bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“This is destroying the global trade order … This also impacts the common interests of our countries, overshadows the peace and stability worldwide,” the Chinese president said.

In the past year, Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in a brutal trade conflict involving tit-for-tat tariffs on imports worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Along the way, Chinese companies, such as the telecoms giant Huawei, have been dragged into the dispute, suffering punitive sanctions imposed by Washington.

After trade talks broke down last month and the technology battle intensified between the world’s two largest economies, the shockwaves rippled across the globe.

Now, G20 leaders are praying that US President Donald Trump and Xi can ease tensions when they meet face-to-face on Saturday to discuss the situation.

Although there appears little chance of an immediate deal, they will be hoping a truce can be hammered out.

Trump at least made all the right noises about trade agreements. But they did not appear to include China.

‘Very big deal’

The only real reference about the spat with Beijing came in a remark he also made to Modi.

“We actually sell Huawei many of its parts,” Trump said. “So we’re going to be discussing that and also how India fits in. And we’ll be discussing Huawei.”

Earlier this week, media reports suggested that Xi would not agree to a deal unless Washington lifted its ban on the company, which is recognized as a world leader in 5G technology and a key player in the smartphone sector.

During the opening session, Trump touched on the issue. “We must also ensure the resilience and security of our 5G networks,” he said.

Still, Sino-American trade fiction dominated the conversation after the World Bank released a report earlier this month entitled, Global Economic Prospects: Heightened Tensions, Subdued Investment.

“The trade relations between China and the United States are difficult, they are contributing to the slowdown of the global economy,” Jean-Claude Juncker, the outgoing European Commission president, told a media briefing.

“Today things are made neither in China nor in the United States. They are made globally,” he said.

In his opening address, Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, appealed for unity among bickering nations as well as later touching on the thorny problem of reforming the World Trade Organisation or WTO.

He urged G20 leaders to send a strong message in support of free and fair trade, warning that geopolitical tensions were rising and buffeting the “global economy.”

“With your help, I hope we will realize beautiful harmony in Osaka … rather than highlight our confrontations, let us seek out what unites us,” he said.

“Today, I want to discuss with leaders measures to further enhance momentum towards reform in WTO,” he added.

Eloquent sentiments amid the rhetoric of what is looking like a new economic Cold War between China and the US.

“Bullying practices are on the rise, posing severe threats to economic globalization and international order, and severe challenges to the external environment of developing countries,” Dai Bing, an official from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a veiled attack on Washington’s stance.

Yet behind the scenes, Beijing’s top trade negotiator Vice-Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met at the Imperial Hotel in Osaka, according to an official familiar with the matter who declined to be identified, Bloomberg news agency revealed.

They were trying to lay the groundwork for the Trump-Xi tete-a-tete.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who dined with the US president on Thursday, illustrated the challenges ahead.

“I walked away with the view that this is going to be tough because there are some very serious issues that they’re trying to resolve,” he told Channel 7, the Australian television network.

But then, walking away has been a specialty in the year-long diplomatic confrontation.

asiatimes.com

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Washington is afraid of the technical backwardness .واشنطن خائفة من التخلف التقني؟

Washington is afraid of the technical backwardness

يونيو 25, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Many historians say that one of the reasons of the US involvement in the Second World War was the concern from the German technical superiority, they say that by the end of the war, the German weapons were superior to the western and eastern weapons and that the great technical development represented by the American nuclear bomb was made by German minds. Since then, Washington feels comfortable regarding its technical superiority in the world, its trust and reassurance have been increased with the revolution of information and communications led by American minds and companies, but after scurrility it was noticed that Washington became highly worried during the last decade, since it had no capabilities to wage a war. The American leaders recognize the superiority of Russia in the conventional and strategic weapons, therefore they have to avoid the confrontation with Russia in their next wars but just to exert pressure on it to neutralize it, because the economic concern from the Russian weapons market has not occurred yet, but it is expected to occur   in the next decade. While the imminent concern is from China which the source of its increasing economy does not mainly concern America, although it is a growth that threatens the first place of Washington in the global economy, but it is the challenge of the next decade too. Washington’s main concern is the superiority of China in the communication techniques which form the pillar of the new global economy.

Experts say that China will lead the communication market by the next year. Huawei Company was superior and unique in producing the fifth- generation technology of the smart phones; it is the generation that will replace the personal and office computers with technical qualifications that allow the completion of all technical complicated transactions and processes in small size and through a flexible screen that can be extended virtually and with high processing capacities. Most importantly, this generation will mean the transfer to robotics in driving cars, managing business remotely, making accounts, and managing offices and exchanges, it ensures home and office welfare and security by controlling home and office appliances, but the most dangerous thing is that it will change a lot of war tools and forms. Experts say that the partnership negotiations experienced by the American companies with Huawei have not succeeded in controlling the new technology, they think that the economic war on China includes negotiating pressure on the fifth generation technologies and that one of the goals of oil embargo on Iran is to exert pressure on the economic growth of China and putting it in parallel with winning in negotiations on the fifth-generation technologies.

The Americans think that they can neutralize Russia by restricting the cooperation regarding the issues of North Korea, Venezuela, and Ukraine, as they thought they can do that in the war on Syria, but they are reaching to the last quarter of confrontation. Everyone knows the rules of engagement and knows his locations in the battlefield “Russia, China, and Iran”; the war of weapons with Russia, the war of geopolitics with Iran, and the war of technology with China. The Russian-Chinese-Iranian tripartite is sharing the burdens of confrontation and the roles in fronts from Syria to Korea to Venezuela realizing that it is one war, and that any American victory over one party will reflect on the others. As much as this tripartite is trying to avoid a war due to the American hysteria which is unable to recognize that the world has changed. This tripartite is trying to show that the American loss will be resounding at the hands of the allies whom are described by Washington as small players. Nineteen years ago, Hezbollah was classified among the secondary players, but now it becomes among the main players due to its achievement in the historic victory over the Israeli occupation of the south of Lebanon. Now it is turning into a source of horror in all the American analyses of the balances of war, as the resistance forces in the region and the world, which achieved deterrent capabilities as the experiences of Yemen, Iraq, Korea, and Venezuela. Therefore, America must fight them before it finds itself alone facing Iran, Russia, and China.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

واشنطن خائفة من التخلف التقني؟ 

مايو 22, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– يقول الكثير من المؤرخين إن أحد أسباب الدخول الأميركي على خط الحرب العالمية الثانية كان القلق من التفوّق التقني الألماني، ويقول هؤلاء إنه حتى نهاية الحرب كانت الأسلحة الألمانية تتفوّق على الأسلحة الغربيّة والشرقيّة التي واجهتها في الحرب، وإن التطور التقني الكبير الذي مثلته القنبلة النووية الأميركية كان نتاج عقول ألمانية، ومنذ ذلك التاريخ واشنطن مرتاحة إلى تفوقها التكنولوجي في العالم، وزادت ثقة واطمئناناً مع ثورة المعلوماتية والاتصالات التي قادتها عقول وشركات أميركية، لكن التدقيق يفيد بأن القلق عاد إلى واشنطن خلال العقد الأخير وبقوة، من دون أن تكون لديها مقدرات خوض حرب كالحرب العالمية الثانية. فالقادة الأميركيون يعترفون بتفوّق في مجال الأسلحة التقليدية والاستراتيجية لحساب روسيا، ولذلك عليهم في خوض حروبهم الأخرى تفادي المواجهة مع موسكو، والاكتفاء بالضغط عليها، والمناورة بين الترغيب والترهيب لتحييدها، لأن القلق الاقتصادي من سوق السلاح الروسي لم يحِن وقته بعد، ويتوقع بلوغه خلال العقد المقبل، بينما مصدر القلق الداهم هو الصين، التي لا يشكل مصدر نمو اقتصادها المتزايد سبب القلق الرئيس للأميركيين، وهو نمو يهدّد بإزاحة واشنطن من تصدر المكانة الأولى بين الاقتصادات العالمية، لكنه تحدي العقد المقبل أيضاً، مصدر القلق الكبير هو تفوق الصين في تقنيات الاتصالات التي تشكل عصب الاقتصاد العالمي الجديد.

– يتحدّث الخبراء عن أن انتقال مركز القيادة في سوق الاتصالات إلى الصين في العام المقبل بعدما حققت شركة هواوي الصينية التفوق والتفرّد في إنتاج تقنية الجيل الخامس من الهواتف الذكية، وهو الجيل الذي سيحل مكان الكمبيوترات الفردية والمكتبية، بمؤهلات تقنية تتيح إنجاز كل المعاملات والعمليات التقنية المعقدة بحجم صغير وشاشة مرنة قابلة للتوسّع افتراضياً، وقدرات معالجة مرتفعة. والأهم أن هذا الجيل سيعني الانتقال إلى عصر الروبوت بالتحكم الذي يتيحه بقيادة السيارات، وإدارة الأعمال عن بعد، وتحريك الحسابات وإدارة المكاتب والبورصات، وتأمين الرفاه والأمان المنزلي والمكتبي، بالتحكم بالأجهزة المنزلية والمكتبية. والأخطر أنها ستغيّر الكثير في أدوات الحرب وأشكالها. ويقول الخبراء إن مفاوضات الشراكة التي خاضتها الشركات الأميركية مع شركة هواوي لم تنجح في السيطرة على التقنية الجديدة، ويعتقد الخبراء أن الحرب الاقتصادية على الصين هي في جزء منها ضغط تفاوضي على تقنيات الجيل الخامس، وإن بعضاً من أهداف الحصار النفطي على إيران هو الضغط على نمو الصين الاقتصادي، ووضعه في كفة موازية للفوز بالمفاوضات حول تقنيات الجيل الخامس.

– يعتقد الأميركيون أنهم قادرون على تحييد روسيا بحصر التعاون في ملفات كوريا الشمالية وفنزويلا وأوكرانيا، كما اعتقدوا من قبل خلال الحرب على سورية بفعل شيء مشابه، لكنهم يصلون إلى الفصل الأخير من المواجهة، واللعبة تجري على الملأ، حيث الكل يعلم قواعد الاشتباك ويعرف مواقعه على رقعة القتال، روسيا والصين وإيران، معركة السلاح مع روسيا وحرب الجغرافيا السياسية مع إيران، وحرب التكنولوجيا مع الصين، والثلاثي الروسي الصيني الإيراني يتقاسم أعباء المواجهة والأدوار التبادلية في جبهاتها، من سورية إلى كوريا إلى فنزويلا مدركاً أنها حرب واحدة، وأن أي نصر أميركي في أي من مفرداتها سينعكس على سائر المفردات، وبالقدر الذي يسعى الثلاثي لتفادي اندلاع حرب مجنونة بفعل الهيستيريا الأميركية العاجزة عن الاعترف بأن العالم قد تغير، يعمل الثلاثي على نزع الأنياب الأميركية وتظهير المواجهة كحرب أشباح، يستحيل خوضها بوجه أطراف الثلاثي مباشرة، وإظهار أن الخسارة الأميركية ستكون مدوّية على أيدي الحلفاء الذين تصفهم واشنطن باللاعبين الصغار، وقد ظهر في مثل هذه الأيام قبل تسعة عشر عاماً، ان حزب الله الذي كان يُحسب بين الصغار يومها، قد دخل نادي الكبار بفعل الإنجاز المحقق بانتصاره التاريخي على الاحتلال الإسرائيلي لجنوب لبنان، وها هو يتحوّل إلى مصدر رعب في كل التحليلات الأميركية لموازين الحرب، ومثله وعلى خطاه سارت قوى مقاومة في المنطقة والعالم وحققت قدرات رادعة كما تقول تجارب اليمن والعراق وكوريا وفنزويلا، وسيكون على الأميركي أن يقاتلهم قبل أن يجد نفسه مباشرة وجهاً لوجه مع إيران وروسيا والصين.

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حروب الجيل الخامس العلوم بدلاً من العسكر تعاظم الصين وروسيا وإيران وتقهقر الأميركان

يونيو 24, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

كلّ المؤشرات المعلوماتية تفيد بأنّ الصين تسيطر على عالم الانترنت والمعادن النادره في العالم.

وانّ ثمة استراتيجية صينية شاملة تتقدّم للعالم

يقابلها تخبّط أميركي وانعدام استراتيجية مستقبلية،

والمعلوم تاريخياً انّ الولايات المتحدة، خاصة بعد دخولها الحرب العالميه الأولى، وانتصار تحالفها فرنسا وبريطانيا على تحالف دول المحور المانيا والإمبراطورية العثمانية ، قد عملت على توسيع وتعزيز هيمنتها الاستعمارية، داخلياً وخارجياً، بقوة السلاح طبعاً وليس بقوة المعرفة والعلوم.

وعلى الرغم من تحقيقها نجاحاً نسبياً في تعزيز سيطرتها على القارة الأوروبية، إلا أنّ حدوث الأزمة الاقتصادية، او دعنا نسمّيها الانهيار الاقتصادي الدولي عام 1929، وما ترتب على ذلك من انحسار للإمكانيات المالية والاقتصادية الأميركية، نتيجة للأزمة، ثم وصول الحزب النازي الألماني الى السلطة وسيطرة أودلف هتلر على الحكم في المانيا، عبر انتخابات برلمانية وتحالفات حزبية معقدة، وقيادته المانيا الى حرب عالمية جديدة دخلتها الولايات المتحدة وهي مصمّمة على استكمال سيطرتها على أوروبا تمهيداً لفرض سيطرتها على العالم.

فقد كانت أداة السيطرة الأميركية، آنذاك كما اليوم، هي القوة العسكرية الجبارة. وكان أوج استعراض واشنطن لهذه القوة قد تمظهر بشكل صارخ عندما قامت بقصفت هيروشيما وناغازاكي بالقنابل النووية في شهر آب 1949، الأمر الذي رفع الولايات المتحدة الى مرتبة الأقوى عسكرياً واقتصادياً في العالم.

لكن ذلك لم يدم طويلاً، فبعد نجاح الاتحاد السوفياتي في تصنيع القنبلة النووية، وإجراء تجربته النووية الأولى بتاريخ 29/8/1949، سرعان ما انكسر هذا الاحتكار النووي الأميركي، وبدأ يتراجع رويداً رويداً، الى أن نشأ توازن ردع في العلاقات الدولية على صعيد العالم، تجلى بشكل واضح وقوي في إجبار قوات الاحتلال البريطاني الفرنسي «الإسرائيلي» عام 1956/ 1957 لسيناء على الانسحاب منها، اثر الموقف الصارم الذي اتخذه زعيم الاتحاد السوفياتي آنذاك، نيكيتا خروتشوف، في مجلس الأمن الدولي.

ولكن عناصر الردع والقوة الأميركية، التي اعتمدت أساساً وقبل كلّ شيء على قوة السلاح، بدأت بالتآكل، أكثر فأكثر، اثر المتغيّرات الجذرية التي شهدتها ميادين الصراع الدولية، وعلى كافة الصعد، الاقتصادية والسياسية والعلمية والعسكرية، الأمر الذي أدّى ليس فقط الى كسر احتكار الولايات المتحدة لمحاولات السيطرة على العالم ومقدّرات شعوبه، وإنما الى دخولها في مرحلة تراجع تدريجي مستمرّ، سواء على الصعيد الاقتصادي او السياسي تراجع تأثيرها السياسي في العالم او العسكري والعلمي المعرفي قبل كلّ شيء.

هذا التراجع العلمي والمعرفي، الذي يعبّر عن نفسه من خلال الحروب الاقتصادية وسياسة العقوبات التي يفرضها ترامب على العديد من الدول، والتي تشهد إيران أكثرها صرامة، بينما تشهد الصين أكثرها اتساعاً، من ناحية الحجم المالي، نقول انّ هذا التعبير او التجلي لهذا التراجع قد أدّى الى إضعاف قدرة الصناعات والشركات الأميركية على المنافسة بسبب قلة الاستثمار في قطاعي العلم المعرفة والبحث العلمي أولاً، وبسبب التغيّر الذي شهدته مختلف قطاعات الصناعة والتكنولوجيا والمال والأعمال خلال العقدين الماضيين.

هذا التغيير الذي وضعنا في بداية ثورة صناعية جديدة يطلق عليها اسم الثورة الرقمية، او ثورة الإنترنت، والتي سوف تغيّر كلّ مجالات الحياة البشرية، سواء كانت صناعية أو اقتصادية او سياسية او اجتماعية او غير ذلك.

وهذه الثورة لا تعتمد على قوة السلاح، والتهديد باستخدامه لإسقاط دول ذات سيادة واحتلال أراضيها، بل تعتمد على تكنولوجيا الإنترنت الفائقة السرعة والتي يتمّ تشغيلها بالاعتماد على تقنية تسمّى تقنية الجيل الخامس G 5 ، والتي لا تعتمد أبداً على تقنية الولايات المتحدة وإنما وقبل كلّ شيء على تقنيات صينية، تعتبر شركة هواوي هي الرائدة في صناعتها، الأمر الذي جعل الرئيس الأميركي يشنّ حرباً عالمية عليها وعلى خمسة من أخواتها الصينيات اللواتي ستخضع للعقوبات والمقاطعة الأميركية اعتباراً من يوم الاثنين 24/6/2019.

وإذا ما تفحصنا بعض جوانب هذه الحرب المجنونة، التي تشنّها الولايات المتحدة على عمالقة أحدث تكنولوجيا الاتصالات في العالم ألا وهي «هواوي» واخواتها، فإننا سنكتشف بسرعة الإنترنت الصينية الفائقة السرعة انّ هذه الحرب خاسرة بلا جدال وان لا طائل من ورائها مطلقاً وذلك لسبب بسيط جداً، ألا وهو انّ الشركات الأميركية والتكنولوجيا التي تنتجها، في قطاع الاتصالات وتقنياتها، لا يمكنها منافسة المنتج الصيني الأكثر تقدّماً والأقلّ كلفة.

اما دليلنا على عدم قدرة الولايات المتحدة على منافسة الصين، في قطاع الاتصالات بشكل خاص وفي غيره من القطاعات الصناعية بشكل عام، فهو ما يلي:

1 ـ انّ تكنولوجيا الجيل الخامس الصينية للإنترنت أكثر تطوّراً من التكنولوجيا الأميركية، كما انّ خدمات الشركات الصينية التي تصنع وتدير هذه التكنولوجيا، مثل شركة هواوي وشركة هينغ تونغ، أفضل بكثير من نظيراتها الأميركيات، حسب مركز Rethink Research الأميركي. وهو ما يعلل قيام العديد من الدول الأوروبية، وعلى رأسها المانيا وبريطانيا، بأن تعهَدَ لشركة هواوي ببناء شبكة الإنترنت من الجيل الخامس في أراضيها، وليس لشركات أميركية.

2 ـ عدم وجود خطة تطوير تقني/ تجاري/ أميركية استراتيجيه شاملة، سواء في قطاع الاتصالات او بقية القطاعات الإنتاجية والخدماتية، بينما لدى الصين خطط واضحة ودقيقة تعتمد على الاستثمار البعيد المدى في البنى التحتيه ذات العلاقة مع المواضيع المذكورة أعلاه. وهو ما يعني المزيد من التطوّر والتقدّم وازدياد القدرة على المنافسة القوية في الأسواق الدولية.

3 ـ وانطلاقاً من الخطة الاستراتيجية الشاملة للصين، في تطوير صناعة التكنولوجيا الحديثة وتعميم الفائدة التجارية من هذا التطوير على الكثير من الأمم، فقد قامت الصين بطرح مشروع الحزام والطريق، الذي يعتمد مبدأ تطوير البنى التحتية، في سبعين دولة حتى الآن، في قطاعات الصناعة والنقل والاتصالات والتجارة، بدلاً من استخدام القوة في التعامل بين الدول، أيّ مبدأ التعاون والتكامل بدل شنّ الحروب الاقتصادية والعسكرية وفرض العقوبات على عشرات الدول، كما تفعل الولايات المتحدة حالياً.

4 ـ وبالنظر الى مشروع الحزام والطريق، الذي يعيش في الدول المشاركة فيه حتى الآن 65 من سكان العالم ويقومون بإنتاج 40 من الإنتاج في العالم، فإنّ ذلك يعني وجود سوق هائلة للبضائع الصينية، وعلى رأسها تكنولوجيا الإنترنت اللاسلكي الفائق السرعة، ما يعني سيطرة الصين على قطاع خدمات الإنترنت في العالم، التي ستصبح، خلال سنوات قليلة، وسيلة التواصل الرئيسيه بين أكثر من عشرين مليار شخص وآلة او شيء هناك مسمّى جديد يطلق عليه اسم: إنترنت الآلات. أي انّ الآلات من سيارات وطائرات وغيرها من الآلات الصناعية سوف تتبادل المعلومات في ما بينها دون تدخل بشري .

وغني عن القول طبعاً انّ شركات صناعة تكنولوجيا وخدمات الإنترنت الأميركية لن يكون لديها أي فرصة لدخول أسواق تلك الدول، الأعضاء في مشروع الطريق والحزام، من دون حتى اللجوء الى إجراءات عقابية أو حمائية، من قبل تلك الدول، وإنما بسبب التفوّق التقني للشركات الصينية وقدرتها الهائلة على المنافسة، لما تتمتع به من تفوّق علمي ينتج تفوقاً تقنياً، وليس بسبب الأيدي العاملة الصينية الأقل كلفة من الأيدي العاملة الأميركية فقط.

5 ـ انطلاقا من كلّ ما تقدّم، حول أهمية التفوّق التقني والصناعات التكنولوجية، في مجال الإنترنت اللاسلكي الفائق السرعة، يبدو واضحاً انّ المواجهة الدولية، التي نعيش مشاهدها في الكثير من بقاع العالم، كالشرق الأوسط ومنطقة البحر الأسود/ القرم وأوكرانيا / وبحر الصين الجنوبي والبحار الأخرى، وصولاً الى القارتين الأفريقية والأميركية الجنوبية، لن يتمّ حسمها إلا لصالح روسيا والصين، وبالتالي لصالح القوى الدولية الساعية الى إنهاء السيطرة والهيمنة الأميركية الأحادية الجانب في العالم، وذلك لأنّ الانتصار في الحروب لم يعد يعتمد على استخدام القوة المسلحة فقط وإنما على استخدام العلم كقاعدة للتفوّق على القوة بواسطة إبطال مفعولها.

وكما لاحظنا قبل أيّام قليلة فقط فإنه لم يكن بإمكان إيران أن تسقط طائرة التجسّس الأميركية الأحدث في العالم لو أنّ إيران لم تكن تملك العقول العلمية والهندسية والقاعدة الصناعية لإنتاج الصواريخ المضاده للطائرات بالمواصفات التي عرفها العالم عبر الصاروخ الإيراني الذي أسقط هذه الطائرة.

6 ـ وهذا بالضبط هو ما دفع مستشار الأمن الوطني البريطاني، مارك سيدويل Mark Sedwill، لإبلاغ البرلمان البريطاني، خلال جلسة استماع سنة 2017، بانّ أيّ هجوم إلكتروني على أحد كوابل الإنترنت البحرية البريطانية او على احدى محطات التحويل الخاصة بالإنترنت والمسماة تيرمنال Terminal، أيّ محطة، والموجودة تحت البحر، يشبه قصف محطات الكهرباء والموانئ البريطانية خلال الحرب العالمية الثانية.

ما يعني انّ التقدّم الهائل الذي حققته الصناعات التكنولوجية الفائقة الحداثة لم يعطِ الصين ميزة خلق نظام دفاع إلكتروني/ سايبري/ فعّال للغاية فحسب، وإنما نقلها الى مرحلة الدفاع الهجومي الرادع تماماً لأيّ عدوان محتمل، وذلك من خلال السلاح الصيني المخيف، الذي كشف عنه مؤخراً والمتمثل في المدفع الكهرومغناطيسي، والمسمّى بالانجليزية Electromagnetic Railgun، وهو محمول على سفينة إنزال من فئة 072ll – Yuting – Class، اسمها هايانغشان Haiyangshan ويطلق قذائف تفوق سرعتها سرعة الصوت بخمس مرات. علماً انّ باستطاعة هذا المدفع، الذي سيدخل الخدمة الميدانية في الجيش الصيني عام 2023، ان يطلق قذائف كهرومغناطيسية قاتله يصل مداها الى مائتي كيلومتر.

اذن فهي الثورة الرقمية والتكنولوجيا المرتبطة بها هي التي ستضع حداً للهيمنة الأميركية على مقدرات العالم والتي ستحوّل التقاتل الى تعاون منتج على قاعدة الاحترام المتبادل لاستقلال الدول والشعوب وسيادتها على أراضيها.

عالم يأفل نجمه ويتصدّع رغم تقدّمه العسكري، فيما عالم ينهض ويتعالى بالعلوم رغم حجم تسليحه الأقلّ، والفضل في ذلك للثورة المعرفية.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

 

Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure”

Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure”

By Pepe Escobar – with permission and cross-posted with Strategic Culture Foundation

Sooner or later the US “maximum pressure” on Iran would inevitably be met by “maximum counter-pressure”.  Sparks are ominously bound to fly.

For the past few days, intelligence circles across Eurasia had been prodding Tehran to consider a quite straightforward scenario. There would be no need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani, the ultimate Pentagon bête noire, explained in detail, on global media, that Washington simply does not have the military capacity to keep the Strait open.

As I previously reported, shutting down the Strait of Hormuz would destroy the American economy by detonating the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market; and that would collapse the world banking system, crushing the world’s $80 trillion GDP and causing an unprecedented depression.

Soleimani should also state bluntly that Iran may in fact shut down the Strait of Hormuz if the nation is prevented from exporting essential two million barrels of oil a day, mostly to Asia. Exports, which before illegal US sanctions and de facto blockade would normally reach 2.5 million barrels a day, now may be down to only 400,000.

Soleimani’s intervention would align with consistent signs already coming from the IRGC. The Persian Gulf is being described as an imminent “shooting gallery.” Brigadier General Hossein Salami stressed that Iran’s ballistic missiles are capable of hitting “carriers in the sea” with pinpoint precision. The whole northern border of the Persian Gulf, on Iranian territory, is lined up with anti-ship missiles – as I confirmed with IRGC-related sources.

We’ll let you know when it’s closed

Then, it happened.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, went straight to the point; “If the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces.”

The facts are stark. Tehran simply won’t accept all-out economic war lying down – prevented to export the oil that protects its economic survival. The Strait of Hormuz question has been officially addressed. Now it’s time for the derivatives.

Presenting detailed derivatives analysis plus military analysis to global media would force the media pack, mostly Western, to go to Warren Buffett to see if it is true. And it is true. Soleimani, according to this scenario, should say as much and recommend that the media go talk to Warren Buffett.

The extent of a possible derivatives crisis is an uber-taboo theme for the Washington consensus institutions. According to one of my American banking sources, the most accurate figure – $1.2 quadrillion – comes from a Swiss banker, off the record. He should know; the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank of central banks – is in Basle.

The key point is it doesn’t matter how the Strait of Hormuz is blocked.

It could be a false flag. Or it could be because the Iranian government feels it’s going to be attacked and then sinks a cargo ship or two. What matters is the final result; any blocking of the energy flow will lead the price of oil to reach $200 a barrel, $500 or even, according to some Goldman Sachs projections, $1,000.

Another US banking source explains; “The key in the analysis is what is called notional. They are so far out of the money that they are said to mean nothing. But in a crisis the notional can become real.  For example, if I buy a call for a million barrels of oil at $300 a barrel, my cost will not be very great as it is thought to be inconceivable that the price will go that high.  That is notional.  But if the Strait is closed, that can become a stupendous figure.”

BIS will only commit, officially, to indicate the total notional amount outstanding for contracts in derivatives markers is an estimated $542.4 trillion. But this is just an estimate.

The banking source adds, “Even here it is the notional that has meaning.  Huge amounts are interest rate derivatives. Most are notional but if oil goes to a thousand dollars a barrel, then this will affect interest rates if 45% of the world’s GDP is oil. This is what is called in business a contingent liability.”

Goldman Sachs has projected a feasible, possible $1,000 a barrel a few weeks after the Strait of Hormuz being shut down. This figure, times 100 million barrels of oil produced per day, leads us to 45% of the $80 trillion global GDP. It’s self-evident the world economy would collapse based on just that alone.

War dogs barking mad

As much as 30% of the world’s oil supply transits the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Wily Persian Gulf traders – who know better – are virtually unanimous; if Tehran was really responsible for the Gulf of Oman tanker incident, oil prices would be going through the roof by now. They aren’t.

Iran’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz amount to 12 nautical miles (22 km). Since 1959, Iran recognizes only non-military naval transit.

Since 1972, Oman’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz also amount to 12 nautical miles. At its narrowest, the width of the Strait is 21 nautical miles (39 km). That means, crucially, that half of the Strait of Hormuz is in Iranian territorial waters, and the other half in Oman’s. There are no “international waters”.

And that adds to Tehran now openly saying that Iran may decide to close the Strait of Hormuz publicly – and not by stealth.

Iran’s indirect, asymmetric warfare response to any US adventure will be very painful. Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran once again reconfirmed,

“even a limited strike will be met by a major and disproportionate response.”

And that means gloves off, big time; anything from really blowing up tankers to, in Marandi’s words,

“Saudi and UAE oil facilities in flames”.

Hezbollah will launch tens of thousands of missiles against Israel. As Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hasan Nasrallah has been stressing in his speeches,

“war on Iran will not remain within that country’s borders, rather it will mean that the entire [Middle East] region will be set ablaze. All of the American forces and interests in the region will be wiped out, and with them the conspirators, first among them Israel and the Saudi ruling family.”

It’s quite enlightening to pay close attention to what this Israel intel op is saying. The dogs of war though are barking mad.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo jetted to CENTCOM in Tampa to discuss “regional security concerns and ongoing operations” with – skeptical – generals, a euphemism for “maxim pressure” eventually leading to war on Iran.

Iranian diplomacy, discreetly, has already informed the EU – and the Swiss – about their ability to crash the entire world economy. But still that was not enough to remove US sanctions.

Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure”

Pepe Escobar
June 20, 2019
Image result for Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure”
© Photo: Defense.gov

Sooner or later the US “maximum pressure” on Iran would inevitably be met by “maximum counter-pressure”. Sparks are ominously bound to fly.

For the past few days, intelligence circles across Eurasia had been prodding Tehran to consider a quite straightforward scenario. There would be no need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani, the ultimate Pentagon bête noire, explained in detail, on global media, that Washington simply does not have the military capacity to keep the Strait open.

As I previously reported, shutting down the Strait of Hormuz

would destroy the American economy by detonating the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market; and that would collapse the world banking system, crushing the world’s $80 trillion GDP and causing an unprecedented depression.

Soleimani should also state bluntly that Iran may in fact shut down the Strait of Hormuz if the nation is prevented from exporting essential two million barrels of oil a day, mostly to Asia. Exports, which before illegal US sanctions and de facto blockade would normally reach 2.5 million barrels a day, now may be down to only 400,000.

Soleimani’s intervention would align with consistent signs already coming from the IRGC. The Persian Gulf is being described as an imminent “shooting gallery.” Brigadier General Hossein Salami stressed that Iran’s ballistic missiles are capable of hitting “carriers in the sea” with pinpoint precision. The whole northern border of the Persian Gulf, on Iranian territory, is lined up with anti-ship missiles – as I confirmed with IRGC-related sources.

We’ll let you know when it’s closed

Then, it happened.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, went straight to the point; “If the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces.”

The facts are stark. Tehran simply won’t accept all-out economic war lying down – prevented to export the oil that protects its economic survival. The Strait of Hormuz question has been officially addressed. Now it’s time for the derivatives.

Presenting detailed derivatives analysis plus military analysis to global media would force the media pack, mostly Western, to go to Warren Buffett to see if it is true. And it is true. Soleimani, according to this scenario, should say as much and recommend that the media go talk to Warren Buffett.

The extent of a possible derivatives crisis is an uber-taboo theme for the Washington consensus institutions. According to one of my American banking sources, the most accurate figure – $1.2 quadrillion – comes from a Swiss banker, off the record. He should know; the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank of central banks – is in Basle.

The key point is it doesn’t matter how the Strait of Hormuz is blocked.

It could be a false flag. Or it could be because the Iranian government feels it’s going to be attacked and then sinks a cargo ship or two. What matters is the final result; any blocking of the energy flow will lead the price of oil to reach $200 a barrel, $500 or even, according to some Goldman Sachs projections, $1,000.

Another US banking source explains; “The key in the analysis is what is called notional. They are so far out of the money that they are said to mean nothing. But in a crisis the notional can become real.  For example, if I buy a call for a million barrels of oil at $300 a barrel, my cost will not be very great as it is thought to be inconceivable that the price will go that high.  That is notional.  But if the Strait is closed, that can become a stupendous figure.”

BIS will only commit, officially, to indicate the total notional amount outstanding for contracts in derivatives markers is an estimated $542.4 trillion. But this is just an estimate.

The banking source adds, “Even here it is the notional that has meaning.  Huge amounts are interest rate derivatives. Most are notional but if oil goes to a thousand dollars a barrel, then this will affect interest rates if 45% of the world’s GDP is oil. This is what is called in business a contingent liability.”

Goldman Sachs has projected a feasible, possible $1,000 a barrel a few weeks after the Strait of Hormuz being shut down. This figure, times 100 million barrels of oil produced per day, leads us to 45% of the $80 trillion global GDP. It’s self-evident the world economy would collapse based on just that alone.

War dogs barking mad

As much as 30% of the world’s oil supply transits the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Wily Persian Gulf traders – who know better – are virtually unanimous; if Tehran was really responsible for the Gulf of Oman tanker incident, oil prices would be going through the roof by now. They aren’t.

Iran’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz amount to 12 nautical miles (22 km). Since 1959, Iran recognizes only non-military naval transit.

Since 1972, Oman’s territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz also amount to 12 nautical miles. At its narrowest, the width of the Strait is 21 nautical miles (39 km). That means, crucially, that half of the Strait of Hormuz is in Iranian territorial waters, and the other half in Oman’s. There are no “international waters”.

And that adds to Tehran now openly saying that Iran may decide to close the Strait of Hormuz publicly – and not by stealth.

Iran’s indirect, asymmetric warfare response to any US adventure will be very painful. Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran once again reconfirmed, “even a limited strike will be met by a major and disproportionate response.” And that means gloves off, big time; anything from really blowing up tankers to, in Marandi’s words, “Saudi and UAE oil facilities in flames”.

Hezbollah will launch tens of thousands of missiles against Israel. As

Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hasan Nasrallah has been stressing in his speeches,

“war on Iran will not remain within that country’s borders, rather it will mean that the entire [Middle East] region will be set ablaze. All of the American forces and interests in the region will be wiped out, and with them the conspirators, first among them Israel and the Saudi ruling family.”

It’s quite enlightening to pay close attention to what this Israel intel op is saying. The dogs of war though are barking mad.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo jetted to CENTCOM in Tampa to discuss “regional security concerns and ongoing operations” with – skeptical – generals, a euphemism for “maxim pressure” eventually leading to war on Iran.

Iranian diplomacy, discreetly, has already informed the EU – and the Swiss – about their ability to crash the entire world economy. But still that was not enough to remove US sanctions.

 

صاروخ تل أبيب وطائرة هرمز

يونيو 21, 2019

 

ناصر قنديل

– عندما كان كيان الاحتلال يستعد للانتخابات المبكرة ما بين نهاية العام الماضي وشهر نيسان هذا العام، كثرت التحليلات والتوقعات بحرب يشنها بنيامين نتنياهو على غزة، تسهيلاً لضمان الفوز بالانتخابات. وعندما لم تقع الحرب انتقلت التوقعات إلى ما بعد الانتخابات تسهيلاً لتشكيل الحكومة. وعندما فشل تشكيل الحكومة ولم تقع الحرب بقي البعض يتحدث عن حرب مقبلة، لكن بين هذه التواريخ والاستحقاقات حدث أن صاروخاً انطلق من غزة وسقط قرب تل أبيب، وكان مبرراً كافياً لخوض الحرب الموعودة لنتنياهو، وتكرّر الحادث مرة ثانية، وكان مبرراً للحرب الموعودة، لكن نتنياهو لم يخض الحرب، وفي المرتين وقف يقول، إنه يقبل التفسير الذي نقله المصريون عن كون عوامل الطقس تقف وراء انطلاق الصواريخ مرة، وأن خطأ بشرياً تسبب بإطلاق الصاروخ مرة ثانية، لكن الصواريخ حملت الرسالة، أن لدى المقاومة في غزة صواريخ تصل إلى تل أبيب، وأن أي حرب مقبلة ستكون قواعد الاشتباك فيها، غزة مقابل تل أبيب.

– واشنطن التي حشدت أفضل معداتها العسكرية إلى الخليج قالت إنها تريد ردع إيران، وإفهامها أن أي استهداف لحلفاء أميركا من اي من حلفاء إيران سيعني الحرب على إيران. وخلال أسابيع اشتعلت ناقلات نفط قالت واشنطن إن لديها الأدلة على أن إيران وحلفاءها يتحملون المسؤولية عن إشعالها، حتى استهدف أنصار الله أنابيب شرق غرب في السعودية وأعلنوا مسؤوليتهم، فقالت واشنطن إنها لن تتدخل عسكرياً إلا إذا تعرضت قواتها للاستهداف، وتساءل الذين يعرفون معنى الردع عما بقي منه بعد هذا التراجع، لكن الذين لا يفهمون معنى الردع كانوا بحاجة كي تمضي إيران قدماً في كشف زيف الادعاء به، فجاء إسقاط أفضل ما في الترسانة الأميركية من طائرات تجسس وغرف عمليات، تعادل قيمتها ربع مليار دولار، بصاروخ من صنع إيران بينما كانت الطائرة على ارتفاع أربعة عشر كيلومتراً وتشكل هدفاً عصياً على الاستهداف، فتحدث الرئيس الأميركي عن الردّ، قائلاً سترون. ثم أطلّ برفقة ضيفه الكندي متحدثاً فقال، أن ليس من خسائر بشرية في العملية، ما يعني ضمناً أنها ليست الاستهداف الذي يستحق حرباً، وعلق بعدها مفسراً العملية بأنها قد تكون خطأ غير مقصود ارتكبه الضابط الإيراني المعني بإطلاق الصاروخ بينما المسؤولون الإيرانيون يعلنون تبنيهم لإسقاط الطائرة بما في ذلك من رسائل وأبعاد، يسقط معها مفهوم الردع الأميركي.

– مشكلة الأميركيين والإسرائيليين انهم يتوهمون بأن الحصار على غزة والعقوبات على إيران وقوى المقاومة، بصفتها أوراق القوة الأميركية الإسرائيلية التي تحتاج للزمن كي تفعل فعلها، بعدما فشل الأميركيون والإسرائيليون في كسر إرادة محور المقاومة في الحروب، ستترك تستثمر الزمن الذي تحتاج دون استفزاز الأميركي والإسرائيلي وجرّه إلى ساحات المواجهة، وإذلاله، وفرض معادلات القوة عليه، وتغيير وقائع الجغرافيا العسكريّة، كي تجبره على التفاوض للخروج من لعبة الاستقواء بالعقوبات والحصار. و«إسرائيل» التي وجدت أنها مضطرة لقبول التهدئة مع غزة بشروط قوى المقاومة، تريد لأميركا أن تتورط في المواجهة بدلاً عنها. ومثلها قوى العدوان السعودي الإماراتي على اليمن التي قبلت تسوية الحديدة بشروط أنصار الله، والأميركي اليوم بين قبول التحدي وانفجار أسواق النفط وأسعارها بين يديه، أو التفاوض على شروط للتهدئة يعرف الإيراني ماذا يريد منها ومتى وأين وكيف؟

– غداً سيقول الرئيس الأميركي إن عوامل الطقس أطلقت الصاروخ الأميركي الذي أسقط الطائرة الثانية!

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مَنْ يقدر على اللعب على حافة الهاوية؟

يونيو 20, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– إذا كان قرار كل من واشنطن وطهران هو تفادي المواجهة العسكرية المكلفة والتي تفرض سياقاً لا يرغب به أحد منهما، ومقابله العجز عن التراجع لدى كل من الفريقين عن مواقفه وبلوغهما مرحلة الانسداد السياسي، فهذا يعني أننا في مرحلة تصعيد للتوتر لا يمكن فهمها إلا بالرهان المتبادل عند كل من الفريقين بقدرته على خوض ما يعرف سياسياً وعسكرياً باستراتيجية اللعب على حافة الهاوية. وهي الاستراتيجية التي وصف بها وزير الخارجية الأميركية الأسبق هنري كيسينجر الأسلوب التفاوضي للرئيس السوري الراحل حافظ الأسد خلال مفاوضات فك الاشتباك في الجولان عام 1974، وملخص ما قدّمه كيسنجر من توصيف لهذه الاستراتيجية أنها تقوم على الذهاب في التصلب عند الهدف المرسوم للتفاوض إلى طريق اللاعودة، والاستعداد لتقبل فشل التفاوض والذهاب إلى المجهول، في ظل وضوح النتائج المدمّرة لأي مواجهة، ويلزم خصمه المفاوض على الاختيار بين السقوط معه إلى الهاوية أو تقبل التراجع عن حافتها.

– عملياً هذا ما يفعله كل من الأميركيين والإيرانيين، فالتصعيد الأميركي بالتمسك بالعقوبات المشدّدة على إيران، قابلته ردود إيرانية مضمونها، اضطراب الملاحة النفطية في الخليج وعودة خطر امتلاك إيران لكمية من اليورانيوم المخصب كافية لإنتاج قنبلة نووية، وهو ما كان السعي لمنعه خلف القبول المستعجل للرئيس الأميركي السابق باراك أوباما بالتوقيع على الاتفاق النووي مع إيران. والواضح أن واشنطن لم تحصد المناخ الدولي الذي كانت تأمل به من وراء دخول إيران هذه المرحلة، فبدلاً من التجاوب الروسي والصيني والأوروبي مع دعوة واشنطن لتجريم طهران وقبول الفصل بين التأزم القائم بينها وبين واشنطن وبين توصيف خطواتها بالتهديد للأمن والسلم الدوليين، جاءت مواقف موسكو تحمّل واشنطن مسؤولية إسقاط القرارات الأممية والاستهتار بالقوانين الدولية، عبر معاقبة من يلتزم بقرار أممي صدّق بموجبه مجلس الأمن الدولي على التفاهم النووي مع إيران، وتحركت أوروبا للقول إن الحفاظ على التفاهم النووي يشكل الأولوية الراهنة لمنع المزيد من التصعيد، وما يعنيه ذلك من سعي أوروبا لتقديم حوافز تجارية لإيران تلبي طلباتها للعودة عن خيار مواجهة التصعيد الأميركي بتصعيد مماثل.

– الواضح أن هذا لم يدفع واشنطن للتراجع وقبول دعوات التهدئة للوصول إلى حلول وتسويات ولو مؤقتة، قبل حلول نهاية مهلة الستين يوماً التي حدّدتها إيران للخروج من الاتفاق النووي والتزاماتها بموجباته، فواشنطن تواصل اللعب على حافة الهاوية، وهي تراهن أن المزيد من التصعيد، في ظل التزام أميركي بعدم التورط بأي مواجهة عسكرية سيجعل إيران الفاعل الوحيد على المسرح، لأن العقوبات غير مرئية بينما سيكون مشهد الاضطراب في الملاحة النفطية مرئياً وسيكون ذهاب إيران للتخصيب المرتفع موضع تقارير صادرة عن الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية. وهذا يدفع واشنطن للاعتقاد بأن المناخ الدولي سيكون عندها قابلاً للتغيير، لصالح مناقشة ما تسميه التجاوزات الإيرانية في مجلس الأمن وسيتيح انتقال الضغط على إيران للحد من خطواتها التصعيدية دون تنازلات أميركية في مجال العقوبات، التي تراهن واشنطن على أن استمرارها لزمن يتخطى اول العام المقبل سيجعل إيران تقترب من اللحظة الحرجة لقبول التفاوض بشروط جديدة.

– ما لم يضعه الأميركيون في حسابهم هو أنه ما لم يتم التوصل إلى تسوية مقبولة في الأيام المتبقية من المهلة الإيرانية للخروج من الاتفاق النووي فإن المنطقة ستكون ذاهبة إلى مواجهات متعددة وليس إلى تسخين تفاوضي. فالقراءة الإيرانية ومعها قراءة حلفائها الذين يعتقدون أن إضعاف إيران يستهدفهم قبلها، وهذا واضح في التصريحات الأميركية، حول المطلوب من إيران وأغلبه يتصل بقوى المقاومة وتمويلها. وبناء عليه فإن الشهرين المقبلين سيضعان المنطقة على حافة الحرب، وسيكون لكل الجبهات التي يعرف الأميركيون أنها تعنيهم نصيب من بلوغ هذه الحافة، ويكفي عدم بلوغ تسوية تنهي التصعيد حتى يكون آخر شهر آب موعد إقفال مضيق هرمز، وربما اشتعال جبهات عديدة في شمال المنطقة وجنوبها وشرقها وغربها، وعندها سيكون على الأميركيين أن يقرروا ماذا سيفعلون؟

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The Trump-Bolton Duo Is Just Like the Bush-Cheney Duo: Warmongers Using Lies to Start Illegal Wars

Global Research, June 18, 2019

[False flag operations:] “The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it’s necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong to a certain group of people or to a religion or a nation.” James Morcan (1978- ), New Zealander-born Australian writer.

[Definition: A ‘false flag operation’ is a horrific, staged event—blamed on a political enemy—and used as pretext to start a war or to enact draconian laws in the name of national security].

Almost all wars begin with false flag operations.” Larry Chin (d. of b. unknown), North American author, (in ‘False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood’, Dec. 27, 2014).

Definition of reverse projection: attributing to others what you are doing yourself as the reason for attacking them.” John McMurtry (1939- ), Canadian philosopher, (in ‘The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State’, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Feb.2013).

That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.” Thomas Paine (1737-1809), American Founding father, pamphleteer, (in ‘The Rights of Man’, c. 1792).

I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, and we stoleIt was like — we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment. Mike Pompeo (1963- ), former CIA director and now Secretary of State in the Trump administration, (in April 2019, while speaking at Texas A&M University.)

***

History repeats itself. Indeed, those who live by war are at it again. Their crime: starting illegal wars by committing false flag attacks and blaming other countries for their own criminal acts. On this, the Donald Trump-John Bolton duo is just like the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney duo. It is amazing that in an era of 24-hour news, this could still going on.

We recall that in 2002-2003, the latter duo, with the help of U.K.’s Tony Blair, lied their way into a war of aggression against Iraq, by pretending that Saddam Hussein had a massive stockpile of “weapons of mass destruction”and that he was ready to attack the United States proper. On October 6, 2002, George W. Bush scared Americans with his big Mushroom Cloud analogy.  —It was all bogus. —It was a pure fabrication that the gullible (!) U.S. Congress, the corporate media, and most of the American public, swallowed hook, line and sinker.

Now, in 2019, a short sixteen years later, the same stratagem seems to being used to start another illegal war of aggression, this time against the country of Iran. The masters of deception are at it again. Their secret agents and those of their Israeli and Saudi allies, in the Middle East, seem to have just launched an unprovoked attack, in international waters, against a Japanese tanker, and they have rushed to the cameras to accuse Iran. They claim that the latter country used mines to attack the tanker.

This time, they were unlucky. —The owner of the Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, immediately rebuked that “official” version. Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, declared that the attack came from a bombing from above the water. Indeed, Mr. Katada told reporters:

Source: The Washington Post

The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel.”

His company issued a statement saying that “the hull (of the ship) has been breached above the waterline on the starboard side”, and it was not hit by a mine below the waterline, as the Trump administration has insinuated. —[N. B.: There was also a less serious attack on a Norwegian ship, the Front Altair.]

Thus, this time the false flag makers have not succeeded. But, you can be sure that they will be back at it, sooner or later, just as they, and their well financed al-Qaeda allies, launched a few false flag “chemical” attacks in Syria, and blamed them on the Syrian Assad government.

Donald Trump has too much to gain personally from a nice little war to distract the media and the public from the Mueller report and from all his mounting political problems. In his case, he surely would benefit from a “wag-the-dog” scenario that John Bolton and his friends in the Middle East could easily invent. As a matter of fact, two weeks ago, warmonger John Bolton was coincidently in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, just before the attacks!

Besides the Japanese ship owner’s denial, it is important to point out that  at the moment of the attack on the Japanese tanker, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, was in Iran, having talks with the Iranian government about economic cooperation between the two countries about oil shipments. Since Iran is the victim of unilateral U. S. economic sanctions, to derail such an economic cooperation between Japan and Iran could have been the triggered motivation to launch a false flag operation. It did not work. But you can be sure that the responsible party will not be prosecuted.

Conclusion

We live in an era when people with low morals, sponsored by people with tons of money, can gain power and do a lot of damage. How our democracies can survive in such a context remains an open question.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay.

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”, of the book “The New American Empire”, and the recent book, in French “La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018“. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Rouhani: Iranians Will Be The Ultimate Winners of Any War Against The Islamic Republic

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed that Iran does not seek war with any state, but stresses that the Iranian nation will be the ultimate winner of any warfare against the Islamic Republic.

“We will not wage war with any nation, those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience,” said Rouhani, addressing an inauguration ceremony at the Imam Khomeini International Airport [IKIA] in southern Tehran on Tuesday.

Rouhani’s comment came a day after acting US War Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.

Tehran has time and again said that it does not seek military confrontations with the United States, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.

Rouhani further slammed attempts by enemies to pile up economic pressure against the Iranian nation to create despair among the people.

He said the ill-wishers have launched a “war of hope and wills” against the Iranian nation, adding that the enemies are attempting to create despair among the Iranian nation through malicious schemes.

Iranians are, however, determined to defeats such plots and keep their hope alive, Rouhani said, stressing that the Iranian people “will be the ultimate winner of this war and pressure.”

Iran has been witnessing new economic and social progress despite all the enemy pressure, he added.

“Despite all of the Americans’ attempts in the region and their intention to cut off our ties with the entire world and their desire to isolate Iran, they have been unsuccessful,” Rouhani stressed.

The world community, he added, praises Iran’s stance in its face-off with America.

“Iran has been loyal to its signature, Iran has been loyal to international agreements, and the one standing against us today is the one that has trampled all pacts, agreements and international accords,” he noted, referring to Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Tehran.

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Provocations in the Gulf of Oman: Will John Bolton Get His War on Iran?

Global Research, June 16, 2019

“America’s declared policy should be ending Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution before its 40th anniversary…Recognizing a new Iranian regime in 2019 would reverse the shame of once seeing our diplomats held hostage for 444 days.” – John Bolton (January 15, 2018) [1]

LISTEN TO THE SHOW 

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Coincidentally or not, America’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran began within a month of John Bolton’s installment as National Security Advisor. On May 8th of 2018, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. was backing out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the U.S. under President Barrack Obama along with the other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Germany and the EU in July of 2015. Consequently, the sanctions imposed on Iran previous to the JCPOA were reinstated, and additional sanctions imposed by the end of the year.

In April of this year, the Trump Administration took the unprecedented step of declaring the Middle East country’s military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be a terrorist organization.

Two weeks later, the Trump Administration ended the waivers it had extended to other countries which had to that point allowed them to escape sanctions for purchasing Iranian oil. The aim of this manoeuvre being to strangle the Iranian economy by preventing its ability to profit from the sale of its main source of revenue.

Two weeks after that, Bolton announced the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force Bombers to the Middle East as part of an effort to “send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

The following week, four tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf. Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo blamed Iran for the attacks.

America’s choke-hold on Iran’s economy continued to tighten with further sanctions on May 8th of this year, the anniversary of Trump’s JCPOA pull-out.

Two weeks after that, President Trump ordered 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East, and was able to declare an emergency over Iran, allowing the White House to circumvent Congress, and move ahead with arms sales to allies Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

By early June, the administration started sending out conciliatory signals. The President indicated he, unlike his National Security Advisor, was not seeking regime change in Iran, and shortly afterwards, Secretary of State Pompeo said the U.S. was prepared to engage the Iranians “without preconditions.”

Then, on Thursday June 13, two ships in the Gulf of Oman were fired upon. U.S. officials including Trump are pointing to Iran as the guilty party, although Iranian officials categorically deny the accusation.

Is the world now on a trajectory toward war? Perhaps even a world war? This daunting possibility is at the heart of this week’s Global Research News Hour radio program.

First up, we hear from prominent Canadian intellectual Michel ChossudovskyProfessor Chossudovsky, while not completely ruling out the possibility of a “bloody nose” operation or other forms of economic warfare, argues that the U.S. cannot expect to fight and win a conventional Iraq style conflict in light of developments in strategic regional alliances over the last decade. Chossudovsky explains his reasoning in the first half hour.

Our second guest, Yves Engler, brings a Canadian angle to the conversation by outlining the enmity America’s northern neighbour has expressed toward the Islamic Republic and that has not changed substantially since the more ‘progressive’ Trudeau Liberals took power in 2015. Engler details the factors influencing Canadian policy and how Canadians can hope to redirect relations in a more positive and peaceful direction.

Finally, the noted journalist and geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar shares his insights into America’s shifting attitudes toward the Iranian government, the recent attacks on ships in the Gulf of Oman, and what these developments say about divisions within the Trump Administration, and the prospect of a bloody war and economic depression rivalling anything the world has seen in the 21st century. (See transcript below.)

Professor Michel Chossudovsky is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa and the award-winning author of 11 books including his most recent America’s Long War Against Humanity. He is also the founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization and editor of Global Research.

Yves Engler is one of Canada’s foremost Canadian foreign policy critics and dissidents. He is the author of nine books on Canadian foreign policy including The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (2009), and his most recent, Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada. His articles have appeared at rabble.ca, canadiandimension.com, and on his own site yvesengler.com.

Pepe Escobar is a veteran Brazilian Journalist, geopolitical analyst and Correspondent at large for Asia Times based out of Hong Kong. He has written for Tom Dispatch, Sputnik News, and Press TV, and RT. His articles appear in a number of websites including Global Research, and is a frequent commentator on radio and tv.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 264)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Transcript – Interview with Pepe Escobar, June 14, 2019.

Global Research: I want to refer to a recent article you mentioned about a devastating hammer that Iran can use against the United States in the event of an overt attack. And the US knows it. What have your sources disclosed about the Strait of Hormuz and Iran’s capacity to fight back against an attack?

Pepe Escobar: Exactly. Look, I think the last article I published about it was after the Bilderberg meetings in fact. Because I was asked to investigate about at least some of the stuff they were discussing inside Bilderberg. I had a good banking source in fact. They did not disclose much. You know very well at Global Research how Bilderberg works–

GR: Chatham House Rules

PE: Exactly – you betcha. But I got some interesting information about how they were seeing the results of the European parliamentary elections as a sort of victory because now everyone in Europe is more or less the center-left and the center-right and the Greens are more or less on the same page, but from the point of view of Bilderbergers, there was a victory.

But then, I was asking, look I’m sure they discuss about China and Iran and all that, and my source was saying look, I cannot talk about this for obvious reasons. But then I got information from someone who’s above Bilderberg, if you can put it this way. This is one of my best sources for years, in fact. American, the only thing I can say is American. It’s not European, it’s not Asian.

And he told me look, I know what they discussed about Iran because the key information is actually on Trump’s desk. We all know that Trump doesn’t read anything, but this information came supported by Wall Street guys. And I’m talking about the big guys. Blackstone, Sumner Redstone, Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs people including Goldman Sachs projections, you name it. So, Trump must have seen it at least, or at least somebody must have read it to him in two or three minutes.

And I had written about this before. Now more…the studies are more detailed. It’s about if, essentially, if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down, whatever the reason, it could be a false flag, like most probably what happened yesterday with the two tankers, the Norwegian tanker and the Japanese tanker transporting petrochemical products back to Asia, was not in the Strait of Hormuz, it was more on the open sea and the Gulf of Oman. If it was in the Strait of Hormuz, it would be much, much worse than what happened yesterday.

So the projections, including Goldman Sachs projections, if this happens and the Strait is closed, whatever the reason, because mostly insurers would not risk ensuring any vessel leaving the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, and then further afield, the price of the barrel of oil in less than 24 hours would be over 100, after one day or two, 200, after a week, 500, and there is some projections that after a while we would even reach 1000. And more than that, the implosion of Casino Capitalism as we know it, especially because of the…

And then we have different numbers. The derivatives, especially oil derivatives and other derivatives as well. There are all sorts of numbers concerning how many derivatives are out there, from 500 billion dollars, which is the official Bank of International Settlements figure to 2.5 quadrillion dollars, in fact. So, it gets very complicated. I had to fight with the… with Asia Times to say, look, you should publish all the figures, and they prefer to go for the lowest estimate. And one of my sources told me no, this is the… Swiss bankers know this figure, implying more or less his source was from the Bank of International Settlements, and he’s adamant that it’s 2.5 quadrillion dollars. So this means that the whole western economy would collapse in a matter of literally nanoseconds.

So, this was in my story for Asia Times. I also wrote about this for Consortium News and more, and for the past month or so, I discussed this with Iranians but not directly with the Revolutionary Guards. People who have access to IRGC information.

And always the IRGC are very secretive. They know, and they do have the necessary means to shut down the Strait, whichever way they want. And that’s why I got from my Iranian sources this time, they are so sure that the Americans won’t try anything stupid, because the Pentagon knows what Iran is capable of militarily. They know about all those missiles lining up the northern shore of the Persian Gulf on the Iranian side pointed at everything that moves in the Strait of Hormuz and also in the Gulf of Oman.

And that was the main reason that Trump wants to talk. And this was discussed at Bilderberg, every single thing that I’m telling you. Why? Because Mike Pompeo, at the last minute, scheduled that stop in Switzerland, especially in Bern, to talk to the president of Switzerland, but he also talked to the people at Bilderberg afterwards. Because Bilderberg was in Montreux, not very far. He went to Montreux as well. And they talk, and I’m sure they talk obviously no leaks whatsoever about it, but obviously Pompeo had to talk especially with Europeans who are terrified about this, and some Europeans knew about this information, because this information was circulated by bankers to European bankers as well. Bilderberg, everything connected. So this was the reason why Pompeo actually went to Switzerland at that time. This was an unscheduled stop; we have to remember this all the time.

So… but still we have the major problem on the table, which resurfaced yesterday. Are the neocons around Trump playing their last card to force him to do anything on a military side against Iran? Because if it’s…I would say we still don’t have a mega smoking gun, but it’s more or less sure that what happened yesterday was a false flag. We still don’t know exactly how it worked. But if that’s the case, and Trump saying today, no if they close the Strait of Hormuz it’s not going to be for long, which is a diversionist tactic, he knows, he should know by now what that would mean in terms of a disaster for the global economy.

So now we are way beyond this already, we are in a horrible stage where the United States has painted itself into a corner, saying, Pompeo saying, on the record, that to Iran they’re responsible without examining any evidence at all. Today, very, very important, earlier today, since yesterday and earlier today, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, guess who was in the same room? Putin, Modi, Xi, Imran Khan, and as an observer, Rouhani, President of Iran.

And obviously, they were discussing Iran. It was not on the final statement because Iran was an observer to the SCO. But they discussed, as far as, from my sources told me, it hasn’t leaked a lot so far, but they did discuss Iran, and Rouhani made a solemn promise, which was brilliant in geo-economic terms, to all SCO member nations: You’re going to have the… your companies, from any one of you, India, Pakistan, Russia, China, all the central Asians, all of your companies that invest the Iranian market, you’re going to have the best possible conditions anywhere. So, there’s going to be a lot of foreign investment from the SCO, companies from SCO member nations in the Iranian economy.

So, Iran, on the diplomatic side, they are doing very well. On the military side, as far as I know from my Iranian sources who know more or less in detail what the IRGC is doing, they tell me, look, they don’t care anymore, whatever the Americans say. And this comes straight from the top. from Ayatollah Khamenei when he says that it’s absolutely pointless to talk with the Americans. And Zarif is saying in a more diplomatic way to Ministers of Foreign Relations everywhere and leaders everywhere, including of course Putin and Xi. “We are ready for anything that happens, we want diplomacy of course, but if they ratchet up the pressure, we will ratchet up pressure from our side.” It’s getting to a very, very dangerous stalemate now, Michael.

GR: Yeah, I was wondering if you could address a point related… I guess you could call it palace intrigue in Washington. Because it’s been suggested by fellow Consortium News contributor of yours, John Kiriakou, that John Bolton’s days as national security advisor are numbered, given all the unwelcome provocations he’s directing at Iran. At the same time, the United States, Trump, presumably doesn’t want to have an unwinnable war on the eve of a major US presidential election campaign, nor does he want to bring down the global capitalist deck of cards. So, how… What options does he have? How can Trump avoid escalation with Iran without losing face at this point?

PE: Exactly, that’s a very good question. John’s information is very, very good. Because it ties with the information that I have from people in New York who do business with Trump. They told me the same thing. He’s absolutely furious, in fact, with the way he was painted into a corner by Bolton especially. Pompeo not so much. Pompeo is expected to go around blasting Iran. But Bolton is actually trying to implement something practical or false flag style on the ground. And now, Trump himself is painting himself into a corner. He is already accusing Iran of what happened in the Gulf of Oman on the record. How is he going to backtrack from that? Of course, now he cannot backtrack without just saying oh, look I was wrong, okay, here’s another tweet, I changed my mind!

So, it’s…what we know for sure is that he doesn’t want any kind of military scenario because he seems to know what that would imply. Considering the IRGC, their force, what they have, the missiles, and of course the financial angle, which is the derivatives crisis. At the same time, they keep ratcheting up the pressure under the so-called self-described maximum pressure campaign. And there’s no possibility of dialogue because this, what happened yesterday, was… when Prime Minister Shinzō Abe was talking to Khameini in Khameini’s office in Tehran, trying to defuse the whole situation, Japan as the intermediary, the messenger between Washington and Tehran, and this thing happens, this is completely cra– and anyone with an IQ higher than 12 can figure out that this doesn’t make any sense at all. Why would Iran attack a Japanese-owned tanker… the minute their prime minister is talking to the leader of the… This is completely absurd.

GR: And talking to the prime minister on behalf of Trump.

PE: On behalf of Trump – exactly, exactly! He had a letter. He had a letter which probably was sent by team Trump to Ayatollah Khameini. Khameini, from the beginning, he said look there’s nothing to talk about. In fact it’s fantastic. Somebody came up with two different pictures. Abe had the letter with him, he put it on the table when they were talking, and after a while he removed the letter from the table. A graphic sign that Khameini was not ready to read anything written by team Trump.

GR: Well, Pepe, I wish we had more time to discuss this, but, I know we’ve both got to go, but I want to thank you for lending your very knowledgeable voice to this critical discussion on breaking events.

PE: I hope this is helpful for everybody.

GR: We’ve been speaking with geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar. He joined us from Paris.

-end of interview –

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

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Notes:

  1. John Bolton (January 15, 2018), ‘Beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal: U.S. Policy should be to end the Islamic Republic before its 40th anniversary’, Wall Street Journal; https://www.wsj.com/articles/beyond-the-iran-nuclear-deal-1516044178

Convenient “Tanker Attacks” as US Seeks War with Iran

June 13, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO)

…it would be far more preferable if the United States could cite an Iranian provocation as justification for the airstrikes before launching them. Clearly, the more outrageous, the more deadly, and the more unprovoked the Iranian action, the better off the United States would be. Of course, it would be very difficult for the United States to goad Iran into such a provocation without the rest of the world recognizing this game, which would then undermine it. 

– Brookings Institution, “Which Path to Persia?” 2009 

For the second time since the United States unilaterally withdrew from the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal, Western reports of “suspected attacks” on oil tankers near the Stait of Hormuz have attempted to implicate Iran.

The London Guardian in an article titled, “Two oil tankers struck in suspected attacks in Gulf of Oman,” would claim:

Two oil tankers have been hit in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman and the crews evacuated, a month after a similar incident in which four tankers in the region were struck.

The article also claimed:

Gulf tensions have been close to boiling point for weeks as the US puts “maximum economic pressure” on Tehran in an attempt to force it to reopen talks about the 2015 nuclear deal, which the US pulled out of last year. 

Iran has repeatedly said it has no knowledge of the incidents and did not instruct any surrogate forces to attack Gulf shipping, or Saudi oil installations.

The Guardian would admit that “investigations” into the previous alleged attacks in May carried out by the UAE found “sophisticated mines” were used, but fell short of implicating Iran as a culprit.

The article would note US National Security Advisor John Bolton would – without evidence – claim that Iran “was almost certainly involved.”

All Too Convenient 

This news of “attacked” oil tankers near the Stait of Hormuz blamed by the US on Iran – comes all too conveniently on the heels of additional steps taken by Washington to pressure Iran’s economy and further undermine the Iranian government.

The US just recently ended waivers for nations buying Iranian oil. Nations including Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China, and India will now face US sanctions if they continue importing Iranian oil.

Coincidentally, one of ships “attacked” this week was carrying “Japan-related cargo,” the Guardian would report.

Also convenient was the US’ recent designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) just ahead of this series of provocations attributed to Iran.

AP in a May 2019 article titled, “President Trump Warns Iran Over ‘Sabotaged’ Oil Tankers in Gulf,” would claim:

Four oil tankers anchored in the Mideast were damaged by what Gulf officials described as sabotage, though satellite images obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday showed no major visible damage to the vessels.

Two ships allegedly were Saudi, one Emirati, and one Norwegian. The article also claimed:

A U.S. official in Washington, without offering any evidence, told the AP that an American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or Iranian allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

And that:

The U.S. already had warned ships that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the region. America is deploying an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged, still-unspecified threats from Tehran. 

This more recent incident will likely be further exploited by the US to continue building up its military forces in the region, applying pressure on Iran, and moving the entire globe closer toward war with Iran.

The US has already arrayed its forces across the Middle East to aid in ongoing proxy wars against Iran and its allies as well as prepare for conventional war with Tehran itself.

All of this amounts to a renewed push toward a more direct conflict between the United States and Iran after years of proxy war in Syria Washington-backed forces have decisively lost.

It is also a continuation of long-standing US foreign policy regarding Iran put into motion over a decade ago and carried out by each respective presidency since.

Washington’s Long-Standing Plans 

Continued sanctions and the elimination of waivers are part of Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the “Iran Nuclear Deal.” The deal was signed in 2015 with the US withdrawing in 2018.

While the decision is portrayed as political differences between former US President Barack Obama and current US President Donald Trump – in reality – the plan’s proposal, signing, and then withdrawal from by the US was planned in detail as early as 2009 as a means of justifying long sought-after war with Iran.

In their 2009 paper, “Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (PDF), the corporate-financier funded Brookings Institution would first admit the complications of US-led military aggression against Iran (emphasis added):

...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. 

The paper then lays out how the US could appear to the world as a peacemaker and depict Iran’s betrayal of a “very good deal” as the pretext for an otherwise reluctant US military response (emphasis added):

The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offerone so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.

And from 2009 onward, this is precisely what the United States set out to achieve.

First with President Obama’s signing of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, up to and including President Trump’s attempts to backtrack from it based on fabricated claims Iran failed to honor the agreement.

The 2009 policy paper also discussed “goading” Iran into war, claiming (emphasis added):

With provocation, the international diplomatic and domestic political requirements of an invasion [of Iran] would be mitigated, and the more outrageous the Iranian provocation (and the less that the United States is seen to be goading Iran), the more these challenges would be diminished. In the absence of a sufficiently horrific provocation, meeting these requirements would be daunting.

Unmentioned directly, but also an obvious method for achieving Washington’s goal of provoking war with Iran would be the US simply staging an “Iranian provocation” itself.

As the US had done in Vietnam following the Gulf of Tonkin incident, or US fabrications regardings “weapons of mass destruction” Washington claimed Iraq held in its possession, the US has a clear track record of not just simply provoking provocations, but staging them itself.

The Brookings paper even admits to the unlikelihood of Iran falling into Washington’s trap, lamenting (emphasis added):

…it is certainly the case that if Washington sought such a provocation, it could take actions that might make it more likely that Tehran would do so (although being too obvious about this could nullify the provocation). However, since it would be up to Iran to make the provocative move, which Iran has been wary of doing most times in the past, the United States would never know for sure when it would get the requisite Iranian provocation. In fact, it might never come at all.

The alleged sabotaging of oil tankers off the shore of the UAE in May and now additional “attacks” this month could be the beginning of a series of staged provocations aimed at leveraging the recent listing of the IRGC as a “terrorist organization” coupled with increased economic pressure as a result of US sanctions re-initiated after the US’ own withdrawal from the Iran Deal.

Synergies Toward War 

The US has already attempted to leverage allegations in May of “Iranian sabotage” to further build its case against Iran. Washington hopes that either war – or at least the impending threat of war – coupled with crippling economic sanctions, and continued support of political and armed sedition within Iran itself will create the synergies required for dividing and destroying Iran’s political order.

In a wider regional context, the US has seen political losses particularly in Iraq where Iranian influence has been on the rise. Militarily, US-backed proxy forces have been defeated in Syria with Iran and Russia both establishing permanent and significant footholds there.

Despite the setbacks, the success of Washington’s designs against Tehran still depends mainly on America’s ability to offer political and economic incentives coupled with equally effective threats to friend and foe alike – in order to isolate Iran.

How likely this is to succeed remains questionable – decades of US sanctions, covert and overt aggression, as well as proxy wars have left Iran resilient and with more influence across the region now than ever. Still, Washington’s capacity for sowing regional destruction or dividing and destroying Iran should not be underestimated.

The intentional creation of – then withdrawal from the Iran Deal, the US’ persistent military presence in the Middle East, and sanctions aimed at Iran all indicate that US policymakers remain dedicated isolating and undermining Iran. It will continue to do so until its geopolitical goals are met, or until a new international order creates conditions in the Middle East and throughout the global economy making US regime change against Iran impossible.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Full Spectrum Economic War has replaced Trade War

May 21, 2019

by Chris Faure for The Saker Blog

Full Spectrum Economic War has replaced Trade War

The Trading Community

I grew up in the dark continent on farms, where, in the local trading town, my parents owned the meat businesses, the Jews owned the general store, the Indians owned the fabric store and sold shoes and pointy bras.  My mom owned the fashion store and hairdresser. Of course, there was the mechanic who fixed cars and tractors and big harvesting machinery and the movie house where I saw the first opera when the traveling opera came to town and fell in love. Of course, there was the school, the doctor and the pharmacist and a Church or three. We also had the Portuguese Cafe, where we could buy chocolates and candies and bread and milk and fresh English fish and chips. The joint clientele of this trading community was the forestry workers, the mine workers and the farmers of the area. It was a well-off little community with a large forestry industry and gold mining.

While we told the most offensive jokes about the Jews and the Indians and the Portuguese, and to be sure they must have told the nastiest jokes about us European style white ones, we all equally hated the Colonizing English rulers and together told dirty jokes about them while all the kids happily went to school together and played together.

This little farming town was bound together by its trading class.

When the trade started to fracture with bigger food stores and chain mechanics, the town fractured, and where our main street was with the trading class, now there are only a bunch of Korean stores, selling stuff that only Korean folks buy, to Korean folks.

The Power of Trade

This is the power of trade, it can bind people together, or it can fracture communities and whole countries. The Chinese know this, hence BRI has no structure for war, only for trade.

We look with dismay at the geopolitical situation, and it is clear that something has to give as the U.S. clearly cannot hold on all the fronts they have opened.  Mr. Trump may end up having to choose his favorite war, the one where he feels comfortable, and he does not have to see or count dead bodies and spectacular explosions, but he can hide the results of the Silent Economic war from his own eyes while standing on the China Bad plank as his 2020 mission to win the election.

Tom Luongo says: “At this point, Trump is fighting a war with everyone not named Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Just like our little town, this economic war will fracture farming communities, trading communities, and countries. As we have seen in India, we are beginning to get similar notices of desperation suicides of farmers in the U.S.

Silent Killer

An economic war is a Silent Killer. It will create conditions for the US to become Gulag America deeply into cultural schizophrenia to avoid all of their so-called enemies, and for China to take the lead as biggest trader in the world today while the U.S. is off fighting their own internal windmills.

The ‘Understandings’

It seems as if Steve Bannon (after his successful trip to change Brazil into a neocon enclave and start similar initiatives colored with racism and shades of white supremacist, in Europe), has been called back to run this Economic War. He began with an Op-Ed in the Washington Post. While WaPo is not my regular reading, this one spells out the 6 ‘understandings’ that the U.S. should have about this Economic War.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/steve-bannon-were-in-an-economic-war-with-china-its-futile-to-compromise/2019/05/06/0055af36-7014-11e9-9eb4-0828f5389013_story.html?utm_term=.e13839eda6b1

It makes interesting reading to read the understandings in full. The 6 understandings are in short, and my comments are on the right hand side.  (Please read the full set of ‘understandings’ at the link.)

The first understanding: The CCP has been waging economic war against industrial democracies ever since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, and now China has emerged as the greatest economic and national security threat the United States has ever faced. Note: Direct aim at the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) – Steve is fighting communism and it is the same old story … Those warmongering ChiComs are coming to get us!
The second understanding: The trade deal under negotiation this month is not a deal between two similar systems seeking closer ties, as its cheerleaders on Wall Street and in the media and academia argue. Rather, this is a fundamental clash between two radically different economic models. And of course, if you read the full second understanding, the Chinese economic model is terrible, putrid and simply wrong and those enlightened Westerners have the best method and are morally oh so superior.
The third understanding: Chinese state capitalism is highly profitable for its owners — the members of the CCP. Stagnant state-owned enterprises gain a competitive edge through massive government subsidies, and the cost savings won by stealing the intellectual property, technology, and innovations of foreigners. Chinese State Capitalism he says – The State should not own anything, he says. But, if you take a look at what is happening right now with Google and Western Technology companies, they are ‘joined at the hip’ with The State in the West and they have all joined the have all joined the economic war (See below).  Jump for Trump and the Western technologists say How High.
The fourth understanding: Certain Trump advisers inside and outside the White House are playing on the president’s well-earned pride in a rising stock market and a fear he might lose the Farm Belt to try to box him into a weak deal. But it is a decidedly false narrative that any failure to reach a deal will lead to a market meltdown and economic implosion. Now Steve takes a turn at protecting Mr. Trump for the 2020 election. In reality, the farm belt is up in arms and really upset that Mr. Trump calls them Patriots, while he is destroying their livelihoods. Farmer’s bailouts only manage to extend the agony of the farm belt.
The fifth understanding: Even the toughest agreement needs effective monitoring, which is difficult even with accommodating partners and perhaps impossible with China. The danger is for the president to sign what appears to be a reasonable deal and find out several years later that the United States was hoodwinked. And, if the Chinese boogieman does not get you now, it might just do so in the future.  One just cannot trust these yellow hordes, according to Bannon.
The sixth understanding: The world now bears witness to a rapidly militarizing totalitarian state imprisoning millions in work camps; persecuting Uighurs, Christians and Buddhists; and spying on, and enslaving, its own population. And this is so trite that it is funny. China is persecuting its own people. Have we not heard this drumbeat before?

And here comes the cherry on the Bannon cake of ‘understanding’: “The central issues that must be faced are China’s intentions on the world stage and what those ambitions mean for U.S. prosperity. With our country at a crossroads, it is more important than ever that Trump follows his instincts and not soften his stance against the greatest existential threat ever faced by the United States.

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.””What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.”Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.””Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.” Cervantes’ Don Quixote

Now Bannon is on the media trip to tilt at these windmills and stop the world’s millstones from turning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYraLI04WiU

Who is posing the existential threats? “Us” Versus “Them”

So now China is an existential threat to the United States. Does this not sound like creating the basis for war talk to you? What of this is different from the Russia derangement? It is just the same old story, the same old positioning of creating enemies, using different words. Civilizational differences are now weaponized by those who we can argue do not have a civilizational history of any great import.  Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Disney, Madonna and Barbie Dolls do not a civilization make.

So, while the U.S. demanded structural reforms from China during the Trade War, and China absolutely refused, at the end of last week, Trump took aim at big Chinese businesses, placing them on lists where trade becomes almost impossible and creating an Economic War.   Huawei and ZTE Corp are easily recognized here. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Chinese technology giant Huawei and 70 of its affiliated companies would be included in an “entity list” of export controls, prohibiting Huawei from buying technology or parts from U.S. companies. Today we see that Google, Intel,, and a raft of other Western technology companies are joining this economic war to kill a Chinese enterprise and all who work for it. And they call it righteous.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-19/google-to-end-some-huawei-business-ties-after-trump-crackdown

As is usual in the “Us” Versus “Them” U.S. methodology, we can always wait for the backtracking after the insulting war talk. Early yesterday morning the penny dropped for U.S. companies using Huawei technology, and they had to quickly ask for a reprieve from the U.S. Commerce Department because somewhere they use Huawei equipment. A 90-day reprieve for certain U.S. broadband companies and wireless customers was granted to figure out plan B.  (Spoiler alert – there isn’t a plan B).   Your broadband possibly runs on Huawei equipment and let me explain how close this economic war is to you and me.

From the White House into My House

A few months ago, I had to buy a new smartphone and eventually settled on a sweet little Huawei, reasonable on price and the most intuitive smartphone ever. I got to like this phone. This morning, I hear that Google decided not to extend usage licenses to Huawei for the Android operating system.

So, now Mr. Trump’s economic war is causing havoc directly with my phone – This is not the kind of fight that will leave you or me untouched.

Future Huawei phones, which run Google’s Android operating system, are set to lose access to updates to some Google apps, including YouTube and Maps, but don’t worry, but the existing devices will be safe.

Soft Pressure

Also, the soft pressure on China is increasing. China is being interfered with in terms of oil imports (Iran, Venezuela) and the South China Sea issues which China is busy negotiating with their neighbors are continually being interfered with by U.S. aircraft carriers or some level of task force of some or other kind making passage to test ‘freedom of navigation.’ And in the U.S., not to be left behind, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning on Monday that Chinese-made commercial drones may be sending sensitive flight data to China. Nearly 80% of the drones used in the U.S. and Canada come from DJI, a Chinese commercial drone manufacturer and these drones are widely used by farmers, law enforcement and any child that has a play drone.

Vietnam is the place about 20 years behind China in terms of wages and level of development. It is beginning to hop with manufacturing facilities moving there, to avoid trade tariffs. These businesses are still in Chinese hands. It won’t be long though, and these businesses may as well save their money as this is an Economic War that will not leave any place undisturbed.

Take a look at those winning trade deals

Can this man negotiate a trade deal?  Or is he trying to lead a country with ‘off the cuff’ decisions?

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

“Starting Monday, our great Farmers can begin doing business again with Mexico and Canada. They have both taken the tariff penalties off of your great agricultural product. Please be sure that you are treated fairly. Any complaints should immediately go to @SecretarySonny Perdue! 7:29 PM – 19 May 2019″

Aha, it looks like progress, yes? What is not mentioned is that tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and Aluminum were dropped, and in a reciprocal action, Mexico and Canada lifted tariffs on the agricultural products. So, that great trade deal that Trump negotiated with Mexico and Canada is back to where it was, and it is no reprieve. There is only some normalization.

“But now Canada and Mexico will get a reprieve, as the U.S. has reached a deal to lift tariffs on steel and Aluminum coming from those two countries. This eliminates a huge hurdle to the ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the revised version of NAFTA.”

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/17/18629556/trump-steel-aluminum-tariffs-canada-mexico-usmca

Fuggetaboutit

We still ask ourselves the same question. What is it going to take for the U.S. to make their appropriate place in a multi-polar world because they will not be allowed to be a single hegemonic power player any longer.  There is no doubt about this.  Consider Dmitry Orlov’s long list of things that the US can no longer get done.  (Color revolutions, false flag attacks, troop pullouts, trade wars.  The one thing they can still get done is causing humanitarian disasters).

Do you understand now that the U.S. in its current incarnation is not agreement capable as is the official stance of Russia, and China will not make a deal with them, but China will keep talking. The fear now is that China will prohibit any rare earth metal sales to the U.S. in a tit for tat action. Huawei will smile.

Think about all these issues through the prism of how the U.S. is trying to maintain it’s global hegemony. The Russia derangement is cooling down, and the China derangement has taken over the airwaves with the full U.S. Administration and the media in lockstep. Can we now say Russia won? A few days ago it was Russia Bad full-on coverage, and today it is China Bad full-on coverage.

There is nothing new here, excepting a welcome groundswell of resistance opposition in the strangest of places. In Latin America, there is a type of an eBay online store called Mercado Libre. To my great surprise, most products on there, seemingly overnight, changed to “imported directly from China” with free shipping and better prices.  I can pay in local currency and seamlessly the U.S. Dollar is not included in this buy or sell.

Mr. Trump can fuggetaboutit and, don’t mess with my phone!

Chinese Readiness

This economic war is a story that can also be told in headlines alone:

Top U.S. economist warns against American demonization of China – Jeffrey Sachs

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1150057.shtml

On Hostile Coexistence with China – Chas Freeman

https://chasfreeman.net/on-hostile-coexistence-with-china/

‘If trade stops, war starts,’ Alibaba founder – Jack Ma

https://www.rt.com/business/376431-jack-ma-trade-war-globalisation/

Chinese T.V. Station Pulls US-Made Films, Runs Classic Anti-US War Flicks Instead

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201905201075174494-Chinese-TV-Station-Pulls-US-Films-Runs-War-Flicks

I hear through the economic grapevine that there is now a popular and modern opposition song in China against the U.S. and economic war. I understand this is a war song. China and her people are ready for whatever shape or form this war will take, and Mr. Trump inadvertently unleashed the dragon, which may just spit fire and roast the U.S. first. Its time to go on record and say that my own expectation is that the Empire will fail in their objectives for this economic war, but much damage will be caused as the U.S. now is only able to cause damage.  It will in fact be impossible to find ‘the winner’.  How will a winner be defined and by who?  The Chinese ‘understanding’ is not only absolutely correct, but is the only ‘understanding’ worth knowing.  This ‘understanding’ is : There are no winners in an economic war, only horrendous costs for humanity.

US Not Seeking Military Confrontation with Iran, Only Waging Psywar: Senior MP

 May 12, 2019

Trump

A senior member of the Iranian Parliament says the United States does not seek a military confrontation with Iran and is only waging a “psychological war” against the Islamic Republic.

Head of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh made the remarks after a closed-door meeting of lawmakers with the new chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Hossein Salami, on Sunday.

“Analysis of the behavior of Americans shows that they do not seek a military confrontation with Iran and are only waging a psychological war against the Islamic Republic,” the Iranian lawmaker said, adding that the US government is trying to combine its psychological war against Iran with sanctions and other forms of economic pressure.

Referring to heightened presence of American forces in the Middle East, particularly in the Persian Gulf, Falahatpisheh noted that Iran is capable of hitting its targets from a distance of 2,000 kilometers in line with its defensive policy, while American warships will be at a maximum distance of 500 kilometers away from Iran and they know that in no other war, their defeat will not be so evident.

The United States is ratcheting up economic and military pressure on Iran, with US President Donald Trump on Thursday urging Tehran to talk to him.

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Hezbollah will Eventually Prevail over US Sanctions: Official

Source

April 28, 2019

Deputy Chief of Hezbollah Executive Council Sheikh Ali Daamoush

A high-ranking Hezbollah official says the United States has slapped economic sanctions against the Lebanese resistance movement due to its bitter defeats from the group, stressing that Hezbollah will finally emerge victorious over the punitive measures.

Speaking at a ceremony in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh, Vice President of the Executive Council of Hezbollah Sheikh Ali Damoush said Hezbollah will confront the US-led sanctions, and its enemies will definitely fail to achieve their goals.

“Hezbollah, which owes national and moral duties to defend and protect Lebanon against the aggression of the Zionist regime (of Israel), is also responsible for safeguarding the rights and interests of the Lebanese nation and helping prevent economic collapse in the country,” Damoush said.

He added, “The Lebanese resistance movement is targeted by financial sanctions, because it continues to thwart US-Israeli plots in the (Middle East) region. The US, Zionists and their allies have failed in military confrontations with Hezbollah, have fallen short in their psychological war to tarnish the group’s image, and gained not much from designating the Lebanese group a terrorist group.”

Damoush said the strategy of imposing sanctions will not succeed in the face of the strategy of stability and patience, and strong will of Lebanese resistance fighters and Lebanese people, who have managed to thwart enemies’ plots over the past decades.

“Lebanon will not be the arena in which the (the United States of) America can achieve its political objectives. Lebanon has been and will remain to be the place for victories of Hezbollah, and decline in the American role in the region,” the senior Hezbollah official said.

Source: Press TV

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