U.S. exploited 9/11 attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan: Iraqi expert

By Saeed Kh. Mavedat

September 10, 2020 – 17:54

TEHRAN – The U.S. plans to invade Iraq and Afghanistan gained stream immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks on civilian and military targets in the United States. An Iraqi expert tells the Tehran Times that the Americans “exploited” the attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

The attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, killed almost 3,000 American and foreign citizens and sent shock waves across the world. In the wake of the attacks, the U.S. administration sought to pave the way for a military response to al-Qaeda and those allegedly supporting it.

Addressing the American people on the same day at 9 pm, then-President George W. Bush said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Only a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a special law allowing President Bush to punish the people who had aided or abetted the 9/11 attackers. The law, which was passed on September 18, 2001, stipulates “that  the  President  is  authorized  to  use  all necessary  and  appropriate  force  against  those  nations,  organizations,  or  persons  he  determines  planned,  authorized,  committed, or  aided  the  terrorist  attacks  that  occurred  on  September  11,  2001, or  harbored  such  organizations  or  persons,  in  order  to  prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

A few weeks later, the U.S. led a coalition to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretext of countering terrorism.

Nearly two decades after the 9 /11 attacks, the U.S. is still bogged down in “endless wars” in the region, which yielded no results in terms of combating terrorism, according to Reza Alghurabi, an Iraqi expert who closely monitors the situation in Iraq and Iran.

In order to assess one of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in the region, the Tehran Times interviewed Alghurabi. He weighed in on the situation in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of the country. He also touched on the U.S.-Iran relations in Iraq since 2003.
The following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the issue of “counterterrorism” became prominent in U.S. foreign policy and eventually, it became one of the reasons for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think the United States really wanted to fight terrorism in Iraq? And if so, how successful was it? How do you assess the U.S. presence in Iraq in terms of the fight against terrorism since 2003?

A: In addition to leading to the emergence of the U.S. counterterrorism agenda and the introduction of new concepts in the field of terrorism and international law, the 9/11 attacks led to one of the largest U.S. military campaigns and military interventions in recent decades in the ever sensitive region of West Asia.
Regardless of any assessment of the truth of 9/11, Washington’s subsequent exploitation of it shows that the Americans behaved in a completely political and abusive manner that led to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was clear at the time that the terrorists were mostly Saudi nationals, and that if the United States was to be honest in its counterterrorism plan, it would have had to deal with the source of religious extremism in the region, which is the Saudi regime and some other countries whose religious muftis kept playing role in the death of thousands of people and the spread of extremism and violence by issuing hundreds of fatwas [religious decrees] and sending financial aid through charities after the occupation of Iraq.

Despite spending billions of dollars on the counterterrorism project since 2001, Washington has failed to fight terrorism, and the growing spread of extremism, violence, and terrorism in recent years in areas where the Americans themselves have been present was not only a sign of Washington’s failure to fight terrorism, but it also raised serious doubts about its direct role in the spread of terrorism and violence.

Iraq is clearly still grappling with terrorism 17 years after [the American occupation], and from 2003 to 2011, when U.S. troops were officially present in Iraq, violence was widespread in the country and the United States failed to contain it.

Q: How many human rights violations did the United States commit in the years following the occupation of Iraq? In terms of human rights violations, can Abu Ghraib prison be compared to Guantanamo?

A: While the U.S. was present in Iraq as an occupying force, numerous reports were published by Western and American think tanks on individual and organized ill-treatment of prisoners. Some of the initial information was released by U.S. troops themselves. Various forms of torture of prisoners, such as waterboarding in the United States itself, sparked controversy in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. human rights abuses were not limited to detainees. There were also numerous reports of civilians being harassed during house searches or checkpoints and street raids by soldiers and mercenaries of private security companies such as Blackwater. In this respect, there was no difference between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Perhaps Abu Ghraib can be considered a worse case than Guantanamo because in this prison even young Iraqi girls were sexually tortured by the American military.

Q: How do you assess Iran-U.S. relations in Iraq after 2003? It is said that Iran had reached understandings with the United States during the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but why did the United States turn these understandings into hostility and include Iran in the “axis of evil”?

A: Iran-U.S. relations have always been tense for the last four decades. After 9/11, the Americans took a more hostile stance against the Iranians. The use of the term “axis of evil” in reference to Iran by George W. Bush in 2002 indicated the adoption of an escalatory strategy against Iran. With the occupation of Iraq by the U.S., this country became the scene of confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Iran was concerned and dissatisfied with the full U.S. military presence in Iraq and the repeated threats by White House officials about the need for regime change in Iran. The Americans in Iraq were also reluctant to vacate the battlefield for Tehran. Therefore, Iraq has since become the scene of confrontation between the two axes.

The U.S. is a longtime enemy of Iran and the prospect of its troops being deployed along Iran’s borders as well as [U.S.] provocative actions were a source of potential and tense hostility that threatened any possible understanding.

RELATED NEWS

IRAN AND CHINA ARE BUILDING NEW EMPIRES ON THE FAILURE OF TRUMP’S POLICY

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Since the victory of the “Islamic Revolution” in Iran in 1979, the slogan “Neither East nor West but an Islamic Republic” has been a commonplace. This slogan represented the desire of the late Imam Khomeini, who aimed to liberate Iran from foreign control and from the superpowers that had ruled Iran for decades. Consequently, the Iranian constitution prohibits the establishment and influence of any foreign military base on Iranian soil (article 3/5). However, by tearing up the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) signed by former President Barack Obama , the current US administration of President Donald Trump has pushed Iran into the arms of Russia and China. Tehran has now signed strategic and commercial military cooperation agreements lasting 25 years with the two superpower countries Russia and China. The reconstruction of the Chinese and Persian empires is expanding at the expense of the US empire and as a result of its weakness.

Europe has lost its window on Iran, and America has lost its bet on eliminating Iran. Trump is still waiting by the phone for a call from Tehran, but the phone will not ring as long as the nuclear deal is in the trash. Trump apparently has strong chances to be re-elected for another four years. However, Iran will not sign any agreement with him a month after his re-election, as he may hope. Iran will close the door on the US as long as Trump remains in power, unless he restores the deal and offers guarantees. The decision to go to China is irreversible, although the door has not been forever closed on the US. 

The US’s loss of its influence on the world stage has become a reality, and the emergence of other forces, Russia, China and Iran, is impossible to ignore. The influence of these countries can no longer be limited, thanks directly to the failure and mismanagement of US foreign policy!

Proofread by:   Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.

In Defence of Sovereignty

August 18, 2020

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

In Defence of Sovereignty

For the benefit of Frau Merkel & Nordstream-2

No sovereignty = No democracy: If a State is subordinate to another State or group of states it is no longer sovereign. That is to say if it ceases to exercise control over its vital policies, economic, political, social and cultural. Moreover it follows that if it is not sovereign it cannot be democratic since the key policies it might wish to enact and carry out are decided elsewhere.

The increasingly unbalanced assessment regarding the UK’s eventual exit from membership of the EU (if indeed it ever really happens) seems predicated on a series of fixed, cliché-ridden political positions which haven’t changed since the whole issue became live. The great national ‘debate’ seems to be an emotionally charged affair with little attention to facts and more focused upon personalities and taken-for-granted assumptions of the ‘everybody knows’ type. This presumably is post-modern politics I suppose. But at the heart of the debate is the issue of sovereignty.

Let us firstly consider the international economic issues involved according to the conventional wisdom of the hyper-globalists. It is argued that both nation states and the whole concept of national sovereignty is now defunct. Their reasoning is based upon the following premises. 1. Most products have developed a very complex geography – with parts made in different countries and then assembled somewhere else, in which case labels of origin begin to lose their meaning. 2. Markets when left unfettered will arrive at optimal price, allocative, and productive efficiency. 3.This means that capital, commodities and labour should be free to move around the globe without let or hindrance to achieve these goals. 4. Any barriers to this process – capital controls, trade unions, exchange rate controls, welfare expenditures, minimum wage legislation, wages and even public goods – will give rise to price and allocative distortions. Q.E.D. Apart from point 1., the rest of these claims are in fact highly contestable and could easily be shredded by reference to historical experience and empirical testing, but hey, if the theoretical paradigm is sound who cares about historical experience and empirical testing.

Such globalization has come to be seen and defined by its proponents as the ‘natural order’ of things, almost a force of nature. This, it is further argued, will be an inexorable process of increasing geographical spread and functional integration between economic and political activities. This current orthodoxy goes by various names, Washington Consensus, Market Liberalisation, Neo-liberalism, Globalism and so on and so forth. In fact, there is nothing ‘natural’ about this stage of historical development since the whole phenomenon has been politically driven. From the outset there has been a coalition of globalist oligarchs, technocrats and heads of state et.al working through global institutions the IMF, World Bank, BIS, WTO, NATO, the EU, CIA – the list is extensive. They control the economic, political and military superstructures which form the ruling global system and constitute the vanguard of the whole process.

Turning to the EU as the regional prototype for the globalization, anti-state project, it was Patrick Buchanan, an American conservative who once correctly stated in ‘The American Conservative’ that the US Congress ‘‘is an Israeli occupied zone’’ by which he meant of course that Israel and the Israeli Lobby, both external and internal, has had a huge input into the framing and operation of US foreign policy. In a similar vein the EU is also occupied territory under the occupation and control of US imperialism. (This process of blatant meddling in European affairs by the US-CIA started with Operation Gladio in the late 1940s at about the same time as Operation Mockingbird and Operation Paperclip.) However, the perceived enemy was not merely Soviet communism, but also sotto voce, European social and political theory and practice, namely, Gaullism and social-democracy. These latter political groupings have long since been politically cleansed with the EU being reconfigured as neo-liberal, and, since the alignment of the EU security structures with NATO, as neo-conservative vassal states overseen and represented by odious little Petainist/Quisling occupation regimes. This is only too apparent when the fawning behaviours of Johnson, Macron and Merkel vis-à-vis the US are observed. Whenever the US master says jump, the Europeans will reply ‘how high’ And this is even more pronounced by the newly arrived Eastern European states. A group which Dick Cheney once described as the ‘new Europe.’ By which he meant the political force which was operationalised to fundamentally change the political direction of the EU in the late 20th century. Euro-widening was meant to prevent euro-deepening, and it worked a treat.

Perhaps the most salient (and bogus) claim deployed by the pro-Globalization camp is the use of the time-honoured TINA ‘there-is-no-alternative’ Varoufakis approach. This is invariably deployed to shut-down any genuine discussion. Of course it was Mrs Thatcher who pioneered this method of political discourse, with, it should be added, considerable success. Reading the editorials in the ‘leftist’ publications, I couldn’t help being reminded of those little Thatcherite homilies trotted out by the Tory press during the Thatcher ascendency.

But now, not to be outdone, the centre-left has taken upon itself the mantle of ‘progress’ and ‘modernity’ providing the ideological rationale for the globalist tendency. This has involved a 180 degree turn and is apparently using the same language and political orientation as the Globalists. Try this one on: ‘’Nations are increasingly irrelevant when it comes to effective action on the environment and social and immigration policies …’’ This was taken from a centre-left publication. Yep, distilled, undiluted globalization – TINA. That could have been George Soros speaking. As if sovereign nations could not pool their resources, enter into bi-lateral agreements, engage in trade and diplomacy, enter into negotiations with others precisely to confront common issues such as the aforementioned environmental, immigration and social issues.

But in this ‘stateless’ or seemingly becoming ‘stateless’ world I do feel obliged to point out that the United States as a nation is sovereign and has every intention of remaining so. Contrary to the globalist patter, however, this super-state shapes and formulates both economic and foreign policy for itself and its vassal states in Europe and East Asia, but of course these vassal states are not fully sovereign and are subject to the rule of the one that is – the USA. The reality we have in the EU consists not of a unified assemblage of sovereign states but a de facto occupied zone of a political, economic and military empire, under both US aegis and control.

As the late Egyptian Marxist, Samir Amin, put it:

‘’Conceived of at the end of WW2 the ‘European Project’ was born as the European part of the Atlanticist project of the United States, much in the spirit of the first Cold War initiated by Washington and given voice by Churchill’s speech in Fulton Missouri in 1946 in which he intoned. “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”  This has been a project which the European bourgeoisies – at that time weak and afraid of their own working classes – adhered to practically without conditions. This is still largely true, as seen in the choices put into effect by the ruling classes and political forces of the right and majority left, at least in certain European countries, above all in Great Britain, where it has been done clearly and ostentatiously. In other countries there is perhaps a small piece of hesitation, whilst in Eastern Europe the process is managed by political classes formed in the culture of servility … There is no longer, at present, a European project … A North Atlantic project under American command has replaced it

Thus the European ‘project’ is not moving – or not moving fast enough, or not moving at all – in the direction that is needed to bring Washington to its senses. Indeed it remains a basically ‘non-European’ project, scarcely more than a European part of the American project. The European’s Constitution is for a Europe which is settling – has settled ? – its dual and Atlanticist option. Hence the potential contained in the clash of political cultures, which could theoretically lead to an end of Atlanticism which remains mortgaged to social-liberalism of the majority sections of the left (electorally speaking, the European socialist parties). But social-liberalism is a contradiction in terms, since liberalism is by its nature non-social or even anti-social … a stable and generally multipolar world will be socialist or it will not exist at all. (2)

Inter-governmental policy is perfectly possible, however, without the surrender of national sovereignty to an imperial hegemon. However, If the European Vichy regimes choose to accept the imposition of US policy imperatives that is their choice – a political choice, not an iron law of political development.

The fact is that nation states unquestionably remain the most significant force in shaping the world economy – this in spite of the hyper-globalist rhetoric coming from the Bilderbergers and neo-liberal/Washington consensus proponents. The nation state has always played a fundamental role in the economic development of all countries and indeed in the process of globalization itself. In fact, the more powerful states have used globalization as a means of increasing their power vis-à-vis the weaker states. The US and the G7 design and establish, international trade agreements, organizations, and legislations that support and govern trans-border investments, production networks, and market penetration, constitutive of contemporary economic globalization. Advanced capitalist states, in particular, use these political instruments to shape international decision making and policy in their own interests.(3)

A contemporary example of this is the US – qua sovereign hegemon – forcing policies, such as membership of NATO, down the throats of their (apparently willing) ‘allies’ (read vassals) and ‘partners’ in order to carry out the US’s geopolitical policies by mobilizing their Quisling regimes in both Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) for possible conflict with Russia, China and Iran (which are de facto sovereign states). It can be seen that the sovereignty of Europe is limited by the Transatlantic hegemon to the extent that Europe lacks both military, political and key areas of economic decision making to individual European G7 states. The fact that these semi-sovereign euro states are forced – as is everyone else – to use the US$ as the global currency means they do not really control their own economies. Let us assume for the sake of argument that Sweden has a trading surplus with the US; this means that it is exporting more than it is importing in terms of US goods. This means that the Swedish currency – the Krona – will appreciate against the US$. But the Swedish government may not want its currency to appreciate by being palmed off with US Treasuries which will never be redeemed. In order therefore to stop its own currency appreciating against the dollar it will have to buy US dollars or dollar denominated assets, (usually Treasury Bills) to keep its own currency at a lower exchange rate to the dollar. This results in an appreciating dollar which means the US can buy more stuff on world markets without producing any additional goods and services! Great deal if you can get it! Moreover by accepting the US$ and Treasuries as a means of payment for goods produced in Europe these semi-peripheral states are on the wrong end of what the French politician Valery Giscard D’Estaing once termed an ‘exorbitant privilege’. Such is the position of sovereign states, semi-sovereign states, and non-sovereign states.

In geopolitical terms it should be understood that the abasement of Europe to American interests is frankly abject. Europe has become a forward base for the Pentagon, military industrial complex, and neo-con infested State Department to play their war games against Russia and latterly against China. If there is a war with Russia, please note it is intended to be carried out on European soil not American.

In terms of present and future membership not only was the admission of the Eastern European periphery a massive error for individual European states, but future membership bodes even worse for the EU ‘project’. Turkey is not only authoritarian, a US proxy and a member of NATO, which is bad enough, but it also funds and arms our most inveterate enemies, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Jabhat Al Nusra, and various other jihadist alphabet soup grouplets. This same state was at that time mooted for membership of the EU by both the UK and Germany. Moreover, future candidates for EU/NATO status include Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. None of these states could be considered to be even remotely sovereign and/or democratic and generally are totally and openly corrupt. It is all part of the long march toward Russia’s western frontier by NATO/EU, a process begun by Clinton (Mr) in the 1990s. But apparently this is of no consequence to the contemporary ‘left’ which doesn’t seem unduly worried by these developments.

As for the EU/NATO, do we really want to belong to an organization who has these people as members/applicants? It’s a bit like Groucho Marx’s famous witticism – ‘’I wouldn’t want to belong to a club which would have me as a member.’’ More important in this respect does the EU/NATO even allow us a choice in the matter?

One final point. Okay it is argued that if we – the UK – leave the EU the roof falls in, of course that is a complete non sequitur, but let’s run with it for a moment. Membership is therefore imperative! Really?

Well in 1946 due to costs of the WW2 the UK was flat broke. Lord Keynes was despatched to Washington and negotiated a loan from the Americans. Of course there were strings, or in IMF/World Bankspeak, ‘conditionalities.’ 1. Britain had to end the system of imperial preference of intra-empire trading, mainly because the Americans wanted to get into this lucrative market. 2. The British empire had to be wound up, and the Americans would then carry the baton for the Anglo-Zionist empire, with all the costs but mostly advantages that accrued from this position. The UK’s long retreat from East of Suez began with Indian independence in 1947 and continued well into the 1960s.

The roof did not fall in, however, Britain, in spite of continuing imperial delusions of grandeur, adjusted to its new position in the world. There was, after all, an alternative to imperial nostalgia, maybe it never quite worked out as planned, but it happened, nonetheless.

Thus the TINA hypothesis is basically invalid. There are – pace the globalist dogma – always alternatives, you may not like them, but to deny their existence is neither a serious nor honest position to take.

NOTES

(1) Samir Amin – The Liberal Virus – p.86 p.89.

(2) Samir Amin – Beyond US Hegemony – p.148.

(3) Peter Dicken – Global Shift – The State Really Does Matter, Chapter 6

هل عاد بومبيو إلى نصائح فيلتمان ودعوة لومير؟

ناصر قنديل

قبل تسعة شهور وغداة انتفاضة 17 تشرين الأول، استمعت لجنة الخارجية في الكونغرس الأميركي إلى السفير السابق جيفري فيلتمان في مداخلة مطوّلة، وكان أبرز ما ورد فيها دعوة فيلتمان للاستثمار على الانتفاضة وتزخيمها كفرصة يمكن لها أن تخدم السياسات الأميركية في لبنان والمنطقة، على قاعدة أن الأزمة المالية والاقتصادية مستمرة ومتصاعدة وهي في جزء منها ثمرة العقوبات الأميركية، بهدف محاصرة حزب الله كعنوان للمقاومة بوجه كيان الاحتلال، لكن فيلتمان وضع ضوابط لهذا الاستثمار على الأزمة والانتفاضة معاً، أولها عدم المبالغة بتحميلهما أوزار مهام فوق طاقتهما، كطرح مستقبل سلاح المقاومة في التداول، وبالتالي الدعوة للتواضع في رسم السقف الذي يمكن للأزمة والانتفاضة أن تخدمه على هذا الطريق، وحصره بمحاصرة وإضعاف التيار الوطني الحر كحليف للحزب والمقاومة، ساهم بتوفير مظلة وطنية لهما، ومنحهما من موقع وجوده في رئاسة الجمهورية مقداراً أعلى من الشرعية، رابطاً صرف رصيد هذا الاستهداف بالانتخابات النيابية المقبلة وليس المبكرة. الضابط الثاني الذي وضعه فيلتمان كان عدم المبالغة بالضغط المالي بالتوازي مع عدم المبالغة بالتوقعات، لأن المزيد من الضغط المالي قد يؤدي لانهيار غير محمود العواقب، والمزيد من الضغط قد يفتح أبواباً يصعب إغلاقها لاحقاً كاستحضار روسيا والصين، وتكامل دول المشرق وصولاً إلى إيران. والضابط الثالث كان الدعوة لوضع الاستعداد لتمويل لبنان على الطاولة، مستذكراً أن حجم كل ديون لبنان الخارجية أقل من كلفة سنة واحدة تنفقها السعودية على حربها في اليمن. والضابط الرابع هو عدم وضوع شروط سياسية تتصل بحضور حزب الله مقابل هذا التمويل، بل حصر الشروط بطلب الإصلاحات التي وردت في مؤتمر سيدر.

قبل ستة شهور عقد في الرياض اجتماع افتراضي لوزراء مالية الدول المشاركة في قمة العشرين، التي تترأس السعودية دورتها هذه المرة، وتكلم في الاجتماع وزير مالية فرنسا برونو لومير، وقال إن “فرنسا مستعدّة لدعم لبنان مالياً، في إطار ثنائي أو متعدد الأطراف»، ونقلت وكالة “رويترز” عن لومير تحذيره في نهاية الاجتماع من “خلط التعافي الاقتصادي في لبنان مع الجهود التي تقودها الولايات المتحدة لمواجهة إيران في المنطقة”، وتابع: “نعرف أن ثمة روابط بين المسألتين، لكننا لا نريد خلط قضية التعافي الاقتصادي في لبنان، وهو اليوم في حالة طوارئ واضحة، مع مسألة إيران”.

رفضت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، ممثلة خصوصاً بوزير الخارجية مايك بومبيو، الإصغاء لصوتي فيلتمان ولومير، وحددت إطاراً لتعاملها مع الوضع في لبنان بما أسماه بومبيو ومعاونه ديفيد شينكر بالضغط الأقصى، ووضع المقابل على الطاولة وهو تحجيم حزب الله وصولاً لانتزاع تنازل من الدولة اللبنانية في ملف ترسيم الحدود البحرية بقبول خط الترسيم الذي اقترحه المبعوث الأميركي فريدريك هوف، وكان شينكر صريحاً بقوله، أنتم في معاناة كبيرة ولديكم ثروات واعدة في الغاز في البحر حولها نزاع مع “إسرائيل” وقد قدمنا لكم تصوراً للحل ومن مصلحتكم أن تقبلوا هذا التصور. وجاء تفعيل قانون قيصر للعقوبات على سورية، ليضيف للضغط الأقصى مزيداً من الضغط على لبنان، وحدد جيمس جيفري المبعوث الأميركي الخاص بسورية سقف المطلوب للتراجع، أسوة بما فعله شينكر، قائلاً إن حكومته تريد العودة إلى العام 2011، فتسلم بانتصار الرئيس السوري، مقابل أن تخرج قواتها من سورية ويخرج بالمثل حزب الله وإيران منها.

المطلبان يعنيان أمن ومصالح كيان الاحتلال، ولا علاقة لهما بالملفات الإصلاحية التي تحدث عنها سيدر، كما دعا فيلتمان، ويمثلان الحد الأقصى من الربط بين الأزمة اللبنانية والمواجهة الأميركية مع طهران، كما حذر لومير، والعنوان طلب أمن “إسرائيل” ومصالحها من حزب الله، فخرج الأمين العام لحزب الله بمعادلته الشهيرة، أنت تخيّرني بين الجوع والقتل، فلن نجوع وسنقتلك سنقتلك سنقتلك، ومنذ ذلك الإعلان، بدا أن المقاومة وضعت للجهوزيّة ترتيباتها وبنوك أهدافها، وأعقبتها بوضع أطروحة التوجه شرقاً على الطاولة، من المشتقات النفطية الإيرانية مقابل الليرة اللبنانية، إلى البوابة العراقية كبلد نفطي وسوق استهلاك، والتكامل السلعي الغذائي والاستهلاكي مع سورية، وصولاً لطرح حزمة مشاريع للتعاون مع الصين، وانتهاء بالإعلان عن الجهاد الزراعي والصناعي.

تراجع بومبيو وتراجعت سفيرته، ولم يعُد تغيير الحكومة مطلباً، وبات الحديث عن مساعدات للبنان مقابل الإصلاحات. وبدأ الحديث عن دول خليجية ستضع ودائع بالدولار لدى مصرف لبنان، بعد حصولها على إشارات أميركية، وزارت السفيرة الأميركية السراي الحكومي لتناول طعام الغداء مع رئيس الحكومة الذي دعت لاستبداله بالموظف الذي رفض رئيس الحكومة إعادة تعيينه نائباً لحاكم المصرف المركزي، وبعدما كانت السفيرة تقول إن التفاوض على الحدود البحرية مجمّد بانتظار تلقي موافقة لبنانية على خط هوف، بادرت لزيارة رئيس مجلس النواب لتستمع إلى شروط لبنان لاستئناف التفاوض وتعد بنقلها ودراستها للعودة مجدداً..

معادلة الردع في المواجهة المالية بدأت تتشكل أسوة بما جرى في معادلات الميدان، التي يبدو أن ما فيها من بنك أهداف قد تسبب بالقلق لبومبيو وإدارته في واشنطن، بمثل ما تسبب الذعر في تل أبيب.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

The Rise and Fall of Empires

Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

June 08, 2020

The Rise and Fall of Empires

I think that it would be true to say that sudden spurts of economic growth are often caused by preparation for war, war itself, and post-war reconstruction. This process in particular was occasioned by the end of WW1 which was succeeded by a restless and runaway period of economic growth based on the US Stock Market boom in 1929. Given the laws of capitalism and its immanent rhythm of boom-bust this break-down was entirely predictable.

The ensuing downturn migrated over the pond to a still weak Europe which had not really recovered from the carnage of 1914-18. The resulting depression in Europe was particularly acute in Germany since it was still attempting to pay its wartime reparations to the allies which had been foisted upon it as a result of the Versailles Treaty. This resulted in the great German inflation during the early to late 1920s.

As if this wasn’t enough, another blow to global economic and financial stability was to be delivered: this in the form of the Anstalt-Credit Bank failure of 1931. Credit-Anstalt was an exceptionally large bank based in Vienna. Given the interconnectedness of banking and finance, and the fragility of the European banking system at the time, one bank failure can give rise to multiple failures. In October 1929, the Austrian  Schober government compelled the allegedly well-financed Credit-Anstalt to assume liabilities, which together with the simultaneous Wall Street Crash led to the financial imbalance of the then-largest Austrian credit provider. Credit-Anstalt had to declare bankruptcy on 11 May 1931.

The collapse of the Credit-Anstalt in Vienna started the spread of the crisis in Europe and forced most countries off the Gold Standard within a few months. A feeling of financial distrust and insecurity spread from Vienna and led to runs on other banks in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland, and Germany. The collapse set off a chain reaction that led from the run on German banks to withdrawals in London and the devaluation of the pound to large-scale withdrawals from New York and another series of bank failures in the United States. So in brief the news of the crisis of the Credit-Anstalt, the most important bank in Central Europe, shook the whole economic structure of Europe and sent shock waves through the rest of the world.

POLITICAL AND STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

All of which added even greater political and economic instability in both Europe and North America during the Interregnum. Crises of this type unsurprisingly gave rise to bitter class struggles between capital and labour, and various other social and political disequilibria. Revolution in Russia, the rise of the Nazis in Germany and earlier in Italy the new political movement of the black-shirted Fascisti led by one Benito Mussolini – this new political template being the counter-revolution from below. Coincidental with this there was, moreover, the fall of no less than four royal dynasties, the Habsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Romanovs, and Ottomans. The old order had gone, in Europe at least, but their empires still remained: Britain, France, and new kid to the imperialist club – the United States since it had got into the imperialist game in the late 19th century, and there it still remains.

The resulting collisions of interest between the rival nations and blocs with unfinished geopolitical business left over from WW1 seemed to take on an inexorable process – a process headed toward open military conflict between the Great Powers. And so it turned out. Germany was a powerful well-armed state with imperial ambitions but eventually was to be confronted by the combination of the USA, the USSR, and the British Empire, which meant it was bound to lose.

World War 2 was, with the exception of Latin America, a global war and had global ramifications. The major reconstruction of physical, economic, political, and geopolitical organizations and institutions had a number of distinct phases in both war-ravaged Europe and the Far East. The US was fortunate in this regard since apart from Pearl Harbour no major damage occurred on its own territory with the exception of Hawaii.

BRETTON WOODS 1944

The year 1942 was the turning point when the allied victory was more or less guaranteed. It was decided therefore to convene a meeting of the allied powers – excluding the USSR for geopolitical reasons – which was in the main conducted and overseen by the US and UK, with the US being the senior partner, of course. In 1944 the conference was to be held at the Washington Hotel in the small town of Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, USA; grandiosely titled, the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. At the time Hitler would last another 10 months, and war continued to rage in the Far East and Japan would not surrender for another 13 months. The UN Charter was still a year away. The specific goals of the attendees was to create institutions that would promote a vision beyond the end of the war united in hopes for a world united through prosperity.

US FOREIGN POLICY & TWILIGHT OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

All very noble and idealistic. However also in play were the usual motivations of nation states and their internal interest groups – groups who harboured their own concerns which were somewhat less idealistic. It was argued by some realist foreign relations theorists that the plan for these Bretton Woods institutions go back further to the 1930s and to the US Council of Foreign Relations. (1)

‘’Members of this group assessed early on that, at a minimum, the US national interest required free access to the raw materials of the Western hemisphere, the Far East, and the British Empire. On July 24, 1941, a council memorandum outlined the concept of a grand area: that part of the world which the United States dominated economically and militarily to ensure materials to its industries.’’ (2)

Of course it was tacitly understood by the Americans that the British Empire stood in the way of US imperial aggrandisement and ultimately it had to go. The British delegation were in fact being played by the Americans throughout these tortuous negotiations. But the British were semi-aware of what the Americans were up to. According to the principal British negotiator J.M.Keynes who wrote in a private letter to a colleague:

‘’The greatest cause of friction between the US and Great Britain over a very long period was the problem of what we used to call the old commitments, arising out of the fact that lend-lease* did not come into anything like full operation for some nine months after it had legally come into force … You do not emphasise the point that the US Administration was very careful not to take every precaution to see that the British were as near as possible bankrupt before any assistance was given … or appropriately abated whenever there seems the slightest prospect that leaving things as they are might possibly lead to a result in leaving the British at the end of the war otherwise than hopelessly insolvent.’’(3)

Thus the whole issue of lend-lease boiled down to this: The UK was broke, a supplicant, and did not have the wherewithal to pay back the loans made to the US. On the other hand the hard-nosed US ruling circles were not a registered charity and insisted on business reciprocity involving loan repayment. Moreover, the fact that this meant the virtual winding up of the British empire and the Sterling Area was judged in certain American quarters as being a good deal for the US. It should be noted that the parsimony of the US vis-à-vis the British loan contrasted sharply with the extension of Marshall Aid and the wiping out of post-war German debts.

‘’The first loan on the post-war agenda was the British Loan which, as President Truman announced in forwarding it to Congress, would set the course of American and British economic relations for many years to come. He was right, for the Anglo-American Loan Agreement spelled the end of Britain as a Great Power.’’ (4)

POST-WAR AUSTERITY – POLITICS IN EUROPE

The post-war period was one of bitter austerity from the late 40s with rationing and austerity taking place among the ruins of war, and this continued until the early 1950s, to be exact 1954 in the UK, 1950 in Germany.

In the UK The Labour party was elected to power in 1945, which it is said, won the 1945 election by servicemen returning from the war and voting Labour in droves. The new government was given a political mandate to nationalise the core industries: Rail, Public Utilities (gas, electricity, water), Transport, Coal, Iron and Steel, and, most importantly, the setting up of the National Health Service, the jewel in the crown of a new social and political order as overseen by a determined social-democratic party

Over in Europe change was also on the agenda. There were open mass communist parties, the PCF in France, and PCI in Italy often supplemented with armed partisans in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans including Greece. Tito’s partisans gained power in 1946. But the civil war in Greece 1944-49 had a different outcome.(5) Also coming to power in the Balkans at this time were Albanian partisans led by the charismatic albeit demented figure of Enver Hoxha.

Things got better in the next phase of post-war recovery during the 1950s which marked the continuation of post-war reconstruction policies. This involved an end of rationing and a spurt of growth which had been pretty much flat for centuries until WW1 when the epoch of industrialisation of society evolved pari passu with mechanized industrial production; this was a feature of both civilian and military research which often involved a cross-fertilisation of both. Growth took off almost vertically in the 1950s and 60s. This was certainly true in the mid-20th century. But this was a political as well as a strategic/economic phenomenon. This was a period of acute internal political conflict and struggle.

POST-WAR BOOM AND COLD WAR

However from the middle 1950s the momentum of social and political developments moved to a more sustained and semi-tranquil path. The Trente Glorieuses as the French called it – a golden age of social and political peace: there were high levels of growth, low levels of unemployment, high wage levels, high levels of investment, not quite a social-democratic utopia, but at least the years of poverty, war and austerity had been left behind, it seemed for good. I think this unparalleled post-war economic boom had a great deal to do with post-war reconstruction. A point I made in the opening paragraph.

However, it should also be borne in mind that in international and strategic terms this was the Cold War era. A period of nuclear standoff, NATO, the Warsaw Pact, and the unstable division of Europe and colonial wars in Korea (UN under US control) Indo-China (French and American) Malaya, Kenya, Palestine (British). A situation which is still ongoing with the U.S. attempting (unsuccessfully) to carve out an empire.

BRETTON WOODS 2

These tendencies were highly visible and generally in the public realm. But perhaps the less contentious issues and decisions had been and were taking place in more recondite settings. Back in 1944, at the opening session of Bretton Woods, Henry Morgenthau, then Secretary of the US Treasury was to set forth one of the underlying assumptions that guided the work of the architects of the Bretton Woods system. Some were valid others less so. In particular the assumption that 1. Everyone would be the beneficiary of increased world trade, and 2. That economic growth would not be constrained by the limits of the planet.

The trouble with this mode of thinking is that the policy consensus and values among the powers that be (PTB) are also shared by everyone else. This is a very obvious and common shortcoming ‘groupthink’ among the ‘power elite’ of policy makers, and opinion formers, as was pointed out by the astute American intellectual, C Wright Mills way back in the 1950s.

All of this notwithstanding, by the end of the historic meeting, the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and IMF (International Monetary Fund) and GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which was superseded by the WTO (World Trade Organization). If I may paraphrase the poet Robert Browning: Roosevelt was in the White House, God was in his Heaven and all was right with the world!

CONSOLIDATION AND NEW WORLD ORDER

Since that time these global organizations have been dutifully occupied over the years adhering faithfully to their mandate to promote economic growth through globalization – globalization being a catch-all term involving market liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation. Through Structural Adjustment Programmes/Policies (SAPs) the World Bank and the IMF have pressured countries of the Global South to open their borders and convert their economies from self-sufficiency to export production. Trade agreements negotiated through GATT/WTO have reinforced these policies and prized open economies in both the Global South and North opening the path to the increasingly free importation of goods and capital flows (usually ‘hot money’). These archaic trade theories are justified by reference to David Ricardo and his archaic concept of ‘comparative advantage’ which is still taught in economics departments of universities.

The American New World Order established in 1945 had a strategic-military component as well as an economic one. US occupation in 1945 became permanent through the imposition of NATO which has expanded incrementally all the way to the Russian border. This occupation has lasted for 7 decades and is barely noticed as such. Europe has essentially become a collection of vassal states unthinkingly loyal to its American masters. The situation has become so entrenched that – apart from a brief Gaullist opposition – Europeans are completely unaware of this silent annexation. An annexation which in large part was carried out by the CIA and its euro Quislings. These included Operations, Gladio, Mockingbird and Paperclip.

This Atlantic Military-Strategic bloc – NATO – is an aggressive intercontinental vehicle serving as the instrument for US strategy for global dominance. Hard power.

‘’The occupied and colonized can come to accept and adopt the system and ways of their occupiers and colonizers … In Western (and now a fortiori Eastern) Europe many have come to accept without challenge the primary role of the US over the affairs of their states and give little thought to NATO except as a foundation of their security architecture. They have been raised and socialised, with this as part of their world. In many instances it is not only a normal part of the status-quo for them, it is also invisible to them. This is why the post-Cold-War continuation of the Atlantic Alliance went mostly unchallenged at the societal level in NATO member states, leaving the US to slowly consolidate its influence in each and every state.’’(6)

Financial dominance has also been another weapon operationalised and used by the US in their quest for global hegemony. This is particularly relevant with the role of the US$. As the global reserve currency the dollar gives a number of trade advantages over its trade ‘partners’. These are easy enough to enumerate but taking one example:

‘’It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries have to pony up $100 of goods and services in order to obtain one. (The difference between what it costs the government to print a note and a foreigner to procure it is known as seignorage after the right of the medieval Lord or seigneur to coin money and keep for himself some of the precious metal from which it was made.) About $500 billion of US currency circulates outside of the United States for which foreigners have had to provide the United States with $500 billion goods and services.’’(7)

But it is not a privilege which should be abused. Human Nature being what it is, however, it was abused. When the US left the Gold Standard in 1971 it could print dollars with abandon to pay its import bills. This meant it could accrue many advantages including the one mentioned by Eichengreen above. However, all was not as clear-cut as it seemed.

THE TRIFFIN DILEMMA AND THE DOLLAR RACKET

There was always a fundamental incompatibility between the attainment of global economic stability and possession of a single national currency to perform the role of the world’s reserve currency. As a global reserve currency the dollar has to be the anchor of the world’s trading system. However, as a domestic currency the dollar needs to have sufficient flexibility for internal policy. Thus at the heart of the dollar’s value and use there is this contradiction for the dual roles of this currency.

During the Bretton Woods ‘golden age’ which lasted from 1944 until 1971, the US$ was fixed against gold at $35 per oz. However the cost of US wars of choice in Korea and Indo-China, as well as ambitious social programmes like LBJ’s ‘Great Society’, saw a global build-up of surplus dollars accumulating in central banks around the world. These surplus dollar countries then began trading in their surplus dollars at the gold window at the Fed. This was a situation which the US could not tolerate as gold was flying out of the US to various overseas central bank venues.

Thus it was that on August 15, 1971, President Nixon suspended dollar/gold convertibility for a temporary period, which in fact morphed into a permanent arrangement – an arrangement which persists to this day. The gold standard was replaced with the US$ fiat standard. The dollar was to be regarded as being as good as gold, which was rather more like an act of faith than rational economic policy.

The maverick Belgian economist Robert Triffin first drew attention to this anomaly during the 1960s in his seminal work Gold and the Dollar Crisis: The Future of Convertibility. He observed that having the US dollar perform the role of the world’s reserve currency created fundamental conflicts of interest between domestic and international economic objectives.

On the one hand, the international economy needed dollars for liquidity purposes and to satisfy demand for reserve assets. But this forced, or at least made it easy, for the US to run consistently large current account deficits.

He argued that such a policy of running persistent deficits would eventually put pressure on the dollars convertibility and ultimately lead to the demise of the Bretton Woods system of international exchange which is exactly what happened in 1971.

This arrangement led to what in effect were tangible advantages for the US, at least to the current situation.

Nice work if you can get it. International trade as denominated in US$’s meant that the US$ qua world reserve currency could use its dollars to buy foreign assets and pay for them in dollars. These dollars were then held by foreigners who could no longer convert surplus dollars into gold but could only purchase US Treasuries and other US dollar-denominated assets which were never going to be repaid. Surplus dollar countries would sell their hard-earned dollars to purchase US Treasuries which pushed up the value of the dollar and kept US interest rates low; and the US in turn would buy goods and services from these same surplus countries. It worked rather like this: a foreign computer company – say ‘Japcom’ – sells you a computer by lending you the money to buy it! The ultimate free lunch.

But of course there’s always a catch! The effect of a strong dollar which raised domestic US industries costs, led to the hollowing out of the US domestic economy which ultimately could not compete with more efficient overseas competition. The last thing that the US rust belt needed was/is a strong dollar which had the effect of making its export industries less competitive. This left the US in an economic quandary. Namely, that the United States must on the one hand simultaneously run a strong/dollar, policy and on the other a weak/dollar policy, or put another way must allow for an outflow of dollars to satisfy the global demand for the currency, but must also engineer an inflow of dollars to make its domestic industries more competitive. As explained thus: when the Fed cuts interest rates, investors sell dollar-denominated assets and buy foreign assets, which tends to weaken the dollar’s exchange rate.

Having it both ways! Which of course is hardly possible.

Moreover, it is a moot point as to whether the rest of the world will continue to support this ‘exorbitant privilege’ in perpetuity. So far, the Vichy-Quisling-Petainst regimes in Europe and East Asia have to touch their forelocks and prostrate themselves before their Lord and Masters, but it would be wrong to imagine that this can continue as a permanent arrangement. Ironically, however, the US hegemon treats its friends and allies considerably worse than its putative enemies. Such is the nature of geopolitics.

WHAT NEXT?

The rise and fall of empires has always been a leitmotif for historians from Thucydidies and Herodotus, to Gibbon, Glubb and Hobsbawm in the modern period. It seems fairly obvious that the United States is in irreversible decline, and I think that the same is probably true of Europe given that Europe has been effectively Americanised. The American intellectual Morris Berman has perceptively got his finger on the pulse of the decay of modern-day America.

‘’As the 21st century dawns, American culture is, quite simply, in a mess … The dissolution of American corporate hegemony, when it does occur – and our own ‘Soviet Watershed’ is at least 40 or 50 years down the road as of this writing – will happen because of the ultimate inability of the system to maintain itself indefinitely. This type of breakdown which is a recurrent historical phenomenon is a long-range one and internal to the system.’’ (8)

The long decline as described by Berman is in general a cultural critique. A dumbing down so massive, relentless and comprehensive that is seems irresistible and sadly unstoppable. As Berman further writes:

‘’For a zoned-out, stupefied populace, ‘democracy’ will be nothing more than the right to shop, or to choose between Wendy’s or Burger King, or to stare at CNN and think that this managed infotainment is actually the news. As I have said, corporate hegemony, the triumph of global democracy/consumerism based upon the American model is the collapse of American civilization. So a large-scale transformation is going on, but it is one that makes triumph indistinguishable from disintegration.’’(9)

Add to this the hollowing out of the US productive economy (10) and the rise of a bloated financial sector which is kept going by infusions of money freshly printed by the Fed and which is more and more taking on the visage of an gigantic Ponzi scheme where existing debt levels are serviced by more debt, apparently without end. This is not going to be easy to reverse. The ongoing deindustrialisation of the US and its satellites seems to be irreversible.

The US political elites and the MSM seem little more than a monkey house of corrupt buffoons with not a political idea in their heads or what they are about and where they are going: but everything is fine as long as they get paid-off. It seems all very reminiscent of the last days of the French monarchy with America’s own Marie Antoinette, the air-head Nancy Pelosi, passing the time on TV by recommending the variety of ice-cream she keeps in her fridge during the current shut-down. The people have got no bread Nancy! Well let them eat ice-cream! Brilliant PR from Nancy Antionette.

Then of course there are the complete and certifiable lunatics (the neo-cons) who, along with Israel and its 5th column within the US, are intent on dragging the US into unwinnable wars which are slowly degrading the morale the civilian population and fighting capacity of the ‘invincible’ US military machine.

An historical analogy from history seems germane at this point.

It has been recorded that the most important battle that the Roman Army fought was The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Three crack Roman legions crossed the Rhine to engage the Germanic tribes; a cake walk, or so they thought. Unfortunately, they were overconfident and badly led. Strung out on the march and unable to get into their customary Roman battle formations – the dreaded testudo (tortoise) – and were attacked on all sides by hordes of Germanic tribesmen and unceremoniously put to the sword: three crack legions, 20,000 men, one tenth of the Roman Army. This was in 9 CE. The Roman Empire lasted approx. another 400 years, but its reputation had suffered a blow from which it never recovered. The beginning of the end came when the Visigoths crossed the Danube 376 AD into the Roman Empire properly. When Rome was sacked it was the definitive end of empire. The US seems set on the same course, or one similar perhaps, although it is difficult if not impossible to put a date on its final demise.

Who can tell the future? We shall wait and we shall see.

NOTES

(1) The Council of Foreign Relations founded in 1921, is a United States non-profit think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. It is headquartered in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. This somewhat bland description does not explain the reality. In fact the CFR is made up of a number of notables drawn from the American political and financial nomenklatura, an incubator of leaders and ideas unified in their vision of a global economy dominated by US corporate interests.

(2) The Failures of Bretton Woods – David C Korten – The Case Against the Global Economy – 1996 – p.21

* Under the Lend-Lease program, from 1941 to 1945 the United States provided approximately $50 billion in military equipment, raw materials, and other goods to thirty-eight countries. About $30 billion of the total went to Britain, with most of the remainder delivered to the Soviet Union, China, and France

(3) Robert Skidelsky – John Maynard Keynes – Fighting for Britain – 1937-46- collected works and letters – xxiv 28/29 letter to E.R.Stettinuis, 18 April 1944

(4) Michael Hudson – Super Imperialism – pp.268/269

(5) The British Labour government of 1945-40 actually took sides in the Greek Civil War fought between the Greek government army (supported by the United Kingdom and the United States)and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE) — the military branch of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) supported by YugoslaviaAlbania and Bulgaria. This lasted from 1946 to 1949. The Soviet Union avoided sending aid. The fighting resulted in the defeat of the DSE by the Hellenic Army. The Labour party, social-democratic as it may have portrayed itself, was nonetheless pro-imperialist to the core and a founder member of 1940.

(6) Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya – The Globalization of NATO p.334.

(7) Barry Eichengreen – Exorbitant Privilege – pp.3/4

(8) Morris Berman – The Twilight of American Culture – p.21. Published in 2000.

(9) Berman – ibid. – p.132

(10) The Auto-vehicle industry which was pioneered by Henry Ford was dominant up until recently when it produced 50% of motor vehicles. But this is no longer the case. Currently global auto-vehicle producers can be ranked as follows:

1. Toyota (Japan) Annual Output: 10,455,051 2. Volkswagen (Germany) Annual Output: 10,382,384 3. Hyundai/Kia (South Korea) Annual Output: 7,218,391. 4. General Motors (United States) Annual Output: 6,856,880. 5. Ford (United States) Annual Output: 6,386,818. 6. Nissan (Japan) Annual Output: 5,769,277. 7. Honda (Japan) Annual Output: 5,235,842. 8. FCA (Italy, USA) Annual Output: 4,681,457. 9. Renault (France) Annual Output: 3,373,278. Group PSA (France) Annual Output: 3,152,787

American Mercenaries Soiled Themselves In Failed Venezuela Coup (Ruslan Ostashko)

American Mercenaries Soiled Themselves In Failed Venezuela Coup (Ruslan Ostashko)

Translated by Sasha and subtitled by Leo.

