Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev Moscow, April 28, 2021

April 28, 2021

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Director General of Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency Dmitry Kiselev Moscow, April 28, 2021

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We have available video in Russian and transcript in English.

Transcript:

Dmitry Kiselev: Our relations with the United States are really “hell”. Personally, I don’t recall them being at such a low ebb ever before. This is even worse than the Cold War times, in my opinion. Ambassadors have returned back to their home countries. What’s going to happen next? What is the possible scenario?

Sergey Lavrov: If it depended on us alone, we would gladly resume normal relations. The first possible step towards this, which I regard as obvious, is to zero out the measures restricting the work of Russian diplomats in the United States. It was as a response measure that we restricted the operations of American diplomats in Russia.

We proposed this to the Biden administration as soon as it had taken the oath and assumed office. I have mentioned the idea to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. I did not try to press it; I just said that an obvious way to normalise our relations would be to zero out the measures initiated by Barack Obama. Several weeks before leaving office, he was so annoyed he virtually slammed the door by seizing Russian property in violation of all the Vienna conventions and throwing Russian diplomats out. This has caused a chain reaction.

We patiently sat back for a long time, until the summer of 2017, before taking any response measures. The Trump administration asked us to disregard the excessive measures taken by the outgoing Obama administration. However, Donald Trump’s team failed to normalise the situation, and so we had to take reciprocal measures. But the Americans have not stopped there.

We can see that the Biden administration continues to go downhill, although US President Biden said during his conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin soon after his inauguration, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told me that they are thoroughly reviewing their relations with Russia, hoping that this would clarify many things. However, instead they adopted new sanctions, which triggered not simply a mirror response on our part. Our response was asymmetrical, just as we had warned them on numerous occasions. It has to do, in part, with a considerable disparity in the number of diplomats and other personnel of the US diplomatic missions in Russia, which is way above the number of Russian diplomats in the United States.

As for the strategic picture of our relations, I hope that Washington is aware, just as Moscow is, of our responsibility for global stability. There are not only the problems of Russia and the United States, which are complicating our citizens’ lives and their contacts, communications, businesses and humanitarian projects, but also differences that are posing a serious risk to international security in the broadest possible meaning of the word.

You remember how we responded to the outrage that took place during Joe Biden’s interview with ABC. You are also aware of how President Putin reacted to President Biden’s proposal of a meeting. We have taken a positive view of this, but we would like to understand all aspects of this initiative, which we are currently analysing.

Nothing good will come out of this, unless the United States stops acting as a sovereign, as President Putin said during his Address to the Federal Assembly, accepts the futility of any attempts to revive the unipolar world or to create an architecture where all Western countries would be subordinate to the United States and the Western camp would work together to “rally” other countries across the world against China and Russia, admits that it was for a purpose that the UN Charter sealed such principles as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of other states and sovereign equality of states, and simply honours its commitments and starts talking with us, just as with any other country, on the basis of respect for each other and for a balance of interests, which must be established. President Putin said this clearly in his Address, pointing out that Russia is always open to broad international agreements if they suit our interests. But we will harshly respond to any attempts to cross the red line, which we ourselves will determine.

Dmitry Kiselev: Would it be realistic to expect them to become aware of this and stop acting as a sovereign? Hope is fine, but the reality is completely different.

Sergey Lavrov: I have not expressed any hope. I just mentioned the conditions on the basis of which we will be ready to talk.

Dmitry Kiselev: And what if they refuse?

Sergey Lavrov: It will be their choice. This means that we will be living in conditions of a Cold War, or even worse, as you have already mentioned. In my opinion, tension did run high during the Cold War and there were numerous high-risk conflict situations, but there was also mutual respect. I believe that this is lacking now.

There have been some schizophrenic notes in the statements made by some of the Washington officials. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said just a while ago that sanctions against Russia would be continued, that they are producing, by and large, a desired effect, and that their objective is not to “escalate” with Russia. Even I am at a loss about how to comment on this. I hope anyone can see that such statements are doing no credit to those who are upholding and promoting this policy.

Dmitry Kiselev: I had a chance to hear an opinion – perhaps even a commonplace opinion, to some extent, in certain circles – to the effect that diplomats are doing a poor job, that we are constantly digging in our heels, that our position is inflexible and non-elastic, and this is the reason why our relations are poor.

Sergey Lavrov: Are you alluding to circles inside this country?

Dmitry Kiselev: Yes, inside this country.

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, I also read these things. Thankfully, this country protects freedom of speech much better than many Western countries, including the United States. I read the opposition’s online resources and newspapers, and I think that perhaps these people have a right to express their point of view that consists in the following: “If we refrained from disputing with the West, we’d have Parmesan cheese and lots more things that we are sincerely missing; but for some reason, they have cut short food purchases in the West [they do not even explain that this was done in response], they have stopped buying food and gone into import substitution, thus increasing the price of food.”

You know, this is a narrow, lopsided view taken entirely from the standpoint of creature comforts, a choice between a television set and a fridge. If they think it essential to accept US values, I would like to remind them about what US President John Kennedy, the greatest US President to my mind, once said: “Don’t think what your country can do for you. Think what you can do for your country.” This is a radical distinction from today’s liberal views, where personal wellbeing and personal feelings alone are the things that matter.

The promoters of these philosophical approaches, as I see it, are not just unaware of what our genetic code is all about, but are trying in every way to undermine it. For, apart from the desire to live well, to be well-fed, to be confident that one’s children, friends and relatives are well too, a feeling of national pride always played an equally important role in what we did throughout our one thousand years’ history. If someone thinks that these values are of no importance for him or her, as it is [politically] correct to say now, it is their choice, but I am certain that the overwhelming majority of our people have a different opinion.

Dmitry Kiselev: Are you counting on a meeting with Antony Blinken? When can this meeting be held, and will it take place at all in the foreseeable future?

Sergey Lavrov: When we were talking over the phone, I congratulated him in keeping with the diplomatic etiquette. We exchanged a few appraisals of the [current] situation. The talk was, I feel, well-meaning, calm and pragmatic. When our US colleagues have completed staffing their Department of State, we will be prepared to resume contacts – naturally, on the understanding that we will engage in a search for mutually acceptable arrangements on many problems, starting from the functioning of the diplomatic missions and ending with strategic stability and many other things. US and Russian business communities are concerned with expanding their cooperation, something that the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce has recently told us. We have concluded by stating that there will be some joint multilateral events, on whose sidelines we will be able, as chance offers, to talk. But no signals have come from the US so far. Speaking about the schedule of events, Russia will be taking over the Arctic Council chairmanship from Iceland three weeks from now. An Arctic Council ministerial meeting is scheduled to take place in Reykjavík on May 20-21. If Secretary Blinken leads the US delegation, I will, of course, be prepared to talk with him, if he is interested.  Given that we will chair the Arctic Council for the next two years, I have informed our Iceland colleagues that I will attend this ministerial meeting.

Dmitry Kiselev: Is there any certainty as to who will definitely join the list of unfriendly states?

Sergey Lavrov: The Government of Russia is attending to this on instructions from President of Russia Vladimir Putin. We are participating in this work, as are other respective agencies.  I would not like to jump the gun right now.  We are reluctant to be indiscriminate and put on that list just any country that will say somewhere “something wrong” about Russia. Our decision will be based, of course, on a deep-going analysis of the situation and on whether we see opportunities to have a dialogue with that country in a different way. If we come to the conclusion that there is no chance of this, then, I think, the list will, of course, be periodically extended. But this is not a “dead” paper. As is only natural, it will be revised in tune with how our relations develop with this or that state.

Dmitry Kiselev: When will the public be able to read this list?

Sergey Lavrov: Soon, I think. The Russian Government has concrete assignments. We understand the criteria that are guiding us in this work. So, I think, the wait will not be very long now.

Dmitry Kiselev: Will the unfriendly states be banned from hiring local workforce?

Sergey Lavrov: There will be a ban on hiring any physical persons whether Russian or foreign.

Dmitry Kiselev: Is this the only measure with regard to unfriendly states or some others are in the offing?

Sergey Lavrov: At this stage, this is the concrete aim set in the executive order signed by President of Russia Vladimir Putin.

Dmitry Kiselev: Donbass is another subject. Tensions have continued to escalate there since early 2021, and it appears that they have subsided a little since US President Joe Biden called President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. In my show News of the Week, I noted that US military guarantees to Ukraine had turned out to be a bluff. Nevertheless, shootouts continue, and they are using banned large-calibre weapons. It seems like this peace is not very different from war, and that the balance is highly unstable. Over 500,000 Russian citizens now live in Donbass. Will there be a war?

Sergey Lavrov: War can and should be avoided, if this depends on us and on the self-defence fighters, as far as we understand their principled approaches. I cannot speak and make guesses on behalf of the Ukrainian party and President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky because, by all indications, his main goal is to stay in power. He is ready to pay any price, such as pandering to neo-Nazis and ultra-radicals who continue to brand the Donbass self-defence fighters as terrorists. Our Western colleagues should reassess the developments that have taken place since February 2014.  None of these districts attacked the rest of Ukraine. They were branded as terrorists, and an anti-terrorist operation was launched against them and then another operation involving “joint forces.”. But we do know for sure that they have no desire to make war on representatives of the Kiev regime.

I have repeatedly told our Western colleagues, who are totally biased in their assessment of current developments, and who unconditionally defend Kiev’s actions, that Russian journalists and war correspondents working on the other side of the demarcation line show an objective picture. They work in trenches there almost without respite, and they provide daily news reports. These reports show the feelings of the people living in these territories that are cut off from the rest of Ukraine by an economic blockade, where children and civilians are being regularly killed, and where the civilian infrastructure, schools and kindergartens are being destroyed. I asked our Western colleagues why they don’t encourage their media outlets to organise the same work on the left side of the demarcation line, so that the scale of damage there can be assessed and to see which facilities have been the hardest hit.

As for the recent developments, when we openly announced the military exercises in the Southern and Western military districts – we made no secret of that, you remember the shouts about the alleged Russian build-up on the border with Ukraine. Just take a look at the terms used: we speak about drills in the Southern and Western military districts, while they say that Russia is amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. And when the drills ended and we made the relevant announcement, the West claimed maliciously that Russia had to back off, to withdraw. This is an example of wishful thinking.

This is reminiscent of the situation with the G7: every time they meet they announce that Russia will not be invited to the group. We have stated on numerous occasions that we will never re-join it, that there will not be any G8, and that this is a thing of the past. However, continued references to this subject, as well as claims that Russia has “rolled back” and has ordered its troops to “return to their barracks” shows, of course, that in this instance the West wants above all to take advantage of this situation to prove that it has the last word and the dominant place in modern international relations. This is regrettable.

The subject of a settlement in Ukraine has been discussed by President Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The other day President Putin spoke about it with President of France Emmanuel Macron. The issue was also raised during a recent conversation with US President Joe Biden. The situation is clear, as I see it. The patrons of President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and his team refuse to make him honour the Minsk Agreements, even though they are aware of the futility of trying to use military force; they have heard the signals sent from Donetsk and Lugansk about their readiness to defend their land, their homes and their people who refuse to live by the laws being enforced by neo-Nazis.

President Putin has said clearly that we will never abandon the people of Donbass, who are standing up to the openly radical neo-Nazi regime. President Zelensky keeps saying in his interviews that there are no problems with the Russian language or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and that he is willing to discuss all these subjects with President Putin. It is a shame perhaps that a person I have always regarded as clever says that the Russian language and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have no problems in Ukraine. I have no doubt that he is very well aware of the situation. Maybe nothing at all is being reported to him, but in that case he is living in a dream world. But the West has definitely sent its signals to Zelensky.

As you have mentioned, it would be senseless to pin hopes on US military assistance. This has always been clear to everyone. If anyone entertained such illusions, such advisers are good for nothing in any government, including the government of Mr Zelensky. Regrettably, the West continues to try to convince us that the Minsk Agreements should be mitigated and the sequence of the actions set out in them changed. Zelensky says he likes the agreements, but only if it is all the other way round, that they first take full control of these territories, including the border with Russia, and only then deal with the elections, amnesty and a special status for these territories. It is clear that if they did this, if they were allowed to do this, there would be a massacre. The West is unable or unwilling to force Zelensky to comply with the Minsk Agreements strictly in accordance with the sequence set out in them, which does not permit any double interpretation and has been formulated unambiguously from the first to the last step. Control of the border is the very last step to be taken after these territories receive a special status, which must be sealed in the Constitution of Ukraine, after free elections are held there and their results are recognised as such by the OSCE.

Of course, there must also be total amnesty. Not in the way envisaged by the Poroshenko government or the current regime, which only want to approve an  amnesty on an individual basis for those who are proved to have committed no crime. This is yet another misinterpretation. The Minsk Agreements stipulate an amnesty for those who took part in fighting on both sides, without any transitional justice process, which our Western colleagues are now beginning to discuss.

I believe that the brunt of responsibility lies with the West, because only the West can make President Zelensky honour the commitments which his predecessor signed and he himself signed in Paris in December 2019 when he, the presidents of Russia and France and the Chancellor of Germany reaffirmed the absence of any alternative to the strict observance of the Minsk Agreements, and he pledged to amend the legislation and the Ukrainian Constitution to formalise the special status of Donbass on a permanent basis.

Dmitry Kiselev: Many people are wondering why Russia fails to recognise Donbass. It did recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is an inner “lobby” in Russia, even among my fellow journalists, who are demanding that we recognise Donbass – the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic. Why are we failing in this?

Sergey Lavrov: You are right that there is an analogy with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But there is just one exception: no agreements similar to the Minsk Package of Measures were signed in those countries, when Saakashvili’s aggression against Tskhinval and the positions of peacekeepers, including Russian peacekeepers, occurred. The Medvedev-Sarkozy document was discussed there, and it implied a number of steps. But it was not signed by Georgia. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, after reaching an agreement with us in Moscow, took a plane to Tbilisi to ensure Saakashvili’s support for the document. Saakashvili signed it, but he deleted all the key provisions.  Mr Sarkozy attempted to represent this as a compromise, but everyone understood everything. It had a preamble saying that the Russian Federation and the French Republic, desirous of normalising the situation in South Caucasus, propose to Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia the following:  a ceasefire. Saakashvili crossed out the heading, leaving just the first and subsequent items. Since then, the West has been demanding that we comply with these agreements. This is just an example.

In the case of Donbass, the situation was different. The 17-hour long negotiations in Minsk involving the Normandy format leaders (President Franсois  Hollande of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Petr Poroshenko of Ukraine, and President of Russia Vladimir Putin) produced a result, which was endorsed, two days later, by the UN Security Council without any amendments or doubts that it should be implemented.

Today, the moral and international legal truth is on our side and on the side of the Donbass militias.  I think that we must not let Mr Zelensky and his entire team “off the hook,” writhing as they might. Mr Zelensky’s statement is a fine specimen (made when he had all but given up hope of turning the Minsk Agreements upside down) to the effect that they are no good, albeit necessary, because the saving of the Minsk Agreements guarantees that the sanctions against Moscow will be preserved as well. We asked the West, what they think about this. They just look aside shamefacedly and say nothing.  I think it is a shame and a disgrace, when an international legal document is held up to mockery in this manner.  The West, which has co-authored this document and supported it at the UN Security Council, is demonstrating absolute helplessness.

Dmitry Kiselev: President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky cannot get a call through to President of Russia Vladimir Putin, who is not picking up the receiver. Your Ukrainian counterpart, Dmitry Kuleba, cannot get a call through to you. What does this mean? Why is this?

Sergey Lavrov: This means that they are seeking to revise the Minsk Agreements and represent Russia as a party to the conflict even in this area of their activities.

Requests that came in until recently both from my counterpart Kuleba and President Zelensky dealt with the topic of settlement in Donbass. We replied that this [topic] should be discussed not with us, but with Donetsk and Lugansk, as you agreed under the Minsk Agreements.   The agreements say in black and white that the key stages of settlement should be the subject of consultations and coordination with Donetsk and Lugansk. When they say that a “nasty situation is looming large” at the line of contact and want to talk to Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin, they are barking up the wrong tree. Meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in the Kremlin the other day, President Putin made it amply clear that if they wanted to talk about this, the address should be different.  If our colleagues, including President Zelensky, want to discuss how to normalise bilateral relations, they are welcome. We are always ready to talk about this.

Dmitry Kiselev: There is no reply or acceptance so far, is there?

Sergey Lavrov: I heard that Mr Zelensky instructed the chief of his office, Andrey Yermak, to come to terms on the timeframes. The location is of no importance, because each day of delay means new deaths.

Incidentally, let us take the fact that people are dying and what is happening at the line of contact. Over the last couple of weeks, Kiev has been insisting quite aggressively on the need to reaffirm the ceasefire. All of its Western patrons have also been urging us to influence Donbass so that the ceasefire takes hold in earnest. Speaking on the phone with President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, President Putin reminded them of the facts. And the facts are as follows: In July 2020, the Contact Group reached what was perhaps the most serious and effective ceasefire agreement, because it contained a verification mechanism.  It implied a sequence of actions, primarily each side’s commitment not to return fire immediately on the spot but report the violation to the top command and wait for its order on how to act, to wit, whether to respond in kind or to negotiate an arrangement under the mechanisms created for commander-to-commander liaison on the ground.   This agreement, as it was implied, was translated into military orders issued by the DPR and the LPR. These orders were published. Kiev pledged to do the same, but did nothing. Instead it started fiddling with words again. Instead of performing the obligation to report each shelling attack to the top command and get orders from them, they began replacing this clear-cut arrangement with confused formulas, although they were blamed for this by Donetsk and Lugansk at all subsequent meetings, and Russian representatives in the Contact Group, too, repeatedly said as much. The same happened in the Normandy Format.  This is what Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Dmitry Kozak has been doing all these months in contacts with his French and German colleagues. The head of President Zelensky’s Office, Andrey Yermak, was representing Ukraine. I read transcripts of their talks. It was like talking to a brick wall. They were at cross purposes: the Ukrainian leaders had obviously decided that it was necessary to revive the ceasefire story. It was shameful and unseemly.

It was a great pleasure to watch the Servant of the People series, when no one suspected that its main character would follow this path in real life. But he took the wrong path. If Mr Zelensky watched the series again today and tried to fathom the convictions of the person he had impersonated so well on screen, and later compared those convictions with what he is doing now, he would, perhaps, have achieved one of the most effective transformations.  I do not know when he was himself and when he underwent a transformation. But the contrast is striking.

Dmitry Kiselev: Another subject is the Czech Republic. What was it? How are we to understand it?

Sergey Lavrov: I cannot speculate on this because I do not understand intellectually what they wanted. One can watch it like a not too elegant television series.

This story is full of schizophrenic components. Czech president Milos Zeman says it should be sorted out, not denying the possibility of a subversive act by foreign agents, but suggesting taking into account the story told by the Czech leadership, including the incumbent Prime Minister Andrej Babis (the then Minister of Finance, in 2014), that it was the result of negligence by the depot owners. President Zeman only suggested that consideration should be given to the case that has never been disproven over the seven years. He is accused of high treason now. President of the Senate Milos Vystrcil said that by stating the need to investigate all the leads President Zeman had disclosed a state secret. Is this not schizophrenia? A pure case, I think.

There needs to be an investigation into what was stored in the depot. The German media said that they kept antipersonnel mines prohibited by the convention signed, inter alia, by the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. A lot of questions remain.

Dmitry Kiselev: Indeed, how could it happen that a certain Bulgarian citizen supplying antipersonnel mines (by all appearances they were found there), controlled a depot in the Czech Republic which was not then under the control of the government?

Sergey Lavrov: It so happens.

Dmitry Kiselev: Maybe the Czechs would be better to start with themselves?

Sergey Lavrov: Probably. Or follow the example of Ukraine where too a vast number of armed people, weapons and ammunition are controlled not by the Ukrainian armed forces, but by “volunteer battalions.” It is a trend where the state proves its inability to ensure, if you like, its monopoly over the use of force.

Dmitry Kiselev: Ukraine is one thing but the Czech Republic is a member of the EU. It is bound by other international commitments than those of Ukraine and presents itself differently.

Sergey Lavrov: Above all, in addition to the aforementioned conventions (Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and the so-called Arms Trade Treaty, they are all parties to it), the EU has its own quite strict rules that do not encourage but rather prohibit any actions like supplies and sending forces to regions where there are conflicts.

Dmitry Kiselev: What do you think about the so-called British files? This looks like an orchestrated information campaign against Russia.

Sergey Lavrov: As before, the British continue to play a very active, serious and subversive role in relations between Russia and Europe. Britain has withdrawn from the EU but it has not slackened its activities there. On the contrary, it has been trying to exert maximum influence on the EU countries’ positions towards Moscow. This is not surprising at all.

You don’t even need to go very far back in history. In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium. The inquest began in one way, and then the process was classified because it was necessary to analyse the materials of intelligence services. And then they announced the verdict, but the materials involved in the case have never been made public. As Arnold Schwarzenegger used to say, “Trust me.” I would rather side with Ronald Reagan’s “trust but verify.” But they don’t allow us to verify; they only demand that we trust them.

In 2014, the Malaysian Boeing was downed. They formed a team comprising a narrow group of four countries – the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine. They did not even invite Malaysia, the country that lost the plane. These four countries have agreed, as it has since transpired, that any information would only be revealed on the basis of consensus. Ukraine, where the disaster took place, was given the right of veto, while Malaysia was invited to join the group only six months later. The black boxes, which the self-defence forces provided to Malaysia, were analysed in London. I don’t recall them making the information public.

In 2018, there were the Skripals and the “highly likely.” Nobody knows to this day how the Skripals survived the alleged poisoning, why the police officer who worked with them did not display any symptoms of poisoning, and why the woman involved died while her partner did not get sick. There are very many questions.

In 2020, we had the case of Alexey Navalny. He was flying from Tomsk to Moscow, but the plane landed in Omsk. Nobody on board the plane or in the Omsk hospital got sick. A bottle of water [from his hotel room] was taken by Maria Pevchikh to Germany on the plane that transported Navalny – nobody knows anything. Doctors at the Charité hospital did not find any traces of poison, but they were found at the Bundeswehr. German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer demanded transparency in connection with our recent military drills in the southern and western regions of Russia. But we announced the drills beforehand, whereas the Bundeswehr, whose experts allegedly found traces of Navalny’s poisoning, is keeping information from us. Our request for the results of tests and biomaterials has been denied.

After that there was a long story involving the OPCW. It allegedly took part in collecting samples from Navalny. According to the remarkable information from Berlin, German experts were present during the collection of the samples, but OPCW experts are not mentioned at all. We are trying to sort this information out. Nobody wants to explain anything. Germany is directing us to the OPCW, which says that the request came from Germany and so we should ask them. It is a conspiracy of silence. We have seen this happen in crime movies about bandit groups operating all over the country after the war. This is regrettable.

Getting back to Britain, we can see that London is continuing its anti-Russia policy. Chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) Richard Moore said a few days ago that Russia is “a declining power” whose allegedly “reckless behaviour” needs to be dealt with. This is inherent arrogance and a belief that they continue to rule the world. They are sending “signals” to us and propose establishing ties. In other words, they are not against communicating with us, but they are trying to discourage others from doing the same. This could be an aspiration for a monopoly of contacts and a desire to prove that they are superior to others.

Dmitry Kiselev: Speaking about decline, Britain is a perfect example of a declining empire “on which the sun never sets,” a small island in the North Sea with clouded prospects. To return to the Czech Republic, opinions within the country on the latest developments are totally inconsistent. There is no consensus, and nothing has yet been proven, but diplomats have been expelled. There has already been a result.

Sergey Lavrov: They claim that this is not the reason why our diplomats were expelled.  Two statements were made on the same day. They appeared to be interconnected. Prague is now trying to prove that there is no connection between them. They have announced that the explosions were organised by Petrov and Boshirov, the ubiquitous Russian suspects. It’s like blaming them for the sinking of the Titanic. The same day it was announced that 18 diplomats would have to leave the country. The majority of people accepted this as “punishment” for the 2014 explosions. After that, the Czech authorities said they would track down Petrov and Boshirov and issue an arrest warrant for them. As for the 18 diplomats, they identified them as spies. They expelled them because they turned out to be intelligence agents. No proof that any of these 18 diplomats are guilty of illegal activities has been provided. It is not surprising that former Czech President Vaclav Klaus said that the country’s authorities were like a tiny pooch barking at a huge dog, hoping that the big boys (the United States and Britain) would throw their weight behind them. Do you remember a time from your childhood when local bullies waited until dusk to demand 15 kopeks from a smaller kid, and if he refused they summoned the “big boys.” The logic is very similar. This is regrettable.

We never schemed against our Czech colleagues. Why would we need to blow up that warehouse? Some people say that the Russians were angry that the Bulgarian planned to send munitions to Ukraine. This is a completely schizophrenic view of the situation. This is impossible to imagine. But the machinery has been set in motion. I hope our Czech colleagues will come to their senses after all and will take a look at what they have done. If reason prevails, we will be ready to gradually rebuild the conditions for our diplomatic missions to function normally.  If not, we will make do. We know how we will be working. We don’t have to ingratiate ourselves with anyone.

Dmitry Kiselev: Working on what?

