Russia Slides Towards Internal Political Crisis (MUST SEE SouthFront video report!)

Source

February 26, 2019

Saker note: a rather harsh criticism of the Russian Government and the Kremlin in this SouthFront analysis.  Sadly, I cannot say that I disagree with what they say.  In fact, I think that they are spot on and that all the “loyal” Kremlin-bots who deny that there is a serious problem in Russia are wrong.  Supporting Vladimir Putin’s struggle to truly make Russia sovereign again and built a new multi-polar world does not at all entail being blind to all the very real mistakes and even faults of the Russian government.  I can only say that I hope that SF is right and that the current lack of support of the Russian people of the government’s neo-liberal/capitalist policies will force Putin to correct the course and return to the kind of social policies the Russian people clearly want.  It is also high time for Russia to take a harsher stance on the Ukraine, if only because the situation in the Ukraine (political and economic) is a total disaster and because some kind of military escalation in the Ukraine seems inevitable.  All in all, yet another absolutely superb report by SouthFront who sober analysis contrasts favorably with what both flag-wavers and fear-mongers typically produce.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Finternal-political-crisis-russia%2F&pid=1583

Transcript:

This is a critical look at the situation in Russia. The video is based on an article of one of our readers and additional data.

The Russia of 2019 is in a complicated economic and even political situation. Smoldering conflicts near its borders amid continued pressure from the US and NATO affect the situation in the country negatively. This is manifested in society and in national politics. The approval rating of the Russian government and personally of President Vladimir Putin has been decreasing.

According to VCIOM, a state pollster, in January 2019, Putin’s confidence rating was only 32.8%. This is 24% less than in January 2018 when it was 57.2%. At the same time, the confidence rating of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was 7.8%. The approval rating of his cabinet is 37.7% while the disapproval rating is 38.7%. Opposition sources show data, which is far worse for the current Russian leadership.

This tendency is not linked to the foreign policy course of the Kremlin. Rather, it’s the result of the recent series of liberal-minded economic reforms, which look similar to the approaches exercised by the Russian government in the mid-1990s. The decision to increase Value Added Tax amid the slowing Russian economy, especially in the industrial sector, and a very unpopular pension reform increasing the retirement age were both factors contributing to the further growth of discontent in the population.

Russia’s GDP increased by 2.3% in 2018 compared to 1.6% in 2017. However, the Ministry of Economic Development, in its document entitled “Economic Picture” stated that this is linked to “one-time factors” and is not “stable”. The ministry maintained its earlier forecast stating that GDP growth in 2019 will be 1.3%. It confirmed increasing capital outflow. In this case, the repayment of funds to Western creditors by the Russian private sector is one of the causes.

The Ministry of Economic Development also pointed out that the expendable income of the population decreased by 0.2%. Statutory charges, including the increased taxes, are named as one of the reasons. The document says that statutory charges grew by 14.8% in 2018.

Additionally, the population is facing an increasingly restrictive administrative pressure: new fines and other penalties for minor violations in various fields and additional administrative restrictions limiting the freedom of actions of citizens. Restrictive traffic management of big cities, increasing fees for using federal highways as well as policies that are de-facto aimed at small business and self-employed persons are among its landmarks.

Meanwhile the general population has no effective levers of pressure to affect or correct government policy. The public political sphere has become a desert. United Russia (Edinaya Rossiya) is the only political party still de—facto existing in public politics. By now its ideological and organizational capabilities have become exhausted. Other “political parties and organizations” are just media constructs designed to defend the interests of a narrow group of their sponsors. It is hard to find a lawmaker in the State Duma or the Federation Council, who is not affiliated with the cliquish top political elite and oligarch clans.

In the media sphere, the government has failed to explain its current course to the population. A vast majority of the initiatives of Medvedev’s cabinet face a negative reaction from the population. A spate of scandals involving high and middle level government officials made the situation even worse. These cases revealed blatant hypocrisy and the neglectful attitude to duties of some Russian officials.

Some of the officials even became heroes of nationwide memes. Probably, the most prominent of these heroes are Minister of Labour and Employment of the Saratov region Natalia Sokolova and Head of Department for Youth Policy in the Sverdlov Region Olga Glatskikh.

Sokolova advised Russian pensioners to eat “makaroshki” [a derogatory term for maccheroni] to save money and to thus become able to survive on the subsistence minimum of 3,500 RUB [about 50 USD] per month.

“You will become younger, prettier and slimmer! Makaroshki cost is always the same!”, she said during a meeting of the regional parliamentary group on social policy in October 2018 adding that discounted products can be used to create a “balanced, but dietic” menu.

Glatskikh became a meme hero thank to her meeting with young volunteers during the same month. Commenting on the possible financing of youth projects, she told volunteers that the government did not ask their parents “to give birth” to them. So, they should expect nothing from the state.

In the period from 2018 to 2019, there were multiple arrests of officials caught exceeding the limits of their authority and being involved in corruption schemes. In comparison to previous periods, this number had increased by 1.5-2 times. The most recent detention took place right in the Parliament building on January 30. A 32-year-old senator, Rauf Arashukov, is suspected of being a member of a criminal group involved in the 2010 murders of two people and in pressuring a witness to one of the killings. On the same day, authorities detained his father, an adviser to the chief executive of a Gazprom subsidiary, Raul Arashukov. He is suspected of embezzling natural gas worth 30 billion rubles ($450 million).

However, these actions do not appear to be enough to change the established media situation. After a large-scale corruption scandal in the Ministry of Defense in 2012, which led to almost no consequences for key responsible persons including former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who even continued his carrier in state-linked corporation Rostec. The general public has serious reservations about any real success of anti-corruption efforts.

The aforementioned factors fuel the negative perception of the Medvedev government and Vladimir Putin as the head of state among Russian citizens.

The 2014 events in Crimea showed to the Russian population that its state is ready to defend the interests of the nation and those who describe themselves as Russians even by force of arms. This was the first case when this approach was openly employed in the recent history of Russia. Therefore, the population was enthusiastic and national pride was on the rise. However, the Kremlin failed to exploit these gained opportunities and did not use them to strengthen the Russian state. In fact, up to February 2019, the policy towards eastern Ukraine has been inconsistent. At the same time, Moscow continues to lose its influence in post-Soviet states. This can be observed in both the Caucasus and Central Asia. Even, their close ally, Belarus, occasionally demonstrates unfriendly behavior and focuses its own efforts on the exploitation of economic preferences granted by Russia.

Evaluating the current internal political situation in Russia and its foreign policy course, it’s possible to say that the Russian leadership has lost its clear vision of national development and a firm and consistent policy, which are needed for any great power. Another explanation of this is that the Russian leadership is facing pressure from multiple agents of influence, which stand against vision of a powerful independent state seeking to act as one of the centers of power on the global stage. One more factor, often pointed out by experts, is the closed crony-caste system of elites. This system led to the creation of a leadership, which pursues its own narrow clannish interests. Apparently, all of these factors influence Russian foreign and domestic policies in one way or another.

The aforementioned large-scale anti-corruption campaign, regarding the people’s show-me attitude towards its result, could be a sign of a new emerging trend, which would lead to a purge of the corrupt elites and to strategic changes in Russian domestic policy.

