The “New Shaam” and the Detonation of Jordan الشام الجديد» وتفجير الأردن

The “New Shaam” and the Detonation of Jordan

by Nasser Kandil

Egyptian, Iraqi, and Jordanian meetings are being held to reinforce a trilateral project with an economic title failing to mask political, and possibly, strategic dimensions. This project called “The New Shaam ” does not answer how a project bearing the name of Syria (Al Shaam) could be founded while excluding Syria from its consideration. Those involved in the project are incapable of denying the reality of the role of isolator between Syria and Iran that this trio is playing, in addition to isolating Iraq and Jordan from Syria which geographically falls in the middle between those two countries. Those involved also fail to deny the declared American paternity of this project in parallel to American declared paternity of the Gulf-Israeli normalization, with both projects being complimentary and a guarantee for each other’s success.

The economic return of this “New Shaam” project is not unrelated to its political role. Egyptian electricity to Iraq compensates Egypt for the loss of Suez Canal returns resulting from Gulf-Israeli normalization, while simultaneously acting as a substitute for electricity to Iraq from Iran. Similarly the exchange of Iraqi oil and Egyptian gas via Jordan detaches Iraq from need for Iranian gas, and provides additional compensation for anticipated Suez Canal revenue loss from the reliance of the Gulf trade on Israeli ports after normalization. As for what has been promised to Jordan from this project has been financing to compensate for the halting of goods from Syria in transit via Jordan to the Gulf, and becoming a compulsory junction for the goods arriving at the Occupation’s ports and destined for the Gulf.

The Gulf-Israeli normalization built on the foundation of granting the Occupation a pivotal economic role in the region, redraws the political-economic map of the countries in the region, and markets it using appealing names such as the “The New Shaam.” The new map imposes on Egypt accepting the loss of the role which the Suez Canal has played in exchange for the crumbs meted by the designated replacement role, and imposes on Iraq the role of separating Syria from Iran, encircling Syria with an Iraqi-Jordanian siege, accepting the loss of Iraq’s natural common interests with both Iran and Syria, and placing Iraq’s internal cohesion, unity, and stability in danger. Jordan, however, will be the most vulnerable to the influences and pressures resulting from this project, irrespective of the enticements Jordan is offered to accept this role.

Jordan lies at the intersection of two fault lines portending renewed crises, namely the closed door to a resolution for the Palestinian Cause, and the wide open door to the Gulf-Israeli normalization, along with the connection to a third fault line of high tension entitled separating Syria from Iran, and separating Jordan and Iraq from Syria and besieging her. The question becomes could the delicate situation in Jordan withstand such pressures, given the weight of the Palestinian Cause and its influence on Jordan especially in light of the Palestinian united opposition to the “Deal of the Century” and Jordan’s inability to isolate herself from such Palestinian transformation, and in view of the strong Jordanian-Syrian social and political intertwinement, and the popular climate in Jordan aspiring to speeding up the natural and cooperative relationships between Jordan and Syria? Given the popular demand in Jordan for the closure of the Israeli Embassy, can Jordanians tolerate scenarios of trucks crossing Jordan with goods loaded from the Port of Haifa in transit to the Gulf?

If “The New Shaam” project does not become quadrilateral, open to and inclusive of Syria, refusing the designated role of marketing normalization at the expense of the Palestinian People and Egyptian interests, and rejecting playing the role of isolating and besieging Syria, Iraq and Egypt will pay a political and economic toll from their stability. Jordan, on the other hand, will be facing fateful and possibly existential challenges, similar to what pushed Lebanon in the eve of Camp David.

«الشام الجديد» وتفجير الأردن

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ناصر قنديل

للمرة الثانية ينعقد لقاء مصري عراقي أردني تأكيداً على مشروع ثلاثي بعنوان اقتصادي لا يُخفى البعد السياسي وربما الاستراتيجي وراءه، فالمشروع المسمّى بالشام الجديد، لا يملك جواباً على كيفية قيام مشروع يحمل اسم الشام ويستثني الشام من حساباته؟ بل لا يستطيع القيّمون على المشروع إنكار حقيقة أن الثلاثي الجديد يلعب دور العازل بين إيران وسورية، عدا عن كونه يعزل الأردن والعراق عن سورية بينما هي تتوسّطهما معاً، كما لا يمكن لأصحاب المشروع إنكار ما قاله الأميركيون عن أبوتهم للمشروع بالتوازي مع أبوتهم للتطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، حيث يكمّل أحد المشروعين الآخر، ويضمن نجاحه.

العائد الاقتصادي للمشروع غير منفصل عن وظيفته السياسية، فالكهرباء المصرية للعراق هي من جهة تعويض لمصر عن خسائر قناة السويس الناتجة عن التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، ومن جهة مقابلة تأمين بديل كهربائي للعراق عن المصدر الإيراني، كما تبادل النفط العراقي والغاز المصري عبر الأردن فك للعراق عن حاجته للغاز الإيراني، وتأمين موارد إضافيّة بديلة عن خسائر ستحلق بقناة السويس من الاتجاه للاعتماد التجاري للخليج على موانئ كيان الاحتلال بعد التطبيع، أما العائدات الموعودة للأردن من هذا الربط فهي لتمويل يعوّض على الأردن ما سيُصيبه من خسائر توقف خط الترانزيت الى الخليج عبر سورية مقابل لعب دور المعبر الإلزامي للبضائع الواصلة إلى موانئ كيان الاحتلال والمتجهة نحو الخليج.

التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي المؤسس على ركيزة منح كيان الاحتلال دوراً اقتصادياً محورياً في المنطقة، يُعيد تشكيل الخريطة السياسية والاقتصادية لدول المنطقة، ويتم تسويق هذه الخريطة بأسماء جاذبة مثل الشام الجديد، فعلى مصر وفقاً للخريطة الجديدة أن تتلقى خسارة قناة السويس لدورها وتصمت لقاء فتات دور بديل، وعلى العراق الذي يكلف بمهمة فصل سورية عن أيران وتطويق سورية بحصار عراقي أردني، أن يرتضي خسارة مصالحه المشتركة الطبيعيّة مع كل من سورية وإيران، وأن يعرّض تماسكه الداخلي ووحدته واستقراره الأمني للخطر، لكن الأردن سيبقى الساحة الأشد عرضة للضغوط والتأثيرات الناجمة عن هذا المشروع رغم العروض التشجيعيّة التي يتلقاها لقبول الدور.

الأردن الذي يشكّل خط تقاطع فوالق الأزمات المستجدّة بفعل التوتر العالي لخطَّي إغلاق أبواب الحلول أمام القضيّة الفلسطينية، وفتح الباب الواسع للتطبيع الخليجيّ الإسرائيليّ، يتم ربطه بخط توتر عالٍ ثالث عنوانه فصل سورية عن إيران، وعزل العراق والأردن عن سورية بنية حصارها، ويصير السؤال هل الوضع الدقيق في الأردن يحتمل هذه الضغوط، في ظل حجم حضور القضية الفلسطينية وتأثيرها على الأردن، خصوصاً مع وحدة الموقف الفلسطيني بوجه صفقة القرن، وعجز الأردن عن تحييد نفسه عن هذه التحولات الفلسطينية، وفي ظل حجم التشابك الاجتماعي والسياسي الأردني السوري، وتنامي مناخ شعبيّ أردنيّ يتطلع لتسريع العلاقات الطبيعيّة والتعاونيّة بين سورية والأردن، وفي ظل مطالبات أردنية بإغلاق السفارة الإسرائيلية هل يمكن للأردنيين تحمل مشاهد الشاحنات العابرة من مرفأ حيفا نحو الخليج؟

ما لم يكن مشروع الشام الجديد رباعياً يضمّ سورية، وينفتح عليها، ويرفض الدور المرسوم لتسويق التطبيع على حساب الشعب الفلسطيني والمصالح المصرية، ويرفض لعب دور العزل والحصار بحق سورية، فإن العراق ومصر سيدفعان أثماناً سياسية واقتصادية، من استقرارهما، لكن الأردن سيكون أمام تحديات مصيرية وربما وجودية، تشبه تلك التي دُفع لبنان نحوها عشية كامب ديفيد.

Expert explains Yemen’s global strategic value & why US/Saudis want it

Source

Description:

An expert on Yemen, Hassan Shaaban, explains the global strategic importance of Yemen and its Bab al-Mandeb waterway, and thus underlines the motives of the American-Saudi military campaign in the impoverished country.

Source: Al-Manar TV via Kalam Siyasi (YouTube Channel)

Date: Oct 25, 2020

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)
https://www.youtube.com/embed/JtTiaZ73oqU?feature=oembed

Transcript:

Hassan Shaaban, Expert in Yemeni Affairs:

Ever since the bourgeoisie – which originated in Europe right after the fall of the feudal system – decided to colonize the (rest of the) world; extract its wealth; gain control over its (natural) resources; and turn its people into consuming animals; ever since that moment, the Western political psyche, which believes in power-based realism, has come to target every country that stands in its way, and every country that has any degree of influence.

Yemen is situated here, (next to) the Bab al-Mandeb (Strait). (This Strait) is located in a (strategically) vital region. 60% of Europe’s energy supply and one eighth of the global economy flows through (it). Millions of barrels of oil pass through (Bab al-Mandeb) every day.

You are talking about a country that has a grip over (the movement of trade) anywhere in the world, in any region of the world. (For that same reason), the British dug the Suez Canal to form a (direct shipping) route to India and Asia.

Well, Bab al-Mandab is naturally created by God. Britain paid a fortune to build the Suez Canal, and Egypt sacrificed the lives of thousands of its people who died during its construction. (Thus, imagine) how much (the West) is willing to sacrifice to (gain control over) Bab al-Mandeb?

Which (countries) are located near the Bab al-Mandab (Strait). What countries border this (connecting) canal and this line that links Bab al-Mandab to the Suez Canal and the Red Sea?

(First, there is) Saudi Arabia, the Arab Zionist entity that mirrors the Israeli Zionist entity and has a significant influence (in the region).

Host:

We will talk about the benefits that Saudi Arabia (would gain from controlling the Strait)…

Shaaban:

(Second), there is Egypt, historically the oldest and most powerful Arab state. Third, we have Sudan, the richest (in natural resources) and the largest country at some point in history.

Host:

The country that was split, they managed to partition it…

Shaaban:

And here (pointing to the location on the map) are Eritrea, Ethiopia – which used to border the Red Sea – Somalia and Djibouti..

Well, what is there in the Red Sea? Go back to what (Israeli) Zionists have written about the significance of this Sea. Did you know – I am  sure you do – that Eilat (a port city), known as “Umm Al-Rashrash” (in Arabic), is Israel’s only maritime outlet towards Asia? Linking (Israel) to the Red Sea – or as some Israeli strategists call it, “Lake David”, this outlet is vital for the survival of the (Israeli) Zionist entity.

———

Look at the incredible location of Yemen. The Yemeni coastline stretches for around 1,900 miles, equivalent to 2,400 or 2,500 km along the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.  

Host:

That is 2,500 km along the two seas.

Shaaban:

Yes, (equivalent to) around 1,900 miles.

Did you know that successive Yemeni governments did not form a naval military power despite the important and strategic location of Yemen along the sea?

Host:

What is the reason for that? Why?

Shaaban:

The reason goes back to Yemeni political decision-making…

 Host:

(Decision-making) controlled by the US?…

Shaaban:

(Nods his head) (The absence of a naval force) was an order. When the martyr Yemeni president Ibrahim al-Hamdi came to power in the 1970s, when he started planning and called a conference to discuss the security of the Red Sea, he was assassinated, he was murdered. And the party responsible for the assassination was Saudi Arabia.

The vital location (of Yemen) is significantly important for the colonially-created Gulf entities , and for the (Israeli) Zionist entity, which represents probably the West’s largest global investment. (Yemen) overlooks all of Asia all the way to China, and has this huge region (east Africa) within its reach. (In other words), (Yemen) is (in the region) where Asia and Africa meet. This is where Yemen is located.


Host
:

Do you mean that having control over the Bab al-Mandeb (Strait) is equivalent to having control over global trade (between) continents?

Shaaban:

Yes. It (also) means having control over the strait classified as the third most important worldwide.

Host:

What does the control over the Bab al-Mandeb Strait mean?

Shaaban:

As you have just mentioned in the report, having control over the Bab al-Mandab (Strait) means having control over the movement of the world’s economy, global oil transportation, and the route connecting Europe to India and China, and thereby to Asia. Even if we turn the opposite way, and focus on China and the port that it is trying to build in Pakistan in order to extend its maritime reach, (we will see that…)

Host:

(…that the route) will pass through Yemen and the (Bab al-Mandeb) Strait.

Shaaban:

It is a must. (China’s) “Belt and Road Initiative” passes through (the Strait).

Host:

China’s strategic project will only be completed if…

Shaaban:

(If) it goes through Bab al-Mandeb. Let me tell you something about Bab al-Mandeb. If you zoom in on it, you will see an island that divides it into…

Host:

(into) two channels…

Shaaban:

Exactly. The first (channel) is next to Djibouti, and is not suitable for deep-sea shipping. The other (channel) is about 12 km (in width) on the Yemeni (side). Yes, it is subject to international law, but it falls under Yemen’s sovereignty. (Not to mention that) it is the only channel (among the two) that is navigable. Therefore, what you called the bottleneck is the Yemeni (side of) Bab al-Mandeb.

Host:

The Yemeni (Bab al-Mandeb) not the Djiboutian for example..

Shaaban:

Exactly. Accordingly, if you also take into account (the importance of) Socotra and the group of islands. For example, look, roughly in this region, above Bab al-Mandab, there are groups of islands such as Zuqar, Perim and Hanish. In fact, the Hanish Islands have always been under dispute between Eritrea and Yemen. A confrontation (between the two countries) took place in the nineties because of this issue. The mountain in Zuqar Island rises to 600 meters, or approximately 624 meters. Do you know what this means?

Host:

It means that it overlooks the whole region..

Shaaban:

What if I told you that there are Israeli military bases in Eritrea? There are corvettes and naval vessels navigating in the Red Sea. They are docked at Eretria. What if I told you that there is a French military base in Djibouti, and an American military presence as well?

Host:

There is also a Chinese military base in Djibouti.

Shaaban:

I am going get to that (topic). Djibouti was established only to be rented like hotel. The US, Israel and other countries maintain (military) presences in Somalia. If you go up towards Sudan, you would notice that the Turks recently entered the sea area. The whole world is fighting over this area.

Then in 2014, the Yemenis, despite all that we have talked about, started a revolution, i.e. the revolution of September 21, 2014 under the leadership of Sayyed Abdulmalik Badr al-Din al-Houthi. Sayyed Abdulmalik, who forms (a strong) leadership, project and vision said: “Yemen will not be divided into regions”. Notice that after they (Saudi-led coalition) divided Mahra, Socotra, Abyan – I think – and Hadramout, (Ansarullah) brought them together as one region. In other words, Saudi Arabia wanted (to gain control over) some regions. However, this great Yemeni leader (Sayyed Abdulmalik) came and said: “we will not allow this”.  Saudi Arabia said…

Host:

The question we are seeking to answer is: “why did they wage a war (on Yemen)? Why did they start an aggression against Yemen?”

Shaaban:

Yes. Saudi Arabia said that it wants to (build) an oil pipeline that will pass through here. Furthermore, a Saudi magazine once wrote about (building) a marine channel that will also pass through Hadramout, thus connecting Saudi Arabia to the Arabian Sea. Here is the Indian Ocean and here is the Arabian Sea. What is the idea? Saudi Arabia, and others parties hiding behind it, want to avoid (the Strait of) Hormuz (controlled by) Iran, the great power that they cannot clash with. The solution for (Saudi Arabia) is to flee to the South (to Bab al-Mandeb).

Therefore, unlike what the (Saudis) say, their war in Yemen is not a war against Iran, it is a war to get away from Iran’s influence over the Strait of Hormuz. But unfortunately for them, there is a large force in Yemen called “Ansarullah”, a force with national vision unlike what they try to portray. (Ansarullah forces) have a Yemeni national project. They want to preserve the unity (in Yemen), the unity that the Emirates wants to destroy by dividing (the country). We can get into more details (about that) later. The Yemeni revolution led by Sayyed Abdulmalik gained influence and control over Ma’rib and the channels that we talked about, and thereby saying that “Yemen will not be any country’s backyard”. Yemen is not a territory that anyone can manipulate. It is an independent, sovereign state that has policies, that has the right to be present in this strategic region of the world.

How did (Saudi Arabia and its allies) perceive this issue? They believe that these Yemeni forces (Ansarullah), in one way or another, serve the interest of the Islamic Republic (of Iran) because they do not support America, they do not support Israel, nor are they tools like the (leaders who governed) before the (2014) revolution, before Sayyed Abdulmalik, before Sayyed Hussein’s project, the Quranic project based on the Quranic path.  They are not tools. They are not venal. They do not accept bribes as did many politicians who historically controlled Yemen’s political decision-making.

They will not be assassinated like they assassinated the martyr (President Ibrahim) al-Hamdi, even if they assassinated Sayyed Hussein (al-Houthi). The assassin of Sayyed Hussein got the order directly from these countries (Saudi Arabia and its allies), (who ordered the killing) of Sayyed Hussein because he chanted the slogan: “Death to America, Death to Israel”. What does “Death to America, Death to Israel “mean? (It means) death to the interests of those (who govern) this region of the world, death to their entities in this region of the world, death to their policy in this region of the world, and life to Yemen.

When Sayyed (Hussein al-Houthi) came up with the strategic slogan of Ansarullah, i.e. “Victory to Islam”, (he meant) the Islam that represents the identity and the independence of a nation. Yes, in this case, Yemen with its (strategic) geographical location and its rich history turned into a strategic political project. (Therefore,) it was necessary for (Saudi Arabia and its allies) to wage a war, to start this aggression. It was necessary for them to do what they are currently doing.

Host:

It was also a must for Ansarullah to fight them.

Shaaban:

(They fought) in defense (against the Saudi aggression)

Host:

We will show the outcomes of the (Saudi) aggression (on Yemen) in a quick report, then we will continue…

—-

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China Newsbrief & Sitrep

China Newsbrief & Sitrep

August 12, 2020

By Godfree Roberts from his newsletter

This week we focus mainly on China’s development and business.

We still see signs of an unrestricted and type of unformed war on China that is described by many names, examples cold war or, hybrid war.  The main characteristic of this war is where nothing that disrupts the enemy is off limits.

Despite an unprecedented downturn in US-China relations during a pandemic, US businesses are not leaving the China market. This was a major finding of an annual survey of members released today by the US-China Business Council (USCBC), a trade group representing more than 200 businesses, many of them global brands with decades of China experience.  

https://www.uschina.org/media/press/pandemic-and-politics-aside-us-china-trade-ties-continue

Extracts from Here Comes China

Excellent overview – How Did China Succeed? | Joseph E. Stiglitz  on China’s Economic System

Although Stiglitz is a world banker, he holds different views from the trademark, neoliberal Washington consensus, specifically an economic ideology holding that while people should own the value they produce themselves, economic value derived from land (including all natural resources and natural opportunities) should belong equally to all members of society.  His wide overview here on the growth of China makes sense and is easy listening.

China’s central bank has taken the lead in digital currencies. What does it mean for businesses?  by Jemma Xu and Dan Prud’homme

Outside  China, digital currencies are fraught with incredible risk. In this void, China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payments offers the public confidence unobtainable by private digital currencies. DCEP is itself a stablecoin, but one backed 1:1 by the PBoC with fiat Chinese yuan/renminbi. Its system follows a “two layer” approach. First, and critically, because it is a sovereign digital currency, the PBoC is the only issuing party. Second, to expeditiously diffuse the currency, the central bank issues DCEP to select retail banks and non-financial institutions (e.g., Alibaba, Tencent, and Union Pay) in China with strong pre-existing mobile payment networks, who then merely distribute the currency to the general public. Businesses across China will be required by law to accept DCEP as payment.

Besides the regulatory legitimacy, many factors position DCEP to become the world’s most widely used digital currency:

  • the Chinese state’s track record of rapid institutional innovation;
  • Chinese public support of institutional experimentation;
  • Chinese firms’ strong competitiveness in digital ecosystems and
  • capabilities to quickly adapt to changing technological paradigms and institutions;
  • a massive Chinese population who quickly adopts new digital technologies, and
  • lead the world in adopting mobile payment applications.

Although central banks in several other countries have also been studying digital currencies, none have taken the lead to actually develop and rollout a CBDC at the scale occurring in China. DCEP will be used for purchases in all sectors across the country. To start, as of mid-2020, DCEP has been piloted in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Xiong’an – potentially reaching over 42 million people, more than Canada’s entire population. Elsewhere in China, DCEP is already in the process of being piloted in the restaurant and hospitality sectors, with foreign multinationals such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Subway already signing up to participate. Further, DCEP trials are already being conducted around China to reimburse public sector employees’ travel costs. Yet other pilot initiatives, such as a commitment to use DCEP at venues for large-scale upcoming events in Beijing, are in place.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government recently proposed the creation of a regional digital currency backed by the Chinese RMB/yuan, Japanese yen, South Korean won, and Hong Kong dollar – with DCEP at the centre. And China’s multi-trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers a network to extend DCEP in countries around the globe.

Businesses should prepare for DCEP’s rollout in two main ways. First, they must ensure that they have appropriate infrastructure in place to accommodate DCEP, such as digital wallets. Contracts with third-party financial custodians can also be helpful. On the upside, to facilitate swift legal compliance with DCEP – considering that its acceptance is being required by law in China – the Chinese authorities may integrate DCEP with popular existing digital wallets already widely used by many businesses in China, namely Alipay and Wechat Pay.

Second, businesses may need to explore interoperability options when conducting cross-border trade. Such action may be needed in the longer term if DCEP leads to an alternative international payments system vis-à-vis the current US-led system, which is a probable prospect.
Meanwhile, firms who timely prepare for China’s DCEP rollout can seize several significant opportunities. First, as previously alluded to, the expansion of DCEP will facilitate the internationalisation of the yuan/renminbi. In doing so, the Chinese currency will provide a strong alternative institution to rival the current USD-dominated international payments system.

Third, by facilitating direct transactions between digital wallets, DCEP will eliminate sizeable banking clearing and settlements costs. In other words, ‘payment is settlement’ with no need for separate clearing and settlement processes.

Fourth, DCEP will offer firms new ways of raising capital and secondary trading via the issuance of digital securities and disintermediated trading on exchanges. Digital securities are regulated financial instruments such as equities or bonds where the transaction and shareholder details are recorded on the blockchain ledger. As a stable currency, DCEP will be used to reduce or eliminate the clearing and settlement processes associated with trading digital securities on secondary exchanges. In turn, this will provide firms and investors easier access to digital financial instruments.

Fifth, DCEP’s development will catalyse fintech innovation, giving rise to hybrid products that draw on both traditional markets and digital currencies. Greater numbers of innovative structured products are appearing in the digital currencies market, where the underlying asset is a native digital currency, such as Bitcoin, but the payoffs are based on traditional structured products. DCEP will serve as a reliable alternative underlying-asset in the future, stimulating the creation of more hybrid financial products.
Fifth, and not least, aggregate demand may rise as a result of DCEP’s rollout. DCEP adoption will allow governments to rapidly deploy “helicopter money” to the public without requiring bank accounts. This will empower the previously unbanked to form a new group of consumers.[MORE]

Debt – People criticizing China’s debt see only the debit side of the ledger. If they look at the credit side, they would see offsetting assets. One of those assets is the $20 billion Three Gorges Dam, which generates 100 billion KWh which it sells for US$0.084/KwH, bringing in $8.4 billion every year. Three Gorges tours earn another $3 billion, and flood mitigation and irrigation enhancement save another $3 billion, as the current flooding demonstrates. That’s valuable debt!

China pledged to invest $5.8 billion in the construction of the Moscow-Kazan High Speed Railway. The railway will be extended to China through Kazakhstan. The total cost of the Moscow-Kazan high speed railroad project is $21.4 billion. [MORE]

The Caspian Sea is becoming an alternative to the Suez for shipping between Europe and China, and a great deal of activity is taking place there. Four major Belt & Road routes and one significant Indian route make up the five East-West intersections that the Caspian is shortly to provide, with the potential for a sixth should plans to create a canal between the Caspian and Black Seas come to fruition. [Download Chris Devonshire-Ellis’ Report]

The Port of Beirut poses the biggest geostrategic threat to American power projection because China’s Silk Road is fast creeping towards the docks at Beirut Port. The US, having recently forced Israel to cancel its Haifa rail contract with China, has dampened the Chinese advance in the eastern Mediterranean, and what remains now in the path of the US is the Beirut Port. The US must either invade it to block the Chinese geostrategic mission creep, or else destroy it.[MORE]


See everyone next week for the regular Here Comes China newsletter.  It is a pleasure to work with Godfree and to collate the main points for The Saker Blog.

amarynth

انهيار الإتحاد السوفييتي – فترة رئاسة “ميخائيل غُورباتشوف”!

عن الذين عَوّلوا على أميركا - بوابة الهدف الإخبارية

الطاهر المعز.

في ذكرى 23 تموز/يوليو 1952 (إقامة النظام الجمهوري في مصر) وفي ذكرى إنهاء النظام الملكي وإقامة النظام الجمهوري في العراق (14 تموز/يوليو 1958)، وما جرى بين هذين التاريخَيْن من محاولة بناء السد العالي وتأميم قناة السويس والعدوان الثلاثي (البريطاني والفرنسي والصهيوني، سنة 1956 ) ضد مصر،

نستذكر دور الإتحاد السوفييتي (رغم الإختلافات معه، ورغم النقد الذي يمكن توجيهه بشأن المسألة القومية وقضية فلسطين، وغيرها)، ونستذكر الدّعم (رغم الشّروط) الذي مَكّن مصر من استكمال بناء السّد العالي، ومساندة مصر سنة 1956، ومن إعادة تسليح الجيش المصري، ليقوم ب”حرب الإستنزاف”، بعد هزيمة حزيران/يونيو 1967، ونقف على الوضع العالمي، حاليًّا، بعد انهيار الإتحاد السوفييتي، حيث لا رادع للإمبريالية الأمريكية وحلف شمال الأطلسي، سوى إرادة الشّعُوب، ونضال الفئات الكادحة…

بَدأت عوامل الوَهَن تظهر على الإتحاد السوفييتي، منذ عُقُود، وساهم “سباق التّسلّح” والوضع الإقتصادي (الجفاف وإغراق أسواق العالم بالنفط السعودي الرخيص…)، وحرب أفغانستان، وغيرها في تَسْرِيع عملية الإنهيار، زيادة على نمو فكرة التخريب من داخل الحزب الشيوعي السوفييتي وقيادة الدّولة الإتحادية، وخصوصًا عندما تولّى “ميخائيل غورباتشوف” (كَرَمْزٍ لتيار مُعادي للشيوعية، داخل البلاد) رئاسة الحكومة، بالتوازي مع انهيار أسعار النفط (المورد الرئيسي للعملة الأجنبية)، قبل توليه قيادة الحزب والدّولة…

حصل “غورباتشوف” على العديد من الجوائز، منذ بَدَأ (مع مجموعة من الحزب والدّولة السوفييتِيَّيْن) العمل على تخريب وانهيار الإتحاد السوفييتي، وعلى “إثبات” فشل مبدأ أو فكرة الإشتراكية من أساسها، وليس فشل وسائل تطبيقها، ومن بين هذه الجوائز “ميدالية أونوهان للسلام” (1989)، و”جائزة نوبل للسلام” (1990) التي فقدت من قيمتها عندما مُنِحت للعديد من المُجْرِمين الصهاينة، وللخونة، مثل أنور السادات، وجائزة “هارفي” (1992)، والعديد من شهادات الدكتوراه الفَخْرِية، وشهادات التّقْدِير…

ما الدّاعي لِمَنْحِهِ هذه الجوائز، في حين خان الرجل (الإنسان والزعيم السياسي والرئيس ) بلادَهُ، وباعها بثمن رخيص للإمبريالية الأمريكية وللبنك العالمي، وصندوق النقد الدّولي… يكْمُن سِرُّ هذه الجوائز في مكافأة رجُل نفّذ بإخلاص وتفاني خطط وكالة الإستخبارات الأمريكية، وساهم في تهديم ما بنَتْهُ أجيال من السوفييتيين، وخيانة تضحيات ملايين الشُّهَداء الذين سقطوا دفاعًا عن وَطَن الإشتراكية…

نَشر موقع “إلهيرالدو كوبانو” (كوبا)، يوم الثامن عشر من أيلول/سبتمبر 2017، تعليقًا على بعض الوثائق التي أصبح اطّلاع الباحثين عليها مُتاحًا، بعد إفراج وكالة الإستخبارات المركزية (الأمريكية) عنها وخروجها عن نطاق السرية، واقتصر التعليق على بعض ما نُشِر عن خطط غورباتشوف ومجموعته ( من بينهم زوجته “رايسا” و “شيفرنادزي” و “ياكوفليف”…) “للقضاء على الشيوعية”، بحسب تعبيره في مداخلة علنية، سنة 2000، بالجامعة الأمريكية، في تركيا، كما تكشف هذه الوثائق دعْمَ وكالة الإستخبارات الأمريكية لمجموعة “غورباتشوف”، سياسيا وإعلاميا، لعدّة عُقُود، فيما تكفلت مؤسسات الملياردير “جورج سورس” بتمويل نشاط وإعلام “المُنْشَقِّين” السوفييتيين، وجميعهم يمينيون وصهاينة.

نشر “واين مدسن” (موظف سابق في وكالة أمن الفضاء – إن إس إيه ) من جهته، وثائق تتضمن بعض الوقائع والحقائق، ومنها تصرحات”ميخائيل غورباتشوف”، العلَنِيّة، وكذلك تمويل النشاط والإعلامي السياسي لحكومة “غورباتشوف”، ونشر عبارات “بريسترويكا” (إعادة الهيكلة) و “غلاسنوست” (الشفافية)، على نطاق واسع، والإدّعاء أن “غورباتشوف” ثوري يُكافح ويُجاهد ضد البيروقراطية والجمود، وحصل التمويل والإعلام على نطاق واسع، بغطاء حكومي أمريكي، وبواسطة مؤسسات “جورج سورس” والمنظمات الأمريكية، الموصوفة “غير حكومية”، من 1987 إلى 1991، ومن بينها منظمة “يوس” (أو معهد دراسات الأمن شرق-غرب” )، ونجحت هذه الحَمْلَة الأمريكية في خلق انشقاقات داخل الأحزاب “الشيوعية” التي كانت لا تَحيد قيد أُنْمُلَة عن الخط الرسمي للإتحاد السوفييتي، ولكن عندما يظهر الإنقسام داخل قيادة “الأخ الأكبر”، ينعكس ذلك على بقية الأحزاب التابعة.

عندما عقد اجتماع عام 1986 بين رونالد ريغان وميخائيل غورباتشوف ...

أظهرت وثائق الإستخبارات الأمريكية أن ما حصل في المَجَر وبولندا وتشيكوسلوفاكيا، وفي الإتحاد السوفييتي لم يكن بمحض الصّدفة، أو نتيجة صراعات داخلية فحسب، بل كان تتويجًا لمسار طويل، لِخِطّة مدروسة، رغم بعض التّغييرات، وقع تَبَنِّيها، منذ نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية، وتَمثّلَ دور “ميخائيل غورباتشوف” ومجموعته في تكرار الدّعاية الأمريكية بأن “النظام الإشتراكي” (وليس التجربة السوفييتية، فحسب) فاشل، وغير قادر على حل المشكلات الحديثة للمجتمعات، وبذلك استبق هذا الشق في الحزب الشيوعي السوفييتي “فرنسيسكو فوكوياما”، صاحب نظرية “نهاية التاريخ” والإنتصار النهائي للرأسمالية، و”صامويل هنغتنغتون” المعروف بترويج نظرية “صراع الحضارات”، بدل صراع الطبقات، وصراع الأمم المُضْطَهَدة، ضد الإمبريالية والإستعمار…

قامت وكالة المخابرات المركزية بتصميم وتنفيذ عملية تغيير هيكلي كبرى ، في الاتحاد السوفييتي وأوروبا الشرقية، وتم تمويل هذه العملية من خلال شبكة المنظمات الممولة من الملياردير “جورج سوروس”.

فيما يتعلق بالاتحاد السوفييتي، أعلن غورباتشوف في الجامعة الأمريكية في تركيا عام 2000: “استفدت من موقعي القيادي داخل الحزب وفي البلاد ، لتغيير قيادة الحزب والدّولة، في الإتحاد السوفييتي، وكذلك في جميع البلدان الاشتراكية في أوروبا “.

الملياردير الامريكي سوروس: النظام الصيني يشكل تهديدا للاتحاد ...

منذ العام 1987 ، قامت وكالة المخابرات المركزية، وشركة الأغذية متعددة الجنسيات “كارغيل” (التي تتعامل تجاريا مع الاتحاد السوفياتي منذ عقود) ، و معهد دراسات الأمن شرق-غرب” أو ( IWSS )، وشبكة سوروس ومنظمات “حقوق الإنسان”، التي تتعامل معها وتمولها، بتشجيع ومساعدة الحركات المعارضة والإنفصالية، والمُنشَقِّين، لإضعاف الاتحاد السوفييتي، ثم الاتحاد الروسي الجديد (منذ العام 1991). كما دعمت، ومَوّلت الصناديقُ والأوقافُ الأمريكيةُ حركاتِ الاستقلالِ، أو الإنفصال، في كوزباس (سيبيريا)، من خلال حركات اليمين المتطرف في ألمانيا، ومولت النشاط والتدريب للقوميين الشوفينيين ( اليمين المتطرف) من ليتوانيا، وتتارستان، وأوسيتيا الشمالية، وإنغوشيا، والشيشان، وفقًا لهذه الوثائق الأمريكية.

أقامت منظمات سوروس فروعًا في جميع البلدان المجاورة لروسيا: في أوكرانيا وإستونيا ولاتفيا وليتوانيا وفنلندا والسويد ومولدوفا وجورجيا وأذربيجان وتركيا ورومانيا ومنغوليا وقيرغيزستان وكازاخستان وطاجيكستان وأوزبكستان… كانت هذه الفروع بمثابة قواعد تدريب لأعضاء الجماعات الإرهابية، منها الجماعات الفاشية الأوكرانية والجورجية والهنغارية والمولدوفية.

في العام 2017، طردت الحكومة الروسية العديد من المنظمات من شبكة سوروس (مثل مؤسسة المجتمع المفتوح) وغيرها من المنظمات غير الحكومية التابعة لوكالة المخابرات المركزية الموجودة على الأراضي الروسية ، مثل NED (المؤسسة الوطنية للديمقراطية)، والمعهد الجمهوري الدولي، ومؤسسة ماك آرثر، ودار الحرية (فريدوم هاوس)، وغيرها، وصنَّفت الحكومة الروسية هذه المنظمات “غير مرغوب فيها وتشكل تهديدًا لأمن الدولة الروسية”. هذه المنظمات نفسها (أو الفروع التابعة لها) هي التي تضع خططًا لزعزعة استقرار بلدان أمريكا الجنوبية (كوبا ، فنزويلا ، بوليفيا ، إكوادور ، نيكاراغوا …) أو إيران والدول العربية، وآخرها “الجزائر”، حيث أوردنا في مقال سابق، بمناسبة الذكرى الثامنة والخمسين للإستقلال، بعض نماذج العمل التّخريبي لمثل هذه المنظمات، والدّعم الذي يحظى به بعض الرموز الرجعية والمُتصهْيِنة، والمُساندة للإستعمار…

رابط الموقع الكوبي:
Se abre paso la verdad sobre la caída de la URSS.


نشرة “كنعان” الإلكترونية
2020-07-25

Towards a “New Cold War” in the Middle East: Geopolitics of the Persian Gulf and the Battle for Oil and Gas

By Germán Gorraiz López

Global Research, July 21, 2020

The foundations of the great Near East were established in the Pact of Quincey (1945) following the doctrine of the Franco-British Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916 that favored the regional division of power in areas of influence and sustained on the tripod US-Egypt- Saudi Arabia. This doctrine consisted in the endemic survival in Egypt of pro-western autocratic military governments, which ensured the survival of the State of Israel (1948) and provided the US Navy with privileged access to the Suez Canal, a crucial shortcut for access direct to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Afghanistan, remaining as a firm bastion of US geopolitical interests in the area, especially after the fall of the Shah of Persia in 1980.

