Related Stor11 years on… UK gets what it was always after; Libya’s oilies

29 Nov 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

British oil giants BP and Shell are returning to the oil-rich north African country just over a decade after the UK took part in destabilizing the nation with the 2011 military intervention.

An oil and gas platform off the coast of Libya (Getty Images)

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) agreed last month for BP to begin drilling for and producing natural gas in a major project off the north African country’s coast.

The UK corporation, whose board of directors includes former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, controls exploration areas in Libya nearly three times the size of Wales.

For a long time, British officials have sought to profit from oil in Libya, which contains 48 billion barrels of reserves – the largest oil resources in Africa, accounting for 3% of the world total.

BP is one of the few international oil and gas companies with exploration and production permits in Libya. Muammar Gaddafi nationalized its assets in Libya shortly after seizing power in a 1969 coup that called into question the entire British position in the country and region.

Following years of tensions between the two countries, Prime Minister Tony Blair met Gaddafi in 2004 and struck the so-called “Deal in the Desert,” which included a $900 million exploration and production agreement between BP and Libya’s NOC.

Read next: UN calls for Libya ceasefire after deadly clashes

BP re-entered the country in 2007, but its operations were halted by the 2011 NATO-backed aggression on the country, resulting in ousting Gaddafi and later killing him.

BP operations resumed after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2018 between the NOC and Eni, the Italian oil major, to resume exploration, with Eni as the oil field operator. BP CEO Bob Dudley hailed the agreement as an important step “toward returning to our work in Libya.”

The $8 billion BP-ENI project includes two exploration areas, one onshore in the Ghadames basin and one offshore in the Sirte basin, totaling approximately 54,000 km2. The Sirte basin concession alone encompasses an area larger than Belgium.

The UK’s other oil major, Shell, is also “preparing to return as a major player” in Libya, according to its statement in a confidential document. After putting its Libyan operations on hold in 2012, the corporation is now planning to explore new oil and gas fields in several blocks.

Oil bribery

In September of last year, a third British company, Petrofac, which provides engineering services to oil operations, was awarded a $100 million contract to help develop the Erawin oil field in Libya’s deep southwest.

Petrofac was at the time under investigation for bribery by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO). One of its executives, global head of sales David Lufkin, had already pleaded guilty in 2019 to 11 counts of bribery. 

The SFO convicted and fined Petrofac on seven counts of bribery between 2011 and 2017 in the month following the award of the Libya contract.

The company pleaded guilty to using agents to bribe officials to the tune of £32 million in order to win oil contracts in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

“A key feature of the case,” the SFO noted, “was the complex and deliberately opaque methods used by these senior executives to pay agents across borders, disguising payments through sub-contractors, creating fake contracts for fictitious services and, in some cases, passing bribes through more than one agent and one country, to disguise their actions.”

It works with BP in several countries around the world, including Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Oman, and in the North Sea.

Backed by UK government

All three British firms re-entering Libya have close ties to the British government. During some of the years when Petrofac paid bribes, the company was led by Ayman Asfari, who donated nearly £800,000 to the Conservative Party between 2009 and 2017.

David Cameron appointed Asfari, who is now a non-executive director of Petrofac, as one of his business ambassadors in 2014.

In May 2019, when Petrofac was under investigation by the SFO, UKEF provided £700m in project insurance for the design and operation of an oil refinery at Duqm in Oman, a project in which Petrofac was named as the sole UK exporter.

Read next: Libya’s largest oilfield resumes operations after 2 months of shutdown

Petrofac was one of five companies that sponsored the official reopening of the British Embassy in Tripoli in June of this year.

Ambassador Caroline Hurndall told the audience, “I am especially proud that British businesses are collaborating with Libyan companies and having a meaningful impact upon Libya’s economic development. Many of those businesses are represented here tonight.”

BP and Shell are close to Whitehall, with a long history of personnel revolving between the corporation and former senior civil servants.

Control of oil

Despite all that has befallen the north African nation, Libya was the UK’s third largest source of oil last year, after Norway and the US, supplying 7.8% of all British oil imports. Oil provides over 90% of Libya’s revenue, which makes it the country’s lifeline. 

However, the country’s NATO-backed aggression has provoked a battle for control over the oil industry which has been described as being in “disarray”, with “little clarity on who really is in control of the nation’s most valuable resource.”

UK ministers have long sought access to Libya’s oil in the international rivalry over access to the key resource. Documents obtained by the oil-focused NGO Platform in 2009 revealed that Labour ministers and senior civil servants met with Shell at least 11 times and possibly as many as 26 times in less than four years to discuss the company’s oil interests in Libya.

Read next: Libya Announces the End of Division in Oil Sector

Related Stories

The Middle East and US global power: Fossil Fuel- Lifeblood of the American Empire

November 22, 2022

Source

by Phillyguy

Summary

Among all of the events shaping post-civil war US economic development, one of the most prominent was the establishment of Standard Oil by John D. Rockefeller in 1870. Working with other US industrialists, along with domestic and international financial and banking interests, including the Rothschild’s London banking cartel, Standard oil decedents have dominated the fossil fuel industry and shaped US economic and social development and foreign policy to the present day.

Introduction

The current world security architecture arose following WWII, which established the US as the dominant global power. Since that time, US global supremacy has rested on unrivaled military and economic power, control of world’s energy reserves (primarily in the Middle East), and maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency [1]. There has been much current discussion about promoting ‘green’ policies, including sustainable development and increasing the use of renewable energy sources, clearly articulated during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’; ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992) [2], and Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN on Sept 23, 2019 [3], where she accused world leaders of failing younger generations by not taking more aggressive actions to stop climate change. Despite this push for Green policies, fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are still the dominant source of energy, currently supply over 80% of the world’s energy [4]. In addition, the dollar (aka ‘petrodollar’) is the primary reserve currency held by foreign central banks [5] and main currency used for commercial energy transactions [6] [7].

In 1863 John D. Rockefeller joined Maurice B. Clark and Samuel Andrews in an oil-refining business in Cleveland, Ohio, which was subsequently expanded and incorporated as Standard Oil of Ohio in 1870. Rockefeller was a shrewd and aggressive industrialist, acquiring additional refining capacity by “buying up and squeezing out of rivals by every device at hand—legal or illegal’ and as a result, Standard Oil would soon control over 90% of American oil refining capacity. Facing increasing resistance from the business community and the Ohio legislature, Rockefeller incorporated the Standard Oil Trust in New Jersey in 1982. This Trust consisted of seven subsidiaries- Standard Oil of Kentucky, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of New York, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Indiana, The Standard Oil Co (Ohio) and The Ohio Oil Company. In Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States (1911), the US Supreme Court found the Standard Oil Trust guilty of engaging in anti-competitive practices, a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, breaking the company up into 34 separate entities, some of which the Rockefellers held major stakes [8] [9]. Ironically, decades after the Standard Oil Trust was ‘broken up’, these separate firms would subsequently merge into Chevron [10], ExxonMobil [11], British Petroleum (BP) [12] and Marathon [13], which are currently among the top 10 global energy companies [14]. The Rockefellers reach was vast- David Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, was Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (1970-1985) and Chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank (1969–1981) [15] [16].

The geographic location of the US, circa 8000 km (5000 miles) from major war theaters in Europe and 9700 km (6000 miles) in Japan shielded the US from the massive devastation that took place in Europe and Asia during WWII. As a result, many large US corporations were able to profit handsomely by supplying the War Department with fuel, aircraft, ships, motor vehicles, armaments and ammunition to equip American soldiers and allied forces. Some of these firms were working both sides of the conflict, supplying Nazi Germany with financial backing and war material; some of these firms include Alcoa, Brown Brothers Harriman, Coca-Cola, Dupont, Kodak, Chase Bank, Dow Chemical, Ford, IBM, General Electric, General Motors, Woolworth, Random House and Standard Oil [17]. Prescott Bush, father of George HW Bush (41st President) and grandfather of George W. Bush’s (43st President), was a partner of A. Harriman & Co Investment bank and later served as Senator from Connecticut (1952-1963). Prescott Bush was directly involved with companies that profited from their commercial involvement with Nazi Germany [18] [19]. It should be pointed out the WWII is the most expensive war in American history, costing taxpayers more than $4 trillion, adjusted for inflation [20].

To the victor go the spoils

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s foremost military and economic power, the dollar was anointed the status of world reserve currency at the Bretton Woods Conference (1944) and established as the primary currency used for energy transactions following the meeting between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, aboard the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal on Valentine’s Day, 1945 [21].

Post-WWII US economic development saw the continued rise of the American economy which translated into robust corporate profits and better living standards for many working people. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act (aka National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956) described as the ‘Greatest Public Works Project in History’, allocating $25 billion (circa $274 billion in inflation- adjusted dollars) from taxpayers to develop a 41,000-mile system of interstate highways that Eisenhower promised would eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” [22] [23]. The Highway act would enrich the ‘pro-highway coalition of energy companies, automobile manufactures, truckers, bus operators, tiremakers, insurance companies, auto clubs, etc. It directly led to increased use of private automobiles for transportation and the systematic dismantling of energy- efficient public transportation, creation of suburbs, shopping centers, ‘strip malls’, and proliferation of McDonald’s and other ‘fast-food’ outlets, which have led to the current health crisis in the US- increased obesity, type II diabetes and related health problems [24] [25]. In addition, some of these highways were literally built through urban neighborhoods and frequently minority communities [26] [27], such as the Cypress Freeway in Oakland, CA, I95 in Chester, PA and the Cross Bronx Expressway in NYC [28] [29].

As a result, the functioning of the American economy and society has become very dependent on fossil fuel consumption (for more detail see [30]).

1. Energy consumption & generation– the US has 4.25% of world’s population (339 million people) but consumes ~17% of the world’s energy and has the highest per capita energy consumption and is the largest total energy consumer. In 2021, approximately 60% of US electricity was generated from fossil fuels- coal, natural gas and oil [31].

2. Suburban development– as described above, passage of the Highway act of 1956 [22], accelerated the development of low-density housing suburbs, which were only accessible by automobiles using fossil fuel.

3. Transportation– The average American relies on energy-inefficient automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. Most US cities lack a comprehensive, energy-efficient public transportation system. Indeed, the US does not have 1 mile of high-speed rail lines. By contrast, China has 40,000 km (24,855 mi), Spain has 3,100 km (1,926 mi) and Japan has 2,830 km (1758 mi) of high-speed rail.

4. American agriculture is very energy-intensive, requiring 15 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food. The average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production to consumption point- e.g., California-grown produce, shipped to the US east coast, usually via diesel fueled trucks.

5. Information technology– US society is heavily reliant on information flow. This system encompasses local computers, the internet and fiber optic cables serving as data pipelines, computer server farms and “cloud” storage facilities, all of which consume lots of electricity.

6. Military– The Pentagon is the largest single consumer of fossil fuel and polluter in the world. To give this some perspective, on average, the US military consumes 12,600,000 gallons (48,000,000 L) of fuel per day. One F-16 fighter jet consumes over 20K gallons of Kerosene per hour (333 gal/min) [32].

American capitalism is dependent on fossil fuel consumption to function and serves as the lubricant for American power projection around the world. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have approximately 57% and 41% of proven oil and natural gas reserves, respectively (see Table 1 and [33]). Thus, it is not surprising that the US ruling elite have a major interest in this region and the energy reserves therein [34]. US attempts to control oil in the MENA region has been carried out in several ways. This has involved setting up client regimes in countries with vast energy deposits, such as the Gulf monarchies in the Persian Gulf (Figure 1), attacking and/or invading countries who attempt to follow an independent energy policy, such as Iraq and Libya or issuing frequent verbal threats, seizing assets and imposing economic sanctions on countries that the US has been unable to achieve regime change or are capable of defending themselves, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran [35] and Venezuela.

As part of this effort, the US has set up military bases in multiple ME countries including Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey (Türkiye), UAE and Syria (See Figure 1 and Table 2) [36]. Due to its geographic location, Israel is crucial to US foreign policy goals. The ‘state’ of Israel/Zionist project was the creation of British imperialism (Balfour Declaration, 1918) [37], was driven, at least in part, by the desire of the British ruling elite to establish a reliable (read non-Muslim) proxy force that would assist the UK in controlling the region and its abundant hydrocarbon reserves [38]. The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading military and economic power and assumed the role of Israel’s benefactor, providing $152 billion since 1949; $3.8 billion in 2020 [39] [40]. While Israel does not host a formal US base, she is a de facto appendage of the Pentagon, is fully integrated into NATO and serves as a reliable and well-armed US proxy in the region [41] [42], ranking 18th in global military power [43]. Israel conducts regular attacks on Syria [44] and estimated to have a stockpile of circa 90 nuclear weapons (likely a low estimate).

This effort has become all the more urgent as: the Russia-China-Iran axis has attained economic and military parity with the West, Iran is now a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) [45], has applied for membership to the BRICS [46] and recently announced that it has developed a hypersonic missile, that is ‘capable of penetrating all defense systems’ [47]. One would infer that Iran received technical help developing this weapon system. As Iran’s ties with Russia and China continue solidifying, they are becoming increasingly ambivalent about rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA; aka Iran nuclear deal) [46], which was negotiated during the Obama Administration [48]. Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018, stating ‘We cannot prevent an Iranian bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement’ [49].

We hear a lot about ‘Green’ energy, the ‘Green new deal’, reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘sustainable development’, policies which are being promoted by a wide range of extremely committed environmental and conservation groups such as the Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Clean Air Council in the US and many international organizations and prominent politicians. ‘Green’ polices have been promoted by US Vice President Kamala Harris, encouraging Americans to purchase [expensive] electric cars and endorsed by the paper of record (NYT) and other corporate media outlets. Any policy that reduces the production of ‘greenhouse’ gasses, such as CO2, is certainly a noble and worthwhile objective, that should be supported. Unfortunately, most of these groups, at least in the US, where I live, are missing the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’. This includes:

1. The entire structure of American society has been built around fossil fuel consumption. This includes the use of automobiles and jet airplanes for transportation. The profits of very powerful corporate interests, including energy corporations, automobile manufactures and their suppliers, banks and insurance companies and law firms to name a few, are highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and ‘greenhouse’ gas production. They are not about to give this up without a big fight, including going to war.

2. The military is a key pillar of a [declining] American empire, with the Pentagon serving as the ‘enforcer’ of US global power, but is also the largest of consumer of fossil fuels and largest polluter in the world [32]. The Pentagon is supported by all factions of the ruling elite, readily apparent from the near-unanimous bipartisan support for every military appropriation in Congress (appropriation for 2023 is $773 billion). Not surprisingly, most environmental groups, which are dependent on funding from corporate-backed foundations, such as the Ford Foundation, Home Depot Foundation, etc. [50] are not going to ‘bite the hand’ that feeds them. Likewise, US corporate media is controlled by 6 large corporations whose class interests reflect those of the petrochemical companies and other large corporations [51] [52] [53]. Any reporter who steps out of line- i.e., criticizes the functioning of the US empire, including fossil fuel consumption, is immediately reprimanded and/or fired. 1) Reporter Emily Wilder was fired from AP because she had posted pro-Palestinian material on social media [54]. 2) In 1996, investigative reporter Gary Webb published a series of articles entitled ‘Dark Alliance’ in the San Jose Mercury News, linking the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles with the Nicaraguan Contra rebels and the CIA. Not surprisingly, Webb’s story was met with outrage by MSM outlets such as the LA Times and Washington Post. Webb committed suicide in 2004 [55].

Concluding remarks

The survival of the American Empire is highly dependent on fossil fuel consumption and control of global energy reserves. This dependency has created irresolvable problems and led to a chaotic and at times, contradictory foreign policy. While there has been a lot of ‘whining’ about energy prices in the US and EU, the oil industry is reaping record profits. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter levied a “windfall” profits tax on the American oil industry in response to increasing gas prices and corporate profits [56]. While these taxes have had mixed results, no doubt a result of aggressive industry lobbying, there has been little discussion of taxing high corporate profits at the present time. Indeed, petrochemical industry profits were barely addressed in the recent US ‘midterm’ elections, as many candidates receive campaign contributions from energy companies. Fossil fuels still dominate US foreign policy. This can be seen from the enduring presence of military bases throughout the ME and maintaining generous financial support for Israel and the ruling families of Gulf Monarchies [57]. At the same time, these ruling families have watched the US/UK/NATO ferment coups in Iran (1953) [58] [59] and steal resources, invade and/or destroy Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen; impose crippling economic sanctions and/or confiscate the assets of countries deemed a threat to US global power such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia and sabotage energy infrastructure (see below). Not surprisingly, KSA and other Gulf Monarchies have been reaching out to Russia and China; multiple reports indicate that KSA is ‘eager’ to join the BRICS Bloc [60]. No doubt, this was a motivation for President Biden’s trip to KSA in July of this year, meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) at Al-Salam Palace in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. On Nov 18, the State Department recommended that MBS be granted ‘legal immunity’ for the brutal assassination of Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct 2, 2018 [62] [63]. It should be noted that while campaigning for President, then candidate Joe Biden stated: he would “cancel the blank check” the Trump administration had given Saudi Arabia during its war in Yemen and during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) that “America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh” and advocated making Saudi Arabia an international “pariah” for butchering Jamal Khashoggi [61]. Rhetoric notwithstanding, Biden’s polices towards the MENA region are largely a continuation of those of Trump and the ruling elite they represent. Biden has not rejoined the JCPOA and has continued Trump’s bellicose position towards the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US continues supporting Israel, the US Embassy in Israel remains in Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic), which is not Israeli land and thus, a blatant violation of International law [64], US troops remain in Iraq and Syria while the Pentagon continues assisting KSA in their genocidal war on Yemen [65]. Trump continues his financial dealings with KSA, recently signing a $1.6 billion deal with a Saudi real estate developer [66]. It will be interesting to see how the US reacts when KSA joins BRICS [67].

On Sept 26, 2022, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, under the Baltic Sea were blown up [68] [69]. Shortly after the explosions, erstwhile British Prime Minister Liz Truss allegedly sent a message to US Sec of State Anthony Blinken stating ‘it’s done’ [70]. While the actual perpetrators of this attack have not been identified, it is likely that the US at a very minimum was aware of this action, as pointed out by Professor Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University) during a Bloomberg interview [71]. The end result is that Germany and other countries in the EU will no longer have access to cheap and plentiful Russian energy, but will now be forced to purchase much more expensive liquified natural gas from the US or other countries. It should also be noted that nearly 8 decades following the conclusion of WWII, the Pentagon maintains circa 900 foreign military bases worldwide [72] [73]. Europe is still occupied by circa 100K troops [74], 35K in Germany alone [75]. Thus, Germany is not really a US ‘ally’ but rather a subordinate. This begs the question; will Germany and other countries in the EU continue serving as de facto US vassals or begin following a more independent foreign policy? One could argue their very survival as functional states depends on this.

Notes

1. US economic decline and global instability. The Saker Blog Jan 19, 2021; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability/

2. UN Conference on Environment and Development (aka ‘Rio Conference’, ‘Earth Summit’), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Jun 3-14, 1992); https://www.un.org/en/conferences/environment/rio1992

3. Read climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN By Gretchen Frazee PBS News Hour Sep 23, 2019; https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/read-climate-activist-greta-thunbergs-speech-to-the-un

4. World Energy Balances: Overview (2020); https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-balances-overview/world

5. The International Role of the U.S. Dollar by Carol Bertaut, Bastian von Beschwitz and Stephanie Curcuru US Fed Reserve Oct 6, 2021; https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/the-international-role-of-the-u-s-dollar-20211006.html

6. What Is the Petrodollar? Petrodollar Explained in Less Than 5 Minutes By Kimberly Amadeo. the balance June 4, 2022; https://www.thebalancemoney.com/what-is-a-petrodollar-3306358

7. US economic decline and global instability Part 3: Money printing, debt and increasing international isolation. The Saker Blog Oct 31, 2022; https://thesaker.is/us-economic-decline-and-global-instability-part-3-money-printing-debt-and-increasing-international-isolation/

8. How Rockefeller Built His Trillion Dollar Oil Empire. By Jeremy Dyck Oct 8, 2019;

9. John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry- John D. Rockefeller changed the oil industry forever with his company Standard Oil. but that was by no means the only interesting thing about him. By Burton W. Folsom Foundation for Economic Education Sat Oct 1, 1988; https://fee.org/articles/john-d-rockefeller-and-the-oil-industry/

10. Chevron; https://www.chevron.com

11. ExxonMobil; https://corporate.exxonmobil.com

12. British Petroleum (BP); https://www.bp.com

13. Marathon Oil; https://www.marathonoil.com

14. Top 20 Oil and Gas Companies in the World in 2021; https://www.visualcapitalist.com/ranked-the-largest-oil-and-gas-companies-in-the-world

15. David Rockefeller Sr., steward of family fortune and Chase Manhattan Bank, dies at 101 By Timothy R. Smith Washington Post Mar 20, 2017; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/david-rockefeller-sr-steward-of-family-fortune-and-chase-manhattan-bank-dies-at-101/2017/03/20/f2385f8a-0d7c-11e7-ab07-07d9f521f6b5_story.html

16. JPMorgan Chase & Co: Who We Are/History Of Our Firm; https://www.jpmorganchase.com/about/our-history

17. Top 10 American Companies that Aided the Nazis. By Dustin Koski Feb 18, 2016; https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-american-companies-that-aided-the-nazis.php

18. How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power- Rumors of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today’s president By Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell The Guardian Sat Sep 25, 2004; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

19. The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune Bill Van Auken Dec 5, 2018; https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/12/05/intr-d05.html

20. The Cost of U.S. Wars then and now. By Norwich University Online Oct 20th, 2020; https://online.norwich.edu/academic-programs/resources/cost-us-wars-then-and-now

21. ORDER FROM CHAOS- 75 years after a historic meeting on the USS Quincy, US-Saudi relations are in need of a true re-think By Bruce Riedel Brookings Mon Feb 10, 2020; https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2020/02/10/75-years-after-a-historic-meeting-on-the-uss-quincy-us-saudi-relations-are-in-need-of-a-true-re-think/

22. History of the Interstate Highway System; https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/history.cfm

23. The Interstate Highway System History.Com Jum 7, 2019; https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/interstate-highway-system

24. Tabish SA. Is Diabetes Becoming the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century? Int J Health Sci (Qassim). 2007 Jul;1(2): V-VIII;

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068646/

25. Obesity? Diabetes? We’ve been set up By Alvin Powell Harvard Gazette Mar 7, 2012; https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/03/the-big-setup/

26. A Brief History of How Racism Shaped Interstate Highways By Noel King NPR Apr 7, 2021; https://www.npr.org/2021/04/07/984784455/a-brief-history-of-how-racism-shaped-interstate-highways

27. How Interstate Highways Gutted Communities—and Reinforced Segregation

America’s interstate highway system cut through the heart of dozens of urban neighborhoods. By Farrell Evans History.com Oct 20, 2021; https://www.history.com/news/interstate-highway-system-infrastructure-construction-segregation

28. Robert Moses’s Negative Impacts By SAFAA Feb 7, 2018 BY SAFAA; https://eportfolios.macaulay.cuny.edu/alonso2018/2018/02/07/robert-mosess-negative-impacts/

29. The Cross Bronx Expressway and the Ruination of the Bronx By lbennett Nov 10, 2019; https://pages.vassar.edu/realarchaeology/2019/11/10/the-cross-bronx-expressway-and-the-ruination-of-the-bronx/

30. War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society The Saker Blog Jan 13, 2019; https://thesaker.is/war-essay-the-consequences-of-nuclear-war-on-us-society/

31. Electricity in the United States US Energy Information Administration;

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us.php

32. Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change and the Costs of War By Neta Crawford Watson Institute June 12, 2019; https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2019/Pentagon%20Fuel%20Use,%20Climate%20Change%20and%20the%20Costs%20of%20War%20Final.pdf

33. How Much Oil in the Middle East? By Rasoul Sorkhabi, Ph.D. GoExPro Vol. 11, No. 1 – 2014; https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2014/02/how-much-oil-in-the-middle-east; iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

34. Michael Hudson: A New Bipolar World. US finance capitalism vs. China’s mixed public/ private economy Nov 7, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_zY44YClCY

35. Missiles of Iran- Iran possesses the largest and most diverse missile arsenal in the Middle East, with thousands of ballistic and cruise missiles, some capable of striking as far as Israel and southeast Europe. CSIS Aug 10, 2021; https://missilethreat.csis.org/country/iran/

36. US military bases and facilities in the Middle East. American Security Project https://www.americansecurityproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Ref-0213-US-Military-Bases-and-Facilities-Middle-East.pdf

37. Balfour Declaration History.Com Aug 21, 2018; https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/balfour-declaration

38. More than a century on: The Balfour Declaration explained. More than 100 years since Britain’s controversial pledge, here is everything you need to know about it. By Zena Al Tahhan Aljazeera Nov 2, 2018; https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2018/11/2/more-than-a-century-on-the-balfour-declaration-explained

39. Israel-Gaza: How much money does Israel get from the US? BBC May 24, 2021; https://www.bbc.com/news/57170576

40. U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel: Total Aid (1949 – Present) Jewish Virtual Library;

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/total-u-s-foreign-aid-to-israel-1949-present

41. Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran? Part II The Military Road Map By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, July 30, 2018; http://www.globalresearch.ca/towards-a-world-war-iii-scenario-the-role-of-israel-in-triggering-an-attack-on-iran-2/20584

42. Understanding NATO- Ending War By Robert J. Burrowes Economy and Politics June 8, 2019; https://www.meer.com/en/54967-understanding-nato

43. 2022 Military Strength Ranking; https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.php

44. Israeli Attacks Continue to Kill Syrians, Iranians. Southfront Nov 16, 2022; https://southfront.org/israeli-attacks-continue-to-kill-syrians/

45. Iran signs memorandum to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization. As leaders meet in Uzbekistan, the eight-member regional body is poised to add Iran to its ranks. Aljazeera Sept 15, 2022; https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/15/iran-signs-memorandum-join-shanghai-cooperation-organisation

46. India, China, Iran: the Quad that really matters By Pepe Escobar Nov 15, 2022; https://thesaker.is/russia-india-china-iran-the-quad-that-really-matters/

47. Iran claims it has developed a hypersonic missile CBS News Nov 10, 2022;

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-claims-it-has-developed-a-hypersonic-missile/

48. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) at a Glance. Kelsey Davenport, Director of Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association Mar, 2022;

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/JCPOA-at-a-glance

49. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, explained. The Iran nuclear deal isn’t dead — yet. By Zack Beauchamp Vox May 8, 2018;

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/5/8/17328520/iran-nuclear-deal-trump-withdraw

50. Society for Nonprofits; https://www.snpo.org/publications/fundingalert_bycategory.php?cs=ENVI

51. The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media [INFOGRAPHIC]; https://www.webfx.com/blog/internet/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media-infographic/

52. These 6 corporations control 90% of the media outlets in America- The illusion of choice and objectivity. By Nickie Louise Tech Startups Sept 18, 2020;

https://techstartups.com/2020/09/18/6-corporations-control-90-media-america-illusion-choice-objectivity-2020/embed/#?secret=bL4ldPvDPR

53. Index of US Mainstream Media Ownership- The Future of Media Project, Harvard University; https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/futureofmedia/index-us-mainstream-media-ownership

54. The Real Problem with the AP’s Firing of Emily Wilder- When one young journalist was fired, the incident revealed a problem deeper than bad social media policies. By Janine Zacharia May 26, 2021; https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/05/26/emily-wilder-fired-ap-490892

55. How the CIA Watched Over the Destruction of Gary Webb- Freshly-released CIA documents show how the largest U.S. newspapers helped the agency contain a groundbreaking exposé. By Ryan Devereaux The Intercept Sept 25, 2014; https://theintercept.com/2014/09/25/managing-nightmare-cia-media-destruction-gary-webb/

56. Windfall profit taxes have benefits. But the devil is in the details. In times of crisis, the U.S. government has taxed excess profits — with mixed results Perspective by Ajay K. Mehrotra Washington Post Oct 24, 2022; https://www.washingtonpost.com/made-by-history/2022/10/24/windfall-profit-taxes/

57. List of current monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_monarchs_of_the_Arabian_Peninsula

58. The Collapse Narrative: The United States, Mohammed Mossadegh, and the Coup Decision of 1953. By Gregory Brew Texas National Security Review. Vol 2, Issue 4 Nov 2019 | 38–59; https://tnsr.org/2019/11/the-collapse-narrative-the-united-states-mohammed-mossadegh-and-the-coup-decision-of-1953

Stable URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/6666

59. The CIA in Iran- Key Events in the 1953 Coup; https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-coup-timeline.html?scp=1&sq=mossadegh%252520coup&st=cse

60. BRICS to expand soon, Saudi Arabia keen to join. BRICS represents more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP and if it is expanded it will help in bolstering the BRICS bloc’s global influence. By Huma Siddiqui Oct 27, 2022; https://www.financialexpress.com/defence/brics-to-expand-soon-saudi-arabia-keen-to-join/2737102/

61. Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia is the right thing to do, even if it feels wrong

The U.S. president has rightly come to the conclusion that a strategy of isolating the crown prince isn’t feasible. By Daniel R. DePetris NBC News July 15, 2022;

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/joe-biden-visits-saudi-arabia-bow-reality-rcna38419

62. U.S. declares Saudi crown prince immune from Khashoggi killing lawsuit

Biden administration cites executive powers, international law in shielding Mohammed bin Salman from legal responsibility. By Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan Washington Post Nov 18, 2022; https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/18/saudi-crown-prince-immunity-khashoggi-murder/

63. WaPo slams Biden’s move to shield MBS in Khashoggi killing suit. By Rebecca Falconer and Shawna Chen Nov 18, 2022; https://www.axios.com/2022/11/18/biden-admin-saudi-prince-immunity-khashoggi-killing-lawsuit

64. The Status of Jerusalem United Nations 1997; https://www.un.org/unispal/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/The-Status-of-Jerusalem-Engish-199708.pdf

65. Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean, Yemen and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait Saker Blog Aug 5, 2020; https://thesaker.is/strategic-importance-of-the-indian-ocean-yemen-and-bab-el-mandeb-strait/

66. Trump family signs $1.6bn branding deal with Saudi real estate developer. Wed, Nov 16, 2022; https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/16/692846/US-Donald-Trump-Saudi-Arabia-Dar-Al-Arkan-deal-Oman-MbS-Biden-

67. The Roundtable #34 The Kherson Withdrawal with Gonzalo Lira, Brian Berletic and Andrei Martyanov Thurs, Nov 10, 2022; https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2022/11/roundtable.html

68. Who Attacked Nord Stream 2? Maybe it was Russia, though that doesn’t make much sense. There are better candidates. By Doug Bandow Cato Institute Oct 14,

2022; https://www.cato.org/commentary/who-attacked-nord-stream-2

69. A journey to the site of the Nord Stream explosions- Prosecutors in Sweden say explosions on a gas pipeline between Russia and Europe were the result of sabotage. The explosions in the Baltic Sea targeted pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Europe. Russia denies any involvement. Before the announcement, Katya Adler travelled to the site, and was separately told by Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg that the west could go to war if Russia attacked infrastructure providing critical energy supplies. By Katya Adler BBC News Nov 18, 2022; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-63636181

70. ‘It’s done’: Putin fumes after Liz Truss ‘message’ to Blinken over Nord Stream attack ‘revealed’ Hindustan Times Nov 4, 2022; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxzBqghRs5k

71. Jeffrey Sachs: Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Probably Sabotaged the Nord Stream Pipeline, But it Doesn’t Show up in our Media By Tim Hains Real Clear Politics Oct 3, 2022; https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/10/03/jeffrey_sachs_most_of_the_world_doesnt_view_the_ukraine_war_the_way_the_us_media_does.html

72. A List of All 900 U.S. Foreign Military Bases. By Eric Zuesse Nov 18, 2022; https://theduran.com/a-list-of-all-900-u-s-foreign-military-bases/

73. USA’s Military Empire: A Visual Database. World Beyond War;

https://worldbeyondwar.org/no-bases/

74. US likely to keep 100,000 troops in Europe for foreseeable future in face of Russian threat, US officials say By Ellie Kaufman and Barbara Starr, CNN Fri May 20, 2022; https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/20/politics/us-troops-in-europe/index.html

75. Where 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Europe. By Zachary Basu Axios Mar 22, 2022; https://www.axios.com/2022/03/23/where-100000-us-troops-are-stationed-europe

Figure 1. Map of the Middle East

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Maps_of_the_Middle_East#/media/File:%22Political_Middle_East%22_CIA_World_Factbook.jpg

Table 1. Middle East Energy Reserves by Country

(TJ, tera joules; 1 TJ= 163 barrels of oil)

Source: iea; https://www.iea.org/regions/middle-east

CountryOil (TJ)Natural Gas (TJ)
Iran3,497,3477,738,423
KSA5,624,3503,357,725
Iraq1,626,278626,792
UAE190,4002,302,508
Qatar131,2591,599,572
Kuwait705,461846,450
Oman23,864957,632
Bahrain81,132563,867
Total12,477,03318,260,133

Table 2. US Military Bases and Facilities in Middle East [36]

*Numbers in parenthesis, estimated total number of US troops (thousands) deployed in each country; ** Estimated number of US troops (thousands)

Country*BaseTroops**
Bahrain (9K)US Naval Forces Central Command/ US 5th Fleet4.7
Shaikh Isa Air Base
Muharraq Air Base (Navy)
Iraq (2.5K)Al Asad Air Base
IsraelDimona Radar Facility
Mashabim Air Base / Bisl’a Aerial Defense School
JordanMuwaffaq Salti Air Base (Azraq)
Kuwait (13.5)Ali Al Salem Air Base1.5
Camp Arifjan9
Camp Spearhead Army Base
Camp Buehring
Camp Patriot3
Oman (<1K)RAFO Masirah
Muscat International Airport
RAFO Thumrait
Al-Musannah Air Base
Port of Duqm
Port of Salalah
Qatar (10K)Al Udeid Air Base- Special Operations Command Central10
Camp As Sayliyah
KSA (3K)Eskan Village
Turkey (5K)Incirlik Air Base5
Izmir Air Station
UAE (2K)Al Dhafra Air Base2
Port of Jebel Ali
Fujairah Naval Base
Syria (<0.2K)Al-Tanf garrison (ATG)

World Cup Arab fans shun Israeli media, reject normalization: Reports

22 Nov 2022 

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

Arab football fans refuse to be interviewed by Israeli journalists in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Arab football fans refuse to be interviewed by Israeli journalists in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Israeli media agencies reported on Tuesday that Arab fans in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are distancing themselves from the Israeli media and are rejecting normalization with the occupation.

i24news said that several Israeli media agencies told Reuters that those asked for interviews turned their backs, refused to answer, or shouted Palestine, adding that fans are specifically shunning Israeli reporters, in a move that could illustrate challenges in warming relations between the Gulf and “Tel Aviv”.

Israeli officials expressed their hope that the US-brokered normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in 2020, and later with Sudan and Morocco, would lead to further normalization, including with Saudi Arabia, i24news said.

“While Israel did not qualify for the World Cup, it had hoped the presence of an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 Israelis at the event would warm ties,” the website said, noting that this “included Israeli reporters, who flew to Qatar ahead of the event on connecting flights, while one of them was on the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha on Sunday, under a FIFA-brokered agreement,” the website added.

“Attempts to talk to soccer fans in Doha didn’t go according to plan,” the website added, noting that footage circulated online shows Saudi fans, a Qatari shopper and a number of Lebanese fans deliberately distancing themselves from Israeli reporters, i24news confirmed.

Two days ago, Israeli media said that Lebanese fans in the World Cup Qatar 2022 refused to speak to Channel 12 reporter after learning he was Israeli.

According to the Israeli channel’s correspondent in Qatar, the Lebanese young men became angry when they learned that the person speaking to them was from an Israeli media agency. The correspondent said, “The Lebanese young men refused to recognize the existence of Israel,” stressing that “Israel” does not exist, it is Palestine.

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Is NATO falling apart?

November 22, 2022

Something quite amazing has just happened.  Following the terrorist attack in Ankara which killed 34 people and injured another 125, Turkish authorities first declared that they will not accept US condolences.  Then the Turks launched a military operation against “Kurdish terrorists in northern Syria“.  Turkey then claimed to have neutralized 184 terrorists.

What is not mentioned in those articles is that the target of the Turkish strike was the US-run center for the training and education of PKK militants in Rojava.  There are rumors that the Turks gave the US enough warning time to evacuate most of its personnel.

Does that sound familiar?

If it does, it is because it is very similar to what the Iranians did when they hit US bases in Iraq following the murder of General Solemani in a US drone strike.

If the above is true, and rumors are very much “if” and cannot be considered as proven fact, then that means that a NATO member state (Turkey) just attacked a US base and, like Iran, got away with it: the “The Finest Fighting Force in the History of the World” just got whacked hard and humiliated for a second time and could do absolutely nothing to defend itself or even save face.

How big a slap in the face did Uncle Shmuel get this time?  According to the Turkish defense minister, Hulusi Akar,

Terrorists’ shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, and warehouses were successfully destroyed,” Akar said, adding that “the so-called headquarters of the terrorist organization were also hit and destroyed.” Overall, the Defense Ministry claimed that the strikes hit nearly 90 targets, which it said were connected to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG).

Even allowing for some “patriotic exaggeration”, it is pretty clear that Ergodan’s revenge strike was both quite substantial and, apparently, rather effective.

So, what do we have here?  A NATO member state all but accused the US of a major terrorist attack against its capital city, and then that NATO member state openly attacked a US-run facility (let’s not call it a base, that would be inaccurate).

Is Erdogan’s claim even credible?  Absolutely!  Not only has the US already attempted to overthrow and kill Erdogan, who was saved in extremis by Russian special forces (same with Ianukovich), but we also know that the US overthrew General de Gaulle in 1968-1969 and that NATO covert forces were used to stage false flag attacks against NATO allies (especially Italy) in the so-called GLADIO operation.

NATO is not a defensive alliance – it never was –  but it is a tool of US colonial domination.