Sergey Lavrov: We know how we will be working in the Czech Republic and other countries. Pinpoint attacks are being made against Russia in the Baltics, Poland and, recently, Romania. Bucharest has added, though, that its decision was in no way connected to the EU’s position. This came as a surprise. They just decided to send that Russian diplomat back home. Why? They have not explained.

Dmitry Kiselev: It is notable that Germany has not supported the Czech Republic.

Sergey Lavrov: I have read the relevant statement by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. He spoke like a responsible politician. It is not always that the German Foreign Ministry takes such a balanced and astute position. Many of its other statements have indiscriminately supported injustice, for example when Ukraine adopted sanctions against the Opposition Platform – For Life political party, its leader Viktor Medvedchuk and several of his associates, all of them Ukrainian citizens.  The German Foreign Ministry expressed its approval, saying that this was fully in keeping with OSCE principles. This is absurd.

Therefore, what Heiko Maas said the other day is a responsible political statement. It has not smoothed over differences but pointed out the importance of maintaining dialogue and looking for agreements, since we live side by side.

Dmitry Kiselev: Recently in China, you said we needed to look for alternatives to the SWIFT international payment system, and Russia was preparing for this. Is there a specific timeframe, and what stage of the preparations are we at?

Sergey Lavrov: Many have already spoken about this. This is happening because in recent years, the West has been looking for more ways of infringing on Russia’s legitimate interests. Now they are openly mentioning the possibility of disconnecting our country from SWIFT. Responsible politicians just have to think of ways to play it safe.

In addition to these statements, the United States is increasingly abusing the role of the dollar in the international monetary system, using certain countries’ dependence on dollar settlements to limit their competitive opportunities – China and other states they dislike. China, Russia, and Turkey are now looking for opportunities to reduce their dependence on the dollar by switching to alternative currencies, or even better – by making settlements in their national currencies. The responsible agencies, including in our country, are thinking about how to prevent damage to the economy and the financial system if some hotheads actually disconnect us from SWIFT. Russia launched a national payment card system a few years ago; MIR cards have been in use in Russia since then. The system is already developing ties with its foreign counterparts, as similar cards are being issued in China and Japan. It is also building ties with the internationally accepted payment card Maestro.

As regards the SWIFT system, specifically, the Central Bank of Russia recently introduced and continued to develop a system for the transfer of financial messages. It is quite popular. I think we need to support and strengthen this in every possible way to ensure we do not depend on anyone. Let me emphasise that we are not trying to self-isolate. We want to be part of the international community. Part of a community where justice and democracy work. We have discussed the problems of democracy with the West. But once they are asked to come to an agreement, to declare that democracy should triumph in international relations, too, they lose their enthusiasm. They are full of lectures on internal democratic processes, but when it comes to the international arena, we get raised eyebrows. Here, allegedly, there are established ‘practices’ that ‘Russia and China are trying to implement’ (it’s about this). But in reality, Moscow and Beijing only want to preserve the principles of the UN Charter, according to which everyone is equal and must seek agreement.

One needs to have a safety net in terms of payment systems and transfer of financial messages. We have one. I hope it will grow stronger and be able to provide a guarantee if suddenly, contrary to our desire to cooperate with everyone, the West discriminates against Russia, abusing its current position in the international economic and monetary systems, in this situation, we really cannot afford to depend on anyone.

Dmitry Kiselev: So the Central Bank’s system for transfer of financial messages is the budding alternative to SWIFT?

Sergey Lavrov: I am not an expert. I don’t know how reliably and effectively it provides a full warranty. But the groundwork is already there. I am confident that the Government and the Central Bank must do everything to make it reliable and guarantee us complete independence and protection from more damage that might be inflicted on us.

Dmitry Kiselev: In a conversation with your Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, you proposed an initiative to create a coalition of countries affected by illegal sanctions. To what extent has this project progressed? What countries could join it?

Sergey Lavrov: I would not put it like that. We have been working at the UN for a long time to end the practice of unilateral illegitimate sanctions such as embargoes, blockades and other restrictions. We have been working for a number of decades to lift the embargo the United States declared on Cuba. The respective resolution is supported by more than 190 votes annually, with only the United States and one small island nation voting against it.

However, since this practice of unilateral restrictions began to be widely used (started by Barack Obama, expanded by Donald Trump, and applied to this day), a large group of countries voted in the UN to establish the position of Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights and their impact on the civilian population and the socioeconomic situation in a particular country. Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan is a citizen of Belarus. This institution, created by the UN General Assembly, is working and circulating reports. I think it is a very useful step.

Another specific course of action is now being developed in New York to the same end, as you mentioned, to counter illegal unilateral measures. It is a group in support of the UN Charter. Nothing revolutionary – just in response to our Western colleagues forming flagrantly non-universal groups.

US President Joe Biden has put forth the idea of ​​holding a Summit for Democracy. Naturally, the Americans will recruit the participants and will judge who is worthy to be called a democracy and who is not.

Also, in recent years, our French and German colleagues have being making calls to ensure freedom of the media through the Alliance for Multilateralism, a group they announced outside the framework of universal institutions. They rallied more than thirty states under its banners even though there is UNESCO, where the same topic is discussed by everyone.

Or, there was an appeal in support of international humanitarian law. Law is universal. It is the responsibility of the UN bodies. But again, they recruited about 50 states.

Such appeals have nothing to do with universal bodies, but they cover the agenda that is discussed at a universal level. They place that agenda into a framework where they are more comfortable negotiating with those who obey, and then they present it as the ultimate truth.

This movement against illegitimate unilateral actions is much broader than just sanctions.

Dmitry Kiselev: Can this movement be formalised by membership?

Sergey Lavrov: The membership is in the UN. This is the difference: we are not creating anything against anyone. In the Asia-Pacific region, we would like to leave everything as it is. ASEAN has its partners, while anyone else can join security discussions. The logic of the West acts against this. They are implementing the Indo-Pacific Strategy with its declared goal of containing China and isolating Russia.

The same is happening at the UN. They create various partnerships on topics that need to be discussed as part of the UN agenda. We insist that everyone must fulfil their obligations under the UN Charter, not scatter the global agenda across their compartments, only to present it later as the international community’s opinion.

Dmitry Kiselev: A recent update: the Americans confirmed they had made efforts to prevent Brazil from buying the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. Brazil indeed refused, even though the coronavirus situation in that country is simply awful. What is your assessment?

Sergey Lavrov: This does not surprise me. The Americans are not even embarrassed to do things like that; they are not hiding it.

When former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo travelled to Africa, he openly and publicly called on his colleagues at a press conference to cut off trade with Russia and China because these countries pursue selfish goals. Right, the United States trades with African states for the sole benefit of their peoples, of course.

As for the vaccine issue, a protest movement kicked off in Brazil against that decision. If the Americans have admitted they were behind it, that means they are true to their logic and believe everything is possible and permitted, and they can now openly dictate their will.

Not so long ago, French President Emmanuel Macron warned of a new type of world war, and that Russia and China were using vaccines as a weapon and means of propaganda. That rhetoric is now receding. Germany, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, is already seriously talking about the possibility of using the Russian vaccine.

We are not going to force anyone. I think life itself will set things straight. Vladimir Vysotsky said: “I always try to find the good in people. They will show the bad themselves.”

Dmitry Kiselev: A year ago, in an interview with our agency in the midst of the pandemic, you said you missed football. Are you back to sport yet?

Sergey Lavrov: In fact, I am. I did miss playing for a couple of weeks. We took a break and kept it low-key. But later, when we realised what precautions we could take, the games resumed. We play every Sunday.

RUSSIAN-SYRIAN GAS CONTRACT HINTS AT SYRIA’S RECOVERY

Source

 09.04.2021

Russian-Syrian Gas Contract Hints At Syria’s Recovery

Submitted by Steven Sahiounie.

The Syrian government signed a 4-year contract in March with Capital Limited, a Russian firm, to conduct oil and gas exploration in the area known as block No. 1 in the Syrian exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of the Tartous province.

The disputed maritime area covers 2,250 square kilometers on the Syrian-Lebanese maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea.

Large reservoirs of natural gas have been discovered under the seafloor of the eastern Mediterranean and the neighboring nations and energy exploration companies are eager to exploit these gas deposits.

The Levantine basin has proven reserves of more than 60 trillion cubic feet of gas. The US Geological Survey has estimated that 1.7 billion barrels of oil lie in the basin, and as much as 122 trillion cubic feet of gas. That amount of gas is equivalent to about 76 years of gas consumption in the European Union (EU).javascript:window[“$iceContent”]

Natural gas is the cleanest of the fossil fuels and serves as a transition fuel towards more renewables, and to replace coal and nuclear electric generation across the EU.  Gas is the energy of demand for the EU, which is the biggest emerging gas market in the world.

In December 2013, Damascus entered into a major agreement with Moscow to explore oil and gas in the offshore territorial waters for 25 years.  Drilling and exploration costs were estimated at $100 million.  Russia would finance these activities with expenditures recovered from eventual production.

The 2013 deal for gas exploration involved Russia’s SoyuzNefteGaz; however, the current contract involves two Russian companies, Capital Limited and East Med Amrit.

The area in which Russian companies are being allowed to operate is disputed by the Lebanese, with the maritime borders drawn by the Syrians, especially in Block No. 1, overlapping significantly with Block No. 1 and Block No. 2 on the Lebanese side, and encroaching approximately 750 square kilometers within Lebanon’s maritime border.

Lebanon was busy demarcating its southern maritime and land borders with Israel for years, without making any progress.

On April 6, Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe said that Lebanese President Michel Aoun held a phone conversation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss the demarcation of maritime borders between the two countries. Wehbe said Aoun confirmed in his call with Assad that “Lebanon won’t accept to diminish from its sovereignty over its waters”, and confirmed that his country sticks to demarcating the maritime borders via negotiations, and not court disputes.

The majority of the land borders between the two countries have been demarcated in 1971, while the maritime borders between Syria and Lebanon have not been delineated. Lebanon had previously demarcated its maritime borders in 2011, and in 2014 launched a round of primary licenses and invited bids for Block No. 1 in the north, but Syria did not recognize the Lebanese demarcation. Damascus objected to the unilateral Lebanese demarcation of its exclusive economic zone in the north, by sending a protest letter to the United Nations in 2014.

Wehbe said that Beirut must negotiate with Damascus about the demarcation of maritime borders.

“This is not an act of aggression but every state demands its rights according to its perspective,” Wehbe said, adding that negotiations must take place within the framework of international laws and the brotherly relations between the two countries.

In late 2010, a dramatic discovery was made in the eastern Mediterranean of a huge natural gas field offshore, in what geologists call the Levant or Levantine Basin. The discovery set into motion a geopolitical plan devised in Washington and Tel Aviv back in 1996.  By March 2011 Syria was immersed into a revolution instigated and fueled by the CIA on orders from President Obama.

In August 2011 findings were revealed by Syrian exploration companies of an immense gas field in Qara near the border with Lebanon and near the port of Tartus, which was leased to the Russian navy. The gas reserves are believed to be equal to or exceed those of Qatar.  The US-backed rebels kept the fighting focused in the area to prevent the recovery of the gas.

Trump ordered the US troops illegally occupying Syria to stay and steal the oil.  The US military prevents the Syrian government from using the oil in the northeast to rebuild or recover from 10 years of war.

The US, NATO, and the EU all worked in coordination to destroy Syria and keep it from reaching its potential as an energy-sufficient nation.

Washington’s ‘regime-change’ strategy was based on instigating internal chaos in Syria through the use of CIA training and weapons of armed fighters following Radical Islam, which they thought would end with an Islamic State as opposed to the existing secular government in Damascus, and supported through the coffers of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both nations state sponsors of Radical Islam.

The US lost the war in Syria. But, Washington will continue to isolate Russia and try to prevent the unchanged government in Damascus from the gas reserves off-shore.

Turkey began the US-NATO war against Syria as a team player. Turkey was used as a transit point for all the hundreds of thousands of foreign terrorists from the four corners of the globe who flocked to Syria on Team-USA to oust the Syrian government, in favor of Radical Islam. However, Turkey feels left out of the lucrative gas deals, and envious of its neighbors in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey is trying to disrupt energy exploration. Meanwhile, it is the babysitter of the Al Qaeda terrorists in control of Idlib and determined to maintain the status quo in Idlib.

While Russia has been in the Syrian port of Tartus for decades, it was in 2015 that they were invited to Syria militarily in the darkest days of terrorist expansion.  The Russians have a long and bloody experience with Radical Islamic terrorists on Russian soil. With Syria laying on the southern front of Russia, it was seen as a national security threat to allow an Islamic state to be proclaimed in Damascus, even if it was only the Muslim Brotherhood politicians supported by the US and housed in hotels in Istanbul.

The Russians felt they could either defeat the terrorists in Syria or wait and fight them on the streets of Moscow. Radical Islam is neither a religion, nor a sect, but a political ideology that is very difficult to deal with once US weapons are placed in their hands.

In 2012, F. William Engdahl wrote a prophetic article Syria, Turkey, Israel and a Greater Middle East Energy War. He wrote, “The battle for the future control of Syria is at the heart of this enormous geopolitical war and tug of war. Its resolution will have enormous consequences for either world peace or endless war and conflict and slaughter.”

Engdahl theorized that Syria would ultimately be a major source for Russian-managed gas flows to the EU.

In late 2015, Pepe Escobar, a journalist with Asia Times, wrote a groundbreaking article Syria: Ultimate Pipelineistan War”.

Escobar wrote, “Syria is an energy war. With the heart of the matter featuring a vicious geopolitical competition between two proposed gas pipelines, it is the ultimate Pipelinestan war.”

In the article, he takes you back to 2009 when Qatar proposed to Damascus the construction of a pipeline traversing Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria to Turkey, to supply the EU.

However, in 2010 Syria chose a competing project, the $10 billion Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. That choice set into motion what the western media terms as the Syrian civil war, but in reality was never civil, and was a classic US ‘regime-change’ project which featured a cast of thousands, and among the supporters were the heads of state from most of the civilised world.

After 10 years of war, Syria may finally be approaching the endgame. President Assad’s government is looking to post-war recovery and reconstruction, which will need foreign and domestic investments. The energy sector is crucial. Syria’s oil exports accounted for 30% of pre-war revenue, and the prospect of gas output was revealed just as the war ramped up. US and EU sanctions will make foreign investment difficult, but the world is watching Russia in the waters off Syria.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist and political commentator.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Can the US be deterred? (OPEN THREAD #5)

Source

Can the US be deterred? (OPEN THREAD #5)

April 06, 2021

Today, RT posted an article which began with the words “Amid fears of worsening clashes in eastern Ukraine, Russian and American diplomats have held unscheduled bilateral talks in an effort to forestall an all-out conflict, which Moscow has warned could spell disaster for the region“.

This begs the question: is the “Biden” administration still capable of logical thought?

My guess is that no, probably not.  Here is why:

  • Ever since Dubya, each US administration was lead by a clueless and weak President who might have been good at making speeches, but which had neither the intelligence, nor the will, nor the courage to lead the United States.
  • This phenomenon became particularly acute with Obama, who was a fantastically incompetent and weak leader and, as a result, the putatively single US foreign policy was replaced by many competing foreign policy: one Foggy Bottom foreign policy, another one by the Pentagon, yet another one by the CIA, etc. etc. etc.  As a result, the foreign policy of the US was decided like a mathematical sum vector (which often, did not match any of the competing agendas).
  • At the same time, the world watched in awe and horror how the quality of the US “diplomats” was in free fall.  For example, not since James Baker did the US have a competent Secretary or State.  The same can be said of the Pentagon or the CIA.  Remember Pompeo or Petraeus?
  • A wise saying states that if everybody is in charge, then nobody is.  If everybody is responsible, then nobody is.  For the USA, this means that while each agency or lobby pushes for its own interests, nobody is really in charge of protecting the people of the USA if the proverbial crapola hits the fan.
  • It would be a fair thing to say that while the competence of US diplomats went down, their arrogance sky-rocketed to levels of “chutzpah” never seen before.  What we know have is a quasi-perfect fusion of Anglo and Zionist messianism gone berserk (the LGBTQ+ freaks’ is another perfect example of this)
  • Weak administrations are also the perfect object of lobbying, hence the phenomenal rise of the influence of both the Zionist and Ukronazi lobbies in the United States.
  • Finally, US Americans in general, and US decision makers in particular, are phenomenally ignorant of history.  Combined that with their messianic narcissism and you get a most toxic combination of a total sense of impunity and an terminal inability to see even a major danger or threat.

Yet the Russians are still trying, if only because they, unlike their US colleagues, understand the nature of war.  Still, I am afraid that the conversation might looks something like this:

Russians: if you attack us, we will sink most of your navy, we will destroy your key command posts and we might even strike the continental USA with our conventional (non-nuclear armed) long range weapons.

US Americans: nah, there is noooooo way you can do that, you drink too much vodka and you are bluffing.  We are the most powerful military in the history of the galaxy – have you not read Tom Clancy?!

Russians: don’t you understand what the consequences of a major war in the Ukraine will be for the European continent and your NATO “allies”?!

US Americans: you are authoritarians, we are democrats and democracies always prevail against authoritarian regimes!

Russians: but, don’t you feel any pity for your European “allies”?!

US Americans: we can and will protect them, we are the most powerful military in the history of the galaxy!!

Russians: and how do you propose to protect anybody from our hypersonic weapons?

US Americans: We are the USA. Lower your defenses and surrender your forces. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile (yes, that is the mental level of these TV-educated ignoramuses).

etc, etc, etc.

The chances of this leading to a de-escalation are, frankly, infinitesimal.

What about the French and the Germans then?

Oh, I am pretty sure that they both “got it”.  These regimes are evil, but not stupid.  They are, however, totally under the thumb of Uncle Shmuel and most unlikely to openly defy him.  All they can do is beg, and that is unlikely to suade him.

Still, today, Foreign Minister Lavrov, during a press conference in India, said that Germany and France were doing noting useful and that they must urgently bring the Ukies “back to their senses”.  Will anybody heed this warning?

Russia is clearly trying very hard to show, by words and actions, that she will not back down.  And, for all their other and very real faults, I suspect that many (most) Ukronazi leaders do understand that if this comes to a “hot” war they personally are likely to die.  These are cowards and cowards always panic when they are personally threatened.  This, by the way, gives Russia another potentially interesting option:

Say the Poles move one or two battalions into the western Ukraine.  Rather than obliterating them, Russia could decide to “only” target their battalion HQs and commanders.  This way, i) innocent Poles would not have to die ii) the surviving Poles would be terrified and iii) Poland would have no means of retaliation whatsoever.  What about NATO?  I can tell you that NATO would protest but not move at all, just like the did with Saakashvili and Erdogan.  No NATO/EU country is willing to enter a war against Russia on behalf of the Poles in the Ukraine, not even they are that stupid.

Anyway, these are my thoughts today after listening to the latest news.

I turn this over to you – what do you think?

Kind regards

The Saker

The Zionist Protection Racket

The Zionist infrastructure has been a racket since its inception, and politicians like John Kerry had to find that out the hard way.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is alexis2.jpg
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.
Logoswars1@gmail.com

By Jonas E. Alexis –

March 31, 2021

…by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor, and Henry Makow

Henry Makow has a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982 and is the author of best-selling books such as Cruel Hoax: Feminism & New World Order and Illuminati: The Cult that Hijacked the World.

JEA: The Zionist infrastructure has been a racket since its inception, and politicians like John Kerry had to find that out the hard way. At one point, Kerry was so angry at the mad man in Tel Aviv that he told him: “We’re conducting foreign policy, this isn’t a synagogue.”

Kerry moved on to say that instead of serious, logical and constructive foreign policy, America is being hoodwinked by “sandpaper like Netanyahu. Netanyahu just drove us crazy…because he was just unbelievably difficult.”[1] Netanyahu drove virtually every serious politician crazy.

This is one reason why Obama has declared in his recent book that, during his administration, Netanyahu was a problem child in the Middle East. Stephen M. Walt of Harvard and John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago noted that Obama never believed that Iran could be an existential threat to the U.S. or Israel.[2]

In any event, the Zionist power is a house built on sand, and Henry Makow has something to say about this whole racket.

HM: A “protection racket” is a scam where an aggressor instigates an attack, blames a bogeyman, and then offers to protect the victim from this bogeyman in return for money and power.

The “War on Terror” is a protection racket. The aggressor is the world financial elite known as the “Crown” based in the City of London. Their instrument is the Zionist project, specifically Israel, the Mossad and its Neo Con allies.

The victim is the people of the United States and the West in general. The goal is the overthrow of Western Civilization, and the establishment of a world police state called the “New World Order.”

“Zionism is but an incident of a far-reaching plan,” said leading American Zionist Louis Marshall, counsel for bankers Kuhn Loeb in 1917. “It is merely a convenient peg on which to hang a powerful weapon.”

The head of the Department of Homeland Security is Israeli dual citizen and Zionist Michael Chertoff. He was the New Jersey State Attorney when five Mossad agents were arrested after witnesses saw them congratulating themselves on the destruction of the World Trade Center. Their van tested positive for explosives. (See Chris Bollyn article below.) Speculators who shorted airline stocks before 9-11 have been identified as Israelis apparently.

“ANTI SEMITISM” THE ORIGINAL PROTECTION RACKET

The Jewish elite regards the Jewish rank-and-file as pawns to be manipulated. Jews had to be terrorized into setting up Israel as a “national home,” i.e. colonizing the Middle East and creating a center of world government. World Finance funded the Nazis. Zionists actively collaborated with them.

Zionist betrayal is the reason Jews went passively to their deaths, says Rabbi Moshe Shonfeld in his book “Holocaust Victims Accuse.” Non-Zionist Jews were worth more dead than alive to the Zionist leadership who, Shonfeld says, reaped the moral and financial capital from their “sacrifice.” See my “Zionism: Compulsory Suicide for Jews.”

The Jewish elite has a long history of manipulating Jews in this manner. For example, in 1950 a wave of anti-Semitism and terrorism in Iraq made Naeim Giladi, 21, join the Zionist underground. Giladi was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death by Iraqi authorities.

He escaped and fled to Israel only to discover that the bombings had been engineered by his fellow Zionists to dupe Iraqi Jews into going to Israel. An ancient community was deprived of its wealth and reduced to second-class citizen status in Israel, replacing Palestinian labor. See my “Zionists Double Crossed Iraqi Jews”

Israel provoked attacks from its neighbors in order to “retain its moral tension” according to the secret diary of Prime Minister Moshe Sharett. The state must “invent dangers” to start war and thereby “acquire our space,”
he wrote. See “The Zionist Roots of the War on Terror.”

“ANTI SEMITISM” BECOMES “ANTI AMERICANISM”

The pogrom on Sept. 11 2001 was designed to stampede Americans into forfeiting their civil rights and invading the Middle East.

There is a drumbeat in the media to convince Americans that they are victims of Muslim fanatics. This propaganda campaign is carried out by Neo Cons (a.k.a. Zionists.) In his book, “The New Jerusalem: Zionist Power in America,” the late Michael Collins Piper wrote:

“In the build-up to the Iraq war, Zionist propagandists and the media increasingly began touting the message to Americans that “the whole world is against us”… and the Israelis are our only real solid dependable ally …The theme that anti Americanism had run rampant was instilled in Americans for the very purpose of making them “anti” everyone who refused to support the…Iraq war…and the more broad ranging Zionist agenda.” (157)

Sound familiar? This is the tactic they use on Jews. Piper says that Zionism is being equated with Americanism. Zionist agents like Nathan Sharansky crafted the overblown and specious rhetoric of Bush’s second inaugural speech that committed the US to advancing the Zionist agenda using force.

History provides a sobering warning as to where this could be leading. In his essay, The Nature of Zionism, Russian author Vladimir Stepin writes,

“During the civil war in Russia, the Zionists also performed another task. Using some units of the Red Army – Trotsky was the chairman of the country’s Revolutionary Military Council – they organized the Jewish pogrom in Seversk.

“The result of this was the “Law on Those Involved in Pogroms” of 27 July 1918. In accordance with this law, a monstrous Zionist terror raged in Russia for ten years: a person accused of anti-Semitism was, without any argument being allowed, declared to be involved in pogroms and placed against the wall to be shot.

“Not only anti-Zionists, but the best representatives of the intelligentsia of Russia, could be accused of being anti-Semitic, and so too could anyone one felt like accusing of it. People saw who was exercising power in Russia and expressed their discontent with it. 90% of the members of the Cheka – the Soviet security organ, 1918-1922 – were Zionists.

“Apart from the law on those involved in pogroms, the Zionists practiced genocide against the ethnic groups inhabiting Russia, and they did so by accusing people of counter-revolutionary activities, sabotage, and so on, irrespective of whether or not the people in question really had conducted such activities. It was standard practice merely to put them against the wall to be shot.”

CONCLUSION

My hunch is that the central banking elite, using Masonic secret societies in the military and intelligence agencies, is responsible for 90% of terrorism. The purpose is to manipulate people into advancing the goals of the New World Order, which includes destroying true religion, nation states, democracy, ethnic identities, and family. In their mind, they have to destabilize and enslave us to protect their monopoly on government credit i.e. money creation.

They are running a protection racket to protect us from their artificial “terror.” Zionists or Americans who carry out their agenda could end up holding the bag if something goes wrong, or as I should say right.

Remember they are challenging the greatest power in the universe: God, or Truth as witnessed in the souls of all human beings. They are most vulnerable now on the 9-11 attack which they perpetrated. If we rise up as one to demand the truth about this atrocity, their obscene criminal enterprise will start to unravel.

[1]  Quoted in Gil Troy, “A History of U.S.-Israel Breakups and Makeups,” Daily Beast, March 3, 2015.

[2] Stephen M. Walt, “Bibi Blows Up the Special Relationship,” Foreign Policy, March 2, 2015.

ما الذي يُعَدّ للعراق؟

عمرو علان - Amro 🇵🇸 (@amrobilal77) | Twitter
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عمرو علان

الثلاثاء 9 آذار 2021

يعكف عادةً ساكن البيت الأبيض الجديد في المئة يوم الأولى بعد تنصيبه على رسم الخطوط العريضة التي ستحكم سياسات إدارته خلال فترته الرئاسية، لكن يبدو أنه بات من الممكن تلمّس معالم استراتيجيات جو بايدن تجاه منطقة المشرق العربي، في قراءة أولية معتمدين بشكل رئيسي على ما أقدم عليه الأميركي أخيراً وتحركات بعض حلفائه الإقليميين، ولا سيما أن هذه المعطيات تتقاطع مع بعض المعلومات المتوافرة من مصادر مطلعة.

لم تفلح إدارتا باراك أوباما ودونالد ترامب في حسم الحرب على سوريا لمصلحتَي الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وربيبها الكيان الصهيوني من الناحية الإستراتيجية، وحقّقت سوريا ومحور المقاومة عموماً إنجازات متتالية خلال السنوات الماضية، وبات نفوذ المحور في تصاعد على مساحة الإقليم بشكل عام، رغم العثرات في مواضع، وبطء الإنجازات في مواضع أخرى، وبدأ طريق طهران بيروت مروراً ببغداد ودمشق بالرسوخ رويداً رويداً، ويدرك الأميركي ما لهذا الأمر من تهديد على نفوذه، ليس من الناحية العسكرية وحسب، بل الأهم هو ما يتيحه ترسيخ هذا الخط لأطراف محور المقاومة من فرص تبادل اقتصادي وفرص إنمائية، ما يمثّل تحدياً جدياً لسياسات الضغوط الاقتصادية القصوى التي باتت تتَّبِعُها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية في ظل انحسار خيارات الانخراط العسكري المباشر لديها.

وكان من المتوقّع أن ينصرف الأميركي إلى التركيز على التحدّيين الصيني والروسي بناءً على اللهجة العدائية الأميركية المتصاعدة تجاه هاتين القوتين العظميين، لكن يظهر أن الأجنحة الصهيونية داخل الإدارة الأميركية نجحت فيوضع ملفات المنطقة – بما تمثّل من تحديات حقيقية للكيان الصهيوني – ضمن سلم أولويات إدارة جو بايدن الكثيرة.

تُعدّ زيادة ترابط الساحتين العراقية والسورية أحد إفرازات أحداث العشرية الأخيرة، حيث باتت تؤثر إحداهما على الأخرى بشكل مباشر، وبالتالي على عموم محور المقاومة، وكون الروسي حاضراً في الساحة السورية، وما لهذا الحضور من تأثير على هامش المناورة الأميركية في تلك الساحة، يبدو أن الأميركي يتجه إلى محاولة كسر حلقة التواصل بين أطراف محور المقاومة عبر إحداث تطورات على الساحة العراقية تصبّ في مصلحته، لكون هامش الحركة لديه في العراق أوسع، ونظراً إلى خصوبة الساحة العراقية بسبب التناقضات في الداخل العراقي، ويبدو أن الغارة الجوية الأميركية الأخيرة على فصائل الحشد الشعبي العراقي تأتي في سياق رسم ملامح المرحلة القادمة وفي سياق تحضير ساحة العمليات الأميركية، سيّما أن اختيار منطقة الحدود العراقية السورية لتنفيذ هذه الغارة له دلالاته، وكان لافتاً أيضاً ظهور رغد صدام حسين على قناة العربية المملوكة سعودياً في سلسلة حلقات تلفزيونية، ورفضها في تلك المقابلة استبعاد احتمالية أن يكون لها دور مستقبلي في العراق، ما يمكن قراءته كإشارة أخرى على وجود هكذا توجُّه لدى المحور الصهيوأميركي.

تشير المصادر المطّلعة إلى وجود خطة أميركية لإحداث بلبلة أمنية في الداخل العراقي، والقيام بعمليات تصفية لمفاصل فاعلة قريبة من محور المقاومة من خلال قوات خاصة وعمليات أمنية، أملاً في قلب التوازنات الحاكمة في العراق حالياً لمصلحة الأميركي، ونقله من موقع إلى آخر، ويرجّح أن يكون هذا بالتوافق مع شخصيات تشغل مناصب عليا في الحكومة العراقية الراهنة، وبرغم النفي الصادر عن وزارة الدفاع العراقية، فلقد كان لافتاً تصريح الناطق باسم البنتاغون جون كيربي عن تنسيق الغارة الجوية الأخيرة ضد الحشد الشعبي مع الحكومة العراقية قبل أن يتراجع ويسحب هذا التصريح.

انتقال العراق من تموضعه الحالي إلى تموضع أقرب للسياسات الأميركية يُفضي إلى تشديد الخناق الاقتصادي المفروض على الدولة السورية، إضافة إلى كسر حلقة التواصل بين أطراف محور المقاومة كما أسلفنا، ويأمل الأميركي من الحصار الخانق المفروض على الدولة السورية تحقيق مكاسب في الانتخابات السورية المقبلة، وانتزاع تنازلات من القيادة السورية في قضية استقلال الأكراد في الجزيرة السورية، حيث آبار النفط وحقول القمح السورية.
إذا صحّت هذه التوقعات، فهذا يفرض على محور المقاومة رسم خطوط حمر أمام العبث الأميركي، وهذا متاح لأن المبادرة في الإقليم لا تزال بيد محور المقاومة، بعد تجاوز كل أشكال الضغوط في السنوات الأربع المنصرمة.

* كاتب فلسطيني

The Russians aren’t coming—the Israelis are

If you think that Russia is or has been a threat to America and much of the West, I think you are mistaken.

By Jonas E. Alexis -March 8, 2021

If you think that Russia is or has been a threat to America and much of the West, I think you are mistaken. It was the same delusion that poison the mind of people like George Soros, who wrote in the Guardian back in 2016 that Vladimir Putin “is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis.”[1] Without the slightest evidence, Soros posited:

“The leaders of the US and the EU are making a grievous error in thinking that president Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against Islamic State. The evidence contradicts them. Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood Europe with Syrian refugees.

“Russia has also launched a large-scale air attack against civilians in northern Syria. This was followed by a ground assault by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s army against Aleppo, a city that used to have 2 million inhabitants. The barrel bombs caused 70,000 civilians to flee to Turkey; the ground offensive could uproot many more.”[2]

Complete fabrication! If Russia were liquidating Syrian civilians, why Syrian civilians appreciated the presence of the Russians in the region? One needn’t be a politician to realize that Soros’ formulation is generally dumb.

In any event, we shouldn’t be paying attention to people like Soros, particularly when they are postulating things that simply don’t make sense at all. Russia is not an enemy of the West. If there is one country that has been weakening the very foundation of what the founding fathers stood for, then it must be Israel. Perhaps people who doubt this statement should pay close attention to Philip Weiss here.

10-20 American mouthpieces for Israeli government had unrivaled access to Obama White House — Rhodes—Philip Weiss

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser under President Obama, says that he had to meet with Israel lobbyists as much as all other interest groups combined; that these lobbyists were a tiny segment of the American Jewish community, the same 10 to 20 individuals; they invariably took the position of the Israeli government; and were apparently scripted by the Israelis in some cases.

He also said that White House national security aides were expected to appear at the Israel lobby group AIPAC’s annual conference, but if they paid attention to Arab-American or peace groups, they could “get in trouble.”

The Israel lobby’s access was reinforced by compliant media and Congress, with members of Congress at times warning Rhodes about the “acute” financial threat of taking on the lobby.

Rhodes detailed the financial “threatening” from the Israel lobby in a podcast with Peter Beinart on February 10:

On Iran, the members would call me at the beginning of the August recess in 2015, when we’re having the Iran fight, and be like, AIPAC put out a press release saying they’re going to spend $40 million on ads on this. The money issue became acute. And people started to say, AIPAC told me they’d cancel my fundraisers if I vote this way. We’re never supposed to name the issue of money. But like when it became very acute and AIPAC is spending money and threatening people that they’re going to cancel fundraisers, suddenly you’re having that conversation in a way where you’re not even allowed to allude to it in normal circumstances.

Recall that in 2019 when Rep. Ilhan Omar dared to say that AIPAC used “benjamins” to command support for Israel in Congress, she was denounced far and wide and compelled to apologize for “antisemitic tropes,” though she was only saying what Rhodes says here.

Rhodes’s discussion of money echoes his 2018 memoir of the Obama years in which he said that after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lectured Obama in the White House in 2011, about why Israel could not accept the ’67 lines as a border, Rhodes had to get on the phone to “a list of leading Jewish donors . . . to reassure them of Obama’s pro-Israel bona fides.” The concern then was the 2012 election.

Here are extended excerpts of Rhodes’s comments on the Israel lobby to Beinart. (I did a separate post on Israel’s disrepect for Obama per Rhodes yesterday, including Rhodes’s “shame” that the Obama White House pretended that Netanyahu believed in a two-state solution when he never did; and how the Biden team is forgetting the “history,” that Israel made life hell for Obama, sometimes in racially offensive terms).

On the omnipresence of the Israel lobby:

You meet more with outside, organized constituency groups on Israel than any other foreign policy issue. I’d actually go as far to say that . . . as a senior White House official working on national security . . . the number of people you meet from the organized pro-Israel community equals all the other meetings that you might do with kind of diaspora or constituency groups on all the other issues. It’s that degree of dwarfing. I’m pretty confident that’s consistent across [presidential] administrations . . .

You just have this incredibly organized pro-Israel community that is very accustomed to having access in the White House, in Congress, at the State Department. It’s taken for granted, as given, that that’s the way things are going to be done.

Rhodes said that any time there’s “daylight” between the U.S. government and the Israeli government, the White House hears from Democratic members of Congress.

The degree of congressional interest again dwarfs any other issue I worked on in the Obama years. Anything with a nexus to Israel, be it Iran or the Palestinian issue, the two dominant ones in our time, you’re going to hear from members of Congress, you’re going to be expected to be briefing members of Congress. If there’s any daylight between the US and the Israeli government, even Democratic members are going to be upset, concerned about that.

Netanyahu also applied pressure by calling on “vast” rightwing media resources in the U.S.

The media interest is dramatically intensified [on this issue]. And that’s both a very aggressive kind of pro-Likud media in the United States. It’s also just the mainstream media delights in any Israel controversies. Netanyahu knew that he could gin up the rightwing pro-Likud media in the United States, which is pretty vast, but he also knew that if he needled Obama he would create a week-long political story, because political reporters view Israel as a domestic political story, not a foreign policy issue.

So in all those ways, the outside pressure, the Congressional interest, the media interest, there’s just a much greater spotlight on anything with a nexus to Israel than on anything else. And inevitably that weighs on the minds of politicians and policymakers. You can’t act like it doesn’t.

Beinart asked how often aides had meetings with representatives of the pro-Palestinian side, and Rhodes laughed and said he was the only one to do so, because such meetings can get you “into trouble”– and they weren’t with Palestinians as such.

I would be the one to take those meetings. I actually did it like pretty regularly. Here’s the thing. Usually with me those types of meetings were either peace groups, sometimes Christian religious groups, Quakers and others advocating for peace. Sometimes Arab-Americans. Less Palestinian, but more broadly Arab-American. So there wasn’t a significant just-Palestinian or Palestinian-American organized constitutency that you would meet with… I ended up taking those meetings because look, not everyone wants to take those meetings. Because you can get into trouble if you’re seen as solicitous. I would get creamed in the rightwing press. I spoke at NIAC [National Iranian American Council] . . . Not on the Palestinian issue, but the Iran nuclear deal. You’d think I had dinner with the supreme leader of Iran. There’s a kind of chilling effect.

But everyone goes to AIPAC!

You are expected — every senior US government official in national security — is almost expected to turn up at AIPAC. You are not expected to turn up at NIAC.

Rhodes, who is half-Jewish, discussed the fact that Jews are heavily involved in policymaking and Arab-Americans are not.

I remember being in a meeting once early in the Obama years on Israel . . . I’m just acknowledging something and not suggesting that there’s anything inherently wrong with it. It just is what it is. I remember looking around the Situation Room on a meeting on the Israel/Palestine issue and every single one of us in the meeting was Jewish or of Jewish origin like me . . . Which again, I don’t want to sound conspiratorial. I’m not trying to advance a trope. I’m really not. I think it’s great that a lot of Jewish-Americans go into foreign policy and national security. I just remember thinking what if everybody in this room was Arab-American, you’d have a different [discussion].

We understand the Israeli fears and grievances and concerns intuitively as Jewish-Americans. Maybe not as much as Israelis . . . [but] we have some understanding with it in our unconscious literally . . . in a way that — intellectually, I can try to understand the Palestinian experience, but I don’t.

Rhodes said that the Israel lobby is a tiny subset of American Jews.

Over the eight years I met so many times with like the usual suspects from the organized American Jewish community. And part of what you start to realize is this is a pretty small number of people. The American Jewish community is a large, sprawling, raucous wonderful community, and it’s kind of like 10 to 20 people that you find yourself meeting with all the time, some of whom are by the way wonderful people. Some of whom, less so.

And they’re mouthpieces for the Israeli government.

And look, again — not a conspiracy, it is what it is. People are advocating a position. But it’s a common position. Whatever the tension point between us and the Israeli government was at a given time, they were usually coming in to represent what I knew to be the Israeli government’s view in that circumstance. There was a big push at the beginning of the Obama administration after Netanyahu’s election for the US to recognize Israel formally as a Jewish state, which actually had not been U.S. policy before 2009 . . . There was a big push on us to pressure the Palestinians into talks though it wasn’t clear those talks would lead anywhere.

Whenever there was an international incident like the Goldstone Report or the Turkish Flotilla, you have to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can at the U.N. to kind of block this from going forward.

The advice Rhodes got was at times intrusive and high-handed.

But I would also get advice on how to talk about these issues. I remember, to give you an example, they would complain that we dealt more with Palestinian grievances than Israeli grievances, which I did not think was the case frankly. One of these people said to me, “You’re right Ben–” cause I had showed him all the things we’d said about Israel’s legitimate security concerns and its history– he said, “But you put the Palestinians second.” So [having them first was] suggesting that you think they’re more important. You flip the order. It would get very specific. Language that Obama needed to use, reassurances that he needs to give.

During the Iran deal, the lobby piped the Israeli government line.

The nuclear deal was insane, the number of armchair centrifuge experts . . . We have nuclear scientists in the government, and I have someone from an organization yelling at me about advanced nuclear centrifuge issues! I think Ernie Moniz [former energy secretary] understands this. It’s not a conspiracy because other organizations do the same thing on their issues, but not as effectively frankly. But you could tell that somebody else had briefed them. In most instances, and whether that was the Israeli government or their own staff, I’m not suggesting . . . And in this case it was always whatever Netanyahu’s party’s difference was with Obama at the moment.

The Israel lobby’s talking points were laughably transparent.

I had members of Congress . . . talking to me about what the inspection regime needs to be about traces of isotope at Parchin [military site in Iran]. The talking points were so specific on Iran, that you knew . . . This was such an echo chamber; every member you’re meeting just conspicuously happens to be obsessed with the inspections regime at Parchin . . . You understood that everyone’s working off the same set of points.

Beinart, who is an observant Jew, and Rhodes agreed that Jews in government are granted a special place in discussion of these issues. Rhodes:

I will give you the obvious example. Congress. I would brief throughout the Iran process the Jewish Democrats in Congress. That was a group. And Sandy Levin, wonderful man, phenomenal human being, would pull it together and it wasn’t subtle. I was going up every few weeks to brief every Jewish Democrat, which is a pretty sizable group, about the particularities of the Iran negotiations. And by the way there was a Jewishness to it, like we had bagels. And so I think there is a kind of default to an assumption that you need to be informed by something of a Jewish perspective.

But then even in that, I sensed, I’m not a practicing Jew, and I sensed at times a bit of a vibe, Well who are you — and like I was called a fake Jew. There were these narratives of Jewishness that kind of informed this stuff.

By the way, it’s not as if anyone plans to “decenter” Jews! Today it is no coincidence that the top three officials in the Biden State Department — Tony Blinken, Wendy Sherman and Victoria Nuland — are all Jewish. These appointments are meant to reassure the Israel lobby of Biden’s support. The same reason Obama hired Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2008 by reaching out to an Israel lobbyist to be the intermediary. The same reason that for many years all of the Treasury undersecretaries for counter-terrorism, enforcing Iran sanctions, were Jewish.

Rhodes dealt with the Jewish part of the Israel lobby, but he says the Jewish lobby was able to use the “firewall” of the evangelical Christian Israel lobby in the Republican Party to shrink the debate and to “bludgeon” the Democratic Party.

The people who came to me knew that they had a Republican party that would be in total lockstep, total hawks — total wherever Netanyahu was. Debates about Israel . . . were entirely inside the Democratic party because the development of the last 20 years is that Republicans/evangelicals have completely embraced the rightwing Israeli side.

Weirdly, the evangelical firewall, if you will, of support for Israel really empowered the more conservative, in the political sense, rightwing Jewish perspective inside the American Jewish community because they knew they had the cavalry behind them of the entire Republican Party. Even though these were often debates with Jews in the room, the presence which wasn’t in the room, the evangelical conservative community, was very powerful. It gave them a . . . Trump card. If the Democrats didn’t fall into line they knew . . . the Republicans could bludgeon us with it. That’s the story of the whole Iran fight.

Rhodes said the Israel lobby is “not unique,” that it’s akin to the fossil fuel and gun lobby. “It’s not a Jewish specific thing. It’s just the combination of money and passion and organization coupled with this evangelical piece that has emerged in the last several decades that is not about Jews.”

The congresspeople are often craven. Rhodes related the occasion in 2015 when Netanyahu made a racist appeal at the end of his campaign, warning that “Arabs are voting in droves.” Asked about the remarks, Obama spokesperson Josh Earnest was critical, saying that the White House had serious concerns about “divisive rhetoric” and would communicate as much to Israeli government.

Rhodes:

And a member of Congress was complaining to me about this. I’m like, “What do you want us to do about this? The guy’s being a racist, he’s come out against the two-state solution, he’s talking about the Arabs coming out in droves, and we’re asked what we think about it. How can we not give an answer that’s somewhat honest?”

He said, “Why can’t you just blame the Palestinians?”

I said, “For what?”

He started talking about incitement. The pivot was not subtle.

Read Part 1 of the Rhodes comments here— how he feels “shame” that the Obama White House pretended that Netanyahu believed in a two-state solution when he never did; and how the Biden team is forgetting the “history” of Israel making life hell for Obama in sometimes racially offensive terms.

[1] George Soros, “Putin is a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than Isis,” Guardian, February 11, 2016.

[2] Ibid.

BIOGRAPHY

Jonas E. AlexisJonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, history of Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the new book Zionism vs. the West: How Talmudic Ideology is Undermining Western Culture. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled, Kevin MacDonald’s Abject Failure: A Philosophical and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and White Identity. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.

Blinken paves the way for a return to the nuclear deal in compliance with Iran’s terms بلينكين يمهّد للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي رضوخاً لشروط إيران

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

Blinken paves the way for a return to the nuclear deal in compliance with Iran’s terms

Nasser Kandil

– In the context of a radio interview with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she said, “We have come a long way towards preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and all of this was subsequently abandoned by the Trump administration. Current U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken responded to Clinton’s question about his expectations of the outcome of Iran’s absence from the 5+1 meeting, with the participation of Russia and China, by saying that Iran “is speeding up towards the day when it will have the ability to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon in a very short time», considering that when the agreement was reached in 2015, Iran was tending to make this period a mere weeks. Blinken warned that allowing this to happen, and Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon, or being on the threshold of possessing a nuclear weapon, “enables it to act with greater impunity,” noting that taking military action against it would have “different consequences,” concluding that “the best answer is” We reached the agreement “that” put the nuclear program in a box, cut its tracks to be able to produce the materials needed to make a nuclear weapon, “and pushed the period called” the time of penetration to more than one year. “

– Blinken said that because of the agreement «we had very strong sanctions » through the use of the Snapback mechanism, to automatically reimpose them if Iran violates the agreement, adding that “after we got out of the deal, Iran felt good,” as if saying: “We can move forward; We no longer comply with the commitments we made. ” And Blinken went on to say,“ And now she returns to that point, where she can produce fissile material for a very powerful weapon in a short time. He stressed that «we have an interest in returning it to the box, then see if we can actually build something longer and stronger in terms of the duration of the agreement, as well as deal with some of the other actions that Iran is taking, because we have a real problem with ballistic missiles and what they are doing in their vicinity».

– In practice, Blinken rearranged President Joe Biden’s administration vision papers regarding the Iranian nuclear file, from the stage on which Iran should start the first step, to the stage we started the first step with the indirect release of Iranian deposits of more than ten billion dollars in South Korea and Iraq, in exchange for Iran attending a joint session Within the 5 + 1 platform, and then here he is rearranging the cards again with Iran’s refusal of less than an American declaration to retract the sanctions as a condition for Iran’s retreat from implementing its obligations stipulated in the agreement. He withdraws from the table the issues of Iranian missiles and Iran’s regional role to the post-return phase. Regarding the nuclear agreement, and the implementation of its obligations from both sides, that is, the lifting of sanctions in return for Iran’s return to its obligations, Blinken’s equation is clear, that Iran is comfortable not returning and approaching with a missile speed that it has sufficient capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon, and that Washington has an interest in blocking this path, and that the abolition of sanctions is a reasonable cost to achieve this goal, because the alternative is to confront a situation that “enables it to act with impunity.” “Knowing that carrying out military action against it will have various consequences,” concluding that “the best answer we came to was the agreement” that “put the nuclear program in a box and cut its paths to be able to produce the materials they need to build a nuclear weapon, and pay the nominal period at the time of penetration.” To more than one year ».

– The Biden administration in Blinkin’s tongue goes back to what the Barack Obama administration reached when Biden was vice president, betting on more time to bring Iran to an agreement that includes the missile file and the regional situation will mean giving Iran more time to acquire the capabilities to produce a nuclear weapon. The bet that something has changed as a result of the sanctions imposed by the administration of former President Donald Trump, is disappointing, as Iran appears more comfortable in its steps outside the agreement than it was in the days of previous negotiations, so priority is given to returning to the agreement and then it is possible to know what should be done to discuss the rest, “We have an interest in returning that to a box, and then seeing if we can actually build something longer and stronger in terms of the duration of the agreement, as well as deal with some other measures that Iran is taking, because we have a real problem with ballistic missiles and what they are doing in their vicinity.”

بلينكين يمهّد للعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي رضوخاً لشروط إيران

ناصر قنديل

في سياق حوار إذاعيّ مع وزيرة الخارجية السابقة هيلاري كلينتون قالت فيه «قطعنا شوطاً طويلاً نحو منع إيران من الحصول على سلاح نووي، وكل ذلك جرى التخلي بعد ذلك عنه من قبل إدارة ترامب. أجاب وزير الخارجية الأميركية الحالي توني بلينكين على سؤال كلينتون حول توقعاته لنتائج غياب إيران عن الاجتماع الذي وافقت عليه واشنطن ضمن صيغة الـ 5+1، بمشاركة روسيا والصين، بالقول بأن إيران «تسرع نحو اليوم الذي سيكون لديها فيه القدرة على إنتاج ما يكفي من المواد الانشطارية لسلاح نووي في وقت قصير جداً»، معتبراً أنه عند التوصل إلى الاتفاق عام 2015، كانت إيران تتجه إلى جعل ​​هذه المدة مجرد أسابيع. ونبّه بلينكن إلى أن السماح بحدوث ذلك، وامتلاك إيران سلاحاً نووياً، أو أن تكون على عتبة امتلاك سلاح نووي «يمكنها من التصرف مع إفلات أكبر من العقاب»، علماً بأن القيام بعمل عسكري ضدها ستكون له «عواقب مختلفة»، مستنتجاً أن «أفضل إجابة توصلنا إليها كانت الاتفاق» الذي «وضع البرنامج النووي في صندوق، وقطع مساراته لتكون قادرة على إنتاج المواد التي تحتاج إليها لصنع سلاح نووي»، ودفع المدة المسماة «وقت الاختراق إلى أكثر من عام واحد».

قال بلينكن إنه بسبب الاتفاق «كانت لدينا عقوبات قويّة للغاية»، عبر استخدام آلية «سناب باك»، لإعادة فرضها بصورة تلقائية إذا انتهكت إيران الاتفاقية، مضيفاً أن «الأهم من ذلك هو نظام المراقبة والتفتيش الأكثر تدخلاً الذي نمتلكه على الإطلاق لأي اتفاق للحدّ من الأسلحة». وقال إنه «بعد خروجنا من الصفقة، شعرت إيران بحال جيدة»، كأنما تقول: «يمكننا المضي قدماً؛ لم نعد نمتثل للالتزامات التي تعهدنا بها»، واستطرد بلينكن: «وها هي الآن تعود إلى تلك النقطة، حيث يمكن أن تنتج مواد انشطارية لسلاح في غاية القوة في وقت قصير»، وشدّد على أن «لدينا مصلحة في إعادة ذلك إلى صندوق، ثم معرفة ما إذا كان بإمكاننا بالفعل بناء شيء أطول وأقوى من حيث مدة الاتفاق، وكذلك التعامل مع بعض الإجراءات الأخرى التي تتخذها إيران، لأن لدينا مشكلة حقيقية مع الصواريخ الباليستية وما تقوم به في جوارها».

عملياً أعاد بلينكين ترتيب أوراق رؤية إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن تجاه الملف النووي الإيراني، من مرحلة على إيران أن تبدأ الخطوة الأولى، إلى مرحلة بدأنا الخطوة الأولى بالإفراج غير المباشر عن ودائع إيرانية تزيد عن عشرة مليارات دولار في كوريا الجنوبية والعراق، مقابل حضور إيران لجلسة مشتركة ضمن منصة الـ 5+1، ثم ها هو يعيد ترتيب الأوراق مجدداً مع رفض إيران لما هو أقل من إعلان أميركي بالتراجع عن العقوبات كشرط لتراجع إيران عن تنفيذ موجباتها التي نص عليها الاتفاق، فيسحب عن الطاولة قضيتي الصواريخ الإيرانية والدور الإقليمي لإيران إلى مرحلة تعقب العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وتنفيذ موجباته من الفريقين، أي رفع العقوبات مقابل عودة إيران الى التزاماتها. ومعادلة بلينكين واضحة، أن إيران مرتاحة لعدم العودة والاقتراب بسرعة صاروخية من امتلاك مقدرات كافية لإنتاج سلاح نووي، وأن واشنطن صاحبة مصلحة بقطع الطريق على هذا المسار، وأن إلغاء العقوبات كلفة معقولة لتحقيق هذا الهدف، لأن البديل هو مواجهة وضع «يمكنها من التصرف مع إفلات أكبر من العقاب»، مضيفاً، «علماً بأن القيام بعمل عسكري ضدها ستكون له عواقب مختلفة»، مستنتجاً أن «أفضل إجابة توصلنا إليها كانت الاتفاق» الذي «وضع البرنامج النووي في صندوق، وقطع مساراته لتكون قادرة على إنتاج المواد التي تحتاج إليها لصنع سلاح نووي، ودفع المدة المسمّاة وقت الاختراق إلى أكثر من عام واحد».

تعود إدارة بايدن بلسان بلينكين الى ما توصلت اليه إدارة باراك أوباما يوم كان بايدن نائباً للرئيس، وهو أن الرهان على مزيد من الوقت لجلب إيران إلى اتفاق يتضمن ملف الصواريخ والوضع الإقليمي، سيعني منح إيران المزيد من الوقت لامتلاك مقدرات إنتاج سلاح نووي، وأن الرهان على أن ثمّة ما تغير بفعل العقوبات التي فرضتها إدارة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، يكشف عقماً وخيبة، فإيران تظهر أكثر راحة في خطواتها خارج الاتفاق مما كانت عليه أيام المفاوضات السابقة، لذلك يعطي الأولوية للعودة إلى الاتفاق وبعدها يمكن معرفة ما يجب فعله لبحث الباقي، بقوله، «لدينا مصلحة في إعادة ذلك إلى صندوق، ثم معرفة ما إذا كان بإمكاننا بالفعل بناء شيء أطول وأقوى من حيث مدة الاتفاق، وكذلك التعامل مع بعض الإجراءات الأخرى التي تتخذها إيران، لأن لدينا مشكلة حقيقية مع الصواريخ الباليستية وما تقوم به في جوارها».

ARRANGING THE MIDDLE EAST NARRATIVE TO PUSH THE AGENDA FORWARD

South Front

The United States is returning to a level of activity in the Middle East unseen in nearly 4 years. This development has become obvious over the weeks since Joe Biden became US President, firstly with a large deployment into Syria, and subsequently with smaller ones.

On February 9th, the Pentagon said that it was no longer in Syria to protect and exploit oil fields.

It is now back to hunting ISIS. Back to the square one of 2014 and the Obama era. ISIS somehow obliged by ramping up their activities throughout Syria.

It is a mystery that they were able to make such a sharp and sudden resurgence. It should also be noted that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces allegedly have about 10,000 ISIS terrorists imprisoned.

This statement of intent denotes a massive shift in posture for the US.  When defending the oil fields the US troops were mostly static, when hunting ISIS they can, once again, roam around and carry out various operations.

It appears likely that Idlib is now also in focus – US combat drones were observed surveying Greater Idlib. Idlib is a mixed bag – it has Turkish troops, Russians, the Syrian Arab Army along with terrorists and the moderate opposition, although confusing these two groups can be forgiven. The newest, future, US ally is there – the soon-to-be-rebranded Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

An indication of expected escalations and attacks are the Russian and Syrian military drills being carried out near Aleppo during effective wartime. Russia, separately, carried out a naval drill near Tartus.

And, as if by design, long-range missiles attempted to strike Russia’s forces at the Hmeimim Air Base. Drones occasionally attempt to infiltrate its airspace, but missiles are a rare sight.

Meanwhile in Western Daraa, the rebel leaders submitted to Damascus, likely fearing the upcoming chaos and wanting to choose a side.

Finally, the Biden administration is also working to secure Israeli support. The State Department said it doesn’t endorse Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, but doesn’t oppose it. It also provided a $9bn weapon sale as consolation. Tel Aviv is likely to use these weapons to counter its nemesis – Iran. It does so by targeting alleged Iranian interests in Syria.

Syria remains the lynchpin of US Middle East policy but the US posture in Iraq and Afghanistan has also changed. Withdrawing from the region is now out of the question – ISIS is making a resurgence, and there are other groups targeting American forces and convoys.

In Afghanistan, specifically, if the withdrawal does not move forward, the Taliban are also likely to begin targeting the US again.

The democrats are back in control and back to spreading democracy in the Middle East.

Iran to nuclear weapons … a serious option إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…خيار جدّيّ

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

Iran to nuclear weapons … a serious option

Photo of إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…
خيار جدّيّ

Nasser Kandil

–In years, as Iran advances nuclear technology and establishes advances in missile technology, even reaching the advanced range, Iran has succeeded in letting America gasp behind, while Iran’s political point of view is neither nuclear nor missile. On the political level, Iran’s nuclear program is a twin, the first is aimed at economic and social progress using nuclear technology in multiple areas, but it has a high strategic value in the Eyes of the United States because of the opportunity to turn into a military nuclear program, and the second to protect progress in the first, Iranian missiles are the shield and fort to protect the nuclear program, by making the thinking of striking this program militarily out of research, especially since the missile program If Iran’s nuclear program is strategically in the eyes of Washington, and Iran’s missile program is a shield against targeting, what is the strategy in Tehran’s eyes?

–During the decades of progress on the nuclear program and subsequently the missile program, Washington has been negotiating and halting negotiations, and discovering when it returns to negotiations that the Iranian program has made qualitatively new progress with which the terms of the negotiations have changed, according to former U.S. President Barack Obama, based on his call not to risk returning pressure and withdrawing from negotiations without signing a possible agreement. Whenever Washington imagined that releasing Iranian funds and lifting sanctions would ensure that Iran would abandon Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, or abandon Ansar Allah in Yemen, it would discover the opposite, until the Obama administration reached the conviction that it agreed with this strategy and wagered to contain its escalation by engaging in localised settlements in the arenas of engagement that would satisfy the local parties, before the administration of former President Trump reached a bet on returning to pressure in response to Saudi-Israeli commitments to turn the table, to result in the Trump mandate the birth of new conditions for negotiation, what are they?

– President Obama said that he was informed by a trusted mediator with Iran that relying on Imam Ali Khamenei’s fatwa prohibiting the production of nuclear weapons to continue pressure on Iran may lead to changing the fatwa to allow the production of nuclear weapons and limiting their use to defending Iran against a nuclear attack, and what the Iranian Minister of Security said before two days about the possibility of Iran going to produce a nuclear weapon, will be taken very seriously, because when Iran announces a hypothesis, it does not do so in negotiation unless it has acquired all of its components, and the scenario for its implementation becomes available, this is an additional significance of the twinning of the nuclear program with the missile program, to form together a project that obtains strategic value in Tehran’s eyes in this case. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is reluctant to quickly return the nuclear deal without amendment and without additional conditions, and to push for the lifting of sanctions.

If the confrontation follows this scenario, to which Tehran seems well prepared, the negotiations, according to Obama, will become more complicated, and no one will be able to talk to Iran with less negotiating offers than linking the end of Iran’s nuclear weapons program to the end of Israel’s military nuclear program. This is the new strategic value that Iran is preparing to achieve, which Washington gives legitimacy whenever it makes way to return to the original agreement, which Iran cannot refuse if America returns to it with the lifting of sanctions, under the heading of the return of the parties to the pre-Trump actions that paved Iran’s path to this stage of power.

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إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…خيار جدّيّ

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خيار جدّيّ

ناصر قنديل

خلال سنوات نجحت إيران، وهي تتقدّم في التكنولوجيا النووية وتؤسس للتقدم في تكنولوجيا الصواريخ، حتى بلغت فيها المدى المتقدم، بأن تدع أميركا تلهث وراءها، بينما وجهة إيران السياسية ليست نووية ولا صاروخية. فعلى الصعيد السياسي يشكل البرنامج النووي والبرنامج الصاروخي لإيران توأمين، الأول هادف للتقدم الاقتصادي والاجتماعي باستخدام التقنية النووية في مجالات متعددة، لكنه صاحب قيمة استراتيجية عالية في العيون الأميركية لما يوفره من فرصة للتحول الى برنامج نووي عسكري، والثاني لحماية التقدم في الأول، فالصواريخ الإيرانيّة هي الدرع والحصن لحماية البرنامج النووي، بجعل التفكير بضرب هذا البرنامج عسكرياً خارج البحث، خصوصاً أن البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني الذي بلغ مراحل القدرة على إصابة كل المواقع الأميركيّة المنتشرة في دائرة شعاعها 2000 كلم، هو البرنامج ذاته الذي تنتقل تقنياته الى قوى المقاومة والذي يجعل مع الصواريخ الإيرانية أمن كيان الاحتلال والحكومات التابعة لواشنطن في دائرة الخطر، فإذا كان البرنامج النووي الإيراني استراتيجياً بعيون واشنطن، والبرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني درع حمايته من الاستهداف، فما هو الاستراتيجي بعيون طهران؟

خلال عقود التقدم في البرنامج النووي وتالياً البرنامج الصاروخي، كانت واشنطن تفاوض وتوقف التفاوض، وتكتشف عندما تعود للتفاوض ان البرنامج الإيراني حقق تقدماً جديداً نوعياً تغيّرت معه شروط التفاوض، وفقاً لما قاله الرئيس الأميركي السابق باراك أوباما، مستنداً الى ذلك في دعوته لعدم المخاطرة بالعودة للضغوط والانسحاب من التفاوض دون توقيع الاتفاق الممكن. وخلال هذه العقود كان ولا يزال الهم الإيراني الاستراتيجي الأول هو بناء طوق صاروخي متين لقوى المقاومة قادر على حصار كيان الاحتلال. وكلما توهمت واشنطن أن الإفراج عن الأموال الإيرانية ورفع العقوبات سيتكفلان بتخلي إيران عن طريق طهران بغداد دمشق بيروت، أو بالتخلي عن أنصار الله في اليمن، كانت تكتشف العكس، حتى وصلت إدارة أوباما إلى الاقتناع بالتساكن مع هذه الاستراتيجية والرهان على احتواء تصاعدها من خلال الانخراط بتسويات موضعية في ساحات الاشتباك، تحوز رضى الأطراف المحلية، قبل ان تصل إدارة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، الى الرهان على العودة للضغوط تلبية لتعهدات إسرائيلية سعودية بقلب الطاولة، لينتج عن ولاية ترامب ولادة شروط جديدة للتفاوض، فما هي؟

قال الرئيس أوباما إنه تبلغ من وسيط موثوق مع إيران، بأن الاستناد إلى فتوى الإمام علي الخامنئي بتحريم إنتاج سلاح نووي لمواصلة الضغط على إيران قد يؤدي لتغيير الفتوى بالسماح بإنتاج سلاح نووي، وحصر استخدامها بالدفاع عن إيران بوجه هجوم نوويّ، وما قاله وزير الأمن الإيراني قبل يومين عن احتمال ذهاب إيران لإنتاج سلاح نووي، يؤخذ على محمل الجدّ لأن إيران عندما تعلن عن فرضية لا تفعل ذلك تفاوضياً إلا وقد امتلكت كل مقوّماتها، وبات سيناريو تطبيقها متاحاً، وهذا مغزى إضافي لتوأمة البرنامج النووي مع البرنامج الصاروخي، ليشكلا معاً مشروعاً ينال القيمة الاستراتيجي بعيون طهران في هذه الحالة. حالة تردّد إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن في العودة السريعة للاتفاق النوويّ من دون تعديل ومن دون شروط إضافية، والمبادرة الى رفع العقوبات.

في حال سلكت المواجهة هذا السيناريو، الذي تبدو طهران قد أعدّت له جيداً، يصير التفاوض وفقاً لما قاله اوباما، أشد تعقيداً فلن يكون متاحاً لأحد عندها الحديث مع إيران بعروض تفاوضيّة أقل من ربط إنهاء البرنامج العسكريّ النوويّ الإيراني إلا بالتزامن مع إنهاء البرنامج النوويّ العسكري الإسرائيليّ. وهذه هي القيمة الاستراتيجية الجديدة، التي تستعدّ لتحقيقها إيران، والتي تمنحها واشنطن المشروعيّة كلما عقدت سبل العودة للاتفاق الأصلي، الذي لا تملك إيران أن ترفضه إذا عادت إليه أميركا مرفقاً برفع العقوبات، تحت عنوان عودة الطرفين الى ما قبل إجراءات ترامب التي مهدت لإيران طريق بلوغ هذه المرحلة من الاقتدار

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

On the rockets that deprive Israeli leaders of sleep: Friedman’s letter to his “dear” Biden عن الصواريخ التي تَحرِم قادة إسرائيل من النوم: رسالة فريدمان إلى «عزيزه» بايدن

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

On the rockets that deprive Israeli leaders of sleep: Friedman’s letter to his “dear” Biden

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ِAl-Akhbar

Walid Sharara

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The message from the American journalist, the Zionist ideologues, Thomas Friedman, deserves to be read closely.

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“Dear Joe, it is no longer a matter of Iranian nuclear”

It is not similar to his articles and books, which are fraught with missionary ideology, which is associated with his personal convictions, which have been lied to by subsequent developments as a whole. He probably wishes to forget his untold narratives of “happy globalisation” and the positive and benefits it will bring to the peoples of all the world, which he has compiled in two books: “Lexus and the Olive Tree”, and “The World Is Flat”. This time, in a remarkable article entitled, “Dear Joe, it is no longer a matter of Iranian nuclear”, he does not speak of his whim. Friedman wanted to address the president-elect, an ardent supporter with close and historical ties to the Democratic Party, on behalf of Israel and its support system in the United States, not just the lobby, commissioned or without them. The article – The message is very clear and candid, reinforcing the conviction that the essence of the strategic battle between the U.S.-Israeli alliance and its allies in the region, and between the axis of resistance, and at the heart of it Iran, is the development of its specific missile capabilities and its allies’ help to do the same. Of course, the attempt to prevent Iran from developing scientifically and technologically, particularly in the nuclear field, and as a result of its independent political choices, is among the central objectives of the hostile alliance, as confirmed by the targeting of its scientists and nuclear facilities, but not the first target on its agenda. Precision missiles, or the “game-changer” as used in dozens of Israeli, U.S. and Western reports, are the number one priority on this scale, and are likely to remain so after Biden enters the White House.

If an Arab writer or expert dares to say that Iran’s missile program deprives Israeli military experts of sleep, it will be judged by the “armies of experts and analysts” Arab “realists” as a “media mouthpiece” of resistance. But they will not dare to treat their friend, and in an earlier era, their reference, Thomas Friedman, in the way he writes that “what some Israeli military experts will admit to you is that Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon is not what keeps them awake all night, because they don’t think Tehran will use it, because that would be suicide, and Iran’s religious leaders are not suicide bombers. What worries them is Iran’s new weapons, the precision missiles it used against Saudi Arabia, which continue to try to export them to its proxies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, posing a deadly threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and U.S. forces in the region.”

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The Zionist-American theorist does not hesitate to describe the Abqaiq attack, which targeted Saudi oil industries with precision guided missiles and Drones, as he claims, which he accuses Iran of direct responsibility for, of “Pearl Harbor Middle East”, and believes that this region has been reconstituted by Iranian missiles and U.S., Israeli and Gulf responses to it. He concludes that the new U.S. president will face enormous pressure not to return to the nuclear deal as originally drafted, to include the missile program in negotiations with Iran, and to use the “power paper” represented by the harsh sanctions imposed on it to bind it by making concessions about it.

The missile program was not put under the microscope at the time of the signing of the nuclear agreement.


Perhaps it should be remembered that Iran’s missile program was not put under the microscope at the time of the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran.

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To appreciate the position that the Obama administration used when it agreed to the original version of this agreement, it was assumed that Iran was suffering because of what looked like the international embargo that was being imposed around it at the time, that it was draining in Syria and Iraq, and that these conditions provided an opportunity to come to terms with it, and that it is not at its peak. However, the major changes that took place in the Syrian arena after the Russian intervention in September 2015, three months after the signing of the agreement, and the subsequent transfer of qualitative military and missile capabilities to Syria, and the Israeli and American attention to the accelerated development of the missile program in Iran, may be one of the most prominent factors explaining the slow lifting of sanctions stipulated in the agreement, and preventing western companies and institutions from opening up to this country and investing in it, because of warnings and pressure from the United States and sometimes public.

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It was these military, technological and field variables that led Donald Trump and his team to withdraw from the agreement and adopt “extreme pressures” against Tehran, without succeeding in halting the quantitative and qualitative growth of its missile arsenal and its allies. How will Biden and his administration deal with the “stubborn” and different realities that prevailed at the time of the signing of the nuclear deal? What is certain is that Israel’s balanced supporters in this team and beyond and in the various institutions of the U.S. state, i.e. the supporting system, will also stay up all night if they have to, to get the president-elect to be tough on Iran’s missile program, whose continued growth leads to a gradual shift in the balance of power to the detriment of Israel and U.S. hegemony in our region.

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عن الصواريخ التي تَحرِم قادة إسرائيل من النوم: رسالة فريدمان إلى «عزيزه» بايدن

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الأخبار 

وليد شرارة 

الأربعاء 2 كانون الأول 2020

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الرسالة التي وَجّهها الصحافي الأميركي، الصهيوني العقائدي، توماس فريدمان، تستحقّ القراءة بتمعّن. هي لا تشبه مقالاته وكتبه المشحونة بأيديولوجيا تبشيرية، تشي بقناعاته الشخصية، التي كَذّبتها التطوّرات اللاحقة بمجملها. وغالب الظن أنه يتمنّى أن تُنسى سرديّاته المغفلة عن «العولمة السعيدة» وما ستحمله من إيجابيات وفوائد لشعوب العالم قاطبة، والتي جمعها في كتابين: «سيارة ليكسوس وشجرة الزيتون»، و«العالم مسطّح». هذه المرّة، وفي مقال بعنوان لافت، «عزيزي جو، لم يعد الأمر يتعلّق بالنووي الإيراني»، هو لا ينطق عن هواه. أراد فريدمان أن يخاطب الرئيس المنتخَب، وهو من مؤيّديه المتحمّسين ولديه علاقات وثيقة وتاريخية بالحزب الديمقراطي، نيابةً عن إسرائيل والمنظومة الداعمة لها في الولايات المتحدة، وليس مجرّد اللوبي، بتكليف منهما أو من دونه. المقال – الرسالة شديد الوضوح والصراحة، ويعزّز القناعة بأن جوهر المعركة الاستراتيجية الدائرة بين التحالف الأميركي – الإسرائيلي وأذنابه في المنطقة، وبين محور المقاومة، وفي القلب منه إيران، هو تطوير الأخيرة لقدراتها الصاروخية النوعية ومساعدتها حلفاءَها على القيام بالأمر عينه. بطبيعة الحال، فإن محاولة منع إيران من التطوّر علمياً وتكنولوجياً، خاصة في الميدان النووي، ونتيجة لخياراتها السياسية الاستقلالية، هي بين الأهداف المركزية للتحالف المعادي، وهو ما يؤكده استهداف علمائها ومنشآتها النووية، لكنه ليس الهدف الأول المدرَج على جدول أعماله. الصواريخ الدقيقة، أو «العامل المُغيِّر لقواعد اللعبة» حسب التعبير المستخدَم في عشرات التقارير الإسرائيلية والأميركية والغربية، هي الأولوية الأولى على هذا الجدول، ومن المرجّح أن تبقى كذلك بعد دخول بايدن إلى البيت الأبيض.

لو تَجرّأ كاتب أو خبير عربي على القول إن البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني يَحرم الخبراء العسكريين الإسرائيليين من النوم، لانهال عليه التقريظ والتسخيف من قِبَل «جيوش الخبراء والمحلّلين» العرب «الواقعيين»، باعتباره «بوقاً إعلامياً» للممانعة. لكنّ هؤلاء لن يتجرّأوا على معاملة صديقهم، وفي حقبة سابقة مرجعهم، توماس فريدمان، بالطريقة إيّاها عندما يكتب أن «ما سيعترف به أمامكم بعض الخبراء العسكريين الإسرائيليين هو أن امتلاك إيران لسلاح نووي ليس ما يُبقيهم مستيقظين طيلة الليل، لأنهم لا يعتقدون أن طهران ستستخدمه، لأن ذلك سيكون انتحاراً، والزعماء الدينيون في إيران ليسوا انتحاريين. ما يُقلقهم هو أسلحة إيران الجديدة المفضّلة، أي الصواريخ الدقيقة التي استخدمتها ضدّ السعودية، والتي تواصل محاولة تصديرها إلى وكلائها في لبنان واليمن وسوريا والعراق، ما يشكّل تهديداً قاتلاً لإسرائيل والسعودية والإمارات والقوات الأميركية في المنطقة».

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لا يَتردّد المنظّر الصهيوني – الأميركي في وصف هجوم أبقيق، الذي استهدف صناعات النفط السعودية بصواريخ مُوجّهة دقيقة ومسيّرات، وفقاً لزعمه، والذي يتّهم إيران بالمسؤولية المباشرة عنه، بـ«بيرل هاربر الشرق الأوسط»، ويرى أن هذه المنطقة أعيد تشكيلها من خلال الصواريخ الإيرانية والردود الأميركية والإسرائيلية والخليجية عليها. هو يَخلُص إلى أن الرئيس الأميركي الجديد سيواجه ضغوطاً هائلة لعدم العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي بصيغته الأصلية، ولإدراج البرنامج الصاروخي في المفاوضات مع إيران، وتوظيف «ورقة القوة» التي تُمثّلها العقوبات القاسية المفروضة عليها لإلزامها بتقديم تنازلات حوله.

البرنامج الصاروخي لم يكن قد وُضع تحت المجهر إبّان فترة التوقيع على الاتفاق النووي


ربّما ينبغي التذكير بأن البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني لم يكن قد وُضع تحت المجهر في الفترة التي تمّ التوقيع خلالها على الاتفاق النووي مع إيران.

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تقدير الموقف الذي استندت إليه إدارة باراك أوباما عندما وافقت على الصيغة الأصلية لهذا الاتفاق، كان يَفترض أن إيران تعاني بسبب ما يشبه الحصار الدولي المضروب حولها آنذاك، وأنها تُستنزف في سوريا والعراق، وأن هذه الظروف تُوفّر فرصة سانحة للتفاهم معها، وهي ليست في أوج قوتها. غير أن المتغيّرات الكبرى التي شهدتها الساحة السورية بعد التدخل الروسي في أيلول/ سبتمبر 2015، أي 3 أشهر بعد توقيع الاتفاق، وما تلاها من عملية نقل لقدرات عسكرية وصاروخية نوعية إلى سوريا، والالتفات الإسرائيلي والأميركي إلى تسارع تطوير البرنامج الصاروخي في إيران، قد تكون من أبرز العوامل التي تُفسّر تباطؤ رفع العقوبات التي نصّ عليها الاتفاق، والحؤول دون قيام شركات ومؤسسات غربية وغير غربية بالانفتاح على هذا البلد والاستثمار فيه، بسبب تحذيرات وضغوط أميركية مبطّنة وأحياناً علنية.

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هذه المتغيّرات العسكرية والتكنولوجية والميدانية هي التي حدت بدونالد ترامب وفريقه إلى الانسحاب من الاتفاق واعتماد «الضغوط القصوى» ضدّ طهران، من دون النجاح في وقف النموّ الكمّي والنوعي للترسانة الصاروخية لديها ولدى حلفائها. كيف سيتعامل بايدن وإدارته مع الوقائع «العنيدة» والمغايرة لتلك التي سادت في فترة توقيع الاتفاق النووي؟ المؤكد هو أن أنصار إسرائيل الوازنين في هذا الفريق وخارجه وفي مختلف مؤسسات الدولة الأميركية، أي المنظومة الداعمة لها، سيبقون بدورهم مستيقظين طيلة الليل إن اضطرّوا لذلك، لحمل الرئيس المنتخَب على التشدّد حيال برنامج إيران الصاروخي، الذي يفضي نموّه المستمرّ إلى تحوّل تدريجي في موازين القوى لغير مصلحة إسرائيل والهيمنة الأميركية في منطقتنا.

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Problems of the new US foreign policy (3) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (3)

Problems of the new US foreign policy

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Researcher, political economist and former Secretary-General of the Arab National Congress

Ziad Hafz

Part 3:  Relationship File With the Islamic Republic of Iran

The cornerstone of the Biden administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East is the Iranian nuclear file. President Biden’s remarks during the campaign indicate a desire to return to the agreement.  But Iran’s nuclear file is becoming more and more complicated. President Biden’s remarks about a return to the Iran deal mean nothing if the lifting of sanctions, at least those imposed in the Obama administration,does not go hand in hand.  But the question is, can the president-elect lift sanctions? The positions in favour of the Zionist entity of the U.S. president and his Zionist foreign policy team make it easier to imagine any leniency with the Islamic Republic that does not go beyond verbal retreat without any consequences in terms of sanctions, said Director of National Intelligence Avril Heinz.

In this context, there are two types of sanctions:  the sanctions that were imposed before the agreement and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. It should be noted that the sanctions imposed before the agreement were not lifted by the Obama administration after the agreement was signed.  All I did was free up some frozen money. This situation would not have bothered the Islamic Republic much because the agreement opened the door to dealing with the countries that boycotted it in the earlier stages.  Trump’s sanctions were also sanctions against anyone who deals with the Islamic Republic. Here, too, will be the conflict between desires and capabilities and the result will be resolved by the balance of power that is no longer in favour of the United States.  What can be expected is a softening of the tone of the speech among Americans, but without concrete steps accompanying it. The most we can expect is for the U.S. administration to turn a blind eye to parties that cannot comply with U.S. embargoes and include a list of broad exceptions.  What could lead to the lifting of sanctions is the recognition (within the new administration) of defeat in the conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but this is unlikely at this stage and possibly the next. The power of the«left» in the components of the U.S. administration is not dragged into external files except in decisions of military confrontation.  

But some points must be mentioned on the nuclear issue. During Barack Obama’s tenure, the concern was to negotiate with the Republic on a number of political issues, including the nuclear issue.  But the Iranian leadership has refused to link the political files to the nuclear file, insisting on its right to enrich like other countries in the world. The U.S. administration believed at the time that reaching an understanding with the Islamic Republic could strengthen Iran’s”reformists” who are open to interaction with the West.   According to many studies, the United States was not obsessed with Iran’s possession of the nuclear bomb, but was only  an argument for opening channels of dialogue with the Islamic Republic on the issues of interest to the United States, primarily the security of the Zionist entity, which is totally contrary to the political doctrine of the Islamic Republic.  The “achievement” of the nuclear agreement was an acknowledgement of the failure of the efforts of the United States, the West and the Zionist entity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear knowledge and by preventing it from enriching the high level it is entitled to in accordance with international treaties. It was also a recognition of the failure of the United States to impose its agenda on the Islamic Republic, and it was content to negotiate the nuclear issue.  The agreement also de-isolates Iran and opens the door to international interaction with it with the lifting of UN sanctions. But the deal did not lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, which lasted until the end of Obama’s term.

Trump has restored isolation to Iran as well as new sanctions in order to stifle Iran’s economy. But the Islamic Republic’s response was to stick to the comprehensive agreement on the nuclear issue, but with the restoration of its right to enrich at high rates.  The Obama administration would not have been able to achieve by shortening the default time for a nuclear bomb if Iran wanted to. The question becomes:  Will the Biden administration accept a return to the pre-Trump situation? National Security Adviser Gal Sullivan went further and talked about lifting sanctions if Iran complies with its commitments.  If so, it is no problem, but in our opinion things are not that simple. The administration’s concern remains to approach Iran’s role in the region to ensure the security of the Zionist entity and not for another purpose.  Until now, there is no evidence to solve this potentially intractable problem.

The options for the new administration are limited, not a military confrontation, but perhaps progressive and escalating security tensions without a major open confrontation and no political settlement unless we go back to pre-Trump. No matter what, the Islamic Republic has strategically defeated the United States, but it has not enjoyed victory, and the new administration will continue to prevent it from winning.  What contributes to victory is two things: the Ability of the United States to overcome the worsening of benefits at home and the position of other countries such as the European Union and other countries in overcoming Trump sanctions. In the first part, we believe that deep internal divisions, even within the ruling party, will prevent the possibility of continuing aggressive policies.  EU countries will be more eager to benefit from trade contracts with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of economic downturn or even recession that threatens the United States. European interests in the United States will be affected by deflation/recession, forcing the EU to open up new horizons outside the United States.

As for other files such as the Iranian ballistic file and the expansion of influence, the new administration cannot offer anything yet. On the other hand, what the Islamic Republic can offer is a”waiver” of its right to enrichment as stipulated in international agreements and the conditions attached to it, but this will only be done if the sanctions are lifted altogether.  Therefore, we believe that the«settlement»  will not go beyond the stage of linking a conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Among the conditions of linking the dispute can turn a blind eye to the implementation of sanctions or allow«exceptions» to give some vitality to the new situation.  But the most important question is the usefulness of these sanctions against the Islamic Republic.  In our view, experience has shown that sanctions can be painful, but without any effectiveness in achieving their goals. Sanctions are types of war crimes and in the future the United States will be held accountable for crimes.

(3) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة زياد حافظ

باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

زياد حافظ

الجزء الثالث: ملف العلاقة مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران

حجر الزاوية للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية لإدارة بايدن في منطقة الشرق الأوسط هو الملف النووي الإيراني. تصريحات الرئيس بايدن خلال الحملة الانتخابية تشير إلى رغبة في العودة إلى الاتفاق. لكن الملف النووي الإيراني يزداد تعقيداً يوماً بعد يوم. فتصريحات الرئيس بايدن حول العودة إلى الاتفاقية مع إيران لا تعني شيئاً إنْ لم يواكبها رفع العقوبات على الأقلّ تلك التي كانت مفروضة في إدارة أوباما. لكن السؤال هل بمقدور الرئيس المنتخب رفع العقوبات؟ سؤال ليس من السهل الإجابة عليه لأنّ ضغط الكيان الصهيوني لن يتوقّف ولأنّ الكونغرس الأميركي مزاجه معاد لإيران. كما أنّ المواقف المؤيّدة للكيان الصهيوني عند الرئيس الأميركي وفريق سياسته الخارجية الصهيوني تجعل تصوّر أيّ تساهل مع الجمهورية الإسلامية لا يتجاوز التراجع اللفظي دون أيّ مردود على صعيد العقوبات أمر بعيد المنال كما صرّحت مديرة الاستخبارات الوطنية افريل هاينز.

في هذا السياق هناك نوعان من العقوبات: العقوبات التي كانت مفروضة قبل الاتفاق والعقوبات التي فرضتها إدارة ترامب. نلفت النظر إلى أنّ العقوبات التي كانت مفروضة قبل الاتفاق لم ترفعها إدارة أوباما بعد التوقيع على الاتفاق. كلّ ما فعلته هو تحرير بعض الأموال المجمّدة. هذه الحالة لم تكن لتزعج كثيراً الجمهورية الإسلامية لأنّ الاتفاق فتح باب التعامل مع الدول التي قاطعتها في المراحل السابقة. أما عقوبات ترامب فكانت عقوبات أيضاً بحق كلّ من يتعامل مع الجمهورية الإسلامية. هنا أيضاً سيكون الصراع بين الرغبات والقدرات والنتيجة تحسمها موازين القوّة التي لم تعد لصالح الولايات المتحدة. ما يمكن توقّعه هو تخفيف لهجة المخاطبة عند الأميركيين ولكن دون أن يرافق ذلك خطوات ملموسة. أقصى ما يمكن أن نتوقّعه هو أن تغضّ النظر الإدارة الأميركية عن الأطراف التي لا تستطيع الالتزام بقرارات الحظر الأميركي وإدراج لائحة من الاستثناءات الواسعة. ما يمكن أن يؤدّي إلى رفع العقوبات هو الاعتراف (داخل الإدارة الجديدة) بالهزيمة في الصراع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ولكن هذا أمر مستبعد في المرحلة الراهنة وربما المقبلة. قوّة «اليسار» في مكوّنات الإدارة الأميركية لا تنجر إلى الملفّات الخارجية إلاّ في قرارات المواجهة العسكرية.

لكن لا بدّ من التذكير ببعض النقاط في موضوع الملف النووي. فخلال ولايتي باراك أوباما كان الهاجس هو التفاوض مع الجمهورية حول عدد من القضايا السياسية منها الملف النووي. لكن القيادة الإيرانية رفضت ربط الملفات السياسية بالملف النووي متمسكّة بحقها بالتخصيب كسائر الدول في العالم. اعتقدت الإدارة الأميركية آنذاك أنّ الوصول إلى تفاهم مع الجمهورية الإسلامية قد يقوّى يد «الإصلاحيين» في إيران المنفتحين على التفاعل مع الغرب. وفقاً لدراسات عديدة لم يكن هاجس الولايات المتحدة امتلاك إيران للقنبلة النووية بل كانت فقط «حجّة» لفتح قنوات الحوار مع الجمهورية الإسلامية حول الملفّات التي تهمّ الولايات المتحدة وفي مقدّمتها أمن الكيان الصهيوني الذي يتعارض كلّياً مع العقيدة السياسية في الجمهورية الإسلامية. كان «إنجاز» الاتفاق النووي إقراراً بفشل جهود الولايات المتحدة والغرب والكيان الصهيوني بمنع إيران من امتلاك المعرفة النووية وبمنعها من التخصيب بالنسبة المرتفعة التي يحق لها وفقاً للمعاهدات الدولية. كما كان إقراراً بفشل الولايات المتحدة على فرض أجندتها على الجمهورية الإسلامية فاكتفت بالتفاوض بالملف النووي. كما أنّ الاتفاق فكّ العزلة عن إيران وفتح باب التفاعل الدولي معها مع رفع العقوبات الأممية المفروضة عليها. لكن لم يؤدّ الاتفاق إلى رفع العقوبات الأميركية على إيران والتي استمرّت حتى نهاية ولاية أوباما.

ترامب أعاد العزلة إلى إيران إضافة إلى عقوبات جديدة بغية خنق الاقتصاد الإيراني. لكن ردّ الجمهورية الإسلامية كان تمسّكها بالاتفاق الشامل حول الملفّ النووي ولكن مع استعادة حقّها بالتخصيب بالنسب المرتفعة. فما كانت تخشاه إدارة أوباما قد تحقّق عبر تقصير المدة الزمنية الافتراضية لتملك قنبلة نووية إذا ما أرادت إيران ذلك. ويصبح السؤال هنا: هل ستقبل إدارة بايدن العودة إلى ما كان عليه الوضع قبل ترامب؟ التصريحات الأولية لعدد من المسؤولين بدءاً من الرئيس إلى وزير خارجيته توحي بـ نعم. مستشار الأمن القومي جال سوليفان ذهب أبعد من ذلك وتكلّم عن رفع العقوبات إذا ما التزمت إيران بتعهّداتها. إذا كان الأمر كذلك فلا مشكلة ولكن الأمور في رأينا ليست بتلك البساطة. فما زال هاجس الإدارة مقاربة الدور الإيراني في المنطقة لضمان أمن الكيان الصهيوني وليس لغرض آخر. حتى الساعة ليس هناك من دليل حول حلّ تلك الإشكالية التي قد تكون استعصاء.

الخيارات المتاحة أمام الإدارة الجديدة محدودة فلا مواجهة عسكرية بل ربما توترات أمنية متدرّجة ومتصاعدة دون الوصول إلى مواجهة مفتوحة كبيرة ولا تسوية سياسية إلاّ بالرجوع إلى ما قبل ترامب. ومهما نظرنا إلى الأمور فإنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية هزمت الولايات المتحدة بشكل استراتيجي لكنها لم تنعم بالنصر وستستمر الإدارة الجديدة بمنعها من النصر. ما يساهم في التنعّم بالنصر أمران: قدرة الولايات المتحدة على تجاوز تفاقم الاستحقاقات في الداخل الأميركي وموقف الدول الأخرى كالاتحاد الأوروبي وسائر الدول في تجاوزهم للعقوبات الترمبية. في الشقّ الأول نعتقد أنّ الانقسامات الحادة الداخلية وحتى داخل الحزب الحاكم ستحول من إمكانية الاستمرار في سياسات عدوانية. أما دول الاتحاد الأوروبي ستكون أكثر حرصاً على الاستفادة من عقود تجارية مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران في ظلّ الانكماش الاقتصادي أو حتى الكساد الذي يهدّد الولايات المتحدة. فالمصالح الأوروبية في الولايات المتحدة ستتأثر من جرّاء الانكماش/ الكساد ما يفرض على الاتحاد الاوروبي فتح آفاق جديدة خارج الولايات المتحدة.

أما في ما يتعلّق بالملفّات الأخرى كالملف الباليستي الإيراني والتمدّد بالنفوذ فليس بمقدور الإدارة الجديدة تقديم أيّ شيء حتى الساعة. في المقابل ما يمكن أن تقدّمه الجمهورية الإسلامية هو «تنازل» عن حقّها في التخصيب كما تنصّ عليه الاتفاقات الدولية والشروط المرفقة بها، ولكن لن يتمّ ذلك إلاّ إذا ما تمّ رفع العقوبات كلّياً. لذلك نرى أنّ «التسوية» لن تتجاوز مرحلة ربط نزاع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران. يمكن من ضمن شروط ربط النزاع غضّ النظر عن تنفيذ العقوبات أو السماح بـ «استثناءات» تعطي بعض الحيوية للحالة الجديدة. لكن السؤال الأكثر أهمية هو حول جدوى تلك العقوبات المفروضة على الجمهورية الإسلامية. في رأينا برهنت التجربة أنّ العقوبات قد تكون مؤلمة ولكن دون أيّ فعّالية في تحقيق أهدافها. فالعقوبات هي أنواع من جرائم الحرب وفي مستقبل قد لا يكون بعيداً ستتمّ مساءلة الولايات المتحدة على الجرائم.

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The myth of the ‘lesser evil’: Why US progressives back Biden

President Joe Biden took office this month after defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 vote (AFP/file photo)

Joseph Massad

29 January 2021 11:26 UTC 

As beneficiaries of the country’s imperialist system, supposedly progressive Americans have never truly sought radical change

Ever since I arrived in the United States to begin my university education in 1982, I have been baffled by arguments used by white (and some Black and Latino) American progressives, leftists and socialists to justify voting for Democratic presidential and congressional candidates.

Unlike mainstream liberal and conservative Americans, who believe their country is God’s gift to the world, the arguments of progressives often stress that Democrats are the “lesser evil” of the two contending parties.

The Democratic commitment to the rich was made amply clear with the major subsidies given to them by Clinton and Obama

Many agree that, in the words of Gore Vidal: “There is only one party in the United States, the Property party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”

Still, progressives always proceed according to the “lesser evil” theory. If I raised the question of US imperial policy, dubbed “foreign policy” in the US liberal mainstream media, I would be told by the more astute progressives that both parties were “equally imperialist”, and therefore their vote for the Democrats was justified by distinctions in their “domestic” policies.  

Still, because the elected Democratic presidents after Ronald Reagan, namely Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, were as neoliberal as Reagan and proceeded with his agenda of mercilessly dismantling the US welfare state, I remained at a loss as to what magnitude of difference existed between the two parties.

The more class-conscious socialists assured me that they were under no illusions that either party defended the white poor, let alone the downtrodden, impoverished racial minorities of Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans. Indeed, they insisted that both parties defended the rich, with the Democrats also defending the middle class in a limited way, although that commitment had declined measurably since the Clinton years.

So what, I asked, are the essential benefits to middle-class Americans that you are defending as progressives, socialists and leftists? Their sober responses highlighted issues of healthcare, social security and women’s reproductive rights. I replied that all of the above had been weakened by the neoliberal Democrats.

Enriching the rich

Support for women’s right to abortion declined considerably when the Clinton administration declared that abortions should be “safe, legal and rare”. Obama acknowledged the arguments of pro-lifers and called for reducing the demand for abortion, while Joe Biden, until his recent campaign, was a regular supporter of the 1976 Hyde Amendment (he changed his position in 2019), which prohibits federal healthcare programmes from directly funding abortion procedures except to save the life of the woman, or if the pregnancy arises from incest or rape.

As for Social Security, a bipartisan effort began the war on it in a set of 1983 congressional amendments, which Reagan signed into law. Both Clinton and Obama attempted to cut Social Security and government health benefits to Americans during their respective administrations, but were prevented from doing so by the Monica Lewinsky scandal in Clinton’s case, and public opposition in Obama’s.

Many American progressives contend that Democratic neoliberal presidents are a 'lesser evil' (AFP/file photo)
Biden and former President Barack Obama have been described as a ‘lesser evil’ (AFP)

As for health services, attempts to offer universal healthcare to all Americans were obstructed by Clinton and later Obama, who adopted a Republican plan to subsidise private, for-profit health insurance companies, rebranded as “Obamacare”, and who paved the way for the horror that Americans found themselves in with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. The US empire is falling apart. But things can always get worseOscar RickettRead More »

While President Donald Trump also proposed cutting health benefits, which he did not do, anti-Trump propagandists accused him of proposing to cut Social Security, which he never did.

What about the Democratic policies of enriching the rich? Yet again, the party’s commitment to the rich was made amply clear with the major subsidies given to them by Clinton and Obama. The latter subsidised them to the tune of  $350bn in his bailout of the banks at the expense of middle-class homeowners whose houses were foreclosed upon. Obama did not hold Wall Street firms accountable for the economic meltdown, which followed Clinton’s 1999 repeal of New Deal-era banking regulations, but rewarded them instead.

Ideological blindness

So what justifies progressive, leftist and socialist Americans voting for the Democrats as the “lesser evil”? Is it ideological blindness, or attachment to the cosmetic political language of Democratic politicians, whose actions might have been worse than Trump’s, but whose style of delivery tends to be “kinder and gentler”?  

Why did the policies of Clinton, which transformed the criminal justice system in 1994 to expand the mass incarceration of African Americans, not cause a public outcry among liberals? Indeed, it was none other than Biden who helped to write the crime bill – the same Biden who opposed the racial integration of schools in Delaware back in the 1970s. And what about Kamala Harris, the grand incarcerator, who may succeed Biden in the 2024 election, assuming he does not step down due to ill health before then?America Last: Coming to terms with the new world orderRead More »

Why did Obama’s deportation of millions of “illegal” immigrants not garner the kind of popular opposition that Trump’s policy, which is a mere continuation of Obama’s atrocities, has encountered? While the American Civil Liberties Union challenged Obama in the courts, such legal opposition never translated into a public outcry against the “Deporter-in-Chief”.

Why was there no outrage over the fact that it was only in the last few months of Obama’s eight-year term that his Justice Department finally prosecuted one lone white cop for the racist murder of an African American?

In four years, Trump’s Justice Department did not prosecute a single white killer-cop, but this was a continuation of Obama’s practices. Yes, Obama’s Justice Department pursued “pattern of practice” investigations against police departments, which Trump discontinued – but that is hardly a major achievement on Obama’s part.

Hypocrisy and propaganda

And, yes, the so-called “Muslim ban” – yet another of Trump’s racist policies against some Muslim-majority countries – which people forget was based on a list of countries prepared by none other than Obama.

A legitimate feeling of horror was expressed on account of the 13 federal executions of convicted criminals carried out by the Trump administration in recent months, but these were never compared with the thousands of people that Obama killed by checking targets off his weekly drone kill list. Does it not matter to US progressives and leftists that unlike his Democratic predecessors, Trump, while continuing some of the subcontracted wars that Obama started – and presiding over a rise in civilian deaths as a result of US actions – did not launch a single new all-out war on some hapless country?

There is no such thing as American ‘foreign’ policy when US power controls the entire globe, making foreign policy ‘domestic’ policy

Could all these people who voted for Biden (slightly more than half of those who voted) – especially the benighted, white liberal intelligentsia – not know that many of the things they complained about during Trump’s rule were in fact done by their own beloved liberal presidents?

Most of them know, and their campaign against Trump was nothing but hypocrisy for the sake of propaganda, so that the poor and downtrodden would believe that Trump was evil while Obama, Clinton, Biden and Harris were good – or at least, the “lesser evil”.

Complicit in imperial crimes

In my conversations with progressive, leftist and socialist Americans over the decades, I have tried to point out that the US is not just the “leader” of the world, as asserted by liberal and conservative Americans equally committed to US jingoism, but that the US has been since 1991 the primary ruler of the world.

I explain to them that as US citizens, they are the only people on Earth who have the right to vote for a government that rules the entire globe, and that they are thus complicit in American imperial crimes when they decide, based on some illusory domestic agenda of the “lesser evil”, to vote for a government that would launch wars and kill hundreds of thousands of people. I add that there is no such thing as American “foreign” policy when US power controls the entire globe, making foreign policy “domestic” policy. 

Iranians burn a US flag during a rally in Tehran on 12 April 2019 (AFP)
Iranians burn a US flag during a rally in Tehran on 12 April 2019 (AFP)

Like their liberal and conservative “patriotic” and imperialist compatriots, many progressive and socialist Americans are not moved by such arguments. Indeed, they enjoin poor white Americans (“the deplorables” as former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called them), along with downtrodden Black, Latino and Native American communities to join them in celebrating the Biden victory.

Why do they expect these Americans to celebrate with them, let alone the rest of the Third World – where millions have been killed by US firepower and covert operations since 1945, in wars launched by both Democratic and Republican leaders – when they know the US will probably initiate more wars against them? The reason is that these “progressive” and leftist Americans, like their liberal and conservative compatriots, are beneficiaries of the racist, classist and imperialist US system, which has always prevented them from seeking any real radical change.

The most they are willing to do is vote for a leftist imperialist Democrat, such as Bernie Sanders – who, like them, commits to changing very little, yet presumably also represents “the lesser evil”.

Joseph Massad is Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University in New York. He is the author of many books and academic and journalistic articles. His books include Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan, Desiring Arabs, The Persistence of the Palestinian Question: Essays on Zionism and the Palestinians, and most recently Islam in Liberalism. His books and articles have been translated to a dozen languages.

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

New U.S. Foreign Policy Problems (2) International files إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (2) الملفات الدولية

**Part 2 English Machine translation**Please scroll down for the Arabic version **

Part 1 Here

Click here to see the Video (deleted by You Tube)

Ziad hafiz.

Part 2:  International Files

 What external files will there be a conflict between the  interests of the interventionists and the interests of the forces that want to focus on the internal files?  The contours of foreign policy began to be clarified  after the Senate hearings of Blinken (State Department)  and Heinz (Director of National Intelligence DNI). The  bottom line is that there is little change in substance  about  Obama and Trump’s policies  except  in style and approach. We’ll show here some files, not all of them,  because of the limited space available.

At the international  level, relations with Russia and China are number one. The first signs issued by a number of figures of the President-elect’s transition team do not suggest any future solution in relations with  Russia. Let’s no forget that most of the employees in the new administration were in the Obama  administration,  which  was  anti-Russian.  The Ukrainian crisis was triggered by the Obama administration and then the Vice President, the president-elect today, which had major interventions in Ukrainian affairs,  not to mention the suspicions of corruption that accompanied it. On the other hand, let’s not forget that the entire Democratic Party, the deep state and the dominant corporate media have spent the past four years  demonising President Trump and accusing him of working for Russia. The latter is also accused of  interfering  in the 2016 election in favour of Donald Trump. Taking into account some statements by intelligence leaders supporting Biden that the Russians are lying because lying is an essential part of Russian  DNA, we see that the climate within the new administration is a tough one for Russia. This pessimism is reinforced by the fact that prospective officials  in the new administration n the second  row of foreign affairs, defence and  national security are neoconservatives such as Victoria Newland and liberal  interventionists such as Kathleen Hicks, Wendy Sherman and John Weiner as deputy national security  adviser.  All of them have close ties with the military security complex, research centres and  major    universities, as we explained in an earlier article.  What has attracted the attention of observers  is that  to  date there has been no contact between the transitional administration and the Russian leadership, although  this  is  a tradition that has spanned over the  past decades.

Multifaceted U.S. Retreat

But the fact of the matter is that U.S. competitiveness has declined in politics and the economy, and perhaps most importantly in military matters, as we have also explained in previous articles. Confronting Russia is  by  raising the human rights issue in Russia, by deploying a missile belt in neighbouring countries and by  overthrowing neighbouring regimes that are in agreement with Russia. By the way,  despite the Democratic  Party accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of working for Russia it was the U.S. president who imposed the most sanctions on Russia that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had initiated. The main strategic point of contention is the Russian gas file and its role in supplying it to the European Union, while the dispute over  Ukraine comes in the context of attempts at Atlantic expansion in Eastern Europe.  The security issue    being  waved is to cover up the main target.  There is no evidence that Russia is seeking to destabilization’s  European  security and stability, on the contrary it is seeking the best relations  and cooperation  with the EUROPEAN Union.

That’s what  Germany  understood,  but it  bowed to U.S. pressure, as former German Foreign Minister  Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in justifying his government’s acquiescence to U.S.  dictates when he made  it clear  that Germany was economically affected  by those sanctions, but that the policy had a strong errand  on the  economy. But over the past months, Germany has been able to reduce the arrogance of the United  States with regard to its economic interests with Russia and China. Germany has agreed to extend the Russian Laurel  Pipeline (“Tor  Stream 2” in its Baltic Economic Zone (every  day a kilometre of the pipeline is extended).    This was also the case with the Czech Republic to extend the “Yugal” land line, which is an extension  of “North stream  2” on the  German-Czech Saxon border. This reflects the extent of the U.S. retreat at the  European  ally and cuts the road to the pressures that the new administration could  put on it.

On The Other  Hand, on December 30, 2020, China and the European Union signed an agreement that would open the door to mutual investment, despite opposition from the United States and despite traditional human rights pretexts that were being raised against China to prevent any rapprochement with it. This is another  sign  that Western Europe has felt American weakness and is starting to think about the priority of its interests. The EU would not have taken the move without the approval of Germany and France.

Among the outstanding files between the United States and Russia are  Ukraine, particularly eastern Ukraine (Dombesk), the annexation of Crimea, the file of the Caucasus states in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and the proliferation of Atlantic weapons in the Baltic states and Poland. Recently, the United States tried to  create unrest in Belarus but failed to do so. Russia’s rapprochement with Russia is intensifying and we do not rule out the accession of Belarus to the Russian Federation, which is a resounding blow to the American administration.  Today, Belarus is mandated to confront Poland and the Baltic states on Russia’s  behalf.  In addition  to the Syrian file and the nuclear file with Iran and of course the treaties in the matter of medium-range ballistic missiles. In the context of the treaty file that the United States has emerged on the subject of  ballistic missiles, Russia is no longer committed to it.

The state of denial is in the  mind of  the ruling elites. 

“We  don’t know what the United  States  can  offer  in  all  these  files other than to back down  from its escalatory positions, which will perpetuate the decline of its influence,”he said. But  in the  current  mood  in the transitional administration, it is not ready  for  any  concession.  Since the denial of that retreat is in control of the ruling elites in the  next administration on the basis of “American exceptionalism” and”its manifest value” and in the absence of any theoretical or concrete evidence to acknowledge that retreat, what we can expect is the continued high and hostile tone in addressing Russia without translating into  confrontation on the ground.   The sanctions regime on Russia continues and began under Obama,  and the next  administration cannot lift it for free to market it in the domestic scene.   There is no creativity in thinking about the American side and the Russian side does not consider itself obliged to make concessions,  especially since there is no confidence in the commitments of the  United States. That’s why  we’re seeing  growing  indifference on the Russian side to what could come from the Biden administration as long as  the  horizon of open armed confrontation is blocked. Russia has been able to adapt to sanctions  and even turned it into a self-sufficiency opportunity freeing it from American blackmail.  Sanctions have only succeeded in increasing the isolation of the United States in the world, especially with its European allies. The elites in  Russia see as we see that the new administration will be focused on the internal files because of their seriousness  and complexity and  therefore do not consider that  they can interact permanently in  external files.

But that doesn’t mean that communicating with Russia is out of the way. If it is necessity or inventions, it is  also the mother of understandings. In  this context, the Russian President announced in a letter to the   president-elect that he hopes for friendly relations on the basis of club and mutual respect, a sign that a return  to the method of transcendence is no longer acceptable. On the other hand, the response of the secretary of  state, Anthony Blinken, was that at the height of the nuclear rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and under the existential nuclear threat of thousands of nuclear ballistic missiles  directed against each of  the two countries, areas of cooperation in many hot files were possible. Therefore,  “opportunities for cooperation”  can be looked forward to controlling the rhythm of  tensions so as not to lead  to  confrontations  from which no one will emerge  unscathed.  Does this mean that the climate for settlements will exist?  Not necessarily, the most realistic case is that there are no major settlements, no major confrontations and everything is possible under that  roof. In  summary, it can be said that the ceiling of the  possible “understanding” with Russia does not go beyond the limits of  linking  the conflict until new balances of power are established and this will not happen in the foreseeable future, i.e. in the  mandate of the new administration.

One might ask why not settle? The simple answer is that Russia sees no justification for settling matters with a party that has always proved that it does not respect treaties. The Russian also believes that the American is in a state of structural weakness that may not survive it and therefore make concessions to a country whose fate is unknown may not be justified. On the other hand, the U.S. side believes that if the balance of power is not in its favour at the current stage, it should only adjust it to its advantage and therefore there is no need to give up anything substantial that might constitute the  board of settlement. The ruling elites of the United  States believe that it is destined to lead the world and that  its exceptionalism will enable it to do so. There is no willingness to acknowledge that the United States has entered the stage of strategic decline, even a likely internal collapse, and therefore the narrative prevailing among those elites will be  that the United States has valued the world regardless of the difficulties it is encountering at this stage.

Why not  face… I don’t think

The other question is why not face? The answer here is that both sides are well aware that confrontation  ultimately means the end of the globe in limited minutes!  The next war will not  be as long as it did in the two world  wars, not even in  regional wars.  It will be related to the duration of ballistic missiles reaching their targets and here we are talking about minutes, not hours! But what is the alternative to confrontation  and compromise?

The alternative is limited tensions in space and time determined by changing objective and regional  circumstances.  But this imposes careful cooperation to prevent slippage, which could lead to an all-out  confrontation that no one wants. On the other hand, multiplayer on the one hand and the absence of  any  force  capable of adjusting  the rhythm alone makes it very difficult. Hence we understand the role and value of the axis where each component has no ability to control whatever its own abilities. But the axis gives  added value to those capabilities and therefore the axis will be the rhythm officer and not the pole. Here the role of  regional gatherings or hubs is highlighted.  We are in a multi-axis world, not a multipolar world.

If we want to sum up the international landscape between the competing pivots, we see that the U.S. axis in    strategic decline may reach a collapse, but it does the work of its tactical  and show-off nature that does not  change anything in the  balance of power on the ground. On the other hand, the  other Axis of Russia and the Chinese with it the axis of resistance in the event of a strategic rise interspersed with acts of a tactical  and defensive character fortify the balances of power that created it. The anti-American axis does not believe  that a tactical confrontation is necessary at this stage because of the strategic decline of the U.S. axis.  The  time factor works in favour of the anti-dominance axis. Therefore, we do not rule out a very fragile stabilisation  phase of tensions between brief periods of calm. In our view, the balances of  power that change in favour of the anti-Western axis also include cultural and intellectual structures. It also includes political  systems where Western neoliberalism has reached an impasse and that all decisions taken by the ruling  elites in the United States and in the West in general  are an escape  from the structural internal  entitlements  facing all  states. Until a political and economic system takes into account the radical  transformations  that  have taken place in societies, especially economic and social gaps, the general  landscape will be the internal  tension in the western countries, which influence their foreign policies. These remarks apply to all  contentious files between the United  States and its competitors.

 On the Chinese issue, there appear to be two conflicting currents within the democratic party leadership.   On the  one hand, there is the  legacy of former President Barack Obama, who was the author of the theory of east-shifting to counter the rising threat posed by China. This trend to the East uses a political narrative  of  protecting human rights that are violated by the Chinese government. The U. S. needs a “moral” justification for interfering in China’s domestic affairs, whether in the Tibet, Hong Kong or Uighur Muslim stooum.   ut after the January 6 spectacle of the ruling elites dealing with angry crowds and the condemnation of these  demonstrations by elites, some leaders have come to demand that public freedoms be undermined, and it is difficult to put forward such rhetoric condemning freedoms in countries that want to submit to American  will.

The actual goal of U.S. policy is to undermine China’s competitiveness,  especially in the field of technology and artificial intelligence, by imposing sanctions on it (here new arguments will be sought for it!) And curbed  its military rise to prevent the expansion of its influence in East and South Asia. In the context of the conflict we mentioned between the group of interventionists and the “realists” the issue of dealing with  Chinese  t-communication companies, Huawei, which has been the target of sanctions in the Trump administration. If  the Biden administration wants to ease the conflict with China, it will settle the Huawei file at least  in its legal dimension. But is this in line with the interests of U.S. companies affected by Chinese competition that    have mostly supported Biden’s presidential bid? Here we see the extent of the contradiction within the  administration. This is where  Obama’s policy meets Trump’s policy f  confronting china’s rising  influence    and hitting the OneWay/One Belt project. But the capabilities of the United States, no matter how limited the governing  team may be, are too limited and cannot change the equations imposed by the transformations.

On the other hand, there is the BidenGroup, which has made confusing and suspicious deals with Chinese companies.  A large number of  Democratic party leaders are involved in suspicious deals with Chinese  government institutions such as former California State Attorney Barbara Boxer, who became the agent of a   Chinese state-owned eavesdropping  company, the current senator’s husband, Diane Feinstein, who has close ties to Chinese companies, or Representative Eric Swal of California, who is accused of having sexual  relations with a Chinese intelligence officer.  The president will be among the hammer of the Obama team,  which  wants to surround China, curb its rise, and the sanders of the special interests of the Biden family  and a number of senior Democratic officials in their dealings with China. The Republicans will undoubtedly raise the scandals championed by Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and James Biden, the president’s brother. They are the subject of investigations by the Federal Bureau of  Investigation (FBI), which refused to disclose  before the election, and William Barr, the outgoing Justice Secretary in the Trump administration, could have undermined Biden’s chances of winning the last election, reinforcing  the theory that the deep state of all its components wanted to get rid of Donald Trump and succeeded in disrupting  his mandate and success  in the  election.

One of Obama’s attempts to blockade China is the Trans Pacific Partnership/TPP,  which aimed to create a large  economic space similar to the European Common Market  before it became the European Union,    without China’s participation.  This project is similar to a European project that excludes Russia! Here is the grave  geopolitical error because it runs counter to the constant geography and changing history, how can an Asian  grouping be conceived without China and how can Russia be excluded from Europe? But Trump’s first  decision when he entered the White House was to destroy the Trans-Pacific Partnership project. In the fall  of 2020, China was able to conclude an economic agreement with Southeast Asian countries that effectively  eliminates  any  possibility of economic blockade of China.  The title of this new economic gathering is the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) signed on November 12,  2020 at a summit  of  regional  heads of  state such as China, Japan, South Korea, India and other ASEAN countries. 

China’s  most important economic influence…

The Rand Corporation, a Pentagon think  tank, considers  China’s economic influence more important than  U.S. influence in the Pacific and Asia. Asean countries also prioritise economic considerations and interests at the expense of security considerations. China’s economic influence weakens U.S. military influence, according to the RAND Corporation study, especially since countries in that region do not believe that U.S. military  influence is equivalent to China’s economic influence. There is also a conviction in those countries, according to the study, that the USA commitment to the region is questionable. Based on those considerations in the study, the Biden administration’s policy will be very complicated, especially since  the enthusiasm of the countries in the region to align  with them will be weak.

On the other hand, in recent days, the Trump administration has poisoned the atmosphere  between the United States and China by lifting all restrictions on Taiwan. It is clear that the move will anger China and strain relations with the new U.S. administration. The question is how the Biden administration can reinstate the restrictions lifted by the Trump administration, which means that there is no continuity in the outside  decision and weakens confidence in any U.S. pledge. The decisions of any administration become subject to veto by the administration that follows, and this is the result of  falling signs.  We therefore believe  that the Biden administration’s attempts will not go beyond the point of linking the conflict to conflicts of  interest  between the interveners and the realists, while  weighing  in favour of the interventionists  and the weakness of the realists because of the suspicions of corruption surrounding the president-elect and his family. 

 Some of the”positive” steps of the new administration will be to return  to the climate  agreement and the World  Health Organisation and to demand a return to the ballistic agreement. There is little cost here, but  a material for media propaganda to improve the image of the United States. Blinken’s remarks that he should”consult” with allies are a step toward restoring consideration to “diplomacy” that  his predecessor Mike Pompeo did not believe in. But what is the value of diplomacy if it is not  accompanied by  actions that take into account the interests of the various  parties?  The United States has not  yet acknowledged  this,  and it is continuing  its efforts to achieve its goals of domination and domination, but with far  fewer  possibilities. 

*Researcher  and political  economist And the former Secretary General of the  Arab  National Congress

Part 3 Here

إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (2) الملفات الدولية

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الجزء الثاني: الملفّات الدولية

فما هي الملفات الخارجية التي ستشهد صراعاً بين مصالح المتدخلّين ومصالح القوى التي تريد التركيز على الملفّات الداخلية؟ ملامح السياسة الخارجية بدأت تتوضح بعد جلست الاستماع في مجلس الشيوخ لكلّ من بلينكن (وزارة الخارجية) وهاينز (مديرة الاستخبارات الوطنية DNI). الخلاصة الأساسية هي لا تغيير يُذكر في الجوهر عن سياسات أوباما وترامب الاّ في الأسلوب وطريقة التعاطي. سنعرض هنا بعض الملفّات وليست جميعها لضيق المساحة المتاحة.

فعلى الصعيد الدولي تأتي في المرتبة الأولى العلاقات مع كلّ من روسيا والصين. الإشارات الأولى التي صدرت عن عدد من رموز الفريق الانتقالي للرئيس المنتخب لا توحي بأيّ حلحلة مرتقبة في العلاقات مع روسيا. فلا ننسى أنّ معظم العاملين في الإدارة الجديدة كانوا في إدارة أوباما التي كانت معادية لروسيا. فالأزمة الأوكرانية فجّرتها إدارة أوباما ونائب الرئيس آنذاك، الرئيس المنتخب اليوم، والتي كانت له تدخّلات كبيرة في الشأن الأوكراني ناهيك عن شبهات الفساد التي رافقتها. من جهة أخرى لا ننسى أنّ مجمل الحزب الديمقراطي والدولة العميقة والإعلام الشركاتي المهيمن أمضى السنوات الأربع الماضية على شيطنة الرئيس ترامب واتهامه بالعمالة لروسيا. كما أنّ الأخيرة متهمة بالتدخل في انتخابات 2016 لصالح دونالد ترامب. وإذا أخذنا بعين الاعتبار بعض التصريحات لقيادات استخبارية داعمة لبايدن بأنّ الروس يكذبون لأنّ الكذب جزء أساسي من الحمض النووي الروسي نرى أنّ المناخ المرتقب داخل الإدارة الجديدة مناخ متشدّد تجاه روسيا. وما يعزّز ذلك التشاؤم هو أنّ المسؤولين المرتقبين في الإدارة الجديدة في الصف الثاني في الخارجية والدفاع والأمن القومي هم من المحافظين الجدد كفيكتوريا نيولند ومن المتدخّلين الليبراليين كـ كاثلين هيكس ووندي شرمان وجون فاينر كنائب مستشار الأمن القومي. وجميعهم لديهم ارتباطات وثيقة مع المجمع العسكري الأمني ومراكز الأبحاث ومن الجامعات الكبرى كما شرحناه في مقال سابق. وما لفت انتباه المراقبين أنه حتى الساعة لم يتمّ أيّ اتصال بين الإدارة الانتقالية والقيادة الروسية علماً أنّ هذا تقليد امتدّ طيلة العقود الماضية.

تراجع أميركي متعدّد الجوانب

لكن حقيقة الأمر هي أنّ القدرة التنافسية الأميركية تراجعت في السياسة والاقتصاد، وربما أهمّ من كلّ ذلك في الشأن العسكري كما شرحناه أيضاً في مقالات سابقة. فمواجهة روسيا تكون عبر إثارة ملف حقوق الانسان في روسيا وعبر نشر حزام صاروخي في الدول المجاورة وعبر إسقاط أنظمة مجاورة تتفاهم مع روسيا. بالمناسبة ورغم اتهام الحزب الديمقراطي الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بالعمالة لروسيا فإنّ الرئيس الأميركي هو الذي فرض أكثر العقوبات على روسيا والتي كان قد بدأها سلفه باراك أوباما. ونقطة الخلاف الرئيسية الاستراتيجية هي ملف الغاز الروسي ودوره في تزويده للاتحاد الأوروبي بينما الخلاف على أوكرانيا يأتي في سياق محاولات توسع الأطلسي في أوروبا الشرقية. قضية الأمن التي يتمّ التلويح بها هي للتغطية على الهدف الرئيسي. ليس هناك أيّ دليل بأنّ روسيا تسعى لزعزعة الأمن والاستقرار الأوروبي بل العكس تسعى إلى أفضل العلاقات والتعاون مع الاتحاد الأوروبي.

هذا ما فهمته ألمانيا لكنها رضخت للضغوط الأميركية كما صرّح وزير خارجية ألمانيا السابق فرانك والتر ستنماير في تبرير رضوخ حكومته للإملاءات الأميركية عندما قال بوضوح إنّ ألمانيا متضررة اقتصادياً من تلك العقوبات غير أنّ السياسة لها القوّامة على الاقتصاد. لكن خلال الأشهر الماضية استطاعت ألمانيا أن تحدّ من غطرسة الولايات المتحدة فيما يتعلّق بمصالحها الاقتصادية مع روسيا والصين. فقد وافقت ألمانيا على تمديد أنبوب الغار الروسي (“تور ستريم 2) في المنطقة الاقتصادية التابعة لها في بحر البلطيق (كلّ يوم يتمّ مدّ كيلومترا من الأنبوب). كذلك الأمر حصل مع الجمهورية التشيكية لتمديد الخط البرّي “يوغال” الذي هو امتداد لـ “نور ستريم 2) على الحدود السكسونية الألمانية التشيكية. هذا يعكس مدى التراجع الأميركي عند الحليف الأوروبي ويقطع الطريق على الضغوط التي يمكن أن تصدرها الإدارة الجديدة.

من جهة أخرى تمّ التوقيع في 30 كانون الأول 2020 بين الصين والاتحاد الأوروبي على اتفاق يفتح باب الاستثمارات المتبادلة وذلك رغم معارضة الولايات المتحدة ورغم الذرائع التقليدية حول حقوق الإنسان التي كانت تُرفع بوجه الصين لمنع أيّ تقارب معها. هذه إشارة أخرى أنّ أوروبا الغربية شعرت بالضعف الأميركي وبدأت تفكّر بأولوية مصالحها. ولم يكن الاتحاد الأوروبي ليقدم على تلك الخطوة لولا الموافقة لكلّ من ألمانيا وفرنسا.

من ضمن الملفّات العالقة بين الولايات المتحدة وروسيا ملف أوكرانيا وخاصة شرق أوكرانيا (الدومبسك) وضمّ شبه جزيرة القرم، وملف دول القوقاز في جورجيا وناغورنو كراباخ، وانتشار السلاح الأطلسي في دول البلطيق وبولندا. ومؤخراً حاولت الولايات المتحدة خلق القلاقل في بيلاروسيا إلاّ أنها فشلت في ذلك. فالتقارب الروسي البلاروسي يشتدّ ولا نستبعد انضمام بلاروسيا على الاتحاد الروسي ما يشكّل صفعة مدوية للإدارة الأميركية. وبلاروسيا اليوم موكّلة في مواجهة كلّ من بولندا ودول البلطيق نيابة عن روسيا. ويُضاف إليها ملف سورية والملفّ النووي مع إيران وطبعاً المعاهدات في الشأن الصواريخ الباليستية المتوسطة المدى. في سياق ملف المعاهدة التي خرجت عنها الولايات المتحدة في موضوع الصواريخ الباليستية لم تعد روسيا متمسّكة بها.

حالة الإنكار متحكّمة في عقل النخب الحاكمة

لا ندري ماذا يمكن أن تقدّم الولايات المتحدة في كلّ هذه الملفّات غير التراجع عن مواقفها التصعيدية الذي سيكرّس تراجع نفوذها. لكن ليس في المزاج الحالي في الإدارة الانتقالية جهوزية لأيّ بادرة لتقديم أيّ تنازل. وبما أنّ حالة الإنكار لذلك التراجع متحكّمة في عقل النخب الحاكمة في الإدارة المقبلة على قاعدة “الاستثنائية الأميركية” و”قدرها المتجلّي” وبغياب أيّ دليل نظري أو ملموس للإقرار بذلك التراجع، فما يمكن أن نتوقّعه هو استمرار النبرة العالية والمعادية في مخاطبة روسيا دون أن تترجم بمواجهة على الأرض. فنظام العقوبات على روسيا مستمرّ وهو بدأ في عهد أوباما ولا تستطيع الإدارة المقبلة رفعها دون مقابل ملموس لتسويقه في المشهد الداخلي. فليس هناك ابداع في التفكير في الجانب الأميركي والجانب الروسي لا يعتبر نفسه ملزما بتقديم تنازلات خاصة أن لا ثقة بتعهدّات الولايات المتحدة. لذلك نشهد تزايد عدم الاكتراث في الجانب الروسي لما يمكن أن يصدر عن إدارة بايدن طالما أنّ أفق المواجهة المفتوحة المسلّحة مسدود. فروسيا استطاعت التكيّف مع العقوبات بل حوّلتها إلى فرص اكتفاء ذاتي حرّرها من الابتزاز الأميركي. فالعقوبات نجحت فقط في زيادة عزلة الولايات المتحدة في العالم وخاصة عند حلفائها الأوروبيين. والنخب في روسيا ترى كما نرى نحن أنّ الإدارة الجديدة ستكون منصبّة على الملفّات الداخلية لخطورتها وتعقيداتها وبالتالي لا تعتبر أنّ باستطاعتها التفاعل الدائم في الملفّات الخارجية.

لكن هذا لا يعني أنّ التواصل مع روسيا خارج الاحتمالات. فإذا كانت الضرورة امّ الاختراعات فهي أيضاً أمّ التفاهمات. في هذا السياق أعلن الرئيس الروسي في رسالة للرئيس المنتخب أنه يأمل بعلاقات ودية على قاعدة الندّية والاحترام المتبادل، وهذه إشارة إلى أنّ العودة الى أسلوب التعالي لم يعد مقبولاً. من جهة أخرى كان ردّ وزير الخارجية المسمّى أنطوني بلينكن أنّ في ذروة التنافس النووي بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد السوفياتي وفي ظلّ الخطر النووي الوجودي المتمثّل بآلاف الصواريخ الباليستية النووية الموجهة ضدّ كلّ من البلدين كانت مجالات التعاون في العديد من الملفات الساخنة ممكنة. وبالتالي يمكن التطلّع إلى “فرص تعاون” لضبط إيقاع التوترات كي لا تؤدّي إلى مواجهات لن يخرج أحد سالماً منها. هل هذا يعني أنّ مناخ التسويات سيكون قائماً؟ ليس بالضرورة، فالحالة الأكثر واقعية هي أن لا تسويات كبرى ولا مواجهات كبرى وكلّ شيء ممكن تحت ذلك السقفين. في الخلاصة يمكن القول إنّ سقف “التفاهم” الممكن مع روسيا لا يتجاوز حدود ربط النزاع إلى ان تتبلور موازين قوّة جديدة وهذا لن يحصل في المدى المنظور أيّ في ولاية الإدارة الجديدة.

قد يسأل المرء لماذا لا تسوية؟ الإجابة البسيطة هي أنّ روسيا لا ترى أيّ مبرّر لتسوية الأمور مع طرف برهن دائماً أنه لا يحترم المعاهدات فما بال التسويات! كما يرى الروسي أنّ الأميركي في حالة ضعف بنيوي قد لا ينجو منها وبالتالي تقديم تنازلات لدولة مصيرها مجهول قد لا يكون مبرّرا. في المقابل، يرى الطرف الأميركي إذا كانت موازين القوّة ليست لصالحه في المرحلة الحالية فما عليه إلاّ أن يعدّلها لمصلحته وبالتالي لا داعي للتنازل عن أيّ شيء جوهري قد يشكّل متن التسوية. وتعتقد النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة أنّ قدرها هو أن تقود العالم وأن استثنائيتها ستمكّنها من ذلك. ليس هناك استعداد للإقرار بأنّ الولايات المتحدة دخلت مرحلة التراجع الاستراتيجي بل حتى الانهيار الداخلي المرجّح وبالتالي ستكون السردية السائدة عند تلك النخب بأنّ الولايات المتحدة قدر على العالم بغضّ النظر عن الصعوبات التي تلاقيها في المرحلة الحالية.

لماذا لا مواجهة…؟

والسؤال الآخر لماذا لا مواجهة؟ الإجابة هنا أنّ الطرفين يدركان جيّداً أنّ المواجهة تعني في آخر المطاف نهاية المعمورة في دقائق محدودة! لن تكون الحرب المقبلة ممتدّة على مدى سنوات كما حصل في الحربين العالميتين ولا حتى في الحروب الإقليمية. ستكون مرتبطة بمدة وصول الصواريخ الباليستية إلى أهدافها وهنا نتكلّم عن دقائق وليس ساعات! لكن ما هو البديل عن المواجهة وعن التسوية؟

البديل هو توتّرات محدودة في المكان والزمان تحدّده الظروف الموضوعية والإقليمية المتغيّرة. لكن هذا يفرض تعاوناً دقيقاً لمنع الانزلاق الذي قد يؤدّي إلى مواجهة شاملة لا يريدها أحد. في المقابل، تعدّد اللاعبين من جهة وعدم وجود أيّ قوّة قادرة بمفردها على ضبط الإيقاع تجعل ذلك الأمر في غاية الصعوبة. من هنا نفهم دور وقيمة المحور حيث كلّ مكوّن له لا قدرة على التحكّم مهما كانت قدراته الذاتية. لكن المحور يعطي قيمة مضافة لتلك القدرات وبالتالي المحور هو الذي سيكون ضابط الإيقاع وليس القطب. هنا يبرز دور التجمّعات أو المحاور الإقليمية. أصبحنا في عالم متعدّد المحاور وليس في عالم متعدد القطبية.

إذا أردنا تلخيص المشهد الدولي بين المحورية المتنافسين نرى أنّ المحور الأميركي في تراجع استراتيجي قد يصل إلى الأفول والانهيار ولكنه يقوم بأعمال طابعها هجومي تكتيكي واستعراضي لا يغيّر أيّ شيء في موازين القوّة على الأرض. في المقابل فإنّ المحور الآخر الروسي الصيني ومعه محور المقاومة في حال صعود استراتيجي تتخلله أعمال طابعها تكتيكي دفاعي تحصّن موازين القوّة التي أوجدتها. والمحور المقاوم للهيمنة الأميركية لا يعتقد أنّ مواجهة تكتيكية ضرورية في المرحلة الراهنة بسبب التراجع الاستراتيجي للمحور الأميركي. عامل الوقت يعمل لصالح المحور المقاوم للهيمنة. لذلك لا نستبعد مرحلة استقرار هشّ للغاية تسوده التوترات بين فترات وجيزة من الهدوء. في رأينا، موازين القوّة التي تتغيّر لصالح المحور المناهض للهيمنة الغربية تشمل أيضاً البنى الثقافية والفكرية. وتشمل أيضاً المنظومات السياسية حيث النيوليبرالية الغربية وصلت إلى طريق مسدود وأنّ كلّ القرارات التي تتخذها النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة وفي الغرب عموما هي هروب إلى الأمام من الاستحقاقات الداخلية البنيوية التي تواجه كلّ الدول. إلى أن يتبلور نظام سياسي اقتصادي يأخذ بعين الاعتبار التحوّلات الجذرية التي حصلت في المجتمعات وخاصة الفجوات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية فإنّ سمة المشهد العام سيكون التوتر الداخلي في دول الغرب العامل المؤثر على سياساتها الخارجية. هذه الملاحظات تنطبق على كافة الملفات الخلافية بين الولايات المتحدة ومنافسيها.

وفي ما يتعلّق بالملفّ الصيني فهناك تياران متصارعان على ما يبدو داخل قيادات الحزب الديمقراطي. فمن جهة، هناك إرث الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما الذي كان صاحب نظرية التحوّل إلى الشرق لمواجهة الخطر الصاعد الذي تمثّله الصين. وهذا التوجّه إلى الشرق يستعمل سردية سياسية هي حماية حقوق الانسان التي تنتهكها الحكومة الصينية. فالولايات المتحدة بحاجة إلى مبرّر “أخلاقي” للتدخل في الشأن الداخلي في الصين سواء في قضية التيبت أو هونغ كونغ أو المسلمين الأويغور! لكن بعد المشهد الذي قدّمته النخب الحاكمة في 6 كانون الثاني/ يناير في التعامل مع الجماهير الغاضبة وتنديد النخب بهذه المظاهرات وصلت عند بعض القيادات إلى المطالبة بتقويض الحرّيات العامة يصعب عندئذ طرح ذلك الخطاب المندّد للحرّيات في الدول التي تريد الخضوع للمشيئة الأميركية.

الهدف الفعلي لسياسة الولايات المتحدة هو تقويض القدرات التنافسية للصين خاصة في الميدان التكنولوجي والذكاء الاصطناعي وذلك عبر فرض العقوبات عليها (وهنا سيتمّ التفتيش عن حجج جديدة لذلك!) وكبح صعودها العسكري لمنع تمدّد نفوذها في شرق وجنوب آسيا. وفي سياق الصراع الذي ذكرناه بين جماعة المتدخلين وجماعة “الواقعيين” مسألة التعامل مع شركات التواصل الصينية كهواوي التي كانت هدفاً للعقوبات في إدارة ترامب. فإذا أرادت إدارة بايدن التخفيف من حدّة الصراع مع الصين فستقوم بتسوية لملف هواوي على الأقلّ في بعده القانوني. لكن هل هذا يستقيم مع مصالح الشركات الأميركية المتضرّرة من التنافس الصيني وهي التي دعمت إلى أقصى الحدود وصول بايدن إلى الرئاسة؟ هنا نرى مدى التناقض الموجود داخل الإدارة. هنا تلتقي سياسة أوباما مع سياسة ترامب في ضرورة مواجهة النفوذ الصيني الصاعد وضرب مشروع الطريق الواحد/ الحزام الواحد. لكن قدرات الولايات المتحدة مهما كان الفريق الحاكم محدودة للغاية ولا تستطيع تغيير المعادلات التي فرضتها التحوّلات.

ومن جهة أخرى هناك “جماعة بايدن” التي عقدت صفقات مثيرة للالتباس والشبهات مع شركات صينية. ويشاركه في ذلك عدد كبير من قيادات الحزب الديمقراطي في صفقات مشبوهة مع مؤسّسات صينية حكومية كالشيخة السابقة لولاية كاليفورنيا بربرا بوكسر التي أصبحت وكيلة شركة صينية حكومية مختصة بالتنصّت، أو زوج الشيخ الحالية دايان فاينشتين الذي له علاقات وثيقة مع الشركات الصينية، أو النائب أريك سوالوال من كاليفورنيا المتهم بعلاقات جنسية مع ضابطة من الاستخبارات الصينية! فالرئيس سيكون بين مطرقة فريق أوباما الذي يريد محاصرة الصين وكبح صعودها وسندان المصالح الخاصة العائدة لعائلة بايدن ولعدد من كبار المسؤولين في الحزب الديمقراطي في تعاملهم مع الصين. الحزب الجمهوري سيثير دون أيّ شكّ الفضائح التي بطلها هنتر بايدن نجل الرئيس وجيمس بايدن شقيق الرئيس. فهما موضوع تحقيقات يقوم بها المكتب الاتحادي للتحقيقات (أف بي أي) التي رفض الكشف عنها قبل الانتخابات وليم بار وزير العدل المستقيل في إدارة ترامب والتي كان بإمكانها تقويض فرص فوز بايدن في الانتخابات الأخيرة، ما يعزّز نظرية أنّ الدولة العميقة بكافة مكوّناتها أرادت التخلّص من دونالد ترامب وقد نجحت في تعطيل ولايته ونجاحه في الانتخابات.

من محاولات محاصرة الصين التي أطلقها أوباما مشروع الشراكة في المحيط الهادئ ((Trans Pacific Partnership/TPP التي كانت تهدف إلى إيجاد فضاء اقتصادي كبير شبيه بالسوق الأوروبية المشتركة قبل أن تصبح الاتحاد الأوروبي، وذلك دون مشاركة الصين. يتماثل هذا المشروع مع مشروع أوروبي يقصي روسيا! وهنا الخطأ الجيوسياسي الفادح لأنه يتنافى مع الجغرافيا الثابتة والتاريخ المتغيّر، فكيف يمكن تصوّر تجمع آسيوي دون الصين وكيف يمكن أقصاء روسيا من أوروبا؟ لكن أول قرارات ترامب عند دخوله البيت الأبيض كان وأد مشروع الشراكة في المحيط الهادئ. والصين استطاعت أن تعقد في خريف 2020 اتفاقاً اقتصادياً مع دول جنوب شرق آسيا يلغي فعلياً أيّ إمكانية محاصرة الصين اقتصادياً. عنوان هذا التجمّع الاقتصادي الجديد هو اتفاق الشراكة الاقتصادية الإقليمية الشاملة (RCEP) الذي وقّع في 12 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2020 في اجتماع قمة لرؤساء دول المنطقة كالصين واليابان وكوريا الجنوبية والهند وسائر دول جمعية دول الجنوب الشرقي الاسيوي (ASEAN).

نفوذ الصين الاقتصادي أهمّ…

وتعتبر مؤسسة راند كوربوريشن، وهي مؤسسة أبحاث تابعة للبنتاغون، أنّ نفوذ الصين الاقتصادي أهمّ من النفوذ الأميركي في منطقة المحيط الهادئ وآسيا. كما أنّ دول جمعية جنوب شرق آسيا تعطي الأولوية للاعتبارات والمصالح الاقتصادية على حساب الاعتبارات الأمنية. والنفوذ الاقتصادي الصيني يضعف النفوذ العسكري الأميركي وفقاً لدراسة مؤسسة راند خاصة أنّ دول تلك المنطقة لا تعتقد أنّ النفوذ العسكري الأميركي يوازي النفوذ الاقتصادي الصيني. وهناك أيضاً قناعة عند تلك الدول وفقاً للدراسة المذكورة أنّ التزام الولايات المتحدة تجاه المنطقة مشكوك بأمره. بناء على تلك الاعتبارات التي جاءت في الدراسة المذكورة ستكون سياسة إدارة بايدن معقّدة للغاية خاصة أنّ حماس دول المنطقة للاصطفاف معها سيكون ضعيفاً.

من جهة أخرى أقدمت إدارة ترامب في أيامها الأخيرة على تسميم الأجواء بين الولايات المتحدة والصين عبر رفع جميع القيود على تايوان. من الواضح أنّ ذلك الإجراء سيغضب الصين ويوتر العلاقات مع الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة. والسؤال كيف يمكن لإدارة بايدن إعادة القيود التي رفعتها إدارة ترامب ما يعني أنّ ليس هناك من استمرارية في القرار الخارجي فيضعف الثقة بأي تعهّد أميركي. فقرارات أيّ أدارة تصبح معرّضة للنقض من قبل إدارة تليها وهذا من إرهاصات السقوط. لذلك نعتقد أنّ محاولات إدارة بايدن لن تتجاوز مرحلة ربط النزاع لتضارب المصالح بين المتدخلّين والواقعيين مع ترجيح الكفّة لصالح المتدخلين وضعف الواقعيين بسبب شبهات الفساد التي تحيط بالرئيس المنتخب وعائلته.

بعض الخطوات “الإيجابية” للإدارة الجديدة ستكون في العودة إلى اتفاق المناخ ومنظمة الصحة العالمية والمطالبة بالعودة إلى الاتفاق الباليستي. لا كلفة هنا تذكر بل مادة للدعاية الإعلامية لتحسين صورة الولايات المتحدة. كما أنّ تصريحات بلينكن بضرورة “التشاور” مع الحلفاء خطوة نحو إعادة الاعتبار إلى “الدبلوماسية” التي لم يكن يؤمن بها سلفه مايك بومبيو. لكن ما قيمة الدبلوماسية إن لم ترفقها أفعال تأخذ بعين الاعتبار مصالح مختلف الفرقاء؟ لم تصل الولايات المتحدة حتى الساعة إلى الإقرار بذلك فهي مستمرّة في جهودها لتحقيق أهدافها في السيطرة والهيمنة لكن بإمكانيات أقلّ بكثير ما يؤهّلها بذلك.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

فيديوات ذات صلة

Part 3 Here

مقالات ذات صلة

NATO Supremacists New Round of Frenzied War Crimes in Syria

MIRI WOOD 

Hasakah people protesting cutting off alouk water

NATO supremacists illegally in Syria have gone into a frenzy of increased war crimes against the Levantine republic, on 17 January: The lame duck Trump forces continue to empty silos in the al Jazeera region of grain; Madman Erdogan forces have again turned off water to one million Syrians living in al Hasakah; Trump cannon fodder SDF terrorists have kidnapped more young Syrian men from al Susa and Hajin, Deir Ezzor countryside.

Featured image above, shows thousands of Syrians demanding their water rights, again turned off by Madman Erdogan’s illegal troops occupying the Allouk water station. Video below is a glimpse of the demonstration.

While the transatlantic stenographers do their belly-bumping phony piety in lamentations over the 6 January invasion of the US Capitol by Trump supporters and various undercovers, and fake rend their clothing over 25,000 National Guard soldiers (to protect 1,435 senators and congress members) they remain arrogantly mute over the ongoing kidnappings, murders, bombings, water deprivation and destruction of essential infrastructure in the Arabic, Muslim-majority country of Syria.

The twenty convoy trucks that smuggled more stolen Syrian grain into Iraq were protected by illegal, armored, US vehicles. NATO supremacy means stealing other people’s foods. This massive theft was a follow up to the massive Syrian barley theft of 10 January, which also had the NATO stenographer supremacists on mute.

Trump forces smuggle stolen Syrian grains to Iraq
Trump forces loot and smuggle Syrian grains to Iraq

Depriving a civilian population of their water is also a war crime. In October 2019, NATO Madman Erdogan bombed the electrical grid at the Alouk station. The Syrian electricity army repairs it, after which Erdogan bombed it again, after which it was again repaired, after which Erdogan’s forces invaded and occupied the water plant. NATO supremacy also means trying to crush other people’s countries by stealing their water.

The demonic SDF separatists were originally created under the NATO supremacist Obama regime, which collected international wetworkers to teach the subsequent cannon fodder how to terrorize the Syrian population. During the Obama years, atrocities against Syria were perpetrated ‘by accident,’ as when he meant to war criminally bomb ISIS but accidentally slaughtered 83 Syrian soldiers defending their homeland.

 

The Trump regime expanded on Obama’s war crimes, intentionally bombed Syrian soldiers for al Qaeda, and set up criminal military bases in Syria (whereas Obama only sent in ‘spec operatives.’ See “Cue the Illegal Orangettes,” here.).

Today, a “weapons shop” run under Madman Erdogan’s al Qaeda forces in Idlib, blew up. It was located in a crowded market, near to a school. Western propagandists have remained silent on this atrocity, also. Imagine such a scene in Paris, London, Berlin, Philly, or Los Angeles being normalized:

Idlib explosion in weapons shop kills one person

Since the “deadly siege” on the US Capitol, 6 January, western supremacists have been aghast, horrified by a small fraction of what those western supremacists do to non-western countries, with impunity, on daily basis. Our unindicted war criminals that drop NATO weapons into the hands of savage beasts in Syria, call the psychopaths “freedom fighters” and cheer the horrors they perpetrate on the Syrian people, in the name of the imperial paraphilia, “democracy.”

Here are some examples of our glorious freedom and democracy, in DC, today, as inauguration day approaches; it does give the appearance of a military occupation, the type of which our terrified politicians in the Capitol on the first Wednesday of the first month of the new year, have imposed on mostly brown-skinned and/or Muslim majority countries for decades.

 

Some of the detritus, hysteria, and shame/lessness of DC may eventually be put into a box labeled “Trump,” and we shall probably return to our collective criminal work as imperial NATO supremacists, entitled to tying up those tedious loose ends of uppity countries refusing to be crushed by western humanitarian democracy.

When that time comes, may we watch Syria’s President Bashar al Assad, walking freely and safely among his fellow countrymen and women, and may we honestly denounce the supremacists among us.

— Miri Wood

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U.S., ISIS ‘brothers in arms,’ Iran says

January 2, 2021 – 20:0

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry has accused the U.S. government of supporting the ISIS terrorist group, describing the U.S. and ISIS as “brothers in arms.”

“It’s a well-documented fact, which’s been admitted by Trump, that U.S. has had a crucial role in the rise of terrorism in our region, from AQ to ISIS. Not surprising that the US assassination of General Soleimani was cheered by ISIS: brothers in arms,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a tweet on Saturday.

The foreign ministry also posted a video showing Trump addresses a campaign rally in which he says that former U.S. Secretary of State “Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama.” The video also shows that the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, General Qassem Soleimani was an “anti-terrorism champion” whose assassination only benefited the ISIS terrorist group.

This week marks the first anniversary of the assassination of the top Iranian general last year. General Soleimani was assassinated in an American drone strike on January 3, 2020, along with his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), near Baghdad’s international airport. The strike was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump, a reckless move that brought Iran and the United States close to an all-out war as General Soleimani was an influential figure in Iran and beyond. In response, Iran showered a U.S. airbase in western Iran with missiles, causing brain injury among dozens of American servicemen.

Earlier on Friday, the Iranian foreign ministry republished an assessment by Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions, on the assassination of General Soleimani saying that the U.S. strike against the general was a blatant violation of international law.

According to Callamard, the strike was clearly a strike against the armed forces of another state and it was a use of force against Iraq and a violation of its sovereignty. Callamard noted that the strike also was in violation of the UN charter.

The Iranian foreign ministry also said that the strike was against international law.

“By committing a craven act of terror against Gen Soleimani, the US violated int’l law & the UN Charter in a blatant violation of Iraqi sovereignty. The US’ lawlessness in full show. Iran won’t rest until bringing those responsible to justice,” tweeted the foreign ministry.

Iran has long warned that it will take revenge against the U.S. for assassinating the commander of the Quds Force. Iran has recently said that some people inside the U.S. may move to avenge the assassination.

“By committing this crime, you [the U.S.] created a job for all freedom-seeking people across the globe. Be sure that it is possible that some people will be found inside your home to respond to your crime,” General Soleimani’s successor Brigadier General Esmaeil Qaani said on Friday. “Those who committed this crime should know that throughout the world there would be a man who will punish the cowards behind this crime.”

Iran also said that it will work to expel the U.S. from the region.

RELATED NEWS

As the Republic Dies the Next Generation Must Rise

Date: December 16, 2020

Author: Tom Luongo16 

The first rule of screenwriting, or in fact any fiction writing, is, “Conflict doesn’t create character, it reveals it.” People are who they are and we only find out what they are made of when tested to their limit.

This is the essence of all good storytelling — create characters who rise to be role models for us as we navigate our way through a Universe hostile to our very existence.

While I hesitate to ascribe such noble ideas as ‘character’ to any politician there are a few out there who have shown great potential. I’ve written about all of them at various times in the past few years.

Matteo Salvini in Italy, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Russian President Vladmir Putin, Nigel Farage in the UK and even a flawed figure like Donald Trump are all examples of men who history will remember as having stood up when needed.

At times each of them tried to move heaven and earth to stop the degradation of society, culture and the human condition in the face of an implacable enemy – communist ideologues bent on forcing humanity into submission to their will.

But with the Supreme Court abdicating its primary responsibility under the Constitution last week citing itself in an unconstitutional ruling from 1925 (H/T Martin Armstrong for this) means it is over for Trump and the U.S. to stop the final transformation of the U.S. into an oligarchy in reality if not in spirit.

There is no mechanism for states to redress grievances of any import now. What was left of the compact between equal sovereign states died with a whimper in the halls of the SCOTUS and to thunderous applause by the BlueCheckMarked Sneetches on Twitter.

This means that a stolen election will in all probability stand up come Inauguration Day. The entrenched oligarchy has won this round.

Fine. But it doesn’t mean the efforts of the men I just listed will have been in vain. In fact, quite the opposite.

Because what it has done is revealed the character of everyone involved. What they do next now that they have the power they’ve always craved to transform America will determine what people who have principles other than raw power will do.

We’re beginning to see that response form up. This election isn’t over but the positioning for the future a post-republic America has already begun.

Since election day Tulsi Gabbard, a tweener between Gen-X and a Millennial, has been a non-stop source of, admittedly, Quixotic bills to put paid her insurgent campaign in the Democratic primaries as someone interested in fixing real foundational problems with the country and the bipartisan corruption in Washington.

She continues to reach across party lines introducing legislation which form the basis for a populist election strategy targeting the 2022 and 2024 elections.

From whistleblower protection to repealing Section 230 of the CDA to the bill in the tweet above co-sponsored with libertarian Thomas Massie, Gabbard is an example of what the future holds for the political future once this meta-stable, oligarchic rule-by-men period of America is over.

It’s clear that Gabbard wants no part of being a part of the Democratic Party that’s in power now. That’s why she didn’t run for re-election and I suspect these moves are all laying the groundwork for a return to politics in 2024 as an independent or Sanders-like outsider.

I’ve been writing for years now that our problems stem from an unwillingness of the older generations of politicians to give up power. If anything, they persist because they are owned by the forces that put them there in the first place to pull off this betrayal of the people that has been in the works for decades.

And they will stay in place until they are no longer needed. Just ask Diane Feinstein who is now being sacrificed to make way for the transition team to finish the job she started.

I always saw Trump as Gen-X’s moment to pull a Ronald Reagan and say, “Mr. Trump, tear down this Swamp!” but the real story is that Gen-X is allowing Obama to do that tearing down and hand what’s left back to the old monied elites.

The fight now is between the cross-currents within Gen-X. Equal parts commie and libertarian the one uniting principle is a desire to reform the old order.

It is my read that people like Gabbard, Massie, Sen. Rand Paul and a few others see the problem. Gabbard’s a leftist, but she’s no doctrinaire commie. That makes her and interesting pivot figure around which a coalition to retake control or build back better the U.S. can be formed. This will be necessary once Obama’s incoming crew of vandals overreaches and are thrown out on their asses.

Regardless of the outcome in the coming months and years the changing of the guard is close at hand. Post-Trump America will look very different than pre-Trump. Trump was the apotheosis of the Boomers.

His legacy will be forcing the Deep State into the open, bringing the fight against them out of the shadows.

Trump, however, doesn’t represent the future of America. He’s weighed down with the mythology of an America that never really existed.

That mythology, however, is something worth building on not allowing Obama and The Vandals to tear down. I believe Gabbard understands this.

I also believe at least 75 million Americans understand this.

For the American people to not be frog-marched into the dystopian nightmare of Klaus Schwab’s dreams it will be the revealed character of the Gabbards, Massies and Pauls to lead once the violence reaches a crescendo.

Make no mistake, there will be violence. It is inevitable because the people who voted for Trump will not be placated with UBI or settle down as their voices are silenced.

The fraudsters will forever be looking over their shoulders, lashing out at minor opposition as traitors who need to be put down.

Here we are presented with a staged picture with three white privilege guys straight out of central casting for the latest Obama-produced ‘documentary’ on equality coming to Netflix in the spring.

This is your “Unity” agenda from the most statist of state house organs, NPR, the echo chamber of choice for the low-information ‘informed’ shitlib. This is the face of the Biden/Harris administration.

This is just the beginning of what we can look forward to when the GOP loses both seats in the Georgia run-off and the Democrats, despite historically-low support and engagement with actual voters, run the table.

Once ensconced they will persecute their political enemies in ways only Alex Jones has contemplated to this point. And it will be this escalation that will reveal the quality of the character of these next-generation politicians.

They will have the choice, leader of men or cowards. The republic we’ve known is dead. Maybe that’s a good thing. But what comes after won’t be up to the people who just destroyed it. That job is the next generation’s job. Their moment is coming in the next couple of years. They will have to be ready.

Antisemitism Claims Mask a Reign of Political and Cultural Terror across Europe

December 14, 2020

The German Parliament passes a resolution that designates the BDS movement as antisemitic. (Photo: File)

By Jonathan Cook

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has run a fascinating long report this week offering a disturbing snapshot of the political climate rapidly emerging across Europe on the issue of antisemitism. The article documents a kind of cultural, political and intellectual reign of terror in Germany since the parliament passed a resolution last year equating support for non-violent boycotts of Israel – in solidarity with Palestinians oppressed by Israel – with antisemitism.

The article concerns Germany but anyone reading it will see very strong parallels with what is happening in other European countries, especially the UK and France.

The same European leaders who a few years ago marched in Paris shouting “Je suis Charlie” – upholding the inalienable free speech rights of white Europeans to offend Muslims by insulting and ridiculing their Prophet – are now queuing up to outlaw free speech when it is directed against Israel, a state that refuses to end its belligerent occupation of Palestinian land. European leaders have repeatedly shown they are all too ready to crush the free speech of Palestinians, and those in solidarity with them, to avoid offending sections of the Jewish community.

The situation reduces to this: European Muslims have no right to take offense at insults about a religion they identify with, but European Jews have every right to take offense at criticism of an aggressive Middle Eastern state they identify with. Seen another way, the perverse secular priorities of European mainstream culture now place the sanctity of a militarized state, Israel, above the sanctity of a religion with a billion followers.

Guilt by Association

This isn’t even a double standard. I can’t find a word in the dictionary that conveys the scale and degree of hypocrisy and bad faith involved.

If the American Jewish scholar Norman Finkelstein wrote a follow-up to his impassioned book The Holocaust Industry – on the cynical use of the Holocaust to enrich and empower a Jewish organizational establishment at the expense of the Holocaust’s actual survivors – he might be tempted to title it The Antisemitism Industry.

In the current climate in Europe, one that rejects any critical thinking in relation to broad areas of public life, that observation alone would enough to have one denounced as an antisemite. Which is why the Haaretz article – far braver than anything you will read in a UK or US newspaper – makes no bones about what is happening in Germany. It calls it a “witch-hunt”. That is Haaretz’s way of saying that antisemitism has been politicized and weaponized – a self-evident conclusion that will currently get you expelled from the British Labour party, even if you are Jewish.

The Haaretz story highlights two important developments in the way antisemitism has been, in the words of intellectuals and cultural leaders cited by the newspaper, “instrumentalized” in Germany.

Jewish organizations and their allies in Germany, as Haaretz reports, are openly weaponizing antisemitism not only to damage the reputation of Israel’s harsher critics but also to force out of the public and cultural domain – through a kind of “antisemitism guilt by association” – anyone who dares to entertain criticism of Israel.

Cultural associations, festivals, universities, Jewish research centers, political think-tanks, museums, and libraries are being forced to scrutinize the past of those they wish to invite in case some minor transgression against Israel can be exploited by local Jewish organizations. That has created a toxic, politically paranoid atmosphere that inevitably kills trust and creativity.

But the psychosis runs deeper still. Israel, and anything related to it, has become such a combustible subject – one that can ruin careers in an instant – that most political, academic and cultural figures in Germany now choose to avoid it entirely. Israel, as its supporters intended, is rapidly becoming untouchable.

A case study noted by Haaretz is Peter Schäfer, a respected professor of ancient Judaism and Christianity studies who was forced to resign as director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum last year. Schäfer’s crime, in the eyes of Germany’s Jewish establishment, was that he staged an exhibition on Jerusalem that recognized the city’s three religious traditions, including a Muslim one.

He was immediately accused of promoting “historical distortions” and denounced as “anti-Israel”. A reporter for Israel’s right-wing Jerusalem Post, which has been actively colluding with the Israeli government to smear critics of Israel, contacted Schäfer with a series of inciteful emails. The questions included “Did you learn the wrong lesson from the Holocaust?” and “Israeli experts told me you disseminate antisemitism – is that true?”

Schäfer observes:

“The accusation of antisemitism is a club that allows one to deal a death blow, and political elements who have an interest in this are using it, without a doubt… The museum staff gradually entered a state of panic. Then of course we also started to do background checks. Increasingly it poisoned the atmosphere and our work.”

Another prominent victim of these Jewish organizations tells Haaretz:

“Sometimes one thinks, ‘To go to that conference?’ ‘To invite this colleague?’ Afterward, it means that for three weeks, I’ll have to cope with a shitstorm, whereas I need the time for other things that I get paid for as a lecturer. There is a type of ‘anticipatory obedience’ or ‘prior self-censorship.’”

Ringing off the Hook

There is nothing unusual about what is happening in Germany. Jewish organizations are stirring up these “shitstorms” – designed to paralyze political and cultural life for anyone who engages in even the mildest criticism of Israel – at the highest levels of government. Don’t believe me? Here is Barack Obama explaining in his recent autobiography his efforts as US president to curb Israel’s expansion of its illegal settlements. Early on, he was warned to back off or face the wrath of the Israel lobby:

“Members of both parties worried about crossing the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Those who criticized Israeli policy too loudly risked being tagged as ‘anti-Israel’ (and possibly anti-Semitic) and confronted with a well-funded opponent in the next election.”

When Obama went ahead anyway in 2009 and proposed a modest freeze on Israel’s illegal settlements:

“The White House phones started ringing off the hook, as members of my national security team fielded calls from reporters, leaders of American Jewish organizations, prominent supporters, and members of Congress, all wondering why we were picking on Israel … this sort of pressure continued for much of 2009.”

He observes further:

“The noise orchestrated by Netanyahu had the intended effect of gobbling up our time, putting us on the defensive, and reminding me that normal policy differences with an Israeli prime minister – even one who presided over a fragile coalition government – exacted a political cost that didn’t exist when I dealt with the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, or any of our other closest allies.”

Doubtless, Obama dare not put down in writing his full thoughts about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the US lobbyists who worked on his behalf. But Obama’s remarks do show that, even a US president, supposedly the single most powerful person on the planet, ended up blanching in the face of this kind of relentless assault. For lesser mortals, the price is likely to be far graver.

No Free Speech on Israel

It was this same mobilization of Jewish organizational pressure – orchestrated, as Obama notes, by Israel and its partisans in the US and Europe – that ended up dominating Jeremy Corbyn’s five years as the leader of Britain’s leftwing Labour party, recasting a well-known anti-racism activist almost overnight as an antisemite.

It is the reason why his successor, Sir Keir Starmer, has outsourced part of Labour’s organizational oversight on Jewish and Israel-related matters to the very conservative Board of Deputies of British Jews, as given expression in Starmer’s signing up to the Board’s “10 Pledges”.

It is part of the reason why Starmer recently suspended Corbyn from the party, and then defied the membership’s demands that he be properly reinstated, after Corbyn expressed concerns about the way antisemitism allegations had been “overstated for political reasons” to damage him and Labour. (The rightwing Starmer, it should be noted, was also happy to use antisemitism as a pretext to eradicate the socialist agenda Corbyn had tried to revive in Labour.) It is why Starmer has imposed a blanket ban on constituency parties discussing Corbyn’s suspension. And it is why Labour’s shadow education secretary has joined the ruling Conservative party in threatening to strip universities of their funding if they allow free speech about Israel on campus.

Two Types of Jews

But the Haaretz article raises another issue critical to understanding how Israel and the Jewish establishment in Europe are politicizing antisemitism to protect Israel from criticism. The potential Achilles’ heel of their campaign are Jewish dissidents, those who break with the supposed “Jewish community” line and create a space for others – whether Palestinians or other non-Jews – to criticize Israel. These Jewish dissenters risk serving as a reminder that trenchant criticism of Israel should not result in one being tarred an antisemite.

Israel and Jewish organizations, however, have made it their task to erode that idea by promoting a distinction – an antisemitic one, at that – between two types of Jews: good Jews (loyal to Israel), and bad Jews (disloyal to Israel).

Haaretz reports that officials in Germany, such as Felix Klein, the country’s antisemitism commissioner, and Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, are being allowed to define not only who is an antisemite, typically using support for Israel as the yardstick, but are also determining who are good Jews – those politically like them – and who are bad Jews – those who disagree with them.

Despite Germany’s horrific recent history of Jew-hatred, the German government, local authorities, the media, universities and cultural institutions have been encouraged by figures like Klein and Schuster to hound German Jews, even Israeli Jews living and working in Germany, from the country’s public and cultural space.

When, for example, a group of Israeli Jewish academics in Berlin held a series of online discussions about Zionism last year on the website of their art school, an Israeli reporter soon broke the story of a “scandal” involving boycott supporters receiving funding from the German government. Hours later the art school had pulled down the site, while the German education ministry issued a statement clarifying that it had provided no funding. The Israeli embassy officially declared the discussions held by these Israelis as “antisemitic”, and a German foundation that documents antisemitism added the group to the list of antisemitic incidents it records.

Described as ‘Kapos’

So repressive has the cultural and political atmosphere grown in Germany that there has been a small backlash among cultural leaders. Some have dared to publish a letter protesting against the role of Klein, the antisemitism commissioner. Haaretz reports:

“The antisemitism czar, the letter charged, is working ‘in synergy with the Israeli government’ in an effort ‘to discredit and silence opponents of Israel’s policies’ and is abetting the ‘instrumentalization’ that undermines the true struggle against antisemitism.

Figures like Klein have been so focused on tackling criticism of Israel from the left, including the Jewish left, that they have barely noted the “acute danger Jews in Germany face due to the surge in far-right antisemitism”, the letter argues.

Again, the same picture can be seen across Europe. In the UK, the opposition Labour party, which should be a safe space for those leading the anti-racism struggle, is purging itself of Jews critical of Israel and using antisemitism smears against prominent anti-racists, especially from other oppressed minorities.

Extraordinarily, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, one of the founders of Jewish Voice for Labour, which supports Corbyn, recently found herself suspended by Starmer’s Labour. She had just appeared in a moving video in which she explained the ways antisemitism was being used by Jewish organizations to smear Jewish left-wingers like herself as “traitors” and “kapos” – an incendiary term of abuse, as Wimborne-Idrissi points out, that refers to “a Jewish inmate of a concentration camp who collaborated with the [Nazi] authorities, people who collaborated in the annihilation of their own people”.

In suspending her, Starmer effectively endorsed this campaign by the UK’s Jewish establishment of incitement against, and vilification of, left-wing Jews.

Earlier, Marc Wadsworth, a distinguished black anti-racism campaigner, found himself similarly suspended by Labour when he exposed the efforts of Ruth Smeeth, then a Labour MP and a former Jewish official in the Israel lobby group BICOM, to recruit the media to her campaign smearing political opponents on the left as antisemites.

In keeping with the rapid erosion of critical thinking in civil society organizations designed to uphold basic freedoms, Smeeth was recently appointed director of the prestigious free speech organization Index on Censorship. There she can now work on suppressing criticism of Israel – and attack “bad Jews” – under cover of fighting censorship. In the new, inverted reality, censorship refers not to the smearing and silencing of a “bad Jew” like Wimborne-Idrissi, but to criticism of Israel over its human rights abuses, which supposedly “censors” the identification of “good Jews” with Israel – now often seen as the crime of “causing offense”.

Boy Who Cried Wolf

The Haaretz article helps to contextualize Europe’s current antisemitism “witch-hunt”, which targets anyone who criticizes Israel or stands in solidarity with oppressed Palestinians, or associates with such people. It is an expansion of the earlier campaign by the Jewish establishment against “the wrong kind of Jew”, as identified by Finkelstein in The Holocaust Industry. But this time Jewish organizations are playing a much higher-stakes, and more dangerous, political game.

Haaretz rightly fears that the Jewish leadership in Europe is not only silencing ordinary Jews but degrading the meaning – the shock value – of antisemitism through the very act of politicizing it. Jewish organizations risk alienating the European left, which has historically stood with them against Jew-hatred from the right. European anti-racists suddenly find themselves equated with, and smeared as, fledgling neo-Nazis.

If those who support human rights and demand an end to the oppression of Palestinians find themselves labeled antisemitic, it will become ever harder to distinguish between bogus (weaponized) “antisemitism” on the left and real Jew-hatred from the right. The antisemitism smearers – and their fellow travelers like Keir Starmer – are likely to end up suffering their very own “boy who cried wolf” syndrome.

Or as Haaretz notes:

“The issue that is bothering the critics of the Bundestag [German parliament] resolution is whether the extension of the concept of antisemitism to encompass criticism of Israel is not actually adversely affecting the battle against antisemitism. The argument is that the ease with which the accusation is leveled could have the effect of eroding the concept itself.”

The Antisemitism Industry

It is worth noting the shared features of the new Antisemitism Industry and Finkelstein’s earlier discussions of the Holocaust Industry.

In his book, Finkelstein identifies the “wrong Jews” as people like his mother, who survived a Nazi death camp as the rest of her family perished. These surviving Jews, Finkelstein argues, were valued by the Holocaust Industry only in so far as they served as a promotional tool for the Jewish establishment to accumulate more wealth and cultural and political status. Otherwise, the victims were ignored because the actual Holocaust’s message – in contrast to the Jewish leadership’s representation of it – was universal: that we must oppose and fight all forms of racism because they lead to persecution and genocide.

Instead, the Holocaust Industry promoted a particularist, self-interested lesson that the Holocaust proves Jews are uniquely oppressed and that they, therefore, deserve a unique solution: a state, Israel, that must be given unique leeway by western states to commit crimes in violation of international law. The Holocaust Industry – very much to be distinguished from the real events of the Holocaust – is deeply entwined in, and rationalized by, the perpetuation of the racialist, colonial project of Israel.

In the case of the Antisemitism Industry, the “wrong Jew” surfaces again. This time the witch-hunt targets Jewish left-wingers, Jews critical of Israel, Jews opposed to the occupation, and Jews who support a boycott of the illegal settlements or of Israel itself. Again, the problem with these “bad Jews” is that they allude to a universal lesson, one that says Palestinians have at least as much right to self-determination, to dignity and security, in their historic homeland as Jewish immigrants who fled European persecution.

In contrast to the “bad Jews”, the Antisemitism Industry demands that a particularist conclusion be drawn about Israel – just as a particularist conclusion was earlier drawn by the Holocaust Industry. It says that to deny Jews a state is to leave them defenceless against the eternal virus of antisemitism. In this conception, the Holocaust may be uniquely abhorrent but it is far from unique. Non-Jews, given the right circumstances, are only too capable of carrying out another Holocaust. Jews must therefore always be protected, always on guard, always have their weapons (or in Israel’s case, its nuclear bombs) to hand.

‘Get out of Jail’ Card

This view, of course, seeks to ignore, or marginalize, other victims of the Holocaust – Romanies, communists, gays – and other kinds of racism. It needs to create a hierarchy of racisms, a competition between them, in which hatred of Jews is at the pinnacle. This is how we arrived at an absurdity: that anti-Zionism – misrepresented as the rejection of a refuge for Jews, rather than the reality that it rejects an ethnic, colonial state oppressing Palestinians – is the same as antisemitism.

Extraordinarily, as the Haaretz article clarifies, German officials are oppressing “bad Jews”, at the instigation of Jewish organizations, to prevent, as they see it, the re-emergence of the far-right and neo-Nazis. The criticisms of Israel made by the “bad Jew” are thereby not just dismissed as ideologically unsound or delusions but become proof that these Jews are colluding with, or at least nourishing, the Jew-haters.

In this way, Germany, the UK and much of Europe have come to justify the exclusion of the “wrong Jew” – those who uphold universal principles for the benefit of all – from the public space. Which, of course, is exactly what Israel wants, because, rooted as it is in an ideology of ethnic exclusivity as a “Jewish state”, it necessarily rejects universal ethics.

What we see here is an illustration of a principle at the heart of Israel’s state ideology of Zionism: Israel needs antisemitism. Israel would quite literally have to invent antisemitism if it did not exist.

This is not hyperbole. The idea that the “virus of antisemitism” lies semi-dormant in every non-Jew waiting for a chance to overwhelm its host is the essential rationale for Israel. If the Holocaust was an exceptional historical event, if antisemitism was an ancient racism that in its modern incarnation followed the patterns of prejudice and hatred familiar in all racisms, from anti-black bigotry to Islamophobia, Israel would be not only redundant but an abomination – because it has been set up to dispossess and abuse another group, the Palestinians.

Antisemitism is Israel’s “get out of jail” card. Antisemitism serves to absolve Israel of the racism it structurally embodies and that would be impossible to overlook were Israel deprived of the misdirection weaponized antisemitism provides.

An Empty Space

The Haaretz article provides a genuine service by not only reminding us that “bad Jews” exist but in coming to their defense – something that European media is no longer willing to do. To defend “bad Jews” like Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi is to be contaminated with the same taint of antisemitism that justified the ejection of these Jews from the public space.

Haaretz records the effort of a few brave cultural institutions in Germany to protest, to hold the line, against this new McCarthyism. Their stand may fail. If it does, you may never become aware of it.

Once, the “bad Jews” have been smeared into silence, as Palestinians and those who stand in solidarity with them largely have been already; when social media has de-platformed critics of Israel as Jew-haters; when the media and political parties enforce this silence so absolutely they no longer need to smear anyone as an antisemite because these “antisemites” have been disappeared; when the Jewish “community” speaks with one voice because its other voices have been eliminated; when the censorship is complete, you will not know it.

There will be no record of what was lost. There will be simply an empty space, a blank slate, where discussions of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians once existed. What you will hear instead is only what Israel and its partisans want you to hear. Your ignorance will be blissfully complete.

– Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). Visit his website www.jonathan-cook.net. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Why Muslims in the US face a crisis of leadership

Hafsa Kanjwal

8 December 2020 12:12 UTC | 

Last update: 11 hours 18 mins ago

Some Muslim American groups have turned into agents of oppression, providing cover for harmful and destructive policies towards our communities

The King Fahad Mosque in Culver City, California, is pictured on 23 May (AFP)237Shares

For many Muslims in the US, the news that we will not be plunged into fascism with a second term for President Trump has been met with relief.

However, as Muslim Americans begin to reconfigure their political advocacy, we cannot be complicit under a Biden presidency that remains true to the core principles of American neoliberalism and empire. Most importantly, we cannot go back to the Muslim American political subservience that we witnessed during the Obama years.Joe Biden, Emgage and the muzzling of Muslim America

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Muslim communities around the world – whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Kashmir, Yemen, China or Myanmar – face many injustices today. And it is an unfortunate reality that the US is either directly responsible for, or has aided or prolonged, many of these injustices. 

There has been a push in recent decades – and especially during the Obama years – to make Muslim Americans feel a sense of exceptionalism, and to view issues from “back home” as removed from our reality in the US. This is despite the interconnected nature of how Muslims around the world are treated – and how that structural violence also impacts us here. 

From Obama to Trump

The Obama years were defined by the rise of a professional Muslim class that was made into agents of empire and oppression, providing cover or tacit approval to some of the most harmful and destructive policies towards our communities, including the ramping up of counter-violent extremism (CVE) policies using Muslim leaders and institutions. Many of these individuals or organisations positioned themselves as the “resistance” under Trump: we know they will, and already have, gone back to being the native informants for the neoliberal establishment.

The Muslim community in the US faces a crisis in terms of having a principled leadership that speaks truth to power

This means that Muslim Americans have a lot of work cut out for them. We have reached a crucial stage, in which a critical mass of fellow Muslims are pushing to sacrifice Muslims around the world and in the US in order to gain mainstream acceptance and access to certain corridors of power here.

Nowhere is this more evident than in how so many Muslim-American institutions and leaders are normalising Zionism, even as opposition to Zionism is gaining traction within the Jewish-American community. Muslim Americans may not be able to bring about a complete transformation in how the US conducts its affairs in the Muslim world – though they should at least try – but at the very least, they should not contribute to injustice. 

Trump’s presidency was devastating for many people of colour and Muslims in the US. But it also provided political clarity about the US that was not possible under the veneer of the Obama-led liberal establishment. It spurred important, long-awaited conversations about the role of imperialism, neoliberalism and white supremacy in the US that had previously been obscured.

A new generation of Muslim Americans has become politically mature and much more critical than older generations, which are still reeling from the kind of respectability politics in which we have been forced to engage post-9/11. They are building their own institutions. 

Nonetheless, there is a danger that the veering to the far right has left Obama and Biden appear to Muslims as more progressive than they actually are. While the Trump era has ignited more imaginative conversations elsewhere about reducing the military-industrial complex, ending wars, and defunding the police, it has also given establishment Muslims a portal to exercise restraint over developing these wants. 

Going forward

The Muslim community in the US faces a crisis in terms of having a principled leadership that speaks truth to power.

Far too many organisations and leaders are more interested in having access to power than in representing our agenda. Consequently, we need to hold these leaders accountable.

Muslim Americans must advise those who claim to speak on their behalf, and hold them to account if they continue to cause harm to our causes. Lives are at stake when individuals or organisations enable the state’s violence against Black or brown bodies. Silence, or a desire not to “rock the boat” or alienate anyone, makes us complicit. There is no point to “unity” if our goals are not the same. 

Former US President Barack Obama hosts an iftar dinner at the White House in 2014 (AFP)
Former US President Barack Obama hosts an iftar dinner at the White House in 2014 (AFP)

The community must also put a check on American exceptionalism. Our lives here are not more important or more valuable than those of the victims of American imperialism. Furthermore, Muslims living amid some of the most disheartening conditions around the world have a great deal to teach us – we cannot simply adopt a colonial attitude and think we know best.

In addition, Muslim Americans need to understand that Islamophobia is not just restricted to a Muslim travel ban, or someone saying negative things about Muslims. Anti-Muslim racism is built into the fabric of a number of institutions in this country, and very much part of the neoliberal establishment.

The Muslim community must move beyond symbolism, and recognise when that is weaponised. What is the point, for example, of us getting excited over a political leader saying “inshallah” if he was actively campaigning for the immoral and illegal Iraq war and was bombing Muslim communities around the world? 

The heart of Islam

Most importantly, we need to push our institutions towards meaningful representation and to hold the government accountable.

Muslim Americans need to ask themselves where they, their leaders and their institutions are standing

How many mainstream, national Muslim American organisations are talking about surveillance, entrapment, Guantanamo Bay, the military-industrial complex, or the ravages of capitalism? Are these not issues where Muslims should be at the forefront, providing leadership based on our religious values?

Situating ourselves with the most vulnerable and the oppressed has been the core of our faith and its teachings: it is the heart of Islam. 

Muslim Americans need to ask themselves where they, their leaders and their institutions are standing. Are they looking up, trying to protect their interests, serving as tokens, or maintaining the pretence of influence – or are they with the people?

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

Hafsa Kanjwal is an assistant professor in South Asian history at Lafayette College. Her PhD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, was on the social history of modern Kashmir.

Meet the new boss!

Biden and the Middle East: Misplaced optimism

Khalil al-Anani

25 November 2020

The Arab region in general will not rank high on the list of foreign priorities for the incoming US president

US president-elect Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Delaware, on 19 November (AFP)

There has been a state of optimism in the Arab world since the announcement of Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s win in the US presidential election.

Even if the optimism is justified, especially in light of the disasters and political tragedies that the Arab region has witnessed and lived through over the past four years under President Donald Trump, this optimism is somewhat exaggerated. Some believe that the region under Biden will witness radical changes, breaking with Trump’s negative legacy – but I don’t think that will happen.

We need to dismantle the various issues that Biden is expected to engage with over the next four years in order to understand whether the situation will remain as it is, or undergo radical change. 

During the Biden era, the Arab region in general is not expected to rank high on the list of US foreign priorities. There are many reasons for this, including Biden’s vision, which does not stray far from the view of former US President Barack Obama on global issues and international conflicts, with Asia and the Pacific given priority over all other matters. 

The US relationship with China is an important file for any US administration, whether Republican or Democratic. As the rise of China represents an economic and security threat to the US, the Obama administration moved its foreign-policy compass towards China and the Pacific region. For Biden, China will continue to represent a top priority. 

The issue has become even more urgent in the wake of Trump’s more hostile policies towards China over the past four years. Observers will be watching as to whether Biden can put an end to what the average US citizen sees as Chinese encroachment and hegemony in global markets, at US expense. Some saw Trump’s China policies as a historic victory, due to the imposition of tariffs on US imports from China. 

The importance of accountability for China might be one of the few issues that has consensus among Americans of all orientations, but there are differences in how the issue is approached and handled. While Republicans, especially under Trump, use the confrontational method through the well-known strategy of “maximum pressure”, the Democrats prefer dialogue and cooperation with Beijing.

Iran, Israel and Arab authoritarians

In the Arab region, the three issues expected to dominate Biden’s agenda are the US relationships with Iran, Israel and the authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

We may witness an important shift in US policy towards Iran, especially on the nuclear file and Trump-era sanctions, which resulted in unprecedented levels of pressure on Tehran since the unilateral US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018.

It is expected that Biden will bring the US back to the nuclear deal, but with new conditions – unless the Trump administration, in alliance with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, launches military strikes, as Trump has reportedly contemplated.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem in 2010 (Reuters)
Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in Jerusalem in 2010 (Reuters)

As for the US-Israel relationship, and in particular the issue of a two-state solution and normalisation with Arab countries, we can expect the status quo to continue. Despite Biden’s embrace of the two-state solution and rejection of Israeli attempts to impose a fait accompli on Palestinians, Biden is not expected to prevent Israel from annexing parts of the occupied West Bank.

US pressure on more Arab countries to normalise with Israel, as Trump pushed with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, may diminish. But this does not mean the Biden administration would impede any such normalisation. On the contrary, Biden welcomed the Gulf normalisation deals with Israel.

The issue of Israel’s security and qualitative superiority is a subject of agreement among Republicans and Democrats alike; none can imagine this changing under the Biden administration.

Condemnation without action

As for the US relationship with Arab authoritarian regimes, particularly with respect to support for human rights and democracy, while Biden may not support human rights violations – especially in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – he is not expected to exert great pressure on these countries if the violations continue.

A Biden administration, for example, would not likely cut off military aid to Egypt, or halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia or the UAE as an objection to the Yemen war or their miserable record on issues of democracy and human rights – despite Biden’s pledge to the contrary during his election campaign. 

Statements and condemnations may be issued from time to time, but it is unlikely that they will translate into real policies and actions. While Biden will not consider someone like Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi his “favourite dictator”, as Trump did, he will not likely sever the relationship or punish Sisi seriously for his flagrant violations of human rights in Egypt.

Perhaps optimists in the Arab world should be wary of getting too hopeful about the incoming Biden administration and the potential for regional change. If it is true that the number of bad guys around the world will decrease due to Trump’s departure from power, this does not necessarily mean that the good guys will make a comeback with Biden coming to power.

Khalil al-AnaniKhalil al-Anani is a Senior Fellow at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies in Washington DC. He is also an associate professor of political science at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. You can follow him on Twitter: @Khalilalanani.

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