‘Israeli’ Occupation of Syrian Golan Heights Illegitimate, Invalid – UN

July 23, 2021

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By Staff, Agencies

The United Nations emphasized Syria’s sovereignty over the ‘Israeli’-occupied Golan Heights, stressing that annexation measures imposed by the Tel Aviv regime in the territory are invalid and illegitimate.

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia [ESCWA] made the announcement in a periodic report distributed in Beirut, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported on Thursday.

“The compliance with the international law and the absence of impunity are two prerequisites for achieving peace and justice for all the peoples of the region,” the UN body added.

In 1967, the Zionist occupation waged a full-scale war against Arab territories, during which it occupied a large swathe of Golan and annexed it four years later, a move never recognized by the international community.

In 1973, another war broke out and a year later, a UN-brokered ceasefire came into force, according to which Tel Aviv and Damascus agreed to separate their troops and create a buffer zone in the Heights.

The Zionist entity has over the past decades built dozens of settlements in the Golan Heights in defiance of international calls for the regime to stop its illegal construction activities.

Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.

The United Nations has time and again emphasized Syria’s sovereignty over the territory.

In March 2019, former American president Donald Trump controversially signed a decree recognizing ‘Israeli’ “sovereignty” over the Golan Heights during a meeting with then Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington.

The ESCWA report, which covers the period from April 2020 to March 2021, further stressed that it is impossible to achieve sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories in light of the continuing ‘Israeli’ occupation and the policies and practices pursued by the entity.

The UN commission also emphasized the necessity of halting such Zionist measures that hinder efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide additional humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

The report also stressed that the measures and policies adopted by the Zionist regime in Arab territories, occupied since 1967, including the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, are all in sheer violation of international law.

Elsewhere in the report, ESCWA said that last year was one of the worst years in the Palestinian economy since 2002, as it shrank by 11.5 percent.

The UN commission prepares a report for the UN chief every year on the economic and social repercussions of the ‘Israeli’ occupation on the conditions of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and also the conditions of the Syrians in the Golan Heights.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE: When crown princes fall out

Andreas Krieg

6 July 2021 

Dr. Andreas Krieg is an assistant professor at the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London and a strategic risk consultant working for governmental and commercial clients in the Middle East. He recently published a book called ‘Socio-political order and security in the Arab World’.

The growing divergence of interests between the two neighbours has created serious cracks in the thin veneer of their once-hailed ‘strategic entente’

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in 2018 (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)

They were the Gulf power couple of the Trump era: the two crown princes and de facto rulers of the UAE and Saudi Arabia shook up the region, imposing their will on their neighbours.

Ever since Abu Dhabi strongman Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) took Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) under his wing in 2015, the latter did not seem bothered at being framed as the former’s protege. The notion in Riyadh was that Abu Dhabi’s model of authoritarian liberalisation could be one to emulate, bringing the kingdom from the Middle Ages into the 21st century. 

As MBS now sits more firmly in the driver’s seat in Riyadh, the honeymoon period between the crown princes is certainly over

But over the past two years, it has dawned on MBS’s inner circle that the assumed ally next door was not interested in creating win-win situations for both states. Rather, the UAE’s assertive zero-sum mentality – emboldened by former US President Donald Trump’s laissez-faire Middle East policy – often came at the expense of Saudi interests.

The rise of the UAE as arguably the most powerful Arab state over the past decade has only been possible because Abu Dhabi ruthlessly pursues its own interests, with little regard for Riyadh’s reputational struggle in Washington, security concerns in Yemen, urgent need for economic diversification and existential dependence on stable oil prices. 

Since 2019, the growing divergence of interests between the two neighbours has created serious cracks in the thin veneer of their once-hailed “strategic entente”. The relationship between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in recent years has been underwritten by ideological synergies over the UAE’s grand strategic counterrevolutionary narratives, including securitising political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and civil society more widely.

While these synergies remain, the other factor that has traditionally sustained this bilateral relationship – the personal ties between MBZ and MBS – has suffered, as the leader-to-leader relationship has noticeably cooled since the election of US President Joe Biden

Buying political credit

While the two leaders previously cemented their “bromance” with joint hunting trips, official state visits and phone calls, according to press releases, MBS and MBZ have spoken only once since the Trump era came to an end. It became clear that under Biden, Washington would withdraw its carte blanche for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to do as they pleased in the region. Both needed to buy credit with the new administration and the Democrats in Washington.

Instead of featuring as the bullies in the region, both MBS and MBZ needed to reframe their image as more constructive players, eager to support the Biden administration’s soft-handed regional policy of leading from behind.  

When Trump got elected in 2016, MBZ personally visited the Trump team in New York, lobbying for his protege MBS as the next king. Four years later, with a Democrat elected president, the UAE is noticeably trying to create distance between itself and the Saudi leadership. Any affiliation with MBS is seen as potentially tainting Emirati efforts to turn the country’s image around.

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with MBS at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with MBS at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)

Under pressure for its joint ventures with Moscow in Libya, its mercenary adventures in Yemen, and its rise as a force multiplier for China’s global information power, Abu Dhabi has demonstrated that its zero-sum mentality means it is willing to throw a “strategic ally” under the bus. 

The war in Yemen, which the UAE helped to frame as “Saudi-led”, was the first arena in which the Saudi leadership learned that Emirati policy was ruthless when it came to preserving the UAE’s interests, even at the expense of Saudi Arabia.

Some in MBS’s circles have, according to sources close to the palace, raised concerns that MBZ might have pushed Saudi Arabia into risky adventures in order to create a shield behind which the UAE could consolidate its gains in Yemen’s south.

While Saudi Arabia had to bear the operational and reputational burdens of the costly war against the Houthis, Abu Dhabi secured its foothold along Yemen’s strategically important coastline via its surrogate, the Southern Transitional Council.  

Left out in the cold

The UAE’s comet-like rise amid the regional power vacuum left by a disengaging US created the illusion in Abu Dhabi that, as the new middle power in the Gulf, it would not need to yield to anyone. The ongoing standoff between the UAE and Saudi Arabia within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) shows that Abu Dhabi is confident to stand its ground.

The UAE will not compromise on national interests, even if it comes to the detriment of Saudi Arabia, as with Abu Dhabi’s blatant ignoring of OPEC output quotas.

On the issue of the Qatar blockade, where MBZ led and MBS willingly followed, the UAE showed very little willingness to compromise. Although the reputational and political costs of the ongoing blockade continued to rise for both – especially in Washington – Abu Dhabi was willing to sustain it in the interests of its counterrevolutionary crusade.The Saudi-Emirati axis: United against Gulf unity

In the end, Saudi Arabia broke ranks and let pragmatism prevail. Ending the blockade was a first sign of Saudi leadership in the Gulf under MBS, which Riyadh viewed as a win-win opportunity for the blockading quartet and for Qatar. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, was deeply concerned about the pace and depth of normalisation, which not only pressured the Emiratis to fall in line, but allowed MBS to reap the positive messages.

This was just the beginning. Left out in the cold time and again by its neighbour, Saudi Arabia has since embarked on its own more assertive strategy for diversification. The kingdom’s new economic policies, aiming to attract investments from multinationals based in the UAE, directly target the success story of Dubai, which has been in economic limbo since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The unhealthy nature of this competition means that it becomes ever-more difficult to create win-win situations. And as MBS now sits more firmly in the driver’s seat in Riyadh, the honeymoon period between the crown princes is certainly over.

As the gloves come off, MBS is eager to show that Abu Dhabi has been punching above its weight, and that there are limits to smart power in compensating for lack of size. Nonetheless, their relations remain underwritten by ideological synergies over fears of political Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and civil society. It remains to be seen whether this is enough to prevent another Gulf crisis.

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

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

How will US disengagement shape the Middle East? “ميدل إيست آي”: “محور المقاومة” هو المؤهل لملء الفراغ بعد الانسحاب الأميركي

Iranians destroy a US flag during a demonstration in Tehran in January 2020 (AFP)

24 June 2021 10:54 UTC

Marco Carnelos

So far, the entity best positioned to fill the power vacuum is the ‘axis of resistance’ led by Iran

The Middle East has always proudly claimed its own culture and, above all, a certain resistance to so-called western modernity. But over the past two decades, reading its tea leaves has become increasingly difficult.

The past two decades have been cataclysmic, and those to come could be even more worrisome. A power vacuum is looming, especially amid multiple signals of a US political and military disengagement from the region. With the notable exception of Israel, it is not certain that Washington’s other local partners will be able to adjust to the new strategic environment.

In the summer of 2000, the Clinton administration believed for a moment that the circle of the historical Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be squared – only to discover, just months later, that this was not on the cards.

The so-called US-led peace process has become essentially an international PR strategy for managing the conflict

At the time, the Americans and Israelis concluded that, no matter how effective their marketing strategies, a bantustan could not be sold to the Palestinians as the state they had claimed and sought for decades to fulfil their unquestionable right to self-determination. Since then, the so-called US-led peace process has become essentially an international PR strategy for managing the conflict. It has given breath and time to a creeping Israeli annexation of the sliver of historical Palestine not yet under Israel’s control.

The Trump administration – more honestly, or less hypocritically, if you prefer – tried to solve the issue by siding openly with Israel, aiming to impose a “bantustan solution” under a different name: the Abraham Accords. To succeed, the formula required the formal adhesion of certain Arab countries, primarily Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Yet, while some Arab states quickly established diplomatic relations with Israel, the absence of Riyadh has left an aura of uncertainty around the ambitious project.

Turmoil in Israel-Palestine

The latest conflict in the streets of Jerusalem, inside Palestinian communities of Israel, and in the Gaza Strip, has likely buried the viability of such a “solution”. Most certainly, it has shown that the Palestinian question is still alive and kicking.

Israel is now in the paradoxical situation of being the strongest regional military and technological power, while facing a highly polarised political framework and a somewhat crumbling internal front. In order to finally remove former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power, Israeli politicians cobbled together the most heterogeneous coalition in the country’s history. The most extremist prime minister ever, Naftali Bennett, had to rely on the support an Arab party with Islamist roots in order to narrowly win power.

Palestinians protest in the occupied West Bank village of Salem on 15 May 2021 (AFP)
Palestinians protest in the occupied West Bank village of Salem on 15 May 2021 (AFP)

Meanwhile, Palestinians are mired between an increasingly ineffective official leadership in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority, and an increasingly popular but “terrorist”-designated leadership in Gaza, Hamas.

After 9/11, the main western political driver for the region changed. The US-led “war on terrorism” aimed to impose, once and for all, a Pax Americana in the region, focusing on Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen.

Two decades later, this strategy is crumbling. The US is withdrawing from Afghanistan without accomplishing anything significant, and after spending trillions in Iraq, the US has been asked by Baghdad’s parliament to leave. A tiny enclave in eastern Syria remains under US control, but all the “useful” parts of the country are again under the control of President Bashar al-Assad.

Spreading anxiety

US disengagement from the region, whether real or perceived, is spreading anxiety, with the sense of an incoming power vacuum that needs to be filled. So far, the only entity sufficiently organised and determined to do so appears to be the “axis of resistance”: Iran and its regional allies, including Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and Shia militias in Iraq.

Since its 1979 revolution, Iran has been the main opponent of western modernity and, particularly, a Pax Americana in the region. Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and regional activities have been a constant source of concern for Washington and its regional allies, both Arab and Israeli.

A temporary and partial truce, the 2015 nuclear deal, was quickly removed from the strategic equation in 2018. A heavy sanctions campaign, the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy, did not achieve its claimed objectives: Iran has changed neither its regime nor its behaviour.America Last: Coming to terms with the new world order

As another US administration now attempts to rejoin the nuclear deal, hoping to improve some of its clauses, Iran – with the recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as the country’s next president – is firmly under the control of conservatives, while also seeking a deal with the US and regional rivals. While Major-General Qassem Soleimani might have been eliminated, his regional master plan was not.

There are also other spoilers keen to take their slice of the cake. Turkey seems to be rediscovering its Ottoman past, and combined with its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, it is still viewed as an existential threat to many Arab ruling families.

Russia’s policy has been smarter and more effective, relying on diplomacy reinforced by military power – contrary to Washington’s approach, which used diplomacy only to justify the use of military force. Moscow has held its ground in Syria, obtained important leverage in Libya, and maintained good relations with all regional actors. Two decades ago, Russia was barely relevant in the area; now it is a player. It holds poor cards, but can use them far more effectively than others.

China, as usual, is approaching the region pragmatically, not ideologically. It aspires to leverage the power vacuum to smoothly build up the southern leg of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to create the world’s biggest economic and trading bloc outside of US political and financial control.

Looming pressures

On a regional scale, the so-called Arab Spring, an overdue and legitimate rallying cry by ordinary people exhausted by a systemic lack of governance, basic services and political rights, turned quickly into an Islamic awakening. It fuelled bloody civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen, while achieving only a single, partially accomplished political transition in Tunisia. The rest was an autocratic counter-spring, resembling the concert of powers mustered at the Congress of Vienna after the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.

The Middle East during the past two decades of American unilateralism has been a mess. Could it be even worse without it?

While the US seems engaged in naively challenging both China and Russia, Europe, as usual, is torn by the dilemma over how to position itself. The Middle East may descend further into chaos, with Covid-19, migration and environmental pressures presenting just a few of the challenges that lie ahead.

One self-proclaimed enabler of the vaguely defined “rules-based world order”, the G7, has again failed to display the necessary leadership, which requires not only power, but also intellectual honesty and self-criticism. Its latest communique outlines no inspirational vision for the Middle East, failing to address the bombs that have already exploded (in Israel-Palestine) or the ones still ticking (the forthcoming collapse of Lebanon).

The Middle East during the past two decades of American unilateralism has been a mess. Could it be even worse without it? That’s doubtful, but it would be best to fasten your seatbelts anyway.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Marco CarnelosMarco Carnelos is a former Italian diplomat. He has been assigned to Somalia, Australia and the United Nations. He has served in the foreign policy staff of three Italian prime ministers between 1995 and 2011. More recently he has been Middle East Peace Process Coordinator Special Envoy for Syria for the Italian government and, until November 2017, ambassador of Italy to Iraq.

“ميدل إيست آي”: “محور المقاومة” هو المؤهل لملء الفراغ بعد الانسحاب الأميركي

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القوات الامريكية تنسحب من افغانستان بحلول سبتمبر المقبل

الكاتب: ماركو كارنيلوس

المصدر: ميدل إيست آي


كتب الدبلوماسي الإيطالي السابق ماركو كارنيلوس مقالة في موقع “ميدل إيست آي” البريطانيا قال فيها إن الشرق الأوسط كان دوماً يدعي بفخر أنه يمتلك ثقافته الخاصة، وقبل كل شيء، أنه لديه مقاومة ما لما يسمّى بالحداثة الغربية. لكن العقدين الماضيين، كانا كارثيين، ويمكن للعقدين المقبلين أن يكونوا أكثر إثارة للقلق. 

وأوضح الكاتب سبب ذلك بأنه يلوح في الأفق فراغ في السلطة، خاصة وسط إشارات متعددة لفك الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ارتباطها السياسي والعسكري بالمنطقة. فباستثناء “إسرائيل”، ليس من المؤكد أن شركاء واشنطن المحليين الآخرين سيكونون قادرين على التكيّف مع البيئة الاستراتيجية الجديدة.

في صيف عام 2000، اعتقدت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي بيل كلينتون للحظة أنه يمكن تربيع دائرة الصراع الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني التاريخي، كي تكتشف، بعد أشهر فقط، أن هذا لم يكن مطروحاً على الورق. فقد خلص الأميركيون والإسرائيليون أنذاك إلى أنه، بغض النظر عن مدى فعالية استراتيجياتهم التسويقية، لا يمكن بيع “البانتوستان” للفلسطينيين كدولة طالبوا بها وسعى لعقود من الزمان لتحقيق حقهم غير المشكوك فيه في تقرير المصير. منذ ذلك الحين، أصبحت عملية السلام المزعومة، بقيادة الولايات المتحدة، استراتيجية علاقات عامة دولية لإدارة الصراع. لقد منحت هذه العملية نفساً ووقتاً لقيام “إسرائيل” بضم زاحف لبقية فلسطين التاريخية التي لم تخضع بعد لسيطرة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي.

وأضاف كارنيلوس: حاولت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب – بصراحة أكثر، أو أقل نفاقاً – حل المشكلة بالانحياز صراحة إلى “إسرائيل”، بهدف فرض “حل البانتوستان” تحت اسم مختلف: اتفاقات أبراهام. ولتحقيق النجاح، تطلبت الصيغة الانضمام الرسمي لبعض الدول العربية، وفي مقدمتها السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة. ومع ذلك، في حين أن بعض الدول العربية أقامت بسرعة علاقات دبلوماسية مع “إسرائيل”، فإن غياب الرياض ترك هالة من عدم اليقين حول المشروع الطموح.

هبة القدس

وأشار الكاتب إلى أن الصراع الأخير في شوارع القدس، وداخل التجمعات السكانية الفلسطينية في الكيان الإسرائيلي، ومع قطاع غزة، قد يكون قد دفن جدوى مثل هذا “الحل”. لكنه بالطبع، أظهر أن القضية الفلسطينية لا تزال حية وتنطلق. فـ”إسرائيل” اليوم في وضع متناقض لكونها أقوى قوة عسكرية وتكنولوجية إقليمية، لكنها تواجه إطاراً سياسياً شديد الاستقطاب وجبهة داخلية متداعية إلى حد ما. فمن أجل الإطاحة برئيس الوزراء السابق بنيامين نتنياهو أخيراً، قام السياسيون الإسرائيليون بتجميع أكثر تحالف غير متجانس في تاريخ الكيان. كان على رئيس الوزراء الأكثر تطرفاً، نفتالي بينيت، الاعتماد على دعم حزب فلسطيني ذي جذور إسلامية من أجل الفوز بالسلطة بفارق ضئيل.

واعتبر الدبلوماسي الإيطالي أنه في المقابل، فإن الفلسطينيين غارقون بين قيادة رسمية غير فعالة في رام الله، هي السلطة الفلسطينية، وقيادة شعبية ولكنها مصنفة “إرهابية” في غزة، هي حركة حماس. وقال إنه بعد 11 أيلول / سبتمبر 2001، تغير المحرك السياسي الغربي الرئيسي للمنطقة، إذ هدفت “الحرب على الإرهاب” بقيادة الولايات المتحدة إلى فرض “السلام الطويل المدى” الأميركي في المنطقة لمرة واحدة وأخيرة، مع التركيز على لبنان وسوريا والعراق وإيران واليمن.

لكن بعد عقدين من الزمن، هذه الاستراتيجية تنهار. إذ تنسحب الولايات المتحدة من أفغانستان من دون تحقيق أي شيء مهم، وبعد إنفاق تريليونات الدولارات في العراق، طلب البرلمان العراقي من الولايات المتحدة المغادرة. لا يزال جيب صغير في شرق سوريا تحت سيطرة الولايات المتحدة، لكن جميع الأجزاء “المفيدة” من البلاد أصبحت مرة أخرى تحت سيطرة الرئيس بشار الأسد.

ورأى الكاتب “أن فك ارتباط الولايات المتحدة بالمنطقة، سواء كان حقيقياً أو متصوراً، ينشر القلق، مع إحساس بفراغ القوة الذي سيأتي والذي يجب ملؤه. حتى الآن، يبدو أن الكيان الوحيد المنظم والمصمم على القيام بذلك هو “محور المقاومة”: إيران وحلفاؤها الإقليميون، بما في ذلك سوريا وحزب الله اللبناني والحوثيين والميليشيات الشيعية في العراق”.

منذ ثورة 1979، كانت إيران الخصم الرئيسي للحداثة الغربية، وعلى وجه الخصوص الهيمنة الأميركية في المنطقة. لطالما كانت طموحات طهران النووية وأنشطتها الإقليمية مصدر قلق دائم لواشنطن وحلفائها الإقليميين، العرب والإسرائيليين.

وقد تم إلغاء الهدنة المؤقتة والجزئية، الاتفاق النووي لعام 2015، بسرعة من المعادلة الاستراتيجية في عام 2018. ولم تحقق حملة العقوبات الأميركية الشديدة، استراتيجية “الضغط الأقصى” لإدارة ترامب، أهدافها المعلنة حيث أن إيران لم تغيّر لا نظامها ولا سلوكها.

وقال الكاتب إنه بينما تحاول إدارة أميركية أخرى الآن الانضمام إلى الاتفاق النووي، على أمل تحسين بعض بنوده، فإن إيران – مع انتخاب إبراهيم رئيسي كرئيس مقبل للبلاد – تخضع بشدة لسيطرة المحافظين، بينما تسعى في الوقت نفسه إلى إبرام اتفاق مع المنافسين الأميركيين والإقليميين. وفي حين أن اللواء قاسم سليماني قد اغتيل، إلا أن خطته الرئيسية الإقليمية لم تتم الإطاحة بها.

وقال الكاتب إن تركيا تعيد اكتشاف ماضيها العثماني، وإلى جانب صلاتها بجماعة الإخوان المسلمين، لا يزال يُنظر إليها على أنها تهديد وجودي للعديد من العائلات العربية الحاكمة.

وأضاف: كانت سياسة روسيا أكثر ذكاءً وفاعلية، حيث اعتمدت على الدبلوماسية التي تعززها القوة العسكرية، على عكس نهج واشنطن، الذي استخدم الدبلوماسية فقط لتبرير استخدام القوة العسكرية. احتفظت موسكو بموقفها في سوريا، وحصلت على نفوذ مهم في ليبيا، وحافظت على علاقات جيدة مع جميع الأطراف الإقليميين. فقبل عقدين من الزمن، كانت روسيا بالكاد ذات صلة بالمنطقة. الآن هي لاعب، تحمل بطاقات رديئة، ولكن يمكنها استخدامها بشكل أكثر فاعلية من غيرها.

أما الصين، فهي كالعادة تقترب من المنطقة بطريقة براغماتية وليس أيديولوجية. وتطمح للاستفادة من فراغ السلطة لبناء بسلاسة الجزء الجنوبي من “مبادرة الحزام والطريق” الطموحة، والتي تهدف إلى إنشاء أكبر كتلة اقتصادية وتجارية في العالم خارج السيطرة السياسية والمالية الأميركية.

ضغوط تلوح في الأفق

وقال الكاتب: بينما يبدو أن الولايات المتحدة منخرطة في تحدي كل من الصين وروسيا بسذاجة، فإن أوروبا، كعادتها، ممزقة بسبب معضلة كيفية التمركز. قد ينزلق الشرق الأوسط إلى مزيد من الفوضى، حيث يمثل فيروس كورونا والضغوط البيئية والهجرة عدداً قليلاً من التحديات التي تنتظر الأوروبيين.

وأضاف: لقد أخفقت مجموعة الدول السبع، التي نصبت نفسها بنفسها في تمكين “النظام العالمي القائم على القواعد” المحددة بشكل غامض، في إظهار القيادة اللازمة، والتي لا تتطلب القوة فحسب، بل تتطلب كذلك الصدق الفكري والنقد الذاتي. لا يحدد بيانها الأخير أي رؤية ملهمة للشرق الأوسط، وقد فشلت في معالجة القنابل التي انفجرت بالفعل (بين “إسرائيل” وفلسطين) أو التي قد تنفجر (الانهيار الوشيك للبنان).

وختم بالقول: كان الشرق الأوسط خلال العقدين الماضيين من هيمنة الأحادية الأميركية في حالة من الفوضى. فهل يمكن أن يكون أسوأ من دونها؟ هذا مشكوك فيه، ولكن سيكون من الأفضل ربط أحزمة الأمان على أي حال.

*ماركو كارنيلوس دبلوماسي إيطالي سابق. تم تكليفه بالعمل في الصومال وأستراليا والأمم المتحدة. وقد عمل في فريق السياسة الخارجية لثلاثة رؤساء وزراء إيطاليين بين عامي 1995 و2011. وشغل أخيراً منصب مبعوث الحكومة الإيطالية الخاص لعملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط إلى سوريا، وحتى تشرين الثاني / نوفمبر 2017، سفيراً لإيطاليا في العراق.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

The Geneva Summit: Nothingburger or Watershed?

THE SAKER • JUNE 17, 2021 

The long awaited summit between Presidents Putin and Biden has finally taken place, but was it a success? Will it change anything? The answer to this question very much depends on one’s expectations. Let’s take a closer look beginning with the context.

Context of the summit

Just about the only thing which both US and Russian observers agree on is that the state of the Russian-US relations is about as bad as can be (in my personal opinion, it is even much worse than during the Cuban Missile Crisis or any other time in the Cold War). As I have mentioned many times, I believe that the AngloZionist Empire and Russia have been at war at least since 2013. Remember Obama with his “Russian economy in “in tatters”? That was the outcome Obama promised the people of the USA (Quick factcheck: the company Deloitte recently polled the CEOs of major Russian corporations and only 4% of them felt “pessimistic” about their financial perspectives as “negative”, 40% replied “same as before” and 56% replied “optimistic”). Of course, this was was not a conventional war, it was about 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. This, however, does not change the fact that this war was an existential war for both sides, one in which only one side could prevail while the other would, if not quite disappear, then at least totally lose its superpower status. This is a civilizational war, which pitted western and Russian civilizational (cultural, social and even religious) models against each other roughly along the following lines:

The US/Anglo-Zionist worldview: we are the “city upon a hill”, the beacon of light and hope for mankind. Our “manifest destiny” is to “expand the area of freedom” worldwide. We have the best armed forces in history, the strongest economy, the best everything. We are the “leaders of the free world” whose “responsibility” is to lead the world. This is not imperialism, this is the “duty” and “responsibility” placed upon us by history. Our values are universal values and must be universally accepted by all. Those refusing to join our model are authoritarian “rogue states”. Russia must accept that because she lost the Cold War and that western values have prevailed. Those who refuse to accept this are “revanchists” who want to overturn the outcome of the Cold War and rebuild the Soviet Union. The US had to expand NATO to the East to protect Europe from “Russian aggression”. Now “America” is back and, with our allies and friends, we will create a “rules based” international order which we will benevolently enforce to the immense gratitude of all of mankind.

Russian worldview:

Russia rejects any form of imperialism, for herself and for others. Russia wants a multilateral world order, based on international law and the full sovereignty of nations. Each nation should have the right to pursue its own cultural, economic, spiritual and civilizational model without being threatened, sanctioned, bombed, subverted or invaded. Russia rejects the so-called “western values” (turbocapitalism, imperialism, wokeness, multiculturalism, militant atheism, critical race theory, gender fluidity, etc.). The US is welcome to fly homo-flags on its embassies, but it has no business telling others how to live. In fact, the US has to accept two closely related realities: first, the US does not have the means to impose its ideology on the rest of the planet and, second, the rest of the planet sees the total hypocrisy of a country claiming to stand for values which itself gets to violate as much as it wants. Any comparisons are immediately dismissed with the words “but this is completely different!!!”.

Again, Russia agrees that the US is welcome to live in a post-truth, post-reality, delusion if it wants, but she also believes, and says so, that the West has no right to try to impose its pretend-values on others, especially when it constantly violates them all when convenient.

The core issue

The core belief underlying these very different worldview is extremely simple: the US sees itself as exceptional and, therefore, endowed with special rights and sees Russia as a much inferior interlocutor which needs to accept the US hegemony upon the world. In sharp contrast, Russia denies the USA any special status and demands that the US leaders accept Russia as an equal interlocutor before any meaningful dialog or cooperation could even be discussed.

I think that it would be fair to say that roughly between 2013 and 2020 both countries exerted immense efforts in a kind of a massive arms wrestling match to show that it, and not the other guy, would prevail.

For a very short while, Trump tried to get some kind of dialog going, but he was quickly and completely neutered by the Neocons and the messianic imperialists in his own camp (I think of Pompeo for example) and his efforts, however sincere, yielded absolutely nothing: Trump was not able to put an end to the war started by Obama.

Then came Biden and, at first, things looked hopeless. Seeing the massive failure of the first US-China meeting in Alaska, one could have been excused to expect a similar, or even worse, outcome from any meetings between Biden and Putin. Many (on both sides) believed that such a meeting was pointless at best since the US had painted itself into a zero-sum corner in which anything short of an exchange of insults would be seen by the US media (and the public opinion it shapes) as a “defeat”, “surrender” and possibly even “treason” by Biden. That is definitely the message conveyed by much of the US media, including Fox.

 


I want to express my total disgust with US Republicans who, for four years, were literally hounded by the US media for Trump’s alleged “caving in” to Putin or even for being a “Manchurian candidate” put in power by “Putin”. Now the Republicans are using the exact same language accusing Biden of “weakness” and for “caving in” to Putin. Truly, the Dems and the GOP are like Coke and Pepsi: different labels, same product. Worse, both the Dems and the GOP place their petty interests above the well-being of the United States and its people. I consider both parties traitors to the US and its people.


What actually happened

In spite of all the nay-sayers (on both sides!), Putin and Biden did meet. True, the meeting did not yield any spectacular results, but it would be wrong to conclude that nothing of importance happened.

First, the tone of the Biden administration towards Russia and Putin did change, remarkably so, especially after Biden’s infamous “uhu, he is a killer”. Some sanctions were lifted, the US basically gave up on trying to prevent North Stream 2 (NS2) from being completed, and a number of small steps were achieved, including:

  • An agreement to discuss cybersecurity on an expert level (something the Russians had been demanding for years, but which the USA rejected out of hand).
  • joint declaration strategic stability (more about that below)
  • An agreement to discuss outstanding issues on an expert level
  • A return of both US and Russian ambassadors to their former positions
  • A discussion on a possible prisoner swap
  • A discussion on possible future arms control agreements

Also of interest are the points which were mentioned in passing, mostly by the US side, but which were clearly not focused on. These include:

  • The Ukraine and Belarus
  • Human Rights (aka “Navalyi” & Co.)
  • Russian alleged interference in western elections
  • Russian alleged covert operations against the US
  • The alleged Russian threat to the EU or in the Arctic
  • Russian ties to China and Iran

That is the official picture. But let’s be a little more wise about this: the US and Russian delegations (about 400 people each) included some very high ranking officials, including the Russian Chief of General Staff. Neither side would have bothered with such a massive undertaking only for the purpose of exchanging threats, ultimatums or insults. And such summits are never organized unless the parties have at least a reasonable prospect of some kind of understanding (this is why the return of the ambassadors was announced before the summit!).

So what really happened here?

To answer that question, we first need to look at what did not happen.

First, it is quite clear that the language/tone of the Biden administration has dramatically changed. This was immediately noticed by the (mentally infantile) US media which attacked Biden in his press conference for not putting enough pressure on Putin. Oh sure, Biden did pay lip service to the usual russophobic nonsense the US media seems to be forever stuck on, but it is quite clear what the US legacy ziomedia did not get what it wanted: they wanted Biden to “unite the West behind the USA” and then “tell” Putin to “behave” and admit something – anything – about the Russian “wrongdoings”. Putin gave them absolutely and exactly nothing. If anything, we could say that he held up a mirror to Uncle Shmuel and that Uncle Shmuel had nothing to say to that.

Second, and for the first time in a very long while, the US did not engage in any threats or ultimatums. If anything, it was quite amazing to see Biden getting angry at an imbecile journo from CNN (I think) who asked Biden why he expected Putin to “change his behavior” when the latter admitted no wrongs. Later Biden apologized, but he was clearly frustrated with the level of imbecility of the US press media.

 


The US media truly showed its true face during both press conferences. With Putin, they asked stupid, leading questions, based on their own delusional assumptions, and Putin easily swatted down these questions by pointing out at undeniable and well-known facts. The Biden press conference was, as usual, completely sanitized with a prepared list of reporters and questions, and with no Russian journalists allowed (pluralism, free media or free speech anybody?!). The infantilized US public did not think much about this, but in the rest of the world – in Zone B if you wish – people immediately noticed the startling difference between the two leaders and between the two press conferences. It will be awfully hard for the US to speak of “freedom of speech” when its President cannot be trusted to talk to his counterpart alone (Bliken never left his side, just like Dick Cheney did for Bush Jr. or Don Regan did for Reagan in his latter years) and cannot take unscripted questions from the (supposedly) “free” media. The US media clearly wanted Biden to go to Geneva, and tell Putin “now you submit or else…” and only the completely ignorant and infantilized US public could actually take that nonsense seriously. When that did not happen, they turned on Biden and accused him of weakness for “making no threats”!


Third, and crucially, by NOT discussing silly issues but by focusing on the real, important, topics underlying the US-Russian relations, Biden de-facto admitted two things:

  1. The US policy towards Russia since 2013 has failed and
  2. Russia is an equal partner to the USA who cannot be bullied, threatened or attacked

So much for “talking to the Russians from a position of force” which ALL the western leaders mantrically promised us. In sharp contrast, the Kremlin did not have to make any threats: the recent military exercises, which truly freaked out NATO and the EU, made any posturing by Russia quite unnecessary.

I am not so naive as to believe that any of this is set in stone.

First, we know that US politicians typically meet with their Russian counterparts and say “A” only to later come back home, cave in to the war lobby, and then declare “non-A”. Trump did that, as did Kerry and many others. US diplomats are mostly ignorant political appointees and/or warmongering Neocons who simply are not intellectually equipped to deal with their Russian counterparts (James Baker was probably the last truly sophisticated US Secretary of State). Second, we all understand that Biden is really “Biden” (the man himself is just a front, real decisions are taken by the collective “Biden”), which means that while he and even Bliken can agree on something, but that by no means implies that they will stand by what they agreed on. Finally, is is objectively really hard to undo that which was done: eight years of self-defeating delusions about itself and the rest of the world have done immense damage to the United States and it would take something pretty close to a miracle to now reverse a course which at least two US administrations have so foolishly insisted on pursuing.

Yet, what Biden did and said was quite clearly very deliberate and prepared. This is not the case of a senile President losing his focus and just spewing (defeatist) nonsense. Therefore, we must conclude that there are also those in the current US (real) power configuration who decided that Biden must follow a new, different, course or, at the very least, change rhetoric. I don’t know who/what this segment of the US power configuration is, but I submit that something has happened which forced at least a part of the US ruling class to decide that Obama’s war on Russia had failed and that a different approach was needed. At least that is the optimistic view.

The pessimistic view would suggest that, just like a boxer who has thrown so many punches that he now needs to catch his breath, the leaders of the Empire just needed a short time break, to “catch their breath”, before resuming the endless cycle of petty attacks, threats and accusations against Russia.

Time will show which group is right. My money is on the pessimists (as usual).

What we can say now is this: the period 2013-2021 saw a huge decline in US power abroad and the explosion of an equally huge internal political and social crises which are still catastrophically hurting the United States (Obama and Trump were truly the weakest and worst Presidents in US history). In sharp contrast, the same 2013-2021 years saw a huge rise in Russian military, political, economic and social power. Denying this reality forever is simply not an option for the USA (even if the US media never reports about this). It appears that the Biden Administration decided to keep up the same infantile language as its predecessors for internal consumption, but decided that a change of attitude on the international front was urgently needed, if only in order to avoid taking on both Russia and China (and, possibly, Iran) at the same time. History also shows that even just talking to Russia from a presumed “position of strength” was useless at best and suicidal at worst. The history of western imperialism in China offers a more ambiguous image, but the current revival of Chinese power under Xi also suggests that the Chinese won’t cave in to their former colonial masters.

What about China?

If China was mentioned at all, it is not official. The Kremlin had already indicated in numerous statements that trying to turn China and Russia against each other was not a realistic option, so on the Russian side there were no expectations of anything changing on that issue. Besides, while China has a lot to offer Russia, the USA has literally absolutely nothing Russia would want or need. The same goes for Iran, albeit at a lesser degree. There are those in the US ruling class who believe that China is a much more dangerous enemy for the AngloZionist Empire than Russia and it is possible that these are the interests which pushed Biden into a more realistic stance. The truth is that anybody who knows anything about the Sino-Russian relationship (which the Chinese now officially call the “strategic comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era”) understands that these two countries vitally need each other. Did the US diplomats really hope that they could sway Russia to the US side? Probably not. So, at most, what they needed was a short time break or, at least, some kind of temporary stabilization of the “Russian front”.

What about the Europeans?

The Europeans are stuck in some kind of political no man’s land: some want a confrontation at all cost (3B+PU), especially since the EU stopped funding them, while others are clearly fed-up (Germany, France, Italy, etc.) with the current situation. They all realize that something has just changed, but they appear unsure as to what, why and how. And how shall the EU now treat Biden? First, while hating Trump was seen as “politically correct” by the EU ruling classes, hating Biden is quite unthinkable. Second, while Biden did “consult” with the G7 and NATO, these “consultations” yielded no meaningful result. Unlike the summit with Putin, these “preparatory summits” were just nice PR, a feel-good, “rah-rah, we are all united” kind of symbolic event. Think of it as an imperial king visiting his colonies: fun but not very important. But meeting the leader of a “gas station masquerading as a country” required the presence of 400 or so top US officials and months of preparations. Finally, the fact that “Biden” had to yield to Germany on NS2 shows that the grip of Uncle Shmuel on Germany is weakening, “another writing on the wall” which “Biden” apparently read.

So who won?

At this point I don’t think that we can say that anybody won. In fact, the existential war opposing the AngloZionist Empire to Russia is not over. At most, this will be a temporary ceasefire allowing Uncle Shmuel to catch his breath. But I think that we can also fairly conclude that Obama’s war on Russia has failed and that the Biden Administration is more in touch with reality than Obama ever was. How long this new realism will last is anybody’s guess. I don’t think we should put much stock in the idea that now a new era of peace or collaboration has begun. But maybe, just maybe, the USA will stop playing what I call a “game of nuclear chicken” with a superpower which is at least a full decade ahead in military (and civilian!) nuclear technology and delivery vehicles and a superpower which is now working as a binomial with another nuclear superpower, China.

Conclusion: the US-Russian Joint Statement on Strategic Stability

This is the full text of the US-Russian Joint Statement on Strategic Stability I mentioned above: (emphasis added)

We, President of the United States of America Joseph R. Biden and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, note the United States and Russia have demonstrated that, even in periods of tension, they are able to make progress on our shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war. The recent extension of the New START Treaty exemplifies our commitment to nuclear arms control. Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this Dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.

The language here is very important: it is the repudiation of a major US delusion which began with Ronald Regan’s “Star Wars” and which was shared by each following President: the notion that the US can win a nuclear war against Russia by technologically or economically defeating Russia. The website “Defense One” (which is hardly a “Russian disinformation outlet”) had this to say about this decades long illusion:

Biden can correct the mistakes of the past. The future of missile defense will be thoroughly studied as part of a broader nuclear posture/deterrence review that will be started in the few weeks. Mindful that less expensive offensive weapons can always be developed to overwhelm, sabotage, or destroy any conceivable defensive system, his administration can return to diplomacy, seek verifiable mutual reductions, prevent the development of new threats, and address rising concerns such as the weaponization of space and cyber threats. That would allow the transfer of funds from the weapons that don’t work to programs that will rebuild and add to America’s security.

If this is really what is happening (and we need to wait before coming to any hasty conclusions!) then this is good news. Good news for Russia which has nothing to gain from any “reloaded Cold War” with the West, good news for the Europeans which need to recover at least a modicum of agency, good news for the USA, which is bled dry and is quickly becoming a underdeveloped third world country, and good news for the entire planet which would be devastated by any nuclear war between any combination of superpowers. If this is really what happened.

For the time being, the “crazies in the basement” are still every bit as crazy as before (see here and here for a few good examples). So are the woke-freaks (see here and here). So is the homo-lobby (see here and here). They all hate Russia and Putin with a passion, and they ain’t going away anytime soon. Besides, it is not like “Biden” will do anything other than give them all a standing ovation, full support and millions of dollars to their cause: these “minorities” (more accurately: this coalition of minorities) are the ideological foundation for Biden’s entire presidency, they brought him to power and he cannot renounce them.

How long brainwashed doubleplusgoodthinking sheep will continue to “take a knee” against “systemic racism” is anybody’s guess, however.

On the external front, the US cannot give up its messianic ideology and claims of exceptionalism. This would be truly unthinkable for the vast majority of US Americans. This does not change the fact that, as I have written many times, the AngloZionist Empire and the current US political system are neither sustainable, nor reformable. Besides, empires are almost impossible to reform. That is why they usually end up collapsing. And when they do, they often try to lash out at those they blame for their own failures. This is exactly what has been going on since 2013 and this will not and, in fact, cannot change until the final – and inevitable – collapse.

There will be no friendship or even partnership between the USA and Russia for as long as the USA will continue to serve as the latest host for the parasitic AngloZionist Empire. Аs the spokesman for Putin, Peskov, just declared “So far, there are no reasons to exclude the United States from the list of unfriendly countries“.

Finally, did Putin “win”?

I would answer both yes and no. Yes, he did win in the sense that his strategy of dealing with an Empire on the warpath against Russia has been proven extremely effective. All the nay-sayers (liberal or neo-Marxists) have been accusing Putin of caving in to pretty much everything everywhere, yet it is the USA which had to eat crow, drop all its preconditions and ask for a summit. None of the many propaganda attacks against Russia (MH17, Skipal, chem weapons, Belarus, the Karabakh war, Navalnyi, doping, sports and flags, the seizure of Russian diplomatic offices, the kidnapping of Russian citizens, economic and political sanctions, threats, sabre-rattling at the borders, etc. etc. etc.) have worked or even yielded any meaningful results. In that sense, yes, Putin did win. But that existential war is not over, not for the US, not for Russia and neither it is over for China, Iran and any other country wanting true sovereignty.

In that sense, what happened in Geneva is not the beginning of the end (primarily because that beginning of the end has already long taken place, even if it was never reported in Zone A), but it is definitely a chance to change some dynamics on the international scene. The infinite arrogance of the likes of Trump and Pompeo has been replaced by a much more cautious and realistic approach, at least in superpower relations. But Putin/Russia will only have truly won once the US accepts the reality that the Empire is dead and that the USA, like all ex-empires, must now become a “normal” country (like all former empires had to). Sounds easy, but this is almost infinitely hard when imperialism is what you were born, raised, educated and conditioned to live with and when you sincerely believe that your brand of imperialism is somehow benevolent, even altruistic. Russia/Putin will only have truly won once the last empire in history finally gives way to a civilized international world order. Until then, the struggle of Russia – and all the other members of the resistance against the Empire – will continue.

Biden Admin Complicit in Trump’s Crimes against Humanity – Araqchi

14/06/2021

Biden Admin Complicit in Trump’s Crimes against Humanity - Araqchi

By Staff, Agencies

The US administration of Joe Biden has partaken in ex-president Donald Trump’s crimes against humanity for 144 days, the Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said, criticizing Biden’s administration for continuing Trump’s policies.

“The US has for the past 3 years targeted every single Iranian living anywhere with its brutal & unlawful sanctions”, Araqchi made the remarks in his Twitter account, in reference to the Americans’ moves against the Iranian nation following the unilateral withdrawal of former US administration from Iran’s nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

“The current US admin has partaken in these crimes against humanity for 144 days”, the top Iranian negotiator also said, criticizing Joe Biden’s administration for continuing Trump’s policies.

“Iranians should not have spent a single day under sanctions”, he also stressed.

Since April, representatives from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have been holding talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and bringing the US back to compliance with the accord.

The US, under Trump, unilaterally left the JCPOA in 2018 and returned the sanctions that had been lifted against Tehran as part of the agreement.

Biden said Washington is willing to return to the pact if Tehran first suspends its countermeasures taken in response to the US violations and reimposition of sanctions.

The Washington Post Details US, ‘Israel’, Saudi Role in Coup Plot Against Jordan King

14/06/2021

The Washington Post Details US, ‘Israel’, Saudi Role in Coup Plot Against Jordan King

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist entity, Saudi Arabia and the US joined forces to pressure Jordan’s King Abdullah II to partake in the US-sponsored “normalization deals” with Tel Aviv, according to the Washington Post.

The Jordanian monarch resisted the attempts, leading to a plot to “destabilize” the country, that ensnared the king’s half-brother Prince Hamza and former senior officials Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.

According to the report, Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman [MBS], former Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu and former US President Donald Trump were at the center of the intrigue.

“It became a belief of Trump that the king was a hindrance” to his plan, a former senior CIA official was quoted as saying.

The report noted the close relations that Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner had forged with MBS, Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler.

Abdullah was said to be concerned those expanded ties came at Jordan’s expense, because of his reservations over the US proposal for the Middle East.

Abdullah is recognized as the custodian of the Haram esh-Sharif and the al-Aqsa Compound, and other Muslim sites in the Old City, which the Zionist regime occupied in the 1967 Six Day War.

The newspaper wrote that Abdullah felt the US, ‘Israel’ and Saudi Arabia were trying to push him out as custodian.

As Kushner’s campaign to advance Trump’s plan picked up last year, he also hoped to help facilitate a normalization pact between the Zionist entity and Saudi Arabia, according to the report. However, Abdullah was seen as an obstacle to such a rapprochement.

A key figure in the report was Awadallah, one of the former senior officials implicated in the alleged recent plot. Awadallah, a cabinet minister and onetime head of the royal court, moved to Saudi Arabia in 2018 and became close with the Saudi crown prince.

“A sticking point for us is al-Aqsa. The king [Abdullah] uses that to browbeat us and keep his role in the Middle East,” Awadallah was reported to say regarding the US plan.

An unnamed former US official, according to the report, said he was told by Awadallah that “MBS is upset because he can’t get a deal because he can’t handle the reactions of Palestinians if the king holds his position” on occupied al-Quds.

The Post also quoted from a Jordanian investigative report on the coup plot.

“Awadallah was working to promote the ‘deal of the century’ and weaken Jordan’s position and the King’s position on Palestine and the Hashemite Custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in al-Quds,” the Jordanian report said.

According to the same report, bin Zaid, the other senior Jordanian official implicated alongside Awadallah, met in 2019 with two officials from a foreign embassy in Amman “to inquire about their country’s position on supporting Prince Hamzah as an alternative to the King.”

The Post said an unnamed Western official who gave him the report believes the embassy was likely the US mission in the Jordanian capital.

Putin: Biden’s ‘Killer’ Comment is ‘Hollywood Macho Behavior’

12/06/2021

Putin: Biden’s ‘Killer’ Comment is ‘Hollywood Macho Behavior’

By Staff- Agencies

In his first interview to a US corporate outlet since 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed off his US counterpart Joe Biden’s “killer” label and called it posturing by a career establishment politician.

Speaking with NBC News’ Keir Simmons in Moscow, ahead of the June 16 summit with Biden, Putin called the “killer” comment an expression of “Hollywood macho” behavior.

“Over my tenure, I’ve gotten used to attacks from all kinds of angles and from all kinds of areas under all kinds of pretext, and reasons and of different caliber and fierceness and none of it surprises me,” Putin said, in a segment NBC aired on Friday evening.

He further continued: “So, as far as harsh rhetoric, I think that this is an expression of overall US culture… There are some underlying deep things in Hollywood. Macho. Which can be treated as cinematic art, but that is part of US political culture where it’s considered normal. By the way, not here, it is not considered normal here.”

It was ABC news presenter and former Democrat aide George Stephanopoulos who called Putin a “killer” during an interview in mid-March, asking Biden if he would agree.

“Mmm hmm, I do,” Biden replied. The 78-year-old then told a story about an alleged confrontation with the “soulless” Putin in 2011, which did not correspond with official records of the meeting.

When Simmons accused Putin of having critics killed, the Russian president called the question “verbal indigestion” and denied having anything to do with the deaths.

Putin pointed out that relations between Washington and Moscow are at their lowest point in years. Neither the White House nor the Kremlin expressed high hopes that the June 16 summit in Geneva would change that.

The Russian president described former US leader Donald Trump as a “colorful individual” who did not come from the establishment and “big time politics,” which is a fact whether people liked it or not. The current occupant of the White House is “radically different,” he said.

“President Biden is a career man. He has spent virtually his entire adulthood in politics,” Putin told NBC. “That’s a different kind of person, and it is my great hope that yes, there are some advantages, some disadvantages, but there will not be any impulse-based movements, on behalf of the sitting US president.”

The full interview is scheduled to air on Monday, June 14.

Netanyahu Follows Trump’s Footsteps: Political Downfall, Internal Crisis, and Attempt to Bridge the Gap

11-06-2021

Netanyahu Follows Trump’s Footsteps: Political Downfall, Internal Crisis, and Attempt to Bridge the Gap

By Ali Abadi

The recent developments in the Zionist entity reopen the discussion regarding the extent to which this entity is influenced by the US policy as well as the changes inside the United States.

Since Trump’s failure in the US Presidential Elections, the countdown to Benjamin Netanyahu’s downfall has started -who represents the ‘Israeli’ version of Trump’s personality- even though the former was able to reproduce his leadership via three consecutive elections, and prepared to a fourth round to fortify his position against probes in cases of corruption, and to fight the possibility of moving him away from the political scene through a rival party coalition. However, Netanyahu’s ploys didn’t survive in front of the results of the recent war with Gaza, which turned the political atmosphere inside the occupation entity to the extent that Netanyahu’s government was found responsible or losing the deterrence with Gaza, not to mention his weakness to handle the resistance and its growing might.

