‘Don’t give murderers a free pass’: Outrage as Biden refuses to sanction MBS

Activists and lawmakers say Saudi crown prince must face consequences after US intelligence report confirmed he was responsible for Khashoggi murder

US intelligence assessment revealed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman authorised the assassination (AFP/File photo)

By Ali HarbUmar A Farooq in Washington

Published date: 27 February 2021 00:06 UTC |

The virtual ink on a US intelligence report blaming Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi had not dried when the Biden administration ruled out imposing sanctions on the crown prince – a move that rights groups say would be fundamental for ensuring justice for the slain journalist.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Friday that Washington will not take action against the crown prince himself. 

The US State and Treasury departments had announced sanctions against dozens of Saudi individuals over their involvement in the Khashoggi murder and other rights violations without identifying them.

“What we’ve done by the actions that we’ve taken is really not to rupture the relationship but to recalibrate it to be more in line with our interests and our values,” Blinken told reporters.

Earlier on Friday, the State Department unveiled new visa restrictions dubbed the “Khashoggi Ban” that would allow Washington to target “individuals who, acting on behalf of a foreign government, are believed to have been directly engaged in serious, extraterritorial counter-dissident activities”.

For its part, the Treasury said it imposed sanctions on several Saudi officials, including Ahmed al-Asiri, former deputy head of military intelligence at the time of Khashoggi’s assassination, and members of the hit team that carried out the murder, known as the “Tiger Squad” or Rapid Intervention Force.

However, without sanctions against MBS, who the US government now publicly acknowledges was responsible for the killing, some advocates and lawmakers are saying the mastermind of the assassination is getting away with murder.

‘Unconscionable’

Andrea Prasow, deputy Washington director at Human Rights Watch, called failure to impose sanctions on MBS over the killing “unconscionable”.

“The fact that the US has sanctioned so many of MBS’s associates but not him sends a terrible message that the higher up in a government you are, the more likely it is you can commit crimes with impunity,” Prasow told MEE. 

“It also undermines US credibility. It’s hard to see what incentive MBS has to alter his conduct, whether inside Saudi Arabia, in his conduct in the war in Yemen, or in other extraterritorial attacks on dissidents, when he knows he can literally get away with murder.”

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government insider and journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and Middle East Eye, resided in the United States before his death.Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved Khashoggi murder, US report says

Saudi government agents murdered him and dismembered his body at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, while he was trying to retrieve personal paperwork, in October 2018. 

After initially insisting that Khashoggi left the building alive, Saudi officials acknowledged that the journalist was killed more than two weeks after the murder. But Riyadh insists that the assassination was a rogue operation that happened without the approval of top officials.

The murder sent shockwaves throughout Washington, amplifying criticism against the kingdom in Congress, but former President Donald Trump moved to shield Riyadh and particularly the crown prince from the fallout.

The Trump administration had refused a legally binding congressional request to release a report on the US intelligence community’s findings about the involvement of Saudi officials in the murder.

The administration of President Biden, who had called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” as a presidential candidate in 2019, made the report public on Friday, documenting what experts had been saying for years – that the murder, which involved the crown prince’s aides, could not have happened without his blessing.

Saudi Arabia was quick to reject the findings, calling the US assessment “negative, false and unacceptable”.

‘Free pass’

While rights groups hailed the release of the report as a step towards ensuring accountability for the murder, the administration’s failure to impose sanctions on the lead perpetrator left many disappointed.

“The Biden administration is trying to thread the needle. They want to continue to work with a partner that has committed a heinous act against a US resident, while taking some steps toward accountability,” Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), told MEE.

“But if human rights is really going to be at the center of US foreign policy, as the administration has repeatedly stated, then it can’t give murderers a free pass.”

Before taking office, Biden vowed to “reassess” US-Saudi relations. Since his inauguration, he has paused some arms sales to Riyadh and announced an end to Washington’s support for the kingdom’s “offensive operations” in Yemen.

Still, many rights advocates and lawmakers are demanding a more forceful approach to Riyadh and MBS from Washington.

‘We’re calling on the Biden administration to move ahead with accountability measures to sanction MBS personally’

– Raed Jarrar, DAWN

“We’re calling on the Biden administration to move ahead with accountability measures to sanction MBS personally, along with everyone else who is implicated in that killing,” said Raed Jarrar, advocacy director at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN).

Established last year in Washington, DAWN, a rights group, was envisioned by Khashoggi before his murder.

Speaking at a news conference after the release of the report, Jarrar urged ending US weapons sales to the kingdom. “Transparency is meaningless without accountability,” he said.

Philippe Nassif, advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA, said many rights advocates are “disappointed” in Washington’s decision against sanctioning MBS. 

He added that Congress and the Biden administration should halt offensive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, not only over the murder of Khashoggi, but also for the mistreatment of dissidents at home and war crimes in Yemen.

“And this goes for France. And this

Congress members call for sanctions

Leading Congress members from Biden’s own Democratic Party said on Friday that the president should impose sanctions on MBS.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced on Friday that she will be introducing a bill to penalise the crown prince. She called the release of the report a “turning point” in US-Saudi relations.

“To this day, we continue to supply Saudi Arabia with US arms that are used to commit human rights abuses around the world,” the congresswoman said in a statement. 

“To this day, we still cooperate with the Saudi regime on defensive war efforts – including intelligence sharing. These must end. And there must be direct consequences for Mohamed bin Salman and his functionaries.”Will the CIA report cost Mohammed bin Salman his throne?

Congressman Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee who has been pushing for making the report public, hailed releasing the assessment but said the administration should do more to hold MBS accountable.

He decried going after those who carried out the assassination, but not the leader who ordered it.

“The report itself is pretty remarkable in saying in no uncertain terms that the crown prince of Saudi Arabia ordered the capture or killing of an American resident and journalist, that essentially the crown prince has blood on his hands,” Schiff told CNN. 

“I would like to see the administration go beyond what it is announced in terms of repercussions to make sure there are repercussions directly to the crown prince.”

Ron Wyden, a key Senate Democrat, also underscored the need to ensure that MBS is punished for the murder.

“By naming Mohammed bin Salman as the amoral murderer responsible for this heinous crime, the Biden-Harris administration is beginning to finally reassess America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and make clear that oil won’t wash away blood,” he said in a statement.

“There is still far more to do to ensure that the Saudi government follows international laws. There should be personal consequences for MBS – he should suffer sanctions, including financial, travel and legal – and the Saudi government should suffer grave consequences as long as he remains in the government.”

Related

Six Years after Obama-Biden Approved Aggression against Yemen, Why is Yemen Biden’s Priority?لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن؟

**Please scroll down for the Arabic original version published in Al-Mayadeen **

Six Years after Obama-Biden Approved Aggression against Yemen, Why is Yemen Biden’s Priority?

Source

Six Years after Obama-Biden Approved Aggression against Yemen, Why is Yemen Biden's Priority?

Yemen: In a letter signed by members of Joe Biden’s team, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan convey that “the United States owes itself and the victims of the war (in Yemen) to learn something from the disaster.”

The thing that the Biden administration learns from the disaster is the recognition of the US responsibility in the tragedy of Yemen for moral and strategic reasons, in the words of Blinken, who said will return the file of the war on Yemen to the US State Department, and restore the relationship with Saudi Arabia to what it was in Barack Obama period.

Urgently, the Biden administration appointed the US special envoy, Tim Lenderking, along with a political and military team, to accomplish the mission, and it hopes to prepare a road map that will restore respect to the US that bin Salman has slurred it in the Yemeni mud.
In this context, the US State Department began to drive the vehicle, by reversing the classification of Ansarullah as part of the list of terrorism, and activating the decision of Congress and the Senate in 2019, which decided to withdraw from hostilities in Yemen.

Despite condemning the defense of Ansarullah and the Yemeni army in Marib and Al-Jawf, and the attacks of Abha airport and Khamis Mushait, Tim Lenderking is discussing with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan what he called the “Yemeni political solution”, in reference to the cut off the backstage link between bin Salman and Trump.

This trend caused the UN envoy Martin Griffiths for the first time to visit Iran, seeking help in putting pressure on Ansarullah, seeking cheering Biden and waiting for the promised US hopes. However, Tehran guided him to Sana’a, which decided a solution and confronted the aggression, and he heard the Iranian initiative.

On the other hand, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi clarifies that Sana’a does not accept wishes unless the Biden administration goes to stop the siege and aggression and acknowledge practical steps indicating atonement for crimes.

Tehran and Sanaa are indicating that the Biden administration should solve this crisis resulting from the US responsibility in the crime of aggression and the biggest humanitarian disaster in Yemen. This aggression led to a rift in the US Democratic Party between the Bernie Sanders wing, described as progressive on the left, and the traditional wing, as well as other sectors represented by Chris Murphy.

It is the rift that forces Biden to solve the Democratic Party’s crisis in the first place, hoping to overcome the crisis of his split, just as the crisis facing the Republican Party after the fall of Trump, especially since the anti-aggression wing on Yemen expresses structural changes in the US demography, which are indicated by the weight of “foreigners or the black race in American political life. This was the reason why Biden used the presidency for breaking the creep of white racism.

The US’s crisis that Biden hopes to alleviate in the same context, was caused by the Yemeni issue, not only before the Democratic Party, but also before the people of the world, especially the European peoples.

The United States is the one who covered the participation of European governments in crimes with Trump, and as soon as the coverage reduced the rhetoric so far, the European Parliament issues a resolution calling on the European Union to commit to halting the arms supplies for Saudi Arabia and to work for the withdrawal of Saudi Arabia and the UAE from Yemen.

The deeper crisis that exposed America’s racism inside and outside it is the loss of what Biden calls the US values. These values, exemplified by the theses of human rights, individual freedoms, and democracy … are a weapon in the hands of the US administration, to divert attention from the results of its brutality model in the misery of mankind and threatening the life of the planet.

It is a weapon of covering and launching the war to destabilize the fragile stability in some countries hostile to America, in order to open their markets and advance US interests and strategies on the other hand. The US’s responsibility for the Yemen disaster caused this weapon to rust for four years, which led Biden to make the Yemeni issue a priority, hoping to recharge it.

Mohammed bin Salman is the man whom Biden seeks to hang America’s dirt on; The front of the aggression against Yemen and America’s most brutal partner in killing. Biden is using him to relieve this heavy burden, not only because of the Yemen disaster, but also because of the human rights weapon.

In fact, Biden does not only turn the page of Trump, but also turns part of Obama’s page with Saudi Arabia and the partnership of Mohammed bin Salman. In his article in Foreign Affairs with Stephen Bomber, Robert Malley quotes a senior Obama administration official, at a National Security Council meeting in March 2015, as saying about bin Salman’s partnership: “We knew we might be riding in a car with a drunk driver.”

Iran and Sana’a intersect with Biden’s intentions to solve the US crises, if its solution helps in a solution for which Yemen made superhuman sacrifices for its sake and was subjected to various crimes against humanity, then the defeated is unable to impose conditions that he did not obtain in a destructive war, and he does not ask for free assistance to root out its thorns.

Translated from Al-Mayadeen

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لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن

قاسم عزالدين
كاتب لبناني في الميادين نت وباحث في الشؤون الدولية والإقليمية

قاسم عزالدين

المصدر: الميادين نت

13 شباط 18:10

في اختياره اليمن أولوية إدارته، يأمل بايدن تضميد جراح أميركا المتورّطة بالهزيمة فيه، لكنه في هذه الأولوية يضع نصب عينيه التخلّص من محمد بن سلمان.

لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن؟
لماذا اليمن والتخلّص من ابن سلمان أولوية بايدن؟

في رسالة وقّع عليها أعضاء فريق جو بايدن، المرشّح للانتخابات الرئاسية في العام 2018، ينقل وزير الخارجية أنتوني بلينكن ومستشار الأمن القومي جيك سليفان أن “الولايات المتحدة مدينة لنفسها ولضحايا الحرب (في اليمن) بأن تتعلّم شيئاً من الكارثة”.

الشيء الذي تتعلّمه إدارة بايدن من الكارثة هو الإقرار بمسؤولية أميركا في مأساة اليمن “لأسباب أخلاقية واستراتيجية”، بحسب تعبير بلينكن، الذي أخذ على عاتقه إعادة ملف الحرب على اليمن إلى وزارة الخارجية الأميركية، وإعادة العلاقة مع السعودية إلى مرحلة باراك أوباما بطي صفحة ترامب وابن سلمان.

على وجه السرعة، عيّنت إدارة بايدن المبعوث الأميركي الخاص تيم ليذر كينغ، إلى جانب فريق سياسي وعسكري، لإنجاز المهمة، وهي تأمل إعداد خريطة طريق تعيد الاعتبار إلى أميركا التي مرّغ ابن سلمان وجهها في الوحول اليمنية، ما انعكس على الداخل الأميركي، وعلى أميركا في العالم، وفي السعودية نفسها.

في هذا السياق، بدأت وزارة الخارجية الأميركية الانتقال إلى مقود العربة، بالتراجع عن تصنيف “أنصار الله” ضمن لائحة الإرهاب، وتفعيل قرار الكونغرس ومجلس الشيوخ في العام 2019، القاضي “بالانسحاب من الأعمال العدائية في اليمن”.

وعلى الرغم من الإدانة الأميركية لدفاع “أنصار الله” والجيش اليمني في مأرب والجوف، وفي هجومي مطار أبها وخميس مشيط، فإن تيم ليذركينغ يبحث مع وزير الخارجية السعودي فيصل بن فرحان ما سماه “الحل السياسي اليمني”، في إشارة إلى قطع صلة الكواليس بين ابن سلمان وجوقة ترامب.

هذا المنحى أطلق تحرّك “المبعوث الأممي” مارتن غريفيث لأول مرّة إلى إيران، طلباً للمساعدة في الضغط على “أنصار الله”، رجاءً بالتهليل لبايدن وانتظار الآمال الأميركية الموعودة، لكن طهران أرشدته إلى صنعاء التي تقرّر الحل ومواجهة العدوان، وتعيد على مسامعه المبادرة الإيرانية. في المقابل، يوضح القيادي محمد علي الحوثي أن صنعاء لا تأخذ بالأماني ما لم تذهب إدارة بايدن إلى وقف الحصار والعدوان والإقرار بخطوات عملية تدلّ على التكفير عن الجرائم.

طهران وصنعاء ترميان كرة اللهب في ملعب إدارة بايدن لحل أزمات أميركا الناتجة من مسؤوليتها في جريمة العدوان وفي أكبر كارثة إنسانية في اليمن. هذا العدوان أدّى إلى شرخ في الحزب الديمقراطي الأميركي بين جناح بيرني ساندرز الموصوف بالتقدمي اليساري، والجناح التقليدي، فضلاً عن تشقّقات أخرى يمثّلها كريس ميرفي.

هو الشرخ الذي يفرض على بايدن حلّ أزمة الحزب الديمقراطي في المقام الأوّل، أملاً بتجاوز أزمة انشقاقه، كما الأزمة التي يواجهها الحزب الجمهوري بعد سقوط ترامب، ولا سيما أن الجناح المناهض للعدوان على اليمن يعبّر عن متغيرات بنيوية في الديمغرافيا الأميركية، يدلّ عليها ثقل “الأجانب” من غير العرق الأبيض في الحياة السياسية الأميركية، وهو الذي حمل بايدن إلى الرئاسة على ظهر كسر زحف العنصرية البيضاء.

أزمة أميركا الأخرى التي يأمل بايدن تخفيف حدّتها في الإطار نفسه هي المسؤولية عن تمريغ وجهها في الوحول اليمنية، ليس فقط أمام الحزب الديمقراطي والأميركيين “الأجانب” فحسب، بل أمام شعوب العالم أيضاً، وفي مقدمتها الشعوب الأوروبية.

إن الولايات المتحدة هي التي غطّت مشاركة الحكومات الأوروبية في الجرائم بمعيّة ترامب، وما أن تخفّف التغطية بالكلام حتى الآن، يُصدر البرلمان الأوروبي قراراً يدعو فيه الاتحاد الأوروبي إلى الالتزام بوقف إمدادات العدوان بالسلاح، وإلى العمل لانسحاب السعودية والإمارات من اليمن.

الأزمة الأعم الأكثر عمقاً التي كشفت عنصرية أميركا في داخلها وخارجها، هي فقدان ما يسميه بايدن “القيَم الأميركية”، فهذه القيَم المتمثّلة بأطروحات حقوق الإنسان والحريات الفردية والديمقراطية الأميركية… هي سلاح ماضٍ في أيدي الإدارة الأميركية، لإشاحة النظر عن نتائج نموذج التوحّش الأميركي في بؤس البشرية وتهديد حياة الكوكب.

هي سلاح تغطية من جهة، وسلاح حرب لزعزعة الاستقرار الهشّ في بعض الدول المعادية لأميركا، من أجل فتح أسواقها وتعزيز المصالح والاستراتيجيات الأميركية من جهة أخرى. إن مسؤولية أميركا عن كارثة اليمن أصابت هذا السلاح بالصدأ طيلة أربع سنوات، ما أدّى إلى تعويل بايدن على أولوية اليمن، أملاً بإعادة شحذه.

المشجَب الذي يسعى بايدن إلى تعليق أوساخ أميركا عليه هو محمد بن سلمان؛ واجهة العدوان على اليمن وأكثر شركاء أميركا وحشية في القتل العاري، وهو يضع نصب عينيه التخفّف من هذه الورطة الثقيلة الأعباء، ليس بسبب كارثة اليمن فحسب، بل بسبب سلاح حقوق الإنسان أيضاً.

والحقيقة أن بايدن لا يقلب في هذا الأمر صفحة ترامب فحسب، إنما يقلب كذلك جانباً من صفحة أوباما مع السعودية وشراكة محمد بن سلمان. ففي مقالة روبرت مالي في “فورين أفيرز” مع ستيفين بومبر، ينقل عن مسؤول كبير في إدارة أوباما، في اجتماع لمجلس الأمن القومي في آذار/مارس 2015، قوله بشأن شراكة ابن سلمان: “كنا نعلم أننا ربما نستقلّ سيارة مع سائق مخمور”.

قد يكون هذا المسؤول الكبير هو بايدن نفسه الذي لم يسمّه روبرت مالي، بدليل قطع اتصال بايدن مع ابن سلمان وإزالته عن جدول الأعمال، بحسب المتحدثة باسم البيت الأبيض جين ساكي، وبدليل آخر أكثر جدية عبّرت عنه إدارة بايدن في عزمها على ملاحقة ابن سلمان في جريمة قتل خاشقجي، بدءاً بنشر تقرير الاستخبارات الأميركية، وعزمها على ملاحقته بتحريك الدعوى التي قدّمها مستشار محمد بن نايف سعد الجبري أمام محكمة واشنطن ضد ابن سلمان وأعوانه.

أزمات أميركا الحادة التي تدفع بايدن إلى مساعي أولوية اليمن والتخفّف من ابن سلمان هي مشكلة أميركا وإدارة بايدن، فإيران وصنعاء معنيّتان بانسحاب قوى العدوان وفك الحصار والذهاب إلى حوار بين اليمنيين لإزالة آثار العدوان والاتفاق على الحل السياسي.

إيران وصنعاء تتقاطعان مع نيات بايدن لحل أزمات أميركا، إذا كان حلّها مساعداً في حل قدّم اليمن في سبيله التضحيات البطولية الخارقة، وتعرّض من أجله لشتى الجرائم ضد الإنسانية، فالمهزوم يعجز عن فرض شروط لم ينَلها بحرب تدميرية، ولا يطلب المساعدة المجّانية لقلع شوكه.

فيديوات ذات صلة

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The start of the return to nuclear deal train انطلاق قطار العودة للاتفاق النوويّ

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

The start of the return to nuclear deal train

Nasser Kandil

– The speed with which the administration of US President Joe Biden deals with the Iranian nuclear file does not apply to what is being fancied and promoted by those who linked their fate in the region with the illusion of American supremacy and Iran’s weakness, who said that months will pass before Washington considers the Iranian nuclear file, within a week of Biden’s inauguration, he appointing Robert Maley, known for his positions calling for returning to the agreement without delay, as special envoy on Iran, for returning to the agreement without delay and discussing issues of disagreement under the umbrella of the agreement, to the point of the choice that the President adheres to.

– A month before Biden entered the White House, two files were moving in parallel, the file of the restoration of US-European relations being the entrance to the understanding on the road-map to return to the nuclear understanding with Iran, which was translated by a meeting, the first of its kind in five years, that includes the US Secretary of State and foreign ministers. France, Germany and Britain, during which Washington announced its readiness to attend a meeting within the framework of the 5 + 1 formula, with the presence and participation of Iran. US President Joe Biden expressed to the Munich Security Conference his readiness to engage in a formula that would open the way for a return to the nuclear agreement with Iran, with reference to the files of the dispute with Iran, and the intention to solve it by negotiating and annexing it to the agreement, which of course is rejected by Iran. In parallel, the second file, which is the U.S. pressure on Saudi Arabia from the gate of stopping arms deals under the slogan of stopping the war on Yemen, and declassifying Ansar Allah from the lists of terrorism, to release the investigations related to the killing of journalist Jamal Al-Khashoggi and the role revealed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

– Washington began the preparations for the return to the agreement, with President Biden’s contact with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and putting him in the form of the American decision, as reported by Reuters, and Washington took decisions in the size of legitimising the return to the agreement and withdrawing the US legal cover for any sanctions that were imposed on the third parties after the American withdrawal from the agreement in the era of former President Donald Trump, by withdrawing the request submitted by the Trump administration to the UN Security Council to re-impose the UN sanctions on Iran that were lifted in accordance with the UN resolution that approved the agreement, and the withdrawal book that recognises the illegality of the previous US request, and in parallel it cancelled Washington restrictions that the Trump administration had imposed on Iranian diplomats in New York.

– Iran welcomed Washington’s steps, but it was not satisfied that it did not solve the issue of sanctions, which depends on Iran’s retreat from the measures it has taken to reduce its obligations stipulated in the agreement, and the most important measures that it will take within days unless Washington offers convincing measures for Iran to back down from the sanctions. In the days leading up to February 23, there are signs that Tehran is asking Europe to take steps that translate its commitment to the Iran agreement, and Washington’s withdrawal of an earlier request to return to UN sanctions on Iran and prove the illegality of the request, putting at the forefront the hypothesis that Europe will activate a mechanism Financial trading with Iran called  Anstex, which Europe was unable to operate in the time of the Trump administration and can now be activated and proven to be useful, with billions of dollars belonging to Iran held in European banks, and Iranian deals with European companies frozen pending payment mechanism.

– President Biden has repeated more than once the phrase, that America has returned, boasting that this is an expression of America’s diplomatic strength, meaning that America has returned to its glory days and its ability to determine the paths of the world, and which is being said that America has only returned to the nuclear agreement, and that the way back is not according to the whims and desires of its president, who discovers every day the limitations of his options and the difficulty of acting as dictated by the balance of power that is no longer in favour of his country in the world, in parallel with preserving face, claiming supremacy, the ability to draw paths, and demonstrating retreat in the form of dictation. Time has changed, the equations have changed, the options are limited, and the state of denial will not help, and swallowing the bitter cup one time, is less bitter.

انطلاق قطار العودة للاتفاق النوويّ

ناصر قنديل

لا تنطبق السرعة التي تتعامل من خلالها إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن مع الملف النووي الإيراني مع ما يتوهّمه ويروّج له الذين ربطوا مصيرهم في المنطقة بوهم التفوّق الأميركي وضعف إيران، والذين قالوا إن شهوراً ستمرّ قبل أن تنظر واشنطن في الملف النووي الإيراني، فبدأ تعيين روبرت مالي مبعوثاً خاصاً حول إيران، خلال أسبوع من تسلّم الرئيس بايدن، وأشارت شخصية هذا المبعوث المعروفة بمواقفها الداعية للعودة إلى الاتفاق من دون إبطاء ومناقشة قضايا الخلاف تحت مظلة الاتفاق، إلى وجهة الخيار الذي يلتزمه الرئيس الأميركي.

قبل أن ينقضي شهر على دخول بايدن الى البيت الأبيض، كان ملفان يتحرّكان بالتوازي، ملف ترميم العلاقات الأميركية الأوروبية من مدخل التفاهم حول خريطة طريق العودة الى التفاهم النووي مع إيران، الذي ترجمه اجتماع هو الأول من نوعه منذ خمس سنوات يضمّ وزير خارجية أميركا ووزراء خارجية فرنسا وألمانيا وبريطانيا، أعلنت خلاله واشنطن استعدادها لحضور اجتماع ضمن إطار صيغة الـ 5+1، بحضور ومشاركة إيران، وتوجه موقف الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن أمام مؤتمر ميونيخ للأمن بالاستعداد للانخراط في صيغة تفتح الطريق للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، تحت سقف دائم للإشارة لملفات الخلاف مع إيران، ونيّة حلها بالتفاوض وضمها للاتفاق، وهو طبعاً ما ترفضه إيران. وبالتوازي كان يتحرك الملف الثاني وهو الضغط الأميركي على السعودية من بوابة وقف صفقات السلاح تحت شعار وقف الحرب على اليمن، وإلغاء تصنيف أنصار الله عن لوائح الإرهاب، وصولاً للإفراج عن التحقيقات الخاصة بقتل الصحافي جمال الخاشقجي وما تكشفه من دور لولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان.

بدأت واشنطن إجراءات التمهيد للعودة إلى الاتفاق، باتصال أجراه الرئيس بايدن برئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو ووضعه في صورة القرار الأميركي كما أوردت وكالة رويتر، واتخذت واشنطن قرارات بحجم شرعنة العودة للاتفاق وسحب الغطاء الشرعي أميركياً عن أية عقوبات نجمت على الأطراف الثالثين بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من الاتفاق في عهد الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، وذلك من خلال سحب الطلب الذي قدّمته إدارة ترامب إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي لإعادة فرض العقوبات الأمميّة على إيران التي رفعت بموجب القرار الأمميّ الذي صادق على الاتفاق، وما في كتاب السحب من اعتراف بعدم شرعية الطلب الأميركي السابق، وبالتوازي ألغت واشنطن تقييدات كانت إدارة ترامب قد فرضتها على الدبلوماسيين الإيرانيين في نيويورك.

إيران رحبت بخطوات واشنطن، لكنها لم تكتف بها باعتبارها لا تحل قضية العقوبات التي يتوقف على رفعها تراجع إيران عن الإجراءات التي اتخذتها بتخفيض التزاماتها التي نص عليها الاتفاق، والأهم الإجراءات التي ستتخذها خلال أيام ما لم تُقدم واشنطن على إجراءات مقنعة لإيران بالتراجع عن العقوبات. وفي الأيام الفاصلة عن موعد 23 شباط ستشهد خطوات، برزت مؤشرات على وجهتها بمطالبة طهران لأوروبا باتخاذ خطوات تترجم التزامها بالاتفاق مع إيران، وبسحب واشنطن لطلب سابق بالعودة للعقوبات الأممية على إيران وإثبات عدم شرعية الطلب، ما يضع في الواجهة فرضية إقدام أوروبا على تفعيل آلية المتاجرة المالية مع إيران المسمّاة أنستكس، والتي عجزت أوروبا عن العمل بها في زمن إدارة ترامب وبات بإمكانها تفعيلها وإثبات جدواها، مع مليارات الدولارات العائدة لإيران والمحجوزة في المصارف الأوروبية، والصفقات الإيرانية مع شركات أوروبية والمجمّدة بانتظار آلية التسديد.

كرر الرئيس بايدن في أكثر من مرة عبارة، إن أميركا عادت، متباهياً بأن ذلك تعبير عن القوة الدبلوماسيّة لأميركا، قاصداً أن أميركا عادت الى أيام عزها وقدرتها على تقرير مسارات العالم، والذي يجري يقول إن أميركا عادت فقط إلى الاتفاق النووي، وإن طريق العودة ليس على هواها ومقاس رئيسها، الذي يكتشف كل يوم محدودية خياراته وصعوبة التصرّف بما تمليه موازين القوة التي لم تعد لصالح دولته في العالم، بالتوازي مع حفظ ماء الوجه وادعاء التفوق والقدرة على رسم المسارات، وتظهير التراجع بصورة الإملاء من فوق. فالزمن تغير والمعادلات تغيّرت، والخيارات محدودة، وحال الإنكار لن تنفع، فتجرّع الكأس المرة دفعة واحدة أقل مرارة.

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Biden Seeks to Sideline Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Biden Seeks to Sideline Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner- The Guardian

The Biden administration has said it expects Saudi Arabia to “change its approach” to the US and signaled that it wants to minimize any direct contact between the president and the country’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The stance marks an abrupt change compared with the Trump administration, which showered the young heir with attention and praise. It comes as intelligence officials are preparing to release – possibly as early as next week – a declassified report to Congress that will describe its assessment of the crown prince’s alleged culpability in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the US-based Washington Post journalist who was killed by Saudi officials in 2018.

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, this week said Joe Biden intended to “recalibrate” the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, and considered King Salman – not Prince Mohammed – to be his counterpart. While the designation might technically be true, the 35-year-old prince is widely seen as running Saudi Arabia and has direct relations with other foreign leaders.

In Washington, the question now is whether the latest remark merely represented a symbolic snub, or whether it was more significant, and suggested the US was trying to exert pressure on the king to change the line of succession and demote Prince Mohammed.

In response to a question about whether the administration was seeking to press for such a change, a state department spokesperson said Saudi Arabia was a key partner on “many priorities” but that the partnership needed to “reflect and be respectful of the values and interests the US brings to that partnership”.

“The American people expect that US policy towards its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia prioritizes the rule of law and respect for human rights. Accordingly, the United States will cooperate with Saudi Arabia where our priorities align and will not shy away from defending US interests and values where they do not,” the spokesperson said.

The person added: “President Biden has also said he would want to hear how Saudi Arabia intends to change its approach to work with the new US administration, and we look forward to those discussions to shape the future of our relationship.”

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Biden was sending a clear message to the Saudi royal family that as long as “MBS” – as the crown prince is known – was in the line of succession, Saudi Arabia would be treated “as a pariah”.

“I don’t know what the administration is thinking but the best outcome would be [for Saudi Arabia] to remove him. He can retire to his chateaeu in France,” Riedel said.

Other analysts said it was more likely the administration was seeking to demote and de-emphasize the relationship, even as it has made clear that it has a partnership with the kingdom. Biden used his first foreign policy speech to announce that the US would end support of the Saudi-led offensive campaign in Yemen, and was ending sales of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in the conflict. At the same time, the secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said it “remains committed to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s defenses”.

Michele Dunne, the director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East program, said it appeared that the Biden administration was seeking to send several signals at the same time: that it wants to end US complicity in the Yemen war; wants to pursue an agreement with Iran; and believes there is a legitimate need for Saudi to defend its borders.

“There may also be a new signal now that the new administration is not invested in MBS. Whether that means they are hoping to use US influence to suggest a change in succession, I don’t know. They may be seeking to distance themselves a bit,” Dunne said.

She added that the Biden administration’s concerns probably went far beyond the US intelligence assessment that Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

“The whole world has a problem on its hands when it comes to MBS ascending to the throne because we have all seen how reckless and brutal he is,” Dunne said.

Biden’s approach appears to be roiling Prince Mohammed’s inner circle.

In a comment to Politico, the Saudi businessman Ali Shihabi, who is close to the royal family, pointed out that King Salman was “functioning but very old”.

“He’s very much chairman of the board. He’s not involved in day-to-day issues. Eventually, they’re going to want to be talking directly to MBS,” he said.

Seth Binder, who works in advocacy at Pomed (Project on Middle East Democracy) said he did not believe Prince Mohammed was being particularly singled out by Biden, who had so far decided not to contact many of the region’s leaders. Biden spoke to “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday.

“Ultimately the distinction they are trying to make is that MBS is one individual and not the whole country, which is contrary to the image MBS himself tries to portray. The idea that [Prince Mohammed] is a reformer who is bringing Saudi Arabia into a new age, it just isn’t true,” Binder said. “While the US might work with autocratic countries, it needs to distinguish between the rulers and the country itself. So its engagement with Saudi Arabia going forward should continue to do this.”

Joe Biden Adopts a Trump Approach to Iran

Lawrence Davidson is professor of history emeritus at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

An Analysis () by Lawrence Davidson

9 February 2021

Part I—Joe Biden, the Good Stuff

All right! Let’s hear it for Joe Biden! Our new president is leading us in the direction of domestic sanity, and there are even hints of progressive potential in his evolving agenda. Under his leadership, we might soon master the Covid-19 plague and dig ourselves out of our near-depression economic straits. This is terrific!

Some good news when it comes to foreign policy as well. You’ll remember that in Trump’s determination to “make “American great again” (MAGA), the former president decided that international organizations and cooperation were impediments to national greatness. Thus, he systematically withdrew from a number of alignments and also scorned international law. This approach appears to have been part of a MAGA scheme to subvert international order. Its nihilistic undertones were highlighted by the creepy leaders who seemed to warm Trump’s heart. He found men such as the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, along with a long list of dictators ranging from Rodrigo Duterte in Philippines to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inEgypt, to be really congenial. There was also Trump’s warm admiration for the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. 

President Biden has saved us from this sort of delinquency. He is now operating under new and saner marching orders: “diplomacy is back” and multilateralism is in. The U.S. has recommitted to the international effort to slow down global warming and has rejoined the World Health Organization. Biden has ended all participation in the immoral Yemen civil war and, so it is reported, told the Russians to keep their invasive cyber-fingers to themselves. 

At this point you might have the urge to celebrate what appears to be a full 180-degree turn from Donald Trump’s demented worldview. But hold on, that is not quite the case. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, it appears that a residual lawlessness can be found in at least one the Biden’s foreign policies. We can recognize it in the game he is playing with Iran. 

Part II—Scuttling the JCPOA

Recall that in 2015 then-President Obama invested a lot of political capital, not to mention putting forth a remarkable display of good sense, in helping to negotiate a multilateral agreement with Iran. This is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and it was multilateral because it included not just the U.S. and Iran but also the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China as well as Germany (collectively referred to as the P5+1). Basically, the agreement stated that, under a regime of international monitoring, Iran would forgo any development of nuclear weapons and convert its nuclear facilities to peacetime pursuits. In exchange, the P5+1 would lift all nuclear-related economic sanctions, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and the release of frozen assets. It was a rare display of effective diplomacy and it worked—until Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, unilaterally scuttled the deal. 

Trump withdrew from the agreement in early May 2018. By January 2020 he had increased the number of Iran-related sanctions to over one thousand. In 2019, Trump was suggesting that if Iran wanted to enter into new negotiations with the U.S., he would consider lifting some of the sanctions. Iran refused to begin the negotiating process over again with Trump. On 15 January 2021, five days before leaving office, Trump added new sanctions. Why did he display such maliciousness? Besides a bizarre hatred for anything Obama had achieved, and the disdain for international cooperation which supposedly stood in the way of his MAGA fantasies, there are other factors. Trump is a truly amoral schemer (we might think of him as a modern-day lawless Borgia). And so he almost naturally fell in with amoral regimes with active domestic lobbies in the U.S. (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), as well as a “pay to play” approach for the votes and donations of Americans who have a grudge against or fear of Iran. Here we can name not only the Zionists, but also the wealthy Iranians who took refuge in the U.S. after Iran’s 1979 revolution. Many of these are Iranian monarchists who want to see regime change in Iran through the return of a shah (king).

Under the circumstances, the Iranian government reaction has been understandable: they see themselves as the aggrieved party. They had negotiated the JCPOA in good faith. They had met the conditions of the agreement to the satisfaction of international monitors. The other side had failed to respond as promised. Not only had the U.S. broke the agreement without cause, but it had then blackmailed its European allies into breaking their commitments under the agreement. This was done by the Trump administration declaring that any party that broke Washington’s sanctions against Iran would themselves be sanctioned.

After a year or so, Iran, noting that it was the only party paying attention to the deal and that the sanctions still applied, began to slowly back away from the nuclear agreement’s provisions. However, it was not until January 2020 that the Iranians announced they would no longer limit their number of centrifuges and thus their capacity to enrich uranium. Even then it was not the obscene number of American sanctions or the gross failure of the Europeans to abide by their promises that finally “broke the camel’s back.” It was Trump’s ordering of the murder of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on 3 January 2020—essentially an act of war, and certainly one in violation of international law.

Part III—Joe Biden, the Bad Stuff

Now Trump is gone and we have Joe Biden, who, by the way, has not done the right thing and affirmed that his administration would rejoin the Iran nuclear deal. Instead he declared that “I will offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations” (my emphasis). Later he said that the subsequent negotiations would involve the Islamic Republic’s “violations of human rights and Iran’s role in the regional conflicts.” On its face, this is not an invitation to return to a stabilizing status quo ante, or even a supposed “credible path back to diplomacy.” It is a take-it-or-leave-it demand. This position is remarkably similar to that of Trump posturing for new negotiations back in 2019. And since, as of 7 February 2021, Biden has refused to lift sanctions on Iran—has refused to cease driving that country into poverty—these are no longer Trump’s sanctions. Biden now owns this horror show. Here are some of Biden’s fatal steps.

It was about nine days into the new administration that Biden’s officials began to reference foreign policy and Iran. First appeared Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, who told the U.S. Institute of Peace that “a critical early priority has to be to deal with what is an escalating nuclear crisis as they [Iran] move closer and closer to having enough fissile material for a weapon.” One wonders if Sullivan got his start in advertising, because his description is a purposeful mischaracterization of the situation. The descriptor “escalating nuclear crisis” is a woeful exaggeration. If there is any “crisis” at all, it is because Washington has failed to meet its commitments under the 2015 agreement. The Iranians have repeatedly made it clear that they have no interest in nuclear weapons. And, one can imagine the only thing that could change their mind is an existential outside threat. To date, the only ones that pose such threats are allies of the U.S.: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Then stepped up Tony Blinken, Biden’s new secretary of state, to continue the new administration’s maneuvers. To wit, Blinken stated “Tehran must resume complying with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal before Washington would do so.” This sort of statement is a rather childish, you-go-first challenge. Blinken then explained that if Iran returns to the deal, Washington would seek to build what Blinken called a “longer and stronger agreement” that would deal with other “deeply problematic” issues. He did not name these, but Biden for his part has drawn attention to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxy forces in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

It took the Iranians no time at all to recognize this gambit for what it is, an effort to enlarge restrictions on Iranian military capacity beyond the scope of the original 2015 agreement. Almost immediately, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, responded that the U.S. position was not practical and will not happen and then added in an op-ed in Foreign Affairs,“once a party leaves an agreement, then that party has no authority demanding others’ compliance to that agreement.”

The Iranians did come back with a more doable proposal to deal with the “who goes first” dilemma. Teheran proposed a timed, mutual U.S. and Iranian return to the original agreement. In an interview with CNN, the Iranian foreign minister said “both countries should synchronize their JCPOA-related moves under the supervision of the European Union”—in other words, achieve the goal with a step-by-step coordinated process. The Biden administration said no to Zarif’s offer, and sane minds, noting the rejection, could hear eerie Trump-like snickering in the surrounding ether. 

Part IV—Conclusion

We have already asked why Trump decided to act in such a malicious manner toward Iran. Now we can ask why Joe Biden has decided to mimic his predecessor and continue a callous, hard-line approach to that same country. As it turns out, the answer is not all that different. Biden is subject to the same lobby pressure from groups to which he has a demonstrated sympathy. Among these are some of the well known suspects mentioned above, but first and foremost are Israel and its Zionist supporters (a rundown of these can be found in a full-page ad in the 5 February 2021 New York Times). 

We can also add one other grouping to this list—various civil rights organizations who would use the moment to pressure Teheran to increase the level of civil liberties allowed in the country. However, as Behrooz Ghamari Tabriz, writing in  Counterpunch notes, “It is a hard sell for those who are genuinely concerned with the question of human rights to ask the American government to be the agent of that change. So long as our government supports the region’s most oppressive regimes, it is hard to imagine that it has any moral authority or political capital to spend on issues of human rights in Iran.”

It is hard to know what exactly is going on inside Joe Biden’s head on this issue. We can assume that it is nothing really analytical. His administration’s actions have, so far, run counter to the other precedents he is laying down in the areas of international cooperation and leadership. They also go against logic. One can imagine no better way to move the Iranians toward nuclear weapons capability than the policies now being pursued. Until Biden acts, in terms of Iran, in the interests of achievable nuclear restraint and stability, that is in the real interests of the country he leads, rather than this or that interest group, he will carry around the residual chains of Donald Trump’s miserable legacy. 

تنمّر بن زايد على بن سلمان: قضيّة خاشقجي نموذجاً!

الأخبار

Image result for ابراهيم الأمين

ابراهيم الأمين 

الخميس 4 شباط 2021

يحرص الجانبان الإماراتي والسعودي على إخفاء التباينات بينهما حول أمور كثيرة. لكن الأمر لا يكون على هذا النحو لدى الجهات المتابعة، سواء في محيط قادة البلدين، أو لدى الدبلوماسية العربية والغربية النشطة في العاصمتين. والبارز في أن وثائق سرية تثبت ما ينقله دبلوماسيون عملوا في الجزيرة العربية عن أن في أبو ظبي من يشكو ضيق هامش المناورة بسبب طبيعة وليّ العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان. لكن هؤلاء الدبلوماسيين قلّما تحدّثوا عن الجانب الأكثر تعقيداً في العلاقة، وهو المتصل بسعي الإمارات الدائم للقيام بدور “الوصي الرقيب” على سلوك الإدارة السعودية الجديدة. ولذلك، تهتم قيادة الإمارات بأن يعمل دبلوماسيوها في الرياض، وبعض الباحثين المتعاقدين مع وزارة الخارجية وأجهزة الأمن، على إعداد تقارير تخص الوضع السعودي.

دبلوماسي فرنسي عمل في أبو ظبي، قال لزميله اللبناني إن مشكلة أبو ظبي مع الرياض مثل مشكلة لبنان مع سوريا قبل عام 2005. حينذاك، لم يكن بمقدور القيادة اللبنانية القيام بأي خطوة ذات بعد استراتيجي من دون الحصول على موافقة دمشق. وها هي الإمارات تنتظر موافقة الرياض على أي مبادرة. ومتى تصرفت من تلقاء نفسها ارتفع الصوت في قصر اليمامة… لكن في الإمارات يتجنّبون رفع الصوت. وأكثر المتضررين هو محمد بن راشد، الذي يشعر بضيق الأمور على دبي، فهو من جهة يبدو مكبل اليدين، ويرى بأن بن سلمان يريد منافسة إمارته على وجه التحديد، وأن محمد بن زايد لا يفعل له شيئاً.

واضح أن قيادة الإمارات كانت تأمل بعلاقة مختلفة مع الرياض بعد تولّي محمد بن سلمان أمور البلاد، تصرف محمد بن زايد على أن ولي العهد السعودي سيكون شريكاً كبيراً في مشروع توسيع نفوذ دول الخليج في المنطقة والعالم. وتعامل معه على أساس أنهما يمثّلان العقل الجديد للجزيرة العربية. تحالفهما يتجاوز الإضرار بخصمهما الأول تميم بن حمد في قطر، بل يشمل تركيا أيضاً. ولذلك وضع بن زايد ثقله في تطوير العلاقة الشخصية مع بن سلمان، الى أن حصل فجأة ما غيّر الأمور.

يقول الدبلوماسي الغربي: فجأة، تغيرت الأحوال. صار بن سلمان يتصرف بطريقة مختلفة. وما إن أنجز عملية استيلائه على كامل السلطات في بلاده، ونجح في إطاحة خصومه من العائلة وخارجها، حتى صار يتصرف مع بن زايد بطريقة مختلفة.

ولفت الدبلوماسي نفسه الى أن الرياض استاءت من أداء الجانبين الإماراتي والمصري في قضية قتل جمال خاشقجي لأنها كانت تتوقع أن يقفا الى جانبها بقوة. وهو أمر تظهره وثائق سرية حصلت عليها «الأخبار». واللافت أن سلوك الدبلوماسية الإماراتية تجاوز موقع المتابع، ليركّز على تفاصيل تظهر الرغبة الدفينة بتغييرات داخل المملكة من شأنها إضعاف محمد بن سلمان وعودته الى “بيت الطاعة” كما كان عليه الأمر يوم تولّيه المسؤولية. وما تظهره الوثائق، يكشف حجم التوغل الإماراتي داخل الأوساط الحاكمة في السعودية، وقدرة فريقها على استخلاص المعلومات، ما يشير الى القدرة على بناء شبكة علاقات قوية، أو رغبة المعارضين لبن سلمان في إيصال صوتهم الى خارج أسوار الرياض، ولو عن طريق أبو ظبي. بل يظهر بوضوح “حالة التشفي” التي توازي فعل “التنمّر” من جانب فريق بن زايد على فريق بن سلمان.
في هذه الحلقة، تنشر “الأخبار” بعض الوثائق الصادرة عن جهات إماراتية رفيعة المستوى، تعرض لجوانب من هذه الأزمة، وكيفية قراءتها لانعكاسات ما يجري على وليّ العهد السعودي وحكمه داخل المملكة وعلى صورته وموقعه ودوره خارج السعودية.

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«سنوكر» سعوديّ أميركيّ فرنسيّ في طرابلس؟

ناصر قنديل

لم يبق أحد معنياً بأحداث طرابلس إلا وتحدّث عن ثنائية، وضع اجتماعيّ يقارب الانفجار، واستغلال سياسيّ ومخابراتيّ بالدفع بأموال لجماعات تصدّرت عمليّات الفلتان وتعميم الفوضى وصولاً لإحراق المؤسسات. وجاءت المواقف الغاضبة للقيادات التي تملك شارعاً وازناً في طرابلس إلى حد تحميلها الجيش مسؤولية التهاون كحال الرئيس سعد الحريري، أو تلويح بعضها بالأمن الذاتي كحال الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي، لتقول إن هذه القيادات ليست لديها استثمار يبرّر اتهامها بالوقوف وراء الأحداث، بل لتقول إن هذه القيادات تشعر بالاستهداف بنسبة قلقها من الجهة المحلية المعتمَدة ونسبة شعورها باستهدافها من الجهة الخارجيّة المشغّلة والمموّلة.

تنحصر الخيارات بين المحور الخليجيّ بقيادة السعوديّة، والمحور التركيّ القطريّ، من حيث الإمكانيّة العمليّة على التحرك في طرابلس والشمال، والمصلحة بالاستخدام، وبالتدقيق بالحسابات والمصالح تبدو تركيا غير معنية برسائل عبر لبنان أو سواه بينما هي في مرحلة الترقب لتبلور السياسة الأميركية الجديدة في التعامل معها، وتنحو للتهدئة كي لا تؤثر سلباً على فرضية تبلور سياسات إيجابية، كما تبدو على علاقة طيّبة بالرئيس الحريري، خصوصاً في زمن علاقته السيئة بولي العهد السعودي، بينما تبدو السعودية في حال اضطراب وارتباك وتوتر، وشعور بالضيق، مع صوت أميركي مرتفع باتجاه العودة للاتفاق النووي مع إيران، وتجاوز الصراخ السعوديّ عن شرط الشراكة في التفاوض، وقد قدّمت ظاهرة صعود مفاجئ لعمليات داعش على جبهتي العراق وسورية، ووجود انتحاريين سعوديين في عمليات بغداد، إشارات واضحة لوجود سعي سعوديّ للضغط على إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن لتأجيل انسحابه من العراق وسورية، باعتباره نصراً لمحور تحتل إيران فيه موقعاً حاسماً، لا تريد السعودية أن يحدث إلا ضمن سلة تكون لها منها نصيب، والرهان السعودي أن الانسحاب يتعقّد كلما بدا أن القضاء على داعش لم يتحقق.

في السيناريو القائم على الفرضية السعودية، إشارتان، الأولى أن الجهة التي يتم التأشير إليها في الأحداث التي شهدتها طرابلس يتصدّرها شقيق الرئيس سعد الحريري، بهاء الذي جرى تقديمه كبديل لشقيقه خلال احتجازه في فندق الريتز، والذي يبدو واضحاً أنه يحظى بدعم ولي العهد السعودي من خلال الهواء الذي منح لمشروعه الإعلاميّ عبر قناة تلفزيونية وازنة تربطها علاقة متميّزة بولي العهد السعودي على أكثر من صعيد، وجاءت بعض التصريحات التي تشيد ببهاء من شخصيات مثل النائب السابق مصباح الأحدث، أو تتحدّث عنه كمشروع تحالف كما قال الوزير السابق أشرف ريفي، لتمنح هذه الفرضية أسباباً أكبر خصوصاً أن دور المنتدى المموّل من بهاء الحريري في ما سُمّي بطرابلس عروس الثورة كان علنياً ومعلوماً من الجميع.

في التوقيت هناك تطوّران قيد التفاوض تزامناً مع الهبّة الطرابلسية، الأول السعي الفرنسي للحصول على تفويض أميركيّ لإحياء الرعاية الفرنسية للبنان، والثاني التمهيد الأميركي لتكليف الخبير روبرت مالي بمهمة مبعوث خاص للملف الإيراني، كتعبير عن نيات أميركيّة جدية بالعودة للاتفاق وسعياً لترميم الثقة مع القيادة الإيرانيّة، وبالتوازي كانت حملة سعوديّة واسعة النطاق استنطقت بعض اللبنانيين احتجاجاً على تعيين مالي، فجاءت أحداث طرابلس لتربط مصير لبنان بما بدأ في سورية والعراق، وتقول إن تطبيق السياسات التي ستُرسم في الإقليم لن تمرّ من دون الرضى السعوديّ، ومدخل هذا الرضا التزام بعدم بتّ التفاهم مع إيران من دون شراكة سعودية، ولبنان في ظل الحضور القويّ لحزب الله ساحة مناسبة لإنعاش السياسات التي رسمتها السعودية مع الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، بربط أي تعافٍ للبنان بإضعاف حزب الله.

ما حدث أمس كان لافتاً، فقد خرج الرئيس الفرنسي امانويل ماكرون ليتحدّث عبر قناة محمد بن سلمان ليقول إنه متمسك بحق الشراكة السعودية في التفاوض مع إيران، بينما أعلن البيت الأبيض تجميد صفقات السلاح السعوديّة والإماراتيّة حتى وقف حرب اليمن، وتم إصدار قرار تسمية مالي مبعوثاً خاصاً في الملف الإيراني، فهل كانت طرابلس طاولة لعبة سنوكر سعوديّة فرنسيّة أميركيّة، حققت أهدافها على المسار الفرنسيّ وأدخلت الطابة المستهدفة، بينما كان الحصاد الأميركي سلبياً، وربما أدخلت الطابة الخطأ، إن لم تكن الطابة الممنوعة؟

الحملة على الجيش في طرابلس ظالمة

ما شهدته طرابلس خلال الليالي الماضية كان مؤلماً وموجعاً، سواء لما تعانيه طرابلس من نموذج فاضح لتخلّي الدولة عن مسؤولياتها الإقتصادية والمالية والاجتماعية خلال عقود، رغم كثرة الوعود، أو لمشاهد حرق المؤسسات وتخريب منشآت المدينة، خصوصاً لمؤشر الخطورة بجعل الفوضى نتاجاً وحيداً لتزاوج أزمتي تفشي كورونا والأزمة السياسية الاقتصادية المفتوحة.

تجاهل سياسيّو طرابلس خلال هذه السنوات مسؤولياتهم كرؤساء حكومات من المدينة أو من خارجها يتزعّمون تيارات سياسية تملك أغلبية التمثيل النيابي للمدينة خلال عقود، سواء بصفتهم قادة حكم أو بصفتهم متموّلين كباراً أحجموا عن بناء مشاريع اقتصادية منتجة في هذه المنطقة الشديدة الحرمان رغم وعودهم الكثيرة.

خلال مرحلة ما بعد 17 تشرين عام 2019 كانت كل مداخلات السياسيين المعارضين للمقاومة تقوم على محاولة استغلال الشارع والتشجيع على قطع الطرقات والضغط على قيادة الجيش والقوى الأمنية للتراخي مع أعمال الشغب والتخريب، خصوصاً قطع الطرقات وكلما كان يتشدّد الجيش والقوى الأمنية كانت المواقف تندّد وتدعو لتفهم الغضب بصفته تعبيراً مشروعاً.

مع أحداث طرابلس شعر هؤلاء أنهم مهدّدون، لأن اللاعب الذي يعبث بالشراع يستهدف نفوذهم ويحمل مشروعاً لا يقيم حساباً لمكانتهم ويقدم بديلاً مدعوماً وممولاً لينمو ويتقدم على حسابهم، خصوصاً أنهم يعلمون أن الراعي الإقليمي الذي اعتادوا على رعايته يعتمد وكيلاً جديداً وبرسائل يريد توجيهها للمبادرة الفرنسية التي يراهنون عليها استغلّ طرابلس واستثمر أوجاعها.

المطلوب من الجيش أن يتشدد ومن القوى الأمنية أن تفعل، لكن المطلوب من القيادت المعنية ان تتخلى عن الكيل بمكيالين وتقف وراء القوى الأمنية والجيش، لكن أن تتحمل مسؤولياتها بثلاثة مستويات، تسريع تشكيل الحكومة بالتخلي عن السقوف العالية للمحاصصة، والحضور السياسي في الشارع الطرابلسي على مستوى قيادات الصف الأول، وفتح صناديق المال وخزائن الثروات لاعتماد سياسة تضامن وتعاضد مع العائلات الفقيرة بالإضافة لحثّ مؤسسات الدولة على تسريع مساهماتها في هذا المجال.

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The time to harvest the fruits of steadfastness and legendary resistance to The Yemenis أوان حصاد ثمار الصمود والمقاومة الأسطورية لليمنيّين

**Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original **

The time to harvest the fruits of steadfastness and legendary resistance to The Yemenis

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Hassan Hardan

President  Joe and Biden’s administration has decided to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia, freeze the inclusion of Ansar Ullah on the U.S. terror  list, and reconsider U.S. strategy toward Yemen. These resolutions were described by followers of the new  U.S. administration as steps in the course of inaugurating the U.S. rotation and stopping the continuation of the war  on Yemen and withdrawing the cover provided by Washington to the Saudi  government in  launching and continuing the war, after it entered its sixth year and became a heavy burden on Saudi Arabia and threatens to have serious  repercussions will have more negative repercussions on the security and stability of  Saudi Arabia, and u.S. colonial influence in the Gulf…

These decisions also put pressure on Riyadh to tame its crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who  led the war and bet on victory in it, and failed, thus helping him to decide to admit failure and drag the cup of defeat, to force him to harmonise with the new directions of Washington if he continues to support it, which sees the U.S.-Saudi interest in the need to quickly stop the war to reduce its repercussions and the losses resulting from it on all sides, which we will come to address in the article.

There is no doubt that the Biden administration felt the danger of continuing a war that failed to achieve the goals for which it was launched, and that its continuation became sterile and has serious negative  repercussions on Saudi Arabia and U.S. interests in the Gulf and the region.

The Biden administration’s rationale is part of  a review of U.S. strategy in Yemen. Work to calm down and launch the course of negotiations with Ansar Allah to reach a political settlement in Yemen and put an end to the humanitarian catastrophe there… Thus enabling Washington to withdraw the  bulk of U.S. forces in the Gulf to mobilize them in the Pacific in the face of China, where the greatest threat to U.S. influence in the face of the growing  influence of the Chinese giant in East Asia and the world at large…

But is it  true  that  these  are the backgrounds behind the  Biden administration’s decision to stop the war,  and what are the implications and implications of this decision? 

First, the real reasons why the Biden administration made this decision are not due to the eagerness to put an end to human suffering caused by the war to the Yemeni people, or to diminish Yemen’s importance in the calculations of U.S. interests in the Gulf, in the interest of prioritising the face of China’s growing economic,  military and political power and expanding its influence at the expense of U.S. influence in the East Asia-Pacific region. which also occupies a priority on the Biden administration’s foreign policy agenda.

The real reasons for the U.S. Democratic Administration’s decision to push for an end to this war are due to the following reasons:

 1. The war has reached an impasse and despair of the possibility of achieving its objectives in eliminating the resistance of the Yemenis and re-subjecting Yemen to American-Saudi domination.This is due to the legendary resistance, courage and steadfastness of the Yemeni people, in the face of the war of destruction and extermination carried out by the Saudi-American war machine, the brutal massacres committed against civilians, the destruction of infrastructure and the starvation of Yemenis through the imposition of the suffocating siege by land, sea and air. This has led to a humanitarian catastrophe, widespread poverty  and diseases, and the transformation of Yemen into a disaster country.  This revealed to the world the ugly and criminal face of the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the administration of aggression in Washington supporting and partnering with them in waging this war. His increased the solidarity of world public opinion with the Yemeni people and their resistance and embarrassed western countries in continuing to provide cover for Saudi Arabia to continue its war and to provide it with the deadly weapons of human kind and the destruction of human civilisation in Yemen…

2  The war turned into a war of heavy-caliber attrition for Saudi Arabia, economically, physically and humanly, where the cost of war is comparable to the cost of what America suffered as a result of its invasion  and occupation of Iraq between 2003 and 2011… This is not surprising considering that the war in Yemen has not stopped with its momentum since its first day six years ago, because of the inability of Saudi Arabia to occupy Yemen, and the success of the resistance in moving the war to the Saudi rear and striking vital  oil economic sites and installations, in addition to the heavy losses of the Saudi forces with equipment  and lives estimated at 0,000 soldiers between the dead and Greg, except of course the losses of the Forces of the Arab Coalition, material and human. As the U.S. war on Iraq ended a month later with the occupation of Iraq, it later turned into resistance operations that drained U.S. forces, forcing them  to  withdraw in 2011 because America could not continue to bear the cost of  continuing the bleeding caused by the escalating resistance strikes.

 3. The growing  concern of the ruling establishment in Washington and the Biden administration about Yemen’s transformation into another south Lebanon, in which the armed resistance and popularity is firm and enjoys the embrace and support of the people, is able to turn Yemen into a liberal base and part of the alliance of resistance and liberation in the region, and oversees and controls the most important artery of global trade and oil supplies. Washington is  a threat to U.S. colonial influence and interests in the region…

4  The dangers of economic and social repercussions within the Kingdom, and the growing  opposition against Saudi rule of America, which is one of the most important pillars of its colonial hegemony in the Arab world, especially as the U.S. reports  from within the kingdom point to  growing discontent among princes and Saudi  society from the policies of Mohammed bin Salman, who squandered  Saudi wealth in an unprecedented  way, by giving hundreds of billions to President Donald Trump to secure his protection and support in reaching the throne, or by funding America’s military and terrorist wars against Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, etc. Thus, the people of the Arabian Peninsula are deprived of this wealth to achieve  development, progress, development and social justice…

Secondly, the consequences  and implications of Washington’s decision to stop the war:

 1. Enshrining the victory of  the  resistance of the Arab people in  Yemen  against the American-Zionist project and its reactionary  Arab tools of  regimes, rulers, and forces that are waged and subordinate to colonialism and Zionism. Intisar will have repercussions and repercussions on the path of a political solution, in the interest of  promoting the option  of independence of Yemen, and putting  an end to U.S.-Saudi interventions in its internal affairs…  Enabling  the national forces to reshape power in the interest of  this triumphant liberal  approach, thereby freeing Yemen’s wealth from plundering Western companies, exploiting them to rebuild what was destroyed by the brutal war, to achieve independent development and social justice…

2  Strengthening the line of resistance and liberation in the region, and enshrining Yemen’s accession to the Resistance Alliance and turning it into a real force supporting the resistance in occupied Palestine against the Zionist occupation, which has already begun to worry the enemy entity, whose leaders have talked about  putting Yemen in the resistance front and possessing  missile capabilities that can strike the Zionist entity in  any war with the Resistance Alliance. In addition to the threat of the movement of Zionist warships in the  Gulf and the Bab al-Mandab road   …

 3 Weakening the role, location, status and influence of Saudi Arabia at the Arab, regional and Islamic levels. Even at the Gulf level.  This contributes to limiting the ability of the Saudi government to continue sewing plots against independent governments that reject colonial domination and resistance movements against Zionist occupation…

4   Crown Prince Mohammed  bin Salman’s exit from the war defeated, will put him in the position of being accused of direct responsibility for the great losses suffered by the Kingdom at all levels, without  result,  which may weaken his ability to ascend the throne after the death of his father King Salman, and may push the Biden administration to pressure the king to reconsider the mandate of the Covenant, and the return of consideration to Mohammed bin Nayef, who was placed under house arrest by Ibn Salman after he took the  mandate of the Covenant and all his powers…

In short, the time has come for the Arab people in Yemen to reap the  fruits of their legendary heroic steadfastness and resistance, and the U.S.-Saudi alliance’s recognition of defeat and failure to break the will of the Yemenis, which has proved to be intractable and subjugated, and it is stronger and harder than the enemy of Yemen imagined and imagined.Therefore,  it is time for Salman’s son and his American master to pay the price for the crimes they committed against Yemen and its people…

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أوان حصاد ثمار الصمود والمقاومة الأسطورية لليمنيّين

حسن حردان

قرّرت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن تعليق بيع أسلحة للسعودية، وتجميد إدراج حركة انصار الله على لائحة الإرهاب الأميركية، وإعادة النظر في الاستراتيجية الأميركية تجاه اليمن.. هذه القرارات وُصفت من قبل المتابعين لتوجهات الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بأنها بمثابة خطوات في مسار تدشين استدارة الولايات المتحدة والتوقف عن مواصلة الحرب على اليمن وسحب الغطاء الذي وفرته واشنطن للحكومة السعودية في شنّ الحرب والاستمرار فيها، بعدما دخلت عامها السادس وباتت عبئاً ثقيلاً على المملكة السعودية وتهدّد بتداعيات خطيرة سيكون لها المزيد من الانعكاسات السلبية على أمن واستقرار السعودية، والنفوذ الاستعماري الأميركي في الخليج…

كما وُضعت هذه القرارات في سياق بدء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة الضغط على الرياض لترويض ولي عهدها محمد بن سلمان، الذي قاد الحرب وراهن على تحقيق النصر فيها، وفشل، وبالتالي مساعدته على اتخاذ قرار الاعتراف بالفشل وتجرّع كأس الهزيمة، وصولاً إلى إجباره على التناغم مع التوجهات الجديدة لواشنطن إذا ما استمرّ في معاندتها، والتي ترى مصلحة أميركية سعودية بضرورة المسارعة إلى وقف الحرب للحدّ من تداعياتها ومن الخسائر الناجمة عنها على الاصعدة كافة، والتي سنأتي على التطرق إليها في متن المقال.

لا شكّ في أنّ إدارة بايدن استشعرت خطورة الاستمرار في حرب فشلت في تحقيق الأهداف التي شنت من أجلها، وبات الاستمرار فيها عقيماً وله تداعيات سلبية خطرة على السعودية والمصالح الأميركية في الخليج وعموم المنطقة..

المبرّرات التي ساقتها إدارة بايدن تندرج في إطار إعادة النظر بالاستراتيجية الأميركية في اليمن.. والعمل على التهدئة وإطلاق مسار المفاوضات مع حركة أنصار الله للتوصل إلى تسوية سياسية في اليمن، ووضع حدّ للكارثة الإنسانية فيه… وبالتالي تمكين واشنطن من سحب القسم الأكبر من القوات الأميركية في الخليج لحشدها في المحيط الهادي في مواجهة الصين، حيث التهديد الأكبر الذي يواجه نفوذ الولايات المتحدة أمام تنامي نفوذ العملاق الصيني في شرق آسيا والعالم عموماً…

لكن هل صحيح أنّ هذه هي الخلفيات التي تقف وراء قرار إدارة بايدن وقف الحرب، وما هي دلالات وتداعيات هذا القرار؟

اولاً، إنّ الأسباب الحقيقية التي تدفع إدارة بايدن إلى أخذ هذا القرار، لا تعود إلى حرص على وضع حدّ للمعاناة الإنسانية التي تسبّبت بها الحرب للشعب اليمني، أو تراجع أهمية اليمن في حسابات المصالح الأميركية في الخليج، لمصلحة إعطاء الأولوية لمواجهة تنامي قوة الصين الاقتصادية والعسكرية والسياسية وتوسع نفوذها على حساب النفوذ الأميركي في منطقة شرق آسيا والمحيط الهادي.. التي تحتلّ أيضاً أولوية على أجندة السياسة الخارجية لإدارة بايدن..

إنّ الأسباب الحقيقية لقرار الإدارة الأميركية الديمقراطية الدفع باتجاه وقف هذه الحرب، إنما يعود للأسباب التالية:

1

ـ وصول الحرب الي طريق مسدود واليأس من إمكانية تحقيق أهدافها في القضاء على مقاومة اليمنيين وإعادة إخضاع اليمن للهيمنة الأميركية السعودية.. وذلك بفعل المقاومة الأسطورية الصلبة والشجاعة وصمود والتفاف الشعب اليمني حولها، في مواجهة حرب التدمير والإبادة التي قامت بها آلة الحرب السعودية الأميركية، والمجازر الوحشية التي ارتكبتها بحق المدنيين وتدمير البنى التحتية وتجويع اليمنيين عبر فرض الحصار الخانق براً وبحراً وجواً.. مما أدّى الى كارثة إنسانية وانتشار الفقر والأمراض وتحوّل اليمن إلى بلد منكوب.. مما كشف للعالم الوجه القبيح والإجرامي لحكام السعودية وإدارة العدوان في واشنطن الداعمة والشريكة معهم في شنّ هذه الحرب.. وهو ما زاد من تضامن الرأي العام العالمي مع الشعب اليمني ومقاومته وإحراج الدول الغربية في مواصلة توفير الغطاء للمملكة السعودية لمواصلة حربها وتزويدها بالسلاح القاتل للبشر والمدمّر للحضارة الإنسانية في اليمن…

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ـ تحوّل الحرب الى حرب استنزاف من العيار الثقيل، للمملكة السعودية، اقتصادياً ومادياً وبشرياً، حيث باتت كلفة الحرب تضاهي كلفة ما تكبّدته أميركا نتيجة غزوها للعراق واحتلالها له بين أعوام 2003 و2011… وهذا أمر ليس غريباً إذا ما أخذنا بالاعتبار انّ الحرب في اليمن لم تتوقف بزخمها منذ يومها الأول قبل ست سنوات، لعجز السعودية عن احتلال اليمن، ونجاح المقاومة في نقل الحرب إلى العمق السعودي وضرب المواقع والمنشآت الاقتصادية النفطية الحيوية، إلى جانب تكبيد القوات السعودية خسائر جسيمة بالعتاد والأرواح قدّرت بنحو عشرة آلاف جندي بين قتيل وجريج عدا طبعاً عن خسائر قوى التحالف العربي، المادية والبشرية.. فيما الحرب الأميركية على العراق انتهت بعد شهر باحتلال العراق، وتحوّلت في ما بعد إلى عمليات مقاومة استنزفت القوات الأميركية مما أجبرها على الانسحاب عام 2011 لعدم قدرة أميركا على مواصلة تحمّل كلفة استمرار النزف الذي تسبّبه لها ضربات المقاومة المتصاعدة.

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ـ تنامي قلق المؤسسة الحاكمة في واشنطن ومعها إدارة بايدن من تحوّل اليمن إلى جنوب لبنان آخر، فيه مقاومة مسلحة وشعبية راسخة وتحظى باحتضان وتأييد شعبي كبير، باتت قادرة على تحويل اليمن إلى قاعدة تحرّرية وجزء من حلف المقاومة والتحرر في المنطقة، وتشرف وتتحكم بأهم شريان للتجارة العالمية وإمدادات النفط.. مما يشكل بنظر واشنطن تهديداً للنفوذ والمصالح الاستعمارية الأميركية في المنطقة…

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ـ مخاطر حصول تداعيات اقتصادية واجتماعية في داخل المملكة، وتنامي المعارضة ضدّ الحكم السعودي التابع لأميركا، والذي يشكل أحد أهمّ مرتكزات هيمنتها الاستعمارية في الوطن العربي، لا سيما أنّ التقارير الأميركية الواردة من داخل المملكة تؤشر إلى تزايد السخط في أوساط الأمراء والمجتمع السعودي من سياسات محمد بن سلمان، الذي أهدر ثروة السعودية على نحو لم يسبق له مثيل، انْ كان من خلال منح مئات المليارات للرئيس دونالد ترامب لتأمين الحماية له ودعمه في الوصول إلى العرش، أو عبر تمويل حروب أميركا العسكرية والإرهابية ضدّ اليمن والعراق وسورية ولبنان إلخ… وبالتالي حرمان أبناء الجزيرة العربية من الاستفادة من هذه الثروة لتحقيق التنمية والتقدّم والتطور والعدالة الاجتماعية…

ثانياً، النتائج والتداعيات المترتبة على قرار واشنطن وقف الحرب:

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ـ تكريس انتصار مقاومة الشعب العربي في اليمن ضدّ المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني وأدواته العربية الرجعية من أنظمة وحكام وقوى مأجورة وتابعة للاستعمار والصهيونية.. انتصار سيترك انعكاسات وتداعيات على مسار الحلّ السياسي، في مصلحة تعزيز خيار استقلال اليمن، ووضع حدّ للتدخلات الأميركية السعودية في شؤونه الداخلية… وتمكين القوى الوطنية من إعادة تشكيل السلطة لمصلحة هذا النهج التحرّري المنتصر، وبالتالي تحرير ثروات اليمن من نهب الشركات الغربية، واستغلالها لإعادة بناء ما دمّرته الحرب الوحشية، وتحقيق التنمية المستقلة والعدالة الاجتماعية…

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ـ تعزيز خط المقاومة والتحرّر في المنطقة، وتكريس انضمام اليمن إلى حلف المقاومة وتحوّله قوة حقيقية داعمة للمقاومة في فلسطين المحتلة ضدّ الاحتلال الصهيوني، وهو أمر بدأ منذ الآن يقلق كثيراً كيان العدو الذي تحدّث قادته عن توضع اليمن في جبهة المقاومة وامتلاكه قدرات صاروخية بإمكانها ضرب الكيان الصهيوني في أيّ حرب تحصل مع حلف المقاومة.. إلى جانب تهديد حركة السفن الحربية الصهيونية في الخليج وطريق باب المندب…

3

ـ إضعاف دور وموقع ومكانة وتأثير المملكة السعودية على المستويات العربية والإقليمية والإسلامية.. وحتى على المستوى الخليجي.. وهو أمر يسهم في الحدّ من قدرات الحكم السعودي على مواصلة حياكة المؤامرات ضدّ الحكومات المستقلة الرافضة للهيمنة الاستعمارية، وحركات المقاومة ضدّ الاحتلال الصهيوني…

4 ـ خروج ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان من الحرب مهزوماً، سوف يجعله في موقع المتهم بالمسؤولية المباشرة عن الخسائر الكبيرة التي مُنيت بها المملكة على كلّ الصعد، من دون نتيجة، مما قد يضعف قدرته على اعتلاء العرش بعد وفاة والده الملك سلمان، وقد يدفع إدارة بايدن للضغط على الملك لإعادة النظر بولاية العهد، وردّ الاعتبار لمحمد بن نايف الذي وضعه ابن سلمان في الإقامة الجبرية بعد أن انتزع منه ولاية العهد وكلّ سلطاته…

خلاصة القول، لقد آن الأوان كي يقطف الشعب العربي في اليمن ثمار صموده ومقاومته البطولية الأسطورية، وإقرار التحالف الأميركي السعودي بالهزيمة والفشل في كسر إرادة اليمنيّين، التي أثبتت أنها عصية على الانكسار والإخضاع، وانها أقوى وأصلب مما تصوّر وتوهّم أعداء اليمن.. وبالتالي آن الأوان لأن يدفع ابن سلمان وسيده الأميركي ثمن الجرائم التي ارتكباها بحق اليمن وشعبه…

مقالات ذات صلة

How Saudi Arabia Gets Away with Murder

How Saudi Arabia Gets Away with Murder

By Steven Cook – Foreign Policy

On Wednesday, the Saudis opened their annual confab in Riyadh, officially called the Future Investment Initiative but widely referred to as “Davos in the Desert.” That nickname had always annoyed the people who run the World Economic Forum and its signature event in Davos, Switzerland, because they—like most of the rest of the world that is concerned about protecting their brand—haven’t wanted much to do with Saudi Arabia and its crown prince in recent years.

That trend may be coming to an end, however. Increasingly, things are back to business as usual in Riyadh. A veritable A-list of Wall Street and private equity titans flew in for the event this week. Gone are the days when the leaders of the financial services industry stayed away, fearing the reputational costs of becoming associated with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The remains of the journalist and onetime courtier to Saudi power centers have yet to be found. But investors have now decided there are deals to be done.

They are making a bet that the stated commitment by human rights organizations, journalists, and a relatively bipartisan group of US lawmakers to hold Saudi Arabia accountable doesn’t amount to much—and they may be right.

There is a general expectation in Washington that the Saudis are going to have a rough time with the new Biden administration. During the presidential campaign, Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris vowed that they would “reassess our [America’s] relationship with the kingdom, end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil.” After being sworn in as president earlier this month, Biden made good on that promise when he froze—at least temporarily—arms sales to Saudi Arabia that his predecessor approved.

Saudi Arabia is a problematic ally. In the last five years, its crown prince launched a futile military campaign in Yemen that has killed and injured tens of thousands of people, oversaw the hit team that dismembered Khashoggi, presided over the arrests and abuse of reformers, and led an international embargo of Qatar [which is also a not a model ally, but it is a critical security partner for the United States]. There are also lingering questions about Saudi Arabia and the role of its citizens in the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. As much as the Saudis want Americans to forget, there were 15 young Saudi men on those planes, not Qataris.

It is true that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has overseen important social changes in Saudi Arabia that have improved the lives of his citizens, but that does not diminish the entirely reasonable desire to hold the Saudis accountable for his many transgressions. Doing so may be harder than it seems, however.

There was never a chance that the global business community was going to write off Saudi Arabia. Sure, CEOs stayed away for a while, but even at the height of the outrage over Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, Saudi Arabia remained a place where people believed they could make money. And since that is the sine qua non of financiers, consultants, and oil companies—and firms that provide all kinds of services—Mohammed bin Salman was forced to spend some time in the penalty box, but he was never made the international pariah some hoped he would become. Yes, the Saudis have a range of economic problems, the wisdom of vanity projects like the would-be high-tech city of Neom escape most people who look at them, and Riyadh’s efforts to restructure its labor market and establish the institutions of a market economy are enormous and difficult tasks—but the Saudis still have the biggest economy in the Middle East, which makes it an attractive partner to those who showed up in Riyadh for the Future Investment Initiative.

There is an argument to be made that just because business leaders want to consort with the Saudis that does not mean that the US government is obligated to do the same. That’s true enough—but that’s not to say Washington is simply free to do whatever it likes. It faces the constraints of geopolitics. At the same time that leaders of industry were rubbing shoulders in Riyadh, the US military was beefing up its presence in Saudi Arabia just in case there is conflict with Iran. US military planners see Saudi Arabia as an important partner in Iran policy. That includes the potential Iran policies under consideration by the Biden administration, whether they involve rejoining the 2015 nuclear agreement or negotiating a new deal. To make either work, the administration is going to need Riyadh to support the deal, which means that American negotiators are going to have to be sensitive to Saudi concerns.

Related to Iran and the geopolitics of the region is the war in Yemen. The Saudi assault on its neighbor to the south, which began in 2015, accomplished everything the intervention was supposed to prevent. As a result of Riyadh’s poorly thought-out and poorly executed military operations, the Iranians now actually do have a relationship with Ansarullah, and Saudi Arabia is less secure. The war is unwinnable, and the Saudis need to get out. What remains to be seen is whether they can do so without US help. The Saudis would no doubt like that help in the form of enhanced border security, including weapons systems.

This is going to be a tough decision for the administration given the strong strain of animus toward the Saudis in Washington and the Biden-Harris team’s own stated policy to “reassess” America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. One argument they might respond with is: Screw them. Let them figure out how to get out of their own quagmire. That is understandable, but it’s not wise. It is in America’s interest both for the Saudis to get out of Yemen and for them to maintain good ties with Washington. Like it or not, Saudi Arabia is Washington’s primary interlocutor in the region, and an American deal with Iran is going to have to run at least partway through Yemen.

But should the United States cut the Saudis off from what they seem to love most about America—its fancy weapons systems? This is no longer in the realm of theoretical. The Biden administration’s ongoing review of Saudi Arabia will assess how it uses American weapons, specifically how many civilians it has killed and maimed in the process. Given the damage inflicted by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, such a reckoning is appropriate. But even if it allows Americans to take further steps to end their complicity in Saudi Arabia’s Yemen debacle, one should also acknowledge that it will not end that war.

Lost in all the discussions about “accountability” is the problem of defining what it would actually look like. Do Saudi Arabia’s critics want to see the crown prince replaced or in the dock? The United States is not going to determine Saudi Arabia’s leader. Even if the US intelligence community releases what it knows about the murder of Khashoggi—as the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, has demanded, and as the new director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, committed she would do in her written response to questions from senators during her confirmation hearings—Mohammed bin Salman will be the crown prince the next day and the day after that and the day after that, and so on. No doubt it would cause an international uproar, forcing those currently attending Davos in the Desert to stay away for a few years or maybe more. But they will find their way back to Saudi Arabia so long as they calculate that doing so is still good for business.

Also missing in the chatter about accountability are the potential consequences of imposing it. This isn’t to dismiss the idea of calling out the Saudis and refusing to sell them weapons out of hand but rather a plea to weigh the costs and benefits of such an approach. The Saudis may prove unwilling to work with the United States on a new nuclear deal with Iran or even try to undermine an agreement. Riyadh may feel encouraged to drift toward Washington’s competitors. Folks in Washington might dismiss that as idle threats, but the Chinese have a lot to offer, and the Russians are particularly good at taking advantage of stress between the United States and its traditional partners in the region. At the very least, tighter ties between the Saudis, Chinese, and Russians can make things harder for the United States, especially since great-power competition is now alleged to be the framework for American foreign policy.

Then again, US policymakers may not care about the downside risks of holding the Saudis accountable. Energy resources from the Persian Gulf are still important to the United States, but not like they once were, diminishing the urgency long attached to the Middle East and importance of close ties with countries like Saudi Arabia. The stakes may no longer be so high, giving the Biden team more room to maneuver. It just seems that up until now few inside the Beltway have worked through what accountability means in a rigorous way. That is unfortunate, because foreign policy by exhortation is likely to fail.

Related Videos

Video: Israeli Military Asks $1.2 Billion to Prepare for Strike on Iran

By South Front

Global Research, January 29, 2021

South Front 28 January 2021

All Global Research articles including the E-Book can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

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The Israeli military needs over $1 billion to fund its widely promoted strike on Iran, which Tel Aviv has threatened to carry out if the US should rejoin the nuclear deal. According to Israeli sources, the military would need these additional funds to deal with the challenges that it faces including ‘threats’ from the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance.

The interesting fact is that even the IDF Chief of Staff admits that Israel is the initiator of the escalation. However, the Israeli leadership continues to insist that the Iranian threat is growing.

“In general, none of [our enemies] want to initiate anything against us. All of their actions — almost without exception — are retaliatory to our actions, not actions that they’ve initiated. And when they decide to carry out [an attack], they experience difficulties and decide to abandon their ways of acting,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said adding that military spending must be increased, despite the coronavirus crisis.

“The missiles don’t get sick, but they can be fired the moment the other side decides that’s what it wants to do,” Kohavi stated referring to the missile arsenal of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran.

It is interesting to know: Would the new US administration fund Israeli preparations for a strike against Iran beforehand or it would prefer to compensate it after the event.Israeli Officials Consider Attacking Iran, Believing Trump Won’t Oppose It

In any case, as of now there are no conditions to test Israeli readiness to really attack Tehran. Whether the Biden administration will rejoin the nuclear deal is still in question. Iran argues that it would reject any preconditions and the deal could only be considered to be restored after the lifting of all the imposed sanctions.

Meanwhile, the main side suffering are the Gulf allies of the Israeli-US bloc. The new Iranian-backed group, which claimed responsibility for the recent attack on the Saudi capital, issued a threat to the United Arab Emirates. On January 27, the Righteous Promise Brigades released a poster showing a drone attacking Burj Khalifa in the Emirate of Dubai. Rising to 829.8 meters in height, Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest structure and building.

“The second blow will be on the dens of evil in Dubai, with the help of the Almighty, if the crimes of Bin Salman and Bin Zayed are repeated,” the statement reads. The RPB said its attack on Riyadh was a response to the January 21 bombings in the Iraqi capital. ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. However, the Righteous Promise Brigades blamed Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“The second blow will be on the dens of evil in Dubai, with the help of the Almighty, if the crimes of Bin Salman and Bin Zayed are repeated,” the statement reads. The RPB said its attack on Riyadh was a response to the January 21 bombings in the Iraqi capital. ISIS claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack. However, the Righteous Promise Brigades blamed Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

Michel Chossudovsky

The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-6-0Year: 2015Pages: 240 Pages

List Price: $22.95

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Also see

Economic war on Lebanon, into 2021: Dr Marwa Osman

Dr Marwa Osman’s Press TV program, 13 January 2021

The dark motives behind Saudi Arabia’s push for Gulf unity

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David Hearst is the editor in chief of Middle East Eye. He left The Guardian as its chief foreign leader writer. In a career spanning 29 years, he covered the Brighton bomb, the miner’s strike, the loyalist backlash in the wake of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in Northern Ireland, the first conflicts in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in Slovenia and Croatia, the end of the Soviet Union, Chechnya, and the bushfire wars that accompanied it. He charted Boris Yeltsin’s moral and physical decline and the conditions which created the rise of Putin. After Ireland, he was appointed Europe correspondent for Guardian Europe, then joined the Moscow bureau in 1992, before becoming bureau chief in 1994. He left Russia in 1997 to join the foreign desk, became European editor and then associate foreign editor. He joined The Guardian from The Scotsman, where he worked as education correspondent.

David Hearst

6 January 2021 17:22 UTC 

Mohammed bin Salman could use the detente with Qatar to achieve two objectives: to announce his own recognition of Israel, and to persuade his father to abdicate the throne

It took Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman three years and six months to come to the same conclusion that some of us reached days into the blockade of Qatar: that it was doomed to failure.

The project to silence the voice of an independent neighbour was doomed the moment that then-US defence secretary James Mattis and then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson, a former oilman with extensive links to Qatar, learned of plans to invade the peninsula and stopped them.

As the weeks passed, Qatar’s hand was only strengthened. Turkish troops arrived in Doha to form a physical buffer. Iran gave Qatar the use of its airspace. The blockade could never work with an air bridge established around Saudi Arabia.

If anything, this unpleasant shock has strengthened Qatar. The same goes for Turkish and Iranian foreign policy

It took only months for Qatar to assemble a major lobbying operation in Washington, undoing or rolling back the influence of the principal lobbyist for the Saudis, the Emirati ambassador Youssef al-Otaiba, and establishing solid support of its own. US President Donald Trump did not even acknowledge that Qatar hosted the Pentagon’s most important airbase in the region, Al Udeid, when he tweeted his approval of the blockade in 2017. 

In the end, the Saudi prince overestimated Trump’s influence and underestimated the residual power of the US military. Both Tillerson and Mattis are long gone, but the pressure to reverse this mad act of recklessness never receded; it only grew with time.

With the imminent arrival of a hostile US president in Joe Biden, bin Salman sensed the time had come to put an end to his folly. Today, none of the 13 demands originally placed on Qatar by the blockading states have been met. Neither its hosting of members of the Muslim Brotherhood nor its foreign policy have changed. Al Jazeera has not been closed down. Qatar’s alliance with Iran and Turkey has, if anything, strengthened.

Domestically, Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is held in higher esteem for his defence of the state than he was before, as Qatari nationalism has mounted. Qatar is more self-sufficient and confident than it was before the blockade. 

‘Qatar has won’

If anything, this unpleasant shock has strengthened Qatar. The same goes for Turkish and Iranian foreign policy.

“You could say Qatar has won,” Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a professor of politics in Dubai who was one of the foremost defenders of the blockade three years ago, told the Financial Times. “The cost of fighting was too high – there is a realisation now that this is the black sheep of the family and we just have to put up with it. These have been the worst three-and-a-half years in the history of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council].”This GCC show of unity can’t hide its weakness

But these conclusions are, for the moment, bin Salman’s alone. It is interesting to note who was absent from the display of brotherly love at the GCC summit on Tuesday. The no-show by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed came alongside the absence of Bahrain’s King Hamad and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Bahrain is in the midst of an increasingly bitter border dispute with Qatar, and Egypt remains sceptical about the whole enterprise. Mada Masr quoted Egyptian government sources as saying that Cairo does not see a sufficiently strong foundation to open a new page in relations with Doha. Qatar, they claimed, was still mounting a “methodological campaign aimed at the Egyptian regime”. 

The sources noted that none of the basic demands made of Qatar – closing down Al Jazeera, shuttering a Turkish military base, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and reducing ties with Iran – had been met. It is too early to say whether this signals a fracturing of the counter-revolutionary forces that have held together since they paid for and installed Sisi as president of Egypt after a military coup in 2013.

Tensions over Yemen and Israel

Certainly, there are grounds for a bust-up between mentor bin Zayed and his protege, bin Salman. One is Yemen: who is really in charge of the Saudi-led intervention that bin Salman launched in March 2015 – the Saudis or the Emiratis? Militias funded by and loyal to the UAE have taken control of the south, leaving the Saudis with an unresolved war with the Houthis in the north.

A second source of tension is Israel. In spearheading normalisation with Israel, the Emiratis clearly pitched themselves as Tel Aviv’s principal Gulf partner. Otaiba’s boast that the UAE and Israel had the two most capable military forces in the region raised eyebrows in Riyadh and Cairo. 

The Israeli prime minster and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain participate in a signing ceremony for the Abraham Accords in Washington on 15 September (AFP)
The Israeli prime minster and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain participate in a signing ceremony for the Abraham Accords in Washington on 15 September 2020 (AFP)

Writing the first-ever op-ed by a Gulf diplomat for an Israeli newspaper, Otaiba boasted before normalisation took place last year: “With the region’s two most capable militaries, common concerns about terrorism and aggression, and a deep and long relationship with the United States, the UAE and Israel could form closer and more effective security cooperation. As the two most advanced and diversified economies in the region, expanded business and financial ties could accelerate growth and stability across the Middle East.”

The Emirati claim to be the principal partner of Israel could cause problems for the future king of Saudi Arabia. Another notable absentee from the GCC summit was the country’s current king, Salman.

Kingdom split

Al Jazeera’s coverage of the tumultuous events shaking the Arab world has waxed and waned. Even before the blockade, it did not, for instance, devote the same attention to the murderous bombardment of Yemen by Saudi warplanes as it did to the Egyptian revolution in 2011. 

While producers and reporters are freer to report than most of their contemporaries in the Saudi-, Emirati- and Egyptian-controlled media, the state of Qatar still has its hands on volume control. There are many examples, including the decision to downplay coverage of the trial of Loujain al-Hathloul, the prominent Saudi activist recently sentenced to five years and eight months in prison.

To deliver Saudi Arabia into the hands of Israel would represent a real prize to the alliance being built over and around the heads of Palestinians

Bin Salman could use this detente with Qatar to achieve two objectives: to announce his own recognition of Israel, and to persuade his father to abdicate and pass the crown to him.

There is no doubt that bin Salman thinks it is time to do both. From the very start of his campaign to become king, establishing close clandestine relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been key to bin Salman’s relationship with US presidential adviser Jared Kushner and his father-in-law, Trump. 

The kingdom is split from top to bottom on the issue of normalisation with Israel. Foreign-policy heavyweights in the family still publicly voice opposition, notably the former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal. The king himself, to whom Prince Turki remains close, is also opposed, and the issue will have a strong impact on the Saudi people.

Future turmoil

One first step towards resolving this is to neutralise or turn down the volume of the Arab media that could run against bin Salman. This mainly comes from Qatar, which might explain why Kushner himself was present at the GCC summit.

For all the pain involved, the prize is great – and Biden, a committed Zionist, would welcome it. To deliver Saudi Arabia into the hands of Israel would represent a real prize to the alliance being built over and around the heads of Palestinians. Saudi Arabia remains, by dint of its size and wealth, a “real” Arab nation.

While the resolution of the crisis with Qatar is to be welcomed, the motives for doing so could lead to yet more turmoil in Arab world.

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

This GCC show of unity can’t hide its weakness

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

واشنطن تحت وطأة الانقلاب الفاشل وأميركا تتآكل من الداخل..!

محمد صادق الحسيني

لم يعُد هناك أي مجال للشك والترديد أو الارتياب بأنّ ما كان يدّعيه الأميركيون بأنّ ديمقراطيتهم هي نهاية التاريخ كما ادّعى وزعم منظّرهم فوكوياما، باتت اليوم على شفير الهاوية وذاهبة لتأخذ أميركا الى الخراب الشامل..!

وما جرى في واشنطن قبل أيام من أحداث عنف دامية دليل وبرهان قاطع لا يقبل الدحض أو النقض..!

والذي أكد في ما أكد اشتراك شخص الرئيس الأميركي المنتهية ولايته في كلّ ما جرى من خراب…!

وفي هذا السياق فقد أكدت مصادر واسعة الاطلاع من مراكز صنع القرار الأميركي بأنّ الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب قاد كلّ عمليات التظاهر والتمرّد الأخيرة في واشنطن من خلال غرفة عمليات مخصصة لهذا الغرض كانت تضمّه مع بعض من افراد عائلته وعدد من رهطه (الأمن الخاص لديه تقارير مصوّرة عن ذلك) والذي يثبت أنّ ترامب هو شخصياً كان متورّطاً بعملية قيادة الجموع المقتحمة لمجمع الكاپيتول هيل في إطار عملية انقلابية كانت تهدف الى ما يلي:

1

ـ منع الكونغرس من التصديق على انتخاب بايدن.

2

ـ حرق الكونغرس بعد العبث بكلّ محتوياته.

3

ـ أخذ رهائن من مجلسي النواب والشيوخ وتعطيل الكونغرس لفترة طويلة بهدف ضمان بقائه في البيت الأبيض. إن جهاز الشرطة التابع للكونغرس متورط بإدخال المقتحمين.

هذا وقد ثبت من خلال التحقيقات الاولية بأنّ كلاً من ابن سلمان وابن زايد متورّطين بضخ أموال لترامب وأنصاره لعمل هذه الفوضى في الكونغرس وفي الشارع الأميركي لجرّ الشعب الأميركي إلى مربع الصراع ومربع العنف.

ويبدو أنّ هذه المعلومات كانت متوفرة لدى قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي والسيدة نانسي بيلوسي بشكل خاص والتي تعتبر من الرموز المخابراتية من الوزن الثقيل.

وهذا الأمر بالذات هو الذي دفع رئيسة المجلس الى اتخاذ إجراءات سريعة كانت مأخوذة بعين الاعتبار سلفاً، حيث تمّ أخذ كافة الأعضاء في المجلسين الى قاعات آمنة ومن ثم قامت بالاتصال العاجل بالخدمة السريّة للبيت الأبيض وهي قوة تعتبر تابعة للقوة الخفيّة التي تحمي أميركا الدولة القوية وكذلك بالـ وسائر القوى المعنية فقامت بتطويق كل المربع الخاص بالكونغرس والبالغة مساحته نحو 13 هكتاراً واقتحامه وإخلاء القاعات من الرعاع والمتمردين من جماعة ترامب بمهنيّة عالية جداً وإعادة الأوضاع الى ما قبل الاقتحام في مدة لم تتجاوز 4 ساعات..!

تصاعد التوتر داخل مباني الكاپيتول وخوف الدولة العميقة من انفلات الوضع وانتقاله الى سائر الولايات، وهو ما كان يتمناه ترامب هو الذي دفع بالدولة العميقة بالعمل سريعاً لإنقاذ العاصمة واشنطن من خلال الدفع بقوات دعم أمنية وصلت إليها من فرجينيا ونيوجيرسي وميريلاند.. ولما اشتدّ الوطيس وصار الخطر اكبر دخلت قوات «الخدمة السرية» الخاصة على الخط فوراً وهي القوة التي تشكلت في العام 1865 بعد انتهاء الحرب الأهلية الأميركية والتابعة لوزارة الامن الداخلي، والمكلفة بحماية كبار الشخصيات والرؤساء، وذات المهمات الخاصة في الملمات لتطلب من ترامب التوقف فوراً عن مغامرته والقيام بتسجيل صوتي – وليس الظهور الحر على التلفزيون – لسحب جماعاته فوراً تحت طائلة التهديد بالعقاب الصارم، مجبرة إياه على القيام بالمهمة فور انتهاء خطاب الرئيس المنتخب جو بايدن من دون تأخير (والذي طلب منه ايضاً للخروج بخطابه الى الرأي العام للغرض نفسه)…!

وهكذا رضخ ترامب للأمر وقرّر التراجع مكرهاً، ففشل الانقلاب..!

هذا السيناريو الترامبي والسيناريو المضاد الذي قضى على التمرّد وأحبط الانقلاب في واشنطن العاصمة لن يمرّ بشكل عادي على الحياة السياسية الأميركية، بل انّ تداعياته خطيرة جداً وهي التي ربما ستجعل أميركا توضع على جادة إما الحرب الأهلية وإما التآكل من الداخل والانهيار رويداً رويداً…!

ما حصل ليلة الانقلاب الفاشل لم يكن ابن ليلته، بل هو تراكم فعل وفعل مضاد لفساد النظام السياسي الحاكم في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية …!

أميركا بانت على حقيقتها ديمقراطية فاشلة وهشة وكاذبة!

انها إعجاز نخل خاوية وهشيم تذروه الرياح.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

Sayyed Nasrallah Vows Punishment for Every Crime: Hezbollah’s Guided Missiles More than Doubled

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By Zeinab Abdallah

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah appeared on al-Mayadeen TV with Ghassan Bin Jeddo in a special episode named ‘Dialogue of the Year’. The four-hour long interview touched upon almost all regional issues that happened this year, although the pivotal segment was about martyr General Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis less than a week ahead of their first martyrdom anniversary.

Starting with the possible options that would take place during US President Donald Trump’s few days in office, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that there is not accurate information that Trump or the ‘Israeli’ enemy will take an action. “There are just certain analyses,” His Eminence noted, adding that everybody is anticipating and expecting what Trump might do in the coming days.

“The Axis of Resistance is dealing cautiously, accurately and attentively so that no post of this axis would be lured towards any confrontation that suits the enemies’ timing, but when the enemy creates massive media noise, this means that it won’t do anything, and that it is rather waging a psychological warfare,” Sayyed Nasrallah stressed noting that “this doesn’t mean that we mustn’t remain cautious.”

Regarding the news about a possible ‘Israeli’ landing that has taken place along Lebanon’s Jiyeh coastline, the Hezbollah leader made clear that the party’s information doesn’t provide that any ‘Israeli’ landing has taken place as it was reported in media.”

Saudi attempts to assassinate Sayyed Nasrallah

Moving to the issue of assassination, the crime by which a US drone killed the Islamic Revolution Guard’s Quds Force Commander, and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units’ Second-in-command, Sayyed Nasrallah explained that many sides have warned him about plots to target him especially after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. “This is something normal and well known,” His Eminence commented.

“I’ve been warned about assassinating me ahead of the US Presidential Elections, and that any targeting might be ‘Israeli’ or American,” the resistance leader explained, going further to uncover that targeting Hezbollah leaders is an American-‘Israeli’-Saudi goal: “I have information that Saudi Arabia has been stirring to assassinate me since the beginning of its war on Yemen, and private sources have informed me that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman requested my assassination in person during his first visit to Washington and his first meeting with Trump.”

Sayyed Nasrallah cited the same sources as saying that Saudi Arabia took it upon itself that in case a war erupts after his assassination, it was ready to pay all the financial costs for this war.

“The Americans have agreed on a Saudi request to assassinate me, and that ‘Israel’ would execute this assassination. Saudi Arabia doesn’t act rationally, it has been acting maliciously especially in the recent years,” His Eminence went on to say, then he accused the US, ‘Israel’, and Saudi Arabia of partnership in the crime of assassinating leaders Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

“The crime of assassinating Hajj Qassem was a clear one, uncovered, and similar to the assassination of Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi.”

Soleimani, the Sayyed’s own self

When talking about martyr Soleimani, Sayyed Nasrallah couldn’t have enough listing his manners and characteristics. He described the martyr as a very special person on the level of ethics. He also referred to him as a charismatic person who had the ability to influence all those who had to know him.

“On the military level, martyr Soleimani was a strategic and tactical leader at the same time,” His Eminence noted.

Describing the time that preceded the martyrdom, Sayyed Nasrallah said that he was very worried about him and he has warned him repeatedly.

“I miss Hajj Qassem very much… We have worked together and faced challenges together. I used to feel that Hajj Qassem and I were one person.”

Hajj Abu Mahdi, the main partner in Iraq’s victories

When talking about martyr Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Sayyed Nasrallah recommended that his identity should be more defined to the people, referring to him as a great person.

“Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis is very much like Hajj Qassem, and this is why they met in the battlefield, and Allah has concluded their lives with this martyrdom.”

His Eminence explained that Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was suggested to assume [governmental] responsibilities in Iraq, but he preferred to work in the battlefield.

“Martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was a main partner in making the two victories against Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] and the US occupation of Iraq,” Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say.

“He was one of the leaders of the Axis of Resistance that surpasses Iraq and reaches all regional causes.”

Hajj Qassem, the transnational resistance commander

When tackling the issue of the US presence in Iraq, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that the Americans have left Iraq by force, humiliated and defeated thanks to the strikes of the resistance.

“The Americans fled Iraq under fire because they begged martyr Soleimani to stop the Iraqi resistance operations against them.”

As for Palestine, the Sayyed added that martyr Soleimani developed ties with all Palestinian resistance factions: “There were not any redlines for martyr Soleimani on the level of supporting Palestinian resistance factions,” uncovering that the ‘Kornet’ missiles reached the Palestinian resistance in Gaza thanks to martyr Soleimani.

“The efforts made by Hajj Qassem Soleimani and the Quds Force in supporting the Palestinian resistance factions were ongoing behind the scenes.”

Additionally, the resistance leader uncovered that the Russian-made ‘Kornet’ missiles Hezbollah used in the July 2006 war were purchased by Syria from Russia, and then Hezbollah took them.

Additionally, Sayyed Nasrallah made clear that Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed that the ‘Kornet’ missiles purchased by Damascus from Moscow reach ‘Hamas’ and the ‘Islamic Jihad’ resistance movements in Gaza.

Sayyed Nasrallah hailed martyr Soleimani and his team’s dedication to present all what could be offered to Palestine on all levels. His Eminence also praised Assad’s willingness to support the Palestinian resistance.

Normalization only took the masks off

On the level of Arab normalization with the ‘Israeli’ enemy, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that it is something that didn’t surprise him, adding that this is because most of the Arab regimes were only telling the Palestinians mere lies.

“We view the normalization deals from the perspective that masks have been taken off, and that those Arab regimes’ submissive realities appeared clearly.”

Iran is just a pretext the Arab regimes use to justify their normalization deals because they find the Palestinian cause as a burden for them, Sayyed Nasrallah added, stressing that there isn’t any reason that justifies the abandoning of Palestine.

Sayyed Nasrallah also lamented Morocco’s Justice and Development Party’s stance which he considered was more painful and more dangerous than that of the regimes’ normalization with ‘Israel’.

The ever-growing Axis of Resistance

In terms of power and numbers, the resistance leader emphasized that the might of the Axis of Resistance has multiplied many more times than its level several years ago, stressing that the most important thing is having a strong will.

“We are an axis in a state of legitimate self-defense, to defend our countries, sanctities, peoples, wealth. The Axis of Resistance has made major and great achievements,” His Eminence underscored.

“Without any exaggeration, the Axis of Resistance is stronger than any time before. The Axis was able to contain the strike of Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s martyrdom although it was very hard,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out.

Regarding the Ain al-Assad strike, Sayyed Nasrallah referred to it as an important response that shows how a leadership of a state in the world deals a blow to the United States: “The Ain al-Assad strike was a historical slap because the equation in confronting the Americans is not about killing, and Washington thought that by assassinating leaders it would put an end to the Axis of Resistance, while in fact this axis is not based upon a person by himself.”

His Eminence then vowed that punishing the killers of martyrs Soleimani and al-Muhandis is a goal for every honorable person, warning those who ordered and executed that they will be punished wherever they were.

“What the world should learn is that the blood of the leaders won’t be in vain, and the killers of Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi must be punished sooner or later,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

His Eminence praised the joint drills held between the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza as a very important step and a development that shows their strength and frightens the enemy at the same time.

Martyr Soleimani’s role in Iraq

Sayyed Nasrallah explained that martyr Soleimani’s appearance in media started with the battles against Daesh in Iraq, adding that it was not an intended issue.

“Hajj Qassem Soleimani didn’t seek being mentioned in a news, being in the spotlight or even hailed by anybody, and his relationship with the religious leadership in Iraq was good, especially on the level of main issues.”

Explaining that the vast majority of military operations against the US occupation in Iraq was carried out by the resistance factions, Sayyed Nasrallah said that groups of young Iraqis started the armed resistance against the US troops in Iraq without a political cover.

“Arab satellite channels refused to broadcast the videos that document the Iraqi resistance operations against the American occupation. Meanwhile, resistance in Iraq received real support from al-Quds Force and Hajj Qassem Soleimani.”

Sayyed Nasrallah contrasted al-Qaeda’s 4800 suicide attacks that were carried out against civilians on Iraqi soil, showing the difference when it came to the Iraqi resistance operations that were precisely meant to pressure the occupation and were very keen and accurate to avoid harming any civilian.

That’s why, Sayyed Nasrallah explained, the US Army threatened Hajj Qassem and al-Quds Force to strike their posts in Iran if they continued to support the Iraqi resistance: “The US Army then sent a message to Hajj Qassem to help them withdraw from Iraq without being hit by fire.”

Hadn’t been to the Iraqi resistance, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the US embassy would have been in control of Iraq.

However, Donald Trump keeps his troops in Iraq and Syria to steal their resources and oil, the Hezbollah leader added.

Forecasting the scheme against Syria

Sayyed Nasrallah narrated how martyr Soleimani was concerned about the American attempts to ride the tide of the peoples’ uprisings to target some regimes after America allowed toppling its man in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak.

“Martyr Soleimani was the first to forecast the risks heading to Syria under the pretext of the ‘Arab Spring’, because the country supports the resistance.”

And while the parties that really backed, funded, and led opposition the groups in Syria rushed for an armed confrontation, Iran contacted opposition groups in accordance with President Assad to reach a political solution, but all of them insisted that we are not in a state of political solution and there won’t be negotiations with the regime, which they predicted will collapse within days, Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say.

“There was a very big international and regional decision in the war on Syria to prevent any political solution for the Syrian crisis.”

Foreign forces supported the Syrian opposition as they believed that the regime would be toppled within two months. They wanted to weaken the regime in Syria and in need of making a settlement with ‘Israel’ and recognize it, the Hezbollah leader recalled.

“We had only two options, either to surrender and let the region collapse, or to resist; and we chose resistance,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, hailing Syria’s independence of decision, braveness of leadership, and neither submitting to the enemies nor to the allies.

“Syria was not only targeted for supporting Palestine and the resistance, but also to be occupied and to allow stealing its oil and gas.”

President Assad’s decision to remain steadfast was the main motivator for his allies in supporting Damascus and engaging in the confrontation next to him.

“Assad didn’t leave Damascus at all over the course of the battles, and in the most difficult times of the war he was strong and solid,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

Soleimani in Moscow

On the level of the Russian military intervention in Syria, Sayyed Nasrallah labelled it as very influential.

His Eminence recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin was hesitant in the beginning of the war to enter Syria; then Hajj Qassem went to Moscow and explained, with maps, the field situation. At the time, Putin told Hajj Qassem that he was convinced with entering Syria.

“With his charismatic persona, strong logic, and strategic explanation, Hajj Qassem contributed to convincing Putin with entering Syria based on logic and facts.”

Soleimani in the July 2006 War

About memories from the July 2006 war, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled how martyr Soleimani didn’t leave the Southern Suburb of Beirut [Dahiyeh] but for 48 hours to submit his report on the situation and contact the brothers in Syria and Iran.

“All of the ‘Israeli’ aerial bombing during the July 2006 war couldn’t stop the logistic support from reaching the resistance in Lebanon,” His Eminence added.

After the end of the war, martyr Soleimani played a role and shouldered the responsibility of following the project of sheltering the displaced people. “The one who formed the Iranian Committee to Reconstruct Lebanon was Hajj Qassem and martyr Engineer Hossam Khoshnavis.”

Sayyed Nasrallah lamented that he could never forget that there are sides within the Lebanese political authorities who were planning to keep people homeless for the longest possible period of time after the July 2006 war to incite them against the resistance.

Commenting on martyr Soleimani’s successor, Hajj Esmail Ghaani, Sayyed Nasrallah said that he used to meet him repeatedly when he was Hajj Qassem’s deputy: “He was informed with all files. And Hajj Qassem used to say that Hajj Ghaani is to succeed him.”

The void ‘Israeli’ threats

In a strong and confident comment about the Lebanese resistance group, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that Hezbollah is at it is: “Its strength, morale, and will are the same, or even much powerful.”

All the threats you hear from the enemy are because it knows that we will retaliate for its killing of our martyr in Syria. We are keeping our promise to respond to the ‘Israeli’ enemy’s killing of martyr Ali Mohsen, His Eminence made clear.

“The major alertness of the resistance was on all levels and in front of the ‘Israelis’’ sight. The ‘Israeli’ drones’ movement in the air is very confused as it anticipates the resistance’s response. The ‘Israeli’ knows that we have used the appropriate weapon towards its drones without making this public.”

The Hezbollah leader further announced that the precision-guided missiles owned by the resistance have doubled from the number it had a year ago.

“The resistance today is in a very good condition, and at the best of its capabilities. We believe in the future and trust that we are approaching victory.

The concerned party is the ‘Israeli’ and not the resistance especially as Trump is leaving and Washington might return to the nuclear deal with Iran.

A certain level of Hezbollah’s aerial defense has been exposed to the enemy, but whether there are higher levels or not is a matter that we don’t reveal, Sayyed Nasrallah said, noting that “we are keen to keep the ‘Israeli’ unaware of a lot about what the resistance has.”

“There are many issues that the ‘Israeli’ knows nothing about.”

Our Axis is on the top and it is ‘Israel’ which is in trouble, His Eminence underscored, adding that the resistance’s decision is to carry out an appropriate response that strengthens its deterrence; this won’t be achieved without targeting the enemy’s soldiers, he said.

“We don’t need a demonstrative action along the border that targets dummies. We want an actual response.”

Lebanon’s maritime borders, Gov’t issue

In a question about Lebanon’s indirect negotiations with the ‘Israeli’ regime regarding the demarcation of the maritime borders, Sayyed Nasrallah was confident to say that the negotiations under the current US administration will reach a dead end.

“Our right to prevent any ‘Israeli’ stealing of our waters is natural, and our ability to do this is non-negotiable,” His Eminence underscored.

Elsewhere in the interview, Sayyed Nasrallah said there is a positive atmosphere and cooperation between the Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and Hezbollah.

However, he noted that there is a problem of trust that delays the formation of a Lebanese government, which is mainly between President Michel Aoun and the PM-designate.

The environment embracing resistance

On the level of discussing the resistance’s weapon within its own people, Sayyed Nasrallah said that the people of South Lebanon don’t see resistance as a burden, they rather view it as their shield.

“We support the threatened and targeted environment of resistance which is paying prices for this support, His Eminence said in reference to the sanctions targeting the entire country, “We try and we seek to present aid to the Lebanese people and to our environment with all possible means.”

Sayyed Nasrallah noted, however, that the problem in Lebanon is a problem of choices, and the evidence is that nobody dared to head eastward to find economic solutions.

“There is a misevaluation in linking solving some issues for some countries with the foreign factor.”

From this point, Sayyed Nasrallah went on to explain that Iran is a great regional power and a main axis in the region but it doesn’t negotiate instead of any of its allies in the region.

Iran, a non-interventionist superpower

“Iran doesn’t buy, sell, or negotiate with the Americans instead of the peoples of the region,” the resistance leader noted, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran informed the Europeans that it is not concerned with negotiating on behalf of the Yemenis or others.

“Washington insisted to negotiate the Iraqi issue with Tehran; Iran, however, insisted that the Iraqis be present and that the negotiations be held in public.”

The Hezbollah-Hamas relations

Hezbollah leader said that he met with Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, brother Ismail Haniyeh several times during his last visit to Lebanon and discussed with him different regional issues that included bilateral relations and the relations with Syria.

“Relations between Hamas and Syria must be rearranged; there is a positive atmosphere even if it takes time. Logically, I believe that Hamas is tending to rearrange its ties with Damascus,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, noting that he talked with Haniyeh that Hamas should help in redirecting tendencies in the region, which include the Islah [Reform] Party’s fighting in Yemen against the Ansarullah movement.

Sayyed Nasrallah also greeted the Palestinians of the 1948 lands whom he described as “our brother and our people, and they are the ones who mostly desire the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.”

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Pakistan is steadfast… So far. باكستان صامدة… إلى الآن

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

باكستان صامدة… إلى الآن

باكستان صامدة... إلى الآن

الاخبار

الخميس 24 كانون الأول 2020

تتعرّض باكستان لضغوط شتّى يراد من ورائها جرّها بالقوّة إلى التطبيع مع إسرائيل والتموضع ضمن محور لا يزال في طور التشكُّل. محورٌ تشتغل السعودية، ومن ورائها الولايات المتحدة، على تعزيزه ورفده بدولٍ ترى في مهادنة إسرائيل مصلحةً لكفّ يد إيران عن المنطقة. لكن حسابات إسلام آباد لا تبدو متطابقة، على الأقلّ في المدى المنظور، مع رغبة حليفتها الحَرِدة في دفعها إلى حضن تل أبيب. وهو حردٌ نما وتمدّد في أعقاب انتقاد البلد الآسيوي نأيَ المملكة بنفسها عن قضية كشمير، وتلويحه بجمع قادة دول إسلامية خارج عباءة “منظمة التعاون الإسلامي” التي تهيمن عليها الرياض، لنصرة تلك القضية. وعلى رغم مساعي باكستان إلى تدارك الموقف، عن طريق إيفاد رئيس أركانها، قمر جاويد باجوا، منتصف آب/ أغسطس الماضي، إلى السعودية لاحتواء التوتّر، لم يفلح التودُّد في رأب الصدع.

وهكذا، كلّما اغتاظت الرياض وارتفع منسوب التوتّر بينها وبين إسلام آباد المكبّلة بالدين، عاجلتها بالدعوة إلى سداد القرض الميسّر. وكما حصل في أعقاب واقعة “التمرُّد” الباكستاني، حين اضطرّت إلى دفع مليار دولار قبل حلول موعد استحقاقها (هي جزء مِن حزمة إنقاذ أعلنت عنها السعودية في تشرين الأول/ أكتوبر عام 2018، بقيمة 6.2 مليارات دولار: 3 مليارات على شكل قروض، فضلاً عن تسهيلات ائتمانية نفطية بـ 3.2 مليارات دولار)، يبدو أن المملكة أرغمت باكستان، مرّة جديدة، على سداد المبلغ المتبقّي، بعدما أعلن رئيس وزرائها، عمران خان، الشهر الماضي، أن بلاده تتعرّض لضغوط مِن قبل الولايات المتحدة و”دول صديقة” لم يسمّها للاعتراف بإسرائيل، مؤكداً أنه لن يُقدِم على خطوة كتلك “ما لم تكن هناك تسوية تُرضي الفلسطينيين”. وإذ سارع وزير الخارجية الباكستاني، شاه محمود قرشي، إلى نفي صحّة التقارير التي تحدّثت عن سداد بلاده قرضاً بقيمة ملياري دولار للسعودية، والتشديد على “العلاقات المثالية” بين البلدين، أكّد مسؤولون باكستانيون لـ”رويترز” أن إسلام آباد أرجعت بالفعل مليار دولار ضمن الدفعة الثانية من القرض الميسّر، واتّجهت إلى طلب قرض تجاري من بكين، لمساعدتها على تخفيف ضغوط دفع مليار دولار أخرى إلى الرياض الشهر المقبل. وفي هذا الإطار، أكّد مسؤول في وزارة المالية أن المصرف المركزي الباكستاني يجري محادثات مع مصارف تجارية صينية، في حين أبلغ مسؤول في وزارة الخارجية، “رويترز”، أن الصين “هبّت لنجدتنا”. وعلى رغم فائض يبلغ 1.2 مليار دولار في ميزان المعاملات الجارية وتحويلات غير مسبوقة من الخارج بلغت 11.7 مليار دولار في الأشهر الخمسة الأخيرة ساعدت في دعم الاقتصاد الباكستاني، فإن مراقبين يرون أن ردّ الأموال السعودية ينطوي على انتكاسة يحتمل أن تواجه باكستان على إثرها أزمة في ميزان المدفوعات بعد الانتهاء من الدفعة السعودية التالية، ولا سيما وأن احتياطياتها الأجنبية لا تزال عند 13.3 مليار دولار.

لم تألُ الرياض جهداً لجرّ إسلام آباد نحو قاطرة التطبيع

بالعودة إلى التطبيع، لم تألُ الرياض جهداً لجرّ إسلام آباد نحو قاطرة التطبيع. وهو ما لفتت إليه مصادر دبلوماسية وعسكرية باكستانية تحدّثت، أخيراً، إلى صحيفة “هآرتس” العبرية، مؤكّدةً أن السعودية كثّفت ضغوطها، في الأشهر الأخيرة، على باكستان من أجل دفعها في هذا الاتجاه، ولكنها توقّعت أن يتوّلى الجيش الباكستاني هذه المهمّة طمعاً في صفقات دفاعية تسهّلها إسرائيل. ويريد وليّ العهد السعودي، محمد بن سلمان، بحسب الصحيفة، أن تمضي حليفته في هذا الطريق، قبل أن يتخّذ أيّ خطوة رسمية تجاه تل أبيب. ولفتت “هآرتس” إلى أن “باكستان ثاني أكبر دولة ذات غالبية مسلمة من حيث عدد السكان، وهي الدولة الإسلامية الوحيدة المسلّحة نووياً، وتطبيعها سيوفّر سبقاً جيّداً للسعودية”، معتبرةً أن الرياض تمتلك “بطاقة قوية لإسلام آباد، تتمثّل في توفير قرض بقيمة ملياري دولار لإنقاذ البلاد”. كذلك، أشارت إلى أن الجيش الباكستاني، وليس رئيس الوزراء، هو الذي يدير فعلياً الدبلوماسية الباكستانية، مُتوقّعةً أن يلجأ الأوّل إلى إضفاء طابع رسمي على العلاقات مع تل أبيب، على افتراض أن ذلك سيساعده في موازنة الصفقات الدفاعية الواسعة بين الهند وإسرائيل.

مقالات ذات صلة

Pakistan is steadfast… So far.

باكستان صامدة... إلى الآن

Al-Akhbar

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Pakistan is under various pressures to force it to normalize with Israel and to be positioned within an axis that is still in the process of being formed. Saudi Arabia, and the United States, is working to strengthen it and provide it with countries that see Israel’s truce as an interest in iron’s hand in the region. But Islamabad’s calculations do not seem to be identical, at least in the foreseeable future, with its fiery ally’s desire to push it into into Tel Aviv’s lap. He) Imran Khan) is a hard-working man who has grown and expanded in the wake of the Asian country’s criticism of the Saudi kingdom’s distancing itself from the Kashmir issue, and Imran waving of the gathering of leaders of Islamic countries outside Riyadh-dominated Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to support Kashmir cause. Despite Pakistan’s efforts to remedy the situation by sending its chief of staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa, in mid-August, to Saudi Arabia to contain the tension, and bridge the rift.

Thus, the more Riyadh is upset and the level of tension rises between Islamabad and Riyadh, which urgently calls for the repayment of the concessional loan, and forced Islamabad to pay $1 billion before its due date (part of a $6.2 billion bailout announced by Saudi Arabia in October 2018: $3 billion in loans, as well as $3.2 billion in oil credit facilities the kingdom have forced Pakistan, once again, to pay the remaining amount, after its Prime Minister, Imran Khan, announced last month that his country was under pressure from the United States and “friendly countries” he did not name to recognize In Israel, stressing that he would not take such a step “unless there is a settlement that satisfies the Palestinians.”

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi was quick to deny reports that his country had repaid a $2 billion loan to Saudi Arabia and the emphasis on “ideal relations” between the two countries, Pakistani officials confirmed to Reuters that Islamabad had already returned $1 billion in the second installment of the concessional loan and turned to requesting a commercial loan from Beijing, to help it ease the pressure of paying another billion dollars to Riyadh next month. A finance ministry official confirmed that the Central Bank of Pakistan was in talks with Chinese commercial banks, told Reuters that China had “come to our aid.” Despite a $1.2 billion surplus in the current balance of transactions and unprecedented remittances from abroad of $11.7 billion in the last five months that have helped support Pakistan’s economy, observers see the Saudi money back as a setback, with Pakistan likely to face a balance of payments crisis after the next Saudi push, especially as its foreign reserves remain at $13.3billion.

Riyadh spared no effort to drag Islamabad towards the locomotive of normalization

Back to normalization, Riyadh spared no effort to drag Islamabad towards the normalization. This was pointed out by Pakistani diplomatic and military sources who spoke to the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz, stressing that Saudi Arabia had intensified its pressure, in recent months, on Pakistan to push it in this direction, but it expected that the Pakistani army would take over this task in the hope of defensive deals. Facilitated by Israel. Between India and Israel

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the newspaper, wants his ally to go down this path, before taking any official step toward Tel Aviv. “Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim country, the only nuclear-armed Islamic state, and its normalisation will provide a good precedent for Saudi Arabia,” Haaretz said, adding that Riyadh has “a strong card for Islamabad, which is to provide a $2 billion loan to save the country.” Haaretz also noted that it was the Pakistani army, not the Prime Minister, that effectively administered Pakistani diplomacy, expecting the former to formalise relations with Tel Aviv, assuming that it would help him balance the broad defence deals between India and Israel.

Warnings of not responding to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhri محاذير عدم الرد على اغتيال محسن فخري زادة

BY Amro Allan

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-12-03_11-29-53_411039.jpg
Writer and political researcher

**Machine translation**

Warnings of not responding to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhri Zadeh

The conclusion that the murder of prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhri Zadeh is the first result of the Three-Way (Israeli) American-Saudi meeting in the Saudi city of Neom is a reasonable conclusion, especially in light of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s description of this crime as a triple (Israeli), American and Saudi plot.

After this crime it became easier to draw a picture of the plan of the Israeli occupation entity for the current period that separates us from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. It seems that the Zionist entity, in cooperation with the Gulf governments in addition to the Cover of the American administration of Donald Trump, seems determined to direct several effective security strikes to the Islamic Republic and possibly to others in the axis of resistance also during this period. The Zionist enemy aspires to achieve several objectives from these strikes including: 

–      To deliver malicious tactical strikes that could have an effect on Iran’s missile program and civil nuclear program.

–      To complicate the tracks for a possible quick U.S. return to the Iran nuclear deal after Joe Biden’s administration takes office.

–      To undermine Iran’s prestige and to strike harsh moral blows to the Islamic Republic and to the axis of resistance in general, and in return to give a moral boost to the new Zionist entity allies from the Gulf countries.

–      To present tangible security achievements to the new normalization treaties between some of the Gulf countries and the Zionist entity, to be placed in the hands of the Joe Biden administration as a leverage against the axis of resistance in the event of new talks with the Islamic Republic on the Iran nuclear deal in the future. As CNN international security editor Nick Paton Walsh says “For Biden’s team, Netanyahu is likely a problem to be solved rather than an ally, and this killing suggests in that likely fractious relationship with the new US President that Israel can do useful and aggressive things for the White House. It does not hinder Biden being the good cop, when the bad cop has just shown it can kill one of Iran’s most precious human resources in the secure suburbs of Tehran.”

The last point on the above list is perhaps the most serious of the objectives of the assassination, which forces the Iranian leadership to respond in an appropriate and deterring manner. If the Islamic Republic of Iran shy away from responding to this crime that could send damaging signals that the Islamic Republic is ready to return to the nuclear agreement at all costs, and that the emerging alliance between the Zionist entity and The Gulf countries under Donald Trump is an active alliance on which the United States can rely, and that it can carry out tactical operations that disturb the balances between the axis of resistance and the Zionist-American camp, imposing new facts on which the United States can build on their regional policies.

We do not believe that these calculations are absent from the minds of the leaders of the axis of resistance, and this axis has operational capabilities and tactics on the ground enables it to carry out an equal and deterring response to the assassination of Fakhri Zadeh, in a way that prevents the modification of existing balances or may even improve them in the axis of resistance favor, and in a way that avoids being drawn into open war at the time imposed by the enemy.

محاذير عدم الرد على اغتيال محسن فخري زادة

عمرو علان

كاتب وباحث سياسي

 صحيفة رأي اليوم

يعد الاستنتاج القائل بأن جريمة اغتيال العالم الفيزيائي الإيراني البارز محسن فخري زادة هي أول نتائج الاجتماع الثلاثي (الإسرائيلي) الأمريكي السعودي في مدينة نيوم السعودية استنتاجاً معقولاً، سيما في ضوء وصف الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران هذه الجريمة بالمؤامرة الثلاثية (الإسرائيلية – الأمريكية – السعودية)، وبعد وقوع هذه الجريمة بات من الأسهل رسم تصور عن مخطط كيان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للفترة الراهنة التي تفصلنا عن تنصيب الرئيس الأمريكي المنتخب جو بايدن، فيبدو أن الكيان الصهيوني، وبالتعاون مع حلفائه من المتصهينين من حكومات الخليج بالإضافة إلى غطاء أمريكي من إدارة دونالد ترامب، يبدو أنه عازم على توجيه عدة ضربات أمنية مؤثرة للجمهورية الإسلامية وربما إلى جهات أخرى في محور المقاومة أيضاً في هذه الفترة، ويطمح العدو الصهيوني إلى تحقيق عدة أهداف من هذه الضربات منها: 

–         توجيه ضربات تكتيكية مؤذية يكون لها أثار على البرنامجين الصاروخي والنووي الإيرانيين.

–         تعقيد المسارات أمام عودة أمريكية سريعة محتملة إلى الاتفاق النووي الإيراني بعد تسلم إدارة جو بايدن مقاليد الحكم.

–         المساس بالهيبة الإيرانية وتوجيه ضربات معنوية قاسية للجمهورية الإسلامية وإلى محور المقاومة عموماً، وفي المقابل إعطاء دفعة معنوية للحكومات المتصهينة في الخليج.

–         تقديم إنجازات أمنية وميدانية عملية لاتفاقات التطبيع الأخيرة بين الكيان الصهيوني والحكومات المتصهينة في الخليج، ليتم وضعها بين يدي إدارة جو بايدن كأوراق ضغط تُعدِّل في التوازنات ضد مصلحة محور المقاومة في حال دخول إدارة جو بايدن في محادثات جديدة مع الجمهورية الإسلامية حول الاتفاق النووي الإيراني مستقبلاً، وفي هذا الشأن كان نِك واليش محلل قناة (سي أن أن) الأمريكية للشؤون الأمنية قد قال أنه برغم العلاقة المرجح أن تكون مضطربة بين بنجامين نتنياهو والرئيس الأمريكي الجديد، يشير هذا الاغتيال إلى أن (إسرائيل) يمكنها القيام بخطوات عنيفة ومفيدة للبيت الأبيض، وهذه الخطوات لا تمنع بايدن من لعب دور الشرطي الرحيم في الوقت الذي يُظهِر فيه الشرطي العنيف قدرته على قتل أحد أهم القدرات البشرية الإيرانية في أحد ضواحي طهران الأكثر تأميناً.

وربما تعد هذه النقطة الأخيرة الأخطر من بين أهداف جريمة الاغتيال التي تفرض على القيادة الإيرانية الرد بطريقة مناسبة ورادعة، فعزوف الجمهورية الإسلامية عن الرد على هذه الجريمة يبعث بإشارات مضرة مفادها أن الجمهورية الإسلامية مستعدة للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي بأي ثمن، وأن الحلف الناشئ بين الكيان الصهيوني وبين المتصهينين العرب برعاية دونالد ترامب هو حلف فاعل يمكن للأمريكي الاعتماد عليه، وأنه يمكنه القيام بعمليات تكتيكية تخل بالتوازنات القائمة بين محور المقاومة وبين المعسكر الصهيوأمريكي، مما يفرض وقائع جديدة يمكن أن يبنى عليها في السياسة.

لا نعتقد أن هذه الحسابات غائبة عن ذهن قيادات محور المقاومة، ولدى هذا المحور من القدرات العملانية والتكتيكات الميدانية ما يمكّنه من القيام برد متكافئ ورادع على جريمة اغتيال فخري زادة، بشكل يمنع تعديل التوازنات القائمة أو ربما يحسّنها لصالحه، وبطريقة تتفادى الانجرار إلى حرب مفتوحة في التوقيت الذي يفرضُه عليه العدو.

**Machine translation**

Warnings of not responding to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhri Zadeh

The conclusion that the murder of prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhri Zadeh is the first result of the Three-Way (Israeli) American-Saudi meeting in the Saudi city of Neom is a reasonable conclusion, especially in light of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s description of this crime as a triple (Israeli), American and Saudi plot.

After this crime it became easier to draw a picture of the plan of the Israeli occupation entity for the current period that separates us from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. It seems that the Zionist entity, in cooperation with the Gulf governments in addition to the Cover of the American administration of Donald Trump, seems determined to direct several effective security strikes to the Islamic Republic and possibly to others in the axis of resistance also during this period. The Zionist enemy aspires to achieve several objectives from these strikes including: 

–      To deliver malicious tactical strikes that could have an effect on Iran’s missile program and civil nuclear program.

–      To complicate the tracks for a possible quick U.S. return to the Iran nuclear deal after Joe Biden’s administration takes office.

–      To undermine Iran’s prestige and to strike harsh moral blows to the Islamic Republic and to the axis of resistance in general, and in return to give a moral boost to the new Zionist entity allies from the Gulf countries.

–      To present tangible security achievements to the new normalization treaties between some of the Gulf countries and the Zionist entity, to be placed in the hands of the Joe Biden administration as a leverage against the axis of resistance in the event of new talks with the Islamic Republic on the Iran nuclear deal in the future. As CNN international security editor Nick Paton Walsh says “For Biden’s team, Netanyahu is likely a problem to be solved rather than an ally, and this killing suggests in that likely fractious relationship with the new US President that Israel can do useful and aggressive things for the White House. It does not hinder Biden being the good cop, when the bad cop has just shown it can kill one of Iran’s most precious human resources in the secure suburbs of Tehran.”

The last point on the above list is perhaps the most serious of the objectives of the assassination, which forces the Iranian leadership to respond in an appropriate and deterring manner. If the Islamic Republic of Iran shy away from responding to this crime that could send damaging signals that the Islamic Republic is ready to return to the nuclear agreement at all costs, and that the emerging alliance between the Zionist entity and The Gulf countries under Donald Trump is an active alliance on which the United States can rely, and that it can carry out tactical operations that disturb the balances between the axis of resistance and the Zionist-American camp, imposing new facts on which the United States can build on their regional policies.

We do not believe that these calculations are absent from the minds of the leaders of the axis of resistance, and this axis has operational capabilities and tactics on the ground enables it to carry out an equal and deterring response to the assassination of Fakhri Zadeh, in a way that prevents the modification of existing balances or may even improve them in the axis of resistance favor, and in a way that avoids being drawn into open war at the time imposed by the enemy.

Amro Allan

Writer and political researcher

فيديوات مرتبطة

Saudi Arabia’s abominable human rights record

November 30, 2020 – 11:33

By Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman is an American award-winning author, syndicated columnist, and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Like the U.S., Israel, and other rogue states, the Saudis operate by their own rules in flagrant violation of international laws, norms, and standards. It’s the world’s head-chopping/public whippings capital. Anyone can be targeted for exercising free expression, human rights activism, or other forms of dissent against despotic rule.

They’re also vulnerable for not praying at designated times, improper dress code, non-observance of gender segregation, and other nonconformity with Wahhabi extremism.

Its documented high crimes include state-sponsored murder, torture, arbitrary arrests, and detentions, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, partnering in U.S. regional wars, banning free elections, denying due process and judicial fairness, prohibiting religious freedom, human trafficking, kidnappings, committing crimes of war and against humanity, along with virtually every other rule of law breach imaginable.

In mid-November, the London Daily Mail reported the following: “Saudi interrogators forced jailed women’s rights activists to perform sex acts, hung them from ceilings and ‘tortured’ them with electric shocks,” citing a report, titled: “A Stain on World Leaders and the G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia: The shameful detention and torture of Saudi women.”

The report explained that in May 2018, “10 human rights defenders who had successfully campaigned” to end the prohibition against women driving were arrested and detained. 

Weeks later, nine more arrests and detentions followed. Targeted individuals were activists for women’s rights in the kingdom. A few are males who support gender equality were also arrested. Most individuals targeted remain detained. It was learned that they were “subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading conditions of detention, solitary confinement, and unfair trial processes.”

In the report, human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy called on G20 nations to boycott the virtual November 21-22 Riyadh summit until wrongfully detained women are free. Other charges included forcing them to watch pornography, along with performing other sexual acts on interrogators.

One detained woman was reportedly told: “I’ll do whatever I like to you, and then I’ll dissolve you and flush you down the toilet.” Another woman said Saudi King Salman’s younger brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, oversaw what went on, at one point saying:  “I can do anything I like to you.”

Commenting on her report, Baroness Kennedy said horrendous abuses endured by detained women in the kingdom wouldn’t be tolerated in “decent nation(s),” adding: “Being expected to deliver for interrogators, what that has done to the soul of a woman is so terrible.”

Saudi abuses against nonviolent activist women are typical of how their ruling authorities always operate — showing contempt for the rights of ordinary people, tolerating no dissent.

Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) is the kingdom’s torturer assassin-in-chief. He personally signed off on the October 2018 brutal murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. In 2017, he arrested and detained hundreds of royal family members and Saudi businessmen. Held under house arrest at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, they were forced to pay tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and assets to the regime for release — MBS grand theft on the phony pretext of rooting out corruption. 

He consolidated power by eliminating rivals and terrorizing potential ones. Royal family members, Saudi businessmen, and others in the kingdom not willing to affirm loyalty to his rule risk arrest, detention, torture, and elimination.

Since appointed crown prince in June 2017 — gaining power because his of father’s mental and physical deterioration — he’s ruthlessly gone all-out to solidify it unchallenged. He likely OK’s sexual and other torture of detained women activists.

UN secretary-general Guterres is largely silent about Western, Israeli and Saudi high crimes, serving their interests instead of condemning them. As long as Saudi Arabia is oil-rich, its wealth used to invest in Western countries and buy their weapons, as well as partnering in their regional wars, their ruling authorities will turn a blind eye to the worst of kingdom high crimes.
 

RELATED NEWS

Trump is Speeding Up the Creation of an Anti-Iranian Power Bloc

By Vladimir Platov
Source: New Eastern Outlook

In preparation for Joe Biden administration’s possible arrival entering the White House, Donald Trump took additional steps to complete the creation of a regional power bloc with the leading role of Israel and Saudi Arabia under full US control to complicate Biden’s actions in building a new policy in the Middle East. Undoubtedly, the urgency was motivated by leaked information that Joe Biden and his advisers have allegedly already prepared a future nuclear deal with Iran and intend to revise Trump’s previously promoted solution to the Middle East crisis based mainly on Israel.

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With these goals in mind, and also given Riyadh’s previous refusal to establish diplomatic relations with Israel on the instructions of Washington, the way the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain did, preparation was arranged to encourage  with these two Middle Eastern countries pivotal for the US in the region to converge under the auspices of the Trump administration. At the same time, Israel’s fears were actively used in possibly adjusting Joe Biden’s attitude towards the Jewish state’s stance regarding the Palestinian issue and the development of annexed Arab territories. The same goes for the concerns of several Saudi families, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about Biden’s toughening of repression due to the “Khashoggi case”, since the President-elect called Saudi Arabia during the election campaign “an outcast” and promised that he would obstruct the Kingdom’s military campaign in Yemen.

Under these conditions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by Yossi Cohen, current Director of Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia on November 22, where “under the supervision of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo” he met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Netanyahu and Cohen flew to Saudi Arabia on businessman Ehud Angel’s private jet. The Israeli prime minister had previously used this jet for his secret visit to Oman to prepare the “Abraham Agreement”, which became the basis for the future of the Middle East according to Trump’s patterns, and a number of his other secret trips around the world.

Referring to this meeting, Mike Pompeo, without disclosing the details, indicated in his Twitter account that he had a “constructive” meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. The latter was heavily forced into negotiations with Netanyahu.

According to Kan, Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, the talks focused on Iran and the new US administration, led by Joe Biden, but no significant agreements have allegedly been reached yet. The Israeli media outlets do not hide that the main reason for the meeting was the consolidation of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the current US administration against Joe Biden’s restoration of Iran’s nuclear deal. They further recognize that Netanyahu’s meeting with bin Salman “brought countries one step closer to establishing official diplomatic relations even before the end of Donald Trump’s term in office.”

The Guardian draws attention to the particular importance of the meeting, emphasizing that it is “an infrequent meeting at a high level between longtime opponents.”

By mutual agreement, the parties agreed not to make the visit public. They behaved cautiously in Riyadh, especially since the Crown Prince’s line regarding rapprochement with Israel does not entirely coincide with his father and family’s line. Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud warned that the kingdom is ready to establish Israel’s relations in full only after a Palestinian-Israeli peace treaty. Simultaneously, based on Crown Prince bin Salman’s decision to go to such a meeting with Israeli officials, a correction of Riyadh’s position began to be seen. If earlier Saudi Arabia and all Sunni states unambiguously held a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli position, now new conditions have been created to force Palestinians to agree to the peace process and negotiate with Israel. One definite confirmation of this concept can be, in particular, the recent return to their jobs of the ambassadors of Palestine who were recalled from the UAE and Bahrain after these countries established official relations with Israel.

There are no official statements from the Trump administration yet in avoiding a wave of protest for such actions preventing the White House’s future owner from pursuing an independent policy in the Middle East.

In this regard, it is clear that it is not yet in Riyadh’s interests to make its contacts with the Israelis public, unlike Benjamin Netanyahu. The latter needs bonuses on the internal platform. This meeting was leaked only in Israel, clearly showing Netanyahu’s supporter’s desire, due to recent intensified protests against the Israeli prime minister’s corruption policy, to “boast of his merits” hoping that the steps he has taken will bring the day closer when Tel -Aviv and Riyadh officially establish diplomatic relations. At the same time, the Israeli media are actively promoting the thesis that this secret visit only means the continuation of Israel’s policy of expanding the circle of participants in the Abraham Agreements, which is actively supported by Donald Trump. “This is not an action against Biden. It is about expanding the bloc of Israel-friendly countries in the Middle East. But the emerging pro-American bloc becomes anti-Iranian by definition. Of course, if Biden intends to change the course of the US in the region drastically, it will now be more difficult for him to do so,” said Zvi Magen, the former deputy head of Nativ.

On the night after the said meeting, several Iranian-backed Houthis missiles flew into Saudi Arabia from Yemen. Some social network sources note that the missile strike occurred 5 hours after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, which didn’t exclude negotiations that could have been held on Israel’s use of Saudi airspace for an airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities at Natanz and Khondab. A particular reason for such fears could be a message, which appeared in Israel Defense, that the United States Central Command (CENTCOM, its area of responsibility in the Middle East) announced transferring a squadron of F-16 fighters from Germany to the United Arab Emirates to contain aggression and ensure security and stability in CENTCOM’s area of responsibility.


الردّ الإيرانيّ آتٍ فلينتظروا

ناصر قنديل

في مطلع العام 2015 قام رئيس حكومة كيان الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو بعملية استهداف نوعية في جنوب سورية سقط بنتيجتها الشهيد جهاد عماد مغنية وعدد من كوادر وضباط المقاومة والحرس الثوري الإيراني، وكان رهان نتنياهو أن اللحظة حرجة ولن تسمح للمقاومة وإيران بالردّ، فالعلاقة الإيرانية الأميركية تحت ضغط حساسيات التفاوض حول الملف النووي الذي يقترب من بلوغ نقطة التفاهم، وبالتالي فإن إيران ستمتنع عن الردّ وتمنع المقاومة من القيام به، ولذلك فالتوقيت مناسب للعملية التي تريد تغيير قواعد الاشتباك وتقول إن جيش الاحتلال لن يسمح بنشوء وضع على حدود الجولان المحتل في جنوب سورية تشبه معادلة جنوب لبنان، في تحد مباشر لما قاله يومها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله، عن التزام المقاومة الردّ على كل استهداف لها في سورية.

قلنا يومها إن ردّ المقاومة آتٍ، وإن حسابات نتنياهو خائبة، وإن المفاوضات وحساباتها ستلزم الأميركي بمراعاة حساسياتها، وبالتالي الضغط على قيادة الكيان لعدم تفجير الموقف، بينما ستكون إيران والمقاومة معنيتين بتثبيت قواعد الاشتباك، وخلال أيام قليلة كان الردّ في مزارع شبعا بعملية نوعية اضطر نتنياهو بعدها للإعلان عن العضّ على الجرح منعاً لتصعيد الموقف بعدما وصلته رسالة علنية من الرئيس الأميركي باراك أوباما مضمونها، الضربة الموجعة لكنها لا تستحق إشعال حرب.

اليوم يقع نتنياهو بالفخ ذاته فيعتقد أن اللحظة مؤاتية لتوجيه ضربة موجعة أو ضربات موجعة لإيران، التي يظنّها مربوطة الأيدي، تجنباً لفتح الطريق لتصعيد يعقد مهمة الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب جو بايدن الذي تتوقع منه العودة الى التفاهم النووي، وكما كتبنا في أكثر من مقال، تلك هي مشكلة العمليات التكتيكية تفادياً للوقوع في حرب التي يراهن بعض الأميركيين والإسرائيليين على ملء المرحلة الفاصلة عن نهاية ولاية الرئيس دونالد ترامب بها، فتلك العمليات بين خيارين، خيار أن تكون تحت سقف مضمون لعدم استدراج الرد، وهي في هذه الحالة غير موجعة ولا تغيّر معادلات، وبين السعي لعمليات توجع وتغير معادلات وفي هذه الحالة لا ضمان بعدم الردّ، وقد يكون الردّ أشد إيلاماً، ويفرض معادلة الحيرة التي كان يريد نتنياهو إيقاع إيران فيها، وبالتأكيد بات ممكناً بعد توصيف القيادات الإيرانية السياسية والعسكرية لعملية اغتيال العالم النووي الإيراني محسن فخري زادة، وإعلان الالتزام بالرد، والرد المؤلم، أن نقول إن الرد آت لا محالة وقريباً، وإن كيان الاحتلال بعد تقارير نيويورك تايمز وتصريحات المسؤولين الإيرانيين باتهام كيان الاحتلال بالعملية، يجب ان يكون على موعد مع تلقي الرد المقبل، وهو لا يعلم أي الردّين سيكون أولاً، ففي رقبته دين للمقاومة يتمثل بحقها بالردّ على عملية استهداف أدت لسقوط شهيد قرب دمشق، كما لا يعلم الجبهة التي سيكون الردّ عليها.

المأزق الذي سيحكم المرحلة المتبقية من ولاية ترامب، سترسم معالمه عمليّة الرد، وسيكون على ثلاثي ترامب ونتنياهو وحلفائهم في الخليج ان يتخذوا القرار عندها بالعض على الجرح، لأن الضربة موجعة، لكنها لا تستحق حرباً، أو أن يذهبوا للحرب ويتحمّلوا التبعات.

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