The other pillar of the agreement consisted of the privileged access of the United States to Saudi Arabian oil in exchange for preserving its autocratic regime and favoring the spread of Wahhabism (doctrine founded by Mohamed Abdel Wahab in the mid-eighteenth century with the aim of becoming a vision attractive to Islam and exportable to the rest of the Arab countries), with which the Saudi theocracy became a regional power that provided the US with the key to energy dominance while serving as a retaining wall for socialist and pan-Arab currents. Finally, after the Six Day War (1967), the geostrategic puzzle of the Middle East and the Near East was completed with the establishment of autocratic and pro-Western regimes in the countries surrounding Israel (Libya, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran), leaving the Palestinians confined in the ghettos of the West Bank and Gaza.

Iraq and the Biden Plan

The Biden-Gelb Plan, approved by the US Senate in 2007 and rejected by Condolezza Rice, Secretary of State with George W. Bush, provided for the establishment in Iraq of a federal system in order to prevent the collapse in the country after the withdrawal of US troops and proposed separating Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni entities, under a federal government in Baghdad charged with the care of the borders and the administration of oil revenues.

Thus, we will attend the appearance of Free Kurdistan presided over by Masoud Barzani with capital in Kirkust and that would include annexed areas taking advantage of the power vacuum left by the Iraqi Army such as Sinkar or Rabia in the province of Ninive, Kirkuk and Diyala as well as all the cities of Syrian Kurdish ethnicity (except Hasaka and Qamishli) occupied by the Kurdish insurgency of the BDP.

The new Kurdistan will have the blessings of the United States and will have financial autonomy by owning 20% of the farms of all Iraqi crude oil with the “sine qua non condition” to supply Turkey, Israel and Eastern Europe with Kurdish oil through the Kirkust pipeline that empties into the Turkish port of Ceyhan. On the other hand, the Sunistan with capital in Mosul and that would cover the Sunni cities of Ramadi, Falluja, Mosul, Tal Afar and Baquba (Sunni triangle), with strong connections with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that would later lead to a radical pan-Islamist movement that it will use the oil weapon to strangle the western economies in the horizon of the next five-year period.

Finally, as the third leg of the tripod, we would have Iraqi Chi with capital in Baghdad that will counterbalance Saudi Wahhabism and that will gravitate in the orbit of influence of Iran, which will make Iran a great regional power in clear conflict with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran, guardian of the Gulf and energy power

Iran acquired a regional power dimension thanks to the erratic policy of the United States in Iraq, (fruit of the political administration myopia obsessed with the Axis of Evil) by eliminating its ideological rivals, the Sunni Taliban radicals and Saddam Hussein with the subsequent power vacuum in the area. He also proposed a global negotiation with the contact group to deal with all the aspects that have confronted Western countries for thirty years, both the suffocating embargo that has plagued the Islamic Republic and the Iranian assets blocked in the United States, the role Iran regional cooperation and security cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan.The Middle East: A Review of Geopolitical Structures, Vectors of Power Dynamic

President Mahmoud Ajmadinejad stretched the rope to the limit in the security that the United States would not attack and would limit any individual action by Israel (a discarded project of bombarding the Natanz plant with commercial jets), as a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz through which it passes A third of the world’s energy traffic could exacerbate the global economic recession and profoundly weaken the entire international political system. Thus, in an interview with Brzezinski conducted by Gerald Posner in The Daily Beast (September 18, 2009), he stated that “an American-Iranian collision would have disastrous effects for the United States and China, while Russia would emerge as the great winner, as the foreseeable closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf where oil transportation destined for Northeast Asia (China, Japan and South Korea), Europe and the United States passes, would raise the price of black gold to stratospheric levels and would have severe repercussions on the economy global, becoming the totally crude EU dependent on Russia.

According to experts, Iran would possess the world’s third largest proven reserves of oil and gas, but it would not have enough technology to extract the gas from the deepest fields and would require an urgent multimillion-dollar investment to avoid irreversible deterioration of its facilities, which in practice it translates into a huge pie for Russian, Chinese and Western multinationals and an increase in the supply of Iranian crude oil to 1.5 million barrels / day within a year, with the consequent drop in prices. of the Brent and Texas reference crudes.

Furthermore, the revitalization of the 2010 energy cooperation agreement between Iraq, Iran and Syria for the construction of the South Pars-Homms gas pipeline that would connect the Persian Gulf with the Mediterranean Sea would relativize the strategic importance of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline Project (TAP) , (a substitute for the failed Nabucco gas pipeline designed by the US to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe through Turkey), as well as the relevant role of the United Arab Emirates as suppliers of crude oil to the West, which would explain the eagerness of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for torpedoing him.

America’s “Project of the New Middle East”

Ralph Peters Map: The Project for the New Middle East. Used for teaching purposes at the military academies. (“Unofficial”)  

Are Iraq and Iran the bait for the US to involve Russia and China in a new war?

Former President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in a speech to the Iranian-American National Council (NIAC) stated that “I believe that the US has the right to decide its own national security policy and not follow like a stupid mule what the Israelis do. ” In addition, Brzezinski, would be faced with the neocon republican and Jewish lobbies of the USA and with his habitual biting he would have discredited the geostrategic myopia of both pressure groups when affirming that “they are so obsessed with Israel, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Iran that they have lost from the global picture: the true power in the world is Russia and China, the only countries with a true capacity to resist the United States and England and on which they would have to focus their attention ”.

We would thus be at a crucial moment to define the mediate future of the Middle East and Middle East (PROME East), since after the arrival of Donald Trump from the White House the pressure of the pro-Israeli lobby of the USA (AIPAC) would be increasing to proceed the destabilization of Iran by expeditious methods, a moment that will be used by the United States, Great Britain and Israel to proceed to redesign the cartography of the unrelated puzzle formed by these countries and thus achieve strategically advantageous borders for Israel, following the plan orchestrated 60 years ago. jointly by the governments of Great Britain, the United States and Israel and which would have the backing of the main western allies. Thus, after the approval by the Congress and the US Senate of a declaration prepared by the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and the Democrat Robert Menéndez, who clearly states that “if Israel is forced to defend itself and take action (against Iran), the US will be at your side to support it militarily and diplomatically”, with the Trump Administration we will assist the increase in pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby of the USA (AIPAC) to proceed with the destabilization of Iran by expeditious methods.

In a first phase of said plan, the US Senate unanimously renewed the Sanctions Against Iran Act (ISA) until 2026 and after the launch of a new ballistic missile by Iran, Trump expanded the sanctions against several Iranian companies related to ballistic missiles without violating the Nuclear Agreement signed between the G + 5 and Iran in 2015, known as the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (JCPOA) and which would only be fireworks to distract attention from the Machiavellian Plan outlined by the Anglo-Jewish Alliance in 1960 that would include the Balkanization of Iran and whose turning point would be the recent assassination of the charismatic General Qasem Soleimani.

This war could lead to a new local episode that would be involve a return to a “recurrent endemism” of the US-Russia Cold War involving both superpowers having as necessary collaborations the major regional powers namely Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This Cold War scenario would cover the geographic space that extends from the Mediterranean arc (Libya, Syria and Lebanon) to Yemen and Somalia and having Iraq as its epicenter (recalling the Vietnam War with Lindon B. Johnson (1963-1.969).

Thus, Syria, Iraq and Iran would be the bait to attract both Russia and China and after triggering a concatenation of local conflicts (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon), this potentially could evolve towards a major regional conflict that could mark the future of the area in the coming years.

*

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Featured image is from Silent Crow NewsThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Germán Gorraiz López, Global Research, 2020

Why Did Russia Refuse Venezuela’s Request but Iran Accepted It?

By Elijah J. Magnier

Source

Tareck El Aissami Iran 257be

Iranian tankers were 2200 km from the US coast when the Iranian-flagged “Fortune”, followed by “Forest”, entered Venezuelan waters, challenging the US embargo and the US’s threats. The Islamic Republic was broadcasting loud and clear a strong message.

The first message was dispatched to the US administration after Gulf and Arab Leaders conveyed a direct message to the Iranian leaders: “Washington is determined to stop the Iranian tankers sailing to Venezuela”. Iran responded to all messages received that “its five tankers will sail to Venezuela and if any of these tankers is intercepted, Iran will respond in the Straits of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman or anywhere else it sees fit.”

“These five tankers – the Clavel, Fortune, Petunia, Forest and Faxul- are only the beginning of the supply to Venezuela. Iran has the right to send any of its tankers anywhere in the world and any US interception will be considered an act of piracy and will trigger a direct response,” said an Iranian decision-maker who revealed the Iranian response to the US administration via message-carriers.

“Iran had decided to avoid the horn of Africa because the plan was for the first tanker to reach the Venezuelan waters on the first day of Eid el-Fitr. The aim was to share an important day of the Islamic Republic’s defiance to the US in its backyard and to break the sanctions imposed on one of Iran’s main allies. It is a message for the “Axis of the Resistance” that Iran will not abandon its friends and allies anywhere in the world whatever the challenges. It is directly confronting the US by imposing a new rule of engagement”, said the source.

Iran shut its ears to all threatening messages from the US menace and instructed its five tankers to go not round the horn of Africa but through the Gulf of Aden via Bab al-Mandab strait, the Suez Canal and Gibraltar into the Atlantic Ocean- where the US has a strong presence and influence. This shortens the distance and it tested the intentions of the American Navy. Simultaneously, Iran informed its allies of its readiness to confront the US if ever an escalation should loom on the horizon so that these allies within the “Axis of the Resistance” are ready for a wider confrontation if needed.

The first Iranian tanker, “Fortune”, reached the Caribbean Sea on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, on Sunday 24th of May, with US Navy ships in the vicinity. The tankers are carrying over 10 million barrels of oil but also Alkylate and spare parts to start repairing any of the eight “out of order” refineries, to enable oil-rich Venezuela to be self-sufficient in the future. The US sanctions on Venezuela had paralyzed Venezuelan refineries and caused gasoline shortages, with the aim of overthrowing the legitimately elected President, Nicolas Maduro.

Iran is challenging the US administration and considers it a victory that its first tanker went through without being intercepted. Tehran considers this challenge to US authority much more significant than the downing of the US’s most sophisticated drone or the bombing of the US’s largest military base in Ayn al-Assad, Iraq.

“Our allies used to wonder why Iran was not confronting the US dominance face-to-face. In fact, we were preparing for this day, and what helps us the most is the US sanctions that force this country to be autonomous on many levels. Today, Iran and its allies are all equipped with strong ideology and motivation to face down US hegemony, with sufficiently advanced military and financial support to stand up to the US and its allies, both in the Middle East and outside the Middle East. Since World War II the US has not faced a challenge to its hegemony similar to the one Iran is representing, particularly when the main enemy, the US, believes that 40 years of sanctions and maximum pressure have crippled Iran’s capabilities. Imam Khamenei informed all our allies that the military and financial support to all of them will increase and will meet all their needs in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The Axis of the Resistance is now ready and united as one front”, said the source.

Venezuela had asked President Vladimir Putin for help. Russia said clearly it was not willing to send ships close to the US coast because that might support President Trump by triggering a false threat which could lead to unifying the national feeling behind him. This is why Putin had to refuse Venezuela’s request. Iran came forward at the first demand and was grateful for the opportunity to challenge the US and to pay back the support Venezuela offered in the year 2008 when Iran was in need and under heavy US sanctions that forbid technology transfer to build or repair its own refineries. Since then, Iran has built 11 refineries (and 3 more in Pars, Anahita and Bahman Geno which are still under construction) and is considered the third most important country in the world to have developed Gas to Liquid technology (GTL).

Since the US assassinated Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad’s airport, Iran has imposed new rules of engagement on the US. Its message consists in the inevitability of a response against its enemies if they hit Iran, and the threat that no attack will go unanswered. It seems Iran is no longer ready to turn the other cheek and has decided to take special measures to respond to any attack against its troops or interests, including in Syria (more details will be provided in another article). Also, Iran and its allies have raised the level of readiness to maximum in case the US administration decides to attack any aspect of Iran’s interests, particularly the flotilla heading to Venezuela.

Iran is not facing the US directly, and is not asking its allies to do the job on its behalf. The “Persian rug weaver” waited through 40 years of sanctions for this day, until its capability and preparations were completed. This means that now Iran will be tougher and harder, and that is manifest in the election of the new parliament and the new government. President Trump has abused and exhausted all the avenues used by President Hassan Rouhani. Therefore, any new negotiation between Iran and the US will be very difficult: there is a total lack of trust in any document signed by the US.

Whether a Republican or a Democrat reaches the White House at the end of 2020, they will be waiting by the phone for many long years if they imagine that Iran will take the initiative and call the US for a meeting. It will now be up to the US to prove to Iran that it is worth holding any negotiations at all.

Iran has planted robust roots in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It is now spreading towards Venezuela and will support President Maduro, a strategic rather than ideological ally, to stand against US hegemony and sanctions. More tankers are expected to follow in the very near future. Iran is eager to confront President Trump and tempt him into a confrontation only months before the elections. The Coronavirus mismanagement, the US’s rebuttal of its deals with Russia, Trump’s aggressive position towards China and the World Health Organisation, and his rejection of the Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA): all these are striking possibilities for a challenge to his re-election. This is why Iran is preparing more surprises for Trump- to show that his Middle Eastern policy is jeopardizing the safety and security of the US and its allies both in Europe and the Middle East, and indeed global world security.

العراق الفصل الأخير ما قبل لفظ الأنفاس عين الأسد تفشل… ارمِ ببصرك أقصى القوم!

أكتوبر 8, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

فشل الانقلاب الأميركي السعودي على حكومة عادل عبد المهدي…!

والشعب العراقي وحلفاؤه لم يسمحوا بتحقيق اختراق في محور حلف المقاومة بالصدمة والرعب، كما فعلوا بسيناريو داعش من الموصل وهو ما حاولوا تكراره في الأيام الأخيرة!

من خراسان الى صور ومن شانغهاي إلى بيروت ومن شبه جزيرة القرم الى دير الزور يجتهد المحور المنتصر على الأحادية الأميركية بإعادة ترتيب مسرح العمليات قبل استكمال الفصل الأخير من إغلاق ملف الحرب على الإرهاب…!

في المقابل يحاول المحور المهزوم بقيادة أميركا وأذنابها الهجوم على البطن الرخوة في جبهة حلف المقاومة أيّ العراق، مستميتاً استعادة بعض الحياة لصفوف قواته التي تلقت ضربات استراتيجية جعلته يترنّح من مضيق هرمز الى باب المندب ومن بنت جبيل الى البصرة…!

الهجوم الممنهج والمنظم الإعلامي والأمني والسياسي و المطلبي المشروع على حكومة بغداد وحلفائها الإقليميين والدوليين ثمة من يشبّهه بالمحاولة الأخيرة التي استمات فيها هتلر في ساعاته الأخيرة قبل دخول السوفيات وحلفائهم في دول المحور إلى برلين فاتحين في نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية!

إنه تفصيل من تفاصيل المشهد الاستراتيجي أن تصمد حكومة عادل عبد المهدي أو تسقط في الاختبار. كذلك هو تفصيل آخر أن تنجح السعودية وتوابعها في المشاغبة على مسرح عمليات نصر حلف المقاومة من خلال تهييج الشارع العراقي وتوظيف مطالبه المشروعة في الإصلاح…!

فكلّ ما فعلوه واحتمال تكراره في شوارع العراق هو بمثابة الهجوم الأخير قبل لفظ الأنفاس والموت المحقق لتحالف العدوان والإرهاب الدولي..!

حتى الهجوم في البادية السورية من السخنة إلى الشولة بقيادة غرفة عمليات التنف قبل أيام قليلة ليس إلا تفصيلاً من محاولات غرفة عمليات عين الأسد البائسة واليائسة من أجل استرداد زمام المبادرة…!

مساعي تطويق الصين وروسيا وإيران سقطت قبل أيام في إعادة افتتاح معبر القائم البوكمال. وبقية الرواية سيكتبها الفاتحون لعصر ما بعد الهيمنة الأميركية، وإليكم المشهد عينياً وميدانياً كما تراه إحدى غرف عمليات الجيش الأميركي المهزوم الفرعية الناشطة في تل أبيب:

نشر موقع ديبكا، الاستخباري الإسرائيلي، موضوعاً بتاريخ 3/10/2019، حول التمرين العسكري المشترك الذي تُجريه القوات السورية الروسية الإيرانية في محافظة دير الزور السورية، في مناطق قريبة من قاعدة التنف الأميركية.

أهمّ ما جاء في التقرير ما يلي:

1. مصادر عسكرية روسية أكدت لديبكا فايل أنّ وحدات من القوات الخاصة الروسية الى جانب قوات سورية وإيرانية تشارك في هذا التدريب.

2. وصول طائرات حربية إيرانية وطائرات بدون طيار إلى سورية للمشاركة في هذا التدريب.

3. توفير القيادة العسكرية الروسية غطاءً جوياً / مظلة جوية / للقوات المشاركة في هذا التدريب، وذلك من خلال نشر بطاريات صواريخ دفاع جوي روسية، من طراز / بانتسير 1 / وبانتسير 2 / في منطقة انتشار تلك القوات.

4. بدء وصول قوافل عسكرية روسية، تتضمّن آليات نقل عسكرية ثقيلة، تحرّكت من قواعد في شبه جزيرة القرم وجنوب أوسيتيا، عبر القائم / البوكمال / الذي أعيد افتتاحه قبل ثلاثة أيّام فقط. وهو ما يُضيف طريق إمداد بري جديد للقوات الروسية العاملة في سورية، الى جانب طريقي الإمداد البحري والجوي.

5. وبما أنّ القوات الروسية أصبحت تستخدم طريق الإمداد العسكري نفسه، الى سورية، الذي تستخدمه إيران، فإنّ ذلك سيزيد من صعوبة مهاجمة هذه الطريق الدولية من قبل إسرائيل .

تعليقنا: هذا ما تحدّثنا به قبل أكثر من سنة… عن أهمية فتح طريق إمداد بري للقوات الروسية المرابطة في سورية، خاصة في حال نزاع دولي كبير، قد يؤدي الى إغلاق مضائق الدردنيل التركية وقناة السويس ومضيق جبل طارق. وبالتالي قطع إمدادات الأساطيل الروسية في البحر المتوسط والقوات الجوية والبرية الروسية على اليابسة السورية.

اذن فإنّ الخط البري الجديد، الرابط بين روسيا وإيران والعراق وسورية ولبنان وفلسطين هو خط استراتيجي، ليس فقط لحلف المقاومة، وإنما لكلّ من روسيا والصين أيضاً على الصعيد الاستراتيجي البعيد المدى. بالإضافة الى الأهمية العملياتية، بالنسبة لقوات حلف المقاومة، المتمثلة في فتح طريق إمداد حيوي جداً ووضع حدّ للعربدة الجوية الأميركية الإسرائيلية في منطقة غرب الأنبار وشمال شرق سورية. أيّ وقف الغارات على مواقع الجيش العربي السوري في محيط البوكمال / دير الزُّور / وكذلك ضد الحشد الشعبي في منطقة القائم / عكاشات / حديثة.

ضربُ حلفنا صار بحكم الماضي..

وتقدّمنا نحو الأهداف المرجوة بات أكيداً بفضل صبرنا الاستراتيجي…

وخططهم لزعزعة جبهتنا فشلت وآخرها مؤامرة غرفة عمليات عين الأسد …!

ارمِ ببصرك أقصى القوم…

سترى النصر قاب قوسين أو أدنى…

وتلك الأيام نداولها بين الناس.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله…

جاكلين والوفاء العظيم .. وخيانة قناة السويس ..بقلم عبد الله رجب

Source

منذ فترة تناقل الوطنيون السوريون خبر رحيل جاكلين خطيبة الاستشهادي الأول الضابط السوري جول جمال الذي فجر نفسه في البارجة الفرنسية التي هاجمت بورسعيد المصرية ابان العدوان الثلاثي على مصر عام 56 ..

جول جمال ضابط سوري “مسيحي” قدم نفسه قربانا سوريا من أجل مصر .. وبقي السوريون مخلصين له ولبطولته الفريدة .. وأخلصت له خطيبته بتقديمها درسا في الوفاء العظيم عندما بقيت تلبس خاتم الخطبة دون ان تنزعه حتى آخر لحظة تنفست فيها في هذه الحياة .. وكأنها تقول له ان وفاءه العظيم لأرضه ومبادئه وشعبه يستحق ان يلاقى بالوفاء العظيم ..

وفي هذه الحرب الوطنية العظمى التي عصفت بسورية منذ ثماني سنوات كان السوريون يكتشفون ان وفاء جول جمال العظيم لارضه كان حالة تعكس ثقافة مجتمع فدائي بلا حدود .. ولكن الاخبار التي يتناقلها الناس وبعض القنوات الرسمية عن انضمام قناة السويس الى الحصار الخانق على الشعب السوري ومنع مرور شحنات النفط الإيراني الى سورية فتق الجراح ونكأها ونزفت دما حتى انها لو وصلت الى قناة السويس لجعلتها حمراء .. فطوابير السيارات بلا نهاية أمام محطات الوقود .. وكل الفقراء الذين يعتمودون على وسائل النقل العام لايصلون الى أعمالهم ولا يقدرون على العمل ويفقدون موارد رزقهم اليومي وخبز أطفالهم ..

ربما لايدري كثير من المصريين أن قناة السويس افتداها ضابط البحرية السوري جول جمال بدمه عندما اندفع الشعب السوري للدفاع عن كرامة مصر وحقها المطلق في تأميم قناة السويس .. ولم يكن جول جمال وجيله من السوريين قادرا على أن يتحمل ان تفقد مصر كبرياءها ومورد رزقها وعنوان استقلالها المتمثل في قناة السويس وان يحاصر الأعداء مصر وشعبها من قناة السويس .. ولكن جاء اليوم الذي تحاصر فيه قناة السويس الشعب السوري الذي أهداها ابنه جول جمال الذي كان افتداها بروحه كي تبقى قناة السويس حرة وملكا لأهلها المصريين ..

كيف تخلص امرأة اسمها جاكلين لبطل ولاتبادله أمة بحجم مصر الإخلاص وهو الذي افتداها وترك من أجلها أمه واباه وترك حبيبته ؟؟..

هل أعتذر من جول جمال أنه حرر قناة السويس كي يأتي يوم تحاصر فيه القناة التي حررها بدمه شعبه وأمه واباه واخوته ورفاقه الذين عادوا من مصر من دون ان يعود جثمانه معهم .. فربما لايزال جسده يطفو ويهيم على وجه الموج وفي أعماق بورسعيد .؟؟.
لاأدري كيف أنقل الخبر الى روحه ولاأدري كيف أكتب له رسالة كي أتجنب النظر في عينيه .. ولاأدري كيف أبدأ الكتابة ..

فهل مثلا أقول له ان سفن فرنسا وبريطانيا وإسرائيل وأميريكا تمر على أشلائه وبقايا جسده فيما سفن سورية وأصدقائها محرمة على القناة؟؟ هل أقول له اغفر لنا اننا لانملك شيئا في تلك القناة التي دفعنا دمك ثمنا لها وان دول العدوان الثلاثي التي دحرها بجسده وأجساد المصريين والسوريين هي التي تقرر من له الحق في عبور القناة .. ؟؟
هل تراني أقول له ان دمك الذي كان وقودا لملايين العرب والمصريين واضاء قناديل المصريين والمشرقيين صار مثل بقعة زيت عائمة تدوسها سفن إسرائيل واميريكا في الذهاب والإياب ؟؟

لو عاد الزمن ياجول الى تلك اللحظة التي وضعت فيها كل الذخائر والمتفجرات في مقدمة الزورق الانتحاري الذي صعدت اليه وودعت اصدقاءك .. لهرولت وقلت لك .. الهوينى ياجول .. انني أرى لحظة في الزمان لو رأيتها لوقفت وقلت لنفسك ماكان دمي يوما بالرخيص الا من أجل الأوفياء والانقياء .. فكيف يامصر لاتحفظين الجميل .. فتخلص لي امرأة .. وتنساني أمة بحجم مصر ؟؟

فيا مصر لا تخذلي من ترك أهله أمانة في عنقك ووضع كل ثقته في أنك لن تخذلي دمه الذي سقاك الحرية …

   ( الأحد 2019/04/21 SyriaNow)

India, Iran, Russia push alternative to Suez Canal

The International North-South Transport Corridor is to link the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia and North Europe.

The International North-South Transport Corridor is to link the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia and North Europe.

Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:00AM

India, Iran and Russia will meet next month to discuss the operation of a 7,200 km trade and transport corridor that presents a cheaper and shorter alternative to the traditional route through the Suez Canal.

A general view of the Suez Canal from Al Salam Peace bridge on the Ismalia desert road before the opening ceremony of the New Suez Canal, in Egypt

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a multimode network of sea and rail routes, will link the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia and North Europe.

The project comes in the backdrop of China’s multi-trillion-dollar One Belt One Road initiative. Within Iran, the two routes overlap in a potential boon to future businesses.

New Delhi has been actively courting Tehran, given the utmost importance it attaches to the route and Iran has been receptive.

Once operational, the corridor will allow India to send its goods to Bandar Abbas in Iran by sea, from where they will be transported to Iran’s Bandar Anzali on the Caspian Sea by road. Next, they will be shipped to Astrakhan in Russia and transported into Europe by rail.

Image result for India, Iran, Russia push alternative to Suez Canal

The route will cut the time and cost of delivering goods by about 30 percent to more than 40 percent. Compared with the Suez Canal, the corridor will reduce the transport time between Mumbai and Moscow to about 20 days. The estimated capacity of the corridor is 20 to 30 million tonnes of goods per year.

India’s Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday met a Russian business delegation in New Delhi, where he said “all issues may be resolved in order to operationalize the (INSTC) route as early as possible.”

An official statement said India, Russia and Iran will hold a trilateral meeting on November 23 to make the route operational soon, Indian media reported Tuesday.

“The INSTC is the shortest multimodal transportation route linking the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf via Iran to Russia and North Europe,” India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in the statement.

To access resource-rich Central Asia, India has to route its goods either through China, Europe or Iran. The routes through China and Europe are long, expensive and time consuming, with Iran being the most viable one.

The first dry run of the INSTC was conducted in August 2014 and the second in April 2017.

India is seeking to leverage the strategic Chabahar port in southeast Iran to link with the INSTC.

The country has committed $500 million to Chabahar that it is building chiefly to crack open a trade and transport route to landlocked Afghanistan.

Last week, senior officials from the two countries met their counterpart in Tehran to discuss a full commissioning of the port that the three countries are jointly developing.

It was the first trilateral meeting of the Coordination Council of the Chabahar Agreement, coming in the face of fresh sanctions imposed by Washington on the Islamic Republic.

“All sides shared the view that a full operationalization of the trilateral Chabahar initiative will promote connectivity and economic development of Afghanistan and the region,” India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

For landlocked Afghanistan, the corridor means opening the way to billions of dollars in trade and cutting the country’s dependence on foreigners for aid as well as stemming the illicit opium trade.

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قوّة مصر.. بالتنسيق مع دمشق وبغداد

قوّة مصر.. بالتنسيق مع دمشق وبغداد 

هاني الحلبي

يوليو 1, 2017

منذ أيام وقّع الرئيس المصري المشير عبد الفتاح السيسي اتفاقية ما سُمّي «نقل السيّادة» على جزيرتي تيران وصنافير للمملكة السعودية، ما حوّل ممر تيران البحري ممراً دولياً، بين أربع دول مجاورة ثلاث عربية والرابعة هي دولة الاحتلال قيد الزوال «إسرائيل»، التي أعلنت في اليوم التالي فوراً، شروعها بشق قناة بن غوريون بين البحر المتوسط والبحر الأحمر بموازاة قناة السويس، وبمزايا أفضلية مطلقة عليها، حيث ستصبح أخطر شريان يجمع البحار والقارات ويستقطب الحروب حوله.

وحسب تقارير «إسرائيلية» أكدت فروغ دولة العدو من التخطيط لإنشاء القناة الجديدة المزمع شقها. وأوضح مهندسون «إسرائيليون» أن بشق قناة بن غوريون، مؤسس دولة العدو وأول رئيس وزرائها، تحقق «إسرائيل» تفوّقاً استراتيجياً واقتصادياً دولياً على جيرانها، ومن مزايا هذا التفوق:

ستكونا القناة منافسة بقوة لقناة السويس، بسبب أنهما تربطان بين البحرين نفسيهما ولا تفصل بينهما سوى مئات معدودة من الكيلومترات، فأيّ زبون سيمرّ بالقناة الجديدة ستخسره قناة السويس ويكون على حساب الدخل الوطني المصري منها.

المسافة بين مدينة إيلات والبحر المتوسط قريبة من المسافة التي تشكل طول قناة السويس بين البحرين، بل ستقوم «إسرائيل» بخفض طولها عن طول قناة السويس، حسب ما ذكرت صحيفة «القدس العربي».

سيكون أسلوب المرور في قناة بن غوريون وفق خطين، أحدهما للذهاب وآخر مجاور له للاياب، بينما في قناة السويس يتم فتح القناة في يوم واحد لخط مرور واحد، ما يعني أن السفن التي تعاكس خط السير في هذا اليوم عليها الانتظار لتفتح القناة في الاتجاه الآخر في اليوم التالي. وهكذا يتم توفير وقت طويل مهم جداً لجدوى الرحلات البحرية والشحن الدولي. وبالتالي سيتم حفر قناتين مستقلتين متجاورتين، واحدة من البحر الأحمر إلى المتوسط، والثانية من المتوسط إلى البحر الأحمر، فلا تتأخر أية سفينة بانتظار دورها، في حين تستغرق السفن لتجتاز قناة السويس أسبوعين كاملين.

تقدّم القناة لـ«إسرائيل» فرص بناء مدن سياحية مجاورة للقناة ومحطاتها، لتنقلها إلى مرتبة سياحية واقتصادية غير محدودة.

سيكون عمق القناة 50 متراً، بزيادة 10 أمتار عن قناة السويس، ما يسمح لأكبر قياس السفن في العالم حالياً بالعبور فيها. هكذا يمكن عبور سفينة بطول 300 متر وعرض 110 أمتار.

مدة الشق والبناء ستكون 3 سنوات فقط، كما هو مخطّط، وسيُشغل المشروع 150 ألف عامل، من دول صديقة لكيان العدو، تعزز بتشغيلهم قيمتها السوقية الدولية واستقطابها التنافسي.

كلفة حفر القناة متوقع أن تكون حوالي 14 ملياراً، لن تتكلف منها الخزينة «الإسرائيلية» ولا دافع الضرائب «الإسرائيلي» شيكلاً واحداً، بمعنى لن تصيب موازنة الدولة بأيّ عبء، لأنّ 3 مصارف أميركية ستتولى تمويل الكلفة بفائدة 1 في المئة على أن تردَّ القروض خلال 30 سنة.

متوقع أن يبلغ مدخول قناة بن غوريون 4 مليارات دولار وما فوق في السنة، فضلاً عن فرص العمل والخدمات والتطوير العقاري واستصلاح أراضٍ محتلة شبه صحراوية وغيرها.. التي ستنشأ من تثوير الدورة الاقتصادية في الكيان الصهيوني.

كما ستسعى «إسرائيل» إلى إقناع الأردن بجرِّ مياه من هذه القناة إلى البحر الميت، فإذا وافق الأردن فانّ أنابيب ضخمة ستصبُّ من قناة بن غوريون إلى البحر الميت، مقابل تسهيلات تقدّم للأردن لإقامة فنادق ومنتجعات أردنية على البحر الميت. ما يزيد من تورّط الأردن بالتعاون مع كيان العدو ولا يرى سواه منقذاً من محنته المالية.

سيتمّ تأمين أمن القناة بأحدث تقنيات الرصد والتجسّس والمراقبة، بوضع أجهزة تجسّس وأجهزة مراقبة في العمق، ومعدات تصوير وكشف لتعرية حمولات السفن العابرة بأشعة الليزر ذهاباً أو إياباً.

رأت مصر أن إذا نفذت «إسرائيل» مشروع قناة بن غوريون فسيصيب خفض مدخولها من 8 مليارات إلى 4 مليارات دولار، بينما ستنال «إسرائيل» مدخول 4 مليارات وأكثر، من دون أن تتحمّل أيّ كلفة من دخلها العام.

اعترضت الدولة المصرية على المشروع «الإسرائيلي»، وهدّدت بقطع العلاقة معها وإلغاء أيّ اتفاقية تربط بين الدولتين. لكن «إسرائيل»، لم تكترث للموقف المصري وكأنه بلا وزن وبلا قدرة، فالعلاقات الدبلوماسية شبه مقطوعة، والتهديد العسكري مضبوط، بعد مصادرة قرار مصر منذ بضعة عقود، حتى تلاشى تأثيرها وغدت مجرد تابع صغير للقاطرة السعودية. وبخاصة بعد توجيه الجهد العسكري المصري نحو ليبيا وآفاقه مفتوحة على المزيد من التورّط والغرق في رمالها.

أين مصر الآن؟

ببساطة هذه عاقبة الخيارات الاستسلامية وتعطيل قوى المجتمع الفاعلة بنظام الحسبة والمزرعة والحراسات وحزب السلطة الواحد، الذي كانت تتغيّر تسميته بين شهر وآخر، ولم يتمكّن حزب السلطة في أفضل حالاته من مواجهة استحقاقات المشاركة الشعبية بأكثر من وزن كاريزما رئيس تاريخي كجمال عبد الناصر، لكن هذه الكاريزما لم تتمأسس في حركة قومية فاعلة.

مصر التي تنازلت عن محيطها ورهنت انتماءها ومصالحها بوعود مصارف أجنبية، أولها صندوق النقد الدولي، وبمنح سعودية وهبات ميسّرة وإيداعات مؤقتة كانت تعالج سرطانها القاتل بحبوب بنسلين!

لا علاج كافياً قبل الانهيار التام إلا بإعادة تقييم واقع مصر وعلاقتها الجبهوية مع دمشق وبغداد.

دمشق وبغداد كانتا مهدّدتين أيضاً، كالقاهرة وأكثر، سلّتا سيوفهما وقدّمتا أعز أبطالهما قرابين انتصار، فكان طوعَها. وبلقاء جيشيهما عناق أمة تقوم.

قوة مصر أن تكون عزوة لهذه الأمة في قيامتها، وقوة احتياط استراتيجي لتكون هذه الأمة حليفاً يوم تُستهدف مصر ويتم تعطيش شعبها واستنزاف اقتصادها.

لا حلّ، قبل خطة استراتيجية ينكبّ بها السوريون والمصريون على تحرير فلسطين، كلّ فلسطين.

باحث وناشر موقع حرمون haramoon.com

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Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

A review of the book authored by David Cronin

By Jim Miles GlobalResearch,

July 01, 2017

The Balfour Declaration, currently accepted by many as the founding legal statement for the establishment of Israel is really nothing more than a letter. It was a letter of policy between government personnel and became a major part of foreign policy then, and its shadow effects have continued on rather effectively to now. Balfour’s Shadow is a well written outline of the history of events after the letter: the immediate short term effects on British policy after WW I; the medium range policies that continued until after WW II; up to Britain’s current policy of advocating for and dealing with Israel. It is not a pretty story.

The letter was not necessarily well intended. Balfour himself was anti-Semitic. Yet the letter offered support to the Zionists for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Several factors accounted for this, one of them being this very anti-Semitism, as many British felt that Jews would never assimilate into their society.

Several other factors came into play: Jewish support in the war effort was considered necessary; the British wanted to protect the Suez Canal as the main route through to its then colonies of south Asia, mainly India; and natural resources, oil, became a major interest after oil was discovered in abundance in the Middle East. A colonial outpost would, Britain believed, help consolidate control of the region against Arab interests in an era when British racism ran rampant throughout its colonial networks.

From that beginning, Cronin highlights the major factors in the relationship between Zionists, Jews, and the British government. He deals specifically with events pertaining to the government, and does not detail all that transpired during Britain’s occupation via the Palestinian Mandate. But the general thread of the history is exposed throughout the work, accessible to both those with a strong background in the history and those just entering into the discovery process of Middle East history. For the latter, Balfour’s Shadow provides enough detail that a reader should be motivated to research more information through other works (of which there are many).

Author David Cronin

(Source: @dvcronin / Twitter)

In general, Cronin reveals that the methods used by the British to control the indigenous population of Palestine laid the foundation for the ethnic cleansing and later suppression of the Palestinian people. Much history has been written about the Haganah, Stern, and Irgun ‘gangs’ fighting against the British, but the general trend of British behaviour was to support the increasing settlement patterns, evictions, and land grabs of the Zionist settlers.

After the nakba, Britain continued to supply Israel with military support ranging from hundreds of tanks, many planes, up to and including nuclear systems, in particular the sale of heavy water through Norway. This period was a transition from British global power to U.S. global power: after the fake war for the Suez Canal and the later pre-emptive war of 1967, the U.S. had clearly taken the lead in supporting Israel. Britain however did not let go.

Indeed, Britain became one of the strongest voices in support of Israel as military trade and financial/corporate interests continued with mostly behind the scenes activities.

Additional information is provided showing how the British worked to sideline the PLO by effectively recruiting Arafat as leader of a recognized PLO ‘government’, leading to the false promises of the Oslo accords and the continued annexation, settlement, and dispossession of the Palestinians.

For contemporary events, Cronin highlights the bizarre career of Tony Blair. At this point in time Blair was truly a “loyal lieutenant” for the U.S., adopting and promulgating U.S. policy for Israel and the Middle East in general. Bringing the work up to current events, “Partners in Crime” outlines the corporate-military ties between Britain, Israel, and the U.S.. Most of the corporate interest is military procurement going both directions – hardware to Israel, spyware and security ware to Britain. As always, these corporations (Ferranti, Affinity, Elbit, Rafael, Rokar, Lockheed-Martin) changed British views – at least of the elites – from tentative support to solidarity. These friendly relations also helped tie Israel into the EU more strongly.

Today, official British policy remains as an ardent supporter of Israel, with a lasting pride in Israel’s founding. The British colonial heritage rages on in the Middle East.

This is an excellent work most specifically for its focus on British attitudes concerning the development of Zionism/Israel, a history of war crimes and apartheid. Kudos to Cronin for his extensive use of many personal diaries and notices and of official records from War and Colonial office files as well as Foreign and Commonwealth files for more recent materials. It is concise and direct, an accessible read that can serve as a prerequisite for Middle East studies/Zionist studies and as a general guide to British policy for Israel. [1]

***

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Title: Balfour’s Shadow – A Century of British Support for Zionism and Israel

Author: David Cronin

Publisher: Pluto Press, London

Click here to order.

Notes

[1] Many books cover the development of Zionism and the creation of Israel. For a more highly detailed development of the historical situation preceding and leading up to the Balfour letter itself, the best I have read is: The Balfour Declaration – The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Jonathan Schneer. Anchor (Random House), Canada. 2012.

This review was first published in Palestine Chronicle, June 29, 2017.

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المعارضة السورية: بين الوطنية والتبعية

يعاتبني بعض المصريين لما يشعرون بأنه اهتمام زائد بالشأن السوري وينتقدني بعض السوريين بما يعتبرونه تدخلا في شؤون بلدهم.

 من الواضح أن الفئة الأولى لديها قصور شديد بأهمية مستقبل سورية على مصر والأمن القومي المشترك أما الفئة الثانية فموقفها يثير الدهشة العارمة؛ فهم يقبلون تدخل عنان والإبراهيمي والجبير وكيري وفورد وأوباما وأولاند وكاميرون وأردوغان بل إن بعضهم ينادي، من دون خجل، بالتدخل الأجنبي والحماية الدولية، والبعض الآخر يتعاون مع الكيان الصهيوني. أقول بالبلدي «اشمعنى». علي أي حال فإن مساهمتي ليست تدخلا بل مشاركة واجبة في شأن يخص مباشرة كل مصري وسوري وعربي ملتزم، إن كنتم لا تعلمون! وحتى على المستوى الفردي نجد أن حريقاً في منزل مجاور يستدعي فوراً مساعدة الجيران، ليس فقط حماية لهم، بل لدرأ الخطر عن النفس فما بال الأمر عندما يكون متعلقاً بمصالح شعب ومستقبل أمة!

وفي الوقت الذي تتعرض فيه سورية لعدوان قوى الرجعية العربية والتكفيرية والصهيونية بقيادة الإمبريالية العالمية فمن القصور الذهني الشديد والجهل العميق عدم التمسك بمنهج الرؤية الشاملة الواعية بالأبعاد الجغرافية والتاريخية والتنموية والثقافية في إطار علاقات القوى العالمية.

المعارضات السياسية وأنواعها
 
ليس غريباً أن تكون هناك ألوان وأطياف مختلفة بين معارضين للسلطة قي أي مكان وأي زمان والمعارضة السورية الحالية لا تتميز عن معارضات أخرى في هذا الأمر. وعلينا أن نتذكر على سبيل المثال ما حدث إبان الغزو الثلاثي على مصر عام 1956 عندما استعدت عناصر معادية لنظام عبد الناصر لاستلام الحكم أما الإخوان المسلمون فلم يخف بعض عناصرهم فرحتهم بقرب وصول المنقذ الأجنبي. وهل ننسى عندما أعلن الشيخ الشعراوي صلاته شكرا لله لهزيمة 1967. عندما نقول إن هذا التصرفات متوقعة من عناصر لا تكترث بالوطن وكرهها العميق لقيادات الدولة تؤدي لانحرافها، إلا أن هذا لا يمنعنا من الشعور بالاشمئزاز العميق والاحتقار الشديد لأصحابها.
 

عندما نعطي أي معارضة صفة الوطنية أو غير الوطنية، لا بد أن أردنا الموضوعية أن نحدد مقاييس واضحة وثابتة لما هو وطني أو غير وطني. إن أهم هذه المعايير أنه إذا واجه الوطن خطر داهم كعدوان خارجي أو إرهاب مدمر، يتحتم علي المعارضين الوطنيين تنحية كل الخلافات جانباً مؤقتاً حتى يزول الخطر، وعدم إعطاء أي فرصة للمعتدي أن يستغل أياً من هذه الخلافات لمصلحته. ولا يمكن اعتبار من يكسر أو يتخلى عن هذا المبدأ الراسخ شعبياً عبر العصور معارضاً وطنياً.
 
المعارضة التابعة
تعلمنا أن أوقات الشدة سواء على المستوي الشخصي أو الوطني تفرز ما هو أصيل وما هو زائف. فعندما بشرت قوى العدوان أن النظام السوري على وشك الانهيار سارعت شخصيات معارضة لإعلان مواقفها الانتهازية تحت رداء الحماس المخادع «للديمقراطية» و«الحرية» دون اكتراث بمصير الوطن أو الأهداف المدمرة التي سعى المعتدون لتحقيقها. رأينا البعض ينادي بالحماية الدولية والبعض الآخر يشجع ضباط وجنود الجيش الوطني على التمرد أو الانشقاق بل تبني البعض علما استخدم أيام الانتداب الفرنسي بدلا من علم الجمهورية العربية المتحدة. وقابل البعض السفير الأميركي فورد، رمز العدوان والتآمر. هل طلب الحماية من أطراف مارست العدوان والنهب والاحتلال على الأمة العربية مثل أميركا أو دول أوروبية عاتية في الاستعمار، حتى لو كانت مرتدية الثوب الدولي، وهيئة الأمم، هل يكون هذا عملاً وطنياً؟ والمهم أن هناك نماذج حديثة أمامنا لمثل هذا التدخل الأممي في العراق وليبيا ويوغسلافيا، والتخريب الهائل الذي لحق بهذه الدول وشعوبها.
 
ورغم تطور الأمور ووضوح طبيعة ما تتعرض له سورية، ما زال يطل علينا عبر التلفزيون نماذج مختلفة من المعارضة السورية فمنهم من يردد نفس مقولات ومصطلحات الأعداء ما يجعل من الصعوبة التمييز بين مواقفهم ومواقف العدو المتربص. وهناك من يخفي منطلقاته العنصرية والمذهبية فيجيء خطابه متسما بالبلاهة والعته. وهناك من يغير مواقفه فيفقد احترام الجميع لانتهازيته الفجة. مشهد جنوني، هزلي يشبه مسرحيات اللامعقول. عندما يقول أحدهم إن الحل السياسي لا بد أنه سبق الحل العسكري، وهو لا يملك أي حضور في الواقع، فالأجدر به أن يقول صراحة «على السلطة أن تستسلم لإرهابيي النصرة وأحرار الشام وجيش الفتح وداعش… إلخ».
 
تعويذة «بشار لازم يرحل»
لماذا يصر كيري وفورد وأولاند وأردوغان وغيرهم على رحيل الأسد؟ وكما عبر مواطن مصري في مقهى شعبي «مال أهلكم». ما شأن هؤلاء؟ هل هم مواطنون سوريون؟ فإن هذا الأمر تحديداً يخص السوريين وحدهم. أصبحت هذه المقولة بمنزلة تعويذة للقيادات الأميركية وتوابعهم العرب تردد كل صباح ومساء قبل الأكل وبعده.. «لابد من رحيل الأسد».. «الأسد قاتل لشعبه».. «الأسد دكتاتور لا بد من إزاحته» مقولات تردد من دون وعي أو منطق كأي إعلان لمنتج أميركي. فكيف أن رحيل الأسد سيجلب الرخاء والنعيم للشعب السوري؟ وهل أصبحت سعادة الشعب السوري شغلكم الشاغل فجأة؟ أن أحد ألاعيب قوى الهيمنة هي اختزال شعب ودولة ومؤسساتها وتاريخها في شخص تم تصويره كأنه صاحب كل المصائب وبذلك لا بد من إزاحته وهذا يتطلب بالضرورة حملة لتسويق واسعة. أعطي هذا الأسلوب غطاء للتآمر والعدوان والاحتلال في أماكن عديدة مثل العراق وليبيا ورومانيا وبنما وكوبا… لم تستعمل تعويذة الرحيل في حالات أخرى مثل حكم آل ـسعود والكيان الصهيوني والسفاح بينوشييه في شيلي وساليزار في البرتغال وغيرهم الكثيرون من أتباع الإمبريالية. لن ينجح هذا الأسلوب في الحالة السورية لأسباب موضوعية أهمها صمود الشعب وجيشه الوطني.
 
الوجه المضيء والمشرف للمعارضة الوطنية
 
هناك وجه آخر يستدعي الإشادة الكبيرة به، أصحابه معارضون ملتزمون بوطنيتهم رغم اختلافاتهم القوية مع النظام. هذه العناصر تعطي نموذجاً رائعاً لماهية المعارضة الوطنية. فالمبدأ الأساسي الذي يرقى لمستوى القانون هو: «عندما تقع الدولة ومؤسساتها ومستقبلها تحت تهديد مباشر من أعدائها يصطف المعارضون الوطنيون وراء النظام وتؤجل الخلافات من دون تناسيها لحماية الوطن». أعرف أحد هؤلاء المعارضين السوريين الذي قال «أعارض النظام بشدة ولكني مستعد تضحية بحياتي لحمايته» إن مثل هذه الشخصيات هي التي تشكل حماية قوية للوطن كما أنها تمثل عنصراً أساسياً للصمود، وبعد ذلك الانتصار. يذكرني هذا الموقف لمساجين سياسيين حبسهم عبد الناصر عندما بكوا بحرقة عند علمهم بوفاته».
 
من المنطقي إذاً أن نجد على الساحة السورية مواقف واضحة ومعلنة من معارضين سوريين يقفون مع النظام في مواجهته للإرهاب وأعداء الأمة كأولية تمليها المخاطر المحدقة من دون التناسي أو التخلي عن طموحاتهم من أجل بناء مجتمع سوري أكثر عدلاً وحرية ونهضة تشمل تقدماً علمياً وتكنولوجياً. لا نستبعد بل نتوقع مواقف جماعية معلنة في هذا الوقت تحديداً لأصحاب هذا التوجه. سيمثل هذا الموقف دعماً قوياً للجبهة المناوئة للإرهاب والقوى المساندة له. إن إعلان هذا الموقف المساند للدولة في هذا التوقيت تحديداً، سيكون له أهمية بالغة لعزل المعارضين الانتهازيين وإغلاق الباب على النهج الطائفي والمذهبي للحفاظ على سيادة الوطن واستقلالية قراراته.
 
أستاذ الكيمياء الفيزيائية بجامعة الإسكندرية وجامعة ولاية ميشجان سابقاً
 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian 

  

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Four Decades After the Tishrin

Four Decades After the Tishrin

War Self-Delusion

by FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus

Is Damascus this weekend and many other areas of Syria, citizens will celebrate the accomplishments of the October 6, 1973 19 day war launched jointly by Syrian and Egyptian armies to regain Arab land illegally occupied in 1967.In Syria, the celebration will honor the 6,000 Syrians who died during the battle. Many events are planned including special television broadcasts, re-visiting the conflict, including art exhibits, plays, films, concerts, rallies, and wreath-laying ceremonies. The public and government officials will appear at the monument, located on the top of Qasioun Mountain in Damascus, not doubt mindful of the sacrifices being made today In Egypt, October 6 is Armed Forces Day, commemorating the Egyptians’ role in the October War.For both peoples, breaking Israel’s sense of invincibility after its 1967 aggression was victory enough.The results of the battle were mixed as history records, but the political and military effects are still indelible, as Zionist leaders exhibit a certain bi-polarization. Many analysts and pro-Zionist “think tanks” are holding seminars on the subject in occupied Palestine and some also in the US, with many attendees still gnashing their teeth at what went wrong forty years ago. For many Israelis, the surprise battle that killed nearly 3000 Israeli soldiers threatened to destroy the so-called ‘Third Temple’ thus eliminating the last 19th centery colonial enterprise.  ”Academic” seminars, in “professional” strategic forums – even in the IDF and the intelligence establishment are planned just as have been organized every year since 1973.Many Israelis are still condemning their political leaders at the time, particularly then Prime Minister  Golda Meir and military ‘heroes’ from the 1967 aggression as incompetents derelict in their military duties including lack of preparedness. The adulation for General Moshi Dayan resulting from 1967 turned ugly in October of 1973 as many families picketed and chanted “murderer” for the killing of their sons and daughters. The repentance appears to intensify each year over the “Yom Kippur fiasco,” the outcome of the “blindness” and the “smugness and arrogance following the conquests of the Six-Day War,” as many claim.
The Israeli military has never denied that General Dayan urged the use of Chemical weapons during the October war. But chemical weapons are not all that Dayan wanted permission to use.  Writing in the 10/3/13 issue of the New York Times, Avner Cohen, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a senior fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies discusses an interview he had in 2008 with  Mr.  Arnan Azaryahu who was a senior political insider and trusted aide and confidant to Yisrael Galili, a minister without portfolio and Golda Meir’s closest political ally.  Writes Cohen, “Mr. Azaryahu was privy to some of Israel’s most fateful decisions. In the early afternoon of Oct. 7, as a fierce battle with Syrian forces raged and the Israeli Army appeared to be losing its grasp on the Golan Heights.”  Mr. Azaryahu further reported that  Dayan sought from Golda Meir, during the cabinet meetingm which Mr. Azaryahu attended, “an immediate authorization of preparatory steps for a nuclear blast that he claimed would save precious time and allow the order to detonate a bomb to be executed rapidly should the need arise.”Cohen continues, “Siding with her two senior ministers, the prime minister told Mr. Dayan to “forget it.” He responded by saying that he remained unconvinced but that he respected the prime minister’s decision.”  Dayan sought but was refused authority to use either chemical or nuclear weapons.

One of the lessons from the October war being discussed is that the hubris from the 1967 aggression concerning the “invincible Israeli army’ was simple propaganda for domestic consumption as the  many battles in South Lebanon during 22 years of occupation and the 33 day war in 2006 illustrate. The war established beyond peradventure that the Israel army cannot defend the Zionist colony unless it has massive American military supplies and blank check funding.

During the Tishrin battle, the American government, without input from the pentagon or the public, provided the Israeli military with planeloads of weaponry, including 9 types of US cluster bombs that were taken from supplies at Subic Bay, Philippines, causing the local US commander to resign as he claimed that “emptying these warehouses put thousands of US troops in Vietnam at risk.”  Yet, President Nixon caved to pressure from PM Golda Meir and some hundreds of these thirty years past their shelf lives, cluster bombs were used as recently as during the July 2006 war in Lebanon.

The Nixon administration also provided Israel with something far more important – intelligence. Documents relating to the American spy-plane, the ‘SR-71 Blackbird’, show that the Israelis knew where major concentrations of Arab forces were as they were supplied with this information as a result of a SR-71 flying over the war zone. With such knowledge, the Israelis knew where to deploy their forces for maximum effect.  Whatever dreams of self-sufficiency in weapon development and production were entertained in Israel before the war were abandoned. Tel Aviv learned that it needs close strategic weapons and funding from Washington to survive.

Following the October war, The Arab oil boycott turned Israel into a pariah; fewer countries had diplomatic relations with the Jewish state than with the PLO, which didn’t even pretend to seek anything but Palestine’s liberation and the full right of Return. The UN General Assembly gave a standing ovation to Yasser Arafat and shortly thereafter the UN passed the Zionism is Racism resolution. Last month’s embarrassing Netanyahu spectacle at the UN General Assembly where he presented himself as some sort of sociopathic racist, one European delegate reportedly said after his speech that if a snap vote was held on the 1975 Zionism is Racism Resolution (GAR 3379) it would pass again–but by a larger margin than the 11/10/75 vote of 72 to 35.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s former defense minister claims at pep rallies and AIPAC type gatherings that “states much larger than ours and supposedly much stronger collapsed within weeks under surprise attack and we were totally victorious in 1973.”

Think tanks, such as the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University and the Begin-Sadat Center (BESA) for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University, have become bolder participants in the national security debates and have offered alternatives to Netanyahu-Lieberman governmental policies. Gen. Isaac Ben Israel, a specialist on strategic affairs, wrote recently in the small right-wing publication Ha-Umma that “Israel’s achievement was great for revealing to its enemies their inability to overwhelm Israel’s Defense Forces” even in the most favorable circumstances.

Both gentlemen delude themselves and fail to understand the growing global resistance to the occupation of Palestine and  opposition to the confiscation of Jerusalem by misstating what happened forty years ago this month. More realistic is the statement made by last week by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon at a meeting with top defense officials: “One of the causes of our failure at the beginning of the conflict came from a feeling of superiority that we held after the 1967 victory. Israel had “too much confidence, arrogance and lack of caution.”

Each October, bereavement becomes a major element of the Israeli ethos, and a dominant national trauma. It is to blame some claim, for Zionist doubts about facing the future of their enterprise in Palestine. And among many Israelis even about the very right of the Apartheid Jewish state to exist. Israel once again feels vulnerable to surprise attack.

The shock of the October War left deep scars on the national psyche that affect Israelis even today. Foremost among them, according to the Jaffee Center, is a gnawing anxiety that the national leadership is so locked into a “conceptzia” — a shared strategic concept that determines the leaders’ worldview — that they may be misreading reality and ignoring opportunities for peace.
Commenting on the report’s claim that Israel is now better off strategically than at any time in its history, the military analyst for the Ma’ariv newspaper, Amir Rapaport, observed wryly that “the last time we boasted that things were never better was in the autumn of 1973.”

Franklin Lamb volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (SSSP) in Shatila Camp (www.sssp-lb.com) and is reachable c/o fplamb@gmail.com

Egypt’s Sinai is a ‘Land of Fear’

People check the scene where a car bomb exploded in near the port town of El-Arish in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, July 24, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Stringer)
By: Amal Ali Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon).
اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية

The Sinai, especially its northern part, has rarely witnessed a state of stability. This Egyptian peninsula, located between the Suez Canal to the west and Palestine to the east, has constituted for long years an object of desire for many regional and international parties.

Sinai is currently experiencing a new phase of instability. This strategic region is facing all forms of violence, after it was transformed into fertile ground for different terrorist groups that are present and coexisting in it.

On the road from Cairo to the northern regions of the Sinai, all passengers are taken by a subtle fear. Everyone tries to hide this feeling by listening to the recitation of Quranic verses. The voices of sheikhs emanating from cell phones are mixed with those on the radio.

The ride, which normally takes five hours, nowadays needs seven hours. This is not because of heavy traffic on the Egypt-Sinai road, but rather because of the tight security measures in addition to the confusion that resulted from closing the Suez Canal Bridge approximately two months again. The closure of the bridge means that everyone crossing over the Suez Canal must rely on ferryboats.

At the checkpoints manned by the armed forces, a state of alert reigns. Cars and passengers are thoroughly inspected. These checkpoints, however, are not safe enough to protect the soldiers themselves.

Checkpoints seem completely exposed. A number of soldiers, not exceeding five, each hold a rifle to shield against expected death. Despite this, they are always smiling. It may be a smile of hope, concealing the slogan of “Duty comes first.”

Throughout the trip, a woman keeps talking about her fear of returning to the Sinai. She talks about the daily horror the residents are going through inside their homes. “No one feels safe. We are waiting for death at any moment.” She then adds with grief, “If we were not in need of work, we would not have come back.”

In the city of El-Arish, the first stop of the trip, people are constantly talking about recurrent killings targeting civilians as well as army and police forces.

According to residents, violence has spread in an epidemic and mysterious way after the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi, who espoused Islamist ideology. They feel helpless when it comes to protecting themselves and their families against the incessant stray bullets. The majority of El-Arish’s residents do not have any means to protect themselves. They only close their doors and rely on God first, and the nearest checkpoint second.

Before the amendments to the curfew that took place a few days ago, curfew started in the northern cities of the Sinai at 6 p.m. Yet, it was actually implemented at 4 p.m., given the expansive reaches of the province.

Although the curfew is applied in a somewhat lenient manner in El-Arish, as is the case in other crowded areas in Egypt, the story is totally different in the northern cities of the Sinai, including those adjacent to El-Arish. Citizens are not allowed to wander about after 4 p.m. and travelers are not allowed to enter the city after 6 p.m., which has left a large number of people stuck on the roads.
The outskirts in  northern Sinai, such as Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid, are struggling with the worst security. According to the map of armed groups, the border cities are witnessing a dense presence of three jihadist groups — Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, whose mission is to fight Jews and whose elements are deployed in many border cities; the Salafist Jihadist Movement, with 90% of its members located in Sheikh Zuwaid; and the Mujahedeen Shura Council, with 70% of its members located in Sheikh Zuwaid and Rafah.

Most of the army checkpoints that are deployed on the road between the cities of El-Arish and Sheikh Zuwaid have been attacked more than once during clashes with Salafist jihadist groups.
The main square in Sheikh Zuwaid has been completely closed due to repeated clashes there. A few meters away from the square lies the city’s police department. The building exemplifies the security situation, with its semi-ruined walls riddled with bullet holes and mortar shell markings. There were three snipers positioned on the roof while police officers were inside the building.

“We are scared. If we go out we will die,” said a resident in the Sinai, who symbolizes the state of all the people of the region, which has become paralyzed since the ouster of Morsi and the beginning of terrorist attacks.

In the city of Sheikh Zuwaid, all doors are closed. Indeed, 90% of shops surrounding the police department in the Qawasimah neighborhood have been damaged. No one dares to reopen them, as attacks could occur at any moment. Nevertheless, the owners of these shops are obliged to continue to pay the monthly rent amounting to 1,500 Egyptian pounds ($218).

Trade is paralyzed and most consumer goods are not available. Moreover, people are living in terror, as they are afraid of being killed by stray bullets fired by the army or internal forces during clashes with extremist groups; this is not to mention the curfew imposed from time to time.
Hashem Abu Bakr, an employee in the courts, said, “We now rely on salary advances; those who have little sustenance share it with their neighbors. Most of us do not dare go out of the house for fear of gun shootings and sometimes we are banned from leaving our homes due to strict security measures. Even employees have not been paid their salaries for two months and some of the residents had to sell their cattle for half price to repay their debts.”

“We are not upset with the army, but it sometimes fires randomly killing a lot of people,” said a woman in her 50s, carrying a child. Indeed, one of the residents of Sheikh Zuwaid , who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that his 70-year-old father was shot by internal security forces snipers as he was heading to the pharmacy at 4:30 p.m. Given his old age, the man did not hear the warning of officers and received a bullet in the head.

The children of the Sinai are also living in a state of fear because of the terrorist operations. Many children have been suffering from nighttime seizures and some neurotic cases.

Moreover, people are concerned about the deficit in daily supplies, as the truckloads of supplies are facing great difficulties in reaching the northern Sinai from Cairo. Sometimes, the most basic goods — such as flour, oil, sugar and salt — are not available.

“There was a decision to extend August’s subsistence supplies for 10 days, as the ministry failed to provide the sufficient quantities,” a resident said. “However, we were surprised to learn that the decision was canceled. We ask the supply officer about the cause of the crisis, he said that the August allocation was nine tons but only two tons were supplied.”

This is what caused prices in the northern Sinai to rise by about 50%. The price of a loaf of bread has reached 1.25 pounds [$0.18], as bakery owners have been losing tons of flour on a daily basis.
People have become terrorized to the extent that taxi drivers are refusing to transport soldiers, even if they are wearing civilian clothes, for fear of being targeted.

“We are afraid that we might be targeted as well, while transporting soldiers,” said Mohammed al-Atarach, a resident of the Sinai.

At 3 p.m. sharp, As-Safir’s tour in Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid ended suddenly. The curfew was about to start.

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