Herein, we should notice the relative comparison between the American and the ‘Israeli’ arenas:

On the one hand, the extravagance of America’s right wing led to dangerous division that caused an intense desire among all of Trump’s opponents [including some of the Republican party members] to get rid of him via ballot boxes, so they voted majorly against the far-right policies [represented by Trump] more than to support his rival Biden and his electoral program. And in the ‘Israeli’ arena, the right policies led to attractions from within the Zionist society, not between the left and the right, but within the right itself. A dominant agreement emerged that Netanyahu is sticking to power at any price, even if it led to a ‘civil war’, and that he is using Zionist religious parties that exchange with him the electoral services and well as the governmental benefits.

On the other hand, it happened previously that the personalities of Trump and Netanyahu have been linked to each other, in the course of unprecedented similarity in political tendencies of both sides regarding several issues. Trump’s failure in the US has motivated many ‘Israeli’ politicians to think about a way to get rid of his closest ally, Netanyahu. However, they didn’t possess the required energy to unite. Then came the recent confrontation with the Palestinians to uncover the weak structure of the entity as well as the policies of Netanyahu’s government. The decision was among several political parties to scapegoat him based on the rule of preserving the rightist policies that are threatened with the strong Palestinian uprising on the one hand, and the harmony with the American policies as much as possible on the other hand. Hence, the Zionist right settlement scheme would be saved, while Netanyahu’s attempts to shake the alliance with the US due to his objection of its return to the nuclear deal with Iran would fail.

Separation

Both American and ‘Israeli’ societies suffer from not yet hidden political, ideological, and ethnic divisions. Both societies need to absorb the tension from time to time via changing the top of the pyramid. This is one issue. Another remarkable one is that ‘Israel’ didn’t succeed for long in staying away from the requirements of the American interests in the region. And without harboring hopes on a major separation between the two sides, we witness a sort of coldness in relations due to three main points over the past three decades.

First: With launching the Madrid Conference for settlement in the region in the beginning of the 1990s after the US-led war in Kuwait, when Isaac Shamir [Likud] government objected to the principle of establishing an independent Palestinian state, but the Zionist entity’s need for the US financial support to contain the Jewish migration from the Soviet Union and other places pushed ‘Israel’ to reduce its objections and conditions. Washington was able, through guaranteed loans worth billions of dollars, to tame the ‘Israeli’ policy in favor of its wider interests. Then, Shamir was displaced from the ‘Israeli’ scene, and was succeeded by Isaac Rabin [Labor Party] to lead the Oslo track which happened to become later the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Ariha. However, after the assassination of Rabin in 1995, the abilities of the most harmonized Zionist parties with the US policy declined on the level of their potential to attract, and the base of the far-right parties, which reject the issue of ‘Two-state-solution’ or freezing the settlement activity grew, especially in the aftermaths of the major migration from the previously-known Soviet Union and other places. This led to a change inside the Zionist society, in addition to the structure of its successive governments.

Second: Netanyahu’s impediment of Barack Obama’s attempts to revive negotiations with the Palestinian Authority based on freezing the settlement activity in the West Bank, and then the US signing of a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015. Netanyahu objected to it publicly and inside the US congress in a famous speech. Meanwhile, the dispersion within Netanyahu’s rival ‘Israeli’ parties didn’t allow the formation of a change that suits the US regional policy.  Trump came to power in 2016 to revive Netanyahu’s hopes about change that he didn’t dream about from the part of the American orientation on other levels [such as moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds, recognizing the ‘Israeli’ sovereignty in the Golan, supporting the settlement activity in the West Bank, cutting funds of the Palestinian refugees’ UNRWA agency, shutting the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, and encouraging the ‘Israeli’ normalization with Arab states regardless to the Palestinians.] A parallel US shift took place when Trump left the nuclear deal with Iran.

Third: Biden’s rising to power in Washington, which modified the ‘Israeli’ expectations. This is not limited to some differences regarding the traditional support of ‘Israel’ between America’s Republican and Democratic parties. The truth is that a change started to be witnessed in the public American mood in which a new political generation in the US, and inside the Democratic party is more liberal than its predecessors and doesn’t grant ‘Israel’ an ultimate support. It also cannot digest the rightist ‘Israeli’ thinking to ban the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the Palestinian people’s right to live on their land within internationally recognized borders. The ‘Israeli’ narrative, which has dominated the minds of the US elite over several decades regarding the right of Jews alone to establish their national Jewish state, has turned less tempting to many Americans. Additionally, the pro-Palestinian activism on social media platforms managed to breach the pro-‘Israel’ traditional media, in which Facebook and Twitter’s restrictions couldn’t curb this activism that was crystal-clear during the latest round of ‘Israeli’ aggression. It also scored important attractions in English and other foreign language.

Moreover, the Biden administration prioritizing of returning to the nuclear deal with Iran formed a separation from Netanyahu government’s orientations. He has started hinting to moving without an agreement from Washington, a matter that is not only underestimated in the US, but also among ‘Israeli’ milieus that are worried about losing the strategic alliance with the US.

Back to the house of obedience

After this third stop, ‘Israel’ returns to the so-called American ‘house of obedience’ or to adapting with the major US interests. This return is based upon avoiding confrontation with the US policies and their regional requirements to deal with the nuclear Iran in particular, reducing tension and difference with the American administration when dealing with the flaming Palestinian issue nowadays. However, it is not necessarily at the expense of the rightist tendencies regarding the settlement scheme that is the core of the Zionist project. The official US interest intersected with the internal ‘Israeli’ parties’ interests to remove Netanyahu from the scene. The US administration will take advantage of this shift in an attempt to revive negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the occupation’s government to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance and the Axis that supports it in the region. Washington is to offer significant motivations to the future Zionist right government, led by Naftali Bennett, to allow progress in negotiations. Hereby, new obstacles will emerge from the side of Netanyahu’s successors who publicly adopt a hardline track regarding the rights of the Palestinian people, especially regarding the evacuation of some occupied land, freezing settlement, or establishing the Palestinian state. This will later turn things to the previous empty circle on the level of negotiations.

It is worth noting that Biden’s administration is not totally free to dictate its policies on ‘Israel’, especially amid the contradictions within the US political environment and inside the democratic party itself. However, ‘Israel’s’ dire need to the US support is an existential need to bear the pressures and preserve the qualitative military superiority. This will push the next ‘Israeli’ government to reduce the public contact with the US to overcome the challenges posed in this phase.

Finally, it is important to examine the extent to which the future Zionist government would succeed in:

– Managing the internal chaos along with threats of physical killing among the right affiliates

– Managing the military confrontation with the Gaza Strip

– Managing the variations with the US administration regarding the Palestinian issue and the Iran nuclear deal

On the American level, it is important to note the US administration’s ability to:

– Pass the nuclear deal with Iran without shockwaves inside the US congress and the circles of the conservatives who are more sticking to the ‘Israeli’ interests

– Dealing with the critical Palestinian issue, militarily and politically, based on the results of the recent confrontation that raised the voice of the Palestinian resistance

نموذج الدولة المارقة: بلينكن والجولان

10-06-2021

المعتدي أحياناً يكون مسكوناً بوهم اقتناع أنه صاحب حق فهو في هذه الحالة أقل سوءاً ورداءة من الذي يعرف الحق ويعترف به ويجد أعذاراً للتنكر له. وهذا هو المنافق، وعندما يكون ممثلاً لدولة تعرف الحق وتتنكّر له، وتعترف بالقانون وتشجع على انتهاكه فتسمّى بالدولة المارقة.

استعمل الأميركيون في وصف الدولة المارقة كل خصومهم، من دون أن يتكبّدوا عناء تقديم الدليل على ذلك، لأنهم منحوا مواقفهم صفة أعلى من القانون، واعتبروا كل خلاف معهم يعني انتهاكاً للقانون وتمرّداً على أحكامه، ما يسمح بوصف مَن يقوم بذلك بالمارق.

عندما نقارن بين موقفي دونالد ترامب وخلفه جو بايدن وإدارته التي يمثلها وزير خارجيته انتوني بلينكن من قضية الجولان السوري المحتل، سنجد أننا أمام مفارقة غريبة، فترامب المتحمّس لموقف كيان الاحتلال عقائدياً يؤيد قرار الكيان بضمّ الجولان. وهذا الموقف العدواني منسجم مع صاحبه، الذي وجد في احتلال الكيان للجولان والقدس الشرقية استعادة لحقوق يعتبرها الكيان جزءاً منه ويؤيده هو في ذلك، ولا يهم ترامب أن يخالف القرارات الصادرة عن مجلس الأمن الدولي، فالقانون عنده هو ما يراه الكيان وتؤيده واشنطن، ولذلك لم يجد ترامب مانعاً من مساندة الكيان بضم الجولان والقدس الشرقية كأراضٍ تمّ احتلالها عام 67 وصدرت بصددها القرارات الدولية خصوصاً القرارين 242 و338.

يأتي بلينكن ليقول إن كيان الاحتلال يضع يده على القدس الشرقية والجولان بصفته قوة احتلال، لا يملك الشرعيّة للتصرف بها، وهو بذلك يريد أن يظهر منسجماً مع القرارات الدولية التي تدعو للانسحاب منهما، لكنه كمنافق يمثل دولة مارقة لا يجد مانعاً من القول إنه يؤيد بقاء قوات الاحتلال في الجولان وطبعاً في القدس الشرقية، باعتبار هذا البقاء حاجة أمنية للكيان.

هل يوجد في القانون الدولي والمواثيق الدبلوماسية ما يبيح احتلال أراضي الغير بالقوة بداعي الضرورات الأمنية؟ أليست كل عمليات الاحتلال التي وجد القانون الدولي لإدانتها، تجد تبريراتها من الاحتلال بمصالح أمنية أو مائية أو ما يعادلها، وقد كان القانون الدولي حاسماً برفضها وإدانتها؟

السياسة الأميركية دائماً معادية للعرب، وحقوقهم، مرّة بالتصرف كشريك عقائدي لكيان الاحتلال، وعندما تصير عقلانية تتحوّل الى دولة مارقة.

التعليق السياسي

Zarif: Netanyahu Meets Same Fate of Anti-Iran Co-Conspirators in History’s Dustbin

June 3, 2021

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Zarif made the remarks in a Thursday tweet, comparing Netanyahu’s fate to that of other major anti-Iran figures in the US, who were the Israeli PM’s close allies in his plots against Tehran, including former US President Donald Trump, his former national security advisor John Bolton, and his secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

“Netanyahu has joined the disgraceful journey of his anti-Iran co-conspirators—Bolton, Trump and Pompeo—into the dustbin of history,” Iran’s foreign minister said.

Zarif asserted that Iran continues to stand tall, pointing out that the same fate has been repeated for Iranians’ ill-wishers over several millennia, adding, “Time to change course.”

According to a statement by the UN General Assembly, as of January 13, 2021, ten member states were subject to the provisions of Article 19 of the Charter, namely Iran, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Libya, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Under Article 19 of the Charter of the United Nations, members whose arrears equal or exceed the amount of their contributions due for two preceding full years lose their voting rights.

The Charter also gives the General Assembly the authority to decide “that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member,” and in that case a country can continue to vote.

The top Iranian diplomat also published his previous letter to Guterres, in which he conveyed Iran’s “strong dismay” over his announcement, saying the decision is “fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified” due to Washington’s illegal sanctions on Iran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to fulfill[ing] its financial obligations to the United Nations and will continue to make every effort to settle the arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the UN and other international organizations as soon as the underlying imposed conditions, i.e. the US unlawful unilateral coercive measures, is removed,” Zarif’s letter read.

Zarif’s tweet came after earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the country’s payment of its UN membership dues has been made possible through a South Korean bank and the debt will be paid soon.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always promptly acted to pay its membership dues to the United Nations, and the problem that arose last year was due to the blocking of the payment route by the United States,” Khatibzadeh told IRNA.

He said the United Nations Secretariat is completely aware of the details of the issue, which he said was not Iran’s fault whatsoever.

According to Khatibzadeh, in negotiations with the UN Treasury, Iran had proposed to transfer the money from its financial resources in South Korea, and it was decided that the Treasury try to remove barriers to the money transfer and pursue acquiring a permit from OFAC (the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control) for the transfer.

“The permit was recently issued and the way for withdrawing the membership dues from Iran’s account in the [South] Korean bank and transferring it to the UN account in Seoul has been paved, and this payment will be made soon,” he added.

Source: Iranian Agencies

“المونيتور”: هل عاد “حل الدولتين” إلى الأجندة الإسرائيلية؟ Is two-state solution back on Israel’s agenda?

الكاتب: مزال معلم

المصدر: المونيتور

يتعين على القيادة الإسرائيلية أن تفهم أن حل الدولتين، الذي أبعده ترامب، قد عاد إلى جدول أعمال إدارة بايدن.

نتنياهو وبلينكن خلال محادثاتهما الأخيرة في القدس المحتلة.
نتنياهو وبلينكن خلال محادثاتهما الأخيرة في القدس المحتلة.

كتبت الصحافية الإسرائيلية مزال معلم مقالة في موقع “المونيتور” الأميركي تناولت فيه عودة “حل الدولتين” إلى أجندة الإدارة الأميركية مع الرئيس جو بايدن. وقالت إن الاجتماع  الذي عقد بين رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي بنيامين نتنياهو ووزير الخارجية الأميركي أنتوني بلينكين في القدس المحتلة في 25 أيار / مايو الجاري قد كشف عن التغييرات الكبيرة التي تحدث في المنطقة، منذ ترك الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب منصبه.

وأضافت أن الاجتماع كان جيداً جداً إذ بذل بلينكين أقصى جهده “لإظهار الصداقة الوثيقة بين الدولتين، مع التركيز على التزام الرئيس جو بايدن الطويل الأمد بحق “إسرائيل” في الدفاع عن نفسها ضد منظمة (حماس) تطلق الصواريخ على مواطنيها.. فخلال الأسبوعين الماضيين، خلال عملية “حارس الأسوار”، أثبتت تصرفات بايدن أنه يقف مع “إسرائيل”. لقد حافظ على اتصالات منتظمة وودية مع نتنياهو، في حين أن دعواته لوقف إطلاق النار كانت تتم بهدوء، وبلباقة دبلوماسية محسوبة. كما أبدى بايدن احتراماً لنتنياهو إذ لم يوجه البيت الأبيض أي تهديدات له كما حدث في أكثر من مناسبة خلال إدارة أوباما.

وقالت الكاتبة إنه برغم كل هذه الدبلوماسية الأميركية اللبقة، فإن الأسبوعين الماضيين أظهرا أن ثمة تغيرات كبيرة في المواقف الأميركية تجاه “إسرائيل”، وخاصة بشأن علاقة “إسرائيل” بالفلسطينيين. فما فعله بايدن هو إعادة المفاوضات مع الفلسطينيين، بهدف تحقيق حل الدولتين، إلى الصدارة، بعد أن تم تجميد الحل إلى أجل غير مسمى في عام 2014، بعدما شعر بايدن بأنه مضطر للتدخل نتيجة للصراع الأخير في غزة. 

وأوضحت الكاتبة أن المثال الأكثر وضوحاً على هذا التغيير هو قرار إدارة بايدن إعادة فتح القنصلية الأميركية في القدس الشرقية، والتي أغلقتها إدارة ترامب. وأبلغ بلينكين نتنياهو بهذا القرار خلال لقائهما، وجدد السياسة الجديدة خلال لقائه بالرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس في رام الله. ورأت الكاتبة أن هذا الأمر هو أكثر من عمل رمزي. فعلى مدى العقود الثلاثة الماضية، كانت القنصلية بمثابة التمثيل الدبلوماسي للولايات المتحدة لدى السلطة الفلسطينية. تم إغلاقها في تشرين الأول / أكتوبر 2018، عندما نقل ترامب السفارة الأميركية في الكيان الإسرائيلي من تل أبيب إلى القدس. وتقرر أنذاك دمج المكتبين الدبلوماسيين في القدس. ما يعنيه ذلك عملياً هو أن القنصلية، التي كانت في يوم من الأيام مسؤولة عن جميع الاتصالات مع السلطة الفلسطينية، كانت تابعة للسفير الأميركي لدى “إسرائيل”، أي فقدت القنصلية وضعها المستقل.

وأضافت أن قرار إغلاق القنصلية كان إظهار للعلاقة الدافئة بين ترامب ونتنياهو والتي أدت إلى شطب أي مساعٍ لتحقيق حل الدولتين من جدول أعمال الإدارة الأميركية. اعتبر الفلسطينيون ذلك عملاً عدوانياً وجزءاً من سياسة أوسع أظهرت تفضيلاً للمصالح الإسرائيلية على أي تطلعات قومية لديهم. لذلك، فإن إعادة إدارة بايدن فتح القنصلية في القدس الشرقية تعتبر خطوة مهمة في الجهود المبذولة لتجديد العلاقة بين الولايات المتحدة والفلسطينيين. كانت لفتة تصالحية من إدارة بايدن تجاه الرئيس عباس، الذي تعرض لموقف عدائي من ترامب.

وقالت الكاتبة إنه كان لدى بلينكن المزيد من المفاجآت للفلسطينيين. فقد أبلغ نتنياهو وعباس أن الولايات المتحدة تخطط لإرسال 75 مليون دولار إلى غزة في عام 2021 للمساعدة في إعادة بناء القطاع بعد جولة العنف الأخيرة. وخلصت إلى أن بلينكن قدم في زيارته الرسمية الأولى لـ”إسرائيل” والشرق الأوسط سياسة أميركية جديدة تجاه المنطقة تختلف بشكل ملحوظ عن سياسة الإدارة السابقة. فالتأمل في صيف  2020، عندما بدأ توقيع اتفاقات أبراهام، يظهر مدى جدية هذا التغيير حيث أن ترامب قد ألغى عاملين رئيسيين حاول الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما دفعهما إلى الأمام: الاتفاق النووي مع إيران الذي انسحبت منه الولايات المتحدة، والمحادثات بين “إسرائيل” والفلسطينيين ، والتي أزيلت عن الطاولة. وقد عاد كلاهما كمسألة بارزة على الأجندة الأميركية، حتى لو كان الأسلوب المستخدم للنهوض بهما مختلفاً.

وأضافت: كأن بلينكين أراد مخاطبة الجمهور الإسرائيلي مباشرة. كان يعلم أنهم معجبون بترامب، وكانت هذه فرصته لتعريفهم بأجندة بايدن الجديدة. فقد أراد أن يؤكد الالتزام المطلق للولايات المتحدة بالمصالح الإسرائيلية، وفي الوقت نفسه، أراد أن يبث حياة جديدة في حل الدولتين للصراع الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني.

وخلال مقابلة له مع القناة 12 الأخبارية الإسرائيلية، عندما سئل عما إذا كانت هناك محاولة لإحياء عملية السلام الإسرائيلية الفلسطينية، أجاب بلينكن قائلاً: “لا نزال نؤمن بأن حل الدولتين ليس فقط أفضل طريقة، ولكنه ربما الطريقة الوحيدة للتأكد من أن إسرائيل لديها مستقبل كدولة يهودية وديمقراطية آمنة، وأن الفلسطينيين لديهم دولة يستحقونها. لذلك أعتقد أننا نريد الوصول إلى ذلك. لكن ينصب التركيز حالياً على التعامل مع العنف الأخير، ومحاولة البناء على وقف إطلاق النار، ..، ثم معرفة ما إذا كانت الظروف لاحقاً توفر بيئة أفضل للسعي لمتابعة حل الدولتين”.

وتابعت الكاتبة: لقد اعتاد الإسرائيليون على أن يكونوا مستفيدين من هدايا ترامب السخية. فقد نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس، واعترف بالضم الإسرائيلي للجولان السوري وعزز معاهدات السلام مع الدول العربية “المعتدلة”. الآن، بدأ الإسرائيليون يدركون أن شيئاً جديداً ومختلفاً يجري.. لكنهم يدركون كذلك أن بايدن يختلف عن أوباما، الذي كان يعتبره العديد من الإسرائيليين مؤيداً للفلسطينيين. ينجح بايدن في تقديم نفسه كشخص يتفهم حقاً المزاج السائد في إسرائيل، ويحب إسرائيل كثيراً”.

حتى الآن، تمكن نتنياهو ، وهو سياسي متمرس، من اجتياز هذه المعضلة سالماً. على عكس تعاملاته الحادة مع أوباما، ليس لنتنياهو خلافات عامة مع بايدن حالياً. لكن كل هذه التغييرات القادمة من واشنطن تضع “إسرائيل” في حالة من عدم الاستقرار السياسي. ومن المحتمل جداً أن تنتهي فترة حكم نتنياهو الطويلة قريباً. الآن وبعد أن أصبح هناك ائتلاف إسرائيلي جديد لتأليف الحكومة، مؤلف من أحزاب من اليسار واليمين، فإن السؤال المطروح هو ما هي السياسات التي سيتبناها هذا الائتلاف في التعامل مع الفلسطينيين؟

وقالت الكاتبة إنه من المحتمل أن يكون رئيس وزراء هذه الحكومة الجديدة هو السياسي اليميني نفتالي بينيت، الذي يدعو إلى ضم المستوطنات الإسرائيلية في الضفة الغربية، بينما يدعم رئيس الوزراء البديل، يائير لابيد، حل الدولتين. فيما تعتبر أحزاب اليسار، وعلى رأسها حركة ميرتس، المستوطنات رمزاً للاحتلال الإسرائيلي. تعرض رئيس حزب ميرتس، نيتسان هورويتز، لهجوم من اليمين في آذار / مارس الماضي، عندما أعرب عن دعمه للمحكمة الجنائية الدولية في لاهاي، التي أعلنت أنها تحقق مع “إسرائيل” في جرائم حرب. في 27 أيار / مايو، قال هورويتز في مقابلة إذاعية إنه يؤيد استئناف المفاوضات بين “إسرائيل” والفلسطينيين. تكمن أهمية ذلك في أنه إذا تم تشكيل حكومة تغيير جديدة، فلن يكون هناك إجماع داخلها حول كيفية تعاملها مع الصراع الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي. كان الوضع في قطاع غزة هادئاً نسبياً عندما اتفق الطرفان على تشكيل مثل هذه الحكومة بهدف واضح هو عزل نتنياهو من منصبه. لذلك كان لديها مجال للزعم بأنها ستتجنب القضية الفلسطينية وتركز على قضايا مدنية وعسكرية أخرى. لكن الأسبوعين الماضيين أعادا الوضع الأمني ​​إلى صدارة الأجندة الإسرائيلية وأعادا إمكانية حل الدولتين إلى مركز الصدارة.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: الميادين: الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي الصحيفة حصراً

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Is two-state solution back on Israel’s agenda?

Israel’s leadership must understand that as far as the Biden administration is concerned the two-state solution is back on the agenda.

May 27, 2021

The meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Jerusalem May 25 offered insight into the enormous changes taking place in the region, ever since President Donald Trump left office. 

On the one hand, it was a very good meeting. Blinken made every effort to showcase the close friendship between the two countries, with an emphasis on President Joe Biden’s longstanding commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself against a terrorist organization firing rockets on its citizens. This was more than just rhetoric, too. Over the last two weeks, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Biden’s actions proved that he stood with Israel. He maintained regular and cordial contacts with Netanyahu, while his calls for a cease-fire were made quietly, with calculated diplomatic tact. Biden made a point of respecting Netanyahu. The White House made no threats, nor did it bully him, as happened on more than one occasion during the Obama administration.

On the other hand, despite all the elegant diplomacy, the last two weeks show that there have been enormous changes to American attitudes toward Israel, particularly when it comes to Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.

What Biden effectively did was return negotiations with the Palestinians — with the goal of achieving a two-state solution — back to center stage, after they were frozen indefinitely in 2014. This happened when Biden felt forced to intervene as a result of the recent conflict in Gaza. What made his new policy notable was that it consisted of more than just rhetorical flourishes. It had a number of operative components, too.

The most obvious and immediate example of this is the Biden administration’s decision to reopen the US Consulate in East Jerusalem, which was shut down by the Trump administration. Blinken informed Netanyahu of this decision during their meeting, and reiterated the new policy during his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

This is, of course, much more than some symbolic act. Over the last three decades, the consulate served as the United States’ diplomatic representation to the Palestinian Authority (PA). It was shut down in October 2018, when Trump moved the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It was decided at the time to merge the two diplomatic offices in Jerusalem. What this meant in practical terms was that the consulate, which was once responsible for all contact with the PA, was subordinated to the ambassador to Israel. In other words, it lost its independent status.

The decision to shut down the consulate was a highlight of the unusually warm relationship between Trump and Netanyahu. Inevitably, it led to any efforts to achieve a two-state solution being removed from the agenda. The Palestinians considered this an act of belligerence and part of a larger policy that showed preference to Israeli interests over any national aspirations they had.

That is why the reopening of the consulate is considered to be an important step forward in the effort to renew the relationship between the United States and the Palestinians. It was a conciliatory gesture to Abbas, who had been subjected to a chilly and sometimes hostile attitude from Trump.

And Blinken had even more surprises for the Palestinians. He informed both Netanyahu and Abbas that the United States plans to send $75 million to Gaza in 2021 to help rebuild the enclave after the current round of violence.

There is no doubt that in his first official visit to Israel and the Middle East, Blinken presented a new American policy toward the region, which differed markedly from that of the previous administration. Reflecting back on the summer of 2020, when the Abraham Accords began to emerge, shows how serious this change is. Trump eliminated two key factors that President Barack Obama tried to advance: a nuclear deal with Iran, from which the United States withdrew, and talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which were taken off the table. Both of these are, once again, prominent points on the American agenda, even if the style used to advance them is different.

It looked like Blinken wanted to address the Israeli people directly. He knew that they were enamored with Trump, and this was his chance to introduce them to the new Biden agenda. On the one hand, he wanted to highlight the absolute nature of the US commitment to Israeli interests, while at the same time, he wanted to breathe new life into the two-state solution to the conflict.

Before leaving Israel for Egypt and Jordan, Blinken gave an exclusive primetime interview to Israel’s main news broadcast on Channel 12. When asked if there would be an attempt to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, he responded, “We continue to believe very strongly that a two-state solution is not just the best way, but probably the only way to really assure that going forward Israel has a future as a secure Jewish and democratic state, and the Palestinians have a state to which they’re entitled. So I think we want to get to that. But right now, the focus is on dealing with the aftermath, the recent violence, trying to build on the cease-fire, address the immediate needs and concerns, and then see if over time the conditions are such that there’s a better environment for trying to pursue a two-state solution.”

Israelis had gotten used to being the beneficiaries of Trump’s generous gifts. He moved the embassy to Jerusalem, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and fostered peace treaties with moderate Arab states. Now, Israelis are beginning to realize that something new and different was happening.

At the same time, however, they also recognize that Biden is unlike Obama, who was considered by many Israelis to be decidedly pro-Palestinian. Biden succeeds in presenting himself as someone who really understands the mood in Israel, and who loves Israel dearly.

So far, Netanyahu, an experienced politician, managed to get through this baptism by fire unscathed. In contrast to his heated dealings with Obama, Netanyahu had no public disputes for the moment with Biden.

All these changes coming from Washington catch Israel in a state of political instability. It is very possible that Netanyahu’s long term in office will soon end. Now that a new coalition made up of parties from the left and the right is on the table yet again, the question being raised is what policies it will adopt in dealing with the Palestinians.

The prime minister of this new government would probably be Yamina party Chairman Naftali Bennett, who advocates the annexation of Israeli West Bank settlements, while the alternative prime minister, Yair Lapid, supports a two-state solution. Furthermore, the left-wing parties, headed by Meretz, consider the settlements to be a symbol of the Israeli occupation, with all the corruption this engenders. Meretz party Chairman Nitzan Horowitz came under attack from the right last March, when he expressed support for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which announced that it was investigating Israel for war crimes. On May 27, Horowitz said in a radio interview that he supports renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The significance of this is that if a new government of change is, in fact, formed, there would be no consensus on how it will handle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The situation in the Gaza Strip was relatively quiet when the parties agreed to form such a government with the express purpose of removing Netanyahu from office. It therefore had the leeway to claim that it would avoid the Palestinian question and focus on other civil and military issues. The last two weeks have restored the security situation to the top of the national agenda and returned the possibility of a two-state solution to center stage.

 



“الغارديان”: الفلسطينيون، الذين تخلت عنهم الحكومات، يعتمدون على دعم الغرباء Abandoned by governments, Palestinians rely on the kindness of strangers

“الغارديان”: الفلسطينيون، الذين تخلت عنهم الحكومات، يعتمدون على دعم الغرباء

نسرين مالك
المصدر: لغارديان

24/5/2021

حتى تشدق الحكومات العربية بالقضية الفلسطينية تراجع في الفترة التي أعقبت توقيع اتفاقية كامب ديفيد، وتمت إزالة الفلسطينيين ببطء من الوعي العام العربي منذ التسعينيات.

الفلسطينيون توافدوا على المسجد الأقصى فجراً بتكبيرات العيد
الفلسطينيون يعتمدون على أنفسهم في حماية المسجد الأقصى.

تناولت نسرين مالك في عمودها في صحيفة “الغارديان” البريطانية واقع القضية الفلسطينية في أعقاب العدوان الإسرائيلي الأخير على غزة. وقالت إنه كان هناك زمن كان العرب يرضعون دعم القضية الفلسطينية مع حليب أمهاتهم. 

وأوضحت الكاتبة أنها من جيل نشأ في ظل اتفاقية كامب ديفيد واغتيال الرئيس المصري أنور السادات لما اعتبر خيانة للفلسطينيين. حتى معاهدة كامب ديفيد عام 1978، كانت مصر الحليف الرئيسي لفلسطين وأقوى قوة عسكرية في المنطقة بعد “إسرائيل”. وقد أعادت معاهدة السلام سيناء إلى مصر مقابل اعترافها بـ”إسرائيل”. ونتيجة هذا التطبيع، أغلقت مصر الباب أمام أي نوع من المساعدة العسكرية العربية للفلسطينيين، بحسب الكاتبة.

وتابعت: لقد ورثنا خيبة الأمل المريرة لتلك الحقبة. كانت فلسطين جزءاً لا يتجزأ من الهوية العربية لفترة طويلة وأصبحت تُعرف باسم “القضية” وهي قضية ملحة لم يتم حلها، تحولت بعد اتفاقية كامب ديفيد، من دعوة مثيرة للتضامن إلى أمر أكثر حزناً وتشتتاً.

وأضافت مالك أن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي والثورة الإيرانية دفعا الحكومات العربية والخليجية إلى التودد إلى الولايات المتحدة، وهو أمر لن ينجح إذا بقيت “إسرائيل” العدو الأول لهذه الحكومات. لذلك حتى تشدق هذه الحكومات بالقضية الفلسطينية تراجع في الفترة التي أعقبت توقيع اتفاقية كامب ديفيد مباشرة، وتمت إزالة الفلسطينيين ببطء من الوعي العام العربي ابتداء من تسعينيات القرن العشرين إلى اليوم.

وتابعت الكاتبة أنه حتى الأشعار عن فلسطين قد أوقفت في كتبنا المدرسية وفي وسائل الإعلام. وغنّت الفنانة اللبنانية فيروز ذات مرة، “الغضب الساطع آتٍ وأنا كلي إيمان”، في أغنية شعبية عن عودة الفلسطينيين الذين طردوا من القدس. لكن هتافها لم يعد على يبث على موجات الأثير العربية. وكتب الشاعر الأكثر شهرة في العالم العربي، نزار قباني، عن القدس يقول:

“غدًا، غدًا، سيزهر الليمون 

وتفرحُ السنابلُ الخضراءُ والزيتونْ 

وتضحكُ العيونْ 

وترجعُ الحمائمُ المهاجرةْ 

إلى السقوفِ الطاهرةْ 

ويرجعُ الأطفالُ يلعبونْ 

ويلتقي الآباءُ والبنونْ 

على رباك الزاهرةْ 

يا بلدي يا بلد السَّلام والزَّيتونْ”.

وقالت الكاتبة “لكنهم لم يعودوا إلى القدس.

وأوضحت الكاتبة أن القضية أضحت أصبح أمراً لم تعد الحكومات تعشر بالحاجة إلى الاهتمام به بعد الآن. وصار تصوير فكرة أن أي دعم نشط للفلسطينيين أمر ساذج، أو مخلفات من الماضي، أو أنه جزء لا يتجزأ من أجندة دينية متطرفة. فمن خلال سحب حتى دعمها المعنوي للفلسطينيين، “ساعدت الأنظمة الاستبدادية الضعيفة في جميع أنحاء المنطقة في جعل القضية تبدو وكأنها قضية هامشية، وهو الأمر الذي تمسك به الرومانسيون والراديكاليون فقط”.

وأشارت مالك إلى ان الشكوك نفسها تخيّم على الدعم لفلسطين في الغرب. إذ يترافق مع هذا الشك اتهام بأن هناك ترسيخاً غير معقول للقضية الفلسطينية. وثمة سؤال يحوم حول التضامن مع فلسطين، لماذا التركيز على هذه الأزمة في حين أن هناك الكثير من الآخرين حول العالم يطالبون بنفس مستوى الغضب تجاه قضاياهم إن لم يكن أكثر؟ ماذا عن الأويغور في الصين أو الروهينغا في ميانمار؟ 

ورأت مالك أن الإجابة على هذا السؤال هي أن السياسيين الغربيين ربما يفعلون القليل جداً في ميانمار أو الصين، لكنهم بالتأكيد يقومون بما يكفي للاعتراف بحدوث انتهاكات لحقوق الإنسان. فقد أعلن نواب بريطانيون عن وجود إبادة جماعية في الصين. وتخضع ميانمار لعقوبات. حتى حليفة الغرب الآخر في الشرق الأوسط، المملكة العربية السعودية، تتعرض للرقابة، حيث علق الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن مبيعات الأسلحة إلى السعودية في وقت سابق من هذا العام. بينما فشل مجلس الأمن الدولي في تمرير حتى بيان يدين الهجوم العسكري الإسرائيلي في غزة ويدعو إلى وقف إطلاق النار.

وقالت الكاتبة إن الرأي القائل بأن فلسطين تجتذب درجة غير متناسبة من الغضب الأخلاقي لا يفسر حقيقة أن القليل من هذا الغضب يأتي من الأماكن المهمة – مناصب وزراء الحكومة والنخب السياسية ووسائل الإعلام. ولأن هذه الحملة المتضامنة مع الفلسطينيين لا يُسمح لها إلا بالازدهار خارج التيار السائد المعتبر، فمن الأسهل بعد ذلك تأطيرها على أنها سيئة السمعة، مثل اتهامها بأنها “استفراد شرير لإسرائيل”.

وأضافت أن الحقيقة الثابتة هي أن الفلسطينيين مميزون. لقد حرموا، على عكس معظم الشعوب المضطهدة، من لغة الشرعية. إذ إن وقائع الاحتلال الذي يخضعون له ومقاومتهم والتمييز العنصري (نظام الأبارتايد) الذي يتعرضون له قد غُيّبت أو تم جعلها غامضة. أصبحت القضية الفلسطينية مشكوكاً فيها من خلال نوع من عكس الأدوار في سرد ​​الصراع. أصبح الضحايا هم المعتدون، وتم التخلي عن الفلسطينيين لمصيرهم، ثم تم تأطيرهم لأجله. 

وأشارت الكاتبة إلى أن الفلسطينيون تحمّل مسؤولية الأعمال الفردية العسكرية التي توصف في الغرب بـ”الإرهابية” وعوقبوا على ردود حركة حماس الانتقامية. ولم يكن هناك أي إجراء دفاعي يمكنهم اتخاذه بشكل شرعي، سواء رداً على الإخلاء من منازلهم أو الهجمات على المدنيين. وأوضحت أن الخطاب، الذي تم التدرب عليه جيداً وألقاه ببراعة سياسيون ذوو مصداقية، هو الذي حدد الوضع وهو القائل “إن لإسرائيل الحق في الدفاع عن نفسها. أي نوع من الأشخاص هو من لا يدعم حق إسرائيل، أو حق أي دولة، في الدفاع عن نفسها؟”. وتم تنميط كل من يرفض هذا الخطاب بأنه “ربما يكون شخصاً يتعاطف مع الإرهاب، أو شخصاً معادياً للسامية، وربما شخصاً مؤمناً غريب الأطوار يجمع القضايا المفقودة وليس لديه فهم للقانون الدولي أو تاريخ المنطقة”.

ورأت مالك أن شيئاً ما يتغير. فهذا المظهر السلبي لداعم فلسطين، الذي صوّر بأنه شخص كريه، يتعرض للتشكيك. ويبدو أن الهجوم الأخير على غزة، الذي قوبل مجدداً بنفس الأعذار الروبوتية لأفعال “إسرائيل”، قد غيّر التوازن. قد تكون الجغرافيا السياسية هي نفسها، لكن قدرة الحكومات (الغربية) على الاحتفاظ باحتكارها لتفسير ما يحدث على الأرض في “إسرائيل” وفلسطين تضعف. فقد تحدث حجاي العاد، المدير التنفيذي للمجموعة الحقوقية الإسرائيلية “بتسيلم”، مباشرة إلى أولئك الذين ربما يشككون الآن في الخط الرسمي، قائلاً: “صدق عينيك. اتبع ضميرك. والسبب في أنه يبدو وكأنه فصل عنصري هو ببساطة لأنه فصل عنصري”.

وخلصت الكاتبة إلى أن المزيد من الناس يصدقون ما تراه أعينهم. فالأفراد الذين يدعمون الفلسطينيين يتزايدون من حيث عددهم ودرجة ثقتهم بالقضية، وهم يتخلصون من الصورة النمطية لـ”الناشط الهامشي”. فوسائل التواصل الاجتماعي وصعود حركة احتجاجية مناهضة للمؤسسة في الصيف الماضي تعمل على إخراج القضية الفلسطينية من الجمود. لقد بدأ مناصروها في العثور على بعضهم البعض، لتبادل المعلومات واللقطات، لإضفاء الشرعية على القضية مع كل تواصل جديد. وقالت مالك إن هؤلاء المناصرين ليسوا متعاطفين مع الإرهاب، ولا معادين للسامية أو متطرفين، على الرغم من أن أي تعبئة جماهيرية ستجذب حتماً بعض الموتورين والمشاغبين. لكن لا ينبغي السماح لهم بتشويه حركة متنامية من مقدمي الرعاية من أجل القضية، أولئك الذين يرون ظلماً جسيماً يقع على الفلسطينيين يومياً، ولا يرون أي تعهد أو وعد من قادتهم بأن أي شيء سيتم القيام به حيال ذلك. وختمت بالقول إن الناس يأتون من أجل فلسطين ليس لأن سياساتهم مراوغة أو لأن شخصياتهم مشكوك فيها، ولكن لأن الحكومات في العالم العربي والغربي لم تترك لهم أي خيار آخر”.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم


Abandoned by governments, Palestinians rely on the kindness of strangers

Nesrine Malik a Guardian columnist

The fight for justice has been left to individuals to champion – but we’re growing in number

A pro-Palestine demonstration in Athens, Greece, on 22 May 2021.
A pro-Palestine demonstration in Athens, Greece, on 22 May 2021. Photograph: Nikolas Georgiou/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Mon 24 May 2021 06.00 BST

There was a time when support for the Palestinian cause was fed to Arabs with their mothers’ milk. I am of a generation that grew up in the shadow of the Camp David agreement and the assassination of the president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, for what was seen as a betrayal of the Palestinians. Until Camp David in 1978, Egypt had been Palestine’s main ally and the strongest military power in the region after Israel. The peace treaty returned Sinai to Egypt in exchange for recognition of Israel. With that normalisation, Egypt closed the door to any sort of Arab military assistance to the Palestinians for ever.

We inherited that era’s bitter disappointment. Palestine had been such an integral part of Arab identity for so long that it came to be known as “the case” or “the file” – an urgent unresolved issue at the heart of our world. After the Camp David agreement, “the case” went from being a rousing call for solidarity to something more melancholy and scattered.Advertisement

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Iranian revolution motivated Arab and Gulf governments to ingratiate themselves with the US, and that wouldn’t work if Israel remained their public enemy number one. So even the lip service paid to the Palestinian cause in the period immediately after Camp David fell away, and the Palestinians were slowly rubbed out of the public consciousness from the 1990s onwards.

Poems about Palestine stopped appearing in our Arabic-language textbooks and in the media. The Lebanese singer Fairuz once sang, “The striking anger is coming and I am full of faith”, in a popular song about the return of the Palestinians driven out of Jerusalem. But her chant was no longer on the airwaves. The Arab world’s most celebrated poet, Nizar Qabbani, wrote, “The migrant pigeons will return/ To your sacred roofs/ And your children will play again”, again about Jerusalem. But they did not.

Eventually, the cause became something governments didn’t even feel the need to namecheck any more. The idea that was subtly passed down, via erasure and silence, was that any active support for the Palestinians was naive, a hangover from the past, or part and parcel of an extremist religious agenda. By the time Donald Trump announced he was moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Al Jazeera noted the muted response from Arab governments and asked, “Why would Arabs not forget the Palestinian cause, now that they have themselves a thousand causes?” By withdrawing even their moral backing of the Palestinians, weak despotic regimes across the region helped make the cause seem a fringe issue, something only romantics and radicals held on to.

This same suspicion hangs over support for Palestine in the west. And with that suspicion comes an accusation – that there is an unreasonable fixation with the issue. A question hovers over solidarity with Palestine – why focus on this crisis when there are so many others around the world that demand the same, if not more, outrage? What about the Uyghurs in China or the Rohingya in Myanmar? The answer to that question is that western politicians may be doing too little in Myanmar or China, but they are certainly doing enough to acknowledge that human rights abuses are taking place. British MPs declared a genocide in China. Myanmar is under sanctions. Even the west’s other coddled ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, is coming under censure, with Joe Biden suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Meanwhile, the UN security council failed to pass even a statement condemning Israel’s military response in Gaza and calling for a ceasefire.

The view that Palestine attracts a disproportionate degree of moral outrage fails to account for the fact that so little of that outrage comes from the places that count – the ranks of government ministers, political elites and the mass media. And because that advocacy is only allowed to thrive outside the respectable mainstream, it is easier then to frame it as disreputable, as a sinister singling out of Israel, or special pleading for a not-so-special cause.

But the stubborn reality is that the Palestinians are special. They have, unlike most other oppressed peoples, been denied the language of legitimacy. The facts of their occupation, their resistance and the apartheid they are subjected to have been annulled or made ambiguous. The Palestinian cause has been rendered dubious through a kind of reversal of roles in the narration of the conflict. The victims became the aggressors. The Palestinians were abandoned to their fate, and then framed for it.

Palestinians were held responsible for the crimes of individual terrorists and punished for the retaliations of Hamas. There was no defensive action they could legitimately take, whether in response to eviction from their homes or attacks on civilians. A well rehearsed line, slickly delivered by credible politicians, defined the situation – Israel had the right to defend itself. What kind of person doesn’t support the right of Israel, or indeed, any country, to defend itself? Perhaps someone with terrorist sympathies, perhaps someone who is antisemitic, perhaps someone who is a crank conspiracist who collects lost causes and has no grasp of international law or the region’s history.

But something is changing. That negative profile of the unsavoury Palestine supporter is being challenged. The latest assault on Gaza, met once again with the same robotic excuses for Israel’s actions, seems to have shifted the balance. The geopolitics may be the same, but the ability of governments to maintain a monopoly on explaining what is happening on the ground in Israel and Palestine is weakening. Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of human rights group B’Tselem, spoke directly to those who might now be questioning the official line. “Believe your eyes. Follow your conscience. The reason that it looks like apartheid is simply because it is apartheid.”

More and more people are believing their eyes. The individuals who support the Palestinians are growing in number and confidence, shaking off the “fringe activist” stereotype. Social media and the rise of an anti-establishment protest movement last summer are bringing in the Palestinian cause from the cold. Its advocates are beginning to find each other, to share information and footage, to draw legitimacy for the cause with every new connection. They are not terrorist sympathisers, antisemites or radicals, though any mass mobilisation will inevitably attract its share of cranks and thugs, who should be vigorously called out. They should not be allowed to taint a growing movement of foster carers for the cause, those who see a gross injustice visited on the Palestinians every day, and see no pledge or promise from their leaders that anything will be done about it. People are showing up for Palestine not because their politics are dodgy or their characters questionable, but because governments across the Arab and western worlds have left them with no other choice.

Gaza – US and the West Supports Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity – Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict

May 18, 2021

Gaza – US and the West Supports Israel’s Crimes Against Humanity – Understanding the Never-Ending Conflict

By Peter Koenig for the Saker Blog

“I said we would exact a very heavy price from Hamas and other terror groups, and we are doing so and will continue to do so with great force,” Netanyahu said in a fiery video address.

Israel’s PM Netanyahu is a war criminal and should be held accountable for war crimes throughout his PM-ship of Israel, according to the 1945 / 1946 Nuremberg trials criteria. His crimes against humanity, against a defenseless Palestine are comparable to the Holocaust.

In 2016 Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu had been indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The trial is ongoing but has temporarily been “suspended”. Netanyahu has dismissed the charges as hypocritical and acts as if they didn’t exist. Even though he lacks the majority to form a government, he acts with impunity, because he can – he can because he has the backing of the United States.

More importantly, Israel has been accused before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for crimes against humanity and war crimes against Palestine. The prosecutor of the ICC, Ms. Fatou Bensouda, said on 3 March 2021 that she has launched an investigation into alleged crimes in the Palestinian territories. She added the probe will look into “crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed” since June 13, 2014, and that the investigation will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”

In a quick response, PM Netanyahu accused the Court of hypocrisy and anti-Semitism. Of course, the quickest and often most effective defense and counter-attack is calling any accusation, no matter how rightful it is, as anti-Semitism. Calling someone an anti-Semite shuts most people up, no matter whether the accusation is true or false. That explains in part why nobody dares to even come forward with the truth about crimes committed by Israel.

Imagine, Jews were the chief victims of the German Third Reich – a Nazi Regime, and today the descendants of these very Jews, persecuted and slaughtered in Nazi-concentration camps, allowed the transformation of Israel into a Zionist Fourth Reich, executing Palestinians Holocaust-style. They have done this with impunity for the last 73 years, with the current massacres reaching unheard-of proportions.

Pro-Palestine protests take place around the world – and especially now, finally, throughout Europe. Workers and young people joined protests across Europe on Saturday, 15 May, including in London, Paris, Berlin and Madrid, to oppose Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinian population in Gaza. The demonstrations coincided with the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe Day, 14 May 1948)—marking the founding of the state of Israel, through the forced expulsion of 760,000 Palestinians from their villages.

Here is what one protester, Khalid, in Manchester, UK, had to say. Khalid held a placard reading “Lift the siege of Palestine-Stop bombing Palestine”. He said, “Israel should know better. They know how it feels to be exterminated. They had no homeland and came to Palestine as guests and now they have taken the Palestinians’ homes and are trying to throw them out. The Palestinians have no water, they have no food. You have got people like [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and presidents colluding with Israel and giving them money to destroy human life” – http://www.defenddemocracy.press/protests-across-europe-against-israeli-war-on-gaza/

Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity, always take place with the unwavering support of the United States. No US presidential candidate has a chance of being “elected” to the empire’s highest chair, the Presidency, without having proven his or her unquestioned support for Zionist-Israel. Without that western support, Israel’s war against and oppression of Palestine would soon be over.

Palestine could start breathing again and become a free country, an autonomous, sovereign, self-sustained country, what they were before the forced UN Partition Plan for Palestine, and as was foreseen by UN Resolution 181 II of 1947. This genocidal conflict situation has lasted almost three quarters of a century – and has little chance to abate under the current geopolitical constellation of the Middle East and the world, where obedient submission to US-Israeli command and atrocities is the name of the game.

Background
The conflict started basically with the creation of Israel. The UK, since the end of WWI and the Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, occupier of the Palestine Peninsula (Palestine and Transjordan, see map), proposed to the UN as a condition for UK withdrawal, the creation of Israel in the western part of what was then known as Palestine and Transjordan. The so-called UN Partitian Plan for Palestine, was voted on 29 November 1947 by the UN General Assembly, as Resolution 181 (II). The then 57 UN members voted 33 (72%) for, 13 against the resolution, with 10 abstentions, and one absent. The Palestinian Authority was never consulted on this proposal. Therefore, for many scholars the UN Partition Plan’s legality remains questionable.

The Plan sought to resolve the conflicting objectives and claims of two competing movements, Palestinian nationalism and Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. The Plan also called for an Economic Union between the proposed two states, and for the protection of religious and minority rights.

However, immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the General Assembly, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented. The remnants of this civil war, the non-acceptance by Palestine of this UN Resolution 181, for which the historic owners of the land were not consulted, are lingering on as of this day.

British Mandate Palestine map

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the British administration was formalized by the League of Nations under the Palestine Mandate in 1923, as part of the Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate reaffirmed the 1917 British commitment to the Balfour Declaration, for the establishment in Palestine of a “National Home” for the Jewish people, with the prerogative to carry it out.

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War, announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. The declaration was contained in a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The question is still asked today: How legitimate was that declaration in terms of international law? Many academics see this declaration still today as a unilateral move and a breach of international law, as no consultation of the Palestine Authority ever took place.
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In the November 1947 UN General Assembly vote, the US was among the 33 countries voting FOR the Partition Plan. Interestingly, though, President Truman later noted, “The facts were that not only were there pressure movements around the United Nations unlike anything that had been seen there before, but that the White House, too, was subjected to a constant barrage. I do not think I ever had as much pressure and propaganda aimed at the White House as I had in this instance. The persistence of a few of the extreme Zionist leaders—actuated by political motives and engaging in political threats—disturbed and annoyed me.” – This Zionist pressure was to set the bar for what was to follow – up to this day.

David Ben-Gurion, Zionist statesman and political leader, was the first Prime Minister (1948–53, 1955–63) and defense minister (1948–53; 1955–63) of Israel. In a letter to his son in October 1937, Ben-Gurion explained that partition would be a first step to “possession of the land as a whole” (emphasis added by author).

As of today, seventy-three years later and counting, the conflict is not resolved. To the contrary. It has become the longest lasting war, or aggression rather, in recent human history. A war it isn’t really, because a sheer oppression and literal slaughter against a perceived enemy, like Palestine that has no weapons to speak of, being bombarded and shot with the most sophisticated US-sponsored weapons systems, cannot be called a war. It is sheer genocide. The Palestinian weapons of choice are mostly rocks; rocks thrown by Palestinians at the Israeli IDF invaders, who then mow them down with machine guns, mostly civilians, women and children.

The Israel armed-to-the-teeth Defense Forces (IDF), invade Gaza and Palestinian West Bank areas with the most sophisticated machine guns, bombs, white phosphorus, practicing indiscriminate killing. The IDF destroys Palestinian living quarters, administration buildings, schools, shops, the little manufacturing industries that makes up their economy – destroying a people already teetering at the edge of extreme poverty and despair. No mercy. What does one call people who are committing such unspeakable crimes?

What does one call this style of aggression? – Literally killing hundreds, thousands of people without defense, in the world’s largest open prison – Gaza – home to more than 2 million people, living in misery, housing and infrastructure constantly destroyed, painfully partially rebuilt – just to be destroyed and bombed to pieces again. Those who don’t die from Israeli direct aggressions, may die from the indirect effects – famine, misery, disease and suicide – of this constant, abject hostility perpetuated upon what was supposed to be, according to the UN Partition Plan, an autonomous Palestine home of the Palestine people.

It is an ongoing – seemingly never-ending conflict, ever since the first Intifada beginning in December 1987 (Intifada in the context of the Israeli-Palestine conflict is a concerted Palestinian attempt to shake off Israeli power and gain independence).

The Oslo Accords I and II are a pair of agreements between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of 1993 and 1995, respectively, sponsored by Norway in an attempt to achieve peace between the two parties. The Oslo Accords failed bitterly, over the issue of Jerusalem that was to become the religious capital for both countries, but Israel refused, claiming Jerusalem as her own, making the holy city to Israel’s capital. The first foreign leader recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, was US President Donald Trump on 6 December 2017.
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There was, however, another, less talked-about but equally important issue – an issue of survival – within the Oslo Accords: The fair sharing of the water resources. Israel never agreed, as about 85% of all water resources of what used to be the Palestinian Land, falls currently within the borders of what was defined by the Partitian Plan as Palestine. This is based on a World Bank study, in which I participated. On the insistence of Israel, the US vetoed publication of the study. Hence, the report was never officially published and publicly available.

Subsequent, so-called Peace processes, mostly US-sponsored, failed as of this day, because both Israel and the US have no interest in finding a peaceful solution. Neither one of the two nations have an interest in a Peace Accord, as the US needs the conflict to keep control over the Middle East, while Israel has no intentions to give up (slave)-control over Palestine, as her wellbeing depends on the overall control of what used to be Arab-Palestinian territory, and especially Palestine’s water resourcesWithout them, Israel would be a dry and unproductive desert.

There is a purpose behind these illegal, but ever-growing number of Israeli settlements on Palestine territories: Control over water. The settlements are usually over or near underground water resources. This is one way of controlling Palestine’s water. This happens not only in the so-called West Bank, but also in Gaza, where water resources are really scarce. Gaza is the world’s per capita water-scarcest area. The few Gaza water tables are super-posed by Israeli settlements.

This totally illegal and often UN-condemned Israeli Settlements strategy – also totally ignored by Israel – gradually reduces Palestine land and increases Israel’s control over crucial Palestinian water resources. See map

The impediment of being able to manage their own water resources, therefore increasing their food self-sufficiency through their own agriculture, makes out of Palestine an Israeli slave-state.

In addition, Israel has a handle on opening or closing the Gaza border, letting at will minimal food, medication and other life-essentials into Gaza, as well as allowing exactly the number needed of low-paid Palestinians (literally slave-labor) cross the border in the morning to work in Israel, and having to return at night to their Palestine homes. It is sheer Apartheid exploitation. Furthermore, Israel does not recognize Gaza’s territorial Mediterranean waters which would be a means towards Palestinians self-sustention and economic industrial activity.

According to an OECD report of 2016, Israel ranks as the nation with the highest poverty rate among OECD countries, i.e. 21% of Israelis are living under the poverty line. This is more than Mexico, Turkey and Chile. The OECD average is about 11%. This figure (21%) may be slightly exaggerated, given the relatively large informal sector and transfer payments to Israel from Jews abroad, as well as from international Jewish organizations.

Nevertheless, it is clear that Israel is economically not autonomous and needs Palestine to survive, both in terms of confiscated Palestinian water resources, as well as Palestinian slave labor. Therefore, there is hardly any hope for the UN-planned two-state solution to eventually materialize. There is little hope that this situation will change under the current geopolitical conditions. The US wants to dominate the Middle East and needs Israel as a garrison state that will be armed to the teeth for the US – to eventually grow and become Washington’s proxy ruler of the Middle East.

A question that is rarely asked, if ever: What is Hamas’ role in this never-ending Israeli-Palestine conflict? Since 2007 Hamas is officially governing the 2-million-plus population of the 363 square kilometer Gaza Strip. Hamas is also the Palestine paramilitary or defense organization. Hamas is said to be funded largely by Iran. Is it true? And if so, is Iran the only funder of Hamas?

It is odd, however, that ever so often, Hamas attacks Israel by launching unsophisticated rockets at Israeli cities, rockets that most often are intercepted by the IDF defense system, or cause minimal damage. But they cause, predictably minimal damage against an IDF which is US-equipped with the latest technology weapons- and defense systems.

Yet, a Hamas attack on Israel prompts regularly a ferocious retaliation; bombardments, not so much aiming at Hamas, as Netanyahu intimidates, “We would exact a very heavy price from Hamas and other terror groups…” , but at the civilian populations. The heaviest casualties are civilian Gaza citizens, many women and children among them, after an Israeli “self-defense” retaliation. This is of course no self-defense. The Hamas attacks usually follows an Israeli provocation.

Why would Hamas hit back, knowing that they won’t wreak any damage on Israel, yet they will trigger each time a deadly massacre on the Gaza population? – At the outset, Israeli provocations look like “false flags”. Could they be false flags with the willing participation of Hamas? If so, with whom does Hamas collaborate?

These are questions which certainly do not have an immediate answer. But the 14-year pattern of repeatedly similar events begs the question – is there another (Hamas) agenda behind what meets the eye?
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What is nearly as criminal as the IDF’s aggressions, is the almost complete silence of the west, and the world at large, vis-à-vis Israel’s atrocities committed on the Palestinian population. It is an unspoken tolerance for the carnages Israel inflicts on Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip, the world’s largest open-air prison.

For example, the political UN body, despite hundreds of Resolutions, condemning and flagging Israel’s illegal actions against Palestine, including the ever-increasing number of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestine territories, seems to be hapless against Israel. Weak condemnations of Israel, calling both parties to reason – leaves Israel totally cold and undisturbed. There is no punishment whatsoever, not from the UN system, not from the western allies, most of whom are Washington and NATO vassals.

The Biden Administration has taken the usual imperialist position of cynical neutrality, like it was an uninvolved disinterested player, while painting up Israel as being some kind of victim instead of the brutal Zionist apartheid state that it is. It is important to remember that the creation of Israel was so that the US had a garrison state to protect her interests in the Middle East.

Take the UN Secretary General. Instead of condemning Israeli ruthlessness and demanding accountability, the spokesman for UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, merely called on the Netanyahu regime to “exercise maximum restraint and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.”

The Secretary General himself reiterates his commitment, including through the Middle East Quartet, “to supporting Palestinians and Israelis to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements.” The Quartet, set up in 2002, consists of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. Its mandate is to help mediate Middle East peace. As of this day they have not achieved any tangible results.

Because they do NOT WANT to achieve any peace. For the reasons mentioned before, Peace is not in the interest of Israel, nor in the interest of the West, led by the United States. To keep the conflict burning, sacrificing hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of Palestinian lives is not important. It’s just a collateral damage of a larger agenda – control over the Middle East and her riches, a step towards controlling the entire world.

Time and again, Guterres disgraced himself and the office he holds by failing to denounce US/NATO/Israeli aggression and demand accountability for high crimes too serious to ignore.

If the UN is incapable or unwilling of assuming the responsibility of reigning in Israel, perhaps the Group of 77 (by now more than 120 UN member countries) should take a joint stand, exerting pressure on Israel, asking as an intermediary for outright negotiating with Israel and Palestine to reach a sustainable peace settlement, including the original two-state solution, back to the pre-1967 Israeli-Palestine borders. Let us, the UN, become pro-active in seeking and finding a permanent solution for the stressed-to-death, starving and tortured Palestinians, especially those from the Gaza Strip.


Peter Koenig is a geopolitical analyst and a former Senior Economist at the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked for over 30 years on water and environment around the world. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals and is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed; and co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

من الخارج إلى الداخل وبالعكس: آل سلمان و«قدر» طهران ودمـشق

ابراهيم الأمين

الإثنين 10 أيار 2021

لن يكون بمقدور اللبنانيين تغيير عاداتهم بصورة جدية. لا في الكلام ولا في الأكل ولا في التصرف ولا حتى بالتفكير. إلى الآن، لا يزال كثيرون يكرّرون عبارات من نوع «لن يتركونا نغرق» أو «الجميع بحاجة إلى لبنان» أو «لبنان رسالة يحتاجها العالم» أو «كلفة انهيار لبنان على العالم أكبر من كلفة إنقاذه»، إلى آخره من النظريات التي تعكس فهماً بالمقلوب لما يجري في العالم من حولنا. ومن يتمسّك بهذا المنطق، يهدف عملياً إلى أمرين:

الأول، عدم رغبته بتعديل طريقة تفكيره أو التصرف وفق منطق حياة جديد.

الثاني، استمرار لعبة التعمية على الحقائق القوية التي قامت بفعل المعارك الكونية في منطقتنا طوال العقد الماضي.

يأتي وزير خارجية فرنسا إلى بيروت، ونشهد استنفاراً سياسياً وإعلامياً وخلافه، لكن أحداً من كلّ الذين تابعوا الزيارة أثناء التحضير لها وبعد حصولها، أو الذين شاركوا في الاجتماعات معه، لا يقدر على أن يعطينا عبارة وحيدة مفيدة. وبدل محاولة فهم خلفية الزيارة وواقع الرجل نفسه، وحجم نفوذ وقوة تأثير بلاده، ننشغل في التأويل والتحليل، الذي يُراد له أن ينتهي على شكل أن في لبنان كتلة تغيير قوية تمثل «الغالبية الصامتة» وهي جاهزة لتسلّم البلاد، بانتخابات أو من دونها…

هو نوع من الهزل. ولكن، من دون أن يبدو الكلام عن مشكلتنا استهتاراً بموقع اللبنانيين الحالي، من الضروري تكرار ما يجب أن يُقال حول حاجة البلاد إلى خارج يساعد على معالجة أزماتها السياسية والأمنية والاقتصادية. وهذا بحدّ ذاته أمر يعيدنا إلى المربع الأول، حيث الجد مكان المزاح، وحيث حقيقة أن ما يجري في الإقليم، له أثره الأول على الصنف الحالي من أزماتنا. وبالتالي، ينبغي السؤال عن طبيعة القوى الإقليمية والدولية الأكثر تأثيراً في لبنان.

خلال العقد الأخير، ثمة دول لم تعدل بوصة في آلات قياسها للأزمة اللبنانية. لم تغير لا في استراتيجيتها ولا في أهدافها ولا في تحالفاتها ولا في برامج عملها، وأبرز هذه الدول، هي سوريا وإيران وإسرائيل وتركيا. لكن الدول الأخرى باشرت بإدخال تعديلات على استراتيجياتها. هي دول تقودها الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وتساعدها بريطانيا، وأبرز عناصرها السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة وقطر. علماً أننا ما زلنا في مرحلة قياس الدور الجديد لدول انضمّت إلى ساحتنا ودورها الذي يزداد فعالية مع الوقت، مثل روسيا أولاً والصين ثانياً.

المحور الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة دخل مرحلة إعادة النظر في أمور كثيرة، نتيجة المقاصة المنطقية التي أجرتها دوله في ضوء ما حصل في العقد الأخير. هذا لا يعني أن العالم سيتغير، لكن الأكيد أن تغييرات كبيرة ستطرأ على قواعد اللعبة، وأن بلداناً مثل لبنان، ستتأثر كثيراً بهذه التغييرات. وهنا يصبح السؤال مشروعاً: كيف سيتعامل اللبنانيون مع هذه التغييرات، هل سيصبحون أكثر واقعية ويتخلّون عن البهورات والبهلوانيات والادعاءات والتبجح، وهل بينهم من يبادر إلى تحمل مسؤولية أفعاله في السنوات الماضية، فيبادر إلى الانسحاب أو إعادة التموضع، أو أننا – وهذا هو الأرجح – سنكون أمام فصل جديد من المكابرة والإنكار، الذي يترك أثره على المناخ العام للبلاد، ويقلّل فرص استفادة لبنان من المتغيرات الحاصلة من حولنا.

يرغب الفريق الحاكم بجناحي السلطة والمعارضة باستئناف حياة الاستهلاك، وجلّ ما يريده تمويلاً وديوناً جديدة


يقول دبلوماسي مخضرم يشارك في وساطات دولية، إن مشكلة قسم غير قليل من اللبنانيين، أنه لم يفهم طبيعة التغيير الذي حصل في العقد الأخير حول دور الدول المتوسطة والدول الكبرى. ويشرح كيف أن خطط الإدارات الأميركية الأخيرة، وخصوصاً مع دونالد ترامب، دفعت نحو تعزيز دور الدول ذات الحضور الإقليمي الكبير، وعدم رهن الأمور بحسابات الدول الكبرى. ويشرح من جهة ثانية، أن النفوذ يمكن ممارسته من قِبل دول لا تملك بالضرورة وضعية اقتصادية كبيرة مثل الدول الكبرى، ويعطي على ذلك مثال الدور السوري التاريخي في لبنان، والذي لطالما كان أكثر فعالية وأكثر قوة حتى من الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا. وإن هذا الأمر يتكرّر في السنوات الأخيرة مع دول مثل تركيا وإيران، وإن السعودية نفسها، عدّلت في سياستها وتركت موقع «الحياد النسبي» لتقترب من «موقع المبادر» كونها شعرت بالقدرة على لعب دور أكبر، وهو دور جرّبت دول أقل قوة ممارسته في ساحات المنطقة مثل الإمارات العربية المتحدة وقطر، بينما ابتعدت عن المشهد دول ذات حجم كبير مثل مصر.

وإذا ما جرت مقاربة الوضع اللبناني الحالي، يمكن باختصار التثبت من عنصرَين، واحد يتعلّق بطبيعة المشكلة الاقتصادية القائمة، حيث يرغب الفريق الحاكم بجناحي السلطة والمعارضة باستئناف حياة الاستهلاك، وجلّ ما يريده تمويلاً وديوناً جديدة. وعنصر آخر يتصل بالتعقيدات السياسية والتوترات الأمنية والعسكرية، خصوصاً بعد الأزمة السورية وما يجري في العراق، وهذا يعني، أن القوى القادرة على ممارسة نفوذ، هي القوة المؤهلة لذلك بفعل حضورها ودورها. وكل ذلك، يقول لنا بأن اللبنانيين مجبرون على النظر من حولهم، والتدقيق في نوعية التغييرات القائمة، وأن يقوموا بالحسابات وفق معادلات رياضية سليمة، حتى ولو كانت النتائج غير مناسبة لبعضهم.

لا داعي لإهمال العناصر الداخلية للأزمة، لكن من الضروري محاولة معرفة ما يجري حولنا:

أين أصبحت المفاوضات الإيرانية – الأميركية؟ وما هي نتائج جولات الاتصالات الإيرانية – السعودية؟ وماذا جرى بين سوريا وكل من السعودية وقطر والإمارات ومصر؟ وماذا تخطّط تركيا بشأن سوريا أيضاً؟ وماذا عن التطورات داخل التيارات الإسلامية صاحبة الدور الأكبر خلال العقد الأخير في لبنان وسوريا والمنطقة؟

 آل سلمان و«قدر» طهران ودمـشق

من الخارج إلى الداخل وبالعكس    [2]: آل سلمان و«قدر» طهران ودمـشق

على غرار عمل العصابات التي يدعو بعضها بعضاً الى «التهدئة» في حالة وصول ضباط جدد الى مواقع المسؤولية في القوى الأمنية، سارع الفريق الخاص بوليّ العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان الى استراتيجية «خفض الرأس» بمجرد إقرار الرئيس الاميركي السابق دونالد ترامب بنتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية الاميركية. تصرّف «الدب الداشر» وفريقه على أن الجميع ملزم بمراقبة خطوات إدارة جو بايدن الجديدة تجاه المنطقة. وكل الكلام الذي سمعوه عن رغبة في تغيير طريقة التعامل مع السعودية، لم يجعله في موقع الخائف من تطورات كبيرة ونوعية. وبوشر الإعداد لفريق جديد يتولى إطلاق حملة علاقات عامة مع مفاصل الإدارة الجديدة، والتقصّي من الموظفين الدائمين في الإدارة عن المؤشرات المقلقة. وظل الجميع في حالة انتظار، الى أن تم إبلاغهم، مطلع شباط الماضي، نيّة ساكن البيت الأبيض الجديد، البعث برسالة عامة تصيب السعودية، لكنها تستهدف تقديم شعارات جديدة. وكما يبرع الديموقراطيون، قرروا إعلاء شأن صورة أميركا الحامية للقيم وحقوق الانسان. وهي حيلة لا تزال تنطلي على كثيرين في العالم. لكن محمد بن سلمان فهم أن الرسالة تتعلق بتصفية جمال خاشقجي. وكل ما قام به هو البعث برسالة «تنبيه» الى من يهمه الأمر في واشنطن، من أن الذهاب بعيداً في خطوات ضد حكمه، ينذر بانقلاب كبير في العلاقات السعودية – الاميركية، وأنه مستعد لهذه المغامرة.

كلّف وليّ العهد السعودي شقيقه خالد بمتابعة الملف، حتى تاريخ صدور التقرير الخاص بالاستخبارات الأميركية بشأن قتل خاشقجي، والذي فهمه آل سلمان على أنه «إدانة لولي العهد من دون إصدار حكم يوجب خطوات تنفيذية». لكن الملك دعا أولاده والمقربين من العائلة الى اجتماعات متفرقة، كان أبرزها بين محمد وخالد، حيث تم التفاهم على إعداد استراتيجية قصيرة المدى تستهدف «استرضاء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة». هذه الوجهة كانت لها حساباتها الإضافية، وهو ما عاد خالد نفسه وأبلغه الى من يهمه الأمر داخل المملكة وخارجها، موجزاً الخطة السياسية الجديدة بعناصر محددة:

أولاً: إن العائلة الحاكمة ستتصدى بكل الأساليب لأي محاولة انقلابية تدعمها الولايات المتحدة أو أي طرف خارجي. واتخذت خطوات داخلية هدفت الى إفهام المعارضين أو الطامحين إلى أدوار جديدة أن الأمر لن يحصل ولو كانت كلفته كبيرة.

ثانياً: إن الرياض مستعدة لإعادة النظر في برامج سياساتها العامة في المنطقة، من دون تنازل يجعلها ضعيفة وينعكس على الحكم داخلياً. وفي حال كانت واشنطن قد اتخذت قراراها النهائي بالعودة الى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، وتهدئة الجبهات في الشرق الأوسط، فإن السعودية نفسها لا ترى مانعاً في القيام بالخطوات نفسها. وهي مستعدة للبدء فوراً بمحادثات مع إيران لتهدئة الأمور معها.

ثالثاً: إعداد استراتيجية لإنهاء الحرب في اليمن وفق تصور يمنح المملكة أثماناً كبيرة على صعيد تركيبة الوضع السياسي اللاحق، وإظهار الرغبة في التوصل الى اتفاق ولو كان على حساب بعض حلفائهم اليمنيين، وخصوصاً أتباع الإمارات العربية المتحدة.

رابعاً: عدم تنفيذ الخطوات التي كانت منتظرة في شأن التطبيع مع إسرائيل، والتفاهم مع تل أبيب على الأمر، من زاوية أن إقدام الرياض على خطوة من هذا النوع سيزيد من مستوى التوتر مع إيران ومع قوى أخرى، وسيعقّّد مهمة وقف حرب اليمن، عدا عن كون المناخ العام في العالم العربي لم يكن شديد الترحيب بالتطبيع، رغم كل الجهود التي مارستها الحكومات ووسائل إعلامها.

شرعت قطر في اتصالات مباشرة مع الرئيس الأسد وحكومته، كما هي حال تركيا التي بعثت بما يناسب من رسائل!


خامساً: الذهاب الى استراتيجية تعاون جديدة في العالم العربي تتطلب رفع مستوى التنسيق مع العراق، واستئناف التواصل مع سوريا، ودرس خيار التحالف الذي يجمع السعودية بمصر ودول عربية أخرى، وتطبيع العلاقات مع قطر وسلطنة عمان بما يخفف من التوتر داخل الجزيرة العربية.

استراتيجية فريق ابن سلمان راقت وسطاء كثراً في المنطقة، ولا سيما رئيس الحكومة العراقي مصطفى الكاظمي، الذي يحظى برعاية لدوره الإقليمي من قبل بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وهو يملك أصلاً الصلات المناسبة مع إيران وقوى بارزة في محور المقاومة. ودور الكاظمي سمح للسعودية بحركة تعفيها من منح أي أوراق لخصومها الخليجيين، ولا سيما الدوحة ومسقط، ثم أنها لم تقرر تبدلاً جوهرياً في اتجاه بناء علاقة من نوع مختلف مع تركيا، وإنْ كانت تحدثت عن أنها ساعدت مصر والإمارات العربية المتحدة في معركتهما ضد تيار «الإخوان المسلمين». وهو ما عاد خالد بن سلمان وعرضه في اجتماع عمل تفصيلي عقد في الرياض مع أحد مساعدي مصطفى الكاظمي، تحضيراً للخطوات اللاحقة.

قال السعوديون إنهم مستعدون للاجتماع فوراً بالإيرانيين، وهم يفضّلون بغداد مكاناً للاجتماع، وليس لديهم جدول أعمال محدد، لأن الاجتماع الأول هدفه كسر الجليد، وإعادة التواصل المباشر، والإعداد لجولات جديدة تستهدف عرض كل نقاط الخلاف والتوتر بين الجانبين. وطلب ابن سلمان من الكاظمي أن يكون الاجتماع الأول على مستوى القيادات الأمنية، وإن حضره موظفون كبار في وزارة الخارجية، وهو ما وافقت عليه طهران. وعندما توجّه الوفدان الى بغداد، كان الكاظمي في استقبالهما، مرحِّباً ومُبدياً الاستعداد لكل ما يسهّل التحاور والتوصل الى تفاهم، قبل أن ينسحب من القاعة تاركاً مندوبه الرفيع المستوى يشارك في الاجتماع الذي شابه بعض التوتر إزاء مداخلات متبادلة، حمّل فيه كل طرف الجانب الآخر مسؤولية التدهور في العلاقات الثنائية وفي أوضاع المنطقة، قبل أن يعود الجميع الى الاستماع الى جدول أعمال إيراني تراوح بين استئناف العلاقات الدبلوماسية بالتدرّج وصولاً الى كيفية إدارة موسم الحج. لكن الجميع كان يعرف أن الأمر لا يتعلق بهذه البنود الآن، بل بملفّين رئيسّين: الأول، هو مستقبل علاقات دول الخليج مع إسرائيل، والثاني هو ملف حرب اليمن.

للمرة الأولى، كان السعوديون يتحدثون بلغة لا تنسجم مع كل سياساتهم المعلنة أو المطبّقة، إذ أكدوا أن «خادم الحرمين الشريفين لن يقيم علاقات مع إسرائيل من دون حلّ يؤمّن دولة للفلسطينيين تكون عاصمتها القدس». وأضافوا «أن السعودية لا تستهدف أمن الآخرين في أيّ خطوة تقوم بها»، ليطلبوا مباشرة تدخلاً إيرانياً مباشراً لأجل «ردع الحوثيين وإقناعهم بقبول مبادرة الرياض لوقف الحرب في اليمن».

لم يخرج الجميع من الاجتماع برضى كامل، لكنّ الكاظمي كان يتوقع الأسوأ لو أن التوتر تحكم في المفاوضين، وهو يعرف أن اللقاء سيكون تمهيداً لجولات جديدة بمستويات رفيعة أكثر، وخصوصا أنه كان قد أطلق مسارات عديدة للتفاوض مع إيران، بينها مع مصر والأردن وكذلك مع الإمارات العربية المتحدة، التي حاولت إظهار التمايز في ملفات عديدة، من بينها ملف سوريا، لجهة أنها قادرة على لعب دور كبير بمساعدة مصر في إقناع السعودية بالعودة الى العلاقات مع دمشق، والدفع نحو معالجة موقع سوريا في الجامعة العربية، والبدء بمشروع تفاوض مع الأميركيين والأوروبيين لأجل تأمين قرار يرفع الغطاء عن عملية إعادة إعمار سوريا.

مضمون الاجتماعات نقله كل طرف الى حلفائه. صحيح أن السعودية ليست مضطرة الى إبلاغ مصر أو الإمارات بكامل التفاصيل، لكنها حرصت على إبلاغ الأميركيين، علماً بأن مسؤولاً كبيراً في الرياض قال إن واشنطن ستكون قد اطّلعت من الكاظمي على كل ما يحصل. لكنّ إيران بادرت الى إبلاغ حلفائها من دول وقوى بارزة، في سوريا ولبنان والعراق واليمن، بمضمون المحادثات. كذلك جرى إطلاع قوى فلسطينية على الأمر. وكان واضحاً للجميع أن السعودية ترحّب بقوة بتخفيض مستوى التوتر، لكنها كانت تعرف مسبّقاً أن الخطوة السعودية لا تعكس مبادرة حقيقية بقدر ما تعكس «رغبة» في مواكبة التغييرات الجارية بسبب استئناف المفاوضات حول الاتفاق النووي مع الولايات المتحدة والغرب. ومع ذلك، فإن الإيرانيين الذين أبدوا استعداداً للمساعدة في معالجة أزمة اليمن، كانوا أكثر صراحة في إشارتهم الى أن الأمر يتطلب مفاوضات مباشرة مع أنصار الله، وكل تقدير بأن طهران تقدر أن تفرض على صنعاء خيارات هو مجرد وهم.

ومع ذلك، فإن الجانب السعودي عاد وكرر في اتصالات إضافية، كما فعلت دول أوروبية، ضرورة أن تبادر طهران الى الضغط على أنصار الله. وفي زيارة وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف لمسقط ضمن جولته الخليجية، عقد اجتماع عمل مطوّل مع ممثل أنصار الله في المفاوضات الخارجية، محمد عبد السلام، وبدا أن ظريف معني بشرح وجهات النظر التي تتطلب «لجوء أنصار الله الى تدوير الزوايا» في المفاوضات التي بدأت ثم تعطّلت مع الموفد الأميركي. ومع أن ظريف لم يكن يطلب مباشرة أو يحاول فرض وجهة نظر معينة، إلا أن عبد السلام كان شديد الوضوح في التعبير عن موقف «أنصار الله» لناحية أن وقف الحرب يعني وقفاً شاملاً لكل الحرب وليس لبعض العمليات العسكرية، وأن العودة إلى المفاوضات رهن بتجاوب الطرف الأميركي – السعودي مع المطالب الإنسانية الخاصة برفع الحصار عن المطار والموانئ والمعابر الحدودية لليمن مع جواره. حتى إن عبد السلام كان شديد الصراحة في قوله إن قوات الجيش واللجان الشعبية قادرة على حسم معركة مأرب سريعاً والدخول الى المدينة، لكن الأمر لا يتعلق بحسابات عسكرية، بل بحسابات الواقع الأهلي، وإن تجميد الهجوم الكبير يرتبط بالجانب الإنساني، وهو أكثر ما يمكن أن تقدمه صنعاء بانتظار جواب واشنطن والرياض على مقترح العلاجات الإنسانية.

«العائلة الحاكمة السعودية ستتصدى بكل الأساليب لأي محاولة انقلابية تدعمها الولايات المتحدة أو أي طرف خارجي»


هناك أمور كثيرة تتعلق بالمفاوضات السعودية – الإيرانية وما يجري من اتصالات بشأن اليمن، لكن الخطوة السعودية التالية كانت في توسيع دائرة «خفض التوتر»، وهنا دارت من جديد محركات الوسطاء العرب من أكثر من جهة، ترتيباً لأول تواصل نوعي مع القيادة السورية. وفي دمشق، لم يكن الرئيس بشار الأسد في غفلة عمّا يجري في العالم، وعمّا يجري من حول سوريا على وجه التحديد. وهو أوصى العاملين في فريقه بأن سوريا لم تبدأ الحرب ضد أحد، وهي ليست مستعدة لمراعاة أحد في أمور استراتيجية، لكنها مستعدة للانفتاح الذي يفيد سوريا أولاً، ويفيد العرب ثانياً. ولذلك كان الفريق السوري المكلف باستقبال وفد سعودي في دمشق مجهّزاً بأجوبة مُعدّة حول الأسئلة المتوقعة من الجانب السعودي، الذي بادر الى محاولة تبرئة نفسه من أصل الحرب على سوريا، وأن الأمر يتعلق بالأوضاع التي سادت المنطقة والعالم، وأن الرياض مستعدة لاستئناف العلاقات مع دمشق، ولكن لديها أسئلة مباشرة تحتاج الى إجابات عنها، وهي تتركز على مستقبل الوضع السياسي الداخلي في سوريا، وإمكان التوصّل الى اتفاق يتيح تأليف حكومة جديدة بمشاركة قوى بارزة في المعارضة، والإشارة الى وجود آليات عمل لدى السعودية ودول أخرى تتيح المشاركة في إعادة إعمار سوريا من دون انتظار أيّ قرار دولي بما خصّ العقوبات. لكنّ وجه الموفد السعودي صار مختلفاً عندما سأل نظيره السوري: هل تفكرون في ترك التحالف مع إيران وحزب الله وإخراج قواتهما من سوريا والذهاب نحو تحالف عربي يواجه تركيا؟

لم يكن السعوديون يتوقعون جواباً مختلفا عمّا سمعوه سابقاً، إذ كرر المسؤول السوري الترحيب بالحوار، لكنه شدّد على أن دمشق لا تحتاج الى حوارات سرية وعلاقات من تحت الطاولة، بل الى خطوات مباشرة وواضحة في شأن استئناف العلاقات الدبلوماسية والتجارية وغيره ذلك. أما بشأن العلاقة مع إيران وحزب الله، فكان الموقف السوري شديد البساطة والوضوح: «عندما جئتم جميعاً ودعمتم حرب تدمير سوريا وإسقاط الدولة والنظام، كانت إيران وحزب الله إلى جانبنا، وليس لهذين الطرفين أيّ تدخّل في ما نقرّره بشأن الوضع الداخلي أو استراتيجية علاقاتنا مع الخارج، لكنّهم ليسوا مجرّد أصدقاء أو حلفاء في معركة، بل هم أكثر من ذلك بكثير».
بالمناسبة، والى أن يقرّر أحد الطرفين الإعلان، فإن ما يحاول البعض التكتّم عليه هو شروع قطر في اتصالات مباشرة مع الرئيس الأسد وحكومته، كما هي حال تركيا التي بعثت بما يناسب من رسائل!

غداً: فيينا، وحيرة أميركا إزاء إيران

بين سورية واليمن قراءة أوروبيّة Between Syria and Yemen, a European reading

* Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation *

بين سورية واليمن قراءة أوروبيّة

 ناصر قنديل

لا ينتبه بعض المحللين للمعاني العميقة التي أفرزتها كلٌّ من الحربين الكبيرتين اللتين هزتا المنطقة، الحرب على سورية والحرب على اليمن، والنتائج المتعاكسة لكل منهما، خصوصاً أن بعض المسؤولين الأوروبيين السابقين الذين شاركوا في مرافقة سنوات من الحربين، يكشفون خلال مداخلاتهم في ورشات عمل تعقدها مراكز لدراسات الأمن والاستراتيجية، عن أن حرب اليمن كانت محاولة لاستنساخ عكسي للحرب على سورية بالاستثمار على مصادر القوة التي اعتقد السعوديون أنها عوامل تأثير حاسمة في مسار الحرب على سورية، التي كانت في مرحلة التوازن السلبي عندما انطلقت الحرب على اليمن، في ظل قراءة سعودية أميركية اوروبية تقول إن الجماعات المناوئة للدولة السورية تستمدّ قوتها من وجود حدود سورية مفتوحة على دول داعمة تؤمن لها الظهير والسند والتمويل والتسليح وجلب الآلاف من المسلحين، وبالمقابل فإن الدولة السورية تستمدّ قوتها من كونها تمثل الشرعية الدستورية المعترف بها دولياً، والتي تقوم بإدارة المؤسسات الأمنية والمالية والخدميّة، فجاءت الحرب على اليمن تستثمر على حصار كامل يقطع حتى الهواء عن أنصار الله براً وبحراً وجواً، وبالتوازي الاستثمار على عنوان الشرعيّة الدستورية اليمنية كغطاء لخوض الحرب ومحاولة تفعيل مؤسسات هذه الشرعية عسكرياً وأمنياً ومالياً وخدميّاً، لامتلاك موقع متفوّق في القدرة على حسم الحرب، التي توقعت الدراسات أنها ستحسم خلال أسابيع أو شهور، لهذين الاعتبارين.

تقول القراءة الأوروبيّة الأشدّ تعمقاً في قراءة سرديّة عن الحربين أن عام 2015 الذي كان مفصلياً فيهما، كعام لتوازن سلبيّ في سورية ولبدء الحرب على اليمن، شكل نقطة انطلاق لمسارين متعاكسين في الحربين، ففي سورية بدأت الانتصارات تظهر لصالح الدولة السورية، ثم تتدحرج على مساحة الجغرافيا السورية، بينما بدأت التعقيدات تكبر بوجه ما يفترض أنها الدولة اليمنيّة المدعومة سعودياً ومن خلفها حلف دولي إقليميّ كبير، وجد فيها فرصة لحرب بالوكالة على إيران في مرحلة وصفت بمرحلة الضغوط القصوى على إيران، وفي ظل إدارة أميركية برئاسة الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب وفرت لهذه الحرب كل أسباب الفوز، ويقارن المسؤولون الأوروبيون السابقون الذين رافقوا من مواقع مسؤولياتهم مراحل هامة من الحربين، أن حجم الدعم الذي حصلت عليه الدولة السورية من روسيا وإيران وحزب الله، أقل بكثير من حجم المشاركة السعودية والغربية في الحرب التي اتخذت من عنوان دعم الدولة اليمنيّة شعاراً لها، سواء بحجم قوة النار أو حجم الأموال أو عديد المقاتلين، بينما حجم الدعم الذي حازته الجماعات المناوئة للدولة السورية عبر الحدود مالاً وسلاحاً وعديداً، بما في ذلك التحدي الذي مثله ظهور تنظيم داعش، يمثل أضعافاً مضاعفة لما وصل لأنصار الله في ظل حصار تمكّن من إغلاق محكم للمنافذ البرية والبحرية والجوية، ولا يمكن بالتالي قراءة النتيجتين المتعاكستين للحربين إلا بقراءة الفوارق بين “الدولتين” و”المعارضتين”.

يقول المسؤولون الأوروبيون السابقون في ورش عمل شاركوا فيها حديثاً، إن على الضفتين الافتراضيتين في التسمية لمفردة الدولة والمعارضة هنا وهناك تكمن كلمة السر، فعلى ضفة الدولة نرى في سورية رئيساً لم يغادر بلده ومكتبه في قلب الساعات الأشدّ خطراً في الحرب فيما كانت القذائف تتساقط قرب القصر الجمهوري، وجيشاً متماسكاً يقاتل بروح استشهاديّة، وشرائح واسعة من الشعب السوري تعتبر الحرب حربها بكل يقين وإيمان، وتتحمّل الحصار والضغوط والتضحيات، بينما على الضفة اليمنيّة رئيساً ووزراء وقادة وصولاً الى مستوى معاون الوزير وما دون من مستشارين ومعاونين يتوزّعون بين الرياض والقاهرة وعمان، يعيشون في فنادق خمسة نجوم، ويشمل ذلك كبار المسؤولين العسكريين، بينما يقع عبء القتال على الجيش السعوديّ والجيش الإماراتيّ، والجيوش التي ساندتهما كالجيش السودانيّ، أما على ضفة المعارضة فنرى قائداً وشعباً ومقاتلين يشكلون في اليمن وحدة متكاملة لم تغادر معاقلها رغم ضراوة النيران وشدة الحصار، تملك اليقين بنصرها، وتقدّم التضحيات بلا حساب من قادتها، وبالمقابل نرى في سورية قادة يقيمون في فنادق خمسة نجوم في باريس واسطمبول والقاهرة والرياض ودبي، يتنعّمون بالمال المفترض أنه مخصص لدعم معاركهم، وقد تحوّل مَن يفترض انهم ثوار الى مرتزقة ينتقلون من بلد الى بلد لحساب دول أخرى، فيما يستندون في معاركهم التي يسوّقونها في الإعلام على جماعات مصنفة إرهابية أمسكت الأرض التي يزعمون أنها مناطق سيطرتهم، قتلت وذبحت الشعب الذي زعموا أنهم حماته.

يخلص المسؤولون الأوروبيون السابقون في مقاربتهم الى القول إن المقارنة تكفي للاستنتاج أن الأرض لمن يحميها ويضحّي لأجلها، وأن الصادقين في إيمانهم بما يدافعون عنه تظهرهم الحروب، حيث خطر الموت داهم، ولا مكان أمامه للاستعراض والغش، فكما النار تكشف المعادن، تكشف الحروب معادن القادة وصدق قضاياهم، ولذلك يبدو بديهياً أن يكون النصر في اليمن للسيد عبد الملك الحوثي، وأن يكون النصر في سورية للرئيس بشار الأسد، لأن القضية باتت واضحة ليست قضية دولة ومعارضة، بل قضية الصدق والتضحية.


Between Syria and Yemen, a European reading

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Nasser Kandil


Some analysts do not pay attention to the deep meanings produced by each of the two great wars that shook the region, the war on Syria and the war on Yemen, and the opposite results of each of them, armed, especially since some former European officials who followed the years of the two wars, revealed in the workshops of centers for security and strategic studies, that the Yemen war was an attempt to reverse the war on Syria by investing in the sources of power that the Saudis believed were decisive influencing factors in the course of the war on Syria, which was in the phase of negative power balance when the war on Yemen began. The Saudi, American, European reading that the groups opposed to the Syrian state derive their strength from the presence of Syrian borders open to supportive countries that secure the back, support, financing, arming, and bringing in thousands of militants, on the other hand, the Syrian state represents the internationally recognized constitutional legitimacy that manages the security, financial and service institutions. As for the war on Yemen, it has wagered on a complete land, sea and air blockade, and investing in the title of Yemeni constitutional legitimacy as a cover for waging war and activating military, security, financial, institutions to have a superior position and ability to resolve the war, within weeks or months.

While the complications began to increase in the face of what is supposed to be the Yemeni state supported by Saudi Arabia and behind it a large international regional alliance, there was an opportunity for a proxy war on Iran in a stage described as the stage of maximum pressure on Iran, and under an American administration headed by former President Donald Trump, it provided for this war all Reasons for winning. The most in-depth European reading on the two wars says that 2015, the year of negative balance in Syria and the start of the war on Yemen, constituted a starting point for two opposing tracks in the two wars. The size of the support that Syria received from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah is much less than the size of Saudi and Western participation in the war of support for the Yemeni puppet state, whether by the size of the firepower, the amount of money, or the number of fighters. The amount of support that the anti-Syrian state groups have acquired across the borders, with money and weapons, including the challenge posed by the emergence of ISIS, represents a multiples of what Ansarallah acquired under a tight siege that closed the land, sea and air ports, and therefore the opposite results of the two wars can only be read by reading the differences between the “two states” and the “opposition.”

In recent workshops, former European officials say, the keyword lies on both sides of the default doctrine of the state and the opposition here and there. On the bank of the state we see in Syria a president who did not leave his country and his office in the heart of the most dangerous hours of war while the missiles were falling near the Presidential Palace, and cohesive army fighting in a spirit of martyrdom, and large segments of the Syrian people consider the war its war with certainty and faith, and bear the siege, pressure and sacrifices, while on the Yemeni bank, there is a president, ministers, and leaders down to the minister’s assistant level and below of advisers and assistants distributed between Riyadh, Cairo and Amman, living in five-star hotels, including senior military officials, while the burden of fighting falls on the Saudi and the Emirati army, and the armies that have supported them, such as the Sudanese army. On the Yemeni bank of the opposition we see a leader, people and fighters form in Yemen an integrated unit that did not leave its strongholds despite the ferocity of the fire and the severity of the siege, has the certainty of its victory, and it makes sacrifices without expense from its fighters and leaders, and in return we see in Syria opposition leaders staying in the hotels of five stars in Paris, Istanbul, Cairo and Dubai, enjoying the money supposedly intended to support their battles, has turned the supposed rebels into mercenaries moving from country to country, on behalf of other countries, while basing their battles in the media on terrorist groups that have captured the land they claim to be their areas of control, killing and slaughtering the people they claimed to be their protectors.

Former European officials conclude in their approach that the comparison is enough to conclude that the land is for those who protect it and sacrifice for it, and that those who believe in what they defend are shown by wars, where the danger of death is imminent, as fire reveals minerals, wars reveal the minerals of leaders and the sincerity of their causes, and therefore it seems self-evident that victory in Yemen is for Mr. Abdul Malik al-Houthi, and that victory in Syria for President Bashar al-Assad, because the issue has become clear is not a state and opposition issue, but the issue of honesty and sacrifice.

In 2018 the US Was at War With Uyghur Terrorists. Now It Claims They Don’t Even Exist

May 01st, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

With China now in the U.S. crosshairs, the ETIM has moved from being an adversary to being a potential asset.

WASHINGTON — In the dying months of his administration, President Donald Trump removed from the United States terrorist list a little-known paramilitary organization called ETIM, an acronym that stands for either the East Turkestan Independence Movement or the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, depending on whom one asks. The group is also sometimes known as the [East] Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP or ETIP).

Explaining the decision, the State Department said that “ETIM was removed from the list because, for more than a decade, there has been no credible evidence that ETIM continues to exist.” The move was hailed by a wide range of Uyghur groups in the United States, who saw it as a step towards blocking China’s actions against Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province.

Yet the decision will have confused anyone with a long memory or who closely followed the War on Terror. Only two years previously, the U.S. was actively at war with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, with Trump himself ordering an escalation of a bombing campaign against them.

In 2018, Major General James Hecker, the commander of NATO Air Command-Afghanistan, gave a press conference in which he noted that not only was ETIM real but they were working hand in hand with the Taliban and boasted that his forces were destroying their training bases, thereby reducing their terrorist activities both in the Afghanistan/Pakistan/China border region and inside China itself.

“Anybody that is an enemy of Afghanistan, we’re going to target them,” Brigadier General Lance Bunch told the The Washington Post, also announcing that “[w]e’ve got new authorities now that allow us to be able to . . . target the Taliban and the ETIM where they previously thought they were safe.”

Why then was the government suddenly insisting that ETIM/TIP did not exist? And who is this shadowy organization?

Who are the ETIM/TIP?

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement is a jihadist group led since 2003 by Abdul Haq al-Turkistani, a Xinjiang-born Uyghur. Its goal is to set up a Muslim-only ethnostate (East Turkestan) in Xinjiang. A dry and mountainous region at the western edge of China, Xinjiang is about the size of Alaska and is home to around 25 million people.

“This land is for Muslims alone,” Haq explains in an al-Qaeda PR film; “the mere presence of the disbelievers on this land should be a sufficient reason for Muslims to set out for jihad.” ETIM is still considered a terrorist organization by the United NationsEuropean UnionUnited Kingdom, and Russia, among others.

Unsurprisingly, the Chinese government also classifies it as such. When asked for comment, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told MintPress that “ETIM has long been engaging in terrorist and violent activities, causing heavy casualties and property losses, and posing serious threats to security and stability in China, the region and beyond.” Wenbin also criticized the U.S. “flip flop” on ETIM, something that, in his words, “once again exposes the current U.S. administration’s double standard on counter-terrorism and its repulsive practice of condoning terrorist groups as it sees fit.” MintPress also reached out to a range of Uyghur organizations for comment, but all declined to do so.

Some of the most high-profile of these attacks inside China, cited by Wenbin, were ETIM’s attempts to sabotage the 2008 Beijing Olympics by carrying out bomb attacks on host cities. Just before the games, ETIM released a video featuring a burning Olympic flag and warning all Muslims to stay away from the venues. There has also been a string of deadly attacks attributed to ETIM in which terrorists drive vehicles into crowds of pedestrians then proceed to carry out stabbing rampages.

In 2009, tensions between Uyghurs and ethnic Han Chinese spilled over into deadly riots in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, where nearly 200 people, mostly Han, were killed. As a result of the unrest, Beijing ordered a massive increase in surveillance and security across the region, flooding the province with cameras, armed police, and spies. To this day, it retains an extremely high-security presence.

Of course, the large majority of those killed by ETIM around the world have been non-Salafist Muslims, and considering ETIM to be representatives of the Uyghur population as a whole would be extremely misleading. In fact, the Uyghurs of Xinjiang have been caught in the crossfire between the ETIM and the Chinese government. To this day, the Afghan government also considers the group to be a serious threat to peace and security in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda, Taliban ties, Chinese target

ETIM units have trained and fought in what seems like virtually every single conflict involving Muslims over the past 20 years, but always with an eye to bringing their skills back home. A 2017 Associated Press exclusive titled “Uyghurs fighting in Syria take aim at China” found that at least 5,000 Xinjiang Uyghurs had traveled to Syria to train and fight alongside both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. “We didn’t care how the fighting went or who Assad was,” one ETIM fighter told the AP; “We just wanted to learn how to use the weapons and then go back to China.” For many, Beijing’s crackdown on civil liberties in the wake of the Urumqi riots was the catalyst. “We’ll avenge our relatives being tortured in Chinese jail,” another fighter told the AP. A 2015 New York Times report also notes that one Chinese Muslim had been trained in Libya before going to Syria to fight against government forces.

The United Nations states that ETIM “has maintained close ties with the Taliban, Al-Qaida and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.” Indeed, since 2005, ETIM leader Haq has been a member of al-Qaeda’s council of elders, a group of about two dozen individuals who control the organization’s direction. The UN notes that the ETIM’s major source of funding was Osama Bin Laden himself, who directly employed and paid Haq.

“The organization is clearly a part of al-Qaeda’s network — there is no real question about this fact. Al-Qaeda doesn’t hide its sponsorship of the TIP [ETIM]. And the TIP [ETIM] doesn’t hide its allegiance to al-Qaeda,” wrote Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, a hawkish think tank located in Washington. “But the Chinese Communist Party’s detestable policies in Xinjiang have led some democracy and human rights activists to downplay or dismiss the TIP’s overt jihadism,” he added.

In 2002, U.S. forces captured and detained 22 Uyghur militants at an ETIM camp in Afghanistan. They were sent to Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and were accused of traveling from China to join the ETIM jihad, something many admitted to. However, all insisted that they were uninterested in harming the United States and instead saw China as their major enemy. Considering them no direct threat to itself, the United States began releasing them to third countries and by 2013 all had been freed.

Uighur Syria
A Uyghur fighter in Syria affiliated with ETIM is shown in an al-Qaeda propaganda video

The training camp was located in the Tora Bora Mountains of Afghanistan and run by Haq himself. U.S. intelligence actually concluded that many of the trainees acted as a “blocking force” for Bin Laden in 2001, when American forces came very close to capturing him. This allowed him to evade the U.S. for a further ten years. The U.S. carried out an assassination attempt on Haq in 2010, with media reporting that he had been killed by an unmanned drone. However, he was merely seriously injured and escaped with his life.

The State Department designated the ETIM as a terrorist group, adding them to its list in September 2002. At that point, the Bush administration had declared a war on terror, was battling the Taliban in Afghanistan and was about to invade Iraq. Furthermore, relations with China were good at the time and the Bush administration wished to secure Chinese co-operation or at least dampen Chinese resistance to its campaigns.

“Designating ETIM/TIP as a terrorist organization does seem appropriate,” Daniel Dumbrill — a Canadian YouTuber currently in Xinjiang, and an outspoken critic of U.S. policy towards China — told MintPress, adding:

I don’t believe they suddenly and abruptly cease to exist and I don’t believe the U.S. government believes this either. Even if they did, the Tamil Tigers have been inactive for over 10 years since their defeat, but they remain on the U.S. government list of terrorist organizations. Therefore, it doesn’t seem like clearing off inactive terror groups has ever been a matter of priority. There is of course, I believe, an ulterior motive to [their removal from the terrorist list].”

A fight for global supremacy

Today, however, relations with China have definitely soured. The country’s rapid economic rise has alarmed and preoccupied many planners in the West, who now see China as America’s “unparalleled priority” for the 21st century. President Trump placed sanctions on the country and attempted to block the growth of Chinese tech companies like Huawei, TikTok, and Xiaomi. Along with the trade war has come a war of words, with top brass in Washington suggesting that the new Cold War with Beijing will be less about tanks and missiles and more “kicking each other under the table.” Others have advised that the U.S. should wage a widespread culture war, including commissioning what they call “Taiwanese Tom Clancy novels” meant to demonize and demoralize China.

The prospect of a hot war cannot be overlooked, however. And U.S. actions are making the threat all the more likely. In 2013, the Obama administration announced a “Pivot to Asia,” meaning a draw-down from the Middle East and an escalation of tensions in the Pacific. Today, over 400 American military bases encircle China. American ships and aircraft continue to probe the Chinese coastline, testing their defenses. In July, U.S.S. Rafael Peralta sailed within 41 nautical miles of the coastal megacity of Shanghai. Earlier this year, the head of Strategic Command stated that there was a “very real possibility” of war against Beijing in the near future.

Uyghur repression

It is in this context that the United States has begun to denounce China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority. Xinjiang has been under serious security measures for more than a decade, and the internment of Uyghurs has been going on since at least 2014. Yet the U.S. was largely silent about their treatment until recently. Today, the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) accuses China of imprisoning between one and three million Uyghur Muslims, describing it as a genocide. The NED has given nearly $9 million to Uyghur groups and has condemned what it sees as a “deafening silence in the Muslim world” about their plight.

Amnesty International has largely agreed, labeling what China calls re-education facilities, meant to deradicalize the population, as “detention camps for torture and brainwashing of anyone suspected of disloyalty.” Uyghurs have alleged that they have been forcibly sterilized, that their places of worship have been demolished, and that they were made to eat pork and separated from their families while interned.

Others have rejected this interpretation. Economist Jeffrey Sachs, head of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, recently wrote:

There are credible charges of human rights abuses against Uyghurs, but those do not per se constitute genocide. And we must understand the context of the Chinese crackdown in Xinjiang, which had essentially the same motivation as America’s foray into the Middle East and Central Asia after the September 2001 attacks: to stop the terrorism of militant Islamic groups.”

Dumbrill seemed to agree, noting that many Uyghurs in Xinjiang see the extremist jihadists as their primary worry, not government forces, of whom some Uyghurs speak fondly. “The police presence aside, people lead fairly ordinary lives here with the same kinds of hopes and dreams that people anywhere else would have as well,” he told MintPress, criticizing the foreign coverage.

Wenbin was, unsurprisingly, even more dismissive of the charges. “Western politicians and media are frantically spreading lies on Xinjiang,” he said, adding that “the allegation of ‘genocide’ is more than preposterous.”

The politics of terror

At the same time as it was delisting the East Turkestan Islamic Movement for apparently not existing, the Trump administration added Cuba to its list of state sponsors of terror. Without a hint of irony, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to the island’s “malign interference in Venezuela and the rest of the Western Hemisphere” as the reason for the designation. A report released last month by the Department of Health and Human Services outlined what such malign influence was: offering doctors and other medical teams to other needy countries during a global pandemic.

Yet the politics of the terror list has always been highly suspect. In an attempt to dampen worldwide support for his cause and shore up the Apartheid government, the Reagan administration placed South African leader Nelson Mandela on the terrorist list in 1988. Mandela was not pulled off it until 2008 — 14 years after he became president.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration also recently removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terror, in what was an openly transactional event. Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel and give the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars. As usual, Trump was unable not to say the quiet part out loud: “GREAT news! New government of Sudan, which is making great progress, agreed to pay $335 MILLION to U.S. terror victims and families. Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan,” he tweeted.

Ultimately, the drastic change in U.S. policy on the ETIM has nothing to do with the movement itself — which remains the same jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban — but rather to a changing American stance towards China. For years, the U.S. ignored human rights issues in Xinjiang, as China was seen as a useful workshop for American capitalism. But the PRC’s rapid rise has frightened many in Washington; hence the sudden fascination with the plight of the Uyghurs. The designation of the ETIM as a terrorist group was likely seen as getting in the way of longstanding U.S. attempts to provoke unrest in China. With China now in the crosshairs, the group has moved from being an adversary to being a potential asset. It appears that the government decided that insisting they no longer exist was an easier sell than pretending they are no longer a terrorist group.

While the change in status might seem inconsequential, it could be a harbinger of a dangerous future. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement was placed on the list because of the War on Terror. Now it has been taken off because of the coming war on China.

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

April 28, 2021

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

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

We have available video in Russian and transcript in English.

Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dmitry Kiselev: And what if they refuse?

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

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

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

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

Dmitry Kiselev: Yes, inside this country.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sergey Lavrov: It so happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dmitry Kiselev: Working on what?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dmitry Kiselev: Can this movement be formalised by membership?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

False Flag Weekly News Censored by Youtube…for Attacking Censorship!

WATCH FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS 

By Kevin BarrettVeterans Today Editor

FROM MY FORTHCOMING ARTICLE FOR AMERICAN FREE PRESS:

The problem of censors who don’t know fact from opinion struck home this Sunday when YouTube froze my channel for two weeks due to two strikes for what they call “medical misinformation.” My weekly news roundup show False Flag Weekly News has covered a wide range of medical and scientific experts’ views about COVID-19 related issues, including the safety and efficacy of vaccines. YouTube’s censors apparently didn’t like some of those views. They explained: “YouTube doesn’t allow claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).”

On the show, I made no such claims. Instead I simply reported on the claims that various experts had made, without endorsing any of them. In fact, I was quite skeptical towards many of the alarmist claims of anti-vaccine scientists.

The fact that scientific experts like Geert Vanden Bossche, Mike YeadonReiner Fuellmich, and Sucharit Bhakdi are saying alarming things about COVID vaccines is…well, a fact, and a newsworthy one. The draconian censorship of such facts, and of the experts’ interpretations, suggests very strongly that the elites pushing the COVID party line have something to hide.

TRANSCRIPT OF THE OPENING OF THE CENSORED EPISODE:

FFWN_210424-audio.m4a

Kevin Barrett: Welcome to False Flag Weekly News, the weekly news show where we question everything, especially public myths of the kind described by Philip Zelikow. I’m Kevin Barrett with Lucy Morgan Edwards this week. Welcome back, Lucy. Great to have you.

Lucy Morgan Edwards: Good to be back, Kevin.

Kevin Barrett: All right. So you’re the author of The Afghan Solution. You were a political adviser to the E.U. in Kabul, Afghanistan. And we will get to some some Afghan stories as we continue. But first, the obligatory disclaimers. Let’s let’s read those disclaimers. OK, first, this could be very disturbing to people who feel an emotional attachment to conventional wisdom as expressed in the mainstream media or from the mouths of politicians. So if you can’t handle questioning that stuff change the channel. Also, we are not a medical advice outfit. I am a doctor of literature, not medicine. So if I tell you to take three pills and call me in the morning, tell me to shove off. So we’re doing political commentary and analysis here, not medicine. No medical advice, no medical information, misinformation, nothing like that. All right. Here we are with our lead story: Philip Zelikow, the self-described expert in the creation and maintenance of public myths, who operates out of the University of Virginia. He not only wrote the script for 9/11 — or many people suspect as much — and then was called on to turn it into a bestselling novel called the 9/11 Commission report. He not only controlled that investigation completely, he wrote the entire report in chapter by chapter outline before the Commission even convened, and he probably wrote it from the script for the actual event that he co-wrote before 9/11. But now here he is back doing the same thing with COVID-19. He’s setting up what he hopes will become a COVID-19 Commission to tell the official public myth of COVID-19c. Lucy, would you say that this guy has chutzpah or something which requires a more obscene expression?

Lucy Morgan Edwards: Well, he surely does. There’s a comment from another academic colleague that that his appointment to do this is a rare public admission that this COVID project is set to run into the long term, maybe for the next 20 years, in the same way that the war on terror has run based on his his myth that has, of course, underpinned it.

Kevin Barrett: And so Zelikow says that “this is the greatest crisis suffered by America, if not the world, since 1945. Scholars and journalists will do their jobs. But there is also a role for the kind of massive investigation and research effort that only a large scale commission can provide.” So here comes the National COVID Commission, chaired by Philip Zelikow. I can’t even imagine what that big lie is going to sound like.

Lucy Morgan Edwards: And together with the censorship from mainstream media, that is becoming increasingly prevalent, that will be the official narrative. And we’re all going to have to follow it because we’re going to be canceled or censored if we don’t, doubtless.

Kevin Barrett: And he’s using a war metaphor, just like he did with the “war on terror” that was scripted before they blew up the Twin Towers and flew remote controlled airplanes into targets and stuff like that. So now apparently he’s saying this is a war, too. He says we have to win the war globally, not just nationally. It’s a world war. So once again, a war metaphor — against a virus.

Lucy Morgan Edwards: OK, so I feel that this is a clue that the same group that were behind 9/11 are behind the current situation. Rolling him out is a huge, clear clue.

Kevin Barrett: They’re not even trying to hide it. They’re actually basically telling us what they’re doing. And there’s a whole theory that Satanists have some kind of metaphysical duty to tell their dupes what they’re doing, because then the bad karma is on the dupes instead of on them. I don’t know if that’s true, but sometimes they act like it.

Lucy Morgan Edwards: That’s the modus operandi, isn’t it?

Kevin Barrett: Indeed. OK, let’s get into our “vaxxed” news. Let’s see…So Alan didn’t flash the the medical advice disclaimer. I can’t believe it. He Usually flashes it about every third story that has anything to do with COVID. OK, so here’s our nonmedical advice about Biden and his two hundred million COVID-19 vaccinations. He said his goal was 100 million. And they’ve shot Americans two hundred million times so far. Half of Americans now have been shot, and they’re still walking around. They’re still alive. And I hope that they will be for a while. Allen, our producer, of course, is a vaccine enthusiast and he’s still doing just fine. So, Lucy, your take on Biden’s heroic triumphalism around his two hundred million shots?

Lucy Morgan Edwards: Well, I mean, who knows if those figures are correct? I’m not sure what they’re based on. It does say in the piece that the government’s planning to incentivize people to take the vaccinations with bonuses, paid leave, gift cards and so on, so that they’re obviously going all in and are very keen to get everyone vaxxed. One could also say, why don’t they get rid of McDonald’s, given that most people die of obesity? So that raises more questions about what’s really going on with these so-called vaccinations, which some people, some eminent epidemiologists, are saying aren’t vaccines at all because they haven’t been fully tested while we’re in the third stage trial, which people are unaware of. And some are actually raising questions as to whether these really are actually vaccinations or just injections of something else.

Kevin Barrett: Oh, but you’re not allowed to say things like that. “That’s medical misinformation!” No, it’s not, because we’re not giving medical advice. We’re simply speculating. (And reporting what others have said.)

So in our next story, we see that the censorship axe is coming down with unprecedented ferocity on anybody who expresses any opinions on any of this stuff that deviate one iota from the official party line as created by the WHO and Faucci and Bill Gates and all their friends. And here’s Senator Klobuchar telling us that they’ve got to start seriously censoring the vaccine skeptics, the super-spreaders of misinformation. So if you express an unorthodox opinion now, you’re the equivalent of somebody who’s killing people by spreading an evil virus. And in this climate…The problem with this, it seems to me, Lucy, is that how can we believe the Orthodox party line when anybody who expresses anything else is axed and destroyed and censored and suppressed? There’s no robust free debate. And so God knows how many experts are out there (who dissent but are afraid to go public.)

Lucy Morgan Edwards: In the UK, it’s worse than that. So they’re going to be seeking to criminalize anyone who expresses opinions that don’t conform to the big tech big pharma view of COVID and what’s going on. There was a very good piece yesterday on UK Column News that went through the development of this increasing censorship and deplatforming. And the drive by the British government just to shut down any alternative viewpoints, any discussion, any academic discussion and so on, and that started really with David Cameron’s speech to the U.N., I think it was in 2013, where he laid out really what they were going to do, and the the non-tolerance for any alternative viewpoints. It was it was a real whoring of his position, actually. I felt it was absolutely disgraceful speech. And of course, the British government operates through Ofcom, which is a quasi governmental organisation, which is pretty totalitarian and is involved in the development of 5G and holds licenses and is therefore profiting from the development of 5G, which they’re, of course, trying to put in in tandem with all of this censorship that’s going on in order to suck up our data and surveil us increasingly.

Kevin Barrett: And so who knows how many experts are out there who actually agree with the skeptics but are afraid to say anything because they’re afraid that they’ll be deplatformed or fired or have their careers or reputations ruined. And that means it’s very hard for us to know what the truth is because it could easily be the majority of the experts that deviate from the party line in the privacy of their own minds, but are afraid to say anything. So in this kind of atmosphere of ferocious, hysterical censorship, it’s impossible to get at the truth. And so anybody who wants to genuinely convince us that the Orthodox line is correct should not be doing this! They should be encouraging free and fearless debate. And then we’ll see how many experts really think this and how many experts really think that. But as it stands right now, we can’t possibly know.

BIOGRAPHYKevin BarrettDr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

He is host of TRUTH JIHAD RADIO; a hard driving weekly radio show funded by listener donations at Patreon.com and FALSE FLAG WEEKLY NEWS (FFWN); a audio-video show produced by Tony Hall, Allan Reese, and Kevin himself. FFWN is funded through FundRazr.

He also has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin; where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.http://www.truthjihad.comtruthjihad@gmail.com

Who Wags the Dog? Israel’s Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle East

Who Wags the Dog? Israel's Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle  East - Islam Times
Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi April 22, 2021

Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby.

Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States in 2016, may have won due to voters attracted by his pledge to end many of the “stupid” wars that the American military was involved in worldwide. In the event, however, he ended no wars in spite of several attempts to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and almost started new conflicts with cruise missile attacks and the assassination of an Iranian general. Trump was consistently outmaneuvered by his “experts” on the National Security Council and at the Pentagon, who insisted that it was too early to disengage from the Middle East and Central Asia, that America’s own national security would be threatened.

Trump did not have either the experience or the grit necessary to override his generals and national security team, so he deferred to their judgement. And as has been well documented he was under constant pressure to do Israel’s bidding in the region, which mandated a continued substantial US military presence to protect the Jewish state and to provide cover for the regular attacks staged by the Israelis against several of their neighbors. Motivated by the substantial political donations coming from multi-billionaires like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Trump conceded more to Israel than any previous president, recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital as well as Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights while also giving the green light to settlement expansion and eventual incorporation of all of the occupied West Bank into Greater Israel.

President Joe Biden has already indicated that he will if anything out-do Trump when it comes to favoring America’s persistent “ally” and “best friend” in the Middle East. Biden, who has declared himself to be a “Zionist,” is responding to the same lobbying and media power that Israel’s friends are able to assert over any US national government. In addition, his own Democratic Party in Congress is also the home of most of the federal government’s genuine Zionists, namely the numerous mostly Jewish legislators who have long dedicated themselves to advancing Israeli interests. Finally, Biden has chosen to surround himself with large numbers of Jewish appointed officials as his foreign policy and national security team, many of whom have close and enduring personal ties to Israel, to include service in the Israeli Army.

The new Secretary of Defense, former Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin has recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he confirmed one’s worst fears about the direction the Biden Administration is moving in. It was a first visit to Israel by a Biden Administration cabinet member. Austin met with his counterpart Benny Gantz and also with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom warned him that Israel considered renewal of any nuclear arms limitation agreement with Iran to be a threat, only delaying development of a weapon. As Bibi expressed it, “Iran has never given up its quest for nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. I will never allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of eliminating Israel.”

Austin responded by the usual two-step avoiding Israel’s expressed concerns, which might be considered a threat of an Israeli veto on Biden’s attempt to revert to the original 2015 JCPOA multilateral pact. He said that the Biden administration would continue to guarantee Israel’s “qualitative military edge” as an element in America’s “strong commitment to Israel and the Israeli people,” adding that “our bilateral relationship with Israel in particular is central to regional stability and security in the Middle East. During our meeting I reaffirmed to Minister Gantz our commitment to Israel is enduring and it is ironclad.”

Wrong answer general. The foreign policy of any country should be based on actual interests, not on political donations and effective lobbying, still less on what one reads in the Zionist mainstream media in the US. Netanyahu has stated that the Iran agreement is “fatally flawed” and has said recently that “History has taught us that deals like this, with extremist regimes like this, are worth nothing.” Israel, which uniquely has a secret nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, is one of the world’s leading violators of attempts to limit nuclear proliferation. It is also destabilizing to the entire Middle East region, an apartheid state – not a democracy – and its government is widely regarded as right-wing extremist. That Netanyahu should feel somehow empowered to talk down to the Iranians, and to the US, remains a mystery.

Beyond what goes on between Washington and Jerusalem, the real center of power, the Israel Lobby, consists of a large number of separate organizations that act collectively to advance Israeli interests. There is considerable corruption in the process, with cooperative congressmen being rewarded while those who resist are targeted for replacement. Much of the legwork on subverting Capitol Hill and the White House is done by foundations, which often pretend to be educational to obtain tax exempt status. “Experts” from the various pro-Israel groups are then seeded into the decision-making process of the federal government, serving as gatekeepers to prevent consideration of any legislation that might be objected to by Netanyahu.

One of the most active lobbying groups is the so-called Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) which is in fact closely tied to and takes direction from the Israeli Embassy in Washington. FDD is particularly focused on going to war with Iran and whenever there are discussions on Iran policy on Capitol Hill one can be sure that an FDD expert will be present and active.

And if you really want to know why America’s foreign policy has been so self-destructive, it has recently been learned that FDD was actually able to insert one of its employees into the National Security Council under Donald Trump. According to a report on Bloomberg, Richard Goldberg, an outspoken anti-Iran hawk and former associate of John Bolton, is leaving the council and would be returning “to [the Foundation for Defense of Democracies], which continued to pay his salary during his time on the National Security Council.”

The NSC exists to provide the president with the best possible intelligence and analysis available for dealing with problem areas, something that Goldberg, due to his conflict of interest, would have been unlikely to provide, particularly as he was still on the FDD payroll and was also being given generous travel expenses while working for the government. Whether he was also being paid by the NSC, which is referred to as “double dipping,” is not known. In any event, there is something very wrong about the appointment of a paid partisan who seeks war with a particular country to a vital national security position where objectivity is an imperative. Ned Price, former special assistant to President Obama on national security, commented “…we now know a White House point person on Iran policy was receiving a salary from and remained employed by an organization that has put forward some of the most extreme and dangerous pro-regime change policies.”

So Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel itself and its demonic prime minister on one side and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby on the other. Unfortunately, one cannot expect the United States to get out from under the Israeli thumb no matter whom is elected president.

أمريكا في اللحظة السوفيتية America in the Soviet Moment

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

أمريكا في اللحظة السوفيتية

فاضل الربيعي يكتب أمريكا دخلت اللحظة السوفيتية :: الأنباط
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فاضل الربيعي

القليلونَ فقط -من المحلّلينَ والمتابعينَ- مَنْ يتذكّر اليوم، ما حدثَ في الماضي القريب، عندما شَهِدَ العالمُ ما يمكنُ تسميتهُ بـ(اللّحظةِ السّوفيتيّةِ عام 1989-1990) آنذاك كانَ الرئيسُ السّوفياتيّ بوريس يلتسين يترنّحُ من السّكرِ في اللّقاءاتِ الرسميّة، ومعه كانَ الاتّحادُ السّوفياتيّ يترنّحُ دونَ سكرٍ،و كان يلتسن زعيماً كحوليّاً وفاسداً ومُثيراً للسخريةِ، والعالم كلّهُ آنذاك سَخِرَ منهَ ومن بلاده، ومثل عملاقٍ بقدمين من طين، انهارَ الاتّحادُ السوفياتيّ العظيم فجأةً في لحظةٍ ماجنةٍ، حينَ وقعَ انقلابٌ عسكريٌّ انتهى بتفكّكه. ترنّحَ العملاقُ وسقطَ فجأةً وسطَ ذهولِ العالم

 . اليوم، تبدو الولاياتُ المتّحدةُ الأمريكيّةُ، وكأنّها دخلت (اللّحظةَ السّوفيتيّة) ذاتها، فثمّة زعيمٌ يترنح، وبلدٌ عملاقٌ يتصدّعُ بطريقةٍ مفضوحةٍ. ترامب الأمريكيّ من هذا المنظور يُكرّرُ صورةَ يلتسن السّوفياتيّ، ولكنْ بدلاً من أنْ يبدوَ ترامب سكّيراً، سيبدوُ مُهرِّجاً.. ماذا يعني هذا؟ يعني هذا ببساطة، أنَّ العالمَ دخلَ من جديد في حالةِ سيولة سبقَ وأنْ دخلَها مع انهيارِ الاتّحادِ السّوفياتيّ، بيد أنَّ العالمَ مع ذلكَ يُعيدُ تشكيلَ نفسهِ كمادّةٍ صلبةٍ من جديد، لأنّهُ يُغادرُ عصراً ويدخلُ عصراً جديداً. بكلامٍ موازٍ؛ دونالد ترامب الأمريكيّ هو بوريس يلتسن السّوفياتيّ، وهما معاً منْ يصنعا اللّحظة ذاتها. كِلاهما جاءَ للقيامِ بالواجبِ المطلوبِ منه. تفكيكُ البلد القديم ببنائِهِ المُتهالِكِ وجدرانِهِ المُتصدّعة. أحدهما اختارَ شخصيّة (السكّير) والآخر اختارَ شخصيّةَ (المهرّج)، إنّها حفلةُ إعادةِ بناءِ العالمِ من جديد، وعلى القادةِ

في عام 1987 نشر المستقبليّ الأمريكيّ آليفين توفلر ثلاثةُ كتبٍ هي الأشهرُ بين كتبه (الموجةُ الثالثةُ وخرائطُ العالمِ وتوزيع/ تشظّي السُّلطة .

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في الكتاب الأول، تنبأَ توفلر بانهيارِ الاتّحادِ السوفياتيّ في غضونِ بضعِ سنوات، وهذا ما تحقّقَ بشكلٍ مُذهل، فبعدَ بضعِ سنواتٍ بالفعلِ من صدورِ الكتابِ سقطَ العملاقُ ذو القدمين الطّينيتّين.

في هذا الوقتِ، وحين صدرَ كتاب توفلر، كنتُ أعيشُ مع أُسرتي في بلغرد (يوغسلافيا)، وصادفَ أنّني ومجموعةٌ من الشّبابِ الفلسطينيّينَ قرّرنا القيام برحلةٍ سريعةٍ لرومانيا المجاورة، في بوخارست – رومانيا، تحدثتُ مع الملحقِ الثّقافيّ في السّفارةِ الفلسطينيّة، فقال لي إنّهُ عَلِمَ من أصدقاءَ لهُ في قيادةِ الحزبِ الشّيوعيّ الرومانيّ أنَّ الرئيسَ شاوشيسكو طلبَ ترجمة كتابِ توفلر، ثمّ وزّعَ بنفسِهِ عشر نسخٍ منه فقط على أعضاءِ في المكتبِ السياسيّ للحزبِ الشّيوعيّ الرّومانيّ، وكان شاوشيسكو مرعوباً ممّا يجري في العالم، وأيقنَ أنَّ هذه النبوءةَ ليست مجرّدَ نبوءة.


حينَ عدتُ إلى بلغراد دعوتُ إلى منزلي رفاقاً لي من الحزبِ الشّيوعيّ اليوغسلافيّ، كنّا نسهرُ معاً باستمرار، فجاءَ ثلاثةٌ منهم فقط مع زوجاتِهم، وكنتُ أُلاحظُ أنَّ زوجاتِ رفاقي اليوغسلاف كُنَّ حزيناتٍ وهنَّ يُحدثنَ زوجتي عن (تنظيفِ البنادق). انتبهتُ إلى سياقِ الحديثِ لكنّني لمْ أفهم النقاشَ بدقّةٍ، ولذا بادرتُ إلى طرحِ السّؤالِ الآتي الذي كان يلحُ عليّ: “هل بدأتم حقاً بتنظيفِ (البواريد)؟ هذا يعني أنَّ يوغسلافيا تتّجهُ نحو الحربِ؟”، ثم سألتهم: “والآن قولوا لي ما الذي جاءَ من أجلهِ غورباتشوف اليوم، لقد رأيتُ في التلفزيون أنّهُ جاءَ لزيارةِ الرئيسِ اليوغسلافيّ (الشهيد) ميلوسوفيتش، لكنّه غادرَ بعدَ ساعةٍ واحدةٍ فقط، وكان مُتجهِماً وبدا عليهِ الانزعاجُ، ما الذي يحدث؟” فقال لي أحدهم: اسمع يارفيق، جاءَ غورباتشوف اليوم برسالةٍ من الأمريكيّينَ مفادُها الآتي: سيّد سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش فكّكَ يوغسلافيا بهدوءٍ أو سنأتي لتفكيكِها بالقوّة، وأذكرُ أنّني في اليوم التالي، كنتُ ضمن المتظاهرينَ في شارعِ تيتو -في قلبِ بغراد- حينَ ذهينا إلى البرلمانِ نُحيّي الرئيسَ (الشهيد) سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش الذي قالَ وهو يُخاطبُنا: سأموتُ دِفعاً عن يوغسلافيا موحّدة، سأقاتلُ إلى النهاية. كان الأمريكيونَ يريدونَ منه تفكيكَ يوغسلافيا إلى (فيدراليّات) وليس تحويلَ يوغسلافيا إلى دولةٍ فيدراليّة؛ أي كانوا يخطّطونَ لتمزيقِها، وكان رسولُهم غورباتشوف هو الدّمية التي تحكّمَ بها السكّير بوريس يلتسن.

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في هذهِ اللّحظة، وحين كانَ غورباتشوف يقومُ بتفكيكِ الاتّحادِ السوفياتيّ، تمّ تدبيرُ (الثورةِ الأمريكيّة) ضدّ شاوشيسكو التي انتهت بقتلِهِ بطريقةٍ بَشِعةٍ، وفي يومِ مصرعِ الرئيسِ الشّهيد شاوشيسكو الذي يُوصَفُ ظلماً بالمجرمِ والقاتل –وياللمفارقة- كانت بوخارست تعلنُ رسميّاً أنّها بلدٌ (دون ديونٍ خارجيّة)؛ أي صفر ديون.

في هذه اللّحظةِ السوفيتيّة المأسويّة، كانَ صدّام حسين يدخلُ الكويتَ، وكثيرونَ يعتقدونَ حتّى اليوم أنَّ الرجلَ الأحمقَ تصرّفَ بحماقةٍ وحسب، وبرأييّ؛ الأمرُ كان مُختلفاً، فكان العراقُ يُدركُ أنَّ خرائطَ العالم التي تَنبّأَ بها توفلر وُضِعَت قيد التطبيق، ولذا حاولَ صدّام حسين العبثَ بالخرائطِ، وكان أوّل ما فعلهُ أنْ جعلَ الكويتَ (محافظةً عراقيّةً)، وكانت المعادلةُ بالنسبةِ لبلدٍ طرفيٍّ صغير من بلدانِ العالمِ الثّالث، وهو يراقبُ تفكّك الإمبراطوريّاتِ والدولِ على النحو الآتي: ما دامَ الأمريكيّونَ سيعبثونَ بخرائطِ العالم، فعلى العالمِ أنْ يعبثَ بخرائطِ أمريكا. لمْ يكن صدّام حسين مجرّد أحمقٍ وحسب، هذه صورةٌ نمطيّةٌ مُزعِجةٌ ولا قيمةَ لها في أيّ تحليلٍ علميّ، وفي النهايةِ هو رئيسُ دولةٍ إقليميّةٍ مهمّةٍ كانَ لديها ما يكفي من المعطياتِ عمّا يجري في العالم، ومهما يكن، وأيّاً يكن (ما إذا كانَ غزو الكويت حماقةً أمْ لا) فليسَ هذا الأمرُ المهمُّ في هذا التحليل، المهمُّ أنْ نلاحظَ هذا الجو الدوليّ الذي بدأَ بالتشكّل.


وهكذا، وقُبيلَ احتلالِ العراقِ (مارس/ آذار 2003) بثلاثةِ أشهرٍ تقريباً، وحينَ مضى أكثرُ من عقدٍ من الزّمنِ على انهيارِ العالمِ القديم، وحينَ كنتُ أعيشُ مع أُسرتي في هولندا، ذهبتُ إلى بغدادَ بدعوةٍ من وزيرِ الخارجيِةِ المرحوم طارق عزيز، بالنسبةِ لي كانَ الأُستاذ طارق عزيز -رحمه الله- صديقاً، وكنتُ أعرفهُ منذُ وقتٍ طويل، وفي بغداد التي عُدتُ إليها من المنفى بعد نحو 30 عاماً -كمعارضٍ- التقيتُ السيّدَ عزة الدوري (عزة إبراهيم نائبُ الرئيسِ صدّام حسين). وسالتُه خلالَ لقاءٍ استمرَّ لساعاتٍ، (ما أرويه –هنا- هو تاريخٌ، وللجميعِ الحقّ في اتّخاذِ أيّ موقف، لكن يجبُ احترامُ الواقعةِ التي أرويها لأنّني أكتبُ بموضوعيّةٍ وللتاريخ).

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مالذي يريدهُ الأمريكيّونَ منكم، أعني ما الذي طلبوهُ منكم بالضبط؟ لماذا هذا الإلحاحُ على إسقاطِ النظامِ في بغدادَ، رجاء قلْ لي ماذا طلبَ الأمريكيّونَ منكم؟ فقالَ لي حرفيّاً ما يأتي (وباللّهجةِ العراقية):

– يا رفيق.. طلبوا منّا شيئاً قُلنا لهم لا نقدر عليه. خذوهُ بالقوّة.

فقلتُ لهُ على الفور:

– شكراً لكَ.. فَهِمت ما طلبوهُ منكم، لقد طلبوا منكم ما طلبوهُ من بلغراد.

في الواقعِ طلبَ الأمريكيّونَ من صدّام حسين عام 1990 ما طلبوهُ من سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش عام 1987 (ثلاث سنوات فقط) : تفكيك يوغسلافيا/ تفكيك العراق. بعدَ عشرِ سنواتٍ من العِنادِ والحصارِ الرهيبِ جاءَ الأمريكيّونَ بأنفسِهم لتفيككِ العراق.

ما دامَ سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش لم يُفككّ يوغسلافيا بهدوء، فقدَ جاءَ الأمريكيّونَ بأنفسِهم وقاموا بتفكيكِها، تماماً كما حذّرَ غورباغتشوف، وحين امتنعَ صدّام حسين عن تنفيذِ ما طلبهُ الأمريكيّونَ جاؤوا بأنفسِهم، وكانت هناك (خرائط العالم) الجديدةِ التي تنبّأ بها آلفين توفلر.

الأمريكيّونَ كانوا يعرفونَ أنّهم سوفَ يتفكّكونَ كبلدٍ عملاق، بعدَ عقودٍ ثلاثةٍ أو أكثرَ قليلاً من تفكّكِ الاتّحادِ السّوفياتيّ، لكنّهم قرّروا أنّهم يجبُ أنْ يُفكّكوا العالمَ كلّه خلال 30 عاماً. 

سأُلخّصُ الفكرةَ الجوهريّةَ في كتبِ آلفين توفلر الثلاثة ولمن لا يعرف؛ فإن المؤلّفُ كانَ عاملاً في مصانعِ سيّاراتٍ من أصولٍ تروتسكية، لكنّهُ درسَ وأصبحَ أستاذاً جامعيّاً، ثمَّ انضمّ إلى فريقِ المستقبليّين، وهو فريقٌ متخصّصٌ مهمّته التنبؤ بالمستقبلِ. توفلر قالَ وداعاً للشيوعيّةِ وأصبحَ مُوالياً للرأسماليّةِ.

ببساطة، مرّت البشريّةُ -برأي توفلر- بثلاثِ موجاتٍ كُبرى، الزراعيّة قبلَ 10 آلاف عامٍ، ثمَّ الموجةُ الصناعيّةُ قبلَ بضعةِ قرون، والآن، يدخلُ العالمُ عصرَ الموجةِ الثالثة (ما بعدَ العصرِ الصناعيّ: عصرُ السّلعةِ النّاعمةِ، أي الـ Software). برأي توفلر، إنَّ العصرَ الصناعيّ انتهى واختفى ولمْ يَعُد لهُ وجود، حتى تعبير (لندن مدينةُ الضبابِ) اختفى؛ لأنَّ لندن لمْ تَعُد كما كانت في القرنِ التاسعِ عشر تستخدمُ الفحمَ في التدفئةِ، وبحيث تتشكّلُ سحابةٌ من الضبابِ في سمائِها، لقد اختفى عصرُ المداخنِ والمحتشداتِ العمّاليّة، والأيديولوجيّاتِ الثوريّة (الشّيوعيّة واليساريّةِ وثورات اللّاهوت الثوريّ في أمريكا اللّاتينيّة)، وفي هذا السّياق وكما اختفت النّازيّةُ، فسوفَ تختفي الصّهيونيّةُ بما هي نتاجُ هذا العصرِ، وكما تزولُ المصانعُ والمحتشدات ويتلاشى الدُّخانُ، ويحلُّ محلّها نمطٌ جديدٌ من إنتاجِ (السّلعِ الناعمةِ) فسوفَ تذهبُ هذه الأيديولوجيّاتِ هباءً مع الدُّخان، والعالمُ سينتقلُ بالفعلِ إلى عصرِ السّلعةِ الناعمةِ؛ أي أنّه سوفَ يتحوّلُ إلى وادي سيلكون.
 

ولذا، اختفى الاتّحادُ السّوفياتيّ من الوجود. 

لكنَّ آلفين توفلر أضافَ ما يأتي: انتبهوا، بعدَ خمسة وثلاثينَ أو أربعينَ عاماً سوفَ تختفي الولاياتُ المتّحدةُ الأمريكيّة أيضاً، فقط لأنَّ العصرَ الذي وُلِدَت فيه ووُلد فيه الاتّحاد السوفياتي قد تلاشى وجاءَ عصرٌ جديدٌ، سوفَ يتمزّقُ المجتمعُ الأمريكيّ بثوراتِ السّودِ/ الزنوجِ وطموحِ الولاياتِ الغنيّة، وفي هذا الكتابِ أيضاً، تنبّأ توفلر بـ(أيديولوجيّاتٍ جديدةٍ) سوفَ تحلُّ محلَّ إيديولوجيّاتِ العصرِ الصناعيّ، وفي خرائطِ العالمِ تنبّأ بأوروبا أُخرى غير التي نعرفها، سوف تختفي أوروبا الغربيّة التي نعرفها، هذه التي قالَ عنها وزيرُ الدّفاعِ الأمريكيّ رامسفيلد بعدَ أسبوعٍ فقط من احتلالِ العراقِ ومن العاصمةِ بغداد: “وداعاً أوروبا العجوز”.

أنباء غير مؤكدة عن وفاة وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم | الرجل

كثيرونَ لمْ يصدّقوا ما قالهُ وليد المعلّم أعظمُ وزيرِ خارجيّةٍ لسورية المُعاصرة، حين خاطبَ الصّحفيّينَ في مكتبةِ الأسد قبلَ أعوام: انسوا أوروبا، لقد شطبناها من الخريطةِ، هناك أوروبا جديدةٌ تولدُ هي أوروبا الشّرقيّة (الأرثوذكسيّة من بلغاريا حتّى اليونان). ولذا يحاولُ الناتو نشرَ أسلحتهُ في أراضيها بيأس، إنّها أوروبا الجديدة التي سوفَ تُلاقي روسيا الجديدة وأمريكا الجديدة (بعدَ عشرِ سنوات)، ولأنَّ الولاياتِ المتّحدةَ الأمريكيّةَ هي اليوم في اللّحظةِ السوفيتيّة، فهذا يعني أنَّ العالمَ دخلَ عصرَ (توريعِ السّلطةِ) أو تشظّي السُّلطة. 

في قلبِ هذه اللّحظةِ التاريخيّةِ أصبحت سورية مطبخَ العالمِ الجديد -ويا للأسف-؛ أيّ المكان الذي سوفَ تتقرّرُ فيه حصصُ وأحجامُ الدولِ. إنّها المكانُ الذي سوفَ يتمكّنُ فيه العالمُ من الانتقالِ النهائيّ من (حالةِ السيولةِ) إلى (حالةِ الصَّلابةِ).

لقد لَعِبَ بوريس يلتسن دورَهُ كسكّيرٍ ثمَّ سلّمَ الأمانةَ لبوتين، وترامب اليوم يلعبُ دورَهُ كمهرّجٍ قبلَ أنْ يُسلّمَ الأمانةَ لـ(بوتين أمريكيّ) يُعيدُ بناءَ أمريكا المُتهالِكة. في مزحةٍ عابرةٍ قال بوتين تعليقاً على قراراتِ ترامب “إنّهُ ينفّذُ ما تطلبهُ الآلة”. نعم، هناك (آلةٌ) تأمرُ الرئيسَ أنْ يبدوَ سكّيراً أو مُهرِّجاً، ولكن شرطَ أنْ ينفذَ، ليس مهمّاً ما هي هيئتهُ، سكّيراً يكونُ أو مهرّجاً، ليخترَ ما يشاء. المهمُ أنْ ينفّذَ.

في نبوءةِ توفل نقرأ الآتي: الولاياتُ المتّحدةُ الأمريكيّةُ على طريقِ الاتّحادِ السوفياتيّ سوف تختفي وتتفككّ، لكنّها سوفَ تَعودُ في شكلٍ آخرَ. عاملُ السيّاراتِ التروتسكي الذي أصبحَ من أنبياءِ أمريكا، لا ينطقُ عن هَوى، (إنْ هو إلّا وحيٌ يُوحى) كما في القرآن الكريم. إنّهُ مُتنبئ وليسَ نبيّاً، أي كاهنٌ في المؤسّسةِ الرأسماليّةِ التي تقبضُ على عنقِ العالمِ وقد خرجَ إلى الأسواِق ليتنبأَ مُحذِّراً أنَّ أمريكا دخلت اللّحظة السوفيتيّة، وسوفَ تنهارُ كما انهارَ الاتّحادِ السّوفياتيّ، وأنَّ المهرّجَ الأمريكيّ مثل السكّيرِ السّوفياتيّ يمكنُ أنْ يسقطَ في أيّ لحظةٍ وفجأةً. القوى العظمى كما قالَ ماو تسي تونغ ذاتَ يوم: عملاقٌ بقدمينِ من طين، وحين يترنّحُ العملاقُ في لحظةِ سكرٍ أو تهريجٍ لا فرقَ؛ فإنَّ القدمينِ الطّينيّين سوفَ تتداعيانِ وتتلاشى (المادّةُ الصمغيّة) اللّاصقةُ فيهما.

في مقالةٍ قادمةٍ سوفَ أروي لكم ما سمعتهُ من الرئيسِ بشار الأسد حين التقيتهُ مرتين وأهديتهُ نسخة من مؤلّفي الضّخم (فلسطين المُتخيّلة). 

الحربُ على سوريّةَ جرت على خلفيّةِ الطّلبِ نفسه:

فكّك بهدوءٍ أو نأتي لتفكيكِ سورية.

الأسد حين يتجوّلُ في الغوطةِ مع بدايةِ ربيعِ سورية؛ فإنّهُ يرسلُ رسالةً بليغةً:

أنا لا أترنّح.


America in the Soviet Moment

فاضل الربيعي يكتب أمريكا دخلت اللحظة السوفيتية :: الأنباط

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Fadel Al-Rubaie

Only a few analysts and followers remember today what happened in the recent past, when the world witnessed what might be called the Soviet moment of 1989-1990. The Soviet Union was reeling without sugar, Yeltsin was an alcoholic, corrupt and ridiculous leader, and the whole world at the time mocked him and his country, and like a giant with two feet of mud, the great Soviet Union collapsed at a crazy moment, when a military coup ended in its disintegration. The giant lurched and suddenly fell amidst the amazement of the world. Today, the United States of America seems to have entered the same (Soviet moment), a leader is reeling, and a giant country is cracking in a scandalous way. From this perspective, The American Trump repeats Yeltsin’s Soviet image, but instead of trump looking drunk, he will look like a clown. What does that mean? This simply means that the world has re-entered into a state of liquidity that had already entered it with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the world is nevertheless reshaping itself as a solid material, as it leaves an era and enters a new era. In parallel, Donald Trump is the Soviet Boris Yeltsin, and they are together making the same moment. They both came to do the duty required of him. Dismantling the old country with its dilapidated structure and cracked walls. One chose the character of the drunk and the other chose the character of the clown, it’s a party to rebuild the world again, and the leaders have to master/disguise in a specific form.

In 1987 the American futurist Alvin Toffler published three books, most famous among his books (The Third Wave, Maps of the World, and The Distribution / Fragment of Power.

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In the first book, Toffler predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union within a few years, and this was achieved in an amazing way. Indeed, a few years after the publication of the book, the two-footed giant had fallen.

At this time, when Tofler’s book was published, I was living with my family in Belgrade (Yugoslavia), and it happened that I and a group of Palestinian youth decided to make a quick trip to neighboring Romania, in Bucharest I spoke with the cultural attaché at the Palestinian embassy, and he told me that he had learned from friends in the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party said that President Ceausescu requested the translation of Toffler’s book, and then distributed only 10 copies of it to members of the Political Bureau of the Roman Communist Party, and Ceausescu was terrified of what was going on in the world, and knew that this prophecy was not just a prophecy.

When I got back to Belgrade, I invited my comrades from the Yugoslav Communist Party to my home. Only three of them came with their wives, and I noticed that the wives of my Yugoslav comrades were sad while they were talking to my wife about (cleaning the guns). I paid attention to the context of the conversation, but I did not understand the discussion precisely, and so I asked “Did you really start cleaning the guns? This means that Yugoslavia is heading towards war?” Then I asked them: “Now tell me what Gorbachev came for today, I saw on television that he came to visit Yugoslav President (martyr) Milosevic, but he left only an hour later, and he appeared to be upset, what is going on? ”

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One of them said to me:“ Listen, comrade. Gorbachev came today with a message from the Americans saying the following: Mister Slobodan Milosevic, dismantled Yugoslavia calmly, or we will come to dismantle it by force, and I remember that the next day, I was among the demonstrators on Tito Street – in the heart of Belgrade – when we went to parliament to salute President (martyr) Slobodan Milosevic, he said, “I will die in defense of a united Yugoslavia, I will fight to the end. The Americans wanted him to dismantle Yugoslavia into federalism, not to turn Yugoslavia into a federal state, i.e., they were planning to tear it apart, and their messenger Gorbachev was the puppet ruled by the drunk Boris Yeltsin.

At this moment, when Gorbachev was dismantling the Soviet Union, the (American Revolution) was orchestrated against Ceausescu, which ended in a gruesome manner, and on the day of the death of the martyr president Ceausescu, who was unjustly described as a criminal and murderer— And ironically – Bucharest was officially declaring that it was a country (without foreign debts); That is, zero debts.

At this tragic Soviet moment, Saddam Hussein was entering Kuwait, and many believe to this day that the foolish man only acted foolishly, and in my opinion, it was different, Iraq was aware that the maps of the world that Toffler had predicted had been put into practice, so Saddam Hussein tried to tamper with the maps, and the first thing he did was to make Kuwait (an Iraqi province), and the equation for him was: As long as the Americans tamper with the maps of the world, the world must tamper with the maps. USA. Saddam Hussein was not just a fool, this is a disturbing stereotype that has no value in any scientific analysis, and in the end he is the head of an important regional state who had enough information about what is going on in the world.

Thus, about three months before the occupation of Iraq (March 2003), and when more than a decade had passed since the collapse of the old world, and when I lived with my family in the Netherlands, I went to Baghdad at the invitation of the late Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, for me it was the professor. Tariq Aziz – may God have mercy on him – is a friend, and I have known him for a long time, and in Baghdad, to which I returned from exile after nearly 30 years – as an opponent – I met Mr. Azza al-Douri (Azza Ibrahim, Vice President Saddam Hussein). During a meeting that lasted for hours, I asked him, (What I am telling – here – is history, and everyone has the right to take any position, but the incident I tell must be respected because I write objectively and for history).

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What exactly do the Americans want from you? Why is this insistence on overthrowing the regime in Baghdad, please tell me what the Americans have asked of you? He “Comrade. They asked us for something that we told them that we cannot do. Take it by force.”

I said to him immediately:

– Thank you. I understand what they asked of you, they asked you what they asked Belgrade.

In fact, in 1990, the Americans asked Saddam Hussein for what they had asked Slobodan Milosevic in 1987 (before three years): to dismantle Iraq. After 10 years of stubbornness and terrible siege, the Americans themselves came to dismantle Iraq.

As long as Slobodan Milosevic did not quietly dismantle Yugoslavia, the Americans came themselves and dismantled it, just as Gorbachev warned, when Saddam Hussein refrained from doing what the Americans had asked for themselves, and there were new (world maps) predicted by Alvin Toffler. The Americans knew they would disintegrate as a giant country, three or a little more decades after the disintegration of the Soviet Union but decided that they should dismantle the whole world in 30 years.

I’ll sum up the core idea in Alvin Toffler’s three books and for those who don’t know; the author was a worker in Trotsky car factories, but studied and became a university professor, and then joined the Futures Team, a specialized team tasked with predicting the future. Toffler said goodbye to communism and became pro-capitalist.

Simply put, humanity, in Toffler’s view, went through three major waves, agriculture 10,000 years ago, then the industrial wave a few centuries ago, and now, the world is entering the age of the third wave (post-industrial era: the era of soft commodity, software). In Toffler’s view, the industrial age is over and disappeared and no longer exists, even the expression “London is the city of fog” disappeared, because London is no longer what it was in the 19th century, using coal for heating, and so that a cloud of fog is formed in its skies, the age of chimneys and labor tensions, revolutionary ideologies (communism, leftists and theology revolutions) has disappeared. In this context Just as Nazism disappeared, Zionism will disappear as it is the product of this era, and as factories and gatherings disappear and the smoke disappears, and a new pattern of production of (soft goods) will replace them, these ideologies will be wasted with smoke, and the world will indeed move into the era of soft commodity;. That is, it will turn into Silicon Valley.

The Soviet Union therefore disappeared from existence.

But Alvin Toffler added the following: Be careful, after thirty-five or forty years, the United States of America will disappear as well, only because the era in which the Soviet Union was born has disappeared and a new era has come, the American society will be torn apart by the black and black revolutions. In this book also, Toffler predicted (new ideologies) that will replace the ideologies of the industrial age, and in the maps of the world he predicted a Europe other than the one we know, the western Europe we know will disappear, this is what US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said about a week after the occupation of Iraq and from the capital Baghdad: “Farewell, old Europe.”

Many did not believe what Walid al-Muallem, the greatest foreign minister of contemporary Syria, said when he addressed journalists in the al-Assad library years ago: “Forget Europe, we have removed it from the map, there is a new Europe that is being born, which is Eastern Europe” (Orthodoxy from Bulgaria to Greece). Therefore, NATO is trying to spread its weapons in its lands desperately, it is the new Europe that will meet the new Russia and the new America (after ten years), and because the United States of America is today in the Soviet moment, this means that the world has entered an era of (scourging power) or the fragmentation of power.

At the heart of this historic moment, Syria has become the kitchen of the new world, and, unfortunately, where the quotas and sizes of countries will be decided. It’s where the world will be able to make the final transition from (a state of liquidity) to a (a state of solidity).

Boris Yeltsin played his role as a drunkard and then handed over the trust to Putin, and today Trump is playing his role as a clown before handing over the trust to (an American Putin) rebuilding a rickety America.

In a passing joke, Putin said, commenting on Trump’s decisions, “He does what the machine requires.” Yes, there is a (machine) that orders the president to appear to be a drunkard or a clown, but on condition that he implement, it does not matter what his appearance is, whether he is a drunkard or a clown, to choose what he wants. The important thing is to carry out.

The Trotsky car worker, who became one of the “prophets” of America, does not utter a whim, (it is only a revelation that is revealed) as in the Holy Quran. He is not a prophet, but, a priest in the capitalist institution that grabs the neck of the world and has gone out to the markets to prophesy that America has entered the Soviet moment, and will collapse like the Soviet Union collapsed, and that an American clown like a Soviet drunk can fall at any moment and suddenly. The great powers, as Mao Zedong once said: a giant with two feet of clay, and when the giant staggers in a moment of drunkenness or clowning, it makes no difference. The clay feet will crumble and the (resin) sticking in them will dissolve.

In a forthcoming article, I will narrate to you what I heard from President Bashar al-Assad when I met him twice and presented him with a copy of the authors of the great (Imagined Palestine). The war against Syria took place against the background of the same demand: “Disassemble quietly, or we will come to dismantle Syria“. Assad when he wanders around Ghouta at the beginning of the Syrian Spring; It sends an eloquent message:

I am not reeling.

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