Will Biden be the head of restoration and review of major Middle Eastern files? هل يكون بايدن رئيس الترميم ومراجعة الملفات الشرق أوسطية الكبرى؟

Will Biden be the head of restoration and review of major Middle Eastern files?

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Brigadier General Dr. Amin Mohammed Hatit

The world has not known a president who has created in international relations and corrupted the major core files in it, as witnessed with Donald Trump, the current U.S. president, who failed to renew his mandate, and now has to come out of the White House with a praise that regrets his luck and blames those who failed him or betrayed him.

Trump is coming out of power, leaving behind him, as well as from the major international files that have corrupted his tracks, and who are waiting for the parties concerned to intervene in the United States, contrary to the arrogance and insanity of the Trumpi in its circulation, and to put an end to the corruption that caused a terrible imbalance in international relations and caused serious damage to it on more than one level, but the Middle East region has been harmed by Trump’s aggressiveness, greed and madness, a lot of harm that he has inflicted on him in exchange for cash or in kind payments to him. He’s connected to those files on Trump’s back in order to fix what’s been corrupted.

Here… Apart from the issues of armaments, climate, alliances, international relations and the economic, security and political wars that America is waging on more than one level, the files that America is affecting in our region are not the small size of the Syrian and Iraqi situation to the Iranian nuclear file to the deal of the century to the Turkish and Gulf ogres, all of which are hot citizens affected by the decision and the American behavior, which makes us ask the question about the course of the new American policy in those citizens and how will the performance of the new democratic president Joe Biden and the second Catholic reach to Rule in America after John F. Kennedy, and will it be a dramatic coup on Trump’s decisions in these files? Or does the deep American state have other decisions and paths that do not deny the above?

First of all, it should be noted that despite all that has been said and said of the situations or coups that America is witnessing with the change of head of state, it is not to be taken for granted, since the truth seems otherwise. Although the president’s personality is essential in the state, there are standards and controls in the U.S. system that prevent the formation of extreme coup slings and prevent interruptions with the past, so the new president, whoever comes to the White House, finds himself obliged to deal with the legacy of the former departing whatever this legacy is on the basis that the rule “that governing continues” taking into account cases of exceptional anomalies as happened with Trump and his coup decisions. The next president inherits the legacy of the former and treats it as a fait accompli that means America and then works on restoration and correction for development and rarely we see radical coups as Trump did in specificfiles.

Trump has left major files on the Middle East that require decisions from new President Joe Biden to address, reform, or change, raising the question of the new u.S. policy paths to those files with the change in the head of state after the presidential election that prevented Trump from remaining in the White House for four more years. Here, taking into account the principle of continuity of state function, a change may govern the U.S. performance on these files unevenly, a change imposed by the new balance of power, trump’s failure to reach the finals of the file, and Biden’s tendency to restore and correct from the degree to which those files have reached:

1 The war on Syria and the U.S. presence there and in Iraq: Through the stated positions and realities on the ground, we do not expect the Biden administration to take a decision to withdraw from the two countries, and U.S. policy under the new president will be destined for a situation that does not constitute the declaration of defeat of the Arab Spring in them, which is the “spring” he launched The Democrats under Obama’s term, so the two countries will have to deal with a U.S. administration that will try to get the whole country to try to activate the division and fragmentation files, especially since Biden is the owner of the partition project and that his land is slowly forming in the northeastern Euphrates Syria and in the north of Iraq in the Kurdistan region. It is true that the partition decision is not easy to achieve in light of the existing changes on the ground, but it has become a danger that has increased its intensity from what existed, which means that the two countries will not see soon breakthroughs under the Biden administration that will bring them back to normal except by exceptional political and military action with the support of allies, which is urgent and not excluded..

2 «Deal of the century» will be the most likely destination with Biden in power with what will constitute a freeze of negative frequencies on the personal status of both Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman where we see that biden’s project to solve the Palestinian issue is based on two-state basis in the form of the “deal of the century”, and this project will return to the forefront taking into account the steps achieved under the deal that has not been implemented what makes it final and not revisitable, as the size ofthe The obstacles to the completion of implementation are now much larger than the size of the pressure to pass it, and therefore we see that the Palestinian issue will enter into a new stage of fanship in which there is no ability to follow up in the deal of the Century Trump and there are not enough opportunities for a radical solution that satisfies the Palestinians, but will register in any case the opponents of the “deal of the century” that they succeeded in first and freeze it later and still hindered them to work in order to abort what has been implemented and prevent the resumption of work.

3. Iran’s nuclear dossier will see an important move toward a re-examination of the U.S. position in it after Trump withdrew America’s signature on the 5+1 solution with Iran and was enshrined in a Security Council resolution. We believe that Iran will enter with the U.S. and other parties in restrictive negotiations in order to develop this agreement after America backs away from Trump’s malicious actions against it..

I think that Biden will return Turkey in general and Erdogan in particular to the seat set by the West for him and will not let him follow his authoritarian and mongol march on the region from Libya to Azerbaijan, passing through Syria, Iraq, Cyprus and Greece, and Erdogan will find himself controlled by Biden’s leadership bringing him back to work, for his advantage, without special Turkish expansionist independent project.

5 Saudi and Gulf illusion and the War of Yemen, Yemen may be at the forefront of america’s review of its policy in the region by Biden, where we do not expect the latter to give additional time to Saudi Arabia to resolve the war of Yemen, a solution that is now in the rule of the impossible, so we believe that the war of Yemen may see its dramatically end in the coming year.

Therefore, we can say that the possible breakthroughs will be witnessed by the Yemeni and Iranian situation, and complications in the Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian affairs if there is no internal shock supported by external support and control even the restriction of the Gulf and Turkish movement in the region from the American side, but the response remains subject to the decisions of regional and international stakeholders, who will act without a doubt on the basis of the developments drawn by the confrontations internationally and regionally, which dropped the saying that “America is the destiny” doing what it wants and imposes what it wants, America is finished, with the rise of multipolarity.

هل يكون بايدن رئيس الترميم ومراجعة الملفات الشرق أوسطية الكبرى؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

لم يعرف العالم رئيساً أميركياً أحدث في العلاقات الدولية وأفسد في الملفات الأساسية الكبرى فيها كما شهده مع دونالد ترامب الرئيس الأميركي الحالي، الذي فشل في تجديد ولايته، وبات عليه ان يخرج من البيت الأبيض مذموماً مدحوراً يندب حظه ويلوم من خذله أو خانه.

يخرج ترامب من الحكم مخلفاً وراءه كمّاً من الملفات الدولية الكبرى التي أفسد مساراتها والتي ينتظر الأطراف المعنيون بها تدخلاً أميركياً مغايراً للغطرسة والجنون الترامبي في تداولها، ولوضع حدّ للإفساد الذي أحدث خللاً فظيعاً في العلاقات الدولية وتسبّب بأضرار بالغة فيها على أكثر من صعيد، اما منطقة الشرق الأوسط فقد نالها من عدوانية ترامب وجشعه وجنونه الكثير الكثير من الأذى الذي أنزله فيها مقابل أموال نقدية أو عينية دفعها له من كان مستفيداً من أفعاله السيئة تلك، ولهذا يعوّل من هو على صلة بتلك الملفات على خلف ترامب من أجل أن يصلح ما أفسد فهل يفعل خاصة على صعيد الملفات التي تعنينا مباشرة في المنطقة؟

وهنا… وبعيداً عن قضايا التسلح والمناخ والتحالفات والعلاقات الدولية والحروب الاقتصادية والأمنية والسياسية التي تشنّها أميركا على أكثر من صعيد، فإنّ الملفات التي تؤثر فيها أميركا في منطقتنا ليست بالحجم الصغير من الوضع السوري والعراقي الى الملف النووي الإيراني الى صفقة القرن الى التغوّل التركي والجموح الخليجي وكلها مواطن حامية تتأثر بالقرار والأداء والسلوك الأميركي ما يجعلنا نطرح السؤال حول مسار السياسة الأميركية الجديدة في تلك المواطن وكيف سيكون فيها أداء الرئيس الجديد جو بايدن الديمقراطي المسنّ وثاني كاثوليكي يصل الى الحكم في أميركا بعد جون كنيدي، وهل ستكون انقلابات دراماتيكية على قرارات ترامب في هذه الملفات؟ أم أن للدولة الأميركية العميقة قرارات ومسارات أخرى لا تتنكر لما سبق؟

بداية لا بدّ من التنويه انه رغم كلّ ما قيل ويقال من أوضاع أو حالات انقلابية تشهدها أميركا مع تغيير رأس الدولة هو أمر لا يمكن الاخذ به على إطلاقه، حيث انّ الحقيقة تبدو خلاف ذلك. اذ رغم انّ شخصية الرئيس أساسية في الدولة فإنّ هناك معايير وضوابط في النظام الأميركي تمنع تشكل الحالات الانقلابية الجذرية الحادة وتحول دون إحداث انقطاع مع الماضي، وبالتالي فإنّ الرئيس الجديد أيّاً كان هذا القادم الى البيت الأبيض يجد نفسه ملزماً بالتعامل مع إرث السابق المغادر كيفما كان هذا الإرث على قاعدة «انّ الحكم استمرار» مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار حالات من الشذوذ الاستثنائي كما حصل مع ترامب وقراراته الانقلابية. فالرئيس القادم يرث تركة السابق ويتعامل معها على أساس أنها أمر واقع يعني أميركا ثم يعمل على الترميم والتصحيح من أجل التطوير وقلما نشهد حالات انقلابية جذرية كما كان يفعل ترامب في ملفات محدّدة.

لقد خلف ترامب ملفات كبرى تعني منطقة الشرق الأوسط وتتطلب قرارات من الرئيس الجديد جو بايدن لمعالجتها تصحيحاً أو ترميماً أو تغييراً، ما يطرح السؤال عن مسارات السياسة الأميركية الجديدة حيال تلك الملفات مع التغيير الحاصل في رأس الدولة بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية التي منعت ترامب من البقاء في البيت الأبيض لأربع سنوات جديدة. وهنا، ومع الاخذ الحتمي بمبدأ استمرارية عمل الدولة فإنّ تغييراً قد يحكم الأداء الأميركي حيال تلك الملفات بشكل متفاوت تغييراً فرضته موازين القوى الجديدة وتعثر ترامب وفشله في الوصول الى نهائيات الملف ونزعة بايدن للترميم والتصحيح انطلاقاً من الدرجة التي وصلت اليها تلك الملفات وفقاً لما يلي:

1

ـ الحرب على سورية والوجود الأميركي فيها وفي العراق: من خلال المواقف المعلنة والوقائع القائمة على الأرض لا نتوقع ان تتخذ إدارة بايدن قراراً بالانسحاب من البلدين، وستكون السياسة الأميركية في ظلّ الرئيس الجديد متجهة لوضع لا يشكل إعلان هزيمة «الربيع العربي» فيهما وهو «الربيع» الذي أطلقه الديمقراطيون في ظلّ ولاية أوباما ولذلك سيكون على البلدين التعامل مع إدارة أميركية ستحاول بعد الفشل في وضع اليد على كامل البلاد ستحاول تفعيل ملفات التقسيم والتجزئة التامة خاصة أنّ بايدن صاحب مشروع التقسيم أصلاً وانّ أرضيته تتشكل رويداً في شمالي شرقي الفرات سورياً وفي الشمال العراقي في إقليم كردستان. وصحيح انّ قرار التقسيم ليس أمراً سهلاً تحقيقه في ظلّ المتغيّرات الميدانية القائمة إلا أنه بات خطراً ارتفعت نسبة شدّته عما كان قائماً ما يعني انّ البلدين لن يشهدا في ظلّ إدارة بايدن انفراجات قريبة تعيدهما الى الوضع الطبيعي إلا بعمل استثنائي سياسي وعسكري يحصل بدعم من الحلفاء وهو أمر بات ملحاً كما انه غير مستبعد.

2

ـ «صفقة القرن» سيكون التجميد فيها هو الوجهة المرجحة مع وجود بايدن في السلطة مع ما سيشكل تجميدها من ترددات سلبية على الوضع الشخصي لكلّ من نتنياهو ومحمد بن سلمان حيث نرى انّ مشروع بايدن لحلّ القضية الفلسطينية قائم على أساس الدولتين في غير صيغة «صفقة القرن»، وسيعود هذا المشروع الى الواجهة أخذاً بعين الاعتبار الخطوات التي تحققت في إطار الصفقة التي لم ينفذ منها ما يجعلها نهائية غير قابلة لإعادة النظر، حيث انّ حجم العوائق لاكتمال التنفيذ بات الآن أكبر بكثير من حجم الضغوط من أجل تمريرها ولهذا نرى انّ القضية الفلسطينية ستدخل في مرحلة مراوحة جديدة لا يكون فيها قدرة على المتابعة في صفقة القرن الترامبية ولا يوجد فرص كافية لحلّ جذري يرضي الفلسطينيين ولكن سيسجل على أيّ حال لمعارضي «صفقة القرن» انهم نجحوا في عرقلتها أولاً وتجميدها لاحقاً ويبقى عليهم العمل من أجل إجهاض ما نفذ منها ومنع استئناف العمل بها.

3

ـ الملف النووي الإيراني. سيشهد هذا الملف تحريكاً مهماً باتجاه إعادة النظر بموقع الولايات المتحدة فيه بعد ان سحب ترامب توقيع أميركا عن الحلّ الذي توصلت اليه مجموعة 5+1 مع إيران وكرّس بقرار من مجلس الأمن. ونعتقد انّ إيران ستدخل مع الأميركي والأطراف الأخرى في مفاوضات مقيّدة من أجل تطوير هذا الاتفاق بعد ان تتراجع أميركا عن إجراءات ترامب الكيدية بحقها. ولا نتصوّر بأنّ أميركا ستعود الى الاتفاق وكان القرار الترامبي لم يقع بل نرى حلاً وسطاً سيحكم الملف تستفيد منه إيران ما سيؤكد مرة أخرى انّ صمود إيران حفظ حقوقها ويثبت انّ سياسة العقوبات الأميركية فشلت في تحقيق الأهداف منها.

4

ـ التغوّل التركي الواسع، سيواجَه بقرارات أميركية جدية تمنع استمراره، واعتقد انّ بايدن سيعيد تركيا عامة وأردوغان بخاصة الى المقعد الذي حدّده الغرب له ولن يدعه يتابع مسيرته التسلطية والتغوّل على المنطقة امتداداً من لبيبا الى أذربيجان مروراً بكلّ من سورية والعراق وقبرص واليونان، وسيجد أردوغان نفسه مع بايدن أنه أمام قيادة تضبطه وتعيده الى العمل لمصلحتها وعنصراً في معسكرها دون أن تترك له المجال لممارسة مشروع تركي توسعي خاص مستقلّ عن الغرب. وهذا سينعكس حتماً على الميدان في كلّ من ليبيا وسورية والعراق وأذربيجان.

5

ـ الوهم السعودي والخليجي وحرب اليمن، قد يكون اليمن في طليعة المستفيدين من مراجعة أميركا لسياستها في المنطقة على يد بايدن، حيث لا نتوقع أن يعطي الأخير وقتاً إضافياً للسعودية لحسم حرب اليمن، وهو حسم بات في حكم المستحيل، لذلك نعتقد انّ حرب اليمن قد تشهد نهاية لها خلال العام المقبل وبشكل دراماتيكي من الوجهة السعودية،

وعليه نستطيع ان نقول انّ انفراجات مرجحة سيشهدها الوضع اليمني والإيراني، وتعقيدات أو مراوحة في الشأن السوري والعراقي والفلسطيني انْ لم تحدث صدمة داخلية مسندة بدعم خارجي وضبط حتى التقييد للحركة الخليجية والتركية في المنطقة هذا من الجانب الأميركي، أما الردّ فيبقى رهن قرارات المعنيين الإقليميين والدوليين، الذين سيتصرفون بدون شك على أساس المستجدات التي رسمتها المواجهات دولياً وإقليمياً، والتي أسقطت القول بانّ «أميركا هي القدر الذي لا يُردّ» والتي تفعل ما تشاء وتفرض ما تشاء، فأميركا هذه انتهت وانّ عالم القطب الواحد الذي رغبت به غير قائم الآن، في ظلّ وضع باتت ملامح نظامه مؤكدة قائمة على التعددية في المجموعات الاستراتيجية.

فيديوات مرتبطة

تحالف الحرب «الإسرائيلي» من تفاصيل رؤية بيريز…

 د. ميادة ابراهيم رزوق

تأسست جامعة الدول العربية أعقاب اندلاع الحرب العالمية الثانية، وبغضّ النظر عن كونها صنيعة بريطانية وفقاً لتصريحات أنتوني ايدن وزير خارجية بريطانيا عام 1943 بأن بريطانيا لا تمانع في قيام أي اتحاد عربي بين الدول العربية، أو وفقاً لما قدمه وحيد الدالي (مدير مكتب أمين عام جامعة الدول العربية عبد الرحمن عزام) في كتابه «أسرار الجامعة العربية» بأن ذلك غير صحيح، وحقيقة الأمر أنه أصدر هذا التصريح ليطمئن العرب على مستقبلهم بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، وفي الوقت نفسه كان عبارة عن مزايدة سياسية اقتضتها ظروف الحرب بين ألمانيا وبريطانيا، وقد أعلنت الحكومة الألمانية على لسان هتلر، أنه في حالة كسب المانيا الحرب، فإنها تضمن سلامة الدول العربية، وتؤكد وتؤيد استقلالها، وتعمل على إيجاد اتحاد في ما بينها، فقد أدرك العرب بعد انتهاء الحرب العالمية الثانية، أنّ الاستمرار بتكريس التجزئة، وفرض سياسة الأمر الواقع، سيجعل الشعوب العربية ترزح تحت الاحتلال الأجنبي، ويصبح الحصول على الاستقلال صعباً، لذلك بدأ التحرك والمشاورات للبحث عن صيغة مناسبة لتوحيد الجهود العربية، وقد تمّ الاتفاق على توجيه مصر الدعوة إلى العراق وشرق الأردن والسعودية وسورية ولبنان واليمن، وهي الدول التي كانت قد حصلت على استقلالها، ولو أنّ ذلك الاستقلال لم يكن كاملا، وكانت الدعوة بقصد عقد اجتماع لممثلي تلك الدول، لتبادل الرأي في موضوع الوحدة.

صادقت على هذا البروتوكول خمس دول عربية في 7 تشرين الأول عام 1944، ويعد هذا البروتوكول الأرضية التي بني عليها ميثاق إنشاء الجامعة، وفي 22 آذار عام 1945 تمّ التوقيع على الصيغة النهائية لنص الميثاق.

ولكن هل التزمت جامعة الدول العربية بقضايا العرب؟

بقيت القضية الفلسطينية حاضرة دوما على جدول أعمال معظم القمم العربية، منذ القمة العربية الأولى عام 1946 التي أكدت عروبة فلسطين، بوضعها «القلب في المجموعة العربية»، وأنّ مصيرها مرتبط بمصير دول الجامعة العربية كافةً، معتبرة أنّ الوقوف أمام خطر الصهيونية واجب على الدول العربية والشعوب الإسلامية جميعا، وظلت مؤتمرات القمة العربية تؤكد خلال العقود الفائتة مركزية هذه القضية بوصفها قضية العرب جميعا، معتبرة أن النضال من أجل استعادة الحقوق العربية في فلسطين مسؤولية قومية عامة، وعلى جميع العرب المشاركة فيها.

إلا أنه في حقيقة الأمر وبتنفيذ الأنظمة الرجعية العربية دورها في الأجندة الصهيوأميركية، لم تعد فلسطين قضية العرب المركزية، ومسؤولية قومية عامة، بل طغت عليها وخصوصاً في السنوات الأخيرة قضايا أخرى راحت تحتل موقع الأولوية، ولم يعد الخطر الصهيوني يمثل تهديداً للأمن القومي العربي بل تم حرف البوصلة نحو مزاعم (الخطر الإيراني)… وبدأت بوادر ذلك في قمة فاس العربية في المغرب عام 1982، بمبادرة الأمير فهد بن عبد العزيز التي تضمّنت اعترافاً ضمنياً بالكيان الصهيوني كدولة، ومن بعدها قمة بيروت عام 2002 التي تبنّت «مبادرة السلام العربية» التي طرحها الملك عبد الله بن عبد العزيز التي اعتبرت أنّ انسحاب «إسرائيل» الكامل من الأراضي العربية المحتلة عام 1967، والتوصل إلى حلّ عادل لمشكلة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين يتفق عليها وفقاً لقرار الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة رقم 194، وقبول قيام دولة فلسطينية مستقلة ذات سيادة على الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة منذ الرابع من حزيران عام 1967 تكون عاصمتها القدس الشرقية، هو شرط ومدخل اعتبار الصراع العربي الصهيوني منتهياً، ودخول الدول العربية في اتفاقية سلام بينها وبين الكيان الصهيوني، وإنشاء علاقات طبيعية معه في إطار هذا السلام الشامل.

وبالإمعان ببقية التفاصيل التي سنأتي على ذكرها لاحقاً عن كتاب شمعون بيريز «الشرق الأوسط الجديد» الذي صدر عام 1993، أو المؤتمرات الاقتصادية التي تلت ذلك في الدار البيضاء في المغرب عام 1994، وفي عمان 1995، وفي مصر 1996، إلى ورشة المنامة الاقتصادية، ومشروع نيوم، إلى محاولات تطويع الدراما ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وتفاصيل أخرى في تطبيع مشيخات الخليج مع الكيان الصهيوني بمجال الرياضة والسياحة والثقافة لتكون عوناً في غسل أدمغة الجماهير نحو تصفية القضية الفلسطينية، نجد أنها ليست إلا خطوات وتكتيكات مدروسة وممنهجة في إطار مشروع بيريز الذي دعا إلى قيام نظام إقليمي شرق أوسطي يقوم على أساس التعاون والتكامل بين العرب والكيان الصهيوني في شتى المجالات السياسية والاقتصادية والعلمية، وفي ما يلي التفاصيل:

1

ـ اعتمد بيريز في مشروعه على تحليل واقعي مفاده سقوط مضمون نظريات العمق الاستراتيجي، والاستراتيجية التقليدية القائمة على «الوقت والفراغ والكم» مع التطور التكنولوجي وتطور الصواريخ الباليستية للانتقال بأن الاقتصاد هو العقيدة البديلة، وبناء على ذلك كتب بيريز في كتابه: «يمكن لنا أن نبدأ في نقطة البحر الأحمر، فقد تغيرت شطآن البحر الأحمر مع الزمن، وأصبحت مصر والسودان واريتريا تقع على أحد الجوانب فيما تقع (إسرائيل) والأردن والسعودية على الجانب الآخر، وهذه البلدان تجمعها مصلحة مشتركة، ويمكن القول أنه لم يعد هناك أسباب للنزاع، فاثيوبيا من بعد نظام منجستو واريتريا المستقلة حديثاً تريدان إقامة علاقات سليمة مع جاراتها بما في ذلك (إسرائيل)، في حين أن مصر وقعت بالفعل اتفاقية سلام مع (إسرائيل)، أما الأردن والسعودية واليمن فتريد تأمين حرية الملاحة والصيد وحقوق الطيران»، كما كشف في كتابه كيف سيبدأ التطبيع الكبير عندما قال» ويمكننا كخطوة أولى التركيز على القضايا الإنسانية مثل التعاون في عمليات الإنقاذ البحري والجوي وإقامة شبكة اتصالات للإنذار المبكر من المناورات البرية والبحرية، كما ويمكن الحفاظ على النظام الإقليمي من خلال المشاريع والأبحاث المشتركة، تطوير مصادر الغذاء من البحر، وكذلك السياحة، أما إقامة حلف استراتيجي فستكون خطوة ممكنة في مرحلة متقدمة»، وحدّد ملامح الشرق الاوسط الجديد بقوله» بالنسبة للشرق الأوسط فإنّ الانتقال من اقتصاد صراع إلى اقتصاد السلام سوف يعني حصر المصادر لتطوير بنية تحتية تلائم هذا العصر الجديد من السلام، وإنّ بناء الطرق وتمديد خطوط السكك الحديدية وتحديد المسارات الجوية وربط شركات النقل وتحديث وسائل الاتصالات، وتوفير النفط والماء في كل مكان، وانتاج البضائع والخدمات عن طريق الكمبيوتر، سوف يفتح حياة جديدة في الشرق الأوسط».

2

ـ إذا ما دققنا النظر في سطور كتاب بيريز سنجد أن ما ذكره وضع تصوّراً دقيقاً لما يدور في منطقتنا في وقتنا الحالي، بإعلان ولي العهد السعودي عن إقامته (مدينة نيوم) التي ستقع في الشمال الغربي للمملكة، وستضم اراضي مصرية وأراضي اردنية على مساحة 26 ألف كلم2، يخدم فقط مشروع شمعون بيريز وكل أحلامه الواردة في كتابه آنف الذكر، حيث ووفق ما تم إعلانه فإن مدينة نيوم ستعمل على مستقبل الطاقة والمياه ومستقبل التقنيات الجوية، ومستقبل العلوم التقنية، ومستقبل الترفيه، وهذه القطاعات ذكرها كلها بيريز في كتابه، ولاننسى أنه في عام 2015 فازت مجموعة شنغهاي للموانئ بمناقصة دولية لتطوير ميناء حيفا لينتهي العمل به في عام 2021، ليكون جاهزا لمد خطوط السكك الحديدية من الكويت والرياض، و جدير بالذكر أن 90٪ من مشروع السكك الحديدية موجود مسبقاً منذ أيام الدولة العثمانية، واستكماله لن يحتاج كثيرا من الجهود.

3

ـ إنّ عقد مؤتمرات القمم الاقتصادية التي ضمت وفوداً من الكيان الصهيوني والولايات المتحدة الأميركية والدول الأوروبية والآسيوية والدول العربية على مستوى رؤساء دول وحكومات باستثناء سورية ولبنان في الدار البيضاء عام 1994، وفي عمان 1995، وفي القاهرة 1996، وفي الدوحة 1997 تحت عنوان عريض «التعاون الإقليمي والتنمية الاقتصادية»، وكذلك ورشة المنامة في البحرين عام 2019 التي دعا إليها جاريد كوشنر كجزء من مبادرة ترامب للسلام في الشرق الأوسط والمعروفة باسم «صفقة القرن»، ليست إلا تكريسا لمشروع بيريز الذي قال في كتابه «يجب إجبار العرب على سلام مقابل المساهمة في تطوير القطاعات الاقتصادية والتكنولوجية كمحفزات لقبول (إسرائيل)، هدفها النهائي هو خلق أسرة إقليمية من الأمم ذات سوق مشتركة وهيئات مركزية مختارة على غرار الجماعة الأوروبية.

4

ـ خطوات التطبيع العلنية الأخيرة التي بدأت بالإمارات والبحرين إلى أنظمة أخرى تقف في الطابور ليست إلا تنفيذا لرؤية بيريز الصهيونية الممتدة عبر الزمن على مراحل، والتي ترى بالنتيجة عدم جدوى المفهوم العسكري لضمان أمن الكيان الصهيوني ويجب اعتماد طريق التكامل والاندماج في محيطها تحقيقا لأهدافها وبقائها كقوة عظمى تسيطر وتتسيّد أمنياً واقتصادياً.

5

ـ في إطار هذه الرؤية تندرج استدامة الصراع الداخلي في ليبيا بين قوى مدعومة من أطراف دولية وفقاً لضابط الإيقاع الأميركي، وحرب اليمن، واستمرار استنزاف سورية، ومزيداً من تعقيد الوضع الداخلي اللبناني بعد حادثتي تفجير وحريق مرفأ بيروت، وسد النهضة الإثيوبي، وقلاقل العديد من الدول العربية… لتهيئة البيئة اللازمة لإتمام مشروع بيريز بانصياع ملوك وامراء ورؤساء الأنظمة الرجعية للأوامر الأميركية التي يصدرها ترامب على الإعلام أولا فيهرولون منفذين.

6

ـ في المقلب الآخر وأمام حلف الحرب الأميركي (الإسرائيلي) الخليجي هناك حلف إقليمي نواته إيران وسورية وقوى المقاومة في العراق ولبنان واليمن وفلسطين المحتلة بات أكثر قوة وتماسكاً بإمكانيات تقنية، عسكرية، استخبارية وعقيدة وإرادة قتالية يهدد وجود الكيان الصهيوني الذي لا زال يقف على اجر ونص منذ قرابة شهرين، وعروش الأنظمة الرجعية التي أصبحت ضمن بنك أهداف حلف المقاومة إذا وقعت الواقعة وكانت الحرب الكبرى.

وأخيراً تتحدث الوقائع عن انهيار منظومة القطب الواحد، وبداية تبلور عالم جديد بتحالفات إقليمية ودولية سياسية اقتصادية عسكرية من نوع جديد لن يكون جيش واشنطن الجديد المتقدّم عثرة في إرساء روائزها.

من القوقاز إلى المحيط الهنديّ ثلاثيّة ما بعد الدولار…!

محمد صادق الحسينيّ

يواصل المفكرون والباحثون والسياسيون والديبلوماسيون والإعلاميون نقاشاتهم وتحليلاتهم، حول طبيعة العلاقات القائمة بين كل من جمهورية الصين الشعبية من جهة وروسيا من جهة أخرى وحول طبيعة العلاقات بين كل من الصين وروسيا وإيران، الى جانب التركيز الإعلامي والاستخباري المتزايد، حول طبيعة العلاقات الروسية الإيرانية والعلاقات السورية الإيرانية.

وبغضّ النظر عن وجهات النظر المختلفة، الصادرة عن العديد من أصحاب الرأي، فإنّ هنالك أسباباً موضوعية، تحكم تلك العلاقات المذكورة أعلاه، تفرضها طبيعة الصراع بين القوى العظمى في العالم، وليست محكومة بمزاجات او نزوات شخصية او ما شابة ذلك.

إذ إنّ الناظم الموضوعي الثابت لهذه العلاقات، يتمثل في المصالح القوميّة العليا لكلّ من البلدان، التي تدور حول علاقاتها كل هذه النقاشات. وهي مصالح محكومة بطبيعة العلاقات السائدة، بين كلّ من هذه الدول والولايات المتحدة والدول الأوروبية، في إطار الصراع الدولي الشامل وسعي كلّ طرف من الاطراف ان تكون له اليد العليا في العالم ليتصدر قيادته، بناءً على موازين القوى التي يفرزها هذا الصراع.

وبما ان جوهر هذا الصراع يتمحور حول انهاء السيطرة الأميركية الاحادية القطبية على العالم فإن كل القوى التي تعارض هذه الهيمنة الأميركية لا بد ان تلتقي مصالحها عند نقطة مشتركة، تجعل التعاون بينها اقتصادياً وسياسياً وعسكرياً، أمراً حتمياً لا غنى عنه.

إن نظرة مجردة، وغير خاضعة للأهواء الشخصية، للعلاقات التي تربط الدول التي تعمل على التصدي للهيمنة الأميركية، وهي بشكل اساسي وقوي كلٌّ من الصين الشعبية وروسيا وإيران، يضاف اليها العديد من الدول الإقليمية المهمة في آسيا، وكذلك الأمر بالنسبة للجزائر وجنوب افريقيا، في القارة الأفريقية، كما المكسيك وفنزويلا وقريباً البرازيل، بعد سقوط حكم بولسونارو، نقول إن نظرة الى هذه العلاقات تجعلنا نصل بالضرورة الى النتائج التالية:

أولاً: إن الاستراتيجية التي تنطلق منها هذه الدول، في مواجهتها لهيمنة الولايات المتحدة، هي استراتيجية موحدة او مشتركة او حتى يمكن القول إنها واحدةً، رغم التمايز في سياساتها، والذي يلاحظ في معالجتها لبعض قضايا العالم، أي لقضايا دولية، خارج إطار علاقة كل واحدة من هذه الدول مع الدولة او الأخرى.