This was always true, hence the famous words spoken  in the now faraway 1950s when the first NATO Secretary General, British General Hasting Ismay, bluntly admitted that real the purpose of NATO was to keep the “Russians out, Americans in, Germans down“.  Let’s take these elements one by one, starting with the last one:

  • “Keep the Germans down”: here the word “Germans” is a placeholder for any and all European leaders or countries who want true sovereignty and agency.  Translation: enslave the Europeans
  • “Keep the Americans in”: in order to crush any European liberation movement. Translation: place US overlords over all the EU nations.
  • “Keep the Russians out”: make sure that Russia does not liberate Europe.  Translation: demonize Russia and do anything and everything to prevent peace on the European continent.  If possible, break-up, subjugate or otherwise destroy Russia.

Need proof?  How about the undeniable act of war against Germany (and, I would argue, the entire EU) when the Anglos blew up NS1/NS2?  Is that not proof enough?

Against that background, we have to ask yourselves: what does it even mean to be a NATO member state in 2022?

The truth is that NATO was a pure creation of the Cold War and that in the real world of 2022 it is a total anachronism.  Being a NATO member state really means very little.  Not only are some “more equal than others” in NATO, but there are also non-NATO states which are far more “NATOized” than actual NATO members states (I think of Israel or, of course, the Nazi occupied Ukraine).  And being a member of NATO does not protect you from anything, not from external attacks and not against internal ones either.

According to Col (Ret) MacGregor, the war in the Ukraine might well bring about the collapse of both NATO and the EU.  I very much agree with him.  I would say that such a collapse will not so much be the result of embarrassing defeats as it will be due to the deep internal contradictions inside both organizations.

By the way, this is not our topic today, but I think that the CSTO has much of the same problems and contradictions as NATO.  So is what we observe a “NATO problem” or a problem of artificial and generally obsolete alliances?  I would argue for the latter.

But let’s leave a discussion of the CSTO for another day.

In the case of Turkey this problem is made even worse by a total incompatibility between Islam and the Woke ideology now openly promoted (and enforced) by the US and NATO.

Then there is geography.  Turkey has some pretty powerful regional neighbors, including not only Greece or Israel, but also Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria and, course, Russia.  Can Turkey count on any type of US/NATO “protection” from such powerful neighbors?

Ask the Saudis how much the US/NATO helped them against the Houthis!

Ask the Israelis how much the US/NATO helped them against Hezbollah?

If anything, the Iranian strikes on CENTCOM bases have demonstrated that the US does not have the stomach to take on Iran.  In sharp contrast, the Russian and Iranian intervention in Syria defeated the US plans for a “New Middle East” or, shall we say, it did bring about a “new Middle-East”, but most definitely not the one the US Neocons were hoping for!

Add to this is major deterioration in the relationship between the US and MBS’ Saudi Arabia and we get an amazing picture: the USA and NATO (which the US dragged into the region) are gradually becoming irrelevant in the Middle-East.  Instead, new “big actors” are gradually filling the void, including Russia and Iran who are now even gradually allowing Saudi Arabia to participate in a much needed regional dialog about the future of the region.

The phenomenal weakness of the US/NATO/CENTCOM is best illustrated by the US reaction to the Turkish strikes: Uncle Shmuel endorsed (no kidding!!!) the Turkish strikes 🙂

How absolutely pathetic is that for a wannabe superpower?

Will this process have an impact on the NATO war against Russia?

Well, let’s imagine that Russia would really strike some target inside Poland (which is what the Ukies claimed, as did the Poles until Uncle Shmuel told them to cool it).  What would happen next?

Does anybody still remember what happened when Erdogan flew to Mons to beg for NATO protection against Russia (following the downing of a Russian Su-24 over northern Syria by a joint US-Turkish operation, possibly executed without Erdogan’s knowledge, at least that was his claim).  What did NATO promise or give the Turks?  Absolutely *nothing* (other than “consultations”).

Now the Poles might be delusional enough to think that a US President might order a retaliatory attack on Russia if Russia strikes Poland, but those of us who know the USA and its ruling elites know that this is nonsense.  Why?  Simply because a US/NATO counter-strike on Russian forces would result in an immediate Russian response.

And then what?

The truth is very stark in its simplicity:

  • The US/NATO do not have the manpower or firepower needed to take on Russia in a conventional combined arms war.
  • Any use of nuclear weapons will result in an immediate retaliation most likely resulting into a unwinnable full-scale nuclear war.

So here is the deal: whether western politicians understand that or not, military professionals all know the truth – NATO can’t defend ANY of its members against a truly modern military.   Why?

Let’s look at what capabilities the US/NATO truly have:

  • The USN has a superb submarine force (both SSNs and SSBNs) capable for firing large numbers of relatively obsolete cruise missiles (and plenty of SLBMs)
  • A still very capable, if rather old, nuclear triad
  • A quantitative (only!) conventional advantage over Russia
  • Superb (but very vulnerable!) C4ISR capabilities
  • A printing press allowing for the quasi infinite printing of dollars
  • comprador elite ruling over all the NATO/EU countries
  • The most formidable propaganda machine in history

So what does NATO lack to be a credible military force?

Obviously, “boots on the ground”.   And I don’t mean a few subunits from the 101st or 82AB or US special forces or even a so-called “armored brigade” which, in reality, lacks adequate TO&E to qualify as such.  I am talking about a “land warfare” force capable of fighting a modern and extremely determined enemy.

[Sidebar: if this is a topic of interest to you, may I recommend my article “Debunking popular clichés about modern warfare” written in 2016 but which is still mostly relevant]

The USA, Israel and the KSA all fell into the same trap: the delusion that by spending billions and billions of dollars on massively over-priced and massively under-performing military hardware will allow you to defeat an enemy assumed to be “less sophisticated”.  Hence the need to use:

  • Proxy forces
  • PMCs
  • PSYOPS
  • Corruption

All of the above are a normal part of any modern war, but in the case of the US/NATO they are not just part of a bigger plan, they are central to any US/NATO operation, thereby dramatically decreasing the true capabilities of the US/NATO.  In sharp contrast, countries like Russia or Iran can deploy “boots on the ground”, and very capable ones at that (remember that the Iranians are those who trained Hezbollah!).

What does all this mean practically?

It means that even if the Russians decided to strike at a NATO country, the tensions would go through the roof, but it is highly UN-likely that any US President would allow any action which could result in a full-scale nuclear war!  Remember, for Russia, this is an existential war, no less than WWII, whereas no Anglo leader would ever dare launch a suicidal attack on Russian forces which would most likely result in the full obliteration of the US/UK and any other country participating (for example by hosting forward deployed standoff weapons) in such an attack.

Does that mean that we have to anticipate a Russian strike on Poland, Romania or the UK?

No, not at all.  In fact, it would be very dangerous for the Russians to only leave a stark choice to the Hegemony: admit defeat or commit suicide.  And since the Russians do have escalation dominance (that is to say that they have balanced capabilities from the small-arms fire level to a full intercontinental nuclear war, and with all the stages in between these two extremes) they, unlike the US/NATO. are not stuck between the choice of surrender or suicide.

That being said, it would also be misguided to assume that Russia “would never dare strike a NATO member state”.  The Poles might be willing to wager their future and even existence on such a invalid inference, but not the folks at the Pentagon or elsewhere in the decision centers of the Hegemony.

Conclusion:

Douglas MacGregor is right, the NATO war against Russia might very well result in the collapse of both NATO and the EU which, in turn, will place an official “last nail”, into the coffin of an already long-deceased Hegemony which currently still exists only because of its momentum and its propaganda machine.

I would argue that NATO is already falling apart before our eyes, a process which the economic, social, political, economic and spiritual crises which are plaguing the entire EU will only accelerate.  And, of course, the most amazing thing about this is that this collapse is not the result of some Machiavellian plan cooked up by the Russians, the Chinese or the Iranian, but a direct consequence of decades of truly suicidal policies: they did it to themselves!

Now, the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians are mostly waiting, watching (probably smiling) and planning for the Hegemony-free multi-polar world they want to bring about, with or without the participation of the USA and Europe.

Andrei

UN Celebrates World’s 8 Billionth Person Regardless of 80+ Yemeni Newborns Dying Everyday

NOVEMBER 19, 2022

By Al-Ahed News

A baby born somewhere on Tuesday was the world’s 8 billionth person, a United Nations’ projection was eager to announce!

“The milestone is an occasion to celebrate diversity and advancements while considering humanity’s shared responsibility for the planet,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

However, the UN chief’s mischief goes beyond this responsibility…

While busy counting the number of living humans on Earth, the WORLD body, whether on purpose or not, forgot about other humans who happen to be in Yemen, Palestine, and several other uncovered places on this planet.

The UN didn’t do its homework very well. The organization would have gained more respect had it done the math the way it ought to be.

Just two days later, an official with Yemen’s Health Ministry sounded the alarm that more than 80 newborn babies lose their lives on a daily basis because the war-torn country does not have the required medical equipment due to the Saudi-led war and blockade.

Najeeb al-Qubati, the undersecretary of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population for the Population Sector, announced that some 39% of babies are born premature, which shows a significant increase compared to the pre-war period.

The official said the use of prohibited weapons was one of the reasons behind the growing trend. He said several human rights organizations have already acknowledged and condemned Saudis for using such arms.

Yemeni medical centers are in need of some 2,000 incubators, he said, noting that 632 incubators have been provided so far.

Since launching the war with the support of Washington in March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has used internationally-banned weapons, including US-made cluster bombs, to target residential areas, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor.

Apart from the war, Saudi Arabia has imposed a blockade on Yemen which, combined, have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. The military aggression has destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure, including the health sector.

On Wednesday, the Yemeni Health Ministry said mosquito-borne diseases such as Malaria and dengue have been on the rise since the start of the war.

Speaking at a press conference in al-Huadaydah, Muhammad al-Mansour, the undersecretary of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population for the Primary Care Sector, said war and blockade were two main reasons behind the increase of epidemics and diseases in the country.

Failure to implement to malaria control program led to a rise in cases from 513,000 in 2015 to 1,100,000 in 2019, he said, noting the rate was higher in areas where citizens were displaced such as in al-Hudaydah.

Malaria and dengue fever claimed the lives of more than 260,000 Yemenis between 2015 and 2019, he said, naming the closure of ports which has led to delays in the arrival of equipment and medicine as one of the leading factors.

In September, Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported that the Ministry of Public Health and Population had confirmed the Saudi-led blockade had raised acute malnutrition cases to more than 632,000 children under the age of five and 1.5 million pregnant and lactating women.

“The siege and intense bombardment with prohibited weapons caused a high rate of congenital abnormalities and miscarriages, with an average of 350,000 miscarriages and 12,000 malformations,” it said. According to the ministry, the siege led to an eight-percent increase in premature births compared to the situation before the war.

The blockade has also increased the number of cancer patients by 50 percent. The figure showed 46,204 cases registered during the year 2021.

The ministry said the Saudi-led war had destroyed 162 health facilities completely or 375 partially and put them out of work.

The objective of the war was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

Not only has the Saudi-led coalition failed to meet its objectives, it has also killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and created what the UN calls the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis.”

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Israel Bombs Syria Killing 4 Soldiers, its 2nd Aggression in 6 Days

ARABI SOURI

The ‘Jewish’ Israel bombed several posts in central and coastal Syria in the early hours of the morning today, Saturday, November 19, a Syrian military spokesperson said in a statement carried by the Syrian news agency SANA.

In its report, strangely not the website’s main headline, SANA quoted the Syrian military spokesperson:

“At about six thirty in the morning, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression from over the Mediterranean Sea from the direction of Baniyas, targeting some points in the central and coastal region, and our air defenses intercepted the incoming missiles of aggression and shot down most of them.”

The Israeli aggression killed four soldiers and injured one more in addition to causing material damage, the military spokesperson’s statement concluded.

This is the second Israeli aggression against Syria in the past 6 days, the previous aggression killed and injured Syrian army soldiers.

The Israeli (Read: NATO and the collective West through Israel) aggressions are blatant violations of International Law, the UN Charter, and the May 31st, 1974 ‘Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria,’ dozens of useless UN peacekeepers (UNDOF) were deployed since on the Golan to observe the agreement whose role is just to count the Israeli aggressions and report it to the UNSC which in turn calls for peace in useless statements.

The role of Russia remains very strange in the continuous Israeli aggressions, the Russian military has an agreement with Israel on non-confliction over Syria’s skies, and holds back weapons Syria purchased over a decade ago under request from the Israelis despite the fact that some of those dated weapons like the S300 are very much available in NATO countries including NATO’s launchpad post against Russia, Ukraine.

Moreover, Russia offered its more advanced S400 to countries hostile to it like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and actually sold it to other countries in its opponent camp like Turkey, all of which are parts of the US-led war of terror and attrition against the Syrian people.

The least that Russia can do in light of the repeated Israeli aggressions is not some empty words of condemnation by its foreign ministry, but rather withdraw itself from the weird agreement of coordination with Israel over Syria, which itself is against international law that Russia is saying it wants to preserve, draw down its diplomatic ties with the ‘Jewish’ state, or pressure the Israelis with fewer revenues through trade and tourism if the Israelis continue their breach of the UN Security Council resolutions which Russia is one of 5 permanent members of.

The same, above, goes for China, another permanent member of the UNSC that has very large economic and military ties with Israel.

That is if Russia does not want to sell its advanced weapons to Syria and actually allow the Syrian people to defend themselves with the weapons it delivered earlier.

The ‘Jewish’ state of Israel that commits crimes against the real Semites, the people of the Levant around the clock including on Sabbaths, needs wars to continue its illegal occupation of land, peace will force its criminal leaders to look after the Jews expelled from Europe and from Russia and shipped into Palestine to serve the overall Zionist dream of building the antiChrist’s kingdom.

Jews against Israel and Zionism
Israel is an anti-Jewish Zionist entity

Will Syria be able to restrain itself before retaliating militarily against Israel and its regional sponsors and causing mutual destruction to all parties, not only to Syria alone, is no longer a question, it’s a matter of when the retaliation strikes will start, Syria has nothing further to lose, unlike all its foes who contributed to its destruction.

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KSA fears Yemen due to strategic location, resources: Sanaa

November 19, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen & Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The head of the Sanaa negotiating delegation, Mohammed Abdul Salam, stresses that Saudi Arabia’s fears of Yemen’s strength and independence are unreasonable.

KSA fears Yemen due to strategic location, resources: Sanaa

Riyadh’s payment of the salaries of Yemenis and the lifting of the siege on Yemen are basic demands and conditions for any agreement, the head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation, Mohammad Abdul Salam said on Friday.

This came in an interview published by the Majal forum, under the title “Does the new Yemen represent a threat to Saudi Arabia?”

“It is normal that Riyadh and Sanaa exchange visits on the humanitarian and political levels,” Abdul Salam said, stressing that “paying the salaries and lifting the siege are prerequisites for any agreement, and matters depend on how the Saudi regime will handle the new stage’s requirements.”

“Saudi Arabia’s fears that a strong and independent Yemen rises are unreasonable,” he said, explaining that “mercenaries are working to exaggerate these fears in order to invest them at the expense of the country’s security and interest.” 

Abdul Salam emphasized that the humanitarian issue is what should be the first point for any future agreements.

Unreasonable fears

“We believe that the Saudi side’s concerns are due to the strategic location of Yemen and its population and abundant resources,” Abdul Salam noted.

“The Saudi regime is afraid that countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council and other countries in the region be independent and strong, let alone Yemen, the country with the largest area after the Kingdom in the peninsula, in terms of area, population, capabilities, and strategic location,” he pointed out.

“Saudi Arabia’s best interest is for Yemen to have an independent, stable, and prosperous state,” Abdul Salam continued, stressing that “if the state is not self-managed, in accordance to its strategic interests and obligations to its people, it will be managed by external powers. This was the problem of the recent mortgage regimes, which were unable to achieve any strategic interests for Yemen.”

However, Abdul Salam stressed that “if there are other concerns related to borders, region, and security, it is only natural that discussion of such issues takes place between the countries, as happens between any two countries.”

The head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation then talked about the role played by some mercenaries, who stand by Saudi Arabia, “in exaggerating many fears and drawing many regional conflicts into the Yemeni arena.”

This role “keeps Saudi Arabia from looking at the chances of peace,” Abdul Salam explained.

Humanitarian file is a priority, and the ball is in Riyadh’s court

Abdul Salam affirmed that “the end of the truce came as a result of previous agreements ending, which were concluded under the auspices of the United Nations, given that it had completed or exhausted its options, and the payment of salaries became a basic requirement.”

He pointed out that the ball is in the Saudi regime’s court, because “relations between Sanaa and Riyadh are primarily linked to the latter’s position and the way it deals with it.”

“Sanaa is on the defensive, and this is clear. As for Riyadh, it is the one leading a major international coalition and working in the international corridors on continuing the blockade on Yemen and keeping the diplomatic pressure, with the United States of America and the United Kingdom behind the scenes,” he said.

Regarding the recent mutual understandings and visits of delegations, Abdul Salam explained that “meetings and visits between the parties for humanitarian or political goals are normal.”

Speaking on behalf of the Sanaa government, he added that the Yemenis “support these directions, and the most important thing is that there be a tendency to discuss all humanitarian aspects, not just the prisoners’ issue, which is considered one of the basics, in addition to opening airports and ports, removing restrictions on goods, and lifting the unjust siege on Yemen.”

International developments are an opportunity to realize the need to end the aggression

With regard to the changes in the international and regional arenas and their connection to the Yemeni issue, the head of the Yemeni negotiating delegation stressed that despite the effects, “We believe that it will not have a significant impact, because the US and British standpoints, as well as, unfortunately, the Saudi and Emirati, are similar.”

He pointed out that the only possible effect “goes to the Saudi side realizing that the war and aggression against Yemen are no longer in the interest of the Saudi regime, nor the future relations between the two countries or the future of the two peoples.”

“These developments may be an opportunity to re-evaluate the situation in Yemen, in terms of peace and stability,” Abdul Salam concluded, stressing that the interest of the two countries is understanding, coexistence, dialogue, and eliminating problems.

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Biden Administration Grants Saudi’s MBS ‘Immunity’ in Khashoggi Murder Case

November 18, 2022

US President Joe Biden with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during a visit to the Kingdom in July 2022.

The Biden administration has told a US court that Mohammed bin Salman should be granted sovereign immunity in a civil case involving the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, effectively ending a last-ditch attempt to hold the Saudi crown prince legally accountable for the 2018 killing.

In a filing released late on Thursday night, the Biden administration said the crown prince’s recent promotion to the role of prime minister meant that he was “the sitting head of government and, accordingly, immune” from the lawsuit.

“The United States government has expressed grave concerns regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s horrific killing and has raised these concerns publicly and with the most senior levels of the Saudi government,” the Department of Justice said in its filing, adding that the US had also imposed financial sanctions and visa restrictions related to the murder.

“However, the doctrine of head of state immunity is well established in customary international law and has been consistently recognized in longstanding executive branch practice as a status-based determination that does not reflect a judgment on the underlying conduct at issue in the litigation,” it said.

The government’s filing included an attached letter from Richard Visek, acting legal adviser to the US state department, instructing the Department of Justice to submit a “suggestion of immunity” to the court.

Legal experts say the US government’s position, which was filed to a US district court, will likely lead judge John Bates to dismiss a civil case brought against Prince Mohammed, known by his initials MBS by Hatice Cengiz, the outspoken fiancee of Khashoggi.

Back in 2019, in the wake of the assassination of Washington Post, then-presidential candidate Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over the kingdom’s human rights record.

Biden repeatedly talked about reevaluating and reassessing US-Saudi relations. To his credit, Biden seemed to follow through on this early in his presidency by suspending offensive weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, freezing contacts with MBS, and releasing a brief assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence establishing the Saudi crown prince’s role in and responsibility for Khashoggi’s death.

Thursday’s decision is likely to provoke an angry reaction. The White House had hoped the July trip by President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia would get the rocky US-Saudi relationship back on track but since then, relations have only continued to sour.

The relationship is being reevaluated, the White House has said earlier in October, in the wake of an oil production cut by Saudi-led OPEC+ that the administration saw as a direct affront to the US. Members of Congress, already infuriated by the oil cut and calling for a reevaluation, will likely only be angered further if the prince is given immunity.

Source: Agencies

US hands down ‘immunity’ to MBS in Khashoggi murder case

Erdogan Sent 800 al Qaeda & ISIS Terrorists to Ukraine from Idlib

ARABI SOURI 

The Turkish madman Erdogan sent hundreds of mercenaries of his most loyal terrorists of al Qaeda, ISIS, and their derivatives and affiliated terrorists from the Syrian province of Idlib under NATO Turkish occupation to Ukraine to fight the Russians.

Semi-official recruitment offices in Idlib were established in recent weeks and managed to send 800 terrorists with the help of Al Qaeda Levant (HTS – Nusra Front – Jabhat Nusra) to help the NATO-sponsored regime of Zelensky in Ukraine fight against Russia, news report.

Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel quoted Sputnik Arabic news in this report:

The video is also available on Rumble and BitChute,

Transcript

Sources in Idlib told Sputnik news agency that the transfers (of terrorists) occurred during the past two weeks in the town of Sarmada and the Bab al-Hawa crossing with Turkey, in coordination with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, adding that most of the militants hold Syrian nationality and belong to pro-Turkish factions.

The sources indicated that Idlib’s semi-announced offices were set up to attract mercenaries to Ukraine in return for a monthly salary of up to US$5,000.

End of the transcript.

The Turkish madman Erdogan commands, with his sponsors in Washington and Tel Aviv, the world’s largest army of terrorists comprising tens of thousands of anti-Islamic suicide bombers and head-choppers of what western officials and mainstream propagandists dub ‘moderate rebels.’

Imported from all sides of the world, trained, armed, financed, and protected by NATO officers in Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other places and deployed to Libya, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, and Nagorno Karabach between Azerbaijan and Armenia, these terrorists are the backbone of NATO, an alliance of countries living off the resources plundered from weaker countries around the world.

The recycling of these terrorists occurs, sadly, with the acquiescence and direct participation of governments willingly or unwillingly under pressure from the USA, some officials in these countries think it is wise to rid their countries of the underprivileged uneducated brainwashed citizens to kill innocent people in other countries, those officials in these countries fail to comprehend one of the golden rules proven by history: whoever raises a monster, the monster will eventually eat him.


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من التطبيع إلى الدمج

الخميس 17 تشرين الثاني 2022

‭}‬ سعادة مصطفى أرشيد*

راودت فكرة فتح طريق مائيّ يربط البحر الأحمر بالبحر الأبيض المتوسط قدماء المصريين، وذلك بحفر قناة تربط البحر الأحمر بنهر النيل وصولاً إلى المتوسط، ومثلت إحدى ركائز الاستراتيجية المصرية باحتكارها للتجارة الآتية من الشرق البعيد بطريق أسرع وأقلّ كلفة ويدعم من موقع مصر، ولكن كان على الفكرة أنّ تنتظر آلاف السنين، حتى غزو نابليون لمصر، الذي قرع أجراس الحداثة وأعاد الاهتمام والصراع من العالم الجديد إلى العالم القديم، الذي احتاج إلى إعادة اكتشافه من خلال الاستشراق والمشاريع، والتي كان أهمّها مشروع حفر قناة السويس، التي اعتبرت من عجائب الدنيا واختصرت الطريق الطويل بين أوروبا والشرق البعيد الذي كان مضطراً للالتفاف حول رأس الرجاء الصالح.

لكن هذا المشروع (قناة السويس) الذي حلّ مشاكل المواصلات لأوروبا، ما لبث أن أصبح مشكلة لمصر والشرق، فمن جانب فشلت مصر في إدارته ورعايته وتورّطت بالاستدانة التي كانت مدخلاً للهيمنة عليها، ومن جانب آخر كانت حماية القناة من الشرق تتطلّب إيجاد كيان غريب ومعادٍ للمنطقة يقوم بأعمال الحراسة ويكون عنصراً يمنع الوحدة والاتصال بين سورية ومصر، فكانت البذرة الشيطانية (إسرائيل).

تحوّلت قناة السويس من نعمة لمصر والشرق لتصبح نقمة، فأدّت الى احتلال مصر من قبل الإنجليز عام 1882، ثم إلى العدوان الثلاثي إثر تأميمها عام 1956، وكانت الشرارة التي أشعلت حرب 1967، والتي لا زلنا نعيش تداعياتها، ويبدو أننا سنعاني لفترة ليست بالقصيرة، فقد تسبّبت بأن يتداعى الأمن القومي للإقليم بأسره، وأن يُستبدل بأمن النظام ثم بأمن الرئيس الحاكم، ومن النماذج الواضحة نرى ذلك في تنازل مصر السيسية عن جزيرتي تيران وصنافير ومضائقهما للسعودية، وكان إغلاق تلك المضائق هو السبب المباشر لحرب 1967، وهذه المضائق قد تحوّلت اليوم إلى مضائق سعودية يسري عليها قانون المضائق وأعالي البحار.
في الأعوام الماضية أخذت حوادث جنوح السفن تتكرّر في القناة، مما أدّى إلى تعطيل المرور وتأخير السفن المنتظرة بطوابير، عدا عن أنّ السفن المتوسطة والضخمة لم تعُد تستطيع الإبحار في القناة بسبب حجمها، مما يضطرها للدوران حول أفريقيا، فيما المرور بالقناة هو من خط واحد يخصص يوم للسفن المبحرة من البحر الأحمر للمتوسط واليوم الآخر بالعكس.

قبل سنوات؛ تحدّث الإعلام (الإسرائيلي) عن مشروع حفر قناة موازية لقناة السويس تربط البحر الأبيض المتوسط بالبحر الأحمر، لكن إثر نقل السيادة المصرية على جزيرتي تيران وصنيفير إلى السيادة السعودية تسارع الحديث عن المشروع، إلى أن أعلن قبل أيام عن الشروع بأعمال الحفر من ناحيتين، واحدة بالقرب من إيلات والأخرى بجوار ميناء أسدود على البحر المتوسط، وذكرت تفاصيل العمل أنّ القناة ستكون مزدوجة، واحدة للسفن الآتية من المتوسط للبحر الأحمر وأخرى منفصلة عنها بالعكس منها، وستكون القناة أكثر عرضاً وسعة من قناة السويس، بحيث تتسع لأكبر السفن وناقلات النفط حجماً في العالم، حيث توفر الوقت وتختصر المسافة.

يرافق المشروع بناء مدن صناعية وترفيهية ومناطق حرة على طول ضفتي القناة، وفيها من أكثر أنظمة الأمن والحماية تطوّراً في العالم، وتقدّر الدراسات أنه من الممكن أن يتمّ إنجاز المشروع بعد خمس سنوات من الآن، وسيعمل به مئات ألوف العمال والمهندسين والفنيين من دول الجوار ومن الشرق الأقصى، كما تساهم في إنجازه شركات من كوريا وأوروبا والولايات المتحدة، فيما تموّله بنوك أميركية بفائدة متناهية الصغر(1%).

المشروع هو في قلب الأفكار المتداولة مؤخراً من الشرق الأوسط الجديد وصفقة القرن، التي يظنّ بعض من يتوهّم أنها قد انتهت مع مغادرة ترامب للبيت الأبيض، وهي مرتبطة بالطموحات التي يجهر بها ولي العهد السعودي في بنائه لمدينة نيوم، التي إنْ صدقت الأخبار ستجعل من دبي مدينة من الماضي.
كلّ هذه المشاريع تهدف إلى دمج (إسرائيل) في كلّ تفاصيل الإقليم، من شبكات الطرق إلى سياسات البيئة والأمن والإقتصاد والطاقة، لا بل جعلها العامل الأساسي والحيوي الذي يقود الإقليم، فيما لن تجدي تهديدات مصر ـ إنْ هدّدت ـ بوقف المشروع، أما المسألة الفلسطينية، فإنها ستذهب نحو مزيد من التهميش أمام المصالح المادية الجديدة الناتجة عن دمج (إسرائيل) وجعلها «كياناً طبيعياً».
*سياسي فلسطيني

مقيم في الكفير ـ جنين ـ فلسطين المحتلة.

فيديوات متعلقة


The Palestinian resistance continues to prove its presence in the West Bank

“The Palestinians sold their land”… a lie that the Palestinians destroyed with their steadfastness.

مقالات متعلقة

باسيل إلى باريس واحتمال لقاء مع ماكرون: فرنسا تعدّ مشروع «رئيس توافقي»

 الأربعاء 16 تشرين الثاني 2022

الأخبار

(هيثم الموسوي)

يشهد الملف الرئاسي في لبنان تطوراً لافتاً يتمثّل في زيارة يُفترض أن يقوم بها رئيس التيار الوطني الحر النائب جبران باسيل إلى باريس، هذا الشهر، لعقد سلسلة لقاءات على مستوى رفيع تشمل كل المعنيين بالملف اللبناني، للبحث في الاستحقاقات الداهمة رئاسياً وحكومياً واقتصادياً. وقالت مصادر مطلعة إن الفرنسيين يأملون بالاتفاق مع باسيل على خريطة طريق للانتخابات الرئاسية، انطلاقاً من العلاقة الجيدة التي تربطه بكل من البطريرك الماروني بشارة الراعي وحزب الله.

وكانت السفيرة الفرنسية في بيروت آن غريو غادرت إلى باريس، أول من أمس، في مهمة عاجلة، يتعلق جانب منها بالتحضير لزيارة باسيل الذي يفترض أن يلتقي أعضاء خلية الإليزيه المعنية بالملف اللبناني، والتي تضم السفير إيمانويل بون ورئيس الاستخبارات الخارجية برنار إيمييه، إضافة إلى مسؤولين في وزارة الخارجية. وبحسب المصادر، فقد يلتقي باسيل، بحسب مسار المحادثات، الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون، وأن أمير قطر تميم بن حمد آل ثاني يتوسّط لعقد هذا اللقاء.

وبحسب المعلومات، فإن الزيارة العاجلة لغريو إلى باريس تهدف إلى وضع القيادة الفرنسية في أجواء الاتصالات الأخيرة التي أجرتها في بيروت حول الملف الرئاسي والاستحقاقات الحكومية والاقتصادية. ويفترض أن تطلع غريو على نتائج الاتصال الذي جرى بين ماكرون وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان قبل يومين في ما يتعلق بلبنان، على أن تعود إلى بيروت الأسبوع المقبل لمرافقة باسيل متى تم تحديد موعد زيارته.
وأجرت غريو في الأيام العشرة الماضية سلسلة اجتماعات بقي معظمها بعيداً من الأضواء، وشملت البطريرك الماروني بشارة الراعي ورئيس الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي وليد جنبلاط وشخصيات من قوى المعارضة التي ترشح النائب ميشال معوض. كما عقدت غريو اجتماعين مهمين أحدهما مع مسؤول كبير في حزب الله والثاني مع باسيل.

اجتماعات السفيرة الفرنسية في بيروت شملت لقاء مع مسؤول كبير في حزب الله


ومع أن الجانب الفرنسي لا يحمل مبادرة متكاملة، إلا أنه سعى إلى معرفة موقف كل الأطراف من لائحة من المرشحين تضم نحو سبعة أسماء. وفهم متصلون بالسفيرة الفرنسية أن بلادها لا تزال تحظى بالتفويض الأميركي لإدارة المبادرة بما خص الملف الرئاسي، وأن باريس تريد التوصل مع السعودية إلى اتفاق يسهل المهمة، لأن الإصرار على خوض معارك قاسية من شأنه عدم انتخاب رئيس في وقت قريب.
وكررت غريو أمام كل من التقتهم أن بلادها مهتمة بتوافق جدي يتيح انتخاب رئيس قادر على تشكيل حكومة سريعاً، وعلى الخطوات الإصلاحية التي تنتظرها الدول التي ستقدم مساعدات للبنان لمعالجة الأزمة الاقتصادية. كما كررت التزام بلادها الشق المتعلق بفرنسا وشركة «توتال» ضمن تفاهم ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع كيان الاحتلال. علماً أن إدارة شركة «توتال» أعلنت، أمس، أنها أنجزت مع حكومة العدو الاتفاق الخاص بطلبات إسرائيلية مالية تتعلق بالجزء الجنوبي من حقل قانا الواقع جنوب الخط 23 والذي يفترض أن توفره الشركة الفرنسية من دون المساس بحصّة لبنان.

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

Prof. Tim Anderson: Bahrain’s meaningless elections means to mask its despotism

15 Nov 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Manama’s ‘normalisation’ with the Israeli colony is a serious obstacle and one that springs from the undemocratic nature of the regime.

Sondoss Al Asaad 

The Bahraini regime has just turned the page on the elections the tactic it wanted: elections without opponents or political associations in a bid to continue undermining rights and liberties and perpetuating the absolute powers of the King after he dismissed at least 100,000 citizens for the crime of belonging to – arbitrarily dissolved associations – or boycotting the last 2 electoral cycles, not to mention the suspicious division of the electoral districts and the main reliance on the participation of the politically-naturalised and the military personnel.  So, the expected results were predetermined by claiming that the turnout was massive and unprecedented “reaching 73%” ignoring popular discontent and the unwillingness of the majority of citizens to participate.  What happened confirms that Bahrain’s parliament is not going to witness legislative work in the upcoming days, but rather greater ties with the Israeli occupation throughout successive agreements in the sectors of the economy, finance, and medicine as well. To talk more about the elections and their consequences, I interviewed the Australian academic, Professor Tim Anderson.

1) What is your comment on the settings under which the Bahrain elections were organised?  Do you think it was credible to organise such a democratic process in a country that suffers from authoritarianism at all levels?

Before even mentioning elections in Bahrain we should recognise that there is little democratic in the 2002 constitution or its application. The National Assembly – with 40 elected members in the Council of Representatives and 40 royally-appointed members in the Consultative Council – is effectively just an advisory body to the hereditary monarch, who controls all state power. 

Although this Assembly makes laws, the King and his appointees can block them. On top of that, the King appoints all executive ministers. The two Prime Ministers since independence in 1971, and many senior ministers, have been his family members.

In this context, the current elections for Bahrain’s Assembly are being carried out without the participation of most opposition parties, many of whose leaders are in exile or in jail. 

As even the Washington-aligned Human Rights Watch group admits, this is a façade of democracy with little substance. But that façade allows other apologists (in the USA, the UN, and Europe) to go along with the Bahraini regime’s claims that its King is: 

“Deeply interested in the involvement and partnership of citizens in the decision-making process, out of a true belief in the importance of democracy .. [and a] vision for the democratization and parliamentary process in the country.”

When it seemed there was a democratic opening, during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011, a movement “demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister” was brutally suppressed, with the help of the Saudi military. Security forces killed dozens of protesters and arrested hundreds more, many of whom were tortured in custody. After that most opposition parties boycotted the 2014 elections and, after that, the regime outlawed the main Shia opposition group, Al-Wefaq, and the main secular opposition group, the National Democratic Action Society (Waad). 

Opposition figures were jailed or forced into exile. For example, former parliamentarian Abdul-Hamid Dashti was sentenced in absentia to a lengthy prison term for simply insulting the Bahraini and Saudi regimes. Banned political parties had their members further disqualified for any role in public office, under 2018 laws. The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy said in 2022 that there were “potentially 1,400 political prisoners in Bahrain, out of a total prison population of 3,200-3,800”. Since 2011 there has been increasing use of the death penalty, often based on evidence allegedly obtained under torture. All this makes internal democratic organisation very difficult. 

2) In your opinion, why did the Bahraini regime relentlessly promote the elections?  What are the benefits that it seeks – given that it does not respect the principle of the separation of powers?

The Bahraini tyrant seeks legitimacy and hosting the US 5th naval fleet helps him win powerful allies. As with Qatar (hosting a huge US air base) and Saudi Arabia, the US government has not launched any ‘Arab Spring’ colour revolutions against Bahrain. This means that, while occasional criticisms are raised, their usefulness to Washington helps soften their image. 

For example Adam Ereli, former US Ambassador to Bahrain, argued recently that the ‘democracy’ of Bahraini regime “although falling short for some, arguably achieves the greatest good for the greatest number .. while admittedly imperfect, Bahrain’s stewardship of the democratic process nevertheless provides a much needed and publicly validated opportunity for its citizens to participate in the governing of their country.”

Other Arab countries with far greater democracy have been bombed by the US for their supposed political deficiencies. In other words, it matters little to Washington that there is no separation of powers and little democracy at all in Bahrain. Better that way, in fact; but for image marketing purposes the façade remains important. So the King presents democratic rhetoric, human rights reports, and near-meaningless elections, to mask the absolutist character of his comprador (foreign agent) regime.

 3) How did you read the recommendations of Pope Francis to the King as well as the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council?  And why, in your opinion, does the international community adopt double standards in Bahrain?  Why does it acknowledge the existence of repression when it does nothing to ease the stifling restrictions imposed on Bahrainis?

A. In his recent visit to Bahrain Pope Francis did raise questions about the execution of prisoners, religious discrimination, and migrants’ rights. He was said to have asked privately for the release of some of the country’s political prisoners. Nevertheless, the interfaith meeting he attended was certainly a show aimed to cover discrimination against the 70% majority Shia Muslim population. The latter is politically active and both Washington and the Bahraini monarchy often link them to Iran, to blame Tehran for destabilising the regime.

The UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) has not yet responded to the ‘fourth cycle’ report from Manama, which was lodged in early November. However, in its 2017 response to the ‘third cycle’ of reports, the HRC tried to push the regime to agree to inspection of its prisons (so as to assess the use of torture), to remove all reservations on the women’s rights treaty (CEDAW), to stop all executions and to ‘consider political reform’. There is not much sign of change, but Manama is certainly ‘going through the notions’ of responding in some detail to the latest ‘Universal Periodic Review’ (UPR).

Once again, the big power sponsors of the Bahraini regime shelter it from any harsh criticism. Indeed, historically, both in Latin America and in West Asia, Washington has supported many bloodthirsty, dictatorial regimes. The best current example is the Saudis, key sponsors of Al Qaeda and ISIS/Daesh terrorists.  It should be plain that human rights and democracy have nothing to do with western foreign policy. Nevertheless, a certain amount of ‘human rights bureaucracy’ helps provide a semblance of normality.

 4) Do you think that the Bahraini people have succeeded in overthrowing the intended goal of organising the so-called “coexistence forum” as well as “elections? How? And what is the message you send to them?

A. There is a fair amount of external democratic agitation, but the sponsors of the Manama regime have strong voices. For example, multiple sources repeat the claim that there was a quite high participation rate of 73% in the latest elections, for an initial 34 seats. They also stress the participation of women candidates, even when they note the absence of opposition parties.  This was in many respects an attempt to counter the Al Wefaq party’s call for a boycott, while Amnesty International said the elections were taking place in a climate of repression. The country’s top cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim also backed the boycott call. It is not clear that those claims of 73% participation are at all reliable. 

Meanwhile, at an international level, complaints are kept alive about Manama’s failure to face the issues of political prisoners, extrajudicial killings and systematic torture, and sectarian discrimination.  The ‘impunity of the regime’ has become an important theme. As with the demands of the Palestinian people, the democratic reform demands on the Bahraini regime are capturing international attention. That is important; so too, in this writer’s opinion, is making common cause with the other democratic movements in the region. Bahrain is a small country and its democrats need regional allies.

 5) How can these two events be linked to the rush in the steps of normalisation with the Zionist entity?  What links the two regimes of Bahrain and the apartheid occupation?  Are you afraid of a premeditated intention to turn Bahrain into another Palestine, as the Bahrain’s top spiritual Shiite authority, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassem, has previously warned?

Manama’s ‘normalisation’ with the Israeli colony is a serious obstacle and one that springs from the undemocratic nature of the regime. Even the Israeli media has noted the public reaction against this within Bahrain. Al Wefaq leader Sheikh Hussein al-Daihi, said there is “no place for zionists in Bahrain”, maintaining that Bahraini people will always support Palestine. 

Yet while Zionists and their collaborators says the new Jewish facilities make Manama “a beacon of religious tolerance”, many Bahrainis are alarmed at the regime’s integration of zionist cells into the country, a project which was tried before. They fear being crowded out by a wave of settlers, even perhaps becoming another Palestine. 

The links between the Bahraini and Israeli regimes are obvious – they are both client states of the North Americans, providing support for its interventions, wars, and its regional hegemonic agenda. The huge US airbase and a complaint monarchy make Bahrain a dream regime for the USA, but also a ripe case for democratic revolution. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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مساعٍ فرنسية لمقايضة رئاستي الجمهورية والحكومة: فرنجية مرشح حزب الله برضا باسيل… وبلا خطة «ب»

الثلاثاء 15 تشرين الثاني 2022

وفيق قانصوه  

(هيثم الموسوي)

في خطابه السبت الماضي، أعطى الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله دفعاً قوياً لمعركة رئاسة الجمهورية. لا يعني الدفع، بالضرورة، تسريع انتخاب الرئيس، لكنه، عملياً، أخرج الملف من دائرة مقفلة إلى مرحلة أكثر جدّية بعدما حدّد مواصفات الرئيس المقبل، و«سمّى الجيرة وسمّى الحي»، وأعلن، أو كاد، اسم مرشح حزب الله.

كلام نصرالله أتى بالتوازي مع مبادرة فرنسية جديدة بدأت قبل نحو عشرة أيام لتوفير توافق على انتخاب رئيس جديد قبل نهاية السنة، مع وعود بإطلاق برامج مساعدات للبنان على رأسها برنامج «سيدر». ويفترض أن النقاش الذي بدأه الفرنسيون مع الأطراف الأساسية في لبنان، يجري استكماله مع واشنطن والرياض، ويقوم على فكرة أن أحداً غير قادر على فرض رئيس للجمهورية أو رئيس للحكومة من دون توافق فعلي بين القوى الرئيسية.
ومع أن المتابعين نفوا أن تكون فرنسا قد أقرت بمبدأ المقايضة على رئاستي الجمهورية والحكومة، إلا أن هؤلاء أشاروا إلى أن باريس لمست من جهات فاعلة، من بكركي إلى التيار الوطني الحر وحزب الله والرئيس نبيه بري ورئيس الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي وليد جنبلاط، بقبول مقايضة انتخاب رئيس للجمهورية قريب من حلفاء حزب الله مقابل رئيس للحكومة قريب من الغرب والسعودية.

وحتى مساء أمس، لم يكن المسؤولون في لبنان قد حصلوا على معطيات دقيقة حول مضمون المحادثة التي جرت بين الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان، أول من أمس، وسط إشارات تؤكد أن الرياض لا تزال على موقفها الرافض لأي تسوية مع حزب الله.
وبعيداً من إشارات لافتة وواضحة وردت في كلام نصرالله أوحت بعدم تأييد حزب الله لترشيح قائد الجيش العماد جوزف عون (كما في إشارته إلى رفض مرشحين يتلقون اتصالات من القيادة الأميركية الوسطى، ناهيك عن التحفّظات المعروفة عن التدخل الأميركي الكبير في المؤسسة العسكرية في السنوات الأخيرة)، طوت المواصفات التي حدّدها الأمين العام لحزب الله صفحة «مزحة» ترشيح ميشال معوّض، و«نكتة» مرشحي التغييريين من التكنوقراط الذين يتبدّلون مع كل جلسة، وكل مرشح لا طعم له ولا رائحة ولا لون على شاكلة الرئيس السابق ميشال سليمان. وهو ضيّق دائرة البحث إلى حدود مرشحين اثنين لا ثالث لهما، هما سليمان فرنجية وجبران باسيل اللذان أكّد لهما، عندما استضافهما معاً الصيف الماضي، أنه يثق بكليهما. وبما أن رئيس التيار الوطني الحر أعلن أنه ليس مرشحاً وخارج السباق لاعتبارات عديدة، يغدو رئيس تيار المردة المرشح المعلن للحزب من دون تسميته بالاسم.
أكثر من ذلك، وعلى غرار ما كان حزب الله يردّده عام 2016 بأن لا خطة «ب» لترشيح العماد ميشال عون، فإنه هذه المرة، أيضاً، لا يملك خطة بديلة: المرشح هو فرنجية. ونقطة على السطر. أما التوافق على مرشح آخر يتفق عليه الحليفان، فدونه مخاطر لا يملك أحد ترف خوضها. وقد سمع التيار الوطني الحر من حزب الله، مباشرة، رأيه في أن تجارب اقتراح أسماء لمواقع أدنى من رئاسة الجمهورية في عهد العماد ميشال عون لم تكن مشجّعة، بعدما انقلب شاغلو هذه المواقع على من سمّاهم إليها.

على أن دون انتخاب فرنجية «شرطاً» ألزم حزب الله نفسه به، وهو أنه لن يذهب إلى جلسة انتخاب رئيس تيار المردة ما لم يكن يحمل في جيبه موافقة باسيل. واعتبارات ذلك عديدة، منها رفد فرنجية بدعم مسيحي يجعله رئيساً قوياً، والأهم هو حرص الحزب الشديد على استمرار التفاهم مع التيار الوطني الحر وعلى تمتينه، وبالتالي «انتخاب سليمان يكون برضا جبران وليس على حسابه». علماً أن «رضا» التيار يمكّن عملياً من تأمين النصاب، ولو من دون المشاركة في التصويت، طالما أن بري أخذ على عاتقه إقناع جنبلاط بالسير في فرنجية في حال تم إقناع باسيل. وبالاستناد، أيضاً إلى أن لا فيتو فرنسياً على فرنجية وإلى مساع فرنسية تجرى مع السعودية للتسهيل. وفي هذا السياق ليس تفصيلاً جلوس رئيس تيار المردة في الصف الأول في منتدى الطائف الذي عقده السفير السعودي وليد البخاري في الأونيسكو السبت الماضي، فيما كان معوّض، مرشح حلفاء السعودية، يقبع في الصفوف الخلفية.
عليه، لن تحمل جلسة الخميس المقبل، ولا التي تليها وما بعد بعد ذلك ربما، أي جديد، في انتظار نضوج الظروف لاستئناف الحزب مفاوضاته مع حليفه باسيل. ومع أن الأخير يتقصّد المجاهرة برفضه دعم ترشيح فرنجية، إلا أن مصادر مطلعة تؤكد أن الأبواب ربما ليست موصدة تماماً.

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Saudi Crackdown: Regime Detains Yemeni-American Citizen While on Pilgrimage

November 14, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

As Saudi Arabia is hardening crackdown on dissent, including targeting its citizens who live abroad, a Yemeni-American citizen has been detained in Saudi Arabia while performing the ‘Umrah’ pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.

Mohamad Salem was taken into custody on November 1 and has been transferred to a maximum-security facility typically used for high-profile political prisoners and suspected terrorists.

Salem, a 63-year-old of Yemeni origin, is one of several Americans who have recently run afoul of Saudi authorities.

Abdallah Moughni, a family spokesman from the US state of Michigan said on Sunday that Salem traveled to Saudi Arabia with two of his sons to perform the Umrah pilgrimage.

While in line, he got into a verbal altercation with security officials who separated him from his sons.

Later, two men approached him, saying they were from Libya and asking what happened.

“At this point, Mohamad was livid, he was furious. He just let it out. He said, ‘If it was not for Mecca and Medina, we would burn this country to the ground’,” Moughni was quoted as saying on Sunday.

The two men turned out to be undercover Saudi agents, and Salem was detained.

Salem’s relatives have grown increasingly concerned for his welfare since he was transferred to Dhahban Central Prison, where rights groups previously documented allegations of torture via electrocution and flogging.

Saudi Arabia is often criticized for not tolerating dissent and has recently been in the spotlight for decades-long prison sentences handed down to a number of women who tweeted and retweeted posts critical of the Riyadh regime.

This week, Carly Morris, an American woman who has publicly accused her Saudi ex-husband of trapping their daughter in the kingdom under so-called guardianship laws, was briefly detained.

Last month, Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a 72-year-old US citizen of Saudi origin, had received a 16-year prison sentence apparently because of Twitter posts on topics including the war in Yemen and the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

All sentences were handed down weeks after President Joe Biden of the United States set aside his past condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record to travel to the kingdom, despite criticism from rights groups and Saudi exiles.

It was a moment when the US urgently needed the kingdom to keep up oil production. But the Biden administration has ended up with no more oil or any improvement in human rights.

Saudi rights advocates say Biden’s attempts to soothe the crown prince have only emboldened him.

Saudi authorities illicitly monitor and strike out against their citizens in the US and other Western countries. Since the gruesome murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Saudi crown prince has been emboldened to commit more crimes against dissidents. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the mission in October 2018.

Since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

Freedom House, a research and advocacy group, says Saudi Arabia has targeted critics in more than a dozen countries.

Saudi Arabia, a key ally of the US and the ‘Israeli’ regime, has had one of the poorest human rights records in the world for decades.

Intelligence Online: MBS ‘purges’ politically aimed at certain clans

 November 9, 2022

Source: Intelligence Online

The purge is directed toward certain clans; commercial agents close to former King Abdullah and Mohammad bin Nayef.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Athens, Greece, July 26, 2022. (Reuters)

By Al Mayadeen English 

Website Intelligence Online has revealed that Saudi Arabia’s purges are motivated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman using the pretext of tackling corruption and that the purge is directed toward certain clans; commercial agents close to former King Abdullah and Mohammad bin Nayef. Interestingly, agents of the Mishaal and Sultan clans are not being targeted. 

Saudi authorities are trying via Interpol to get their hands on Salah Fustok, a former commercial agent for a clan of King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz. Fustok is the uncle of Muteb bin Abdullah, who commanded the Saudi National Guard (SANG) until he was ousted by MbS. Muteb then got caught up in the anti-corruption purge that took place in November that year. He is still under house arrest and cannot leave the kingdom.    

Individuals close to bin Nayef are facing legal proceedings, and bin Nayef himself remains under house arrest. Bin Nayef’s former counter-terrorism chief and head of a financial empire, Saad Al-Jabri, in addition to Nader Turki Al-Dossari, a Saudi businessman, are both under intense judicial pressure.

King Salman bin Abdelaziz’s brother, Ahmad bin Abdelaziz, is forbidden from leaving the country while businessmen close to him are avoiding the kingdom. 

However, members of the late Mishaal bin Abdelaziz’s clan won’t be worrying too much about the purge.

Although complaints against businessman Abdullah Al Shugair have been made to the Saudi Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority – Nazaha – no actions have been taken despite documented evidence. Shugeir was a factotum to Prince Mishaal, who allowed MBS and his son to prevail, after which he died a multi-billionaire in 2017. 

Noting that Shugeir owns his Security Technology Company (STC), according to a 70-page complaint filed by US company DefensTech, he had stolen intellectual property related to body armor. The complaint puts down that Shugeir owes DefensTech over $5.6 million after selling 10,000 vests to the Royal Guard in 2014.

The vests sold to the Royal Guard were not DefensTech’s, but rather counterfeits that they purchased through a scheme in which Saudi interior ministry officials were involved. According to Intelligence Online, although the US company made a strong case, Nazaha did not take action. 

Read next: NBC: “Mohammed Bin Nayef Was Beaten & Biden Stepped in to Rescue Him”

Super-States in Core Eurasian Geopolitics – Utopian Proposition?

November 08, 2022

Source

by Straight-Bat

  1. Introduction

A question that troubled me often involves different kinds of “state apparatus” witnessed in the history of core Eurasia – principalities, city-states, kingdoms, empires, nation-states etc. Every possible combination of a geographical region (within core Eurasia) and a particular epoch represents a specific historical manifestation of a particular type of geopolitical entity – hence, in the 18th century while Caspian Sea region hosted a number of principalities like emirates/khanates, the Chinese mainland hosted an empire. The question I struggled with: is there a particular form of geopolitical entity that can be termed as better (or worse) for the society compared to the others? An extension of the same question would be whether the history of humankind follows any particular trajectory so far as development of political institutions are concerned. An offshoot of that question is what Marx famously referred to as the ultimate destination of the destiny of humankind – (class-less) ‘stateless’ society. While searching for a plausible response to my query, I also discovered an interesting phenomenon: a specific geopolitical entity can be beneficial and detrimental to the interests of a society at the same time, and with passage of time its impacts on the society transforms dynamically. Thus, an ‘empire’ could be destroyer of the society in a small principality while acting as a facilitator for trade and commerce for the rest of empire – Mongol empire in 13th century was a classic example of this. Russian empire elicits an example of how the positive role of the ‘state apparatus’ in providing arable land in central Asia to the peasants during 18th-19th century transformed into state repression (guided by the large land-owning kulaks) in the second half of the 19th century. Yet another interesting case study could be how the central Asian region around Caspian Sea-Aral Sea-Amu Dariya-Syr Dariya acted as the trade routes (a significant part of the famous Silk Route stretched from eastern China to Mediterranean Sea) that benefitted its aristocracy much more profoundly than the commoners who would actually execute the physical process of goods transportation and arrangements of other logistics. So, there is no straight answer to the basic question I mentioned in the beginning. Rather, I am happy to put the question in an altogether different format – assuming the Marxist idea of a stateless (class-less) society as inevitable, my quest would be to explore which kind geopolitical entity is suitable for bringing about such revolutionary change in the society to transform the selfish unjust and unequal society into a just and equitable society where 90% of the population, the plebs not only gained equal rights legally but, more importantly, they exercise those rights.

Another question, not completely unrelated, that has been bothering me relates to the geography, and history of the single geographic landmass that is known in academic books in two parts – Asia, Europe. To be specific, I have been deliberating on the question whether core Eurasia could really be treated as the ‘heartland’, control of which is a prerequisite to exercise total control over the world? Before one could sincerely take up the issue for a discussion, he/she must be able to grasp the definition of ‘core Eurasia’. Geologically, ‘Eurasia’ is a tectonic plate that lies under much of Europe and Asia. However, there is no well-defined geographic boundary of ‘core Eurasia’ in international politics. The European (geopolitical) strategists and Asian intellectuals converge on this subject remarkably well — the landmass that lies between Pacific Ocean in the east and river Vistula plus Carpathian mountain range in the west, and between Arctic Ocean in the north to the line joining Arabian Sea coast-Himalayan mountain range-South China Sea coast in the south can be termed as ‘core Eurasia’. This particular question has a definite answer – ‘core Eurasia’ indeed can be assumed as heartland because of two reasons. Firstly, the countries that dot the entire landscape of core Eurasia are not only home to 25% of the global population currently but has enough arable land, water, and forest resources for a healthy and continuous population growth. Secondly, the entire landmass of core Eurasia hold deposits of minerals, fossil fuels, rare earth, and gems in disproportionately high quantities compared to its share of total surface area of earth. Hence, the human civilization can grow, sustain, and flourish as a stand-alone phenomenon in core Eurasia even if civilizations in other regions of the world fail to sustain – this, in my opinion, is the single most important characteristic of core Eurasia why it may be considered as the ‘heartland’. Readers who are conversant with the works of geopolitics pundits like Brzezinski will easily conclude that I don’t subscribe to Brzezinski’s thought on this issue which was centred around ‘exercising power to control the world’ as he noted, “The control over Eurasia would almost automatically entails Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent.

Having established the fact that there is ample justification for treating core Eurasia as the heartland and having identified the objective of my primary quest as finding out the most appropriate type of geopolitical entity that would facilitate a just exploitation-free society, let me clarify why I’m spending time and effort to author this article. There is a specific background why I’m inclined to get into such a subject. Three to four thousand years back my ancestors roamed in the vast Eurasian steppes with an objective of finding a large inhabitable space to settle down – destiny called them to move to the Indus valley from where they finally spread across the entire south Asian subcontinent. Till now, in our community, when a member passes away, the (direct) descendants have to tie a piece of kush (i.e. long grass) to our body during the grieving period – thus, during the most difficult days of life when one’s parent departs, we remember our origin, the steppe grassland! Apart from that, during the initial 1200 years of current era, my region and people were intellectually involved with the Chinese and Tibetan scholars in a two-way exchange of knowledge, spirituality, religion, trade, and martial art. Buddhist scholars from eastern region of Indian subcontinent traveling to Chinese mainland (including Tibet) were as common as scholars from Chinese mainland staying in Buddhist universities located in the eastern region of Indian subcontinent. Needless to say then, I am concerned about core Eurasia and all those people who inhabit these lands now.

This article is fundamentally based on my thoughts, and I don’t claim to anchor these thoughts on any academic mooring. However, I will present facts based on historical and current affairs and apply rational logic (with minimum role of sentiment) to present my hypothesis. I don’t intend to hurt anybody’s sentiments or sense of patriotism or sense of duty towards own community. I ONLY wish that this article should settle down in the collective memory of all core Eurasian citizens as an abstract idea – may be a ‘utopian’ one – which, in future by 2050 CE, should be discerned by the wise people of all countries and communities, across core Eurasian landmass.

  1. What is Wrong with core Eurasia Currently?

Quite in disagreement with many alt-media reporters and commentators, I would like to argue that core Eurasia presently is going through a seemingly end-less turmoil – economic, political, social, cultural – majority part of which is orchestrated by the Zionist-Capitalist global oligarchy. I will only list down the current disorders in core Eurasia that has geopolitical and geo-economic implications:

  1. South Korea – not only South Korea (a phantom-state that got created after WW-II) has been turned into a low-cost military-industrial complex to supply military machinery to countries that can’t afford American and European weapons, but the entire South Korean society also has been infested with immoral vulgar and decaying influence of ‘Jewish’ Christianity [link 🡪 https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/scariest-halloween-my-life-120-dead-south-korea-after-crowd-crushing-incident ]. South Korea is a malignant cancer in core Eurasia that has been growing phenomenally with the capital investment by the Zionist-Capitalist global oligarchy during past 5 decades protected by USA military bases. Unless appropriate treatment is carried out, it will remain a consistent threat to security of core Eurasia
  2. Taiwan – not only Taiwan (a phantom-state that got created after WW-II) has been turned into a ‘giant weapons depot’ by the Zionist-Capitalist global oligarchy to cause major destruction of industrial belts and technology hubs along the south-east coastal regions of Chinese mainland, but the elite Taiwanese society has also been thoroughly westernized along with tie-up with USA on manufacturing of weapons [link 🡪 https://www.newdelhitimes.com/us-considering-joint-weapons-production-with-taiwan/ ]. Taiwan is another malignant cancer in core Eurasia that has been growing no less remarkably than South Korea (with the capital investment by global oligarchy). Unless appropriate treatment is carried out, it will remain a consistent threat to security of core Eurasia
  3. Kazakhstan – largest of the artificial-states that came into existence in central Asia after the Soviet stooges of the global Zionist-Capitalist clique demolished the USSR in 1991. Over the decades Kazakhstan has become the anchor state for NATO expansion into core Eurasia – in order to develop the interoperability between elements of its armed forces and those of NATO countries, since 2006 Kazakhstan has hosted annual military exercises called “Steppe Eagle”. ‘Kazakhstan’s PfP Training Centre was accredited by NATO as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in December 2010’. The most dangerous activity on the soil of Kazakhstan is the research on biological warfare by USA funding [link 🡪 https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1254486.shtml ]. If Taiwan and South Korea are malignant tumors on the periphery of core Eurasia, Kazakhstan is right at the centre! It will certainly become a future threat to the stability and prosperity of core Eurasia
  4. Kyrghizstan-Tajikistan-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan – other phantom-states that came into existence in central Asia after the planned demolition of the USSR. Significant social-political-environmental issues exist in these 4 state-lets – (i) Wahhabism, the version of Sunni Islamic extremism is rampant in all these 4 phantom-states coordinated by Turkey plus Saudi Arabia based oligarchy, and the most preposterous matter being that in each of these 4 phantom-states the citizens are instigated on the basis of ‘nationalism’ (against other 3 nationalities) and ‘religion’ (against secular state policy, forcing the government to initiate policies that would force the people adopt Arab-Islamic names, wear hijab for women, abstain from music and sports, exclude women from public life, teach only religious education in Arabic language, preach religious militancy through Islamic jihad, etc.); (ii) Decades of extremely high rate of water consumption have taken their toll on these societies – rapid environmental degeneration; (iii) elites from politics, judiciary and bureaucracy have been involved in operating drug trafficking business in order to extract illicit profit from the drug trade (which primarily originated in Afghanistan coordinated by the Zionist-Capitalist oligarchy mostly based out of Anglo countries and Israel). Undoubtedly these ‘four sisters’ can create more headache for core Eurasia in future
  5. Mongolia – A country where the society apparently loathes to deliberate on modernization of education, industry, and communication. Along with Kazakhstan, Mongolia adds to the geopolitical uncertainties right in the centre of core Eurasia. Till date Moldova offers minimum destabilization to core Eurasia as compared to other regions listed here. However, the local oligarchy is working hand in glove with the global Zionist-Capitalist clique to control the government and force it towards joining NATO block. This country might become a future threat to the security of core Eurasia
  6. Afghanistan – A country where poverty and lawlessness are the general norms, Zionist-Capitalist clique has been running world’s largest drug cartel since past three decades. During the same period, Wahhabism took a new name in Afghanistan – Taliban. These two problems got exacerbated with collapse of government services, and curtailment of foreign aid. Sudden and unilateral withdrawal of USA and NATO military forces from Afghanistan was NOT really sudden – the entire game was planned well in advance. USA based Zionist-Capitalist oligarchy hoped that the ‘Islamic Wahhabism’ will continue to flourish in Afghanistan and Talibani ideology and militants will become the largest export of Afghanistan [link 🡪 https://www.fpri.org/article/2022/05/northern-afghanistan-and-the-new-threat-to-central-asia/ ] Even if the current Taliban government appears to be taking governance seriously, there is every possibility that in the near future, Afghanistan will become the hotbed of ‘Islamic movements’ which will be utilized to overthrow or destabilize governments across core Eurasia
  7. Transcaucasia region –apart from the central Asian artificial countries, Transcaucasia was another region where dissolution of Soviet Union created ‘unstable states’. Unlike other 8 regions listed here, this is a region where two rounds of war were fought resulting in much destruction. Subversion is a norm here rather than exception. A deep analysis would indicate that the intra-regional politics is compelling Georgia-Armenia-Azerbaijan to engage in bitter struggle among themselves to diminish each other thereby fettering countries like Russia and Iran with the problem of refugee and migrants. Undoubtedly Turkey (as a coordinator of Islamic militant gangs that directly/indirectly work for the Zionist-Capitalist global oligarchy) and USA governments are managing the puppet show staying behind the curtain, but it is doubtful to what extent that will cause rupture in the Eurasian fabric. Having said that, it must be noted that an unstable Transcaucasian region can create troubles for the trade-routes that crisscross this region used by core Eurasia and other countries in Asia and Europe
  8. Moldova – along with Ukraine, Moldova adds to the geopolitical uncertainties in the eastern side of core Eurasia. Till date Moldova offers minimum destabilization to core Eurasia as compared to other regions listed here. However, Zionist-Capitalist clique works overtime here also to control the government and force it towards joining NATO block. The country might become a future threat to the security of core Eurasia
  9. Ukraine – another large artificial-state that witnessed a territorial expansion entirely due to historical undercurrents. Ukraine has been converted into a ‘giant fortress’ by the Zionist-Capitalist global oligarchy which would have joined NATO to host missile bases (if Russia not made its geopolitical demands that Ukraine will never join NATO clear to the Ukraine government in 2021 end). But, the most dangerous situation for the entire planet is: Ukraine is rushing ahead with research and development of (i) biological, (ii) chemical, (iii) nuclear warfare with funding and technology tie-up with institutions based out of USA, and other Anglo countries. on manufacturing of weapons [link 🡪 https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/uncle-sams-bio-weapons-extravaganza/ ]. If an iota of sanity was left with Ukraine government, they would have concluded a treaty with Russian government within one month of special military operation accepting the terms set by Russia. Instead, the skeletons are coming out of the Ukrainian closet – the Ukrainian government for a long time has been 100% owned by the Jewish oligarchy who wants to mobilize the last citizen of Ukraine because the USA and Anglo countries wish to fight and destroy Russian land and society. Russia and core Eurasia must not allow continuation of such a toxic entity in core Eurasia
  10. Baltic region – region of 3 phantom-states that got created due to the dissolution of the USSR. This region is special because the Zionist-Capitalist global oligarchy has been driving the government policies such that during past three decades, depopulation across the entire Baltic region became a continuous and consistent social phenomenon. There is a robust background to this – the Hegemon wanted the region absolutely free from any settlement in order to (i) convert the entire Baltic Sea coast into a giant naval and land army base, (ii) restrict Russian access to Baltic Sea as much as possible, (iii) invade Kaliningrad (old Konisberg) and destroy the Russian military base. The USA government has been pursuing policies on these (unstated but obvious) objectives for decades [link 🡪 https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Falling-In_Deterrent-Value-of-HNS-in-the-Baltic.pdf ]. Unless appropriate actions are taken, it will transform into a nightmare for the security of Russian society and land impairing core Eurasian architecture considerably.

Except Mongolia and Afghanistan, all other entries in the above mentioned list have been identified as phantom-state / artificial state – Eurasian history corroborates my statement. Few common traits exhibited by the listed entities are: (i) local oligarchy has been in the drivers’ seat to control power and wealth to the detriment of the common population, (ii) an inward-looking religious / nationalist posturing is a common thread across the region, (iii) global Zionist-Capitalist forces are using the local oligarchy to foment socio-political tensions that will divert the people’s hatred towards core Eurasian powers like Russia and China, (iv) USA, Israel, Anglo countries and NATO countries use Turkey and Japan as the spearheads to control these regions, (v) through multilateral institutions like SCO, EAEU, CSTO and geo-economic programmes like BRI China and Russia try to influence the political and economic viability of these regions. Even though (iv) and (v) balance each other, the entire core Eurasia may become an extremely unstable region if the Zionist forces succeed to set a conflagration simultaneously across 3 / 4 entities (which is a wet dream of the Zionists).

Since this article deals only with core Eurasia, I won’t raise geopolitical and geo-economic problems that beset Asia and Europe. However, countries like Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Balkan countries, Poland, Germany, France, Italy, and the UK present two types of problems through their hard and soft power: (a) presently all of them participate (most of them willingly) in the common global conspiracy hatched by the Zionist-Capitalist oligarchy against core Eurasian countries and societies, (b) historical role played by almost all of them to foment geopolitical instability in their own region with/without involvement of the global Zionist-Capitalist oligarchy.

  1. Political-Economic Integration in Core Eurasia Initiated by the Mongol Empire

Like it or dislike it, loathe it or love it, romanticize it or demonize it, one can’t simply ignore the role of Mongol empire in shaping the core Eurasian landmass – it is a well-established historical fact that, the Mongol empire shattered the medieval era geopolitics in the core Eurasian region applying ruthless force wherever they faced resistance. Though a united Mongol empire didn’t last even fifty years in the 13th century after demise of Chinghis Khan, the remnants of Mongol khans remained rulers in many smaller regions across core Eurasia for another five centuries as ‘Khanate’ entered the lexicon of modern political studies. If the current doldrums in core Eurasia is put under scanner, a strange observation can’t be avoided – many a current geopolitical trouble has its root in the Mongol-instigated geopolitics during the late medieval-cum-early modern era. That indicates we can’t avoid to briefly explore the geopolitical contour of the Mongol empire during the 13th century. (It will be a splendid historic inquiry if the evolution of Mongol empire is analyzed from 1227 CE when Chinghis Khan died till 1911 CE when Mongolia declared independence as a ‘modern’ state – but that is beyond the scope of this article).

While Chinghis Khan was the creator and the first emperor of Mongol empire, after his death at 1227 CE, the descendants while expanding the boundaries to cover entire core Eurasia also engaged in internecine warfare among themselves – after the death of Mongke Khan, by 1260 CE the empire was transformed into a confederacy of 4 empires, and by end of the 14th century each of those empires again got split into multiple khanates ruled by Chinghis Khan’s successors or non-Mongol rulers with kinship to Mongol aristocracy. The following table 3.1 provides a brief tentative geopolitical summary of 13th century core Eurasian landmass:

Table: 3.1 >

1227 CE1300 CE
<< UNIFIED MONGOL EMPIRE >>– Regions of current Peoples Republic of China >Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tianjin, Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi, north-east part of Shandong, north-west part of Gansu, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region except south-east part.– Currently Mongolia– Currently Kazakhstan– Currently Uzbekistan– Currently Turkmenistan– Currently Kirghizstan– Currently Tajikistan– Regions of current Afghanistan >Northern part (one-third of state)– Regions of current Pakistan >Northern part (one-fifth of state)– Regions of current Russian Federation >— Far Eastern Federal District >Primorsky Krai, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai (except one-third part in the north), Amur Oblast, Zabaykalsky Krai, Republic of Buryatia, Sakha Republic (except two-third part in the north)— Siberian Federal District >Irkutsk Oblast, Tuva Republic, Altai Republic, Altai Krai, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast (except northern half), Kemerovo Oblast, Republic of Khakassia, one-third in south of Krasnoyarsk Krai— Ural Federal District >Southern half of Kurgan Oblast, southern half of Tyumen Oblast, one-fourth of Chelyabinsk Oblast in south<< YUAN EMPIRE >>– Regions of current Peoples Republic of ChinaAll except three-fourth of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region– Currently Mongolia– Currently North Korea, South Korea– Currently Taiwan– Regions of current Russian Federation >— Far Eastern Federal District >Primorsky Krai, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai (except one-third part in north), Amur Oblast, Zabaykalsky Krai, Republic of Buryatia, Sakha Republic (except two-third part in north)— Siberian Federal District >Irkutsk Oblast, Tuva Republic, Republic of Khakassia, southern half of Krasnoyarsk Krai– Regions of current Myanmar >North-eastern part (half of the state)– Regions of current India >A sizeable stretch of land in north-east abutting south Tibet
<< CHAGATAI KHANATE >>– Regions of current Peoples Republic of ChinaThree-fourth of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region– Regions of current KazakhstanTwo-fifth of the state in east and south– Currently Kyrghizstan– Currently Tajikistan– Regions of current UzbekistanAlmost entire state except land around Aral Sea– Regions of current AfghanistanOne-fourth of the state in the north-east
<< GOLDEN HORDE >>– Regions of current Russian Federation >— Siberian Federal District >Altai Republic, Altai Krai, Novosibirsk Oblast, Omsk Oblast, western half of Tomsk Oblast— Ural Federal District >Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (except a small strip in north-east), Kurgan Oblast, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Tyumen Oblast, Chelyabinsk Oblast— Volga Federal District— North Caucasian Federal District— Southern Federal District— Central Federal District >One-third land in south of the district— Crimea– Regions of current BelarusAll except northern one-fourth of landmass– Currently Ukraine– Currently Moldova– Regions of current Romania >One-third land in the east abutting Moldova border
<< ILL KHANATE >>– Currently Iran– Regions of current IraqHalf of the state in eastern and northern side bordering Iran, Syria– Regions of current SyriaOne-third of the state in north-eastern side– Regions of current TurkeyHalf of the state in eastern side– Currently Armenia– Currently Azerbaijan– Currently Turkmenistan– Regions of current Afghanistan >All except one-fourth of the state in the north-east– Regions of current Pakistan >Baluchistan province in the south-west side

It can be noted from Table 3.1 presented above and Figure 3.1 given below that by 1300 CE, core Eurasia (except unpopulated northern most lands of Russia near arctic) was under the sway of the Mongol aristocrats – scholars estimated that the Mongol confederacy was spread over around 24,000,000 km2 of land creating the largest land empire in history [Link 🡪 https://maps.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/shepherd_1911/shepherd-c-092.jpg ].

Fig 3.1 >

As Morris Rossabi mentioned in the article ‘Mongol Impact on China: Lasting Influences with Preliminary Notes on Other Parts of the Mongol Empire’ (refer ACTA VIA SERICA Vol. 5, No. 2, December 2020) “perhaps the Mongols’ most important contribution was to bring East Asia, the Middle East, and Europe in touch with each other and that Eurasian history began with the Mongols’ creation of the largest contiguous land empire in world history. The Mongols also built splendid cities, promoted the economies, fostered the sciences, technologies, and the artistic advances in their domains.” Discerning readers can’t deny this observation by Rossabi. During the course of past half century, other scholars from different countries also conclusively proved that the Mongol empire facilitated trade and commerce across all regions of Asia and Europe while contributing quite substantially towards propagation of the Sciences and the Arts.

  1. Why Super-States and Key States in core Eurasia?

Question: What is the mission I’m talking about? Why can’t the current state of affairs in core Eurasia fulfill the mission? Why a reorganization of geopolitical framework of core Eurasia is a necessity?

Answer: ‘The ultimate objective will be to bring complete dignity, widest possible freedom, and maximum possible development for every citizen of the communities in core Eurasia. Every human being (irrespective of his/her background identity like age, sex, ethnicity, language, religion, region, state) will become free from hunger-disease-insecurity-injustice, will spend time in socially useful productive work, can indulge in literature-art-music-cinema, can do research in science-mathematics-life science’, can be at ease equally with technology as well as social studies, ‘can seek knowledge of ‘life’-‘society’-‘world’-‘universe’, can seek entertainment and pleasure at leisure time, without any of these things being morally or physically harmful to any section or people’ of the proposed super-states and key states in core Eurasia.

Most of the existing states are unable to offer such environment to its people not because the countries are poor, (on the contrary core Eurasia is the richest zone of the earth) – the oligarchy which is well-entrenched in the ruling edifice of every country, have been exploiting the population ruthlessly with the help of Zionist-Capitalist globalist clique. Zionist-Capitalists would love if core Eurasia becomes uninhabited and they become the master of the land and its natural resources so that the planet earth nourishes only the ‘golden billion’ (one billion population in Anglo countries, Jews, Europeans). Hence current geopolitical setup is not conducive to such humanitarian missions.

For fulfilling the mission, I mentioned above, core Eurasia should be free from the self-serving elites-aristocrats-oligarchs who misuse their political power to achieve their personal objectives – to gain power and to gain wealth. Most of the artificial-states should be dissolved and made part of one/two super-states. Without geopolitically balanced architecture destabilization in all conceivable and unconceivable forms will continue to ruin core Eurasia. Thus the current borders between so-called states should be reoriented so that,

  1. The historical background of (mid-19th century) landmass-and-community relationship gets due importance
  2. ‘Fake states’ don’t act as Zionist-Capitalist agents for destabilization in core Eurasia
  3. Core Eurasian state-actors can always remain united to become a ‘role model’ for all other regions.

In core Eurasia, during my lifetime, most of the old geopolitical issues resurfaced – some through crude bloody incidents while some others in a very subtle way. So, whether such a dispute is currently a burning issue or a dormant dispute, leaders need to look into those and try proactively to resolve it so that geopolitically balanced architecture can be achieved. Let me list down the key issues, and key actors, and suggest the resolutions considering the historical timeline from the Mongol Empire in 1227 CE to the 1848 Revolution as the ‘age of empire building’ in core Eurasia beyond which change of borders through war would not be considered as ‘valid’ (for setting our benchmark we assumed such validity). There will be certainly a question asked from every quarter – on what basis such a logic is being considered? As such, there can be no definite answer that would please everyone, rather I would like to say, that there will be no basis that is acceptable to everyone! So, I chose 1848 CE as the historical watershed because in the early modern era 1848 CE was the year when plebeians of different societies across entire Europe and some parts of Asia really did stand up against centuries old exploitation-injustice-inequality inflicted by the patricians (even if the commoners were beaten back everywhere, the patricians were forced to start counting its probable demise since then). So a reorganisation of core Eurasia into super-states and key states is suggested as below:

Table: 4.1 >

Geopolitical Restructuring Issue in Core EurasiaProposed Resolution
Significant Actor – Super-state in Russia
At the time of the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 CE, USSR encompassed the following geographical regions apart from Russia:1. Baltic Europe – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania2. Eastern Europe – Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova3. Transcaucasia – Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan4. Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, TurkmenistanThere were some remarkable aspects of the territorial evolution of Tsarist Russian empire and the USSR:(a) NONE of the above mentioned regions/sub-regions were annexed into the Tsarist empire with their 1991 borders. Reorganization of the administrative zones within the empire was a regular exercise for ALL heads of state at different points of time. Few of those were:(i) In 1708 CE Tsar Peter the Great divided the empire into eight administrative divisions called guberniyas (Archangelgorod, Azov, Ingermanland, Kazan, Kiev, Moscow, Siberia, Smolensk)(ii) In 1727 CE Catherine I enacted another reform – a total of 166 uyezds was established(iii) By 1910 CE 104 administrative governorate units (Oblast and Governorate) were formed(iv) After 1922 CE Bolshevik Party undertook a series of restructuring that transformed the earlier architecture of administrative organization(b) Historically, some regions have been under the Russian influence (political, cultural, economic) for a very long time before the proposed the cut-off year of 1848 CE — in 1721 CE Livonia, Estonia, Ingria, and Karelia were annexed from Sweden; through second and third partitions in 1793 CE and 1795 CE, Russia acquired southern part of current Latvia (south of Riga), most part of current Lithuania including Wilno (Vilnius), most part of current Belarus including Minsk, Pinsk, Brest, most part of Right Bank Ukraine that forms current Ukraine including Lutsk, Rovno, Zhytomyr, Bratslav, and Galicia from Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Bessarabia (two-thirds of which lies within modern Moldova) was taken over by Russian Empire in 1812 CE defeating Ottoman Empire; parts of Georgia, Dagestan, parts of northern Azerbaijan, and parts of northern Armenia were annexed from Persian Empire by Russian Empire in 1813 CE; in 1828 CE, Persian Empire ceded Caucasian region (present-day Armenia, Azerbaijan) to Russian Empire; Kazakh-Junior Horde and Kazakh- Middle Horde declared to be loyal Russian citizens in 1732 and 1740 respectively, but full control of Russia got established by 1798 CE; Kazakh-Great Horde khanate was annexed into the Russian empire in the 1820s, when the Great Horde khans choose Russian protection against Kokand Khanate(c) On the other hand it can be easily noted that, the Tsarist empire continued with invasions and annexations after 1848 CE in the central Asia and Pacific ocean coast regions (refer the map given in Fig:4.1 that is copied from Encyclopaedia Britannica: Link 🡪 https://www.britannica.com/place/Russian-Empire ) – Sakhalin island was seized from Japanese kingdom in 1875 CE by Alexander II; khanates of Khiva (1873 CE), Bukhara (1866 CE), Kokand (1876 CE) were annexed by Alexander II; Alexander III annexed Pamir plateau in 1893 and land of Teke Turkomans in 1881 CE; Alexander III annexed the coastal and northern part of Manchuria through a series of unequal treaties forced upon Qing China (the Treaty of Aigun in 1858 and the Treaty of Peking in 1860)1. All countries / regions of a country that were part of Russian empire in 1848 CE should move back to the Russian super-state:– Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania– Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova,– Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan,– Kazakhstan (except south-eastern part – Dzungaria)2. Russia should hand over such territories to other countries that were annexed from them after 1848 CE:– Outer Manchuria i.e. modern-day Russian areas of Primorsky Krai, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, Khabarovsk Krai (southern two-thirds), Amur Oblast, Zabaykalsky Krai to China3. Regions which were part of Russian empire/USSR between 1849 and 1991, and became independent since 1991, should continue their current geopolitical identity as ‘state’:– Four Central Asian countries i.e. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan were formed as administrative regions within Russian empire / USSR out of the lands from five annexations by Tsars after 1848 CE – Khanate of Khiva, Khanate of Bukhara, Khanate of Kokand, Pamir plateau, and land of Teke Turkomans
Significant Actor – Super-state in China
By 1848 CE the Qing empire territories included the following regions apart from (directly) Ming-ruled mainland China including Hainan and Taiwan islands:1. East Asia – Manchuria (Nurgan RMC of Ming empire), Inner and Outer Mongolia2. South-central Asia – Qinghai (Dokham RMC of Ming empire)3. Central Asia – Xinjiang (that included some parts of eastern Kazakhstan land from Lake Balkhash up to the current international border with China in the north-east, east and south direction, this region was annexed by Russia in 1860, 1881)4. South Asia – Tibet (U-Tsang RMC and Elis military-civilian Marshal of Ming empire; it included Aksai Chin region of Ladakh and south-eastern regions of Tibet which were seized by British after 1860 CE)The key aspects of the territorial evolution of Qing Chinese empire are:(a) The policy of partitioning the empire into several administrative regions underwent substantial change when the Qing empire replaced the Ming empire. While Ming emperors governed peripheral regions like Tibet, Manchuria through setting up Regional Military Commission, Qing empire established administrative regions across the entire empire.(b) Unlike Russian Tsarist empire, the Chinese Qing empire ceased expansion by 1800s. When in 1911 CE the Qing empire was abolished (refer the map given in Fig:4.2 that is copied from Wikipedia: Link 🡪 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qing_dynasty#/media/File:China_1911_es.svg ) the following regions were found to be parts of neighbouring states, not China:(i) a part of western Xinjiang of Qing China (some parts of currently eastern Kazakhstan land from Lake Balkhash up to the current international border with China in the north-east, east and south directions)(ii) Outer Manchuria, a part of Manchuria of Qing China (currently part of the Far Eastern District of Russia)(iii) Outer Mongolia, a part of Qing China (currently Mongolia state)(iv) western Ladakh and south-eastern Tibet, both part of Qing China (part of modern-day India)(v) Taiwan island, a part of Qing China (currently Taiwan state)1. All countries / regions of a country that were part of Chinese empire in 1848 CE should be transferred back to the Chinese super-state:– Taiwan– The islands in South China Sea– Outer Manchuria– Western Xinjiang (Dzungaria)– Aksai Chin and South-eastern Tibet2. Regions which were part of Chinese empire between 1848 and 1911, and became independent since 1911, should continue their current geopolitical identity as ‘state’:– Mongolia which declared independence from China in 1911 occupies outer Mongolian regions of Qing China
Significant Actor – Key State in Iran
Hardly any change in borders happened in Iran after 1848 CE. Hence the country, centre of one of the oldest empire in the history of humankind doesn’t pose any geopolitical challenge.Not Applicable
Significant Actor – Key State in Korea
One of the biggest geopolitical tragedy happened in the Korean Peninsula. Following Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905 Korea became the protectorate of Imperial Japan. After Japan’s surrender in 1945 in September People’s Republic of Korea was established by Lyuh Woon-hyung. In February 1946 Lyuh Woon-hyung was murdered by USA led oligarchy. Thereafter in the south of 38th parallel Syngman Rhee established Republic of Korea in August 1948 while in the following month Kim Il-sung established Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north. China and North Korea lost about 1 million people as KIA and MIA. A divided Korea is a continuous reminder about creation and growth of a malignant tumour that was implanted in core Eurasia by the USA and Anglo oligarchy after WW II.USA needs to pull out military forces lock, stock, and barrel; a united Korean government to be formed with representation from ALL regions, professions, and parties. Both the military should combine into a single force. China and Russia to ensure peace during the transition period.

Looking at the above table 4.1, one would conclude that I have identified only four entities as ‘significant actor’ in core Eurasia. Yes, if one looks into this essay in 2122 i.e. hundred years from now, the reader will find the accuracy and appropriateness of this essay in both its assumptions (that, across this humongous landmass named as ‘core Eurasia’ there are only 4 communities who are not spineless flunkies of Zionist-Capitalist oligarchy and who are not mindless followers of Anglo-Jewish culture) and its suggestions (that, in order to bring out the best possible environment for a community to survive and thrive, geopolitical fabric needs to be reorganized in terms of two super-states and two key states, all of whom will maintain very close coordination among themselves on all geopolitical and geo-economic matters). Finally, the proposed geopolitical restructuring should seriously consider (this is the first time that I’m mentioning this point as an IMPORTANT task) a formal alliance among the 4 significant actors in core Eurasia.

Fig: 4.1 🡪

Fig: 4.2 🡪

Table: 4.2 >

Geo-economic Restructuring Issue in Core EurasiaProposed Resolution
1. Any community, any country, any state can be built ONLY with a population that is large enough to sustain the cultural, economic, political, and technological progress achieved by it. Russia, Iran, North Korea in its current form don’t show healthy population growth, it doesn’t generate hope for future – I will rate this problem as severity 1 for all 3 actors.China, with world’s largest population till 2022, has been beset with continuously reducing rate of population growth – I will rate this as severity 2 for China.2. Any country, any state can organise itself ONLY on the basis of own currency or currency of a neighbour with whom two-way trade is normal. Apart from that, the dependence on Dollar (as exchange currency) must be brought down to a minimum level to avoid the fate of Russia.for China, USA debt holding over 1 trillion is a problem of severity 1, for USA will certainly weaponize the debt at the earliest ‘opportunity’ (like, China re-establishes its control over Taiwan).3. Russia-Iran-China all 3 actors are very rich in terms of natural resources. Energy, metal and mineral, rare earth elements – all three types of deposits are present in substantial quantities in core Eurasia.Import and export of such ‘natural resources’ should be aimed at enriching the commoners in Asia-Africa-South America continents as much as possible.4. SCO-BRI-EAEU should be coordinated simultaneously for economic rejuvenation of core Eurasia as well as Asia-Africa-South America continents as much as possible.As a parallel activity, encourage non-Anglo non-Jewish communities/ countries (like Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Sweden etc.) to enhance their participation in trade and commerce with core Eurasia through multilateral global platforms like RCEP.5. Minimize use of technology, hardware, and applications owned by the Zionist-Capitalist oligarchy in the areas of international finance, defence, aerospace, and social networking.As a parallel activity, encourage non-Anglo non-Jewish communities/ countries (like Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Sweden etc.) to enhance their participation in trade and commerce.Government should move on two fronts:(i) encourage early marriage and childbearing at social and cultural platforms(ii) introduce new rules and laws to facilitate marriage and childbearing for working persons, professionals, even unemployed(i) A gold-backed currency or a basket of Eurasian currencies needs to be pushed(ii) Reduce holding of US treasury rapidly by increasing central bank holding of gold to maximum level(i) These countries should restrict export of raw material and processed minerals to Europe, North America, Australia(ii) They should also ensure that other countries in core Eurasia do the same as much as possible(i) Transform the BRI format so that organizations from the participating countries get around 40% share of the capital expenditure.(ii) Bring in German, Japanese, Italian, French companies into BRI projects for supply of some machinery etc.(i) Identify areas where all 4 actors or any 3 actors will join hands to form business entities. Invest in research and development jointly.(ii) Bring in German, Japanese, Italian, French companies selectively.

Obviously a logical question will arise – ‘how such a massive transformation will happen’ and ‘when’. Local oligarchy, nationalist intelligentsia, bureaucracy, business people, and military forces are the groups who have vested interests in perpetuating the current geopolitical framework. In normal situations (where international relations follow unipolar world order) such geopolitical transformation can hardly be talked about. But major upheavals in politics, economics, and environment will compel the 90% population (the plebs) to think and accept such transformation that will bring momentous change in their lifestyle. It will be the responsibility of ALL patriotic leaders, communist party members, community elders in ALL countries to prepare themselves and their countries/communities towards accepting positive transformation.

It can be found in history that, time and again strong leaders created new geopolitical reality (sometimes because of moral high ground and in other times using superior political economy) that created new rules and orders tearing apart the existing order – I will strongly advocate such occurrence if and only if the common people of a country / region find better standard of living in the newly created architecture. Living in the 21st century I won’t criticize Chinghis Khan’s brutality against his adversaries – on the contrary, I would ask two simple questions – (i) was there a single king/emperor in the medieval era across the world who didn’t resort to mind-blowing violence to create a psychological defeat in the opponent camp? (ii) wasn’t it that the Mongol empire brought a new era in trade and commerce across the entire continents of Asia and Europe benefitting the living standard of the inhabitants? Hence I proposed here that the creation of super-states in core Eurasia in the near future – Eurasian Union of Russia and Asian Union of China – would go a long way to create a better society that ushers a new dawn of humanity! Unless the above mentioned territorial reorganizations are undertake, in my opinion, the construction of those super-states can’t really take-off!

Since I’m only discussing about core Eurasia, I’m not mentioning the case of a super-state in the Indian subcontinent. Actually India should be viewed as a super-state which should include half of what is currently Pakistan (Punjab and Sindh regions are truly such historically ‘Indian’ regions without which Indian map can’t be even be thought of! Since the beginning of ancient civilization Punjab and Sindh were the core of all Indian kingdoms/sultanates/empires until 1947 CE when British power connived with ALL key political parties like Congress, Muslim fundamentalists, and Hindu fundamentalists to divide India). But we are not discussing that.

  1. Conclusion

By now, most of the esteemed readers have already formed an opinion about this article and my objectives. To conclude this write-up, let me handle those probable clarifications from an ideological perspective:

1) An “expansionist and empire-apologist”: To be frank, this is the most significant stigma that could be assigned to this article. For a while, this article can truly create such a sentiment among the readers. Fundamentally, I’m a Marxist, and one of the final objectives of a Marxist socialist society is borderless society! Hence, on an ideological platform, I actually condemn ‘empire-building’ as a process of geopolitics. Let me state that, ‘Empire’, as a concept, is the most reactionary, naked, and violent form of ‘state apparatus’. Hence, I can never become an apologist for empire building. If so, the question still remains: what is the objective of this article?

Well, every historic ‘empire’, in reality, has different background and different characteristics. While Spanish, Portuguese, British and French empires built after 1496 CE across the world basically attempted to ‘get rid of’ the aboriginal population as much as possible, and pillaged the foreign land and resources to enrich the elites and oligarchy of those invading powers, completely contrasting behaviour could be noticed in case of the Chinese, and Russian empires. Russian and Chinese empires not only brought order and security to the people of the region they annexed but the trade and commerce got invigorated across the Eurasian landmass benefitting the commoners. Essentially while the European powers brought colonial imperialism, the Eurasian powers acted as the agents of change towards win-win modernisation.

I foresee that before different countries could even imagine a borderless landmass and a society free from exploitation (as the ultimate objective of Marxism), a country would require:

(a) A ‘state’ that ensures education, healthcare, housing, and employment for ALL citizens

(b) A ‘state’ that brings ALL races, religions, languages living in a landmass under an umbrella with an objective of shared security

(c) A ‘state’ that creates enough of social capital as a harbinger of economic prosperity while sustaining the fragile environment

Let me confess, while looking back into the history, I find ONLY Chinese and Russian super-states as the agents who would provide framework for achieving the above results. So, I propose building of such super-states as the prelude for state-less society.

2) A “reactionary feudalist pseudo-Marxist”: There will be certainly a group of dogmatic Marxists who would suggest that this article is actually a step backward which point towards rejuvenation of medieval feudal era political environment. This article doesn’t discuss the ‘class struggle’, neither this speaks about a ‘proletarian revolution’. Actually, looking everything under the sun through the prism of Marxism doesn’t help any Marxist – neither a revolutionary communist party member nor a revolutionary communist state. Abolition of ‘state apparatus’ was never identified by Marx as an immediate objective for a socialist society! On the other hand, if a truly welfare state apparatus can arrange education, healthcare, housing, and employment to all citizens of core Eurasia, people would actually gain through better living standard. And they would further realise how a state apparatus based on Marxist socialist socio-economic political thoughts would transform the current society into a more egalitarian society ensuring truth, justice, and equality and that prevail over deception, injustice, and inequality.

These readers, mostly from Europe and North America, are NOT bothered about a real democracy where the freedom of speech goes hand-in-hand with the freedom from hunger and malnutrition, and right to vote a political party is coupled with right to education and employment. They are actually bothered about the re-emergence of core Eurasia as the centre of global trade, commerce, science, and technology – instead of expressing that point categorically which otherwise would smack of racism and racial hatred (towards Asians), they wrap it up with half-baked politically correct jargons (like democracy, human rights, blah blah).

For these type of readers, I have two simple questions:

(a) What did the Greek city-states mean by ‘democracy’? (Clue – slaves who toiled ceaselessly in ancient Greek city-states or Roman Empire were never counted as citizens). It was not certainly meant for all people of their society, so what do the pseudo-socialists and lapdog-intellectuals licensed by the Zionist-Capitalist clique wish to achieve through the so-called democracy?

(b) What did the European aristocrats and oligarchs mean by ‘human rights’? Most of the regions in North America, South America and Australia continents were subjected to genocide by those same sociopath-cum-psychopath European (aristocrat and elite) marauders who, apparently set up world’s ‘finest’ democratic state apparatus like the ‘USA’, ‘Canada’, ‘Australia’, so why shouldn’t they pay respect to the concept of human rights and leave those continents lock stock and barrel one fine morning (better late than never)?

Anyway, by promoting super-states like Russia and China, I’m looking forward to a future reinstatement of Marxist ideas and philosophies among the people of core Eurasia. And, please don’t say that Marxist ideas and organisation could flourish in liberal capitalist democratic countries in Europe and North America (where the entire leftist/socialist political spectrum has been hijacked by the opportunist corrupt labour aristocracy since early 1890s) – those entities can’t be termed as ‘country’ or ‘democracy’, they are simply a bunch of oligarchs thriving in their respective ‘estate’ using lies and deception that can be termed as ‘demon-cracy’!

3) A “utopian arm-chair strategist”: To those readers who would identify me as such, I have a simple counter question – could anybody in 1942 even dream of the boundaries of USSR and PRC that were internationally accepted in 1950? What appears as ‘utopian idea’ may become a reality just 10 years from now – history of core Eurasia time and again proved it! After all, exactly hundred years back the foundation was laid for the first super-state in the history of humankind – USSR.

By and large, there are another two categories of shaming which would be applicable to the readers who consider themselves as ‘nationalist’:

i) A “Russian stooge and Chinese agent”: many readers who hail from countries – Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Moldova etc. – that have been proposed here as phantom-states would like to curse me as a ‘Russian’ agent and/or a ‘Chinese’ agent. This is another stigma that fits in with this narrative. Particularly, many of the readers find any statement that talks in favour of China and Russia, as support to ‘authoritative and despotic foreign regimes’. Let me respond to this – on the face of it, my proposition appears as a simple ancient trick of ‘annexation of more landmasses. But, it isn’t so – I consider the people as the primary subject of ‘patriotism’ and the landmass as the secondary subject. Let me elaborate on this through a historical example. Alexander Nevsky served as the Prince of Novgorod (1236–56 and 1258–1259), Grand Prince of Kiev (1236–52) and Grand Prince of Vladimir (1252–63) during the most difficult times in medieval Rus’ history. He paid a tribute to the Mongol Golden Horde while fighting against ALL European powers approaching from north-west. In my opinion, Nevsky revealed the finest expression of ‘patriotism’ that flowers in the well-being of the people of his kingdoms while paying less importance to geographical expansion of the landmass he dominated! Nevsky was bothered about his society, culture and commerce, hence as soon as he identified that European powers would destroy exactly those aspects he stood as a rock against such invasions.

Let me again acknowledge, while looking back into the medieval and modern history, I find ONLY Chinese and Russian super-states as the institutions that can ensure exchange of ideas, knowledge, goods, and services among different regions and different societies across the world without pontificating.

ii) An enemy to Russia and China: many readers who hail from current RF and PRC, would stand exactly opposite to the readers from say, Kazakhstan or Ukraine! They would come back asking why (his/her) country should give away even an inch of land to the neighbouring country. Ultimate tragedy of human life is that they always seek ‘ownership’ of almost everything under the Sun, we forget that everything – land, water body, forests, mountains, deserts – belong to mother earth. Humankind is nothing but a small part of the nature – we don’t own anything; we need to be grateful to nature for providing ALL means for living our life! If giving away some part of one country to another country proves beneficial for both the communities, why not? True patriots ALWAYS bother about the advancement of economy and culture of the people if required with little adjustments. Every society has a memory and every community has a tradition centred on some regions which they consider as inalienable part of their history – Ukraine and Belarus are such regions for the Russian society, south Korea is such a region for the Koreans, Manchuria and Tibet are such regions for the Chinese, Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan are such regions for the Indians!

I’m certainly not an enemy of any country or any society or any people! On the contrary, (as I laid out in the introduction) I consider myself as a part of the people of core Eurasian landmass. I’m against hypocrisy, insanity, deception, vulgarity and above all, inequality and injustice – history alone proves that ALL these banes witnessed by the humanity since ‘civilization’ dawned, were caused by the 1% aristocracy-elite-oligarchy in EVERY region across the world! The proposed two super-states, in my opinion, will go a long way to provide a stable environment and opportunity for amelioration of the plebeian lives in core Eurasia. It will usher the beginning of a new era!

Short profile:

Straight-Bat is an Engineer by profession, currently pursuing higher study in Economics. A keen observer of global affairs, Straight-Bat enjoys being an analyst of history, politics, economy, and geopolitics.

One of the few decade-old members of The Saker blog-site, Straight-Bat finds this website as a capstone entity that is dedicated to focus on truth and justice in public life across the world.

القوى الأمنية قد تفقد السيطرة والحراك الشعبي سيندلع مجدداً | واشنطن: الانهيار يحرّر لبنان من حزب الله

 الثلاثاء 8 تشرين الثاني 2022

الأخبار  

حذرت مساعدة وزير الخارجية الأميركي لشؤون الشرق الأدنى، باربرا ليف، من أن لبنان مفتوح أمام كل السيناريوهات، بما فيها «تفكك كامل للدولة»، وقالت إن اللبنانيين سيضطرّون على الأرجح إلى تحمّل مزيد من الألم قبل تشكيل حكومة جديدة.

وفي لقاء نظّمه «مركز ويلسون» عن السياسة الأميركية في لبنان، الجمعة الماضي، وأداره السفير الأميركي السابق في لبنان ديفيد هيل، قالت ليف: «أرى سيناريوهات عدة، التفكك هو الأسوأ بينها… قد تفقد قوى الأمن والجيش السيطرة وتكون هناك هجرة جماعية، هناك العديد من السيناريوهات الكارثية. وفي الوقت نفسه أتخيل أن البرلمانيين أنفسهم سيحزمون حقائبهم ويسافرون إلى أوروبا، حيث ممتلكاتهم».

(هيثم الموسوي)

وأشارت إلى أنه «ليس عمل الديبلوماسيين الأجانب الذهاب إلى مجلس النواب والضغط على النواب لانتخاب رئيس. أعتقد أنه يجب أن تسوء الأمور أكثر، قبل أن يصبح هناك ضغط شعبي يشعر به النواب. نحن نضغط على القادة السياسيين ليقوموا بعملهم ولكن لا شيء يؤثر مثل الضغط الشعبي، وعاجلاً أم آجلاً، سيتحرك ذلك من جديد». ولفتت إلى أن «هناك طروحات تقول إن انهيار لبنان سيمكّن بطريقة ما إعادة بنائه من تحت الرماد، متحرّراً من اللعنة التي يمثّلها حزب الله له (…) ولكن شعب لبنان، وجيرانه الأردن وإسرائيل والشعب السوري، سيتحملون العبء الأكبر لانهيار الدولة، لذلك فإن جهودنا مركزة على تفادي هذا السيناريو، والضغط على من يحكمون البلد». واعتبرت أن «حزب الله يشكل تهديداً لنا ولجيران لبنان، وللبنانيين أنفسهم. ونحن مستمرون في فرض عقوبات وحصار شبكاته في المنطقة وغيرها».
ورأت ليف أن «لبنان بحاجة عاجلة لانتخاب رئيس وتسمية رئيس وزراء، ثم تشكيل حكومة كاملة الصلاحيات لتعمل على بعض القرارات المهمة، بينها إصلاحات جوهرية والموافقة على قروض صندوق النقد الدولي والبنك الدولي، الخاصة بتمويل صفقات الطاقة». وعن المقاربة الأميركية للوضع الحالي في لبنان، أوضحت أن «الولايات المتحدة مستعدة للعمل مع الحكومة على تمكين لبنان، ولكن يجب أن تكون هناك حكومة كاملة الصلاحيات لتقوم بمهامها المتعلقة بالإصلاح الاقتصادي».

وأكدت ليف أن بلادها والسعودية لديهما قواسم مشتركة في ما خص الوضع اللبناني. «لقد مرت علاقاتنا بفترة توتر. لكن لدينا قواسم مشتركة استراتيجية، لا سيما في البلدان الأكثر حساسية مثل لبنان واليمن». لذلك، «عملنا بشكل مكثف من أجل الإصلاحات، والفرنسيون كذلك تدخلوا… السعوديون تراجعوا ولكن أعتقد أنهم سيعودون من جديد».
وعن اتفاق ترسيم الحدود البحرية، قالت ليف إن «الاتفاق يحمي أمن إسرائيل ومصالحها الاقتصادية، ويعطي لبنان فسحة لبدء نشاط التنقيب عن موارد الطاقة، ويدعم مصالح الولايات المتحدة والشعب الأميركي وتطلعاتها لشرق أوسط مزدهر ومتكامل، مع احتمالات أقل لاندلاع نزاعات».

انهيار لبنان سيمكّن بطريقة ما من إعادة بنائه من تحت الرماد متحرّراً من حزب الله


وقالت إنه إلى جانب إصلاح القطاع المصرفي والعمل على القروض مع البنك الدولي وصندوق النقد «يجب إصلاح قطاع الكهرباء ولكن هناك مقاومة كبيرة. شحنات النفط الإيرانية التي تسمى إنقاذية، كلها تهرّب ولا تدخل إلى شبكة الطاقة». أضافت أن «هناك اعتقاداً خاطئاً بين معارضي إصلاح قطاعي المصارف والكهرباء، بأننا لسنا بحاجة إلى قرض الثلاثة مليارات دولار، بوجود الغاز الطبيعي. هذا عمل يحتاج سنوات من الاستكشاف والتنقيب ومعرفة ما الإمكانات التجارية… ليست نقوداً في المصرف».

وعما إذا كان اتفاق الترسيم يمهّد لمرحلة جديدة من التطبيع، بما يشمل لبنان؟، قالت: «إنه سؤال جيد لدرجة أني لم أستطع الإجابة عليه لنفسي. هناك شعور بأن هناك تقاطعات ولدت بين لبنان وإسرائيل. لا أدري ما هو السحر الذي أتاح ذلك؟ الأشخاص في الحكومة في لبنان أدركوا الخسارة التي ضيّعوها خلال السنوات الماضية لأنهم لم يصلوا إلى اتفاق مع إسرائيل».

مقالات ذات صلة

Turkey in Yemen: An evolving foreign policy

Throughout the eight years of war in Yemen, Ankara has seen its policies towards the country shift several times due to Turkey’s own changing political and economic situation.

November 07 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Mohammad Salami

Turkey’s foreign policy under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is based on the ideology of “Neo-Ottomanism.” Ankara employs soft power and military intervention to promote three priority axes: the Muslim Brotherhood, Pan-Turkism, and moderate Islamism to serve as a model for Sunni activists in the region and beyond from West Asia and North Africa to Central Asia.

Despite Turkey’s active foreign policy in the region, Yemen has been an exception for Ankara owing to several reasons. These include: geographical distance, lack of active foreign policy in Sanaa before the Saudi-led military intervention, and the country having been Riyadh’s backyard for decades.

Western-oriented approaches of previous Turkish governments -with recent priority given to Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean  – have also played a part in Ankara’s limited activity in Yemen.

Despite this relative inactive foreign policy, Ankara has swiftly passed through three stages in Yemen: it has veered from supporting the Saudi-led coalition, to silence, followed by de-escalation. At present, Turkey’s preference of diplomacy with neighboring countries has opened the door to similar attitudes towards Yemen.

What does Turkey want in Yemen?

As mentioned, Turkey’s current foreign policy has three axes -among them, the promotion of moderate Islam, which in turn is a projection of soft power. Despite a bitter history of the Ottoman Empire in this corner of Arabia, and unlike the main foreign stakeholders in the conflict, the modern Republic of Turkey is a relative newcomer to the complex political arena of contemporary Yemen.

This has encouraged Ankara to try influencing the hearts and minds of Yemenis through this soft power in order to advance its own interests.

As the effective inheritor of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey presents itself as a Muslim power that is far more responsible and ethical than influential Arab states. In early 2019, Turkey’s Deputy Interior Minister Ismail Çatakli visited Yemen’s southern port city of Aden to discuss the humanitarian situation and infrastructural investments.

Around that time, Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoglu stated that “finding a solution to the Yemeni issue will be one of Turkey’s priorities in 2019,” placing particular blame on coalition partners Saudi Arabia and the UAE for the current humanitarian crisis. More recently, in May, Ankara’s chief diplomat accused Abu Dhabi of fuelling the chaos in Yemen.

Through promoting its soft power, Turkey hopes to forge a role as a provider of humanitarian aid so that after the end of the crisis, it can further develop relations with a future government of Yemen and build a bridge for its future policies.

Given the circumstances, where Turkey has less political and economic influence in Yemen than other competitors – namely, Saudi Arabia, Iran, the UAE, and even the US – this may be the best option for Ankara. A prominent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey is also trying to deepen its ideological ties with the Islah Party, widely seen as the Yemeni chapter of the Brotherhood.

Ankara’s strategic interests

From a Realist approach, Ankara’s real interests arguably lie in developing a strong presence in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. In December 2016, Turkey signed an agreement with the northeastern African country Djibouti, to establish a free trade zone of 12 million square meters with a potential economic capacity of $1 trillion.

In September 2017, Turkey established its biggest military base overseas in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia and a key city in the Horn of Africa. The lifting of US sanctions on Sudan in the following month, also caught the attention of the Turkish government. As the first Turkish president to visit Sudan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed $650 million in deals, including $300 million of direct investments.

Turkey considers Yemen as the gateway to Africa and the Red Sea; the Strait of Bab al-Mandab, the Gulf of Aden, and the ports of Yemen in the Red Sea are all strategic areas where Turkey can exert influence in the southern entrance of the Red Sea.

The Bab al-Mandab strait is where the oil of the Persian Gulf Arab sheikhdoms is transported to the Red Sea and from there to the Suez Canal to be sent around the world. Therefore, the presence of Turkey can potentially apply political pressure on these oil producing nations.

In this regard, in early 2020, the Yemeni Minister of Transport, Saleh al-Jabwani, traveled to Ankara to negotiate with his Turkish counterpart to form a joint committee for the development of transportation infrastructure in Yemen, including the modernization of ports and airports.

However, while it illustrates Turkey’s intention to invest in and use Yemeni ports to strategic ends, this decision was rejected by the former exiled-Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Three stages of diplomacy in Yemen

At the beginning of Riyadh’s military intervention in March 2015, President Erdogan announced that Turkey supported the coalition’s objective of toppling the Ansarallah-led government in Sanaa. He also went onto to criticizing Iran’s regional ambitions in both Yemen and Iraq. “The aim of Iran is to increase its influence in Iraq,” he added, “Iran is trying to chase Daesh from the region only to take its place.”

There were several reasons for Turkey backing the coalition. Firstly, Ankara is engaged in a rivalry with Iran through sponsoring opposing sides in Syria and Iraq, and now in Yemen, with most of power lying with the Iran-allied Sanaa government. The Saudi-backed Islah Party are also among Ansarallah’s main opponents on the ground, who as mentioned earlier have drawn closer to pro-Brotherhood Turkey.

Second, Saudi Arabia’s paradoxical shift toward the Brotherhood changed after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud came to power in January 2015. His predecessor, the late-King Abdullah, was in favor of eliminating threats from Muslim Brotherhood movements in Arab countries such as Egypt, but under King Salman, Riyadh focused on improving relations with Doha and Ankara to counter Iran, and was less concerned about the Brotherhood.

This provided Ankara with an additional incentive to support the war against Yemen, because it meant weakening Iran while coordinating with the Saudis on their mutual animosity toward the Islamic Republic’s regional role.

A non-interventionist approach was the second stage of Turkey’s diplomacy toward Yemen. Since 2017, along with the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, Ankara felt that it’s alignment with the coalition would eventually prove costly and therefore decided to pursue a non-interventionist policy in Yemen.

Turkey’s economic downturn in 2018 and its decision to normalize relations with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Iran have also influenced this foreign policy shift.

The “active” approach is the latest stage of Turkish diplomacy toward Yemen. After pursuing its destabilizing policies based on a competitive foreign policy with its neighbors over spheres of influence, Ankara gradually realized that pursuing these policies was eroding its own power.

This was especially so following the growing domestic unrest, driven by economic mismanagement and mistrust of the Turkish government. It was around this time that Erdogan pursued a policy of de-escalation with the UAE, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to adapt to the changing political landscape.

A back-door entry into the Yemen conflict

The warming of ties between Ankara and Riyadh has given rise to the speculation that Turkey intends to join the Arab front against Iran and to covertly become involved in the Yemen war. This limited involvement may come in the form of increased support for the Islah or arms sales, especially advanced Turkish drones, to Saudi Arabia in exchange for Riyadh’s investment in Turkey.

In April 2021, Al-Monitor reported that although there was no accurate information about Turkey’s entry into the Yemeni fray, the so-called Syrian National Army, an armed group backed by Turkey, has been working to send dozens of mercenaries to Yemen with a monthly salary of $2,500. Similarly, the Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria said Turkey’s intelligence agency assigned an opposition commander to recruit fighters to be sent to Yemen.

Additionally, a Turkish armed drone was reportedly downed by Ansarallah-backed forces in the al-Jawf region, further fanning claims about possible Turkish involvement in the conflict. Sanaa’s military spokesman Yahya Saree said the downed drone was a Turkish-built Vestel Karayel aircraft. Saudi Arabia acquired these drones as part of a contract last year with Vestel Defense worth $200 million.

Yemen provides an opportunity for Turkey to further its regional ambitions with potential low-risk and low-cost benefits. The geopolitical and ideological upside of Turkey’s possible presence in Yemen – and Ankara’s recent de-escalation with Saudi Arabia and the UAE – have convinced Turkish officials to take a closer look at this strategic part of the Arabian Peninsula.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Lebanon Allows Hundreds of Syrian Refugees to Return Home

ARABI SOURI

Lebanon finally allowed hundreds of Syrian refugees to return to their home country, Syria after years of abusing their suffering as a pressuring card against the Syrian state.

Hundreds of Syrians returned to their home country coming from neighboring Lebanon through a number of border crossings between the two countries, they were immediately received with the love and care they lacked for long years.

All of the returnees received immediate health checkups at the borders, were given medicine, the children were given the vaccines they missed during their exile, and were provided support to help them on their journeys to their hometowns.

Al Ikhbariya news channel met some of the refugees at border crossings:

The video is also on Rumble, and BitChute,
Syrian refugees retruning from Lebanon عودة النازحين السوريين من لبنان

Transcript

Al-Zamrani border crossing with Lebanon in Damascus countryside

Easing the process of securing and inspecting trucks entering Syrian territory, successively, now, convoys cross and carry many Syrian families with their children entering Syrian territory. As you can see, this convoy is now entering with perhaps about 329 people on board. The first trucks have now arrived at the Al-Zamrani crossing.

The process is going to conduct the inspection process by both the Syrian and Lebanese sides, as well as the insurance process for all cars, in order for both sides to ensure that there are no security breaches that might disturb the process.

This process is going under direct and single supervision between the Syrian and Lebanese sides without any entry or supervision by UN organizations. On the contrary, there were local organizations on both sides following up on the affairs of refugees who return to their homes and villages after about 10 years of displacement in Lebanon.

Dabousiyah border crossing with Lebanon in Homs countryside:

A new batch of displaced people return to Syria via the Dabousiyah border with Lebanon after years of displacement under the pressure of terrorist groups. Homs Governorate has taken all necessary measures to receive them and deliver them to their liberated areas.

– I call on all those present (displaced persons) in Lebanon to return to the homeland, praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds, that peace has prevailed in the homeland and, God willing, it will return as it was before and better than that.

– The procedures are very good, may God give you wellness, the children get vaccinations, and they received us very nicely.

– I returned to my country, no matter how far I went, I returned to my country to serve my country and my country because there is nothing more warm-heartedness than the homeland.

– Frankly, the first thing is that the displacement from the country is very difficult, and now that we are back in Syria, we are very happy.

Jalal Fakhoury, representative of Homs Governorate: All logistical and moral support has been provided, even buses, medical care, and all supplies are currently secured, and full facilities will be provided for their return to their homeland and homes.

Muslim Atassi – Director of Homs Health: The returnees were fully examined and asked about the elderly about chronic heart diseases, diabetes, stress, or other diseases, and for children, the parents were asked about the vaccines they received and what they lacked.

Fadi Issa, Director of the Dabousiyah Border Crossing: In turn, we, Dabousiyah Border Crossing authority provide all requirements and provide facilities, whether in the field of health or civil records and all transactions as simple and easy as possible.

The process of returning the displaced to Syria continues according to the set plan, with all facilities being provided for their return to their areas after years of displacement.

From the Dabousiyah crossing in the western countryside of Homs, Osama Dayoub for the Syrian News.

End of the transcript.

A spokesperson for Damascus Countryside Governorate confirmed that all the returnees have arrived at their homes after the medical examinations and receiving the needed medicine and vaccines for those who needed them.

Many of the Syrians who sought refuge in Lebanon after their towns and villages were invaded by the US-sponsored moderate rebels of head-choppers, suicide bombers, and rapist subhumans, thought they’d be treated with the same hospitality the Lebanese were treated in Syria every time Israel bombed their country in the past, they were wrong.

Not only have the Lebanese authorities under the US and Saudi influence forced the poor of them to live in poor conditions, over-charged the wealthier of them high rentals and fees, and stole in total billions of dollars from the very wealthy Syrians who chose Lebanon as a temporary refuge, the Lebanese authorities were allowing thugs to physically harm the Syrian workers, kill many of them, and worse, prevent them from returning to their home country for political reasons.

Now, that the utterly failed presidency of Michel Aoun was ending (it ended on 30 October), the Lebanese authorities started relaxing their restrictions over the return of Syrian refugees to Syria, Aoun was instrumental behind the US Congress’s so-called Syria Accountability Act of 2003 which led to the series of increased severe economic measures by the US-led western world against the Syrian people.

Radical Lebanese have also torched the camps of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon on several occasions the last of which was yesterday in the town of Arsal in eastern Lebanon.

Syrian refugees camp in Arsal Lebanon on Fire

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Arab Tribes in Lebanon’s Bekaa Expel Saudi Ambassador: He Humiliated Us! (Video)

 November 1, 2022

Social media websites circulated several videos which a quarrel between the Arab tribes in Bekaa and the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon, Walid Al-Bukhari.

In details, Al-Bukhari was on a visit to Al-Faour tribe in Bekaa when he left before entering the tent where the leaders of the tribe gather.

According to the tribal norms, this is considered as a humiliation for the tribesmen and their dignity.

The Arab tribes in Bekaa pleaded the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to sack Al-Bukhari over this incident.

The following video shows one of the tribesmen explaining Al-Bukhari’s fault  and insisting on sustaining the tribe’s dignity.

https://english.almanar.com.lb/ajax/video_check.php?id=108561

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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