صراعات المخابرات والرئاسة في واشنطن: نيكسون وترامب… والسعودية مجدداً

 

نوفمبر 27, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– لا يحتاج تفسير التسريب الرسمي لتقرير وكالة المخابرات الأميركية لوسائل الإعلام وقبلها توزيعه على زعماء الكونغرس إلى كثير تحليل، فذلك يحدث بوجود شرطين متلازمين، وجود قضية تتصل بإعادة رسم الاستراتيجيات على مستوى عالٍ من الخطورة، وتمنع الرئيس عن الأخذ برأي المخابرات، لتبدأ مواجهة بينهما تستعمل فيها كل الأسلحة، بما فيها تصنيع ملفات للرئيس وسوقه للمحكمة أو لمواجهة خطر العزل في الكونغرس. وهذا ما حصل مع الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق ريتشارد نيكسون، وما يتهدّد اليوم الرئيس دونالد ترامب.

– لم يصدق أحد في العالم أن استقالة نيكسون استباقاً لمواجهة خطر العزل تمت على خلفية فضيحة ووتر غيت التي تتصل بتستر الرئيس على التنصت على خصومه واتهامه بإعاقة العمل القضائي. فالفضيحة ذاتها لم تكن لتقع لولا التقارير المخابراتية الموثقة، لاستعمالها في لحظة كهذه، يومها كان سجلّ نيكسون ووزير خارجيته هنري كيسنجر مليئاً بالإنجازات التي نظر إليها الكثير من صقور المؤسسات الأميركية كهزائم، وفي مقدمتها الانسحاب من فييتنام والتفاهم على الحد من الأسلحة الاستراتيجية مع الاتحاد السوفياتي وتطبيع العلاقات مع الصين، والإمساك بمفاصل الصراع في الشرق الأوسط بعد حرب تشرين عام 1973 بمشاريع للتسويات كان أهمها فك الاشتباك على جبهة الجولان عام 1974، وبعد اختبار مخاطر استخدام سلاح النفط مجدداً، وما يوصف بإنجازات نيكسون وكيسنجر في أميركا اليوم جاء بعد اختباره لخيارات المواجهة وزجّه بعشرات الآلاف من الجنود الأميركيين في فييتنام، واكتشافه بمشورة كيسنجر محدودية قدرة القوة على رسم السياسات، ووضع يده مع معاونه كيسينجر على ما يمكن أن يترتب على العنجهية الإسرائيلية في ضوء حرب تشرين وما أظهرته القدرات التي أظهرتها الجيوش العربية فيها، والذهاب إلى البحث عن تسوية تاريخية برأي واشنطن تستدعي الضغط على «إسرائيل» لمفهوم مختلف عن السلام.

– كانت المخابرات قد أتمّت بالتعاون مع «إسرائيل» الإعداد لزيارة الرئيس المصري أنور السادات إلى القدس، وأتمّت السيطرة على القرار السعودي السياسي والنفطي مع صعود مرحلة ولي العهد الجديد فهد بن عبد العزيز، وصارت إطاحة نيكسون وكيسنجر طريقا لمواجهة جديدة، ترجمت في أفغانستان وكامب ديفيد وتخطيط حرب الأخوان المسلمين وتفجير الحرب في لبنان بوجه سورية، تمهيداً لغزو «إسرائيل» الذي تم تباعاً في العام 1978 ثم في العام 1982. وكان محور اللعبة التي تديرها المخابرات ما عرف لاحقاً بالحقبة السعودية التي آن الأوان لها أن تبدأ، وما يبدو اليوم من مؤشرات مرافقة للصراع بين المخابرات والرئاسة يبدو معكوساً لجهة اليقين بأن الحقبة السعودية آن لها أن تنتهي، وأن الخط التراجعي في الحروب التي خاضتها واشنطن، وما ينتج عنه من تقدم في مكانة روسيا دوليا وتعزيز مكانة إيران إقليمياً، بات فوق قدرة الحليفين اللذين تبقيا لواشنطن في المنطقة، إسرائيل العاجزة والمردوعة والسعودية المتآكلة والتي تغرق في الفشل، وقد عجزت عن تحقيق تعهدها بضمان الشريك الفلسطيني في صفقة القرن.

– في الزمن المتبقي من ولاية الرئيس ترامب يبدو الصراع مفتوحاً، تحت عنوان رسم الاستراتيجية الجديدة، بعد سقوط صفقة القرن، وتعافي سورية وتعاظم مكانة روسيا وصمود إيران، ويبدو ترامب الباحث عن تسويات منتصف الطريق كوقف الحرب في اليمن ساعياً للتخفف من الأعباء وهو يدرك أنه وهو يقول بأن التمسك بالحكم السعودي شرط لخوض المواجهة مع إيران أن إيران هي الرابح الأول من وقف حرب اليمن، كما يدرك وهو يقول إن السعودية ضمان لعدم ترحيل «إسرائيل»، أن وقف حرب اليمن يزيد قوة محور المقاومة صاحب مشروع الترحيل، بينما تدرك المخابرات أن تعديل المكانة السعودية وتقاسم ما تمثله سياسياً واقتصادياً مع شركاء جدد منهم روسيا وتركيا وإيران، يستدعي تخريب مساعي ترامب لتسويات منتصف الطريق، فيتم التصعيد في أوكرانيا وسورية بإشارات مخابراتية متزامنة وواضحة.

– الأكيد أن الاعتراف بالحقائق التي بشر بها تقرير بايكر هاملتون قبل اثنتي عشرة سنة، يجمع في نهاية الطريق ترامب والمخابرات، لكنهما يفترقان حول من يدفع ثمن التسويات، فترامب يسعى لحماية السعودية من التحول إلى غنيمة العصر، وحماية القيادة الحاكمة في كيان الاحتلال والسعي الإسرائيلي للتصعيد، ويسعى للبحث عن تسويات منتصف الطريق في سورية والعراق ومع إيران وروسيا، بينما يبدو للمخابرات أن نهاية الزمن السعودي سيكون كافياً لروسيا وإيران وتركيا لصفقة قرن أخرى.

– في هذه المرحلة تطغى الفوضى السياسية والأمنية، ويعمّ ضياع الوكلاء والعملاء في معرفة أي التحالفات يقيمون وأي الخطابات يتبنّون، ويصير عدم الانشغال بتفاصيل الصراعات الجانبية بين حلفاء واشنطن، هو الأصل، شرط التفرغ لفرض الوقائع في الجغرافيا والوقائع السياسية الثابتة. فالمركب الذي يضم جماعة أميركا في المنطقة بلا ربان تائه، وهذه مناسبة لتثبيت الوقائع الجديدة التي كلفت من الدماء الكثير، أهم من تضييع الوقت بانتظار معرفة لمن ستكون الغلبة بين صفوف صناع القرار في واشنطن.

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THE GENOCIDAL WAR CRIMINAL AT THE HEART OF TWO 9/11S: ZIONIST JEW HENRY KISSINGER

by Jonathan Azaziah

Henry Kissinger doesn’t need any introduction. He’s a genocidal, psychopathic, sanguinary screwball who has taken baths in the innocent blood of many a nation, all while influencing global events from his perches at the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group and Rothschild-founded CFR. He wrote National Security Study Memorandum 200 that demanded the American regime utilize its various organs of soft power–including CIA front USAID–to pursue depopulation in several Brown and Black states of the Global South. He spearheaded the secret bombing of Laos. Commandeered the “decade of genocide” in Cambodia, from the air raids to the starvation and sanctions to the arming and backing of Pol Pot. Gave the green light to the Suharto coup regime to commit wanton murder in Eastern Timor. Supported–and some say even masterminded–the July 15th, 1974 Cypriot coup that would serve as the excuse for Turkey’s invasion, occupation and subsequent division of Cyprus, where ‘Israelis’ now own some 15% of the north’s real estate.

Literally cheered on the Dirty War in Argentina which saw dictator Jorge Videla slaughtering anyone representative of an Anti-Imperialist current. Expanded the American alliance with Saudi Arabia and bailed the ‘Israeli’ enemy out with massive arms shipments to turn the tide of the Tishreen War. Above and beyond that, he protected the criminal ‘Israeli’ nuclear program, increased aid to the Zio-Tumor to $2.2 billion and advocated openly and bluntly for the Zionist war on Iraq. Vietnam, Mozambique, Angola, Bangladesh and many more were also scarred by his violence. What stands out most of all though is his deep involvement in two 9/11s: Chile’s and America’s.

On September 11th, 1973, a travesty of humanity unfolded at La Moneda Palace in the Chilean capital of Santiago. A gang of putschists led by General Augusto Pinochet bombarded the presidential headquarters of democratically elected Salvador Allende and proceeded to take over the country. The coup was assisted by the CIA, the DIA and none other than Henry Kissinger, who had been meddling in Chile’s affairs from the very moment that Allende was chosen for office on September 4th, 1970 and was actively laying the foundation to topple him–starting with his  coordination with CIA operatives to assassinate General René Schneider Chereau, the supreme commander of Chile’s armed forces that refused to block Allende’s ascendancy to the presidency.

The national-socialist Santiago native would prove to be a major thorn in the US ZOG’s side as he had nationalized Chile’s lucrative copper mining industry as well as its banking system and began providing free health care, free education and free housing to the Chilean poor. He went to war with Chile’s old colonialist elites and began taking back land confiscated from the Mapuche Indigenous people. Free school meals and an obligatory minimum wage were established. He began constructing a subway throughout Santiago. Like Fidel Castro before him and Hugo Chavez after him, he also waged a fierce campaign against illiteracy and effectively stomped it out. Inflation was dropping while workers’ wages, better living conditions for the poor and lower-middle class and national profits were increasing. Chile was on the verge of becoming a better place in every sense. But Kissinger wasn’t having any of it and moved Pinochet into action on that terrible September day.

The repression that followed was unconscionable. Allende would shoot himself with an AK-47 to escape torture at the hands of the new coup regime. Tens of thousands of innocents would be brutalized, murdered and disappeared under Pinochet’s US-backed dictatorial rule, including national treasures and revolutionary artists like guitarist Victor Jara and poet Pablo Neruda. 40,018 is the official casualty count, including 3,065 killed, but it could very well be higher. The Chilean despot would become the linchpin of the CIA’s Operation Condor, in which tyrants across South America were given carte blanche to do as they wished under the guise of “fighting communism”.

But it wasn’t about rightists vs. leftists in the slightest. It was about collaborationists vs. resistors. Weapons, training, advisors and cash from the CIA’s Black Budget were rolled out in wheelbarrows to crush Anti-Imperialist, Anti-Zionist sentiments. Guess who The Company’s point man was inside the White House? Kissinger, who, due to his close ties with Pinochet, Videla and other monsters, was even said to be dictating to the spooks on Condor and not the other way around. He vigorously pursued a “strategy of destabilization, kidnap and assassination” like it was a personal vendetta, unbeknownst even to his own staff. Needless to say, Chile has never really recovered from this barbaric Kissinger-led intervention.

Jump 28 years into the future on that very same day, September 11th, 2001, an ‘Israeli’ false flag from shekels to stolen knafeh occurred,and we find Kissinger right in the heart of the bloodshed yet again. He was initially chosen to be the 9/11 Commission chief but because of his role in a plethora of US ZOG coverups, including the Chilean 9/11, outside pressure forced him to resign. He was replaced with Zionist Jew Philip Zelikow, who proved to be rather Kissengerian in his whitewashing and burying of what actually took place in New York City and DC on the day of. Kissinger became pivotal elsewhere and moved the goal posts of the JNWO agenda on a different front through his position as the top consultant for UNOCAL, the oil giant that sought to build pipelines in Afghanistan under the watchful eye of Mossad agent and Kissinger friend Yosef A. Maiman’s Merhav Group, the architect of the TAPI project and many mineral extraction endeavors in and around the region. Kissinger’s connection and cooperation with an ‘Israeli’ death squad katsa once again displays how much Zionism and Jewishness influence his politics, criticisms from his overzealous coreligionists aside. As the war criminal himself said, “How can I, as a Jew who [allegedly; not really] lost 13 relatives in the ‘Holocaust’ (read: Holocrock), do anything that would betray ‘Israel’?”

The nexus with Maiman is of supreme significance because the Afghani state had been bleeding for over two decades at this point largely because of… No, this isn’t a difficult guess… KISSINGER. And not through traditional channels either. While most analysts rightly speak of the preeminent role of the American regime in Operation Cyclone, along with Pakistan, ‘Israel’, Saudi Arabia, Britain’s MI6 and even China, the regime that got the ball rolling and served alongside Islamabad as the central conduit for US-‘Israeli’ support for the fake moujahideen who would morph into Al-Qaeda and later, the Taliban, was the Shah’s Iran.

It was Kissinger who turned the decadent and destructive sociopath known as Pahlavi the Puke into a regional powerhouse (read: regional lapdog for all of the Washington ZOG’s designs) by giving him unconditional approval and inking mega-sized arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars. Everything from warships to tanks, fighter jets to hovercraft, missiles to helicopters to advanced weapons systems wound up in the Shah’s arsenal with Kissinger’s rubber stamp. Heinous Henry also dramatically upped the support to SAVAK, Pahlavi’s torturous, repressive intelligence apparatus set up by Mossad, CIA and MI6 two decades prior, and it is here everything comes full circle back to Afghanistan. Empowered by Kissinger, the Shah tried to buy influence in Kabul to push back against Soviet influence.

When that failed, SAVAK worked side-by-side with the CIA and the ISI to stage multiple coup attempts and rebellions before shifting towards slipping Takfiri terrorists across the Iranian and Pakistani borders to engage in 4th Generation Warfare. Like Mossad founder Isser Harel laying the intelligence groundwork that would bring down the World Trade Center, Horrific Henry was using SAVAK like a carving knife to pioneer the foreign policy groundwork that would serve as the pretext post-Towers-collapse. A testament to his irreconcilable malevolence. When Imam Khomeini’s (R.A.) Islamic Revolution toppled Pahlavi in ’79–much to Kissinger’s “oy veying” dismay–this disastrous policy hurting Afghanis, Pakistanis and Iranians too finally died. A last note should be made that it was Kissinger who worked day and night to get the Shah out of Iran as Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah (R.A.) and the Nation of Tears began to uproot the Zio-Dajjalic system built up so strategically brick by brick. Horrendous Henry also spoke proudly of his liking of the Imposed War launched by Saddam Hussein with full US-Zionist-Saudi assistance. Like a vampire suffering from blood withdrawals placed inside a heroin-house, he just couldn’t help himself.

The domineering role of Henry the Hog in the ouster of Allende and the bolstering of Pinochet has been well-known for some time. His involvement in the most murderous terrorist attack on American soil though, particularly in light of the greater Jewish-Zionist criminal network that perpetrated this atrocity… Both past and present… Not so much. This ends now. Next time anyone one brings up Hideous Heinz’s involvement in Chile’s 9/11, make sure to remind them that America’s 9/11 was a Zionist job and he was very much a part of it. And vice versa.

Kissinger the Killmonger counted the likes of Jewish supremacist goons Shimon Peres (L.A.) and Golda Meir (L.A.) among his pals. Soon, he will join them in Jahannam. And all that blood he’s spent the last 5 decades drinking–both metaphorically and not-so-metaphorically–won’t save him from Divine Justice. Chileans, New Yorkers and all the Arabs and Muslims affected by what Heartless Henry and his tribalist cohorts did on 9/11/01 await that day with bated breath. Until then, we will expose his genocide enthusiasm, Jewish supremacism, out-and-out anti-Global-South racism and sick love of war with precision and mercilessness. He infamously said, “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.” Considering all of the above however, the only animal here… And a rabid, rapacious one at that… Is him. Clearly.

 

Kissinger “In 10 Years No More Israel”

Published on Oct 1, 2012

‘Resistance’ runs amok in the US Deep Throat War

‘Resistance’ runs amok in the US Deep Throat War

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author)

Bob Woodward’s book and the ‘resistance’ op-ed look increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops scheme and a prelude for a ‘Deep State’ coup

We now live in a psy-ops world. The latest Deep Throat War in Washington bears all the elements of an epic of the genre. Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward, who remains an associate editor at the Washington Post, will be released next week, on the 17th anniversary of 9/11.

This, in turn, will divert attention from the fact that the former, Bush era-coined Global War on Terror has metastasized into an all-American Rebels With A Cause special, featuring support for the “moderate rebels” al-Qaeda in Syria, former Jabhat al-Nusra, now Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

In the wake of Fear, a Deep Throat surged out of nowhere in the form of an anonymous Op-Ed in the New York Times, which spilled the beans on Trumpian chaos in the White House.

Post-modern cynics were left wondering if this one-two walks and talks like a tie-in, it must be a tie-in. The Washington Post is the property of multi-billionaire Jeff “Amazon” Bezos and it has been on a permanent collision course with President Donald Trump.

And yet the Post may be seething now because Deep Throat, this time around, actually helped the competition. Adding insult to injury, the Times timed the release of its bombshell Op-Ed for the day after the Post’s strategic “leak” of Woodward’s book.

The heart of the matter is that the possible tie-in plays to the simple premise – extolling the role of a small “resistance” or the good guys. They are driven to protect “our values” and “our institutions” from dangerously chaotic Trump.

Post-truth cynics also cannot help being reminded of the historical precedence of a 1970s “resistance” – at the Nixon White House – who leaked to the press that “Tricky Dick” was out of control and was kept in check by true American patriots.

The current Deep Throat War is more like the case of a fractioned Deep State out for revenge on Trump via its media arm. The one-two tie-in – Woodward’s book and the “resistance” Op-Ed – looks increasingly like a sophisticated psy-ops – a prelude for a Deep State white coup.

All those creatures in the swampland

At the heart of the “resistance” is Russia. Trump, who was egged on by the divide-and-rule personal advice from Henry Kissinger since before the inauguration, essentially wants better relations with Russia to try to detach Moscow from the strategic partnership with Beijing.

Virtually everyone surrounding the president, not to mention most Deep State factions, are opposed to this.

And this brings me back to the “gutless”  Op-Ed, according to the Trump administration, by a “senior official,” according to the Times. It argued that  Trump was always against moves to counter proverbial Russian aggression before he finally acquiesced.

Now, compare it with Republicans on Capitol Hill, who forced the White House to impose even stronger sanctions on Russia. And yet they do not label themselves as “resistance.”

The anonymous “resistance” warrior has to be put in context with Trump’s basic instinct of trying, at least, to put together an Art of the Deal dialogue with North Korea and Russia.

This is seen by the mainstream media as a “preference for autocrats and dictators,” such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, over America’s “allied, like-minded nations.” Again, this sounds like something straight from the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The arcane rules in Washington determine that whistleblowing should proceed only via two authorized forms. This involves a leak, as in Mark Felt, the original Deep Throat, to the Post, or leaking official documents, as in Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

Digital smuggling, as in the Edward Snowden case, or receiving digital files from insiders, as in Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, is strictly off-limits.

The “resistance” bears no documents. Instead, the “resistance” warrior tries to make the case that Trump is not running the show as the real protagonists are anonymous functionaries who can be equally praised as “patriots,” according to the Times, or derided as “traitors,” or “TREASON?” as Trump tweeted.

Curiously enough, the site MyBookie lists the odds for the US president charging the “resistance” warrior with treason at 1-2, which is more likely than Trump being impeached by 2020 at 3-1.

Meanwhile, there is no debate whatsoever on the dire consequences of removing a sitting president – as alluded by the “resistance” warrior – because he’s unwilling to let US-Russia confrontation degenerate into a nuclear red alert.

It would be hard to dismiss the President when he says: “I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back.”

Relieving the golden age of journalism

Now, compare all these post-truth, psy-ops creatures in this new swampland with a swampland of years gone by, masterfully depicted by Seymour “Sy” Hersh in his latest book Reporter.

No-nonsense living legend Sy describes himself as “a survivor from the golden age of journalism.” He seems to marvel at the fact he is just a guy from the Midwest who “began his career as a copyboy for a small news agency that covered crime, fires and the courts there.”

Roughly 11 years later, he was “a freelance reporter in Washington working for a small antiwar news agency” and “sticking two fingers in the eyes of a sitting president” by revealing “a horrific American massacre and being rewarded for it.”

Now, that has the merit of recovering the true meaning of “resistance” by documenting the story of a war gone wrong.

Sy may not be an epic writer in the Norman Mailer mold or wallow in the onomatopoeia orgy of an innovative Tom Wolfe. He is more like a Chicago streetfighter, packing myriad punches as quotes, many of them from anonymous players cultivated for decades on the basis of mutual trust. All the while, he would layer them into a vivid story – not a shadowy hagiography.

In this “I did it, my way” journey, we do get a walking, talking tour of the golden age of journalism, complete with the terrific step-by-step thriller of how Sy unveiled the My Lai massacre.

Even after all the prizes and accolades for one of the greatest scoops of the 20th century, it is poignant to know Sy “still wanted a newspaper job.” He got it – first at a magazine, The New Yorker, and then finally at The New York Times, “where I wanted to be” and “where my reporting would have [an] immediate impact.”

Sy conveys the excitement of his first trip as an on-off foreign correspondent, now forced to convert his legwork skills into writing on deadline. He was off to North Vietnam, “money belt tucked away, via Bangkok and Vientiane, where I was to be met by a North Vietnamese official and put on one of the irregular flights from Laos to Hanoi.”

When finally hired by the Times as a staff writer, his career “began with a roar – at the Paris peace talks.”

Sy later wrote a series of front-page stories about the CIA’s heroin ratline, an essential part of the agency’s covert ops in Southeast Asia. The ratline was first reported in a book by Alfred McCoy, then a graduate student at Yale and now a history professor at the University of Wisconsin.

Sy ended up receiving the proverbial CIA “visit,” someone from “the Agency’s so-called dirty tricks bureau.” It didn’t matter that he had quoted “a former CIA officer with years of experience in Vietnam as saying that McCoy’s work was “10% tendentious and 90% of the most valuable contribution I can think of.”

For the CIA, Sy was running amok.

Kissinger: more relevant than Watergate

It is enlightening to know how he “kept the hell away from the Watergate story” – even though he played tennis with Woodward “as Watergate moved from scandal to impeachment.”

One reason had to do with the fact that, in the end, the Post relied entirely on a single source, Deep Throat, while Sy was journalism’s Muhammad Ali, packing quotes verbal punches.

Another, more worrying, is that the Times editorial heavyweights “had been assured by Kissinger that the Post was making a big mistake.” Kissinger said: “The Post would be embarrassed.”

Sy was more interested in “a secret world in Washington” – code for Deep State machinations. But then in one of his reports, he finally got the message when senior editors advised him to “run it by Henry [Kissinger]. Sy was incredulous: “Run it by Henry and Dick [Helms]? They were the architects of the idiocy and criminality I was desperate to write about.”

The criminality ran deep. It included the secret bombing of Cambodia and the CIA’s covert ops to destroy Salvador Allende’s government in Chile (in his confirmation testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kissinger produced at best a qualified lie: “The CIA had nothing to do with the coup, to the best of my knowledge and belief.”)

Sy also exposed Kissinger’s secret talks in early 1971 in Islamabad with Pakistani president Yahya Khan, then the one and only go-between to arrange Nixon’s visit to China in early 1972. Khan’s army had slaughtered as many as three million people to suppress the secession in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Yet Kissinger had to remain mute to protect his prized messenger to Mao.

Chapter 14 of Reporter, titled Me and Henry, also details Kissinger “wiretapping friend and foe – especially his foes – in the bureaucracy.” Sy went all-out for what he qualifies as Kissinger’s “immorality and deceit” – at a time when he kept absolute control over US foreign policy. Kissinger “escaped any possible sanction” for his wiretapping with the threat that he would resign unless the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing canceled what he called a stain in his “public honor.”

The Price of Power, Sy’s book on Kissinger, published in 1983, ended up reconstructing in excruciating detail fours years of US foreign policy. It remains a must read. Kissinger’s reaction: “I haven’t read the book,” adding, “what you read is a slimy lie.”

The book on Cheney; bring it on

While Woodward over the years excelled as Washington prime hagiographer and court stenographer (now reconstructed as court smasher) Sy kept breaking major stories, few more devastating than torture in Abu Ghraib’s prison in Iraq in 2004. Sy painfully recognizes that Abu Ghraib did not change the course of the Iraq war, “just as the My Lai story had not ended the Vietnam War or its brutality.”

And the same applies to what really happened at the Obama administration’s killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. The Deep State prevailed; Sy could not possibly publish this story in the US. It came out in 2015 in the London Review of Books.

The game-changer was bound to be Sy’s work-in-progress magna opus on Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney. Unlike Woodward on Trump, Sy perfectly understands the problem posed by “many hundreds of interviews…none cited by name”: a “book full of secrets” with players “still involved inside the intelligence and military communities posed a high risk of legal action.”

So he went back to the bin Laden story, where he shows how Pakistani intel was betrayed by the Obama administration: “The possibility that two dozen Navy SEALS could escape observation and get to bin Laden without some help from the Pakistani military and intelligence communities was nil, but the White House press corps bought the story.”

It will take the last of the greats from “the golden age of journalism” to write the definitive account of the Cheney regime – who reduced the entire White House press corps to mere puppets. This enterprise would convey what Fearis really about, not a fuzzy hatchet job taking sides in a still in progress establishment civil war.

In parallel, in the truth-is-fiction neo-Matrix world, “inconvenient” presidents are axed. In House of Cards, Frank Underwood is dead
– as decreed by the Netflix God.

So the stage will soon be set for House of Trump. Much to the chagrin of the “resistance.” Kevin Spacey might even get his old job back.

 

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 30.08.2018

Back in the (Great) Game: The Revenge of Eurasian Land Powers

Pepe ESCOBAR

Get ready for a major geopolitical chessboard rumble: from now on, every butterfly fluttering its wings and setting off a tornado directly connects to the battle between Eurasia integration and Western sanctions as foreign policy.

It is the paradigm shift of China’s New Silk Roads versus America’s Our Way or the Highway. We used to be under the illusion that history had ended. How did it come to this?

Hop in for some essential time travel. For centuries the Ancient Silk Road, run by mobile nomads, established the competitiveness standard for land-based trade connectivity; a web of trade routes linking Eurasia to the – dominant – Chinese market.

In the early 15th century, based on the tributary system, China had already established a Maritime Silk Road along the Indian Ocean all the way to the east coast of Africa, led by the legendary Admiral Zheng He. Yet it didn’t take much for imperial Beijing to conclude that China was self-sufficient enough – and that emphasis should be placed on land-based operations.

Deprived of a trade connection via a land corridor between Europe and China, Europeans went all-out for their own maritime silk roads. We are all familiar with the spectacular result: half a millennium of Western dominance.

Until quite recently the latest chapters of this Brave New World were conceptualized by the Mahan, Mackinder and Spykman trio.

The Heartland of the World

Mackinder

Halford Mackinder’s 1904 Heartland Theory – a product of the imperial Russia-Britain New Great Game – codified the supreme Anglo, and then Anglo-American, fear of a new emerging land power able to reconnect Eurasia to the detriment of maritime powers.

Nicholas Spykman’s 1942 Rimland Theory advocated that mobile maritime powers, such as the UK and the U.S., should aim for strategic offshore balancing. The key was to control the maritime edges of Eurasia—that is, Western Europe, the Middle East and East Asia—against any possible Eurasia unifier. When you don’t need to maintain a large Eurasia land-based army, you exercise control by dominating trade routes along the Eurasian periphery.

Even before Mackinder and Spykman, U.S. Navy Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan had come up in the 1890s with his Influence of Sea Power Upon History – whereby the “island” U.S. should establish itself as a seaworthy giant, modeled on the British empire, to maintain a balance of power in Europe and Asia.

It was all about containing the maritime edges of Eurasia.

In fact, we lived in a mix of Heartland and Rimland. In 1952, then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles adopted the concept of an “island chain” (then expanded to three chains) alongside Japan, Australia and the Philippines to encircle and contain both China and the USSR in the Pacific. (Note the Trump administration’s attempt at revival via the Quad–U.S., Japan, Australia and India).

George Kennan, the architect of containing the USSR, was drunk on Spykman, while, in a parallel track, as late as 1988, President Ronald Reagan’s speechwriters were still drunk on Mackinder. Referring to U.S. competitors as having a shot at dominating the Eurasian landmass, Reagan gave away the plot: “We fought two world wars to prevent this from occurring,” he said.

Eurasia integration and connectivity is taking on many forms. The China-driven New Silk Roads, also known as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU); the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), and myriad other mechanisms, are now leading us to a whole new game.

How delightful that the very concept of Eurasian “connectivity” actually comes from a 2007 World Bank report about competitiveness in global supply chains.

Also delightful is how the late Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski was “inspired” by Mackinder after the fall of the USSR – advocating the partition of a then weak Russia into three separate regions; European, Siberian and Far Eastern.

All Nodes Covered

At the height of the unipolar moment, history did seem to have “ended.” Both the western and eastern peripheries of Eurasia were under tight Western control – in Germany and Japan, the two critical nodes in Europe and East Asia. There was also that extra node in the southern periphery of Eurasia, namely the energy-wealthy Middle East.

Washington had encouraged the development of a multilateral European Union that might eventually rival the U.S. in some tech domains, but most of all would enable the U.S. to contain Russia by proxy.

China was only a delocalized, low-cost manufacture base for the expansion of Western capitalism. Japan was not only for all practical purposes still occupied, but also instrumentalized via the Asian Development Bank (ADB), whose message was:

We fund your projects only if you are politically correct.

The primary aim, once again, was to prevent any possible convergence of European and East Asian powers as rivals to the US.

The confluence between communism and the Cold War had been essential to prevent Eurasia integration. Washington configured a sort of benign tributary system – borrowing from imperial China – designed to ensure perpetual unipolarity. It was duly maintained by a formidable military, diplomatic, economic, and covert apparatus, with a star role for the Chalmers Johnson-defined Empire of Bases encircling, containing and dominating Eurasia.

Compare this recent idyllic past with Brzezinski’s – and Henry Kissinger’s – worst nightmare: what could be defined today as the “revenge of history”.

That features the Russia-China strategic partnership, from energy to trade:  interpolating Russia-China geo-economics; the concerted drive to bypass the U.S. dollar; the AIIB and the BRICS’s New Development Bank involved in infrastructure financing; the tech upgrade inbuilt in Made in China 2025; the push towards an alternative banking clearance mechanism (a new SWIFT); massive stockpiling of gold reserves; and the expanded politico-economic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

As Glenn Diesen formulates in his brilliant book, Russia’s Geo-economic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia, “the foundations of an Eurasian core can create a gravitational pull to draw the rimland towards the centre.”

If the complex, long-term, multi-vector process of Eurasia integration could be resumed by just one formula, it would be something like this: the heartland progressively integrating; the rimlands mired in myriad battlefields and the power of the hegemon irretrievably dissolving. Mahan, Mackinder and Spykman to the rescue? It’s not enough.

Divide and Rule, Revisited

The Oracle still speaks

The same applies for the preeminent post-mod Delphic Oracle, also known as Henry Kissinger, simultaneously adorned by hagiography gold and despised as a war criminal.

Before the Trump inauguration, there was much debate in Washington about how Kissinger might engineer – for Trump – a “pivot to Russia” that he had envisioned 45 years ago. This is how I framed the shadow play at the time.

In the end, it’s always about variations of Divide and Rule – as in splitting Russia from China and vice-versa. In theory, Kissinger advised Trump to “rebalance” towards Russia to oppose the irresistible Chinese ascension. It won’t happen, not only because of the strength of the Russia-China strategic partnership, but because across the Beltway, neocons and humanitarian imperialists ganged up to veto it.

Brzezinski’s perpetual Cold War mindset still lords over a fuzzy mix of the Wolfowitz Doctrine and the Clash of Civilizations. The Russophobic Wolfowitz Doctrine – still fully classified – is code for Russia as the perennial top existential threat to the U.S. The Clash, for its part, codifies another variant of Cold War 2.0: East (as in China) vs. West.

Kissinger is trying some rebalancing/hedging himself, noting that the mistake the West (and NATO) is making “is to think that there is a sort of historic evolution that will march across Eurasia – and not to understand that somewhere on that march it will encounter something very different to a Westphalian entity.”

Both Eurasianist Russia and civilization-state China are already on post-Westphalian mode. The redesign goes deep. It includes a key treaty signed in 2001, only a few weeks before 9/11, stressing that both nations renounce any territorial designs on one another’s territory. This happens to concern, crucially, the Primorsky Territory in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, which was ruled by the Ming and Qing empires.

Moreover, Russia and China commit never to do deals with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

So much for turning Russia against China. Instead, what will develop 24/7 are variations of U.S. military and economic containment against Russia, China and Iran – the key nodes of Eurasia integration – in a geo-strategic spectrum. It will include intersections of heartland and rimland across Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan and the South China Sea. That will proceed in parallel to the Fed weaponizing the U.S. dollar at will.

Heraclitus Defies Voltaire

Voltaire

Alastair Crooke took a great shot at deconstructing why Western global elites are terrified of the Russian conceptualization of Eurasia. It’s because “they ‘scent’…a stealth reversion to the old, pre-Socratic values: for the Ancients … the very notion of ‘man’, in that way, did not exist. There were only men: Greeks, Romans, barbarians, Syrians, and so on. This stands in obvious opposition to universal, cosmopolitan ‘man’.”

So it’s Heraclitus versus Voltaire – even as “humanism” as we inherited it from the Enlightenment, is de facto over. Whatever is left roaming our wilderness of mirrors depends on the irascible mood swings of the Goddess of the Market. No wonder one of the side effects of progressive Eurasia integration will be not only a death blow to Bretton Woods but also to “democratic” neoliberalism.

What we have now is also a remastered version of sea power versus land powers. Relentless Russophobia is paired with supreme fear of a Russia-Germany rapprochement – as Bismarck wanted, and as Putin and Merkel recently hinted at. The supreme nightmare for the U.S. is in fact a truly Eurasian Beijing-Berlin-Moscow partnership.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has not even begun; according to the official Beijing timetable, we’re still in the planning phase. Implementation starts next year. The horizon is 2039.

(Wellcome Library, London.) 

This is China playing a long-distance game of go on steroids, incrementally making the best strategic decisions (allowing for margins of error, of course) to render the opponent powerless as he does not even realize he is under attack.

The New Silk Roads were launched by Xi Jinping five years ago, in Astana (the Silk Road Economic Belt) and Jakarta (the Maritime Silk Road). It took Washington almost half a decade to come up with a response. And that amounts to an avalanche of sanctions and tariffs. Not good enough.

Russia for its part was forced to publicly announce a show of mesmerizing weaponry to dissuade the proverbial War Party adventurers probably for good – while heralding Moscow’s role as co-driver of a brand new game.

On sprawling, superimposed levels, the Russia-China partnership is on a roll; recent examples include summits in Singapore, Astana and St. Petersburg; the SCO summit in Qingdao; and the BRICS Plus summit.

Were the European peninsula of Asia to fully integrate before mid-century – via high-speed rail, fiber optics, pipelines – into the heart of massive, sprawling Eurasia, it’s game over. No wonder Exceptionalistan elites are starting to get the feeling of a silk rope drawn ever so softly, squeezing their gentle throats.

consortiumnews.com

Bullying Cuba

Bullying Cuba

BRIAN CLOUGHLEY | 24.12.2017 | OPINION

Bullying Cuba

As has been confirmed by Trump’s reaction to the condemnation of his administration by the United Nations, the US president is a malevolent, insolent, arrogant, sabre-brandishing bully with all the refinement, grace and style of a sacksful of wet fishtails. His policy towards Cuba is well in line with his overall attitude of intimidation, but his specifically anti-Cuba obsession is nothing new in Washington.

It was the great American song satirist, Tom Lehrer, who suggested that “political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize” in 1973, and there are few who would disagree with him. He was referring to US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (now aged 94), who, among other evil excesses, ordered the illegal bombing of Cambodia in 1969-73 that killed countless civilians, so Lehrer was being lenient to a man who will go down in history as a duplicitous barbarian.

In 2014 it was revealed that in 1976 Kissinger told President Ford “I think sooner or later we are going to have to crack the Cubans” and “I think we have to humiliate them.” He went further by saying “I think we are going to have to smash Castro,” because the Cuban leader was not doing the bidding of the United States. Ford agreed, but lost the next election, and a measure of sanity prevailed after Jimmy Carter took over. Cuba’s leader wasn’t going to be assassinated, nor his people humiliated, but the campaign of hatred continued.

Cuba has been targeted by Washington ever since Fidel Castro toppled the CIA-supported, Mafia-loving dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. The New York Times observed that “it was Mr. Castro’s obsession with the United States, and America’s obsession with him, that shaped his rule. After he embraced Communism, Washington portrayed him as a devil and a tyrant and repeatedly tried to remove him from power through an ill-fated invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, an economic embargo that has lasted decades, assassination plots, and even bizarre plans to undercut his prestige by making his beard fall out.”

Castro was hardly a saint. He ruled ruthlessly and murdered many of his opponents. But such behaviour by other dictators around the world has not, over the years, necessarily caused the United States to attempt their assassination or try to invade their countries. In 2007 the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that the CIA had conspired with a Chicago gangster described as “the chieftain of the Cosa Nostra and the successor to Al Capone” in an attempt to assassinate Castro. According to CIA documents, “because of its extreme sensitivity, only a small group was made privy to the project. The DCI [Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles] was briefed and gave his approval.”

Henry Kissinger was responsible for the deaths in hellish circumstances of very many more people than Fidel Castro, and “advised Mr Trump on foreign policy matters” for years because, as Trump declared after a meeting with him in May 2017, “Henry Kissinger has been a friend of mine, I’ve liked him. I’ve respected him. But we’ve been friends for a long time, long before my emergence into the world of politics, which has not been too long.”

Kissinger with Trump in the White House, May 2017

So one wonders if Kissinger advised Trump on his confrontational policy regarding Cuba, although, of course, Trump’s vindictive viciousness could be simply part of his fixation on destroying everything achieved by President Obama, about whom he appears to be paranoid.

Fidel Castro once commented that “for such a small country as Cuba to have such a gigantic country as the United States live so obsessed with this island is an honour for us,” but three years ago Obama tried to bring a bit of sanity to the absurd farce that had been playing for over half a century. As the New York Times reported, “in December 2014, President Obama used his executive powers to dial down the decades of antagonism between Washington and Havana by moving to exchange prisoners and normalize diplomatic relations between the two countries, a deal worked out with the help of Pope Francis and after 18 months of secret talks between representatives of both governments.”

That was a sensible, compassionate and civilised approach, especially as the eyes of the world were continually being drawn to the modern-day Concentration Camp established by the United States in the colonial-style enclave it maintains at Guantanamo Bay in that long-suffering island. In that camp there are illegally-detained captives who have no recourse to the process of law, and are denied fundamental human rights. Their suffering is beyond any that can be legally or morally meted out to any prisoner, anywhere. They have not been charged with crimes under US or international law, and have no right to speak in their defence in a public forum. It was the British who invented Concentration Camps (for Boers and Blacks — separated, of course — in South Africa in 1900) and the Nazis who perfected them in 1933-45. But the Land of the Free has brought them to a greater pitch of refinement.

A BBC report about detention and eventual release of three British nationals noted that “They had been captured in Afghanistan, suspected of links to the Taleban, and were taken to the US camp in Cuba. The three told UK newspapers they were often beaten by US troops . . . they were wrongly identified by the Americans as having been pictured in a video tape of a meeting in Afghanistan between Osama bin Laden and the leader of the 11 September hijackers Mohamed Atta.” So they were released — after years of hellish abuse.

“. . . they had their heads shaved, body cavities searched, were dressed in orange overalls, given goggles and earmuffs, and chained . . .” — BBC

At Guantanamo, as concluded by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession, the medical people, including doctors, who were employed by the military and the CIA “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees.”

This appealed to Trump who made his position absolutely clear during his campaign for the presidency when he said “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works.” And the Washington Post pointed out that even before his presidency “he viewed the prison at Guantanamo Bay as an emblem of tough treatment of criminals. Americans who travelled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State should be sent to the prison ‘for some R&R,’ he tweeted multiple times in 2014.” Trump refers to the prison camp as ‘Gitmo’ and last year was adamant that “We’re not closing Gitmo. We’re going to fill it up! We’re not closing Gitmo.”

At that time, Cuba was being opened up to Americans by Obama’s sensible approach, encouraging trade, tourism and general rapprochement, and at the time of Castro’s death Obama said that “during my presidency, we have worked hard to put the past behind us, pursuing a future in which the relationship between our two countries is defined not by our differences but by the many things that we share as neighbours and friends.” This was an encouraging step forward.

And now Washington is leaping backwards, with Trump echoing Kissinger’s lip-smacking “I think we have to humiliate them” and declaring in June that “Effective immediately, I am cancelling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba . . . We do not want US dollars to prop up a military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba.”

One Cuban citizen, Idania del Rio, who with friends watched the Trump speech on television in Havana, told Reuters that “It’s like we are returning to the Cold War,” which conclusively summed up the White House attitude to Cuba — and many other aspects of Trump’s chaotic foreign policy. But as the UK’s Independent newspaper notes, “Cuba’s main trading partner is still China, but it is once again strengthening economic links with Russia,” which is a sensible approach by the Havana government which can choose its friends, just as Trump so energetically selects his enemies. Bullying Cuba is entirely counter-productive for Washington, and it will eventually learn the costs of arrogant confrontation, there and elsewhere in the world.

The death of Kissinger’s Shuttle Diplomacy: the Jerusalem factor

December 07, 2017

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

No man has possibly served the American Empire as much as Henry Kissinger did, and with all the literature, including screenplays, that have been written about him and his “shuttle diplomacy”, none probably described his biggest ever performance than Patrick Seale in his book “Asad”. After all, even though Kissinger is always remembered as the diplomat who has negotiated terms of settlement with the Vietcong, the Vietnam war was a fait accompli long before the negotiations took off, and if anything, his role was that of damage-control and face-saving; no more, no less.

Kissinger’s true, and perhaps only, major success story was his shuttle diplomacy that paved the way for the historic, albeit infamous, Camp David Agreement between Egypt and Israel.

Before Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy, a term and modus operandi he initiated, all indirect contacts between Arabs and Israelis were done via the UN and its multitude of organizations, and any would-be peace talks, were done via the USA and the USSR. Even the post Yom Kippur War peace deal that Kissinger himself was meant to broker between the Arabs and Israel, was also meant to involve the Soviets as equal partners to America in the negotiation process. But Kissinger managed to convince Sadat that he can negotiate a better deal for him directly with Israel, and without having to involve Egypt’s war time partner, Syria.

The rest is history, and since then, and technically until the 28th of September 2015, the Soviet/Russian presence in the Levant was reduced to a naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartous. This statement is not to undermine the huge effect of more recent Russian UNSC vetoes since the “War on Syria” started between 2011 and 2015, but effectively, the Russian presence took a turn when Russia engaged itself militarily in attacking terror organizations on Syrian soil on the 28th of September 2015.

In between Kissinger’s shuttle diplomacy triumph and the 28th of September 2015, emboldened by the New World Order single super power status, America reigned in the Levant single-handedly as the only power on the ground.

According to Kissinger’s achievements, some of which were put into American foreign policy law, ensuring the security of Israel became an American undertaking and all of the so-called peace negotiations, including those of Oslo, were only intended to ensure the security of Israel and to maintain the power balance grossly in its favour.

Driven by arrogance and self-grandeur, America did not foresee that it should have used the time it had at the top in order to twist the arm of Israel to coerce it to accept a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians. And every time the Palestinians were prepared to let go of more rights, Israel demanded more privileges. Not only did this inadvertently lead to the formation of Hamas, but even the very pliable and malleable PLO remained unable to reach a peace agreement, despite the large number of huge concessions it gave the Israeli side.

America has had a golden opportunity and ample time to negotiate an Arab/Israeli peace deal. No peace deal at all would keep all parties fully satisfied; especially the hardliners on both sides. That said, with the right intentions, America could have brokered an agreement that pleased a workable majority on both sides of the divide. However, in dealing with the crisis, America did not give Palestinian rights in specific, and Arab/Muslim rights in general, any consideration at all.

This is why all peace talks that followed the era of Kissinger all the way till the end of the days of John Kerry have failed; they were predestined to either fail, or to coerce Palestinians and the rest of Arabs to accept the unacceptable.

At the height of their arrogance, the Americans and Israelis never ever thought that a time will come during which they will lose the upper hand. They never even considered that a time will come during which the balance of power they thought they have set in stone was going to shift, let alone change.

Later on, as the “War on Syria” was waged, the “Anti-Syrian Cocktail” with all of its diverse elements and members; including the USA and Israel, were certain of an easy and prompt victory and the capitulation of the axis of resistance.

The irony is that despite failures to topple Assad, occupy Lebanon or even subdue the besieged and overwhelmed Gaza Strip, the American/Israeli arrogance remained steadfast in its efforts of self-destruction. Self-destruction, because without victories, without being able to enforce political settlements, and without any hopes or enforceable plans to twist events around to its advantage, the American/Israeli axis, make that the American/Israeli/Saudi axis, seemed to be steering itself from the leading role to that of irrelevance.

Whether the fruit of Kissinger’s “shuttle diplomacy” was the love-child of the petro-dollar or the other way around, is a matter akin to what comes first, the chicken or the egg. The two went hand-in-hand, and unabated for a few decades; but the momentum has been lost and the Camp David Agreement zenith cannot be repeated; even on a smaller scale.

But the petro-dollar is also losing its breath. The rise of the joint Russian-Chinese might in particular, and BRICS more generally, is certainly putting the noose around the neck of the Greenback. The American trade deficits compounded with the massive physical gold reserves that the Russians and Chinese in particular are accumulating will soon make the petro-dollar look like “Monopoly” money. Even Saudi Arabia, America’s partner in the petro-dollar fiasco, has recently showed interest in trading with China with gold-backed Yuan.

It is as if the house of cards is tumbling down as what underpins its foundations, one by one, is crumbling.

From the Arab side, Saudi Arabia and its GCC remain within the American camp, and increasingly less covertly, on the Israeli side. GCC state officials have had several meetings with Israeli counterparts over the years, and of late, GCC officials have been making statements declaring that Israel is not an enemy. It is as if they are conditioning Arabs to listen to this rhetoric, clearly with the ultimate objective of normalizing relationships with Israel; something that the Arab street continues to refuse to accept, even in Egypt and Jordan despite their peace treaties with Israel and exchange of diplomatic representation.

In every step of the way however, the American Empire is losing not only its grip on reality, but also that of stature. And in every step of the way, America is putting its regional allies in the Middle East in more tenuous and even embarrassing situations.

Even Erdogan, the great enemy of secular Syria and one who has promised to go into Damascus, triumphant, to pray in the great Omayyad Mosque after the fall Assad, a supposed American ally who continues to be, thus far, a NATO member, finds himself and his national interests closer to Russia than to America. The Turkish-American schism started when the Obama administration did not listen to Erdogan’s ultimatum to choose between supporting Turkey or the Kurds.

Enter the Trump factor.

For better or for worse, and leaving the rest of the world aside if we can, Trump is hastening the process of making America irrelevant in the Middle East.

By moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, many reactions have followed.

Condemnations came from right across the globe, not only from the Arab and Muslim Worlds. Even EU leaders like the French President and German FM have had their say voicing their shock and disappointment.

To “outsiders”, the reaction of Muslims and Palestinians may seem like an over-kill. Some cynics and critics are wondering about the significance of a tokenistic move by America vis-à-vis the bigger reality of occupation on the ground. Such voices are saying that Trump’s decision did not effectively change anything at all. Others may see the wave of rejection as an irrational Muslim upheaval that will eventually run out of steam. But the bottom line is that with Trump’s decision, America has moved itself further away from the few Arab and Muslim supporters it has left in the Middle East.

To say that this move has pushed America closer towards irrelevance would be an under-rated statement. By agreeing to relocate the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Donald Trump has sealed and dusted that deal that makes America totally irrelevant in the Middle East.

Even the Saudis, the staunch supporters of America and only vocal Arab supporters left, are too embarrassed to back Trump on his decision. So, in effect, with his decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, Trump has galvanized rivaling Muslim factions and groups into a united voice on the single issue of Jerusalem. Even Saudi Arabia and Iran will not openly disagree with each other on this issue. Erdogan pre-warned Trump and referred to Jerusalem as a “redline”. But so was supporting Kurds. How many breached redlines does Erdogan need before he re-evaluates Turkey’s strategic alliances and perhaps even leaves NATO?

Tokenistic as it may mean to some, Trump’s decision means that no Arab or Muslim leader can be seen supporting it without risking street riots and even revolutions.

On the bigger picture however, American irrelevance means that the few Arab states and organizations that remained in hope that one day, perhaps one day, America will be able to broker for them a proper and just peace deal with Israel, have lost hope; and most likely permanently.

This new phase means that the successes of Kissinger’s “shuttle diplomacy” are already a thing of the past; effectively as of now. Apart from the much smaller role Russia played in Georgia in 2008, with Russia actively on Syrian ground, having succeeded in her first real ever military venture outside its borders since the demise of the USSR, the wheel of fate has made a one hundred and eighty degree turn. To this effect, America has catapulted itself out of the position of sole power and dominance, and in doing so, it inadvertently invited Russia back in with open doors.

Kissinger is not turning in his grave yet. He is alive and “well” and watching the mess of what subsequent American shuttle diplomacy, which ironically tried to shape itself on his image, has created and what it has made out of his achievements; not only in as far as giving America the sole power in the Middle East region, but also in terms of what the reversal of his achievements is going to eventuate into when it comes to his obsession with ensuring the security of Israel.

نارام سرجون : العبرانيون عبروا كل شيء الا جبال دمشق .. وثائق سرية من حرب تشرين

السادات حارب بجيش عبد الناصر التائق لثأر حزيران .. وبعقيدة جيش عبد الناصر .. ولكن نتيجة الحرب كانت ضد عقيدة عبد الناصر وضد جيش مصر

Image result for ‫حرب تشرين‬‎

نارام سرجون

لاتزال أسرار حرب تشرين مقفلا عليها بالمزاليج الفولاذية .. ولاشك أن فيها كثيرا مما سيفاجئنا الى حد الدهشة التي قد تصيبنا بالصدمة .. ففيها لايزال أشياء لم يفرج عنها حتى الآن لأن كل مايحدث الآن له علاقة بما جرى في السر بين السادات والاميريكيين .. لأن كل مايحدث منذ 1979 وحتى اليوم سببه غياب مصر .. فاسرائيل لم تكن قادرة على اجتياح لبنان مرتين في الثمانيات لو أن حدودها الجنوبية منشغلة بالجيش المصري وقلقة من ردة فعله في ظهرها جنوبا .. كما أن عاصفة الصحراء لم تكن لتحدث لو ان مصر كانت لاتزال زعيمة للعالم العربي وتمنع عبور أساطيل الغزاة منها .. ولم يكن اسقاط بغداد وتمكن دول الخليج من السيطرة على القرار العربي لو كانت مصر بثقلها الناصري الذي كانت عليه قبل كامب ديفيد .. ولم يكن سهلا ان تنظر تركيا بطمع لابتلاع بضعة دول عربية بما فيها مصر وهي ترى أنها بذلك فانها تتحرش بمصر ..

السادات حارب بجيش عبد الناصر التائق لثأر حزيران .. وبعقيدة جيش عبد الناصر .. ولكن نتيجة الحرب كانت ضد عقيدة عبد الناصر وضد جيش مصر .. لأن الجيش المصري لم يحارب من أجل كامب ديفيد .. ولا من أجل المنطقة (أ) الضيقة في سيناء التي أبقت كل سيناء بعدها خالية تماما من الجيش المصري وكأنه انسحب بأمر عبد الحكيم عامر ولم يعد الى سيناء منذ ذلك القرار .. ولم يبذل الجيش الدم من أجل شيء كان يمكن لمصر أن تناله دون حرب بل انه عرض على عبد الناصر بشروط افضل عشرات المرات من شروط كامب ديفيد ولم يقبل به ..

الا أن السادات ذهب الى الحرب .. ولكنه كان يبيت شيئا لم يعرفه أحد في حينها ولكن الوثائق الشحيحة التي بدأت تظهر تفيد بأن الرجل كان جاهزا للسلام بعد 24 ساعة من بدء الحرب .. وربما قبل الحرب .. وربما ماقبل قبل قبل الحرب ..

بدليل الرسالة التي أفرج عنها من مراسلات السفارة الاميركية في القاهرة ووزارة الخارجية الاميركية في واشنطن .. وفيها وثائق موجهة من وزير الخارجية المصري حافظ اسماعيل الى هنري كيسنجر في اليوم التالي للحرب مباشرة يبلغه فيها قرار السادات أنه لن يتعمق في الجبهة ..

وهذا يفسر لنا كيف أن الجيش المصري توقف عن القتال الى نقطة المضائق حسب الخطة ووفق الاتفاق مع السوريين الذين كان لهجومهم من الشمال الفضل في تشتيت جهد الجيش الاسرائيلي عن القناة لأن قلب فلسطين المحتلة قريب جدا من الجولان على عكس سيناء ولذلك فقد فضل الاسرائيلين أن يركزوا جهدهم لايقاف الهجوم السري الذي كان يمكن أن يتدفق في ساعات على الجليل الأعلى ويندفع نحو قلب فلسطين .. فيما لايزال على الجيش المصري اجتياز بارليف وسيناء الكبيرة والنقب قبل وصوله الى أي عمق مهم وقاتل للجيش الاسرائيلي ..

ولايزال العسكريون السوريون لايعرفون لماذا توقف الجيش المصري لمدة عشرة أيام لوم يصل الى المضائق كما اتفق عليه .. وهذا التوقف كان كافيا جدا لأن تتفرغ كل الآلة العسكرية والجوية الاسرائيلية لصد هجوم الشمال وتكثفه وترده لأنها لسبب ما كانت مطمئنة جدا أن الجيش المصري سيبقى منتظرا ولن يطعنها في الخلف وهي تقاتل بكل عتادها وقوات النخبة شمالا .. والغريب هو السرعة في تطمين الامريكيين بأنه سيترك السوريين وحدهم وهو يعلم أن التطمينات ستنقل للاسرائيليين .. الذين لم يكونوا قادرين على استيعاب الهجوم السوري لو ظلوا قلقين من استمرار الهجوم المصري ..

وبعد عشرة أيام قرر السادات فجأة تطوير الهجوم الى المضائق في سيناء ولكن كان الآوان قد فات .. ونجت اسرائيل من هزيمة ساحقة شمالا .. بل واستردت أنفاسها بوصول الجسر الجوي .. وكان تطوير الهجوم المصري الذي أمر به السادات ضد رغبة العسكريين المصريين هو السبب في ثغرة الدفرسوار وبقية القصة .. حيث تدفقت اسرائيل من ثغرة الدفرسوار الى كل العالم العربي .. لأن كامب ديفيد دخلت منها .. ومنها دخلت أوسلو .. ووادي عربة .. وحرب لبنان .. وسقوط بغداد .. وطرابلس وعدن .. وتهديد سورية من قبل اسرائيل وتركيا ..

ولكن بخروج مثل هذه الوثائق يثبت بالدليل القاطع أن السادات كان يخفي حتى عن جيشه أنه يلعب لعبة اخرى .. فهو لن يصل الى المضائق كما وعد حلفاءه .. وهو لن يكمل الحرب .. لأنه أبلغ هنري كيسنجر في أقل من 24 ساعة من بدء المعارك أنه لاينوي التوغل أكثر .. وهو طبعا مافهمه الاسرائيليون أنه ايماءة مصرية لهم بأن يتفرغوا للشمال دون قلق من جبهة سيناء .. وهذه هي كلمة السر التي كانوا ينتظرونها ..

طبعا الاعلام العربي لايكترث بهذه الوثائق الدامغة بل لايزال يحكي لنا اساطيره الخرافية عن بيع الجولان ببضعة ملايين من الدولارات وكرسي الحكم .. رغم أن العالم كله فشل في التقاط اي وثيقة عن بيع الجولان واسرائيل اليوم أحوج ماتكون لها لتبعدنا عنها وتحرجنا كمحور ممانعة ومقاومة .. لكن العرب لايذكرون الوثائق الامريكية والمصرية التي تتسرب بين حين وحين عن تلاعب السادات بمسير الحرب .. ولا يذكرون وثيقة أخطر عن الملك حسين (مستر نو بيف) اللتي تقول بأن الملك الذي كان يحكم الضفة الغربية عام 67 كان جاسوسا يتقاضى راتبا من السي آي ايه .. والجاسوس يبيع ويباع .. بالوثيقة ..

لاندري كم سننتظر لتخرج الوثيقة التالية التي ستقول بأن السادات ابلغ الاميريكين انه سيطور الهجوم بعد 10 أيام كي ينقلوا ذلك للاسرائيليين كي ينتبه اريئيل شارون ويلتقط الاشارة بأن تطوير الهجوم يعني أنه سيتسبب بثغرة .. وعليه انتظار الثغرة الأهم في تاريخ بني اسرائيل منذ زمن سليمان وداود ..

فمنها عبر بنو اسرائيل الى اجتياح بيروت .. ومنها عبروا الى أوسلو .. والى عواصم الخليج .. ومنها عبروا الى بغداد يوم 9 نيسان .. وكادوا ان يعبروا الى دمشق في عام 2011 .. ولذلك سموا بالعبرانيين لعبورهم ثغرة الدفرسوار الى العالم العربي كله وليس لعبورهم نهر الأردن .. ولو أنجزوا أهم عبور لهم الى دمشق لكانوا العبرانيين الأعظم في تاريخ بني اسرائيل لأنهم سيربطون المنطقة من الفرات الى النيل .. ولكن هيهات .. لكل القصص نهايات مختلفة عندما تحاول العبور من دمشق .. ومن لم يعبر من دمشق فكأنه لم يعبر .. ولو عبر المحيطات .. وكل الدنيا ..

Image result for ‫حرب تشرين‬‎

Iran’s Geopolitics & the Eurasian Strategic Triangle

02-09-2017 | 07:41

In July, the US slapped Iran with fresh sanctions, warning that Washington would “not tolerate Iran’s provocative and destabilizing behavior”.

Trump

Meanwhile, the US State Department accused Tehran of continuing “its terrorist-related activity in 2016, including support for Hizballah… and various groups in Syria, Iraq and throughout the Middle East.”

Ironically, it is precisely this prevalent support from the Iranians for both the governments in Baghdad and Damascus that brought the Daesh terror group – an offspring of US foreign policy – to its knees, facing imminent defeat.

So, in response to the latest package of sanctions, Tehran introduced new legislation that denies visas to American military and intelligence personnel and freezes their bank accounts.

According to the managing editor at Veterans Today, Jim W. Dean, “this is the first time that someone has officially sanctioned US entities for direct support for terrorism in the Mideast”.

The Americans created Daesh

Over the last few years, the US, which is allied with the world’s two most extreme ideologies – Zionism and Wahhabism – stepped up efforts to suppress Iranian influence across the Middle East at all costs.

Although it has long been understood that the arming of militant groups inside Syria by Washington and its allies facilitated the rapid rise of Daesh, a local Bulgarian journalist recently revealed, in some detail, the scope and size of the covert operation. 


Dilyana Gaytandzhieva apparently did such a good job in exposing the weapons shipments to terror groups that she was fired from her paper and questioned by Bulgarian security services after the story gained traction.

Citing dozens of secret memos that she obtained through an anonymous source, Gaytandzhieva paints a vivid picture of how weapons were flown to Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe, under the watchful eye of the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

Earlier this summer, the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, called Washington’s fight against Daesh “a lie”.

“You [the United States] and your agents are the source of instability in the Middle East,” Sayyed Khamenei said in June. “Who created Daesh? America… America’s claim of fighting against Daesh is a lie”.

The former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who also happens to be an advisor to the current American President Donald Trump, recently offered some insight into the motives behind such policies.

“If the ISIS territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire,” Kissinger wrote in an article for CAPX.

Although Kissinger’s choice of words is meant to be misleading, his stated concerns about the expansion of Iranian influence are well founded. The defeat of Daesh in Iraq and Syria brought about by Iranian involvement also marks the failure of the US-led ‘Greater Middle East’ project.

In his book, America’s War For The Greater Middle East, Andrew Bacevich explains that the region has been the theatre for a series of conflicts dating back to 1980, which heralded the start of the Iran-Iraq war. Since then, Washington has been involved in balancing conflicts amongst the region’s culturally interconnected nations in order to further its interests.

Kissinger’s claims are essentially a blatant admission that the biggest threat to these interests is the Iranian-led Shiite Crescent, consisting of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Syria, Iraq as well as Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The Revolution of the bare-handed

In the winter of 1979, French philosopher Michel Foucault described the birth of the Islamic Republic as “perhaps the first great insurrection against global systems, the form of revolt that is the most novel and the most insane.”

Foucault, who was in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution, wrote that the situation “can be understood as a great joust under traditional emblems, those of the king and the saint, the armed ruler and the destitute exile, the despot faced with the man who stands up bare-handed and is acclaimed by a people.”

Nearly forty years later, Iran is a regional powerhouse and the only country in the Middle East with a truly independent and stable political system.

The Iranian revolt gave birth to a confident, technologically advanced nation, and one that has continuously proven to be the only real stumbling block to US regional hegemony.

And in what represents a nightmare scenario for Washington and its agenda, Iran’s role in today’s world cannot be defined solely in the context of the Shiite Crescent. Iran is no longer a leading power just in the Middle East, but in Central Asia as well.

The strategic Eurasian triangle

In recent years, the global order has been transformed from a unipolar one to a multipolar one. Iran has been one of the key protagonists in this transformation. The other two are China and Russia.

Through converging geopolitical interests, these three Eurasian powers have formed a strategic triangle. The objective is the stabilization and consolidation of the Eurasian heartland.

Initiated by Russian efforts to reintegrate former Soviet republics into its orbit, the Eurasian union was expanded by China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, gaining a unique global role in the 21st century.

The envious degree of cooperation between Tehran, Moscow and Beijing is characterized by its well-thought-out anti-western strategy, which is gradually suppressing American influence in the region.

Washington’s opposition to these efforts is manifested through its support for terrorism, namely Daesh and Al Qaeda, as well as the inciting of wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

The Americans have good reason to be worried. The integration of the Eurasian landmass will have far-reaching repercussions for US geostrategic interests. And whatever remains of the western empire will be better served cooperating with the Eurasian union rather than trying to oppose it.

Source: Al-Ahed News

The Mouth piece of Mass destruction: DAESH enemy is the enemy of America لسان الدمار الشامل لهنري كيسنجر يبق البحصة: عدو داعش هو عدو أمريكا ؟

 

 

لسان الدمار الشامل لهنري كيسنجر يبق البحصة: عدو داعش هو عدو أميريكا ؟

نارام سرجون

بالرغم من كل التمويه والتضليل حول عداوة أميريكا للتنظيمات الارهابية الاسلامية في العالم كله فان العالم كله صار يدرك دور أميريكا في صناعة هذه الوحوش واطلاقها ضد أعدائها ..

لايمل السياسيون الغربيون من الحديث عن محاربة الارهاب والتطرف ومن يراقب مسرحيات المؤتمرات والندوات واللقاءات في مجلس الأمن أو التي تدار في العالم يحس بالأسى والحزن من أن العالم يضيع وقته وماله وأعصابه في متابعة هذا الفيلم السخيف رغم أنه يدهش لهذا الفن الرفيع في التضليل ..

ولكن الأمور لم تعد تحتمل كثيرا من التمويه ولم يعد من المحرج أن تعلن أميريكا أن القاعدة هي جيش أميريكا الاسلامي .. وأن داعش هي فرقة خاصة من فرق الموت أوكلت لها مهمة منع تلاقي القوى الاقليمية الكبرى بين طهران وبيروت ..

فقد أعلن الثعلب العجوز هنري كيسنجر وفق صحيفة الاندبندنت أن هناك خطرا ماحقا يهدد اميريكا من ازالة داعش يتمثل في نهوض امبرطورية ايرانية تمتد من طهران الى بيروت .. ويحرض كيسنجر الخوف الغربي بتساؤله قائلا: ان الجميع يريد تدمير داعش .. الروس وحلفاؤهم والدول السنية وتحالف أميريكا .. ولكن من الذي سيسيطر على منطقة داعش اذا اندحرت ؟؟

والجواب هو أن اندحار داعش على يد محور رسيا وايران سيعني ان الحرس الثوري الايراني هو من سيملأ الفراغ .. ولذلك يحذر كيسنجر الغرب من أن مقولة (ان عدو عدوي هو صديقي) لم تعد مناسبة أو صالحة في هذه المعادلة .. بل ان المعادلة الجديدة هي أن عدو عدوي هو عدوي أيضا .. أي أن عدو داعش هو عدوي .. !!

بالرغم من صراحة ثعلب الثعالب ومراوغ المراوغين كيسنجر فلكم ان تتخيلوا أنه لم يقل كل الحقيقة فلايزال هناك بحص لايستطيع أن يبقّه فمه .. ولكن اذا غسلتم الكلام الذي قاله أعلاه فستجدون البحصة التي لايبقها صراحة مندسة بين الكلام .. واذا لم تجدوها فانني ساساعدكم على أن نخرج البحصة من فم كيسنجر ..

سنفتح له فمه ونفحص محتواه بالضوء كما فعل الاميريكيون في فم الرئيس صدام حسين وهم يهينونه بفحص فمه أمام الكاميرات (بحثا عن أسلحة الدمار الشامل طبعا) .. ولكننا مع كيسنجر سنفتح له فمه العجوز لابحثا عن سلاح الدمار الشامل المتمثل في لسانه .. بل لنبحث بالضوء عن البحصة التي لايبقها ونجدها تحت لسانه الذي حمل الينا المبادرات والخدع والحيل والفخاخ .. فنمد أصابعنا في فمه ونستخرج تلك البحصة التي يصر على ابقائها تحت لسانه وتمر عليها كل تصريحاته .. وهذه البحصة تقول: احذروا تلاقي سورية والعراق ..

الامبراطورية الايرانية لن تعود بحكم التاريخ ومنطق الجغرافيا .. ولكن ماقد يعود هو سوراقيا .. واذا عادت سوراقيا سقطت أورشليم .. فاقتلوا سوراقيا حيث وجدتموها .. واضربوا جسدها الذي يجب أن يموت .. عبر ضربه بسيفنا (داعش) وشطره الى شطرين على طرفي خط الفرات بحيث يتحول العراق وسوريا الى خطين متوازيين لايلتقيان حتى في اللانهاية من الوجود .. لأن تواصل العراق وسوريا سيكون الحامل والجسد الذي سيقدر على أن يحمل محورا معاديا للغرب سيتمدد ويتمطى دون عوائق يبدأ جسده في طهران ةربما في موسكو وينتهي في بيروت كعملاق خرافي سيبلع مصالح الغرب وخاصة اسرائيل .. ولايوجد في الشرق جسد قادر على أن يحمل هذا المحور العملاق الا جسد سوراقيا الخرافي ..

هل في حب داعش افصاح بليغ أكثر من هذا الافصاح ؟؟؟

وهل صرنا نعرف لماذا جنت أميريكا من تقدم الجيشين السوري والعراقي فأرسلت جنودها وأكرادها لفصل الجيشين على الحدود ؟؟..

هل تختلف ماتسمى الثورة السورية عن داعش في قلب أميريكا طالما أن دور الثورة السورية كان نفس دور داعش في اقتلاع سوريا لتدمير هذا الكائن الاسطوري الذي قد ينهض من طهران الى بيروت ..؟؟

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رابط الصحيفة
http://www.independent.co.uk/…/henry-kissinger-isis-iranian…

   ( الأربعاء 2017/08/09 SyriaNow)  

Henry Kissinger warns destroying Isis could lead to ‘Iranian radical empire’

Henry Kissinger has warned that destroying Isis could lead to an “Iranian radical empire”.

The former diplomat has suggested that once Isis is defeated, if Iran occupies the free territory, the result could lead to the emergence of a new empire.

The 94-year-old, who was the Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon, also spoke about the complications of taking sides in Middle Eastern conflicts.

“In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy. The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions,” he wrote in an article for CapX.

“The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration. Most non-Isis powers — including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states — agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran?

“The answer is elusive because Russia and the Nato countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire,” Mr Kissinger added.

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Putin and Trump and the step-by-step: Henry Kissinger’s advices بوتين وترامب والخطوة خطوة: نصائح هنري كيسنجر

Putin and Trump and the step-by-step: Henry Kissinger’s advices

يوليو 17, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It was remarkable for those who observe the Russian-US relationship the presidential meetings of the coordinator of the golden era in the US diplomacy the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who has arranged the withdrawal from Vietnam and led skillfully the openness up to China, he sponsored the understandings of cease-fire after the war of October 1973 between Syria and Israel. His held meetings for seven month included his meetings with the presidents of China, America, and Russia. He did not hide his keenness to provide the advice and the consultation to the leaders of the three countries regarding the danger of the collision, the escalation of the confrontations, and the adoption of a speech that claims imposing exclusivity or imposing wills, as long as the nuclear war is impossible. All of these three countries have what is enough of sidelines and capacities to wage a war of attrition that will force sitting at the table at the end, but after the profits of the negotiation have become much less than the cost incurred by each one of them in the absurd wars of attrition. Henry Kissinger did not stop talking about the hypothesis of the opportunity of winner-to-winner understanding in the international relationships, because confronting the terrorism is not mere a moral or humanitarian issue but a higher interest issue according to all these countries, moreover the system which they have has great motives to be based on the stability in the world, where it can grant the opportunities of prosperity and growth of their economies. Because reducing the expenditure of the races of the nuclear arming will save many of the resources to be spent in the development plans and to have their revenues, and because most of the conflicts do not revolve around the ability of a team to extract unilateral influence in a region, however around sharing the influence in the solutions not in the wars depending on the ability of each party to disrupt the other’s unilateral influence.

The few presentations of Kissinger and what is reported from him with optimism stems from the awareness of the leaders of Russia, China, and America that the understanding is their fate, he does not overcome the difficulties to announce an understanding especially according to the US President who is surrounded with a preemptive war that was waged against him under the title of accusing him with weakness comparing with the Russian President, but at the same time he does not negate the opportunities of unannounced slow understandings that lead to stop the attrition and to pave the way for showing the consequences of the understanding in order to build on them, until the moment of establishing a new world system which becomes an urgent necessary for each of the three countries. The absence of the system, the spread of chaos, and the danger of terrorism is more critical than the presence of a system even if it is subject to sharing with others, especially according to Washington which likes to talk about the exclusivity and the unilateral pole  and the eagerness to restore it, since the exclusivity and the unilateral pole are no longer exist, so the insistence on not recognizing their fall does not revive them, on the contrary it leads to world with no system, where the chaos and the terrorism will grow and continue, and the number of the failing countries will increase, thus this will provide more opportunities for further chaos and terrorism.

Depending on Kissinger’s experience in the concept of “step by step” which he adopted in reaching to an agreement of disengagement between Syria and Israel in 1974 after ten months of the war, the best scenario of Putin-Trump summit can be expected, which starts with setting the rules of engagement and showing the forbidden areas at the state of collision, which means; the lines which must not be reached no matter how long the dispute remains and the struggle continues, this is known clearly by the two teams. According to Washington this is represented by not supporting the Korean President to cover his escalation against Washington, not to collide with the Syrian country, its army and its President, and at the same time not  to provide the US cover to Saudi Arabia to wage a war against Qatar, on the other hand, Russia must not undermine the opponent regime in Ukraine, after that to link the conflict by identifying the issues around which the race, the competition and the conflict can continue, but under the ceiling of recording points and having more pressing papers waiting for a new round, taking into considerations the gas market and the race on the markets of the western Europe, testing each team of its capacities in order to reserve fixed shares in this market, as well as the direct relationship or through the allies with each of Iran, Turkey, and Israel whether positively or negatively on the basis of the exclusion of the threat of confrontations which affects the stability. The south of Syria will have such of these arrangements as the Kurds in its north and the Gulf, like controls to prevent the collisions and therefore to reach the appropriate moment for the major understandings or the historical deal, but to take into account the strategic maps, where Russia has a recognized presence politically, militarily, and economically in the countries in which it was their arena in the Cold War, and some of the interests outside it, contrary to America, and to restrict the variables on the maps in order to discuss their fate especially the new major players at their forefront Iran.

No one thinks that the issue is related to the differences of opinions, jurisprudences, positons, because everything is announced and clear. America’s desire is to resize the position of Russia which returns strongly to the international economic, military, and political arena. While Russia has invested what is enough to impose its presence in new form, so it is not possible to expect its regression after it has imposed new unbreakable equations that cannot be neglected. The dialogue starts from the US recognition that the cooperation is a need, while according to Russia it is a goal.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

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بوتين وترامب والخطوة خطوة: نصائح هنري كيسنجر

يوليو 8, 2017

ناصر قنديل

لفتت نظر كلّ الذين يتابعون العلاقة الروسية الأميركية اللقاءاتُ الرئاسية لمهندس الحقبة الذهبية في الدبلوماسية الأميركية الوزير الأسبق للخارجية هنري كيسنجر، الذي صمّم وأخرج الانسحاب من فييتنام وقاد ببراعة الانفتاح على الصين ورعى تفاهمات وقف النار بعد حرب تشرين 1973 بين سورية و«إسرائيل». وقد شملت لقاءاته خلال سبعة شهور رؤساء الصين وأميركا وروسيا، ولم يخف الإعلان عن حرصه على تقديم المشورة والنصح لقادة الدول الثلاثة بخطورة التصادم وتصعيد المواجهات، والوقوف وراء خطاب يدّعي فرص التفرّد أو فرض الإرادات، طالما أنّ الحرب النووية مستحيلة، وأنّ لدى كلّ من هذه الدول ما يكفي من الهوامش والمقدرات لخوض حرب استنزاف ستفرض الجلوس على الطاولة في النهاية، لكن بعدما تكون كلّ مكاسب التفاوض قد صارت أقلّ بكثير من الكلّفة التي تكبّدها كلّ منهم في حروب الاستنزاف العبثية. ومن جهة مقابلة لم يكفّ كيسنجر عن التحدّث حول فرضية وجود فرصة تفاهم رابح رابح في العلاقات الدولية، لأنّ مواجهة الإرهاب ليست مجرد قضية أخلاقية وإنسانية، بل مصلحة عليا لكلّ من هذه الدول وللنظام الذي يملكون دوافع كبيرة لإشادته على الاستقرار في العالم بما يتيح فرص الرخاء والنمو لاقتصاداتهم ولأنّ تخفيض الإنفاق على سباقات التسلح النووي سيوفر الكثير من الموارد لإنفاقها في خطط التنمية والفوز بعائداتها ولأنّ أغلب الصراعات لا تدور حول قدرة فريق على انتزاع نفوذ أحادي في منطقة من العالم بل حول نسب تقاسم النفوذ في الحلول، وليس في الحروب، استناداً لقدرة كلّ طرف على تعطيل أحادية نفوذ الآخر.

يوحي كيسنجر في إطلالاته القليلة وما يُنقل عنه بتفاؤل نابع من إدراك قادة روسيا والصين وأميركا بأنّ التفاهم قدرهم جميعاً. وهو لا يقلل من صعوبات الخروج بإعلان التفاهم، خصوصاً بالنسبة للرئيس الأميركي المحاط بحرب استباقية خيضت عليه تحت عنوان اتهامه بالضعف أمام الرئيس الروسي، لكنه لا ينفي فرص تفاهمات غير معلنة تسير ببطء وتثبت أرضية وقف الاستنزاف وتفتح باب تظهير عائدات التفاهم ما يتيح البناء عليها ومواصلة التظهير والبناء حتى تحين لحظة ترسيخ قواعد نظام عالمي جديد بات ضرورياً وملحاً لكلّ من الدول الثلاث. فغياب النظام وسيادة الفوضى وخطر الإرهاب أشدّ كلفة من مجرد وجود نظام ولو كان تشاركياً مع الغير، خصوصاً على واشنطن التي قد يروق لها الحديث عن التفرّد وأحادية القطبية، والحنين لاستعادتها، وهما تفرّد وأحادية لم يعودا موجودين، والإصرار على عدم الاعتراف بسقوطهما لا يُعيدهما للوجود بل يُبقي العالم بلا نظام ويبقي الفوضى والإرهاب في تنامٍ مستمرّ وزيادة عدد الدول الفاشلة في تصاعد ما يوفر المزيد من الفرص للمزيد من الفوضى والإرهاب.

