Russia holds the key to German sovereignty

Russia holds the key to German sovereignty

February 17, 2021

A more sovereign Germany closer to Russia and China may be the straw that breaks the US hegemon’s back

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Last week we traced the necessary historical and geopolitical steps to understand Why Russia is driving the West crazy.

And then, last Friday, right before the start of the Year of the Metal Ox, came the bombshell, delivered with customary aplomb by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

In an interview with popular talk show host Vladimir Solovyov – with the full transcript published by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Lavrov said Moscow “must be ready” for a possible “break with the European Union.”

The ominous break would be a direct result of new EU sanctions, particularly those “that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas.” And then, the Sun Tzu-style clincher: “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov, afterwards, made sure to explain that Lavrov was taken out of context: the media, predictably, had seized on a “sensational” headline.

So Lavrov’s full, nuanced answer to a question about rocky EU-Russia relations must be carefully examined:

“We believe we would be ready for this. We are neighbors. Speaking collectively, they are our largest trade and investment partner. Many EU companies operate here; there are hundreds or even thousands of joint ventures. When a business benefits both sides, we will continue. I am sure that we have become fully self-sufficient in the defense sphere. We must also attain the same position in the economy to be able to act accordingly if we see again (we have seen this more than once) that sanctions are imposed in a sphere where they can create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas such as the supply of component parts. We don’t want to be isolated from the world, but we must be prepared for this. If you want peace, prepare for war.”

It’s quite clear that Lavrov is not stating that Russia will unilaterally cut off relations with the EU. The ball is actually in the EU’s court: Moscow is stating that it will not exercise a first-strike option to break relations with the Brussels eurocracy. And that in itself would also be quite different from breaking relations with any of the 27 EU member-states.

The context Peskov referred to is also clear: EU envoy Josep Borrell, after his disastrous trip to Moscow, had raised the issue that Brussels was weighing the imposition of further sanctions. Lavrov’s response was clearly designed to drum some sense into the thick heads of the European Commission (EC), run by notoriously incompetent former German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen and her foreign policy “chief” Borrell.

Earlier this week, Peskov was forced to come back incisively to the volcanic saga: “Regrettably, Brussels keeps talking about sanctions, so does the United States with maniacal persistency. This is something we will never welcome. It is something that we do not like at all.”

Talk about diplomatic euphemism.

So the stage is set for a raucous – to say the least – meeting of EU foreign ministers next Monday, where they will discuss – what else? – possible new sanctions. Those most probably would include travel bans and asset freezes on selected Russians, including people very close to the Kremlin, blamed by the EU to be responsible for the jailing earlier this month of right-wing blogger and convicted fraudster (a scam against Yves Rocher) Alexei Navalny.

The overwhelming majority of Russians see Navalny – with a popularity rate of 2% at best – as a lowly, expendable NATO asset. The meeting next week will pave the way for the summit of member state leaders at the end of March, where the EU could – and that’s the operative word – formally approve new sanctions. That would require a unanimous decision by the EU’s 27 member states.

As it stands, apart from the stridently Russophobic usual suspects – Poland and the Baltics – it doesn’t appear Brussels is aiming to shoot itself in the back.

Remember Leibniz

EU observers obviously have not been observing how Moscow’s pragmatic view of Brussels has evolved in the past few years.

Russia-EU trade will continue, no matter what. The EU badly needs Russian energy; and Russia is willing to sell it, oil and gas, pipelines and all. That’s strictly business. If the EU doesn’t want it – for a basket of reasons – no problem: Russia is developing a steady stream of businesses, energy included, all across East Asia.

The always relevant Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think tank, for instance, is carefully tracking the trade aspect of the Russia-China strategic partnership:

“US policy will continue to seek a split between China and Russia. Europe remains an important partner for Moscow and Beijing. The situation in Central Asia is stable, but it requires the building up of Russian-Chinese cooperation.”

Putin, laterally, also weighed in on the EU-Russia saga, which is a subtext of that perennial battle between Russia and the West: “As soon as we began to stabilize, to get back to our feet – the policy of deterrence followed immediately… And as we grew stronger, this policy of deterrence was being conducted more and more intensely.”

I hinted last week at the intergalactic-distant possibility of a Berlin-Moscow-Beijing axis
Media and telecoms analyst Peter G. Spengler in a lengthy email to me elegantly qualified it as belonging to Robert Musil’s sense of possibility, as described in his masterpiece The Man Without Qualities.

Peter Spengler also called attention to Leibniz’s Novissima Sinica, and particularly to an essay by Manfred von Boetticher on Leibniz and Russia, represented by Tsar Peter the Great, in which the role of Russia as a bridge between Europe and China is emphasized.

Even though Leibniz, in the end, never met Peter the Great, we learn that “it was always Leibniz’s goal to get practical application for his theoretical findings. Throughout his life, he was looking for a ‘great potentate’ who was open to modern ideas and with whose help he could realize his ideas of a better world. In the age of absolutism, this seemed to be the most promising perspective for a scholar for whom the progress of science and technology as well as the improvement of education and economic conditions were urgent goals.”

“Tsar Peter, who was as powerful as he was open to all new plans and whose personality fascinated him anyway, must therefore have been an extraordinarily interesting contact for Leibniz. Since Western Europe had come into closer contact with China through the Jesuit mission and Leibniz had recognized the importance of the millennia-old Chinese culture, he also saw in Russia the natural link between the European and Chinese cultural spheres, the center of a future synthesis between the Orient and the Occident. With the emerging upheavals in the Russian Empire, his hopes seemed to be fulfilled: Full of expectation, he followed the changes in Russia, as they were emerging under Peter I.”

Yet to evoke Leibniz at this stage is to dream of heavenly spheres. The pedestrian geopolitical reality is that the EU is an Atlanticist institution – de facto subordinated to NATO. Lavrov might want to behave like a Daoist monk, or even pull a Leibniz, but it’s hard when you’re forced to deal with a bunch of dummies.

It’s all about sovereignty

Rabid Atlanticists argue that non-entity Navalny is directly related to Nord Stream 2. Nonsense: Navalny was built (italics mine) by the usual suspects as a battering ram to undermine Nord Stream 2.

The reason is that the pipeline will consolidate Berlin at the core of the EU’s energy policy. And that will be a major factor in the EU’s overall foreign policy – with Germany, at least in theory, exercising more autonomy in relation to the US.

So here’s the “dirty” secret: it’s all a matter of sovereignty. Every geopolitical and geoeconomic player knows who does not want a closer Germany-Russia entente.

Now imagine a hegemonic Germany in Europe forging closer trade and investment ties with not only Russia but also China (and that’s the other “secret” inbuilt in the EU-China trade-investment deal).

So whoever is lodged in the White House, there’s nothing else to expect from the US Deep State apart from the “maniacal” push towards perennial, accumulated sanctions.

The ball is actually in Berlin’s court, much more than in the court of eurocratic nightmare Brussels, where everyone’s future priority amounts to receiving their full, fat retirement pensions tax-free.

Berlin’s strategic priority is more exports – within the EU and most of all to Asia. German industrialists and the business classes know exactly what Nord Stream 2 represents: increasingly assertive German sovereignty guiding the heart of the EU, which translates as increased EU sovereignty.

An immensely significant sign has been recently delivered by Berlin with the approval granted for imports of the Sputnik vaccine.

Is Musil’s sense of possibility already in play? It’s too early to tell. The hegemon has unleashed a no-holds-barred hybrid war against Russia since 2014. This war may not be kinetic; roughly, it’s 70% financial and 30% infowar.

A more sovereign Germany closer to Russia and China may be the straw that breaks the hegemon’s back.

Crucial statement by Foreign Minister Lavrov

The Saker

Crucial statement by Foreign Minister Lavrov

Foreign Minister Lavrov just made the following statement that Russia is willing to sever her ties with the EU if the EU introduces new sanctions.  He said:

“Мы исходим из того, что мы готовы [к разрыву с Евросоюзом]. Если мы еще раз увидим, как мы уже почувствовали не единожды, что в каких-то областях накладываются санкции, которые создают риски для нашей экономики, в том числе в самых чувствительных сферах, — да. Хочешь мира — готовься к войне”

“We proceed from the fact that we are ready [to break with the European Union]. If we once again see, as we have already felt more than once, that sanctions are imposed in some areas that create risks for our economy, including in the most sensitive areas, – yes. If you want peace, prepare for war“.

This is exactly what I have been advocating for and predicting.

Not a moment too soon.

The Saker

New U.S. Foreign Policy Problems (2) International files إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (2) الملفات الدولية

**Part 2 English Machine translation**Please scroll down for the Arabic version **

Part 1 Here

Click here to see the Video (deleted by You Tube)

Ziad hafiz.

Part 2:  International Files

 What external files will there be a conflict between the  interests of the interventionists and the interests of the forces that want to focus on the internal files?  The contours of foreign policy began to be clarified  after the Senate hearings of Blinken (State Department)  and Heinz (Director of National Intelligence DNI). The  bottom line is that there is little change in substance  about  Obama and Trump’s policies  except  in style and approach. We’ll show here some files, not all of them,  because of the limited space available.

At the international  level, relations with Russia and China are number one. The first signs issued by a number of figures of the President-elect’s transition team do not suggest any future solution in relations with  Russia. Let’s no forget that most of the employees in the new administration were in the Obama  administration,  which  was  anti-Russian.  The Ukrainian crisis was triggered by the Obama administration and then the Vice President, the president-elect today, which had major interventions in Ukrainian affairs,  not to mention the suspicions of corruption that accompanied it. On the other hand, let’s not forget that the entire Democratic Party, the deep state and the dominant corporate media have spent the past four years  demonising President Trump and accusing him of working for Russia. The latter is also accused of  interfering  in the 2016 election in favour of Donald Trump. Taking into account some statements by intelligence leaders supporting Biden that the Russians are lying because lying is an essential part of Russian  DNA, we see that the climate within the new administration is a tough one for Russia. This pessimism is reinforced by the fact that prospective officials  in the new administration n the second  row of foreign affairs, defence and  national security are neoconservatives such as Victoria Newland and liberal  interventionists such as Kathleen Hicks, Wendy Sherman and John Weiner as deputy national security  adviser.  All of them have close ties with the military security complex, research centres and  major    universities, as we explained in an earlier article.  What has attracted the attention of observers  is that  to  date there has been no contact between the transitional administration and the Russian leadership, although  this  is  a tradition that has spanned over the  past decades.

Multifaceted U.S. Retreat

But the fact of the matter is that U.S. competitiveness has declined in politics and the economy, and perhaps most importantly in military matters, as we have also explained in previous articles. Confronting Russia is  by  raising the human rights issue in Russia, by deploying a missile belt in neighbouring countries and by  overthrowing neighbouring regimes that are in agreement with Russia. By the way,  despite the Democratic  Party accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of working for Russia it was the U.S. president who imposed the most sanctions on Russia that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had initiated. The main strategic point of contention is the Russian gas file and its role in supplying it to the European Union, while the dispute over  Ukraine comes in the context of attempts at Atlantic expansion in Eastern Europe.  The security issue    being  waved is to cover up the main target.  There is no evidence that Russia is seeking to destabilization’s  European  security and stability, on the contrary it is seeking the best relations  and cooperation  with the EUROPEAN Union.

That’s what  Germany  understood,  but it  bowed to U.S. pressure, as former German Foreign Minister  Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in justifying his government’s acquiescence to U.S.  dictates when he made  it clear  that Germany was economically affected  by those sanctions, but that the policy had a strong errand  on the  economy. But over the past months, Germany has been able to reduce the arrogance of the United  States with regard to its economic interests with Russia and China. Germany has agreed to extend the Russian Laurel  Pipeline (“Tor  Stream 2” in its Baltic Economic Zone (every  day a kilometre of the pipeline is extended).    This was also the case with the Czech Republic to extend the “Yugal” land line, which is an extension  of “North stream  2” on the  German-Czech Saxon border. This reflects the extent of the U.S. retreat at the  European  ally and cuts the road to the pressures that the new administration could  put on it.

On The Other  Hand, on December 30, 2020, China and the European Union signed an agreement that would open the door to mutual investment, despite opposition from the United States and despite traditional human rights pretexts that were being raised against China to prevent any rapprochement with it. This is another  sign  that Western Europe has felt American weakness and is starting to think about the priority of its interests. The EU would not have taken the move without the approval of Germany and France.

Among the outstanding files between the United States and Russia are  Ukraine, particularly eastern Ukraine (Dombesk), the annexation of Crimea, the file of the Caucasus states in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and the proliferation of Atlantic weapons in the Baltic states and Poland. Recently, the United States tried to  create unrest in Belarus but failed to do so. Russia’s rapprochement with Russia is intensifying and we do not rule out the accession of Belarus to the Russian Federation, which is a resounding blow to the American administration.  Today, Belarus is mandated to confront Poland and the Baltic states on Russia’s  behalf.  In addition  to the Syrian file and the nuclear file with Iran and of course the treaties in the matter of medium-range ballistic missiles. In the context of the treaty file that the United States has emerged on the subject of  ballistic missiles, Russia is no longer committed to it.

The state of denial is in the  mind of  the ruling elites. 

“We  don’t know what the United  States  can  offer  in  all  these  files other than to back down  from its escalatory positions, which will perpetuate the decline of its influence,”he said. But  in the  current  mood  in the transitional administration, it is not ready  for  any  concession.  Since the denial of that retreat is in control of the ruling elites in the  next administration on the basis of “American exceptionalism” and”its manifest value” and in the absence of any theoretical or concrete evidence to acknowledge that retreat, what we can expect is the continued high and hostile tone in addressing Russia without translating into  confrontation on the ground.   The sanctions regime on Russia continues and began under Obama,  and the next  administration cannot lift it for free to market it in the domestic scene.   There is no creativity in thinking about the American side and the Russian side does not consider itself obliged to make concessions,  especially since there is no confidence in the commitments of the  United States. That’s why  we’re seeing  growing  indifference on the Russian side to what could come from the Biden administration as long as  the  horizon of open armed confrontation is blocked. Russia has been able to adapt to sanctions  and even turned it into a self-sufficiency opportunity freeing it from American blackmail.  Sanctions have only succeeded in increasing the isolation of the United States in the world, especially with its European allies. The elites in  Russia see as we see that the new administration will be focused on the internal files because of their seriousness  and complexity and  therefore do not consider that  they can interact permanently in  external files.

But that doesn’t mean that communicating with Russia is out of the way. If it is necessity or inventions, it is  also the mother of understandings. In  this context, the Russian President announced in a letter to the   president-elect that he hopes for friendly relations on the basis of club and mutual respect, a sign that a return  to the method of transcendence is no longer acceptable. On the other hand, the response of the secretary of  state, Anthony Blinken, was that at the height of the nuclear rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and under the existential nuclear threat of thousands of nuclear ballistic missiles  directed against each of  the two countries, areas of cooperation in many hot files were possible. Therefore,  “opportunities for cooperation”  can be looked forward to controlling the rhythm of  tensions so as not to lead  to  confrontations  from which no one will emerge  unscathed.  Does this mean that the climate for settlements will exist?  Not necessarily, the most realistic case is that there are no major settlements, no major confrontations and everything is possible under that  roof. In  summary, it can be said that the ceiling of the  possible “understanding” with Russia does not go beyond the limits of  linking  the conflict until new balances of power are established and this will not happen in the foreseeable future, i.e. in the  mandate of the new administration.

One might ask why not settle? The simple answer is that Russia sees no justification for settling matters with a party that has always proved that it does not respect treaties. The Russian also believes that the American is in a state of structural weakness that may not survive it and therefore make concessions to a country whose fate is unknown may not be justified. On the other hand, the U.S. side believes that if the balance of power is not in its favour at the current stage, it should only adjust it to its advantage and therefore there is no need to give up anything substantial that might constitute the  board of settlement. The ruling elites of the United  States believe that it is destined to lead the world and that  its exceptionalism will enable it to do so. There is no willingness to acknowledge that the United States has entered the stage of strategic decline, even a likely internal collapse, and therefore the narrative prevailing among those elites will be  that the United States has valued the world regardless of the difficulties it is encountering at this stage.

Why not  face… I don’t think

The other question is why not face? The answer here is that both sides are well aware that confrontation  ultimately means the end of the globe in limited minutes!  The next war will not  be as long as it did in the two world  wars, not even in  regional wars.  It will be related to the duration of ballistic missiles reaching their targets and here we are talking about minutes, not hours! But what is the alternative to confrontation  and compromise?

The alternative is limited tensions in space and time determined by changing objective and regional  circumstances.  But this imposes careful cooperation to prevent slippage, which could lead to an all-out  confrontation that no one wants. On the other hand, multiplayer on the one hand and the absence of  any  force  capable of adjusting  the rhythm alone makes it very difficult. Hence we understand the role and value of the axis where each component has no ability to control whatever its own abilities. But the axis gives  added value to those capabilities and therefore the axis will be the rhythm officer and not the pole. Here the role of  regional gatherings or hubs is highlighted.  We are in a multi-axis world, not a multipolar world.

If we want to sum up the international landscape between the competing pivots, we see that the U.S. axis in    strategic decline may reach a collapse, but it does the work of its tactical  and show-off nature that does not  change anything in the  balance of power on the ground. On the other hand, the  other Axis of Russia and the Chinese with it the axis of resistance in the event of a strategic rise interspersed with acts of a tactical  and defensive character fortify the balances of power that created it. The anti-American axis does not believe  that a tactical confrontation is necessary at this stage because of the strategic decline of the U.S. axis.  The  time factor works in favour of the anti-dominance axis. Therefore, we do not rule out a very fragile stabilisation  phase of tensions between brief periods of calm. In our view, the balances of  power that change in favour of the anti-Western axis also include cultural and intellectual structures. It also includes political  systems where Western neoliberalism has reached an impasse and that all decisions taken by the ruling  elites in the United States and in the West in general  are an escape  from the structural internal  entitlements  facing all  states. Until a political and economic system takes into account the radical  transformations  that  have taken place in societies, especially economic and social gaps, the general  landscape will be the internal  tension in the western countries, which influence their foreign policies. These remarks apply to all  contentious files between the United  States and its competitors.

 On the Chinese issue, there appear to be two conflicting currents within the democratic party leadership.   On the  one hand, there is the  legacy of former President Barack Obama, who was the author of the theory of east-shifting to counter the rising threat posed by China. This trend to the East uses a political narrative  of  protecting human rights that are violated by the Chinese government. The U. S. needs a “moral” justification for interfering in China’s domestic affairs, whether in the Tibet, Hong Kong or Uighur Muslim stooum.   ut after the January 6 spectacle of the ruling elites dealing with angry crowds and the condemnation of these  demonstrations by elites, some leaders have come to demand that public freedoms be undermined, and it is difficult to put forward such rhetoric condemning freedoms in countries that want to submit to American  will.

The actual goal of U.S. policy is to undermine China’s competitiveness,  especially in the field of technology and artificial intelligence, by imposing sanctions on it (here new arguments will be sought for it!) And curbed  its military rise to prevent the expansion of its influence in East and South Asia. In the context of the conflict we mentioned between the group of interventionists and the “realists” the issue of dealing with  Chinese  t-communication companies, Huawei, which has been the target of sanctions in the Trump administration. If  the Biden administration wants to ease the conflict with China, it will settle the Huawei file at least  in its legal dimension. But is this in line with the interests of U.S. companies affected by Chinese competition that    have mostly supported Biden’s presidential bid? Here we see the extent of the contradiction within the  administration. This is where  Obama’s policy meets Trump’s policy f  confronting china’s rising  influence    and hitting the OneWay/One Belt project. But the capabilities of the United States, no matter how limited the governing  team may be, are too limited and cannot change the equations imposed by the transformations.

On the other hand, there is the BidenGroup, which has made confusing and suspicious deals with Chinese companies.  A large number of  Democratic party leaders are involved in suspicious deals with Chinese  government institutions such as former California State Attorney Barbara Boxer, who became the agent of a   Chinese state-owned eavesdropping  company, the current senator’s husband, Diane Feinstein, who has close ties to Chinese companies, or Representative Eric Swal of California, who is accused of having sexual  relations with a Chinese intelligence officer.  The president will be among the hammer of the Obama team,  which  wants to surround China, curb its rise, and the sanders of the special interests of the Biden family  and a number of senior Democratic officials in their dealings with China. The Republicans will undoubtedly raise the scandals championed by Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and James Biden, the president’s brother. They are the subject of investigations by the Federal Bureau of  Investigation (FBI), which refused to disclose  before the election, and William Barr, the outgoing Justice Secretary in the Trump administration, could have undermined Biden’s chances of winning the last election, reinforcing  the theory that the deep state of all its components wanted to get rid of Donald Trump and succeeded in disrupting  his mandate and success  in the  election.

One of Obama’s attempts to blockade China is the Trans Pacific Partnership/TPP,  which aimed to create a large  economic space similar to the European Common Market  before it became the European Union,    without China’s participation.  This project is similar to a European project that excludes Russia! Here is the grave  geopolitical error because it runs counter to the constant geography and changing history, how can an Asian  grouping be conceived without China and how can Russia be excluded from Europe? But Trump’s first  decision when he entered the White House was to destroy the Trans-Pacific Partnership project. In the fall  of 2020, China was able to conclude an economic agreement with Southeast Asian countries that effectively  eliminates  any  possibility of economic blockade of China.  The title of this new economic gathering is the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) signed on November 12,  2020 at a summit  of  regional  heads of  state such as China, Japan, South Korea, India and other ASEAN countries. 

China’s  most important economic influence…

The Rand Corporation, a Pentagon think  tank, considers  China’s economic influence more important than  U.S. influence in the Pacific and Asia. Asean countries also prioritise economic considerations and interests at the expense of security considerations. China’s economic influence weakens U.S. military influence, according to the RAND Corporation study, especially since countries in that region do not believe that U.S. military  influence is equivalent to China’s economic influence. There is also a conviction in those countries, according to the study, that the USA commitment to the region is questionable. Based on those considerations in the study, the Biden administration’s policy will be very complicated, especially since  the enthusiasm of the countries in the region to align  with them will be weak.

On the other hand, in recent days, the Trump administration has poisoned the atmosphere  between the United States and China by lifting all restrictions on Taiwan. It is clear that the move will anger China and strain relations with the new U.S. administration. The question is how the Biden administration can reinstate the restrictions lifted by the Trump administration, which means that there is no continuity in the outside  decision and weakens confidence in any U.S. pledge. The decisions of any administration become subject to veto by the administration that follows, and this is the result of  falling signs.  We therefore believe  that the Biden administration’s attempts will not go beyond the point of linking the conflict to conflicts of  interest  between the interveners and the realists, while  weighing  in favour of the interventionists  and the weakness of the realists because of the suspicions of corruption surrounding the president-elect and his family. 

 Some of the”positive” steps of the new administration will be to return  to the climate  agreement and the World  Health Organisation and to demand a return to the ballistic agreement. There is little cost here, but  a material for media propaganda to improve the image of the United States. Blinken’s remarks that he should”consult” with allies are a step toward restoring consideration to “diplomacy” that  his predecessor Mike Pompeo did not believe in. But what is the value of diplomacy if it is not  accompanied by  actions that take into account the interests of the various  parties?  The United States has not  yet acknowledged  this,  and it is continuing  its efforts to achieve its goals of domination and domination, but with far  fewer  possibilities. 

*Researcher  and political  economist And the former Secretary General of the  Arab  National Congress

Part 3 Here

إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (2) الملفات الدولية

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Click here to see the Video (deleted by You Tube)

زياد حافظ

الجزء الثاني: الملفّات الدولية

فما هي الملفات الخارجية التي ستشهد صراعاً بين مصالح المتدخلّين ومصالح القوى التي تريد التركيز على الملفّات الداخلية؟ ملامح السياسة الخارجية بدأت تتوضح بعد جلست الاستماع في مجلس الشيوخ لكلّ من بلينكن (وزارة الخارجية) وهاينز (مديرة الاستخبارات الوطنية DNI). الخلاصة الأساسية هي لا تغيير يُذكر في الجوهر عن سياسات أوباما وترامب الاّ في الأسلوب وطريقة التعاطي. سنعرض هنا بعض الملفّات وليست جميعها لضيق المساحة المتاحة.

فعلى الصعيد الدولي تأتي في المرتبة الأولى العلاقات مع كلّ من روسيا والصين. الإشارات الأولى التي صدرت عن عدد من رموز الفريق الانتقالي للرئيس المنتخب لا توحي بأيّ حلحلة مرتقبة في العلاقات مع روسيا. فلا ننسى أنّ معظم العاملين في الإدارة الجديدة كانوا في إدارة أوباما التي كانت معادية لروسيا. فالأزمة الأوكرانية فجّرتها إدارة أوباما ونائب الرئيس آنذاك، الرئيس المنتخب اليوم، والتي كانت له تدخّلات كبيرة في الشأن الأوكراني ناهيك عن شبهات الفساد التي رافقتها. من جهة أخرى لا ننسى أنّ مجمل الحزب الديمقراطي والدولة العميقة والإعلام الشركاتي المهيمن أمضى السنوات الأربع الماضية على شيطنة الرئيس ترامب واتهامه بالعمالة لروسيا. كما أنّ الأخيرة متهمة بالتدخل في انتخابات 2016 لصالح دونالد ترامب. وإذا أخذنا بعين الاعتبار بعض التصريحات لقيادات استخبارية داعمة لبايدن بأنّ الروس يكذبون لأنّ الكذب جزء أساسي من الحمض النووي الروسي نرى أنّ المناخ المرتقب داخل الإدارة الجديدة مناخ متشدّد تجاه روسيا. وما يعزّز ذلك التشاؤم هو أنّ المسؤولين المرتقبين في الإدارة الجديدة في الصف الثاني في الخارجية والدفاع والأمن القومي هم من المحافظين الجدد كفيكتوريا نيولند ومن المتدخّلين الليبراليين كـ كاثلين هيكس ووندي شرمان وجون فاينر كنائب مستشار الأمن القومي. وجميعهم لديهم ارتباطات وثيقة مع المجمع العسكري الأمني ومراكز الأبحاث ومن الجامعات الكبرى كما شرحناه في مقال سابق. وما لفت انتباه المراقبين أنه حتى الساعة لم يتمّ أيّ اتصال بين الإدارة الانتقالية والقيادة الروسية علماً أنّ هذا تقليد امتدّ طيلة العقود الماضية.

تراجع أميركي متعدّد الجوانب

لكن حقيقة الأمر هي أنّ القدرة التنافسية الأميركية تراجعت في السياسة والاقتصاد، وربما أهمّ من كلّ ذلك في الشأن العسكري كما شرحناه أيضاً في مقالات سابقة. فمواجهة روسيا تكون عبر إثارة ملف حقوق الانسان في روسيا وعبر نشر حزام صاروخي في الدول المجاورة وعبر إسقاط أنظمة مجاورة تتفاهم مع روسيا. بالمناسبة ورغم اتهام الحزب الديمقراطي الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بالعمالة لروسيا فإنّ الرئيس الأميركي هو الذي فرض أكثر العقوبات على روسيا والتي كان قد بدأها سلفه باراك أوباما. ونقطة الخلاف الرئيسية الاستراتيجية هي ملف الغاز الروسي ودوره في تزويده للاتحاد الأوروبي بينما الخلاف على أوكرانيا يأتي في سياق محاولات توسع الأطلسي في أوروبا الشرقية. قضية الأمن التي يتمّ التلويح بها هي للتغطية على الهدف الرئيسي. ليس هناك أيّ دليل بأنّ روسيا تسعى لزعزعة الأمن والاستقرار الأوروبي بل العكس تسعى إلى أفضل العلاقات والتعاون مع الاتحاد الأوروبي.

هذا ما فهمته ألمانيا لكنها رضخت للضغوط الأميركية كما صرّح وزير خارجية ألمانيا السابق فرانك والتر ستنماير في تبرير رضوخ حكومته للإملاءات الأميركية عندما قال بوضوح إنّ ألمانيا متضررة اقتصادياً من تلك العقوبات غير أنّ السياسة لها القوّامة على الاقتصاد. لكن خلال الأشهر الماضية استطاعت ألمانيا أن تحدّ من غطرسة الولايات المتحدة فيما يتعلّق بمصالحها الاقتصادية مع روسيا والصين. فقد وافقت ألمانيا على تمديد أنبوب الغار الروسي (“تور ستريم 2) في المنطقة الاقتصادية التابعة لها في بحر البلطيق (كلّ يوم يتمّ مدّ كيلومترا من الأنبوب). كذلك الأمر حصل مع الجمهورية التشيكية لتمديد الخط البرّي “يوغال” الذي هو امتداد لـ “نور ستريم 2) على الحدود السكسونية الألمانية التشيكية. هذا يعكس مدى التراجع الأميركي عند الحليف الأوروبي ويقطع الطريق على الضغوط التي يمكن أن تصدرها الإدارة الجديدة.

من جهة أخرى تمّ التوقيع في 30 كانون الأول 2020 بين الصين والاتحاد الأوروبي على اتفاق يفتح باب الاستثمارات المتبادلة وذلك رغم معارضة الولايات المتحدة ورغم الذرائع التقليدية حول حقوق الإنسان التي كانت تُرفع بوجه الصين لمنع أيّ تقارب معها. هذه إشارة أخرى أنّ أوروبا الغربية شعرت بالضعف الأميركي وبدأت تفكّر بأولوية مصالحها. ولم يكن الاتحاد الأوروبي ليقدم على تلك الخطوة لولا الموافقة لكلّ من ألمانيا وفرنسا.

من ضمن الملفّات العالقة بين الولايات المتحدة وروسيا ملف أوكرانيا وخاصة شرق أوكرانيا (الدومبسك) وضمّ شبه جزيرة القرم، وملف دول القوقاز في جورجيا وناغورنو كراباخ، وانتشار السلاح الأطلسي في دول البلطيق وبولندا. ومؤخراً حاولت الولايات المتحدة خلق القلاقل في بيلاروسيا إلاّ أنها فشلت في ذلك. فالتقارب الروسي البلاروسي يشتدّ ولا نستبعد انضمام بلاروسيا على الاتحاد الروسي ما يشكّل صفعة مدوية للإدارة الأميركية. وبلاروسيا اليوم موكّلة في مواجهة كلّ من بولندا ودول البلطيق نيابة عن روسيا. ويُضاف إليها ملف سورية والملفّ النووي مع إيران وطبعاً المعاهدات في الشأن الصواريخ الباليستية المتوسطة المدى. في سياق ملف المعاهدة التي خرجت عنها الولايات المتحدة في موضوع الصواريخ الباليستية لم تعد روسيا متمسّكة بها.

حالة الإنكار متحكّمة في عقل النخب الحاكمة

لا ندري ماذا يمكن أن تقدّم الولايات المتحدة في كلّ هذه الملفّات غير التراجع عن مواقفها التصعيدية الذي سيكرّس تراجع نفوذها. لكن ليس في المزاج الحالي في الإدارة الانتقالية جهوزية لأيّ بادرة لتقديم أيّ تنازل. وبما أنّ حالة الإنكار لذلك التراجع متحكّمة في عقل النخب الحاكمة في الإدارة المقبلة على قاعدة “الاستثنائية الأميركية” و”قدرها المتجلّي” وبغياب أيّ دليل نظري أو ملموس للإقرار بذلك التراجع، فما يمكن أن نتوقّعه هو استمرار النبرة العالية والمعادية في مخاطبة روسيا دون أن تترجم بمواجهة على الأرض. فنظام العقوبات على روسيا مستمرّ وهو بدأ في عهد أوباما ولا تستطيع الإدارة المقبلة رفعها دون مقابل ملموس لتسويقه في المشهد الداخلي. فليس هناك ابداع في التفكير في الجانب الأميركي والجانب الروسي لا يعتبر نفسه ملزما بتقديم تنازلات خاصة أن لا ثقة بتعهدّات الولايات المتحدة. لذلك نشهد تزايد عدم الاكتراث في الجانب الروسي لما يمكن أن يصدر عن إدارة بايدن طالما أنّ أفق المواجهة المفتوحة المسلّحة مسدود. فروسيا استطاعت التكيّف مع العقوبات بل حوّلتها إلى فرص اكتفاء ذاتي حرّرها من الابتزاز الأميركي. فالعقوبات نجحت فقط في زيادة عزلة الولايات المتحدة في العالم وخاصة عند حلفائها الأوروبيين. والنخب في روسيا ترى كما نرى نحن أنّ الإدارة الجديدة ستكون منصبّة على الملفّات الداخلية لخطورتها وتعقيداتها وبالتالي لا تعتبر أنّ باستطاعتها التفاعل الدائم في الملفّات الخارجية.

لكن هذا لا يعني أنّ التواصل مع روسيا خارج الاحتمالات. فإذا كانت الضرورة امّ الاختراعات فهي أيضاً أمّ التفاهمات. في هذا السياق أعلن الرئيس الروسي في رسالة للرئيس المنتخب أنه يأمل بعلاقات ودية على قاعدة الندّية والاحترام المتبادل، وهذه إشارة إلى أنّ العودة الى أسلوب التعالي لم يعد مقبولاً. من جهة أخرى كان ردّ وزير الخارجية المسمّى أنطوني بلينكن أنّ في ذروة التنافس النووي بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد السوفياتي وفي ظلّ الخطر النووي الوجودي المتمثّل بآلاف الصواريخ الباليستية النووية الموجهة ضدّ كلّ من البلدين كانت مجالات التعاون في العديد من الملفات الساخنة ممكنة. وبالتالي يمكن التطلّع إلى “فرص تعاون” لضبط إيقاع التوترات كي لا تؤدّي إلى مواجهات لن يخرج أحد سالماً منها. هل هذا يعني أنّ مناخ التسويات سيكون قائماً؟ ليس بالضرورة، فالحالة الأكثر واقعية هي أن لا تسويات كبرى ولا مواجهات كبرى وكلّ شيء ممكن تحت ذلك السقفين. في الخلاصة يمكن القول إنّ سقف “التفاهم” الممكن مع روسيا لا يتجاوز حدود ربط النزاع إلى ان تتبلور موازين قوّة جديدة وهذا لن يحصل في المدى المنظور أيّ في ولاية الإدارة الجديدة.

قد يسأل المرء لماذا لا تسوية؟ الإجابة البسيطة هي أنّ روسيا لا ترى أيّ مبرّر لتسوية الأمور مع طرف برهن دائماً أنه لا يحترم المعاهدات فما بال التسويات! كما يرى الروسي أنّ الأميركي في حالة ضعف بنيوي قد لا ينجو منها وبالتالي تقديم تنازلات لدولة مصيرها مجهول قد لا يكون مبرّرا. في المقابل، يرى الطرف الأميركي إذا كانت موازين القوّة ليست لصالحه في المرحلة الحالية فما عليه إلاّ أن يعدّلها لمصلحته وبالتالي لا داعي للتنازل عن أيّ شيء جوهري قد يشكّل متن التسوية. وتعتقد النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة أنّ قدرها هو أن تقود العالم وأن استثنائيتها ستمكّنها من ذلك. ليس هناك استعداد للإقرار بأنّ الولايات المتحدة دخلت مرحلة التراجع الاستراتيجي بل حتى الانهيار الداخلي المرجّح وبالتالي ستكون السردية السائدة عند تلك النخب بأنّ الولايات المتحدة قدر على العالم بغضّ النظر عن الصعوبات التي تلاقيها في المرحلة الحالية.

لماذا لا مواجهة…؟

والسؤال الآخر لماذا لا مواجهة؟ الإجابة هنا أنّ الطرفين يدركان جيّداً أنّ المواجهة تعني في آخر المطاف نهاية المعمورة في دقائق محدودة! لن تكون الحرب المقبلة ممتدّة على مدى سنوات كما حصل في الحربين العالميتين ولا حتى في الحروب الإقليمية. ستكون مرتبطة بمدة وصول الصواريخ الباليستية إلى أهدافها وهنا نتكلّم عن دقائق وليس ساعات! لكن ما هو البديل عن المواجهة وعن التسوية؟

البديل هو توتّرات محدودة في المكان والزمان تحدّده الظروف الموضوعية والإقليمية المتغيّرة. لكن هذا يفرض تعاوناً دقيقاً لمنع الانزلاق الذي قد يؤدّي إلى مواجهة شاملة لا يريدها أحد. في المقابل، تعدّد اللاعبين من جهة وعدم وجود أيّ قوّة قادرة بمفردها على ضبط الإيقاع تجعل ذلك الأمر في غاية الصعوبة. من هنا نفهم دور وقيمة المحور حيث كلّ مكوّن له لا قدرة على التحكّم مهما كانت قدراته الذاتية. لكن المحور يعطي قيمة مضافة لتلك القدرات وبالتالي المحور هو الذي سيكون ضابط الإيقاع وليس القطب. هنا يبرز دور التجمّعات أو المحاور الإقليمية. أصبحنا في عالم متعدّد المحاور وليس في عالم متعدد القطبية.

إذا أردنا تلخيص المشهد الدولي بين المحورية المتنافسين نرى أنّ المحور الأميركي في تراجع استراتيجي قد يصل إلى الأفول والانهيار ولكنه يقوم بأعمال طابعها هجومي تكتيكي واستعراضي لا يغيّر أيّ شيء في موازين القوّة على الأرض. في المقابل فإنّ المحور الآخر الروسي الصيني ومعه محور المقاومة في حال صعود استراتيجي تتخلله أعمال طابعها تكتيكي دفاعي تحصّن موازين القوّة التي أوجدتها. والمحور المقاوم للهيمنة الأميركية لا يعتقد أنّ مواجهة تكتيكية ضرورية في المرحلة الراهنة بسبب التراجع الاستراتيجي للمحور الأميركي. عامل الوقت يعمل لصالح المحور المقاوم للهيمنة. لذلك لا نستبعد مرحلة استقرار هشّ للغاية تسوده التوترات بين فترات وجيزة من الهدوء. في رأينا، موازين القوّة التي تتغيّر لصالح المحور المناهض للهيمنة الغربية تشمل أيضاً البنى الثقافية والفكرية. وتشمل أيضاً المنظومات السياسية حيث النيوليبرالية الغربية وصلت إلى طريق مسدود وأنّ كلّ القرارات التي تتخذها النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة وفي الغرب عموما هي هروب إلى الأمام من الاستحقاقات الداخلية البنيوية التي تواجه كلّ الدول. إلى أن يتبلور نظام سياسي اقتصادي يأخذ بعين الاعتبار التحوّلات الجذرية التي حصلت في المجتمعات وخاصة الفجوات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية فإنّ سمة المشهد العام سيكون التوتر الداخلي في دول الغرب العامل المؤثر على سياساتها الخارجية. هذه الملاحظات تنطبق على كافة الملفات الخلافية بين الولايات المتحدة ومنافسيها.

وفي ما يتعلّق بالملفّ الصيني فهناك تياران متصارعان على ما يبدو داخل قيادات الحزب الديمقراطي. فمن جهة، هناك إرث الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما الذي كان صاحب نظرية التحوّل إلى الشرق لمواجهة الخطر الصاعد الذي تمثّله الصين. وهذا التوجّه إلى الشرق يستعمل سردية سياسية هي حماية حقوق الانسان التي تنتهكها الحكومة الصينية. فالولايات المتحدة بحاجة إلى مبرّر “أخلاقي” للتدخل في الشأن الداخلي في الصين سواء في قضية التيبت أو هونغ كونغ أو المسلمين الأويغور! لكن بعد المشهد الذي قدّمته النخب الحاكمة في 6 كانون الثاني/ يناير في التعامل مع الجماهير الغاضبة وتنديد النخب بهذه المظاهرات وصلت عند بعض القيادات إلى المطالبة بتقويض الحرّيات العامة يصعب عندئذ طرح ذلك الخطاب المندّد للحرّيات في الدول التي تريد الخضوع للمشيئة الأميركية.

الهدف الفعلي لسياسة الولايات المتحدة هو تقويض القدرات التنافسية للصين خاصة في الميدان التكنولوجي والذكاء الاصطناعي وذلك عبر فرض العقوبات عليها (وهنا سيتمّ التفتيش عن حجج جديدة لذلك!) وكبح صعودها العسكري لمنع تمدّد نفوذها في شرق وجنوب آسيا. وفي سياق الصراع الذي ذكرناه بين جماعة المتدخلين وجماعة “الواقعيين” مسألة التعامل مع شركات التواصل الصينية كهواوي التي كانت هدفاً للعقوبات في إدارة ترامب. فإذا أرادت إدارة بايدن التخفيف من حدّة الصراع مع الصين فستقوم بتسوية لملف هواوي على الأقلّ في بعده القانوني. لكن هل هذا يستقيم مع مصالح الشركات الأميركية المتضرّرة من التنافس الصيني وهي التي دعمت إلى أقصى الحدود وصول بايدن إلى الرئاسة؟ هنا نرى مدى التناقض الموجود داخل الإدارة. هنا تلتقي سياسة أوباما مع سياسة ترامب في ضرورة مواجهة النفوذ الصيني الصاعد وضرب مشروع الطريق الواحد/ الحزام الواحد. لكن قدرات الولايات المتحدة مهما كان الفريق الحاكم محدودة للغاية ولا تستطيع تغيير المعادلات التي فرضتها التحوّلات.

ومن جهة أخرى هناك “جماعة بايدن” التي عقدت صفقات مثيرة للالتباس والشبهات مع شركات صينية. ويشاركه في ذلك عدد كبير من قيادات الحزب الديمقراطي في صفقات مشبوهة مع مؤسّسات صينية حكومية كالشيخة السابقة لولاية كاليفورنيا بربرا بوكسر التي أصبحت وكيلة شركة صينية حكومية مختصة بالتنصّت، أو زوج الشيخ الحالية دايان فاينشتين الذي له علاقات وثيقة مع الشركات الصينية، أو النائب أريك سوالوال من كاليفورنيا المتهم بعلاقات جنسية مع ضابطة من الاستخبارات الصينية! فالرئيس سيكون بين مطرقة فريق أوباما الذي يريد محاصرة الصين وكبح صعودها وسندان المصالح الخاصة العائدة لعائلة بايدن ولعدد من كبار المسؤولين في الحزب الديمقراطي في تعاملهم مع الصين. الحزب الجمهوري سيثير دون أيّ شكّ الفضائح التي بطلها هنتر بايدن نجل الرئيس وجيمس بايدن شقيق الرئيس. فهما موضوع تحقيقات يقوم بها المكتب الاتحادي للتحقيقات (أف بي أي) التي رفض الكشف عنها قبل الانتخابات وليم بار وزير العدل المستقيل في إدارة ترامب والتي كان بإمكانها تقويض فرص فوز بايدن في الانتخابات الأخيرة، ما يعزّز نظرية أنّ الدولة العميقة بكافة مكوّناتها أرادت التخلّص من دونالد ترامب وقد نجحت في تعطيل ولايته ونجاحه في الانتخابات.

من محاولات محاصرة الصين التي أطلقها أوباما مشروع الشراكة في المحيط الهادئ ((Trans Pacific Partnership/TPP التي كانت تهدف إلى إيجاد فضاء اقتصادي كبير شبيه بالسوق الأوروبية المشتركة قبل أن تصبح الاتحاد الأوروبي، وذلك دون مشاركة الصين. يتماثل هذا المشروع مع مشروع أوروبي يقصي روسيا! وهنا الخطأ الجيوسياسي الفادح لأنه يتنافى مع الجغرافيا الثابتة والتاريخ المتغيّر، فكيف يمكن تصوّر تجمع آسيوي دون الصين وكيف يمكن أقصاء روسيا من أوروبا؟ لكن أول قرارات ترامب عند دخوله البيت الأبيض كان وأد مشروع الشراكة في المحيط الهادئ. والصين استطاعت أن تعقد في خريف 2020 اتفاقاً اقتصادياً مع دول جنوب شرق آسيا يلغي فعلياً أيّ إمكانية محاصرة الصين اقتصادياً. عنوان هذا التجمّع الاقتصادي الجديد هو اتفاق الشراكة الاقتصادية الإقليمية الشاملة (RCEP) الذي وقّع في 12 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2020 في اجتماع قمة لرؤساء دول المنطقة كالصين واليابان وكوريا الجنوبية والهند وسائر دول جمعية دول الجنوب الشرقي الاسيوي (ASEAN).

نفوذ الصين الاقتصادي أهمّ…

وتعتبر مؤسسة راند كوربوريشن، وهي مؤسسة أبحاث تابعة للبنتاغون، أنّ نفوذ الصين الاقتصادي أهمّ من النفوذ الأميركي في منطقة المحيط الهادئ وآسيا. كما أنّ دول جمعية جنوب شرق آسيا تعطي الأولوية للاعتبارات والمصالح الاقتصادية على حساب الاعتبارات الأمنية. والنفوذ الاقتصادي الصيني يضعف النفوذ العسكري الأميركي وفقاً لدراسة مؤسسة راند خاصة أنّ دول تلك المنطقة لا تعتقد أنّ النفوذ العسكري الأميركي يوازي النفوذ الاقتصادي الصيني. وهناك أيضاً قناعة عند تلك الدول وفقاً للدراسة المذكورة أنّ التزام الولايات المتحدة تجاه المنطقة مشكوك بأمره. بناء على تلك الاعتبارات التي جاءت في الدراسة المذكورة ستكون سياسة إدارة بايدن معقّدة للغاية خاصة أنّ حماس دول المنطقة للاصطفاف معها سيكون ضعيفاً.

من جهة أخرى أقدمت إدارة ترامب في أيامها الأخيرة على تسميم الأجواء بين الولايات المتحدة والصين عبر رفع جميع القيود على تايوان. من الواضح أنّ ذلك الإجراء سيغضب الصين ويوتر العلاقات مع الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة. والسؤال كيف يمكن لإدارة بايدن إعادة القيود التي رفعتها إدارة ترامب ما يعني أنّ ليس هناك من استمرارية في القرار الخارجي فيضعف الثقة بأي تعهّد أميركي. فقرارات أيّ أدارة تصبح معرّضة للنقض من قبل إدارة تليها وهذا من إرهاصات السقوط. لذلك نعتقد أنّ محاولات إدارة بايدن لن تتجاوز مرحلة ربط النزاع لتضارب المصالح بين المتدخلّين والواقعيين مع ترجيح الكفّة لصالح المتدخلين وضعف الواقعيين بسبب شبهات الفساد التي تحيط بالرئيس المنتخب وعائلته.

بعض الخطوات “الإيجابية” للإدارة الجديدة ستكون في العودة إلى اتفاق المناخ ومنظمة الصحة العالمية والمطالبة بالعودة إلى الاتفاق الباليستي. لا كلفة هنا تذكر بل مادة للدعاية الإعلامية لتحسين صورة الولايات المتحدة. كما أنّ تصريحات بلينكن بضرورة “التشاور” مع الحلفاء خطوة نحو إعادة الاعتبار إلى “الدبلوماسية” التي لم يكن يؤمن بها سلفه مايك بومبيو. لكن ما قيمة الدبلوماسية إن لم ترفقها أفعال تأخذ بعين الاعتبار مصالح مختلف الفرقاء؟ لم تصل الولايات المتحدة حتى الساعة إلى الإقرار بذلك فهي مستمرّة في جهودها لتحقيق أهدافها في السيطرة والهيمنة لكن بإمكانيات أقلّ بكثير ما يؤهّلها بذلك.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

فيديوات ذات صلة

Part 3 Here

مقالات ذات صلة

Iran: “ball is in US court” to return to nuclear deal

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‘Times are a Changing’: Launch of Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace & Justice Project

British politician Jeremy Corbyn. (Photo: File)

By Ronnie Kasrils

I salute Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace & Justice initiative which could not be more timely, and I am proud to be part of it.

We live in troubled times: the raging pandemic, rise of neo-fascist forces; the rapacious neoliberal global system.

For so many, survival against war, police brutality, starvation, disease, collapsing economies, refugee camps, is the stark reality.

All of this is compounded by the climate crisis; environmental pollution; collapse of food and water security.

The pandemic has exposed to the light of day too often hidden or denied chasms of inequality both within and between nations and peoples around the world — both in the disproportionate impact on the poorest, most vulnerable, people of color, in getting the virus, and especially in the inequities of access to the vaccine.

The rich grow obscenely richer, the poor grow poorer. Less than one percent owning more than half the world’s population.

Yet “the times are a changing”; Bob Dylan sang at the time of the civil rights and anti-colonial liberation struggles; and the melody continues to rhyme with history – reflected to this day by the pressure of billions across the planet demanding a better life.

Two centuries ago the poet Shelley wrote in the wake of the Peterloo massacre you are the many they are the few”.

Not long after, Marx and Engels pointed to the consequences of the increasing concentration of the means of production and wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Then, as now, the challenge was to understand the world in order to change it.

To do that we must not ignore the repercussions of colonial conquest as a prelude to the rise of the capitalist era.

The hangover of that colonial past exists: in power relations between peoples and nations; between global north and south; in the neo-colonial masquerade of the Bolsonaro’s, Modi’s and El Sisi’s trying to subvert progress.

Progress such as the Black Lives Matter movement, which is energized not only by revolt against police crimes but to overturn the weight and consequence of centuries of slavery, white supremacy and inequality.

Struggle for change, as ever, requires an understanding of the material conditions of political and economic life, to avoid reductionism into identity politics and racial or gender essentialism, at the expense of class-conscious clarity.

Likewise, loser Trump’s rage and the mob that attacked the Capitol building are a consequence of America’s past, and symptomatic of the frustration of white supremacists whose psychosis, as in the 1930s, is stoked by demagogues.

Enormous irony is seen in the double standards of the “Free World”. On the one hand: unbelievable shock that the USA’s seat of democracy has been assaulted. On the other: the sanguine promotion of military intervention, neo-colonial coups, punitive sanctions abroad in the name of that democracy.

To control the Middle East, Israel – a colonizing project – receives massive US military and financial aid. Disregard for Palestinian rights is reflected in Trump’s Deal of the Century and the so-called “normalization” between Israel and corrupt Arab fiefdoms.

If Biden is to commit to democracy, he must quit the double standards of previous administrations and apply the visions of a Franklin D Roosevelt and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Biden needs to apply and significantly extend a “New Deal” project which in FDR’s day cut black Americans short; he must commit to world peace in recognition of the national and human rights of all peoples; uphold international law under the writ of the United Nations – an institution whose authority the US has systematically undermined.

And as King’s birthday is commemorated this weekend, Biden needs to note King’s most important speech – “Beyond Vietnam” which described the US government as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world”, and crucially identified the three interlocking evils that must be challenged – systemic racism, poverty, and militarism.

For the Corbyn Project to succeed it must become an international champion, furthering both FDR and King’s visions – and connect with movements for peace and justice throughout the world.

From the multitude that filled the streets opposing the invasion of Iraq, to the Arab Spring and BLM rebellion; waves of protest are signaling a new dawn. In India alone, over 250 million participated in strikes and protests last year. We must spare no effort in making this rising tsunami unstoppable.

And if we wish to talk about courage under fire, note the men, women and children of Palestine, facing the bombs and bullets of the Israeli Defense Force in their peaceful protests, refusing to submit.

Like others around the world, we South Africans have developed a vibrant civil society, with grassroots movements, encouraging our and all governments to act decisively in tackling the fault lines of the 21st Century, as we did in the struggle against Apartheid in the previous century:

For people’s involvement in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine and global vaccine equality;

For the protection of the eco-system and food security through a Climate Justice Charter and Global Food Sovereignty Agenda;

For a global anti-racist, anti-war, pro-peace platform. Together we must defeat a second coming of fascism – for in Berthold Brecht’s words (referring a system, not the gender) – “The beast is on heat again.”

No Pasaran! They shall not pass. This is a time when, in Seamus Heaney’s words, “hope and history rhyme.” Through people’s power, in unity, action, and international solidarity, we will win. For people and the planet. For the many, not the few!

– Ronnie Kasrils, veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and South Africa’s former Minister for Intelligence Services, activist and author. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

More War by Other Means: Sanctioning the Wife of Syria’s President Makes No Sense to Anyone

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

January 7, 2021

More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing.

I am a recipient of regular, usual weekly, emails from the Department of the Treasury providing an “Update to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) and Blocked Persons.” OFAC is the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is tasked with both identifying and managing the financial punishments meted out to those individuals and groups that have been sanctioned by the United States government. A recent update, on November 10th, included “Non-Proliferation Designations; Iran-related Designations.” There were ten items on the list, names of Chinese and Iranian individuals and companies. Those who are “Specially Designated” on the list are subject to having their assets blocked if located in the United States and are also not allowed to engage in any financial transactions that go through U.S. banking channels. As many international banks respect U.S. Treasury “designations” lest they themselves be subjected to secondary sanctions that often means in effect that the individual or group cannot move money in a large part of the global financial marketplace.

The complete SDN list is hundreds of pages long. The Treasury Department defines and justifies OFAC’s mission “As part of its enforcement efforts, OFAC publishes a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. Collectively, such individuals and companies are called ‘Specially Designated Nationals’ or ‘SDNs.’ Their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.”

In reality, of course, OFAC’s sanctions are highly political. They are clearly a form of economic warfare, particularly when entire sectors of a nation’s economy are blocked or a part of a government itself is listed as has been the case with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Force. Wave after wave of “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran have made it difficult for the country to sell its only major marketable resource, oil, and it has been locked out of most normal financial networks, making it difficult or even impossible to buy food and medicines.

In many cases sanctions have no practical effect but are rather intended to send a message. There have been new sanctions directed against Moscow and Russian government officials have been sanctioned due to their alleged involvement in activities that the United States does not approve of. The sanctions are imposed even though those “specially designated” have no assets in the U.S. and do not engage in any international financial transactions that could be blocked or disrupted. In those cases, the federal government is sending a message to whomever has been sanctioned to warn them that they are being watched and their behavior has become a matter of record. It is basically a form of intimidation.

Whether sanctions actually work is debatable. The example of Cuba, which was sanctioned by the U.S. for nearly sixty years, would suggest not. Some would argue that on the contrary countries with totalitarian regimes would actually improve their behavior if their citizens could travel freely and welcome visitors, providing evidence that foreigners do not pose a threat justifying a police state.

Within the United States government, it is largely accepted that the most powerful advocate of the sanctions regime is Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who has been the driving force behind recent sanctions directed against both China and Iran. If that is so he might well be challenged on one of the most bizarre and basically pointless applications of sanctions in recent years, targeting Asma the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as well as her family that lives in London and are British citizens. Per Pompeo’s statement on the new sanctions “The Department of State today is imposing sanctions on Asma al-Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, for impeding efforts to promote a political resolution of the Syrian conflict pursuant to Section 2(a)(i)(D) of Executive Order 13894… Asma al-Assad has spearheaded efforts on behalf of the regime to consolidate economic and political power, including by using her so-called charities and civil society organizations.”

But the real kicker is Pompeo’s condemnation of Asma, of Syrian origin but English born and raised, is how he involves her family. Her father-in-law Fawaz is a renowned cardiologist at Cromwell Hospital in South Kensington who was educated in England and has lived there for decades. “In addition, we are sanctioning several members of Asma al-Assad’s immediate family, including Fawaz Akhras, Sahar Otri Akhras, Firas al Akhras, and Eyad Akhras as per Section 2(a)(ii) of EO 13894. The Assad and Akhras families have accumulated their ill-gotten riches at the expense of the Syrian people through their control over an extensive, illicit network with links in Europe, the Gulf, and elsewhere.”

Inevitably, no evidence is provided to support any of the allegations about Asma al-Assad and her English family. Asma’s charities are for real in her war-torn country and she is highly respected and admired by those who know her and are not influenced by U.S. and Israeli propaganda.

In reality, the United States has been trying hard to overthrow the Syrian government since 2004 when the Syria Accountability Act was passed. Much of the heat in Congress behind the passage of the act was generated by the Israel Lobby, which wanted to weaken the regime and reduce its ability to represent a viable military force possibly capable of regaining the occupied Golan Heights. Be that as it may, the United States has been hostile to the country’s government and has frequently called for regime change. To bring that about, the U.S. supported al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups operating against Damascus and American soldiers continue to occupy Syrian oil fields in the southeast portion of the country. The Syrians have also been subjected to waves of sanctions that have done grave damage to their economy. American and Israeli concerns have sometimes been linked to the presence of Damascus’ allies Hezbollah and Iran, both of whom have military units based inside Syria, but the simple fact is that neither Iranians nor Lebanese in any way threaten the vastly superior American and Israeli forces present in the region.

One has to ask why, given the realpolitik playing out in the Middle East, Washington and Pompeo feel compelled to go after Asma al-Assad and her family, apparently to include absurdly blaming relatives living for many years outside of Syria for fueling the war. More sanctions, by all means. More grief and suffering and more people around the world wondering what exactly the United States is doing.

IRANIAN REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS REVEALED UNDERGROUND MISSILE BASE NEAR PERSIAN GULF (VIDEO)

South Front

08.01.2021 

On January 8, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) unveiled an underground missile base located on the Persian Gulf coast, in the province of Hormozgan.

IRGC Commander-in-Chief Major General Hossein Salami and the guards’ Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri attended the unveiling ceremony.

A video of the new base shows dozens of Iranian-made anti-ship cruise missiles, including the Nasir and the Noor, as well as several missile launchers. Some of the launchers had been disguised as civilian trucks. The base was apparently built to store anti-ship weapons for the IRGC Navy.

In a speech, Maj. Gen. Salami said Iran’s logic in “defending the territorial integrity, the independence of the country, and the achievements of the Islamic Revolution is strengthening.”

“What you see today is one of several IRGC Naval Strategic Missile facilities,” the IRGC Commander-in-Chief said.

Salami added that Iran’s long-range missiles have a pinpoint precision with a high destructive power and they are capable of resisting electronic warfare.

In the last few years, Iran boosted its military capabilities in the face of political, economic and military pressure from the US. Washington’s pressure is meant to force Tehran to give up its nuclear program, missile capabilities and regional influence.

Earlier this week, the Iranian military held a joint large-scale drone drill, which was seen as a message to the US and its allies in the Middle East, especially Israel.

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Iran Uses Its Grip On Strait Of Hormuz To Fight Back US-imposed Sanctions

South Front

Iran has found an original way of dealing with sanctions and limitations imposed on it by the so-called “maximum pressure” campaign launched by the Trump administration.

On January 4, the Navy of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained a South Korea-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz over an alleged environmental pollution issue. The chemical tanker HANKUK CHEMI was inbound to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Ahead of the incident, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations naval authority reported that an “interaction” between Iranian authorities and a merchant vessel in the Strait of Hormuz led the ship to alter its course and proceed into Iranian waters.

Following the incident, the South Korean Defense Ministry said that it will send its anti-piracy Cheonghae unit, normally based in the Gulf of Aden, along with helicopters to the Persian Gulf. The 302-strong Cheonghae unit operates a 4,500-ton destroyer, a Lynx anti-submarine helicopter and three speed boats.

The deployment of this unit is a rather a symbolic move than a practical step that should allow to protect South Korea-flagged ships in the region as Iranian forces have an overwhelming dominance there and using its conventional and asymmetric capabilities can even challenge the US military in the event of a limited military confrontation there.

Two days before the seizure of the tanker, Iran said a South Korean diplomat was due to travel to the country to negotiate over billions of dollars in its assets now frozen in Seoul. The total amount of Iranian money blocked in South Korea is up to $8.5 billion and Tehran declared its readiness to barter its money for deliveries of a variety of goods and commodities, including raw materials, medicine, petrochemicals, auto parts, home appliances.

Apparently, Iran thinks that South Korea needs some additional motivation to go contrary to the will of its Big Brother and accept the Iranian proposal.

Another important diplomatic achievement was made by Qatar, which is known as not only a Turkish ally, but also the Gulf monarchy that has constructive relations with Iran. On January 4, Saudi Arabia lifted the 4-year air, sea and land blockade that it together with the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt and Bahrain imposed on Qatar. In June 2017, the blockading countries accused Qatar, among other things, of supporting terrorism and of being too close to Iran. They severed economic and diplomatic ties with Doha and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on it. Qatar rejected all the allegations and refused to comply with a long list of demands announced by the blockading countries. So, now the anti-Qatari coalition is in retreat. The main factors that contributed to this scenario are the following:

a deep crisis faced by Saudi Arabia due to the failed intervention in Yemen and its oil war adventure;
the UAE-Saudi tensions that reached a new level due to the declining power of the Saudi Kingdom;
the growth of the influence of Iran and its popularity among the population of the Middle East due to the public rapprochement of the Gulf monarchies with Israel; the stern stance of Qatar itself that used the blockade to develop alternative alliances and strengthen relations with Turkey, Iran and even Russia to contain the pressure it faced.

The Israeli-aligned Gulf monarchies will likely try to use the lifting of the blockade to convince Doha to officially join the US-led pro-Israeli coalition. However, even if Qatar does this under the pressure of the United States and with hopes of restoring economic relations with its neighbors, this does not mean that Doha would change its de-facto regional strategy as the previous years already demonstrated that the national-oriented approach is much more useful in times of crises than empty hopes on large revenues from Israeli love.

Not a step back!

Not a step back!

December 29, 2020

Not a step back![1]

By Ken Leslie for the Saker Blog

1. A tale of two kingdoms

Given the precarious geopolitical situation, some Russia supporters might feel that the worst thing now for Russia would be to rock the boat and enrage the West by retaliating against the hybrid war waged against it. In my view, the worst is the Baghdad Bob-like complacency and refusal to understand how serious the things are. For make no mistake, no anxious giggling or bravado (or Russian love of affectionate nicknames) can hide the severity of the current situation. If you are of a weaker disposition, skip the next several paragraphs and land on the juicy, positive bits.

I cannot (and am not trying to) offer an in-depth geopolitical analysis of the current situation in the manner of the Saker. What I can do is produce a parable (or is it allegory?) on how a determined and resourceful victim of constant and total attack must respond in order to save itself and make its enemies pay for all the inflicted pain and suffering—with interest (for after all that is what the bully likes more than anything else). What follows is a completely fictional account of a life-and-death conflict between cultures and religions and any similarities with real countries and characters are purely incidental.

Some 30 years ago, a new era in world history was loudly announced by the supposed victors of a protracted war against a large, semi-pagan people that inhabited large swaths of the continent of Sunlandia. Their vast land was called Dayland. Once they had had a large land empire which crashed and burned in the fires of a revolution fomented by its mortal enemies after having survived countless invasions by sundry power-crazed maniacs and constant enmity by the inhabitants of the lands in which the sun sets (to be called Nightland). But, no, not even the destruction of the empire and its religious importance was not enough to satisfy the haters. The new communist state was immediately shunned by the Nightlanders and retained its pariah status for all its 73 years of existence. Not only that, during its incarnation as a land of workers and peasants (nothing wrong with that), it experienced the most horrible holocaust in modern history (another great country assailed from the East, let’s call it “Mornland” suffered at least to the same extent from a different fascist tyrant). An all too brief interlude of hope and glory (apologies to John Boorman) was immediately replaced by the next phase of the never-ending conflict—isolation and attrition, nuclear threats, sanctions and sabotage, proxy wars, intelligence, economic and cultural battles, the list goes on.

Although exsanguinated by the horrors of the holocide by a semi-formal union of the countries to the West of it and exhausted by external pressures, the great county went on to achieve miracles in improving the living standards and literacy rates of its population to the extent unheard of until then. Other miracles were performed by the country in various fields of science and technology and the example set by its heroic struggle inspired countless anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements which resulted in a fundamental reshaping of the World’s political map. Alas, it was not to last. In spite of great achievements and its crucial role as the bringer of balance to the world affairs, the great (in all senses) country broke up tragically if relatively peacefully. With its demise, the darkening cumulus cloud that had hovered over my head for at least a decade, turned into a giant fat cumulonimbus ready to explode with thunder and lightning.

Although for many people those early years of the new order were the years of hope, soon, the hope was cruelly quashed. Instead of learning the lessons of the “war in all-but-name”, the victors were blinded by their greed and unearned sense of superiority. Instead of healing the wounds of the past, they set out to deepen them by restoring the platform from which most wars of destruction had come. By breaking up federations of the heathen sub-humans, co-opting them into a new feudal system, building a power block around the genocidal transgressor and bleeding the defeated country dry, the Nightland was demonstrating for all to see that its intent was never peaceful.

The first clear inkling of things to come was a beastly aggression committed on a brave and innocent people whose only crime was to have resisted the renewed push towards the East. Conveniently forgotten and explained away by the evil masterminds as a charitable intervention, the war signalled the new phase in the war against Dayland. The border between Nightland and Dayland was pushed about 1500 km eastward. Dayland’s former allies were turned into its worst and most belligerent enemies. With every step to the right, Nightland was gaining and Dayland was losing—friends, trade and influence. Like many times before in its extraordinary history, the country was fortunate in one respect. An exceptional man appeared from nowhere to pull Dayland out of the quagmire and set it on the path of resurgence and renewed greatness. Well, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

We, who care about Dayland are cursing the sheer gall and bloodthirst of the criminal aggressors. Some of us are asking—is this offensive ever going to stop? Most of us know the answer—never! As long as Dayland exists with its strange mix of peoples, faiths and worldviews, it must not live. All we have left is the hope that the leadership of Dayland will be able to deal with the oncoming peril. There is a creeping worry that without a more muscular response, the country will eventually succumb to a death by a thousand cuts. So, here is an overview of the principles that should guide Dayland’s fightback—before it becomes too late.

2. The problem

Before I can talk about means, I must address the causes. Despite its size and advanced society, Dayland has no overt allies and the slightly tepid embrace of Mornland is not sufficient to compensate for this. Note, I am saying overt—that means no partners who are committed to the joint defence and who would mobilise their forces if Dayland were to be attacked. It doesn’t even have potential allies as in countries that would eventually fight on Dayland’s side. Admittedly, some of this information is very secret and there might be exceptions. The one worrying aspect is that this has never been the case before. One does not need to be a historian to realise that whenever an attack came from the dark side, at least half of Nightland was either neutral or on Dayland’s side. Some people will interject: “Oh, they are divided, at odds, it’s an illusion maintained by the printing presses, they would get a bloody nose” etc.

All of these statements are questionable.[2] The currently dominant empire of the Nightland has pretty much absolute control over its minions. Minor disputes are normal within any military, political and economic union. Note that none of the predicted cataclysmic ruptures between the partners in crime ever happened. No great economic crisis that has been predicted since before the occupation of the Borderlands has taken place. If anything, the push towards the lands of the light has intensified—the two are not mutually exclusive. Briefly, things are not looking good for Dayland, not because it is not doing well, but because a large portion of the “developed” world is still allied against it and this in itself is unprecedented and must be dealt with pronto.

The “problem” of the title is that such a situation always calls for active steps and measures aimed at weakening, confusing and discouraging the attacking opponent. Of course, such steps should always be combined with defensive and diplomatic moves but to remove the threat, a serious aggressive pushback on the part of Dayland is needed as soon as possible. When I say “aggressive”, I don’t mean crudely so. What I mean is that a fundamental change of heart is necessary. Over a thousand years of defensive wars have conditioned Dayland’s soldiers and politicians to avoid conflict as long as possible. Whether this is because of deficiencies in forward planning or deep morality is moot—the pattern of procrastination and delaying the inevitable has characterised Dayland’s military, diplomatic and political strategies for a very long time. This would not be much of a problem if it didn’t result in significant (and avoidable) losses and casualties.

Actually, it has become something of a cliché, general Winter and all. Daylanders are supposed to suffer horribly and even if they wake up in the end and prevail, the destruction wrought on them will set them back several decades—enough to strengthen Nightland and ensure its supremacy for the foreseeable future. It is this point that was countered by the great statesman who is currently at the helm of Dayland. He’d promised his opponents that Dayland would never again fight a war on its territory. Recently he had announced a substantial change to the country’s nuclear doctrine which from now on will treat any incoming missiles as nuclear—no petty stuff. And yet, this is far from enough. How come, you’ll ask? Well, if the president’s warnings and veiled threats had been sufficient, the Big Bad Wolf would not be knocking on the last piggy’s door. Admittedly, this door is made of a sturdier stuff than the previous ones but nevertheless—the fact that he has come so far should alert everybody at how precarious the situation is. We are one semi-successful colour revolution away from the ultimate victory of Nightland.

No human kindness will dissuade the scum of the earth to desist and embrace the path of peace and co-operation. The Mephistophelian financiers, venal leeches in the media, talentless parasites infesting countless NGOs and “institutes”, petty bureaucrats tasked with pulling down monuments and places of worship, businessmen sabotaging their own companies for the sake of a hidden hand and moronic generals issuing bloodcurdling threats while installing their missiles ever closer to Dayland’s borders—all of these despicable people must be given a message that they will understand and hopefully rethink their course.

3. The solution

Clearly, this is a vast topic and I have only a couple of thousand words (which I’m wasting) to outline a strategy that might or might not be successful but certainly represents a viable departure from the current dilatory posture by Dayland’s government. I shall deliberately ignore some recent attempts at countering the offensive and focus on what’s possible. One of the common quandaries in situations of this kind is that 95% of modern warfare is conducted secretly, in ways that are not only unknown but unknowable by us mere mortals. This is a world of secret institutions with large budgets and no democratic oversight, sophisticated intelligence capabilities and covert action. Although this is probably true to some extent, it makes one susceptible to a fallacy that human agency has no place in a modern war. This is analogous to what I call “cryptographer’s fallacy” which states that a brute force increase in the complexity of a cypher renders it unbreakable. As long as there is a faintest trace of human activity buried under the layers of technological obfuscation, human origins of the cypher remain discernible and actionable. This is my reasoning behind writing this. However sophisticated the enemy might appear, they cannot completely camouflage their weak spots. Even if they don’t possess any, intelligent and creative approach to counter-terror must bear fruit. The key here is unpredictability—not of the kind espoused by Donald Trump but something much more elaborate and advanced—something worthy of Russia’s genius.

Here, let me list a few principles that Dayland should embrace in order to produce a combination of a pushback and payback that is so badly needed at this moment.

3.1. By delaying the pushback, you are only making things worse for yourself. The damage/time function is passed its crossing point. The time to act is now.

3.2. There is no need to be mindlessly aggressive in the manner of the USA. The knowledge that such offensive weapons are available and can be used is often enough to dissuade the opponent. But remember, they have to be able to cause real pain.

3.3. This proposal runs against everything you have been taught and made to believe is right. Targeting “non-military” assets is an important part of this. You will have to stoop to your enemy’s level in order to rise again free from existential threat. And this time you must be ruthless—as ruthless as they are. Those sweet voices telling you to be “better” than your enemy do not necessarily wish you well.

3.4. Aggression is necessary and important in all aspects of statecraft. This does not mean a crude unyielding attack against all and sundry (this is not possible at the moment anyway) but a targeted, co-ordinated yet sub-threshold campaign of: sabotage, political warfare, targeted elimination of external and internal threats, painful reciprocal punishments for every inimical gesture and a ramping up of the threat of armed retaliation.

3.5. For this to work, you must dispense with any hopes that you will ever be accepted as equals by the West. The destruction of two of your previous incarnations in a span of about 60 years and the total war against the current one should be sobering enough. You must work for a new world in which your and other peoples will exist free from the existential threat posed by the eternal vulture.

3.6. Your adversary is neither superior nor supreme. His power rests on the pillage of ancient cultures and peoples and his time as the ruler of the world is coming to an end. That makes him dangerous but also prone to errors. Act like the brave guerrillas of old. Avoid direct punches (set battles) but fight back as fiercely as you can. It is not so much about results but attitude. He must know that any inimical moves will be costly and painful for him and his lackeys.

3.7. Once you accept the above, a whole new arsenal of subtle weapons will become accessible. This includes a myriad of fine-grain activities and micro-scale operations which can achieve remarkable results if capably co-ordinated and efficiently carried out. If you succeed in putting these in motion, you will not need hypersonic weapons (although they do help).

4. The strategy

It is here that things become interesting and difficult. How can a strategy be designed that is so sophisticated that the enemy cannot parry it (while its implementation does not involve undue effort)? First, one has to recognise that the power differential means that there is little room for error. Even more important than this is a lack of predictability which confounds the adversary and transfers initiative to the defending camp. And although the defender has fewer means to retaliate, he can make up for it by leveraging his assets and using them to his maximum advantage. These are not always visible. For example, … oh hell, enough of this silly charade! The ongoing stereotype about Russia is “gas and hackers”.

Although corny and offensive, the stereotype holds a grain of truth. For years, analysts have been speculating on the importance of gas pipelines as an appropriate deterrent. However, after five years of toing and froing on the gas front, it is becoming clear that this kind of weapon is very ineffective. The reasons are: a) it can be easily neutralised or bypassed and b) even if it’s not, it always leads to an eventual loss of influence (workings of the market, anti-Russian Western courts etc.). While it may be useful to have somewhere in the arsenal, history tells us that Russia would never use petrochemicals as a weapon even against its worst enemies. By contrast, the relentless “meddling” campaign in the West reminds us that Russia’s programmers and computer scientists are its top asset and I hope they are sufficiently incentivised to stay in Russia and protect her from the perennial aggressor. The future wars will be largely electronic.

In order to deprive Russia of freedom of action and oxygen of public sympathy, the West has embarked on an unprecedented coordinated campaign of demonisation of Russia as well as persecution, expulsion, arrest and assassination of its citizens. The degree of agreement in public opinion achieved by the new Nazis is mindboggling and I am not using this word lightly. All across the Western world Russian diplomatic property is being confiscated, ambassadors are being killed and diplomats expelled in their hundreds. The very mention of “Russia” is sufficient to trigger adverse associations in the majority of Westerners. Sanction after sanction is fired at the Russian state and its functionaries and capital projects are sabotaged without impunity.

What has been very surprising all the way through this escalating crisis is the apparent meekness of the Russian response to the enemy’s blows. By this I don’t mean complete inaction, but the belief that things are not irretrievably bad, that one event or another (e.g. election) could turn this crusade around and allow the Russians to breathe freely. Unfortunately, highly nuanced diplomatic warnings, allusions to possible outcomes, the tactic of always leaving an escape hatch ajar so that the partnyor doesn’t for one moment have to consider the consequences of his transgressions—are less than ineffective. For the adversary assumes that Russia is more afraid of an escalation (which is happening anyway) than offending or angering the evil behemoth (which is happening anyway).[3]

While going through the motions, the Americans are tightening the screws as we speak. Even the criminal geopolitical reprobate—Germany—dares threaten Russia openly without any meaningful response (Navalny, Byelorussia, Moldova, Ukraine etc.). In a word, Russia’s posture is dangerously passive. Although useful once, when a parity existed in the deadly power between the West and the East, this posture has long outlived its usefulness. It appears as a timorous, peace-at-all costs-seeking response to serious aggressive moves. The aggressor knows that Russian benevolence is not a consequence of power because this is only shown rarely and in exceptional circumstances (like the Americans who occasionally but very rarely give Russia a pat on the back). Rather, in Russia’s case it’s becoming a trope, a cliched modus operandi which hopes to appease the enemy and stay his merciless hand. But his hand won’t be stayed. He has ignored Russia’s pleading and president Putin’s warnings and is marching on. I am convinced that a change of tack is sorely needed. Judo might appear defensive but its ultimate aim is slamming an opponent against the tatami—and worse.

The three requirements that should guide a successful response strategy by Russia are:

4a. A deep change of heart

This point is perhaps the most important because it requires the most extensive social and psychological intervention. What do I mean by a “DCH”? In order to remove the curse of the West from its borders, first Russia needs to remove the West from its hearts. None of the super advanced hypersonic weapons will be worth a dime if those who are supposed to fire them idolise Hollywood and rap and fantasise about living in California or Bavaria (e. g. Gorbachev). I know that this sounds over the top but we are in an over-the-top situation where no rational dialogue is possible. We are dealing with an opponent who understands only brute force and considers Russians nothing more than dangerous semi-humans. I know, you’ll hear Americans say—oh, I’ve had Russian neighbours and they are lovely people, hard-working, keeping themselves to themselves blah blah. Aren’t you tired of that ….? The future for Russia will be very grim unless it breaks off its dependence on the West as an eternal magnetic pole of virtue and civilisation. Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe and Molière are dead and nothing will bring them back. Moreover, they have nothing to do with the unthinking racist, fascist, imperialist and chauvinist West as it is now.

The West is not a Nirvana of tolerance, gentility and democracy. It’s an artificial predatory organism whose genocidal hunger grows in proportion to the number of innocent lives it has snuffed out. It can sustain social peace at home as long as it is allowed to rob, steal and traduce abroad. Its long-term prospects being bleak, it is intent on dragging the world into the abyss not unlike what a dying Balrog did to Gandalf the Grey (damn that British propaganda). I am not advocating a total break with the West but a watchful, vary mistrust inspired by the awareness of West’s true intentions towards Russia. While it is difficult if not impossible to control the feelings of the millions of ordinary Russians, the example must come from the top. Credit where credit’s due—I am seeing a belated attempt to disrupt the activity of enemy agents inside Russia. I’ll quote Colonel Cassad: “Better late than never”.

4b. Aggressive forward posture

Emotionally, the hardest part for anybody who understands the underlying dynamics of the “European” imperialism and cares about Russia is the reactive posture of the Russian governing structures in the face of dehumanising treatment by the West. The cliches such as “open doors”, “international law”, “peaceful coexistence” and “always ready” etc. only embolden the enemy and show up Russian policy as weak, dilatory and unprepared to respond in kind (even if it Russia’s true strength is much greater).[4] This needs to change very soon if Russia is to stand any chance of regaining initiative in international relations. At the same time, the avalanche of slander and sabotage was so vast that waiting for it to rumble its way down the mountainside might have seemed like a good strategy.

Examples abound, for instance the humiliating treatment of Russia by the Bulgarians (South Stream, diplomat expulsions etc.). What should have been done was to expose Bulgaria to the maximum pressure especially economic and diplomatic. Subtle co-ordinated campaign of harassment of Bulgarian diplomats, businessmen and spies should have been par for the course. A concerted effort to harm Bulgaria might not have destroyed the country but could have contributed to a change in policy. If large gestures were out of question, an accumulation of small steps would have more than sufficed. But nothing ever came of it. The Bulgarians harassed Russian diplomats instead and the whole messy saga was forgotten. What hasn’t changed is the inimical posture by the country which owes its birth and survival to Russia. A more recent insulting treatment of Sergei Lavrov by the Croatian and “Bosnian” apparatchiks stick in one’s craw and reinforce the impression of severe weakness of the Russian foreign policy.

The recent shameful pronouncements by a Jewish president of the Ukraine whose grandfather had fought in the Red Army to the effect that Russia was guilty of starting WWII has been met by a mild rebuke from the Russian foreign ministry. A similar non-response was given following the threat by a Vukro-Nazi to deprive the population of Crimea of running water. Where are all the GRU illegals, Spetznaz snipers and sappers? What about the monuments to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War?

Every insult or threat directed at a Russian citizen (or symbol) irrespective of their status needs to be answered in kind. Let me give you a broad-brush example. For every Russian arrested abroad without a clear criminal case, a national of the offending country should be held in custody until the Russian has been released. If this is not possible, a company belonging to the offending country should be closed down and its property nationalised. For every Russian diplomat dying under less than completely innocent circumstances or being expelled, a foreign diplomat should be expelled in turn or a consulate closed down. This might be costly in the short term but would soon disabuse the barbarians of the notion that Russians are a meek and forgiving sort. Of course, these crude examples should be elaborated in order to confuse the enemy.

Sanctions are a matter of state policy but under no circumstances should they (or counter-sanctions) be applied half-heartedly. All sanctions must be treated as weapons of war. Consequently, they must never be used as a “warning” or a “slap”. Why? Because this kind of response must have been factored in by the enemy at the planning stage. Either they should be aimed at seriously harming the opponent or should be left in the rifle locker. I have the impression that Russia has been applying all of its economic weapons half-heartedly and very reluctantly.

Immediate and painful retaliation must follow any attack on Russia’s interests. Why? Because the cliché about “best served cold” is often just an excuse of the powerless. If the retaliation is not contingent on and contiguous with the original crime, it loses its meaning and its potency. Let me return to the South Stream—Russian pipeline that should have solved the problems of gas supply for the whole of Southern and Central Europe—was cancelled after a single visit to the quisling Bulgarian regime by a rabidly Russophobe US senator. After all the billions of roubles spent and thousands of hours of political, diplomatic and engineering work invested in the project, Russia’s only link with the Balkans was closed down irreversibly in a day. Russia’s response? Zilch, nada. Can this go on?

4c. Unpredictability/flexibility

If response in kind is not possible (I refuse to believe this), then small-scale but unpredictable retaliatory steps are the order of the day. One could argue that Russia’s responses are highly predictable. To illustrate—ever since say 2007, has Russia ONCE made a pro-active move that would inflict pain on its adversaries BEFORE they’d struck Russia? One can drown in excuses—Russians are trying to prevent a war (why is it their duty to do so?), they are polite (typical patronising Western head-patting) and a million others. A great deal has been made of President Putin’s stealthy moves in the Crimea and Syria. YES, that is the right way to go about things in foreign policy but at ALL LEVELS and most of the time (and often in advance of the enemy’s move). Instead of the Duma deliberating at how and when to respond (which leaves Russia an open book to its adversaries), a semi-clandestine organisation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to be formed which would work out strategies and scheduling of retaliatory responses in advance. This should be based on pseudo-random schedules where the timing and content of individual steps are not easily predicted. Furthermore, such steps should be individually intractable and only understandable when viewed as parts of a higher-level whole.

There is no reason why such strategies cannot be tweaked and adapted to real-life scenarios very quickly. The point is that the enemy reads Russia’s responses as a kind of simple code that is easy to break. “We shall respond symmetrically!” Who cares—the enemy knows this already. You should confound them by responding in a manner that gives your response maximum power. This is particularly important for a country that can compete with the West in terms of intellect but not money. In other words, I am asking for a wholesale change in strategy—from nuclear bombers to mini drone swarms (each element is insignificant but coordinated, large numbers of weak elements are capable of causing substantial damage).

I need to reiterate in conclusion that some of what I described above is starting to percolate into the official pronouncements and actions of the Russian government. They have changed Russia’s nuclear posture, restricted the space for activities of various foreign organisations and possibly social media. Further, the tone of Russian diplomacy has changed considerably in the last six to 12 months (although not perhaps as much as I would wish). This of course is very welcome but again predictable and easily ignored.[5] So in the spirit of the great victory of the Soviet people, I humbly propose: Not a step back!


  1. This is an informal title of the Order 227 issued on 28th July 1942 by Joseph Stalin with the aim of stopping the seemingly unceasing advance by the Germans and their allies. This essay is a polemic and not an attempt at objective analysis. 
  2. As I am finishing this piece, I read that Britain has exited the EU. I consider this a positive sign—the idea of a “united West” (a complete abomination and a death sentence for Russia) has gone for good. Furthermore, the Russian government has undertaken a number of positive and necessary steps aimed at reversing the enemy’s advance. 
  3. I have studied this weakness of Russian statecraft in some depth. A very similar thing occurred in the years preceding WWI when Germany decided to assert its dominance in the Balkans. Russians tried to accommodate the brazen and insulting German demands until the very last moment. To those who disagree—if I am wrong, why is the West continuing with its aggressive plans despite all the warnings by Russia? 
  4. Here we encounter an interesting problem. Constantly underplaying one’s strength is as dangerous as the opposite. For this reason alone, a more aggressive posture by Russia is called for. 
  5. This is another danger of predictable behaviour. The enemy is incentivised to ignore it until it’s too late. By the way, public deliberation is fine as long as it has the potential of producing unexpected outcomes. 

Russia vs a Biden Administration

THE SAKER • DECEMBER 29, 2020 

It sure looks like Biden will take over the White House one way or another, and while Trump and his supporters might still try a few things, the political correlation of forces inside the US ruling classes is clearly against Trump. As for the “deplorables” – they have been neutralized by stealing the election. Which means that Russia will soon face the most rabidly russophobic gang of messianic Neocons in history. So what can the world expect next?

The Dems are not meaningfully different from the Republicans. True, the Dems blame Russia for everything, while the Republicans blame China. Not much of a difference here: it is all about hate and scapegoating. And both of these factions of the oligarchic Uniparty like to blame Iran for, well, being located in the “wrong” part of the world, the Middle-East, which all US politicians (and not to mention their Israeli masters) want to control. As for the Israel Lobby, it has been trying to trigger a US attack on Iran for many decades. Recent US moves of key personnel and bombers might indicate that discussions of an attack on Iran are still very much taking place.

I don’t believe that these fundamental directions in US foreign policy will change much.

Why?

Primarily because the AngloZionist Empire and even the US as we knew them are basically dead, which means that irrespective of who is in control of the US, the objective means/capabilities of the Empire and the US will remain the same. In other words, when Biden promises to show Russia how tough and mighty he will be, he will not have any more capabilities to threaten Russia with than Trump had.

So the first thing we can expect is simply “more of the same”.

Now, in the Empire of Illusions which the United States has become, appearances matter much more than facts. US politicians have two quasi-reflexive reactions to any problem: use violence or throw money at it. Of course, using violence against Russia (or China and Iran) would be extremely dangerous. So throwing money at a problem is the way chosen by the US political elites (see here for the, rather boring, details).

A lot of that money will also be spent on ideological nonsense like supporting trans-gender rights in Africa, woke-awareness in the Baltic, “critical race theory” in Japan (good luck with that!), “Holocaust studies” in Poland and the like.

What will happen next is that this money will be spread amongst a pretty large US and EU bureaucracy (and its subcontractors) to all sorts of political PR actions aimed at presenting modern Russia as “Putin’s Mordor” whose “Nazguls” (scary GRU and/or SVR and/or FSB agents) run around the planet looking for more targets to infect with the totally ineffective, but still scary, “Novichok”. In the past, much of that money was spent inside Russia by all sorts of CIA-run NGOs and much of it was also spent on various propaganda efforts outside Russia. Again, this will not change, if anything, expect even more money poured into what are in reality strategic PSYOP operations.

The sad truth is that US politicians know very little about Russia, a country which they hate and fear, but not a country they even begin to understand. In this case, what US politicians will not realize is that Russia herself has changed a great deal in the past years: many new laws and regulation (see machine translated example here) were adopted which, in essence, “plugged” many political “holes” in the Russian legislation which allowed AngloZionist organizations to have a great deal of influence in Russia. As a result of these reforms, it has become far more difficult for western run NGOs to influence the Russian political scene.

As a direct result of these new rules, I expect that a higher ratio of money will stay allocated to activities situated in the West and less for Russian-based activities. In plain English, this means that more US printed money will be spent on completely useless activities. The only people benefitting from this will be the entire class of pseudo “Russia experts” whose only true expertise is on how to secure grant money. They will produce even more conferences and papers which nobody will care about, but which will allow the US Neocons and their deep state to show how “Biden is firm with Russia”. The typical US cocktail of waste, mismanagement and fraud (and let’s not forget good old corruption!).

Russia’s response to that will also be “more of the same”: Russian politicians will continue to express their disgust with their western “partners” (FYI – when Russians speak of “partners” it is understood by all that they mean this only sarcastically). Foreign Minister Lavrov and one of his deputies have recently made statements basically indicating that Russia will not seek any (!) form of dialog with the West, because, frankly, it is pretty clear to them that this is a total waste of time: Russia has nobody in the West to speak to: the only country with real agency (albeit severely limited by its subordination to Israel) would be the US, all the other countries of the West are really colonies and/or protectorates with no sovereignty at all.

What about all the many military provocations the Empire is organizing all around Russia? Do they concern Russia leaders or not?

Well, no and yes.

In purely military terms, US/NATO military capabilities are no real threat to Russia whose military is much smaller, but also much more capable than the western ones. Why? Simply because building a truly powerful military has been a core strategic priority for the Kremlin who needed a military actually capable of a) deterring the West from attacking Russia and b) defeating the West should deterrence fail. In sharp contrast, western militaries have not been training for real wars for decades already: most of what the US/NATO do is using western militaries for all sorts of propaganda purposes (like “sending messages” or “showing determination” etc.) and for counter-insurgency operations, not for fighting a real, major, wars.

Right now the Russian military is much more modern (about 80% of new gear on average across all military branches and services!) and much better trained for real combat operations. In sharp contrast, the US MIC is heavy on hot air (Space Force! Hypersonic missiles! Artificial Intelligence!) and short on any actually deployed and engageable weapon systems. Away from the propaganda machine (aka “corporate legacy ziomedia”), the reality is that the West is about 1.5-2 decades behind Russia in most critical military technologies.

Last, but not least, wars are not won by machines, computers or fancy engineering: they are won by soldiers, real men, who know what they are defending and why. The contrast between the typical Russian soldier (in any service or branch of the military) and his western counterpart could not be greater than it is today. Simply put: no western country can boast that it has soldiers like Russia has and, again, I don’t mean the “super dooper” elite Spetsnaz operators, I am talking about your very average, garden variety, infantry soldier, like the ones who saved Russia in the Chechen conflict in spite of operating in truly horrible and totally chaotic circumstances. These guys might not look like much, but as soldiers they are the kind every commander dreams about.

All this is to say that Russians have nothing to fear from all the western sabre-rattling, except maybe one thing: the rogue officer, on either side, who would suddenly decide to open fire (for whatever reason) thereby creating a situation which could escalate into a full-scale war very rapidly.

The other thing which is objectively bad for Russia is the number of key treaties the US has now withdrawn from: these treaties are most needed, especially as confidence building measures. Right now there are very few treaties left and that means that the US is desperate to try to suck Russia into an arms race.

This won’t work.

Why?

Putin himself explained it very well when he recently said that while the West throws huge sums of money at any problem, Russia allocates brains, not money. According to Putin, it is the use of brains, rather than wasting money, which allowed Russia to develop all the weapon systems mentioned by Putin for the first time in 2018. This made it possible for Russia to get ahead by a decade or more, while using only a small fraction of the kind of money the US, and other western countries, are allocating on “defense” (while not being threatened by anybody!). In the competition between the US money printing press and the Russian brains, you can be sure that the latter one will always prevail.

The bottom line is this: the US can spend many hundred billion dollars on “countering Russian (or Chinese) influence”, but this will do absolutely nothing to help the objective circumstances and capabilities of the Empire or the US.

So the real question is what will change on the level below direct military confrontation.

In a recent press conference, Putin mentioned something very interesting about the outgoing Trump administration. He said:

“The current administration introduced new sanctions against Russia 46 times – against our legal entities and economic operators. Forty-six times – this has never ever happened before. But at the same time, bilateral trade grew by 30 percent over the previous year, oddly enough, even despite those restrictions.”

So if the putatively pro-Russian Trump Administration sanctioned Russia 46 times, it is normal for the Russians to look at Biden with equanimity or even a resigned fatalism: “the West has always hated us, the West still hates us and the West will always hate us” – this truism is all but unanimously accepted amongst Russian politicians.

Still, we can count on Biden and Harris to try to show how “tough” they are on Russia and Putin: they will show their prowess mostly by demanding that their NATO/EU colonies and protectorates continue “send messages” to Russia and show their “unity” and “solidarity” with each other, mostly by parroting self-evidently nonsensical Anglo and German propaganda. Will the bilateral trade between Russia and the US continue to grow? Probably not as the list of corporations and agencies the US declares to be under sanctions will only grow further. But never say never, especially with the comprehensively hypocritical Dems…

How about the kind of self-evidently ridiculous stories about Russians using (a clearly ineffective) combat biological agent like the so-called “Novichok”, trying to kill irrelevant bloggers and failing to do so, or some variation on “animal Assad” “poisoning his own people”? Will that nonsense also continue? Probably, mainly simply because this is something which the Empire has demonstratively proved that it has the ability to do. So why not continue, especially with a press corps willing to parrot even the most ridiculous nonsense.

The bottom line is this: to get a sense of what any actor could do next, one always has to multiply intentions by capabilities. If there is one thing which the outgoing Maga Administration has shown, is that its declared intentions and actual capabilities are not at all commensurate: hence the long list of countries Trump threatened, but never meaningfully attacked. “Biden” (and I use this term very loosely, meaning “Biden and his real handlers”) will inherit the very same geostrategic toolkit Trump had at his disposal for four years and which did not make it possible for him to effectively flex muscles, not even against weak and nearby Venezuela! We can be pretty sure that the rhetoric about Russia will get even more hate-filled and paranoid. Petty harassment (such as arrest of nationals, closures of offices, expulsion from various international events, etc.) will also continue, not so much because they work, but because a lot of people depend on these for their salary.

How likely is a shooting war? In my personal opinion, not very likely at all. I think that the folks at the Pentagon are mostly aware of the real world out there, and they probably recognize that the US armed forces are in no condition to fight any halfway capable opponent.

How likely is it that the US will use a protectorate like the Ukraine or Georgia to reignite another local war? It is not impossible, especially since the US did support SBU infiltration of terrorists into Russia. Keep in mind that the sole goal of such (a, frankly, suicidal) attack would be to provoke Russia into a military response, not to actually achieve anything else. The main problem here is that the regular armed forces of the Ukraine and Georgia are in no condition to fight, and that the (US letter soup controlled) Ukrainian and Georgian special services have already tried this many times, and so far without success, mainly because, unlike all the western countries, Russia has the actual means to lock her borders when needed.

What about the reported plan to destabilize Russia by creating conflicts all along her periphery?

It would take way too long for me here to describe what is taking place in each of these countries right now, but I will offer just the following bullet points:

  • Russia has officially declared that she will never allow Belarus to be conquered by the West (irrespective of the means used). That ship has sailed.
  • Russia is slowly, but surely and very successfully “choking” the economies of the three Baltic statelets, mostly by denying them transit of Russian cargo and by letting them cut themselves off (yes, they did that to themselves!) from the Russian-Belarusian energy network.
  • Poland is, as always, very loud, and, also as always, highly irrelevant. Poles are only potentially dangerous to a very weak, divided country, or when backed by powerful patrons. Neither is true nowadays.
  • The Ukraine poses no threat to Russia, it is way too weak, too corrupt, too mismanaged and too poor to represent a threat to Russia. The Minsk Agreements have been de-facto rejected by the entire Ukronazi political class and the Donbass is now gone forever.
  • The Caucasus is now firmly in Russian hands (there is no force capable of challenging the Southern Military District or the 58th Combined Arms Army in the region). Those who believe that Turkey strengthened its position in the region simply do not understand the outcome of the recent war (especially the very interesting drone war which showed that while Armenia could not deal with them, Russian EW literally destroyed Turkish drones in mid-air (this also happened in Syria, by the way).
  • Central Asia is an inherently unstable region, mainly because these countries never succeeded in effectively transitioning from the Soviet period to full independence. And yes, the US has a great deal of influence in this region. But only Russia can provide effective security guarantees to the leaders of Central Asia, they all know that. Finally, Kazakhstan plays an important “buffer” role for Russia, putting distance between her and her chronically unstable southern neighbors.
  • In the Far East, Russia and China are enjoying a long honeymoon in which their already very deep relationship only gets deeper and their collaboration stronger (in spite of western PSYOPs trying to scare Russians about how China wants to take Siberia, and other silly fairy tales). Russia is now even supplying key strategic defense technologies to China.
  • Last, but most certainly not least, Russia has total superiority in the Arctic, where the West is many decades behind Russia. In fact, Russia is massively expanding her capabilities (civilian and military) in the Russian north, which will give her even more weight on our planet’s very rich north.

Now ask yourself: do you see any of that changing in the next 4 years, even assuming a rabidly hostile Biden Administration? I sure don’t.

Conclusion:

Yes, the political atmosphere between Russia and the Empire will get worse. Most of the “action” will take place in the public media space. The quasi simultaneous collapse of the Anglo-Zionist Empire and the United States (at least as we knew them before the election steal) will not give much time or energy to western leaders to pursue policies which have already failed in the past and for which they simply do not have the means.

Trump or Biden was never a meaningful choice for Russia (only the Russian court jester Zhirinovskii thought otherwise). It’s not much of a choice today either. The most likely consequence of these collapses will be that the world will split in roughly two sections: “Section A” which will include all the countries of the “collective West” and which will be busy trying to survive a crisis which has only begun and “Section B”: the rest of the world, which will try hard to decouple itself from the sinking West and try to develop itself in this rather unstable environment.

Also, many Russians remember the gerontocracy which ruled in the last years of the USSR and they know how such gerontocracies act (make no difference if the country is ruled by a Chernenko or a Biden – such rulers are always weak and clueless).

Biden or Trump – no real difference for Russia.

This is why most Russians don’t care either way.← NATO and the EU Are Sending a “messag…

Democracies Don’t Start Wars. But Democrats Do

By Philip Giraldi, Ph.D.
Source: Strategic Culture

It may have been President Bill Clinton who once justified his wrecking of the Balkans by observing that liberal interventionism to bring about regime change is a good thing because “Democracies don’t start wars with other democracies.” Or it might have been George W. Bush talking about Iraq or even Barack Obama justifying his destruction of Libya or his interventions relating to Syria and Ukraine. The principle is the same when the world’s only superpower decides to throw its weight around.

The idea that pluralistic democracies are somehow less inclined to go to war has in fact been around for a couple of hundred years and was first elaborated by Immanuel Kant in an essay entitled “Perpetual Peace” that was published in 1795. Kant may have been engaging in some tongue in cheek as the French relatively liberal republic, the “Directory,” was at that time preparing to invade Italy to spread the revolution. The presumption that “democracies” are somehow more pacific than other forms of government is based on the principle that it is in theory more difficult to convince an entire nation of the desirability of initiating armed conflict compared to what happens in a monarchy where only one man or woman has to be persuaded.

The American Revolution, which preceded Kant, was clearly not fought on the principle that kings are prone to start wars while republics are not, and, indeed, the “republican” United States has nearly always been engaged in what most observers would consider to be wars throughout its history. And a review of the history of the European wars of the past two hundred years suggests that it is also overly simple to suggest that democracies eschew fighting each other. There are, after all, many different kinds of governments, most with constitutions, many of which are quite politically liberal even if they are headed by a monarch or oligarchy. They have found themselves on different sides in the conflicts that have troubled Europe since the time of Napoleon.

And wars are often popular, witness the lines of enthusiastic young men lining up to enlist when the Triple Entente took on the Germans and Austrians to begin the First World War. So, war might be less likely among established democracies, but it should be conceded that the same national interests that drive a dictatorship can equally impact on a more pluralistic form of government, particularly if the media “the territory of lies” is in on the game. One recalls how the Hearst newspaper chain created the false narrative that resulted in the U.S.’s first great overseas imperial venture, the Spanish-American War. More recently, the mainstream media in the United States has supported the disastrous invasion of Iraq, the destabilization of Syria, and the regime change in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya.

So now we Americans have the ultimate liberal democratic regime about to resume power, possibly with a majority in both houses of Congress to back up the presidency. But something is missing in that the campaigning Democrats never talked about a peace dividend, and now that they are returning the airwaves are notable for Senators like Mark Warner asking if the alleged Russian hacking of U.S. computers is an “act of war?” Senator Dick Durbin has no doubts on the issue, having declared it “virtually a declaration of war.” And Joe Biden appears to be on board, considering punishment for Moscow. Are we about to experience Russiagate all over? In fact, belligerency is not unique to Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.  War is in the air, and large majority of the Democratic Party recently voted for the pork-bloated National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), endorsing a policy of U.S. global military dominance for the foreseeable future. If you are an American who would like to see national health insurance, a large majority among Democrats, forget about it!

But more to the point, the Democrats have a worse track record than do the Republicans when it comes to starting unnecessary wars. Donald Trump made the point of denouncing “stupid wars” when he was running for office and has returned to that theme also in the past several weeks, though he did little enough to practice what he preached until it was too late and too little. Clinton notoriously intervened in the Balkans and bombed a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan and a cluster of tents in Afghanistan to draw attention away from his affair with Monica Lewinsky. His secretary of State Madeleine Albright thought the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. sanctions was “worth it.” Barack Obama tried to destroy Syria, interfered in Ukraine and succeeded in turning Libya into an ungovernable mess while compiling a “kill list” and assassinating U.S. citizens overseas using drones.

If you want to go back farther, Woodrow Wilson involved the U.S. in World War One while Franklin D. Roosevelt connived at America’s entry into the Second World War. FDR’s successor Harry Truman dropped two atomic bombs on civilian targets in Japan, killing as many as 200,000. Japan was preparing to surrender, which was known to the White House and Pentagon, making the first use of nuclear weapons completely unnecessary and one might call it a “war crime.” Truman also got involved in Korea and John F. Kennedy started the intervention in Vietnam, though there are indications that he was planning to withdraw from it when he was killed. The only Democratic president who failed to start one or more wars was the much-denigrated Jimmy Carter.

So, it is Joe Biden’s turn at the wheel. One has to question the philosophy of government that he brings with him as he has never found a war that he didn’t support and several of his cabinet choices are undeniably hardliners on what they refer to as national security. The lobbies are also putting pressure on Biden to do the “right thing,” which for them is to continue an interventionist foreign policy. The Israeli connected Foundation for the Defense Democracies (FDD) has not surprisingly issued a collection of essays that carries the title “Defending Forward: Securing America by Projecting Military Power Abroad.” If one had to bet at this point “defending forward” will be what the Biden Administration is all about. And oh, by the way, as democracies don’t go to war with democracies, it will only be the designated bad guys who will be on the receiving end of America’s military might.Or at least that is how the tale will be told.

Canada, U.S. have ‘selective’ approach toward human rights: lawyer

By Mohammad Mazhari

November 23, 2020 – 10:56

Sari Bashi, a consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN)

TEHRAN – A human rights lawyer says the U.S. and Canada follow double standards toward human rights, noting that they “support human rights selectively”.

In an interview with the Tehran Times, Sari Bashi, a consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN), says that U.S. policy in terms of human rights is not consistent. 

“Unfortunately, the United States and Canada support human rights selectively, and the United States, in particular, has not done nearly enough to call out its allies for human rights abuses,” Bashi points out.

Canada and the U.S. accuse other countries of human rights violations while they themselves sell weapons to tyrannical regimes in West Asia, which are used against defenseless people, especially in Yemen. 

Canada claims a global reputation as a human rights defender, while the Ottawa government has a bad record when it comes to the rights of the indigenous peoples. According to reports revealed by the Human Rights Watch, the Natives are deprived of the right to safe drinking water, and police mistreat and abuse indigenous women and girls.

Bashi also says the U.S. is misusing its influence to allow its allies, such as Israel, to commit crimes.

 The following is the text of the interview:

Q: Certain Western states have a bad record in view of human rights, so are these countries entitled to condemn other countries?

  A: I think the fact that all authorities abuse human rights do not disqualify any particular government from raising human rights issues with others. Certainly, the best way to encourage respect for human rights is to lead by example, and every government in the world that has invested more energy in improving in own human rights record could be more credible to criticize other government who may not be; but at the same time I think it is always legitimate to raise the issue of human rights abuses and we should make sure that we are holding our governments accountable to universal standards of human rights as articulated by international instruments.

“We should make sure that we are holding our governments accountable to universal standards of human rights as articulated by international instruments,” the consultant for Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) says. Q: When it comes to Israeli crimes against Palestinians, why do countries like Canada and the U.S. give full support to Tel-Aviv? How is it possible that Israel wins such support?

A: I think lack of accountability for Israeli violations of human rights and international law against Palestinians reflects a weakness in accountability of the international system.

Unfortunately, the UN Security Council cannot act in the Israel-Palestine case because of the veto power of powerful members, especially the United States, while other mechanisms of accountability such as the International Criminal Court are struggling to have jurisdiction over war crimes committed in Palestine. So we have a lot of work to do in obtaining a stronger mechanism of accountability, and the fact that Israel enjoys such a strong military and financial support from the United States reflects a distorted political system in which the U.S. as a superpower is using its significant influence to allow its allies to commit abuses.

Q: Why is Canada not really concerned about human rights violations when it clinches arms deals with a value of 15 billion dollars with Saudi Arabia? Is it justifiable to say that Canada is not aware that these weapons are used against children and women in Yemen?

A: Canada, like all countries, has a responsibility to ensure that it does not violate human rights or international humanitarian law including in its military deals; so selling weapons to actors who are committing war crimes in Yemen will be a violation of Canada’s obligations and certainly, the Canadian government and the Canadian people have a responsibility to ensure that their foreign policy respects human rights and does not contribute to war crimes. 

Q: Washington has imposed harsh sanctions on Iran that are hampering Iran’s access to medicine. At such a hard time, countries like Canada have been cooperating with Washington in pushing ahead with its unilateral sanctions by refusing to sell humanitarian goods to Iran.  What is your comment?

 A: Unfortunately, the United States and Canada support human rights selectively, and the United States, in particular, has not done nearly enough to call out its allies for human rights abuses. At DAWN, we believe that U.S. policy should be consistent. So the same standard in terms of respecting human rights that are applied towards Iran should also be applied towards Israel and every other country because these are universal standards of how government should treat the people under their control.

Q: Why have Western countries, especially Canada and the U.S., preferred to turn a blind eye to Khashoggi’s murder while they knew that Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for that crime? How could Saudis distract attention away from their crimes and influence human rights bodies in the UN?

A: I think the lack of accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi reflects a weakness in the system of international politics and especially the United States, which is selling Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in the arms trade and providing diplomatic cover that allows the Saudi government to act with impunity. The lack of accountability for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder regarding the role of Mohammad Bin Salman indicates that real change is needed. What is encouraging is that in the United States, there is pressure not just from the American people but also in the American Congress seeking accountability, and I remind that the U.S. Congress has required the federal government to provide information about those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the form of a DNI (Director of National Intelligence) report that was to be published last year. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has ignored that mandate and refused to release the report.  The refusal is the subject of litigation in U.S. courts, and we hope that the incoming administration will follow the law and do what Congress has required, which is to reveal what American intelligence services know about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. 

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin address to G20 member countries

Source

President of Russia Vladimir Putin address to G20 member countries

Vladimir Putin addressed the meeting of the heads of delegations of the G20 member countries, invited states and international organisations.

The summit chaired by Saudi Arabia is held via videoconference on November 21–22.

The forum’s agenda includes issues of tackling the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, providing universal access to vaccines, strengthening healthcare systems, global economic recovery and employment, as well as cooperation in the digital economy, fighting climate change, environmental protection and countering corruption.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin:

Colleagues,

The scope of problems humanity has faced in 2020 are truly unprecedented. The coronavirus pandemic, global lockdown and frozen economic activity have launched a systemic economic crisis the world probably has not known since the Great Depression.

The growth of national economies has been severely undermined. The pandemic claimed dozens, hundreds of thousands of lives while millions of people have lost their jobs and incomes.

The main risk, obviously, even despite some positive signals, the main risk remains: mass long-term unemployment, a so-called “stagnant” unemployment with the subsequent growth of poverty and social insecurity. The role of the G20 is to stop this from happening.

Russia highly values Saudi Arabia’s efforts during its G20 Presidency. In the present situation, the forums’ agenda was re-focussed towards global economic recovery and the protection of people’s health and wellbeing.

Drawing on the experience of fighting the 2008–2009 global financial crisis, the G20 launched a number of multilateral initiatives to curb pandemic-related economic risks and to restore business activity including via key global management institutions, namely the United Nations Organisation, the World Health Organisation, IMF, the World Bank and others.

Our countries have designed a package of incentives for the world economy totalling $12 trillion. The US President has spoken now about the US efforts – indeed, it is a very big contribution to the recovery of the American economy, which also means the recovery of the world economy.

We all together facilitated the emergency mobilisation of $21 billion for essential medical needs and gave a start to international cooperation in developing, producing and distributing vaccines.

Like other nations, Russia took unparalleled anti-crisis steps as it gave top priority to the key and fundamental value – people’s lives and health.

To ensure the sustainability of the national economy and maintain social stability, Russia’s Government together with the Bank of Russia are implementing a comprehensive plan of assistance to the population, small and medium-sized businesses and industries in the risk zone. Support was provided to the banking sector and regional budgets, businesses were issued loans while government investments were increased. The current volume of anti-crisis budget support totalled 4.5 percent of the GDP.

The timely adoption of these targeted measures allowed Russia, as well as the majority of developed countries, to mitigate the economic decline, to enhance the healthcare system and get through the hard times without irreparable losses. Both our accumulated reserves and attracting loan resources in the domestic market helped to finance the above measures.

Yet we are aware that the developing economies and some emerging market economies objectively lack such resources. Their fiscal revenues have plunged while the need to allocate considerable funds for fighting the pandemic is growing practically daily. National currency devaluation carries a big risk, and respectively, the cost of servicing on the state debt, primarily for low income countries, which have two thirds of their loans in US dollars.

The IMF and the World Bank rendered significant assistance to developing countries. Following their proposal, G20 made a decision in April to install a temporary moratorium on developing nations’ debt payments. That is certainly a much-needed initiative, but it only covers the poorest countries. It does not include their debt to private creditors and concerns less than four percent of the developing countries’ overall costs of servicing state debt in the current year.

I believe additional measures are needed to prevent the deterioration of the situation and the growth of economic and social inequality.

Urgent issues that have accumulated in international trade also need to be addressed. Thus, it is necessary to try to contain protectionism, to abandon the practice of unilateral sanctions and to resume delivery chains. We spoke about this just yesterday at another international platform, APEC.

Adjustment of multilateral universal trade rules to e-commerce (much needs to be done in this area) and other new economic realities are also on the agenda.

On the whole, the G20 should continue searching for new approaches to reforming the World Trade Organisation to meet present-day challenges. This task defies a solution without a stable and effective multilateral trade system, but at present, there is no alternative to the World Trade Organisation.

Russia supports the draft key decision of the current summit aimed at making effective and safe vaccines accessible for everyone. Undoubtedly, immunisation drugs are and must be universal public domain. Our country, Russia, is ready to provide the countries in need with the vaccines developed by our researchers. This is the world’s first registered vaccine Sputnik V, based on human adenoviral vectors platform. The second Russian vaccine, EpiVacCorona from a Novosibirsk research centre, is also ready. The third Russian vaccine is coming.

The scale of the pandemic compels us to engage all the resources and research available. Our common goal is to form portfolios of vaccines and ensure reliable protection for the planet’s population. It means that there will be enough work for everyone, colleagues, and I think it is a case when competition may be inevitable but we must proceed primarily from humanitarian considerations and make it a priority.

Let me stress – this crisis must become an opportunity to alter the trajectory of global development, preserve the favourable environment and climate, ensure equal conditions for all nations and peoples, build up effective tools of multilateral cooperation and key international institutions while drawing upon the UN Charter and universally accepted norms and principles of international law. We see this approach to solving global issues as the key task and responsibility of the G20 as the main forum of the world’s leading economies.

Colleagues, I would like to once again thank the hosts of today’s event, Saudi Arabia. Thank you for your attention.

Pompeo: All Options Remain on the Table against Iran

Pompeo: All Options Remain on the Table against Iran

By Staff, Agencies

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeated Washington’s threats against Iran, saying all options remain on the table against the Islamic republic.

Pompeo made the remarks in an interview with the “Israeli” newspaper “Jerusalem Post” when he was asked whether “all options still on the table” against Iran.

Pompeo said this has been the policy of the United States for the past four years and there’s no reason it would change.

“My judgement is, and history will reflect, that we’ve been pretty successful,” he said.

“I remember when we first began the maximum pressure campaign. We’d withdrawn from the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], and the world said this will never work, American sanctions alone won’t work,” he said.

“Well, they have significantly reduced Iran’s capacity to foment harm around the world. It’s not complete,” he added.

“[US President Donald Trump] has done several things. One, he denied them money. That also sent a strong message to the Middle East that facilitated the Abraham Accords [through] this central understanding, this isolation of Iran in ways that are deeply different than before, whether it’s the [United Arab] Emirates or Bahrain or Sudan or whoever signs the Abraham Accords next,” he continued.

On Wednesday, Iran warned the US of a crushing response if it takes any hostile move against the country.

This followed a New York Times report that Trump had asked his top aides, including Pompeo, about the possibility of striking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The report said the aides dissuaded Trump by warning him that any such a move could escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of his presidency.

متى كانتْ مُساعداتُكُم مجانيةً يا حضْرة السفيرة «المَصون»؟!

السيد سامي خضرا

هكذا وبكلّ بساطة تُواصل السفيرة الأميركية لدى لبنان سفاهَتَها التي بدأتْها منذ اليوم الأول لوصولها إلى لبنان.

فهي تقوم بزيارات ونشاطات وتُكثر من التصريحات بكلّ فظاظة ووقاحة بحيثُ أنها لا تجرؤ على فعل ذلك لو كانت في بلدٍ آخر يحرص على احترام شعبه وصيانة كرامته ومراعاة قوانينه وخطوطه الحمر.

أما في لبنان فـ «السِّت المصون» تسرحُ وتمرح وتتمادى من دون ضوابط ولا حدود وهي مُطْمئنة أنّ أحداً لن يمنعها أو يُغضبها والعياذ بالله، لأنّ غاية ما يمكن أن يكون ردَّ الفعل على تصرفاتها أن يتمّ تنسيق زيارة لها، من بعد إذنها طبعاً، لمسؤول رسمي تُسمَّى «عزيمة على فنجان قهوة» على الطريقة اللبنانية، وهو مصطلح يستعمله الجبناء لمجاملة الأقوياء للضحك على الأغبياء!

فبالأمس صرَّحت حضرة السفيرة بأن «لا مساعدات مجانية للبنان بعد اليوم»!

واعجباً:

فهي تعلم ونحن نعلم وتعلم أننا نعلم كما الكلّ يعلم أنه في كلّ تاريخ السياسة الأميركية في لبنان لم يكن هناك أيّ مساعدة أو قرار أو خطوة أو تحرّك أو موقف مجاني قط بل نتعامل مع دولةٍ مُتسلطة باغية كلّ همّها تأمين سياستها الاعتدائية العدوانية على البلدان المُستعمَرَة أو المُتَسلَّط عليها لِما فيه حفظ الكيان الصهيوني الدخيل وتأمين تدفُّق النفط دون أن يكون لنا نصيب من لقمة أيتام على مائدة اللئام!

نعم:

لا شيء تُقدِّمه أميركا مجاناً لا للبنان ولا لغيره لا اليوم ولا أمس ولا غداً، ولطالما دَفَعْنا أثماناً غالية من دمائنا ودموعنا وأَرَقِنا وأَمْننا وراحتنا… صيانة لكرامتنا وسُمُو شرفنا.

لم تُقدِّمْ شيئاً مجاناً لكن المُجاهرة من السفيرة بهذا الكلام هو وقاحةٌ زائدة عن الوقاحة السائدة، فهي تتحدَّى كلّ اللبنانيين فرداً فرداً بِمَنْ فيهم الذين يعملون عبيداً بين يديها، ففي تصريحها إهانة علنية ومُباشرة للمؤسَّسات التي تَتلقَّى مساعداتها فهي تقول لهم:

إنَّ مساعدتنا ليست مجانية بل هي مقابل شيء وثمن ومواقف معنوية ومادية ترهنكم وتستنزِفكم جميعاً.

إذاً…

كلّ من يتلقى أي مساعدة عن طريق السفارة الأميركية وُجِّهَت له إهانة من الحجم الثقيل والمباشر.

فإلى متى تبقى هذه الفوضى من دون موقفٍ يُعبِّر عن كرامة لبنان واللبنانيين الذين يتحمَّلون كلّ هذه التصرفات المُشينة والتي لم تكن الأولى!

فقبل أسبوعٍ فقط وعندما فُرِضت العقوبات المعروفة على رئيس التيار الوطني الحر الأستاذ جبران باسيل عَقَّبت السفيرة مباشرةً «أنّ عندها دلائل لن تُفرِجَ عنها»!

وذلك في أغرب موقف يمكن أن تراه في عالم الإِدِّعاء أو القضاء أو المرافعة!

وأما إذا أردنا أن نستحضر كافة مواقف هذه الدبلوماسية والتي كانت تخدم في الكيان الغاصب لاحتجنا إلى مقالات عديدة لكن نكتفي بتذكير وتحذير في أنّ الأوضاع لا يمكن لها أن تستمرّ على هذا المنوال، وإلاَّ لن تُرجى لنا قيامة أو أمل بإصلاح ما دامت أمثالُ هذه النماذج تتحرك بمثلِ هذه العقلية السائبة التي لا تعتبرنا بشراً يستحقون المعاملة اللائقة!

والمطلوب فوراً لا أقلّ من وقفة عزّ يصحو بها الغافلون وينتفض لها الغيورون لنكون جديرين بعزّ لا يُميته زمان ونُوَرِّثه للأجيال…

Syria’s International Conference On Refugees Is A Masterclass In Balancing

12 NOVEMBER 2020

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Syria

The kinetic phase of the Hybrid War of Terror on Syria has mostly drawn to a close, as evidenced by the milestone event of the country hosting an international conference on the return of refugees, which resulted in several significant outcomes that speak to the masterful execution of its “balancing” strategy and raise hope that the Arab Republic will eventually transform into the Eastern Mediterranean terminal point of China’s visionary W-CPEC+ corridor across Eurasia.

Strategically Disarming “Weapons Of Mass Migration”

Syria’s international conference on the return of refugees is a milestone event for the country’s war which shows that the kinetic phase of the Hybrid War of Terror against it has mostly drawn to a close. President Assad’s keynote speech saw the Syrian leader thanking his Russian and Iranian wartime allies for their help getting to this point and encouraging his compatriots abroad to finally return home. He claimed that some of their host countries are exploiting them for financial and other reasons, strongly hinting that they’re being used against their will as “Weapons of Mass Migration” like Ivy League scholar Kelly M. Greenhill earlier described such a phenomenon. In connection with that, President Assad condemned those states which continue to impose illegal sanctions against the Arab Republic, which has disincentivized some refugees from returning home and thus results in artificially perpetuating this historic humanitarian crisis that was initially sparked by their external war of regime change aggression against his people through terrorist means.

Syria’s “Balancing” Act

Thankfully, Syria can count on its Russian and Iranian wartime allies to help reconstruct the ruined country and thus facilitate the return of millions of refugees to their homeland. To this end, Russia promised to allocate $1 billion as well as open up a trade mission in Damascus while Iran suggested setting up an international fund for this purpose. Both countries seem poised to enter into a “friendly competition” with one another for reconstruction contracts and market space which can only work out to Syria’s ultimate benefit. The Arab Republic is therefore expected to retain its carefully calibrated “balancing” act between them, wisely doing its utmost to prevent the emergence of any complete dependence on either of them in the future. This strategy is consistent with what it’s always pursued over the decades and represents its masterful execution which too many other small- and medium-sized states previously attempted but to no avail. Even worse, many of Syria’s peers saw this strategy backfire on them, thus leading to either their ruin or full dependence on one partner.

Full credit goes to Syria’s world-class diplomats for being able to manage such a difficult policy with such success. Not only are they “balancing” between Russia and Iran, but they also managed to attract the important participation of other countries in their international refugee conference, most curious of which for some observers is Pakistan. Those who only casually follow Syrian affairs might have missed it, but Islamabad recently dispatched massive medical aid to the Arab Republic. This and its participation in the international conference show that the “global pivot state” (which the author previously referred to it as) is capable of bold foreign policy moves independent of its close American, Saudi, and Turkish partners. Pakistan, just like Syria, is also practicing its own “balancing” act between its aforementioned three traditional partners and its three newest ones of Russia, China, and Iran. In fact, it can be argued that Pakistan and Syria are in the process of synergizing their respective “balancing” strategies for the betterment of Eurasia.

Pakistan’s Serendipitous Chance In Syria”

To explain, not only is Syria “balancing” between Russia and Iran, but also between India and Pakistan too. Although Damascus and Delhi have a long history of close relations, Presidential Advisor Bouthaina Shabaan told the Hindustan Times in August 2017 that her country is becoming hesitant about India’s role in its reconstruction after Prime Minister Modi’s highly publicized trip to “Israel” where he did everything from sign intergovernmental deals solidifying their de-facto alliance to even walking barefoot with Netanyahu along the beach. The author realized at the time that this is “Pakistan’s Serendipitous Chance In Syria” whereby Islamabad could flex its anti-Zionist credentials to present itself as a much more credible partner than pro-Zionist Delhi in pursuit of strengthening the two state’s historic relations that reached their high point in 1974 after a Pakistani pilot flying a Syrian jet shot down an “Israeli” fighter flying over the occupied Golan Heights. Syria’s diplomats were evidently receptive to Pakistan’s outreaches, hence the steady improvement of ties.

The Winding Road To W-CPEC+

It’s not just nostalgia for their Old Cold War-era ties nor their shared hatred of “Israel” that’s bringing them closer together nowadays, but pro-Chinese Silk Road pragmatism. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), and its western branch corridor (W-CPEC+) through Iran has the chance of not only reaching Russia by running parallel with the stalled North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) across Azerbaijan but can also extend as far as Syria via Iraq. China is the little-discussed third economic force apart from Russia and Iran which is engaged in a “friendly competition” with its partners to develop Syria, and the improvement of Syrian-Pakistani relations as is presently happening could result in W-CPEC+ extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Eastern Mediterranean through Iran, Iraq, and Syria, all of which are allied with one another. It’ll of course take a lot of political will from all sides — not least of all Pakistan — to see this ambitious vision through, but if successful, then it could revolutionize Mideast geopolitics.

All five countries — China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and Syria — would benefit from this outcome. The People’s Republic is the world’s second-largest economy and actively eyeing more positions in the Eastern Mediterranean to complement its prospective ones in “Israel”, albeit via more geopolitically reliable mainland routes than the maritime ones connecting it to the self-professed “Jewish State”. Pakistan has an interest in bolstering its credential as the “global pivot state” by having CPEC serve as the platform for integrating Eurasia more closely together. Iran, which is desperately seeking all manner of sanctions relief, is reportedly negotiating a gargantuan economic agreement with China and would certainly benefit by facilitating more East-West trade through its territory. As for Russia, its recent control over Tartus means that it could profit from any Syrian export of Chinese products through that port. As for the Arab Republic itself, its expected benefit is that this vision would accelerate its reconstruction and allow it to finally actualize its pre-war “Five Seas Strategy”.

Concluding Thoughts

All told, Syria’s international conference on the return of refugees was about much more than just its titular topic. Reading between the lines of the details that have since been revealed about this milestone event, it was actually a masterclass in Syria’s “balancing” strategy. The Arab Republic proved that its diplomats are among the most highly skilled in the world after successfully “balancing” between Russia and Iran, as well as India and Pakistan, all with the aim of fulfilling its visionary “Five Seas Strategy” which some argue was partially responsible for provoking the Hybrid War of Terror that’s been viciously waged against it for almost an entire decade already. In the best-case scenario, Syria will eventually serve as the Eastern Mediterranean terminal point of the W-CPEC+ corridor connecting that strategic body of water with the Pacific Ocean via a several-country-long mainland commercial corridor. The successful fulfillment of this vision would revolutionize not only Mideast geopolitics, but also Eurasian geopolitics as a whole, which thus makes it an urgent priority for all.

سياسة العقوبات والإنكار الأميركيّ

ناصر قنديل

تشكل الفترة المتبقية من ولاية الرئيس الأميركيّ دونالد ترامب إطاراً لحالة إنكار داخلية وخارجية. فالشق الظاهر من حالة الإنكار على الصعيد الداخلي بالإعلانات المتكررة لترامب عن رفض الإقرار بخسارة الانتخابات، وتبني معادلة ما لا يحلّه الإنكار يحلّه المزيد من الإنكار، لا يختلف عن الشق الخارجي حيث بات ثابتاً تراجع القدرة على اعتماد الحلول العسكرية التي كان عنوانها ما قاله الوزير السابق للدفاع في عهد الرئيس جورج بوش الذي أطلق معادلة ما لا تحله القوة يحله المزيد من القوة. وفيما يبدو ترامب مسلماً بالعجز عن ترجمة هذه المعادلة، وتتصدّر الانسحابات العسكرية مشروعه لما تبقى من ولايته، يظهر أنه يستنسخ معادلة رامسفيلد معدلة جينياً، لتصير ما لا تحله العقوبات يحله المزيد من العقوبات.

يستطيع ترامب أن يتحدّث بالأرقام عن نتائج العقوبات والحصار على دول مثل إيران وسورية، وحتى على روسيا والصين، وبنسب أخرى على تركيا وعلى أوروبا عموماً من خلال العقوبات على إيران وسورية وروسيا والصين، هذا إضافة للرسوم الجمركية التي استهدفت الصناعات الثقيلة لكل من ألمانيا واليابان، لكن الأكيد أن المرتجى من العقوبات سياسياً كانت نتائجه صفراً. فإيران وسورية زادتا التمسك بمواقفهما، رغم المعاناة الناجمة عن العقوبات، وروسيا والصين الأقل تأثراً، ولكن الأكثر تشابكاً وتداخلاً تحولتا الى الخصومة، وأوروبا التي عجزت عن بلورة سياسة مستقلة كاملة، لم تخضعها العقوبات أو الخسائر الناجمة عن العقوبات، فمواقفها من الاتفاق النووي مع إيران والعقوبات عليها في تصويت مجلس الأمن، كما مواقفها من قضايا كثيرة أخرى آخرها التعامل مع نتائج الانتخابات الأميركية لا توحي بأن سياسات ترامب أدت إلى أي نتائج تذكر.

في لبنان حيث تقود السياسة الأميركية القائمة على الحصار والعقوبات السياستين الغربية والعربية منذ سنوات، وصولاً للانفجار الاجتماعي والانهيار المالي، وتتويجاً بإنزال العقوبات الفردية على شخصيات سياسية كانت مستثناة بما تمثل من بيئات سياسية واجتماعية من الاستعداء الأميركي، يمكن أيضاً لواشنطن أن تحصي بالأرقام خسائر لبنان ومدى الانهيار الذي سببته سياساتها، كما تستطيع التلويح بالمزيد، لكن السؤال خصوصاً مع ظهور العقوبات كنهج مرشح للاتساع هو ماذا سيحصد منه الأميركيون في السياسة، وقد تعاملوا مع نماذج مختلفة كانوا يتوقعون للتهديد بالعقوبات تعديل سياساتها وخياراتها، والأكيد أن المعنيين بالعقوبات لم يكونوا من الخصوم الراديكاليين للسياسات الأميركيّة، لكن النتيجة قالت إن الرهان الأميركي على خلق بيئة سياسية لبنانية معادية للمقاومة تتيح تشكيل حكومة تعزلها، يسقط حلقة حلقة، ويمكن للتجميد الذي يريده الأميركي للحكومة إفساحاً في المجال لاختبار المزيد من العقوبات، أن يحمل المزيد من الخيبات، لكن لا يبدو أن الإنكار سيسقط، فما لا يحلّه الإنكار يحلّه مزيد من الإنكار في فلسفة ترامب.

الذي لا يدركه الأميركيون هو أنّهم ينقلون شرائح سياسية وشعبية من مواقع أكثر قرباً لهم إلى مواقع تزداد بعداً عنهم، وأن مصداقيتهم تتهاوى لجهة ما تمنحه العقوبات من شهادات براءة ذمة من تهم الفساد للذين يتم استهدافهم مع عجز اميركا، التي تعرف كل شيء عن كل الناس في عالم الحسابات المالية، عن تقديم أدلة ووثائق وإثباتات لاتهامات الفساد، خصوصاً عندما تنحصر الاتهامات بالذين تقول واشنطن إنها تستهدفهم لعلاقتهم بالمقاومة وتحالفهم معها، وإذا كان الرئيس المتنخب جو بايدن قد ورث مع الرئيس باراك أوباما قبل سنوات سقوط سياسة التدخل العسكريّ عن فشل الرئيس جورج بوش، فربما يكون أهمّ ما سيرثه مع فشل الرئيس ترامب هو سقوط سياسة العقوبات كأداة في السياسة.

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Do Americans continue to strangle Lebanon? هل يواصل الأميركيّون خنق لبنان؟

Do Americans continue to strangle Lebanon?

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Some Lebanese hope that the stage of new U.S. President Joe Biden will be less damaging to the situation of their country than that of his predecessor Trump, who has not yet acknowledged his election loss.

It must be emphasized that political relations are not based on hopes as much as on the balance of power and the possibility of achieving goals and alliances.

Accordingly, the U.S. project, which began after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, took the forms of a U.S. military invasion from Afghanistan to Iraq using an Israeli attack on Hezbollah in July 2006 that focused on the south, but it covered most of Lebanon and was part of the Middle East fragmentation project, which the former Secretary of State described from her country’s embassy in Beirut in 2006 as a project for a large Middle East, and the Americans completed their attack in Libya and Syria, interfering in Egypt and covering the war on Yemen, and the players of Sudan and Tunisia.

This project has been hit hard in the Trump phase, unable to make any progress in any part of the region, so he tried to compensate for the imposition of normalization between the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan with the Israeli entity has no real value in terms of balances in the Middle East because all these countries are a historical part of American influence.

The Americans found another way to tame the Middle East: the method of economic blockade and sanctions as alternative means of persuasion from failed military wars.

Lebanon is one of the countries under the yoke of U.S. economic and political sanctions, considering that attempts to control its successive governments, which are under formation, have not succeeded in their goals.

Attempts to provoke the pro-American Lebanese alliance have not reached a useful conclusion, as the other party opposed to them holds very strong political and popular balances.

Therefore, the imposition of sanctions on the head of the Free Patriotic Movement Gibran Bassil is part of the American attempts to bring about a major change in the internal balance of power that was supposed to cause confusion for  Hezbollah..

But Bassil refrained from meeting u.S. orders, which led to the imposition of U.S. sanctions on his political and economic movement, accusing him of. corruption that the whole world knows includes the entire Lebanese political class from 1990 to the present without any exception, and most of those belonging to it are Allies of the Americans and the Gulf with some European rapproches.

The first is to target Hezbollah’s internal strength, and the second is to push the pro-American Lebanese Christian forces to gain near-total control over their social environment, which also leads to hizbullah’s confusion in its confrontational movement against the occupied entity in southern Lebanon and the fight against terrorism in Syria and Lebanon.

So far, all these attempts have belonged to the era of President Trump, inherited from the era of Bush, Son and  Obama..

But America today is emerging from a presidential election in which The Democratic Biden and Trump Republican failed..

Does the new president deal with Lebanon differently?

The reality is that the Americans deal with Lebanon on the basis of regional conflict and do not rely much on its internal issues, the region for them includes Iran, the Gulf, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and these are so closely linked that one can only be separated from the other if there is a major change in one for the benefit of the Americans that requires it to be separated from the regional situation and reintegrated into the Gulf-Israeli package.

But the Lebanese balances are the same, as evidenced by the fact that the two parties’ insistence on amal and Hezbollah to mandate Saad Hariri to form a new government did not result in a preponderance of the U.S. axis in Lebanon as much as reflecting the tendency of the two to achieve an internal truce that prevents any internal sectarian or sectarian clashes on which U.S. policy works with Gulf support.

Is Biden  repeating the same policies. of his predecessor Trump in the region?

Therefore, logic is that the major military options in the Middle East have become more  excluded with the success of Iran in the steadfastness, as well as Yemen, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon..

This is with situations that are not what the Americans in Iraq desire.

In other words, Biden  finds himself forced to seek settlements with Iran first and foremost for multiple importances,the first of which has iran’s second gas in the world in terms of production, in addition to oil and huge amounts of uranium that are not yetinvested.

As for Iran, the political state of Sana’a is the victor, the popular mobilization in Iraq, the Syrian state and Hezbollah in Lebanon, meaning that any real truce with it or a real settlement includes most of the countries of the region, including of course Lebanon in such a way that it is possible to produce a new government represented by the alliance of the national current with the duo Amal, Hezbollah, future Hariri, Jumblatt, Franjieh and Armenians, while the party of the forces isolates itself refraining from participating.

This is the only way to reproduce normal U.S. relations in the entire region, including, of course, Lebanon, which is بايدن  eagerly awaiting Biden in the hope of lifting the sanctions on Bassil and lifting the blockade on Lebanon to restore balances to normal..

هل يواصل الأميركيّون خنق لبنان؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يأمل بعض اللبنانيين أن تكون مرحلة الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن أقل ضرراً على أوضاع بلدهم من مرحلة سلفه ترامب الذي لم يعترف بخسارته في الانتخابات حتى الآن.

لا بد أولاً من تأكيد أن العلاقات السياسيّة لا تستند الى الآمال بقدر ما تتكئ على موازين القوى وإمكانية تحقيق الأهداف والتحالفات.

بناء عليه فإن المشروع الأميركي الذي ابتدأ بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989 اخذ أشكال غزو عسكري أميركي من افغانستان الى العراق مستخدماً هجوماً اسرائيلياً على حزب الله في تموز 2006 تمحور حول الجنوب، لكنه شمل معظم مناطق لبنان وكان يشكل جزءاً من مشروع تفتيت الشرق الأوسط الذي وصفته الوزيرة الأميركية السابقة من سفارة بلادها في بيروت في 2006 بأنه مشروع لشرق اوسط كبير، واستكمل الأميركيون هجومهم في سورية وليبيا متدخلين في مصر ومغطين الحرب على اليمن، ومتلاعبين بالسودان وتونس والجزائر.

هذا المشروع أصيب بضربات قوية في مرحلة ترامب عاجزاً عن تحقيق أي تقدم في اي بقعة من المنطقة، فحاول التعويض بفرض تطبيع بين الإمارات والبحرين والسودان مع الكيان الإسرائيلي لا قيمة فعلية له على مستوى التوازنات في الشرق الأوسط لأن كل هذه البلدان هي جزء تاريخي من النفوذ الأميركي.

فوجد الأميركيون نهجاً آخر لترويض الشرق الأوسط وهو أسلوب الحصار الاقتصادي وفرض العقوبات كوسائل إقناع بديلة من الحروب العسكرية الفاشلة.

لبنان اذاً هو واحد من البلدان الواقعة تحت نير العقوبات الأميركية الاقتصادية والسياسية باعتبار ان محاولات السيطرة على حكوماته المتعاقبة والتي قيد التشكيل لم تفلح في مراميها.

كما أن محاولات استنهاض الحلف اللبناني المؤيد للأميركيين لم يصل الى نتيجة مفيدة باعتبار أن الطرف الآخر المناهض لهم يمسك بتوازنات سياسية وشعبية قوية جداً.

لذلك فإن فرض عقوبات على رئيس التيار الوطني الحر جبران باسيل هو جزء من المحاولات الأميركية لإحداث تغيير كبير في موازين القوى الداخلية كان من المفروض ان تتسبب بإرباكات لحزب الله.

لكن باسيل امتنع عن تلبية الأوامر الأميركية ما أدّى الى فرض عقوبات أميركية على حركته السياسية والاقتصادية مع اتهامه بفساد يعرف العالم بأسره أنه يشمل كامل الطبقة السياسية اللبنانية منذ 1990 حتى تاريخه من دون أي استثناء ومعظم المنتمين إليها هم من حلفاء الأميركيين والخليجيين مع بعض التقاربات الأوروبية.

بما يؤكد أن الاستهداف الأميركي لباسيل له سببان: الأول هو التصويب على القوة الداخلية لحزب الله، والثاني دفع القوى المسيحيّة اللبنانية الموالية للأميركيين الى تحقيق سيطرة شبه كاملة على بيئتها الاجتماعية، بما يؤدي أيضاً الى إرباك حزب الله في حركيّته المجابهة للكيان المحتل في جنوب لبنان والمكافحة ضد الإرهاب في سورية ولبنان.

حتى الآن تنتمي كل هذه المحاولات الى مرحلة الرئيس ترامب التي ورثتها عن عهود بوش الأب والإبن وأوباما.

لكن أميركا اليوم تخرج من انتخابات رئاسية نجح فيها بايدن الديمقراطي وفشل فيها ترامب الجمهوري.

فهل يتعامل الرئيس الجديد مع لبنان بشكل مختلف؟

الواقع يقول إن الأميركيين يتعاملون مع لبنان على اساس الصراع الإقليمي ولا يعولون كثيراً على مسألته الداخلية، فالمنطقة بالنسبة اليهم تشمل إيران والخليج والعراق وسورية ولبنان واليمن، وهذه شديدة الترابط بحيث لا يمكن فصل واحدة عن الأخرى إلا اذا حدث تغيير كبير في إحداها لمصلحة الأميركيين تتطلب فصلها عن الوضع الإقليمي واعادة ضمها الى الباقة الخليجية الإسرائيلية.

لكن التوازنات اللبنانية على حالها، بدليل أن إصرار الثنائي حركة امل وحزب الله على تكليف سعد الحريري بتشكيل حكومة جديدة لم ينتج عن رجحان للمحور الأميركي في لبنان بقدر ما عكس ميلاً من الثنائي لتحقيق هدنة داخلية تمنع أي صدامات داخلية مذهبية او طائفية تعمل عليها السياسة الأميركية بدعم خليجي.

فهل يكرّر بايدن سياسات سلفه ترامب نفسها في المنطقة؟ السياسات واحدة لا تتغير، لكن الأساليب هي التي تتبدل، والاهمية بالنسبة للأميركيين هي الاستئثار بأكبر كمية ممكنة من اقتصادات الشرق الاوسط لإعادة ضخّها في اقتصادهم الداخلي.

لذلك يعتبر المنطق أن الخيارات العسكرية الكبرى في منطقة الشرق الأوسط اصبحت اكثر استبعاداً مع نجاح إيران في الصمود وكذلك اليمن وسورية وحزب الله في لبنان.

هذا مع أوضاع ليست كما يشتهيها الأميركيون في العراق.

بمعنى أن بايدن يجد نفسه مضطراً الى البحث عن تسويات مع إيران أولاً وأخيراً لأهميات متعددة اصبحت بحوزتها واولها الغاز الإيراني الثاني عالمياً على مستوى الانتاج بالإضافة الى النفط وكميات ضخمة من الاورانيوم ليست مستثمرة حتى الآن.

اما إيران السياسية فهي حليفة دولة صنعاء المنتصرة والحشد الشعبي في العراق والدولة السورية وحزب الله في لبنان، بمعنى أن أي هدنة حقيقية معها أو تسوية حقيقية فهذا يشمل معظم دول المنطقة ومنها بالطبع لبنان بشكل يصبح فيه ممكناً إنتاج حكومة جديدة يتمثل فيها حلف التيار الوطني مع الثنائي أمل وحزب الله والمستقبل الحريري وجنبلاط وفرنجية والأرمن، فيما يعزل حزب القوات نفسه ممتنعاً عن المشاركة.

هذا هو الطريق الوحيد الذي يعاود إنتاج علاقات أميركية طبيعية في المنطقة بكاملها، ومنها بالطبع لبنان الذي يترقب بايدن بفارغ الصبر آملاً إلغاء العقوبات عن باسيل وفك الحصار عن لبنان لإعادة التوازنات الى طبيعتها.

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The raging pirate is down! no sorry about him! القرصان الهائج سقط! لا أسفَ عليه!

The raging pirate is down! no sorry about him!

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Dr. Adnan Mansour

A few days ago, the American people said their word. His boss, Donald Trump, dropped, and refused to be re-elected.

It is Donald Trump, who has not stored the world in voluntarily within him, like the hatred and abhorrence he has stored for a president who has left only the traces and filth of his abusive, unjust, tyrannical, savage decisions, which have tampered with international laws, customs and conventions, and the world’s customary assets and laws.

He is with the leaders and rulers of his friendly states, he was blunt, rude, opportunistic, heavy-handed, dictated, ordered, blackmailed, imposed arbitrary decisions on them, to serve his policies, without relying on the rights of others and taking their interests.

They would be slow, poured his anger upon them, and they were watching. His behavior towards the countries that reject his policies is clear, as it was between two options: either to bow to and bear his fierce and unjust decisions against their peoples, or to wait for many sanctions, the blockade and work by all means to overthrow their rulers and regimes.

It is Trump who violated the Charter of the United Nations and ignored its resolutions, and exceeded international laws, by his unilateral actions, which violated the rights of peoples, the sovereignty of states, imposed a financial embargo, an economic and commercial blockade, and resorted to the application of strict policies against it, which led to serious humanitarian repercussions and consequences, which directly reflected on the lives of civilians in all its aspects.

It is Trump, a model of moral degradation, and a human conscience, which once prevented the export of medicine to Iran and Syria, which were most needed, to treat civilians, infants, children, and the elderly, at the height of their fight against the Corona pandemic. Indifferent, indifferent to any sense, human attitude, moral duty, or responsibility of a man of a great power, who is full of freedom, justice and human rights everyday.

It is Trump who has counted thousands of lies by the media that have marked his character in power. He is a rebel, a renegade, a violator of international conventions, and a withdrawal from them, flouting the obligations and signatures of the United States, and respecting them.

It is Trump who withdrew from the Paris Climate Change Agreement three years after. it came into force, which was approved on December 12, 2016.

It is Trump who decided to withdraw from the International Organization for Education, Science. and Culture (UNESCO), where the withdrawal came into effect on December 31, 2017.

On June 17, 2017, Trump imposed new economic restrictions on Cuba and reconsidered the measures taken by former President Barack Obama’s administration that would normalize diplomatic relations with Havana.

It’s Trump who vetoed the international nuclear deal.

He withdrew in 2018, after the five Security Council countries and Germany signed it with Iran, which was approved and supported by the United Nations and the UN Security Council, which was considered a major achievement at the time by the countries of the world, and all the signatories, and is in the service of security and worldpeace.

It is Trump who on February 2, 2019, decided to end Washington’s commitment to the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Power Treaty with Russia, causing a new opening toa dangerous arms race.

It is Trump, who overthrew international resolutions and agreements related to the Palestinian issue, revealed his blatant bias towards the occupied Zionist entity, his abhorrent hostility towards then at Palestinian Arab people, the Arab people as a whole and their legitimate rights, through a series of resolutions and actions he took and implemented, consisting of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the nat-nat in it as the capital of the Zionist occupation state, stopping financial support to the Palestinian Authority, and also stopping supporting the Palestinian Refugee Relief Agency (UNRWA), in addition to his decision to close the Palestinian Embassy in Washington.

It is Trump who has acknowledged the sovereignty of the Zionist occupation authority over Jerusalem and the Golan, and supported and supported its resolutions and practices in the construction of settlements and the confiscation of land, in violation of the insolent and flagrant disregard of the relevant UNresolutions.

It is Trump, who has ordered the EUROPEAN Union to increase its military budget within NATO, under threat and threat of action against some of its countries, if not responding, where the EU had no choice but to bow to its demands.

It is Trump, who has imposed harsh sanctions without adopting humanitarian standards that have had a bad impact on more than one country. His immoral and inhuman sanctions against Iran, Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Russia and China were against officials, bodies, institutions, companies, individuals, economic, industrial, scientific, medical, Russian, Chinese, Indian, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, Venezuelan, Korean and other personalities.

It is Trump, who has challenged the nations of the world by taking unilateral decisions, outside the framework of the United Nations organization and the international community, against countries that are opposed to hegemony and hegemony, to impose them on the countries of the world against their will, even if they see in these resolutions as illegal, fair and legitimate. Their acquiescence to his will, their obedience to him, and whatever they are, have been visible. Because she is well aware that if he rejects his decisions, he will put them under the guillotine of U.S. sanctions. Many U.S. resolutions have been scaled up, and have hit the core of the dignity, prestige, and prestige of major allies, as they have been shackled, and revealed the extent of their “sovereignty” and freedom of decision, their commitment and respect for international conventions, and their open acquiescence to their decisions. Perhaps the 5+1 nuclear agreement, the living example, to show the whole world the extent to which major countries such as France, Britain, Germany and other u.S. influence, dictates and decisions, where these countries have not been able, until the moment to abide by the nuclear agreement in letter and spirit, and apply it in practice, and deal with Tehran under its terms, because it cannot escape the pressure of Trump and ignore the response to the will, fearing his anger and avoiding sanctions.

He is Trump, a racist whose many positions, and his many tweets, and his many tweets were characterized by hatred and arrogance, through which he insulted and insulted mexicans whom he accused of bringing crime and drugs to his country, in addition to describing African countries with Haiti and El Salvador as scum, and full of “dirty dens”, which generated a wave of anger against his racist statements in the countries of the world, especially within the African Union.

It is Trump, the cowboy dasher, who revealed last September during an interview with Fox News that he had a chance to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but then Defense Minister Metis, was against it! He also ordered the assassination of The Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Deputy Commander of the Iraqi People’s Mobilization Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3 this year.

It is Trump, who has pursued aggressive policies that have shed the blood of thousands of martyrs and wounded in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Palestine and others. Policies that fed the forces of terrorism as. a result of U.S. military, financial, media and logistical support.

It is Trump, a pirate of money and attitudes, who knows where to eat the shoulder, how to exploit, blackmail, and plunder his “friends”, through the soft veiled threat, intimidation, intimidation and intimidation, under the pretext of providing care for them, securing protection and continuity of their existence and governing Their chairs, using the vocabulary of arrogance and cynicism, sometimes, arrogance, mockery, and sometimes contempt, and when needed, enabled him to withdraw hundreds of billions of dollars from their pockets, and the “cute” robbery of their coffers.

It is Trump, whose memory will remain in the memory of the dirtiest and worst policy pursued by the American president, who has never known the politics of morality, nor the living human conscience towards it, and who was thrown by fate to be a day at the head of a great power, who saw nothing but bitterness, and who seought nothing but disappointment in his dealings with them, where his policies were met with more indignation, condemnation, and condemnation.

Today, with the oppressed free peoples of the world, tormented by their destructive policies, which are pursuing him with their curses and their curses, and after his fall, we say aloud: Donald Trump! President, the Americans have uttered, the curses of the free peoples who have suffered on your hands the policies of humiliation, siege, and unjust punishments,

Destruction, killing, and “organized” looting will continue to haunt you wherever you are, and the free world is screaming loudly and chanting with them: Donald Trump, you raging cowboy who staggers and fell, and the free people of the world have not tasted on your hands but the sag, leave, and i don’t regret you…!

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Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates

القرصان الهائج سقط! لا أسفَ عليه!

د. عدنان منصور

قبل أيام، قال الشعب الأميركي كلمته. أسقط رئيسه دونالد ترامب، ورفض إعادة انتخابه .

هو دونالد ترامب، الذي لم يختزن العالم كرهاً في داخله، مثل ما اختزنه من كره ومقت شديد حيال رئيس لم يترك لدى دول العالم وشعوبها المقهورة، إلا آثار وقذارة قراراته المسيئة، الظالمة، المستبدة، المتوحشة، التي عبثت بالقوانين والأعراف والإتفاقيات الدولية، والأصول واللياقات المتعارف عليها في العالم.

فهو مع زعماء وحكام الدول الصديقة له، كان عنجهياً، فظاً، انتهازياً، غليظ الطبع، يملي، يأمر، يبتز، يفرض قراراته التعسفية عليها، لتصبّ في خدمة سياساته، دون الإكتراث الى حقوق الآخرين والأخذ بمصالحهم.

فإن تلكؤوا، صبّ عليهم غضبه، وكان لهم بالمرصاد. أما سلوكه تجاه الدول الرافضة لسياساته فواضح، حيث كانت بين خيارين: إما ان ترضخ وتتحمّل قراراته الشرسة المجحفة بحق شعوبها، وإما أن تنتظر منه الكثير من العقوبات، والحصار والعمل بكل الوسائل على الإطاحة بحكامها وأنظمتها.

هو ترامب الذي عمد إلى انتهاك ميثاق الأمم المتحدة وتجاهل قراراتها، وتجاوز القوانين الدولية، بإجراءاته الأحادية الجانب، التي انتهكت حقوق شعوب، وسيادة دول، وفرضت حظراً مالياً، وحصاراً اقتصادياً، وتجارياً عليها، ولجأ الى تطبيق سياسات صارمة بحقها، أدّت إلى تداعيات ونتائج إنسانية خطيرة، انعكست مباشرة على حياة المدنيين من مختلف جوانبها.

هو ترامب، نموذج الانحطاط الأخلاقي، وعديم الضمير الإنساني، الذي منع يوماً تصدير الدواء الى إيران وسورية اللتين كانتا بأشدّ الحاجة إليه، لعلاج المدنيين من رضع، وأطفال، ومسنين، وهما في ذروة مكافحتهما لجائحة كورونا. غير مكترث، وغير عابئ بأيّ شعور أو موقف إنساني أو واجب أخلاقي، أو مسؤولية رجل دولة عظمى، تتشدّق كلّ يوم بالحرية والعدالة وحقوق الإنسان.

هو ترامب الذي أحصت له وسائل الإعلام آلاف الأكاذيب التي طبعت شخصيته وهو في السلطة. هو المتمرّد وناكث العهود، ومنتهك الإتفاقيات الدولية، والمنسحب منها، ضارباً عرض الحائط التزامات الولايات المتحدة وتواقيعها عليها، واحترامها لها.

هو ترامب الذي انسحب من إتفاقية باريس لتغيير المناخ بعد ثلاث سنوات من بدء نفاذها، والتي أقرّت في 12 كانون الاول 2016.

هو ترامب الذي قرّر الانسحاب من المنظمة الدولية للتربية والعلوم والثقافة (اليونسكو)، حيث دخل الانسحاب حيّز التنفيذ في 31 كانون الأول 2017.

هو ترامب الذي فرض يوم 17 حزيران عام 2017، قيوداً اقتصادية جديدة على كوبا، وأعاد النظر في ما اتخذته إدارة الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما، من إجراءات من شأنها تطبيع العلاقات الدبلوماسية مع هافانا .

هو ترامب الذي انقض على الإتفاق النووي الدولي

وانسحب منه عام 2018، بعد أن وقعت عليه دول مجلس الأمن الخمس وألمانيا مع إيران، والذي حظي بموافقة ودعم الأمم المتحدة ومجلس الأمن الدولي، والذي اعتبر إنجازاً كبيراً في حينه من قبل دول العالم، وكلّ الموقعين عليه، ويصب في خدمة الأمن والسلام العالمي.

هو ترامب الذي اتخذ يوم 2 شباط 2019 قراراً بإنهاء التزام واشنطن بمعاهدة القوى النووية المتوسطة المدى، التي أبرمت مع روسيا عام 1987، ليتسبّب بفتح الباب مجدّداً أمام سباق تسلح خطير.

هو ترامب، الذي أطاح بالقرارات الدولية، والإتفاقيات ذات الصلة بالقضية الفلسطينية، وكشف عن انحيازه السافر للكيان الصهيوني المحتلّ، وعن عدائه البغيض حيال الشعب العربي الفلسطيني، والشعوب العربية برمّتها وحقوقها المشروعة، من خلال سلسلة من القرارات والإجراءات التي اتخذها ونفذها، تمثلت بنقل السفارة الأميركية الى القدس، والاعتراnatف بها كعاصمة لدولة الاحتلال الصهيوني، وبوقف الدعم المالي للسلطة الفلسطينية، وبالتوقف أيضاً عن دعم وكالة غوث اللاجئين الفلسطينيين (الأونروا)، بالإضافة الى قراره بإغلاق السفارة الفلسطينية في واشنطن.

هو ترامب الذي أقرّ بسيادة سلطة الاحتلال الصهيوني على القدس، وعلى الجولان، وأيّد ودعم قراراتها وممارساتها في بناء المستوطنات ومصادرة الأراضي، منتهكاً ومتجاهلاً بشكل وقح وفاضح القرارات الأممية ذات الصلة.

هو ترامب، الذي أمر الاتحاد الأوروبي بزيادة موازنته العسكرية داخل حلف الناتو، وتحت التهديد والتلويح باتخاذ إجراءات ضدّ بعض دوله، ان لم تستجب، حيث لم يكن أمام الاتحاد الأوروبي إلا الرضوخ والاستجابة الى طلباته.

هو ترامب، الذي فرض عقوبات قاسية دون الأخذ بالمعايير الإنسانية التي تركت آثارها السيئة على أكثر من دولة. فكانت عقوباته اللاأخلاقية واللاإنسانية ضدّ إيران وكوريا وسورية وفنزويلا وكوبا وروسيا والصين، لتطال مسؤولين، وهيئات، ومؤسسات، وشركات، وأفراد، ومرافق اقتصادية، وصناعية وعلمية، وطبية، وشخصيات روسية وصينية وهندية وعراقية وسورية ولبنانية وفنزويلية وكورية وغيرها.

هو ترامب، الذي تحدّى دول العالم، باتخاذه قرارات أحادية الجانب، خارج إطار المنظمة الأممية والمجتمع الدولي، ضدّ دول رافضة للتسلط والهيمنة، ليفرضها على دول العالم رغماً عنها، وإنْ رأت في هذه القرارات عدم قانونيتها، وعدالتها وشرعيتها. فرضوخ هذه الدول لمشيئته، وطاعتها له، ومهما علا شأنها، كانت ظاهرة للعيان. لأنها تدرك جيداً، أنه في حال رفضها لقراراته، سيضعها تحت مقصلة العقوبات الأميركية. فالعديد من القرارات الأميركية حجمت، وأصابت بالصميم كرامة، ومكانة، وهيبة دول كبرى حليفة له، حيث كبّلها، وكشف عن مدى «سيادتها» وحرية قرارها، والتزامها واحترامها للاتفاقيات الدولية، وعن رضوخها المكشوف لقراراته. ولعلّ الاتفاق النووي الـ 5+1، هو المثل الحيّ، ليبيّن للعالم كله مدى تحرّر دول كبرى مثل فرنسا وبريطانيا وألمانيا وغيرها من النفوذ والإملاءات والقرارات الأميركية، حيث لم تستطع هذه الدول، حتى اللحظة الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي نصاً وروحاً، وتطبيقه عملياً، والتعامل مع طهران بموجب بنوده، بسبب عدم تمكّنها من الإفلات من ضغوط ترامب وتجاهل الإستجابة لإرادة، خشية من غضبه وتفاديا لعقوباته.

هو ترامب، العنصري الذي امتلأت مواقفه الكثيرة، واتسمت تصريحاته، وتغريداته العديدة بالكراهية والاستعلاء، التي من خلالها شتم وسبّ يوماً المكسيكيين الذين اتهمهم بجلب الجريمة والمخدرات إلى بلاده، بالإضافة الى وصفه لدول أفريقية ومعها هاييتي والسلفادور على أنها حثالة، ومليئة «بالأوكار القذرة»، ما ولد موجة غضب عارمة ضدّ تصريحاته العنصرية في دول العالم، وبالذات داخل الاتحاد الأفريقي .

هو ترامب، الكاوبوي الداشر، الذي كشف في شهر أيلول الماضي أثناء مقابلة له، أجرتها معه قناة «فوكس نيوز»، من أنه كانت لديه فرصة لاغتيال الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، لكن وزير الدفاع آنذاك متيس، كان ضدّ ذلك! وهو أيضاً الذي أمر باغتيال قائد فيلق القدس في الحرس الثوري الإيراني قاسم سليماني، ونائب قائد الحشد الشعبي العراقي أبو مهدي المهندس يوم 3 كانون الثاني من هذا العام.

هو ترامب، الذي انتهج سياسات عدوانية، سالت من جرائها دماء آلاف الشهداء والجرحى في العراق وسورية وليبيا واليمن وفلسطين وغيرها. سياسات غذت قوى الإرهاب نتيجة الدعم الأميركي العسكري، والمالي، والإعلامي، واللوجستي لها.

هو ترامب، قرصان المال والمواقف، الذي بعرف من أين تؤكل الكتف، وكيف يستغلّ، ويبتز، وينهب «أصدقاءه»، من خلال التهديد المبطن الناعم، والتخويف، والترغيب والتهويل، بحجة توفير الرعاية لهم، وتأمين الحماية والاستمرارية لوجودهم وحكمهم وكراسيهم، مستخدماً تجاههم، مفردات العنجهية والاستخفاف، أحياناً، والصلف، والاستهزاء، والاحتقار أحياناً أخرى، وحين تدعو الحاجة، ما مكنه من سحب مئات المليارات من الدولارات من جيوبهم، والسطو «الظريف» على خزائنهم.

هو ترامب، الذي ستظلّ الشعوب العربية، ومعها غالبية شعوب العالم الحرة، تختزن في ذاكرتها أقذر وأسوأ سياسة أتبعها الرئيس الأميركي بحقها، الذي ما عرف يوماً سياسة الأخلاق، ولا الضمير الإنساني الحيّ حيالها، وهو الذي قذفته الأقدار ليكون يوما على رأس دولة عظمى، لم تر منه إلا المرارة، ولم تلمس منه إلا الخيبة في تعاطيه معها، حيث لقيت سياساته عندها المزيد من السخط، والتنديد،

والغضب…

اليوم، مع شعوب العالم الحرة المقهورة، المعذبة بسياساته المدمّرة لها، التي تلاحقه بلعناتها وأنينها، وبعد سقوطه، نقول بصوت عال: دونالد ترامب! أيها الرئيس الذي لفظه الأميركيون، إن لعنات الشعوب الحرة التي عانت على يديك سياسات الإذلال والحصار، والعقوبات الظالمة،

والدمار، والقتل، والنهب «المنظم» ستظلّ تلاحقك أينما كنت، وأحرار العالم يصرخون بصوت عال ونردّد معهم: دونالد ترامب، أيها الكاوبوي الهائج الذي ترنح وسقط، ولم يذق أحرار العالم على يديك غير الحنظل، إرحل، ولا أسفاً عليك…!

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وزير الخارجية والمغتربين الأسبق

Existential issues in Basil’s speech, Stop silly discussion قضايا وجوديّة في خطاب باسيل فلا تسَخّفوا النقاش

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Existential issues in Basil’s speech, Stop silly discussion

Nasser Kandil

Some will go to the U.S. indictment of Bassil for corruption, ignoring that Bassil opened a challenge to the U.S. administrations concerned to present any detailed incident outside of the structural speech to prove the corruption charges, and presented to the official negotiations with him to avoid sanctions and their interlocutors have nothing to do with corruption files. Others will want to focus the light on Bassil’s talk about elements of disagreement with Hizbullah and the differentiation from it, especially in the concept of conflict with the entity of occupation, and the ideological position of the existence of the entity, knowing that these positions are not new and have nothing to do with the time of sanctions, and they belong to a general Lebanese culture excluding the resistance team alone, b These positions have accompanied the experience of the resistance since its inception, and its demand that all Lebanese support its choice to liberate the land and defend the rights of without requiring them to share the ideological view of the entity. This was the basis for the birth of the Mar Mikhael understanding between Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement and continues..

In the words of Bassil, what deserves to be much more illuminated than these two cases, and at the forefront of what is interesting, is that for the first time in the case of U.S. sanctions for corruption, in a country hungry for reform, it is the leader of a balanced team in Lebanese society, from the Christian environment that did not bear arms either with the occupation army or against it, the target, here is Mp Bassil, the content of the negotiations conducted with him by U.S. officials, from the level of secretary of state to the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. This content is a resounding scandal in itself, where there are no corruption files put on the negotiating table to seek clarification or correction, but penalties for corruption without files, ready to be issued without hesitation in exchange for clear political barter offers that are not acceptable to interpretation, to stand with the U.S. policy hostile to The interests of Lebanon, and in matters not related to direct U.S. interests, but to Israeli interests, from breaking the relationship with Hezbollah to accepting the settlement of Palestinian refugees and retreating from calling for the return of displaced Syrians and lowering the negotiating ceiling in the demarcation of the border. Material and moral, or reject, in which case your material interests and moral reputation will be mercilessly targeted under the heading of corruption, independent of the validity and credibility of this charge..

– The message that the Americans brought to Bassil is a scandalous, revealing message that is not limited to him, and it should not be viewed through the portal of personalizing it in the meaning directly, for it is the message of the American policy towards Lebanon and the Lebanese political leaders, which affects the most prominent Christian politician in Lebanon, which affects more than all other Christian leaders, and the Christian leader more severely affects all Muslim leaders. This means that everyone in Lebanon is interested in reading the message, America is not interested in corruption or reform in Lebanon except in the point of view of installing files for those who do not adhere to their policies aimed at establishing the priority of Israeli interests, which threaten Lebanon existentially, and who calls for appeasement of America as the savior and savior, he must openly declare during the day that he has no objection to settlement and abandonment of Lebanese wealth and sovereign rights, and that he is ready to accept what Basil rejected, and that the Lebanese have the right to ask those who are excluded from sanctions.

– Those who say that what Bassil says about the positive reasons, whether the negotiations conducted by the Americans with him or the decision of sanctions without any files related to corruption, or the offers of barter, should be aware that the issue is very important what deserves the opposite American responses, and Basil raised the challenge, and the lack of an American answer to the scale of the challenge drops their logic, and they say the validity of the words of Basil, but they call under the slogan of realism to acclimatize, although this is America and we have to accept it as it is indispensable, to pay attention to the extent that they are aware of the scale of the challenge, and the lack of an American answer to the scale of the challenge drops their logic, and they say the validity of the words of Basil, but they call under the slogan of realism to adapt even though this is America and we have to accept it as it is indispensable, to pay attention to the extent that it is not necessary to What the Americans want is clear and there is no room for the Maronites in it, and the essence of resolving the issue of Palestinian asylum by settlement, even if it leads to the displacement of Christians, and accepting The Israeli conditions for the demarcation of the border, even if it leads to the loss of the most prominent lebanese wealth promising, and the abandonment of the most prominent source of strength for Lebanon can create a negotiating balance that protects lebanon’s interest in these two files, which is the force of resistance and its weapons, and for this reason focused on dismantling the alliance with it, and for these we say that there is no problem with us to accept the American conditions, provided that they have the courage to declare it, and not to To  be surrounded by camouflaged words such as calls for neutrality, the decision of war and peace, and so on..


– It is the right of any Lebanese to disagree with Representative Basil in many positions, but the national and moral duty requires recognition of his courage, patriotism and solidity of his position, and the declared solidarity with him is the least duty in the face of this scandalous targeting of American policies and their moral and legal downfall, in contrast to the honorable national position of Bassil, and realizing that The demonization campaign that focused on it under the slogan “Hey hey, he” was nothing but an echo of the American barter movement.

– Any Lebanese has the right to disagree with Mp Bassil in many positions, but the national and moral duty requires recognition of his courage,  patriotism and the solidity of his position, and the solidarity proclaimed with him is less necessary in the face of this scandalous targeting of American policies and its moral and legal fall, as opposed to the national position honorable of Bassil, and the realization that the campaign of demonization that focused on him under the slogan«Hela  Hela ho» was only some echo of. the American movement of barter.

قضايا وجوديّة في خطاب باسيل فلا تسَخّفوا النقاش!

ناصر قنديل

سينصرف البعض لتركيز الضوء على جانبين من كلام رئيس التيار الوطني الحر النائب جبران باسيل، في مرافعته ضد قضية العقوبات الأميركية التي صدرت بحقه. فالبعض سوف ينصرف لعنوان الاتهام الأميركي لباسيل بالفساد، متجاهلاً أن باسيل فتح تحدياً للإدارات الأميركية المعنية بتقديم أي واقعة تفصيليّة خارج الكلام الإنشائي لإثبات تهم الفساد، وعرض للمفاوضات الرسميّة التي خاضها معه المسؤولون الأميركيون لتفادي العقوبات ومحاورها لا علاقة لها من قريب أو بعيد بملفات الفساد. والبعض الآخر سيريد تركيز الضوء على حديث باسيل عن عناصر تباين مع حزب الله والتمايز عنه خصوصاً في مفهوم الصراع مع كيان الاحتلال، والموقف العقائدي من وجود الكيان، علماً أن هذه المواقف ليست جديدة ولا علاقة لها بزمن العقوبات، وهي تنتمي لثقافة لبنانية عامة يُستثنى منها فريق المقاومة وحده، بقواه العقائدية الرافضة للاعتراف بكيان الاحتلال، وما عداها لا يتخطى سقفه العدائي للكيان، ما يسمّيه الدفاع عن الحقوق اللبنانية، والتزام المبادرة العربية للسلام، وهذه مواقف رافقت تجربة المقاومة منذ انطلاقتها، ومطالبتها لكل اللبنانيين دعم خيارها لتحرير الأرض والدفاع عن الحقوق من دون اشتراط مشاركتها النظرة العقائدية للكيان. وكان هذا الأساس لولادة تفاهم مار مخايل بين حزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر ولا يزال.

في كلام باسيل ما يستحقّ الإضاءة أكثر بكثير من هاتين القضيتين، وفي طليعة ما هو مثير للاهتمام، أننا للمرة الأولى في قضية عقوبات أميركيّة بالفساد، في بلد متعطش للإصلاح، وهي تطال زعيماً لفريق وازن في المجتمع اللبناني، من البيئة المسيحية التي لم تحمل السلاح لا مع جيش الاحتلال ولا ضده، يكشف المستهدّف فيها، وهو هنا النائب باسيل، عن مضمون المفاوضات التي أدارها معه مسؤولون أميركيون، من مستوى وزير الخارجية إلى مستوى السفارة الأميركية في بيروت. وهذا المضمون فضيحة مدوّية بذاته، حيث لا ملفات خاصة بالفساد وضعت على طاولة التفاوض طلباً لتوضيحها أو تصحيحها، بل عقوبات بتهمة الفساد بلا ملفات، وجاهزة للصدور من دون تردّد مقابل عروض مقايضة سياسية واضحة لا تقبل التأويل، أن تقف مع السياسة الأميركية المعادية لمصالح لبنان، وفي شؤون لا تتصل بمصالح أميركية مباشرة، بل بالمصالح الإسرائيلية، من فك العلاقة بحزب الله الى قبول توطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين والتراجع عن الدعوة لعودة النازحين السوريين وتخفيض السقف التفاوضيّ في ترسيم الحدود. وفي هذه الحالة ستفتح لك جنات النعيم الأميركي المادي والمعنوي، أو أن ترفض؛ وفي هذه الحالة فستكون مصالحك المادية وسمعتك المعنوية عرضة للاستهداف بلا رحمة تحت عنوان الفساد، بمعزل عن صحة وصدقية هذه التهمة.

الرسالة التي حملها الأميركيون لباسيل هي رسالة كاشفة فاضحة، ليست محصورة به، ولا يجب النظر إليها من بوابة شخصنتها بالمعني بها مباشرة، فهي رسالة السياسة الأميركية تجاه لبنان والقيادات السياسية اللبنانية، فما يطال أبرز سياسي مسيحي في لبنان يطال بصورة أقوى كل ما عداه من الزعماء المسيحيين، وما يطال الزعيم المسيحي يطال كل الزعماء المسلمين بصورة أشدّ. وهذا يعني أن الجميع في لبنان معني بقراءة الرسالة، أميركا لا يهمها الفساد ولا الإصلاح في لبنان إلا من زاوية تركيب ملفات لمن لا يلتزم بسياساتها الهادفة لتثبيت أولوية المصالح الإسرائيلية، والتي تهدد لبنان وجودياً، ومَن يدعو لاسترضاء أميركا باعتبارها المنقذ والمخلص عليه أن يعلن جهاراً نهاراً أن لا مانع لديه بالتوطين والتخلي عن الثروات اللبنانية والحقوق السيادية، وأنه مستعد لقبول ما رفضه باسيل، ومن حق اللبنانيين أن يسألوا الذين تستثنيهم العقوبات هل قبلوا بما رفضه باسيل؟

– الذين يقولون بعدم صحة ما يقوله باسيل عن الأسباب الموجبة سواء بخلو المفاوضات التي أجراها الأميركيون معه أو لقرار العقوبات من أي ملفات تتعلق بالفساد، أو بعروض المقايضة، أن ينتبهوا الى ان القضية على درجة عالية من الأهمية ما يستحق ردوداً أميركية معاكسة، وباسيل رفع سقف التحدّي، وعدم صدور جواب أميركيّ بحجم التحدي يسقط منطقهم، والذين يقولون بصحة كلام باسيل لكنهم يدعون تحت شعار الواقعية الى التأقلم مع أن هذه هي أميركا وعلينا أن نقبلها كما هي ولا غنى لنا عنها، أن ينتبهوا الى أن ما يريده الأميركيون واضح ولا مجال للمواربة فيه، وجوهره حل قضية اللجوء الفلسطيني بالتوطين، ولو أدّى لتهجير المسيحيين، وقبول الشروط الإسرائيلية لترسيم الحدود، ولو أدّى لضياع أبرز ثروة لبنانية واعدة، والتخلي عن أبرز مصدر قوة للبنان يمكن أن تخلق توازناً تفاوضياً يحمي مصلحة لبنان في هذين الملفين، وهي قوة المقاومة وسلاحها، ولهذا تمّ التركيز على فك التحالف معها، ولهؤلاء نقول إن لا مشكلة عندنا بأن يقبلوا بالشروط الأميركية، شرط أن يمتلكوا شجاعة إعلان ذلك، ولا أن يلتحفوا بكلمات مموّهة مثل دعوات الحياد، وقرار الحرب والسلم، وسواها.

من حق أي لبناني أن يختلف مع النائب باسيل في الكثير من المواقف، لكن الواجب الوطني والأخلاقي يقتضي الاعتراف بشجاعته ووطنيّته وصلابة موقفه، والتضامن المعلن معه هو أقل الواجب بوجه هذا الاستهداف الفضائحي للسياسات الأميركية وسقوطها الأخلاقيّ والقانونيّ، مقابل الموقف الوطني المشرف لباسيل، وإدراك أن حملة الشيطنة التي تركزت عليه تحت شعار «الهيلا هيلا هو» لم تكن إلا بعض الصدى للحركة الأميركيّة للمقايضة.

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