Between the congressional vote and Sweden’s understandings concerning Yemen بين تصويت الكونغرس وتفاهمات السويد اليمنية

Between the congressional vote and Sweden’s understandings concerning Yemen

ديسمبر 26, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

As it is difficult to separate between the region’s wars waged by Washington and the size of the Saudi involvement in them, and as it is difficult to imagine the decline of the Saudi status and the non-impact of the wars by it, it is difficult to imagine the non-impact of the opposite alliance of the resistance axis especially Iran, which the US President Donald Trump has justified its confrontation through his sticking to the strong relationship with Saudi Arabia.  It is difficult too to imagine the progress of a fair compromise in Yemen that preserves for Ansar Allah an important future role and an active presence in the formulation of a new state that ends the war waged by Saudi Arabia and UAE which was supported by Washington without affecting the regional status of Iran and without affecting the parallel tracks in the confrontation between the alliance of Washington and Riyadh on one hand, and the alliance of Moscow and Tehran on the other hand.

It is no longer difficult to describe what is going on as a double track, that will end with a new status of Saudi Arabia in Washington differs from the one imposed by the President Trump where the Saudi Crown Prince is the betting horse in it, whether in the confrontation with Iran or in the protection of Israel or in the project of the deal of the century, and that will end with a Yemeni settlement where Saudi Arabia emerges weaker and where the Yemeni state is reformed according to the criteria of balance imposed by the steadfastness of the Yemenis. The Congressional vote to cease the Saudi-Emirati war on Yemen is a double sign of the status of Saudi Arabia and the future of the war of Yemen.

The Congress and the intelligence intervene to correct the American track when the presidency lives in a state of denial, and when it is difficult to correct it during the complexities against Russia on one hand and the complexities related to the security of Israel on the other hand, so they choose Saudi Arabia which failed in achieving its commitments and Yemen which has a dark image for America due to its brutal crimes. But the goal cannot be separated from the apparent repercussions; The cessation of the war on Yemen and the adjustment of the classification of Saudi Arabia politically and strategically have their repercussions on the balances of the confrontations in the region on which the American power and the size of its impact on making politics in the world depend, where Iran, Russia, China are present.

The attitudes of the escalating confrontations in Washington towards the President Trump which the midterm elections formed an opportunity to show them as an expression of the public opinion that presages the upcoming presidential elections, and the parallel international attitudes to resize the status of Saudi Arabia, moreover the attitudes which wonder about the future of Israel and what can it do in the light of the escalating of the Palestinian resistance and the growing increasing popular presence which supports the resistance and the intifada are signs that show that the time of change imposed by the victories of Syria, the steadfastness of Yemen, the stability of Palestine, the rise of Iran, the progress of Russia, and the growing capabilities of China is the time that cannot be denied by stubbornness,  but it can be adapted and coexisted with its results, and to search for settlements, but when it is difficult to do so, it is possible resort to compromises.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بين تصويت الكونغرس وتفاهمات السويد اليمنية

ديسمبر 14, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بمثل ما يصعب الفصل بين حروب المنطقة التي خاضتها واشنطن وحجم المكانة السعودية فيها، يصعب تخيّل تراجع المكانة السعودية وعدم تأثر مسارات هذه الحروب، كما يصعب تخيّل عدم تأثر المكانة المعاكسة لقوى محور المقاومة، خصوصاً إيران التي برر الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بالمواجهة معها، تمسكه بمكانة قوية للسعودية، وبالتوازي يصعب تخيل تقدّم مسار تسوية منصفة في اليمن تحفظ لأنصار الله دوراً مستقبلياً وازناً وحضوراً فاعلاً راهناً في صياغة الدولة الجديدة، وتنهي الرهان على الحرب التي خاضتها السعودية والإمارات ودعمتها واشنطن، دون أن يؤثر ذلك على مكانة إيران الإقليمية، ودون أن ينعكس على المسارات الموازية لحرب اليمن في المواجهة بين المحورين المتقابلين بتحالف واشنطن والرياض من جهة، وتحالف موسكو وطهران من جهة مقابلة.

– لم يعُد صعباً توصيف ما يجري بصفته تكريساً لمسار مزدوج، ينتهي من جهة بمكانة جديدة للسعودية في واشنطن تختلف عن تلك التي رسمها الرئيس ترامب، وشكل ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان حصان الرهان فيها، سواء في المواجهة مع إيران أو في حماية «إسرائيل»، أو في المشروع الجامع بين المهمتين المسمّى بصفقة القرن، وينتهي من جهة مقابلة بتسوية يمنية تخرج عبرها السعودية أضعف، وتُعاد صياغة الدولة اليمنية وفقاً لمعايير التوازن الذي فرشه صمود اليمنيين بوجه الحرب التي شنها تحالف السعودية والإمارات بدعم أميركي، ولعل تصويت الكونغرس على وقف دعم الحرب السعودية الإماراتية على اليمن، إشارة مزدوجة لمكانة السعودية ومستقبل حرب اليمن.

– يتدخّل الكونغرس والمخابرات لتصويب المسار الأميركي، عندما تعيش الرئاسة حال الإنكار، وحيث يصعب التصويب في نقاط التعقيد بوجه روسيا من جهة، وفي نقاط التعقيد المتصلة بأمن «إسرائيل» من جهة مقابلة، فيقع الاختيار على الخاصرتين الرخوتين، السعودية الفاشلة في تحقيق التزاماتها، واليمن حيث صورة أميركا السوداء بفعل الجرائم الوحشية، لكن الهدف لا يمكن أن يكون معزولاً عن الصلة بتداعيات بائنة في المسارين، فلا وقف حرب اليمن ولا تعديل تصنيف مكانة السعودية الائتمانية سياسياً واستراتيجياً، بلا تبعات على التوازنات الإجمالية في مواجهات المنطقة، التي يتوقف عليها ترسيم حدود القوة الأميركية، وحجم تأثيرها في صناعة السياسة على مستوى المنطقة، التي تتشارك فيها الحضور مع إيران، وعلى مستوى العالم الذي تتشارك فيه الحضور مع روسيا والصين أيضاً.

– الاتجاهات للمواجهة المتصاعدة داخل واشنطن للرئيس ترامب التي شكلت الانتخابات النصفية فرصة لتظهيرها كتعبير عن رأي عام شبابي ونخبوي يدقّ أبواب الانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة، توازيها اتجاهات دولية في قلبها أميركا لتحجيم مكانة السعودية، واتجاهات تتساءل عن مستقبل ما تريده «إسرائيل» وما تستطيعه، في ظل تصاعد المقاومة الفلسطينية وتنامي الحضور الشعبي المتزايد الداعم للمقاومة والانتفاضة، إشارات تقول إن زمن التغيير الذي فرضته انتصارات سورية، وصمود اليمن، وثبات فلسطين، وصعود إيران، وتقدّم روسيا بقوة، وتنامي مقدرات الصين، هو زمن لا يمكن الالتفاف عليه بالتذاكي أو إنكاره بالعناد، بل يمكن التأقلم معه والتساكن مع نتائجه، والبحث عن تسويات الممكن معه، وحيث يستعصي ذلك يمكن ربط النزاع.

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ترامب ونتنياهو وحقيقة القرن: قلق الوجود على «إسرائيل»

ترامب ونتنياهو وحقيقة القرن: قلق الوجود على «إسرائيل»

نوفمبر 24, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– في الطريق إلى صفقة القرن وقع الثلاثة، الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ورئيس حكومة كيان الإحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو وولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان. والثلاثة آخر من تبقى من حلف المئة وثلاثين دولة الذين قادتهم واشنطن في إعلان الحرب على سورية بعد الفشل الذريع في هذه الحرب، والثلاثة تعاقدوا على صفقة شرعنة احتلال القدس وإعلانها عاصمة لكيان الاحتلال مقابل حلف خليجي إسرائيلي أميركي بوجه إيران عنوانه إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية، وبدون هذه الصفقة لا فوائد ترتجى من العقوبات على إيران ولا قيمة للانسحاب من التفاهم النووي معها. وبدون شريك فلسطيني لا قيمة لهذه الصفقة، وقد فشلت مساعي توليف هذا الشريك وانتهى الأمر. فالشعب الفلسطيني قال كلمته، مَن بوقع على بيع القدس مقتول مقتول مقتول.

– يواجه الرئيس ترامب بعد الانتخابات النصفية للكونغرس موجة صاعدة عنوانها، نهوض شبابي منح الحزب الديمقراطي أغلبية مجلس النواب بمشاركة زادت المقترعين بنسبة 40 محور مشاركتها أنها ضاقت ذرعاً بكل ما جلبه ترامب على أميركا، بلغته وخطابه وعنصريته وسياساته وسلوكه الفظ وعنجهيته، والأهم فشله في صناعة نصر خارجي أو إنجاز داخلي. ويعرف ترامب أن الموجة إلى تصاعد وسوف تكون بانتظاره بقوة أكبر مع الانتخابات الرئاسية. وطريق ترامب الوحيد للرهان على تغيير الموازين هو الانقلاب على شريكيه نتنياهو وإبن سلمان لولا أن السياسة العليا تمنعه من ذلك، فالتخلي عن السعودية تخلٍّ عن «إسرائيل»، وربما تسريع بسقوطها، كما قال ترامب.

– يواجه نتنياهو بعد فشل صفقة القرن المأزق الاستراتيجي الذي صنعته انتصارات المقاومة وثبته صمود سورية، حيث «إسرائيل» الكبرى ماتت مع زوال الاحتلال من جنوب لبنان، ودفنت مع زواله عن قطاع غزة، فما عادت أحلام التوسع العسكري ذات مكان، و»إسرائيل» العظمى القائمة على قوة الردع وفرض الإرادة ومقايضة الأمن بالاقتصاد، سقطت مع تآكل قدرة الردع منذ فشل جيش الاحتلال في حرب تموز 2006 وفشله اللاحق في حروب غزة، وفشله الأعظم في إعادة إنتاج قدرة الردع من بوابة الحرب على سورية، وجاءت تجربة غزة الأخيرة لتقول إن استعادة هذه القدرة أضغاث أحلام، وإن إسرائيل الصغرى التي بنيت على صفقة القرن كدولة يهودية عاصمتها القدس تواجه مأزق الوجود بعد فقدان الدور.

– شكّل سقوط صفقة القرن إيذاناً بسقوط الحلقة المحورية فيها وهو ولي العهد السعودي صاحب التعهد بتأمين التوقيع الفلسطيني، وهو الحلقة الأضعف بين حليفيه ترامب ونتنياهو، فجاءت قضية قتل جمال الخاشقجي تصنيعاً أو توظيفاً المدخل المناسب لبدء العملية التدريجية للتموضع الجديد للسياسات الأميركية. فالدور السعودي يفقد الوظيفة وهو كما قال ترامب الركن الذي تعتمد عليه السياسة الأميركية في حصار إيران وحماية «إسرائيل». وترابط الهدفين معلوم. فالحصار على إيران له قضية كبرى اسمها حماية «إسرائيل»، والسعودية ما عادت تنفع في كليهما.

– للمرة الأولى يتحدث بنيامين نتنياهو عن أن الكيان في وضع يشبه عشية حرب العام 1947 وهو يعلم أن لا جيوش تستعد للحرب على الحدود، لكنه يقصد بوضوح عودة القلق الوجودي ذاته الذي عاد للظهور، وللمرة الأولى يضطر الرئيس الأميركي، للإعلان أن دور السعودية في السياسات الأميركية هو حماية «إسرائيل»، لكنه يقول كلاماً خطيراً بإيجاز، رحيل «إسرائيل» بسقوط السعودية، محاولاً استنفار آخر نقاط مفاهيم الأمن لدى الأميركيين وعلاقتها بحماية «إسرائيل» لمنح الوقت لترتيب البيت السعودي بهدوء، لأن القلق على «إسرائيل» بات وجودياً بعد التسليم بنهاية الدور.

– «إسرائيل» الصغرى وقلق الوجود متلازمة القرن، بعدما كانت متلازمة القرن الماضي «إسرائيل» الكبرى و»إسرائيل» العظمى وتعاظم الدور، والفضل لشلال تضحيات وتراكم انتصارات من لبنان إلى سورية والعراق واليمن والأهم فلسطين، وفي الخلفية عمق استراتيجي اسمه إيران، وحليف صادق ونزيه اسمه روسيا.

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What the mid-term elections tell us about US interior conflict

The US mid-term elections have been interpreted by the major medias in terms of the partisan divide between Republicans and Democrats. However, continuing his in-depth analysis of the social fabric, Thierry Meyssan sees a clear retreat of the Puritans faced with the Lutherans and the Catholics. Donald Trump’s political realignment, just as that of Richard Nixon before him, is close to succeeding.

 | DAMASCUS (SYRIA)  

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The Republican Party has lost the House of Representatives, but Donald Trump has imposed his ideas.

During the US mid-term elections, voters were asked to pronounce themselves collectively for the renewal of all members of the Federal House of Representatives and one third of the members of the Federal Senate. Besides that, at the local level, they nominated 36 governors with numerous other local responsibilities, and answered 55 referendums.

These elections are considered far less catalysing than the Presidential elections. US politologists take little notice of the voter turnout, since it is possible to participate only in certain elections and not others.

While since the end of the Cold War, the turnout for Presidential elections has been between 51 % and 61 % (with the exception of the vote for Bill Clinton’s second mandate, which interested only a minority of electors), the mid-term elections attract between 36 % and 41 % (with the exception of 2018, which apparently reached 49 %). So, from the point of view of citizen participation, the rules of the game are democratic – however, in practice they are anything but. If there were a quorum [1], the members of Congress elected would be few and far between. Representatives and Senators are usually chosen by less than 20 % of the population.

The researchers who analyse election results with a view to predicting the careers of the candidates do so through the lens of partisan differences. This time, the majority in the House of Representatives will be Democrat, and in the Senate, mostly Republican. This analysis makes it possible to anticipate how much elbow room the President will have when dealing with Congress. But in my opinion, it is of no use whatever in attempting to understand the evolution of US society.

During the Presidential campaign of 2016, an ex-Democrat, Donald Trump, presented himself as a candidate for the Republican Party. He represented a political current which had been absent from the US landscape since the resignation of Richard Nixon – the Jacksonians. A priori, he had no chance of obtaining the Republican investiture. Nonetheless, he eliminated his 17 rival candidates one by one, won the nomination, and then won the election in opposition to the opinion poll favourite, Hillary Clinton.

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Andrew Jackson, whose portrait is shown on the 20 dollar bill, is the most controversial President of the United States.

The Jacksonians (from the name of President Andew Jackson, 1829-1837) are the defenders of popular democracy and individual freedom against both political and economic power. On the contrary, the dominant ideology of the time, both for the Democrat and the Republican Parties, was that of the Puritans – moral order and imperialism.

During this campaign, I observed that the powerful ascension of Donald Trump marked the resurgence of a fundamental conflict – on one side the descendants of the « Pilgrim Fathers » (the Puritans who founded the British colonies of America) and on the other, the descendants of the immigrants who fought for the independence of their country [2].

The first historical component of the United States (the Puritans) intended to create colonies based on a « pure » way of life (in the Calvinist meaning of the term) and to pursue England’s foreign policy. The second (the Anglicans, the Lutherans and the Catholics) were fleeing the misery of which they had been the victims in Europe, and hoped to better their situation by their own work.

These two groups found a consensus around their Constitution. The major landowners who drew up the fundamental laws explained exhaustively that they wanted to reproduce the political system of the English monarchy, but without creating an aristocracy [3]. However, the second group who added the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution), wanted to pursue the « American dream » without running the risk of being crushed by some sort of « raison d’état ».

Over the last few years, the Democratic and Republican Parties have evolved to become the spokespersons of Puritan thought, defending moral order and imperialism. The Bushes are the direct descendants of the « Pilgrim Fathers ». Barack Obama composed his first cabinet by relying massively on the members of the Pilgrim’s Society (the transatlantic club presided by Queen Elizabeth II). Hillary Clinton was supported by 73 % of Judeo-Christians » [4] etc. On the contrary, Donald Trump represented, on his own, the other component of US political history. In no more than a few months, he managed to take control of the Republican Party and steer it towards his own convictions, at least in appearance.

Currently, approximately a third of the population of the United States has become violently polarised between pro- and anti-Trump factions, while the other two thirds, much more moderate, are holding back. Many observers consider that the country is now as divided as it was in the 1850’s, just before the civil war known as the « War of Secession ». Contrary to the myth, that conflict did not oppose a slave-owner South to an Abolitionist North, since at that time, both sides practised slavery. The war was more about economic policy, and opposed an agricultural Catholic South and an industrial Protestant North. During the War, both sides attempted to enrol slaves in their armies. The North was quickly ready to free them, while the South was waiting to seal its alliance with London. Historians have demonstrated that, from a cultural point of view, the conflict was a prolongation, in the United States, of the English civil war, known as the « Great Rebellion » (which opposed Lord Cromwell and Charles the First). However, unlike England, where the Puritans finally lost the war, it was their descendants who prevailed in the USA.

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The methods of the criminal Richard Nixon have unfortunately made us forget his political successes.

It was this conflict that threatened to manifest again under Richard Nixon, and which today has become clear to all. It is not without note that the best historian on this question [5] is Kevin Phillips, the ex-electoral strategist who helped Nixon to gain the White House. Nixon rehabilitated the electors from the South, recognised the Peoples’ Republic of China, and ended the Vietnam war (which had been triggered by the Democrats). He entered into conflict with the Washington establishment, which forced him to resign (the Watergate affair).

Of course, it is possible to read the results of the mid-term elections according to the Republican / Democrat split, and conclude that the Democrats have managed a small breakthrough. But above all, they should be understood according to the Lutheran / Calvinist split.

In this case, we have to note that not only did President Trump participate intensively in the campaign, but so did his predecessor Obama. The objective was either to support the cultural realignment operated by Donald Trump, or to carry the majority in Congress in order to destitute him whatever the pretext. The result is clear – impeachment is impossible and Donald Trump has the support of a majority of the governors, which makes his reelection possible.

The new Democrat representatives are young, supporters of Bernie Sanders, and very hostile to the establishment of their party, particularly Hillary Clinton. Above all, among the Republican candidates, EVERY ONE of those that President Trump went out on the campaign trail to support were elected. Those who refused his help were beaten.

The losers of these elections – primarily the Press and Barack Obama – did not fail because they are Republicans or Democrats, but because they are Puritans. Contrary to the comments of the dominant medias, we are obliged to note that the United States are not in the process of tearing themselves to pieces, but in the process of reformation. If this trend continues, the medias will have to abandon their rhetoric of moral order, and the country should return sustainably to a policy of hegemony rather than imperialism. In the long term, the United States should be able to recover their Constitutional consensus.

[1] The quorum is the minimum number of participants required for an election to be valid. The countries that ask for a quorum before their elections based on universal suffrage generally fix this number at half of the electorate.

[2] “United States – reformation or fracture?”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 26 October 2016.

[3How Democratic Is the American Constitution ?, Robert A. Dahl, Yale University Press, 2002.

[4] By « Judeo-Christians », I mean people who have based their lives on the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) and the Christian scriptures (New Testament) without pointing out the contradictions between the two.

[5The Cousins’ Wars, Kevin Philipps, Basic Books, 1999.

What Genghis Khan Can Teach Us About American Politics

What Genghis Khan Can Teach Us About American Politics

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 15.11.2018

What Genghis Khan Can Teach Us About American Politics

The brutal warlord understood how to govern shrewdly and even humanely.

Casey CHALK

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Winston Churchill, even Barack Obama: there are many historical figures who Americans have turned to for inspiration in this political distemper. That’s especially true with the midterm elections only a week in the books. But I’ve recently found an even more surprising leader who offers a number of political lessons worth contemplating: Genghis Khan.

I’m quite serious.

As a former history teacher, I picked up Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World because I realized I knew relatively little about one of the most influential men in human history. Researchers have estimated that 0.5 percent of men have Genghis Khan’s DNA in them, which is perhaps one of the most tangible means of determining historical impact. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Mongolian warlord conquered a massive chunk of the 13th-century civilized world—including more than one third of its population. He created one of the first international postal systems. He decreed universal freedom of religion in all his conquered territories—indeed, some of his senior generals were Christians.

Of course, Genghis Khan was also a brutal military leader who showed no mercy to enemies who got in his way, leveling entire cities and using captured civilians as the equivalent of cannon fodder. Yet even the cruelest military geniuses (e.g. Napoleon) are still geniuses, and we would be wise to consider what made them successful, especially against great odds. In the case of Genghis Khan, we have a leader who went from total obscurity in one of the most remote areas of Asia to the greatest, most feared military figure of the medieval period, and perhaps the world. This didn’t happen by luck—the Mongolian, originally named Temujin, was not only a skilled military strategist, but a shrewd political leader.

As Genghis Khan consolidated control over the disparate tribes of the steppes of northern Asia, he turned the traditional power structure on its head. When one tribe failed to fulfill its promise to join him in war and raided his camp in his absence, he took an unprecedented step. He summoned a public gathering, or khuriltai, of his followers, and conducted a public trial of the other tribe’s aristocratic leaders. When they were found guilty, Khan had them executed as a warning to other aristocrats that they would no longer be entitled to special treatment. He then occupied the clan’s lands and distributed the remaining tribal members among his own people. This was not for the purposes of slavery, but a means of incorporating conquered peoples into his own nation. The Mongol leader symbolized this act by adopting an orphan boy from the enemy tribe and raising him as his own son.

Weatherford explains: “Whether these adoptions began for sentimental reasons or for political ones, Temujin displayed a keen appreciation of the symbolic significance and practical benefit of such acts in uniting his followers through his usage of fictive kinship.” Genghis Khan employed this equalizing strategy with his military as well—eschewing distinctions of superiority among the tribes. For example, all members had to perform a certain amount of public service. Weatherford adds: “Instead of using a single ethnic or tribal name, Temujin increasingly referred to his followers as the People of the Felt Walls, in reference to the material from which they made their gers [tents].”

America, alternatively, seems divided along not only partisan lines, but those of race and language as well. There is also an ever-widening difference between elite technocrats and blue-collar folk, or “deplorables.” Both parties have pursued policies that have aggravated these differences, and often have schemed to employ them for political gain. Whatever shape they take—identity politics, gerrymandering—the controversies they cause have done irreparable harm to whatever remains of the idea of a common America. The best political leaders are those who, however imperfectly, find a way to transcend a nation’s many differences and appeal to a common cause, calling on all people, no matter how privileged, to participate in core activities that define citizenship.

The Great Khan also saw individuals not as autonomous, atomistic individuals untethered to their families and local communities, but rather as inextricably linked to them. For example, “the solitary individual had no legal existence outside the context of the family and the larger units to which it belonged; therefore the family carried responsibility of ensuring the correct behavior of its members…to be a just Mongol, one had to live in a just community.” This meant, in effect, that the default social arrangement required individuals to be responsible for those in their families and immediate communities. If a member of a family committed some crime, the entire unit would come under scrutiny. Though such a paradigm obviously isn’t ideal, it reflects Genghis Khan’s recognition that the stronger our bonds to our families, the stronger the cohesion of the greater society. Politicians should likewise pursue policies that support and strengthen the family, the “first society,” rather than undermining or redefining it.

There are other gems of wisdom to be had from Genghis Khan. He accepted a high degree of provincialism within his empire, reflecting an ancient form of subsidiarity. Weatherford notes: “He allowed groups to follow traditional law in their area, so long as it did not conflict with the Great Law, which functioned as a supreme law or a common law over everyone.” This reflects another important task for national leaders, who must seek to honor, and even encourage, local governments and economies, rather than applying one-size-fits-all solutions.

He was an environmentalist, codifying “existing ideals by forbidding the hunting of animals between March and October during the breeding time.” This ensured the preservation and sustainability of the Mongol’s native lands and way of life. He recognized the importance of religion in the public square, offering tax exemptions to religious leaders and their property and excusing them from all types of public service. He eventually extended this to other essential professions like public servants, undertakers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and scholars. Of course, in our current moment, some of these professions are already well compensated for their work, but others, like teachers, could benefit from such a tax exemption.

There’s no doubt that Genghis Khan was a brutal man with a bloody legacy. Yet joined to that violence was a shrewd political understanding that enabled him to create one of the greatest empires the world has ever known. He eschewed the traditional tribal respect for the elites in favor of the common man, he pursued policies that brought disparate peoples under a common banner, and he often avoided a scorched earth policy in favor of mercy to his enemies. Indeed, as long as enemy cities immediately surrendered to the Mongols, the inhabitants saw little change in their way of life. And as Weatherford notes, he sought to extend these lessons to his sons shortly before his death:

He tried to teach them that the first key to leadership was self-control, particularly mastery of pride, which was something more difficult, he explained, to subdue than a wild lion, and anger, which was more difficult to defeat than the greatest wrestler. He warned them that “if you can’t swallow your pride, you can’t lead.” He admonished them never to think of themselves as the strongest or smartest. Even the highest mountain had animals that step on it, he warned. When the animals climb to the top of the mountain, they are even higher than it is.

Perhaps if American politicians were to embrace this side of the Great Khan, focusing on serving a greater ideal rather than relentless point-scoring, we might achieve the same level of national success, without the horrific bloodshed.

theamericanconservative.com

Are The Americans Creeping Towards Civil War?

Are The Americans Creeping Towards Civil War?

Darko Lazar

The traditionally boring, midterm snooze-fest has been reinvented this year as the election of “lifetime” importance.

This combination of elections for the US Congress, governorships and other state-wide races, is normally characterized by setbacks for the incumbent president’s party.

And even though this year was no exception, the 2018 midterms have also underscored intensifying divisions that now define an America fundamentally split in two.

Moreover, the record voter turnout should not be misconstrued as democracy at its best, but serve as yet another reminder that neither side is ready to trust its opponents with leading the reconciliation process.

For the American people, who just ushered in a divided government, this election will solve nothing. It will only make the political struggle even more fierce and deepen social divisions.

A highly charged atmosphere

The ideological struggle between the US Democratic and Republican parties dates back decades.

It has often times been ferocious, earning it the label of Washington’s cold civil war.

But today, that struggle is no longer confined to ideology. By spilling over into everything from class to national identity, immigration and race, it has permanently and irreparably polarized American society.

In this highly charged atmosphere, calls for unity are never anything more than veiled criticisms and condemnations of the opposing side. But perhaps more importantly, this environment turns everything from letter bombs to mass shootings into divisive political issues.

Then and now

Between 1978 and 1995, Theodore John Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, killed a number of people as he attempted to start his ‘revolution’ by conducting a nationwide bombing campaign.

Kaczynski even had his manifesto, the ‘Industrial Society and Its Future’, published in leading newspapers like the Washington Post.

The text was published in 1995, but excerpts of it would resurface years later in the manifesto of Norwegian far-right terrorist, Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011.

Also in 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people when they blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City. The bombing was supposedly McVeigh’s response to the government’s actions against the Branch Davidians cult that came to be known as the Waco siege.

All of these characters had very clearly articulated ideologies. However, their political motives were of no interest to the general public and they went down in history as lone terrorists, never linked to a broader political movement.

Fast forward to 2016 and everything has changed.

In October, a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue and 13 letter bombs sent to prominent Democrats were quickly attributed to the Trump administration’s ‘hate-and-fear-mongering’.

Last June, James Hodgkinson ambushed Republican congressmen at a baseball practice in Virginia using an assault rifle and pistol. He was immediately linked to Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, after having volunteered to work on his 2016 presidential campaign.

Just a few months later, a neo-Nazi, James Alex Fields Jr., plowed his car into a crowd of rival protesters in Charlottesville, killing one person. The fallout from that incident led to the notable departure of Trump assistant Sebastian Gorka from his post.

Earlier this week, the FBI indicted a number of people involved in the Charlottesville violence, who are now being accused of traveling to Ukraine to train with the neo-Nazi Azov battalion.

According to the indictment, the Ukrainian paramilitary group “is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing” US-based white supremacists.

In October 2017, Stephen Paddock rained down bullets for approximately 10 minutes from his Casino hotel room, killing 58 people at a Las Vegas concert.

FBI sources later revealed that agents discovered literature belonging to the left-wing militant group Antifa in Paddock’s room.

In the months leading up to that attack, images appeared online of Antifa members fighting alongside the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Whether Paddock had any official links to Antifa remains unknown. However, according to official records, the 64-year-old singlehandedly carried out the deadliest mass shooting in US modern history.

The second and third deadliest mass shootings – in what is a long list of massacres – have all been carried out over the last twelve months.

Unlike the good old days of Kaczynski, McVeigh and Nichols, today’s villains are part of the political debate. Whether it’s about gun control or their ideologies, almost all are integrated into the country’s political struggle. Their actions of lunacy – of which there is no shortage throughout US history – are suddenly being ascribed to the leaders and parties that they support or oppose. This is what the threshold of civil war looks like.

Violence is worst when it takes on political dimensions, because that is when it risks taking on true grass-roots political power and inevitably becoming justified.

The US has not reached the final stages just yet, but it is creeping awfully close to the precipice.

Source: Al-Ahed News

استعادة التوازن في المعركة الرئاسية الأميركية المقبلة

نوفمبر 8, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– يصحّ القول في نتائج الانتخابات النصفية للكونغرس الأميركي بمجلسيه، إن الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب من الزاوية الإجرائية وقع بنصف خسارة، بفقدانه السيطرة على مطبخ التشريع الذي يمثله مجلس النواب، وقد بات بعهدة خصومه، والسيطرة على مجلس الشيوخ تمنح الفيتو على القوانين، كما هي الرئاسة، لكنها لا تمنح صلاحيات إطلاق مسار قانوني لولادة القوانين، ويمكن القول إن التسويات والمقايضات ستكون الطريق الإلزامي أمام الرئيس للتشريع، وكذلك يصحّ القول إن لهذا التغيير تأثيرات على السياسات الداخلية للرئيس ترامب أكثر مما يقيده في السياسات الخارجية، التي يشكل مجلس الشيوخ الجهة الوحيدة التي تشارك الرئيس نسبياً في رسم ضوابطها، لكن هذا كله وصف للحال الإجرائية بعيداً عن جوهر المعنى السياسي للانتخابات، في قلب الدينامية التي تمثلها الانتخابات في ترسيم توازنات وحركة اتجاهات الرأي العام، خصوصاً في الانتخابات النصفية، وبصورة أخصّ في مجلس النواب الذي يشهد إعادة تشكيله بالكامل، وقبل سنتين من المعركة الرئاسية.

– في المعنى السياسي للانتخابات، التي تمثّل أداة قياس للتوازنات الحاكمة بين الحزبين المتنافسين استعداداً للانتخابات الرئاسية، تكون العين دائماً على مجلس النواب، أولاً لأنه يُعاد انتخاب كامل أعضائه وليس مجرد ثلثه كما هو حال مجلس الشيوخ، وثانياً أن عدد النواب محدّد بالتناسب مع عدد الناخبين وليس مع عدد الولايات كحال مجلس الشيوخ، وثالثاً لأن الاستقرار سمة تقليدية في العديد من مواقع الشيوخ، والتحرك والتبدل ميدانهما الحيوي مواقع النواب، ورابعاً لأن طبيعة مهام كل من المجلسين مختلفة لجهة كون مجلس النواب هو مطبخ التشريع، وأغلب التشريع يتصل بالشأن الداخلي والحياتي للأميركيين، والتصويت لكل من مرشحي الحزبين يتربط غالباً بقضايا مثل التأمين الصحي، والإعفاء الضريبي، وسياسات الهجرة، والتمييز العنصري، وسواها من القضايا اليومية التي ترتسم وفق الأداء السياسي لكل من الحزبين تجاهها، صورة رمزية لكل منهما.

– الفوارق الكبيرة في عدد المقاعد التي حصدها الديمقراطيون في مجلس النواب عن تلك التي نالها الجمهوريون، والأهم نجاحهم بانتزاع هذه المقاعد من الجمهوريين وهم في سدّة الحكم، أمر تقليدي له سوابق الحدوث في الانتخابات الأميركية، لكن في الولاية الرئاسية الثانية لرئيس جمهوري، ومن المفارقات أن ذلك حدث عام 2006 على يد الديمقراطيين في الولاية الثانية للرئيس جورج بوش بزعامة نانسي بيلوسي للأغلبية الديمقراطية بمثل ما حدث في هذه الانتخابات، كما حصل بالمقابل أن كان عهد الرئيس السابق باراك اوباما مصحوباً بنتائج سلبية في الانتخابات النصفية في الولايتين الرئاسيتين، حيث كانت السيطرة لأغلبية جمهورية في المجلسين، لكن اللافت أنه منذ عهد الرئيس الأسبق الجمهوري رونالد ريغان والانتخابات النصفية التي تحمل خسارة لحزب الرئيس تتم في ظل تبلور زعامتين متنافستين على الرئاسة يقدّمهما كل من الحزبين، وهذا ليس هو الحال هذه المرة لتصير الانتخابات برمزيتها الرئاسية تصويتاً ضد الرئيس ترامب، كما أنّها تتم عموماً في ظل نسبة مشاركة لا تتعدى الـ 30 في المئة بينما تخطت الـ 47 في المئة هذه المرة، وقد حملت النتائج مؤشرات رمزية إضافية لكونها تحولاً في مزاج شعبي هام يتّصل بالانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة، من نوع نسبة المشاركة النسائية العالية في الترشيح والاقتراع. وهي مشاركة احتجاجية على مواقف ترامب وسلوكه تجاه النساء، ولعله ذو مغزى كبير أن عدد النساء في المجلسين ارتفع قرابة 20 لكن الأهم أنه من بين 112 سيدة في مجلسي الكونغرس فاز الديمقراطيون بـ 95 وكانت حصة الجمهوريين 17 فقط، هذا إضافة لزيادة عدد الفائزين من أصول غير بيضاء في صفوف الديمقراطيين من لاتينيين وشرق أوسطيين ومسلمين وسود.

– يدرك الرئيس ترامب بعيداً عن المكابرة، أن نتائج الانتخابات في مجلس النواب كانت تعبيراً عن تحول هام يمثل ما وصفه الإعلام الأميركي، ولعب دوراً في صناعته، كموجة زرقاء ترفع بوجهه البطاقة الحمراء، ولعل يبلوسي التي تستعدّ لرئاسة مجلس النواب تنجح بإعادة رصّ صفوف حزبها لتقوده كمرشحة رئاسية بعد عامين، وهي ليست من جماعات المتّهمين بالفساد كحال هيلاري كلينتون، ولا من جماعات المشتبه بعلاقاتهم بحكام الخليج التي تتفتح عليها عيون الأميركيين اليوم، ومشهود لها قتالها لاعتماد سياسات عاقلة خارجياً من جهة، وسياسات اجتماعية معتدلة ومتزنة ووسطية تجاه قضايا الداخل الأميركي من جهة مقابلة.

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Arabs and Muslims: Read This Before You Celebrate Rashida Tlaib

 

Marwa Osman

American citizen of Palestinian origin, Rashida Tlaib, won a seat in the US House of Representatives after winning the Democratic Party elections in the city of Detroit for lack of a competitor.

Rashida, the eldest amongst her 14 siblings and born in Detroit to Palestinian parents, became the first Muslim woman in 2008 to be elected State Representative. From 2009 to 2014, she served in the Michigan House of Representatives.

The mainstream media celebrated Tlaib’s win as history being made with her being one of the first Muslim women to be elected to serve in Congress. As a result of this media hype, Muslims around the world celebrated this win as “a source of pride for Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim world” without doing minor research as to what might Tlaib have done to ensure her success.

Experience in the twisted ways of both Republicans and Democrats in US internal and foreign politics urges us to look closer and start by looking at Tlaib’s troubling relationship with a leading pro-“Israel” organization.

Rashida Tlaib was endorsed and supported by the liberal Zionist “Israel” lobby group J Street through its political action committee JStreetPAC. JStreetPAC boasts that during the 2016 election cycle it “distributed a record $3.6 million to its 124 endorsed candidates for Congress, making it the largest pro-“Israel” PAC for the fifth cycle running.”  According to a 15 July filing with the Federal Election Commission, the Rashida Tlaib for Congress committee had received $3,000 from JStreetPAC.  For sure, it is a small portion of the more than $1 million she has raised, but it is also a low price to tie yourself to an organization with clear anti-Palestinian views.  On the other hand, was it perhaps only a down payment in fear that Tlaib might change her views as she did later on in August?

On its page soliciting donations to support Tlaib’s campaign before they withdrew the endorsement later, JStreetPAC stated, “When it comes to the peace process, she believes that the US should be directly involved with negotiations to reach a two-state solution.”  “Additionally, she supports all current aid to “Israel” and the Palestinian Authority, particularly to fund initiatives that ‘foster peace, as well as economic and humanitarian services,’” JStreetPAC notes.

This means that aside from her emphasis on “humanitarian” aid which Trump banned end of August, Tlaib supported all current US military aid to “Israel,” including Obama’s record-breaking giveaway.  The same aid preserves “Israel’s” military occupation and colonization and negates the prospects for any kind of peaceful and just outcome.

However, on August 17, 2018, the “Israel” lobby group J Street withdrew its endorsement from Rashida Tlaib.  “After closely consulting with Rashida Tlaib’s campaign to clarify her most current views on various aspects of the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that a significant divergence in perspectives requires JStreetPAC to withdraw our endorsement of her candidacy,” J Street announced.

“JStreetPAC was created to demonstrate the wellspring of political support that exists for candidates who take pro-“Israel,” pro-peace positions, including support for a two-state solution,” J Street said.  “We cannot endorse candidates who conclude that they can no longer publicly express unequivocal support for a two-state solution and other core principles to which our organization is dedicated.”

The page JStreetPAC had established to collect donations for Tlaib was taken down on August 17, but an archived version is still visible online.

J Street had endorsed Tlaib on the basis that she supports “all current aid to ‘Israel’”, which necessarily means all military aid, the vast majority of US assistance, and a two-state solution.  J Street also requires candidates it endorses to oppose boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS], the nonviolent Palestinian-led movement that aims to pressure “Israel” to respect Palestinian rights and international law.

Following Tlaib’s primary victory in Michigan’s 13th congressional district last week, writer Ali Abuminah raised questions in The Electronic Intifada about Tlaib’s acceptance of an endorsement from an “Israel” lobby group under political conditions that contradict support for Palestinian rights.

Amid growing controversy, Tlaib at first dodged giving a clear explanation of the J Street endorsement, which she herself had reportedly “sought out.”  However, later on, Tlaib made a clear break with the “Israel” lobby group.

In an interview with In These Times, Tlaib expressed strong support for the right of activists to engage in BDS.  She also distanced herself from the two-state solution.

“One state.  It has to be one state.  Separate but equal does not work,” she said, citing America’s history of racial segregation that was challenged by the civil rights movement.  “This whole idea of a two-state solution, it doesn’t work.”  Tlaib moreover said she would not support aid to “Israel.”

However, in another interview with Democracy Now on August 16, 2018, Tlaib appeared to pull back a little bit, saying she was open to the “possibility for a two-state solution.”

The issue with Rashida is not only about her swinging views concerning the two-state solution as much as it is with what she offered J street to begin with that made them endorse her.

The issue with Muslims celebrating Rashida’s accomplishment, in becoming the first Palestinian American Muslim woman to make it to congress, is about them forgetting how ugly the game of politics is in the US and how Rashida Tlaib is first and foremost a Democrat and not a Palestinian when serving inside the congress.

Let me remind you of a democrat who was celebrated when elected as the US president for being a Black man and the son of a Kenyan immigrant father, but who ended up dropping more than 26,000 bombs on countries around the world in his last year in office alone.

I am not saying Rashida Tlaib will for sure be complicit in similar decisions to be taken by the congress, but I have every right to ask Muslims celebrating her “accomplishment” to wait and see how she will handle many controversial issues before rejoicing.

Tlaib will have to choose a position concerning the Palestinian right of return, the illegal presence of the US embassy in Al Quds and the constant US collusion in the “Israeli” genocide against Gaza. Tlaib will also have to acknowledge that the government she is now part of is to send aid to “Israel” amounting to $3.8 billion annually over 10 years beginning in 2019, that is 2 months from now.

Tlaib might serve her American voters well while in Congress, but how about we, the non-American Muslims and Arabs, take a breath before we celebrate a win that means nothing to us except a possible additional Arab-Palestinian signature on the next US congress supported war planned for us.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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