Yemeni Military Media Releases Video of Large-scale Operation against Saudi Forces in Jizan

23 July 2021 

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By Staff, Agencies

The Yemeni Military Media released on Thursday scenes of a major offensive against Saudi mercenaries on the outskirts of Al-Doud Mountain close to the kingdom’s southwestern region of Jizan.

The Army and the Popular Committees carried out a military operation against Saudi-backed militants, mercenaries from Sudan, deployed in the axes of Al-Madafin and Al-Mlahidh, which culminated in the control of several sites, killing, wounding and capturing Saudi-paid Sudanese mercenaries.

The Army and the Popular Committees conducted the offensive on two fronts, and they managed to establish control over a number of districts and inflict material and human losses on enemy forces in the process.

They destroyed four vehicles belonging to Saudi-backed militants, burned their camps and barricades, seized various weapons, and captured a number of Sudanese mercenaries.

The scenes documented by the military media lens also showed the moments of the Yemeni Army advancing to enemy positions and storming them.

The scenes also showed the Army and Popular Committees chasing the fleeing Sudanese mercenaries between valleys and hills, capturing a number of them.

In conjunction with the implementation of the operation, the US-Saudi aggression aircraft tried to support its mercenaries with a number of raids to stop the progress of the Army and Popular Committees, but to no avail.

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بكين وصلت إلى دمشق.. ماذا بعد؟

22 تموز2021

المصدر: الميادين

أحمد الدرزي

حملت زيارة الصين إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية.

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كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي نفسه، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها.

تعاطى السوريون مع قدوم وزير الخارجية الصيني في يوم القسم الرئاسي إلى سوريا، والذي حمل دلالات رمزية عميقة، بمشاعر متباينة بين التفاؤل والتشاؤم، وخصوصاً أن الوضع الاقتصادي ضاغط بشدة على القاعدة الأكبر منهم، التي تجاوزت 90% من مجموع السكان، فأي مسارات ستسلكها العلاقات بين البلدين؟ وما انعكاسها على الوضع السوري الداخلي والخارجي؟

لا يعدّ اهتمام قادة بكين بسوريا وليد اللحظة، إذ إنه يمتد إلى نهايات الألفية الثانية، مع صعود الصين التي بدأت نهضتها الحقيقية في العام 1978، بمجيء دينغ هسياو بينغ. وكان من المفترض أن تحصل قفزة كبيرة في العلاقة بين البلدين بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد لبكين في العام 2004، ولكن المشاريع الاقتصادية التي كان من المفترض أن تقوم بها الأخيرة في مدينة عدرا العمالية تم إيقافها لأسباب غير معروفة.

مع مجيء تشي جينبينغ في العام 2013 إلى موقع الرئاسة في الصين، تم الإعلان عن مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” التي قُدّرت كلفتها بحدود 4 تريليون دولار. وكان اللافت للنظر هو استبعاد سوريا والعراق من المشروع، واعتبار شمال غرب إيران وجنوب شرق تركيا الممرَّ البري نحو أوروبا، واعتبار مرفأ حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة المرفأ المعتمد في شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط. 

أخذت السياسات الصينية تُظهر نفسها على المستوى السياسي بعد إدراك قادة بكين أن القدرات الاقتصادية الهائلة التي أتاحت لهم بناء قدرة عسكرية دفاعية، تتيح لهم ترجمة ذلك، لتحويل الصين إلى قطب دولي موازٍ للقطب الأميركي الأوحد، ما دفع الرئيس جينبينغ إلى الإعلان عن اعتباره أن العالم أصبح متعدد الأقطاب، ولا عودة عن ذلك، وذلك من منبر الأمم المتحدة في العام 2015.

ارتفعت نبرة التحدي الصيني بعد مجيء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بقيادة بايدن، واعتبارها كلاً من الصين وروسيا تهديدين استراتيجيين للولايات المتحدة، ما دفع الرئيس الصيني إلى الإعلان عن أنَّ “زمن التنمّر على الصين ولَّى بلا رجعة”.

كما أحدث الانسحاب الأميركي غير المشروط من أفغانستان، وتركه الفوضى والاضطرابات من خلال سيطرة حركة “طالبان”، قلقاً لدى دول الجوار، ما دفع 40 دولة إلى عقد مؤتمر آسيا الوسطى والجنوبية في مدينة طشقند في أوزباكستان بتاريخ 15 تموز/يوليو الماضي، بعنوان لافت للنظر هو “الترابط الإقليمي، تحديات وفرص”.

وكان من الواضح من خلال طبيعة تحركات وزير الخارجية الصيني أنَّ القرار اتخذ بضرورة تأمين منطقة غرب آسيا، التي تشمل المنطقة الممتدة من أفغانستان إلى شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط، وهو ما يقتضي بطبيعة الحال إخراج سوريا من منطقة الصراعات الدولية والإقليمية، فالتقى القوى الدولية والإقليمية المؤثرة في الملف السوري، ممثّلة بكل من وزيري خارجية روسيا سيرغي لافروف والمملكة العربية السعودية سعود الفرحان في اليوم الأول. وفِي اليوم الثاني، التقى وزير خارجية تركيا مولود جاويش أوغلو قبل التوجّه إلى دمشق.

كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها، وعلى أنّ بقاء الرئيس الأسد في سدة الحكم لم يكن سوى مظهر لنتائج الصراع الدولي والإقليمي وتحولاته الكبرى، وتأكيداً على دور الصين في المرحلة القادمة في تأمين الجغرافيا السورية كمنطقة آمنة، بالتعاون والتنسيق بشكل أساسي مع موسكو وطهران، وإشراك المملكة العربية السعودية التي تعتبر قاطرة دول الخليج، إضافة إلى مصر التي زارها في اليوم التالي، والتقى فيها الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومعالجة الدور التركي السلبي الذي لم يفِ بتعهداته لبكين بتسليم القيادات الإرهابية التركستانية، رغم الدعم الاقتصادي الصيني لها.

وكان لاتصال وزير الخارجية وانغ يي بوزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في اليوم الذي زار فيه دمشق دلالة كبيرة، وخصوصاً أن بيان وزارة الخارجية الصيني أعلن استعداد الصين للعمل مع إيران على مواجهة السياسات الأحادية والهيمنة، وهو ما يعني بالضرورة التوافق مع استراتيجيتها بإخراج الأميركيين من غرب آسيا بأكملها، وخصوصاً سوريا والعراق، ما يمهّد الطريق لدخول مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” إلى كل من العراق وسوريا ولبنان.

حملت الزيارة الصينية إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير، أسوةً ببقية الدول التي وافقت عليه، وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية. 

وللتأكيد على ذلك، وقعت على اتفاقيات الاستثمار في كل مدينة عدرا الصناعية واللاذقية، وعلى إنشاء خط بري من الشمال إلى الجنوب، يربط دول الخليج العربي وشمال أفريقيا بتركيا وأوروبا، وبناء خط لسكك الحديد يربط مرفأ طرطوس بالعراق وإيران وباكستان والصين، إضافةً إلى الاستثمار في قطاع النفط والغاز، والجانب الآخر يتعلق بالمساعدات التي يمكن أن تقدمها إلى سوريا.

وقد توج ذلك بمبادرة للحل السياسي وفق قرارات الأمم المتحدة، مع الدعم الكبير لتصورات دمشق في أكثر القضايا، وخصوصاً ما يتعلق بالإدارة الذاتية والاحتلال التركي، عندما لمّحت المبادرة إلى “رفض جميع المخططات المحفزة على الانقسامات العرقية تحت ذريعة مكافحة الإرهاب”، إضافةً إلى شرط أساسي: “ينبغي دعم حل سياسي شامل وتصالحي للقضية السورية” بقيادة السوريين.

من الواضح أنَّ المساهمة الصينية في مساعدة سوريا اقتصادياً وسياسياً مرتبطة بتحقيق متطلبات أساسية، تتعلق بتغيير بيئة العمل الاقتصادي وتغيير التشريعات الاقتصادية، وهو ما تعهّد به الرئيس الأسد في خطاب القسم، عندما أكّد أن العمل في المرحلة القادمة سيكون على مكافحة الفساد وإصدار تشريعات اقتصادية جديدة.

أما الحلّ السياسي، فقد يذهب نحو مسار تشكيل منصّة للمعارضة السورية الداخلية بعنوان منصة دمشق، تكون مهمّتها الأساس إيجاد أرضية للحوار والتفاوض بين الطرفين في دمشق، وليس جنيف، وإنهاء دور المنصات التي تشكل امتدادات دولية وإقليمية.

بعد أن اختارت دمشق قرار التوجّه شرقاً، تطلَّب منها ذلك الشروع في تحقيق المتطلبات الثلاثة الآنفة الذكر، وهو ما ينتظره أغلب السوريين الذين طحنتهم الحرب، والذين يبحثون عن مخرج لاسترداد حياتهم السابقة واستعادة المناطق المحتلة في الشمال السوري وجنوبه، والبدء بإعادة إعمار ما تهدم على الصعيد الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، والّذي تعجز عنه الدولة السورية وحدها.  

Pegasus Project: Why I was targeted by Israeli spyware

The building housing the Israeli NSO Group is pictured in 2016 in Herzliya (AFP)
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Madawi al-RasheedMadawi al-Rasheed is visiting professor at the Middle East Institute of the London School of Economics. You can follow her on Twitter: @MadawiDr

20 July 2021 09:34 UTC

Madawi al-Rasheed

My work to expose the crimes of the Saudi regime led to a hacking attempt on my phone. Today, I am overwhelmed by feelings of vulnerability and intrusion

The Orwellian prediction finally came true. I knew it was only a matter of time before the Saudi regime tried to hack my phone, using Pegasus software manufactured by the private Israeli security company NSO Group.

This development highlights the consolidation of a new axis of evil: IsraelSaudi Arabia and the UAE have become a chorus of malicious powers aiming to stifle activism and the quest for democracy in the region. Israel provides knowledge; the others provide funds.

I have spent more than half my life writing, researching and teaching. You wouldn’t expect me to be hacked. But such professional activities are a crime in Saudi Arabia

The privatisation of the Israeli security apparatus, and the mushrooming of private companies founded by ex-defence and ex-Mossad agents, is a threat not only to Palestinians in Israel, Gaza and the occupied West Bank, but also to all Gulf citizens, with Israeli spyware sold to dictatorships across the Arab world.

In return, Israel gains access to the inner intelligence circles and deep states of the Gulf – enabling it to hold them hostage for a long time to come. Israel supports Gulf autocracies, thinking that this guarantees its own security forever. But Israel is wrong.

Normalisation with Israel is not only immoral because of the Palestinian plight; it is also an existential threat to all Gulf nationals seeking political reform in their own countries. The so-called “only democracy in the Middle East” has so entrenched its apartheid system that no propaganda can salvage it, and strong public objections to Arab regimes’ normalisation with Israel will only intensify in the months and years ahead.

Saga of surveillance

The UAE plays a key role in the saga of surveillance by Israeli private companies. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has fallen under the spell of Mohammed bin Zayed, his UAE counterpart. Forget the “tallest buildingbusiest airport and ministries of tolerance and happiness” – which are at the core of UAE propaganda – and remember that bin Zayed is bin Salman’s mentor.

The two are united by their hatred of democracy, political diversity, freedom of speech and human rights. Both are now key to an axis of evil overseen by malicious Israeli technology, whose alleged raison d’etre is to help governments catch criminals and terrorists. Yet, it is being used against peaceful activists.

Pegasus: How it hacks phones and spies for NSO clients

graphic

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based NGO specialising in defending journalists and human rights activists, obtained more than 50,000 telephone numbers targeted globally by Israeli malware on behalf of NSO clients, mainly governments. They alerted various media outlets, and with the support of Amnesty International, launched the Pegasus Project.Pegasus: Khashoggi contacts among ‘thousands targeted by Israeli spyware

The findings showed that in April 2019, there was an attempt to hack my phone, but it was unsuccessful. While this is a relief, I am overwhelmed by feelings of vulnerability and intrusion.

To obtain evidence from the Pegasus Project, I had to submit the contents of my phone – in which my private and professional life was stored – to their technology team.

I sat in front of a computer screen for three hours, watching my virtual life travel to the Amnesty International lab, where a search for malware was conducted. I received evidence of the failed April hacking attempt the same day.

Controlling the narrative

As a British citizen of Saudi origin, I have spent more than half my life writing, researching and teaching. You wouldn’t expect me to be hacked. But such professional activities are a crime in Saudi Arabia, where the regime is determined to control the narrative about the past, present and future.

My crime is that I punctured this narrative, using academic research skills and access to Saudis whose voices remain muted. All my research has focused on giving a voice to the voiceless, which inevitably involves interviewing Saudis inside and outside the country. My debunking of official Saudi lies bothers the regime, which has spared no opportunity to tarnish my reputation, accusing me of being an agent of western governments, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, and previously Libya and Iraq.

Saudi government agents murdered Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018 (AFP)
Saudi government agents murdered Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October 2018 (AFP)

In the 1990s, the regime targeted me with direct threats of violence – but with the advent of the internet, such threats have become virtual, propagated by regime agents. Hacking my phone is only the latest episode.

In 2014, my Twitter account was hacked in search of sensational scandals, and possibly clandestine plots with other Saudi exiles. The hackers must have been disappointed not to find any of this, but they did expose my private conversation with Sheikh Awad al-Qarni, a key Islamist figure who sent me greetings and asked me not to augment my criticism of the Islamist movement’s silence when prominent Saudi human rights leaders were detained.

Regime spies launched a campaign to discredit Qarni for sending a direct message to an unveiled woman, such as myself. Qarni has been in prison for several years.

Lives in danger

I never had anything to hide, as everything I knew was documented and published in books and articles. I had no secrets, but this was not the point. I cherished my privacy and loathed the Saudi intrusion into my life. I also worried about those who communicate with me from within the country, as their lives could be in danger.

Among the charges against Mohammed al-Otaibi, a human right activist, was storing my books and articles on his computer. He is still in prison. It is my responsibility to protect those who confide in me and want their voices to be heard.

While the April 2019 assault on my device was unsuccessful, I am sure there will be other attempts in the future

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 coincided with greater Saudi surveillance of exiles in Britain, Canada and elsewhere. The shock over the gruesome details of chopping up a peaceful journalist was compounded by fears of hacking. This was the first time exiles had heard of NSO helping the Saudis to hack the phone of a young exile based in Canada, Omar al-Zahrani, who had communicated with Khashoggi about establishing a media platform to debunk Saudi propaganda.

