President of Russia Vladimir Putin address to G20 member countries

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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.

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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.

Putin Expels the Families

November 19, 2020

Putin Expels the Families

by The Ister for The Saker Blog

The 1990s was a time of immense suffering for the Russian people. As the impending collapse of the USSR became discernable, insiders such as Nikolai Kruchina, Viktor Geraschenko, and Leonid Veselovsky created a planning group to ensure the continued influence of Soviet-era officials by transferring Russian state assets to offshore shell companies and thus stripping the country’s wealth. One such offshore company, FIMACO, was used to pilfer an estimated $50 billion from the nation. Viktor Gerashchenko, the head of the central bank of Russia, sent a memorandum demanding transfers from FIMACO be covered up. It was through this looting that liquid capital was generated and used by future oligarchs to build their fortunes. An early beneficiary of this arrangement was Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who had started his career as a minor Soviet official and whose Yukos oil conglomerate was tied to FIMACO. In return for his help Viktor Gerashchenko was later given a position as the chairman of Yukos by Khodorkovsky.

In 1991 the Soviet Union finally collapsed. That August, state treasurer Nikolai Kruchina, responsible for Russia’s gold reserves, died by falling from his window. He had been a member of the planning group which originated the plot to steal state assets. His successor Georgy Pavlov fell to his death from a window two months later: the oligarchs were cleaning house.

In September, the Russian central bank announced the Kremlin’s gold reserves had inexplicably dropped from the estimated 1000-1500 tons to a mere 240 tons. Two months later, Victor Gerashchenko announced Russia’s gold reserves had actually entirely vanished. While the Russian public was horrified at the revelation, European bankers were less surprised. It was whispered frequently among those circles that Soviet transport planes had been flying to and from Switzerland for months and selling off large amounts of gold. Boris Yeltsin announced his plans to privatize the nation’s assets and the real looting began.

During the privatization period, international capital wasted no time in opportunistically swooping in to take over Russian industries. The Clinton administration sought to redesign the economic policies of the nascent Russian Federation according to the Washington Consensus: privatization, deregulation, austerity, and the opening up of Russia’s companies to purchase by ultra-wealthy Americans. They gave the role of economic planning in Russia to the Harvard Institute for International Development, which sent Harvard economists to meet with Anatoly Chubais, Boris Yeltsin’s head of privatization. The close relationship with Anatoly Chubais allowed a select group of American investors to be on an inside track of financial dealings in the new Russia. One Harvard grad involved in this scheme was Jonathan Hay, convicted inside trader. He became senior advisor to the GKI, Russia’s new state privatization committee.

Certain members of this network, which included Harvard graduates Hay, Jeffrey Sachs, Andrei Shleifer, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, David Lipton, and others, misused funds from USAID that were intended for Russian economic development and rigged deals for privatization to gain control of key Russian industries in backroom negotiations. In one 1995 off market deal, Anatoly Chubais created a closed bidding process for prime national properties in which the only approved bidders were Harvard Management Company and George Soros. This resulted in the acquisition of major stakes in Sidanko Oil, Novolipetsk Steel, and Sviazinvest.

Foreign investors flocked in and the level of greed among this fifth column of new Muscovites was truly astonishing. The 1999 RICO suit Avisma Titano Magnes v. Dart Management is particularly enlightening. RICO allows victims of a racketeering conspiracy to sue conspirators for damages caused by their illegal conduct, and the following defendants were named in the action:

Kenneth Dart; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Jonathan Hay; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Michael Haywood; Dart Management Inc, address unknown
Michael Hunter; Dart Management Inc
Francis E. Baker; Andersen Group Inc
William Browder, Hermitage Fund
Barclays Bank, PLC

The complaint document alleges the following: the defendants and a cooperating bank called Bank Menatep, owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had a controlling interest in titanium producer Avisma. They forced Avisma to sell its titanium below market price to offshore companies which they secretly controlled. Next, these offshore companies sold the titanium at a correct price on international markets for profit, which was then funneled back from the offshore companies to the defendants and Bank Menatep. Money that should have been booked as profits for Avisma was siphoned away, and the majority shareholders who were in on the scam benefitted at the expense of minority shareholders, the company, and Russian tax authorities.

Defendant Francis E. Baker described the actions in a private letter as, “An immense Russian bank money laundering scheme, clearly a criminal matter.” According to the complaint, the actions were discovered when defendants attempted to swap Avisma shares for shares of mining company VSMPO and replicate the same scam at VSMPO. Baker and other defendants later excused their actions by claiming the suit was Russian targeting. Sound familiar?

The criminality was not limited to foreign speculators. During the early period of privatization in the 90s a secret society of seven Russian oligarchs entirely controlled Boris Yeltsin’s administration. This group called itself Semibankirschina, named after the Seven Boyars who controlled Russia during the 17th centuryThe secret society included the following oligarchs: Boris Berezovsky, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven, Vladimir Gusinsky, Vladimir Potanin, and Alexander Smolensky.

A Russian journalist named Andrey Fadin described their overwhelming power in an article, “they control the access to budget money and basically all investment opportunities inside the country. They own the gigantic information resource of the major TV channels. They form the President’s opinion. Those who didn’t want to walk along them were either strangled or left the circle.” Less than one year after publishing the article Andrey Fadin was killed. Through their front man Anatoly Chubais, Semibankirschina used control of television networks to prop up Boris Yeltsin’s low approval ratings. From the mid-90s to 1999 this clique had total authority over Russian policies and industries, judiciously using violence to enforce its monopoly. In one case Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his underling Leonid Nevzlin carried out the murder of the mayor Vladimir Petukhov, who was pursuing Yukos Oil Company’s evasion of taxes.

In late 1999, Vladimir Putin became president of Russia and the fortunes of these self-appointed rulers rapidly turned for the worse. A new group of Putin insiders such as Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, and Sergey Chemezov formed and began supplanting the previous access that the Semibankirschina had to the president. In 2001, a state takeover of media seized the television networks previously owned by oligarchs Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Badri Patarkatsishvili, prompting Patarkatsishvili to denounce Russia to the New York Times and flee the country. While exiled in the UK, Patarkatsishvili died suspiciously at the age of 48. The Georgian government has called his death an assassination. Boris Berezovsky also died suspiciously in the UK after having sold his Russian assets and denounced Putin. After his television networks were seized, Vladimir Gusinsky was criminally charged with money laundering and forced to flee the country as well.

The sweep continued as three other allies of the Semibankirschina were killed: Nikolai Glushkov, Alexander Litvinenko, and Boris Nemtsov. Bill Browder was deported in 2005, and later convicted in absentia for fraud. Fraudster Konstantin Ponomarev was also convicted, sentenced to 8 years in prison for crimes relating to his extortion of $1 billion from IKEA. Jamison Firestone, an associate of Ponomarev and Browder, was forced to flee Russia due to his involvement in the Magnitsky case, and his associate Alexander Peripilichny mysteriously died while jogging near London. George Soros was banned from Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Once the richest man in the country, Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s fortunes turned for the worse as well. In the early 2000s, Putin pushed through a number of populist reforms for criminal, tax, and land law, which the oligarchs of the 90s had strongly opposed. As the most blatantly criminal member of the original Semibankirschina, Khodorkovsky’s Bank Menatep had been founded with funds stolen as part of the looting of state assets. The bank operated as a hub of money laundering and engaged in countless financial scams, even delaying government funds to Chernobyl victims while using their money to financially speculate. It was Bank Menatep through which American fraudsters had allegedly ripped off Avisma shareholders with the titanium dumping scam.

In 2003, Khodorkovsky was criminally prosecuted by Putin for tax evasion and fraud for which he ended up serving 10 years in prison. His protege Leonid Nevzlin was convicted of ordering multiple contract murders on Khodorkovsky’s behalf, and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia. Associate Platon Lebedev was also convicted and imprisoned. This wave of prosecution sent a message and gave Putin a strong position, which was used to negotiate a “grand bargain” with the remaining oligarchs: they retained most of their existing assets in return for alignment with Putin’s vertical rule of Russia. The era of financial gangsterism from the 1990s was over.

Stolen Russian gold reserves have now been restored and are at the highest levels in history. Because of the lack of collaboration with other central banks it is certain that Russian gold is present in Moscow’s vaults: there are none of the surreptitious leasing or swap agreements which call into question the claimed size of Western bank holdings. So instead of buying US treasuries or dollars for its reserves, the Bank of Russia can demand physical gold delivery into Moscow vaults. This will continually strain the fraudulent COMEX and London Bullion Market systems with the pressure of physical shipments and threaten the dollar. Unlike China, Russia is in the position to attack the dollar as a net commodity exporter, meaning when its gold purchases bid up the price of metals it is simply increasing the receipts of its own domestic commodity producing companies like Norilsk Nickel and VSMPO-AVISMA.

The economic crisis of 1998 has heavily influenced the Kremlin’s financial policy, and the last twenty years have been spent creating a resilient system. One of Putin’s first agenda items was to pay off all debt to the IMF and holdover loans from the Soviet era. Russia is now positioned to attack the dollar, as the only powerful state not operating on a debt-based system. A decade of economic warfare in the form of sanctions has cut off access to international capital: the result is one of the lowest levels of external debt of any country in the world, with cash reserves large enough to pay off all debt at once. These low debt levels have tangible benefits, primarily that Russia is now able to withstand large economic fluctuations without crumbling as a result of internal defaults. By comparison, the financial system of America would disintegrate if it attempted to sustain the decline in GDP Russia incurred from 2013-2016.

The Bank of Russia actively enforces stringent lending standards in order to prevent the emergence of consumer credit bubbles, and forces banks to hold extra cash on their balance sheets (as a result, most applications for personal credit are declined). So sanctions have actually made the country stronger, as hubris of the McCain class of American politicians has created a competitor state with no stake in the survival of the existing debt-based financial order. Russia’s mission to create resiliency and restore sovereignty foreshadows a tumultuous future, while America bets everything that the world will remain the same. The concerted plot to loot Russia has been foiled.

In December of 1999, Edmond Safra was murdered at his fabulous mansion, the Villa Leopolda in Monaco. The Safras are one of the oldest and most secretive of the banking families, with a fortune dating back to the gold trading caravans of the Ottoman Empire. Coincidentally, Safra means yellow, or gold, in Arabic. It was Edmond Safra who served as Bill Browder’s mentor in Russia, providing him with an initial seed funding of $25 million to start his Hermitage Fund. When Browder needed protection during a business dispute with an oligarch, Safra sent his emissary four armored vehicles and fifteen bodyguards led by a former Mossad agent. While Edmond Safra spent much of his later life defending himself from drug trafficking and money laundering allegations, he was accomplished, nonetheless. He founded his first bank at 23 years old and had dreamed of creating a banking dynasty that would last 10,000 years.

Just after Putin’s takeover as president, Villa Leopolda was broken into. Safra’s nurse, a former Green Beret named Ted Maher, was stabbed by two masked intruders who entered the premises, after which Safra was killed. Under pressure from Monacan authorities, Ted Maher was forced to sign a nonsensical confession in which he claimed that he stabbed himself and admitted to setting the fire in order to attempt to gain his employer’s adoration. He has since recanted this confession, saying that his defense attorneys coerced him into signing and threatened he would never see his family again otherwise. Jean-Christophe Hullin, the chief judge in the case, revealed in 2007 that the guilty conviction was a predetermined outcome which had been planned in a secret meeting with himself, Maher’s attorneys, and the chief prosecutor of Monaco: in short, Ted Maher was a fall guy for the real murderers of Edmond Safra. Now free, he believes Safra was ordered killed by Putin, “in retaliation for a plot orchestrated by Safra and Russian oligarchs to take control of all of Russia’s assets.”

It was during the purge of oligarchs and vulture capitalists that the true power behind Mikhail Khodorkovsky emerged. When it became likely he would be arrested, he arranged to have all his shares from the Yukos Oil Company transferred to the ownership of Jacob Rothschild. The transfer took place in November of 2003, giving Lord Rothschild control of shares estimated by the Sunday Times to be worth $13.5 billion. Putin subsequently liquidated and nationalized Yukos by seizing and selling off its shares to state oil companies at much below market value.

So Putin has declared war on the most powerful people on the planet.

The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and IMF

The Secret Agenda of the World Bank and IMF
Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.Peter is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Peter is also co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020) Peter

November 17, 2020

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) work hand in glove – smoothly. Not only are they regularly lending huge sums of money to horror regimes around the world, but they blackmail poor nations into accepting draconian conditions imposed by the west.

In other words, the WB and the IMF are guilty of the most atrocious human rights abuses.

You couldn’t tell, when you read above the entrance of the World Bank the noble phrase, “Our Dream is World Free of Poverty”.

To this hypocrisy I can only add, ”…And we make sure it will just remain a dream.” This says both, the lie and the criminal nature of the two International Financial Institutions, created under the Charter of the United Nations, but instigated by the United States.

The front of these institutions is brilliant. What meets the eye, are investments in social infrastructure, in schools, health systems, basic needs like drinking water, sanitation – even environmental protection – over all “Poverty Alleviation”, i.e. A World Free of Poverty. But how fake this is today and was already in the 1970’s and 1980’s is astounding. Gradually people are opening their eyes to an abject reality, of exploitation and coercion and outright blackmail. And that, under the auspices of the United Nations. What does it tell you about the UN system? In what hands are the UN? – The world organization was created in San Francisco, California, on 24 October 1945, just after WWII, by 51 nations, committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UN replaced the League of Nations which was part of the Peace Agreement after WWI, the Treaty of Versailles. It became effective on 10 January 1920, was headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, with the purpose of disarmament, preventing war through collective security, settling disputes between countries, through negotiation diplomacy and improving global welfare. In hindsight it is easy to see that the entire UN system was set up as a hypocritical farce, making people believe that their mighty leaders only wanted peace. These might leaders were all westerners; the same that less than 20 years after the creation of the noble League of Nations, started World War II.

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This little introduction provides the context for what was eventually to become the UN-backed outgrowth for global theft, for impoverishing nations, around the world, for exploitation of people, for human rights abuses and for shoveling huge amounts of assets from the bottom, from the people, to the oligarchy, the ever-smaller corporate elite – the so-called Bretton Woods Institutions.

In July 1944 more than 700 delegates of 44 Allied Nations (allied with the winners of WWII) met at the Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after WWII. Let’s be sure, this conference was carried out under the auspices of the United States, the self-declared winner of WWII, and from now on forward the master over the financial order of the world – which was not immediately visible, an agenda hidden in plain sight.

The IMF was officially created to ‘regulate’ the wester, so-called convertible currencies, those that subscribed to apply the rules of the new gold standard, i.e. US$ 35 / Troy Ounce (about 31.1 grams). Note that the gold standard, although applicable equally to 44 allied nations was linked to the price of gold nominated in US dollars, not based on a basket of the value of the 44 national currencies. This already was enough reason to question the future system. And how it will play out. But nobody questioned the arrangement. Hard to believe though that of all these national economists, none dared question the treacherous nature of the gold-standard set-up.

The World Bank, or the Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), was officially set up to administer the Marshall Plan for the Reconstruction of war-destroyed Europe. The Marshall Plan was a donation by the United Stated and was named for U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, who proposed it in 1947. The plan gave $13.2 billion in foreign aid to European countries that had been devastated physically and economically by World War II. It was to be implemented from 1948 to 1952 which of course was much too short a time, and stretched into the early 1960s. In today’s terms the Marshall plan would be worth about 10 time more, or some US$ 135 billion.

The Marshall Plan was and still is a Revolving Fund, paid back by the countries in question, so that it could be relent. The Marshall Plan money was lent out multiple times and was therefore very effective. The European counterpart to the World Bank-administered Marshall Fund was a newly to be created bank set up under the German Ministry of Finance, The German Bank for Reconstruction and Development (KfW – German acronym for Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau”).

KfW, as the World Bank’s European counterpart still exists and dedicates itself mostly to development projects in the Global South, often in cooperation with the World Bank. Today there is still a special Department within KfW that deals exclusively with Marshall Plan Fund money. These funds are used for lending to poor southern regions in Europe, and also to prop up Eastern European economies, and they were used especially to integrate former East-Germany into today’s “Grand Germany”.

Two elements of the Marshall Plan are particularly striking and noteworthy. First, the reconstruction plan created a bind, a dependence between the US and Europe, the very Europe that was largely destroyed by the western allied forces, while basically WWII was largely won by the Soviet Union, the huge sacrifices of the USSR – with an estimated 25 to 30 million deaths. So, the Marshall Plan was also designed as a shield against communist Russia, i.e. the USSR.

While officially the Soviet Union was an ally of the western powers, US, UK, and France, in reality the communist USSR was an arch-enemy of the west, especially the United States. With the Marshall Plan money, the US bought Europe’s alliance, a dependence that has not ended to this day. The ensuing Cold War against the Soviet Union – also all based on flagrant lies, was direct testimony for another western propaganda farce – which to this day, most Europeans haven’t grasped yet.

Second, The US imposition of a US-dollar based reconstruction fund, was not only creating a European dollar dependence, but was also laying the ground work for a singular currency, eventually to invade Europe – what we know today, has become the Euro. The Euro is nothing but the foster child of the dollar, as it was created under the same image as the US-dollar – it is a fiat currency, backed by nothing. The United Europe, or now called the European Union – was never really a union. It was never a European idea, but put forward by US Secret Services in disguise of a few treacherous European honchos. And every attempt to create a United Europe, a European Federation, with a European Constitution, similar to the United States, was bitterly sabotaged by the US, mostly through the US mole in the EU, namely the UK.

The US didn’t want a strong Europe, both economically and possibly over time also militarily (pop. EU 450 million, vs US pop. 330 million; 2019 EU GDP US$ 20.3 trillion equivalent, vs US GDP US$ 21.4 trillion. Most economists would agree that a common currency for a loose group of countries has no future, is not sustainable. In comes the European Central Bank (ECB), also a creation inspired by the FED. The ECB has really no Central Bank function. It is rater a watch dog. Because each EU member country has still her own Central Bank, though with a drastically reduced sovereignty.

Out of the currently 27 EU members only 19 are part of the Euro-zone. Those countries not part of the Eurozone, i.e. Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Sweden – and more, have preserved their sovereign financial policy and do not depend on the ECB. This means, had Greece opted out of the Eurozone when they were hit with the 2008 / 2009 manufactured “crisis”, Greece would now be well on her way to full recovery. They would not have been subject to the whims and dictate of the IMF, the infamous troika, European Commission (EC), ECB and IMF, but could have chosen to arrange their debt internally, as most debt was internal debt, no need to borrow from abroad.

In a 2015 bailout referendum, the Greek population voted overwhelmingly against the bailout, meaning against the new gigantic debt. However, the then Greek President Tsipras, went ahead as if the referendum had never taken place and approved the huge bailout despite almost 70% of the popular vote against it.

This is a clear indication of fraud, that no fair play was going on. Tsipras and / or his families may have been coerced to accept the bailout – or else. We may never know, the true reason why Tsipras sold his people, the wellbeing of the Greek people to the oligarchs behind the IMF and World Bank – and put them into abject misery, with the highest unemployment in Europe, rampant poverty and skyrocketing suicide rates.

Greece may serve as an example on how other EU countries may fare if they don’t “behave” – meaning adhere to the unwritten golden rules of obedience to the international money masters.

This is scary.

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And now, in these times of covid, it is relatively easy. Poor countries, particularly in the Global South, already indebted by the plandemic, are increasing their foreign debt in order to provide their populations with basic needs. Or so they make you believe. Much of the debt accumulated by developing countries is domestic or internal debt, like the debt of the Global North. It doesn’t really need foreign lending institutions to wipe out local debt. Or have you seen one of the rich Global North countries borrowing from the IMF or the World Bank to master their debt? – Hardly.

So why would the Global South fall for it? Part corruption, part coercion, and partly direct blackmail. – Yes, blackmail, one of the international biggest crimes imaginable, being committed by the foremost international UN-chartered financial institutions, the WB and the IMF.

For example, the whole world is wondering how come that an invisible enemy, a corona virus hit all 193 UN member countries at once, so that Dr. Tedros, Director General of WHO, declares on 11 March a pandemic – no reason whatsoever since there were only 4,617 cases globally – but the planned result was a total worldwide lockdown on 16 March 2020. No exceptions. There were some countries who didn’t take it so seriously, like Brazil, Sweden, Belarus, some African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania – developed their own rules and realized that wearing masks did more harm than good, and social distancing would destroy the social fabric of their cultures and future generations.

But the satanic deep dark state didn’t want anything to do with “independent” countries. They all had to follow the dictate from way above, from the Gates, Rockefellers, Soroses, et al elite, soon to be reinforced by Klaus Schwab, serving as the chief henchman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Suddenly, you see in Brazil, a drastic surge in new “cases”, no questions asked, massive testing, no matter that the infamous PCR tests are worthless according to most serious scientists (only sold and corrupted scientists, those paid by the national authorities, would still insist on the RT-PCR tests). Bolsonaro gets sick with the virus and the death count increases exponentially – as the Brazilian economy falls apart.

Coincidence?

In comes the World Bank and / or the IMF, offering massive help mostly debt relief, either as grant or as low interest loans. But with massive strings attached: you must follow the rules laid out by WHO, you must follow the rules on testing on vaccination, mandatary vaccination – if you conform to these and other country-specific rules, like letting western corporations tap your natural resources – you may receive, WB and IMF assistance.

Already in May 2020 the World Bank Group announced its emergency operations to fight COVID-19 had already reached 100 developing countries – home to 70% of the world’s population with lending of US$ 160 billion-plus. This means, by today, 6 months later and in the midst of the “Second Wave” the number of countries and the number of loans or “relief’ grants must have increased exponentially, having reached close to the 193 UN member countries. Which explains how all, literally all countries, even the most objecting African countries, like Madagascar and Tanzania, among the poorest of the poor, have succumbed to the coercion or blackmail of the infamous Bretton Woods Institutions.

These institutions have no quarrels in generating dollars, as the dollar is fiat money, not backed by any economy – but can be produced literally from hot air and lent to poor countries, either as debt or as grant. These countries, henceforth and for pressure of the international financial institutions will forever become dependent on the western masters of salvation. Covid-19 is the perfect tool for the financial markets to shovel assets from the bottom to the top.

In order to maximize the concentration of the riches on top, maybe one or two or even three new covid waves may be necessary. That’s all planned, The WEF has already foreseen the coming scenarios, by its tyrannical book “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. It’s all laid out. And our western intellectuals read it, analyze it, criticize it, but we do not shred it apart – we let it stand, and watch how the word moves in the Reset direction. And the plan is dutifully executed by the World Bank and the IMF – all under the guise of doing good for the world.

What’s different from the World Bank and IMF’s role before the covid plandemic? – Nothing. Just the cause for exploitation, indebtment, enslavement. When covid came along it became easy. Before then and up to the end of 2019, developing countries, mostly rich in natural resources of the kind the west covets, oil, gold, copper and other minerals, such as rare earths, would be approached by the WB, the IMF or both.

They could receive debt relief, so-called structural adjustment loans, no matter whether or not they really needed such debt. Today these loans come in all forms, shapes and colors, literally like color-revolutions, for instance, often as budget support operations – I simply call then blank checks – nobody controls what’s happening with the money. However, the countries have to restructure their economies, rationalizing their public services, privatizing water, education, health services, electricity, highways, railroads – and granting foreign concessions for the exploitation of natural resources.

Most of this fraud – fraud on “robbing” national resources, passes unseen by the public at large, but countries become increasingly dependent on the western paymasters – peoples’ and institutional sovereignty is gone. There is always a corrupter and a corruptee. Unfortunately, they are still omni-present in the Global South. Often, for a chunk of money, the countries are forced to vote with the US for or against certain UN resolutions which are of interest to the US. Here we go – the corrupt system of the UN.

And of course, when the two Bretton Woods organizations were created in 1944, the voting system decided is not one country, one vote as in theory it is in the UN, but the US has an absolute veto right in both organizations. Their voting rights are calculated in function of their capital contribution which derives from a complex formula, based on GDP and other economic indicators. In both institutions the US voting right and also veto right is about 17%. Both institutions have 189 member countries.
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Covid has laid bare, if it wasn’t already before, how these “official” international, UN-chartered Bretton Woods financial institutions are fully integrated in the UN system – in which most of the countries still trust, maybe for lack of anything better.

Question, however: What is better, a hypocritical corrupt system that provides the “appearance”, or the abolition of a dystopian system and the courage to create a new one, under new democratic circumstances and with sovereign rights by each participating country?

International Reaction to Turkey’s Aggressive Foreign Policy Approach

05.11.2020 Author: Valery Kulikov

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According to numerous observers, the “aggressive approach” the Turkish leader R. Erdogan implies in Turkey’s foreign policy every day evokes more and more hostility and opposition across the world.

It is through the fault of Ankara that many of the faded conflicts have flared up with renewed vigor lately. Thus, in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is striving for shelf hydrocarbons, causing a wave of indignation not only from Greece, but also from the European Union. And although the clash of interests here has not yet reached outright bloodshed, nevertheless, Turkey is no longer shy about ramming opponents with their ships and vessels. This, in turn, causes an increase in the degree of tensions both within the EU and between NATO member states, the outcome of which so far few can predict. The drift towards divisions is on in spite of Washington’s calls to all NATO member states urging them to “keep Turkey in the West.”

After the terrorist attack on October 16 in the Paris suburbs of Conflans-Saint-Honorine, when an 18-year-old Islamist, motivated by religious enmity, killed a school history and geography teacher, a new diplomatic scandal erupted between Turkey and France, which significantly increased tensions between these countries in Libya, where they support opposing sides of the conflict.

Numerous media voices are increasingly citing factual evidence of Ankara’s intervention in the Libyan conflict, and not only in the form of supplying weapons there in violation of the imposed international embargo, but also sending numerous mercenaries from the war zone in Syria.

Recently, the growing criticism of Turkey on sending mercenaries not only to Syria and Libya, but also to the Karabakh conflict zone, has been confirmed by the intelligence services of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries. As a result, today no one, including Turkey itself, can claim that in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it acts as an impartial or neutral party, since it views this conflict as an opportunity to expand its influence in another neighboring region, the Southern Caucasus.

The summit of the EU states, which ended in late October, condemned the aggressive rhetoric and actions of Turkey aimed at the EU states, and the head of the European Council Charles Michel indicated that the EU leaders would discuss further actions with regard to Turkey at the planned summit in December. “We have expressed our determination to make Ankara respect us. Turkey has not yet chosen a positive path in relations with the EU. We condemn the recent unilateral actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, provocations and aggressive rhetoric against the EU countries, which is absolutely unacceptable,” Charles Michel said on October 29 following the EU summit held in the video conference format.

NATO also declares its “bewilderment” by Turkey’s actions, openly hinting to Erdogan about “unpleasant moments” and readiness to take a tougher position with regard to Ankara.

Today Turkey has strained its relations with many countries. In addition to the deepening conflict with the United States (after the acquisition and testing of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system), France, Greece and the EU as a whole, the list of Turkey’s “opponents” includes Israel (due to the conflict over the Palestinian problem), Syria (where Erdogan introduced Turkish troops), Iran (with which Ankara has intensified contradictions because of Erdogan’s actions in Syria), Saudi Arabia (relations with which have especially worsened because of the “Khashoggi case”). Even with the United Arab Emirates Erdogan’s conflict has become so widespread that this struggle unfolds from Morocco to Syria, most fiercely manifesting itself in the field of “soft power”, with mutual accusations of seeking to destabilize the Arab world. The Arab monarchies are particularly concerned about Ankara’s policy in the Persian Gulf, where Turkish troops are now stationed in Qatar, another Turkish base is located in Somalia, and Erdogan himself actively supports and finances the Muslim Brotherhood religious and political movement (banned in Russia – ed.) , to which the monarchies of the Gulf are more than wary.

As a result, as noted not only by the Western, but other regional media, Erdogan risks isolating his country from both the West and Arabs with Persians. “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear that he has no desire to be a bridge between Europe and the Arab world. Instead, he decided to reshape Turkey in line with its imperial past and make it a competitor to the two regions,” UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash is being cited.

In response to the aggressiveness of Erdogan’s policy, France has already called off its ambassador from Turkey “for consultations”. The Canadian government, after the Bombardier Recreational Products company “unexpectedly” learned that its engines were being installed on the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 (“Flag Bearer”) operational tactical attack drones (these has been actively used in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh), took the decision to stop supplying them, as well as other weapons to Turkey. Canada stressed that “the use of attack drones by Turkey often goes beyond the framework of agreements within the NATO format.”

For its part, Turkey has no choice but to launch its own production of engines for Turkish drones, or to intensify military-technical cooperation with Ukraine in this regard, which was indirectly confirmed in the speeches of representatives of the industrial and business circles of Turkey, in particular, Turkish Aerospace Industries.

Against the backdrop of these events, the fall of the Turkish lira became uncontrollable, and Ankara no longer has the resources to keep the situation under control. Since the beginning of the year, the lira has fallen by 39% against the US dollar, which has become the worst indicator dynamics among all currencies in Eurasia, despite the fact that the dollar this year is clearly not up to par. The savings of the Turkish state itself continue to fall: according to the investment bank Goldman Sachs, Turkey has spent about $130 billion from its reserves over the past year and a half. At the same time, the reserves do not cease to decline, and if in the summer their volume reached $90 billion, now they have dropped below $80 billion. The situation is complicated by the need to fight the current economic crisis. In addition, unemployment in the country approached 14%, and among young people it reached 25%.

According to the forecasts of the former IMF Managing Director Desmond Lachman, in the event of a liquidity crisis in the world, Turkey will become one of the first countries to declare a default. Under these conditions, in order to mitigate the consequences of the recession, the state again has to borrow a lot from foreign creditors, but because of Erdogan’s aggressive policy, reliable friends (except, perhaps, Ukraine, whose situation is even worse), to whom you can turn for loans, today are getting more and more scarce…

Valery Kulikov, a political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

الانتداب المالي أقصر الطرق للارتهان السياسيّ اللبنانيّ!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

النظام السياسي للبناني مرتهن دائماً للخارج السياسي الدولي الإقليمي الذي يُغطيه ويرعاه، الا أن نجاح حزب الله في طرد الاسرائيلي والارهاب في لبنان ومعظم سورية، ادى الى ولادة ظروف داخلية لتحالفه مع التيار الوطني الحر.

لقد أنتج هذا التحالف استقراراً لبنانياً اجتماعياً وسياسياً أجهض مشاريع الفتن المذهبية والطائفية… لكن الغطاء الخارجي للقوى السياسيّة اللبنانية، حماها في مشاريع السطو على الاقتصاد البناني وإفلاس البلاد.

وتمكنت من توحيد الاقتصاد اللبناني لأنها استغلت الصراع بين ثلاثة مشاريع اقليمية، الاول هو المشروع الاميركي الذي ابتدأ بغزو افغانستان والمشرق منذ 2001 لإعادة إنتاج شرق اوسط جديد. والثاني هو المشروع الاسلاماوي ذهب نحو بناء خلافة اسلامية مزعومة بالقتل والذبح والتسعير الطائفي والعرقي واقصى درجات الارهاب.

اما المشروع الثالث فهو «المقاوم» الذي جابه الاميركيين والارهاب وقوى يمنية عراقية سورية لبنانية مرتبطة بهم مسدداً ضربات متواصلة لهذه القوى أدت الى منع الاستفراد الاميركي مع قواه المحلية ببلدان المنطقة. الا ان لبنان بسبب طائفية نظامه المغطاة أيضاً من الطبقة الدينية المتمثلة بالمفتين والكرادلة وشيوخ العقل والمطارين، تمكنت من استغلال الصراع بين المشاريع المذكورة للاستمرار في سطوها على كامل الاقتصاد اللبناني والادارة والدين والتعليم والقضاء والجيش وسط انهماك المقاومين بالتصدي للعدوين الأكثر خطورة، «اسرائيل» والارهاب والغطاء الاميركي السميك.

هذا ما ادى الى الانهيار الاقتصادي الدراماتيكي في لبنان، وعجز الدولة عن إعادة ترميم بناها الدستورية، واستمرارها في تبني أسلوب التحاصص الحكومي وكأن شيئاً لم يكن.

هذا النظام يعرف أنه لا يزال حاجة أميركية، ويدرك ايضاً انه ليس جزءاً من الاستهدافات الأميركية في الشر، بقدر ما يشكل حليفاً أساسياً لحركتها في لبنان والإقليم إذا كان ذلك ممكناً.

بذلك يتبدّى مشهد حقيقي، قد يراه بعض المحللين صعب التصديق، وهو نجاح المقاومة في الحماية الوطنية والسياسية للمنطقة، مقابل نجاح القوى المحلية التقليدية في تنفيذ أكبر عملية فساد في التاريخ، ورسوخها في مواقفها الدستورية.

هنا تفتق الابتكار الغربي عن خطة جديدة للسيطرة على لبنان، يجري العمل على تنفيذها باسلوب متدحرج.

المؤشرات الاولى لهذا المخطط هو الدفع نحو فوضى سياسية واقتصادية واجتماعية طائفيّة تهدف الى تشديد العزلة على الجناح اللبناني المقاوم، تريد هذه السياسة إفهام المواطن اللبناني أنه جائع بسبب حزب الله الذي يضفي صورة غير مستقرة على الوضع الداخلي. ويمنع هيئات النقد الدولية من دون تسليف لبنان ما يحتاجه وهذا يدفع نحو المزيد من الانقسامات الداخلية والتصدع المذهبي والطائفي.

بالمقابل، يقوم الإعلام الغربي والداخلي الموالي له بتسريب معلومات من الصناديق الدولية يرد فيها أن مؤشر «سيدر» جاهز لتقديم ديون للبنان مقدارها اثنا عشر مليار دولار وصندوق النفقد الدولي خمسة عشر مليارات وبين مليار وخمسة مليارات من البنك الدولي. لكن دون الحصول على هذه الأموال، ضرورة اشراف هذه المؤسسات المالية الدولية على النظام الاقتصادي اللبناني لمدة خمس سنوات على الأقل، بمواكبة هذه الارقام المغرية لبلد مفلس كلبنان تصل أوامر اميركية بالبريد الدبلوماسي السريع ان الحكومة المرتقبة يجب ان لا تضم وزراء من حزب الله… هذا يعني باللغة الصريحة ان اسماء الوزراء الجدد يجب أن تنال مسبقاً موافقة السفارة الأميركية.

هذا المشروع الاميركي الجديد هو اذا مخطط لانتداب على لبنان لخمس سنوات متواصلة قابلة للتجديد عبر الهيمنة الاقتصادية او الفوضى…

اما مهامها الفعلية، فهي التوقيع على ترسيم الحدود البحرية بين لبنان وفلسطين المحتلة، وفتح ملف سلاح حزب الله، باعتبار أن اسباب وجوده لم تعد اساسية، لان ابواب المفاوضات على الحدود البرية أصبحت مفتوحة مع الكيان المحتل… وهذا يشمل بالطبع إيلاء شركة شيفرون الاميركية ومثيلاتها حقوق التنقيب في آبار الغاز اللبنانية بالتعاون مع الطبقة السياسية اللبنانية التي نهبت البلاد في الثلاثين سنة الماضية.

أليست هذه من فئة الحروب الاميركية الجديدة عبر استعمال السلاح الاقتصادي للإمساك بسياسات الدول.

لبنان اذاً أمام إرهاب اميركي غربي كبير فهل يستسلم له ام يجد وسيلة لإجهاضه؟

إن ما يحبط المشروع الخارجي المستهدف للبنان، هو اتفاق القوى السياسية اللبنانية على مسألتين: الاولى ان آبار الغاز والنفط اللبنانية هي حصراً لوقف الانهيار الاقتصادي من دون ربطها بشروط سياسية او تركها بجشع القوى السياسية الداخلية.. وهذا يتطلب إعلاناً وطنياً من الرئاسات الثلاث للدولة بتحريم أي دور لأي سياسي لبناني او من يمثله في موضوعها… وهذا يتطلب تشكيل لجنة وطنية عليا نزيهة وتدير نفسها من دون تعليمات من قوى النظام السياسي، وتعمل على المكشوف في التظهير الإعلامي المباشر للناتج وطرق إنفاقه على اولويات وطنية. وفقط من دون الغرق في لعبة توازنات الطوائف التي يتبنى فينا بعد انها توازنات في السطو على المال العام بين أحزاب الطوائف.

إن الاتفاق بين القوى السياسية يردع المشروع الاميركي ويدفعه الى تراجع كبير..

اما لجهة حزب الله فيجب الإقرار انه سلاح داخلي واقليمي يتصدى لـ«اسرائيل» والارهاب.. بمعنى ان لا امكانية لسحبه الا بعد انتهاء إرهاب يؤكد الأميركيون والأوروبيون على استمرار وجوده.

اما السبب الآخر فيتعلق بالاحتلال الاسرائيلي لأراض لبنانية وسورية واسعة. وهذا بمفرده كافٍ لدعم حزب الله في مواصلة تصديه للعدو الاسرائيلي، وإعادة تسليح الجيش اللبناني بأسلحة موازية للأخطار المحيطة بلبنان والتي تتجاوز بكل تأكيد أسلحة الشرطة التي يتباهى الأميركيون بانهم يقدمونها للبنان في حين ان كل المصادر الدولية تؤكد أن هناك خطراً أميركياً على تسليح الجيش اللبناني بأسلحة فعالة لمجابهة العدوانية الاسرائيلية.

ما يجب أن يشجع كل القوى السياسية اللبنانية على المطالبة باستمرار حزب الله للدفاع عن لبنان واللبنانيين من كل الطوائف ومصادر ثرواته.

“Democracy” vs. Covid – A No-Go

“Democracy” vs. Covid – A No-Go

October 23, 2020

by Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

Brussels (EU and European NATO Headquarters) – On 21 October 2020, the German Press Agency (dpa) reports that Germany pledges NATO soldiers for possible Covid-19 operations: “German soldiers could be sent on crisis missions to other NATO and partner countries during the second wave of the Corona pandemic. As a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense confirmed, the German government has promised NATO support for its “Allied Hand” emergency plan. According to this plan, medical personnel, pioneers and experts from the force would be made available for foreign missions to counter nuclear, biological or chemical hazards as required. The contingency plan is to be activated, for example, if a collapse of the health care system is imminent in allied or NATO partner countries due to very high infection rates and the affected state asks for support.”

In clear text, this means that German soldiers may be deployed on covid-related “crisis missions” to other NATO partners. Covid-restrictions and related government oppression and tyranny may lead to massive civil unrest, and German soldiers, alias German NATO soldiers, along with soldiers form other NATO countries, could help the local governments suffocate such potential people upheavals, applying military force. Live bullets and killing, if “necessary”.

In some European countries, covid-unrests already clearly visible, i.e., Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Spain – and of course, in the very Germany. Civil and societal unrest is also boiling hot in France, currently one of the most repressive regimes in the western world.

All these countries were told and brainwashed into believing they live in a “democracy” – and in a democracy what is happening to them could and should never happen. They were never asked. Their governments didn’t even bother telling them that these “measures” were for their own good. Now, they are even being told by people like Boris Johnson, British PM, not to hope to go back to “normal”. There will be no more normal as we knew it, he literally said. Instead, there will be a Great Reset.

Thereby he is aping the words of Klaus Schwab, the founder and CEO of the World Economic Forum (WEF), who just published (July 2020) a book, called “Covid-19 – The Great Reset”. The book is available on Amazon (where else!), and I highly recommend reading it, not for Schwab to get richer, but for you and us the people to know what “their” plan is. Only if we know what the plan is, we may stop it – if we organize in solidarity and resist.

There is no “democracy”, there has never been. The EU is one of the least democratic institutions there is. But, yet, we are being indoctrinated with this huge lie, we are living in a democracy. It is covid that finally brings this abject global deceit to light.

And our lie-prone politicians and their bought mainstream media, continue to praise our western beautiful democracy, while deviating our attention from the truth, by bashing wester-made enemies, like China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, North Korea – and others, just so we are blinded at home, but are told with false-propaganda that all these other countries are evil. They are evil, because they do not believe in our western greed-economy. The media does a very successful firing up of “cognitive dissonance’ – we know something is not right, but our feverish want for remaining in our comfort zone, makes us believe that we are well protected by our “elected” masters – and those, for example, in the east, who may follow another life philosophy than is ours which is made up of greed and violence – are evil.

An interesting poll, made public today in Switzerland shows that on average more than two thirds of the EU population thinks negatively about China and Russia. Why? China and Russia have never done anything harmful to Europe, to the contrary – they have offered truthful cooperation, against coerced collaboration, US-style. So, the question “Why?” is answered with the corporate paid brainwash-media.

Is this “democracy”? – Is this democratic thinking? Do these people realize that their brains have been captured years ago by a consumer-comfort propaganda and gradually converted into a submissive slave-behavior that still believes in “democracy”?
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The German people have not been asked whether they agree sending German troops to other countries, nor whether they should participate in NATO exercises. The truce that is in force for Germany since the end of WWII, allows no foreign intervention by German military. In fact, no formal Peace Agreement has (yet) been signed between Germany and the winning powers. The armistice accord contains a clause that dictates that Germany ought to never undertake any actions that go against the interests of the United States. This would explain, at least in part, why the German Government bends backwards over to please Washington.

But most of the Germans are oblivious to this fact.
On purpose. Because “democracy” would dictate the ethical: let the public know. Get a public debate going about the autonomy and sovereignty that Germany currently has and that she – and her people – deserve.

The decision of using German troops as NATO soldiers in other countries has nothing to do with “democracy”. It goes against the grains of democracy. Is Germany under a “covid emergency law”, which would be similar to Martial Law? As is France, Switzerland, Spain, the UK? If so, have the people been properly informed?

Switzerland has just recently extended her Covid Emergency Law until the end of 2021 – and then what? It could easily be extended again, as it was now. The law was rammed through a right-wing congress, regardless of political parties, congress men and women largely agreed. No questions asked. The people were never consulted.

Now a People’s Referendum (a privilege the Swiss still have) that would ban this so-called “Notrecht” (emergency Law), is under way. But by the time enough signatures will be assembled and the referendum will be “allowed” by the Government to be presented to the public for a vote, it may be too late to change the drastic measures that were implemented under the quasi-Martial Law.

That’s “democracy”, or is it?

France under Mr. Macron, a Rothschild gnome, has reimposed a State of Health Emergency and introduced curfews, a ban on weddings and being out in the streets is permitted only with special permits. This as the result of a “sudden and spectacular acceleration” in the spread of the coronavirus, Jean Castex, the Prime Minister said, justifying this audacious draconian measure. He added that the national COVID-19 incidence rate over the past ten days had jumped from 107 to 190 cases per 100,000 population with “particularly alarming levels” in some large cities. But who checks the figures, the statistics, how they are assembled? Nobody.

That’s “democracy”? – For disobedience fines are €135 for first offenders, rising to as much as €7,500 — and a six-month prison term. Well, is this dictatorship or what?

It is far away from “democracy” – that’s for sure. Especially if we know what covid really is – namely nothing more than closely similar to a regular flu. This is according to Anthony Fauci, chief of NIAID / NIH of the US, when he writes peer-reviewed articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), like “Covid-19 – Navigating the Uncharted” …. “the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.” (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejme2002387).

When Fauci speaks to the media – in countless interviews to mainstream TV – he uses the usual fear-mongering narrative of the deadliness of the corona virus.

This shows, that there is clearly a different agenda behind covid than controlling the “Pandemic”, but rather controlling the people. We ought to wake up. It’s too late to talk about reinstating “democracy”. Truth is, we never had democracy. And now we have to fight for our sheer survival as human beings. Trust me.

“Democracy” is but a wishful slogan. Democracy in today’s world certainly doesn’t exist. It never did. Not even in ancient Greece it worked, where the term was invented some 2500 years ago by well-off, but admittedly well-thinking philosophers. Democracy was always for the educated, for the fortunate and wealthy – but it never played out in truth to all of the people – to what the term in its original translation meant and means. As soon as the term democracy is given to politicians as a concept of ruling a nation to be applied, the meaning of “democracy” is vandalized into “the people choose, but the elite decides”. It is the same as of this day. Democracy is derived from the ancient Greek “demokratia,” literally meaning that power belongs to the people. It never did; and even less so today.

“The power belonging to the people” was and is conceded to the people, always to the extent that the controlling elite deems appropriate. If the people want to take over what’s theirs, the controlling elite brings out controlling forces and plays the propaganda game, misinformation, manipulated truth and outright lies. This was the case then and is practiced today in even more sophisticated ways.

Today, deceit is not just applied as the ruling elite sees fit and for personal gains, it is manufactured by algorithms, actually by Artificial Intelligence. Today’s elections, particularly in the west, are decided by oligarch or deep state-controlled algorithms. The voters play an alibi role. Not more. There is hardly any election in the (western) world which is not ultimately controlled and decided by the United States.
——

Back to the non-democratic European Union. It is using NATO troops for urban warfare, if you will. There is a not-much-talked about German / NATO military base in the small “Land” (State) of Saxony-Anhalt, not far from Hamburg. According to the German online journal “Pivot Area” (https://www.pivotarea.eu/2017/10/26/german-armed-forces-open-part-of-their-new-urban-warfare-training-city/), the urban warfare military base in “Schnöggersburg is being built since 2012. It should be finished by the end of 2020. By then it will consist of more than 500 buildings stretched over 6.25 square kilometers. The so called „urban agglomeration“, as the Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) labeled its training ground, has a whole city infrastructure – i.e. a canalization (water supply and sewerage), an underground (metro) line, a train station, an industrial park, as well as a sport stadium, slums, residential areas and a high-rise district. The German MoD (Ministry of Defense) planned to invest 140 million Euros into the project (by completion, it will likely be considerably more). According to lieutenant-general Frank Leidenberger, head of the land forces innovation-department, the last decade shows the clear trend, that „warfare moves from the field to the cities.“ Therefore Schnöggersburg should give the German armed forces a supreme training ground for state of the art operations in urban scenarios. Leidenberger says also that the Bundeswehr considers its new high training city as a strategic resource to push the framework of nation concept with partner armies.”

The key phrase is “the framework of nation concept with partner armies.”  That’s where NATO comes in.

How many Germans have been democratically informed about this Monster Project? It clearly indicates that urban social unrest, on massive scale, was already foreseen way before 2012 – probably around the time that the Global Great Reset started taking form, decades ago, in the criminal heads of the all-controlling Deep Dark State; those that started this new phase of societal digitization with 9/11 in 2001, curiously also the beginning of a new western calendar landmark, the Third Millennium. Starting with 9/11, the western empire and its minions went downhill. And the East started rising.

The downhill slide will undoubtedly mean the end of the empire. But on the way there, all the most mischievous powers will be used to enslave the population, digitally and with AI, algorithms. Since this Deep Dark State has also eugenicists in its core, a massive population reduction is also part of the plan.

Monetary digitization is likewise part of the plan. In fact, it is already well under preparation, as an element of WEF’s Great Reset, or as the IMF calls it, The Great Reformation. The IMF (and the World Bank), both controlled by the US Treasury, are planning a so-called Bretton Woods 2.0, a Reset of the monetary system, where eventually the western dollar economy would be replaced by a digital crypto-currency, in which selected western currency may partake. The role of gold in it, is not clear, nor is the role of the de facto strongest currency, the Chinese Yuan.

If this as of yet hypothetical new IMF-BIS controlled crypto-currency materializes, it would most likely wipe out all US debt and make lines of credit available – perhaps in the hundreds of trillions of dollars equivalent – to help bail-out small central banks of poorer, highly indebted countries. (see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_cL7Sv5Daw).

Would these countries’ debt base just balloon out of proportion with the new IMF-BIS bail-outs, or would they simply (have to) concede their national asset base to the IMF-BIS managed Global monster fund – to be able to limp along in “lockstep” and poverty, according to the Masters’ rules, is not clear.

In any case, be prepared, there is much to come, if, We, the People, allow the Covid-19 induced Great Reset to move forward. It is increasingly clear that covid is nothing more than an instrument for a much grander plan, The Great Reset. – the Great Reset is the antidote to “democracy”. It is a further demolition of any hope towards a “democracy”.

Fortunately, there is China, also with a new digital (crypto?) currency, in test phase, under preparation – eventually to be rolled out for international payment use, as an alternative to the dollar economy, or the new IMF-BIS treacherous US Treasury controlled crypto-currency. In contrast, the digital yuan is meant as a peaceful means of trading among equals in view of a more balanced multi-polar world. Yes, this despite the negative wester thinking about China.
The Tao life philosophy that the west doesn’t want to know or understand, is not confrontational, not even when constantly confronted by the aggressive west.

In the meantime, to escape the new monetary tyranny (from fiat dollars to fiat-fiat crypto), countries could simply retake their sovereignty, take back their national central banks, heir national currencies and start producing for local markets with local public banks and with local debt – as much as possible towards a state of self-sufficiency, with cross-border trading in local currencies. If this happens, the IMF-BIS controlled crypto currency will bite the dust.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.
Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

بعد التكليف الضعيف للحريري‎ ‎التأليف سيكون صعباً…‏

حسن حردان

لم تأتِ نتائج الاستشارات النيابية لتسمية الرئيس سعد الدين الحريري لتولي مهمة تأليف الحكومة اللبنانية الجديدة، كما يشتهي الحريري، وقد أخفق في الحصول على أغلبية نيابية مريحة تعطيه شيكاً على بياض في عملية التشكيل، وهو أضعف من أن يفرض حكومة وفق توجهاته التي تنسجم مع التوجُّهات والرغبات الأميركية الفرنسية، المتمثلة في مطالبة لبنان بالموافقة على شروط صندوق النقد الدولي مقابل الحصول على قروض مالية مُيسّرة.

أولاً، ليس لدى الحريري غطاء مسيحي، بعد أن امتنعت كتلتا التيار الوطني الحر (أكبر كتلة في البرلمان)، وكتلة القوات اللبنانية عن تسميته، وكلّ كتلة من موقف سياسي مختلف. فالتيار رفض الموافقة على أن يشكل الحريري حكومة اختصاصيين مستقلين، لأنّ الحريري سياسي ولا تنطبق عليه صفة اختصاصي، لهذا يؤيد التيار حكومة تكنو سياسية. أما القوات فهي تصرّ على حكومة اختصاصيين مستقلة بالكامل من رئيسها إلى وزرائها، وحتى يتمكن الحريري من تأليف حكومة هو بحاجة إلى تأييد التيار الوطني، لا سيما أنّ رئيس الجمهورية ـ الشريك دستورياً في عملية التأليف ـ لن يقبل بأي حكومة لا تحترم الميثاقية وما تعنيه من ضمان عدالة تمثيل الطوائف من خلال الكتل النيابية التي تمثلها.

ثانياً، لن يكون بإمكان الحريري الحصول على موافقة حزب الله على تأليف الحكومة، إلا إذا قبل بحقّ الحزب في تسمية وزرائه من ناحية، ومعارضته العديد من شروط صندوق النقد من ناحية ثانية، واستطراداً التمسُّك بحقّ لبنان في مقاومة الاحتلال والحفاظ على كامل حقوقه في البحر والبر ورفض أيّ مساومة عليها، من ناحية ثالثة.

ثالثاً، لم يحصل الحريري على تأييد بلا شروط، من قبل بعض الكتل والنواب الذين سمّوه في الاستشارات، مثل الكتلة الأرمنية والكتلة القومية، اللتين تشترطان تمثيلهما في الحكومة بالصيغة التي يتمّ الاتفاق عليها. أما كتلة التحرير والتنمية فانها لن تقبل بأن يتفرّد الحريري في تسمية الوزراء، وهي سوف تقف مع كتلة الوفاء للمقاومة في هذا الشأن. فما رُفِض إعطاؤه لمصطفى أديب لن يُمنح للحريري، لأنّ ذلك سيعني تسليم السلطة له وهو أمر سيشكل انقلاباً سياسياً على الدستور ونتائج الانتخابات، ويحقق بالتالي رغبات واشنطن وأحلام وهي التي تقف وراء تفجير الأزمة ومحاولة توظيف الاحتجاجات في الشارع، لفرض هذا الانقلاب الذي يبدأ من تشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين مستقلين، موالية للسياسة الأميركية.

أمام هذا الواقع، فإنّ الرئيس المكلف سعد الحريري لن يكون مطلق اليدين في تشكيل الحكومة، وهو محكوم بتوازن القوى، والاستجابة لمطالب الكتل النيابية في حقها بالمشاركة في الحكومة، إن كان عبر اختصاصيين أو سياسيين، كما أنه سيكون محكوماً بالأخذ بوجهة نظر رئيس الجمهورية الذي لا يمكن تأليف الحكومة من دون موافقته على شكلها ومضمونها ومدى انسجامها مع الدستور. أما إذا أصرّ على موقفه في السعي إلى تشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين مستقلين يسمّي هو وزراءها، والتمسك بإعطائه شيكاً على بياض لتطبيق البرنامج الإصلاحي للمبادرة الفرنسية وفق رؤيته، وعلى أساس قبول شروط صندوق النقد الدولي، فإنه سيواجه صعوبة في ذلك، بل إنه سيفشل بكلّ تأكيد، ويتبيّن عندها أنّ تشكيل حكومة وفاق، مرتبط بحصول الحريري على ضوء أخضر أميركي، وأنّ الضوء لن يظهر قبل انتهاء الانتخابات الأميركية وإعلان نتائجها، لذلك من المتوقع أنّ الرئيس الحريري سوف يستهلك هذه الفترة في المشاورات التي سيجريها مع الكتل النيابية والأطراف والقوى السياسية، ومن ثم الانتظار ريثما يتضح موقف الإدارة الأميركية بعد الانتخابات، رفعاً للفيتو، أم المضيّ فيه، وبالتالي استمرار أزمة تأليف الحكومة.

ما كان لافتاً هو مسارعة مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركي ديفيد شينكر إلى التذكير بسيف العقوبات بعد تكليف الحريري، ما يعني أنّ واشنطن تعارض حكومة توافق، وهي مستمرة في سياسة الضغط بواسطة الحصار المالي وسلاح العقوبات لمحاولة تمكين الحريري من فرض تشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين مستقلين.

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The Death of the Nation State has been somewhat exaggerated (Part 2)

The Death of the Nation State has been somewhat exaggerated (Part 2)

October 12, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

Globalization – i.e., neo-liberalism writ large – is essentially a negative phenomenon destroying the sovereignty and cohesion of nation states and thereby depriving markets of the social and political guidance without which they cannot function effectively…The result will be a socially divisive, politically destructive, ethically abhorrent and even economically inefficient structure.(1)

JOINED AT THE HIP

Transnational Corporations (TNCs) can be compared to a tree: they have extensive branches everywhere, but their roots are firmly based at National HQ. Of late this has become a disputed view. One of the contemporary clichés in the current discussion of global political economy is the rather dubious concept of the end of the nation state and the subsequent breaking of the shackles which had hitherto tied TNCs to specific geographical and legal locations. It has been argued that these organizations have moved beyond the control of nation states who can no longer exercise effective jurisdiction over their activities.

This ‘state-denial’ thesis has been articulated by the influential hyper-globalist faction ensconced in the financial press, academic economics departments and political parties. In a ‘borderless’ world the state apparently no longer matters; economic power has shifted from sovereign states to global markets. In the words of the German political and social theorist, Wolfgang Streeck, ‘Markets were once fitted into states; now states are fitted into markets.’(2)This change has involved a global transmutation which reputedly has been brought about by the invention of revolutionary technologies in transport and communications. Such is the thesis put forward by the spokespersons of globalization.

True to say that in general terms all states have to choose a global strategy; they have to look at the full range of choices, then they have to decide what is in their best interests. In the current era of global competition, trade liberalization via the market remains the riskiest choice of all. It demands that trade barriers of all kinds be dismantled – the EU model being the archetype. With this policy governments have to let international competitive pressures restructure industries without recourse to state aids or other protectionist methods. This requires states to open their borders regardless of the costs and consequences in industries and vulnerable workers. Russia in the 1990s was a textbook example of what would happen if a state opened its economy too early, namely, a massive economic contraction. In the official textbooks among the neo-classical scribblers in academe and the media, markets are seen to be self-organizing social and economic space responding to universal demand and supply signals.

For countries which accept this view of the world economy, state power to make policy independent of a country’s major trading partner is being progressively eroded as countries find themselves trapped in a seamless web of interdependency. Larger markets do not come without a cost. This much is axiomatic.

Since the 2008 crisis, however, and now the 2020 blowout the state-denialist view has been more difficult if not actually impossible to sustain. It was after all the allegedly redundant state (or states) which pulled capitalism’s chestnuts out of the fire with the bail-out of insolvent American banks in 2008. As the story goes, during the meeting between Obama and the Wall Street elite at the height of the 2008 crisis the President apparently remarked that it was only himself who stood between the assembled financial movers and shakers of Wall Street and ‘the pitchforks’. The US government also ponied up some US$50 billion to bail out distressed auto manufacturers General Motors and Ford who were based in ‘Motor City’ (Detroit). Detroit itself was also bankrupt but the Federal government was unable to find an additional US$13 billion to bail out the city itself. Maybe – just a thought – because the population of Motor City was largely African-American.

However, the received wisdom emanating from the neoliberal elite has been challenged with a more critical assessment coming from heterodox economic theorists.

As follows.

‘’Contrary to the globalist supposition and as a matter of fact, the (sovereign) state always has, and continues to be the mobilizing force in shaping and guiding national economic development, including globalization itself. Given that an increased capability to overcome geographical distance made possible by technological innovations in transport and communication technologies is of little use if there are political barriers to such movements. Thus, policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatisation were necessary to overcome non-technical barriers to the free flow of labour, capital, and commodities. Therefore, the enabling force of globalization was the state. In fact, the bigger and more powerful states have used globalization as a means of increasing their own power and interests.

States actively construct globalization and use it as soft geo-politics and to acquire greater power over, and autonomy from, their national economies and societies respectively … E.g. … The US and G7s other dominant members design and establish the international trade agreements, organizations, and legislation that support and govern trans-border investments, production networks, and market penetration constitutive of contemporary globalization. Advanced capitalist states, particularly, use these political instruments to shape international economic decision making and policy making in their interests.’’ (3)

In addition, nation-states protect, subsidize, manipulate currencies, impose quotas, sanctions, give tax breaks and exemptions to export industries, R&D, and grant patents, use procurement policies and intellectual property rights to their indigenous corporations to both protect their home markets and help them penetrate overseas markets. This is laughingly described as ‘free trade’. States and corporations are not antipodes they are twins, and arguably the state is the senior partner in this arrangement.

For example, in 1934 the Roosevelt administration passed the Glass-Steagall Act. This involved a forced separation of investment banking from commercial banking which stopped banks speculating with depositors’ monies. In 1999, however, Bill Clinton signed the Financial Services Modernization Act, commonly known as Gramm-Leach-Bliley, repealing the key components of Glass-Steagall whose articles became largely toothless. This was what Wall Street had been angling for and which gave an additional push to the eventual debacle in 2008.

The state giveth, and the state taketh away.

Thus, the notion that powerful trends of internationalization and interdependence have ended national sovereignty is vastly overstated. States remain in charge of the essential part of their national sovereignty: monetary policy, (except in the Eurozone of course) law-making, macroeconomic policy, finance and taxation, environment, education, labour markets, industrial relations, pensions, health and welfare, social policy, science and technology and so forth. Arguably no supra-national entity has yet been designed to replace what has been an effective system of national government. Unimpeded global flows of capital in search of lucrative investment opportunities, are hardly conducive for countries wishing to plan and stabilize their future free from the vagaries of uncontrolled markets

TENSIONS

Power to shape/control the global system is concentrated in the hands of states and/or the newly emergent TNCs. Of course, there is not going to be a simple description of this development as the relationship between these two pillars of modern imperialism is both fractious and permanently mutating. The received wisdom, as put forward by the various spokespersons for globalization, ranging from the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) OECD, WTO, World Bank and IMF, and through the globalist house journals of the global Transnational Uberklasse – The Financial Times, The Economist and Wall Street Journal – is predictable enough. Namely that the state is always in a subservient position vis-à-vis the dominant TNCs.

This perhaps would qualify as a procrustean effort to make the facts fit the theory. Contrary to the image of the all-powerful TNC demanding fealty and obedience from prostrate states, the relationship is somewhat more symmetrical; corporations and states are always to a certain degree joined at the hip.

They are both competitive and competing, both supportive and conflictual. They operate in a fully dialectical relationship, locked into unified but contradictory roles and positions, neither one nor the other partner completely able to dominate.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Additionally, the widespread notion that a TNC can simply up sticks and move lock, stock, and barrel to a more compatible venue if its home base no longer suits its purposes, is fanciful in the extreme. All TNCs have home bases, national HQs. Here is where global strategy is determined; here is where top-end R&D is carried out; here is where design and marketing strategies take place; here is where the domestic market is situated and where long-term domestic suppliers are located; here is where overseas operations are conceived planned and carried through; here is where AGMs of the Corporations takes place with published accounts circulated to all shareholders; here is where the local workforce, at all levels, is recruited; here is where the political bureaucracy and the above mentioned institutions are situated and amenable to lobbying. Picking an obvious example, the US defence industries, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing, are all based domestically and are not, even if they could, going to jump ship anytime soon.

It is unquestionably true that TNCs and states often have divergent goals: TNCs’ primary function is to maximise profits and enhance shareholder value, whereas the economic role of the state should be to maximise the economic welfare of its society. But although this conflictual relationship exists, states and TNCs need and lean on each other in a variety of ways. States might wish that TNCs are bound by allegiance to national borders – and in many ways they are (see above) – but total allegiance is not an option in a liberal capitalist economy. Indeed, it would be true to say that some states regard TNC (activities) as being complementary to their foreign policy. Here economic issues merge with geopolitical imperatives. For example, American political leaders have believed that the national interest has also been served by the foreign expansion of US corporations in manufacturing and services. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been considered a major instrument through which the US could maintain its relative position in world markets – as is of course the US$ acting as the world’s reserve currency – with the overseas expansion of TNCs being regarded as a means to maintain America’s dominant world position. As it was succinctly stated. ’What’s good for General Motors is Good for America’.

THE EU: SUPRANATIONAL OR NATIONAL STATES.

Which brings me to the EU. The state-declinist thesis seems to have gained a considerable traction in Europe among the orthodox left. No less a personage than Yanis Varoufakis – the initiator of DiEM2025 (Democracy in Europe) – has been reading the last rites of state democracy and sovereignty in Europe. Apparently, the model of politics based on the nation state is ‘finished’. The sovereignty of national parliaments has been dissolved. Today, national electoral mandates are impossible to fulfil. Hence, reform of the European institutions (specifically the Euro Parliament), is the only remaining option.

Essentially this is the latest version of the TINA ‘argument’, (there is no alternative), pioneered by Mrs Thatcher and rolled out with monotonous regularity ever since by every cornered establishment politician, both left and right. As has been noted elsewhere. ‘’Tell the population that the nation-state is ‘finished,’ that it is unable to guarantee full employment (or to work towards it) and you free yourself of the responsibility of even trying.’’ The same goes for austerity or anything else. If the nation state is ‘kaput’ it is futile to oppose it.’’(4)

Globalization, however, is far from being the all-powerful and all- encompassing Leviathan postulated by the declinists. ’There are major cultural and linguistic differences that preclude a full mobilisation of resources across national borders. There is ‘home bias in investment portfolios. There is a high correlation between national investment rates and national saving rates. Capital flows between rich and poor nations fall considerably short of what theoretical models predict. There are still severe restrictions to the international mobility of labour. The truth is that we do not live in a completely globalised world, far from it. Ergo, nation-states can pursue their own fiscal and monetary policies.

Ex-leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn’s (quite moderate) policy proposals, during the 2017 and 2019 UK elections, namely, peoples’ QE, renationalisation of the Railways, taking into public ownership the energy and water industries together with the Royal Mail were not beyond the scope of the UK qua sovereign and democratic state. Additionally, these policies found considerable support among the UK’s population at large. (5) Unfortunately Corbyn’s programme was derailed by pro-EU elements in the Parliamentary Labour Party, the MSM and a vicious and mendacious ‘antisemitic’ smear campaign aimed at Corbyn. But this doesn’t alter the fact that a sovereign country can issue its own currency and formulate its own fiscal and monetary policy that can override the EU neo-liberal package of free movement of labour, capital, and commodities. This in addition to blocking the drive to deregulate labour markets (euphemistically, ‘flexibilization’). The sovereign state is perfectly capable of a policy for growth rather than for continued austerity which has become the hallmark of the EU area. But to carry out such growth policies would require an exit from the EU. There’s the rub. Social-democratic policies are incompatible to the EU’s liberal orientation, which is a structurally, neo-liberal capitalist institution.

The euro has in fact simply been designed to ensure that Germany runs a permanent trade surplus whilst the southern periphery runs continuing trade deficits – a simple accounting identity. Eventually something will have to give. It is also noticeable that Germany seems to be harbouring increasingly regional hegemonic ambitions regarding the rest of Europe. It seems to be positioning itself as the EUs anti-Russian key front-line probably with US backing. Euro state Socialism or even tepid social democracy can never truly thrive within such a hostile and increasingly militarised political environment. But that’s another explosive can of worms.

The position of the globalist left as outlined in the DiEM2025 manifesto, however, seems like a back-to-front attempt to by-pass national institutions and to attempt through a supra-national democracy to make fundamental reforms, through a democratised and strengthened EU. But even Varoufakis regards this as being ‘utopian.’ But he continues, it is ‘a lot more realistic than trying to maintain the system as it is’ or ‘trying to leave.’ (6)

More realistic, really? But this begs the obvious question of why such an entity is going to be any different from the present dispensation; will be any less neo-liberal and undemocratic if it is given greater powers and is integrated further? It seems to make more sense to work from the national to the supra-national level than the other way around – particularly given that most states in the EU are governed by centre right coalitions with social-democrats in tow (but acting like centre right liberals). Moreover, the transfer of local democracy – which we are told is now obsolete – to supranational democracy contributes to a weakening of popular control. This leapfrogging of national democracy to supranational democracy perforce requires a supranational electorate. This is problematic however since for the great majority of ordinary European citizens linguistic barriers and cultural differences impair the opportunity for political participation at a supra-national level. And so the dialogue, such as it is, goes on – ad nauseam.

This should not be considered a mere academic nit-picking issue for Socratic Senior Common Room dialogue. It is the key geopolitical issue of the day, as to whether sovereign nation states can determine their own future and political structures and policies, against the globalist project to turn the world into a borderless playground for international finance, corporate hegemony and the corollary of extinguishing democracy.

IDEOLOGICAL INTEGRATION OF STATES INTO NEOLIBERAL MARKET THEORY

But perhaps a more disturbing feature of the state/economy relationship has been the ongoing and gradual privatisation of the state itself. The role of the state has traditionally been a provider of public goods – education, healthcare, culture, parks, libraries, museums, transport infrastructure, including water, energy, forests and national parks, defence, law and order and judiciary, telecommunications, egalitarian social policies and so forth. The role of the market qua economy is to produce private goods and services for sale on a market. There has always been a tension between ‘the commons’- i.e., that which is public and open for everyone to use – and ‘commodification’ which turns things into commodities for private ownership and money-making. To use Marxist terminology, the commons has use-value, not an exchange-value (a market price) simply because it is not – and by definition cannot be – a commodity that can be bought, sold, or commercialised. The elevation of use-value over exchange-value is integral to the commons.

Throughout history, powerful interests have sought to privatise, close, and commodify the commons whether land, other spaces, amenities, or even intellectual ideas – to contrive scarcity and create income-earning assets. To the extent to which the succeeding enclosure and privatisation drives up rental income and proliferate its sources, increasing private riches while eroding public wealth. Such asset-stripping, rent-seeking behaviour by private companies intent on rent-extraction is not only tolerated by public authorities but actually encouraged.

Other examples of this have been the government/private sector liaison whereby private companies are now employed by the government to perform the role which was once the prerogative of governments. These government/private financial arrangements were called Private Financial Initiatives PFIs or Public Private Partnerships PPPs and were operationalised in both the UK and Australia. These predatory organizations were simply looking for public authority institutions to milk. Their incompetence – and outright looting – was legendary. The privatisation of British Rail, for example, led to increased accidents, higher costs, monopolistic rents (in terms of ticket prices), overcrowded trains, and failure to meet the timetable criteria.

In Australia, a report by the New South Wales Auditor General in 2002 warned of the considerable risks associated with the outsourcing of information technology and of the need to ensure that agencies are clear why they should do so. The previously inconceivable opportunities for the security of private information, collected and held by governments to be compromised, opening the way for identity fraud and held by governments was dramatically exposed in November 2007, when the British Department of Revenue and Customs was unable to account for two compact disks which had been sent through the mail at the National Audit Office. These disks contained highly detailed personal information concerning the 25 million citizens who received child benefits, information which included their addresses and bank account numbers, along with details of their children.

This was not an unusual occurrence it was simply another example – among many – of the ongoing rip-off of the public taxpayer by rent-seeking marauders. The market is always right, always works best, and always delivers the goods, or so it is ordained. Such is the categorical imperative of neoliberalism.

Coming full circle, the point of arrival involves a recognition that the relationship between (usually capitalist) states and markets has been a permanent and alternating process which started with the industrial revolutions in western Europe and North America. On the one side there are the permanent state bureaucracies and organizations which function as the basis for the production of public goods, and the national interest as they define it. This is complemented by the free-wheeling, cosmopolitan, financial and corporate interests whose outlook and policies are global as well as national and whose objectives are both practical and ideological. Practical in the sense that their motives are commercial and predicated on the imperative of growth and development not necessarily restricted to their national base. Ideological in terms of their neo-liberal Weltanschauung.

It was the great American social and political theorist C. Wright Mills who postulated the existence of what he called, The Power Elite as early as 1956. The American elite groups were composed of most importantly The Corporate Rich, The Warlords and The Political Directorate which together with various lower ranking sub-elite groups controlled the United States. State and Economy have to an extent always coexisted, their positions and influence moving back and forth, but in recent years (circa 1980) there has been – to put it mildly – a marked tendency of power and influence to tilt away from the state and toward the corporate/commercial configurations. Whether this trend will continue is an open question; but it would not be amiss to assert that nothing goes on forever.

NOTES

(1)Manfred Bienefeld – Is a Strong National Economy a Utopian Goal at the end of the 20th Century? – States Against Markets – pp. 434,435

(2) Wolfgang Streeck – ‘Buying Time’ – The Democratic Crisis Of Democratic Capitalism. ‘

(3) M. Gritsch – (2005: 2-3) (Nye 2002) Quoted in – The State Really Does Matter, Global Shift 2012 – p.223

(4) Picciotto, S. 1991 The Internationalisation of the State – Capital and Class 43.43-63 – quoted in Global Shift 2012– Peter Dicken)

(5) Although it should be said that the 2019 – the Brexit election – was very much watered down to the policies of the electoral manifesto of 2017.

(6) The IndependentUK Newspaper

(7) In Government We Trust – Market Failure and the Delusions of Privatisation. pp.90

Sayyed Nasrallah to Macron: You’re Not Lebanon’s Ruler, Hezbollah Open to the French Initiative… US behind Failure

Sayyed Nasrallah to Macron: You’re Not Lebanon’s Ruler, Hezbollah Open to the French Initiative… US behind Failure

Zeinab Essa

Beirut-Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Tuesday a televised speech in which he tackled various internal and regional issues.

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah offered condolences to Kuwait and its people over the demise of Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah. “The late Kuwaiti leader played a personal and major role in ending Lebanon’s civil war. The Lebanese people neither forget the role of the late Emir in ending the civil war, nor the Kuwaiti role during the July 2006 war, supporting Lebanon and reconstructing it” he said, noting that “Kuwait still maintains its honorable stance towards Al-Quds and Palestine, unlike the train of normalization.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence praised the coherent stance of Kuwait under its late Emir against pressures on Gulf nations to join normalization with the Zionist entity.

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the efforts and sacrifices of the Lebanese army and forces that had recently confronted the armed terrorist groups in Northern Lebanon. “The armed groups in north Lebanon were plotting major military action against the country.”

He further offered condolences to the Lebanese army and the families of the martyrs that have fallen in the battle. “We have previously warned against the attempts to revive Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist ‘ISIS’/’ISIL’ group] again in Iraq and Syria, and it is natural that preparations began in Lebanon to justify the American forces’ presence in the region,” His Eminence added, pointing out that “After the assassination of martyrs [Qasim] Soleimani and [Abu Mahdi] al-Muhandis, Washington started reviving Daesh.”

In parallel, the Resistance Leader declared Hezbollah appreciates the popular position in the north and the people’s rallying around the army and security forces.

According to His Eminence, “Washington is trying to justify its continuous presence in the region under the pretext of the international coalition to fight Daesh, which it seeks to revive in the region.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that “The “Israeli” enemy’s army is still at the highest level of alert and is still hiding, and this is the longest period that the occupation army lives in this way without having its soldiers moving [from their places].”

Reiterating that Hezbollah still intends to retaliate to the martyrdom of one of its fighters in Syria, the Resistance Leader responded to “Israeli” PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s claims that Hezbollah is storing missiles near a gas station.

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah Media Relations is to invite local media outlets to the site at 22:00, to let the world discover his lies.

“We’re not obliged to invite journalists to any site mentioned by Netanyahu, but we are doing this now due to the sensitivity of the situation after the August 4 explosion,” he stressed, noting that c.”

According to His Eminence, “Our measure is to make the Lebanese people aware amid the battle of consciousness, and to let them know that we don’t put our missile between residential houses.”

On the political front, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “The French initiative was published and we all agreed on it. We said we support it. The first step was to name a PM.”

“The work has started and the parliamentary blocs started to consult to agree on naming Hariri or whomever he names. Meanwhile, the club of the four former PMs was formed. We did not put any conditions when Mustafa Adib was nominated and did not make any prior agreement to show our intention to facilitate the process,” he recalled.

His Eminence went on to say, “There are those who said that the designated PM would hold negotiations, but the parliamentary blocs and the president of the republic have not been contacted.”

Moreover, Hezbollah Secretary General disclosed that “Adib did not consult with the President of the Republic, a prepared file was handed to him, and the most important authority for the President- i.e. to participate in forming the government- would have been dropped out.”

“The French must know where they erred, especially as to eliminating the President’s most important remaining power, which is participation in the formation of governments,” he added, noting that “The one who negotiated with us over the government wasn’t Adib, but PM Saad Hariri.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also mentioned that “The naming of ministers for all sects in Lebanon by a single person is dangerous for the country. The Ex-PMs club wanted to distribute portfolios and name the ministers alone.”

“Some wanted to eliminate the parliamentary blocs and the President’s powers and they sought to introduce new norms,” he stated, pointing out that “When we asked whether the French initiative included what was proposed by the club of ex-PMs, we were answered by ‘NO’.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah confirmed that “We rejected what was presented to us because it forms a threat to the country and is not a subject of discussion. The French initiative neither mentions the number of ministers nor the rotation of portfolios.”

His Eminence underlined that “At one point there was an attempt to form a de-facto government. The way things were tackled with regard to the government is unacceptable in Lebanon, regardless of its sponsor or supporter.”

“We have always said that the reason for our presence in the government is to protect the back of the resistance,” he added, warning that “The coercion method does not work in Lebanon, regardless of its advocates and sponsors, be them the US, France or Europe.”

On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah reminded that Hezbollah “must be in the government to protect the back of the resistance so that May 5, 2008 will not be repeated in Lebanon,” noting that “The second reason behind our participation in the government is fearing for what has remained from Lebanon economically, nationally and on all other levels.”

“What if a government accepts the conditions of the IMF without any discussions? Do we agree on a government that increases taxes on citizens? What if a new government decides to sell the state’s assets,” he asked, statin, “We fear for the state property and people’s money.”

Meanwhile, His Eminence addressed the French President Emanuel Macron by saying: “Did the French initiative say that the ex-PMs form the government and name ministers? Hajj Mohammad Raad told Macron that we agree to 90% of the French initiative, and here we ask, what is it that we agreed upon and did not respect? What you are asking from us contradicts with democracy. You are asking the parliamentary majority to bow and cede power to the parliamentary minority.”

To Macron, Sayyed Nasrallah sent a clear message: “Look for the party that wanted to control the country and eliminate the political forces under your cover. President Macron, who accused us of intimidation, is the one who practiced the intimidation policy against the heads of parties in order to pass the government.”

He also emphasized that Hezbollah “prevented the country from moving towards the worse, and we hope that the Lebanese will cooperate so that the country doesn’t move into the worst.”

Explaining that Hezbollah has not committed to hand over the country to any kind of government, he told the French President: “We know how we adhere to our promises, fulfill it and sacrifice in order to abide by it. Our enemies and friends know that we honor our pledges. We upset our friends to fulfill our promises.”

Once again, he repeated that Hezbollah “did not go to Syria to fight civilians. We went there at the invitation of the Syrian government to fight the groups that you named as terrorists.”

“It was not us who chose war, the Zionists rather occupied our land and attacked us,” he told Macron, stressing that “We do not accept that anyone speaks to us in this language. A settlement is different than surrender. We do not practice the game of terrorism and intimidation against anyone in Lebanon. We do not practice intimidation, but Arab countries that you protect and are friendly to you, doesn’t allow a tweet that criticizes the king to be written.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah said: ‘Iran doesn’t interfere in Lebanon, and we in Hezbollah and Amal Movement decide what to do.”

He further sent the French President a clear advice: “If you want to search for those who thwarted your initiative, look for the Americans who imposed sanctions and complicated the situation.”

In a sounding message, His Eminence stated: “We do not accept the arrogant behavior and that you accuse us and other Lebanese with committing treason. We welcomed the role of President Macron and the French initiative to help Lebanon but not to be an Attorney General, inspector, judge, guardian or governor of Lebanon. There isn’t any mandate neither for the French president nor for others to be guardian or ruler of Lebanon.”

However, Sayyed Nasrallah kept the door open for discussion: “We still support the French initiative, but the language must be reconsidered because what was attacked the last two days ago is the national dignity,” he said, noting that “We are still open to the French initiative for the benefit of our country, and we insist on cooperation to pass from bad to good.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the stance of the Bahraini people despite oppression and risks, particularly the Bahraini scholars’ rejection of Al-Khalifa regime’s normalization with the “Israeli” enemy.

“The stance of the Bahraini people is honorable and [truly] represents the people of Bahrain. The authority in Bahrain doesn’t own its decision, it rather operates as a Saudi-affiliated state,” he said, pointing out that “The people of Bahrain, despite their wounds, and despite the presence of many of their leaders and symbols behind bars, have said their resounding word of truth in the era of silence, subservience and submission.”

He also warned of Sudan’s move towards normalization.

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the official and popular stances of Tunisia and Algeria against the normalizations, and urged the Sudanese people not to accept being part of the normalization under the pretext of lifting its name from the “terror list”.

“We’re not worried about all what is happening in the region as long as the Palestinian people keep adhering to their rights,” he assured.

سيّد الكرامة وروح المسؤوليّة

ناصر قنديل

لم يكن ممكناً أن يمرّ كلام الرئيس الفرنسي أمانويل ماكرون، بما فيه من رواية لوقائع مفاوضات تأليف الحكومة التي تولاها علناً الرئيس المكلّف مصطفى أديب، وقادها فعلياً نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين كحزب حاكم جديد، من دون أن تقدّم المقاومة وحزب الله رواية موازية من موقع الشريك الكامل في صناعة الوقائع، والشاهد عن كثب وقرب لهذه الوقائع، ومن طالته سهام الاتهام وفقاً لرواية ماكرون. كما لم يكن ممكناً كلام ماكرون ألا يلقى تعليقاً وتفنيداً وتحليلاً من جانب حزب الله، طالما أن المعلوم للقاصي والداني، أنه كما كانت الأزمة التي تعصف بلبنان في شق رئيسيّ منها ثمرة قرار أميركي بإسقاط لبنان أملاً بأن يسقط حزب الله، وفقاً لكلام حرفي قاله ماكرون، فإن المبادرة الفرنسية التي قادها ماكرون تتركّز بنسبة كبيرة منها على فتح الطريق لمقاربة مختلفة للعلاقة مع حزب الله، وبالتالي يحتل حزب الله موقعاً موازياً لموقع ماكرون في الوقوف على طرفي ثنائية تمسك بخيوط المشهد، ما يعني أن مسار المقاربة للعلاقة الفرنسية بحزب الله يشكل المحور الحاكم لمسار المبادرة الفرنسيّة. وبعد سماع كلام ماكرون، لا بد من أن يخرج صوت حزب الله، لتكتمل صورة الثنائية وتتركز عناصر المعادلة.

بالتوازي مع هذا الاعتبار السياسي يحضر بقوة اعتبار أخلاقي ومعنوي وقيمي، ربما تزيد قيمته عن قيمة الاعتبار السياسي، فالحزب الذي يمثل المقاومة بكل قيمها وروح التضحية التي تمثلها، لن يصمت وقد تركزت عليه سهام ماكرون بصفته واحداً من أحزاب السلطة، ومن المتربّحين من المال العام، والمتعيّشين على المصالح الطائفية، والذين يفضلون مصالحهم على حساب مصالح شعبهم، وصولاً للدفع بحزب الله الأبعد بين أقرانه عن السلطة ومغانمها ومكاسبها وفسادها، لتصدُّر واجهة المستهدفين بالتهم السوداء، خصوصاً عندما يكون الاتهام بهذه اللغة الرعناء، وهذا التعالي المفعم بروح المستعمر، وعقل الوصاية، وما بين السطور من أستذة تدعو المقاومة للاختيار بين ما أسماه ماكرون بالخيار الأسوأ، وبين الديمقراطية، لمقاومة نال حزبها الرئيسي ديمقراطياً أعلى نسبة تصويت بين الأحزاب اللبنانية.

إطلالة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله التي جاءت في سياق ممارسة هذا الحق وهذا الواجب، تضمنت من حيث الشكل تحجيماً لكلام ماكرون، حيث توزع كلام السيد نصرالله على ملفات عدة، من تعزية الكويت برحيل أميرها، إلى تنامي خطر داعش منذ جريمة داعش الإرهابية في بلدة كفتون، وصولاً للتوقف بلغة التحدي أمام مزاعم رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو حول وجود مستودعات صواريخ في منطقة الجناح قرب منشآت الغاز، فكانت دعوة فورية لوسائل الإعلام للملاقاة في المكان، إسقاطاً لمشروع تشويش على الإطلالة أراده نتنياهو قبل دقائق من موعدها، ليأتي الردّ على طريق يوم ساعر، انظروا إليها إنها في البحر تحترق، ليصل بهدوء إلى الملف الحكومي وفي قلبه كلام ماكرون، وبدا أنه يتعمّد عدم منح كلام ماكرون مكانة الصدارة من خلال الدخول الى كلامه من سردية تفصيلية لمسار العملية الحكومية والتعامل مع المبادرة الفرنسية من جميع الأطراف ومن ضمنها حزب الله، وثنائي حزب الله وحركة أمل، كاشفاً بالتفاصيل كيف تحوّلت الحكومة من مشروع إنقاذ قائم على تشارك الجميع خارج قضايا الخلاف الى مشروع انقلاب واستفراد بالحكم من خراج الدستور والأعراف لصالح جهة ذات لون واحد سياسي وطائفي، بقوة التهديد بالعقوبات والعصا الفرنسية، وبتغطية فرنسيّة تحت شعار السعي لإنجاح المبادرة، بلغة التهديد بالعواقب الوخيمة، وصولاً لحكومة تستعيد مسار حكومة 5 أيار 2008، والتآمر على المقاومة، لتصير الحكومة حكومة مهمة حدّدها الملك سلمان بنزع سلاح حزب الله، وليست حكومة المهمة التي تحدّث عنها ماكرون ووافق عليها الجميع. وهذا ما لا يمكن التساهل مع تكراره مرة أخرى، فلن تقبل حكومة الانقلاب ولن تقبل حكومة توقِّع من دون نقاش على شروط مجحفة لصندوق النقد الدولي، أو حكومة تبيع اصول الدولة، وحكومة تفرض ضرائب مرهقة على اللبنانيين، وكل ذلك كان يجري بشراكة فرنسا وتحت عباءة تهديداتها، متسائلاً هنا من الذي لجأ للتهديد والترويع، فرنسا ماكرون أم حزب الله؟

بكل هدوء، انتقل السيد إلى مناقشة كلام الرئيس الفرنسي، طارحاً السؤال المفتاح، هل القضايا التي سقطت عندها الحكومة كانت من ضمن المبادرة الفرنسية، أم هي قضايا وعناوين ابتدعها نادي رؤساء الحكومات السابقين وحدهم، مورداً جواباً رسمياً فرنسياً يؤكد أن ما طرحه نادي الرباعي جاء من خارج المبادرة، ليسأل إذا كيف يكون الجميع مسؤولاً؟ والسؤال الأهم، ما هي عهود المقاومة التي تنكّرتْ لها، أليس ما قام به حزب الله وحلفاؤه ورئيس الجمهورية هو عين التسهيل المطلوب، وهو عين الوفاء بالوعود والعهود، وللمقاومة سجل حافل بمصداقية الوفاء بالوعود والعهود؟ أما الدعوة للاختيار بين ما أسماه ماكرون بالخيار الأسوأ والديمقراطية، فجوابها واضح بالتمسك بحقوق الغالبية النيابية بمنع انقلاب بعض الأقلية النيابية لوضع اليد على البلد في ظلال المبادرة الفرنسية عكس المسار الديمقراطي، والمقاومة عنوان خاطئ لكل توصيفات ماكرون حول الفساد والمصالح، وعنوان خاطئ حول السلاح وتوظيفه في السياسة، والمقاومة لم تشهر سلاحها إلا رداً لعدوان أو مواجهة لاحتلال، أو تصدياً لإرهاب.

تفوق السيد نصرالله على ماكرون بالقيمة المضافة لا بفائض القوة، بقوة الحق لا بحق القوة، بالوقائع والحقائق ودقة التدقيق لا بالمزاعم والتوهّمات والتلفيق. تفوّق السيد نصرالله بحفظ الكرامة من دون حرب، وخاض ماكرون حرباً فقد فيها كرامته، فرض السيد نصاً تفسيرياً لمبادرة خانها صاحبها، ووضع آلية لإنقاذها من تخاذل كان يصاحبها. ورسم السيد سياق الصداقة خارج نفاق المواربة خشية ترهيب أو طلباً لترغيب، وخسر ماكرون فرصة صداقة لأنه تحت ترهيب حليف وترغيب مغانم حليف آخر، لكن رغم كل ذلك مد السيد يده لكلمة سواء، وأغلق باب الهدم وفتح مجدداً باباً واسعاً لخيار البناء، فانتصر السيد بكلام في قمة المسؤولية من موقع خارج المسؤولية الرسمية على كلام بعيد عن المسؤولية من أعلى مواقع المسؤولية الرسمية، ورمى الكرة في ملعب ماكرون قائلاً، لمن قالوا إن كلمة ماكرون تعادل كش ملك لحزب الله، إن اللعبة مفتوحة ولم تنته، والرمية التالية لرئيس فرنسا فإن أحسن لاقيناه وإن أساء فليلاقينا.

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هكذا تحاصر أميركا لبنان وسورية اقتصادياً ومالياً 1/2

باريس – نضال حمادة

مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي يقول: احتياط مصرف لبنان 2.5 مليار دولار والباقي دولارات رقمية…

نعود بك أيها القارئ الكريم إلى مقالة «البناء» في شهر تشرين الثاني الماضي بعنوان (مسؤول سابق في صندوق النقد الدولي عشرات ملايين الدولارات تخرج يومياً من لبنان إلى أربيل). عُدنا والتقينا هذا المسؤول السابق في باريس وهو من أصل عربي ليحدّثنا عن تشاؤمه بمستقبل الوضع في لبنان، اقتصادياً وسياسياً وربما أمنياً حسب قوله، يشير إلى أن الأميركي ترك الفرنسي يتحرك قليلاً ثم وضع أمامه كل العراقيل التي يتصوّرها والتي لا يتصوّرها، وبالتالي النتيجة هي أن فرنسا وحدها لا يمكن لها ان تنقذ الوضع في لبنان من دون رضا أميركا.

يقول المسؤول المالي إن احتياطي مصرف لبنان يبلغ مليارين ونصف مليار دولار نقداً، بينما بقيت المليارات هي عبارة عن أرقام على الكمبيوتر لا أكثر، ومصرف لبنان أمام أكثر من معضلة فهو لا يمكن له أن يحوّل هذه الأرقام الى ليرة لبنانية لأنه رقمياً يكون قد خسر كل احتياطه الوهميّ من الدولارات. وهذا ما سوف يسرّع الانهيار المالي، مضيفاً أن مبلغ «الكاش» الموجود يكفي لاستيراد الحاجات الأساسية من النفط والدواء والقمح حتى آخر السنة الحالية.

الاقتصاد السوري تأثر بالانهيار اللبناني، حيث يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي السابق، هناك 40 مليار دولار تعود لرجال أعمال وتجار سوريين. وهذا كل ما يملكونه كانوا وضعوه في المصارف اللبنانية، والآن بعد اكتشاف النهب الذي تعرّضت له ودائعهم أصبحوا من دون إمكانيات للاستيراد وبالتالي انكشف الوضع السوري اقتصادياً كالوضع اللبناني على أزمات تمويل عمليات الاستيراد. وبالتالي شهدنا أزمات متزامنة من نقص في المحروقات في لبنان وسورية، وهذا كان عملاً مقصوداً ومدروساً بعناية، فالنظام المصرفي اللبناني استُخدم معبراً لسحب كميات العملة الصعبة الموجودة في لبنان وسورية تمهيداً لإسقاط البلدين في زمن الصراع على السيطرة على الشرق الأوسط.

ما يريده صندوق النقد من لبنان هو تسليم كامل لكل المرافق المربحة للدولة اللبنانية وبأبخس الأثمان. يقول المسؤول المالي الدولي معقباً أن مبلغ الاحد عشر ملياراً الموعود به لبنان من سيدر لن تسد رمق اللبنانيين إلا لفترة محدودة طالما أن فاتورة الاستيراد السنوي للبنان تعادل ستة عشرَ مليار دولار. وأضاف ان الولايات المتحدة عملت من خلال إغلاق المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود البرية بين لبنان وسورية على تفاقم الأزمة الاقتصادية وجعلها تصل الى مشارف الانهيار.

غداً الجزء الثاني: لعبة المعابر كيف حاصرت أميركا سورية ولبنان؟

حرب المعابر هكذا تحاصر أميركا سورية ولبنان

باريس – نضال حمادة

نكمل كلامنا مع المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي، الذي قال إن أميركا أطبقت الطوق على سورية ولبنان عبر السيطرة على المعابر الحدودية في البلدين، بداية في سورية حيث عملت أميركا على منع الدولة السورية من الاستفادة من الوضع العسكري الذي أصبح لمصلحتها، وذلك عبر السيطرة او التحكم بكل المعابر بين سورية ودول الجوار بدءاً من معبر نصيب في الجنوب حيث يرفض الأردن فتحه بحجج واهية ويمدّد فترة إغلاقه دورياً من دون سبب، ويُعتبر معبر نصيب مع الأردن طريقاً مهماً لنقل البضائع السورية الى الخليج العربي واستيراد البضائع من الخارج عبر البر، في المرتبة الثانية يأتي معبر المالكية مع العراق وهو يقع في شرق سورية. هنا يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي إن المعبر من الجهة العراقية يتمركز فيه ويسيطر عليه بالكامل الجيش الأميركي الذي يمنع نقل أية بضائع من سورية وإليه. ويقول إن الحكومة العراقية تخلّت عن المعبر لصالح القوات الأميركية بعد تولي مصطفى الكاظمي منصب رئيس وزراء العراق.

يقول الخبير الاقتصادي الدولي هناك أيضاً في الشرق السوري معبر التنف الذي تسيطر عليه القوات الأميركية، كما تمنع أميركا إيران والعراق وسورية من فتح معبر البوكمال، حيث تنفذ الطائرات الحربية الأميركية غارات متكررة على القوافل التجارية في المنطقة وعلى المواقع العسكرية المحيطة بالمعبر.

في لبنان يبدو الأمر أسهل بسبب وجود حدود بريه مغلقة مع فلسطين المحتلة، وبالتالي تبقى الحدود السورية اللبنانية التي تضغط اميركا لإغلاق ما تبقى سالكاً منها خصوصاً في البقاع الشمالي الذي تأتي المطالبة بإغلاق الحدود بينه وبين سورية ضمن سلم أولويات أجندة صندوق النقد الدولي، يختم المسؤول السابق في صندوق النقد الدولي كلامه.

المعركة الأميركية في لبنان: التطبيع أو ما يؤدي إليه؟

د.وفيق إبراهيم

الصراع المندلع في لبنان حول الجهة التي يجب أن تؤول اليها وزارة المالية في الحكومة المرتقبة التي يعكف على تشكيلها الرئيس المكلف مصطفى أديب، ليست أكثر من عنوان قد يكون مهماً، إنما في إطار الحرص الأميركي للإمساك بالسياسة الأميركية.

هذا ما يكشفه الإصرار الحاد من قبل مجموعات لبنانية سياسية مرتبطة بالأميركيين والسعوديين ترفض تسلّم أي شيعي لوزارة المالية، ولو اقتضى الأمر اعتذار أديب ودفع البلاد نحو الفراغ.

فينكشف وجود مشروعين متناقضين الأول يزعم ان مصطفى أديب يشكل حكومة مستقلة بمفرده بشكل لا يأخذ فيه بأي اقتراح للقوى النيابية السياسية، فيما يؤكد المشروع الثاني، أن هناك محاولة تشكيل لحكومة، أعطى الأميركيون لفريق لبناني مكون من الرئيس السابق للحكومة سعد الحريري ومعه ثلاثة رؤساء سابقون للحكومة هم فؤاد السنيورة وتمام سلام ونجيب ميقاتي، الحق باختيار اسماء الوزراء وطبيعة الحقائب، على أن يلبوا في الدرجة الاولى مهمة إبعاد حزب الله والرئيس نبيه بري وحلفائهم عن الحقائب الاساسية، خصوصاً وزارة المال التي تمتلك التوقيع الثالث في الدولة على معظم المراسيم والقوانين الى جانب توقيعي رئيس الجمهورية والحكومة.

هنا، بدا الفرنسيون تائهين في مبادرتهم لسببين: انتقادات أميركية حادة تستهدفهم بزعم أنهم لطيفون مع حزب الله ويلتقون بقياداته، أما السبب فيتعلق برفض حزب الله والرئيس بري، التخلي عن وزارة المالية التي يجزمون اتفاقية الدوحة إناطتها بهم عرفياً كحال الإناطة العرفية التاريخية لرئاستي الجمهورية للموارنة والحكومة للسنة وقيادة الجيش ومديرية المخابرات والإنماء والإعمار ومطار بيروت وطيران الشرق الاوسط والأمن العام والقضاء الاعلى، كلها مواقع موزعة مذهبياً بما يكشف ان الصراع على المالية يضمر خفايا اشتباك كبير أميركي مع حزب الله للسيطرة على السياسة اللبنانية من خلال الإمساك بحكومة أديب المرتقبة وقراراتها.

فمن يتصوّر أن وزارة المالية التي يمسك بها رئيس المجلس نبيه بري منذ أكثر من عقد تنتزع هذه الأهميات المحلية اللبنانية والخليجية السعودية والفرنسية والأميركية..

مع أن هذا لا ينفي مطلقاً أهميتها الداخلية في تحقيق هيمنة على السياسة اللبنانية من خلال الثنائية المارونية ـ السنية الى ثلاثية تخترقها الشيعية الثلاثية..

لكن الواضح أن هذه الشيعية السياسية هي جزء من إنتاج القرار السياسي اللبناني منذ انتصار حزب الله على إسرائيل في معارك 2006، ونجاحه في طردها من الأراضي اللبنانية، فأين الجديد إذا؟

لا بد أنه موجود من خلال وضوح التقاطع الأميركي ـ الفرنسي الذي انتج المبادرة الفرنسية الاخيرة في لبنان، وتبين أن مكابحها أميركية الصنع تعتمد خطة السيطرة على لبنان عبر حنين بعض اللبنانيين الى الفرنكوفونية ويجب بالمفهوم الأميركي، ان تحاصر حزب الله بإبعاده عن الحكومة.

الأمر الذي يوضح أن الأميركيين عبر الوساطة الفرنسية، يريدون نصب كمين دستوري حكومي، يلوّح ببعض حسنات الصندوق الدولي ومؤتمر سيدر والبنك الدولي لوقف الانهيار الاقتصادي اللبناني.

إلا أن لهذه الحسنات ما يقابلها أميركياً، وهي مخفية بألاعيب بعض رؤساء الحكومات السابقين الذين نجحوا بإيهام الرأي العام بأن الصراع داخلي على حقائب وأوزان طوائف فيتبين بالعمق أن الأميركيين يريدون حكومة تستطيع ان تربط بين وقف الانهيار الاقتصادي الداخلي وبين امتناع القوى اللبنانية عن التدخل في حروب الاقليم.. وهذا يعني إلغاء مشاركة حزب الله في ضرب الإرهاب في سورية وحدود لبنان الشرقية، وانتهاء دوره في الجنوب عبر تسليم قوات الطوارئ الدولية حق انتهاك القرى والبلدات اللبنانية الى عمق يصل الى سبعين كيلومتراً.

علماً ان الصورة الحالية للجنوب، هي احتلال اسرائيلي لبلدة الغجر ومزارع شبعا وكفرشوبا واحتلال مساحة من الحدود البرية والبحرية.

فلماذا يريد الأميركيون استصدار هذه القرارات من حكومة أديب؟

لديهم هدفان: إغراق لبنان بفوضى مسلحة تطالب بنزع سلاح حزب الله ونقل هذا الخلاف الى منظمة الأمم المتحدة، مع محاولات إعلان هذه الحكومة لحيادية لبنان في الصراع مع «اسرائيل» كما يطالب البطريرك الماروني الراعي وحزب القوات والخليج الذي احتضن أخيراً «اسرائيل».

بذلك يتضح ان ما يجري في لبنان من صراعات طوائف ليست إلا حجاباً رقيقاً يستر محاولة أميركية لنقل لبنان الى حلف التطبيع مع «اسرائيل» ـ أو الحياد معها على الأقل ـ وهذا يتطلب مشاركة شيعية في حكومة أديب ليست على قدر وازن من الفاعلية الوطنية.

فهل هذا ممكن؟ إن إصرار الثنائي الشيعي على وزارة المال وتسمية وزرائهم ليس عملاً طائفياً، بقدر ما يؤسس قدرة دستورية على مجابهة المشروع الأميركي الذي يريد دفع لبنان الى احضان «إسرائيل».

ما العمل لإنقاذ لبنان

زاهر الخطيب

ما هو عِلميَّا وعَمليَّا مُقتَرحُنا الخَلاصيّ؟

بين انتصار المقاومة 14 آب 2006 وانفجار الفاجعة 4 آب 2020 وفي أعقابِ التّطوراتِ والمستجِدّات الأخيرة…

سَواءٌ على صعيدِ الجائحةِ الكورونيّةِ وطنيّاً وإقليميّاً ودوليّاً…

أو على صعيدِ الانفجارِ الفاجعة في المرفأ التاريخيّ العريق لبيروت «اُمِّ الشرائع»، والتّداعيات المُزلْزِلة، التي أقلُّ ما خلّفت وراءها: رعباً… ودماً… وألماً… ودَماراً… وَرُكاماً… وتهجيراً…

بين الانفجار الزّلزلَة.. وتفرُّد الحكومة باستقالةٍ متسرِّعة!

فوَّتتِ الحكومةُ فرصةً ثمينةً بِرِهانِها الطويلِ المدى على صندوق النّقد الدولي، وبعدم التوجُّهِ شرقاً، لملاقاة عروضٍ سخيّةٍ قدّمتها دولٌ صديقةٌ لو استُجيبَ لها، لكانت فَتحت للحكومةِ منافذ واسعةً أمامَ حُلولٍ عمليّةٍ فوريَّة، وشقّت طُرُقاً لإنقاذِ لبنانَ من فظيعِ محنتِهِ والمآسي. أوَلم يكنِ الأجدى للبنانَ، بألّا تُقدِمَ الحكومةُ على تركِ المسؤوليةِ فجأةً بِلا استشارة؟ وفي تِلكُمُ الظروفِ العصيبة؟ وإذا كان في ما نقولُ الكثيرُ من الأسف وبعضُ العتب، فهو على قدرِ المودَّة. وتبقى الغلطةُ الكبيرةُ بالتردُّدِ والتفرُّد، وبعدمِ قراءةِ موازينِ القُوى موضوعِيّاً بعينِ العقل. ولو فعَلتِ الحكومة ذلك، لما خَذَلت أو خُذِلت، لأنّ موازينَ القُوى كانت لِتسمَحَ للحكومةِ بالفلاح، لو كانت لبَّت نداءَ التوجُّه شرقاً، ولكانت وضعت لبنانَ فوراً، على سكّةِ الخلاصِ الاستراتيجيّ. أمّا الأدلَّةُ الثبوتيةُ على صحّةِ ما نقولُ فعديدة، ويكفي أن نُشيرَ الى شاهدٍ من أهْلِهِ، هو نفسُهُ المبعوثُ الأميركيُّ السّيد هيل، الذي، في زيارته لبنان، جاءنا مُتكبِّراً مُتجبِّراً لِيفرِضَ شروطاً أميركيةً على لبنان، توحي بإقصاءِ حزبِ الله عن الحكومة اللبنانيّة تمهيداً لنزعِ سلاحِه، وإذ بالمبعوثِ نفسِهِ، بعد تصريحاته المزَلزِلة، وبعد صدورِ الحكمِ المهزلة عن المحكمةِ الدوليَّة، يُصرِّحُ بما معناه: إنّ أميركا تعايشت وتعاملت مع حكوماتٍ سابقةٍ شاركَ فيها حزبُ الله (وفي مثل هذا التّصريح الفصيح طبعاً) إشارةٌ واضحةٌ إلى أنَّ أميركا على استعدادٍ للتعاملِ مع الحكومة اللبنانيّة المُقبلة، التي لن تُشكَّلَ إنْ لم يكن حزبُ اللهِ، فيها، شريكاً.

أمّا بعدُ، وعلى ضوء ما سبق، وبحصيلة مشاوراتٍ دَؤوبةٍ مع الرِّفاق في القيادةِ المركزيَّةِ لرابطةِ الشَّغيلة… وكوادرَ ناشطةٍ في تيَّار العُروبةِ للمقاومةِ والعدالةِ الاجتماعيَّة.

ارتأيتُ ضَرورةَ التوجُّه لأبناءِ الوطنِ العربيّ ولا سِيّما فلسطين وسورية والعراق واليمن وسائر الأقطار، والى الأحرار والشرفاء في العالم بِنداءٍ وجدانيٍّ، أو فلنقُلْ بصريحِ بيانٍ عقلانيٍّ موضوعي، بعناوينَ ثلاثة، أُوجِزُ مضامينَها تمهيداً، كما يلي:

العنوانُ الأول: «المقاومة شرطُ وجودِ لبنان»

المقاومة شرطُ حماية انتصار شعبه في العام 2000.

المقاومة شرطُ صونِ سيادته بسمائهِ وأرضِهِ ومياهِهِ والثروات ما ظهرَ منها وما بَطَن.

أوَلم يؤكد ذلك أمين عام حزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله في ذكرى انتصار آب 2006؟

العنوان الثاني: أليسَ لِغاياتِها وأهدافِها السياسيّة تُشَنُّ الحروبُ العسكرية والعدوانية،

أوَليس الحِصارُ والعقوباتُ والاغتيالاتُ والفوضى الخلّاقةُ والثوراتُ الملوّنةُ والإرهابُ الوحشيُّ وقطعُ الطرقاتِ والأموالُ، هي البدائلُ الجاهزةُ للحروبِ الاقتصاديةِ عند فشلِ الحروبِ العسكريّةِ الظالمةِ من تحقيقِ غاياتِها وأهدافِها السياسية؟

العنوان الثالث: ما العملُ لإنقاذِ لبنان

وما هو عِلميّاً وعَمليّاً مُقتَرحُنا الخَلاصيّ؟

تمهيدٌ… في البُعد الفلسفيّ: المقاومةُ شرطٌ وجوديّ

إنّ المقاومةَ شرطٌ وجوديٌّ في حياةِ الإنسان، لأنه فطرةٌ طبيعية وسُنَّةٌ تواكِبُه مع نشأتِه وفي تكوينه، سواء بمناعته الجسدية، أم بمناعته النفسيّة، مناعةٌ جسدية لِدفع أذىً يطالُ الجسد، ونفسيّة لِردعِ ظلم ينالُ من النّفس… أولم تلِدْنا أمهاتُنا أحراراً؟

ألا تتجلّى هذه السِّمات في سِيَرِ الأنبياءِ والشهداءِ والعلماءِ والقادةِ العظماء؟ وعند الشعوب المناضِلة والأقوياءِ في نفوسهم مُذ كان التمرّد على الظلم والطغيان؟

أليس جدلُ الكونِ والإنسان قائمٌ على الدِّيالكتيّة، أي الثنائيّة في صراع الأضداد، كالصّراع الدائر بين الخير والشرّ على صعيد الإنسان والمجتمع، أو كالصّراع الدائرِ بين الحقِّ والباطل، أو بين النور والظُلمة، أما في الموضوعةِ التي نحن بصددها ففي الصّراع الدائرِ بين الحرية والعبودية.. بين حرية الإنسان في خِياراته بإعطاء المعنى الذي يريدُ لِوجودِه سيّداً حرّاً مستقلّا عن أيِّ ارتهان أو استلاب أو استغلال من أيِّ نوعٍ كان، وعبوديةٍ تكبِّلُهُ بالسلاسل الحديدية والأغلال الى الأذقان، أو عبودية أشدُّ وأدهى، تتبدّى خبيثًةً بالعبودية الفكريّة والعنصريّة والطائفيّة والمذهبيّة والفئويّة والمناطقيّة والعائليّة والعُصبويّة، وهي أخطرُ أنواعِ العبوديات. وفي حديثٍ شريفٍ عن التعصُّب والعصبيّة: «إنها لجاهليَّةٌ نتِنة».

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ـ المقاومةُ شرطُ وجودِ لبنان

أربعةَ عشر عاماً مضت على انتصار شعبِنا على العدو الصّهيوني في حرب تموز 2006، استطاعت خلالها المقاومةُ مجابهةَ تحدِّيات الحرب الصُّهيو – أميركيّة العدوانيّة الهمجيّة، وإسقاطَ مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد، الذي كانت قد بشّرت به السيدة رايس الحكومة اللبنانية بشخصِ رئيسِها فؤاد السنيورة، ولم يكن قد مضى أكثر من ثلاثةٍ وثلاثين يوماً حتى خاب فألُ أميركا بعد أن ساء ظنُّها بقوةِ أداة التنفيذ الصُّهيونية، التي لم توفّر حتى أطفال قانا في ارتكاب مجازرها، فجعلتهم أشلاءَ متناثرة في مركز القُوات الدولية. وقد تمكّنت المقاومة بعد ذلك من تثبيت معادلاتٍ للرّدع، غلّت يد الصّهاينة عن استسهالِ العدوان على لبنان، بفضل القوةِ المتعاظمة للمقاومة وموقفها الثَّوريِّ المبدئيّ، وتطوير قدراتها التي قلّصت، إنْ لم نقل، كفّت الى حدٍّ بعيد شرَّ الصّهاينة الغادرين بغزو لبنان أو استمراء تَكرار اعتداءاته. ويعود الفضلُ الأول في ذلك الى المقاومة في خِيارها بتأكيدِ قوتها ورفضِها رفضاً مطلقاً قبولَ الذُلِّ والهوان لأبناء شعبها والوطن، فكانت لِتردعَ بقوةٍ، أيَّ عدوانٍ على سيادتنا، لا سيما بعد أن طوّرت المقاومةُ قدراتِها الرّدعية، وبذلت من الجهود والجهاد ما يوافرُ المقدرةَ على كبحِ جموح الحِلف الاستعماري الصُّهيوني ومنعِه من شنِّ حروبٍ جديدةٍ، فالمقاومةُ الباسلةُ باتت تفرِضُ على العدو الصُّهيوني حسابَ الكِلفة في حال إقدامِهِ على أيّ مغامرةٍ غير محسوبة، وذلك بفعل امتلاكها قوة قاهرة تُخفي المفاجآت، وتسهر لياليها بضناء في مواصلة بناء قوّتها وتعزيزها تدريباً وعدّةً وعتاداً بفضل الشراكة المصيريّة مع سوريّة وإيران، اللتين تواصلان دعم المقاومة في أقسى الظروف، ولَمْ يَصرِفهُما عن ذلك الالتزامِ المصيريِّ الأخويِّ الأخلاقيِّ، أيُّ عدوانٍ أو حصارٍ أو تهديدٍ أو تآمرٍ مع شياطينِ الداخلِ أو الخارج، وإنّ شرفاءَ لبنان وأحرارَ العالم لَمَدينون لتلك الأرواحِ الغاليةِ والدماءِ الزكيّةِ والجهودِ المضنية، التي تبذلُها المقاومة بعناءٍ وسخاء، والتي لا يجوز أن يطمسها أو يغيِّـبَها أيُّ جحودٍ أو نكران.

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ـ المقاومةُ شرطُ حماية انتصار لبنان العام 2000 وردع أيّ عدوان على شعبه وترسيخ قوَّته وإسقاط مقولة قوة لبنان بضعفه، والثلاثية التي أرساها الشعب اللبناني هي «قوة لبنان بجيشه وشعبه ومقاومته» ضدّ العدو الصهيوني الاستيطاني الذي دسَّه الاستعمار في قلب الوطن العربي لدورٍ وظيفي، يقضي بتجزئة الوطن العربي وقمع حركات التحرُّر فيه طامعاً بعد احتلال فلسطين بجعل لبنان محمية صُهيونية بلا سيادة، مستبيحاً سماءنا وأرضنا ومياهنا ونفطنا والغاز والثروات، ما ظهر منها وما بطن.

أما وقد دخلنا بهذه المعادلة الثلاثية العصرَ الذي ولّى فيه زمن الهزائم وجاء زمن الانتصارات، وخاض فيه لبنان مع محور المقاومة معارك التحرير الظافرة.

«فقد أصبحت المقاومة تحمي لبنان وتردعُ العدو الصُّهيوني ورعاته في العالم، وشركاءَه في المنطقة، وهي بالشراكة مع الجيش اللبنانيّ، ومع غالبية الشعب الحاضنة والداعمة، تقيم منظومة الدِّفاع والحماية ضدّ التهديد الصُّهيوني… وضدّ الإرهاب التكفيري… وأخطارِه… وإجرامه الدموي. وقد بذل المقاومون بكلّ تواضع تضحيات جمّة في معركة وجودٍ مصيريّة، فدافعوا بالدماء عن حق شعبهم في الحياة والأمان، وحرسوا بأرواحهم مع أبطال الجيش اللبناني وحدة الشعب والوطن، كما منعوا الغزوة الإرهابية من تمزيق الشرق العربي، فكانوا خلال السنوات الأخيرة يبذلون الدماء والأرواح دفاعاً عن لبنان وعن سوريّة والعراق في ملحمة شرقيّة عربيّة تاريخية عظيمة، تؤكد وحدة مصير الشرق، رغم جميع خطط الهيمنة الاستعماريّة الهادفة لِتمزيقه وإخضاعه ونهبه. وقد كانت شراكة المقاومة المصيريّة، وبالذات مع الشقيقة سورية، مثالاً للأخوّة، ولوحدة المصير القومي. بينما كان لإيران الشقيقة الفضلُ العظيمُ، الذي لا يُنسى في تمكين سورية وفلسطين ولبنان والعراق واليمن من التّصدّي للغزوة الإرهابية، المدعومة من الحلف الاستعماري الصُّهيوني الرجعيّ العربيّ الأشدّ صهينًة أو قُل العِبري الأشدّ كُفراً».

العنوان الثاني: الحروبُ الاقتصاديةُ العدوانيةُ بديلاً عن الحروب العسكرية الظالمة عند فشلها في تحقيقِ غاياتها وأهدافها السياسيّة.

«لقد سارع حلف العدوان بعد تعثُّر مخططه الدمويّ الى إحكام أدوات الحصار والخنق الاقتصادي على سوريّة وإيران، وكذلك على لبنان، بينما كانت الحكوماتُ اللبنانية المتعاقبة قاصرةً بخططها وتوجهاتها عن ابتكار وتنفيذ البرامج الوطنية، التي ترعى فرصاً جِديّة لتوفير مستلزمات الصمود، ولتطوير القُدرة على كسر الحصار الغربي الاستعماري، والتصدّي لمسار الانهيار الاقتصادي والمالي، الذي كان أبرزُ وجوهِه النافرة اختناق القطاعات المنتجة، وتمادي الريعيّة والفساد. وما تزال الضرورة الوطنية تفرض على لبنان اعتمادَ خطةٍ للصمود الوطني، ترتكز الى تطوير قطاعات الإنتاج وإحياء الثروة الحقيقية، وتثبيت دعائم الاستقلال الوطني، والتحرُّر من الهيمنة الاستعمارية عبر التمسُّك بشراكة الحياة مع سوريّة والعراق وإيران وسائر دول الشرق. وإنّ عدم ملاقاة هذه الفرص بخطوات عملية يوقعُ لبنان رهينة في فخّ الهيمنة الغربية اللصوصية أيا كان غطاؤها الخادع، وهو ما يجب أن ينتبه إليه جميع اللبنانيين القادرين على توسيع الفرص ومضاعفة القدرات عبر تنويع الخيارات».

نداء إلى أبناء الأمّة جمعاء

بيننا وبين الاستعمار قضايا لن تُصفَّى بالمناشدة والخنوع أو التملّق العاطفي… بل هي تدعونا الى كفاح عمليٍّ شاقٍّ وطويل…

بيننا وبين الاستعمار قضية فلسطين التي شاؤوها لقمة سائغة للصُّهيونية المجرمة، ولكنها، لن تكون في معركة الوجود مهما أبطأ الزمن إلَّا لأبنائها بدمائنا وبجهادِ الأجيال ستكون. فلا صفقة قرنٍ ولا صفقاتِ قرونٍ تعيد فلسطين لأهلها عربيّةً أبيّةً. لقد ضاع عمرُنا الرّخيص بالمساومة، وفلسطين لن تعود إلّا بالمقاومة المسلّحة أساساً، وتجلياتها السياسيّة والدبلوماسيّة والجماهيريّة والثقافيّة، تكون في خدمة الكفاح المسلّح. قضية فلسطين هي قضيتُنا المركزيّة في الصراع العربيّ الصُّهيونيّ.

«لا صلح لا تفاوض لا اعتراف»، المقاومة وُجِدت لتبقى «ما أخذ بالقوة لا يُستردّ بغير القوة»، الرئيس الراحل جمال عبد الناصر.

«لا شراكة مشرقيّة وعربيّة إلّا والمقاومةُ جوهرها»، الرئيس بشار الأسد.

نهضة الأمة وتوحيدُ الوطن العربي رهنٌ بوحدةٍ وطنيةٍ قوميةٍ أمميّة لمعسكر الشرفاء والكادحين من أحرارِ العالم، على مبدأ «نُصادِقُ مَن يُصادِقُنا ونُعادي مَن يُعادينا».

العنوان الثالث: ما العمل لإنقاذ لبنان ما هو علميّاً وعمليّاً مقترحنا الخلاصي؟

«إنّ ابتكار خطة وطنية لكسر الحصار وللخروج من حلقة الاستنزاف والدمار، يوجبُ أمرين اثنين علميّاً وعمليّاً».

علميّاً: رؤية برنامجيّة سياسيّة اقتصاديّة اجتماعيّة إنتاجيّة وطنيّة.

عمليّاً: خطوات شجاعة عاجلة لإحياء قطاعات الإنتاج، والتحرُّر من الرَّيعيّة التّابعة، وبناءُ الشّراكات العربيّة والإقليميّة والدوليّة، التي تدعمُ إعادةَ بناءِ الاقتصاد الوطني، وتطويرُ موارد جديدة تُنعش الحركةَ الاقتصادية، وهذا يوجب خروج لبنان من الارتهان لأحادية الارتباط بالغرب الساعي الى الهيمنةِ والنّهبِ والسّلبِ والحلب. «والعملُ على اعتماد توجُّهات جديدة تحقِّق التوازنَ في البناء الاقتصادي، والخلاص من الريعية لردّ الاعتبار الى الصناعة والزراعة والصناعة السياحيّة وجميع فروع الإنتاج المعرفيّ، مما يُسهمُ في توسيعِ المجالاتِ الاقتصاديّة المجدية، والاعتمادُ على الشراكات المفيدة، وملاقاةِ الفرصِ، التي تمنعُ الاختناق في قبضة الهيمنة الغربية الاستعمارية. وقد أثبتت الكارثةُ، التي تعرّضت لها البلاد أنّ لنا في هذا الشرق دولاً شقيقة وصديقة، يمكن أن نستندَ الى الشراكة الوثيقة معها في المصالح والتوجُهات الاستقلالية بعلاقات متكافئة بعيدةٍ عن الأطماع والهيمنة والنهب، وقد قدّمت مساعدتِها لنا دون سؤال أو أيّ شكل من أشكال الاستثمار السياسي التملّقي الرخيص.

إنّ وضع حدًّ للنزف الخطير، الذي يعيشه اللبنانيون، ومنعَ الاختناقات المعيشيّة المتزايدة يستدعي التزامَ فكرةِ التحرُّر من الارتهان للغرب، وأقلُّه، الانتقال الى علاقات وشراكات متوازنة على أساس تكافؤ المصالح مع الشرق والغرب، والارتكاز على تنمية القطاعات الإنتاجية، وملاقاةُ فرصِ الشّراكة مع الجِوار القومي والإقليمي والشرقي على أساس المصالح المشتركة والمتكافئة. والبديل عن هذا الخيار ليس سوى المزيدِ من التسوُّلِ والاستدانة، وفي الاستدانة تبعيةٌ وإذلالٌ، وفي مطلق الأحوال لم تعد متاحة كالسابق، وباتت قرينةَ شروطٍ وإملاءاتٍ تخنقُ البلادَ مالياً واقتصادياً، وترهن إرادتَها السياسيّة للهيمنة الأجنبيّة».

أيُّها اللبنانيون: لماذا لا نُجاوِزُ اليأسَ والكآبةَ والاستسلام، ونبعثُ في نفوسنا والأذهان، آمالَنا والأحلام؟ لماذا لا نُزيحُ الغشاوةَ عن أعيننا، لنُحرِق بحرارةِ الشّمس نتنَ الفسادِ والعفن؟ لماذا القُصورُ في البَصرِ والبصيرةِ، فنُعادي مَن يصادِقَنا، ونُصادق مَن يُعادينا؟

أيها اللبنانيون: ألم يئنِ الأوانُ لإنقاذ لبنانَ ببناءِ دولةِ المواطنة؟ والتمسُّك بشُرعةِ حقوقِ الإنسان، والخياراتِ والثوابت الوطنية المنصوص عنها في وثيقة الوِفاق الوطنيّ الفقرة ب «لبنان عربيّ الهوية والانتماء. وفي الدُّستور اللبناني، الفقرة عينُها «لبنان عربيُّ الهويّة والانتماء»، (أحكام رئيسة).

أوَلم يئنِ الأوانُ بعدُ لنرفع في ساحات النّضال الجماهيري السلميّ شعارَ تطبيق الميثاقِ الوطني اللبناني، ووضع موضع التنفيذ الفوري المادة 95 من الدستور اللبناني بإلغاء الطائفية السياسية السمُّ الزعاف، الذي دسَّه الانتداب الفرنسي في دستور 1926. وتطبيق المادة 22 المعدّلة في دستور 1990 (مجلس نواب وطني لا طائفي ومجلس شيوخ تتمثّل فيه العائلات الرّوحية وتنحصرُ صلاحياتُه في القضايا المصيريّة، لا سيما في الأحوال الشخصية المادة 65 – بند 5) والمادة 27 (عضو مجلس النواب يمثّل الأمة جمعاء). (ما يستوجب الدائرة الوطنية الواحدة) وسواها من الإصلاحات.

أيها اللبنانيون: فلندفع بوعينا لتقوية النّفوس وإلغاء النصوص، وتحرير العقول من أوهام سلطان الهيمنة والارتهان، فدربُ النّضال شاقٌّ وطويل لاستكمال التحرّر والتحرير من عَوزٍ واحتلال، ولْنَدفع بمسار الإصلاح والتغيير، ومحاربة الفساد، ومعاقبة المفسدين بتطبيق الدستور والقوانين، وليكن مسارُ النضال الجماهيري سلميّاً، لا سيّما أنّ الجيشَ وقوى الأمن هم أهلنا بالبزّة العسكرية، وحَذارِ من المندسّين والإعلام التضليلي المأجور، وجمعيات الأنجوز» المشبوهة المموّلة بشعاراتِ الحريّة المزيّفة والديمقراطية!

وحَتَّامَ الانتظار لاسترداد المنهوبِ من أموالِ الشعب، وتطبيق قانون من أين لك هذا، وقانون العقوبات بمحاربة الفساد والاقتصاص من المفسدين والقتَلة والخونة المتعاملين جَهاراً نهاراً مع العدو الصُّهيوني، وليلاً في العتمةِ مع الموساد. فهل يندرجُ ذلك في بابِ حرية الرأي أو حرية التعبير عن وجهة نظر؟. وهل ثمةَ حياديّةٌ في الصراع الدائر بين الحقّ والباطل؟

وهل الحدودُ الجغرافية فواصلُ عنصرية تُسقط عن الشرفاء والأحرار المسؤولية والقيمَ الإنسانية. «وإذا قلتم فاعدلوا ولو كان ذا قربى». «فلبــنان جمــهورية تعــدُّدِيّــة». قائمٌ نظامُها السياسي على الطائفيّة والمذهبيّة، فهل نقيم على بعضنا البعض الحواجز والمتاريس، ونحفرُ الخنادقَ، ونبني بيننا الجدران؟

أيها اللبنانيون

لا تجعلوا «نعمةَ التّعدُّدِيّة»، «نِقمةً فتنويّة»…

لماذا تعرفون الحقَّ فتتجنَّبونَه… وتُدرِكونَ الباطل فتجتلِبونَه؟ فلْنَعقِل ونرفع رايةَ الوَحدةِ الوطنيّة.. ولْنوئِدِ الفِتنة، فالفتنةُ أشدُّ من القتل… ولْتكن المعاملةُ بالِمثل، «فنعادي مَن يُعادينا… ونُصادِقُ مَن يصادِقُنا» أُمَمِيّاً، صوناً للسّلمِ الأهليّ وحبّاً بلبنانَ حُرّاً سيِّداً قويّاً على صورةِ أحلامِ أطفالِنا والشّهداء. ولْيكُن نضالُنا معاً من أجلِ الأجيال المقبِلة، لا من أجل الانتخابات المُقبِلة أو المُبكِرة، بل من أجل أن نحيا بعزَّةٍ في دولةِ القانون والمؤسسات، تساوي بالجَدارة والنّزاهة والأخلاق، ما يساوي القيِّمون عليها: دولة تُسمّى «دولةَ المواطنة والإنسان»، دولةَ العدلِ والمساواة، والحريةِ ونُصرةِ المظلومينَ والكادحينَ في نضالِهم والبؤساء، عسانا نتفكّرُ ونَعِي كمواطنينَ مسؤولين، حقوقَنا كلَّها وفرائضَ الواجبات…

أفــلا نــعــقِلُ ونتــوكّلُ… ونُلــبّي النِّــداء؟

ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

وزير ونائب سابق، الأمين العام لرابطة الشغيلة

Free Georges Abdallah: Lebanese confront Macron in Beirut

Source

The majority of the text below is republished from the original French at Collectif Palestine Vaincra. Collectif Palestine Vaincra is a member of the Samidoun Network based in Toulouse, France: 

Protest in Lannemezan, France, to free Georges Abdallah

amidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its deepest solidarity with the people of Beirut and all of Lebanon after the devastating explosion on Tuesday, 4 August, which has left at least 137 dead, dozens missing and 5,000 injured, as well as hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

It also struck a sharp economic blow, destroying critical resources such as Beirut’s grain silos and the Beirut port, critical to Lebanese trade. This comes atop the existing economic crisis, exacerbated and developed by U.S. imperialism and its sanctions and financial policies, leaving the most marginalized sectors, including Palestinian refugees, migrant workers, and the almost 50% of Lebanese living in poverty. Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation – which occupied Southern Lebanon until defeated in 2000 and has launched multiple, violent wars continues to threaten Lebanon, its people and its resistance with destruction while regularly violating Lebanese airspace with drones.

Meanwhile, imperialist powers, while continuing to impose sanctions on Lebanon, as well as neighboring Syria, that are contributing significantly to the financial crisis, have been eager to draw a potential profit from the devastation in Lebanon.

Visiting Beirut on Thursday, 6 August, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that he was present to bring humanitarian aid to Lebanon, already in the throes of an economic and social catastrophe. However, the arrival of the French president was not smooth. Many Lebanese journalists and activists denounced the neocolonial hypocrisy demonstrated by Macron, emphasizing that his objective is to impose “structural reforms” on the country according to the requirements of the International Monetary Fund.

Perhaps the clearest example of Macron’s duplicity is the continued imprisonment by France of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, imprisoned by the French state since 1984 and eligible for release since 1999. The Lebanese government has officially requested his release and repatriation, yet he continues to be held hostage while calls for his release mount, especially in France and Lebanon.

Lebanese intellectual Samah Idriss noted, “we want the release of Georges Abdallah before all of your ‘aid’ and promises!

برسم “الضيف” ماكرون، وبرسم كلّ مَن يلتقونه من اللبنانيين: نريد جورج إبراهيم عبد الله فورًا. قبل كلّ “مساعداتكم” ووعودكم

Indeed, Macron’s visits to the streets of Gemmayzeh in the devastated Lebanese capital was repeatedly greeted with calls of “Freedom for Georges Abdallah” by youth who refuse to be treated as colonial subjects once again by France, reject the complicity of many Lebanese politicians and see Georges Abdallah as a symbol of Arab and anti-imperialist dignity, resilience and resistance.

Mobilizations continue to demand the release of this Lebanese Arab resistance fighter for the Palestinian cause, and building solidarity with Georges Abdallah is critical! Beyond simply an individual case, Georges Abdallah embodies an alternative to French colonialism and corrupt politicians that serve imperialist interests, a truly free Lebanon.

Belarus: Why Is Lukshenko Being Color Revolutioned Just Now?

By F. William Engdahl

Global Research, August 21, 2020

The globalist Powers That Be have clearly decided to topple the long-standing sole-ruler of Belarus, President Aleksander Lukashenko. The question is why at just this time? There is a case to be made that one reason is he is being destroyed for his unforgivable coronavirus defiance. In any case Belarus is being hit with a full force West-led Color Revolution. The protests over the August 9 election show every sign of the usual Color Revolution destabilization protests, manufactured by the usual Western NGOs, as well as private contractors using social media to steer the protests.

Under Lukashenko’s regime, the country defied WHO and the global coronavirus lockdown demands. He refused to order lockdown of his citizens or the economy. As of August 13 the country had recorded a total of 617 covid19 related deaths. Belarus stood together with Sweden and the US State of South Dakota as one of the very few places in the world to successfully disprove the bizarre and dangerous WHO demands for a global lockdown to control the pandemic. Belarus ordered no lockdown so most industry continued. Schools remained open other than a 3 week closing during Easter. There were no mask requirements, though volunteer groups distributed masks to some and in June the EU sent a shipment of PPE including masks to Health officials for distribution. Football and the May 9 Victory parade went as normal. And now the country stands as an example the WHO and friends do not want.

One very important point is that the Health Ministry ignored the very flawed WHO recommendations on loosely classifying deaths as Covid19 when only a “suspicion” is there. The basis for the Belarus pathologists to state the cause of death from coronavirus is the presence of a patho-morphological picture with laboratory confirmation of Covid-19.i

This all did not sit well with the globalist Powers That Be. The manifestly corrupt WHO, whose main private donor is the Gates Foundation, criticized Lukashenko’s government for lack of quarantine and in June, when announcing it would grant Belarus a $940 million loan, the IMF said it was conditional on the country imposing quarantine, isolation and closed borders, demands Lukashenko rejected as “nonsense.” He noted in a widely-quoted statement, “the IMF continues to demand from us quarantine measures, isolation, a curfew. This is nonsense. We will not dance to anyone’s tune.”

Color Revolution Begins

Clearly NATO and the Western globalist circles have been working on toppling Lukashenko well before the covid19 events. That coronavirus defiance may only have helped galvanize events. The West and its “democracy” NGOs have long had Lukashenko in their targets. During the Bush Administration in 2008 US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced Lukashenko as Europe’s “last dictator.” After that, Russia created the Eurasian Economic Union along with Kazakhstan and Belarus as members. Until now Lukashenko has refused Putin’s proposal to merge with Russia in one large Union State. That may soon change.

The protests broke out in Belarus after elections on August 9 gave Lukashenko some 80% of the vote against his last-minute opposition candidate, the ‘western’ candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Those protests are being run using the same model that the CIA and its various “democracy” NGOs, led by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) developed in Serbia, Ukraine, Russia and numerous other states whose leaders refused to bow to the globalist dictates. A co-founder of the NED, Allen Weinstein, declared in the Washington Post in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” The NED gets its financing from the US government, but poses around the world as a “private” democracy-promoting NGO, where it was instrumental in most every Washington-backed regime change destabilizations since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

In 2019, the NED listed on its website some 34 NED project grants in Belarus. All of them were directed to nurture and train an anti-Lukashenko series of opposition groups and domestic NGOs. The grants went for such projects as, “NGO Strengthening: To increase local and regional civic engagement… to identify local problems and develop advocacy strategies.” Another was to “expand an online depository of publications not readily accessible in the country, including works on politics, civil society, history, human rights, and independent culture.” Then another NED grant went, “To defend and support independent journalists and media.” And another, “NGO Strengthening: To foster youth civic engagement.” Another large NED grant went to, “training democratic parties and movements in effective advocacy campaigns.”ii Behind the innocent-sounding NED projects is a pattern of creating a specially-trained opposition on the lines of the CIA’s NED model.

Belarus Kicks Off Large-scale Military Drills Near Poland, Lithuania

The Murky Nexta

A key role in coordinating the “spontaneous” protests was played by a Warsaw-based texting and video channel called “Nexta,” based on the Telegram messaging app. Nexta, which is Belarusian for “somebody,” is nominally headed by a 22-year old Belarus exile based in Poland named Stepan Putila. With the Belarus Internet shut by the government since days, Nexta, operating from Poland, has posted numerous citizen videos of protest and police crackdown and claims now to have 2 million followers. It quickly became the heart of the Color Revolution once Belarus shut its Internet access.

Stepan Putila is also known under the moniker Stepan Svetlov. Putila previously worked for the Warsaw-based Belsat channel which broadcasts propaganda into Belarus and is funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry and USAID. The co-founder and Editor in Chief at Nexta since March, 2020 is a Belarus exile named Roman Protasevich who used to work for the US Government’s propaganda media, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Protasevich also worked for the Polish-based Euroradio which is partly funded by USAID. He was active in the CIA’s 2013-14 Maidan Square demonstrations in Kiev and according to his Facebook likes is close to Ukrainian neo-nazi Pahonia Detachment. In April 2018, Protasevich ends up at the US State Department in Washington, a notable contact. On his Facebook then he noted, “The most important week in my life begins.” The same day he posted a picture of himself inside the US State Department, stating “Never had so many important and interesting encounters in my life.”iii After he left Washington he went to work for the USAID-funded radio in Belarus Euroradio.fm on August 31, 2018. Two years later Protasevich is coordinating the anti-Lukashenko events from Warsaw via Nexta. Coincidence?

Nexta which uses the London-registered Telegram, and is in NATO-member Poland, outside the country, so far has eluded shutdown. Nexta has been sending out, via social media, such information as plans for protests, at what time and where to gather for a rally, when to start a strike, where police are assembled and so on. Nexta has also circulated texts of protesters’ demands, updates about arrests, locations of arrests by riot police, and contacts for lawyers and human rights defenders as well as maps showing where police are located and addresses for protesters to hide in.

It has also advised subscribers how to bypass internet blocking by using proxies and other means. As Maxim Edwards, a pro-opposition British journalist at Global Voices, describes Nexta, “It is clear that the channel does not merely report on the protests, but has played a substantial role in organising them.”iv

No doubt such coordination from abroad would not be possible unless Nexta had some very sophisticated assistance from certain intelligence services. Nexta claims it depends on “donations” and ads for funding, but claims to get no “grants” from governments or foundations. Whether true or not, it is an answer that gives little clarity. Is USAID one of their “donors” or the Open Society Foundations? The relevant point is that Nexta uses cyber technology that Belarus is not able to shut down. In 2018 the Russian governments unsuccessfully tried to ban Telegram for refusing to reveal their source codes.

Global Stakes

The opposition political candidates to Lukashenko is also surprisingly clever in tactics, suggesting they are being guided by professionals. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya the alleged “political novice” who stepped in when her husband was arrested and forbidden to run, claims she won the election based on exit pollers. On August 14 Tikhanovskaya announced that she was forming a “coordination council” to secure a peaceful transfer of power. It echoed the earlier call by another opposition candidate, Valery Tsepkalo, a former Belarus Ambassador to Washington who, like Tikhanovskaya’s husband Sergei Tikhanovsky, was barred from running for president. Tsepkalo called it a “national salvation front.”

Though Belarus is a small country of less than 10 million, the stakes of this destabilization effort of the West are enormous. In 2014 the Obama CIA head John Brennan led a US-backed coup d’etat in Ukraine to prevent Ukraine joining Russia’s economic union. That coup has not given Ukraine anything positive. Instead it has resulted in rule but by other corrupt oligarchs, but friendly with Washington, especially under Obama.

The NED tried in 2018 to destabilize Armenia, another part of the Russian Eurasian Economic Union. Were they now to break off Belarus, the military and political consequences for Russia could be severe. Whether or not the Lukashenko defiance of the WHO coronavirus dictates had a role in the timing of the ongoing Minsk Color Revolution attempt, clearly some powers that be in the West, including the EU and Washington would love to collapse Belarus as they did in Ukraine six years ago. If they succeed we can be sure they will be emboldened to try Russia after.

*

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

This article was originally published on the author’s blog site, williamengdahl.com.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. 

Notes

Natalya Grigoryeva, How Belarus Ignored the WHO and Beat Coronavirus, FRN, June 21, 2020, https://fort-russ.com/2020/06/covid-19-psychosis-defeated-how-belarus-ignored-the-who-and-beat-coronavirus/

NED, Belarus 2019, https://www.ned.org/region/central-and-eastern-europe/belarus-2019/

Anonymous, Roman Protasevich, August 17, 2020, https://www.foiaresearch.net/person/roman-protasevich

Maxim Edwards, How one Telegram channel became central to Belarus protests, August 19, 2020, https://radioeonline.com/2020/08/19/how-one-telegram-channel-became-central-to-belarus-protests/

Featured image:  Protest rally against Lukashenko, 16 August. Minsk, Belarus License: The Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Under Some Conditions https://bit.ly/325WwSw


seeds_2.jpg

Seeds of Destruction: Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

Author Name: F. William EngdahlISBN Number: 978-0-937147-2-2Year: 2007Pages: 341 pages with complete index

List Price: $25.95

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This skilfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”

This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.

The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © F. William Engdahl, Global Research, 2020

In Defence of Sovereignty

August 18, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

In Defence of Sovereignty

For the benefit of Frau Merkel & Nordstream-2

No sovereignty = No democracy: If a State is subordinate to another State or group of states it is no longer sovereign. That is to say if it ceases to exercise control over its vital policies, economic, political, social and cultural. Moreover it follows that if it is not sovereign it cannot be democratic since the key policies it might wish to enact and carry out are decided elsewhere.

The increasingly unbalanced assessment regarding the UK’s eventual exit from membership of the EU (if indeed it ever really happens) seems predicated on a series of fixed, cliché-ridden political positions which haven’t changed since the whole issue became live. The great national ‘debate’ seems to be an emotionally charged affair with little attention to facts and more focused upon personalities and taken-for-granted assumptions of the ‘everybody knows’ type. This presumably is post-modern politics I suppose. But at the heart of the debate is the issue of sovereignty.

Let us firstly consider the international economic issues involved according to the conventional wisdom of the hyper-globalists. It is argued that both nation states and the whole concept of national sovereignty is now defunct. Their reasoning is based upon the following premises. 1. Most products have developed a very complex geography – with parts made in different countries and then assembled somewhere else, in which case labels of origin begin to lose their meaning. 2. Markets when left unfettered will arrive at optimal price, allocative, and productive efficiency. 3.This means that capital, commodities and labour should be free to move around the globe without let or hindrance to achieve these goals. 4. Any barriers to this process – capital controls, trade unions, exchange rate controls, welfare expenditures, minimum wage legislation, wages and even public goods – will give rise to price and allocative distortions. Q.E.D. Apart from point 1., the rest of these claims are in fact highly contestable and could easily be shredded by reference to historical experience and empirical testing, but hey, if the theoretical paradigm is sound who cares about historical experience and empirical testing.

Such globalization has come to be seen and defined by its proponents as the ‘natural order’ of things, almost a force of nature. This, it is further argued, will be an inexorable process of increasing geographical spread and functional integration between economic and political activities. This current orthodoxy goes by various names, Washington Consensus, Market Liberalisation, Neo-liberalism, Globalism and so on and so forth. In fact, there is nothing ‘natural’ about this stage of historical development since the whole phenomenon has been politically driven. From the outset there has been a coalition of globalist oligarchs, technocrats and heads of state et.al working through global institutions the IMF, World Bank, BIS, WTO, NATO, the EU, CIA – the list is extensive. They control the economic, political and military superstructures which form the ruling global system and constitute the vanguard of the whole process.

Turning to the EU as the regional prototype for the globalization, anti-state project, it was Patrick Buchanan, an American conservative who once correctly stated in ‘The American Conservative’ that the US Congress ‘‘is an Israeli occupied zone’’ by which he meant of course that Israel and the Israeli Lobby, both external and internal, has had a huge input into the framing and operation of US foreign policy. In a similar vein the EU is also occupied territory under the occupation and control of US imperialism. (This process of blatant meddling in European affairs by the US-CIA started with Operation Gladio in the late 1940s at about the same time as Operation Mockingbird and Operation Paperclip.) However, the perceived enemy was not merely Soviet communism, but also sotto voce, European social and political theory and practice, namely, Gaullism and social-democracy. These latter political groupings have long since been politically cleansed with the EU being reconfigured as neo-liberal, and, since the alignment of the EU security structures with NATO, as neo-conservative vassal states overseen and represented by odious little Petainist/Quisling occupation regimes. This is only too apparent when the fawning behaviours of Johnson, Macron and Merkel vis-à-vis the US are observed. Whenever the US master says jump, the Europeans will reply ‘how high’ And this is even more pronounced by the newly arrived Eastern European states. A group which Dick Cheney once described as the ‘new Europe.’ By which he meant the political force which was operationalised to fundamentally change the political direction of the EU in the late 20th century. Euro-widening was meant to prevent euro-deepening, and it worked a treat.

Perhaps the most salient (and bogus) claim deployed by the pro-Globalization camp is the use of the time-honoured TINA ‘there-is-no-alternative’ Varoufakis approach. This is invariably deployed to shut-down any genuine discussion. Of course it was Mrs Thatcher who pioneered this method of political discourse, with, it should be added, considerable success. Reading the editorials in the ‘leftist’ publications, I couldn’t help being reminded of those little Thatcherite homilies trotted out by the Tory press during the Thatcher ascendency.

But now, not to be outdone, the centre-left has taken upon itself the mantle of ‘progress’ and ‘modernity’ providing the ideological rationale for the globalist tendency. This has involved a 180 degree turn and is apparently using the same language and political orientation as the Globalists. Try this one on: ‘’Nations are increasingly irrelevant when it comes to effective action on the environment and social and immigration policies …’’ This was taken from a centre-left publication. Yep, distilled, undiluted globalization – TINA. That could have been George Soros speaking. As if sovereign nations could not pool their resources, enter into bi-lateral agreements, engage in trade and diplomacy, enter into negotiations with others precisely to confront common issues such as the aforementioned environmental, immigration and social issues.

But in this ‘stateless’ or seemingly becoming ‘stateless’ world I do feel obliged to point out that the United States as a nation is sovereign and has every intention of remaining so. Contrary to the globalist patter, however, this super-state shapes and formulates both economic and foreign policy for itself and its vassal states in Europe and East Asia, but of course these vassal states are not fully sovereign and are subject to the rule of the one that is – the USA. The reality we have in the EU consists not of a unified assemblage of sovereign states but a de facto occupied zone of a political, economic and military empire, under both US aegis and control.

As the late Egyptian Marxist, Samir Amin, put it:

‘’Conceived of at the end of WW2 the ‘European Project’ was born as the European part of the Atlanticist project of the United States, much in the spirit of the first Cold War initiated by Washington and given voice by Churchill’s speech in Fulton Missouri in 1946 in which he intoned. “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”  This has been a project which the European bourgeoisies – at that time weak and afraid of their own working classes – adhered to practically without conditions. This is still largely true, as seen in the choices put into effect by the ruling classes and political forces of the right and majority left, at least in certain European countries, above all in Great Britain, where it has been done clearly and ostentatiously. In other countries there is perhaps a small piece of hesitation, whilst in Eastern Europe the process is managed by political classes formed in the culture of servility … There is no longer, at present, a European project … A North Atlantic project under American command has replaced it

Thus the European ‘project’ is not moving – or not moving fast enough, or not moving at all – in the direction that is needed to bring Washington to its senses. Indeed it remains a basically ‘non-European’ project, scarcely more than a European part of the American project. The European’s Constitution is for a Europe which is settling – has settled ? – its dual and Atlanticist option. Hence the potential contained in the clash of political cultures, which could theoretically lead to an end of Atlanticism which remains mortgaged to social-liberalism of the majority sections of the left (electorally speaking, the European socialist parties). But social-liberalism is a contradiction in terms, since liberalism is by its nature non-social or even anti-social … a stable and generally multipolar world will be socialist or it will not exist at all. (2)

Inter-governmental policy is perfectly possible, however, without the surrender of national sovereignty to an imperial hegemon. However, If the European Vichy regimes choose to accept the imposition of US policy imperatives that is their choice – a political choice, not an iron law of political development.

The fact is that nation states unquestionably remain the most significant force in shaping the world economy – this in spite of the hyper-globalist rhetoric coming from the Bilderbergers and neo-liberal/Washington consensus proponents. The nation state has always played a fundamental role in the economic development of all countries and indeed in the process of globalization itself. In fact, the more powerful states have used globalization as a means of increasing their power vis-à-vis the weaker states. The US and the G7 design and establish, international trade agreements, organizations, and legislations that support and govern trans-border investments, production networks, and market penetration, constitutive of contemporary economic globalization. Advanced capitalist states, in particular, use these political instruments to shape international decision making and policy in their own interests.(3)

A contemporary example of this is the US – qua sovereign hegemon – forcing policies, such as membership of NATO, down the throats of their (apparently willing) ‘allies’ (read vassals) and ‘partners’ in order to carry out the US’s geopolitical policies by mobilizing their Quisling regimes in both Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) for possible conflict with Russia, China and Iran (which are de facto sovereign states). It can be seen that the sovereignty of Europe is limited by the Transatlantic hegemon to the extent that Europe lacks both military, political and key areas of economic decision making to individual European G7 states. The fact that these semi-sovereign euro states are forced – as is everyone else – to use the US$ as the global currency means they do not really control their own economies. Let us assume for the sake of argument that Sweden has a trading surplus with the US; this means that it is exporting more than it is importing in terms of US goods. This means that the Swedish currency – the Krona – will appreciate against the US$. But the Swedish government may not want its currency to appreciate by being palmed off with US Treasuries which will never be redeemed. In order therefore to stop its own currency appreciating against the dollar it will have to buy US dollars or dollar denominated assets, (usually Treasury Bills) to keep its own currency at a lower exchange rate to the dollar. This results in an appreciating dollar which means the US can buy more stuff on world markets without producing any additional goods and services! Great deal if you can get it! Moreover by accepting the US$ and Treasuries as a means of payment for goods produced in Europe these semi-peripheral states are on the wrong end of what the French politician Valery Giscard D’Estaing once termed an ‘exorbitant privilege’. Such is the position of sovereign states, semi-sovereign states, and non-sovereign states.

In geopolitical terms it should be understood that the abasement of Europe to American interests is frankly abject. Europe has become a forward base for the Pentagon, military industrial complex, and neo-con infested State Department to play their war games against Russia and latterly against China. If there is a war with Russia, please note it is intended to be carried out on European soil not American.

In terms of present and future membership not only was the admission of the Eastern European periphery a massive error for individual European states, but future membership bodes even worse for the EU ‘project’. Turkey is not only authoritarian, a US proxy and a member of NATO, which is bad enough, but it also funds and arms our most inveterate enemies, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Jabhat Al Nusra, and various other jihadist alphabet soup grouplets. This same state was at that time mooted for membership of the EU by both the UK and Germany. Moreover, future candidates for EU/NATO status include Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. None of these states could be considered to be even remotely sovereign and/or democratic and generally are totally and openly corrupt. It is all part of the long march toward Russia’s western frontier by NATO/EU, a process begun by Clinton (Mr) in the 1990s. But apparently this is of no consequence to the contemporary ‘left’ which doesn’t seem unduly worried by these developments.

As for the EU/NATO, do we really want to belong to an organization who has these people as members/applicants? It’s a bit like Groucho Marx’s famous witticism – ‘’I wouldn’t want to belong to a club which would have me as a member.’’ More important in this respect does the EU/NATO even allow us a choice in the matter?

One final point. Okay it is argued that if we – the UK – leave the EU the roof falls in, of course that is a complete non sequitur, but let’s run with it for a moment. Membership is therefore imperative! Really?

Well in 1946 due to costs of the WW2 the UK was flat broke. Lord Keynes was despatched to Washington and negotiated a loan from the Americans. Of course there were strings, or in IMF/World Bankspeak, ‘conditionalities.’ 1. Britain had to end the system of imperial preference of intra-empire trading, mainly because the Americans wanted to get into this lucrative market. 2. The British empire had to be wound up, and the Americans would then carry the baton for the Anglo-Zionist empire, with all the costs but mostly advantages that accrued from this position. The UK’s long retreat from East of Suez began with Indian independence in 1947 and continued well into the 1960s.

The roof did not fall in, however, Britain, in spite of continuing imperial delusions of grandeur, adjusted to its new position in the world. There was, after all, an alternative to imperial nostalgia, maybe it never quite worked out as planned, but it happened, nonetheless.

Thus the TINA hypothesis is basically invalid. There are – pace the globalist dogma – always alternatives, you may not like them, but to deny their existence is neither a serious nor honest position to take.

NOTES

(1) Samir Amin – The Liberal Virus – p.86 p.89.

(2) Samir Amin – Beyond US Hegemony – p.148.

(3) Peter Dicken – Global Shift – The State Really Does Matter, Chapter 6

Opportunities still exist to rebuild Lebanon: retired general

By Mohammad Mazhari

August 12, 2020 – 18:30

TEHRAN – A retired Lebanese brigadier general says there is still the opportunity to make the required reforms to restore confidence and ability in Lebanon by learning from mistakes and rise again from the ashes.

Lebanon’s prime minister announced his government’s resignation late on Monday. The resignation followed a huge explosion in downtown Beirut on August 4 that triggered public outrage amid endemic corruption.
“The solution is the unity of people in the country over one goal, which is to preserve civil peace and restore the trust of the whole world in the ability of the Lebanese to overcome difficulties,” Baha Hallal tells the Tehran Times.
The text of the interview with Baha Hallal is as follows:

Q: What are the next scenarios in the aftermath of the resignation of the Diab government? 

A: After August 4, it is not the same as before. Beirut, before August 4, was a glorious city on the Mediterranean coast. After the blast, the city was ruined and lost its prosperity. This is an event that will create a new phase. Here we are facing one of two scenarios:
First, respond to the visit of the French president; it is expected that President Aoun to immediately conduct parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister who will be internationally and domestically acceptable to head a national unity government. In this scenario, the new government should begin serious work with Western countries and the International Monetary Fund to take the necessary actions to save Lebanon. In this context, the visit by David Hill (the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs) implies the same direction as the visit by Macron.

In the second scenario, after parliamentary resignations amid uproar over the Beirut blast, which has led to violent actions, it will be difficult to choose a consensual personality between the Lebanese parties, as the gap widens between the rival March 8 and March 14 blocs. 

However, a caretaker government will be incomplete due to the resignation of some of the ministers and protests with a new characteristic, as the August version differs from the October version, given the violent path that it is going to take.

Some parties express their political opposition by inciting people to pour into the street, which may push the country towards civil strife if it continues in this manner. Moreover, the caretaker phase will last longer in the shadow of a burning street.

Given the declaration of a state of emergency in Beirut for a period of two weeks, while the army is carrying out its tasks at all levels, the question is that will the country will resort to a military government to manage a transitional phase?

Q: How do you see the role of foreign interference in the resignation of government?

A: Some foreign countries have a fundamental role as the French president’s visit marginalized Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab.  Macron said that he is not here to support the government, but he did not urge it to resign. I think that some of the parties supporting the government abandoned it at a critical moment.

There are parties influenced by Macron’s visit, which led to resignations in the parliament, followed by resignations of the government.

The next foreign interference, I think, is not like 2005, rather it will show itself as a protective umbrella.

Q: Do you think that Lebanon as a state has collapsed or failed? Is there a way out of the crisis?

A: No, I do not see Lebanon as a collapsed and failed state. We are undoubtedly suffering harshly of successive economic and financial, as well as political and even health crises (Coronavirus).

However, the opportunity still remains to make the required reforms to restore confidence and ability by learning from mistakes and rise again from the ashes.

The solution is the unity of people in the country over one goal, which is to preserve civil peace and restore the trust of the whole world in the ability of the Lebanese to overcome difficulties, by undertaking the required reforms to fight corruption.

The new government should be capable of dealing with urgent problems while preserving the country’s dignity and sovereignty.

Q: Do you expect chaos in the next phase in Lebanon, which may pave the way for the formation of a military government?

A: I do not believe that chaos on the street will lead to a military government. But I think that one of the proposed solutions is to form a government that includes military members whose mission is to calm the street and restore the citizen’s trust in the state through effective accountability. To make this process a transitional phase, we need a dialogue between the country’s different groups, with the addition of representatives of the protestors within this dialogue framework to create a new political consensus instead of generating successive crises.

Q: Do you think that the internationalization of the issue of the Beirut explosion will help Lebanon to overcome the current crisis? 

A: Internationalization is a far-fetched matter and is not at least seriously discussed at the official levels. But if you mean international demands to play a role in this issue, I do not see any regional, Arab, or international enthusiasm for internationalization of the case. The conditions today are completely different from 2005 when Lebanon’s former prime minister Rafic Hariri was killed in a bomb attack.

The internationalization of cases would not help Lebanon and its citizens, with what they hope for dialogue inside the country, to create realistic and constitutional opportunities for their children to live in dignity and freedom within the eternal homeland. It is noteworthy to remember that the international investigation of the Rafic al-Hariri case has lasted for a period of 15 years, without a final result.

Internationalization requires a consensus between the Lebanese constitutional mechanisms that are not available today, not to mention the international and regional conditions.
 

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Battleground Beirut: Western colony or back to the East?

Battleground Beirut: Western colony or back to the East?

August 12, 2020

By Pepe Escobar – republished from Asia Times by permission of author

As much as Covid-19 has been instrumentalized by the 0.001% to social engineer a Great Reset, the Beirut tragedy is already being instrumentalized by the usual suspects to keep Lebanon enslaved.

Facing oh so timely color revolution-style “protests”, the current Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Diab has already resigned. Even before the port tragedy, Beirut had requested a $10 billion line of credit from the IMF – denied as long as trademark, neoliberal Washington consensus “reforms” were not implemented: radical slashing of public expenses, mass layoffs, across the board privatization.

Post-tragedy, President Emmanuel Macron – who’s not even capable of establishing a dialogue with the Gilets Jaunes/Yellow Vests in France – has opportunistically jumped in full neocolonial mode to pose as “savior” of Lebanon, as long as the same “reforms”, of course, are implemented.

On Sunday, France and the UN organized a videoconference to coordinate donor response – in conjunction with the European Commission (EC), the IMF and the World Bank. The result was not exactly brilliant: a paltry 252 million euros were pledged – once again conditioned by “institutional reforms”.

France came up with 30 million euros, Kuwait with 40 million, Qatar with 50 million and the EC with 68 million. Crucially, neither Russia nor Iran were among the donors. The US – which is harshly sanctioning Lebanon – and GCC allies Saudi Arabia and UAE pledged nothing. China had just a pro forma presence.

In parallel, Maronite Christians in Brazil – a very powerful community – are sending funds for the color revolution protests. Former President Michel Temer and industrialist tycoon Paulo Skaf even flew to Beirut. Former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel (1982-1988) maintained a lot of businesses in Brazil with funds he skimmed when in power.

All of the above points to neoliberalism taking no prisoners when it comes to keeping its deadly grip on Lebanon.

The Hariri model

Lebanon’s profound economic crisis, now aggravated by the Beirut port blast, has nothing to do with Covid-19 or the US proxy war on Syria – which brought a million refugees to the nation. It’s all about proverbial neoliberal shock and awe, conducted non-stop by the Hariri clan: former Prime Ministers Rafiq, assassinated in 2011, and Saad, chased out of power last January.

The Hariri model was focused on real estate speculation and financialization. The Solidere group, controlled by Arab investors and a few Lebanese, Hariri included, destroyed Beirut’s historical downtown and rebuilt it with luxury real estate. That’s the classical rentier neoliberalism model that always profits a tiny elite.

In parallel, the Bank of Lebanon was attracting funds from the tony Lebanese diaspora and assorted Arab investors by practicing very generous interest rates. Lebanon suddenly had an artificially strong currency.

A small middle class sort of flourished throughout the 2000s, comprising import-export traders, the tourism sector and financial market operators. Yet, overall, inequality was the name of the game. According to the World Inequality Database, half of Lebanon’s population now holds less wealth that the top 0.1%.

The bubble finally burst in September last year, when I happened to be in Beirut. With no US dollars in circulation, the Lebanese pound started to collapse in the black market. The Bank of Lebanon went berserk. When the Hariri racket imposed a “Whatsapp tax” over calls, that led to massive protests in October. Capital embarked on free flight and the currency collapsed for good.

There’s absolutely no evidence the IMF, the World Bank and assorted Western/Arab “donors” will extricate a now devastated Lebanon from the neoliberal logic that plunged it into a systemic crisis in the first place.

The way out would be to focus in productive investments, away from finance and geared towards the practical necessities of an austerity-battered and completely impoverished population.

Yet Macron, the IMF and their “partners” are only interested in keeping monetary “stability”; seduce speculative foreign capital; make sure that the rapacious, Western-connected Lebanese oligarchy will get away with murder; and on top of it buy scores of Lebanese assets for peanuts.

BRI or bust

In stark contrast with the exploitative perpetuation of the Western neoliberal model, China is offering Lebanon the chance to Go East, and be part of the New Silk Roads.

In 2017, Lebanon signed to join the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In 2018, Lebanon became the 87th member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Over the past few years, Lebanon was already taking part in the internationalization of the yuan, offering bank accounts in yuan and increasing bilateral trade in yuan.

Beijing was already engaged in discussions revolving around the upgrading of Lebanese infrastructure – including the expansion of Beirut harbor.

This means that now Beijing may be in the position of offering a renewed, joint rebuilding/security deal for Beirut port – just as it was about to clinch a smaller agreement with Diab’s government, focused only on expansion and renovation.

The bottom line is that China has an actual Plan A to extricate Lebanon from its current financial dead end.

And that’s exactly what was, and remains, total anathema to US, NATO and Israel’s interests.

The Trump administration recently went no holds barred to prevent Israel from having China develop the port of Haifa.

The same “offer you can’t refuse” tactics will be applied with full force on whoever leads the new Lebanese government.

Beirut is an absolutely key node in BRI’s geopolitical/geoeconomic connectivity of the Eastern Mediterranean. With Haifa temporarily out of the picture, Beirut grows in importance as a gateway to the EU, complementing the role of Pireus and Italian ports in the Adriatic.

It’s crucial to note that the port itself was not destroyed. The enormous crater on site replaces only a section quayside – and the rest is on water. The buildings destroyed can be rebuilt in record time. Reconstruction of the port is estimated at $15 billion – pocket money for an experienced company such as China Harbor.

Meanwhile, naval traffic is being redirected to Tripoli port, 80 km north of Beirut and only 30 km away from the Lebanon-Syria border. Its director, Ahmed Tamer, confirms “the port has witnessed during the past years the expansion work by Chinese companies, and it has received the largest ships from China, carrying a big number of containers”.

Add to it the fact that Tripoli port will also be essential in the process of Syria reconstruction – to which China is totally committed.

BRI’s Southwest Asia connectivity network is a maze including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

China is already planning to invest in highway and railroads, further to be developed into high-speed rail. That will connect BRI’s central China-Iran corridor – fresh from the $400 billion, 25-year strategic partnership deal soon to be signed – with the Eastern Mediterranean.

Add to it the role of the port of Tartus in Syria – bearing a strong Russian naval presence. Beijing will inevitably invest in the expansion of Tartus – which is crucially linked by highway to Lebanon. The Russia-China strategic partnership will be involved in the protection of Tartus with S-300 and S-400 missile systems.

Historically, in a larger axis that went from Samarkand to Cordoba, with strong nodes such as Baghdad and Damascus, what slowly evolved in this part of Eurasia was a syncretic civilization superimposed over an ancestral regional, rural and nomad background. The internal cohesion of the Muslim world was forged from the 7th century to the 11th century: that was the key factor that shaped the lineaments of a coherent Eurasia.

Apart from Islam, Arabic – the language of religion, administration, trade and culture – was an essential unifying factor. This evolving Muslim world was configured as a vast economic and cultural domain whose roots connected to Greek, Semitic, Persian, Indian and Arab thought. It was a marvelous synthesis that formed a unique civilization out of elements of different origin – Persian, Mesopotamian, Byzantine.

The Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean were of course part of it, totally open towards the Indian Ocean, the Caspian routes, Central Asia and China.

Now, centuries later, Lebanon should have everything to gain by ditching the “Paris of the Orient” mythology and looking East – again, thus positioning itself on the right side of History.

Who Profits from the Beirut Tragedy

by Pepe Escobar : Republished from Asia Times by permission of author

The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere.

And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it.

Lebanon is prime John Le Carré territory. A multinational den of spies of all shades – House of Saud agents, Zionist operatives, “moderate rebel” weaponizers, Hezbollah intellectuals, debauched Arab “royalty,” self-glorified smugglers – in a context of full spectrum economic disaster afflicting a member of the Axis of Resistance, a perennial target of Israel alongside Syria and Iran.

As if this were not volcanic enough, into the tragedy stepped President Trump to muddy the – already contaminated – Eastern Mediterranean waters. Briefed by “our great generals,” Trump on Tuesday said: “According to them – they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack.”

Trump added, “it was a bomb of some kind.”

Was this incandescent remark letting the cat out of the bag by revealing classified information? Or was the President launching another non sequitur?

Trump eventually walked his comments back after the Pentagon declined to confirm his claim about what the “generals” had said and his defense secretary, Mark Esper, supported the accident explanation for the blast.

It’s yet another graphic illustration of the war engulfing the Beltway. Trump: attack. Pentagon: accident. “I don’t think anybody can say right now,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I’ve heard it both ways.”

Still, it’s worth noting a report by Iran’s Mehr News Agency that four US Navy reconnaissance planes were spotted near Beirut at the time of the blasts. Is US intel aware of what really happened all along the spectrum of possibilities?

That ammonium nitrate

Security at Beirut’s port – the nation’s prime economic hub – would have to be considered a top priority. But to adapt a line from Roman Polanski’s Chinatown: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Beirut.”

Those by now iconic 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut in September 2013 on board the Rhosus, a ship under Moldovan flag sailing from Batumi in Georgia to Mozambique. Rhosus ended up being impounded by Beirut’s Port State Control.

Subsequently the ship was de facto abandoned by its owner, shady businessman Igor Grechushkin, born in Russia and a resident of Cyprus, who suspiciously “lost interest” in his relatively precious cargo, not even trying to sell it, dumping style, to pay off his debts.

Grechushkin never paid his crew, who barely survived for several months before being repatriated on humanitarian grounds. The Cypriot government confirmed there was no request to Interpol from Lebanon to arrest him. The whole op feels like a cover – with the real recipients of the ammonium nitrate possibly being “moderate rebels” in Syria who use it to make IEDs and equip suicide trucks, such as the one that demolished the Al Kindi hospital in Aleppo.

The 2,750 tons – packed in 1-ton bags labeled “Nitroprill HD” – were transferred to the Hangar 12 warehouse by the quayside. What followed was an astonishing case of serial negligence.

From 2014 to 2017 letters from customs officials – a series of them – as well as proposed options to get rid of the dangerous cargo, exporting it or otherwise selling it, were simply ignored. Every time they tried to get a legal decision to dispose of the cargo, they got no answer from the Lebanese judiciary.

When Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab now proclaims, “Those responsible will pay the price,” context is absolutely essential.

Neither the prime minister nor the president nor any of the cabinet ministers knew that the ammonium nitrate was stored in Hangar 12, former Iranian diplomat Amir Mousavi, the director of the Center for Strategic Studies and International Relations in Tehran, confirms. We’re talking about a massive IED, placed mid-city.

The bureaucracy at Beirut’s port and the mafias who are actually in charge are closely linked to, among others, the al-Mostaqbal faction, which is led by former Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, himself fully backed by the House of Saud.

The immensely corrupt Hariri was removed from power in October 2019 amid serious protests. His cronies “disappeared” at least $20 billion from Lebanon’s treasury – which seriously aggravated the nation’s currency crisis.

No wonder the current government – where we have Prime Minister Diab backed by Hezbollah – had not been informed about the ammonium nitrate.

Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won’t set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated – for instance by oil – or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion.

Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?

So far, the prime straight to the point explanation, by Middle East expert Elijah Magnier, points to the tragedy being “sparked” – literally – by a clueless blacksmith with a blowtorch operating quite close to the unsecured ammonium nitrate. Unsecured due, once again, to negligence and corruption – or as part of an intentional “mistake” anticipating the possibility of a future blast.

This scenario, though, does not explain the initial “fireworks” explosion. And certainly does not explain what no one – at least in the West – is talking about: the deliberate fires set to an Iranian market in Ajam in the UAE, and also to a series of food/agricultural warehouses in Najaf, Iraq, immediately after the Beirut tragedy.

Follow the money

Lebanon – boasting assets and real estate worth trillions of dollars – is a juicy peach for global finance vultures. To grab these assets at rock bottom prices, in the middle of the New Great Depression, is simply irresistible. In parallel, the IMF vulture would embark on full shakedown mode and finally “forgive” some of Beirut’s debts as long as a harsh variation of “structural adjustment” is imposed.

Who profits, in this case, are the geopolitical and geoeconomic interests of US, Saudi Arabia and France. It’s no accident that President Macron, a dutiful Rothschildservant, arrived in Beirut Thursday to pledge Paris neocolonial “support” and all but impose, like a Viceroy, a comprehensive set of “reforms”.  A Monty Python-infused dialogue, complete with heavy French accent, might have followed along these lines: “We want to buy your port.” “It’s not for sale.” “Oh, what a pity, an accident just happened.”

Already a month ago the IMF was “warning” that “implosion” in Lebanon was “accelerating.” Prime Minister Diab had to accept the proverbial “offer you can’t refuse” and thus “unlock billions of dollars in donor funds.” Or else. The non-stop run on the Lebanese currency, for over a year now, was just a – relatively polite – warning.

This is happening amid a massive global asset grab characterized in the larger context by American GDP down by almost 40%, arrays of bankruptcies, a handful of billionaires amassing unbelievable profits and too-big-to-fail megabanks duly bailed out with a tsunami of free money.

Dag Detter, a Swedish financier, and Nasser Saidi, a former Lebanese minister and central bank vice governor, suggest that the nation’s assets be placed in a national wealth fund. Juicy assets include Electricité du Liban (EDL), water utilities, airports, the MEA airline, telecom company OGERO, the Casino du Liban.

EDL, for instance, is responsible for 30% of Beirut’s budget deficit.

That’s not nearly enough for the IMF and Western mega banks. They want to gobble up the whole thing, plus a lot of real estate.

“The economic value of public real estate can be worth at least as much as GDP and often several times the value of the operational part of any portfolio,” say Detter and Saidi.

Who’s feeling the shockwaves?

Once again, Israel is the proverbial elephant in a room now widely depicted by Western corporate media as “Lebanon’s Chernobyl.”

A scenario like the Beirut catastrophe has been linked to Israeli plans since February 2016.

Israel did admit that Hangar 12 was not a Hezbollah weapons storage unit. Yet, crucially, on the same day of the Beirut blast, and following a series of suspicious explosions in Iran and high tension in the Syria-Israeli border, Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted , in the present tense: “We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this.”

That ties in with the intent, openly proclaimed late last week, to bomb Lebanese infrastructure if Hezbollah harms Israeli Defense Forces soldiers or Israeli civilians.

headline – “Beirut Blast Shockwaves Will Be Felt by Hezbollah for a Long Time” – confirms that the only thing that matters for Tel Aviv is to profit from the tragedy to demonize Hezbollah, and by association, Iran. That ties in with the US Congress “Countering Hezbollah in Lebanon’s Military Act of 2019” {S.1886}, which all but orders Beirut to expel Hezbollah from Lebanon.

And yet Israel has been strangely subdued.

Muddying the waters even more, Saudi intel – which has access to Mossad, and demonizes Hezbollah way more than Israel – steps in. All the intel ops I talked to refuse to go on the record, considering the extreme sensitivity of the subject.

Still, it must be stressed that a Saudi intel source whose stock in trade is frequent information exchanges with the Mossad, asserts that the original target was Hezbollah missiles stored in Beirut’s port. His story is that Prime Minister Netanyahu was about to take credit for the strike – following up on his tweet. But then the Mossad realized the op had turned horribly wrong and metastasized into a major catastrophe.

The problem starts with the fact this was not a Hezbollah weapons depot – as even Israel admitted. When weapons depots are blown up, there’s a primary explosion followed by several smaller explosions, something that could last for days. That’s not what happened in Beirut. The initial explosion was followed by a massive second blast – almost certainly a major chemical explosion – and then there was silence.

Thierry Meyssan, very close to Syrian intel, advances the possibility that the “attack” was carried out with an unknown weapon, a missile -– and not a nuclear bomb – tested in Syria in January 2020. (The test is shown in an attached video.) Neither Syria nor Iran ever made a reference to this unknown weapon, and I got no confirmation about its existence.

Assuming Beirut port was hit by an “unknown weapon,” President Trump may have told the truth: It was an “attack”. And that would explain why Netanyahu, contemplating the devastation in Beirut, decided that Israel would need to maintain a very low profile.

Watch that camel in motion

The Beirut explosion at first sight might be seen as a deadly blow against the Belt and Road Initiative, considering that China regards the connectivity between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as the cornerstone of the Southwest Asia Belt and Road corridor.

Yet that may backfire – badly. China and Iran are already positioning themselves as the go-to investors post-blast, in sharp contrast with the IMF hit men, and as advised by Hezbollah Secretary-General Nasrallah only a few weeks ago.

Syria and Iran are in the forefront of providing aid to Lebanon. Tehran is sending an emergency hospital, food packages, medicine and medical equipment. Syria opened its borders with Lebanon, dispatched medical teams and is receiving patients from Beirut’s hospitals.

It’s always important to keep in mind that the “attack” (Trump) on Beirut’s port destroyed Lebanon’s main grain silo, apart from engineering the total destruction of the port – the nation’s key trade lifeline.

That would fit into a strategy of starving Lebanon. On the same day Lebanon became to a great extent dependent on Syria for food – as it now carries only a month’s supply of wheat – the US attacked silos in Syria.

Syria is a huge exporter of organic wheat. And that’s why the US routinely targets Syrian silos and burns its crops – attempting also to starve Syria and force Damascus, already under harsh sanctions, to spend badly needed funds to buy food

In stark contrast to the interests of the US/France/Saudi axis, Plan A for Lebanon would be to progressively drop out of the US-France stranglehold and head straight into Belt and Road as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Go East, the Eurasian way. The port and even a great deal of the devastated city, in the medium term, can be quickly and professionally rebuilt by Chinese investment. The Chinese are specialists in port construction and management.

This avowedly optimistic scenario would imply a purge of the hyper-wealthy, corrupt weapons/drugs/real estate scoundrels of Lebanon’s plutocracy – which in any case scurry away to their tony Paris apartments at the first sign of trouble.

Couple that with Hezbollah’s very successful social welfare system – which I saw for myself at work last year – having a shot at winning the confidence of the impoverished middle classes and thus becoming the core of the reconstruction.

It will be a Sisyphean struggle. But compare this situation with the Empire of Chaos – which needs chaos everywhere, especially across Eurasia, to cover for the coming, Mad Max chaos inside the US.

General Wesley Clark’s notorious 7 countries in 5 years once again come to mind – and Lebanon remains one of those 7 countries. The Lebanese lira may have collapsed; most Lebanese may be completely broke; and now Beirut is semi-devastated. That may be the straw breaking the camel’s back – releasing the camel to the freedom of finally retracing its steps back to Asia along the New Silk Roads.

ماذا يريد ماكرون فعلياً؟

د.وفيق إبراهيم

فرنسا الحالية السياسية والاقتصادية ليست في وضع يسمح لها بإطلاق مبادرة ضخمة لإنقاذ الدولة اللبنانية، ولم تعُد تمتلك النفوذ الدولي ما يؤهلها لإعادة صناعة “لبنان الدولة مرة ثانية”. فهذا يتطلّب مركزاً بين الدول العالمية الأساسية على غرار الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والصين وروسيا، اي بلدان تجمع بين النفوذ الدولي وقوة الاقتصاد والمناعة العالمية، وهذا ما تفتقده فرنسا حالياً.

بما يكشف على الفور ان زيارة الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون الى لبنان الغريق في فرنكوفونيته تذهب الى واحد من احتمالين: اما إنها تحاول الاحتفاظ بدور على قياسها في السياسة اللبنانية عن طريق بعض المساعدات المقدور عليها وتتيح لها المشاركة في مرحلة ما بعد الحرب في سورية وتمتين وضعها في الصراع على البحر الأبيض المتوسط. اما انها الآلية المقبولة من لبنان لتمرير مشروع غربي لا يريد للبنان أن يذهب بعيداً في بحثه عن بديل للغرب وخصوصاً في الصين وروسيا وإيران.

فأي الاحتمالين هو الأقوى؟

بالتدقيق في مقارباته لضرورة بناء آلية سياسية جديدة في لبنان وتطرقه الى حكومة وحدة وطنية وتأكيده على استمرار الدعم الاقتصادي المباشر من مؤتمر سيدر والصندوق والبنك الدوليين والدول الغربية.

هذا اذاً عرض يربط بين السياسة والاقتصاد انما بعض تقديم مساعدات فرنسية كبيرة تعيد تذكير اللبنانيين بفرنكوفونيتهم القديمة.

بذلك يتضح ان المشروع فرنسي ظاهرياً وأميركي – أوروبي في اهدافه ويرمي الى منع لبنان، خصوصاً بعد تفجير مرفئه الأساسي في بيروت من الإقدام على التعاون مع الصين وروسيا والعراق وايران.

فهناك اهميات للبنان تبدأ حالياً في انه يشكل جزءاً من مياه البحر المتوسط وسواحله، بما يحتويه من كميات معروفة من الغاز وأخرى غير معروفة يقول الخبراء انها تشكل أكبر تجمع غاز معروف في العالم.

هذا بالإضافة الى حساسية آبار الغاز اللبنانية عند حدوده مع فلسطين المحتلة بما يمكن أن تشكله من دفع لحروب في الاقليم قد تؤدي الى وقف انتاج الغاز ليس فقط في الكيان الاسرائيلي ولبنان وانما في قبرص واليونان امتداداً الى ليبيا ومصر، فيتحكم بذلك حلف الغاز الذي يدعمه الاميركيون بين مصر و”اسرائيل” وقبرص واليونان وبعض الدول الاوروبية. فهذا حلف يبني عليه الاميركيون لوقف التمدد الروسي المعني كثيراً بهذا الأمر لان بلاده هي الدولة الاولى في انتاج الغاز في العالم. وتعرف ان حلف الغاز الاميركي في المتوسط إنما هو مبني لوقف الهيمنة الروسية على اسواق استهلاك الغاز في اوروبا.

كيف يفكر الفرنسيون؟

يعتبر ماكرون أن حزب الله اصبح حقيقة سياسية في لبنان والإقليم لا يمكن تجاوزه. لذلك فإن بناء آلية سياسية لبنانية تضم كل مكوّنات لبنان السياسية والطائفية هي إنقاذ للدور الغربي في لبنان من خلال الإصرار على التمثيل للقوى اللبنانية الموالية لهم على شاكلة الحريرية وجعجع والكتائب والاشتراكي.

بذلك يتأمن توازن سياسي داخلي مدعوم غربياً يمنع اي سياسات لبنانية جديدة نحو الصين وروسيا، ويفرض هدنة بين لبنان والكيان الإسرائيلي ويعرقل فتح الحدود السورية بوظائفها الاقتصادية وإذا سمح باستعمالها فللعراق فقط وفي إطار بعض التبادلات النفطية.

يحاول ماكرون إذاً ومعه النفوذ الغربي العام الاستفادة من مميزات لبنان على مستوى الموقع المتوسطي والجوار مع فلسطين المحتلة وسورية استخدامه في الصراعات الحالية والمقبلة على مصادر الطاقة.

لكن هناك مَن يضيف بأن مشروع ماكرون الاقتصادي – السياسي يخفي توقاً فرنسياً لإعادة الاعتماد على لبنان السياسي لأداء دور اقتصادي فرنسي كبير في الشرق الاوسط.

هنا يعرف ماكرون أن لبنان بتنوعه السياسي هو الوحيد في منطقة الشرق الاوسط القادر على ايصال حلفائه الى إيران والسعودية وربما امكنة اخرى.

واذا كان ماكرون قادراً على الوصول الى الرياض بامكانات دولته، فإن رحلته نحو سورية والعراق وإيران واليمن تتطلب مرشداً خبيراً وحليفاً لهذا الخط الطويل.

هذا ينطبق تماماً على حزب الله الوحيد الذي يستطيع فتح أبواب هذه الدول لفرنسا. اما لماذا يريد ماكرون التسلل الى هذه الدول؟

فهذا عائد الى انها تحتاج الى عمليات اعادة اعمار ضخمة تستطيع فرنسا بواسطتها العودة الى قطبية عالمية فعلية، فإعمار هذا الخط يتطلب آلاف مليارات الدولارات ويرتبط بتقارب سياسي بين هذه الدول والبلدان الراغبة في المشاركة. بما يؤكد ان حزب الله هو أفضل مؤدٍ لهذا الدور لعلاقاته البنيوية بخط مقاومة عميق جداً.

لكن ماكرون لن يتجرأ على البوح برغبات بلاده، بما يدفعه الى بناء سياسات هادئة تبتدئ من لبنان الفرنكوفوني ولبنان المنتمي الى حزب الله من دون اي كشف للأهداف الاقتصادية العميقة. وعندما تصل المنطقة الى مرحلة إعادة إعمار تكون فرنسا الهادئة سياسياً من المحظوظين القادرين على ايجاد مساحات للاقتصاد الفرنسي وربما الألماني أيضاً الذي يقبع في خلفية المشهد.

هل تنجح هذه المحاولات؟ هناك مَن يراهن على مرحلة ما بعد الانتخابات الأميركية والإسرائيلية مع انتظار بضعة أشهر بعد تنفيذها لبدء عصر التسويات في الشرق الأوسط.

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