بالاستناد إلى خبرة كيسنجر في مفهوم الخطوة خطوة التي اتبعها في التوصّل لاتفاق فك الاشتباك بين سورية و«إسرائيل» عام 1974 بعد عشرة شهور من الحرب، يمكن توقّع السيناريو الأفضل المنتظر من قمة بوتين ترامب، بأن يبدأ بوضع قواعد الاشتباك ورسم المناطق المحرّمة في التصادم، أيّ الخطوط التي لا يجب بلوغها مهما بقي الخلاف قائماً والصراع مستمراً. وهي معلومة للفريقين بوضوح، تمثل عند واشنطن عدم تقديم الدعم للرئيس الكوري لتغطية تصعيده بوجه واشنطن، وعدم دخول واشنطن بتصادم مع الدولة السورية وجيشها ورئيسها. وفي المقابل عدم توفير التغطية الأميركية للسعودية لشنّ حرب في قطر، وعدم قيام روسيا بتقويض النظام المناوئ لها في أوكرانيا. ثم الصعود درجة على السلم لربط نزاع، بتحديد القضايا التي يمكن مواصلة السباق والتنافس والصراع حولها، لكن تحت سقف تسجيل النقاط وامتلاك المزيد من الأوراق بانتظار جولة مقبلة. وهنا يحضر سوق الغاز والسباق، خصوصاً على أسواق أوروبا الغربية، واختبار كلّ فريق مقدراته على حجز حصص ثابتة في هذه السوق، كما تحضر العلاقة المباشرة أو عبر الحلفاء بكلّ من إيران وتركيا و«إسرائيل» سلباً وإيجاباً على قاعدة استبعاد خطر المواجهات التي تهزّ الاستقرار، فيصير لجنوب سورية نصيب من الترتيبات، ولشمالها مع الأكراد نصيب، وللخليج نصيب، كضوابط لمنع التصادمات، ليتمّ الصعود لاحقاً على درجة جديدة من السلم وبلوغ اللحظة المناسبة للتفاهمات الكبرى أو الصفقة التاريخية وفيه تحضر على الطاولة خرائط الاستراتيجية، حيث لروسيا حضور معترَف به سياسياً وعسكرياً واقتصادياً في الدول التي كانت ساحة نفوذها في الحرب الباردة، وبعض المصالح خارجها، والعكس بالنسبة لأميركا، وحصر الحالات المتغيّرة على الخريطة لبحث مصيرها، وخصوصاً اللاعبين الكبار الجدد وفي مقدّمتهم إيران.

لا يتوهّم أحد أنّ القضية خلافات رأي واجتهادات مواقف. فكلّ شيء معلن وواضح، رغبة أميركا بتحجيم مكانة روسيا العائدة بقوة إلى الساحة الدولية الاقتصادية والعسكرية والسياسية، وروسيا استثمرت ما يكفي لفرض حضورها بصيغة جديدة وما عاد ممكناً توقع عودتها إلى الوراء، وقد فرضت معادلات جديدة ما عاد ممكناً كسرُها ولا تجاهلها، فالحوار يبدأ من تسليم أميركي بأنّ التعاون حاجة، بينما هو بالنسبة لروسيا هدف.

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Russia-gate Is No Watergate or Iran-Contra

Many comparisons have been made between Russia-gate and the earlier scandals of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but the similarities are at best superficial, explains Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Russia-gate, the sprawling investigation into whether Russia meddled in last year’s U.S. election, is often compared to the two big political scandals of the latter half of the Twentieth Century, Watergate and Iran-Contra. Sometimes you even hear that Russia-gate is “bigger than Watergate.”

Yet what is perhaps most remarkable about those two Twentieth Century scandals is how little Official Washington really understands them – and how these earlier scandals significantly contrast, rather than compare, with what is unfolding now.

Although the historical record is still incomplete on Watergate and Iran-Contra, the available evidence indicates that both scandals originated in schemes by Republicans to draw foreign leaders into plots to undermine sitting Democratic presidents and thus pave the way for the elections of Richard Nixon in 1968 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.

As for Russia-gate, even if you accept that the Russian government hacked into Democratic emails and publicized them via WikiLeaks, there is still no evidence that Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Kremlin to do so. By contrast, in the origins of Watergate and Iran-Contra, it appears the Nixon and Reagan campaigns, respectively, were the instigators of schemes to enlist foreign governments in blocking a Vietnam peace deal in 1968 and negotiations to free 52 American hostages in Iran in 1980.

Though Watergate is associated directly with the 1972 campaign – when Nixon’s team of burglars was caught inside the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate building – Nixon’s formation of that team, known as the Plumbers, was driven by his fear that he could be exposed for sabotaging President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam peace talks in 1968 in order to secure the White House that year.

After Nixon’s narrow victory over Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 election, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed Nixon that Johnson had a secret file, complete with wiretapped phone calls, detailing the Nixon campaign’s backchannel messages to South Vietnamese officials convincing them to boycott Johnson’s Paris peace talks. Later, Nixon learned that this incriminating file had disappeared from the White House.

So, in 1971, after the leaking of the Pentagon Papers, which recounted the lies that had been used to justify the Vietnam War through 1967, Nixon fretted that the missing file about his peace-talk gambit in 1968 might surface, too, and would destroy him politically. Thus, he organized the Plumbers to find the file, even contemplating fire-bombing the Brookings Institution to enable a search of its safe where some aides thought the missing file might be found.

In other words, Watergate wasn’t simply a break-in at the Democratic National Committee on June 17, 1972, in pursuit of useful political intelligence and Nixon’s ensuing cover-up; the scandal had its origins in a far worse scandal, the derailing of peace talks that could have ended the Vietnam War years earlier and saved the lives of tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and possibly more than 1 million Vietnamese.

Iran-Contra Parallels

Similarly, the Iran-Contra scandal exploded in 1986 with revelations that President Reagan had authorized secret arms sales to Iran with some of the profits going to fund the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, but the evidence now indicates that the connections between Reagan’s team and Iran’s revolutionary regime traced back to 1980 when emissaries from Reagan’s campaign worked to stymie President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran.

According to multiple witnesses, including former Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs Nicholas Veliotes, the pre-election contacts led to the opening of a weapons pipeline to Iran (via Israel), after Reagan was sworn in on Jan. 20, 1981, which was the precise moment when Iran finally released the American hostages after 444 days.

Some key players in the 1980 Reagan-Iran contacts reappeared four years later at the start of direct (again secret) U.S. arms shipments to Iran in 1985, which also involved Israeli middlemen. These key players included Iranian CIA operative Cyrus Hashemi, former CIA clandestine services chief Theodore Shackley, Reagan’s campaign chief and then-CIA Director William Casey, and former CIA Director and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

In other words, the Iran-Contra weapons shipments of 1985-86 appear to have been an outgrowth of the earlier shipments dating back to 1980 and continuing under Israeli auspices until the supply line was taken over more directly by the Reagan administration in 1985-86.

Thus, both the Watergate scandal in 1972 and the Iran-Contra Affair in 1986 could be viewed as “sequels” to the earlier machinations driven by Republican hunger to seize the enormous powers of the U.S. presidency. However, for decades, Official Washington has been hostile to these underlying explanations of how Watergate and Iran-Contra began.

For instance, The New York Times, the so-called “newspaper of record,” treated the accumulation of evidence regarding Nixon’s 1968 peace-talk gambit as nothing more than a “rumor” until earlier this year when a scholar, John A. Farrell, uncovered cryptic notes taken by Nixon’s aide H.R. Haldeman, which added another piece to the mosaic and left the Times little choice but to pronounce the historical reality finally real.

Grasping the Watergate Narrative

Still, the Times and other major news outlets have failed to factor this belated admission into the larger Watergate narrative. If you understand that Nixon did sabotage President Johnson’s Vietnam War peace talks and that Nixon was aware that Johnson’s file on what LBJ called Nixon’s “treason” had disappeared from the White House, the early “Watergate tapes” from 1971 suddenly make sense.

Nixon ordered White House chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger to locate the missing file but their search came up empty. Yet, some Nixon aides thought the file might be hidden at the Brookings Institution, a liberal think tank in Washington. So, in his desperate pursuit of the file, Nixon called for a break-in at Brookings, possibly even fire-bombing the building as a cover for his team of burglars to slip in amid the confusion and rifle the safe.

The old explanation that Nixon simply wanted to find some file related to Johnson’s 1968 pre-election Vietnam bombing halt never made sense given the extreme steps that Nixon was prepared to take.

The relevant portions of Nixon’s White House tapes include an entry on June 17, 1971, coincidentally one year to the day before the Watergate burglars were caught. Nixon summoned Haldeman and Kissinger to the Oval Office and pleaded with them again to locate the file.

“Do we have it?” Nixon asked Haldeman. “I’ve asked for it. You said you didn’t have it.”

Haldeman: “We can’t find it.”

Kissinger: “We have nothing here, Mr. President.”

Nixon: “Well, damn-it, I asked for that because I need it.”

Kissinger: “But Bob and I have been trying to put the damn thing together.”

Haldeman: “We have a basic history in constructing our own, but there is a file on it.”

Nixon: “Where?”

Haldeman: “[Presidential aide Tom Charles] Huston swears to God that there’s a file on it and it’s at Brookings.”

Nixon: “Bob? Bob? Now do you remember Huston’s plan [for White House-sponsored break-ins as part of domestic counter-intelligence operations]? Implement it.”

Kissinger: “Now Brookings has no right to have classified documents.”

Nixon: “I want it implemented. Goddamn-it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.”

Haldeman: “They may very well have cleaned them by now, but this thing, you need to “

Kissinger: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Brookings had the files.”

Haldeman: “My point is Johnson knows that those files are around. He doesn’t know for sure that we don’t have them around.”

But Johnson did know that the file was no longer at the White House because he had ordered his national security adviser, Walt Rostow, to remove it in the final days of Johnson’s presidency.

Forming the Burglars

On June 30, 1971, Nixon again berated Haldeman about the need to break into Brookings and “take it [the file] out.” Nixon suggested using former CIA officer E. Howard Hunt to conduct the Brookings break-in.

“You talk to Hunt,” Nixon told Haldeman. “I want the break-in. Hell, they do that. You’re to break into the place, rifle the files, and bring them in. Just go in and take it. Go in around 8:00 or 9:00 o’clock.”

Haldeman: “Make an inspection of the safe.”

Nixon: “That’s right. You go in to inspect the safe. I mean, clean it up.”

For reasons that remain unclear, it appears that the Brookings break-in never took place (nor did the fire-bombing), but Nixon’s desperation to locate Johnson’s peace-talk file was an important link in the chain of events that led to the creation of Nixon’s burglary unit under Hunt’s supervision. Hunt later oversaw the two Watergate break-ins in May and June of 1972.

While it’s possible that Nixon was still searching for the file about his Vietnam-peace sabotage when the ill-fated Watergate break-ins occurred a year later, it’s generally believed that the burglary was more broadly focused, seeking any information that might have an impact on Nixon’s re-election, either defensively or offensively.

However, if you think back on 1971 when the Vietnam War was tearing the country apart and massive antiwar demonstrations were descending on Washington, Nixon’s desperation to locate the missing file suddenly doesn’t seem quite so crazy. There would have been hell to pay if the public learned that Nixon had kept the war going to gain a political advantage in 1968.

Through 1972 – and the early days of the Watergate scandal – former President Johnson had stayed silent about Nixon’s sabotage of the Paris peace talks. But the ex-President became livid when – after Nixon’s reelection in 1972 – Nixon’s men sought to pressure Johnson into helping them shut down the Watergate investigation, in part, by noting that Johnson, too, had deployed wiretaps against Nixon’s 1968 campaign to obtain evidence about the peace-talk sabotage.

While it’s not clear whether Johnson would have finally spoken out, that threat to Nixon ended two days after Nixon’s second inaugural when on Jan. 22, 1973, Johnson died of a heart attack. However, unbeknownst to Nixon, Johnson had left the missing file, called “The X-Envelope,” in the care of Rostow, who – after Johnson’s death – gave the file to the LBJ presidential library in Austin, Texas, with instructions that it be kept under wraps for at least 50 years. (Rostow’s instructions were overturned in the 1990s, and I found the now largely declassified file at the library in 2012.)

So, with the “The X-Envelope” squirreled away for more than two decades at the LBJ library and with the big newspapers treating the early sketchy reports of Nixon’s peace-talk sabotage as only “rumors,” Watergate remained a scandal limited to the 1972 campaign.

Still, Nixon’s cover-up of his campaign’s role in the Watergate break-in produced enough clear-cut evidence of obstruction of justice and other offenses that Nixon was forced to resign on Aug. 9, 1974.

A Failed Investigation

The 1979-81 hostage confrontation with Iran was not nearly as devastating a crisis as the Vietnam War but America’s humiliation during the 444-day-long ordeal became a focus of the 1980 election, too, with the first anniversary of Iran’s seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran coincidentally falling on Election Day 1980.

President Carter’s failure to gain freedom for the 52 embassy personnel turned what had been a close race into a landslide for Ronald Reagan, with Republicans also gaining control of the U.S. Senate and ousting some of the most influential Democratic senators.

In 1984, Reagan won reelection in another landslide, but two years later ran afoul of the Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan’s secret arms sales to Iran and diversion of profits to the Contras “broke” in November 1986 but focused only on Reagan’s 1985-1986 arms sales and the diversion. Still, the scandal’s crimes included violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the so-called Boland Act’s prohibitions on arming the Contras as well as perjury and obstruction of justice. So there was the prospect of Reagan’s impeachment.

But – from the start of Iran-Contra – there was a strong pushback from Republicans who didn’t want to see another GOP president driven from office. There was also resistance to the scandal from many mainstream media executives who personally liked Reagan and feared a public backlash if the press played an aggressive role similar to Watergate.

And, moderate Democrats, such as Rep. Lee Hamilton of Indiana who co-chaired the congressional investigation, sought to tamp down the Iran-Contra fires and set up firebreaks to prevent the investigation from spreading to related crimes such as the Reagan administration’s protection of Contra cocaine traffickers.

“Ask about the cocaine,” pleaded one protester who was dragged from the Iran-Contra hearing room, as the congressional investigators averted their eyes from such unseemly matters, focusing instead on stilted lectures about the Congress’s constitutional prerogatives.

It was not until 1990-91 that it became clear that secret U.S.-approved arms shipments to Iran did not start in 1985 as the Iran-Contra narrative claimed but traced back to 1981 with Reagan’s approval of arms sales to Iran through Israel.

Reagan’s politically risky move of secretly arming Iran immediately after his inauguration and the hostage release was nearly exposed when one of the Israeli flights strayed into Soviet airspace on July 18, 1981, and crashed or was shot down.

In a PBS interview nearly a decade later, Nicholas Veliotes, Reagan’s assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, said he looked into the incident by talking to top administration officials.

“It was clear to me after my conversations with people on high that indeed we had agreed that the Israelis could transship to Iran some American-origin military equipment,” Veliotes said.

In checking out the Israeli flight, Veliotes came to believe that the Reagan camp’s dealings with Iran dated back to before the 1980 election. “It seems to have started in earnest in the period probably prior to the election of 1980, as the Israelis had identified who would become the new players in the national security area in the Reagan administration,” Veliotes said. “And I understand some contacts were made at that time.”

However, in 1981, Veliotes said, the State Department issued misleading press guidance to cover the administration’s tracks and the Washington media failed to follow up. Thus, the U.S.-Israeli arms pipeline to Iran stayed secret from the American people until November 1986 when — despite Reagan’s long-running insistence that he would never trade arms with a terrorist state like Iran — the operation was exposed.

When I re-interviewed Veliotes in 2012, he said he couldn’t recall who the “people on high” were who had described the informal clearance of the Israeli shipments of U.S.-manufactured weapons, but he indicated that “the new players” were the young neoconservatives who were working on the Reagan campaign, many of whom later joined the administration as senior political appointees.

Documents that I discovered at the Reagan presidential library revealed that Reagan’s neocons at the State Department, particularly Robert McFarlane and Paul Wolfowitz, initiated a policy review in 1981 to allow Israel to undertake secret military shipments to Iran.

McFarlane and Wolfowitz also maneuvered to put McFarlane in charge of U.S. relations toward Iran and to establish a clandestine U.S. back-channel to the Israeli government outside the knowledge of even senior U.S. government officials.

Another Failed Investigation

In 1991, faced with the accumulating evidence of a prequel to the Iran-Contra scandal, Congress grudgingly agreed to take a look at these so-called “October Surprise” allegations. But Republicans, then led by President George H.W. Bush and his White House team, mounted an aggressive cover-up to “spike” the story.

And, with the congressional inquiry largely in the hands again of Rep. Hamilton, the Democrats timidly folded their tent despite a growing body of evidence that the Reagan team was indeed guilty.

Much of that evidence flowed into the House Task Force in December 1992 when President George H.W. Bush had already been defeated for reelection and the Democrats were looking forward to their renewed control of Washington. So, instead of giving a careful review to the new evidence, the House Task Force ignored, disparaged or buried it.

The late-arriving material included sworn testimony on Dec. 18, 1992, from David Andelman, the biographer of French intelligence chief Alexandre deMarenches, describing how deMarenches had confided that he had helped arrange the Republican-Iranian contacts. Andelman, an ex-New York Times and CBS News correspondent, said that while he was working on deMarenches’s autobiography, the arch-conservative spymaster admitted arranging meetings between Republicans and Iranians about the hostage issue in the summer and fall of 1980, with one meeting held in Paris in October.

Andelman said deMarenches ordered that the secret meetings be kept out of his memoirs because the story could otherwise damage the reputations of his friends, William Casey and George H.W. Bush. Andelman’s testimony corroborated longstanding claims from a variety of international intelligence operatives about a Paris meeting involving Casey and Bush. But the Task Force report brushed this testimony aside, paradoxically terming it “credible” but then claiming it was “insufficiently probative.”

The Task Force’s report argued that Andelman could not “rule out the possibility that deMarenches had told him he was aware of and involved in the Casey meetings because he, deMarenches, could not risk telling his biographer he had no knowledge of these allegations.”

In the last weeks of the investigation, the House investigators also received a letter from former Iranian President Bani-Sadr detailing his behind-the-scenes struggle with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his son Ahmad over their secret dealings with the Reagan campaign. But the House investigators dismissed Bani-Sadr’s first-hand account as hearsay and thus also lacking “probative value.”

I later unearthed some of the evidence in unpublished Task Force files. However, in the meantime, Official Washington had dismissed the “October Surprise” and other Iran-Contra-connected scandals, like Contra drug trafficking, as conspiracy theories.

The Russian Report

Ironically, another piece of late-arriving evidence was a January 1993 report from a national security committee of the Russian parliament about the Kremlin’s intelligence data confirming that key Republicans, including George H.W. Bush and William Casey, had met with Iranian officials in Europe regarding the hostages during the 1980 campaign.

Hamilton had requested the Russian assistance before the U.S. election in 1992, but the report was not sent until there were only two weeks left in George H.W. Bush’s presidency.

Lawrence Barcella, who served as the Task Force chief counsel, later told me that so much incriminating evidence arrived late that he asked Hamilton to extend the inquiry for three months but that Hamilton said no (although Hamilton told me that he had no recollection of denying Barcella’s request).

The other fatal flaw of the House investigation was that it left much of the actual investigating up to President George H.W. Bush’s White House counsel’s office and the State Department, although Bush was one of the chief suspects and, in 1991-92, was running for re-election, a campaign that would have been derailed if the 1980 October Surprise allegations were confirmed.

The naivete of this decision was underscored years later when I located a memo at Bush’s presidential library stating that the State Department had informed the White House counsel’s office that Casey had traveled to Madrid in 1980, corroborating a key October Surprise allegation.

The confirmation of Casey’s trip was passed along by State Department legal adviser Edwin D. Williamson to Associate White House Counsel Chester Paul Beach Jr. in early November 1991, just as the October Surprise inquiry was taking shape, according to Beach’s “memorandum for record” dated Nov. 4, 1991.

Williamson said that among the State Department “material potentially relevant to the October Surprise allegations [was] a cable from the Madrid embassy indicating that Bill Casey was in town, for purposes unknown,” Beach noted.

Two days later, on Nov. 6, 1991, Beach’s boss, White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, arranged an inter-agency strategy session and explained the need to contain the congressional investigation into the October Surprise case. The explicit goal was to ensure the scandal would not hurt President Bush’s reelection hopes in 1992.

In 2013, when I interviewed Hamilton about the Beach memo, he lamented that the Madrid information had not been shared with his investigation, saying “you have to rely on people” in authority to comply with information requests.

“We found no evidence to confirm Casey’s trip to Madrid,” Hamilton told me. “We couldn’t show that. The [George H.W. Bush] White House did not notify us that he did make the trip. Should they have passed that on to us? They should have because they knew we were interested in that.”

Asked if knowledge that Casey had traveled to Madrid might have changed the Task Force’s dismissive October Surprise conclusion, Hamilton said yes, because the question of the Madrid trip was key to the task force’s investigation.

Not Moving the Needle

However, the Madrid trip revelation and other post-investigation disclosures failed to move the needle on Official Washington’s disdain for the October Surprise story.

The later disclosures included a 1993 interview in Tel Aviv in which former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said he had read the 1991 book, October Surprise, by Carter’s former National Security Council aide Gary Sick, which made the case for believing that the Republicans had intervened in the 1980 hostage negotiations to disrupt Carter’s reelection.

With the topic raised, one interviewer asked, “What do you think? Was there an October Surprise?”

“Of course, it was,” Shamir responded without hesitation. “It was.”

And, there were other corroborating statements as well. In 1996, for instance, while former President Carter was meeting with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Arafat in Gaza City, Arafat tried to confess his role in the Republican maneuvering to block Carter’s Iran-hostage negotiations.

“There is something I want to tell you,” Arafat said, addressing Carter in the presence of historian Douglas Brinkley. “You should know that in 1980 the Republicans approached me with an arms deal [for the PLO] if I could arrange to keep the hostages in Iran until after the [U.S. presidential] election,” Arafat said, according to Brinkley’s article in the fall 1996 issue of Diplomatic Quarterly.

In 2013, after the movie “Argo” appeared regarding an early facet of the Iran-hostage crisis, former Iranian President Bani-Sadr elaborated on his account of Republican overtures to Iran in 1980 and how that secret initiative prevented release of the hostages.

In a Christian Science Monitor commentary, Bani-Sadr wrote, “Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation which prevented the attempts by myself and then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages before the 1980 U.S. presidential election took place. The fact that they were not released tipped the results of the election in favor of Reagan.”

Then, Bani-Sadr added a new detail, that “two of my advisors, Hussein Navab Safavi and Sadr-al-Hefazi, were executed by Khomeini’s regime because they had become aware of this secret relationship between Khomeini, his son Ahmad, … and the Reagan administration.” [For more details on the October Surprise case, see Robert Parry’s Trick or Treason and America’s Stolen Narrative.]

Compare and Contrast

So how do Watergate and Iran-Contra compare and contrast with Russia-gate? One key difference is that in Watergate in 1972-73 and Iran-Contra in 1985-86, you had clear-cut crimes (even if you don’t want to believe the two “prequels” from 1968 and 1980, respectively).

In Watergate, five burglars were caught inside the DNC offices on June 17, 1972, as they sought to plant more bugs on Democratic phones. (An earlier break-in in May had installed two bugs, but one didn’t work.) Nixon then proceeded to mount a cover-up of his 1972 campaign’s role in funding the break-in and other abuses of power.

In Iran-Contra, Reagan secretly authorized weapons sales to Iran, which was then designated a terrorist state, without informing Congress, a violation of the Arms Export Control Act. He also kept Congress in the dark about his belated signing of a related intelligence “finding.” And the creation of slush funds to finance the Nicaraguan Contras represented an evasion of the U.S. Constitution.

There was also the attendant Iran-Contra cover-up mounted both by the Reagan White House and later the George H.W. Bush White House, which culminated in Bush’s Christmas Eve 1992 pardons of six Iran-Contra defendants as special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was zeroing in on possible indictment of Bush for withholding evidence.

By contrast, Russia-gate has been a “scandal” in search of a specific crime. President Barack Obama’s intelligence chieftains have alleged – without presenting any clear evidence – that the Russian government hacked into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and released those emails via WikiLeaks and other Internet sites. (The Russians and WikiLeaks have both denied the accusations.)

The DNC emails revealed that senior Democrats did not maintain their required independence regarding the primaries by seeking to hurt Sen. Bernie Sanders and help Clinton. The Podesta emails pulled back the curtain on Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street banks and on pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation.

Hacking into personal computers is a crime, but the U.S. government has yet to bring any formal charges against specific individuals supposedly responsible for the hacking of the Democratic emails. There also has been no evidence that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russians in the hacking.

Lacking any precise evidence of this cyber-crime or of a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign, Obama’s Justice Department holdovers and now special prosecutor Robert Mueller have sought to build “process crimes,” around false statements to investigators and possible obstruction of justice.

Railroading Flynn

In the case of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, acting Attorney General Sally Yates used the archaic Logan Act of 1799 to create a predicate for the FBI to interrogate Flynn about a Dec. 29, 2016 conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, i.e., after Trump’s election but before the Inauguration.

The Logan Act, which has never resulted in a prosecution in 218 years, was enacted during the period of the Alien and Sedition Acts to bar private citizens from negotiating on their own with foreign governments. It was never intended to apply to a national security adviser of an elected President, albeit before he was sworn in.

But it became the predicate for the FBI interrogation — and the FBI agents were armed with a transcript of the intercepted Kislyak-Flynn phone call so they could catch Flynn on any gaps in his recollection, which might have been made even hazier because he was on vacation in the Dominican Republic when Kislyak called.

Yates also concocted a bizarre argument that the discrepancies between Flynn’s account of the call and the transcript left him open to Russian blackmail although how that would work – since the Russians surely assumed that Kislyak’s calls would be monitored by U.S. intelligence and thus offered them no leverage with Flynn – was never explained.

Still, Flynn’s failure to recount the phone call precisely and the controversy stirred up around it became the basis for an obstruction of justice investigation of Flynn and led to President Trump’s firing Flynn on Feb. 13.

Trump may have thought that tossing Flynn overboard to the circling sharks would calm down the sharks but the blood in the water only excited them more. According to then-FBI Director James Comey, Trump talked to him one-on-one the next day, Feb. 14, and said, “‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

Trump’s “hope” and the fact that he later fired Comey have reportedly led special prosecutor Mueller to look at a possible obstruction of justice case against Trump. In other words, Trump could be accused of obstructing what appears to have been a trumped-up case against Flynn.

Of course, there remains the possibility that evidence might surface of Trump or his campaign colluding with the Russians, but such evidence has so far not been presented. Or Mueller’s investigation might turn over some rock and reveal some unrelated crime, possibly financial wrongdoing by Trump or an associate.

(Something similar happened in the Republican investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, a largely fruitless inquiry except that it revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent and received official emails over a private server, which Comey decried during last year’s campaign as “extremely careless” but not criminal.)

Curb the Enthusiasm

Another contrast between the earlier scandals (Watergate and Iran-Contra) and Russia-gate is the degree of enthusiasm and excitement that the U.S. mainstream media and congressional Democrats have shown today as opposed to 1972 and 1986.

Though The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein aggressively pursued the Watergate scandal, there was much less interest elsewhere in major news outlets until Nixon’s criminality became obvious in 1973. Many national Democrats, including DNC Chairman Bob Strauss, were extremely hesitant to pursue the scandal if not outright against it.

Similarly, although Brian Barger and I at The Associated Press were pursuing aspects of Iran-Contra since early 1985, the big newspapers and networks consistently gave the Reagan administration the benefit of the doubt – at least before the scandal finally burst into view in fall 1986 (when a Contra-supply plane crashed inside Nicaragua and a Lebanese newspaper revealed U.S. arms shipments to Iran).

For several months, there was a flurry of attention to the complex Iran-Contra scandal, but the big media still ignored evidence of a White House cover-up and soon lost interest in the difficult work of unraveling the convoluted networks for arms smuggling, money laundering and cocaine trafficking.

Congressional Democrats also shied away from a constitutional confrontation with the popular Reagan and his well-connected Vice President George H.W. Bush.

After moving from AP to Newsweek in early 1987, I learned that the senior executives at Newsweek, then part of The Washington Post Company, didn’t want “another Watergate”; they felt another such scandal was not “good for the country” and wanted Iran-Contra to go away as soon as possible. I was even told not to read the congressional Iran-Contra report when it was published in October 1987 (although I ignored that order and kept trying to keep my own investigation going in defiance of the wishes of the Newsweek brass until those repeated clashes led to my departure in June 1990).

So, perhaps the biggest similarity between Russia-gate and Watergate is that Richard Nixon and Donald Trump were both highly unpopular with the Washington establishment and thus had few influential defenders, while an important contrast with Iran-Contra was that Reagan and Bush were very well liked, especially among news executives such as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham who, by all accounts, did not care for the uncouth Nixon. Today, the senior executives of The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major news outlets have made no secret of their disdain for the buffoonish Trump and their hostility toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In other words, what is driving Russia-gate – for both the mainstream news media and the Democrats – appears to be a political agenda, i.e., the desire to remove Trump from office while also ratcheting up a New Cold War with Russia, a priority for Washington’s neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks.

If this political drama were playing out in some other country, we would be talking about a “soft coup” in which the “oligarchy” or some other “deep state” force was using semi-constitutional means to engineer a disfavored leader’s removal.

Of course, since the ongoing campaign to remove Trump is happening in the United States, it must be presented as a principled pursuit of truth and a righteous application of the rule of law. But the comparisons to Watergate and Iran-Contra are a stretch.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

This article was first published by Consortium News

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow

Global Research, June 04, 2017
Consortiumnews 3 June 2017

Last week’s leak to the Washington Post of an intelligence report about President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in early December to discuss a possible back channel to Moscow appears to represents the climax of the campaign of leaks against the Trump team regarding contacts between Trump associates and Russians.

The leak about Kushner came shortly after another sensational story broadcast by CNN on May 17 about U.S. intelligence picking up conversations among Russian officials during the presidential campaign in which they bragged about having cultivated a relationship with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and expressed the belief they could use him to influence Trump.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972. (Source: Consortiumnews.com)

Those two leaks sandwiched extraordinary testimony by former CIA Director John Brennan before the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 in which he said he was concerned about “intelligence” regarding Russian efforts to “suborn” certain Americans – meaning to induce them to commit unlawful acts. That may have been a reference to the leaked interception of Russians bragging about their relationship with Flynn that had just been reported.

“It raised questions in my mind about whether the Russian’s efforts were successful,” Brennan said.

Then, Brennan offered an inflammatory comment reminiscent of McCarthyism.

“Frequently people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late,” Brennan said.

Unidentified former Obama national security officials immediately condemned the Kushner proposal to Kislyak for a backchannel – which occurred after Trump’s election but before his inauguration – as

“not only highly improper but also possibly even illegal,” as Politico reported.

In an interview with the PBS NewsHour, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper followed that script, suggesting that the attempt to “mask this dialog” with Russia made the Kushner request inherently suspicious.

“Why all the cloak and dagger secrecy?” asked Clapper.  “One wonders if there was something worse than that or more nefarious than that…”

Clapper also argued that the proposal for the channel was illegitimate because the meeting was held before Trump became president.

“There is a distinction between reaching out, establishing lines of communication versus substantively interfering with the policy of the present administration,” he said.

The Kissinger Precedent

But the Brennan-Clapper line insinuating that the Kushner request for contacts with the Russians was potentially treasonous collapses in light of the well-documented story of how President-elect Richard Nixon’s national security adviser-designate Henry Kissinger established his own personal backchannel to the Soviet leadership in 1968 using a known KGB operative with whom he had been meeting for years as his contact.

Historian Richard A. Moss of the Naval War College recently published an authoritative book-length study of the Kissinger backchannel showing that that Kissinger began setting up his backchannel to the Soviet government leadership through his Soviet contact in December 1968 soon after being named Nixon’s choice for national security adviser.

Retired U.S. Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Oct. 29, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

And it shows that Kissinger seized on the one Soviet government contact he already had to establish the backchannel. That was Boris Sedov, whom Kissinger knew to be a KGB operative. Kissinger had been acquainted with Sedov from the latter’s visits to Harvard. The two continued the contacts after Nixon’s election in 1968.

Moss’s book recounts how Kissinger used the Sedov channel to introduce the concept of “linkage” of different policy issues into negotiations with the Soviets. Sedov gave Kissinger a Soviet government paper on Middle East policy, according to Moss’s account. Only after Nixon’s inauguration did Kissinger and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin agree that all further communication would be through Dobrynin.

Both the Kissinger-Sedov and Kissinger-Dobrynin channels were kept secret from the rest of the Nixon administration’s national security apparatus, as recounted by Moss. Nixon agreed to set up a secure phone line in the White House linking him directly to Dobrynin. The U.S. intelligence agencies, the National Security Council staff and the Pentagon were kept in the dark about these conversations.

And to complete the parallels between the Kissinger backchannel episode and the Flynn and Kushner contacts with the Russians, Moss reveals that Sedov later bragged to a Lebanese-American about his contact with Kissinger –- a boast that was immediately picked up by FBI surveillance of Sedov.

Further, Oleg Kalugin, the head of the KGB’s station in Washington, surely boasted to his Kremlin bosses about having “forged a close back channel tie with Henry Kissinger” – as Kalugin put it in his own memoirs – that would be useful in influencing Nixon’s policy toward the Soviet Union.

Sedov later boasted to Kalugin that he had been so successful in cultivating Kissinger’s assistant Richard Allen that he wanted to try to recruit Allen as an agent, according to Kalugin. But Kalugin rejected the proposal. (Allen went on to become President Ronald Reagan’s first national security adviser.)

This history of Kissinger’s Soviet backchannel in 1968 reveals Brennan’s breathless alarm about Russian “suborning” Flynn or using the backchannel to manipulate Kushner as unworthy of a serious intelligence professional.

Nothing in the Kislyak report intercepted by U.S. intelligence suggests that Kushner’s desire for the backchannel was for anything other than to discuss how to increase cooperation on issues of common interest. Two unidentified sources told ABC News that the Kushner-Kislyak meeting “was focused on the U.S. response to the crisis in Syria and other policy-related matters.”

Need for Secrecy

And the Trump transition team’s reasons for wanting a private channel of communication with the Russians that would not be visible to the U.S. national security bureaucracy were precisely the same as those of Nixon and Kissinger.

Moss, the historian of the Kissinger backchannel, recalled in an opinion piece on the Kushner affair that Dobrynin’s memoirs quote Kissinger as telling the Soviet Ambassador that the Nixon administration wanted to conduct a

“most confidential exchange of views” with the Kremlin, because “The Soviet side . . . knows how to maintain confidentiality; but in our State Department, unfortunately, there are occasional leaks of information to the press.”

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walks with Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend; Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump; and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman after arriving in Baghdad, April 3, 2017. (DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

The leak of the intelligence report of the Kushner-Kislyak meeting to The Washington Post underscores the problem faced by the Trump team amid the flood of leaks about U.S.-Russian discussions that were conducted through official U.S. channels.

Demonstrating the intensity of the anti-Trump attitudes among many Obama officials – both those who have left the government and those who remain as holdovers – someone with access to the secret report was so determined to expose the Kushner backchannel as to reveal to the Russians what must be one of the most sensitive U.S. intelligence secrets of all – the U.S. capability to intercept Russia’s diplomatic messages.

The idea of depending on a secure line of communication within the Russian Embassy for the backchannel was inherently unrealistic, but not because it would give the Russians some unfair advantage in negotiations. The real problem was that it would have been too awkward for a U.S. official to go to the Russian Embassy every time he wanted to use the channel. Indeed, it appears that the proposal was not pursued further because the Russians themselves were wary of it.

Moss, who says he is speaking for himself and not for the Naval War College, told this writer in an interview,

“Better relations with the Russians would be a good thing.” He noted several “areas of opportunity” including energy resources and cooperation on counter-terrorism in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. “If Kushner and Kislyak were discussing how to defeat ISIL that would be a perfectly legitimate thing,” said Moss.

But Moss warns that the underlying political crisis in American society is a formidable obstacle to any shift by Trump in relations with Russia. Trump “feels he won the election fairly and that unelected bureaucrats are working against him,” Moss observed, but “The people who suspect possible collusion between the Trump and Russian interference in the election may feel Trump is an illegitimate president.”

Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn are obviously no Kissingers. But the insinuations from Brennan and others that Trump’s advisers may have somehow crossed the line into treason is itself the crossing of a dangerous line into McCarthyism. And the mainstream U.S. news media is participating enthusiastically in the campaign to impugn the loyalty of Trump’s advisers, even though there is still no public evidence to support such suspicions.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism. He is the author of the newly published Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare.

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ما هي “وصايا” كيسنجر لترامب قبيل زيارته للسعودية؟

MAY 19, 2017

 ولماذا طالب العاهل السعودي بتجاوز “فوبيا” إسرائيل؟ 550 مليار دولار الثمن المعلن للزيارة ولكن ما هو ثمنها السياسي ومن سيسدده؟ ولماذا يهرول قادة عرب ومسلمين للاحتفاء بزعيم امريكي يحتقرهم؟

From Kissinger’s Playbook: Flynn is Gone, His Russia Policy Lives On

Amid demonstrations against his first choice, President Donald Trump named Lieutenant General Herbert McMaster, whose book claiming the US was too soft on Vietnam is now required reading for US officers, as his new national security advisor this week.

McMaster’s appointment came after Michael Flynn, Trump’s original choice, was forced to resign earlier this month after it emerged that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his phone calls with the Russian ambassador back in December.

The Washington Post revealed that these conversations, which occurred before Flynn had taken up his government role, had involved discussions of US sanctions on Russia. Such a discussion not only broke the “one president at a time” protocol – that members of an incoming administration should not discuss policy with foreign powers, but also flatly contradicted his own earlier denials, made to both Pence and to the FBI.

As Flynn had supposedly been one of the key “pro-Putin” figures in Trump’s administration, his removal has been interpreted by some as a victory for the anti-Russia “hawks” in the US foreign policy establishment. This is a misreading of the situation on two levels.

First, characterising members of Trump’s team as “pro-Russia” is incorrect; rather, they have, as Tom Hardy’s character in Taboo might put it, a “use” for Russia. Secondly, this plan for Russia is likely to remain intact regardless of Flynn’s removal – or McMaster’s well-publicised anti-Russia stance.

Befriending Russia to isolate Iran

Improving relations with Russia was only one of Flynn’s two major foreign policy obsessions: the other was “regime change” in Iran. In his 2016 book The Field of Fight, he wrote that “Iran has been a major threat to the US for decades due to its sponsorship of international terrorism – but the US has prioritised diplomatic relations over national security.” Instead, he argued, “the US must change course. These countries must be prepared to face military action.”

In fact, it is highly likely that the so-called “pro-Russia” position of Flynn, and indeed Trump, is part of a broader foreign policy initiative aimed ultimately at destroying Iran. The broad outlines of this position could already be discerned in the testimony Flynn gave to the Joint Foreign Affairs and House Armed Services Committee back in June 2015. Like so many now in Trump’s team, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the nuclear deal negotiated the year before.

“Iran represents a clear and present danger to the region, and eventually to the world,” he told the committee. When asked what he believed should be done about the prospect of Iranian nuclear development, he was unequivocal, replying that regime change in Tehran “is the best way to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons programme”.

The so-called ‘pro-Russia’ position of Flynn, and indeed Trump, is part of a broader foreign policy initiative aimed ultimately at destroying Iran

Since then, of course, Syria has taught the West a painful lesson about “regime change”, namely that Russia can make it extremely difficult.

Later in his testimony, Flynn argued that there was an “anti-US” alliance being developed between China, Iran and Russia: “Just look at the [Iranian] cooperation with North Korea, China and Russia. Connect those dots and you get the outline of a global alliance aimed at the US, our friends and our allies.” He continued: “Russian assistance is part of a broader pattern. After all, the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr is Russian-built, the two countries work very closely together in Syria, and Russia is providing Iran with an effective anti-aircraft system that could be deployed against any aircraft seeking to destroy the nuclear programme.”

The message is clear: if you want to attack Iran, you’d better break their alliance with Russia first. Michael Ledeen, who co-authored Flynn’s book, put it simply: “The issue is whether Putin is prepared to abandon Khamenei.” This is what those phone calls, and all Trump’s flattery of Putin, are really about: attempting to draw Russia away from its alliance with Iran (and China) – and ultimately to buy Russian acquiescence for the next war.

Adopting Kissinger’s playbook

The restoration of governmental authority in Syria currently underway, however, is not the first time that the US has suffered a military defeat at the hands of a foreign government supported by Russia. Nor is it the first time the US has responded to such a failure with a renewed attempt to split Russia from her allies.

In 1969, Richard Milhous Nixon became 37th president of the United States, and the fifth to lead US attempts to crush Vietnamese independence, inheriting a full-scale, and disastrous, military commitment. The Tet offensive the previous year had decisively blown apart the lie that the US was winning the war, and Nixon was elected on a promise to bring about “peace with honour”.

He would achieve neither, and in fact embarked on a massive escalation of the war, including a secret carpet bombing campaign in Cambodia, which led to famine and ultimately the rise of the Khmer Rouge. Yet the US’s ongoing defeat could not be abated. This led Nixon and his advisers towards a radical rethink of US strategy.

“By the time Nixon came into office,” wrote his own national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, “East-West relations were themselves in obvious need of reassessment.” Indeed, he said, the USA’s entire Cold War strategy “needed to be reconsidered in light of the trauma of Vietnam”.

The Vietnamese victory over the US was aided significantly by support, at different times, from both Russia and China, and Kissinger’s greatest fear was the restoration of “dreaded Sino-Soviet bloc … which had inspired so much fear in the 1950s.” He added that while it was “far from clear” that the USSR was “capable of realising so vast a project … what was obvious … was that the risk could not be run.”

“If the balance of power is taken seriously,” he continued, “then the very prospect of geopolitical upheaval must be resisted; by the time the change has occurred, it may well be too late to oppose it.”

The missing linkage

In today’s terms, this formula translates into two specific policy requirements for the US: 1) Russian-Chinese unity must be resisted and 2) Iran’s increasing influence in the Middle East must be reversed (ideally, one presumes, before the recapture of Mosul by largely Iranian-allied militias solidifies such influence).

Like Trump and Flynn today, Nixon and Kissinger sought nothing less than the breakup of the non-Western alliance spearheaded by Russia and China that had stymied US attempts to destroy governments challenging their hegemony. And, like today, they believed US cooperation with Russia to be both possible and desirable for both parties.

Said Kissinger: “America needed breathing room in order to extricate itself from Vietnam and to construct a new policy for the post-Vietnam era, while the Soviet Union had perhaps even stronger reasons for seeking a respite.” In particular, “the idea was to emphasise those areas in which cooperation was possible, and to use that cooperation as leverage to modify Soviet behaviour in areas where the two countries were at loggerheads,” a policy that became known as “linkage”.

The linkage being sought today – the deal Trump wishes to make with Russia – is to use potential “cooperation” over Syria, Ukraine and sanctions as “leverage” to secure Russian acquiescence for renewed hostilities towards Iran and China.

With this in mind, it is particularly interesting to note Kissinger’s role in shaping Trump’s foreign policy today. Germany’s Bild newspaper reported in December 2016 that Kissinger was a key architect of Trump’s “rapprochement” policy with Russia, advising him to lift sanctions and recognise Russian ownership of Crimea. These will not be free gifts – reciprocity will be expected and demanded, and Trump is making it abundantly clear that he wants a free hand in confronting Iran and China.

The linkage being sought today is to use potential ‘cooperation’ over Syria, Ukraine and sanctions as ‘leverage’ to secure Russian acquiescence for renewed hostilities towards Iran

Furthermore, as journalist Nafeez Ahmed has noted, “Kissinger’s ‘unofficial’ advisory role in the Trump regime is solidified through the direct influence of one of his longtime acolytes, KT McFarland, an aide to Henry Kissinger during the Nixon administration on the National Security Council from 1970 to 1976.”

McFarland was appointed by Trump as Michael Flynn’s deputy. Robert Harward, a former Navy seal, reportedly turned down the national security advisor post because Trump insisted that she stay on rather than allowing Harward to bring his own team.

In his book Diplomacy, Kissinger wrote that “Nixon had managed, despite the tragedy of Indochina, to maneuver his country into a dominant international position,” snatching a victory of sorts from the jaws of defeat, by playing Russia and China off against one another.

‘Russophobes’ are part of the plan

In this light, McMaster’s apparently conflicting views on Russia make sense. According to Frants Klintsevich, deputy head of the defence and security affairs committee of Russia’s Federation Council, McMaster is a “100 percent hawk” on Russia.

This appears to contrast with Flynn’s approach, putting him closer to other so-called “Russophobes” in the Trump team, such as ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who told the Security Council last month that “Russian actions” in the Ukraine “demand clear and strong condemnation,” and Vice President Mike Pence, who condemned Russia at the recent Munich Security Conference.

Yet these figures and their threats are as much a part of the strategy as dangling the prospect of lifting sanctions. As Kissinger put it: “The statesman’s role is … to create a network of incentives and penalties to produce the most favourable outcome.”

To pull off his “deal,” Trump needs his “bad cops” just as much as he needs to flatter and offer inducements – to warn Russia of what they will be up against should they choose to ignore his overtures and maintain their existing alliances.

The question today is: will Russia snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Syria by allowing itself to be played off against Iran and China? The stakes could not be higher.

This article originally appeared on Middle East Eye.

Dan Glazebrook is currently crowdfunding to finance his second book; you can order an advance copy here: http://fundrazr.com/c1CSnd

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The swamp strikes back

FEBRUARY 16, 2017

The swamp strikes back

by Pepe Escobar for Sputnik International

The tawdry Michael Flynn soap opera boils down to the CIA hemorrhaging leaks to the company town newspaper, leading to the desired endgame: a resounding victory for hardcore neocon/neoliberalcon US Deep State factions in one particular battle. But the war is not over; in fact it’s just beginning.

Even before Flynn’s fall, Russian analysts had been avidly discussing whether President Trump is the new Victor Yanukovich – who failed to stop a color revolution at his doorstep. The Made in USA color revolution by the axis of Deep State neocons, Democratic neoliberalcons and corporate media will be pursued, relentlessly, 24/7. But more than Yanukovich, Trump might actually be remixing Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping: “crossing the river while feeling the stones”. Rather, crossing the swamp while feeling the crocs.

Flynn out may be interpreted as a Trump tactical retreat. After all Flynn may be back – in the shade, much as Roger Stone. If current deputy national security advisor K T McFarland gets the top job – which is what powerful Trump backers are aiming at – the shadowplay Kissinger balance of power, in its 21st century remix, is even strengthened; after all McFarland is a Kissinger asset.

This call won’t self-destruct in five seconds

Flynn worked with Special Forces; was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); handled highly classified top secret information 24/7. He obviously knew all his conversations on an open, unsecure line were monitored. So he had to have morphed into a compound incarnation of the Three Stooges had he positioned himself to be blackmailed by Moscow.

What Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak certainly discussed was cooperation in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and what Moscow might expect in return: the lifting of sanctions. US corporate media didn’t even flinch when US intel admitted they have a transcript of the multiple phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak. So why not release them? Imagine the inter-galactic scandal if these calls were about Russian intel monitoring the US ambassador in Moscow.

No one paid attention to the two key passages conveniently buried in the middle of this US corporate media story. 1) “The intelligence official said there had been no finding inside the government that Flynn did anything illegal.” 2) “…the situation became unsustainable – not because of any issue of being compromised by Russia – but because he [Flynn] has lied to the president and the vice president.”

Recap: nothing illegal; and Flynn not compromised by Russia. The “crime” – according to Deep State factions: talking to a Russian diplomat.

Vice-President Mike Pence is a key piece in the puzzle; after all his major role is as insider guarantor – at the heart of the Trump administration – of neocon Deep State interests. The CIA did leak. The CIA most certainly has been spying on all Trump operatives. Flynn though fell on his own sword. Classic hubris; his fatal mistake was to strategize by himself – even before he became national security advisor. “Mad Dog” Mattis, T. Rex Tillerson – both, by the way, very close to Kissinger – and most of all Pence did not like it one bit once they were informed.

A “man of very limited abilities”

Flynn was already compromised by his embarrassingly misinformed book co-written with neocon Michael Ledeen, as well as his juvenile Iranophobia. At the same time, Flynn was the point man to what would have been a real game-changer; to place the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff under White House control.

A highly informed US source I previously called “X”, who detailed to Sputnik how the Trump presidency will play out, is adamant “this decision makes Trump look independent. It is all going according to script.”

“X” stresses how “the NSA can penetrate any telephone system in the world that is not secure. Flynn was a man of very limited abilities who talked too much. You never hear from the real powers in intelligence nor do you know their names. You can see that in Flynn’s approach to Iran. He was disrupting a peace deal in the Middle East relating to Russia, Iran and Turkey in Syria. So he had to go.”

“X” adds, “the Russians are not stupid to talk among themselves on unsecured lines, they assumed that Flynn controlled his own lines. Flynn was removed not because of his Russian calls but for other reasons, some of which have to do with Iran and the Middle East. He was a loose cannon even from the intelligence perspective. This is a case of misdirection away from the true cause.”

In direct opposition to “X”, an analytical strand now rules there’s blood on the tracks; the hyenas are circling; a vulnerable Trump has lost his mojo; and he also lost his foreign policy. Not yet.

In the Grand Chessboard, what Flynn’s fall spells out is just a pawn out of the game because the King would not protect him. We will only know for sure “draining the swamp” – the foreign policy section – is doomed if neocons and neoliberalcons continue to run riot; if neoliberalcons are not fully exposed in their complicity in the rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh; and if the much vaunted possibility of a détente with Russia flounders for good.

What’s certain is that the fratricide war between the Trump administration and the most powerful Deep State factions will be beyond vicious. Team Trump only stands a chance if they are able to weaponize allies from within the Deep State. As it stands, concerning the Kissinger grand design of trying to break the Eurasian “threat” to the unipolar moment, Iran is momentarily relieved; Russia harbors no illusions; and China knows for sure that the China-Russia strategic partnership will become even stronger. Advantage swamp.

Trump Will Try to Smash China-Russia-Iran Triangle… Here’s Why He Will Fail

 

Trump Will Try to Smash China-Russia-Iran Triangle... Here's Why He Will Fail

TEHRAN (FNA)– China, Russia and Iran are the three key players in what promises to be the Eurasian Century.

Donald Trump may be The Joker; The Fool; The Ace of Spades; the ultimate trickster. What nobody can tell for sure is how this shifty chameleon will seduce, cajole, divide and threaten these three countries in his bid to “Make America Great Again”.

Considering the composition of his cabinet, as well as his motormouth twittering, the world according to Trump sees radical Islam as the No 1 threat, followed by Iran, China and Russia.

The strategy of Henry Kissinger, Trump’s unofficial foreign policy guru, is a mix of “balance of power” and “divide and rule”. It will consist of seducing Russia away from its strategic partner China; keeping China constantly on a sort of red alert; and targeting Islamic State while continuing to harass Iran.

All this has the potential to backfire splendidly. Even a real “reset” with Russia, of the non-Hillary Clinton kind, is not exactly assured.

Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, may in fact be a cipher, a privileged ExxonMobil dealmaker, or a Trojan Horse for Kissinger’s views. Tillerson is a trustee of the hardline Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank, along with Kissinger.

So let’s see how Kissinger’s shadowplay might develop on the new geopolitical chessboard.

Trump starts out already pitted against America’s vast and powerful intelligence apparatus. The American “deep state” – the military-industrial complex that survives regardless of what political party is in power – requires an existential threat to operate. And that threat, according to the Pentagon, is Russia.

The ever-shifting “war on terror” is dead. The new normal, as demonstrated by the Obama administration, is the second cold war.

It all hinges on how – and if – Trump will be able to inflict pain on the US deep state, and how this might affect its “humanitarian” imperialist leanings.

Kissinger’s strategy implies having closer relations with Russia, whilst cajoling Moscow to betray its Eurasian ally Iran. Moscow is unlikely to betray Iran, and pursuing that strategy will only exacerbate Trump’s conflict with the deep state.

A Trumpian trade-off though is already on the cards; no more US sanctions on Russia if Moscow and Washington manage a common mechanism to smash Islamic State, as well as a new framework on nuclear disarmament.

There’s guarded optimism in Moscow that Trump’s business acumen will eventually lead him to discard counterproductive containment of Russia, freeing it to profit from the real deal across Eurasia: economic integration, via the Beijing-backed One Belt, One Road trade initiative to link economies into a China-centred trading network, and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Sensing a credible opening, Moscow has invited the Trump administration – represented by national security adviser Michael Flynn – to join the Syrian peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, alongside Iran, Turkey and the regime of Bashar al-Assad, due to start on Monday, only three days after Trump’s inauguration.

Russia and Iran are working as one in Syria. Russia has actively campaigned to bring Iran into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the regional security group. Bilateral trade – from energy to railways, mining and agriculture – is booming. Russia and Iran are set to ditch the US dollar and use rials and rubles for trade. This means bypassing the usual US weapon of choice: sanctions. Thus, betraying Tehran is out of the question for Moscow.

Trump, for all his rhetoric, cannot renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal signed by the members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in 2015. Tehran has met all its obligations. Trump also cannot fulfil his campaign promise to smash Islamic State, without Iran. Instead of his army of Iranophobic generals, he would do better to listen to the National Iranian American Council in Washington, which really understands Tehran’s stakes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and the volatile Iran-Saudi cold war.

And Trump “getting tough” on China will hit a BRICS wall. The next summit between those five leading emerging market economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is in Xiamen (廈門), southeast China, next autumn, and the hosts will press for further integration.

Trump’s generals will also have to inform him that America cannot afford a war in the South China Sea or the western Pacific, wars it would have no guarantee of winning.

Trump’s advisers – even the Sinophobes – must have told him that Taiwan and the South China Sea are Beijing’s top priorities.

As Beijing’s foreign ministry put it: “The one-China principle… is non-negotiable.”

Then there’s the 45 per cent tariff that might be slapped on Chinese products, and possible import quotas. Chinese scholars have concluded it is the United States that has most to lose in a trade war.

After Xi Jinping’s (習近平) masterclass at Davos, is that all there is? Kissinger, 93, had better get back to the drawing board.

By Pepe Escobar

This article first appeared on South China Morning Post on January 22.

Here’s how the Trump presidency will play out

January 19, 2017

by Pepe Escobar

ThHere’s how the Trump presidency will play oute Trump era starts now – with geopolitics and geoeconomics set for a series of imminent, unpredictable cliffhangers.

I have argued that Trump’s foreign policy guru Henry Kissinger’s strategy to deal with the formidable Eurasia integration trio – Russia, China and Iran – is a remixed Divide and Rule; seduce Russia away from its strategic partnership with China, while keep harassing the weakest link, Iran.

In fact that’s how it’s already playing out – as in the outbursts of selected members of Trump’s cabinet during their US Senate hearings. Factions of US Think Tankland, referring to Nixon’s China policy, which was designed by Kissinger, are also excited with the possibilities of containment regarding at least one of those powers “potentially arrayed against America”.

Kissinger and Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski are the two foremost, self-described Western dalangs – puppet masters – in the geopolitical arena. In opposition to Kissinger, Obama’s foreign policy mentor Brzezinski, true to his Russophobia, proposes a Divide and Rule centered on seducing China.

Yet an influential New York business source, very close to the real, discreet Masters of the Universe, who correctly predicted Trump’s victory weeks before the fact, after examining my argument offered not only a scathing appraisal of those cherished dalangs; he volunteered to detail how the new normal was laid out by the Masters directly to Trump. Let’s call him “X”.

The non-stop China watch

“X” starts by doing something US deep state-connected regulars, who revere their idols, never dare to, at least in public; “It is important not to attribute too much importance to either Kissinger or Brzezinski as they are merely fronts for those who make the decisions and it is their job to cloak the decisions with a patina of intellectuality. Their input means relatively nothing. I use their names on occasion as I cannot use the names of those who actually make the decisions.”

That’s the cue for “X” to detail the new normal; “Trump was elected with the support of the Masters to tilt towards Russia. The Masters have their tools in the media and Congress maintaining a vilification campaign against Russia, and have their puppet Brzezinski also come out against Russia, stating ‘America’s global influence depends on cooperation with China’. The purpose is to threaten Russia to cooperate and place these chips on the negotiating table for Trump. In a traditional good cop-bad cop approach, Donald is portrayed as the good cop wanting good relations with Russia, and Congress, media, Brzezinski are the bad cops. This is to aid Trump in the negotiations with Russia as Putin sees the ‘precarious’ position of his friend and should be willing to make major concessions as the line goes.”

And that brings us to how Taiwan – and Japan – got into the mix;

“Donald shows the Russian tilt by talking to the Taiwanese, demonstrating that the shift is serious. But it was decided to throw Japan into the mix as a predator against US industry, with an attack on Toyota, thoroughly deserved. That moderated the position as the Masters became afraid that the perception of our building up Japan against China would be too much of a provocation.”

So expect China – as “not too much importance” Kissinger prescribed – to be under non-stop scrutiny;

“The Masters have decided to reindustrialize the United States and want to take jobs back from China. This is advisable from the Chinese viewpoint; for why should they sell their work to the US for a dollar that has no intrinsic value and get really nothing back for the work. China should have a car in every Chinese worker’s garage and they will become a larger producer of cars than the EU, US and Japan combined, and their own nation will keep their wealth in their own country.”

And why China over Russia? “Russia in this sense being a natural resource country with a gigantic military industrial complex (the latter being the only reason she is secretly respected) is exempt from any tough trade talk as they hardly export anything but natural resources and military equipment. The Masters want jobs back from Mexico and Asia including Japan, Taiwan, etc., and you see this in Trump’s attack on Japan. The main underlying reason is that the US has lost control of the seas and cannot secure its military components during a major war. This is all that matters now and this is the giant story behind the scenes.”

In only a few words “X” details the reversal of an economic cycle;

“The Masters made money out of transfer of industry to Asia (Bain Capital specialized in this), and Wall Street made money from the lower interest rates on the recycled dollars from the trade deficits. But now, the issue is strategic; and they will make money on the return of industries scaling down their investments in Asia and returning them to the United States as we rebuild production here.”

“X” remains quite fond of Henry Ford’s business strategy; and that is the cue for him to address the crucial theme: national defense. According to “X”,

“Ford doubled the wages he paid and made more money than any other manufacturer. The reason was that a living wage where the mother can have many children on her husband’s wage was psychologically good for productivity in his car plants, and that his workers could then afford his cars. He thus recognized that in a society there must be a just distribution of wealth that his admirer Steve Jobs could not. Henry’s mass productivity was the wonder of the world and that was what won World War Two for the United States. Amazon does not contribute anything to national defense, being merely an internet marketing service based on computer programs, nor Google which merely organizes data better. None of this builds a better missile or submarine except in a marginal way.”

It’s the Pentagon, stupid

So yes; this all has to do with reorganizing the US military. “X” made a point to refer to a CNAS report I quoted in my initial column; “It is very important for what is visible between the lines. And that is we are in deep trouble being technologically behind Russia by generations in weapons, which is a follow-up on the Brzezinski quote that we are no longer a global power.”

This is a thorough, wide-ranging analysis of how Russia has managed to organize the best armed forces in the world. And that does not even take into account the S-500 missile defense system, which is now being rolled out and arguably seals the entirety of Russian airspace. And the next generation – S-600? – will be even more powerful.

“X” does venture into deep state taboo territory, as in how Russia, over the past decade, has managed to leap far ahead of the US, “eclipsing it as the strongest military power”. But the game may be far from over – wishful thinking or otherwise;

“We hope Secretary of Defense James Mattis will understand this and that the Deputy Secretary of Defense has advanced technological skills, organizational ability and the foresight to understand that the weapons of World War Three are offensive and defensive missiles, and submarines, and not air power, tanks and aircraft carriers.”

A realist, “X” admits that the warmongering neocon/neoliberalcon status quo – represented by most US deep state factions – will never abandon the default posture of unremitting hostility towards Russia. But he prefers to focus on change; “Let Tillerson reorganize the State Department along Exxon efficiencies. He may be worth something in that.  He and Mattis may be gutless but if you tell the truth to the Senate you may not be confirmed. So what they say means nothing. But notice this about Libya. The CIA had a goal of driving China out of Africa and so does AFRICOM. That was one of the secrets to our Libyan intervention.”

Not that it worked; NATO/AFRICOM turned Libya into a wasteland run by militias, and still China was not driven away from the rest of Africa.

“X” also admits,

“Syria and Iran are red lines for Russia. So is the eastern Ukraine from the Dnieper.” He is fully aware Moscow will not allow any regime change gambit on Tehran. And he’s also aware that “China’s investments in Iranian oil and gas imply that China also will not permit Washington’s overthrow of the Iranian government.”

The going really gets tough when it comes to NATO;

“X” is convinced Russia “will invade Romania and Poland if those missiles are not taken out of Romania and the missile commitment to Poland rescinded. The issue is not the worthless defensive missiles of the United States but the substitutability of offensive nuclear missiles in these silos. Russia will not tolerate this risk.  These are not subject to negotiation.”

In contrast to the “perpetual threat” perpetual propaganda by the US War Party, Moscow focuses on actual facts on the ground since the 1990s; the break up of historic Slavic ally Serbia; Warsaw Pact nations and even former USSR republics annexed by NATO, not to mention attempts to also include Georgia and Ukraine; US deployment of color revolutions; the “Assad must go “ fiasco, as in regime change forced on Syria even including the weaponizing of Salafi-jihadis; economic sanctions, an oil price war and raids on the ruble; and non-stop NATO harassment.

“X”, fully aware of the facts, adds,

“Russia has always wanted peace. But they are not going to play a game with the Masters of the Universe that has Trump as the good guy and the Congress, CIA, etc. as the bad guy as a negotiating ploy. That is how they see it. They do not regard this circus as real.”

The circus may be just an illusion. Or wayang – Balinese puppet theatre – as I suggested.

“X” advances a crisp interpretation of the shadow play ahead from Moscow’s point of view, allowing “several months to see if Putin can work out a detente with Trump that essentially creates an autonomous eastern Ukraine, a peace treaty in Syria with Assad in place, and a withdrawal of NATO forces back to their line of defense under Ronald Reagan.”

Who will prevail; the Masters, or the deep state? Brace for impact.

Shadow play: the New Great Game in Eurasia

January 11, 2017

Shadow play: the New Great Game in Eurasia

by Pepe Escobar for the Asia Times

So right in the heart of Bali, spellbound after a serious conversation with a dukun – a spiritual master – it struck me: this should be the new Yalta, the perfect setting for a Trump-Xi-Putin summit setting the parameters ahead in the ever-evolving New Great Game in Eurasia.

Balinese culture makes no distinction between the secular and the supernatural – sekala and niskala. Sekala is what our senses may discern. Niskala is what cannot be sensed directly and can only be “suggested”. Massive geopolitical shifts ahead could not be more shrouded by niskala.

Captive of the vertiginous velocity of the here and now, the West still has much to learn from a highly evolved culture that prospered 5000 years ago along the banks or the river Sindhu – now Indus – in what is currently Pakistan, and then migrated from the Majapahit empire in Java to Bali in the 14thcentury under the pressure of advancing Islam.

In the Hindu-Balinese conception of cosmic structure, Man is a kind of scale model of the universe – with exactly the same structure – as much as in Bali interlocking related structures provide balance to the whole island. Order is personified by Gods, disorder personified by earth demons. It’s all about dharma and adharma. As for the West, adharma rules, unchecked.

In Hindu-Balinese religious philosophy, for every positive force there is a counterbalance; a destructive force. The two are inseparable – coexisting in dynamic equilibrium. Western dualism is so unsophisticated compared to it.

In the Suthasoma – a great Mahayana Buddhist epic poem composed in central Java at the time when Buddhism was merrily mixing up with Shivaist Hinduism – we find an outstanding verse: Bhineka tunggal ika – meaning “it is different but it is one”.

That also happens to be the motto of Indonesia, emblazoned in the coat of arms, below the golden Garuda mythical bird. It’s a message of unity like the American e pluribus unum. Now it looks more like a message presaging Eurasia integration via the New Silk Roads; it’s not by accident that Xi Jinping officially launched the Maritime Silk Road in 2013 in Indonesia.

As the Trump era is about to begin, our current geopolitical juncture looks and feels like a massive Wayang kulit – the Balinese shadow play.

The historical origin of the shadow play lies most possibly in India, although it has been performed all across Asia. Good and evil do coexist in shadow play – but Hinduism seeks to depict the clash as a sort of quirky partnership.

Kulit means skin, covering. Wayang is the puppet made out of cow hide, painted and braced with sticks that the dalang – the puppet master – manipulates at will.

Every Wayang kulit performance is a story told by a dalang through voices (which he must impersonate); shadows on a screen; and atmospheric music. The dalang – a sort of priest – incarnates all characters and must know the stories he tells by heart.

Only a selected few in the West qualify as a dalang – especially in the geopolitical sphere. The real dalangs are in fact totally invisible – deep down in niskala. But then we have their emissaries, the visible, media-savvy, media-worshipped dalangs. Back to them in a New York minute.

The white bull and the Asian girl

Now compare the Balinese shadow play – acting out sekala and most of all niskala – with the made in the West approach; the Ariadne’s thread that might, just might, extricate us from the current geopolitical labyrinth by applying an exceedingly overhyped commodity: logic.

First, a rewind; let’s go back to the birth of the West, as in Europe. Legend tells us that one fine day Zeus happened to pose his roving eye on a girl with big, bright eyes: Europa. A while later, on a beach in the Phoenician coast, an extraordinary white bull showed up. Europa, intrigued, got closer and started to caress the bull; of course, that was Zeus in disguise. The bull then annexed Europa and darted towards the sea.

Zeus had three sons with Europa – and left her a spear that never missed its target. One of these sons, as we all know, was Minos, who built a labyrinth. But most of all what legend taught us was that the West was born out of a girl – Europa – who came from the East.

The question now is who will find the Ariadne’s thread to extricate us from the labyrinth, which five centuries after the Western-led Age of Discovery could be configured as The Decline of the West, with its leader, the United States, in the forefront.

The whole EU project is facing utter collapse. The myth of European/Western cultural and political superiority – cultivated over the past five centuries – lies in the dust, as far as “all Asiatic vague immensities”, as Yeats wrote in The Statues, are concerned. This is bound to be the Eurasian century.

A sound way forward would have been what Putin proposed way back in 2007; a unified continental trade emporium from Lisbon to Vladivostok, later picked up and expanded by the Chinese via the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) concept.

Instead, the Obama administration, leading the West “from behind”, counter-attacked with pivot to Asia (containment of China) and Cold War 2.0 (demonization of Russia).

Enter the Western dalangs

And that leads us, on the eve of a possible, new geopolitical era, to what the foremost, visible Western dalangs may be concocting across niskala.

Sekala displays out of control 24/7 hysteria by sectors of the US deep state over “evil” Russian deeds, with neocon/neoliberalcon Obama administration remnants pushing Cold War 2.0 to its limits. Yet niskala, where Henry Kissinger and Dr. Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski operate, is where the real (conceptual) action is.

It’s no secret that “urbane”, “cerebral”, “legendary” Kissinger is now advising Trump. The long-term strategy could be characterized as classic Divide and Rule, but slightly remixed; in this case an attempt to break the Russia-China strategic partnership by allying with the – theoretically – weaker node, Russia, to better contain the stronger node, China.

From a “Nixon in China” moment to a “Trump in Moscow” moment.

It’s a no-brainer that vain sycophants of the Niall Ferguson variety will bathe Kissinger’s cunning in rivers of hagiography – oblivious to the fact that Kissinger might be entertaining a way more profitable sideshow, in the form of booming business for his star-studded consulting firm Kissinger Associates Inc., which happens to be a member of the US-Russia Business Council, side by side with ExxonMobil, JP Morgan Chase and Big Pharma anchor Pfizer.

So, in a nutshell: exit regime change, enters benign containment. Here’s Kissinger at his Primakov lecture, almost a year ago, already sketching how Washington should deal with Moscow; “The long-term interests of both countries call for a world that transforms the contemporary turbulence and flux into a new equilibrium which is increasingly multipolar and globalized… Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.”

Multipolar Kissinger extolling “no threat” Russia; one wonders why the Clinton machine back then did not expose the old man as yet another Putin bromance hostage.

Also months before Trump’s victory, but in marked contrast with Kissinger, Brzezinski was in deep red alert territory, alarmed by the “erosion of US military-technical advantages”, as detailed for instance in this CNAS report.

Brzezinski gloomily asserted the obvious; a militarily inferior US “would spell the end of America’s global role” and the result would “most probably” be “global chaos”.

His solution then was for the US to “fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.”

There it was; Divide and Rule, over and over again, to counteract the unruly “threats”.

Brzezinski, after the Clinton machine/Obama debacle, is now no more than a sore loser. So he was forced to slightly shuffle the cards. Unlike Kissinger, and faithful to his rabid Russophobia, his Divide and Rule is centered on seducing China away from Russia; thus “American influence is maximized”.

In a predictable Western navel-gazing way, Brzezinski assumes China may not choose to go against the US, as it is “in their interest to belong to the dominant pack”. Yet the “dominant pack” is not the US anymore; it is Eurasia integration.

OBOR, or The New Silk Roads, is the only wide-ranging geoeconomic/ geopolitical integration project in the market. While Kissinger may remain, arguably, the ultimate realpolitik dalang, Obama mentor Brzezinski is still a hostage of Mackinder. The Chinese leadership, for their part, is already way ahead of both Mackinder and Alfred Mahan; the New Silk Roads aim to integrate, via trade and communications, not only the Heartland (One Belt) but also the Rimland (the Maritime Silk Road).

And a partnership with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will be essential to the whole project. Few will remember that as Cold War 2.0 was running amok back in September, the Eastern Economic Forum was doing business in Vladivostok, with Putin proposing a “digital economy space” all over Asia-Pacific and China pledging further involvement in the development of the Russian Far East.

So what we have now is arguably both top Western dalangs trying hard to adapt to the new normal – Eurasian integration via OBOR/EEU – by proposing conflicting, benign versions of Divide and Rule, as US intel keeps hangin’ on, in far from quiet desperation, to the old confrontational paradigm.

As the key nodes – the Triple Entente? – of Eurasia integration, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran are very much aware of a stranger bearing gifts shrouded in niskala, aiming at Moscow selling out Tehran in Syria, as well as with the nuclear deal; Moscow parting ways with Beijing; Beijing selling out Tehran; and all sorts of wayang containment/plunder permutations in between.

That will be the key story to follow further on down the (New Silk) roads. Yeats memorably wrote that, “mirror on mirror mirrored is all the show.” Yet the show always must go on – dalangs East and West let loose in deep niskala. Welcome to the 21st century Tournament of Shadows.

Pepe Escobar wrote his The Roving Eye column for Asia Times from 2000-2015. His books include Globalistan (2007), Red Zone Blues (2007), Obama does Globalistan (2009), Empire of Chaos (2014) and 2030 (2015).

The Mad Man Theory: Trump & Taiwan’

The Mad Man Theory: Trump & Taiwan'

MATTHEW JAMISON | 10.12.2016 | WORLD

The Mad Man Theory: Trump & Taiwan’

In Niccolò Machiavelli’s 1517 «Discourses on Livy» the famous Italian historian and political philosopher argued that sometimes it is «a very wise thing to simulate madness». The «Madman» theory was indeed a consciously deployed facet of President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy. The Nixon administration carefully projected a deliberate image of President Nixon as a volatile, erratic, almost deranged hot head. The objective was to create confusion among American adversaries, primarily in the Communist world, and unnerve them due to the unpredictability the «madman» Nixon engendered thus keeping them off balance allowing America to set the agenda, control responses, seize the initiative, keep US enemies constantly guessing and keep hostile provocations to the minimum for fear of a disproportionate response from the «unhinged» Nixon. President Nixon’s infamous Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, wrote that Nixon had confided to him:

«I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, ‘for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry — and he has his hand on the nuclear button’ and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace».

Nixon’s National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State, the brilliant Dr Henry Kissinger, was in on the act and portrayed the 1970 US incursion into Cambodia as a symptom of Nixon’s «instability». I can just imagine Nixon conferring with Kissinger before a diplomatic meeting and telling him: «Right Henry, this is how we are going to play. I’ll storm in and wave my arms around, talk about how I feel like bombing the hell out of such and such, spit some profanities out and then storm off. You will then rush in and say ‘ now you can understand what I have to deal with! Leave it to me. I’ll calm the old man down». Could it be that the new President-elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is also employing the «Mad Man» theory? Indeed, as Polonius put it in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: «Though this be madness, yet there is method».

Over the weekend of December 2nd the news came through that the new President-elect had broken with over 35 years of diplomatic precedent and protocol with regards to the United States most strategically important bilateral relationship. Mr. Trump did something which would on the surface seem fairly innocuous. He took a congratulatory phone call from the President of Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen.Then, all hell broke loose within the normally calm and ordered world of diplomatic affairs. This was due to the fact that no American President or President-elect has spoken with the President of Taiwan since 1979 when the Carter administration, building on the great legacy of Nixon and Kissinger’s visionary 1972 «Opening to China», embraced the Chinese concept of «One China» and officially terminated diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan), though unofficially relations continued much as they had with American arms shipments to Taiwan. The American Embassy in Taiwan became the American Institute, a private nonprofit corporation though still staffed by American diplomats. Under the Taiwan Relations Act signed into law by President Carter the United States would maintain «unofficial» relations with the people of Taiwan, but all official inter-governmental relations between the American Government and Taiwanese Government ceased , including official interactions between American and Taiwanese Presidents.

All of this diplomatic ambiguity was due to the dispute between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China dating all the way back to 1949 and the Communist victory over General Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang US backed nationalists in the Chinese civil war. The Kuomintang nationalists fled to the island of Taiwan were they set up shop and claimed to be the sole and legitimate Chinese Government for all of China including the Communist controlled mainland. Until Nixon’s «Opening to China» in the 1970s the United States maintained the fiction that the tiny island of Taiwan under the defeated nationalists represented all of China’s billion plus people and recognised it as the sovereign Chinese Government rather than the authority of the People’s Republic in Beijing. President Nixon, Dr Kissinger and later President Carter determined that this fiction could no longer continue and it was unwise to continue to try to isolate and alienate Beijing. So they prudently switched American recognition away from Taipei towards Beijing. While Taiwan had always claimed to be the rightful China, the People’s Republic had always viewed it as part of it’s true China.

So from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr to Bill Clinton, George Bush Jnr to Barack Obama, none of them have engaged officially with their Taiwanese counterparts and American Presidents have embraced officially the «One China» position of Beijing while still conducting unofficial relations with Taipei. This all changed, to a certain degree, over the weekend of December 2nd 2016, with the telephone call between US President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wei. Trump tweeted with regards to the phone call: «The President of Taiwan CALLED ME (Trump’s capitals) today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”. The President-elect followed this up with a further tweet: « Interesting how the US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call».

The Chinese Foreign Minister reacted in the usually calm, measured, nonchalant style of Chinese diplomacy brushing off the phone call as nothing more than a «petty trick» on the part on the Taiwanese. But soon after Trump went on a the rampage on Twitter once again with critical tweets regarding China: «Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency and build a massive military complex?» I don’t think so!» Well, of course not Mr. Trump, the fact is China is a sovereign, independent country who does not need to «ask» the permission of the United States to do anything! After this fracas the Chinese Government lodged a «solemn representation» with the White House reminding the Americans of the «One China» policy and the delicate equilibrium that has existed over the issues of Taiwan and has served American-Sino relations well for over three decades.

There was much amusement in the press that the incoming President seemed to be oblivious to the finer points of US-China diplomatic relations and that this latest blunder was evidence that Mr. Trump was clueless about international affairs. A Bull in a China Shop? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was more calculated than that. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager (who reminds me of something straight out of The Stepford Wives or the Brady Bunch) shot down the notion that Trump is ignorant of the nuances of America’s relationship with the second largest economy on the planet and rising superpower. Reports surfaced that Bob Dole, the 1996 Republican Presidential nominee, had his law firm lobby the Trump campaign on behalf of the Taiwanese Government for a new approach to US-Taiwan relations and the Republican Party Platform unveiled at their 2016 Convention evidenced stronger language on the subject of China. By accepting a phone call, and on the surface superficially that is all it was, Mr. Trump and his advisers could have calculated that with a low grade act they could at once signal a coming change in how the United States deals with China without inflicting any serious material damage on the relationship. Trump repeatedly throughout his campaign spoke in negative terms regarding China and how, falsely, it is «raping» the American economy.

There are some such as the deeply objectionable John Bolton and other neoconservative nutters, dinosaur Cold War Warriors and ultra nationalists around Mr. Trump who are itching for a confrontation, if not outright fight, with China. Please forgive the lapse into science fiction but when it comes to some of the things I hear and read about the foreign policy team around Trump I am reminded of the words of the Shakespeare quoting Klingon General Chang to Captain Kirk during the Battle of Kitomer in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country while he is bombarding the defenseless Enterprise: «Now be honest Captain, warrior to warrior. You do prefer it this way don’t you? As it was meant to be. No peace in our time. Once more on to the breach, dear friends».

Shortly after the protocol breaking Trump-Tsai phone call and the Trump China bashing twitter rampage the President-elect appointed his Ambassador to China, the Republican Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, who also happens to be a good, old friend of President Xi Jinping. They have known each other since the 1980s. It was probably one of Trump’s best appointments to date and the Chinese Foreign Ministry was delighted. Was this a master class in the madman theory attempting to confuse the Chinese and keep them off balance? Maybe so. But Mr. Trump should also be aware in the Chinese he has more than met his match, perhaps even his superior. These type of «mad man» stunts will not keep the Chinese off balance. They are far more adept at gaining the upper hand. In many ways when it comes to the American-Sino relationship, they already do enjoy the upper hand. Trump beware.

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