The financial cost of securing my phone was colossal, but it was worth it. While the April 2019 assault on my device was unsuccessful, I am sure there will be other attempts in the future.

Back in 2019, I was involved in discussions with other exiles in three countries about forming a political party, which could explain the attempt to infiltrate my phone at that time. The regime wanted more details about who would sponsor such a project – and who the culprits were. The project materialised on 23 September 2020,  the day the kingdom celebrates its national day, as a small group of activists, including myself, announced the establishment of the Saudi National Assembly (NAAS). Yahya Asiri, the general secretary, was hacked, and his name appears in the Pegasus files. 

Standing against oppression

I moved from academia to political activism because the Saudi regime committed heinous crimes, and the lives of exiles, including my own, were in danger. The Saudi regime targeted me when I was an academic, and again after I became an activist. Such attacks will surely continue in the months and years ahead.

In April 2019, I was also writing a book on state-society  relations. The villain was none other than bin Salman, who has detained hundreds of Saudis and precipitated the flight of scores more.

I was baffled by western media depictions of the prince as a modern reformer, while Saudi prisons were bulging with innocent prisoners of conscience, women were campaigning against discrimination, and a young diaspora was coming together around the globe. My book, The Son King, was definitely a faux pas.

How Israeli spy tech reaches deep into our lives

In 2019, a new virtual Saudi opposition-in-exile was beginning to be formed, standing against oppression and dictatorship. NAAS relies on social media to connect and exchange ideas, making it extremely vulnerable, as the murder of Khashoggi and the hacking of activists’ phones has demonstrated. In the wake of the Pegasus Project revelations, NAAS will surely revert to old methods of mobilisation, meetings and activism.

Thanks to Israeli malware, UAE complicity and Saudi intrusions, exiles will have to search for secure methods to share information and to mobilise. As many have taken refuge in the US, Canada, Britain and across Europe, these states have a responsibility to protect them from Saudi surveillance. Otherwise, there is a real risk the Khashoggi saga could be repeated.

Diplomacy must be activated to stop the axis of evil from spreading more fear, apprehension and possibly murder – and if that doesn’t work, sanctions should be pursued, at the very least in Britain, where two of the founders of NAAS reside.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

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MBS Used ‘Israeli’ Spyware Pegasus to Spy on Lebanese, Hezbollah Officials – Report

20-07-2021

MBS Used ‘Israeli’ Spyware Pegasus to Spy on Lebanese, Hezbollah Officials - Report

By Staff, Agencies

An ‘Israeli’ software company is revealed to have helped Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman [MBS] take over the smart phones of high-ranking Lebanese authorities, senior figures of Hezbollah resistance movement as well as journalists, and spy on their communications.

According to the report published by the French daily newspaper Le Monde, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler used the NSO Group’s cell phone-hacking software, Pegasus, to conduct cyber-espionage on Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, former prime minister Saad Hariri, former foreign minister and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil, and Chief of the Directorate of General Security Major General Abbas Ibrahim.

The report added the ‘Israeli’ spyware was abused on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between 2018 and 2019 to spy on some Lebanese political officials and journalists.

Le Monde said the Saudi crown prince also called for espionage on Lebanese lawmakers representing Hezbollah Hassan Fadlallah and Ali Fayyad, governor of Lebanon’s central bank Riad Salameh and former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil.

The report added that the Riyadh and Abu Dhabi regimes had demanded that two renowned Lebanese journalists, director of Beirut-based al-Mayadeen television news network Ghassan bin Jiddo, and correspondent and political analyst for al-Akhbar Arabic language newspaper Ibrahim al-Amin, be kept under close watch.

Similarly, the United Arab Emirates has apparently deployed digital spyware enabling surveillance of top leaders of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement and officials from the administration of former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The Arabic-language al-Khabar al-Yemeni news website reported that Ansarullah’s leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and Chairman of the Yemeni Supreme Revolutionary Committee Mohammed Ali al-Houthi were among senior Yemeni officials targeted by the UAE.

According to the report, Hadi was also on the list of targets.

One of the most prominent targets was Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, the former Yemeni prime minister in Hadi’s government. He was under surveillance since April 2016 until the end of 2018.

Being a highly invasive tool, Pegasus is said to be able to turn on the victim’s cell phone camera and microphone and access data on it, meaning that it can effectively turn the phone into a pocket spy.

The ‘Israeli’ firm NSO has been in the headlines since 2016 when experts said it was helping spy on an activist in the UAE.

The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, through a study, has found a link between the NSO technology and political surveillance in Mexico, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Victims of the hacking spree included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and top government officials.

حكومة الوقت الضائع قبل الانتخابات

17/07/2021

ناصر قنديل

لا يمكن إنكار حقيقة أن الرئيس المعتذر عن تشكيل الحكومة سعد الحريري لا يزال الرابح الرئيسي في نهاية لعبة السنتين اللتين أعقبتا بدء الانهيار في تشرين 2019، فهو انسحب من المشهد عندها مسلطاً الضوء على العهد والتيار الوطني الحر، مدّعياً الوقوف مع الشعب الغاضب بوجه الحكام، تاركاً كرة النار أمام حكومة اضطر الآخرون إلى تحمّل مسؤوليتها وتحمل مسؤولية سياساته بالنيابة عنه، من دون أن يسهّل عليهم المهمة، وبعد سنة تكرّم وأعلن أنه جاهز للعودة الى رئاسة الحكومة، لكنه لم يكن يريد تشكيل حكومة يتحمّل معها مسؤولية العجز عن تقديم الحلول، ومسؤولية المواجهة مع الفيتو السعوديّ عليه، فبقي يناور ويداور، حتى اعتذر، مكملاً المعركة التي بدأها يوم استقالته قبل سنتين تقريباً، معركة الانتخابات النيابية المقبلة، تحسباً لجهوزية سعودية لتشكيل حاضنة لائتلاف نيابي يرث زعامته، مستخدماً كل الأسلحة المحرّمة بما فيها الخداع، وزرع الأوهام، وهو اليوم على مسافة شهور قليلة من الانتخابات يمسك بلعبة شارعه التقليديّ على قواعد طائفيّة، وقد حاصر كل خصومه، وضبط إيقاع منافسيه، ووضع المرجعيّات السياسيّة والدينيّة في جبهة تقف خلفه، غير معنيّ بشيء آخر سوى مواصلة التعبئة والشحن الطائفيّين حتى موعد الانتخابات، لضمان الفوز بأكبر كتلة في طائفته تتيح له الترشح مجدداً لرئاسة الحكومة، من موقع أقوى بوجه السعودية قبل سواها، طلباً للاعتراف بحتميّة التفاهم معه، متخذاً لبنان رهينة، حيث لا حكومة برئاسة سواه تملك شروط النجاح ورئيسها محاصر في طائفته، في بلد يقوم على التنظيم الطائفي.

حتى ذلك التاريخ يبدو أن الحريري خسر خارجياً الكثير، فهي المرة الأولى التي يخرج من الحكم ولا يخرج بيان واحد من أي سفارة أو عاصمة دولية وإقليمية يُدين إخراجه أو إفشال مهمته، أو يتبنى روايته عن التعطيل، بل إن البيانات التي صدرت سريعاً بعد اعتذاره من كل مكان، وعلى مستوى عالٍ من المسؤولين، تجاهلت ذكر اسمه، وهو الذي كان في العشية ذاتها يتباهى بسفراته للخارج باعتبارها مصدر قوة للبنان بقوة تمسك هذا الخارج به، لا أسفاً على عدم تمكينه من تشكيل الحكومة كما كان مفترضاً، لو كانت أي من العواصم المعنية تعتبره مرشحها المفضل، أو لو كان أي منها يوافقه على شروطه ويتبناها، ولا لوم على رئيس الجمهورية الذي يتّهمه بالتعطيل، فقط دعوة للاستشارات النيابية بأسرع وقت لتسمية بديل والبدء بتشكيل حكومة جديدة، كأنه كان عبئاً تمّ التخلص منه، من دون أن تخلو الإشارة إلى تضييع تسعة شهور، ليس ضرورياً تحميله مسؤوليتها بالاسم طالما أن السياق يقول ذلك من خلال عدم تحميلها لسواه وعدم تبرئة ساحته من المسؤولية، وعدم تبنّي سرديته للفشل.

الحديث عن خيارات إنقاذيّة عبر حكومة جوهر مهمتها، كما تقول القوى الفاعلة داخلياً وخارجياً هو التفاوض مع صندوق النقد الدولي لبدء ضخ بعض الدولارات الإنعاشيّة في السوق، مجرد وهم وسراب، فسقف الحكومة الجديدة هو إدارة الوقت الضائع قبل الانتخابات النيابية، بإجراءات تحول دون الانهيار الأشد قسوة، وسقف عمرها هو ستة شهور من أول الخريف حتى نهاية الشتاء، تُقرّ خلالها مجموعة قوانين هيكليّة يطلبها صندوق النقد الدوليّ، تمهيداً لضخ أموال في حساب مصرف لبنان تمنح الأوكسجين اللازم لمنع المزيد من تفاقم الأزمة بصورة انفجارية، هذا علماً أن السيطرة على سوق الصرف التي تشكل نقطة الانطلاق في أية إجراءات مطلوبة تتوقف على أن يوقف مصرف لبنان مدّ يده إلى السوق لشراء الدولارات لتمويل شراء المحروقات، من خلال تحديد سقف كميّة مدعومة من المشتقات النفطية تباع بموجب بطاقات ويترك الباقي للسوق الحرة، فينخفض إلى أقلّ من الربع، ويتوقّف التهريب، لأن ما يدخل السوق من دولارات من عائدات التحويلات والتصدير يعادل ويزيد حجم المستوردات ما لم يكن نصف المستوردات يُشترى بسعر مدعوم لتباع للخارج بهدف تحويل الأموال للنافذين وسرقة الدولارات المدعومة عبر التهريب.

ما ورد من دولارات بفعل حجم الاغتراب والسيّاح العراقيين خصوصاً، الذي وصل ويصل الى لبنان، وما سيردُ لتمويل الانتخابات مع مطلع العام، وما تقرّر في البنك الدولي وصندوق النقد الدولي من دون البدء بالإجراءات المطلوبة، سيكون كافياً للسيطرة على سوق الصرف مع وقف الدعم، بما يعنيه من وقف التهريب والسرقات، وقد صار مطلباً للأسف كما بات ثابتا أنه آتٍ لا محالة، وفي الحصيلة الكل ينتظر الانتخابات التي يرجح أنها ستعيد إنتاج مشهد سياسيّ لا يختلف جذرياً عن المشهد الحالي، وهو المشهد التقليدي الذي يعيشه لبنان، حيث الطوائف أساس الانتظام السياسيّ، وتعود حليمة لعادتها القديمة، ننتظر انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية، لنكتشف أن توقيت بدء وضع لبنان جدياً على جدول الأعمال الدولي سيكون مع مطلع العام 2023، وحتى ذلك التاريخ كل شيء يدور تحت عناوين تعزيز الأوضاع الانتخابية للاعبين التقليديين في طوائفهم، ومحاولات خارجية وداخلية لتعديل التوازنات بالمجيء بقوى أشدّ طواعية، وليست أكثر التزاماً بالتغيير، ومن سخريات القدر أن يصير الحفاظ على التقليديين حفاظاً على قوى أشد تعبيراً عن الاستقلال من القوى التي ترفع لواء التغيير ويدعمها الخارج وينتظر نتائج الانتخابات ليقرّر التعامل مع التوازنات الجديدة، ومن سوء الطالع أن تكون كل الحلول تتم تحت سقف رضا هذا الخارج وليس حساب المصلحة الوطنية.

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Lebanon: Saad Hariri steps down as prime minister-designate

Future Movement leader unable to agree with President Michel Aoun on government formation

Lebanese Prime Minister-Designate Saad al-Hariri speaks as he abandons cabinet formation, after meeting with Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda (Reuters)

By MEE and agencies

Published date: 15 July 2021 13:35 UTC | Last update: 4 mins 42 secs ago

Saad Hariri announced on Thursday that he would no longer try and form a Lebanese government, renouncing his role as prime minister-designate.

Hariri, who has had two spells as prime minister and was tasked with forming a cabinet after Hassan Diab’s government resigned following the 4 August Beirut port explosion, said he was unable to come to an arrangement with President Michel Aoun over its lineup.

“It is clear we will not be able to agree with his excellency the president,” Hariri told reporters after a meeting with Aoun that lasted just 20 minutes.

“That is why I excuse myself from government formation.”

The Future Movement leader was made prime minister-designate in October. However, reaching an agreement over which political parties would recieve which ministries quickly became a problem.

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حسن حردان

أكدت التطورات الأخيرة جملة من الحقائق التي يجب ان يعيها اللبنانيون ويدركوا من خلالها مَن هو المسؤول عن أزماتهم المتفاقمة ومنع الحلول لها مما أدى الى لإذلالهم في البحث عن الدواء والوقوف في طوابير على محطات البنزين، وتدهور قدرتهم الشرائية على نحو غير مسبوق مما أدّى إلى سحق الفقراء وانضمام الطبقة الوسطى إلى صفوف الفقراء حتى يمكن القول إننا بتنا في مجتمع مكوّن من طبقتين، طبقة الأربعة في المئة من الأثرياء، وطبقة الفقراء الذين باتوا يشكلون الغالبية العظمى من الشعب…

فما هي هذه الحقائق:

الحقيقية الأولى، انّ الرئيس الحريري، ومنذ بداية انفجار الازمة، لم يقدم على أيّ خطوة من تلقاء نفسه وبإرادته، بل كانت قراراته استجابة للتوجيهات الأميركية وخضوعاً لها، وسعياً لنيل رضا ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان، رغم انّ الأخير اعتقله في الرياض وأهانه، ومع ذلك فإنّ الرئيس الحريري لا يزال يسعى إلى كسب ودّ ابن سلمان ودعمه، ويوسّط الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، والسفيرتين الأميركية والفرنسية، ولهذا بات الرئيس الحريري في وضع لا يُحسد عليه، يبحث عن مخرج بعد أن أبقى البلاد نحو عشرة أشهر رهينة مأزقه، من دون أن يشكل حكومة، أو يعتذر، رامياً بالمسؤولية على رئيس الجمهورية للتغطية على عجزه وارتهانه…!

