US intelligence UAE report: Activities go beyond ‘influence peddling’

15 Nov 2022

Source: The Washington Post

By Al Mayadeen English 

The Washington Post publishes an analysis telling how the United Arab Emirates meddled in the American political system.

US intelligence UAE report: Activities go beyond ‘influence peddling’

The US newspaper The Washington Post published an analysis on November 14 that says “US intelligence officials have concluded the United Arab Emirates meddled in the American political system, including by hacking into computers in the United States.”

This comes after Intelligence officials in Washington have put together a classified report showing efforts made by the United Arab Emirates to meddle in US politics despite Abu Dhabi being a close ally of Washington’s.

According to the same newspaper, the activities include legal and illegal bids to influence the US foreign policies in ways that would serve its interests throughout various administrations in the White House.

Meanwhile, only as per DoJ records, Abu Dhabi has spent over $154 million on lobbyists since 2016, the newspaper added.

“Three people who read a classified report and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified information said the activities attributed to the UAE in the report go well beyond mere influence peddling,” writer John Hudson said.

“One of the more brazen exploits involved the hiring of three former U.S. intelligence and military officials to help the UAE surveil dissidents, politicians, journalists, and U.S. companies. In publlic legal filings, U.S. prosecutors said the men helped the UAE break into computers in the United States and other countries,” Hudson added.

“The report amounted to a ‘unique’ intelligence examination of a ‘friendly power,'” according to Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who once served on the National Intelligence Council, which compiled the report and typically writes such reports about adversaries.

However, as per Riedel, “it also serves as a reminder that the UAE has sought to become a force in cyberspace and has made questionable use of cyberweapons, including by siphoning ex-U.S. officials into surveillance work against the United States itself.”

For this purpose, the UAE has repeatedly been connected with the use of spyware known as Pegasus, a product of the NSO Group and Project Raven.

Last September, former US officials Mark Baer, ​​Ryan Adams, and Daniel Gerek admitted to providing advanced computer hacking technology to the UAE, and the UAE agreed with them to pay approximately $1.7 million to resolve criminal charges in a deferred prosecution agreement, which the Ministry of Justice described as the first of its kind.

“Under Project Raven, former U.S. government hackers aided foreign intelligence services in the surveillance of journalists, human rights activists, rival governments, and dissidents. That included the targeting of Americans,” the WP added.

“And the pipeline continues. Just last month, my colleagues Craig Whitlock and Nate Jones reported that over the past seven years, nearly 300 military retirees have sought federal authorization to work for the UAE,” the newspaper wrote, adding, “That includes cybersecurity advisers.”

In another investigation conducted by the Washington Post, more than 500 retired US military personnel, including top army officials, have taken high-paying jobs working for foreign governments since 2015, largely in countries infamous for human rights abuses and political repression.

Vladimir Putin Addresses Russian Security Council – October 26, 2022 – ENG Subtitles

October 26, 2022

American Diplomacy as a Tragic Drama

July 29, 2022

By Michael Hudson and posted with the author’s permission

As in a Greek tragedy whose protagonist brings about precisely the fate that he has sought to avoid, the US/NATO confrontation with Russia in Ukraine is achieving just the opposite of America’s aim of preventing China, Russia and their allies from acting independently of U.S. control over their trade and investment policy. Naming China as America’s main long-term adversary, the Biden Administration’s plan was to split Russia away from China and then cripple China’s own military and economic viability. But the effect of American diplomacy has been to drive Russia and China together, joining with Iran, India and other allies. For the first time since the Bandung Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in 1955, a critical mass is able to be mutually self-sufficient to start the process of achieving independence from Dollar Diplomacy.

Confronted with China’s industrial prosperity based on self-financed public investment in socialized markets, U.S. officials acknowledge that resolving this fight will take a number of decades to play out. Arming a proxy Ukrainian regime is merely an opening move in turning Cold War 2 (and potentially/or indeed World War III) into a fight to divide the world into allies and enemies with regard to whether governments or the financial sector will plan the world economy and society.

What is euphemized as U.S.-style democracy is a financial oligarchy privatizing basic infrastructure, health and education. The alternative is what President Biden calls autocracy, a hostile label for governments strong enough to block a global rent-seeking oligarchy from taking control. China is deemed autocratic for providing basic needs at subsidized prices instead of charging whatever the market can bear. Making its mixed economy lower-cost is called “market manipulation,” as if that is a bad thing that was not done by the United States, Germany and every other industrial nation during their economic takeoff in the 19th and early 20th century.

Clausewitz popularized the axiom that war is an extension of national interests – mainly economic. The United States views its economic interest to lie in seeking to spread its neoliberal ideology globally. The evangelistic aim is to financialize and privatize economies by shifting planning away from national governments to a cosmopolitan financial sector. There would be little need for politics in such a world. Economic planning would shift from political capitals to financial centers, from Washington to Wall Street, with satellites in the City of London, the Paris Bourse, Frankfurt and Tokyo. Board meetings for the new oligarchy would be held at Davos’s World Economic Forum. Hitherto public infrastructure services would be privatized and priced high enough to include profits (and indeed, monopoly rents), debt financing and management fees rather than being publicly subsidized. Debt service and rent would become the major overhead costs for families, industry and governments.

The U.S. drive to retain its unipolar power to impose “America First” financial, trade and military policies on the world involves an inherent hostility toward all countries seeking to follow their own national interests. Having less and less to offer in the form of mutual economic gains, U.S. policy makes threats of sanctions and covert meddling in foreign politics. The U.S. dream envisions a Chinese version of Boris Yeltsin replacing the nation’s Communist Party leadership and selling off its public domain to the highest bidder – presumably after a monetary crisis wipes out domestic purchasing power much as occurred in post-Soviet Russia, leaving the international financial community as buyers.

Russia and President Putin cannot be forgiven for having fought back against the Harvard Boys’ “reforms.” That is why U.S. officials planned how to create Russian economic disruption to (they hope) orchestrate a “color revolution” to recapture Russia for the world’s neoliberal camp. That is the character of the “democracy” and “free markets” being juxtaposed to the “autocracy” of state-subsidized growth. As Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov explained in a press conference on July 20, 2022 regarding Ukraine’s violent coup in 2014, U.S. and other Western officials define military coups as democratic if they are sponsored by the United States in the hope of promoting neoliberal policies.

Do you remember how events developed after the coup? The putschists spat in the face of Germany, France and Poland that were the guarantors of the agreement with Viktor Yanukovych. It was trampled underfoot the next morning. These European countries didn’t make a peep – they reconciled themselves to this. A couple of years ago I asked the Germans and French what they thought about the coup. What was it all about if they didn’t demand that the putschists fulfil the agreements? They replied: “This is the cost of the democratic process.” I am not kidding. Amazing – these were adults holding the post of foreign ministers.[1]

This Doublethink vocabulary reflects how far mainstream ideology has evolved from Rosa Luxemburg’s description a century ago of the civilizational choice being posed: barbarism or socialism.

The contradictory U.S. and European interests and burdens of the war in Ukraine

To return to Clausewitz’s view of war as an extension of national policy, U.S. national interests are diverging sharply from those of its NATO satellites. America’s military-industrial complex, oil and agriculture sectors are benefiting, while European industrial interests are suffering. That is especially the case in Germany and Italy as a result of their governments blocking North Stream 2 gas imports and other Russian raw materials.

The interruption of world energy, food and minerals supply chains and the resulting price inflation (providing an umbrella for monopoly rents by non-Russian suppliers) has imposed enormous economic strains on U.S. allies in Europe and the Global South. Yet the U.S. economy is benefiting from this, or at least specific sectors of the U.S. economy are benefiting. As Sergey Lavrov, pointed out in his above-cited press conference: “The European economy is impacted more than anything else. The stats show that 40 percent of the damage caused by sanctions is borne by the EU whereas the damage to the United States is less than 1 percent.” The dollar’s exchange rate has soared against the euro, which has plunged to parity with the dollar and looks set to fall further down toward the $0.80 that it was a generation ago. U.S. dominance over Europe is further strengthened by the trade sanctions against Russian oil and gas. The U.S. is an LNG exporter, U.S. companies control the world oil trade, and U.S. firms are the world’s major grain marketers and exporters now that Russia is excluded from many foreign markets.

A revival of European military spending – for offense, not defense

U.S. arms-makers are looking forward to making profits off arms sales to Western Europe, which has almost literally disarmed itself by sending its tanks and howitzers, ammunition and missiles to Ukraine. U.S. politicians support a bellicose foreign policy to promote arms factories that employ labor in their voting districts. And the neocons who dominate the State Department and CIA see the war as a means of asserting American dominance over the world economy, starting with its own NATO partners.

The problem with this view is that although America’s military-industrial, oil and agricultural monopolies are benefitting, the rest of the U.S. economy is being squeezed by the inflationary pressures resulting from boycotting Russian gas, grain and other raw-materials exports, and the enormous rise in the military budget will be used as an excuse to cut back social spending programs. That also is a problem for Eurozone members. They have promised NATO to raise their military spending to the stipulated 2 percent of their GDP, and the Americans are urging much higher levels to upgrade to the most recent array of weaponry. All but forgotten is the Peace Dividend that was promised in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved the Warsaw Pact alliance, expecting that NATO likewise would have little reason to exist.

Russia has no discernable economic interest in mounting a new occupation of Central Europe. That would offer no gain to Russia, as its leaders realized when they dissolved the old Soviet Union. In fact, no industrial country in today’s world can afford to field an infantry to occupy an enemy. All that NATO can do is bomb from a distance. It can destroy, but not occupy. The United States found that out in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. And just as the assassination Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo (now Bosnia-Herzegovina) triggered World War I in 1914, NATO’s bombing of adjoining Serbia may be viewed as throwing down the gauntlet to turn Cold War 2 into a veritable World War III. That marked the point at which NATO became an offensive alliance, not a defensive one.

How does this reflect European interests? Why should Europe re-arm, if the only effect is to make it a target of retaliation in the event of further attacks on Russia? What does Europe have to gain in becoming a larger customer for America’s military-industrial complex? Diverting spending to rebuild an offensive army – that can never be used without triggering an atomic response that would wipe out Europe – will limit the social spending needed to cope with today’s Covid problems and economic recession.

The only lasting leverage a nation can offer in today’s world is trade and technology transfer. Europe has more of this to offer than the United States. Yet the only opposition to renewed military spending is coming from right-wing parties and the German Linke party. Europe’s Social Democratic, Socialist and Labour parties share American neoliberal ideology.

Sanctions against Russian gas makes coal “the fuel of the future”

The carbon footprint of bombing, arms manufacturing and military bases is strikingly absent from today’s discussion about global warming and the need to cut back on carbon emissions. The German party that calls itself Green is leading the campaign for sanctions against importing Russian oil and gas, which electric utilities are replacing with Polish coal and even German lignite. Coal is becoming the “fuel of the future.” Its price also is soaring in the United States, benefitting American coal companies.

In contrast to the Paris Club agreements to reduce carbon emissions, the United States has neither the political capability nor the intention to join the conservation effort. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Executive Branch has no authority to issue nation-wide energy rules; only individual states can do that, unless Congress passes a national law to cut back on fossil fuels.

That seems unlikely in view of the fact that becoming head of a Democratic Senate and Congressional committee requires being a leader in raising campaign contributions for the party. Joe Manchin, a coal-company billionaire, leads all senators in campaign support from the oil and coal industries, enabling him to win his party’s auction for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee chairmanship and block any seriously restrictive environmental legislation.

Next to oil, agriculture is a major contributor to the U.S. balance of payments. Blocking Russian grain and fertilizer shipping threatens to create a Global South food crisis as well as a European crisis as gas is unavailable to make domestic fertilizer. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of grain and also of fertilizer, and its exports of these products have been exempted from NATO sanctions. But Russian shipping was blocked by Ukraine placing mines in the sea lanes through the Black Sea to close off access to Odessa’s harbor, hoping that the world would blame the world’s imminent grain and energy crisis on Russia instead of the US/NATO trade sanctions imposed on Russia.[2] At his July 20, 2022 press conference Sergey Lavrov showed the hypocrisy of the public relations attempt to distort matters:

For many months, they told us that Russia was to blame for the food crisis because the sanctions don’t cover food and fertiliser. Therefore, Russia doesn’t need to find ways to avoid the sanctions and so it should trade because nobody stands in its way. It took us a lot of time to explain to them that, although food and fertiliser are not subject to sanctions, the first and second packages of Western restrictions affected freight costs, insurance premiums, permissions for Russian ships carrying these goods to dock at foreign ports and those for foreign ships taking on the same consignments at Russian harbours. They are openly lying to us that this is not true, and that it is up to Russia alone. This is foul play.

Black Sea grain transport has begun to resume, but NATO countries have blocked payments to Russia in dollars, euros or currencies of other countries in the U.S. orbit. Food-deficit countries that cannot afford to pay distress-level food prices face drastic shortages, which will be exacerbated when they are compelled to pay their foreign debts denominated in the appreciating U.S. dollar. The looming fuel and food crisis promises to drive a new wave of immigrants to Europe seeking survival. Europe already has been flooded with refugees from NATO’s bombing and backing of jihadist attacks on Libya and Near Eastern oil-producing countries. This year’s proxy war in Ukraine and imposition of anti-Russian sanctions is a perfect illustration of Henry Kissinger’s quip: “It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”

Blowback from the US/NATO miscalculations

America’s international diplomacy aims to dictate financial, trade and military policies that will lock other countries into dollar debt and trade dependency by preventing them from developing alternatives. If this fails, America seeks to isolate the recalcitrants from the U.S.-centered Western sphere.

America’s foreign diplomacy no longer is based on offering mutual gain. Such could be claimed in the aftermath of World War II when the United States was in a position to offer loans, foreign-aid and military protection against occupation – as well as manufactures to rebuild war-torn economies – to governments in exchange for their accepting trade and monetary policies favorable to American exporters and investors. But today there is only the belligerent diplomacy of threatening to hurt nations whose socialist governments reject America’s neoliberal drive to privatize and sell off their natural resources and public infrastructure.

The first aim is to prevent Russia and China from helping each other. This is the old imperial divide-and-conquer strategy. Minimizing Russia’s ability to support China would pave the way for the United States and NATO Europe to impose new trade sanctions on China, and to send jihadists to its western Xinjiang Uighur region. The aim is to bleed Russia’s armaments inventory, kill enough of its soldiers, and create enough Russian shortages and suffering to not only weaken its ability to help China, but to spur its population to support a regime change, an American-sponsored “color revolution.” The dream is to promote a Yeltsin-like leader friendly to the neoliberal “therapy” that dismantled Russia’s economy in the 1990s.

Amazing as it may seem, U.S. strategists did not anticipate the obvious response by countries finding themselves together in the crosshairs of US/NATO military and economic threats. On July 19, 2022, the presidents of Russia and Iran met to announce their cooperation in the face of the sanctions war against them. That followed Russia’s earlier meeting with India’s Prime Minister Modi. In what has been characterized as “shooting itself in its own foot,” U.S. diplomacy is driving Russia, China, India and Iran together, and indeed to reach out to Argentina and other countries to join the BRICS-plus bank to protect themselves.

The U.S. itself is ending the Dollar Standard of international finance

The Trump Administration took a major step to drive countries out of the dollar orbit in November 2018, by confiscating nearly $2 billion of Venezuela’s official gold stock held in London. The Bank of England put these reserves at the disposal of Juan Guaidó, the marginal right-wing politician selected by the United States to replace Venezuela’s elected president as head of state. This was defined as being democratic, because the regime change promised to introduce the neoliberal “free market” that is deemed to be the essence of America’s definition of democracy for today’s world.

This gold theft actually was not the first such confiscation. On November 14, 1979, the Carter Administration paralyzed Iran’s bank deposits in New York after the Shah was overthrown. This act blocked Iran from paying its scheduled foreign debt service, forcing it into default. That was viewed as an exceptional one-time action as far as all other financial markets were concerned. But now that the United States is the self-proclaimed “exceptional nation,” such confiscations are becoming a new norm in U.S. diplomacy. Nobody yet knows what happened to Libya’s gold reserves that Muammar Gadafi had intended to be used to back an African alternative to the dollar. And Afghanistan’s gold and other reserves were simply taken by Washington as payment for the cost of “freeing” that country from Russian control by backing the Taliban. But when the Biden Administration and its NATO allies made a much larger asset grab of some $300 billion of Russia’s foreign bank reserves and currency holdings in March 2022, it made official a radical new epoch in Dollar Diplomacy. Any nation that follows policies not deemed to be in the interests of the U.S. Government runs the risk of U.S. authorities confiscating its holdings of foreign reserves in U.S. banks or securities.

This was a red flag leading countries to fear denominating their trade, savings and foreign debt in dollars, and to avoid using dollar or euro bank deposits and securities as a means of payment. By prompting other countries to think about how to free themselves from the U.S.-centered world trade and monetary system that was established in 1945 with the IMF, World Bank and subsequently the World Trade Organization, the U.S. confiscations have accelerated the end of the U.S. Treasury-bill standard that has governed world finance since the United States went off gold in 1971.[3]

Since dollar convertibility into gold ended in August 1971, dollarization of the world’s trade and investment has created a need for other countries to hold most of their new international monetary reserves in U.S. Treasury securities and bank deposits. As already noted, that enables the United States to seize foreign bank deposits and bonds denominated in U.S. dollars.

Most important, the United States can create and spend dollar IOUs into the world economy at will, without limit. It doesn’t have to earn international spending power by running a trade surplus, as other countries have to do. The U.S. Treasury can simply print dollars electronically to finance its foreign military spending and purchases of foreign resources and companies. And being the “exceptional country,” it doesn’t have to pay these debts – which are recognized as being far too large to be paid. Foreign dollar holdings are free U.S. credit to the Unites States, not requiring repayment any more than the paper dollars in our wallets are expected to be paid off (by retiring them from circulation). What seems to be so self-destructive about America’s economic sanctions and confiscations of Russian and other foreign reserves is that they are accelerating the demise of this free ride.

Blowback resulting from US/NATO isolating their economic and monetary systems

It is hard to see how driving countries out of the U.S. economic orbit serves long-term U.S. national interests. Dividing the world into two monetary blocs will limit Dollar Diplomacy to its NATO allies and satellites.

The blowback now unfolding in the wake of U.S. diplomacy begins with its anti-Russia policy. Imposing trade and monetary sanctions was expected to block Russian consumers and businesses from buying the US/NATO imports to which they had become accustomed. Confiscating Russia’s foreign currency reserves was supposed to crash the ruble, “turning it into rubble,” as President Biden promised. Imposing sanctions against importing Russian oil and gas to Europe was supposed to deprive Russia of export earnings, causing the ruble to collapse and raising import prices (and hence, living costs) for the Russian public. Instead, blocking Russian exports has created a worldwide price inflation for oil and gas, sharply increasing Russian export earnings. It exported less gas but earned more – and with dollars and euros blocked, Russia demanded payment for its exports in rubles. Its exchange rate soared instead of collapsing, enabling Russia to reduce its interest rates.

Goading Russia to send its soldiers to eastern Ukraine to defend Russian speakers under attack in Luhansk and Donetsk, along with the expected impact of the ensuing Western sanctions, was supposed to make Russian voters press for regime change. But as almost always happens when a country or ethnicity is attacked, Russians were appalled at the Ukrainian hatred of Russian-language speakers and Russian culture, and at the Russophobia of the West. The effect of Western countries banning music by Russian composers and Russian novels from libraries – capped by England banning Russian tennis players from the Wimbledon tournament – was to make Russians feel under attack simply for being Russian. They rallied around President Putin.

NATO’s trade sanctions have catalyzed helped Russian agriculture and industry to become more self-sufficient by obliging Russia to invest in import substitution. One well-publicized farming success was to develop its own cheese production to replace that of Lithuania and other European suppliers. Its automotive and other industrial production is being forced to shift away from German and other European brands to its own and Chinese producers. The result is a loss of markets for Western exporters.

In the field of financial services, NATO’s exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT bank-clearing system failed to create the anticipated payments chaos. The threat had been so loudly for so long that Russia and China had plenty of time to develop their own payments system. This provided them with one of the preconditions for their plans to split their economies away from those of the US/NATO West.

As matters have turned out, the trade and monetary sanctions against Russia are imposing the heaviest costs on Western Europe, and are likely to spread to the Global South, driving them to think about whether their economic interests lie in joining U.S. confrontational Dollar Diplomacy. The disruption is being felt most seriously in Germany, causing many companies to close down as a result of gas and other raw-materials shortages. Germany’s refusal to authorize the North Stream 2 pipeline has pushed its energy crisis to a head. This has raised the question of how long Germany’s political parties can remain subordinate to NATO’s Cold War policies at the cost of German industry and households facing sharp rises in heating and electricity costs.

The longer it takes to restore trade with Russia, the more European economies will suffer, along with the citizenry at large, and the further the euro’s exchange rate will fall, spurring inflation throughout its member countries. European NATO countries are losing not only their export markets but their investment opportunities to gain from the much more rapid growth of Eurasian countries whose government planning and resistance to financialization has proved much more productive than the US/NATO neoliberal model.

It is difficult to see how any diplomatic strategy can do more than play for time. That involves living in the short run, not the long run. Time seems to be on the side of Russia, China and the trade and investment alliances that they are negotiating to replace the neoliberal Western economic order.

America’s ultimate problem is its neoliberal post-industrial economy

The failure and blowbacks of U.S. diplomacy are the result of problems that go beyond diplomacy itself. The underlying problem is the West’s commitment to neoliberalism, financialization and privatization. Instead of government subsidy of basic living costs needed by labor, all social life is being made part of “the market” – a uniquely Thatcherite deregulated “Chicago Boys” market in which industry, agriculture, housing and financing are deregulated and increasingly predatory, while heavily subsidizing the valuation of financial and rent-seeking assets – mainly the wealth of the richest One Percent. Income is obtained increasingly by financial and monopoly rent-seeking, and fortunes are made by debt-leveraged “capital” gains for stocks, bonds and real estate.

U.S. industrial companies have aimed more at “creating wealth” by increasing the price of their stocks by using over 90 percent of their profits for stock buybacks and dividend payouts instead of investing in new production facilities and hiring more labor. The result of slower capital investment is to dismantle and financially cannibalize corporate industry in order to produce financial gains. And to the extent that companies do employ labor and set up new production, it is done abroad where labor is cheaper.

Most Asian labor can afford to work for lower wages because it has much lower housing costs and does not have to pay education debt. Health care is a public right, not a financialized market transaction, and pensions are not paid for in advance by wage-earners and employers but are public. The aim in China in particular is to prevent the rentier Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector from becoming a burdensome overhead whose economic interests differ from those of a socialist government.

China treats money and banking as a public utility, to be created, spent and lent for purposes that help increase productivity and living standards (and increasingly to preserve the environment). It rejects the U.S.-sponsored neoliberal model imposed by the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization.

The global economic fracturing goes far beyond NATO’s conflict with Russia in Ukraine. By the time the Biden administration took office at the start of 2021, Russia and China already had been discussing the need to de-dollarize their foreign trade and investment, using their own currencies.[4] That involves the quantum leap of organizing a new payments-clearing institution. Planning had not progressed beyond broad outlines of how such a system would work, but the U.S. confiscation of Russia’s foreign reserves made such planning urgent, starting with a BRICS-plus bank. A Eurasian alternative to the IMF will remove its ability to impose neoliberal austerity “conditionalities” to force countries to lower payments to labor and give priority to paying their foreign creditors above feeding themselves and developing their own economies. Instead of new international credit being extended mainly to pay dollar debts, it will be part of a process of new mutual investment in basic infrastructure designed to accelerate economic growth and living standards. Other institutions are being designed as China, Russia, Iran, India and their prospective allies represent a large enough critical mass to “go it alone,” based on their own mineral wealth and manufacturing power.

The basic U.S. policy has been to threaten to destabilize countries and perhaps bomb them until they agree to adopt neoliberal policies and privatize their public domain. But taking on Russia, China and Iran is a much higher order of magnitude. NATO has disarmed itself of the ability to wage conventional warfare by handing over its supply of weaponry – admittedly largely outdated – to be devoured in Ukraine. In any case, no democracy in today’s world can impose a military draft to wage a conventional land warfare against a significant/major adversary. The protests against the Vietnam War in the late 1960s ended the U.S. military draft, and the only way to really conquer a country is to occupy it in land warfare. This logic also implies that Russia is no more in a position to invade Western Europe than NATO countries are to send conscripts to fight Russia.

That leaves Western democracies with the ability to fight only one kind of war: atomic war – or at least, bombing at a distance, as was done in Afghanistan and the Near East, without requiring Western manpower. This is not diplomacy at all. It is merely acting the role of wrecker. But that is the only tactic that remains available to the United States and NATO Europe. It is strikingly like the dynamic of Greek tragedy, where power leads to hubris that is injurious to others and therefore ultimately anti-social – and self-destructive in the end.

How then can the United States maintain its world dominance? It has deindustrialized and run up foreign official debt far beyond any foreseeable way to be paid. Meanwhile, its banks and bondholders are demanding that the Global South and other countries pay foreign dollar bondholders in the face of their own trade crisis resulting from the soaring energy and food prices caused by America’s anti-Russian and anti-China belligerence. This double standard is a basic internal contradiction that goes to the core of today’s neoliberal Western worldview.

I have described the possible scenarios to resolve this conflict in my recent book The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism. It has now also been issued in e-book form by Counterpunch Books.

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  1. “Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RT television, Sputnik agency and Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, Moscow, July 20, 2022,” Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry, July 20, 2022. https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1822901/. From Johnson’s Russia List, July 21, 2022, #5. 
  2. International Maritime Organization, “Maritime Security and Safety in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov,” https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/Pages/MaritimeSecurityandSafetyintheBlackSeaandSeaofAzov.aspx. See Yves Smith, Some Implications of the UN’s Ukraine Grain and Russia Fertilizer/Food Agreements,” Naked Capitalism, July 25, 2022, and Lavrov’s July 24 speech to the Arab League. 
  3. My Super ImperialismThe Economic Strategy of American Empire (3rd ed., 2021) describes how the Treasury-bill standard has provided America with a free ride and enabled it to run balance-of-payments deficits without constraint, including the costs of its overseas military spending. 
  4. Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson (2021), “Beyond Dollar Creditocracy: A Geopolitical Economy,” Valdai Club Paper No. 116. Moscow: Valdai Club, 7 July, reprinted in Real World Economic Review (97), https://rwer.wordpress.com/2021/09/23. 

WATCH: Full Palestine Chronicle Interview with Professor Noam Chomsky

June 17, 2022

Palestine Chronicle editors Ramzy Baroud and Romana Rubeo hosted IMT Professor and world-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky. (Photo: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestine Chronicle editors Ramzy Baroud and Romana Rubeo hosted a special guest on Thursday, June 16, IMT Professor and world-renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky.

The wide-ranging interview examined numerous topics. Though the focus of the discussion was Palestine, the Palestinian struggle was discussed within a global geopolitical context, including the war in Ukraine and US foreign policy. 

Regarding Palestine, Chomsky answered questions pertaining to the one-state solution, the BDS movement, Israeli apartheid and Palestinian resistance. 

Below is the full interview with Professor Chomsky.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Poland & Ukraine, Not Afghanistan, Were the First US Allies to be Abandoned by Biden

August 26, 2021

By Andrew Korybko
Source: OneWorld

The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

The world is talking about the next US allies to be abandoned by President Biden after he shamefully hung his Afghan ones out to dry during America’s panicked retreat from the country. Some commentators believe that Ukraine might be next, but in reality, it and Poland were actually the first US allies whose interests were betrayed in pursuit of the so-called “greater good” despite Biden’s promises that he wouldn’t conduct his country’s foreign policy in the Machiavellian way that Trump did. I’ve been chronicling this for some time, but for those who haven’t closely followed my work over the past few months, here are my most relevant analyses accompanied by a concise summary of each:

* 8 April: “Why Does Ukraine Want War?

Ukraine provoked hostilities in Donbass in a desperate attempt to remain relevant to the new US administration at the behest of some of the anti-Russian members of its permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) who wanted to sabotage Biden’s behind-the-scenes outreaches to Russia.

* 14 April: “Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Germany has been actively working as America’s “Lead From Behind” proxy for overthrowing the conservative-nationalist Polish government through Hybrid War means connected to Berlin’s backing of its neighbor’s Color Revolution movement.

* 24 April: “What Explains The Latest De-Escalation In Donbass?

Russia didn’t fall for the trap laid out for it by hostile elements in the American “deep state”, though considerable credit for this somewhat surprising de-escalation also goes to Biden since he didn’t make matters worse like many predicted that he would at the time.

* 2 June: “Poland’s Counterproductive Foreign Policy Is Responsible For Its Present Predicament

Poland was shocked by Biden’s decision to waive most of the US’ Nord Stream II sanctions, but it should have seen this coming since the moment he stepped into office and actively begun diversifying its foreign policy instead of remaining entirely dependent on America’s “good graces”.

* 11 June: “Towards Increasingly Complex Multipolarity: Scenarios For The Future

I predicted that the US would “compromise” on the interests of some of its allies like Poland and Ukraine in pursuit of the “greater good” of pragmatically repairing relations with Russia so as to focus more of its efforts on actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific.

* 15 June: “How Serious Are Poland’s Grand Strategic Disagreements With The US?

It then became increasingly obvious that Poland and the US have some irreconcilable grand strategic differences that far surpass their common military interests vis-a-vis Russia, but the aspiring Central European hegemon had yet to make any decisive moves to recalibrate its foreign policy in response.

* 24 June: “Polish-US Missile Defense Co-Op Is A Strategic Smokescreen

To preemptively thwart Poland from doing anything dramatic that could bolster its strategic independence, the US went ahead with their prior “missile defense” plans, which served the purpose of keeping Poland in its clutches and also misleading that country’s leadership into thinking that the US was still their “trusted” ally.

* 12 July: “Former Polish PM Tusk Ridiculously Alleged A Kaczysnski-Putin Conspiracy

Germany proxy Donald Tusk escalated the Hybrid War on Poland by claiming that the country’s viciously Russophobic grey cardinal was secretly Russian President Putin’s puppet, which preemptively thwarted his target’s plans to claim the same about him following his return to the country to lead the Color Revolution.

* 15 July: “It’s Time For A Polish-Russian ‘Non-Aggression’ Pact In Belarus & Ukraine

In the face of such increased Hybrid War pressure against it, the most pragmatic thing that Poland could do is clinch a so-called “non-aggression” pact with Russia in their overlapping “spheres of influence” in order to focus more of its security services’ efforts on defending itself from the joint US-German regime change campaign.

* 19 July: “Poland Should Follow Ukraine’s Lead By Using China To Balance The US

As unexpected as it was for most observers to acknowledge, Ukraine’s US-controlled puppet government actually began making serious moves to use China as a “balancing” force against America, which should have inspired Poland to follow suit as a means of showing the US how dissatisfied it is with the ongoing Hybrid War.

* 26 July: “The US-German Hybrid War Against Poland Is Intensifying

Poland’s lack of resolve in defending itself from the joint US-German Hybrid War only served to embolden its nominal “allies” to intensify their regime change campaign, which threatened to make matters much worse for its beleaguered conservative-nationalist government.

* 29 July: “The West Is Pressuring Poland & Russia Due To Their Conservative-Nationalist Values

Poland and Russia are interestingly in the same boat vis-a-vis the West since the latter is pressuring both of them due to their conservative-nationalist values, which Warsaw has yet to realize and thus explains why it’s still in a state of shock after its so-called “allies” so decisively turned against it.

* 13 August: “Ukrainian Ethno-Fascism vs. Russian Multiculturalism

Ukraine’s response to America’s strategic betrayal of its interests hasn’t been to pragmatically explore a possible rapprochement with Russia like it should have done if its leadership had any wisdom but to counterproductively double down on its Russophobic policies.

* 12 August: “Unexpected Trouble In The Three Seas States Might Cause Them To Rethink Their Policies

The combination of US-German Hybrid War pressure and the unexpected migrant crisis coming from Belarus might finally cause Poland to rethink its self-defeating regional policy of functioning as America’s anti-Russian puppet after receiving literally no rewards for this role nor relief from the regime change pressure upon it.

———-

Having indisputably established that Poland and Ukraine were the first US allies to be abandoned under Biden, it’s now time to talk a little bit more about the latter’s predicament. President Zelensky plans to finally meet his American counterpart at the end of the month, but many observers are wondering why it’s even taken so long. One possible reason other than the US leader’s deliberate mistreatment of his country’s ally is that he’s simply embarrassed because of the slew of scandals connecting him to that country such as the Burisma one with his son Hunter and Biden’s bargain with Poroshenko to fire former General Prosecutor Shokin who was investigating the first-mentioned scandal.

Biden also wanted Zelensky to bend over and accept that America was “compromising” on Ukraine’s interests as part of the “greater good” related to repairing relations with Russia in order to more actively refocus the US’ efforts on “containing” China. The Ukrainian leader understandably felt betrayed by Biden and began to lose faith in America’s reliability as an ally, which explains why his country started reaching out more to China lately. Even so, nothing that Kiev might do can fully protect its interests if Washington cuts a deal with Moscow over Eastern Ukraine like some commentators now speculate might be in the cards as part of their gradual rapprochement.

As for Poland, it too has been caught with its pants down by Biden’s pragmatic deal-making with Russia and also doesn’t have any realistic means to defend its interests in response to them being “traded away” by the American leader. Unlike Ukraine whose conservative-nationalist values are supported by the US because they take the extreme form of ethno-fascism that can be weaponized to keep Russian influence there at bay, the Polish government’s comparatively more mild values are seen as a threat to the entire Western project because of the possibility that they can influence other EU members and thus undermine the US’ plans to have Germany’s liberal-globalist ideology dominate the continent in order to control its countries by proxy.

Poland and Ukraine are therefore at America’s mercy. Their interests were betrayed by their “ally” even before Biden abandoned his country’s Afghan “allies”. Observers should become more aware of this fact since it shows that nobody should have been surprised by what just happened in that South Asian country. The writing was on the wall this entire time that Biden was actually implementing a fair share of Trump’s foreign policy vision related to trading away his “allies” interests in pursuit of the “greater good” connected to more actively “containing” China in the Asia-Pacific. It remains to be seen how much more “collateral damage” the US’ “allies” will suffer as a result of this policy, but there’s no longer any denying that such a Machiavellian policy exists.

American Howl !

American Howl !

August 20, 2021

By Larchmonter445 for The Saker Blog

Whether you supported the 20-year war in Afghanistan or not, if you are American, you paid for it. Two Trillion Dollars. Your personal tax tab is 7 thousand dollars.

If you sent a relative or friend into this horror in South Asia, you paid an emotional price also.

If your relative or friend lost his or her life, you paid again, most grievously.

If you are one who returned, PTSD is taking a toll on your life. You pay every night and day, psychologically.

If you came back with traumatic wounds, you pay each moment as you try to rehabilitate and recover.

And with all these payments and losses you sit in front of a TV or monitor and watch the most feckless, incompetent leadership on the face of the Earth. You see total disorder, amateur thinking, and disgraceful performance of State Dept. and US Military. The top command and elected officials, the top counselors and advisers, each and every one clueless, ignorant, flummoxed by reality. They know nothing and can do nothing. Yet, they lead the country.

If you are fond of NATO, the alliance just took a huge hit. So, the 75 years of unity and the 20 years of joint operations in Afghan are tossed away unilaterally. NATO is fracturing. They know Biden is a fraud and the US is aimless.

You finally hear from the President of the United States, the reasoning that was the policy and follow through. It makes no sense. The old man is irrational.

Day after day this continuing catastrophe you see the same imbeciles prove over and over that they don’t know how to think, organize, lead or inspire.

Admiral John Kirby spokesman for the Defense Dept., Ned Price spokesman for State Dept., Jan Psaki spokeswoman for the WH, all of them know nothing, have no facts to report, seem bewildered by simple questions.

Listening to Jake Sullivan, NSC explains, is more naïveté and kindergarten-level thinking.

Mark Milley and Lloyd Austin are a quiniela of incompetence, both are lost in Critical Race Theory and too busy to win a war, command an evacuation, secure billions of dollars in lethal weaponry or answer a simple question with believable facts. Two Four-Star Dumb and Dumbers.

These dolts cut off the US government pipeline for the citizens caught inside Afghanistan, their lifeline to the State Dept. and consular staff has gone just when they need them.   These jackasses sent off all the resources their citizens needed for evacuation.

They inadvertently point blame to the Clown-in-Chief Biden, who reflexively blames Trump for the policy Biden created.

Then the inept US military took six days to bring in 7000 troops to work security at the airport. These troops, they told us, were pre-positioned and ready to go. Another massive failure of military logistical performance.

There are more days of this until the artificial deadline on the 31st. The odds are there will be 20-30,000 Americans and Afghanis who worked for and with our military left behind. This is totally unacceptable. They will become hostages to Taliban authorities.

The only good result of this debacle is it hurts Biden politically and makes a change in the Congress much more likely in 2022.

Biden’s Kabul is worse than Ford’s Saigon and Carter’s Tehran. And it is far from over.

As a citizen, you are embarrassed, ashamed, insulted, depressed, left helpless, enraged, and damn angry at the juvenile operational disaster in plain sight at Kabul airport.

Biden and Harris should be impeached. The entire NSC staff should be fired. The JCS chief and the JCS staff and the SOD should be fired. The State Dept. from top-down to consular staff should be fired.

It is their turn to pay for this national embarrassment, geopolitical disaster, and human tragedy.

‘Many US commentators have never BEEN to countries they comment on, see entire world from Washington perspective’ – Stephen Kinzer

moi

June 27, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Much of Western media is a mixture of sensationalist accusations and fear mongering about ‘enemy’ states. It is difficult to find perspectives divorced from US foreign policy, American journalist Stephen Kinzer has told RT.

I asked the author and journalist Stephen Kinzer how the corporate media came to be so devoid of honest content and discussed the rise of censorship by Big Tech.

Kinzer is a Boston Globe columnist and formerly a correspondent for the New York Times. With over two decades of experience reporting from around the world, including areas being targeted by American imperialism, Kinzer can offer a much needed critique on the state of journalism today.

He started as an independent journalist in Central America in the mid-70s, when few journalists were going there, later reporting from Central Asia, Turkey, the Caucasus, and Europe.

I’m sometimes asked why I developed a different perspective on the world than many other people who comment in the American press,” he told RT. “I always seem to be the skunk at the foreign policy garden party. Why is that?

Upon reflection, I think it has to do with the way that I learned about the world. Many people who write about the world in the United States learned about the world the same way: they went to international relations schools, they went to work on congressional staffs, then they worked at think tanks. And they’re very steeped in this Washington-centric view of the world.”

Unlike such journalists and commentators, Kinzer learned journalism by going places and writing firsthand what he saw and heard.

I learned about the world from the perspective of the people who were the victims of American foreign policy. I was in the places where people were getting bombed. I saw American foreign policy from the perspective of the rest of the world.”

Having myself learned journalism the same way, I appreciated his words. And I had a followup question about the concept of journalistic qualifications, something my detractors have claimed I lack.

According to Kinzer, there are many qualifications for being a journalist that are much more important than what school you went to or what you studied.

The most important one is independent thinking. The great curse of our press in the West is willingness to accept the official narrative,” he said. 

In his view, many American journalists are merely stenographers. 

They’re sitting down at a press conference, they write down what some government spokesman says, then they go and print that in a newspaper. You hardly even need to have a sentient human there, you can get an algorithm to probably put most of those stories together.

And when you want to have a story that’s very well-sourced, they call the State Department, and the Defense Department, and several think tanks, and some congressmen. And they think, ‘Well I sure covered the landscape on this one!’”

But that, Kinzer argues, is not what covering the landscape is about. 

The great qualification you need for a journalist is the confidence to go out and see for yourself, and believe that your eyes are actually telling you more than press releases from some other country.

Indeed, much of the lies and war propaganda about Syria, for example, have come from journalists situated in Istanbul, Beirut, or North America, most who have never been to Syria, or if they have – not in the past decade.

It’s amazing to see how many people have built reputations as commentators on foreign countries and world affairs who have never been there, have no idea, beyond vague tropes, of what those countries are,” Kinzer said. “It’s because they are seeing the entire world from Washington’s perspective, and don’t think there is any other perspective worth having,” he added.

It’s truly amazing, I’ve seen the decline of this profession into such willing subservience. We don’t have any core of regular columnists or people trying to challenge established narratives. We do have voices that pop up periodically, but they’re so drowned out by the regular columnists who just voice the same tropes over and over again,” Kinzer said. 

The intellectual laziness of the American press in covering the world has never been as extreme as it is now. It’s just as dangerous in most of what’s called NATO countries to be contradicting the narrative as it is in the United States.”

Tremendous desire of CIA to control news 

In 2014, German journalist and editor, Udo Ulfkotte, told RT he had been forced to publish works not written by him under his own name (or risk being fired), including things “written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service.” 

According to Kinzer, the CIA “has had a massive, long-term effort to influence” the Western media dating back to the Cold War era. 

The CIA has placed its own people, people who are on its payroll, in the offices of major news outlets over many decades. There was a large project the CIA called ‘Operation Mockingbird’ aimed specifically at trying to influence the US press, and particularly what the US press writes about the world,” he said. 

He recalled that in 1954, “when the CIA was planning to overthrow the government of Guatemala… because its president was ‘communist’, a New York Times reporter there started writing stories saying that actually the president is not communist and that land reform is only answering a desperate need of starving Guatemalans.” 

At CIA Director Allen Dulles’ request, the publisher agreed to keep the correspondent, Sydney Gruson, out of Guatemala. 

Now that’s an extreme example. But, the motivation behind it is still there. There is a tremendous desire on the part of the CIA to control news.” 

While not surprised that the CIA would interfere in journalism, Kinzer was emphatic about his disgust that journalists toe the line.

What I don’t like is that journalists go along with this! Power has so many levers, why should journalists become yet another one of them. We are the ones that are supposed to be questioning. It’s the job of reporters not to submit themselves to that.

‘Press a button, and the narrative changes’

Kinzer also noted how media narratives can suddenly change, like a switch has been flipped. 

It’s so interesting that when power decides to change the narrative, it happens right away.

I can remember just six months ago turning on my PBS News Hour, in the US, and seeing a very longreport with General Dunford and Kelly Ayotte and a bunch of these right wingers who had come up with a big report about Afghanistan. And it was about why we can’t leave Afghanistan, we have to stay. It was a 10-minute report, and no other voices, nobody came on to say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s nonsense.’ Everybody was saying, ‘We have to stay in Afghanistan forever.’

Suddenly, the president of the United States decides, OK, we’re gonna withdraw. And now, suddenly, it’s acceptable to say, ‘That whole Afghanistan thing was a disaster.’ Somebody just has to press a button, then the narrative changes, then everybody is allowed to say what the president said. But if you had said it one day before, you would have been in a lot of trouble.

You have to wait for the general narrative to change, then you can change your narrative, but don’t do it until power tells you it is acceptable to change.”

Later in our conversation, he gave the example of writing about Israel, which he said was hard to do, until recently.

Suddenly, in recent weeks even, it’s become a little more OK to be critical of Israeli policies, because some people in Washington are now a little more critical.

Big Tech censorship on the rise

In the past several years, there has been an increase in social media giants deciding what content is acceptable and what “violates” so-called “community standards.” And as I wrote recently, it has gotten to the point where Twitter issues scary warnings about “unsafe” or “spammy” content from websites the social media platform deems dangerous, potentially scaring readers away. 

Commenting on the matter, Kinzer said that “the power of private companies to decide what people see and don’t see is greater now than ever.

As for censorship by the outlets he has written for, Kinzer said he was lucky to be writing from places that editors really didn’t have the knowledge to tell him how to report. “Nobody called me and said ‘I know everything about Uzbekistan and this is wrong.’”

That said, he does maintain that in writing his columns, some subjects are either taboo or you would have to frame them in the usual anti-Russia manner common in Western media.

It’s very hard to get a story in the American press about Russia that’s anything other than fitting into the cliches. I’ve had trouble writing about Russia, because the narrative that Putin is something other than a killer is not welcome in the United States. And I’ve had trouble writing about Syria. And of course, it’s very difficult to write about Israel.

Lather, rinse, repeat

On the 10-year anniversary of the war on Syria, I wrote about how, mind-bogglingly, Western media and pundits continue to repeat the cliched and debunked rhetoric and lies that have been recycled year after year.

Kinzer addressed this technique, the repetition of narratives.

I had an editor at the New York Times years ago who told me: A lot of journalism is about repetition. And boy does the American press do that. We have been told certain things about certain countries so many times over. And it just seems like the truth.

“‘The evils that have taken hold of Russia. The daily genocide that’s happening under the killers in Syria…’ You don’t need to go, you don’t need to check, it’s just like the air, it’s like an obvious fact.

I even see it in what’s happened to the Pulitzer Prize for International Journalism,” he said, adding that in 2020 it “predictably” went to a series of reports on “how evil Russia is” and this year – to a series of reports on “how evil China is.” 

The Pulitzer, he argued, is supposed to encourage original reporting, “not people that just scribble down what officials say, and then put it in nicer prose, and use phrases that are calculated to make people believe that government opinion is actual fact.

The job of journalists is to rebel against the narrative. We are out there as the eyes and ears of the world. If you don’t want to do it, fine, but don’t pretend that you’re doing it, and sit in your little cubicle and think of the stereotypes you’ve been fed and just regurgitate them. That is not journalism, it’s just public relations.”

In conclusion, Kinzer recalled a quote by Mark Twain: “The majority is always wrong. When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

Indeed, time and again when the majority has written about “weapons of mass destruction,” “chemical attacks,” Iraqi troops “killing babies in incubators,” and other Washington-contrived narratives, those courageous few who have stood up against those lies-based-narratives have proven to be honest journalists. 

If only more journalists would follow.  

Sitrep: Here Comes China: Space, Trade, Encirclement and Tibet

May 22, 2021

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Further selections and editorial commentary by Amarynth.


Space News

The Zhurong rover touched down May 15 on Mars and signaled ground control 320 million kilometers away. After diagnostic tests, it will spend 90 days exploring and analyzing the area, climate, magnetic field and subsurface. The Tianwen-1 orbiter is changing its trajectory so Zhurong can transmit high-resolution photos.

 Read full article $→

“The mission is very ambitious. They plan to do, in one go, three steps NASA took several decades to achieve: getting into orbit, landing on the surface and then driving a rover around,” said Roberto Orosei, from the Institute for Radioastronomy in Bologna, Italy. Other space milestones this past year include the final BeiDou GPS satellite and the first of 11 launches to build a Space StationRead full article →

Update from RT this morning:  “China’s Mars rover rolls off landing platform, joining US robots patrolling Red Planet”

https://www.rt.com/news/524522-chinese-rover-rolls-platform/

The Tianhe core module cabin of China’s space station project has completed in-orbit performance checks, including rendezvous and docking, life support systems for astronauts and robotic arms, as well as a series of space application equipment examinations. 

Read full article →


At $23 billion, China is the world’s largest ice cream market. Competitors include Mengniu Dairy, Yili, Guanming, and Sanyuan, along with foreign giants like Nestlé and Unilever. US ice cream sales average $7 billion annually. Read full article →

A record 9.09 million university students will graduate this year and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan says,  “Go to central and western regions where the country needs you” (and where there are 1.4 available jobs per graduate). Read full article →

The EU’s goods trade surged in Q1 and China remained its top trade partner, with imports and exports both increasing 20% YoY. The US followed, with both imports and exports shrinking. Read full article $→

US importers paid 90% of tariff costs on Chinese goods, or 18.5% more for Chinese products subject to the 20% tariff. Chinese exporters receive 1.5% less for the same product. Read full article $→

US exports to China of wine, cotton, log timber and wood have increased over the past year after Beijing blocked those products from Australia. The US is prioritising its own economic interests over its ally’s, despite Antony Blinken’s promise that Washington would not leave Australia to face ‘economic coercion’ from Beijing. Read full article $→

Supplies of Russian agricultural products to China increased by 17.6% in Q1. Trade turnover reached $40.207 billion, 20% higher YoY. The two aim to double 2021 trade to $200 billion. Read full article $→


Presidents Xi and Putin launched construction on four nuclear reactors made with Russian technology: two reactors each in Jiangsu and Liaoning Provinces, set to begin 2026 – 2028. They will be powered by Rosatom’s 3G pressurized water reactor technology at a  cost of $1.7 billion per site. Read full article $→


US Encirclement of China: A Progress Report

We will post this long-read article by Brian Berletic in full as the New Eastern Outlook site has been down for a number of days.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are not merely the recent results of former US President Donald Trump’s time in office – but rather just the latest chapter in US efforts to contain China that stretch back decades.

Indeed, US foreign policy has for decades admittedly aimed at encircling and containing China’s rise and maintaining primacy over the Indo-Pacific region.

The “Pentagon Papers” leaked in 1969 would admit in regards to the ongoing US war against Vietnam that:

…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.

The papers also admitted that China, “looms as a major power threatening to undercut [American] importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against [America].

The papers also made it clear that there were (and still are), “three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China: (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.”

Since then, it is clear that from the continued US military presence in both Japan and South Korea, the now two decades-long US occupation of Afghanistan on both Pakistan’s and China’s borders, and the emergence of the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” aimed at overthrowing Southeast Asian governments friendly with China and replacing them with US-backed client regimes – this policy to contain China endures up to today.

Assessing US activity along these three fronts reveals the progress and setbacks Washington faces – and various dangers to global peace and stability Washington’s continued belligerence pose.

The Japan-Korea Front 

Military.com in their article, “Here’s What It Costs to Keep US Troops in Japan and South Korea,” reports:

In all, more than 80,000 US troops are deployed to Japan and South Korea. In Japan alone, the US maintains more than 55,000 deployed troops — the largest forward-deployed US force anywhere in the world.

The article notes that according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the US spent “$34 billion to maintain military presences in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019.”

The article cites the GAO providing an explanation as to why this massive US military presence is maintained in East Asia:

“…US forces help strengthen alliances, promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, provide quick response to emergencies and are essential for US national security.”

“Alliances” that are “strengthened” by the physical presence of what are essentially occupying US forces suggests the “alliance” is hardly voluntary and claims of promoting a “free and open Indo-Pacific region” is highly subjective – begging the question of to whom the Indo-Pacific is “free and open” to.

And as US power wanes both regionally in the Indo-Pacific as well as globally, Washington has placed increasing pressure on both Japan and South Korea to not only help shoulder this financial burden, but to also become more proactive within Washington’s containment strategy toward China.

Japan is one of three other nations (the US itself, Australia, and India) drafted into the US-led Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – also know as the “Quad.”

Rather than the US solely depending on its own military forces based within Japanese territory or supported by its Japan-based forces, Japan’s military along with India’s and Australia’s are also being recruited to take part in military exercises and operations in and around the South China Sea.

India’s inclusion in the Quad also fits well into the US 3-front strategy that made up Washington’s containment policy toward China as early as the 1960s.

The India-Pakistan Front 

In addition to recruiting India into the Quad alliance, the US helps encourage escalation through political support and media campaigning of India’s various territorial disputes with China.

The US also targets Pakistan’s close and ongoing relationship with China – including the support of armed insurgents in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Recently, a bombing at a hotel in Quetta, Baluchistan appears to have targeted China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Nong Rong.

The BBC in its article, “Pakistan hotel bomb: Deadly blast hits luxury venue in Quetta,” would claim:

Initial reports had suggested the target was China’s ambassador.

Ambassador Nong Rong is understood to be in Quetta but was not present at the hotel at the time of the attack on Wednesday.

The article also noted:

Balochistan province, near the Afghan border, is home to several armed groups, including separatists.

Separatists in the region want independence from the rest of Pakistan and accuse the government and China of exploiting Balochistan, one of Pakistan’s poorest provinces, for its gas and mineral wealth.

Absent from the BBC’s reporting is the extensive and open support the US government has provided these separatists over the years and how – clearly – this is more than just a local uprising against perceived injustice, but yet another example of armed conflict-by-proxy waged by Washington against China.

As far back as 2011 publications like The National Interest in articles like, “Free Baluchistan” would openly advocate expanding US support for separatism in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

The article was written by the late Selig  Harrison – who was a senior fellow at the US-based corporate-financier funded Center for International Policy – and would claim:

Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve US strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.

Of course, “Islamist forces” is a euphemism for US-Persian Gulf state sponsored militants used to both fight Western proxy wars as well as serve as a pretext for Western intervention. Citing “Islamist forces” in Baluchistan, Pakistan clearly serves as an example of the latter.

In addition to op-eds published by influential policy think tanks, US legislators like US Representative Dana Rohrabacher had proposed resolutions such as (emphasis added),

“US House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 104 (112th): Expressing the sense of Congress that the people of Baluchistan, currently divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, have the right to self-determination and to their own sovereign country.”

There is also funding provided to adjacent, political groups supporting separatism in Baluchistan, Pakistan as listed by the US government’s own National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website under “Pakistan.” Organizations like the “Association for Integrated Development Balochistan” are funded by the US government and used to mobilize people politically, constituting clear interference by the US in Pakistan’s internal political affairs.

The Gwadar Port project is a key juncture within China’s growing global network of infrastructure projects as part of its One Belt, One Road initiative. The US clearly opposes China’s rise and has articulated robust strategies to counter it; everything up to and including open war as seen in the Pentagon Papers regarding the Vietnam War.

The recent bombing in Baluchistan, Pakistan demonstrates that this strategy continues in regards to utilizing local militants to target Chinese-Pakistani cooperation and is one part of the much wider, region-wide strategy of encircling and containing China.

The Southeast Asia Front

Of course the US war against Vietnam was part of a wider effort to reassert Western primacy over Southeast Asia and deny the region from fueling China’s inevitable rise.

The US having lost the war and almost completely retreating from the Southeast Asia region saw Southeast Asia itself repair relations amongst themselves and with China.

Today, the nations of Southeast Asia count China as their largest trade partner, investor, a key partner in infrastructure development, a key supplier for the region’s armed forces, as well as providing the majority of tourism arrivals throughout the region. For countries like Thailand, more tourists arrive from China than from all Western nations combined.

Because existing governments in Southeast Asia have nothing to benefit from by participating in American belligerence toward China, the US has found it necessary to cultivate and attempt to install into power various client regimes. This has been an ongoing process since the Vietnam War.

The US has targeted each nation individually for years. In 2009 and 2010, US-backed opposition leader-in-exile Thaksin Shinawatra deployed his “red shirt” protesters in back-to-back riots – the latter of which included some 300 armed militants and culminated in city-wide arson across Bangkok and the death of over 90 police, soldiers, protesters, and bystanders.

In 2018, US-backed opposition groups took power in Malaysia after the US poured millions of dollars for over a decade in building up the opposition.

Daniel Twining of the US National Endowment for Democracy subsidiary – the International Republican Institute – admitted during a talk (starting at 56 minutes) by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that same year that:

…for 15 years working with NED resources, we worked to strengthen Malaysian opposition parties and guess what happened two months ago after 61 years? They won.

He would elaborate on how the NED’s network played a direct role in placing US-backed opposition figures into power within the Malaysian government, stating:

I visited and I was sitting there with many of the leaders the new leaders of this government, many of whom were just our partners we had been working with for 15 years and one of the most senior of them who’s now one of the people running the government said to me, ‘gosh IRI you never gave up on us even when we were ready to give up on ourselves.’

Far from “promoting freedom” in Malaysia – Twining would make clear the ultimate objective of interfering in Malaysia’s internal political affairs was to serve US interests not only in regards to Malaysia, but in regards to the entire region and specifically toward encircling and containing China.

Twining would boast:

…guess what one of the first steps the new government took? It froze Chinese infrastructure investments.

And that:

[Malaysia] is not a hugely pro-American country. It’s probably never going to be an actual US ally, but this is going to redound to our benefit, and and that’s an example of the long game.

It is a pattern that has repeated itself in Myanmar over the decades with NED money building a parallel political system within the nation and eventually leading to Aung San Suu Kyi and her US-backed National League for Democracy (NLD) party taking power in 2016.

For Myanmar, so deep and extensive is US backing for opposition groups there that elections virtually guarantee US-backed candidates win every single time. The US National Endowment for Democracy’s own website alone lists over 80 programs and organizations receiving US government money for everything from election polling and building up political parties, to funding media networks and “environmental” groups used to block Chinese-initiated infrastructure projects.

The move by Myanmar’s military in February this year, ousting Aung Sang Suu Kyi and the NLD was meant to correct this.

However, in addition to backing political groups protesting in the streets, the US has – for many decades – backed and armed ethnic rebels across the country. These rebels have now linked up with the US-backed NLD and are repeating US-backed regime change tactics used against the Arab World in 2011 in nations like Libya, Yemen, and Syria – including explicit calls for “international intervention.”

A US-Engineered “Asia Spring”  

Just as the US did during the 2011 “Arab Spring” – the US State Department, in a bid to create synergies across various regime change campaigns in Asia, has introduced the “Milk Tea Alliance” to transform individual US-backed regime change efforts in Asia into a region-wide crisis.

The BBC itself admits in articles like, “Milk Tea Alliance: Twitter creates emoji for pro-democracy activists,” that:

The alliance has brought together anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan with pro-democracy campaigners in Thailand and Myanmar.

Omitted from the BBC’s coverage of the “Milk Tea Alliance” (intentionally) is the actual common denominators that unite it – US funding through fronts like the National Endowment for Democracy and a unifying hatred of China based exclusively on talking points pushed by the US State Department itself.

Circling back to the Pentagon Papers and recalling the coordinated, regional campaign the US sought to encircle China with – we can then look at more recent US government policy papers like the “Indo-Pacific Framework” published in the White House archives from the Trump administration.

The policy paper’s first bullet point asks:

How to maintain US strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region and promote a liberal economic order while preventing China from establishing new, illiberal spheres of influence, and cultivating areas of cooperation to promote regional peace and prosperity?

The paper also discusses information campaigns designed to “educate” the world about “China’s coercive behaviour and influence operations around the globe.” These campaigns have materialized in a propaganda war fabricating accusations of “Chinese genocide” in Xinjiang, China, claims that Chinese telecom company Huawei is a global security threat, and that China – not the US – is the single largest threat to global peace and stability today.

In reality US policy aimed at encircling China is predicated upon Washington’s desire to continue its own decades-long impunity upon the global stage and the continuation of all the wars, humanitarian crises, and abuses that have stemmed from it.

Understanding the full scope of Washington’s “competition” with China helps unlock the confusion surrounding unfolding individual crises like the trade war, the ongoing violence and turmoil in Myanmar, bombings in southwest Pakistan, students mobs in Thailand, riots in Hong Kong, and attempts by the US to transform the South China Sea into an international conflict.

Understanding that these events are all connected – then assessing the success or failure of US efforts gives us a clearer picture of the overall success Washington in encircling China.  It also gives governments and regional blocs a clearer picture of how to manage policy in protecting against US subversion that threatens national, regional, and global peace and stability.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.


BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhua) — China’s State Council Information Office on Friday issued a white paper on the peaceful liberation of Tibet and its development over the past seven decades.

The white paper, titled “Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity,” reviewed Tibet’s history and achievements, and presented a true and panoramic picture of the new socialist Tibet.

You may Download the Full Text or read this very interesting document here: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-05/21/c_139959978.htm

It consists of the following:

Foreword

I. Tibet Before the Peaceful Liberation

II. Peaceful Liberation

III. Historic Changes in Society

IV. Rapid Development of Various Undertakings

V. A Complete Victory over Poverty

VI. Protection and Development of Traditional Culture

VII. Remarkable Results in Ethnic and Religious Work

VIII. Solid Environmental Safety Barriers

IX. Resolutely Safeguarding National Unity and Social Stability

X. Embarking on a New Journey in the New Era

Conclusion


This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Washington’s Obsession with China Expands

March 25, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Mid-March saw a series of events helping to measure with exactitude US foreign policy regarding China – a commitment to and a doubling down on a decades-long encirclement and containment policy that has – so far – failed to return on Washington’s immense investments in it. 

The first indicator was the new US administration of President Joe Biden continuing without even the slightest deviation Trump-era policy regarding the targeting and banning of Chinese companies. 

German state media – Deutsche Welle – in an article titled, “US designates Huawei, four other Chinese tech firms national security threats,” would note: 

The US has labeled five Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, as national security risks. President Joe Biden may be continuing his predcessor’s hardline stance against China’s growing technological dominance.

Evidence justifying US claims of Chinese companies presenting a national security risk to the US has never been produced – and it is clear that these claims are meant to justify what is otherwise merely America’s inability to compete with rising Chinese companies. Because, in addition to banning Chinese companies from doing business in the US – the US has sought to pressure nations around the globe to similarly deny market access to China. 

This is an ongoing bid to secure US market shares through threats and intimation rather than through innovation and competitive business strategies.  

Why two apparently “opposite” political candidates like Trump and Biden have indistinguishable foreign policies is easy to explain when considering these policies are generated and promoted by unelected corporate interests who influence US foreign policy regardless of who sits in either the White House or Congress. These are the very interests who see their market shares and the associated power and influence that comes from them under threat by rising Chinese competitors. Another indicator was US Secretary of State Anthony Bliken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s “tour” of the Indo-Pacific, including stops in South Korea and Japan. 

Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled, “Blinken and Austin in Japan to Bolster Asian Allies,” would claim: 

The Biden administration wants to prod Japan more on defense and resolve tensions between Tokyo and Seoul.

The article would cite an op-ed by Blinken and Austin in the Washington Post claiming: 

“Our combined power makes us stronger when we must push back against China’s aggression and threats,” Blinken and Austin wrote in a joint Washington Post op-ed, citing human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet, and China’s pushback on freedoms in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “If we don’t act decisively and lead, Beijing will.”

The deeply flawed notion that the US should “lead” in Asia rather than China – a nation actually residing in the region – is at the root of US-Chinese tensions – tensions driven entirely by Washington’s unreasonable pursuit of unwarranted influence in – even primacy over the Indo-Pacific Region. Foreign Policy would also note: 

…there is growing concern about how to nudge a politically wary Japan to boost its missile defenses, while hardening the U.S. presence that’s increasingly vulnerable to improving Chinese missiles.

And that: 

Japan already has Aegis-class destroyers equipped with SM-3 missiles offshore, which the United States helped develop, and is a co-producer in the F-35 program. But last June, Tokyo canceled delivery of the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile system, a shore-based missile-defense system, pushing instead to develop a domestically produced solution. That’s another area where the Pentagon may press the Japanese.

SM-3 missiles used on Aegis-class destroyers as well as with Aegis Ashore systems are manufactured by Raytheon – an arms manufacturer Lloyd Austin sat on the board of directors of until being brought in as Biden’s Secretary of Defense. 

In essence, a former Raytheon director will be selling missiles for Raytheon in his official capacity as Secretary of Defense – and based on the supposed threat of China – the largest economy and most populous nation in the region – “leading” rather than the US. 

To paper over the corruption at the very core of US foreign policy – the US pursues a propaganda war against China – citing manufactured and patently false claims of “repression” and “abuse” everywhere from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Xinjiang and Tibet. 

A 2019 US State Department strategy paper titles, “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision,” would repeat these false claims, stating: 

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) practices repression at home and abroad. Beijing is intolerant of dissent, aggressively controls media and civil society, and brutally suppresses ethnic and religious minorities. Such practices, which Beijing exports to other countries through its political and economic influence, undermine the conditions that have promoted stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for decades.

It is difficult to understand what “stability” and “prosperity” the US is referring to. 

It is amid China’s rise that the region enjoys unprecedented levels of both as well as accelerated development through projects built in cooperation with China – and all in stark contrast to the decades of war triggered by US interventions on the Korean Peninsula and all across Southeast Asia as part of its Vietnam War and adjacent military operations. 

These were conflicts that have left the region permanently scarred and in several instances – such as the residual impact of chemical weapons used in Vietnam or unexploded ordnance dropped by the US over nations like Laos – are still disfiguring and killing people to this day. 

Underneath this thin and peeling layer of US propaganda lies the truth of waning American primacy around the globe and the fundamental lack of interest by Washington and Wall Street to adjust US foreign policy toward a cooperative and constructive role among the nations of the world rather than unobtainable aspirations to dominate over all other nations. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

From the Earth to the Moon: Biden’s China Policy Doomed from the Start

March 17, 2021

US President Biden and Vice President Harris Meet Virtually with their Counterparts in the ‘Quad’. (Photo: Video Grab)

By Ramzy Baroud

A much anticipated American foreign policy move under the Biden Administration on how to counter China’s unhindered economic growth and political ambitions came in the form of a virtual summit on March 12, linking, aside from the United States, India, Australia and Japan.

Although the so-called ‘Quad’ revealed nothing new in their joint statement, the leaders of these four countries spoke about the ‘historic’ meeting, described by ‘The Diplomat’ website as “a significant milestone in the evolution of the grouping”.

Actually, the joint statement has little substance and certainly nothing new by way of a blueprint on how to reverse – or even slow down – Beijing’s geopolitical successes, growing military confidence and increasing presence in or around strategic global waterways.

For years, the ‘Quad’ has been busy formulating a unified China strategy but it has failed to devise anything of practical significance. ‘Historic’ meetings aside, China is the world’s only major economy that is predicted to yield significant economic growth this year – and imminently. International Monetary Fund’s projections show that the Chinese economy is expected to expand by 8.1 percent in 2021 while, on the other hand, according to data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US’ GDP has declined by around 3.5 percent in 2020.

The ‘Quad’ – which stands for Quadrilateral Security Dialogue – began in 2007, and was revived in 2017, with the obvious aim of repulsing China’s advancement in all fields. Like most American alliances, the ‘Quad’ is the political manifestation of a military alliance, namely the Malabar Naval Exercises. The latter started in 1992 and soon expanded to include all four countries.

Since Washington’s ‘pivot to Asia’, i.e., the reversal of established US foreign policy that was predicated on placing greater focus on the Middle East, there is little evidence that Washington’s confrontational policies have weakened Beijing’s presence, trade or diplomacy throughout the continent. Aside from close encounters between the American and Chinese navies in the South China Sea, there is very little else to report.

While much media coverage has focused on the US’ pivot to Asia, little has been said about China’s pivot to the Middle East, which has been far more successful as an economic and political endeavor than the American geostrategic shift.

The US’ seismic change in its foreign policy priorities stemmed from its failure to translate the Iraq war and invasion of 2003 into a decipherable geo-economic success as a result of seizing control of Iraq’s oil largesse – the world’s second-largest proven oil reserves. The US strategy proved to be a complete blunder.

In an article published in the Financial Times in September 2020, Jamil Anderlini raises a fascinating point. “If oil and influence were the prizes, then it seems China, not America, has ultimately won the Iraq war and its aftermath – without ever firing a shot,” he wrote.

Not only is China now Iraq’s biggest trading partner, Beijing’s massive economic and political influence in the Middle East is a triumph. China is now, according to the Financial Times, the Middle East’s biggest foreign investor and a strategic partnership with all Gulf States – save Bahrain. Compare this with Washington’s confused foreign policy agenda in the region, its unprecedented indecisiveness, absence of a definable political doctrine and the systematic breakdown of its regional alliances.

This paradigm becomes clearer and more convincing when understood on a global scale. By the end of 2019, China became the world’s leader in terms of diplomacy, as it then boasted 276 diplomatic posts, many of which are consulates. Unlike embassies, consulates play a more significant role in terms of trade and economic exchanges. According to 2019 figures which were published in ‘Foreign Affairs’ magazine, China has 96 consulates compared with the US’ 88. Till 2012, Beijing lagged significantly behind Washington’s diplomatic representation, precisely by 23 posts.

Wherever China is diplomatically present, economic development follows. Unlike the US’ disjointed global strategy, China’s global ambitions are articulated through a massive network, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, estimated at trillions of dollars. When completed, BRI is set to unify more than sixty countries around Chinese-led economic strategies and trade routes. For this to materialize, China quickly moved to establish closer physical proximity to the world’s most strategic waterways, heavily investing in some and, as in the case of Bab al-Mandab Strait, establishing its first-ever overseas military base in Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa.

At a time when the US economy is shrinking and its European allies are politically fractured, it is difficult to imagine that any American plan to counter China’s influence, whether in the Middle East, Asia or anywhere else, will have much success.

The biggest hindrance to Washington’s China strategy is that there can never be an outcome in which the US achieves a clear and precise victory. Economically, China is now driving global growth, thus balancing out the US-international crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Hurting China economically would weaken the US as well as the global markets.

The same is true politically and strategically. In the case of the Middle East, the pivot to Asia has backfired on multiple fronts. On the one hand, it registered no palpable success in Asia while, on the other, it created a massive vacuum for China to refocus its own strategy in the Middle East.

Some wrongly argue that China’s entire political strategy is predicated on its desire to merely ‘do business’. While economic dominance is historically the main drive of all superpowers, Beijing’s quest for global supremacy is hardly confined to finance. On many fronts, China has either already taken the lead or is approaching there. For example, on March 9, China and Russia signed an agreement to construct the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS). Considering Russia’s long legacy in space exploration and China’s recent achievements in the field – including the first-ever spacecraft landing on the South Pole-Aitken Basin area of the moon – both countries are set to take the lead in the resurrected space race.

Certainly, the US-led ‘Quad’ meeting was neither historic nor a game-changer, as all indicators attest that China’s global leadership will continue unhindered, a consequential event that is already reordering the world’s geopolitical paradigms which have been in place for over a century.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

The Pope Visited Iraqi Christians, Victims of U.S. Foreign Policy “ذا ناشونال انترست”: البابا زار المسيحيين العراقيين ضحايا السياسة الأميركية

Reckless decisions to invade and nation build in other countries leads to more harm than good.

https://www.reutersconnect.com/all?id=tag%3Areuters.com%2C2021%3Anewsml_RC286M9R4560&share=true

March 8, 2021

 by Bonnie Kristian

Pope Francis just wrapped up a trip to Iraq this week for the first-ever papal visit to the country, a trip the Vatican has described as “an act of love for this land, for its people and for its Christians.” While there, Francis celebrated Mass in several cities and visited biblical locations like Nineveh and Ur. He also toured the remnants of Christian communities in one of the most ancient homes of the Christian faith.

This papal visit was meant to encourage Iraq’s few remaining Christians. It should also occasion solemn reflection in the United States, a country in which two in three people profess Christianity—and also the country whose misguided foreign policy contributed to the near eradication of Christianity in Iraq.

When the United States invaded Iraq eighteen years ago in March 2003, Christians accounted for 6 percent of the country’s population, numbering around 1.5 million. Christians in Iraq’s single largest sect, the Chaldean Church, still speak a variant of Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke. Saddam Hussein’s regime was hardly friendly to Christianity—Hussein was known to persecute religious minorities, Christians included, and he canceled a previous papal trip—but Christianity was generally tolerated, and Iraqi Christians worshipped in a continuous, 2,000-year-old tradition.

After the United States invaded and toppled Hussein, violence against Iraqi Christians increased as terrorism surged into the country. Prominent clergy members were murdered. Churches were bombed. Christian worship became a life-endangering choice. “[The men of my congregation] are mainly killed. Some are kidnapped. Some are killed. In the last six months things have gotten particularly bad for the Christians. Here in this church, all of my leadership were originally taken and killed,” said Rev. Canon Andrew White, an Anglican vicar in Baghdad, in 2007. “All dead. But we never got their bodies back. This is one of the problems. I regularly do funerals here but it’s not easy to get the bodies.”

White told CBS the plight of Iraqi Christians was “clearly worse” after the U.S.-forced regime than before it. “There’s no comparison between Iraq now and then,” he said. “Things are the most difficult they have ever been for Christians. Probably ever in history. [Iraqi Christians have] never known it like now.”

Conditions have only worsened in the fourteen years since. Some Christians left Iraq to avoid martyrdom or forced conversion. Some were robbed or exiled. The Islamic State, which grew in the power vacuum left by Hussein’s ouster, targeted Iraqi Christians for genocide. ISIS fighters burned churches, ancient texts, statues, and relics. They razed a sixth-century monastery.

“Our tormentors confiscated our present while seeking to wipe out our history and destroy our future,” said Rt. Rev. Bashar Warda, archbishop of Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, in 2019. “Tens of thousands of Christians have nothing to show for their life’s work, for generations of work, in places where their families have lived, maybe, for thousands of years.”

Today, only about 250,000 Christians remain in Iraq. The rest have died or fled the violence and chaos disproportionately unleashed against them.

That ongoing violence and chaos didn’t emerge from thin air. It should go without saying that the Hussein regime was a cruel and tyrannical government which did not deserve power. It should equally go without saying that the Islamic State and other groups persecuting Iraqi Christians bear responsibility for those abuses.

But Al Qaeda, the Islamic State’s precursor, didn’t organize in Iraq until after the U.S. invasion (contrary to the claims of the Bush administration when ginning up American enthusiasm for war). Its emergence and the later development of ISIS were directly connected to U.S.-orchestrated regime change. Iraq is in its present state—and the Iraqi church is in its present state—in no small part because Washington embarked on a needless invasion and occupation which most Americans now recognize was a mistake that didn’t make the United States safer. America recklessly plunged into an indefensible war, and Iraqi Christians have suffered enormously as a result.

The United States can’t undo that suffering now. The Iraqi church may never be restored. Many of these congregations may be permanently dispersed. Some breaks cannot be repaired.

As a Christian, I pray for our Iraqi siblings in Christ and mourn how my country contributed to the destruction of their communities. As an American, I hope my government will never repeat its mistakes in Iraq. Washington must learn from the havoc it has wreaked in the post-9/11 era and adopt a more peaceful and humble approach to foreign policy, no longer imagining we have the ability or prerogative to remake other countries by force. Our handiwork is shoddy. Our record is bloody. The Iraqis Pope Francis visited know it all too well.

Bonnie Kristian is a fellow at Defense Priorities, contributing editor at The Week, and columnist at Christianity Today. Her writing has also appeared at CNN, NBC, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and Defense One, among other outlets. 

ذا ناشونال انترست”: البابا زار المسيحيين العراقيين ضحايا السياسة الأميركية

الكاتب: بوني كريستيان

المصدر: ذا ناشونال انترست

12 آذار 15:06

إن القرارات المتهورة للغزو وبناء الدولة في البلدان الأخرى تؤدي إلى ضرر أكثر مما تنفع.

البابا يتحدث إلى الحشود في ساحة الكنائس في الموصل.

كتبت بوني كريستيان مقالة في مجلة “ذا ناشونال انترست” الأميركية تناولت فيها زيارة البابا فرنسيس إلى العراق، قالت فيها إن البابا فرنسيس قد أنهى رحلة إلى العراق هذا الأسبوع في أول زيارة بابوية على الإطلاق إلى البلاد، وهي رحلة وصفها الفاتيكان بأنها “فعل حب لهذه الأرض وشعبها ومسيحييها”. أثناء وجوده هناك، أقام فرنسيس القداس في مدن عدة وزار مواقع توراتية مثل نينوى وأور. كما قام بجولة في بقايا الطوائف المسيحية في أحد أقدم بيوت الإيمان المسيحي.

وأضافت: كانت هذه الزيارة البابوية تهدف إلى تشجيع المسيحيين القلائل المتبقين في العراق. كما ينبغي أن يكون مناسبة للتفكير الجاد في الولايات المتحدة، البلد الذي يدين فيه اثنان من كل ثلاثة أشخاص بالمسيحية – وكذلك البلد الذي ساهمت سياسته الخارجية المضللة في القضاء على المسيحية في العراق تقريباً.

عندما غزت الولايات المتحدة العراق قبل ثمانية عشر عاماَ في آذار / مارس 2003، كان المسيحيون يمثلون 6 في المئة من سكان البلاد، وبلغ عددهم حوالى 1.5 مليون نسمة. لا يزال المسيحيون في أكبر طائفة في العراق، الكنيسة الكلدانية، يتكلمون لغة مختلفة من الآرامية، وهي اللغة التي تحدث بها يسوع. لم يكن نظام صدام حسين صديقاً للمسيحية – كان من المعروف أن صدام حسين يضطهد الأقليات الدينية، بمن في ذلك المسيحيون، وألغى رحلة بابوية سابقة – ولكن تم التسامح مع المسيحية بشكل عام، وكان المسيحيون العراقيون يعبدون في تقليد مستمر عمره 2000 عام.

بعد غزو الولايات المتحدة البلاد وإطاحة صدام حسين، ازداد العنف ضد المسيحيين العراقيين مع انتشار الإرهاب في البلاد. قُتل رجال دين بارزون. قُصفت الكنائس. أصبحت العبادة المسيحية خياراً يهدد الحياة. 

وقال القس أندرو وايت، القس الأنغليكاني في بغداد في شهادة له عام 2007 إن “الرجال في رعيتي يُقتلون بشكل رئيسي. البعض مخطوف. قتل البعض. في الأشهر الستة الماضية ساءت الأمور بشكل خاص بالنسبة للمسيحيين. هنا في هذه الكنيسة، تم أخذ جميع قياداتي وقتلهم. لكننا لم نستعد أجسادهم أبداً. هذه واحدة من المشاكل. أقوم بجنازات هنا بانتظام ولكن ليس من السهل الحصول على الجثث”.

وقال وايت في شهادته لشبكة “سي بي إس إن” أنذاك إن محنة المسيحيين العراقيين كانت “أسوأ بشكل واضح” بعد النظام الذي فرضته الولايات المتحدة أكثر من ذي قبل. وقال “لا توجد مقارنة بين العراق بين الآن وأي وقت سابق. الأمور هي أصعب ما واجهه المسيحيون على الإطلاق. ربما من أي وقت مضى في التاريخ. [المسيحيون العراقيون] لم يعرفوا ذلك من قبل”.

لقد ساءت الظروف فقط في الأربعة عشر عاماً منذ 2007. ترك بعض المسيحيين العراق لتجنب الاستشهاد أو التحول القسري. تعرض البعض للسرقة أو النفي. استهدف تنظيم “داعش”، الذي نما في ظل فراغ السلطة الذي خلفه الإطاحة بصدام حسين، المسيحيين العراقيين بهدف الإبادة الجماعية. أحرق مقاتلو “داعش” الكنائس والنصوص القديمة والتماثيل والآثار. دمروا ديراً يعود إلى القرن السادس.

وقال لقس بشار وردة، رئيس أساقفة أربيل في كردستان العراق، في عام 2019: “لقد صادر جلادونا حاضرنا بينما كانوا يسعون إلى محو تاريخنا وتدمير مستقبلنا. إن عشرات الآلاف من المسيحيين ليس لديهم ما يظهرونه في أعمالهم الحياتية، على مدى أجيال من العمل، في الأماكن التي عاشت فيها عائلاتهم، ربما، لآلاف السنين”.

وقالت الكاتبة: اليوم، لا يزال هناك حوالى 250000 مسيحي فقط في العراق. مات الباقون أو فروا من أعمال العنف والفوضى التي اندلعت ضدهم بشكل غير متناسب.

وأضافت أن العنف والفوضى المستمرة لم يأتيا من فراغ. وغني عن البيان أن نظام صدام حسين كان حكومة قاسية ومستبدة لا تستحق السلطة. كما أن “داعش” والجماعات الأخرى التي تضطهد مسيحيي العراق تتحمل المسؤولية عن تلك الانتهاكات.

لكن تنظيم “القاعدة”، سلف “داعش”، لم يتم تنظيمه في العراق إلا بعد الغزو الأميركي (على عكس مزاعم إدارة الرئيس جورج بوش الإبن عندما استقطبت الحماس الأميركي للحرب). كان ظهور “القاعدة” وتطوره اللاحق إلى “داعش” مرتبطين بشكل مباشر بتغيير النظام الذي دبّرته الولايات المتحدة. 

ورأت الكاتبة أن العراق في حالته الحالية – والكنيسة العراقية في حالتها الحالية – في جزء لا يستهان به سببه أن واشنطن شرعت في غزو واحتلال لا داعٍ لهما يدرك معظم الأميركيين الآن أنهما خطأ لم يجعلا الولايات المتحدة أكثر أماناً. غرقت أميركا بتهور في حرب لا يمكن الدفاع عنها، وعانى المسيحيون العراقيون نتيجة لذلك.

وقالت: لا تستطيع الولايات المتحدة التراجع عن تلك المعاناة الآن. الكنيسة العراقية قد لا يتم ترميمها أبداً. قد يكون العديد من هذه التجمعات مشتتة بشكل دائم. لا يمكن إصلاح بعض الكسور.

وختمت الكاتبة بالقول: كمسيحية، أصلي من أجل إخوتنا العراقيين في المسيح ونحزن على مساهمة بلدي في تدمير مجتمعاتهم. كأميركية، أتمنى ألا تكرر حكومتي أخطائها في العراق. يجب أن تتعلم واشنطن من الفوضى التي أحدثتها في حقبة ما بعد 11 أيلول / سبتمبر 2001 وأن تتبنى نهجاً  أكثر سلمية وتواضعاً للسياسة الخارجية، ولم نعد نتخيل أن لدينا القدرة أو الامتياز لإعادة تشكيل دول أخرى بالقوة. خطتنا كانت رديئة. سجلنا كان دموياً. إن العراقيين الذين زارهم البابا فرنسيس يعرفون ذلك جيداً.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

Blinken Talks the Talk, but Will He Walk the Walk?

During his 24 years as a senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and United Press International, Martin Sieff reported from more than 70 nations and covered 12 wars. He has specialized in US and global economic issues.

Martin Sieff

March 8, 2021

Biden has so far made no move whatsoever to rein in the continued bold and potentially very dangerous US military exercises with allies right up to the very borders of Russia.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s March 3 speech at the US State Department should be warmly welcomed around the world, especially in Caracas and Tehran: It does indeed mark a highly significant shift in US foreign policy and deserves to be taken at face value: But it does not address fundamental policy conflicts with Russia and China that Biden inherited from his predecessors – and not just Donald Trump. And it is these far bigger, unaddressed issues that may very well yet propel the world into a nightmarish thermonuclear war.

Blinken in his speech made an acknowledgement that his predecessors Mike Pompeo, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton would never have been capable of – and that John Kerry was never allowed to admit.

Blinken openly admitted that there had been US efforts to topple governments by force that Washington was critical of. He further openly acknowledged that some of those efforts had failed and that they had badly discredited the cause of democracy and the United States itself around the world.

“We will incentivize democratic behavior, but we will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We tried these tactics in the past. …they haven’t worked. They have given democracy promotion a bad name and they have lost the confidence of the American people. We will do things differently,” Blinken said.

There is every reason to believe that Blinken was sincere in his commitment to forswear efforts at regime change in both Iran and Venezuela.

First, the very day before his important speech, Blinken held a telephone conversation with Venezuelan opposition politician Juan Guaido, whom Trump, Pompeo and then National Security Adviser John Bolton farcically tried to promote as the legitimate president of Venezuela. US allies around the world, especially in Europe and Latin America have been humiliatingly led by the nose to publicly support this absurd contention, akin to incredibility to claiming that Venezuela’s great Angel Falls flow up not down, or that the World is Flat.

No details of what Blinken discussed with Guaido have yet emerged at this time of writing but it is very clear what the secretary of state’s message was: Like so many previous corrupt and vanity-filled dupes eager to grab the coattails of America’s imagined New Rome global imperium, Guaido was told he was going to be thrown under the bus.

This move is clearly demanded by US pragmatic interests. If there is one lesson that Wall Street and its US government servants have followed for the past 150 years since the rise of John D. Rockefeller and J. P Morgan: It is to back Winners and throw Hopeless Losers to the wolves.

Guaido certainly counts as a Hopeless Loser: He has gained no discernible political, popular or military support within Venezuela, despite the continuing suffering caused by the ongoing US economic war launched against Caracas by President Joe Biden’s old boss and close friend Barack Obama in 2014 and then enthusiastically intensified by Trump and Pompeo.

Does that mean the economic war against Venezuela will end? Certainly not. Blinken himself, like his master, President Biden supported it 100 percent during the Obama administration. And the new administration, already the source of Republican wrath for its domestic economic and social policies, will not casually open up a new front where it can be attacked as wimps.

Like brutalized children, liberal Democrats have been terrified of such accusations ever since Senator Joe McCarthy accused them of “losing China ” (China was never theirs to lose) and being soft on communism back in 1950.

Also, ending the economic war on Venezuela would require decisive and original action and Blinken, like Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, has owed his long, slow, steady rise precisely to following the golden rule of liberal Democrats since the days of party presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s: Never take a strong, sustained position on anything , good or bad. Even when you see a policy is leading you off the edge of a cliff, just slow it down a bit and still tumble over the cliff to your political doom. Never dare to actually stop, or reverse any disastrous course of action.

These simple principles determined the endless foreign policy fiascos of Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama and even to some degree Bill Clinton.

Clinton was led by the nose, though reluctantly, to bomb Serbia and risk needless confrontation with Russia by his secretary of state Madeleine Albright and her lifelong mentor, Russia-phobic former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Blinken’s foreswearing of any effort at direct regime change therefore appears to be part of a policy that while initially appearing moderate will never lead to anything truly constructive.

Blinken, like Biden and Sullivan, wants to restore US participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran for no better reason than that they all supported it and helped negotiate it in the first place for Obama.

However, the new administration has already made clear it does not dare risk driving Saudi Arabia into China or Russia’s arms. Blinken’s speech may indeed lead to the return of US participation in the JCPOA, something America ‘s European allies and the Iranians would both welcome. But it looks unlikely so far to lead to anything else.

Also, so far, Biden has so far made no move whatsoever to rein in the continued bold and potentially very dangerous US military exercises with allies right up to the very borders of Russia. Yet if these moves had been carried out by the Russian Air Force and Navy off the shores or close to the territories of the United States, they would provoke complete outrage.

Similarly, the US armed forces are plunging ahead, secure in both administration and bipartisan congressional support, to step up military deployments in the Western Pacific openly proclaimed as containing China within the two Island Chains of the great ocean.

Blinken’s speech should indeed be welcomed as a positive first step towards reducing global tensions: But it is far too early to celebrate whether he will continue to walk the walk even while he talks the talk.

Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World

February 12, 2021

Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Persons Around the World

The White House Briefing Room

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

This memorandum reaffirms and supplements the principles established in the Presidential Memorandum of December 6, 2011 (International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons).  That memorandum, for the first time, directed executive departments and agencies (agencies) engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons everywhere.  This memorandum builds upon that historic legacy and updates the 2011 memorandum.

All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love.  Around the globe, including here at home, brave lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) activists are fighting for equal protection under the law, freedom from violence, and recognition of their fundamental human rights.  The United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle — speaking out and standing strong for our most dearly held values.  It shall be the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics, and to lead by the power of our example in the cause of advancing the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.

Through this memorandum, I am directing all agencies engaged abroad to ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons.  Specifically, I direct the following actions, consistent with applicable law:

Section 1.  Combating Criminalization of LGBTQI+ Status or Conduct Abroad.  Agencies engaged abroad are directed to strengthen existing efforts to combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBTQI+ status or conduct and expand efforts to combat discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBTQI+ status or conduct.  The Department of State shall, on an annual basis and as part of the annual report submitted to the Congress pursuant to sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151n(d) and 2304(b)), report on human rights abuses experienced by LGBTQI+ persons globally.  This reporting shall include anti-LGBTQI+ laws as well as violence and discrimination committed by both state and nonstate actors against LGBTQI+ persons.

Sec. 2.  Protecting Vulnerable LGBTQI+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers.  LGBTQI+ persons who seek refuge from violence and persecution face daunting challenges.  In order to improve protection for LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers at all stages of displacement, the Departments of State and Homeland Security shall enhance their ongoing efforts to ensure that LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers have equal access to protection and assistance, particularly in countries of first asylum.  In addition, the Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security shall ensure appropriate training is in place so that relevant Federal Government personnel and key partners can effectively identify and respond to the particular needs of LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers, including by providing to them adequate assistance and ensuring that the Federal Government takes all appropriate steps, such as potential increased use of Embassy Priority-1 referrals, to identify and expedite resettlement of highly vulnerable persons with urgent protection needs.

Sec. 3.  Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and Advance Nondiscrimination.  Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs shall expand their ongoing efforts to ensure regular Federal Government engagement with governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector to promote respect for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and combat discrimination.  Agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs should consider the impact of programs funded by the Federal Government on human rights, including the rights of LGBTQI+ persons, when making funding decisions, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.

Sec. 4.  Swift and Meaningful United States Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBTQI+ Persons Abroad.  The Department of State shall lead a standing group, with appropriate interagency representation, to help ensure the Federal Government’s swift and meaningful response to serious incidents that threaten the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons abroad.  When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.

Sec. 5.  Building Coalitions of Like-Minded Nations and Engaging International Organizations in the Fight Against LGBTQI+ Discrimination.  Bilateral relationships with allies and partners, as well as multilateral fora and international organizations, are key vehicles to promote respect for and protection of the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and to bring global attention to these goals.  Agencies engaged abroad should strengthen the work they have done and initiate additional efforts with other nations, bilaterally and within multilateral fora and international organizations, to:  counter discrimination on the basis of LGBTQI+ status or conduct; broaden the number of countries willing to support and defend the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons; strengthen the role, including in multilateral fora, of civil society advocates on behalf of the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons; and strengthen the policies and programming of multilateral institutions, including with respect to protecting vulnerable LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers.

Sec. 6.  Rescinding Inconsistent Policies and Reporting on Progress.  Within 100 days of the date of this memorandum or as soon as possible thereafter, all agencies engaged abroad shall review and, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, take steps to rescind any directives, orders, regulations, policies, or guidance inconsistent with this memorandum, including those issued from January 20, 2017, to January 20, 2021, to the extent that they are inconsistent with this memorandum.  The heads of such agencies shall also, within 100 days of the date of this memorandum, report to the President on their progress in implementing this memorandum and recommend additional opportunities and actions to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world.  Agencies engaged abroad shall each prepare a report within 180 days of the date of this memorandum, and annually thereafter, on their progress toward advancing these initiatives.  All such agencies shall submit these reports to the Department of State, which will compile a report on the Federal Government’s progress in advancing these initiatives for transmittal to the President.  The Department of State shall make a version of the compiled annual report available to the Congress and the public.

Sec. 7.  Definitions.  (a)  For the purposes of this memorandum, agencies engaged abroad include the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and such other agencies as the President may designate.

(b)  For the purposes of this memorandum, agencies involved with foreign aid, assistance, and development programs include the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, USAID, DFC, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and such other agencies as the President may designate.

Sec. 8.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(d)  The Secretary of State is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

                    JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

ملامح السياسة الخارجيّة لإدارة بايدن

ناصر قنديل

إذا كان جو بايدن قد رفض الموافقة على حرب الخليج الأولى في زمن انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتيّ وذروة الشعور الأميركي بالقوة في عهد الرئيس جورج بوش الأب، ورفض الموافقة على حرب الخليج الثانية في ذروة الاندفاعة الأميركية في الشرق الأوسط مع حروب جورج بوش الإبن، بمثل ما عارض التدخل في ليبيا في ذروة المناخ الذي وضع التدخل في دائرة الدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان الذي أثاره الربيع العربي والتغطية التي وفرتها الجامعة العربية، فمن الطبيعي عدم توقع أن يتبنى بايدن لغة الحرب، في ظروف التراجع والضعف والانقسام والعزلة التي تحكم الحركة الأميركية، إلا بتوافر شروط مشابهة لحرب البلقان التي انتهت بزوال يوغوسلافيا الموحّدة عن الخريطة الأوروبية، والتي كانت الحرب الوحيدة التي أيّدها بايدن. وهذا الفارق بين بايدن وسواه لا يجوز أن تتم مقاربته من خلال اعتبار رؤساء الحرب أسوأ، ورؤساء المنهج الدبلوماسي أقل سوءاً، بل من خلال تفاوت المدارس الأميركية في مقاربة كيفية الفوز بمشروع الهيمنة، وهنا يستطيع بايدن الادعاء انه الأكثر من زملائه في الرئاسة، جمهوريين وديمقراطيين، خبرة في السياسة الخارجية وحدود القوة المنفردة في صناعتها، وفعالية الدبلوماسية في تحقيق الأفضل منها بأقل الخسائر والأكلاف، خصوصاً أن الفشل كان رفيقاً ملازماً لمنهج الحروب.

في ظل وضع داخلي شديد القسوة وتورط بأزمات دولية كبرى، تحتاج ادارة بايدن لترسيم أولويات السياسة الخارجية التي تتيح لها، منح الوضع الداخلي الاهتمام الرئيسي، والأولويات تقع ضمن ترسيخ المفهوم الذي يشكل أصل عقيدة بايدن في رسم السياسة الخارجية، ومضمونها أن السباق والتنافس والتحدّي، عناوين يمكن توفير فرص أفضل لخوضها من ضمن الانخراط في التفاهمات من توهّم خوضها عبر القطيعة والعدائية. وهذا مضمون وجوهر ما كتبه في مقالته التي نشرها في شهر آذار 2020 في مجلة الفورين أفيرز، وعنوان هذا المنهج الذي يتبنّاه بايدن هو اتهام دعاة التفرّد الأميركي بلغة القوة والعقوبات والعدائيّة، بجهل أهمية الدبلوماسية في تشكيل موازين القوى، ويسمّي انصار بايدن هذه العقيدة بإعادة الخصوم الى العلبة، اي علبة الاتفاقيات والتفاهمات، التي تعيد حشد الحلفاء في جبهة واحدة، خصوصاً ضمان وحدة الموقف الاميركي والأوروبي وتوفير فرص إحراج روسيا والصين لضمان إجماع دولي عبر الأمم المتحدة، والتحكم بمراقبة الخصوم وإرهاقهم بطلبات التقيد بالضوابط، وملاحقتهم في كل محاولة للخروج من العلبة. فالسباق والتنافس والتحدي، يتجسد سباق تسلح مع روسيا وتنافساً اقتصادياً مع الصين وتحدياً نووياً مع إيران. والحصيلة ان إيران اقرب لربح التحدي النووي إذا خرجت من العلبة وهي الاتفاق النووي. وروسيا أقرب لبلوغ تحديات عسكرية نوعية إذا خرجت من العلبة وهي اتفاقية ستارت، والصين أقرب لرسم سقوف تنافس قياسية اذا بقيت خارج العلبة وهي التطبيق الصارم لاتفاقية المناخ التي ترفع أكلاف الإنتاج وتقيد نسب النمو، وتفرض ضوابط على استهلاك الطاقة.

حدّد دانيال ر. ديبتريس الكاتب في “أولويات الدفاع” وكاتب العمود في “نيوزويك” 4 قضايا وصفها بأنها ذات أولوية في السياسة الخارجية الأميركية، ويجب على إدارة الرئيس جو بايدن إنجازها خلال 100 يوم الأولى من ولايته. وفصّل ديبتريس في مقال له في موقع «ناشونال إنترست» الأميركي في هذه القضايا قائلاً إنها تتضمن أولوية العودة لاتفاقية وقف سباق التسلح مع روسيا واتفاقية باريس للمناخ، والتهدئة مع إيران، والخروج من اليمن، وجدولة الانسحاب من افغانستان.

سيشكل ملف اليمن نقطة الانطلاق التي تمهد لرسم السياسة الأميركية في المنطقة، حيث بات محسوماً عزم بايدن على إلغاء تصنيف انصار الله على لائحة الإرهاب، رغم الاعتراض السعودي، وليس خافياً اللوم الأميركي على السعودية في استمرار الحرب في كل تصريحات فريق بايدن وفي طليعتهم وزير خارجيته طوني بلينكن ومستشاره للأمن القومي جايك سوليفان ومدير المخابرات وليم بيرينز، ودعوة السعودية للخروج العاجل من هذه الحرب، وبمثل ما سيشكل هذا التحرك الأميركي على جبهة اليمن رأس جسر لإعادة الثقة مع إيران، يمثل التمسك الذي يبديه بايدن وفريقه بموقع متميز للأكراد سبباً لتجاذب سيحكم المشهد الإقليمي في سورية والعراق ومع تركيا وإيران.

يخوض روبرت مالي المرشح الأبرز لتولي الملف الإيراني في فريق بايدن والصديق المقرب لتوني بلينكن في تفاصيل العودة للاتفاق النووي، مستعرضاً قضية مَن يعود أولاً، وقضية رفع العقوبات وطلب إيران للتعويضات، ووهم الحديث عن عزلة دولية تعيشها ايران، ليصل الى حتمية انطلاق ديناميكيّة دبلوماسية تنتهي بالعودة للاتفاق النووي والغاء العقوبات.

يعتقد بعض الخبراء الذين ينطلقون من عقيدة بايدن للانخراط الدبلوماسي بديلاً للتفرد والقوة والعقوبات، ان بايدن سيرسم ثوابت عامة لمقاربته لحل القضية الفلسطينية على قاعدة صيغة الدولتين من دون ان يتورط بمبادرات لإطلاق التفاوض، مكتفياً بتثبيت التحالف الاستراتيجي والدعم العسكري والمالي لـ”إسرائيل”، وتثبيت الانفتاح السياسي والمالي على السلطة الفلسطينية، بينما سيشكل السعي لتوسيع الدور المصريّ وإعادة إحياء الجامعة العربية بزعامة مصرية تستعيد سورية إليها، عنوان الرؤية الأميركية لخريطة المنطقة، لتشكل عامل توازن مع الدورين التركي والإيراني، والسعي لتخفيض منسوب التعاظم في محور المقاومة خصوصاً في سورية والعراق.

فيديوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

New U.S. Foreign Policy Problems (2) International files إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (2) الملفات الدولية

**Part 2 English Machine translation**Please scroll down for the Arabic version **

Part 1 Here

Click here to see the Video (deleted by You Tube)

Ziad hafiz.

Part 2:  International Files

 What external files will there be a conflict between the  interests of the interventionists and the interests of the forces that want to focus on the internal files?  The contours of foreign policy began to be clarified  after the Senate hearings of Blinken (State Department)  and Heinz (Director of National Intelligence DNI). The  bottom line is that there is little change in substance  about  Obama and Trump’s policies  except  in style and approach. We’ll show here some files, not all of them,  because of the limited space available.

At the international  level, relations with Russia and China are number one. The first signs issued by a number of figures of the President-elect’s transition team do not suggest any future solution in relations with  Russia. Let’s no forget that most of the employees in the new administration were in the Obama  administration,  which  was  anti-Russian.  The Ukrainian crisis was triggered by the Obama administration and then the Vice President, the president-elect today, which had major interventions in Ukrainian affairs,  not to mention the suspicions of corruption that accompanied it. On the other hand, let’s not forget that the entire Democratic Party, the deep state and the dominant corporate media have spent the past four years  demonising President Trump and accusing him of working for Russia. The latter is also accused of  interfering  in the 2016 election in favour of Donald Trump. Taking into account some statements by intelligence leaders supporting Biden that the Russians are lying because lying is an essential part of Russian  DNA, we see that the climate within the new administration is a tough one for Russia. This pessimism is reinforced by the fact that prospective officials  in the new administration n the second  row of foreign affairs, defence and  national security are neoconservatives such as Victoria Newland and liberal  interventionists such as Kathleen Hicks, Wendy Sherman and John Weiner as deputy national security  adviser.  All of them have close ties with the military security complex, research centres and  major    universities, as we explained in an earlier article.  What has attracted the attention of observers  is that  to  date there has been no contact between the transitional administration and the Russian leadership, although  this  is  a tradition that has spanned over the  past decades.

Multifaceted U.S. Retreat

But the fact of the matter is that U.S. competitiveness has declined in politics and the economy, and perhaps most importantly in military matters, as we have also explained in previous articles. Confronting Russia is  by  raising the human rights issue in Russia, by deploying a missile belt in neighbouring countries and by  overthrowing neighbouring regimes that are in agreement with Russia. By the way,  despite the Democratic  Party accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of working for Russia it was the U.S. president who imposed the most sanctions on Russia that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had initiated. The main strategic point of contention is the Russian gas file and its role in supplying it to the European Union, while the dispute over  Ukraine comes in the context of attempts at Atlantic expansion in Eastern Europe.  The security issue    being  waved is to cover up the main target.  There is no evidence that Russia is seeking to destabilization’s  European  security and stability, on the contrary it is seeking the best relations  and cooperation  with the EUROPEAN Union.

That’s what  Germany  understood,  but it  bowed to U.S. pressure, as former German Foreign Minister  Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in justifying his government’s acquiescence to U.S.  dictates when he made  it clear  that Germany was economically affected  by those sanctions, but that the policy had a strong errand  on the  economy. But over the past months, Germany has been able to reduce the arrogance of the United  States with regard to its economic interests with Russia and China. Germany has agreed to extend the Russian Laurel  Pipeline (“Tor  Stream 2” in its Baltic Economic Zone (every  day a kilometre of the pipeline is extended).    This was also the case with the Czech Republic to extend the “Yugal” land line, which is an extension  of “North stream  2” on the  German-Czech Saxon border. This reflects the extent of the U.S. retreat at the  European  ally and cuts the road to the pressures that the new administration could  put on it.

On The Other  Hand, on December 30, 2020, China and the European Union signed an agreement that would open the door to mutual investment, despite opposition from the United States and despite traditional human rights pretexts that were being raised against China to prevent any rapprochement with it. This is another  sign  that Western Europe has felt American weakness and is starting to think about the priority of its interests. The EU would not have taken the move without the approval of Germany and France.

Among the outstanding files between the United States and Russia are  Ukraine, particularly eastern Ukraine (Dombesk), the annexation of Crimea, the file of the Caucasus states in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and the proliferation of Atlantic weapons in the Baltic states and Poland. Recently, the United States tried to  create unrest in Belarus but failed to do so. Russia’s rapprochement with Russia is intensifying and we do not rule out the accession of Belarus to the Russian Federation, which is a resounding blow to the American administration.  Today, Belarus is mandated to confront Poland and the Baltic states on Russia’s  behalf.  In addition  to the Syrian file and the nuclear file with Iran and of course the treaties in the matter of medium-range ballistic missiles. In the context of the treaty file that the United States has emerged on the subject of  ballistic missiles, Russia is no longer committed to it.

The state of denial is in the  mind of  the ruling elites. 

“We  don’t know what the United  States  can  offer  in  all  these  files other than to back down  from its escalatory positions, which will perpetuate the decline of its influence,”he said. But  in the  current  mood  in the transitional administration, it is not ready  for  any  concession.  Since the denial of that retreat is in control of the ruling elites in the  next administration on the basis of “American exceptionalism” and”its manifest value” and in the absence of any theoretical or concrete evidence to acknowledge that retreat, what we can expect is the continued high and hostile tone in addressing Russia without translating into  confrontation on the ground.   The sanctions regime on Russia continues and began under Obama,  and the next  administration cannot lift it for free to market it in the domestic scene.   There is no creativity in thinking about the American side and the Russian side does not consider itself obliged to make concessions,  especially since there is no confidence in the commitments of the  United States. That’s why  we’re seeing  growing  indifference on the Russian side to what could come from the Biden administration as long as  the  horizon of open armed confrontation is blocked. Russia has been able to adapt to sanctions  and even turned it into a self-sufficiency opportunity freeing it from American blackmail.  Sanctions have only succeeded in increasing the isolation of the United States in the world, especially with its European allies. The elites in  Russia see as we see that the new administration will be focused on the internal files because of their seriousness  and complexity and  therefore do not consider that  they can interact permanently in  external files.

But that doesn’t mean that communicating with Russia is out of the way. If it is necessity or inventions, it is  also the mother of understandings. In  this context, the Russian President announced in a letter to the   president-elect that he hopes for friendly relations on the basis of club and mutual respect, a sign that a return  to the method of transcendence is no longer acceptable. On the other hand, the response of the secretary of  state, Anthony Blinken, was that at the height of the nuclear rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and under the existential nuclear threat of thousands of nuclear ballistic missiles  directed against each of  the two countries, areas of cooperation in many hot files were possible. Therefore,  “opportunities for cooperation”  can be looked forward to controlling the rhythm of  tensions so as not to lead  to  confrontations  from which no one will emerge  unscathed.  Does this mean that the climate for settlements will exist?  Not necessarily, the most realistic case is that there are no major settlements, no major confrontations and everything is possible under that  roof. In  summary, it can be said that the ceiling of the  possible “understanding” with Russia does not go beyond the limits of  linking  the conflict until new balances of power are established and this will not happen in the foreseeable future, i.e. in the  mandate of the new administration.

One might ask why not settle? The simple answer is that Russia sees no justification for settling matters with a party that has always proved that it does not respect treaties. The Russian also believes that the American is in a state of structural weakness that may not survive it and therefore make concessions to a country whose fate is unknown may not be justified. On the other hand, the U.S. side believes that if the balance of power is not in its favour at the current stage, it should only adjust it to its advantage and therefore there is no need to give up anything substantial that might constitute the  board of settlement. The ruling elites of the United  States believe that it is destined to lead the world and that  its exceptionalism will enable it to do so. There is no willingness to acknowledge that the United States has entered the stage of strategic decline, even a likely internal collapse, and therefore the narrative prevailing among those elites will be  that the United States has valued the world regardless of the difficulties it is encountering at this stage.

Why not  face… I don’t think

The other question is why not face? The answer here is that both sides are well aware that confrontation  ultimately means the end of the globe in limited minutes!  The next war will not  be as long as it did in the two world  wars, not even in  regional wars.  It will be related to the duration of ballistic missiles reaching their targets and here we are talking about minutes, not hours! But what is the alternative to confrontation  and compromise?

The alternative is limited tensions in space and time determined by changing objective and regional  circumstances.  But this imposes careful cooperation to prevent slippage, which could lead to an all-out  confrontation that no one wants. On the other hand, multiplayer on the one hand and the absence of  any  force  capable of adjusting  the rhythm alone makes it very difficult. Hence we understand the role and value of the axis where each component has no ability to control whatever its own abilities. But the axis gives  added value to those capabilities and therefore the axis will be the rhythm officer and not the pole. Here the role of  regional gatherings or hubs is highlighted.  We are in a multi-axis world, not a multipolar world.

If we want to sum up the international landscape between the competing pivots, we see that the U.S. axis in    strategic decline may reach a collapse, but it does the work of its tactical  and show-off nature that does not  change anything in the  balance of power on the ground. On the other hand, the  other Axis of Russia and the Chinese with it the axis of resistance in the event of a strategic rise interspersed with acts of a tactical  and defensive character fortify the balances of power that created it. The anti-American axis does not believe  that a tactical confrontation is necessary at this stage because of the strategic decline of the U.S. axis.  The  time factor works in favour of the anti-dominance axis. Therefore, we do not rule out a very fragile stabilisation  phase of tensions between brief periods of calm. In our view, the balances of  power that change in favour of the anti-Western axis also include cultural and intellectual structures. It also includes political  systems where Western neoliberalism has reached an impasse and that all decisions taken by the ruling  elites in the United States and in the West in general  are an escape  from the structural internal  entitlements  facing all  states. Until a political and economic system takes into account the radical  transformations  that  have taken place in societies, especially economic and social gaps, the general  landscape will be the internal  tension in the western countries, which influence their foreign policies. These remarks apply to all  contentious files between the United  States and its competitors.

 On the Chinese issue, there appear to be two conflicting currents within the democratic party leadership.   On the  one hand, there is the  legacy of former President Barack Obama, who was the author of the theory of east-shifting to counter the rising threat posed by China. This trend to the East uses a political narrative  of  protecting human rights that are violated by the Chinese government. The U. S. needs a “moral” justification for interfering in China’s domestic affairs, whether in the Tibet, Hong Kong or Uighur Muslim stooum.   ut after the January 6 spectacle of the ruling elites dealing with angry crowds and the condemnation of these  demonstrations by elites, some leaders have come to demand that public freedoms be undermined, and it is difficult to put forward such rhetoric condemning freedoms in countries that want to submit to American  will.

The actual goal of U.S. policy is to undermine China’s competitiveness,  especially in the field of technology and artificial intelligence, by imposing sanctions on it (here new arguments will be sought for it!) And curbed  its military rise to prevent the expansion of its influence in East and South Asia. In the context of the conflict we mentioned between the group of interventionists and the “realists” the issue of dealing with  Chinese  t-communication companies, Huawei, which has been the target of sanctions in the Trump administration. If  the Biden administration wants to ease the conflict with China, it will settle the Huawei file at least  in its legal dimension. But is this in line with the interests of U.S. companies affected by Chinese competition that    have mostly supported Biden’s presidential bid? Here we see the extent of the contradiction within the  administration. This is where  Obama’s policy meets Trump’s policy f  confronting china’s rising  influence    and hitting the OneWay/One Belt project. But the capabilities of the United States, no matter how limited the governing  team may be, are too limited and cannot change the equations imposed by the transformations.

On the other hand, there is the BidenGroup, which has made confusing and suspicious deals with Chinese companies.  A large number of  Democratic party leaders are involved in suspicious deals with Chinese  government institutions such as former California State Attorney Barbara Boxer, who became the agent of a   Chinese state-owned eavesdropping  company, the current senator’s husband, Diane Feinstein, who has close ties to Chinese companies, or Representative Eric Swal of California, who is accused of having sexual  relations with a Chinese intelligence officer.  The president will be among the hammer of the Obama team,  which  wants to surround China, curb its rise, and the sanders of the special interests of the Biden family  and a number of senior Democratic officials in their dealings with China. The Republicans will undoubtedly raise the scandals championed by Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and James Biden, the president’s brother. They are the subject of investigations by the Federal Bureau of  Investigation (FBI), which refused to disclose  before the election, and William Barr, the outgoing Justice Secretary in the Trump administration, could have undermined Biden’s chances of winning the last election, reinforcing  the theory that the deep state of all its components wanted to get rid of Donald Trump and succeeded in disrupting  his mandate and success  in the  election.

One of Obama’s attempts to blockade China is the Trans Pacific Partnership/TPP,  which aimed to create a large  economic space similar to the European Common Market  before it became the European Union,    without China’s participation.  This project is similar to a European project that excludes Russia! Here is the grave  geopolitical error because it runs counter to the constant geography and changing history, how can an Asian  grouping be conceived without China and how can Russia be excluded from Europe? But Trump’s first  decision when he entered the White House was to destroy the Trans-Pacific Partnership project. In the fall  of 2020, China was able to conclude an economic agreement with Southeast Asian countries that effectively  eliminates  any  possibility of economic blockade of China.  The title of this new economic gathering is the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) signed on November 12,  2020 at a summit  of  regional  heads of  state such as China, Japan, South Korea, India and other ASEAN countries. 

China’s  most important economic influence…

The Rand Corporation, a Pentagon think  tank, considers  China’s economic influence more important than  U.S. influence in the Pacific and Asia. Asean countries also prioritise economic considerations and interests at the expense of security considerations. China’s economic influence weakens U.S. military influence, according to the RAND Corporation study, especially since countries in that region do not believe that U.S. military  influence is equivalent to China’s economic influence. There is also a conviction in those countries, according to the study, that the USA commitment to the region is questionable. Based on those considerations in the study, the Biden administration’s policy will be very complicated, especially since  the enthusiasm of the countries in the region to align  with them will be weak.

On the other hand, in recent days, the Trump administration has poisoned the atmosphere  between the United States and China by lifting all restrictions on Taiwan. It is clear that the move will anger China and strain relations with the new U.S. administration. The question is how the Biden administration can reinstate the restrictions lifted by the Trump administration, which means that there is no continuity in the outside  decision and weakens confidence in any U.S. pledge. The decisions of any administration become subject to veto by the administration that follows, and this is the result of  falling signs.  We therefore believe  that the Biden administration’s attempts will not go beyond the point of linking the conflict to conflicts of  interest  between the interveners and the realists, while  weighing  in favour of the interventionists  and the weakness of the realists because of the suspicions of corruption surrounding the president-elect and his family. 

 Some of the”positive” steps of the new administration will be to return  to the climate  agreement and the World  Health Organisation and to demand a return to the ballistic agreement. There is little cost here, but  a material for media propaganda to improve the image of the United States. Blinken’s remarks that he should”consult” with allies are a step toward restoring consideration to “diplomacy” that  his predecessor Mike Pompeo did not believe in. But what is the value of diplomacy if it is not  accompanied by  actions that take into account the interests of the various  parties?  The United States has not  yet acknowledged  this,  and it is continuing  its efforts to achieve its goals of domination and domination, but with far  fewer  possibilities. 

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

Part 3 Here

إشكاليات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية الجديدة (2) الملفات الدولية

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زياد حافظ

الجزء الثاني: الملفّات الدولية

فما هي الملفات الخارجية التي ستشهد صراعاً بين مصالح المتدخلّين ومصالح القوى التي تريد التركيز على الملفّات الداخلية؟ ملامح السياسة الخارجية بدأت تتوضح بعد جلست الاستماع في مجلس الشيوخ لكلّ من بلينكن (وزارة الخارجية) وهاينز (مديرة الاستخبارات الوطنية DNI). الخلاصة الأساسية هي لا تغيير يُذكر في الجوهر عن سياسات أوباما وترامب الاّ في الأسلوب وطريقة التعاطي. سنعرض هنا بعض الملفّات وليست جميعها لضيق المساحة المتاحة.

فعلى الصعيد الدولي تأتي في المرتبة الأولى العلاقات مع كلّ من روسيا والصين. الإشارات الأولى التي صدرت عن عدد من رموز الفريق الانتقالي للرئيس المنتخب لا توحي بأيّ حلحلة مرتقبة في العلاقات مع روسيا. فلا ننسى أنّ معظم العاملين في الإدارة الجديدة كانوا في إدارة أوباما التي كانت معادية لروسيا. فالأزمة الأوكرانية فجّرتها إدارة أوباما ونائب الرئيس آنذاك، الرئيس المنتخب اليوم، والتي كانت له تدخّلات كبيرة في الشأن الأوكراني ناهيك عن شبهات الفساد التي رافقتها. من جهة أخرى لا ننسى أنّ مجمل الحزب الديمقراطي والدولة العميقة والإعلام الشركاتي المهيمن أمضى السنوات الأربع الماضية على شيطنة الرئيس ترامب واتهامه بالعمالة لروسيا. كما أنّ الأخيرة متهمة بالتدخل في انتخابات 2016 لصالح دونالد ترامب. وإذا أخذنا بعين الاعتبار بعض التصريحات لقيادات استخبارية داعمة لبايدن بأنّ الروس يكذبون لأنّ الكذب جزء أساسي من الحمض النووي الروسي نرى أنّ المناخ المرتقب داخل الإدارة الجديدة مناخ متشدّد تجاه روسيا. وما يعزّز ذلك التشاؤم هو أنّ المسؤولين المرتقبين في الإدارة الجديدة في الصف الثاني في الخارجية والدفاع والأمن القومي هم من المحافظين الجدد كفيكتوريا نيولند ومن المتدخّلين الليبراليين كـ كاثلين هيكس ووندي شرمان وجون فاينر كنائب مستشار الأمن القومي. وجميعهم لديهم ارتباطات وثيقة مع المجمع العسكري الأمني ومراكز الأبحاث ومن الجامعات الكبرى كما شرحناه في مقال سابق. وما لفت انتباه المراقبين أنه حتى الساعة لم يتمّ أيّ اتصال بين الإدارة الانتقالية والقيادة الروسية علماً أنّ هذا تقليد امتدّ طيلة العقود الماضية.

تراجع أميركي متعدّد الجوانب

لكن حقيقة الأمر هي أنّ القدرة التنافسية الأميركية تراجعت في السياسة والاقتصاد، وربما أهمّ من كلّ ذلك في الشأن العسكري كما شرحناه أيضاً في مقالات سابقة. فمواجهة روسيا تكون عبر إثارة ملف حقوق الانسان في روسيا وعبر نشر حزام صاروخي في الدول المجاورة وعبر إسقاط أنظمة مجاورة تتفاهم مع روسيا. بالمناسبة ورغم اتهام الحزب الديمقراطي الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بالعمالة لروسيا فإنّ الرئيس الأميركي هو الذي فرض أكثر العقوبات على روسيا والتي كان قد بدأها سلفه باراك أوباما. ونقطة الخلاف الرئيسية الاستراتيجية هي ملف الغاز الروسي ودوره في تزويده للاتحاد الأوروبي بينما الخلاف على أوكرانيا يأتي في سياق محاولات توسع الأطلسي في أوروبا الشرقية. قضية الأمن التي يتمّ التلويح بها هي للتغطية على الهدف الرئيسي. ليس هناك أيّ دليل بأنّ روسيا تسعى لزعزعة الأمن والاستقرار الأوروبي بل العكس تسعى إلى أفضل العلاقات والتعاون مع الاتحاد الأوروبي.

هذا ما فهمته ألمانيا لكنها رضخت للضغوط الأميركية كما صرّح وزير خارجية ألمانيا السابق فرانك والتر ستنماير في تبرير رضوخ حكومته للإملاءات الأميركية عندما قال بوضوح إنّ ألمانيا متضررة اقتصادياً من تلك العقوبات غير أنّ السياسة لها القوّامة على الاقتصاد. لكن خلال الأشهر الماضية استطاعت ألمانيا أن تحدّ من غطرسة الولايات المتحدة فيما يتعلّق بمصالحها الاقتصادية مع روسيا والصين. فقد وافقت ألمانيا على تمديد أنبوب الغار الروسي (“تور ستريم 2) في المنطقة الاقتصادية التابعة لها في بحر البلطيق (كلّ يوم يتمّ مدّ كيلومترا من الأنبوب). كذلك الأمر حصل مع الجمهورية التشيكية لتمديد الخط البرّي “يوغال” الذي هو امتداد لـ “نور ستريم 2) على الحدود السكسونية الألمانية التشيكية. هذا يعكس مدى التراجع الأميركي عند الحليف الأوروبي ويقطع الطريق على الضغوط التي يمكن أن تصدرها الإدارة الجديدة.

من جهة أخرى تمّ التوقيع في 30 كانون الأول 2020 بين الصين والاتحاد الأوروبي على اتفاق يفتح باب الاستثمارات المتبادلة وذلك رغم معارضة الولايات المتحدة ورغم الذرائع التقليدية حول حقوق الإنسان التي كانت تُرفع بوجه الصين لمنع أيّ تقارب معها. هذه إشارة أخرى أنّ أوروبا الغربية شعرت بالضعف الأميركي وبدأت تفكّر بأولوية مصالحها. ولم يكن الاتحاد الأوروبي ليقدم على تلك الخطوة لولا الموافقة لكلّ من ألمانيا وفرنسا.

من ضمن الملفّات العالقة بين الولايات المتحدة وروسيا ملف أوكرانيا وخاصة شرق أوكرانيا (الدومبسك) وضمّ شبه جزيرة القرم، وملف دول القوقاز في جورجيا وناغورنو كراباخ، وانتشار السلاح الأطلسي في دول البلطيق وبولندا. ومؤخراً حاولت الولايات المتحدة خلق القلاقل في بيلاروسيا إلاّ أنها فشلت في ذلك. فالتقارب الروسي البلاروسي يشتدّ ولا نستبعد انضمام بلاروسيا على الاتحاد الروسي ما يشكّل صفعة مدوية للإدارة الأميركية. وبلاروسيا اليوم موكّلة في مواجهة كلّ من بولندا ودول البلطيق نيابة عن روسيا. ويُضاف إليها ملف سورية والملفّ النووي مع إيران وطبعاً المعاهدات في الشأن الصواريخ الباليستية المتوسطة المدى. في سياق ملف المعاهدة التي خرجت عنها الولايات المتحدة في موضوع الصواريخ الباليستية لم تعد روسيا متمسّكة بها.

حالة الإنكار متحكّمة في عقل النخب الحاكمة

لا ندري ماذا يمكن أن تقدّم الولايات المتحدة في كلّ هذه الملفّات غير التراجع عن مواقفها التصعيدية الذي سيكرّس تراجع نفوذها. لكن ليس في المزاج الحالي في الإدارة الانتقالية جهوزية لأيّ بادرة لتقديم أيّ تنازل. وبما أنّ حالة الإنكار لذلك التراجع متحكّمة في عقل النخب الحاكمة في الإدارة المقبلة على قاعدة “الاستثنائية الأميركية” و”قدرها المتجلّي” وبغياب أيّ دليل نظري أو ملموس للإقرار بذلك التراجع، فما يمكن أن نتوقّعه هو استمرار النبرة العالية والمعادية في مخاطبة روسيا دون أن تترجم بمواجهة على الأرض. فنظام العقوبات على روسيا مستمرّ وهو بدأ في عهد أوباما ولا تستطيع الإدارة المقبلة رفعها دون مقابل ملموس لتسويقه في المشهد الداخلي. فليس هناك ابداع في التفكير في الجانب الأميركي والجانب الروسي لا يعتبر نفسه ملزما بتقديم تنازلات خاصة أن لا ثقة بتعهدّات الولايات المتحدة. لذلك نشهد تزايد عدم الاكتراث في الجانب الروسي لما يمكن أن يصدر عن إدارة بايدن طالما أنّ أفق المواجهة المفتوحة المسلّحة مسدود. فروسيا استطاعت التكيّف مع العقوبات بل حوّلتها إلى فرص اكتفاء ذاتي حرّرها من الابتزاز الأميركي. فالعقوبات نجحت فقط في زيادة عزلة الولايات المتحدة في العالم وخاصة عند حلفائها الأوروبيين. والنخب في روسيا ترى كما نرى نحن أنّ الإدارة الجديدة ستكون منصبّة على الملفّات الداخلية لخطورتها وتعقيداتها وبالتالي لا تعتبر أنّ باستطاعتها التفاعل الدائم في الملفّات الخارجية.

لكن هذا لا يعني أنّ التواصل مع روسيا خارج الاحتمالات. فإذا كانت الضرورة امّ الاختراعات فهي أيضاً أمّ التفاهمات. في هذا السياق أعلن الرئيس الروسي في رسالة للرئيس المنتخب أنه يأمل بعلاقات ودية على قاعدة الندّية والاحترام المتبادل، وهذه إشارة إلى أنّ العودة الى أسلوب التعالي لم يعد مقبولاً. من جهة أخرى كان ردّ وزير الخارجية المسمّى أنطوني بلينكن أنّ في ذروة التنافس النووي بين الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد السوفياتي وفي ظلّ الخطر النووي الوجودي المتمثّل بآلاف الصواريخ الباليستية النووية الموجهة ضدّ كلّ من البلدين كانت مجالات التعاون في العديد من الملفات الساخنة ممكنة. وبالتالي يمكن التطلّع إلى “فرص تعاون” لضبط إيقاع التوترات كي لا تؤدّي إلى مواجهات لن يخرج أحد سالماً منها. هل هذا يعني أنّ مناخ التسويات سيكون قائماً؟ ليس بالضرورة، فالحالة الأكثر واقعية هي أن لا تسويات كبرى ولا مواجهات كبرى وكلّ شيء ممكن تحت ذلك السقفين. في الخلاصة يمكن القول إنّ سقف “التفاهم” الممكن مع روسيا لا يتجاوز حدود ربط النزاع إلى ان تتبلور موازين قوّة جديدة وهذا لن يحصل في المدى المنظور أيّ في ولاية الإدارة الجديدة.

قد يسأل المرء لماذا لا تسوية؟ الإجابة البسيطة هي أنّ روسيا لا ترى أيّ مبرّر لتسوية الأمور مع طرف برهن دائماً أنه لا يحترم المعاهدات فما بال التسويات! كما يرى الروسي أنّ الأميركي في حالة ضعف بنيوي قد لا ينجو منها وبالتالي تقديم تنازلات لدولة مصيرها مجهول قد لا يكون مبرّرا. في المقابل، يرى الطرف الأميركي إذا كانت موازين القوّة ليست لصالحه في المرحلة الحالية فما عليه إلاّ أن يعدّلها لمصلحته وبالتالي لا داعي للتنازل عن أيّ شيء جوهري قد يشكّل متن التسوية. وتعتقد النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة أنّ قدرها هو أن تقود العالم وأن استثنائيتها ستمكّنها من ذلك. ليس هناك استعداد للإقرار بأنّ الولايات المتحدة دخلت مرحلة التراجع الاستراتيجي بل حتى الانهيار الداخلي المرجّح وبالتالي ستكون السردية السائدة عند تلك النخب بأنّ الولايات المتحدة قدر على العالم بغضّ النظر عن الصعوبات التي تلاقيها في المرحلة الحالية.

لماذا لا مواجهة…؟

والسؤال الآخر لماذا لا مواجهة؟ الإجابة هنا أنّ الطرفين يدركان جيّداً أنّ المواجهة تعني في آخر المطاف نهاية المعمورة في دقائق محدودة! لن تكون الحرب المقبلة ممتدّة على مدى سنوات كما حصل في الحربين العالميتين ولا حتى في الحروب الإقليمية. ستكون مرتبطة بمدة وصول الصواريخ الباليستية إلى أهدافها وهنا نتكلّم عن دقائق وليس ساعات! لكن ما هو البديل عن المواجهة وعن التسوية؟

البديل هو توتّرات محدودة في المكان والزمان تحدّده الظروف الموضوعية والإقليمية المتغيّرة. لكن هذا يفرض تعاوناً دقيقاً لمنع الانزلاق الذي قد يؤدّي إلى مواجهة شاملة لا يريدها أحد. في المقابل، تعدّد اللاعبين من جهة وعدم وجود أيّ قوّة قادرة بمفردها على ضبط الإيقاع تجعل ذلك الأمر في غاية الصعوبة. من هنا نفهم دور وقيمة المحور حيث كلّ مكوّن له لا قدرة على التحكّم مهما كانت قدراته الذاتية. لكن المحور يعطي قيمة مضافة لتلك القدرات وبالتالي المحور هو الذي سيكون ضابط الإيقاع وليس القطب. هنا يبرز دور التجمّعات أو المحاور الإقليمية. أصبحنا في عالم متعدّد المحاور وليس في عالم متعدد القطبية.

إذا أردنا تلخيص المشهد الدولي بين المحورية المتنافسين نرى أنّ المحور الأميركي في تراجع استراتيجي قد يصل إلى الأفول والانهيار ولكنه يقوم بأعمال طابعها هجومي تكتيكي واستعراضي لا يغيّر أيّ شيء في موازين القوّة على الأرض. في المقابل فإنّ المحور الآخر الروسي الصيني ومعه محور المقاومة في حال صعود استراتيجي تتخلله أعمال طابعها تكتيكي دفاعي تحصّن موازين القوّة التي أوجدتها. والمحور المقاوم للهيمنة الأميركية لا يعتقد أنّ مواجهة تكتيكية ضرورية في المرحلة الراهنة بسبب التراجع الاستراتيجي للمحور الأميركي. عامل الوقت يعمل لصالح المحور المقاوم للهيمنة. لذلك لا نستبعد مرحلة استقرار هشّ للغاية تسوده التوترات بين فترات وجيزة من الهدوء. في رأينا، موازين القوّة التي تتغيّر لصالح المحور المناهض للهيمنة الغربية تشمل أيضاً البنى الثقافية والفكرية. وتشمل أيضاً المنظومات السياسية حيث النيوليبرالية الغربية وصلت إلى طريق مسدود وأنّ كلّ القرارات التي تتخذها النخب الحاكمة في الولايات المتحدة وفي الغرب عموما هي هروب إلى الأمام من الاستحقاقات الداخلية البنيوية التي تواجه كلّ الدول. إلى أن يتبلور نظام سياسي اقتصادي يأخذ بعين الاعتبار التحوّلات الجذرية التي حصلت في المجتمعات وخاصة الفجوات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية فإنّ سمة المشهد العام سيكون التوتر الداخلي في دول الغرب العامل المؤثر على سياساتها الخارجية. هذه الملاحظات تنطبق على كافة الملفات الخلافية بين الولايات المتحدة ومنافسيها.

وفي ما يتعلّق بالملفّ الصيني فهناك تياران متصارعان على ما يبدو داخل قيادات الحزب الديمقراطي. فمن جهة، هناك إرث الرئيس السابق باراك أوباما الذي كان صاحب نظرية التحوّل إلى الشرق لمواجهة الخطر الصاعد الذي تمثّله الصين. وهذا التوجّه إلى الشرق يستعمل سردية سياسية هي حماية حقوق الانسان التي تنتهكها الحكومة الصينية. فالولايات المتحدة بحاجة إلى مبرّر “أخلاقي” للتدخل في الشأن الداخلي في الصين سواء في قضية التيبت أو هونغ كونغ أو المسلمين الأويغور! لكن بعد المشهد الذي قدّمته النخب الحاكمة في 6 كانون الثاني/ يناير في التعامل مع الجماهير الغاضبة وتنديد النخب بهذه المظاهرات وصلت عند بعض القيادات إلى المطالبة بتقويض الحرّيات العامة يصعب عندئذ طرح ذلك الخطاب المندّد للحرّيات في الدول التي تريد الخضوع للمشيئة الأميركية.

الهدف الفعلي لسياسة الولايات المتحدة هو تقويض القدرات التنافسية للصين خاصة في الميدان التكنولوجي والذكاء الاصطناعي وذلك عبر فرض العقوبات عليها (وهنا سيتمّ التفتيش عن حجج جديدة لذلك!) وكبح صعودها العسكري لمنع تمدّد نفوذها في شرق وجنوب آسيا. وفي سياق الصراع الذي ذكرناه بين جماعة المتدخلين وجماعة “الواقعيين” مسألة التعامل مع شركات التواصل الصينية كهواوي التي كانت هدفاً للعقوبات في إدارة ترامب. فإذا أرادت إدارة بايدن التخفيف من حدّة الصراع مع الصين فستقوم بتسوية لملف هواوي على الأقلّ في بعده القانوني. لكن هل هذا يستقيم مع مصالح الشركات الأميركية المتضرّرة من التنافس الصيني وهي التي دعمت إلى أقصى الحدود وصول بايدن إلى الرئاسة؟ هنا نرى مدى التناقض الموجود داخل الإدارة. هنا تلتقي سياسة أوباما مع سياسة ترامب في ضرورة مواجهة النفوذ الصيني الصاعد وضرب مشروع الطريق الواحد/ الحزام الواحد. لكن قدرات الولايات المتحدة مهما كان الفريق الحاكم محدودة للغاية ولا تستطيع تغيير المعادلات التي فرضتها التحوّلات.

ومن جهة أخرى هناك “جماعة بايدن” التي عقدت صفقات مثيرة للالتباس والشبهات مع شركات صينية. ويشاركه في ذلك عدد كبير من قيادات الحزب الديمقراطي في صفقات مشبوهة مع مؤسّسات صينية حكومية كالشيخة السابقة لولاية كاليفورنيا بربرا بوكسر التي أصبحت وكيلة شركة صينية حكومية مختصة بالتنصّت، أو زوج الشيخ الحالية دايان فاينشتين الذي له علاقات وثيقة مع الشركات الصينية، أو النائب أريك سوالوال من كاليفورنيا المتهم بعلاقات جنسية مع ضابطة من الاستخبارات الصينية! فالرئيس سيكون بين مطرقة فريق أوباما الذي يريد محاصرة الصين وكبح صعودها وسندان المصالح الخاصة العائدة لعائلة بايدن ولعدد من كبار المسؤولين في الحزب الديمقراطي في تعاملهم مع الصين. الحزب الجمهوري سيثير دون أيّ شكّ الفضائح التي بطلها هنتر بايدن نجل الرئيس وجيمس بايدن شقيق الرئيس. فهما موضوع تحقيقات يقوم بها المكتب الاتحادي للتحقيقات (أف بي أي) التي رفض الكشف عنها قبل الانتخابات وليم بار وزير العدل المستقيل في إدارة ترامب والتي كان بإمكانها تقويض فرص فوز بايدن في الانتخابات الأخيرة، ما يعزّز نظرية أنّ الدولة العميقة بكافة مكوّناتها أرادت التخلّص من دونالد ترامب وقد نجحت في تعطيل ولايته ونجاحه في الانتخابات.

من محاولات محاصرة الصين التي أطلقها أوباما مشروع الشراكة في المحيط الهادئ ((Trans Pacific Partnership/TPP التي كانت تهدف إلى إيجاد فضاء اقتصادي كبير شبيه بالسوق الأوروبية المشتركة قبل أن تصبح الاتحاد الأوروبي، وذلك دون مشاركة الصين. يتماثل هذا المشروع مع مشروع أوروبي يقصي روسيا! وهنا الخطأ الجيوسياسي الفادح لأنه يتنافى مع الجغرافيا الثابتة والتاريخ المتغيّر، فكيف يمكن تصوّر تجمع آسيوي دون الصين وكيف يمكن أقصاء روسيا من أوروبا؟ لكن أول قرارات ترامب عند دخوله البيت الأبيض كان وأد مشروع الشراكة في المحيط الهادئ. والصين استطاعت أن تعقد في خريف 2020 اتفاقاً اقتصادياً مع دول جنوب شرق آسيا يلغي فعلياً أيّ إمكانية محاصرة الصين اقتصادياً. عنوان هذا التجمّع الاقتصادي الجديد هو اتفاق الشراكة الاقتصادية الإقليمية الشاملة (RCEP) الذي وقّع في 12 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2020 في اجتماع قمة لرؤساء دول المنطقة كالصين واليابان وكوريا الجنوبية والهند وسائر دول جمعية دول الجنوب الشرقي الاسيوي (ASEAN).

نفوذ الصين الاقتصادي أهمّ…

وتعتبر مؤسسة راند كوربوريشن، وهي مؤسسة أبحاث تابعة للبنتاغون، أنّ نفوذ الصين الاقتصادي أهمّ من النفوذ الأميركي في منطقة المحيط الهادئ وآسيا. كما أنّ دول جمعية جنوب شرق آسيا تعطي الأولوية للاعتبارات والمصالح الاقتصادية على حساب الاعتبارات الأمنية. والنفوذ الاقتصادي الصيني يضعف النفوذ العسكري الأميركي وفقاً لدراسة مؤسسة راند خاصة أنّ دول تلك المنطقة لا تعتقد أنّ النفوذ العسكري الأميركي يوازي النفوذ الاقتصادي الصيني. وهناك أيضاً قناعة عند تلك الدول وفقاً للدراسة المذكورة أنّ التزام الولايات المتحدة تجاه المنطقة مشكوك بأمره. بناء على تلك الاعتبارات التي جاءت في الدراسة المذكورة ستكون سياسة إدارة بايدن معقّدة للغاية خاصة أنّ حماس دول المنطقة للاصطفاف معها سيكون ضعيفاً.

من جهة أخرى أقدمت إدارة ترامب في أيامها الأخيرة على تسميم الأجواء بين الولايات المتحدة والصين عبر رفع جميع القيود على تايوان. من الواضح أنّ ذلك الإجراء سيغضب الصين ويوتر العلاقات مع الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة. والسؤال كيف يمكن لإدارة بايدن إعادة القيود التي رفعتها إدارة ترامب ما يعني أنّ ليس هناك من استمرارية في القرار الخارجي فيضعف الثقة بأي تعهّد أميركي. فقرارات أيّ أدارة تصبح معرّضة للنقض من قبل إدارة تليها وهذا من إرهاصات السقوط. لذلك نعتقد أنّ محاولات إدارة بايدن لن تتجاوز مرحلة ربط النزاع لتضارب المصالح بين المتدخلّين والواقعيين مع ترجيح الكفّة لصالح المتدخلين وضعف الواقعيين بسبب شبهات الفساد التي تحيط بالرئيس المنتخب وعائلته.

بعض الخطوات “الإيجابية” للإدارة الجديدة ستكون في العودة إلى اتفاق المناخ ومنظمة الصحة العالمية والمطالبة بالعودة إلى الاتفاق الباليستي. لا كلفة هنا تذكر بل مادة للدعاية الإعلامية لتحسين صورة الولايات المتحدة. كما أنّ تصريحات بلينكن بضرورة “التشاور” مع الحلفاء خطوة نحو إعادة الاعتبار إلى “الدبلوماسية” التي لم يكن يؤمن بها سلفه مايك بومبيو. لكن ما قيمة الدبلوماسية إن لم ترفقها أفعال تأخذ بعين الاعتبار مصالح مختلف الفرقاء؟ لم تصل الولايات المتحدة حتى الساعة إلى الإقرار بذلك فهي مستمرّة في جهودها لتحقيق أهدافها في السيطرة والهيمنة لكن بإمكانيات أقلّ بكثير ما يؤهّلها بذلك.

*باحث وكاتب اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

فيديوات ذات صلة

Part 3 Here

مقالات ذات صلة

The idea of ‘exceptionalism’ is deeply ingrained in our national DNA: American author

By Mohammad Mazhari

January 18, 2021 – 11:34

 TEHRAN – An American author says toppling governments around the world is one of Washington’s “specialties”. 

“Overthrowing governments is one of our specialties,” Stephen Kinzer tells the Tehran Times.   

Kinzer also criticizes U.S. exceptionalism. 

“The idea of ‘exceptionalism’ is deeply ingrained in our national DNA,” Kinzer tells the Tehran Times. 

“Last week gave us a glimpse, on a greatly reduced scale, of the havoc we have wreaked elsewhere.”

Kinzer, a former New York Times journalist, says no nation like the U.S. intervenes in others’ domestic issues. 

The following is the text of the interview: 

 Q: How do you assess the recent mob attack on the Capitol building by pro-Trump protesters? What is the message of this incident for the U.S and the world?

“In the U.S. as in most countries, politics often is more powerful than the law.”A: Over the last century, no nation has intervened as often as the United States in so many countries so far away from its own borders.  Overthrowing governments is one of our specialties.  Last week (January 7th) gave us a glimpse, on a greatly reduced scale, of the havoc we have wreaked elsewhere.

Q: U.S. administrations and institutes mostly back protests against governments all around the world but when it comes to the U.S., they rally around national integrity. Isn’t it a kind of double-standard?

A: The idea of “exceptionalism” is deeply ingrained in our national DNA.  Americans grow up presuming that, as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously asserted, “We are the indispensable nation, we stand taller and we see further than other countries.”  Our leaders believe they know what is good for the world better than the world itself knows.  This has led the United States to incite rebellion and subversive violence in dozens of countries.  To replace the governments we overthrow, we often promote corrupt demagogues.  Now we face the same combination at home: insurrection and demagoguery.

Q: Why did you publish a tweet saying: “My friends abroad keep reassuring me:  There can never be a coup in the United States because there is no American embassy there?”

“Now the U.S. faces the same combination of ‘insurrection and demagoguery’ at home.” A: The joke is that coups in most countries happen not for domestic reasons, but because of intervention by covert agents who work from the U.S. embassy.  This is not completely true, but true enough so that everyone gets the joke.

Q: Is there any mechanism in the American constitution to prosecute a president who violates the law?

 A: We do have an impeachment procedure but it is political in nature, not legal.  In the U.S. as in most countries, politics often is more powerful than the law.

Q: The Democratic Party of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden succeeded to take control of the Senate. Do you expect the victory would lead to a change in U.S policies, especially in foreign policy areas?

A: Biden will make substantial changes to government policies relating to education, transportation, labor, energy, immigration, and other domestic issues.  There will be no major change in foreign policy.  The U.S. will continue seeing Russia and China as enemies and working more often to confront them than to compromise.  There will, however, be some change in policy toward Iran.  How substantial the change will remain unclear?  It is the subject of intense debate behind the scenes in Washington and the incoming Biden administration.

Q: How do you assess American police’s behavior after pro-Trump fans stormed the Capitol Hill in comparison with its reaction to the summer protests? Was the Insurrection Act applicable?

A: President Biden himself said it: “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.  We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable. Totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view.”

 

Deep State Wars: Trump vs. Biden On China & Iran

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

7 DECEMBER 2020

Deep State Wars: Trump vs. Biden On China & Iran

Should Biden succeed in seizing power from Trump, he’ll be forced to confront serious internal challenges to his envisioned foreign policy decisions towards China and Iran, which will likely lead to a worsening of tensions within the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep state”) even though the chance still exists for a possible compromise between its two most prominent factions.

“Deep state” deniers — those who refuse to acknowledge the existence of factionalism within the US’ permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies — are attempting to mislead the public into expecting that the implementation of Biden’s envisioned foreign policy decisions towards China and Iran will be perfectly smooth if he succeeds in seizing power from Trump. It’s extremely unlikely that such a scenario will come to pass since the Democrat presidential candidate will almost certainly face intense internal resistance from the pro-Trump elements of the deep state that hang around for his possible presidency. What follows is an extended bullet point summary describing the current deep state dynamics, predicting their forthcoming development under a possible Biden Administration, identifying their fault lines with respect to China and Iran, proposing some areas of compromise, and then touching upon some other common points between their largely contradictory worldviews. The purpose in sharing this insight is to debunk the deep state deniers and provide observers with a glimpse of what might transpire across the coming four years.

Deep State Dynamics

* All permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (“deep states”) in the world are comprised of different factions.

* Each deep state has a different dynamic which changes with time.

* The past four years of the Trump Administration proves that zealous individuals will overtly and covertly attempt to sabotage the President’s foreign policy.

* This unilateral assertion of interests (whether individually or in coordination with like-minded supporters) against the chain of command is very worrying.

* It was seen most prominently with respect to Trump’s envisioned desire to reach a “New Detente” with Russia, which his deep state foes feared (sincerely or not) represented a dire threat to national security.

* Even after four years, Trump was still unable to “purge” and/or “politically neutralize” these forces, hence why they continued to hinder the implementation of his policy in that respect.

* Of relevance as well was the Syrian chemical weapons incident of early 2017 which provoked Trump into hypocritically going against his prior criticism of Obama when he threatened to bomb the country in late 2013.

* The specifics of that incident are in dispute, but Russia and Syria officially alleged that it was a provocation carried out by US intelligence-backed “rebels”.

* That being the case, which is consistent with their prior claims about similar incidents, then it proves that elements of the US deep state can stage provocations to pressure the President in a certain direction.

* There’s no reason to predict that this dynamic will change if Biden seizes the presidency, it’s just that this time it’ll likely be anti-Chinese and anti-Iranian elements of the deep state that might be driving this instead.

Bureaucratic Challenges

* Trump thought that replacing the heads of various departments would lead to positive changes down the chain of command, but this proved to not have been the case.

* In Trump’s experience, some of the individuals who he chose to lead those departments (ex: the CIA’s Gina Haspel and former Defense Secretary Mattis) have/had sharp contradictions of vision with him on some issues.

* It’s impossible to know in advance whether a nominee is “ideologically pure” on all issues since the importance is in immediately selecting someone to lead those departments who seems to be on the same page.

* It’s only throughout the course of time that differences might make themselves apparent, whether they preceded that individual’s nomination or independently developed later on.

* There’s nothing wrong with contrasting visions, but they become problematic when the individuals tasked with leading key departments defy the Executive Branch’s will, whether overtly or covertly.

* Even with the most “ideologically pure” individuals, they’re still literally only just one person and cannot exercise full control of the countless people below them, some of whom might be more zealous in their dissent.

* Institutional safeguards and oversight unique to each department are supposed to prevent this from happening by identifying it in advance and/or rigorously responding after the fact to prevent its recurrence.

* That hasn’t always worked as intended, as the storied experience of the State Department’s many disagreements with Trump’s policies attest, and the President wasn’t able to perfectly impose his will.

* The ideal solution then is for the most “ideologically pure” individuals to take charge of departments and ensure that dissenters who might go against the chain of command are identified and rooted out.

* Nevertheless, these actions are regarded in American political culture (whether rightly or wrongly) as “witch hunts” which go against the country’s traditions, which is how they were described when Trump attempted them.

* Biden, however, is held to different standards by a much more supportive media, so any efforts in this direction likely won’t receive the popular pushback that Trump’s did.

* In this case, dissenters might only receive a platform (whether directly or via leaks) to share their views on suppressed media outlets such as Breitbart and a few others, therefore mitigating their impact on public opinion.

* This might in turn embolden Biden and his team to carry out the “purge” that Trump only dreamed that he’d have been able to do, especially since new nominees are career bureaucrats unlike Trump’s relative “outsiders”.

* The unintended consequence of that success might be the development of more powerful groupthink, which could in turn blind policy makers and increase the risk of ideologically radical policies being promoted.

* As a case in point, the Biden team is known to prioritize “spreading democracy” and “protecting human rights” through Obama-era Color Revolutions and “Humanitarian Interventions”.

* Without responsibly expressed dissent within their ranks against these ideological desires, they might be more prone to resort to coercive (including kinetic) means to impose them abroad.

* That could in effect lead to a more militant foreign policy than was pursued under the comparatively less ideological and much more pragmatic Trump, whose vision was kept in check by deep state dissenters.

Deep State Fault Lines: China

* The primary deep state fault line that’s expected to develop within a possible Biden Administration is over the US’ approach towards China.

* If there’s one deep state front that Trump scored some success on, it’s with installing anti-Chinese individuals into these three institutions (the military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies).

* They’ve already developed clear strategies, implemented tangible policies (some of which irreversibly changed the state of play), and published comprehensive policy documents for guiding the deep state.

* For these reasons, it’ll be extremely difficult for Biden to reverse the trajectory of ever-intensifying US-Chinese competition, although he might try to regulate it a bit better.

* There are already several flashpoints between these two countries — namely the Korean Peninsula and territorial disputes (Japan/Taiwan/South China Sea/India) — that could be exploited by the dissident deep state.

* It’s not even so much the fact that it might just be one “rogue” individual who could spoil everything (unlikely), but that there’s an institutional mindset in the military at least not to “be soft” on China.

* With this in mind, Biden will likely have to compromise with members of the dissident deep state with respect to China the same as Trump had to do vis-a-vis Russia, though it’s unclear whether the same outcome will occur where he ends up bending to their will for the most part.

* What’s meant by this is that Biden can only go so far in seeking to regulate the US’ Great Power competition with China since members of the military might go against him just like diplomats defied Trump on Russia.

* Where Biden has much more flexibility then is on the economic front since that doesn’t fall within the typical domain of the “deep state”, which is also why Trump was so successful in pushing through his trade war agenda.

* Biden, therefore, might try to reach a more comprehensive trade deal with China which mitigates economic tensions but retains most of the military legacy thereof that he inherited from Trump.

* A possible compromise with the dissident deep state might be to continue Trump’s strategy of assembling an anti-Chinese economic coalition with the EU.

* Some exceptions might occur, though, such as if “ideologically pure” intelligence and/or diplomatic allies succeed in “reforming” some of Trump’s anti-Chinese containment measures in Asia.

* For instance, the situation in the South China Sea might remain tense, but it might also not get any worse, with Biden’s allies “freezing” the state of affairs in order to prevent it from spiraling out of control.

* That might not be ideal for the deep state dissenters, but it might also not be unacceptable for them either.

* Ultimately, it still remains to be seen how he’ll manage this complex interplay of shadowy interests since the outcome of this intra-governmental competition will greatly shape global affairs across the next four years.

Deep State Fault Lines: Iran

* The second most consequential deep state fault line lies with Iran, especially considering the influence that the “Israeli” and Gulf lobbies hold over the US government in general and the Trump Administration in particular.

* It already seems like dissident anti-Iranian deep state elements opposed to Biden’s possible return to the Iranian nuclear deal are conspiring to sabotage that scenario.

* This speculation is the result of Pompeo’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, which Netanyahu was reported to have attended as well despite Tel Aviv and Riyadh’s denial.

* Observers are of the opinion that this wasn’t just a “going away party” for Pompeo, but a plot to undermine any Iranian-friendly outreaches by Biden.

* It can only be speculated what form this might take, but the subsequent assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist might suggest possible ways in which this could play out.

* It’s unclear who was responsible, but whether it was the US, “Israel”, or Saudi Arabia, all three (at least under the outgoing Trump Administration) are on the same page that it was a positive development.

* Even in the event that Biden is able to “purge”/”politically neutralize” as much of his deep state as possible of anti-Iranian forces, “Israel” and Saudi Arabia can still engage in similarly destabilizing and provocative acts.

* Moreover, while Gulf influence over the US government can potentially be mitigated, “Israeli” influence is recognized as being much more powerful and unquestionably has strong bipartisan support.

* That observation, however, doesn’t explain why Obama went through with the Iranian nuclear deal in the first place, which shows that there are still some divisions between some of the US deep state and “Israel”.

* That doesn’t mean that a split is imminent, but just that those in the US who might want to assert their view of national interests at “Israel’s” perfecived expense might be emboldened under Biden’s Obama-era team.

* It’s here where Biden’s “purge”/”political neutralization” of anti-Iranian elements will be important because if he roots out Pompeo’s allies, then “Israel” and Saudi Arabia would be more isolated if they sabotaged his policies afterwards.

* Should he fail in this attempt or not do so to the extent that’s needed, then Biden’s Iran policy might be sabotaged from within just like Trump’s Russia one was.

* Unlike with China, it might be more difficult to reach a deep state compromise on Iran because anti-Iranian elements regard the country as an existential threat to their “Israeli” ally, which China doesn’t represent.

* The ideological radicalism influencing their opposition to Iran makes them unlikely to compromise, meaning that this might become the most intense front of dissident deep state subterfuge of Biden’s foreign policy.

* For instance, the military likely won’t agree to any compromise with Iran since it was the military which supported Trump’s anti-Iranian policies the most.

* The intelligence and diplomatic communities, however, were always split in this respect, and if anything, they’ve leaned closer to preferring Obama-era policies, thus making it easier for Biden to promote them.

* Although a compromise is difficult to reach in the Mideast, deep state dissent might be quelled if the US’ return to the Iranian nuclear deal somehow or another has loopholes for intensifying pressure on the country.

* Iranian conservatives were against the initial deal since they didn’t trust the US, and they’re skeptical of any future one which mandates more international inspections and any missile cuts for that reason.

* If Biden were to propose what’s presented (whether rightly or wrongly) as a “perfect deal” but was rebuked, then this might set into motion a chain reaction of escalations that would serve the military’s interests.

* Although it’s only speculative, such a plan of action could be discussed behind closed doors with dissident deep state members from the military to either ensure their support or create staged drama.

* If Iranian conservatives saw that the military vehemently opposed a deal, they might then think that maybe it really is more to their interests than they thought, even if that’s only a ruse to strategically disarm them.

* In any case, it’s still a risky proposal because there’s no way to ensure the military’s support for something that they’re so clearly against even if they promise otherwise, hence why this is only speculation.

Possible Points Of Deep State Compromise

* There are some common points of interest between the Trump and Biden teams, as well as those who are influenced by both of their visions within the deep state.

* The first is the recognition that China is the US’ top strategic competitor, though Trump’s deep state regards it as the greatest threat while Biden’s thinks that Russia fulfills this role instead.

* Nevertheless, they can still find some common ground in strengthening the US’ anti-Chinese alliance system, focusing first on the Quad and 5G, then perhaps on trade (such as what was proposed earlier with the EU).

* The military-industrial complex is also very important to both so there was never any credible risk of either administration — Trump or Biden — pulling away from international affairs and “isolating” despite critics’ claims.

* This nod to the military dimension of the deep state ensures that it remains a prominent force influencing the US’ grand strategic designs, even if the other two (intelligence and diplomacy) override it on topics like Iran.

* Trade and tech (5G especially) are other areas of common interest between the Trump and Biden deep states, and representatives from both spheres regard China as the US’ top global competitor.

* Dissident deep state elements might therefore be appeased if Biden expanded the US’ anti-Chinese global alliance network on the basis of trade and tech even if militarily de-escalating in the South China Sea.

* American values are also important to both too, and these can be incorporated into the basis for a more comprehensive worldwide anti-Chinese alliance system, possibly winning over the dissident deep state.

Concluding Thoughts

As was argued in this analysis, dissident members of the deep state are prone to replicating the Russiagate precedent by actively working to sabotage Biden’s envisioned foreign policy decisions towards China and Iran. While the projected president-elect might make some headway in politically neutralizing the internal opposition to his vision, he’ll more than likely still have to confront significant pushback along these two main fronts. The possibility therefore exists for him to consider a compromise between the deep state’s two most prominent factions which could see the US retaining some elements of its prior strategies against those two countries in exchange for moderating its hostile approach towards them in specific spheres. It’s way to early to predict with a lot of confidence whether this will all play out or not, especially since Biden hasn’t (yet?) been certified as the president-elect, but it’s nevertheless important to begin prognosticating how everything might unfold if that does indeed come to pass. In any case, the importance of this analysis rests with the attention that it gives the deep state level of analysis, which is deliberately neglected by most mainstream analysts.

Who’s World Order??

Who’s World Order??
Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow, BRI Expert on Tactical talk, and has authored 3 volumes of ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation. He can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

November 16, 2020

By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

In his Foreign Policy article of April 2020, Biden states that he will reverse Trump’s embarrassing foreign policy record by standing up to both China, Russia and other totalitarian nations which represent the three-fold plague of “authoritarianism, nationalism and illiberalism” and “once more have America lead the world”.

Biden went further promising to undo the harm Trump has done to NATO by re-enforcing the military body, extending its influence to the Pacific (which sounds a lot like the Esper/Pompeo doctrine for the Pacific), and even demanded that NATO go harder on Russia stating that “the Kremlin fears a strong NATO, the most effective political military alliance in modern history.”

Considering Biden’s nearly 45 year political record supporting every military intervention in American history, opposing de-segregation, eulogizing pro-KKK Senator Strom Thurmond, passing bills that incarcerated petty drug dealers for life on behalf of the cheap labor prison industrial complex and supported the rampant growth of both Wall Street, Big Pharma and the Big Tech run surveillance state, we should think twice before celebrating this man’s possible entry into the halls of the highest office in the USA.

Biden’s call for renewing the NATO alliance in opposition to Russia and China, his support for reversing Trump’s calls for military reduction in the Middle East and his support for extending NATO in the Pacific mixed with his lifelong track record, forces us to ask if Glen Greenwald was right when he quit the Intercept on November 1 saying:

“If Biden wins, that’s going to be the power structure: A democratic party fully united with neocons, Bush/Cheney operatives, CIA/FBI/NSA Wall Street and Silicon Valley: presenting itself as the only protection against fascism. And much of the left will continue marching behind it.”

As it turns out, Greenwald’s warning was absolutely on point, as the entire intelligence apparatus, Big Tech and mainstream media complex which worked desperately to oust President Trump for 4 years and is currently running a vast voting fraud operation as this is written has given its full backing to the narrative of “an inevitable of a Biden presidency”.

In a Nov. 11 article from Antiwar.com entitled Biden’s Pentagon Transition Team Members Funded by the Arms Industry, journalist Dave DeCamp demonstrates that of the 23 members of Biden’s Pentagon Transition Team, over one third are directly tied to NATO and the Military Industrial Complex.

As facts continue to emerge of the corrupt deep state structure which totally dominates the geriatric hologram known as Joe Biden, it has become obvious that even the few positive remarks Biden made in support of renewing the START treaty with Russia carry little weight.

Ignoring the very real danger of a new civil war due to the fact that either result will be denied its legitimacy by half of the nation, the question must be asked: If Trump is replaced by a Biden Presidency on January 20th, then what will be the effects both on world stability and US-Russia-China relations?

It is good that Biden supports START’s renewal, but an increasing majority of the nations are opting for a multipolar alliance premised on the defense of national sovereignty, the right to use protectionism, and the construction of large scale megaprojects such as the New Silk Road, Polar Silk Road, advanced space exploration and North South Transportation Corridor.

The very protectionist measures which allowed the USA (and every nation of the world for that matter) to build up their industrial base and economic sovereignty are attacked directly by Biden who demands the “taking down of trade barriers and resisting dangerous global slide toward protectionism” (which he goes so far as to assert without evidence “caused the great depression” and “lead to World War II”).

Attacking Trump for being soft on China’s imperial Belt and Road Initiative which Biden states is only an “outsourcer of pollution to other countries by financing billions of dollars worth of dirty fossil fuel energy projects”, Biden then asks: “who writes the rules that govern trade?” and answers: “the United States, not China, should be leading that effort.”

Beyond carbon reduction plans, and information technology investments (AI, 5G, Quantum Computing), there is very little in Biden’s “development outlook” that brings the USA into harmony with this multipolar consensus. His program to support cutting America’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 as outlined by the Green New Deal and Great Reset crowd at Davos might appear on the surface to be pro-infrastructure, professing to “create 10 million good new jobs”, but the reality on further inspection is very different.

The sorts of large scale BRI-oriented development projects now transforming more than half of the world which is increasingly operating under a completely different non-US dominated banking paradigm, are based on capital intensive heavy industry, the use of fossil fuels and also nuclear power.

Without these energy sources, then the New Silk Road and its’ sister projects could never work (much like Modi’s anti-BRI OSOWOG doppelganger has proven a total failure both scientifically and economically).

The sort of “green energy revolution” which the Davos technocrats running Biden want to impose onto the world might create short term jobs, but once the solar panels and windmills are built, the quality of energy available to nations stupid enough to walk into this cage will forever suffocate their capacity to sustain their populations and growth potential. In short, it is a green mirage obscuring a very ugly design.

In opposition to this depopulation agenda, Trump’s tendency support for space exploration, reviving protectionism to rebuild America’s lost manufacturing and his supporting large scale infrastructure programs in resolving conflict abroad (including his support for building rail in the Arctic, rail in Serbia and Kosovo, nuclear power in South Africa and Poland etc) is certainly synergistic with the multipolar system led by Russia and China and undeniably brings the USA into harmony with its own better traditions.

Additionally, Trump’s defunding of color revolutionary “civil society” groups in Hong Kong and Belarus won him many enemies from both sides of the pro-Soros isle while supporting the concept of national sovereignty which were major steps towards stability and trust-building with nations of the world who demand their sovereignty be respected as outlined in the UN Charter itself.

Compare this with Biden’s statement that we must “stand with Russian civil society which has bravely stood up time and again against President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocratic authoritarian system” and Biden’s call to host “a global summit for democracy” featuring “civil society organizations from around the world that stand on the frontlines of democracy” including “the private sector, technology companies and social media giants.”

These are the same “Big tech, and media giants” that have given their full backing to the imposition of Biden into the Presidency which have also been used to overthrow nationally elected governments in color revolutionary regime change operations for decades. These the same networks that have suppressed all evidence of systemic vote fraud in the American elections of 2020 and are stoking the fires of a potential new civil war and regime change inside the republic itself.

Whatever the case may be, the coming weeks and months will feature fierce battles that will shape the outcome of world history.

حدود التغيير في السياسة الخارجية الأميركية اذا فاز بايدن…

حسن حردان

مخطئ كثيرا من يعتقد أن تغييرا جوهريا سيطرأ على سياسة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية الخارجية، في حال فاز المرشح الديمقراطي جو بايدن، وخسر الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، لكنه مخطئ أيضا اذا ما اعتقد انه لن تكون هناك فوارق واختلافات في طريقة مقاربة الأزمات والتعامل مع الوقائع والمستجدّات الإقليمية والدولية انطلاقا من النتائج التي افضت إليها سياسة استخدام القوة العسكرية والارهاب بالوكالة والحصار الاقتصادي والمالي والعقوبات.. والتي لم تفض إلى تحقيق هدف واشنطن في تعويم مشروع هيمنتها على العالم، وإنما كشفت ان للقوة الأميركية حدودا، لا سيما عندما تضرب بعرض الحائط مصالح الدول الكبرى، الخصوم منها والحلفاء.. وعندما تواجه ارادة الشعوب المقاومة الرافضة للهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية على غرار سورية وإيران وفنزويلا الخ…

فما هو الثابت في سياسة الحزبين الجمهوري والديمقراطي؟..

وما هي نقاط الاختلاف بينهما؟.

أولا، على صعيد الثوابت في السياسة الخارجية، يجب لفت النظر الى أن الحزبين الديمقراطي والجمهوري لا يختلفان في سعي الولايات المتحدة الى:

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فرض الهيمنة الاستعمارية في العالم والتسيد والسيطرة والتحكم بالقرار الدولي، والعمل على نهب خيرات الدول والشعوب والتحكم بسياساتها بما يخدم مصالح كارتيلات الشركات الأميركية..

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دعم كيان العدو الصهيوني سياسيا واقتصاديا وماليا وعسكريا وتمكينه من السيطرة على المنطقة، والتحول إلى المركز الذي تدور في فلكه جميع دول المنطقة في إطار ما اطلق على تسميته مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي تهيمن فيه «إسرائيل» وتشكل نقطة الارتكاز والجذب والاستقطاب في المنطقة الذي ترتبط عبره بالمركز الاستعماري الغربي..

ثانيا، اما على صعيد أوجه الاختلاف والتباين، فإن الحزبين يختلفان في الأساليب والتكتيكات لتحقيق أهداف السياسة الاستعمارية الأميركية، وحماية ودعم «إسرائيل .. ويتمظهر هذا الخلاف في..

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طربقة مواجهة الأزمات الدولية، ففي الوقت الذي يجنح فيه الحزب الجمهوري إلى استخدام القوة العسكرية الأميركية الصلبة، وتوظيف كل أسلحة القوة الأخرى في خدمتها لفرض السيطرة على الدول التي ترفض الخضوع للهيمنة الأميركية.. ويرفض فيه الحزب الجمهوري أي حلول أو تسويات تكتيكية في سياق التكيف مع المتغيرات وموازين القوى، عندما تصل سياسة استخدام القوة إلى طريق مسدود.. فإن الحزب الديمقراطي يتبع سياسة براغماتية، فهو يفضل المزج بين استخدام القوة العسكرية الصلبة والقوة الناعمة، وعندما يجد أن هناك صعوبة في تحقيق الأهداف الأميركية الاستعمارية لا يتوانى عن الدخول في تسويات مؤقتة وعقد الصفقات التكتيكية.. للخروج من المأزق. ٦ش

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الموقف من الحلول المطروحة للصراع العربي الصهيوني.. الحزب الجمهوري يدعم بدون تحفظ، السياسة الإسرائيلية في سعيها إلى فرض الحل الصهيوني للصراع والقائم على رفض حل الدولتين، والعمل لفرض قيام الدولة الصهيونية العنصرية على كامل أرض فلسطين التاريخية.. ما عدا طبعا قطاع غزة، ومنح الفلسطينيين إدارة ذاتية في مناطق تواجدهم في إطار السيادة الصهيونية المطلقة والعمل على فرض ذلك بالقوة وإجبار الحكومات العربية على الاستسلام لهذا الحل الصهيوني والاعتراف بوجود «إسرائيل» كدولة صهيونية عنصرية والقبول باندماجها في المنطقة..

اما الحزب الديمقراطي فيرى أن مصلحة «إسرائيل» تكمن في قبول حل الدولتين، لأنه هو السبيل لضمان أمن واستقرار الكيان الصهيوني وتكريس شرعية وجوده ودمج «إسرائيل» في المنطقة لتتحول إلى مشروع طبيعي قادر على العيش من دون الحاجة الدائمة للمساعدات الأمريكية الغربية، التي هي أشبه بالمصل الذي يعطى للمريض الذي لا يستطيع الاستغناء عنه إلا إذا شفي تماما من مرضه العضال..اما رفض حل الدولتين فإنه سوف يؤدي إلى استمرار الصراع وتحول «إسرائيل» إلى نظام شبيه بنظام الفصل والتمييز العنصري الذي كان قائما في جنوب أفريقيا قبل سقوطه.. لأن «إسرائيل» لا تستطيع أن تحكم الشعب الفلسطيني في وطنه وحرمانه من إعطائه حق إقامة دولة كاملة، والاعتراف بوجوده، ولاسيما أن السنوات القليلة المقبلة سوف يصبح عدد الفلسطينيين في فلسطين التاريخية أكثر من عدد الإسرائيليين.. وهو ما كان حذر منه الرئيس الصهيوني السابق شيمون بيريز ووصفه بالقنبلة الديمغرافية ورأى الحل يكمن بالانفصال عن الفلسطينيين..

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الموقف من الاتفاق النووي الإيراني.. الحزب الديمقراطي في عهد الرئيس باراك أوباما، عندما أدرك ان استخدام القوة لضرب إيران وتدمير مفاعلها النووي ومرتكزات قوتها، فيه مخاطر كبرى على المصالح والقواعد العسكرية الأميركية في المنطقة وعلى» اسرائيل»، وأن الحصار المفروض على إيران، منذ اربعين عاما، لم يفلح في إخضاع طهران، عمد أوباما إلى خوض مفاوضات شاقة مع إيران، وبمشاركة الدول الأوروبية وروسيا والصين، تم في نهايتها التوصل إلى اتفاق بشأن البرنامج النووي الإيراني يتضمن موافقة إيران على اجراءات تضمن ابقاء برنامجها للأغراض السلمية، مقابل رفع العقوبات الدولية المفروضة عليها بشكل تدريجي..

أما الحزب الجمهوري، فبعد فوز ترامب في الانتخابات السابقة وتسلمه السلطة، سارع إلى الخروج من الاتفاق النووي والعودة إلى سياسة تشديد الحصار على إيران في محاولة لاجبارها على الموافقة على تعديل الاتفاق بما يحقق أهداف «إسرائيل»، مما وجه ضربة موجة لمصداقية الولايات المتحدة بشأن التزامها في الاتفاقيات الدولية التي توقع عليها..وقد أدت هذه السياسة إلى اضعاف النفوذ الأميركي في مجلس الأمن وجعل أميركا في حالة من العزلة عندما عجزت عن كسب التأييد إلى جانب مشاريعها التي قدمتها لتجديد العقوبات ضد إيران ومنع رفع حظر التسلح المفروض عليها.. ولم تجد إدارة ترامب أحدا حتى من حلفاء امريكا الأوروبيين يصوت إلى جانبها.. وقد زاد من حنق الدول الغربية إزاء واشنطن اقدام ترامب على شمولها في الحرب التجارية التي شنها ضد معظم دول العالم، ما دفع هذه الدول بما فيها أوروبا إلى اتخاذ إجراءات مماثلة.. وظهر اعتراض الحزب الديمقراطي على هذه السياسة الخارجية عبر اتهام بايدن ل ترامب بأنه أضعف مكانة أميركا الدولية وأحدث خللا كبيرا في علاقات أميركا مع حلفائها وأدى إلى اضطراب في السياسة الأميركية..

من هنا فإن بايدن اذا ما فاز يعتزم العمل على تصحيح هذه الأضرار التي أصابت الولايات المتحدة على المستوى الدولي نتيجة سياسات ترامب.. وبالتالي احتمال ان تعود إدارة بايدن إلى الالتزام بالاتفاق النووي الذي وقع في عهد أوباما وقد يكون مع بعض التعديلات الشكلية التي لا تمس جوهر الاتفاق لتبرير وإيجاد المخرج لهذه العودة.. لكن هذا مرهون بموافقة طهران على هذا المخرج.. كما من المتوقع أن يعمد بايدن إلى إعادة الدفء إلى العلاقات الأميركية الاوروبية، والتعامل البراغماتي مع كل من الصين وروسيا، لأن الديمقراطيين يدركون جيدا أن العلاقات مع بكين وموسكو محكومة بالمصالح المتداخلة اقتصاديا مع الصين، والتوافق لإيجاد تسويات مع موسكو في ساحات الصراع والاشتباك، غير المباشر، في المنطقة والعالم، انطلاقا من توازن القوى الذي رست عليه.. طالما أن حسم هذا الصراع بالذهاب إلى حرب عالمية ليس فيه مصلحة لأحد، لأن الحرب ستكون مدمرة للجميع، ولن يكون فيها منتصر، بل الكل سيكون خاسرا لكون الجميع يملك الأسلحة النووية وغير من الأسلحة المدمرة..

أما في حال فاز ترامب بولاية ثانية فإن استمراره في سياسته الحالية لن تكون نتائجها أفضل بالنسبة للولايات المتحدة بل ستزيد من تدهور مكانة أمريكا الدولية، وتضعف أكثر من حضورها خصوصا أن العالم يتجه أكثر فأكثر نحو التعددية والاستغناء عن أمريكا على ضوء تقدم الصين وتصدرها المرتبة الأولى كأكبر اقتصاد عالمي وتراجع أمريكا إلى المرتبة الثانية حسب تقرير اخير لصندوق النقد الدولي، مما يعتبر اول إقرار من أهم مؤسسة مالية عالمية تملك فيها واشنطن قدرة توجيه سياساتها المالية.

American Militarism Marches On: No Discussion or Media Coverage of Washington’s War Against the World

Philip Giraldi October 22, 2020

Nearly everyone has heard the comment attributed for former Clinton consigliere Rahm Emanuel that one should never let a good crisis go to waste. The implication of the comment is that if there is a major crisis going on the cover it provides permits one to do all sorts of things under the radar that would otherwise be unacceptable. That aphorism is particularly true in the current context as there are multiple crises taking place simultaneously, all of which are being exploited to various degrees by interested parties.

One of the more interesting stories carefully hidden by the smoke being generate by civil unrest, plague and personal scandals is the continued march of American militarism. The story is particularly compelling as neither main party candidate is bothering to talk about it and there is no discussion of foreign policy even planned for the final presidential debate. Last week eccentric multi billionaire Elon Musk announced that he and the Pentagon are developing a new 7,500 m.p.h. missile capable of delivering 80 tons of military cargo nearly anywhere in the world in under an hour. It would undoubtedly be a major advanced capability catering to those military planners who envision continued U.S. intervention worldwide for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, agreement on a new START treaty that would limit the proliferation of some hypersonic weapon systems is stalled because the White House wants to include China in any deal. Beijing is not interested, particularly as Donald Trump is also claiming that Beijing will pay for the multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages that the United States will ultimately require to combat the coronavirus “… because this was not caused by our workers and our people, this was caused by China and China will pay us back in one form or another. We’re gonna take it from China. I tell you now, it’s coming out of China. They’re the ones that caused this problem.”

Indeed, China and Russia continue to be the boogeymen trotted out regularly to scare Americans. Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s State Department issued a statement warning that “some foreign governments, such as those of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation, seek to exert influence over U.S. foreign policy through lobbyists, external experts, and think tanks.” Why the statement was issued at this time, so close to elections is unclear, though it is possibly an attempt to line up possible scapegoats if the electoral process does not produce results acceptable to whomever loses. In fact, Russia and China hardly find a place on the list of those who fund lobbyists and think tanks.

Also of interest is another story about how Washington has chosen to interact with the world, one involving both enemy du jour Iran and Venezuela. Readers will undoubtedly recall how the United States seized in international waters four Greek owned but Liberian flagged tankers loaded with gasoline that were bound for Venezuela. The tankers were transporting more than a million gallons of fuel to economic basket case Venezuela, a country which is in its sad condition due to sanctions and other “maximum pressure” imposed by Washington, which has also sanctioned Venezuela’s own oil industry. The fuel was seized based on unilaterally imposed U.S. sanctions on Iranian sale or export of its own petroleum products, a move intended to strangle the Iranian economy and bring about an uprising of the Iranian people. As the sanctions imposed by Washington are not supported by the United Nations or by any other legal authority, the seizure is little more than exercise of a bit of force majeure that used to be called piracy.

Even though foreign and national security policy has not really been discussed in either the Biden or Trump campaign, there is general agreement in both parties that Venezuela is a rogue regime that must be replaced while Iran is an actual, tangible threat due to its alleged misbehavior in the Middle East. It has been dubbed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the “number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Saner voices have observed that neither Venezuela nor Iran threaten the United States in any way and that the U.S. and Israel continue to kill many more civilians than Iran ever has, but they have been drowned out by the media talking heads who constantly spout the established narrative.

Well, the alleged Iranian fuel has arrived in New Jersey and a legal battle for custody of it has begun.  The fuel had been removed from the Greek tankers and transferred to other tankers for removal to the United States but the complication is that the Trump administration must now prove its case for forfeiture before the oil can be sold. The U.S. justification for seizing the cargoes is the claim that the fuel was an asset of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the Treasury, Justice and State Departments have conveniently designated a foreign terrorist organization. But that contention is disputed by the cargoes’ owners, who claim to have nothing to do with the IRGC. They include other energy exporters and shippers in the Middle East, namely Mobin International Limited, Oman Fuel Trading Ltd and Sohar Fuel Trading LLC FZ. They have filed a motion for dismissal and are seeking return of the fuel plus additional compensation for the losses they have suffered. One has to hope they win as it is the United States that is in the wrong in this case.

The entire saga of the tankers and the fuel is symptomatic of the undeclared economic warfare that the United States now prefers to use when dealing with adversaries. And there is considerable evidence to suggest that Washington is trying to goad Iran into responding with force, providing the U.S. government with a plausible rationale for responding in kind. President Trump has directly threatened Iran in an October 9th public statement in which he promised the Iranians that “If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.”

So, Washington’s aggression directed against much of the world continues with a national election less than two weeks away but no one is talking about it. That would seem odd in and of itself, but the sad part is that it is deliberate collusion on the part of government and media to make sure the voting public remains unaware the extent to which the United States has in reality become a pariah, a full-time bully in its foreign relations.

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