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.

Related News

إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…خيار جدّيّ

Photo of إيران إلى السلاح النوويّ…
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

Image result for وليد شرارة

ِAl-Akhbar

Walid Sharara

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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

Image result for Thomas Friedman and joe biden
“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.”

Image result for Abqaiq offensive

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.

Image result for signing of the nuclear deal with Iran

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.

Image result for signing of the nuclear deal with Iran

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.

Related

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

Image result for وليد شرارة

الأخبار 

وليد شرارة 

الأربعاء 2 كانون الأول 2020

Image result for Thomas Friedman and joe biden

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».

Image result for Abqaiq offensive

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.

Image result for signing of the nuclear deal with Iran

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.

Image result for signing of the nuclear deal with Iran

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.

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

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

Problems of the new US foreign policy

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-14.png
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.

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-557-780x470.png
Click here to see the Video (deleted by You Tube)

زياد حافظ

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

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

Related Articles

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

Read More »

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.

Syria: The complicated scene

By Abir Bassam

November 24, 2020 – 10:49

It is a dirty war that has been going on in Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Almost nine and a half tragic years have passed. The three countries were subjected to all kinds of terror and brutally destroyed. Actually, what has been going on is a world war! All weapons were used and tested and many countries were involved.

It was a real dirty war, in which the West and the Americans and their allies in the region have used the worst kind of men: a group of collaborators and barbaric terrorists. 

The worst kinds of mercenaries from all over the world were sent to Syria. They practices the ugliest inhumane deeds: they decapitated heads, literally ate hearts, and burned people alive to death. 

These groups were directly led by generals from the U.S., France, and Turkey. This information was supported by different informed resources that reported capturing French, British, and Turkish officers since 2015, in particular, during the invasion of Idlib. The district was invaded by a tenth of thousands of terrorists from Nusra, especially its group Fateh al-Sham which is directly supported and trained by Turkey, and Ahrar al-Sham which was directly supported by the Americans. The invasion was directly led by the Turkish tank battalions and the NATO alliances. 

By December 2015, the northeast of Syria was also invaded by another terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]. ISIS was created with the utmost attention of Hilary Clinton, during Barak Obama’s administration. This was revealed by Donald Trump during his election campaign in 2016. ISIS swept over the al-Jazeera region and extended to Palmira through the Syrian Desert and occupied Homos, the biggest Syrian district. It was directly protected by the American extending military bases in northern Syria and the eastern base in al-Tanf. ISIS attacked both the Syrian government forces and the opposition factions. 

The plan was to allow ISIS invasion of northern-eastern Syria territories and western-northern Iraqi territories in order to terminate the opposition factions in the region. It was carefully planned by Obama’s administration and in particular his vice president Joe Biden, the new president of the United States of America.

Under the pretense of fighting terrorism, the Americans were back in Iraq and restored bases in Iraq, built new ones in Syria and reestablished new militia groups in the area of the northeast, mainly Kurdish groups. They were trained and equipped by the Americans. For the U.S., it was a necessary step to launch a Kurdish federalism on the Syrian territories.  

Nonetheless, the U.S. had set the return plan before withdrawing from Iraq in 2010. Upon its departure, the American administration empowered the al-Qaeda group in Iraq, and supported its existence, as Trump declared and accused Hillary Clinton of being the mastermind behind it. ISIS was basically the American approach to siege Syria, and eventually, apply the plan of division in the region and establish a Kurdish state. 

Saying that may seem to be naive and simple. However, executing the plan required initiating “revolutions” in other Arab countries, recruiting media specialists, recruiting special personnel to initiate eruptions by social media, and consuming billions of dollars in the process, of which the Saudi kingdom and Qatar were the main contributors.

In 1992, I was on a visit to al-Hassaka and al-Qamishli. I was just a young beginner in journalism. I was conducting an investigation report about the Yazidis. At that stage, a large number of Yazidis and Kurds were immigrating to Syria. They escaped the biased and brutal treatment of Saddam Hussein and the fanatic Turks. These Kurds were building a wide network in Europe. They bought sympathy and support to establish a federation in Iraq in 1996. The process was facilitated by the Americans after the second Persian Gulf War in 1991 as Saddam’s power was fading.

The idea of having a similar kind of federation in Syria became appealing to both the Americans and Israelis. The size of Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad’s presence in the Iraqi Kurdistan is not a secret anymore. It is an established fact. The Americans also facilitated the Israeli presence in northeast Syria, especially those who came with American nationality to work in the oil fields.

The Turkish president Erdogan was one of the supporters of the American plan to dismantle Syria. Erdogan was able to recruit Qatar to the best interest of Turkey. Both countries were discontent with the Syrian government’s refusal to allow building the Qatari gas pipeline to Turkey through its territories. Syria saw that a move that would discomfort its allies in Russia and Iran. However, Erdogan had bigger plans in Syria. In the northwest region, Erdogan mainly saw the Idlib and Aleppo districts as the extent of Turkey, and a head starts to initiate the Ottoman dream. 

This dream vanished to thin air when Syria started liberating the area occupied by ISIS in West Euphrates, and al-Gab plain after cleaning the Damascus area, Homos, and the center of Syria from terrorism with unlimited support from Russia. The second shock Erdogan received when the Americans started supporting the establishment of the Kurdish federation in al-Hassaka. 

The Kurdish militia was founded in October 2015 under the name Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]. SDF in its formation includes Kurds from Syria and others who came mainly from Turkey and other countries, most of them do not speak Arabic, unlike the Syrian Kurds. 60% of the militia includes Arab Syrians, according to the Pentagon. There are other nationalities included among the formation of SDF, who are Turkmens, Armenians, Circassians, and Chechens, who came from all over Asia.

In 2016, SDF updated its constitution from a separate federal state into an Autonomous Administration of Northern and East Syria [NES] and declared SDF as its official defense force, which complicated the Syrian political scene, furthermore. Now NES or SDF are cooperating with the official American forces in east-north of Syria and serve as “the Southern Lebanese Army, [SLA]” in South Lebanon during the Israeli occupation in South Lebanon. As SLA has tried to establish an independent state in South Lebanon, SDF or NES is trying to acquire the same course. 

Since 2018 the Syrian army, with the help of allies – Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah- has been able to liberate most of the occupied lands. However, the liberation coincided with the rise of economic pressure on Syria. The price of the Syrian lira if compared to the American dollar dropped and its purchasing value decreased. It was due to the economic sanctions that were imposed on Syria, and lately “Caesar Law” which was activated in the mid of June 2020. 

In 2018, the American troops withdrew from the north of Syria and were redeployed in the al-Hassaka district around the Syrian richest oil fields. The American companies, in particular ARAMCO, are now draining the Syria oil to the interest of NES and financing the American troops stationed in the northern-eastern area of the Euphrates in Syria. Actually, Syria is facing an internal problem with the lack of petroleum resources. The hard winter is coming and the lines for buying the diesel needed for heating the houses will be crowded as much as the lines for gasoline.

After burning and stealing the wheat plains in the al-Jazeera district by the Americans and the Turks, the bread prices went 25% higher. Shortage in bread supplies was triggered by the government’s decision to set the bread rations. The Americans were literally applying Kissinger’s policy which states that nations are ruled by bread, not by arms. The shortage of bread and petroleum products is new to the Syrian population; therefore, the successive Syrian governments are facing major challenges since the beginning of 2019. 

Caesar Law added additional pressure on the countries that may establish economic and commercial deals with Syria. The law was imposed at a time in which the world is suffering from COVID-19 epidemic, which spread in Syria as well. In addition, Syria needs to deal with the issue of the Syrian refugees. It is a dilemma that needs to be dealt with appropriately. The refugees’ dilemma is used as a political card to force the Syrians to submit to the American political demands, which are set on two levels: national and international.

On the national level, the international community wants to pressure the Syrian government into implementing a new constitution based on the sectarian division of power, just like Lebanon, which would diminish the presidential authority and redistribute it, as it happened in Tunisia and Sudan, which would divide the power of the head of the state. The second issue is related to the question of the forcibly disappeared people, who were kidnapped or killed by the rebel groups, and treating the killers and kidnappers as political opponents without subjecting them to trials. This issue will be a matter of conflict, and will not be accepted by those whose families and friends were kidnapped or killed. This fact was revealed a few days ago by the new Syrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Feisal Muqdad. 

On the international level, the requirements of the international community, i.e. the U.S., have become common knowledge.  Since 2003, after the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. secretary of state, Colin Powell, came to Syria and laid down the U.S. demands: dismantling Hezbollah arms, ending Syrian support to the resistance groups in Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq, and ending cooperation with Iran in the region. The end means, as usually explained, is ensuring the security of Israel. 

Naturally, the Syrians refused American demands. Therefore, we should make no mistake and assume that what had happened in the Arab region under the pretense of “Arab Spring” was meant for the destruction of Syria in order to dismantle it into minor sectarian states that can be easily controlled to the best interest of “Israel” and America.

Hence, Syria requires two essential needs to start its reconstruction process: the first is lifting the sanctions imposed on it; and the second is to end the American occupation in the northeast area. However, the West insists on linking lifting the sanctions to the political process. But when it comes to the achievement of the liberation from the Americans this process cannot be realized unless the national resistance would be highly activated in the northeast of Syria. It is America that we all know. It did not end its occupation of Vietnam, Korea, and eventually Iraq in 2010 until the number of causalities becomes unbearable in the American community.

Syria’s essential needs were clearly stated by its president Bashar Al-Assad on two occasions, the first was during a video call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the 10th of November. The second time was in his speech at the opening of the International Conference on the Return of the Refugee in Damascus [ICRRD] on the 11th of November.

During his visit on the 5th of November to the exhibition “Producers 2020” in “Tekia Sulaymaniyah” in the capital, Damascus. It was attended by producers from the Aleppo governorate whose facilities, workshops, and shops were damaged during the war. President al-Assad talked about the economic impact of the issue of shortage of oil supplies and burning the wheat fields in northeastern regions. 

He also explained that the economic problem was clearly becoming worse when the banks in Lebanon blocked the Syrian deposits. President al-Assad said that there is vagueness about the Syrian deposit’s estimations. Its assessment ranges from 20 billion dollars to 42 billion dollars. The blockade has been going on for years. He added the crisis began years before the Caesar Law and began years after the siege. It coincided with the money disappearance in the Lebanese banks. Furthermore, al-Assad declared that we do not know what the real number is, and this figure for an economy like the Syrian one is a frightening number.

Al-Assad’s declaration became one week before ICRRD to which Lebanon was invited. Was this a message to Lebanon? It could be, although many observers have denied it. The denial is basically based on Syria’s previous special treatment of Lebanon. Lebanon in the Syrian considerations are two contradictory facts: the first, Lebanon is an opening to the western world with bipolar swings. The first swing expressed in the historical Arab and regional ideology.

And the second swing is expressed in the lining towards a Western ideology, with the tendency to sign normalization agreements with “Israel”. The second group was of great concern to the Syrians since the creation of Lebanon. It is known as the right-wing groups, who allied with the Americans and the Israelis. 

The second fact, Lebanon as a state is based on providing services and tourism. It is considered to be the lung that Syria needs to breathe with. However, this lung health became worse since 2011, when the United States accused the Lebanese Canadian Bank of laundering terrorism money. And then again in 2016, since many banks faced the same accusations and were prohibited to deal with customers that the U.S. listed them as Hezbollah members.

Accordingly, the Lebanese banks froze several balances for many customers and in particular the Syrian customers that were importing goods to Syria through Lebanon after imposing an embargo on Syria. It is clear for the Syrians, regardless of the unique relationship with Hezbollah, it is about time that Lebanon should release these balances, and pay its debts to Syria, especially the debts that have been accumulating since 1990, which are the revenues from selling electricity.

Syria, as President al-Assad explained, will need its money in the process of rebuilding the country’s main infrastructure and vital installations, which were destroyed during the liberation war against the terrorist groups. It is a call for Lebanon to join forces with Syria to demand lifting the embargo and to be excluded from Cesar Law consequences because Lebanon needs to open up to Syria for commercial trades towards the east, in particular, to Arab countries, or Lebanon will be demanded to pay back its debts. 

The Americans were pushing Syria and the region since 1973 towards peace and normalization treaties with “Israel”. However, Syria has proven that such an agreement would be difficult to execute unless it was a “peace for land” agreement, which would ensure the right of return of the Palestinian people. An equation, nor the Israeli, neither the Americans are willing to sign for. In addition, Syria’s main condition, during the negotiations held in Oslo in 1992, was the return of all occupied Arab territories. However, the series of recognitions Trump has approved throughout his reign made the return to the negotiation table almost impossible. It also pushed into more complications with the relation between Syria and Lebanon since the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri in 2005. The need to separate the Syrian-Lebanese course in the peace process is becoming a must for the Americans. A need until today could not be achieved.

Syria now is subjected to American pressure that requires its approval to initiate peace and normalization agreements with Israel. This goal so far was difficult to achieve, especially after Trump’s recognition of the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Even Syria’s allies, in particular Russia, cannot force the Syrians to give up part of their land. Syria’s war on terror has spared all its allies the tragedy of dragging this war into their own territories. 

Hence, Syria prepaid in blood for the security of its “friends” now. History will, sooner or later, reveal this fact. Syria’s insistence on the unity of its land, and its refusal to have any divided authority is now a fact. The Syrians cannot compromise it, and the allies cannot go against it. The course of negotiations the allies led in Astana and Sochi has affirmed it. However, this fact has complicated the Syrian scene furthermore. It might even force the Americans to lead directly the war in the region, whether in arms or diplomacy, since the proxies have proven their disabilities.

RELATED NEWS

Susan Rice has blood on her hands: Journalist

Sunday, 15 November 2020 7:25 PM

Video : Former US National Security Advisor Susan Rice speaks at the J Street 2018 National Conference April 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

By Don DeBar

Susan Rice is another one of the recycled Clinton people, and in fact the Democratic Party had her going back even before that.

Her mother has been around. She helped design Pell Grants. She had been with Brookings since ‘92 which is about when Susan graduated into the Clinton administration (in 1993) and went directly to the National Security Council.

She was with Bill Clinton for his administration. Obama had her – first at the UN, and then as his National Security Adviser (I think). She’s about as inside as it gets. She has blood on her hands in Africa, Rwanda.

The people’s understanding of the Rwandan genocide in the United States is exactly upside down. There was a genocide there, but it was the side that the US-backed, not surprisingly, and that was Susan Rice’s project. She was a member of the National Security Council to do international affairs and that was one big act of the Clinton administration – that move to pivot to Africa, around Rwanda.

It was also the enabling of their so-called humanitarian interventions, and in any way that’s her child.

At the United Nations, she helped bring us the destruction of Libya, enabled the situation in Syria to the extent that she could, and tried to sell authority for the US to bomb the hell out of Syria as well.

It’s going to be more war, really.

Let me remind people when Trump took office in January of 2017 the foreign policy that Susan Rice and Barack Obama and the Clintons, and John Kerry had set in motion had us where we were having war games at Russia and China’s borders from the Baltics to the Korean peninsula, on a constant basis, with a number of international incidents – including NATO members shooting down Russian pilots over Syria – any of which could have escalated, and really turning on a dime into a global thermonuclear war.

Trump for all the things he has done does not leave us – if he’s leaving – in that situation. But what they’re doing is installing the very people who created that condition to start from day one to bring us right back to the brink with Russia and China.

I think it’s very scary that Susan Rice is being considered for this. I don’t think it’s a surprise at all. Anyone who knows who Joe Biden is not surprised.

Obama is pushing Susan Rice for secretary of state job: Sources

Obama is pushing Susan Rice for secretary of state job: SourcesBarack Obama is pushing for Joe Biden to nominate Susan Rice for secretary of state, sources say.

Don DeBar is an American journalist and political commentator based in New York. He recorded this article for Press TV website. 


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

A Dem Presidency means The Return of the Blob

A Dem Presidency means The Return of the Blob

October 30, 2020

by Pepe Escobar with permission and cross posted with Asia Times

What happens on November 3rd ? It’s like a larger than life replay of the famous Hollywood adage: “No one knows anything.”

The Dem strategy is crystal clear, spawned by the gaming of election scenarios embedded in the Transition Integrity Project and made even more explicit by one of TIP’s co-founders, a law professor at Georgetown University.

Hillary Clinton, bluntly, has already called it: Dems must re-take the White House by any and all means and under any and all circumstances.

And just in case, with a 5,000-word opus, she already positioned herself for a plum job.

As much as Dems have made it very clear they will never accept a Trump victory, the counterpunch was vintage Trump: he told the Proud Boys to “stand back” – as in no violence, for now – but crucially to “stand by”, as in “get ready”.

The stage is set for Kill Bill mayhem on November 3rd and beyond.

Say it ain’t so, Joe

Taking a cue from TIP, let’s game a Dem return to the White House – with the prospect of a President Kamala taking over sooner rather than later. That means, essentially, The Return of the Blob.

President Trump calls it “the swamp”. Former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes – a mediocre hack – at least coined the funkier “Blob”, applied to the incestuous Washington, DC foreign policy gang, think tanks, academia, newspapers (from the Washington Post to the New York Times), and that unofficial Bible, Foreign Affairs magazine.

A Dem presidency, right away, will need to confront the implications of two wars: Cold War 2.0 against China, and the interminable, trillion-dollar GWOT (Global War on Terror), renamed OCO (Overseas Contingency Operations) by the Obama-Biden administration.

Biden became the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1997 and was the chair in 2001-2003 and again in 2007-2009. He paraded as total Iraq War cheerleader – necessary, he maintained, as part of GWOT – and even defended a “soft partition” of Iraq, something that fierce nationalists, Sunni and Shi’ite, from Baghdad to Basra will never forget.

Obama-Biden’s geopolitical accomplishments include a drone war, or Hellfire missile diplomacy, complete with “kill lists”; the failed Afghan surge; the “liberation” of Libya from behind, turning it into a militia wasteland; the proxy war in Syria fought with “moderate rebels”; and once again leading from behind, the Saudi-orchestrated destruction of Yemen.

Tens of millions of Brazilians also will never forget that Obama-Biden legitimized the NSA spying and Hybrid War tactics that led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff ,the neutralization of former President Lula, and the evisceration of the Brazilian economy by comprador elites.

Among his former, select interlocutors, Biden counts warmonger former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – who supervised the destruction of Libya – and John Negroponte, who “organized” the contras in Nicaragua and then “supervised” ISIS/Daesh in Iraq – the crucial element of the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of instrumentalizing jihadis to do the empire’s dirty work.

It’s safe to game that a Biden-Harris administration will oversee a de facto NATO expansion encompassing parts of Latin America, Africa and the Pacific, thus pleasing the Atlanticist Blob.

In contrast, two near-certain redeeming features would be the return of the US to the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, which was Obama-Biden’s only foreign policy achievement, and re-starting nuclear disarmament negotiations with Russia. That would imply containment of Russia, not a new all-out Cold War, even as Biden has recently stressed, on the record, that Russia is the “biggest threat” to the US.

Woke Kamala in da house

Kamala Harris has been groomed to rise to the top from as early as the summer of 2017. Predictably, she is all for Israel – mirroring Nancy Pelosi (“if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid…our cooperation with Israel.”

Kamala is a hawk on Russia and North Korea; and she did not co-sponsor legislation to prevent war against Venezuela and, again, North Korea. Call her a quintessential Dem hawk.

Yet Kamala’s positioning is quite clever, reaching two diverse audiences: she totally fits into The Blob but with an added woke gloss (trendy sneakers, the advertised affection for hip hop). And as an extra bonus, she directly connects with the “Never Trumper” gang.

Never Trumper Republicans – operating especially in Think Tankland – totally infiltrated the Dem matrix. They are prime Blob material. The ultimate neo-con Never Trumper has got to be Robert Kagan, husband of Maidan cookie distributor Victoria “F**k the EU” Nuland; thus the running joke in many parts of West Asia, for years, about the “Kaganate of Nulandistan”.

Kagan, self-glorified and idolized as a star conservative intellectual, is of course one of the co-founders of the dreaded neo-con Project for the New American Century (PNAC). That subsequently translated into gleeful Iraq War cheerleading. Obama read his books in awe. Kagan forcefully backed Hillary in 2016. Needless to add, neo-cons of the Kagan variety are all rabidly anti-Iran.

On the money front, there’s the Lincoln Project , set up last year by a gang of current and former Republican strategists very close to, among others, Blob stars such as Daddy Bush and Dick Cheney. A handful of billionaires gleefully donated to this major anti-Trump super-PAC, including J. Paul Getty’s heir Gordon Getty, the heir of the Hyatt hotel empire John Pritzker, and Cargill heiress Gwendolyn Sontheim.

Those Three Harpies

The key Blob character in a putative Biden-Harris White House is Tony Blinken, former deputy national security adviser during Obama-Biden and arguably the next National Security Adviser.

That’s geopolitics – with an important addendum: former national security adviser Susan Rice, who was unceremoniously dropped from the Vice-President shortlist to Kamala’s profit, may become the next Secretary of State.

Rice’s possible contender is Senator Chris Murphy, who in a strategy document titled “Rethinking the Battlefield” predictably goes undiluted Obama-Biden: no “rethinking”, really, just rhetoric on fighting ISIS/Daesh and containing Russia and China.

Suave Tony Blinken used to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 2000s, so no wonder he’s been very close to Biden even before the first Obama-Biden term, when he rose to the top as deputy national security adviser and then, in the second term, as deputy Secretary of State.

Close to Blinken is Jake Sullivan, who under the protective wing of Hillary Clinton replaced Blinken as national security adviser in the second Obama-Biden term. He will have a top place either in the National Security Council or the State Department.

But what about The Three Harpies?

Many of you will remember The Three Harpies, as I coined them before the bombing and destruction of Libya, and again in 2016, when their remixed version’s push for a glorious sequel was rudely interrupted by Trump’s victory. When it comes to Return of the Blob, this is the 5K, 5G, IMAX version.

Of the three original Harpies, two – Hillary and Susan Rice – seem set to snatch a brand new power job. The plot thickens for Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the UN and the author of The Education of an Idealist, where we learn that such “idealist” rips Damascus and Moscow to shreds while totally ignoring the Obama-Biden drone offensive, kill lists, “leading from behind” weaponizing of al-Qaeda in Syria re-baptized as “moderate rebels”, and the relentless Saudi destruction of Yemen.

Samantha seems to be out. There’s a new Harpy in town. Which brings us to the real Queen of the Blob.

The Queen of the Blob

Michele Flournoy may be the epitome of the Return of the Blob: the quintessential, imperial functionary of what former CIA analyst Ray McGovern brilliant christened MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex).

The ideal imperial functionary thrives on discretion: virtually no one knows Flournoy outside of the Blob, so that means the whole planet.

Flournoy is a former senior adviser to the Boston Consulting Group; the co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS); a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center; under secretary of Defense during Obama-Biden; favorite of top Harpy Hillary to be Pentagon chief after 2016; and once again favorite to become Pentagon chief after 2020.

The most delicious item on Flournoy’s CV is that she’s the co-founder of WestExec Advisors with none other than Tony Blinken.

Every Blob insider knows that WestExec happens to be the name of the street alongside the West Wing of the White House. In a Netflix plot, that would be the obvious hint that a short walk of fame straight into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue looms in the horizon for the star protagonists.

Flournoy, more than Blinken, turned WestExec into a certified hit in the Beltway MICIMATT profiting from virtually no P.R. and media blitzes, and talking exclusively to think tanks.

Here’s a crucial glimpse of Flournoy thinking. She clearly states that just a benign American deterrence towards China is a “miscalculation”. And it’s important to keep in mind that Flournoy is in fact the mastermind of the overall, failed Obama-Biden war strategy.

In a nutshell, Biden-Harris would mean The Return of the Blob with a vengeance. Biden-Harris would be Obama-Biden 3.0. Remember those seven wars. Remember the surges. Remember the kill lists. Remember Libya. Remember Syria. Remember “soft coup” Brazil. Remember Maidan. You have all been warned.

When exactly did the AngloZionist Empire collapse?

“”the exact moment when the Empire collapsed: 8 January 2020. What happened that day? Following the murder of Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack (on the 3 of January 2020) the Iranians retaliated by using missiles to attack several US bases in Iraq.” The Saker

ٍSource

When exactly did the AngloZionist Empire collapse?

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

I remember one evening in distant 1991, I was sitting with a few friends in the SAIS cafeteria discussing the future of the United States with a few very smart students, including a Pakistani Army Colonel, a US captain who served on aircraft carriers and a Spanish diplomat: we all agreed that “the system” was perfect, so to speak, and that the US would only collapse if a strong external shock would hit it hard. We all agreed that the combination of the best propaganda machine in history, the stupidification resulting from many daily hours of watching the Idiot Tube and, finally, a very effective repression apparatus made for a quasi perfect dictatorship: the one which only gives the illusion of democracy and people power.

Years later, in 2017, I read by J.M. Greer’s brilliant book “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” which I later reviewed here. I would say that this book is one of the best one written on the topic of a future US collapse, even though this is a (very well written) fiction book because it brilliantly illustrates the kind of mindset which can get a supposed superpower in a very bad situation.

To me, this all made perfect sense, but only because I, and my SAIS friends, never even considered the possibility that the US Nomenklatura would commit national suicide and, in the process, bring down the AngloZionist Empire.

Yet this is exactly what happened.

So when did all this begin?

There are many possible answers to this question. Some say with the murder of Kennedy. Others point to Clinton, whose Presidency inaugurated a policy of armed imperialism all over the planet; this administration was also the first one to witness a major “coming out” of the Neocons (many of which had already infiltrated the GOP during Reagan). Then there is 9/11 with the subsequent GWOT. As I said, these are all valid candidates, and there are many more.

My personal view is that the main initiation of collapse was under Barack Obama, a truly exceptionally weak President who would have made an absolutely terrific used cars salesman, but who as a President lost control of his own country and even his own administration. It was under Obama that we saw the vacuum at the top resulting in various agencies (DoS, DoD, CIA, Pentagon, etc.) all developing their own “foreign policies” which resulted in total chaos on the foreign policy front. Needless to say, having harpies such as Hillary Clinton or Susan Rice or Samantha Power involved did not help!

What is it with western women which makes them become even more bellicose than men when they reach a position of power?! Looking at women like Thatcher or Hillary, I wonder if these women are not carefully selected precisely for their nasty character and need to prove themselves as “equal” to men by being even more nasty and murderous than male politicians…

Since his election, it has become very popular to blame Donald Trump for everything which went wrong under his Presidency and, indeed, there is much which ought to be blamed on him. But what so many people overlook is that almost everything which went wrong under Trump began with Obama! When Trumps says that he inherited an awful mess, he is absolutely correct. Not that this absolves him from his own contribution to chaos and collapse!

And, in truth, the biggest difference between Obama and Trump, is that Trump did not start any real wars. Yes, he did threaten a lot of countries with military attacks (itself a crime under international law), but he never actually gave the go ahead to meaningfully attack (he only tried some highly symbolic and totally ineffective strikes in Syria). I repeat – the man was one of the very few US Presidents who did not commit the crime of aggression, the highest possible crime under international law, above crimes against humanity or even genocide, because the crime of aggression “contains within itself the accumulated evil”, to use the words words of the chief US prosecutor at Nuremberg and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Robert H. Jackson. I submit that just for this reason alone any decent person should choose him over Biden (who himself is just a front for “President” Harris and a puppet of the Clinton gang). Either that, or don’t vote at all if your conscience does not allow you to vote for Trump. But voting Biden is unthinkable for any honest person, at least in my humble opinion.

In the Trump years something absolutely amazing happened: while Trump and his administration were busy destroying the Empire externally, the Dems put all the energy and resources into destroying Trump. However, to paraphrase a quote by the Russian author Zinoviev, “they targeted at Trump but they hit the United States” (Zinoviev’s quote was about the putative anti-Soviets: “Метили в коммунизм, а попали в Россию” which can be translated as “they were aiming at Communism, but they hit Russia”).

What took place next was precisely what my SAIS friends and I could never have imagined: the US ruling elites committed collective suicide.

Suicide is typically executed in three phases: decision to commit suicide, the act of suicide itself, and then death. If we accept that the decision to engage in behavior which can only be described as suicidal was taken sometime during the Obama years, then this begs the question of where we are now. In other words, has the Empire already died or is it still only in agony?

I was asking myself that question the other day when I suddenly realized that I might have determined the exact moment when the Empire collapsed: 8 January 2020.

What happened that day?

Following the murder of Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US drone attack (on the 3 of January 2020) the Iranians retaliated by using missiles to attack several US bases in Iraq. According to the US side, there were only minor injuries, which is very likely since the Iranians warned the US by several backdoor channels what they were planning on doing. This argument was used by Trump and his supporters to say that the Iranian reaction was lame, ineffective and could be completely ignored.

In my opinion, the moment when the Trump Administration made this statement is when the death certificate of the Empire was signed. Why?

First, the low number of US casualties (probably higher than the official one, US troops were evacuated and treated in several countries) is due to only to the fact that Iranians are superb strategists: they realized that killing a lot of US soldiers would force Trump to strongly retaliate, so they chose not to kill them. Instead, they put a gun to their collective heads. How?

Think about it: the Iranian counter-strike showed the entire world something which most people did not realize: Iranian missiles (ballistic and cruise) were much more accurate than previously thought. In fact, they clearly have some form of terminal guidance. Simply put, the Iranians have proven that they can very precisely, deliver a warhead of several hundred pounds of high explosives pretty much anywhere in the Middle East. To give you a visual idea of their current coverage check out this page.

This bears repeating: the Iranians have now proven that they can place several hundred pounds of high explosives anywhere in the Middle-East with a CEP of about 3-5 meters!

Remember the Khobar Towers bombing? Yes, this was a truck bomb with much more explosives than a missile can carry (by at least an order of magnitude), but that truck was also parked far away from the towers! Yet just under 500 people died that day.

There are plenty of similar US military installations in the Middle-East, many buildings housing hundreds of US servicemen. Just imagine what would have happened if the Iranians had decided to take out as many lives as possible and placed a couple of their missiles right on top of, say, 10 such facilities – just imagine the cost in lives!

But the Iranians are smart, and they chose a much wiser course of action: they used their missiles essentially to kick Uncle Shmuel where it hurts, but they mainly demonstrated their ability to create thousands of US casualties in just a few minutes.

Obviously, another, now undeniable, Iranian capability is the ability to instantly destroy any gas/oil facility in the region: wells, processing facilities, terminals – you name it: if it is important and expensive, the Iranians can destroy it.

The Iranians also have the ability to close down the Strait of Hormuz and even to attack USN ships, possibly including carriers.

Last, but certainly not least, this now proven Iranian capability puts every government building in danger, along with any crucial facility (Dimona anybody?).

At this point of the conversation all the well-propagandized flag-waving morons will immediately stand up and declare something along these lines:

“So what?! If these sand-niggers cross the line they know that we can massively bomb them! Heck, we can even nuke them and send them back to the stone age! Let them try and they will see what the wrath of the most powerful nation on earth, with the most formidable military in history, can do to a bunch of semi-literate peasants, LOL! Let see if their “Allah” will save them!”

Apart from all the ignorant cliches typically spewed by this crowd, there is a major analytical error underlying this “logic” (I use the term generously): the Iranians have lived with this threat since 1979 and they are used to it. Not only that, but they know for a fact that these are empty threats. Oh sure, the US can do to Iran what “Israel” did to Lebanon in the course of the “Divine Victory” war of 2006, or what NATO has done to Serbia during the Kosovo war (1998-1999): kill civilians and destroy the country’s infrastructure to punish these civilians for supporting the “wrong” (i.e. not US approved) government. But if Uncle Shmuel does to Iran what Israel did to Lebanon, the result will be the same: the Iranians will rebuild (they are very good at that) and they will bounce back twice as strong. As for their martyrs, the more there will be, the stronger the Iranian people’s resistance (check this article written by an Iranian scholar in excellent English explaining the roots of the unique ethos of Shia Islam).

Last, but also not least, the US Presidents and their aides are quite aware of the current state of the US military: it is a military which simply cannot win even simple conflicts, a military hopelessly gutted by insane liberal ideologies, a military whose entire surface fleet has been made obsolete by hypersonic missiles (which the Iranians also seem to be working on!) and a military whose Air Force spent absolutely obscene amounts of money to create a supposedly “5th generation” fighter which in many ways is inferior to US 4th generation aircraft!

This begs the question of what still works in the US military. In my opinion, the US submarine fleet is still very powerful, and the US nuclear deterrence posture is still solid. Other than that? Meh…

Bottom line: the arguments that the US did not retaliate because it did not care, or that it does not care because “we can nuke them” are typically civilian nonsense which have no connection whatsoever to the real world (just imagine the political consequences for the already highly unpopular US following a nuclear strike, especially on a non-nuclear country!)

Okay, but then why did the US not retaliate?

Simply put, because Uncle Shmuel does not have what it takes to take on Iran. Heck, Uncle Shmuel can’t even take on Venezuela (!), which is an extremely weakened country right on the US’s door step. Frankly, if this or the next President decides that the US needs to “pick up a crappy little country and throw it against a wall just to prove we are serious” then I recommend Grenada. I know, Grenada was basically undefended in 1983 (mainly by a few lightly armed Cuban engineers) and it took the 82nd airborne to rescue the totally defeated and clueless US special forces stuck under fire, but I think that since 1983 the Pentagon had the time to make a some “lessons learned” exercises and that by now the US probably could re-invade this tiny island without repeating one of the worst disasters in military history.

Conclusion

The Empire died on the day the Iranians hit these US facilities and the US did absolutely nothing. In fact, since that date, what have we seen:

  • The Iraqis are slowly but surely kicking the US forces out of Iraq
  • The number of attacks against US forces in Iraq has sharply increased, including against the massive US bunker complex known as “the Green Zone” which now is not “green” at all.
  • The Iranians are merrily continuing to make fun of Uncle Shmuel.
  • The US failed at renewing the anti-Iran sanctions at the UN Security Council and Russia has already declared that she is willing to sell S-400s to Iran. You can also count China in this great weapons market.
  • The US is also in retreat in Syria where anti-US attacks are becoming more dangerous (and regular clashes with ground forces of the Russian task force in Syria are also becoming a potentially very dangerous phenomenon).
  • In Yemen, the Iranian backed Houthis have basically won the war and defeated both the KSA and the US.
  • In Afghanistan, the US and its “coalition of the losers” has stayed even longer than the Soviets and has achieved exactly nothing except a total and most humiliating defeat. The contrast between the performance of the Soviet 40th Army (poorly equipped and averagely commanded) force of conscripts and what the lavishly equipped (but also poorly commanded) US professional force achieved is absolutely amazing on all levels, but the most telling is how much the Soviets actually built in Afghanistan (even facilities that the US still uses every day!). Uncle Shmuel only destroyed everything except the opium trade…

In other words, everything is going exactly according to the announced Iranian game plan to completely kick the US out of the Middle-East. I know, this seems unthinkable right now, but please make the list of all the putatively “unthinkable” things which have since happened and you will see how dangerous it is to assume that something will never happen.

When Georgia attacked the Russian peacekeepers in Tskhinval there were also limited casualties, but Russia immediately counter-attacked defeated in Georgian military in 3 days, and that in spite of being numerically smaller (at least in the initial phases of the counter-attack) and too slow to react (a typical Russian weakness). And the message to “to whom it may concern” sent by the Russian counter-attack was simple: attack a Russian base, or kill Russian soldiers and you will be killed: every time a Russian serviceman has been killed in Syria the Russians retaliate with strong missiles and air strikes. In other instances Russian Spetsnaz units killed selective Takfiri commanders. And everybody “got it”, even the Turks who have not been able to force the Russian to stop shrinking their areas of control in Syria to a small fraction of what it used to be.

Mind you – Russia has no desire to become an Empire or even some kind of superpower (Russians realize how evil any empire is for the country which is supposed to host it: they suffered for over 300 years in this toxic status of “empire” and they had enough! Only dumb Hillary and even dumber Brzezinski still thought that Russia wanted to “rebuild the USSR” when, in fact, Putin’s policies were designed to disengage and separate from the former Russian periphery which only drained immense Russian ressources and never gave Russia anything useful (and nevermind the Warsaw Treaty Organization which was just as ressources-consuming and useless as the periphery). All they want is being taken seriously and treated with respect, not as a superpower, but simply as a major, but truly sovereign, power.

Compare that with the unique blend of stratospheric megalomania, narcissistic self-worship and crass ignorance of the leaders of the US and you immediately see that the Empire is not dying anymore, it is already dead and has been dead for many months now.

What comes next?

Well, the election of course. I submit that under no scenario will the next administration be able to reverse that course and somehow miraculously resurrect the Empire. Empires don’t resurrect. It has been tried in the past (even by Napoleon), it never works. Once empires lose momentum and, especially, their ideological credibility, they are over. Oh sure, a dead body still can emit some heat for a while, some organs, or even cells, can work for a while longer, but dead is dead. Mostly dead bodies bloat and stink, which also applies to dead empires.

This is not to say that the outcome will not matter, it will – but only for the future of the United States themselves. Simply put, the upcoming vote is either a vote for upholding law and order in the US, or for total nihilism. On a deeper level, it is a vote for the US or against it: the Dems all hate this country and its “deplorables”; they also hate almost every aspect of US history (overturned statues are but symbols of this hatred) and they hate what they call “a racist system” in spite of the fact that the real causes of racial tensions in the US have very little to do with the “system” and everything to do with the unique problems of blacks in a culture with mainly European roots.

The Empire is dead. And I hope and believe that its death will mark the rebirth of the United States as a “normal” country (which is what happened to all the other former empires).

Until that happens, we can now at least rest assured that this amazingly evil Empire has finally died, even if very few noticed this.

P.S. While writing this column my thoughts turned to Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was cowardly murdered (he was on a diplomatic mission) by Trump. I imagined what he would have said if somebody had offered him the following deal: Haj Qasem – would you agree to be murdered by the modern Crusaders if your martyrdom would turn out to be the “straw” which will break the Empire’s “camel” back? I think that he would reply with tears of joy in his eyes “Glory be to God for allowing me this immense honor and joy and for allowing me to become a shadid (God’s witness)!” Soleimani was a soldier, the real thing, not a disguised businessman or politician, and he knew that he could die literally every moment of his life. He died as a general in charge of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and of its elite Quds Force. It sure looks to me that Trump in his ignorant arrogance gave Soleimani the best death he could have wished for. May this great man rest in peace!

إردوغان بين بايدن وترامب.. أحلاهما مرّ

ترامب وإردوغان في البيت الأبيض - 13 نوفمبر 2019 (أ.ف.ب)
حسني محلي

حسني محلي 

المصدر: الميادين نت

22 تشرين اول 16:58

لا تخفي أنقرة قلقها من احتمالات فوز جو بايدن المعروف بمواقفه السلبية تجاه تركيا، وخصوصاً في خلافاتها مع اليونان وقبرص، على الرغم من تضامنه مع إسلاميي “الربيع العربي” عندما كان نائباً لأوباما.

بعد أن هدّد ترامب وتوعَّد بإعلان الإخوان المسلمين تنظيماً إرهابياً خلال حملته الانتخابية السابقة، وهو ما تراجع عنه لاحقاً بسبب السياسات الأميركية التقليدية، استمرت واشنطن في علاقاتها “المميزة” مع أنقرة، على الرغم من سياسات المد والجزر بين الطرفين، أي ترامب و”الإسلامي” إردوغان.

وعلى الرغم من اتهامات الرئيس إردوغان لواشنطن بتقديم كلّ أنواع الدعم لوحدات حماية الشعب الكردية في سوريا، فقد تهرّبت أنقرة من توتير العلاقة مع حليفتها الاستراتيجية الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، رغم تغريدات الرئيس ترامب على موقع تويتر، والتي هدّد من خلالها إردوغان وتوعّده في حال اعتدى على كرد سوريا، ثم الرسالة التي أرسلها، وفيها الكثير من الإهانات الشَّخصية له.

في المقابل، لم تمنع هذه التهديدات والإهانات إردوغان من الاستمرار في علاقاته مع بوتين، والتي شهدت بدورها الكثير من حالات المد والجزر التي استفاد منها ترامب، إذ عمل على ترسيخ الوجود العسكري الأميركي شرق الفرات، بعد أن أضاء الضوء الأخضر لإردوغان كي تسيطر قواته على المنطقة الممتدة بين تل أبيض ورأس العين بعرض 110 كم من الحدود السورية مع تركيا شرق الفرات، وهو ما تحقَّق للأخير بفضل الضوء الأخضر الروسي، فلولاه منذ البداية (آب/أغسطس 2016)، لما كان الحديث الآن عن خلافات روسية – تركية في إدلب أو ليبيا، وأخيراً القوقاز حيث الحرب الأذربيجانية الأرمينية.

ولم تمنع هذه الخلافات الطرفين من الاستمرار في التعاون الواسع في العديد من المجالات، ومنها الغاز الطبيعي وبناء المفاعل النووي جنوب تركيا، وأخيراً موضوع صواريخ “أس 400″، التي كانت، وما زالت، الموضوع الأهم في الفتور والتوتر بين واشنطن وأنقرة، من دون أن يتحول هذا التوتر إلى مواجهة ساخنة بين الطرفين، على الرغم من تهديدات ترامب والمسؤولين الأميركيين المستمرة لإردوغان، وكأنّ الجميع يمثل، ليس فقط في هذا الموضوع، بل في كل الأمور التي تحولت إلى قاسم مشترك في علاقات تركيا مع كل من روسيا وأميركا.

يأتي ذلك في الوقت الذي يراهن الكثيرون على المواقف المحتملة للرئيس إردوغان خلال المرحلة القريبة القادمة، أي بعد الانتخابات الأميركية التي ستنعكس بنتائجها على سياسات تركيا الداخلية والخارجية، وبشكل خاص تحركات إردوغان الإقليمية، أي في الساحات التي لها علاقة مباشرة وغير مباشرة بالتنسيق والتعاون أو الخلافات التركية – الروسية، فأنقرة لا تخفي قلقها من احتمالات فوز جو بايدن المعروف بمواقفه السلبية تجاه تركيا، وخصوصاً في خلافاتها مع اليونان وقبرص، على الرغم من تضامنه مع إسلاميي “الربيع العربي” عندما كان نائباً للرئيس أوباما.

ولم تهمل أنقرة حسابات التأقلم سريعاً مع تبعات هذا الاحتمال الذي تتوقعه استطلاعات الرأي الأميركية. في المقابل، تتخذ أنقرة كل التدابير لمواجهة مفاجآت المرحلة القادمة في حال بقاء الرئيس ترامب في البيت الأبيض، لأنه سيستمر في سياساته الحالية التي يريد لها أن تحقق انتصاراً حاسماً ومطلقاً لتل أبيب، وهو ما قد يحرج إردوغان، بعد المعلومات التي تتوقع لقطر أن تلحق بركب التطبيع، مع الحديث عن احتمالات المصالحة السعودية – القطرية قبل المصالحة السعودية مع “إسرائيل” أو بعدها. وقد تسبقها مصالحة أو استسلام سوداني وعماني ومغربي وجيبوتي لـ”إسرائيل”، إن صحَّ التعبير، في حال فوز ترامب. وسيدفع كل ذلك ترامب إلى الاستعجال في حسم مساوماته السياسية وحربه النفسية مع إردوغان، ليقول له: “اختر لنفسك موقعاً ما في مخطَّطاتي العاجلة، وأثبت لي ولنا جميعاً أنك حليف صادق وموثوق به دائماً”.

وقد يدفع ذلك إردوغان إلى التفكير في تقرير مصير علاقاته مع الرئيس بوتين بعد وعود واضحة من الرئيس ترامب بتقديم كل أنواع الدعم السياسي والمالي والاستراتيجيّ، ليساعده ذلك على تحديد إطار ومضمون الدور التركي في سوريا وليبيا والعراق والقوقاز، بل والعديد من دول البلقان والدول الأفريقية، وأهمها الصومال.

وفي هذه الحالة، هل سيستمرّ إردوغان في تحالفاته التقليديّة مع الإسلاميين في المنطقة، في حال رضوخ حليفه الأكبر الشيخ تميم لمطالب وشروط المصالحة الخليجية التي ستعني في الوقت نفسه المصالحة مع “إسرائيل”، وهي جميعاً ضدّ المزاج الشخصي للرئيس إردوغان، الذي لا يخفي عبر مقولاته في الداخل والخارج الحديث عن مشاريعه العقائدية على طريق إقامة الدولة الإسلامية بنكهتها العثمانية التركية التي تشجَّع لها إسلاميو المنطقة، وبايعوه ضد العدو التقليدي آل سعود وأميرهم الشاب محمد المتهم بجريمة جمال خاشقجي الشنيعة؟! وكيف سيحصل ذلك؟

وتتحدَّث المعلومات هنا، ولو كانت شحيحة، عن احتمالات الانفراج في العلاقات التركية مع مصر، لسدّ الطريق على التحركات السعودية والإماراتية، وهو ما قد يعني تجميداً مرحلياً في الدعم التركي للإخوان المسلمين. ولا يخفي السوريون تخوّفهم من مثل هذا الاحتمال، وخصوصاً بعد الانسحاب من نقاط المراقبة التركية في جوار إدلب، في الوقت الذي تراقب أنقرة، عن كثب، ما كشف عنه الإعلام الأميركي، وبشكل مقصود، عن خفايا زيارة مسؤولين من البيت الأبيض إلى دمشق، وصادف ذلك عودة الرحلات الجوية بين دمشق وكل من قطر والإمارات، فالأولى حليفة إردوغان، والثانية من ألد أعدائه.

وبات واضحاً أن إردوغان سيجد نفسه في وضع لا يحسد عليه، أياً كانت صحة الاحتمالات والتوقعات، أي بفوز ترامب أو هزيمته أمام الديموقراطي جو بايدن، الذي لا شك في أنه سيتحرك وفق توصيات هيلاري كلينتون، صديقة أحمد داوود أوغلو، وهو الآن من ألدّ أعداء إردوغان. كما سيضع بايدن توصيات نائبه كامالا هاريس وزوجها اليهودي بعين الاعتبار خلال تعامله مع كل الملفات ذات العلاقة المباشرة وغير المباشرة بسياسات إردوغان الخارجيّة، وهي لها أيضاً علاقة مباشرة بمجمل الحسابات الإسرائيلية.

وحينها، سيجد الرئيس إردوغان نفسه أمام خيارات صعبة ومعقَّدة جداً، ما سيضطره إلى وضع النقاط على الحروف في مجمل سياساته الخارجية بانعكاساتها المحتملة على سياساته الداخلية، بعد أن اعترف الأسبوع الماضي بفشله في تطبيق مشروعه الفكري العقائدي، أي أسلمة الأمة والدولة التركية.

ولا شكَّ في أنّ كلّ هذه التناقضات ستضعه أمام امتحان صعب جداً، سيدفعه إلى تحديد المسارات الجديدة لسياساته الخارجية التي ستتطلَّب منه تقرير مصير علاقاته مع الرئيس بوتين في سوريا في الدرجة الأولى، لينتقل منها إلى ملفات أبسط بكثير في ليبيا والقوقاز، فالجميع يعرف أن سوريا كانت بوابة الانفتاح والتدخل التركي باتجاه العالم العربي، حيث أصبحت تركيا طرفاً مباشراً وأساسياً في جميع ملفاته، بما في ذلك مساوماته مع الرئيس بوتين حول كل العناوين الرئيسية، ليس في سوريا فقط، بل لاحقاً في ليبيا، والآن في القوقاز، في الوقت الَّذي لم يهمل إردوغان تحدياته للدول الأوروبية بسبب دعمها لقبرص واليونان، وهو بحاجة إلى التوتر معها لتحريك المشاعر القومية والدينية “ضد أعداء الأمة والدولة التركية”!.

هذا بالطبع إن لم تكن كلّ هذه المعطيات الحالية جزءاً من سيناريوهات متفق عليها مسبقاً بين بوتين وإردوغان، وهو احتمال ضعيف، إن لم نقل مستحيلاً، إلا في حالة واحدة، وهي المعجزة، لأنها ستعني في هذه الحالة انتقال تركيا من خانة التحالف الاستراتيجي مع الغرب منذ العام 1946 إلى الخندق المعادي، وهو أيضاً مستحيل بسبب الكثير من المعطيات التاريخية والسياسية التي ستعرقل مثل هذا الاحتمال. وآخر مثال على ذلك حرص أنقرة على التحالف السياسي والعسكري والاستراتيجي مع الرئيس الأوكراني “اليهودي” زالانسكي، العدو الأكبر لموسكو، والمدعوم من واشنطن ومعظم عواصم الاتحاد الأوروبي.

وقد أثبتت معظمها، رغم خلافاتها مع إردوغان، أنها ما زالت في عقلية الحرب الباردة ضد روسيا بعد 30 سنة من تمزق الاتحاد السوفياتي الذي كان العدو الأخطر بالنسبة إلى تركيا بسبب العداءات التاريخية والخطر الشيوعي. وبسقوطه، تنفَّست تركيا الصعداء، ولم تخفِ فرحتها لاستقلال الجمهوريات الإسلامية في القوقاز وآسيا الوسطى، وهي ذات أصل تركي، حالها حال جمهوريات الحكم الذاتي داخل حدود روسيا الحالية، وكانت جميعاً جزءاً من نظرية الحزام الأخضر للثنائي الأميركي اليهودي كيسنجر وبريجنسكي.

وفي جميع الحالات، وأياً كانت حسابات كل الأطراف في ما يتعلق بالمنطقة، فقد بات واضحاً أن الأيام القليلة القادمة، سواء مع ترامب أو بايدن، ستحمل في طياتها الكثير من المفاجآت المثيرة بالنسبة إلى المنطقة عموماً، كما ستضع إردوغان وجهاً لوجه أمام اختباره الأكبر في سياساته الخارجية، وسنرى معاً وقريباً مؤشراتها الجديدة في سوريا، لأنها قفل المرحلة القادمة ومفتاحه بالنسبة إلى الجميع!

فهل دمشق مستعدة وقادرة مع حليفاتها على مواجهة مفاجآت هذه المرحلة بكل معطياتها الصعبة والمعقدة؟ وهل استخلصت الدروس الكافية والضرورية من جميع محنها وأخطائها، حتى يتسنى لها الانتصار على جميع أعدائها أم أنها ستبقى ورقة في مهب الرياح الإقليمية والدولية، كما هي عليه منذ 9 سنوات، والسبب في ذلك هو حسابات إردوغان في سوريا؟

إقرأ للكاتب

POTUS Punk vs. Dem Dementia

October 15, 2020

POTUS Punk vs. Dem Dementia

by Pepe Escobar and cross posted with Strategic Culture Foundation

The whole planet is enthralled, appalled, shocked and awed by the spectacle of democracy as enacted under the shadow of messianic imperialism – complete with a slew of slimy, smoking gun October Surprises.

We’re in total Frank Underwood territory. And as befits the ultimate “society of the simulacrum” pictured by Baudrillard back in the swingin’ 1980s, all those similarities with a Wrestlemania spectacular are obviously not mere coincidence.

Let’s start with the polls.

All manner of polls are circulating like whirling dervishes. Most highlight myriad Dem paths to victory and an inexorable Highway to Hell for Trump. A poll by The Economist gives Joe “Walking Dead” Biden a whopping 91% chance – remember Hillary in 2016? – of winning the Electoral College.

A Dem-fueled consensus is emerging that Trump – relentlessly depicted as a deranged, lunatic proto-fascist who’s bad for business worldwide – will dispute results in any Republican-led state which he may narrowly lose, as in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Yet on the campaign trail, it’s a completely different story. Evidence shows that on The Walking Dead’s rallies, there are more people from the Biden bus and reporters than flesh-and-blood Dem voters. The Biden-Harris campaign, demonstrating its matchless P.R. skills, spins these rallies as campaign secrets.

Team Trump’s long-shot strategy seems to have been unveiled by the President himself: “We are going to be counting ballots for the next two years (…) We have the advantage if we go back to Congress. I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state.”

That was a reference to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution: if state electors can’t agree on a president, the decision goes to the House. And then each of the 50 states gets one vote. So picture small GOP-controlled states such as Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (each with one Republican in the House) having the same weight as California (52 members in the House, 45 of them Democrats.)

Advantage Trump: as it stands, it’s indeed 26 to 22, with two – Pennsylvania and Michigan – basically tied.

Ask the quant

Internal GOP polls show that while the Biden-Harris campaign is not knocking on any doors, Trump volunteers have actually swarmed no less than 20 million homes in swing states.

Combine it with a new Gallup Poll showing that 56% of Americans state they are better off now under Trump than four years ago under Obama/Biden. Call it the return of “It’s the economy, stupid.”

The Trafalgar Group – which correctly called the 2106 election – bets that Trump narrowly wins the Electoral College with 275 votes.

JPMorgan’s top quant Marko Kolanovic has exhaustively mapped changes in voter registration to dismiss virtually every poll showing a Dem sweep. This implies that Trump may well end up winning the Holy Trinity: Pennsylvania (20 votes), Florida (29 votes) and North Carolina (15 votes).

And to top it off, something more exotic than a black hole eating a star has happened in this October Surprise-laden week: CNN decided to practice real journalism and eviscerated Nancy Pelosi on camera.

That may be quite a bad omen for President-in-Waiting Kamala Harris, who very few remember was forged as the heir to the Obama-Pelosi axis in a secret meeting in the Hamptons way back in the summer of 2017.

Follow the money

Now let’s Follow The Money.

That’s a slam dunk. For Republicans, the top bagman is casino schemer Sheldon Adelson – who literally bought Congress

for a paltry $150 million. For Democrats, it’s Haim Saban – who owns his own think tank and is Hillary’s go-to moneyman. The Dem dementia is essentially a bagman op.

To make it even more digestible, both Adelson and Saban are rabid Israeli-firsters. A dissident Beltway intel op cuts all corners: “The Mafia front man Sheldon Adelson financed Trump for Israeli insurance even though Israel was for Hillary.”

Four years ago, selected New York sources I was in touch with correctly called the election result at least 10 days before the fact.

One of these, a New York business tycoon intimate with assorted Masters of the Universe in control of Wall Street, once again goes to the jugular:

The Deep State governs both Republicans and Democrats. Trump has to work within the system. He knows it. I am a friend of Donald and I know he wants to do the right thing. But he is not in charge. He certainly wants to be friends with Russia and China. He is a businessman. He wants to make deals with countries not fight them. We were among those who set the main campaign features for him in 2016: stop rigged currencies destroying domestic industries, stop unlimited immigration destroying the lower classes wages and encourage detente with Russia and China. Largely nothing has happened in four years.”

Still, adds another New York player, “Trump does 90% of what they want anyway. Better to keep a villain at the top to blame and keep the proles running in circles.”

On the financial front, that will never be admitted publicly: but Wall Street, while projecting a mere pro-Dem façade, is not interested in a Democrat “sweep”, because that would tank Wall Street stocks. A contested/protracted election would go the same way – with Goldman Sachs projecting a nightmare scenario of the S&P down to only 3,100 points.

Thus the preferred, hush hush, Wall Street scenario: a Trump win and more juicy tax cuts – in parallel with the sentiment that Wall Street’s priority is for the Fed to keep showering trillions of dollars in helicopter money whatever happens. After all the only “policy” in town is that Wall Street turned the Fed into a hedge fund.

For its part, what Team Trump certainly does not want is the Great Reset – to be officially “launched” at a virtual Davos in January 2021.

And all this while Goldman Sachs, once again, is adamant that the only way to “save” the nation from it humongous, ever-exploding debt is to devalue the U.S. dollar.

Hillary wants a new job

In the shadow play – or Wrestlemania plot – of Trump’s face-off against the Deep State, another of those New York players confirms that, “Trump was not allowed to do much of his agenda. That shows you where the real power is. The military-industrial complex wants Trump in as he is giving them everything they want for a giant military buildup. But Biden will not make that commitment.”

Clapper, Brennan, Comey and Mueller “were just following orders and are being protected.” As for warmongering narcissistic hyena

Hillary Clinton, she needs a Biden/Harris win essentially to stay out of jail, a follow-up to a “secret” deal struck with Obama which had her bow out to the former President as the de facto leader of the vast DNC machinery.

Anyone with a brain across the Beltway knows The Walking Dead was chosen because he does not even qualify as a place mat. Assuming he would be elected president, the real power behind the throne will be the Obama-Pelosi axis – and their usual suspect masters. Welcome to the reign of President Kamala.

Hillary though is leaving nothing to chance, doubling down and taking no prisoners. She has just released a 5,000-word manifesto which reads as an application to become head of the Pentagon.

The fact that with all the plot twists key vectors of the Deep State continue to be untouchable should be read as the proverbial D.C. swamp protecting their flock. More than the possibility that Trump is unqualified when it comes to picking minions, more realistically he was never given any decent options: so he was stuck with nefarious specimens such as Gina “Queen of Torture” Haspel, The Warring Mustache John Bolton, and Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo.

Which bring us to Attorney General William Barr – and a persistent question across many Beltway corridors: how come there have been no indictments as evidence piles up of interlocking Deep State-related shenanigans.

Simple: Barr is CIA, part of the old Daddy Bush gang, recruited when he was still in high school, in 1971. When Daddy Bush became CIA director in 1976, Barr stepped into the CIA’s legal office and started his steady climb, culminating in 1991 as Chief Legal Counsel to Daddy Bush’s presidency.

Needless to add, Barr subsequently squashed every possible investigation on Bush, Clinton and assorted CIA ops, from BCCI to the theft of PROMIS software.

No one will volunteer to be on the record showing how Trump selected Barr – or how the Deep State made it happen. The fact is Barr was appointed shortly after the death of Daddy Bush. It’s unlikely that Team Trump have “turned” CIA asset Barr away from the swamp – with or without Hillary’s 33,000 deleted emails.

And that’s what leads those New York players to bet that Barr won’t go after any star in the Deep State galaxy.

Still the fact remains that the NSA has stored every possible call, chat or email on its massive server farms. Trump has the power to order everything to be released – as he did. Yet, as it stands, the proles have only been offered a WWF-themed sitcom.

“I’m back” on steroids

The total balkanization of culture in the U.S. into bulletproof containers of irrationality is precluding any possibility of civilized debate. What’s left is an endless proliferation of fake actors, paid troll armies, bots, mob outrage packaged as chocolate bars, all out hysteria.

Whatever happens, get ready for some major Kill Bill mayhem ahead.

And into this shooting war – not only metaphorical – steps John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, Sex Pistol legend and a millionaire resident of the tony parts of Venice beach in L.A. He’s voting Trump.

That’s the ultimate crowning of POTUS Punk – except that Trump is more Village People (“Young man/ there’s no nee to feel down”) than the Sex Pistols in Holidays in the Sun or the Dead Kennedys in Holiday in Cambodia.

Cue to POTUS Punk in Florida, “I’m back” on steroids, working an excited crowd of thousands like a pro, complete with YMCA dance moves at the end: “I’ll kiss the guys, and the beautiful women…”

Now compare it to “Sleepy Joe” in Ohio, in front of, well, nobody really: “I’m running as a proud Democrat…for the Senate”.

Last week an astonishing eight people showed up for a Biden-Harris rally in Arizona.

And the racket goes on while a pandemic with an Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of roughly 0.14% – according to the WHO’s own estimate – has cost the global economy no less than a whopping $28 trillion, according to the IMF.

Oh yes: it ain’t over till slim Britney “I Did It Again” sings.

US Election: Mohammed Bin Salman Braces for The Loss of a Key Ally

US Election: Mohammed Bin Salman Braces for The Loss of a Key Ally

By Madawi Al-Rasheed – MEE

No doubt Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman listened to US presidential candidate Joe Biden’s statement on the second anniversary of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi with apprehension.

Biden’s statement this month was a strong condemnation of the murder by Saudi operatives of Khashoggi, who had been a US resident since 2017. Biden promised to withdraw US support for the war in Yemen launched by Saudi Arabia in 2015, and noted: “Today, I join many brave Saudi women and men, activists, journalists, and the international community in mourning Khashoggi’s death and echoing his call for people everywhere to exercise their universal rights in freedom.”

Such a statement by someone who may become the master of the White House has surely sent shock waves through Riyadh.

Shifting public opinion

In contrast, two years ago, US President Donald Trump uncritically adopted the Saudi narrative about the slain journalist as an “enemy of the state”. Trump shamelessly boasted about shielding the murderers, above all bin Salman, and protecting him from further denunciation by Congress. Trump sensed a major shift in public opinion, and above all in Congress, in favor of vigorous scrutiny of US authoritarian allies in the Middle East – above all, the Saudi regime.

Many Republican and Democratic congressmen condemned Saudi Arabia and its authoritarian ruler for committing crimes against their own citizens on foreign soil, and continuing a policy of zero tolerance towards activists and dissidents. Shielding bin Salman from further scrutiny and possible sanctions allowed the crown prince to enjoy two years of security and tranquility, which may not be readily available after 3 November, should Biden win the presidential election.

Yet, one must be cautious when anticipating great US policy shifts if a Democrat is elected to the White House. The previous record of Democratic leadership has been more in line with a long US tradition of supporting authoritarian proteges in the Middle East, above all in Saudi Arabia, despite being more likely to invoke US values and their contradiction with the realist policy of propping up the region’s dictators.

Barack Obama went further than any previous US president by withdrawing support for former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, rather than openly and actively embracing the democratic forces that toppled him in 2011. By failing to unconditionally support a long-term US ally, Obama antagonized the Saudis, who interpreted his position on Egypt as abandoning a loyal partner.

The Saudis feared that the Arab uprisings would leave them exposed to serious political change, without the US superpower rushing to protect them against a dramatic fall. Saudi leaders knew they could not count on Obama to embrace them without demanding serious reforms. In a famous interview, Obama reminded Gulf leaders that their biggest problems were domestic and encouraged them to stop amplifying “external threats”, such as Iran’s regional influence, while silencing critical voices at home.

Sense of betrayal

The Saudi leadership was further annoyed by a historic deal between the US, several European countries and Iran, facilitated by Oman. The Saudis realized how far a US Democratic president could go towards marginalizing them, without openly denouncing their domestic and regional policies in the Middle East.   

That didn’t sit well with Saudi autocrats, who have always aimed to paint a picture of a kingdom besieged by hostile regional powers, while enjoying the bliss of harmony and the support of its domestic constituency. Obama publicly debunked this Saudi myth and negotiated with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s archenemy for decades.

The Saudis felt a sense of betrayal, which Trump quickly abated when he fully endorsed bin Salman – or, more accurately, the crown prince’s promises to invest in the US economy and to seriously consider normalizing relations with Israel, both high prices for US tolerance of bin Salman’s excesses at home and abroad.  

Should Biden win the US election, bin Salman will be on alert. Any word uttered by the White House that falls short of endorsing the young prince and reminding Congress of the centrality of the “historical partnership” between the US and Saudi Arabia will automatically be interpreted in Riyadh as a hostile stand.

Yet the rambling discourses of the Democrats about US values is no longer convincing, if not accompanied by real policy changes. Withdrawing support from autocrats is not enough. The region and its activists expect more than passive support from a country that boasts about its democracy and civil rights. They expect real and concrete measures that undermine the longevity of authoritarian rule, if the region and the rest of the world are to enjoy political change, economic prosperity and social harmony.

Loss of faith

The first step is to starve those autocrats of weapons used against their own people and their neighbors. Whether Democrats will reconsider the relentless US export of arms and training programs to Saudi Arabia and its neighbors remains to be seen. At the least, Biden could make the export of weapons to Saudi Arabia conditional on meeting international standards on human rights, and on serious political changes to allow Saudis to be represented in a national assembly. The Saudi people could do the rest.

Frankly, the Middle East, and for that matter the rest of the world, have lost faith in the US. Americans have yet to calculate the costs of having elected Trump and the ensuing reputational damage. Should they bring a Democrat to power next month, they will struggle to correct not only the short history of Trump’s failings, but also more than half a century of misguided US policy in the Middle East. 

From now until early November, bin Salman will no doubt have sleepless nights in anticipation of losing a good partner in Washington – one who allowed him to get away with murder.

%d bloggers like this: