«الإسرائيليون»: قنبلة نوويّة إيرانيّة خلال أشهر ولا نريد الحرب مع حزب الله…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

في تقرير هامّ وخطير يكشف العقل الباطني الإسرائيلي تجاه الأحداث المتسارعة في المنطقة رئيس الموساد الإسرائيلي السابق يضعه في كتاب سيرى النور قريباً اليكم أهم ما جاء فيه لأهميته :

نشر الموقع الالكتروني لصحيفة “ذي تايمز أوف إسرائيل”، يوم 8/7/2020، مقابلة موسعة مع رئيس الموساد السابق، من سنة 1989 حتى 1996، شابتاي شافيط، أجراها معه الصحافي الإسرائيلي ديفيد هوروڤيتس ، بمناسبة قرب نشر كتابه في شهر ايلول المقبل.

واهمّ ما جاء في المقابلة هو التالي :

1

رغم ان عملية السلام (العربي الإسرائيلي) لم تكن ترق لرئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي، اسحق رابين، الا انه كان ينوي الاستمرار في عملية السلام، مع الفلسطينيين ومع سورية، رغم التعثر الذي كانت تشهده.

2

بعد لقاء الرئيس السوري، حافظ الاسد، مع الرئيس الاميركي، بيل كلينتون، في جنيف في شهر 1/1994، استدعاني رئيس الوزراء، اسحق رابين، وقال لي إنه، وعلى الرغم من تلقيه الكثير من المعلومات حول الموضوع، الا انه لا زال غير قادر على تقييم موقف الرئيس السوري، حافظ الأسد، وما حجم التنازلات التي لديه استعداد أن يقدمها (في مقابل السلام). وقد طلب مني التوجه الى ملك المغرب، الحسن الثاني، والطلب منه ان يحاول جسّ نبض الرئيس الأسد في هذا الخصوص. وقد ذهبت الى المغرب فعلاً، وقابلت الملك الحسن الثاني وأطلعته على الموضوع. وقد قام بدوره بتكليف رئيس جهاز المخابرات المغربية آنذاك، عبد اللطيف الحموشي، الذهاب الى سورية ومقابلة الرئيس الاسد لاستطلاع موقفه من موضوع التنازلات. وعندما قام المبعوث المغربي بطرح الموضوع على الرئيس السوري، بصورة غير مباشرة وبطريقة لا توحي بأن رابين هو مَن يريد سبر موقفه، قال له الأسد إنه يريد وضع قدميه في بحيرة طبريا. وهذا ما جعله (الحموشي) يستنتج بأن الرئيس السوري ليس على استعداد لتقديم تنازلات. وقدم رئيس جهاز المخابرات المغربي لطرفي وأبلغني بذلك.

3

أن كل ما يقوم به نتنياهو، في الداخل والخارج، بما في ذلك موضوع صفقة القرن وضم الضفة الغربية وأزمة الكورونا وغير ذلك، انما يستخدمه لهدف واحد، يتمثل في حماية نفسه من القضاء / المحاكمة / وهو لا يفكر إطلاقاً بمصلحة “إسرائيل” (بمعنى انه لا ينطلق من مصلحة إسرائيل).

4

بعد انتخابه رئيسًا للوزراء، سنة 1996، طلب مني نتنياهو ان اعمل معه وان اتولى ملف إيران. فوافقت شرط ان تكون رسالة التكليف موقعة منه ومن وزير الدفاع، كي توفر لي غطاءً في السيطرة على جميع الأجهزة الأمنية الإسرائيلية، الموساد والشاباك وأمان / وزارة الدفاع ولجنة الشؤون النووية. لكن نتنياهو رفض أن يشاركه وزير الدفاع التوقيع على رسالة التكليف واعتبر فذلك انتقاصاً من مقامه، وهو ما أدى الى فشل العملية. وقد أراد نتنياهو من وراء ذلك اظهار نفسه كالمنقذ الوحيد وكي يقول للناس إنه الوحيد الذي يقوم بحمايتهم.

5

إن أولى اولويات نتنياهو هي الهروب من المحاكمة… فبعد طرح مشروع ترامب، الذي يسمى صفقة العصر، اعتبر نتنياهو ان هذا المشروع مخصص لبيبي (بنيامين نتنياهو) وليس لدولة “إسرائيل”، اذ انه لم يتشاور، حتى الآن، لا مع وزارة الدفاع ولا مع وزارة الخارجية، ولم يطلع أي أحد على الخرائط المتعلقة بالمشروع.

6

إن بالإمكان قول أي شيء عن نتنياهو، الا انه ليس غبياً.. فباستطاعته تقييم المواقف بشكل أفضل من الآخرين… وضعنا السياسي مهلهل… اذ يمكن ان تسقط الحكومة في اي لحظة… الاقتصاد في أسوأ أحواله… وضعنا في العالم، ما عدا الولايات المتحدة، هو أسوأ وضع منذ عقود…

7

في شهر نوفمبر المقبل ستجري الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، التي يتوقع ان يفوز فيها المرشح جو بايدن، وهو يقول لنتنياهو: معي (في عهدي) لا يوجد ضمّ. ونتنياهو يعرف ذلك ويبحث عن مخرج وعن جهة ما يحملها مسؤولية ذلك (فشل موضوع الضم).

8

وحول سؤال عن أن إيران ستعلن نفسها قوةً نووية، في وقت ما، أجاب شافيت بالقول: إنني أتكلم الآن كرجل استخبارات، يجمع المعلومات ويقيمها ويرفعها لرئيسه مع التوصيات، وعليه فإنني انطلق دائماً من أسوأ السيناريوهات… المتمثل في أن الإيرانيين لن يتراجعوا عن هدفهم وأن يصروا على امتلاك قدرات تسليحيةٍ نووية، فإنني أرى أنه ليس من الضروري، او المؤكد، ان يستند موقفهم دائماً الى انهم يريدون امتلاك القنبلة من أجل إلقائها على تل أبيب، وانما اعتقد ان منطقهم يرتكز الى انهم يريدون القول بان أحداً لن يكون قادراً على ارتكاب اي أخطاء تجاههم عندما يمتلكون القنبلة (هو استخدم تعبيراً بالانجليزية. تماماً كما حصل مع كوريا الشمالية. فعلى الرغم من استمرار المفاوضات فإن كوريا احتفظت بسلاحها النووي وتعمل على تطوير تكنولوجيا جديدة.

9

وعندما يتحدث الإيرانيون عن امتلاك المناعة (بمعنى الردع او ان يكونون محصنين) فإنهم لا يقصدون “إسرائيل” فقط وإنما يقصدون الولايات المتحدة وتركيا والعراق أيضاً. فهم لا يمكنهم ان ينسوا حرب الثماني سنوات. اما من ناحية تركيا، فعلى الرغم من الزيارات المتبادلة فإن هناك تنافساً إيرانياً تركياً على الشرق الاوسط وبامتلاك إيران للسلاح النووي فإنها ستوجه ضربةً للنفوذ / الدور التركي (هذا ما يعتبره رئيس الموساد مناعة ضد تركيا… تضييق هامش المناورة عليها في مقابل توسيع هامش المناورة الإيراني).

10

كما أن هناك “إسرائيل” ايضاً، فأنا لست ممن يقولون بأن إيران ستقصف “إسرائيل” بسلاح نووي، حال امتلاكها القنبلة، ولكنني اقول بان الدولة التي تملك القنبلة يصبح بإمكانها اقامة كل انواع التحالفات، لتوسيع نفوذها وحماية مصالحها. إن امتلاك إيران للقنبلة يوسع تأثيرها ويغير وضعها في الإقليم وفي العالم.

11

اتفاقية 2015 (يقصد الاتفاق النووي بين إيران ودول الـ 5 +1) أعطتنا 15 عاماً من الزمن (لتأخير البرنامج النووي الإيراني) بينما انسحاب ترامب منها قد جعل إيران تمتلك ما يكفي، من اليورانيوم المخصب، لصناعة قنبلةٍ نووية خلال أشهر. وفي حال اعلنت إيران عن امتلاكها القنبلة النووية فان علينا ان نجد طريقةً لردعها. لكن هذا الردع لن يكون باستخدام السلاح النووي ضدها، وذلك لان من غير الممكن ان نكون ثاني دولة تستخدم السلاح النووي بعد هيروشيما، وانما بإيجاد طريقة ردع حقيقية، وان نضمن امتلاكنا للقدرات التي تمكننا ان نقول للإيرانيين: اذا ما فقدتم عقلكم، وقررتم استعمال القنبلة ضدنا، فعليكم أن تضعوا في حسبانكم أن إيران لن تبقى موجودة )، وان الثمن الذي ستدفعونه، في حال استخدمتم القنبلة ضدنا، سيكون باهظاً.

12

إذا أعيد انتخاب ترامب فإن ذلك سيكون بمثابة كارثة على أميركا وعلى العالم الحر أجمع… انني ضابط استخبارات ويمكنني ان اكون مثالياً، لكن المثاليات لا مكان لها في تقييماتي. لذا فإنني براغماتي وهذا ينبع من طبيعة مهنتي…. (قال ذلك في معرض رده على سؤال للصحافي حول الصورة القاتمة التي رسمها في كتابه عندما انتقد كلاً من أوباما وترامب على حدٍ سواء).

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وتابع، عائداً الى سياق الردع الذي تحدث عنه تجاه إيران، تابع قائلاً: يجب تطبيق نفس استراتيجية الردع أعلاه ضد حزب الله ايضاً. نحن لا نريد ان نبدأ (الحرب) ولكن اذا، لا سمح الله، بدأ (الحزب) بإطلاق عشرات الصواريخ ( فعلينا التقدم داخل جنوب لبنان وتسويته بالأرض.

هكذا يجب أن تكون استراتيجيتنا: اولاً الردع واذا لم يفد الردع، فالضرب بلا رحمة.

14

وحول سؤال، عن احتمالات تطور علاقة “إسرائيل” مع إيران، أجاب شافيط بالقول :

هناك احتمالان :

الاول: أن تحدث انتفاضة شعبية تطيح النظام. ولكن هذا الاحتمال ضئيل.

الثاني: ان يستولي الحرس الثوري على السلطة وأن يبعد رجال الدين عنها. وهذا الاحتمال الذي أُرجِحَهُ.

وعندما سأله الصحافي عن تداعيات تطور كهذا، أجاب بالقول :

الأخبار الجيدة هي انه سيكون بالإمكان التحاور مع أناس براغماتيين وعقلانيين.
أما الأخبار السيئة فهي أن تؤثر السلطة على عقولهم وتدفعهم الى اتخاذ قرارات ليست مريحة او مزعجة.
ويمكرون ويمكر الله والله خير الماكرين.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

LEADER OF ULTRA-RIGHT MILITIA PREDICTS END OF US AND WARNS OF CIVIL WAR

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Leader Of Ultra-Right Militia Predicts End Of US And Warns Of Civil War
The three percenters are one of the US’ oldest militias still in existence

As the US election looms, the heavily armed III% Security Force militia is ready for an anti-Democrat uprising. The group has been accused of neo-Nazism, but in a recent interview with RT one of its leaders said their purpose is to protect and defend the will of the people.

Chris Hill, commanding officer of the III% Security Force’s Georgia branch, states the militia’s take on current developments in the US unequivocally:

“There is a coup taking place right now, there’s a collective effort to overthrow our way of life as we know it – people are starting to realize it’s not a conspiracy theory.

“If we don’t come together as one, we’ll be living in a post-American world by 2021.”

The Three Percenters are a constitutional militia with chapters across the US, their name originating from the claim that only three percent of colonists took up arms against Britain during the US revolution and War of Independence.

The militia claims that over the last few months membership has rocketed by 150%, with 50 to 100 applicants per day – spurred on by developments like Minneapolis City’s pledge to dismantle their police department and Joe Biden’s promise to defend the rights of Muslim communities in the US if he enters the White House. 

Hill, also known as General Blood Agent, said: “It’s like our Founding Fathers stated, we believe we should come together, to lend our arms and council whenever a crisis arises.

We advocate and defend our goals and beliefs with regards to our way of life, our constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.”

The group, whose members are rarely seen in public without military fatigues and firearms, sees its role as protecting the people, allowing them to rise up and take control. They spend around a fifth of their time on political activism and the rest doing practicing survivalism, military infantry training, hunting, rescue and first aid.

RT

They believe they have been made deliberately obsolete in modern America, a feeling only exacerbated by the national Defund the Police movement and the Democratic Party’s pledge to reform the police force.

Speaking to RT, Hill, a former marine, explained: “How do you get rid of a militia in the United States? You render them useless and over time they fade away.

“Now we’re seeing the Founding Fathers had it right, this is something we should have never let the fire burn out on. We have a short amount of time to reignite it.

“We will be whenever we need to be, wherever God sees fit. Every day we can reach out to another American citizen and say, ‘Are you in favour of communism and anarchism? We have a right to repel that.’”