ثانياً: وهذا يعني أن الدول الثلاث أعلاه هي دول متحالفة حول الاهداف، اي حول برنامج عمل محدّد ومتفق عليه، على الرغم من عدم وجود حلف يجمعها، وعدم ارتقاء المعاهدات الدولية، التي تجمع هذه الدول مع دول أخرى في العالم، كمعاهدة شنغهاي وغيرها، وهو الامر الذي يضفي مرونة كبيرة، على علاقات هذه الدول البينية وعلاقاتها مع دول أخرى. وهنا يحضرنا ذكر العلاقات، التي تربط روسيا بسورية وروسيا بـ”إسرائيل”، وكذلك علاقات الصين مع كل من سورية و”إسرائيل”، على الرغم من أن الآفاق الأوسع، لتطوير علاقات الصين وروسيا في “الشرق الاوسط “، توجد في البلدان العربية وليس في “إسرائيل”، وعليه فإن هذه العلاقات المتميّزة، بين القوتين العظميين والكيان الصهيوني، ليست الا علاقات مؤقتة سوف تتلاشى تزامناً مع تلاشي كيان الاحتلال.

ثالثاً: من هنا فانّ هذه الدول، ومنذ بداية تطوير العلاقات الروسية الصينية بشكل حيوي، بعد انتهاء الحرب الباردة، وبداية الحروب العسكرية الأميركية، في الفضاء الاستراتيجيّ للدول الثلاث، والتي بدأت بالحرب الأميركية على العراق سنة 1991، ثم احتلال افغانستان سنة 2001 واحتلال الجيوش الأميركية والبريطانية للعراق سنة 2003، وما تبعها من حرب أميركية اسرائيلية، ضد الحليف الموضوعي لتلك الدول، أي حزب الله، سنة 2006، وما تلاه من محاولة أميركية إسرائيلية لزعزعة الوضع على حدود روسيا الجنوبية، سنة 2008 في جورجيا، نقول إن الدول الثلاث وبالنظر الى ما اوردناه، وغير ذلك من الأسباب، فقد قررت اتباع استراتيجية تجميع وتوحيد القوى، المعادية للهيمنة الأميركية كأولوية دولية، وزجها موحدة في ميدان الصراع الدولي، بهدف الحدّ من السيطرة الأميركية شيئاً فشيئاً وإرغامها على تقليص انتشارها العسكري في العالم.

رابعاً: أن هذه السياسة، التي تجلت في التعاون الاقتصادي الواسع النطاق، بين روسيا والصين، خاصة في مجال الطاقة، وكذلك التعاون العسكري التقني بين الدولتين، الذي يساعد في مراكمة القوة الاقتصادية والعسكرية الضرورية، لخلق توازن دولي جديد، وكذلك الأمر في ما يخص العلاقات الروسية الإيرانية، التي تشمل العديد من القطاعات الهامة، والتي ستشهد تطورات متلاحقة وتعميقاً عاماً لها، بعد رفع حظر بيع وشراء السلاح المفروض على إيران وفشل الولايات المتحدة في تمديده. وكذلك الأمر بالنسبة للعلاقات الصينية الإيرانية التي شهدت تحسنًا ونمواً مضطرداً، رغم الحصار المفروض على إيران أميركياً، وهو تعاون سيفضي قريباً جداً الى توقيع اتفاقيات تعاون استراتيجي، سيكون له ما بعده (التعاون).

خامساً: كما لا بد من التأكيد على أن أحد أهم مجالات تطبيق هذه الثلاثية الأبعاد، الصينية الروسية الإيرانية، هو مجال الادوار التي لعبتها الدول الثلاث، سياسياً وعسكرياً، ليس فقط في حماية الدولة السورية، وبالتالي المنطقة العربية كلها، من التمزيق الشامل، وإنما أسّست لحضور عسكري استراتيجي روسي في شرق المتوسط يشكل خط دفاع أول عن بكين وموسكو ولا يستبعد أن يكون له دور عام في حماية مصالح الدول الثلاث في المنطقة والعالم، خاصة بالنظر الى مشروع طريق واحد حزام واحد الصيني العملاق، الذي لن تستطيع الولايات المتحدة منع تنفيذه مهما قامت بأعمال تفجير هنا وهناك، سواءً في البر او في البحر.

كما لا بدّ ايضاً من الاضاءة على أهمية التعاون السوري العراقي، مع كلّ من روسيا والصين وإيران، لما لذلك من أهمية على مشاريع إعادة الإعمار في العراق وسورية، وكذلك الأمر في قطاع خطوط نقل الغاز، التي لا بدّ أن تكون السواحل والموانئ السورية واللبنانية، رغم تفجير ميناء بيروت مرتين خلال شهر واحد تقريباً، هي محطات ضخ الغاز إلى اوروبا وليس ميناء حيفا المحتلّ، على الرغم من انّ شركة صينية هي التي تدير الميناء. اذ انّ كلّ مشاريع الغاز التي تتحدّث عنها الإدارة الأميركية والاحتلال الإسرائيلي هي مشاريع هدامة، تهدف قبل كل شيء الى إلحاق أضرار استراتيجية بصادرات الغاز الروسية، وبالتالي بالمداخيل المالية للدولة الروسية، خدمة لمشاريع واشنطن، الهادفة لإخضاع روسيا والصين لهيمنتها، سواءً من خلال الضغط العسكريّ أو الضغوط المالية والاقتصادية، عبر العقوبات والادوات الأخرى.

سادساً: وبالاضافة الى ذلك فانّ من الجدير بالذكر انّ تعاون هذه الدول الثلاث، الصين وروسيا وإيران، في كلّ المجالات، وعلى رأسها المجال العسكري، يواصل التنامي ومراكمة القوة اللازمة لمواجهة مؤامرات وتحرّشات الولايات المتحدة وحلف الناتو، سواء ضدّ الصين، في المحيطين الهندي والهادئ وبحار الصين واليابان والفلبين المختلفة، او ضدّ إيران، في بحر العرب ومنطقة الخليج وغرب المحيط الهندي، او ضدّ روسيا، في المحيط الهادئ والبحر الأسود وبحر البلطيق.

حيث قامت الدول الثلاث أعلاه بالردّ على تلك التحرّشات والاستفزازات الأميركية بإجراء تدريبات عسكرية بحرية مشتركة، في بحر العرب وغرب المحيط الهندي، استمرت لمدة ثلاثة ايام، من 27/12 وحتى 30/12/2019. وهي مناورات حملت العديد من الرسائل الهامة، لمن يعنيه الأمر، واظهرت ان إيران أصبحت قادرة على تنفيذ مهمات بحرية خارج محيطها الجغرافي، اذ انّ منطقة المناورات شملت شمال المحيط الهندي ايضاً، البعيد جغرافياً عن إيران، الأمر الذي يؤكد (القدرة الإيرانية) في تحدي للولايات المتحدة وإرسال ناقلات النفط الإيرانية الى فنزويلا، التي تبعد آلاف الكيلومترات عن السواحل الإيرانية مثال صارخ على ذلك.

علماً أنّ نجاح هذه الخطوة يُعتبر نجاحاً للدول الثلاث، خاصة اذا ما نظرنا الية كعملية مكملة للجسرين الجوي الصيني والروسي، اللذين أقيما لتقديم المساعدات لفنزويلا بداية العام الحالي، الى جانب التحليق القتالي الذي نفذته القاذفات الروسية العملاقة، من طراز توبوليڤ 160، في أجواء البحر الكاريبي والعديد من دول هذا البحر، أواسط شهر 12/2019، وما حملته تلك التحليقات الاستراتيجية من رسائل واضحة لواشنطن.

سابعاً: بالنظر الى استمرار التآمر والعبث الأميركي الغربي بأمن الصين، في بحار الصين والمحيط الهادئ وشرق المحيط الهندي (منطقة مضيق مالَقا) وكذلك العبث بالأمن الإيراني وامن منطقة الخليج بأكملها، من خلال مواصلة الحرب على اليمن ومحاولات إقامة حلف امني عسكري خليجي إسرائيلي، موجّه ضدّ إيران، حسب ما اعلن وزير الخارجية الأميركي، وما تقوم به أسلحة الجو للولايات المتحدة وجميع دول حلف الناتو، من محاولات انتهاك الأجواء الروسية، سواء على الجبهة الجنوبية، اي في منطقة البحر الأسود، او في بحر البلطيق وبحر بارينتس وشمال المحيط الهادئ، عند الحدود الروسية الجنوبية مع الصين واليابان، نقول إنه وبالنظر الى كلّ هذه الاستفزازات، مضاف اليها استمرار واشنطن وبروكسل في تعزيز حشود الناتو على حدود روسيا الشمالية الغربية، منطقة لينينغراد التي أصبحت في مرمى مدفعية قوات الناتو، وكذلك المحاولات اليائسة، التي تقوم بها واشنطن وبروكسل، لإسقاط الدولة في روسيا البيضاء والسيطرة على أراضيها رفعاً لمستوى التهديد الغربي للدولة الروسية، فإن كلاً من: روسيا والصين وإيران، الى جانب روسيا البيضاء وباكستان ودول أخرى عديدة، قرّرت اجراء تدريبات عسكرية مشتركة (تحت عنوان القوقاز 2020)، في جنوب غرب روسيا، تستمرّ من 21 وحتى 26 من شهر ايلول الحالي، وذلك في إطار الاستعدادات المشتركة لمواجهة أية اخطار عدوانية تواجه الدول المشاركة في التدريب.

ثامناً: وفي الختام لا بدّ من الإشارة الى انّ مراكمة القدرات، الاقتصادية والسياسية والعسكرية، لمواجهة العدوان الأميركي، قد جاءت نتيجة لثلاثين لقاء، بين الرئيسين الصيني والروسي، والعديد من اللقاءات بين الرئيسين الروسي والإيراني، كما أنها تشكل جزءاً من الردّ على الاستفزازات الجوية الأميركية الأوروبية، في أجواء البحر الاسود بشكل خاص، حيث اضطرت المقاتلات الروسية للتصدي لطائرات استطلاع وقاذفات استراتيجية أميركية أكثر من ثلاثين مرة، خلال شهر آب الماضي.

وهو الأمر الذي جعل إيران ايضاً تنفذ تمريناً عسكرياً بحرياً اطلقت علية اسم: ذو الفقار، بمساندة سلاح الجو والدفاع الجوي وقوات الانزال البحري وسلاح الصواريخ، في منطقة تمتد من بحر العرب وخليج هرمز وحتى غرب المحيط الهندي وتبلغ مساحتها مليوني كيلومتر مربع مستمرة حتى يومنا هذا، حيث تصدّت خلالها الدفاعات الجوية الإيرانية لثلاث طائرات استطلاع أميركية، الأولى من طراز P – 8، أما الثانية فهي مسيّرة من طراز غلوبال هوك MQ – 9، بينما الثالثة مسيّرة ايضاً ومن طراز RQ – 4، حيث كانت هذه الطائرات قد دخلت منطقة الاستطلاع الدفاعي الإيراني، مما اضطر طائرة إيرانية من طراز كرار أن تطلق طلقات تحذيرية باتجاه الطائرات الأميركية التي اضطرت الى مغادرة المنطقة.

وغنيّ عن القول طبعاً انّ في ذلك رسالة واضحة من إيران مفادها، انّ امن المنطقة الإقليمي، الممتدّ من سواحل إيران الجنوبية وبحر العرب وصولاً الى خط بحر قزوين/ البحر الأسود، هي من مسؤوليات دول المنطقة، ولا علاقة لا للولايات المتحدة ولا لدول الناتو بهذا الموضوع، على الرغم من انتشار قواعدها العسكرية على السواحل الغربية للبحر الاسود، في كل من بلغاريا ورومانيا وبعض الوجود العسكري في اوكرانيا.

اذن فهو تعاون ميداني مشترك، ذلك القائم بين الصين وروسيا وإيران، على الرغم من عدم وجود قاعدة عقائدية مشتركة، وهو ما يجعله تعاوناً يرتقي الى مستوى الحلف من دون ان يكون حلفاً ملزماً لكلّ اعضائه بكلّ السياسات والتفاصيل بالضرورة، كما هو حال حلف الناتو حالياً وحلف وارسو سابقاً، وهو الأمر الذي يمكن اعتباره تجديداً في العلاقات الدبلوماسية الدولية، ولكنه يتطابق تماماً مع احكام القانون الدولي، الذي ينظم العلاقات بين الدول.

وهذا ما جعل الكاتب الأميركي، دووغ باندو ينشر مقالاً، في مجلة ذي ناشيونال انتريست الأميركية، يوم 9/9/2020، تحت عنوان: لماذا يجب على أميركا الخوف من هذا الحلف؟

صحيح أن للخوف الأميركي هذا ما يبرره حالياً، لكن الصحيح ايضاً أن لا مبرر له، اذا ما اقتنعت الولايات المتحدة بان التطور الاقتصادي الصيني لن يوقفه لا الخوف الأميركي ولا المخططات العسكرية العدوانية للبنتاغون، وان الطريقة الوحيدة لقتل الخوف الأميركي، هي الرضوخ لمبدأ التعاون البناء مع الصين وروسيا وإيران إذا ما ارادت اثبات حسن نيتها في العلاقات الدولية، والاقتداء بنموذج هذه الدول في التطوير العلمي والتكنولوجي، اذ ان الصين هي الدولة الاولى في ألعالم من ناحية الاستثمار في البحث العلمي والتطوير التكنولوجي، وهي ايضاً الدولة التي يتخرج من جامعاتها سبعة ملايين مهندس، في مختلف الاختصاصات الهندسيّة بما فيها هندسة الكمبيوتر، وما يعنيه ذلك من اثراء لقدرات الدولة، على مختلف الصعد. وهذا ما ينطبق على كل من روسيا وإيران تماماً، ما يجعل المواجهة الاستراتيجية الدولية محسومة النتائج، لصالح التجمع المعادي للهيمنة الأميركيه، ولا مجال لإعادة عقارب الساعة الى الوراء، ولن تنفع اوهام ترامب، التي اعلن عنها يوم أمس، قائلاً ان لديه صواريخ لا يمتلك أحد مثلها…!

فليست بالصواريخ وحدها تعيش الأمم.

فهذا القرن هو قرن الحروب البيولوجيّة وعليك مواجهة الكورونا والقادم من الأوبئة وتنقذ الشعب الأميركي من صواريخك العبثية، قبل أن تتباهى بصواريخ لا وجود لها.

عالم جيوش اليانكي والكاوبوي يتقهقر، عالم ما بعد الدولار يتقدّم وينهض.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

دوافع التحرك الفرنسي في لبنان وحظوظ نجاحه

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

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فجأة يجد لبنان نفسه أمام اهتمام فرنسي غير مسبوق بنوعه وحجمه وعمقه، تحرك يقوده الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون شخصياً، وينفذ وفقاً لخطة عمل واضحة مقترنة بجدول زمني لا يحتمل المماطلة والتسويف، ما يؤكد جدّيتها البعيدة المدى ويظهر انّ صاحبها قرّر ان ينجح ولا يتقبّل فكرة الفشل في التحرك، فرصيده الشخصي في الميزان كما قال. انه الاهتمام الفرنسي بلبنان الذي يثير أسئلة مركزية حول دوافعه، ثم عن حظوظ نجاحه في منطقة يُعتبر العمل فيها صعباً ومعقداً ومحفوفاً بالمخاطر.

ونبدأ بالدوافع والأهداف، ونذكر أنه في العلاقات الدولية ليس هناك ما يسمّى جمعيات خيرية وتقديمات مجانية فلكلّ شيء ثمن ولكلّ عطاء مقابل. وبالتالي عندما نسأل عن دوافع وأهداف فرنسا من التحرك يعني السؤال ضمناً عن المصالح الفرنسية خاصة والغربية عامة التي تريد فرنسا تحقيقها عبر تحركها الناشط هذا.

وفي البحث عن تلك المصالح والأهداف نجد أنها من طبيعة استراتيجية سياسية واقتصادية وامنية، تفرض نفسها على فرنسا في مرحلة حرجة يمرّ بها الشرق الأوسط والعالم. حيث اننا في مخاض ولادة نظام عالمي جديد يلد من رحم الشرق الأوسط، الذي يتعرّض الآن لأكبر مراجعة لحدود النفوذ والسيطرة فيه. وتعلم فرنسا انّ من يمسك بورقة او بموقع في هذه المنطقة يحجز لنفسه حيّزاً يناسبه في النظام العالم الجديد، الذي ستحدّد أحجام النفوذ فيه وترسم حدودها انطلاقاً من فعالية تلك الأوراق التي يملكها الطرف ومساحة النفوذ التي يشغلها وحجم التحالفات التي ينسجها في إطار تشكيل المجموعات الاستراتيجية التي يقوم عليها النظام العالم العتيد.

وفي هذا الإطار تعلم فرنسا انّ ما أخذته من معاهدة التقاسم في سايكس بيكو يلفظ أنفاسه اليوم، وانّ هناك توزيعاً جديداً بين أطراف منهم من جاء حديثاً ومنهم من يريد استعادة دور سقط قبل 100 عام ومنهم من يريد المحافظة على مواقعه التي استقرّ بها بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية. ولأجل ذلك ترى فرنسا انّ لبنان هو المنطقة الأسهل والموقع الأكثر أمناً لتحركها واحتمال النجاح فيه أفضل بعد ان تهدّدت مواقعها في معظم المنطقة. وتراهن فرنسا في ذلك على خصوصية بعض المناطق مشرقياً ولبنانياً ثقافياً وعقائدياً بما يعقد حركة أقرانها الغربيين ويسهّل حركتها بعد ان احتفظت بعلاقات مميّزة مع فئات محدّدة خلافاً للموقف الانكلوسكسوني منهم. (إيران وحزب الله)

كما تعتبر فرنسا انّ لها في لبنان صلات مباشرة او غير مباشرة، قديمة او مستحدثة مع جميع الطوائف والمكونات اللبنانية بشكل يمكّنها من حوار الجميع وليس أمراً عابراً أن تلبّي جميع القوى السياسية الأساسية ذات التمثيل الشعبي والنيابي الوازن في لبنان، أن تلبّي دعوة الرئيس الفرنسي إلى طاولة برئاسته ويضع معهم او يطرح او يملي عليهم خطة عمل لإنقاذ لبنان ويحصل على موافقتهم للعمل والتنفيذ ضمن مهلة زمنية محدّدة.

ومن جهة أخرى نرى انّ فرنسا تريد ان تقطع الطريق في لبنان أمام المشروع التركي لاجتياح المنطقة بدءاً من العراق وسورية ولبنان وصولاً الى لبيبا التي كانت فرنسا أساساً في إسقاط حكمها بقيادة القذافي ثم وجدت نفسها اليوم خارج المعادلات التي تتحكم بالميدان الليبي حيث تتقدّم تركيا هناك على أيّ أحد آخر.

بالإضافة إلى ذلك ترى فرنسا أنّ انهيار لبنان كلياً سيضع الغرب أمام مأزقين خطيرين الأول متصل بطبيعة من يملأ الفراغ ويقبض على البلاد بعد الانهيار، وفي هذا لا يناقش أحد بأنّ المقاومة ومحورها هم البديل، والثاني متصل بالنازحين السوريين واللاجئين الفلسطينيين الذين لن يكون لهم مصلحة في البقاء في بلد منهار لا يؤمّن لهم متطلبات العيش وستكون هجرتهم غرباً شبه أكيدة بما يهدّد الأمن والاقتصاد الأوروبيين.

أما على الاتجاه الاقتصادي المباشر، فانّ فرنسا تعلم عبر شركاتها التي تداولت بملف النفط والغاز المرتقب اكتشافه في لبنان، انّ ثروة لبنان تقدّر بمئات المليارات من الدولارات وانّ حضورها في لبنان يضمن لها حصة من هذه الثروة التي تعتبر اليوم عنواناً من أهمّ عناوين الصراع في شرقي المتوسط.

أضف الى كلّ ما تقدّم الخطر الاستراتيجي الكبير الذي يخشى الغرب من تحوّل أو إمكانية تحوّل لبنان الى الشرق والصين تحديداً ما يحرم الغرب وأوروبا وفرنسا باباً استراتيجياً واقتصادياً عاماً للعبور الى غربي آسيا.

نكتفي بهذا دون الخوض بأسباب تاريخية وثقافية وفكرية إلخ… تربط فرنسا بلبنان وتدفعها الى “شنّ هذا الهجوم” لإنقاذه من الانهيار، وانتشاله من القعر الذي قاده السياسيون اليه. فهل ستتمكن فرنسا من النجاح؟

في البدء يجب لأن نذكر بأنّ أكثر من لاعب إقليمي ودولي يتحرك او يحضر للتحرك او يطمح بالعمل على المسرح اللبناني ذي الخصوصية الاستراتيجية التي ينفرد بها، وبالتالي ان الفشل والنجاح لأيّ فريق يكون وفقاً لإمكاناته ثم لقدراته على الاستفادة من إمكانات البعض دعماً لحركته، وتخطيه لخطط البعض الآخر التي تعرقل تلك لحركة. ففرنسا تعلم انها ليست بمفردها هنا وانّ المكونات السياسية في لبنان ترتبط طوعاً او ضغطاً بمرجعيات خارجية لا تتخطاها. ولذلك نرى انّ حظوظ فرنسا بالنجاح مقترنة بما يلي:

1

ـ العامل الأميركي. حتى الآن تعتبر أميركا صاحبة اليد الأقوى في القدرة على التخريب والتعطيل في لبنان، وصحيح انّ أميركا فقدت سلطة القرار الحاسم في لبنان بسبب وجود المقاومة فيه، إلا أنها احتفظت الى حدّ بعيد بالفيتو وبالقدرة على التخريب والتعطيل إما مباشرة بفعل تمارسه أو عبر وكلائها المحليين. وعلى فرنسا ان تتقي خطر التخريب الأميركي ولا تركن الى ما تعلنه أميركا من تطابق الأهداف الفرنسية والأميركية في لبنان، والى قرار أميركا بإنجاح المسعى الفرنسي، فالموقف الأميركي المعلن متصل بالمرحلة القائمة في أميركا والإقليم وحتى الانتخابات الرئاسية فقد تكون أميركا استعانت بفرنسا للتحرك لملء فراغ عارض من أجل تأخير انهيار لبنان ومنع وقوعه في اليد التي تخشى أميركا رؤيته فيها. وقد تكون الحركة الفرنسية بالمنظور الأميركي نوعاً آخر أو صيغة عملية من القرار 1559 الذي صنعاه معاً، ونفذاه معاً ثم استحوذت أميركا على المتابعة فيه. نقول هذا رغم علمنا بتبدّل الظروف بين اليوم والعام 2004، ما يجعلنا نتمسّك بفكرة التمايز بين الموقفين الفرنسي والأميركي وهذا التمايز يضع المسعى الفرنسي في دائرة خطر النسف او التخريب الأميركي الذي احتاطت له أميركا فربطت النزاع فيه من خلال موقف وكلائها من المبادرة الفرنسية بدءاً برفض تسمية مصطفى أديب رئيساً للحكومة.

2

ـ عامل المقاومة ومحورها. يجب على فرنسا ان تعلم وتتصرف بموجب هذا العلم انّ المقاومة في لبنان هي الفريق الأقوى بذاتها والطرف الأوسع تمثيلاً في لبنان والجهة الأبعد عمقاً إقليمياً فيه استراتيجيا، وبالتالي لا يمكن لأيّ مسعى في لبنان ان يُكتب له نجاح انْ كان في مواجهة المقاومة او على حسابها. ونحن نرى حتى الآن انّ فرنسا تدرك جيداً هذا الأمر وقد برعت في التعامل معه بواقعية ومنطق، لكن لا تكفي رسائل الطمأنينة بل يجب ان يكون الأمر ملازماً لأيّ تدبير او تصرف لاحق، ونحن نسجل بإيجابية السلوك الفرنسي في هذا المضمار حتى الآن.

3

ـ العامل الإقليمي. وهنا ينبغي الحذر والاحتياط في مواجهة أحداث وسلوكيات إقليمية طارئة او عارضة. فعلى فرنسا ان تعلم انّ جزءاً من مبادرتها يتناقض مع السعي التركي والأداء السعودي في لبنان، فضلاً عن الإمارات “المزهوة اليوم بصلحها مع “إسرائيل” وتطمح بفضاء استراتيجي لها في لبنان. لذلك يجب النظر لدور هذه الأطراف التي لها أو باتت لها أياد تخريبية واضحة كما انّ للسعودية قدرة على الضغط لمنع فرنسا من النجاح. ويكفي التوقف عند التناقض الرئيسي مرحلياً بين فرنسا والمعسكر الذي تقوده أميركا ومعها السعودية والإمارات حول حزب الله وسلاحه والعلاقة به لمنع فرنسا من النجاح لأن نجاحها مع تأجيل ملفّ السلاح خلافاً للرغبة السعودية الإماراتية الأميركية لا يروق لهم. ومن جهة أخرى يمكن الاستفادة إيجاباً من الموقف المصري الذي قد يعطي زخماً للتحرك الفرنسي.

4

ـ عامل الوقت. ليس أمام فرنسا سنين للتنفيذ بل هي فترة لا تتعدّى الأشهر الثلاثة، فإنْ نجحت كان لها ما أرادت وإنْ فشلت فإنّ متغيّرات ستحصل أميركياً وإقليمياً تجعل من متابعة المبادرة أمراً صعباً وتجعل النجاح مستحيلاً، وعليه إما ان نطوي العام على نجاح في الإنقاذ بيد فرنسية اوان ننسى كل شيء متصل بها.

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The world is going to multipolarity, Russian analyst says

By M.A. Saki 

August 24, 2020 – 20:50

 TEHRAN – Leonid Savin, a Russian political analyst, is of the opinion that the world is moving in the direction of “multipolarity” as the world is fed up with unipolar moves by Washington.

“The world is going to multipolarity, and humanity is tired of Washington’s dominance and unipolar operations,” Savin tells the Tehran Times. 

Savin also says Moscow is looking to the East as Russians have bitter memories of the West.

“Russian decision-makers started looking to the East more and more. Because historically, we faced serious threats from the West.”

Following is the full text of the interview:
 
Q: Iran and Russia are set to renew their “20-year agreement”. What is the importance of this agreement in terms of bilateral, regional, and international cooperation? 
 
A: The actual agreement was signed on March 12, 2001. During the last 20 years, there were many changes from attacks in New York and the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan till colored revolutions, coups, with attempts in Russia and Iran. The world is going to multipolarity, and humanity is tired of Washington’s dominance and unipolar operations. Both Iran and Russia are targets of U.S. sanctions, soft and strategic ways to destabilize our countries. Now we see the necessity of more active cooperation in defense, security, trade, industry, etc. 
Defense and security are very important, and the purpose of Iran to conduct new drills in the Persian Gulf will be a good response to U.S. presence in the region with an impact on regional stability. But other types of bilateral ties also need to be promoted and developed. We are neighbor countries (the Caspian Sea only between us) and destined to be together in Eurasian affairs. From the global geopolitical point of view, Russia and Iran are important poles, and our perception of the world polity is similar in many aspects.

“Now we see the necessity of more active cooperation in defense, security, trade, industry, etc.” between Russia and Iran, says Leonid Savin. 

Q: Some analysts and politicians argue that Russia, China, and Iran are forming an alliance against Washington’s bullying, sanctions pressure, and use of the dollar as a weapon. They cite the Iran-China-Russia joint naval exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman in December 2019 as the signs of such an alliance. What is your comment?

A: It is not alliance; because alliance usually means the duties and obligations of the members. There were no obligations, but mutual interests based on political realism. Actually, the alliance of mentioned countries (plus any) may affect much more on the fall of U.S. hegemony because it will more consolidate with certain roadmap and strategy, backed by our resources, manpower, and geographic positions. 
China has a specific outlook and prefers to run its own projects (organization of SCO even as Beijing’s idea to secure its borders and domestic issues like Uyghur and Tibet separatism), especially focused on communications (like BRI), not integration. Because of cheap labor forces in China, there is an economic opportunity to provide loans to other countries without political demands. Till now, this tool was very effective for Chinese foreign policy, but it cannot be useful all time and everywhere. 
Iran has a special agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union led by Russia. But historically, Iran was more interested in Africa, the Near East region, and Central Asia. So, it seems that the current turn of the three states is unique. But joint military exercises, including bilateral, are clear messages to the outsiders. I think that these tripartite efforts should be expanded and organized somewhere in the Caribbean, too, in partnership with our partners from Venezuela.

Q: What is your opinion of U.S. sanctions on Russia and even China? Can the U.S. undermine these two countries’ influence?

A: For the last six years after sanctions of the U.S. and its European satellites were imposed against Russia, there is no such negative impact on the Russian economy like architects of the sanctions predicted. The same for Iran and China. Western policymakers counted on our dependence on supplies, technologies, etc. But Russia implemented counter sanction to “beat the enemy by his own arms”.
We are succeeding in many spheres. Some production still not available here, but the government provided all the necessary needs to the people. And Russia secured our foreign policy for next year because we see the real face of Western diplomacy. 
Even pro-U.S. politicians and opinion-makers changed their minds. It is very important for the reorganizing of the political process and geopolitical priorities. Russian decision-makers started to look to the East more and more. Because historically, we faced serious threats from the West, the Napoleon invasion in 1812 and Hitler attack in 1941; these sanctions were just confirmation of the coward Western intentions.

“We need to note that advisers and persons responsible for the Middle East (West Asia) policy in the U.S. are linked with the Zionist pro-Israel lobby.”

Q: After failing to extend arms embargo, the U.S. is pushing to restore UN sanctions against Iran by invoking a snapback mechanism despite the fact that the U.S. quit the JCPOA in May 2018. Please give your comment.

A: Under the Trump administration, the White House and State Department will do everything to push on Iran. We need to note that advisers and persons responsible for the Middle East (West Asia) policy in the U.S. are linked with the Zionist pro-Israeli lobby. On the other hand, there should be no illusion about Democrats who are interested in controlling Iran through other ways. Also, the U.S. actively runs media propaganda and information operations against Iran. Tehran condemned for mostly all weird and chaotic things in the region from clashes in Syria and Iraq till blast in the port of Beirut and organization of narco-traffickers in Latin America. The last U.S. disinformation was that Iran proposed bounty for Taliban members to kill American troops before there were claims about Russia, but it was changed. Everything should be analyzed like multilayer but a united strategy of the U.S. against Iran.

Q: How do you assess European states’ position to U.S. sanctions against Iran? Why do they encourage Iran to fulfill its obligations in the nuclear deal while they cannot or are unwilling to resist the U.S. sanctions?

A: It is a pity that European countries still under the strong influence of Washington and afraid to act free and be independent. It is signing that the Euro Atlantic community is more powerful than continental Europe. Because two entities exist in one geographic and political space. Russia also suffers from irrational acts of some European politicians directed against the interests of European people. But if to consider the EU as a project of the U.S. and European Commission as anti-democratic government (members of the European Commission are not elected), there need to be real tectonic shifts in the European politics to get own sovereignty back. Any efforts from Russia and Iran for Europeans to be more Europeans and act in their own interests will be immediately labeled like the hostile interference into affairs. So, the issue is really tragic.

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Neither Trump Nor Biden Really Matter to China or Russia

Neither Trump Nor Biden Really Matter to China or Russia - TheAltWorld

Finian Cunningham July 30, 2020

Well, according to the Trump campaign, Democrat rival Joe Biden is the candidate whom Chinese leaders are rooting for to win the presidential election in November. “Beijing Biden” or “Sleepy Joe” would be a gift to China, so it goes.

In turn, trying to out-hawk the Republican incumbent, the Biden campaign paints Trump as being “soft” on China and having been “played” by Chinese counterparts over trade, the corona pandemic and allegations about human rights.

Biden, the former vice president in the previous Obama administrations, has vowed to impose more sanctions on China over allegations of rights violations. He claims to be the one who will “stand up” to Beijing if he is elected to the White House in three months’ time.

Last week, Biden declared he was “giving notice to the Kremlin and others [China]” that if elected to the presidency he would impose “substantial and lasting costs” on those who allegedly interfere in U.S. politics. That’s war talk based on worthless intel propaganda.

Trump meanwhile asserts that no-one is tougher than him when it comes to dealing with China (and Russia for that matter).

Given the Trump administration’s reckless policy of ramping up hostility towards China in recent months, that begs the question: how could a future Biden administration begin to be even more aggressive – short of going to war?

Relations between Washington and Beijing have plummeted to their worst levels since the historic detente initiated by President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s. The precipitous downward spiral has occurred under President Trump’s watch. So, how exactly could a prospective President Biden make the relationship more adversarial?

The truth is both Trump and Biden are equally vulnerable to domestic partisan criticism about their respective dealings with China. The belated high-handed approach that both are trying to project is pockmarked with risible hypocrisy.

The Trump campaign scores a valid point when it recalls how former Vice President Biden smooched and feted Chinese leaders with economic opportunities in the American economy.

Likewise, Trump stands accused of lavishing praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping while ignoring the impending coronavirus pandemic because Trump’s top priority was getting a trade deal with China.

The fact that both American politicians have U-turned with regard to China in such nasty terms must leave the authorities in Beijing with a deep sense of distrust in either of the would-be presidents.

Biden at one time waxed lyrical about his close relationship with Xi, but as his bid for the presidency heated up, Biden stuck the proverbial knife in the Chinese leader calling him a “thug”.

For his part, Trump previously referred to Xi as a “dear friend” while dining him with “beautiful chocolate cake” at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, but his administration has since slammed the Chinese leader as “authoritarian”. Trump’s racist slurs over the pandemic being “Kung Flu” and “Chinese plague” must give President Xi pause for disgust with the falseness.

At the end of day, can either of these presidential candidates be trusted to pursue principled U.S.-China relations going forward? The toxic anti-China campaigning by both indicates a level of puerile treachery which foreshadows no possible return to any kind of normalcy.

One distinction perhaps between Trump and Biden is the latter is promising to repair relations with Western allies to form a united front against China. To that end, a hawkish confrontational policy under Biden may have more impact on U.S.-China relations than under Trump. Trump has managed to alienate European allies with his broadsides over trade tariffs and NATO spending commitments. Although Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recently urged “an alliance of democracies” to confront China, that rallying call is likely to fall on deaf ears with European allies irked by Trump’s brash style. Biden on the other hand could bring a more unified Western policy of hostility towards Beijing (and Moscow) by affecting a more appeasing attitude towards Europe. In that way, Biden would be more preferred by the Pentagon and foreign policy establishment than Trump, just as Hillary Clinton was in 2016.

However, it is doubtful that Beijing is paying too much attention to what either candidate is saying or posturing at. If both of them can flip so much from talking softly to shouting loud anti-China profanities then their individual characters may be deemed malleable and unscrupulous. Both have shown a shameless streak in stoking anti-China bashing for electioneering gain. Trump pulled that trick last time out in 2016 when he railed against China for “raping America” only for him to discover “deep friendship” with Xi following that election. Now he has reverted to hostility out of self-serving calculation to whip up anti-China sentiment among voters. And Biden is apt to do the very same.

Forget about such fickle personalities when it comes to reading U.S. policy towards China. Beijing will be looking at the longer trajectory of how U.S. policy turned towards a more militarized approach with the “Pivot to Asia” under the Obama-Biden administration in 2011. Indicating how Deep State continuity transcends Democrat or Republican occupants of the White House, the next major indicator was in the Pentagon planning documents of 2017 and 2018 under Trump which labelled China and Russia as “great power rivals”. The American “ship of state”, it may be concluded, is therefore set on a collision course with both Beijing and Moscow in terms of ramping up a confrontational agenda. Who sits in the White House scarcely matters.

For Trump and Biden to trade barbs about which one is “softer” on China or Russia is irrelevant in the bigger picture of U.S. imperialist ambitions for global dominance. The logic of a waning American empire and the concomitant inherent belligerence to compensate for the perceived loss of U.S. global power are the issues to follow, not whether Trump or Biden clinch the dog-and-pony race to the White House.

The Sprit of Apollo-Soyuz Is Alive… With the Russia/China Space Alliance

The Sprit of Apollo-Soyuz Is Alive… With the Russia/China Space ...

Matthew Ehret August 1, 2020

Forty five years ago, Cold Warriors in the Pentagon and CIA shook their fists angrily at the stars- and for good reason.

On July 17, 1975 the first international handshake was occurring in space between Russian Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov and American astronaut Thomas Stafford as the first official act kicking off the historic Apollo-Soyuz cooperative mission. Taking place during age of nuclear terror on Earth, the Apollo-Soyuz represented a great hope for humankind and was the first ever international space mission leading the way to the MIR-USA cooperation and later International Space Station. Starting on July 15 as both Russian and American capsules launched simultaneously and continuing until July 24th, the Apollo-Soyuz cooperation saw astronauts and cosmonauts conducting joint experiments, exchanged gifts, and tree seeds later planted in each others’ nations.

As hope for a bright future of cooperation and co-discovery continued for the coming decades with mankind’s slow emergence as a space faring species, affairs on earth devolved in disturbing ways. A new era of regime change operations, Islamic terrorism and oil geopolitics took on new life in the 1980s and as globalization stripped formerly productive nations of their industrial/scientific potential, the Soviet Union collapsed by 1991. During this dark time, the consolidation of a corporatocracy under NAFTA and the European Maastricht Treaty occurred and transatlantic globalists gloated over the collapse of Russia and the rise of a utopian end-of-history, unipolar order.

In some ways, today’s world of 2020 is different from that of 1975 and in other ways it is disturbingly similar.

Today, a new generations of Cold Warriors has come to power in the Trans Atlantic Deep State who are willing to burn the earth under nuclear fire in defense of their utopian visions for world government which they see fast slipping away to the Multipolar alliance led by Russia and China. The clash of open vs closed system paradigms represented by the NATO/City of London cage on the one hand and the New Silk Road win-win paradigm of constant growth on the other has created a tension which is visceral and pregnant with potential for both good and evil.

This schism has also split American space policy between two opposing paradigms:

On the one hand a Deep State space vision for full spectrum dominance is defining Space Force (America’s newest branch of the military created in December 2019). Run out of the Pentagon and the most regressive neocon ideologues, this program calls for weaponizing space against the Russian Chinese alliance (and the rest of the world). Another, more sane vision for space is represented by leading NASA officials like Jim Bridenstine who have created NASA’s Artemis Accords calling for a framework for peaceful international cooperation in space. Bridenstine and other NASA officials have worked tirelessly to bring Russia and the USA into cooperative alliances on matters of space mining, asteroid defense and deep space exploration ever since President Trump’s 2017 directive to put mankind back on the moon for the first time since 1972 with plans to go to Mars following soon thereafter.

While U.S.-Russia space collaboration has moved at a snails pace even losing ground won in 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz spirit has expressed itself in another part of the world brilliantly, with the Russian-Chinese pact to jointly build a lunar base announced on July 23 by Roscosmos chief Dimitry Rogozin saying: “Recently, we have agreed that we will probably research the Moon and build a lunar research base together – Russia and China.”

This pact follows hot off the heals of the September 2019 agreement between both nations to jointly collaborate on Lunar activities over the coming decade which would begin with the Chang’e 7 lander and Luna 26 orbiter searching for lunar water in 2022. The Russia-China agreement also announced “creating and operating a joint Data Center for Lunar and Deep Space Research.”

On the same day that Rogozin announced the lunar research base, China’s Tianwen-1 (“Quest for Heavenly Truth”) launched on a Long March-5 carrier rocket from Hainan carrying an orbiter and rover scheduled to arrive in Mars’ orbit in February 2021. Once the rover lands on the surface of the red planet on May 2021, China will become the second nation to complete a successful soft landing after America (which has made 8 such landings since 1976, two of which are still operational). China’s orbiter will join the three American, two European and one Indian orbiters currently circling Mars.

Due to the fact that the Earth-Mars proximity is at it’s closest phase, several other important Mars launches have also occurred, with the United Arab Emirates launching the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission in history from Japan on Monday. This will be followed in short order by America’s Perseverance Mars Rover which will be launched from Cape Canaveral and will join the Curiosity rover that landed in 2012.

NASA has stated that Perseverance’s mission will involve seeking signs of microbial life, ancient life and subsurface water as well as “testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.”

What makes this Russia-China pact space pact additionally important is that it creates a potential flank in the anti-China space cooperation ban signed into law with the 2011 Wolf Act. By integrating into China’s advanced space program, Russia (which currently suffers from no similar bans to cooperation from western powers) may provide a lateral pathway for cooperation with China needed to bypass the ban. Russian-USA plans to cooperate on such programs as the Lunar Gateway station orbiting the moon still exists as well as other Soyuz-U.S. collaborative launches that have been planned through 2021 so hope on this level is not without foundation. Even though America has regained the capability to launch manned space craft with the Crew Dragon launch of this year, Bridenstine has said:

“We see a day when Russian cosmonauts can launch on American rockets, and American astronauts can launch on Russian rockets. Remember, half of the International Space Station is Russian, and if we’re going to make sure that we have continual access to it, and that they have continual access to it, then we’re going to need to be willing to launch on each other’s vehicles.”

Putin’s Strategic Open System Vision

We also know that since President Trump’s April 6, 2020 executive order making lunar and mars mining a priority of American space policy, he and President Putin have held four discussions in which space cooperation has arisen. While neocon war haws in the Pentagon and British military intelligence scream of Russian/Chinese aggression and accuse Russia of testing anti-satellite ballistic weapons, the first bilateral U.S.-Russia space security talks have restarted since 2013.

Four days after Trump’s executive order, Putin addressed American and Russian astronauts on board the ISS and said:

“We are pleased that our specialists are successfully working under the ISS program with their colleagues from the United States of America, one of the leading space powers. This is a clear example of an effective partnership between our countries in the interests of all mankind.”

Putin went on to say:

“I believe that even now, when the world is confronted with challenges, space activities will continue, including our cooperation with foreign partners, because mankind cannot stand still but will always try to move forward and join forces to advance the boundaries of knowledge… despite difficulties, people sought to make their dream of space travel come true, fearlessly entered the unknown and achieved success.”

The impending economic collapse has forced certain uncomfortable truths to the surface: 1) we will get a new global economic and security system soon, 2) that system will be of a closed system/unipolar nature or it will be an open system/multipolar character. If it is an open system then humanity will have learned that in order to successfully exist within a creative, evolving universe, we must tie our fates to becoming a self-consciously creative, evolving species locking our economic, cultural and political realities into this discoverable character of reality.

If the new system is of a closed/entropic order as certain advocates of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset are proclaiming, then a much unhappier fate awaits our children and grandchildren which would make World War II look like a cake walk.

هل تحقق أميركا أهدافها بـ «استراتيجية القوة الذكيّة الخفيّة»؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

كان السعي الأميركي ويكاد لا يزال مستميتاً من أجل السيطرة على العالم، ورغم كلّ الإخفاقات التي وقع فيها المشروع الأميركي العالمي القائم على فكرة الأحاديّة القطبيّة، فإنّ كثيراً من أرباب هذا المشروع لا يزالون مصرّين على المحاولة ويتصوّرون وجود فرص لإنقاذه، رغم أنّ أحداً من العقلاء لا يرى أنّ فرص نجاح الأحاديّة القطبيّة فيها شيء من العقلانية والموضوعية بل نكاد نرى إجماعاً بين الباحثين والاستراتيجيين العقلاء الموضوعيين، على القول بموت الأحادية وتشكل البيئة الدولية لنظام عالمي قيد التشكل حالياً قائم على تعددية المكونات والمجموعات الاستراتيجية، نظام لا ينفرد به أحد ولا يُقصى عنه إلا الضعفاء الخائرو القوى، ويكون للمكون فيه من الوزن والنفوذ مقدار ما يملك من قوة وقدرة ذاتية او تحالفية..

بيد أنّ أميركا التي خسرت منطقيّاً مشروعها الأحادي القطبية تصرّ على محاولة السيطرة وإسقاط الأعداء ومحاصرتهم، ويبدو لها الشرق الأوسط الميدان الرئيسي للعمل المجدي نظراً لخصائص هذا الميدان وجغرافيّته وثرواته، ومن أجل الإمساك الأحادي بالمنطقة عملت أميركا باستراتيجيات متتابعة مختلفة، كلما تعثرت في واحدة انتقلت إلى أخرى بدءاً من العام 1990 أيّ بعد تفكّك الاتحاد السوفياتيّ حيث سارعت إلى زجّ جيوشها وجيوش حلفائها في جبهات الشرق الأوسط عملاً بـ “استراتيجية القوة الصلبة” التي تعثرت في العام 2006، حيث عجزت في لبنان عن تحقيق أهداف “إسرائيل” وأميركا في الميدان عجزاً أجبر أميركا على التحوّل إلى “استراتيجية القوة الناعمة” التي سقطت هي الأخرى في العام 2009 في إيران بعد لبنان، فكان تحوّل أميركي إلى “استراتيجية القوة العمياء” والحروب البديلة التي تخوضها أميركا بتجميعات إرهابية شكلت واستجلبت وزجّت في الميدان تحت عناوين دينيّة تحاكي ما كان قاله رئيس “سي أي آي” (C.I.A.) السابق في محاضرته أمام معهد عسكري في أميركا في العام 2006 أيّ بعد هزيمة “إسرائيل” وأميركا في جنوب لبنان، حيث قال هذا المسؤول السابق “علينا ان نصنع لهم سلاماً يناسبنا فينقسمون حوله ويقتتلون حتى يتآكلوا ثم يستغيثوا بنا فنعود إليهم محتلين مجدّداً”.

وبمقتضى “استراتيجية القوة العمياء” هذه شنّت الحرب الكونية على سورية، لكن سورية صمدت في مواجهتها واستطاعت بعد ان كانت فقدت السيطرة على 80% من أرضها في العام 2015، استطاعت ان تستعيد السيطرة على أكثر من 80% من مساحتها ووجهت بذاك رسالة حاسمة وقاطعة لقوى العدوان وعلى رأسها أميركا بأنهم فشلوا وانّ استراتيجيتهم أخفقت كما فشلت سابقاتها الصلبة والناعمة، واصطفّت العمياء إلى جانب ما مضى.

وبدل أن تقرّ أميركا باستحالة مشروعها وتتحوّل عنه إلى نهج واقعي عادل تعترف فيه للآخرين بحقوقهم، أمعنت في النهج العدواني وابتدعت استراتيجية عدوان رابعة قد تكون الأكثر خبثاً وكيداً مما سبق، استراتيجية عبّر عنها أحد المنظرين الاستراتيجيين لديهم في محاضرة ألقاها في “إسرائيل” في 1/12/2018 أكد فيها أنّ المواجهة الجديدة ستكون مختلفة عما عداها ويجب أن تنجح هذه المرة في تحقيق المبتغى، فهذه المرة “ليس الهدف تحطيم المؤسسة العسكرية للعدو بل الهدف هو الإنهاك والتآكل البطيء لقوى العدو، ويكون ذلك بزعزعة الاستقرار في دولة الخصم وهو أمر ينفذه مواطنون من الدولة بوجه حكوماتهم، وحصار وتجويع يمارَس من الخارج حتى يثور الشعب بوجه الحكومة ويمارس ذلك بشكل متواصل وصولاً إلى إرغامه على المجيء راكعاً إلى طاولة التفاوض والخضوع لإرادتنا”.

هذه هي استراتيجية أميركا اليوم في المنطقة، الاستراتيجية التي تترجم في لبنان حصاراً ودفعاً إلى التآكل وعدم الاستقرار. وهذا ما يفسّر كلّ ما جرى من آذار 2019 حيث أطلق بومبيو خطة إسقاط لبنان من بيروت… انّ استراتيجية القوة الخفية الذكية التي تشنّ أميركا بمقتضاها الحرب على لبنان وتدّعي أنها حرب على حزب الله فقط، تترجم بالتلاعب بالنقد الوطني والحصار الاقتصادي والتهويل بالتجويع، وأخيراً بطرح “حياد لبنان” وما أنتجه الطرح من انقسام في لبنان ينذر بانفجار داخلي لم يعد أمره مستبعداً في ظلّ الاحتقان القائم بسبب طرح عقيم لا أرضية واقعية مطلقة لنجاحه، طرح علم صاحبه استحالة تطبيقه واستمرّ مُصراً عليه، وهنا الارتياب الشديد من الطرح وصاحبه، حيث يبدو أنّ المقصود هو التشرذم والانقسام وليس تنفيذ الطرح بذاته.

أما في سورية فإنّ “استراتيجية القوة الخفية الناعمة تترجم بالمقولة الأميركية “إطالة أمد الصراع” ومنع الحلّ السياسي ومنع الحسم العسكري ما يقود إلى الإنهاك والتأمّل وهذا ما تنفذه أميركا بيدها وعبر أدواتها تركيا والجماعات الإرهابية ويعطى الدور المتقدّم فيها لتركيا و”قسد” والآن تحرك جماعات المسلحين في الجنوب، طبعاً يُضاف إلى هذا ما جاء به “قانون قيصر” من حصار وخنق لسورية اقتصادياً ومالياً ورغبة في فرض عزلة دولية كامل عليها اقتصادياً.

ونصل إلى إيران، حيث تبدو تطبيقات “القوة الخفية الذكية” من طبيعة مختلفة قسوة وإيلاماً، فقد لجأت أميركا و”إسرائيل” إضافة إلى الحرب والإرهاب الاقتصادي ضدّ إيران، وبعد أن مارست عمليات الاغتيال الصريح المعلن عنها، لجأت إلى الحرب السيبيرانية وعمليات الخلايا الإرهابية لتنفيذ التخريب والإخلال بالأمن في الداخل الإيراني، وترجم هذا باغتيالات مسؤولين، وتفجيرات مراكز ذات صلة بالملف النووي الإيراني السلمي، وحرائق في مراكز اقتصادية استراتيجية واعتداءات على مراكز عسكرية، تطبيقاً لاستراتيجية “القوة الخفيّة الذكيّة” التي تسبّبت في إيران بخسائر بشرية ومادية أنتجت حذراً وفرضت تأهّباً لا بدّ منه.

وبهذا نقول وضوحاً إنّ المنطقة والعالم عامة ومحور المقاومة بشكل خاص دخلا في طور جديد من المواجهة مع أرباب المشروع الصهيو – أميركي، مواجهة تعتمد استراتيجية القوة الخفية الذكية المركبة من إخلال بالأمن، وحصار اقتصادي، وأعمال قتل وتخريب لا يُعلن عن الفاعل فيها (ولذلك هي قوة خفية) ويقوم بتنفيذها بشكل رئيسي مواطنون من الدولة المستهدفة، عملاء أو مغرّر بهم، وخلايا مسلحة خفية نائمة أو علنية رافضة للحكومة، وتدار بيد أميركية صهيونية تعلن عن نفسها حيناً وتبقى متخفية أكثر الأحيان.

بيد انّ الدفاع في مواجهة القوة الخفية الذكية المركبة ليس امراً سهلاً حيث لا بدّ ان يكون أيضاً دفاعاً مركباً فيه التدابير الداخلية لتحصين المناعة الداخلية منعاً للإنهاك المعنوي، وفيه اجتراح البدائل لتعطيل مفاعيل الحصار الاقتصادي، وفيه التدابير السياسية والأمنية للمحافظة على الاستقرار الداخلي ومنع زعزعته، وأخيراً وهذا الهامّ جداً فيه العمليات الانتقامية وردود الفعل المؤلمة ضدّ العدو عبر عمليات أمنية وهجومات سيبرانية وأعمال انتقامية تصيب بنيته، وهذا ما بدأت إيران بفعله ويقتضي تكثيف العمل على هذا المسار حتى يشعر العدو بالألم فيتوقف عن العدوان.

وعليه نرى انّ شروط نجاح أميركا في استراتيجية القوة الخفية الذكية المركبة هي أربعة…

ـ وجود مواطنين في الدولة يرتضون التحوّل إلى عملاء لها لزعزعة الاستقرار، وعجز الدولة عن احتوائهم ومنعهم من ارتكاب جرائهم، ثم عجز الدولة عن إيجاد البدائل الاقتصادية التي تمنع الجوع والانهيار، وأخيراً عجز الدولة عن القيام بالأعمال الدفاعية الانتقامية رداً على الحرب السيبيرانية والإرهابية التخريبية.

وفي تقييم أوّلي نجد انّ إيران بما لديها من قوة وإرادة وخبرة قادرة على المواجهة، وقادرة على إنزال الهزيمة بالعدو في استراتيجيته الرابعة هذه، أما سورية التي صمدت وانتصرت في مواجهة أعتى حرب كونية تستهدف دولة فإنها تملك القدرة والخبرة والثقة والإرادة على أفشال أميركا و”إسرائيل” في هذا النمط الجديد أيضاً، ويبقى لبنان الذي قد يشكل خاصرة الضعف في المشروع نظراً لاعتبارات ديمغرافية وسياسية وبنوية وطائفية، وهذا ما يستلزم الاستعداد والحذر، ورغم ثقتنا بقدرة المقاومة وحلفائها في السلطة وخارجها كما ومناعة بيئة المقاومة ثقتنا بقدرتهم على المواجهة حتى تحقيق فشل المشروع، إلا أننا نرى انه من الواجب التحذير من خطورة الموقف…

*أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي

روسيا بين القيصريّة والسوفياتيّة على متن قطار الشرق الأوسط!‏

 د. وفيق إبراهيم

الاقتراع الروسي لصالح التعديلات الدستورية الأخيرة في دولتهم تختزن إصراراً شعبياً كبيراً على عودة بلادهم إلى التعددية القطبية!

هذا هو المضمون الفعلي لتأييدها من 78% من المواطنين الروس مقابل اعتراض 21% على تعديلات دستورية تُحدث تطويراً في القيم والمؤسسات، وشارك فيها 65% من مجمل شعوب روسيا، هذا رقم كبير في عالم الديمقراطيات الغربية لا تجب مقارنته أبداً بالاستفتاءات العربية التي تعطي رئيس البلاد 99% فقط! وتصل المخابرات ليلها بالنهار بحثاً عن 0.1% تغيّب عن الانتخابات شديدة الشكلية.أما السؤال القابل للمعالجة، فيتعلق بكيفية الربط بين هذه التعديلات ومكانة روسيا العالمية، علماً أنها لا تتطرق إلى هذا الأمر بشكل علني.أولاً تجب الإشارة إلى أن هذه التعديلات لها جانب كبير يتعلق بتعميم القيم الوطنية والولاء للمؤسسات وحقوق المواطن وأدواره في الدفاع عن بلاده سياسياً واجتماعياً واقتصادياً وصولاً إلى الدفاع الوطني.لكن جانبها «الكوني» يرتدي لبوس تعديلات دستورية تسمح للرئيس الروسي البقاء في ولايتين رئاسيتين متتاليتين ابتداء من تاريخ إقرار هذه التعديلات.وهذا يؤدي إلى «تصفير» العداد الرئاسي السابق وإعادة فتحه بموجب هذه التعديلات الجديدة على ولايتين رئاسيتين مدتهما اثنتي عشرة سنة.

وبما أن ولاية الرئيس الروسي الحالي فلاديمير بوتين تنتهي في 2024 أي بعد عشرين سنة من تنقله بين مجلس رئاسة الوزراء في بلاده، ورئاسة الجمهورية، فيكون بوتين مرشحاً لحكم روسيا 32 سنة متواصلة تشبه حكم القياصرة شكلاً والسوفياتية لناحية المضمون الاستراتيجي الذي يريد انتزاع دور عالمي يماثل الشكل السوفياتي إنما بمضمون معاصر يقترب من العالم الغربي.

من الواضح إذاً أن هذه التعديلات تخدم مباشرة التمديد لبوتين بآليات انتخابيّة ميزتها أنها قابلة للتجديد والتمديد.

فلماذا يريد الشعب الروسي بتنوعاته القومية والعرقية فتح الطريق أمام مَن يعتقدون أنه «بطل روسيا»؟

يقول التحليل التاريخي إن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي في 1989 عكس التراجع الروسي المخيف بدءاً من الثمانينيات لانخراط الاتحاد السوفياتي في حروب تسلح وفضاء ودعم لمدى جيوبوليتيكي واسع.. منفرداً.. مما أدى إلى سقوط هذه الظاهرة الجيوبولتيكية الهامة التي أدت دوراً محترماً في عرقلة الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم منذ الخمسينيات وحتى أواخر الثمانينيات من القرن العشرين إنما بشكل نسبيّ طبعاً.

لكن روسيا وريثة السوفيات، استسلمت بين 1990 تاريخ إعادة تأسيسها وحتى مطلع القرن العشرين للهيمنة الأميركية وصولاً إلى حدود التبعية الكاملة لها، وهي المرحلة التي تسلم الرئاسة فيها بوريس يلتسن الذي قضى عهوده الرئاسية معاقراً للفودكا إلى حدود السكر والاغتراب عن هموم بلاده، حتى أصبحت روسيا في عداد الدولة المعدومة التأثير ومتراجعة اقتصادياً على مستوى الداخل ولا يهمها تلك التغيرات الجيوسياسية التي اتخذها الأميركيون لتطويقها في أوروبا شرقية كانت متحالفة معها، وإبعادها نهائياً عن الشرق الأوسط وجنوب شرق آسيا ورفع مستوى تناقضاتها مع أوروبا.

هذا ما تسلّمه بوتين في 2004 في رئاسة الوزراء ورئاسة البلاد، إلا أنه لم يقبل بهذه الوضعية الروسية المتقهقرة، فبنى خطة بدأت بتمهيد وضعية سياسية موالية لفكرة استنهاض روسي بمدى جيوبولتيكي، وهذا دعاه للتوطيد السياسي وإعادة دعم الممكن من الاقتصاد المنهار خارجياً. اعتبر يلتسن أن تحصين الحدود الروسية مع أوكرانيا «المتأمركة» وأوسينيا وبعض المناطق الأخرى بانياً شبكة أمان في جواره الإقليمي، لكنه سرعان ما أعاد الحيوية إلى علاقات بلاده بالصين على أساس اقتصادي بين البلدين وجيوبولتيكي خارجي للتعامل مع الحذر مع الهيمنة الأميركية.

للمزيد من التأمين الاقتصادي اخترق بوتين الحظر الأميركي على دور روسي في أوروبا، فأسس لمرور أكبر ثلاثة خطوط لأنابيب الغاز الروسي: واحد إلى ألمانيا مباشرةً عبر بحر البلطيق وآخر إلى أوكرانيا فأوروبا وثالث عبر البحر الأسود إلى تركيا فأوروبا أيضاً، مؤكداً بذلك على الدور المركزي الجيوسياسي للغاز الروسي في العالم، وهذا اختراق كبير للجيوبولتيك الأميركي الذي كان يعمل على تطويق روسيا اقتصادياً واستراتيجياً لمنعها حتى من مجرد التفكير والحلم بالقطبية العالمية.

لم يكتف بوتين بهذه الإنجازات بعد تأكده من عجزها عن استرداد الدور العالمي لبلاده.

هنا نراه أعاد تجديد دور قاعدة حميميم الروسية المنصوبة على الساحل السوري منذ زمن السوفيات.

لذلك كان الغبار يعتريها وتكاد تجسد ذكريات سابقة عن جيوبولتيك سوفياتي منهار.هنا نجح بوتين باتفاقات تمهيديّة مع إيران وحزب الله من تحويل حميميم إلى دور روسي عسكري وسياسي كبير بالتعاون العميق مع الدولة السورية.لقد بدت الحركة العسكرية الروسية في سورية واسعة النطاق وحاربت إلى جانب الجيش السوري وحلفائه على كامل الأرض السورية حتى أنّها نفذت مئة وعشرين ألف غارة جوية في مختلف المناطق من دون احتساب القصف المدفعي والصاروخي والعمليات البرية.لقد ظهرت مرامي بوتين من خلال إمساكه بآليّة أستانة وسوتشي مع الأتراك والإيرانيين وبمهادنته السعودية لأسباب تتعلق بضرورات التنسيق في أسواق النفط. فاتحاً علاقات مع العراق والجزائر ومصر محاولاً البحث عن عناصر للعودة إلى اليمن من بوابة العثور على اتفاق بين أجنحته المتقاتلة، مقدماً للبنان عروضاً في الاقتصاد والتسلّح وحاملاً معه إلى ليبيا ذكريات سوفياتية كانت على علاقات جيدة مع القذافي.

يتضح بذلك أن بوتين الممهّد لأدواره المتواصلة في رئاسة روسيا حتى العالم 2036 يتمتع بتأييد شعبي قوي، يؤهله لأداء دور قيصر أو حاكم سوفياتي بصلاحيات إمبراطورية، يريد العودة إلى الشرق الأوسط لأهداف تتعلق بحرصه على العودة إلى النظام القطبي المتعدد، بما يؤهله لتنظيم علاقات اقتصادية مع العرب والمسلمين وتوريد أسلحة لبلدان الشرق الأوسط والمساهمة في التنافس على الغاز في البحر الأبيض المتوسط، بذلك يجد الأميركيون أنفسهم مضطرين لتسهيل ولادة نظام قطبي جديد، يجسد فيه بوتين الروسي دور النجومية لأهمية بلاده من جهة وإمكاناته الشخصية المنسقة مع أدائه في المرحلة السوفياتية دور ضابط مخابرات ناجح.

الأميركيّون يَتعسّرونَ مجدّداً‎ ‎في الشرق الأوسط

د. وفيق إبراهيم

محاولات الأميركيين لترميم تراجعاتهم في الشرق الأوسط تصطدم بعقبات حادة جداً، تدفع بهم نحو مزيد من الخسائر وسط ترقبين صيني وروسي يتحيّنان الفرص للاستثمار.

كما أنّ إيران تواصل اختراقاتها للنفوذ الأميركي فتذهب أكثر نحو وضعية الدولة الإقليمية الأساسية، وتدعم بذلك التقدم الروسي –الصيني.

لذلك فإنّ عالماً متعدد القطب يتسلل من خلال رائحة البارود في الشرق الأوسط والصراعات المتفاقمة في معظم دوله.

كيف يحاول الأميركيون ترميم تراجعهم؟

يبدو واضحاً أنهم يعملون على إعادة إحياء معارك جديدة في معظم البلدان التي كان الإيرانيون قد بنوا فيها مواقع تحالفات هامة.

فبدأوا باستخدام شعارات متشابهة في العراق ولبنان بواسطة تحالفاتهم في هذين البلدين.

هذا التشابه استند إلى وجود سلاح خارج إطار الدولة في البلدين، أيّ الحشد الشعبي في العراق وحزب الله في لبنان.

فهل من باب المصادفات أن تفتح القوى العراقية المؤيدة للأميركيين داخل حكومة الكاظمي وأحزاب الوسط وكردستان وبعض الأطراف الجنوبية ملف سلاح الحشد الشعبي وضرورة وجود سلاح شرعي واحد خاص بالدولة؟

وهل من باب الحرص على الأمن العراقي، الهجوم الذي شنته المخابرات العراقية مدعومة من الجيش على مكاتب «حزب الله العراق» بذريعة أنه يهاجم المنطقة الخضراء في بغداد، حيث تمركزت قوات أميركية؟ وسرعان ما ترتفع أصوات بضرورة تجريد الحشد الشعبي من سلاحه؟

للتنبيه فإنّ هذا الحشد هو الذي قضى على الإرهاب القاعدي والداعشي الذي كان مدعوماً منذ 2016 من تركيا وأميركا. ولم يكتفِ الحشد بالدفاع عن المناطق الشيعية بل حرر الموصل والمناطق الوسطى وكركوك مانعاً سقوط العاصمة بغداد وكردستان في الشمال.

أما العنصر الإضافي فهو أنّ الجيش العراقي لم يتمكن من إعادة بناء قواه وألويته بسبب الممانعة الأميركية الواضحة.

هذا يعني أنّ الأميركيين يمنعون تشكل قوة عسكرية مركزية، لإبقاء العراق ممزّقاً بين جهات ثلاث، وبالتالي سياسات ثلاث إلى أن تحين مرحلة تشكّل ثلاث دول على أنقاض العراق الواحد.

هذا الموضوع جرى نسخه في لبنان أيضاً.

فبدأ السياسيون الأميركيون في واشنطن بالمطالبة بتجريد حزب الله من سلاحه وحصره بالدولة اللبنانية. فانتقل الأمر إلى السفيرة الأميركية في بيروت دوروثي شيا التي بدأت بإطلاق تصريحات تربط بين تجريد السلاح من أيدي حزب الله والمساعدات المالية للبنان من الأميركيين وصندوق النقد الدولي.

ولم تكتفِ بهذا القدر، بل حرّضت تحالفاتها اللبنانية على استهداف سلاح حزب الله بشكل يوميّ، وكادت أن تدفع الأوضاع الداخلية اللبنانية إلى احتراب داخلي خطير.وتبيّن في غضون الشهر الأخير أنّ هناك عودة ملحوظة لتنظيمات إرهابية من داعش والنصرة إلى شرقي سورية وأنبار العراق ووسطه متواكباً مع رفض أميركي في مجلس الأمن الدولي على رفض وضع منظمة حراس الدين المتفرّعة من القاعدة على لائحة الإرهاب الدولي.

فاتضح على الفور أن الأميركيين يراهنون على حراس الدين الذين يمتلكون نحو ألفي مسلح في منطقة إدلب السورية، لوقف تقدم الجيش السوري مع فتح الباب مجدداً لآلاف المقاتلين من داعش والنصرة للعودة العسكرية الفاعلة إلى البادية السورية والمناطق المحاذية لآبار النفط في شرقي سورية.

أما لجهة إيران فنظم الأميركيّون عقوبات جديدة عليها، متجهين لدعم هجمات سعوديّة على شمالي اليمن ومُحرّضينَ تحالفاتهم على اقتسام الجنوب.

ما هي نتائج هذا التحرك الأميركي الجديد؟

على مستوى العراق أعاد «الحشد الشعبي» تنظيم قواه ووحدة تنظيماته، دافعاً نحو الإفراج عن مقاتلي «حزب الله العراق» الذين اعتقلتهم حكومة الكاظمي.

بذلك تمكن هذا الحشد من الكشف عن «أميركيّة الكاظمي»، وهذا لن يتأخر في إحراق مزاعمه بالوسطية والدور المتوازن داخل العراق، واعتباره هدفاً رديفاً للاحتلال الأميركي فيه، أي أن الأميركيين خسروا ورقة كادت أن تنجح بإيهام العراقيين بإدارتها المتوازنة.

هنا يجب التنبه إلى أن العراق عاد إلى أداء دور ميدان مفتوح الصراع بين الحشد الشعبي وتحالفاته وبين الأميركيين المحتلين وتحالفاتهم، وذلك بعد هدنة لم تزد عن أقل من شهرين.

لجهة لبنان، طوّق حزب الله وتحالفاته الهجمات المطالبة بتجريده من سلاحه، مستثيراً أجواء تأييد شعبية، تمكنت من تطويق حركة السفيرة الأميركية وتحالفاتها الداخلية، على قاعدة أن لسلاح حزب الله دوراً وطنياً متواصلاً بمواكبة استمرار المخاطر الإسرائيلية على لبنان من جهة والإرهاب الإسلامي من جهة أخرى.

أما اليمن، فنجح باستيعاب هجمات جوية سعودية، معيداً إطلاق صورايخ ومسيّرات أصابت وزارة الدفاع السعودية في الرياض وإدارة المخابرات وقواعد عسكرية عدة، كما نجح بتحرير مديرية ردمان بالكامل.

ولم تتأثر إيران بالعقوبات الأميركية الإضافية التي مرت من دون أي ضرر يذكر.

هذه الخيبات شجعت الأميركيين على تشجيع منظمة «قسد» الكردية على سرقة غلال السوريين الزراعية في الشرق والسكك الحديدية والإقدام على عمليات قتل وسرقة وخطف لنشر الفوضى.

يتبين أن محاولات الترميم الأميركية أصيبت بخسارة جديدة قد لا ترمي بها خارج الشرق الأوسط، لكنها تضعها في مأزق جديد وتحشرها في صراعات جديدة لن تكون لها فيها الريادة والسيادة.ما يعني أن الورقة الأميركية الأخيرة هي حرب إسرائيلية على لبنان بمواكبة هجمات أميركية في شرق سورية وإدلب والعراق فهل هذا ممكن؟

إذا حدثت هذه الحرب، فلن تكون أكثر من إعلان عن انتهاء العصر الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط أو ولادة نظام متعدّد القطب تشارك فيه إيران على مستوى العالم الإسلامي.

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 1

June 27, 2020

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 1

by Straight-Bat for the Saker Blog

This will be presented in 3 parts and in 3 different blog posts

PART – 1

1. INTRODUCTION

The world is tottering under the omnipresent virus covid19. Since January’2020, economic and sociological parameters went into a tailspin in one after another country across the globe. By end of year 2020, when the corona pandemic would be under control in all the top 25 countries (with GDP PPP more than 1 trillion $ in 2018, as per World Bank estimates), global economic fabric would have been torn apart with unheard of impact on society, few of which are:

  • millions of sick people will need medical care,
  • millions of unemployed people (and continuously growing) will need food and shelter,
  • at least one-third of the medium and large industrial and utility producing units will be financially sick, while close to half of the small scale units permanently closed down,
  • due to decline of overall purchasing power among the citizens, demand of manufactured products will decline dramatically with simultaneous upsurge of demand for medicines,
  • banking system will be under tremendous stress to renegotiate with their clients to reschedule loan repay and/or write-off loans,
  • Governments will be embarrassed with dwindling tax collection, large scale impoverishments which would accompany increasing unrest among common people

Under the above circumstances, what would be the action plan of the global oligarchy who collectively own banking and industrial sectors and who maintain the current unipolar world order through chosen members of the so-called (USA/5Eyes/Israel) Deep State? We need to remember that there exist nothing like ‘national capitalism’ – by virtue of its expansionary characteristic, ‘capitalism’ has always been global in outlook which resulted in ‘world system’ with industrially advanced society forming the ‘core’ and rest of the world forming the ‘periphery’. The global oligarchy has its interest in EVERY nook and corner of the globe. Deep State elites maintain strong economic and political alliances with almost all countries where, ALL significant political parties and large business houses of every hue and colours are joined through invisible covenant to continuously extend their support, and, in return get benefitted from the global oligarchy. (Cuba and North Korea are the exceptions owing to their overtly and fiercely ‘independent’ policy of governance; for past two decades, Russia-China-Iran-Venezuela governments are resisting the global oligarchy and their local partners with gusto.)

The answer to above question is – state policy and implementation of the same would be geared towards accumulation of capital in every country except the above mentioned six countries. Other than getting humongous sums as bailout packages from governments and share buy-back programmes through zero interest loan, the oligarchy (1% of the population) and flunky elites (5% to 15% of the population) has little interest in governance and support to common people in distress.

[ Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/21/american-billionaires-got-434-billion-richer-during-the-pandemic.html ]

A closer look reveals that, among those six ‘resistance camp’ countries, only China has both: landmass and population, that can be termed as ‘resources’ necessary to resist unipolar world order, roll back onward march of global capitalism, and simultaneously build a multipolar world order and more equitable society in close coordination with Russia. So it is natural to expect that China leads socio-economic rejuvenation of the world with full support from Russia. China is also well positioned to harness the strengths of Iran-North Korea-Cube-Venezuela. On behalf of peace-loving people who believe in truth-justice-equality, let me dig deeper into the proposition.

The journey will begin with review of Qing Chinese society as well as economy and industry of Qing era, then discuss the current Communist epoch, and end with future possibilities. Looking back is necessary, because a society which have a significant past would have a remarkable future as well.

2. CHINA IN QING ERA

While mentioning three successive empires: Yuan-Ming-Qing in late medieval and early modern China, it is often forgotten that, Yuan empire was divided into two parts: Ming and Northern Yuan empires, and most of the regions falling under these two empires were brought under control by Qing empire. Even though during the ‘century of humiliation’ starting from 1839 CE Qing empire gradually lost large territories in north-east, north, north-west as well as smaller tracts of land in the south and South China Sea, Qing empire should be given due credit for the following:

  1. Notwithstanding the preferential treatments meted out to the Manchu aristocrats, the Qing emperors transformed the Chinese empire as a multi-ethnic multi-language empire in official policy and procedures (in contrast to Ming era that was truly Han chinese in outlook), thereby creating a fundamental basis of a modern Chinese society. Starting in 1618 through renunciation of Ming overlordship and creating Manchu kingdom by Jurchen/Manchu tribal chief, by 1648 Qing dynasty formed by the Jurchen/Manchu tribal chief extended their control over most part of the erstwhile Ming empire through a military force in which Manchu Bannermen represented below 20% of the manpower while Han Bannermen made up more than 70%. This data amply represented the multi-ethnic character of Qing policies.
  2. The successive Qing emperors maintained warm relationship with all tributary states and protectorates until the onset of the ‘century of humiliation’ in 1839. Commentators and academicians who bring up Westphalian concept while discussing relationship between empires/kingdoms in pre-colonial Asia generally forget that Westphalian sovereignty was a concept that was necessary for and was derived under ‘feudal’ environment of medieval and early modern Europe. Except Japan, statecraft in Asian empires/kingdoms never introduced ‘feudalism’ in medieval and early modern Asia. Hence, the relationship between Qing empire and different categories of vassals had multiple vectors that can’t be seen through the Westphalian lens. Even though Qing empire didn’t lack manpower or military resources that would be necessary to directly rule over the vassals, they were comfortable with the tributary system (based on Confucian ideals) whereby different kingdoms surrounding the Chinese empire would accept Chinese emperor as the predominant authority of that part of the world, and the benevolent Chinese empire would guarantee the opportunity of peaceful trading and commerce across central, east and south-east Asia – this ensured continuation of the two millennium long exchange of goods-services-knowledge-culture between Asia and Europe.
  3. Continuation of the merit-based entry through examination system to the bureaucratic institutions and pre-eminence of Confucian family value system (both were adopted from earlier dynasties) ensured that Qing China stepped into the modern era keeping the fundamental socio-political basis of Chinese society intact. Both of these ancient Chinese practices are valued in all modern societies across world.

By the end of the 18th century, Qing empire commanded an area of around 14 million sq.km with estimated population of around 300 million. Qing society was divided into mainly five categories:

  • Bureaucratic Officials
  • Gentry elite aristocracy
  • Literati, scholar
  • Respectable “Commoner”
    • occupational group of farmers
    • occupational group of artisans
    • occupational group of merchants
  • Debased “Mean” people (slaves, bond-servants, entertainers like prostitutes, tattooed criminals, very low-level employees of government officials)

About 80% of total population were peasants. Landholding peasants were largest labour force with presence of insignificant number of hired (landless) labour. The state also recruited army personnel from rural population.

Agriculture and Land-use:

Agriculture sector was the largest source of employment in Chinese society. With private property rights over land, the farmers had natural incentive to produce more quantity and produce variety of crops. This resulted in increased factor productivity. Land owning peasantry also got benefitted from the state policy that supported hiring of labourers. On the other hand, tax from agriculture made up the largest share of state revenue. So, the landholding peasantry and fiscal-military state both had incentive for territorial expansion. And, the state often resettled farmers in new regions with material (seed and farming tools) and finance (free passage and tax holidays). By the 18th century the Han ‘refugees’ from northern China who were suffering from drought and flood were resettled in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia regions. The Han farmers farmed about 0.5 million hectares of privately owned land by Manchu elites in Manchuria and about 200,000 hectares of lands that were part of noble estates and Banner lands.

There were other innovative actions as well – introduction of maize and sweet potatoes, double cropping, fertilizer such as bean-cakes, re-introduction of early-ripening rice – that helped to increase productivity and conversion of marginal land into regular farm land. A system of monitoring grain prices helped the rulers to eliminate severe shortages, as well as to eliminate hoarding and price shock to the consumers.

The farmers on the basis of a high-yield agriculture produced a constant and sizeable ‘surplus’ that ensured development of market economy in (medieval and) early modern China. Historians estimate that up to one-third of China’s post-tax agricultural output was subject to market exchange. This surplus also became the basis of growth and development of other sectors in the economy.

Trade and Commerce:

For the first time, a large percentage of farming households began producing crops for sale in the local and national markets rather than for their own consumption or barter in the traditional economy. Surplus crops were placed onto the national market for sale, integrating farmers into the commercial economy from the ground up. This naturally led to regions specializing in certain cash-crops for export as China’s economy became increasingly reliant on inter-regional trade of bulk staple goods such as cotton, grain, beans, vegetable oils, forest products, animal products, and fertilizer.

Merchant class functioned within the state-imposed boundary. At the apex of the market structure, the state controlled key commodities like salt, wine, iron and steel etc. Qing state refused new mining rights to private merchants. Foreign trade was controlled by the state, participated by both state and private merchants. So the Chinese merchant class was left with unrestricted platform to engage in commercial transactions at village level (surplus-based market exchange with farmers) and at region level (estimated around 1,000–1,500 such regions in Qing empire). Trade between markets at the village level, region level, and province levels developed into a network covering much of Qing empire. Hence, the merchant class became very wealthy but lacked the strength (as a class) to influence the economy and state politics.

Merchant guilds proliferated in all growing cities in China who sourced manufactured items (by artisans and commoners) like textile, handicraft, ceramics, silk, paper, stationary, cooking utensils. More efficient administration of the Grand Canal created new opportunities for private merchants who could transport goods easily within Qing empire. It has been estimated that in the early nineteenth century, as much as one-third of the world’s total manufactures were produced by China. Though In 1685 the state opened maritime trade for the merchants along the coast by establishing customs offices in port cities like Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, due to internal political moves such trade arrangement was abandoned. By the time when maritime trade was again made legal, trade with west Europe grew to such an extent that, Canton alone housed more than forty mercantile houses. China primarily imported war horses (for the army), and metals (for currency). China exported silk, ceramics, textiles, metal products (made of iron, copper, bronze etc.), non-metal handicrafts, tea. Trade between China and Europe grew at an average annual rate of 4% between 1719 and 1806. Qing state established the Canton System in 1756 CE that restricted maritime trade to Canton/Guangzhou and gave monopoly trading rights to private Chinese merchants. European merchant ‘companies’ British East India Company and Dutch East India Company had been granted similar monopoly rights by their governments long ago. In the early modern era, demand in Europe for Chinese goods were met through import for which payments were made by silver (sourced by European colonial powers from western hemisphere colonies). Resulting inflow of silver expanded the money supply, facilitating the growth of competitive and stable markets. Thus China had gradually shifted to silver as the standard currency for large scale transactions and by the beginning of 18th century collection of the land tax was done in silver. Since China was self-sufficient in all types of consumer goods, very low import caused imbalance of trade vis-à-vis Europe, which in turn resulted in drain of silver from European powers. British East India Company started importing opium into China. Import of opium into China were paid for by silver – It is estimated that between 1821 and 1840, as much as one-fifth of the silver circulating in China was used to purchase opium. Alarmed with both over the outflow of silver and damage that opium smoking was causing to Chinese people, emperor ordered to end the opium trade, which started the conflicts with European powers in 1839 CE.

Apart from short-term credit systems, offering house and farm land as collateral to raise long-term money was also present. But, community and state interference with such contracts by blocking land transfers from debtors to creditors was one of the significant factors that displacement and dispossession (basis of ‘capitalistic’ primitive accumulation) never took root in China.

Due to ‘equal opportunity’ meritocracy and social mobility, the talented youth were generally drawn towards literati and officialdom (‘Pan’ family of Anhui transformed from one of wealthiest merchant family to powerful family of bureaucrats within two centuries). Merchant class was not considered as sufficiently suave which can attract talented people. They could not rival the influence of large landholding aristocracy notwithstanding localised influence of very rich merchants. Instead, the existence of factor markets for land allowed merchants to join the landholding class.

Some merchants with entrepreneurship zeal migrated to the European colonial outposts like Manila, Macau, Jakarta to avoid empire’s policies which were Confucian (assigning merchants and other commoners same level who deserved equal treatment from the state as a patriarch).

Early Banking:

Copper coins were used for everyday transactions, while silver was used for larger transactions as well as for payment of tax to the government. Apart from monetary conversion the money-changers also provided credit, and rudimentary banking services. Remittance banks evolved during this period that would take cash deposits from merchant in one place and issue remittance certificates, which the merchant could then take elsewhere to pay his supplier. That person would in turn go to bank in his vicinity and exchange the certificate for coins. By the 18th century there was a vast network of such banks which played a stellar role for development of commercial activity in China.

Development of Trade Towns:

Due to the commercialization of the surplus agricultural products as well as booming ‘cottage industry’ (if I may say so), merchants were involved in inter-region and inter-province trades with help of long-distance transportation network. Towns popped up as commercial centres to direct the flow of domestic trade. As more and more people travelled, ‘guild halls’ came up in market-towns for lodging and boarding of those people which included merchants, buyers, and sellers. It has been that about 45,000 market towns developed, some of which became home to some of the merchants.

During mid-17th century guild halls were introduced for more specific purpose – to facilitate craftsmen and artisans of specific sectors like textiles weaving, carpentry, medicine, iron and steel work. Thus those guild halls acted as nucleus of industrial-towns, which further developed into large cities with real estate, water supply, sewerage system etc.

Similarities & Dissimilarities with Western Europe:

In 18th century Qing era, the standards of living in south and east regions of China reached a high level which was comparable with wealthy regions of 19th century Western Europe. As per renowned Historians-cum-Sinologists key factors were ‘(1) the rationality of private property rights-led growth, (2) total factor productivity growth associated with China’s green revolutions from Han to Ming-Qing and the economic revolution under Song dynasty, and (3) China’s export capacity (hence China’s surplus output) and China’s silver imports (hence purchasing power of China’s surplus)’.

Ken Pomeranz showed that the core productive regions in China and West Europe both faced major bottlenecks in the form of land and energy constraints in the 19th century. A combination of domestic and international factors as well as much luck enabled England to overcome these challenges and embark on a capital-intensive path of industrialization. As per Pomeranz, two major factors here were ‘(1) the conveniently located coal reserves, which, being near the core areas helped Britain escape its energy constraints more easily, and (2) Britain’s coercive colonization of the western hemisphere, which served as a source of land-intensive goods such as cotton, sugar and grain, while at the same time providing a market for its manufactured goods. In China, where coal reserves were not as readily available, and a policy of coercive colonization, which could provide it with free land, was absent, ecological constraints led to a turn to labour-intensive agriculture.’

Yet another line of thought considers (1) families of ‘strong, urban, entrepreneurial class capable of concentrating the agrarian surplus to foster a capitalist-industrial’ were absent in China unlike in UK, (2) In both agriculture and cottage industry sectors the Qing emperors’ policy of conflict-containment (between landlord and tenant, between owner and labour) contained appeasing and accommodating attitude towards the tenants and labours (very much unlike the UK where merchants, landlords and entrepreneurs received unconditional support from state) which ultimately were detrimental to accumulation of capital.

Socio-economic indicators:

As per Maddison, percentage share of global GDP and GDP per Capita of China, West Europe, and USA:

YearChinaGDPChinaGDP per CapitaWest EuropeGDPWest Europe GDP per CapitaUSAGDPUSAGDP per Capita
150024.91.115.51.4
182033.00.920.41.91.81.8
19406.40.327.52.520.63.6

As per Allen, and Pomeranz, select socio-economic indicators in early-modern China and England:

CountryAverage Life Expectancy at Birth in mid-18th centuryAverage Calorie Intake/male/dayin 19th centuryLand Productivity 1806 to 1820 CE (Pound/Acre)Labour Productivity 1806 to 1820 CE (Pence/Day)
China35 to 39About 260026.151.3
England31 to 342000 to 35003.360.9

Significant observations on Qing China:

1. Even though Chinese society maintained a robust lead over rest of the world in science and technology (as conclusively shown by Joseph Needham) including metallurgy, porcelain, gunpowder, compass, silk, paper, block printing, water turbine, herbal medicines and many other areas, China was slow to catch up with the technology behind (a) industrial machinery, (b) transportation systems, (c) military arms developed in West Europe since mid-18th century

2. By end-18th century when territorial expansion stopped, population continued a healthy growth. Due to prevailing equal-inheritance practice, farm-owners started facing the problem of a shrinking farm that resulted in decreasing prosperity among farmer class, which finally reflected in less than expected tax realisation by the Chinese state. Combination of key factors like (a) the organised hooliganism and colonialism of European trading companies, (b) internal discontent and rebellion among the common people, and (c) territorial competition with Russian and Japanese empire, proved fatal after 1840 CE

3. With a thriving agriculture and a splendid cottage industry that catered domestic demands China mostly needed war horses and metals to be imported. This was in direct contrast to West European states who needed consumer goods to be imported from China but couldn’t offer goods to be exported to maintain somewhat balance in trade, so they brought in opium. Qing administration should have analysed this problematic trading relation beforehand to take necessary actions to forestall such developments

4. The debate among a large number of Historians and Sinologists about ‘why China couldn’t develop capitalism before West Europe’ continues till date. The fact of the matter is that, the social-economic-political checks and balances that existed in China since 1st millennium BCE (largely due to pervasive Confucian thought in Mandarin Chinese mainland as well as Buddhist thought in Mongolian-Tibetan dominated regions) were diametrically opposite to concept of the so-called ‘animal spirit’ of zionist capitalism. The wealthy landlord and merchant class in China could never pursue profit and endless accumulation of capital by controlling state super-structure. However, the hard-working and merit-based dynamic society of China allowed commercialization, trading, proto-industrialization, and urbanization in a big way since medieval Song era.

3. CHINA IN MAO ERA

Since mid-19th century, one-after-another onslaught by the west European colonialist powers, and Russian-Japanese empires devastated China: first the Qing empire up to 1911, then the Nationalist China up to 1945. Overcoming the ‘century of humiliation’, through armed struggle and huge loss of life, the Chinese Communist Party seized state power in mainland China in 1949. Mao Zedong lost his wife, a son, two brothers, and sister, Zhou Enlai lost all his children, while Zhu De found decapitated head of his pregnant wife nailed to the city gate. At the time, China was a backward agrarian economy with widespread poverty, lawlessness and illiteracy; of its five hundred million people, eight in every ten people were illiterate, one in every eight people was drug addict. It was a time when peasants had to give away two-thirds of their produce in rent/tax, and people sold themselves to avoid starvation.

One can only look back at 1949 China with bewildering awe about how the Peoples’ Liberation Army completed their task of liberation under Mao and his comrades, which culminated with CPC’s emphatic take-over of state power. No other revolutionary leader, anywhere in the world till date, could mobilise such vast number of his countrymen through such enormous hardships for decades. Initial acts were swift and effective. The banking system was nationalized and People’s Bank of China became the central bank for the country. The government tightened credit, established value of the currency, implemented centrally controlled government budgets – all of these ensured that inflation was under strict control. CPC undertook a land reform programme through which 45% of the arable land were redistributed to the 65% of peasant families who owned little or no land. These peasants were encouraged to form sort of mutual aid teams among 7-8 households. CPC also nationalised most of the industrial units as soon as they came to power. By 1952, 17% of the industrial units were outside state-owned enterprises compared to about 65% during Kuo Mindang government.

The First Five-Year Plan (1953–57) followed the Soviet Union model which assigned primacy to development of heavy industry. Government of China controlled about 67% as directly state-owned enterprise and 33% as joint state-private enterprise. There was no more privately owned company. Key sectors like Coal and Iron ore mining, Electricity generation, Heavy Machinery manufacturing, Iron and Steel manufacturing, Cement manufacturing etc. were modernised by construction of hundreds of new factories with help from engineers sent by Soviet Union. Growth of industrial production increased at average rate of 19% per year during this period. During this period, more than 90% of cottage/handicraft industries were organized into cooperatives.

The agricultural sector however didn’t perform as per expectation and only clocked average growth rate of 4% per year. From loosely constructed ‘mutual aid teams’, peasants were encouraged to form ‘cooperatives’, in which individual families still received some income on the basis of their contribution of land. In the next stage, ‘collectives’ were formed on which income was based only on the amount of labour contributed by each family. In addition, each family was allowed to retain a small plot to grow vegetables and fruit for their personal consumption. By 1957 the collectivization process covered 93% of all farm households.

Second Five-Year Plan (1958–62) was abandoned. The leadership introduced new set of policies, and decided to engage entire population to produce a “great leap” in production for all sectors of the economy at once. 3-tier Communes were built to spearhead quantum jump in agricultural produce – at the top level commune central administration, at the next level 20 or more production brigades represented by the old ‘collectives’, and the last tier production team that consisted of about 30 families of village. They attempted to build vast irrigation network by employing unemployed and underemployed farmers – final objective was to increase the agricultural output and employment. Similarly, surplus rural labour was also employed in thousands of small-scale, low-technology, industrial projects in rural areas – final objective was enhancement in industrial and agricultural output and employment. Such small scale industry (including steel making furnaces) were also run by communes. The communes proved to be too bulky to carry out administrative functions efficiently. As a result of economic mismanagement, and unfavourable weather for two years, food production in 1960 and 1961 plunged. As a result, China faced a famine – in 1960 the death rate was 2.54% compared to average death rate of 1.14% registered during 1957 and 1958.

In 1958 industrial growth was 55%, in 1961 it was 38%. By 1962 overall economic collapse propelled the leadership to devise a new set of economic policies. Agricultural taxes were reduced, supplies of chemical fertilizer increased, agricultural machinery were made available, procurement prices for agricultural products were raised, the role of the commune central administration was significantly reduced, and private farming plots were restored. In industry, planning was again emphasized, import of technologically advanced foreign machinery started, hydro-electric power plants were setup, old plants were refurbished, chemical fertilizer plants and agro-machinery plants were setup in large numbers. Between 1961 and 1966, average annual growth of industrial output surpassed 10% while agricultural output grew at an average rate more than 9% a year.

The Cultural Revolution, a political upheaval whereby Mao re-established control over the party by pushing aside the right-of-centre and left-of-centre factions of CPC. It didn’t produce major changes in official economic policies or the basic economic model. Nonetheless, the disturbances affected urban society which impacted about 14% decline in industrial production in 1967. By 1969 industrial sector returned to a normal growth rate. Fourth Five-Year Plan (1971-1975) saw resumption of systematic economic growth especially in industrial sector (with new plants setup for Petroleum Exploration and Refinery, Fertilizer, Steel, building materials, Chemicals etc.). Petroleum and Coal were exported since the beginning of 1970s. With industrial sector average rate of 8% and agricultural sector average rate of 3.8% it was clear that, contrary to popular image Mao era targeted industrial growth as the top priority.

CPC leadership re-evaluated the economic state of affairs and Zhou Enlai presented a report to the Fourth National People’s Congress in Jan’1975. He formulated the famous ‘Four Modernizations’ policy targeting agriculture, industry, defence, science and technology. By 1976, when both Mao and Zhou departed, foundation for a strong self-reliant country had been built, and mainland China had (1) a very large, and healthy labour force having basic education, (2) a huge battery of state-owned industrial enterprises across sectors, (3) infrastructure, power, communication required for further economic growth, (4) an economy burdened by extremely low external debt (2.99% of gross national income as of 1981).

Socio-economic indicators:

Except three interludes – Great Leap Forward (1958–60), Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–69), and post-Mao political struggle (1976–78) – different sectors of the Chinese economy (agriculture, mining, manufacturing) experienced healthy growth, albeit with quite difficulty aroused out of frequent policy changes. Economists estimate that during the period 1952–1978, China’s real GDP per capita grew at a robust 4% average annual rate, the industrial share of GDP rose from 20.9% in 1952 to 47.9% in 1978 (as per Chinese National Bureau of Statistics), industrial labour productivity grew by 236.7% and agricultural labour productivity growth was only 25.5% over the same period, the fraction of the labour force in agriculture declined from 83% to 75% with the value added produced in agriculture declined from 78% in 1953 to 30% in 1977, household consumption grew by only 2.3% annually, retail prices for consumer goods grew at an average rate of 0.6% a year. Life expectancy at birth improved from 43.5 years in 1960 to 66.5 years in 1978, according to World Bank data.

YearGDP Nominal(Billion USD)GDP per Capita(USD)Population(Billion)
195230.55540.569
196059.72890.667
197092.601130.818
1977174.941850.943

Significant observations on Mao China:

1. Treading on the same path taken by Soviet Union, 1949 onwards China went on to implement a mode of production which was essentially ‘state capitalism’. Soviet Union as a state was the owner of the means of production and ‘commodity’ (which by definition is integrated with exchange-value i.e. ‘price’ in the ‘market’) that were produced. Following similar model, China created a new economy that also revolved around commodity production by state-owned enterprises, agricultural output production by state-owned communes and accumulation of capital by the state (through extraction of surplus from the rural agriculture and light industry). In Soviet Union and China, the ideologues termed it ‘socialist commodity’, however, socialism’ can’t theoretically accommodate production of ‘commodity’ that inherently refers to ‘market’.

In fact as Marxism suggests, the concepts of ‘commodity’, ‘market’, ‘capital’ and ‘surplus capital’ are intricately joined with ‘ownership’ of means of production. Marx and Engels were clear that these concepts don’t have place in socialist/communist society. It is not true that ownership pertains to only ‘private’ citizens, even ‘state’ can own assets to be used as ‘capital’ and the profits out of business gets appropriated by the state authority and close followers.  Undoubtedly, Stalin and Mao being the most committed followers of philosophy and ideology of Marx-Engels-Lenin, were well aware of the final destination of the Marxist journey. Why then both of them set out to accumulate capital in the state treasuries? We will come back to this question again in the last part of this hypothesis in section 5.

2. The central planning system initially adopted from Soviet Union, was the punching bag for CPC leaders whenever they reviewed the planned-vs.-achieved results and found variance (actual results were less than planned). The centralised economic planning as a concept was correct – there were shortcomings in the execution process. Firstly, sector-wise prioritization should have been done that reflects the reality in the society – Chinese society being overwhelmingly agrarian, the 1st Five Year Plan should have assigned primary importance to agriculture and next level of importance to light industry, heavy machinery being at the last layer of importance. Secondly, centralised economic planning needs accurate and complete set of data – China being a vast country with wide regional differences in weather, natural resources, social norms, demography, occupation, infrastructure etc., compilation of complete and correct and data for planning process 70 years back was much more complex than we can imagine today. Thirdly, in reality the central planning was a top-down process albeit with participation of all concerned ministries and departments. In a large country like China, bottom-up would have been a better approach.

3. Government introduced hukou system (originated in medieval China) in 1958 through which all rural households got registered through which the family members will get entitlement for housing, education, medical care in the place of their registered birthplace. In a way government controlled migration of rural population towards urban and semi-urban regions. Intellectuals who value human rights as inalienable natural right, termed this system as draconian. However, such arrangements were highly effective in controlling large-scale migration of unemployed rural people to urban areas causing socio-economic problem in both rural and urban areas.

4. The revolutionary spirit of Mao knew no bounds. Undoubtedly, he was right in emphasizing that, (a) not only economic sphere needs transformation from capitalism to socialism, but cultural sphere of society equally calls for such transformation, (b) the proletarian revolution has a long way to go. Time and again he became impatient with policies that were developed by him and his team earlier. Possibly Mao was oblivious of the fact that, frequent changes in political and economic policy would leave a trail of inefficiency, maybe he was not. During the second half of 1950s, the decisive rejection of Stalin’s achievements by CPSU, dampening of Leninist ideals, and withdrawal of all kinds of Soviet support from China made Mao deeply perceptive of the overall challenges on the way to build socialism in a country– this alone can explain Mao’s vacillation in policy issues and in-depth deliberations on socio-cultural aspects of socialist revolution (a territory, which was much less travelled by Lenin and Stalin). Thus Mao delved into too many intangible factors (apart from political economy) that would influence the final outcome of a complete communist transformation of any society.

4. CHINA IN DENG ERA

After a brief struggle for leadership, Deng Xiaoping took control of CPC in 1978. At the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC held in December’1978 in Beijing, the majority party leaders decided to undertake reform and opening up of economy. They repudiated the Cultural Revolution of Mao era. The reform, as Deng proposed, would develop productive forces through increasing role of market mechanisms and reducing role of government planning.

Agricultural production was stimulated by an increase of over 22% in the procurement prices paid to the peasants for farm produces. The commune system was decollectivized but the state still owned the land and household responsibility system was introduced in agriculture starting in 1979 – individual farming families would get ‘right to use’ on plots of land (divided from old ‘communes’) from government, earn profit by selling their products on the market in lieu of delivering a small contractual amount of produce to the state as taxes. This arrangement increased productivity through the profit incentives for the farmers, and about 98% of farm households were brought under this system by 1984. In 1985, by employing 63% of the country’s labour force the agricultural sector achieved 33% of the GNP, agricultural production got increased by about 25%. Among agricultural produces grains like rice, wheat, corn, barley, millet, cash crops like oil seeds, sugarcane, cotton, jute, fruits, vegetables, poultry and pigs were primarily produced by peasant families. Though efficiency of agriculture sector improved a lot with all arable plots producing at least one crop per year, and under favourable conditions two or three crops a year, fundamental problems remained as before – small farm size, and inadequate agriculture equipment.

Apart from a significant category of small handicraft/cottage industry, light industries formed second category while large industry category included Power plants, Petroleum Refineries, Petrochemicals, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Textile, Steel, Cement, and Automobile. Reforms targeted in urban industrial regions. In industrial sectors, state-owned industries received permission to sell production above the ‘plan quota’ at market at prevailing market prices, as well as received affirmation to experiment with the bonuses to reward higher productivity among employees. Industrial Responsibility System introduced in mid-1980s allowed individuals or groups to manage the state-owned enterprise by entering into contract with government. Private businesses (which almost disappeared after the Cultural Revolution) were allowed to operate and price flexibility was introduced, and gradually private ownership enterprises began to make up a greater percentage of industrial output. Bringing in modern business enterprise management process, government allowed managers to gain control over their business operation including recruitment and layoff (with approval from bureaucrats and CPC). Industrial sector generated around 46% of GNP in 1985 by employing only about 17% of the total labour force in China. Enterprises further got incentive when in 1985 the policy of retaining the net profit (after payment of tax-on-profit to government) within the enterprise was made across China. On banking and financing also there were policy changes – bank loans were made available to the enterprises at a very low interest which would have to be paid back to banks. Budgetary support by government was reduced. For industries, foreign trade procedures were made much easier; (soon special economic zones would be launched to be in the forefront of the boom in foreign trade). The effect of profit-driven competitive environment on working class people was that, many enterprises slowly replaced permanent employment with short-term contractual job as well as eliminated welfare packages for workers – this impacted industrial workers’ living standard and social security negatively.

Perhaps the most sweeping policy decision taken by Deng related to the open door policy for foreign investment. Starting in January’1979, Chinese government created initial 5 special economic zones (SEZ) in Shantou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai (all in Guangdong province), Xiamen (in Fujian province), and Hainan province where many additional infrastructure, fiscal incentives, and freedom from too many bureaucratic regulations were provided to foreign investors for setting up industry. Primarily geared to exporting goods, the five SEZs housed foreign joint ventures with Chinese companies as well as fully owned foreign companies. In 1984, China opened 14 coastal cities to MNC investment: Dalian (Liaoning province), Qinhuangdao (Hebei province), Tianjin, Yantai, Qingdao (both in Shandong province), Lianyungang, Nantong (both in Jiangsu province), Shanghai, Ningbo, Wenzhou (both in Zhejiang province), Fuzhou (Fujian province), Guangzhou, Zhanjiang (both in Guangdong province), and Beihai (in Guangxi province). Beginning in 1985, new economic zones were established in Liaodong peninsula, Hebei province, Shandong peninsula, Yangtze river delta, Pearl river delta, Xiamen-Zhangzhou-Quanzhou in southern Fujian province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. In the post-Deng era, these regions became high-power engines of economic growth and technological breakthroughs for the Chinese economy.

The open door policy changed the landscape of foreign trade in China. Before the reforms, combined exports-imports in 1969 was 15% of GDP; with reforms in 1984 it became about 20% and in 1986 it reached 35% of GNP. Textiles, Petroleum, and foodstuff were main export goods while machinery, transport equipment, and chemicals were key import items. By 1986, Japan became the dominant trading partner accounting for 28.9% of imports and 15.2% of exports. During the same time, USA appeared on the horizon as the third largest overall trade partner, next only to Hong Kong which accounted for 13% of imports and 31.6% of exports. Under Deng, the SEZ and foreign trade became significant tools for both foreign direct investment (FDI) and modern technology. Most interesting part of China’s industrial drive was ‘technology transfer’. While historically China was always on the forefront of applied science and technology, as the 18th century was drawing to a close China was slowing down in the technology race compared to west Europe – hence Deng made it a point that following the ‘four modernisation’ programme China should rapidly close the technology gap by upgrading old mining and manufacturing plants as well as installing plants with sophistication.

Apart from huge coal reserves, China had substantial reserves of natural gas. With many rivers running across the country, hydroelectric potential was among the largest in the world. Large number of coal-fired thermal power plants and large hydroelectric projects were undertaken by the government to generate electric energy necessary for a thriving industrial economy.

Undoubtedly Deng’s overall reform programme accomplished very impressive success, but it also gave rise to several serious socio-economic problems – rise of factions attached to neoliberal free-market political economy within CPC, managerial autonomy in state owned and private owned enterprises, rampant corruption, economic crime, widening income disparities, uncontrolled inflation, and large scale moral deterioration. These concerns created huge storm within CPC and party general secretary Hu Yaobang was forced to resign in 1987. The left-of-centre faction of CPC stalled some of the reform programmes. Student leaders mainly based in Beijing and Shanghai who were fascinated by the neoliberal free-market ideology, pointed out to such socio-economic issues in the then Chinese society and built a movement (supported by the Zionist Capitalist Deep State) that aimed at toppling the CPC rule. The People’s Liberation Army was mobilised to break seize by protesting students at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in June’1989.

In November and December of 1990 Deng reopened the Shanghai Stock Exchange and established the Shenzhen Stock Exchange respectively. Party Congress in 1992 echoed Deng’s views while stating that China’s key task ahead would be to create a ‘socialist market economy’. And, in 1992 Deng undertook ‘southern tour’ during which he underscored the need to continue reforms to open up the economy. Through these actions Deng re-established control over the party (which was weakened in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square protests) by pushing aside the far-left and left-of-centre factions of CPC. Deng made Jiang Zemin the CCP’s new top leader. A new round of market reforms was initiated. Private enterprises and enterprises owned by the local governments took advantage of easy loans from state-owned banks to expand their business. This again caused inflation and fiscal deficit during 1993. New policy of floating exchange rate and convertibility for renminbi caused about 33% devaluation of renminbi. Foreign Direct Investment was further encouraged and capital inflows to China poured. Economy cooled down after enterprises owned by local governments transferred a larger portion of revenue to the central government, and bank credits were tightened. Exports surged due to devaluation. In 1996, the economy grew at around 9.5% accompanied by low inflation.

Working on the free trade and economic zone policy after 1990, the government opened the Pudong New Area in Shanghai and cities in Yangtze river delta to overseas investment. Since 1992 the government opened more border cities and capital cities of provinces and autonomous regions.

The total number of industrial enterprises rose from 377,300 in 1980 to nearly 8 million in 1990. During the Deng era, higher levels of inflation appeared with reduced government controls – in 1980 consumer prices rose by 7.5% while in 1985 the increase was 11.9% going down to 7.6% in 1986. In 1995 China exported 24.7 billion USD to USA and 149 billion USD to rest of the world. In 1997, the year when Deng departed, share of private consumption in GDP was only around 43% while share of exports in GDP was around 22%.

Changing socio-economic indicators:

Economists John Whalley and Xiliang Zhao estimated the impressive performance of Chinese economy (using Barro-Lee approach) between 1978 and 1999:

  • Output growth rate – 9.72%
  • Growth rate in Input
    • physical capital – 7.30%
    • labour – 2.03%
    • human capital (represented by average years of schooling) – 2.81%
  • Growth rate in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) – 3.64%
  • Contribution to GDP growth
    • physical capital – 36.35%
    • labour – 10.78%
    • human capital – 14.95%
    • TFP – 37.93%
YearGDP Nominal(Billion USD)GDP per Capita(USD)Population(Billion)
1980306.173120.98
1990394.573481.135
1997961.607821.23

Significant observations on Deng China:

1. The 14th National Communist Party Congress held in the year 1992 not only backed Deng’s continuous push for market reforms but they thought that China was on the way to create a ‘socialist market economy’. This was the official expression of CPC to document their push for reform using market forces. I doubt, if such terminology existed in pre-Deng China or in pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union.

Again, as the Marxist theory proposed, socialism would be antithesis to market-driven economy which had been propelled by capitalistic mode of production. In capitalist society the ‘factor of production’ would be sourced from ‘market’ and commodity would be sold in the ‘market’. In socialist parlance, concept of market shouldn’t exist irrespective of whether the concept is proposed by any faction within the communist party: ‘left’, ‘right’, or ‘centre’. It was, primarily, the inability of the then CPC leadership to reorganise and galvanize the rural and urban economy to unleash the productive forces; instead they got into the ‘market economy’ which was the engine of ‘mercantile’-‘agrarian’-‘industrial’ versions of capitalism that took root in west European societies since 16th century.

2. Deng was the great architect of what can be termed as the ‘Chinese juggernaut for export’. China’s market reform was undertaken much later compared to Japan and other Asian Tigers. Beginning in the 1980s the late-coming exporter did a splendid job of absorbing huge amount of investment and latest manufacturing technology. Relatively stagnant urban living standards and falling rural living standards resulted in massive transfer of rural labour into the growing export sector. Additionally, the state-owned enterprises already had disciplined, educated, and skilled labour force that made the entry of big Multi-National Corporations (MNC) easy into Chinese market – giants like Boeing, Toyota started their businesses in China through collaboration with Chinese state-owned enterprises who were in same sector of aircraft or automobile. This environment was another legacy of the Mao era. China’s attractiveness to global capital was further enhanced by persistently low level of workers’ wage compared to other Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, as well as the competitive pressure among local provinces who raced with one another to achieve high GDP growth by offering favourable terms possible to foreign investors (ranging from tax breaks to free industrial land).

While China went on to build world’s largest export-dependent economy in 2000s, unlike Japan and other Asian Tigers who built on the basis of private-owned enterprises, Chinese government depended on both: state-owned and private-owned enterprises to manufacture and to export an amazing range of consumer goods to every nook and corner of the world. Deng foresaw this economic boom that provided much needed upliftment of living standard of millions of educated Chinese. However, Chinese economy couldn’t avoid the short-term economic hardships unleashed by such rapid reforms to push export-oriented economy.

3. Far from being a follower of liberal capitalist political thought, Deng was a committed socialist unlike many top leaders of Soviet Union at that point of time. Researchers should remember that for Deng, ‘market economy’ was ‘a method of using black cat to catch mice instead of using a red cat’, and capability development in China would follow the policy ‘hide your strength, bide your time’. In my opinion, Deng didn’t have ever any doubt on the final outcome of the Marxist view that, the final history will be written by the classless communist society. Hence, his advice to build strength.

While authorising the deployment of PLA forces to remove the protesting student by force from Tiananmen Square in 1989, Deng was clear that the leadership of protesting students were liberal capitalist ideologues who was trying to bring down the CPC rule in China using the discontent among the people about corruption-inflation-nepotism. Had Deng and most other senior leadership believed an iota of liberal capitalist philosophy, by 1991, words like ‘socialism’, ‘communism’, ‘Marxism’ would have been completely erased from even the written history of civilization.

Part 2 – pending

Part 3 – pending


By profession I’m an Engineer and Consultant, but my first love was and is History and Political Science. In retired life, I’m pursuing higher study in Economics.

I’m one of the few decade-old members of The Saker blog-site. Hope that this website will continue to focus on truth and justice in public life and will support the struggle of common people across the world.

An Indian by nationality, I believe in humanity.

THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE EMERGING NEW WORLD ORDER

 A

Source: New Eastern Outlook

By James O’Neill
One of the many difficulties in interpreting the statements of United States President Donald Trump is to decide what category to put his many statements (and even more prolific tweets) in.

Is it another thought bubble similar to his pronouncements on a cure for COVID-19 that was more likely to kill rather than to cure those who followed his advice? Is the latest pronouncement said with an eye to his re-election this coming November, to be discarded once that hurdle has been passed?

The answer to that question is perhaps best found by looking at his track record over the past 3 ½ years. There have been many pronouncements in the foreign policy field, but vanishingly small achievements have followed. The much-heralded nuclear deal with North Korea is one of the latest to fall by the wayside with North Korea’s president Kim announcing a resumption of nuclear testing.

Kim’s cited reason was the total absence of any concrete moves by the United States in settling their multiple outstanding issues. Kim noted, with some justification, that Trump’s negotiating technique was to demand concessions from the North Koreans which had to be fulfilled before the US would make any moves itself, such as reducing troop numbers in South Korea, or ceasing its economic warfare on the North.

It is a well-established principle that what a person does is a much more reliable indicator of future behaviour than what they say. Since becoming president, Trump has withdrawn from, or announced the United States’ intention of withdrawing from, a significant number of major treaties. These included, a by no means exhaustive list, the nuclear arms deal with Iran negotiated with the other United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany and European Union; the International Postal Union; the Paris climate agreement; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; UNESCO; and the Human Rights Council.

Whatever else these moves may mean; they are not the actions of a country committed to solving international problems in a multi-national format. Given this track record over the past 3+ years there is no basis for believing that they are temporary measures designed only to enhance Trump’s re-election prospects. Rather the attitude has been, “as long as you do what we want, we will stay.”

Given also the lack of any serious opposition to these moves in the US Senate or his putative presidential opposition candidate Joe Biden, it is probably safe to assume that these moves reflect a broader US approach to multilateral relations. That is, “as long as you do what we want we will stay” in any given organisation.

The reaction to unfavourable decisions by international bodies does however go further. The International Criminal Court (that the United States does not belong to) recently announced it was reopening its investigation into war crimes committed by the United States (and its allies) in Afghanistan. One might argue that this is long overdue, given that these alleged crimes have been a feature of the long 18+ years of warfare carried out on that country. This is before one even begins to contemplate the manifest lies on which the original invasion was based.

Trump’s reaction to the ICC announcement was to threaten both the organisation and its investigating staff, implying a military response if they had the temerity to indict any Americans for war crimes. The principles established in the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials are, it seems, but an historical aberration when even the investigation of what are, in reality, well documented crimes, invokes such a lawless and violent response.

It is in this context that one has to look at Trump’s sudden enthusiasm for an arms control treaty with Russia. This is the topic to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting between the United States and Russian representatives at a 22 June 2020 meeting in Vienna.

There are a number of ways to interpret the United States’ sudden enthusiasm for an agreement with Russia. The first and most obvious is that it is that the United States has realised that the modern Russian arsenal, partially detailed in President Putin’s March 2018 speech to the Russian parliament, is vastly superior to anything in the United States arsenal and that gap is unlikely to narrow, little alone close, for the foreseeable future.

The Russian (but United States resident) writer and military analyst Andre Martyanov is particularly scathing on this point, both in his books and all his website.

While that is possibly part of Trump’s motivation, this is far from being the whole explanation. One has only to look at the continuing role of the United States in Ukraine, not to mention the farcical trial of four alleged perpetrators of the shooting down of MH 17 (three Russians and one Ukrainian) to gauge a measure of United States sincerity.

Far more likely a motive is that Trump is using the meeting as part of his much wider campaign of trying to disrupt the burgeoning Russia China partnership that is going from strength to strength. Trump wants a new deal on nuclear arms that includes China, but he is silent on the other nuclear powers (Great Britain, India, France, Pakistan and Israel) all of whom have a similar or greater number of nuclear weapons than China.

China has long since passed the United States as the world’s largest economy in terms of parity purchasing power. It has formed a close and growing relationship with Russia, not only in its huge Belt and Road Initiative (with now more than 150 countries) but in a series of other organisations such as the Shanghai Corporation Organisation and ASEAN that is presenting a radically different model of economic co-operation and development than the exploitative western model that has dominated for the past 300 years.

This threat to the United States’ self-defined role as the world’s dominant power did not commence during Trump’s presidency, and the United States reaction to it will not cease with the ending of that presidency, either at the end of this year or in four years’ time. If Biden wins in November, we may be spared the endless tweets and bombastic behaviour, but it would be naïve to anticipate any significant change in United States foreign policy.

Therein lies the greatest danger to world peace. The likely future trends arising out of the growing might of China and its relationship with Russia have recently been analysed by the imminent Russian academic Sergey Karaganov. His analysis of the developing China Russia relationship and its geopolitical implications was recently published in an Italian outlet and conveniently summarised in English by Pepe Escobar in his article “Russia Aiming to Realise Greater Eurasian Dream”.

Karaganov argues that Russia’s growing relationship with China represents a wholly new non-aligned movement centred in the greater Eurasian landmass. Unlike the British and the later United States models which depended on invasion, occupation and exploitation of the natural resources of the conquered nations, the new Eurasian model is much more likely to recognise the individual rights and aspirations of the participating nations and pursue policies of mutual benefit.

None of which is seen as other than a threat to the United States and the model it seeks to impose upon the world. Trump’s recent gestures towards Russia need to be interpreted in that light. The United States has no genuine interest in the welfare and prosperity of either Russia or China. Rather, they exist as pieces to be used in the United States version of the world chess board, manipulated to try and maintain the old model of Western, and in particular, United States dominance.

The reluctance of a growing number of European countries to subscribe to that version is more apparent by the day. Therein lies the challenge, the prospect for a better future for the countries joining the pivot to the east, and the greatest danger from a desperate United States unwilling to acknowledge that its days of dominance are rapidly disappearing.

As the Indian commentator M.K. Bhadrakumar says: “Trump’s diatribe against the ICC exposes the hypocrisy of American policies, which keeps blabbering about a rules based international order while acting with impunity whenever it chooses, for geopolitical reasons.” He cites examples and then concludes that “America under Trump has now become the rogue elephant in the international system.” That is, with respect, a perfect summation of where we are at present.

A Meditation on President Putin’s Warning from History

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A Meditation on President Putin’s Warning from History

June 21, 2020

By Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

1. The last warning…

In the middle of the current global turmoil, largely ignored by the Western media, President Vladimir Putin of Russia recently wrote an article for the National Interest magazine (the article is featured on this site). In it, he magisterially dissected and integrated one of the most disputed topics in contemporary history—the cause(s) and antecedent(s) of World War II. The article is long and very detailed, drawing on a rich historical and historiographic documentation and it leaves no stone unturned. The point I wish to elaborate on here is that far from being a historical dissertation, the article is a last warning to the enemies delivered in the form of a parable. Rather than expound on the precarious state of the world and the seemingly inexorable drift to war, Putin used the tragic landscape of the late 1930s Europe to shed light not only on the true causes of WWII but also on the causes of a rapidly approaching WWIII.

Although discussing all the principal players responsible for perhaps the greatest holocide in history, I had a feeling that the article was aimed particularly at the Anglo-Saxon part of the Western empire (which also includes the EU, Israel and some Arab and Asian countries). Although I can’t be certain, there is a sense that this is president Putin’s last appeal to the former allies in the struggle against Nazism, the last melancholy hand of friendship extended to the powers that almost ignited WWII and are busy repeating the same horrible ritual of a total war against Russia. There is something deeply Russian and Orthodox Christian about Putin’s appeal. Precisely because he is aware of the deep enmity that the Anglo-Saxon establishment harbours for Russia in all its manifestations, he is that much more grateful to the British and American soldiers and statesmen for that all-too-brief, almost miraculous interlude of friendship and co-operation, that even today 80 years later appears to many like an unfortunate tear in the yarn of history.

And yet, this interlude offered a glimpse of a new dawn. The people in the West saw with their own eyes how uniquely heroic the Soviet people were in the defence of their motherland. The workers and peasants of the Soviet Union realised that there were many good people in the West who did not bear the eternal grudge but were glad to have the USSR on their side. It is often assumed that this short détente lasted five years—from the start of the German invasion until say, 1946, but this would not be accurate. The mistrust between the almost-allies was such that it took a concerted effort by Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt as well as a number of well-disposed politicians (e.g. Harry Hopkins, Anthony Eden) to cement the bond which started to crack well before the end of hostilities.

The “weakest link” in the allied leadership chain was Winston Churchill. Not fond of Russians to say the least, he was an imperialist and anti-communist par excellence. The current anti-racism protests show that this side of Churchill is well known to the younger generation. Whose fault is it that those same younger people don’t remember that Churchill once suppressed his natural instincts and fought a good fight against the greatest menace the world has ever known? Here again, we see the results of a massive blowback caused by the unceasing attempts to diminish the international and anti-fascist nature of the war-time alliance and WWII. Instead of cherishing the values that were defended by the three great nations, modern historians and politicians (with few exceptions) have competed in ways of demonising the Soviet Union (and Russia), burying the existential threat of nazi-fascism and treating WWII as a bloody misunderstanding among otherwise friendly nations. Yes, Nazi Germany was dangerous, but the USSR and its successor have been much more pernicious.

Granted, Churchill’s leadership in WWII was not enough to secure him a prime ministership in 1945, but the overall positive role he played in allying himself with the Americans and Soviets and his reputation as an anti-fascist gradually withered and ultimately died by the end of the last century. In a way, his fate is more tragic than that of Stalin who was the first to experience the “awakening of the people”. Although Stalin has not been fully rehabilitated, his role in saving the Soviet Union and freeing the world from the fascist beast is slowly being recognised and re-evaluated.

It was Churchill who started undermining the war-time alliance long before the guns fell silent. He sabotaged the relationship between Roosevelt and Stalin, refused to consider giving independence to British colonies, undermined the prospects of a progressive US government via his intelligence apparatus in the USA (he sent Roald Dahl to spy on Henry Wallace) and in the ultimate betrayal of the good faith that was supposed to underpin the alliance, began planning an all-out attack on the Soviet Union as early as 1944. Named Operation Unthinkable, this plan envisaged a massive offensive against the USSR which would involve Polish troops and even re-armed German prisoners of war.

Many historical records note Stalin’s deep disappointment and a sense of hurt at the betrayal of the blood brotherhood by Churchill and Truman. Long after peace returned to the villages and cities of Europe, Stalin kept warning and beseeching his former allies not to throw away the legacy of friendship and co-operation. Despite the decades of cruel and inhumane attacks on the USSR that ensued, contributing substantially to its downfall, Soviet leaders and people never forgot the supreme sacrifice made by British and American soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the struggle against the common enemy. This tradition of honouring the Western allies has been preserved and nurtured by President Putin. The campaign in the West to denigrate the great sacrifice of the Soviet people brought about an absurd situation in which the brave British sailors who took part in the war-time convoys that delivered badly needed supplies to the USSR were barred from receiving Soviet decorations by David Cameron.[1]

Perhaps the most hurtful and one could say evil blow that the former reluctant allies could deliver has been the attempt to re-write the history of WWII and treat Russia as a co-aggressor on the par with Germany. This is a red line for any Russian patriot and any right-thinking human being. The constant pressure to delegitimise the role of the USSR in freeing the world from the menace of fascism has led to the revival of fascist tendencies in some European countries including Croatia, the Baltic states, the Ukraine and others. These virulent forms of extreme nationalism (Chauvin-ism) were salvaged from the embers of the dying Nazi Reich, cultivated for decades in the satanic laboratories of the Western intelligence services (including Israel’s) and weaponised against Russia and its allies.[2]

A special role in the total war against Russia has been assigned to Poland—a Slav nation whose complex history has largely rested on a constant opposition to Russia and somewhat less, Germany. Briefly, Poland’s raison d’etre and geopolitical role has been to act as a spoiler in any attempts to bring about a peaceful co-existence in Europe. In the 1920s and 1930s, Polish extreme right-wing (it could be argued fascist) regime saw the country as a major power which by virtue of its religion and military prowess should rule over Central Europe.[3] The Vatican’s Intermarium (“between the seas”) project designed in the 19th Century aimed at countering the rise of the protestant Prussia in the West and Orthodox Russia in the East. It involved forming a federation from the (now former) Austro-Hungarian Slav provinces under the auspices of the Catholic Church. After the Bolshevik revolution, Poland put the plan into practice and awarded itself the leadership of the prospective “cordon sanitaire”. With the help of its Western patrons (especially Britain and France), it occupied the largely Russian-speaking regions of the Ukraine and Byelorussia. Under the doctrine of Prometheism, Poland started lighting “fires of freedom” all along the Soviet border. The rest of Poland’s nefarious role has been (belatedly) exposed by Russian historians. Far from being an innocent victim of Nazi expansionism, Poland wholeheartedly collaborated with Germany in plotting against the Soviet Union, planning the mass removal of the Jews, sabotaging any possibility of an anti-Nazi alliance and enslaving and converting their “heathen” Slav brethren.

It is this giant geopolitical déjà vu combined with an exponentially increasing risk of a global war that must have compelled president Putin to address the Western audiences—perhaps for the last time. As recently as 50 years ago, it would have been unthinkable for Western politicians and media to equate the USSR and Germany with regard to the culpability for the war. Yet, a concerted campaign in the Western media and chancelleries that accompanied the fall the of the USSR and the ramping up of a Russophobic campaign in the intervening years have led to the current dangerous impasse which leaves no room for diplomacy and negotiation. Largely unnoticed by the commenters, in his inimitable subtle and statesmanlike style, president Putin delivered to the western public what I believe to be the last appeal for peaceful co-existence. As I stated above, the appeal was directed primarily at the Anglo-Saxon powers which are currently at the forefront of the undeclared war against Russia.

He reminded his former allies of the dangers of using “running dogs” such as Poland or the Ukraine in order to destabilise Russia. He also informed them in no uncertain terms of Russia’s determination not to allow any further besmirching of its historic sacrifice. No more mollycoddling of petty fascist fiefdoms in the name of class or ethnic/racial solidarity. It was also a warning to the Poles that their state policy of siding with any country as long as it is inimical to Russia can only lead to ruin and renewed partition. I’ll paraphrase the notorious Russophobe Josef Beck, one of the chief architects of Poland’s pre-WWII foreign policy, who admitted after the war that Poland was destroyed because it had been acting in the interests of the Vatican and not the Polish people.

In other words, president Putin drew a line—if you wish to avoid a potential nuclear war, stop demonising and destabilising Russia and join us in creating a more equitable world. Russia will never abandon its unique civilisational path and any attempts at thwarting its legitimate claim to life and development will be punished harshly. Russian insistence on peaceful conflict resolution should not be confused for weakness. Having experienced one of the greatest genocides in history, Russia will never advocate war. But if war becomes inevitable, it will fight to the death. This stern warning was couched in the language of reconciliation. President Putin harks back to the war-time alliance with the USA and Great Britain to remind the modern audiences that confrontation is not the only way but that if attacked, Russia would defend itself to the last Russian and inflict terrible and (this time) unsustainable damage.

As noted by some commenters, his message might have been too subtle for the ignorant and ideologically blinded hacks posing as geopolitical experts in the West. So, let me enlighten them a bit by explaining the deeper meaning of president Putin’s message. Those who think that this has to do mainly with righting the wrongs of modern Western history are only partly correct. The main point is simple yet profound: Whichever form the Russian state takes, it will never be accepted as an equal by the racists, fascists and religious bigots in the West. The President is deeply aware of this but is hoping against hope that some form of détente is still possible. To elucidate the situation, he uses historical precedent to highlight the similarity between the geopolitical situations in 1941 and today and delivers a parable disguised as a historical treatise.

2. History doesn’t repeat…

A long time ago, there was a large and powerful country—let’s call it country X. Having gone through a decade of terrible convulsions and a series of civil wars which resulted in millions of deaths and a wholesale destruction of the country’s social and political systems, it began to grow and develop and this growth was perceived as a direct challenge to the Western imperialist system. The country was far from perfect. Years of suffering and neglect had taken their toll and large parts of the country needed rebuilding—especially the transport infrastructure. The people were traumatised and yearning for peace. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, a strong leader emerged who shunned the idea of imperial expansion and focussed on building up the country and preparing it for a possible war. In a famous speech, the leader warned that the country needed to catch up with the West and warned of the dangers of the attempts by the imperialist enemy to encircle and destroy it.

The leader knew that the accusations levelled at his country were mainly propaganda lies. While some Westerners were fascinated by the rapid development of the vast land, most were convinced that the ideas of suppression of rampant capitalism, development within one’s own borders, ending of imperialism and moving towards a multipolar world were seriously endangering the survival of the imperialist system. In order to curtail and extinguish the perennial enemy, the Western powers started inflaming extreme nationalism in their client states (combined with financial globalism) to encircle and destroy the only country that was a threat to their dominance. Although one country was preeminent in terms of military might, the strategy called for continental unity and this was achieved by co-opting smaller countries one after another and pushing the borders of the aggressive empire ever closer to those of country X. Hiding behind the enlightened principle of defending the Western civilisation against the peril from the East, the Empire’s aim was to surround and eventually destroy country X in order to plunder its natural wealth and human resources and forever extinguish its spirit.

The leader of X was desperate to avoid conflict. Through an international forum set up to prevent future wars, he reached out to Western governments time after time trying to convince them of his peaceful intentions and readiness to co-operate in building a peaceful multipolar world. All his attempts were in vain. The military machine of the West was moving inexorably towards his country. Not only that but a new threat emerged from a belligerent rapidly militarising island off the country’s Eastern coast whose militarist revival was supported by X’s principal enemy. The loudest and most vicious enemy of country X was a smaller neighbouring state whose rabid hatred of X and religious zeal ensured its preeminent position as the mailed fist of the Western aggression. With the help of Western intelligence services, this country encouraged and funded innumerable plots against country X and sabotaged its attempts to revamp the international security architecture.

The leader of X was demonised in the imperialist press as a ruthless butcher of various nations and ethnic groups within or outside his country, an autocrat whose ruthless grip on power was maintained by fear and whose removal of foreign agents from the political and economic apparatus was evidence of his genocidal bloodthirst. By means of a vicious propaganda campaign, a regime of harsh sanctions and an intelligence offensive, X was gradually turned into a pariah, isolated and despised. At the same time, X gave hope to many people around the world that a more just and fair society was possible. Poor countries still burdened by colonialism and imperialism looked especially favourably on X as a potential patron and protector.

Instead of folding under the ostracism and pressure of sanctions, X continued to develop rapidly and soon outpaced most of its Western competitors. The leader of X attempted to parry the concerted campaign of the imperialist enemy by reaching out to various Western countries trying to create a united defensive front. However, this was made impossible by a fascist feeding frenzy that led to a dismemberment and occupation of a previously neutral/friendly country.

In a belated attempt at creating a buffer zone against the merciless existential foe, X recaptured some of the territories it had lost previously. For this it was lambasted and chastised even more. The critical moment came when the enemy, emboldened by years of appeasement and dithering, breeched the old borders of X and quickly found itself about 450 km away from the capital of X. An erroneous perception of the enemy places all the blame for the aggression on a single country. Yet, with a couple of honourable exceptions, the entire continent contributed troops and logistical, financial, economic and propaganda support to the aggressor.

3. Guess who

The legerdemain I employed here to illustrate the peril facing the world might just work. If you toggle USSR/Russia, Germany/US-NATO, Czechoslovakia/Yugoslavia/Ukraine, you will realise that the similarities between that faithful summer of 1941 and the COVID-infected summer of 2020 are more than accidental. I leave it to you to fill in the names of other players. I am not claiming that the two situations are identical, but simply that the template of demonisation perseveres through centuries and political systems. If I’d tried harder, I could have fitted the Russian empire into this template but it is not worth the effort—not because the Russian empire does not matter but because the comparison between the USSR and modern Russia suffices for my purposes.[4] In the same way that Stalin used religion and tradition to strengthen the fighting spirit of the people, Putin is turning to the epic struggle of the Soviets to prepare the Russian people for what is likely to come. In a supreme irony (another one of these) in its attempt to suffocate the historical memory of Russia’s role in WWII the West has denigrated its own effort to the point where younger generations of Westerners have no knowledge of their ancestors’ just war. In a sense, this is the blowback of all blowbacks.

The rest of the story which now refers to WWII goes something like this: At this very last moment, when all hope was lost, the leaders of the three major powers overcame their suspicions and joined hands in an epic struggle against fascism and militarism. For president Putin (and many of us) this moment was magical—akin to the brief state of weightlessness induced by a freefalling aeroplane. Freed from the gravity of earthly power, the world could ascend to new hights of peaceful development. His plea/warning is unlikely to be heeded by the intended audience. Nevertheless, it is very necessary. The world cannot afford another summer of war because this one would be unbearably hot. Briefly, Putin is saying “Remember your brave ancestors who gave their lives in the joint struggle and honour them by embracing Russia as an equal and respected partner.” Putin’s essay is a wholesale repudiation of the canard that “countries don’t have friends, only interests”. Although he is appealing to the sound political interests of his Western “partners”, he is articulating something greater—a world based not on predation and profit but on humane and universally valid civilisational principles.

There is little hope that his hand will be grasped by the current lot of political clowns who are currently in power in the West. While pretending to be friendly to Russia, the Jesuitical fraud Trump has done more to damage the Russian-American ties than most of his predecessors taken together. The mendacious tapir Boris is doubling down on using the Ukraine to irritate and annoy Russia.[5] In that, he bears some similarity to his idol Churchill who spared no effort to criticise the Russian Empire and sabotage the Soviet Union. However, the comparison ends there. Unlike Churchill, who despite his despicable ideology and actions was a statesman of a great calibre, Boris is a Churchill wannabe who unlike his idol seems incapable of grasping the uniqueness of the present moment and the importance of not repeating historical mistakes.

  1. To my knowledge, president Putin has never publicly addressed the occupation of parts of Russia by the allied intervention forces in 1918. 
  2. Note similar attempts by the Anglo-Zionist empire to equate China with imperial Japan through the curriculum of Hong Kong schools 
  3. My criticism of Poland does not imply my fondness for Bolshevism. Needless to say, Poland has never changed its position vis-à-vis Russia irrespective of the latter’s system of government. 
  4. In the same way that Stalin and Putin have been accused of being the butchers of the Ukrainians, Chechens and Tatars, Nicholas II was being lambasted by the “progressive” Jews for the pogroms (which occurred mainly in the Western non-Orthodox areas of the Russian Empire). Despite saving the Jews from the holocaust and being the first to support and recognise Israel (also see The Jewish Autonomous Oblast), Stalin soon became the bete noire of the Zionists/Trotskyites and a synonym for antisemitism. Despite having excellent relations with the Russian Jews and Israel, Putin has been the target of Zionist wrath almost from the beginning. The reader should draw their own conclusions. 
  5. British involvement with the Ukrainian nationalism stretches back to the end of WWII when Sir Collin Gubbins took over from Abwehr as the runner of the Prometheus terrorist network. Of course, the links between the MI6 and Polish inspired anti-Soviet networks almost certainly existed before 1939. 

The Hybrid War Of Terror On America Was Decades In The Making

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5 JUNE 2020

The Hybrid War Of Terror On America Was Decades In The Making

The spree of urban terrorism that’s exploded in the US over the past week wasn’t a spontaneous outburst of unrest but part of the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America that finally turned kinetic in the run-up to Trump’s possible re-election, and an analysis of the origins and gradual development of this conflict could provide a clearer picture of the course that it might take in the coming months.

A Review Of Recent Events

Subversive forces inside the US are waging a Hybrid War of Terror on America, one that’s been decades in the making but finally turned kinetic in the run-up to Trump’s prospective re-election. For those readers who aren’t familiar with the author’s earlier work on this topic, they’re requested to read or at least skim through the following articles in order to obtain an understanding of his interpretation of contemporary events that will frame the present analysis about their origins and their prospective development across the course of this year:

* 1 June: “Mayhem In America: Masks Off, Molotovs Out!

* 2 June: “America Has The Right To Protect Itself From Urban Terrorism

* 3 June: “What Comes After America’s Nationwide Anti-Terrorist Operation?

* 4 June: “Antifa Wants To Lead African-Americans To Their Slaughter To Spark A Race War

To oversimplify, domestic terrorist groups led on the ground primarily by the largely decentralized Antifa network are doing everything they can to encourage angry African-Americans to carry out a nationwide crime wave together with acts of urban terrorism so as to increase the likelihood of them getting killed en masse by the police, National Guard, and/or military as the next step in provoking a “race race”, the resultant chaos of which could then be exploited to advance their ideological agenda of “revolution”.

Education Or Indoctrination?

What’s happening in America today took decades to get to this point since ordinary Americans wouldn’t otherwise react the way that many of them regrettably are unless they were truly enraged at something so intensely to put others’ lives and their own in danger through wanton acts of urban terrorism. Their worldview wasn’t shaped in a day, but over decades, and that initially began in the educational system which was gradually subverted by left-wing radicals to the point where almost all college professors today identify with this ideology or one of its variants. They indoctrinated several generations of Americans “across the color spectrum” into believing that their country is a “racist dictatorship” profiting off of “economic injustice”. There’s definitely some truth to the general point that America is imperfect like all countries are, with its own particular systemic challenges that have made life difficult for some categories of folks more so in the past than in the present day, but that truth has been manipulated in order to radicalize the population according to certain triggers that most directly affect each identity demographic (e.g. racism and the criminal justice system for African-Americans, “reverse-racism” for Caucasians, feminism for women, corruption for the vast majority of the people, etc.).

Trotskyist Terror

This observation makes it relevant to discuss the influence of Trotskyist thought, which in this context simply refers to the concept of a so-called “permanent revolution“. There’s nothing wrong with the idea of continual improvement, but it’s been exploited by radical left-wing ideologies in order to promote the Machiavellian mantra that “the ends justify the means”. That said end is what its adherents truly believe (whether on their own or due to mental manipulation by “vanguard” elements of “the movement”) to be a “better world” for everyone, hence why they think that morality has no place when it comes to means. Thus, even acts of urban terrorism and the tricking of “useful idiots” into being slaughtered are “acceptable”. “The movement” does everything in its power to ensure that “the cause” is always on everyone’s minds so that nobody ever forgets about it but is instead always incited into becoming ever more radicalized so that their anger can then be “constructively” (or rather, destructively) channeled in the direction of their greater goal. Saul Alinsky’s “Rules For Radicals“, which he dedicated to “the first radical” Lucifer (Satan) in order to emphasize the amorality of his Machiavellian methods, provides perfect insight into the typical “revolutionary’s” mindset.

Relativism & Deconstructivism

One of the ways through which the educational establishment has indoctrinated Americans has been to have them relativize and deconstruct their society, though not in a purely objective manner (if one can even be applied in theory), but along the lines of whatever will portray “the movement’s” “cause” as “good/legitimate” and the existing system/establishment/everything else as “bad/illegitimate”. That’s not to say that relativism and deconstructivism aren’t useful to practice, but just to point out that they’re one of the more popular means through which generations have been manipulated, with the effects cumulatively building to the point where each generation becomes more radicalized than their predecessors. This is made possible not only by the “perfecting” of such “perception management” techniques, but also by indoctrinated parents forcing their children to believe the same things that they do, thus giving them an “ideological boost” from an early age that they themselves didn’t have and which could make them radicalize faster and more intensely than they ever did. Convinced of the validity of their worldview and the supposed “necessity” of “revolution”, these mass-produced “foot soldiers” then demand maximalist outcomes and unconditional surrenders.

“The Long March Through The Institutions”

The next factor to focus on is the concept of “the long march through the institutions” which seeks to embed “revolutionaries” and their “fellow travelers” (ideological sympathizers who might not be as radicalized as the first-mentioned) into various institutions beyond just the educational one. In practice, this most often takes the form of embedding them in influential places like the church, the media, and “Big Tech”, to say nothing of all levels of government: local/state/federal and executive/legislative/judicial. The purpose is to slowly take control of the state and society without arousing too much suspicion, but as the infiltration begins to succeed, certain signs become visible once these individuals feel comfortable enough in their positions to start actively shaping the country through relevant policies. This also sometimes takes the form of “politically flamboyant” personalities becoming popular in society for their outspoken views such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of “the squad” alongside their “fellow travelers” in “Big Tech” like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey among others for example. The end result is that society realizes that influential people harbor what had previously (and rightly) been considered to be radical ideologies, which contributes to gradually changing the national culture.

Gramsci’s “Cultural Hegemony”

Interwar Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci is credited with pioneering the concept of “cultural hegemony” whereby he basically asserted that “revolutions” can increase their chance of success by capturing the national culture through various means. Nowadays this is seen not only in the public faces of some people who have completed “the long march through the institutions” (especially in the media), but also especially among celebrities. The outcome is that a certain so-called “political correctness” creeps in which pressures individuals to censor themselves from expressing any beliefs that don’t conform with what’s wrongly presented to be the “majority consensus” even though it’s more often than not still only the view of the radical but influential minority. This doesn’t always relate to the purely economic foundations of leftism either but increasingly takes the form of what critics have described as “Cultural Marxism“, or the attempted application of leftism’s common denominator of “equality” into the cultural sphere, which purely economic leftists decry as ideological heresy that discredits their ideas. Consequently, they refuse to associate with that term and those that use it despite many “Cultural Marxists” proudly espousing leftist economic views as well.

“Ideological Subversion”

In parallel with these previously mentioned processes is what KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov described during a 1985 interview as “ideological subversion”. It’s unimportant that he attributed this strategy to the USSR (whether rightly or wrongly) since it can be applied by any ideologically motivated network irrespective of partisanship that doesn’t necessarily have to be state-backed. The four phases of “ideological subversion” are demoralization (making the majority skeptical of the status quo and feeling seemingly powerless to resist the “revolutionaries”), destabilization (a series of incidents that radicalize people and precondition the population to expect a crisis), crisis (the “trigger event” for catalyzing the most active and usually violent part of the campaign), and normalization (“the new normal” once the “revolutionaries” seize complete power even if they don’t officially proclaim victory in the event that they succeeded in secret). As everything that’s been discussed thus far in the analysis unfolds, the “Overton Window” shifts whereby what was previously considered radical is now seen as “normal” and the “old normal” becomes the “new radical” that’s then presented by the “drivers of change” as the “dangerous fringe” that society must continue moving away from.

From Destabilization To Crisis

The phased transition from destabilization to crisis is facilitated by structural preconditioning such as the deliberate mental and economic hardships brought about by the Democrat Governors’ decisions to impose strict COVID-19 lockdowns and the propagandizing of provocative narratives throughout society via the media such as the viral videos of police brutality against African-Americans. The first-mentioned makes the population more desperate and therefore increasingly likely to directly participate in the physical manifestation of the “revolution” even if they were previously having second doubts and preferred to only be “fellow travelers” (passive supporters). The second, meanwhile, incites the “revolutionary vanguard” (the role of which some participants such as criminally inclined African-Americans today aren’t even conscious that they’re playing) into a rage that triggers their prior amoral programming by reminding them that “the ends justify the means” even if it’s only to opportunistically take advantage of the forthcoming crisis for selfish reasons like looting. Taken together, this further the “conscious vanguard’s” cause of chaos that’ll enter into effect upon the commencement of the crisis.

Color Revolution Chaos

The ongoing kinetic phase of the Hybrid War of Terror on America couldn’t have been possible had it not been for the uncontrollable proliferation of the same Color Revolution tactics and strategies that the US government invented over nearly the past two decades then subsequently spread across the internet. It was therefore only a matter of time before “revolutionaries” at home began to apply the same methods against the US government itself in a completely expected twist of fate. The author’s work from half a decade ago about “The Color Revolution Model: An Exposé Of The Core Mechanics” explains these processes at length, while his book from around the same time about “Hybrid Wars: The Indirect Adaptive Approach To Regime Change” explains the phased transition from Color Revolutions (weaponized protests) to Unconventional Wars (terrorism). In short, the terrorist phase begins to emerge after the security services’ reaction to violent protests is caught on camera but deceptively decontextualized and misportrayed. The edited footage is then propagated throughout society to escalate the self-sustaining cycle of unrest by delegitimizing the said security services and their government, which further radicalizes the population into passively or actively supporting terrorism.

Strategic Escalations

The kinetic (physical, violent) phase of the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America is greatly aided by the “fellow travelers” who completed their “long march through the institutions” of government, specifically the Democrats in charge of local municipalities and various states. Many of them refuse to order the police and National Guard respectively to properly respond to the Color Revolution for two primary reasons. The first is to radicalize the majority of the population that’s against this destruction so as to precondition them into expecting a “race war”, while the second is to then reinforce the perception of Trump as a “fascist dictator” to the already radicalized “revolutionaries” and their “fellow travelers” once he’s forced to take control of the National Guard and/or dispatch the military with the authority to use lethal force at their discretion to quell the unrest. That seemingly inevitable development will lead to the previously described decontextualization of such a response through edited footage that would become more “credible” to many if the “fellow traveling” peaceful protesters voluntarily use themselves as “human shields” to protect the urban terrorists among them, thus sacrificing themselves for “the cause” as “martyrs” whose deaths will be blamed on Trump personally.

Insubordination & Defection

“The long march through the institutions” also seeks to infiltrate the security services even though they’re typically the most resilient, but the “sleeper cells” among them and their media allies can attempt to get their “moderate” colleagues to seriously consider refusing to fulfill their professional duty to restore law and order, especially if they’re pressured not to “kill their own people” (an oft-abused phrase regularly employed by the US government to delegitimize those foreign governments targeted by its history of Hybrid Wars and which lethally respond to these external provocations in self-defense). “Dog whistles” are already being blown in this respect by former Defense Secretary Mattis and Espers the incumbent one who have both contradicted the President to different degrees regarding his plans to reestablish law and order. This increases the likelihood that the aforesaid “sleeper cells” can deploy other bespoke information warfare narratives against their “fellow” members of the security services such as imploring them to “obey the Constitution and not the fascist dictator who’s ordering the illegal use of force against peaceful protesters out of self-interested political desperation to prevent his inevitable toppling by the people”. If successful, then the result this devious information warfare operation could be game-changing.

Electoral Context

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the ongoing Hybrid War of Terror on America is occurring in the run-up to the November elections. The Minneapolis “trigger event” (which might be one of many up the seemingly never-ending escalation ladder) wasn’t planned but something of the sort might have been had that not happened in order to catalyze the current chaos. The timing is extremely strategic because it’s intended to totally destabilize the country ahead of its pivotal vote that might prospectively hand Trump his final term, after which he’d be completely “unchained” without any future electoral considerations whatsoever to pursue his own promised “revolutionary” agenda that threatens to reverse the leftists’ “march through the institution” (“draining the swamp”/”fighting the deep state”) in as radical of a manner as he’d want. To stop him, they hope to “hack” the election by exploiting this chaos to convince more people to vote Democrat, but as an “insurance policy”, they also plan to use mail-in ballots in order to steal the election. Should they fail to do that and he’s not overthrown beforehand in a military coup, then they’ll likely intensify their Hybrid War on the basis that he supposedly “stole the election” following the narrative that the US itself used against so many targets abroad over the years.

Global Importance

The whole world is watching what happens because of the global importance that the outcome of this conflict will undoubtedly have. It shouldn’t be forgotten that it’s occurring in the midst of what the author previously described as World War C, which refers to the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes unfolding as a result of every government’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic that readers can learn more about herehere, and here. In accordance with the precepts of Stephen Mann’s “Chaos Theory And Strategic Thought“, the initial conditions at the onset of any complex process will disproportionately influence their outcome (“the butterfly effect”), so even Trump’s possible victory might only be a Pyrrhic one when it comes to America’s global standing in the emerging Multipolar World Order depending on how much damage is done domestically during the course of this conflict. Another point to keep in mind is that he’s also the leader of the worldwide nationalist/anti-globalism movement so the onset of the kinetic phase of this Hybrid War sends a strong message to other like-minded leaders that something similar could also happen to them at any time too unless they were more successful than the US was in stopping “the long march through the institutions”.

Concluding Thoughts

The ongoing phase of the Hybrid War of Terror on America can be conceptualized as the explosion of a long-ticking time bomb similar in effect to what happened a generation ago in the USSR after US-backed nationalist “revolutionaries” there succeeded in destroying it from within using almost identical means. This observation speaks to the fact that such methods aren’t exclusive to any given ideology but vary depending upon the targeted state’s unique socio-economic and political characteristics, which could in the future be more easily identified and tracked using the strategic insight obtained by “Big Data” operations such as the one that Cambridge Analytica was notoriously accused of.

Considering that this is a conflict that was decades in the making, it won’t be resolved anytime soon, especially since the “revolutionary” side is convinced that “the ends justify the means”, which makes the use of terrorism against their “fellow” Americans “acceptable” to them. Although every government in the world officially condemns this method of warfare which doesn’t have any ideology, race, religion, nationality, or borders, many of them and their compatriots are more than happy to watch the havoc that this Hybrid War will wreak for purely ideological reasons pertaining to their hatred for the American government (irrespective of whether or not that hatred is justified) even though the majority of victims will likely be innocent people of all “colors”.

This hypocritical position is explained by the fact that those abroad sense that this conflict is an “historical opportunity” to knock the US “out of the game” once and for all, and by none other than its own Hybrid War means that it so eagerly used to employ against almost everyone else in one way or another. For this self-interested reason, they might even intensify their information warfare against the US in order to embolden the “revolutionaries” and “demoralize” the average American that’s against this reign of terror by trying to convince them that they “deserve” all of this because they pay taxes to “fund the evil empire” for what it does overseas in their name without their knowledge or permission. Some of these average Americans will almost certainly submit, but tens of millions of others probably won’t go down without a fight, even if it’s to the death.

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

قانون «قيصر» والغاية منه… وعوامل فشله

حسن حردان

لوحظ أنّ التحضير للإعلان عن ما يسمّى قانون «قيصر»، الذي أقرّه الكونغرس الأميركي، لتشديد الحصار المفروض على سورية، بذريعة حماية المدنيين، قد سبقته وصاحبته حملة إعلامية وسياسية ممنّهجة ومكثّفة تولى القيام بها المسؤولون الأميركيون ووسائل الإعلام المرتبطة بالأجندة الأميركية، وهدفت إلى التهويل على سورية، حكومة وشعباً، ومحاولة التأثير على معنويات شعبنا في سورية والنيل من صموده والتفافه حول قيادته، عبر العمل على مفاقمة معاناته الاقتصادية والاجتماعية والمعيشية، والقول له، إنَّ السبيل لوضع حدّ لهذه المعاناة إنَّما يكون بالضغط على قيادة بلاده ودفعها لتقديم التنازلات التي تحقق لواشنطن مكاسب سياسيّة واقتصاديّة لقاء موافقة الإدارة الأميركيّة على تسهيل الحل السياسي ووضع نهاية للحرب الإرهابيّة.. أيّ أنّ واشنطن تُحاول من خلال قانون «قيصر» أن تحقق ما عجزت عن تحقيقه بوساطة الحرب الإرهابيّة التي فشلت في إسقاط الدولة الوطنية السورية المستقلة وتحويل سورية إلى بلد تابع للولايات المتحدة، سياسياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً وأمنياً…

هذه الخلاصة تَظهر بوضوح من خلال قراءة ما تضمنهُ «قانون قيصر» من استهدافات اقتصاديّة وسياسيّة:

أولاً، اقتصادياً.. يستهدف القانون الدول، لا سيما روسيا والصين وإيران، والشركات والأفراد، الذين يتعاملون اقتصادياً وتجارياً مع سورية، وتهديدهم بعقوبات وتجميد أصولهم المالية إذا لم يوقفوا علاقاتهم الاقتصادية مع سورية.. ويستهدف القانون من خلال ذلك منع سورية من الحصول على قطع الغيار والمعدات والتّجهيزات اللاّزمة لصيانة معاملها ومنشآتها العسكريّة والمدنيّة، والضغط على الشّركات الروسيّة المتخصّصة في مجال الطاقة لوقف وارداتها من الغاز إلى سورية، التي تستورد نحو ٦٠ بالمائة من احتياجاتها المحليّة منه..

ثانياً، سياسياً.. يستهدف القانون دفع الحكومة السوريّة إلى التفاوض مع واشنطن تحت الضغط لانتزاع تنازلات سياسيّة منها، وهذا الهدف تحدث عنه القانون صراحة عندما ترك الباب مفتوحاً للحلّ الدبلوماسي.. حيث سمح للرئيس الأميركي برفع إجراءات الحصار في حال «لمس جدية» في التفاوض من قبل الحكومة السوريّة بشرط، وقف الدعم العسكري الروسي والإيراني للرئيس الأسد، كما يمكن للرئيس الأميركي رفع الإجراءات لأسباب تتعلق بالأمن القومي الأميركي»..

لكن هل أنّ هذه الأهداف الاقتصاديّة والسياسيّة ممكنة التحقق؟ أم أنها ستلاقي الفشل كما فشلت سابقاتها على مدى سنوات الحرب الإرهابيّة التي دخلت عامها العاشر؟

المُدقّق في المعطيات والوقائع الرّاهنة على صعيد سوريّة وحلفائها، وعلى صعيد موازين القوى الإقليميّة والدوليّة يتضحُ له أنّ الفشل هو ما ستحصدهُ الإدارة الأميركية، وأن قانون «قيصر» لن يحقق أهدافه، وذلك للعوامل التالية:

العامل الأول، إنَّ سوريّة اعتادت أصلاً على الحصار الأميركي المفروض عليها منذ بدء الحرب الاستعماريّة بالوكالة، وقد اشتدّ الحصار في السنوات الأخيرة،، وأن سوريّة صمدت في مواجهة هذا الحصار لكونها ترتكز إلى اقتصاد إنتاجي غير ريعي، يوفر نسبة كبيرة من الاحتياجات الغذائية والصحيّة للشعب السوري، على الرغم مما أصاب البنية الإنتاجيّة من تدمير وأضرار فادحة بفعل استهدفها من قبل الإرهابيّين.. ويعود الفضل في بناء هذه البنية الاقتصاديّة الإنتاجيّة إلى السياسات التنّموية التي انتهجها الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد في السبعينيات والثمانينيات من القرن الماضي والتي أدت إلى تمكين سورية من تحقيق الاكتفاء الذّاتي في احتياجاتها من الغذاء والدواء، الأمر الذي شكّل رصيداً هاماً مكّن سوريّة من الصمود رغم شراسة الحرب عليها…

العامل الثاني، انّ سوريّة استندت في صمودها ومقاومتها الأسطورّية، ولا تزال إلى دعم كبير وهام من الحلفاء، لا سيما إيران وروسيا والصين، ممّا أسهم في كسر الحصار الأميركي وإحباط أهدافه السياسيّة.. ومن المستبعد أن تتخلى هذه الدول الحليفة لسورية عن مواصلة دعمها وتعاونها الاقتصادي والعسكري والسياسي معها لاعتبارات عديدة أهمّها:

الاعتبار الأول، إنَّ هذه الدّول تواجهُ، كما سوريّة، عقوبات اقتصاديّة أميركيّة، بسبب مواقفها المعارضة بشدة لسياسات الهيمنة الاستعماريّة، وسعي هذه الدّول لإقامة نظام عالمي جديد متعدّد الأقطاب.. ولهذا فإنّ مصلحة هذه الدول الحليفة لسورية إنما تكّمنُ في مواصلة دعمها لها وكسر الحصار المفروض عليها، وإحباط خطط واشنطن لتعويم مشروع الهيمنة الأميركية المتراجعة على الصعيد الدّولي..

الاعتبار الثَّاني، إن الدّول الحليفة لسوريّة تُدرك جيداً أن إحباط أهداف الحصار الأميركي على سورية، وتمكّينها من استكمال انتصاراتها على قوى الإرهاب سوف يُسهم في إسقاط أهداف الولايات المتحدة الساعية إلى تطويق روسيا والصين وإيران وإضعاف قدراتهم على مقاومة الهيمنة الأميركيّة في المنطقة والعالم..

الاعتبار الثَّالث، إنَّ هذه الدّول الحليفة تربطها بسوريّة علاقات استراتيجيّة تتجسّد باتفاقيات ثنائية للتعاون في المجالات كافة، الاقتصاديّة والعسكريّة، إلى جانب محاربة الإرهاب ومواجهة الهيمنة الأميركيّة.. كما تساهم هذه الدول وشركاتها الخاصّة في مشروع إعادة إعمار سوريّة وهي بدأت فعلاً في ذلك، وبالتالي لها مصلحة اقتصاديّة، إلى جانب المصلحة السياسيّة، في مساعدة سوريّة على النّهوض من آثار الحرب، لا سيما أنّ سوريّة تحوزُ على ثرواتٍ هامة وخصوصاً بعد اكتشاف وجود كميّات كبيرة من النفط والغاز في برّها وبحرّها..

العامل الثَّالث، إنَّ الولايات المتحدة الأميركيّة باتت تعاني من تآكل دورها القيّادي العالمي، كما قالت مجلة فورين بوليسي، وذلك بالتّزامن مع تراجع هيمنتها وسطوتها وهيبتها في المنطقة والعالم نتيجة الضعف الذي أصاب عناصر قوّتها الاقتصاديّة والعسكريّة والسياسيّة على خلفية موازين القوى النّاشئة إقليمياً ودولياً من رحم انتصارات سوريّة.. وتنامي قوة الصين الاقتصاديّة وعودة روسيا إلى الحلبة الدّولية كلاعب أساسي، وتنامي قوَّة إيران وفرضها معادلات الردع في مواجهة القوَّة الأميركيّة جواً وبراً وبحراً..

العامل الرابع، إنَّ الولايات المتحدة تعصفُ بها أعنف أزمة اقتصاديّة وماليّة واجتماعيّة عرفتها في تاريخها تزامنت مع تفجر انتفاضة شعبية عارمة اجتاحت أكثر من ٢٢ ولاية أميركيّة ضدّ استفحال سياسة التمييز العنصري في النظام الأميركي على اثر إقدام رجال شرطة على قتل مواطن أميركي من ذوي البشرة السمراء.. هذه التّطورات التي أدخلت أميركا في مرحلة من عدم الإستقرار والاضطراب أضعفت من سلطة وشعبية الرئيس الأميركي ترامب وأغرقتهُ في أزمة كبيرة عشية الانتخابات الرئاسيّة الأميركيّة، التي يطمع فيها للفوز بولاية ثانية.. والحال هذه من الطبيعي أن تُسهم هذه الأزمة في جعل أولويات إدارة ترامب تتركز على الداخل على حساب أولويات الخارج..

العامل الخامس، إنَّ سوريّة، في سياق نهجها الاقتصادي المستقلّ، اتجهت، منذ زمن، في علاقاتها الاقتصاديّة نحو الشرق، لا سيما مع إيران وروسيا والصين، وهي دول تقاوم الحرب الاقتصاديّة الأميركيّة وتعمل على إسقاط أهدافها وبناء منظومة جديدة من العلاقات الاقتصاديّة والتجاريّة الدّولية تقوم على التحرّر من هيمنة الدّولار والنظام المالي الذي تهيمن عليه أميركا منذ انتهاء الحرب.. العالميّة الثَّانية..

لكلّ هذه العوامل فإنّ قانون «قيصر» لن يؤثر كثيراً على الوضع الاقتصادي في سوريّة طالما أنّ حلفاء سوريّة مستمرونُ في التّعاون معها وقادرون على كسر الحصار الأميركي، كما فعلوا طوال سنوات الحرب.. ولهذا ما هو مطلوب عدم الوقوع في فخ الحرب الإعلامية والنفسية التي تستهدف النيل من صمود سورية ومحاولة التأثير على علاقاتها وتحالفاتها الاستراتيجيّة المتينة التي تعمدّت في ميادين القتال ضد قوى الإرهاب المدعوُمة أميركيّاً…

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Russian naval presence in Indian Ocean

By Nat South for The Saker Blog

I am interested in the way that narratives that shape individual events are crafted, curated and disseminated, because ultimately there is a tendency to focus mostly on specific events and ignore the wider context. Ultimately, we end up with being presented with a series of disjointed events, not really understanding the history or the detailed framing of these events. One such example would be “Russian ships are prowling around undersea cables”, in the tenor of overstating the Russian threat. Often, the complexity and background of the issue is left completely blank and important facets are blurred. At worst, we are simply presented with a series of ‘soundbites’ such as this stark example: “Russia invaded Crimea”.

The starting point for this naval oriented briefing is the widely reported incident between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a lightly armed Russian navy intelligence reconnaissance ship somewhere in “northern Arabian Sea”. The U.S. Fifth Fleet alleged that on January 9, a Russian Navy ship ‘Ivan Khurs’ (AGI),“aggressively approached” USS Farragut, an Arleigh Burke DDG (guided missile destroyer), “conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea”, (in the words of the U.S. Navy press release). Subsequently, Moscow dismissed Washington’s claims.

Note the tone of stating “aggressively approached”, not really a nuanced interpretation of events. What wasn’t mentioned the likelihood that this took place not far from the carrier, ‘USS Harry S. Truman’. No context whatsoever was provided by authorities on this incident. A classic example of a specific event being framed without any further details as to why and how it happened. Nothing mentioned on what took place before the video snippets that don’t make much sense. What is the wider context to this incident? (More on this specific incident later on in this article).

Without getting into details on the well-publicised Iran / U.S. tensions and U.S. naval deployment to the region, I would like to turn to other broader aspects touching upon the Russian naval presence in the region. In January, a series of articles appeared on the geopolitical aspects of the Indian Ocean, such as this on China’s increased presence , “the Russians are coming”, and this that gives an all-round Indian focused overview. Taking an excerpt from the latter:

During the unipolar moment from 1991 till 2010s, Washington still felt comfortable in its position; however, over the last few years, the situation has changed dramatically.”

The most recent element in the turning point that shows the dramatic change would certainly be the late December trilateral naval exercise between Russia, Iran & China. The high-profile, three-day naval exercise took place in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea. Although not a major strategic exercise, the naval drills conveyed a slight political undertone, particularly with the presence of the Chinese Navy. China’s regional policy remains the same, to engage with all countries in a cautious and balanced manner. This is reflected by the fact the PLAN also held joint naval exercises with Saudi Arabia in November 2019, with the practically the same theme of enhancing maritime security.

The Pentagon’s plan for continued domination of the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean as per Mahan Doctrine in a unipolar world, is started to be eroded by the presence of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, (PLAN). On paper, the numbers involved is very small compared to the overall U.S. Navy presence in the region. Yet, Chinese encroachment into a space seen by Washington as their turf is already enough of an issue to warrant increased attention in recent years. So far, this has resulted in the creation of dedicated military structures, namely the Indo-Pacific Command, (USINDOPACOM) in 2018 and the release in June 2019 of a US military strategy report specifically on the region.

On top of all of Washington’s angst, is also the presence of the Russian Navy in the region. So, are the Russians just coming to the region now? No. The only noticeable change of recent is the taking part in multi-national exercises, (in Iran and South Africa) jointly with the Chinese.

The Russian Navy has been an occasional visitor for two decades, limited to one combat ship with two support deploying to either bilateral exercises or simply showing the flag as part of naval diplomacy. Take for example the annual bilateral exercises between Russia with India since 2003, (INDRA), with Pakistan since 2014, (Exercise Arabian Monsoon). Both of which are aimed at: “increasing inter-operability amongst the two navies, developing common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.” Both activities clearly underline the “naval diplomacy” being used by Russia, striking a balance between two significant opposing countries.

What is changing is the nature and format of other newer joint or multilateral exercises. A glimpse of this is the Army International Games “Depth-2019”, competition in July 2017 in Iran. The Black Sea Fleet based rescue tug “Professor Nikolai Muru”, (Project 22870), made a first-ever passage to the Gulf to participate in the event. Insignificant, in the greater scheme of things, probably yes, but interesting the Russian Navy did this.

Lastly let’s not forget that the Russian Navy had infrequently participated in the Horn of Africa anti-piracy missions, probably best remembered by an epic video of the Russian Navy dealing with a pirate boat. Conversely, the PLAN has been a more consistent participant of these types of missions for almost two decades. Nevertheless, as I write this, the Baltic Fleet based ‘Yaroslav Mudry’ is out in the region having recently called in to the Omani port of Salalah. It is in the Gulf of Aden as part of the latest Russian anti-piracy deployment to the Indian Ocean.

A first in the Southern Hemisphere took place in late November 2019 in Cape Town, when Russia and China held their first trilateral naval exercise with South Africa. Exercise ‘Mosi’ was the first time that three countries belonging to BRICS exercised together. Participants included a type 054A frigate Weifang (550) and Slava-class Project 1164 cruiser Marshal Ustinov (055) and the South African Valour class frigate ‘Amatola’.

9th January 2020

Back to the 9th January incident, reminiscent of the era of the Soviet Navy, when there were numerous ‘interactions’ of this kind on and below the waves. Any naval Cold War veteran is able to attest to this. An example of maybe hundreds of incidents and accidents is when the Soviet destroyer ‘Bravyy’ on 9th November 1970, while observing a NATO exercise, collided with the British aircraft-carrier HMS Ark Royal. Other notable incidents were the Black Sea “bumping incidents”, although the context for this was slightly different, taking place in home waters, involving both the USS Caron and the ‘USS Yorktown’, under the activity of “innocent passage and freedom of navigation”. An issue that still provokes intense debate and U.S. FONOP activities, (notably in the South China Sea) as mentioned in a previous article on the Arctic. A snapshot of this rationale for carrying out freedom of navigation voyages can be found in the introduction of a paper presented here.

I had a deja-vu feeling when I heard about this incident. It seems to me practically a re-run of the ‘USS Chancellorsville’ & ‘Admiral Vinogradrov’ incident back in June 2019. I see that many instant experts on Rule 15 have suddenly popped up on social media, hence this specific commentary.  Essentially several things could have done been done to avert this close call situation. The U.S. ship could have speeded up considerably to give the Russian ship more sea room to cross astern with plenty of space. There’s a lot more to this incident than just the videos extracts released by the U.S. Navy. However, this and the June 2019 incident needed to be contrasted with the shenanigans done in 60, 70s and also the 1988 Black Sea bumping incidents. Personally, this is pretty tame stuff in comparison.

The question is why this happens in this manner, (maybe due to saving face or not backing down). The carefully selected excerpts of videos, showing a fraction of the incident in question don’t help to understand the length, context or extent of the incident. The tetchy moments on who had ‘right of way’ (the nautical version of the Road Code – known as COLREGS) regarding the ‘Ivan Khurs’ close encounter with ‘USS Farragut’ can be regarded as just a “braggadocio” event aimed at media sensationalism. Well, not quite. There’s more the story than what it first seems.

As with the June 2019 incident, the U.S. ship was on the port side of the Russian vessel, considered to be a “Constant bearing, decreasing range” (CBDR) situation. Many arguments happened over whether the Ivan Khurs was in crossing situation or overtaking one, (was it 22.5 / 30 degrees angle? Essentially that’s a redundant point given the closeness and the continued CBDR situation, running out of safe sea space). A grey area well-known to mariners, hence the need to be quite clear in intentions from the outset. The video excerpts are equally unhelpful in determining the situation since some time must have passed between the video snippets.

The question that no one asked was why did both sides act early enough to avoid such close approach in the first place. It seems to me, in general one side was blatantly ignoring the CBDR situation and the finer points of Rule 15 or 17 COLREG, while the other won’t try or consider slowing down or bearing away from US ship. Essentially, a total farce where both sides seem to wind each up until the last minute, when finally, the U.S. destroyer actually opens up a bit the throttle. Given that it is a DDG, I’m sure that the USS Farragut has a higher speed than the ‘Ivan Khurs’, so the Russian ship can cross astern safely. Seemingly, neither budged and importantly both sides were basically ignoring parts of Rule 8 which sets out good seamanship practice, well before the Rule 15/17 situation arose, as both had each other on radar and visually for many nautical miles.

The other question is why did this incident occur? Essentially, eyeing each other for intel gathering. Scenario 1: I suspect it is the U.S. ship taking a keen interest, given the ‘Ivan Khurs’ is a probable newcomer to the waters, but was this was close to the area of the U.S. carrier operations. Scenario 2: Possibility of the USS Farragut either wanting to keep the Russian ship away from the U.S. carrier or maybe possibly deploying ASW array.

Of interest to note is the ad hoc presence of Russian AGIs and intelligence reconnaissance ships in the vicinity of U.S. carrier groups. This has been the case elsewhere, in the Eastern Mediterranean particularly, but seemingly a first for the Arabian Sea, (in many decades).

Summary

The Russian Navy is not the Soviet Navy in scope or numbers. As such the remaining current cold war era CCGs & DDGs that visit the region will gradually fade away, to be replaced by a smaller fleet of FFGs & corvettes; yet it will continue to visit the Indian Ocean. Although many pundits see this as a growing Russia’s return to the Indian Ocean as being relatively recent, when in fact it isn’t. So, the muted outcry by Washington of “the Russians are coming” is rather feeble and reveals a deep level of geopolitical insecurity. To paraphrase the Chinese delegate’s question at the Munich Security Conference recently, (see here):

“Do you really think the U.S. Navy presence in the Indian Ocean is so fragile it could be threatened by the occasional visit of Russian and Chinese warships?”

Seemingly yes.

Russia has a new limited strategic presence in the Middle East and Africa and the naval visits are part of the bigger picture. Russian presence will continue given the backdrop of the U.S. public wish for an expansion of a NATO footprint into Gulf & Iraq, adding to the ongoing presence in Afghanistan since 2001.

Russia also has defence-cooperation agreements with about 15 African countries. This is somewhat reflected in the port call make by the ‘Marshal Ustinov’, (en route to South Africa, including Egypt & Algeria, Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde.

NB:The ‘Marshal Ustinov’ also called into Greece, Cyprus, Turkey (some are NATO countries).

By looking at the Russian Navy’s timid visits, the Indian Ocean is not a high priority regarding Russian maritime presence. Nevertheless, Russia has certainly stepped up its naval diplomacy in the region in different ways, making infrequent regular yearly visits to ports in the region, such as Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka and high-level working visits by heads of navies. Russia is also attentive to maintaining special relationships that it already has with countries like India and Pakistan.

Lastly, I cannot compare the minuscule presence of Russian Navy in region with that of the PLAN which is quickly building a larger force projection capability than the Russian VMF can realistically hope for these days. Let’s be frank, the Chinese PLAN is expanding considerably each year. 2019 alone saw another: 1 aircraft carrier, 1 LDP, 1 LHD & eight 7000t & two 13000t destroyers commissioned) plus 17 corvettes in one year!) The new tonnage must eye watering hard for the West to contemplate.

Further Reading

See this detailed article below I entirely agree with the author, as a civilian ex-mariner.

Who provokes whom and with which goal? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/us-russian-navy-near-miss-incident-gunter-sch%C3%BCtze

Extra information on the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean:

Indian Ocean: strategic hub or zone of competition? https://uwidata.com/7211-indian-ocean-strategic-hub-or-zone-of-competition/

An visual overview of both recent Chinese and Russian naval port visits in the Indian Ocean is presented on the blog Warvspeace.org


Nat South’s sideline is occasionally commenting on maritime & naval related subjects ,with a special interest in the polar regions.

CHINA-IRAN -RUSSIA ALLIANCE ENDING US UNILATERAL GLOBAL HEGEMONY

Posted on 30/12/2019 by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The “maritime security belt” trilateral four-day drill between Iran, China and Russia in the sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean will mark the Middle East for decades to come. It signals the end of US absolute hegemony and control of the Middle East- and of the world. The joint drills are being carried out at the heart of the zone of US maritime influence. The drills are tactical exercises simulating the rescue of frigates under attack by a mutual enemy over a 17,000 km area. They are not strategic, because China and Russia will not have access to Iranian harbours on an ongoing basis. No common adversary is expected to face Russia, China or Iran together in these waters. The aim of these exercises is for all three countries to send a common message to the US. The maritime ‘message’ addressed to the world this December 2019 realistically is that the period of the global dominance of the USA as the sole and self-elected “policeman of the world” is coming to an end.

It was the first time Iran has held a joint exercise with two major world naval powers on this scale since the “Islamic Republic” in 1979. Iran invited and hosted the trilateral drills, starting from its southeastern port of Chabahar, to challenge the US “maximum pressure” policy. Tehran is sending a message to the world that it is developing its military capabilities in the midst of the harshest ever US sanctions, demonstrating that the US policy of isolating Iran is ineffective. President Donald Trump and his team have  managed to hurt the Iranian population with their unprecedented sanctions and siege: but the government of Tehran has effectively adapted to these punitive measures, countering with a new “budget of Resistance” to limit its dependence on oil exports.

President Donald Trump’s policy is speeding the formation of an alliance between Iran, China and Russia (all affected by US sanctions). These countries, notwithstanding the “maritime security belt” drills, have not actually signed strategic alliances among themselves, but are finding ways to protect themselves while operating in the Sea of Oman and the Indian Ocean. These drills can be considered a challenge to US sanctions, taking place in the most important worldwide maritime traffic waterway, considered vital to the US with 18.5 million barrels of oil transiting through this area daily.

The US sun is setting. It has shone brightly since 1991 when the cold war ended between Washington and Moscow. This is when President George Bush announced US policy and the vision of “a new world order where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom and the rule of law.”

That day marked the beginning, in fact, of an imbalanced world order based on the political, economic and military dominance of the US. It was the beginning of a “destructive-constructive” strategy to crush any country rejecting US hegemony. Iran was at the top of the list.

Under President George W. Bush, Washington decided to surround Iran, China and Russia further and occupied Afghanistan – due to its geopolitical strategic position overlooking at the west of China, middle of Asia and the east of Iran and its richness of Uranium – and then Iraq. The control of Middle Eastern oil was the priority followed by a “new Middle East” plan to break Iran’s alliance with Lebanon (Hezbollah) and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The US has constantly been looking for ways to divide continents, to rule them and thus prevent the emergence of any threatening alliance. Eurasia, which contains two-thirds of the world’s energy, was under constant close US watch, similar to Iran.

But Iran 2019 is different from Iran in 1979. Following the “war of the tankers” in the Straits of Hormuz, the downing of the most expensive US drone and the targeting and destruction of Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities (reducing its export capability by half) with Iranian precision cruise missiles, the US discovered a bitter reality. All US military bases surrounding Iran were easy targets for Iran cruise missiles in the case of a decision by Washington to attack the “Islamic Republic”. Iran didn’t need to bother looking for a US target in far off territories.

Moreover, Iran did not hesitate to intercept and confiscate a British tanker, sending a confrontational message to Great Britain and expressing its readiness for a military skirmish if necessary. Iran signalled its ability to fight on multiple fronts against its enemies. Iranian officials made crystal clear to all surrounding countries’ leaders (Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Iraq, north-east Syria, Israel) that its precision missiles would spare no country where a US base is stationed or used as a starting point for an attack on Iran.

Many elements indicated Iran was ready for the worst-case scenario and was trained for an extreme situation, knowing that the US would not venture into an unpredictable war where victory is far from guaranteedPresident Trump was ready for a few battles here and there, a “battle between wars” Israeli-style rather than a totally destructive war. Trump and his team became aware that the US’s enemies had equipped themselves with enough missiles to be simultaneously engaged on multiple fronts in different Middle Eastern countries.

Trump has sought to avoid human losses during his presence in office. He knows that Iran’s allies will dive into any future confrontation against the “Islamic Republic” and will hit US allies in the Middle Eastern region.

Iran has equipped its strongest and most organised ally in the Middle East, Hezbollah in Lebanon, with tens of thousands of rockets and precision missiles, enough to destroy Israeli targets, already included in its bank of objectives. The Israeli targets are within a few kilometres of Hezbollah bases, not far enough for the Israeli interception missiles to neutralise all missiles and rockets if simultaneously launched. But that is not the real problem: in fact, the Israeli domestic front is far from ready for war, as even Israeli military officials acknowledge.

Hezbollah managed to break the Israeli deterrence policy and succeeded in breaking the will of Israel, as the world observed in the last confrontation. Indeed, Israel chose to abandon for two weeks all positions along 100 kilometres from the Lebanese borders and 5 kilometres deep due to a single threat launched via local television by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. A very strong indication that though Israel can continue verbally threatening Lebanon, war is unlikely for a very long time to come.

Iran’s allies are also present in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, all equipped with precision missiles. The US and its allies are not in a position to ignore this reality and the fact that (notwithstanding the US and Israel’s great destructive power) serious damage can be inflicted on the US camp in case of war.

Another crucially important element, not to be neglected, is the fact that the US is taking further distance from the Middle East. In 2019 I witnessed the US’s clear detachment from the Iraqi selection of a Prime Minister, for the first time since 2003. The US is also, unusually, not intervening in Lebanon’s choice of a Prime Minister. These are two important countries where the US was positioned in the front line to curb Iran’s influence. Likewise, in Syria (where the US is flagrantly stealing Syrian oil), the US seems to have lost its appetite to remain in the Levant and compel Iran’s departure from Syria- to the great discontent of Israel.

Only the weapon of economic sanctions remains for the US, a weapon that soon will be less efficient as countries adapt to their new situation. Trump is sanctioning his friends, enemies and competitors, exhausting US financial power. That is giving an advantage to the countries concerned to prepare themselves for counter-measures in the long-term. The US, despite its attempt at hegemony, is returning to the era before the 1991.

It is true that the US has managed, under President Trump, to sell huge quantities of weapons to Middle Eastern countries. The US military industry has benefitted for a few years but this is coming to an end. These weapons will no longer be used in any future war because the possibility of a military confrontation in the Middle East is fading and all parties and potential belligerents are well equipped and armed with destructive firepower.

Today the US is looking at Russia, China and their allies as sources of danger from highly competitive technology and artificial intelligence developments. There is little room for future military confrontation. The time has finally come for the Middle Eastern countries to solve their domestic and regional problems among themselves without outside interference. 

Proofread by  Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.

This article is translated free to many languages by volunteers so readers can enjoy the content. It shall not be masked by Paywall. I’d like to thank my followers and readers for the confidence and support. If you like it, please don’t feel embarrassed to contribute and help fund it for as little as 1 Euro. Your contribution, however small, will help ensure its continuity. Thank you.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com  2019

Review of 2019 and Preview for 2020: the Final Combat of Western Hegemonism

December 26, 2019

By Paul Schmutz Schaller for The Saker Blog

The world situation is changing very fast and one needs to make an effort in order to keep pace with the events. The end of a year is a welcome opportunity for an assessment of the current situation. I shall concentrate on two main subjects.

2019: The West has lost the supremacy in the Middle East

I think that this was the most important change in the year drawing to a close. Iran has successfully and creatively defended herself against the „maximal pressure“ from the USA and has kept her distance with the West European countries. Economically, the country has suffered from the US-sanctions, but she has now passed the biggest crisis. The country took the imposed problems as a motivation to improve the economical governance and to diminish the dependance from petrol. While in June, say, there was a more or less real danger of an aggressive war against Iran, now, this treat haas faded into the background. The report of UN-Secretary-General Guterres of Desember 10 saying that the UN, after an investigation in Saudi Arabia, cannot verify the US and Saudi claims that Iran was behind the strikes on Aramco in September, is a diplomatic victory for Iran. As for the Iranian trade, an official recently said that, during the last 9 months, China, Iraq, UAE, Afghanistan and Turkey were major destinations for the Iranian exports while Turkey, UAE and Germany are biggest Iranian trade in terms of imports.

Syria has made further important progress in the fight against terrorism, in particular in the province Idleb. Moreover, the government and the army were able to utilize the partial withdrawal of the US occupying army in the north-east of the country. The reconstruction in Syria moves forward, Russian and Chinese enterprises will thereby play an important role. Hundreds of thousands refugees have come back. In short, as President Assad said in the interview with Italian Rai News 24: „[… ] the situation is much, much better […] and I think that the future of Syria is promising; we are going to come out of this war stronger.“

In the absurd war of Saudi Arabia against Yemen, the strategic situation has completely changed. Saudi Arabia has lost the initiative and different Arabian and African countries have stopped the support for the Saudi army. The Ansarallah movement of the Houthis has made important attacks, in particular against Aramco, and the movement has now strong official relations with Iran.

The West and Israel are still trying hard to exploit the economical and political crisis in Lebanon and Iraq. However, the patriotic forces in both countries were able to keep a positive outlook of the situation and could avoid to fall into the traps.

There is no reason to think that the positive development in the Middle East will change in the next months. Quite the contrary. One can expect that the fight in Afghanistan against terrorism and US occupation will make important progress. Moreover, the influence of China and Russia will further increase. However, the general situation will remain tense. This is of course due to the fact that there is a country like Israel in this region which is utterly hostile against the neighboring countries and tyrannizes the indigenous population.

Asia a a whole has already widely casted off the yoke of Western hegemonism. As of South America, the developments in 2019 show – despite of the coup in Bolivia – a movement to more independence which very probably will continue. I would assume that this vague will also grow in Africa, in particular in Western and central Africa, due to the fight against terrorism and the beneficial influence of China and Russia.

2020: The fight between the American national imperialism and Western hegemony will come to a decision

Trump has won in 2016, based on his program of „America first“. Since then, it has become more and more clear that this program is in fact a program of an American national imperialism. Trump is not interested in a „Western“ perspective. A typical example are the US sanctions against numerous countries, even against traditional allies. This is a crucial change. Since the end of World War 2, the USA were constructed as a worldwide leading power. During the cold war, this has developed into the collective Western hegemony – including countries like Japan, Australia and others – with the USA as the undisputed leader. The emergence of an American national imperialism is a somewhat unexpected challenge for all other Western countries. Nevertheless, it is a logical evolution, provoked among other things by the declining power of Western hegemony and the appearance of China, the new Russia, as well as their strategic collaboration.

The traditional Western hegemonic forces have never accepted the election of Trump in 2016. They are very strong inside the US Democratic Party and in the US parliament in general, but also in Western Europe. With the impeachment and the US election in 2020, the fight between the both tendencies will reach a decision. One should expect that this fight will be very hard. The only logical outcome will be a victory of Trump; however, it is still to be seen whether this will be a clear victory or not. In other words, will the Western hegemonic forces be obliged to accept it this time? I think that these questions will be very crucial in 2020.

Also for Western Europe, the influence of this fight will be immense. Concerning this matter, the UK is the most advanced country in Western Europe. After a struggle of 3 and half years, the population has given a clear mandate to the Johnson government to deliver Brexit. It is probable that now, where this central question is resolved, the development in the UK will be quite dynamical. The formation of a national imperialism will advance quickly. France also is rather well prepared for a victory of the American national imperialism; with the period of de Gaulle in the 1960s, she has a historical model.

On the other hand, I believe that Germany is the less prepared country. Germany is very anti-Trump. In 2016, polls in Germany indicated that up to 90% would vote for Hillary Clinton and only 4% for Donald Trump. The polls during the last years have clearly confirmed this rejection of Trump in the German population. Also, German Chancellor Merkel has been widely seen as a stronghold of the traditional Western hegemony and against American national imperialism. However, the situation is changing. Merkel has lost her authority and is now rather isolated. The awareness is growing that Trump does not stand for a parenthesis in history, but for a fundamental change. The impeachment is not judged as positive as one could await. Moreover, the German industry would like to have better relations with Russia. The US sanctions against Nord Stream 2 will only reinforce the will in Germany to become more autonomous.

There is still another problem. While national imperialism has a long tradition in the UK and in France and will probably be accepted without too much of resistance, in Germany, national imperialism is not popular, for historical reasons. Therefore, one may predict that Germany will have a big debate on her political identity; even a profound crisis is possible. This is certainly complicated by the fact that Merkel has to be replaced and that there is – actually – no convincing successor. I am however quite confident that Germany will be able to find a way for playing a quite positive role in the future world.

We therefore may anticipate that Western hegemony is replaced by national imperialisms. Of course, they will remain a big problem for the world, even if the classical Western hegemony will suffer an important defeat. But the contradictions of other Western countries with the USA will strongly expand. This gives the remaining world much better perspectives.

From my point of view, 2019 was a very positive year and I am convinced that the same will be the case for 2020.

انتفاضة في البحارعلى القطبية الأميركيّة!

ديسمبر 27, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

المناورات البحرية الضخمة التي تجريها روسيا والصين وإيران في مياه المحيط الهندي وبحر عمان لها طابع استراتيجي يطوق الأحاديّة الأميركيّة دافعاً بها نحو نظام دولي جديد ميزته أنه متعدّد الأقطاب.

صحيح أن هذا التحوّل المرتقب ليس ناتجاً من انتصارات عسكرية مباشرة بين المتنافسين، لكنها ثمرة صراعات اقتصادية وأخرى نشبت بين روسيا وأميركا عبر نظام قيادة الحروب من الخلف أو بتدخل نسبي مباشر.

هناك العديد من الأسباب تجعل لهذه المناورات أهمية في الصراعات الأساسية في العالم أولها أهمية المشاركين بها الذي يعلنون من خلالها أنهم انتقلوا من التساند اللفظي والآني إلى تنسيق عسكري عميق له مدى عالمي بالإضافة الى أهمية المكان الذي تجري فيه المناورات لاحتوائه على أكبر كمية معروفة من احتياطات الغاز والنفط مع قدرة هائلة على الاستهلاك لأن دولها غير منتجة. الى جانب توسُّط منطقة المناورات في الشرق الأوسط والهند وباكستان للعالم بأسره. كما يمكن اعتبار هذه المنطقة قلب العالم الروحي حيث مهد الإسلام والمسيحية واليهودية والبوذية، ومنطقة عبور بحري، بأبوابه الأربعة من هرمز الى المحيط الهندي من جهة وباب المندب وقناة السويس والبحر المتوسط من جهة ثانية.

هي اذاً مناورات بحرية تقتفي نظرية “دبلوماسية الأساطيل” التي تقوم على مناورات عنيفة لعرض قوة كامنة يجب أن تظهر لإقناع الأعداء بقوتها.

بماذا يمكن لهذه البلدان أن تسند بعضها بعضاً؟

تتعرّض روسيا والصين وإيران لعدوانية أميركية اقتصادية تدرك حدود الخنق. فالصين المنتشرة اقتصادياً على مستوى العالم تتلقى كل أسبوع أو أكثر عقوبات أميركية اقتصادية لشلّ انتشار سلعها وعرقلة شرائها لمواد ضرورية لإنتاج بضائعها، كما أن الأميركيين يستعينون بالمراكز الإسلامية التقليدية والإرهابية في الشرق الأوسط لتحريك أقلية الأيغور الإسلامية في الصين ضد دولتها.

لروسيا ايضاً حسابات كبرى عند الأميركيين، يكفي أنها لا تزال قطباً عسكرياً عالمياً يضارع الأميركيين وربما أكثر، لذلك تذهب موسكو عن تسويق ثرواتها من الغاز عن اوروبا والصين عبر أربعة خطوط من البلطيق – المانيا – روسيا اوكرانيا، روسيا الصين وروسيا تركيا نحو أوروبا. ولا تنسى بذل جهود جبارة لتحديث صناعاتها، وهذا يتطلب وقتاً، فتستغله بالانتشار العسكري والسياسي في العالم من مركزها الأساسي في سورية الى أميركا اللاتينية والخليج والعراق ومصر مع محاولات لاختراق شمالي افريقيا.

بما يؤكد أنها تريد توسيع الجيوبوليتيك الخاص بها لاستعادة قطبيتها المفقودة مع الراحل السوفياتي.

اما إيران فهي الثالثة المستهدفة بجنون أميركي لم يدخر أسلوباً للقضاء على جمهوريتها الاسلامية، واذا كانت لا تشكل خطراً عسكرياً او اقتصادياً على الأميركيين، فإنها تجسّد لهم رعباً في عرينهم الشرق الأوسطي حيث الغاز والنفط والجيوبوليتيك، فطهران اليوم موجودة سياسياً في لبنان وعلى كل المستويات في اليمن والعراق وسورية، ولها أدوار وازنة في افغانستان وباكستان، مع علاقات عميقة بدول في أميركا اللاتينية والهند وآسيا وتيارات شعبية في أفريقيا، ما يجعلها في دائرة رصد استراتيجي أميركي يرى فيها تهديداً إسلامياً لهيمنة واشنطن على العالم الاسلامي، حيث مركز القوة الأميركي الاساسي.

لماذا ضرورة التنسيق بين هذه الدول الثلاث؟

السبب المركزي الأول أنها مستهدفة من الأميركيين بشكل بنيوي قد تُركز السياسة الأميركية على روسيا حيناً مقابل التخفيف من خنق الصين وإيران، أو تخنق إيران وتتراخى مع موسكو وبكين، لكنها لا تنسى أبداً الخطر الاقتصادي الصيني الذي أصبح وسواس الاقتصاد الأميركي.

لجهة السبب الثاني الدافع للتنسيق العميق فهو افتقار كل دولة من الدول الثلاث بمفردها لكامل عناصر القوة الضرورية لمقاومة العدوانية الأميركية، فالصين معتدلة عسكرياً ومتقدمة اقتصادياً فيما روسيا رهيبة عسكرياً ومتراجعة اقتصادياً أما إيران فأهميتها اقتصادية وشرق أوسطية وإسلامية.

لذلك تبدو هذه الدول بحاجة لتنسيق قواها فتصبح قادرة على فرض تراجع بنيوي على الأميركيين يؤدي فوراً لولادة عالم متعدّد القطب تنخفض فيه الصراعات والحروب على الطريقة الأميركية التي لا يهمها إلا بيع السلع والسلاح على جثث الأبرياء والشعوب الضعيفة.

إن ما يمنح هذه الفرضيّة ميزات إضافية، بنجاح ممكن في ردع الأميركيين هي القوة السكانية الصينية التي تشكل بمفردها ربع العالم تقريباً بمدى اقتصادي اخترق الحدود السياسية في القارات الخمس، كذلك روسيا راعية تحالفات شنغهاي والبريكس التي تضمّ دولاً تزيد عن 60 في المئة من سكان العالم.

بالعودة الى المناورات البحرية التي تعطي الفرصة بولادة التوازن العالم، يكفي أنها تجري في منطقة تستوطن الجيوبوليتيك الأميركي منذ ستة عقود تقريباً.

ويمكن اعتبارها المدخل البحري إلى أكبر آبار نفط وغاز في العالم وتسيطر على بحار الشرق الأوسط من الخليج الى الأحمر فالمتوسط، وصولاً الى شواطئ باكستان والهند.

هل نحن فعلاً عشية التغيير القطبي؟

استناداً الى القراءة العلمية الدقيقة يمكن الجزم ان العالم مندفع نحو إعادة استقرار نسبي الى ربوعه تحت ضغط هذه المنافسة الثلاثية للنفوذ الأميركي.وكما قال الرئيس الفرنسي ماكرون فإن عالماً متعدّد القطب في طريقه للتشكل من روسيا والصين والأميركيين وأوروبا مجتمعة، وربما تلحق بهم الهند، أما العرب فمستمرون على حالهم من الضعف الشديد الذي يضعهم دائماً ضحية صراعات الأمم على ثرواتهم وتحت رحمة أنظمتهم المتضعضعة.

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New World Order in Meltdown, But Russia Stronger Than Ever

New World Order in Meltdown, But Russia Stronger Than Ever

August 30, 2019

by Jon Hellevig for The Saker Blog

Last week was full of portentous events. Only somebody who has not been awake for the last few years will fail to realize how these at first sight unconnected events are part of the same matrix. There was the ever louder talk in mainstream media about an approaching global recession, inverted yield curves and the negative yields, which tell us that the Western financial system is basically in coma and kept alive only by generous IV injections of central bank liquidity. By now it has dawned on people that the central bankers acting as central planners in a command economy and printing money (aka quantitative easing) to fuel asset bubbles are about to wipe off the last vestiges of what used to be a market economy.

Then we saw Trump taking new twitter swipes at China in his on-and-off “great trade deal” and the stock markets moving like a roller coaster in reaction to each new twitter salvo. Also, we had both Trump and Macron sweet talking about getting Russia back and again renaming their club G8. Last Tuesday at a G7 presser in Biarritz, the Rothschild groomed Macron took it one step further opening up about the reasons why they all of a sudden longed for friendship with Russia: “We are living the end of Western hegemony.” In the same series, Britain’s new government under Boris Johnson was telling his colleagues in Biarritz that he is now decisively going for a no-deal Brexit, after which he went back to London and staged a coup d’état by suspending parliament to ensure no elected opposition interfered with it.