الحقيقة الثانية، انّ هذا الخضوع والارتهان من قبل الرئيس الحريري لكلّ من واشنطن والرياض، إنما كان ولا يزال يندرج في سياق تنفيذ مخطط أميركي استهدف شلّ الحكم في لبنان، ومنع الخروج من أزمته، والعمل على خنق لبنان اقتصادياً ومفاقمة أزماته النقدية والاجتماعية والمعيشية من ضمن خطة تشترك فيها بعض القوى السياسية، والمؤسسات المالية وفي المقدمة حاكم مصرف لبنان، وكبار المصارف، والشركات الاحتكارية، للأدوية ومشتقات النفط، التابعة لواشنطن والمرتبطة مصلحياً بالرأسماليات الغربية الاستعمارية.. إنْ كان عبر الدعم المالي الذي تحظى به هذه القوى السياسية، أو عبر الوكالات الحصرية التي تتحكم بحياة اللبنانيين.. خطة جعلت اللبنانيين يغرقون في أزماتهم الحياتية ليتمّ تحريضهم ضدّ مقاومتهم وحلفائها وفي الطليعة عهد الرئيس ميشال عون، والتيار الوطني الحر… لإضعاف التأييد الشعبي والسياسي للمقاومة، التي باتت منذ انتصاراتها عام 2000، وعام 2006، تشكل مصدر القلق الأساسي للعواصم الغربية، لأنّ المقاومة أصبحت تهدّد أمن ووجود الكيان الصهيوني، المرتكز الاستعماري الغربي الذي زرعه في قلب الوطن العربي لمنعه من التوحّد والتحرّر واستغلال ثرواته، وبالتالي ضمان استمرار نهب الشركات الغربية للثروات العربية وفي مقدمها النفط.. فحماية أمن ووجود هذا الكيان الصهيوني أصبح هو الهاجس الذي يحرك الحكومات الغربية، التي تضع لبنان في رأس سلّم أولوياتها، لكون مقاومته نجحت في هزيمة “إسرائيل” وردع عدوانيتها ومنعها من تحقيق أطماعها في لبنان… لا سيما في مياه لبنان الإقليمية الخالصة التي اكتشفت فيها ثروة غازية هامة تمكن لبنان، في حال أحسن استغلالها من معالجة أزماته وتعزيز اقتصاده وقوّته المستندة إلى معادلة قوة لبنان المتمثلة بـ “الجيش والشعب والمقاومة”.

الحقيقة الثالثة، انّ لبنان لا يمكن له أن يخرج من أزماته الاقتصادية والمالية، ويحقق الاستقرار الاقتصادي والاجتماعي، ما لم يتحرّر من التبعية السياسية والاقتصادية للدول الغربية الاستعمارية، ويبني سياساته انطلاقاً من مصالحه.. التي تمكّنه من بناء اقتصاد إنتاجي غير ريعي، اقتصاد يحقق نمواً فعلياً وينتج الثروة، ويستغلّ ويوظف ثروات لبنان في خدمته، كما يستفيد من كلّ المشاريع والمساعدات المعروضة عليه من دون شروط لحلّ أزماته الخدماتية المزمنة حلاً جذرياً، لا سيما المشاريع والمساعدات التي عرضت من إيران والصين وروسيا، إلى جانب الاتجاه نحو تحقيق التكتل المشرقي مع سورية والعراق وإيران الذي يحقق التكامل الاقتصادي، وربط شبكات النفط والغاز والكهرباء وسكك الحديد، ويجعل من لبنان محطة هامة في مشروع طريق الحرير…

الحقيقة الرابعة، انّ استكمال معركة تحرير الأرض، وحماية لبنان وثرواته من العدوانية والأطماع الصهيونية مرتبط ارتباطاً وثيقاً بالتمسك بالمقاومة وسلاحها الرادع، والمعادلة الذهبية، الجيش والشعب والمقاومة، وبخوض معركة التحرّر الاجتماعي من السياسات الريعية النيوليبرالية التي أدّت إلى زيادة حدة التفاوت الاجتماعي، وزيادة أعداد الفقراء، وتمركز الثروة بيد قلة قليلة من الأثرياء والشركات الاحتكارية والمالية.. وهذه المعركة الاجتماعية غير منفصلة عن معركة التحرّر من الوصاية والهيمنة الأميركية الغربية التي تستند من النظام الطائفي الذي زرع بذرته الاستعمار لضمان عدم استقرار لبنان واستمرار تدخلاته في شؤونه الداخلية.. كما يفعل حالياً..

في خلاصة الكلام، إذا أجاب الرئيس عون اليوم بالموافقة على تشكيلة الحكومة التي قدّمها له الرئيس الحريري، فهذا يعني انّ الرئيس المكلف حصل على موافقة ودعم إقليمي ودولي لتشكيل حكومته الجديدة، دعم يمكنه من تحقيق انفراجات تخفف من الأزمات التي يعاني منها لبنان بهدف تعزيز الوضع الشعبي للرئيس الحريري وتحالفاته عشية الانتخابات النيابية، بحيث يتمكن تيار المستقبل وحلفاؤه من قوى 14 آذار من حصد الأغلبية النيابية وإعادة تشكيل السلطة بما يحقق الأهداف الأميركية…

أما إذا رفض الرئيس عون التشكيلة باعتبارها لا تنسجم مع التوافقات التي تمّ التوصل إليها، وتعكس إصرار الرئيس الحريري على فرض حكومة اختصاصيين من خارج أيّ تفاهم مع الرئيس عون والقوى السياسية الأساسية المكوّنة للبرلمان، فإنّ الرئيس الحريري يكون قد تعمّد ذلك لتبرير إقدامه على سلوك خيار الاعتذار… الأمر الذي يعني انّ الأزمات سوف تستمرّ بهدف زيادة حدة الضائقة المعيشية للمواطنين إلى أن نصبح على مقربة من موعد إجراء الانتخابات، ليجري تحميل المسؤولية عن الأزمة إلى الرئيس عون وتياره الوطني وحزب الله في محاولة للنيل من شعبيتهما والحصول على الأغلبية النيابية من قبل القوى التابعة للولايات المتحدة وبالتالي تنفيذ الأجندة الأميركية سياسياً واقتصادياً لمحاولة محاصرة المقاومة..

في الحالتين، فإنّ تحالف حزب الله والقوى الوطنية والتيار الوطني، مطالب بوضع خطة مواجهة لإحباط هذه الخطة الأميركية الانقلابية عبر الانتخابات بعد أن فشلت بواسطة ركوب موجة الاحتجاجات الشعبية في الشارع…

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Yemen: Biden Shrugs Off Campaign Promise as US Backs New Saudi Offensive and AQAP Support

July 13th, 2021

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

The US has refused calls to stop arming Saudi Arabia amid its devastating war in Yemen and is now doubling down on a military solution, falling back on its reliance of armed militant groups that it used to devastating effect in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

AL-BAYDA, YEMEN — President Joe Biden gave a lot of people a sense of cautious optimism when he took to the campaign trail and promised to bring a swift end to the Saudi-led war on Yemen. The oil-rich monarchy, supported heavily by the United States, has been waging arguably the deadliest military campaign of the past decade on the forgotten country for over six years, exacting a brutal humanitarian toll on its civilian population.

To his credit, Biden sent Tim Lenderking to lead a team of negotiators in an attempt to broker reconciliation between the conflict’s many belligerents. But without the political will to stand up to the Saudi monarchy and the varied American interests that profit handsomely from its wars, Lenderking had little chance of success. Now it seems the Kingdom — once again emboldened, armed, and covered by the United States — has all but abandoned any pretense of reconciliation and doubled down on its brutal war.

A Piercing Star falls to earth

Last week, the Saudi-led Coalition began a massive military operation they’re calling al-Najm al-Thaqib, which translates from Arabic into The Piercing Star. The operation ostensibly aims to recapture large swaths of territory in central Yemen’s al-Bayda province, which was captured by Ansar Allah after a series of long and grueling battles with militants from al-Qaeda on the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) last fall. AQAP had been entrenched in the province for decades, somehow persevering through concerted military efforts by both the Saudi-led Coalition and at least four consecutive U.S. administrations to dislodge it — including Barack Obama’s infamous drone war.

On August 28, 2020, local tribal partisans backed by Ansar Allah defeated AQAP and myriad extremist allies, including elements of IS, in a week-long operation. This victory came just as AQAP was preparing to sweep the Yemeni provinces of al-Bayda, Dhamar, and Sana’a in an operation that aimed to repeat the scenarios seen in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria, where ISIS was able to take and hold a so-called caliphate extending from western Iraq to into eastern Syria.

Al-Bayda and the surrounding provinces saw a state of relative calm in the wake of the operation, as residents experienced life without the yoke of al-Qaeda, some for the first time in their lives. Now, some of those residents fear that Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States, is attempting to resettle those groups in al-Bayda as a hedge against Ansar Allah.

Saudi jets have carried out scores of airstrikes in al-Bayda in recent weeks, flying in from the north to unleash tons of bombs made and supplied by the United States and giving AQAP a potential avenue to retake the province, as the airstrikes have targeted Ansar Allah and their local tribal allies almost exclusively.

According to the nonprofit Yemeni Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC), American-made cluster bombs — which even the U.S. military has pledged not to use, due to their high rate of collateral damage — including the CBU-58, CBU-105, CBU-87, M26, and DPICM M77, have all been used in the offensive.

In a press conference, YEMAC displayed unexploded American bombs used in the operation, including the same GBU-39 and GBU-31 that were used with deadly effect in Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza. YEMAC held the press conference after an unexploded U.S.-made GBU-24 was recovered from a civil-defense building in Sana’a.

While there is not yet conclusive evidence of direct coordination between the Saudi Coalition and AQAP in the offensive, AQAP militants began pushing into al-Bayda from the south almost as soon as the Saudi airstrikes began. The southern villages of al-Zaher and al-Sma’h — including the areas of Jumaima, Wafaa, Sharadeh, al-Sous, Shabakat Dhi Madahi, Akrama, Shawkan and others — have already been recaptured by al-Qaeda according to a number of Saudi state-funded media outlets, which celebrated the putsch as a victory for the Saudi-led Coalition.

No “Certain Victory”

However, the celebrations were short-lived, as Ansar Allah has already begun to recapture areas it gained last August in a military operation it has dubbed al-Nasr al-Mubin, an Arabic phrase meaning “Certain Victory.” That operation has already seen the defeat of AQAP and militants allied with Saudi Arabia in the al-Zahir Directorate as well as dozens of military sites in the al-Dahaki and Al-Soma`h districts, and even areas that Ansar Allah failed to capture from AQAP during its August offensive, according to a statement it issued on Tuesday.

Yemen Marib
An armored vehicle belonging to Saudi-backed militants shows a poster that reads, “martyr commander brigadier general Self Abd al-Rab al-Shadady.” Al-Shadady” was recently killed in clashes in Marib, Yemen, June 19, 2021. Nariman El-Mofty | AP

On Friday, the media bureau of the Houthis’ Operations Command Center published a video showing some of its victories in al-Bayda. Several senior AQAP commanders were killed or captured in the battles, including the infamous Abu Dharr al-Tayabi, Tawfiq al-Farawi and Othman Ahmad Abdullah al-Mushdali. A spokesman for Ansar Allah said:

Despite having mobilized members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Daesh (IS) Takfiri terrorist groups, Saudi [Arabia] failed and has so far reaped nothing other than defeat on every front. The coalition has received severe blows in al-Bayda, even though it has hired al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorists.”

But Ansar Allah is far from a decisive victory. Fierce clashes continue near Lahj province and coalition warplanes continue to pound al-Bayda.

US cooperation with a Jihadi recruiter

According to members of the Houthi negotiating delegation, who spoke to MintPress on condition of anonymity, the escalation in al-Bayda is being used to pressure Ansar Allah to halt its advance on the oil-rich Marib province and to force it to accept conditions that Saudi Arabia and Lenderking’s envoy have imposed on Ansar Allah as a precondition for a peace deal.

For their part, the Houthis have promised to retaliate by resuming drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi oil and military targets in the Kingdom’s southern provinces, according to Brigadier General Abed Al-Thor and General Aziz Rashid, who told MintPress that military pressure on the Kingdom will only be increased in the wake of the recent Saudi escalation.

The attacks on al-Bayda come in the wake of meetings between the Saudi-backed vice president of Yemen, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. Cooper pushed for intelligence sharing and support for armed militant groups under the banner of curbing the arming of the Houthis by the Iranian government.

Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar
Al-Ahmar speaks to journalists during a 2011 press conference in Sanaa, Yemen. Hani Mohammed | AP

Al-Ahmar has been tied to various extremist groups in Yemen and, according to Reuters, “The Muslim Brotherhood and other Sunni Islamists gained strength, particularly under … al-Ahmar, who built a power base in the army. Jihadist fugitives formed al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).” According to a 2000 New York Times report, al-Ahmar even “traveled to Afghanistan in the 1980s to meet Osama bin Laden, and assisted in recruiting militants from across the Muslim world for the Afghan struggle.”

The U.S. has long been involved in the training and arming of militants in Yemen, whom it saw as a hedge against Ansar Allah. Al-Ahmar has publicly praised the U.S. for cooperating with him to combat what he called “the Iranian project.”

Grim prospects for peace

On July 1, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States was “beyond fed up” with the Houthis’ advance in Marib and laid the blame for the humanitarian situation in Yemen squarely at the feet of the Houthis, claiming it was they who failed to work with the “other parties … who are actively working towards peace,” a reference to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the country.

Price’s statements and the Biden administration’s about-face on Yemen has raised questions among activists struggling to stop the war, especially as the U.S. has largely refused calls to stop arming Saudi Arabia amid a devastating civilian death toll, and now seems to be doubling down on its commitment to a military solution to the conflict, falling back on its habit of supporting armed militant groups that it used to devastating effect in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The Biden administration should have stopped providing weapons and training to the warring parties to ensure that the war would not continue, and not support one at the expense of the other, so logic and reality say,” Dala al-Matari, an activist from the Stop the Bombing of Yemen campaign said. Like many Yemenis, al-Matari believes that President Biden used his seeming opposition to the highly controversial war as a trump card to boost his chances in last year’s presidential election.

For its part, Ansar Allah has outright accused the Biden administration of giving a green light to Saudi forces to attack al-Bayda so that it can more easily provide al-Qaeda and IS with weapons and intelligence information. Officials in Sana’a say the Biden administration is playing with fire by not only destroying peace efforts but also resettling and supporting al-Qaeda, especially amid a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan.

Dhaif Allah al-Shami — the spokesman for the Sana’a-based Yemeni government run jointly by Ansar Allah and the General People’s Congress, the largest political party in the country — said that the United States had “run the recent military escalation in al-Bayda.” He accused the Biden administration of being behind the plan, stating: “The United States, which falsely and wrongly claims to be concerned with peace in Yemen, is [the one] fueling the bitter clashes in the al-Zahir district of the province.”

Major General Nasser Al-Atif, minister of defense in the Ansar Allah-led government, said in a statement on Monday:

We have a new strategy to face the new Saudi escalation that will cost the coalition a heavy price if they continue to support terrorist elements, and this is something they should understand well. Saudi Arabia and the United States claim that they are keen on peace, stopping the war, and addressing the inhumane issues, but in fact they are talking all this just for media consumption and the exploitation of international and regional positions.

A Saigon moment in the Hindu Kush

A Saigon moment in the Hindu Kush

July 07, 2021

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

And it’s all over

For the unknown soldier

It’s all over

For the unknown soldier

The Doors, The Unknown Soldier

Let’s start with some stunning facts on the ground.

The Taliban are on a roll. Earlier this week their P.R. arm was claiming they hold 218 Afghan districts out of 421 – capturing new ones every day. Tens of districts are contested. Entire Afghan provinces are basically lost to the government in Kabul – de facto reduced to administer a few scattered cities under siege.

Afghanistan in Badakhshan province, seen from the Pamir highway in Tajikistan during my November 2019 Central Asian loop. This district, not far from Ishkashim, is now under Taliban control. Photo: Pepe Escobar

Already on July 1st the Taliban announced they controlled 80% of Afghan territory. That’s close to the situation 20 years ago, only a few weeks before 9/11, when Commander Masoud told me in the Panjshir valley , as he prepared a counter-offensive, that the Taliban were 85% dominant.

Their new tactical approach works like a dream. First there’s a direct appeal to soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) to surrender. Negotiations are smooth – and deals fulfilled. Soldiers in the low thousands have already joined the Taliban without a single shot fired.

Mapmakers cannot upload updates fast enough. This is fast becoming a textbook case on the collapse of a 21st century central government.

The Taliban are fast advancing in western Vardak, easily capturing ANA bases. That is the prequel for an assault on Maidan Shar, the provincial capital. If they get control of Vardak they will be literally at the gates of Kabul.

After capturing Panjwaj district, the Taliban are also a stone’s throw away from Kandahar, founded by Alexander The Great in 330 B.C. and the city where a certain mullah Omar – with a little help from his Pakistani ISI friends – started the Taliban adventure in 1994, leading to their Kabul power takeover in 1996.

The overwhelming majority of Badakhshan province – Tajik majority, not Pashtun – fell after only 4 days of negotiations, with a few skirmishes thrown in. The Taliban even captured a hilltop outpost very close to Faizabad, Badakhshan’s capital.

I tracked the Tajik-Afghan border in detail when I traveled the Pamir highway in late 2019. The Taliban, following mountain tracks on the Afghan side, could soon reach the legendary, desolate border with Xinjiang in the Wakhan corridor.

The Taliban are also about to make a move on Hairaton, in Balkh province. Hairaton is at the Afghan-Uzbek border, the site of the historically important Friendship Bridge over the Amu Darya, through which the Red Army departed Afghanistan in 1989.

ANA commanders swear the city is now protected from all sides by a five-kilometer security zone. Hairaton has already attracted tens of thousands of refugees. Tashkent does not want them to cross the border.

And it’s not only Central Asia; the Taliban have already advanced to the city limits of Islam Qilla, which borders Iran, in Herat province, and is the key checkpoint in the busy Mashhad to Herat corridor.

The Tajik puzzle

The extremely porous, geologically stunning Tajik-Afghan mountain borders remain the most sensitive case. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, after a serious phone call with Vladimir Putin, ordered the mobilization of 20,000 reservists and sent them to the border. Rahmon also promised humanitarian and financial support to the Kabul government.

The Taliban, for their part, officially declared that the border is safe and they have no intention of invading Tajik territory. Earlier this week even the Kremlin cryptically announced that Moscow does not plan to send troops to Afghanistan.

A cliffhanger is set for the end of July, as the Taliban announced they will submit a written peace proposal to Kabul. A strong possibility is that it may amount to an intimation for Kabul to surrender – and transfer full control of the country.

The Taliban seem to be riding an irresistible momentum – especially when Afghans themselves were stunned to see how the imperial “protector”, after nearly two decades of de facto occupation,

left Bagram air base in the middle of the night , scurrying away like rats.

Compare it to the evaluation of serious analysts such as Lester Grau, explaining the Soviet departure over three decades ago:

When the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, they did so in a coordinated, deliberate, professional manner, leaving behind a functioning government, an improved military and an advisory and economic effort insuring the continued viability of the government. The withdrawal was based on a coordinated diplomatic, economic and military plan permitting Soviet forces to withdraw in good order and the Afghan government to survive. The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) managed to hold on despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Only then, with the loss of Soviet support and the increased efforts by the Mujahideen (holy warriors) and Pakistan, did the DRA slide toward defeat in April 1992. The Soviet effort to withdraw in good order was well executed and can serve as a model for other disengagements from similar nations.

When it comes to the American empire, Tacitus once again applies: “They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.”

In the wake of the Hegemon, deserts called peace, in varying degrees, include Iraq, Libya, Syria – which happen to, geologically, harbor deserts – as well as the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan.

That Afghan heroin rat line

It looks like Think Tank Row in D.C., between Dupont and Thomas Circle alongside Massachussets Avenue, have not really done their homework on pashtunwali – the Pashtun honor code – or the ignominious British empire retreat from Kabul.

Still, it’s too early to tell whether what is being spun as the US “retreat” from Afghanistan reflects the definitive unraveling of the Empire of Chaos. Especially because this is not a “retreat” at all: it’s a repositioning – with added elements of privatization.

At least 650 “U.S. forces” will be protecting the sprawling embassy in Kabul. Add to it possibly 500 Turkish troops – which means NATO – to protect the airport, plus an undeclared number of “contractors” a.k.a mercenaries, and an unspecified number of Special Forces.

Pentagon head Lloyd Austin has come up with the new deal. The militarized embassy is referred to as Forces Afghanistan-Forward. These forces will be “supported” by a new, special Afghan office in Qatar.

The key provision is that the special privilege to bomb Afghanistan whenever the Hegemon feels like it remains intact. The difference is in the chain of command. Instead of Gen. Scott Miller, so far the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, the Bomber-in-Chief will be Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM.

So future bombing will come essentially from the Persian Gulf – what the Pentagon lovingly describes as “over the horizon capability”. Crucially, Pakistan has officially refused to be part of it, although in the case of drone attacks, they will have to overfly Pakistani territory in Balochistan. Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan also refused to host American bases.

The Taliban, for their part, are unfazed. Spokesman Suhail Shaheen was adamant that any foreign troops that are not out by the 9/11 deadline will be regarded as – what else – occupiers.

Whether the Taliban will be able to establish dominance is not an issue; it’s just a matter of when. And that leads us to the two really important questions:

1.  Will the CIA be able to maintain what Seymour Hersh initially, and later myself, described as the Afghan heroin rat line that finances their black ops?

2.  And if the CIA cannot continue to supervise opium poppy field production in Afghanistan as well as coordinate the subsequent stages of the heroin business, where will it move to?

Every thinking mind across Central/South Asia knows that the Empire of Chaos, for two long decades, was never interested in defeating the Taliban or fighting for “the freedom of the Afghan people”.

The key motives were to keep a crucial, strategic forward base in the underbelly of “existential threats” China and Russia as well as intractable Iran – all part of the New Great Game; to be conveniently positioned to later exploit Afghanistan’s enormous mineral wealth; and to process opium into heroin to fund CIA ops. Opium was a major factor in the rise of the British empire, and heroin remains one of the world’s top dirty businesses funding shady intel ops.

What China and the SCO want

Now compare all of the above with the Chinese approach.

Unlike Think Tank Row in D.C., Chinese counterparts seem to have done their homework. They understood that the USSR did not invade Afghanistan in 1979 to impose “popular democracy” – the jargon then – but was in fact invited by the quite progressive UN-recognized Kabul government at the time, which essentially wanted roads, electricity, medical care, telecommunications, education.

As these staples of modernity would not be provided by Western institutions, the solution would have to come from Soviet socialism. That would imply a social revolution – a convoluted affair in a deeply pious Islamic nation – and, crucially, the end of feudalism.

“Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s imperial counterpunch worked because it manipulated Afghan feudal lords and their regimentation capacity – bolstered by immense funds (CIA, Saudis, Pakistani intel) – to give the USSR its Vietnam. None of these feudal lords were interested in the abolition of poverty and economic development in Afghanistan.

China is now picking up where the USSR left. Beijing, in close contact with the Taliban since early 2020, essentially wants to extend the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – one of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) flagship projects – to Afghanistan.

The first, crucial step will be the construction of the Kabul-Peshawar motorway – through the Khyber pass and the current border at Torkham. That will mean Afghanistan de facto becoming part of CPEC.

It’s all about regional integration at work. Kabul-Peshawar will be one extra CPEC node that already includes the construction of the ultra-strategic Tashkurgan airport in the Karakoram highway in Xinjiang, only 50 km away from the Pakistani border and also close to Afghanistan, as well as Gwadar harbor in Balochistan.

In early June, a trilateral China-Afghanistan-Pakistan meeting led the Chinese Foreign Ministry to unmistakably bet on the “peaceful recovery of Afghanistan”, with the joint statement welcoming “the early return of the Taliban to the political life of Afghanistan” and a pledge to “expand economic and trade ties”.

So there’s no way a dominant Taliban will refuse the Chinese drive to build infrastructure and energy projects geared towards regional economic integration, as long as they keep the country pacified and not subject to jihadi turbulence of the ISIS-Khorasan variety – capable of spilling over to Xinjiang.

The Chinese game play is clear: the Americans should not be able to exert influence over the new Kabul arrangement. It’s all about the strategic Afghan importance for BRI – and that is intertwined with discussions inside the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), incidentally founded 20 years ago, and which for years has advocated for an “Asian solution” for the Afghan drama.

The discussions inside the SCO regard the NATO projection of the new Afghanistan as a jihadi paradise controlled by Islamabad as not more than wishful thinking nonsense.

It will be fascinating to watch how China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia and even India will fill the vacuum in the post-Forever Wars era in Afghanistan. It’s very important to remember that all these actors, plus the Central Asians, are full SCO members (or observers, in the case of Iran).

Tehran plausibly might interfere with potential imperial plans to bomb Afghanistan from the outside – whatever the motive. On another front, it’s unclear whether Islamabad or Moscow, for instance, would help the Taliban to take Bagram air base. What’s certain is that Russia will take the Taliban off its list of terrorist outfits.

Considering that the empire and NATO – via Turkey – will not be really leaving, a distinct future possibility is a SCO push, allied with the Taliban (Afghanistan is also a SCO observer) to secure the nation in their terms and concentrate on CPEC development projects. But the first step seems to be the hardest: how to form a real, solid, national coalition government in Kabul.

History may rule that Washington wanted Afghanistan to be the USSR’s Vietnam; decades later, it ended up getting its own second Vietnam, repeated as – what else – farce. A remixed Saigon moment is fast approaching. Yet another stage of the New Great Game in Eurasia is at hand.

Saudi Aggression Commits New Massacre in Yemen’s Border Area of Al-Raqo

01/07/2021

Saudi Aggression Commits New Massacre in Yemen’s Border Area of Al-Raqo

By Staff, Agencies

The US-Saudi aggression committed a new massacre early Thursday in Yemen’s border area of al-Raqo in Saada province less than a day after a similar crime.

Two citizens were martyred and six others were wounded as a result of Saudi missile and artillery shelling on the border area of al-Raqo in Munabbih district.

On Wednesday, Al-Masirah network reported that the border area of al-Raqo was subjected to Saudi missile and artillery shelling, which injured eight civilians, some of whom are in serious condition.

Al-Masirah explained that the al-Raqo market was bombed by the Saudi-led aggression in an indiscriminate manner that lasted for hours, and the Apache helicopters run by the US-Saudi aggression had flown heavily over al-Raqo area since the early morning hours.

In recent weeks, dozens of civilians, including children and women, were martyred and wounded in almost daily crimes committed by the Saudi forces, especially in al-Raqo area and the border areas in general.

In light of its defeats on various frontlines and its failure to achieve any of its objectives, the US-Saudi aggression is notorious for its indiscrimination shown by its numerous attacks against densely-populated centers especially in Saada province, including markets, hospitals, and schools.

Tens of thousands have lost their lives since August 2015, when Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched its devastating campaign against Yemen.

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Palestine: Hamas defeats Israel

THE SAKER • MAY 25, 2021

Just like in 2006, when both Ehud Olmert and George Bush declared that the “invincible IDF” had, yet again, achieved a “glorious victory” and the entire Middle-East almost died laughing hearing this ridiculous claim, today both the US and Israeli propaganda machine have declared another “glorious” victory for the “Jewish state of Israel” cum “sole democracy in the Middle-East”. And, just like in 2006, everybody in the region (and in Zone B) knows that the truth is that the Zionist entity suffered a huge, humiliated, defeat. Let’s try to unpack this.

First, a few numbers. The combat operations lasted two weeks. All other missile numbers are in dispute. Rather than trust this or that source, I will simply say that Hamas fired many thousands of missiles into Israel. Some, probably less than 50%, were truly intercepted by the Israeli air defenses, others hit in no man’s land, and some actually landed and caused plenty of destruction and at least 12 deaths. The Israelis executed hundreds of artillery and airstrikes causing massive destruction in the Gaza strip and killing about 250 Palestinians. Again, these numbers are guesstimates and they don’t really tell the full story. To understand the story, we need to forget about these numbers and look at what each side was hoping for and what each side achieved. Let’s begin with the Israelis:

The Israeli scorecard

To understand Israel’s goals in this war, we first need to place this latest war in its context, and that context is that Israel was comprehensively defeated in Syria. To substantiate this thesis, let’s remember the goals of the Zionists when they unleashed a major international war against Syria. These objectives, as listed in my July 2019 article “Debunking the Rumors About Russia Caving in to Israel” were:

The initial AngloZionist plan was to overthrow Assad and replace him with the Takfiri crazies (Daesh, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS – call them whatever you want). Doing this would achieve the following goals:

  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.
  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a “security zone,” but this time in Lebanon.
  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.
  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.
  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.
  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.
  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

As we all know, this is what actually happened:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally “plugging holes” in the Syrian frontlines and “extinguishing fires” on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).
  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.
  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)
  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.
  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

Seeing their defeat in Syria, the Zionists did what they always do: they used their propaganda machine to list an apparently neverending victorious strikes on supposed “Iranian targets” in Syria. While a few civilian simpletons with zero military experience did buy into this nonsense, the truth about Israeli operations in Syria is simple: the Syrian air defenses have successfully prevented the Israelis from striking at important, sensitive, targets, and they Israelis have been forced to declare as major victories the destruction of empty barns as “destruction of important IRGC headquarters” thereby “proving” to a few naive folks in Zone A and to themselves (!) that the IDF is still as “invincible” as it “always was”. As for the Neocons, they doubled-up on that and declared that 1) Russian air defenses are useless 2) that Russia and Israel work hand in hand and 3) that the Israelis are still invincible. Yet if any of that was true, why has Israel failed to achieve a single one of its goals? And why are both the Russians and the Iranians still in Syria were the Russians just finished a 2nd runway at Khmeimim and they have just deployed a group of Tu-22M3 at that air base from where they can now threaten any ship sailing in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In their otherwise “free time” they can deliver tons of bombs and missiles to the remaining Takfiri forces in Syria.

As I have been saying for many years now, the truth is that the IDF is a poor fighting force. Why? First, they have the exact same problem as the USA (and the KSA, for that matter): they rely on expensive technology, but don’t have good combat-capable “boots on the ground”. That is now how modern wars are won (see here for a list of popular misconceptions about modern wars).

In its recent history, the entire gamut of Israeli “elite” forces (including the air force, the navy, the artillery and even the Golani Brigade) got its collective butt handed to them by about 1000 and only lightly armed regular Hezbollah fighters in 2006: keep in mind that the elite Hezbollah forces were deployed only north of the Litani river to protect Beirut against a possible land invasion by Israel. Instead of taking Beirut or “disarming Hezbollah” (that was an official goal!), the Israelis could not even control the small town of Bint Jbeil located right across the official Israeli border! So much for being “invincible”!

What the IDF is very experienced at is terrorising Palestinian civilians and executing what could be called a slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people. The problem with Gaza now is the same that the failed invasion of Lebanon in 2006 has revealed: just like the Lebanese in 2006, the Palestinians of 2021 are not afraid of the Zionists anymore. Furthermore, with a great deal of help from Iran and others, Hamas in Gaza is now much, much better armed than in the past. True, some of its missiles are decidedly low tech and not very effective (low accuracy, small warheads, simple trajectory, limited range), but Hamas also has shown some pretty decent UAVs too. Most importantly, from now on for Hamas it is only one way: up the “quality ladder” (just like the Houthis did in Yemen, starting with modest drones but eventually getting very capable ones).

The other major goal of the Israelis in this war was to prove to the world (and, even more importantly for the always narcissistic self-worshipping Israeli cowards, to themselves!) that their “Iron Dome” air defense network was the “super-dooper most bestest” in the world (no doubt, due to the famed “Jewish genius”!). It now appears that at best, the Israelis intercepted somewhere around 30-40% of the Hamas missiles. The way the Israeli hid this is by claiming that their fancy shmancy Iron Drone did not even try to engage missiles which were not deemed dangerous. But in the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, that kind of silly nonsense can easily be debunked (including by showing the total chaos in the Israeli skies or, for that matter, the missile strikes on Israeli military objectives). While the full Iron Dome air defense system probably works marginally better than the quasi-useless US Patriot, the Israeli air defenses are clearly at least a generation behind the Russian ones, including the S-300s the Russians sold to Syria (again, in the age of of the ubiquitous smartphone, this is not hard to prove).

It is crucial to remember that Hamas’ missiles are much inferior to those of the Houthis and the Syrians, and even more inferior when compared to Hezbollah or Iranian drones and missiles! In other words, the “invincible” IDF can’t deal with even its weakest, least sophisticated enemies (Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the grotesquely expensive Iron Done cannot protect the Zionists from any determined missile attacks by the Resistance coalition (Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia).

In their utter despair, the Zionist entity did what the AngloZionists always do when they fail to defeat a military forces: they will turn their wrath on the civilian infrastructure and murder as many as they can. They will also strike highly symbolic targets such as the International Press Center in Gaza or a Red Crescent hospital (under the pretext that Hamas, which is the democratically elected local government) has offices there (this is clearly a F-you to those who condemn Israel for violating international law). To a normal human being, this sounds both obscene and ridiculous. But remember, the Israelis are first and foremost narcissists and they have no means of imagining how normal human beings think or feel. All these guys can feel is self-worship and hatred for all “others”.

We could say that in this war, the Palestinians defeated both military high tech and truly medieval type of genocidal hatred.

In other words, far from showing how “invincible” the Zionist entity is, this latest war against the Palestinians has shown beyond reasonable doubt that the IDF cannot deal with any of its enemies.

Besides missiles and bombs, the Israelis love to use terror, as their ideology has convinced them of two things: the Arabs only understand force and we, the Israelis, are invincible. But this begs the question of why the Israelis did not dare to move into Gaza, not even symbolically. Yeah, I know, the official doxa of Zone A is that “Biden called Netanyahu and told him to stop”. As if “Biden” could give orders to the Israelis!

The truth is that even with a casualty rate of 10:1 in the IDF’s advantage and no armor or artillery, the Palestinians are much more willing to engage in street battles than the IDF. Would the IDF eventually win a ground battle against Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Maybe, probably, the objective advantages in everything (except courage!) for the Israelis is so huge that no amount of skills and courage can forever negate the immense superiority in means of the Israelis.

However, as most people in the West tend to forget, wars are but means towards a political goal. If the IDF decided to basically flatten Gaza and kill many thousands of Palestinians at the cost of casualties probably in the hundereds, then this would be politically suicidal for the Zionist regime. This is why I offer this very basic conclusion:

During the latest Gaza war, deterrence did work. But only in the sense that the Palestinians successfully deterred the Israelis from launching a ground attack against Gaza.

There is another crucial political development which should also be noted: while both Iran and Hezbollah did give their full political support to Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the latter did not request any assistance. In other words, not only did the Palestinians defeat the Israelis, but they did so absolutely alone, with no help from the other Resistance members.

Again, those Zone A civilians who believe that Israel is scoring huge victories in Syria on a quasi daily basis won’t get it, which is par for the course. But you can be darn sure that at least most of the IDF top commanders know the true score and for them it is yet another huge disaster.

There is also a political factor to consider. While there have been coordination resistance actions by the Palestinians in Israel (proper, as defined by the UN), this is the first time when the Palestinians from Gaza, those from the Occupied Territories and those in “Israel” truly fought, if not side by side (yet!), then at least at the same time and in a common cause. This is a major political victory for Hamas+Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a major problem for Fatah and the Zionists. Now let’s look at the rest of the Palestinian scorecard:

The Palestinian scorecard:

Let’s start by the obvious one: the Palestinians were not defeated. This victory can be further subdivided in the following:

  • The Palestinian leadership has mostly physically survived, it still exists as a local authority. Plenty of Palestinians were murdered, but that did not affect the operational capabilities of the Palestinian forces (any more than the IDF succeeded in affecting Iranian operational capabilities in Syria).
  • The Palestinian leadership has also survived politically. It was not blamed by the “Palestinian street” for starting the war, nor was it blamed for how it executed it. As for Fatah, it is now, by all accounts, lost somewhere in a political no man’s land which, admittedly, it richly deserves for its incompetence, corruption and subservience to Israel and the USA.
  • Militarily speaking, the Palestinian missile strikes were not nearly as effective than, say, Hezbollah (nevermind Iranian!) strikes would have been, but, hey, they made huge progress and we can all rest assured that the Palestinians of Gaza will, sooner or later, catch up with the Houthis and, further down the road, maybe even Hezbollah.
  • By many accounts, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have made major political inroads into the Palestinian political scene outside Gaza. Even in spite of a truly immense hasbara effort by the Israelis, the international public opinion was blaming Israel for the orgy of violence.

It is interesting to note here that the famous Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has written an article for Ha’aretz entitled “Israeli Propaganda Isn’t Fooling Anyone – Except Israelis” which was further subtitled “’Hasbara’ is the Israeli euphemism for propaganda, and there are some things, said the late ambassador Yohanan Meroz, that are not ‘hasbarable.’ One of them is Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.” This is how Levy’s article began:

And propaganda shall cover for everything. We’ll say terrorism, we’ll shout anti-Semitism, we’ll scream delegitimation, we’ll cite the Holocaust; we’ll say Jewish state, gay-friendly, drip irrigation, cherry tomatoes, aid to Nepal, Nobel Prizes for Jews, look what’s happening in Syria, the only democracy, the greatest army. We’ll say the Palestinians are making unilateral moves, we’ll propose negotiations on the “settlement bloc borders,” we’ll demand recognition of a Jewish state and we’ll complain that “there’s no one to talk to.” We’ll wail that the whole world is against us and wants to destroy us, no less.

Now comes the best part: Levy wrote this on Jun. 4, 2015 and updated it on Apr. 10, 2018 – years before the current disaster! Since then, things have only gone south for the IDF and the Israelis in general. Just the blowback from the war in Syria is, for the IDF, a true disaster.

Of course, “Israel” is still worshipped and faithfully served by many ruling classes worldwide (that is one of the functions of the Empire, to enforce this), but that officially lauded Israel is viewed with disgust and revulsion on most of the planet. Hence the inevitable failure of the truly galactic PR effort to brainwash the regular people into believing that Israeli is a polyyanish country, a “place without people for a people without country”, etc. etc. etc. This “Ziolatry”, if you wish, was effective when the PLO was blowing up Jewish grade schools in Western Europe, but today it has lost almost all of its traction, especially amongst thinking people.

The sad and disgusting reality about the Zionist entity is truly coming out, seeping under the propaganda walls of the Empire, and slowly but inevitably resulting in a common reaction of outrage and utter disgust for what is nothing else but the last officially racist country on the planet, the only country with an open air concentration camp it surrounds on all sides, the only country which truly, openly and sincerely does not give a damn about international law or about the lives of non-Jews (while calling their own lives sacred, of course!). This is a state which constantly repeats the mantra about the supposedly “sacred” blood of Jews while, at the same time, committing a slow motion (but very real) genocide of the Palestinian people while using non-stop terrorist attacks against any country daring to defy the order of the latest, and hopefully last, wannabe “superior race” in human history. This is also why the “crime of crimes” for politically correct and successfully brainwashed people is to declare that Israel has no right to exist. This is such a major crimethink that I want to conclude by committing it right now and asking others to join me in this “crimethink”!

Israel has no right to exist whatsoever first and foremost because it is an artificial creation of West European imperialist powers. Second, it is a country which has always engaged in atrocities and massive violations of international laws and norms. Instead, Israel is based on a racist ideology which is, for all practical purpose, indistinguishable from Hitler’s Nazi ideology (both National Socialism and Zionism have the same roots in both time, space and culture, both being products of European secularism and nationalism). For these reasons, Israel, and the Zionist ideology which supports it, are both a clear and present danger for international peace and stability (for details on Zionism as an ideology and its toxicity, please see here). Furthermore, the only possibly way for the Palestinian people to ever recover their land and their rights under international law is for the Zionist “regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” (to quote the often mistranslated sentence by Ayatollah Komenei). By the way, this awareness also presupposes a clear understanding that the so-called “Two State Solution” (2SS) is an impossibility. Yes, I know, the 2SS is currently the only one under international law, but that is hardly surprising since the state of Israel was created with not only many of the trappings of “being an internationally recognized state” but also with the shameful complicity of the country which won WWII. There is one thing which Israel has in common with the so-called “Republic of Kosovo”: they will be the very first to be liberated as soon as the AngloZionist Empire finally crashes visibly (of course, it has already crashed, hence the many disastrous outcomes for the USA and Israel on the international scene, but that is still denied officially in Zone A and,of course, by the AngloZionist propaganda and those who pay attention to it.

In truth, there is only one true “solution” to this war: the so-called “One State Solution”, meaning that those who live in this land will get to choose their leaders and lifestyles according to the old “one person, one vote” principle. All other “solutions” simply perpetuate the current genocide!

As for those Jews who still want an ethnically pure state of Israel, they can either grow up and get real, or they can choose to colonize some other planet. As long as they don’t persecute local lifeforms, that might work. But if they do this will all happen again, over and over.

Conclusion: “Gaza” and the future of the Zionist entity

I want to end here with what I believe is a glance at the future (or lack thereof!) of Israel. The website Islamic World News Analysis Group (which I highly recommend!) recently posted what it claims to be a video of a new Iranian combat drone named “Gaza” described as so: “The Gaza drone, capable of carrying 13 bombs and 500 kilograms of equipment, as well as 35 hours of flight up to a radius of 2,000 kilometers, is capable of carrying out a variety of combat and intelligence operations. According to the published images, it seems that the Gaza drone uses the Rotary Bomb Launcher mechanism under its fuselage, which can carry up to 5 bombs. This is the first Iranian drone to use this mechanism. 8 bombs are also installed under the wings and in total this drone is capable of carrying 13 bombs”. Here is the footage of this new drone. Take a look for yourself and imagine what the next round of this campaign to liberate Palestine might look like.

Sayyed Nasrallah Vows to Keep Serving the Lebanese People on Every Level: Iranian Fuel Promise Still Valid

25/06/2021

By Zeinab Abdallah

Sayyed Nasrallah Vows to Keep Serving the Lebanese People on Every Level: Iranian Fuel Promise Still Valid

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday, June 25th, 2021 a speech in which he tackled the latest developments on the Lebanese arena.

At the beginning of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah reflected deep and warm condolences to Imad Hawila who has lost this week his wife and four daughters in a car accident that was caused by traffic of cars waiting their turn in front of a gas station on South Lebanon-Beirut highway. His Eminence also condoled the family of the deceased relative, Hussein Zein, who was driving them to Beirut when the accident happened, for the loss of their son.

Labelling Washington’s banning of websites in the region as an evidence on the fake claims of the US administrations, Sayyed Nasrallah denounced the American aggression against media outlets that majorly belong the culture of resistance.

Moving to the home front, Sayyed Nasrallah blasted the US media provocation targeting the Lebanese people against each other, underscoring that “the real goal behind the American rhetoric is to incite the people of resistance through making the fortifying of the Lebanese Army a suspicious matter.” Nevertheless, Sayyed Nasrallah made clear that Hezbollah always calls for fortifying the Army even if the US is the side in charge.

“When the US attempts to justify its logistic aid to the Lebanese Army it says that it is to confront Hezbollah,” His Eminence said, pointing, however, to that “even in Hezbollah’s practical behavior, we sought support for the Lebanese Army from friendly countries.”

The Hezbollah leader highlighted that “We find the establishment of the Lebanese Army as the real guarantor for Lebanon’s security, stability and unity,” adding that “in our culture, the Lebanese Army is a main part of the golden equation of Lebanon’s strength; which is the Army, the people, and the Resistance.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also explained that the US administration fears that the Lebanese Army would be in a serious and true position to confront the ‘Israeli’ enemy.

Ruling out any Iranian involvement in the Lebanese affairs, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that Iran refuses to discuss any issue other than its nuclear program in the Vienna Talks: “Neither does Iran negotiate on the ballistic missiles, nor on the regional issues.”

Additionally, in the entire course of the Saudi-Iranian talks, the Lebanese issue was not discussed, Sayyed Nasrallah assured citing Iranian allies whom he referred to as “people who don’t hide facts from us.”

The aforementioned talks, Sayyed Nasrallah said, “focused on bilateral ties, and not on the Lebanese issue that doesn’t make any difference in the Saudi-Iranian understandings.”

“Iran doesn’t negotiate on behalf of any side,” His Eminence emphasized, pointing to that it is ready to offer any help when asked to by a friend.

The resistance leader blasted some sides in Lebanon that seek to take advantage of any incident to defame others and settle political accounts and said: “Some sides insist in their political stances to hold Iran and Hezbollah responsible for not forming the Lebanese government, and the Americans are trying to link the Lebanese issue with the negotiations with Iran, but Tehran is the side that is rejecting it.”

While describing the practices of accusing Hezbollah of hindering the formation of a new Lebanese government as a calumny, deception and aggression, Sayyed Nasrallah shifted to an advise saying that “all efforts should consolidate at home to confront the government and lead the country to exit this impasse.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, Sayyed Nasrallah hailed the initiative of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri which he said has led with different sides to reach an important point which is agreeing on the number of ministers.

Additionally, in comments on the Free Patriotic Movement’s Leader, Gibran Bassil’s proposal, and the reactions that followed, Sayyed Nasrallah slammed the political Takfirism, and sectarian and racial language that have been heard.

“The campaign that was launched after Bassil’s speech is a clear evidence that those who are responding to him don’t listen, and when they listen, they don’t understand, and if it happened that they understood, then they will deny it,” His Eminence explained.

“We started responding to Bassil’s call, we open our hands for help, and we defend the rights of every Lebanese person who has a right; this is our duty,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Then he went on to explain Bassil’s use of the word ‘judge’ which he said expresses trust and not the literal meaning of the word, adding that the judge needs to be accepted by either side; this is not suggested and I, myself, am not in place of playing this role, His Eminence noted.

On the level of the humanitarian crisis, Sayyed Nasrallah said that “what we are witnessing on the level of fuel, food, and medicine should be an ethical point of pressure on those concerned with forming the government.”

“We are not neutral regarding the issue of the government, we rather take the stand that supports righteousness, and on the level of the governmental crisis, we have been and we will always be by the side of righteousness,” the resistance leader made clear.

All administrative and logistic introductions to import gasoline and diesel oil from Iran to Lebanon and distributing it have been done, and this promise is still valid, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored, then reiterated the promise he has given a few days earlier that when the state fails to secure the shortage of oil derivatives, then Hezbollah will seek buying oil from Iran.

Expressing that Hezbollah’s perceptions didn’t ever include being involved in the sector of importing gasoline and diesel oil, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized, without any hesitation, that “we are even ready to work as dustmen for our society and people to preserve their honor and dignity.”

He then addressed those who block paths towards solutions, and advised them to go to their Saudi, Gulf and American friends to help Lebanon in solving the problem of gasoline, diesel and fuel, telling them “we will wish you luck!”

Asking why doesn’t the state establish oil refineries and secure a huge share of the Lebanese market’s needs with lower costs, Sayyed Nasrallah uncovered that there is a company which is ready for this project and just needs an [official] signature.

Elsewhere on the livelihood crisis, Sayyed Nasrallah considered that the finance card could help many Lebanese families to survive amid the crisis.

Sayyed Nasrallah warned that the continued blocking of roads will lead to another line of humiliation aside from that of waiting for gasoline and medicines. “People should pay attention in this stage because vandalizing public facilities & blocking roads harm people & increase their pains.”

Despite the many crises in Lebanon, Sayyed Nasrallah said we have a blessing of security, stability, and civil peace, however, there are some sides that want to push the country to a blast, those are the ones serving the enemy.

His Eminence also mentioned that the Lebanese Forces don’t spare any occasion to attack Hezbollah, but the resistance movement doesn’t respond to them.

Sayyed Nasrallah underscored, from a religious perspective, that burying discord inside the country is the most important thing to do.

Before the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah didn’t miss the opportunity to thank Iraq and every side that would contribute to helping Lebanon overcome its crises.

Sayyed Nasrallah finally hailed the Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah resistance group for joining the equation he has launched in a previous speech about being part of the front that is responsible for defending the holy occupied city of al-Quds in Palestine.

ثلاثيّة الصيغة اللبنانيّة وراء الحرب بين عون وبرّي

18/6/2021

د. وفيق إبراهيم

التزم رئيس المجلس النيابي نبيه برّي بمنع العودة إلى أحادية إنتاج السلطة السياسيّة في لبنان.

هذه من المسلمات السياسية في لبنان التي يمكن استنتاجها من الحرب الضروس التي نشبت بين الرئيسين بري وعون. فرئيس المجلس النيابي أدرك ومنذ عدة أيام فقط بأن هناك محاولات حاسمة من أنصار أحادية إنتاج السلطة للإمساك الكامل بالدولة على طريقة السيطرة على مجلس الوزراء. وهذا يعني باللغة السياسية اللبنانية الاستفراد الكامل بالسلطة والتأكيد على أحادية إنتاجها من بيت الطائفة المارونيّة حصراً أي كما كان يحدث منذ 1920 في عصر الانتداب الفرنسي وحتى السيطرة السورية على لبنان في السبعينيات.

يمكن اذاً القول إن أحادية إنتاج السلطة انتقلت من الرؤساء الموارنة في تلك المرحلة واستقرّت في الثياب العسكرية لقائد الجيش السوري في لبنان غازي كنعان الذي كان يتدخّل حتى في تعيين السياسيين والعسكريين اللبنانيين من دون أي تمييز.

لكن عودة الجيش السوري إلى سورية أعاد الدور الماروني الأساسي الى جانب صعود سني نسبي كان يعكس دائماً الأهمية الخليجية في لبنان.

لذلك عاد الموارنة الى المساهمة بنحو ثلثي معادلة إنتاج السلطة في لبنان مقابل 20 في المئة تقريباً للسنة وعشرة في المئة للطائفة الشيعية مع الضالين التائهين في بقية النواب ومذاهبهم.

هذا الوضع بقي مترنّحاً لا يستقرّ على وضع ثابت الى أن انحدر لأسباب تعود الى الصعود السوري – الإيراني في كامل الإقليم والدور المقاوم لحزب الله في الجنوب وسورية.

لقد نجح الرئيس نبيه بري بما يشكله من أهميات في تجسيد هذا المحور الجديد، فلم يستعمل العصا لإفهام الموارنة والسنة الممسكين بالسلطة بحصرية لم تعد تعكس أبداً موازين القوى لا في الإقليم ولا في الداخل اللبناني.

لكنه أدرك أنّ الفارق بين العصبيات الثلاث الموارنة والسنة والشيعة لم يعد كبيراً، فالرابح الخليجي في شبه جزيرة العرب انعكس على الأهمية السياسية للسنة اللبنانيين والتداخل الفرنسي – الأميركي تحول بدوره الى مرجعية للاضطرابات في لبنان، فلم يعد باستطاعة أحد أن يتفرّد بالقرار السياسي اللبناني باستثناء الرئيس بري الذي كان ملمّاً بتطوّر اللعبة السياسية، لكنه كان يختار التوقيت المناسب لإطلاقها.

يبدو هنا أنّ أبا مصطفى، لاحظ بتمعّن مدى تراجع الدور السعودي واستنكافه عن العودة الى المشاركة في القرار السياسي اللبناني، مع كامل الخليج، مدركاً بعيون صقر يرى من بعيد أنّ رعاية الأميركيين والفرنسيين للمارونية السياسية لم تعد مجدية في ظلّ صعود الدورين السوري والإيراني الذي يسجل النصر تلو الآخر في بلاد الشام وفلسطين.

داخلياً أدرك الرئيس بري أنّ القوى الحزبية التي يمثلها في حركة أمل وحزب الله والأحزاب والقوى الوطنية، أصبحت طاغية على أحزاب تقليدية تتراجع ولا تكبر أبداً كما انتبه الى انّ الطائفة الشيعية تخضع لسيطرة أمل وحزب الله بشكل شبه كامل ما يجعلها أقوى من بقية الطوائف والأحزاب.

لذلك كانت مداخلات بري في إنتاج مجلس الوزراء صامتة تصل الى حدود التجاهل في بعض الأحيان، مع إظهار نوع غريب من عدم الاكتراث يخفي ما يدور في العقول مانحاً الوجوه صفة التربص.

فما الذي حدث حتى اعتبر الرئيس بري انّ موعد الإعلان عن الطرف الثالث القوي في حركة إنتاج السلطة قد حان، لقد لاحظ ابو مصطفى انّ العصبية المارونية الأولى في الصيغة بدأ رأسها يكبر، كما انتبه الى محاولاتها لضرب الدور السياسي للطائفة السنية، وهذا يعني عودة الموارنة من خلال الرئيس عون وحزبه الى الإمساك بكامل آلية إنتاج السلطة بشكل منفرد. وهذا ما لا يقبله الرئيس بري القائد الفعلي لأحزاب ومذاهب هي أقوى بكثير من إمكانات عون والتيار الوطني الحر.

وهكذا جاءت الفرصة الموآتية لما يريده بري، بدليل أن الطائفة السنية بدار إفتائها ورؤساء الحكومات السابقين وأحزابها والعصبية الحريرية، كل هؤلاء أعلنوا التمرّد على محاولات عون وصهره جبران باسيل لإنتاج مجلس وزراء يسيطر على الغالبية فيه عون وحزب التيار الوطني الحر، بذلك يستطيع أداء أدوار تدريجية لعودة الموارنة الى الإمساك بكامل القرار السياسي.

لقد بدأ سعد الحريري في زيارته الأخيرة للرئيس بري كغريق يحتاج الى النجدة السريعة لأنه مهدّد بواحدة من حالتين: إما إبعاده عن تشكيل الحكومة ومحاولات جبران لتكليف فيصل كرامي أو دعمه في رئاسة حكومة ضعيفة لمجلس وزراء لا يمسك فيه بالأكثرية فيتحوّل بذلك الى رئيس حكومة لا علاقة له بحكومته.

هذا الاستنجاد الحريري تلقفه بري مفجّراً معركة عدم تهميش سعد الحريري وإسقاط الدور السني الثاني في حركة إنتاج السلطة، أما الدليل على القوة الساحقة عند بري فهي في توقف كلّ محاولات إبعاد سعد الحريري مع إمكانية تركه ليشكل الحكومة التي يراها مناسبة.

بذلك يتحمّل سعد نتائجها في المجلس النيابي عند طرحها للثقة أو يشكل حكومة تحفظ له سيطرته على طائفته السنية مع بعض الوزراء المسيحيين أو ربما من طوائف أخرى.

فهل تنجح ثورة بري؟ في أضعف الحالات يستطيع الرئيس بري أن يعلن ولادة العصب الثالث الذي لا يقلّ أساسية عن العصبين السني والماروني، فتتحوّل آليات إنتاج السلطة الى ثلاثة رؤوس متساوية تكبر أو تصغر استناداً إلى علاقاتها مع الخارج الإقليمي والدولي مع معدلات هيمنتها على مذاهبها في الداخل.

يتبيّن أنّ الرئيس بري يجسّد حالياً العصب الأقوى في لبنان القادر على إقناع سورية وإيران مع نيل بركات مصر وبعض القوى الخليجية وربما الفرنسية.

بانتظار الانتهاء من “المفاوضات الحربيّة” بين بري وما يجسّده مع عون والتيار الوطني الحر يمكن الجزم أنّ مفاوضات عنيفة تجري خلف الستار بين بري وعون ولا تطول نتائجها المرتقبة باعتبار أن الأوضاع الاقتصادية المنهارة في لبنان تحتاج الى عنصر السياسة او ما يشبهها لوقف زحف جهنم على كل لبنان بدءًا من القصر الجمهوريّ.

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Saudi-Iranian talks are an attempt to pre-empt the American return to nuclear deal, says sociologist

June 16, 2021 – 17:12

By M. A. Saki

TEHRAN – Head of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Lebanon says that the Saudi desire to negotiate with Iran is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal.

“The Saudi-Syrian normalization is a positive step and the Saudi-Iranian dialogue is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal,” Dr. Talal Atrissi tells the Tehran Times.

 “Saudi Arabia sees tangibly that all of its previous bets failed, and I assure that this step was by American encouragement and support, especially since Saudi Arabia failed in the war on Yemen and today it is trying to get out of the Yemeni quagmire at any cost,” Atrissi notes.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you evaluate the ongoing talks over revitalizing the Iran nuclear deal?

A: Most of the statements, whether from the Iranian side or the American side, confirm that the negotiations are heading to yield results. The statements are optimistic, and the announcement of the formation of committees to study how to lift the sanctions implies that all sides are nearing an agreement. 

The statements of the Russian, Chinese and even European delegates indicate progress and seriousness in the negotiations. But this does not mean that things will go quickly. The United States, for its part, will not lift the sanctions so easily, and even not all sanctions will be lifted. It will try to negotiate to lift only parts of the sanctions in exchange for Iran’s return to full commitment to the terms of the nuclear deal.

As for Iran, it has an interest in negotiating and has a direct interest in lifting the sanctions, which have caused great damage to the Iranian economy, and for this reason, Iran has returned to the negotiating table. But Iran has no interest in prolongation of the talks. I mean, you go back to the negotiation table again, as if we need a new agreement. With regard to Iran, this is unacceptable, as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution warned about prolonging the negotiations, while America wants to extract the largest number of concessions from Iran before lifting the sanctions.

This is what is happening today in the successive rounds of the Vienna talks. 

Q: How would the revival of the Iran nuclear pact affect the region?

A: If this agreement occurs, of course, it will reflect positively on the relations among the countries of the region. I believe that Saudi Arabia’s desire for dialogue with Iran began with America’s encouragement, not on a self-initiative, meaning that the new American administration wants some kind of stability in the Middle East (West Asia) and mitigating Persian Gulf-Iranian tension. 

The main tensions have been from the Israeli side while the Biden administration looks forward to a kind of stability and dialogue, and this is one of the reasons for thinking about reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The biggest strategic challenge for the Biden administration is China, and this means that the United States is reluctant to get involved in the Middle East (West Asia) again. It is also withdrawing from Afghanistan. Afghanistan was a major failure for America and its policies in the world and the region.

So, if the negotiations for an agreement succeeds, the allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia in the first place, will return to stable relations and understanding with Iran, and this could contribute to solving problems in Lebanon, Yemen and other countries of the region.

Q: What are Israel’s options to undermine the nuclear talks in Vienna? Do you think Israel will start a war to block the path for reviving the nuclear pact?

A: From the beginning, Israel and the U.S. administration have been at odds over the 2015 nuclear deal, and Netanyahu considered the agreement signed by Obama a “historical mistake” rather than a “historic achievement,” as Obama called it. Israel tried to obstruct the path of the agreement and worked with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prevent the conclusion of the pact, but the agreement was achieved in 2015.

 When Trump came to power in 2016, Israel considered it a great opportunity to push America to pull out of the nuclear deal.

As for the possibility of Israel carrying out some kind of operation or sabotaging Iran’s nuclear facilities to change the balance and impede a possible revival of the nuclear agreement between Iran and America, I rule out that this would happen.

First, Israel faces a domestic crisis, and Netanyahu is accused of having failed in the battle of “the sword of Jerusalem,” and therefore the victory that has been achieved by the Palestinian resistance is a victory for Iran. The resistance in Palestine expressed its thanks to Iran for its role in supporting Palestine.

For Israel, it is very difficult to contemplate such an option, especially since Netanyahu has moved to the ranks of the opposition and is no longer prime minister.

Q: How do you read Saudi-Syrian normalization, especially when we put this alongside the Iranian-Saudi talks? What caused the Saudi policy change in the region?

A: The Saudi-Syrian normalization is a positive step and the Saudi-Iranian dialogue is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal.
Saudi Arabia sees tangibly that all of its previous bets failed, and I am sure that this step was by American encouragement and support, especially since Saudi Arabia failed in the war on Yemen and today it is trying to get out of the Yemeni quagmire at any cost.

She believes that dialogue with Iran can help it get out of this war, and thus Saudi Arabia’s return to the negotiation table with Iran and Syria is an indirect acknowledgment of the failure of its previous policies.

I mean, the policy of toppling the government in Syria has failed, and the policy of forming an Arab-(Persian) Gulf-Israeli axis against Iran has failed, as well as normalization with Israel and the deal of the century, after what happened recently in occupied Palestine.

So, this step on the part of Saudi Arabia is an affirmation that Iran and the axis of resistance are in a better position than before and that the past decade was a period of steadfastness and resistance in the face of all attempts to ruin the region, Syria, and Yemen in particular.

 Today, after the battle of Palestine, the axis of resistance is in a position of strength, and this is what prompts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage in dialogue with the parties to this axis.

Q: What is the significance of the Iran-China partnership for the region and the larger world?

A: The importance of the Iran-China partnership is that it opens up broad prospects for Iran at various levels of development in the areas of investment, oil and communications. On the other hand, this may be an alternative even to the nuclear agreement with the West. Even if the nuclear deal is not revived, Iran can be satisfied with the partnership with China.

 Even if Iran complies fully to the nuclear agreement and agrees with the United States, it will have balanced relations with East and West, with the preference of China, especially since China is not a colonial country and did not create problems in the region.

 So, the Chinese-Iranian partnership is an important strategic agreement that may block the way for the U.S. to put pressure on Iran.

In addition, the Iranian-Chinese partnership as an economic agreement is inseparable from China’s vision and its historical and strategic project to restore the Silk Road (One Road, One Belt). 

Iran will be a major station in this project. For this reason, China is counting on partnership with Iran and wants Iran to remain a strong and pivotal country in the face of the American hegemony, and this is not in the interest of the West and the United States in particular.

RELATED NEWS

HOUTHIS LAUNCHED BALLISTIC MISSILE AT MA’RIB, SUICIDE DRONE AT SAUDI ARABIA’S ‘ASIR

17.06.2021 

Source

Houthis Launched Ballistic Missile At Ma’rib, Suicide Drone At Saudi Arabia's ‘Asir
Illustrative image, source: the Houthis media wing

The Houthis (Ansar Allah) are still carrying out successful missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia and its proxies in Yemen.

Late on June 16, a ballistic missile stuck the central Yemeni city of Ma’rib, which is held by the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies. According to several sources, the missile was launched by the Houthis.

The ballistic missile landed in a residential area inside the city. Nevertheless, no casualties were reported. The Houthis’ have not claimed responsibility for the attack, yet.

According to the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV, the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies responded with a series of strikes on Houthi positions in Ma’rib. Houthi fighters have been leading a large-scale offensive on the province city center for well over three months now.

A day later, the Houthis launched two Qasef-2K suicide drones at a “military position” in Abha International Airport in the southern Saudi province of Jizan. The Qasef-2K is a copy of the Iranian Ababil-2 drone with a range of around 150 kilometers.

“This attack comes as a natural response to the crimes of the aggression [Saudi-led coalition] and its continuous siege on our dear country,” Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis, said in a brief statement.

Only one of the two drones was intercepted by the Saudi-led coalition air-defense forces. It is still unclear if the second reached Abha International Airport.

On June 10, the Houthis launched four ballistic missiles and a suicide drone at Ma’rib city, killing eight people and injuring many others. Within a few hours, the group attacked an unspecified target in Saudi Arabia’s ‘Asir with a suicide drone.

The Houthis’ ability to launch attacks on several fronts simultaneously pose a real challenge to the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemen proxies.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

Yemeni army releases pictures of Saudi troops, Sudanese mercs captured during Jizan operation

By VT Editors -June 15, 2021

This picture released by the media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center on June 14, 2021 shows some Saudi troops and Sudanese mercenaries captured during a recent operation in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan.

The media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center has published the pictures and interviews of a number of Saudi troops and Sudanese mercenaries captured during a recent operation in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan region, with an eye to swapping them with Yemeni prisoners held by the Saudi-led coalition forces.

Press TV: In their confessions broadcast on Yemen’s al-Masirah television, the captives identified themselves, and talked about military units they were affiliated with.

They said they were being treated humanely at the hands of the Yemeni Armed Forces and fighters from Popular Committees, and assured their families that they were in good health.Spokesman: Yemeni forces’ drone carried out new attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Intl. Airport

The spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says army troops have carried out a retaliatory drone strike against Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport.

They also appealed to Saudi authorities to secure their freedom, describing the Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen as “unjust and unreasonable.”

They were captured after Yemeni troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees carried out a major military operation in Saudi Arabia’s strategic Jizan region over the past few days, establishing control over many military sites.

Dozens of Saudi army troops, Sudanese mercenaries and Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi were either killed or captured in the process, and large quantities of munitions and military equipment were seized from them.

A military source said Yemeni army forces wrested control over MBC mountains, in addition to Tabab al-Fadhia, al-Tabba al-Bayda, al-Qambora, al-Amoud, Tawaleq and Eastern Qa’im Sayab areas during the multi-pronged operation.

The source said more than 80 Saudi army troops and Sudanese mercenaries were killed in the offensives, while 29 military vehicles were destroyed and set on fire.Saudis seek ‘face-saving way out’ of their ‘unwinnable war’ on Yemen: ICG

Richard Atwood, the interim head of the International Crisis Group, says Riyadh’s war against Yemen “generates fury” toward the Saudi rulers.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched a devastating war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing Hadi’s government back to power and crushing popular Ansarullah movement.

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The Saudi war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. The war has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases across the Arab country.

ABOUT VT EDITOR

SVT EditorsVeterans Today

VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff. All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

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Palestine: Old Policy of Divide and Rule Continues

By VT Editors -June 14, 2021

By Sajjad Shaukat Pak VT

After martyring more than 300 Palestinians, including 100 children and 80 women, injuring more than 3000 innocent civilians in Gaza Strip through airstrikes and ground shelling, Israel agreed on a ceasefire with Hamas, which ended the 11 days war.

Unmatched with Israeli arms, freedom fighters of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group Abu Ubaida had no option except firing rockets inside Israel.

Very tensions had started when Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked the Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians staged protests in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

In an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers, the OIC had called for an immediate halt to Israel’s barbaric attacks on Gaza.

Earlier, called by China, the UNO Security Council held an urgent meeting on the unrest in Jerusalem. The three sessions of the UN body failed after the US’s moves to block a joint statement that would condemn Israel for the violence and call for a cease-fire.

Like the past administrations, the US President Joe Biden reiterated that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Biden also sent Linda Thomas-Greenfield—the US’s UN envoy to de-escalate tensions. However, it was part of the double game of Washington. When American President Biden seriously pressured Netanyahu to prevent a full-scale war, Tel Aviv agreed for ceasefire.

But, Israeli Premier Netanyahu has not accepted the two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute which was stressed by the US and some major Western countries.

In fact, international bodies such as the UNO Security Council, OIC and the US-led West failed to present a solution to end the Israeli state terrorism on the Palestinians, which have continued from time to time.

Notably, like the United States, Ottoman Empire of Turkey was a large multi-ethnic state. In order to maintain their control, one of the British strategies was divide and rule which was being practiced through various tactics like arrangement of rebellions, manipulation of ethnic and sectarian differences. The Britain provided soldiers, weapons and money to the Arab subjects against that Empire. According to the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the British and French agreed to divide the Arab world between them. The Britain took control of what are now Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan. The French were given modern Syria, Lebanon and southern Turkey. Thus, they brought about the end of the Ottomans and the rise of the new states, with borders, running across the Middle East, dividing Muslims from each other.

Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 which was a conspiracy of the American and the British rulers against the Palestinians was implemented. On May 14, 1948, the UNO acted upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan and established the state of Israel.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and Syrian Golan Heights during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move that has never been recognized by the UNO and international community.

Once Henry Kissinger stated “legitimacy is not natural or automatic, but created.”

Under the cover of the 9/11 attacks, the US President George W. Bush started global war on terror. Occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led NATO, Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, like the creation of Al-Qaeda by the CIA, the Islamic State group (ISIS), proxy wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and elsewhere in the world were part of the same anti-Muslim campaign to continue old divide and rule policy.

Henry Kissinger had suggested the split of Iraq into three independent regions, ruled by Kurds, Shias and Sunnis. In this regard, the Asia Times Online reported in 2005: “The plan of balkanizing Iraq into several smaller states is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan…an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq…this is classic divide and rule: the objective is the perpetuation of Arab disunity.”

Similarly, during the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in collusion with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The Security Council adopted resolution of April 21, 1948, which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its commitment of holding plebiscite. Instead, Indian Parliament declared Kashmir-an integral part of the Indian union.

Indian cruel actions against the Kashmiris reached climax on August 5, 2019 when Indian extremist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the fanatic ruling party BJP revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). New Delhi unilaterally annexed the IIOJK with the Indian Federation to turn Muslim majority into minority.

Implementing the ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism), Indian prejudiced rulers have Issued over 1.8 million domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris to change the demographic structure of the IIOJK.

And deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred thousands of the Kashmiris through brutal tactics-extrajudicial killings—non-provision of basic necessities of life and medicines for the coronavirus patients prove worst form of India’s state terrorism. Now, almost 21 months have been passed. But, Indian strict military lockdown in the IIOJK continues.

Besides, the Indian Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) further exposed the discriminatory policies of the Modi-led government against the Muslims.

It is mentionable that Article 42 of the 1907—Hague Regulations states that a territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.

Moreover, in its resolution 3314, the United Nations General Assembly prohibits states from any military occupation. Article 2(4) of the UN charter explicitly prohibits the use of force.

In addition, General Assembly’s resolution 1541 adopted in 1960 accepts the legitimacy of the right of self-determination and opposes repressive measures of all kinds against the freedom fighters by the colonial powers.

Nevertheless, the US-led major Western countries continue old policy of divide and rule to create division among the Islamic countries.

In this respect, on the directions of the US ex-President Donald Trump, some Muslim countries’ various moves such as recognition of the state of Israel, opening of Israeli embassies in their countries, Shia-Sunni sectarian split, manipulation of Iran-Saudi Arabia differences, encouragement to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, lack of practical action against the Modi-regime etc. might be cited as some instances. Undoubtedly, it is due to lack of unity in the Islamic Ummah that the Muslim countries have become easy target of this old policy.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Email: Sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

ABOUT VT EDITORS

VT EditorsVeterans Today

VT Editors is a General Posting account managed by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff.

All content herein is owned and copyrighted by Jim W. Dean and Gordon Duff

editors@veteranstoday.com

The Mossad Spy in Yemen (English subtitles)

هكذا بدأ تنفيذ الاتفاق النوويّ مجدّداً

12/06/2021

ناصر قنديل

يتمهّل الأميركيون والإيرانيون في إعلان العودة إلى الاتفاق النوويّ، فليس من عجلة في الإعلان، لأن هناك ملفات تستدعي الترتيب قبل الإعلان، خصوصاً في الاستعجال الأميركي لترتيب الأوراق في كيان الاحتلال والسعودية، حيث لا يريد الأميركي الإعلان عن العودة إلى الاتفاق قبل التحقق من نزع صلاحيات رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو على ارتكاب أية حماقة في تصعيد الأوضاع في المنطقة بهدف جر الأميركيين الى حرب، وينتظرون نتائج التصويت على نيل الحكومة الجديدة بالثقة، ووضع ضمانات نقل صلاحيات رئيس الحكومة في حال فشل الثقة الى المجلس الوزاري المصغّر حيث وزير الدفاع ورئيس الموساد ورئيس الأركان، شركاء في القرار وشركاء لواشنطن في السعي لخفض التصعيد. وعلى الضفة السعودية يرغب الأميركيون أن يسبق إعلان العودة الى الاتفاق التوصل الى تفاهم ثابت يضمن وقف النار وفتح باب التفاوض السياسيّ في اليمن، وبالرغم من المحاولة الأميركية لترجيح كفة السعودية وكيان الاحتلال في كل صيغ التهدئة التي يشتغلون عليها، فهم يدركون أنهم لم يعودوا لاعباً وحيداً، وأنهم في لحظة معيّنة مجبرون على الاختيار بين التهدئة وشروطهم لها. والقبول بالتالي بشروط لا تناسبهم ولا تناسب حليفهم في السعودية والكيان، لكنها تضمن تهدئة مديدة، وقد بات واضحاً أن عنوانها اليمنيّ فك الحصار وعنوانها الفلسطيني منع الانتهاكات في القدس.

في فترة التريّث الأميركيّ لا يجد الإيرانيون سبباً لتخفيض إجراءاتهم التي تقلق الأميركيين وحلفاءهم الأوروبيين في الملف النووي، فهي إجراءات دفاعيّة اتخذتها إيران رداً على الانسحاب الأميركي غير القانوني من الاتفاق وما لحقه من عقوبات أميركية منافية للقانون الدولي بمعاقبة كل مَن يطبّق قرار مجلس الأمن برفع العقوبات، ولذلك لن يسجل الإيرانيون سابقة يُساء فهمها كعلامة تعطش للعودة للاتفاق، ويقدمون على وقف خطواتهم الدفاعية أو تخفيضها، حتى لو كانوا مقتنعين بأن الأميركيين يرتبون أوراقهم للعودة للاتفاق، لأنه ما دام الباب مفتوحاً للتفاوض فكل خطوة لها تأثيرها على موازين التفاوض، لذلك يقرأ الإيرانيون النداءات التي تدعوهم لوقف الإجراءات التصعيدية، وهم بلغوا مرحلة قريبة من امتلاك ما يكفي لإنتاج قنبلة، كما يقول الأميركيّون، لكنهم يجيبون بأن الحلّ يكون شاملاً أو لا يكون، ورغم المحاولات الدبلوماسية التي جرت مع إيران من أصدقاء ووسطاء للاستجابة لهذه النداءات بقي الموقف الإيراني على حاله، والوقت الحرج نووياً، كما يقول الأميركيون، بات بالأيام وربما بالساعات.

وصل الوسطاء إلى صيغة تقوم على بدء تنفيذ الاتفاق قبل الإعلان عنه، عبر اختيار بنود من الاتفاق تقع في روزنامة المرحلة الأولى، وتتضمّن رفعاً لعدد من العقوبات الأميركية عن أشخاص وكيانات إيرانية، منها شركات تصدير للنفط وشركات بحرية لنقل النفط، مقابل أن تقدم إيران على القيام ببعض الخطوات المقابلة، ولم تجب إيران على المقترح، إلا بالجواب التقليدي، يكون الحل شاملاً أو لا يكون، فبادرت واشنطن لتطبيق بنود العرض قبل الحصول على استجابة إيرانية بفعل المثل، على أمل أن يفعل الإيرانيّون شيئاً ولو لم يعلنوا عنه، وهذا ما أمله الوسطاء من إيران، فيما يجري تسريع العمل على تجاوز التعقيدات من طريق التهدئة في فلسطين واليمن، والطريق واضح للأميركيين ولا يحتمل المناورات، القبول بربط وقف النار في اليمن برفع الحصار وفتح الميناء والمطار، والقبول بربط وقف النار في غزة بوقف الانتهاكات في القدس، وصولاً لتبادل الأسرى ورفع الحصار عن غزة.

الذين يتابعون مسار فيينا عن قرب يقولون إن أمر الاتفاق انتهى، وإن ما يجري حالياً هو تطبيق بعض بنوده قبل الإعلان عن توقيع

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اليمن آخر الحروب وأول التسويات Yemen is the last war and the first settlement

**Please scroll down for the Adjusted English Machine translation**

اليمن آخر الحروب وأول التسويات

11/06/2021

ناصر قنديل

 لا يحبّ اللبنانيون تصديق أن بلدهم يشكل جبهة ثانوية في الصراع الكبير الدائر في المنطقة. ورغم الأبعاد الداخليّة الحقيقية للأزمات السياسية والاقتصادية والمالية التي تعصف بلبنان. والتي يأمل البعض أن تشكل أبواباً للتغيير. يبقى أن النظام الطائفي والمتخم بمظاهر الفساد والمحكوم بسياسات اقتصاديّة ومالية فاشلة. بقي على قيد الحياة بقرار خارجي. كان يراهن على تقييد المقاومة بمعادلات لبنانيّة داخلية. أو بمتغيرات ينجح بفرضها في الإقليم. نظراً للكلفة العالية لكل تفكير بمواجهة مباشرة مع المقاومة في لبنان. وعدم وجود نتائج موثوقة لمثل هذه المواجهة. وعندما وصل الرهان على متغيرات الحرب في سورية أو على معادلات الداخل. ونجحت المقاومة بفرض معادلات داخلية أشد قوة مع التسوية الرئاسية وقانون الانتخاب القائم على النسبية. قرّر هذا الخارج وبصورة خاصة الراعي الأميركي والمموّل الخليجي. وقف تمويل هذا النظام. فانكشفت عوراته. وانفجرت أزماته. لكن المصيبة الأعظم هو أن هذا الخارج عندما يفرغ من ترتيبات التسويات ووضع قواعد الاشتباك في المنطقة. وقد قرّر السير بها كبديل عن خيار المواجهة الذي ثبت فشله وظهر أنه طريق مسدود. سيعود لتمويل هذا النظام وتعويمه. لكنه يريد للمفاوضات أن تجري والمقاومة منشغلة بهموم النظام وارتداداتها على الشعب اللبناني.

 سورية التي تشكل عقدة المنطقة الرئيسية بتوازناتها ومكانتها من كل عناوين الصراع الإقليمي، شكلت بيضة القبان في رسم التوازنات التي أسقطت الرهانات على خطط المواجهة. وأجبرت بالانتصارات التي تحققت فيها حلف الحرب عليها بالتراجع وأصابته بالتفكك وفرضت عليه التسليم بالفشل. لكن صورة التسوية في سورية مؤجلة. رغم ما فرضه الشعب السوري في يوم الانتخابات الرئاسية من معادلات ترسم ثوابت أي تسوية بما يتصل بشكل النظام السياسي ومرجعياته. ورغم الاستدارة التي يقوم بها أطراف كثيرون شاركوا بالحرب ويعودون الى دمشق ويفتحون سفاراتهم ويغيّرون خطابهم، إلا أن سورية ترسم أوزاناً جديدة لكل قوى العالم الجديد. ففيها الاحتلال الأميركي والإحتلال التركي ومستقبل الدويلة الكردية والجماعات الإرهابية، ومنها تتقرر قواعد الاشتباك بين محور المقاومة وكيان الاحتلال في الجولان وحول مستقبل الغارات على سورية، وفيها الوجود الروسي والإيراني والمقاوم. ويعتقد الأميركي أنه بالعقوبات واحتجاز النازحين والإمساك بتمويل إعادة الإعمار يملك القدرة على المفاوضة على شرعنة النصر السوري وثمن هذه الشرعنة وشروطها. ولذلك تبدو التسوية حول سورية مؤجلة لما بعد حلقات تسبقها. تضع قطار التسويات على السكة. وتطلق صفارة الانطلاق.

 تقع إيران في قلب الصراع وتشكل قاعدة الارتكاز فيه. ويشكل ملفها النووي عنوان الصراع الذي يختزن ما هو أبعد من النووي، ليطال مستقبل مكانة إيران في المنطقة. وقد كانت كل محاولات الضغط بحجة النووي لتطويع إيران وإضعافها. فيما يشكل التراجع عن العقوبات تحت عنوان العودة للاتفاق النووي تعبيراً عن التسليم بالفشل وسعياً للانخراط في تسويات يدور التفاوض حول مضامينها. وكل الوقائع تقول إن الاتفاق بات منجزاً بنصوصه وتفاصيله. وإن روزنامة التنفيذ الجزئي قبل الإعلان عن العودة للاتفاق قد بدأت. سواء عبر تحرير أموال وودائع إيرانية في الخارج كانت تحتجزها العقوبات الأميركية. وصولاً لما أعلن مساء امس عن اول خطوة أميركية مباشرة برفع العقوبات عن اشخاص وكيانات كانوا تحت نظام العقوبات، كما قالت وزارة الخارجية الأميركية.

 الحرب على اليمن كانت خط الاحتياط الأميركي السعودي في مواجهة نتائج التوقيع على الاتفاق في المرة الأولى. وجاءت نتائجها وبالاً. وشكل اليمن مفاجأة الحروب كلها. فانقلبت الحرب من أداة ضغط أميركية سعودية الى أداة ضغط معكوسة. وصار أمن الطاقة وأمن الخليج تحت رحمة أنصار الله. وبات دخول زمن التسويات مشروطاً بإنهاء الحرب بشروط غير مذلة للسعودية تتيح حفظ ما تبقى من ماء الوجه. لكن سوء التقدير السعودي الذي كان مع بداية الحرب لا يزال مستمراً مع الحاجة لإنهائها، وأوهام تحقيق المكاسب يحكم العقل السعودي الذي لم يعرف كيف يربح ولا يعرف اليوم كيف يخسر. فعرض وقف النار دون إنهاء الحصار تسبب بتعقيد الإعلان عن انطلاق خط التسوية في اليمن. وتسبب بتأجيل الإعلان عن التوصل الى الاتفاق على العودة للاتفاق النووي. لكن الزمن داهم. ولذلك يرمي الأميركيون بثقلهم لمخارج يقول بعض الوسطاء إن بينها توقيع اتفاق لفتح مطار صنعاء وميناء الحديدة بين السعودية وعُمان، وتوقيع اتفاق مماثل بين عُمان وأنصار الله، خلال أيام وربما ساعات يعقبها الإعلان عن وقف النار. ليتسنى السير بالإعلان عن الاتفاق على الملف النووي من فيينا.


Yemen is the last war and the first settlement

11/06/2021

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Nasser Kandil

–  The Lebanese do not like to believe that their country is a secondary front in the great conflict in the region. Despite the real internal dimensions of the political, economic and financial crises ravaging Lebanon, which some hope will open doors to change. It remains that the sectarian system, full of corruption and governed by failed economic and financial policies, survived by external decision, betting on restricting resistance with internal Lebanese equations, or variables imposed in the region. Due to the high cost of direct confrontation with the resistance in Lebanon, there are no credible results of such a confrontation. The bet on the variables of the war in Syria and internal equations failed and the resistance succeeded in imposing stronger internal equations with the presidential settlement and the proportional election law. The abroad, in particular, the American sponsor and gulf financier decided to stop funding this corrupted system. His nakedness was exposed, his crises exploded. But the greatest misfortune is that this outsider, when decided to settlement arrangements and rules of engagement in the region he pursue it as an alternative to the option of confrontation, which proved to be a failure and a dead end. Therefore he will return to finance and float the the Lebanese sectarian corrupted system. But he wants negotiations to take place while the resistance is preoccupied with the regime’s concerns and their repercussions on the Lebanese people.

Syria, which constitutes the region’s main knot, with its balances and its position from all the titles of the regional conflict, formed the weight-bearing egg in drawing balances that dropped bets on confrontation plans. The victories achieved by the War Alliance were forced to retreat, disintegrated and forced to admit failure. But the picture of a settlement in Syria is postponed . Despite the equations imposed by the Syrian people on the day of the presidential elections, that outline the constants of any settlement with regard to the shape of the political system and its references.

Despite the rotation of many parties who participated in the war and return to Damascus, open their embassies and change their speech, Syria is drawing new weights for all the forces of the new world. It includes the U.S. occupation, the Turkish occupation, the future of the Kurdish state and terrorist groups, from which the rules of engagement between the axis of resistance and the occupation entity in the Golan are decided and about the future of the raids on Syria, where the Russian, Iranian and resistance are presence. The American believes that with the sanctions, the detention of the displaced, and the seizure of reconstruction funding, he has the ability to negotiate the legitimacy of the Syrian victory, the price and conditions of this legitimization. Therefore, the settlement over Syria seems to be postponed until after the previous episodes. Put the train of compromises on the rails. The launch whistle sounds.

Iran is at the center of the conflict and forms its basis. Its nuclear file is the title of the conflict that holds what is beyond nuclear, affecting Iran’s future position in the region. All attempts to pressure under the pretext of nuclear power were to subdue and weaken Iran. The rollback of sanctions under the heading of a return to the nuclear deal is an expression of the recognition of failure and an effort to engage in compromises whose contents are being negotiated. All the facts say that the agreement is now complete with its texts and details. The partial implementation calendar before the announcement of a return to the agreement had begun. Whether by freeing Iranian funds and deposits abroad that were held by U.S. sanctions. The first direct U.S. move to lift sanctions on people and entities under the sanctions regime was announced Tuesday night, the State Department said.

 The war on Yemen was the U.S.-Saudi reserve line in the face of the results of the signing of the nuclear deal the first time. Their were bad. Yemen was the surprise of all wars. The war went from a U.S.-Saudi pressure tool to a reverse pressure tool. Energy and Gulf security are at the mercy of Ansar Allah. Entering the time of settlements became conditional on ending the war on non-humiliating terms for Saudi Arabia that would allow saving the rest of the face. But the Saudi miscalculation that was at the beginning of the war is still continuing with the need to end it, and the illusions of achieving gains rule the Saudi mind, which did not know how to win and does not know how to lose today. Offering a cease-fire without ending the siege complicated the announcement of the launch of the settlement line in Yemen. And caused the postponement of the announcement of reaching an agreement to return to the nuclear agreement. But time is running out. Therefore, the Americans are throwing their weight at exits that some mediators say include the signing of an agreement to open Sanaa airport and the port of Hodeida between Saudi Arabia and Oman, and the signing of a similar agreement between Oman and Ansar Allah, within days and perhaps hours, followed by announcing a cease-fire. In order to be able to announce the agreement on the nuclear file from Vienna.

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