Claims of neo-Nazism

The group, while evidently on the far end of the political right wing, reject their depiction in the mainstream media of being racist neo-Nazis.

In one example, the GSF were accused of “terrorizing” county officials in Georgia out of a meeting to build a new mosque, and linking the place to ISIS – a charge Hill denies. 

But his group takes reports of things like Muslim community patrols forming in New York after the Christchurch shooting, as signals that attempts to introduce Sharia law are underway. 

Still, in Hill’s view, the group is pro-immigration, supports religious freedom, and would not lead with violence. The big caveats are that the immigration must be legal and the newcomers must assimilate. Like many on the American political right, he refers to undocumented migrants as an invasion.

“I am 100 percent against illegal immigration. The government is cast with a job and part of that is to prevent an invasion, it doesn’t specify armed or unarmed, but if 20 million people are in this country illegally, how can you look at me with a straight face and say we haven’t been invaded?

“Legal immigration is fine, as long as whatever caused you to flee, leave that shit where you came from. Learn the language, our practices, our traditions – do not try to advocate for other religious, ideological or political beliefs enforced in whatever country you came from.

“I’m not saying you have to be Christian, in America you are free to practice any religion you like. But if anyone doesn’t want to assimilate or come here legally, I’d put them in a catapult and fling them into the Gulf of Mexico.”

Death threats

Hill’s prominent position in the movement has made him a high profile target for the groups opponents. He says he and his family regularly receive death threats. He believes that most of them come from the anti-fascist group Antifa, which US President Donald Trump wants to officially label a domestic terrorist organization for its alleged role in the recent riots and the harassment of conservative figures and their supporters.

“I have been targeted for four or five years. When I went to Virginia in January they put up a hit list and my face was there, basically I’m a target. If they know I am going to be somewhere, they put up my picture and say they’ll kill me.”


I’ve got a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber on my hip and it’s got 15 bullets in it – if anybody threatens my life, they are going to hit a few of them.

RT

One major reason Hill feels he’s considered worthy of killing is because of his media portrayal. The influential liberal “anti-hate” group Southern Poverty Law Center has branded him and his group “anti-government,” saying he praises “neo-Nazi movements.” 

But he claims that the reporting on him is selective.

Some media reports have linked him to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and previous GSF member Michael Ramos, who carried out a racial beating in public in 2017. 

The images of Hill’s group almost exclusively have white people in them, but he claims it’s not on purpose.

“I would love to have a wide range of skin tones in our militia, multiple races, any race is welcome. People can look at us and say, they don’t see a lot of black, Asian or Latino people. It’s not for lack of trying, the invitation is there, we need more.

It’s laughable to say I am racist or KKK, as I turn around and look at my son, my daughter who are half-white, half-Asian – I’m married to a Vietnamese woman and our kids are mixed. That information doesn’t reach the light of day as it doesn’t fit with everybody who wants to say we’re all racist and KKK.

My situation doesn’t ever make publication, especially from any left-wing liberal sources.”

‘Gun-grabbing’ Democrats

The III% Security Force hope to see President Trump secure a second term in November and believe the Democrats are out to take away their guns.

“If Joe Biden wins, as depressing as that sounds, and Joe Biden goes after guns on a national level – if he’s coming for the guns, he can get it. And any other politician coming for the guns, they can get it too.

They are 24 different states that are going with red-flag laws and gun bans. That’s different from a potential President Biden pushing through some national firearms ban. That is the true definition of tyranny.”

Issues like red-flag laws which allow individuals to petition a court to remove someone else’s firearm are paramount for the III% Security Force.

If Biden does that, Chris Hill will get up off his ass and fight against that until my last breath.”

Hill was preparing for that back in 2016, against the threat of “gun-grabbing” Hillary Clinton winning the election. Back then, Trump won and his resolve to fight back was not put to the test. Now, Joe Biden is the “gun-grabbing pedophile” (an apparent reference to Biden’s barely-appropriate shows of physical affection to women and children) that there’s “no way in hell” Hill will vote for.

If Biden does win, Hill, like many Trump supporters, is convinced that the Democrat will have “stolen” the election with the FBI’s help, through methods like hacking and mail-in ballot fraud.

Civil war is coming?

Ironically, given how extremely polarizing his views are, Hill wants his militia to be a uniting force.

But at the same time, he warns that a US civil war is looming. The racial divide is there, but it’s the current-day protesters who are the racists, in Hill’s view. He sees himself and his group as defenders of freedom of speech.

“I believe Black Lives Matter is a racist slogan, I believe the organizers of that movement are Marxists, communists and they have no end-game other than taking to streets to loot or riot.

I’ve been in Georgia my whole life other than in the military, I have not seen any Klan or Nazi rallies, there are no white supremacists in large groups. I would tell them to rent a stadium, spill your guts, say what you need to say and let’s get on with it.

Nobody in the USA was born into slavery, I understand what happened prior to me being born, a lot of bad things happened, but I was born free just like the next white man, Asian woman or black man, all people.

We are on an equal footing going forward, if you don’t like the situation you are in, get a bus ticket and relocate. This is not a movie, it’s real life.”

Never without a gun himself, Hill maintains his group isn’t advocating a violent uprising.

“We’ll protect the voice of the people. It can’t come from the end of a gun, if we do that then we’ve lost the moral high ground and the war before it even starts.

Power needs to be given to the people to make changes. But there is no doubt in my mind we are stumbling towards an armed conflict inside the United States of America.”

Ultimately, in a country that’s rapidly dismantling the unseemly elements of its past, the Three Percenters want to see a return to the principles of 1776 when America formed as an independent nation.

“We are a constitutional militia recognized by the Second Amendment. In the last 244 years, would you have said we have moved towards perfection or towards damage done and anarchy?

“We are definitely heading in the wrong direction.” LINK

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70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

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70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

NATO is a military and political alliance, a security community that unites the largest number of States on both sides of the North Atlantic. During its existence, NATO has expanded 2.5 times. It accounts for 70% of global military spending. It is rightfully considered the most powerful military association of States in the entire history of mankind in terms of combined armed power and political influence. The fact that this year NATO turned 70 years old, which is more than the independent existence of some of its member States, proves an incredible success of this project. However, while the Alliance has successfully resisted external enemies in its history, today it is experiencing significant internal divisions that threaten its existence more than ever.

The founding date of NATO is April 4, 1949, the day 12 countries signed the Washington Treaty. NATO became a “transatlantic forum” for allied countries to consult on issues that affect the vital interests of participating countries. The organization’s primary goal was to deter any form of aggression against the territory of any member state, as well as to protect against these threats. The principle of collective defense, enshrined in article 5 of the Washington Treaty, implies that if one NATO member state is the victim of an armed attack, all other member States of the Alliance will consider this act of violence an armed attack on all NATO countries and will take actions that the organization deems necessary. At the end of the 20th century, the real threat to the West was the Soviet Union.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the question arose about the existence of NATO, as an Alliance created to protect against the Soviet threat. The disappearance of the external threat has led to a process of transformation that has been going on for 30 years. Each stage of transformation is directly related to the adaptation of the Alliance to certain changes taking place in the international arena and affecting the stability of the security system in the Euro-Atlantic and the world as a whole. In addition to the collapse of the Soviet Union, one of the key events that affected the development of the Alliance was the terrorist attack of 11.09.2001, which actually allowed the Alliance to be preserved, since then there was a common external threat to the member countries.

Traditionally, NATO’s transformations are considered in the following three areas: geographical changes, political transformations, and processes in the military-technical sphere.

Important political transformations are manifested in adapting to changes in the international arena, which are represented primarily by the disappearance of block opposition. The Alliance remains committed to the principle of collective defense, as set out in article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The main command structures also remain the same. The main transformations are expressed in the form of declarations of new NATO functions: maintaining peace and stability not only on the territory of the member States, but also outside the area of responsibility of the Alliance. The operations carried out in these territories are aimed at maintaining local and regional stability, eliminating ethnic and religious conflicts, maintaining respect for human rights and various national minorities, and, most importantly, fighting international terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The “new NATO” is being transformed from a regional organization into a guarantor of global stability, taking responsibility for stability in regions outside its own territories and in situations not covered by article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Assuming global responsibility, NATO is forced to maintain the necessary level of military power, participate in collective planning for the organization of nuclear forces and their deployment on its own territories. New threats encourage NATO to expand geographically.

The expansion of NATO, which implies the inclusion of former members of the Warsaw Pact And the full-scale advance of military infrastructure to the East, represents a change in geography.

Changes in the military-technical sphere imply a General reduction of the Alliance’s collective military forces, their relocation, etc. The main form of transformation of the armed forces was the transition from ” heavy ” military associations to more flexible and maneuverable groups in order to increase their effectiveness in the fight against new threats. The beginning of the economic crisis in autumn 2008 revealed the urgent need for reforms. Member States were forced to reduce their military budgets, which meant abandoning programs involving the development and purchase of precision weapons. In 2010 the plan of the NATO Secretary-General A. Rasmussen’s plan to optimize the budget, and in 2012, the Chicago summit adopted the “smart defense package”, which implies a parallel reduction of funds and increased efficiency.

However, despite all the reforms carried out within the Alliance, today the new missions do not have the same clarity as during the cold war. Options for the purpose of NATO’s existence after the collapse of the USSR vary: the fight against terrorism, assistance in the spread of democracy, nation-building, “world police”, the fight against “soft threats”, the fight against a resurgent Russia. But the main problem of the Organization is that none of the options is universal for all member countries. None of the considered “enemies” unites NATO.

After various stages of transformation, NATO turned out that the condition for its perfect functioning was precisely the situation of structured confrontation. The current unstructured confrontation, which implies that all member countries have different primary threats, makes it meaningless to have a cumbersome and generally rather inert organization.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
Illustrative Image

In 2014, NATO had another opportunity to create a common external enemy, the role of which was approached by Russia. The summit held in Wales in 2014 radically changed the agenda of the entire Alliance. The main topic of discussion was the Ukrainian crisis, which led to the conclusion about the need to contain Russia. The final Declaration of the summit notes that ” Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine have fundamentally called into question the vision of a whole, free and peaceful Europe”. “The illegal self-proclaimed annexation of Crimea and Russia’s aggressive actions in other regions of Ukraine” were highlighted as special threats among the spread of violence and extremist groups in North Africa and the Middle East.

The appearance of a ” dangerous external enemy ” entailed not only political transformations. There have also been reforms in the military sphere of NATO. Among the new security challenges were “hybrid wars”, that is, military actions involving an expanded range of military and civilian measures of an open or hidden nature. The adopted Action Plan, which includes the concept of “hybrid war”, was primarily aimed at countering the tactics of warfare used by Russia. Thus, a number of measures included in the Declaration were directed against Russia.

NATO was forced to return to the role of a guarantor against severe security threats, which significantly increased costs for the organization. At the 2016 NATO Warsaw summit, it was decided to further deploy 4 battalion tactical groups to existing military bases in Poland and the Baltic States. In addition, more than 550 tanks and an armored unit of the United States have been transferred to the region. These units are deployed on a rotational basis, which does not contradict the NATO-Russia Founding act of 1997. In the Declaration of the 2018 Brussels NATO summit it is recorded that the “enhanced presence in the forward area” of tactical groups includes a total of 4,500 military personnel, which is approximately equal to one brigade.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP

At the same time, it is clear that Russia does not pose a real threat to NATO. Real foreign policy practice proves that Russia will not threaten Western countries in the next 50 years. The only point of instability today is the Ukrainian conflict, which had no preconditions until 2014, and was in turn artificially created by the American establishment in partnership with Brussels. Russia, for its part, even in this conflict does not seek to expand its influence, and also observes the Minsk agreements that are unfavorable to It.

“The main reason why the United States has assumed the role of arbiter of the fate of Ukraine and its citizens is the allegedly increasing threat from Russia not only to Kiev, but also to Europe and the rest of the world. And this is despite the fact that it was with the help of the United States that mass protests were organized and the elected government of Ukraine was overthrown in 2013-2014, which led to the war that has now unfolded in the heart of Eastern Europe,” writes geopolitical columnist Tony Kartaluchi in the new Eastern Outlook.

In 2016, the RAND organization conducted a study that showed that in the event of a Russian invasion of the Baltic States, Russian troops can be on the approaches to the capitals of Estonia and Latvia within sixty hours. The study showed that NATO forces are not sufficient to repel the Russian attack. In an interview, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said that the main goal of deploying additional forces in Eastern Europe and Poland is to demonstrate the unity of the Alliance, and to maintain its members ‘ commitment to article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Thus, NATO adheres to the policy of declarative deterrence of Russia, in fact, its forces are not enough to respond to a potential attack from Russia. The NATO administration is well aware that the likelihood of a military conflict with Russia is minimal, but it continues to maintain the image of Russia as an aggressor in order to unite the member countries.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, leave at the end of a joint press conference in Warsaw, Poland, in June 2017. (Czarek Sokolowski/AP)

Moreover, maintaining the image of a dangerous enemy gives the United States the opportunity to promote its own interests in Europe and manipulate its “partners”.

On June 25, Donald Trump finally confirmed that part of the American military contingent in Germany would be transferred to Poland. In the end, the American contingent in Germany will be reduced from 52 thousand people to 25 thousand. According to official data, in Germany there are about 35 thousand US military personnel, 10 thousand civil servants of the Pentagon and about 2 thousand contract workers. Some of the US military will return to America, some will go to Poland to strengthen the deterrence of the “Russian threat”. In addition, according to media reports, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump discussed the possibility of transferring 30 f-16 fighters.

“They [Germany] spend billions of dollars to buy Russian energy resources, and then we are supposed to protect them from Russia. It doesn’t work that way. I think this is very bad, ” said Donald trump, accusing Berlin of supporting the Nord Stream 2 project.

When asked whether the US administration is trying to send a signal to Russia, Donald Trump stressed that Moscow was receiving a “very clear signal”, but Washington still expected to normalize their relations. This only underscores the fact that the US is taking advantage of the perceived Russian threat to NATO.

The American leader, by undermining cooperation between Moscow and Berlin in the energy sphere, not only prevents Russia, as one of their enemies in the international arena, from developing a profitable project. The US is also interested in weakening the leading European industries, primarily Germany. The United States does not tolerate strong enemies, but it also does not accept strong allies. It is in the interests of the Americans to prevent the redevelopment of Europe as a self-sufficient and independent center of power in the international arena.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
Defense spendings in relation to GDP of NATO member countries

Therefore, Donald Trump is strongly calling on Germany to reimburse the billions of dollars it owes the White House. Trump is dissatisfied with the fact that Berlin does not comply with the promise made by all NATO members to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP. At the same time, Germany has already followed this path, increasing funding to 1.38%. In its turn, the US spends 3.4% of the state budget on the needs of the Alliance.

The problem of NATO funding is very often the main criticism of Berlin. However, in addition to this issue, new problems are emerging in US-German relations.

Washington is very dissatisfied with Berlin’s interaction with Beijing. The White House, which has strengthened the anti-Chinese vector of its policy, blaming the PRC for the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and accusing the Chinese side of “controlling” the World Health Organization (WHO), did not receive sufficient support in Europe, and Germany criticized.

Moreover, Berlin does not support Washington’s sanctions policy on Chinese Hong Kong, which Beijing allegedly takes away its independence from.

The US is particularly dissatisfied with the EU’s desire for a major investment agreement with China. Germany is the main ideologue of this process and seeks to close the deal during its six-month presidency of the EU Council.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
“One Belt, One Road” Initiative

China today, of course, is the main competitor of the United States in the struggle for world hegemony. China also raises considerable concerns among European countries, which is primarily due to economic expansion and the successful development of the large-scale Chinese initiative “One belt, one road”. European leaders are also competing with China for resources in third world countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. In addition, there are ideological differences between the two world regions. However, China does not currently pose a military threat to Europe, which does not allow the use of NATO forces against it.

While Western countries see Russia and China as the main threats, strategically they are primarily concerned about Iran and North Korea. These countries are also a threat primarily to the United States, but their European partners are not ready to conduct active military actions against them at the moment.

The only real dangerous factor that unites almost all NATO member countries remains international terrorism, in the fight against which Western countries act as a united front.70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

The current military and political course of the European Union is determined by the clear desire of its leadership to transform the military and political organization into one of the world’s leading centers of power. The aggravation of political and economic differences with the United States is the main incentive for the implementation of this goal. Thus, the EU’s focus on increasing independence in crisis management in the area of common European interests has had a decisive influence on the development of the common security and defense policy. In order to reduce dependence on the United States and NATO for conducting operations and missions within the framework of “force projection”, the leadership of the Association has stepped up activities to develop its own military component.

France and Germany are the main engines of this process, and are promoting the initiative to create the so-called European Defense Union. However, despite active efforts to expand military and military-technical cooperation within the EU, the declared goals of creating a “European army” with collective defense functions that duplicate the status and activities of NATO seem difficult to achieve in the foreseeable future. This situation is due to the reluctance of the majority of EU member States to transfer control over their armed forces to the supranational level. Moreover, the US opposition to the process of forming the European Defense Union and the limited resources available due to the absorption by NATO structures of the major part of the defense potential of European countries, most of which are simultaneously involved in two organizations, do not allow the full implementation of EU political decisions on military construction. In this regard, it is only possible to talk about giving a new impetus to military cooperation in order to increase the collective capacity to protect the territory and citizens of the States of the region.

Given the lack of forces and resources for conducting operations and missions, Brussels is interested in the practice of involving military formations of third countries in its anti-crisis actions on the basis of bilateral framework agreements. Currently, such agreements have been reached with Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and a number of other States.

Currently, the European Union conducts 16 military and mixed operations and missions in various regions of the world, involving about 4,500 people. The greatest attention is paid to the “zones of instability” in North and Central Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and the post-Soviet space.

70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg

Thus, NATO today has to do everything possible to support the unity and coherence of actions of all its member countries, which are more than ever under threat. The main European leaders are no longer ready to support US policy and continue to sacrifice their own national interests. If in the case of Germany, this is manifested primarily in support of the Nord stream 2 project, despite the threats of the United States. France today supports its own interests in Libya, which contradict the interests of other countries-members of the Alliance: Turkey and Italy. Certainly, Turkey and Italy have different positions and aspirations in Libya. Italy was previously a traditional ally of France and does not actively intervene in the military conflict. However, now, given the current predominance of Turkey in Libya, Italy is trying to sit on two chairs. On the one hand, Italy, while supporting Tripoli, does not actively help them. On the other hand, in political terms, it clearly stands on the side of Tripoli and Turkey, thereby trying to ensure its share of participation in the next division of Libyan natural resources after the supposed victory of the Turkish-Tripolitan Alliance.

Summing up, today the imaginary Russian threat no longer allows US to unite the Alliance members, but only serves as a method of implementing US interests. The White House, which has always played a leading role in NATO and retains it thanks to the largest percentage of investment in the Alliance, allows itself to more openly abuse its leading position and promote its own national interests and the interests of its elites through the North Atlantic Alliance to the detriment of the interests of partner countries. Thus, article 4 of the Washington Treaty, which implies decision-making by consensus and is the basis of NATO itself, is of less and less importance in practice. The United States cannot renounce its membership in NATO and is interested in preserving it, because it is the Western Alliance that allows the US to give at least a small share of legitimacy to its military actions. A kind of neo-colonial policy, that the United States is used to employ in relation to European countries, and the current significant shift in the political paradigm within the US itself do not allow us to hope that the American leadership will be able to strengthen its position in Europe in the coming years.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

The U.S. Has Surrendered To The Pandemic. Protect Yourself.

Source

July 08, 2020

Yesterday the United States registered more than 60,000 new Covid-19 cases. As the number of new cases continues to increase unabated about two weeks from now it is likely to reach hundred thousand new cases per day.


Source: 91-divoc – bigger

The increase of testing is not the cause of higher new case numbers. The rate of people among those who were tested and were found positive has also increased. In Florida, which yesterday had nearly 10,000 new cases, the positive test rate has reached nearly 20%. That means that the epidemic is still accelerating.

This did not need to happen. Yesterday Germany, at a quarter the size of the U.S., had 279 new cases. It does 1 million tests per week and the positive rate is decreasing. China has defeated a new local outbreak in Beijing by testing more than 10 million people. The last two days it reported zero new cases.

Many of those who test positive, especially the younger ones, will not fall ill with severe symptoms. But some 10-15% are estimated to need medical support. How many of them will die depends on the quality of care that can be given to them. Some thirty hospitals in Florida have already run out of space in their intensive care units. That is the point where the real emergency begins.

Six months after the disease was discovered more is known of how to care for Covid-19 cases. The death rate per cases has therefore decreased. But this only holds when there are sufficient beds, doctors and staff available. At the current U.S. rate that will soon no longer be the case.

We do know that the hospitalization curve follows the testing/symptoms curve by some 10-14 days while ICU admittance follows the above curve with some 15 to 20 days delay. The eventual recovery in an ICU bed takes up to four weeks. A bed once occupied will not be available for quite some time.

Trump’s new policy is to ignore the epidemic. He hopes that the people will get used to the carnage it causes:

Trump’s advisers [..] are seeking ways to reframe his response to the coronavirus — even as the president himself largely seeks to avoid the topic because he views it as a political loser. They are sending health officials to swing states, putting doctors on TV in regional markets where the virus is surging, crafting messages on an economic recovery and writing talking points for allies to deliver to potential voters.

The goal is to convince Americans that they can live with the virus — that schools should reopen, professional sports should return, a vaccine is likely to arrive by the end of the year and the economy will continue to improve.

White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House’s thinking, who requested anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Americans will “live with the virus being a threat,” in the words of one of those people, a senior administration official.

“They’re of the belief that people will get over it or if we stop highlighting it, the base will move on and the public will learn to accept 50,000 to 100,000 new cases a day,” said a former administration official in touch with the campaign.

That may, to some extend, be possible. But 100,000 new cases per day also means that there will soon be 1,000 or so new death per day. The hospitals will fill up and the death rate will increase. More and more people will know someone who died of Covid-19. The economy will continue to only limp along as long as people fear to get infected.

My take is that Trump’s calculation is simply wrong. The epidemic will continue to get wide media coverage. The hot spots will change but without local lockdown measures each of them will lead to the overflow of local hospitals. This will increase the death rate.

It is now too late to stop the epidemic in the United States. That makes it even more important for its citizens to take personal safety measures.

All spreading events that affected multiple people took place in enclosed spaces. The virus prefers it cool and dry. Places with unfiltered air condition should therefore be avoided. Open a window to create airflow if possible. Stay at a distance from other persons. Wear a mask.

Masks significantly reduce the chance of catching Covid-19. Your mask also protects the people around you should you unknowingly have caught the disease. This week high quality N95 masks (FFP-2 in Europe) were again available in my local pharmacy. The price (€6.80) was ridiculous but I bought two to use them in turn. I put one on whenever I leave the house. (It is not required to wear one outside but I am simply too lazy to put it on and off whenever I enter or leave some place.)

These masks (see pic below) are quite comfortable, tight enough to not fog my glasses and there is no problem breathing through them. The masks are officially one time use only but there are safe and simple ways to steam sterilize them for reuse.My FFP-2 masks are similar to the one below but white and without a brand name printed on them.

bigger

Get used to wearing a mask. It is the new normal that is likely to stay with us for at least another year.

Posted by b on July 8, 2020 at 17:55 UTC | Permalink

PHILIP M. GIRALDI: “RUSSIA-BAITING IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN”

Washington again becomes hysterical

Source

PHILIP GIRALDI • JULY 7, 2020

There is particular danger at the moment that powerful political alignments in the United States are pushing strongly to exacerbate the developing crisis with Russia. The New York Times, which broke the story that the Kremlin had been paying the Afghan Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers, has been particularly assiduous in promoting the tale of perfidious Moscow. Initial Times coverage, which claimed that the activity had been confirmed by both intelligence sources and money tracking, was supplemented by delusional nonsense from former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who asks “Why does Trump put Russia first?” before calling for a “swift and significant U.S. response.” Rice, who is being mentioned as a possible Biden choice for Vice President, certainly knows about swift and significant as she was one of the architects of the destruction of Libya and the escalation of U.S. military and intelligence operations directed against a non-threatening Syria.

The Times is also titillating with the tale of a low level drug smuggling Pashto businessman who seemed to have a lot of cash in dollars lying around, ignoring the fact that Afghanistan is awash with dollars and has been for years. Many of the dollars come from drug deals, as Afghanistan is now the world’s number one producer of opium and its byproducts.

The cash must be Russian sourced, per the NYT, because a couple of low level Taliban types, who were likely tortured by the Afghan police, have said that it is so. The Times also cites anonymous sources which allege that there were money transfers from an account managed by the Kremlin’s GRU military intelligence to an account opened by the Taliban. Note the “alleged” and consider for a minute that it would be stupid for any intelligence agency to make bank-to-bank transfers, which could be identified and tracked by the clever lads at the U.S. Treasury and NSA. Also try to recall how not so long ago we heard fabricated tales about threatening WMDs to justify war. Perhaps the story would be more convincing if a chain of custody could be established that included checks drawn on the Moscow-Narodny Bank and there just might be a crafty neocon hidden somewhere in the U.S. intelligence community who is right now faking up that sort of evidence.

Other reliably Democratic Party leaning news outlets, to include CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post all jumped on the bounty story, adding details from their presumably inexhaustible supply of anonymous sources. As Scott Horton observedthe media was reporting a “fact” that there was a rumor.

Inevitably the Democratic Party leadership abandoned its Ghanaian kente cloth scarves, got up off their knees, and hopped immediately on to their favorite horse, which is to claim loudly and in unison that when in doubt Russia did it. Joe Biden in particular is “disgusted” by a “betrayal” of American troops due to Trump’s insistence on maintaining “an embarrassing campaign of deferring and debasing himself before Putin.”

The Dems were joined in their outrage by some Republican lawmakers who were equally incensed but are advocating delaying punishing Russia until all the facts are known. Meanwhile, the “circumstantial details” are being invented to make the original tale more credible, including crediting the Afghan operation to a secret Russian GRU Army intelligence unit that allegedly was also behind the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury England in 2018.

Reportedly the Pentagon is looking into the circumstances around the deaths of three American soldiers by roadside bomb on April 8, 2019 to determine a possible connection to the NYT report. There are also concerns relating to several deaths in training where Afghan Army recruits turned on their instructors. As the Taliban would hardly need an incentive to kill Americans and as only seventeen U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan in 2019 as a result of hostile action, the year that the intelligence allegedly relates to, one might well describe any joint Taliban-Russian initiative as a bit of a failure since nearly all of those deaths have been attributed to kinetic activity initiated by U.S. forces.

The actual game that is in play is, of course, all about Donald Trump and the November election. It is being claimed that the president was briefed on the intelligence but did nothing. Trump denied being verbally briefed due to the fact that the information had not been verified. For once America’s Chief Executive spoke the truth, confirmed by the “intelligence community,” but that did not stop the media from implying that the disconnect had been caused by Trump himself. He reportedly does not read the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), where such a speculative piece might indeed appear on a back page, and is uninterested in intelligence assessments that contradict what he chooses to believe. The Democrats are suggesting that Trump is too stupid and even too disinterested to be president of the United States so they are seeking to replace him with a corrupt 78-year-old man who may be suffering from dementia.

The Democratic Party cannot let Russia go because they see it as their key to future success and also as an explanation for their dramatic failure in 2016 which in no way holds them responsible for their ineptness. One does not expect the House Intelligence Committee, currently headed by the wily Adam Schiff, to actually know anything about intelligence and how it is collected and analyzed, but the politicization of the product is certainly something that Schiff and his colleagues know full well how to manipulate. One only has to recall the Russiagate Mueller Commission investigation and Schiff’s later role in cooking the witnesses that were produced in the subsequent Trump impeachment hearings.

Schiff predictably opened up on Trump in the wake of the NYT report, saying “I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that the president hasn’t come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russia is putting bounties on American troops and that he will do everything in his power to make sure that we protect American troops.”

Schiff and company should know, but clearly do not, that at the ground floor level there is a lot of lying, cheating and stealing around intelligence collection. Most foreign agents do it for the money and quickly learn that embroidering the information that is being provided to their case officer might ultimately produce more cash. Every day the U.S. intelligence community produces thousands of intelligence reports from those presumed “sources with access,” which then have to be assessed by analysts. Much of the information reported is either completely false or cleverly fabricated to mix actual verified intelligence with speculation and out and out lies to make the package more attractive. The tale of the Russian payment of bribes to the Taliban for killing Americans is precisely the kind of information that stinks to high heaven because it doesn’t even make any political or tactical sense, except to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and the New York Times. For what it’s worth, a number of former genuine intelligence officers including Paul Pillar, John KiriakouScott Ritter, and Ray McGovern have looked at the evidence so far presented and have walked away unimpressed. The National Security Agency (NSA) has also declined to confirm the story, meaning that there is no electronic trail to validate it.

Finally, there is more than a bit of the old hypocrisy at work in the damnation of the Russians even if they have actually been involved in an improbable operation with the Taliban. One recalls that in the 1970s and 1980s the United States supported the mujahideen rebels fighting against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. The assistance consisted of weapons, training, political support and intelligence used to locate, target and kill Soviet soldiers. Stinger missiles were provided to bring down helicopters carrying the Russian troops. The support was pretty much provided openly and was even boasted about, unlike what is currently being alleged about the Russian assistance. The Soviets were fighting to maintain a secular regime that was closely allied to Moscow while the mujahideen later morphed into al-Qaeda and the Islamist militant Taliban subsequently took over the country, meaning that the U.S. effort was delusional from the start.

So, what is a leaked almost certainly faux story about the Russian bounties on American soldiers intended to accomplish? It is probably intended to keep a “defensive” U.S. presence in Afghanistan, much desired by the neocons, a majority in Congress and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), and it will further be played and replayed to emphasize the demonstrated incompetence of Donald Trump. The end result could be to secure the election of a pliable Establishment flunky Joe Biden as president of the United States. How that will turn out is unpredictable, but America’s experience of its presidents since 9/11 has not been very encouraging.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

Mary Trump’s Book to Be Published Early Amid “Extraordinary Interest”

Mary Trump’s Book to Be Published Early Amid “Extraordinary Interest”

By Staff, Agencies

A tell-all book by Donald Trump’s niece will be published two weeks ahead of schedule and will argue that the president suffered “child abuse” in the early years of his life.

Publisher Simon & Schuster, which last week was released from a temporary restraining order won by the president’s brother, cited “high demand and extraordinary interest” as it brought publication forward on Monday.

The company also released an image of the back cover of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump.

“Today,” the text began, “Donald is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses or take in and synthesize information.”

Mary Trump, a trained clinical psychologist, also writes about the president’s upbringing by a mother who was ill and a father, the property developer Fred Trump, who remained committed to his job, to whom “love meant nothing” and who “expected obedience, that was all”.

“Child abuse is, in some sense, a matter of ‘too much’ or ‘not enough’,” Mary Trump writes, adding: “Donald suffered deprivations that would scar him for life.”

In a statement released by the publisher, Mary Trump said: “In addition to the first-hand accounts I can give as my father’s daughter and my uncle’s only niece, I have the perspective of a trained clinical psychologist. Too Much and Never Enough is the story of the most visible and powerful family in the world. And I am the only Trump who is willing to tell it.”

Mary Trump is still subject to a temporary restraining order imposed by a judge in New York state supreme court. In her appeal, she claims a 2001 non-disclosure agreement arising from litigation over a family will was based on fraudulent financial information. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

The president’s niece has expressed opposition to his political career via social media and was a key source for New York Times reporting on Trump family tax affairs which won a Pulitzer prize.

A Supreme Court ruling on whether Trump must release tax and financial records is eagerly awaited and expected as soon as this week.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Ted Boutrous, Mary Trump’s lawyer, accused Trump of mounting “an orchestrated campaign against freedom of speech and freedom of the press”. Lawsuits against books are intended to have a “chilling effect”, he said.

The White House sought to block a book by John Bolton, Trump’s third national security adviser, but were denied by a federal judge. The Room Where It Happened sold nearly 800,000 copies in its first week in stores.

Trump’s brother Robert Trump, a businessman, filed the suit against Mary Trump. He is represented by Charles Harder, an attorney who has worked for the president.

Harder has said he will seek the “maximum remedies available” for Mary Trump’s “truly reprehensible” actions. He has also called the New York Times’ reporting on Trump family tax affairs “100% false, and highly defamatory”.

In a statement to the New York Times last month, Robert Trump slammed his niece for what he called an “attempt to sensationalize and mischaracterize our family relationship … for her own financial gain”.

“I and the rest of my entire family,” he said, “are so proud of my wonderful brother, the president.”

Trump’s other surviving siblings are Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired judge, and Elizabeth Trump Grau, a retired banker. Mary Trump’s father was Fred Trump Jr, who died in 1981.

USA – Most Aggressive Military Power in the World. Those Who Have Friends Like That Don’t Need Enemies (Sahra Wagenknecht)

Source

July 05, 2020

USA – Most Aggressive Military Power in the World. Those Who Have Friends Like That Don’t Need Enemies (Sahra Wagenknecht)

Original German description in English: Trump had “threatened” for a long time and now actually wants to withdraw 10,000 US soldiers from Germany. German armaments spending is too low, the US president rumbles, the United States is no longer willing to “provide our security”. The German defense minister, Kramp-Karrenbauer, pleads guilty that it would be a lot of effort to upgrade. Unfortunately, that’s really true: it increased the military budget in 2019 by a whopping ten percent to just under 50 billion euros compared to the previous year. And despite Corona, not a single project was canceled, on the contrary: even in the current economic stimulus package, hardly noticed by the public, an additional 10 billion euros were hidden for armament. No other country in the top 15 in the world has seen such a sharp increase in arms spending. To be dictated by Trump, to waste more and more money on tanks and war equipment, what a fatal mistake! A sovereign German government would respond to Trump: Hey, Mr. President, great idea of ​​this deduction, but please don’t just bring 10,000 soldiers home, but the whole contingent right away. And above all: take the US nuclear weapons with you, we don’t need them here at all! However, the deduction should really be a deduction, and not a move to Poland and thus even closer to the Russian border, as Trump apparently plans to do. So instead of letting the US and NATO drive expensive armaments projects such as the procurement of nuclear weapons-capable US fighters, the German federal government should have the backbone to defend our sovereignty and stand up to Trump. Why it is absurd to expect our security from a country that is the most aggressive military power in the world and demonstrates every day that it does not care about European and German interests? I will talk about this in the video.

Trump Regime’s Kurdish SDF Separatist Terrorists Kidnap Syrians

Source

July 5, 2020 Miri Wood

Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli
Trump SDF forces burn Syrian wheat, June 2019.

The Trump regime continues to lead the attempt to impose a NATO Sykes-Picot on the Syrian Arab Republic. As part of its efforts to carve up the Levantine country, Trump has accelerated Obama‘s unindicted war crimes. Trump illegals — American troops — continue to illegally bring in weapons — a criminal enterprise began in August 2019 — and logistical equipment for criminal bases and stealing Syrian oil. Trump regime forces fire-bombed wheat fields in May; Trump signed the updated unconstitutional, 3,488 page NDAA bill which included the criminal, fake Caesar legislation the vermin on Capitol Warmonger Hill had been unable to get passed, since 2016.

On the 4th of July — while many Americans were deprived of celebrating their Declaration of Independence from British tyranny because of COVID-19 restrictions, and while small businesses are being crushed by them — US tax dollars were busy at work kidnapping Syrians from their homes in Tal Hamis.

From SANA:

Hasaka, SANA – Qasad (SDF) groups, which are backed by US occupation forces, kidnapped a number of locals in Tal Hamis district in Hasaka countryside, amid a state of wide-scale rejection by locals of these groups and their oppressive practices.

Civil sources told SANA reporter that members of Qasad stormed people’s houses in Tal Hamis township on the background of protests against Qasad that had taken place there recently, and kidnaped a number of locals.

During the past few days, Tal Hamis district witnessed protests against Qasad practices, calling for the groups to leave the area.

Syria News reminds our readers that the criminal SDF was launched as a foreign mercenary militia under the Obama regime, after US General Raymond Thomas convinced the cannon fodder armed separatist YPG to change its name for new marketing, as the YPG just happened to be on the US terror list.

During these times of domestic unrest in the US of A, we especially remind our American readers of the horrors their tax dollars have funded against Syrians, specifically by the SDF:

Let US also remember that while the fascist coalition created by Obama and continued by Trump obliterated al Raqqa, Syria, from the sky, the peon SDF demolished the remnants from the ground.

syrian-democratic-forces
CNN cheers destruction as far as the eye can see. This is al Raqqa, courtesy of the US-led war criminal coalition.

As Americans demonstrate the success of Operation Mockingbird, bickering over the domestic mobs acts of arson and other destruction, with some laying the blame only at Trump’s feet, may the more reasonable minds recognize that our country has bipartisanly normalized violent chaos around the non-western world, throughout our lifetime.

— Miri Wood

ماذا بعد؟ الفلسطينيّون يتلاحمون ترامب يرتبك، نتنياهو يتريّث…‏

د. عصام نعمان

تلاقى الفلسطينيون بعد طول تباعد. تلاقيهم على طريق اتحادهم كان مفاجأتهم لأنفسهم كما لأعدائهم. القادة الصهاينة ومن ورائهم نظراؤهم الأميركيون راهنوا طويلاً على انقسام الفلسطينيين على أنفسهم وتنافس فصائل المقاومة على الصدارة والنفوذ.

صحيح أنّ الفلسطينيين تأخروا في التلاقي على طريق توحيد الموقف وتفعيل المقاومة، لكنهم استدركوا تقصيرهم وباشروا التلاحم في وجه الأعداء في الوطن والشتات. مجرد التلاقي، لا سيما بين «فتح» و«حماس»، أقلق الأعداء واضطرهم الى إعادة النظر بحساباتهم.

كان بنيامين نتنياهو يتطلع الى بدء عملية ضمّ مناطق في الضفة الغربية بحلول الأول من تموز/ يوليو، لكن في اليوم نفسه صدر بيان عن حكومته يقول إنه عقد اجتماعاً مع كبار المسؤولين في المؤسسة الأمنية لمناقشة مسألة فرض السيادة على مناطق الضفة. من التعهّد القاطع بالتنفيذ تريّث نتنياهو بسرعة لافتة متحوّلاً الى مناقشة ترتيبات الضمّ.

مخطط نتنياهو للضمّ تعرّض لانتقادات دولية شديدة. الأمم المتحدة والاتحاد الأوروبي والفاتيكان فضلاً عن دول كثيرة عربية واسلامية وأجنبية قالت إن ضمّ «إسرائيل» مناطق فلسطينية سينتهك القانون الدولي ويقوّض الاحتمالات (المتضائلة أصلاً) لإقامة دولة فلسطينية مستقلة قابلة للحياة.

حتى الولايات المتحدة، حليفة «إسرائيل» وحاضنتها التاريخية، أبدت مداورةً، تحفظاً بشأن بدء عملية الضمّ في الاول من تموز. كبار مسؤوليها السياسيين والأمنيين عقدوا اجتماعات متتالية لتخريج موقف يحفظ ماء وجه الرئيس المرتبك والغارق، وسط احتدام معركته الانتخابية، في طوفان من الانتقادات والتشنيعات على مستوى العالم برمته. في غمرة هذا الحَرج، تهرّب وزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو بالقول إن واشنطن تعتبر مسألة الضم قراراً يخصّ «إسرائيل».

قبل تصريح بومبيو وبعده كان المسؤولون الإسرائيليون قد انقسموا حول مسألة تنفيذ الضم وتداعياته. بعضهم رفضه لأنه ينطوي بالضرورة على وضع عشرات آلاف الفلسطينيين تحت سيادة الكيان الصهيوني ما يؤدي لاحقاً الى قيام دولة ثنائية القومية وذات اكثرية عربية ومسلمة بين سكانها. بعضهم الآخر، وجلّه من أهل اليسار، تخوّف من ان يؤدي الضمّ ليس الى تقويض يهودية الدولة فحسب بل الى التمييز الشديد ضد «مواطنيها» من غير اليهود ايضاً ما يرسّخ صورتها كدولة ابارتهايد (تمييز عنصري) مكروهة من الدول والشعوب.

صحيح أن الضمّ الآن أرجئ، لكنه لم يُلغَ قط. كثيرون من المراقبين في:

«إسرائيل» وفي اميركا يعتقدون ان كلاًّ من نتنياهو وترامب مضطر الى السير مجدّداً في مخطط الضمّ، ولو الجزئي، لاعتبارات شخصية وسياسية. نتنياهو مهجوس بمسألة ملاحقته جزائياً بتُهَم الفساد والرشوة ما يستوجب بقاءه رئيساً للحكومة لضمان تبرئته من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى لتعزيز طموحه الى ان تتخطى سمعته وإنجازاته تراث دايفيد بن غوريون، فيصبح هو «ملك إسرائيل» في تاريخها المعاصر!

ترامب يؤرقه شبقه المضني للفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية ما يدفعه الى تأمين تصويت جماعتين كثيفتي العدد والنفوذ الى جانبه، الإنجيليين واليهود، وذلك بتجديد تحبيذه البدء بتنفيذ قرار الضم. لهذا الغرض، صعّدت جماعات الإنجيليين ضغوطها على ترامب من أجل الدفع قُدُماً بمخطط ضم مناطق الضفة الغربية الى «إسرائيل». أحد أبرز قياديّي هؤلاء مايك ايفانس قال لصحيفة «يديعوت احرونوت» (2020/7/2) «إن قدرة الرئيس ترامب على الفوز في انتخابات الرئاسة ستُحسم بأصوات الانجيليين، ولن يكون بمقدوره الفوز من دوننا (..) وأيّ مستشار يحثه على التراجع عن تأييد الضمّ يتسبّب بإبعاده خارج البيت الأبيض (…) ولو كنتُ مكان نتنياهو لضغطت على ترامب من أجل تنفيذ الضم قبل انتخابات الرئاسة الأميركية».

ماذا على الصعيد الفلسطينيّ؟

لم يتضح بعد ما جرى الاتفاق على اعتماده عملياً لمواجهة قرار الضمّ حتى لو كان جزئياً. غير أن ما يمكن استخلاصه من تصريحات وخطابات ومواقف قادة فصائل المقاومة المؤيدة لاجتماع قياديي «فتح» و«حماس» اتفاقهم على توحيد الجهود الرامية الى مقاومة «صفقة القرن» بكل أبعادها وتحدياتها. لن يكشف، بطبيعة الحال، ايٌّ من فصائل المقاومة القرارات السريّة العملانية التي يمكن ان يكون قادة «فتح و«حماس» قد اتخذوها، منفردين او متحدين، لمواجهة عملية الضمّ ميدانياً. إلاّ ان نبرة القياديين في تصريحاتهم من جهة وتسريبات أو تخمينات بعضهم من جهة أخرى توحي بأن ثمة توافقاً على إشعال انتفاضة شعبية مديدة ضدّ الاحتلال في الضفة الغربية بالإضافة الى جميع ساحات الوجود الفلسطيني بما في ذلك الأراضي المحتلة العام 1948.

هل ثمة اتفاق بين كبريات الفصائل الفلسطينية على مواجهة اعتداءات «إسرائيل» بهجوم معاكس على جميع الجبهات في الشمال والجنوب والشرق بالاتفاق مع قيادات محور المقاومة؟

لا جواب صريحاً في هذا المجال من أيّ قيادي فلسطيني وازن. غير انّ مراقبين مقرّبين من قيادات المقاومة، الفلسطينية والعربية، يستبعدون ذلك لأسباب ثلاثة:

أوّلها لأنّ فصائل المقاومة جميعاً منشغلة داخل أقطارها بأزمات وتحديات سياسية واقتصادية واجتماعية معقدة تضطرها الى اعتبارها أولى بالاهتمام في الوقت الحاضر.

ثانيها لأنّ «إسرائيل» ذاتها تبدو منشغلة بمشكلات داخلية ليس أقلها اندلاع موجة ثانية من جائحة كورونا، كما هي قلقة من تحوّل ميزان الردع في الصراع الى كفة المقاومة، لا سيما حزب الله، بعد ثبوت امتلاكه عدداً وفيراً من الصواريخ الدقيقة.

ثالثها لعدم توافر أوضاع دولية ملائمة لـِ «إسرائيل» لتوسيع رقعة تحديها للمجتمع الدولي ولأحكام القانون الدولي المتعارضة مع سياسة الضمّ والتهويد واقتلاع السكان الأصليين.

غير انّ هذه الاعتبارات لا تصمد امام تصميم رئيس أميركي بالغ العنهجية والتطرف ويصعب التنبؤ بنزواته وتصرفاته، ورئيس حكومة إسرائيلي مُترع بحب التسلّط والصدارة وبرغبة جامحة لتغطية ارتكاباته الجنائية والهروب من حكم العدالة.

*نائب ووزير سابق.

Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?

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by MELVIN GOODMAN

Photograph Source: Bill Smith – CC BY 2.0

Ever since the Russian election interference in 2016, the New York Times  has been blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for the new Cold War with the United States.  On July 2, it ran a front-page article that headlined the United States “stands on the sidelines” while the Kremlin conducts a “wave of aggression.” On July 1, the Times ran an oped article by former national security adviser Susan Rice, reportedly on the short list as a possible Biden vice presidential candidate, describing a White House run by “liars and wimps catering to a tyrannical president who is actively advancing our arch adversary’s nefarious interests.”  In view of the blame being assigned to Putin, perhaps it’s time to remind readers of the Times of the U.S. record of intervention in foreign elections.

The New York Times has always taken the view that U.S. election interventions have “generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates” whereas Russia has “more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule.”  Too bad the Times could not interview Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh, Chile’s Salvador Allende, or the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, who were targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency and replaced by brutal regimes that ruled for decades.  Allende and Lumumba, moreover, didn’t survive the violence that the CIA orchestrated.  The revelations of assassination plots in Cuba, the Congo, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam finally led to a ban on CIA political assassinations in the mid-1970s.

The grand master of election interference and regime change is, of course, the CIA, which was created in 1947 and immediately began to interfere in elections in Europe.  France and Italy were the primary targets as “bags of money” were “delivered to selected politicians, to defray their expenses,” according to F. Mark Wyatt, a former CIA operative.  The road got much darker in the 1950s, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953 and the installation of a brutal military regime in Guatemala in 1954.

The CIA released a small batch of records on the 1954 military coup in Guatemala, but it has not declassified materials on the CIA-assisted Guatemalan security forces responsible for the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Guatemalans since the coup.  The CIA trained and supported notorious security forces throughout Central America, particularly in Honduras, where the Battalion 316 operated brutal detention centers throughout the country.  The United States and the CIA were responsible for installing abusive authoritarians in Nicaragua and El Salvador as well.

American national interests were rarely at stake in any of these interventions.  Henry A. Kissinger, President Richard M. Nixon’s national security adviser, put it best when he facetiously described Chile as a “dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica.”  Kissinger simply could not see “why the United States should stand by and let Chile go communist merely due to the stupidity of its own people.”  The CIA’s installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953 was the original sin that continues to plague U.S.-Iranian relations.

A Carnegie Mellon scholar, Dov H. Levin, examined the historical record and determined that there were more than 80 overt and covert election influence operations by the United States from 1947 to 2000 as opposed to 36 Soviet and Russian operations in the same period.  The United States relied on various clandestine means, including breaking into political offices to steal codes.  In 1996, the Clinton administration intervened overtly and covertly in the Russian election to make sure that Boris Yeltsin was not defeated by an old-fashioned communist bureaucrat.  The United States engineered a $10 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to Russia and assigned American political consultants to Yeltsin’s campaign.

The Russian intervention in the U.S. election in 2016 was merely a technological version of the kind of political influence operations that the KGB and the CIA conducted throughout the Cold War.  The digital interventions were far less costly and risky than the clandestine operations of the CIA and the National Security Agency over many decades.  We may lack a full understanding of the extent of U.S. intervention over the yearsm but we know a great deal about the Russian effort to use social media to attack Hillary Clinton, to boost Donald Trump, and to sow discord in the United States. We still lack information on the nature of the cooperation that existed between the Trump campaign and the Russian influence operation.  I’m sure that my former CIA colleagues would find nothing unusual in these Russian actions.

Too many opinion leaders in the United States still believe that several presidential administrations have failed to take advantage of the so-called U.S. victory in the Cold War.  Self-proclaimed liberals such as Susan Rice even share a point of view with neoconservatives such as John Bolton.  They appear to believe that the “shame of the West” is the failure to capitalize on the winning of the Cold War by not making sure that former Soviet republics such as Georgia and Ukraine be admitted to NATO and that recent events in Crimea and Hong Kong justify a new Cold War.  They have exaggerated the extent of Putin’s risk-taking and ignored Washington’s contribution to the sorry state of Russian-American relations.

Unfortunately, a presidential campaign in the United States doesn’t allow for the time or space to conduct a rational dialogue on the importance of restoring stable and predictable relations between the United States and Russia.

Join the debate on Facebook

More articles by:MELVIN GOODMAN

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.  A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent book is “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming “The Dangerous National Security State” (2020).” Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org.

ROBERT INLAKESH ON HIS DOCUMENTARY, “STEAL OF THE CENTURY: TRUMP’S PALESTINE-ISRAEL CATASTROPHE”

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Robert Inlakesh is a Documentary Filmmaker, Journalist, and Middle-East  Analyst

I recently spoke with him on his visits to Occupied Palestine nd in  particular his two-part documentary, “Steal Of The Century’: Trump’s  Palestine-Israel Catastrophe” , the first part of which he released on  June 5.

Watch part 1

Twitter: @falasteen47

Facebook/Youtube: Robert Inlakesh

Robert’s Patreon

‘Set Them All Free’: Child Detention in American and Israeli Prisons

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June 30, 2020

By Benay Blend

Referring to the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in Los Angeles on June 26, 2020, ordered the release of migrant children detained in the country’s three family detention centers. Some have been held since last year.

The mandate refers to children who have been held for more than 20 days in centers run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania. According to the ruling, 124 children were living in those places since June 8, and some of them have tested positive for the virus. This number is separate from the US Department of Health and Human Services centers for unaccompanied children that contained around 1,000 children in early June.

In her order, Judge Dolly M. Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denounced the Trump administration for ignoring recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To stall the spread of the virus in detention facilities, the agency had endorsed social distancing, the wearing of masks, and treatment for those who tested positive.

“The family residential centers are on fire,” she wrote, adding that this is no time for “half measures.”

Because of the pandemic, Judge Gee wrote, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should work with “all deliberate speed” to release the children either together with their parents or sent to family sponsors.

“Some detained parents facing deportation brought their children to this country to save them from rampant violence in their home countries,” said Peter Schey, counsel for the class of detained children, “and would prefer to see their child released to relatives here rather than being deported with the parent to countries where children are routinely kidnapped, beaten and killed.”

Amy Maldonado, an attorney who works with detained families, said Gee “clearly recognized that the government is not willing to protect the health and safety of the children, which is their obligation.”

“They need to make the sensible choice and release the parents to care for their children,” she said of the government. Under terms of the Flores Settlement, the government can be forced into releasing children but not their parents, so that family separation occurs again unless the immigration rights group demands the release of entire families from detention.

