كفى تحاملا على الأخوة الفلسطينيّين والسوريّين

معن بشور 

خطاب التحريض العلني أو الضمني على الأخوة الفلسطينيين والسوريين، كما خطاب التحريض الطائفي والمذهبي ضد هذا المكوّن اللبناني أو ذاك، ليس مرفوضاً لأسباب وطنية وقومية وأخلاقية وإنسانية فحسب، بل مرفوض لأسباب تتصل بالاستقرار اللبناني، والاقتصاد اللبناني، أو ما تبقى من اقتصاد لبناني…

فالتحريض على أي جماعة لبنانية أو مقيمة في لبنان يؤدي إلى إثارة مخاوف وهواجس عدة تشكل بدورها التربة الخصبة لأي مشروع فتنوي أو إرهابي أو تقسيمي يهدد البلاد، بل إنّ التحريض نفسه هو عامل التفجير الأساسي الذي دفع لبنان، بأبنائه والمقيمين على أرضه أبهظ الأثمان بسببه..

فالجميع يعلم أنّ الفلسطينيين موجودون في لبنان، بغير إرادتهم، وأنهم يناضلون منذ عشرات السنين، ويقدّمون الشهداء بعشرات الآلاف، من أجل العودة إلى بلادهم، وما من أمر يعيق عودتهم إلى بلادهم سوى إدخالهم في حروب مع الشعوب المضيفة التي من المفترض أن تخوض إلى جانبهم معركة العودة والتحرير…

فإسقاط التوطين، الذي نص الدستور اللبناني في مقدّمته على رفضه، معركة مشتركة بين اللبناني الذي لا يتحمّل وجود هذا العدد البشري على أرضه المحدودة المساحة، والمحكومة بجملة اعتبارات معقدة، والفلسطيني الذي يؤكد، ولو كان يقيم في أغنى بلدان العالم، أن لا أرض عنده أغلى من أرض فلسطين، ولا وطن أعز من الوطن الفلسطيني.. ولا كرامة له إلا في وطنه الأمّ…

فهل التحريض بين يوم وآخر ضد الفلسطيني يؤدي إلى مقاومة التوطين، أم أنه يسهل من خلال الفتنة تحقيق مشروع التوطين نفسه، وقد قلت في بداية التسعينيات من القرن الماضي في ندوة عقدها المنتدى القومي العربي في دار الندوة إنّ “فتنة التوطين تؤدي إلى توطين الفتنة”، ولعل ما شهدناه في لبنان من حرب فتنويّة امتدت أكثر من 15 عاماً هو أكبر دليل على عبثية هذا التحريض وخطورته التفجيرية..

ولن ندخل هنا في تعداد إسهامات الأخوة الفلسطينيين “اللبنانية”، على صعيد العلم والثقافة والإبداع والاقتصاد والأعمال، ومساهمتهم عبر العاملين من أبنائهم في الخارج بإرسال تحويلات مالية كبيرة كانت أحد موارد لبنان من العملة الصعبة، فلقد كانت مقالة الأستاذ طلال سلمان “الفلسطينيون جوهرة الشرق الأوسط” رائعة في إبراز دور الفلسطينيين في النهضة اللبنانية العامة خير معبّر عن هذه الحقائق.

أما الأخوة السوريون، فهم أيضاً ضحايا حرب كونية لعينة استهدفت بلدهم، ودمّرت دولتهم، وحاصرت دور وطنهم وموقعه التاريخي والجغرافي معاً، وهم كانوا دائما شركاء مع اللبنانيين في مراحل نهوضهم، سواء كعمال كادحين أو كمتمولين كبار، كما أنّ سورية كانت تفتح ذراعيها لكل لبناني، وإلى أيّ جماعة انتمى، ممن كانت ظروف صعبة تدفعه إلى مغادرة بيته لأشهر أو سنوات.

وبدلاً من أن نكتفي بالحديث عن العبء الذي يشكله وجودهم في لبنان، وهو بالتأكيد عبء حقيقي رغم المليارات من الدولارات التي دخلت إلى الخزينة من الخارج لإغاثتهم، يجب أن نسعى لوضع اليد مع الحكومة السورية لتأمين العودة الآمنة والكريمة لهم، خاصة أنّ بلادهم الحمدلله قد نجحت في إعادة الأمن إلى الجزء الأكبر من ربوعها، وأن نضغط بكلّ الوسائل على القوى الخارجية، وهي معروفة للجميع، وفي مقدمها الولايات المتحدة وأدواتها، والتي تحول دون عودتهم إلى بلادهم في محاولة منها لاستخدامهم في أجندات “مواصلة الحرب” على سورية بأشكال جديدة، وزعزعة الاستقرار فيها، وهناك أكثر من سيناريو يجري تداوله بهذا الصدد..

ثم ألا يدرك أصحاب الخطاب التحريضي، على اختلاف مواقعهم، أنهم يزرعون أحقاداً بين شعوب تربطها عبر القرون وشائج قربى وروابط أخوة، ومصالح مشتركة، فتعيش المنطقة بأسرها أجواء توتر دائم وتفجر مستمر، يكون لبنان ضحيتها الأولى، لا سيما أنّ بوابته إلى العمق العربي والإقليمي هي البوابة السورية. وانّ مطامع العدو الصهيوني في أرضه وكيانه ونفطه ليست خافية على أحد.

إلا ان أخطر ما في الخطاب التحريضي، المنتشر هنا وهناك، هو حين يساوي أصحابه بين الوجود المدني الفلسطيني والسوري، وهو وجود اضطراري كما يعرف الجميع، وبين الاحتلال الإسرائيلي والمشروع الإرهابي التدميري، وكلاهما ثمرة مشروع أكبر يستهدف وحدة مجتمعنا، واستقرار بلادنا، وتدمير مقومات نهوضنا.

وهذا الخطاب الذي لا يميّز بين الجلاد والضحية هو كما يعرف الجميع، خطاب غير أخلاقي وغير إنساني، وغير عادل في الوقت نفسه.

أما الذين يعتقدون أنّ الخطاب التحريضي، طائفياً كان أم مذهبياً أم عنصرياً، قد يحقق لهم مكاسب سياسية أو انتخابية، مشابهة لما كان يحصل في السابق، فهم مخطئون جداً، لأنّ ظروف اليوم هي غير ظروف الأمس، علماً أنّ نتائج خطاب الأمس التحريضيّ لم تأتِ سوى بالوبال على لبنان وعلى أصحاب هذا الخطاب نفسه.. وإلى الجماعات التي يدّعون حمايتها.

من المعروف أنّ “أول الحرب كلام” وأنّ من يطلق كلامه على عواهنه إرضاء لعصبية أو غريزة أو جماعة، إنما يسيء إلى نفسه أولا وإلى الجماعة التي ينتمي إليها ثانياً، وإلى وطننا الغالي لبنان دائماً…

قليلاً من التبصّر يا أولي الألباب، فالتبصّر وحده طريقنا لمنع التفجر.

الأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

Denmark Evaluates Sending Syrian Refugees Home as Damascus Area Deemed Safe

Source

A view of Damascus from Qasioun Mountain

Danish Integration Minister Mattias Tesfaye stressed that almost 100,000 refugees have returned to Syria from the surrounding areas, and that Syrians living in Europe should do the same.

Integration Minister Mattias Tesfaye has asked the Immigration Service to review the residence permit for hundreds of people from Syria’s Damascus province based on the idea that the war in the country is effectively over and they don’t need protection.

In recent weeks, the Refugee Board has intervened in five cases, saying that Syrians from the Damascus area don’t need protection.

“Last year, there were almost 100,000 refugees returning to Syria from the surrounding areas. I think it is fair that the people who live here in Europe also return home if they don’t need protection,” Mattias Tesfaye said in a statement. “So I think it is natural for us to find the pile of Damascus cases and evaluate them.”

So far it remains uncertain how many Syrian cases will be reassessed by the Danish Immigration Service. The government’s press release estimates “with considerable uncertainty” that there may be about 900 cases. The majority of them are expected to be settled this year, the press release said.

In December last year, the Refugee Board upheld a decision by the Immigration Service on conditions in Damascus province. The Refugee Board ruled that conditions in the province were no longer so severe that there was a basis for granting or extending temporary residence permits.

According to the Danish law, a residence permit is granted for the purpose of temporary residence if the person applying for asylum is facing the death penalty or risks being subjected to torture, or inhumane or degrading punishment.

Last year, more Syrians emigrated from Denmark than immigrated into the country. 886 Syrians left Denmark while 563 moved in. In part, this is due to a new Danish repatriation law that encourages immigrants to return to their home countries.

However, the plan has sparked polarising reactions. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees stressed that there was no prospect for a peaceful solution to the long-standing conflict in Syria.

“Unless the situation in Syria is significantly improved in terms of ensuring protection for the population, UNHCR calls on states that have received Syrian refugees – including Denmark – to continue their protection,” UNHCR spokeswoman Elisabeth Arnsdorf Haslund said.

The Social Liberal Party urged the government to listen to the UNHCR’s recommendations. Its spokesman Andreas Steenberg also stressed that Denmark has no return agreement with Syria, which is why sending the refugees back would imply cooperation with Bashar Assad and his government, which Copenhagen has avoided doing.

The national-conservative Danish People’s Party, by contrast, sees the decision as symbolic and has no qualms about cooperating with Assad.

“We just have to see that Assad has been sitting there for a number of years. He is not so easy to get rid of, though we might wish for it,” the party’s foreign rapporteur and former leader Pia Kjærsgaard told the newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

In total, there are over 40,000 Syrians living in Denmark, a nation of 5.8 million.

مكافحة الفساد ومحاكمة الفاسدين لن تحلّ المشكلة..فهل نصدّق؟

ناصر قنديل

يفرح اللبنانيون بمن يقول لهم إن أزمتهم الاقتصادية تختصر بأن مجموعة لصوص سرقوا الأموال وإن وضعهم في السجون وتجريدهم من هذه الأموال هو الحل. فالتفسير المبسط بربط الأزمة بالفساد جاذب، ويُعفي من التفكير بالتعقيدات الاقتصادية. والأهم أنه لا يدعو اللبنانيين لتقبل حقيقة أن الخروج من الانهيار الذي يعيشون في ظله، والمرشح للتفاقم، يحتاج صبراً وتعايشاً مع ظروف مختلفة عن تلك التي اعتادوها خلال سنوات مضت، أنفقوا خلالها عن سنوات مقبلة، عبر الإفادة من سعر صرف منخفض للدولار جرى تمويله بديون سيكون عليهم تسديدها لثلاثين سنة مقبلة، وقد تكفلت حتى الآن باستهلاك كل ودائعهم، وها هم يصحون على الخديعة الكبرى التي لا يستطيعون ولا يريدون تصديقها، فيما تصطدم كل محاولة عقلانية لتشريح المشكلة الاقتصادية والمالية، بعناد شعبويّ، يغذّيه مستفيدون سياسياً من التبسيط القائم على نظرية ومؤامرة الفاسدين، لتسليط كرة النار الغاضبة وتوجيهها لخدمة أغراض وأجندات سياسية.

الفساد موجود بالتأكيد، وهو أكبر معضلة يواجهها الاقتصاد، ولكنه ليس الفساد الذي ينتهي بالسجون والمحاكم، الذي لا يمثل أكثر من 10% من حجم الفساد القاتل للاقتصاد والمبذر للمال العام. فالفساد الحقيقي والتدميري كامن، في نظام الرشوة السياسية والاجتماعية، الذي يشكل قلب الحياة السياسية في لبنان، فعندما ننظر لملف كالكهرباء، الذي كلف الخزينة نزفاً يزيد عن 40 مليار دولار، نسأل ماذا لو نجح الوزراء المتعاقبون من كل الأحزاب والتيارات بحل أزمة الكهرباء كما يراها اللبنانيون، أي تأمين الكهرباء 24/24، هل كان هذا النزف ليتوقف، والجواب المرعب هو لا بالتأكيد، لأن في الكهرباء ثلاث مشكلات منفصلة، واحدة خدمية تتصل بتأمين الكهرباء للبنانيين 24/24، وهذه دونها عقلية المحاصصة التعطيلية للمشاريع بتناوب المعنيين في السلطة على التعطيل إما باقتراح مشاريع تضمن لهم حصصاً يرفضها الآخرون، أو بهذا الرفض من الآخرين طلباً لمحاصصة مغايرة، ودونها من جهة ثانية مصالح أصحاب المولدات وتوزعهم على القوى السياسية الكبرى، وأغلبهم مفاتيح انتخابية، ووجاهات محلية، وإقفال هذه الصناعة والتجارة القائمة على حساب المال العام، يصيب قرابة عشرة آلاف صاحب مولد، وقرابة خمسين ألف مستفيد يعملون في هذا القطاع المستجدّ، لكن حجم تأثير إلغاء هذا القطاع على كتلة الـ 40 مليار دولار لا يزيد وفره عن 10%، أما أزمة الكهرباء الثانية فهي “فسادوية” تتعلق بالسرقات والسمسرات والعمولات، مثل صفقات الفيول بأصلها وتجارتها، والغش بنوعيته، وعمولات التلزيمات الكبيرة والصغيرة، وحجمها لا يصل إلى 10% من الـ40 مليار دولار، أما الـ 80% من الكتلة المالية التي يمثلها رقم الـ 40 مليار دولار فتعود ببساطة، إلى أن لبنان زاد استهلاكه غير المدفوع من الكهرباء مع النزوح السوري أكثر من 100%، بينما زادت قيمته بالعملة الصعبة 200% مع زيادة سعر النفط، فيما تسعير الكهرباء على من يسدّدون فواتيرهم في لبنان، وحجم الجباية، يوفران من عائد الكلفة الإنتاجية إذا توفرت الكهرباء 24/24، ما لا يزيد عن 20% من قيمتها ما لم تتم زيادة التعرفة أربعة أضعاف على الأقل. والفساد السياسي الكبير هو هنا، أن السلطة، فضلت ترك اللبنانيين بالإضافة للسوريين والفلسطينيين يستهلكون الكهرباء الرخيصة، وتسدد من المال العام فرق الكلفة، وتركت بعضهم ينشئ مولدات وشركات توليد محلية، وما تقوم به السلطة هو بتخفيض الإنتاج لتخفيض التكلفة عندما يرتفع سعر النفط وتكبر الفاتورة، لأنها لا تجرؤ على مكاشفة اللبنانيين بالحقيقة، ولا على مطالبة الهيئات الدولية الراعية للاجئين الفلسطينيين والنازحين السوريين، بدفع بدلات استهلاكهم للكهرباء على الأقل، والسلطة لا تجرؤ أيضاً على فعل ما يجب عليها فعله لحماية مصالح اللبنانيين الحقيقية والبعيدة، لأن السياسة في لبنان تقوم أصلاً على هذا النوع من الرشى الداخلية والخارجية، وأي حلّ اليوم للكهرباء سيعني تضاعف الفاتورة الكهربائية أربع مرات على اللبنانيين، بتقنين وبدون تقنين، وبمولدات ودون مولدات.

بالنظر لقضية مماثلة، هي سلسلة الرتب والرواتب، التي ضخت منذ عام 2017 زيادة تعادل ثلث الدخل العائلي والفردي، وزادت الاستهلاك بنسبة الثلث أيضا، مع سعر ثابت للصرف في سوق العملات الصعبة، توزعت اتجاهاتها على ثلاث وجهات ضاغطة على سوق العملات الصعبة، هي زيادة 100% في سوق العاملات المنزليات، ومثلها في سوق شراء السيارات، ومثلها في السفر السياحي إلى الخارج، وهل ثمّة سياسي كان ليجرؤ على رفض سلسلة الرتب والرواتب، خصوصاً أن الرفض سيكون فساداً ما لم يرفض قبله أولاً التنامي الجنوني في خدمة الدين، ويرتبط بوضع سياسة إنقاذ ونهوض شاملتين، والفساد الكبير القائم في النظام اللبناني، هو هذا التبادل في المصالح، نظام مصرفي يقول للسياسيين، من حاكم المصرف إلى أصحاب المصارف، لا تمسوا عوائد الفائدة المرتفعة وسياسة الاستدانة والهندسات المالية، وسنموّل لكم سلسلة الرتب والرواتب الشعبويّة التي تؤمن رضا قواعد مناصريكم، وتضمن لكم الفوز في انتخاباتكم، وليذهب لبنان إلى الخراب، فنحن نشتري الوقت ليس إلا، كما فسّر حاكم مصرف لبنان الهندسات المالية علناً.

العودة إلى الأرقام سترينا ما هو مدهش، فالفارق بين الصادرات والمستوردات حافظ في لبنان خلال أكثر من عشر سنوات ما بين 1997 و2007، على معدل 7 مليارات دولار عجز سنوي، بينما ميزان المدفوعات كان يشهد فائضاً تحققه عائدات السياحة وتحويلات اللبنانيين من الخارج، وعندما بدأ يقع العجز بتراجع هذين العاملين أو أحدهما، كانت تتكفل بتغطيته قيمة التمويل الآتي من الاستدانة الآخذة في التعاظم تحت مسميات جاذبة، باريس 1 وباريس 2 وأخواتهما، ومنذ 2007 حتى 2017، سنشهد انحداراً جهنمياً نحو هاوية سحيقة، لم يكلف أحد نفسه عناء مصارحة اللبنانيين بحجم خطورتها ونتائجها المدمرة، فكيف يكلف أحد نفسه بالسعي لخطة إنقاذ من كارثة لا يعترف بوجودها أصلاً؟ فالسياسة والمال في لبنان مسألة شراء وقت، والأرقام تقول إن فوارق الاستيراد والصادرات زادت من 7 إلى 17 مليار دولار، وفي الوقت ذاته تجمدت تقريباً عائدات السياحة والتحويلات، ومعها بلغ الدين حجماً يستحيل معه الحصول على المزيد، فتراكم عجز ميزان المدفوعات أي فارق دخل لبنان بالعملات الصعبة عن إنفاقه لها، ووصل العجز التراكمي حتى عام 2017 إلى 18 مليار دولار، وماذا يفعل نظام الفساد القائم على إخفاء الحقائق طلباً لرضى الناخبين، سوى شراء الوقت، فما كان سيدر ولا كانت الهندسات المالية إلا للمزيد من شراء الوقت، بدلاً من طرح السؤال، لماذا زاد العجز في الميزان التجاري بهذا الحجم، وكيف يمكن تصحيح بعض الخلل فيه؟

الواضح أن زيادة سعر النفط كانت العامل الأهم في البداية، ثم جاءت الحرب على سورية وفيها، فقطعت خطوط التصدير وتراجعت الصادرات بملياري دولار، وتدفق النازحون السوريون بتشجيع سياسي لبناني مطلوب خارجياً، فزاد الاستهلاك اللبناني بأكثر من ملياري دولار بمزيد من الاستيراد، وجاءت سلسلة الرتب والرواتب وزاد الاستيراد بمليارين آخرين أغلبها في سوق السيارات المستوردة والكماليات، وزاد بمليارين آخرين حجم تحويلات للبنان إلى الخارج في بندي السياحة اللبنانية في مصر وتركيا واليونان وفاتورة العاملات المنزليات، فكيف تصرف نظام الفساد السياسي اللبناني؟ والجواب بمزيد من شراء الوقت، بوهم سقوط سورية، ووهم سيدر، ووهم تراجع أسعار النفط. وبماذا يملأ نظام الفساد السياسي الوقت الذي يشتريه؟ الجواب بتبادل العائدات، تمديد عمر ثقب الكهرباء تفادياً لكلفة الحقيقة، وتمديد عمر نظام الفوائد العالية وتمويلها بهندسات مالية هي عملياً شراء آخر 10 مليارات لدى اللبنانيين بصيغة ودائع، لحساب مصرف لبنان لتمويل عجز الطلب على العملات الصعبة، بدفع سعرها مضاعفاً للمصارف باسم جذاب هو الهندسات، شرع تسعير الدولار عملياً بضعف سعره منذ عام 2016.

الجواب الاقتصادي كان ولا يزال بسيطاً، كهرباء 24/24 وتسعير بالكلفة وعائد نسبي منصف للاستثمار، وتوفير نفط رخيص للكهرباء يخفف الكلفة على المستهلك وعلى سعر المشتقات وعلى فاتورة الاستيراد، بوابته تفاهم لبناني عراقي سوري على تشغيل أنبوب كركوك طرابلس، وليغضب من يغضب، أليس الشعار هو لبنان أولاً؟ وفتح الباب للتصدير وتجارة الترانزيت، وبوابته تفاهم مع سورية، وتأمين عودة النازحين لتخفيض فاتورة الاستيراد، لنعود إلى ارقام 2007، وقد تكفل للأسف سعر الصرف بتصحيح عكسي لقدرات اللبنانيين الاستهلاكية فامتص ثلاثة أضعاف عائد سلسلة الرتب والرواتب، التي طبقت للأسف أيضاً على موظفين تم توظيفهم ونحن ننهار عام 2018، لخدمة نظام الفساد السياسي ذاته، ومن يجرؤ على القول لهؤلاء اليوم، آسفون لا مكان لكم في الدولة؟

مغادرة شراء الوقت مطلوبة سياسياً، واقتصادياً، وشعبياً، فليس لدينا ترف الوقت، لا لننتظر سيدر، ولا لننتظر صندوق النقد الدولي، ولا لننتظر محاكم الفساد والحل السحري الجذاب المسمّى، عودة المال المنهوب، الشعار الذي نجيد في قلب نظامنا القائم على شراء الوقت، والرشوة المادية والمعنوية للشعب، أن نحوّله إلى جزء من لعبة عض على الأصابع بين أطراف النظام المالي والسياسي لإعادة ترتيب معادلة شراء وقت جديد، والوقت ينفد.

Syrian ‘Regime Change’ Architect: William Roebuck, US Ambassador of Destruction

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, May 06, 2020

Since 2006, William Roebuck, a US Diplomat, has been working toward ‘regime change’ in Syria at any cost. The destruction of Syria, hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries, and the migration of one-third of the population have been the price of the US policy under Roebuck’s tenure.  The ultimate goal of ‘regime change’ has never been about greater freedoms, democracy, or human rights for Syrians, but has been with the single target spelled out by Roebuck in 2006: to break the relationship between Iran and Syria. 

William Roebuck, US Ambassador ‘to the Kurds in Syria’

William Roebuck is a 27 year veteran of the US State Department, having served under Presidents Bush, Obama, and currently Trump.  His current title is Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. He is a former US Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain.  He has served in the US embassies in Iraq and chargé d’affaires in Libya under Obama. Seymour M. Hersh wrote about the US Embassy in Libya and its role in arming the terrorists used by the US in Syria.  For the past several years, he has been based in Northeast Syria and managing the Kurds.

Roebuck designed the 2011 “Arab Spring” in Syria

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange revealed a plan concocted by William Roebuck, the former US Ambassador to Syria.  Wikileaks published US diplomatic cables, and chapter 10 of “The Wikileaks Files” concerns Roebuck’s cable sent on December 13, 2006.  Ambassador Roebuck wrote that the US should take action to try to destabilize the Syrian government by provoking it to overreact, both internally and externally. That plan was put into action in March 2011 at Deraa, where armed terrorists were interspersed among unarmed civilians in street protests. The terrorists were provoking the police and security forces by shooting at them, as well as shooting unarmed civilians which were blamed on the security forces.

The cables prove that ‘regime change’ had been the goal of US policy in Syria since 2006 and that the US promoted sectarianism in support of its policy, which built the foundation for the sectarian conflict which resulted in massive bloodshed. Roebuck advocated for exploiting Syria’s relationship with Iran, which makes Syria vulnerable to Israeli airstrikes. Roebuck advised that the US should destabilize the Syrian government by promoting sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia, which at the time was not an issue in Syria, which is a secular government and a tolerant society. By promoting sectarian conflict, which he had observed in the oil-rich Arab Gulf monarchies, Roebuck was crafting the destruction of Syrian society.  The ultimate US goal in Syria was to destabilize the Syrian government by violent means, resulting in a change of government, and the new government would be pro-Israeli, and anti-Iranian.

Roebuck’s memo leaked

In November 2019 an internal memo written on October 31 by Roebuck was leaked to the press. He criticized Trump for failing to stop Turkey from invading the Northeast of Syria. “Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll, represents an intentioned-laced effort at ethnic cleansing,” Mr. Roebuck wrote, calling the abuses “what can only be described as war crimes and ethnic cleansing.”Empowering Terrorism to “Stop” Terrorism: America’s Foreign Policy in Syria Summed Up in Three Headlines

Roebuck praised the SDF as a reliable partner acting as guards to keep US troops safe while they occupied Syria illegally, to steal the Syrian oil, which is to be used to support the SDF, instead of the Pentagon payroll.

Two is the company, but three is a crowd

The US state department has a Syrian trio: William Roebuck, and the special representative for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey. Joel Rayburn is a deputy assistant secretary for Levant Affairs and special envoy for Syria.

Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish officials are often confused as to which US officials are in charge on any given issue, and whether their policies were personally driven, or reflected US foreign policy directives. Many analysts agree that the US foreign policy on Syria is a confusing mess.

Roebuck pushes the Syrian Kurds to unite

The Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) have begun direct talks which US diplomat William Roebuck has promoted. For the last two years, he has been working with the Syrian Kurds.  The goal is to unite all Kurdish parties in Syria in one body, which could be part of the UN peace talks in Geneva to end the Syrian conflict.  The KNC and PYD have had serious disagreements over the years.

The KNC is part of the Istanbul-based ‘Syrian opposition’ and aligned with the Kurdish nationalist Massoud Barzani and his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Iraq.  The KNC received criticism as being pro-Turkish after the Turkish Army invaded the Northeastern region of Syria.

The PYD is part of the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who had been the US partner fighting ISIS.  PYD bases its political and organizational projects on the PKK’s ideology. The PKK is considered as an international terrorist group accused of thousands of deaths in Turkey over the decades.

The first direct negotiations between the KNC and PYD were held in early April at an illegal US military base near Hasakah, with William Roebuck, an SDF commander Mazlum Abdi in attendance.  Roebuck has met numerous times over the past three months with the KNC, trying to push the idea of unification among the Kurdish factions.

At an April 25 press conference in Qamishli, it was announced that Roebuck had presented a draft that called for a unified political vision for Syria.  After about four meetings, the two sides were in agreement on the following points: Syria is to be a federal, democratic, and pluralistic state; the current Syrian government in Damascus was not acceptable; the Kurdish northeast region was to be a political unit.  It was stressed that both parties were committed to resolving the Syrian crisis through the implementation of UN Resolution 2254, and the new Syrian constitution must recognize Kurdish national, cultural, and political rights.

The SDF and PYD do not have political representation in the Geneva talks because of Turkish opposition to their participation, given the fact that Turkey views the groups as terrorists.  Turkey rejects any project that would lead to Kurdish autonomous rule in Syria, which is the goal of the US. When Trump ordered the sudden withdrawal of US troops from the Northeast of Syria in October, the Kurdish leaders immediately turned to the Syrian government in Damascus to save them from extermination at the hands of the invading Turkish Army.  However, the US did not want the Kurds to be protected by Damascus. The US goal is ‘regime change’ using UN Resolution 2254 as their tool. To achieve that end, William Roebuck has continued to work with the Kurds of the Northeast and is now trying to get them united to be at the negotiating table in Geneva. The Kurds might unite, but they will always remain a small minority numbering only 7% of the population, but who are attempting to control 20% of the territory in Syria.  Will there be justice for the Syrian homeowners and landowners within the territory the Kurds call “Rojava”, who have been made homeless and destitute at the hands of the Kurds? Will the Syrians one day rise in a “Kurdish Spring” cleaning to regain their properties?

Ahed al-Hindi, a political analyst based in Washington, DC, told  Al-Monitor that the US goal to unify the Kurdish ranks in northeastern Syria is a part of a project designed to unify the entire Syrian north, including Idlib and the Kurdish Northeast.  The US goal is to prevent the Syrian government from access to the resources which could be used to rebuild Syria.

The next UN peace talks in Geneva

UN Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen gave a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Syria on April 29. He announced the agenda for the next session of the Constitutional Committee had been agreed between the co-chairs, and meetings in Geneva would resume as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions would allow. He continued to stress the importance of the current nationwide ceasefire, which was needed to combat and treat COVID-19.  He declared there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and the UN Security Council resolution 2254 must be used as the path to a political settlement that would be acceptable for the Syrian people while restoring the sovereignty, borders, and independence of Syria.

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

أنقرة «وحيدة» في «نار إدلب»: مقتل أكثر من 30 عسكرياً تركياً في غارة واحدة

سوريا الأخبار الجمعة 28 شباط 2020

قالت تركيا إنها أجلت جنودها عبر المعبر البري لا بواسطة المروحيات كالعادة (أ ف ب )

أنقرة «وحيدة» في «نار إدلب»: مقتل أكثر من 30 عسكرياً تركياً في غارة واحدة
قالت تركيا إنها أجلت جنودها عبر المعبر البري لا بواسطة المروحيات كالعادة (أ ف ب )

لم يعد أمام أنقرة هوامشُ واسعةٌ للمناورة في الملف السوري، كتلك التي أتاحتها سابقاً توازنات «أستانا» وجملةٌ ظروف إقليمية ودولية. سبق لها أن «بلعت» ضربات جوية – شاركت طائرت روسية في تنفيذها – قتلت عسكرييها ودمّرت عتاد جيشها المنتشر في إدلب، لأن المفاوضات مع موسكو حينها بدت «خياراً جيّداً»، وإن لم يُغنها ذلك عن التحرّش بالجيشين السوري والروسي بكل السبلُ المتاحة، بما في ذلك الصواريخ المضادة للطائرات. غير أن انقضاء جولات التفاوض الثلاث بلا توافقات أو تسويات، وخروج اللعب الميداني التركي من «تحت الطاولة» إلى إطار الاستفزاز المعلن، كما في التسجيلات التي أظهرت جنوداً أتراكاً يستهدفون الطائرات السورية والروسية، دفع التحدي إلى مستوى آخر.

موقف الرئاسة التركية الذي خرج أمس عقب اجتماع مجلس الأمن القومي، ركن إلى تحميل دمشق مسؤولية قتل العسكريين الأتراك، وتحييد موسكو عن الواجهة؛ ليبنى على ذلك أن الرد يجب أن يكون «بالمثل» ضد قوات الحكومة السورية ومواقعها، في تكرار لما جرى في الأسابيع الماضية في أرياف إدلب وحلب. إخراج المواجهة (إعلامياً) من الملعب الروسي، وحصرها بـ«ثأر» مع الجارة الجنوبية، يكشف هشاشة السند «الأطلسي» الذي راهنت عليه تركيا في مناورتها الأخيرة؛ بمعنى آخر، لم يحصل الرئيس رجب طيب أردوغان – حتى الآن – على وعود أميركية عملية بالدعم في شمال غربي سوريا، وأول ذلك كان حجب منظومة «باتريوت» عن قواته. ستصعّد أنقرة وتحاول الاستفادة من «الحادث» مثلما فعلت في العام 2015 حين وصل التوتر بينها وبين موسكو أشدّه، وأول الغيث في هذا السياق، كان ابتزاز الأوروبيين بملف اللاجئين السوريين، عبر الإعلان مباشرة عن فتح الحدود أمامهم للوصول إلى أعتاب دول الاتحاد الأوروبي؛ وهو بالمناسبة ابتزاز لا تنحصر مبرراته في الملف السوري، بل تترابط مع صفقات الغاز في شرق المتوسط، والموقف الأوروبي «الحاد» إزاء الدور التركي في ليبيا. ولذلك، اختتمت اتصالات الإدارة التركية، أمس، بحديث مع أمين عام «الناتو» ومستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي؛ وخرجت دعوة رسمية (وإن كانت قد أعلنت من حزب «العدالة والتنمية» لا الرئاسة) لدول «الأطلسي» للتشاور حول «حادثة إدلب».

«مقتلُ عددٍ كبير من العسكريين الأتراك في غارة جوية روسية على واحدة من نقاط الجيش التركي في إدلب»؛ هكذا اختُتم أمس، بعدما كانت الأعين في مطلعه، مُركّزة على معارك سراقب وجبل الزاوية ومحادثات أنقرة الروسية ــ التركية. وقعُ «الصدمة» التركية انعكسَ في محاولة السلطات التعتيم على الأخبار الواردة من مستشفيات لواء اسكندرون المحتل التي استقبلت القتلى والمصابين من العسكريين؛ ولجمِ موجة الغضب الشعبي التركي على «عداد قتلى الجيش» الناشط، عبر حجب الوصول إلى مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي. قبل أن تتالى بيانات رسمية تركية ترفع عدد القتلى تدريجياً إلى 29، فيما زاد العدد على 40 بحسب تقارير أخرى غير رسمية.

منعت موسكو نشاط الطائرات التركية في أجواء شمال غربي سوريا

مئات الأنباء تلت ذلك، تتحدث عن عدد القتلى وموقع استهدافهم، وعن استنفار سلاح الجو التركي ومن ثم عن قصفٍ صاروخي طاول نقاطاً في أرياف إدلب وحلب واللاذقية تحت سيطرة الجيش السوري. في موازاة ذلك، اختتم مجلس الأمن القومي التركي اجتماعاً، استمر لساعتين برئاسة أردوغان، وتحدّث وزير الخارجية التركي مولود جاويش أوغلو، إلى الأمين العام لـ«حلف شمال الأطلسي» يانس ستولتنبرغ، ليسرّب بعدها «بلاغ» من مصدر أمني تركي، يقول إن أنقرة أصدرت أوامر لقوات الشرطة وخفر السواحل وأمن الحدود، بعدم اعتراض أي تدفق محتمل للّاجئين السوريين نحو أوروبا. وبعجالة أيضاً، اجتمعت أحزاب المعارضة التركية لنقاش هذا التطور، وسط نشاطٍ لقنواتها مع حزب «العدالة والتنمية» الحاكم، في محاولة للخروج بموقف «موحّد» تجاه التطور اللافت.

وفي بيان لرئيس دائرة الاتصال في الرئاسة التركية فخر الدين ألطون، قالت أنقرة إنها «قررت الرد بالمثل على النظام السوري غير الشرعي الذي يوجه سلاحه صوب جنودنا»، مشددة على أن «دماء جنودنا الأبطال لن تذهب سدى، وستسمر أنشطتنا العسكرية في الأراضي السورية حتى كسر جميع السواعد التي امتدت على العلم التركي». وقالت إن القوات التركية «الجوية والبرية تواصل قصف كافة الأهداف المحددة لقوات نظام الأسد». واختتم البيان بدعوة «المجتمع الدولي بأسره وعلى رأسه أطراف مسار أستانا، إلى الوفاء بمسؤولياتهم المنوطة بهم».
البيان يشير بوضوح إلى أن تركيا لن تسحب قواتها من إدلب، وهي بذلك تعود إلى حديث أردوغان عن «تحرير كامل نقاط المراقبة، ودفع النظام إلى ورائها». كذلك، فهو يعوّل على «اطراف أستانا» روسيا وإيران، لتنفيذ محتوى «اتفاق سوتشي»، وبذلك فهو يتجنّب أي تلميح سلبي إزاء الدور الميداني الروسي والإيراني، إلى جانب القوات السورية. كل ذلك يفضي إلى نتيجة مفادها أن «الكرّ والفرّ» في الميدان سيتواصل على غرار ما جرى الأسبوعين الماضيين، مع توتر أكبر، تفرضه الحدة الروسية في التعامل مع «المناورات» التركية. وظهر ذلك في إسقاط طائرة مسيّرة تركية حاولت أمس دخول المجال الجوي السوري فوق إدلب. وظهّرت موسكو موقفها هذا عبر بيان لوزارة الدفاع، قالت فيه إن تركيا انتهكت اتفاقيات موقعة معها عبر إرسال «طائرات مسيرة هجومية بشكل غير قانوني لمنطقة إدلب» لدعم هجمات جماعات متشددة ضد قوات الجيش السوري. وجاء ذلك فيما دعمت القوات الجوية الروسية المعارك الدائرة في محيط سراقب، والتي يحاول فيها الجيش استعادة السيطرة على البلدة ومحيطها، بعدما انسحب منها فجر أمس. كذلك، وسط نشاط لافت لسلاح الجو الروسي في سماء إدلب، بعد انطلاق مقاتلات تركية من قواعد قرب الحدود مع سوريا. وبرز أمس في هذا الشأن، إشارة بيان سلطات «إقليم هاتاي» الذي قال إنه «تم إجلاء جميع الجرحى» عبر بوابة معبر بري، لا عبر المروحيات كما جرت العادة، وهو ما يؤكد التقارير التي تحدثت عن منع موسكو، نشاط سلاح الجو التركي فوق شمال غربي سوريا.

اللافت في الموقف التركي كان التسريب عن فتح الحدود مع الاتحاد الأوروبي أمام اللاجئين، وهو قرار يستهدف الضغط على الأوروبيين من جهة، وتخفيف الاحتقان التركي الداخلي في ملف اللاجئين من جهة أخرى؛ وهو احتقان تصاعد مع ارتفاع الخسائر العسكرية التركية في شمال سوريا، وبلغ ليلة أمس، واحدة من ذُراه. ويتقاطع ذلك مع ارتفاع منسوب الاستثمار السياسي لملف «الحرب الخاسرة في سوريا» من قبل المعارضة التركية، وهو موقف يزيد ضيق الخيارات أمام أردوغان.

من ملف : أنقرة «وحيدة» في «نار إدلب»: مقتل أكثر من 30 عسكرياً تركياً في غارة واحدة

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لماذا الحرب الأهلية ممنوعة في لبنان؟

يناير 3, 2020

د.وفيق إبراهيم

لكن حزب الله الذي يؤدي أدواراً داخلية وخارجية تنتج استقراراً وطنياً في لبنان، يدرك مدى استهدافه من الأميركيين والموالين لهم في الداخل،ما يدفعه لبذل جهود رصد ميداني استطاعت حتى الآن الكشف عن تنسيق بين تنظيمات إرهابية سورية وبين بعض المندسين في انتفاضة اللبنانيين.

كما أماطت اللثام عن جهود تركية لاستعمال بعض «التنظيمات الإسلامية» في سبيل تأمين أهمية للدورالعثماني في لبنان، وتحفظ الحزب عن كشف معلومات تتعلق بعلاقات بين دول عربية على رأسها الإمارات، مع تيارات في الانتفاضة.

هذا الىجانب تحرك كبير لمخابرات إسرائيلية تعمل بطريقتين: مباشرة وأخرى من خلال فلسطينيين يعملون معها ولديهم تأثيرهم على مجموعات من المخيمات، هنا يجوز التمعن قليلاً في هوية الكثير من المتظاهرين من جهة طريق الجديدة عند حدودها مع شارع بربور مقرّ حركة أمل ومدى محاولات افتعال فتنة لم تلقَصداها عند جماعة «الأستاذ». هذا من دون نسيان جهود الجيش اللبناني في هذا المجال والتنويه بها.

يتبين أن الحرب الأهلية ممنوعة من جانب حزب الله وحلفائه ولن ينجروا إليها مهما تصاعدت الاضطرابات المفتعلة. لكن المطلوب الاستعجال في تشكيل الحكومة للخروج من حالة «الفراغ» الدستوري الحكومي المعمول عليها أميركياً من لبنان إلى العراق، أي أنها مُصنّعة للوصول إلى الفوضى والاحتراب الداخلي، والغاء الدور الداخلي والخارجي لحزب الله، تمهيداً لإعادة فبركة لبنان جديد، يقوم على تهجير المسيحيين منه، كما قال الرئيس الفرنسي السابق ساركوزي للكاردينال الراعي من أن موقع مسيحيي الشرق هو في الغرب وتوطين الفلسطينيين وقسم من السوريين. هذا ما يؤكد أن المعركة الحالية، هي حرب الدفاع عن لبنان لمنع إلغائه ووضعه في خدمة مصالح «اسرائيل» وبعض الدول العربية المتواطئة معها والمشروع الاميركي في الشرق الأوسط.

Displaced Syrians Continue to Return Home from Lebanon

Displaced Syrians Continue to Return Home from Lebanon

Thursday, 26 December 2019 18:00

HOMS- More Syrians, displaced because of terrorism in Syria, returned home on Thursday from Lebanon through the crossings of Jussyia in Homs and Jdeidet Yabous in Damascus countryside and they were taken to their areas of residence which have been liberated from terrorism by the Syrian army.

The move is part of the Syrian government’s efforts to help the displaced citizens return home.

According to SANA reporter, a number of buses and cars carrying tens of the displaced citizens arrived at the two crossing centers where they were welcomed by concerned authorities and where they received basic services.

Tens of batches of displaced Syrians have returned home from Lebanon over the past two years via the crossings of Jdeidet Yabous, al-Dabbousyia, Jussyia and al-Zamrani to their villages and towns where the army restored security and stability after driving out terrorists.

 Hamda Mustafa

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Bassil: Syria Woe May Recur in Lebanon

Bassil5

December 17, 2019

Caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil declared that “the situation does not bode well and what happened in Syria is threatening to happen in Lebanon and the tragedy of displacement is a joint responsibility.”

Speaking from Geneva at the World Refugee Conference, Bassil addressed the conferees saying, “You have to bear either the burden or the results.”

He explained that the economy of one country cannot bear the cost of two peoples, noting that they have repeatedly called for an organized, safe and dignified return for the Syrian refugees.
“The disaster of Lebanon’s collapse will mean that no other country will dare to receive refugees anymore,” he emphasized.

Source: Websites

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المقابلة التي امتنعت محطة راي نيوز_24 الإيطالي عن بثها.. الرئيس الأسد: أوروبا كانت اللاعب الرئيسي في خلق الفوضى في سورية

المقابلة التي امتنعت محطة راي نيوز_24 الإيطالي عن بثها.. الرئيس الأسد: أوروبا كانت اللاعب الرئيسي في خلق الفوضى في سورية

أكد السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد أن سورية ستخرج من الحرب أكثر قوة وأن مستقبلها واعد والوضع الميداني فيها الآن أفضل، مشيراً إلى ما حققه الجيش العربي السوري من تقدم كبير في الحرب ضد الإرهاب.

وفي مقابلة مع التلفزيون الإيطالي جرت في الـ 26 من تشرين الثاني الماضي على أن تبث بتاريخ الثاني من كانون الأول الجاري وامتنع التلفزيون الإيطالي عن بثها لأسباب غير مفهومة أوضح الرئيس الأسد أن أوروبا كانت اللاعب الرئيسي في خلق الفوضى في سورية ومشكلة اللاجئين فيها بسبب دعمها المباشر للإرهاب إلى جانب الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية وتركيا ودول أخرى.

وبين الرئيس الأسد أنه منذ بداية الرواية المتعلقة بالأسلحة الكيميائية أكدت سورية أنها لم تستخدمها وأن التسريبات الأخيرة حول تقرير منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيميائية تثبت أن كل ما قالته سورية على مدى السنوات القليلة الماضية كان صحيحاً وأنها كانت محقة وهم كانوا مخطئين.

وأكد الرئيس الأسد أن ما فعلته منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيميائية هو فبركة وتزوير لتقرير بشأن استخدام الكيميائي لمجرد أن الأمريكيين أرادوا منها فعل ذلك لتثبت أنها منظمة منحازة ومسيسة تستخدم كذراع لأمريكا والغرب لخلق المزيد من الفوضى.

ودعا الرئيس الأسد الدول التي تتدخل في المسألة السورية للتوقف عن هذا التدخل وكذلك التوقف عن انتهاك القانون الدولي والتزام الجميع به الأمر الذي ينعكس إيجاباً على وضع الشعب السوري.

وفيما يلي النص الكامل للمقابلة…

السؤال الأول:

سيادة الرئيس، شكراً لكم على استقبالنا. هل لكم أن تخبرونا عن ماهية الوضع في سورية الآن؟ ما الوضع على الأرض، وماذا يحدث في البلاد؟

الرئيس الأسد:

لو أردنا الحديث عن المجتمع السوري، فإن الوضع أفضل بكثير، حيث إننا تعلمنا العديد من الدروس من هذه الحرب. وأعتقد أن مستقبل سورية واعد، لأن من الطبيعي أن نخرج من هذه الحرب أكثر قوة. فيما يتعلق بالوضع على الأرض، فإن الجيش السوري يحقق تقدماً على مدى السنوات القليلة الماضية، وحرر العديد من المناطق من الإرهابيين وبقيت إدلب، حيث توجد (جبهة النصرة) المدعومة من الأتراك. وهناك أيضاً الجزء الشمالي من سورية، حيث غزا الأتراك أراضينا الشهر الماضي. أما فيما يتعلق بالوضع السياسي فيمكن القول إنه أصبح أكثر تعقيداً بسبب وجود عدد أكبر من اللاعبين المنخرطين في الصراع السوري من أجل إطالة أمده وتحويله إلى حرب استنزاف.

السؤال الثاني:

عندما تتحدثون عن التحرير، نعلم أن هناك رؤية عسكرية في ذلك الشأن، لكن ماذا عن الوضع الآن بالنسبة للأشخاص الذين قرروا العودة إلى المجتمع؟ أين وصلت عملية المصالحة؟ هل تحقق نجاحاً أم لا؟

الرئيس الأسد:

في الواقع، إن النهج الذي تبنيناه عندما أردنا خلق مناخٍ إيجابي سميناه المصالحة، لكن من أجل تمكين الناس من العيش معاً، ولتمكين أولئك الذين عاشوا خارج المناطق التي تسيطر عليها الحكومة من العودة إلى المؤسسات وسيادة القانون، منحنا العفو للجميع، وسيتخلى هؤلاء عن أسلحتهم ويلتزمون بالقوانين. الوضع ليس معقداً فيما يتعلق بهذه القضية. وقد تتاح لكِ الفرصة لزيارة أي منطقة، وسترين أن الحياة تعود إلى وضعها الطبيعي. فالمشكلة لم تكن في أن “الناس كانوا يقاتلون بعضهم بعضاً”؛ ولم يكن الوضع -كما تحاول الرواية الغربية تصويره- أن السوريين يقاتلون بعضهم بعضاً، أو أنها “حرب أهلية” كما يسمونها، هذا تضليل. واقع الحال هو أن الإرهابيين كانوا يسيطرون على تلك المنطقة ويطبقون قواعدهم. وعندما لا يعود أولئك الإرهابيون موجودين، سيعود الناس إلى حياتهم الطبيعية ويعيشون مع بعضهم بعضاً. لم تكن هناك حربٌ طائفية ولا حربٌ عرقية ولا حرب سياسية، بل كان هناك إرهابيون مدعومون من قوى خارجية ولديهم المال والسلاح، ويحتلون تلك المنطقة.

السؤال الثالث:

هل لديكم مخاوف من أن هذا النوع من الأيديولوجيا الذي طبق وأصبح أساساً لحياة الناس اليومية لسنوات عديدة، يمكن أن يظل –بطريقة أو بأخرى- موجوداً في المجتمع وأن يعود إلى الظهور عاجلاً أم آجلاً؟

الرئيس الأسد:

هذا هو أحد التحديات الرئيسية التي نواجهها. ما طرحته صحيح تماماً. لدينا مشكلتان. تلك المناطق الواقعة خارج سيطرة الحكومة كان يتحكم بها أمران: الفوضى، بسبب غياب القانون، وبالتالي لا يعرف الناس، وخصوصاً الأجيال الشابة، شيئاً عن الدولة والقانون والمؤسسات. الأمر الثاني، وهو متجذر بعمق في العقول، هو الأيديولوجيا.. الأيديولوجيا الظلامية.. الأيديولوجيا الوهابية، إن كان (داعش) أو (النصرة) أو (أحرار الشام)، أو أي نوع من هذه الأيديولوجيات الإسلامية الإرهابية المتطرفة. الآن، بدأنا بالتعامل مع هذا الواقع، لأنه عندما يتم تحرير منطقة، ينبغي حل هذه المشكلة، وإلا فما معنى التحرير؟ الجزء الأول من الحل هو ديني، لأن هذه الأيديولوجيا هي أيديولوجيا دينية، ورجال الدين السوريون، أو لنقل المؤسسة الدينية في سورية، تبذل جهداً كبيراً في هذا المجال، وقد نجحوا في مساعدة هؤلاء الناس على فهم الدين الحقيقي، وليس الدين الذي علمتهم إياه (جبهة النصرة) أو (داعش) أو الفصائل الأخرى.

السؤال الرابع:

إذاً، فقد كان رجال الدين والجوامع، بشكل أساسي، جزءاً من عملية المصالحة هذه؟

الرئيس الأسد:

هذا هو الجزء الأكثر أهمية. الجزء الثاني يتعلق بالمدارس؛ ففي المدارس، هناك مدرسون وتعليم، وهناك المنهاج الوطني. وهذا المنهاج مهم جداً لتغيير آراء تلك الأجيال الشابة، ثالثاً، هناك الثقافة ودَوْر الفنون والمثقفين، وما إلى ذلك. في بعض المناطق، ما يزال من الصعب لعب ذلك الدور، وبالتالي كان من الأسهل علينا أن نبدأ بالدين، ومن ثم بالمدارس.

السؤال الخامس:

 سيادة الرئيس، لنعد إلى السياسة للحظة. لقد ذكرتم تركيا، صحيح؟ وقد كانت روسيا أفضل حلفائكم على مدى هذه السنوات، وهذا ليس سراً، لكن روسيا تساوم تركيا على بعض المناطق التي تعتبر جزءاً من سورية. كيف تقيّمون ذلك؟

الرئيس الأسد:

لفهم الدور الروسي، علينا أن نفهم المبادئ الروسية. الروس يعتبرون أن القانون الدولي، والنظام الدولي الذي يستند إليه، هو في مصلحة روسيا ومصلحة العالم أجمع. وبالتالي، فإن دعم سورية، بالنسبة لهم، هو دعم للقانون الدولي. هذه نقطة. النقطة الثانية هي أن عملهم ضد الإرهابيين هو في مصلحة الشعب الروسي وفي مصلحة العالم بأسره. وبالتالي، فإن قيامهم بـ”مساومات” مع تركيا لا يعني أنهم يدعمون الغزو التركي، لكنهم أرادوا أن يلعبوا دوراً لإقناع الأتراك بأن عليهم أن يغادروا سورية. إنهم لا يدعمون الأتراك. إنهم لا يقولون: “هذا واقع جيد ونحن نقبله، ويتعين على سورية قبوله”. إنهم لا يقولون ذلك.

لكن، وبسبب الدور الأمريكي السلبي، والدور الغربي السلبي فيما يتعلق بتركيا والأكراد، تدخل الروس من أجل تحقيق التوازن مع ذلك الدور. لجعل الوضع، أنا لا أقول أفضل الآن، وإنما أقل سوءاً، إذا توخينا الدقة.

إذاً، هذا هو دورهم في هذه الأثناء. أما في المستقبل، فموقفهم واضح جداً: سيادة سورية وسلامة أراضيها. وسيادة سورية وسلامة أراضيها يتناقضان مع الغزو التركي، وهذا واضح بجلاء.

السؤال السادس:

إذاً، تقولون إن الروس يمكن أن يساوموا، لكن سورية لن تساوم تركيا. أقصد أن العلاقة ما تزال متوترة تماماً؟

الرئيس الأسد:

لا حتى الروس لم يساوموا بشأن السيادة. إنهم يتعاملون مع الواقع. وهناك واقع سيئ، وبالتالي عليك أن تنخرط فيه، ولا أقول للمساومة، لأن هذا ليس حلاً نهائياً. قد تكون مساومة فيما يتعلق بوضع قصير الأمد، لكن على المدى الطويل، أو المتوسط، ينبغي على تركيا أن ترحل. ليس هناك أي شك في ذلك.

 السؤال السابع:

وعلى المدى البعيد، هل هناك خطة لإجراء نقاشات بينكم وبين السيد أردوغان؟

الرئيس الأسد:

لن أشعر بالفخر إذا تعين عليّ ذلك يوماً ما؛ بل سأشعر بالاشمئزاز من التعامل مع مثل هذا النوع من الإسلاميين الانتهازيين. ليسوا مسلمين، بل إسلاميين، وهذا مصطلح آخر، مصطلح سياسي. لكنني أقول دائماً إن وظيفتي لا تتعلق بمشاعري، ولا بأن أكون سعيداً أو غير سعيد بما أفعله، وظيفتي تتعلق بمصالح سورية. وبالتالي، أينما كانت تلك المصالح، فسأتجه.

السؤال الثامن:

في الوقت الراهن، عندما تنظر أوروبا إلى سورية، بصرف النظر عن اعتباراتها بشأن البلد، ثمة قضيتان رئيسيتان: الأولى تتعلق باللاجئين، والثانية تتعلق بالجهاديين أو المقاتلين الأجانب وعودتهم إلى أوروبا. كيف تنظر إلى هذه الهواجس الأوروبية؟

الرئيس الأسد:

بداية، علينا أن نبدأ بسؤال بسيط: من خلق هذه المشكلة؟ لماذا لديكم لاجئون في أوروبا؟ إنه سؤال بسيط. لأن الإرهاب مدعوم من أوروبا، وبالطبع من الولايات المتحدة وتركيا وآخرين؛ لكن أوروبا كانت اللاعب الرئيسي في خلق هذه الفوضى في سورية. وبالتالي كما تزرع تحصد.

السؤال التاسع:

لماذا تقول: إن أوروبا كانت اللاعب الرئيسي؟

الرئيس الأسد:

لأن الاتحاد الأوروبي دعم علنا الإرهابيين في سورية منذ اليوم الأول، أو لنقل الأسبوع الأول، من البداية. حمّلوا المسؤولية للحكومة السورية؛ وبعض الأنظمة -كالنظام الفرنسي- أرسلت لهم الأسلحة. هم قالوا ذلك، أحد مسؤوليهم، أعتقد أنه كان وزير الخارجية فابيوس الذي قال “إننا نرسل أسلحة”. هم أرسلوا الأسلحة وخلقوا هذه الفوضى. ولذلك فإن عددا كبيراً من الناس – ملايين الناس لم يعد بإمكانهم العيش في سورية ووجدوا صعوبة في ذلك، وبالتالي كان عليهم الخروج منها.

 السؤال العاشر:

في اللحظة الراهنة، هناك اضطرابات في المنطقة، وهناك نوع من الفوضى. أحد حلفاء سورية الآخرين هي إيران، والوضع هناك يسير نحو التعقيد. هل لذلك أي انعكاس على الوضع في سورية؟

الرئيس الأسد:

بالتأكيد، فكلما كانت هناك فوضى، ستنعكس سلباً على الجميع، وسيكون لها آثار جانبية وتبعات، وخصوصاً عندما يكون هناك تدخل خارجي. إن كان الأمر عفوياً.. إن كنت تتحدثين عن مظاهرات وأناس يطالبون بالإصلاح أو بتحسين الوضع الاقتصادي، أو أي حقوق أخرى، فإن ذلك إيجابي. لكن عندما تكون عبارة عن تخريب ممتلكات وتدمير وقتل وتدخل من قبل القوى الخارجية، فلا يمكن لذلك إلا أن يكون سلبياً، لا يمكن إلا أن يكون سيئاً وخطيراً على الجميع في هذه المنطقة.

السؤال الحادي عشر:

هل أنتم قلقون حيال ما يحدث في لبنان، وهو جاركم الأقرب؟

الرئيس الأسد:

نفس الشيء. بالطبع، لبنان سيؤثر في سورية أكثر من أي بلد آخر لأنه جارنا المباشر. لكن مرة أخرى، إذا كان ما يحدث عفوياً ويتعلق بالإصلاح والتخلص من النظام السياسي الطائفي، فإنه سيكون جيداً للبنان. ومجددا، فإن ذلك يعتمد على وعي الشعب اللبناني بألا يسمح لأي كان من الخارج أن يحاول استغلال التحرك العفوي أو المظاهرات في لبنان.

السؤال الثاني عشر:

لنعد إلى ما يحدث في سورية. في حزيران، بعث البابا فرنسيس لكم برسالة يطلب فيها منكم الاهتمام بالناس واحترامهم، وخصوصاً في إدلب، حيث ما يزال الوضع متوتراً جداً بسبب القتال هناك، وحتى عندما يتعلق الأمر بمعاملة السجناء. هل رددتم عليه، وماذا كان ردكم؟

الرئيس الأسد:

تمحورت رسالة البابا حول قلقه بشأن المدنيين في سورية. وكان لدي ذلك الانطباع بأن الصورة ليست مكتملة لدى الفاتيكان، وهذا متوقع، بالنظر إلى أن الرواية في الغرب تدور حول هذه “الحكومة السيئة” التي تقتل “شعباً طيباً”. وكما ترين وتسمعين في نفس وسائل الإعلام بأن كل طلقة يطلقها الجيش السوري وكل قنبلة يرميها لا تقتل سوى المدنيين ولا تقع إلا على المستشفيات! إنها لا تقتل الإرهابيين بل تختار أولئك المدنيين! وهذا غير صحيح.

وبالتالي، رددت برسالة تشرح للبابا الواقع في سورية، وبأننا أول وأكثر من يهتم بحياة المدنيين، لأنك لا تستطيعين تحرير منطقة بينما يكون الناس فيها ضدك، لا تستطيعين التحدث عن التحرير بينما المدنيون أو المجتمع ضدك. الجزء المحوري الأهم في تحرير أي منطقة عسكرياً هو أن تحظى بالدعم الشعبي في تلك المنطقة بشكل عام. وهذا ما كان واضحاً على مدى السنوات التسع الماضية.

السؤال الثالث عشر:

لكن هل جعلتك تلك الدعوة تفطن، بطريقة ما، بأهمية حماية المدنيين وحماية الناس في بلدكم؟

الرئيس الأسد:

لا، فهذا ما نفكر فيه كل يوم، وليس من منظور الأخلاق والمبادئ والقيم وحسب، بل من منظور المصالح أيضاً. كما ذكرت قبل قليل، فبدون هذا الدعم، بدون الدعم الشعبي، لا يمكن تحقيق شيء، لا يمكن تحقيق التقدم سياسياً، أو عسكرياً، أو اقتصادياً أو في أي وجه من الوجوه. ما كنا سنتمكن من الصمود في هذه الحرب لتسع سنوات دون الدعم الشعبي، كما لا يمكنك أن تحظي بالدعم الشعبي بينما تقومين بقتل المدنيين، إنها معادلة بديهية لا يمكن لأحد دحضها. ولذلك قلت إنه بصرف النظر عن هذه الرسالة، فإن هذا هو هاجسنا.

لكن الفاتيكان دولة، ونعتقد أن دور أي دولة، إن كان لديها قلق بشأن أولئك المدنيين، هو أن تعود إلى السبب الرئيسي. والسبب الرئيسي هو الدعم الغربي للإرهابيين، والعقوبات المفروضة على الشعب السوري التي جعلت الوضع أسوأ بكثير، وهذا سبب آخر لوجود اللاجئين في أوروبا الآن. كيف تتسق رغبتكم بعدم وجود اللاجئين بينما تقومون في الوقت نفسه بخلق كل الأوضاع أو الأجواء التي تقول لهم: “اخرجوا من سورية واذهبوا إلى مكان آخر”. وبالطبع، فإنهم سيذهبون إلى أوروبا.

إذاً، ينبغي على هذه الدولة، أو أي دولة، أن تعالج الأسباب، ونأمل أن يلعب الفاتيكان ذلك الدور داخل أوروبا وفي العالم، لإقناع العديد من الدول بالتوقف عن التدخل في المسألة السورية، والتوقف عن انتهاك القانون الدولي. هذا كافٍ، فكل ما نريده هو التزام الجميع بالقانون الدولي. عندها سيكون المدنيون في أمان، وسيعود النظام، وسيكون كل شيء على ما يرام. لا شيء سوى ذلك.

السؤال الرابع عشر:

سيادة الرئيس، لقد اُتهمتم مرات عدة باستخدام الأسلحة الكيميائية، وقد شكل ذلك أداة لاتخاذ العديد من القرارات، ونقطة رئيسية، وخطاً أحمر ترتبت عليه العديد من القرارات. قبل عام أو أكثر من ذلك بقليل، وقع حادث دوما الذي اعتبر خطاً أحمر آخر. بعد ذلك، كانت هناك عمليات قصف، وكان يمكن أن تكون أسوأ، لكن شيئاً ما توقف. هذه الأيام، ومن خلال ويكيليكس، يتبين أن خطأً ما ارتكب في التقرير. إذاً، لا أحد يستطيع حتى الآن أن يقول ما حصل، إلا أن خطأ ما ربما حدث خلال صياغة التقرير حول ما جرى، ما رأيكم؟

الرئيس الأسد:

نحن نقول دائماً، ومنذ بداية هذه الرواية المتعلقة بالأسلحة الكيميائية، إننا لم نستخدمها، ولا نستطيع استخدامها، ومن المستحيل استخدامها في وضعنا، لعدة أسباب، دعينا نقل أسبابا لوجستية..

مداخلة:

أعطني سبباً واحداً!

الرئيس الأسد:

سبب واحد وبسيط جداً هو أننا عندما نكون في حالة تقدم، لماذا نستخدم الأسلحة الكيميائية؟! نحن نتقدم، فلماذا نحتاج لاستخدامها؟! نحن في وضع جيد جداً، فلماذا نستخدمها؟! وخصوصاً في عام 2018، هذا سبب.. السبب الثاني، ثمة دليل ملموس يدحض هذه الرواية: عندما تستخدمين الأسلحة الكيميائية، فأنتِ تستخدمين سلاح دمار شامل، أي تتحدثين عن آلاف القتلى، أو على الأقل مئات. وهذا لم يحدث أبداً، مطلقاً. هناك فقط تلك الفيديوهات التي تصوّر مسرحيات عن هجمات مفبركة بالأسلحة الكيميائية، وفي التقرير الذي ذكرته، طبقاً للتسريبات الأخيرة، ثمة عدم تطابق بين ما رأيناه في الفيديوهات وما رأوه كتقنيين وخبراء.

كما أن كمية الكلور التي يتحدثون عنها، وبالمناسبة فإن الكلور ليس سلاح تدمير شامل. هذا أولاً. ثانياً، الكمية التي عثروا عليها هي نفس الكمية التي يمكن أن تكون لديك في منزلك، لأن هذه المادة -كما تعرفين- موجودة في العديد من المنازل، ويمكن أن تستعمليها ربما في التنظيف، أو لأي غرض آخر. نفس الكمية بالتحديد. وما فعلته منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيميائية، هو فبركة وتزوير التقرير لمجرد أن الأمريكيين أرادوا منهم فعل ذلك.

لذلك، لحسن الحظ، فإن هذا التقرير أثبت أن كل ما كنا نقوله على مدى السنوات القليلة الماضية، منذ عام 2013، كان صحيحاً. نحن كنا محقّين، وهم كانوا مخطئين. وهذا هو الدليل، الدليل الملموس بشأن هذه القضية.

إذاً، مرة أخرى تثبت منظمة حظر الأسلحة الكيميائية انحيازها، وأنها مسيّسة ولا أخلاقية. وتلك المنظمات التي ينبغي أن تعمل بالتوازي مع الأمم المتحدة على خلق المزيد من الاستقرار في سائر أنحاء العالم، تُستخدم كأذرع لأمريكا والغرب لخلق المزيد من الفوضى.

السؤال الخامس عشر:

سيادة الرئيس، بعد تسع سنوات من الحرب، تتحدثون عن أخطاء الآخرين. أودّ أن تتحدثوا عن أخطائكم، إذا كان هناك أي أخطاء. هل هناك شيء كان يمكن أن تفعلوه بطريقة مختلفة، وما الدرس الذي تعلمتموه ويمكن أن يساعد بلدكم؟

الرئيس الأسد:

بالتأكيد، فعندما تتحدثين عن فعل أي شيء، لا بد أن تجدي أخطاء. هذه هي الطبيعة البشرية. لكن عندما تتحدثين عن الممارسة السياسية، لنقل، ثمة شيئان: هناك الاستراتيجيات أو القرارات الكبرى، وهناك التكتيك، أو لنقل التنفيذ. وهكذا، فإن قراراتنا الاستراتيجية أو الرئيسية تمثلت في الوقوف في وجه الإرهاب، وإجراء المصالحات والوقوف ضد التدخل الخارجي في شؤوننا.

وحتى اليوم بعد تسع سنوات، ما زلنا نتبنى نفس السياسة، بل بتنا أكثر تمسكاً بها. لو كنّا نعتقد أنها كانت خاطئة، لغيرناها. في الواقع، فإننا لا نعتقد أنه كان هناك أي خطأ فيها. لقد قمنا بمهمتنا، وطبقنا الدستور في حماية الشعب.

الآن، إذا تحدثنا عن الأخطاء في التنفيذ، فبالطبع يوجد العديد منها. لكن أعتقد أنك إذا أردت التحدث عن الأخطاء المتعلقة بهذه الحرب فلا ينبغي أن نتحدث عن القرارات المتخذة خلالها، لأن الحرب -في جزء منها- هي نتيجة لأمور حدثت قبلها..

هناك شيئان واجهناهما خلال هذه الحرب: الأول هو التطرف. والتطرف نشأ في هذه المنطقة في أواخر ستينيات القرن العشرين وتسارع في ثمانينياته، خصوصاً الأيديولوجيا الوهابية. إذا أردت التحدث عن الأخطاء في التعامل مع هذه القضية، نعم، سأقول إننا كنّا متساهلين جداً مع شيء خطير جداً. وهذا خطأ كبير ارتكبناه على مدى عقود. وأتحدث هنا عن حكومات مختلفة، بما في ذلك حكومتنا قبل هذه الحرب.

الشيء الثاني هو عندما يكون هناك أشخاص مستعدون للثورة ضد النظام العام، وتدمير الممتلكات العامة، والتخريب، وما إلى ذلك، ويعملون ضد بلدهم، ويكونون مستعدين للعمل مع قوى أجنبية وأجهزة استخبارات أجنبية، ويطلبون التدخل العسكري الخارجي ضد بلادهم.. فهناك سؤال آخر: هو كيف وجد هؤلاء بيننا؟ إن سألتني كيف، فسأقول لك إننا قبل الحرب، كان لدينا نحو 50 ألف خارج عن القانون لم تقبض عليهم الشرطة، على سبيل المثال. وبالنسبة لأولئك الخارجين عن القانون فإن عدوهم الطبيعي هو الحكومة، لأنهم لا يريدون أن يدخلوا السجن.

السؤال السادس عشر:

وماذا عن الوضع الاقتصادي أيضا؟ لأن جزءاً مما حدث – لا أعلم ما إذا كان جزءاً كبيراً أم صغيراً – تمثل في سخط السكان والمشاكل التي عانوا منها في مناطق معينة لم يكن الاقتصاد ناجحاً فيها. هل يشكل هذا درساً ما تعلمتموه؟

الرئيس الأسد:

قد يشكل هذا عاملاً، لكنه بالتأكيد ليس عاملاً رئيسياً، لأن البعض يتحدث عن أربع سنوات من الجفاف دفعت الناس لمغادرة أراضيهم في المناطق الريفية والذهاب إلى المدن.. وبالتالي يمكن أن تكون تلك مشكلة، لكنها ليست المشكلة الرئيسية. البعض أيضا يتحدث عن السياسات الليبرالية. لم يكن لدينا سياسة ليبرالية، بل ما نزال اشتراكيين، وما يزال لدينا قطاع عام كبير جداً في الحكومة. لا يمكن الحديث عن سياسة ليبرالية بينما لديك قطاع عام كبير. وكنّا نحقق نموا جيداً.

مرة أخرى بالطبع، وفي أثناء تنفيذ سياستنا، يتم ارتكاب أخطاء. كيف يمكن خلق فرص متكافئة بين الناس.. بين المناطق الريفية والمدن؟ عندما تفتح الاقتصاد بشكل ما، فإن المدن ستستفيد بشكل أكبر، وسيؤدي هذا إلى المزيد من الهجرة من المناطق الريفية إلى المدن. قد تكون هذه عوامل، وقد يكون لها بعض الدور، لكنها ليست هي القضية، لأنه في المناطق الريفية، حيث هناك درجة أكبر من الفقر، لعب المال القطري دوراً أكثر فعالية مما لعبه في المدن، وهذا طبيعي؛ إذ يمكن أن يدفع لهم أجر أسبوع على ما يمكن أن يقوموا به خلال نصف ساعة. وهذا أمرٌ جيد جداً بالنسبة لهم.

السؤال السابع عشر:

شارفنا على الانتهاء، لكن لديّ سؤالين أودُّ أن أطرحهما عليكم. السؤال الأول يتعلق بإعادة الإعمار التي ستكون مكلفة جداً. كيف تتخيلون أنه سيكون بإمكانكم تحمّل تكاليف إعادة الإعمار، ومن الذين يمكن أن يكونوا حلفاءكم في إعادة الإعمار؟

الرئيس الأسد:

ليس لدينا مشكلة كبيرة في ذلك. وبالحديث عن أن سورية ليس لديها المال. لا، لأن السوريين في الواقع يمتلكون الكثير من المال. السوريون الذين يعملون في سائر أنحاء العالم لديهم الكثير من المال، وأرادوا أن يأتوا ويبنوا بلدهم؛ لأنك عندما تتحدثين عن بناء البلد، فالأمر لا يتعلق بإعطاء المال للناس، بل بتحقيق الفائدة. إنه عمل تجاري. ثمة كثيرون، وليس فقط سوريون، أرادوا القيام بأعمال تجارية في سورية. إذاً، عند الحديث عن مصدر التمويل لإعادة الإعمار، فالمصادر موجودة، لكن المشكلة هي في العقوبات المفروضة التي تمنع رجال الأعمال أو الشركات من القدوم والعمل في سورية. رغم ذلك، فقد بدأنا وبدأت بعض الشركات الأجنبية بإيجاد طرق للالتفاف على هذه العقوبات، وقد بدأنا بالتخطيط. ستكون العملية بطيئة، لكن لولا العقوبات لما كان لدينا أي مشكلة في التمويل.

السؤال الثامن عشر:

أودُّ أن أختتم بسؤال شخصي جداً. سيادة الرئيس، هل تشعر بنفسك كناجٍ؟

الرئيس الأسد:

إذا أردت الحديث عن حرب وطنية كهذه، حيث تعرضت كل مدينة تقريباً للأضرار بسبب الإرهاب أو القصف الخارجي أو أشياء من هذا القبيل، عندها يمكنك اعتبار أن كل السوريين ناجون. لكن مرة أخرى أعتقد أن هذه هي الطبيعة البشرية، أن يسعى المرء للنجاة.

مداخلة:

وماذا عنك شخصيا؟

الرئيس الأسد:

أنا جزءٌ من هؤلاء السوريين، ولا يمكن أن أنفصل عنهم، ولديّ نفس المشاعر. مرة أخرى، الأمر لا يتعلق بأن تكون شخصاً قوياً ناجياً، لو لم يكن لديك هذا المناخ، هذا المجتمع، هذه الحاضنة -إذا جاز التعبير- للنجاة، فإنك لا تستطيعين النجاة. إنها عملية جماعية، ولا تقتصر على شخص واحد. إنها ليست عملاً فردياً.

الصحفية:

شكراً جزيلاً لكم، سيادة الرئيس.

الرئيس الأسد:

شكراً لكِ.

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حكومة لستة شهور للانتخابات

 

نوفمبر 1, 2019

ناصر قنديل

بات واضحاً أنّ هناك مشروعاً سياسياً داخلياً وخارجياً يقوم على تمرير بقاء الرئيس سعد الحريري لرئاسة الحكومة، مقابل ضمان خروج القوى السياسية من الحكومة لحساب ما يُسمّى بالتكنوقراط. وأنّ الحراك بعدما نجح الإمساك بدفته بوضوح بات جزءاً منخرطاً في هذا المشروع. والواضح أن هذا سيعني التحكم بالخيارات السياسية للدولة من قبل رئيس الحكومة، كسياسي وحيد في الحكومة. وبالمقابل سيكون أي اشتراط في تكوين الحكومة لضمان مشاركة متوازنة سياسياً وطائفياً، معرضاً لمواجهة ضغط في الشارع تحت تهديد الاتهام بالمماطلة بحكومة تحقق آمال الشارع بإصلاح جدّي، سيتمّ نسيانه عند الفوز بحكومة مطواعة، تلبي شروط الخارج وتفتح لها أبواب التمويل لقاء ذلك.

استقالة الرئيس الحريري تمّت ضمن صفقة رعاها الخارج مع الحراك الممسوك، مضمونها مقايضة الاستقالة بتسويقه رئيساً مقبلاً مقبولاً لحكومة التكنوقراط المنشودة، ومن دون أن يرفّ جفن للذين صرخوا لثلاثة عشر يوماً شعار كلن يعني كلن . وبدت بوضوح سهولة الإمساك بالحراك مع تحوّل الحريري إلى قائد ثورة، في ساحات الحراك. مطلوب أن يشكل الحكومة الجديدة، شرط استبعاد الآخرين. والآخرون هنا هم المقاومة وحلفاؤها، ولذلك لم تعُد الحلول الترقيعية والجزئية مجدية بل باتت مدخلاً لاستنزاف سياسي، وربما أمني بلعبة القط والفأر التي تلعبها القوى الأمنية مع قطع الطرقات، واستنزاف اقتصادي بالتأكيد عبر لعبة الغميضة التي يلعبها مصرف لبنان مع الدولار، وتمويل المستوردات.

جوهر الانقسام الحاصل في البلد يتصل بمحاولة واضحة لنقل مصدر الشرعية من المؤسسات الدستورية إلى الشارع الذي يستولي عليه حراك ممسوك من فريق داخلي خارجي لديه حليف شريك في المؤسسات الدستورية يستقوي به لترجيح خياراته ويفرضها بقوة الحديث عن تلبية مطالب الشعب، ولأن البديل المتمثل بتحريك شارع مقابل شارع سيعني ضمناً إتاحة الفرصة لتصوير الشارع المساند للمقاومة وحلفائها كشارع مدافع عن الفساد ورافض للإصلاح، لأن مقابله لن يكون شارع سياسي آخر، بل شارع الحراك الذي انطلق تحت عناوين الإصلاح ومكافحة الفساد.

الحراك قدّم للمقاومة وحلفائها حبل المشنقة الذي عليهم أن يمسكوا به لإطاحة المشروع الذي يراد تمريره تحت ظلال الحراك، وباسم الشعب يريد ، وذلك عبر الشعار الذي هتفت به الساحات، بعضها صادق وبعضها منافق. وهو الانتخابات النيابية المبكرة وفقاً لقانون انتخابي يرتكز على الدائرة الواحدة والنسبية، ولذلك يصير ممكناً للمقاومة وحلفائها قبول حكومة من غير السياسيين ولو كان رئيسها سياسياً، بشرط أن تكون حكومة انتخابات، محدودة الولاية بشهور قليلة متفق عليها لا تزيد عن ستة شهور، يتم خلالها إقرار قانون الانتخابات وتنفيذ الورقة الإصلاحية وإطلاق مؤتمر سيدر، وتجري الانتخابات في نهايتها، لتتمّ تسمية رئيس حكومة وتشكيل حكومة وفقاً لمعايير الديمقراطية، أغلبية تحكم وأقلية تعارض، فإعادة تكوين السلطة باتت أمراً ملحاً وحاسماً في استعادة الشرعية لمكانها الطبيعي وهو المؤسسات الدستورية، والخروج من دائرة الابتزاز تحت شعار الشعب يريد . والشعب هنا هو عشرة متظاهرين يقطعون الطريق وتلاقيهم مؤسسة تلفزيونية، أو مليون متظاهر، لا فرق.

المهم أن تتمسّك قوى المقاومة ومعها الحلفاء بتشكيل لائحة موحّدة لا مجال فيها لشركاء بلا تفاهمات سياسية صارمة وواضحة، وأن تتسع تحالفاتها لكل الشركاء السياسيين، وأن تمسك ببرنامج انتخابي واضح هو عودة فورية للنازحين السوريين بالتعاون مع الحكومة السورية، وفتح أسواق سورية والعراق أمام الشركات اللبنانية لإعادة الإعمار وتسويق المنتجات، وتأمين النفط بأسعار وشروط سداد ميسّرة، والانفتاح على روسيا والصين، لتأمين استثمارات في القطاعات الاقتصادية كالنفط والاتصالات وسكك الحديد والمطارات والموانئ والطرق الدولية، ما يتيح الانطلاق نحو السيطرة على الدين والعجز وإنعاش الاقتصاد، وبالتوازي تشكيل محكمة الفساد برفع الحصانات ورفع السرية المصرفية، ووضع مصير الـ11 مليار دولار ومغارة علي بابا في وزارة الاتصالات، ورفع الغطاء عن كل مُن يظهر تورطه في الفساد من صفوف الحلفاء، وفقاً لمعادلة منع سفر وتجميد أموال لثلاثة شهور لكل من تعاطى شأناً عاماً خلال ثلاثين سنة مضت بمن فيهم كبار الضباط وكبار القضاة والرؤساء والوزراء والنواب والمدراء العامين، تبتّ خلالها النيابة العامة في محكمة الفساد بتحديد اللائحة الاسمية للمشتبه بتورطهم بجرائم الفساد، لمنعهم من الترشّح لأي منصب في الدولة، والحجز على ممتلكاتهم وأموالهم في الداخل والخارج احتياطاً، حتى نهاية التحقيق والمحاكمة.

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Revisiting the win-win-win-win outcome in Syria

Revisiting the win-win-win-win outcome in Syria

The Saker

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

In his recent article “The Road to Damascus: How the Syria War Was Won” Pepe Escobar summarized the outcome of the war in Syria in the following way:

It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive. And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”

This otherwise excellent summary overlooks two out of three members of the “Axis of Kindness”, including Israel and the KSA.  Of course, later in his analysis Pepe does address these actors, and also includes Kuwait. Furthermore, a thorough discussion of what took place would have to also include China, Hezbollah, Yemen and the EU (well, the ones that matter, the UK and France.  The rest are just voiceless colonies of the USA).

Most of the analyses of what just took place focused on the “what”.  I will try to look into the “why” and the “how” of what just happened in Syria.  Still,  I don’t propose to make such a detailed analysis, but I do want to re-classify the actors in a somewhat different way: by their relative strength.

Actor Theoretical Strength
The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA by far the most powerful actor almost by any measure: a bigger military force then all the other actors combined (at least when looked at regionally), huge economic power (the dollar is still THE #1 currency on the planet), total control of the region (via CENTCOM) and quasi unconditional support from Europe (via NATO).  Finally, Israel does pack a powerful military punch.  This actor has only ONE weakness, but more about that later.
Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq in regional terms, Iran is the local superpower which can even successfully defy the Axis of Kindness forces (and has done so since the Islamic Revolution of 1979).
Russia+Syria I placed Russia and Syria in the same group and I could have added Iran, but since I believe that Russia objectively has more power over the Syrian government than Iran, I think that it is important to put Russia and Syria together simply because Damascus cannot say “no” to Moscow, but could do so, at least in theory, to Tehran.  Finally, Russia and Iran agree on the main issues, but have different visions for the future of the Middle-East.  Thus this is another reason to look at them separately, even if not necessarily in opposition to each other.  In military terms, Russia is very strong, then very vulnerable, then very strong again, it all depends on your level of analysis (see below)
Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria That one is a difficult one to classify.  On one hand, Turkey does not have any regional allies (the Ottoman Empire left only hatred and deep resentment in its former colonies).  For a while, the pro-Turkish factions, which were liberally showered with weapons, money, training, logistical support, etc, by the US and the KSA, but eventually these factions grew weaker and weaker until they reached a state of advanced impotence leaving Turkey pretty much alone (we will also look into that below).
The Kurds For a while, they sure looked potentially powerful: not only did the Kurds have a pretty big military power (albeit mostly one restricted to infantry), they had the support of Axis of Kindness and, especially, Israel which saw any form of Independent Kurdistan as a great tool to weaken and even threaten Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria.  Furthermore, the Kurds happened to control a lot of oil rich regions and they could always retreat in the mountainous areas if needed.
The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”). In reality, the Takfiris really ought to be classified together with the Axis of Kindness since they have been the foot-soldiers/cannon-fodder for the AngloZionist since the 1980s (from Afghanistan then to modern day Syria).  Nonetheless, we will consider them as distinct from the rest of the Axis of Kindness forces.

Of course, and just like any other taxonomy, this one is necessarily somewhat subjective and others might use different criteria or categories.  Now let’s look at what I believe is the key to the control of the entire region: the ability to place “boots on the ground” or the lack of such an ability:

Actor Ability to place boots on the ground
The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA This is The One Big Weakness of the Axis of Kindness members: while they have huge armed forces, and even nuclear weapons, while they can deploy numerically very large forces, while they can (arguably) achieve air and naval supremacy/superiority pretty much anywhere in the region, they cannot follow up any of these options with a credible ground force.  While this is always carefully obfuscated by the legacy AngloZionist propaganda, the US, Israeli and KSA ground forces are only capable of murdering civilians or primitive resistance forces en masse.  But as soon as any of these militaries meets a halfway decent enemy force which is willing to fight on the ground, they are defeated (name me ONE meaningful victory of these Axis of Kindness forces in the last couple of decades or more!).
Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq The Iranians and their local allies (calling them “proxies” completely misses the real nature of the relationship between Iran and these regional forces!) are all capable of deploying very capable ground forces.  In fact, they have all done so with tremendous success (especially Hezbollah).  What Iran provides to this informal alliance is the capability to augment it with new, high-tech and modern weapons, including anti-shipping missiles, air defenses, ATGMs, communications, drones, etc.  In terms of ground forces, this alliance is the #1 power in the region.
Russia+Syria Both Russia and Syria have very competent and well-balanced forces deployed in Syria.  However, truth be told, I believe that Hezbollah+Iran currently have even more military weight, at least in terms of ground forces in Syria.  The thing to keep in mind is this: if only Russian forces existed inside Syria (Tartus, Khmeimin, plus assorted special units all over Syria) then Russia is definitely weaker than the Axis of Kindness.  But if we assume that Russian forces outside Syria could (and probably would!) intervene to defend the Russian forces inside Syria, then we would have to flip much of this equation around and categorize Russia as even more powerful than the Axis of Kindness (I will explain in more detail why and how below).
Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria There can be no doubt that at the initiation of the international aggression against Syria, Turkey had a credible and powerful military.  Then something went very wrong and with each new development (starting with the coup attempt against Erdogan) Turkey only got weaker and weaker.  The country which dared to shoot down a Russian Su-24 eventually found itself in the humiliating position to have to ask for Russian help not once, but over and over again.  The latest Turkish invasion of northern Syria has proven that, while the Turks can still beat the Kurds, that’s about all they can do, and even that not very well.
The Kurds Frankly, I never believed in the chances of the Kurds for anything even remotely resembling an independent Kurdistan.  Oh sure, my sympathies were often with the Kurds (at least in their struggle against Turkey), but I always knew that the notion of imposing some new (and very artificial) state against the will of ALL the regional powers was both naive and self-defeating.  The truth is that the US and Israel simply *used* the Kurds if and when needed, and ditched them as soon as it became obvious that the Kurds outlived their utility.  The best the Kurds will ever get is a regional autonomy in Iran, Iraq and Syria.  Anything else is a dangerous pipe dream.
The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”). Just like the Turks, the various Takfiris appeared as a formidable force when the aggression against Syria was initiated.  And if the the US GWOT appeared to be a true blessing for the “good terrorists” (that’s, of course, all the terrorists in this region) it is because it was.  Then something went very very wrong, and now they look as weak and clueless as the Kurds.

Now let’s sum this up.  This is how the relative strength of these regional actors has changed since the initiation of the AngloZionist aggression against Syria:

Actor Evolution of strength of each regional power
The “Axis of Kindness”:United States+CENTCOM+NATO+Israel+KSA DOWN: from strongest to one of the weakest in the region
Iran+Hezbollah+Houthi+Shia forces in Iraq UP: arguably the most balanced military force in the region
Russia+Syria UP: in a process which only *looked* like sheer “good luck” Russia and Syria grew stronger and stronger with each passing year.
Turkey+pro-Turkish factions in Syria DOWN: in sharp contrast to Russia, a weird process of what *looked* like sheer “bad luck” Turkey and its allies in Syria just seemed to get weaker and weaker with each passing year.
The Kurds DOWN: the Kurds made the immense mistake of believing all the empty promises (often called “plan B”, “plan C”, “plan D”, etc.) made by the AngloZionists.  Now all their dreams are over and they will have to settle for autonomy inside Iraq and Syria.
The Takfiris (i.e. the many and constantly name-changing franchises of what used to be called “al-Qaeda”). DOWN: their situation is almost as bad as the one of the Kurds.  Their sole advantage is that they are not linked to any one piece of land and that they can try to regroup somewhere else in the region (or even the world); never say never again, but it looks to me like this will not happen in the foreseeable future.

It is now time to try to make sense of all this and try answer the question of why one group of relatively strong actors had so much bad luck as to become weaker and weaker, while the weaker became stronger and stronger.

The first thing we need to agree upon is that irrespective of the public posturing, everybody is, and has been, talking to everybody else.  This “conversation” could be official and public, or behind closed doors, or even by means of intermediaries and, last but not least, a state version of “body language”: by means of actions which send a message to the other party or parties.  Still, while this is certainly true, it is the quality of the communications between the various parties which made all the difference.  When, say, Netanyahu or Trump publicly proclaim they they don’t give a damn about anything at all (including international law) and that they reserve the right to threaten or even attack anybody, at any time, for any reason whatsoever, this is a very clear message to, say, the Iranians.  But what is that message, really?  It says a couple of things:

  1. Resistance is futile because we are so much stronger than you and therefore
  2. We don’t give a damn about you or your national interests and therefore
  3. We are not interested in negotiating with you (or anybody else for that matter).  Your only solution is to submit to us

This is really crucial.  The USA and Israel have proclaimed their total superiority over the entire planet and, specifically, over every single actor in the Middle-East.  Furthermore, their entire worldview and ideology is predicated on this very strong sense of military superiority.   Ask any Israeli or US American what their countries will do if some coalition of local powers is successful in attacking them: they will reply something along the lines of “we will simply nuke all the friggin’ ragheads and sand-niggers – f**k them!”.  This line is always delivered with a tone of absolute finality, a total certitude and the mental equivalent of “’nuff said!”.

Alas, for the Axis of Kindness, this is a completely counter-factual belief.  Why?

First, the quick appeal to nukes is an implicit admission that there is something very wrong with the rest of the armed forces of the Axis of Kindness.  Furthermore, the real regional powers all understand that it is not in their interest to give the US or Israel a pretext to use nukes.  Thus, while, say, the Iranians sure have the means to strike Israel or any one of the many CENTCOM facilities in the Middle-East, they have been very careful to keep their counter-attacks below the dangerous threshold in which the legacy AngloZionist corporate media would be unable to conceal the magnitude of the disaster and demand that nukes be used (yes, if it comes to that, both the Israeli and the US media will demand nuclear strikes just as they cheered for every war of aggression ever committed by the USA and Israel).

Second, precisely because the US and Israel are unable to have real allies (they only have colonies run by comprador elites), they cannot operate successfully in a multi-lateral kind of relationship with other actors.  The contrast between the US/Israel, on one hand, and Russia and Iran, on the other, could not be greater.  Both Russia and Iran understand that having real allies is much more advantageous than having puppets.  Why?  Because in order to convince somebody to become your ally you absolutely have to offer that party something tangible as part of a compromise goal setting.  When this is done, the weaker ally feels that it is defending its own interests and not the interests of a patron which might be unreliable or which might even backstab you.

Third, one of the best US experts on the theory of negotiations, Professor William Zartman, wrote in his seminal book “The Practical Negotiator” that

One of the eternal paradoxes of negotiations is that it allows the weak to confront the strong and still come away with something which should not be possible if weakness and strength were all that mattered (…).  Weaker parties tend to seek more formal negotiating forums and to strengthen their hand through organizations (…).  Weak states can afford erratic or irresponsible behavior more easily than stronger parties, particularly when the rules of regularity and responsibility favor the strong (…).  Weak states do best by rewarding stronger states’ concessions rather than than by “hanging tough” and by opening high to indicate needs and to facilitate rewards (…).  The tactics of toughness and softness vary according to the strength of the parties: under symmetry, toughness tends to lead to toughness and under asymmetry to softness, with weaker parties following the leader of stronger parties.

There is a lot to unpack here (and there is much more in this book which I highly recommend to everybody!).

First, let’s compare and contrast the Russia and US approaches to creating negotiation fora.  The US cooked up the “Friends of Syria” forum which was most remarkable in two unique ways:  first, in spite of calling itself “Friends of Syria” this group only contained a who’s who of Syria’s, Iran’s and Russia’s enemies (just like to “Friends of Libya” was a cornucopia of countries hostile to Libya).  Secondly, the self-evident (and not really denied) purpose and function of this group was to bypass the UNSC.  There is nothing new here, the US has been trying to replace the UN and its role in upholding international law with all sorts of gimmicks including “coalition of the willing” or appeals for a “rules-based international order”.  Needless to say, with the possible exception of a few truly dim propagandists, all these tricks are designed to avoid the already existing international fora, beginning with the United Nations.  Russia, in contrast, not only used the UN for all its (admitted limited) worth and succeeded in forcing the USA to accept resolutions on Syria (or the Ukraine for that matter) which the US did not want to agree to, but which they could not veto on political considerations.  Not only that, Russia also created the Astana peace process which, unlike the US created fantasies, brought together different parties including parties hostile to each other.  The most brilliant move of the Russians was to impose on all parties the notion that “those willing to negotiate are legitimate parties whose interests must be considered while those who refused to sit down are all terrorists“.  Of course, the many al-Qaeda franchises tried to play the “rebranding game”, but this did not help: you can change names once every 24 hours if you want, but if you ain’t sitting down at the negotiating table you are a terrorist and, therefore, a legitimate target for Russian/Iranian/Syrian attacks.  Once the Empire had to accept these terms, backed by a UNSC resolution, it became locked-in in a process which they could only stop by means of a military victory.

And here we come back to the boots on the ground issue.  For all its combined military power, the Axis of Kindness does not have a ground force it can put on the ground.  Whereas the Syrians, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia very neatly and most effectively (even if informally) agreed to the following assignment of tasks:

  1. The Syrians will let the Russians reorganize their armed forces, especially a few elite units, and slowly, step-by-step liberate their lands.
  2. The Iranians and Hezbollah will act like a fire-brigade and will directly support the Syrian operations with their own forces in crucial sectors of the line of contact.
  3. The Russians will take control of the Syrian airspace and provide the Syrians, Iran and Hezbollah protection from AngloZionist missile and bomb strikes.  Finally, Russian special operation forces will be engaged in high priority operations which are beyond Iranian or Hezbollah capabilities.

What was the biggest obstacle to the Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah-Russian plans?

Turkey, of course.  The Turks have always hated Assad (father and son) and their Neo-Ottoman delusions still give them a, shall we say, “special desire” to intervene beyond their own borders.  Furthermore, Turkey also very much saw Syria as a contributing factor to their “Kurdish problem”.  Finally, Turkey did have the kind of military which made it possible for it to threaten intervention or even intervene in Iraq and Syria (obviously not against Iran).  Thus, what Russia needed to do was take Turkey out of the equation or, at least, weaken Turkey as much as possible.  And that is exactly what Russia did.

For the Kremlin the shooting down of the Su-24 was tantamount to a declaration of war.  Except that the Russians, quite aware of their relative weakness if compared to the US+NATO+CENTCOM+Turkey, wisely decided not to retaliate in kind and, say, strike Turkish military facilities.  But Putin did promise “you won’t get away with just not selling us tomatoes” (Russia imposed an embargo on a number of Turkish export goods).  Besides a number of political and economic sanctions, you can be sure that the Russians decided to use all their methods and means to weaken and destabilize both Erdogan personally and Turkey as a whole.  Then, here is what happened:

  • On November 24th, 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24
  • In the next days, Russia closed down the north Syrian airspace, severed all contacts with the Turkish military, promised to shoot down any other Turkish aircraft attacking any target in Syria (regardless from what airspace) and imposed political and economic sanctions.
  • In December Putin ominously declared “Если кто-то думает, что, совершив подлое военное преступление: убийство наших людей — они отделаются помидорами, или какими-то ограничениями в строительной и других отраслях, то они глубоко заблуждаются” (“if somebody thinks that by committing a vile war crime they will get away with tomatoes or some type of restrictions in the construction and other industries, they are profoundly mistaken“).
  • In June 2016,  Erdogan sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin expressing sympathy and ‘deep condolences’.
  • On 15 July 2016, a coup d’état was attempted against Erdogan and almost cost him his life.  By all accounts, Russia played some kind of behind-the-scenes role and saved Erdogan’s life and power.
  • Following the failed coup, Turkey embarked on a major re-alignment and cast its lot with Russia and Iran, even if that meant having to accept Assad in power in Syria.

What exactly Russia did behind the scenes (versions range from warning Erdogan to actually using Russian special forces to evacuate him in extremis) will probably remain a secret for many years, but neither does it really matter.  All we know for sure, is that after the coup, Erdogan made a 180 and completely changed his tune.  My personal belief is that the Russians used their covert means to entice the US and its Gulenist CIA puppets to try to overthrow Erdogan only to then foil their coup attempt.  I find the two other main options (the US is fantastically stupid and incompetent and Russia is an amazingly lucky country) much harder to believe.  But even if we accept these options, or some combination thereof, Russia still superbly played her cards (by, for example, using the pretext of Turkey’s downing the Su-24 to strongly beef up Russian air defense capabilities in Syria) and Turkey was removed as a “powerful hostile actor” from the Russian equation of the Middle-East.

After that, what was left was only a kind of “political and military mopping-op operation.

Russia repeatedly tried to make the Kurds realize that their strategy of fighting every single neighbor they had was a non-starter which will inevitably backfire.  Alas for the Kurdish people, their leaders were either too delusional, or too corrupt, to understand this.  In the meantime, Erdogan and the rest of the Turkish political establishment were adamant they Turkey would under no circumstances allow the Syrian (or Iraqi) Kurds to ever establish their own state.

[Sidebar: I really feel sad for the Kurds, but I also have to say that they really did it to themselves.  This ought to be systematically studied, but their appears to be two kinds of small nations: those who are smart enough to play one big neighbor against the other while collaborating with both (say Kazakhstan or Mongolia) and then there are those who have no sense of history at all and who end up repeating the same mistakes over and over again like, say, the Poles or the Kurds.  These nations always have a bloated sense of self-worth which leads them to act as if they were the big guys on the block and every time all they achieve is alienating all their truly big neighbors.  Apparently, irrespective of the number of times these folks were smacked down by others in history, their narcissistic self-aggrandizement and, frankly, arrogance, gets them invaded, then invaded again and then invaded some more.  You could say that they are born losers or that they “failed to learn the lessons of history”.  Same difference, really]

For the Kremlin, the solution was obvious: use the Turks to force the Kurds to accept the inevitable but don’t let the Turks establish a permanent invasion force in northern Syria.

True, the Russians have voiced their rather flaccid disapproval of the Turkish operation and they called everybody to come back to the negotiation table.  This is one rather rare example in which Russia’s rhetoric did not match her actions because in reality the Turkish operation would have been absolutely impossible if the Russians had not given Ankara an unofficial, but very trustworthy, go ahead beforehand.  Furthermore, according to at least one report (which I find reasonably credible) the Russian Aerospace Forces even scrambled a pair of Su-35S to engage a Turkish pair of F-16 which, as soon as they saw what was about to happen, decided to make a run for their lives.  Yet, in other instances, we know for a fact that F-16’s were used against Kurdish targets.  It is pretty clear that the Russians not only told Erdogan what was acceptable and what was not, they also “fine tuned” the Turkish operation just so it would force the Kurds to negotiate while not making it possible for the Turks to establish any kind of meaningful presence in northern Syria.

What happened next was a domino effect.  The Kurds tried to fight as best they could, but everybody realized that they were doomed.  The US Americans, very predictably and, I would argue, very logically, also ran for their lives.  Trump used this (totally true, but nevertheless pretext) to get out of Syria (at least officially) not only to protect US lives, but to also get out of the political quicksand which Syria has become for the Axis of Kindness.

Last but not least, the Israelis were absolutely livid, and for good reason: there is no doubt that they are the biggest losers in this entire process and they now find themselves in the situation of depending on a pretend superpower which cannot deliver anything of value (except loads of dollars which the Israelis spend on a lot of useless hardware).  The recent events in the region have not only shown that US ground forces plainly suck, they have also show that US guarantees are worthless while US weapons systems are vastly over-rated.

Here we come to what I believe is the single most important development of this conflict: ALL the many Israeli plans for the region collapsed one after the other.  Most pathetically, all the trips Netanyahu made to Russia to try to con the Russians into taking Israel seriously have failed.  Why?  Because the Russians have long understood that Israel is a paper tiger with impressive “roar” (aka the massive international Zionist propaganda machine known as the “western free media” among infants and dull people) but who is unable to follow up its loud roaring with anything more tangible.  Yes, I know, the worse things go for the Israelis, the bigger their boastful propaganda becomes: after having promised that the “invincible IDF” conducted “hundreds” of strikes in Syria and Iraq they now make noises about having a “killing list” which includes Hassan Nasrallah.  Right.  As for their “hundreds” of airstrikes, they must be the most inept and poorly executed air campaign since the total failure of NATO’s air campaign in Kosovo.  Ask yourself this basic question:

If the Israelis have been conducting “hundreds” of airstrikes in Syria – why have they not resulted in any tangible effects on the military situation on the ground?

After all, when the Russians intervened, they changed the course of the entire war.  In fact, the (very small) Russian Aerospace task force in Syria reversed the course of that war.

Why did the Russian air campaign yield such truly phenomenal results and why did the Israel air campaign yield absolutely nothing (except some much needed psychotherapy for the many Zionists who suffer form what Gilad Atzmon brilliantly referred to as “pre-traumatic stress disorder”)?

The answer is simple: one was a real military campaign while the other was just “feel good” PR.

A very good example of Zartman’s thesis that “Weak states can afford erratic or irresponsible behavior more easily than stronger parties, particularly when the rules of regularity and responsibility favor the strong” can be found in the relative position of, on one hand, Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthis and, on the other, the US and Israel.  Not that Iran or its allies have acted irresponsibly, they have not, but when they reacted, it was always with a double message: we don’t want war, but we are ready for it.  But when the US engages in rather crude threats (just think of all the silly threats Trump has made during his presidency, including the most recent ones to wage war on Turkey if needed, not a joke, check here), these threats always end up further weakening the USA.  It is a true blessing for Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrians that their enemies are not only so inept, but also so good at cornering themselves in the worst kind of situations.  In the end, the US still managed to lose face, even if you were never told about it.  What do I mean?

Just look at what just took place:  Trump sent Erdogan such a crude and rude letter (he sounds like a 10 year old), which was so insulting to Erdogan that he not only tossed it in the trash bin, but he also made sure to tell his aides to “leak” to the media how Erdogan treated Trump’s silly threats and insults.   Turkey also launched a full-scale invasion and clearly challenged the USA to do something about it.  At this point, the two other “geniuses” in the White House (Pompeo and VP Pence) had to scramble to Ankara in what was clearly a desperate “damage control” mission, beg for a meeting, and then beg the Turks to agree to an entirely symbolic ceasefire which gave just enough time for the Kurds to agree to all the Syrian terms and to let the Syrian army take control of huge swaths of land without firing a single shot.  Now here is the beauty of it all:

Pompeo and Pence demanded that Erdogan agree exactly to the kind of balanced outcome the Russians have been advocating all along!  I am amazed that the Dem-media has not accused Pompeo and Pence of being Russian agents because what they just “demanded” and “obtained” from Turkey is exactly what Putin wanted 🙂

Of course, this was all wrapped in all sorts of threats and promises to wipe out this or that country (including Turkey, a NATO member state which could, in theory, invoke Art 5 and ask NATO to defend it against the USA!  Of course, this would not happen as this would mark the end of NATO) and all the rest of the obligatory barking we always hear from the US when the “best military in world history” fails to achieve anything at all (even if Trump seriously claims that the US – not Russia – defeated the Takfiris the West has so lovingly been federating, supporting, I strongly believe, directing them for decades).  Yes, Trump did the right thing when he declared that he wanted the US forces out of Syria, but let’s not be naive about that either: he did not order that because he is some great humanitarian, but because if the Turks, the Kurds, the Syrians or anybody else had taken a hard shot at the US forces in the region, this would have resulted in a bigger war which would certainly cost Trump his presidency.

Which brings us to the Russian task force in Syria.  As I said, it is strong, then weak and then strong again.  It all depends on your assumptions:

If we look just at the Russian task force in Khmeinim and Tartus, we see that it is protected by cutting edge Russian weapons systems including S-400s, Su-34s, Su-35S, EW stations, battle management stations, etc.  This is more than enough to beat back a pretty powerful missile and/or bombing strike.  In this case we can think of the Russian task force in Syria as very powerful and capable of dealing with many types of attack.

On the next level, however, it becomes obvious that the biggest weakness of the Russian task force in Syria has been, from day 1, its very small size.  Irrespective of its sophistication, the Russian air defenses can be over-run by a determined attack by any combination of Axis of Kindness forces simply because at the end of the day, air defenses are always a part of a numbers game.  Even in the best of cases, one Russian air defense missile can only engage one attacking missile or aircraft.  For an attack to be successful, all the Axis of Kindness forces need to do is calculate how many missiles the Russians have, then shoot about 1.5x that number of (rather antiquated) Tomahawks, and once the Russians use up their stores, follow up with a second wave of missiles, this time modern and difficult to target ones.  At this point the Russians would have to reply with only their AA artillery and their EW capabilities.  Inevitably, there will come a point when they will be overwhelmed.  In this scenario, Russia is the weaker party and the Russian task force is doomed in case of a sustained US/NATO/CENTCOM attack.

Finally, there is a third level which the AngloZionists have to consider: the Russians have made it pretty clear that in case of an attack on the Russian task force in Syria, Russia will use her strategic striking capabilities to protect her task force.  Such measures could include: long range cruise missile attack and air strikes (possibly coming from the Iranian airspace).  In this case, as my friend Andrey Martyanov explained many times, including in his article “Russia’s Stand-Off Capability: the 800 Pound Gorilla in Syria” which he concluded by the follow words:

“This simple, single operational fact shows precisely why for two years a relatively small Russian military contingent has been able to operate so effectively in Syria and, in fact, dictate conditions on the ground and in the area of its operations. The answer is simple—many adrenaline junkies are lowered in a cage into the water to face sharks, with only metal rods separating them and sharks’ deadly jaws. Yet, up there, in the boat one can always put a man with a gun which can be used in case of emergency to a deadly effect should the cage give. The Russian military contingent in Syria is not just some military base—it is the force tightly integrated with Russian Armed Forces that have enough reach and capability to make anyone face some extremely unpleasant choices, including the fact that it is Russia, not the US, who controls escalation to a threshold and that can explain a non-stop anti-Russian hysteria in US media since the outcome of the war in Syria became clear”

Here, again, we have the same stance as Iran’s: we don’t want war, but we are ready for it.  One could say that the US stance is the polar opposite: we do want war (heck, we *need* it for political and economic reasons!), but we are completely unprepared for it (including psychologically).

Conclusion: remember all those who are now proven wrong!

Remember all the folks who predicted with absolute confidence that Russia was “selling out” Syria?  They began their tune when Russia prevented a US attack on Syria by catching the US at its word and offering to remove all chemical weapons from Syria.  Not only were these weapons useless, they were a prefect pretext for the Axis of Kindness to strike Syria.  The US was livid, but had to accept.  Well, all the “Putin/Russia is/are selling out” Syria immediately claimed that Russia was disarming Syria to make it easier for Israel to attack.

Yet, in reality, no (meaningful) Israeli attack ever materialized.

Then the same folks claimed that Russia “allowed” Israel to strike Syria, that the Russians turned off their S-300s/S-400s, etc, etc, etc.

Yet, in reality, the US pretty much gave up, while the Israelis claimed “hundreds” of sorties.  Maybe they even did hit a few empty and therefore unprotected buildings, who knows?

Then there was the massive choir of trolls declaring that Russia would partition Syria.  Yet, for all the convincing sounding arguments (at least to those who did not understand Russia or the Middle-East), one by one the various “good terrorists” strongholds fell to the Syrian military.  Now more Syrian land has been liberated than ever before.  As for the Turks, they can dream on about a bigger Turkey or about creating some kind of security/buffer zone, but they understand that they cannot do that if Russia and Syria both oppose this.  In fact, Turkey has officially promised to respect the territorial integrity of Syria (see here, in Russian)

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of The Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:

1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.

2. They emphasize their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and Ras Al Ayn with a depth of 32 km will be preserved.

4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.

5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30 km from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10 km, except Qamishli city.

6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.

7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.

8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.

9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.

10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee.

 

Memorandum of Understanding Between Turkey and the Russian Federation

http://en.kremlin.ru/supplement/5452

October 22, 2019 (emphasis added by me, VS)

President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of The Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin agreed on the following points:

1. The two sides reiterate their commitment to the preservation of the political unity and territorial integrity of Syria and the protection of national security of Turkey.

2. They emphasize their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and to disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

3. In this framework, the established status quo in the current Operation Peace Spring area covering Tel Abyad and Ras Al Ayn with a depth of 32 km will be preserved.

4. Both sides reaffirm the importance of the Adana Agreement. The Russian Federation will facilitate the implementation of the Adana Agreement in the current circumstances.

5. Starting 12.00 noon of October 23, 2019, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border, outside the area of Operation Peace Spring, to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30 km from the Turkish-Syrian border, which should be finalized in 150 hours. At that moment, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start in the west and the east of the area of Operation Peace Spring with a depth of 10 km, except Qamishli city.

6. All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.

7. Both sides will take necessary measures to prevent infiltrations of terrorist elements.

8. Joint efforts will be launched to facilitate the return of refugees in a safe and voluntary manner.

9. A joint monitoring and verification mechanism will be established to oversee and coordinate the implementation of this memorandum.

10. The two sides will continue to work to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict within Astana Mechanism and will support the activity of the Constitutional Committee.

The key elements of this MoU are

  1. USA out, Russia in
  2. Syria’s borders cannot be changed

You can see the full press conference of Putin and Erdogan by clicking here.

Finally, this is the reaction of one of the worst AngloZionist propaganda outlets in Europe:

Title: The capitulation of the West

“Die Kapitulation des Westens” (The Capitulation of the West).

I can’t say that I disagree with their conclusion 🙂

Finally, does this “capitulation talk” not remind you of something else we have all seen recently?

Yes, of course, the Ukronazi “Ні капітуляції!” (no to the capitulation!).

Again, what does all that talk of “capitulation” strongly suggest?

If this is not a triumph of Russian diplomacy then I don’t know what this is!

And, just for those who disagree, let me throw in a rhetorical question:

If Putin is such a loser who “sells out” everything and who works with/for Israel and for Netanyahu specifically, if Russia is so weak and clueless, why is it that it is not the Russian people who are denouncing a “capitulation” but, instead, why are all the enemies of Russia freaking out about capitulating?

*******

And now, where do we go from here?

Actually, I am very cautiously optimistic since there is a huge difference between Russia and the USA: the USA needs constant wars simply in order to survive, whereas Russia needs peace to flourish.  Now that the Russians are the biggest player in the Middle-East (well, with the Iranians, of course), they will use the fact that they have pretty good relationships with everybody, including (former?) enemies of Russia like the KSA or the UAE.

Of course, there shall be no peace between Israel and the rest of the Middle-East, if only because by its very nature Israel is a mortal threat to every country in the region, even for countries which currently eagerly collaborate with Israel (like the KSA). The only way for the long suffering Middle-East to finally live in peace again would be for  the Zionist “occupation regime over Jerusalem to vanish from the arena of time” to use the famous, and often mistranslated, words of Ayatollah Khomeini.  The current Iranian Supreme leader also clearly spelled out the only manner in which the Palestinian question can be solved peace will be achieved in the Middle-East:

“The Islamic Republic’s proposal to help resolve the Palestinian issue and heal this old wound is a clear and logical initiative based on political concepts accepted by world public opinion, which has already been presented in detail. We do not suggest launching a classic war by the armies of Muslim countries, or throwing immigrant Jews into the sea, or mediation by the UN and other international organizations. We propose holding a referendum with [the participation of] the Palestinian nation. The Palestinian nation, like any other nation, has the right to determine their own destiny and elect the governing system of the country.”

Both Iranian leaders are absolutely correct.  There shall never be peace in the region as long as a crazed racist regime which has only contempt for the rest of the planet continues its slow motion genocide of the indigenous population of Palestine.

In the meantime, now that Syria, Russia, Iran, the Houthis, Hezbollah and the Shia forces in Iraq have successfully shown Uncle Shmuel the door out of Syria, the last Israeli plan (a “plan Z” perhaps) has now collapsed along with any hopes of creating an independent Kurdistan.

Israel is in no condition to take on such a powerful coalition.  I would argue that even the US cannot win against this force, even if it still is capable of triggering a bloodbath (just like the Israelis did in 2006).

Of all the strategic collapses we have seen under the Obama and Trump presidencies, the loss of influence in the Middle-East is probably the biggest one of them all.  This is a very positive development for the region and for the world.  Now let’s just hope that whoever makes it into the White House in 2020 will understand that this is a done deal and will not try to make “the Empire great again” and reverse that course as any such attempts will result in a major regional war.

The Saker

PS: here is a video of the “best military in history” being pelted by stones and veggies by disgusted Kurds while the US forces evacuate in a hurry.  Really says it all, doesn’t it?  Feel the love 😉

It also appears that the same sentiment is shared by the Iraqis who are now trying to take legal action to finally also give the boot to Uncle Shmuel, see here: https://www.rt.com/news/471645-iraq-pleads-un-help-us-troops/

Again, feel the love, the respect and the (lack) of fear 🙂

 

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – OCTOBER 23, 2019: ERDOGAN, PUTIN REACH ‘HISTORIC DEAL’ ON NORTHERN SYRIA

South Front

On October 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin reached an agreement to settle the situation in northeastern Syria.

According to the agreement, Turkey’s Operation ‘Peace Spring’ will continue in a limited area between Tell Abyad and Ras al-Ayn with a depth of 32km. Starting from 12:00 October 23, units of the Russian Military Police and the Syrian Army will be deployed along the rest of the Turkish border to the east of the Euphrates.

Syria and Russia should facilitate the removal of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their weapons from to the depth of 30km from the Turkish-Syrian border. After this, joint Russian-Turkish patrols will start to the east and the west of the area of Operation Peace Spring.

A joint monitoring and verification mechanism to oversee these processes will be established.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to the territorial integrity of Syria and protection of the national security of Turkey, and vowed to combat terrorism in all forms and disrupt separatist agendas in the Syrian territory.

Turkey and Russia emphasized the importance of the 1998 Adana accord, a security pact between Syria and Turkey. Among other things, it allows Turkish to carry out cross-border operations against terrorists in Syria, while Damascus promises not to harbor members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

Other points of the agreement include the need to facilitate return of refugees to Syria and find a long-standing political solution of the conflict in Syria.

On October 22, Syrian government forces completed deployment along the Hasakah-Aleppo highway. On the same day, President Bashar al-Assad inspected frontlines in southern Idlib. During the visit, he called Turkish President Erdogan a “thief” stealing Syrian land. Nevertheless, such statements are typical for the Damascus government, when it comments on Turkish military actions in Syria.

Developments on the ground and actions of the Syrian government demonstrate that Damascus supports the settlement of the situation in northeastern Syria through cooperation with Turkey.

Related

لبنان على مفترق… والقلق يتفوّق على الأمل

 

أكتوبر 19, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– الأكيد بالنسبة للذين لا مصالح لهم في قراءات محرّفة للواقع، أن الساعات الأولى من ليل أول أمس، حملت أول انتفاضة شعبية سلمية مدنية عابرة للطوائف والأحزاب في تاريخ لبنان، توحّد خلالها الشعب بوجه شعور بالاستهتار بأوجاعه، عبّر عنه ما بدا أنه تمرير لقرار الضريبة على الواتساب، بين مَن اقترح ومَن وافق ومَن اعترض وتحفّظ واكتفى بذلك، أو مَن أنكر أن هناك قراراً وصمتاً على ترويج القرار حتى منتصف الليل.

– ككل انتفاضة شعبيّة عفويّة بلا قيادة ولا برنامج، ولا جهة منظمة، يصير الناس أفراداً لهم صوت جمعي احتجاجي عنوانه وسقفه مرتفعان، إسقاط النظام واستقالة الحكومة والحكام والوزراء والنواب، لكن هذا لا يعني أن ملاقاة الانتفاضة في منتصف الطريق لحلول عاقلة تمنع الذهاب إلى الفوضى والمجهول، وتمنع تسليمها لمن يريد استثمارها سياسياً وتوظيفها بتبنّي شعارات عالية السقوف لتبرير مواصلة التأزم، لتخلو الساحة للتخريب، وأجهزة المخابرات والمجموعات المنظمة.

– مصدر القلق هو هنا. فالقراءات الخاطئة ممن لديهم القرار تقطع الطريق على الملاقاة المشنودة، والوقت الذي يمضي هو ليس مهلة طلبها أو منحها رئيس الحكومة، بل صارت الإثنين وسبعين ساعة التي تحدّث عنها رئيس الحكومة، مهلة للذين يريدون سرقة الانتفاضة، وتحويلها مصدراً للفوضى، لتبرير تفريق المنتفضين بالقوة. وهذا لن يجلب الاستقرار. فالقراءة الخاطئة التي قدّمها رئيس الحكومة تفترض أن مشروعه الذي اختلف عليه مع شركائه، كما وصفهم، مقبول من الشارع. وهو مشروع يتضمن ضرائب أشدّ قسوة من الضريبة التي فجرت الانتفاضة، على يد أحد أبطال الفريق الاقتصادي للرئيس الحريري، الوزير محمد شقير، الذي كان أفضل لرئيس الحكومة لو أعلن إقالته في رسالته للبنانيين، وتواضع للناس معترفاً بخطأ التفكير الضرائبي وتعهّده بتقديم برنامج مختلف يعرضه على اللبنانيين، ويطلب ثقتهم على أساسه، ويشترط عودتهم لممارسة رئاسته للحكومة بوضعه موضع التنفيذ، شرط أن يكون إنقاذياً فعلاً، يبدأ بتأمين موارد الخزينة من الفارق المحقق بين ترك سوق النفط للشركات والسمسرات وبين شراء النفط من دولة لدولة، كما عرض الحريري في لقاء بعبدا الاقتصادي، ولم ينفّذ.

– الآن ولأن القلق يتفوّق على الأمل من الجهتين، جهة الخطاب السياسي العاجز عن ملاقاة اللحظة الحرجة بما يناسبها، وجهة الشارع الذي يحتله تدريجاً من يتربّصون بالبلد لأخذه إلى الفوضى، وبينهما حلفاء الحريري الوهميّون الذين يتربّصون لإخراجه نهائياً من المشهد السياسي بتزيين الاستقالة أمامه، لم يتبقّ إلا أن يدعو رئيس الجمهورية إلى لقاء رئاسي في بعبدا يضمّه مع الحريري ورئيس مجلس النواب، يخرج بعده الحريري لإعلان استقالة وزيرَيْ الأزمة محمد شقير وجمال الجراح، ويقدم تعهّداً بأن لا ضرائب جديدة، ويعلن الإجراءات التي يعرفها جيداً لوقف الانهيار النقدي والاقتصادي، من استيراد النفط والقمح من قبل الدولة وخصوصاً الفيول للكهرباء، وتوفير قرابة ملياري دولار على الخزينة سمسرات وأرباح شركات، إلى فوترة الخلوي والمولدات والبنزين والمازوت بالليرة اللبنانية، مروراً بإلغاء استئجار المباني للحكومة وشركاتها وضيوفها الأجانب وتجميعها في مبانٍ حكومية، وصولاً إلى وضع ضوابط وقيود على دولرة السوق ونزيف العملات الصعبة، وأخيراً إعلان زيارة رئيس الجمهورية إلى دمشق لتأمين فتح الطريق أمام التصدير والترانزيت عبر سورية نحو العراق والخليج، وضمان خطة لعودة النازحين. وكلها خطوات واقعية يعرفها الجميع وكان يضعها في سلة التجاذب السياسي الذي صار ترفاً مع مشاهد أمس، والتي ستزداد سوءاً.

– يبقى أن ننتظر كما كل اللبنانيين الأمل بدلاً من القلق، مع كلمة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله.

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Occupy Down Town Beirut! Is Lebanon’s Economy Collapsing beyond Resuscitation?

Occupy Down Town Beirut! Is Lebanon’s Economy Collapsing beyond Resuscitation?

By Fatima Haydar – Beirut

Lebanon, the tiny Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is still recovering from a devastating civil war. Almost three decades had passed and Lebanon is still suffering from the consequences of that war which ended in 1990.

The economic situation in Lebanon is beyond repair; and the situation is getting even worse. Thanks to the dire economy, it is the third-highest indebted country in the world in terms of the ratio of debt-to-GDP.

Economist and Professor of Finance at the Lebanese University, Dr. Ali Awdeh, tackles the economic crisis in Lebanon in an interview with al-Ahed News.

“We are facing a real crisis which is being exaggerated by the complex political situation,” Dr. Awdeh said, adding that “this is not the first time Lebanon has faced such a crisis. Indeed, we have had more difficult times than what we are currently facing.”

He compared the economic situation in Lebanon prior and post 2000, “If we are talking about the budget deficit, the public debt, the trade deficit, or the Balance of Payments [BoP] deficit, sometime after the war between 2000 and 2002, then Lebanon has experienced worse times; though, there was no state of panic.”

“However, nowadays, the gravity of what makes people feel how bad the situation is, is that the political situation is worse and more complicated than before; the danger lies in the polarity of division among the parties and the depth of political differences; Not to mention, the problem posed by corruption, which has become more deeply rooted than it has been in the previous period,” Dr. Awdeh explained.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese economist explained that both the financial and monetary situations in the country are facing difficulties. Though, he clarified that the situation was not as bad as it seemed, “there is stability in the banking sector in general, and the monetary sector is also fairly stable.”

Conversely, the scarcity of US dollars is causing a crisis for Lebanese citizens and businesses. Yet, this scarcity is not “spontaneous”, as Dr. Awdeh puts it, explaining that the Central Bank was following “this policy of withdrawing US dollars from Lebanese markets to keep as much of the American currency in Lebanon. But at the same time, the Central Bank cannot control the circulation of dollars.”

Dr. Awdeh shed light on the crisis caused by the budget deficit, specifically the balance of payments and trade deficits. He said that “due to lack of sound financial decision, the financial policies set forth for the coming 20 or so years were not on the right track.”

According to Dr. Awdeh, the monetary policy was trying to fill in the gaps caused by the financial decision, though the former was unable to cover all of the latter’s aspects.

The economist stressed the need for a sound financial decision, which will pave the way for a less dependent economy. “It is a chain or a cycle, the first step being a sound financial decision-making and financial reforms; and thus, directing public finance into the right direction,” Dr. Awdeh clarified.

Furthermore, he tackled the policies of Bank of Lebanon [BDL] – the central bank of Lebanon – and its governor Riad Salameh, which had been in place since 1993, noting that financial and monetary policies should be “more pragmatic” – in other words, according to the economist, they should be more flexible – to change with the changing economic circumstances.

Dr. Awdeh focused on the positive and negative aspects of these policies. He spoke of currency exchange rates, interest rates and dollarization.

“The fixed currency exchange rate has had some positive aspects at first, as people had no confidence in the Lebanese pound,” he said, adding that this policy led to a state of stability in the exchange rate and a stability – to some extent – in inflation.

Regarding interests, Dr. Awdeh saw that it would have been much better if the Lebanese government followed a more flexible approach – one that would increase and decrease in accordance with economic developments.

The dollarization – according to Dr. Awdeh – was another failure in the policies of the BDL. He explained that the Lebanese economy “is very much dollarized and a large amount of deposits at the banks are in US dollars. As a result, a large part of the loans granted by banks are in US dollars.

He said that the BDL “could not solve this problem, so the economy remained dollarized while the exchange rate was constant.”

Nonetheless, the expert came to conclusion that many of the BDL’s policies and measures aimed to enhance the situation, but what happened was the opposite. He said the BDL should have paid attention to what he called “side effects”.

Though, Dr. Awdeh stressed the necessity on the part of the Lebanese government to take the necessary measures to deal with the crisis saying, “This is an extraordinary situation – a situation that required greater alert from the government”.

In a parallel notion, the economist related the economic situation in Lebanon to the regional and international arena. Dr. Awdeh believed that “it is no one’s interest – at home or abroad – that the economic situation in Lebanon collapses.”

He further added, “Regardless of whether they are [regional and international states] on our side or not, there are about 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon; and if the economy collapses, they will leave and become other countries’ burden.”

“So, no one has an interest in the significant deterioration of Lebanon’s economic situation,” Dr. Awdeh concluded.

Voices from Syria’s Rukban Refugee Camp Belie Corporate Media Reporting

Global Research, July 05, 2019
MintPress News 4 July 2019

Eva Bartlett visited refugees in Syria escaping the horrid conditions in the Rukban Refugee Camp, a desolate outpost in the US administered deconfliction zone. What she found was very different than the ‘reality’ depicted by the Western press.

***

A little over a year ago — just after the Syrian army and its allies liberated the towns and villages around eastern Ghouta from the myriad armed jihadist groups that had waged a brutal campaign of torture and executions in the area — I interviewed a number of the civilians that had endured life under jihadist rule in Douma, Kafr Batna and the Horjilleh Center for Displaced People just south of Damascus.

A common theme emerged from the testimonies of those civilians: starvation as a result of jihadist control over aid and food supplies, and the public execution of civilians.

Their testimonies echoed those of civilians in other areas of Syria formerly occupied by armed anti-government groups, from Madaya and al-Waer to eastern Aleppo and elsewhere.

Despite those testimonies and the reality on the ground, Western politicians and media alike have placed the blame for the starvation and suffering of Syrian civilians squarely on the shoulders of Russia and Syria, ignoring the culpability of terrorist groups.

In reality, terrorist groups operating within areas of Syria that they occupy have had full control over food and aid, and ample documentation shows that they have hoarded food and medicines for themselves. Even under better circumstances, terrorist groups charged hungry civilians grotesquely inflated prices for basic foods, sometimes demanding up to 8,000 Syrian pounds (US $16) for a kilogram of salt, and 3,000 pounds (US $6) for a bag of bread.

Given the Western press’ obsessive coverage of the starvation and lack of medical care endured by Syrian civilians, its silence has been deafening in the case of Rukban — a desolate refugee camp in Syria’s southeast where conditions are appalling to such an extent that civilians have been dying as a result. Coverage has been scant of the successful evacuations of nearly 15,000 of the 40,000 to 60,000 now-former residents of Rukban (numbers vary according to source) to safe havens where they are provided food, shelter and medical care.

Silence about the civilian evacuations from Rukban is likely a result of the fact that those doing the rescuing are the governments of Syria and Russia — and the fact that they have been doing so in the face of increasing levels of opposition from the U.S. government.

A harsh, abusive environment

Rukban lies on Syria’s desolate desert border with Jordan, surrounded by a 55-km deconfliction zone, unilaterally established and enforced by the United States, and little else aside from the American base at al-Tanf, only 25 km away — a base whose presence is illegal under international law.

It is, by all reports, an unbearably harsh environment year-round and residents of the camp have endured abuse by terrorist groups and merchants within the camp, deprived of the very basics of life for many years now.

In February, the UNHCR reported that young girls and women in Rukban have been forced into marriage, some more than once. Their briefing noted:

Many women are terrified to leave their mud homes or tents and to be outside, as there are serious risks of sexual abuse and harassment. Our staff met mothers who keep their daughters indoors, as they are too afraid to let them go to improvised schools.”

The Jordanian government, home to 664,330 registered Syrian refugees, has adamantly refused any responsibility in providing humanitarian assistance to Rukban, arguing that it is a Syrian issue and that keeping its border with Syria closed is a matter of Jordan’s security — this after a number of terrorist attacks on the border near Rukban, some of which were attributed to ISIS and one that killed six Jordanian soldiers.

According to U.S. think-tank The Century Foundation, armed groups in Rukban have up to 4,000 men in their ranks and include:

Maghawir al-Thawra, the Free Tribes Army, the remnants of a formerly Pentagon-backed group called the Qaryatein Martyr Battalions and three factions formerly linked to the CIA’s covert war in Syria: the Army of the Eastern Lions, the Martyr Ahmed al-Abdo Forces, and the Shaam Liberation Army.”

Those armed groups, according to Russia, include several hundred ISIS and al-Qaeda recruits. Even the Atlantic Council — a NATO- and U.S. State Department-funded think-tank consistent in its anti-Syrian government stance — reported in November 2017 that the Jordanian government acknowledged an ISIS presence in Rukban.

The Century Foundation also notes the presence of ISIS in Rukban and concedes that the U.S. military “controls the area but won’t guarantee the safety of aid workers seeking access to the camp.”

Rukban

The Rukban camp, sandwiched between Jordan, Syria borders and Iraq, Feb. 14, 2017. Raad Adayleh | AP

Syria and Russia have sought out diplomatic means to resolve the issue of Rukban, arguing repeatedly at the United Nations Security Council for the need to dismantle the camp and return refugees to areas once plagued by terrorism but that have now been secured.

As I wrote recently:

The U.S. stymied aid to Rukban, and was then only willing to provide security for aid convoys to a point 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) away from the camp, according to the UN’s own Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock. So, by U.S. administration logic, convoys should have dropped their Rukban-specific aid in areas controlled by terrorist groups and just hoped for the best.”

The U.S., for its part, has both refused the evacuation of refugees from the camp and obstructed aid deliveries on at least two occasions. In February, Russia and Syria opened two humanitarian corridors to Rukban and began delivering much-needed aid to its residents.

Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Bashar al-Ja’afari, noted in May 2019 that Syria agreed to facilitate the first aid convoy to Rukban earlier this year, but the convoy was ultimately delayed by the United States for 40 days. A second convoy was then delayed for four months. Al-Ja’afari also noted that the U.S., as an occupying power in Syria, is obliged under the Geneva Conventions to provide food, medicine and humanitarian assistance to those under its occupation.

Then, in early March, the Russian Center for Reconciliation reported that U.S. authorities had refused entry to a convoy of buses intending to enter the deconfliction zone to evacuate refugees from Rukban.

According to a March 2019 article from Public Radio International:

[W]hen Syrian and Iranian forces have entered the 34-mile perimeter around the base, American warplanes have responded with strikes — effectively putting Rukban and its residents under American protection from Assad’s forces.”

Despite the abundance of obstacles they faced, Syria and Russia were ultimately able to evacuate over 14,000 of the camp’s residents to safety. In a joint statement on June 19, representatives of the two countries noted that some of the camp’s residents were forced to pay “militants” between $400 to $1000 in order to leave Rukban.

Media reports on Rukban … from abroad

While Rukban — unlike Madaya or Aleppo in 2016 — generally isn’t making headlines, there are some pro-regime-change media reporting on it, although even those reports tend to omit the fact that civilians have been evacuated to safety and provided with food and medical care.

Instead, articles relieve America and armed Jihadist groups of their role in the suffering of displaced Syrians in Rukban, reserving blame for Syria and Russia and claiming internal refugees are being forced to leave against their will only to be imprisoned by the Syrian government.

Emad Ghali, a “media activist,” has been at the center of many of these claims. Ghali has been cited as a credible source in most of the mainstream Western press’ reporting on Rukban, from the New York Times, to Al Jazeera, to the Middle East Eye. Cited since at least 2018 in media reporting on Rukban, Ghali has an allegiance to the Free Syrian Army, a fact easily gleaned by simply browsing his Facebook profile. He recently posted multiple times on Facebook mourning the passing of jihadist commander and footballer Abdul Baset al-Sarout. As it turns out, Sarout not only held extremist and sectarian views, but pledged allegiance to ISIS, among other less-than-noble acts ignored by most media reports that cite him.

Ghali ISIS

Ghali paid homage to ISIS commander Abdul Baset al-Sarout on his Facebook page

Citing Ghali as merely a “media activist” is not an unusual practice for many covering the Syrian conflict. In fact, Ghali holds the same level of extremist-minded views as the “sources” cited by the New York Times in articles that I reported on around the time Ghouta was being liberated from jihadist groups in 2018.

Four sources used in those articles had affiliations to, and/or reverence for the al-Qaeda-linked Jaysh al-Islam — including the former leader Zahran Alloush who has been known to confine civilians in cages, including women and children, for use as human shields in Ghouta — Faylaq al-Rahman, and even to al-Qaeda, not to mention the so-called Emir of al-Qaeda in Syria, the applauded Abu Muhammad Al-Julani.

Claims in a Reuters article of forced internment, being held at gunpoint in refugee centers, come from sources not named in Rukban — instead generically referred to as “residents of Rukban say”…

An article in the UAE-based The National also pushed fear-mongering over the “fate that awaits” evacuees, saying:

[T]here is talk of Syrian government guards separating women and children from men in holding centres in Homs city.There are also accusations of a shooting last month, with two men who had attempted an escape from one of the holding centres allegedly killed. The stories are unconfirmed, but they are enough to make Rukban’s men wary of taking the government’s route out.”

Yet reports from those who have actually visited the centers paint a different picture.

An April 2019 report by Russia-based Vesti News shows calm scenes of Rukban evacuees receiving medical exams by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, who according to Vesti, have doctors there every day; and of food and clean, if not simple, rooms in a former school housing displaced refugees from Rukban. Notably, the Vesti journalist states: “There aren’t any checkpoints or barriers at the centre. The entrance and exit are free.”

The Russian Reconciliation Center reported on May 23 of the refugee centers:

In early May, these shelters were visited by officials from the respective UN agencies, in particular, the UNHCR, who could personally see that the Syrian government provided the required level of accommodation for the refugees in Homs. It is remarkable that most of the former Rukban residents have already relocated from temporary shelters in Homs to permanent residencies in government-controlled areas.”

Likewise, in the Horjilleh Center which I visited in 2018 families were living in modest but sanitary shelters, cooked food was provided, a school was running, and authorities were working to replace identity papers lost during the years under the rule of jihadist groups.

Calling on the U.S. to close the camp

David Swanson, Public Information Officer Regional Office for the Syria Crisis UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs based in Amman, Jordan, told me regarding claims of substandard conditions and of Syrians being forcefully held or mistreated in the centers that,

People leaving Rukban are taken to temporary collective shelters in Homs for a 24-hour stay. While there, they receive basic assistance, including shelter, blankets, mattresses, solar lamps, sleeping mats, plastic sheets, food parcels and nutrition supplies before proceeding to their areas of choice, mostly towards southern and eastern Homs, with small numbers going to rural Damascus or Deir-ez-Zor.

The United Nations has been granted access to the shelters on three occasions and has found the situation there adequate. The United Nations continues to advocate and call for safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian assistance and access to Rukban as well as to all those in need throughout Syria. The United Nations also seeks the support of all concerned parties in ensuring the humanitarian and voluntary character of departures from Rukban.”

Hedinn Halldorsson, the Spokesperson and Public Information Officer for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) based in Damascus, told me:

We looked into this when the rumours started, end of April, and concluded they were unfounded – and communicated that externally via press briefings in both Geneva and NY. The conditions in the shelters in Homs are also adequate and in compliance with standards; the UN has access and has done three monitoring visits so far.”

Syria Rukban

Syrian Arab Red Crescent members unload food and water for Rukban’s evacuees. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Halldorsson noted official UN statements, including:

“Alleged mistreatment of Rukban returnees

  • The United Nations is aware of media reports about people leaving Rukban having been killed or subject to mistreatment upon arrival in shelters in Homs.
  • The United Nations has not been able to confirm any of the allegations.

Regarding the issue of shelters, Halldorsson noted that as of July 1st:

  • Nearly 15,600 people have left Rukban since March – or nearly 40 per cent of the estimated total population of 41,700.
  • The United Nations has been granted access to the shelters in Homs on three occasions and found conditions in these shelters to be adequate.”

Confirming both UN officials’ statements about the Syrian government’s role in Rukban, the Syrian Mission to the United Nations in New York City told me:

The Syrian Government has spared no effort in recent years to provide every form of humanitarian assistance and support to all Syrians affected by the crisis, regardless of their locations throughout Syria. The Syrian Government has therefore collaborated and cooperated with the United Nations and other international organizations working in Syria to that end, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/182.

There must be an end to the suffering of tens of thousands of civilians who live in Al-Rukban, an area which is controlled by illegitimate foreign forces and armed terrorist groups affiliated with them. The continued suffering of those Syrian civilians demonstrates the indifference of the United States Administration to their suffering and disastrous situation.

We stress once again that there is a need to put an end to the suffering of these civilians and to close this camp definitively. The detained people in the camp must be allowed to leave it and return to their homes, which have been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army from terrorism. We note that the Syrian Government has taken all necessary measures to evacuate the detainees from the Rukban camp and end their suffering. What is needed today is for the American occupation forces to allow the camp to be dismantled and to ensure safe transportation in the occupied Al-Tanf area.”

Given that the United States has clearly demonstrated not only a lack of will to aid and or resettle Rukban’s residents but a callousness that flies in the face of their purported concern for Syrians in Rukban, the words of Syrian and Russian authorities on how to solve the crisis in Rukban could not ring truer.

Very little actual coverage

The sparse coverage Rukban has received has mostly revolved around accusations that the camp’s civilians fear returning to government-secured areas of Syria for fear of being imprisoned or tortured. This, in spite of the fact that areas brought back under government control over the years have seen hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians return to live in peace and of a confirmation by the United Nations that they had “positively assessed the conditions created by the Syrian authorities for returning refugees.”

The accusations also come in spite of the fact that, for years now, millions of internally displaced Syrians have taken shelter in government areas, often housed and given medical care by Syrian authorities.

Over the years I’ve found myself waiting for well over a month for my journalist visa at the Syrian embassy in Beirut to clear. During these times I traveled around Lebanon where I’ve encountered Syrians who left their country either for work, the main reason, or because their neighborhoods were occupied by terrorist groups. All expressed a longing for Syria and a desire to return home.

In March, journalist Sharmine Narwani tweeted in part that,

the head of UNDP in Lebanon told me during an interview: ‘I have not met a single Syrian refugee who does not want to go home.’”

Of the authors who penned articles claiming that Syrians in Rukban are afraid to return to government-secured areas of Syria, few that I’m aware of actually traveled to Syria to speak with evacuees, instead reporting from Istanbul or even further abroad.

On June 12, I did just that, hiring a taxi to take me to a dusty stretch of road roughly 60 km east of ad-Dumayr, Syria, where I was able to intercept a convoy of buses ferrying exhausted refugees out of Rukban.

Merchants, armed groups and Americans

Five hundred meters from a fork in the highway connecting a road heading northeast to Tadmur (Palmyra) to another heading southeast towards Iraq — I waited at a nondescript stopping point called al-Waha, where buses stopped for water and food to be distributed to starving refugees. In Arabic, al-Waha means the oasis and, although only a makeshift Red Crescent distribution center, and compared to Rukban it might as well have been an oasis.

A convoy of 18 buses carrying nearly 900 tormented Syrians followed by a line of trucks carrying their belongings were transferred to refugee reception centers in Homs. Members of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent distributed boxes containing beans, chickpeas and canned meat — the latter a scarcity among the displaced.

Rukban evacuation

Buses transported nearly 900 refugees from Rukban Camp to temporary shelters in Homs on June 12. Photo | Eva Bartlett

As food and water were handed out, I moved from bus to bus speaking with people who endured years-long shortages of food, medicine, clean water, work and education … the basic essentials of life. Most people I spoke to said they were starving because they couldn’t afford the hefty prices of food in the camp, which they blamed on Rukban’s merchants. Some blamed the terrorist groups operating in the camp and still others blamed the Americans. A few women I spoke to blamed the Syrian government, saying no aid had entered Rukban at all, a claim that would later be refuted by reports from both the UN and Red Crescent.

Image on the right: An elderly woman recounted enduring hunger in Rukban. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Syria Rukban

An old woman slumped on the floor of one bus recounted:

We were dying of hunger, life was hell there. Traders [merchants] sold everything at high prices, very expensive; we couldn’t afford to buy things. We tried to leave before today but we didn’t have money to pay for a car out. There were no doctors; it was horrible there.”

Aboard another bus, an older woman sat on the floor, two young women and several babies around her. She had spent four years in the camp:

“Everything was expensive, we were hungry all the time. We ate bread, za’atar, yogurt… We didn’t know meat, fruit…”

Merchants charged 1,000 Syrian pounds (US $2) for five potatoes, she said, exemplifying the absurdly high prices.

I asked whether she’d been prevented from leaving before. “Yes,” she responded.

She didn’t get a chance to elaborate as a younger woman further back on the bus shouted at her that no one had been preventing anyone from leaving. When I asked the younger woman how the armed groups had treated her, she replied, “All respect to them.”

But others that I spoke to were explicit in their blame for both the terrorist groups operating in the camp and the U.S. occupation forces in al-Tanf.

An older man from Palmyra who spent four years in the camp spoke of “armed gangs” paid in U.S. dollars being the only ones able to eat properly:

The armed gangs were living while the rest of the people were dead. No one here had fruit for several years. Those who wanted fruit have to pay in U.S. dollars. The armed groups were the only ones who could do so. They were spreading propaganda: ‘don’t go, the aid is coming.’ We do not want aid. We want to go back to our towns.”

Mahmoud Saleh, a young man from Homs, told me he’d fled home five years ago. According to Saleh, the Americans were in control of Rukban. He also put blame on the armed groups operating in the camp, especially for controlling who was permitted to leave. He said,

“There are two other convoys trying to leave but the armed groups are preventing them.”

Image below: Mahmoud Saleh from Homs said the Americans control Rukban and blamed armed groups in the camp for controlling who could leave. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Syria Rukban

A shepherd who had spent three years in Rukban blamed “terrorists” for not being able to leave. He also blamed the United States:

“Those controlling Tanf wouldn’t let us leave, the Americans wouldn’t let us leave.”

Many others I spoke to said they had wanted to leave before but were fear-mongered by terrorists into staying, told they would be “slaughtered by the regime,” a claim parroted by many in the Western press when Aleppo and other areas of Syria were being liberated from armed groups.

The testimonies I heard when speaking to Rukban evacuees radically differed from the claims made in most of the Western press’ reporting about Syria’s treatment of refugees. These testimonies are not only corroborated by Syrian and Russian authorities, but also by the United Nations itself.

*

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Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and occupied Palestine, where she lived for nearly four years. She is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. See her extended bio on her blog In Gaza. She tweets at @EvaKBartlett

Featured image:  An elderly women evacuated from Rukban complained of hunger due to extremely high food prices. Photo | Eva Bartlett

Hassan Nasrallah: Without Hezbollah, South Lebanon would be Israel’s, Palestinian & Syrian Refugee Crisis must be solved

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 25, 2019, on the 19th anniversary of the Liberation of Lebanon.
 
Transcript:

[…] One of the most important results of this (May 25), 2000 victory, which was confirmed and strengthened over time, is to have shaped the equation of force in Lebanon. In 2000, with the Israeli defeat, it became clear that in Lebanon, a force had imposed on the Israeli enemy (by force) to get out defeated, humiliated, fleeing (the battlefield). Israel has not obtained any gain nor was it able to impose any conditions, any security agreement (for an orderly retreat or a peace treaty), any reward or compensation whatsoever: on the contrary, it was a retreat (without negotiations or conditions), a (real) humiliation. And anyway, Israelis themselves unanimously acknowledge this.

All that was said at the time to (try to) confiscate the results of this victory, that what happened was allegedly the result of a secret agreement, of a deal (between so and so), a (mere) implementation by Israel of UN Resolution 425 (passed in 1978!), it all fell apart within a few days, because it was a mirage, illusions, lies, mystification attempts that had no basis of truth or reality. The whole world –and primarily Israel itself– submitted to the fact, and recognized and accepted that what happened on May 25, 2000 was a total defeat for the Israeli enemy and a clear, decisive, conclusive, radiant and glorious victory for Lebanon, for the Lebanese people, for the Resistance in Lebanon, for the Lebanese army, and for all those who have helped shape this feat and the victory in Lebanon (especially Iran and Syria). And therefore, the presence of this proactive force was revealed (to the whole world), this force that imposed a defeat on the enemy.

And ever since, Lebanon is not considered anymore as the weak link in the Arab-Israeli conflict or as the main weakness of the body of the (Muslim) Community or in the structure or situation of the region. This is well and truly over. Now, Lebanon is regarded as the holder of a large point of strength (Hezbollah). And it is not (only) me who says so. Anyone can ascertain this truth by following (the statements of) Israeli officials, the Israeli enemy, its politicians and military, security services, analysts, media, study centers, conferences held each year within the (Zionist) entity, reports, security measures, (military) maneuvers, all the measures taken by Israel at the border (construction of a defensive wall, earthworks, trenches, etc.), all this confirms that the enemy is considering seriously and follows in real time this real strength present in Lebanon.

For a long time, we have been considered by Israel as a strategic threat or as the main threat. I’m going back to the fact that we are a “threat” to them. But the fact is that the enemy recognizes our strength, and that the whole world does the same, including the United States, and that’s why they constantly ponder how they can liquidate Hezbollah as the spine and base of the new Lebanese force equation which was achieved after 2000. They constantly wonder how they can get rid of Hezbollah. They speak of assassinations, sanctions, pressure, isolation, inclusion in the lists of terrorist organizations, blockade and even total war… All this, they have undertaken, but Hezbollah has stood against all these conspiracies and all these trials.

Therefore, the enemy recognizes the presence of this force, and the reality of this great upheaval that took place in Lebanon after 2000, and took root and expanded after the victory of the Resistance in 2006. Today, Israel says about this force, particularly about Hezbollah, that it is a strategic threat or the greatest threat to Israel. I would like to… Of course, this is a glorious testimony for us, and we are proud of it and take pride with this fact, because what even our enemies acknowledge undeniably underlines our merit. But I want to present it in positive and national terms, from our front, our side, not from the perspective of the enemy. Because when Israel presents us as a strategic threat and the main threat, it aims thereby to incite the world against us. But we have to present (this reality) from our point of view, positively. In a positive way, what the enemy sees as a threat, we designate it as a defensive force, a force that prevents (aggression), a force that pushes back (the enemy), a protection, deterrence and confrontation force. In a nutshell, as an integral part of the Lebanese force that got rooted after 2000, Hezbollah represents part of the force of deterrence, response and prevention that prevents the Israeli enemy to satisfy any of its greed (in Lebanon), or to carry out any of its threats.

We all know that the enemy has ambitions in our lands, waters, country, borders, etc. So far, even in border areas –to which I shall return in a moment–, the Israeli enemy continues to claim certain strategic areas for Lebanon, like the issue of the Shebaa farms, or others who have a major value in terms of security, strategy and economy. The same goes for the issue of the (maritime) border (and offshore resources in) oil and gas. The greed of this enemy goes far beyond these borders. Anyway, Israel’s cupidity and threats are well known, and he tries to forcefully impose his choices to our country, to our people and to the Lebanese State, but this force (Hezbollah) stands before him (and neutralizes his aggressive tendencies).

This force, just like the enemy recognizes it and works to neutralize it, to liquidate it and get rid of it, as for us, we need to know, we the Lebanese, the importance of this force for the preservation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, welfare, safety, choices and resources, for the present and the future of Lebanon, and we must work to protect this force, that we dubbed the ‘Golden Equation’, namely the Army, the People and the Resistance. We must preserve this strength to face this greed and these threats. And it is thanks to this strength that we could liberate our territory.

Imagine that there were no Resistance in Lebanon, that there were no Liberation in May 2000. So imagine that the army of occupation were still occupying our territory, at least Southern Lebanon, to this date, wouldn’t we see Mr. Trump grant southern Lebanon, or at least large areas of southern Lebanon, to the enemy government, as he granted them Al-Quds (Jerusalem), as he granted them the Golan, as he will grant them the West Bank, and as his predecessors in the past granted them the 1948 territories?

Therefore, today, the Resistance, as a part of this fundamental Lebanese force, this fundamental Lebanese force, this defense force, this deterrent, this protection force, this retaliation, prevention and confrontation force, it is the force that we must protect with great care and at the best of our capabilities. When we see that our enemies target it by all means to finish it off, we need to know that they act in their interests, and therefore, as Lebanese, we must act on the basis of our national position, our sovereignty, our ethics and also according to our interests. Our interest as Lebanese is to live in security, welfare and health, to protect our territory, our capabilities, our blood, our honor, our dignity and our freedom, which implies that we should be strong. The strength is our (only) real guarantee (against Israel).

What we need to confirm during the occasion that we celebrate this day, especially in a world that appears more than ever as making no place to international law, UN resolutions, the Security Council, or to international organizations, and where only the US-Zionist tyranny, arrogance and despotism have a voice, as well as the Resistant, strong and steadfast peoples, those who are fully committed to their rights and are prepared to defend themselves and to sacrifice for these rights to be respected. As for the others, they are (mere) victims, who have no place in the equations, and must spend (huge) sums of money, pay the consequences (of their cowardice), and in the end, the (US) will get rid of them when they become a burden (refers to Saudi Arabia, etc.).

Based on the occasion that we celebrate this day, I want to briefly mention a few related points. First, on the 19th anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation Day, we must confirm our commitment to the Shebaa Farms, the hills of Kfar Shuba and the Lebanese part of Ghajar village (occupied Lebanese territories). The statement issued yesterday by His Eminence the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun on this issue was strong, clear and categorical. The same applies to the Declaration of the General Staff of the Lebanese Army, which affirms its absolute commitment in appropriate terms: it was, in essence, an irrevocable commitment to liberate the Shebaa Farms, the hills of Kfar Shuba and the rest of the (Lebanese) occupied territories, whatever sacrifices are required and at any cost, as high as it may be. I do not quote verbatim from their statement, but you can refer to it, and that’s what it says in substance, and its content is clearly strong and appropriate. So today, we confirm our natural right to our territory, to resist, to deploy all forms of Resistance and to implement all means to liberate the rest of our Lebanese (occupied) territory.

The second issue is the demarcation of borders. Currently, one of our elements of strength is the agreement between the various Lebanese officials, and in particular between the three Presidents (of the Republic, of the Council of Ministers and of the Chamber of Deputies) on this issue. The Hezbollah Resistance supports the position shown by the State and stands behind him, as we have announced in the past. In all certainty, the Resistance, the Lebanese people and all the Lebanese trust and place their hopes in the commitment of the (three Lebanese) Presidents and of all the State officials to all of our land, sea and natural resources rights presumed in our waters, and expect from them a wise management of our case, persistence in our national claims and to see them live up to their historic responsibilities in the negotiations on these issues.

In these (indirect) negotiations, Lebanon can rely on two key points: 1 / The strength (provided by) right because what Lebanon demands is its rights. What Lebanon demands is rightfully ours. 2 / The strength (provided by) the strength I have just mentioned, and which is present in Lebanon.

Today, Lebanon is not in a weak position against Israel, not at all. And no Lebanese must feel that their country or State is in a weak position, never. Today, Israel is intimidated, scared, worried and fearful with what is in Lebanon. And just as Israel can prevent Lebanon from exploiting the oil and gas (present in the Mediterranean), similarly, Lebanon can prevent Israel from exploiting maritime resources in oil and gas. I have no need to utter new threats. The Israeli enemy, and behind them the United States are very familiar with these (deterrence) equations.

And therefore, as long as the Lebanese State and politicians rely on the strength (provided by) the righteousness of our claims, and the strength (provided by) our strength, we’ll remain committed to our rights and we can be very optimistic, as the President of the Chamber (of Deputies) Nabih Berri, in our ability to achieve a great victory in this case, God willing.

The third point (of my speech) is the issue of the (permanent) settlement (of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and elsewhere). I would like to draw attention to the fact that the most important thing that can come out of the Bahrain Economic Conference (scheduled for June 25 and 26, 2019, to launch the ‘Deal of the Century’) and the economic investments (for Palestine) that must be discussed there, plus some incentives and financial aid here and there, all this can open the door for the naturalization of our Palestinian brothers (who are refugees) in Lebanon and in the rest of the countries in which they are located, in addition to the pressures and restrictions experienced by UNRWA, that can lead to stopping its activities (of vital aid to Palestinian refugees, especially in Gaza).

Similarly, as for the issue of the border demarcation (between Lebanon and occupied Palestine), there is common ground, a common background on the Lebanese scene, namely that all the Lebanese, despite the many differences between them, are unanimous in the refusal of the naturalization (of Palestinians), be it in the Constitution, politically, patriotically, and on all levels. It is also a common ground with our Palestinian brothers in Lebanon, as all Palestinians, whether Palestinian factions, the Palestinian people (as a whole), Palestinian refugees, all our dear and honorable Palestinians brothers in Lebanon are unanimous in their rejection of naturalization, and insist to assert their right to return to their land, Palestine, in their lands, their property and their homes. This is a common ground (between all Lebanese and all Palestinians).

Now we are at a stage where it is no longer enough for everyone to declare that we are against the naturalization (of Palestinians). O Lebanese, O Palestinians in Lebanon, it seems that the danger of naturalization is dangerously close. And that is why I call for a quick meeting, which does not need to be extensively prepared, because it is not a negotiating table, nor a set of conferences. (This meeting will not require) long days (of preparation or discussions). It is simply a meeting of Lebanese and Palestinian leaders in Lebanon to discuss seriously the creeping and imminent danger of naturalization, and to devise a plan against it.

Of course I do not mean the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee (LPDC), which debates of major problems in detail, but of a meeting that will come on top of this committee, or will be at its side, or held at a higher level, and I suggest that it be held at a high level, with the main officials, and in a serious manner. Today, we must be vigilant, and it is not enough that I make a statement (against naturalization), that the other (Lebanese groups) do the same, and that our Palestinian brothers too, and all will be well. Absolutely not. Because in our statements, we are all opposed to naturalization. But what is the Lebanese-Palestinian joint action plan (to be implemented)? We need a common plan to face the creeping and imminent danger of naturalization. We must all sit together, the Palestinian and Lebanese officials concerned must sit and devise an action plan. And as for the ideas, suggestions or active assistance that can be asked from us, of course we are very willing to participate in this fundamental, patriotic and national struggle.

The fourth point of my speech is a word about the Syrian refugees, to which I referred (at the beginning of my speech) regarding Syria. I will also speak of it briefly, although the subject deserves an entire hour, because it is full of tedious details. But today I just say this to the Lebanese: everyone is unanimous in Lebanon, and it is also a common ground – I try to be positive today, and look for common ground between all Lebanese. In terms of appearances, all Lebanese are unanimous in declaring that they want to help our brothers and families of Syrian refugees return in their country. We all agree on the principle, but we disagree on how, on the means, etc.

But the truth of the issue, because I want to reveal the truth and to be clear, and not make up false reasons for these divergences: the real reason (of the obstacles to the return of the Syrians) is a political reason. All this is related to the upcoming presidential elections in Syria. The mandate of President Bashar al-Assad will end in 2020-2021, and elections will be held no matter what happens, regardless of what may or may not occur in Astana, in Geneva, whether a constitutional committee be organized or not, whether a political solution (to the conflict) is found or not, presidential elections will be held as scheduled.

There is an insistence of the United States, of Western countries (France, Great Britain, etc.) and of the Gulf countries… We must be clear. Today, the Lebanese people is unanimous in his desire to resolve this issue, whose sufferings are shared (between Syrians and Lebanese): Syrians suffer from being displaced, except a minority of them who managed to get a good situation in Lebanon, and now have shops, restaurants, facilities, resources, and everything is fine for them, and they are comfortable, but it is a minority. The majority of the displaced Syrians are living the suffering of displacement. The Syrians are suffering, and the Lebanese also suffer, in all regions. At some point, some people, and that is unfortunate, tried to give a sectarian dimension to the differences on the issue of the displaced Syrians, and a religious or regional dimension. But today, all Lebanese, in all regions, regardless of their religious group, are suffering the consequences of this displacement and are therefore concerned by it. They suffer economically, socially, in terms of security, and you know the details of the situation. We see the news every day, and know well the details of the situation.

Why is the suffering of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon still ongoing? Why is the suffering of the Lebanese still ongoing? Why should the two sides continue to bear all these burdens? For a simple reason. This is the truth. This is the (plain) truth: the United States, the West, and at least some Gulf countries do not want the displaced Syrians to return to their country, at least not before the Syrian presidential elections. The reason is (purely) political.

This has nothing to do with humanitarian considerations. Rather, humanitarian considerations require that everyone returns home, to his house, shops and fields, to his family and beloved ones, to his country. And it has nothing to do with security reasons. All those who have returned to Syria live there (in peace), like the other Syrians. The rumors that some Lebanese officials have tried to spread about alleged murders, settling of accounts, etc., are mere inventions and lies, and I ask – I have already asked some officials at the State level, outside the media – that these false claims be the subject of an investigation because they are dangerous. And in truth, these fabrications constitute a (false) charge against all the political parties who supported or facilitated the return (of the Syrians), and especially against a respected Security institution of prime importance in Lebanon, namely the Directorate of General Security in Lebanon who mainly took charge of the issue. These lies, designed to scare the displaced Syrians so they do not return to their country, are baseless, but serve the political purpose that I just mentioned.

As for the State and the Syrian government, several years ago – it is not recent -, during a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad, I spoke to him frankly and asked him frankly: “Do you want the displaced Syrians to return to Syria?” Because it was necessary that we understand each other. We are friends and allies, and shouldn’t harm each other (even unintentionally). He answered frankly and truthfully, “Yes, we want them all back in Syria and we are ready to make it easy for everyone to return to Syria.” Today, what is the obstacle? This is the one I mentioned. It is a political obstacle. The obstacle is political.

Can Lebanon, the Lebanese State and the Lebanese government be subject to these political considerations, and should they take precedence over humanitarian considerations, security considerations and economic considerations only because the United States, the West and some Gulf countries give the priority to these political considerations, and impose on Lebanon a ban on the return (of the displaced Syrians to their country)? I say that what is happening in Lebanon is that displaced Syrians are prevented from returning to their country. It would be wrong to say that there is a voluntary return in place, and those who want to return can do so, and those who want to stay (in Lebanon or elsewhere) can do so. It is not the case! There is a real impediment. One way to prevent this return is intimidation and fear spread by some Lebanese officials in the past and to this day (for some). Some Lebanese media continue to spread (these false, scary rumors). And likewise, one of the ways to prevent the return of the displaced is to entice them, to make their staying in Lebanon desirable. Therefore, we must do away with these obstacles (preventing the return of the Syrians), and not merely (condemn them).

Today, of course, no one in Lebanon, no Lebanese political force can declare themselves in favor of maintaining the Syrians in Lebanon, or declare themselves opposed to their return to Syria, no one would dare say that, even if that’s what they really want. Everyone says that the Syrians must go back home and that we must help them. I believe that after the debate on the budget, the government and the Lebanese political forces must seriously discuss this issue and not just give their stance about it.

Anyway, the regional and international scene has become clear: the Lebanese delegations, during the conferences that were organized and the contacts that have been made with all countries of the world… And I declare that what I now reveal on television has become a certainty for the Lebanese officials for months at least, if not for years. (Lebanese officials know with certainty that the United States, the West and the Gulf are fiercely opposed to the return of the Syrian refugees) since months at least. Therefore, it is clear to all Lebanese officials and leaders that there is a political obstacle (to the return of the displaced Syrians). How will we react? What are we to do with this issue which is a major national problem? […]

See also: Nasrallah: ‘Invading Israeli Forces Would be Annihilated, Hezbollah will Liberate Shebaa Farms’  & Israeli Officials: a War against Hezbollah would be Disastrous

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

Sayyed Nasrallah: If It Weren’t for Liberation in 2000, Trump Would’ve Granted South to Israel

May 25, 2019

Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah

Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech Saturday 25th of May on the anniversary of the Resistance and Liberation day.

Sayyed Nasrallah tackled regional and internal files including the upcoming Bahrain Summit, localizing the Palestinians in Lebanon, strength of the resistance axis, return of the Syrians to their country, and internal files.

His eminence called for a wide participation in Al-Quds day which is held annually on the last Friday of the Holy Month of Ramadan, stressing that this day is of great significance this year because of the efforts being made to put an end to the Palestinian cause, specifically during the upcoming Economic Conference in Bahrain.

He greeted the Palestinian’s united stance to boycott and refuse this conference and praised the Bahraini people, scholars, and political powers’ stances that condemned the country’s decision to be the first to embrace “the deal of the century” which aims at putting an end to the Palestinian cause.

25/May/2000: Resistance and Liberation Day

Sayyed Nasrallah greeted everyone who was part of this victory by sacrificing, staying patient, supporting and aiding.

“We should remember the families of the martyred and injured, Lebanese factions, Security Forces, Army, Palestinian factions and the Syrian Army and keep in mind that Iran and Syria are the ones who stood by our side and they are our companions in victory,” he said.

Hezbollah SG assured that one of the major outcomes of this victory was the “Equation of Strength” in Lebanon because the Israeli enemy had to pull back without any victories or conditions.

“Lebanon was no longer regarded as the weak ring in the Arab/Israel conflict, and today the Israeli enemy states that in Lebanon there is a “strategic or central threat against Israel”, he noted; adding “just like the enemy is aware of this strength, the Lebanese people should be aware of its importance in order to sustain their country’s sovereignty and safety and in order to protect it. This what forms the Golden Equation “Army, people and Resistance”.”

“If it weren’t for the resistance and liberation in 2000, Trump would’ve granted the south of Lebanon or other parts of it to Israel, just like he did with Al-Quds and the Golan,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, reassuring holding on to “Shabaa Farms, Kfarchouba hills and the Lebanese part of Al-Ghajar village.”

Localization in Lebanon

Concerning localizing immigrants in Lebanon, his eminence said: “we suspect that the economic summit in Bahrain will be opening the door for the localization of immigrants in Lebanon and other countries. The Lebanese agree on refusing localization politically and constitutionally, and the Palestinians as well agree on refusing localization and holding on to their right of return.”

Sayyed Nasrallah called for “a meeting between Lebanese and Palestinian officials to put a joint plan on how to face the danger of localization because the threat is approaching and statements are no longer enough”.

Syrian Refugees’ Return

Hezbollah SG pointed out that “the real reason behind delaying the return of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon to their country is political and it is related to the presidential elections in Syria because the presidency of Bashar Al-Assad will end in 2020 or 2021, and there is an American, Western, and Gulf insistence on keeping the refugees away from their countries until then. There are no humanitarian or security reasons behind postponing the refugees’ return to Syria and claims about that are just rumors.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further stated that “Assad has confirmed to me that he supports the return of everyone to Syria and is ready to offer facilitation, but the obstacle is political. Should Lebanon submit to this political obstacle only because the US, west and Gulf want that?”

Battle against Corruption Files

His eminence stressed Hezbollah’s commitment to fight corruption, reiterating that this needs time and patience, and it is even harder than the battle of liberating the south.

He indicated that the ministers are doing their jobs and have not found corruption in the Ministries of health and sports, and called on everyone who has information or data against these two ministries to propose them so that action would be taken.

On another hand, Sayyed Nasrallah stated that “budgeting discussion has been our priority because it is a major point in the process of fighting corruption and stopping financial waste.”

Source: Al-Manar

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Syria: US SS Won’t Leave Rukban Concentration Camp; MSM Ignore Terror Attacks

April 4, 2019

rukban-concentration-camp

Rukban Concentration Camp, where US-led SS is holding 40,000 Syrians hostage & starving them. Photo via SANA.

In Syria, the US-led SS forces continue to hold 40,000 internally displaced persons hostage in the Rukban concentration camp. In Syria, the US and EU funded and armed moderate terrorists continue to bomb civilian neighborhoods. In Syria, landmines provided to these moderates and left behind, continue to explode under the feet of Syrian civilians.

Massive coverage on Trump’s alleged golf cheating by media that are silent over the Rukban Concentration Camp. On rare occasions the camp is mentioned, lies have hostages appreciating their captivity. Author remains surprised that her relative who survived Auschwitz never mentioned his appreciation to the Nazis for his well-being.

The world’s human garbage, the criminally insane pimped by western world leaders and warmongering media as demigods, continue to breach the [unilaterally applied] Idlib “de-escalation zone agreement.” On 1 April, terrorists fired multiple rocket shells into Mhardeh (“rocket shells,” like “mortars,” is a euphemism for ground-to-ground-bombs). Houses, businesses, and other infrastructure were damaged.

The civilians of Mhardeh, Syria, are frequent targets for the Saudi-run, Jaish al Ezza Benevolent Society, located in Ltamenah, and whose social media activity was used by UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Investigation Lab report, published 18 January 2018.

Syria
Baboons — er, ‘medics’? — keep busy when not building unhospitals in Ltamenah.
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Ten coffins carrying the remains of civilians are draped in the flag of the Syrian Arab Republic for their mass funeral.

The Syrian Arab Army has destroyed some rocket launchers of Saudi al Ezza and Qatari al Nusra — the latter, still on the designated terror lists of UN, US, and European countries. It is likely that the media will soon issue a condemnation.

Yesterday, 2 April, the SAA discovered another weapons cache and telecommunications trove in Daraa, Syria.

Weapons & telecommunications devices left behind by retreating terrorists.

They were abandoned by the beloved friends of US Sen. Adam Kinzinger, who neglected to nominate them for the Nobel Peace Prize for having slaughtered Syrian Arab Army soldiers after which they proudly mutilated their corpses.

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SAA soldiers slaughtered, their corpses abused. What American would cheer seeing a US soldier so brutalized?

The SAA also targeted hideouts of the not Syrian Turkistani Party, in the outskirts of al Ankawi and Shorlin, in the northern countryside of Hama in response to the foreign terrorists ongoing breaches in the “de-escalation” agreement.

Syria

Also, yesterday, another 9 civilians were blown up in yet another landmine explosion, in Aleppo countryside.

Do a search of Syria news and see zero reports on the Trump SS concentration camp of Rukban, zero reports on landmines and on human garbage bombing civilian neighborhoods.

Instead, you will find reporting on a British terrorist actually on trial for terrorism. Leading the stories, you will find Fox News as press liaison for al Qaeda in Idlib — Syria — quoting Amnesty supporting al Qaeda, and posting an impressive staged photo of the savage White Helmets.

It should come as no surprise that the faux conservative Fox gives the same criminal propaganda as CNN; after all, Fox did not mention that Trump followed “fake news CNN” interview with a Brit illegal whose medical license was permanently revoked for terrorism charges and bombed Syria based on his lies.

Still, no on notices, as is the outcome showing the success of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird.

No matter that Fox & CNN are fully aligned in anti-Syria propaganda, when there are important differences, regarding how many Mexico’s are in existence.

Syria News further notes the collaboration of FoxCNNand the UN, in complete and utter silence regarding the humanitarian aid convoy to victims of mass floods in Hasaka.

UN has ongoing meetings of the humanitarian situation in Syria. UN falsifies statistics, and these lies are reported by media sources such as Fox & CNN.

It is essential this conspiracy of omission be acknowledged.

Let us be mindful of the very active roll the UN has taken in helping to destroy Syria; showing itself to be “a place to demolish peace and security, to destabilize societies”:

Syrians continue to ignore the UN.

The US-led SS troops continue to hold Syrians prisoners at Rukban Concentration Camp. US/EU/Gulfie – backed takfiri and other wetworkers continue to commit atrocities against the Syrian people, as western media perform as press liaison, with the help of the UN.

syria
H.E. al Jaafari quoting Egyptian Nobel Laureate Najib Mahfouz to the rabid & deaf UN hyenas

Once proven, a conspiracy is no longer a theory. Though rabid, the unleashed media dogs of war are mindful of Dr. Assad’s promise to his people, the Syrian people, and they have begun the campaign in support of alQaeda in Idlib.

syria
Syria’s President, Dr. Bashar al Assad,

— Miri Wood

النعامة العربيّة وقلق لبنان

أبريل 1, 2019

ناصر قنديل

-سيقع قارئ البيان الختامي للقمة العربية في دورتها التونسية، كما المستمع لكلمات الملوك والرؤساء والأمراء، كما المتابع للمؤتمر الصحافي الذي عقده الأمين العام للجامعة العربية ووزير خارجية تونس، على خلاصة واضحة بأن النعامة العربية لا زالت تحكم القمم، وسياستها القائمة على دفن الرأس في الرمال، وتجاهل مصادر الخوف والقلق، صارت مزدوجة. فالقمة تهربت من الاعتراف بعجزها المزدوج، وصارت النعامة برأسين تدفن أحدهما هرباً من الغضب الأميركي، وتدفن الثاني هرباً من حقائق الحضور القوي للشعوب وقوى المقاومة التي بدأت ترسم مسارات بديلة لا تقيم حساباً للقمم ولا تنتظر حساباتها. فالنعامة العربية الخائفة من شعوبها وقوى المقاومة لم تجرؤ على مواصلة الهروب من استحقاقات القضية الفلسطينية، لكنها اكتفت بأنشودة عنوانها أولوية القضية الفلسطينية والتمسك بالقدس، وعندما وصلت للإجابة عن سؤال: كيف نمنع دول العالم من نقل سفاراتها إلى القدس؟ وكيف نضع ثقل العرب الاقتصادي والسياسي والمالي في كفة، ونقل السفارات في كفة موازية؟ تفاجأت القمة بأن عليها البدء بتقديم المثال بما تفعله مع واشنطن أول المنتقلين، وصاحبة المبادرة العدوانية، فتلعثمت القمة، وتلعثم المكمّمون.

-النعامة العربية ذاتها كانت تنظر بنصف عين مفتوحة، نحو سورية، وتحاول أن تواصل التجاهل، فمقعد سورية الشاغر يجب أن يبقى شاغراً، ولكن ماذا عن قرار واشنطن الاعتراف بضم الجولان لـ«إسرائيل»؟ والتجاهل يمنح المشروعية لقوى المقاومة بتصدر المشهد كمدافع وحيد عن قضايا السيادة العربية، والحقوق العربي.، وبدلاً من دفن الراس الأول القائم على التجاهل، دفنت الرأس الثاني القائم على التثاقل، فلماذا العجلة، يكفي الحديث عن التمسك بأن الجولان سوري وتحت الاحتلال، وما يزال هناك المزيد من الوقت للبحث في كيفية حمايته، بل في كيفية حماية سورية كلها، وفي ترتيب العلاقات معها وعودتها إلى مقعدها الشاغر. والوقت يتسع، إلى اللحظة التي يمكن ان يعرض فيها المقعد على سورية وترفض، لأن مثل هذه العودة عار لا يشرّفها، عندما يكون شرطها الانضمام إلى مملكة الصمت، ومزرعة النعام.

-في القمة عيون شاخصة ومفتوحة على مصادر الخطر، كانت للصقر اللبناني، الذي لا يغلق عيونه في عز إبهار الشمس ولا في ذروة العتمة، لكنه لا يملك أكثر من التحذير، كحال زرقاء اليمامة، التي كانت ترى الخطر وتحذر، وتقول لقومها انتبهوا، لكن القوم غارقون بما يثنيهم ويشغلهم، عن مواجهة الخطر، فقد كانت كلمة الرئيس اللبناني العماد ميشال عون، التي تكررت فيها مفردة، القلق مرات عدة، القلق على مفهوم الدولة الواحدة الجامعة وخطر تفكيك المجتمعات الواحدة إلى دويلات طائفية وعرقية تبرر قيام «إسرائيل» كدولة يهودية. والقلق من المبادرات الأميركية لهدم ثوابت القوانين الدولية والقرارات الأممية القائمة على حرمة الأراضي واحترام سيادة الدول، والقلق اللبناني على تهديد سيادة لبنان وحقوقه في مزارع شبعا، والقلق على المبادرة العربية للسلام، بعدما أطلقت عليها رصاصة الرحمة، بعد ضياع الأرض المفترض مقايضة عودتها بالسلام، والقلق من عجز عن المواجهة بسبب حدود مغلقة بين الدول العربية ومقاعد شاغرة في القمة، والعرب وهم موحّدون أضعف من أعباء المواجهة، فكيف وهم مشرذمون، والقلق على فلسطين وسورية واليمن ولبنان والعراق، والقلق من غياب المبادرة والعجز عن التوحد والحوار.

-وحدها صرخة القلق اللبناني كانت تشبه توقيت القمة، وتلامس الجروح بالملح لتوقظها، بينما الآخرون يريدون للجرح أن ينام كي تستكين النعامة العربية في رمالها، لذلك صرخ الرئيس اللبناني في النيام مكرراً، يقلقنا إصرار المجتمع الدولي على إبقاء النازحين السوريين في لبنان، ويقلقنا مصطلح العودة الطوعيّة ويقلقنا ربط العودة بالحل السياسي والقضية الفلسطينية خير شاهد على نتائج ربط العودة بالحلول السياسية، ويقلقنا أيضاً السعي لضرب قرار حق العودة للاجئين الفلسطينيين وسعي للتوطين، والصرخة تقول في مضمونها، يقلقنا أننا جئنا إلى قمة فما وجدنا أننا في قمة.

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Lebanon Shows Entire World Pride in Face of US Tyrant

 March 23, 2019

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his entorage waiting for President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace

Mohammad Salami

US officials’ visits to the world countries in most of the cases seem to be political raids aimed at imposing certain conditions which serve the interests of Washington and its allies.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on Friday (March 22) in Beirut to convey the Israeli demands and conditions to the Lebanese officials, pertaining the demarcation of the marine borders and the natural resources investments.

Pompeo also wanted to pressure the Lebanese officials against tackling the displaced Syrians file in order to exploit their crisis in the US scheme which targets Damascus.

Pompeo and his entourage started touring the various decision-making centers in Beirut in order to provoke the Lebanese against Hezbollah resistance which has protected the country from the Zionist and the takfiri enemies.

The victorious country decided to show the heavy guest and the entire world how power can never defeat national dignity and pride, blocking the way of the US tyrants’ schemes in Lebanon and the region.

President Michel Aoun coldly shook hands with Pompeo and disregarded his assistant David Hale, stressing during the meeting that Hezbollah is a Lebanese party stemming from a popular base that represents one of the main sects in the country.

Aoun also asked Pompeo for his country’s assistance in the return of the Syrian refugees to the safe areas in Syria, stressing that the refugees’ return operations administered by the General Security will continue.

House Speaker Nabih Berri received Pompeo and highlighted the importance of maintaining stability in Lebanon and the need to deal with the maritime borders issue, including Lebanon’s Special Economic Zone.

Berri also stressed that Hezbollah is a “Lebanese party represented at the parliament and the government. Its resistance and that of the Lebanese are the result of the continued Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory.”

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil explained to pompeo the dangers posed by the issue of the displaced Syrians in Lebanon, asking for US help in this regard and stressing that Hezbollah is a non-terrorist party that has a great popular support.

The US Secretary of State, consequently, failed to impose on the Lebanese officials any of Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s conditions, stating that his talks in Beirut were “negative”.

As coincidences may convey truth more than planned events, Pompeo’s “yellow” necktie says so much about the yellow flag which have been always squeezing the US plots in Lebanon and the whole region.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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