Yemeni Houthis Vow To Fight Israeli Plots As Netanyahu Signs Historic Deal With UAE, Bahrain

Yemeni Houthis Vow To Fight Israeli Plots As Netanyahu Signs Historic Deal  With UAE, Bahrain
Video

The Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis) continues pounding Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.

Late on September 17, the Yemeni Air Force loyal to the Houthi government struck Abha International Airport in the Saudi province of Asir with Samad 3 combat drones, which can be used as loitering munitions. The Houthis claimed that the strike hit a military section of the airport causing material damage and casualties among Saudi forces.

The military infrastructure in the Abha airport area and southern Saudi Arabia itself has regularly become a target of Houthi missile and drone strikes. Just during the past month, Abha International Airport was targeted by at least 4 drone and missile strikes. The Saudi capital of Riyadh and oil infrastructure in the central part of the Kingdom are also not out of danger. The Houthis demonstrated this several times during the past few years. The most recent strike on Riyadh took place just a few days ago.

The September 17 attack, together with regular strikes on other targets inside the Kingdom, showed that efforts of the Saudi Air Force to destroy missile stockpiles and launching sites in Yemen did not lead to any notable impact.

Saudi proxies fighting the Houthis on the ground are also in a state of retreat. During the past few days, they lost even more positions south of the Marib provincial capital retreating from Najd al-Majmaa, Habisah, Ajam al-Sud and al-Atf.

The Maas Camp west of Marib city still remains in the hands of Saudi-backed forces. However, this stronghold is the last obstacle for the advancing Houthi forces in this part of the province. If the defense of pro-Saudi forces continues to crumble, the Maas Camp will be fully isolated and captured.

In the southern part of Marib province, Houthis and their local allies captured the area of Rahum. Here, the mid-term target of the Houthi advance is the town of Hurayb, located on the administrative border between the provinces of Marib and Shabwah.

It is interesting to note that the Houthi leadership recently declared that it stands against the US-promoted normalization with Israel and reaffirmed its support to Palestine. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi even stated that actions of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain contribute to Israeli plots against Muslim countries. He claimed that Yemen has become the target of the Saudi-led intervention due to Yemen’s alleged resistance to the Israeli agenda in the region.

On September 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially signed historic peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Washington. The development is a major foreign policy victory for the administration of US President Donald Trump and its Israeli allies. The event was attended by Trump himself who noted that the courage of the Israeli and Arab leaders enabled these countries “to take a major stride toward a future where people of all faiths live together in peace and prosperity.”

On the other hand, the US State Department has already declared that the UAE and Israel could forge an alliance against Iran. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, key US regional allies, will likely become a part of this effort. Therefore, the announced ‘peace and prosperity’ plan apparently includes a further strengthening of the pressure on Iran and even increases of chances of a potential military action against the republic.

The ongoing normalization campaign also triggered a new escalation in the Gaza Strip, including the exchange of strikes between Palestinian armed groups and Israel, as well as political instability in Bahrain. The population of Bahrain appears to be unhappy with the decision of the country’s leadership.

The modern Middle East could easily be compared with a powder keg that is ready to explode at any moment.

The Chinese make fun of Trump and Pompeo

Trump Turns on Pompeo Over State Department Officials' Impeachment  Testimonies, Says Report

Source

Six More Kurdish SDF Militiamen Killed in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa Provinces

September 19, 2020 Arabi Souri

Syria News Kurds SDF PKK YPG PYD Asayish USA NATO Turkey
Land Thieves and Oil Thieves

Six more militiamen of the US-sponsored Kurdish militia SDF were killed in separate attacks targeting them in the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa, in northern Syria.

A military vehicle carrying Kurdish SDF armed militiamen was targeted with an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) near the Al Omar oil field in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor yesterday. The explosion killed two of the militiamen.

Another IED was detonated in a gathering of the Kurdish SDF militiamen in the vicinity of the town of Sabha, in the eastern countryside of the province. The explosion left an unspecified number of the militiamen injured.

Two attacks against the Kurdish separatist SDF militiamen in the Raqqa province left four of them killed and others injured, the first attack was in the Dar’iyah district in the western suburbs of the city of Raqqa. Two of the militiamen were shot dead.

The other attack was near the Sugar factory to the north of Raqqa city where a military vehicle used by the separatist militiamen was targeted and left two of them killed and others injured.

A day earlier, two Kurdish SDF separatist militiamen were killed in Ain Eissa, in the further in the north of Raqqa province.

A group of ultra-radical Kurdish fighters was brought to Syria from the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq by the US regimes of Barack Hussein Obama and his successor Donald J. Trump with a goal of creating cantons that would later be merged into a ‘Greater Kurdistan’, a sister apartheid state to Israel. These fighters created the group known as the SDF under the guise of fighting ISIS, which was also created and sponsored by a number of NATO member states and their oil-rich Gulfies. The base of this newly formed militia was from former members of the PKK, YPG, PYD, and other Kurdish militias. The USA pays handsome salaries to whoever joins its proxies and fights against the Syrian people, the more radical these groups are the higher the pay.

Active US officials worked hard to lure the Syrian Arab tribes in the northern regions of the country to join its efforts in destabilizing Syria, by promises of rebuilding what the US proxies and the US-led illegal coalition to sponsor ISIS in Syria and Iraq destroyed and by intimidating and kidnapping of young men, and children, of these tribes and force-conscript them into its fighting militia.

The SDF is an essential tool in stealing the Syrian riches in partnership with Trump forces and Israeli companies, their focus is mainly on stealing the oil, gas, and wheat produced mainly in the north and northeastern regions of Syria, namely the provinces of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hasakah. They continue the theft started by the Turkish madman Erdogan and his anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood radical terrorists.

Lately, attacks against the separatist Kurdish SDF militias have been on the increase, especially after these militias assassinated a number of the tribes’ elders who refused their presence and their Israel-like oppression of the people of these regions.

Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia work for the USA
Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia – Trump and Erdogan’s oil and wheat thieves partners. [Archive]
Kurdish PYD Asayish SDF Torching Wheat Farms in Qamishli
Trump SDF forces burn Syrian wheat fields, June 2019.
NATO terrorists burning Syrian wheat crops in Ras Al Ayn - Hasakah
US-sponsored Kurdish separatists burned Syrian wheat fields (Video)

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

Imam Khamenei’s advisor: US “Barking” Won’t Bear Fruit or Have Any Effect

Imam Khamenei’s advisor: US “Barking” Won’t Bear Fruit or Have Any Effect

By Mokhtar Haddad

Iran – Both US President Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remain delusional about re-imposing UN sanctions on Iran after Security Council members and signatories to the nuclear agreement – that the Americans violated and withdrew from – refused to do so.

This leaves Washington faced with a dilemma at a time when Trump is looking for a component of strength to boost his reelection campaign. But the administration has been dealt multiple defeats on the international arena. Meanwhile, the Iranian people are continuing their march to development and prosperity with their legendary steadfastness.

According to senior Iranian official Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, the Americans “will not be able to wrong or do anything against the Iranian people.”

The international affairs advisor to Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, told Al-Ahed News that if the US “wants to trigger the snapback mechanism as it claims, no one in the world will follow it.”

Velayati, who also serves as the Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, added that his country isn’t concerned by the US. 

“We have faced sanctions from the United States and its allies since the victory of the Islamic Revolution, and we are able to preserve our sovereignty, pride, and dignity. We can face sanctions and manage the country’s affairs. We are not concerned about such measures that have no impact on international issues. This is just an American play,” Velayati explains.

“The martyr Haj Qassem Soleimani was proud that he trampled America in dirt and that he defeated the Daesh terrorist organization Since Daesh is the product of an American-Zionist operation, he was able to defeat the American plan and project,” Imam Khamenei’s advisor added. “Hence, the Americans are terrorists, and they carry out government terrorism. The truth and the cause of their misdeeds are known to everyone.”

Velayati concluded by saying that “the spirit of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani elevates day after day because of the prayers of the free and Muslim peoples for him. The Iranian people and other nations hold him in a high regard. And the barking of this American dog will not bear fruit.”

قراءة في المشهد السياسيّ الأميركيّ عشيّة الانتخابات… السيناريوات المرتقبة (2)

زياد حافظ

في الجزء السابق شرحنا عوامل الاضطراب السياسي التي تشهده الولايات المتحدة عشية الانتخابات المقبلة في تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2020. وحالة الاضطراب تتفاقم حيث التشنّج الذي يسود الفريقين المتنافسين ينذر بعواقب وخيمة قد تدمّر بنية النظام وحتى أسس الكيان الأميركي. قد يعتبر البعض أن هذا الكلام مبالَغ به، ولكن هذا ما نقرأه في العديد من المواقع الإلكترونية ومن آراء يبديها مسؤولون سابقون وباحثون مرموقون. والخطورة تكمن في السيناريوهات المرتقبة لليوم التالي بعد الانتخابات.

أعرب الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في أكثر من مناسبة كما أعرب مسؤولون في الحزب الديمقراطي عن عدم تقبّله (تقبّلهم!) لنتائج الانتخابات إذا أدت إلى هزيمته أو هزيمتهم! قد يكون هذا الكلام نوعاً من التهويل لشدّ عصب المناصرين، لكن هناك سيناريوات حقيقية فد تفرض نفسها ليلة الانتخاب وتتراوح في الحد الأدنى بين عدم اعلان من هو الفائز بسبب التأخير في فرز أصوات الناخبين الذين اختاروا الاقتراع عبر البريد وبين حد أقصى يرفض النتائج ويطعن بها في المحاكم الاتحادية ما يكرّس الفراغ في رأس الهرم. هذا من باب الواقع الذي يحظى بشبه إجماع عند مختلف المراقبين والمحلّلين عند الطرفين المتنافسين. فما هي السيناريوات الممكنة في هذه الحال؟

السيناريو الأول هو وجود فراغ في رأس الهرم السياسي. لم يلحظ الدستور الأميركي لآلية لفض نوع كهذا من النزاع لأن الآباء المؤسسين لم يعتقدوا في يوم من الأيام أن الجمهورية الفتية قد تصل إلى هذا المأزق. الدستور الأميركي حدّد آلية لانتقال الحكم في حال حدوث فراغ مفاجئ في رأس السلطة. فنائب الرئيس يتولّى زمام الأمور حتى نهاية الولايات وتقام عندئذ انتخابات. في حال حدوث فراغ في الرئاسة ونيابة الرئاسة يلحظ الدستور أن رئيس مجلس الممثلين يتولّى زمام الأمور. في حال شغور أو غياب ذلك يتولى رئيس مجلس الشيوخ الموقت (رئيس الأكثرية) لأن دستورياً نائب رئيس الجمهورية هو رئيس مجلس الشيوخ الذي يفصل في التصويت في حال تعادل الأصوات في أي ملف أو قضية مطروحة. وفي حال غياب وأو شغور ذلك المنصب يتولى وزير الخارجية المسؤولية وفي حال غياب وزير الخارجية وهناك سلّم من التراتبية بين الوزراء في تولّي المسؤولية في حال الشغور. لكن جميع تلك الإجراءات تفترض أن الكونغرس بغرفتيه أي مجلس الشيوخ ومجلس الممثلين قائم. لكن في الحالة التي ستحصل فإن إمكانية تولّي رئيس مجلس الممثلين، في هذه الحال نانسي بيلوسي، قد لا تحصل لأن الطعن أو الطعون في نتائج الانتخابات قد لا تنحصر في الرئاسة بل أيضاً في مجلس الممثلين ومجلس الشيوخ. حال التشنج التي وصلت إليه الولايات المتحدة تجعل من هذا الاحتمال إمكانية حقيقية. أي بمعنى آخر هناك احتمال حقيقي ومرتقب بأن يحصل الفراغ بسبب عدم حسم أو قبول نتائج الانتخابات.

في السيناريو الثاني، ينحصر التنازع فقط حول منصب الرئاسة ويتولّى عندئذ رئيس مجلس الممثلين الرئاسة الموقتة حتى تحسم المحكمة الدستورية العليا نتائج الانتخاب. المحكمة العليا هي مكوّنة اليوم من خمسة محافظين وأربعة ليبراليين في ميولهم الفكرية. ليسوا منتسبين إلى أي حزب لكن من الواضح أن الميل المحافظ يسيطر عموماً على قرارات وأحكام المحكمة. لكن حكمت المحكمة مؤخراً في قضية مثيرة للجدل حول المتحوّلين جنسياً لصالح الموقف الليبرالي ما أدهش الجميع. الصوت المرجّح كان صوت رئيس المحكمة الذي يُعرف عنه أنه محافظ. وهناك تساؤلات حول ذلك “التصويت” الذي يؤكّد على “استقلالية” القرار بينما البعض يعتبر أن ذلك التصويت هو لمنع الاتهام بالانحياز السياسي في فصل قضية الطعن في الانتخابات الرئاسية. إذاً، في مطلق الأحوال يعود إلى المحكمة الدستورية مسؤولية الفصل. لكن ليس هناك من ضمانة أن المتنافسين سيقبلون بالحكم ونعود عند ذلك الحين إلى السيناريو الأول.

السيناريو الثالث، وهو الأكثر خطورة، هو عدم تقبّل أي من الفريقين النتائج مهما كانت المرجعيات. ماذا في تلك الحال؟ هذا يعني أزمة دستورية، فأزمة نظام، وفي آخر المطاف أزمة كيان. في هذا السياق نشير إلى تحذير بول كريغ روبرتس، مساعد وزير الخزانة السابق في عهد رونالد ريغان، وهو اقتصادي معروف له مؤلفات عدّة وصاحب مدوّنة واسعة الانتشار. تحذير روبرتس واضح: الولايات المتحدة لديها شهران قبل أن تنهار بسبب الفراغ الذي سيحصل بسبب عدم قبول نتائج الانتخابات. كاتب آخر مات اهرهت يذهب أبعد من ذلك ويشير إلى سيناريوات حرب في عدد من مراكز الأبحاث حول احتمالات انقلاب عسكري ضد الرئيس الأميركي في حال رفض خروجه من البيت الأبيض.

مركز “مشروع التماسك الانتقاليّ” مركز أبحاث مستحدث (2019) وتموّله وفقاً للباحثة ويتني واب مجموعة مكوّنة من كلنتون، جورج سوروس، وعدد من رؤساء الشركات الكبرى كفايس بوك وميكروسوفت وغوغل ولينكدين واي باي على سبيل المثال. واجهة ذلك المركز روزا بروكس محاضرة في جامعة جورج تاون والعقيد لورانس ويلكرسون المدير السابق لكولن بأول عندما كان وزيراً للخارجية. أما المساهمون في البحوث لذلك المركز فيه ثلّة من كبار المحافظين الجدد كوليام كريستول ودافيد فروم. أنشئ المركز لمواجهة التحدّيات التي فرضتها الثورة التكنولوجية في التواصل وتأثيرها على المجتمعات. لكن بالفعل أنشئ لغرض واحد وهو لخلق مناخات ثورية ملوّنة ولتهيئة الأجواء لانقلاب عسكري ضد ترامب. وقد تمّت “تجربة” ذلك المشروع عبر نشاط أحد العاملين بها في حملة لإقصاء برني سندرز من الفوز في التسمية الترشيح عن الحزب الديمقراطي. المسؤول عن تلك الحملة الناجحة وفقاً لويتني واب هو ريد هوفمان. كما أن المموّلين الآخرين كاريك شميدت رئيس شركة غوغل وبيار اوميدفار رئيس شركة أي باي من المقرّبين جدّا لبيل وهيلاري كلنتون وكانوا أيضاً وراء الإطاحة ببرني سندرز لمصلحة جوزيف بايدن. والآن يستعدّون للإطاحة بدونالد ترامب.