More than 2,500 people in ICE holdings have tested positive for COVID-19. Although approximately 900 people considered at medical risk have been released, ICE refused to discharge more because it deems most of the family detainees to be “flight risks” because they are set to either be deported or appear in court.

Family separation has a long history in the United States beginning with children taken from their parents during slavery in the American South. As Shaun King observes, while children locked in cages is surely an “abomination,” it is also as deeply entrenched in American culture as “Facebook and Disneyland” seem to be.

During the 250 years of slavery in the American South millions of African family members were separated from each other. Ripped from their homelands, sold at auction blocks across the South, African parents, children, brothers and sisters would do their best to reunite after the Civil War.

Not only were enslaved African children sold away from their families, claims King, but Native American children, too, were forcibly sent to boarding schools where they suffered under harsh discipline and corporal punishment. In Our History is the Future (2019), historian Nick Estes (Lower Brule Sioux Tribe) writes that “the system…was as much about taking the children hostage as it was using them as leverage to coerce the behavior of reservation leadership,” (p. 118) and this continued until the 1970s.

Finally, in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-Blindness (2010), Michelle Alexander traces the “rebirth of a caste-like system” that relegates millions of African American prisoners to a “permanent second-class status” by robbing them of their rights won in the 1960s. By focusing on the War on Drugs, Alexander shows that the U.S. criminal justice system is little more than a “contemporary system of racial control” that targets black men for petty crimes and consequently decimates communities.

Given these examples, it’s clear that “this nation has mastered separating parents and children,” as King asserts, but in fact, it is guilty of so much more. As he explains: “What’s happening right now in our country is, without question, a human rights catastrophe.” Yet, when others respond with statements like: “This is not the American I know and love,” his immediate reply is: It is.

It is also the same America that funds and supports the detention of Palestinian children in Israeli military jails. As reported by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Israel detains and prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts per year.

Not only do such courts lack due process guarantees, they have a conviction rate of 99.74 percent. During their time in the penal system, these children are subjected to various kinds of physical and emotional abuse when neither their parents nor their lawyers are there to protect them.

According to Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, conditions inside Israeli jails are particularly deadly now due to systemic medical neglect in the face of the coronavirus. If this motivated the release of children from detention in America, surely Palestinian prisoners, especially the youth, deserve the same consideration.

On May 1, 2019, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) reintroduced legislation in Congress that would prohibit US tax dollars from funding the Israeli military detention of Palestinian children. H.R. 2407, Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Military Occupation Act, is the follow-up to H.R. 4391, in the last Congress, which totaled 31 sponsors.

“By introducing H.R. 2407,” writes Ramzy Baroud,

“McCollum has broken several major taboos in the US government. She unapologetically characterizes Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights with all the correct terms – ‘torture’, ‘abuse’, and so on… Moreover, she calls for conditioning US military support for Israel on the latter’s respect for human rights.”

The time is ripe. The Palestinian rights movement, writes Alex Kane, has helped push Democratic public opinion away from unqualified support for Israel. Jamaal Bowman’s declared victory over Rep. Engel this past week shows this to be the case.

Rep. McCollum agrees:

“I strongly believe there is a growing consensus among the American people that the Palestinian people deserve justice, equality, human rights, and the right to self-determination. It is time to stand with Palestinians, Americans, Israelis, and people around the world to reject the destructive, dehumanizing, and anti-peace policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump.”

Neither Bowman’s campaign nor McCollum’s stance represent a forum for challenging the foundation of the US-Israel relationship, but these steps do question Israel’s regard for human rights. As Justine Teba (Tesuque and Santa Clara Pueblo) notes, it took a movement to free the children. It happened because of ongoing protests at ICE detentions centers, these movements aren’t being talked about in mainstream media because they’re are undeniable PROOF of movement power and PROOF that this is how we get things done in an unjust system. I see the see first-hand accounts of these actions online. Do you think the state just decided on a whim to let their child prisoners free?”

In These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggles and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (2020), Ramzy Baroud records a total of 5,250 political prisoners in Israel, a number he predicts will be growing because Palestinians will continue to resist.

Expect an increase, too, because on July 1, various Palestinian factions and support groups have called for a Day of Rage to protest the annexation of all illegal settlements in the West Bank and large swaths of the Jordan Valley, consuming the remaining areas under Palestinian control. Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Red Nation has called for a car parade ending with a rally at Tiquex Park.

If justice is truly indivisible, in the words of Martin Luther King, then all prisoners—in America and Occupied Palestine–deserve the same demands to ensure their release from COVID-infested prisons.

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Group of So-Called “Donald Trump Friends” in Beirut Plead US to Disarm Hezbollah

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July 4, 2020

Capture

A group of around 10 people gathered Saturday near the US embassy in Beirut, thanking Washington for its “support” to Lebanon.

The so-called “Donald Trump Friends” group demanded that the US administration disarm Hezbollah and implement the UN Resolution 1559.

It is worth noting that certain media outlets weirdly provided the event with a remarkable coverage despite the  very humble participation.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

“Israeli’, UAE Technology Firms Pen Deal on COVID-19 Research

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“Israeli’, UAE Technology Firms Pen Deal on COVID-19 Research

By Staff, Agencies

In the most recent act of normalization with the “Israeli” entity, a state-linked technology company in the United Arab Emirates [UAE] has signed a partnership with two major “Israeli” defense firms to research ways of combating the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement, announced late Thursday, comes just weeks after the UAE warned the “Israeli” entity that proceeding with its planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank would upend its efforts to improve ties with Arab states.

G42, an Abu Dhabi-based company specializing in artificial intelligence and cloud computing, signed a memorandum of understanding with Rafael and “Israel” Aerospace Industries, the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency reported. It said executives held a signing ceremony by video link between the two countries, which do not have diplomatic relations.

Rafael and IAI’s Elta subsidiary confirmed the agreement. Elta, which specializes in sensors, radars, electronic warfare and communication systems, said they would cooperate on research and technology focused on artificial intelligence, sensors and lasers.

They said the collaboration would not only benefit the two countries, but the entire world as it grapples with the pandemic.

The “Israeli” entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to annex all of the occupied West Bank settlements as well as the strategic Jordan Valley, had announced an agreement with the UAE a week ago, without providing specifics.

“Israel” and Gulf countries have quietly improved ties in recent years, in part because of their shared concerns about Iran.

In recent weeks, senior UAE officials have warned that annexation would jeopardize those improved ties, but have also suggested that the two countries could set aside their political disputes to collaborate on humanitarian and other projects.

US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, which overwhelmingly favors “Israel” and was rejected by the Palestinians, would allow the entity to annex up to 30% of the West Bank, which it occupied in the 1967 war along with east al-Quds [Jerusalem] and the Gaza Strip.

The UN, European and Arab countries have warned “Israel” against annexation, which is widely seen as a violation of international law.

Group 42, also known as G42, is led by CEO Peng Xiao. He previously ran Pegasus, a subsidiary of DarkMatter, a cyber-security firm based in the UAE that has recruited Western intelligence agents.

Since late 2016, Dubai police have partnered with Pegasus to use its “big data” application to pool hours of surveillance video to track anyone in the emirate. DarkMatter’s hiring of former CIA and National Security Agency analysts has raised concerns, especially as the UAE has imprisoned human rights activists.

Does the next Presidential election even matter?

Source

President Barack Obama and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden head toward the Capitol Platform during the 58th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. More than 5,000 military members from across all branches of the armed forces of the United States, including reserve and National Guard components, provided ceremonial support and Defense Support of Civil Authorities during the inaugural period. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)

THE SAKER • JULY 2, 2020

Just by asking the question of whether the next Presidential election matters, I am obviously suggesting that it might not. To explain my reasons for this opinion, I need to reset the upcoming election in the context of the previous one. So let’s begin here.

The 2016 election of Donald Trump

The first thing which, I believe, ought to be self-evident to all by now is that there was no secret operation by any deep state, not even a Zionist controlled one, to put Donald Trump in power. I would even argue that the election of Donald Trump was the biggest slap in the face of US deep state and of the covert transnational ruling elites this deep state serves. Ever. My evidence? Simple, look what these ruling “elites” did both before and after Trump’s election: before, they ridiculed the very idea of “President Trump” as both utterly impossible and utterly evil.

As somebody who has had years of experience reading the Soviet press or, in another style, the French press, I can honestly say that I have never seen a more ridiculously outlandish hate campaign against anybody that would come even close to the kind of total hate campaign which Trump was subjected to. Then, as soon as he was elected, the US neo-liberals (who are not liberals at all!) declared that Trump was “not their President”, that Trump was put into power by Putin and that he was a “Russian asset” (using pseudo-professional jargon is what journos typically do to conceal their abject ignorance of a complex topic) and, finally, that he was a White racist and misogynist who will deeply divide the country (thereby dividing the country themselves by making such claims).

The fact is that for the past four years the US liberals have waged a total informational war against Trump and it would be absolutely unthinkable for them to ever accept a Trump re-election, even if he wins by a landslide. For the US Dems and neo-liberals, Trump is the personification of evil, literally, and that means that “resistance” to him and everything he represents must be total. And if he is re-elected, then there is only one possible explanation: the Russians stole the election, or the Chinese did. But the notion that Trump has the support of a majority of people is literally unthinkable for these folks.

Truth be told, Trump has proven to be a fantastically incompetent President, no doubt about that. Was he even worse than Obama? Maybe, it really all depends on your scoring system. In my personal opinion, and for all his very real sins and failings, Trump, at least, did not start a major war, which Obama did, and which Hillary would have done (can’t prove this, but that is my personal belief). That by itself, and totally irrespective of anything else, makes me believe that Trump has been a “lesser evil” (even if far more ridiculous) President than Obama has been or Hillary would have been. This is what I believed four years ago and this is what I still believe: considering how dangerous for the entire planet “President Hillary” would have been, voting for Trump was not only the only logical thing to do, it was the only moral one too because giving your voice to a warmongering narcissistic hyena like Hillary is a profoundly immoral act (yes, I know, Trump is also a narcissist – most politicians are! – but at least his warmongering has been all hot air and empty threats, at least so far). However, I don’t think that this (not having started a major war) will be enough to get Trump re-elected.

Why?

Because most Americans still like wars. In fact, they absolutely love them. Unless, of course, they lose. What Americans really want is a President who can win wars, not a President who does not initiate them in the first place. This is also the most likely reason why Trump did not start any major wars: the US has not won a real war in decades and, instead, it got whipped in every conflict it started. Americans hate losing wars, and that is why Trump did not launch any wars: it would have been political suicide to start a real war against, say, the DPRK or Iran. So while I am grateful that Trump did not start any wars, I am not naive to the point of believing that he did so for pure and noble motives. Give Trump an easy victory and he will do exactly what all US Presidents have done in the past: attack, beat up the little guy, and then be considered like a “wartime President hero” by most Americans. The problem is that there are no more “little guys” left out there: only countries who can, and will, defend themselves if attacked.

The ideology of messianic imperialism which permeates the US political culture is still extremely powerful and deep seated and it will take years, probably decades, to truly flush it down to where it belongs: to the proverbial trash-heaps of history. Besides, in 2020 Americans have much bigger concerns than war vs. peace – at least that is what most of them believe. Between the Covid19 pandemic and the catastrophic collapse of the economy (of course, while the former certainly has contributed to the latter, it did not single-handedly cause it) and now the BLM insurgency, most Americans now feel personally threatened – something which no wars of the past ever did (a war against Russia very much would, but most Americans don’t realize that, since nobody explains this to them; they also tend to believe that nonsense about the US military being the best and most capable in history).

Following four years of uninterrupted flagwaving and MAGA-chanting there is, of course, a hardcore of true believers who believe that Trump is nothing short of brilliant and that he will “kick ass” everything and everybody: from the spying Russians, to the rioting Blacks, from the pandemic, to the lying media, etc. The fact that in reality Trump pitifully failed to get anything truly important done is completely lost on these folks who live in a reality they created for themselves and in which any and all facts contradicting their certitudes are simply explained away by silly stuff like “Q-anon” or “5d chess”. Others, of course, will realize that Trump “deflated” before those whom he called “the swamp” almost as soon as he got into the White House.

As for the almighty Israel Lobby, it seems to me that it squeezed all it could from Trump who, from the point of view of the Zionists, was always a “disposable President” anyway. And now that Trump has done everything Israel wanted him to do, he becomes almost useless. If anything, Pelosi, Schumer and the rest of them will try to outdo Trump’s love for everything Israeli anyway.

So how much support is there behind Trump today? I really don’t know (don’t trust the polls, which have always been deeply wrong about Trump anyway), but I think that there is definitely a constituency of truly frightened Americans who are freaking out (as they should, considering the rapid collapse of the country) and who might vote Trump just because they will feel that for all his faults, he is the only one who can save the country. Conversely, they will see Biden as a pro-BLM geriatric puppet who will hand the keys of the White House to a toxic coalition of minorities.

So what if Trump does get re-elected?

In truth, the situation is so complex and there are so many variables (including many “unknown unknowns”!) that make predictions impossible. Still, we can try to make some educated guesses, especially if based on some kind of logic such as the one which says that “past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior”. In other words, if Trump gets elected, we will get more of the same. Personally, I would characterize this “same” as a further destruction of the US from within by the Democrats and their “coalition of minorities” combined with a further destruction of the US Empire abroad by delusional Republicans.

I very much doubt that it makes any sense at all to vote for that, really. Better stay at home and do something worthwhile with your time, no?

Now what about a Biden election?

Remember that Biden is now the de-facto leader of what I would loosely call the “anti-US coalition”, that is the “coalition of minorities” which really have nothing in common except their hatred of the established order (well, and, of course, their hatred of Trump and of those who voted for him).

These minorities are very good at hating and destroying, but don’t count on them to ever come up with constructive solutions – it ain’t gonna happen. For one thing, they are probably too stupid to come up with any constructive ideas, but even more important is the fact that these folks all have a hyper-narrow agenda and, simply put, they don’t care about “constructing” anything. These folks are all about hatred and the instant gratification of their narrow, one-topic, agenda.

This also begs the question of why the Dems decided to go with Biden in spite of the fact that he is clearly an extremely weak candidate. In spite? I am not so sure at all. I think that they chose him because he is so weak: the real power behind him will be in the hands of the Schumer-Pelosi-Obama gang and of the interests these folks represent.

Unlike Trump who prostituted himself only after making it to the White House, the neo-liberal Dems have *already* prostituted themselves to everybody who wanted to give them something in return, from the Ukie Nazis to the thugs of BLM, to the powerful US homo-lobby. Don’t expect them to show any spine, or even less so, love for the USA, if they get the White House. They hate this country and most of its people and they are not shy about it.

What would happen to the US if the likes of Bloomberg or Harris took control? First, there would be the comprehensive surrender to the various minorities which put these folks in power followed by a very strong blowback from all the “deplorables” ranging from protests and civil disobedience, to local authorities refusing to take orders from the feds. Like it or not, but most Americans still love their country and loathe the kind of pseudo-liberal ideology which has been imposed upon them by the joint actions of the US deep state and the corporate world. There is even a strong probability that if Biden gets elected the USA’s disintegration would only accelerate.

On the international front, a Biden Presidency would not solve any of the problems created by Obama and Trump: by now it is way too late and the damage done to the international reputation of the United States is irreparable. If anything, the Dems will only make it worse by engaging in even more threats, sanctions and wars. Specifically, the Demolicans hate Russia, China and Iran probably even more than the Republicrats. Besides, these countries have already concluded a long time ago that the US was “not agreement capable” anyway (just look at the long list of international treaties and organization from which the US under Trump has withdrawn: what is the point of negotiating anything with a power which systematically reneges on its promises and obligations?)

The truth is that if Biden gets elected, the US will continue to fall apart internally and externally, if anything, probably even faster than under a re-elected Trump.

Which brings me to my main conclusion:

Why do we even bother having elections?

First, I don’t think that the main role of a democracy is to protect minorities from majorities. A true democracy protects the majority against the many minorities which typically have a one-issue agenda and which are typically hostile to the values of the majority. Oh sure, minority rights should be protected, the question is how exactly?

For one thing, most states have some kind of constitution/basic law which sets a number of standards which cannot be violated as long as this constitution/basic law is in force. Furthermore, in most states which call themselves democratic all citizens have the same rights and obligations, and a minority status does not give anybody any special rights or privileges. Typically, there are also fundamental international standards for human rights and fundamental national standards for civil rights. Minority rights (individual or collective), however, are not typically considered a separate category which somehow trumps or supplements adopted norms for human and civil rights (if only because it creates a special “minority” category, whereas in true “people power” all citizens are considered as one entity).

It is quite obvious that neither the Republicrats nor the Demolicans represent the interests of “we the people” and that both factions of the US plutocracy are under the total control of behind-the-scenes real powers. What happened four years ago was a colossal miscalculation of these behind-the-scenes real powers who failed to realize how hated they were and how even a guy like Trump would seem preferable to a nightmare like Hillary (as we know, had the Dems chosen Sanders or even some other halfway lame candidate, Trump would probably not have prevailed).

This is why I submit that the next election will make absolutely no difference:

  1. The US system is rigged to give all the power to minorities and to completely ignore the will of the people
  2. The choice between the Demolicans and the Republicrats is not a choice at all
  3. The systemic crisis of the US is too deep to be affected by who is in power in the White House

Simply put, and unlike the case of 2016, the outcome of the 2020 election will make no difference at all. Caring about who the next puppet in the White House will be is tantamount to voting for a new captain while the Titanic is sinking. The major difference is that the Titanic sank in very deep water whereas the “ship USA” will sink in the shallows, meaning that the US will not completely disappear: in some form or another, it will survive either as a unitary state or as a number of successor states. The Empire, however, has no chance of survival at all. Thus, anything which contributes to make the US a “normal” country and which weakens the Empire is in the interests of the people of the USA. Voting for either one of the candidates this fall will only prolong the agony of the current political regime in the USA.

Germany SITREP: Former German Chancellor Says U.S.-EU Alliance Could Now End

Source

Germany SITREP: Former German Chancellor Says U.S.-EU Alliance Could Now End

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

A German equivalent to UK’s Financial Times and America’s Wall Street Journal is the Dusseldorf Handelsblatt or “Commerce Sheet,” which headlined on June 30th, “Former Chancellor Schröder: USA Ending Transatlantic Partnership”.

They reported:

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has condemned possible new US sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline as “deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership.” A draft law currently under discussion in the US Congress is “a widespread, unjustified attack on the European economy and an unacceptable interference with EU sovereignty and the energy security of Western Europe,” Schröder writes in his statement for a public hearing of the Economic Committee scheduled for Wednesday in the Bundestag.

The article closes:

Schröder sees the relations with the USA as “heavily burdened” by “escalating tariffs and going it alone” policy by the Americans. Schröder writes: “Economic fines against a NATO ally during the current economic recession are nothing other than a deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership.”

This is as if Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama were to say that EU policymakers had a trade policy toward the U.S. that is so hostile and uncooperative that in order to comply with it, the U.S. would have to subordinate itself to the EU and lose some of its own sovereignty, and as if he were to tell the U.S. Congress that for them to okay the EU’s demands in this matter would be “nothing other than a termination of the transatlantic partnership.”

Congress has not yet passed this legislation (new economic sanctions legislation that is co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen) but it (“S.1441 – Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019”) enjoys strong bipartisan support and has been considered almost certain to be passed in both houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump. It is not a partisan issue in the United States.

Neither is it partisan in Germany. Both of Germany’s main political Parties (Schröder being SPD) support strongly the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which will be considerably more economical for supplying natural gas to the EU than would be the U.S. Government’s demand that American shipped fracked liquified natural gas be used, instead of Russian pipelined natural gas, in Europe. Though this U.S. legislative initiative is called “Protecting Europe’s Energy Security,” its overwhelming support in the U.S. Congress is instead actually for protecting U.S. fracking corporations. The bill’s title is only for ‘patriotic’ propaganda purposes (which is the typical way that legislation is named in the United States — as a sales-device, so as to sound acceptable not only to the billionaires who fund the Parties but also to the voters on election day).

Both of America’s political Parties are significantly funded by America’s domestic producers of fracked gas. One of the few proud achievements of U.S. President Obama that has been proudly continued by President Trump has been their boosting U.S. energy production, largely fracked gas, so as to reduce America’s foreign-trade deficit. However, if this control over the U.S. Government by frackers continues, then there now exists a strong possibility, or even a likelihood, that the transatlantic alliance will end, as a result.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

لبنان التوجه شرقاً

رسائل رسميّة من الصين إلى لبنان: جاهزون للاستثمار في الكهرباء وسكّة الحديد

فراس الشوفي

 الجمعة 3 تموز 2020

رسائل رسميّة من الصين إلى لبنان: جاهزون للاستثمار في الكهرباء وسكّة الحديد
سرّع «فائض القوّة» الأميركي ضد بيروت وتيرة الانفتاح الصيني ــ اللبناني (هيثم الموسوي)

كسر الاجتماع الحكومي مع السفير الصيني في بيروت رتابة المشهد وانعدام الأفق، مع إعلان الرئيس حسان دياب استعداد لبنان لتلقّف رسائل صينية، وتحويلها إلى التنفيذ. «الأخبار»، تنشر فحوى رسالتين وصلتا إلى الحكومة قبل 10 أيام، تؤكد فيهما عشر شركات صينية ضخمة استعدادها للاستثمار في مشاريع بنى تحتية في لبنان، رغم الأزمة المالية التي يمر بهابعد أسبوع على وصول رسائل حاسمة من كبريات الشركات الصينية إلى الحكومة اللبنانية، مبديةً استعدادها للاستثمار في مشاريع البنية التحتيّة اللبنانية على نطاق واسع، عقد رئيس الحكومة حسّان دياب، أمس، اجتماعاً ضمّ وزراء البيئة والصناعة والأشغال والنقل والسياحة والطاقة، مع السفير الصيني في بيروت وانغ كيجيان، ناقشوا خلالها المشاريع التي يمكن لبكّين أن تساعد لبنان عبرها لتطوير بناه التحتيّة.

ويشكّل اجتماع أمس، ودعوة السفير الصيني إلى اجتماع واسع من هذا النوع، علامة فارقة في مسيرة الحكومة، بعد أشهرٍ من التعثّر، وانعطافة رسمية لبنانية لم تحصل منذ زمنٍ طويل، نحو الانفتاح على طروحات بعيدة عن «التعليب» الموجّه إلى الخيارات الغربية.

خطوة الحكومة، وإن كانت أوليّة، إلّا أنها ستفاقم نقمة واشنطن، التي أساساً لا تنوي تقديم أي مساعدة حقيقيّة، ويسود فيها رأي الفريق الرئاسي بحصار لبنان حتى «الذوبان الكلّي» أو «total meltdown»، كما يسميه مسؤول الملفّ السوري وضابط الاستخبارات العسكرية الأميركية جويل ريبورن.

ومنذ رفع الأمين العام لحزب الله السّيد حسن نصر الله صوت «التوجّه شرقاً»، كخيار موازٍ بديل من العبودية للصندوق، تحوّل لبنان إلى ساحة للنّزال الإعلامي بين الدبلوماسية الأميركية والسفارة الصينية في بيروت.
بدأ استنفار واشنطن مع مقابلة مساعد وزير الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى ديفيد شينكر، ثم تبعته السفيرة دوروثي شيا بتحريض ضد الصين ينبثق من الدعاية التي يروّجها فريق الرئيس دونالد ترامب في حملة التهويل من الخطر الصيني على العالم، مع تعاظم الصراع الاقتصادي والسياسي بين القوّتين. بالتوازي، نشأت في لبنان حملة تسخيف وشيطنة للدور الصيني. ولعلّ ردود الفعل هذه تعبّر تماماً عن مدى القلق الأميركي من انفتاح أي أفق جديد في البلد، يُفقد الحصار فعاليته وشروط صندوق النقد حصريتها، وهي دليلٌ إضافي على جديّة الطرح الصيني، إلى ما هو أبعد من تفاصيل الأزمة اللبنانية.

فبدل أن يساهم الضغط الأميركي على لبنان والمنطقة عموماً، في عرقلة مبادرة «حزام وطريق» (إلى حين)، كما حصل في فلسطين المحتلّة بعد زيارة وزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو ولقائه رئيس وزراء العدو بنيامين نتنياهو وإبلاغه إياه تحذيراً من ترامب حول التعاون مع الصين، سرّع «فائض القوّة» الأميركي ضد بيروت وتيرة الانفتاح الصيني ــــ اللبناني المتبادل.
وفي تفاصيل الاجتماع، علمت «الأخبار» أن كيجيان قدّم شرحاً حول آلية عمل الشركات الحكومية والخاصة الصينية، وآليات منح قروض الاستثمار، وجرى النقاش مع كلّ وزير حول المشاريع التي تعني وزارته، من سكك الحديد ومعالجة المياه والكهرباء إلى معالجة النفايات والمشاريع الصناعية، فيما كلّف دياب وزير الصناعة عماد حب الله بمتابعة ملفّ التعاون مع الشركات الصينية. وبحسب مصادر في رئاسة الحكومة، فإن «الاجتماع كان إيجابياً للغاية، والرئيس دياب أكّد أننا لا نريد أن نتوجّه نحو الشرق أو الغرب، لكنّنا منفتحون على كلّ ما يساعد بلدنا وكل من يريد أن يستثمر فيه».

رسالتان وموافقة من «سينوشور»

وحصلت «الأخبار» على نسختين عن رسالتين تلقتهما الحكومة اللبنانية الثلاثاء الماضي، تؤكّد فيهما عشر شركات صينية ضخمة، بقيادة الشركة العملاقة «ساينو هيدرو» (SINOHYDRO)، استعدادها الفوري للاستثمار في لبنان، وتحديداً في محطتي كهرباء وسكّة الحديد الشاملة.

غير أن الموقف الأبرز في الرسالتين هو تأكيد الشركات اندفاعها نحو الاستثمار في لبنان، على رغم الأوضاع المالية للبلاد، وإعلان لبنان تعثّره عن دفع سنداته الدولية، وفي عزّ المفاوضات مع صندوق النقد الدولي. وتتضمّن الرسالتان تأكيداً على نيّة الصين مساعدة لبنان في تجاوز الأزمة، والمساهمة في الاستقرار المطلوب مع تطوير البنية التحتية. فالشركات العالميّة اليوم، مع إعلان لبنان تعثّره عن دفع السندات، وحالة العملة المحلية، لن تجرؤ على التفكير في الاستثمار في لبنان، من دون ضمانة البنك الدولي، الذي بدوره لن يتجاوز المفاوضات اللبنانية مع صندوق النقد. وبالتالي، فإن ما أعلنته وزيرة الدفاع زينة عكر صحيح من حيث المضمون، بأن أياً من الشركات لن تستثمر في قطاع الكهرباء في لبنان قبل التأكد من موافقة الصندوق. وهذا الأمر ينطبق إجمالاً على مجمل الشركات الكبرى، والصينية منها أيضاً. لكنّه لا ينطبق على المجموعة التي تقودها «ساينو هيدرو»، وهي شركات حكومية صينية، لديها رأسمال ضخم، والعقوبات الأميركية عليها محدودة التأثير. وهنا، تحديداً، تتكشّف الغاية خلف إشارة شينكر إلى الحزب الشيوعي الصيني الذي تستهدفه التصريحات الأميركية بحملات مركّزة هذه الأيام، بعدما نجح الصينيون في خلق بدائل من الشركات الخاصة والحكومية، لتنفيذ المشاريع، رغم العقوبات الأميركية التي تُستخدم كأبرز سلاح في الحروب الاقتصادية ضد الدول، الحليفة منها والمناوئة للولايات المتحدة.

كلّف دياب وزير الصناعة متابعة ملفّ التعاون مع الشركات الصينية


في الرسالة الأولى حول الاهتمام بالكهرباء، يُذكّر تجمّع الشركات بالزيارة التي قام بها ممثّلوه للبنان عام 2019، حيث اطّلعوا على المعطيات المحيطة بأزمة الكهرباء والحاجة إلى المعامل، «لذلك نحن مهتمّون بالاستثمار في هذه المشاريع المهمّة، وتحديداً محطتَي الزهراني ودير عمار». وتذكّر الرسالة الثانية بمذكرة التفاهم الموقّعة مع وزارة الأشغال اللبنانية، حول أعمال سكّة الحديد وقطاع النقل، معلنةً استعدادها لتنفيذ المشاريع التي تتضمّن «تنفيذ خط سكّة حديد من الشمال إلى الجنوب، ونظام النقل العام الضخم في بيروت، ونفق بيروت (ضهر البيدر نحو الحدود السورية) لسكّة الحديد أو للأوتوستراد الدولي، أو كليهما معاً».
وفي الرسالتين، أيضاً، تأكيد من الشركات على الاستعداد للقيام بالمشاريع الآتية:

ــــ محطات للطاقة كهرومائية أو على الغاز والوقود، بالإضافة إلى خطوط نقل الكهرباء.
ــــ محطات للطاقة البديلة (الشمسية أو بقوّة الريح).
ــــ معالجة وتكرير المياه (الشرب، الصرف الصحي والمياه الملوّثة، بما في ذلك نهر الليطاني).
ــــ الطرقات، الطرقات الدولية، سكك الحديد، تطوير المرافئ والمطارات وأنظمة المياه.
ــــ استثمارات في القطاع المالي وأعمال التجارة الدولية.

وفي شرحٍ حول هوية الشركة، تؤكّد الرسالة الثانية أن «سينوهيدرو» التي تأسست في عام 1954، هي الشركة الرقم 11 على مستوى العالم، من بين 225 شركة إنشاءات كبرى، وأكبر شركة طاقة كهرومائية في العالم. إذ تتجاوز حصتّها 50% من مجمل سوق الطاقة الكهرومائية. وسبق للشركة أن نفّذت سكة القطار السريع بكين ــــ شنغهاي، الذي يسير بسرعة 350 كلم/ ساعة، وقطار غويانغ ــــ غونزو بسرعة 300 كلم/ ساعة، ومجموعة واسعة من السكك الحديد ومحطات مترو الأنفاق في الصين، علماً، بأن شركة «سينوماك» (SINOMACH) التي تضمّها المجموعة، لا تقلّ شأناً عن الشركة الأولى، إذ تعدّ واحدة من كبريات الشركات العالمية في مجال تنفيذ الإنشاءات والصناعات المتوسّطة والثقيلة.

ولعلّ أبرز التطوّرات هو سلوك مشروع التعاون مع لبنان طريقه الرسمي والبيروقراطي داخل الصين بشكل متسارع. إذ علمت «الأخبار» أن «سينوهيدرو» حصلت على موافقة على ضمان مشروع سكة الحديد، بناءً على مذكّرة التفاهم الموقّعة مع وزارة الأشغال، من «سينوشور»، وهي هيئة رسمية لـ«ضمان القروض في الصين»، ودورها هو إعطاء الموافقات للشركات الصينية للعمل في الخارج وضمان مشاريعها وتقدّم القروض للدول من الدولة الصينية عبر الشركات الحكومية. وبحسب المعلومات، فإن ممثّلي الشركة يستعدّون لزيارة لبنان، حال سماح الحكومة الصينية لرعاياها بالسفر، وأن ممثّليها جاهزون لإجراء المناقشات مع دياب وأعضاء الحكومة بتقنيات «المؤتمرات بالفيديو»، لتسريع العمل.

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Trump Could Cozy Up to Iran If He Wins 2nd Term – Bolton

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Trump Could Cozy Up to Iran If He Wins 2nd Term - Bolton

By Staff, Agencies

Former US national security adviser John Bolton on Thursday said ‘Israelis’ should be worried about US President Donald Trump winning a second term in office.

Bolton excoriated his ex-boss as detached from reality, saying Trump could shift policies and try to foster ties in a second term with Iran, as he did with North Korea.

Bolton said in a video conference interview with ‘Israeli’ Channel 13 that Trump had been eager “to have a meeting with the Iranian leadership… to talk about getting a new nuclear deal with Iran.”

“Just as Kim Jong Un played Trump along in the Korea context, I worry that in a second term the Iranians might be able to do the same,” Bolton said.

Bolton said that while he was ambassador to the UN under former US president George W. Bush, he believed Bush when the president said he wouldn’t allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.

Now, when asked whether he believes Trump vows to rein in Iran, Bolton said: “I don’t know.”

“I think [Trump] has his own definition of what amounts to honesty,” Bolton said. “He certainly has a lot of different versions of facts. They tend to come and go as they suit him. I found that very frustrating, I think foreign leaders find it frustrating. I’d rather have somebody more grounded in reality as president.”

It Is the Century of Falling Racism Statues…And White Supremacy

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It Is the Century of Falling Racism Statues…And White Supremacy

By Elham Hashemi

George Floyd’s brutal killing was like a stone thrown into the pond, causing a non-stop ripple effect. For the first time in modern history, people across the United States and Europe sound their disgust and unease towards the racist policies carried out by the US administration and the systems across the Western part of the world.

It started with protests and riots, and so far has not come to an end. One interesting scene is how the streets began to fill up with people despite police violence and statues started to fall down; these are not any statues but are in fact statues of racism and white supremacy.

In the United States, more than a dozen statues have been toppled, including several Confederate figures. To begin with, a few statues of Christopher Columbus who is depicted as “THE hero” began to fall down. Rarely do educational texts or reports refer to Columbus’s true image.

Bartolemé de las Casas, who was said to have known Columbus in person, decried the brutality in his “A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1552”. He described how Columbus and the conquistadors disfigured Native slaves and fed them alive to dogs.

 A statue of Christopher Columbus was beheaded in Boston. A Columbus statue was also destroyed and dragged into a lake earlier in the week in Richmond, Virginia. After the figure was removed from its pedestal by protesters using several ropes in Richmond, a sign that reads, “Columbus represents genocide” was placed on the spray-painted foundation that once held the statue. In Camden, a New Jersey city near Philadelphia, protestors took down a statue of Christopher Columbus, joining others across the country.

A 10-foot bronze sculpture of Columbus was also toppled in Minnesota after a group of protests tied ropes around the neck of the statue and yanked it from its pedestal.

Theodor Roosevelt’s statue at NY museum of natural history was reported to be removed soon for its symbolism of the Native American man and the African man who stands beside him.

In Belgium’s Antwerp, thousands of protesters marching for Black Lives Matter filled the streets and demanded the removal of statues of King Léopold II, a brutal colonial ruler. The Belgian king statue who brutalized Congo was burned and ultimately removed.

It was the statue of King Léopold; infamous for genocide with his orchestration of mass violence against the people in the Congo, a large portion of which he considered his personal territory for cultivating and exporting rubber and ivory.

In Britain, a statue of the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston was toppled by protesters and dumped into the very same waters of the Bristol Harbor that launched slave ships centuries ago.

Protesters have also made threats against statues of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the architect of colonial policies that lead to the mass starvation of some four million Indians, the torture of Kenyans, and was in favor of using poisoned gas against “uncivilized” tribes.

Shamelessly, the British government sealed Churchill’s statue inside a protective steel barrier ahead of the massive London race protest which Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed has been “hijacked” by extremists. In this context, it is not surprising to hear the racist language of Johnson and his claims that the protests are hijacked.

At the University of Oxford, protesters have stepped up their longtime push to remove a statue of Rhodes, the Victorian imperialist who served as prime minister of the Cape Colony in southern Africa. He made a fortune from gold and diamonds on the backs of miners who labored in brutal conditions.

Also in London, the statue of 18th Century slave trader Robert Milligan has been pulled down from outside the Museum of London Docklands after campaigners vowed to protest every day until it was removed.

New Zealand’s fourth-largest city removed a bronze statue of the British naval officer Capt. John Hamilton after a Maori tribe asked for the statue to be taken down and one Maori elder threatened to tear it down himself. The city of Hamilton said it was clear the statue of the man accused of killing indigenous Maori people in the 1860s would be vandalized.

The statues and monuments that have long honored racist figures are being boxed up, beheaded and sprayed in paint. It is not only because black lives matter, it is because the racist and white supremacist discrimination cannot be tolerated any longer. The New York Times reported that in dozens more cities across the US, statues that still stand have been marked with graffiti, challenged anew with petitions and protests, or scheduled for removal.

Among these statues, a “living statue” named Donald Trump must also be removed in order to preserve human dignity and freedom and end racism. White supremacists and other hateful actors attack immigrants, communities of color, and religious minorities with impunity — all under the Trump administration’s watch.

Tragedies during the Trump time have taken place across the US, targeting African Americans, immigrants and minorities, and these were encouraged by the same force of white supremacy. White supremacists including president Trump and his loyalists deploy disruptive rhetoric and enact racist policies like the Muslim Ban, family separation, attempts silence voters of color. At the end of the day, policies of violence and hate produce acts of violence and hate. The people of America, Europe and the world are rising in face of imperialism and white supremacy, it is no longer a time when the US administration can manipulate the free people of the world.

War Escalates: Twitter Removes Trump’s Own Image after NYT Files Copyright Complaint

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War Escalates: Twitter Removes Trump’s Own Image after NYT Files Copyright Complaint

By Staff, Agencies

In a new escalation between Twitter and the US President Donald Trump. Twitter has taken down a post, in which Trump used a photo of himself to make a meme. The tweet was yanked shortly after the Times, embroiled in a bitter feud with Trump, filed a copyright claim.

The tweet in question was posted by Trump on Tuesday and featured a photo of him along with words: “In reality they’re not after me, they’re after you. I’m just in the way.”

Trump is no stranger to using photos of himself to make a statement on his social media of choice. This time, however, the US president apparently made a mistake, using a picture snapped by Times’ photographer Damon Winter.

It did not take long for the paper, which has recently escalated its attacks on the Republican leader, to spot Trump’s apparent blunder and file a copyright claim, Axios first reported on Wednesday.

Upon removing the post, Twitter confirmed that the company acted upon a copyright complaint from a rights holder. The Times, in turn, acknowledged that they urged the social media giant to take action.

The photo originally illustrated a story on Trump the NYT ran back in 2015.

It’s not the first time Twitter pulled one of Trump’s posts citing copyright violations. Last month, the platform removed a video sporting a mock CNN chyron shared by the president. The video, which saw one toddler running after another, was removed after the children’s parents filed copyright claims.

CNN, as well as the Times, have long been embroiled in a very public war with Trump, who has repeatedly labelled them “fake news”.

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