The Battle of Selective Silence: Martyrs’ Blood Will Always Haunt the Underacting Media Existence!

December 7, 2022 

By Mohammad Youssef

Palestinian Martyr Ammar Hamdi Mefleh, 22, from Huwara village southern Nablus was killed in cold blood from a zero distance by an ‘Israeli’ occupation soldier last week.

The vicious crime almost went unnoticed as the world media in general, and the western media in particular, ignored it.

At the same time, those media outlets focus heavily and exaggerate the news coming from Iran or from any corner of the countries that form the Axis of Resistance.

They would simply pick a single incident that could happen anywhere in the world and magnify it to make it look as a horrible crime.

They would order their media empire where thousands of media outlets and electronic armies and social media influencers broadcast their black content to poison the atmosphere and distort the image of a country or a person.

I can mention scores of examples in which this media spread lies and mere black propaganda to tarnish the truth and mislead the global public opinion about different major and minor issues.

In recent examples, we can never forget the American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq later.

In 2001, the Yankees invaded, killed and destroyed the country for more than two decades under the pretext of avenging the 9/11 attacks.

They did the same with Iraq in 2003, the pretext they used this time was that Iraq is producing weapons of mass destruction though they did not provide any evidence to support their claims.

Although they did not do this with the Islamic Republic of Iran so far, nonetheless they put Iran under the same accusations and they spread lies about Iranian efforts to produce a nuclear weapon. They go as far as claiming that Iran almost achieved the goal of being able to build a nuclear weapon and it would be able to finish it within months.

They did everything they can do to sabotage Iran’s progress and development on so many different fields. They put the country under heavy siege, and never allowed it to export any kind of technology or medical supplies. The US has frozen Iranian assets in the western banks, never allowed Tehran to sell its oil, assassinated Iranian experts and scholars, among many other human rights violations…

The most vivid and permanent example remains to be Palestine. The biggest lie ever dramatized by the temporary existence of the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity. They circulated a lie which said: “A land without people to a people without land” to justify stealing Palestine from its people.

Back to martyr Mefleh, it is worthwhile to put all the western media, governments and their supporters under scrutiny and investigation. We should always question their integrity and fairness in covering the news.

Why the 22-year-old Palestinian young man did not appear in their news? Why did not he receive a fraction of attention from their media outlets. It is simply because he is Palestinian and the killer is an ‘Israeli,’ which renders him ineligible to appear in their news?

Herein, a very essential question posed itself about their belief in and commitment to humanity. I would definitely say, they are hypocrites because humanity can never be divided, and as such, the Palestinian blood should equally matter as any other.

This double-standard policy, the absence of fairness and equality, and spreading lies to serve an orchestrated pro-‘Israel’ and pro-West media, are very shameful and should be condemned.

Not only that, those media outlets should also be sued and held accountable for all this. They serve as a defense for the killing machine called ‘Israel.’

It is high time for people to be watchful in which they could hold their governors and governments accountable for their crimes against our region and our people. Otherwise the truth will remain uncovered, yet their complicity in our blood would not only stain their hands, but their foreheads as well!

Will the US try to pull off a “Grenada” in Serbia?

November 29, 2022

Remember the 1983 US invasion of Grenada aka “Operation Urgent Fury”?

It all began on October 23, 1983 when two truck bombs blew up the buildings housing the US and French  “Multinational Force in Lebanon”.  This attack resulted in  307 people killed including 241 U.S. and 58 French military personnel.  Following the bombings, US diplomats engaged in their usual frantic flag-waving and promises to never ever give in to terrorism.  The biggest problem for the US was that it had no way to retaliate in a way which would satisfy the flag-waver’s desire for blood.  Just blowing up random buildings in Lebanon made very little impact,  as for the promises to stay for as long as needed, it was obvious PR – it was clear to everybody that the time to pack and leave had come.

Of course, this was very humiliating for the wannabe “indispensable nation” cum “city upon a Hill”,,,

So Reagan, with his undeniable genius for PR and optics, ordered the invasion of Grenada just two days after the bombings in Beirut.

A day that Washington will not forget, October 23, 1983: the bombing of the Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut
The Invasion Documentary: Between the arrival of the multinational forces in Lebanon and the arrival of Amin Gemayel to the presidency After the invasion of Lebanon, the Americans sought to have Amin Gemayel reach the presidency

Why Grenada?

Well, for one thing it was barely defended (mostly by Cuban engineers and locals with small arms) and truly tiny (so tiny, in fact,  that the overwhelming majority of US Americans had no idea where it was or why there was suddenly an urgent need to invade.

Second, it was very close to the USA, so everybody could get a slice of the cake, including the 1st and 2nd battalions of the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, the 82nd Airborne and the Army’s rapid deployment force, U.S. Marines, Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs, and ancillary forces totaling 7,600 troops.  In terms of hardware, the US brought in 7,300 troops, 4 tanks, 1 LHA (USS Saipan LHA-2), 1 aircraft carrier, 3 destroyers, 2 frigates, 1 ammunition ship and even 27 F-14A Tomcats (source).

All that against a few hundred construction workers armed only with small arms!

I won’t go into all the details here, but let’s just say that this invasion was one of the worst and most poorly executed operation in the history of warfare: a truly HUGE US force was brought in to strike at a basically defenseless tiny island nation with the sole purpose of changing the optics of the disaster in Lebanon.  But, no to worry, the Pentagon handed our more medals than the number of participants, while some US special forces who wanted to press charges against helicopter pilots for cowardice (who abandoned the SOF on a runway because of small arms fire) were “counseled” against the idea.

Bottom line is this: after the epic disaster in Beirut, the US wanted to quick and easy war to restore the “prestige” of the US armed forces, only to end up with yet another epic disaster, but at least in the case of Grenada, it was simply impossible to fail no matter how inept and incompetent the entire invasion was.

Now let’s fast forward by 40 years and look at the current situation.

First, there is the abject failure of the USA in Afghanistan, but also in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and the KSA.  Then there is the humiliating Iranian bombing of CENTCOM bases which the “these colors don’t run” had to suffer without being able to do *anything* to save face.  And then they had to run 🙂

And now there is a brewing disaster in the Ukraine which will make even the fall of Kabul look like a great success in comparison to comprehensive whopping of all NATO efforts by Russia (reminder: it took Russia less than a month to basically destroy the first iteration of the “Ukrainian” army and another six months to bring the NATO forces to a standstill).

Now try to imagine that you are a hate-filled Neocon sitting in the White House and you are desperate to change the optics of the Brandon Administration.

Would it not be nice to find another “Grenada” somewhere?

Also, would it not feel good to wipe the smile off Putin’s face?

Even better – how about making Putin really unpopular in Russia by making him look weak, indecisive or maybe even an agent of the West?

I submit that the US is more or less done with the Middle East.  Venezuela is an option, but with no imaginable exit strategy, it would be the proverbial “easy in, no way out” thing the US did in Afghanistan and Iraq and could, potentially also bleed into Colombia.

I remember how during the vicious bombing of the Serbian people by the US/NATO/EU Strobe Talbott made no secret of the fact that this “execution of Serbia” was a “message” sent to Russia: see what we can do to your ally? if you don’t behave, you will be next.

After Kabul, threats against Russia look funny.  But what about Serbia?

So here are the reasons why Serbia might come under attack (again):

  • Like Grenada, Serbia is completely surrounded by the Hegemony.
  • Serbs (and I am referring to the people, not their leaders) are probably the most pro-Russian and even pro-Putin people on the planet.
  • The Hegemony can constantly engage in provocations (say in Bosnia or Kosovo) to humiliate the Serbian people over and over again and provoke them to take action and then get a pretext to strike (For example, Ursula von der Lugen already made direct threats against Serbia).
  • While the Serbian military is much more capable that the tiny Grenadian security forces, compared to NATO it simply is no match, especially if, like the last time around, the Hegemony chooses to use missile and bomb strikes and does not put “boots on the ground”.
  • In Russia Serbs are often perceived as the only true friends of Russia.
  • Russia still does not have the means to protect Serbia though this might change in the future (more about that below) so now is the time to act.
  • Serbia is an Orthodox country and the Serbian nation is composed of those whom neither the Latins nor the Ottomans could force into converting to Latin Christianity or Islam.  Just for that they are hated by the western ruling elites (not to mention the Croats and Bosnian Muslims).
  • While this is rarely admitted in the West, in spire of the absolutely terrible correlation of forces the Serbs basically fought the US/NATO into a draw in Bosnia and they are still unwilling to give up on Kosovo (I am talking about the people here, not Serbian politicians.

There are plenty more reasons which I could list, but I think that the image is clear.

Translation: Vladimir, save Serbia!

I would also note that I don’t see the US/NATO actually invading Serbia, that would be way too messy and would require even more US/NATO forces than are currently deployed in Europe.

Besides, the 5th column in Serbia and Montenego is so powerful that there is absolutely no need to invade either one of these two supposed nation (they are one in reality, of course!).

Instead, what I see as the biggest risk is that the US might decide to do with Serbia what the Zionist entity (aka “Israel”) is doing in Syria: I call it “psychotherapeutic strikes“.

Psychotherapeutic strikes are not designed to achieve any tangible military success.   The Israelis have been bombing Syria for YEARS now and all of these strikes have had exactly *zero* military impact: if anything, the Syrian authorities, backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah remain firmly in control of the situation.  But it makes Jewish supremacist feel good about their putative racial superiority and it feeds their illusions about their military being as formidable as ever (heck, they even fly F-35s!  what could possibly go wrong?).

And here is the key factor to consider: just as the Israelis are never told that their strikes against Syria are, at best, useless, so does the US propaganda machine hide the magnitude of the US defeat in Grenada from the people of the USA.   Hollywood even made sure to sell the heroic version of this shameful invasion 🙂

In other words, if the US/NATO were to strike Serbia, they would not need to achieve any tangible military result.  Such a strike(s) would only serve PR purposes and as a way to distract the public from the disaster in the Ukraine.

Then there is the argument that time is running out for the AngloZionist Empire: as soon as NATO is defeated in the Ukraine, you can expect a major political crisis for both NATO and the EU and the infamous “Camp Bondsteel” in Kosovo will be threatened (if interested, you can check out my article “Kosovo will be liberated” which I wrote in 2017).  By the time NATO runs out of military hardware and the entire EU plunged into a massive economic and political crisis, Russia will have the means to provide some very real support to Serbia (assuming that by then Serbia is run by real sovereignists).

It is obvious that the NATO plans to invade Crimea next year will now have to be shelved and quickly forgotten.  Ditto for the planned “Operation Storm” but this time against the Donbass (don’t take my word for it, see here).  These ships have sailed.

[Sidebar: the fact that the Ukie Nazis were so inspired by Croatian Nazis is, of course, not a coincidence.  Both nations are the creation of the Vatican and the follow the ideology common to Pavelic and Bandera and, for that matter, Pilsudski, Franco or Mussolini]

So will we see another “Grenada” against the Serbian people?  If by that we mean a fullscale invasion, then no.  But Israeli-style “psychotherapeutic strikes” are a very real risk in Bosnia and Serbia (including, of course, Kosovo).

I would argue that as long as NATO and the EU exist, the Serbian people will be living with a gun to their heads.  In fact, NO truly sovereign nation on our planet is safe as long as NATO and the AngloZionist Empire have not been de-fanged.  Once western Europe is denazified and demilitarized, along with whatever remains of Banderastan, then peace and security (which is *always* collective!) will return to Europe and Serbia.  And then both Bosnia and Kosovo will be liberated.

Andrei

Balancing grenades: To contain China, the US will ignore Russia in India

May 26 2022

To keep India onside, the US will seek to focus on China with New Delhi, and underplay the latter’s close relations with Russia.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Mobeen Jafar Mir

Divergent policies on Moscow will not get in the way of Indo-US efforts to counter Beijing’s regional influence.

Once referred to as ‘Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century,’ the strategic alliance between India and the United States has entered a challenging phase since the February launch of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.

As the only ‘major democracy’ to maintain a neutral position on the Ukraine conflict, New Delhi’s ties with Washington are being tested over disagreements on how to deal with Moscow.

The duo’s ‘Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’ is based purely on guaranteeing mutual national interests: securing international peace and security through regional cooperation in the Pacific, strengthening ‘shared democratic values,’ policing nuclear non-proliferation, and enhancing cooperation on economic and security priorities.

Today, although New Delhi and Washington are poles apart on Russia’s actions in Ukraine, one area where Indo-US relations remain in lockstep is the issue of containing China’s rising influence.

The Quad squad

This was illustrated in February during this year’s fourth Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Foreign Ministers Meeting when India signalled its lack of enthusiasm for the Quad’s sharp criticism of Russia.

Initiated in 2007, the Quad is an informal alliance comprising the US, India, Australia and Japan, and was especially formed to collectively stand as a bulwark against Chinese ‘expansion’ in the region.

India, unlike its Quad allies, maintained silence on Ukraine, but continued its alignment with their positions against China’s growing role and ambitions in the Indo-Pacific.

The Leaders’ Meeting held in Tokyo this week comes amid growing concern over whether the US will take military action should China – theoretically emboldened by Russia – decide to invade Taiwan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also held bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden, with greater emphasis on cooperation between their National Security Councils.

Mutual concerns over China

During February’s Quad meeting for foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also hinted that while punishing Russia for its Ukraine policy was ‘front and center’ of the US’ immediate foreign policy priorities, the long-term challenge was working closely with regional allies to “out-compete” China. In this context, India is a pivotal US ally.

The US and India are thus likely to soft pedal Russia-related differences for the sake of consolidating a ‘maritime rules-based order’ in the Pacific, where the US and its regional allies seek to thwart Chinese influence.

In its effort to bolster India as a potential counterweight to China, the US has inserted itself directly into Indo-Pacific affairs, a political development that has irked the Chinese and Russian leadership alike.

Why did India resist US pressure to condemn Russia?

India’s refusal to sanction Russia over Ukraine is understandable within the context of their decades of close relations, cooperation and commerce. In recent years, Moscow and Delhi have together increased their global clout as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS, cooperative political platforms that have proactively advanced more multipolar agendas.

The fact is, while Washington may have pushed New Delhi to adopt a tough stance against Moscow, Russia is still India’s largest defence partner and the country’s weapons are heavily reliant on Russian spare parts for proper functioning.

Security interests for both countries have converged in neighbouring Afghanistan. After the chaotic US withdrawal from the war-torn country, India has also repositioned its priorities there.

After the Taliban’s accession to power in Kabul last summer, both India and Russia have further expanded their cooperation by establishing a ‘permanent bilateral channel for consultations’ on Afghan affairs.

Russia effectively aids India’s engagement with the Taliban-led government. Both countries have been actively engaging on Afghan terrorism and drug trafficking priorities, and bilateral intelligence cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi appears to also be expanding into Central Asia.

Despite the recent strengthening of Russian and Chinese strategic cooperation, competition continues to exist between the two states in Central Asia, the Arctic and the Russian Far East. A politically stable and economically powerful Russia is in Indian interests as it could potentially act as a counterbalance to rising Chinese power in these regions.

To this end, a maritime corridor between India and Russia has already been formalized. The corridor, upon functioning, can improve their mutual economic clout and allow the duo to potentially rival China in the South China Sea and Russian Far East.

A strong Russia is in India’s interests

Tanvi Madan, an Indian foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, fears that Russia’s excessive reliance on China may damage Kremlin’s political and economic leverage and push it into China’s sphere of influence, thus costing New Delhi a viable mediator in the event Sino-Indian border tensions re-erupt. It is one of the reasons compelling India to oppose the US policy of weakening Russia through economic sanctions.

There are also widespread concerns in New Delhi that growing Chinese influence in Moscow may halt weapons supplies to India and make India vulnerable to any likely assault from Beijing in the future.

During a series of border skirmishes between Indian and Chinese armed forces, Washington issued mere boilerplate statements rather than playing a constructive role in diffusing the crisis. This, among other factors, has convinced Indian policy makers that the Kremlin can be a more reliable partner in resolving any future flare-ups with Beijing.

Indo-US cooperation on China

While the Biden administration remains unsure about whether or not to impose sanctions on India under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) for purchasing Russian S-400 missiles, both states continue to deepen their strategic partnership on China.

Similarly, against all western expectations during April’s 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the US and India, the latter again declined to condemn Russian military operations in Ukraine. India continues to buy oil from Russia at competitive prices and resents the US for admonishing it over this.

Despite US statements on deteriorating human rights conditions in India, increasing disquietness about trade policy matters, and India’s repeat abstentions on US-sponsored resolutions against Russia, their mutual rivalry against China has kept the relationship engaged and afloat.

The Indo-US focus on China has played out in various spheres. During the US administration of Donald Trump, India was granted a sanctions waiver to continue purchasing oil from Iran – part of efforts to support India’s INSTC (International North South Transport Corridor) which New Delhi presents as a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Bilateral trade and investment between the US and India also hit record levels last year.  In their collective quest to contain Chinese economic influence in its own region, both duo appear unanimous in criticizing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a political development perturbing policy makers in Islamabad.

Why is the Sino-Indian rivlary intensifying?

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has lately transformed into a major hotspot over the growing rivalry between Beijing and New Delhi, two of Asia’s biggest economic powerhouses. The region’s growing geostrategic importance – connecting energy-rich West Asia to energy-hungry East Asia – has compelled the two to vie for that dominance.

As both China and India are heavily reliant on hydrocarbons to shore up their economic engine, the IOR becomes pivotal for the uninterrupted flow of their seaborne trade and energy imports. The US naval presence in the region, however, has indisputably played a key role in the intensification of hostility between the two Asian giants.

The US considers the region crucial for its economic interests and security as any likely disruption to these seaborne lanes can have serious implications for US hegemony and the global economy at large.

The New Silk Road

In order to contain China’s rise, the US has inserted itself into the region by aggressively consolidating strategic, diplomatic, and military ties with regional allies – in it much-ballyhooed “Pivot to Asia.” Inevitably, this strategic move has heightened tensions between China and allies of the US, notably India.

Washington’s strategy is not necessarily working as seamlessly elsewhere. On Wednesday, the Japanese foreign ministry announced the results of a 2021 ASEAN survey that showed respondents selecting China as the G20’s most important future partner country. Japan slipped to second place for the first time since the survey launched in 2015, with the US coming in third.

To circumnavigate the threats posed to its sea lanes by the Indo-US presence in the IOR, China is diversifying its energy and trade routes. In this regard, the BRI has become an instrument of reducing strategic vulnerabilities through expansion of regional trade and infrastructural investments in areas falling outside the strategic choke point of the Strait of Malacca, a narrow sea area between the Indonesia island of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula through which China imports more than 80 percent of its oil.

As the rivalry between China and India is not limited to the Himalayan region and has largely become maritime-focused, the expansion of China’s BRI in South and Central Asia is reducing China’s vulnerability to possible future Indian and US attacks in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to disrupt Chinese seaborne trade.

Another relevant component of the BRI, is the aforementioned CPEC, connecting China’s Xinjiang region to Pakistan’s Gwadar seaport. Through CPEC, China aims to solve its ‘Malacca Dilemma’ while simultaneously consolidating its economic and political ties with New Delhi’s nemesis, Islamabad.

A Passage to India…or Bharat

India fears that after the Chinese encirclement of its sea lanes through growing strategic presence in Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, and Djibouti, the BRI can also pose threats to India’s land trade routes while simultaneously mitigating the impact on China from a combined Indo-US assault on its sea lanes.

The current ‘Hindu nationalist’ government of India, with its own ideologically expansionist designs, has also been responsible for exacerbating the crisis with China. New Delhi’s ties with its neighbours are largely dictated by the idea of Akhand Bharat, a term used by right-wing Hindu nationalists for a vision to restore a unified Indian subcontinent.

By referring to India as Vishwa Guru or ‘teacher to the world’, Modi has convinced his devotees that only he can restore the lost greatness of Hindustan. This expansionist mindset has pitted the country against its many neighbors, while Modi has used the narrative to consolidate his Hindu support base.

Who needs who?

In addition to Washington’s efforts at propping up India as an outsourcing-alternative to China for US companies, the growing Indian middle class are also perceived as a desired and lucrative destination for US exports.

The ‘limitless friendship’ between Russia and China is seen as a threat to US hegemony and may even require India as a bridge to reach out to Russia in the future. In fact, some strategists in Washington even suggest a ‘wedge’ strategy of engaging Russia to prevent it becoming overly dependent on China, and thus fostering a sense of rivalry between these two great-power rivals in their shared Eurasian space.

In this context, India’s partnership with Russia in key parts of Eurasia – such as Afghanistan and Central Asia – make it an ideal bridge to Moscow.

India and the US are likely to compartmentalize their priorities without coercing each other to veer too far from their respective interests. While unhappy about it, the US understands India’s sensitivities towards Russia and will pragmatically tone down its criticism of New Dehli’s positions.

The alternative would drive a wedge between the two allies and compromise their collective effort to contain China. If the US needs India to counter China, India surely needs both Russia and the US to keep China at bay.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

Is US Commitment to Ukraine War at Tipping Point?

22 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Alastair Crooke 

For now, the goal for Ukraine and its NATO allies should be to contain the Russian offensive within southeastern Ukraine, push Putin’s forces back where possible – and make this war too painful for Russia to continue indefinitely’.

The war in Ukraine has unfolded, but not in the way western commentary foresaw

Are we seeing an inflection point in the conflict over Ukraine, which growing numbers of US lawmakers tell us is, in truth, a US ‘war’ on Russia?  What the latter means however, is not clear, but it sounds like the early laying down of a narrative for possible military escalation. But is military escalation still feasible? 

It is perhaps too early to claim strategic ‘inflection’ — but what does seem to be happening is that mis-matched timelines are grinding out their ineluctable and harsh realities.

At the very outset of the Russian operations, Biden authorised emergency spending, and of US military trainers on the spot providing intelligence and tactical targeting guidance to help the Ukrainian army destroy Russian forces. The Ukrainians get it all — every twitch in Russian operational deployment is handed immediately to Russia’s enemies.

Concomitantly, as a contribution to info-war, military experts appeared across western MSM to herald an imminent “Ukrainian victory” based on the country’s allegedly ‘spectacular battlefield successes’ and Russia’s ‘extraordinary incompetence’. The US and British rush to judgement partly reflected a real failure on their part to recognise that Russia was mounting a soft, slow and steady campaign of manoeuvre — because simply that is not ‘how we in the West do things’.  

However, much of it almost certainly reflected an uncritical 100% reliance on Ukrainian sources, and on wishful thinking. After the enormous eight-year investment in the training and equipping of the quarter-million Ukrainian army to NATO standards, the latter surely would prevail (they imagined) against a mere 140,000 Russians.  The desire to erase the humiliation of the twenty year NATO training programme in Afghanistan – that unravelled in eleven days – almost certainly contributed to the western gung ho rhetoric: ‘Vindication at last’.

In the last few days, US Defence Secretary Austin called General Shoigu (the first call, since the start of operations that Shoigu has accepted to take). Austin asked for an immediate ceasefire. Shoigu however, declined the request.

At about the same moment, Chancellor Scholz called President Putin (and had a long discussion).  Scholz also wanted an immediate ceasefire, but his focus was more on agreeing some swap, by which the besieged Avozstal fighters could withdraw from the underground Avozstal tunnels.  

The western efforts to secure release of these fighters has been at the forefront of initiatives over the last week. Scholz also raised his hopes for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine issue, but Putin was no more yielding than was Shoigu. (Interestingly, Scholz also, according to the read-out, broached the coming global food emergency in his call).

Europe has painted itself into a corner on its political initiatives. The obvious retort to Europe’s plea to Putin is: Go and persuade Zelensky. But Europe has unreservedly pinned itself to Zelensky alone determining the terms of any ceasefire — and he says he will not yield anything to Russia, and will only speak with Putin without any framework agreed in advance.

Nonetheless, here we have two Western leaders suing for a cessation of military action. 

The war in Ukraine has unfolded, but not in the way western commentary foresaw. Ukrainian forces look shattered and exhausted. Supplies and reinforcements are not reaching the Ukrainian troops who now are largely unable to move, or re-deploy away from fixed defensive positions along the Slovyansk-Severodonetsk–Donetsk lines.  And these lines are looking vulnerable to collapse. 

Confronted with the unambiguous failure of assistance to rescue Ukrainian forces from certain destruction, the Biden administration is pivoting its narrative: the New York Times is saying that Russian forces have advanced to the border between Donetsk and Luhansk, [which] if confirmed makes it more probable that Russia could entirely control Donbas. And the Washington Post reports that Biden wants now to pivot to Asia, ‘after the Ukraine war marked a rallying moment for the geo-political West. It triggered a new steely approach by Europeans to confront Russia and spurred the imminent expansion of NATO.

And David Ignatius, a bell weather for Washington shifts, also reports: ‘The world will eventually celebrate a final Ukrainian victory and the expulsion of the last Russian invader. But that could be years, even decades, away. We aren’t going to see a peace treaty signed any time soon. For a long while, Ukraine is likely to be a partially divided country. For now, the goal for Ukraine and its NATO allies should be to contain the Russian offensive within southeastern Ukraine, push Putin’s forces back where possible – and make this war too painful for Russia to continue indefinitely’.

Scholtz’s telecon too, suggests that the EU is waking up to the merciless reality of timelines in the sphere of sanctions. Instead of being able to trigger an almost instantaneous collapse of the Russian economy, the latter is doing okay — quite okay, despite sanctions. It looks as if it is the EU’s plans rather, for an oil embargo, that are rapidly unravelling. And instead of a quick win (again as confidently forecast by the experts), the EU now faces the long grinding down of its economy, through energy, food and inflationary crises.

It does sound like Biden is talking-the-talk of a ‘pivot’, having ‘got the reality’. The rushing through of the $40 billion package may well represent a consolation prize (slush fund) for the Military Industrial Complex and for certain allies in Ukraine to be rewarded, but the question is, will Washington subsequently walk-the-walk?  

An escalation through Poland seizing its ‘historic lands’ in Ukraine (the western part), could be used to present the American people with a war that Americans do not want, but cannot easily stop. Such Polish intervention would please Neo-con currents in the US and UK, though the expected follow-through for this current would be far from smooth sailing, if pursued.

Conflict involving Russians and Poles in any form would likely trigger a call for the NATO council to meet, and to address Article V of the NATO Treaty that provides for support from all members, should a NATO member (in this case Poland) be attacked.

Note however, that such support is not automatic. In the case of Turkey having shot down a Russian fighter jet, Turkey attempted to frame any Russian retribution as an Article V event — however NATO member states disagreed, arguing that Turkey was the author of its own misfortune, and that it would have to deal with the consequences alone.

War with Russia is precisely what the Pentagon and most NATO members do not want. This is a strong card in the Russian hand.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Nothing to Celebrate?

May 11, 2022

Source

by James Tweedie

On May 8, when Victory in Europe (VE) Day is celebrated in the West, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN that Russia had “nothing to celebrate” on its own Victory Day on May 9.

Her reasoning, faithfully transcribed on the US mission’s website, was that “They have not succeeded in defeating the Ukrainians.”

Given that Victory Day and VE Day both specifically commemorate the allied defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Thomas-Greenfield’s comments were like saying the US, Britain and France had nothing to celebrate this year because they got chased out of Afghanistan by the Taliban last August.

The ambassador is either an apologist for Nazism or merely too ignorant to do her job. She should at least read some objective reports about the conflict in the Ukraine.

In fact Russians had two immediate military victories to celebrate that Monday. Russian and Lugansk People’s Republic troops captured the town of Popasna, a lynchpin in the Ukrainian army’s defensive line that it had held for eight years.

Meanwhile Kiev, apparently desperate for a victory of its own to rain on the parade through Moscow’s Red Square, launched an airborne and marine assault on the now-famous Zmeinyy (Snake) Island off the coast of Odessa oblast.

Some sources say the Russians withdrew their small force holding the island as bait for a trap, but either way it went horribly wrong for the Ukrainians. They lost four jet fighters and strike aircraft, up to 10 helicopters, a corvette and three infantry landing craft. More than 60 of their personnel were killed, of which 27 were abandoned on the island.

The Ukraine is like a bull elephant that has been shot right in the heart in mid-charge. The beast keeps on bellowing and rampaging around, not yet realising that it’s already dead.

It becomes clearer by the day that the Ukrainian army attempting to occupy the remains of the Donbass republics, newly recognised by Russia just as the West ‘recognised’ its creations of Kosovo and South Sudan, is dead on its feet.

Its navy, air force, artillery, tanks and transportation are almost destroyed. Its casualties are replaced with boys and old men press-ganged off the streets of Kiev and Lvov, some without proper boots. Its senior officers are fled or dead.

Meanwhile the collective West, dominated as always by the Washington, pours in its hodgepodge of arms that belong in a museum, not on the battlefield. The latest arrivals are the 90 much-vaunted 155mm howitzers donated by the Pentagon — and made in UK, because the US military-industrial complex seemingly can’t produce a simple towed cannon any more.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin insisted on April 28 that the artillery pieces would prove “decisive” in the war with Russia. The former Raytheon executive can’t stop speaking in his arms industry sales patter. 90 guns is about what the Ukrainian army is losing every week. What use are they anyway against Russia’s hypersonic missiles, with a range of hundreds of miles and an accuracy radius of seven metres?

Pouring random assortments of arms into a country and expecting it to win against a well-organised and equipped opponent is just as incoherent a strategy as the war of attrition the US waged in Vietnam, or sending a whole army into a frontal assault on a mountain pass defended by a thousand.

Who is going to operate all this stuff if most of the experienced weapon and vehicle crews have become casualties or prisoners? How is it even supposed to get to the front when Russia has air superiority over the country and stand-off weapons that can reach right out to the border with Poland and kill hundreds of foreign mercenaries?

“Ukraine clearly believes it can win and so does everyone here,” Austin told his NATO counterparts at the Rammstein airbase a few days earlier, in a touching display of mass delusion on a US-occupied piece of Germany. “Ukraine needs our help to win today and they will still need our help when the war is over.”

In a pre-recorded virtual address to the Ukrainian parliament on May 3, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made similar exhortations. “The so-called irresistible force of Putin’s war machine has broken on the immoveable object of Ukrainian patriotism,” Johnson declared triumphantly. “Ukraine will win, Ukraine will be free.”

Kiev is claiming it can rebuild its exhausted, demoralised, bled-white army in the west of the country — or better yet, in NATO-member Poland — and march east in a great wave of self-righteous retribution to reclaim the Donbass and Crimea.

This is accompanied by bizarre fascistic artwork of crusader knights, flying the 30-year-old Ukrainian flag, slaughtering Russian army orcs — literal fantasy role-playing game orcs with the letter ‘Z’ marked on their foreheads. And Western leaders are actually taking this stuff seriously.

Austin believes that fighting this war the last drop of Ukrainian blood will weaken the Russian military enough that it won’t be able to fight another war for years to come. Not so long ago this retired four-star general publicly referred to present-day Russia as the Soviet Union, whether by accident or on purpose we do not now.

Perhaps Austin should read a little history and discover that the USSR lost 27 million human lives in the war against Nazi Germany and its many European fascist allies, all now current or prospective NATO members.

Six million Soviets soldiers and partisans fell on the battlefield. Three million more were murdered by the Nazis as as prisoners of war, along with 18 million civilians.

Yet the Soviet Union emerged from that cataclysmic war stronger than ever, as the superpower that counter-balanced the US in the post-war order.

Like Germany in 1945, the Ukraine is marching fanatically towards its terrible Götterdämmerung, leaving a trail of footprints in its own blood. And NATO is standing behind, cheering it on and prolonging the death-agony.

Seems Like the US after Monkeying Around in Pakistan is Primed for a Relationship Reset

9 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Shafei Moiz Hali 

The US’ swift moves and clear contrast instances unmistakably point at foul play in Khan’s ouster.

Seems Like the US after Monkeying Around in Pakistan is Primed for a Relationship Reset

In 2021, as the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan was planned, news of Pakistan and US discussions for the use of Pakistan’s airspace for counter-terrorism in Afghanistan post-US withdrawal started to surface. However, such news and rumors were put to rest in June 2021, during an interview of then-Prime Minister Imran Khan by Jonathan Swan from Axios on HBO. During the interview, Khan’s famous words “absolutely not” regarding the allowance of the CIA’s use of bases on Pakistani soil were not only a surprise for Jonathan Swan but also alarmed the decision-makers in Washington. The messy US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 spawned tremendous criticism from global media, which termed the US’ two-decades-long campaign in Afghanistan as a failure. The failure scrambled the US officials to search for a scapegoat, which led to blaming Pakistan for its role in undermining the war effort, and Pakistan’s efforts for bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table in 2019 and 2020 and also in aiding the US coalition forces in their exit from Afghanistan did not receive any acknowledgment. Such cold behavior from the US officials left the Pakistan government weary and critical of the US as a strategic partner. The Pakistani government started thinking regionally and multilaterally to secure the country’s interests, and this directed Imran Khan’s government toward Russia.

Khan visited Russia from 23-24 February 2022, and it was during this official state visit that Russia’s operation in Ukraine began. Following Khan’s Moscow visit, Pakistan was amongst 35 nations that abstained from voting at the UN against Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Such steps taken by Imran Khan’s government irked the US officials, and surprisingly, 44 days after Imran Khan’s Moscow visit, he was voted out of government. The public in Pakistan is baffled and aghast by Imran Khan’s ouster as he is the same Prime Minister who is credited for reducing the country’s external debt to GDP ratio from 31.6% to 28.5% and is also credited with successfully steering the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was also praised internationally and by the World Health Organization. The Economist’s normalcy index ranked Pakistan among the top three countries that handled the pandemic well. Khan’s strongman style of governance and anti-corruption drive were responsible for making enemies at home, and it is speculated that the same were used as tools for Khan’s removal.

A few days before Khan’s removal from office, on March 27, Mr. Khan addressed a public rally and spoke about foreign conspiracies hatched to knock down his government. In subsequent days, he revealed that the foreign country behind the conspiracy is the United States. Khan had received a diplomatic cable from Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Asad Majeed, in which the latter informed him of a peculiar meeting with Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Affairs Donald Lu, and the US’ annoyance with Mr. Khan’s ‘independent foreign policy’ and visit to Moscow, warning him against repercussions at the level of the Pak-US relations.

The US is known to have orchestrated regime changes across the world. Some examples from contemporary history comprise: March-1949 Syrian coup d’état and 2012 to present attempts at regime change in Syria; 1953-Iranian coup d’état and 2005 to present; 1954-Guatemalan coup d’état; CIA’s Tibetan Program (although it failed, the Dalai Lama and Tibetan insurgents in Nepal continue to receive subsidies); 1956-58 US meddling in Indonesia; 1959-Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba;1960-1963 interference in Iraq, later in 1992-96 and the 2003 invasion; 1960-65 Congo Crisis engineered by the US; 1961 regime change in the Dominican Republic; 1963 CIA-backed coup in South Vietnam; 1964-Brazilian coup d’état; 1966 military coup in Ghana; 1973 Chilean coup d’état; 1976 Argentine coup d’état; 1979-89 interference in Afghanistan; 1980 Turkish coup d’état; Poland 1980-89; Nicaragua 1981-90; Venezuela 2002 coup d’état attempt; Somalia 2006-7; Arab Spring 2010-2011; 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

The series of events leading up to PM Imran Khan’s removal from office seems like a page out of the CIA’s book of regime changes. Most of the above examples of US interventions start with the identification of local opposition leaders whose loyalties can be bought. Then these leaders in the opposition are funded to spread propaganda and mobilize protests and unrest within the country; making people lose faith in the government. Later, these same leaders are supplied with money to buy out people from the government and state institutions to further weaken the government until it is toppled. The resemblance is uncanny between what happened with Khan and the CIA’s actions in other countries for regime changes.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some analysts believe that there was no foreign hand in Khan’s ouster; rather, his removal has been due to his failed economic policies and other unpopular domestic political actions. The same analysts state that Khan is using the US conspiracy theory as a political ploy to save face and garner public support for re-election. In order to check whether foreign intervention played a role in Khan’s ouster, a simple test can be run by comparing the Biden administration’s stance toward Pakistan during Khan’s government and after Khan’s government.

During Khan’s government, Pakistan sought economic cooperation rather than security cooperation with the US, which is why Imran Khan categorically refused to discuss options for offering military bases to the CIA in Pakistan. In response, the Biden administration rejected Pakistan’s proposals for economic cooperation. It has been less than a month since the new government in Pakistan has assumed responsibilities and on May 4, 2022, the US State Department during its press briefing hinted at Pak-US counter-terrorism assistance and cross-border security vis-à-vis Afghanistan. On May 6, the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Pakistan Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari received a congratulatory call from Secretary of State Antony Blinken who agreed with his Pakistani counterpart that engagement with mutual respect was the way forward for both countries. There is a striking difference between the US stance in Blinken’s phone call and the diplomatic cable received by Khan’s government.  In the coming days, more is expected to happen as the new Foreign Minister of Pakistan has received an invitation to visit the United States to attend a Global Food Security Meeting this month. Such swift moves and clear contrast instances unmistakably point at foul play in Khan’s ouster.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Russian SMO: day 47 “crazies in the basement” and a poem

April 12, 2022

Today let’s begin with this news item today:

Seven-in-Ten Americans Now See Russia as an Enemy Attitudes toward NATO increasingly positive.

You got to love the “logic” of these folks!

Russia intervenes in a country which neighbors Russia, thousands of miles away, and the US Americans see that as a threat to the USA.  And nevermind that the USA is the country which forced Russia into this war which the Kremlin spent eight years trying to avoid.

How is such a result even possible?  Here are a few options:

  1. A majority of US Americans are simply stupid and cannot think
  2. A majority of US Americans are unbelievably ignorant
  3. A majority of US Americans are brainwashed by their media and schools
  4. A majority of US Americans have been trained/conditioned to fear and hate whomever their rulers designate for demonization
  5. A majority of US Americans sincerely believe that the USA ought to be the planet’s cop and no matter where a conflict starts, even when that conflict started by the USA, they believe that it is Uncle Shmuel business to deal with it.  In their tiny minds, the USA has a God given right to intervene anywhere and attack anyone.
  6. A majority of US Americans perceive any truly sovereign country as a direct threat to their way of life.
  7. The PYSOP campaign to demonize Russia has been a resounding success.

A mix of all of the above is probably the most accurate cause for such a result.

Next, I bumped into a Foxnews propaganda piece featuring a clown which, apparently, in some very distant past was a US Lt. General in the USA military, his last name is Kellogg.  I decided to give it a try and I have to say that I sat absolutely *transfixed* listening to him: according to him, Russia has already suffered a huge defeat at the hands of the Ukronazis and with NATO’s help the Ukraine can, and probably will, win this war.

And both that “general” and the presstitute “interviewing” him delivered that crock of shit with great gravitas and appropriate facial expressions (angled eyebrows, the way the journos try to look very sincere).  I was expecting at least one of them to burst out laughing but, no, of course not.

These two simply lack both the brain and the humor to realize how terminally stupid and ridiculous they both sound.

As I have written many times in the past, US generals are much more “corporate CEO in combat fatigues” than real combat officers.  By Russian standards this guy would not even be allowed to clean latrines in a construction battalion.  A man who says with a straight face that delivering 20 Soviet era aircraft or S-300 to the Ukrainians will make a difference in this war is either a clueless civilian or a deliberate liar prostituting his (putative and now former) officer’s honor for a few bucks.

No wonder the Russians have stopped taking telephone calls from these clowns.

Does anybody still wonder why “Kabul” happened or why the USA cannot win a war against anybody except Grenada (and that one barely, they had to bring the 82nd to fix the usual SNAFU created by US “special” operation forces)?

As for the German Eurolemmings, they have truly lost any sense of decency or even basic common sense: they are now seriously thinking about sending old Leopard 1 tanks to the Ukraine!

Let me explain something really basic here:

  • You cannot just send weapons to the Ukraine and have that make a difference.  I mean, yes, if you send AKs, bullet and clubs, they might get used.  But modern weapon systems require training.  They also require maintenance.  Then they need to be integrated into the rest of the armed forces.  Then your forces need to train and practice a lot to perfect their combat coordination.  Then you need a supply/maintenance/repairs network to maintain/repair your systems.  Advanced air defense systems require crews with sometimes many years of training.  Considering that the reinforcements sent by Kiev to the Donbass even include their Volkssturm, you can imagine how utterly useless the operators of the few weapons systems surviving the trip from Lvov to the Donbass will be.  And the interval between the moment this ancient S-300 goes live and the moment a Russian ARM hit it will be counted in minutes at most.
  • Next, old weapons (ex-Soviet or ex-NATO) are just fat targets.  In almost all cases, Russian equivalents are one or even two generations ahead, so why are all the EU sending them?  Well, for a couple of reasons, the main one is to get rid of them, since storage or recycling of such systems is rather costly.  The next reason is that it makes NATO politicians look “tough” – after all, if Zelenskii wants old tanks, artillery or air defense systems (he ain’t exactly a military genius either!) then, by all means, we give it to him and look like we are doing *something*.  By the way, the four S-300 sent by the Slovaks were, apparently, already destroyed in a strike yesterday.  And the Slovak taxpayer did not spend a penny on this.  How is that not a good deal for Slovakia?  Oh sure, this is an act of war, a casus belli, as are ALL but UNSC approved “sanctions”, but the Euroemmings Master Race are so superior in every sense to the accursed Rooskies that, screw that!  The only thing which can bring the Eurolemmings back to reality is a Russian strike on such a weapons convoy INSIDE a NATO member country because, as I have already explained, when the Eurolemmings to hide behind Uncle Shmuel’s back, all he will offer them are statements of support, outrage, freshly printed fiat money and the usual mix of threats, fear and hate western politicians always spew about Russia.  But the US won’t allow NATO to go to war with Russia over one such strike, especially if the Russians clearly explain what they did and why (I actually expect that quite a few “old-time” western officers will get a good kick out of their newfound NATO “allies” hysterics once that happens).
  • As I have mentioned in the past, weapons convoys in the western Ukraine (and, possibly, even inside Poland) make for easy and lucrative targets for the Russians.  Just mix in enough civilians and, voilà!, sooner or later you will have a “Russian atrocity”, something like “the Russians kill scores of innocent feeling Ukrainian civilians” or “the Russians attacked trucks clearly marked with red crosses” (FYI – the SBU and Azov uses red crosses on its vans and ammo/supply trucks!).  This is likely one of the reasons the Russians have, so far, chosen not to attack early on but to wait for solid intelligence and then strike the NATO forces/hardware when it is nicely concentrated somewhere.  Still, we know that Azov ALWAYS used civilians (especially those perceived as “not sufficiently patriotic”!) as human shields.  By the way, NATO taught them this technique.  Anyway, to expect NATO weapon convoys NOT to be protected by human shields would be simply stupid.  The Russians simply have to ASSUME that NATO/SBU/Azov will ALWAYS be surrounded by captive civilians.

Which brings us to the issue of false flags.  Here are a few headlines about this topic:

Need I say anything more?

Even by British standards, this is the most pre-announced pre-publicized false flag in history, I am amazed I don’t see ads and previews for it on Amazon and Netflix…

I guess, I will just say that if the public opinion is being prepared for a Russian chemical attack (maybe even with the – apparently harmless –  “Novichok”) then we know for sure which side is winning and which side is not winning.

Medvechuk, one of the main leaders of the opposition at held in the SBU offices, according to Zelenskii who is very proud of that “capture”

There are also a few other reasons why the Empire of Hate and Lies badly and urgently needs a false flag:

  • Mariupol has fallen and all the rescue or escape attempts have failed.  Yes, there are probably several hundred, possibly around 1000 Nazis still left in the deep and many underground facilities under the industrial complex, but they have become militarily irrelevant so the Russian National Guard forces are taking their sweet time to avoid any unnecessary losses on the Russian side.
  • Reports of Nazi atrocities are literally all over the place, especially on Telegram.  A few of these have leaked into the legacy corporate ziomedia thereby creating the first, still tiny, cracks in the official narrative.
  • Nobody knows what/who exactly is hidden deep in the bowels of Azovstal, but considering the immense efforts to get “it/him/them” out of there, the inevitable takeover of the underground floors by the Russians will result in some major embarrassment for the Empire, unless the Kremlin decides to show “goodwill” again and mistakenly believe that any such goodwill will be appreciated in the West.  IF there is a deal made, it will have to offer the Russians something really substantive and very quickly verifiable since just promises won’t do, not even with the Atlantic Integrationists (who are now busy rebranding themselves as “patriotic Russians”).
  • There are also lots of reports of atrocities in the Nazi-controlled Ukraine, including public floggings and executions.  Again, Telegram is flooded with such reports and footage and the Bucha false flag petered out without providing the needed “distraction” and return to the “correct” narrative.  The Ukronazis even reportedly told the Brits that they have no intention of abiding by the Geneva Conventions (what a surprise!).
  • On the photo above and on the closeup, check out the face and expression of Viktor Medvedchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian opposition.  If that is how the SBU OFFICIALLY – the photo is from ‘Ze’ himself – treats a top political figure, just imagine what they have done to the thousands of people they have “disappeared” over 8 years now!

Over the past week or so, the western PSYOPs have begun to lose control of the narrative, which means that they need to seize the initiative and regain control of the narrative.  Not exactly a difficult task when dealing with a terminally stupidified public in Zone A.

In the meantime, the Eurolemmings are continuing their acts of highway robbery.  European “values” at work, from the Crusades to the modern age 🙂

A few weeks back I wrote that while the immediate objective of the SMO in the Ukraine was to denazify and disarm the Nazi-occupied Ukraine, the real end goal was to chance the European collective security architecture which, itself, is the cornerstone of our entire, worldwide, international order.  I called that “denazify the planet” and I am pretty sure that many readers reading these words thought “what’s Andrei smoking?”.

Well, how about we now listen to both Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Karaganov?

The first one, Lavrov, called the “end of the course for US hegemony as the goal of the operation in Ukraine“.  As for Karaganov, he declared that “we are at war with the West. The European security order is illegitimate“.

Still, for the time being, the big event will be the initiation of the 2nd phase of the war: the elimination of the Ukrainian forces inside the Donbass cauldron.  Very few people know how long such an operation would last, it depends on so many things that it makes no sense to try to guess it, but the outcome itself is not in doubt.

Only God, and Satan, know what kind of demented scheme the likes of Nuland or Blinken will come up next.

All we can say is that a rabid dog is cornered, it makes it even more dangerous.

And we have to keep in mind that they REALLY and SINCERELY thought they would (finally!) break the will of the Russian people and that they know this long awaited and oh-so-sweet revenge-victory is slipping away from them – just imagine the rage they must feel.  After eight years of endless provocations, insults and “negotiations” the Neocons have FINALLY forced Russia to intervene openly, which was always the dream of the Neocons.  But what they did not expect (and neither did anybody else, myself included) was that instead of “just” liberating the LDNR from constant Ukronazi strikes, Putin chose to liberate the entire Ukraine and change the entire collective security architecture of Europe.  Even better, Putin has confirmed this openly in his ultimatum and many times since.

You could say that Putin’s message to NATO was short: “We are coming for you”.  I think of it as the modern equivalent of the ancient words “хочу на вы идти” (pronounced “khochu na vy idti”) spoken to his enemies by the famous commander of ancient Russia, the Grand Duke of Kiev Svyatoslav Igorevich (955-972) and which can be loosely translated as “my intention is to attack you”.

I don’t believe that NATO has fully understood this or, to the extent they did, they will dismiss it as “bluff” (as if Putin ever bluffed, which is really something Russians very rarely do).

But by the time the 2nd phase is over, this reality will have trickled into the delusional minds of the likes of Borrell or Stoltenberg and you can be sure they will run to their beloved Uncle Shmuel for protection.  At which point the Empire of Lies will have exactly two options left:

  1. Admit a total political defeat of NATO in Europe or
  2. Commit suicide and try to attack Russia.  And since the US/NATO/EU/etc do not have anywhere near the force levels to take on the Russian military a direct US military intervention, this would be utterly pointless and bring the leaders of the USA to the same choice (to nuke or not to nuke?), except that a really embarrassing military defeat will be added on top of an already really embarrassing political defeat

So, apparently, the Eurolemmings are totally willing to die for the Ukraine, as long as the fighting is done by the Ukrainians themselves.

The same Eurolemmings are also willing to eviscerate their own economies only for the privilege to brown-nose Uncle Shmuel and get a “certificate of democratic credentials” as a reward.

But will US soldiers be willing to die for either the Ukraine or the Eurolemmings?  Will the Neocons have enough influence and power to force the US military to execute a civilization-ending order?  Or will there appear some personality/group which would do, but this time REALLY DO, what Trump promised and “drain the swamp” and get rid of the likes of Bliken or Nuland?

I very much doubt it.  But I can still hope for it.

And then there is China which clearly supports Russia, and which is clearly preparing for a war against the USA.  Even their minister of defense said so quite openly.  And here are two things the Chinese know for sure:

  • If the Empire defeats Russia, China will be next, thus China cannot afford a Russian defeat under ANY circumstances (and neither can Russia afford a hypothetical Chinese defeat at the hands of the Empire).
  • If the US and Russia go at each other in earnest, this will be the perfect time to not only solve the Taiwan issue, but to boot the US out of the Far East just as Iran booted the USA out of the Middle-East.  From the Chinese point of view, “just” liberating Taiwan is not enough – the US must be removed from Taiwan, Japan and even the ROK.  So yes, China also wants to denazify the planet, they are less blunt about it than the Russians, but it is clear to me that this world denazification plan was agreed to by both Putin and Xi.

The folks at the Pentagon must realize that – at least a sufficient critical mass must do so.  Yes, I agree with Andrei Martyanov, the former US generals on TV sound like ignorant infantiles, but I will never believe that all US military commanders are that stupid.  I studied in Washington DC from 1986 to 1991 and most of my teachers were active-duty military, and none of them were stupid.  I also had a lot of fellow students who were from the US military, in the “lieutenant to major” range, and, again, these were smart men, very well educated and, I believe, honorable men.  By now some of them must hold very senior ranks and they could make the difference.

Again, I don’t expect that to happen, but I get to still hope that it will.

I did not study with either General Mattis or General Milley and I know very little about them except this: Mattis seems to be the person who deliberately botched the US missile strike on Syria to avoid a possible Russian reaction leading to war and General Milley called his Chinese counterpart to tell him that the US has no intention of striking at China thereby telling the Chinese that they are NOT in a “use them or lose them” situation, which would have put the entire USA in the very real danger of getting nuked by a desperate China.  In both of these cases, these generals appear to have contravened direct orders for the greater good of service to their country and protection of the US population of the imbecilic orders given by imbecilic US Presidents.  Mattis was “let go” pretty soon by The Donald while Milley was subjected to a vicious smear campaign.

So if “Biden” (meaning Nuland, Sullivan, Blinken or any other demented psychopath) gives the order to attack Russian forces I still want to believe that there will be a critical mass at the Pentagon to tell the “crazies in the basement” to finally shut up and get back to where they belong: the basement they crawled out of.

Is there enough true and real patriotism left in the USA?  Or is patriotism just waving (Chinese made!) US flags, vote for the “lesser evil” from either branch of the Uniparty, and remain an Israeli colony forever?

Click on the image above to appreciate the irony of HIAS aiding Nazis!

If it wasn’t for the US nuclear triad (old, but still formidable and capable!), I truly wouldn’t give a damn, but alas that is a luxury nobody can afford, at least until the USA is finally denazified and disarmed too.  But until all of Zone A is absorbed and re-civilized by Zone B, that danger will threaten every human being on the planet (and now even in the southern hemisphere courtesy of the comprador leaders of the US colony in Australia which have decided to paint a big Chinese nuclear crosshairs on their brainless heads!).

Okay, I will end with some major good news: the entire 36th Marine Infantry Brigade in Mariupol has surrendered!  That is over 1000 soldiers, including 300 wounded and 90 seriously injured.

Now, careful here, these are NOT the Azov forces hiding in the underground floors of Azovstal.  First, they are not Azov but regular Ukrainian military and, second, they were barricaded in the Illich industrial complex, near the Azovstal, but already cut off from Azovstal.

The Ukrainian 36th Naval Infantry Brigade has surrendered

It is important to note that unlike the Azov Nazis, the Naval Infantry forces are NOT considered as Nazis by the Russians and that they will all get full POW protection under the Geneva Convention.

The very best the Azov people can expect is to be identified and arrested on suspicion of war crimes, crimes against humanity and all kinds of atrocities.  If some of them are clearly clueless idiots who made some bad choices, they might return home one day after either being found innocent (a minority) or after serving their time in Russian jails.

Those found with tattooed swastikas or those who are already on the FSB wanted list will get harsh sentences in equally harsh high-security prisons.

As for Azov commanders, they have already been told by everybody that they will get no mercy.  Which means that they will get interrogated and executed.

[Sidebar: Russia has had a moratorium on the death penalty to appease the Eurolemmings.  Now that Russia has quit all EU institutions, you can expect the death penalty to be reinstated under popular pressure.  Besides, the LDRN republics DO have the death penalty.  As does every single Chechen subunit :-)]

The bottom line is this: while the surrender of the 36th Naval Infantry Brigade is absolutely wonderful news – just think of the saved lives – it is very unlikely to set a precedent to the Azov forces in Mariupol or elsewhere.  Worse, I strongly suspect that the two reasons why the 36th Naval Infantry Brigade could surrender were that:

  • They were cut off (by the Russian National Guard units) from the Azov forces in Azovstal
  • They were considered an elite unit that the Nazis of Azov could not simply and safely massacre

In the Donbass, the situation is, reportedly, much worse: the ratio of Nazi to normal soldier seems to be close to 1:10 which means that the Nazis can act as “barrage forces” and shoot anybody refusing to advance or trying to retreat – a technique which the West loves to blame on Stalin, but which was invented by the Nazis on the Eastern Front.  They can also act as “political commissars”, a category invented by Leon Trotsky himself to force former officers of the imperial Russian military to obey orders given by these commissars or face execution.  And those who will say that 1:10 is a great ratio for the Ukrainians to dispose of their “Nazi commissars” miss the point as any such conspiracy will be detected long before it materializes.

Yet again, I am not expecting this to happen, but I will keep hoping with all my heart that a huge massacre (because that is exactly what this is shaping up to be) can still be avoided.  I really hope that the Russian PSYOPs are doing all they can to reach out to the Ukrainian soldiers in the Donbass cauldron and that the RU+LDNR forces will do everything short of taking serious losses to spare the lives of the 60-70 thousand or so Ukrainians who are now waiting to be obliterated by heavy Russian strikes.

One of my favorite Russian poets, Maksimilian Voloshin, wrote a poem entitled “Civil War” which I love and which I will share with you, in Russian and in a somewhat corrected machine translation:

Одни восстали из подполий,
Из ссылок, фабрик, рудников,
Отравленные темной волей
И горьким дымом городовДругие из рядов военных,
Дворянских разоренных гнезд,
Где проводили на погост
Отцов и братьев убиенных.В одних доселе не потух
Хмель незапамятных пожаров,
И жив степной, разгульный дух
И Разиных, и Кудеяров.В других – лишенных всех корней –
Тлетворный дух столицы Невской:
Толстой и Чехов, Достоевский –
Надрыв и смута наших дней.Одни возносят на плакатах
Свой бред о буржуазном зле,
О светлых пролетариатах,
Мещанском рае на земле…В других весь цвет, вся гниль империй,
Все золото, весь тлен идей,
Блеск всех великих фетишей
И всех научных суеверий.Одни идут освобождать
Москву и вновь сковать Россию,
Другие, разнуздав стихию,
Хотят весь мир пересоздать.В тех и в других война вдохнула
Гнев, жадность, мрачный хмель разгула,А вслед героям и вождям
Крадется хищник стаей жадной,
Чтоб мощь России неоглядной
Размыкать и продать врагам:Сгноить ее пшеницы груды,
Ее бесчестить небеса,
Пожрать богатства, сжечь леса
И высосать моря и руды.И не смолкает грохот битв
По всем просторам южной степи
Средь золотых великолепий
Конями вытоптанных жнитв.И там и здесь между рядами
Звучит один и тот же глас:
«Кто не за нас – тот против нас.
Нет безразличных: правда с нами».А я стою один меж них
В ревущем пламени и дыме
И всеми силами своими
Молюсь за тех и за других.
Some have risen from the underground,
From exiles, factories, mines,
Poisoned by the dark will
And the bitter smoke of cities.Others from the ranks of the military,
Nobles from now ruined nests,
Where they would accompany to the graveyard
The fathers and brothers of those murdered.In some the flame of ancient fires
has not been snuffed out yet
And in the steppes, rebellious spirit of Razins and Kudeyars remains aliveIn others – devoid of all roots –
The corrupting spirit of the capital on the Neva:
Tolstoy and Chekhov, Dostoevsky –
The anguish and turmoil of our days.Some are posting slogans about
Their nonsense and bourgeois evil,
About the bright proletarians,
A petty-bourgeois paradise on earth…In others, all the color, all the rot of empires,
All the gold, all the decay of ideas,
The brilliance of all the great fetishes
And all scientific superstitions.Some go to liberate
Moscow and unite Russia again,
Others, unleashing the elements,
They want to recreate the whole world.In both, the war breathed in
Anger, greed, the dark intoxication of rioting,And following the heroes and leaders
A stalking a greedy pack of predators crawls near
To betray and sell out Russia’s boundless power
to her enemies:Rot her wheat piles,
Her dishonor skies,
Devour riches, burn forests
And suck up dry her seas and springs.And the roar of battles does not cease
Across all the expanses of the southern steppe
Amidst the golden splendors
Horses are trampling upon the harvests.And there and here between the rows
The same voice sounds:
Whoever is not for us is against us.
There are no indifferent ones: the truth is with us.”And I stand alone between them
In the roaring flames and smoke
And with all my strength
I pray for both of them.

These verses were written in November of 1919 and they refer to the Russian Civil war.

Today, the situation is radically different in too many ways to list, but on a spiritual level, I think that this is again yet another Russian civil war.  I have exactly ZERO sympathy or, even less so, empathy for the Ukrainian Nazis, but when I see the young faces of Ukrainian POWs I can’t help it – I see *my* people.  Yes, confused, mistaken, misguided, possibly stupid and even deeply sinful.  And I would not hesitate for 1 second to fight them with more than a keyboard.  But as long as they don’t embrace the Ukronazi/Baderista/Azov/SBU/NATO/EU/US ideology I will always see them as my people and I will never rejoice in their suffering or demise.

Finally, when Voloshin wrote “I pray for both sides” it was not a political statement.  It was a recognition of our common humanity. Even if the core of the Ukronazi/Baderista/Azov/SBU/NATO/EU/US ideology and even IDENTITY is to deny us, Russians, that common humanity (other than in vapid words, of course).

To the demons in Washington DC we need to oppose our saints, both living and long dead.

Our most formidable weapon is not a nuke or any “Tsar-Bomba” but our modest prayer ropes.

Let’s use that most formidable weapon of ours which only we have (there is no real hesychasm in the West, and there has not been for many centuries now),

And strictly in that sense, I do the same, I also pray for our people on both sides.

Andrei

Russian military is no joke either: Shock waves across US?

21 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

When it comes to the Ukraine crisis, US citizens are stressing: “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”

The crisis in Ukraine is raising considerable anxiety and rising global uncertainty. It appears that neither war nor heavy economic penalties would bring a sustainable solution to the current situation, which extends beyond Russia and Ukraine. The only way out is through diplomacy. That possibility was squandered when the US and NATO, in response to Russia’s concerns, limited NATO’s eastward expansion.

However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The special military operation will strive to “denazify” Russia’s sovereign neighbor, its mission is to protect citizens who have been bullied and subjected to genocide for the past eight years. And to do this, Russia will work to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Even as President Joe Biden imposes more sanctions and promises a greater response that could draw retaliation from Moscow, there is little interest among Americans for a US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Joe Biden has been criticized by a faction of the Republican Party for opposing Putin’s plans for Ukraine, with some even suggesting that Russia has the right to invade. 

As history has shown, economic sanctions would only harm innocent civilians, particularly women and children. The rising oil costs owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia are affecting the entire world, particularly the poor nation-states.

With the general public’s memories of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover still fresh, much of the worry on both the right and left is centered on the US avoiding military involvement in Europe. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have indeed been particularly loud in their opposition to US intervention in Ukraine, and stressed that “In the Ukraine conflict, we don’t have a dog in the fight”. There should not be a single American soldier killed there. There should not be a single American bullet fired there.

Significantly, Ukraine has no legitimate reason to be a member of NATO, and NATO, as a Cold War relic, may have no present purpose or goal. Getting involved in a military crisis is not in the best interests of the United States.

Similarly, many Americans prefer that the US stay out of the crisis, the escalating violence, and political ramifications are already hitting their budgets. As traders reacted to geopolitical tensions, the price of oil, which has been climbing for the past year, hit an eight-year high this week. According to experts, if US lawmakers pass another round of sanctions, gas prices will certainly rise considerably more.

Moreover, the restriction on wheat or metals, on the other hand, might push the worst spell of inflation in decades even higher. Consumers in the United States will pay more for gasoline and other necessities as commodity prices rise, leaving less money for discretionary expenditure. As costly as another European conflict would be inhuman and economic terms, the financial strain would fall disproportionately on the lower and middle classes in the United States.

Furthermore, the US economic growth could be cut by 1% as a result of tougher sanctions on Russia. Stock market turbulence can also have a psychological impact, undermining consumer confidence and reducing expenditure, thus, slowing down US economic growth. Sanctions implemented by the United States and other countries may worsen inflation in the United States, and stock prices in the United States have collapsed already.

Consumer pricing and consumer confidence in the United States are likely to be affected by the sanctions. Gas prices in the United States have reached new highs, and Biden warned that they will go up even more.

Notably, the issue of “who are they?” lies at the heart of much of the doubt about America’s intervention in Ukraine. Who are they to lecture about national sovereignty and international law when they have a significant history of invasions and interventions? Who are they to set themselves up as paragons of freedom and human rights, given the record of slavery and discrimination, their foreign record of supporting sympathetic tyrants, and the continued injustices of American life? People on the left frequently pose such concerns. Only about one out of every three Americans can locate Ukraine on a map of Europe.

Biden’s presidency is already on the verge of collapsing. His approval rating has dropped to 41%. His grip on the White House is already tightening. Therefore, Presidents in such dire trouble have a history of suffering crushing defeats in midterm elections during their first term.

The US and Europe have already become major victims of the crisis, both economically and geopolitically, and the worsening of the conflict could spell disaster for the continent and the world. Europe, as the continent that saw two previous World Wars erupt, must demonstrate greater foresight and courage in stepping up its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

هل السرعة معيار نجاح موسكو عسكرياً؟

  الثلاثاء 22 آذار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

منذ بدء العملية العسكرية الروسية في مواجهة تقدم حلف الناتو نحو الحدود الروسية، وتحول أوكرانيا إلى ساحة حرب، وتحول الشعب الأوكراني والجيش الأوكراني والاقتصاد الأوكراني إلى وقود لحرب ميؤوس منها، وتفاديها وقف على قبول صيغة الحياد بدلاً من وهم الانضمام إلى حلف الناتو الذي تقوم عقيدته على إعلان روسيا عدواً أول، ويعني انضمام أوكرانيا إليه اعلان حرب على روسيا، وخطة الناتو تقوم على خوض حرب إعلامية على جبهتين بدلاً من الحرب العسكرية التي يخشى خوضها، الجبهة الأولى هي إقناع الأوكرانيين بمواصلة القتال وحدهم رغم تخلّي الناتو عنهم، والتوهم بأن العقوبات المفروضة على روسيا من جهة، والأسلحة والأموال التي يتم شحنها عبر الحدود إلى أوكرانيا من جهة أخرى، تكفيان لإفشال العملية العسكرية الروسية. أما الجبهة الثانية فهي موجهة للعالم وللأوكرانيين معاً، ومضمونها إقناع الرأي العام بأن معيار النجاح والفشل، ليس التقدم في الجغرافيا، ولا تجاوز تأثير العقوبات، بل عدم تحقيق ذلك بسرعة، ومعيار السرعة وضعت له معادلة النجاح بدخول كييف في يومين أو ثلاثة، وهو أمر يحتاج لإثبات واقعيته قبل تسويقه، لكن تسويقه هو المهم، للمضي قدماً في الحديث عن الفشل، ومن بعده الدخول في حرب نفسية مضمونها تفسير الفشل، الذي لم يقع إلا في الإعلام، لكنه صار حقيقة في وعي الكثيرين، وصار ممكناً نقلهم للتساؤل عن السبب وتقديم سردية مناسبة للتلاعب بعقولهم حول سبب وقوع الفشل.

القطبة المخفيّة كلها في جملة نسبت زوراً للرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، الذي قال نبدأ عملية عسكرية خاصة في أوكرانيا، فأضيفت إليها من مكان مجهول معلوم كلمة سريعة، وسرت كالنار في الهشيم، وصار الحديث عن سريعة قبل أي شيء آخر، ثم صارت السريعة بيومين او ثلاثة، فهل توقع العملية السريعة واقعي بالأساس، كي يقبل الاستنتاج بأن تسويقها لم يكن ضمن خطة مبرمجة لخوض حرب إفشال العملية العسكرية في عقول الرأي العام من بوابة هذه الفرضية المستحيلة، حتى لو نجحت في الواقع الميداني، والمعيار للقياس هو ببساطة، حيث واجهت أميركا التي تعتبر أنها قوة عظمى أشد قوة من روسيا، خصماً مشابهاً أقل قوة من أوكرانيا، وأخذ الزمن الذي احتاجته أميركا لفرض سيطرتها قياساً لما يحدث مع روسيا، التي امتلأت الصحف والتقارير الغربية والقنوات الفضائية الأجنبية والعربية بتحليلات الخبراء، والضباط المتقاعدين الفاشلين عسكرياً، ليبيعوا نظرية الفشل، ويدخلوا في استصناع أسباب مفترضة له، مستنسخة عما كتبه خبراء البنتاغون، مرة بالحديث عن مشاكل لوجستية، وأخرى بالحديث عن ضعف السيطرة والقيادة، وثالثة بالحديث عن نقص المحروقات، ورابعة عن ضعف استخباري، ودائماً بفعل المقاومة الأوكرانية، وصولاً لآخر المبتكرات بالحديث عن نقص في عدد الجنود الروس اللازمين للفوز بالنجاح، وكلها عناصر يمكن قبول نقاشها اذا ثبتت القطبة المخفية الأصلية، وهي أن العملية العسكرية الروسية فشلت، وأن معيار الفشل هو السرعة؟

بالقياس أمامنا تجربة أميركية في حرب يوغوسلافيا، عام 1999، بعد عشر سنوات حرب أهلية مدمّرة، لبلد مساحته لا تعادل 15% من مساحة أوكرانيا، وعدد سكانها كذلك 15% من عدد سكان أوكرانيا، وليس لها حدود مع أي دعم تتلقاه، وحكومة معزولة سياسياً داخل أوروبا وخارجها، وفي زمن السطوة الأميركية الأحادية على العالم، وفي ظل غطاء نسبيّ من قرار أممي بفرض وقف النار وحماية المدنيين، ولم تحسم معركة بلغراد العاصمة الصربية واليوغوسلافية أساساً، إلا بعد 78 يوماً من القصف المدمّر، ما يعني ان الخبرة الأميركية اذا قامت على اعتبار روسيا بالقدرة الأميركية ذاتها وبوضعيتها ذاتها في ظل الأحادية، واعتبرت أن أوكرانيا في ظروف دولية وداخلية مشابهة لظروف صربيا، وحصرت المقارنة بالمساحة وعدد السكان، فإن المدة التي يجب أن تحاسب روسيا على أساسها في حسم معركة كييف يجب أن تكون ستة اضعاف الـ 78 يوماً، اي سنة ونصف، وهناك تجربة أخرى خاضتها أميركا وهي في ذروة سطوتها، بغزو أفغانستان والعراق، ونجحت خلالها بدخول كابول بعد شهرين وبغداد بعد عشرين يوماً، وأعلن الرئيس الأميركي نهاية العملية العسكرية في العراق بعد 40 يوماً، وكانت الحصيلة الاعتراف الأميركي بعد أقل من سنة عن فشل ذريع، وعن تحول العراق الى مستنقع يغرق فيه الأميركيون، وصولاً للقبول بالانسحاب دون تحقيق الهدف، أي بناء نظام حكم حليف لواشنطن، او كما قال الرئيس جو بايدن عن مبررات الانسحاب من أفغانستان بعد عشرين عاماً، رغم إعلان النجاح بعد عشرين يوماً، أنه لو بقينا عشرين عاماً اخرى فلن يتغير شيء، سنفشل، لكننا سندفع آلافاً أخرى من الضحايا وتريلينوات أخرى من الأموال.

بالمقارنة يبدو واضحاً أن الأميركيين بخوضهم حربا إعلامية تحت عنوان «السرعة معيار النجاح»، يريدون عبرها للروس مصيراً لعمليتهم مشابهاً لمصير العمليتين الأميركيتين في العراق وأفغانستان، الغرق حتى الأذنين بالفشل، وسلوك الطريق الذي سلكه الأميركيون، وهو البحث عن نصر سريع عنوانه احتلال العاصمة وتنصيب حكم بديل تابع، والدخول في مواجهة مقاومة شعبية تنطلق من رفض الاحتلال، بينما يحرص الروس على خوض عملية عسكرية تنتهي باتفاق سياسي مع الحكم الأوكراني الحالي، تعرف موسكو أنه لن يحدث إلا إذا اقتنع الغرب بلا جدوى حملاتهم المالية والإعلامية ومساندتهم العسكرية للحكومة الأوكرانية، لجعل روسيا تقع في فخ القطبة المخفية، وتتحول الى قوة احتلال لا تعرف ماذا تفعل بالدولة التي تحتلها، ولا كيف تحمي نظاماً تابعاً تقيمه فيها، وموسكو تعرف كيف تدير عناصر اليأس الغربي، انطلاقاً من النجاح في احتواء الصدمة الأولى للعقوبات، وتمتين تحالفاتها مع الصين وإيران، ومواصلة التقدم الثابت والهادئ في الجغرافيا الأوكرانية، مع الحذر الشديد من التورط في أعمال قتل جماعيّ للمدنيين، ومواصلة السعي التفاوضي لجعل خيار الحياد الأوكراني نموذجاً لمناطق عازلة تفصل روسيا عن حلف الناتو منعاً للاحتكاكات التي يمكن أن تؤدي لنشوب حرب عالمية.

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Russian military is no joke either: Shock waves across US?

21 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Ruqiya Anwar 

When it comes to the Ukraine crisis, US citizens are stressing: “We don’t have a dog in the fight.”

The crisis in Ukraine is raising considerable anxiety and rising global uncertainty. It appears that neither war nor heavy economic penalties would bring a sustainable solution to the current situation, which extends beyond Russia and Ukraine. The only way out is through diplomacy. That possibility was squandered when the US and NATO, in response to Russia’s concerns, limited NATO’s eastward expansion.

However, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The special military operation will strive to “denazify” Russia’s sovereign neighbor, its mission is to protect citizens who have been bullied and subjected to genocide for the past eight years. And to do this, Russia will work to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.

Even as President Joe Biden imposes more sanctions and promises a greater response that could draw retaliation from Moscow, there is little interest among Americans for a US involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. President Joe Biden has been criticized by a faction of the Republican Party for opposing Putin’s plans for Ukraine, with some even suggesting that Russia has the right to invade. 

As history has shown, economic sanctions would only harm innocent civilians, particularly women and children. The rising oil costs owing to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the economic sanctions the West has imposed on Russia are affecting the entire world, particularly the poor nation-states.

With the general public’s memories of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Taliban takeover still fresh, much of the worry on both the right and left is centered on the US avoiding military involvement in Europe. Members of the House Freedom Caucus have indeed been particularly loud in their opposition to US intervention in Ukraine, and stressed that “In the Ukraine conflict, we don’t have a dog in the fight”. There should not be a single American soldier killed there. There should not be a single American bullet fired there.

Significantly, Ukraine has no legitimate reason to be a member of NATO, and NATO, as a Cold War relic, may have no present purpose or goal. Getting involved in a military crisis is not in the best interests of the United States.

Similarly, many Americans prefer that the US stay out of the crisis, the escalating violence, and political ramifications are already hitting their budgets. As traders reacted to geopolitical tensions, the price of oil, which has been climbing for the past year, hit an eight-year high this week. According to experts, if US lawmakers pass another round of sanctions, gas prices will certainly rise considerably more.

Moreover, the restriction on wheat or metals, on the other hand, might push the worst spell of inflation in decades even higher. Consumers in the United States will pay more for gasoline and other necessities as commodity prices rise, leaving less money for discretionary expenditure. As costly as another European conflict would be inhuman and economic terms, the financial strain would fall disproportionately on the lower and middle classes in the United States.

Furthermore, the US economic growth could be cut by 1% as a result of tougher sanctions on Russia. Stock market turbulence can also have a psychological impact, undermining consumer confidence and reducing expenditure, thus, slowing down US economic growth. Sanctions implemented by the United States and other countries may worsen inflation in the United States, and stock prices in the United States have collapsed already.

Consumer pricing and consumer confidence in the United States are likely to be affected by the sanctions. Gas prices in the United States have reached new highs, and Biden warned that they will go up even more.

Notably, the issue of “who are they?” lies at the heart of much of the doubt about America’s intervention in Ukraine. Who are they to lecture about national sovereignty and international law when they have a significant history of invasions and interventions? Who are they to set themselves up as paragons of freedom and human rights, given the record of slavery and discrimination, their foreign record of supporting sympathetic tyrants, and the continued injustices of American life? People on the left frequently pose such concerns. Only about one out of every three Americans can locate Ukraine on a map of Europe.

Biden’s presidency is already on the verge of collapsing. His approval rating has dropped to 41%. His grip on the White House is already tightening. Therefore, Presidents in such dire trouble have a history of suffering crushing defeats in midterm elections during their first term.

The US and Europe have already become major victims of the crisis, both economically and geopolitically, and the worsening of the conflict could spell disaster for the continent and the world. Europe, as the continent that saw two previous World Wars erupt, must demonstrate greater foresight and courage in stepping up its efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

‘After Syria, Ukraine is part two of World War III’: Senior Analyst

March 17, 2022

In a recent episode of his YouTube political talk program ’60 minutes’, senior Lebanese political analyst Nasser Qandil argued that ‘the Ukraine war is part two of World War III’, after ‘part one in Syria had ended in a clear victory for Russia’.

Source: Nasser Qandil (YouTube)

Description:
Date: March 7, 2022

( Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing a small monthly amount here )

Transcript:

Nasser Qandil:

I wish to talk about a number of points regarding the Ukraine war, because we – as always –aim at deepening and consolidating the understanding, awareness, and perception of all those watching us, and helping them to receive the means (that raise their) awareness and not (imposing) our own outcome, meaning they can use the tools, premises, and introductions (we present) to reach different conclusions – and this is an achievement that’s way more important than (merely) dictating to them the outcome (of analyses) and saying (that’s the whole thing) and ‘full stop’ (i.e. you don’t need to think any further). Therefore, our mission in this program is to increase the knowledge (of viewers), and not only to use (the knowledge) we have or that which people have (in our discussions).

The first conclusion I wish to consolidate with you, my dear viewers, is that this war is the largest war after World War II. I personally tried to check through history before adopting this conclusion, (looking into) the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Invasion of Iraq, the Invasion of Afghanistan, the wars of Israel in our region (the Middle East) since 1967 including the October War we fought (against Israel) as Arabs, and the Israeli invasion of Lebanon; this whole outcome makes me confidently say, bearing responsibility for my words, that this is the world’s largest war after World War II, and I’ll explain why.

The first point is that the initiator of this war is Russia, while all the other wars had (another) common (factor). We haven’t witnessed a war – except for a limited number like the October War for example, like initiatives (by forces) opposing the American (hegemony) project and its extensions and alliances, the majority – 99% of the wars witnessed after World War II were wars of domination and control carried out by the US. Therefore, we are before a war, the first characteristic of which is the transfer of the military initiative in decision-making. This shift moved from a side that was the only one taking the initiative, and which has, for seventy years, taken the lead at the global level, which is the US, (that recently) withdrew from Afghanistan and (began) avoiding to take part in wars and (began) gathering its shreds and shrapnel from places it got involved in with the aim of incurring the least amount of (further) losses, and in an attempt to strike settlement (agreements), (while) on the other hand we have the rise of a side that has started – since more than 10 years within a limited (pace) – speaking about the South Ossetian war in 2008, the Crimean Peninsula war in 2014, the huge position (Russia took) in Syria in 2015, and (the part it took) in Kazakhstan in 2021. However, now (this war) is President Putin’s largest war – Russia’s largest war after this calm ascent (of Russia), and the parallel decline of American power.

Here, we can’t look at the war from the (aspect of) geography alone. Before going into the geographical (aspect), it’s a fundamental and essential issue yes. But (first) we’re talking about a descending arc of a state, which is the US arc (of power), and an ascending Russian arc – an arc that represents this rise of Asia as a whole, and can be seen in Eastern countries in different manifestations, even if there weren’t a precise and accurate coordination and approach between Russia, Iran, and China – because there are many who would try to dig up some cracks and holes within this presentation; we are not talking about congruence of approaches. Even in the Syrian war, China didn’t take the position that Iran took; Russia took time until it took (its) position (to support Syria,) but it eventually did and paid the price for it and reaped its fruits. Consequently, it’s not necessary to speak about congruence, yet there’s an Asian rise (of power) that no one can argue about, a rise that shakes American hegemony. No one can say that the rise of Iran is not evident, and that this rise (of power) didn’t lead to the erosion of America’s position and grip on the heart of Asia and especially in our region (the Middle East). (In addition,) China’s rise worries America and the entire West, and Russia’s rise is now evident in the military sphere and through this huge, massive qualitative step, which (helped) form this ascending Russian arc that expresses this rise of Asia, (a Russian arc) that is sometimes ahead of the (Asian arc) such that it enjoys a higher degree of courage in its decision-making, (all of this) while the descending American arc (lies on the other side)…here we talk about the second characteristic of this war, which makes it one of the world’s most important wars after World War II, which is that it’s taking place in Europe.

All other wars – in the view of the West that led the world, (the West being) the US and Europe – were on the peripheries and in third world countries. I mean, check (the history) of all the (previous) wars – it (will help) explain to us why this revival of racist thought is being seen in (the attitudes) of journalists and analysts through unintended slips of tongue sometimes, (because) maybe if they thought a little about it they’d be ashamed (of what they were saying). However, this war is actually in Europe, and not in a third world country.

Therefore, for the first time since World War II – although the Yugoslavian war was in Europe, it was a war carried out by the US and western Europe to destroy what’s left of the Soviet legacy, to pave the way for a tight grip on the entire geography, economy, and politics of Europe. Now, this is the first war to knock Europe’s door, meaning that Russia is fighting a war and it’s on the European door. This is the second factor.

The third factor – I want to draw attention to the necessity of investigation, to reread information about Ukraine. Here, I’ll provide the main points to help (the viewer) get (the idea of) what we’re talking about. There’s a chain called ‘The European Bridge’ of five major European states, historically speaking: Spain, France, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Ukraine, in terms of (geographical) area equals (the area of) France plus a bit, (and it equals) Germany + Holland + Belgium + Switzerland (all together) in (its geographical) area. Ukraine’s population equals the population of France and equals the population of both Poland and Romania added together. The rest of the Eastern European countries became fragments – after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia – the rest, such as Lithuania, Estonia and Hungary are actually micro-states compared to the size of Ukraine. We’re speaking about 45 million people, meaning twice the number of Iraq’s (population) back when the war started (there). We’re speaking about an area of (about) 600,000 km², which is Syria’s size multiplied by three times and a half, and Lebanon’s size multiplied by 60. We are speaking about the second (most important) state in the Soviet Union after Russia, in terms of size, population, army, technical qualifications of its (various) generations, its colleges, participation in food and technical production, its position in terms of nuclear weapons.

So, we’re not speaking about Iraq, the besieged, disintegrated, weak Iraq that suffers from internal crises, that is not supported by any (external) side, and which is this far (from Europe) – if (in) Iraq, the US army’s entrance to the capital, Baghdad, took 20 days while they were at their peak of advancement, and so even if it takes the Russian army 200 days to enter Kyiv, they will still be considered as making (good) progress – (this approach) allows us to read the situation correctly. Ukraine – this is Ukraine, of course in Ukrainian history there’s a connection between it and Russia; Ukraine is to a large extent (considered as a) mini-Russia. Originally, Russia initiated from Kyiv, the Russian Empire was founded in Kyiv and then moved to Moscow. Therefore, there are efforts for reaching parity, or emulation and competition (between them). Ukraine believes – those who know the traditional Soviet environment (can relate), when we used to visit the Soviet Union, none would introduce themselves by their original nationality and point out that they’re not Russian, except for the Ukrainians; they use to say ‘I’m not Russian’. And I’m speaking about communists, he’d be an official whose mission is to negotiate with us and talk about issues. So, (we can notice that) Ukraine has a sense of competition, with the European background, and a dimension that is related to the way Ukraine was formed – which is a group of (mixed) ethnicities, and if you look at its geography you can notice that parts of it didn’t belong to Ukraine and Stalin later joined many of them to Ukraine: a part of Moldova, a part of Poland, in addition to the Crimean Peninsula that was originally Russian.

Anyway, Lenin and Stalin had a bias for Ukraine and a special interest in satisfying this Ukrainian pride and reassuring them that (Ukraine) is of an important and special status. Therefore, it has always been – I use a metaphor sometimes, I’d say that Ukraine’s (relation) with Russia is like Queen Elizabeth and Lady Diana, in which Queen Elizabeth represents the throne, history (of England), etc., and Lady Diana is the sweet, lovely, popular, (lady) that (represents) elegance, youth, and beauty etc. Therefore, Ukraine, in the eyes of the Soviet Union and the West – Brzezinski said in the 80s or 1978 that ‘Russia without Ukraine is a great state, and a very great one, yet without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an Empire’.

So, we must know what we are speaking about, and why am I saying these words. It is to say that the conclusion is that Putin – this is his war, (the war) that he had been preparing for since at least 2014, because the 2014 war when he annexed the Crimean Peninsula and joined it to Russia, it was the first Ukrainian war for President Putin. (Furthermore,) since 2008, when he entered South Ossetia, he wasn’t aiming at Georgia; look at the (world) map, you’ll see Georgia’s size compared to Ukraine, it can’t even be compared to it! The fight is over Ukraine, the same way Syria was (of great importance) in the Middle East; the one who controls Syria will have control over the (whole Middle East) region and the world through it, (now,) the one who controls Ukraine will have control over Europe and the world through it.

Therefore, the first point we must break free from in our thinking and debate, is talking about the duration of the war; who said Putin wishes to end it in a short period of time? Why put a formula that says that one of the signs of success is the speed in which the achievement is done? It’s not a rule at all! This war might be (intentionally) designed to be a long one, so that a new world system could be built upon its ramifications, developments, and (resulting) frameworks.

It’s a war that cannot end without (reaching) a Russian-American-European settlement. Who’s Zelenskyy? What (kind of) position and power does he have (compared to Russia’s power)? What can he offer in any kind of negotiations? And what kind of decision does he get to make in negotiations? Therefore, it’s a Russian-American war. Europe became part of it. And if Europe had made the decision of not being a part of it, the whole thing would’ve ended through a Russian-European settlement. Therefore, the US used all its capabilities to make Europe a part of it, but that’s not a permanent condition. Today the fight is over Europe; to what extent can Europe remain part of this war?

Therefore, we are before part two of World War III. If Syria was the first episode, then Ukraine is the second episode. The first episode ended – if we are speaking internationally – it ended with a clear victory for Russia. Now we are before the second episode.

 ما هي رسالة بوتين لأوروبا؟

ناصر قنديل

خارج إطار النقاش السجاليّ حول شرعية ومشروعية العملية العسكرية الروسية في أوكرانيا، وتبرير العقوبات على روسيا او إدانتها، لا يستطيع الأوروبيون إنكار حقيقتين كبيرتين حملتهما حرب أوكرانيا؛ الأولى هي فشل أوروبا في محاولة صناعة مساحة وسطية قابلة للحياة وسط التجاذب الحاد بين واشنطن وموسكو، بعد محاولات بدأتها ألمانيا وفرنسا في سياق تداعيات الأزمة الأوكرانية منذ العام 2014، وترجمتها اتفاقات مينسك صيغة النورماندي، والثانية هي أن المواجهة الدائرة ليست مجرد أزمة روسية أوكرانية سقطت معها الحلول السياسية وتحولت حرباً، تستقطب دول العالم على ضفاف الصراع. فهي حرب عالمية كبرى تتوج سنوات من التراجع الأميركي والسعي الروسي لملء الفراغ أملاً باستعادة بعض المواقع التي خسرتها أمام عدائية أميركية متوحشة بعد انهيار جدار برلين واستضعاف روسيا بمعونة أوروبية. وفي هذه الحرب التي يكون ميدانها أوروبا للمرة الأولى منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية، سترسم خرائط العالم الجديد، ومنها خريطة أوروبا، وانطلاقاً من أوروبا.

سعت أوروبا على ضفاف الأزمة الأوكرانية خلال سنوات لبناء المنطقة الوسطى تحت شعار ينطلق من تشخيص تحفل به الوثائق الأوروبية للأمن الاستراتيجي، ويضعها بين معادلتي صناعة موازين القوى العسكرية، وضمان التدفق السلس للطاقة، وانطلقت النظرية الأوروبية من فرضية الجمع الممكن بين علاقة حوار وتفهم وطمأنة مع روسيا مقابل انضواء نظري في الحلف الأطلسي الذي تقوده واشنطن، على أن يترجم بحدود ضيقة عملياً، صار الميل لجعلها أضيق بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان بصورة مهينة للأوروبيين، أثارت شكوكهم علناً حول قدرة واشنطن على تمثيل الحليف الموثوق والجهة التي يمكن الاعتماد عليها، وخرجت في سياقها أصوات تطالب ببناء قوة اوروبية مستقلة عن التبعية لمعادلة الحماية الأميركية المفترضة.

أجاب الأوروبيون، وفي طليعتهم الألمان، على سؤال التدفق السلس لموارد الطاقة بالصيغة المتممة لمعادلة منتصف الطريق بين واشنطن وموسكو، وجاء انبوب الغاز الجديد الذي انشئ بشراكة ألمانية روسية باسم ستريم الثاني أو السيل الشمالي، الذي عارضته واشنطن منذ البدء بتأسيسه والسير بتنفيذه وصولا للحظة التمهيد لوضعه قيد الخدمة. وأوروبا التي ستستفيد من هذا الأنبوب بضمان تدفق موارد الطاقة، وليست ألمانيا وحدها. وقد وضعت ألمانيا شرطاً على روسيا بمواصلة العمل بالسيل الجنوبي الآتي عبر تركيا وستريم الأول الآتي عبر روسيا البيضاء فبولندا، وخصوصاً الأنبوب الثالث الآتي عبر أوكرانيا والذي يرتب أكلافاً عالية على روسيا كعائدات مقطوعة لأوكرانيا، وقبلت روسيا سعياً منها للتسهيل في بناء هذه المساحة الوسطية الأوروبية.

جاءت الحرب وأطاحت كل ذلك دفعة واحدة، ووجدت أوروبا نفسها تنساق في حملة هيستيرية شعواء ضد روسيا، وصولاً لحد التعبئة العنصرية ضد كل ما هو روسي، طلاباً وفناً وأدباً، وطالت العقوبات إقفال الأجواء الأوروبية أمام الطيران الروسي وإلغاء عقود تأجير أكثر من خمسمئة طائرة ايرباص، بالتوازي مع أكثر من مئتي طائرة بوينغ ألغى الأميركيون تأجيرها. وبدون حساب نسبة حجم الخسارة على من يصدر العقوبات ومن يتلقاها، لا تزال أوروبا في لحظة السكرة، فماذا عندما تأتي الفكرة؟

لا يبدو الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين راغباً بالدخول في سجال مع الأوروبيين، تاركاً للأيام أن تصب مزيداً من الماء البارد على الرؤوس الحامية، وتبدو القيادة الروسية صفاً واحداً بتركيز المواجهة مع الأميركيين، واعتبار الحرب حرباً أميركية روسية على أرض أوكرانيا، التي خذلت حكومتها الأوروبيين كما ضحت ببلدها لتقدم لواشنطن ساحة الاشتباك، وتبدو الرسالة التي يثق الرئيس بوتين بأن الأوروبيين سيقرأونها ويفهمونها جيداً، ولو بعد حين، هي أن واشنطن التي هربت من ساحة الحرب، وقرّرت أن تقاتل حتى آخر أوكراني، واذا اقتضى الأمر حتى آخر أوروبي، هي ليست واشنطن التي يتوهم الأوروبيون أنها تحميهم، وهم ان كانوا يتحدثون عن الحماية الأطلسية فيقصدون الحماية من روسيا، مهما ناوروا وداوروا، وان لم تكن تحمي في مثل هذه الحالة التي تدور الحرب فيها على الأرض الأوروبية مع روسيا، فمتى ستحمي وما جدوى الرهان على هذه الحماية؟ والشق الثاني من الرسالة هو ان واشنطن القوية والغنية والتي توهمهم بأنها الممسكة بالاقتصاد العالمي، قد تمسك بلعبته المصرفية التي لا يحتاجها الأوروبيون، رغم أنها تلزمهم بالعقوبات التي تفرضها حتى على الشركات الأوروبية، لكنها لا تمسك بقطاع الطاقة، ولا بموارده، ولا هي قادرة على ضمان استقرار أسواقه، ولا ضمان تدفق سلس لموارده الى أوروبا، وموارد الطاقة عصب الاقتصاد والنمو والاستقرار الاجتماعي في أوروبا، وها هي حرب الأسعار تشتعل فماذا عسى الأوروبيين يفعلون، وتجيب موسكو على السؤالين بالقول، إن قدر أوروبا بقوة الجغرافيا ان تضمن أمنها والتدفق السلس لموارد الطاقة الى أسواقها، من بوابة حتمية وحيدة هي البوابة الروسية، وفقاً لمعادلة “جارك القريب ولا أخوك الأخ البعيد”.

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US is repeating the same mistakes from Afghanistan

March 03, 2022

Source

by Batko Milacic

The United States invested $83 billion in arming the Afghan army. Having lost there, the Americans abandoned all their weapons and they fell into the hands of terrorists, criminal elements, drug dealers, which led to an acceleration of destabilization in the Central Asian region. That’s the price of “planting“ US democracy in Afghanistan.

Built and trained for two decades, Afghan security forces collapsed so quickly and completely — in some cases without a shot fired — that the ultimate beneficiary of the American investment turned out to be the Taliban. They grabbed not only political power but also U.S.-supplied firepower — guns, ammunition, helicopters and more.

The Taliban captured an array of modern military equipment when they overran Afghan forces who failed to defend its territory. Bigger gains followed, including combat aircraft, when the Taliban rolled up provincial capitals and military bases with stunning speed.

Taliban’s accumulation of U.S.-supplied Afghan equipment was enormous. The reversal is an embarrassing consequence of misjudging the viability of Afghan government forces — by the U.S. military as well as intelligence agencies — which in some cases chose to surrender their vehicles and weapons rather than fight.

The U.S. failure to produce a sustainable Afghan army and police force, and the reasons for their collapse, will be studied for years by military analysts. The basic dimensions, however, are clear and are not unlike what happened in Iraq. The forces turned out to be hollow, equipped with superior arms but largely missing the crucial ingredient of combat motivation.

The principle of war stands — moral factors dominate material factors. Morale, discipline, leadership, unit cohesion are more decisive than numbers of forces and equipment. This was shown by the war in Kosovo, where the Serbian army, even if technologically incomparably weaker than NATO, led NATO to give up the original plan.

In Afganistan , Americans provided materiel, but only Afghans could provide the intangible moral factors.

Taliban insurgents, with smaller numbers, less sophisticated weaponry and no air power, proved a superior force. U.S. intelligence agencies largely underestimated the scope of that superiority, and even after President Joe Biden announced in April he was withdrawing all U.S. troops, the intelligence agencies did not foresee a Taliban final offensive that would succeed so spectacularly.

Some elements of the Afghan army did fight hard, including commandos whose heroic efforts are yet to be fully documented. But as a whole the security forces created by the United States and its NATO allies amounted to a “house of cards” whose collapse was driven as much by failures of U.S. civilian leaders as their military partners.

The Afghan force-building exercise was so completely dependent on American largesse that the Pentagon even paid the Afghan troops’ salaries. Too often that money, and untold amounts of fuel, were siphoned off by corrupt officers and government overseers who cooked the books, creating “ghost soldiers” to keep the misspent dollars coming.

Of the approximately $145 billion the U.S. government spent trying to rebuild Afghanistan, about $83 billion went to developing and sustaining its army and police forces, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a congressionally created watchdog that has tracked the war since 2008. The $145 billion is in addition to $837 billion the United States spent fighting the war, which began with an invasion in October 2001.

The $83 billion invested in Afghan forces over 20 years is nearly double last year’s budget for the entire U.S. Marine Corps and is slightly more than what Washington budgeted last year for food stamp assistance for about 40 million Americans.

And despite all these catastrophic mistakes, Americans are repeating the same story in Europe. The United States pumped Ukraine with weapons and pushed it into war with Russia. In addition, the Kyiv regime, in the throes of its defeat, distributed more than 240,000 small arms into the hands of prison-released gangsters and fanatical mentally ill nationalists. In the near future, Russian troops will defeat the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and at the same time they will squeeze out armed radicals from Ukraine, who will end up in Europe and significantly change the crime situation there, plunge calm European cities into chaos. As always, only Washington, which does not need a calm and well-fed Europe, will win.

Russia’s campaign against Ukraine: Putin stands up to the world

February 25, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen 

Mohamad Zreik 

The international community looks with caution at the heated situation between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia’s Campaign against Ukraine: Putin Stands Up To the World

On Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a large-scale military action in Ukraine’s Donbas. According to former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian soldiers initiated a large military operation in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Russian troops are reportedly prepared to enter into Ukraine from the Crimean Peninsula. A tense border between Ukraine and Russia has been developing for weeks. The US claims Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to attack Ukraine long ago.

Russia-Ukraine tensions date back to the “Middle Ages”. Both Russia and Belarus have roots in the East Slavic kingdom of Kievan Rus’, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Despite their common ancestors, these two countries developed independent languages and civilizations. So while Ukraine couldn’t establish itself, Russia expanded into an empire. Since 1917, when Russia’s empire crumbled, a large section of what is now Ukraine was forcefully reoccupied by Soviet Russia.

Even though Ukraine and Belarus helped overthrow Soviet domination in December 1991, Moscow tried to maintain its status by creating the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Kremlin thought it could influence Ukraine by supplying cheap gas. While Russia and Belarus have a close relationship, Ukraine has traditionally looked west. Contrary to popular belief, Russia was not unhappy with the Ukrainian government’s pro-Western stance in the 1990s since Moscow kept mute, the West did not strive to integrate Ukraine, and the Russian economy was struggling.

Russia was obsessed with the Chechnya conflict. Moscow officially recognized Ukraine’s borders and Crimea’s Russian-speaking population in 1997. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, Ukraine held the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal. They worked together to denuclearize Ukraine in exchange for security guarantees against a potential Russian attack. Kiev handed Russia hundreds of nukes. Moscow and Kiev had their first real diplomatic crisis under Putin. Vladimir Putin began building a dam in the Kerch Strait in Kosa Tusla in 2003.

When the Russian and Ukrainian presidents met, they addressed the issue by agreeing to redraw the country’s borders. When the dam project was stalled, the two countries’ ties began to erode. As a result of the “Orange Revolution,” Viktor Yushchenko, a pro-Western politician, defeated Viktor Yanukovych in the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections. To Ukraine’s surprise, Russia cut off gas supply twice in 2006 and 2009.

The Bush administration’s aim to integrate Ukraine and Georgia into NATO and accept their membership through an initial preparation program in 2008 was greeted with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rejection.” Bush’s proposal was foiled by France and Germany, and while Ukraine and Georgia joined NATO during the Bucharest summit, no timeframe was set. Because joining NATO took longer than expected, Ukraine sought a partnership with the EU.

In the summer of 2013, Moscow placed heavy economic sanctions on Kiev and restricted imports. In light of this, the Yanukovych government suspended the pact, sparking a wave of protests. He was detained in Russia in February, and Russia annexes Crimea. A political vacuum in Kiev allowed Moscow to seize Crimea in March 2014, marking the start of an unofficial war. So when Donetsk and Luhansk declared themselves people’s republics, Russian paramilitary forces joined the fight. After the May 2014 presidential elections, the Kiev administration started a major military operation dubbed the “War on Terror.”

The “Normandy Format” was also created at a June 2014 meeting between newly elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day landings. In September, a Minsk peace agreement ended hostilities on a larger front by defeating Ukrainian military elements in Ilovaisk, east Donetsk. A proxy war rages in Donbas and in early 2015 the rebels began an onslaught on Kiev, supported by Russian forces without identification, which Moscow denied. Kiev alleges Russian soldiers assisted the offensive.

The attack on Debaltseve, which compelled the Ukrainian army to leave in a manner close to escape, cost the Ukrainian forces a second loss. Although its conditions have not yet been fully implemented, “Minsk 2” was agreed upon under Western auspices at the time. In the fall of 2019, the two warring sides succeeded in evacuating forces from many battle zones; but no meetings since the December 2019 Normandy conference in Paris. Seeing Ukraine’s current president, Volodymyr Zelensky, would be a waste of time for Putin.

Since December 2021, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has publicly urged the US not to allow Ukraine’s NATO membership or military assistance. President Putin is deeply disturbed by the thought of Ukraine joining NATO. According to Chapter V of the “NATO” pact, any attack on a NATO member constitutes an attack on all 27 members, putting Russia in direct confrontation with the US, UK, and France.

First, in the spring of 2021, Putin gathered military people and equipment along the Ukrainian border, attracting the attention of the US, which sought to meet with Putin and Vice President Biden. Meanwhile, Putin’s views on the US have shifted dramatically, especially after the haphazard US military departure from Afghanistan and the division that followed the previous presidential elections, which Moscow regards as proof of American weakness. Vladimir Putin sees the West as fundamentally split on the role of the United States, and President Biden is still working to mend the transatlantic partnership after the level of distrust established under former US President Donald Trump’s term. In addition, France was surprised by Biden’s nuclear submarine deal with the UK and Australia.

Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO raised concerns about a Western military presence on Russia’s borders. Because, as Putin stated, “we must make this totally definite,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov says Russia “needs a legally binding promise” that NATO would not expand. Most Donbas residents speak Russian; hence 720,000 of the almost 3.5 million residents have Russian passports. In eastern Ukraine, the Russian government has long aided and backed Ukrainian insurgents.

In mid-week polls, Donbas residents favored the Russian government. The next day, the Donetsk and Luhansk parliaments agreed to protect any Russian military operation in eastern Ukraine if Russia recognized the two territories. Averting a financial catastrophe in Europe by blocking “Nord Stream 2,” the gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany and then to the rest of Europe, Western nations may impose pressure on Moscow.

Russia began massing soldiers along the Ukrainian border in November. In his address on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged separatist-controlled areas of Ukraine’s two regions as separate entities. Putin says Ukraine has no history and its leaders are corrupt. When the Russian army topped 100,000 soldiers on February 15, a spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry claimed certain army units “had already started placing their equipment onto trains and wagons; today they will start returning.” After Russia’s statement, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance “constantly moves forces forward and backward.” The alliance’s forces have always moved right, left, forward, and backward. Russian military capabilities have progressively increased along Ukraine’s borders in recent months.

The international community looks with caution at the heated situation between Russia and Ukraine. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, as well as China, have called for calm and dialogue. On the other hand, the Russian President considers that this decision was inevitable and Russia is achieving its strategic goals in Ukraine.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Fear and Loathing in Washington

The Biden Administration’s Crimes Against Humanity

FEBRUARY 22, 2022

PHILIP GIRALDI 

As a former CIA operations officer, I departed government service in 2002 in part due to the impending invasion of Iraq, which I knew was completely unjustified by the web of largely fabricated information that was flowing out of the Pentagon to justify the attack. In the years since I have been appalled by the Obama era attacks on Syria and Libya as well as by the assassinations and cruise missile strikes carried out under Donald Trump. But all of that was a Sunday in the park compared to the hideous nonsense being pursued by Biden and his crew of reprobates. Trifling with the use of force as part of negotiations intended to go nowhere over Ukraine could well by misstep, false flag or even design escalate into nuclear war ending much of the life on this planet as we know it, and we are now also witnessing the cold, calculated slaughter of possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians just because we have the tools at hand and believe that we can get away with it. What we are seeing unfold right in front of us goes beyond appalling and it is time to demand a change of course on the part of a runaway federal government that is drunk on its own self-assumed unbridled right to exercise total executive authority over vital issues of war and peace.

I am most particularly shocked and dismayed over what the Biden Administration did to Afghanistan on February 11th, which is unambiguously a crime against humanity. On that day the President of the United States Joe Biden, still smarting from the botched departure from Afghanistan and low approval ratings, issued an executive order invoking emergency powers stipulating that the $7 billion in Afghan government money being held and frozen in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York would be retained by the US and divided in two.

Half of the $7 billion would be placed in a US government administered trust fund. The money would in theory go to fund humanitarian relief in Afghanistan to be carried out by agencies unidentified but presumed to be acting in coordination with the barracudas at the Treasury Department while the other half would go to benefit the victims of 9/11. This money is not just “frozen assets,” it is the entire reserve of the Afghan central bank, and its appropriation by the US will destroy whatever remains of the formal Afghan economy, making Afghanistan entirely reliant on small rations of foreign aid that come through channels unconnected with the Afghan government.

The other half of the story is that Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11 but instead became a victim of the US lust for revenge. After 9/11, the Taliban government offered to turn over Osama bin Laden to the United States if Washington were able to provide evidence that he was somehow involved in the attacks in New York and Virginia. The George W. Bush Administration was unable to do so, but chose to invade instead.

Afghanistan now has a government that is recognized by the United Nations and many other countries, though not by Washington, which insists that the Taliban are terrorists. Sanctions pressure being exerted by Washington on the new Taliban dominated regime has inter alia brought about a major humanitarian disaster, with various international agencies predicting that many thousands of Afghan civilians will die of starvation because there is no money available to provide relief. The United Nations has reported that three-quarters of Afghanistan’s population has plunged into acute poverty, with 4.7 million people likely to suffer severe or even fatal malnutrition this year.

The money in New York unambiguously belongs to the Afghan government and the country’s central bank. It is not money that came from the United States, which means that what Biden, who is already stealing Syria’s oil, is engaging in yet one more large scale theft, this time from people dying from famine and disease. Furthermore, as the US was de facto an occupying military power in Afghanistan, the responsibility to protect the civilian population is explicitly required under the articles of the Geneva Convention, to which the US is a signatory. That Washington will watch many thousands of civilians die because it has used its position as an occupying power to steal money that might alleviate the suffering is unconscionable and amounts to a war crime.

Undoubtedly the half of the money allegedly allocated for humanitarian relief will be directed to organizations that will do Washington’s bidding in terms of how the aid is distributed and who gets it. It is being reported that it will take months to set up the aid network, by which time thousands will die. That is to be expected and may have been intentional. And as for the other half of the money directed towards 9/11 “victims,” just watch how that plays out. There are undoubtedly instances of Americans who lost multiple and even cross generational family members at 9/11 and are still in need of assistance. Fine, that is a given, but why punish the Afghans to deal with that? And as soon as the money is on the table you know exactly what will happen. All the shyster lawyers working on a percentage of the payoffs will come out of the woodwork and the major beneficiaries of all the loot will be people who know how to manipulate and game the system. That is what happened to the billions that came raining down as a consequence of the insurance claims on the World Trade Center and also in the distribution of other monies that followed. You can bank on it.

Washington has become adept at lying to cover up its crimes overseas, but foreigners, who are not likely inclined to read the Washington Post and are directly affected by the deception, frequently have a more facts-based understanding of what exactly is going on. And it is why no one any longer trusts the United States. And, it is interesting to note how inevitably the lying by the US government is both bipartisan and inclined to blame the victim as a fallback position. This was seen in Donald Trump’s assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani over two years ago. Soleimani was in Baghdad for peace talks and was falsely accused by the White House of preparing to attack American soldiers. There is also the more recent assassination of alleged ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi and killing of 13 additional women and children in Syria where accounts of villagers don’t quite square with the Pentagon version of what allegedly took place.

And then there is a long-concealed atrocity also in Syria which took place in the town of Baghuz in March 2019. At least 80 mostly women and children died in an attack by American F-15 fighter bombers, which was only reported in the media in November 2021. Reportedly, a large crowd of women and children were seen by photographic drones seeking shelter huddled against a river bank. Without warning, an American attack jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on the group. When the smoke cleared, another jet tracked the running survivors and dropped one 2,000-pound bomb, then another, killing most of them. Military personnel at the Udeid Airbase in Qatar watching the attack by way of the drone camera reportedly reacted in “stunned disbelief” at what they were witnessing. A Pentagon cover-up followed and to this day the official comment on the attack is that it was “justified.”

So, by all means go and listen to lying Jen Psaki and pencil neck Ned Price or to Secretary of State Tony Blinken and possibly to the ultimate nitwit himself, President Honest Joe Biden. Or you can just pick up a New York Times or Washington Post where deliberately leaked government lies are backed up by what the newspapers pretend to be editorial integrity. These folks just might drop us into a nuclear war or could possibly continue in their larcenous ways to rob the world. Sooner or later the chickens will be coming home to roost and accountability for America’s war crimes will be demanded. Stay tuned.

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

سقوط معادلة كسينجر روسيا والصين

ناصر قنديل

لا ينكر المحللون الاستراتيجيون الأميركيون دور الانفتاح الأميركي على الصين قبل نصف قرن، وفقاً للصفقة التي أبرمها هنري كيسنجر كمستشار للأمن القومي الأميركي لحكم الرئيس ريتشارد نيكسون، مع رئيس وزراء الصين يومها شي أون لاي، في توفير البيئة اللازمة للتفرّغ لمواجهة الاتحاد السوفياتي، وصولاً للنجاح بتفكيكه عام 1990. وكانت المعادلة التي أقامها كيسنجر وشكلت أساس عقيدته للأمن القومي بعد حرب فييتنام، وتابعها من بعده زبيغنيو بريجنسكي مستشار الأمن القومي في حكم الرئيس رونالد ريغان بالتعاون مع رئيس المخابرات يومها جورج بوش الأب قبل أن يصبح نائباً للرئيس فرئيساً، يواصل السياسات ذاتها، هي معادلة قدمي النسر، وتقوم على إغراء الصين بفك الحصار المالي والغذائي عنها، لرد خطر المجاعة التي تهدد دائماً تكاثرها السكاني الضخم، وما يعنيه ذلك من غض نظر عما تصفه الوكالات الأميركية المعنية بانتهاكات صينية للمعايير الأميركية لحقوق الإنسان والتجارة العالمية وحقوق الملكية الفكرية، مقابل امتناع الصيني عن وضع سياسة خارجية نشطة تخرج عن مجرد تثبيت المواقف على طريقة رفع العتب، وخصوصا لما يتصل بملفات المواجهة بين واشنطن وموسكو، على قاعدة اعتبار الاتحاد السوفياتي عدواً أول لأميركا، ومنافساً ايديولوجياً للصين، وبالتوازي تقوم عقيدة كيسنجر على خوض مواجهة ضارية مع الاتحاد السوفياتي محورها سباق تسلّح يقود موسكو نحو الإفلاس، ويدفع بنظام أمانها الاجتماعي الى الانهيار.

بعد تحقيق ما رسمته عقيدة كيسنجر من أهداف قبل ثلاثة عقود، أدارت واشنطن ظهرها للصين وروسيا، متفرغة لملء الفراغ الجيواستراتيجي الناتج عن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، ففي العقد الأول كان اهتمامها على حسم المساحة الأوروبية التي خرجت منها موسكو، وبعد العام 2000 توجّهت واشنطن نحو آسيا لملء الفراغات الناشئة في مناطق الصراع، وشكلت أفغانستان والعراق الوجهة الطبيعية، وفقاً لعقيدة أخرى وضعها بريجنسكي بعد انتصار الثورة الإسلامية في إيران، هي معادلة فتحات السدود، وعنوانها نصب الحواجز وإزالة الحواجز، ترتكز عملياً على ثنائية أوكرانيا وأفغانستان، حيث أمن روسيا يحسم في أوكرانيا، لدرجة التداخل الجغرافي والسكاني بينها وبين روسيا، وأمن آسيا يحسم في أفغانستان لموقعها الجغرافي كحاجز برّي يمنع التلاقي الجغرافي بين عمالقة آسيا، روسيا والصين وإيران، ومنذ ذلك التاريخ والتعثر يرافق السياسات الأميركية، وصولاً لضم روسيا لشبه جزيرة القرم، وانسحاب القوات الأميركية من أفغانستان.

خلال العقود الثلاثة الماضية كانت النهضة المتحررة من أعباء المنافسة الافتراضيّة بين موسكو وبكين، تسجل تقدماً حثيثاً، وتتحوّل معها كل منهما إلى دولة قوية ومقتدرة، وتشكل كل منهما مصدراً لتلبية حاجات الآخر، فروسيا البلد الأول في العالم في تصدير النفط والغاز معاً، والصين هي البلد الأول في العالم في الاستهلاك الصناعي للنفط والغاز، وبعد التكامل السياسي والعسكري تأتي الخطوة الأخيرة بإعلان التكامل الاقتصادي، لتشكل الضربة القاضية للأحلام الأميركية باستعادة فرص الحياة لمشروع الهيمنة والأحادية، وليس غريباً الآن أن تنتشر في واشنطن، نظريات الإدانة لمعادلات كيسنجر وبريجنسكي، على قاعدة الاعتراف بالفشل، لكن بما هو أخطر، وهو استحالة ترميم المشهد وتعديل الاتجاه، وفيما تبدو السياسات الأميركية انفعاليّة وأقرب للعشوائية، تبدو كل من روسيا والصين وهما تعملان وفقاً لخطة وروزنامة، لترتسم معامل العالم الجديد، تحت عنوان التعدديّة وسقوط الهيمنة، ونهوض الدولة الوطنيّة التي جعلتها منظومة العولمة الأميركية الفكرية والسياسية هدفاً يجب إسقاطه.

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Sitrep: From Maria’s office

02/7/2022

Russian MFA 

Josep Borrell’s recent deliberations (https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/110293/tensions-rising-our-eastern-borders-unity-remains-our-strength_en) about the future of Europe, published in his blog on January 30 have confirmed my long-time suspicion that his blog has a life of its own and that the EU’s foreign policy chief may not even know what exotic texts are posted there on his behalf.

The new entry plays on the Western media’s psychedelic phobias about “Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine.”

However, time goes on, yet Russia has not invaded Ukraine. The plan of the United States and its British allies, who have ordered this tune, is clear: invent the “Russian threat,” announce their resolve to fight it heroically, stage a provocation and eventually declare victory over Russia.

Their goals are to divert public attention from domestic political crises, invest billions of dollars into arming “fragile democracies” and use the situation to reinforce their “invincible” image, which has been frayed by the debacle in Afghanistan.

As for the European Union, we never doubted its biased stand on the conflict in Ukraine. The EU is trying to protect its sphere of influence, which it outlined back in 2013 when Brussels was unscrupulously pushing for an association agreement with Ukraine despite the arguments of the legitimate government in Kiev.

Ultimately, Ukraine has not been admitted to the EU club and is unlikely to be admitted any time soon. In fact, the ongoing Western performance has killed any hope that Ukraine can be admitted to a respectable association: who needs a country that could be “invaded by Russia any day?” NATO has done Ukraine a very bad turn indeed.

President Vladimir Zelensky has announced that the “patriot games” waged over the past few months cost Ukraine $12.5 billion, or 8 percent of Ukraine’s GDP of $155.6 billion.

A new emergency macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme for Ukraine of up to €1.2 billion was ceremoniously announced on January 24. This is almost ten times less than Ukraine has lost from the latest round of anti-Russia hysteria and will only increase Ukraine’s debts. As the EU has admitted, nearly 90 percent of its assistance (€15.1 billion of the €17 billion it has provided since 2014) was issued in the form of loans, which Kiev will have to repay.

As they say, with friends like this, who needs enemies? But then, we have warned more than once that Ukrainians’ interests are the least of Western concerns.

https://t.me/MariaVladimirovnaZakharova/1833

Biden’s failures in Afghanistan further exposed in leaked document

2.2.2020

Source: Axios

By Al Mayadeen Net

In Afghanistan, before the fall of Kabul and the evacuation of US troops, where did the US President Biden go wrong?

US troops withdrew from an unwinnable war

The Biden administration was unprepared to evacuate Afghan nationals who had assisted the US in its 20-year struggle against the Taliban, according to leaked minutes from a White House Situation Room meeting the day before Kabul fell.

Senior Biden administration officials were still debating and assigning fundamental actions involved in a major civilian evacuation just hours before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan’s capital on Aug. 15, 2021.

Outsiders were frustrated and suspicious that the administration held numerous meetings but lacked urgency until the last minute due to bureaucratic lethargy.

Despite the use of the word “immediately” throughout the paper, it’s evident that officials were still scrambling to finish their preparations on August 14th afternoon, so there was nothing “immediate” about their actions then.

They’d just decided, for example, that local Afghan workers needed to be notified “to begin to register their interest in transfer to the United States,” according to the document. They were still deciding which countries may function as evacuee transit locations and the Afghan capital was falling. 

The bigger picture

President Biden was adamant about ending the country’s longest war, and he declared in April that all US troops would be out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. President Trump had previously agreed to remove the United States by May 2021.

The horrific sights of those final minutes, with Afghans falling to their deaths from military transports and a suicide bomber killing 13 US service members and scores of Afghans at the gates of Hamid Karzai airport, haven’t helped Biden’s support ratings.

Thousands of vulnerable Afghans remain trapped in bureaucratic hell, fearful that the Taliban, whom they have fought for years, would hunt them down, according to a piece published this week in The Atlantic.

Later this month, Congress will appoint members to a 12-member bipartisan body to investigate the war and publish a report akin to that of the 9/11 Commission.

What’s the deal?

The NSC’s “report of conclusions” for a meeting of the so-called Deputies Small Group was obtained by Axios.

It brings together top aides to various Cabinet members and frequently prepares the framework for Deputies’ or Principals’ meetings or works out practical details for carrying out decisions already taken by their employers.

The conference was held between 3:30-4:30 pm on the afternoon of August 14, Washington time, to discuss “relocations out of Afghanistan.”

Taliban fighters were approaching Kabul at the time. Senior officials from numerous agencies, including Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attended the meeting, which was led by National Security Council staffer Liz Sherwood-Randall.

What does that mean?

The meeting records show how many critical decisions were made at the last minute by the Biden administration, just hours before Kabul fell and former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled his palace in a helicopter.

“While we’re not going to comment on leaked internal documents, cherry-picked notes from one meeting do not reflect the months of work that were already underway,” NSC Spokesperson Emily Horne told Axios.

“Earlier that summer, we launched Operation Allies Refuge and had worked with Congress to pass legislation that gave us greater flexibility to quickly relocate Afghan partners,” Horne said.

“It was because of this type of planning and other efforts that we were able to facilitate the evacuation of more than 120,000 Americans, legal permanent residents, vulnerable Afghans, and other partners.”

Senior Biden officials from throughout the government had been meeting around the clock to deal with Afghanistan’s rapid disintegration by the time the Saturday afternoon meeting took place.

The administration helped evacuate over 120,000 people from Kabul airport by Aug. 31, the President’s amended withdrawal deadline.

Before US withdrawal 

Troops were stationed in the area in advance of the evacuation to ensure timely arrival at Kabul airport. The administration had sped up the approval of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). Biden officials had also studied the possibility of other countries functioning as evacuee transit locations, which eventually led to a network that housed tens of thousands of Afghans awaiting processing.

Despite this, many crucial decisions had yet to be made on the eve of Kabul’s fall. The president — and his intelligence community – underestimated the Afghan military’s ability to “defend their homeland from the Taliban.”

Moreover, Ghani had personally urged Biden earlier this year not to conduct mass evacuations of Afghans. He was afraid that it would indicate a lack of trust in his government.

Many outside advisors were sounding the alarm as the Taliban swept through provincial capitals heading into August.

“I kept being told by people in the [White House] the thing they were most concerned about was the optics of a chaotic evacuation,” said Matt Zeller, a former CIA officer.

“They treated us like we were Chicken Little. They didn’t believe the sky was falling”, said Zeller. 

“On the 13th of July, we offered to work with them to help evacuate our partners,” Zeller added. “We all saw this disaster coming before the inevitable occurred. They didn’t get back to us until Aug 15, the day Kabul fell.”

Mark Jacobson, deputy NATO representative in Afghanistan during the Obama administration, told Axios, “That so much planning, prioritizing and addressing of key questions had not been completed, even as Kabul was about to fall, underscores the absence of adequate interagency planning.”

Read more: 2021 Roundup: The failed US withdrawal from Afghanistan

عُمان لسورية واليمن والكويت للبنان وقطر لأوكرانيا وأفغانستان!

الاربعاء 2 2 2022

ناصر قنديل

شهد العام الأول من إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن، تبلوراً لمجموعة من المعالم التي ترسم ملامح الحركة السياسية الأميركية، رغم الارتباك والتشوش المخيمين على كواليس صناعة القرار الأميركي، وقد شهدنا تسخيناً للكثير من الملفات الإقليمية حول العالم، سواء ما رافق حرب اليمن أو الضغوط على لبنان أو التشدّد تجاه سورية وصولاً للتجاذب الساخن حول أوكرانيا، بحيث بات الحديث عن الحاجة للتفرّغ للصين، مجرد عامل ذرائعي لتغطية ضعف القدرة على فرض الإرادة، ليبقى الثابت عكس ذلك كله عبر ما اتخذته ادارة بايدن من قرارات ترسم سياقاً استراتيجياً يصعب كسره. وهنا يقع الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، والمسار التفاوضي الذاهب نحو التفاهم حول الملف النووي الإيراني، وتبدو دول المنطقة التي حجزت مقاعدها للعب دور الوسيط بين واشنطن حول ملفات المنطقة الساخنة مدعوة لتشغيل محركاتها استعداداً لمرحلة جديدة.

حاولت قطر تاريخياً ان تتصدر هذه الأدوار ونجحت في مراحل كثيرة بلعبها، وشكلت لقاءات الدوحة التي انتهت حول لبنان بصياغة تفاهم فتح الطريق لانتخابات رئاسية ونيابية، عام 2008، أبرز تجليات هذا النجاح، بالاستناد الى علاقة خاصة أقامتها قطر مع سورية. ومنذ التموضع الحاد والنافر لقطر في الحرب على سورية أصيب الموقع القطري بالتضعضع، رغم إعادة الوصل مع إيران ومحاولة لعب دور في الملف النووي الإيراني أو في العلاقات الخليجية الإيرانية، ولكن بالنتيجة باءت المحاولات القطرية بالفشل في الحصول على دور في المفاوضات الأميركية مع إيران. ويبدو أن أمير قطر قد تبلغ في زيارته الحالية لواشنطن بضرورة الكف عن التحرك لحجز مقعد في هذا الملف. فالملف يتولاه الرئيس الأميركي مباشرة، والمفاوضات الجارية لا تحتمل المضاربات والمزايدات، وكانت قطر قد تبلغت موقفاً سعودياً رافضاً لأي مسعى للوساطة في التفاوض مع إيران، بعدما حجز هذا المقعد للعراق.

الملفات التي كان أمير قطر يبحث عن تفويض أميركي بإدارة الوساطات حولها تتسع بحجم أزمات المنطقة، من سورية الى اليمن وصولا للبنان، وحاصل النتائج الصادم لقطر هو أن المهام قد توزعت ولا مقعد بينها لقطر. فقطر وسيط غير مقبول في سورية، وغير مؤهل في اليمن، وغير نافع في لبنان، وقد أثبتت سلطنة عُمان أهليتها لقيادة التفاوض حول الملفين السوري واليمني، حيث ترحّب الدولة السورية بمساعي مسقط، ومثلها يفعل أنصار الله، وصولاً لحد أقرب للاشتراط بحصر التفاوض بمعبر إلزامي يمر بمسقط، من كل من دمشق وصنعاء. وزيارة وزير خارجية عمان الى سورية ليست للمجاملة والتضامن فقط، وهي جزء من مسار للدور العماني في ترتيبات تطال العلاقات السورية بالجامعة العربية من بوابة التحضير للقمة العربية المقررة بعد شهرين في الجزائر، وبالغرب من بوابة ملفات عودة النازحين وإعادة الإعمار والحل السياسي، واليمنيون الذي تلقوا إشارات عن إمكانية قيام الكويت بالعودة لدور راعي التفاوض قالوا إنهم يفضلون عُمان، وإن الكويت التي لعبت دور الوسيط في مرات سابقة في الملف اليمني ففقدت فرصها للعودة اليه بعدما تخلت عن الحياد تجاه الدول الخليجية التي تقود الحرب على اليمن. وهنا يجب الربط بين استحالة لعب الكويت لدور الوسيط في الشأن السوري، وتراجع الفرص الكويتية للعودة الى دور الوسيط في اليمن، وبين تقدّم الكويت للمشهد حول لبنان، وتكليفها بمهمة الوسيط فيه. والوساطة هنا هي وساطة ستظهر مع الأيام أنها مسار تفاوضي وليست مجرد إملاءات تهديدية وإنذار بالإذعان بلسان دول الخليج. ويسأل أمير قطر، وماذا تفعل الدوحة؟

الجواب الأميركي إن الدور الذي أعطي لقطر في مرحلة ما بعد الانسحاب من أفغاستان نقلها من الإقليمية الى العالمية. وهذا يجب أن يكون موضع تقدير قطريّ، ويترجم بحمل الأعباء المالية للنهوض بأفغانستان منعاً لتجذر الإرهاب فيها مجدداً، وينتظرها اليوم دور «عالمي» مشابه قبل نشوب حرب في أوكرانيا، عليها الاستعداد له بالتموضع في خانة توفير بدائل الغاز لأوروبا في حال تعرّضها لخطر تدفق الغاز الروسي، وقطر تعرف حدود قدراتها وعجزها عن لعب هذا الدور، وأميرها يعود بخفي حنين من زيارته لواشنطن، مكتفياً بنقل رسائل تشجيع لإيران على المضي قدما في المسار التفاوضيّ لأن واشنطن جدّية بالوصول للاتفاق، رغم كل التصعيد الإعلامي الموجه نحو الداخل، ومثلها رسائل تشجيع لحكام الخليج على الإسراع بإيجاد مخارج منسابة لوقف حرب اليمن، لأن واشنطن لم تعُد قادرة على التغطية سياسياً وعسكرياً.

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الصعود روسيّ والممانعة أميركيّة والساحة أوروبيّة

السبت 29 كانون ثاني 2022

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يعترف الأميركيون بصحة ما قاله وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، بأنهم يواجهون حرباً باردة جديدة مع صعود روسي لم يعد موضوعاً للنقاش والتأويل، لكنهم يحاولون زرع العقبات في طريقه، في لحظة دولية وأميركية شديدة الصعوبة، ومصاعبها آخذة في التزايد. فمن جهة هم أمام روسيا الواقعية التي تعرف جيداً أين تختار ساحات النزال، دون مبالغة بالقدرات، وقد رسمت حدود أمنها القومي بين أفغانستان وقزوين وسورية والبلطيق، وقررت ان تذود عنه، وامتلكت ما يكفي لفرض الوقائع بالتراكم البطيء والقرارات الجريئة. وقد اختبرت واشنطن في عهدي رئيسين سابقين هما الرئيس دونالد ترامب الجمهوري المتطرّف، والرئيس باراك أوباما الديمقراطي الدبلوماسي الذي كان الرئيس الحالي جو بايدن نائباً له وشريكاً في السياسات الخارجية من موقعه الآتي من رئاسة لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في الكونغرس الأميركي لعقود عديدة. وكانت النتيجة برغم الجدية الأميركية في استخدام كل الأدوات والإمكانات، عسكرياً وأمنياً وسياسياً واقتصادياً ومالياً، الفشل الذريع، فثبتت روسيا وجودها وحضورها وثباتها في سورية، رغم حجم وموقع مكانة الحرب على سورية في سياسات إدارتي أوباما وترامب، وكانت حاضرة في قرار بايدن للانسحاب من أفغانستان، وخاضت مخاطرة رشيقة وفاعلة انتهت بنجاح في كازاخستان. وقبل كل ذلك فاجأت عام 2014 بكيفية تعاملها مع ملف أوكرانيا الساخن مجدداً، عندما ضمّت شبه جزيرة القرم وبات الأمر اليوم خارج النقاش.

الممانعة الأميركية للصعود الرئيس ناجمة عن عدة أسباب غير السبب المبدئي للتوسّع والهيمنة والدفاع عن المكانة، والأسباب الجديدة عامل إضافي للحاجة الى الممانعة بل سبب لجعلها حتميّة، فالإدارة الحالية تواجه وضعاً داخلياً شديد التعقيد أمام تراجع اقتصادي وتفكك اجتماعي وانقسام سياسي، وأمام حلفاء قلقين يعيشون هاجس الضعف والتراجع الأميركيين، ويشعرون بعدم الثقة بالقدرة على السير تحت القيادة الأميركية. وبالمقابل تواجه هذه الإدارة مشهداً دولياً في ساحات متعددة يجعل الممانعة الأميركية للصعود الروسي ضرورة لتأخير إعلان الهزيمة الأميركية بوجه القوى الصاعدة، من الصين الى إيران، وضرورة للحفاظ على وضعيّة حلفاء رئيسيين لها يترنّحون تحت وطأة ضربات خصوم حكوميين وغير حكوميين، كحال دول الخليج و”إسرائيل”. وفي ظل بدء حلفاء كثر بالتموضع نحو تحالف موسكو وبكين وطهران، تجد واشنطن أنها محكومة بالتحرك، لأنه من دون وضع حد للتراجع ولو بصورة مؤقتة سيكون الانهيار دراماتيكياً، وستواجه الإدارة الأميركية تسارعا في الانهيارات الداخلية والإقليمية، أو تجد نفسها منخرطة بورطة عسكرية في زمن السعي للملمة بقايا التدخلات الفاشلة بهدوء، بعد الانسحاب العاصف من أفغانستان، وقد وجدت في أوكرانيا الساحة الأنسب لفعل ذلك، حيث أفضل عناصر الاشتباك. فهناك دولة من بقايا الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق تحكمها نخبة ليبرالية تتطلع للانضمام لحلف الناتو، وهذه الدولة على حدود الأمن الأوروبي، وتثير المواجهة مع روسيا حولها كل عناصر الهواجس الأوروبية، وتتيح إعادة حشد الموقف الأوروبي الذي أصابه الإحباط بعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان، وتفتح الباب لوضع قواعد اشتباك لوضع حد للإندفاعة الروسية التي قدمت عرضاً مبهراً بتدخل سريع وفاعل في كازاخستان.

تحاول واشنطن خوض المواجهة على حافة الهاوية، بالتلويح بالاستعداد للذهاب الى المواجهة، غير العسكرية طبعاً، ملوحة بالعقوبات القاسية، والقطيعة الكاملة، ووقف العمل بالتفاهمات النووية وغير النووية، لكنها تتجاهل ثلاث حقائق: الأولى أن روسيا مستعدة للذهاب أبعد منها، وهي متحرّرة من الكثير من القيود التي تكبل الحركة الأميركية، وهي تملك تحالفات أوكرانية تتيح خوض المواجهة من وراء ستار محلي معترف بخصوصيته، وفقاً لمسار النورماندي واتفاقات مينسك، التي تتخذها موسكو إطاراً للمعركة حول أوكرانيا. والثانية ان المواجهة تدور على الحدود الروسية، وليس على حدود أميركا، وأن روسيا لا تملك ترف التراجع، وهي لم تفعل ذلك في سورية، البعيدة آلاف الكيلومترات عن الحدود الروسية. والثالثة أن الأدوات التي تهدد بها واشنطن لفرض تعديل الموقف الروسي ثبتت عدم فاعليتها وجهوزية موسكو لتحمل تبعاتها، وهي تستثمر على كل هذه الحقائق في توقيت جديد أفضل بالنسبة لها، سواء لجهة أن المرحلة الجديدة هي مرحلة التحالف الاستراتيجي الروسي الصيني الإيراني بكل مفاعيله الاستراتيجية والمالية والاقتصادية والعسكرية، أو لجهة أن المرحلة عنوانها التراجع الأميركي منذ الانسحاب من أفغانستان.

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