ما يعزّز فرص ذلك المشروع هو العلاقة الوطيدة بين القيادات العسكرية العليا في البنتاغون ومجمع المؤسسات التابعة للمجمع العسكري الصناعي الأمني والمالي والمعلوماتي. تفيد دراسة أجريت مؤخراً ونشرته محطّة “روسيا اليوم” أن في فترة 2008-2018 تمّ توظيف 380 ضابطاً رفيع المستوى في شركات مقاولة في الدفاع، من بينهم 68 لواء و32 أميرالاً ونائب أميرال. ويضيف الباحث مات اهرهت أن عدداً من القيادات العاملة في الجيش الأميركي معروف بتشدّدهم تجاه الحروب ويعارضون بشكل واضح الرئيس الأميركي لقراراته بالانسحاب من أفغانستان والعراق وسورية. هذا ما دفع الرئيس الأميركي للتصريح الأخير له بحق المؤسسة العسكرية أن القيادة العسكرية تكرهه بينما القاعدة أي الجنود يحبّونه. ويعتبر أن مصلحة القيادات العسكرية هي فوق مصلحة البلاد ويصرّون على التورّط في حروب لا منفعة منها للولايات المتحدة سوى إثراء الشركات المقاولة التي تجني أرباحاً طائلة.

بالتوازي مع تهيئة الأجواء لإجراء انقلاب عسكري في حال استمر الرئيس الأميركي في البيت الأبيض هناك أيضاً خطر آخر يهدّد التماسك الداخلي الأميركي. لقد حذر مدير المكتب الاتحادي للتحقيقات (اف بي أي) في جلسة استماع في الكونغرس من تنامي الميليشيات المسلّحة من البيض والسود وأن الاحتكاكات قد تحصل في أي لحظة. في السياق نفسه عرضت محطة أي تي في البريطانية تقريراً مصوّراً للميليشيات السود التي تنتشر في العديد من المدن الأميركية.

ويعتبر العديد من المراقبين الأميركيين أن تصاعد أعمال الشغب والعنف أعمال مبرمجة هدفها تهيئة مناخ لفرض الأحكام العرفية وتبرير تدخل القوّات المسلّحة لفرض أمر واقع سياسي جديد. هذا ما يحذّر منها أيضاً بول كريغ روبرتس وآخرون خاصة أن التقارير تتكاثر حول محاضرات يلقيها ضبّاط كبار حول ضرورة إمساك الوضع.

سردنا هذه المعلومات وليست كلّها في ذلك الموضوع وفحوى تقارير حول المناخ السائد في الولايات المتحدة للتأكيد أن الخريف سيكون ساخناً للغاية وقديمتد إلى الربيع. ليس بمقدور أحد أن يتكهّن عما ستسفر عليه الأمور وإن كان بعض المحلّلين لا يخفون تشاؤمهم حول تماسك الولايات المتحدة. ليس في الأفق من يستطيع أن يعيد توحيد الولايات المتحدة في ظل أزمة اقتصادية بنيوية وحالة اجتماعية متفسّخة يسودها التعصّب والعنصرية. كما أن الطبقة السياسية في معظمها مرتبطة بالاوليغارشية المالية والمجمع العسكري الصناعي والأمني والمالي وبالتالي التغيير من الداخل قد يصبح مستعصياً. وانهيار الدولة يعني انهيار المجتمع. فالدولة أقوى من المجتمع في الولايات المتحدة وبالتالي المصير سيكون مجهولاً. الولايات المتحدة تدخل اليوم في حقبة لا استقرار بنيوياً قد ينسف مكانتها في العالم إن لم ينسف وجودها في الداخل.

*كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي.

قراءة في المشهدالسياسي الأميركي عشية الانتخابات (1)

Russia responds to Trump’s revelation about potentially assassinating Bashar Al-Assad

By News Desk -2020-09-19

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:20 P.M.) – Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, responded to U.S. President Donald Trump’s revelation about wanting to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad after Washington accused his government of carrying out a chemical weapons attack.

“We recently heard about plans to assassinate the president of a sovereign state, President Bashar Al-Assad,” Nebenzia said during the U.N. Security Council session on Friday. “How is this not a policy of regime change?”

Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations stressed that “the unilateral sanctions, which are unlawful in and of themselves, which are used as a tool of collective punishment and aim to stir up social discontent impede the efforts of those who want peace in Syria.”

He called on parties that show their lack of respect for international law to abandon this practice.

Trump previously said in a televised interview with Fox News earlier that he had the opportunity to “get rid of Bashar al-Assad,” but then Defense Secretary James Mattis objected.

For its part, Damascus condemned the recent statements of U.S. President Donald Trump, stressing that Trump’s recognition of such a step confirms that the U.S. administration is a rogue and outlaw country, and is pursuing the same methods as terrorist organizations with killing and liquidation without taking into account any legal, humanitarian or ethical measures.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Imam Khamenei’s Adviser: Snapback Mechanism Piece of US Propaganda

Imam Khamenei’s Adviser: Snapback Mechanism Piece of US Propaganda

By Staff, Agencies

Washington’s push to trigger the snapback mechanism of the JCPOA for re-imposing sanctions on Iran is nothing but an attempt to attract the American public attention as part of a propaganda game, Adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati said.

In an interview with Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, Velayati slammed the hype over the so-called snapback mechanism of the 2015 nuclear deal as a propaganda game.

Pointing to the US administration’s attempts to attract the public opinion after Donald Trump’s plummeting poll numbers, the member of the Iranian team of JCPOA observers lashed out at the US for reneging on the nuclear deal and refusing to lift the sanctions.

“A one-sided JCPOA has no validity,” Velayati added.

Asked about Iran’s reaction to a possible activation of the snapback mechanism, he said the US, which has already withdrawn from the deal, has no right to make any comment or trigger the mechanism.

On the expectations that Joe Biden would win the US presidential election, Velayati said the weakest diplomacy taken by a country is to pin hopes on the fate of other states, stressing that the Iranian authorities do not care who the next US president will be.

Last month, 13 countries of the 15-member council rejected the US push to trigger the snapback provision in the 2015 nuclear deal, leaving Washington isolated on the issue.

UNSC Resolution 2231, which enshrined the JCPOA, states that if no council member has put forward a draft resolution to extend sanctions relief on Iran within 10 days of a non-compliance complaint, then the body’s president shall do so within the remaining 20 days.

The document, however, says the Security Council would “take into account the views of the states involved.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that all UN sanctions against Iran will be reinstated on September 20 after the US “activated the snapback mechanism.”

However, the claim was strongly condemned by other signatories of the nuclear deal including the EU, Russia and China.

IRGC commander threatens to target everyone responsible for Qassem Soleimani’s assassination

By News Desk -2020-09-19

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said in a statement this week, “the U.S. president believed we will assassinate his ambassador in South Africa in exchange for assassinating Qassem Soleimani, but we tell him that we will target everyone who had a role in the assassination.”

Major General Hossein Salami, Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, pointed out that his country “monitors the interests of enemies everywhere and they will be a target of our strength if necessary.”

He continued, “I tell Trump that our revenge on Qassem Soleimani is inevitable and realistic. We will avenge Qassem Soleimani with manhood, honor and justice, and this is a serious message.”

The commander of the Revolutionary Guard indicated that his forces pursued the enemy to the Mediterranean and will continue to pursue it everywhere, pointing out that Trump is threatening Iran with an attack a thousand times more powerful, while he was unable to respond to the bombing of the Ain al-Assad base (with Iranian missiles) in Iraq.

He said, “We have equipped hundreds of missiles to destroy everything America possesses in the region if it responded to the bombing of Ain al-Assad, but it did not respond.”

Salami added that the United States is living in political isolation and has failed to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

Related News

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Question: I’ll start with the hottest topic, Belarus. President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited Bocharov Ruchei. Both sides have officially recognised that change within the Union State is underway. This begs the question: What is this about? A common currency, common army and common market? What will it be like?

Sergey Lavrov: It will be the way our countries decide. Work is underway. It relies on the 1999 Union Treaty. We understand that over 20 years have passed since then. That is why, a couple of years ago, upon the decision of the two presidents, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus began to work on identifying the agreed-upon steps that would make our integration fit current circumstances. Recently, at a meeting with Russian journalists, President Lukashenko said that the situation had, of course, changed and we must agree on ways to deepen integration from today’s perspective.

The presidential election has taken place in Belarus. The situation there is tense, because the opposition, backed by some of our Western colleagues, is trying to challenge the election outcome, but I’m convinced that the situation will soon get back to normal, and the work to promote integration processes will resume.

Everything that is written in the Union Treaty is now being analysed. Both sides have to come to a common opinion about whether a particular provision of the Union Treaty is still relevant, or needs to be revised. There are 31 roadmaps, and each one focuses on a specific section of the Union Treaty. So, there’s clearly a commitment to continue the reform, a fact that was confirmed by the presidents during a recent telephone conversation. This is further corroborated by the presidents’ meeting in Sochi.

I would not want that country’s neighbours, and our neighbours for that matter, including Lithuania, for example, to try to impose their will on the Belarusian people and, in fact, to manage the processes in which the opposition is unwittingly doing what’s expected of it. I have talked several times about Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s situation. Clearly, someone is putting words in her mouth. She is now in the capital of Lithuania, which, like our Polish colleagues, is strongly demanding a change of power in Belarus. You are aware that Lithuania declared Ms Tikhanovskaya the leader of the Republic of Belarus, and Alexander Lukashenko was declared an illegitimate president.

Ms Tikhanovskaya has made statements that give rise to many questions. She said she was concerned that Russia and Belarus have close relations. The other day, she called on the security and law-enforcement forces to side with the law. In her mind, this is a direct invitation to breach the oath of office and, by and large, to commit high treason. This is probably a criminal offense. So, those who provide her with a framework for her activities and tell her what to say and what issues to raise should, of course, realise that they may be held accountable for that.

Question: Commenting on the upcoming meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus in Sochi, Tikhanovskaya said: “Whatever they agree on, these agreements will be illegitimate, because the new state and the new leader will revise them.” How can one work under such circumstances?

Sergey Lavrov: She was also saying something like that when Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin went to Belarus to meet with President Lukashenko and Prime Minister Golovchenko. She was saying it then. Back then, the opposition was concerned about any more or less close ties between our countries. This is despite the fact that early on during the crisis they claimed that they in no way engaged in anti-Russia activities and wanted to be friends with the Russian people. However, everyone could have seen the policy paper posted on Tikhanovskaya’s website during the few hours it was there. The opposition leaders removed it after realising they had made a mistake sharing their goals and objectives with the public. These goals and objectives included withdrawal from the CSTO, the EAEU and other integration associations that include Russia, and drifting towards the EU and NATO, as well as the consistent banning of the Russian language and the Belarusianisation of all aspects of life.

We are not against the Belarusian language, but when they take a cue from Ukraine, and when the state language is used to ban a language spoken by the overwhelming majority of the population, this already constitutes a hostile act and, in the case of Ukraine, an act that violates its constitution. If a similar proposal is introduced into the Belarusian legal field, it will violate the Constitution of Belarus, not to mention numerous conventions on the rights of ethnic and language minorities, and much more.

I would like those who are rabidly turning the Belarusian opposition against Russia to realise their share of responsibility, and the opposition themselves, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and others – to find the courage to resist such rude and blatant manipulation.

Question: If we are talking about manipulation, we certainly understand that it has many faces and reflects on the international attitude towards Russia. Internationally, what are the risks for us of supporting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko? Don’t you think 26 years is enough? Maybe he has really served for too long?

Sergey Lavrov: The President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, did say it might have been “too long.” I believe he has proposed a very productive idea – constitutional reform. He talked about this even before the election, and has reiterated the proposal more than once since then. President of Russia Vladimir Putin supports this attitude. As the Belarusian leader said, after constitutional reform, he will be ready to announce early parliamentary and presidential elections. This proposal provides a framework where a national dialogue will be entirely possible. But it is important that representatives of all groups of Belarusian society to be involved in a constitutional reform process. This would ensure that any reform is completely legitimate and understandable for all citizens. Now a few specific proposals are needed concerning when, where and in what form this process can begin. I hope that this will be done, because President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly reaffirmed carrying out this initiative.

Question: Since we started talking about the international attitude towards Russia, let’s go over to our other partner – the United States. The elections in the US will take place very soon. We are actively discussing this in Russia. When asked whether Russia was getting ready for the elections in the US at the Paris forum last year, you replied: “Don’t worry, we’ll resolve this problem.” Now that the US elections are around the corner, I would like to ask you whether you’ve resolved it.

Sergey Lavrov: Speaking seriously, of course we, like any other normal country that is concerned about its interests and international security, are closely following the progress of the election campaign in the US. There are many surprising things in it. Naturally, we see how important the Russian issue is in this electoral process. The Democrats are doing all they can to prove that Russia will exploit its hacker potential and play up to Donald Trump. We are already being accused of promoting the idea that the Democrats will abuse the mail-in voting option thereby prejudicing the unbiased nature of voting. I would like to note at this point that mail-in voting has become a target of consistent attacks on behalf of President Trump himself. Russia has nothing to do with this at all.

A week-long mail-in voting is an interesting subject in comparing election systems in different countries. We have introduced three-day voting for governors and legislative assembly deputies in some regions. You can see the strong criticism it is subjected to, inside Russia as well. When the early voting in the US lasts for weeks, if not months, it is considered a model of democracy. I don’t see any criticism in this respect. In principle, we have long proposed analysing election systems in the OSCE with a view to comparing best practices and reviewing obviously obsolete arrangements. There have been instances in the US when, due to its cumbersome and discriminatory election system, a nominee who received the majority of votes could lose because in a national presidential election the voting is done through the Electoral College process rather than directly by the people. There have been quite a few cases like that. I once told former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in reply to her grievances about our electoral system: “But look at your problem. Maybe you should try to correct this discriminatory voting system?” She replied that it is discriminatory but they are used to it and this is their problem, so I shouldn’t bother.

When the United States accuses us of interference in some area of its public, political or government life, we suggest discussing it to establish who is actually doing what. Since they don’t present any facts, we simply recite their Congressional acts. In 2014, they adopted an act on supporting Ukraine, which directly instructed the Department of State to spend $20 million a year on support for Russian NGOs. We asked whether this didn’t amount to interference. We were told by the US National Security Council that in reality they support democracy because we are wreaking chaos and pursuing authoritative and dictatorial trends abroad when we interfere in domestic affairs whereas they bring democracy and prosperity. This idea is deeply rooted in American mentality. The American elite has always considered its country and nation exceptional and has not been shy to admit it.

I won’t comment on the US election. This is US law and the US election system. Any comments I make will be again interpreted as an attempt to interfere in their domestic affairs. I will only say one thing that President Vladimir Putin has expressed many times, notably, that we will respect any outcome of these elections and the will of the American people.

We realise that there will be no major changes in our relations either with the Democrats or with the Republicans, as representatives of both parties loudly declare. However, there is hope that common sense will prevail and no matter who becomes President, the new US Government and administration will realise the need to cooperate with us in resolving very serious global problems on which the international situation depends.

Question: You mentioned an example where voters can choose one president and the Electoral College process, another. I even have that cover of Time magazine with Hillary Clinton and congratulations, released during the election. It is a fairly well-known story, when they ran this edition and then had to cancel it.

Sergey Lavrov: Even the President of France sent a telegramme, but then they immediately recalled it.

And these people are now claiming that Alexander Lukashenko is an illegitimate president.

Question: You mentioned NGOs. These people believe that NGOs in the Russian Federation support democratic institutions, although it is no secret to anyone who has at least a basic understanding of foreign and domestic policy that those NGOs act exclusively as institutions that destabilise the situation in the country.

Sergey Lavrov: Not all of them.

Question: Can you tell us more about this?

Sergey Lavrov: We have adopted a series of laws – on public associations, on non-profit organisations, on measures to protect people from human rights violations. There is a set of laws that regulate the activities of non-government organisations on our territory, both Russian and foreign ones.

Concepts have been introduced like “foreign agent,” a practice we borrowed from “the world’s most successful democracy” – the United States. They argue that we borrowed a practice from 1938 when the United States introduced the foreign agent concept to prevent Nazi ideology from infiltrating from Germany. But whatever the reason they had to create the concept – “foreign agent” – the Americans are still effectively using it, including in relation to our organisations and citizens, to Chinese citizens, to the media.

In our law, foreign agent status, whatever they say about it, does not prevent an organisation from operating on the territory of the Russian Federation. It just needs to disclose its funding sources and be transparent about the resources it receives. And even that, only if it is engaged in political activities. Initially, we introduced a requirement for these organisations that receive funding from abroad and are involved in political projects to initiate the disclosure process. But most of them didn’t want to comply with the law, so it was modified. Now this is done by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

Question: Do you think that NGOs are still soft power?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course. In Russia we have about 220,000 NGOs, out of which 180 have the status of a foreign agent. It’s a drop in the ocean. These are probably the organisations, funded from abroad, that are more active than others in promoting in our public space ideas that far from always correspond to Russian legislation.

There is also the notion of undesirable organisations. They are banned from working in the Russian Federation. But there are only about 30 of them, no more.

Question: Speaking about our soft power, what is our concept? What do we offer the world? What do you think the world should love us for? What is Russia’s soft power policy all about?

Sergey Lavrov: We want everything that has been created by nations and civilisations to be respected. We believe nobody should impose any orders on anyone, so that nothing like what has now happened in Hollywood takes place on a global scale. We think nobody should encroach on the right of each nation to have its historical traditions and moral roots. And we see attempts to encroach upon them.

If soft power is supposed to promote one’s own culture, language and traditions, in exchange for knowledge about the life of other nations and civilisations, then this is the approach that the Russian Federation supports in every way.

The Americans define the term “soft power” as an attempt to influence the hearts and minds of others politically. Their goal is not to promote their culture and language, but to change the mood of the political class with a view to subsequent regime change. They are doing this on a daily basis and don’t even conceal it. They say everywhere that their mission is to bring peace and democracy to all other countries.

Question: Almost any TV series out there shows the US president sitting in the Oval Office saying he’s the leader of the free world.

Sergey Lavrov: Not just TV series. Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that America is an exceptional nation and should be seen as an example by the rest of the world. My colleague Mike Pompeo recently said in the Czech Republic that they shouldn’t let the Russians into the nuclear power industry and should take the Russians off the list of companies that bid for these projects. It was about the same in Hungary. He then went to Africa and was quite vocal when he told the African countries not to do business with the Russians or the Chinese, because they are trading with the African countries for selfish reasons, whereas the US is establishing economic cooperation with them so they can prosper. This is a quote. It is articulated in a very straightforward manner, much the same way they run their propaganda on television in an unsophisticated broken language that the man in the street can relate to. So, brainwashing is what America’s soft power is known for.

Question: Not a single former Soviet republic has so far benefited from American soft power.

Sergey Lavrov: Not only former Soviet republics. Take a look at any other region where the Americans have effected a regime change.

QuestionLibya, Syria. We stood for Syria.

Sergey Lavrov: Iraq, Libya. They tried in Syria, but failed. I hope things will be different there. There’s not a single country where the Americans changed the regime and declared victory for democracy, like George W. Bush did on the deck of an aircraft carrier in Iraq in May 2003, which is prosperous now. He said democracy had won in Iraq. It would be interesting to know what the former US President thinks about the situation in Iraq today. But no one will, probably, go back to this, because the days when presidents honestly admitted their mistakes are gone.

QuestionHere I am listening to you and wondering how many people care about this? Why is it that no one understands this? Is this politics that is too far away from ordinary people who are nevertheless behind it? Take Georgia or Ukraine. People are worse off now than before, and despite this, this policy continues.

Will the Minsk agreements ever be implemented? Will the situation in southeastern Ukraine ever be settled?

Returning to what we talked about. How independent is Ukraine in its foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think that under the current Ukrainian government, just like under the previous president, we will see any progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, if only because President Zelensky himself is saying so publicly, as does Deputy Prime Minister Reznikov who is in charge of the Ukrainian settlement in the Contact Group. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kuleba is also saying this. They say there’s a need for the Minsk agreements and they cannot be broken, because these agreements (and accusing Russia of non-compliance) are the foundation of the EU and the US policy in seeking to maintain the sanctions on Russia. Nevertheless, such a distorted interpretation of the essence of the Minsk agreements, or rather an attempt to blame everything on Russia, although Russia is never mentioned there, has stuck in the minds of our European colleagues, including France and Germany, who, being co-sponsors of the Minsk agreements along with us, the Ukrainians and Donbass, cannot but realise that the Ukrainians are simply distorting their responsibilities, trying to distance themselves from them and impose a different interpretation of the Minsk agreements. But even in this scenario, the above individuals and former Ukrainian President Kravchuk, who now heads the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group as part of the Minsk process, claim that the Minsk agreements in their present form are impracticable and must be revised, turned upside down. Also, Donbass must submit to the Ukrainian government and army before even thinking about conducting reforms in this part of Ukraine.

This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces’ control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that “rebelled” against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an “anti-terrorist operation” against them, which they later renamed a Joint Forces Operation (but this does not change the idea behind it), and whom they still consider terrorists. Although everyone remembers perfectly well that in 2014 no one from Donbass or other parts of Ukraine that rejected the anti-constitutional coup attacked the putschists and the areas that immediately fell under the control of the politicians behind the coup. On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, “You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next.” There’s not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this.

Question: So, we are looking at a dead end?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, we still have an undeniable argument which is the text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.

QuestionBut they tried to revise it?

Sergey Lavrov: No, they are just making statements to that effect. When they gather for a Contact Group meeting in Minsk, they do their best to look constructive. The most recent meeting ran into the Ukrainian delegation’s attempts to pretend that nothing had happened. They recently passed a law on local elections which will be held in a couple of months. It says that elections in what are now called the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics will be held only after the Ukrainian army takes control of the entire border and those who “committed criminal offenses” are arrested and brought to justice even though the Minsk agreements provide for amnesty without exemptions.

Question: When I’m asked about Crimea I recall the referendum. I was there at a closed meeting in Davos that was attended by fairly well respected analysts from the US. They claimed with absolute confidence that Crimea was being occupied. I reminded them about the referendum. I was under the impression that these people either didn’t want to see or didn’t know how people lived there, that they have made their choice. Returning to the previous question, I think that nobody is interested in the opinion of the people.

Sergey Lavrov: No, honest politicians still exist. Many politicians, including European ones, were in Crimea during the referendum. They were there not under the umbrella of some international organisation but on their own because the OSCE and other international agencies were controlled by our Western colleagues. Even if we had addressed them, the procedure for coordinating the monitoring would have never ended.

Question: Just as in Belarus. As I see it, they were also invited but nobody came.

Sergey Lavrov: The OSCE refused to send representatives there. Now that the OSCE is offering its services as a mediator, I completely understand Mr Lukashenko who says the OSCE lost its chance. It could have sent observers and gained a first-hand impression of what was happening there, and how the election was held. They arrogantly disregarded the invitation. We know that the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is practically wholly controlled by NATO. We have repeatedly proposed that our nominees work there but they have not been approved. This contradicts the principles of the OSCE. We will continue to seek a fairer approach to the admission of members to the organisation, but I don’t have much hope for this. Former OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger made an effort with this for the past three years but not everything depended on him – there is a large bloc of EU and NATO countries that enjoy a mathematical majority and try to dictate their own rules. But this is a separate issue.

Returning to Crimea, I have read a lot about this; let me give you two examples. One concerns my relations with former US Secretary of State John Kerry. In April 2014, we met in Geneva: me, John Kerry, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and then Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andrey Deshchitsa. We compiled a one page document that was approved unanimously. It read that we, the representatives of Russia, the US and the EU welcomed the commitments of the Ukrainian authorities to carry out decentralisation of the country with the participation of all the regions of Ukraine. This took place after the Crimean referendum. Later, the Americans, the EU and of course Ukraine “forgot” about this document. John Kerry told me at this meeting that everyone understood that Crimea was Russian, that the people wanted to return, but that we held the referendum so quickly that it didn’t fit into the accepted standards of such events. He asked me to talk to President Vladimir Putin, organise one more referendum, announce it in advance and invite international observers. He said he would support their visit there, that the result would be the same but that we would be keeping up appearances. I asked him why put on such shows if they understand that this was the expression of the will of the people.

The second example concerns the recent statements by the EU and the European Parliament to the effect that “the occupation” of Crimea is a crude violation of the world arrangement established after the victory in World War II. But if this criterion is used to determine where Crimea belongs, when the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic joined the UN after WWII in 1945, Crimea did not belong to it. Crimea was part of the USSR. Later, Nikita Khrushchev took an illegal action, which contradicted Soviet law, and this led to them having it. But we all understood that this was a domestic political game as regards a Soviet republic that was the home to Khrushchev and many of his associates.

Question: You have been Foreign Minister for 16 years now. This century’s major foreign policy challenges fell on your term in office. We faced sanctions, and we adapted to them and coped with them. Germany said it obtained Alexey Navalny’s test results. France and Sweden have confirmed the presence of Novichok in them. Reportedly, we are now in for more sanctions. Do you think the Navalny case can trigger new sanctions against Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: I agree with our political analysts who are convinced that if it were not for Navalny, they would have come up with something else in order to impose more sanctions.

With regard to this situation, I think our Western partners have simply gone beyond decency and reason. In essence, they are now demanding that we “confess.” They are asking us: Don’t you believe what the German specialists from the Bundeswehr are saying? How is that possible? Their findings have been confirmed by the French and the Swedes. You don’t believe them, either?

It’s a puzzling situation given that our Prosecutor General’s Office filed an inquiry about legal assistance on August 27 and hasn’t received an answer yet. Nobody knows where the inquiry has been for more than a week now. We were told it was at the German Foreign Ministry. The German Foreign Ministry did not forward the request to the Ministry of Justice, which was our Prosecutor General Office’s  ultimate addressee. Then, they said that it had been transferred to the Berlin Prosecutor’s Office, but they would not tell us anything without the consent of the family. They are urging us to launch a criminal investigation.

We have our own laws, and we cannot take someone’s word for it to open a criminal case. Certain procedures must be followed. A pre-investigation probe initiated immediately after this incident to consider the circumstances of the case is part of this procedure.

Some of our Western colleagues wrote that, as the German doctors discovered, it was “a sheer miracle” that Mr Navalny survived. Allegedly, it was the notorious Novichok, but he survived thanks to “lucky circumstances.” What kind of lucky circumstances are we talking about? First, the pilot immediately landed the plane; second, an ambulance was already waiting on the airfield; and third, the doctors immediately started to provide help. This absolutely impeccable behaviour of the pilots, doctors and ambulance crew is presented as “lucky circumstances.” That is, they even deny the possibility that we are acting as we should. This sits deep in the minds of those who make up such stories.

Returning to the pre-investigation probe, everyone is fixated on a criminal case. If we had opened a criminal case right away (we do not have legal grounds to do so yet, and that is why the Prosecutor General’s Office requested legal assistance from Germany on August 27), what would have been done when it happened? They would have interviewed the pilot, the passengers and the doctors. They would have found out what the doctors discovered when Navalny was taken to the Omsk hospital, and what medications were used. They would have interviewed the people who communicated with him. All of that was done. They interviewed the five individuals who accompanied him and participated in the events preceding Navalny boarding the plane; they interviewed the passengers who were waiting for a flight to Moscow in Tomsk and sat at the same bar; they found out what they ordered and what he drank. The sixth person, a woman who accompanied him, has fled, as you know. They say she was the one who gave the bottle to the German lab. All this has been done. Even if all of that was referred to as a “criminal case,” we couldn’t have done more.

Our Western partners are looking down on us as if we have no right to question what they are saying or their professionalism. If this is the case, it means that they dare to question the professionalism of our doctors and investigators. Unfortunately, this position is reminiscent of other times. Arrogance and a sense of infallibility have already been observed in Europe, and that led to very regrettable consequences.

Question: How would you describe this policy of confrontation? When did it start (I mean during your term of office)? It’s simply so stable at the moment that there seems no chance that something might change in the future.

Sergey Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken on this topic. I think that the onset of this policy, this era of constant pressure on Russia began with the end of a period that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, a time when the West believed it had Russia there in its pocket – it ended, full stop. Unfortunately, the West does not seem to be able to wrap its head around this, to accept that there is no alternative to Russia’s independent actions, both domestically and on the international arena. This is why, unfortunately, this agony continues by inertia.

Having bad ties with any country have never given us any pleasure. We do not like making such statements in which we sharply criticise the position of the West. We always try to find compromises, but there are situations where it is hard not to come face to face with one another directly or to avoid frank assessments of what our Western friends are up to.

I have read what our respected political scientists write who are well known in the West. And I can say this idea is starting to surface ever stronger and more often – it is time we stop measuring our actions with the yardsticks that the West offers us and to stop trying to please the West at all costs. These are very serious people and they are making a serious point. The fact that the West is prodding us to this way of thinking, willingly or unwillingly, is obvious to me. Most likely, this is being done involuntarily. But it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case – as big a mistake as like approaching China with the same yardstick.

Question: Then I really have to ask you. We are going through digitalisation. I think when you started your diplomatic career, you could not even have imagined that some post on Twitter could affect the political situation in a country. Yet – I can see your smile – we are living in a completely different world. Film stars can become presidents; Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook can become drivers of political campaigns – that happened more than once – and those campaigns can be successful. We are going through digitalisation, and because of this, many unexpected people appear in international politics – unexpected for you, at least. How do you think Russia’s foreign policy will change in this context? Are we ready for social media to be impacting our internal affairs? Is the Chinese scenario possible in Russia, with most Western social media blocked to avoid their influence on the internal affairs in that country?

Sergey Lavrov: Social media are already exerting great influence on our affairs. This is the reality in the entire post-Soviet space and developing countries. The West, primarily the United States, is vigorously using social media to promote their preferred agenda in just about any state. This necessitates a new approach to ensuring the national security. We have been doing this for a long time already.

As for regulating social media, everyone does it. You know that the digital giants in the United States have been repeatedly caught introducing censorship, primarily against us, China or other countries they dislike, shutting off information that comes from these places.

The internet is regulated by companies based in the United States, everyone knows that. In fact, this situation has long made the overwhelming majority of countries want to do something about it, considering the global nature of the internet and social media, to make sure that the management processes are approved at a global level, become transparent and understandable. The International Telecommunication Union, a specialised UN agency, has been out there for years. Russia and a group of other co-sponsoring countries are promoting the need to regulate the internet in such a way that everyone understands how it works and what principles govern it, in this International Union. Now we can see how Mark Zuckerberg and other heads of large IT companies are invited to the Congress and lectured there and asked to explain what they are going to do. We can see this. But a situation where it will be understandable for everyone else and, most importantly, where everyone is happy with it, still seems far away.

For many years, we have been promoting at the UN General Assembly an initiative to agree on the rules of responsible behaviour of states in the sphere of international information security. This initiative has already led to set up several working groups, which have completed their mandate with reports. The last such report was reviewed last year and another resolution was adopted. This time, it was not a narrow group of government experts, but a group that includes all UN member states. It was planning to meet, but things slowed down due to the coronavirus. The rules for responsible conduct in cyberspace are pending review by this group. These rules were approved by the SCO, meaning they already reflect a fairly large part of the world’s population.

Our other initiative is not about the use of cyberspace for undermining someone’s security; it is about fighting crimes (pedophilia, pornography, theft) in cyberspace. This topic is being considered by another UNGA committee. We are preparing a draft convention that will oblige all states to suppress criminal activities in cyberspace.

QuestionDo you think that the Foreign Ministry is active on this front? Would you like to be more proactive in the digital dialogue? After all, we are still bound by ethics, and have yet to understand whether we can cross the line or not. Elon Musk feels free to make any statements no matter how ironic and makes headlines around the world, even though anything he says has a direct bearing on his market cap. This is a shift in the ethics of behaviour. Do you think that this is normal? Is this how it should be? Or maybe people still need to behave professionally?

Sergey Lavrov: A diplomat can always use irony and a healthy dose of cynicism. In this sense, there is no contradiction here. However, this does not mean that while making ironic remarks on the surrounding developments or comments every once in a while (witty or not so witty), you do not have to work on resolving legal matters related to internet governance. This is what we are doing.

The Foreign Ministry has been at the source of these processes. We have been closely coordinating our efforts on this front with the Security Council Office, and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and other organisations. Russian delegations taking part in talks include representatives from various agencies. Apart from multilateral platforms such as the International Telecommunication Union, the UN General Assembly and the OSCE, we are working on this subject in bilateral relations with our key partners.

We are most interested in working with our Western partners, since we have an understanding on these issues with countries that share similar views. The Americans and Europeans evade these talks under various pretexts. There seemed to be an opening in 2012 and 2013, but after the government coup in Ukraine, they used it as a pretext to freeze this process. Today, there are some signs that the United States and France are beginning to revive these contacts, but our partners have been insufficiently active. What we want is professional dialogue so that they can raise all their concerns and accusations and back them with specific facts. We stand ready to answer all the concerns our partners may have, and will not fail to voice the concerns we have. We have many of them.

During the recent visit by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Russia, I handed him a list containing dozens of incidents we have identified: attacks against our resources, with 70 percent of them targeting state resources of the Russian Federation, and originating on German territory. He promised to provide an answer, but more than a month after our meeting we have not seen it so far.

Question: Let me ask you about another important initiative by the Foreign Ministry. You decided to amend regulations enabling people to be repatriated from abroad for   free, and you proposed subjecting the repatriation guarantee to the reimbursement of its cost to the budget. Could you tell us, please, is this so expensive for the state to foot this bill?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, these a substantial expenses. The resolution that provided for offering free assistance was adopted back in 2010, and was intended for citizens who find themselves in situations when their life is at risk. Imagine a Russian ambassador. Most of the people ask for help because they have lost money, their passport and so on. There are very few cases when an ambassador can actually say that a person is in a life-threatening situation and his or her life is in danger. How can an ambassador take a decision of this kind? As long as I remember, these cases can be counted on the fingers of my two hands since 2010, when an ambassador had to take responsibility and there were grounds for offering this assistance. We wanted to ensure that people can get help not only when facing an imminent danger (a dozen cases in ten years do not cost all that much). There were many more cases when our nationals found themselves in a difficult situation after losing money or passports. We decided to follow the practices used abroad. Specifically, this means that we provide fee-based assistance. In most cases, people travelling abroad can afford to reimburse the cost of a return ticket.

This practice is designed to prevent fraud, which remains an issue. We had cases when people bought one-way tickets knowing that they will have to be repatriated.

Question: And with no return ticket, they go to the embassy?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, after that they come to the embassy. For this reason, I believe that the system we developed is much more convenient and comprehensive for dealing with the situations Russians get into when travelling abroad, and when we have to step in to help them through our foreign missions.

Question: Mr Lavrov, thank you for your time. As a Georgian, I really have to ask this. Isn’t it time to simplify the visa regime with Georgia? A second generation of Georgians has now grown up that has never seen Russia. What do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: Georgians can travel to Russia – they just need to apply for a visa. The list of grounds for obtaining a visa has been expanded. There are practically no restrictions on visiting Russia, after obtaining a visa in the Interests Section for the Russian Federation in Tbilisi or another Russian overseas agency.

As for visa-free travel, as you know, we were ready for this a year ago. We were actually a few steps away from being ready to announce it when that incident happened with the Russian Federal Assembly delegation to the International Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, where they were invited in the first place, seated in their chairs, and then violence was almost used against them.

I am confident that our relations with Georgia will recover and improve. We can see new Georgian politicians who are interested in this. For now, there are just small parties in the ruling elites. But I believe our traditional historical closeness, and the mutual affinity between our peoples will ultimately triumph. Provocateurs who are trying to prevent Georgia from resuming normal relations with Russia will be put to shame.

They are trying to use Georgia the same way as Ukraine. In Ukraine, the IMF plays a huge role. And the IMF recently decided that each tranche allocated to Ukraine would be short-term.

Question: Microcredits.

Sergey Lavrov: Microcredits and a short leash that can always be pulled a little.

They are trying to use Georgia the same way. We have no interest in seeing this situation continue. We did not start it and have never acted against the Georgian people. Everyone remembers the 2008 events, how American instructors arrived there and trained the Georgian army. The Americans were well aware of Mikheil Saakashvili’s lack of restraint. He trampled on all agreements and issued a criminal order.

We are talking about taking their word for it. There were many cases when we took their word for it, but then it all boiled down to zilch. In 2003, Colin Powell, a test tube – that was an academic version. An attack on Iraq followed. Many years later, Tony Blair admitted that there had been no nuclear weapons in Iraq. There were many such stories. In 1999, the aggression against Yugoslavia was triggered by the OSCE representative in the Balkans, US diplomat William Walker, who visited the village of Racak, where they found thirty corpses, and declared it genocide of the Albanian population. A special investigation by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found they were military dressed in civilian clothes. But Mr Walker loudly declared it was genocide. Washington immediately seized on the idea, and so did London and other capitals. NATO launched an aggression against Yugoslavia.

After the end of the five-day military operation to enforce peace, the European Union ordered a special report from a group of invited experts, including Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini. She was later involved in the Minsk process, and then she was asked to lead a group of experts who investigated the outbreak of the military conflict in August 2008. The conclusion was unambiguous. All this happened on the orders of Mikheil Saakashvili, and as for his excuses that someone had provoked him, or someone had been waiting for him on the other side of the tunnel, this was just raving.

Georgians are a wise nation. They love life, perhaps the same way and the same facets that the peoples in the Russian Federation do. We will overcome the current abnormal situation and restore normal relations between our states and people.


In addition, if you follow the Minister, follow up on this interview with Sputnik

Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov Talks About West’s Historical Revisionism, US Election and Navalny Case

قراءة في المشهدالسياسي الأميركي عشية الانتخابات (1)

زياد حافظ

يعتبر العديد من المراقبين الأميركيين والدوليين والعرب أنّ الانتخابات الأميركية التي ستجري في مطلع شهر تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2020 نقطة تحوّل تاريخية في مسار الأمور سواء كانت على الصعيد الداخلي الأميركي أو على الصعيد الدولي. فعلى الصعيد الداخلي يأمل البعض أن هزيمة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أمر حتمي سيعيد الأمور “إلى نصابها” دون التحديد ما هو مقصود بذلك. في المقابل هناك من يعتقد أنّ الرئيس الأميركي ما زال قويّاً ويتمتع بقاعدة صلبة ستمكّنه من الاستمرار في البيت الأبيض لمدة أربع سنوات إضافية. لكن بعيداً عن التكهّنات والتوقّعات من الطرفين المتخاصمين على الساحة الداخلية الأميركية هناك عدّة ملاحظات يمكن إبدائها حول التطوّرات المقبلة.

الملاحظة الأولى هي أنّ انتخابات 2020 هي استكمال لانتخابات 2016 التي لم تنته آنذاك بسبب رفض الحزب الديمقراطي ومعه النسيج الليبرالي والنيوليبرالي للنخب الحاكمة والدولة العميقة المتمثّلة بالمجمّع العسكري الصناعي الأمني المالي والإعلامي لنتائج تلك الانتخابات. فالسنوات الأربع التي مضت لم تشهد إلا محاولات (فاشلة) لخلع أو إسقاط الرئيس الأميركي عبر تلفيق اتهامات بالتواطؤ مع روسيا التي “تدخّلت” في الانتخابات عبر قرصنة البريد الخاص بالمنافسة الديمقراطية هيلاري كلنتون. لم تقبل القيادة الديمقراطية بأنّ المنافِسة كلينتون خاضت معركة سيئة ظهر فيها التعالي والاحتقار لشريحة واسعة من الشعب الأميركي (وصفتهم بالمنبوذين!) بل حاولت تبرير الهزيمة على التدخّل الروسي. ما تبع ذلك من تحقيقات واسعة النطاق أفضت إلى أنه لم يكن هناك أيّ دليل على التدخل. كما أنّ محاولات أخرى للإطاحة عبر محاكمة الرئيس بتهمة سوء استعمال السلطات لم تفض إلى شيء. المهم أنّ حالة الانقسام الحاد سادت في المشهد السياسي الداخلي بل تفاقم إلى حدود قد تصل إلى حرب أهلية داخلية.

الملاحظة الثانية هي أنّ الانتخابات ستجري في مناخ مضطرب للغاية حيث جائحة كورونا أفضت إلى بطالة فاقت 40 مليون وتدهور في الواقع الاقتصادي والاجتماعي ينذر بمآسي الكساد الكبير الذي ساد في الثلاثينات من القرن الماضي، وإلى موجة احتجاجات عنصرية وصلت في العديد من الحالات إلى اعتداءات على الأملاك العامة والخاصة وذلك وسط دعوات لإسقاط دوائر الشرطة وعدم تمويلها ودعوات الدفاع عن النفس من قبل المجموعات التي اعتبرت نفسها مستهدفة من خصومها أياً كانوا!

الملاحظة الثالثة هي أنّ تسييس جائحة كورونا من قبل ترامب وخصومه على حدّ سواء جعلت مواجهة الجائحة من الأمور الصعبة. ففي المراحل الأولى كان موقف الإدارة من الجائحة مائعاً حيث خطورتها لم تكن لتحظى بانتباهها بينما في مرحلة ثانية كان التشدّد في اتخاذ الإجراءات الصارمة لكن في المرحلة الثالثة (الحالية) هناك المزيج من التشدّد والتخفيف في الإجراءات. بات واضحاً أنه ليست هناك قناعة بأنّ الجائحة هي خطر فعلي بسبب تناقض التقارير الطبية والعلمية حولها. هذا حديث آخر لكن في آخر المطاف أصبح جزءاً من الخطاب اليومي والفاصل بين مؤيّد لسياسة الإدارة في مواجهة الجائحة ومعارض لها ليس على قاعدة علمية بل على قاعدة سياسية محض. وهذا الخلاف يساهم في تأجيج الاستقطاب والشحن الداخلي حيث المعركة أصبحت معركة تكسير عظم ليس إلاّ.

الملاحظة الرابعة هي انّ تجمّع الشركات الكبرى والإعلام والحزب الديمقراطي ساهم في تأجيج الخطاب المناهض للعنصرية ضدّ السود ولكن بالتصويب على إدارة ترامب. فالشركات الكبرى كشركة “نايك” للملبوسات الرياضية وشركة “أمازون” على سبيل المثال والمؤسسات التي تحمل شعارات الانفتاح كمؤسسة جورج سوروس دعمت مالياً حركة “بي أل أم” (بلاك لايفز ماتر، أي حياة السود مهمة) ولذلك لتحويل الانتباه عن الاقتصادية والاجتماعية لجائحة كورونا. كما أنّ تشجيع الاحتجاجات ضدّ العنصرية أدّت إلى تصاعد أعمال الشغب ضدّ الأملاك العامة والخاصة وذلك بمباركة الحزب الديمقراطي والمرشّح الرئاسي جوزيف بايدن. لكن ذلك ترافق مع نقض رموز الثورة الأميركية بحجة أنهم كانوا من ملاّكي الرقيق. هذا شكّل صدمة في صفوف بين البيض الأميركيين حيث أصبحوا يعتبرون أنفسهم مستهدفين من قبل عنصرية معاكسة. كما أنّ الحزب الديمقراطي بتبنّيه إعادة النظر في مؤسسات الشرطة جعله يقترن بحزب الفوضى. وتنامي حركات اليسار المتطرّف كحركة “أنتيفا” ساهم في تأجيج الخوف من الفوضى. هذا أدّى إلى تصاعد التأييد للرئيس الأميركي في استطلاعات الرأي العام حيث التعادل الو التفوّق البسيط يسقط التفاؤل المفرط الذي كان سائداً لصالح جوزيف بايدن.

الملاحظة الخامسة هي تراجع الصحّة العقلية للمرشح بايدن حيث حرص الحزب الديمقراطي على تقليل الظهور العلني له والاكتفاء بإلقاء الخطابات المكتوبة وعدم الارتجال. كما أنّ زعيمة الأكثرية الديمقراطية في مجلس الممثلين نانسي بيلوسي دعت إلى إلغاء المناظرات المرتقبة بين الرئيس الأميركي ومنافسه خشية من تحطيم صورة المرشّح أمام الشعب الأميركي. من جهة أخرى، فإنّ اختيار كامالا هاريس كمرشحة لمنصب نائب رئيس لم يساعد الحزب الديمقراطي على زيادة التأييد له في الانتخابات المقبلة بسبب عدم شعبيتها خارج ولاية كاليفورنيا التي تصوّت تلقائياً للمرشح الديمقراطي وخاصة في المدن الكبرى. وبالتالي لن تقدم أيّاً من الولايات المتأرجحة، بينما لو تمّ اختيار حاكمة ولاية ميشيغان غريتشن ويتمر أو الشيخة عن ولاية مينيسوتا امي كلوبشار، لتحسّنت ظروف بايدن بالفوز بالولايتين المتأرجحتين.

هذه الملاحظات تعكس مدى الاضطراب في المشهد الداخلي الأميركي. وما يؤكّد على ذلك التحوّل الذي يجري يوماً بعد يوم في استطلاعات الرأي العام حيث التفوّق الكبير الذي كان يحظى به بايدن في مطلع الصيف تراجع إلى مستوى التعادل وحتى في بعض الأحيان إلى الموقع السلبي. السيولة الفائقة في استطلاعات الرأي العام تعني أنه من الصعب التكهّن من سيفوز بالانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني. وما يزيد الطين بلّة هو الانفصام بين القاعدة الشابة للحزب الديمقراطي والقيادة التي شاخت وذلك في للعديد من الملفّات الداخلية والخارجية ما يجعل إقبال الشباب الديمقراطي على الاقتراع مسألة غير محسومة. من جهة أخرى أعرب برني ساندر عن قلقه لمسار الحملة الانتخابية للمرشح بايدن ما يعزّز القلق حول فرص الفوز في تشرين الثاني المقبل.

كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

Julian Assange trial: the mask of Empire has fallen

Julian Assange trial: the mask of Empire has fallen

Source

September 18, 2020

By Pepe Escobar with permission from the author and first posted at Asia Times

The concept of “History in the making” has been pushed to extremes when it comes to the extraordinary public service being performed by historian, former UK diplomat and human rights activist Craig Murray.

Murray – literally, and on a global level – is now positioned as our man in the public gallery, as he painstakingly documents in vivid detail what could be defined as the trial of the century as far as the practice of journalism is concerned: the kangaroo court judging Julian Assange in Old Bailey, London.

Let’s focus on three of Murray’s reports this week – with an emphasis on two intertwined themes: what the US is really prosecuting, and how Western corporate media is ignoring the court proceedings.

Here, Murray reports the exact moment when the mask of Empire fell, not with a bang, but a whimper:

“The gloves were off on Tuesday as the US Government explicitly argued that all journalists are liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act (1917) for publishing classified information.” (italics mine).

“All journalists” means every legitimate journalist, from every nationality, operating in any jurisdiction.

Interpreting the argument, Murray added, “the US government is now saying, completely explicitly, in court, those reporters could and should have gone to jail and that is how we will act in future. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and all the “great liberal media” of the US are not in court to hear it and do not report it (italics mine), because of their active complicity in the “othering” of Julian Assange as something sub-human whose fate can be ignored. Are they really so stupid as not to understand that they are next?

Err, yes.”

The point is not that self-described paladins of “great liberal media” are stupid. They are not covering the charade in Old Bailey because they are cowards. They must keep their fabled “access” to the bowels of Empire – the kind of “access” that allowed Judith Miller to “sell” the illegal war on Iraq in countless front pages, and allows CIA asset and uber-opportunist Bob Woodward to write his “insider” books.

Nothing to see here

Previously, Murray had already detailed how “the mainstream media are turning a blind eye. There were three reporters in the press gallery, one of them an intern and one representing the NUJ. Public access continues to be restricted and major NGOs, including Amnesty, PEN and Reporters Without Borders, continue to be excluded both physically and from watching online.”

Murray also detailed how “the six of us allowed in the public gallery, incidentally, have to climb 132 steps to get there, several times a day. As you know, I have a very dodgy ticker; I am with Julian’s dad John who is 78; and another of us has a pacemaker.”

So why is he “the man in the public gallery”? “I do not in the least discount the gallant efforts of others when I explain that I feel obliged to write this up, and in this detail, because otherwise the vital basic facts of the most important trial this century, and how it is being conducted, would pass almost completely unknown to the public. If it were a genuine process, they would want people to see it, not completely minimize attendance both physically and online.”

Unless people around the world are reading Murray’s reports – and very few others with much less detail – they will ignore immensely important aspects plus the overall appalling context of what’s really happening in the heart of London. The main fact, as far as journalism is concerned, is that Western corporate media is completely ignoring it.

Let’s check the UK coverage on Day 9, for instance.

There was no article in The Guardian – which cannot possibly cover the trial because the paper, for years, was deep into no holds barred smearing and total demonization of Julian Assange.

There was nothing on The Telegraph – very close to MI6 – and only a brief AP story on the Daily Mail.

There was a brief article in The Independent only because one of the witnesses, Eric Lewis, is one of the directors of the Independent Digital News and Media Ltd which publishes the paper.

For years, the process of degrading Julian Assange to sub-human level was based on repeating a bunch of lies so often they become truth. Now, the conspiracy of silence about the trial does wonders to expose the true face of Western liberal “values” and liberal “democracy”.

Daniel Ellsberg speaks

Murray provided absolutely essential context for what Daniel “Pentagon Papers” Ellsberg made it very clear in the witness stand.

The Afghan War logs published by WikiLeaks were quite similar to low-level reports Ellsberg himself had written about Vietnam. The geopolitical framework is the same: invasion and occupation, against the interests of the absolute majority of the invaded and occupied.

Murray, illustrating Ellsberg, writes that “the war logs had exposed a pattern of war crimes: torture, assassination and death squads. The one thing that had changed since Vietnam was that these things were now so normalized they were classified below Top Secret.”

This is a very important point. All the Pentagon Papers were in fact Top Secret. But crucially, the WikiLeaks papers were not Top Secret: in fact they were below Top Secret, not subject to restricted distribution. So they were not really sensitive – as the United States government now alleges.

On the by now legendary Collateral Murder video, Murray details Ellsberg’s argument: “Ellsberg stated that it definitely showed murder, including the deliberate machine gunning of a wounded and unarmed civilian. That it was murder was undoubted. The dubious word was “collateral”, which implies accidental. What was truly shocking about it was the Pentagon reaction that these war crimes were within the Rules of Engagement. Which permitted murder.”

The prosecution cannot explain why Julian Assange withheld no less than 15,000 files; how he took a lot of time to redact the ones that were published; and why both the Pentagon and the State Dept. refused to collaborate with WikiLeaks. Murray: “Ten years later, the US Government has still not been able to name one single individual who was actually harmed by the WikiLeaks releases.”

Prometheus Bound 2.0

President Trump has made two notorious references to WikiLeaks on the record: “I love WikiLeaks” and “I know nothing about WikiLeaks”. That may reveal nothing on how a hypothetical Trump 2.0 administration would act if Julian Assange was extradited to the US. What we do now is that the most powerful Deep State factions want him “neutralized”. Forever.

I felt compelled to portray Julian Assange’s plight as Prometheus Bound 2.0. In this poignant post-modern tragedy, the key subplot centers on a deadly blow to true journalism, in the sense of speaking truth to power.

Julian Assange continues to be treated as an extremely dangerous criminal, as his partner Stella Moris describes it in a tweet.

Craig Murray will arguably enter History as the central character in a very small chorus warning us all about the tragedy’s ramifications.

It’s also quite fitting that the tragedy is also a commentary on a previous era that featured, unlike Blake’s poem, a Marriage of Hell and Hell: GWOT and OCO (Global War on Terror, under George W. Bush, and Overseas Contingency Operations under Barack Obama).

Julian Assange is being condemned for revealing imperial war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet in the end all that post-9/11 sound and fury signified nothing.

It actually metastasized into the worst imperial nightmare: the emergence of a prime, compounded peer competitor, the Russia-China strategic partnership.

“Not here the darkness, in this twittering world” (T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton). An army of future Assanges awaits.

YEMENI HOUTHIS VOW TO FIGHT ISRAELI PLOTS AS NETANYAHU SIGNS HISTORIC DEAL WITH UAE, BAHRAIN

South Front

Yemeni Houthis Vow To Fight Israeli Plots As Netanyahu Signs Historic Deal  With UAE, Bahrain
Video

The Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis) continues pounding Saudi Arabia with drones and missiles.

Late on September 17, the Yemeni Air Force loyal to the Houthi government struck Abha International Airport in the Saudi province of Asir with Samad 3 combat drones, which can be used as loitering munitions. The Houthis claimed that the strike hit a military section of the airport causing material damage and casualties among Saudi forces.

The military infrastructure in the Abha airport area and southern Saudi Arabia itself has regularly become a target of Houthi missile and drone strikes. Just during the past month, Abha International Airport was targeted by at least 4 drone and missile strikes. The Saudi capital of Riyadh and oil infrastructure in the central part of the Kingdom are also not out of danger. The Houthis demonstrated this several times during the past few years. The most recent strike on Riyadh took place just a few days ago.

The September 17 attack, together with regular strikes on other targets inside the Kingdom, showed that efforts of the Saudi Air Force to destroy missile stockpiles and launching sites in Yemen did not lead to any notable impact.

Saudi proxies fighting the Houthis on the ground are also in a state of retreat. During the past few days, they lost even more positions south of the Marib provincial capital retreating from Najd al-Majmaa, Habisah, Ajam al-Sud and al-Atf.

The Maas Camp west of Marib city still remains in the hands of Saudi-backed forces. However, this stronghold is the last obstacle for the advancing Houthi forces in this part of the province. If the defense of pro-Saudi forces continues to crumble, the Maas Camp will be fully isolated and captured.

In the southern part of Marib province, Houthis and their local allies captured the area of Rahum. Here, the mid-term target of the Houthi advance is the town of Hurayb, located on the administrative border between the provinces of Marib and Shabwah.

It is interesting to note that the Houthi leadership recently declared that it stands against the US-promoted normalization with Israel and reaffirmed its support to Palestine. Abdul-Malik al-Houthi even stated that actions of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain contribute to Israeli plots against Muslim countries. He claimed that Yemen has become the target of the Saudi-led intervention due to Yemen’s alleged resistance to the Israeli agenda in the region.

On September 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially signed historic peace treaties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Washington. The development is a major foreign policy victory for the administration of US President Donald Trump and its Israeli allies. The event was attended by Trump himself who noted that the courage of the Israeli and Arab leaders enabled these countries “to take a major stride toward a future where people of all faiths live together in peace and prosperity.”

On the other hand, the US State Department has already declared that the UAE and Israel could forge an alliance against Iran. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, key US regional allies, will likely become a part of this effort. Therefore, the announced ‘peace and prosperity’ plan apparently includes a further strengthening of the pressure on Iran and even increases of chances of a potential military action against the republic.

The ongoing normalization campaign also triggered a new escalation in the Gaza Strip, including the exchange of strikes between Palestinian armed groups and Israel, as well as political instability in Bahrain. The population of Bahrain appears to be unhappy with the decision of the country’s leadership.

The modern Middle East could easily be compared with a powder keg that is ready to explode at any moment.

Related Videos

Related News

Maduro: EU Demand to Delay Election in Venezuela ‘Impossible

Source

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has dismissed as “impossible” the EU’s suggestion to postpone the country’s December 6 election to meet the bloc’s conditions to dispatch an observer mission, blaming the idea on US pressure.

“It is impossible because there is a very clear constitutional mandate,” Maduro said Thursday in a nationally televised address. “We want to have a good relationship with the European Union, but Washington does not let them.”

Maduro has repeatedly maintained that the administration of hawkish US President Donald Trump is persistently plotting to topple his government in a coup to seize control of the oil-rich nation’s huge crude oil reserves.

Relations between Caracas and Washington have drastically deteriorated in recent years amid multiple efforts by the US government to impose sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company and other industries in its bid to destabilize the country.

Venezuela’s constitution requires a new poll every five years while US-backed opposition parties have vowed to boycott the election.

European and Latin American ministers in the International Contact Group (ICG) declared after their video conference on Thursday that conditions were not ripe to send observers to Venezuela’s parliamentary elections next December.

“ICG members concluded that conditions are not met, at the moment, for a transparent, inclusive, free and fair electoral process,” the group announced in a statement following the conference chaired by EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell.

The ICG groups European countries including Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as well as a number of Latin American countries. Argentina is back in the group while Bolivia has left it.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza invited observers from the United Nations and the European Union, in letters addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Borrell early this month, to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country.

In the letters, Arreaza outlined “the broad electoral guarantees agreed for the upcoming parliamentary elections.”

Maduro pardoned over 100 legislators and associates of US-sponsored opposition figure Juan Guaido to promote national reconciliation ahead of the congressional elections in December.

Guaido pushed Venezuela into political turmoil by dismissing the results of the 2018 presidential election after Maduro won nearly 70 percent of the votes. The opposition figure declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January last year and later launched a US-backed abortive coup to oust Maduro’s elected government.

Source: Agecnies

Occupying Palestine Is Rotting ‘Israel’ From Inside. No Gulf ‘Peace’ Deal Can Hide That

Occupying Palestine Is Rotting ‘Israel’ From Inside. No Gulf ‘Peace’ Deal Can Hide That

By Raja Shehadeh – The Guardian

More than a quarter of a century after Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, ‘Israel’ has managed to turn its occupation of Palestinian territory from a burden into an asset. What was for so long a liability – the flagrant violation of international law – has now become a valued commodity. Understanding this development is key to explaining why the ‘Israelis’ are making ‘peace’ with two distant Gulf states but not their closest neighbors, the Palestinians – without whom there can be no real ‘peace.’

‘Israel’ has learned in recent years how to manage the occupation in perpetuity with minimal cost. But from the very beginning of the occupation in June 1967, ‘Israel’ has been unwilling to recognize the Palestinian nation or cede control of the Palestinian territory occupied in order to make ‘peace.’

The evidence to support this claim is easily found in ‘Israel’s’ own archives. Two days after the occupation began, ‘Israel’ passed military order number three, which referred to the fourth Geneva convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war – mandating that military courts apply the provisions of the convention to their proceedings. Four months later, this portion of the order was deleted.

In September 1967, the legal counsel to the ‘Israeli’ foreign ministry, Theodor Meron, was asked by the prime minister, Levi Eshkol, whether building new settlements in the occupied territories would violate the Geneva convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilians into the territory seized in war. He answered in the affirmative. But his advice was rejected and the government proceeded from that moment to establish illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Over the following months, ‘Israel’ began a process that would continue for many years: amending laws governing Palestinian land – from the periods of Ottoman, British mandate and Jordanian control of the territory – to construct a false “legal” basis for the acquisition of land and other natural resources for the establishment of Jewish settlements.

I spent much of my working life, from 1979 until 1993, investigating and resisting ‘Israel’s’ abuses of law in the occupied territories, and warning about the implications of building illegal settlements, all to no avail.

Yet it was not the legal transformations alone that enabled settlements to be built and to flourish. The militant Zionist thinker Vladimir Jabotinsky had written, in the 1920s, that “settlement[s] can … develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population behind an iron wall which they will be powerless to break down”. And so it was.

There was an added component to the transformation of the laws to enable the settlement project and that was sheer violence by settlers: vigilante actions that seemed to go against the law ‘Israel’ had put down and bound itself to. In the early 80s Al-Haq, a West Bank-based human rights organization that I was then directing, worked hard to document incidents of settler violence.

At the time we naively believed that if only ‘Israelis’ knew what was taking place and the failure of law enforcement to stop it, they would take action to prevent it. We were unaware that it was all part of the ‘Israeli’ struggle for the land. The agents of the orderly ‘state’ can stay within the boundaries of their rewritten laws while the unruly settlers do the work of intimidation and violence to achieve the desired goal. It is all part of the same scheme.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, settler violence in the West Bank has become an almost daily occurrence. It is all out in the open and the government and the courts are on the same page in supporting the settlers and working to achieve the goal of greater ‘Israel.’ The Knesset has passed the regularization bill, which “legalizes” settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land via de facto expropriation.

While Jewish settler violence against the Palestinians rages – preventing Palestinians from working their land or using it as their own, with no real attempt by the ‘Israeli’ military or police to prevent this – ‘Israel’ declares any and all Palestinian resistance to occupation to be terrorism.

When Palestinians began to organize non-violent resistance to the occupation, ‘Israel’ redefined attacks by the army on these unarmed protesters to bring them under the category of “combat operations”. Recently, the villagers of Kafr Qaddum were staging weekly demonstrations against the blocking of a road, which prevented access to their village, because it was claimed that the road passes through a new part of the settlement of Kedumim. The army planted explosives on roads used by the villagers – but the soldiers who took this decision would be immune from prosecution for any injuries caused to the villagers.

With all these “victories” on ‘Israel’s’ part, it has now decided that it can manage the occupation rather than end it. The occupation even began to be seen as an asset. ‘Israel’ has turned the occupied territories into a laboratory for testing weapons and systems of surveillance. ‘Israelis’ now market their crowd control weapons and systems of homeland security to the US, based on testing in the occupied territories. Yet all this financial investment in the occupation – and all the twisting of domestic laws to protect the illegal settlement project, all the political contortions to cultivate authoritarian allies, from Trump to Orban to Bolsonaro – is rotting ‘Israel’ from the inside, turning it into an apartheid ‘state’ that rules over millions of Palestinians without rights.

In Arundhati Roy’s novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, one of her characters, Musa, says that if Kashmiris have failed to gain independence from India, at least in struggling for it they have exposed the corruption of India’s system. Musa tells the book’s narrator, an Indian: “You’re not destroying us. It’s yourselves that you are destroying.” Palestinians today might say the same of our struggle with ‘Israel.’

Bahrainis Against Normalization: Sixth Straight Night of Protests Opposing Deal With ‘Israel’

Bahrainis Against Normalization: Sixth Straight Night of Protests Opposing Deal With ‘Israel’

By Staff, Agencies

Hundreds of Bahrainis rallied in their hundreds for a sixth straight night against the ruling regime’s recent United States-enabled normalization with the Zionist entity.

Defying trigger-ready security forces, the protesters took to the streets throughout the kingdom on Thursday night, Bahrain’s Lualua TV satellite channel reported.

They carried signs that read, “Down with US and ‘Israel’” and “No to normalization with the occupying regime” as well as placards that condemned any facilitation of the ‘Israeli’ regime’s intervention in the Gulf region.

Others carried Palestinian flags, asserting that Manama’s stance towards Tel Aviv and the ongoing favorable coverage of the rapprochement by some media outlets did not serve to represent the Bahraini public’s opinion.

“The protesters say they stand by the Palestinian nation and are against all instances of treachery” targeting them such as acts of normalization with the occupying entity, the channel said.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed official agreements at the White House on Tuesday enabling full normalization of their relations with the Zionist entity. The deals had been announced by US President Donald Trump respectively earlier in September and last month.

During the event, Trump claimed “five or six” more Arab countries were poised to agree to follow suit.

Related Videos

Trump Says He Wanted to Kill Syria’s Assad, But Mattis Blocked Him

 September 16, 2020

Trump Mattis

ٍSource

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2017, but that his then-secretary of defense Jim Mattis opposed the operation.

“I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set,” Trump told the morning show Fox & Friends. “Mattis didn’t want to do it. Mattis was a highly overrated general, and I let him go.”

The revelations support reporting that came out in 2018 when Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward published his book “Fear: Trump in the White House” and which the president denied at the time.

“That was never even contemplated,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on September 5, 2018.

Trump’s Tuesday remarks came as he castigated Mattis, whom the president hailed as a “great man” when he hired him to run the Pentagon, before soured on the retired general who eventually resigned in late 2018.

Trump was reportedly mulling assassinating Assad after the alleged chemical attack in April 2017.

The US leader said American forces should “go in” and “kill” Assad, Woodward reported in his book.

The journalist — famous for uncovering the 1970s Watergate scandal that brought down US president Richard Nixon — wrote that Mattis told Trump he would “get right on it” but returned with plans for a more limited airstrike.

Trump told Fox he did not regret the decision not to target Assad, saying he “could have lived either way with that.”

“I considered him certainly not a good person, but I had a shot to take him out if I wanted and Mattis was against it,” Trump said. “Mattis was against most of that stuff.”

Source: Agencies

Related Videos

Related

Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep

Weekly China Newsbrief and Sitrep

September 16, 2020

By Godfree Roberts selected from his extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China

This week’s selection includes a separate explanation on just how the Chinese Communist Party and Government operates.  For those that visit these weekly Sitreps to learn, this may put an end to the regular discussion items of just how bad the CCP is.  You did know that China has six political parties, did you?  The people that I’ve consulted say the following:  China’s system works for China.  We do not suggest you adopt our system, so, there is no reason for you to insist we adopt yours.

From a regular Twitter Feed by ShangaiPanda, here is how it actually works, by meritocracy.  What this means is that Xi Jinping for example already had 40 years experience in governing, before he was both selected, and elected to his position.

From Godfree’s newsletter which is just brimming with interesting items this week, we’ve selected items about:

  • space,
  • Islam, communism and the BRI,
  • trade war and trade deficit,
  • and a highly educational piece by ‘Chairman Rabbit’, who analyses America from a Chinese perspective.

On studying China it is good to remember that unlike many other countries, China as a country holds together from two perspectives, a long lasting civilizational unity, as well as a sovereign state.


 Space – high technology that is green technology

China has safely landed a reusable spacecraft which it claims will provide a “convenient and inexpensive” method of getting to and from space. The craft launched on September 4th and landed on September 6th after spending two days in orbit, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. Very little is known about the spacecraft, including even its basic design. There are no picture or renders of the craft, but there have been rumors it is a spaceplane similar to the Air Force’s X-37B. A Chinese military source told the South China Morning Post they could not provide details on the mission but that “maybe you can take a look at the US X-37B.”[MORE]

Islam, Communism and the BRI

The significance of having 52 Muslim countries (37.6%) that comprise 87.5 per cent of World Muslims in the BRI alliance, is not lost on the United States and its allies who are not particularly pro-Islam, which may explain their sudden interest to ‘care’ about the plight of Muslims in Xinjiang! Soon after the Bolshevik uprisings, Communism and Islam seemed destined to liberate the Muslim world from European Imperialism, but that was not to be due to their ideological differences. This presented an opportunity to the United States and its allies, where they coopted anti-Communist Jihadism to disrupt Communism.  This had the unintended consequence of being the impetus for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which presented the U.S. and its allies with new challenges.

Soon after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, Communism and Islam were the impetus for revolutions against European imperialism in Egypt, Iraq, India, Caucasus and Central Asia, and the Indonesian Archipelago. However, divergent views about Communism proved divisive among Muslims (who are also quite divergent in their theological interpretations of Islam) and this quasi- ideological alliance was all over by the onset of the Cold War.  Those irrevocable divisions may have been due to the essence of Islam’s socio-economic and political system.  It is more consultative (‘Shoura’ or democratic theocracy) and entrepreneurial in nature, which is more compatible with social democracy and capitalism, than with communism’s autocratic state planned economy.

The other reason for such failure is the proactive role of the United States (and some Western Europeans, like Britain and France) in using Christian missionaries and NGOs in intelligence gathering while spreading Christianity in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. In the 1970s, it was revealed that the CIA sponsored missionaries in Kerala and Nagaland to not only block the advance of Communism in India, but also to establish sufficient tensions between India and China and prevent any regional stability that continues to our present day.

In the 1980s, the CIA’s material support to the Afghan Mujahideen (and by default the Afghan Arabs, like Osama Bin Laden and his followers, who were rounded up from the different Arab and Muslim countries by their intelligence services and sent to Afghanistan, via Pakistan for their paramilitary training by the ISI, in the hope that they would never come back) only exacerbated extremist violence ever since. In the 1990s, the predominantly Muslim former Soviet Republics of Central Asia; Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and other Islamic countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan opened their doors to Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi Islam (probably with the ‘blessings’ of the CIA).

This resulted in an upsurge of Islamist fundamentalism and separatist movements in central Asia, like al-Qaeda affiliated Turkestan Islamic Party(TIP), Hizb ut-Tahrir (HuT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), which have presented a challenge to China and others in the region. Since the rise of anti-Communist Jihadism in the 1980s and its coopetition by the Anglo-Americans to disrupting Communism ever since may have been the impetus for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The $8 trillion investment by China in its bold, innovative and strategic Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) alliances with 138 countries comprising 51.7% of world GDP offers an infrastructure backbone of maritime, land and digital trade alliances. The BRI alliances represent 4.8 billion people (61.7%) of the world population.  Of which an estimated 1.4 billion (29.2%) identify as Muslim and are part of the 52 member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), including all 22 Arab countries.

China’s BRI strategic alliances with Arabic and Muslim countries can only help neutralise the existential threat of global Islamist fundamentalism in the long-term by spreading economic prosperity and alleviating poverty. Also, it will not only bring prosperity and stability to China’s underdeveloped north-western part (Xinjiang holds 1.33% of China’s population and contributes 1.35% to China’s GDP), but also to (its ideological partner in the new world order) Russia, and other BRI partners on its western border.

Coupled with technological innovations in global cross-border trade and finance, the BRI projects would no doubt accelerate global economic growth and revive China’s historical legacy in boosting entrepreneurships without compromising necessary protections of the weak. Those infrastructure-driven alliances are building a global community with a shared future for mankind.  This is so important at a time when our world is divided by poverty, crippling national debts and the rise of ultra-nationalism.

The clash of civilizations, anti-(Muslim)-refugees’ sentiment and Islamophobia are just symptoms of the rise in white supremacism and alt-right extremism sweeping the Anglo-American and European nations. Those groups subscribe to a conspiracy theory of cultural and population replacement or nativism, where white European populations are being replaced with non-Europeans (predominantly Muslim Arabs from Syria and elsewhere) due to the complicity of ‘replacist’ elites.

For example, the ‘Génération Identitaire’ (GI) movement in France, which considers itself a ‘defender’ of the European civilization has affiliated youth groups in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.  This heightened sense of ultra-nationalism is driving Western democratic politics away from economic concerns, in favour of issues related to culture and identity. No doubt, Anglo-American and European anxieties about China’s technological, economic and geopolitical dominance may be rooted in their innate fears about being displaced by an Asian culture and the potential spread of Socialism with Chinese characteristics to the 138 countries that joined the BRI alliances, after having spent a good part of over 70 years fighting Communism.

America’s continued rise as a world power—from the 1890s through the Cold War—and its bid to extend its hegemony deep into the twenty-first century through a fusion of cyberwar, space warfare, trade pacts, and military alliances – is now limited by the reality that it has to dismantle China’s BRI alliances as it did to the USSR. This is why the ‘five eyes’ alliance is going on the offensive with (a) sanctions and visa restrictions for Chinese officials, (b) bans on China’s technological 5G innovations (Huawei, Tik Tok and WeChat under the guise of ‘National Security’ concerns), (c) tariffs trade wars, and (d) a particular focus on ‘human rights’ in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

The significance of having 52 Muslim countries (37.6%) that comprise 87.5 per cent of World Muslims in the BRI alliance, is not lost on the United States and its allies who are not particularly pro-Islam, which may explain their sudden interest to ‘care’ about the plight of Muslims in Xinjiang! Thus, it is not unreasonable to conclude that the sole purpose of those disruptive policies by the “five-eyes” alliance is to intensify the global anti-China sentiment that is already aggravated due to COVID-19, and to inflame Muslim sentiment in particular, so as to torpedo China’s largest economic and geopolitical Belt and Road alliances.[MORE] [George Mickhail is an LSE trained academic and a geopolitical risk analyst with 30 years’ experience in major global accounting firms and business schools.]

Trade War and Trade Deficit

The US trade deficit with China widened in July – an embarrassing situation for President Trump, who Taiwan’s Liberty Times said had been left  with a ‘green face’ (a crude expression that makes plain this is a bad outcome for him). When the US President campaigned four years ago, he strongly accused China of seizing American wealth in what he hailed as “the biggest theft in history.” After his election, he maintained this position against China. However, the latest data will hardly please him. The United States had a $31.6 billion trade deficit with China in July, which was an 11.5% increase from June. The paper noted that before the outbreak of the coronavirus, the US trade deficit with China was narrowing, but it has gradually expanded since the epidemic spread. Data released by the US Census Bureau on Thursday showed that the trade deficit with China in Q2 increased by 36.8% compared to Q1. The deficit in July was 4.36% larger than that in July 2016.[MORE]

‘Chairman Rabbit’ Analyzes America

Editor’s Note: Tu Zhuxi (Chairman Rabbit) is the nom de plume of Ren Yi, a Harvard-educated Chinese blogger who has amassed more than 1.6 million followers on Weibo who seek out his political commentary, much of which falls under a genre we might facetiously call “America-watching.” 

Today, I scrolled through the interview Professor Ezra Feivel Vogel gave with the Global Times: “90 year-old Professor Vogel: Unfortunately, there is a possibility of armed confrontation between the United States and China.” The veteran professor—who has researched China and East Asia all his life and promoted the development of ties between the United States and China—conveyed intense unease after witnessing two years of sharp downturn in Sino-U.S. relations under the Trump Administration. He could not bear not to air his concerns. 

This interview comes at an opportune time. As you can see, I have excerpted a short comment from the interview. This excerpt perfectly echoes the content I have wanted to expand on these last two days:

Vogel: There is a new article in the Atlantic magazine by James Fallows that gives the most comprehensive explanation of what has happened. And it clearly is the Trump administration.

Before the coronavirus, there had been plans in earlier administrations for dealing with an epidemic. We had a good overall plan. Trump did not use those plans at all. He even acted when he first heard about the coronavirus pandemic as if there was not a big problem. So things were delayed. It clearly is Trump’s responsibility.

At the time of writing, the United States has around 3.8 million confirmed cumulative cases, 140,000 deaths, and a daily increase of about 64 thousand cases. The diagnosis of experts and intellectuals around the United States: this is all due to the Trump Administration.

First of all, the United States’ so-called “good overall plan” for epidemic response was targeted towards a type of infectious disease that resembles the flu in infectiousness, hazard, and lethality. The United States after all has quite a few documentaries and special television programming about pandemics, and every year in every corner of the country drills are held about pandemics, but all of these were with the assumptions of a flu-like disease. COVID-19 was not within the expectations of an American plan for epidemic response, and indeed was beyond the response plan of every country in regard to an infectious disease with respiratory transmission. COVID-19 is an especially potent epidemic, a disease with an extraordinarily high death rate. The epidemic response plan that the United States currently had in place was entirely insufficient for COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci brought up this topic several times in the last few months, especially in the early stages of the epidemic: the American system and design is either insufficient or entirely ineffectual against COVID-19. Dr. Fauci was speaking only from the standpoint of public hygiene and healthcare system and his analysis did not broaden past these considerations.

I have been following the news, media, and commentaries of the U.S. right and left. Criticisms of the epidemic response have generally been from Democratic Party, anti-Trump, and/or liberal-aligned intellectuals. Even after several months, I have rarely encountered essays or discussions that analyze in-depth the full extent of the difficulties facing the U.S. COVID-19 response by synthesizing broader observations on the nation’s political system, society, governance, culture, and economy.

Basically, all the analyses have taken the question and subsumed it under the issue of “political leadership”—usually pointing towards the President, the White House, and state governors. The majority of these analyses lay blame onto the very person of Trump.

Basically, all the analyses have taken the question and subsumed it under the issue of “political leadership”—usually pointing towards the President, the White House, and state governors. The majority of these analyses lay blame onto the very person of Trump.

According to this logic, the reason for the U.S.’s weak response to the epidemic is Trump and Trump alone. If only there was only another person in charge, the U.S. could have defeated COVID-19.

Readers who follow me should know my methods well: I have always begun my analyses from a sociological point of view. How could the U.S. use influenza as the primary lens to understand COVID-19, and how did this understanding influence the U.S.’s subsequent responsive actions? I have since wrote many essays on this topic, for example my April 1st, 2020 essay: “Can the United States Shut Down Entire Cities and Thoroughly Practice Social Distancing Like China? A Discussion of American Exceptionalism” (link in Chinese).

In that piece, I argue that due to the U.S. political and legal system, enacting a comprehensive and stringent social distancing program, including measures such as quarantining cities, is simply not possible.

In the next few months, I will continue my analysis and extend towards the political level. Not too long ago, I collected a few writings into this listicle: “13 Reasons for the Ineffectual Response towards COVID-19 of the United States and ‘Society Construction’ During an Epidemic” (link in Chinese).

I summarized thirteen reasons for the U.S.’s weak response to the epidemic:

  1. Government system: the separation of powers between the federal, state, and local governments
  2. Government system: the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judiciary bodies
  3. Wide racial and class disparities
  4. A culture that understands individualism as a cardinal virtue, even to the point of opposing social or collective interests
  5. An overwhelmingly one-sided emphasis on political and civil rights
  6. “Gun culture”: the spirit of Manifest Destiny, rugged individualism, and militarism
  7. “Bible culture” and anti-intellectualism
  8. A pluralistic society without common understanding or consensuses
  9. A government and media that intensifies rather than ameliorates social tensions
  10. A values system that does not respect the elderly and does not assign elders special protections
  11. Family structures which are not suited to fighting against COVID-19
  12. The precarious economic situation of the United States’ middle and lower classes (like walking on a tightrope, i.e. living from paycheck to paycheck or credit problems)
  13. Other cultural factors, such as resistance against wearing masks

There are certainly many more reasons than the ones I have listed. But what I wish to express is that the U.S.’s weak response to the epidemic is the combined result of political, legal, social, cultural, economic, and other factors. The White House, as one of the holders of broad public authority (the executive section of the federal government), has in fact significantly limited power over this broader structural context.

The U.S. cannot manage stringent social distancing, large-scale quarantines of cities, nor restrictions on interstate travel. Health QR codes on mobile devices are entirely impossible with citizens’ insistence on privacy protections. A vast society led primarily by individualism and anti-intellectualism can hardly speak of epidemic management. These factors are not problems that can be resolved with the changing of a president. I believe that even if it were Obama, Hillary, or Biden as president, they would not be able to reverse the tide of the battle against COVID-19, even if they would be slightly more effective—for instance if they had taken the initiative and emphasized the importance of masks. This is because fighting an epidemic does not depend on the lobbying or practices of a president, but rather on the public health and prevention system of an entire country, one which from top to bottom must act in unity and move together. Public authority must comprehensively, effectively, and consistently implement policies (such that each locality will not have its own variant policies), and also cannot allow any level of the judiciary to interfere in the problems of any level of government. On the balance between citizen and society, preparations must absolutely be made to cede rights to the collective. “Political and civil rights” must in these times yield way.

The very design of U.S. political and legal institutions is meant to inhibit collective rights. Balance of powers is at the core of American governance. Political and civil rights are the bedrock of American political values. To deny these values equates to the very denial of the U.S.’s fundamental being.

The very design of U.S. political and legal institutions is meant to inhibit collective rights.

Therefore, to take the U.S.’s weak response to the epidemic and shove it at “political leadership” and at the feet of Trump is not merely skin-deep, but avoids the real problem and focuses on easy answers. It is simply not looking at the substance of the situation.

For several months I have followed U.S. political commentaries on the left and right, and I can confirm I have not seen any analysis of depth. The overwhelming majority of analyses are overly narrow and concrete, pointing at an individual perhaps. Rare is the person who can leap outside the U.S. political structure and carry out a detailed assessment from a third point-of-view. Why? I summarize two reasons:

(1) Americans are sort of like the baffled participant in a game; sometimes the onlookers see more of the game than the players. Americans honestly believe that the American system is exceptional, the best in the world. This is an earnest and steadfast faith, an authentic “self-confidence in path, self-confidence in principles, self-confidence in system, self-confidence in culture” [the “Four Self-Confidences” of Xi Jinping Thought]. They simply cannot bring themselves to doubt or oppose the American system. Since the American system is perfect, once the epidemic creates problems, by the process of elimination, Americans reason that the problem must stem only from electing the right or wrong politician. From this line of thought, pick out the one who has the most power: this is Trump’s fault. After him, perhaps we blame the governor of Florida, DeSantis. This is about as deep as the majority of Americans introspect.

(2) Criticizing the American system is a serious political error. It’s taboo. This is because it is anti-American, “unpatriotic,” “un-American.” It is a stance that doubts the very foundations of the United States. So when there is an elephant in the room in regards to the American system, everybody can see it but dare not speak up. I believe that the majority of people do not even see this elephant in the room because they have been so thoroughly brainwashed by the perfection of the American system. It is only a minority of people who can see this. These people very well could be Democrats or liberal intellectuals. This small number of people aware of reality cannot point out the elephant, however, even if they can see it. This is because pointing it out cannot change the situation on the ground, yet will still result in censure and criticism. One would rather polish a cannonball and lob it at Trump.

In summary, if we compare China with the United States, we would discover an interesting phenomenon.

When Chinese people criticize, they are accustomed to focusing criticisms on the system. “Systemic problem.” “Systemic-ism .” Even though there are indeed problems at the individual level, these problems are thoroughly rooted in the larger system. “Because the system produced this type of person,” “because the system could not restrain or check this particular person.” At any rate, any analysis fundamentally leads back to systemic problems.

When American people criticize, it is focusing the problem onto the physical body of an individual politician. It is not the system at fault, because the system is already perfect or close to perfect, so it can only be a problem birthed from the politician: this pundit’s personality is bad, their abilities did not cut it. All criticisms are of this sort. With that, if an impotent pundit is continuously elected or re-elected—for instance if Trump is re-elected, then this is a problem of the voters. But at this time, the analysis simply cannot proceed further. In the calculus of American political values, the political values of every person are equal: one cannot belittle the voters. In 2016 during the presidential race, Hillary Clinton belittled Trump’s supporters and faced an overwhelmingly negative backlash, costing her the ultimate price (this could perhaps be why she lost the presidential race). What is left then is to criticize the political influence of the media, campaign funding, and interest groups. But even here the analysis must end. Within the proscribed limits of the dialogue, it is easy to enter into another level of analysis—for example, could it be that the U.S. electoral system has fundamental faults? If one gets to this level, it touches upon the very body of U.S. democracy and its electoral system. One would be entering a live mine zone, teetering on the edge of political error.

In this sort of environment, Americans naturally will avoid hard problems and search for easy answers. They will not explore systemic problems, but rather focus their entire attention on electoral solutions.

Under this existing electoral process, one can only, perhaps, push their preferred candidate onto the political stage and wish only for their own candidate to ascend to the office, so that in the next few years that candidate can advance their own political programs and thereby protect the interests of the candidate’s supporters. In this sort of environment, Americans naturally will avoid hard problems and search for easy answers. They will not explore systemic problems, but rather focus their entire attention on electoral solutions.

Therefore, American politics are entirely driven by the short-term. They will look at long-term problems as a certainty before avoiding them, exerting only in order to resolve short-term problems. Even though there are scholars and intellectuals who can produce long-term analyses of wide historical and societal scale, this sort of analysis remains locked in the library and Ivory Towers, away from the stain of political practice.

The American “Revolution”

In the week after the conclusion of the 2016 election in the United States, Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders published his book Our Revolution. As everybody knows, 2016 was the contest between Trump and Clinton. Yet Bernie Sanders was the more extreme, more left (called a “socialist”) candidate of the Democratic Party, who was ultimately knocked out by the mainstream Clinton in the primaries. But he retains many fans among the Democratic Party’s “progressive wing”, including many youth. In his book, he introduced his thoughts as well as his explanations and analyses on all sorts of issues of the day, including the wealth gap, race relations, environmental problems, healthcare problems, the problem of media and interest groups binding politics, gender pay disparity, and the problem of Wall Street and big corporations.

Sanders’ diagnosis of American problems intersects with Trump: it is only that while Sander’s target audience was quite broad (for example, minorities, vulnerable groups, and women), Trump’s was much more parochial. On similar problems, Trump would provide right-wing resolutions to his limited audience of voters, but Sanders provided left-wing resolutions to his broad audiences—because of this, he was smeared as a “socialist”. Of course, during Sander’s entire campaign, there remained an unspeakable doubt: that is, can a big-city Jewish American ‘elite’ from Brooklyn, New York actually win the votes to be elected as President of the United States? This same problem may apply to Michael Bloomberg. To date, it seems this question answers in the negative.

But I do not wish to talk about Sanders’ propositions or ethnicity, but rather his slogan: “Our Revolution”.

“Our Revolution” has now become a left-wing action organization with roots in the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign, and it continues to organize movements within the Democratic Party and in other broader social contexts.

“Our Revolution” has three key actions: “Win on our issues,” “Transform the Democratic Party,” and “Elect progressives up and down the ballot.”

It is of note that Sanders is the most mainstream American politician to date to support the idea of a revolution. However, what I wish to point out to Chinese readers is that this concept of “revolution” is nothing more than propagating his own thoughts and policy proposals to a wider audience, in order to get his own people elected and achieve electoral success himself.

People more familiar with Chinese political discourse should know the difference between “revolution” and “reform.”

Revolution is overturning and starting over again: toppling the old system and the old order, and constructing a new system. Revolution is often violent, of great force, compelled, and refuses to abide by the present system. From the standpoint of Marxism, revolution is class struggle, a fiery worker’s movement. From the standpoint of Leninism, it is a violent movement. From the standpoint of Mao Zedong:

“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

In the Chinese context, and indeed in the majority of cultural and social contexts, “revolution” is an intense action: revolution demands the overthrowing of the present system. Abiding by the present system, or moving within the current system and order, can only be reform.

But it is different in the United States. In the United States, challenging and overthrowing the system is taboo. It is simply impossible. This is because the American system is considered sacred, perfect. It is only particular individuals who have problems, only particular problems that cannot be handled well. The system itself has no problems. Therefore, all actions can only be carried out within the purview of what the system allows. The only path is by election—use a successful election to construct the starting point and foundations of societal change.

The American system is considered sacred, perfect. It is only particular individuals who have problems, only particular problems that cannot be handled well. The system itself has no problems.

Because of this, in the political rhetoric of Bernie Sanders, we see not a radical revolution or transformation, but a complete obedience to the American system. Due to the American people’s 100% approval and obedience to the system, any possibilities that people may have substantive critique or doubts vis-à-vis the system are cut off, and no action can be taken. The American system has completely limited their space for movement. Even “radicals” similarly can only raise high the banner of the American system, and can only work and influence society within designated limits: by pushing their own candidates in elections.

A few weeks ago, the police brutality case of George Floyd caused massive numbers of Americans to take to the streets and protest without ceasing.

Yet have we seen any protestor put out protest against the very structure of America’s political system, institutions, and government? Will there be any person who comes and burn the Constitution? Burn the American flag? Will there be any person who will put forth concrete plans of actions towards subversion?

There wasn’t any. The protestors could only protest a few “conditions.” Each path towards resolution is diverted back into elections.

The United States uses the separation of powers mechanism to spread the vast majority of social contradictions among the politicians of the various local jurisdictions. Through the possibility of election, in order to resolve these contradictions, the people complain while pointing at the politicians, not the institutions themselves. In the end, the people believe they hold the power and can influence politics through the vote, carrying on their lives under this sort of hope.

The most awe-inspiring politics indeed is this: one in which people believe they have the power and thus maintain steadfast hope in the future, while at the same time changing nothing about the current situation.

A few weeks ago, when riots erupted all around the United States, Secretary of State Pompeo could still proudly boast and simultaneously demean China: Wehave freedom of assembly, expression, and freedom to protest.

The American system has already developed to this point: simply give the people freedom of expression and freedom to protest so that they can feel themselves righteous and superior, after which they may do as they wish.

I have before written an essay “From ‘Moral Licensing’ and ‘black-clad warriors’ to the ‘Sick People of Hong Kong’” in which I explained the concept of moral licensing:

“People believe that if they had prior done something good, they can then possibly condone themselves (or even indulge themselves) when in the future they do something not as good (even actions that do not conform to one’s own or the public’s moral standards).”

The circumstances surrounding the system of the U.S. are such: if we allow people expression, allow them to freely scold the government, this grants the people “political and civil rights.” This itself grants the American system moral superiority; it is the ends not the means. Afterwards, the government need not do anything further: “half-heartedly listen yet decide to do nothing.” That there have been so many racial conflicts and riots in the past few decades demonstrates that this kind of “expression” does not bring any substantive political transformation. American society has not experienced any fundamental changes. The people who can bear it no more cannot help but take to the streets after many a hard years.

The U.S.’s electoral system is a systemic, national form of “moral licensing”:

First, it grants people the right to vote, grants people a few nominal political and civil rights, allowing the people to feel that they have power and agency and thereby perceive moral self-satisfaction.

Afterwards, the politicians and elites can recount the greatness and glory of the system, right and proper as it is. “We allow African Americans to go out on the streets! So our system is progressive.” “We had Obama as president, how can our society be discriminatory against African Americans?”

The first stage of American politics is taking “the right to express concerns” and equating it with “measures to resolve the problem.” I allowed you to express your opinion, so all is well.

The second stage of American politics is taking “the right to express concerns” and using it as legitimization for “tacit allowance of the bad.” I allowed you to express your opinion, and I even allowed a black president, so what are you babbling about?

As one can see, the separation of powers and electoral system in the United States has created a perfect “cognitive trap” — people believe that this system can endlessly empower individuals and provide limitless potential and possibilities, that it can change anything. This system is in fact like a black hole, taking all the potential and sucking it in and dispelling it — even if it means there will be no changes in reality.

This system is in fact like a black hole, taking all the potential and sucking it in and dispelling it — even if it means there will be no changes in reality.

I believe that there will not be an insurrection in the U.S. because there is no power in the U.S. that can overturn or transform the American system. The American system is too powerful, it can already change the meaning of words: turning “revolution” into reforms hemmed in by the limits of the electoral system. This is indeed an extraordinarily powerful system.

Only an enormous outside pressure can cause the United States to change.

China is just such a pressure currently placed on the United States. In the beginning, the pressure was indistinct, unclear, but now it grows more apparent as China continues its rise.

Why Can’t America Criticize Its Own System?

Apart from “empowering” people, giving them the fantastic illusion of grasping political power and being able to influence it, the American electoral system is also importantly related to the system’s construction of an American person’s identity.

As I have written two days prior in the essay “Why the United States Does Not Understand China — From the Original Intention of the Communist Party of China, to European Civilization, to American Politics”, the United States is an multi-national country, assimilating many people from different ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, and societies. To bind these people together, a country cannot rely on blood ties, shared ethnicity, or shared culture, but instead on shared political values—the approval of the Constitution of the United States, and the approval of the foundational political values of the United States.

Political values and the American system: these two formulate the “national identity” of the United States.

Disavowing the American system is tantamount to disavowing the American national identity, necessarily meaning being anti-American.

Every civilization must construct its own foundations for national identity.

The national identities of European countries lay upon race, blood, and land, and, after, language and culture. Denying one’s race, blood, land, and language is to go against one’s own national character, and is hardly acceptable.

China is also multi-national, its national identity based more on culture and language; one able to integrate into the Chinese nation is one who can be accepted. Land is secondary, and ethnicity and blood ties may also be factors. But in summary, the inclusiveness of the Chinese people is quite potent, with ethnicity, blood ties, and other such factors relatively weak considerations. From the point-of-view of Chinese people, disavowing Chinese culture, history, tradition, or the perception of China’s territory and borders, is what it takes to disavow or be disloyal to China.

From the standpoint of the United States, ethnicity, blood, land, language, culture, and history are not key factors; only political values are. To disavow the American system is to disavow the American “nation.”

From the standpoint of any nationality, for one to deny their own national character is very much unacceptable, no matter if it is Europe, China, or the United States. The distinction from Europe and China is that the American nationality is built on the foundation of a political system and values.

In what circumstances then does a society or a nationality go against and disavow their own nationality?

I am currently of the belief that it is only in a cross-ethnic or transnational international setting where one could find serious frustrations which could produce such a self-disavowal.

Only in facing an enormous failure can there possibly be a self-disavowal, even a “self-hatred”.

China’s concept of nationality is built on culture and civilization. In the past two hundred years or so, China has suffered foreign invasion and bullying, thoroughly fell behind and received thrashings, and as a result came to doubt much of its own system and culture. This type of self-doubt and self-disavowal has persisted onto the present day. Chinese people tend to search for their own “inherent weaknesses” among their traditional culture.

Once the Chinese economy grew, and subsequently once its global standing rose, people began to change, becoming self-confident, and more were able to see the good aspects of Chinese traditional culture and contemporary societal practices.

The U.S. is similar. The American concept of national character is its own system and political value. Nothing short of a severe frustration of the American system, perhaps by China comprehensively catching up to or surpassing the United States, perhaps even failing in a competition or struggle with China, would possibly wake up the Americans to their senses. The basis for the United States’ own “four self-confidences” is its absolute leading role in the world for the past close to a century. The U.S.’s strength made people believe that the American system must be superior, and based on this they came to believe that America’s national character must be superior. The U.S. vigilantly guards against and attacks any other country that could challenge its national might, because any challenge would undermine the supposed superiority of the U.S.’s national character.

The U.S. vigilantly guards against and attacks any other country that could challenge its national might, because any challenge would undermine the supposed superiority of the U.S.’s national character.

If China one day rises and is to enter conflict with the United States and comes to outdo the American system, then for certain it would deal a huge blow to the self-confidence of the American people.

Only in such a time may the American people perhaps engage in deeper introspections on their system and models, and thereby possibly search for and implement necessary reforms.

I believe that American politics and society have extraordinarily powerful inertia and cannot initiate any self-led, self-directed adjustments in the short-term, unless there is outside pressure.

China’s rise is by now inevitable and will come to pressure the U.S. more as time goes on. At a certain point, the U.S. will be forced to confront and rethink their own system, to seek more changes and reforms. This is precisely like the period at the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s, in which the U.S. confronted the rise of Japan in industrial and commercial matters. Thus, the U.S. increasingly scrutinizing China is only a matter of time.

As China continues to grow stronger, its influence on international affairs will naturally grow larger as well. At the same time, the United States will experience a relative decline, its soft power and political influence around the world will face relative decline as well. China can indeed throw out or act as a challenge, check, or supplement (the terminology is not important) to the American model in the future, and proceed on a path distinct from that of the West.

The path China takes will also influence the course of human development in the future, and indeed may be a course we will get to see in our lifetimes.

Finally, if there is a lesson that China must draw from the U.S. concerning principles of political systems, it must be that we must constantly remember to remain humble. Under no circumstances can we allow ourselves to become complacent and lose our vigilance. We must constantly look at our shortcomings, search for reforms and improvements, and consistently upgrade ourselves. “Four self-confidences” of course is vitally important, but we must at the same time retain our characteristically Chinese low-key, pragmatic, cautious, modest, and moderate dispositions.

We must never emulate the Americans in their blindness, arrogance and self-importance, lack of introspection, or their coarse self-confidence.[MORE]

Translated by Sean Haoqin Kang. The original Wechat blogpost, “American ‘Revolution’: The ‘Systemic Trap’ and the Lessons China Must Draw” can be found here (link in Chinese).


Selections by Amarynth

Qatar, Pakistan Rule out Possibility of Normalization with Israel

Source

2020-09-15 18:12:44

A high-ranking Qatari official says Doha will not follow in the footsteps of neighboring Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to normalize relations with Israel, emphasizing that Doha will not take such a measure as long as the Palestinian issue is unresolved.

“We don’t think that normalization was the core of this conflict and hence it can’t be the answer,” Qatari Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Rashid al-Khater, said in an exclusive interview with Bloomberg television news network on Monday.

She added, “The core of this conflict is about the drastic conditions that the Palestinians are living under” as “people without a country, living under occupation.”

Last week, Bahrain joined the UAE in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel.

In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel said the agreement to establish ties was reached after US President Donald Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

The deal came one month after the UAE and the Tel Aviv regime agreed to normalize ties under a US-brokered accord.

Bahrain will join Israel and the UAE for a signing ceremony at the White House hosted by Trump later on Tuesday. The ceremony will be attended by Netanyahu, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Khater pointed to the attempts, backed by Kuwait, to end the economic and diplomatic blockade Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies imposed on gas-rich Qatar in June 2017, noting that the efforts have not yet reached a tipping point.

“In the past couple of months, there have been messages and messengers going back and forth,” she said.

“It’s very early to talk about a real breakthrough,” but “the coming few weeks might reveal something new,” the top Qatari official pointed out.

“We’re beyond this point. The point we are at is engaging constructively in unconditional negotiations and discussions” that “do not necessarily need to include all parties at once,” Khater said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, after the quartet officially accused Doha of meddling in regional affairs and supporting terrorism.

The quartet later issued a 13-point list of demands in return for the reconciliation, which was rejected as an attack on Qatar’s sovereignty.

‘Pakistan won’t compromise on Palestine cause’

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reacted to Bahrain’s normalization of ties with the Israeli regime following the UAE, saying, “Any recognition of Israel will face strong opposition from Palestinian people. We cannot made a decision which runs counter to the aspirations of the oppressed Palestinian nation. We will continue to support the fair resolution of the Palestinian issue.”

“If the whole world wants to recognize Israel, Islamabad would not do so and would never make a decision contrary to the wishes of the Palestinian people” Khan told Urdu-language 92 News television news network on Tuesday.

He underlined that the Pakistani government will never compromise on its fundamental principles of supporting Palestine and its liberation, as stated by the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

“Until a just solution to the Palestinian issue is produced, any recognition of the Zionist regime is ruled out. How can we accept to normalize with the Zionists when the main Palestinian parties do not accept it?” the Pakistani premier said.

Source: Press TV

Iran Warns of Decisive Response after Trump Threat

Source

September 15, 2020

Ali Rabiee, spokesperson for the Iranian administration

Iran on Tuesday dismissed as falsified reports to which the US president has referred to threaten Iran with military action, warning Washington against making a “strategic mistake.”

“We hope that they do not make a new strategic mistake and certainly in the case of any strategic mistake, they will witness Iran’s decisive response,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a televised news conference.

In a tweet on Monday, Trump said any attack by Iran would be met with a response “1,000 times greater in magnitude”, after a Politico report alleged that Iran has plans to avenge the assassination of top commander Lt. General Qassem Suleimani by killing the US ambassador to South Africa.

The Iranian spokesperson deplored such statements as “lame, falsified and maybe even custom-ordered.”

Rabiei expressed regret that “the president of a country who has claims to global management and order would make hasty, agenda-fueled and dubious remarks on such a weak basis.”

He warned that reacting to such reports would “achieve nothing but disruption to the region and to world calm” and advised Trump to “refrain from fresh adventurism… for the sake of winning a new term as president.”

Source: AFP and Tasnim news agencies

Reconsidering the Presidential Election

Reconsidering the Presidential Election

THE SAKER • SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

In early July I wrote a piece entitled “Does the next Presidential election even matter?” in which I made the case that voting in the next election to choose who will be the next puppet in the White House will be tantamount to voting for a new captain while the Titanic is sinking. I gave three specific reasons why I thought that the next election would be pretty much irrelevant:

  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

I have now reconsidered my position and I now see that I was wrong because I missed something important:

A lot has happened in the past couple of months and I now have come to conclude that while choosing a captain won’t make any difference to a sinking Titanic, it might make a huge difference to those passengers who are threatened by a group of passengers run amok. In other words, while I still do not think that the next election will change much for the rest of the planet (the decay of the Empire will continue), it is gradually becoming obvious that for the United States the difference between the two sides is becoming very real.

Why?

This is probably the first presidential election in US history where the choice will be not between two political programs or two political personalities, but the stark and binary choice between law and order and total chaos.

It is now clear that the Dems are supporting the rioting mobs and that they see these mobs as the way to beat Trump.

It is also becoming obvious that this is not a white vs. black issue: almost all the footage from the rioting mobs shows a large percentage of whites, sometimes even a majority of whites, especially amongst the most aggressive and violent rioters (the fact that these whites regularly get beat up by rampaging blacks hunting for “whitey” does not seem to deter these folks).

True, both sides blame each other for “dividing the country” and “creating the conditions for a civil war”, but any halfway objective and fact based appraisal of what is taking place shows that the Dems have comprehensively caved into the BLM/Antifa ideology (which is hardly surprising, since that ideology is a pure product of the Dems (pseudo-)liberal worldview in the first place). Yes, the Demolicans and the Republicrats are but two factions of the same “Party of Money”, but the election of Trump in 2016 and the subsequent 4 years of intense seditious efforts to delegitimize Trump have resulted in a political climate in which we roughly have, on one hand, what I would call the “Trump Party” (which is not the same as the GOP) and the “deplorables” objectively standing for law and order. On the other hand, we have the Dems, some Republicans, big corporations and the BLM/Antifa mobs who now all objectively stand for anarchy, chaos and random violence.

I have always criticized the AngloZionist Empire and the US themselves for their messianic and supremacist ideology, and I agree that in their short history the United States have probably spilled more innocent blood than any other regime in history. Yet I also believe that there also have been many truly good things in US history, things which other countries should emulate (as many have!). I am referring to things like the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the spirit of self-reliance, a strong work ethic, the immense creativity of the people of the US and their love for their country.

It is now clear that the Dems find nothing good in the US or its history – hence their total support for the wanton (and, frankly, barbaric) destruction of historical statues or for the ridiculous notion that the United States was primarily built by black slaves and that modern whites are somehow guilty of what their ancestors did (including whites who did not have any slave owners amongst their ancestors).

Putin once said that he has no problems at all with any opposition to the Russian government, but that he categorically rejects the opposition to Russia herself (most of the non-systemic opposition in Russia is profoundly russophobic). I see the exact same thing happening here, in the US: the Dem/BLM/Antifa gang are profoundly anti-US, and not for the right reasons. It is just obvious that these people are motivated by pure hate and where there is hate, violence always follows!

To think that there will be no violence if these people come to power would be extremely naive: those who come to power by violence always end up ruling by violence.

For the past several decades, the US ruling elites have been gutting the Constitution by a million legislative and regulatory cuts (I can personally attest to the fact that the country where I obtained my degrees in 1986-1991 is a totally different country from the one I am living in now. Thirty years ago there was real ideological freedom and pluralism in the US, and differences of opinion, even profound ones, were considered normal). Now the apparatus needed to crack down on the “deplorables” has been established, especially on the Federal level. If we now apply the “motive, means & opportunity” criterion we can only conclude that the Dem/BLM/Antifa have the motive and will sure have the means and opportunity if Biden makes it to the White House.

Furthermore, major media corporations are already cracking down against Trump supporters and even against President Trump himself (whom Twitter now threatens to censor if he declares that he won). YouTube is demonetizing “deplorable” channels and also de-ranking them in searches. Google does the same. For a President which heavily relies on short messages to his support base, this is a major threat.

One of Trump’s biggest mistakes was to rely on Twitter instead of funding his own social media platform. He sure had the money. What he lacked was any foresight or understanding of the enemy.

Paul Craig Roberts has been one of the voices which has been warning us that anti-White racism is real and that the United States & Its Constitution Have Two Months Left. I submit that on the former he is undeniably correct and that we ought to pay heed to his warning about what might soon happen next. I also tend to agree with others who warn us that violence will happen next, no matter who wins. Not only are some clearly plotting a coup against Trump should he declare himself the winner, but things have now gone so far that the Chairmen of the JCS had to make an official statement saying that the US military will play no role in the election. Finally, and while I agree that Florida might not be a typical state, I see a lot of signs saying “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” with the word “domestic” emphasised in some manner. Is this the proverbial “writing on the wall”?

Conclusion:

The Empire is dying and nothing can save it, things have gone way too far to ever return to the bad old days of US world hegemony. Furthermore, I have the greatest doubts about Trump or his supporters being able to successfully defeat Dem/BLM/Antifa. “Just” winning the election won’t be enough, even if Trump wins by a landslide: we already know that the Dem/BLM/Antifa will never accept a Trump victory, no matter how big. I also suspect that 2020 will be dramatically different from the 2000 Gore-Bush election which saw the outcome decided by a consensus of the ruling elites: this time around the hatred is too deep, and there will be no negotiated compromise between the parties.

In 2016 I recommended a Trump vote for one, single, overwhelming reason: my profound belief that Hillary would have started a war against Syria and, almost immediately, against Russia (the Dems are, again, making noises about such a war should they return into the White House). As for Trump, for all his megalomaniacal threats and in spite of a few (thoroughly ineffective) missile strikes on Syria, he has not started a new war.

By the way, when was it the last time that a US president did NOT order a war during his time in office?

The fact is that the Trump victory in 2016 gave Russia the time to finalize her preparations for any time of aggression, or even a full-scale war, which the US might try to throw at her. The absence of any US reaction to the Iranian retaliatory missile strikes against US bases in Iraq in January has shown that US military commanders have no stomach for a war against Iran, nevermind China or, even less, Russia. By now it is too late, Russia is ready for anything, while the US is not. Trump bought the planet an extra four years to prepare for war, and the key adversarie of the US have used that time with great benefit. As for the former world hegemon, it can’t even take on Venezuela…

But inside the US, what we see taking place before us is a weird kind of war against the people of the US, a war waged by a very dangerous mix of ideologues and thugs (that is the toxic recipe for most revolutions!). And while Trump or Biden won’t really matter much to Russia, China or Iran, it still might matter a great deal to millions of people who deserve better than to live under a Dem/BLM/Antifa dictatorship (whether only ideological or actual).

The US of 2020 in so many ways reminds me of Russia in February 1917: the ruling classes were drunk on their ideological dogmas and never realized that the revolution they so much wanted would end up killing most of them. This is exactly what the US ruling classes are doing: they are acting like a parasite who cannot understand that by killing its host it will also kill itself. The likes of Pelosi very much remind me of Kerensky, the man who first destroyed the 1000 year old Russian monarchy and who then proceeded to replace it with kind of totally dysfunctional “masonic democracy” which only lasted 8 months until the Bolsheviks finally seized power and restored law and order (albeit in a viciously ruthless manner).

The US political system is both non-viable and non-reformable. No matter what happens next, the US as we knew it will collapse this winter, PCR is right. The only questions remaining are:

  • What will replace it? and
  • How long (and painful) will the transition to a new US be?

Trump in the White House might not make things better, but a Harris presidency (which is what a “Biden” victory will usher in) will make things much, much worse. Finally, there are millions of US Americans out there who did nothing wrong and who deserve to be protected from the rioting and looting mobs by their police agencies just as there are millions of US Americans who should retain the ability to defend themselves when no law enforcement is available. There is a good reason why the Second Amendment comes right after the First one – the two are organically linked! With the Dem/BLM/Antifa in power, the people of the US can kiss both Amendments goodbye.

I still don’t see a typical civil war breaking out in the US. But I see many, smaller, “local wars” breaking out all over the country – yes, violence is at this point inevitable. It is, therefore, the moral obligation of every decent person to do whatever he/she can do, no matter how small, to help the “deplorables” in their struggle against the forces of chaos, violence and tyranny, especially during the upcoming “years of transition” which will be very, very hard on the majority of the people living in the US.

This includes doing whatever is possible to prevent the Dem/BLM/Antifa from getting into the White House.← Will Hillary and the Dems Get the Civil…

%d bloggers like this: