Is Qatar the means for a US comeback in Eurasia?

Energy-rich Qatar’s designation as a major non-NATO ally may upset the Persian Gulf balance, but could be a means for the US to counter a Sino-Russian lockhold on Eurasia.

March 21 2022

Washington’s sudden upgrade of Qatar to a Major Non-NATO Ally is not only about gas, but a means to get a foothold back in Eurasia.Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Agha Hussain

The US’ designation of Qatar as a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) carries more geopolitical significance than is immediately evident. It in fact can be viewed as one of Washington’s first steps toward a new strategy for a US riposte against Russia and China at key theaters in Eurasian great-power competition.

On 31 January, US President Joe Biden hosted the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani in Washington and declared Qatar an MNNA. Also discussed was gas-rich Qatar’s potential role in alleviating Europe’s reliance on Russian gas for its energy supply – a key leverage point for Moscow to dissuade European NATO members from confronting it over Ukraine.

It should be noted, however, that Qatar itself has cast doubt over any speculation that it could unilaterally replace the continent’s gas needs in case of a shortage.

Indeed, there is no western military response to current Russian operations in Ukraine. Whether US or European Union (EU), the western strategic calculus does not deem Kiev important enough to rescue from Russia.

Nonetheless, Ukraine is still crucial for the US as a means to help counter Russian influence in vast, resource-rich Eurasia. Namely, through connecting China to Europe via the multimodal Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan (via the Caspian Sea)-Georgia-Ukraine (via the Black Sea) route and thus helping China reduce reliance on its currently most-used land route to Europe, i.e. via Russia and Belarus, a close Russian ally.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

This strategy would give the US a rare opportunity to leverage China’s global economic expansion through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which it usually tries to counter with limited success, to reduce Russia’s geo-economic depth in Eurasia.

However, the aforementioned Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) is more time-consuming, costly, and closer to conflict areas than Russia-Belarus. And Moscow and Tehran have all but blocked the Caspian Sea as a transit route for pipelines. Moreover, to justify the investment needed to improve Ukraine’s transit capacity and to ensure that traders even use the TITR, the EU needs to sanction Moscow and render the Russia-Belarus route untenable.

Thus, the EU hypothetically replacing Russia with Qatar as its gas supplier, and subsequently becoming more willing to confront Moscow, unlocks a major roadmap for the US to counter Russia.

In this scenario, the EU could enhance and leverage China’s own interest in tilting to the TITR from Russia. According to a 2016 study in the European Council of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine’s harmonization with EU trade standards boosted China’s interest in increasing its Ukrainian food imports, which necessitated enhancing Ukraine’s transport infrastructure since these imports cannot travel to China via the Belarus-Russia route due to Moscow’s sanctions on Kyiv. Indeed, China signed agreements with Ukraine last year to develop the latter’s transport infrastructure.


The freezing of Afghan central bank assets are burning US bridges with Afghanistan – where the US fought its longest war (2001-21) in its short history. However, the US’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in July 2021 provided an opportunity for Russian and Chinese influence to fill the void. Thus, as the US’ great-power rivalries with Russia and China deepen, the case for rebuilding contacts and connections in Afghanistan will strengthen in Washington.

Afghanistan is central to the US’ goal of building new international transport routes for the Central Asian Republics (CARs) that do not transit through Russia, whose territory and infrastructure the CARs disproportionately rely on. This is an official US objective, as represented by the C5+1 platform and Washington’s official ‘Strategy for Central Asia 2019-25’.  Afghanistan is the transit state for this strategy, to connect the CARs to its own neighbor Pakistan and Pakistani Arabian Sea ports for access to global shipment.

For a proper ‘return’ to Afghanistan as a Eurasia-focused great-power, the US appears to have selected Qatar as its conduit. In this vein, Washington shifted its operational command for Afghanistan to Qatar during the withdrawal and designated Doha its official diplomatic representative in Kabul in November 2021.

Moreover, the US picked Qatar from amongst a broad mix of options for military involvement in post-withdrawal Afghanistan. Such options included negotiating with Pakistan to allow US aircraft to transit its airspace into Afghanistan for combat purposes and even Moscow’s offer, made during the withdrawal, for the US to use Russian bases in Central Asia for intel gathering flights over Afghanistan.

Qatar stood out as the best choice from the US’ great-power perspective. Pakistan’s close regional rapport with China and emphasis on cooperation, made it unlikely to facilitate an inroad for the US. Furthermore, Qatar’s retention of its own diplomatic channels to Afghanistan makes it yet more suitable to the US’ great-power sensitivities.

Qatar hosted US-Taliban peace talks since 2013, years before platforms such as the Moscow-led ‘Extended Troika’ or Beijing’s ‘Quadrilateral Coordination Group’ (QCG) were launched. Doha was not party to either platform, or of other multilateral dialogues on Afghanistan.

Hence, the US can integrate Qatar into its bigger-picture for Afghanistan without making the Gulf state feel as if it is sacrificing its positive bilateral relations with Afghanistan’s other external stakeholders.

Aside from Ukraine and Afghanistan, Washington has another potential front against its Eurasian rivals: Qatar’s home turf in the Persian Gulf region, where common ground exists between Doha’s own ambitions and the US’ containment efforts aimed at China in particular.

The Persian Gulf and China

China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are especially important trading partners to each other given the unmatched size of the former’s market for the latters’ energy exports. Beijing also invests heavily in the GCC to turn it into a commercial and logistics hub for the (BRI), the single most consequential driver of Eurasian geoeconomics.

The US views China’s expanding role in the Gulf – whether in the BRI, tech investment or security realms – as a challenge to its own decades-old status as the GCC states’ main security guarantor. How the Sino-GCC embrace pans out is therefore of special interest to Washington.

As noted by Jonathan Fulton, a specialist on Sino-GCC relations, the extent of GCC participation in the BRI is dependent on each Gulf state’s own development plans with BRI. Saudi Arabia and the UAE lead the way in this respect, hosting the bulk of China’s BRI supply chain in the region in the form of industrial parks and ports heavily invested in by Beijing.

In contrast, Chinese-Qatari relations lack this connectivity dimension and are more restricted to just trade.

“In general, Qatar and China maintain a very warm relationship,” noted Gulf affairs analysts Giorgio Cafiero and Anastasia Chisholm in August last year. “The Sino-Qatari partnership is mainly energy-oriented. Beyond the cooperation in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, however, there is much less to Doha’s relationship with Beijing compared to Saudi Arabia or the UAE’s relations with China.”

China has also signed ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnerships’ with the Saudis and Emiratis in contrast to the lower-level ‘Strategic Partnership’ with Qatar.

Since Chinese investments in Qatar do not springboard the BRI the way those in Saudi Arabia and the UAE do, it makes sense for the US to boost Qatar as a hedge against complete Chinese monopoly over the Gulf’s integration with Eurasia via BRI.

The end of the three-and-a-half year, Saudi-led blockade against Qatar has not necessarily led to a halt in Doha’s rivalry with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. Rather it has grown more central to its foreign policy as it reclaims its place in the GCC without letting its guard down. This is a reality of Gulf affairs that will likely accompany the GCC’s closer integration with the BRI.

Qatar can offset its GCC rivals’ gains from the BRI by increasing its military engagement with the US. Both the Saudis and Emiratis still rely on the security umbrella that complying with the US’ great-power priorities brings yet have also strengthened ties with China.

This dilemma could also turn Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s increasing defence ties with both China and Russia into driving factors of a partisan pro-Qatari slant in the US’ Gulf policy. After all, Qatar has kept its own defence dealings with China and Russia minimal compared to those with the US.

The UAE recently suspended talks with the US to import the latter’s F-35 fighter jets. One of the reasons for this impasse is Emirati resentment at the US tying the deal to Abu Dhabi’s 5g contract with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which Washington sees as means for China to compromise the Emirati-imported F35s’ technology. Meanwhile, Qatar’s own talks for the F-35s proceed with less complications and are arguably boosted by its MNNA designation.

China does not want its regional investments getting caught up in the intra-GCC competition for primacy in the Gulf, which could happen if the US greenlights the F-35s for Qatar but not for the UAE, thus setting a precedent for deeper rivalry.

After all, intra-GCC competition has increasingly exhibited zero-sum tendencies. This was seen last year when Saudi Arabia told companies doing business in the kingdom that they would lose their government contracts unless they shifted their regional headquarters to Riyadh from Dubai and then also excluded imports from Emirati economic zones from their preferential tariffs.

Such “zero-sumism” is antithetical to what China wants in the Gulf, which is the harmonization of each Gulf state’s trade and connectivity policies. Beijing needs this to synergize its various Gulf investments into serving a broader, unified global strategy as per the BRI.

Thus, the US could use its ascendant ties with Qatar to cause China a significant headache in the Gulf, especially considering how far Beijing stays from contributing to zero-sum rivalries and standoffs due to its neutrality-oriented foreign policy.

Mutual convenience

However it pans out, the emerging US-Qatari alliance in Eurasia is highly convenient to both sides.

At the very least, the US can try to leverage Qatar’s potential energy role in Europe, its diplomatic role in Afghanistan and its ambitious Gulf policies relative to growing Chinese influence there for its own geopolitical interests.

As for Qatar, the fact that these roles do not threaten its bilateral relations with either China or Russia is a major plus point. Neither of the Eurasian great-powers is zero-sum in its foreign relations outlook and is unlikely to deem Qatar’s prospective participation in the US’ Eurasia strategy a major problem.

Eurasia is once again at the forefront of geopolitics and great power rivalries. Following the US exit from Afghanistan last summer, the incumbent superpower, was perceived to be scaling back if not withdrawing from this strategically important region, however in its relationship with Qatar, the US has shown it may be down but not quite out of Eurasia.

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

Iran on Ukraine: opposes war, but backs Russia’s red line against NATO expansionism  

Iran’s call for restraint in the Ukraine conflict also comes amid stronger ties with Russia and mutual security concerns.

March 04 2022

By Zafar Mehdi

As the Ukraine crisis escalates, it would be naive to claim that the Russian military operation in a former Soviet Republic unfolded without any provocation. Even prominent US foreign policy analysts concede events were driven in great part by Kiev’s dangerous drift toward the western military bloc.

But this provocation came less from Kiev than from the US and its NATO allies, which, since 2014, have egged on Ukraine’s confrontational stances toward its Russian neighbor. Today, the world has been split in two: those who support Russia’s military intervention and those who oppose it on a myriad of grounds.

Iran’s position on what looks like a precursor to a new Cold War — wherein western powers use Ukraine as a pawn to challenge Russia’s regional dominance — is defined by political pragmatism and strategic interests.

The developments over the past few months on the Ukrainian border show how the US-led military alliance set the stage for Russia’s military action in its neighborhood, barely six months after NATO’s botched exit from Afghanistan, where millions are now teetering on the brink of death and starvation.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a 24 February statement, made it abundantly clear when he blamed the simmering crisis in Ukraine on “NATO’s provocative acts” while asserting that war was “not a solution.”

“We do not see resorting to war as a solution,” Iran’s top diplomat asserted. “Establishing a ceasefire and focusing on a political and democratic solution is a necessity.”

NATO expansionism

The remarks outlined Tehran’s stance on the recent turn of events in Ukraine — NATO must stop fanning the flames of war, and Russia and Ukraine must show restraint and not fall into the vicious trap of descending into further violence and potentially widening the conflict.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, in a separate statement, also referred to the US-led NATO’s “provocations,” while noting that the Eurasia region was on the verge of “entering a pervasive crisis.”

He said Iran calls on the warring parties to “end hostilities” through dialogue, and reiterated the “need to observe international and humanitarian law in military conflicts.”

Iranian government spokesperson, Ali Bahadori Jahromi, also issued a statement in late February, reacting to the developments in Ukraine, and echoed the same concerns of a “growing and provocative trend of NATO’s eastward expansion.”

Notably, Iran’s relations with the western military alliance — which has been overtly complicit in the US “economic terrorism” against the Islamic Republic — have been marked by hostility and bitterness for years.

On Tuesday, in agreement with Moscow’s position, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei blamed the conflict on US policies, while also calling for an end to the war. “The root cause of the Ukraine crisis is the US and the west’s policies,” he said during a televised speech.

“In my opinion, today Ukraine is also the victim of such policy. Today, the Ukraine situation is related to this US policy. The US has dragged Ukraine to this point,” he added.

Iran and Russia’s strategic alignment

At the same time, Tehran’s ties with Moscow have scaled new heights in recent years, partly due to the west’s hard-nosed policies toward the two countries, and partly due to rapidly changing geopolitical and geoeconomic dynamics.

The political transition in Tehran last year – from reformists to conservatives – did not affect these changing equations. In fact, the new Iranian administration, led by former judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, has made regional eastern powers like Russia and China the focus of his foreign policy.

Raisi was one of the first world leaders on Thursday to contact Russian President Vladimir Putin, several hours after the military operation was announced. In their brief conversation, Iran’s president termed NATO’s eastward expansion “a serious threat to the security of independent countries.”

He also expressed hope that the unfolding events would “benefit countries in the region,” suggesting that Iran was not in principle opposed to Russia’s bid to put an end to foreign meddling in Ukraine — where western footprints have alarmingly increased since the February 2014 western-backed unconstitutional takeover — but it was also not in favor of war and bloodshed.

For his part, Putin told his Iranian counterpart that the current situation was “a legitimate response to decades of violations of security treaties and Western efforts to undermine Russia’s security.”

What has brought Iran and Russia closer in recent years are growing hostilities between the two countries and the west. Moscow has presented itself as an all-weather-ally for Iran, passionately advocating Iran’s causes in international forums, in particular the 2015 nuclear deal. The two countries have also found themselves on the same side, as in Syria, resisting forces backed by hostile states.

This friendship was on full display during Raisi’s maiden visit to Moscow last month. In a power-packed speech to Russia’s State Duma, he read the obituary of America’s global hegemony, and indicted NATO for “threatening the interests of independent countries.” The standing ovation from Russian lawmakers demonstrated that the two nations were on the same page.

During the visit, the Iranians and Russians agreed to finalize their long-term strategic agreement, increase their bilateral trade to $10 billion, and work together on developing new nuclear power plants in Iran. They also vowed to cooperate in regional matters, including Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.

Iran’s independent foreign policy

That, however, doesn’t imply Iran is ready to outsource its foreign policy to Moscow. Iran’s cooperation with Russia is inherently and primarily tied to its strategic interests. In his speech to the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) summit in Doha recently, President Raisi declared his country’s readiness to supply natural gas to the world, including Europe, as Iran has one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

He hastened to add that sanctions imposed by “hegemonic powers” on “free nations” have been rendered ineffective, while calling for closer cooperation among gas exporting countries to nullify the impact of sanctions.

Raisi’s remarks arguably displayed an example of statesmanship and a fiercely independent foreign policy — trying to calm tensions in the global energy market while sending a clear and powerful message to arch-foes.

His oil minister, Javad Ojhi, later repeated the call, saying Iran has the “necessary capacity” to offer gas to regional countries, even Europe.

An opportunity in Vienna?

With Iran offering to be a possible substitute for Russia — at least in the short-term — to prevent the disruption in global energy markets, this gives it some hefty leverage in nuclear talks in Vienna, as they enter the final stretch.

There is already speculation about the possibility of the Ukraine crisis impacting Vienna talks. The complicit role of US-led NATO in pitting Ukraine and Russia against each other, and its failure to rein in Moscow, shows the power center moving from west to east.

Western sanctions against Moscow, also make Russia more reluctant to cooperate with the Europeans and the US over reviving the nuclear deal. This in turn also gives Iran an added advantage in Vienna.

The crisis in Ukraine will only further embolden Tehran in its nuclear ambitions and reinforce decades of distrust and skepticism of pledges by the US. “Western powers’ support of puppet regimes and governments is a mirage, it is not real,” Khamenei insisted during this week’s address.

As Amir-Abdollahian said last Saturday, Iran has made its red lines clear to western parties, and is ready to conclude a “good deal,” provided the other parties show “real (political) will.”

Sources in Vienna told The Cradle on Thursday that in the past few days, the US has been forced to deliver those goods, with only minor — but important — details left to be ironed out.

So the ball is in the west’s court: to make a deal in Vienna and peace in Kiev.

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

أوكرانيا: شطرنج كش ملك أول اللعبة والقلعة تحفظ الملك

 السبت 5 آذار 2022

 ناصر قنديل

تدرك موسكو منذ بداية الأزمة المتصلة بطلب ضمانات أمنية واضحة من الرئيس الأميركي وشركائه في حلف الناتو بعدم ضمّ دول الجوار الروسي إلى الحلف أنها ذاهبة الى الحرب، وتدرك أنها خلال سنوات السباق لاستعادة مكانتها الدولية قد نجحت بكسب حرب الأنابيب في مجال السباق العسكري، بواسطة نشر شبكات الـ أس 400 وبناء قوات عسكرية حديثة متفوقة للقتال النظامي التقليدي، والسباق على أنابيب الطاقة، عبر إمساكها بمورد الطاقة الرئيسي لأوروبا وبنقطة الثقل في توازن توريد الطاقة وسوقي العرض والطلب في النفط والغاز، وان دونها والربح المفترض في سباق أنابيب المال والإعلام التي يمسك بها الأميركيون وحلفاؤهم، عقود وليس مجرد سنوات. فالنظام المصرفي العالمي وشبكات الإعلام والمعلومات، تحت القبضة الأميركية بالكامل، وأن الأميركي لن يتركها تحقق التوازن في هذا المجال لترتضي منازلة محتومة الفوز لروسيا وحليفتها الصين، التي سيقوم على عاتقها تحقيق التفوق في سباق أنابيب المال والمعلومات والاتصال، ولذلك كانت التوقعات الروسية بإعداد أميركي لحرب وشيكة، والاعتقاد الجازم بأن أوكرانيا ستكون ساحة النزال الوشيكة.

خلال عامين كانت واشنطن وموسكو تقتربان من لحظة المواجهة، ويعتقد العسكريون الروس أن الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، والانخراط الأميركي في مفاوضات العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، كانا من جهة تعبيراً عن مأزق واشنطن العالقة في منتصف الطريق الشائك في الملفين، لكنهما كانا من جهة موازية، تخففا من الأثقال استعداداً للمواجهة في أوكرانيا، حيث الدولة التي تشكل ثاني أكبر دولة بعد روسيا بين دول الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، مساحة وعدد سكان وقدرات عسكرية وتطور تقني، وحيث النظرية الأميركية التقليدية التي صاغها مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي الأسبق زبيغنيو بريجنسكي عام 1980، أن روسيا بدون أوكرانيا مجرد دولة كبيرة، ومع أوكرانيا هي دولة عظمى، والخطة هي الفشل في حل سلمي لأزمة إقليم دونباس تنتهي باجتياح أوكرانيا لها، بالتزامن مع ضم أوكرانيا لحلف الناتو، ووضع روسيا أمام أمر واقع يشبه ما فعلته روسيا بضم شبه جزيرة القرم عام 2014.

ينظر الأميركيون الى اوكرانيا نظرة تضعها في مصاف ألمانيا أو اليابان عشية الحرب العالمية الثانية، حيث خمسون مليون نسمة من السكان وأكثر من 600 الف كيلو متر مربع مساحة، واقتصاد رشيق بحجم 150 مليار دولار، يحتل موقع استراتيجي في قطاع الحبوب والزيوت وتكرير المشتقات النفطية وممرات أنابيب الغاز الروسية، وصناعة التقنيات المتطورة والحديد والصلب والطائرات، وكتلة صلبة متطرفة قومياً ودينياً وعرقياً تنتمي لأصول قاتلت في الحرب العالمية الثانية ضد الجيش السوفياتي الى جانب المانيا بقيادة أدولف هتلر، ودفع الجيش الأحمر آلاف الجنود لاستعادتها، ويمثل النازيون الجدد فيها قوة لها امتدادات أوروبية وازنة في العديد من دول الجوار وصولاً إلى ألمانيا، وفي تصويت على مشروع قرار تقدّمت به روسيا تشرين الأول عام 2021 يدعو لتجريم تمجيد النازية، صوّتت واشنطن وكييف فقط ضد القرار الذي أيده 135 دولة مع روسيا وامتنع 45 عن التصويت، والاهتمام الأميركي بتشكيل أرضية صلبة للعداء لروسيا تستند إلى هذا التطلع النازي الجديد، كان أحد عناصر الرهان على إجبار الحكومات الأوروبية وخصوصاً الألمانية للتحسب لخطورة معارضة الخطة الأميركية.

الأميركيون وعدوا الأوكرانيين بضمّهم للناتو بعد حسم وضع إقليمي دونباس عسكرياً، وقاموا بتزويدهم بالسلاح والتقارير الاستخبارية استعداداً لذلك، لكن موسكو كانت تتابع، وكان إصرارها على رسالة الضمانات يسير بالتوازي مع استعداداتها للحرب، وكانت المعادلة الأولى المطروحة على طاولة القيادة الروسية، تقوم على انتظار بدء الهجوم على أقاليم دونباس من الجانب الأوكراني. وفي هذه الحالة قد تكسب موسكو إعلامياً موقعها كمدافع، لكنها قد تخسر عسكرياً، ولأن الكسب الإعلامي مؤقت، بحكم السيطرة الأميركية على انابيب الإعلام، والكسب العسكري ثابت، كانت الأفضلية للسيناريو البديل، تبدأ موسكو العمل العسكري عندما تتيقن من عدم وصول رسالة الضمانات، وتعتبر ذلك جواباً كافياً لنية الحرب، لأن لا شيء يمنع توجيهها إذا كان الحال كما يقول الأميركيون اليوم للأوكرانيين، بعدما بدأت روسيا الحرب وصار الضمّ مستحيلاً فيقولون، لن نضمكم للناتو.

الفرق بين قدرة المبادرة وتحقيق المفاجأة قد يبدو تفصيلاً، لكنه مهم جداً في الحرب، فحتى لو كانت المبادرة مفاجئة، فهي تبقي صاحبهاً ممسكاً بزمام الأمور، وهكذا حسمت موسكو أمر الحرب، متنازلة سلفاً عن ربح الشوط الأول إعلامياً وقبلت الظهور بمظهر لا ترغبه كدولة تغزو دولة أخرى، مقابل أن تربح الجولة الأولى عسكرياً، وتمتلك أفضلية النقلة الأولى على رقعة الشطرنج، وسيستمر السباق على هاتين المنصتين، موسكو تتقدّم عسكرياً، وهي واثقة من أنها تنفذ خطتها بحذافيرها، لكنها تتحمل غبار حملة إعلامية قاسية تصورها في حال إخفاق وتتهمها بارتكاب جرائم، بانتظار أن تفتح المنصة المالية، التي قاد الأميركيون فيها بسرعة حملة شرسة بهدف كش ملك من أول اللعبة، بتجميد أصول البنك المركزي وأصول البنوك الكبرى والشركات العملاقة ورجال الأعمال الكبار، والرهان الأميركي كان على تجفيف الوقود الأهم من الآلة الروسية وهو المال، وحجب دعم النخبة الحاكمة للرئيس الروسي، لكن فلاديمير بوتين بدا أنه كان مستعداً، فلاعب الشطرنج يعرف معنى لعبة تسمّى بالتبييت في حال الشعور بخطر كش ملك، هي ضربة وقائيّة يتبادل عبرها البهلول والقلعة مكانيهما، لتتولى القلعة حماية الملك.

القلعة هي الجيش من جهة، والمجتمع من جهة موازية، والجيش يواصل التقدّم وسيواصل وبقوّة ووفقاً للخطة المرسومة ولا يستطيع تعطيل مهمته أحد، أما المجتمع فهو ليس الأغنياء فيه وحدهم، فهؤلاء الذين استهدفتهم العقوبات، وعدوا بأن أملاك الشركات الغربية ورجال الأعمال الغربيين سيتم ضمها الى وصاية قضائية لتعويضهم منها مقابل خسائرهم، لكن قاعدة المجتمع التي تسأل عن الوقود والخبز واللحوم وأسعارها، فقد تمّ تحييدها عن أي تأثير سلبي للحرب، بل ان الاستهلاكيات الروسية شهدت تخفيضات تشجيعية للمواطنين للشراء، من أجل تحريك عجلة الاستهلاك، ويعتقد الاقتصاديون الروس أن تجميد صلة روسيا بالأسواق العالمية عبر تعليق العمل بالبورصة، وتقديم حوافز لبيع الروبل مقابل الذهب ورفع الفائدة على الروبل، نجحت بتحديد الخسائر في القدرة الشرائية، مع وجود احتياطيات تحت السيطرة تزيد عن 55% من إجمالي الاحتياطيات النقدية، تقدر بـ350 مليار دولار، اتاحت التحكم بالأسواق وضمنت القدرة لسنوات لتأمين الحاجات الأساسية المستوردة وهي محدودة، بينما بقي التدفق اليومي لعائدات بيع الغاز والنفط، سيولة اضافية كبيرة، تكفي الاشارة الى انه يوم أول أمس الخميس وحده قاربت مبيعات روسيا من الغاز والنفط مليار دولار مقابل 300 مليون في اليوم العادي، والسبب ارتفاع الطلب الى الضعف من جهة، وارتفاع الأسعار بين 50% للنفط و150% للغاز. من جهة موازية، وبالمقابل دخل الغرب في سباق مجنون لحرب الأسعار في أسواق الأساسيات، وهي الغذاء والنفط، فسوق القمح والذرة والزيوت روسيّة وأوكرانيّة، وقد توقفت عملياً عن التصدير، وسوق النفط والغاز هي بنسبة 50% بالنسبة لأوروبا و25% بالنسبة لأميركا روسية، لجهة حجم التأثير في الأسعار، فزاد إنفاق الأسرة العادية الأوروبية خلال أسبوع مع ارتفاع الأسعار 40% وزاد الإنفاق بالنسبة للأسرة الأميركية بنسبة 30%، والآتي أعظم.

كل يوم يمر من الحرب ستصبح المكاسب الغربية في الحرب الإعلامية والمالية كميّة، بينما المكاسب الروسية في الحرب العسكرية والاجتماعية نوعيّة، وسيظهر أن القلعة التي يمثلها الجيش والمجتمع قامت بحماية الملك، بينما على المقلب الآخر سيكون على الملك أن ينتظر كش ملك، من الجيش أو من المجتمع، لأن القلعة مجمّدة والبهلول يقود اللعبة!

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Sayyed Safieddine: US Policies Are Suffocating the Lebanese

Nov 23, 2021

By Staff

The head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, His Eminence Sayyed Hashem Safieddine, is blaming Washington’s malign activates for the deteriorating situation in Lebanon.  

“The most important causes behind the problems that Lebanon is enduring are the policies of the United States, especially that the banks are under US control, and the Lebanese economic system is a system affiliated with it. The tragedies that occurred throughout the past decades were under the watch and supervision of American policies. Despite that, America came to exert pressure.” Sayyed Safieddine said. “Instead of Washington helping find a solution, it pressured to suffocate the Lebanese.”

In his speech during a memorial ceremony held in the Husseiniya of the Lebanese southern town of Deir Qanoon Al-Nahr, Sayyed Safieddine warned that “we are facing many challenges in Lebanon today at the financial, economic, and political levels, and there are successive calamities. Therefore, whoever loses the standard and the balance is lost, while the matter remains clear to whoever does not lose both of them.”

“Things have been clear to us since the beginning of this crisis, which has exacerbated further. We diagnosed the disease and the medicine, but the problem is not with us, and we alone are not able to administer the medicine to this country at the level of solving its economic, social, and living problems. Rather, we diagnosed the problem and said what is required. But if others do not share with us, then survival, success, and a transition from this bad state to something better cannot be written for this country.”

Sayyed Safieddine believes that “these crises will end after a while, and this stems from our experience, faith, and understanding of these crises, but the important thing is that we work to reduce losses and find appropriate solutions, and this is the fundamental point of contention between us and others.”

“To this day, we feel that they have not been guided to the right path and are still following a path that does not lead anywhere and does not produce results, and we cannot anticipate a solution.”

Sayyed Safieddine stressed that “the American delegations that come to Lebanon want to draw an imaginary line for the solution for the Lebanese to follow. By doing so, they abandon their positions of strength, whether in the resistance, or in oil, or in any subjective economic future that Lebanon can build. After the Lebanese give up on this, they tell them that this is the way, which is in fact an imaginary path that does not lead to any solution.”

“If America really wants to solve the problem in Lebanon, it must leave the Lebanese oil to the Lebanese, not work for the ‘Israelis’, and stop its pressure [on Lebanon], including the sanctions, as well as on the countries that could have helped the Lebanese. What it did regarding dragging Egyptian gas to Lebanon through Syria was a reaction to bringing Iranian diesel to Lebanon.”

His Eminence pointed out that “we cannot trust America, its words, its actions, or the visits of its officials, and we advise those who follow America and its policies and even those who are slaves to it and its embassy to stop believing in false hopes. Those who previously bet on America with regard to Lebanon talked about how it abandoned them in the fifties and sixties, and those who depended on it today are living in anxiety and fear.”

He stressed that “some Arab and Gulf countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia are thinking about the future. They are saying that America is not the country they once knew because whoever left Afghanistan and its allies there like this cannot be trusted. Therefore, America’s historical allies in the region are worried about its policies and are afraid of a future based on these policies.”

His Eminence made it clear that “America does not want to find a solution in Lebanon and does not want to help solve it. The US statements are clear. They are waiting for the parliamentary elections, and if the result is satisfactory for them, then they will think of some way to open the doors but with conditions, and if they do not get the outcome they want from the elections, they will have another position.”

الأميركي للسعودي: افعلوا ما فعلناه في أفغانستان: «لستم أقوى منا وليسوا أضعف من طالبان»

نوفمبر 18 2021

 ناصر قنديل

تخصص ورشات عمل العديد من مراكز الدراسات الأميركية أبحاثها للوضع في اليمن، في ضوء المستجدات التي لم يعد ممكناً إخفاؤها، والتي تتلخص بالتقارير المجمع عليها حول اعتبار سقوط مدينة مأرب بيد أنصار الله مسألة وقت، والتي اختصرها معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركي السابق ديفيد شنكر بقوله في إحدى ورشات العمل البحثية، إن استحواذ الأنصار على مأرب بات محسوماً، واصفاً ذلك بالسيناريو الأسوأ لواشنطن والرياض، وبخسارة الحرب على اليمن خسارة كاملة، والإجماع على مكانة مأرب يطال الجميع أميركيين وسعوديين ويمنيين، وعلى ضفاف ما يجري في مأرب برز المؤشر الثاني وهو تضعضع التحالف المناوئ للأنصار، وما ظهر على جبهة الحديدة كاف لإثبات ذلك، فإن كان ما جرى نتيجة صفقة فهو كارثة تشي بانهيار التحالف، وإن كان نتيجة سوء تنسيق بخلفية الخوف من تداعيات انهيار جبهة مأرب على القوات المنتشرة في الساحل بلا عمق يحميها، فتلك مصيبة، وفي الحالتين ستتواصل التداعيات، خصوصاً إذا أضيف للمشهد التمايز الإماراتي عن السعودية بخطوات يمنية يظهرها تمايز وضع الجنوب اليمني، وإقليمية كان آخرها التواصل العالي المستوى بين الإمارات وإيران وما نشر عن زيارة شخصية إماراتية كبيرة لطهران قريباً، فيما تبقى الإمارات بخلاف السعودية بمنأى عن استهداف الأنصار لمدنها وسفنها بصورة تثير شكوك السعودية بتفاهمات تحت الطاولة.

أغلب الباحثين الأميركيين يشبه الوضع في اليمن بالوضع في أفغانستان عشية اتخاذ قرار الانسحاب الأميركي، فوضع قوات منصور هادي ليست أفضل حالاً من قوات أشرف غني، وعزم وعناد واقتدار أنصار الله ليس أقل مما أظهرته حركة طالبان، وحجم الحصار المفروض على أفغانستان لم يكن دون مستوى الحصار على اليمن، والأميركيون يقولون إنهم وهم يختلفون على ظروف الانسحاب يتفقون على أنه كان خياراً مراً لكن لا بد منه، فالوضع بدا ميؤوساً منه، والبقاء لعشرين سنة أخرى لن يغير المشهد، إلا باستنزاف المزيد من الأموال وإزهاق المزيد من الأرواح، ويقول بعض هؤلاء الباحثين، ربما يكون وزير الإعلام اللبناني جورج قرداحي آخر من استخدم توصيف الحرب العبثية، بما يتضمنه التوصيف لحرب لا نصر فيها، لكن لا هزيمة، بينما صارت اليوم حرباً مضمونة الخسارة، ولم يعد لدى السعوديين ترف الوقت لاتخاذ القرار بالانسحاب، وتجاوز الأمر حدود الحديث عن كارثة إنسانية محققة، فقد أنتجت الحرب تحولاً استراتيجياً كبيراً.

السعوديون عبر وسائل إعلامهم يغيبون عن النقاش، لكن فلتات مواقف وردت على قناة العربية الحدث، كانت تدعو واشنطن للتساؤل عما يعنيه نشوء أفغانستان ثانية على البحر الأحمر تمسك بمضيق باب المندب، بدت رداً أو مناقشة للنصيحة الأميركية، من خلال المقارنة بين الموقع الاستراتيجي لكل من أفغانستان واليمن، حيث اليمن بقوته الصاعدة شريك مقبل في أمن الطاقة والملاحة الدولية، وباب المندب أحد أهم المضائق العالمية، الذي يزيد أهمية عن مضيق هرمز ومضيق جبل طارق، فهو وحده يربط أربعة بحار ومحيطات، هي البحر الأحمر والمحيط الهادئ والخليج والبحر الأبيض المتوسط، ويطرح السعوديون أسئلة ينتظرون أن يتلقفها الإسرائيليون حول الخلل الاستراتيجي في موازين القوى التي تترتب على التسليم بخسارة اليمن، الذي لا تخفي قيادته اصطفافها في محور المقاومة، وما أظهرته من مقدرات يجب أن يحسب له الحساب في كل ما يطال أمن «إسرائيل»، فيما يرد الأميركيون أنهم خسروا مع الخروج من أفغانستان التواجد من مسافة صفر مع كل من إيران والصين وروسيا، وتركوا الفرص مفتوحة لاحتوائها من التحالف الإيراني الصيني الروسي، بالإضافة لفرص تواصل أطراف هذا التحالف عبر اليابسة للمرة الأولى عبر الجغرافيا الأفغانية، لكن كل هذا كان لا بد من تقبله لاستحالة البقاء.

كيف سيتصرف الأميركيون والإسرائيليون، وكيف سيتفاعل السعوديون، يقول الأنصار إنهم جاهزون لكل احتمال، وأن بديل النصر هو النصر فقط، والخيار بين نصر لليمن لا يشعل المنطقة ونصر يأتي بعد اشتعالها، لكنه لن يكون محصوراً باليمن عندها.

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ضابط الإيقاع الدمشقي… كلّ الطرق تؤدي إلى سورية

ألثلاثاء 9 نوفمبر 2021

 محمد صادق الحسيني

لا أحد من العارفين والمطلعين على موازين القوى المترتبة على خسارة الأميركان وهزيمتهم المدوية في ديارنا سيستغرب وصول كلّ رموز الحرب الكونية على سورية تباعاً إلى دمشق، بضوء أخضر أميركي ساطع. كل ما هنالك أنه ثمة توقيت لكلّ تابع والكلّ واقف بالدور.

وصول وزير خارجية الإمارات على رأس وفد كبير إلى قصر الشعب السوري ليس بعيداً من هذه الأجواء، بل هو في صميمها.

فواشنطن قرّرت تسليم مفاتيح المنطقة دولياً للروس، وإقليمياً للإيرانيين.

قد يستغرب المواطن العربي غير المتابع لعمق ما جرى خلال العقد الماضي إذا ما سمع هذا الكلام الكبير.

ما تقوم به الإدارة الأميركية ليس سببه أن روسيا حطمت الجيش الأميركي، ولا لأنّ إيران أخرجته من المنطقة، بكلّ بساطة ولكن بحسابات دقيقة أيضاً كشف عن بعضها الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن وهو يبرّر انسحاب قواته المذلّ من أفغانستان.

أميركا لم تعد قادرة ولا تريد دفع المزيد من الأثمان دماً وأموالاً لانتشارها في منطقتنا، لذلك من الأفضل لها الانسحاب اليوم قبل الغد.

ولكنها وهي تقوم بهذا، فإنها باقية على جوهرها المعادي للشعوب وطبيعتها الناهبة لثروات ومقدرات بلادنا.

في هذه الأثناء فهي تريد إغراء روسيا لإبعادها عن الصين استراتيجياً من جهة، وفتح باب إغراقها بكلّ مشاكل إعادة بناء دول المنطقة من جهة أخرى.

وهي تريد إغراق إيران بحروب فتنوية متنقلة إلى حين استكمالها لعمليات الهروب الكبير الذي تستعد له من كل من سورية والعراق.

لكنها في هذه الأثناء ترسل رسائلها الواضحة إلى دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي كما إلى الكيان الصهيوني، بأنها ليست مستعدة لتقاتل نيابة عنهما مطلقاً، لا ضدّ إيران، ولا من أجل إبقاء الوضع الجيوسياسي «الشرق أوسطي»  الراهن، لأن عقلها وجلّ اهتماماتها انتقلت إلى الشرق الأقصى وبحر الصين.

وحتى تتمكن واشنطن من إدارة ملف تراجعها وخروجها وتداعيات هزيمتها في غرب آسيا، فهي تبحث عن ضامن لمصالحها التجارية وغير التجارية إلى حدّ كبير في المنطقة، عبر العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي مع إيران من جهة، والدخول في تفاهمات دولية مع موسكو بدأتها في هلسينكي في ما سمّته الإبقاء على الاستقرار الاستراتيجي!

تحويل ملف الكرد في شرق سورية من الحضن الأميركي إلى الحضن الروسي، والبدء بترتيبات مصالحة وطنية في دير الزور على شاكلة ما جرى في درعا، وفتح باب عودة خط الغاز المصري والكهرباء الأردنية إلى لبنان عبر سورية، إشارتان إضافيتان لمجموع محور التحالف الإيراني الروسي السوري في مسرح عمليات محور المقاومة تحديداً، أيّ شرق سورية وفي لبنان، إيذاناً ببدء تراجع واشنطن عن ما كانت تتباهى به أيام ترامب وسمته بسياسة الضغوط القصوى على كلّ من إيران وسورية والمقاومة اللبنانية.

هذا الوضع الجديد سيطغى على سياسة بايدن إلى حين الانتخابات الفرعية للكونغرس الأميركي، والتي قد تنذر بعودة هيمنة الجمهوريين من جديد على القرار التشريعي الأميركي، ما يجعل إدارة بايدن تسير الآن وكأنها نصف عمياء، عين على الواقعية السياسية التي تجبرها على حزم حقائبها والرحيل كما أرادت إدارة ترامب أصلاً، وعين على الصراع الأيديولوجي والسياسي الداخلي الذي يدفعها إلى الإسراع في إنجاز ما طرحته من شعارات انتخابية داخلية تجعلها تضمن عودة الديمقراطيين لولاية ثانية.

أياً تكن تلك الضرورات الأميركية الداخلية، إلا أن القدر المتيقن مما يجمع عليه الأميركيون بكل أجنحتهم هو أن عليهم سحب جنودهم من بلاد العالم وتقليص نفوذهم في بلادنا من أجل إنقاذ أميركا أولاً.

أما الذين اعتادوا على تلقي التعليمات أو ربطوا اقتصادياتهم بالأساس مع رؤوس الأموال اليهودية العالمية، ومنهم بشكل خاص الإمارات وتركيا والكيان المحتل الذي هو القاعدة الأميركية الأكبر المنصبة فوق أرض فلسطين، فما عليهم الا اتباع اشارات المرور الأميركية إلى حين صدور أوامر تفكيك «مستعمراتهم» وانتهاء دور أنظمتهم!

في المقابل نحن على ثقة بأنّ قادة محور المقاومة لن تغريهم كلّ هذه الإشارات من الانحراف عن بوصلة الصراع الواضحة وضوح الشمس، وأملنا بالصديق الروسي «المقاول الدولي» المتميّز حتى الآن بأن لا يذهب بعيداً في الاسترخاء لأنّ «الموسكوبية» في فلسطين لن يحميها الغزاة والطارئين، بل أهل الأرض والحق والمبادئ السامية.

من الآن إلى حين النزال الأكبر أو منازلة ما قبل يوم القيامة نقول:

بعدما طيّبين قولوا الله…

Largest US Forces Withdrawal from Syria, 270 Vehicles Headed to Iraq


US forces withdraw 270 vehicles from Kharab Al Jir airport in Syria toward Iraq

Multiple reports from northeast Syria confirmed that the US troops, aka Biden oil thieves, removed 270 vehicles from their illegal bases in Syria toward the Iraqi borders shortly after midnight yesterday.

The largest movement of US troops and their proxies to move either way since the US intervened directly on the side of ISIS, Nusra Front, and a host of terrorist groups against the Syrian people and the Syrian armed forces, the convoy of 150 lorries, 120 covered trailers carrying US tanks moved from the US illegal military base in the Kharb Al Jir airport in the northeastern countryside of Hasakah moving toward Iraq through the illegal Al-Waleed border crossing.

Armored vehicles and 4×4 machine gun-mounted pickup trucks manned by the US-sponsored Kurdish SDF separatist terrorists accompanied the US convoy to guard it.

One of the reports, however, said that some of those vehicles belong to the Kurdish SDF terrorists, we couldn’t confirm from independent sources, the Kurdish SDF terrorists do not use that number of tanks, in general.

We were waiting on this report trying to understand whether this was a redeployment of troops by the Biden regime, especially that a couple of days earlier, a large convoy of US vehicles were smuggled by the Biden forces to their illegal military base in the Al Tanf area, in the southeast of Syria.

Let’s hope that some wise people in the US junta finally came to their senses and drew the lessons from their list of failures in all the wars and interventions they fought that only led to millions of deaths, sufferings, destruction among the peoples the US attacked in addition to tens of thousands of US troops killed, maimed, and unaccounted for, on top of an enormous public debt that was started from these wars and spiraled uncontrollably speeding to reach 30 trillion US dollars, that’s 30 thousand thousand million US dollars, in other words, 30 million million US dollars, or say 30 thousand thousand thousand thousand US dollars (yes, 4 times multiples of thousand).

In case you didn’t notice, this is the debt, not counting the annual spendings by the Pentagon, CIA, US Embassies that work in regime change and spying plots, basically, each US embassy around the world, which are already paid up from the budget directly ever since the US started waging wars for nobody’s benefits.

Justifications parrotted by ‘analysts’ and ‘pundits’ that the US is withdrawing from the Middle East to focus on China and the South China Sea is ludicrous, the US is an ending empire and ending rapidly; if it had any strength or even will for a standoff or war with China, it was directly on the Chinese borders in Afghanistan for 2 full decades, the US forces in Afghanistan were blocking the Chinese land connection to the Middle East and through it to Europe and the whole of Africa, if you want to wage a war against someone you try to encircle them, you don’t open for them more paths to extend their strengths.

The only matter that keeps the US forces in our region is to serve as cannon fodders and human shields and for the vast US investment in wars against Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and elsewhere in the region is to secure Israel, and even that is very shaky now; and the USA itself is on the verge of imploding from the inside and on all levels.

Voluntarily removing the troops from Syria is a wise decision, the latest confrontation between the Iranian IRGC Navy and the US’s strongest navy fleet the 5th Fleet in the Sea of Oman demonstrated the lack of willingness for further confrontations, the US itself, its Turkish ally, its Israeli protectorate, its Saudi and other Gulfies proxies cannot afford any new confrontation, forget the rosy pictures painted on their mainstream media, figures, actions, and reactions talk loudly and profoundly.

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The U.S. Moral Superiority Complex Is Accelerating Its Decline

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Laura Ruggeri

November 4, 2021

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Someone should tell the Biden team.

Soon after the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, David Ignatius, Washington Post columnist and Deep State insider, remarked “The reversals in Afghanistan are confounding for a Biden national security team that has rarely known personal failure (…) These are America’s best and brightest, who came to the messy endgame of the Afghanistan war with spotless résumés.

Though his criticism of the national security team is understandably guarded, anyone taking a dispassionate look at the establishment liberals who are deemed America’s “best and brightest” in Washington circles would reach the conclusion that they are stronger on slogans than substance, which leads to a disconnect between ideas and implementation, and lack overseas experience: there is only one career diplomat in a senior position on the National Security Council, the director for Africa.

Their ability to display ideological cohesion at the expense of a reflexive process of dialogical thinking is remarkable but not surprising: establishment liberals do see themselves as the centre of political enlightenment. If they appear vainglorious and self-righteous it is because they are part of a power structure that produces and perpetuates these character traits. Those who entertain the possibility of failure are side-lined as bearers of bad news, the centre-stage is reserved for those who project confidence and a sense of moral superiority. As to considering opposing viewpoints, that is entirely optional.

In the same Washington Post article Ignatius observed “Failure can shatter the trust and consensus of any team, and that’s a danger now for the Biden White House. This group has been extraordinarily close and congenial during Biden’s first seven months. But you can already see the first cracks in Fortress Biden.

Are these the kind of cracks that appear when reality hits delusions, when ‘what is’ collides with ‘what ought to be’, when military logic makes a dent in the fairy tale of a benign power successfully exporting “freedom, democracy and human rights”?

Trained for hybrid warfare, Biden’s aides were suddenly dealing with a conventional military crisis and looked out of their depth. As we have seen, managing a retreat and putting a spin on it require a completely different set of skills.

There is no doubt that the optics of one of the greatest foreign policy disaster in American history damaged the reputation of the U.S. both at home and overseas and that’s why we should expect new and more aggressive initiatives to harden American soft power and tighten control of the narrative through underhand methods.

Carefully crafted narratives are crucial for the U.S. because it is selling the world a failed model of development. Trumpeting it as inclusive, gender equal, green and sustainable is like putting lipstick on a pig, it looks grotesque. Managing perceptions, denigrating alternative civilizational and economic models, and demonizing the competition is no longer working, an increasingly large segment of the world population is developing stronger antibodies to the virus of American propaganda. That’s why traditional soft-power tools — trade, legal standards, technology — are increasingly being used to coerce rather than convince.

After the Afghanistan disaster former French ambassador to Israel, UN and U.S. Gérard Araud shared his dismay on Twitter: “The absence of self-examination in the West is seen elsewhere with disbelief. Wars waged by the West have recently cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians for no result and we still lecture the world about values. Do you have any idea about how we are seen abroad?

If even allies are growing tired of America’s preaching, guess how it is going down in the rest of the world.

At the end of August, when U.S. allies were weighing what the shambolic, badly-coordinated retreat means for Western power and influence, Biden delivered a speech in which he explained “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.”

His statement signalled the intention to extricate the U.S. army from a war that had exhausted itself, politically, militarily and epistemically, but didn’t suggest that the U.S. will renounce its imperialistic ambitions. In the last twenty years there have been tectonic shifts: cyber, biological, information, cognitive and economic warfare are changing the way wars are being fought. Putting boots on the ground is no longer the best nor the only option to subjugate an adversary.

The reconfiguration of the geopolitical landscape and rapidly changing power relations also required a reassessment of priorities. Now that all eyes are on the Asia-Pacific region the question is whether Biden’s team is the best fit for the challenges U.S. power is facing.

Biden’s closest aides never learned the fundamentals of realpolitik, they hold the belief that liberal values are universally valid and the use of force (rebranded “humanitarian interventionism”) morally motivated. They never doubted that the Western model would conquer the world because they grew up at the end of the Cold War, a time that was indeed characterized by a “unipolar moment”. This period is well and truly over and the Western liberal order in its present form is a fraying system.

While the U.S. allocated resources to the destruction and destabilization of sovereign countries, and ignored the widening income gap at home, their main competitor, China, lifted millions of its citizens out of poverty and kept building state-of-the-art infrastructure at home and abroad, that is projects that make a tangible difference in people’s livelihoods. No wonder concealing the truth has become a matter of national security.

Democrats openly admit their intent to co-opt Silicon Valley to police political discourse and silence the bearers of inconvenient truths. They effectively sowed the seeds for a future where everything and everyone can be(come) a national-security threat. Glenn Greenwald revealed that Congressional Democrats have summoned the CEO’s of Google, Facebook and Twitter four times in the last year to demand they censor more political speech. They explicitly threatened the companies with legal and regulatory reprisals if they did not start censoring more. Pulling the plug on dissenting opinions and de-platforming people who challenge the dominant discourse makes a mockery of free speech, one of the rights that the U.S. claims to be defending when it selectively condemns alleged violations of human rights in other countries. Increasing censorship is also an indication that control of the narrative both at home and overseas has become vital for the U.S.

The conviction that “for America, our interests are our values and our values are our interests’’, one of the tenets of NeoCons, has been revamped by the liberal Left to aggressively promote a different kind of values and causes. A sort of symbolic capital that would allow the U.S. to maintain dominance as rights defender while its own constitutional rights are being eroded at home. Moral grandstanding can only compound the hypocrisy, but that is not stopping liberal totalitarians who are trading off freedom of speech for a child’s right to gender self-identification or for a binding gender or race quota on corporate boards.

History shows that declining empires tend to produce incompetent, self-delusional and divisive leaders who unwittingly accelerate the inevitable fall. That’s exactly what seems to be happening now. Not only the radical liberalism embraced by the Biden administration and Western elite has already antagonized millions of Americans leading to social and political polarization, it is also antagonizing foreign leaders, including the leaders of allied countries such as Hungary and Turkey who are being labelled as ‘authoritarian’. As the U.S. system of alliances is becoming increasingly fragile, dogmatic progressives in the current administration look more and more like Aesop’s donkey in a pottery shop, or a bull in a China shop, if you prefer.

The current National Security Council (NSC) is staffed with advisers who are the product of the kind of groupthink that has long been dominant in Anglo-American universities, those madrassas of the liberal Left where debate is stifled by ideological purges. The opinions and worldviews that are shaped and reinforced in these echo chambers are disseminated and amplified by the media and other industries. Countless careers depend on exporting simulacra of freedom, democracy and human rights, not only because these “experts” have internalized a conviction that these immaterial goods possess an intrinsic moral value, but also because the U.S. has little else to offer the world and leverage on, unless you count assured mutual destruction as leverage.

A case in point is The Summit for Democracy that Biden will convene in virtual mode on December 9–10, 2021, while a second meeting will take place a year later. The plan is to bring together over 100 leaders from selected governments (some of the choices have already stirred controversy among democracy advocates) plus various NGOs, activists (regime change actors) and corporations to “rally the nations of the world in defence of democracy globally” and “push back authoritarianism’s advance”, “address and fight corruption”, “advance respect for human rights”.

Though this initiative is mainly a way to strengthen ideological cohesion among allies by appealing to “common values” and conjuring up yet another global threat, namely “authoritarianism”, it effectively divides the international community into two Cold War-style blocks, friends and foes. On one side countries that earned a seal of approval for toeing the line and therefore deserve to be labelled “democratic”; on the other side a basket of deplorables that refuse to recognize the superiority of the U.S. model of governance and civilizing mission. Basically, the politically correct version of neocolonialism.

The Summit for Democracy will take place against the backdrop of AUKUS, the new Anglo-Saxon alliance that effectively joins NATO to the Asia-Pacific through Britain. What is clearly intended as an alliance against China severely damages regional peace and stability, intensifies the arms race, and jeopardizes international efforts against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

On one hand the U.S. is flexing its military muscle, on the other hand is flexing the ideological muscle that, in the intentions of the Summit organizers, will provide the impetus to renew and strengthen the liberal international order that has served U.S. interests since the end of WW2.

The Summit for Democracy may have a higher profile convener than similar events held in the past but its premise sounds just as tone-deaf and over-ambitious. Take for example The Copenhagen Summit for Democracy that was organized in May by the “Alliance of Democracies”, a foundation set up by former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen in 2017. Its objective was to create a Copenhagen Charter, modelled on the Atlantic Charter, having a Clause 5 similar to NATO’s Article 5, whereby “a state coming under economic attack or facing arbitrary detentions of its citizens due to its democratic or human rights stance could ask for unified support including retaliatory measures of fellow democracies.” This and other creative proposals included in the Copenhagen Charter will likely be rehashed at the Summit to be opened by Biden in December.

Rasmussen too can boast a spotless resume as cheerleader for U.S. global leadership, and that might explain why he seems trapped in a time warp and blind to the actual state of that leadership. If the reader needs further confirmation of Rasmussen’s complicated relationship with reality, here is an excerpt from an article titled ‘The Right Lessons From Afghanistan’ that he wrote for Foreign Affairs a few weeks after the Afghanistan fiasco, “The world should not draw the wrong lessons from Afghanistan. This fiasco was far from inevitable. It would also compound the folly if the world’s developed democracies stopped supporting the quest for freedom and democracy in authoritarian states and war-torn countries. That includes Afghanistan, where the United States and its partners should lend their support to the ongoing resistance efforts to oppose the Taliban.” We all know what happened to those “resistance efforts”, but Rasmussen won’t let reality get in the way of his illusions.

It is unlikely the Summit for Democracy will achieve the unspoken objective of creating an Alliance of Democracies that could bypass the UN Security Council. But it is undeniable that international law has long been under attack and is incrementally replaced with the Atlanticist concept of a “rules-based international system”, which does not have any specific rules but allows the West to violate international law under the pretext of advancing liberal ideals and exporting democracy.

It’s expected that USAID will be called to play a major role at the summit. USAID under Samantha Powers has a seat in the NSC and has been tasked with the mission to “modernize democracy assistance across the board”. This includes “supporting governments to strengthen their cybersecurity, counter disinformation and helping democratic actors defend themselves against digital surveillance, censorship, and repression.” In typical Orwellian doublespeak the U.S. is seeking help by claiming to help. With a military budget already stretched over the limit, enlisting foreign actors (both state and non-state) to do its bidding in the information and cognitive warfare becomes imperative.

NED, USAID, USAGM, “philanthropic” organizations like Open Society Foundations and the Omidyar Network have long been grooming and bankrolling journalists, activists, politicians, various types of influencers and community leaders. Their job is to paint a negative picture of China, Russia and any country resisting U.S. diktats. In Africa, just to mention one of many examples, “independent” journalists are paid to investigate Chinese companies that are involved in mining, construction, energy, infrastructure, loans and environment and portray them as causing harm to communities, environment and workers.

At the beginning of October, Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled a new partnership with the OECD in Paris: the overt goal was to combat corruption and promote “high-quality” infrastructure. But the partnership is part of a broader effort to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The U.S. has also appealed to the G7 and QUAD to provide the financial muscle for its Build Back Better World initiative (BW3), a rehash of Trump’s Blue Dot Network. Since the U.S. and its partners cannot respond to BRI symmetrically — they are unable to match China dollar for dollar, project for project — they are relying on virtue-signalling both as a marketing and bullying tactic. According to this initiative, infrastructure building in developing countries should comply with a certification scheme and lending rules set by the U.S. and its partners, rules that are cloaked in the familiar jargon of social and environmental sustainability, gender equality, and anti-corruption.

In case the competition with China in Asia, Europe and Africa does turn into open confrontation, the U.S. could use the BW3 to increase pressure on investment funds, global financial institutions and insurance companies to discriminate against projects that don’t meet standards set by the U.S. in return for concessions and sweeteners. When Western companies cannot compete fairly with Chinese ones, they can always rely on friendly officials in Washington to rewrite the rules of the game in their favour.

American policymakers seem unable to abandon a Cold War mentality that is essentially utopian in expectations, legalistic in concept, moralistic in the demands it places on others, and self-righteous. Some analysts believe that the source of the problem might be the force of public opinion, deemed emotional, moralistic and binary, the old “Us vs Them.”

Classical international relations theorists have long held the assumption that American public opinion has moralistic tendencies: for liberal idealists the moral foundation of public opinion, mobilized by norm entrepreneurs, opens up the possibility of positive moral action, whereas for realists, the public’s moralism is one of the main reasons why foreign policymaking should be insulated from the pressures of public opinion.

However it is myopic to conceive of public opinion and policymaking as separate entities when in fact they are both shaped by the interests of powerful elites. Public opinion doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it is swayed by new and old media that are often controlled by the same interest groups and corporations that fund the think tanks and foundations influencing U.S. foreign policy.

For instance, not only was the collusion and revolving door between government and the tech industry a feature of the Obama administration, it characterizes the Biden administration as well. The transnational interests of these elite groups are usually cloaked in a progressive, inclusive, democratic rhetoric to make their narrow agenda appear big enough so that unsuspecting ordinary people may want to claim ownership and subscribe to it. Corporate interests and national interest are a tangled web no longer subjected to public scrutiny since national level democracy has been hollowed out. When the trilemma of democracy, state, and market becomes irreconcilable, global market players call the shots without democracy or state being able to control them, oversee unceasing technological innovation (including artificial intelligence) or curb the excessive financialization of the economy.

Though U.S. attempts at nation-building result in chaos and misery for local populations, Americans haven’t given up on trying to remake the world in their own distorted image by aggressively promoting their worldviews, exporting a simulacrum of democracy and politicizing human rights issues.

They reject true multilateralism by trying to dominate the international organizations that were created to further cooperation and harmonize national interests. For the corporate donors of both the Democratic and Republican Party other countries’ national interests are a relic of the past that should be done away with. And indeed national interests would hardly be compatible with a world order led by the U.S. in partnership with global stakeholders (global corporations, NGOs, think-tanks, governments, academic institutions, charities, etc.)

These global stakeholders and their political representatives effectively want to replace the modern international system of sovereign states that is enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Under this system, commonly referred to as Westphalian system, states exist within recognised borders, their sovereignty is recognised by others and principles of non-interference are clearly spelled out. Since this model doesn’t allow the government of one nation to impose legislation in another, the U.S. loudly promotes the idea of global governance, under which a global public-private partnership is allowed to create policy initiatives that affect people in every country as national governments implement the recommended policies. Typically this occurs via an intermediary policy distributor, such as the IMF, World Bank, WHO, but many international organizations now play a similar role.

In the Biden administration we see a dangerous convergence of the national security establishment and Silicon Valley tech giants. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines both worked for WestExec, the consulting firm that Blinken cofounded with Michèle Flournoy, a former undersecretary of defence under President Obama. Google hired WestExec to help them land Department of Defense contracts. Google’s former Chief Executive Eric Schmidt made personnel recommendations for appointments to the Department of Defense. Schmidt himself was appointed to lead a government panel on artificial intelligence. At least 16 foreign policy positions are occupied by CNAS alumni. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is a bipartisan think tank that receives large contributions directly from defence contractors, Big Tech, U.S. finance giants.

These donors spend considerable resources shaping the intellectual environment, academic research and symposia in order to build consensus around their agenda. The Biden administration also features dozens of officials hailing from the Center for American Progress (CAP), a think tank set up by John Podesta, a longtime Clintonworld staple, with George Soros’ generous contribution. The ties between Open Society Foundations (OSF) and CAP are so strong that Patrick Gaspard, the former head of OSF, was nominated president and CEO of CAP.

When government becomes the expression of global corporate interests and channels the belief system of a small, privileged elite it can be hard to tell who is leading who, who is really making policy and setting national security strategies and goals.

Biden’s national security team is the product of this corrupt system. Its members may tone down the “freedom, democracy and human rights” rhetoric if it gets in the way of achieving a particular strategic goal, but they won’t abandon it because it has proven to be effective in providing a legitimating frame and moral justification to U.S. hegemony.

If we look at the Roman empire we see how one constant theme was “expand or die”. Expansion isn’t only to be intended as territorial or military. Expanding influence, alliances, the use of Latin, the spread of Roman laws, currency, standards, culture and religion all contributed to the cohesion of the Empire. Given the current constraints to U.S. ambitions — namely the strategic partnership between China and Russia, BRI, the more assertive role played by regional powers, nervousness and conflicting interests among U.S. allies and a large budget deficit — the room for expansion has been considerably reduced. Thus the U.S. is doubling its efforts in areas where it still has room for maneuver.

Biden’s slogan “America is Back” sought to reassure allies but cannot hide the fact that the emperor is naked. Advertisers, politicians and psyops planners are continuously manipulating people into changing their perceptions of reality and making choices that ultimately do not benefit them. But no matter how hard the power-knowledge regimes of Western intellectual production work to conceal the decline, the West no longer dominates the world and the values it advocates are not unanimous, far from it. Labelling governments that don’t embrace liberal values and U.S. standards as “autocratic regimes” is just foolish sloganeering and doesn’t take into account the changing balance of power on the ground. The world is evolving toward a multipolar system and the U.S. had better take notice of it. Those serving in the NSC are still imagining a world that no longer exists, one where America has the power to force other countries into doing its bidding. The current ideological approach blinds pragmatic thinking, thus impeding discussions and negotiations.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Someone should tell the Biden team.

Wall Street Journal: Former Afghan Officials Join ISIS After Being Abandoned by the US

2 Nov, 2021

Source: The Wall Street Journa

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Al Mayadeen

Wall Street Journal details how some former members of Afghan intelligence services and special military units have joined the ranks of ISIS.

The journal details that the number of members remains minimal; however, they are rising.

The publication highlights that the danger in the joining members is that their expertise encompasses enhanced capabilities of intelligence and war tactics, enabling ISIS to compete with the Taliban.

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Wall Street Journal: Hundreds of thousands of intelligence officers and soldiers in Afghanistan are unemployed. 

ISIS reportedly provides large sums of money for their new recruits – an enticing offer to many hundred thousands of unemployed former Afghans after US withdrawal.

A senior Western official expressed, regarding what is happening in Afghanistan that “It’s exactly how it started in Iraq — with disenchanted Saddam Hussein generals.” 

The Wall Street Journal formerly quoted a senior official in the Pentagon, telling US lawmakers that the ISIS-K in Afghanistan may be able to launch attacks on the West and its allies within six months and that al-Qaeda can do the same within two years.

According to United Nations estimates, there are about 2,000 ISIS fighters operating in Afghanistan and an estimated 70,000 Taliban fighters.

Reclaiming Marib Matter of Time, The Aggression Has No Choice but to Admit Defeat – Yemen’s Defense Minister


Reclaiming Marib Matter of Time, The Aggression Has No Choice but to Admit Defeat – Yemen’s Defense Minister

By Staff, Agencies

Restoring the Yemeni city of Marib is a matter of time, Defense Minister Major General Mohammad al-Atifi affirmed, considering that the global aggression against Yemen has already been defeated.

“Restoring Marib is a matter of time. You will soon hear news that will delight our people and all the free people of the nation in restoring Marib to the homeland,” al-Atifi said in an interview with Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on Wednesday.

Al-Atifi stressed that Marib is a Yemeni land and every occupied Yemeni region will return to Yemeni sovereignty. “This is a foregone conclusion and not open to discussion.”

He also noted that most of the districts of Marib have been secured by the Army and Popular Committees.

The Minister of Defense insisted that Yemeni oil is a sovereign wealth and belongs to the people.

“We have strategic deterrent weapons that can deter any direct or indirect aggression that may target our oil facility in Safer or any other Yemeni facilities,” he added. “The response will be in the depth of the aggression countries and all of its oil facilities.”

He also affirmed that until now, the Armed Forces have not started the stage of “great pain”, which was announced by President Mahdi Al-Mashat.

“It is a stage that will cause the enemy to lose his balance and will be extremely painful. If the enemy continues in its tyranny and aggression, it will force us to move to this stage.”

Meanwhile, Al-Atifi explained that the Marib initiative is primarily humanitarian, in its contents expressed true national legitimacy and a strategic vision for the revolutionary and political leadership stemming from a free and independent will.

“We are more concerned about the lives of the displaced. The aggression and its tools are using the displaced as human shields,” he added.

The Minister of Defense confirmed that the general amnesty decision was issued by the revolutionary and political leadership from a position of strength and is still open.

He confirmed that the fate of the tools of aggression will be more miserable than what the US practiced against its agents as happened in Afghanistan.

Regarding the presence of British forces in Al-Mahra province, Major General Al-Atifi affirmed that their military presence is an open occupation and colonization, and it is a colonial force that has penetrated national sovereignty.

“We will reach all the invaders in the occupied Yemeni islands, and we will not rest unless we restore every occupied inch of our Yemeni land,” he added.

Major General Al-Atifi stressed that the global aggression against Yemen had been defeated and it has no choice but to admit the horrific defeat if it has the courage.

Additionally, he highlighted the steadfastness of the Yemeni people and the sacrifices of the heroes of the Army and Popular Committees have thwarted the scheme to reshape the Zionist-US-British-French influence in the region, which was the main pillar of Yemen.

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إعادة ترتيب الإقليم وفق الأجندة الأميركية… أو على إيقاع إنجازات محور المقاومة؟


د. ميادة إبراهيم رزوق

بنظرة بانورامية لمشهد المنطقة من بحر البلطيق، مروراً بأفغانستان نحو بحر قزوين وجنوب القوقاز إلى قوى ودول محور حلف المقاومة، وكأنّ العدوين اللدودين الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وروسيا الاتحادية كلاً مع حلفائه، خاصة بعد قمة جنيف «بوتين – بايدن» في 16/06/2021  على رقعة شطرنج المنطقة يعيدون ترتيب أحجارهم وتنضيد ملفاتهم قبل الجلوس على طاولة التسويات الكبرى، والتي قد تُحسم قبل الوصول إليها إذا تدحرجت المنطقة نحو حرب كبرى شاملة، نستبعد حدوثها وفق الوقائع والمعطيات لدى المحورين.

بدأت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية وضمن مخطط الخروج الأميركي من غرب آسيا بإعادة تموضع استراتيجي جديد بترتيب مجموعة من الأوراق في عهد الإدارة الأميركية السابقة برئاسة دونالد ترامب بما يحقق نشر الفتنة وزعزعة الاستقرار، وتطويق إيران وتشديد الحصار الدبلوماسي والاقتصادي، وعرقلة مشروع الحزام والطريق الصيني، وضمان الأمن القومي لكيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، فكانت البداية مع اتفاقيات «ابراهام»، اتفاقيات التطبيع بين كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني وبعض الأنظمة الخليجية كالإمارات والبحرين بالإضافة إلى السودان (الذي لم يوقع أحرفها النهائية) والمغرب، استكمالاً لسيناريو صفقة القرن، ونقل السفارة الأميركية من تل أبيب إلى القدس، والاعتراف بالسيادة «الإسرائيلية» على الجولان المحتل، بهدف إضفاء الشرعية على كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، وتطويق الشعب الفلسطيني، وتصفية القضية الفلسطينية التي باتت عبئاً على الأنظمة الرجعية العربية فينبغي التخلص منها، بالإضافة إلى نسج تحالفات إقليمية بأبعاد استراتيجية أخرى ترتبط بمحاولة بناء خطوط دفاع أمامية لحماية الأمن القومي لكيان الاحتلال الصهيوني، ترتكز على التعاون والتنسيق التكنولوجي والاستخبارتي والعسكري، خاصة إذا ما تضمنت عمليات رصد واعتراض جوي في مواجهة تطور قدرات محور المقاومة على مستوى الطائرات المسيرة، وصواريخ «كروز» وغيرها وفق ما تؤكده التقارير «الإسرائيلية»، وتعززت الحاجة إلى هذا المخطط، بالإضافة إلى قرار وزارة الدفاع الأميركية «البنتاغون» بنقل «إسرائيل» من القيادة الأوروبية للجيش الأميركي «إيكوم» إلى القيادة المركزية «سنتكوم» التي تشمل الشرق الأوسط، بما يسمح بتطور التنسيق بين كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني والأنظمة المطبعة استجابة لدعوات وجهتها جماعات موالية لـ «إسرائيل» من بينها «المعهد اليهودي للأمن القومي الأميركي» وهو مجموعة مقرها واشنطن تدعم التعاون العسكري الوثيق بين الولايات المتحدة الأميركية و»إسرائيل»، فقد أوضح تقرير المعهد اليهودي للأمن القومي أنه في حين أدى وجود «إسرائيل» ضمن نطاق عمليات القيادة العسكرية في أوروبا إلى منافع متبادلة واضحة على مر السنين، فإن أولوية «سنتكوم» هي «مواجهة إيران وقوى التطرف الأخرى في الشرق الأوسط». وأضاف التقرير «جميع شركائنا في المنطقة، بما في ذلك إسرائيل يتحدون حول وجهة نظر مشتركة لهذا التهديد، واتخاذ خطوات جريئة مثل الاتفاقيات الإبراهيمية لمواجهته بشكل تعاوني»، وأتى هذا الانضمام عقب إعلان السعودية في 5 كانون الثاني من العام الحالي اتفاقاً بدعم أميركي بإنهاء الخلاف مع قطر التي تستضيف أكبر قاعدة عسكرية أميركية في المنطقة، وتتمركز فيها القيادة المركزية الأميركية، وبالتالي سيتمثل ذلك بدايةً بوجود عسكري «إسرائيلي» في بلدان الأنظمة المطبعة في وفود من الضباط أو الشرطة أو الخلايا الاستخبارية، وذلك في ضوء استمرار المسار التصاعدي لمحور المقاومة في اتجاهين، اتساع نطاقه الجغرافي وتقدمه العسكري، مقابل فقدان كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني للعمق الاستراتيجي، ودونية إمكاناته على غير مستوى، وما ضاعف هذه الحاجة أيضاً فشل رهانات كيان الاحتلال على الخطط الأميركية لإسقاط النظام في إيران أو إخضاعه، كما الفشل في باقي ساحات محور المقاومة وهذا ما تضمنته تصريحات «قائد جبهة إيران» اللواء طال كالمان «رئيس الشعبة الاستراتيجية والدائرة الثالثة» لصحيفة «معاريف» بتاريخ 07/09/2021  «الأمر المدهش أنه على الرغم من الأثمان الثقيلة على المواطن الإيراني، والعقوبات الأميركية الثقيلة، والكورونا، والحضيض الاقتصادي الداخلي الأصعب في إيران منذ الحرب مع العراق في سنوات الثمانينات، إلا أنها تواصل سعــيها إلى تنفيــذ استراتيجيتها» متابعاً أن «محور المقاومة أخذ بالتوســع ويخوض معنا تنافساً استراتيجياً بعيد المدى». وأضاف» أنّ هذا التعــاون يستهدف توفير الحماية لإسرائيل في مواجهة تطور القدرات العسكرية الصاروخية والجوية لمحور المقاومة»، متابعاً: «ماوراء ذلك، يصــبح لنا عمق، فدولــة إســرائيل صغيرة وليس لديها حالياً عمــق، والصورة المعلوماتيــة المسبقة تسمح له بالاستعداد بشكل أفضــل، وأيضاً بمعالجة التهديدات البعيدة». وحذر كالمان من أنّ «تهديــد الصواريخ الدقيقة ليست بمستوى التهديد الوجــودي النووي، لكنــه ليس بعيداً عنه»، ونبّه إلى أنّ الصواريخ الدقيقة ليست حكراً على «حزب الله» في لبنان بل هي تهديد تراكمي يشمل كل ساحات الحرب، مقراً بأنّ لدى إيران مخزوناً كبيراً من القدرات الصاروخية التي تتحول إلى دقيقة بمديات  تتجاوز الـ 1000 كلم، إضافة إلى تهديدات مماثلة في اليمن والعراق وسورية، ولذلك يجب توسيع قوس المواجهة ضد إيران، ووفق ما سبق يتمكن كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني من الولوج العملياتي بدون قيود إلى البر والبحر، وبإمكانه إرسال سفنه إلى البحر الأحمر وبحر العرب وحتى الاقتراب من خليج عمان.

استمرت الإدارة الأميركية الحالية على نهج سلفها لاستكمال ترتيب أوراق أجندتها، وبخطوات متسارعة بعد قمة جنيف «بوتين- بايدن» وفق التالي:

ـ انسحبت من أفغانستان بمشهد مذل بعد أن أعادت إنتاج «داعش» وتدعيمه وتعزيزه بنقل عناصر إضافية لرفده من سورية والعراق، لضمان نشر الفوضى وتقويض الاستقرار الأمني، خاصة بعد سيطرة حركة طالبان على الحكم في أفغانستان، فبدأت هذه الحركة التكفيرية الوهابية «داعش» بتفجير المساجد والحسينيات والمدارس وقتلاً وذبحاً للأبرياء في مسلسل متواصل، حيثما وجد مسلمون من طوائف متعددة، لزرع الفتنة المذهبية بأجندة تديرها الولايات المتحدة لنشر الإرهاب والفوضى بما يقوض شراكة الصين مع الدول المجاورة ويعمل على تخريب مبادرة الحزام والطريق بكامل فروعها، ويهدد دول الجوار بتمدد الإرهاب إلى داخلها.

ـ حدوث توترات بين إيران وأذربيجان اللتين تجمعهما قواسم ثقافية واجتماعية ودينية، مع عبث تركي وحضور «إسرائيلي» وفقاً للمايسترو الأميركي:

ـ لعزل إيران عن المنطقة، من خلال منع استخدام الأراضي الإيرانية لربط منطقة نخجوان بـأذربيجان، وبالتالي قطع الاتصال الحدودي بين إيران وأرمينيا، وبالتالي قطع إحدى طرق المواصلات بين إيران وأوروبا.

ـ ربط تركيا (العضو في الناتو) ببحر قزوين عبر أذربيجان، وبالتالي توسيع حدود الناتو حتى بحر قزوين، بما يؤدي إلى تغيرات جيوسياسية في منطقة القوقاز، لن تسمح بها إيران ولجارتها الشمالية الغربية تركيا بالبدء بهذه المغامرة وتعميق هذه التوترات.

ـ تواجد قوات «إسرائيلية» وعناصر من تنظيم «داعش» على الأراضي الأذربيجانية وعلى حدود إيران، بما يجعل أذربيحان ساحة خلفية للكيان الصهيوني للتآمر على إيران، حيث من باكو ووفقاً لمسؤولين إيرانيين تمت هجمات «إسرائيلية» استهدفت البرنامج النووي الإيراني، واغتيال العالم النووي البارز محسن فخري زاده.

لذلك لجأت إيران إلى مناورة عسكرية على طول الحدود مع أذربيجان900 كلم «فاتحي خيبر» مما دفع باكو إلى العودة الدبلوماسية، حيث لدى أذربيجان مشاريع اقتصادية مهمة مع إيران مثل السكك الحديدية التي تربط أذربيجان بالخليج عبر مدينة أستارا، وكذلك خط النقل البري بين البلدين، ولايبدو أن هذه التوترات ستصل إلى أماكن خطرة.

ـ محاولة زرع كمائن متفرقة ونشر الفتن في العراق ولبنان من خلال الانتخابات العراقية، ومجزرة الطيونة في بيروت لتقليص النفوذ السياسي لتيار المقاومة والحشد الشعبي في العراق، وحزب الله في لبنان، بالإضافة إلى نزع سلاح المقاومة أو تورطه في حرب أهلية.

على المقلب الموازي يحقق المحور المناهض للهيمنة الأميركية وحلف محور المقاومة تقدماً متسارعاً في كافة الميادين نذكر منها:

ـ بدء العمل التجريبي بخط أنابيب السيل الشمالي الذي يزود أوروبا بالغاز الروسي.

ـ إنجاز الجيش اليمني الوطني واللجان الشعبية انتصارات ميدانية بمجموعة من العمليات المتتالية آخرها عمليتي فجر الانتصار وربيع النصر اللتين أدتا إلى استكمال تحرير معظم محافظة مأرب ومحافظة شبوة مدن الموارد بالغاز والنفط والماء، وبالتالي إضافة بعد اقتصادي للبعد العسكري بالتحرير.

ـ استكمال تحرير الجنوب السوري من الجماعات الإرهابية، وعودة سورية إلى دورها الإقليمي ومداها الحيوي ومكانتها الدولية عبر التنسيق الأمني بقرار الإنتــربول الدولي رفع الحظر عن دمشق، والبوابة الاقتصادية بالتنســيق مع مصر والأردن ولبنان، وفتح معبر نصيب – جابر الحــدودي، وإعــادة إحياء خط الغاز العربي، ووصول الغاز المصري والكهرباء الأردنــية إلى لبنان عبر الأراضي السورية، وكسر بعض من تفاصيل (قانون قيصر)، بعد وصول قوافل النفط الإيرانية إلى ميناء بانياس، ثم بيروت براً، بتحدّ صريح وواضح للعنجهية والبلطجة الأميركية و»الإسرائيلية».

ـ بدء الجيش العربي السوري مع حلفائه باستكمال تحرير الشمال السوري من الاحتلال التركي ومجاميع العصابات الإرهابية التكفيرية التابعة له من خلال بدء المعركة من  مدينة سرمدة الني تقع على الحدود السورية – التركية، والتي لم تتعرض للقصف منذ سبع سنوات، وشمل القصف مقرات هامة لفصيل «هيئة تحرير الشام» الإرهابي، ومنها مقر اقتصادي «شركة محروقات وتد»، بالإضافة إلى مركز نفوس وقيادة الشرطة التابعة لهم، وبالتالي استهداف كل المؤسسات التي سعت تركيا أن تثبتها في إدلب كبديل عن مؤسسات الدولة السورية، وأن أهم أهداف هذه العملية العسكرية رفض تتريك الشمال السوري، وإنهاء الوضع الشاذ فيه.

ـ عودة طهران في الأسبوع المقبل إلى مفاوضات الاتفاق النووي في فيينا بشروط إيرانية وفق سياسة الخطوة بخطوة، والتي تبدأَ بأن يقوم الأميركيون برفع العقوبات بالكامل، خاصة النفطية والمالية، لتقابلها إيران بالعودة إلى الاتفاق النووي وخفض نسبة تخصيب اليورانيوم من 60% إلى 3,5%، وخفض إنتاج أجهزة الطرد المركزي،….

وسبق كلّ ذلك معركة «سيف القدس» التي خاضتها فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية نصرة للقدس، التي كشفت ماهية معادلة «إسرائيل أوهن من بيت العنكبوت»، نحو تكريس معادلة قواعد اشتباك جديدة «القدس تعني حرباً إقليمية»، ومنذ أسابيع قليلة عملية نفق الحرية «سجن جلبوع» التي نفذها الأسرى الأبطال الستة قبل إعادة اعتقالهم، والتي هزمت منظومة الاحتلال الأمنية والعسكرية والاستخبارية، وشكلت نقطة تحول جديدة في مسار الصراع العربي الصهيوني.

وفي الختام، نذكر ما نقلته صحيفة «جيروزاليم بوست» عن رئيس المؤتمر اليهودي العالمي رونالد لودر «إن خسارة تل أبيب التضامن الصريح عالمياً في المعركة مع غزة ضاعف الخطر الوجودي على إسرائيل»، وعلى أهمية خسارة الرأي العام، إلا أنّ الانقسام الذي يهدد وجود «إسرائيل» ليس الانقسام في الداخل «الإسرائيلي» فقط بل في العالم كله، كما تحدث عن تراجع الولاء لـ «إسرائيل»، واختراق أعدائها لحلفائها الأكثر إخلاصاً لها في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وهذا ماأكده أيضاً الكاتب سيث فرانتسمان بأنّ حركة المقاومة الفلسطينية وصلت إلى دعم شعبي كبير بعد الحرب الأخيرة على غزة، في الوقت الذي استهدفت الاحتجاجات إدانة «إسرائيل» في العديد من البلدان، ونشرت مقالات تنتقدها في جميع أنحاء العالم، وأضاف: «كما قادت الصين جهوداً في الأمم المتحدة لإدانة إسرائيل، واتهم أعضاء اليسار المتطرف في الحزب الديمقراطي في الولايات المتحدة إسرائيل بممارسة الفصل العنصري، ودعوا إلى وقف مبيعات الأسلحة»، كما أكد تراجع دعم «إسرائيل» حتى بين المؤيدين الرئيسيين لها في الولايات المتحدة كالإنجيليين.

في الخلاصة، لا يزال كيان الاحتلال الصهيوني يقف على «إجر ونص»، خوفاً من انتقام المقاومة اللبنانية القادم لشهدائها لا محالة، وقد يقف الآن على رجل واحدة بعد  توعد بيان غرفة عمليات حلفاء سورية  «بالرد القاسي» رداً على الغارات «الإسرائيلية» على تدمر وسط سورية التي انطلقت عبر سماء الأردن ومنطقة التنف السورية المحتلة من الأميركيين منذ خمسة أيام.

Under the Disguise of ‘Humanitarian Work,’ US Kicks off Central Partnership Station Exercise in Lebanon

September 22, 2021 

Under the Disguise of ‘Humanitarian Work,’ US Kicks off Central Partnership Station Exercise in Lebanon

By Staff, Agencies

Under the disguise of “building partner capacity” in the region and “doing some humanitarian work,” the United States is conducting its first-ever Central Partnership Station mission in Lebanon amid growing calls for the expulsion of all American forces from regional countries in the aftermath of the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The US 5th Fleet’s spokesman Cmdr. Tim Hawkins claimed that the Central Partnership Station exercise in Lebanon “would grow the Lebanese Armed Forces’ ability to conduct missions like mine countermeasures, naval construction and disaster-related public health activities, as well as deliver goods like baby formula to the Mediterranean country.”

“The fact that [US Naval Forces Central Command] is conducting its first-ever Central Partnership Station mission is a testament to the success and the effectiveness of those previously established efforts in other regions,” Hawkins claimed in comments to Defense News on Tuesday.

About 40 US Navy and military personnel will participate in the exercise, which is set to last through September 29 and aims to foster a closer military-to-military relationship between the US and Lebanese armed forces.

Although the US mission in Afghanistan is over, and in the midst of growing calls for the complete US withdrawal from the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria, over its destabilizing activities, as a result of which the US faces record anti-American sentiments in the region, Hawkins alleged that such military-to-military engagements would result in “improved regional security and stability.”

“If we see that we had the effect desired and that it was beneficial to furthering the military-to-military relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces, then we will certainly look to do more in the region with our partners along these lines,” he added.

The 5th Fleet’s area of operations reportedly encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water area and includes the Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

The area includes three critical choke points at the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Bab-al-Mandeb and is comprised of 21 countries.

The United States has imposed sanctions against Lebanon to pressure the country over the influence Hezbollah resistance movement wields in its political and military sectors. In the 2000s, the Lebanese resistance group fought off two major wars against the Zionist occupation regime, Washington’s most treasured ally in the region.

Iran Seeks Action Rather Than Words From JCPOA Parties – Amir Abdollahian

September 22, 2021 

Iran Seeks Action Rather Than Words From JCPOA Parties – Amir Abdollahian

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with new UK foreign secretary Liz Truss on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday to discuss Afghanistan and issues of mutual interest as well as the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

At the meeting, the top Iranian diplomat said that the rebuilding of bilateral relations requires serious actions and stressed the need for the implementation of the repayment of Britain’s debt to Iran.

Amir Abdollahian said Iran just had heard words from the other parties to the JCPOA and no actions, adding, “Unfortunately, Britain is also part of this inaction and this approach must change.”

He further said that “The US administration, with Europe’s silence and cooperation, continues to impose its illegal sanctions [against Iran] and at the same time claims it wants to return to JCPOA.”

“This is a clear paradox that is carefully being seen by the Iranian people,” he noted, adding that for the current Iranian government action rather than words matters most.

Amir-Abdollahian stressed that Britain needs to pay attention to the fact that fulfilling its obligations is the only way to rebuild relations, and that Tehran will respond appropriately to any positive and constructive step.

The two sides also discussed consular issues, including the issue of dual-national prisoners.

The Iranian foreign minister further stressed the need to pay attention to the humanitarian situation in Yemen and Bahrain.

Regarding Afghanistan, he said that the formation of an inclusive government that represents the ethnic and demographic composition of the country is the only comprehensive solution to achieve lasting stability and peace in Afghanistan.

During the meeting, the new British foreign secretary, for her part, said that her country is ready to repay its debts to Iran.

Regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Liz Truss said that the most urgent issue now is the attention of all parties to the time of the start of the talks process.

The British top diplomat also thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for facilitating the evacuation of the remaining British nationals from Afghanistan.

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Raisi: US Efforts to Impose Hegemony Have ‘Failed Miserably’

September 22, 2021

Raisi: US Efforts to Impose Hegemony Have ‘Failed Miserably’

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian President Sayyed Ebrahim Raisi said the US efforts to impose hegemony on other countries have “failed miserably,” and that Washington’s hegemonic system lacks credibility.

Raisi made the remarks during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly via video conference on Tuesday night, in his first address to the main policy-making organ of the world body since taking office last month.

“This year, two scenes made history: one was on January 6 when the US congress was attacked by the people and, two, when the people of Afghanistan were dropped down from the US planes in August. From the Capitol to Kabul, one clear message was sent to the world: the US’ hegemonic system has no credibility, whether inside or outside the country,” Raisi told the UN General Assembly.

“What is seen in our region today proves that not only the hegemonist and the idea of hegemony, but also the project of imposing Westernized identity have failed miserably. The result of seeking hegemony has been blood-spilling and instability and, ultimately, defeat and escape. Today, the US does not get to exit Iraq and Afghanistan but is expelled,” he added.

The Iranian president further noted that Washington is using sanctions as a “new way of war” against other nations, stressing that the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic during the coronavirus pandemic are “crimes against humanity.”

“Sanctions are the US’ new way of war with the world countries. Sanctions against the Iranian nation started not with my country’s nuclear program; they even predate the Islamic Revolution and go back to the year 1951 when oil nationalization went underway in Iran,” Raisi said at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

“Despite the fact that the Islamic Republic was keen from the outset to purchase and import COVID-19 vaccines from reliable international sources, it faced inhumane medical sanctions. Sanctions, especially on medicine at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, are crimes against humanity,” he noted.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president stressed that Tehran has been adhering to its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] while Washington violated the 2015 landmark accord‎, stressing that the US so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran has failed.

“Today, the whole world, including the Americans themselves, have admitted that the project of countering the Iranian people, which manifested itself in the form of violating the JCPOA and was followed by the “maximum pressure” and arbitrary withdrawal from an internationally recognized agreement, has totally failed,” Raisi said.

“We want nothing more than what is rightfully ours. We demand the implementation of international rules. All parties must stay true to the nuclear deal and the UN Resolution in practice,” he added.

Raisi also said that Iran has “no trust in US promises,” and wants all anti-Tehran sanctions to be removed at once, noting that the Islamic Republic considers the nuclear talks useful only when their ultimate outcome is the lifting of all unilateral sanctions.

التذاكي التركي والكلفة الباهظة

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سبتمبر 19, 2021 

قدمت القيادة التركية خلال السنوات الست التي أعقبت التموضع الروسي في سورية نموذجاً عن أسلوب التذاكي والمماطلة والخداع الذي تعتمده في التعامل مع المتغيرات، التي فرضت حضورها بإسقاط المشروع الأصلي الذي شكلت تركيا بقيادة رجب أردوغان ركيزته الرئيسية بهدف إسقاط سورية، ضمن إطار تخديم تركيا للمشروع الأميركي في المنطقة لقاء عائدات اعتماد تنظيم الإخوان المسلمين كوكيل للمصالح الأميركية في المنطقة.

عندما اصطدمت تركيا بالتموضع الروسي كان في حسابها جر الغرب لمعركة مع روسيا، وعندما خذلها الغرب لجأت إلى التذاكي للتملص من دفع فواتير دورها المحوري في خطة الحرب على سورية، وصارت تشتغل مياومة وشراء الوقت وتقديم التنازل تفادياً للمواجهة لحفظ ما تبقى، لكنها لم تنخرط إطلاقاً بخيار صناعة السلم والحل السياسي، بل تصرفت باعتبار كل عناوين آستانة مجرد إطار لشراء الوقت ريثما تأتي ظروف تتيح تحقيق مكاسب لمشروع أردوغان الذي تطلع دائماً لامتلاك أوراق تأثير وعبث في المعادلة السورية تحت عناوين مختلفة.

حاولت القيادة التركية تحويل مجالات التعاون خارج سورية مع روسيا وإيران إلى مصادر توسيع لهامش مناورتها في شراء الوقت، وحققت بعض النجاحات، لكنها كانت دائماً تكشف منهج التذاكي الذي ما كان يتأخر ليعبر عن ذاته ويكتشف الروس والإيرانيون، خصوصا ًعندما تلوح في الأفق بوادر عودة غربية للتصعيد، فيترسمل بها الأتراك للتكشير عن أنيابهم.

تحملت سورية الكثير بانتظار أن تبقي خطواتها  محسوبة ومدروسة بصورة لا تفكك الحلف الذي صنع النصر، فتفهمت الاعتبارات التي تحكمت بمواقف حليفيها الروسي والإيراني، والروسي على وجه الخصوص، سواء أثناء الحركة التركية نحو ليبيا التي بدت مصلحة روسية بتعطيل أنبوب الغاز الإسرائيلي- المصري نحو أوروبا برعاية أميركية كمنافس لخط الأنابيب الروسي- التركي، أو خلال حرب أرمينيا وأذربيجان حيث شكل التدخل التركي عنصر توازن برر لموسكو الدخول كوسيط مقبول لوقف النار.

خلال الشهور الأخيرة ومع الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان والاستعداد الروسي مع الحلفاء لبدء مرحلة جديدة لملء الفراغ الناجم عن التراجع الأميركي والدفع بالأميركي لمزيد من التراجع ظهرت تركيا صاحبة مشروع خاص، فقدمت استعدادها لتخديم حلف الناتو في أفغانستان وأذربيجان، بصورة موجهة مباشرة ضد روسيا، والبلدان يقعان على الحدود الروسية، بينما ذهبت تركيا في ليبيا لتحويل عائدات وجودها لفرض مشروع شراكة خاص يعطل فرص روسيا كشريك دولي في صناعة الحل السياسي.

تبلورت في موسكو معادلة حاسمة بوجه الدور التركي، تمهد لخطوات تعيد تذكير أردوغان بلحظات ما بعد إسقاط الطائرة الروسية التي جلبته إلى آستانة، وتبدو سورية مقبلة على تطورات انتظرتها طويلاً في منطقة إدلب بوحي هذه المتغيرات.

التذاكي وشراء الوقت يصلان إلى المسافة صفر من لحظة الحقيقة.

 سفينة نوح اللبنانية

سفينة نوح اللبنانية

ناصر قنديل

يطلق عادة تشبيه سفينة نوح على إحدى حالتين، الأولى هي تعدد المكونات التي تحملها سواء كان التعدد إشارة للكثرة أو للتناقص، والثاني هو الطابع الإنقاذي الذي مثلته سفينة نوح بتجنيب ركابها خطر الغرق في الطوفان، وسفينة المحروقات التي جلبتها المقاومة من إيران وعبرت ناقلاتها حمولة المحروقات عبر الحدود السورية إلى لبنان، تشبه سفينة نوح في المسار الذي تمثله لجهة تعدد المجالات التي أطلقت فيها مسارات جديدة لم تكتمل عناوينها بعد، أو لجهة موقعها الإنقاذي بتجنيب لبنان خطر الغرق في طوفان كان يهدّد كل شيء بالغرق.

جاءت سفينة المقاومة كطليعة لأخواتها لتفتح الباب لجملة تطورات في العديد من الملفات، ففي الملف السياسي كانت السفينة رسماً لمعادلة جديدة عنوانها نقل مفاعيل معادلة الردع التي أرستها المقاومة في البر إلى البحار، في لحظة تراجع وارتباك أميركية بعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان بما حمله من تعبير عن الاعتراف الأميركي بفشل اللجوء إلى فائض القوة العسكري لصناعة السياسة، وسعي الإدارة الأميركية لتفادي الانخراط في مواجهات تعرض قواتها وسياساتها للخطر من دون أن تكون هذه المواجهات دفاعاً صريحاً عن الأمن الأميركي بوجه تهديد غير قابل للتأويل، وفي لحظة نزف مستمر لكيان الاحتلال تحت وطأة معادلات المواجهة في فلسطين والقلق من تسييل قوة المقاومة من لبنان نحو فلسطين تحت شعار القدس تعادل حرباً إقليمية، بحيث صارت السفينة تحدياً لقرار بحجم التورط الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» بحرب، أو تقبل تمدّد معادلة الردع نحو البحار كمسار قابل للتوسع، ليست عملية التنقيب عن النفط والغاز واستخراجه إلا أولى الخطوات المرشحة لتشكيل حلقة من حلقاته، أو البحث عن بديل ثالث، بدأت طلائعه برفع الحظر الأميركي عن استعادة العلاقة مع سورية نقيضاً لما بشر به قانون قيصر، من بوابة أولى ستتسع كلما كانت المعادلة حاضرة، وهي ستحضر، والبوابة كانت بالتراجع عن منع رسمي لاستجرار الكهرباء الأردنية والغاز المصري عبر سورية، والخطوة الأهم في البديل التراجعي أمام مسار السفينة كانت بالتدخل الأميركي المباشر للضغط لولادة عاجلة للحكومة ومسابقتها لوصول السفينة، وفتح الباب لتجديد تمويل دعم استيراد المحروقات من قبل مصرف لبنان، وكل الذي يجري يعني القول بالتسليم بالفائض السياسي لمعادلة الردع على البر مقابل تجميد مفاعيلها في البحر، والتجاذب مستمر بين المسارين.

جاءت السفينة لتصيب كبد النظام الريعي الذي جمع فيه قطاع المحروقات ما كان يمثله أصلاً في بنية النظام الاقتصادي في الحرب الأهلية وبعدها، مع ما ورثه من موقع ومكانة القطاع المصرفي الشريك الكامل في اقتصاد المحروقات الذي تحول إلى ميدان حصري للعمل المصرفي مع توقف نظام الاستثمار في الدين وسندات الخزينة، وقد تحول اقتصاد المحروقات منذ بدء الأزمة إلى نقطة تقاطع الاحتكار وتجار الأزمات ومهربي الأموال إلى الخارج، فهذا الاقتصاد استحوذ بفضل الدعم المشبوه على أكثر من عشرة مليارات دولار من أموال المودعين، شكلت الأرباح منها أكثر من سبعة مليارات منها ما حول للخارج خلسة ومنها ما تحقق عبر التهريب والسوق السوداء، وتشاركت فيه قوى سياسية وتجار كبار ومصارف، وجاءت السفينة لتصيب هذا الاقتصاد في الكبد، فهي تبشر بدخول لاعب كبير، بقياس حجم الكميات التي ستدخل الأسواق، ونظيف وشريف، بقياس عدم سعيه لتحقيق الربح، ووطني، بقياس التزامه بعدم التمييز بين اللبنانيين على أساس المناطق والطوائف في التعامل مع هذا الملف خصوصاً، وبذلك تعيد السفينة تشكيل المشهد الاقتصادي بصيرورة مفتوحة على إعادة تشكيل للأحجام والأدوار والأنماط، وتتيح عبر مركزية قطاع الطاقة وضع الأسس لمفهومين جديدين، التوجه شرقاً، ورفع مكانة القطاعات الإنتاجية.

جاءت السفينة لتربك التنظيم الاجتماعي القائم على زيادة الأغنياء غنى والفقراء فقراً، لتضع أولوية جديدة في المفهوم الاجتماعي عنوانها أولوية مكانة الفقراء، سواء بحجم مكانتهم في الأولويات أو بحجم النتائج التي ستترتب على جداول نفقاتهم، وسيكون مفاجئاً التعرف إلى ما بدأت ملامحه في مناطق ما كانت لتنفتح يومياً على المقاومة، وأقيمت بينهما جدران عالية، حطمتها السفينة، ولأن الخطر الأكبر الذي أطاح بكل مفاعيل مسعى تغييري شعبي كان الانقسام الطائفي القابل للتحول بسرعة إلى عصبيات قاتلة، فان أهم ما بدأت ملامحه بالظهور مع السفينة هو هذا الانفتاح للمناطق على بعضها من خارج جدران الطوائف والعصبيات، حتى بدأت القوى الطائفية تتحسس الخطر.

سفينة نوح اللبنانية جمعت عناوين مصيرية كبرى في السياسة والاقتصاد والمجتمع، وشكلت نقطة انطلاق لمسار إنقاذي من الطوفان الذي كانت بوادره تقترب.

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MBZ is performing a U-turn that could reshape the Middle East

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15 September 2021 10:57 UTC

David Hearst

David Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He says Middle East Eye is funded by “individual private donors” but he won’t name them. He said that his organisation is not funded by Qatar – or any other state or group – and is here to stay. He appears as a commentator on the Middle East for Al Jazeera English and Alaraby TV, TRT, Masr Al-Aan TV.

For years, Emirati foreign policy has been a disaster. Now, on the anniversary of the fundamentally flawed Abraham Accords, a rethink is underway

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed is pictured in Berlin in June 2019 (Reuters)

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban has triggered an earthquake that has travelled across the Gulf. The tectonic plates that defined who did what to whom in the region are shifting. 

Alliances that only a year ago seemed to be set in concrete are cracking. The vacuum created by the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has been felt just as keenly in Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv as it has in Kabul.

The clearest sign of swaying buildings and buckling tarmac are the pledges and significant amounts of money being promised by the de facto leader of the UAE to Turkey, states that are vigorous competitors for regional influence.

It is pragmatism, not a fundamental change of heart, that is causing the latest handbrake turn in Abu Dhabi’s foreign policy

And Turkey has not been the only sign of the apparent U-turn in UAE policy. Shortly after his recent meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tahnoun bin Zayed, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed’s brother and security chief, flew to mend fences with Qatar.

Only a year ago, the UAE was urging Saudi Arabia not to lift the blockade of Qatar. This latest visit is a recognition that the blockade was a spectacular failure. Qatar has emerged as US President Joe Biden’s strongest partner in the Gulf, and the one on whom he depended for evacuating Afghans and communicating with the Taliban.

How different from the start of the blockade, when Qatar was painted as a refuge for terrorists and Islamists, and former US President Donald Trump tweeted his approval of the Saudi action. 

Billions promised

Erdogan is keeping the transcript of his recent telephone conversation with MBZ close to his chest. Only a trusted few know what the crown prince promised. According to my sources, MBZ offered Erdogan more than $10bn in investments.

Unlike the military side of the government of Sudan, or indeed President Kais Saied in Tunisia, Erdogan is not being made to wait long for the money to arrive. The Dubai-based courier Aramex is reportedly in talks to buy the Turkish delivery company MNG Kargo.

There is much secrecy in Ankara, but one thing is clear: the momentum for this reset is coming from Abu Dhabi. Erdogan is wary, and the foreign policy establishment in Turkey is sceptical. Both have good reason for caution.

UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Ankara on 18 August 2021 (Turkish Presidency)
UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Ankara on 18 August 2021 (Turkish Presidency)

This was the state that, according to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, spent $3bn attempting (and very nearly succeeding) to topple Erdogan on 15 July 2016. Cavusoglu did not name the UAE, but it was clear who he was referencing when he mentioned “a Muslim country”.

The same state funds neoconservative Washington think tanks that regularly debunk Erdogan and his ability to sustain the lira. It competes for influence with Turkey in Syria, Yemen, Libya, the Horn of Africa, Egypt and Tunisia. It was the brains behind, and one of the funders of, the counter-revolution that toppled former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi – and it has tried repeatedly to rearrange the furniture in Tunisia, Sudan and Yemen. Emirati planes at one point provided air cover for renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s ill-fated attempt to recapture Tripoli.The UAE’s military interventions have led to disaster – not stabilityRead More »

It has also created armies of “electronic flies” to condition public opinion through social media. The UAE’s interventions far beyond the Gulf have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East. 

Turkey has long been on the receiving end of this. So why would a leopard on a mission to hunt down political Islam and render it extinct, change its spots? It is not a question that can be convincingly answered.

Nor is this the first attempt at a kiss and make up: the UAE made a similar overture to Ankara when it thought Hillary Clinton would become US president. When Trump won, this was instantly dropped. It is pragmatism, not a fundamental change of heart, that is causing the latest handbrake turn in Abu Dhabi’s foreign policy. The sceptics in Ankara are right to be cautious. 

Nevertheless, it could still be happening. The flood of signals coming out of Abu Dhabi towards Erdogan and Turkey mostly take place in private forums, and the message is consistent, even if you don’t believe it.

‘Strategic reassessment’

According to people with knowledge of these conversations, top UAE officials claim to be conducting a “strategic reassessment” of foreign policy.

It starts with Biden. The UAE noted two features of its changed relationship with Washington since his administration came to power: the first was a consistent message from the new US administration to “de-escalate” tensions in the Middle East. The second was the unpredictability of US foreign policy. 

The new policy, then, is apparently to spread influence through economic cooperation, rather than military intervention and political competition

This was surely already apparent under Trump, when he refused to bomb Tehran after Iran and its Iraqi proxies sent armed drones to cripple two Saudi oil facilities, temporarily halving crude production. If ever Saudi Arabia and the UAE felt unprotected by the US military umbrella, it was then.

Coupled with this, they claim, is a hard-headed assessment of what the UAE has actually achieved. Its interventions have indeed beaten the Muslim Brotherhood back as a political force in EgyptTunisiaYemenSyria, and partly in Libya. But the cost of the UAE’s secular jihad is enormous.

Three of these countries are in smoking ruins, and the other two, Egypt and Tunisia, are nearly bankrupt. What has MBZ gained for the billions of dollars he has invested in Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi?

The new policy, then, is apparently to spread influence through economic cooperation, rather than military intervention and political competition.

Saudi-UAE rift

They don’t say it, but when questioned, there is clearly also coolness with Riyadh. One emissary claimed that the UAE delayed its pullout from Yemen for a year to allow Saudi Arabia to end the war with the Houthis, but it is clear that Yemen is a sore point between the two military allies.

Saudi Arabia recently announced a series of moves to weaken Abu Dhabi, the latest being the pullout of Al Arabiya and parent media company MBC from Dubai. It has clamped down on tax-free goods from an Emirati free trade zone, as well as insisting that foreign multinationals base their headquarters in Riyadh rather than Dubai. There is a lot more sibling rivalry to the brotherly relations between the two Gulf countries these days.

MBZ meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in 2018 (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)
MBZ meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in 2018 (Bandar al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace/AFP)

Publicly, the UAE’s licensed political analysts are hinting at a different set of regional priorities. Political scientist Abdulkhaleq Abudulla tweeted that the main message from Washington was that the US would not defend the Gulf. “And the Arab Gulf states are at a crossroads; how should they adapt to the post-America Gulf stage?”

Spot the notable absences from this list: Saudi Arabia and Egypt, its closest allies in 2013.

Abraham Accords lose value

Abu Dhabi is not the only signatory of the Abraham Accords which is reassessing the value of a pro-US bloc in the Gulf. One year on from the signing in Washington, the Abraham Accords are losing their shine. A year ago, they seemed to have so much going for them. It was a marriage of brains and brawn, the military might and technological superiority of Israel with the dollars of the Gulf.UAE-Israel deal: Abraham accord or Israeli colonialism?Read More »

It was a way of bypassing the Palestinian conflict, without the need for messy, time-wasting things like negotiations, elections or popular mandates. The accords were a solution imposed from above – a fait accompli, which the Arab masses would have to live with.

But like the megacities of Saudi Arabia, the accords were built on shifting sands. 

They had two fundamental flaws. Firstly, they depended on individual leaders – not states – meeting at first in secret as their drivers. This means that when two key players were removed from the picture – Trump and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the project itself lost sponsorship and momentum. 

The other problem was that they were all about the relationship between regional states and the US. They did not address the fundamental problems of relations between the key regional actors themselves. 

The UAE’s motive for moving closer to Israel was to cement its relationship with Washington. Recognition of Israel was always a means to an end, not the end in itself. 

Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in 2020 (AFP)
Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed sign the Abraham Accords in 2020 (AFP)

For Israel, on the other hand, the Abraham Accords were all about cementing its own security by increasing its regional influence. It fundamentally misread Arab intentions by conceiving of normalisation as a military and diplomatic safety net for its own continued existence.

Zvi Barel, writing in Haaretz, observed: “The kaleidoscopic shifting of international relations will require Israel to examine its place in the newly-forming alignment. The idea that there’s a pro-U.S. bloc that provides Israel with a military and diplomatic safety net and acts alongside it as an informal coalition against Iran, is beginning to fall apart.”

Regional realignment

The US not only supplied the carrots and sticks necessary to coerce states such as Sudan to join the accords, by removing it from its list of terrorist states. It was the very reason for the accords themselves.

The Emiratis, being quick off the mark, have seen the future shape of the post-oil world. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has yet to reconcile himself to the US military absence. Maybe he will now that Biden has just withdrawn his Patriot missiles from the kingdom and lifted the bar imposed by two of his predecessors to confidential documents on allegations of Saudi government links to two of the 9/11 hijackers

It has taken eight long years for the penny to drop. But if indeed it has, this realisation presents a genuine opportunity to reshape a post-American Middle East

Unlike MBZ, MBS harbours personal grudges. He cannot forgive Erdogan for the role he played in keeping the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the agenda in Washington. In so doing, Erdogan permanently damaged MBS’s international reputation, making a repeat trip to London and the US impossible for the future Saudi king.

MBS’s psychology – for all its modernist patina of posing as a reformer – is still rooted in his Bedouin past. Being the future king, he considers and treats his people as his property. He is their lord and master. Deals with other states are made by him alone. He decides whether his kingdom will recognise Israel or whether, as is now the case, he could turn to Israel to provide him with missile defence systems.

Although all of these moves are brittle and by nature reversible, given that they are triggered by events outside the region and not within it, there could be light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel of permanent intervention. If regional actors themselves can establish a working relationship with each other – and no more than that is required – stability will not depend on a small group of despots. How will US disengagement shape the Middle East?Read More »

Relations between regional powers are more likely to represent state interests, rather than the personal ones of their leaders. That in itself would be progress, if indeed any of this comes to fruition. 

MBZ’s decision to reassess his foreign policy has to be genuine and not a temporary swerve. He is right to reassess his foreign policy. It has been a disaster, a complete waste of his money. It has weakened once strong states, such as Egypt, and caused massive refugee flows. 

It has taken eight long years for the penny to drop. But if indeed it has, this realisation presents a genuine opportunity to reshape a post-American Middle East.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.David HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

Imposing Human Rights conditions on Afghan Government.

September 15, 2021

Imposing Human Rights conditions on Afghan Government.

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

The US is exerting pressure on the Afghan Government for respecting human rights. Also, the US is lobbying with its allies to exert pressure on Afghanistan and should not recognize their legitimacy unless they meet few demands, among which is Human rights at the top of the list.

What the US was doing in Afghanistan for twenty years? Was it in respect of Human rights? Bombing Marriage parties, funeral ceremonies, Mosques, Shrines, Schools, Hospitals, was respecting Human rights? Dropping Mother of all bombs, extensive use of force, weapons, and ammunition was it the respect of Human rights? Use of dirty tricks, and high-tech weapons and technologies, was in respect to Human rights? The US was maintaining several jails in Afghanistan, was it in respect of Human Rights? Keeping many detention centers, was it in respect of Human rights? Creation of so many torture cells, was it the rest of Human rights? So many investigation centers, was am to protect human rights? The US involved 46 countries to attack Afghanistan was it human rights exercise? Additional 11 countries also supported in war against Afghanistan, was it aimed to protect human rights? Keeping 150,000 troops in Afghanistan (peek time), was it respecting human rights? Killing innocent citizens, children, civilians, women, elder people, was part of the American Human Rights adventure? Use of drones and killing Taxi driver along with his two young children, was it also the respect of Human right? Excessive use of powers, draconian laws, and extrajudicial killings, was part of US policy of Human Rights? How many women were raped, insulted, humiliated, is this American rest to Human rights? Child abuse was a common phenomenon, is this the American way of resting human rights? Shame! Shame! Shame!

The US has no moral authority to talk about Human Rights and put extraordinary conditions on the Afghan Government and irrational excuses to coerce Afghans. The entire world knows, what happened in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and in many other countries, the American role is very much obvious and known to everyone. The US is a partner in extreme violations of Human rights in Palestine and Kashmir. The US is extending extraordinary support to Israel and India, which are notorious for Human rights violations. Yet, if the US is talking about human rights, is beyond our imaginations. A country, who is committing the worst human rights violations, is talking about Human rights, is not matching its actions and words. Even, inside America, what so ever is happening with minorities, immigrants, and black people, is well-known to everyone.

American human rights violations and war crimes in Afghanistan must be trial and fix responsibilities on all individuals involved. Punish them according to respective law according to the degree of crime and level of involvement.

However, in Afghanistan, life is rapidly restoring toward normalcy. 20 years of American illegitimate occupation has ended and the Taliban are restoring peace, stability, and law & order situation, which is improving gradually. Now people feel safer and secure. Government offices are functioning properly. Women are working with full confidence as usual. Girls are getting an education in a routine matter. Taliban government has ensured the safety of all its citizens. People of Afghanistan are happy and have welcomed the Taliban.

Taliban are real representatives of Afghanistan and very much loyal and sincere with their country and enjoy public support and trust. Unlike President Noor Muhamad Turkey, President Hafizullah Amin, President Babrak Karmal, and President Dr. Najeeb, who were traitors and planted by the USSR, and were working on foreign agenda, the Taliban are keeping the Afghan interest at the top. Unlike President Hamid Karzai, and President Ashraf Ghani, who were CIA agents, and puppets, and installed by the US. Both of them were implementing and serving their masters. Taliban are Afghans and serving Afghans only.

If the US demands to include such traitors, it may not be possible, as it is illogical to bring traitors and foreign agents back. Taliban fought for twenty years for freedom and finally defeated the US. Taliban has sacrificed many precious lives, close relatives, suffered jails, tortures, and exiles, and now after victory, they have the right to form their own government. It is their legal and legitimate right, the world must accept this fact and realize it, the sooner the better.

Taliban are true Afghans, they understand their culture, traditions, and tribal society, and they will form a system of government, which suits Afghanistan. There is no need for any dictation from the outside world. Let Afghans lead their country and manage their affairs in the best possible manner, which suits them. Outside interference needs to reach an end. The status of human rights in Afghanistan under Taliban rule is much better than in the last twenty years of American occupation. People feel relaxed and thank the Taliban for providing them dignity, safety, respect, and protection. Under American occupation, no one was sure that if he or she leaves home, and come back safe. Any time anywhere anything can happen, as the US troops were wild and treating Afghans just like sheep and goats, mistreating them, insulting and humiliating them. Especially, the women can be raped, tortured, humiliated by troops. How many young Afghan girls were smuggled and trafficked to America and Europe to work in the sex industry? Can Americans justify it as human rights? Taliban has provided respect and protection to women. Majority of women are very happy with Taliban rule. Exceptions must be there, we may not deny exceptional cases, but vast majority of women are happy and satisfied.

Taliban were freedom fighters and won the long war of twenty years against a superpower and they are competent and equipped with all modern knowledge. They understand how to manage a country and how to run a country. Of course, they are facing huge challenges, but these challenges are created artificially by the US and its allies. Like freezing Afghan assets, using IMF, World Bank, International Financial Institutions, and donors, to coerce Afghans.

The US has planned something else, but what happens is the opposite. The US evacuated its troops from Afghanistan in a haphazard manner to create a vacuum, leading toward civil war. The US deployed around twenty thousand private defense contractors to create unrest and civil war in Afghanistan. The US shifted ISIS-K to Afghanistan, equipped them, funded them, and provided those training, to create unrest and civil war in Afghanistan. But on the ground Taliban has managed very well and avoided any civil war or unrest on the ground. The US is desperate, taking measures to destabilize the new government in Afghanistan.

The US is using various tricks to destabilize Afghanistan, it includes economic measures, human rights excuses, women’s rights, etc. to create unrest. The US is pursuing allies and other countries to exert pressure on Afghanistan to achieve its ill-designs. Pakistan is facing such pressure from the US. Unfortunate!

However, the Taliban performed very well on grounds, and the world has seen and witnessed that the Taliban are capable and honest, kind, gentle, competent. Taliban got international recognition already. The Qatar deputy foreign Minister has already paid an official visit. Many other countries are ready to establish good relations with the new Government as soon as they announce formally.

The Whole region suffered a lot due to the American invasion of Afghanistan for twenty years, and cannot afford any further unrest. All the regional countries with a stable, safe, and prosperous Afghanistan. If few countries like America, want to spoil it, may not succeed.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail:

عالم متحوّل… «إسرائيل» مجرد حاجز طيار وكيانات البترودولار ستختفي قريباً

 محمد صادق الحسيني

الخبر الآن هو سحب واشنطن لبطاريات پاتريوت من السعودية على رغم تزايد هجومات أنصار الله عليها.

‏ وأنّ الأميركيين يغادرون المنطقة نهائياً وإن بالتدريج على رغم خطورة التحولات.

ويقولون للعرب كما لليهود:

‏دبّروا حالكم بأنفسكم وكل واحد يقلع شوكه بأظافره…

البداية من أفغانستان والأمر سارٍ على سائر البلدان، وكذلك لبنان.

‏هذا هو لسان حال الدوائر الأميركية لمن يقرأ جيداً، الموازين في الميدان والتقارير في الكواليس.

والتي تقول :لن يطول الزمان الذي ستصبح فيه حتى القاعدة الأميركية المتقدمة المقامة على اليابسة الفلسطينية والتي اسمها «إسرائيل»، إلا وتكون على جدول الإغلاق مثلها مثل مئات القواعد الأميركية المنتشرة في العالم، وذلك في إطار تطبيق برنامج أو خطة أميركا أولاً..!

‏الكيان إلى زوال إذن ولو بعد لأي.

 وإمارات النفط والغاز والبنزين تختفي قريباً من خريطة الوطن العربي، بخاصة بعد تقرير اقتصادي للأمم المتحدة يتوقع إفلاسها في عام 2024.

وما سيسرع في ذلك انتهاء وظيفتها الكيانية التي استحدثت من أجلها.

باختصار مكثف: أميركا إذن تقرر تغيير عقيدتها العسكرية للمرة الأولى منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية. وتأخذ قرارها النهائي بسحب عديدها وعتادها من مراكز الانتشار العالمي لإعادة الحياة إلى دورة الاقتصاد الأميركي الداخلية الكاسدة.

والصين في المقابل تتقدّم بخطى حثيثة بناء على رؤية استراتيجية ثاقبة لوصل شرق الصين بشرق المتوسط بطريق سريع يمرّ عبر أفغانستان وإيران من دون وجود عسكري غربي.

في هذه الأثناء نشرت وكالة «أسوشيتد برس»: صوراً فضائية قبل أيام تظهر سحب واشنطن منظومات «باتريوت» من السعودية على رغم تواصل الهجمات من اليمن كما أشرنا.

من جهة أخرى فقد علم من مصادر أوروبية استخبارية رفيعة، بأن واشنطن أبلغت الدوحة قبل أيام عبر وزير خارجيتها بلينكن، بأنّ ملف أفغانستان سيتمّ نقله بالكامل إلى ألمانيا، وأنّ دور الدوحة سيتحول إلى دور لوجيستي محض.

واشنطن هذه كانت قد أبلغت تل أبيب عبر وزير خارجيتها بينيت وغيره بأنها لم تعد مهتمة في أي خطط قد تفكر بها تل أبيب ضد طهران أو سورية أو حتى لبنان، فهي لديها ما يكفيها من مشاكل داخلية ودولية، وتتجه بقوة نحو مضيق «مالاقا» وبحر الصين.

إن أسباب ما ذكر أعلاه يمكن وضعه في تقدير الموقف الذي يستنتجه كل من يطالع بدقة التقارير التي يتم تداولها في الكواليس والأروقة الخلفية على المستوى الدولي والتي تؤكد ما يلي:

1 ـ كان قرار القوى الخفية، التي قررت أن ترشح ترامب إلى الرئاسه يتلخص في استخدامه لإنهاء الوجود العسكري الأميركي في أفغانستان و»الشرق الأوسط» أولاً ومن مناطق أخرى في العالم لاحقاً بعد هزيمتها في كل الحروب التي شنتها منذ ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية.

2 ـ فشل ترامب في ذلك بسبب ضغوط مجموعات الضغط اليهوديه في أميركا، ومنعه من ذلك بحجة الخوف على أمن «اسرائيل».

3 ـ لكنه بقي مصراً على تنفيذ الانسحابات وهو يسألهم عما تريده «إسرائيل» لضمان أمنها ؟ فجاء الجواب: تطبيع مع الدول العربية/ اعتراف أميركا بيهودية الدولة/ نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس/ الاعتراف بضم الجولان.

4 ـ تمّ ذلك ولكن القوى الخفية لم تتراجع عن قرار تصفية الوجود العسكري الأميركي تدريجياً في «الشرق الأوسط»/ غرب آسيا.

من هنا جاء تنفيذ قرار الانسحاب من أفغانستان على يد بايدن، الذي وصل إلى الحكم بموافقة نفس القوى الخفية التي جاءت بترامب.

5 ـ لا تراجع عن هذا القرار لأسباب استراتيجية تتعلق بالأمن القومي الأميركي على صعيد الصراع الدولي بين القوى العظمى.

6 ـ إذ إنّ الصراع لم يعد يقتصر على النواحي العسكرية وإنما اتخذ شكلاً اقتصادياً أكثر أهمية من الفترات السابقة.

فالصراع أصلاً اقتصادياً ينتج منه الصراع السياسي الذي يتحول، عند استحالة حسمه سياسياً إلى صراع عسكري…

هذا ما عرفه الجنرال الألماني كارل فون كلاوسيڤيتس بالقول «إنّ الحرب هي استمرار للسياسة بأدوات أخرى».

7 ـ إذن الصراع الاقتصادي الدائر بين روسيا والصين هو صراع وجودي بالنسبة لواشنطن. إذ لا يمكن لأميركا منافسة الصين اقتصادياً، على الصعيد الدولي بسبب شحّ الأموال الأميركية (النقدية) وتوفرها مع الذهب لدى الصين وروسيا والجزائر وإيران.

أي أن القوة العسكرية الأميركية لم تعد قادرة على تأمين المصالح الأميركيه من دون استثمارات أميركية ضخمة، كتلك التي قامت بها واشنطن بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، أي خطة مارشال لإعادة إعمار أوروبا، والتي أدّت إلى استحواذ رأس المال الأميركي على ما يقارب 40 في المئة من الاقتصاد الأوروبي. وهذا هو سر سيطرة واشنطن على قرار أوروبا/ بواجهة حلف شمال الأطلسي.

8 ـ إذن لا بدّ لأميركا من إعادة بناء البنى التحتية الأميركية، بما في ذلك البنى التحتية العلمية والتكنولوجية، حتى تتمكن من الصمود، إلى حد ما، أمام التحدي الروسي الصيني الذي بات يفوقها بمراتب، والذي ستنضمّ إليه الهند، مضطرةً، في القريب من السنوات. وهذا يتطلب تقليص الوجود العسكري الأميركي في العالم.

 إنّ مجموع هذه التحولات الكبرى هي من سيسرّع في ضمور دور الحاجز الإسرائيلي الطيار، المقام على أرض فلسطين أولاً ومن ثم زواله في أقرب الآجال.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

US Pulls Missile System in Saudi Arabia amid Yemeni Resistance Ops

September 11, 2021

US Pulls Missile System in Saudi Arabia amid Yemeni Resistance Ops

By Staff, Agencies

The United States removed its most advanced missile defense system and Patriot batteries from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, even as the kingdom faced continued aerial operations from Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement.

The redeployment of the defenses from Prince Sultan Air Base outside Riyadh came as Gulf Arab countries nervously watched the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, including their last-minute evacuations from Kabul’s besieged international airport.

While tens of thousands of American forces remain across the Arabian Peninsula as a counterweight to Iran, Gulf Arab nations worry about the US’s future plans as its military perceives a growing threat in Asia that requires those missile defenses.

“Perceptions matter whether or not they’re rooted in a cold, cold reality. And the perception is very clear that the US is not as committed to the Gulf as it used to be in the views of many people in decision-making authority in the region,” said Kristian Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

“From the Saudi point of view, they now see Obama, Trump and Biden – three successive presidents – taking decisions that signify to some extent an abandonment.”

Prince Sultan Air Base, some 115km southeast of Riyadh, has hosted several thousand US troops since a 2019 missile-and-drone operation on the heart of the kingdom’s oil production. That operation was claimed by Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance.

Just southwest of the airbase’s runway, a one-square-kilometer area set off by an earthen berm saw American forces station Patriot missile batteries, as well as one advanced Terminal High Altitude Air Defense unit, according to satellite images from Planet Labs Inc. A THAAD can destroy ballistic missiles at a higher altitude than Patriots.

A satellite image seen by The Associated Press news agency in late August showed some of the batteries removed from the area, though activity and vehicles could still be seen there. A high-resolution Planet Lab satellite picture taken on Friday showed the batteries’ pads at the site empty, with no visible activity.

The redeployment of missiles had been rumored for months, in part because of a desire to face what American officials see as the looming “great powers conflict” with China and Russia. However, the withdrawal came just as an Ansarullah drone operation against Saudi Arabia wounded eight and damaged a commercial jetliner at the kingdom’s airport in Abha. The kingdom has been locked in a stalemate war with the Ansarullah since March 2015.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged “the redeployment of certain air defense assets”. He said the US maintained a “broad and deep” commitment to its Middle East allies.

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