The formation of a government… Between the U.S. veto and the domestic complications تشكيل الحكومة…بين الفيتو الأميركي والعقد المحلية

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

The formation of a government… Between the U.S. veto and the domestic complications

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Hassan Hardan

The correct description of the continuing crisis of the formation of the Lebanese government is that we are still in the process of cutting time, waiting to overcome two fundamental obstacles, external and internal:

First, the foreign obstacle comes first, and is embodied in the U.S. veto, which was put by Washington in the era of former President Donald Trump, after pushing the consensus government headed by President Hariri to resign following the outbreak of protests Of October 17, 2019, and this U.S. veto, requires the lifting of the financial blockade imposed by Washington on Lebanon, by forming a government of independent specialists, a recipe aimed at excluding Hezbollah and its allies , and bringing in ministers who are American, ready to implement U.S. conditions and dictates, to borrow from the International Monetary Fund, or to agree on the sea and land borders between Lebanon and occupied Palestine in order to achieve Zionist ambitions. What made the U.S. veto become an obstacle to the formation of the government is the March 14 group’s acquiescence to U.S. requests and its work with the NGOs groups to try to impose a fait accompli government that meets U.S. conditions.

In this context, it is possible to put what President Saad Hariri said yesterday about his call for a government that satisfies some Arab countries and the West … that is, he calls for a government formation that takes into account the requests of Washington and Riyadh in the first place, which makes it impossible to achieve this in light of the local balance of power that prevented success The American coup plan …

If the new U.S. administration under President Joe Biden is convinced of the futility of this policy, that it has not achieved its desired goals, and that its continuation has become futile… Then it can only be said that the external obstacle has eased … and Paris shall activate its initiative with some modifications.

Secondly, the internal obstacle, which comes in second place, and it practically has two dimensions: the first, linked to the external obstacle, i.e. the U.S. veto, it disappears once the aforementioned veto on the participation of Hezbollah and its allies in the government.

The second dimension is local, and is related to the conflict between the Lebanese parties, over representation ratios and the distribution of portfolios, especially the sovereign and the service ones.

This knot was usually overcome through rounding the corners to satisfy all parties, that would end with the birth of the government.

What is happening today is that we are still in a phase of ambiguity regarding whether the Biden administration decided to lift the US veto or not, and that is why we are witnessing the continuation of the local knot.

From here, the practical transition to find solutions to the local knot awaits the overcoming of the American knot .. In the meantime, political conflict and accusations about who bears responsibility for obstructing forming the government will remain the master of the situation ..

However, the responsibility here lies primarily with the president in charge of implementing the Constitution and respecting the sizes of the parliamentary blocs. Because the formation of governments, after the Taif Agreement, was closely linked to the agreement between the President of the Republic and the President-designate on the proposed government formation on the one hand, and respect for for the real representation of the parliamentary blocs on the other.

Therefore, it can be said that President Hariri’s insistence on forming an independent government that satisfies the outside falls within one of two possibilities:

The first possibility is the continued US-Saudi pressure to try to exploit the aggravating economic and social suffering resulting from tightening the imposed blockade and linking the provision of any foreign aid to the formation of a government that responds to American conditions.

The second possibility, Prime Minister Hariri perceived a sign of a change in the American position, and thus his endeavor at the last minute to try to improve his conditions by forming a government in which he obtains a balanced share that exceeds the size of his representative representation, because this government will have financial support from abroad, which will achieve a breakthrough that alleviates the severity of the worsening crisis. On the one hand, it will supervise the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections on the other hand …

تشكيل الحكومة…بين الفيتو الأميركي والعقد المحلية

حسن حردان

التوصيف الصحيح لاستمرار أزمة تشكيل الحكومة اللبنانية، هو أننا لا نزال في مرحلة تقطيع الوقت بانتظار تذليل عقبتين أساسيتين، خارجية، وداخلية:

أولاً، العقبة الخارجية، تأتي في المرتبة الأولى، وتتجسّد بالفيتو الأميركي، الذي وضعته واشنطن في مرحلة حكم الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، على اثر دفع حكومة التوافق برئاسة الرئيس الحريري إلى الاستقالة عقب اندلاع احتجاجات 17 تشرين الأوّل عام 2019، وهذا الفيتو الأميركي، يشترط رفع الحصار المالي الذي فرضته واشنطن على لبنان، بتشكيل حكومة اختصاصيين مستقلين، وهي وصفة هدفت إلى إقصاء حزب الله وحلفائه عن السلطة التنفيذية، والإتيان بوزراء هواهم أميركي، ومستعدين لتنفيذ الشروط والإملاءات الأميركية، انْ لناحية الاقتراض من صندوق النقد الدولي، أو لناحية الاتفاق على تحديد الحدود البحرية والبرية بين لبنان وفلسطين المحتلة بما يحقق الأطماع الصهيونية.. وما جعل الفيتو الأميركي يتحوّل إلى عقبة أمام تشكيل الحكومة، هو رضوخ فريق 14 آذار للطلبات الأميركية وعمله مع مجموعات الأنجيؤز على محاولة فرض حكومة أمر واقع تلبّي الشروط الأميركية.. وفي هذا السياق يمكن وضع ما قاله بالأمس الرئيس سعد الحريري حول دعوته لحكومة ترضي بعض الدول العربية، والغرب… أيّ أنه يدعو الى تشكيلة حكومية تأخذ بالاعتبار طلبات واشنطن والرياض بالدرجة الأولى، ما يجعل من المستحيل تحقيق ذلك في ظلّ موازين القوى المحلية التي حالت دون نجاح خطة الانقلاب الأميركية…

إذا اقتنعت الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة برئاسة الرئيس جو بايدن بعقم هذه السياسة، وأنها لم تؤدّ إلى تحقيق الأهداف المرجوة منها، وان استمرارها أصبح غير مجدي… عندها يمكن فقط القول إنّ العقبة الخارجية قد ذلّلت من أمام تشكيل الحكومة بشروط لبنانية داخلية.. وسنجد باريس نشطت على خط تفعيل مبادرتها مع بعض التعديلات.

ثانياً، العقبة الداخلية، التي تأتي في المرتبة الثانية، وهي عملياً لها بعدان: بعد أول، مرتبط بالعقبة الخارجية، ايّ الفيتو الأميركي، تزول بمجرد رفع الفيتو المذكور على مشاركة حزب الله وحلفائه في السلطة التنفيذية..

وبعد ثاني، محلي، وله علاقة بالتجاذب بين الأطراف اللبنانية، حول نسب التمثيل وتوزيع الحقائب وخصوصاً السيادية والخدماتية منها..

هذه العقدة عادة ما كان يجري تذليلها من خلال عملية تدوير للزوايا ترضي جميع الأطراف، وتنتهي بإعلان الاتفاق وولادة الحكومة..

ما يحصل اليوم هو أننا لا زلنا في مرحلة عدم الوضوح لناحية ما إذا كانت إدارة بايدن قرّرت رفع الفيتو الأميركي أما لا، ولهذا نشهد استمرار العقدة المحلية.

من هنا فإنّ الانتقال العملي لإيجاد الحلول للعقدة المحلية، ينتظر تذليل العقدة الأميركية.. وفي هذه الاثناء فإنّ التجاذب السياسي وتقاذف الاتهامات حول من يتحمّل مسؤولية إعاقة الاتفاق على تأليف الحكومة سيبقى سيد الموقف… على أنّ المسؤولية هنا تقع بالدرجة الأولى على الرئيس المكلف المعني الأول بتطبيق الدستور واحترام أحجام الكتل النيابية.. لأنّ تشكيل الحكومات، بعد اتفاق الطائف، ارتبط ارتباطاً وثيقاً بالاتفاق بين رئيس الجمهورية والرئيس المكلف على التشكيلة الحكومية المقترحة من جهة، واحترام التمثيل الحقيقي للكتل النيابية من جهة أخرى..

لذلك يمكن القول، انّ إصرار الرئيس الحريري على تشكيل حكومة مستقلين ترضي الخارج، يندرج في إطار واحد من احتمالين:

الاحتمال الأول، استمرار الضغط الأميركي السعودي لمحاولة استغلال المعاناة الاقتصادية والاجتماعية المتفاقمة، والناتجة عن تشديد الحصار المفروض، وربط تقديم ايّ مساعدات خارجية، بتأليف حكومة تستجيب للشروط الأميركية..

الاحتمال الثاني، تلمّس الرئيس الحريري، إشارة بتبدّل الموقف الأميركي، وبالتالي سعيه في اللحظة الأخيرة إلى محاولة تحسين شروطه بتشكيل حكومة يحصل فيها على حصة وازنة تفوق حجم تمثيله النيابي، لكون هذه الحكومة ستحظى بدعم مالي من الخارج، ما يحقق انفراجاً يخفف من حدة الأزمة المتفاقمة من ناحية، وستتولى الإشراف على الانتخابات النيابية والرئاسية المقبلة من ناحية ثانية…

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.


Date: 15 February 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on January 9, 2021, three days after the Capitol riots.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2186

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

[…] My first comment (concerns the Capitol Hill riot), because it would be unwise to ignore an event of such magnitude, namely the major incident that occurred in recent days in the United States, in Washington. Trump called for a protest in Washington, interrupting his New Year’s Holiday to come to Washington and call for a (big) protest, addressing protesters behind a bulletproof glass the same day, and urging them to march on the Congress, and on the Representatives and Senators assembled nearby to (officially) establish the result of the presidential elections.

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Then, during the meeting of Representatives and Senators, the two Houses of Representatives and Senators, the demonstrators invaded the Congress building (the Capitol), in a scene [of a coup or “color revolution”] that the United States have the habit of fomenting in other countries of the world to bring down regimes. But now Trump has implemented it in his own country! This is the very thing they have perpetrated in many countries of the world, and which they have been trying to do for a year and a half in Lebanon! Either way, the protesters walked towards the building, passed through the security gates, and entered (the Capitol). There were a number of deaths, dozens of injured, dozens of arrests, bloody clashes… The Representatives and Senators fled, ending their meeting, hiding (where they could)… Then various measures were taken, and clamors (of condemnation) arose from all sides.

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Of course, this is a very important and very dangerous event, which cannot be minimized or considered minor, despite the efforts of some. And its consequences are also (major and) dangerous. In Lebanon and in the Arab world, the darlings (vassals) of the United States have endeavored to downplay the significance of this event, to belittle and underestimate it. But (to know its real scope), it suffices to ask the inhabitants of Mecca, who are the most aware of what is happening at home (Arabic proverb inviting to question those first concerned). Let’s rely on what the people of the United States have said, what Biden said, what his vice-president (Harris) said, what top Democratic Party officials said, within the Republican Party, etc. How did all these people describe this event? What has been the reaction within the Trump administration itself, the resignations etc.? If it were only a minor and marginal incident, under control, it would not have had all of these consequences, which still continue, and can lead to impeachment proceedings against Trump by Congress.

Image result for us capitol jamiroquai

It was not the (intended) topic of my speech, but since this event has occurred, I will say two words about it.

First, this is obviously a (major) event that we must ponder and analyze carefully, and from which we should draw lessons. This event reveals to us the reality of the current (domestic) situation in the United States, and reveals the true face of this (so-called) democracy and its (vain) pretenses. But among the things to stress in this event is that the people of the United States themselves have tasted first-hand the consequences of Trump’s policies, and his willingness to kill even Americans –who he was already killing during the past year during demonstrations [against police brutality and institutional racism]– to stay in power. We have long warned of the dangers of the policies of this assassin, and what Americans and the world have seen is only a small glimpse of what Trump perpetrated over four years in many countries around the world, such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria, the siege imposed on Iran, Venezuela, etc., and his support for Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people. The whole world has remained silent, as have many Americans, in the face of its atrocious crimes against other peoples, in particular its manifest, official and scandalous crime against the two Commanders (who defeated ISIS), Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al- Muhandis. And today, Trump’s criminal truth has been revealed to the eyes of his own people. Trump exemplifies the American political and military arrogance which has long imposed its hegemony on peoples, monopolized their choices and chained their sovereignty.

What has happened in recent days is an example of the sterile and catastrophic nature of this (bogus) American democracy which has no real guarantees, and allows individuals like Trump to come to power. How could an election allow the rise to power of a figure so puffed up with arrogance, so criminal, so mad and so stupid, to rule not only the United States, but the whole world, holding the future of humanity in his hands?! (This experience at least) revealed the true face of this American (pseudo-)democracy that they wanted to impose on the world. And with his allies and accomplices in the Middle East, Trump exemplifies power-hungry tyrants, (ready for anything to cling to power), even at the cost of the blood of their own people. Of course, we must also mention Pompeo, who always urged us to preserve the popular vote, while he and his President did everything possible to impose themselves and alter the outcome of the elections, by force and threats. He was talking to us about the respect due to protesters, and we saw the (unarmed protesters) killed and wounded in the heart of Washington.

I will conclude on this point with two words.

(First, I want to say) that God the Most High and the Exalted has protected the peoples of the world and the whole Earth during these four years (of Trump’s presidency), and we must all pray to Him, invoke Him and intercede with Him so that He continues to preserve us during the days that remain before January 20, because the nuclear codes are still in the hands of this mad, stupid, racist and arrogant character that is Trump, a real tyrant who when he gets angry, he no longer knows what he is doing. May God continue to preserve the world for the few days remaining until January 20.

See Nasrallah: Trump heads for Armageddon

And my last point is this: when I saw Trump’s recorded speech yesterday (it was not broadcast live), and in which he condemned the protesters, those who had engaged in violence, vowing to abide by the law and calling everyone to respect the law, he reminded me of this Quranic verse which says: “They are like Satan when he lures someone to disbelieve. Then after they have done so, he will say ˹on Judgment Day˺, ‘I have absolutely nothing to do with you. I truly fear Allah—the Lord of all worlds.’ ” (Quran, 59, 16).

Up to 4.55 minutes, excerpts from Trump’s speech before the assault on Capitol Hill. From 5.10 minutes, Trump’s repudiation the next day.

It was Trump who organized this demonstration, he is the one who incited them to march on Congress, it is he who sent them there, and when they took the Capitol, he disassociated himself from them, saying he had nothing to do with any of this and was abiding by the law. This is the real face of Trump, the way he behaves with those who support him, let alone his allies.

See Free Speech or incitement to violence? Norman Finkelstein on Trump’s speech before the Capitol Riots

In conclusion, this is a major event, and the developments underway in the United States are very important and will have consequences domestically but also on the whole world. We must follow all of this closely. […]

***

Khamenei: the post-American era has begun

Speech by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Sayed Ali Khamenei, February 7, 2021, commemorating the Iranian Air Force’s allegiance to Imam Khomeini.

Source: https://english.khamenei.ir/news/8337/Iran-s-condition-for-returning-to-JCPOA-commitments-Removing

Imam Khamenei invited those who have unrealistic estimations of US power and that of some other countries to look at recent events in the US. He explained, “The scandalous events that have taken place in the US recently are not minor events, and they should not be considered to be the mere downfall of an incompetent President. Rather, they are a manifestation of the decline of the US reputation, power and social system.”

Referring to statements made by some eminent political personalities in the US, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, “They themselves state that the social system of the US has deteriorated from within, and some have even spoken of a post-US era.”

His Eminence added, “If something similar to what occurred in the US had occurred in any other part of the world – particularly in countries with which the US is at odds – they would not have stopped covering it in their news, but the mass media empire is in their control. So they try to show that the conflict has finished, but it is far from over.”

The Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces stated that the reason why some regimes that are dependent on the US – in particular, the Zionist regime – are distressed and stunned and the reason for their recent ranting and raving is their fear and anxiety about the reality of the US decline in international and domestic areas.

Stating that one of the ways for increasing a country’s power is to strengthen the Armed Forces in proportion with regional and international events, Imam Khamenei praised recent military maneuvers and said, “Carrying out such great, impressive maneuvers, despite the existence of sanctions, gives us confidence that national security has been ensured by the children of the country who are in the Armed Forces. This is truly a source of pride.”

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Iraqi ISIS Suicide Terrorist Kills 20 of His Friends by Mistake

 ARABI SOURI 

Iraqi ISIS terrorist blows up his car in his friends

An Iraqi ISIS terrorist blew up his vehicle in his friends in Saladin province killing 20 of them and himself by mistake.

The US-sponsored ISIS terrorist was planning to blow up the booby-trapped car in an Iraqi Federal Police checkpoint in the Jallam district south of Samarra.

Samarra Police Operation Commander said in a statement that 21 of the ISIS terrorists were killed by a booby-trapped car driven by one of them when the latter wanted to farewell his friends and honked the car forgetting the honk button is the detonator of the vehicle.

The Iraqi government has been under pressure from the Iraqi population and the Iraqi MPs to implement the Iraqi Parliament decision to expel US troops from the country which was taken after Donald Trump killed Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani in a long-planned drone and ground attack near Baghdad Airport and the top commander of the Iraqi PMU Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the main force in fighting and defeating ISIS early January last year causing an uproar across the region.

Iraqis, in particular, felt embarrassed having their guest killed in their country and also because of their beloved al-Muhandis by the force that claimed it was protecting them from ISIS and turned out it was protecting ISIS from the Iraqis.

After the repeated calls by the Iraqi government to the US officials to withdraw their troops from Iraq, ISIS operations unsurprisingly increased and became more bold and deadly across Iraq and in Syria as well. Observers are commenting that it looks like ISIS does not want the US troops to leave Iraq and Syria!

Despite their efforts and their ability to eliminate a number of ISIS terrorists in Iraq including leading commanders of the terrorist organization, and also disrupt their operations, the Iraqi security and army are surprised by the sudden increase in the abilities of the terrorist group that was declared defeated just before Donald Trump killed the commanders who defeated it last year.

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Zionists’ Efforts to Coopt the BLM Movement: Can Racists Be Anti-Racist?

February 14, 2021

Palestinian artists painting George Floyed on the walls on UNRWA office, in Gaza. (Photo: via UNRWA Website)

By Benay Blend

On February 6, 2021, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza announced that she was pulling out of a World Values Network online gala with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a prominent American Zionist.

“They approached me about having a conversation about the importance of solidarity between black communities and Jewish communities,” she explained, then thanked Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour for amplifying the larger picture.

According to journalist Michael Brown, Garza has a history of denouncing other public figures who joined propaganda trips to Israel. Boteach’s gala, Brown continued, appears just as egregious, for it “follow[s] Boteach’s years of backing the racist Donald Trump, thereby making a mockery of the efforts promoted by Black leaders and the wider Black community to advance racial justice and decolonization.”

Placed within a larger context, Boteach’s move comes at a time when Zionists are increasingly fearful of the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions Movement (BDS)’s success. Coupled with the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision to investigate Israel for War Crimes, any support for Palestinian rights will undoubtedly come under attack.

There is a long history of Pan-African support for Palestine which has resulted in Zionists denouncing that alignment. In a lecture series “Palestine and Us: Black and Palestinian Solidarity,” Ahmad Abuznaid traced the history of Black support for Palestine as well as the fall-out from it. Referring to Malcolm X’s Zionist Logic (1964), Abuznaid explained that this statement drew from Malcolm X’s shift from Black Nationalist to a more Pan-Africanist position, particularly after he saw connections between Pan-Arabists, represented by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Pan-Africanists that he was beginning to support.

After the 1967 war, Black Radicals began to move away from seeing Zionism as a liberation movement to viewing it as a colonialist venture, much like the colonialism that was oppressing Africans around the world. Following in this direction, Ethel Minor, a leader in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), wrote a piece in their newsletter entitled “Third World Round-up: The Palestine Problem: Test Your Knowledge,” leading to a split between those, like Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) who would continue to support Palestine on principle, and others who feared that without taking a more “balanced position,” one that included mention of the Holocaust, there would be loss of funding.

Indeed, as Ture made clear“immediately after the statement, phone calls rang in and the checks stopped coming.” Today, organizations, politicians and others who depend on funding are leery of taking a principled stance on Palestine, because, much like what happened with SNCC, Zionist supporters will use whatever means necessary to launch a targeted smear campaign of anyone who is critical of the Israeli state.

For example, in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement’s 2014 platform that denounced the US government’s military aid to Israel, there were claims of “one-sided” and “unfair” from pro-Israel commentators who rejected the coalition’s critique. Several years before B’tselem’s quite similar statement, which was either ignored completely or applauded for its courage, BLM charged the following:

“The US justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people. Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.”

The BLM platform also drew ire for its support of BDS. Fear of its success continues to motivate Zionists into the present time. In a piece for Haaretz, Rabbi Dan Dorsch of Atlanta declared that the mainstream Jewish community, and also Palestinian Government officials, have rejected BDS.

He continued that connecting the Black struggle in American to that of Palestinians is “unquestionably shortsighted and will only undermine the credibility of the movement and the important cause of civil rights in America”.

Like several years before, when pro-Israel donors withdrew their funds from SNCC, Rabbi Dorsch was warning that the pattern would continue as long as BLM lent its support to Palestine. Returning to the question of whether Zionists can be anti-racist, the short answer is an emphatic “no.” Quoting a message from Jewish Voice for Peace: “If you oppose racism, you should oppose Zionism too.”

As BDS successes grow and the ICC moves closer to investigate Israel for war crimes, pro-Israel groups will increasingly try to sever anti-racist movements in the US from their ties to Palestinians. Nevertheless, given several factors—the historic connections between Palestine and anti-colonial movements around the world, coupled with the waning acceptance of Progressive Except Palestine–Israel will not succeed.

For example, in a recent article Ramzy Baroud noted that

“Israeli efforts at co-opting Africa countries received a major setback on Saturday, February, 6 when the African Union issued a strong statement of solidarity with Palestine, condemning Israel’s illegal settlement activities and the US’s so-called ‘Deal of the Century’.”

In return, Palestinians have supported movements against injustice around the globe. Documenting a new round of Palestinian uprisings within the Zionist entity, Gaza-based journalist Wafaa Al-Udaini chose to use a photo from another protest against the Israeli regime.

Dating back a year to the shooting of Iyad al-Halak, an unarmed autistic Palestinian man, Palestinians in the picture also hold signs calling attention to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis the previous week, an extralegal murder that they link with al-Halak.

While Palestinians understand the connections between their struggles and anti-colonial movements in other countries, many liberals in the U.S. do not. Nevertheless, as Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick outline in their new book, Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, the days are over when so-called progressive public figures can join the anti-racist struggle at home while accepting gifts from Zionist organizations who fully support the Israeli apartheid state.

As Sarah Doyel notes in her review of Hill and Plitnick’s book, the authors observe that

“Democrats will take to the global stage to champion victims of other humanitarian crises, but Palestinians in Gaza living in what is commonly described as ‘the world’s largest open-air prison’ somehow merit little succor in the liberal worldview.”

Their work, Doyel concludes, is “a crucial and ultimately hopeful tool that better equips progressives to combat injustices within their own political circles.” Combined with the work of members of anti-colonial coalitions, some of whom convinced Alicia Garza to withdraw from Shmuley’s gala, perhaps anti-Zionists in the future will be strong enough to resist what will surely be increasing attacks on their political alignment with Palestinians.

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

Problems of the new US foreign policy (4) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (4)

 Researcher and political economist and 
former Secretary General of the
 Arab National Congress

 Ziad Hafez

Part four : Some files in the Arab world

We will enter here to some of the intertwined files related to the Arab world though each separate file has its own reasons. But the intertwining of history and geography makes it difficult to approach the files independently of one another. The new administration, like all previous administrations, looks at the various arenas from a geostrategic perspective and not as separate files, although in some cases it is necessary to divide the matter because of the difficulties facing US politics.

The files of Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Lebanon are what concern us in the first degree because they are the arenas of the ongoing struggle in the region. The question we are asking is what can the United States do? In this context, it must be recalled that the line of the American role is a regressive line. After the failure of direct military engagement in the region through the faltering American project in Iraq and the emergence of the Baker-Hamilton Committee, which imposed a reconsideration of the way in dealing with the countries of the region, the Barack Obama era had launched the theory of smart force or proxy war. The exploitation of the Arab peoples’ resentment against their rulers was through the so-called Arab Spring. The bet was that changing the regimes in the countries loyal to the United States and enabling moderate Islamic groups from Turkey to Morocco to establish a solid base for an American century in the Arab world. But the stubbornness in dealing with Syria, contributed to the stumbling of the project in Egypt, led to the global war, still going against Syria. However, the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab Army and the people gathered around its leadership thwarted the American project in Syria.

The Trump era was an extension of Obama’s policy, with his repeated calls for the withdrawal of American forces, which the deep state had opposed. The statements of the former US envoy in charge of the Syrian file, James Jeffrey, acknowledge that US President Donald Trump was defrauded to thwart the attempts to withdraw American forces from eastern and northeastern Syria. Today, Jeffrey, in an article in « Foreign Affairs », calls on President Biden to continue the policy of sanctions and starvation against Syria and to make Syria a swamp to drain Russia, as happened in Afghanistan in the eighties of the past century. The goal was and remains to overthrow the regime and topple President Assad. So the law of Caesar, to strangle Syria economically and prevent the re-reconstruction. But all of this did not lead to the desired results . So what next?  If the direct engagement has failed to achieve its goals despite the occupation of Iraq and the overthrow of the regime, and if the United States global war on Syria failed  by proxy, what remained in the American arsenal ? More of force, or review of that policy?  The steadfastness of the Syrian people, gathered around their leadership and army, was not taken into consideration. 
In our estimation, we do not believe that the new administration will be able to frustrate the will of the people to withstand and reject the military dictates. The day will also come for the conviction of the various ruling elites in the Arab world that what the US administration wants or does has no value. What is important is what Arab societies do, and the focus is on what they want without concern for the opinion of others.

Biden backs down in front of Syria as Obama?

The tendency of the nominated officials to put more pressure on Syria through supporting the fanatic armed groups, and the “SDF” is not new and the balance of power in the field negates the effectiveness of that policy. Moreover the severe internal division, the United States cannot justify direct involvement as compensation for the failure of the proxy war.

In this context, we refer to an interview conducted by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken with Michael Morrell, former Director-General of the Central (CIA) on the program “Intelligence Matters” (Intelligence Matters) broadcast by the American “CBSB” station (which confirms the organic relationship between intelligence and corporate media!. This interview, conducted in late 2020, reflect the biblical role of the United States in preserving the empire and manifested destiny that confirms its exceptionalism. In that interview, he said that there is a need not to directly implicate US forces in what he called “permanent wars,” but this does not prevent “limited operations” carried out by the Special Forces to support local agents in their implementation of the required agendas. Here, the “SDF” will receive military support from the United States. What supports Blinken’s position is the statement of Trey McGurk, who succeeded James Jeffrey. Terry McGurk resigned in 2019 from his duties in following up the Syrian file, when Trump expressed his desire to withdraw the American forces from Syria. McGurk wants more American military presence in Syria. In recent weeks, we have witnessed the return of ISIS cells in the Badia, the attempts to sabotage reconciliation in southern Syria, and the provocative operations of the “SDF” forces in the northeast of Syria. All of this happened after the presidential elections and before Biden assumed the reins of power, but these measures have the approval of Secretary of State Blinken and are indicative of their continuation. On the other hand, and in the context of trying to polish the image of the United States, there is talk in the American corridors about the possibility of an implicit understanding for Russia to hand over the Syrian file to ensure the security of the Zionist entity. If the Russian initiative succeeds in securing the entity’s security, that means not supporting the strategy and objectives of the Axis of Resistance, then this is a gain for the United States and the entity. And if those efforts falter, then for every incident there is a talk and the implicit understanding is disavowed. In our opinion, all these attempts only indicate the inability of the United States to initiate and change its backward trend in the region. There is no evidence that Russia will accept the “mission,” nor is there any indication that the Syrian state will respond to this initiative. The question becomes of able to bear more attrition? The American bet is that the endurance of the Syrian state is limited, and thus it will resort to making “concessions” to stop the economic and social deterioration, and these “concessions” will bring about the “desired change” by the Americans and Zionists. On the other hand, however, the new administration cannot change the balance of power on the ground if the Syrian state proceeds to complete the restoration of the occupied territories in the north and east. Syria has allies who were and still committed to defending Syria defend Syria .

There are those who believe that any settlement with Iran will inevitably lead to “breakthroughs” in the Syrian file, without specifying what the breakthroughs are. They may think that it is due to some amendments to the constitution and the change in the top of the pyramid, but all of this are just wishes that are not based on material facts. Syria is not an instrument of the Islamic Republic, but an ally of it, and it has its own independent decision. Syria, which rejected the dictates of Colin Powell at the height of the American arrogance in the occupation of Iraq, will not bow to America, which hit the weakness and is on the threshold of decline because of the division of internal and because of the lack of ability to Expansion and impose its hegemony .

Do you return Rumsfeld’s theory ?

The Syrian, Libyan, Yemeni and Iraqi tension was the work of the Obama administration, in which Biden was a key partner. Does the latter pursue a different policy? Evidence to date indicates that Donald Rumsfeld’s theory is what controls the minds of the American elites, including the new administration: If force fails to achieve the goals, the solution is more power. During their tenure in the Obama administration, the nominated officials in the new administration had criticised Barack Obama for not using more force. The named officials are Zionists and thus their priority is the entity. The new president declared his Zionism, even though he was not a Jew, but a Catholic.

However, the balance of power on the ground neutralised all the means used to achieve the goals of the American administration. So what is “more power”? Despite declaring its commitment to the Zionist entity, the administration is not able to impose on the US Congress new war options in Syria in favour of the entity because the general mood in the turbulent atmosphere at home does not allow foreign adventures without guaranteed results, especially since Syria is no longer alone, but rather is part of a strong axis. The experience of 2013 indicates that at that time the balance of power was not in USA favour in launching a direct aggression against Syria, so was the Russian mediation and the solution to dismantling the chemical system. Today, the balance of power is more favourable to Syria than it was in 2013, so what remains for the United States is either to retreat or reduce the ceiling of the confrontation and be content with linking a conflict. What concerns the Syrian state is the exit of the American forces from the east of the Euphrates, and this is possible because the number is small and the logistical support for them is difficult, especially if they are completely removed from Iraq.

Regarding Iraq, we must not forget that Biden, since the presidency of Bush Jr., has been considering the division of Iraq. Here, too, the balance of power governs the administration’s policies, as the capabilities have become limited. The Iraqi political forces supporting the American presence could no longer call for that after the assassination of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, along with Qassem Soleimani. The bombings in central Baghdad on the first day of Biden’s mandate will not lead to the maintenance of the US forces under the pretext of the return of ISIS, which the United States claimed that it “defeated”! In fact, the opposite may happen. Understanding with the Iraqi government may contribute to facilitating the easy exit of US forces from Iraq, because the alternative to that is to repeat the scene of the forces leaving Vietnam.

Theater ready to stop war Yemen

With regard to Yemen, the theatre is set in the US Congress to stop the war and give the UN a role after instructing Saudi to stop the aggression. It has become clear that the Biden administration will cancel the designation imposed by the Trump in its last days. However, there are forces within the ruling coalition in the United States that will seek to maintain tension in Yemen. The American armament company Raytheon supplies weapons to the Saudis and the Gulf states. New Defence Minister Lloyd Austin is a member of the company’s board of directors. It is not clear who can decide the US position, and what we want to point out is the contradiction of interests within the coalition of forces supporting Biden, as we explained in the first part of this series.

As for the relationship with Saudi Arabia, the mood in the new administration is, until now, negative towards the crown prince and the style of government. The repeated statements of the new US president about the need to hold officials in Saudi Arabia accountable for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi are evidence of this. It is an indication of the nature of the expected relations between the new administration and the leadership in Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the administration will stick to the “Abrahamic agreements” and may develop them after “changes” are implemented in Saudi Arabia. But the crown prince is not as weak as some imagine and that the administration’s options are limited here as well. But in any case, the relationship between the two capitals will not be a quiet relationship, at least in the first phase of Biden.

Most of the foreign policy team are Zionists

Regarding the Palestinian file, the president-elect declared his commitment to the two-state solution, but he did not disclose what was the fate of the settlements in Palestine or the fate of the capital. He will adhere to the decision to move the embassy (not forgetting that the decision was taken by the Congress in Clinton State) and will return to communication with the P-authority and facilitate financial transfers of the authority. On the other hand, the new administration’s commitment to the security of the entity is one of the constants of the ruling elites in America, but this commitment will not be dragged into adhering to Netanyahu, who we believe is on the way out of the political stage. All these measures are of a formal nature, because the new administration cannot provide anything radical, given that pressure is mounting within the Democratic Party to recognise the rights of the Palestinian people. But we must not forget that most of the foreign policy team of the new administration are Zionists, who will not allow any substantive “concession” towards the Palestinians. There is no justification for betting on new positions in the administration to give some impetus to the negotiation policy that has proven fruitless.

As for Libya, the disaster that struck it was the work of the Obama administration, especially Hillary Clinton. The administration’s new foreign affairs officials were in the Obama administration and were still defending their policies at the time. It is not clear what the administration can offer, as there is no statement or writing for any of them about the complex Libyan file internationally and regionally. But we must point out that the delegate named to represent the United States in the United Nations and the Security Council, Linda Tomas Greenfield, is a long-standing diplomat of African descent. She was removed from the State Department in Trump’s state.  Prior to that, she held several positions in Africa such as Nigeria and Liberia. She stated some time ago, according to “Sputnik”, that all parties to the conflict, locally and internationally, should reduce the ceilings of demands and work to find a solution. It is not clear if this statement was a personal opinion or a reflection of a change in the US administration.

What role does Robert Malley have?

The last file is the Lebanese file. Until the preparation of this approach, no official in the new administration issued any position regarding Lebanon. Thus, what can be presented is based on Jeffrey Feltman’s statement more than a year ago before the Congressional Foreign Relations Committee. The new administration could adopt the approach of Feltman, who knows Lebanon well. We also have to take into account that the United States looks at the Lebanese file from the standpoint of the security of the Zionist entity and from the angle of interconnections with the various files in the region. The conclusion of Jeffrey Feltman’s approach is that pushing Lebanon over the abyss will not result in a positive outcome for the interests of the United States and the Zionist entity. Consequently, the pressures exerted on Lebanon must be reconsidered and accommodation as was the case in the Obama era with the resistance, as there is no allied regional power that can disarm the resistance in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1702. Linking the dispute may raise the veto on the participation of the party in one form or another in the government. It could also contribute to supporting the French initiative to financially rearrange the internal situation. But there is no sign that the new administration officials share that view.

On the other hand, there is a proliferation of talk in the American corridors about the major role of Robert Malle in approaching the Iranian, Palestinian and Lebanese file. Robert Malle is very close to Anthony Blinken. If it is proven that the talk in the  corridors is serious, then this means that diplomacy will play a major role in approaching the hot files in the region, which may be reflected in a solution, albeit limited, towards the Lebanese scene, especially since the tools of the United States have proven their disastrous failure repeatedly, and that there is no point in escalating the situation that may topple what remains. From the influence of the American role.

However, during the first 100 days of Biden’s term, the true directions of the new administration will be clearly seen. We believe it will not be too far from the approach we presented above.

These are some of the expectations in the hot files awaiting the administration, and we do not expect any change from the previous policies, whether only in style or tone. It is incapable of change and unable to continue. This is its dilemma, and the world’s countries are not responsible for solving the American impasse. The shifts in the field will produce the facts that will govern American policy, which one day becomes useless. It has no ability to wage new wars, even if its desire to do so is certain, and it has no ability to make concessions to reach settlements. The break-up of the American empire may coincide with the dissolution of the republic. At best, what the new administration will do is connect a conflict without solutions and without wars. At worst, it is a question of its existence as a superpower. The only danger lies in the continuation of the state of denial and consequently the committing of follies that accelerate their demise and the consequent loss of life.

Previous Parts

(4) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة

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باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

زياد حافظ

الجزء الرابع: بعض الملفات في الوطن العربي

ندخل هنا إلى بعض الملفّات المتعلّقة بالوطن العربي والمتشابكة وإنْ كان لكلّ ملفّ على حدة حيثياته الخاصة. لكن التشابك الناتج عن التاريخ والجغرافيا يجعل من الصعب مقاربة الملفّات بشكل مستقلّ عن بعضها البعض. والإدارة الجديدة كسائر الإدارات السابقة تنظر إلى مختلف الساحات من منظور جيواستراتيجي وليس كملفّات مستقلّة عن بعضها وإنْ اقتضى الأمر في بعض الحالات تجزئة الموضوع بسبب الصعوبات التي تواجهها السياسة الأميركية.

ملفات فلسطين وسورية والعراق واليمن وليبيا ولبنان هي ما تعنينا في الدرجة الأولى لأنها ساحات الصراع القائم في المنطقة. السؤال الذي نطرحه هو ماذا تستطيع ان تفعل الولايات المتحدة؟ في هذا السياق لا بدّ من التذكير بأنّ الخط البياني للدور الأميركي هو خط تراجعي. فبعد فشل الانخراط المباشر العسكري في المنطقة عبر تعثّر المشروع الأميركي في العراق وبروز لجنة بيكر هاملتون التي فرضت إعادة النظر في الطريقة في التعامل مع دول الإقليم، كانت حقبة باراك أوباما قد أطلقت نظرية القوّة الذكية أو الحرب بالوكالة. فكان استغلال نقمة الشعوب العربية على حكّامها عبر ما سُمّي بالربيع العربي. الرهان كان أنّ تغيير الطقم الحاكم في الدول الموالية للولايات المتحدة وتمكين مجموعات إسلامية معتدلة متواصلة من تركيا إلى المغرب لتثبيت قاعدة متينة لقرن أميركي في الوطن العربي. لكن الاستعصاء كان في التعامل مع سورية ساهم في تعثر المشروع في مصر فكانت الحرب الكونية التي قادتها الولايات المتحدة على سورية وما زالت حتى الساعة. لكن صمود الجيش العربي السوري والشعب الملتفّ حول قيادته أفشل المشروع الأميركي في سورية.

حقبة ترامب كانت امتداداً لسياسة أوباما مع مطالبته المتكرّرة بسحب القوّات الأميركية التي عارضته الدولة العميقة. تصريحات المبعوث الأميركي السابق المولج بالملف السوري جيمس جيفري تقر بأنه تمّ التحايل على الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب لإفشال محاولات سحب القوّات الأميركية من شرق وشمال شرق سورية. واليوم يدعو جيفري في مقال له في مجلّة «فورين أفيرز» الرئيس بايدن إلى الاستمرار بسياسة العقوبات والتجويع ضدّ سورية وجعل سورية مستنقعاً لاستنزاف روسيا كما حصل في أفغانستان في الثمانينيات من القرن الماضي. فالهدف كان وما زال قلب النظام والإطاحة بالرئيس الأسد. أضف إلى ذلك فإنّ قانون قيصر الذي تمّ بموافقة الحزبين الديمقراطي والجمهوري هدفه خنق سورية اقتصادياً ومنع إعادة إعمارها وذلك لتعزيز النقمة الداخلية وفرص انتفاضة على نظام الحكم. لكن كلّ ذلك لم يؤدّ إلى النتائج المرجوة. فماذا بعد؟ فإذا كان الانخراط المباشر قد فشل في تحقيق أهدافه رغم احتلال العراق وقلب النظام وإذا فشلت الحرب الكونية على سورية بالوكالة عن الولايات المتحدة فماذا بقي في الترسانة الأميركية؟ المزيد من القوة والضغط أم مراجعة لتلك السياسة؟ فصمود الشعب السوري الملتفّ حول قيادته وجيشه لم يكن في الحسبان وأفشل كلّ المحاولات. وفي تقديرينا لا نعتقد أنّ الإدارة الجديدة تستطيع أن تحبط من عزيمة الشعب في الصمود ورفض الإملاءات العسكرية. كما سيأتي يوم تترسّخ القناعة عند مختلف النخب الحاكمة في الوطن العربي أنّ ما تريده الإدارة الأميركية أو تقوم به لا يعنيها ولا قيمة لها. المهمّ هو ما تقوم به المجتمعات العربية والتركيز هو على ما تريده دون الاكتراث إلى رأي الآخرين.

بايدن يتراجع أمام سورية كما أوباما؟

آراء المسؤولين المسمّين لتولي السياسة الخارجية توحي أنّ الميل سيكون إلى المزيد من الضغوط على سورية والدفع نحو التقسيم. ذلك سيكون عبر دعم المجموعات المسلّحة وإنْ كانت من جماعات التعصّب والغلوّ والتوحّش يضاف إليهم مجموعة «قسد». لكن موازين القوّة في الميدان تنفي فعالية تلك السياسة. وليس بمقدور الولايات المتحدة في ظلّ الانقسام الحادّ الداخلي إمكانية تبرير تورّط مباشر تعويضاً عن فشل الحرب بالوكالة. ونشير في هذا السياق إلى مقابلة أجراها وزير الخارجية أنطوني بلينكن مع مايكل موريل المدير العام السابق بالوكالة لوكالة الاستخبارات المركزية (سي أي آي) على برنامج «قضايا استخبارية» (انتليجنس ماترز) الذي تبثّه محطة «سي، بي، أس» الأميركية (ما يؤكّد العلاقة العضوية بين الاستخبارات والإعلام الشركاتي!). جاء في هذه المقابلة التي أجريت في أواخر 2020 والتي لم تخلُ من العبارات التي تؤكّد النظرة التوراتية لدور الولايات المتحدة في الحفاظ على الإمبراطورية لأنّ ذلك قدرها المتجلّي الذي يؤكّد استثنائيتها. وفي تلك المقابلة قال إنّ هناك ضرورة لعدم توريط مباشر للقوات الأميركية في ما سمّاه بـ «الحروب الدائمة» ولكن هذا لا يمنع من «عمليات محدودة» تقوم بها القوّات الخاصة لدعم عملاء محلّيين في تنفيذهم للأجندات المطلوبة. هنا تحضر «قسد» التي ستتلقّى دعماً عسكرياً من الولايات المتحدة. وما يدعم موقف بلينكن تصريح المسؤول الجديد القديم عن الملفّ السوري تري مكغورك الذي خلف جيمس جيفري. فتري مكغورك كان قد استقال سنة 2019 من مهامه في متابعة الملف السوري عندما عبّر ترامب عن رغبته بسحب القوّات الأميركية من سورية. ومكغورك يريد المزيد من التواجد العسكري الأميركي في سورية. وشاهدنا في الأسابيع الماضية عودة خلايا داعش في البادية ومحاولات تخريب المصالحة في جنوب سورية والعمليات الاستفزازية لقوّات «قسد» في الشمال الشرقي لسورية. كلّ ذلك حصل بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية وقبل تسلم بايدن مقاليد السلطة، غير أنّ هذه الإجراءات تحظى بموافقة وزير الخارجية بلينكن وتدلّ على استمرارها.

من جهة أخرى، وفي سياق محاولة تلميع صورة الولايات المتحدة هناك حديث في الأروقة الأميركية عن إمكانية تفاهم ضمني لتسليم روسيا الملف السوري لضمان أمن الكيان الصهيوني. فإذا نجحت المبادة الروسية في تأمين أمن الكيان، يعني عدم دعم استراتيجية وأهداف محور المقاومة، فهذا مكسب للولايات المتحدة والكيان. وإذا تعثرت تلك الجهود فلكلّ حادث حديث ويتمّ التنصّل من التفاهم الضمني. في رأينا، كلّ هذه المحاولات لا تدلّ إلاّ على عجز الولايات المتحدة في المبادرة وتغيير المنحى التراجعي لها في المنطقة. وليس هناك من دليل أنّ روسيا ستقبل بـ «المهمة» كما ليس هناك من مؤشر أنّ الدولة السورية ستتجاوب مع تلك المبادرة. المسألة تصبح من يستطيع أن يتحمّل أكثر الاستنزاف؟ الرهان الأميركي هو أنّ قدرة التحمّل للدولة السورية محدودة وبالتالي ستلجأ إلى تقديم «تنازلات» لإيقاف التدهور الاقتصادي والاجتماعي وهذه «التنازلات» ستأتي بـ «التغيير المنشود» أميركياً وصهيونياً. ولكن في المقابل لا تستطيع الإدارة الجديدة تغيير موازين القوّة على الأرض إذا ما أقدَمت الدولة السورية على استكمال استعادة الأراضي المحتلة في الشمال والشرق. فلسورية حلفاء كانوا وما زالوا ملتزمين في الدفاع عن سورية.

وهناك من يعتقد أنّ أيّ تسوية مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ستؤدّي حتماً على «انفراجات» في الملّف السوري دون تحديد ما هي الانفراجات. ربما يعتقدون أنها تعود إلى بعض التعديلات في الدستور والتغيير في رأس الهرم، ولكن كلّ ذلك مجرّد تمنّيات لا تستند إلى وقائع مادية يمكّنها من تحقيقها. فسورية ليست أداة للجمهورية الإسلامية بل حليفة لها ولها قرارها المستقلّ. وسورية التي رفضت إملاءات كولين باول في ذروة الغطرسة الأميركية في احتلال العراق لن ترضخ لأميركا التي أصابها الوهن وهي على عتبة الأفول فالانهيار بسبب الانقسام الداخلي وبسبب عدم قدرتها على التوسّع وفرض هيمنتها.

هل تعود نظرية رامسفيلد؟

التوتّر السوري والليبي واليمني والعراقي من صنع إدارة أوباما الذي كان بايدن شريكاً أساسياً فيها. فهل ينتهج الأخير سياسة مغايرة؟ الدلائل حتى الساعة تفيد أنّ نظرية دونالد رامسفيلد هي التي تتحكّم في عقل النخب الأميركية بما فيها الإدارة الجديدة: إذا فشلت القوّة في تحقيق الأهداف فالحلّ هو المزيد من القوّة. المسؤولون المسمّون في الإدارة الجديدة كانوا قد وجّهوا خلال عملهم في إدارة أوباما انتقاداتهم لباراك أوباما لعدم استعمال المزيد من القوّة. والمسؤولون المسمّون هم من الصهاينة وبالتالي أولويتهم الكيان. والرئيس الجديد أعلن عن صهيونيته وإن لم يكن يهودياً بل هو كاثوليكيّ.

لكن موازين القوّة على الأرض حيّدت كافة الوسائل المستعملة لتحقيق أهداف الإدارة الأميركية. فما هو «المزيد من القوّة»؟ ليس بمقدور الإدارة رغم إعلان التزامها بالكيان الصهيوني أن تفرض على الكونغرس الأميركي خيارات حرب جديدة في سورية لصالح الكيان لأنّ المزاج العام في الأجواء المضطربة في الداخل الأميركي لا يسمح لمغامرات خارجية غير مضمونة النتائج خاصة أنّ سورية لم تعد بمفردها بل هي جزء من محور قوي يستطيع إيقاع الخسائر الفادحة بالمصالح الأميركية والصهيونية في المنطقة. كما أنّ تحالفات سورية الدولية تمكنها من تحييد العمل الانفرادي الذي قد تقدم عليه الولايات المتحدة. فتجربة 2013 تشير إلى أنّ آنذاك لم تكن موازين القوّة لصالح الولايات المتحدة في شنّ عدوان مباشر على سورية فكانت الوساطة الروسية وحلّ تفكيك المنظومة الكيمياوية. اليوم، موازين القوّة أكثر ميلاً لصالح سورية مما كانت عليها سنة 2013 فما يبقى للولايات المتحدة إما التراجع وإما تخفيض سقف المواجهة والاكتفاء بربط نزاع. ما يهمّ الدولة السورية هو خروج القوّات الأميركية من شرق الفرات وهذا ممكن لأنّ العدد قليل واللوجستية الداعمة لها صعبة خاصة إذا ما تمّ إخراجها كلّياً من العراق.

في ما يتعلّق بالعراق، لا يجب أن ننسى أنّ بايدن منذ ولاية بوش الابن ينظّر لتقسيم العراق. هنا أيضاً موازين القوّة تحكم سياسات الإدارة حيث أصبحت الإمكانيات محدودة. والقوى السياسية العراقية المؤيّدة للوجود الأميركي لم يعد باستطاعتها الدعوة إلى ذلك بعد اغتيال أبي مهدي المهندس ومعه قاسم سليماني. والتفجيرات في وسط بغداد في أوّل يوم من ولاية بايدن لن يؤدّي إلى إبقاء القوّات الأميركية بحجة عودة داعش التي ادّعت الولايات المتحدة أنها «هزمتها»! بل العكس قد يحصل. فالتفاهم مع الحكومة العراقية قد يساهم في تسهيل الخروج الميسّر للقوات الأميركية من العراق لأنّ البديل عن ذلك هو تكرار مشهد خروج القوّات من فيتنام. ستحافظ الإدارة الأميركية على علاقات وثيقة مع إقليم كردستان غير أنّ كلّ ذلك لن يمنع تكريس الانكفاء من العراق وسورية. لكن هذا لا يعني أنّ الساحة العراقية ستنعم بالهدوء بل العكس كما تبيّن من الانفجارات الأخيرة. المسألة ستكون في ضبط الإيقاع بين التوتر والتفاوض والكرة في ملعب القيادات العراقية.

المسرح مهيّأ لوقف حرب اليمن

في ما يتعلّق باليمن فالمسرح مهيّأ في الكونغرس الأميركي لإيقاف الحرب وإعطاء الدور للأمم المتحدة بعد الإيعاز لبلاد الحرمين بوقف العدوان. وبات واضحاً أنّ إدارة بايدن ستنظر في موضوع تصنيف الحوثيين كمجموعة إرهابية وإلغاء التصنيف الذي فرضته إدارة ترامب في أيامها الأخيرة. لكن هناك قوى داخل التحالف الحاكم في الولايات المتحدة ستسعى للحفاظ على التوتر في اليمن. شركة التسليح الأميركية رايثيون تورّد أسلحة لبلاد الحرمين ودول الخليج ووزير الدفاع الجديد لويد اوستن عضو مجلس إدارة الشركة. ليس من الواضح من يستطيع حسم الموقف الأميركي، وما نريد أنّ نشير إليه هو تناقض المصالح داخل تحالف القوى الداعمة لبايدن كما أوضحناه في الجزء الأول من هذه السلسلة.

أما العلاقة مع بلاد الحرمين فالمزاج السائد في الإدارة الجديدة سلبي حتى الساعة تجاه ولي العهد وأسلوب الحكم. التصريحات المتكرّرة للرئيس الأميركي الجديد حول ضرورة مساءلة المسؤولين في بلاد الحرمين حول اغتيال جمال الخاشقجي دليل على ذلك. انها مؤشر عن طبيعة العلاقات المرتقبة بين الإدارة الجديدة وقيادة بلاد الحرمين. في المقابل ستتمسّك الإدارة بـ «الاتفاقات الابراهيمية» وربما قد تطوّرها بعد إنجاز «تغييرات» في حكومة بلاد الحرمين. لكن ولي العهد ليس بالضعف الذي يتصوّره البعض وأنّ خيارات الإدارة الأميركية محدودة هنا أيضاً. لكن في مطلق الأحوال، لن تكون العلاقة بين العاصمتين علاقة هادئة على الأقلّ في المرحلة الأولى من ولاية بايدن.

معظم فريق السياسة الخارجية من الصهاينة

بالنسبة للملف الفلسطيني أعلن الرئيس المنتخب التزامه بحلّ الدولتين لكنه لم يفصح عما هو مصير المستعمرات في فلسطين ولا مصير العاصمة. سيتمسّك بقرار نقل السفارة (لا ننسى أنّ القرار اتخذ من قبل الكونغرس في ولاية كلينتون) وسيعود التواصل مع السلطة وتسهيل الحوالات المالية للسلطة. في المقابل التزام الإدارة الجديدة بأمن الكيان من ثوابت النخب الحاكمة في أميركا ولكن لن ينجر هذا الالتزام إلى التمسّك بنتنياهو الذي نعتقد أنه على طريق الخروج من المسرح السياسي. فكلّ هذه الإجراءات طابعها شكلي لأنه لا تستطيع الإدارة الجديدة تقديم أيّ شيء جذري علماً أنّ الضغوط تتصاعد داخل الحزب الديمقراطي للإقرار بحقوق الشعب الفلسطيني. لكن لا يجب أن ننسى أنّ معظم فريق السياسة الخارجية للإدارة الجديدة من الصهاينة الذين لن يسمحوا بأيّ «تنازل» جوهري تجاه الفلسطينيين. فليس هناك ما يبرّر المراهنة على مواقف جديدة في الإدارة ليعطي دفعاً ما لسياسة المفاوضات التي أثبتت عقمها.

بالنسبة لليبيا فإنّ الكارثة التي حلّت بها من صنع إدارة أوباما وخاصة من صنع هيلاري كلنتون. المسؤولون الجدد في الإدارة للشؤون الخارجية كانوا في إدارة أوباما وما زالوا يدافعون عن سياساتهم آنذاك. ليس من الواضح ما يمكن أن تقدم عليه الإدارة فليس أيّ تصريح أو كتابة لأيّ منهم حول الملف الليبي المعقد دولياً وعربياً وإقليمياً. لكن لا بدّ لنا من الإشارة إلى أنّ المندوبة المسمّاة لتمثيل الولايات المتحدة في الأمم المتحدة ومجلس الأمن ليندا تواماس غرينفيلد ديبلوماسية عريقة منحدرة من أصول أفريقية. وكانت قد أقصيت من وزارة الخارجية في ولاية ترامب. قبل ذلك شغلت مناصب عدة في أفريقيا كنيجيريا وليبيريا. صرّحت منذ فترة وفقاً لموقع «سبوتنيك» أنّ على كافة الأطراف المتنازعة محلّياً ودولياً تخفيض سقوف المطالب والعمل على إيجاد حلّ. ليس من الواضح إذا ما كان ذلك التصريح رأياً شخصياً أم انعكاساً لتغيير ما في الإدارة الأميركية.

أيّ دور لروبرت مالي؟

الملف الأخير هو الملف اللبناني. حتى إعداد هذه المقاربة لم يصدر أيّ موقف عن أيّ مسؤول في الإدارة الجديدة حول لبنان. وبالتالي ما يمكن عرضه مبني على مواقف سابقة للإدارة الديمقراطية وإفادة جيفري فيلتمان منذ أكثر من عام أمام لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في الكونغرس. ويمكن أن تتبنّى الإدارة الجديدة مقاربة فيلتمان الذي يعرف لبنان جيّداً. كما علينا الأخذ بعين الاعتبار أنّ الولايات المتحدة تنظر إلى الملف اللبناني من زاوية أمن الكيان ومن زاوية الترابط بالملفات المتعدّدة في الإقليم. خلاصة مقاربة جيفري فيلتمان هي أنّ دفع لبنان إلى الهاوية لن يأتي بمردود إيجابي لمصالح الولايات المتحدة والكيان الصهيوني. وبالتالي يجب إعادة النظر في الضغوط التي تمارس على لبنان والتساكن كما كان في عهد أوباما مع المقاومة حيث لا توجد أيّ قوّة إقليمية حليفة تستطيع نزع سلاح المقاومة وفقاً لقرار مجلس الأمن 1702. التساكن قد يرفع الفيتو على مشاركة الحزب بشكل أو بآخر في الحكومة. كما يمكن أن يساهم في دعم المبادرة الفرنسية لإعادة ترتيب الوضع الداخلي من الناحية المالية. لكن ليس هناك من أيّ دلائل أنّ المسؤولين الجدد في الإدارة يشاطرون ذلك الرأي.

من جهة أخرى تكاثر الكلام في الأروقة الأميركية عن دور كبير لروبرت مالي في مقاربة الملف الإيراني والفلسطيني واللبناني. وروبرت مالي مقرّب جدّاً من انطوني بلينكن. إذا ثبت أنّ الكلام الجاري في الأروقة جدّي فهذا يعني أنّ الدبلوماسية ستلعب دوراً كبيراً في مقاربة الملفات الساخنة في المنطقة قد تنعكس بحلحلة ولو محدودة تجاه المشهد اللبناني خاصة أنّ أدوات الولايات المتحدة أثبتت فشلها الذريع تكراراً، وأن لا جدوى من تصعيد الموقف الذي قد يطيح بما تبقّى من نفوذ للدور الأميركي.

على كلّ حال، خلال المئة اليوم الأولى من ولاية بايدن سيتبّن بشكل أوضح التوجهات الحقيقية للإدارة الجديدة. ونعتقد أنها لن تكون بعيدة عن المقاربة التي عرضناها أعلاه.

هذه بعض التوقّعات في الملفات الساخنة التي تنتظر الإدارة والتي لا نتوقع أيّ تعديل عن السياسات السابقة سواء فقط في الأسلوب واللهجة. فهي غير قادرة على التغيير وغير قادرة على الاستمرار. هذا هو مأزقها وليس مسؤولة دول العالم حلّ المأزق الأميركي. التحوّلات في الميدان ستفرز الوقائع التي ستحكم السياسة الأميركية التي تصبح يوماً بعض يوم غير ذي جدوى. فلا قدرة لها على شنّ حروب جديدة وإنْ كانت رغبتها في ذلك مؤكّدة ولا قدرة لها على تقديم تنازلات لعقد تسويات. فانفراط الإمبراطورية الأميركية قد تتلازم مع انحلال الجمهورية. في أحسن الأحوال ما ستقوم به الإدارة الجديدة هو ربط نزاع دون حلول ودون حروب. في أسوأ الأحوال بالنسبة لها مسألة وجودها ككيان لدولة عظمى. الخطورة تكمن فقط في استمرار حالة الإنكار وارتكاب بالتالي حماقات تسرّع في زوالها وما سيرافق ذلك من خسائر في الأرواح.

Previous Parts

Ibn Khaldoun and The American Empire ابن خلدون والإمبراطوريّة الأميركيّة

By Nasser Kandil

       There has been no agreement between European and Arab social scientists about the precise  roots of the historic scholar Ibn Khaldun’s political sociology theories in in his examination of phenomena associated with the rise, disintegration, and  demise of states. Any reader of Ibn Khaldun’s texts in the current American epoch will believe that this great scholar had written his work to explain what is going on in America today, with his phenomena having a degree of congruence approaching prophesy.

       With the departure of the ex-President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in the White House, world and regional attention has been focused on new American policies. Part of the discussion about the Trump phenomenon will remain in the background of the American scene, along the political competition which will dominate the future mid-term elections two years from now, and the Presidential election in four years, both preceded by the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial before the Senate.

        The cardinal long-range question is whether what America is witnessing is a political crisis, or a structural crisis, or is it more the beginning of the demise of the empire? The beginning of the end of the American Empire era in response might be seen by many as an exaggeration and a prevalence of wishful thinking over reality. However, a systematic examination impervious to political cacophony will reveal a reality more profound than political discourse, economic outlook, durability of institutions, concept of deep state, and foreign policy headlines, despite their great importance. An examination from the perspectives civilization, culture, and society is even more important today than an examination from political, economic and military perspectives.

       Ibn Khaldun draws the course for the rise of states, and not any state, but rather of empires.  He points to the presence of a zealotry which becomes the foundation for the establishment of a state, and the success of such zealotry in possessing the might to hold power. He maintains that it is followed by legitimizing dominance through a project of statehood and nationhood, which succeeds in convincing the people and enfolding them, and provides them with opportunities for agriculture, production, trade, cultural, educational, and artistic activity.  It instills in them a belief and hope in the value of such effort and its role in the development of civil and political peacefulness based on stable legal standards. In turn, such ascent establishes the ground for expansion through raids and the accumulation of sources of power and stature, which results in  a spread in means of comfort and an increase in demand for them, new economic endeavor, and new consumption. He posits that it continues until it reaches the stage when further expansion becomes impossible, and such lack of possibility coincides with an imbalance in the standards for ascent and descent in the social ladder, when excessive luxury juxtaposes harsh poverty, and standards to energize economic activity become absent. As a consequence, hope dies, stature declines with the insurgence in foreign dominions, exaggerated spending on armies emerges and depletes resources, disease and epidemics spread and become widespread, the economy freezes and shrinks, and zealotry becomes divided unto itself.  The people who had accepted its project of nationhood and statehood becomes dissatisfied, merchants and industrialists no longer find the security necessary to continue their activity, and the decline of the empire begins.

       A review of the course of the decline of the Soviet Union will reveal many intersections with the course outlined by Ibn Khaldun, in that the Communist Party and its Russian branch constituted the zealotry nucleus, while a reading of the American course will reveal even more intersections with Ibn Khaldun’s outline. In the United States, the European Whites who founded the country constitute this nucleus of zealotry, and the revolt against the results of the 2020 Presidential elections and accompanying sharp vertical national divide with tens of millions on either side, signals only the tip of the iceberg of historic exhaustion and the beginning of decline.  The zealots are no longer satisfied with the grounds they had laid for their project of state and nation, and want a more exclusive hold on power and resources, while the rest of the American population comprised of non-whites are no longer accepting of a second-class citizenship.

       All indicators suggest that in the last two decades all US wars failed as defense spending increased, protection for the poor decreased, poverty doubled, and the gap between rich and poor widened. The scale for socio-economic mobility became unbalanced, the 2008 banking and real estate crisis emerged, along with the phenomena of extreme richness versus wide sector of poverty, leading to widespread talk about despair and the plummeting of standards.  Procurement of weapons by individuals and groups became more rampant, while the political discourse reached moral rock bottom, and the White zealotry fractured into a majority represented by racists calling for exclusivity, and a minority holding on to the project of country and nation backed by the rest of the non-White population.

       A point of note is that Ibn Khaldun believes that pandemics are a sign of the decline of the state, “ the empire”, because it is the result of opulence and irresponsible behavior towards natural resources. In the scholar’s words:” A pandemic is mostly from air pollution due to over-building and associated decay and putrefied dampness…When purification is strong, illness befalls the lungs, which is what plagues and its associated illnesses specific to the lung are, with the reason for such excessive rot and putrefied dampness and abundant over-development being the decline of the state.”

       Ihsan Abdel Kuddus’ novel  ”I Will Not Live In My Father’s Robe”  summarizes the perspectives of the White Majority and Non-White Minorities across the United Sates. The White Fathers invested in civil decades to build an economy, the basis for labor of which were the non-Whites, who in turn found a great accomplishment in the semi-justice meted by the  White Fathers in comparison to bloodthirsty racism.  The sons of the White fathers feel constricted by the robe of the civilized decades with the dwindling in resources and regression in development. More importantly they became apprehensive about demography and the fear of the slip of their control over the state because of legislature they had forged for the country’s  administrations, and now talk about the country as theirs in which they host others.  This has coincided with a feeling of constriction by the father’s robe among the sons of non-Whites who no longer are accepting of the gap between the civilized culture and racism, translated into an existential apprehensiveness with the rise in calls for ethnic cleansing and militant extremism, along with the widening in differential in securing a living and procuring means of comfort.

       The United States, balanced in the number between Whites and Non-Whites, will become an arena of bloody confrontation, and will not be assuaged by Biden’s incantations. States with a majority of one of the two groups will organize according to the desires of the ethnic majority, the hold of the central authority will diminish, and independence projects in some States will be witnessed, while the empire reels for the duration of the pandemic

ابن خلدون والإمبراطوريّة الأميركيّة

ناصر قنديل

تباينت آراء علماء الاجتماع الأوروبيّين والعرب في تحديد جذور النظريّات التي صاغها العلامة التاريخي ابن خلدون حول علم الاجتماع السياسيّ، في تعامله مع ظواهر نهوض الدول وتفككها وأفولها، لكن قراءة نصوص ابن خلدون في الزمن الأميركي الحالي سيجعل القارئ يعتقد أنه كتب نصوصه لتفسير ما يجري اليوم في أميركا، حيث العقل نسبة التطابق في رسم الظواهر التي يشير اليها ابن خلدون عن حدود، ليبدو بعضها أقرب للنبوءة.

مع المشاهد التي طواها يوم أمس، لرحيل الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب، ودخول الرئيس الحالي جو بايدن الى البيت الأبيض، ينصبّ الاهتمام في المنطقة والعالم حول السياسات الأميركية الجديدة، وقدر من النقاش حول ظاهرة ترامب التي ستبقى حاضرة في خلفيّة المشهد الأميركي، والتنافس السياسي الذي سيحكم اللعبة الأميركية في استحقاقات انتخابية مقبلة، من الانتخابات النصفيّة للكونغرس بعد عامين، والانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة بعد أربع سنوات، وقبلهما مصير الملاحقة القضائية التي سيشهدها مجلس الشيوخ بحق ترامب.

السؤال الجوهريّ الأبعد مدى، هل ما تشهده أميركا هو أزمة سياسية، أم أزمة بنيوية، أم أكثر بداية أفول الإمبراطورية، والجواب بالاعتقاد ببدء نهاية العهد الإمبراطوري الأميركي قد يبدو مبالغة بنظر الكثيرين، ويبدو تغليباً للرغبات على الوقائع، لكن التدقيق المنهجي البعيد عن ضجيج السياسة سيفتح العين على حقيقة أعمق من الخطاب السياسي، والرؤية الاقتصادية، ومتانة المؤسسات، ومفهوم الدولة العميقة، وعناوين السياسة الخارجية، وكلها أمور غاية في الأهمية، لكن ما يفوقها أهمية اليوم في مقاربة ما يجري في أميركا، حضاري وثقافي واجتماعي قبل أن يكون سياسياً واقتصادياً وعسكرياً.

يرسم ابن خلدون مساراً لنهوض الدول، والأصح هو الإمبراطوريات وليس كل الدول، بوجود عصبية تشكل أساس مشروع الدولة، ونجاح العصبية بامتلاك القوة اللازمة للإمساك بالسلطة، ثم قوننة سيطرتها بمشروع دولة وأمة، ينجح بإقناع من يسمّيهم بشعب الدولة والأمة بالانضواء في هذا المشروع، وتوفير فرص المتاجرة والمصانعة والمزارعة، والنشاط الثقافي والتعليمي الفني، وبث الأمل بجدوى النشاط ودوره في توفير التقدم في السلم الاجتماعي والسياسي وفقاً لمعايير مستقرة، قانونية، ويؤسس هذا النهوض الأرضيّة للتوسّع عبر الغزوات، وزيادة مصادر الثروة والمهابة، فتنتشر وسائل الرفاه ويزداد الطلب عليها فتنشأ أنشطة اقتصادية جديدة، واستهلاك جديد، حتى بلوغ مرحلة تجتمع فيها حالة العجز عن المزيد من التوسّع مع اختلال استقرار قواعد الصعود والهبوط في السلم الاجتماعي، وانتشار الترف المبالغ فيه مقابل ظهور الفقر الشديد، من دون معايير تتصل بالنشاط الاقتصادي، فيموت الأمل، وتتراجع المهابة مع تمرّد الأمصار، اي مناطق السيطرة في الخارج، وتظهر المبالغة في الإنفاق على الجيوش وتستنزف الموارد، وينتشر الوباء ويتفشى، فيتجمّد الاقتصاد ويضمُر، وتنقسم العصبيّة على نفسها، ولا يعود الشعب الذي قبل مشروعها لبناء دولة وأمة راضياً، ولا يجد التجار والصناعيون الأمن لمواصلة نشاطهم، وتكون بداية أفول الإمبراطورية.

مَن يقرأ مسار انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي سيجد الكثير من التقاطعات مع السياق الذي رسمه ابن خلدون، حيث الحزب الشيوعيّ وفرعه الروسي هو نواة العصبية، ومَن يقرأ المسار الأميركي اليوم سيجد تقاطعات أكثر، حيث نواة العصبية هي الجماعة الأوروبيّة البيضاء التي أسست الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، والإشارة التي مثلها العصيان على نتائج الانتخابات الرئاسية مسقوفاً بانقسام عمودي حادّ بين عشرات الملايين المصطفين على طرفي الصراع، ليس إلا رأس جبل الجليد لبلوغ هذا المشروع الإمبراطوري مرحلة الاستنفاد التاريخي وبدء الأفول. فالعصبية لم تعد راضية بقواعد هي وضعتها لمشروعها للدولة والأمة، وتريد الانفراد أكثر بالسلطة والموارد، والشعب الذي يشكله في الحالة الأميركية غير أصحاب البشرة البيضاء، لم يعد راضياً بمواطنة الدرجة الثانية، وكل شيء في أميركا يقول إنه خلال عقدين فشلت كل حروب اميركا، وتزايد إنفاقها العسكري، وتراجعت الحماية الاجتماعية للطبقات الفقيرة التي توسعت وتضاعفت، واختلّ نظام الصعود والهبوط بين طبقات المجتمع، فخرجت من أزمات 2008 المصرفية والعقارية، ظواهر فاحشة الثراء وشرائح واسعة من الفقراء، وصار الحديث عن فقد الأمل شائعاً وعن سقوط المعايير، وانتشر التسلح، وهبط مستوى الخطاب السياسي الى أدنى مستوياته أخلاقياً، وانقسمت العصبية البيضاء بين أغلبية يمثلها عنصريون هم دعاة التفرّد، وأقلية تتمسك بمشروع الدولة والأمة، تقف وراءها فئات الشعب والأمة من غير البيض.

بالمناسبة يعتقد ابن خلدون أن الوباء هو من علامات سقوط الدولة، “الإمبراطورية”، لأنه من ثمار الترف والتصرّف غير المسؤول تجاه الثروات الطبيعية، ويقول العلامة “وقوع الوباء سببه في الغالب فساد الهواء بكثرة العمران لكثرة ما يخالطه من العفن والرطوبات الفاسدة… فإن كان الفساد قوياً وقع المرض في الرئة، وهذه هي الطواعين وأمراضها مخصوصة بالرئة… وسبب كثرة العفن والرطوبات الفاسدة في هذا كله، كثرة العمران ووفوره آخر الدولة”.

في رواية الكاتب احسان عبد القدوس «لن أعيش في جلباب أبي»، اختصار لمعادلة نظرة الأغلبية البيضاء والأقليات من غير البيض، على مساحة الولايات الأميركية، حيث الآباء من البيض استثمروا على العهود المدنية لبناء اقتصاد قاعدته العاملة من غير البيض، ووجد غير البيض من الآباء في شبه عدالة إنجازاً كبيراً بالقياس للعنصرية الدموية المفرطة، أما الأبناء من الغالبية البيضاء ضاق عليهم ثوب العهود المدنيّة مع ضيق الموارد وتراجع النهوض، والأهم الشعور بالقلق الديمغرافي وخطورة انزلاق السيطرة على الدولة من بين أيديهم بسبب تشريعاتهم هم لإدارتها، ويتحدثون عن هذه الدولة بصفتها دولتهم ويستضيفون فيها آخرين، بينما ضاق ثوب الآباء بين أبناء غير أصحاب البشرة البيضاء وما عادوا يقبلون بالفجوة بين المدنيّة والعنصريّة، وترجمتها بقلق وجودي مع تصاعد دعوات تطهير عرقي وتطرف ميليشيوي، وتراجع الفورة واتساع التفاوت في الوصول لوسائل الرفاهية، وقبلها ضمانات العيش.

الولايات الأميركية المتوازنة عددياً بين مكوناتها من البيض وغير البيض ستكون مسرحاً لمواجهات دمويّة لن تنفع معها تعويذات بايدن، والولايات التي تسودها أغلبية من أحد الطرفين ستنظم أمورها على هوى الأغلبية العرقية، وستضعف قبضة السلطة المركزية، وستشهد مشاريع استقلال لبعض الولايات، والى أن ينتهي عهد الوباء ستترنّح الإمبراطورية.

Biden: Surrounding Contradictions and Ineffectiveness بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

By Nasser Kandil

Many questions are raised about what the new US President Joe Biden’s ascent to the Presidency will bring in the shadow of the dark page represented by ex-President Trump’s time in office. Many rush to envision a rosy period represented by Biden due to the large thorns left behind by Trump, although the real picture is different. Biden’s rule as “Walking between the dots,” and “Ma bisheel al zeer min al beer” as a popular Arabic saying goes implying ineffectiveness, are invitations to lower expectations. The options awaiting Biden are complex and difficult, and the contradictions which surround the pressing dossiers he will be presented with will guarantee the every supposedly possible option to undertake will create a crisis of equal peril in parallel to the one he will resolve. This suggests that the utmost that Biden will be capable of is crisis management to keep big explosions at bay, while lacking the ability to achieve major breakthroughs.

The position the US finds itself in is similar to that the Occupation is in, namely both the inability to wage war and to forge settlements, for structural reasons in both situations. The Israeli Occupation, whose leaders and generals have gotten to the point of acknowledging the inability to wage war, appears unfit for something else.  When the Occupation emerged victorious from its wars, it fell under the illusion that making settlements was superfluous, and drew illusory high ceilings for settlements, which made them impossible. When the Occupation failed to realize its goals in the wars it waged or was defeated in, it considered any realistic settlement as a confirmation of its resounding defeat and its dissolution as an entity based on power. The powerful “Israel” does not make settlements because it feels no need for them, but rather feels the desire to impose on its opponents conditions of surrender. “Israel” the weak, weakens first in the view of its extremists, which then robs any ruling politician of the needed delegation to enter into the realm of settlements, and to the same extent robs that politician of the ability to wage more wars.

In the American case, Biden faces challenges of the caliber of reaching understandings with Moscow and Peking on the basis of partnership and not merely the diffusion of conflict. Based on the opinions of all the experts, an entrance into such assumed partnership constitutes an American acknowledgment of loss in stature which Biden knows he has to avoid for the duration of  his internal war with the Extreme Right which has become more powerful, and the title for  dangerous domestic polarization, and which asks for proof of hanging on to American distinctiveness and excellence. In parallel, what Biden needs in the Middle East is to appear as a defender of “Israel” and able to decrease tensions, when pursuing either course will cause damage to the other. He has to prove the efficacy of the Nuclear Agreement with Iran in comparison to Trump’s policies, without allowing Iran appearing to benefit. He also has to reunify his allies, starting with Europe, Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf, which raises the question about what he will do with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Libya. If he gives precedence to the alliance with Egypt, France, and the Gulf over the alliance with Turkey, how will he prevent losing Turkey and the risk of her positioning more clearly with the Iranian-Russian alliance? In consequence, conceding a Russian Iranian Turkish cooperation ending in a compete American defeat in Syria and Iraq?

What will Biden do in the domestic arena, and could he take steps to decrease the level of anger and anxiety among the Black, Latino, and Muslim Minorities without increasing the level of anger among the White racist and organized extremists? Would he succeed in containing the Extreme Right through cooperation with the Republicans without making concessions at the expense of economic and social programs which impinge on the rich in favor of the poor and weak, whose proportion has much more than doubled with COVID? And could fracturing in the ranks of Democrats be avoided with concessions to Republicans?

The first matter which has to addressed by Biden is foreign, namely the consideration of how to deal with the Nuclear Agreement, which will be under domestic scrutiny, and the scrutiny of all of Washington’s allies and opponents and their evaluation – a dossier in which Biden has  little room for maneuver.  Any discussion of requests related to Iran’s missile program and regional crises, and even calls about a basis for return to the Nuclear Agreement or calls for going back on nuclear escalation steps Iran had undertaken are outside of Iranian consideration.

Biden faces two difficult choices. Lifting sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017, a clear  Iranian condition for mutual return to the same Nuclear Agreement without negotiations, will result in increased domestic polarization and a widening of the gap with opponents, and an  escalating Israeli and Gulf climate. Keeping sanctions under the slogan of anticipated negotiations which will not materialize, at the risk of transforming his Administration into another Trump Administration, which will close Peking and Moscow doors, and result in the staggering and fall of the Nuclear Agreement, and in an escalation in regional tensions.

بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

ناصر قنديل

أسئلة كثيرة تحيط بما سيحمله تولي الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن لمقاليد الرئاسة، في ظل الصفحة السوداء التي مثلها حكم الرئيس المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب، ويتسرّع الكثيرون في رؤية مرحلة وردية يمثلها بايدن بسبب حجم الأشواك التي تركها ترامب، لكن الصورة ليست كذلك. فحكم بايدن سيمرّ بين النقاط كما يُقال، ولن يكون بايدن قادراً أن «يشيل الزير من البير» كما يقول المثل الشائع، في توصيف الدعوة لتخفيض سقف التوقعات، فالخيارات التي تنتظر بايدن صعبة ومعقدة، والتناقضات التي ستحيط بالملفات الملحّة المطروحة أمامه تتكفّل بجعل كل من الخيارات الافتراضيّة سبباً لأزمات لا تقلّ خطورة عن التي سيعالجها، ويمكن القول بحساب هذه الفرضيات أن أقصى ما يستطيعه بايدن هو إدارة الأزمات بما يستبعد فرص الانفجارات الكبرى، لكن دون القدرة على صناعة الانفراجات.

وضع أميركا اليوم يشبه في الاستعصاء الذي يقع فيه وضع كيان الاحتلال بالعجز عن خوض الحروب والعجز عن صناعة التسويات، ولأسباب بنيوية في الوضعين. فكما أن كيان الاحتلال الذي بلغ باعتراف أركانه وقادته مرحلة العجز عن خوض الحروب يبدو غير صالح لغير ذلك، فهو عندما خرج منتصراً في حروبه توهّم أنه يُغنى عن صناعة التسويات ورسم لها سقوفاً وهميّة عالية، ما جعلها مستحيلة، وعندما هزم في حروبه أو فشل في تحقيق أهدافها، بات يعتبر كل تسوية واقعية تكريساً لهزيمة متمادية ستتكفل بانحلاله ككيان قائم على القوة، بحيث إن «اسرائيل» القوية لا تصنع التسوية لأنها لا تشعر بالحاجة إليها بل الرغبة بفرض شروط الاستسلام على خصومها، و»إسرائيل» الضعيفة تضعف أولاً أمام المتطرفين فيها، فيفقد أي سياسي حاكم التفويض اللازم للخوض في غمار التسويات، بمثل ما يفقد القدرة اللازمة على خوض المزيد من الحروب.

في الحالة الأميركيّة أمام بادين تحدّيات من عيار الوصول لتفاهم مع موسكو وبكين على قواعد شراكة لا مجرد ربط نزاع، ووفقاً لكل الخبراء يشكل الانخراط الأميركي في هذه الشراكة المفترضة تسليماً بتراجع المكانة الأميركية يعرف بايدن أن عليه تجنبه طالما أن معركته الداخلية مع اليمين المتطرّف الذي زاد قوة، وصار عنواناً لانقسام أهليّ خطير، تتم تحت عنوان إثبات التمسك بالتميّز الأميركي والتفوق الأميركي. وبالتوازي ما يحتاجه الرئيس الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط الجمع بين الظهور كمدافع عن «إسرائيل»، وقادر على تخفيض التوتر؛ والسير بواحد من الاتجاهين يصيب الآخر بالضرر، وعليه أن يثبت أهليّة التفاهم النووي مع إيران بالمقارنة مع سياسات ترامب، من دون أن يسمح بظهور إيران مستفيدة، وكذلك عليه أن يُعيد توحيد صفوف حلفائه، بدءاً من أوروبا وتركيا ومصر والخليج، فماذا يفعل بالإخوان المسلمين؟ وماذا يفعل بليبيا؟ وإذا قرر تغليب التحالف مع مصر وفرنسا والخليج على تركيا كيف يستطيع منع خسارتها وتموضعها بصورة أوضح ضمن الحلف الروسي الإيراني؟ وبالتالي التسليم بتعاون روسي إيراني تركي ينتهي بخسارة أميركية كاملة في سورية والعراق؟

ماذا سيفعل بايدن في الشق الداخلي، وهل يمكن السير بخطوات تخفض منسوب الغضب والقلق عند الأقليات السمراء واللاتينيّة والمسلمة من دون رفع منسوب غضب القوة البيضاء العنصرية المتطرفة والمنظمة، وهل يمكن احتواء الشارع المتطرّف من خلال التعاون مع الحزب الجمهوري من دون تقديم تنازلات على حساب البرنامج الاقتصادي الاجتماعي الذي يفرض المزيد من الأعباء على الطبقات الغنية لصالح المزيد من الضمانات للفقراء والضعفاء، الذي ارتفعت نسبتهم بأضعاف مع نتائج وباء كورونا؟ وهل يمكن تفادي تصدعات في صفوف الديمقراطيين مع كل تنازلات يتمّ تقديمها للجمهوريين؟

الاستحقاق الأول الذي ينتظر بايدن سيكون خارجياً، البتّ بكيفية التعامل مع الملف النووي الإيراني، وسينظر كل الداخل الأميركي لكيفية تعامله مع هذا الملف، كما سيقيم كل من حلفاء واشنطن وخصومها هذا التعامل ويبني عليه تقييماته، وفي هذا الملف حدود ضيقة للمناورة، فإيران ليست بوارد أي بحث بطلبات تتصل بملفها الصاروخي وأزمات المنطقة، ولا حتى بقواعد العودة للتفاهم النووي ودعوتها للتراجع عن خطواتها النووية التصعيدية، وأمام بايدن خياران صعبان، العودة عن العقوبات التي فرضت على إيران منذ 2017 كشرط إيراني واضح عنوانه عودة عملية متبادلة الى قواعد الاتفاق نفسه من دون تفاوض. وفي هذه الحالة سيجد بايدن نفسه أمام تصاعد الانقسام الداخلي واتساع الفجوة مع الخصوم، كما سيجد مناخاً «إسرائيلياً وخليجياً تصعيدياً، أو خيار المضي بالعقوبات تحت شعار انتظار التفاوض المفترض الذي لن يتمّ. وفي هذه الحالة سيفتتح ولايته بالتحول الى ترامب آخر، فتنغلق الأبواب أمامه في بكين وموسكو ويترنح الاتفاق النوويّ نحو السقوط، ويرتفع منسوب التصعيد في المنطقة.

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IRANIAN ROCKETS BECOME EVEN MORE POWERFUL AS ISRAEL LACKS OPTIONS TO CONTAIN TEHRAN INFLUENCE

South Front

Despite Israel’s best efforts, Iran’s influence and presence in the Middle East, and in Syria specifically is spreading.

One could blame that on the Biden administration’s halt in the “maximum pressure” campaign, but that influence was increasing even when Donald Trump sat in the White House.

Currently, Iran is furthering its interests and there is little to truly deter it.

On February 1st, Iran carried out its first successful missile launch since Joe Biden became president.

The missile is the Zuljanah, Iran’s newest domestic built satellite-carrying rocket. It is hailed as Tehran’s “most powerful rocket engine” and it can either carry a 220-kilogram satellite, or up to 10 smaller ones.

The Trump Administration, and also Israel have repeatedly accused Iran of using such tests as a way to develop capability for ballistic missiles with a nuclear warhead.

On the very same day, Iran also notified the US that it couldn’t simply rejoin the Nuclear Deal, that the sanctions had to go.

Currently, the Biden Administration appears to be considering its actions, and is not undertaking any further movements to antagonize Tehran.

This stillness is something Israel is discontent with, as it provides Iran and its proxies to operate rather freely.

Tel Aviv is likely feeling a sense of urgency, as even Hezbollah launched an anti-aircraft missile at its drone. That is a rare occurrence.

The Iron Dome was also recently updated and tested out against advanced drones and smaller missiles. That is something both Iran and its proxies are quite adequate at employing.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) arrested a shepherd who cross from Syria into soil occupied by Israel and was apprehended. Threats are all around, and the paranoia is growing.

The concern and need to dig in and protect its own is also apparent in the Juniper Falcon exercise that began on February 4th. It is a join cooperation between the IDF and US European Command.

The drill focuses on improving cooperation, and improving the joint ability to defend from external threats.

Defending both the Israeli and US interests in the Middle East from external threat may become reality sooner, rather than later.

One of the battlegrounds where the US-Israeli bloc feels itself threatened is Syria. On February 4th, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) announced that it had secured the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway. The next operation may take place in the Hama-Aleppo-Raqqa triangle.

The SAA, together with Russian aerial support, and likely some Iranian assistance are making progress.

When ISIS activity goes down, as a result of these operations, Israel will potentially need to be more careful in its raids and activities, because its adversaries may have their hands mostly untied.

Any neutral observer would easily notice that, currently, Iran and the Damascus government are achieving success in their endeavors. And that happens in spite of the actions of ISIS, Israel, Turkey and the US.

The Headless Chicken and the Bear

THE SAKER • FEBRUARY 9, 2021 

Introducing the headless chicken

The EU has a major problem: it is run by a comprador class which is entirely dependent on the United States. Okay, that by itself is not the problem I am referring to. The problem I am referring to is one we could call the problem of the decapitated chicken: a decapitated chicken can run without a head, but it sure does not know where it is running or why. This happens to all comprador classes when their beloved masters suddenly vanish. This is exactly what happened to the European ruling classes when Trump came to the White House: they “lost their head” and they began running all over the place, obviously achieving nothing. Now that the Neocons gave Trump the boot, the EU rulers are desperate to show the new US leaders that they only hated Trump, not the US, and what better way to show your complete submission than by barking at the Asiatic Mordor of the East known as “Russia”?

This latest PSYOP was apparently organized in the US last fall, while Trump was still in power, at least nominally. This makes sense, just like the huge “Patriot Act” was carefully prepared months, if not years before 9/11 happened. This time around, some US intelligence agency (probably the CIA) then passed the baby to the German BND which was supposed to act as an intermediary to give the US “plausible deniability”. The big problem is that the Germans apparently screwed things up, and the plan was a flop: the latest sacral victim failed to die (again!). As for Putin, he used his executive power to allow Navalnyi (who was on parole) to immediately fly to Germany for treatment as soon as the Russian medics stabilized him. From there on, everything went south and Navalnyi’s curators scrambled to save whatever could be saved.

They produced a movie about Putin’s palace in Crimea, only to have Russian reporters film the location and prove that this movie was a total fake. Then they sent Navalnyi back to Russia figuring that if the Russian authorities arrested him huge protests would follow or, alternatively, if the Russians did nothing, Navalnyi would be able to create chaos during an important election year in Russia. This resulted in another flop, not only were the crowds in Russia small, their behavior was deeply offensive and even frightening to most Russians who have seen enough Maidans and color revolutions to know how this stuff ends. As for Navalnyi, he was arrested immediately upon landing, and his parole was revoked.

Of course, all this was reported very differently in what I call Zone A, but while this made it possible for the authors of this PSYOP to conceal the magnitude of their failure, in the rest of the world and, especially, in Russia, it was pretty clear that this ridiculous buffoonery had failed. That outcome presented the EU headless chicken with a major problem: on one hand, we protest about “Putin murdering his own people with combat gasses” while on the other we are about to complete North Stream 2 (NS2), which we need to remain competitive; if we continue, we will lose NS2 and we will alienate Russia even further, but if we stop acting like an idiot on suicide watch, our overseas masters will make us pay. EU leaders obviously failed agree on a plan so, just like a headless chicken, they ran in all directions at the same time: they publicly protested, but also sent as top official, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, to try to appease the Russians. Borrell actually did a decent job trying to placate the Russians, but this time something went very wrong. Not only was Foreign Minister Lavrov very blunt in his public comments, the Russians also expelled 3 EU diplomats for participating in the demonstrations even while Borrell and Lavrov were talking. This is when the proverbial bovine excreta hit the fan, at least in EU whose “watchdog media” (here I use the term “watchdog” as meaning “immediately barking at anybody daring to stray from the official propaganda line”) went crazy and accused Borrell of caving in to the Russians. Some even demanded Borrell’s resignation. As for Borrell himself, he did what all western officials do after a visit to Moscow: he changed his tune as soon as he came back home. Finally, Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, added that “The task [of Borrell] was to carry out a public flogging, which, I think, they planned very carefully, it was a cascade of topics: talks about rallies, talks about journalists, and making [Alexey] Navalny the main theme of the discussion”. According to Zakharova, this plan failed because Russia insisted on discussing the “real issues“.

Interestingly, the Russians did not expel any US diplomats (at least not yet) in spite of the fact that these officials all agreed that the origin of the PSYOP was from overseas and in spite of the quasi-certainty that US officials must have been present, at least in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg protests. To its credit, the US embassy in Moscow did recommend to all US citizens that they stay away from illegal demonstrations. This is an ongoing crisis and by the time this analysis is posted, things might have changed dramatically. My purpose today is not to look at the US or the EU, but at what I believe is a major shift in Russian policy.

At this point, we should not see the expulsions of the 3 EU diplomats as anything more than just a “shot across the bow”, a way to indicate that the winds have changed. But these expulsions are not big enough to qualify as a real, painful, retaliation. Why?

Because the real slap in the collective face of the EU was the press conference of Lavrov and Borrell in which Lavrov was truly uniquely direct and candid. For example, Lavrov bluntly said ” We are proceeding from the assumption that the EU is not a reliable partner, at least at the current stage. I hope that in future strategic attention will be given to the EU’s fundamental interest in its closest neighbours and that the talks we have held today will promote movement to a more constructive trajectory. We are ready for this“.

Translated from diplospeak into plain English, this means 1) we are fed up with you and 2) we don’t need you.

This blunt statement is what triggered all the subsequent hysterics in Brussels about Borrell being ill treated by the Russians and Borrell’s subsequent declaration that “Russia does not want a constructive dialog” and that the EU must now decide if it still wants to get closer to Russia or if it wants to distance itself from a country slipping into authoritarianism.

In western parlance the degree of “democratism” or “authoritarianism” is solely defined by the willingness of a country to be a satrapy of the Empire. Under this definition, all sovereign countries are “dictatorships” and all AngloZionist satrapies are paragons of democracy.

Has the Russian bear had enough?

Just two weeks ago I wrote that With “Biden” in the White House, the Kremlin Now Needs to Change Gear and I believe that this is exactly what we are seeing today. Here is my evidence:

  • The tone of the Russian has changed and is much more direct and blunt
  • The fact that the three EU diplomats were expelled while Borrell was in Moscow was a very deliberate slap in the EU’s collective face
  • The tone of the Russian media has also changed, journalists and experts are all expressing their utter disgust with the EU and are calling for less words and more actions
  • The NS2 lobby in Russia (who advocated a policy of total non-confrontation at least until NS2 was completed) is rather absent from the public discourse. This might mean that this lobby has thrown in the towel or, alternatively, that the block I call “Eurasian sovereignists” does not consider NS2 as vital for Russia (they are correct, by the way) and that putting the squeeze on the EU is much more important (again, I agree with them here too).
  • The EU’s other anti-Russian vendetta, I am referring to the recent attempt at overthrowing Lukashenko, has also failed. However, this PSYOP was so rude and crude, and the EU acted with such arrogance that it really gave Russia no other option than to take action, not only by flying Tu-160s along the Belarussian border or by selling S-400s, but also by using highly symbolic diplomatic countermeasures.
  • The Russian Aerospace Forces (2 Su-24M, 2 Su-27s and 2 Su-30SM) have conducted mock missile strikes against USN ships as soon as they entered the southern waters of the Black Sea. Note: the same day Chinese aircraft conducted a mock attack on a US carrier in the Pacific.
  • Russia has now deployed both the Bal and even the formidable Bastion coastal missile defense systems. This, combined with the formidable capabilities of the Southern Military District and the Black Sea Fleet which turns the entire Black Sea into a shooting range and any hostile ship into an easy target for the Russians. Clearly, the Russians are fed up with the arrogance of the USN.
  • Defense Minister Shoigu has just announced a major increase in the production of high-precision and hypersonic weapons.

These are just a few examples of a much longer list of changes which are taking place before our eyes.

So far, the EU did not get the message at all. At least officially. But witnessing the infighting taking place not only over Borrell’s trip, but also about what to do about vaccines (The Lancet has just posted a major article entitled “Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine candidate appears safe and effective” which basically said that all the western nonsense about Sputnik-V being BOTH 1) unsafe AND 2) ineffective were lies) I can clearly see that the EU rulers are seriously worried. Right now it sure looks like the EU is losing the “COVID propaganda war” and that all these russophobic states (except the hardcore nutcases of 3B+PU) will have to now ask Russia for her vaccines. So far the only official EU reaction was to expel 3 Russian diplomats and somewhat protest. But these are clearly the opening shots of a much longer confrontation between Russia and the EU.

The crucial factor to consider here is this: while the aggregate power of the US+NATO+EU+5EYES is bigger than Russia’s, the mental paralysis of the EU leaders makes the EU alone already much weaker than Russia. Of course, since Biden’s administration is a who’s who of the most hysterical russophobes imaginable, chances are that the US will interfere and attempt to back the anti-Russian factions in the EU. Considering the tone used by Russian officials over the latest USN provocations in the Black Sea and the Sea of Japan, I don’t doubt the Kremlin’s determination to act both in words and with actions.

And then there are the subtle threats which the general public is rarely exposed to. The latest example is a highly specialized article entitled “Rationale for the combat use of aviation to disrupt an integrated massive air strike during a multi-domain operation of the enemy” which explains how Russia could disrupt and defeat a NATO attack. I won’t go into all the (very interesting) details here, but I will just say that the authors declare that Russia can go from a policy of deterrence by nuclear forces to a policy of (conventional) deterrence by having the means to “inflict comprehensive defeat (upon NATO countries) using all types of weapons within the deterrence of inflicting an unacceptable complex defeat on it with all types of weapons within the framework of preventive actions under the conditions of the danger of local war threatening the Russian Federation“. In truth, this is not the only Russian specialized article discussing the future of warfare, and what makes this one truly unique is that RT, of all places, decided to post an article about it entitled “Russian Air Force experts publish plan to neutralize NATO forces in all-out war with bombing strikes“. This really looks like the Kremlin wanted to make absolutely sure that western politicians (as opposed to western military analysts who read that stuff on a daily basis anyway) would think long and hard about what US military plans for NATO really would mean for the EU.

Then there is the outcome of the Polish military command staff exercise Winter-20 which resulted in, I kid you not, Russia completely defeating the Polish military in 5 days only! (For details, see herehere or here). Again, there is nothing really new here, the US and/or NATO have conducted plenty of exercises which had the “Russian hordes” defeating the “forces of democracy and progress”. And, again, the real difference was in the Russian coverage of this news: for the first time the Russians openly made fun of NATO and of the (always paranoid and insanely russophobic) Poles. In truth, the Russians always knew that the Polish military is as good on pompous ceremonies and parades as it is inept on the battlefield, but that kind of open contempt is something new, at least from the state supported media.

So far, the EU clearly is not coming to terms with this new reality. The latest (breathtakingly stupid) EU plan to try to scare “Putin” (here “Putin” is the collective Kremlin boogeyman, not necessarily VVP): Svetlana Tikhanovskaia has appealed to the wife of Navalnyi, Iulia, to become the “she president of Russia”. Yes, seriously. Iulia Navalnaia as President of Russia!

As for Navalnyi’s supporters in the EU, they have decided to create a Russian government in exile. Again, this is not a joke. By the way, the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of this “Russian Government in Exile”, Leonid Volkov, initially declared that the illegal riots should be halted, only to be told otherwise by his handlers. He immediately made a required 180 and declared that protests will resume. This is how Maria Zakharova bluntly, and very officially, reacted on Facebook to his “change of mind”: (minimally fixed machine translation)

NATO doubles down

On February 4, 2021, Volkov declared that the protests in Russia were canceled and will resume in the spring and summer. “We will not hold a rally next weekend…The wave of protest must end at a high point. Because if we continue to decline, it will be terribly demotivating and frustrating for everyone… We will prepare well and hold something big both in the spring and in the summer. We will never give up our demands.” Then, on February 9, 2021, Volkov changed his mind and announced that the campaign will continue in February. “We’ll make it much trickier” he added. What happened between February 4 and 9 and forced the “opposition” to radically change tactics? Everything is quite simple – on February 8, 2021, an online meeting with Volkov and Ashurkov took place at the Permanent Mission of Poland to the EU in Brussels, in which EU countries, the United States, and Britain took part. And in fact-this was a meeting of the NATO countries. The NATO members instructed the “opposition”, and in fact their agents of influence, how to continue “more cunning” to conduct subversive work. Too much money and resources have already been invested by the West in this story to wait until spring. They clearly understand: in the spring, the information campaign pumped up by Westerners will be blown away. They can no longer juggle the topic of “chemical weapons” without presenting the facts – they are pinned to the wall. So they double down.

As for Navalnyi and his supporters, Zakarova was even more direct, saying “stop calling them opposition, they are NATO agents!”.

As I have explained many times, western politicians double down not when they feel strong, they double down when they feel weak and when they place their hopes in the willingness of the other side not to seriously further escalate.

And, just to make sure that the Empire can win the battle for the “hearts and minds” of the Russian people, the Brits are now counting (again) on Pussy Riot to release a song in support of protests. Again, while this does sound like a joke, it is not.

Now comes the best part: there are a lot of signs that the EU will, again under the pious pretext of “solidarity” follow the 3B+PU politicians and, if not recognize such a government in exile, at least treat its members as real officials. That is also supposed to also terrify the Kremlin, I guess. But if that is the best the EU can come up with, VVP and the people of Russia, can sleep in peace.

So where do we go from here?

Making predictions is a tricky thing when dealing with both 1) countries with limited agency/sovereignty and 2) countries led by incompetent/delusional politicians. The many theories of deterrence out there all assume what is called a “rational actor” and a truly sovereign state. What is certain is that the Empire and its EU protectorates will only increase what I call “petty harassment measures” to try to offend and humiliate Russia (stuff like this crap). In response to such “ankle biting” Russia will do two things: drop any pretense of diplomacy and denounce these “ankle bites” for what they are (provocations) and further turn to Zone B (aka “reliable partners”) for partnerships. Russia will also bluntly spell out to the Europeans the risks they are taking with their ill-conceived sabre rattling along the Russian border. Sadly, this probably means that, just as the Chinese Navy recently, the Russian Aerospace Forces and Navies will have order to engage any aircraft or vessel threatening Russia (so far these are only rumors, but they are persistent and seem to have strong backing in the Duma). This is a very dangerous development as western politicians, being primarily ideological (and, therefore, delusional) creatures will always prefer to play a game of (headless) chicken hoping that the other guy will back down. The fact that the “other guy” (both Russian and Chinese) in the past did, indeed, back down and show restraint only further encourages western politicians to double down forever no matter what. For these reasons I would call the probability of an actual military clash between US/NATO and/or Russia/China as “likely in 2021”. As for the future of NS2, I always assumed that EU politicians can count their Euros and realize that the EU needs that project way more than Russia. Frankly, I am not so sure now: counting on the mental abilities of a headless chicken is probably not a good idea! Neither is counting on the courage of the type of politicians whom Boris Johnson once called “supine invertebrate protoplasmic jellies“.

It appears that Russia and the EU are on a direct collision course. Frankly, I welcome it, in spite of the obvious dangers. Why? Because nothing except a real confrontation can bring EU politicians down to the real world back from the La-La land they currently live in. The Russian bear needs to smack down the headless chicken. Hard.

SAA Kills and Injures 16 Turkestan Islamist Party Terrorists North of Hama

ARABI SOURI 

Turkestan Islamist Party terrorist group - Syria - الحزب الاسلامي التركستاني

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) killed and injured 16 terrorists of the Turkestan Islamist Party in the northwestern countryside of Hama, central Syria.

The army units spotted a group of anti-Islamic Turkestan Islamist Party terrorists in the Al-Ghab Valley heading to their makeshift posts to attack Syrian Army posts in the area and targeted them with a guided-missile.

Local sources confirmed the killing of 7 terrorists at least and the injury of 9 others at the time of writing this report.

Turkish Madman Erdogan imported tens of thousands of radical terrorists from regions where his Muslim Brotherhood global radicalization groups operate, mainly in Central Asian countries all the way to the Chinese Xingyang Province of Muslim majority. The Turkestan Islamist Party is one of the backbones of these terrorist groups the Turkish pariah Erdogan uses in his regional influence spreading which spans from west China to Germany and from the Caucasus to north and western African countries.

The Syrian Arab Army and the Russian Aerospace Forces have increased their levels of readiness recently and resumed targeting the posts of terrorist groups sponsored by Turkey and the USA in Idlib and Hama provinces especially after the latest deadly attacks by ISIS and its affiliates against buses in the region. In the past week, the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out successful strikes against command centers, tunnels, and weapons depots in northern Idlib countryside, while the SAA targeted terrorist gatherings in the southern countryside of the province.

Terrorist groups designated as such by the United Nations Security Council are not included in the Moscow, Astana, and Sochi ceasefire agreements in which the Turkish regime of Erdogan is a signatory and he has not only failed to meet his commitments as per these agreements for the past 2 years, he has instead beefed up the terrorist groups operating under his command in northern Syria regions and sent thousands of Turkish army soldiers to serve as human shields between his terrorists and the Syrian Army units on Syrian territories.

Worth noting that Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s secretary of state delisted the Turkistan Islamist Party from the US list of terrorist groups last November 2020, despite the UNSC maintaining them as one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations with terrorist activities in a number of countries.

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Related News

On the rockets that deprive Israeli leaders of sleep: Friedman’s letter to his “dear” Biden عن الصواريخ التي تَحرِم قادة إسرائيل من النوم: رسالة فريدمان إلى «عزيزه» بايدن

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

On the rockets that deprive Israeli leaders of sleep: Friedman’s letter to his “dear” Biden

Image result for وليد شرارة

ِAl-Akhbar

Walid Sharara

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The message from the American journalist, the Zionist ideologues, Thomas Friedman, deserves to be read closely.

Image result for Thomas Friedman and joe biden
“Dear Joe, it is no longer a matter of Iranian nuclear”

It is not similar to his articles and books, which are fraught with missionary ideology, which is associated with his personal convictions, which have been lied to by subsequent developments as a whole. He probably wishes to forget his untold narratives of “happy globalisation” and the positive and benefits it will bring to the peoples of all the world, which he has compiled in two books: “Lexus and the Olive Tree”, and “The World Is Flat”. This time, in a remarkable article entitled, “Dear Joe, it is no longer a matter of Iranian nuclear”, he does not speak of his whim. Friedman wanted to address the president-elect, an ardent supporter with close and historical ties to the Democratic Party, on behalf of Israel and its support system in the United States, not just the lobby, commissioned or without them. The article – The message is very clear and candid, reinforcing the conviction that the essence of the strategic battle between the U.S.-Israeli alliance and its allies in the region, and between the axis of resistance, and at the heart of it Iran, is the development of its specific missile capabilities and its allies’ help to do the same. Of course, the attempt to prevent Iran from developing scientifically and technologically, particularly in the nuclear field, and as a result of its independent political choices, is among the central objectives of the hostile alliance, as confirmed by the targeting of its scientists and nuclear facilities, but not the first target on its agenda. Precision missiles, or the “game-changer” as used in dozens of Israeli, U.S. and Western reports, are the number one priority on this scale, and are likely to remain so after Biden enters the White House.

If an Arab writer or expert dares to say that Iran’s missile program deprives Israeli military experts of sleep, it will be judged by the “armies of experts and analysts” Arab “realists” as a “media mouthpiece” of resistance. But they will not dare to treat their friend, and in an earlier era, their reference, Thomas Friedman, in the way he writes that “what some Israeli military experts will admit to you is that Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon is not what keeps them awake all night, because they don’t think Tehran will use it, because that would be suicide, and Iran’s religious leaders are not suicide bombers. What worries them is Iran’s new weapons, the precision missiles it used against Saudi Arabia, which continue to try to export them to its proxies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, posing a deadly threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and U.S. forces in the region.”

Image result for Abqaiq offensive

The Zionist-American theorist does not hesitate to describe the Abqaiq attack, which targeted Saudi oil industries with precision guided missiles and Drones, as he claims, which he accuses Iran of direct responsibility for, of “Pearl Harbor Middle East”, and believes that this region has been reconstituted by Iranian missiles and U.S., Israeli and Gulf responses to it. He concludes that the new U.S. president will face enormous pressure not to return to the nuclear deal as originally drafted, to include the missile program in negotiations with Iran, and to use the “power paper” represented by the harsh sanctions imposed on it to bind it by making concessions about it.

The missile program was not put under the microscope at the time of the signing of the nuclear agreement.


Perhaps it should be remembered that Iran’s missile program was not put under the microscope at the time of the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Image result for signing of the nuclear deal with Iran

To appreciate the position that the Obama administration used when it agreed to the original version of this agreement, it was assumed that Iran was suffering because of what looked like the international embargo that was being imposed around it at the time, that it was draining in Syria and Iraq, and that these conditions provided an opportunity to come to terms with it, and that it is not at its peak. However, the major changes that took place in the Syrian arena after the Russian intervention in September 2015, three months after the signing of the agreement, and the subsequent transfer of qualitative military and missile capabilities to Syria, and the Israeli and American attention to the accelerated development of the missile program in Iran, may be one of the most prominent factors explaining the slow lifting of sanctions stipulated in the agreement, and preventing western companies and institutions from opening up to this country and investing in it, because of warnings and pressure from the United States and sometimes public.

Image result for signing of the nuclear deal with Iran

It was these military, technological and field variables that led Donald Trump and his team to withdraw from the agreement and adopt “extreme pressures” against Tehran, without succeeding in halting the quantitative and qualitative growth of its missile arsenal and its allies. How will Biden and his administration deal with the “stubborn” and different realities that prevailed at the time of the signing of the nuclear deal? What is certain is that Israel’s balanced supporters in this team and beyond and in the various institutions of the U.S. state, i.e. the supporting system, will also stay up all night if they have to, to get the president-elect to be tough on Iran’s missile program, whose continued growth leads to a gradual shift in the balance of power to the detriment of Israel and U.S. hegemony in our region.

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عن الصواريخ التي تَحرِم قادة إسرائيل من النوم: رسالة فريدمان إلى «عزيزه» بايدن

Image result for وليد شرارة

الأخبار 

وليد شرارة 

الأربعاء 2 كانون الأول 2020

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الرسالة التي وَجّهها الصحافي الأميركي، الصهيوني العقائدي، توماس فريدمان، تستحقّ القراءة بتمعّن. هي لا تشبه مقالاته وكتبه المشحونة بأيديولوجيا تبشيرية، تشي بقناعاته الشخصية، التي كَذّبتها التطوّرات اللاحقة بمجملها. وغالب الظن أنه يتمنّى أن تُنسى سرديّاته المغفلة عن «العولمة السعيدة» وما ستحمله من إيجابيات وفوائد لشعوب العالم قاطبة، والتي جمعها في كتابين: «سيارة ليكسوس وشجرة الزيتون»، و«العالم مسطّح». هذه المرّة، وفي مقال بعنوان لافت، «عزيزي جو، لم يعد الأمر يتعلّق بالنووي الإيراني»، هو لا ينطق عن هواه. أراد فريدمان أن يخاطب الرئيس المنتخَب، وهو من مؤيّديه المتحمّسين ولديه علاقات وثيقة وتاريخية بالحزب الديمقراطي، نيابةً عن إسرائيل والمنظومة الداعمة لها في الولايات المتحدة، وليس مجرّد اللوبي، بتكليف منهما أو من دونه. المقال – الرسالة شديد الوضوح والصراحة، ويعزّز القناعة بأن جوهر المعركة الاستراتيجية الدائرة بين التحالف الأميركي – الإسرائيلي وأذنابه في المنطقة، وبين محور المقاومة، وفي القلب منه إيران، هو تطوير الأخيرة لقدراتها الصاروخية النوعية ومساعدتها حلفاءَها على القيام بالأمر عينه. بطبيعة الحال، فإن محاولة منع إيران من التطوّر علمياً وتكنولوجياً، خاصة في الميدان النووي، ونتيجة لخياراتها السياسية الاستقلالية، هي بين الأهداف المركزية للتحالف المعادي، وهو ما يؤكده استهداف علمائها ومنشآتها النووية، لكنه ليس الهدف الأول المدرَج على جدول أعماله. الصواريخ الدقيقة، أو «العامل المُغيِّر لقواعد اللعبة» حسب التعبير المستخدَم في عشرات التقارير الإسرائيلية والأميركية والغربية، هي الأولوية الأولى على هذا الجدول، ومن المرجّح أن تبقى كذلك بعد دخول بايدن إلى البيت الأبيض.

لو تَجرّأ كاتب أو خبير عربي على القول إن البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني يَحرم الخبراء العسكريين الإسرائيليين من النوم، لانهال عليه التقريظ والتسخيف من قِبَل «جيوش الخبراء والمحلّلين» العرب «الواقعيين»، باعتباره «بوقاً إعلامياً» للممانعة. لكنّ هؤلاء لن يتجرّأوا على معاملة صديقهم، وفي حقبة سابقة مرجعهم، توماس فريدمان، بالطريقة إيّاها عندما يكتب أن «ما سيعترف به أمامكم بعض الخبراء العسكريين الإسرائيليين هو أن امتلاك إيران لسلاح نووي ليس ما يُبقيهم مستيقظين طيلة الليل، لأنهم لا يعتقدون أن طهران ستستخدمه، لأن ذلك سيكون انتحاراً، والزعماء الدينيون في إيران ليسوا انتحاريين. ما يُقلقهم هو أسلحة إيران الجديدة المفضّلة، أي الصواريخ الدقيقة التي استخدمتها ضدّ السعودية، والتي تواصل محاولة تصديرها إلى وكلائها في لبنان واليمن وسوريا والعراق، ما يشكّل تهديداً قاتلاً لإسرائيل والسعودية والإمارات والقوات الأميركية في المنطقة».

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لا يَتردّد المنظّر الصهيوني – الأميركي في وصف هجوم أبقيق، الذي استهدف صناعات النفط السعودية بصواريخ مُوجّهة دقيقة ومسيّرات، وفقاً لزعمه، والذي يتّهم إيران بالمسؤولية المباشرة عنه، بـ«بيرل هاربر الشرق الأوسط»، ويرى أن هذه المنطقة أعيد تشكيلها من خلال الصواريخ الإيرانية والردود الأميركية والإسرائيلية والخليجية عليها. هو يَخلُص إلى أن الرئيس الأميركي الجديد سيواجه ضغوطاً هائلة لعدم العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي بصيغته الأصلية، ولإدراج البرنامج الصاروخي في المفاوضات مع إيران، وتوظيف «ورقة القوة» التي تُمثّلها العقوبات القاسية المفروضة عليها لإلزامها بتقديم تنازلات حوله.

البرنامج الصاروخي لم يكن قد وُضع تحت المجهر إبّان فترة التوقيع على الاتفاق النووي


ربّما ينبغي التذكير بأن البرنامج الصاروخي الإيراني لم يكن قد وُضع تحت المجهر في الفترة التي تمّ التوقيع خلالها على الاتفاق النووي مع إيران.

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تقدير الموقف الذي استندت إليه إدارة باراك أوباما عندما وافقت على الصيغة الأصلية لهذا الاتفاق، كان يَفترض أن إيران تعاني بسبب ما يشبه الحصار الدولي المضروب حولها آنذاك، وأنها تُستنزف في سوريا والعراق، وأن هذه الظروف تُوفّر فرصة سانحة للتفاهم معها، وهي ليست في أوج قوتها. غير أن المتغيّرات الكبرى التي شهدتها الساحة السورية بعد التدخل الروسي في أيلول/ سبتمبر 2015، أي 3 أشهر بعد توقيع الاتفاق، وما تلاها من عملية نقل لقدرات عسكرية وصاروخية نوعية إلى سوريا، والالتفات الإسرائيلي والأميركي إلى تسارع تطوير البرنامج الصاروخي في إيران، قد تكون من أبرز العوامل التي تُفسّر تباطؤ رفع العقوبات التي نصّ عليها الاتفاق، والحؤول دون قيام شركات ومؤسسات غربية وغير غربية بالانفتاح على هذا البلد والاستثمار فيه، بسبب تحذيرات وضغوط أميركية مبطّنة وأحياناً علنية.

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هذه المتغيّرات العسكرية والتكنولوجية والميدانية هي التي حدت بدونالد ترامب وفريقه إلى الانسحاب من الاتفاق واعتماد «الضغوط القصوى» ضدّ طهران، من دون النجاح في وقف النموّ الكمّي والنوعي للترسانة الصاروخية لديها ولدى حلفائها. كيف سيتعامل بايدن وإدارته مع الوقائع «العنيدة» والمغايرة لتلك التي سادت في فترة توقيع الاتفاق النووي؟ المؤكد هو أن أنصار إسرائيل الوازنين في هذا الفريق وخارجه وفي مختلف مؤسسات الدولة الأميركية، أي المنظومة الداعمة لها، سيبقون بدورهم مستيقظين طيلة الليل إن اضطرّوا لذلك، لحمل الرئيس المنتخَب على التشدّد حيال برنامج إيران الصاروخي، الذي يفضي نموّه المستمرّ إلى تحوّل تدريجي في موازين القوى لغير مصلحة إسرائيل والهيمنة الأميركية في منطقتنا.

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The 1776 Commission Repor

31 January 2021)

by Lawrence Davidson

About me
Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history from West Chester University in West Chester PA. His academic research focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He taught courses in Middle East history, the history of science and modern European intellectual history. He has been publishing his analyses of topics in U.S. domestic and foreign policy, international and humanitarian law and Israel/Zionist practices and policies since 2010.

Part I—National Ideals

One of Donald Trump’s efforts to restructure, or maybe de-structure, the U.S. was the establishment of a 1776 Commission. Its job was to recast American history in an extravagantly patriotic fashion so as to assert U.S. exceptionalism. There is a Platonic correlate to this: the ideal is more real than the actual. Thus, ideals laid down in the nation’s founding documents are presented as more real, more instructive, than actual policies of U.S. national and state governments, and the behavior of their citizens.

The actual Donald Trump, of course, does not care about history, of which he knows little. Maybe that is why he did not bother to put any professional historians of U.S. history on the commission. But as president, he knew who his allies were, and if they wanted to prioritize myth and canonize ideals, it was all right with him. And so the major premise of the 1776 Report is that the United States was founded upon, and remains an expression of, “universal and eternal principles.” For instance, the Declaration of Independence’s assertion “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” would be one such.

As far as the report’s authors are concerned, these basic yet universal “founding principles” of the nation should be front and center in the teaching of national history. The authors are angered by the fact that, in their eyes, this is not being done. Quite the opposite. They believe that what is being taught are the shortfalls from such eternal ideals. How is that a problem? Well, to dwell on the actual, inequitable and often unjust national behavior of Americans is to undermine the unity of the nation and bring low its image. And, for the 1776 Report authors, that is not what education is all about.

Part II—Education

The authors of the 1776 Report believe that “the primary duties of schools are twofold: 1. teach students “practical wisdom.” That is, teach “the basic skills needed to function in society, such as reading, writing, and mathematics.” In other words, education should prepare the student for the job market. This has actually been a recognized goal of schooling since children ceased following in the careers of their parents and home-learned skills consequently no longer sufficed.

Then there is the other “essential” goal of schools: 2. the passing on of “transcendent knowledge.” This too is a
long-recognized goal which, the report says, was endorsed by the founding fathers of the nation. “Educators must convey a sense of enlightened patriotism that equips each generation with a knowledge of America’s founding principles, a deep reverence for their liberties, and a profound love of their country.” Put the two educational goals together and you get the transmission of “transcendent knowledge and practical wisdom that had been passed down for generations and which aimed to develop the character and intellect of the student.”

For the authors, all of this sums to nothing less than “teaching the truth about America.” To be clear, the authors of the report do not want us to so much ignore “the faults of our past” as to “stand up to the petty tyrants in every sphere who demand that we speak only of America’s sins while denying her greatness.” It should be noted that the authors do not address the problem that for those born and bred in poverty, say either in Harlem or Appalachia, the nation’s greatness might not be so real.

Part III—Universal and Eternal Tenets?

The report’s repeated use of the words “universal and eternal,” along with “transcendent,” in describing the founding documents of the United States, transforms those documents into sacred texts existing beyond critique. To use such “eternal” references as teaching points—as necessary attributes of what is really “true” about the United States—is to trade history for a semi-religious faith. Granted, this sort of substitution is not original to American conservatives. However, in this case, one gets a strong impression upon reading the 1776 Report that the hidden message is the cultural and religious superiority of a white Christian version of America.

You don’t have to be a professional historian to recognize that there is no perfection in human history, America’s or anybody else’s. There are no eternal and universal tenets, either, when seen in the light of actual historical events. For example, the alleged “eternal and universal” rights to “liberty and happiness” had not been recognized, at least not formally, in thousands of years of human history prior to 1776, and even then, in the emerging United States, they proved immediately unachievable.

As the report concedes, the “eternal” principle cited above from the Declaration of Independence had to be set aside in 1776 just to keep the thirteen confederated American states together. That was done specifically in reference to slavery. The founding fathers were able to find the necessary escape clause in another, more pragmatic, but still semi-sacred principle that the government should be based on the consent of the governed. It turned out that a lot of the (white) governed favored slavery.

It is in this way that the 1776 Report gets off on an illogical and ahistorical foot. Its authors confuse “transcendent” things wished for with things as they have historically been and continue to be. They can do this because, in the end, they believe in the following Platonic-like maxim: “We must first avoid an all-too-common mistake. It is wrong to think of history by itself as the standard for judgment. The standard is set by focusing on unchanging principles that transcend history.”

Part IV—Progressive Enemies

Who actually believes that we should make judgments on the basis of actual history while ignoring the “the unchanging principles” that supposedly “transcend history”? It turns to be the same “petty tyrants” who “speak only of America’s sins while denying her greatness.” Specifically, the 1776 Report points to “progressive reformers” who are also mixed together with “activists of identity politics.” But aren’t these the folks who demand change so that the United States might more closely conform to its ideals? Not according to those who say history is not a good standard for judgment.

For the report’s authors the progressive reformers’ approach is just a hunt for someone to blame for social ills. And the hunt divides Americans into “oppressed and oppressor groups.” As an aside, one might point out that long-term injustice resulting from institutionalized social ills inevitably does the same thing. The report claims that the real aim of the progressives is to make the original oppressed into new oppressors, and the former oppressors into new oppressed. While one can imagine such a flip taking place against the backdrop of revolutionary upheaval, to assign such a reversal to “progressive reformers,” most of whom seek not revolution but rather policy reforms, is gross exaggeration.

If the report’s authors are afraid of reform, what do they have to offer in its place? As best I can make out, they want us all to be patient and nice to each other because the “American people have ever pursued freedom and justice, though not perfectly.” If we really have faith in the nation’s “eternal and universal” ideals, things should work out in the end. What if this seems to take forever? Well, it might be that the imperfection has no real cure and so it must be accepted and lived with lest attempts at reform lead to the destruction of society—echos of Edmund Burke.

Part V—Other Problems

There are other problems with the report. Here are just some of them:

—The report tells us that for a republic to endure, the people must “share a commonality in manners, customs, language and dedication to the common good.” But, of course, the United States has never been such a place. It has always been a land of immigrants with a constant underpinning of many manners, customs and languages. As for the common good, there has never been any agreement on that. While the report claims that “the Constitution has proven sturdy against narrow interest groups,” this is simply inaccurate. The nation’s governing practices rest on a longstanding, if often corrupt, foundation of interest group politics.

— The report’s authors make the common historical mistake of pointing fingers at the British crown, that is, King George III, for the “tyranny” to which the colonies were allegedly subjected. But in 1776, for all practical purposes, the king did not make policy for the British Empire. Parliament did that. The founding fathers decided it would be too awkward to blame a representative body, somewhat similar to the one they were going to create, of the crime of “tyranny.” So they blamed the monarch.

—Then there is the ahistorical assertion that “the world is still and always will be divided into nations.” Gee whizz! What about all those multicultural empires both of the past and present? What of the constant fluctuation of boundaries? Look at all the peoples once encapsulated within the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, or more recently the Soviet Union and China.

—Finally, there is the problematic statement, “the right to keep and bear arms is required by the natural and fundamental right to life.” Well, perhaps, if we were all living in a Hobbesian jungle. This, along with praise for the anti-abortion cause, certainly confirms where on the political spectrum the authors of the 1776 Report are coming from.

Part VI—Conclusion

There has been much criticism of the 1776 Commission and its conclusions. Newly elected President Joe Biden did away with the commission on his first day in office and removed its report from government websites. His spokesperson observed that it “erased” America’s history of racial injustice. Well, perhaps it hadn’t erase it, but it certainly equivocated about it.

It should be noted that some of this criticism was nearly as naive as the report’s conclusions. For instance, David Blight, a Civil War historian from Yale, said that the report was “an insult to the whole enterprise of education” which “is supposed to help young people to learn to think critically.” Perhaps that is Professor Blight’s educational purpose, and all the more power to him. However, both historically and contemporaneously, the “enterprise of education” has never given more than lip-service to such a goal. Maybe this is because independent and critically thinking kids scare their parents.

Finally, as an indicator of the nation’s deep divide, both supporters and opponents of the report accused the other of coming from “ideologically driven positions” and aiming at producing “political propaganda.” Such mutual recriminations are by now part and parcel of a larger social civil war.

US House: Trump Singularly Responsible for Capitol Assault, Should Be Convicted

US House: Trump Singularly Responsible for Capitol Assault, Should Be Convicted

By Staff, Agencies

The House of Representatives impeachment managers have filed a lengthy pretrial brief, saying former President Donald Trump was “singularly responsible” for the assault on the Capitol last month and that he should be convicted.

The House impeached the ex-president over his role in the invasion on January 6 that left five people dead, including a member of law enforcement.

Trump was blamed for inciting an insurrection when the lawmakers were busy certifying the victory of Joe Biden in the November 3 election.

The House introduced an article of impeachment to the Senate late last month.

In an 80-page brief filed on Tuesday, the impeachment managers – nine House Democrats led by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin –  outlined the arguments they planned to make when the Senate trial opens next week, arguing that Trump should be barred from holding public office.

“President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election,” the House brief reads.

“The framers of the Constitution feared a president who would corrupt his office by sparing ‘no efforts or means whatever to get himself re-elected,’” wrote the nine House Democrats, quoting directly from the 1787 debate in Philadelphia.

“If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a joint session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team responded to the charges against him, arguing that the Senate “lacks jurisdiction” to try a former president.

“The Senate of the United States lacks jurisdiction over the 45th president because he holds no public office from which he can be removed, rendering the article of impeachment moot and a non-justiciable question,” the lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen, wrote in their 14-page response.

The lawyers also asserted that Trump believed he “won it by a landslide,” and, thus, was within his First Amendment rights to “express his belief that the election results were suspect.”

Trump had told his supporters, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” His lawyers, however, said such remarks were not meant as a call to violent action, but were “about the need to fight for election security in general.”

Trump’s assertions about the election results could not be disproved, the lawyers added, because there was “insufficient evidence.”

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The Biden doctrine, the return of empires and the European paradox

The Biden doctrine, the return of empires and the European paradox

February 01, 2021

By Fabio Reis Vianna for the Saker Blog

At the end of the tragic year 2020, Jake Sullivan launched a tweet urging Europeans to act together in the face of “China’s worrying economic behavior.”

Today’s National Security Advisor to the newly sworn-in Democratic administration thus gave the first signs of what the Joe Biden administration would look like to the traditional allies of the United States.

Sullivan’s words not only confirm the use of Twitter as an efficient and routine diplomatic instrument of global scope, but also inaugurate the rhetoric that should shape what some analysts already call the Biden Doctrine.

The aggressive attitude of the Trump administration, which in the end revealed itself concretely in pure rhetoric – since surprisingly Trump, in his own words, was the first president in “decades” that did not initiate “new wars” – was certainly not a point out of the curve in the impositive conduct and with imperial bias that the United States has been deepening uninterruptedly since 1991.

Having been the first demonstration of military and technological power of the new unipolar liberal order born of the iron curtain debris, the first Gulf War could be considered the inaugural staging of the U.S. path toward a global military empire.

An absolutely unnecessary war against a defenseless enemy that served only as a parameter setter; the institution of a coercive power based on the control of a feeling that paralyzes anyone who dares to challenge this power: fear.

The control of fear, or the principle of limit, represented above all a warning to the rest of the world that the winner of the cold war, who paradoxically was won without a (hot) war, will not admit to being challenged under any circumstances.

The national security strategy of 2017, as if in a written confession, only outlined and made official what in practice had been happening and deepening since that fateful war of 1991.

In practice, the 2017 national security strategy is a more forceful warning to emerging and “revisionist” powers, especially Russia and China, that the model of global governance regulated by the liberal international order – in force throughout the postwar period – is over. Welcome to the old Westphalian order.

In this new (old) scenario of permanent competition among sovereign states, the United States therefore assumes, without subterfuge, that its own national interest will guide its actions. And if necessary with the use of force.

Biden’s own economic strategy seems to imply a continuation of the nationalist line initiated in the Trump administration, even if a softer rhetoric and democratic style is being rehearsed.

Realizing where the wind is blowing – even if late and at the end of her term – Angela Merkel rushed to demonstrate to Beijing the concrete European interest in concluding the comprehensive investment agreement as soon as possible.

Sniffing the opportunity, Xi Jinping ends up facilitating the agreement by giving in to a series of very expensive concessions to the European interest, mainly the one concerning the non obligatory technology transfer by European companies that will settle in China.

Most likely the Chinese leader sought to take advantage of the transition period to anticipate the agreement before Joe Biden actually took the presidential seat.

A wake-up call to Chinese and European leaders may have been the document signed by Jake Sullivan himself entitled “Making U.S. Foreign Policy Work Better for the Middle Class.

The document published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace practically anticipates the economic bias of the strategy to be followed by the Biden administration.

It is an ode to the reconstruction of the post-Pandemic American economy with a focus on the national interest, and is in fact a continuation of Trump’s sovereignist policy, but with tones more to the left.

Thus, those who think that the Biden doctrine will be a resumption of the economic liberalism of the Democratic governments that preceded it are mistaken; on the contrary, everything leads us to believe that the erratic way in which the United States has dealt domestically in containing the pandemic – which has drastically affected its role as global leader – will lead to an aggressive reaction not only in economic terms, but especially in military terms.

It is undeniable that the leadership vacuum generated by American incompetence in fighting the pandemic has accelerated an increase in rivalries and competition in the world system.

An increase in the escalation of military tensions that has already been observed in several regions of the planet and has accelerated dramatically with the advent of the plague.

The resurgence of ancient empires such as China, India, Turkey and Russia itself – which, using the same mechanisms of the power game invented by Westerners, has shown impressive strength and resilience during the pandemic crisis – seems to have raised the alarm even from old Europe.

De facto inventors of the world system in place since their small national states began the expansive adventure about five hundred years ago, Europeans are now at a real existential crossroads.

What allowed the expansion out of these small and bellicose territories was precisely the violent internal competition between them, which even prevented Europe from becoming a unified empire.

Time and destiny ironically come to throw the weight of this new era of empires into the lap of a Europe more divided than ever.

Most likely aware of the challenges ahead, Angela Merkel affirmed last January 26 in Davos the importance of the pandemic as a test “of the resilience of our systems and societies” and that “our vulnerability has become obvious.

Europe’s paradox is that without a peaceful, strong and unified EU, it will lag behind. But the strength that has always allowed Europe to accumulate power and wealth over centuries has been precisely this chaotic machine of war, violence and internal competition.


Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws (LL.B), MA student in International Relations at the University of Évora (Portugal), writer and geopolitical analyst. He currently maintains a column on international politics at the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

A Brief Examination of Some Facts Related to Mass Vaccination

 BY GILAD ATZMON

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By Gilad Atzmon

The case of Israel, leading the world by far in the mass vaccination contest, doesn’t leave much maneuvering room for skeptics. Since Israel launched its vast vaccination campaign in December, it has been witnessing an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths. By now, the British Mutant has become Israel’s dominant COVID strain. Israel’s health system is on the brink of collapse.

In my article Guinea Pigs United I pointed out that the rise in cases and deaths correlates with the distribution of vaccines. In Israel, the Orthodox Jewish communities that were vaccinated en masse saw COVID cases rise 16-fold, while Israeli Arabs who at large refrained from vaccination saw numbers of COVID cases dropping sharply.

But Israel is not alone. Some other states have followed a similar path and their situation is becoming as catastrophic as the crisis we witness in the Jewish State. 

I would have loved to believe that it is not too late for Britain to postpone the current mass vaccination campaign and closely examine the possible correlation between mass vaccination and mutants.  For those who wonder, I am not against vaccines or modern medical practices, but I do contend that before a nation decides to inject a new substance into its muscle, it may want to verify what this substance is and what are the exact implications involved. It is crucial to verify, for instance, whether the rise in lethal mutations that we have seen in Britain is related to mass vaccination and the vaccine trials that have been taking place in the kingdom since the summer.  The rapid change in the age of COVID-19 cases which we see in Israel and Britain also correlates with mass vaccination. Do we know what are the implications of vaccines on pregnant women or embryos?

It is hardly a secret that those who seem to be enthusiastic about the vaccines are also claiming to be in favour of ‘good science’ or even ‘real’ science as they often refer to it. The statistical facts that are related to mass vaccination are not very promising. Examining the situation in the countries that are engaged in mass vaccination such as Israel, Britain, the USA and the UAE reveal that these countries witnessed a clear decline in COVID cases and deaths during late November and early December. However, just a few days after those countries launched their vaccination campaigns, the numbers of COVID cases and consequently deaths went through the roof.

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 In comparison, you should also examine the case of Britain’s neighbours such as France, Belgium and Holland. Those countries are subject to similar climate, urban conditions, and demography, yet COVID’s curve in these countries is completely the opposite: COVID deaths and cases that were in decline since mid-November, early December are still dropping until now.  None of these countries saw a sharp rise in cases, let alone deaths, in the given period (December, January).

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 As I was writing these lines I was informed that Portugal is also facing a COVID crisis. A brief examination of its latest data reveals that its COVID curve is identical to Britain and Israel. I obviously assumed that the current sharp rise in COVID cases is somehow related to the vaccine. A quick internet check revealed that Portugal started its mass vaccination campaign on 27 December. As you can see in the graph below, until that date the numbers of COVID cases per day were in clear decline. Yet, 3 days after the mass vaccination campaign started the numbers of cases started to grow exponentially. Portugal’s health system is now on the verge of collapse. Its situation is identical with other countries that favoured the mass vaccination path. 

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On Optimism

 Both British and Israeli governments report almost once a day about some ‘positive signs’ that may suggest that the ‘end of the pandemic’ is just behind the corner. These news are usually supported by claims about a ‘decline in cases.’ Needless to mention that reports on the ground usually contradict these optimistic suggestions.  But since we are in a scientific mode, let’s examine the ‘statistics.’

 A quick glance at British and Israeli ‘numbers’ reveal that the numbers of new cases in late January are in sharp decline, and this seems to be positive news,  yet the number of daily deaths keep climbing. This is very worrying.

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However, a quick examination of other European and Middle Eastern COVID statistics in countries such as Austria, France, Germany and Jordan reveals that the graphs representing numbers of new cases and daily deaths are almost identical in shape. How do we then explain the peculiar anomaly that is reported in Israel and Britain: a ‘decline’ in cases on the one hand, a sharp exponential rise in deaths on the other?

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 One (clumsy) possible explanation is that in the mass vaccinated countries less people are contracting COVID, yet for those who do the virus is far deadlier. This would mean that that if the vaccine is producing some positive results for the vaccinated (such as immunity), the general impact on the whole of society is pretty devastating, the number of deaths is growing rapidly.

 Another explanation which I believe is far more likely is that both the British and Israeli governments are conducting less tests. This obviously leads to a reduction in the number of new verified cases. It may look good in the Guardian or the Jewish Chronicle’s headlines but unfortunately it doesn’t stop the disease or its lethal impact.  

 In Israel, mass vaccination was Bibi’s genius political ploy, except that it didn’t work very well (so far). It is more than likely that Trump also gambled on a vaccine being approved ahead of the election.  As we know, Pfizer actually announced its ‘success’ very soon after the election. Needless to mention that Boris Johnson shares one or two features with Bibi and Trump.  It is more than likely that in the USA, Israel and Britain, mass vaccination was unleashed as a political tool. Peculiarly, it is the progressive and leftist crowds who are most enthusiastic about the vaccines delivered to them by the most outlandish right wing political icons of our time.

What is it that drives certain nations to morph into testing grounds with some possible grave implications? What is it that drives some nations to the vaccine yet pushes others to be vigilant and suspicious? I will try to address these crucial questions in my next paper.

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Munich-esque Davos

January 31, 2021

Munich-esque Davos

Rostislav Ishchenko – Crossposted with permission from Stalker Zone

Vladimir Putin’s speech, delivered in the format of remote participation in the annual Davos forum, is already being actively compared with his Munich speech of 2007.

Well, there is something in common. It is about the same general as between Stalin’s “Brothers and Sisters!” in 1941 and the toast “To the great Russian people!” in 1945.

The Munich Speech of 2007 stated Russia’s acceptance of the challenge posed by the west. We didn’t attack, we were attacked. We offered peace, but the enemy chose war. We are not going to capitulate, we will win the war. We suggest, before it’s too late, to come to your senses and stop the aggression. The Emperor Aleksandr the Blessed conveyed similar words to Napoleon through the Adjutant-General Balashov in June 1812, adding that if necessary, he would retreat to Kamchatka, but would not lay down his weapons as long as at least one enemy was on Russian soil.

So Putin’s Munich speech is evidence of Russia’s entry into a new (hybrid, informational) Patriotic War. And here is his Davos speech – summing up the results of this war. A kind of new Yalta (the Yalta Conference also took place before Germany finally capitulated).

The people who came up with this move and worked on organising the speech of the President of Russia at the Davos Forum in 2021 should be given the hero of Russia title in full force. It’s also possible to erect a monument. Thanks to their efforts, unlike Yalta in 1945, today Russia has found itself at the origins of a new post-war world in the singular, without any allies/competitors. At the same time, the same China can not be offended — no one has removed it. Somehow it just happened. And its interests are not being violated.

Let’s look at the Davos speech from the point of view of diplomatic art.

Everyone knows that the Davos Forum is a gathering of the global financial and industrial elite, people who have a significant, and sometimes decisive, influence on the policies of their (and sometimes neighboring) states. Politicians, even the most prominent ones, serve only as a condiment there. Their presence is evidence of the importance of the non-political part of the guests. Those who speak from the stage mean much less there than those who are silent and listen on the sidelines. In addition, in terms of information, any speech will be blocked by a dozen others, blocked in a panel discussion. The journalists present at the forum are more interested in showing their own importance by interviewing at least a minor oligarch (Ukrainian, for example, from year to year discuss the colour of dumplings and the size of portions at Pinchuk‘s “Ukrainian Breakfast”, without being distracted by anything else). In general, it is almost impossible to give a speech on this platform an appropriate political and informational sound.

That is why Putin did not go to Davos for 12 years — there was no need.

It was then that the coronavirus pandemic came, which forced the forum to be held remotely. As a result, a huge number of narcissistic peacocks, who previously proudly wore their shiny tails on the sidelines of the forum, remained at home. On Skype, you can’t take a picture against the background of someone from the powerful of this world and you can’t exchange a few words with anyone during a coffee break. The forum was almost forgotten.

But it didn’t die. Its organisers did not want to chop up the chicken that lays the golden eggs, because of some pandemic. If the motley retinue that gave the picture is cut off, and there are only a few dozen people who really make serious decisions, then the problem lies only behind the topic that would captivate everyone so much that it would put the forum held on Skype at the centre of the world information agenda.

Nothing could be better than Putin’s speech to solve this problem.

Firstly, as a result of the crisis in the US, it became obvious even to the deepest skeptics that Washington had lost its leadership in the modern world. Moreover, the Biden coup made the US a pillar of the liberal left and a threat to right-wing conservative forces around the world. The right-wing conservative traditionalist Trump, considered by western conservatives as a potential leader, has been knocked out of politics for a long time, if not forever. At best, he will be able to return to American politics after some time, but he is still far from returning to global politics.

Secondly, there is also no leader among European politicians capable of leading the right-conservative resistance to the left-liberal globalists. Merkel herself is a liberal (though pragmatic), and is also retiring. Macron is ambitious, but he works in the style of “both yours and ours”, he can not be trusted — at any time he can go to the other side. The rest neither came out in caliber, nor the countries they represent can claim to be a leader.

Thirdly, Xi Jinping in China is certainly a conservative leader in Asia, but due to the huge cultural and historical differences, he cannot claim leadership in Europe.

Putin in Davos came to a popular position in the conditions of a complete absence of competitors. It is designed for the world’s financial and industrial elite, was the only offer of a “bright future”, which should come after the final demolition of the American-centric system (and for this reason it turned out to be the number one information topic of the week that no one can ignore).

Putin elegantly demonstrated the inevitability of its final disintegration with a few figures, which showed that while over the past 15-20 years the number of poor people (living on less than $5 a day) in the US has increased by 1.5-fold, in China the number of such people has decreased by 4-fold, and in Russia – 12-fold. At the same time, in Russia today the number of people living on less than $5 a day is already less than in the US.

For people who are used to buying and selling, who know well what the purchasing power of the population is, who are able to calculate processes in dynamics, these figures are a verdict for the US. Moreover, they already know that in military terms, Russia has also overtaken the west forever. The US and Europe do not have the technology to catch up with Moscow in the field of weapons, and there are no resources to develop such technologies in the next decade.

I.e., on the computer screens of about 100 of the most influential people on the planet, the president of Russia appears and offers a model of a new post-American world without an alternative (in the absence of at least some competitor). Putin points out that the loose liberal leftists pose a threat to any statehood, and gently unobtrusively hints that Russia will not just fight this, but is also ready to lead an alliance of healthy conservative forces around the world, ensuring the protection of national statehood from the encroachments of TNCs.

To the natural question in return, without waiting for it to be asked, Putin explains that no one is going to demolish the system to the ground, just in the conditions of a severe systemic crisis, the role of the state in economic life should be strengthened. The state is not going to replace a private initiative. It only plans to smooth out the rough edges and make sure that the private pursuit of profit maximisation does not conflict with public interests and conservative values. What remains behind the scenes is that it is the Russian state that should become the guarantor and leader of this process.

Another unasked question, “How to defeat the left-liberal destroyers of the state in the interests of the transnational financial oligarchy?” was answered on January 23rd and in the following days on the streets of Russian cities. Without excessive violence, without totalitarian prohibitions, but also without liberalism with outright hooliganism. Those who can be negotiated with — an agreement will be made. And those leopards who will change their spots will be jailed (but alive). In general, against the background of what is happening in the world (from Belarus to the US), Russian protective measures are indeed the softest, but at the same time the most effective.

In general, for the global money that really wants to work within the framework of a classical market economy, which doesn’t want to wait for the “golden billion” to turn into a “golden million”, then into a “golden thousand”, and then into a gang of crazy bankers fighting on the ruins of the planet, Putin proposed a way out of the crisis, drew the outline of the “post-Yalta world” (guaranteed by Russian power) and suggested that we begin discussing its final format.

And look, 80 people from among the most influential people on the planet did not laugh in Putin’s face, as it was in 2007 in Munich, and without noise and dust immediately after his open speech signed up for a closed conference with him.

Honest liberals and ordinary urban lunatics can laugh quite sincerely and free of charge at the claims (and evidence) of Russian power and global authority. This queue of those who run the global economy for a private meeting with Putin is the best evidence that what seemed incredible yesterday has become obvious today. Russia has put the terms of a new world on the table. And the world reached out to discuss these conditions.

Finally, once again, I want to draw your attention to the inconspicuous feat of the people who prepared this speech of Putin. In terms of scale and impact on historical processes, this is steeper than the Battles of Stalingrad and Kursk combined. In addition, the victory was achieved with little blood and on foreign territory. The effect of the bomb explosion is achieved by surprise. This is already the corporate identity of Russia. Putin’s speech in Munich was sudden, and the crushing defeat of the presumptuous Saakashvili regime in August 2008 was sudden. The return of Crimea was sudden. And now the same sudden Davos.

The late Viktor Stepanovich Chernomyrdin would have remarked with satisfaction: “This has never happened before, and here it is again!”

Problems of the new US foreign policy (3) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (3)

Problems of the new US foreign policy

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Researcher, political economist and former Secretary-General of the Arab National Congress

Ziad Hafz

Part 3:  Relationship File With the Islamic Republic of Iran

The cornerstone of the Biden administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East is the Iranian nuclear file. President Biden’s remarks during the campaign indicate a desire to return to the agreement.  But Iran’s nuclear file is becoming more and more complicated. President Biden’s remarks about a return to the Iran deal mean nothing if the lifting of sanctions, at least those imposed in the Obama administration,does not go hand in hand.  But the question is, can the president-elect lift sanctions? The positions in favour of the Zionist entity of the U.S. president and his Zionist foreign policy team make it easier to imagine any leniency with the Islamic Republic that does not go beyond verbal retreat without any consequences in terms of sanctions, said Director of National Intelligence Avril Heinz.

In this context, there are two types of sanctions:  the sanctions that were imposed before the agreement and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. It should be noted that the sanctions imposed before the agreement were not lifted by the Obama administration after the agreement was signed.  All I did was free up some frozen money. This situation would not have bothered the Islamic Republic much because the agreement opened the door to dealing with the countries that boycotted it in the earlier stages.  Trump’s sanctions were also sanctions against anyone who deals with the Islamic Republic. Here, too, will be the conflict between desires and capabilities and the result will be resolved by the balance of power that is no longer in favour of the United States.  What can be expected is a softening of the tone of the speech among Americans, but without concrete steps accompanying it. The most we can expect is for the U.S. administration to turn a blind eye to parties that cannot comply with U.S. embargoes and include a list of broad exceptions.  What could lead to the lifting of sanctions is the recognition (within the new administration) of defeat in the conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran, but this is unlikely at this stage and possibly the next. The power of the«left» in the components of the U.S. administration is not dragged into external files except in decisions of military confrontation.  

But some points must be mentioned on the nuclear issue. During Barack Obama’s tenure, the concern was to negotiate with the Republic on a number of political issues, including the nuclear issue.  But the Iranian leadership has refused to link the political files to the nuclear file, insisting on its right to enrich like other countries in the world. The U.S. administration believed at the time that reaching an understanding with the Islamic Republic could strengthen Iran’s”reformists” who are open to interaction with the West.   According to many studies, the United States was not obsessed with Iran’s possession of the nuclear bomb, but was only  an argument for opening channels of dialogue with the Islamic Republic on the issues of interest to the United States, primarily the security of the Zionist entity, which is totally contrary to the political doctrine of the Islamic Republic.  The “achievement” of the nuclear agreement was an acknowledgement of the failure of the efforts of the United States, the West and the Zionist entity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear knowledge and by preventing it from enriching the high level it is entitled to in accordance with international treaties. It was also a recognition of the failure of the United States to impose its agenda on the Islamic Republic, and it was content to negotiate the nuclear issue.  The agreement also de-isolates Iran and opens the door to international interaction with it with the lifting of UN sanctions. But the deal did not lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, which lasted until the end of Obama’s term.

Trump has restored isolation to Iran as well as new sanctions in order to stifle Iran’s economy. But the Islamic Republic’s response was to stick to the comprehensive agreement on the nuclear issue, but with the restoration of its right to enrich at high rates.  The Obama administration would not have been able to achieve by shortening the default time for a nuclear bomb if Iran wanted to. The question becomes:  Will the Biden administration accept a return to the pre-Trump situation? National Security Adviser Gal Sullivan went further and talked about lifting sanctions if Iran complies with its commitments.  If so, it is no problem, but in our opinion things are not that simple. The administration’s concern remains to approach Iran’s role in the region to ensure the security of the Zionist entity and not for another purpose.  Until now, there is no evidence to solve this potentially intractable problem.

The options for the new administration are limited, not a military confrontation, but perhaps progressive and escalating security tensions without a major open confrontation and no political settlement unless we go back to pre-Trump. No matter what, the Islamic Republic has strategically defeated the United States, but it has not enjoyed victory, and the new administration will continue to prevent it from winning.  What contributes to victory is two things: the Ability of the United States to overcome the worsening of benefits at home and the position of other countries such as the European Union and other countries in overcoming Trump sanctions. In the first part, we believe that deep internal divisions, even within the ruling party, will prevent the possibility of continuing aggressive policies.  EU countries will be more eager to benefit from trade contracts with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of economic downturn or even recession that threatens the United States. European interests in the United States will be affected by deflation/recession, forcing the EU to open up new horizons outside the United States.

As for other files such as the Iranian ballistic file and the expansion of influence, the new administration cannot offer anything yet. On the other hand, what the Islamic Republic can offer is a”waiver” of its right to enrichment as stipulated in international agreements and the conditions attached to it, but this will only be done if the sanctions are lifted altogether.  Therefore, we believe that the«settlement»  will not go beyond the stage of linking a conflict with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Among the conditions of linking the dispute can turn a blind eye to the implementation of sanctions or allow«exceptions» to give some vitality to the new situation.  But the most important question is the usefulness of these sanctions against the Islamic Republic.  In our view, experience has shown that sanctions can be painful, but without any effectiveness in achieving their goals. Sanctions are types of war crimes and in the future the United States will be held accountable for crimes.

(3) إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة زياد حافظ

باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

زياد حافظ

الجزء الثالث: ملف العلاقة مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران

حجر الزاوية للسياسة الخارجية الأميركية لإدارة بايدن في منطقة الشرق الأوسط هو الملف النووي الإيراني. تصريحات الرئيس بايدن خلال الحملة الانتخابية تشير إلى رغبة في العودة إلى الاتفاق. لكن الملف النووي الإيراني يزداد تعقيداً يوماً بعد يوم. فتصريحات الرئيس بايدن حول العودة إلى الاتفاقية مع إيران لا تعني شيئاً إنْ لم يواكبها رفع العقوبات على الأقلّ تلك التي كانت مفروضة في إدارة أوباما. لكن السؤال هل بمقدور الرئيس المنتخب رفع العقوبات؟ سؤال ليس من السهل الإجابة عليه لأنّ ضغط الكيان الصهيوني لن يتوقّف ولأنّ الكونغرس الأميركي مزاجه معاد لإيران. كما أنّ المواقف المؤيّدة للكيان الصهيوني عند الرئيس الأميركي وفريق سياسته الخارجية الصهيوني تجعل تصوّر أيّ تساهل مع الجمهورية الإسلامية لا يتجاوز التراجع اللفظي دون أيّ مردود على صعيد العقوبات أمر بعيد المنال كما صرّحت مديرة الاستخبارات الوطنية افريل هاينز.

في هذا السياق هناك نوعان من العقوبات: العقوبات التي كانت مفروضة قبل الاتفاق والعقوبات التي فرضتها إدارة ترامب. نلفت النظر إلى أنّ العقوبات التي كانت مفروضة قبل الاتفاق لم ترفعها إدارة أوباما بعد التوقيع على الاتفاق. كلّ ما فعلته هو تحرير بعض الأموال المجمّدة. هذه الحالة لم تكن لتزعج كثيراً الجمهورية الإسلامية لأنّ الاتفاق فتح باب التعامل مع الدول التي قاطعتها في المراحل السابقة. أما عقوبات ترامب فكانت عقوبات أيضاً بحق كلّ من يتعامل مع الجمهورية الإسلامية. هنا أيضاً سيكون الصراع بين الرغبات والقدرات والنتيجة تحسمها موازين القوّة التي لم تعد لصالح الولايات المتحدة. ما يمكن توقّعه هو تخفيف لهجة المخاطبة عند الأميركيين ولكن دون أن يرافق ذلك خطوات ملموسة. أقصى ما يمكن أن نتوقّعه هو أن تغضّ النظر الإدارة الأميركية عن الأطراف التي لا تستطيع الالتزام بقرارات الحظر الأميركي وإدراج لائحة من الاستثناءات الواسعة. ما يمكن أن يؤدّي إلى رفع العقوبات هو الاعتراف (داخل الإدارة الجديدة) بالهزيمة في الصراع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران ولكن هذا أمر مستبعد في المرحلة الراهنة وربما المقبلة. قوّة «اليسار» في مكوّنات الإدارة الأميركية لا تنجر إلى الملفّات الخارجية إلاّ في قرارات المواجهة العسكرية.

لكن لا بدّ من التذكير ببعض النقاط في موضوع الملف النووي. فخلال ولايتي باراك أوباما كان الهاجس هو التفاوض مع الجمهورية حول عدد من القضايا السياسية منها الملف النووي. لكن القيادة الإيرانية رفضت ربط الملفات السياسية بالملف النووي متمسكّة بحقها بالتخصيب كسائر الدول في العالم. اعتقدت الإدارة الأميركية آنذاك أنّ الوصول إلى تفاهم مع الجمهورية الإسلامية قد يقوّى يد «الإصلاحيين» في إيران المنفتحين على التفاعل مع الغرب. وفقاً لدراسات عديدة لم يكن هاجس الولايات المتحدة امتلاك إيران للقنبلة النووية بل كانت فقط «حجّة» لفتح قنوات الحوار مع الجمهورية الإسلامية حول الملفّات التي تهمّ الولايات المتحدة وفي مقدّمتها أمن الكيان الصهيوني الذي يتعارض كلّياً مع العقيدة السياسية في الجمهورية الإسلامية. كان «إنجاز» الاتفاق النووي إقراراً بفشل جهود الولايات المتحدة والغرب والكيان الصهيوني بمنع إيران من امتلاك المعرفة النووية وبمنعها من التخصيب بالنسبة المرتفعة التي يحق لها وفقاً للمعاهدات الدولية. كما كان إقراراً بفشل الولايات المتحدة على فرض أجندتها على الجمهورية الإسلامية فاكتفت بالتفاوض بالملف النووي. كما أنّ الاتفاق فكّ العزلة عن إيران وفتح باب التفاعل الدولي معها مع رفع العقوبات الأممية المفروضة عليها. لكن لم يؤدّ الاتفاق إلى رفع العقوبات الأميركية على إيران والتي استمرّت حتى نهاية ولاية أوباما.

ترامب أعاد العزلة إلى إيران إضافة إلى عقوبات جديدة بغية خنق الاقتصاد الإيراني. لكن ردّ الجمهورية الإسلامية كان تمسّكها بالاتفاق الشامل حول الملفّ النووي ولكن مع استعادة حقّها بالتخصيب بالنسب المرتفعة. فما كانت تخشاه إدارة أوباما قد تحقّق عبر تقصير المدة الزمنية الافتراضية لتملك قنبلة نووية إذا ما أرادت إيران ذلك. ويصبح السؤال هنا: هل ستقبل إدارة بايدن العودة إلى ما كان عليه الوضع قبل ترامب؟ التصريحات الأولية لعدد من المسؤولين بدءاً من الرئيس إلى وزير خارجيته توحي بـ نعم. مستشار الأمن القومي جال سوليفان ذهب أبعد من ذلك وتكلّم عن رفع العقوبات إذا ما التزمت إيران بتعهّداتها. إذا كان الأمر كذلك فلا مشكلة ولكن الأمور في رأينا ليست بتلك البساطة. فما زال هاجس الإدارة مقاربة الدور الإيراني في المنطقة لضمان أمن الكيان الصهيوني وليس لغرض آخر. حتى الساعة ليس هناك من دليل حول حلّ تلك الإشكالية التي قد تكون استعصاء.

الخيارات المتاحة أمام الإدارة الجديدة محدودة فلا مواجهة عسكرية بل ربما توترات أمنية متدرّجة ومتصاعدة دون الوصول إلى مواجهة مفتوحة كبيرة ولا تسوية سياسية إلاّ بالرجوع إلى ما قبل ترامب. ومهما نظرنا إلى الأمور فإنّ الجمهورية الإسلامية هزمت الولايات المتحدة بشكل استراتيجي لكنها لم تنعم بالنصر وستستمر الإدارة الجديدة بمنعها من النصر. ما يساهم في التنعّم بالنصر أمران: قدرة الولايات المتحدة على تجاوز تفاقم الاستحقاقات في الداخل الأميركي وموقف الدول الأخرى كالاتحاد الأوروبي وسائر الدول في تجاوزهم للعقوبات الترمبية. في الشقّ الأول نعتقد أنّ الانقسامات الحادة الداخلية وحتى داخل الحزب الحاكم ستحول من إمكانية الاستمرار في سياسات عدوانية. أما دول الاتحاد الأوروبي ستكون أكثر حرصاً على الاستفادة من عقود تجارية مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران في ظلّ الانكماش الاقتصادي أو حتى الكساد الذي يهدّد الولايات المتحدة. فالمصالح الأوروبية في الولايات المتحدة ستتأثر من جرّاء الانكماش/ الكساد ما يفرض على الاتحاد الاوروبي فتح آفاق جديدة خارج الولايات المتحدة.

أما في ما يتعلّق بالملفّات الأخرى كالملف الباليستي الإيراني والتمدّد بالنفوذ فليس بمقدور الإدارة الجديدة تقديم أيّ شيء حتى الساعة. في المقابل ما يمكن أن تقدّمه الجمهورية الإسلامية هو «تنازل» عن حقّها في التخصيب كما تنصّ عليه الاتفاقات الدولية والشروط المرفقة بها، ولكن لن يتمّ ذلك إلاّ إذا ما تمّ رفع العقوبات كلّياً. لذلك نرى أنّ «التسوية» لن تتجاوز مرحلة ربط نزاع مع الجمهورية الإسلامية في إيران. يمكن من ضمن شروط ربط النزاع غضّ النظر عن تنفيذ العقوبات أو السماح بـ «استثناءات» تعطي بعض الحيوية للحالة الجديدة. لكن السؤال الأكثر أهمية هو حول جدوى تلك العقوبات المفروضة على الجمهورية الإسلامية. في رأينا برهنت التجربة أنّ العقوبات قد تكون مؤلمة ولكن دون أيّ فعّالية في تحقيق أهدافها. فالعقوبات هي أنواع من جرائم الحرب وفي مستقبل قد لا يكون بعيداً ستتمّ مساءلة الولايات المتحدة على الجرائم.

فيديوات ذات صلة

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A fake carrot to Iran

Source

January 30, 2021 – 20:58

TEHRAN – Joe Biden’s selection of Rob Malley as Iran envoy has sparked bitter dispute between hawks and progressives. They have launched media campaigns defending or opposing his selection. Hawks accuse him of going soft on Iran while progressives underline that the appointment of Malley will rekindle diplomacy with Iran.

But both groups fail to recognize that Malley is no friend of Iran and will work to secure the interests of the United States at the end of the day.

The first wave of criticism against the appointment of Malley came from a vague group called the National Union for Democracy in Iran (NUFDI) which sent an open letter to then-Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken, urging him not to appoint Malley to the position of special envoy on Iran.

The group claimed that Malley was not interested in pursuing dialogue or consultation with what it called “Iranian human rights activists.”

“Mr. Malley’s record outside of government concerns us further. As head of the International Crisis Group, he has singularly focused on cultivating close relationships with Iranian government officials,” the group claimed.

Opposition to the appointment of Malley, the chief Middle East adviser in President Barack Obama’s second term and current president of the International Crisis Group, originates in his past positions on engaging Iran even though he will almost certainly act differently as a government official. In fact, being a government official is a whole lot different than being head of a non-governmental think tank, something that opponents of Malley failed to grasp.

On the other hand, progressives joined forces to defend the appointment of Malley as if he had a magical charm to put an end to U.S. malign behavior toward Iran. On Thursday, a group of these progressives put out a statement firmly defending the selection of Malley.

“Those who accuse Malley of sympathy for the Islamic Republic have no grasp of –or no interest in –true diplomacy, which requires a level-headed understanding of the other side’s motivations and knowledge that can only be acquired through dialogue,” the statement said.

The statement portrayed Malley as a man who will rekindle diplomacy with foes, identify possible areas of agreement and resolution, and, abracadabra, de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington as if nothing happened under Trump.

“Rob Malley is an extremely knowledgeable expert with great experience in promoting U.S. security through diplomacy rather than war. He would be an excellent choice for the role of Iran envoy,” Senator Bernie Sanders said in a tweet after Jewish Insider reported that Malley was under consideration to be the Biden administration’s envoy on Iran.

Opponents and proponents of Malley have one thing in common: both of them believe that he will facilitate talks between the governments of the U.S. and Iran. Progressives even sought to suggest that the appointment of Malley was an early carrot to Iran, implying that Iran should be grateful for that.

But this is exactly where opponents and proponents of Malley get it wrong. Judging by the Biden administration’s remarks on Iran, Malley will make it even more difficult for Iran to reach understanding with the U.S. in any future talks.

Biden officials have now made it clear that they want to expand the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -, not just simply rejoin it. And this will make any kind of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. harder than in 2015, when the two reached the JCPOA while Malley was a member of the U.S. negotiating team.

Imagine if Iran says no to a Malley demand on its missile program or regional activities in any future talks. The Biden administration would tell the whole world that it’s Iran, not the U.S., that doesn’t want to return to diplomacy.

Malley will not make decisions on Iran. Instead, he will largely be responsible for coordinating and implementing the White House Iran policy just like any other diplomat in the State Department. He will likely be a smokescreen for the Biden administration’s soft bullying against Iran. In this sense, Malley would be far from being a driving force for renewed diplomacy with Iran. He is by no means a carrot to Iran, not even a fake one.

PA/PA

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Democrats’ ‘divide and conquer’ Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., right, and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., confer during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing for Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, in Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on January 26, 2021. / AFP / POOL / Tom Williams
Democrats’ ‘divide and conquer’ Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly
(Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US election. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China,’ which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:40 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:44 PM ]

Press TV and The Saker

By Ramin Mazaheri

Much ink could be spilled about the upcoming, and second, Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, but that would be a waste of ink – the trial has nothing to do with social justice or patriotism and everything to do with aggravating political divisions for elites’ gain.

We could say it’s just “politics as usual”, but only if: the “True Rate of Unemployment” wasn’t pushing 30%, even per Politico; 2020 didn’t witness the biggest annual rise in the US poverty rate since the 1960s; America didn’t just have its most disputed election in anyone’s memory; there weren’t armed soldiers protecting politicians nationwide, or, according to nearly 40% of the country, there weren’t armed soldiers making sure politicians are illegitimately installed in the White House. In the US right now politics are not usual, whatsoever.

It is incredibly bad journalism the way the US Mainstream Media endlessly overplays the number of Republican defectors against Trump – they get way, way too much press, and of course it’s because they don’t want to admit Trump has any grassroots support (which is not from neo-Nazis). One might have easily imagined that scores of House Republicans were about to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment, yet only 10 out of 211 did (5%). To give one mainstream example, it was totally misleading of the Los Angeles Times to write that a “bipartisan House majority voted to charge him” after the House’s January 13 vote, and in their lede paragraph, no less, and to even mention the 10 Republicans in their headline. Trump remains the most popular Republican by leaps and bounds – there is no way 17 of 50 Republican senators will end their re-election chances just to appease a Never Trumper movement which only won the general election by a 51-47 margin. Trump’s first Senate trial was a landslide – by supermajority standards – for “not guilty”: 52-48 in favor of Trump.

Given the assurance of acquittal (again) we should ask who benefits from this second trial, and who does not benefit?

Obviously, the enormous mass of everyday Americans will see no benefit from the trial, and I listed just a few of the once-in-a-century reasons why they have more pressing concerns. It is never declared in the US media that the US public has no real appetite for the Senate trial – they need and want the governors of the nation to govern, and right now.

The only way Americans could possibly be convinced that the nation needs to shut down Congress for weeks with a trial whose conclusion is not in doubt is via constant Mainstream Media talking heads shrieking about its necessity, and with the very same fervor that they were shrieking that Russia stole the 2016 election. This is fake-news, too, and it certainly takes airtime away from discussing things like the “True Rate of Unemployment”.

The only people among average Americans who insist that seeing ex-president Trump in the dock is more pressing than resolving the multiple areas of socioeconomic disaster are the most bloodthirsty and rabid of the Never Trumpers. How can one easily switch off four years of demonization? Answer: many simply are psychologically unable to move on, and even though they got what they want – Trump is out of the White House. But while these people – generally upper- and upper-middle class persons who are not very touched by the economic crisis – are loudly obnoxious they are not in actual control of the levers of power.

It’s primarily the nation’s elite-level politicians who really want to make America’s Marianas Trench-depth cultural-political divide even deeper, but not for the reasons one may think.

Many Congressional Democrats are no doubt embarrassed and vengeful over having been turned into cowering, world’s fanciest gas mask-wearing deserters on January 6 – these people control the legislative docket and they want Trump to look afraid now. That would be a self-centered and over-emotional reaction, but why should we ascribe self-sacrifice for the well-being of the nation among the virtues of Congressional Democrats?

The Capitol Hill protest did make many Democrats even more dead-set on getting Trump out: Despite being elected president once and narrowly winning re-election – or rather, precisely because of this electoral success – Democrats want to try and ensure that Trump cannot run in 2024, and a Senate conviction would bar Trump from ever holding public office again. Again, they are deluded by endless MSM spin if they think they have a realistic chance of turning so many Republicans.

Those are two plausible motivations for the Senate trial, but they are not sufficiently convincing.

How elite Democrats gain from a trial, but America loses (unless a 3rd party truly sprouts)

There seem to be so many tiny groups which gain in the many instances where one reads “but America loses”? Thirty million Americans file for unemployment in 2020 – the S&P 500 gains $14 trillion in value over the same timeframe (up 16% annually). Four hundred thousand Americans die from coronavirus – the first vaccine announced only two days after Joe Biden prematurely declares victory, allowing Biden to change the media focus from his divisive and promise-backtracking early declaration.

By forcing a trial in the Senate Democrats seem to think they can win big by playing “divide and conquer” or even just “divide and divide”.

In the latter scenario Democrats certainly gain by forcing Congressional Republicans to openly divide themselves into pro- and anti-Trump factions, which will necessarily be revealed during the Senate vote on the 2nd impeachment. That vote will be like the 2003 Iraq War vote for Democrats (but only if we falsely imagine today’s Democrats to actually be an anti-war party anymore). If nothing else is gained for elite Democrats – who happily watched households crumble and workers go hungry until after Biden’s election to finally become willing to negotiate a second, paltry household stimulus – a Republican Party distracted by squabbles, and thus open to being bought into defection on certain key votes, is enough reason to waste everyone’s time with a Senate show trial.

The “divide and conquer” scenario is more worrying for national health, because the pro-War Democratic Party does like to conquer human beings: There are incredibly shocking efforts to blacklist, censor and seemingly criminalize Trump supporters. By forcing Trump’s Congressional supporters into the open Democrats will know exactly where to set their stigmatizing sights. I cannot believe that Democrats are going to lead a multi-month, much less multi-year, “Trumperphobia” campaign, but I also couldn’t believe the 2016 Russophobia campaign lasted until even after the 2019 Mueller Report’s exoneration of Russia. Is it possible that Democrats are going to persist in their anti-Trumper cultural pogrom for years rather than honestly discuss America’s decline?

But the main question is: How deep is the American duopoly? Answer: the deepest and oldest in the world.

What if Democrats are actually trying to create a Republican Party division into two parties, with the Trumper faction defecting to a new “Patriot” or “America First” party? That would end the need for Democratic legislative majorities – all they’d need is a plurality (as in every other modern democracy).

Is it possible that Trump will actually undo America’s awful legislative duopoly and bring in a multi-party system? Like most good things Trump has done, this boon would be an unintended consequence of Trump’s actual political agenda.

Are Democrats looking to end the two-party system by giving Trumpers a clear indication that they can either organize, drop out or get persecuted by the US system? Are anti-Trump Republicans daft enough to think that the Republican Party will stay Reaganite forever, even after Reaganites allowed the Great Financial Crisis to mushroom into the Great Recession for so many of their voters?

I would say that – in the end – Democrats are not looking to end the duopoly, in which they are the party which is paid no matter what: they are paid to make sure actual leftist ideas lose, by combining them with fake-leftists idea such as identity politics, and they are paid to make sure leftist gains are truly, truly minimal when they do occasionally have power.

But Democrats are US politicians, after all – they cannot think long-term, and they openly admit they spend 2/3rds of their working hours focused on getting campaign money for their re-election – and so they really don’t know what they are doing, or even care about the medium- and long-term consequences of their actions. The Senate trial of Trump is useless theater, but who knows what these professional actors really feel or if they even feel anything at all? If they feel anything it is for their supporters and “work family”, which can be found on Wall Street and not Main Street.

Just as the January 6th protest was improvised and not the start of a long-term “Occupy Capitol Hill” movement – it had none of the determination and planning of Egypt’s Tahrir Square” (in a nod to this week’s 10th anniversary of that wonderful progressive movement, which was repeatedly sabotaged by Washington and Tel Aviv and their Egyptian compradors). Democrats are now improvising a way to keep inflicting opprobrium, censorship and maybe even criminal convictions on the odious – yet quite popular and taboo-breaking – Trump. Just like in 2016: anything to keep from discussing the real roots of any sort of “drain the Swamp” political feeling and America’s undeniable decline. 

Elite Democrats don’t have Russia to kick around anymore, let’s remember – all they have is Trump and his 74 million supporters. Kick them too much and Democrats might break their own precious duopoly.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


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Do You Read What They Write? Unstated Policies of Trump in Syria هل تقرأون ما يكتبون؟

ARABI SOURI 

James Jeffrey US - Trump policy against Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Russia

One of the facts that James Jeffrey, former envoy of Trump to Syria, reveals in his recent article is: “Turkey, the (Kurdish) SDF, and the armed terrorist opposition groups have worked hand in hand with the United States and Israel in Syria.”

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Bouthaina ShaabanPresident Assad Media Advisor and Arab thinker,she published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

After leaving his position as the US envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey showered us with interviews, statements, and articles, the most important of which was perhaps the article he published in Foreign Affairs on January 15th, 2021, with the title: “Biden Doesn’t Need a New Middle East Policy: The Trump Administration Got the Region Right.”

There is no doubt that this title is an important indication for readers of the direction of James Jeffrey’s discussion and views in the (Arab World) region and the humanitarian catastrophes that befell it as a result of his government’s criminal policies of terrorism, siege, and sanctions.

What is striking in the article are two things: the misleading language, which needs translation, even in the English language, in order to reach the true intended meaning, which the words try to obscure, and the outdated content that was spelled out by events and revealed its falsehood.

Jeffrey says: ‘The goal of the United States’ policy in the Trump administration was to contain Iran and Russia, get rid of the small wars in Iraq and Syria, and hand over the task to our partners in the two countries, but some of his advisers wanted the United States to remain engaged in Syria and Iraq to contain Iran.’

Jeffrey also affirms: “Trump supported Israel and Turkey in Syria and that he would rely primarily on the Gulf states, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel to stand up to Tehran,” and admits that “Trump’s main goal in Syria was to fight the Syrian state and not fight ISIS and in order to achieve these goals the Trump administration ignored the actions of important partners inside their countries, including Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Trump administration’s public support for Israel was also a real change in US policy regarding the Golan, Jerusalem, and Western Sahara in order to ripen and bring out the Abraham Accords which are important to Israel.”

Jeffrey says: “Trump’s primary goal in containing Iran is to limit its presence in the region because Trump saw Iran as a regional threat to Israel and considered all other files, including the nuclear file, less important than this Iranian expansion in the region that threatens Israel. Regarding Syria, Trump’s policy has depended on two factors: the attempt to get rid of Assad through armed opposition and terrorism, destroy the infrastructure, impose sieges and sanctions to stifle the economy; and the second factor is reaching a political settlement through the United Nations and this depends on removing Iran from the Syrian and Iraqi equation.

Of course, he describes the plunder of Syrian oil, wheat, and resources: “The Trump administration deprived the Syrian government and its supporters of these resources (to incite the population against their government),” while the Trump administration committed a described criminal theft of the resources of the Syrian people that is no different from its destruction of the country’s resources and capabilities.

But one of the facts that Jeffrey reveals in this article is: “Turkey, the (Kurdish) SDF, and the armed terrorist opposition groups have worked hand in hand with the United States and Israel in Syria.” In other words, the Turkish Kurdish rivalries they claim in northeastern Syria are rivalries over what they plunder, and not on the method and goal of their disgraceful actions. He also reveals that the Israeli attacks on Syria received aid from American intelligence sources and that everything that affects the Syrian people in terms of aggression, murder, and terrorism The impoverishment and theft of resources and the deprivation of fuel, food, and medicine was coordinated between the Trump administration, Israel, Turkey and those who call themselves opposition inside or outside the country, whether armed or unarmed.

In other words, the goal of all that the enemies did was to undermine the Syrian state, weaken it and confiscate its independent decision, and that this war of attrition would continue because it was the only one that was effective against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and that the killing of Qassem Soleimani in Iraq was retaliation against the Iraqi forces that support Tehran and stand hostile to the United States.

What the reader concludes from the outcome of James Jeffrey’s writing and statements is the same that was published by the Israeli National Security Research Center two years ago, which is that the war on Syria has produced a resistance axis from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Hezb Allah and that the first priority must be focused on striking and dismantling this axis, which is considered an existential threat to “Israel” in the first degree. With a careful look at all the above, it is not difficult to question those who are directing hostility to Iran in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and about the goals that they hope to achieve. It is clear that these are goals in the interest of who targets all of us in this region.

It is not difficult to re-read calls under ethnic or racial banners, as the only name Jeffrey gives to these, including the armed opposition and affiliated with Turkey or the Gulf, calls them: “our partners in the region” who complete the role we play there.

For a long time, I have been calling for us to read what they write and to fight back their ideas and plans wherever possible, but unfortunately, we overlook what they reveal and find ourselves in the midst of facing their plans and do not tire of saying that we were surprised or taken by surprise, while if we were following what they write and what they publish we would be able to extrapolate part of the events that were orchestrated for us, and perhaps we would have taken some measures that mitigate the effects of their crimes against us.

Even though people were stunned by the events of what they called the “Arab Spring” from Tunisia to Egypt, Libya, and Syria, I wrote more than once that the research they conducted on the region in 1997 concluded with a very important paper entitled: “Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” It describes in detail the tools and mechanisms that were adopted in the events of the Arab Spring and in all Arab countries, but we may not have read, and if we read, we did not take protective steps against the plans they draw and the mechanisms they define to achieve their goals in the region.

It is true that Western media is subject to major companies owned by the Zionists, but in the era of metaphorical media and social media, there are capabilities available to make our voice heard, to put our point of view, to deny their gossip, and impose our vision.

What is important in this regard is monitoring the inside, not just the outside, because their plans and scenarios depend on their agents and their tools within countries and not only on the few thousand soldiers they send here and there.

In this regard, it is necessary to be firm in dealing with proposals that are in the interest of the enemies and not to tolerate doubts about friends and allies because the front is one and the battle is one. It is clear from all the statements made by James Jeffrey, Rayburn, and all those to whom the files of this region were assigned, that their planning and thinking includes all our allies, and they have no difference between those who resist them in Baghdad, Tehran, Damascus or Beirut, they ignore all the minor issues in order to undermine this solidarity and alliance, which they see as a major threat to their interests in the region, especially to the usurping entity (Isreal) that belongs to them.

And before Trump’s departure, he placed Israel as a member of the joint forces responsible for the Middle East region, and this predicts stronger future alliances between it and Turkey and the (Kurdish) SDF in Syria, and between all the forces opposing the axis of resistance in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

What we have read and interpreted reveals a sample only for what they are doing that the targeting of national figures and resistance paths by some groupings is not spontaneous or arbitrary, but is part of a plan to serve the enemies and harm our countries, our friends and our allies.

Today the battle is no longer only on the borders but has become inside our country, in every institution and specialization, and in every aspect of thought, action, and evaluation, and throughout history, enemies of the interior, traitors, and insurgents have been more dangerous to national issues and goals than the enemies of the outside.

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هل تقرأون ما يكتبون؟

بثينة شعبان

بثينة شعبان 

إحدى الحقائق التي يكشف عنها جيمس جيفري في مقاله الأخير هي: “أن تركيا وقسد والمعارضات الإرهابية المسلحة عملوا يداً بيد مع الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل في سوريا”.

بعد مغادرته منصبه كمبعوث أميركي إلى سوريا أتحفنا جيمس جيفري بمقابلات وتصريحات ومقالات كان أهمها ربما المقال الذي نشره في مجلة “الشؤون الخارجية” (فورين أفيرز) بتاريخ 15 كانون الثاني/يناير9 2021 وبعنوان: “لا يحتاج بايدن إلى سياسة شرق أوسطية: إدارة ترامب وضعت المنطقة على السكة”.

ولا شك أن هذا العنوان مؤشر هام للقراء عن توجهات نقاش جيمس جيفري وآرائه في المنطقة، وما حلّ بها من كوارث إنسانية بسبب سياسات حكومته الإجرامية من الإرهاب والحصار والعقوبات.

واللافت في المقال أمران: اللغة المضلّلة والتي تحتاج إلى ترجمة، حتى باللغة الإنكليزية، لتصل إلى المعنى الحقيقي المقصود والذي تحاول الألفاظ التعمية عليه، والمضمون الذي تجاوزه الزمن والذي لفظته الأحداث وكشفت زيفه.

يقول جيفري: “إن هدف سياسة الولايات المتحدة في إدارة ترامب كان احتواء إيران وروسيا والتخّلص من الحروب الصغيرة في العراق وسوريا وتسليم المهمة لعملائنا في البلدين، ولكن بعض مستشاريه رغبوا أن تبقى الولايات المتحدة منخرطة في سوريا والعراق لاحتواء إيران”.

كما يؤكد جيفري: “أن ترامب دعم إسرائيل وتركيا في سوريا وأن اعتماده الأساسي كان على دول الخليج والأردن والعراق وإسرائيل للوقوف في وجه طهران”، ويعترف بأن “هدف ترامب الأساسي في سوريا كان محاربة الدولة السورية وليس محاربة داعش، ومن أجل إحراز هذه الأهداف فقد تجاهلت إدارة ترامب تصرفات الشركاء المهمين داخل بلادهم، بمن فيهم مصر وتركيا والسعودية رغم مقتل الصحفي جمال خاشقجي. كما كان الدعم العلني لإدارة ترامب لإسرائيل تغييراً حقيقياً في سياسة الولايات المتحدة بالنسبة للجولان والقدس والصحراء الغربية من أجل إنضاج وإخراج اتفاقات إبراهيم المهمة لإسرائيل”.

يقول جيفري: “إن هدف ترامب الأساسي من احتواء إيران هو الحدّ من وجودها في المنطقة لأن ترامب رأى إيران كخطر إقليمي على إسرائيل واعتبر كلّ الملفات الأخرى بما فيها الملف النووي أقلّ أهمية من هذا التمدّد الإيراني في المنطقة المهدّد لإسرائيل. أما بالنسبة لسوريا فقد اعتمدت سياسة ترامب على عاملين: محاولة التخلص من الأسد بواسطة المعارضة المسلحة والإرهاب وتدمير البنى التحتية وفرض الحصار والعقوبات لخنق الاقتصاد، والعامل الثاني التوصل إلى تسوية سياسية من خلال الأمم المتحدة وهذا يعتمد على إخراج إيران من المعادلة السورية والعراقية”.

وطبعاً يصف نهب النفط والقمح والموارد السورية: “بأن إدارة ترامب حرمت الحكومة السورية ومؤيديها من هذه الموارد (لتأليب السكان ضدّ حكومتهم)”، بينما ارتكبت إدارة ترامب سرقة إجرامية موصوفة لموارد الشعب السوري لا تختلف أبداً عن تدميرها لموارد البلاد ومقدراتها.

ولكنّ إحدى الحقائق التي يكشف عنها جيفري في هذا المقال هي: “أن تركيا وقسد والمعارضات الإرهابية المسلحة عملوا يداً بيد مع الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل في سوريا”؛ أي أن ما يدّعونه من خصومات كردية تركية في شمال شرق سوريا هي خصومات على ما ينهبون، وليس على طريقة وهدف أعمالهم المشينة، كما يكشف أيضاً أن الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية على سوريا تلقت العون من مصادر الاستخبارات الأميركية، وأن كل ما ينال الشعب السوري من عدوان وقتل وإرهاب وإفقار وسرقة موارد وحرمان من الوقود والغذاء والدواء كان منسّقاً بين إدارة ترامب وإسرائيل وتركيا ومن يسمون أنفسهم معارضات داخل أو خارج البلد مسلحة كانت أو غير مسلحة.

أي أن الهدف من كل ما قام به الأعداء هو النيل من الدولة السورية وإضعافها ومصادرة قرارها المستقل، وأن حرب الاستنزاف هذه ستستمر لأنها الوحيدة التي كانت ناجعة ضد السوفييت في أفغانستان، وأن قتل قاسم سليماني في العراق كان انتقاماً من القوى العراقية التي تؤيد طهران وتقف موقف العداء من الولايات المتحدة.

ما يستنتجه القارئ من حصيلة كتابة وتصريحات جيمس جيفري هو ذاته الذي نشره مركز أبحاث الأمن القومي الإسرائيلي منذ سنتين وهو أن الحرب على سوريا قد أنتجت محوراً مقاوماً من إيران والعراق وسوريا وحزب الله، وأن الأولوية الأولى يجب أن تنصّب على ضرب وتفكيك هذا المحور الذي يعتبر تهديداً وجودياً لـ “إسرائيل” في الدرجة الأولى. وفي نظرة متأنية لكلّ ما تقدّم ليس من الصعب أن نتساءل عن الذين يناصبون العداء لإيران في العراق وسوريا ولبنان وعن أهدافهم التي يرجون تحقيقها؛ إذ من الواضح أنها أهداف تصبّ في مصلحة من يستهدفنا جميعاً في هذه المنطقة.

وليس من الصعب أن نعيد قراءة مطالبات تحت عناوين إثنية أو عرقية، إذ أن الاسم الوحيد الذي يطلقه جيفري على هؤلاء بمن فيهم المعارضات المسلحة والتابعة لتركيا أو الخليج يسميهم: “عملاءنا في المنطقة” والذين يكملون الدور الذي نقوم به هناك. 

منذ زمن وأنا أدعو أن نقرأ ما يكتبون وأن نقارع أفكارهم وخططهم حيثما أمكن ذلك، ولكن وللأسف فإننا نغفل ما يكشفون عن أنفسهم ونجد أنفسنا في خضمّ مواجهة مخططاتهم ولا نتعب من أن نقول إننا فوجئنا أو أُخذنا على حين غرّة، بينما لو كنا نتابع ما يكتبون وما ينشرون لتمكنّا من استقراء جزءٍ من الأحداث التي تمّ تدبيرها لنا، ولاتّخذنا ربما بعض الإجراءات التي تخفف من آثار جرائمهم المرتبكة بحقنا.

فمع أن الناس بُهتت بأحداث ما أسموه بـ “الربيع العربي” من تونس إلى مصر وليبيا وسوريا، فقد كتبتُ أكثر من مرة أن الأبحاث التي أجروها عن المنطقة في العام 1997 والتي خلصت إلى ورقة هامة جداً بعنوان: “الاختراق النظيف؛ الاستراتيجية الجديدة للسيطرة على المكان” تصف بالتفصيل الأدوات والآليات التي تمّ اعتمادها في أحداث الربيع العربي وفي كافة الدول العربية، ولكننا ربما لم نقرأ، وإذا قرأنا لم نتخذ الخطوات الواقية من المخططات التي يرسمونها والآليات التي يحددونها لإنجاز أهدافهم في المنطقة.

صحيح أن الإعلام الغربي خاضع لشركات كبرى يملكها الصهاينة ولكن وفي عصر الإعلام المجازي ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي هناك إمكانات متاحة لإسماع صوتنا ولوضع وجهة نظرنا ولتكذيب أقاويلهم وفرض رؤيتنا نحن.

والمهم في هذا الصدد هو رصد الداخل وليس رصد الخارج فقط، لأن خططهم وسيناريواتهم تعتمد على عملائهم وأدواتهم داخل البلدان وليس فقط على بضعة آلاف من الجنود يرسلونها هنا وهناك.

وفي هذا الصدد لابدّ من الحزم في التعامل مع الطروحات التي تصبّ في مصلحة الأعداء وعدم التسامح بالتشكيك بالأصدقاء والحلفاء أو تناولهم لأن الجبهة واحدة والمعركة واحدة، ومن الواضح من كلّ ما أدلى به جيمس جيفري ورايبورن وكل الذين تُوكل إليهم ملفات هذه المنطقة، أن تخطيطهم وتفكيرهم يشمل كل الحلفاء، لا فرق لديهم بين من يقاومهم في بغداد أو طهران أو دمشق أو بيروت، وهم يتجاهلون كل المسائل الصغرى في سبيل النيل من هذا التعاضد والتحالف الذي يرون فيه خطراً كبيراً على مصالحهم في المنطقة وخاصة على الكيان الغاصب التابع لهم.

وقبل مغادرة ترامب وضع “إسرائيل” عضواً في القوات المشتركة المسؤولة عن منطقة الشرق الأوسط، وهذا ينبئ بتحالفات مستقبلية أقوى بينها وبين تركيا وقسد في سوريا، وبين كل القوى المناهضة لمحور المقاومة في إيران والعراق وسوريا ولبنان.

يكشف ما قرأناه وفنّدناه كنموذج فقط عمّا يقومون به أن التصويب داخل بلداننا على شخصيات وطنية وعلى مسارات مقاومة من قبل بعض التجمعات ليس عفوياً ولا اعتباطياً، ولكنه يندرج ضمن خطة خدمة الأعداء وإلحاق الأذى ببلداننا وأصدقائنا وحلفائنا.

لم تعد المعركة اليوم فقط على الحدود، بل أصبحت داخل بلدنا وفي كل مؤسسة واختصاص وفي كل مفصل من مفاصل الفكر والعمل والتقييم، وعبر التاريخ كان أعداء الداخل والخونة والمخترقون أشدّ خطورة على القضايا والأهداف الوطنية من أعداء الخارج. إن الآراء المذكورة في هذه المقالة لا تعبّر بالضرورة عن رأي الميادين وإنما تعبّر عن رأي صاحبها حصراً

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