Minister Lavrov’s Remarks on Conflict Between the US & China

May 18, 2020

لماذا الهدنة مع الأميركيين؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

نجاح حكومة مصطفى الكاظمي العراقية في نيل ثقة المجلس النيابي بها، وموافقة صندوق النقد الدولي على التفاوض مع حكومة حسان دياب لوقف الانهيار الاقتصادي في لبنان، مؤشران قويّان يرمزان الى مرحلة هدنة بين القوى الداخلية والخارجية في هذين البلدين لوقف التراجع المخيف فيهما.

لجهة القوى التي تستطيع تمرير حكومة الكاظمي بعد ستة أشهر من صراعات ومناكفات وعجز متتابع لسياسيين فشلوا في تشكيل حكومة، فهي داخلياً مجموعات الحشد الشعبي والأحزاب الموالية لرئيس المجلس النيابي الحلبوسي في الغرب العراقي وآل البرازاني الأكراد في الشمال. هؤلاء هم الذين يسيطرون على المجلس النيابي ويكملون عديده بهيمنة للحشد الشعبي لأن الدستور يمنح الشيعة نحو 60 في المئة من عدد النواب تبعاً للتوازنات السكانية.

أما القوة الثانية في الداخل العراقي فهي المرجعية الدينية العليا للشيعة التي تتدخّل كلما شعرت أن خطراً يتهدد الدولة العراقية أو الكيان السياسيّ. ولها نفوذها في مجلس النواب وبالتالي بين وزراء الحكومة، بشكل يمكن فيه اعتبارها ناقوس الخطر الذي يضرب حين يتأزم العراق.

هذا عن الجانب الداخلي، وهو جزء بسيط من الصراعات الخارجية العميقة في العراق التي بدأت منذ 1990 وتعمّقت مع الاحتلال الأميركي المتواصل لأرض الرافدين منذ 2003 وازدادت التهاباً مع نجاح الحشد الشعبي في تدمير القسم الأكبر من الإرهاب الداعشي والقاعدي والسيطرة على قسم وازن من العراق السياسي.

هناك اذاً صراع أميركي – إيراني عنيف على الاراضي العراقية يرتدي لباس احتدام في التنافس السياسي في بعض الأحيان، وقتال يتسربل بتبادل للقصف بين قواعد أميركية، ومقار داخلية متحالفة مع إيران، للإشارة فإن آخر الاعمال الأميركية كانت اغتيال القائد الإيراني قاسم سليماني وقائد الحشد الشعبي أبو مهدي المهندس وهما يخرجان من مطار بغداد. وردّ الإيرانيون بقصف قاعدة عين الأسد الأميركية في العراق.

بذلك فإن القوى المؤثرة على السياسة العراقية هي بناها الداخلية من أحزاب ومراكز دينية وحشد وتنظيمات والاحتلال الأميركي المتواصل الى جانب نفوذ إيراني عميق سببه تحالفه مع الحشد الشعبي والعلاقات الدينية التاريخية التي تجمعه بغالبية العراقيين.

هناك أيضاً نفوذ تركي وسعودي على بعض التنظيمات العراقية في الوسط الغربي، لكنها غير مؤثرة إلا من خلال الاحتلال الأميركي.

فما الذي استجدّ بعد ستة أشهر من العجز عن تشكيل حكومة عراقية وتأزم الوضع العسكري بين إيران والأميركيين ورفع الحشد الشعبي لشعار الانسحاب الفوري للقوات الأميركية المحتلة من العراق؟

فجأة وافق الأميركيون على تمديد استجرار العراق للكهرباء الإيرانية لنحو 120 يوماً أي أربعة اشهر كاملة، كما نالتا حكومة الكاظمي ثقة واسعة وهي التي كانت تتهيأ لاعتذار رئيسها عن متابعة التشكيل للعراقيل الداخلية والخارجية.

والطريف أن برنامج حكومة الكاظمي اورد ضرورة مجابهة الصعوبات الاقتصادية والأمنية والتحضير لانتخابات مبكرة ووضع برنامج عمل لتنويع الاقتصاد العراقي.

فلم ينسَ شيئاً، إلا الاحتلال الأميركي، فتجاهله وكأن لا احتلال ولا مَن يحتلّون.

هناك أمور مثيرة للدهشة الى درجة الذعر، وهو أن معظم قوى الحشد الشعبي وافقت بدورها على هذا البرنامج.

الأمر الذي يكشف أن حكومة الكاظمي هي تسوية سببها التعادل في موازين القوى بين حشد شعبي قوي جداً بتركيبة أحزابه، ومدعوم من إيران وبين احتلال أميركي لديه مؤيدوه في وسط العراق وغربه عند جماعة الحلبوسي ومن كردستان العراق، أما أسرار هذا التوازن فهي موجودة بتلويح الأكراد وبعض أحزاب الوسط بالانفصال وتشكيل اقاليم مستقلة في كل مرة يحاول فيها الحشد الشعبي دفع الأميركيين الى الانسحاب وهذه واحدة من مصادر القوة الأميركية في أرض السواد وهي واحدة من مصادر عجز الحشد الشعبي في أرض السواد.

لذلك، فإن تراجع أسعار النفط وخفض إنتاجه وما تسبّبوا به من انهيار اقتصادي بالاستفادة من الكورونا والتلويح بتقسيم العراق الى كيانات سنية وكردية وشيعية دفعت باتجاه هدنة مؤقتة لتمرير هذه المرحلة بأقل قدر ممكن من الأضرار.

لجهة لبنان فموضوعه مشابه، خصوصاً لناحية انهياره الاقتصادي المريع والانقسام الحاد بين قواه السياسية التي تتمحور بين الولاء للأميركيين والسعوديين وبين التحالف مع إيران وسورية.

ولأن الأميركيّين لا يمكنهم ترك بلد بأهمية لبنان يلعب فيه حزب الله رأس حربة المقاومة في الإقليم، والسماح لفوضى لن تؤدي إلا إلى خسارة الحلفاء اللبنانيين لأميركا وتراجع دورهم السياسي، فارتأت الدولة الأميركيّة العميقة أن التعامل مع حكومة حسان دياب من خلال الصندوق والبنك الدوليين والمؤتمرات الأوروبيّة هي لفرصة لتتوازن فيها مع القوة البنيوية العمودية لحزب الله في لبنان، وذلك في محاولة للتساوي معه في المرحلة الحالية وعرقلته في آجال لاحقة.

هكذا هو دائماً حال الدول البراجماتية النفعية التي تعطي كل مرحلة ما تستحق، والهدنة الأميركية في لبنان هي محصلة جهود بذلها حزب الله في قتال «إسرائيل» والإرهاب والدفاع عن الدولة السورية ما جعله مرهوب الجانب وقوياً الى درجة أن مهادنته في لبنان هي انتصار للطرف الآخر، لذلك فإن الأميركيين هم الذين نجحوا في إرجاء انسحابهم من العراق ويحاولون الإمساك بلبنان من خلال الصندوق الدولي، أما حزب الله فيعرف من جهته أن الأميركيين لا يوزعون هبات على أعدائهم، بل يهادنون بشكل مؤقت في محاولة لتكوين ظروف سياسية أفضل، لهم بالطبع.

والحزب بدوره يهادن من بعد ملحوظ ساهراً على حماية حكومة قد تكون هي الفرصة النموذجية للدفاع عن لبنان في وجه فوضى قد تؤدي الى تدمير الدولة وتفجير الكيان السياسي.

Fact check – US Governmental Lies About Iran and The Sanction Regime — Rebel Voice

Originally posted on Rebel Voice: “Truth is the first casualty of war” – But sometimes truth becomes a victim before the war ever begins, as is the case in US depictions of events in both Venezuela and Iran at present. Today, there is a concerted campaign by forces within the US regime to misrepresent and…

via Fact check – US Governmental Lies About Iran and The Sanction Regime — Rebel Voice

Trump – You Are Awesome, Nice, and Naughty

By Heba Mourad

Source

Donald J Trump 835c3

President Donald Trump,

I grew up on an American School campus, all I sang was “coming ‘round the mountain.” I played Basketball and being short and swift made me a good three pointer, playing most of the time as a pivot. When I learned American football I became quickly good at tackling but I always unintentionally hurt my friends so I stopped playing. My favorite food was McDonalds and Wendy’s and I was obsessed about cinnamon rolls and apple pies. As Cliché as it sounds, it’s what it was. We had classes on American Culture and others on World History; mainly from an “American” perspective. I was more American than Americans themselves. The Ideal place for me to live was on that spot of Earth, America. I loved English so much that I finally decided to major in translation studies. And as much as we were taught about the land of the free, I loved the idea of having this sort of ‘Utopian’ place be my home someday. But of course I grew up later to know there is no such American dream just like I realized there was no Santa Clause. Living in a neighboring country in West Asia, or what you insist to call the Middle East, we were always told that Iran was the bad guy. We heard all about the Iran-Iraq war and how dangerous Iran and its leaders are.

Then one day I grew up, and traveled across the world to learn more and have my worldview reshaped, or better say reborn. Leaving romanticism behind, I wanted to venture and get acquainted with different cultures and peoples. It was not until I decided to live in Iran in 2014, the Islamic Republic that I could understand what a marvelous country it is. And it was not until you came to power that I saw your lies on Iran firsthand. No one told me stories this time.

To spice things up a bit, I will contextualize some word and their semantics the way that fits you. Your empty threats and silly tweets are so “awesome”.  Of course I mean “awesome” as interpreted before the 19th century; when originally awful and awesome were synonymous. You are also naughty in the sense adopted during the 1300s. In the 1300s, naughty people had naught (nothing); they were poor or needy and indeed you are poor; you lack so much information and intelligence to be recognized as a president of some state. Of course the semantics of it during the 1400s also fits you, during the time, the meaning shifted from having nothing to being worth nothing, being morally bad or wicked. You are also nice, in the context of the 1300s through 1600s when it meant silly, foolish, or ignorant. In Old English, “pretty” meant crafty and cunning, typically you. Today, during the 21st century, they call a person who sort of has all these traits a ‘Sly’ and this defines your ‘mental’ morphology. Of course American media has been describing you with a variety of adjectives and words, both simple and complex. Politico is one example describing you as: Real estate mogul, billionaire, reality show host, late-night show punch line, populist rabble rouser, norm-busting leader — impeached president.

In language, like everything else, change can be hard to accept, just like it is really hard for you to digest and accept that Iran has changed since 1979 and has chosen to be independent, sovereign and different.

You use the same old US rhetoric on freedom and human rights and dictate whom you see as subaltern. Before I begin though, let me tell you that of course most of the American people are not happy with what you do, people across the globe understand that. We all know now you would sell your own mother for oil and fortune. You have been milking your Saudi minions and you threaten Iraq that if it does not pay you the billions of dollars you want, you will not leave their country. You have military bases and constitute a threat to the entire region. I will not discuss your Trumpain policies of plundering the riches of the world now, or your issues with the Hispanics, Blacks, and Muslims. From North Korea to the Middle East to Venezuela, you are out of favor in almost all parts of the world, except Israel and Saudi Arabia.

I will stick to giving you some advice on the current matter of concern; Iran.

  • During the holidays at your Mar-a-Lago resort, you decided to assassinate Iran’s General of the Quds Brigades Qassem Suleimani thinking that would make you get away with impeachment and give you a better chance of becoming elected again as president. All that mattered to you was your image, but you got it tainted badly. You gave a chance to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has never launched war against one single state since 1979, to show you how invincible your army actually is. Iran had the right to retaliate to your act of war. Iran’s move was in self-defense. It is not the 19th or 20th century anymore. There is no room for your dictates and policies of supremacy at least with regional players like Iran, if not an international player within the new world context. Accept the new world order.
  • The military and anti-craft missile system in Iran being on a state of alert after the Ain al-Assad military base was hit, and American jets hovering around Iran, a human error caused the Ukraine flight 752 to crash. 176 people were killed. You rushed into mobilizing the Iranian people and the world against the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian government. You said they denied responsibility. It took them only 3 days to bravely say the truth and apologize, despite the fact that we know now that the transponder for some mysterious reason was not working for 30 seconds before the missile struck. Today, January 14, New York Times analysis of flight path information and video of the missile strike determined that the plane stopped transmitting its signal for between 20 seconds and 30 seconds before it was hit.

I think people on Twitter have already reminded you enough that in 1988, the US shot down Iran Air 655 and killed 290 Iranians. The Vice President of the United States at the time George Bush not only refused to apologize but also honored the people who carried out the act. You, like many other of your forerunners, hardly ever take the blame for anything — especially the things that are your fault. Today, Iran shows how a government can admit a mistake and take responsibility. Iran could have denied and you know well it has allies who could have supported it but honesty is the best policy, and that is something you know nothing about.

  • You threaten Iranians to hit their cultural sites, you upsurge sanctions, vow to crush the economy, and then call on the ‘brave’ people of Iran to revolt. Sarcastically, if Iran wanted to retaliate and hit cultural sites in the US it would not find any or maybe it would be Wendy’s they can target. Unlike your America, Iran is a country of successive ancient civilizations and a long history. Of course Iran would not hit anything other than military sites when at war. Iran could have killed many of the 5 thousand American soldiers in Ain al-Assad military base. Iran, despite having the capability to build nuclear warheads refuses to do so, it is forbidden in their religion which is Islam by the way. The basic teachings of Islam are based on ethics; and war ethics are part of that. This is why Iran, which you keep accusing of domination schemes has not attacked one single country for 40 years since the victory of the Islamic Revolution. By contextualizing sovereignty and intervention in the world system, you try to annihilate any sort of attempt of independence, in West Asia at least. This is not news. One variable in particular has changed a lot though, and that is Iran, it has become stronger, more independent and more resolute.
  • You create terrorist groups like ISIS (Daesh), support them along with your Israeli and regional allies, and then tell Iran that you have common interests in fighting terrorism in the region. Stop your orientalist and double-standard approach. Your Islamophobic interventionist policies in the West Asia are not acceptable anymore. Bernard Lewis, the notorious Islamophobe who spent a long life studying Islam in order to demonise Muslims and mobilise the mighty military of what he called “the West” against the Muslims, “the other”, represents you well. Go get some decent education on the region, its religions, and people to know better how to deal with things. Even when it comes to Soleimani you made a fool out of yourself, thinking he was chief of the Kurds rather than the Head of the Quds Brigades.
  • An advice to you as President of the US moving towards isolation; some say you are a pathological liar, others say you are a fantasist. Well, neither option is good. One day you want to start war with Iran, another day you want to put immense pressure to see what you call “regime change”, then you want unconditioned talks with the Iranians. You denied any injuries or deaths among US troops in Ain al-Assad military base. You said the damage was not of a great deal. Reports surfacing gradually reveal there are a ‘few’ injuries among US soldiers and more dimensions of the tremendous damage are surfacing. Oh and please don’t tweet later to say you need Middle East oil again, be a man and bear the consequences of your speech and decisions when you say “We do not need Middle East oil anymore”. Learn how to stick to your word. Fluctuations in the American administration have been also providing the world a favor: unilateralism and lies will not work in the future.
  • Social media is becoming an increasingly important force in society. A lot of news is driven by online communication, you hit the tweet button more than normal and your tweets are inconsistent. Your twitter threads and page have become a topic of interest to linguists. Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist at University of Edinburgh, argues that there’s more going on than just a conversational, I’ll-let-you-fill-in-the-gaps-style in your linguistic skills. He says your speech suggests a man with scattered thoughts, a short span of attention, and a lack of intellectual discipline and analytical skills. What also amazes many is not the form or the meaning of your language; it is rather the big fat lies. Of course the lies I mentioned on Iran is just a bit of the 13,435 “falsehoods” you have told between January 20, 2017, and October 9, 2019. Another linguist who analyzed Trumpian rhetoric says “taking the meaning of ‘Believe me’ literally, you skeptically think that Trump can’t be believable if he has to tell his listeners to believe him all the time.”
  • Iran has a population of roughly 85 million people if not more than that. I will discuss this using your democratic values. We may admit that 3 thousand people are taking part in the protests; majority wins. 77 million do not want to topple the government. Get over that. The discursive strategy that you like is exaggeration, and words and phrases such as ‘bigly’ ‘huuuuge’, ‘millions and millions’, and ‘a lot’ to impress people or have an impact on them.
  • For two years, you have exerted “maximum pressure” through sanctions and isolation, to force new concessions from Tehran. All my Iranian professors, classmates, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues are firm on the fact that Iran will no longer make concessions. This time you have to understand that your only way out is to withdraw your troops and save face before it is too late and you see the ‘horizontal’ or ‘vertical’ shipments of your troops going back home.

The crisis of the United States’ post–Cold War foreign policy has been a long time in the making. After all the mess you have created for your country, it is time to think of a new concept. The United States should accept a more modest role in world affairs and understand that the era of colonialism and post-colonialism has reached zero hour at least for Iran and its allies. Whether you like it or not, your troops will be forced out of West Asia. Until then, you can either keep playing golf for long hours to distract yourself or you can freeze in fear every time a rocket hits a US military base.

Trump’s Mass Deception on Iran

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Virtually all politicians lie, none in memory more repeatedly and egregiously than Trump.

It’s so excessively over the top it begs the question. Is he unable to distinguish between facts and fiction or is he inherently deceptive by nature?

His Big Lies fool no one informed on what’s going on at home and abroad. 

The problem is they comprise a minority, not a majority of the public — and serial lying is a moral and ethical issue, not a criminal offense unless under oath.

Make no mistake. DJT’s ordered airstrikes in Iraq, killing around 30 paramilitary fighters connected to its military, followed by the assassinations of Iranian General Soleimani and Iraqi deputy PMU leader Muhandis were US acts of war on both countries.

According to US law, an act of war means any hostile act occurring in the course of:

1. a declared war;

2. an armed conflict, whether or not war has been declared, between two or more nations; or

3. an armed conflict between military forces of any origin.

Under international law it’s much the same, notably a preemptive attack by one nation on the territory of the other. 

It’s strictly prohibited by the UN Charter except in self-defense if attacked, clearly not the case in all US wars post-WW II, waged preemptively on nonbelligerent states — unjustifiably justified by Big Lies and deception.

According to UN General Assembly Res. 3314, aggression is defined as “the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations” — which prohibits a nation attacking another state preemptively.

Included in the UN definition is “(b)ombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State.”

On Friday, Trump tweeted the following:

“General Qassem Soleimani has killed or badly wounded thousands of Americans over an extended period of time, and was plotting to kill many more…but got caught (sic)!” 

“He was directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people (sic).”

The above remarks apply to decades of US aggression — raping and destroying one country after another, polar opposite how Iran and its military operate.

Nearly the entire US political establishment and dominant media vilified Soleimani — most Dems criticizing Pentagon terror-bombing strikes on Iraq for political reasons, most Republicans expressing support.

Even anti-war presidential aspirant Tulsi Gabbard said there’s “no question about (Soleimani’s) evil” — while criticizing airstrikes on Iraqi territory, saying:

“This was very clearly an act of war by this president without any kind of authorization or declaration of war from Congress, clearly violating the Constitution.”

Elizabeth Warren tweeted:

“Soleimani was a murderer (sic), responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans (sic)” — while opposing involvement in “another costly war.”

She and Joe Biden said that “no American will mourn Soleimani’s death.”

They were wrong. By email Friday to an Iranian friend in Tehran, I said the following:

My deepest condolences to General Soleimani’s family, Iran, and the Iranian people

for the Trump regime’s state-sponsored terrorism.

The only thing positive about its high crimes is they hasten the US decline. 

Today I mourn with the people of Iran for what happened.

Bernie Sanders said the following in response to Soleimani’s assassination:

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” adding:

“Trump’s promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”

While steering clear of demonizing or otherwise criticizing Soleimani, last spring Sanders falsely accused Iran of “support(ing) terrorism (sic).”

He called “prevent(ing) Iran from getting a nuclear weapon…an absolute imperative” – ignoring the Islamic Republic’s abhorrence of these weapons, wanting them eliminated everywhere, while failing to condemn nuclear armed and dangerous Israel.

He opposes establishing diplomatic relations with Iran, showing hostility toward the region’s leading proponent of peace and stability.

From his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort Friday, Trump recited a litany of Big Lies about Soleimani’s assassination he authorized, saying:

“(M)y highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens” — at a time when the only US foreign threats are invented. No real ones exist, he failed to explain.

He turned truth on its head, calling Soleimani “the number-one terrorist anywhere in the world (sic).”

As US commander-in-chief, the dubious distinction applies to him. His regime and congressional accomplices share blame for endless preemptive wars on nonthreatening nations — a flagrant UN Charter violation.

Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries! The Islamic Republic seeks regional peace and cooperation with other nations.

Trump: “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel (sic), but we caught him in the act (sic) and terminated him.”

No evidence was cited because none exists, no “imminent…sinister attacks” on US civilian and military personnel planned. Trump lied claiming otherwise.

He falsely accused Iran’s IRGC and Quds Force Soleimani led of “target(ing), injur(ing), and murder(ing) hundreds of American civilians and servicemen.”

Nothing of the kind occurred by him or Iran in the Middle East or elsewhere — a US, NATO, Israeli specialty, not how the Islamic Republic operates.

Trump twisted reality, falsely claiming “Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London” — again no evidence cited because none exists. Trump lied, adding:

“Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years (sic).”  

“What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved (sic).”

Trump falsely claimed a US act of war as defined under international and US statute law was undertaken “to stop a war…not…start” one.

While assassinating Iranians and Iraqis, he falsely expressed support for their people the US  waged war on for decades — directly and by other means.

He falsely claimed credit for destroying “the ISIS…caliphate” the US created and supports — that Soleimani, Russian and Syrian forces smashed.

He turned truth on its head, claiming serial aggressor USA “seek(s) peace, harmony, and friendship with all of the nations of the world.”

His remarks came as the US war machine continues mass slaughter and destruction in multiple theaters — risking war with nonbelligerent Iran at the same time.

Baseball star Yogi Berra and movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn long ago commented on the hazards of making predictions — “especially about the future,” they said.

How the Trump regime intends dealing with Iran ahead is guesswork, war clearly an option — what hopefully cooler heads in Washington will prevent.

 

صراع لبنانيّ برعاية خارجية بين مصالح الدولة وأمان الناس

سبتمبر 28, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

الدولة في لبنان فقط هي النظام الحاكم وطبقته السياسية، وليست التعبير عن الاتفاق بين الجغرافيا التاريخية وتعبيراتها السياسية والوطنية والرمزية.

ضمن هذا الإطار يبدو الوطن ومعه الدولة في خدمة النظام السياسي الطائفي. قد يتغيّر سياسيون ويأتي آخرون لكنهم من الطينة المذهبية الطائفية نفسها. فيحدث الاندماج الكبير بين قادة الطوائف والدولة، فارضاً على الناس العمل في خدمة هذه المعادلة المدعومة من الدين والإقليم والخارج. إلا أن ما اصاب هذه المعادلة باهتزاز خطير هو اندلاع صراعات بين قوى الاقليم الراعية للبنان استتبع ولادة تناقضات وتباينات قوية بين المحاور الطائفية اللبنانية التي انقسمت حسب ارتباطاتها الإقليمية. فالصراع الأميركي الإيراني والسوري السعودي والدوران الفرنسي والروسي الصاعدان، انعكسوا على شكل خلافات عميقة بين القوى اللبنانية، ما أدّى الى تعطل نسبي في الإدارة الطائفية للبلاد.

كان بالإمكان معالجة الوضع لو اقتصر على هذا الحدّ.

لكنه ارتبط بوقف كامل للمساعدات الاقليمية والدولية التي كانت تموّل سيطرة قوى الطوائف على جمهورها كما تقاطع مع انحسار اكبر في تحويلات المغتربين والعمالة في الخارج، بالإضافة الى ظهور معوقات خارجية أصبحت تكبح إمكانية الدين من الخارج كما كان يحدث سابقاً بتلك السهولة الغريبة المشبوهة.

بالمحصلة هناك مصادر تمويل متوقفة وحركة تصدير واستيراد منحسرة بشكل درامتيكي وحدود لا نستعملها اقتصادياً، ما أدّى الى إقفال خطير للشركات ومواقع الإنتاج وصرف عمال وموظفين. يكفي انّ رئيس الوزراء سعد الحريري الذي ينتمي الى عائلة سياسية ثرية جداً تموّلها السعودية تجد نفسها مضطرة الى إقفال إذاعة المستقبل الناطقة بسياساتها وتلاها إقفال تلفزيون المستقبل وهذا خطير في بلد كلبنان يلعب فيه الإعلام دور المروّج لسياسات المموّلين، لكنه ينحصر عادة بالقوى التي تمتلك مشاريع للسيطرة على لبنان بكامله انطلاقاً من قوتها في طوائفها الأساسية.

هناك محطات تلفزة أخرى قلصت برامجها الى مجرد استمرار شكلي للزوم متابعة أخبار اصحابها السياسيين وزوجاتهم بالحد الأدنى، ونشاطات قواهم الحزبية.

هناك اذاً انسداد في الحد الأدنى الاقتصادي الذي كان يوفر الحد الادنى من أمان الناس ضمن أعمال ضعيفة، لكنها تمنع الجوع، فأصبحت البلاد من دون أمان وظيفي وكهرباء ومياه والنفايات منتشرة عند ابواب المنازل وابواب الهجرة مقفلة واسعار المواد الغذائية بدأت ترتفع وسط عجز المجتمع عن الدفاع عن نفسه.

في المقابل سارعت الطبقة الحاكمة للدفاع عن امتيازاتها فلم تتراجع عن السيطرة على الأملاك البحرية والبرية فرفعت قيمة استئجارها بنسب تافهة جداً لاستيعاب الغضب الاجتماعي، وتابعت فسادها داخل المؤسسات بالتعيينات والصفقات ولا تزال تمسك بالجمارك والمرافئ والمطارات، إلا أنها لم تكتف بهذه الامور التي تعتبرها جزءاً من حقها التاريخي، فذهبت نحو السماح للبنك المركزي بتحديد حركة استعمال الدولار لمنع صعود اسعار الليرة ما ادى الى وجود سعرين لليرة: رسمي لا يصرف الدولار إلا ب 1500 ليرة وحقيقي من نتاج العرض والطلب في الاسواق يتجاوز 1600 ليرة. فارتفعت اسعار السلع والبضائع التي اصبحت تتعامل بالسعر الشعبي للدولار وهذا استتبع على الفور انقطاعاً لمادة الوقود من محطات البنزين لأن مستورديه يشترون الدولار بـ 600 ليرة، فيما الأسعار منسقة على 1500 ليرة، ولما طالبوا الدولة بتمويلهم بالدولار الرسمي، امتنع المصرف المركزي مُتسبباً بإضراب المحطات وهذا ما يجري على مستوى معظم قطاعات الاستيراد والتصدير في البلاد، ما كشف عن وجود خطة للنظام السياسي الاقتصادي يعتبر فيها ان الاحيتاطات المالية للدولة في المصرف المركزي هي مصدر إمان للطبقة السياسية ولا يجوز استخدامها في معالجة الضائقة الاقتصادية التي يمر بها لبنان حالياً.

هذا هو مفهوم أمن الدولة المصطلح اللغوي الذي يُخفي مصالح النظام الطائفي. وهذا لا يعمل من اجل امان الناس بل لصالح استمراره الذي يتطلب امتزاج قوته في الطوائف بالاحتياطات المالية وتأييد الاقليم والجانب الدولي.

وهذا النظام الطائفي لا يتجرأ على عرض سياساته المالية بشكل علني فيكلف أجهزته الاقتصادية اطلاق تصريحات تزعم ان الدولار موجود في الاسواق بشكل طبيعي، واسعار البضائع مستقرة، وليس هناك تدهور اقتصادي ملموس، فيما العكس هو الصحيح.

هناك إذاً صراع بين دولة لا تعمل الا من اجل امنها، وبين امان الناس المفقود والمتدهور. ولعل الرئيس ميشال عون اصاب عندما طالب الامم المتحدة في خطابه الأخير من منبرها بضرورة رعاية العودة الآمنة للنازحين السوريين الى بلادهم ملوّحاً بإمكانية عقد قمة له مع الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد لإعادة النازحين من جهة، وإعادة العلاقات الاقتصادية المزدهرة بين البلدين الى سابق عهدها، فالرئيس يعلم انّ قسماً هاماً من أمان اللبنانيين في المراحل السابقة كان يأتي من الاستخدام الاقتصادي للحدود اللبنانية السورية حتى الأردن والعراق والخليج ويعرف أيضاً انّ ازدهار السياحة على علاقة أيضاً بهذه الحدود. وهذه أمور تحتاج الى ترميم المتصدّع من علاقات لبنان مع سورية والتحلي بحيادية في الصراعات الإقليمية لا تسمح لبلد كلبنان من الاحتفال باليوم الوطني السعودي مرة من المتحف الوطني اللبناني الرسمي، وثانية في قصر الأمير أمين في بيت الدين التابع أيضاً للدولة اللبنانية، وكان من الأولى لو احتفل لبنان في متحفه وفي واحد من قصوره بالقضاء على الإرهاب في سورية ولبنان.

فهل ينفجر الصراع بين أمن الدولة و أمان الناس منتقلاً الى الشارع؟ هذه هي النهاية الطبيعية لمثل هذه الصراعات. فالجوع ينفجر في نهاية المطاف متجاوزاً نصائح رجال الدين والاصطفافات الإقليمية والقمع والنصائح الأميركية ووعود السعودية، متحوّلاً أداة منشودة لتدمير نظام طائفي لم يعد لديه ايّ شيء لا للبنان ولا للبنانيين من مختلف الطوائف والمناطق والانتماءات.

Related Articles

A Major Conventional War Against Iran Is an Impossibility. Crisis within the US Command Structure

Global Research, August 03, 2019
Global Research 8 July 2019

Updated, July 21, 2019

In this article, we examine America’s war strategies, including its ability to launch an all out theater war against the Islamic Republic on Iran.

A follow-up article will focus on the History of US War Plans against Iran as well as the complexities underlying the Structure of Military Alliances. 

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Under present conditions, an Iraq style all out Blitzkrieg involving the simultaneous deployment of ground, air and naval  forces is an impossibility. 

For several reasons. US hegemony in the Middle East has been weakened largely as a result of the evolving structure of military alliances.

The US does not have the ability to carry out such a project.

There are two main factors which determine America’s military agenda in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

1. Iran’s Military

There is the issue of Iran’s military capabilities (ground forces, navy, air force, missile defense), namely its ability to effectively resist and respond to an all out conventional war involving the deployment of US and Allied forces. Within the realm of conventional warfare,  Iran has sizeable military capabilities. Iran is to acquire Russia’s S400 state of the art air defense system.

Iran is ranked as “a major military power” in the Middle East, with an estimated 534,000 active personnel in the army, navy, air force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It has advanced ballistic missile capabilities as well as a national defense industry. In the case of a US air attack, Iran would target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf.

2. Evolving Structure of Military Alliances

The second consideration has to do with the evolving structure of military alliances (2003-2019) which is largely to the detriment of the United States.

Several of America’s staunchest allies are sleeping with the enemy.

Countries which have borders with Iran including Turkey and Pakistan have military cooperation agreements with Iran. While this in itself excludes the possibility of a ground war, it also affects the planning of US and allied naval and air operations.

Until recently both Turkey (NATO heavyweight) and Pakistan were among America’s faithful allies, hosting US military bases.

From a broader military standpoint, Turkey is actively cooperating with both Iran and Russia. Moreover, Ankara has acquired (July 12, 2019) ahead of schedule Russia’s state of the art S-400 air defense system while de facto opting out from the integrated US-NATO-Israel air defense system.

Needless to say the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is in crisis. Turkey’s exit from NATO is almost de facto. America can no longer rely on its staunchest allies. Moreover, US and Turkish supported militia are fighting one another in Syria.

Moreover, several NATO member states have taken a firm stance against Washington’s Iran policy:  “European allies are grappling with mounting disagreements over foreign policy and growing irritated with Washington’s arrogant leadership style.”

“The most important manifestation of growing European discontent with U.S. leadership is the move by France and other powers to create an independent, “Europeans only” defense capability” (See National Interest, May 24, 2019)

Iraq has also indicated that it will not cooperate with the US in the case of a ground war against Iran.

Under present conditions, none of Iran’s neigbouring states including Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia would allow US-Allied ground forces to transit through their territory. Neither would they cooperate with the US in the conduct of an air war.

In recent developments, Azerbaijan which in the wake of the Cold War became a US ally as well as a member of NATO’s partnership for peace has changed sides. The earlier US-Azeri military cooperation agreements are virtually defunct including the post-Soviet GUAM military alliance (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova).

Bilateral military and intelligence agreements between Iran and Azerbaijan were signed in December 2018. In turn, Iran collaborates extensively with Turkmenistan. With regard to Afghanistan, the internal situation with the Taliban controlling a large part of Afghan territory, would not favor a large scale deployment of US and allied ground forces on the Iran-Afghan border.


Visibly, the policy of strategic encirclement against Iran formulated in the wake of the Iraq war (2003) is no longer functional. Iran has friendly relations with neighbouring countries, which previously were within the US sphere of influence.

The US is increasingly isolated in the Middle East and does not have the support of its NATO allies

Under these conditions, a major conventional theater war by the US involving the deployment of ground forces would be suicide.

This does not mean, however, that war will not take place. In some regards, with the advances in military technologies, an Iraq-style war is obsolete.

We are nonetheless at a dangerous crossroads. Other diabolical forms of military intervention directed against Iran are currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon. These include:

  • various forms of “limited warfare”, ie. targeted missile attacks,
  • US and Allied support of terrorist paramilitary groups
  • so-called “bloody nose operations” (including the use of tactical nuclear weapons),
  • acts of political destabilization and color revolutions
  • false flag attacks and military threats,
  • sabotage, confiscation of financial assets, extensive economic sanctions,
  • electromagnetic and climatic warfare, environmental modification techniques (ENMOD)
  • cyberwarfare
  • chemical and biological warfare.

US Central Command Forward Headquarters Located in Enemy Territory

Another consideration has to do with the crisis within the US Command structure.

USCENTCOM is the theater-level Combatant Command for all operations in the broader Middle East region extending from Afghanistan to North Africa. It is the most important Combat Command of the Unified Command structure. It has led and coordinated several major Middle East war theaters including Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003). It is also involved in Syria.

In the case of a war with Iran, operations in the Middle East would be coordinated by US Central Command with headquarters in Tampa, Florida in permanent liaison with its forward command headquarters in Qatar.

In late June 2019, after Iran shot down a U.S. drone President Trump “called off the swiftly planned military strikes on Iran” while intimating in his tweet that “any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.”

US Central Command (CENTCOM), confirmed the deployment of the US Air Force F-22 stealth fighters to the al-Udeid airbase in Qatar, intended to “defend American forces and interests” in the region against Iran. (See Michael Welch, Persian Peril, Global Research, June 30, 2019). Sounds scary?

“The base is technically Qatari property playing host to the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command.” With 11,000 US military personnel, it is described as “one of the U.S. military’s most enduring and most strategically positioned operations on the planet”   (Washington Times). Al-Udeid also hosts the US Air Force’s 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, considered to be “America’s most vital overseas air command”.

What both the media and military analysts fail to acknowledge is that US CENTCOM’s forward Middle East headquarters at the al-Udeid military base close to Doha de facto “lies in enemy territory”

Since the May 2017 split of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Qatar has become a staunch ally of both Iran and Turkey (which is also an ally of Iran). While they have no “official” military cooperation agreement with Iran, they share in joint ownership with Iran the largest Worldwide maritime gas fields (see map below).

The split of the GCC has led to a shift in military alliances: In May 2017 Saudi Arabia blocked Qatar’s only land border. In turn Saudi Arabia as well as the UAE have blocked air transportation as well as commercial maritime shipments to Doha.

What is unfolding since May 2017 is a shift in Qatar’s trade routes with the establishment of bilateral agreements with Iran, Turkey as well as Pakistan. In this regard, Russia, Iran, and Qatar provide over half of the world’s known gas reserves.

The Al-Udeid base near Doha is America’s largest military base in the Middle East. In turn, Turkey has now established its own military facility in Qatar. Turkey is no longer an ally of the US. Turkish proxy forces in Syria are fighting US supported militia.

Turkey is now aligned with Russia and Iran. Ankara has now confirmed that it will be acquiring Russia’s S-400 missile air defense system which requires military cooperation with Moscow.

Qatar is swarming with Iranian businessmen, security personnel and experts in the oil and gas industry (with possible links to Iran intelligence?), not to mention the presence of Russian and Chinese personnel.

Question. How on earth can you launch a war on Iran from the territory of a close ally of Iran?

From a strategic point of view it does not make sense. And this is but the tip of the iceberg.

Notwithstanding the rhetoric underlying the official US-Qatar military relationship, The Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to both the Pentagon and NATO, confirms that Qatar is now a firm ally of both Iran and Turkey:

Put simply, for Qatar to maintain its independence, Doha will have essentially no choice but to maintain its strong partnership with Turkey, which has been an important ally from the perspective of military support and food security, as well as Iran. The odds are good that Iranian-Qatari ties will continue to strengthen even if Tehran and Doha agree to disagree on certain issues … On June 15 [2019], President Hassan Rouhani emphasizedthat improving relations with Qatar is a high priority for Iranian policymakers. … Rouhani told the Qatari emir that “stability and security of regional countries are intertwined” and Qatar’s head of state, in turn, stressed that Doha seeks a stronger partnership with the Islamic Republic. (Atlantic Council, June 2019, emphasis added)

What this latest statement by the Atlantic Council suggests is while Qatar hosts USCENTCOM’s forward headquarters, Iran and Qatar are (unofficially) collaborating in the area of “security” (i e. intelligence and military cooperation).

Sloppy military planning, sloppy US foreign policy? sloppy intelligence?

Trump’s statement confirms that they are planning to launch the war against Iran from their forward US Centcom headquarters at the Al Udeid military base, located in enemy territory. Is it rhetoric or sheer stupidity?

The Split of the GCC

The split of the GCC has resulted in the creation of a so-called Iran-Turkey-Qatar axis which has contributed to weakening US hegemony in the Middle East. While Turkey has entered into a military cooperation with Russia, Pakistan is allied with China. And Pakistan has become a major partner of Qatar.

Following the rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is in disarray with Qatar siding with Iran and Turkey against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Qatar is of utmost strategic significance because it shares with Iran the world’s largest maritime gas fields in the Persian Gulf. (see map above). Moreover, since the GCC split-up Kuwait is no longer aligned Saudi Arabia. It nonetheless maintains a close relationship with Washington. Kuwait hosts seven active US military facilities, the most important of which is Camp Doha.

Needless to say, the May 2017 split of the GCC has undermined Trump’s resolve to create an “Arab NATO” (overseen by Saudi Arabia) directed against Iran. This project is virtually defunct, following Egypt’s withdrawal in April 2019.

The Gulf of Oman 

With the 2017 split up of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Oman appears to be aligned with Iran. Under these circumstances, the transit of US war ships to the headquarters of the US Fifth fleet in Bahrain not to mention the conduct of naval operations in the Persian Gulf are potentially in jeopardy.

The Fifth Fleet is under the command of US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). (NAVCENT’s area of responsibility consists of the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea).

With the split up of the GCC, Oman is now aligned with Iran. Under these circumstances, the transit of US war ships to the headquarters of the US Fifth fleet in Bahrain not to mention the conduct of naval operations in the Persian Gulf would potentially be in jeopardy.

The strait of Hormuz which constitutes the entry point to the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman is controlled by Iran and the Sultanate of Oman (see map, Oman territory at the tip of the Strait).

The width of the strait at one point is of the order of 39 km. All major vessels must transit through Iran and/or Oman territorial waters, under so-called customary transit passage provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

More generally, the structure of alliances is in jeopardy. The US cannot reasonably wage a full-fledged conventional theatre war on Iran without the support of its longstanding allies which are now “sleeping with the enemy”.

Trump’s Fractured “Arab NATO”. History of the Split up of the GCC. 

Amidst the collapse of  America’s sphere of influence in the Middle East, Trump’s Make America Great Again (MAGA) consisted at the outset of his presidency in an improvised attempt to rebuild the structure of military alliances. What the Trump administration had in mind was the formation of a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), or  “Arab NATO”. This US-sponsored blueprint was slated to include Egypt and Jordan together with the six member states of the GCC.

The draft of the MESA Alliance had been prepared in Washington prior to Trump’s historic May 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia, meeting up with King Salman, leaders of the GCC as well as “more than 50 high-ranking officials from the Arab and Islamic worlds in an unprecedented US-Islamic summit.”

The Riyadh Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the summit on May 21, 2017, announced the intention to establish MESA in Riyadh.” (Arab News, February 19, 2019). The stated mandate of the “Arab NATO”  was to “to combat Iranian hegemony” in the Middle East.

Two days later on May 23, 2017 following this historic meeting, Saudi Arabia ordered the blockade of Qatar, called for an embargo and suspension of diplomatic relations with Doha, on the grounds that The Emir of Qatar was allegedly collaborating with Tehran.

What was the hidden agenda? No doubt it had already been decided upon in Riyadh on May 21, 2017  with the tacit approval of US officials.

The  plan was to exclude Qatar from the proposed MESA Alliance and the GCC, while maintaining the GCC intact.

What happened was a Saudi embargo on Qatar (with the unofficial approval of Washington) which resulted in the   fracture of the GCC with Oman and Kuwait siding with Qatar. In other words,  the GCC was split down the middle. Saudi Arabia was weakened and the “Arab NATO” blueprint was defunct from the very outset.


May 21, 2017: US-Islamic Summit in Riyadh

May 23, 2017: The blockade and embargo of Qatar following alleged statements by the Emir of Qatar. Was this event staged?

June 5, 2019: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt sever diplomatic relations, cut off land, air and sea transportation with Qatar  accusing it of  supporting Iran.

June 7, 2017, Turkey’s parliament pass legislation allowing Turkish troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar

January 2018, Qatar initiates talks with Russia with a view to acquiring Russia’s  S-400 air defense system.


Flash forward to mid-April 2019: Trump is back in Riyadh: This time the Saudi Monarchy was entrusted by Washington to formally launching the failed Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) (first formulated in 2017) despite the fact that three of the invited GCC member states, namely Kuwait, Oman and Qatar were committed to the normalization of relations with Iran. In turn, the Egyptian government of President Sisi decided to boycott the Riyadh summit and withdraw from the “Arab NATO” proposal. Cairo also clarified its position vis a vis Tehran.  Egypt firmly objected to Trump’s plan because it “would increase tensions with Iran”.

Trump’s objective was to create an “Arab Block”. What he got in return was a truncated MESA “Arab Block” made up of a fractured GCC with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Jordan.

Egypt withdraws.

Kuwait and Oman officially took a neutral stance.

Qatar sided with the enemy, thereby further jeopardizing America’s sphere of influence in the Persian Gulf.

An utter geopolitical failure. What kind of alliance is that.

And US Central Command’s Forward headquarters is still located in Qatar despite the fact that two years earlier on May 23, 2017, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was accused by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of collaborating with Iran.

It is unclear who gave the order to impose the embargo on Qatar. Saudi Arabia would not have taken that decision without consulting Washington. Visibly, Washington’s intent was to create an Arab NATO Alliance (An Arab Block) directed against Iran “to do the dirty work for us”.

Trump and the Emir of Qatar, UN General Assembly, October 2017, White House photo

The rest is history, the Pentagon decided to maintain US Central Command’s forward headquarters in Qatar, which happens to be Iran’s closest ally and partner.

A foreign policy blunder? Establishing your “official” headquarters in enemy territory, while “unofficially” redeploying part of the war planes, military personnel and command functions to other locations (e.g. in Saudi Arabia)?

No press reports, no questions in the US Congress. Nobody seemed to have noticed that Trump’s war on Iran, if it were to be carried out, would be conducted from the territory of Iran’s closest ally.

An impossibility?

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Part II of this essay focuses on the history and contradictions of US war preparations directed against Iran starting in 1995 as well as the evolution of military alliances.

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