Perhaps the weirdest news to crown it all, came from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the Western central bankers were holed up for their annual retreat. The president of Bank of England Mark Carney shocked everybody (at least those not present) by announcing that the US dollar was past its best-before and should be replaced with something the central bankers have up their sleeves.

The New World Order is in its death throes

What these events have in common is that they amount to an admission that the globalist New World Order project in its present form is dead, or at least in its death throes. It has bumped its head against an impenetrable Sino-Russian wall of resistance. The heated totalitarian propaganda against Russia since 2001 (when the NWO realized that Putin wasn’t their man); regime change and color revolutions in neighboring countries; attempts at Maidan style coups in Moscow; and finally the sanctions since 2014 were key to the Anglo-Zionist empires strategy. They needed to take over either China or Russia to gain absolute world hegemony. Taking over either one, they would have checkmated the remaining one, and after that the entire world. They rightly deemed Russia as the weaker piece and went all out in that direction. The NWO wanted to take advantage of Russia’s weakness in form of its Western minded comprador class and a shell-shocked liberal intelligentsia (dominating media, culture and business, just like in Hong Kong, BTW), which is constitutional uncapable of thinking with their own brains to liberate themselves from Soviet era stereotypes (“Soviet Union/Russia bad, West good”).

They then figured that economic and cultural sanctions (e.g. Olympic ban) coupled with doubling down on the propaganda would break the country. Luckily, the Russian narod, the common people saw through it all and would not play along with the enemy. At the same time, Russia paraded its resurrected military in Crimea and Syria as well as its formidable new hypersonic doomsday weapons. The military option to take over Russia was not in the cards any longer.

Russian economy from strength to strength

And the Russian economy. Believing their own propaganda, they had got that totally wrong. Endlessly repeating their own self-serving talking points they must have truly fancied that Russia’s economy amounted to nothing else than export of fossil fuels, that “Russia’s economy is the size of Holland’s,” that “Russia does not produce anything,” and that Russia was “nothing but a gas station with nukes” (somehow managing to ignore the significance of the nukes part). I seriously believe, that the propaganda had become so complete that the Western leaders and the intelligence people actually had come to adapt their own propaganda as the truth. What is for sure, is that all Western media, including what should be the most respected business journals and all those think tanks, had not published one honest appraisal of the Russian economy in 15 years. Every single piece I read over the years had clearly been written with the aim to denigrate Russia’s achievements and economic development. Nowhere to be found were reports on how Putin by 2013 had totally overhauled the economy transforming Russia into the most self-sufficient diversified major country in the world with all the capabilities of the foremost industrial powers. In fact, I tend to think that even the US presidents from Bush to Obama were fed in their intelligence briefings cooked up fake reports about the Russian economy and the whole nation. Actually, I would go one step further. I bet that the CIA itself in the end believed the propaganda it had given birth to. (It has been said that at some point the genuine Russia analysts had all been dismissed or demoted and replaced with a team specializing in anti-Russian propaganda).

But actually all the data was there in plain view. I myself took the trouble to compile a report on the real conditions of Russia’s economy fresh at the onset of the 2014 crisis. In the report, I set out to show that Russia indeed had modernized and diversified its economy; that it had a vibrant manufacturing industry in addition to its energy and minerals sector; and that its budget revenues and economy at large were not at all as dependent on oil and gas as it was claimed. Among other things, we pointed out that Russia’s industrial production had by then grown more than 50% (between 2000 and 2013) while having undergone a total modernization at the same time. In the same period, production of food had surged by 100% and exports had skyrocketed by almost 400%, outdoing all major Western countries. Even the growth of exports of other than oil and gas products had been 250%.

The gist of the study https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/putin-midterm-interim-results/ may be summarized with this quote from it: “The crisis-torn economy battered by years of robber capitalism and anarchy of the 1990’s, which Putin inherited in 2000, has now reached sufficient maturity to justify a belief that Russia can make the industrial breakthrough that the President has announced.” Events have borne out this insight. And it is therefore that Russia won the sanctions battle.

The report represented an appeal to the Western leaders to give up on their vain hope of destroying Russia through their sanctions and risking nuclear war at it. Russia was invincible even in this respect. For that purpose I expressly added this missive in the introduction to the report:

“We strongly believe that everyone benefits from knowing the true state of Russia’s economy, its real track record over the past decade, and its true potential. Having knowledge of the actual state of affairs is equally useful for the friends and foes of Russia, for investors, for the Russian population – and indeed for its government, which has not been very vocal in telling about the real progress. I think there is a great need for accurate data on Russia, especially among the leaders of its geopolitical foes. Correct data will help investors to make a profit. And correct data will help political leaders to maintain peace. Knowing that Russia is not the economic basket case that it is portrayed to be would help to stave off the foes from the collision course with Russia they have embarked on.”

A follow-up report https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-2014-2016-the-years-of-sanctions-warfare/ of June 2017 covering the sanctions years 2014 – 2016, showed how Russia went from strength to strength never mind the Western attempts at isolation. This report stressed that Russia’s economy had now become the most diversified in the world making Russia the most self-sufficient country on this earth.

In this report we exposed the single biggest error of the propaganda driven Russia analysis. This was the ridiculous belief that Russia supposedly was totally dependent on oil and gas just because those commodities made up the bulk of the country’s exports. Confusing exports with the total economy, they had foolishly confused the share of oil and gas in total exports – which was and remains at the level of 60% – with the share of these commodities of the total economy. In 2013 the share of oil and gas of Russia’s GDP was 12% (today 10%). Had the “experts” cared to take a closer look they would have realized that on the other side of the equation Russia’s imports were by far the lowest (as a share of GDP) of all major countries. The difference here is that while Russia does not export a great deal of manufactured goods, it produces by far a bigger share of those for the domestic market than any other country in the whole world. Taking the 60% of exports to stand for the whole economy was how the “Russia produces nothing” meme was created.

Finally in a November 2018 report https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-strong-and-stable/#chapter2, I could declare that Russia had won hands down the sanctions war having emerged from it as a quadruple superpower: industrial superpower, agricultural superpower, military superpower and geopolitical superpower.

Macron et co. realizes that Russia actually is a superpower

These facts have now finally dawned on certain key stakeholders of the globalist regime can be discerned from the fact that they have tasked their handpicked puppet president Macron to make up with Russia. Trump has got the same assignment, which is evident from the siren calls of the two leaders in Putin’s address. Both want to invite Putin to their future G7-8 get-togethers.

As it was said, Macron went as far as unilaterally capitulating and declaring the decline of the West. He went on to spell out that the reason for this spectacular geopolitical about-face was the rise of the Beijing – Moscow (de facto) alliance that has caused a terminal shift on the world scene. Curiously, he also openly blamed the errors of the United States for the dire state of affairs pointing out that “not just the current administration” were to be blamed. No doubt, the foremost of these errors, Macron had in mind, was the alienation of Russia and pushing the country into the warm embrace of China. It is quite clear, that this is what they want to remedy, snatch the bear back from the dragon. Fortunately, that won’t happen. Good if there will be rapprochement and good if the West will try, but after all what Russia has learnt by now it will not sell out on China under any circumstances. I think Putin and the Russian powers that be have clearly opted for a multipolar world order. That is definitely not what Macron’s and Trump’s employers have in mind but let them try.

Until Trump took office, the strategy of the US regime had been to pursue only Russia in its geopolitical ambitions, but by then it had dawned on them that Russia was invincible especially in the de facto alliance with China. In a sign of desperation, the empire then opened big time another front with China. Essentially going from bad to worse.

The world order is being shaken like never before

“The world order is being shaken like never before…”, that’s another quote from Macron. Obviously, it refers to the military and geopolitical strengths of the Sino-Russian alliance, but certainly also to the economic shifts as the West has lost – and will keep losing – its economic domination. This brings us back to Mark Carney of Bank of England and his unprecedented attack on the US dollar (*1) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-24/why-mark-carney-thinks-dollar-can-no-longer-be-worlds-reserve-currency arguing that it was time to end its global reserve currency status. As one option Carney brought up that the major Western central banks would instead issue a digital cryptocurrency. That is to say, a NWO currency controlled by the central banks. That would effectively mean the replacement of the Federal Reserve cartel with a cartel of the Western central banks (the Fed obviously being a part of it). That’s yet one step further north from any kind of democratic control and a giant step towards world government.

What could possibly have prompted such a radical US hegemony puncturing idea to be put forward? One reason obviously is that the Western economies really are in that extreme critical condition that more and more analysts caution about. (We shall look at the economic facts further down). There’s a very real possibility that we will be hit by a doomsday recession. What’s sure is that Carney’s bizarre speech could possibly not have occurred in a normal economic environment (any more than Macron’s admission that the Western hegemony is done with). According to Zerohedge (*2) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-26/things-will-never-be-same-again-here-are-20-questions-central-banks-admit-defeat Financial Times, the party organ of the globalist elite, admitted as much in its report on the Jackson Hole meeting. The central bankers “acknowledged they had reached a turning point in the way they viewed the global system. They cannot rely on the tools they used before the financial crisis to shape the economic environment, and the US can no longer be considered a predictable actor in economic or trade policy — even though there is no imminent replacement for the US dollar in sight.” There was an effective admission that the central bankers had run out of tricks to pull the economies out of the everything-bubble mess, not to mention the looming doomsday recession. According to FT, Carney went as far as flashing the war card saying: “past instances of very low rates have tended to coincide with high risk events such as wars, financial crises, and breaks in the monetary regime.” On the one hand this can be seen as an admission on how deeply tormented they are about the financial situation and what could happen when it comes crashing down. On the other hand, it can be seen as a sales pitch, “only we can fix it, trust us, give us a carte blanche.” Or more probably, both.

Note from above Carney saying: “the US can no longer be considered a predictable actor in economic or trade policy.” Bank of England President here directly attacking President Trump.

And just a couple of days later William Dudley an ex-president of New York Federal Reserve Bank (the most influential of the 12 federal reserve banks that comprise the Federal Reserve System) followed up on a direct attack on Trump. But as they say about spies, there are no ex-spies, and I would think the same applies for the global financial elite. And yes indeed, Dudley is a card carrying member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Dudley had penned an op-ed for Bloomberg titled “The Fed Shouldn’t Enable Donald Trump.” (*3) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-28/member-elite-bill-dudley-could-open-can-worms-quite-staggering , where he openly lobbies for the Fed to deliberately damage the economy in order to neutralize the policies (namely trade wars) of the sitting president and prevent his reelection chances by willfully ruining the economy.

One thing is for sure, the elite is desperate and in serious disarray. Very probable that the elite is split, too. It seems as if there were two globalist factions competing with each other and wanting to follow vastly different strategies. One faction supports Trump and the other is against him. Possibly, one that wants to do things with force and another that wants to gain by stealth. That could be Pentagon and the military-industrial complex vs. the financial elite, who also owns the media. My argument does not hinge on the veracity of those division lines, but that some rupture exists among the elites must be taken for granted, otherwise Trump would have been ousted by now with all that pressure on him.

To summarize this introduction. The Western world is in turmoil: the previous overwhelming geopolitical domination is gone and over with; military solutions against the main adversaries – China and Russia – are off the books; hybrid wars against them have failed; China and Russia are economically stronger than ever, too strong for the adversary; and to boot the domestic Western economies are in extraordinary bad shape, risking a depression of epic proportions.

Further down in this report, I will look at the one aspect of the question I am best equipped to handle, namely the economy. I will outline just in how bad shape the Western debt-fueled casino economies are. Having that as the background, I will then show how surprisingly strong the Russian economy is, at least in comparison with the Western gambling nations. Most importantly, Russia is virtually debtless, and that’s really the clue to survival in this extraordinary economic environment. In addition to the solid finances, Russia has other things going for it, too, as we will see below. I will not provide comparative data on China. One reason for that is, that China is not an economic risk. China does not have the debt problem that it is frequently touted in Western press to have. China, as the world’s number one export country, would of course take a hit in a serious global crisis, but that would not kill the economy. Although, China is the biggest exporter, there has been a shift from export-led growth towards domestic investment and consumption. The share of exports of goods and services in the country’s GDP was by 2018 down to 19.5%, half of the 2006 peak of 36%. On the contrary, the Chinese economy would stay vivid and therefore also help to sustain Russia’s exports.

I may add as one more piece of background, that it is my firm belief that the approaching economic disaster has long been evident to the central bankers and the globalist elite decision makers. Most likely the game plan was to establish the absolute world hegemony – which they not long ago thought was within early reach – and then after that deal with the debts as they saw fit as democratic dissent would not matter a bit anymore by then. That’s why they felt confident in building up the asset bubbles to carry them over to the final solution. Reminds me about a story told about Moscow’s so-called Khrushchyovka tenement buildings. These are low-cost three- to five-storied houses built quickly and cheap during the Khrushchev era to address the dire housing shortages of the 1960s. According to the story, the planners knew they would serve only for a few decades, but that would not matter all that much because by that time there would be Communism and everything would be perfect anyway. No Communism materialized, but presently the Moscow government under Mayor Sobyanin has initiated a program to tear them all down and erect new buildings where flats with title will be given for free to house the 1.5 million present residents of those buildings slated for replacement. – Well, that’s sort of Communism, isn’t it? – This kind of wishful thinking must have kept the globalist elite going, too. Unfortunately for the dreamers, though, their plans hit a snag in form of Russia and China.

Central bank fueled asset bubbles

Russia is low in debt, but you can’t say the same about the US and other Western nations. And that debt really is what got the world in the present mess and brought it teetering on the brink of financial collapse. Since the late 80s, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan developed an addiction to cure any downward tick on Wall Street with easy credit, eventually requiring after every downturn ever bigger central bank liquidity injections to keep the stock indices on a growth curve. Greenspan was experimenting with a policy aimed at creating a “wealth effect” aka “trickle-down.” The idea being that Wall Street bankers and big corporations be stuffed with all the free money they can swallow for the purpose of keeping stock and bond prices high. The theoretical frame told that doing so something would eventually trickle down to the real economy, and everybody would live happily ever after. After stocks and bonds, Greenspan’s wealth effect policy was addressed to inflate home prices and all real estate with that. That was the road that eventually led to the 2008 subprime loan crisis, which took down Lehman Brothers and then all of Wall Street and the whole global economy.

But Wall Street recovered soon, because Greenspan’s successor Ben Bernanke had set forth to blow up an even bigger asset bubble. And the Europeans followed suit. The Fed fueled the market frenzy with creating money out of thin air (aka quantitative easing) in favor of governments, banks and corporations to the tune of $3.5 trillion in the decade following the 2008 collapse.

The European Central Bank has done the same for Europe in volumes more than 2.5 trillion euro to date. All the other Western central banks joined the gambling by flooding the markets with fiat money at same levels relatively speaking.

But anyway this astronomic leverage and the humongous budget deficits of the Western countries didn’t get the real economy anywhere. They have blown up asset bubbles of phantasmagorical proportions with preciously little trickle-down. Since the pre-crash peak in October 2007, the broadest US stock index (Wilshire 5000) has gained 95% (on top of covering the nearly 60% crash from in between). In the same 12-year period industrial production (manufacturing, mining, energy, utilities) has grown only 5% combined over all those years. (*4) https://www.deepstatedeclassified.com/heres-what-happens-when-the-fed-cuts-rates/ Deduct – the in itself lossmaking – shale oil and gas and there is barely no growth left in the 12 years. In fact, the US manufacturing sector was in June still 1.6% below the pre-crisis peak in December 2007. (*5) https://www.deepstatedeclassified.com/industrial-production-is-punk/ So we have a 5% gain in the most important part of the real economy vs. 95% in stock market gambling. The absurdity of the stock market growth is further evidenced by the gap between growth of real final sales and stock valuations since 2007 peak. Since then, the former has grown on an average 1.6% per year, while the stock market has delivered annualized growth at levels of 15%. Total industrial production share of the GDP in the US has sunk to 18%. (For comparison, the figure for Russia was 32% and growing.)

Trickle-down, anyone?

It would be false to claim there has not been any trickle-down at all. Millions of people have kept their jobs because of it. But at the same time they have had their real wages squeezed and the overwhelming majority have seen their standards of living drop. Only massive loads of consumer credits and ultra-cheap mortgages have kept up an illusion of superficial prosperity among the middle classes. This debt-fueled prosperity and it’s cursory result, the artificial real estate asset bubble will prove a wolf in sheep’s clothing when the everything-bubble bursts.

There’s been another form of trickle-down, too, a much more real and actually beneficial one. By creating the debt-fueled illusion of prosperity, the Western central banks have actually subsidized China, Russia and all of the emerging world as they have flushed their export goods on the global markets where the Western nations have picked it all up on borrowed money. Thanks for that, though. At the same time, that has driven production costs up in the West with the consequence that their own industries have been priced out.

The humongous borrowings fail to produce GDP growth

Every year since the last bout of the crisis in 2008, growth of debt in the national economies of each Western country has far exceeded the growth of economic output measured as GDP. Below chart shows just how bad it has been in the US.

The debt and GDP growth curves started to diverge in the late 70s, but from 2000 debt has spiraled out of control delivering preciously little incremental GDP. Deduct the wasteful debt and wasteful spending and there would be no growth whatsoever.

Not only has there been no real GDP growth but even the nominal growth has to a crucial extent been provided for by means of the enormous government borrowings. We see from below table that that in each year from 2008 to 2017 even the nominal GDP growth has been less than the growth of government debt, with 2015 and 2015 as the only exceptions when they were on par.

In the peak crisis years 2008 and 2009, debt growth was a staggering 5.7 and 6.3 times that of GDP growth.

The debt game has been equally miserable all over the West, perhaps with the only exception of Germany, who has wisely refrained from participating, even when egged on by liberal economists calling Germany’s more prudent policy unfair to the gambling nations. Below chart shows how much more the Western governments have borrowed than produced economic growth. The chart covers years 2004 to 2013, but the trend has been the same ever since. GDP growth has been vastly less than the growth of the colossal debtberg.

Note Russia there as the shining exception.

Below chart ranks countries according to their debt burden relative to GDP. And again you see how debtless Russia is compared with the squandering nations.

These charts concerned only government debt, when we add private debt to it, the picture is doubly worse. From the point of view of a national economy it really doesn’t matter in which form the excess debt expands, public or private. In fact, on an average in the West the situation with household debt is equally dire. Below chart tells you just how bad. And again note Russia as the one shining exception.

And it’s no better with corporations, which have throughout the last decade been enjoying mindboggling levels of central bank largesse in form of virtually unlimited interest-free financing. For example, compared to earnings, US bond issuers are about 50% more leveraged now than in 2007. (*6) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-24/corporate-debt-risk-flash-crash

Finally, there is the black hole containing trillions and trillions of bankers derivative risks. Deutsche Bank – which was recently placed in emergency care – alone is said to have 49 trillion dollars in exposure to derivatives. These risks alone could take down the whole global financial system. (*7) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-20/bank-49-trillion-derivatives-exposure-melting-down-our-eyes

First no real interest, then on to negative yields

One of the many deadly side effects of the central bankers’ practice on gambling with the national economies is that they first eliminated real interest rates (pushed rates below inflation) and then doubled down on the destruction of sound economic principles by cooking up a system with negative yielding bonds (bonds which yield below zero). By now $30 trillion of the $60 trillion US bond market yield below inflation (no real interest) and nearly $17 trillion worth of bonds are in negative yield territory. That’s mostly made up by sovereign debt of Japan and European governments (12 at the moment) but recently the mass of negative yielding corporate bonds has also doubled to $1.2 trillion. Half of the $5 trillion worth of European government bonds sport a negative yield as well as 20% of European investment grade corporate bonds.

Inflation risk

Normally, this kind of excess liquidity artificially put on the market (aka money printing) would have led to high inflation if not hyperinflation. Several factors have helped to keep prices in check. First, it needs to be pointed out, though, that inflation is actually a lot higher than what the government reports. This has been pretty convincingly proven in the case of the United States. (See, for example, (*8) https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-17/cpi-constantly-understates-inflation-why-will-lead-catastrophe?fbclid=IwAR0byF4lMciG77ItFvkFhftV9qEnkXAuKaj9oYLmnZn5c8C4ds4E8mie7rk). Official statistics may not see it, but people sure feel it.

Secondly, the asset price bubbles in real estate and financial markets in fact represent inflation, it’s just not officially recorded as such. As it is only the 10% (and increasingly, the 1%) who get the money, they spend it on the stuff that counts for them, stocks and real estate. Keeping their loot offshore also helps to dampen inflation at home. The squeeze on the middle classes and stagnating wages, is sadly an important factor in keeping inflation down. Ordinary people just can’t afford to buy.

One should also note, that resulting from the illusionary debt-fueled prosperity and its effect on keeping the local Western currencies artificially high, there has actually been an inflation in wages and production costs, but only in relative terms in comparison with the emerging world. This in turn has led to further offshoring of manufacturing jobs.

A crucial factor, which in the crazy money printing environment has kept consumer goods from hyperinflating has been imports from the emerging Asia and especially China. Huge growth of the Chinese manufacturing industry coupled with massive influx of cheap labor from the rural countryside into the cities enabled China for a couple of decades to constantly increase its exports to the US and Europe and these countries to keep prices down. (Including by domestic industries having to lower prices in competition). With the Trump trade wars and dramatically increasing protectionism, this will change. And it could get very ugly.

Finally, there is an important consideration that few if anyone seem to understand. That is the fact that the US and other Western countries have been able to print the stupendous amounts of money while keeping rates down and without the currency values crashing only because they enjoy local currency monopolies in their respective territories. The USD has of course been enjoying a global monopoly, but that is fast fading. All the other factors mentioned above (and several other ones), have enabled to prop up and prolong these currency monopolies, but there is a limit to everything. In the coming recession, I would expect some of the lesser currencies to lose their monopoly trust and that would shatter the position of the bigger currencies USD and Euro and force them to raise interest rates. I have earlier written more in detail about this in a report titled How the Dollar and Euro Monopolies Destroyed the Real Market Economy. https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/dollar-euro-monopolies-destroyed-market-economy/

The below chart suggests that the Western countries are already on the way to lose their respective currency monopolies. The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) now have a combined GDP (measured in PPP, which is the only correct way to measure the relative size of national economies) larger than not only the G7 countries, but the US and Eurozone economies combined.

At its foundation in 1973, the G7 countries had a combined GDP PPP of 50% of the world economy, by today it is down to 30%. In the same time the nominal GDP share of world economy has crashed from 80% to 40%. The currency monopolies came with the economic superiority, it is therefore only natural that with the economic domination goes the currency domination, too. If we haven’t reached the tipping point yet, then that will happen within 5 to 10 years.

In summary, everything else unchanged, the risk of inflation picking up with just a few percentage points could have the entire Western financial systems coming crashing down due to the pressure on interest rates growing. The Fed and the ECB are continuously speaking about their inflation targets and how they want to pump the markets with more liquidity to raise inflation. There could yet be a big surprise in store for them. Interest rates as such could also be the primary trigger (even without inflation first rising), as nations would have to protect their currencies and attract financing for their colossal debtbergs.

Must add as a P.S. that the incipient flight to gold might well be one of the trigger events for those currencies to lose their monopolies. (Gold price is up 20% since May).

Deleveraging will come

These massive borrowings have delivered nothing of tangible value. Now, when the party is nearly over all there is left are the debt bubbles that have hit the roof. The real values of all the assets below bear no relation to the money that went into inflating the balloons. What’s left is economic hardship for 80% of the people, a crumbling infrastructure and simmering social tensions.

The debt saturation point has been reached, therefore this time it will be different, the central bankers have lost their magic wand and won’t be able to renew the debt binge and extend it with one more decade. Instead, there will be a day of reckoning. Governments and corporations will have to put their act together and let the market weed out the failed entities. Those who cannot carry the debt, will have to shed it. There will be bloodbath with defaults, bankruptcies and massive unemployment. – Perhaps a revolution here and there. – There will be no choice, deleveraging must happen.

Now, whether this system will come crashing down or just slowly die as it trundles downhill will not matter all that much. It will eventually die either way. Most people would prefer the slow motion option, but only with the crash would a cure come. Whatever, it has become increasingly difficult to stave off the crash and this time around, the financial markets would take the real economy down with them big time.

The impressive figures on Russia

The question then is, who would be left standing? Naturally, those who are less leveraged. Now, scroll back to have a new look at the above charts on government and household debt. Find the position of Russia there? That’s right. Russia is the country with – by far – the least debt, both public and private. Having after 2014 following sanctions been cut off from the Western debt orgy, even Russian corporations are shielded against a possible Western debt apocalypse.

In a global recession, no country is safe, but Russia looks to have quite a lot going for it in terms of economic advantages. Russia’s national balance sheet is next to none with by far the lowest debt of all major countries. All economic actors, the government, corporations and households are economically solid and minimally leveraged. Not only is the government virtually debtless, but it has again replenished its spectacular forex and sovereign wealth fund reserves. On top of that comes a hefty budget surplus. – Yes, you heard that right, surplus. In a time when all Western countries are in a chronic fight against deficits, you rarely even hear the term budget surplus. And more, Russia runs the world’s third biggest trade surplus. Add to that the current account surplus, and there’s the hat trick in form of your classic triple surpluses. Russia has a lot more going for it, too, as we will see.

Let’s look at Russia’s present financial health report.

Thanks to import substitution (domestic production instead of imports to neutralize sanctions) Russia’s industrial production rose 2.6% year-on-year in June. (USA +1.1%, UK +0.8%, Japan -2.4%, Germany -5.9%). Above, we mentioned that US industrial production was up with as little as a cumulative 5% since 2008 to date. In the same period Russia’s industry grew 18% notwithstanding the hardships of sanctions and sharp drop in oil price. In fact, since 2014 when the sanctions were first imposed, Russia’s industry has grown 12%.

Russia’s merchandise trade surplus for the first half of 2019 was $93 billion, ranking third in the world after China and Germany and before South Korea. Imports were down by 3%, the other side of the coin of growing domestic manufacturing. Even when exports also were slightly down, lower imports will keep the surplus on track to reach levels near $200 billion for the full year, just under last year’s record $212 billion.

Q1 current account surplus clocked in at $33 billion, up 10% over the year.

In this connection, it might be helpful to remind that Russia’s economy is nowhere near as dependent on fossil fuel extraction as it is habitually believed in the West. In fact, oil and gas only account for 10% of Russia’s GDP according to World Bank statistics. (In 2017, total natural resources share of GDP was 10.7%, but that includes minerals and forest, too).

We also need to point out that Russia has an enormous strength by way of being the world’s most self-sufficient major country. Russia has the by far lowest level of imports relative to GDP of all countries, as evidenced by below table. It shows that Russia’s imports as a share of GDP was as low as 7.2%, while the corresponding level for Western European countries was between 30 to 40%. The extraordinary low levels of imports in a global comparison obviously signifies that Russia produces domestically a much higher share of all that it consumes (and invests), this in turn means that the economy is superbly diversified contrary to the claims of most so-called Russia experts.

Despite initial scares, inflation has remained low even when the VAT rate was from the new year raised from 18% to 20%. The rolling 12-month inflation runs at 4.6% but with the declining trend the full year inflation is expected to hit the central bank’s target 4%.

The job market continues strong with record low unemployment levels, while the job participation rate has not deteriorated (so no tricks here). The July reading of 4.6% translates to 3.4 million unemployed, which is low for a country with a population of 146 million. The strength of the labor market was underscored by an increase of real salaries by 3.5% by July. This while disposable income otherwise has remained subdued.

Whereas the US is combating persistent budget deficits (latest reading, a deficit of 4.5% of GDP) – likewise the EU countries – Russia mustered a huge budget surplus equal to 3.4% of the GDP by July this year.

Russia’s foreign exchange and gold reserves have also done a spectacular comeback reaching $520 billion.

The Russia sovereign wealth fund surged in July to reach a value equal to 7.2% of GDP.

Despite the wholesome macroeconomic environment and impressive figures, Russia’s GDP growth has been less than 1% so far this year (year-on-year 0.6% in Q1 and 0.9% in Q2). However, by the looks of it the fundamental economy seems to be growing and modernizing, while the drag on the growth comes from depressed household consumption. What’s more important, though, is that while Russia’s growth is hovering around the 1%, so is that of all of the Western world. (Accuse me of whataboutism if you will, but these things need to be put in perspective). Q2 growth in the Eurozone was 1.1%, with Germany even about to slide into recession. UK clocked in at 1.2% and Japan at 0.4%. (All figures, year-on-year). The US showed only 2% (revised down 28 August) even when fueled by a mountainous budget deficit set to reach $1 trillion for the fiscal year and despite all that easy money the Fed keeps pumping out. Only China remained firmly in growth territory with 6.2%.

But, the real conundrum is, how can Russia produce the same GDP as all the Western countries with their seemingly limitless injections of give-away money? How is it possible that all those trillions and trillions that the Western central bankers have thrown on the economy do not produce any real incremental economic output?

The big disadvantage Russia has compared with the Western countries is the exorbitant real interest rate that the central bank maintains. The steering rate is presently 7.25%, with inflation predicted to be 4%, that translates into a primary real interest of 3.25%. Compare that with the negative real interest – and even negative yields – of competitor countries. As, the Russian central bank has failed to create a real banking sector which would lend according to international standards to the country’s businesses, the ones that are lucky to get a loan at all would look to pay interest at the level of 15% of more (save the largest corporations). The Governor of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina does not see this as a problem, though. She has said that instead she would pin her hopes on improving the countries investment climate (sic!). (She calls for improvement of corporate governance, development of human capital, and all kinds of nice things. That would sure do it). (*9) http://ibcongress.com/en/news/nabiullina-nazvala-glavnye-ogranichenija-dlja-razvitija-ekonomiki-rossii/

Just this week, Putin called a high profile meeting with Nabiullina, the minister for economic development Maxim Oreshkin, and the finance minister Anton Sulanov, to express his deep concern with the sluggish GDP growth and stagnating income. No doubt, that the depressed income is not only a drag on the economy but on the president’s popularity. There is only one quick fix for it. The government and the CBR must ditch their overzealous austerity programs. It’s good that Russia is not over leveraged with debt, but certainly some debt would be in order to finance the infrastructure and other national strategic development programs instead of ripping it off people’s backs. Free the funds for raising pensions and public service salaries instead. And most importantly, Nabiullina must lower the rates and not run real interests in excess of 3% when the rest of the developed world is in negative territory. There is no other quick remedy for raising people’s income. That’s Putin’s choice. Hope somebody tells that to him.

In conclusion, we are not saying that Russia would not be hurt by the coming recession, we merely express our confidence that Russia is among the world’s countries best placed to cope with it.

Jon Hellevig, originally from Finland, works and lives in Moscow since the early 1990s. By education lawyer and MBA, Hellevig first worked in Moscow as a financial controller for a Russia-American joint venture engaged in shipment of oil and later became founder together with Russian partners of a business administration and consulting firm. Hellevig has written several books on Russian taxation and labor law. From mid-2000, Hellevig has written books on philosophy and social practices. The combination of his experience of actual life and governance in Russia with the theoretical framework pushed Hellevig to engage in the public debate about Russia’s development path including by way of writing articles for the part of the media, which is interested in the truth. Having at least a working knowledge of seven languages (English, Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Spanish, German, and French), Hellevig has been able to follow first-hand the news across the Western hemisphere. Doing so, he realized a decade or so ago, that all the Western media in unison report the same stories about Russia and circulate the same fabricated scandals in the same words at the same time. Frustrated with the totalitarian style propaganda lies about Russia, Hellevig began to regularly produce fundamental analysis reports on the Russian economy in the wake of the sanctions that the Western powers imposed on Russia following the Ukrainian crisis in 2014

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