For anybody wondering why there are two links, we are trying to get into the habit of posting videos on both YouTube and Dailymotion. Since the subtitle process is different on Dailymotion than on YouTube, it may take a while to perfect it.

Translated by Sasha and subtitled by Leo.

For anybody wondering why there are two links, we are trying to get into the habit of posting videos on both YouTube and Dailymotion. Since the subtitle process is different on Dailymotion than on YouTube, it may take a while to perfect it.

Over 1,200,000 infected, 70,000 dead by COVID-19, food shortage – the US has serious problems. But the democracy peddlers from Washington don’t have time for that. Instead of fighting the epidemic, the American elite keeps trying to establish marionette regimes in the countries where they can carve up natural resources, and they soiled themselves, as it happened again in Venezuela.

The less opportunity the US has to solve problems in their customary manner – by flooding it all with money, the more often they result in all sorts of embarrassments. For instance, the recent disgrace of the supposedly 5th generation aircraft F-35. This is the very case of whatever the amount of money you pour in it doesn’t help. Because the school of engineering has degraded and the real achievements have been replaced by imitation for the sake of redistribution of billions.

The American foreign policy is in a similar situation. Washington has always relied on force, and on a usual scheme of buying out parts of the local elites, so they would help to overthrow the unwanted government. Very recently this again yielded results in the South American Bolivia. Because the overthrown president Evo Morales behaved exceedingly vegetarian. But there is also Venezuela which for the US plays the role of a bone in their throat. Our [Russian] strategic bombers fly over there. Rosneft is working there. There also sits Nicolas Maduro, whom they attempted to overthrow by force a few times but to no avail. And now we have more public self-soiling.

RIA Novosti: “On 3 May, the Interior Minister Nestor Reverol announced that a naval invasion staged by Colombian militants from the direction of La Guiara in the north of the country was thwarted. According to him, the militants tried to invade the country on high speed boats. The Speaker of Venezuelan National Assembly Diosdado Cabello clarified that 8 attackers were killed and two captured.” “He also announced that one of the captured was an agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Later Cabello informed that on Monday, the military and the police in the Northern Sate of Aragua captured another 8 participants of the Sunday naval invasion, including their leader Antonio Sikea.”

The mercenaries were recruited by the Americans among the former members of Venezuelan security forces, who had deserted earlier to the side of the so-called pro-Western opposition, while their American leader has rich experience of participation in conflicts unleashed by the US; from invasion of Iraq to operations in Libya and Syria. Is it then surprising that in Washington they immediately sang denial – the man wasn’t theirs and the US had nothing to do with it?

The American DEA denies that its operative was detained during an armed assault attempt in Venezuela, asclaimed by the country’s authorities.” “The Agency did not take any part in the events of the past weekend, stated the agency’s press service, having advised to also inquire in the State Department.”

The humor in the situation is such that the US media themselves already wrote about the US’ part in yet another attempt to overthrow Maduro.

Iron Curtain (Telegram account): “The Head of PMC ‘Silvercorp USA’ Jordan Goudreau claimed that on Sunday, 3 May he initiated the operation of overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro. However it failed. As The New York Times stated, the group was tasked with penetrating into Venezuela ‘with heavy weapons’, seizing the government buildings within 96 hours, and arresting of the country’s president Nicolas Maduro. The bet was made on ‘demoralization’ of the army, but the Venezuelans managed to defeat the mercenaries.”

It’s no matter whether the American was a DEA operative or had a different ‘roof’. It is clear that now, as he got caught, he is being retroactively removed from any US governmental structure and they will claim that it was his private initiative. Although, if the published information about his work in the White House Secret Service is correct, it is also clear that the operation was sanctioned by the highest ranks of the American state. And that the US has been trying to openly overthrow Maduro for two years is a generally recognised fact. The events demonstrate that the American capabilities for forcible influence over uncomfortable governments are withering away. And the American elites themselves contribute to it enormously while preparing for the autumn battle for the presidential post.

This is why it is not surprising that The New York Times quickly seized the topic of the failure in Venezuela. This will be presented as Donald Trump’s failure and he, in turn, will surely remind the Democrats their disgrace in Benghazi, where during Obama, the American nurtured terrorists killed US citizens. In general, they keep gnawing on each other in Washington. In the meantime, the star-stripped hegemony weakens month by month. And this is good, because the world will be able to breath more freely, when the democracy exporters will spend all their efforts on fighting each other inside their own state.

“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East

The Infamous “Oded Yinon Plan”. Introduction by Michel Chossudovsky

By Israel Shahak and Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 16, 2020

Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. 3 March 2013

Introduction

The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government,  the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. 

President Donald Trump has confirmed in no uncertain terms, his support of Israel’s illegal settlements (including his opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, pertaining to the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank). In recent developments, the Trump administration has expressed its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. 

Trump’s Deal of the Century is “Greater Israel”

It denies the Palestinians all its territorial rights. Israel intends to annex the entire Jordan River valley as well the illegal settlements in the West Bank.

“Greater Israel” will also be part of the forthcoming March 2020 election campaign.  Netanyahu has pledged to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.

“Today [September before second 2019 elections]I announce my intention, with the formation of the next government, to establish Israeli sovereignty on the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.” (emphasis added)

Despite his indictments on grounds of corruption, Netanyahu’s leadership win will contribute to consolidating anti-Arab sentiment within the Likud party. 

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” is supportive of the “Greater Israel” project, which also consists in the derogation of Palestinians’ “right of return” by “naturalizing them as citizens of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere regionally where they reside”.

Bear in mind: The Greater Israel design is not strictly a Zionist Project for the Middle East, it is an integral part of US foreign policy, its strategic objective is extend US hegemony as well as fracture and balkanize the Middle East.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is intended to trigger political instability throughout the region.  

According to the founding father of Zionism Theodore Herzl, “the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”  According to Rabbi Fischmann,  “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.”

When viewed in the current context, including the siege on Gaza, the Zionist Plan for the Middle East bears an intimate relationship to the 2003 invasion of  Iraq, the 2006 war on Lebanon, the 2011 war on Libya, the ongoing wars on Syria, Iraq and Yemen, not to mention the political crisis in Saudi Arabia.  

The “Greater Israel” project consists in weakening and eventually fracturing neighboring Arab states as part of a US-Israeli expansionist project, with the support of NATO and Saudi Arabia. In this regard, the Saudi-Israeli rapprochement is from Netanyahu’s viewpoint a means to expanding Israel’s spheres of influence in the Middle East as well as confronting Iran. Needless to day, the “Greater Israel” project is consistent with America’s imperial design. 

“Greater Israel” consists in an area extending from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates. According to Stephen Lendman,

A near-century ago, the World Zionist Organization’s plan for a Jewish state included:

• historic Palestine;

• South Lebanon up to Sidon and the Litani River;

• Syria’s Golan Heights, Hauran Plain and Deraa; and

• control of the Hijaz Railway from Deraa to Amman, Jordan as well as the Gulf of Aqaba.

Some Zionists wanted more – land from the Nile in the West to the Euphrates in the East, comprising Palestine, Lebanon, Western Syria and Southern Turkey.”

The Zionist project supports the Jewish settlement movement. More broadly it involves a policy of excluding Palestinians from Palestine leading to the eventual annexation of both the West Bank and Gaza to the State of Israel.

Greater Israel would create a number of proxy States. It would include parts of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the Sinai, as well as parts of  Iraq and Saudi Arabia. (See map).

According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in a 2011 Global Research article,  The Yinon Plan was a continuation of Britain’s colonial design in the Middle East:

“[The Yinon plan] is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centerpiece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.

The Atlantic, in 2008, and the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal, in 2006, both published widely circulated maps that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan. Aside from a divided Iraq, which the Biden Plan also calls for, the Yinon Plan calls for a divided Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. The partitioning of Iran, Turkey, Somalia, and Pakistan also all fall into line with these views. The Yinon Plan also calls for dissolution in North Africa and forecasts it as starting from Egypt and then spilling over into Sudan, Libya, and the rest of the region.

“Greater Israel” requires the breaking up of the existing Arab states into small states.

“The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation…  This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme.” (Yinon Plan, see below)

Viewed in this context, the war on Syria and Iraq is part of  the process of Israeli territorial expansion. 

In this regard, the defeat of US sponsored terrorists (ISIS, Al Nusra) by Syrian Forces with the support of Russia, Iran and Hizbollah constitute a significant setback for Israel.  

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, September 06, 2015, updated September 13, 2019, December 28, 2019


The Zionist Plan for the Middle East 

Translated and edited by

Israel Shahak

The Israel of Theodore Herzl (1904) and of Rabbi Fischmann (1947)

In his Complete Diaries, Vol. II. p. 711, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, says that the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”

Rabbi Fischmann, member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared in his testimony to the U.N. Special Committee of Enquiry on 9 July 1947: “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.”“Greater Israel” and the Balkanization of the Middle East: Oded Yinon’s “Strategy for Israel”

from

Oded Yinon’s

“A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”

Published by the

Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc.

Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982

Special Document No. 1 (ISBN 0-937694-56-8)

Table of Contents

  Publisher’s Note1

The Association of Arab-American University Graduates finds it compelling to inaugurate its new publication series, Special Documents, with Oded Yinon’s article which appeared in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization. Oded Yinon is an Israeli journalist and was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To our knowledge, this document is the most explicit, detailed and unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy in the Middle East. Furthermore, it stands as an accurate representation of the “vision” for the entire Middle East of the presently ruling Zionist regime of Begin, Sharon and Eitan. Its importance, hence, lies not in its historical value but in the nightmare which it presents.

2

The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.

3

This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication,  Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach’s study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

4

The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980’s,” talks about “far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967” that are created by the “very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel.”

5

The Zionist policy of displacing the Palestinians from Palestine is very much an active policy, but is pursued more forcefully in times of conflict, such as in the 1947-1948 war and in the 1967 war. An appendix entitled  “Israel Talks of a New Exodus” is included in this publication to demonstrate past Zionist dispersals of Palestinians from their homeland and to show, besides the main Zionist document we present, other Zionist planning for the de-Palestinization of Palestine.

6

It is clear from the Kivunim document, published in February, 1982, that the “far-reaching opportunities” of which Zionist strategists have been thinking are the same “opportunities” of which they are trying to convince the world and which they claim were generated by their June, 1982 invasion. It is also clear that the Palestinians were never the sole target of Zionist plans, but the priority target since their viable and independent presence as a people negates the essence of the Zionist state. Every Arab state, however, especially those with cohesive and clear nationalist directions, is a real target sooner or later.

7

Contrasted with the detailed and unambiguous Zionist strategy elucidated in this document, Arab and Palestinian strategy, unfortunately, suffers from ambiguity and incoherence. There is no indication that Arab strategists have internalized the Zionist plan in its full ramifications. Instead, they react with incredulity and shock whenever a new stage of it unfolds. This is apparent in Arab reaction, albeit muted, to the Israeli siege of Beirut. The sad fact is that as long as the Zionist strategy for the Middle East is not taken seriously Arab reaction to any future siege of other Arab capitals will be the same.

Khalil Nakhleh

July 23, 1982

Foreward

by Israel Shahak

1

The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime (of Sharon and Eitan) for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states. I will comment on the military aspect of this plan in a concluding note. Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points:

2

1. The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha’aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: “The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Ha’aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.

3

2. The strong connection with Neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author’s notes. But, while lip service is paid to the idea of the “defense of the West” from Soviet power, the real aim of the author, and of the present Israeli establishment is clear: To make an Imperial Israel into a world power. In other words, the aim of Sharon is to deceive the Americans after he has deceived all the rest.

4

3. It is obvious that much of the relevant data, both in the notes and in the text, is garbled or omitted, such as the financial help of the U.S. to Israel. Much of it is pure fantasy. But, the plan is not to be regarded as not influential, or as not capable of realization for a short time. The plan follows faithfully the geopolitical ideas current in Germany of 1890-1933, which were swallowed whole by Hitler and the Nazi movement, and determined their aims for East Europe. Those aims, especially the division of the existing states, were carried out in 1939-1941, and only an alliance on the global scale prevented their consolidation for a period of time.

5

The notes by the author follow the text. To avoid confusion, I did not add any notes of my own, but have put the substance of them into this foreward and the conclusion at the end. I have, however, emphasized some portions of the text.

Israel Shahak

June 13, 1982


A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties

by Oded Yinon

This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14–Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.

1

At the outset of the nineteen eighties the State of Israel is in need of a new perspective as to its place, its aims and national targets, at home and abroad. This need has become even more vital due to a number of central processes which the country, the region and the world are undergoing. We are living today in the early stages of a new epoch in human history which is not at all similar to its predecessor, and its characteristics are totally different from what we have hitherto known. That is why we need an understanding of the central processes which typify this historical epoch on the one hand, and on the other hand we need a world outlook and an operational strategy in accordance with the new conditions. The existence, prosperity and steadfastness of the Jewish state will depend upon its ability to adopt a new framework for its domestic and foreign affairs.

2

This epoch is characterized by several traits which we can already diagnose, and which symbolize a genuine revolution in our present lifestyle. The dominant process is the breakdown of the rationalist, humanist outlook as the major cornerstone supporting the life and achievements of Western civilization since the Renaissance. The political, social and economic views which have emanated from this foundation have been based on several “truths” which are presently disappearing–for example, the view that man as an individual is the center of the universe and everything exists in order to fulfill his basic material needs. This position is being invalidated in the present when it has become clear that the amount of resources in the cosmos does not meet Man’s requirements, his economic needs or his demographic constraints. In a world in which there are four billion human beings and economic and energy resources which do not grow proportionally to meet the needs of mankind, it is unrealistic to expect to fulfill the main requirement of Western Society, 1 i.e., the wish and aspiration for boundless consumption. The view that ethics plays no part in determining the direction Man takes, but rather his material needs do–that view is becoming prevalent today as we see a world in which nearly all values are disappearing. We are losing the ability to assess the simplest things, especially when they concern the simple question of what is Good and what is Evil.

3

The vision of man’s limitless aspirations and abilities shrinks in the face of the sad facts of life, when we witness the break-up of world order around us. The view which promises liberty and freedom to mankind seems absurd in light of the sad fact that three fourths of the human race lives under totalitarian regimes. The views concerning equality and social justice have been transformed by socialism and especially by Communism into a laughing stock. There is no argument as to the truth of these two ideas, but it is clear that they have not been put into practice properly and the majority of mankind has lost the liberty, the freedom and the opportunity for equality and justice. In this nuclear world in which we are (still) living in relative peace for thirty years, the concept of peace and coexistence among nations has no meaning when a superpower like the USSR holds a military and political doctrine of the sort it has: that not only is a nuclear war possible and necessary in order to achieve the ends of Marxism, but that it is possible to survive after it, not to speak of the fact that one can be victorious in it.2

4

The essential concepts of human society, especially those of the West, are undergoing a change due to political, military and economic transformations. Thus, the nuclear and conventional might of the USSR has transformed the epoch that has just ended into the last respite before the great saga that will demolish a large part of our world in a multi-dimensional global war, in comparison with which the past world wars will have been mere child’s play. The power of nuclear as well as of conventional weapons, their quantity, their precision and quality will turn most of our world upside down within a few years, and we must align ourselves so as to face that in Israel. That is, then, the main threat to our existence and that of the Western world. 3 The war over resources in the world, the Arab monopoly on oil, and the need of the West to import most of its raw materials from the Third World, are transforming the world we know, given that one of the major aims of the USSR is to defeat the West by gaining control over the gigantic resources in the Persian Gulf and in the southern part of Africa, in which the majority of world minerals are located. We can imagine the dimensions of the global confrontation which will face us in the future.

5

The Gorshkov doctrine calls for Soviet control of the oceans and mineral rich areas of the Third World. That together with the present Soviet nuclear doctrine which holds that it is possible to manage, win and survive a nuclear war, in the course of which the West’s military might well be destroyed and its inhabitants made slaves in the service of Marxism-Leninism, is the main danger to world peace and to our own existence. Since 1967, the Soviets have transformed Clausewitz’ dictum into “War is the continuation of policy in nuclear means,” and made it the motto which guides all their policies. Already today they are busy carrying out their aims in our region and throughout the world, and the need to face them becomes the major element in our country’s security policy and of course that of the rest of the Free World. That is our major foreign challenge.4

6

The Arab Moslem world, therefore, is not the major strategic problem which we shall face in the Eighties, despite the fact that it carries the main threat against Israel, due to its growing military might. This world, with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems and does not therefore constitute a real threat against the State of Israel in the long run, but only in the short run where its immediate military power has great import. In the long run, this world will be unable to exist within its present framework in the areas around us without having to go through genuine revolutionary changes. The Moslem Arab World is built like a temporary house of cards put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the Nineteen Twenties), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into 19 states, all made of combinations of minorites and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging. 5 Most of the Arabs, 118 million out of 170 million, live in Africa, mostly in Egypt (45 million today).

7

Apart from Egypt, all the Maghreb states are made up of a mixture of Arabs and non-Arab Berbers. In Algeria there is already a civil war raging in the Kabile mountains between the two nations in the country. Morocco and Algeria are at war with each other over Spanish Sahara, in addition to the internal struggle in each of them. Militant Islam endangers the integrity of Tunisia and Qaddafi organizes wars which are destructive from the Arab point of view, from a country which is sparsely populated and which cannot become a powerful nation. That is why he has been attempting unifications in the past with states that are more genuine, like Egypt and Syria. Sudan, the most torn apart state in the Arab Moslem world today is built upon four groups hostile to each other, an Arab Moslem Sunni minority which rules over a majority of non-Arab Africans, Pagans, and Christians. In Egypt there is a Sunni Moslem majority facing a large minority of Christians which is dominant in upper Egypt: some 7 million of them, so that even Sadat, in his speech on May 8, expressed the fear that they will want a state of their own, something like a “second” Christian Lebanon in Egypt.

8

All the Arab States east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with inner conflict even more than those of the Maghreb. Syria is fundamentally no different from Lebanon except in the strong military regime which rules it. But the real civil war taking place nowadays between the Sunni majority and the Shi’ite Alawi ruling minority (a mere 12% of the population) testifies to the severity of the domestic trouble.

9

Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi’ite and the ruling minority Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power. In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren’t for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq’s future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past or of Syria today. The seeds of inner conflict and civil war are apparent today already, especially after the rise of Khomeini to power in Iran, a leader whom the Shi’ites in Iraq view as their natural leader.

10

All the Gulf principalities and Saudi Arabia are built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil. In Kuwait, the Kuwaitis constitute only a quarter of the population. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are the majority but are deprived of power. In the UAE, Shi’ites are once again the majority but the Sunnis are in power. The same is true of Oman and North Yemen. Even in the Marxist South Yemen there is a sizable Shi’ite minority. In Saudi Arabia half the population is foreign, Egyptian and Yemenite, but a Saudi minority holds power.

11

Jordan is in reality Palestinian, ruled by a Trans-Jordanian Bedouin minority, but most of the army and certainly the bureaucracy is now Palestinian. As a matter of fact Amman is as Palestinian as Nablus. All of these countries have powerful armies, relatively speaking. But there is a problem there too. The Syrian army today is mostly Sunni with an Alawi officer corps, the Iraqi army Shi’ite with Sunni commanders. This has great significance in the long run, and that is why it will not be possible to retain the loyalty of the army for a long time except where it comes to the only common denominator: The hostility towards Israel, and today even that is insufficient.

12

Alongside the Arabs, split as they are, the other Moslem states share a similar predicament. Half of Iran’s population is comprised of a Persian speaking group and the other half of an ethnically Turkish group. Turkey’s population comprises a Turkish Sunni Moslem majority, some 50%, and two large minorities, 12 million Shi’ite Alawis and 6 million Sunni Kurds. In Afghanistan there are 5 million

Shi’ites who constitute one third of the population. In Sunni Pakistan there are 15 million Shi’ites who endanger the existence of that state.

13

This national ethnic minority picture extending from Morocco to India and from Somalia to Turkey points to the absence of stability and a rapid degeneration in the entire region. When this picture is added to the economic one, we see how the entire region is built like a house of cards, unable to withstand its severe problems.

14

In this giant and fractured world there are a few wealthy groups and a huge mass of poor people. Most of the Arabs have an average yearly income of 300 dollars. That is the situation in Egypt, in most of the Maghreb countries except for Libya, and in Iraq. Lebanon is torn apart and its economy is falling to pieces. It is a state in which there is no centralized power, but only 5 de facto sovereign authorities (Christian in the north, supported by the Syrians and under the rule of the Franjieh clan, in the East an area of direct Syrian conquest, in the center a Phalangist controlled Christian enclave, in the south and up to the Litani river a mostly Palestinian region controlled by the PLO and Major Haddad’s state of Christians and half a million Shi’ites). Syria is in an even graver situation and even the assistance she will obtain in the future after the unification with Libya will not be sufficient for dealing with the basic problems of existence and the maintenance of a large army. Egypt is in the worst situation: Millions are on the verge of hunger, half the labor force is unemployed, and housing is scarce in this most densely populated area of the world. Except for the army, there is not a single department operating efficiently and the state is in a permanent state of bankruptcy and depends entirely on American foreign assistance granted since the peace.6

15

In the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt there is the largest accumulation of money and oil in the world, but those enjoying it are tiny elites who lack a wide base of support and self-confidence, something that no army can guarantee. 7 The Saudi army with all its equipment cannot defend the regime from real dangers at home or abroad, and what took place in Mecca in 1980 is only an example. A sad and very stormy situation surrounds Israel and creates challenges for it, problems, risks but also far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967. Chances are that opportunities missed at that time will become achievable in the Eighties to an extent and along dimensions which we cannot even imagine today.

16

The “peace” policy and the return of territories, through a dependence upon the US, precludes the realization of the new option created for us. Since 1967, all the governments of Israel have tied our national aims down to narrow political needs, on the one hand, and on the other to destructive opinions at home which neutralized our capacities both at home and abroad. Failing to take steps towards the Arab population in the new territories, acquired in the course of a war forced upon us, is the major strategic error committed by Israel on the morning after the Six Day War. We could have saved ourselves all the bitter and dangerous conflict since then if we had given Jordan to the Palestinians who live west of the Jordan river. By doing that we would have neutralized the Palestinian problem which we nowadays face, and to which we have found solutions that are really no solutions at all, such as territorial compromise or autonomy which amount, in fact, to the same thing. 8 Today, we suddenly face immense opportunities for transforming the situation thoroughly and this we must do in the coming decade, otherwise we shall not survive as a state.

17

In the course of the Nineteen Eighties, the State of Israel will have to go through far-reaching changes in its political and economic regime domestically, along with radical changes in its foreign policy, in order to stand up to the global and regional challenges of this new epoch. The loss of the Suez Canal oil fields, of the immense potential of the oil, gas and other natural resources in the Sinai peninsula which is geomorphologically identical to the rich oil-producing countries in the region, will result in an energy drain in the near future and will destroy our domestic economy: one quarter of our present GNP as well as one third of the budget is used for the purchase of oil. 9 The search for raw materials in the Negev and on the coast will not, in the near future, serve to alter that state of affairs.

18

(Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. The fault for that lies of course with the present Israeli government and the governments which paved the road to the policy of territorial compromise, the Alignment governments since 1967. The Egyptians will not need to keep the peace treaty after the return of the Sinai, and they will do all they can to return to the fold of the Arab world and to the USSR in order to gain support and military assistance. American aid is guaranteed only for a short while, for the terms of the peace and the weakening of the U.S. both at home and abroad will bring about a reduction in aid. Without oil and the income from it, with the present enormous expenditure, we will not be able to get through 1982 under the present conditions and we will have to act in order to return the situation to the status quo which existed in Sinai prior to Sadat’s visit and the mistaken peace agreement signed with him in March 1979. 10

19

Israel has two major routes through which to realize this purpose, one direct and the other indirect. The direct option is the less realistic one because of the nature of the regime and government in Israel as well as the wisdom of Sadat who obtained our withdrawal from Sinai, which was, next to the war of 1973, his major achievement since he took power. Israel will not unilaterally break the treaty, neither today, nor in 1982, unless it is very hard pressed economically and politically and Egypt provides Israel with the excuse to take the Sinai back into our hands for the fourth time in our short history. What is left therefore, is the indirect option. The economic situation in Egypt, the nature of the regime and its pan-

Arab policy, will bring about a situation after April 1982 in which Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic, economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts and it could be driven back to the post 1967 war situation in no more than one day. 11

20

The myth of Egypt as the strong leader of the Arab World was demolished back in 1956 and definitely did not survive 1967, but our policy, as in the return of the Sinai, served to turn the myth into “fact.” In reality, however, Egypt’s power in proportion both to Israel alone and to the rest of the Arab World has gone down about 50 percent since 1967. Egypt is no longer the leading political power in the Arab World and is economically on the verge of a crisis. Without foreign assistance the crisis will come tomorrow. 12 In the short run, due to the return of the Sinai, Egypt will gain several advantages at our expense, but only in the short run until 1982, and that will not change the balance of power to its benefit, and will possibly bring about its downfall. Egypt, in its present domestic political picture, is already a corpse, all the more so if we take into account the growing Moslem-Christian rift. Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front.

21

Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt. The vision of a Christian Coptic State in Upper Egypt alongside a number of weak states with very localized power and without a centralized government as to date, is the key to a historical development which was only set back by the peace agreement but which seems inevitable in the long run. 13

22

The Western front, which on the surface appears more problematic, is in fact less complicated than the Eastern front, in which most of the events that make the headlines have been taking place recently. Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precendent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today. 14

23

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization. 15

24

The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia. Regardless of whether its economic might based on oil remains intact or whether it is diminished in the long run, the internal rifts and breakdowns are a clear and natural development in light of the present political structure. 16

25

Jordan constitutes an immediate strategic target in the short run but not in the long run, for it does not constitute a real threat in the long run after its dissolution, the termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians in the short run.

26

There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time, and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority. Changing the regime east of the river will also cause the termination of the problem of the territories densely populated with Arabs west of the Jordan. Whether in war or under conditions of peace, emigration from the territories and economic demographic freeze in them, are the guarantees for the coming change on both banks of the river, and we ought to be active in order to accelerate this process in the nearest future. The autonomy plan ought also to be rejected, as well as any compromise or division of the territories for, given the plans of the PLO and those of the Israeli Arabs themselves, the Shefa’amr plan of September 1980, it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river. Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when the Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between the Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security. A nation of their own and security will be theirs only in Jordan. 17

27

Within Israel the distinction between the areas of ’67 and the territories beyond them, those of ’48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. The problem should be seen in its entirety without any divisions as of ’67. It should be clear, under any future political situation or military constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan river and beyond it, as our existential need in this difficult epoch, the nuclear epoch which we shall soon enter. It is no longer possible to live with three fourths of the Jewish population on the dense shoreline which is so dangerous in a nuclear epoch.

28

Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders. Judea, Samaria and the Galilee are our sole guarantee for national existence, and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. Rebalancing the country demographically, strategically and economically is the highest and most central aim today. Taking hold of the mountain watershed from Beersheba to the Upper Galilee is the national aim generated by the major strategic consideration which is settling the mountainous part of the country that is empty of Jews today. l8

29

Realizing our aims on the Eastern front depends first on the realization of this internal strategic objective. The transformation of the political and economic structure, so as to enable the realization of these strategic aims, is the key to achieving the entire change. We need to change from a centralized economy in which the government is extensively involved, to an open and free market as well as to switch from depending upon the U.S. taxpayer to developing, with our own hands, of a genuine productive economic infrastructure. If we are not able to make this change freely and voluntarily, we shall be forced into it by world developments, especially in the areas of economics, energy, and politics, and by our own growing isolation. l9

30

From a military and strategic point of view, the West led by the U.S. is unable to withstand the global pressures of the USSR throughout the world, and Israel must therefore stand alone in the Eighties, without any foreign assistance, military or economic, and this is within our capacities today, with no compromises. 20 Rapid changes in the world will also bring about a change in the condition of world Jewry to which Israel will become not only a last resort but the only existential option. We cannot assume that U.S. Jews, and the communities of Europe and Latin America will continue to exist in the present form in the future. 21

31

Our existence in this country itself is certain, and there is no force that could remove us from here either forcefully or by treachery (Sadat’s method). Despite the difficulties of the mistaken “peace” policy and the problem of the Israeli Arabs and those of the territories, we can effectively deal with these problems in the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

1

Three important points have to be clarified in order to be able to understand the significant possibilities of realization of this Zionist plan for the Middle East, and also why it had to be published.

2

The Military Background of The Plan

The military conditions of this plan have not been mentioned above, but on the many occasions where something very like it is being “explained” in closed meetings to members of the Israeli Establishment, this point is clarified. It is assumed that the Israeli military forces, in all their branches, are insufficient for the actual work of occupation of such wide territories as discussed above. In fact, even in times of intense Palestinian “unrest” on the West Bank, the forces of the Israeli Army are stretched out too much. The answer to that is the method of ruling by means of “Haddad forces” or of “Village Associations” (also known as “Village Leagues”): local forces under “leaders” completely dissociated from the population, not having even any feudal or party structure (such as the Phalangists have, for example). The “states” proposed by Yinon are “Haddadland” and “Village Associations,” and their armed forces will be, no doubt, quite similar. In addition, Israeli military superiority in such a situation will be much greater than it is even now, so that any movement of revolt will be “punished” either by mass humiliation as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or by bombardment and obliteration of cities, as in Lebanon now (June 1982), or by both. In order to ensure this, the plan, as explained orally, calls for the establishment of Israeli garrisons in focal places between the mini states, equipped with the necessary mobile destructive forces. In fact, we have seen something like this in Haddadland and we will almost certainly soon see the first example of this system functioning either in South Lebanon or in all Lebanon.

3

It is obvious that the above military assumptions, and the whole plan too, depend also on the Arabs continuing to be even more divided than they are now, and on the lack of any truly progressive mass movement among them. It may be that those two conditions will be removed only when the plan will be well advanced, with consequences which can not be foreseen.

4

Why it is necessary to publish this in Israel?

The reason for publication is the dual nature of the Israeli-Jewish society: A very great measure of freedom and democracy, specially for Jews, combined with expansionism and racist discrimination. In such a situation the Israeli-Jewish elite (for the masses follow the TV and Begin’s speeches) has to be persuaded. The first steps in the process of persuasion are oral, as indicated above, but a time comes in which it becomes inconvenient. Written material must be produced for the benefit of the more stupid “persuaders” and “explainers” (for example medium-rank officers, who are, usually, remarkably stupid). They then “learn it,” more or less, and preach to others. It should be remarked that Israel, and even the Yishuv from the Twenties, has always functioned in this way. I myself well remember how (before I was “in opposition”) the necessity of war with was explained to me and others a year before the 1956 war, and the necessity of conquering “the rest of Western Palestine when we will have the opportunity” was explained in the years 1965-67.

5

Why is it assumed that there is no special risk from the outside in the publication of such plans?

Such risks can come from two sources, so long as the principled opposition inside Israel is very weak (a situation which may change as a consequence of the war on Lebanon) : The Arab World, including the Palestinians, and the United States. The Arab World has shown itself so far quite incapable of a detailed and rational analysis of Israeli-Jewish society, and the Palestinians have been, on the average, no better than the rest. In such a situation, even those who are shouting about the dangers of Israeli expansionism (which are real enough) are doing this not because of factual and detailed knowledge, but because of belief in myth. A good example is the very persistent belief in the non-existent writing on the wall of the Knesset of the Biblical verse about the Nile and the Euphrates. Another example is the persistent, and completely false declarations, which were made by some of the most important Arab leaders, that the two blue stripes of the Israeli flag symbolize the Nile and the Euphrates, while in fact they are taken from the stripes of the Jewish praying shawl (Talit). The Israeli specialists assume that, on the whole, the Arabs will pay no attention to their serious discussions of the future, and the Lebanon war has proved them right. So why should they not continue with their old methods of persuading other Israelis?

6

In the United States a very similar situation exists, at least until now. The more or less serious commentators take their information about Israel, and much of their opinions about it, from two sources. The first is from articles in the “liberal” American press, written almost totally by Jewish admirers of Israel who, even if they are critical of some aspects of the Israeli state, practice loyally what Stalin used to call “the constructive criticism.” (In fact those among them who claim also to be “Anti-Stalinist” are in reality more Stalinist than Stalin, with Israel being their god which has not yet failed). In the framework of such critical worship it must be assumed that Israel has always “good intentions” and only “makes mistakes,” and therefore such a plan would not be a matter for discussion–exactly as the Biblical genocides committed by Jews are not mentioned. The other source of information, The Jerusalem Post, has similar policies. So long, therefore, as the situation exists in which Israel is really a “closed society” to the rest of the world, because the world wants to close its eyes, the publication and even the beginning of the realization of such a plan is realistic and feasible.

Israel Shahak

June 17, 1982 Jerusalem

About the Translator

Israel Shahak is a professor of organic chemistly at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. He published The Shahak Papers, collections of key articles from the Hebrew press, and is the author of numerous articles and books, among them Non-Jew in the Jewish State. His latest book is Israel’s Global Role: Weapons for Repression, published by the AAUG in 1982. Israel Shahak: (1933-2001)

Notes

1. American Universities Field Staff. Report No.33, 1979. According to this research, the population of the world will be 6 billion in the year 2000. Today’s world population can be broken down as follows: China, 958 million; India, 635 million; USSR, 261 million; U.S., 218 million Indonesia, 140 million; Brazil and Japan, 110 million each. According to the figures of the U.N. Population Fund for 1980, there will be, in 2000, 50 cities with a population of over 5 million each. The population ofthp;Third World will then be 80% of the world population. According to Justin Blackwelder, U.S. Census Office chief, the world population will not reach 6 billion because of hunger.

2. Soviet nuclear policy has been well summarized by two American Sovietologists: Joseph D. Douglas and Amoretta M. Hoeber, Soviet Strategy for Nuclear War, (Stanford, Ca., Hoover Inst. Press, 1979). In the Soviet Union tens and hundreds of articles and books are published each year which detail the Soviet doctrine for nuclear war and there is a great deal of documentation translated into English and published by the U.S. Air Force,including USAF: Marxism-Leninism on War and the Army: The Soviet View, Moscow, 1972; USAF: The Armed Forces of the Soviet State. Moscow, 1975, by Marshal A. Grechko. The basic Soviet approach to the matter is presented in the book by Marshal Sokolovski published in 1962 in Moscow: Marshal V. D. Sokolovski, Military Strategy, Soviet Doctrine and Concepts(New York, Praeger, 1963).

3. A picture of Soviet intentions in various areas of the world can be drawn from the book by Douglas and Hoeber, ibid. For additional material see: Michael Morgan, “USSR’s Minerals as Strategic Weapon in the Future,” Defense and Foreign Affairs, Washington, D.C., Dec. 1979.

4. Admiral of the Fleet Sergei Gorshkov, Sea Power and the State, London, 1979. Morgan, loc. cit. General George S. Brown (USAF) C-JCS, Statement to the Congress on the Defense Posture of the United States For Fiscal Year 1979, p. 103; National Security Council, Review of Non-Fuel Mineral Policy, (Washington, D.C. 1979,); Drew Middleton, The New York Times, (9/15/79); Time, 9/21/80.

5. Elie Kedourie, “The End of the Ottoman Empire,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 3, No.4, 1968.

6. Al-Thawra, Syria 12/20/79, Al-Ahram,12/30/79, Al Ba’ath, Syria, 5/6/79. 55% of the Arabs are 20 years old and younger, 70% of the Arabs live in Africa, 55% of the Arabs under 15 are unemployed, 33% live in urban areas, Oded Yinon, “Egypt’s Population Problem,” The Jerusalem Quarterly, No. 15, Spring 1980.

7. E. Kanovsky, “Arab Haves and Have Nots,” The Jerusalem Quarterly, No.1, Fall 1976, Al Ba’ath, Syria, 5/6/79.

8. In his book, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said that the Israeli government is in fact responsible for the design of American policy in the Middle East, after June ’67, because of its own indecisiveness as to the future of the territories and the inconsistency in its positions since it established the background for Resolution 242 and certainly twelve years later for the Camp David agreements and the peace treaty with Egypt. According to Rabin, on June 19, 1967, President Johnson sent a letter to Prime Minister Eshkol in which he did not mention anything about withdrawal from the new territories but exactly on the same day the government resolved to return territories in exchange for peace. After the Arab resolutions in Khartoum (9/1/67) the government altered its position but contrary to its decision of June 19, did not notify the U.S. of the alteration and the U.S. continued to support 242 in the Security Council on the basis of its earlier understanding that Israel is prepared to return territories. At that point it was already too late to change the U.S. position and Israel’s policy. From here the way was opened to peace agreements on the basis of 242 as was later agreed upon in Camp David. See Yitzhak Rabin. Pinkas Sherut, (Ma’ariv 1979) pp. 226-227.

9. Foreign and Defense Committee Chairman Prof. Moshe Arens argued in an interview (Ma ‘ariv,10/3/80) that the Israeli government failed to prepare an economic plan before the Camp David agreements and was itself surprised by the cost of the agreements, although already during the negotiations it was possible to calculate the heavy price and the serious error involved in not having prepared the economic grounds for peace.

The former Minister of Treasury, Mr. Yigal Holwitz, stated that if it were not for the withdrawal from the oil fields, Israel would have a positive balance of payments (9/17/80). That same person said two years earlier that the government of Israel (from which he withdrew) had placed a noose around his neck. He was referring to the Camp David agreements (Ha’aretz, 11/3/78). In the course of the whole peace negotiations neither an expert nor an economics advisor was consulted, and the Prime Minister himself, who lacks knowledge and expertise in economics, in a mistaken initiative, asked the U.S. to give us a loan rather than a grant, due to his wish to maintain our respect and the respect of the U.S. towards us. See Ha’aretz1/5/79. Jerusalem Post, 9/7/79. Prof Asaf Razin, formerly a senior consultant in the Treasury, strongly criticized the conduct of the negotiations; Ha’aretz, 5/5/79. Ma’ariv, 9/7/79. As to matters concerning the oil fields and Israel’s energy crisis, see the interview with Mr. Eitan Eisenberg, a government advisor on these matters, Ma’arive Weekly, 12/12/78. The Energy Minister, who personally signed the Camp David agreements and the evacuation of Sdeh Alma, has since emphasized the seriousness of our condition from the point of view of oil supplies more than once…see Yediot Ahronot, 7/20/79. Energy Minister Modai even admitted that the government did not consult him at all on the subject of oil during the Camp David and Blair House negotiations. Ha’aretz, 8/22/79.

 10. Many sources report on the growth of the armaments budget in Egypt and on intentions to give the army preference in a peace epoch budget over domestic needs for which a peace was allegedly obtained. See former Prime Minister Mamduh Salam in an interview 12/18/77, Treasury Minister Abd El Sayeh in an interview 7/25/78, and the paper Al Akhbar, 12/2/78 which clearly stressed that the military budget will receive first priority, despite the peace. This is what former Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil has stated in his cabinet’s programmatic document which was presented to Parliament, 11/25/78. See English translation, ICA, FBIS, Nov. 27. 1978, pp. D 1-10.

According to these sources, Egypt’s military budget increased by 10% between fiscal 1977 and 1978, and the process still goes on. A Saudi source divulged that the Egyptians plan to increase their militmy budget by 100% in the next two years; Ha’aretz, 2/12/79 and Jerusalem Post, 1/14/79.

 11. Most of the economic estimates threw doubt on Egypt’s ability to reconstruct its economy by 1982. See Economic Intelligence Unit, 1978 Supplement, “The Arab Republic of Egypt”; E. Kanovsky, “Recent Economic Developments in the Middle East,” Occasional Papers, The Shiloah Institution, June 1977; Kanovsky, “The Egyptian Economy Since the Mid-Sixties, The Micro Sectors,” Occasional Papers, June 1978; Robert McNamara, President of World Bank, as reported in Times, London, 1/24/78.

 12. See the comparison made by the researeh of the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and research camed out in the Center for Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv University, as well as the research by the British scientist, Denis Champlin, Military Review, Nov. 1979, ISS: The Military Balance 1979-1980, CSS; Security Arrangements in Sinai…by Brig. Gen. (Res.) A Shalev, No. 3.0 CSS; The Military Balance and the Military Options after the Peace Treaty with Egypt, by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Y. Raviv, No.4, Dec. 1978, as well as many press reports including El Hawadeth, London, 3/7/80; El Watan El Arabi, Paris, 12/14/79.

 13. As for religious ferment in Egypt and the relations between Copts and Moslems see the series of articles published in the Kuwaiti paper, El Qabas, 9/15/80. The English author Irene Beeson reports on the rift between Moslems and Copts, see: Irene Beeson, Guardian, London, 6/24/80, and Desmond Stewart, Middle East Internmational, London 6/6/80. For other reports see Pamela Ann Smith, Guardian, London, 12/24/79; The Christian Science Monitor 12/27/79 as well as Al Dustour, London, 10/15/79; El Kefah El Arabi, 10/15/79.

 14. Arab Press Service, Beirut, 8/6-13/80. The New Republic, 8/16/80, Der Spiegel as cited by Ha’aretz, 3/21/80, and 4/30-5/5/80; The Economist, 3/22/80; Robert Fisk, Times, London, 3/26/80; Ellsworth Jones, Sunday Times, 3/30/80.

 15.  J.P.  Peroncell  Hugoz,  Le  Monde,  Paris  4/28/80;  Dr.  Abbas  Kelidar,  Middle  East  Review,  Summer  1979;

Conflict Studies, ISS, July 1975; Andreas Kolschitter, Der Zeit, (Ha’aretz, 9/21/79) Economist Foreign Report, 10/10/79, Afro-Asian Affairs, London, July 1979.

 16. Arnold Hottinger, “The Rich Arab States in Trouble,” The New York Review of Books, 5/15/80; Arab Press Service, Beirut, 6/25-7/2/80; U.S. News and World Report, 11/5/79 as well as El Ahram, 11/9/79; El Nahar El Arabi Wal Duwali, Paris 9/7/79; El Hawadeth, 11/9/79; David Hakham, Monthly Review, IDF, Jan.-Feb. 79.

 17. As for Jordan’s policies and problems see El Nahar El Arabi Wal Duwali, 4/30/79, 7/2/79; Prof. Elie Kedouri, Ma’ariv 6/8/79; Prof. Tanter, Davar 7/12/79; A. Safdi, Jerusalem Post, 5/31/79; El Watan El Arabi 11/28/79; El Qabas, 11/19/79. As for PLO positions see: The resolutions of the Fatah Fourth Congress, Damascus, August 1980. The Shefa’amr program of the Israeli Arabs was published in Ha’aretz, 9/24/80, and by Arab Press Report 6/18/80. For facts and figures on immigration of Arabs to Jordan, see Amos Ben Vered, Ha’aretz, 2/16/77; Yossef Zuriel, Ma’ariv 1/12/80. As to the PLO’s position towards Israel see Shlomo Gazit, Monthly Review; July 1980; Hani El Hasan in an interview, Al Rai Al’Am, Kuwait 4/15/80; Avi Plaskov, “The Palestinian Problem,” Survival, ISS, London Jan. Feb. 78; David Gutrnann, “The Palestinian Myth,” Commentary, Oct. 75; Bernard Lewis, “The Palestinians and the PLO,” Commentary Jan. 75; Monday Morning, Beirut, 8/18-21/80; Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1980.

 18. Prof. Yuval Neeman, “Samaria–The Basis for Israel’s Security,” Ma’arakhot 272-273, May/June 1980; Ya’akov Hasdai, “Peace, the Way and the Right to Know,” Dvar Hashavua, 2/23/80. Aharon Yariv, “Strategic Depth–An Israeli Perspective,” Ma’arakhot 270-271, October 1979; Yitzhak Rabin, “Israel’s Defense Problems in the Eighties,” Ma’arakhot October 1979.

 19. Ezra Zohar, In the Regime’s Pliers (Shikmona, 1974); Motti Heinrich, Do We have a Chance Israel, Truth Versus Legend (Reshafim, 1981).

 20. Henry Kissinger, “The Lessons of the Past,” The Washington Review Vol 1, Jan. 1978; Arthur Ross, “OPEC’s Challenge to the West,” The Washington Quarterly, Winter, 1980; Walter Levy, “Oil and the Decline of the West,” Foreign Affairs, Summer 1980; Special Report–“Our Armed Forees-Ready or Not?” U.S. News and World Report 10/10/77; Stanley Hoffman, “Reflections on the Present Danger,” The New York Review of Books 3/6/80; Time 4/3/80; Leopold Lavedez “The illusions of SALT” Commentary Sept. 79; Norman Podhoretz, “The Present Danger,” Commentary March 1980; Robert Tucker, “Oil and American Power Six Years Later,” Commentary Sept. 1979; Norman Podhoretz, “The Abandonment of Israel,” Commentary July 1976; Elie Kedourie, “Misreading the Middle East,” Commentary July 1979.

 21. According to figures published by Ya’akov Karoz, Yediot Ahronot, 10/17/80, the sum total of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the world in 1979 was double the amount recorded in 1978. In Germany, France, and Britain the number of anti-Semitic incidents was many times greater in that year. In the U.S. as well there has been a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents which were reported in that article. For the new anti-Semitism, see L. Talmon, “The New Anti-Semitism,” The New Republic, 9/18/1976; Barbara Tuchman, “They poisoned the Wells,” Newsweek 2/3/75.The original source of this article is Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc.Copyright © Israel Shahak and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc., 2020

FACEBOOK REMOVES NEWS OUTLETS IN LATEST ORWELLIAN PURGE

Source

12.05.2020 

Facebook Removes News Outlets in Latest Orwellian Purge

Written by Dave DeCamp; Originally appeared on AntiWar.com

Over the past three years, Facebook has been removing accounts for participating in what they call “coordinated inauthentic behavior” (CIB). According to Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, the Orwellian term refers to when “groups of pages or people work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.” Facebook takes down accounts for CIB due to “deceptive behavior” not for sharing false information. In the latest purge, Facebook removed accounts from two news outlets, SouthFront and News Front.

The two outlets have no affiliation; the only thing they share besides the word “Front” in their names is content that does not toe the Western mainstream media line. In its effort to remove CIB and limit “disinformation,” Facebook partners with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab (DFRLab). The Atlantic Council is a Washington-based think-tank that receives funding from Western and Gulf State governments, defense contractors, and social media outlets. Some of its top contributors for the 2018 fiscal year include the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Embassy of the UAE to the US, the US State Department, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Facebook started releasing monthly CIB reports in March that detail the networks and accounts they take down. On May 5th, Facebook released its CIB report for April 2020. The report says Facebook removed eight networks of accounts, pages, and groups engaging in CIB. SouthFront and News Front are included in the first network covered in the report. “We removed 46 Pages, 91 Facebook accounts, 2 Groups, and 1 Instagram account for violating our policy against foreign interference which is coordinated inauthentic behavior on behalf of a foreign entity,” the report reads.

Facebook claims they linked this activity to “individuals in Russia and Donbass, and two media organizations in Crimea – NewsFront and SouthFront.” In a response to the reportSouthFront says the claim that they are based in Crimea is a “blatant lie” that they are willing to “defend in court.” SouthFront says the organization is made up of “an international team of independent authors and experts,” some of whom are from Russia and post-USSR states. News Front, on the other hand, is based in Crimea, but the organization does not try to hide its pro-Russia bias.

In a press release, the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab announced Facebook’s removal of the two organizations. The DFRLab refers to News Front and SouthFront as “two Crimea-based media organizations with ties to the FSB.” The FSB is a Russian security and intelligence agency, a successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB. In its independent analysis of the two outlets, the DFRLab offers little evidence to back up the claim of FSB ties. The analysis only uses a 2017 story from the German outlet Zeit, where a former News Front staffer claims the organization receives funding from the FSB. The DFRLab offers no evidence to link the FSB with SouthFront.

The DFRLab does not make a strong case for Facebook’s removal of the news outlets. The press release says, “While the DFRLab could not corroborate Facebook’s finding of CIB, it also found no evidence to contradict it.”

But using Facebook’s definition of CIB, the DFRLab’s analysis of the two outlets does seem to contradict Facebook’s findings. The pages and users analyzed do not seem to be misleading others or hiding who they are. “Most of the assets that DFRLab had access to did not hide their connection to South Front or News Front. Many of the pages wore their connections on their sleeves, naming themselves as different language versions of the websites,” the analysis reads. News Front is an international news organization with websites in English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Georgian and had Facebook pages to reflect that.

The analysis finds what they call “suspicious links” between News Front and ANNA News, another pro-Russia news outlet. But those “suspicious links” are just two former ANNA News anchors who now work for News Front. Facebook removed pages dedicated to the two anchors.

The analysis goes on to address the only connection between SouthFront and News Front, and probably, the real reason why they were removed from Facebook. Both outlets share stories that go against the Western narrative. The example the analysis seems to take the greatest issue with is stories that take into account Russia’s denial in the role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine in 2014. The analysis also points out that News Front accounts shared news stories from Russian-state funded media outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Ultimately, the DFRLab does not provide any information linking SouthFront or News Front’s social media activity to the Russian government and does not give examples of the accounts intentionally hiding their identity. The best they can do is mention some connections to the Russian government the founders of News Front have, but it is nothing they are trying to hide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused an increase in internet censorship. YouTube’s CEO recently said they would remove any videos that go against the World Health Organization’s guidelines for the virus. On top of the Facebook ban, SouthFront’s YouTube channel has also been removed without any explanation. Although most of SouthFront’s content is military analysis, some stories they published on Covid-19 were flagged as “disinformation” by a ministry of the European UnionSouthFront published a detailed response to those accusations, pointing out that only three of the 3,000 stories they published this year were found to be “disinformation” by what they call “pro-NATO propagandists.”

SouthFront posted a video asking their readers for support in the wake of the social media bans. For independent news outlets, reach on social media is vital for their survival. SouthFront’s Facebook page had around 100,000 subscribers, and the YouTube channel had about 170,000. SouthFront publishes multiple news stories each day, mostly following updates on wars in the Middle East. One of the website’s best resources is its frequently updated maps.

Other networks removed by Facebook in April include accounts in Iran, Georgia, Mauritania, the US, and Myanmar. Facebook claims they took down a network of accounts connected to Iran’s state broadcasting company, although they provide no evidence to support the claim. Content credited to this network includes a post promoting former presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul from 2012. Another example from 2014 is just a news story about Israeli forces preventing Palestinians from praying in al-Aqsa Mosque.

Facebook and its Western government-backed partners will continue to remove accounts each month for engaging in CIB. It will be hard to know if the connections they make to the accounts are genuine. But if the sloppy work they did on SouthFront and News Front is any indication, claims from Facebook and the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab should always be met with skepticism.

Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.

Fake Coronavirus Data, Fear Campaign. Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 12, 2020Global Research 5 April 2020

Introduction

Do not let yourself be misled by the fear campaign, pointing to a Worldwide coronavirus calamity with repeated “predictions” that hundreds of thousands of people are going to die.

These are boldface lies. Scientific assessments of the health impacts of  the COVID-19 have been withheld, they do not make the headlines. 

While COVID-19 constitutes a serious health issue, why is it the object of  a Worldwide fear campaign?

According to the WHO, “The most commonly reported symptoms [COV-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness.”  

Examine the contradictory headlines:

Screenshot The Hill 

According to the WHO and John Hopkins Medicine (see below),  the risks of dying from influenza (annual) compared to those of  COVID-19. (from January through early April)

Source; John Hopkins Medicine

Moreover, the media fails to acknowledge that there are simple and effective treatments for COVID-19. In fact, the reports on the treatment of COVID-19 are being suppressed. And the issue of “recovery” is barely mentioned. 

Persistent headlines and TV reports. Fear and panic. Neither the WHO nor our governments have taken the trouble to reassure us. 

According to the latest media hype, citing and often distorting scientific opinion (CNBC)

Statistical Models by Washington think tanks predict a scenario of devastation suggesting that “more than a million Americans could die if the nation does not take swift action to stop its spread as quickly as possible”.

One model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that between 160 million and 210 million Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year. Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million. (The Hill, March 13, 2020)

The Unspoken Truth:  Unprecedented Global Crisis

The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to trigger the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy, extreme poverty and despair. 

This is the true picture of what is happening. “Planet Lockdown” is an encroachment on civil liberties and the “Right to Life”. Entire national economies are in jeopardy. In some countries martial law has been declared.

Small and medium sized capital are slated to be eliminated. Big capital prevails. A massive concentration of corporate wealth is ongoing. 

Is a diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020)

“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”.

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum)

This crisis is unprecedented in World history. It is destabilizing and destroying people’s lives Worldwide. It’s a “War against Humanity”.

While it is presented to World public opinion as a WHO global health emergency, what is really at stake are the mechanisms of  “economic warfare” sustained by fear and intimidation, with devastating consequences.

The economic and social impacts far exceed those attributed to the coronavirus. Cited below are selected examples of  a global process: 

  • Massive job losses and layoffs in the US, with more than 10 million workers filing claims for unemployment benefits.
  • In India,  a 21 days lockdown has triggered a wave of famine and despair affecting millions of homeless migrant workers all over the country. No lockdown for the homeless: “too poor to afford a meal”.  
  • The impoverishment in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa is beyond description. For large sectors of the urban population, household income has literally been wiped out.
  • In Italy, the destabilization of the tourist industry has resulted in bankruptcies and rising unemployment. 
  • In many countries, citizens are the object of police violence. Five people involved in protests against the lockdown were killed by police in Kenya and South Africa.

The WHO’s global health emergency was declared on January 30th, when there were 150 confirmed cases outside China. From the outset it was based on a Big Lie. 

Moreover, the timing of the WHO emergency coincided with America’s ongoing wars as well simmering financial instability on the World’s stock markets.

Is the global lockdown which engineers Worldwide economic destruction in any way related to America’s global military agenda? 

The coronavirus pandemic is magnifying the cruelty of US foreign policy”

This is an exceedingly complex process which we have examined in detail in the course of the last two months. Consult our archive on coronavirus. 

To reverse the tide, we must confront the lies.  And the lies are overwhelming. A counter propaganda initiative is required. 

When the Lie becomes the Truth, there is No Moving Backwards.

***

Part II

The Second Part of this article will largely focus on the following issues:

  • the definition of COVID-19 and the assessment of the number of “confirmed cases”, 
  • the risks to people’s health,
  • how the alleged epidemic is measured and identified. 

The Spread of the COVID-19 Infection

In many countries including the US, there is no precise lab test which will identify COVID-19 as the cause of a positive infection. Meanwhile the media will not only quote unreliable statistics, it will forecast a doomsday scenario. 

Let us put the discussion on COVID-19 in context.

What is a Human Coronavirus.  “Coronaviruses are everywhere”. They are categorized as “the second leading cause of the common cold (after rhinoviruses)”. Since the 2003 outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus), several (new) corona viruses were identified. COVID-19 is categorized as a novel or new corona virus initially named SARS-CoV-2.

According to Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, pneumonia is “regularly caused or accompanied by corona viruses”. And that has been the case for many years prior to the identification of the COVID-19 in January 2020:

[It is a] well-known fact that in every “flu wave” 7-15% of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are coming along with coronaviruses” 

The COVID-19 belongs to the family of coronviruses which trigger colds and seasonal influenza. We will also address the lab tests required to estimate the data as well as the spread of the COVID-19.  The WHO defines the COVID-19 as follows:

“The most commonly reported symptoms [of COVID-19] included fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, and most patients (80%) experienced mild illness. Approximately 14% experienced severe disease and 5% were critically ill. Early reports suggest that illness severity is associated with age (>60 years old) and co-morbid disease.” (largely basing on WHO’s assessment of COVID-19 in China)

The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in an article entitled Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted provides the following definition:

The overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively.“

These assessments confirm that COVID-19 is akin to seasonal influenza and pneumonia, categorized as contagious respiratory infections.

If the above definitions had made the headlines, there would have been no fear and panic.

The COVID-19. Tests and Data Collection

The H1N1 Pandemic 2009. Déjà Vu

This is not the first time that a global health emergency has been called by the WHO in close liaison with Big Pharma.

In 2009,  the WHO launched the  H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic predicting that “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

One month later WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan stated that  “Vaccine makers could produce 4.9 billion pandemic flu shots per year in the best-case scenario”,( Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), quoted by Reuters, 21 July 2009)

While creating an atmosphere of  fear and insecurity, pointing to an impending global public health crisis, the WHO nonetheless acknowledged that the H1N1 symptoms were moderate and that “most people will recover from swine flu within a week, just as they would from seasonal forms of influenza” (WHO statement, quoted in the Independent, August 22, 2009).

And President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stated with authority, “reassuring public opinion” that  “the H1N1 pandemic is  a serious health threat… to the U.S. — not as serious as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic but worse than the swine flu outbreak of 1976.”Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 Data

H1N1 Fake Data 

In many regards, the H1N1 2009 pandemic reveals the problems of data collection and analysis which we are facing now in relation to COVID-19

Following the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu in Mexico, the data collection was at the outset scanty and incomplete, as confirmed by official statements. The Atlanta based Center for Disease Control (CDC) acknowledged that what was being collected in the US were figures of  “confirmed and probable cases”. There was, however, no breakdown between “confirmed” and “probable”. In fact, only a small percentage of the reported cases were “confirmed” by a laboratory test.

There was no attempt to improve the process of data collection in terms of lab confirmation. In fact quite the opposite. Following the level 6 Pandemic announcement by Dr. Margaret Chan, both the WHO and the CDC decided that data collection of individual confirmed and probable cases was no longer necessary to ascertain the spread of swine fluOne month after the announcement of the level six pandemic, the WHO discontinued the collection of  “confirmed cases”. It did not require member countries to send in figures pertaining to confirmed or probable cases. WHO, Briefing note, 2009)

Based on incomplete, scanty and suppressed data, the WHO nonetheless predicted with authority that: “as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years — nearly one-third of the world population.” (World Health Organization as reported by the Western media, July 2009).

In 2010, Dr. Margaret Chan and the WHO were the object of an investigation by the European Parliament:

“Confirmed Cases”: The CDC Methodology

The CDC methodology in 2020 is broadly similar (with minor changes in terminology) to that applied to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. “Probable cases” was replaced by “Presumptive cases”.

Presumptive vs. Confirmed Cases

According to the CDC the data presented for the United States include both “confirmed” and “presumptive” positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020″.

The presumptive positive data does not confirm coronavirus infection: Presumptive testing involves “chemical analysis of a sample that establishes the possibility that a substance is present“ (emphasis added). But it does not confirm the presence of COVID-19. The presumptive test must then be sent for confirmation to an accredited government health lab. (For further details see: Michel Chossudovsky, Spinning Fear and Panic Across America. Analysis of COVID-19 DataMarch 20, 2020)

How is the COVID-19 Data Tabulated?

The presumptive (PC) and confirmed cases (CC) are lumped together.  And the total number (PC + CC ) constitutes the basis for establishing the data for COVID-19 infection. It’s like adding apples and oranges. The total figure (PC+CC) categorized as “Total cases” is meaningless. It does not measure positive COVID-19 Infection. And among those “total cases” are “recovered cases”.

CDC Data for April 5, 2020

But there is another important consideration: the required CDC lab test pertaining to CC (confirmed cases) is intended to “confirm the infection”. But does it confirm that the infection was caused by COVID-19?

The COVID-19 is a coronavirus which is associated with the broad symptoms of  seasonal influenza and pneumonia. Are the lab exams pertaining to COVID-19 (confirmed cases) in a position to establish unequivocally the prevalence of COVID-19 positive infection?

Below are criteria and guidelines confirmed by the CDC pertaining to “The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel” (Read carefully):

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities. 

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

What this suggests is that a positive infection could be the result of other viruses as well as other corona viruses. (i.e. related to seasonal influenza or pneumonia).

Moreover, the second paragraph suggests that “Negative Results” of the lab test does not preclude a positive COVID-19 infection. But neither do the “combined clinical observations, etc … “.

These criteria and CDC guidelines are contradictory and inevitably subject to error. Since January, these “positive test results” of the RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel do not prove that COVID-19  is the cause of a positive infection for the COVID-19. (also referred to as 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV-2). (See annex below).

Where does the bias come in?

Various coronaviruses are there in the tested specimen. Does the test identify COVID-19?

Has the COVID-19 been singled out as the source of an active infection, when the infection could be the result of  other viruses and/or bacteria?

Important Question?

Are the tests conducted in the US since January 2020 (pertaining to upper and lower respiratory specimens) which confirm infection from one or more causes (without proof of COVID-19) entered in the CDC data banks as “confirmed cases” of COVID-19?

As outlined by the CDC: “The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease.”

Moreover, the presumptive cases” referred to earlier –which do not involve the test of a respiratory specimen– are casually lumped together with “confirmed cases” which are then categorized as “Total Cases”.

Another fundamental question: What is being tested?

Inasmuch as COVID-19 and Influenza have similar symptoms, to what extent are the data pertaining to COVID-19 “overlapping” with those pertaining to viral influenza and pneumonia?

The test pertaining to active infection could be attributed either to influenza or COVID-19, or both?

What is More Dangerous: Seasonal Influenza or COVID-19? 

Influenza –which has never been the object of a lockdown– appears from the recorded data on mortality to be “more dangerous” than COVID-19?