It is highly likely that Russia will face hard times in the next two years (2019-2020) and face various threats and challenges to its economy, foreign policy course and even to its statehood.

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Starving Venezuela into Submission

You are so kind-hearted! I shed a tear thinking of American generosity. “So many delightful goodies: sacks of rice, canned tuna and protein-rich biscuits, corn flour, lentils and pasta, arrived at the border of troubled Venezuela – enough for one light meal each for five thousand people”, – reported the news in a sublime reference to five thousand fed by Christ’s fishes and loaves. True, Christ did not take over the bank accounts and did not seize the gold of those he fed. But 21st century Venezuela is a good deal more-prosperous than 1st century Galilee. Nowadays, you have to organise a blockade if you want people to be grateful for your humanitarian aid.

This is not a problem. The US-UK duo did it in Iraq, as marvellous Arundhati Roywrote in April 2003 (in The Guardian of old, before it turned into an imperial tool): After Iraq was brought to its knees, its people starved, half a million of its children killed, its infrastructure severely damaged… the blockade and war were followed by… you guessed it! Humanitarian relief. At first, they blocked food supplies worth billions of dollars, and then they delivered 450 tonnes of humanitarian aid and celebrated their generosity for a few days of live TV broadcasts. Iraq had had enough money to buy all the food it needed, but it was blocked, and its people received only some peanuts.

And this was rather humane by American standards. In the 18th century, the British colonists in North America used more drastic methods while dispensing aid to disobedient natives. The Red Indians were expelled from their native places, and then they were provided humanitarian aid: whiskey and blankets. The blankets had been previously used by smallpox patients. The native population of North America was decimated by the ensuing epidemics from this and similar measures. Probably you haven’t heard of this chapter of your history: the USA has many Holocaust museums but not a single memorial to the genocide near home. It is much more fun to discuss faults of Germans and Turks than of your own forefathers.

First, you starve people; then you bring them humanitarian aid. This was proposedby John McNaughton at Pentagon: bomb locks and dams, by shallow-flooding the rice, cause widespread starvation (more than a million dead?) “And then we shall deliver humanitarian aid to the starving Vietnamese”. Or, rather, “we could offer to do [that] at the conference table.” Planning a million dead by starvation, in writing: if such a note would be found on the ruins of the Third Reich, it would seal the story of genocide, it would be quoted daily. But the story of the genocide of the Vietnamese is rarely mentioned nowadays.

They did it in Syria, too. At first, they brought weapons for every Muslim extremist, then they blockaded Damascus, and then they sent some humanitarian aid, but only to the areas under rebel control.

This cruel but efficient method of breaking nations’ spirit has been developed by lion tamers for years, perhaps for centuries. You have to starve the beast until it will take food from your hands and lick your fingers. ‘Starvation-taming’, they call it.

The Israelis practice it in Gaza. They block all export or import from the Strip, interdict fishing in the Mediterranean and drip-feed the captive Palestinians by ‘humanitarian aid’. Jews, being Jews, make it one better: they made the EU to pay for the humanitarian aid to Gaza AND to buy the aid stuff from Israel. This made Gaza an important source of profit for the Jewish state.

So in Venezuela they follow an old script. The US and its London poodle seized over 20 billion dollars from Venezuela and from Venezuelan national companies. They stole over a billion in gold ingots Venezuela had trustingly deposited in the cellars of the Bank of England.

Well, they said they will give this money to a Venezuelan Random Dude, rather. To the guy who already promised to give the wealth of Venezuela to the US companies. And after this daylight robbery, they bring a few containers of humanitarian aid to the border and wait for the rush of bereft Venezuelans for food.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The U.S. & other countries are trying to help, but Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”

Venezuelans aren’t starving, even though they are going through difficulties. The biggest noise is made by the wealthy, as always. If Pompeo wants to help Venezuelans, he might lift the sanctions, return the funds, lift the blockade. The biscuits he wants to provide are of but little use.

President Maduro is right when he refuses to let this hypocrisy bribe the stomachs and hearts of his people. It is not just that he remembers his Virgil and knows, Timeo danaos et dona ferentes, “beware gift-bearing Greeks.” There are too many American and Colombian soldiers around the pending delivery place, and this place is suspiciously close to an airport with an extra-long runway suitable for a an airlift.

The US is known for its propensity to invade its neighbours: Panama was invaded in 1989 to keep the Panama Canal in American hands and to roll back the agreement signed by the good-hearted President Jimmy Carter. President George Bush Sr sent his airborne troops in after calling Panama president “a dictator and cocaine smuggler”. This is exactly what President Trump says about Venezuela’s president.

They are likely to use this aid to invade and suborn Venezuela. Wisely, Maduro began large military exercises to prepare the army in case of invasion. The situation of Venezuela is dire enough even without invasion. Their money has been appropriated, their main oil company is as good as confiscated; and there is a strong fifth column waiting for Yankees in Caracas.

This fifth column consists mainly of compradors, well-off young folk with a smattering of Western education and upbringing, who see their future within the framework of the American Empire. They are ready to betray the unwashed masses and invite the US troops in. They are supported by the super-rich, by representatives of foreign companies, by Western secret services. Such people exist everywhere; they tried to organise the Gucci Revolution in Lebanon, the Green Revolution in Iran, the Maidan in the Ukraine. In Russia they had their chance in the winter of 2011/2012 when their Mink-Coat Revolution was played at Moscow’s Bolotnaya Heath.

In Moscow they lost when their opponents, the Russia-First crowd, bettered them by fielding a much-bigger demo at Poklonnaya Hill. The Western news agencies tried to cover the defeat by broadcasting pictures of the Putin-supporters demo and saying it was the pro-Western Heath. Other Western agencies published pictures of 1991 rallies saying they were taken in 2012 on the Heath. In Moscow, nobody was fooled: the mink-coat crowd knew they were licked.

In the Ukraine, they won, for President Yanukovich, a hesitant and pusillanimous man of two minds, failed to gather massive support. It is a big question whether Maduro will be able to mobilise Venezuela-First masses. If he is, he will win the confrontation with the US as well.

Maduro is rather reticent; he hasn’t disciplined unruly oligarchs; he does not control the media; he tries to play a social-democrat game in a country that is not Sweden by long shot. His subsidies have allowed ordinary people to escape dire poverty, but now they are used by black marketeers to siphon off the wealth of the nation. Far from being a disaster zone, Venezuela is a true Bonanza, a real Klondike: you can fill a tanker with petrol for pennies, smuggle it to neighbouring Colombia and sell it for market price. Many supporters of the Random Guy have made small fortunes this way, and they hope to make a large killing if and when the Americans come.

A bigger problem is that Venezuela had become a monoculture economy: it exports oil and imports everything else. It does not even produce food to feed its 35 million inhabitants. Venezuela is a victim of neoliberal doctrine claiming that you can buy what you can’t produce. Now they can’t buy and they do not produce. Imagine a democratic Saudi Arabia hit by blockade.

In order to save the economy, Maduro should drain the swamp, end the black market and profiteering, encourage agriculture, tax the rich, develop some industry for local consumption. It can be done. Venezuela is not a socialist state like orderly Cuba, nor a social-democratic one like Sweden and England in 1970s, but even its very modest model of allowing the masses to rise out of misery, poverty and ignorance seems too much for the West.

It is often said there are two antagonists in the West, the Populists and the Globalists, and President Trump is the Populist leader. The Venezuela crisis proved these two forces are united if there is a chance to attack and rob an outsider country. Trump is condemned at home when he calls his troops back from Afghanistan or Syria, but he gains support when he threatens Venezuela or North Korea. He can be sure he will be cheered on by Macron and Merkel and even by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

He has the real WMD, the Weapons of Mass Deception, to attack Venezuela, and these WMD had been activated with the beginning of the creeping coup. When a rather unknown young politician, the leader of a small neoliberal rabidly pro-American fraction in the Parliament, Random Dude, claimed the title of president, he was immediately recognised by Trump, and the Western media reported that the people of Venezuela went out in mass demos to greet the new president and demand Maduro’s removal.

They beamed videos of huge Caracas demos back to Venezuela. Not many viewers abroad noticed that the video was old, filmed in 2016 demos, but the Venezuelans saw that at once. They weren’t fooled. They knew that there is no chance for a big protest demo on that day, the day of a particularly important baseball game in the professional league between Leones of Caracas and Cardenales de Lara from Barquisimeto.

But the WMD kept lying. Here is a report by Moon of Alabama: the reports of large anti-government rallies are fake news or prophecies hoping to become self-fulfilling ones:

Agence France-Press stated at 11:10 utc yesterday that “tens of thousands” would join a rally.

AFP news agency @AFP – 11:10 utc – 2 Feb 2019

Tens of thousands of protesters are set to pour onto the streets of Venezuela’s capital #Caracas Saturday to back opposition leader Juan Guaido’s calls for early elections as international pressure increased on President #Maduro to step down http://u.afp.com/Jouu

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

AFP news agency

@AFP

Tens of thousands of protesters are set to pour onto the streets of Venezuela’s capital Saturday to back opposition leader Juan Guaido’s calls for early elections as international pressure increased on President to step down http://u.afp.com/Jouu 

That was at 7:10am local time in Caracas, several hours before the rally took place. Such “predictive reporting” is now supposed to be “news”. A bit later AFP posted a video:

AFP news agency @AFP – 15:50 utc – 2 Feb 2019″>

VIDEO: Thousands of opposition protesters pour onto the streets of Caracas to back Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan #Guaido who is calling for early elections, as international pressure increases on President Nicolas #Maduro to step down

AFP news agency

 

A Venezuelan air force general has rejected the authority of President Nicolas , becoming the highest-ranking military officer to recognize opposition leader Juan as the country’s acting president http://u.afp.com/JobJ 

Venezuelan air force general declares allegiance to Guaido: video

A Venezuelan air force general rejected the authority of President Nicolas Maduro Saturday, becoming the highest-ranking military officer to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s…

news.yahoo.com

AFP news agency

@AFP

VIDEO: 🇻🇪 Thousands of opposition protesters pour onto the streets of Caracas to back Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan who is calling for early elections, as international pressure increases on President Nicolas to step down pic.twitter.com/JdWS12j9KJ

Embedded video
That was at 11:50am local time. The attached video did not show “thousands” but some 200 people milling about.

They lie that there are army deserters spoiling for a fight with the army. The young guys CNN presented weren’t deserters, and they didn’t live in Venezuela. Even their military insignia were of the kind discarded years ago, as our friend The Saker noticed.

However, these lies won’t avail – my correspondents in Caracas report that there are demos for and against government (for Maduro slightly bigger crowds), but the feelings aren’t strong. The crisis is manufactured in Washington, and the Venezuelans aren’t keen to get involved.

That’s why we can expect an American attempt to use force, preceded by some provocation. Probably it won’t be a full-blown war: the US never fought an enemy that wasn’t exhausted prior to the encounter. If the Maduro administration survives the blow, the crisis will take a low profile, until sanctions do their work and further undermine the economy.

In this struggle, President Trump is his own bitter enemy. He seeks approval of the War Party, and his own base will be disappointed by his actions. His sanctions will send more refugees to the US, wall or no wall. He undermines the unique status of the US dollar by weaponising it. In 2020, he will reap what he sow.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

هل العراق على مشارف الاستقلال الفعلي؟

فبراير 6, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

هناك اضطراب سياسي حادّ في العراق يسبق عادة مرحلة «عمل» البندقية، منعكساً على شكل صراع حاد بين ثلاثة أنواع من القوى الداخلية، تأثرت بتصريح للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، قال فيه إنّ قوات بلاده باقية في العراق لمراقبة إيران والمنطقة.

يُعبّر هذا الموقف عن ميل أميركي الى تصعيد الصراع الأميركي ـ الإيراني في بلاد ما بين النهرين، لكن هناك من يرى فيه، تمركزاً استعمارياً يضبط الأوضاع في سورية والعراق بقواعد ذات مقدرات تكنولوجية وحربية استثنائية، ولهما مهمتان: منع التنسيق بين العراق وسورية، وحراسة الخليج من السعودية حتى حدود اليمن من أي اختراقات من جهة حدود العراق في محافظة الأنبار، هذا بالإضافة الى الدور الأميركي التقليدي الذي يعمل كما يقول، على منع «التفرّد الإيراني في العراق السياسي».

العراق إذاً، هو التمركز العسكري الاساسي للأميركيين في الشرق يلعبون من خلاله دور «العين الثاقبة» التي ترصد حتى أدنى التحرّكات من أعالي اليمن الى لبنان، وتدمّرها.. ما يعني أنّ الإمبراطورية الأميركية ترى في الشرق «ميداناً» ترابط قواتها «التأديبية» في وسطه، ولا تأبه لقوانين وأنظمة إلا بمدى علاقتها بمصالح «الكاوبوي الأميركي».

ماذا عن الداخل العراقي؟

أليس هو المعنيّ بمجابهة «الوظائف» التي منحها الأميركيون لأنفسهم في بلادهم؟

لم يعد الانقسام بين القوى السياسية في «أرض السواد» يحمل الطابع الطائفي والعرقي في الصراعات السياسية: فمواقف رئيس الحكومة الحالي عبد المهدي أكثر التباساً وغموضاً من مواقف رئيس الجمهورية «الكردي» برهم صالح الذي يطالب بإلغاء اتفاقية معقودة في 2008 تجيز للأميركيين ضرب الإرهاب.

هناك داخل القوى الكردية، من يؤيد الدور الأميركي مقابل فئات ترفضه، وكذلك بالنسبة للتركمان الذين يتعلقون بالأميركيين لخشيتهم من النفوذ التركي في مناطقهم.

ولم يخجل رئيس البرلمان العراقي محمد الحلبوسي في المجاهرة بأنّ الأميركيين في العراق محاربون ضدّ الإرهاب «ونحن بحاجة إليهم».

توجد قوى أخرى في الوسط والجنوب «تنوّه» بالدور الأميركي في محاربة الإرهاب، وتعتبر أنّ عملية انتحارية حدثت في منطقة القائم القريبة من الحدود مع سورية دليل على وجود إرهابي كبير في العراق!

في المقابل يوجد طرفان عراقيان وازنان يرفضان الوجود الاستثماري الأميركي في بلادهم ويعملان على إنهائه، إنما بوسيلتين مختلفتين.

حركة «سائرون» الصدرية الاتجاه ومعها ائتلاف دولة القانون والبناء و»مشروع عربي» لخميس خنجر إلى جانب عشرات التنظيمات الأخرى تعمل على إسقاط اتفاقية الـ 2008 في مجلس النواب، وهذا يعني وجوب رحيل الأميركيين من العراق «سلماً».

أما القوة الثانية فهي الحشد الشعبي ومتفرّعاته في عصائب أهل الحق الخزعلية والحساء والفتح العامرية والنصر..

هؤلاء يجزمون بأنّ إمكانية ترحيل الأميركيين عن العراق شبه مستحيلة بالطرق القانونية، ويجوز هنا برأيهم الجمع بين رفض قانوني نيابي يُلغي اتفاقية 2008 إلى جانب عمل شعبي مقاوم يجعل الأميركيين يحسبون ألف حساب قبل إطلاق تلك التصريحات الترامبية وتساويهم بآل سعود الذين يتلقون الصفعة الأميركية تلو الأخرى ويصمتون ويدفعون مئات المليارات.

العراق إذاً إلى أين؟

يجب الإقرار بأنّ الإجماع الداخلي على مقاومة الأميركيين نسبي، ما يستدعي البحث عن الأسباب، فتظهر فجأة على أنها اختلال في الثقة بين المكونات العرقية والطائفية، فانطلاقاً منها، يلعب الأميركي والسعودي والتركي والقطري بشباك الفتنة الداخلية معرقلين مشروع إجماع وطني على مسألتين: تحرير العراق من مستعمريه الأميركيين، وإعادة وبنائه على أسس وطنية سليمة.

لكن دون هذين الهدفين تنبثق ضرورة ابتداع مشروع سياسي موحّد يضع العراقيين من مختلف المذاهب والأعراق ضمن مساواة في السياسة والاقتصاد والاجتماع، فتزول التحفظات ورعب المكوّنات من بعضها بعضاً.

ويُصاب الأميركيون عندها بذعر حقيقي ولا يطلقون مثل هذه التصريحات الترامبية العنترية.

للإشارة فإنّ لدى «التحالف الدولي» عشر قواعد عسكرية في العراق بينها أكبر قاعدتين جويتين في المنطقة، بالإضافة إلى نحو عشرين «ألف جندي غربي» بينهم سبعة آلاف أميركي كما يؤكد البنتاغون، وإحدى هذه القواعد الجوية هي الأحدث والأفعل في منطقة الشرق الأوسط، لذلك فإن الصراع في العراق ليس مع الإيرانيين الذين لا يمتلكون جندياً واحداً في العراق ولم يبنوا قواعد فيه، وهذا يدفع إلى توجيه الصراع الداخلي مع الأميركيين حصراً، وباللغتين القانونية والشعبية المقاومة..

فإذا كان الجيش الأميركي غزا العراق في 2003 بمئتي ألف جندي، ولم يتمكن من ضبطه، فكيف بوسعه الاستمرار بعشرين ألفاً إذا اتفقت القوى العراقية على مقاومته، لمصلحة بلادها فقط، وفي إطار تحالف مع سورية وإيران ينعش المنطقة ويعزّز دورها الاقتصادي والعالمي جاعلاً الهيمنة الأميركية منحصرة في إطار ضيق؟

Venezuela – An Appeal to Russia, China and all Unaligned Countries for Support of Sovereign Venezuela Peter Koenig 24 January 2019

January 24, 2019

Venezuela – An Appeal to Russia, China and all Unaligned Countries for Support of Sovereign Venezuela Peter Koenig 24 January 2019

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

On 23 January 2018, the United States has initiated a coup against President Nicolás Maduro and his Government, by encouraging and fully supporting the “self-proclaimed” opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as interim President. Already days ago he had received the full support of President Trump, and today, in a special televised speech, US Vice-president Mike Pence declared that Venezuela’s Freedom begins with the new interim president, Juan Guaído
https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/venezuela-established-its-freedom-with-new-interim-president-juan-guaido-vice-president-mike-pence

RT reports that “the Venezuelan military will not accept a president imposed by ‘dark interests’, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said after Washington and a number of its allies recognized a lawmaker [Juan Guaído] as the new leader in Caracas.”

“The army will continue to defend the constitution and national sovereignty, Padrino said on Wednesday afternoon, hours after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido was proclaimed interim president by the National Assembly, in a direct challenge to President Nicolas Maduro.”

Washington’s immediate recognition of Guaido as Venezuelan’s legitimate leader, was instantly followed by the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as Canada and France. Mexico apparently has declines to do so “for now”. Is the “for now” an indication that Lopez Obrador’s actions are already being controlled by Washington?

This is an appeal to Russia and China and to all unaligned nations that love their freedom and sovereignty – to stand up in defense of Venezuela’s freedom and sovereignty.

May they use their diplomatic leverage, and if that does not work on Washington’s ‘savages’ – use other means that the empire understands. Keeping Venezuela free from the yoke of the US and its vassal allies – is essential for all the people in Latin America who have already been subjected to US implanted subjugating and abusing dictators, who not only have ruined their countries’ economies, but created extreme poverty where there was prosperity before, i.e. Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay – and Chile, which is well on her way to an economic and social demise.

Venezuela must stay and remain tall.

President Putin and Jinping – please do whatever you can and whatever you must, to stop the US bulldozer from overtaking Venezuela!

Ongoing unrest in the streets of Caracas and major Venezuelan cities, all inspired and fueled on by the United States, and also the OAS (Organization of American States), the Club of Lima (except for Mexico), its European puppet allies, is confusing and dividing the people and has already killed at least 16. It is not clear who is responsible for the killing, but undoubtedly opposition forces funded by outside sources and / or the Fifth Column (inside Venezuela) have a bloody hand in the Venezuelan violence. A western instigated civil war is a real risk.

This coup attempt is an abject illegal interference in another country’s sovereignty, with the ultimate violent and vicious goal that Washington has been practicing over the past 100 years around the globe – and ever with more impunity – of “regime change” to steel a non-conform, non-submissive government’s resources, and of course, to reach eventually the ultimate goal of full spectrum world dominance. Venezuela has by far the world’s largest known hydrocarbon (petrol and gas) reserves which is two days of shipping time away from Texas oil refineries, versus the Arabian Gulf from where today the US imports 60% of its petrol – a shipping time of 40-45 days, higher shipping costs, plus the risk of having to sail through the Iran-controlled Gulf of Hormuz.

In addition, Washington cannot tolerate any socialist country, let alone, one that is located in what Washington considers its backyard, like Venezuela, or, for that matter Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia. The other left-leaning South American country, Ecuador, has recently been “converted” with an internal “soft” coup, aka fake or manipulated elections. Those are usually operated through strong Fifth Columns funded from abroad – and with substantial menaces, including death threats.

So, Washington is dead set, especially with Trump and Pompeo at the apparent helm, who openly propagate a US (and allied, including NATO) invasion of Venezuela to “free” their “oppressed” people; to bring them from one of the only true democracies in the world (quote by Chomsky and the international election supervising US Carter Institute, among others) under the usurping dictatorship protection of the United States of America. Venezuelans will not tolerate such a farce. The 6 million Venezuelans who stood solidly behind Nicolas Maduro when they voted for him in May 2018, have already stood up – and will continue defending their freely and democratically elected President, despite the western media’s fake images of “tens of thousands” in the streets of Caracas demonstrating against legitimate President Maduro and for the self-proclaimed “interim president”, Juan Guaído.

He is, in fact, a criminal who acts totally against Venezuela’s Constitution on which he swore his allegiance to the country when he took up a seat in the Venezuelan parliament. It is clear that this “mass-movement”, as depicted by western media, was organized from outside, possibly paid for by US sponsored “NGOs” – and Venezuelan “insiders”, covert or openly from the opposition, trained by the CIA and other infiltrated US secret service groups. Clearly the Fifth Column is and was at work in Venezuela for years, bringing about the downfall of the economy by monetary and oil price manipulation from outside and from within; and by diverting food and medicine shipments from being delivered to supermarkets and instead being transferred as contraband into Colombia, where they are sold at dollar-manipulated inflated local currencies.
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This coup attempt reminds so much of another US State Department instigated but failed overthrow in April 2002 against President Hugo Chavez. The coup was botched by the Venezuelan military and the people of Venezuela. President Chavez was reinstated within 2 days. And the present coup so far has also failed.

President Maduro’s decision to break diplomatic relations with the US is therefore, not only logical, but totally legal. He has given all US diplomats 72 hours to leave the country. Now comes the other ‘coup’ – the US refuses to accept the legal expulsion of their diplomats from Caracas, because the self-proclaimed and US recognized “interim president” has called for all diplomats, first of all those from Washington, to stay in the country. Pompeo is threating Venezuela for any harm that may happen to US citizens, including diplomats during this upraising and what they consider “change of government”.

Here is Pompeo’s statement with regard to diplomatic relations with Venezuela.

Stay tuned to how this crisis will unfold.

May Venezuela’s friends and allies put all their might, diplomatic and other, at the support of Venezuela’s freedom and sovereignty.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The Russian pension chicken is coming home to roost… (UPDATED)

The Saker

The Russian pension chicken is coming home to roost… (UPDATED)

January 18, 2019

[This article was written for the Unz Review]

According to RT, citing a Levada Center poll,

Over 50 percent of Russians are disappointed in the government of Dmitry Medvedev, which, they believe, is unable to curb growing prices and provide jobs for people, a new poll has revealed.  Some 23 percent said they were absolutely sure that the government must resign, with another 30 percent telling Levada-Center that they were also leaning toward this opinion.  This means that a total of 53 percent would like the country to have a new cabinet. Trust in the government has crumbled since September, when only 23 percent advocated its resignation. Meanwhile, the proportion of people who believed the government should stay in charge was 40 percent, with 14 percent expressing full confidence in the cabinet, and 26 percent saying that resignation wouldn’t be the best idea.

Source: http://www.levada.ru/en/ Jan 15th 2019 (details here: https://www.levada.ru/en/ratings/)

This was very predictable and, in fact, I did predict just that when I wrote “A comment I just saw on the YouTube chat of the inauguration was succinct and to the point: “Путин кинул народ – мы не за Медведева голосовали” or “Putin betrayed the people – we did not vote for Medvedev”. This is going to be a very widely shared feeling, I am afraid (…) Medvedev is unpopular and that most Russians hoped to see a new face. Yet Putin ignored this public sentiment. That is a very worrying sign, in my opinion“.  In a subsequent article I wrote that “it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin’s personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition“.

Think about it in this way: we know from ALL the past elections that the pro-Western segment of the Russian population is somewhere around 1-3% (that is why they cannot make it into the Duma).  But let’s generously give that hardcore, liberal, opposition 5%, for argument’s sake.  So if 53% of Russians want a new cabinet, and if 5% of Russians are hardcore pro-Western liberals, then who are the remaining 48%?

Or in this way: if 53% of Russians want a new cabinet, and if Putin’s approval rating is still somewhere in the 65% range, who are those Russians who like Putin but dislike the Medvedev government?

There is an easy cop-out argument which I´ve often offered to explain away this fact:

Levada Center is officially classified as a “foreign agent” under Russian law.  This makes sense: for one thing, Levada Center receives most of its financing from abroad, including the USA and even the Pentagon!  Furthermore, Levada is staffed by liberals (in the Russian meaning of the word which really means “pro-US”) whose biases are also reflected in their work.  However, while this is all true, Levada is still credible enough to be cited even by Russian officials.  Finally, the kind of results Levada publishes are often generally similar to the finding of the official VTsIOMpolling institution, not down to the percentage point, but often reflecting similar trends (check out the VTsIOM English language page here: https://wciom.com/).  So the fact that Putin is much more popular than Medvedev or that the majority of Russian people are unhappy with the government really is not in doubt.

So regardless of the actual numbers, it is clear that the Russian government is only popular with those whom it allows to make a lot of money (corporations and various millionaires and billionaires) and that everybody else strongly dislikes it.

And yet, recently Putin was asked if he was happy with the government and his reply was “on the whole, yes“.

This type of political yoga is hard to sustain in the long term: if Putin is the champion of the interests of the common people, and if most common people feel that the government cares more for millionaires and billionaires, then how can the President say that he is “on the whole happy” with the government?

It is truly a crying shame that the basics of Marxism-Leninism is not taught in schools and colleges any more (even some self-described “Communists” are clearly clueless about what Marx, Lenin or even Hegel taught!).  Not because the solutions advocated by Marx and his followers are so universally effective, but because one can use the Marxist-Leninist conceptual toolkit to better understand the world we live in and, one can do this without necessarily endorsing the solutions offered by Marxism.  For example, in the West at least, very few people are aware of this very simple Marxist-Leninist definition of what a state, any state, really is.  According to Lenin, the state is simply an “apparatus of coercion and violence by which the ruling class governs the society“.  Specifically Lenin wrote:

In essence, the state is ruling apparatus created from the human society. When such a group of people appears, one which is only concerned with ruling over others, and which for that purpose needs a coercion apparatus which can force people to obey by means of jails, special units, armed forces, etc, – that is the moment when the state appears (Lenin, collective works, vol 39, page 69).

From a Marxist point of view, any state is always and by definition the dictatorship of the ruling class, which is a good thing, at least according to the Marxists, when this ruling class is the workers and people, and a very bad thing when the ruling class is the plutocracy.

In the post-modern West, where political discourse has been reduced to a particularly nauseating form of intellectual flatulence, the very notion of “class” and “class warfare” has been fully replaced with vapid (pseudo-) identity politics which completely obfuscate all the real issues and problems our world is dealing with.  Thus, by removing the concepts and categories needed to understand the nature of the struggle which is taking place internationally, but also inside each of the countries currently living under the AngloZionist yoke, the leaders of the Empire have deprived the people they rule over from the means to understand why and how they are oppressed.  All that nonsense about “gay” rights, gun control, #meetoo, the many sex scandals, the struggle for racial identity (White or Black or any other), abortion, drugs and all the rest of the crap we are fed on a daily basis by the AngloZionist propaganda machine are primarily a distraction to keep the eyes of the general population from the real issues.  In a way, this zombification and re-direction to fake topics serves exactly the same function as the red cape of the bullfighter: to keep the bull busy with trying to gore a harmless red piece of cloth while completely missing the real cause of his suffering and eventual death.

From that point of view, the Russian people are much better informed and have a much better understanding of what is going on.  For example, while in the West the people define “democracy” as “people power” (or something similar), in Russia the joke is that “democracy is the power of the democrats” which, in Russia, is a general codeword/euphemism for “pro-US wealthy liberal” who want to turn Russia into some kind of “bigger Poland” or something equally uninspiring.

Various pro-Western “intellectuals” like to say that this is an old Russian pathology: to say that the Czar (President) is very good, but his court (the Ministers) are bad and that this makes absolutely no sense. These are the folks who go as far as denying the existence of a struggle between what I call Eurasian Sovereignists (roughly Putin supporters) and Atlantic Integrationists (roughly Medvedev and the “economic block” of this government).

The folks who deny this remind me of something Berthold Brecht once wrote after the 1953 uprising in Berlin in a short poem entitled “The Solution”: (emphasis added)

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

This deep alienation from the Russian masses, this notion that the Russian people have, yet again, failed to heed the “wise words” of the “progressive intelligentsia” and other (mainly financial) “elites” has plagued the Russian ruling classes since Peter I and is still at the very core of their worldview.  Believe you me, the Russian “liberals” and the folks in the West who deny that there is any 5th column in Russia are psychologically and politically joined at the hip: neither one of them can accept this.  Furthermore, both the Russian “liberals” and the western believers in the values of “democracy” and “free market capitalism” share exactly the same worldview: they want the Russian people to become “Europeans” not in a geographical sense, of course (geographically speaking most Russian live in the European part of Russia), but culturally!  This is what the Popes wanted, this is what the French Freemasons wanted, this is what the Nazis wanted, and this is what the AngloZionists want.  That dream to turn Russians into Europeans while totally cleansing them from any “Russian-ness” is what united *all* the invaders of Russia over the centuries.

But the “stubborn” Russian people just don’t seem to “get it” and, for some totally mysterious reason, they always resist all these “benevolent” western attempts at “civilizing” them.

This is exactly what we see today: Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists try as hard as they can to *sovereignize* Russia; in other words, they want to make Russia *truly* Russian again.  Sounds basic, but that is categorically unacceptable to the Russian plutocrats and to their supporters in the West.  Thus any kind of defense of the Russian-ness of Russia is immediately and contemptuously dismissed as “national leftism”, “nationalism” or, God forbid!, “monarchism”.  And when the person trying to make the argument that Russia ought to be Russian uses Marxist concepts or categories, these arguments are also dismissed out of hand as an “outdated rhetoric of a system which has failed and discredited itself”.  What they fail to realize is to say that the collapse of the Soviet Union was due primarily/solely to the Marxist or Communist ideology is just as stupid as blaming the current collapse of democracy in the USA on the writings of the Founding Fathers rather than on the SOB politicians who are destroying this country day after day after day.  Tell me: when the USA finally bites the dust, will you simply declare that “democracy is dead” and that the “collapse of the USA proved that democracy is not a viable regime”?  So yes, the Soviet Union did indeed collapse, broken into 15 pieces by its own ruling elite (the Nomenklatura), but the ideas contained in the Marxist-Leninist ideology have not only not been “defeated” – they have not even been challenged (more on this issue here).

But, thank God! most Russians are still not willing to be incorporated into the “European cultural Borg collective“, at least not in the cultural sense.  And in spite of 300 years of oppression by various pro-western regimes (with various degrees of russophobia, not all were equally bad), the Russian people still want to remain Russian, not just by speaking a language, but by having a ruler and a regime in power which they feel defends their interests and not the interests of the ruling class. They want to live in their own civilizational realm, and not the kind of post-Christian intellectual desert the West has become.

Many decades of rabid russophobia by the rulers of the AngloZionist Empire have convinced the Russian people that they have no friends in the European or North American ruling elites and that true freedom comes through liberation, not submission.  That, and the appalling example of the consequences of the “Euromaidan” in the Ukraine.

At the end of the day, it is not about GDP or the availability of cheap consumer goods.  At the end of the day, it all depends on real, moral, ethical, spiritual and civilizational values.  This was true 1000 years ago and this is still true today.  At least in Russia.

It is very important to keep a close eye on this trend: the appearance of slowly but surely growing (truly) patriotic opposition (as opposed to the CIA-paid clowns in the Russian liberal camp).  As for the “official” opposition (LDPR, KPRF and the Just Russia), they might decide to grow a few teeth, initially small, baby teeth only, but if this trend accelerates, they might decide to look a tad more credible.  Until now the rather lame and ridiculous LDPR & KPRF parties are just a collective form of court jesters with no real opposition potential.  Just look at how the KPRF, thoroughly discredited by their crazy choice of the millionaire Grudinin for candidate, jumped onto the pension reform PR-disaster to suddenly try to launch a referendum.  This would never have happened in the past.

The political landscape in Russia is becoming more complicated, which is both good and bad.  It is bad because Putin’s personal political credit suffers, however modestly for now, from his continuous inability to purge the Kremlin from the 5th columnists, but it is also good because if things get bad enough Putin will have no choice but to (finally!) get rid of at least the most notorious 5th columnists.  But fundamentally the Russian people need to decide. Do they really want to live in a western-style capitalist society (with all the russophobic politics and the adoption of the terminally degenerate “culture” such a choice implies), or do they want a “social society” (to use Putin’s own words) – meaning a society in which social and economic justice and the good of the country are placed above corporate and personal profits.

You could say that this is a battle of greed vs ethics.

The future of Russia, and much of the world, will depend on the outcome of this battle.

The Saker

UPDATE: well, just as I was mentioning that the fact that Levada Center and VTsIOM mostly agree, at least on trends, the Russian media is now reporting that the latter now also is reporting a drop in the popularity of Putin.  And just to make things worse, the Russian authorities have deported an (in-)famous anti-Nazi Ukrainian journalist, Elena Boiko, to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine in spite of the fact that Boiko had requested political asylum in Russia.  Now, Boiko is a very controversial person for sure (and, personally, not *at all* my cup of tea), but the sole fact that Russia would deport ANY anti-Nazi activist to the Nazi-occupied Ukraine is disgusting and revolting.  And, sure enough, the bovine-excreta is already hitting the proverbial fan as now members of the Duma, journalists and various personalities are demanding explanations for this absolutely stupid and deeply immoral act.  Sadly,  can only agree with Nikolai Starikov who speaks of a “liberal revanche” following the “Russian Spring” of 2014.  If this kind of nonsense continues we will see a further deterioration of Putin’s personal rating along with a gradual degradation of the Russian political environment.

المسرحية الإسرائيلية ضد لبنان: الخلفية والقصد والنتيجة؟

أكتوبر 2, 2018

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

في عمل مسرحي سيّئ الإخراج والتمثيل قدّم نتنياهورئيس وزراء العدو الإسرائيلي صوراً ادّعى أنها لمواقع في لبنان يخزّن فيها حزب الله صواريخ عالية الدقة، وتقع في الضاحية الجنوبية لبيروت، وعلى بعد عدة مئات من الأمتار من مطار بيروت الدولي، وحتى يستنفد الوقت المحدّد له على منبر الجمعية العامة للمتحدة أضاف إلى الفصل الأول من المسرحية الهزلية صوراً زعم أنها لمواقع تخزّن فيها إيران عناصر خطيرة من ملفها النووي قرب طهران.

طبعاً المسرحية كما قلت لا تستحق بذاتها النقاش لإظهار زيفها ووهنها وإسقاط أيّ عنصر من العناصر التي قد يتكئ عليها لتقريبها من المشهد المعقول القابل للنقاش، فالصور كما أظهرت بدا أنها التقطت لمكان عام يرتاده الناس بشكل عادي وعلى مدار الساعة ولا يمكن ان يكون له صلة بعملية تخزين صواريخ او شيء سري ذي صلة بعمق أو بعد أو طيف استراتيجي، ولذلك لن نهدر الوقت للرد ّعلى العدو وإظهار كذبه الفضائحي، لكن السؤال الذي لا بدّ من طرحه والاهتمام بمتعلقاته هو لماذا قام العدو بمسرحيته وهو يعرف أنها مثار السخرية والضحك وعصية على التصديق. فخلفية وسبب العرض المسرحي هو المهمّ في هذا النطاق فلماذا؟

قد يسارع البعض للقول بأنّ العدو في عرضه استكمل سياسة الاتهام بتحويل المناطق الآهلة المدنية الى مستودعات عسكرية، وهو اعتمد هذا الأمر في الأمم المتحدة ليبرّر لاحقاً العودة الى تطبيق نظرية الضاحية والاستراتيجية التدميرية التي تستهدف المدنيين وكامل البنى التحتية اللبنانية، خاصة أنه أكد في إعلانه أكثر من مرة انه لن يميّز بين جيش لبناني ومقاومة وشعب لبناني ومؤسسات رسمية وأهلية لبنانية فالكلّ في الحرب المقبلة أهداف لعدوانه، وبالتالي يختصر الموقف هنا بالقول بأنّ العرض هو تمهيد لعدوان لا يقيم وزناً او تمييزاً بين مرفق مدني ومنطقة آهلة وموقع عسكري.

لكننا هنا لن نتأخر في الردّ على هذا الرأي رغم وجاهته ونقول إنّ «إسرائيل» ليست عدواً كباقي البشر الذين لديهم شيء من حسّ إنساني، فـ «إسرائيل» أصلاً لا تنذر ولا تهدّد بل تذهب للقتل والتدمير مباشرة ولنذكر من يريد مثلاً مصداقاً لهذا القول، انّ «إسرائيل» دمّرت الأسطول الجوي المدني اللبناني في العام 1968 دون ان توجه كلمة إنذار او اتهام واحدة للبنان، وانّ «إسرائيل» اجتاحت لبنان في العام 1982 ووصلت الى بيروت دون ان تهدّد بشيء ودون ان تأبه لشيء، بل انها اخترعت مسرحية محاولة قتل سفيرها في لندن وقامت بالعدوان على لبنان. فالقاعدة لدى «إسرائيل» عندما تكون قادرة هي أن تفعل وتترك الآخرين يتحدثون عنها وعن أعمالها، اما إذا هدّدت فإنّ في الأمر كلاماً آخر فما هو.

قبل ان نفصّل في الأمر، لا بدّ من التأكيد هنا على أمر أساسي بأنّ «إسرائيل» وبسبب واقع القوة الدفاعية اللبنانية المشكلة من شعب وجيش ومقاومة، المعادلة التي فرضت معادلة ردع استراتيجي عليها، انّ «إسرائيل» هذه باتت مردوعة في مواجهة لبنان، وغير قادرة على الذهاب ضدّه إلى حرب، فللحرب شروطها الثلاثة وهي غير متحققة في الواقع «الإسرائيلي» الآن، فلا هي تملك القوة القادرة على تحقيق الإنجاز العسكري في ظلّ فقدان الحافزية العسكرية لدى جيشها وفي ظلّ قوة المقاومة بوجهها، ولا هي قادرة على استيعاب ردة فعل العدو على جبهتها الداخلية الواهنة، ولا هي قادرة على التحكم بالبيئة الاستراتيجية والسياسية الدولية لصرف الإنجاز فيها إذا تحقق، وهذه البيئة اليوم عرضة لتوازنات ليست في مصلحة «إسرائيل». لكلّ ذلك فإننا لا نربط مسرحية العدو الهزلية بالاستعداد للعدوان على لبنان وانْ كانت «إسرائيل» تشتهي العدوان على الدوام وتعمل للتحضير له على مدار فرضت عليها واقعاً حرمتها من الاستقلالية والحرية في اتخاذ قرار الحرب وجعلتها مردوعة عنها كما يصف حالها خبراؤها. وبعد هذا نسأل لما المسرحية «الإسرائيلية» اذن؟

انّ «إسرائيل» شاءت وفي ظلّ ظروف محدّدة ومستجدّة وضاغطة تتمثل في إغلاق الأجواء السورية بوجه طيرانها وصواريخها وقنابلها الذكية ما تسبّب بنكبة استراتيجية لها في وقت تتحضر فيه أميركا لاعتماد سياسة لـ «خنق إيران» في 4 تشرين الثاني المقبل مع الخشية «الإسرائيلية» من نجاح أحزمة النجاة التي تحضرها أوروبا وروسيا والصين والهند لإيران، ورداً على الموقف العلمي الاستراتيجي الكبير للعماد عون في الأمم المتحدة وقبلها في مقابلة مع جريدة «لو فيغارو» الفرنسية، شاءت «إسرائيل» ان تذهب الى حروب أخرى بديلة وتعويضية.

ولهذا كانت هذه المسرحية بمثابة التمهيد والانطلاق الى تلك الحروب التي نعتقد انّ «إسرائيل» تقترحها او تشارك فيها ضدّ لبنان وهي ثلاثة حروب غير الحرب النارية القتالية التي فرض عليها العجز عنها، فقد شاءت حرباً نفسية ترهق لبنان مستفيدة من واقع انقسام اللبنانيين حول المقاومة وهي تريد ان تغذي هذا الانقسام وتثير دخاناً في وجه المقاومة ويعيد الجدل حول وجودها واستمراريتها الى الواجهة، جدل يحجب انتصاراتها ويمنعها من الاستثمار في الداخل والإقليم. وهنا وللأسف وجدنا في لبنان من يواكبها لا بل من يتقدّم عليها لخدمتها في مواجهة المقاومة والإساءة اليها والى قوة لبنان الدفاعية.

اما الحرب الثانية التي شاءت «إسرائيل» تسعيرها بمسرحيتها فهي الحرب السياسية التي يعتبر تشكيل الحكومة المتعثر بعض وجوهها كما يشكل استهداف رئيس الجمهورية بشخصه ومواقفه جزءاً آخر منها. فالرئيس كما بات معلوماً اتخذ في رحلته الأخيرة الى الأمم المتحدة من المواقف الاستراتيجية والسياسية والعسكرية العلمية ما أكد على حق لبنان بالمقاومة وأوضح بشكل علمي انّ المقاومة وسلاحها هي نتيجة لسبب متمثل بالاحتلال التي تمارسه «إسرائيل»، وانّ هذا الاحتلال سبب مآسي للبنان والمنطقة، ومنها مسألة اللجوء والنزوح، وانّ معالجة هذه المسائل تبدأ بمعالجة الأصل. ومنطق الرئيس الذي يجسّد المنطق السليم لا يرضي «إسرائيل» المجافية لكلّ منطق والتي لا تؤمن إلا بمنطق القوة العدواني واغتصاب الحقوق، لذلك شاءت ان تساهم في حرب سياسية ضدّ لبنان ورئيسه يرفده ويواكبه أيضاً وللأسف لبنانيون يدّعون زوراً العمل لمصلحة لبنان.

أما الحرب الثالثة فهي الحرب الاقتصادية وهي الأخطر والأدهى، لأنّ لبنان في ظلّ هذه الحرب يعتبر أقلّ مناعة منه في الحروب الأخرى التي ذكرت، ولذلك كان التصويب على مطار بيروت من أجل حصار لبنان وخنقه بالقبض على رئته التي تصله بالعالم، وأيضاً وأيضاً ومن شديد الأسف نجد ان لبنانيين ومنهم مسؤولون رسميون يساهمون ويشاركون «إسرائيل» في حربها وما الذي شهده مطار بيروت مؤخراً من تصرفات لا يبرّرها منطق ولا قانون إلا تأكيد على هذه الشراكة عن قصد أو غير قصد.

إذن هي حروب نفسية وسياسية واقتصادية تريدها «إسرائيل» بدائل عن الحرب النارية القتالية العسكرية ضدّ لبنان، حروب تحوّلت اليها «إسرائيل» بعد ان أدركت عجزها عن الأخرى، وهنا يطرح التحدّي الكبير على اللبنانيين وبالأخصّ منهم المسؤولون فهل يحصّنون لبنان في وجه العدوان «الإسرائيلي» المثلث هذا والذي جاءت المسرحية الهزلية في الأمم المتحدة تمهيداً له، أم ينتفض كلّ لبنان بوجه العدوان البديل ويحمي لبنان؟

في الإجابة السريعة على السؤال نقول إننا نتمنى أن يدافع كلّ اللبنانيين عن وطنهم، ولكننا وللأسف لا نثق بتحقق هذا التمني إلا انّ ثقتنا قائمة في مكان آخر، نثق بأنّ من حرّر لبنان وكانت له المواقف الثابتة خدمة للحق اللبناني سيكون أيضاً هنا وبالمرصاد… وأنه اليوم وفي ظلّ المعادلات الدولية والإقليمية الجديدة سيكون أكثر قدرة على المواجهة وأكثر طمأنينة للانتصار.

أستاذ جامعي ـ باحث استراتيجي

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مطار بيروت: أدرعي على الخط

Related Part 11:32 to 20:25

سبتمبر 28, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بينما يتساءل اللبنانيون عن سر كثافة الأزمات في مطار بيروت، وسرعة تحولها إلى خبر أول في القنوات الفضائية الغربية والخليجية، واستعمالها كمدخل لبث تقارير لا علاقة لها بعناوين الأزمات، بل للتشهير بحزب الله والتحريض عليه تحت شعارات اتهامه بالسيطرة على المطار واستعماله لأغراض إجرامية ليس أقلها تهريب المخدرات وغسيل الأموال، خرج الناطق بلسان جيش الاحتلال ليريح اللبنانيين من عناء البحث والتفكير، فيما إذا كان ما يجري مجرد تعبير عن فوضى واهتراء أجهزة الدولة أم خطة مبرمجة، فقال إن حزب الله يقيم بنية تحتية لمستودعات ومصانع الصواريخ في محيط المطار وحرمه، عارضاً لصور لا تقول أي شيء له معنى، سوى ما تقوله الصور التي عرضها رئيس حكومة الاحتلال لأحد البساتين ليقول إنه منشأة نووية سرية قرب طهران.

– خلال حرب تموز 2006 كان المطار أحد الأهداف الدائمة للعدوان، وكان قرار إبقائه مقفلاً حتى يتم ضمّه لترتيبات أمنية تتولاها القوات المتعددة الجنسيات بقيادة أميركية أحد مواضيع التفاوض قبل صدور القرار 1701، وبعد صدور القرار خرجت أصوات لبنانية وإسرائيلية وغربية تطلب ضمّ المطار لمناطق انتشار مراقبين أمميين يتولون الإشراف على الحركة فيه ومنه وإليه، بالتوازي مع السعي لضم المعابر على الحدود اللبنانية السورية لهذا السيناريو. ولم يكن الفشل رادعاً لمنع العودة مجدداً للمخطط نفسه، فمع كل تطور في الحرب على سورية كانت ترتفع أصوات متشابهة في تجديد الدعوة بتدويل هذه المعابر كما ترتفع الأصوات الموازية لتدويل مطار بيروت.

– أعدت حكومة الرئيس فؤاد السنيورة بعد نهاية حرب تموز 2006 بتشجيع أميركي مشروعاً لنقل صلاحية إدارة مطار بيروت من وزارة الأشغال، ونقل المسؤولية الأمنية فيه من جهاز أمن المطار، وجعل المطار مؤسسة مستقلة تملك جهازها الأمني الخاص، وتتبع لرئيس الحكومة مباشرة، وفشل المشروع في إيجاد فرص لتمريره، والأزمات المتكررة في المطار تريد خلق مناخ يقول إن الأزمات ناتجة عن توزع صلاحيات الإشراف على المطار بين وزارة الأشغال ووزارة الداخلية، وبين جهاز أمن المطار والمديرية العامة لقوى الأمن الداخلي، ليعود المشروع الذي خرج من الباب ويطل برأسه من الشباك.

– للتذكير فقط في 3 أيار 2008 وقعت حادثة في مطار بيروت، تبعها قرار معد سلفاً صدر في 5 أيار صدر عن الحكومة برئاسة السنيورة تضمن إقالة قائد جهاز أمن المطار العميد وفيق شقير، وتفكيك شبكة اتصالات المقاومة، واستدعى صدور القرار المزدوج سهرة حتى الفجر للحكومة مجتمعة، تناوب خلالها الملك السعودي التحدث مع الوزراء فردا فردا لتأكيد دعم الرياض وواشنطن لهم في هذا القرار والتمني عليهم عدم التردد، وخرج قبلها وبعدها من حمل صورا إيضاحية على طريقة ما خرج به درعي، وخرج آخرون بتصريحات سنسمع صداها غداً.

– مطار بيروت وسلة العقوبات الجديدة على حزب الله، حكاية واحدة بأبواب متعددة.

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