Based on the figures below, the recorded annual death rate pertaining to Influenza is substantially higher than that pertaining to COVID-19. (This is a rough comparison, given the fact that the recorded data pertaining to COVID-19 is not on an annual basis).

The latest data WHO data pertaining to COVID-19 

(Globally, all countries and territories):  40,598 deaths  (recorded up until April 1, 2020).

The estimates of annual mortality pertaining to Influenza:

Historically of the order of 250 000 to 500 000 annually (globally). (WHO).

The most recent WHO estimates (2017):

290 000 – 650 000 deaths globally  (annual). 



ANNEX

https://www.fda.gov/media/134922/download

Note: Two important texts 

Text of CDC criteria For in Vitro Diagnostic Use

Intended Use

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

Summary and Explanation

An outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China was initially reported to WHO on December 31, 2019. Chinese authorities identified a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections in multiple provinces throughout China and many countries including the United States. Cases of asymptomatic infection, mild illness, severe illness, and some deaths have been reported.

The CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a molecular in vitro diagnostic test that aids in the detection and diagnosis 2019-nCoV and is based on widely used nucleic acid amplification technology. The product contains oligonucleotide primers and dual-labeled hydrolysis probes (TaqMan®) and control material used in rRT-PCR for the in vitro qualitative detection of 2019-nCoV RNA in respiratory specimens.

The term “qualified laboratories” refers to laboratories in which all users, analysts, and any person reporting results from use of this device should be trained to perform and interpret the results from this procedure by a competent instructor prior to use.

Principles of the Procedure

The oligonucleotide primers and probes for detection of 2019-nCoV were selected from regions of the virus nucleocapsid (N) gene. The panel is designed for specific detection of the 2019-nCoV (two primer/probe sets). An additional primer/probe set to detect the human RNase P gene (RP) in control samples and clinical specimens is also included in the panel.

RNA isolated and purified from upper and lower respiratory specimens is reverse transcribed to cDNA and subsequently amplified in the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument with SDS version 1.4 software. In the process, the probe anneals to a specific target sequence located between the forward and reverse primers. During the extension phase of the PCR cycle, the 5’ nuclease activity of Taq polymerase degrades the probe, causing the reporter dye to separate from the quencher dye, generating a fluorescent signal. With each cycle, additional reporter dye molecules are cleaved from their respective probes, increasing the fluorescence intensity. Fluorescence intensity is monitored at each PCR cycle by Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR System with SDS version 1.4 software.

Detection of viral RNA not only aids in the diagnosis of illness but also provides epidemiological and surveillance information.

The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the 2019-nCoV in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate) collected from individuals who meet 2019-nCoV clinical and/or epidemiological criteria (for example, clinical signs and symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV infection, contact with a probable or confirmed 2019-nCoV case, history of travel to geographic locations where 2019-nCoV cases were detected, or other epidemiologic links for which 2019-nCoV testing may be indicated as part of a public health investigation). Testing in the United States is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA), 42 U.S.C. § 263a, to perform high complexity tests.

Results are for the identification of 2019-nCoV RNA. The 2019-nCoV RNA is generally detectable in upper and lower respiratory specimens during infection. Positive results are indicative of active infection with 2019-nCoV but do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease. Laboratories within the United States and its territories are required to report all positive results to the appropriate public health authorities.

Negative results do not preclude 2019-nCoV infection and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or other patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

Testing with the CDC 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is intended for use by trained laboratory personnel who are proficient in performing real-time RT-PCR assays. The CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel is only for use under a Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.

 Serology Test for COVID-19

CDC is working to develop a new laboratory test to assist with efforts to determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

The serology test will look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.  Antibodies can be found in the blood and in other tissues of those who are tested after infection.  The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic.  Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms.

Initial work to develop a serology test for SARS-CoV-2 is underway at CDC.  In order to develop the test, CDC needs blood samples from people who had COVID-19 at least 21 days after their symptoms first started. Researchers are currently working to develop the basic parameters for the test, which will be refined as more samples become available. Once the test is developed, CDC will need additional samples to evaluate whether the test works as intended.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research , 2020

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

By Steven Sahiounie

Global Research, May 06, 2020

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

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

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

Roebuck designed the 2011 “Arab Spring” in Syria

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

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

Roebuck’s memo leaked

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

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

Two is the company, but three is a crowd

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

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

Roebuck pushes the Syrian Kurds to unite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next UN peace talks in Geneva

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

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

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

Where Is Joe Biden?

by Lawrence Davidson 

May 2, 2020 

Part I—The Where Is Biden Question

Do you remember that classic puzzle bookWhere’s Waldo? It was first marketed in 1987 and placed Waldo, a tiny, oddly dressed, twenty-something figure amidst hundreds of other ordinary folks. The challenge was to find him in the crowd. Today the Waldo puzzle is still out there but, because in the latest version he is wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, he is not so hard to find. 

The Where’s Waldo? puzzle has recently lent its iconic title to a different question: “Where’s Joe Biden?” Because Biden is the prospective Democratic presidential nominee, this question denotes more than a puzzle game. Some argue that, despite the present contagious environment, Joe Biden should be a lot more visible than at present. Why so?

Well, it might be true that our present Republican president, the all too easy to find Donald Trump, is in the process of self-destructing. But given the often fickle state of mind of the American voter, the Democrats would be ill advised to just rely on the Republicans to defeat themselves. 

Part II—So Just Where is Joe Biden?

Thanks to an in-depth article in the New York Times (NYT), we do in fact know where Joe is. He is presently hunkered down at his home in Wilmington, Delaware—involuntarily cloistered in the basement due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, according to the NYT, Biden is not just twiddling his thumbs. 

Joe Biden is in an information-gathering mode. He has daily briefings via conference calls with chief aids and other advisers. The daily topics are invariably the state of the national economy; the state of the national health; and electoral strategy “seeking to map out the fall campaign and a potential administration.” Occupying only an occasional subject of discussion is the category of foreign policy. 

In the process, Biden seems to be presenting the picture of a sober elder statesman to be contrasted with the present erratic occupant of the White House. Whether the cloistered elder statesman image will cut it in an agitated age of pandemic, economic collapse, and global warming is something that is worrying a lot of Democrats. 

There can, of course, be no campaigning although Biden has experimented with virtual town halls and round tables). Unlike Trump, Biden hasn’t got a bully pulpit. Nor has he figured out how to replicate what can be called the Governor Cuomo phenomenon of drawing almost daily media attention to himself by the sheer public mastery of his circumstances. So, the Democratic leadership, never the most imaginative of pacesetters, seems to be content with casting a low-key virtual image.

There is another factor that keeps Biden secluded. The last thing the party leaders want is for the 77-year-old Biden to get sick (“rare outside visitors don masks and gloves as a safety measure”). A Corvid-crippled Joe would probably bring a Bernie Sanders candidacy back to center stage.

Part III—A Man for Our Time?

It appears that behind the scenes, Joe Biden is not optimistic about the nation’s near future, even if he wins the November election. “Before Mr. Biden entered his state of near-quarantine, he was telling associates that he feared the onset of a national catastrophe” in the form of  “another Great Depression.” This contrasts sharply with Donald Trump’s prediction that the economy will soon “come roaring back.” If the precipitous movement towards reopening the economy under Trump’s leadership backfires and triggers a national reinfection, Biden’s concern will prove much closer to the truth. Under such circumstances, he may very well win the presidency even if he never leaves his basement. 

And then what? Can Joe Biden be a man for our time? Can he be the leader who saves us all in this crises-ridden hour? Considering Biden’s political record, one has a hard time imagining this. 

There is a recently published (January 2020) book entitled Joe Biden, Yesterday’s Man. Written by Branko Marcetic, an investigative reporter and staff writer for Jacobin magazine, the book lays out Biden’s political biography. It argues that Biden’s political sensibility is that of a 1970s suburbanite. He sees his base as being a white middle class that has, in truth, shrunk and turned to the right. That process has, on occasion, led him to turn to the right (he has a record of sharp reversals on positions when subjected to heavy pressure). He has no problem taking corporate money (he told donors that with a Biden presidency “nothing fundamental will change for them”), and is the friend of many powerful lobbies. Biden is a politician whose lifelong self-image is that of a great conciliator—someone who believes he can work with all groups. In the 1970s, he cut political deals with segregationists in Congress so as to “get things done.” As Marcetic shows, what Biden got done at that time was putting a stop to busing as a method of desegregation. Biden seems to think he can now work with the Trump Republicans as well. Finally, as we will see below, he embraces most of the nation’s immoral foreign policy.

As it stands now, Biden’s ambition does not go any further than a naive desire to take the nation back to the time before Trump—“make it [America] like it used to be”. Two things can be said about this ambition. First, unfortunately, historical times cannot simply be reversed. Second, to limit your goal in this fashion means you fail to realize that “like it used to be” perforce embodies the problems that led to the “time of Trump” in the first place. Thus, Biden’s present thinking can only provide superficial and ultimately unsatisfactory answers to challenges facing both the U.S. and the world beyond. 

Part IV—Then there is Foreign Policy

Biden and his present advisers “largely embrace the core principles that have driven U.S. foreign policy for decades,” namely, the U.S. must lead the world, spread pseudo democracy, be loyal to its allies, etc. Here Biden is most often “yesterday’s man.”

Israel: Biden has been a loyal friend of Israel even during the tensions that arose when he was vice president under Obama. He has known Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 30 years and considers him a good friend. As vice president, Biden once told Uzi Arad, one of Netanyahu’s advisers, “Just remember that I am your best fucking friend here.” 

If this holds true, what can one really expect from Biden the president? It would come as a surprise if Biden reversed Trump’s over-the-top embrace of the Zionist state. He has already said that, as president, he would not move the U.S. embassy out of Jerusalem. Even in the face of astronomical U.S. debt, Biden probably will still insist on giving billions of dollars to a Zionist state that, on multiple counts, stands in stark violation of international law.

Venezuela: It would appear that Biden would have little trouble following up on the Trump administration’s promotion of a rightist coup in Venezuela. For all intents and purposes he has backed Trump’s aggression in this arena and, of course, done so in the name of democracy.  

Iran: Biden says he continues to support the 2015 nuclear deal Obama helped negotiate with Iran—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, he does so from the stereotypical American view that Iran continues to be “a destabilizing factor in the Middle East.” As president, he claims that he will rejoin the agreement. This would certainly be a positive move, but don’t be surprised if the Iranians are a bit suspicious of Biden—after all, they too know his political biography.  

Part V—Conclusion

A conciliatory, mediocre leader, who has shown little ability to resist the will of lobbies and donors, might find greatness when forced to face novel challenges. But that does not happen very often, and from all we do know about Joe Biden, the odds are against him blossoming in this fashion. 

If elected, Biden will face three immediate challenges: (1) a nation struggling to overcome plague, (2) an economy in deep recession, and (3) a world climatically self-destructing (Biden’s record on climate change is “sketchy). According to the NYT, Joe Biden,secluded in his basement, is trying to prepare himself to meet these challenges. However—and here is the key factor—he is doing so as the machine politician he has always been—and that one-dimensionality will certainly help define the results. Trump might well be dethroned, but there will be no new and better world emerging under Joe Biden. When all is said and done, perhaps things will become less bad.

Saudis see Trump as unpredictable and fear who might be the next American President: Askari

February 26, 2020 – 12:29

TEHRAN – Professor Hossein Askari, an expert on Saudi Arabia who also teaches international business at the George Washington University, believes that “The Saudis see Trump as unpredictable and fear who might be the next American President.”

“Open up a small channel with Iran in case it is needed given the unpredictability of U.S. foreign policy,” Hossein Askari, who served as special advisor to Saudi finance minister, tells the Tehran Times.
Following is the text of the interview:

Q: The Lebanese newspaper Al-Banna disclosed that Saudi Arabia had expressed willingness to negotiate with Iran after the Aramco oil facility incident, but it was ultimately the Americans who prevented Riyadh from fulfilling its demand. How effective do you think America is in affecting such decisions in Riyadh? 

A: Historically, Saudi Arabia would never think about negotiating with Iran before two conditions were met. The King was convinced that Iran was not bent on overthrowing the Al-Sauds, a paranoia that has poisoned rapprochement between the two countries. And second, America’s concurrence about a dialogue with Iran as the Kingdom is totally dependent on the United States for its self-defense. After the Iran Nuclear deal in 2015 (JCPOA), the Al-Sauds had second thoughts about relying on American support. Could they continue to depend on the United States? But when Trump became president and after his trip to Saudi Arabia, the Al-Sauds became emboldened. They felt they could do anything in the region because Trump had their back. But after the Aramco incident, when Trump did not retaliate against Iran for its alleged role, the Al-Sauds became weak in their needs. They had second thoughts. They were willing to hedge their bets. I don’t know, but I think the U.S. did not want any dialogue that would weaken its hands in dealing with Iran in the future. 

Q: In your opinion, what groups within Saudi Arabia are in favor of dialogue with Iran, and what groups oppose this? In general, the question is whether internal disputes within Saudi Arabia itself determine whether or not to negotiate with Iran. 

A: I think the issue is within the Al-Saud tribe. They don’t listen to other voices in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi public wants peace, less military expenditures and less foreign adventures in places such as Yemen or Syria. The Al-Sauds have to be convinced that Iran has no designs on their rule and will not work with anyone or any group in Saudi Arabia to change the ruling structure in Saudi Arabia. Until then, something that is impossible to predict as relations and events can change, it will rely on the United States the best it can and even secretly secure Israeli support.

Q: Saudi Arabia has aligned with Washington in pursuit of U.S. maximum pressure campaign toward Iran. But after the Aramco attack and the lack of serious U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, Riyadh found that its problems with Iran had to be resolved bilaterally. Do you agree with this assessment? 

A: Yes, bilaterally but with full U.S. backing to reach a global security arrangement for the entire Middle East region.

Q: In your opinion, which foreign countries oppose the normalization of Iran- Saudi relations and benefit more from the current situation? 

A: The countries that benefit are clear. First, the United States. Because of the conflict, it sells arms to Saudi Arabia and has preferred access to Saudi Arabia for selling everything else, goods and services, that the country imports. U.S. financial institutions are major beneficiaries of managing Saudi assets. But also don’t forget the benefits to lobbyists and consultants of turmoil in the Persian Gulf. The second country that benefits is Israel. I believe it has found a secret channel to Saudi Arabia, affording Israel a useful wedge to use against Iran and extract indirect Arab support in its suppression of Palestinian rights. Russia and China are afforded a role to exploit opportunities for influence in the region.

Q: Some media reported that the Americans had informed the Riyadh authorities that the Iranian system was in dire straits after the demonstrations in Iraq, Lebanon and Iran began and there was no need to negotiate. If this is true, why is Saudi Arabia fully defining its foreign policy towards Iran, despite the lack of American support for the Aramco attack? 

A: U.S. hawks, such as Bolton and the Israeli lobby, are all the time touting the imminent collapse of the government in Iran if just a little more pressure is brought to bear. Always, a little bit more. I don’t see any collapse of Iranian cooperation in Iraq or Lebanon. The one thing that has gotten worse for Iran is its economy. And even this seems to have stabilized. Still for the longer run, the migration of talent from Iran to Europe, North America and Australia spells further trouble ahead. But even if I am wrong and the Iranian system is in dire straits, the Saudis see Trump as unpredictable and fear who might be the next American President. A Bernie sanders would scare the Al-Sauds to no end. They want to slowly hedge their bets. Open up a small channel with Iran in case it is needed given the unpredictability of U.S. foreign policy.

%d bloggers like this: