UN Agencies Warn of More Food Shortages in Yemen

UN Agencies Warn of More Food Shortages in Yemen

By Staff, Agencies

Food shortages will rise sharply in parts of war-torn Yemen in the next six months mainly because of the overall economic decline and the coronavirus pandemic that has ripped through the Arab world’s poorest country, United Nations agencies warned.

A report by the World Food Program [WFP], the UN Children’s Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organization said the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity is expected to increase from two million to 3.2 million in the country’s south.

Yemen has been the site of the largest food crisis in the world since the beginning of the Saudi war against the country in 2015.

Coronavirus restrictions, economic shocks, conflict, reduced remittances, desert locusts, floods and significant underfunding of this year’s aid response have compounded an already dire hunger situation after five years of war.

Famine, nevertheless, has never been officially declared in Yemen.

“Yemen is facing a crisis on multiple fronts,” said Laurent Bukera, the WFP director for Yemen. “We must act now.”

Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 100,000 people and created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, with more than three million people internally displaced and two-thirds of the population reliant on food assistance for survival.

“Yemen is again on the brink of a major food security crisis,” said Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

Some 24 million Yemeni people – 80 percent of the country’s population – require some form of assistance or protection, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

And 75 percent of UN programs for the country, covering essentially every sector, from food to healthcare and nutrition, have already shut their doors or reduced operations.

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Towards a “New Cold War” in the Middle East: Geopolitics of the Persian Gulf and the Battle for Oil and Gas

By Germán Gorraiz López

Global Research, July 21, 2020

The foundations of the great Near East were established in the Pact of Quincey (1945) following the doctrine of the Franco-British Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916 that favored the regional division of power in areas of influence and sustained on the tripod US-Egypt- Saudi Arabia. This doctrine consisted in the endemic survival in Egypt of pro-western autocratic military governments, which ensured the survival of the State of Israel (1948) and provided the US Navy with privileged access to the Suez Canal, a crucial shortcut for access direct to the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Afghanistan, remaining as a firm bastion of US geopolitical interests in the area, especially after the fall of the Shah of Persia in 1980.

The other pillar of the agreement consisted of the privileged access of the United States to Saudi Arabian oil in exchange for preserving its autocratic regime and favoring the spread of Wahhabism (doctrine founded by Mohamed Abdel Wahab in the mid-eighteenth century with the aim of becoming a vision attractive to Islam and exportable to the rest of the Arab countries), with which the Saudi theocracy became a regional power that provided the US with the key to energy dominance while serving as a retaining wall for socialist and pan-Arab currents. Finally, after the Six Day War (1967), the geostrategic puzzle of the Middle East and the Near East was completed with the establishment of autocratic and pro-Western regimes in the countries surrounding Israel (Libya, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran), leaving the Palestinians confined in the ghettos of the West Bank and Gaza.

Iraq and the Biden Plan

The Biden-Gelb Plan, approved by the US Senate in 2007 and rejected by Condolezza Rice, Secretary of State with George W. Bush, provided for the establishment in Iraq of a federal system in order to prevent the collapse in the country after the withdrawal of US troops and proposed separating Iraq into Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni entities, under a federal government in Baghdad charged with the care of the borders and the administration of oil revenues.

Thus, we will attend the appearance of Free Kurdistan presided over by Masoud Barzani with capital in Kirkust and that would include annexed areas taking advantage of the power vacuum left by the Iraqi Army such as Sinkar or Rabia in the province of Ninive, Kirkuk and Diyala as well as all the cities of Syrian Kurdish ethnicity (except Hasaka and Qamishli) occupied by the Kurdish insurgency of the BDP.

The new Kurdistan will have the blessings of the United States and will have financial autonomy by owning 20% of the farms of all Iraqi crude oil with the “sine qua non condition” to supply Turkey, Israel and Eastern Europe with Kurdish oil through the Kirkust pipeline that empties into the Turkish port of Ceyhan. On the other hand, the Sunistan with capital in Mosul and that would cover the Sunni cities of Ramadi, Falluja, Mosul, Tal Afar and Baquba (Sunni triangle), with strong connections with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and that would later lead to a radical pan-Islamist movement that it will use the oil weapon to strangle the western economies in the horizon of the next five-year period.

Finally, as the third leg of the tripod, we would have Iraqi Chi with capital in Baghdad that will counterbalance Saudi Wahhabism and that will gravitate in the orbit of influence of Iran, which will make Iran a great regional power in clear conflict with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Iran, guardian of the Gulf and energy power

Iran acquired a regional power dimension thanks to the erratic policy of the United States in Iraq, (fruit of the political administration myopia obsessed with the Axis of Evil) by eliminating its ideological rivals, the Sunni Taliban radicals and Saddam Hussein with the subsequent power vacuum in the area. He also proposed a global negotiation with the contact group to deal with all the aspects that have confronted Western countries for thirty years, both the suffocating embargo that has plagued the Islamic Republic and the Iranian assets blocked in the United States, the role Iran regional cooperation and security cooperation in Iraq and Afghanistan.The Middle East: A Review of Geopolitical Structures, Vectors of Power Dynamic

President Mahmoud Ajmadinejad stretched the rope to the limit in the security that the United States would not attack and would limit any individual action by Israel (a discarded project of bombarding the Natanz plant with commercial jets), as a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz through which it passes A third of the world’s energy traffic could exacerbate the global economic recession and profoundly weaken the entire international political system. Thus, in an interview with Brzezinski conducted by Gerald Posner in The Daily Beast (September 18, 2009), he stated that “an American-Iranian collision would have disastrous effects for the United States and China, while Russia would emerge as the great winner, as the foreseeable closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf where oil transportation destined for Northeast Asia (China, Japan and South Korea), Europe and the United States passes, would raise the price of black gold to stratospheric levels and would have severe repercussions on the economy global, becoming the totally crude EU dependent on Russia.

According to experts, Iran would possess the world’s third largest proven reserves of oil and gas, but it would not have enough technology to extract the gas from the deepest fields and would require an urgent multimillion-dollar investment to avoid irreversible deterioration of its facilities, which in practice it translates into a huge pie for Russian, Chinese and Western multinationals and an increase in the supply of Iranian crude oil to 1.5 million barrels / day within a year, with the consequent drop in prices. of the Brent and Texas reference crudes.

Furthermore, the revitalization of the 2010 energy cooperation agreement between Iraq, Iran and Syria for the construction of the South Pars-Homms gas pipeline that would connect the Persian Gulf with the Mediterranean Sea would relativize the strategic importance of the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline Project (TAP) , (a substitute for the failed Nabucco gas pipeline designed by the US to transport Azerbaijani gas to Europe through Turkey), as well as the relevant role of the United Arab Emirates as suppliers of crude oil to the West, which would explain the eagerness of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey for torpedoing him.

America’s “Project of the New Middle East”

Ralph Peters Map: The Project for the New Middle East. Used for teaching purposes at the military academies. (“Unofficial”)  

Are Iraq and Iran the bait for the US to involve Russia and China in a new war?

Former President Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski in a speech to the Iranian-American National Council (NIAC) stated that “I believe that the US has the right to decide its own national security policy and not follow like a stupid mule what the Israelis do. ” In addition, Brzezinski, would be faced with the neocon republican and Jewish lobbies of the USA and with his habitual biting he would have discredited the geostrategic myopia of both pressure groups when affirming that “they are so obsessed with Israel, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Iran that they have lost from the global picture: the true power in the world is Russia and China, the only countries with a true capacity to resist the United States and England and on which they would have to focus their attention ”.

We would thus be at a crucial moment to define the mediate future of the Middle East and Middle East (PROME East), since after the arrival of Donald Trump from the White House the pressure of the pro-Israeli lobby of the USA (AIPAC) would be increasing to proceed the destabilization of Iran by expeditious methods, a moment that will be used by the United States, Great Britain and Israel to proceed to redesign the cartography of the unrelated puzzle formed by these countries and thus achieve strategically advantageous borders for Israel, following the plan orchestrated 60 years ago. jointly by the governments of Great Britain, the United States and Israel and which would have the backing of the main western allies. Thus, after the approval by the Congress and the US Senate of a declaration prepared by the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and the Democrat Robert Menéndez, who clearly states that “if Israel is forced to defend itself and take action (against Iran), the US will be at your side to support it militarily and diplomatically”, with the Trump Administration we will assist the increase in pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby of the USA (AIPAC) to proceed with the destabilization of Iran by expeditious methods.

In a first phase of said plan, the US Senate unanimously renewed the Sanctions Against Iran Act (ISA) until 2026 and after the launch of a new ballistic missile by Iran, Trump expanded the sanctions against several Iranian companies related to ballistic missiles without violating the Nuclear Agreement signed between the G + 5 and Iran in 2015, known as the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (JCPOA) and which would only be fireworks to distract attention from the Machiavellian Plan outlined by the Anglo-Jewish Alliance in 1960 that would include the Balkanization of Iran and whose turning point would be the recent assassination of the charismatic General Qasem Soleimani.

This war could lead to a new local episode that would be involve a return to a “recurrent endemism” of the US-Russia Cold War involving both superpowers having as necessary collaborations the major regional powers namely Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

This Cold War scenario would cover the geographic space that extends from the Mediterranean arc (Libya, Syria and Lebanon) to Yemen and Somalia and having Iraq as its epicenter (recalling the Vietnam War with Lindon B. Johnson (1963-1.969).

Thus, Syria, Iraq and Iran would be the bait to attract both Russia and China and after triggering a concatenation of local conflicts (Syria, Iraq and Lebanon), this potentially could evolve towards a major regional conflict that could mark the future of the area in the coming years.


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Featured image is from Silent Crow NewsThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Germán Gorraiz López, Global Research, 2020

Paying it forward – Erdogan style

Paying it forward – Erdogan style

July 20, 2020

by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

With all eyes globally poised at COVID-19 and the impending economic meltdown, Black-Lives-Matter activism, and the protests in the USA and some Western countries, little attention is given to the rise of a potentially more formidable religious fundamentalism base for ISIS-style and orientation than ISIS itself; and indications are pointing to this happening right now, in today’s Turkey.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS are/were rogue organizations with relatively little resources, little prowess, and no international standing to offer them a safe haven under which to hide and protect themselves from the wrath of the world, so to speak.

But this was not the case for the Saudis over the last few decades. Saudi Arabia is an internationally recognized political entity, a member of the United Nations, a G-20 member with enormous wealth and a commodity that the world needs; oil. Saudi Arabia used its dollar power to spread the fundamentalist Wahhabi version of Islam based on the interpretations and teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah.

The Saudis spent billions of dollars, tens and even perhaps hundreds of billions building religious schools and mosques throughout the entire globe. They sponsored, fostered and abetted preachers, including highly controversial violent radical preachers in order to promote their version of Islam. They financed and equipped most fundamentalist terror groups, all the way initially from the Afghani Mujahideen, the Somali Al-Shabab, to the Nigerian Boku Haram; just to name a few. Their program commenced in the late 1960’s, during the reign of Saudi King Faisal who initially wanted to eradicate the growing doctrine of Marxism in the Muslim World.

And when the Saudis believed they had it made, when they felt the road was paved and all obstacles removed, they launched the multi-billion dollar attack on Syria.

By then, fundamentalist Sunni Muslim youth across the globe were banking on Saudi leadership and had put all of their faith and hope in them to lead the Muslim World towards a new era in which Wahhabi Islam was expected to make a series of gains on the global arena; with a covert intention to gain world control.

As the Saudis were beginning to fail in fulfilling their promise, ISIS made its mark in the minds of Muslim youth when world media aired videos of ISIS tanks in the streets and main squares of Mosul; Iraq’s second largest city. Just before and after the fall of Mosul, the advance of ISIS looked unstoppable; reminiscent of the bygone days of Muslim conquest and glory, as perceived by many sympathetic Muslim youth.

It was not a surprise therefore, that when ISIS leader/Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi called for a Jihad in 2013, he not only rounded up the fundamentalist Sunni sector already radicalized, but he also managed to charm other previously moderate Sunnis who were amazed at his achievements.

It must be remembered here that in as far as Muslim religious battles and conquests are concerned, perhaps the last such great conquest of them all in the Western hemisphere, was the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. But this conquest of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II was the result of a huge effort, strategic planning, determination, patience, perseverance and the ability to employ the best in the world in terms of weapon development and specifically cannon manufacturing.

With the Saudi failure in Syria and its utter inability to score any victory in Yemen against all odds that favoured its highly privileged position, Saudi Arabia began to lose its stature as the leading nation of Muslim fundamentalism.

Enter Erdogan.

As I have written many times before, Erdogan is a combination of a religious fundamentalist zealot and a Turkish nationalist. He also has his own egocentric agendas, aspiring to be a mega Muslim leader and an empire builder.

In his quest for leadership, he has taken the role of an opportunist, a blackmailer and a scavenger, among other things.

As an opportunist, he rode on the anti-Syria bandwagon and walked the Qatari-Saudi talk. They flooded him with money and promises. He opened his borders with Syria to the terrorists they funded.

Later on, he used the Syrian refugees in Turkey to blackmail the EU with, opening the floodgate of refugees at will and demanding financial bribes, mainly from Germany, to close the gates after receiving his ransom price, courtesy of the lack of wisdom and short-sightedness of Angela Merkel.

As a scavenger, he is capitalizing on what the Saudis have invested in, to his own benefit.

Erdogan promised his supporters back in 2011 to pray in the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus after defeating Syrian President Assad, but he failed. He promised Turkish people to have ‘zero problems’ internally and externally. He failed. He expected to force Russia into accepting his terms prior to the 15th of March 2020 meeting, and he also failed. He was hoping to score a swift victory in Libya, and he is clearly failing.

What he fails to recognize is that he already is biting off more than he can chew, yet he is preparing to bunker down in Azerbajian.

The man is desperate for a win. There is no better score he can mark on the board than the equivalent of Sultan Mehmet II’s conquest of Constantinople; albeit take two.

The big difference here is that prior to the fall of Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and its fall was the result of a military defeat at the hands of the Ottomans. Oddly enough however, the Erdogan propaganda machine is portraying the change of status of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque as a great achievement. His supporters are chanting slogans claiming that turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque is tantamount to a conquest that was predicted in the Hadith.

Something must be amiss here. It is either that those supporters do not know that Constantinople/Istanbul had already been under Muslim/Turkish rule for more than five centuries, it is either that they don’t understand what conquest means, or that they are simply trying to festoon Erdogan with someone else’s achievements.

The real reason is more sinister. Erdogan has not been able to score any decisive military victory in all of his gambles, hence he decided to capitalize on the work of his ancestors. Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II took Constantinople after a long journey of strategic planning, but Erdogan thinks he can exhume the remains of vestiges of bygone glory and cloak himself with remnants of slogans of historic milestones and call them his own, thereby reclaiming an icon already under his control, and then audaciously call himself an all-time victor. Instead of having to go to battle to prove his worth, he chose the convenience of the stroke of a pen, and voila, he transformed himself to an instant great Muslim Fatih/conqueror. This is historic plagiarism at its worst.

In essence, in claiming such a great victory over Hagia Sophia, Erdogan has ‘photoshopped’ a triumph based on a fabricated virtual reality that is aimed to win him more support from the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim street; one that is least driven by rationality.

In all of this, Erdogan has not only benefited from the ground work of the Wahhabi Saudis he is fundamentally opposed to as being a Muslim Brotherhood man, but with his understanding of how to manipulate the vulnerable minds of Muslim youth, all the monies the Saudis have spent have inadvertently turned into a pay-it-forward scheme that he hopes will elevate him to the top of the Muslim World hierarchy.

Thus far, manipulating those vulnerable minds both domestically and within the broader Muslim World has been the only area in which Erdogan has been successful.

That said, the difference in international clout between Al-Qaeda/ISIS and the Erdogan leadership is much larger than that of such organizations and the untouchable Saudi Arabia. Turkey is not only a state, a member of the UN, a member of the G-20, but it is also a NATO member with a huge army.

But unlike the Saudis who do not have any history of strategic planning, technological prowess and entrepreneurial achievements other than paying foreigners to build them palaces, Turkey can play a more pernicious role, after all, it is a nation that has had a long history of empire building; and if and when Turkey decides to rise in a fundamentalist way, the world must take notice.

Under the protection of the above, and knowing that the West will not deal with any part of Turkey like it did with Tora Bora, Erdogan feels at liberty to incrementally convert the public school system into a fundamentalist one, but according to an Erdogan propaganda video, with its Arabic captions designed to recruit support from the Arab Sunni world, he indicates he is building the army of the future for the ‘Ummah’ by radicalizing the youth via the re-vamped schools. The Youtube has been removed, but here’s a screenshot of it.

In an article published nearly two years ago in the NYT, Erdogan’s plan of changing over the education system into a religious one is well presented. Public schools are systemically replaced by the religious Imam Hatip schools, of which Erdogan himself is a graduate. Whilst those schools teach regular subjects, around 50% of which are religious, and a student must pass those subjects before he/she can graduate. With this approach in fact, Erdogan could be leading Turkey into not only becoming a theological state, but also a nation that does not have enough technocrats and STEM graduates at a time when he is trying to build an empire and an advanced army. What is also of note is that affluent secular Turkish parents will send their children to private, non-religious schools, and the new generation of doctors, engineers and teachers will be mainly comprised of them.

In a propaganda video, a noisy and loud Erdogan supporter makes a statement saying that whoever stood up for the victory of Hagia Sophia will do the same for the mosques of Jerusalem, Cordoba (in Spain), Yemen, Mecca and Medina.

The main danger of Erdogan, globally speaking, is that he understands both of the fundamentalist Muslim as well as the liberal Western minds, but the West does not have this full understanding; no doubt to its own peril. Until he is either stopped, or falls on his own sword, he will continue to see the world as open slather for his fundamentalist and expansive adventures, because his mind is set in stone in the age of conquests and religious glory.

Links: Erdogan’s Plan to Raise a ‘Pious Generation’ Divides Parents in Turkey



More than 25 people were killed and many others were injured on July 15 when Saudi-led coalition warplanes targeted a wedding in the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf.

The wedding, attended only by women and children, was held in the house of Mabkout Marzouq Merhi in the area of al-Masa’fah.

“Ma’rib Hospital has received more than 16 shredded bodies of women and children and a number of wounded, who were victims of the al-Masa’fah crime , while al-Hazm Hospital has received 8 bodies of martyrs and a number of wounded,” a source familiar with the situation told the al-Masirah TV.

The death toll will likely rise in the upcoming few hours as Yemeni sources are reporting that many of the wounded are in a critical condition.

A spokesman of the Houthi-affiliated Salvation Government in Sanaa, Deif Allah al-Shami, called the coalition airstrikes a “full-fledged war crime,” vowing to response.

“The crimes of aggression will not go unnoticed and the response will be painful,” al-Shami said.

The Saudi-led coalition has not commented on the matter, so far. The airstrikes may have been meant as a response to a recent missile and drone attack by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia, which took place three days ago.

Al-Masa’fah wedding massacre is not an isolated incident. Earlier this week, a series of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on the northwestern Yemeni province of Hajjah claimed the lives of nine women and children.


Millions of Yemeni Children Could Starve Without Urgent Aid


By Staff, Agencies

Millions of Yemeni Children Could Starve Without Urgent Aid

Millions of children in Yemen could be pushed towards starvation by the end of the year as the humanitarian crisis is compounded by a lack of funding as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, UNICEF said on Friday.

A report by the United Nations children’s agency indicated that the number of malnourished children under the age of five in the war-torn country could rise by 20% — to 2.4 million — unless the international community makes up for a massive shortfall in aid.

“If we do not receive urgent funding, children will be pushed to the brink of starvation and many will die,” said UNICEF Yemen representative Sara Beysolow Nyanti. “We cannot overstate the scale of this emergency.”

Yemen has been ravaged by a Saudi, US-led war for over five years. During this period, tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.

The UN said that it is unable to keep an inflow of aid as the crisis shows no sign of ending. UNICEF needs nearly $461 million for its humanitarian response, along with $53 million for an effective COVID-19 response. Only 39% and 10% of these, respectively, have been funded.

Yemen’s healthcare system was already on the brink of collapse as it dealt with diseases like cholera, malaria and dengue, but the pandemic has just brought it dangerously close to shutting down. The country has reported over 1,000 infections but experts say that many go unreported because of lacking medical infrastructure.

The UN children’s agency also warned that nearly 7.8 million children were not in school, which puts them at a higher risk of exploitation through child labor and early marriage.

“UNICEF has previously said, and again repeats, that Yemen is the worst place in the world to be a child and it is not getting any better, “Nyanti said.

أرض المقدَّسات

«الأيقونة الفلسطينية» (2010)، لوحة للفنان الفلسطيني نبيل عنّاني، أكريليك على كتّان، 75،5×112 سنتم


فلسطين زياد منى الجمعة 15 أيار2020

في ذكرى النكبة واغتصاب الحركة الصهيونية وحلفائها من الغرب الاستعماري ـــــ وبمشاركة عرب «سايكس بيكو» وأعرابها ـــــ أرض فلسطين، نود الحديث عن مكانتها في التاريخ العربي والإسلامي، عبر استعراض مختلف المقامات المقدّسة فيها، كما ترد في مختلف المصادر. وقد استعنّا في عملنا هذا بمراجعَ عديدة، منها مؤلّف «فضائل القدس» لأستاذ التاريخ والفكر الإسلامي في «جامعة سميث كولدج» الأميركية سليمان علي مراد، الصادر عام 2019 عن مؤسسة الدراسات الفلسطينية في بيروت والمكتبة الخالدية في القدس المحتلّة، إضافة إلى مؤلّف الطبيب الفلسطيني توفيق كنعان mohammedan saints and sanctuaries in palestine, 1927 / «الأولياء والمقامات الإسلامية في فلسطين» الصادر في القدس ـــــ فلسطين عام 1927، وكذلك المؤلّف الحديث ‹bones of contention: Andrew Petersen, muslim shrines in palestine / «رفات الخصومة: المقامات الإسلامية في فلسطين» الصادر عام 2018. وهدفنا هو إثبات المكانة العليا التي حظيت بها فلسطين في الفكر والعقل العربي والإسلامي عبر العصور، في الوقت الذي تحاول فيه مشيخات الخليج، والوهابيون، تشويه ذلك التاريخ ومسح أي مكانة لفلسطين في الوعي التاريخي العربي والإسلامي. وهذا أيضاً لفضح اللاهثين وراء تكريمات الغرب وجوائزهم الصدئة، والذين ينفون أي علاقة للإسلام والمسلمين، ليس بالحرم القدسي فحسب، بل بمكّة المكرمة أيضاً.

عندما نتحدث عن المقامات الإسلامية في فلسطين، ليس المقصود فقط مواقع معروفة مثل مدافن الأنبياء أو «الأولياء» بمعنى الأفراد الصالحين، بل أيضاً كلّ مكان من مزار وقبر وشجرة وجنينة وجَنْبَة وكهف ونبع وصخرة وحجر وتحويطة، لهم علاقة بموضوع المقال، سواء كانوا مقدّسين أم مرتبطين بخرافات وأوهام. لكن ليست المقامات جميعها تحظى بالمكانة العليا، حيث نرى أن قلّة منها تحظى بمكانة قدسية لدى البداة، لكن ليس لدى أهل البلدات أو القرى القريبة منها. وثمة مقامات تحظى بمكانة عليا في خارج فلسطين، كما سنرى لاحقاً.

أينما نظرت في فلسطين تجد أمكنة مقدسة: في القرى وفي الحقول وفي البراري، في الجبال وفي الوديان. وفي معظم الأحيان يعثر المرء على جامع قريب من المقام، حيث يتوافد المؤمنون إليه للتعبّد لله. فعلى سبيل المثال، نجد في قرية عورتا 14 مقاماً، 11 منها تقع في داخل القرية وثلاثة في خارجها، وهذا يتكرّر في قرى وبلدات أخرى مثل عناتا والعيسوية وقولونيا وغيرها. يلاحظ المرء أنّ المقامات عادة ما بُنيت في أعالي الجبال، كي ترى من على بعد، مثل النبي صموئيل والشيخ القطرواني والشيخ أحمد الكركي الطيار في قرية القسطل، وأبو هريرة في وادي الشريعة، والعُزير في عورتا والشيخ العُمَري في بيت عنان، حيث يمكن من هناك رؤية كل من يافا واللد والرملة وسهولها، وكذلك البحر الأبيض المتوسط، والمصعد في جبل الزيتون والشيخ جراح بالقرب من مدينة القدس، ومقام الخضر في نابلس مكتوب داخله: «عُمِّر هذا المسيجد أيام السلطان الملك سيف الدين قلاون الصالح عزَّه الله ووالده السلطان الصالح علا الدين عز نصره».

أي إنه تمّ اختيار أمكنة المقامات قرب القرى، ولا يعني ذلك إطلاقاً أنّ التل أو الهضبة أو الجبل مقدّس. أما إذا وقعت في أراضي منخفضة، مثل عند تقاطع وديان أو ينابيع أو جداول، فيتم إقامتها في أمكنة يراها الناظر من مسافات بعيدة، بما يؤكد وظيفتها الاجتماعية أيضاً، إما لاستراحة المسافر أو لتناول الطعام، وتُعرف باسم «المضافة»، وهكذا. فعلى سبيل المثال، نجد في مقام أريحا حسن الراعي، بالقرب من النبي موسى، النقش الآتي: «أنشأ هذه القبة المباركة علي حسن الراعي قدس سره صاحب الخير محمد باشا حين أتى من استقبال حجاج المسلمين فشرع في البناء فلم يلقَ ماءً فبعلو همته حفظه الله تعالى نقل الماء على البلد من قرية أريحا وحصل الثواب سنة 1 ربيع عشر وماية وألف». كما يلحظ المرء أنّ قبور الرجال الصالحين تقع في أغلب الأحيان وسط المدن أو البلدات، مثل مقامات الطور (6) وأريحا (6)، ومنها «النبي موسى» وشعفاط (4) وصور باهر (4) وعناتا (7).

أينما نظرت في فلسطين تجد أمكنة مقدسة: في القرى وفي الحقول وفي البراري في الجبال وفي الوديان

وثمة مقامات قرب مواقع أثرية، مثل القطرواني بالقرب من كنيسة على تخوم قرية بير زيت، وذو الكفل بالقرب من خربة الكفيرة ومقام عبد العزيز الواقع بين قريتي القسطل وبيت سوريك، إلى جانب نبع عتيق وفق علماء الآثار، وقبر ستنا الشامية بالقرب من نبع عتيق، وفق المصدر نفسه. هنا وجب لفت الانتباه إلى أن الأشجار القائمة إلى جانب المقامات ليست مقدسة بحد ذاتها، وإنما تنال مكانتها من المقام. ويلاحظ أنّ فائدة بعضها غذائي مثل أشجار التين والصبر والرمان والجميز والدوالي والخروب وغيرها.

كذلك، يعثر المرء على مقامات عبارة عن حجارة مرتبة على شكل دوائر تسمّى الحويطية ومفردها الحويطة (انظر التعبير الشعبي: حوطك بالله)، ومنها حويطية الشيخة امبركة في قلنديا والشيخ فرج في بين حنينا. ومن الجدير بالذكر هنا، وجود حويطية مسيحية مشابهة، ومنها على سبيل الذكر المرتبط بالنبي الخضر (st. george) بالقرب من بيت جالا. وثمة حويطية أخرى هي النبي دانيال تقع وسط كرم بين قريتي الخضر وأرطاس.

ويعثر المرء أيضاً على ينابيع تحظى بمكانة عليا لدى السكان، ومنها عين الشريف وعين إم دراج في سلوان، وعين الحمّام في القدس وعين النوباني في نابلس وعين الجوز في رام الله وعين أرطاس في القرية بالاسم وعين عونا (st. mary) في بيت جالا وعين الحجر في دير الغسَّانة، وحمام الدرادجة في نابلس ومرتبط ذكره بالنبي الخضر، وحمام ستي مريم مرتبط بالسيدة مريم العذراء، وحمام الشفا، وبير أيوب المرتبطين بالنبي أيوب، وبير سنجيل المرتبط بالنبي يوسف، وعين كارم المرتبط بالسيدة العذراء، وهكذا. إضافة إلى ما سبق، ثمة أشجار مرتبطة باسم نبي أو رجل صالح، منها زيتونة النبي في حرم الشريف ونخلة مار سابا وشجرة زيتون في الجثمانية وشجرة زيتون في بيت ساحور. ومن الجدير بالذكر وجود مقامات حظيت بدعم سلاطين مختلفين، ولكن نكتفي بما سبق ذكره ونوجّه نظرنا نحو مقامات إسلامية أخرى، ومنها الصوفية والبهائية والشيعية والدرزية.

أشار الجغرافي العربي الدمشقي (1256 ـــــ 1327) إلى «مشهد النصر» أعلى جبل حطين، حيث بني في عهد الناصر صلاح الدين قبة تسمى قبة النصر، لتخليد انتصاره على الفرنجة في معركة حطين. وثمة شهادة من حجاج مسيحيين على وجود ذلك النصب، الذي بقي قائماً حتى القرن التاسع عشر. أما المقامات التي حظيت برعاية سلطانية الظاهر بيبرس، فهي النبي موسى في غور الأردن، ومقام أبي هريرة في يبنة، وحرم سيدنا علي في أرسوف، حيث صلى الظاهر بيبرس في المكان، ونذر أن يرعاه في حال انتصاره على الفرنج. أما الزوايا الصوفية، والتي تسمى أيضاً رباط وخَنَقَة، فثمة العديد منها، علماً بأنّ فلسطين كانت مقر ما لا يقل عن 11 طريقة، منها القادرية (محمد أبو العون ـــــ ثمة مسجد باسمه في مدينة الرملة ويضم رفاته ورفات زوجه)، والتي جلبها شهاب الدين أحمد المعروف أيضاً باسم ابن أرسلان، والرفاعية والدسوقية والأحمدية والشاذلية واليونسية والمولوية وغيرها. وثمّة أيضاً مقام دير الشيخ في وادي النسور جنوب غربي مدينة القدس، الذي يحوي رفات السطان بدر، وكذلك مقام اليشرطية في عكا، ومقام الصحابي أبي عبيدة في عمواس حيث توفي أيام الطاعون الذي انتشر في البلاد حينئذ.

أما المقامات الشيعية، فمنها المشهد الذي أقيم في عسقلان لوضع رأس الحسين بن علي رضي الله عنهما، والذي استشهد في كربلاء في العاشر من تشرين الأول / أكتوبر عام 680، لكنّه أرسل إلى دمشق حيث حفظ في الجامع الأموي بالقرب من رفات النبي يحيى أو يوحنا المعمدان. وثمة مقام النبي يوشع الواقع في شمال فلسطين بالقرب من الحدود اللبنانية.

أما المقامات الدرزية، فمنها مقام النبي شعيب الواقع قرب حطين. وثمة رواية بأنّ صلاح الدين الأيوبي أمر الشيخ عماد الدين، أحد أبناء الحكام الفاطميين، برعاية المقام الذي زاره العديد من المؤرّخين والحجّاج والجغرافيين العرب وغير العرب. وثمة مقامان بهائيان رئيسيان في فلسطين، هما قبر بهاء الله في عكا وقبور عائلته، وقبر الباب علي محمد الشيرازي. وثمة مقامات أخرى قام العدو الصهيوني بتدميرها، في عام 1948، وما بعد ذلك، ومنها مقام النبي الكفل، ومقام النبي بولس وغيرهما.

نكتفي بهذا القدر، علماً بأن المراجع تحوي عشرات المواقع الأخرى، وحتى صوراً لها ومخططاتها. ما يهمنا ختاماً، توضيح أنّ فلسطين، أرض المقدّسات، حظِيت بمكانة خاصة لدى العرب والمسلمين شرقاً وغرباً وشمالاً وجنوباً، نجد عرضاً مفصّلاً لها في مؤلّف «فضائل القدس» الآنف الذكر، وليس بإمكان أيٍّ كان أن يجرّدها من موقعها التاريخي، الضاربة جذوره في عمق تاريخنا.

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

ماذا بعد الانهزام السعوديّ؟

د. وفيق إبراهيم

الدور السياسي السعودي في محنة تاريخية للمرة الاولى منذ تأسيس المملكة بتعاون بين البريطانيين المستعمرين لجزيرة العرب وبين الحركة الوهابية وآل سعود في مطلع الحرب العالمية الأولى.

ما يؤكد عمق هذه المحنة وثباتها، تقارير عرضتها ثلاث مؤسسات أممية غربية هي الأعلى مكانة في العالم، جزمت فيها ان السعودية فقدت مكانتها الاقتصادية وهوت الى درجات الدول العادية.

كما جزمت أن خسائرها جراء انخفاض انتاج النفط وتداعيات جائحة كورونا قد تزيد عن خمسين في المئة.

المؤسسة الأولى هي صندوق النقد الدولي الذي اكد في تقريره الأخير ان الاقتصاد السعودي يذهب للمرة الاولى في تاريخ بلاده نحو خسائر بنيوية ويجد نفسه مضطراً للتقشف والدين.

بدورها مؤسسة ماكينزي العالمية جزمت في تقريرها بتراجع سعودي اقتصادي عميق يؤدي الى عدم استقرارها.

اما مؤسسة «موديز» لتقييم اقتصادات الدول فأسقطت الاقتصاد السعودي من درجة «أ» امتياز الى «أ» ناقص للمرة الأولى منذ ستينيات القرن الماضي.

بذلك يجمع خبراء الاقتصاد ان خسائر الاقتصاد السعودي قد تتعدّى الخمسين في المئة من موازنتها الحالية، هذا إذا حافظت العائدات الناتجة من مواسم الحج والعمرة والسياحة الدينية على مستواها الذي كان ينتج نمو 25 في المئة من الموازنة السعودية.

بدورها وزارة المال السعودية في تقريرها الأخير الذي تلاه وزيرها الجدعان دعا السعوديين الى التقشف وقرارات مؤلمة تتحضر الدولة لإطلاقها. معتبراً انها مرحلة ضرورية للتعامل مع جائحة كورونا وانهيار أسعار النفط من 66 دولاراً للبرميل الواحد الى 26 حالياً، مع توقع المزيد من الانخفاض، كاشفاً ان الدولة مضطرة الى الإنفاق بسياسات تقوم على تلبية الأكثر أهمية وإلغاء كل ما يؤثر على الاستقرار.

لذلك فإن العالم بدأ منذ الآن بالتعامل مع «سعودية جديدة» اعترف وزير ماليتها انهم ذاهبون لتغطية إنفاق الدولة بنظام دين قد يزيد عن 60 مليار دولار سنوياً مع سحب قسم من الاحتياطات المالية السعودية الموجودة في الخزائن الأميركية وبعض مصارف اوروبا.

لا بدّ هنا من الاشارة الى ان الاقتصاد السعودي الناتج من النفط والعائدات الدينية، ووجود الحرمين الشريفين في مكة والمدينة المنورة، منحا الدولة السعودية دوراً سياسياً عالمياً نذر نفسه لخدمة الاهداف الاميركية في العالمين العربي والاسلامي وبعض انحاء افريقيا ومؤتمرات العشرين وسياسات الامم المتحدة والمنظمات الإقليمية والدولية.

ما هي النتائج المتوقعة على دور آل سعود؟

لجهة الداخل فجزء منه يتعلق بأجنحة الأمراء السعوديين أنفسهم المعتادين على نيل حصص من الإنتاج النفطي ينالون عائداتها، وهؤلاء عشرات آلاف الأمراء من اكثر الفئات إنفاقاً في العالم على اليخوت والقصور وأندية كرة القدم الأجنبية والميسر العالمية والمكرمات والوجاهات.

هؤلاء يبدّدون حسب المعلومات الدولية نحو 15 في المئة من الموازنة من دون احتساب ما تتقاضاه عائلة الملك وولي العهد من موازنة تعتبر الأعراف انها ملك صرف لهم يأخذون منها من دون اي سؤال ومحاسبة ويستطيعون توزيع اي مبلغ منها على اي سياسيين من دول اخرى بومضة عين فقط.

اما الإنفاق على الداخل السعودي فيلبي قسماً من المؤسسات التشغيلية العامة ورواتب موظفين معظمهم لا يعمل والمكرمات لزعماء القبائل والرأي العام والرشى وتغطية نفقات جيش كبير غير فاعل وحرس وطني متخصص بالقمع الداخلي واجهزة مخابرات ونفقات تسليح وصيانة ومدربين أجانب ومرتزقة من دول آسيوية وعربية وتوزيع اموال على الإعلام الداخلي والعربي والعالمي.

هذا جزء داخلي من انفاقات آل سعود، اما القسم الخارجي فخطير جداً لأنه ينفق اموال السعودية على هدي الاجتياح الجيوبوليتيكي الاميركي للعالم، فتحضر السعودية كأمين خزنة يوزع المال حسب اوامر البيت الابيض واجهزته العميقة، لشراء حكومات الدول الاسلامية والافريقية خصوصاً مع ارضاء الدول الغربية بشراء سلع وسلاح لا تحتاجها السعودية كثيراً وبأسعار مرتفعة عن أثمانها الحقيقية. بالإضافة الى تمويل الإعلام العالمي لهدفين: تأييد السياسات الاميركية والنفطية على الأداء الهمجي لآل سعود في الاغتيالات الداخلية والخارجية.

يكفي أن هذا الاعلام المرتشي يتجاهل ان حقوق الانسان غائبة بشكل كامل عن دولة سعودية تصرّ على التموضع في القرون الوسطى. فلا نقابات فيها ولا جمعيات ومنظمات والاحزاب مجهولة في هذا الجزء من العالم، ووسائل الإعلام فيها المكتوبة والمسموعة والتلفزيونية لا تعرض إلا لما تصفه بانجازات آل سعود في بلادها والخارج!

هناك جانب أخطر يتعلق بتمويل الحروب السعودية على اليمن وتمويل منظمات الإرهاب استناداً الى اعترافات رئيس وزراء قطر السابق حمد بن جاسم الذي أقرّ أن الأميركيين كلفوا قطر والسعودية بتمويل منظمات سورية وعراقية، مضيفاً بأنه لم يكن يعرف أنها إرهابية على علاقة بالقاعدة!

هاتان الدولتان تواصلان حتى الآن توفير دعم كبير للإرهاب في ليبيا والسودان والجزائر مع الاستمرار بدعم داعش وحواملها في بلاد الشام والعراق.

للمزيد من الإضاءة فإن تمويل حربها على اليمن سواء بالمباشر على قواتها وجيش رجلها الرئيس المخلوع منصور هادي والمشاركات المصرية والسودانية والأميركية والبريطانية منذ خمس سنوات متواصلة، هذا الدور استنزف موازنة آل سعود ولم ينجحوا بتثبيت نفوذهم اليمني بل خسروه، مع اندلاع صراع عسكري بينهم وبين حلفائهم الإماراتيين على النفوذ في جنوبي اليمن.

هذا الوضع ذاهب الى تفجير كبير نتيجة للانخفاض الهائل بمعدل أكثر من 50 في المئة من موازنة السعودية مع عجزها عن اقتطاع أي قسم من احتياطاتها المالية الخارجية بسبب الرفض الاميركي والغربي المتراجع بدوره.

لذلك فإن الداخل السعودي لن يبقى مستقراً على مستوى العلاقة بين أمراء آل سعود أنفسهم وعلاقتهم بسكان دولتهم الذين نم يرضخوا لتقشف لم يعتادوا عليه.

كما أن هذا الخفض ينسحب على تراجع الدور السعودي في زعامة الخليج والى حدود الانقطاع مع دول عربية اعتادت على مساعداتها كمصر والأردن ولبنان والسودان، الى جانب تضعضع ادوارها في دول الاسلام الآسيوي والأفريقي. الأمر الذي يقلص الى حدود كبيرة دورها التاريخي الواسع.

فهل نحن عشية تحوّل السعودية دولة خليجية متواضعة؟

انها كذلك لفقدانها الجزء الأهم من أدوات تأثيرها، لكن هناك مَن يعتقد ان مملكة آل سعود لن تبقى حتى دولة متواضعة لأن الصراعات بين أجنحة الأمراء فيها خطيرة جداً، هذا بالإضافة الى ان حرمان سكان المملكة من الرعاية والخدمات يعمم الفقر ويؤدي الى انتفاضات واعدة.

هناك نقطة إضافية وهي ان الاسباب التي كانت تجعل الغرب الأميركي والأوروبي يوفر غطاء سياسياً كاملاً لحماية المملكة، لم يعد الآن مضطراً لتأمينها بسبب غياب المؤتمر المالي.

هذا يبرهن أن مستقبل السعودية كدولة كبيرة انتهى الى غير رجعة، ومسألة محافظتها على كيانها السياسي مرهونة بمدى الاندماج في سبيل بناء تحالف إسلامي يصبح جزءاً من القرن الحالي.

فيديوات متعلقة

طلقة في الوجدان العربي… على شاشة العار

سعيد محمد 

الأربعاء 29 نيسان 2020

لم يستثمر آل سعود كلّ تلك المليارات في تأسيس المنابر الصحافيّة والإعلاميّة عبثاً. كانت تلك توجيهات المستشارين الأميركيين منذ البداية. والمهمّة: توظيف الأجهزة الأكثر تأثيراً في وعي الجمهور العربي لتعميق سرديّة التلفيق الملكيّ، والترويج لمعانٍ ثقافيّة تؤسّس لمناخات تخدم الأجندة الأميركيّة: الاستهلاكية، والتسخيف، وتبرير القتل، والطائفيّة، واليوم: التطبيع (العلني). «أم هارون» وأعمال دراميّة أخرى، هي مجرد قطب في نسيج عريض متشابك من إنتاج ماكينة هيمنة السلالة السعوديّة، يتولّى تنفيذه مثقفون عضويّون موالون للطبقة الحاكمة، وبورجوازيون (أو طامحون للبرجزة). قصّة اليهوديّة العراقيّة ـــ المنحولة كويتياً ـــ رصاصة أخرى تستهدف رؤوسنا يطلقها هؤلاء على الهواء مباشرة.

رغم التغييرات التكنولوجية الكبرى التي أعادت صوغ علاقة جمهور المتلقّين بالشاشات، فإنّ التلفزيون بقي الساحة الأكثر تأثيراً والأوسع انتشاراً. وبقبوله تعديلات بنيويّة على صيغ التلّقي ــ من دون مضمونها بالطبع ــ بداية عبر الكيبل، وحالياً عبر البث الرقمي، نجح في الاستمرار سيّداً أكبر للفنون جميعاً وملعباً للطبقات الحاكمة في حربها الدائمة لسلب وعي المحكومين وتأبيد هيمنتها عليهم، دائماً في موازاة مؤسسات المجتمع المدني الأخرى (وفق المفهوم الغرامشي: أي الدين الرسمي والمدارس والجامعات والصحافة وصناعة الثقافة).
هذا التلفزيون، أصبح منذ الحرب العالميّة الثانية، أداةً شديدة الخطورة في التنشئة الأيديولوجية، ومصدراً أساساً للمعلومات بالنسبة إلى قطاعات عريضة من البروليتاريا ــ بمعناها المعاصر ــ وعنصراً فاعلاً في توجيه الديناميات الاجتماعية ودفعها في اتّجاهات دون أخرى. نجح البريطانيون والأميركيون أكثر من غيرهم في توظيفه جزءاً لا يتجزّأ من عدّة البروباغاندا بمستوياتها: تلك المُوجّهة للاستهلاك المحليّ، كما المخصّصة لاستهلاك رعايا الإمبراطورية عبر العالم.

علاء اللقطة ـ فلسطين
السلالة السعودية ـــ المعتادة بحكم التركيب القبلي الوهابيّ على السيطرة عبر مزيج من العنف الدموي وخزعبلات الدين، وبوصفها مشروع صهيون إسلامي في قلب المنطقة سبق مشروع صهيون اليهوديّ ذاته ــ تلقّت مبكراً توجيهات المستشارين الأميركيين (مهماتهم مجتمعة أقرب إلى وظيفة المندوب السامي للإمبراطوريّة البريطانيّة المتقاعدة) بشأن ضرورة توجيه استثمار معتبر لبناء ترسانة إعلاميّة أضخم بكثير من حاجة المملكة نفسها وتقاليدها وتشريعاتها: بداية لمواجهة المدّ العروبيّ الناصري الذي اجتاح المنطقة بإذاعاته ومجلاته ومنتجاته الثقافيّة، ولاحقاً في تنفيذ الأجندات الأميركيّة في «تعهير» الثورة الفلسطينية، ثم إسقاط العراق، ومعادة إيران، ومحاولة كسر سوريا.
هكذا بعد إطلاق جريدة «الشرق الأوسط» من لندن في 1978 كأوّل صحيفة فوق ـــ وطنيّة موجهة إلى العالم العربي ناطقة باسم السلالة السعوديّة، رغم غياب شبه كليّ للكوادر الوطنيّة عنها إلى وقت قريب، كانت السلالة سبّاقة إلى غزو ساحة التلفزيون الفضائي العابر للوطنيّات عبر مؤسّسة تلفزيون «الشرق الأوسط»، التي انطلقت من العاصمة البريطانيّة في بداية التسعينيات كأول وأهم شبكة تلفزيون في العالم العربي الذي اكتفى لغاية ربع قرن مضى بالعيش في ظلّ تلفزيوناته الحكوميّة السقيمة.
أنفقت السلالة مليارات على هذه المشاريع وأخرى لاحقة، واستقطبت من أجلها وجوهاً من أقطار عربيّة عدة، لكنّ خطّها التحريري النهائي بقي دائماً سعودياً محضاً. عملت على الترويج للأهداف الثقافيّة المتأمركة في المنطقة: نشر الثقافة الأميركيّة الاستهلاكيّة، وتسويق التردّي الأخلاقي والتهتك الثقافي، وتبرير القتل الأميركي في العراق وليبيا وسوريا واليمن، ونشر الطائفيّة المقيتة، واليوم توسيع بيكار التطبيع (العلني) مع الكيان الإسرائيلي عبر مسلسل «أم هارون».
ونقول التطبيع العلني، لأن صيغة التحالف الموضوعي والتاريخي بين إسرائيل والسلالات الحاكمة في الخليج ـــ على رأسها آل سعود بالذات ـــ مسألة سبقت حتى الإعلان الرسمي عن قيام الدولة العبرية. وهي تحت الرعاية الأميركية المباشرة تعمّقت وأخذت أشكالاً كثيرة سياسياً وعسكريّاً واستخباراتيّاً واقتصاديّاً ورياضيّاً وبروتوكولياً. لكن المرحلة الحاليّة من الغروب العربي ـــ بعدما أُسقطت مصر في غيبوبة كامب ديفيد، ودمّر العراق، وقسّمت ليبيا، وأضعفت سوريا ـــ صارت تحتمل الانتقال إلى لعبة أكثر وضوحاً: التطبيع العلني. وتلك اليوم حاجة ماسة للإسرائيلي كما هي للسعودي. للإسرائيلي كنوع من عبور للسياج واحتلال عقل شعوب المنطقة من دون المغامرة باحتلالات عسكريّة صارت مستحيلة استراتيجياً ولوجستياً على نحو يهّدئ من روع سايكولوجيا الفناء الإسرائيلي المحتّم في المحيط المعادي ولو لبعض الوقت. وهي تجربة كانت قد اختُبرت بنجاح من خلال الجبهة السوريّة عبر التشبيك مع الإسلاميين و(العرب الجدد) معاً. أما سعودياً، فهي ضرورة للبقاء، بعدما تسرّب عن الأميركيين عدة تصوّرات عن بدائل محتملة من نموذج آل سعود المئوي الذي بلي أو كاد في أجواء ما بعد الحداثة السياسية، في الوقت الذي تراجعت فيه مكانة مملكتهم لناحية إنتاج النفط، وتعدد فضائح إدارتهم المخجلة للدولة، وصراع الكراسي الدموي داخل السلالة، كما فشلهم الذريع في تحقيق انتصارات صريحة في سوريا، ولاحقاً في اليمن رغم جهود واستثمارات أسطورية عبر سنوات طوال.
لا يمكن مطلقاً تفكيك رموز موجة مسلسلات التطبيع التي أطلقتها مؤسسة تلفزيون «الشرق الأوسط» توازياً مع رمضان هذا العام من دون الانطلاق من تحديد صريح لهذا السياق، وبوصفها مجرّد طلقة أخرى في جعبة السلالة توجهها على الهواء مباشرة نحو رؤوسنا. وبما أن الأمر كذلك الآن بعد هذه المقدّمة الطويلة، فإنّه يمكن الشروع في عبور نقدي لتلك المسلسلات على مستويات أربعة.
على مستوى النص (أو الخطاب)، فإنّه يمكن الحديث عن محاولة هزيلة فنياً لفرض الوجود الإسرائيلي على المتلقين من خلال قصّة «أم هارون» المسروقة من التاريخ العراقي الحديث. إذ اقتُطعت من سياقها الجغرافي وأعيد بناؤها كويتياً. فالقصّة ذاتها شديدة الهامشية، وتعتمد خدعة بناء العمل الدرامي التقليدية البالية حول شخصيّة امرأة عظيمة تواجه ظروفاً مجتمعيّة قاسية وتسمو فوقها. وقد سمعت انتقادات شديدة لطريقة تصوير العمل، وعجزه عن تقديم المرحلة التي يدّعيها، ناهيك بالحوارات المفتعلة والدعائيّة. لكن الرسالة مع ذلك واضحة: اليهود تاريخيّاً من أهل المنطقة ــ الخليج والعالم العربي ــ والذي حصل باسم فلسطين كان مجرد تحويلة سير مكلفة لمسار التاريخ حان وقت الانتهاء منها، مع ترداد ببغائي لمصطلحات تتعلق بإسرائيل واليهود والأصوات والتقاليد العبريّة كي تبدأ الأذن العربيّة بالاعتياد في لاوعيها على أجواء الزمن القادم. وفي المسلسل الهزيل الآخر «مخرج 7»، حيث لا يمكن الهرب للسرديّات التاريخيّة، هناك اعتماد على شعبويات مسطّحة من الأفكار التي تبثّها الجيوش الإلكترونية السعوديّة على تويتر (يمتلكون منه حصّة وازنة). شعبويات تخدم غاية تطبيع المصطلحات والتقاليد والأصوات والموسيقات العبريّة في الأذن العربيّة، مع تشويه صورة الفلسطيني برسمه كمخلوق درجة ثانية مقارنة بالندّ الإسرائيليّ، مستسلم وضعيف ومعتمد على التسوّل للعيش، والآخرين لتحرير بلاده.
على مستوى ثانٍ، فإنّ ماكينة آل سعود في تلفزيون «الشرق الأوسط» تدرك تماماً أنها برسائلها التي ضمّنتها صيغة الخطاب التطبيعي، لن تقع على أسماع كتلة مصمتة متجانسة من الجمهور العربي. فهناك من دون شك الجمهور المحلي الخليجي القطيع ــ مع استثناءات نادرة بالطبع لكن بارزة ــ الذي يستهلك منتجات آل سعود الأيديولوجيّة من دون تفكير. وهذا الجمهور سيبتلع السمّ المدسوس إليه مع أطباق طقوسه الرمضانيّة بلا تساؤلات، لا سيّما جمهور المسلسلات الدراميّة الأهم من النساء المغيّبات في أكثرهن عن أيّ وعي طبقي أو سياسي أو حتى جندري. في المقابل، هناك الجمهور الذي سيقرأ الخطاب في إطار موقفه المعادي لإسرائيل، وسيكثر الصراخ غضباً من خيانة السلالات للقضيّة القوميّة – الدينيّة – الوطنيّة (كما شئت) من دون القدرة على فعل شيء تقريباً. لكنّه مع ذلك سيكون بدوره قد تلقى نوعاً من تدريب صوتيّ خفيّ على الثقافة العبرية قد لا يتوفر له من خلال وسائل إعلامه المحلية. وهو بالمجمل جمهور لا قيمة له في ميزان تلفزيون «الشرق الأوسط». لكنّ الجمهور الأساسي المستهدف من هذه الموجة هو تلك الكتلة الهائلة الهلاميّة الأفكار التي لا هي منخرطة ـــ بمصالحها الطبقيّة المباشرة ـــ بأنظمة السلالات، ولا هي تمتلك ـــ بعد عقود الإفساد والتجهيل والتسطيح المنظّم ــــ أيّ مناعة ثقافيّة أو وعي نقدي للتعامل مع أعمال تكوين أيديولوجي ملغّمة بالرموز الشديدة الخبث كالتي تحملها أمّ هارون. تتضمن هذه الكتلة فئتين أساسيتين: فئة الشباب صغار السنّ ممن ولدوا خلال ربع القرن الماضي وفقدوا أي ذكريات مباشرة عن فلسطين أو نضالات الفلسطينيين، وفئة البرجوازيّة العربيّة (ومتأمّلي البرجزة من أطراف البروليتاريا) الذين لا يمانعون الانتقال إلى أيّ مربّع سياسي ما دام ذلك خدمة لمصالحهم الطبقيّة. الرهان السعودي – الإسرائيلي اليوم هو على كسب هؤلاء إلى ضفتهم، وتبدو أدوات الدراما استثماراً زهيداً لتأسيس وعي مزيّف في أذهانهم تجاه قبول الإسرائيلي وإلغاء الفلسطيني. وعي يتم البناء عليه تراكماً كميّاً بالأدوات الأخرى (أدوات التواصل الاجتماعي، ونتفليكس، وبرامج الـ NGOs وغيرها) إلى أن يتحقق التراكم النوعيّ المنشود.
المستوى الثالث مرتبطٌ بالاقتصاد السياسي لعمليّة إنتاج الأعمال الدرامية وطبيعة الأشخاص المنخرطين فيها. وهنا ينبغي قراءة «أم هارون» وغيرها من التطبيعيين في إطار احتكار السلالات الكليّ ــ آل سعود أساساً وبصفتهم الشخصيّة لا الرسميّة ــ لمنظومة الإنتاج التلفزيونيّ العربي من المحيط إلى الخليج. وتلك ميزة استراتيجيّة تسمح لهم بالانفراد في نحت العقول على ما يوافق متطلبات المرحلة مع غياب شبه كليّ لأيّ سرديّات بديلة. وليست الدراما السوريّة وحدها قادرة على مواجهة هذا الطوق المحكم، لا سيّما أنها غير قادرة مالياً على منافسة الجيوب العميقة لحراس النفط. وهي تبقى في النهاية نتاج برجوازيّة عربيّة أخرى، زبائنها الأهم تلفزيونات آل سعود والخليج ذاتها، بما يفرضه ذلك من ظلال رماديّة شديدة على المحتوى المقدَّم. ولا بدّ هنا من التطرّق إلى طواقم إنتاج مثل هذه الأعمال التي تضم خليطاً واسعاً من التقنيين والموجهين والممثلين ـــ منتجو ثقافة وفق المفهوم الغرامشيّ ـــ الذين بحكم انتماءاتهم الطبقيّة (برجوازيّة أو متبرجزة) يندفعون للمشاركة بكثافة في مثل هذه الأعمال من دون تردّد، سواء عن تبنٍّ لا واعٍ لسرديات السلالات الحاكمة أو اعتصام واعٍ بباب الرزق المفتوح في مقابل الوعد بالفقر على الضفّة الأخرى، أو مزيج تلفيقي منهما.

دراما تصوّر الفلسطيني كمستسلم وضعيف يعتمد على التسوّل للعيش وعلى الآخرين لتحرير بلاده

أما على المستوى الرّابع أي المعاني والإشارات الثقافيّة الرئيسة التي يمكن عبورها من قراءة «أم هارون» وبقيّة التطبيعيين، فمن المؤكّد أن المعركة تتّخذ بشكل متزايد حدوداً أوضح بين الضفتين على نحو لم يعد يسمح بكثير من الرماديّة في المواقف. لن يُقدم حكماء آل سعود على التصريح بالانتقال إلى مستوى التطبيع العلني المتدرّج لولا إحساسهم الأكيد بوجود عميق لروح المقاومة في قلوب كثيرين في المشرق العربي ينبغي استئصالها سعياً لتطبيع دافئ بدلاً من التجربة المصريّة الشديدة البرودة رغم كل شيء. الأمر الثاني حقيقة أن الجماهير العربيّة عبر العالم مكشوفة تماماً أمام صناعة إعلاميّة منسقة غربيّة ــ سلاليّة لا قبل لهم بها، ولا عندها الأدوات النقديّة للتعامل مع ما يُفرض عليها من تغذية إجباريّة، فيما تفتقر البروليتاريا العربيّة وأعداء الهيمنة في المنطقة إلى أدوات إعلام فاعل، أو حتى فهم معمّق للمكوّن الثقافي للحرب الموجهة ضدّهم أو مدى خطورته.
في هذه الأجواء القاتمة، لا يتبقى أمام الأفراد سوى خوض معاركهم الشخصيّة ضد الطلقات الغادرة ــ «أم هارون» وكل «أم هارون» ــ أوّلها إثارة ضجيج شديد حيثما تسنّى ضد المؤسسات والأعمال والأشخاص المنخرطين في هذا الجهد الحربيّ المنظّم على جبهة الثقافة السلاليّة ـــ العبرانيّة، مع تنظيم أوسع أنشطة المقاطعة لهم جميعاً، وتشجيع المحيط المباشر على الالتحاق بها. وثانيها أن نتثقّف بكثافة ونتحاور لبناء أدواتنا النقديّة الذاتية التي تسمح لنا بأخذ المسافات المناسبة من الوجبات المسمومة المفروضة علينا. بغير ذلك، فسيغرقنا الطوفان الصهيونيّ الآتي (متأسلماً كان، أو متهوداً لا فرق).

Leading Saudi Activist Dies in Detention: Amnesty International

Leading Saudi Activist Dies in Detention: Amnesty International

By Staff, Agencies

A leading activist serving an 11-year prison sentence has died in detention in Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International said, highlighting the kingdom’s human rights record.

Abdullah al-Hamid, 69, died after a stroke in his prison cell earlier this month, according to multiple rights groups, including Amnesty International.

“Dr. Hamid was a fearless champion for human rights in Saudi Arabia,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director at Amnesty.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends, who for the past eight years had been deprived of his presence as a result of the state’s inhumane repression.”

“He, and all other prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, should never have been in jail in the first place,” Maalouf added.

Hamid was a founding member of the rights group the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association [ACPRA] and was sentenced to prison in March 2013, the rights groups said.

He faced multiple charges, including “breaking allegiance” to the Saudi ruler, “inciting disorder” and seeking to disrupt state security, Amnesty explained.

Other ACPRA members have also been imprisoned in the past, including another co-founder, Mohammad al-Qahtani, who was jailed for 10 years in 2013, Amnesty said.

Saudi Arabia has long faced international criticism over its human rights record. That criticism has grown since Mohammed bin Salman was named crown prince and heir to the Saudi throne in June 2017.

The murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 and the increased repression of dissidents have overshadowed so-called efforts by the prince to modernize the economy and society.

As Saudi Forces Flee Northern Yemen, Evidence of an Unholy Alliance with Al-Qaeda is Left Behind

By Ahmed Abdulkareem


The journey from Sana’a to the far northeastern stretches of al-Jawf through the Empty Quarter is an arduous affair. A veritable no man’s land, the region has long-enjoyed the dubious distinction of hosting strongholds of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a group that evolved and blossomed under the sponsorship of nearby Saudi Arabia. The journey crisscrosses what seems like endless valleys of identical dunes with little more than the blazing sun to provide a semblance of direction.

In perfect weather under the flecks of golden sunshine that mingled with the few clouds in the early morning sky, we set off northeast from the capital Sana’a, passing through the Nihm district, the gateway to al-Jawf. After crossing the Fardhah Nihm checkpoint, dozens of burned-out armored vehicles of American and Canadian origin could be seen on both sides of the road.

Life is gradually returning to the area’s villages and shops and restaurants have opened their doors again.

In January 2020, Yemen’s Houthi-allied army, supported by local tribes, launched a retaliatory military operation to recapture Nihm from Saudi Coalition forces. Nihm lies east of Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a, one of the most strategically important battlefields in Yemen. Two thousand Saudi fighters, including members of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other armed groups under the patronage of the Saudi Monarchy, met their end or were captured in the operation. By March, the Yemeni army had successfully subdued Nihm and advanced all the way to al-Jawf and Marib. Now, for the first time in nearly 55 years, al-Jawf and most of Marib Province is under Yemeni control following decades of de facto rule by Riyadh through its various Yemeni proxies.

In their haste to escape the coming onslaught, Saudi forces left behind a slew of both medium and heavy weapons as well as the ammunition required to make them come to life. Whole stores of weapons, unexploded ordnance, and mines were abandoned, often amidst the tattered flags of Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda and in huge tunnels reminiscent of those left behind in the wake of the wars in Syria and Iraq. It wasn’t just weapons that were left behind, the scent of corpses still lingers in the region’s reefs, valleys and rugged mountains.

The residents of Nihm’s sleepy desert towns are beginning to return to their villages. A wary feeling of safety and relative stability accompanies the slow trickle of life as it returns, interrupted by everpresent reminders that the war is far from over, reminders that come in the form of the wild dogs feeding on abandoned corpses, Saudi warplanes that make the occasional visit, and most acutely, a significant number of unexploded ordnances, the remnants of cluster bombs and other munitions still embedded in the ground. Those, according to Adel, a grocery store owner in the roadside village of Khalgah in Nihm, pose the most immediate danger.

Yemen Jawf

Nihm, like most cities in Yemen, has been hit by a barrage of indiscriminate airstrikes, over 250,000 since 2015 when the war began. According to the Yemeni Army, 70 percent of those airstrikes have hit civilian targets. Thousands of tons of weapons, most often supplied by the United States, have been dropped on hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, farms, factories, bridges, and power and water treatment plants and have left unexploded ordnances scattered across densely populated areas.

A kidnapping in al-Hazm

After a six-hour drive beneath the watchful eye of the Coalition warplanes that seemed to be constantly buzzing overhead, we were met with horrific scenes in al-Hazm. A simple desert city notorious for its connections to Al-Qaeda, al-Hazm is one of the largest cities in al-Jawf and was home to some of the fiercest fighting in the battle to route Coalition ground fighters. The effects of airstrikes in the city appeared everywhere; digging into the asphalt roads, destroying homes, schools and government complexes. Smoke was still lingering from an airstrike that hit less than a kilometer away from us as we arrived.

It was in al-Hazm that a broken-hearted mother told us of how she allowed herself a renewed sense of hope that the defeat of the Coalition would lead to information about her loved ones. “Two years have passed since they kidnapped my daughter,” she told MintPress, a black niqab covering her face and tears flowing as she recounted one of the worst crimes carried out by the Saudi coalition in al-Jawf. In a case that managed to gain local notoriety for its sheer brutality, her daughter, Samirah Hezam Maharesh, a mother of three young girls, was kidnapped from her home in al-Hazam on July 5, 2018, by armed militants loyal to Saudi Arabia.

Yemen al-Qaeda Jawf

First, Samirah was taken to a secret prison in the provincial capital and then transferred to another prison. Her whereabouts are still unknown and the only tidbits of hope come from unconfirmed local news stories and occasional rumors.

The kidnapping of Samirah crossed a red line in Yemen’s conservative society, which is heavily steeped in tribal tradition, and sparked dozens of demonstrations throughout the country’s northern provinces. In addition to other atrocities carried out by AQAP, the kidnapping ultimately helped push local residents to risk it all and join the resistance led by the Houthis against the Saudi Coalition and its militant allies.

Residents told us that Samirah was just one of the hundreds of Yemenis who were snatched from their homes or cars at checkpoints in al-Jawf and Marib. During their reign in al-Jawf, Saudi-backed militants, including al-Qaeda, committed horrendous abuses against those it saw as an obstacle to their occupation.

An unholy union

Since 2015, when Saudi Arabia announced from Washington D.C. that it had launched a military campaign against the poorest country in the Middle East, it has been an open secret that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had formed an unholy union with al-Qaeda’s branch in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, known colloquially as AQAP, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

In al-Jawf, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and AQAP was well underway by 2016 when the Kingdom launched a military campaign to take the province. Saudi and AQAP forces fought side by side, sharing the same weapons, trenches, operations command centers, resting places, and extremist ideals. The only thing they didn’t share was a desire to destroy the United States, a trait exclusive to al-Qaeda according to documents left behind by fallen fighters and the confessions of Saudi soldiers captured in the battle for al-Jawf.

Saudi Arabia ISIS in Yemen

AQAP has hobbled by in Yemen for years, feeding off the relentless cycle of poverty and hunger and only occasionally emerging from the shadows to claim credit for an attack or seek new recruits. It was not until 2015 when the group began to receive support from Saudi Arabia that it become brazen enough to emerge from its hiding places into the streets of al-Jawf’s towns. Generous Saudi backing meant that AQAP could boost recruitment, build new training camps and promote the organization’s ideology, an offshoot of the official Saudi state religion of Wahhabism. By early 2020, AQAP had a sizable real estate portfolio in al-Jawf and Marib and ran most of the provinces’ large businesses. Sprawling villages in al-Jawf, the second largest governorate in Yemen, turned into strongholds of the organization after residents were forced to flee to other areas. AQAP turned some of the abandoned homes into factories used to manufacture explosive belts, IEDs and car bombs. Others were used to  stock weapons, train fighters and prepare for their “global Jihad.”

The secret prison’s of Khazaf and al-Marwan

Finally, we reached two of al-Qaeda’s main strongholds in the far northeastern Khab and al-Shaf districts, near the edge of the expansive Rub’ al Khali Desert (the Empty Quarter). The villages of Khazaf and al-Marwan are little more than dried up oases scattered in the remote desert like the remains of some ancient colony. It was here that humble houses made from dried mud bricks were turned into factories, secret prisons, and centers for the dissemination of extremist Wahhabi propaganda.

Villagers here described bottle dungeons dug into the dirt floors of local houses. Accessible only via small overhead hatches, they were used by militants to keep prisoners, including captured female slaves, as well as dead bodies. Deep below two houses, we were shown complex tunnels systems ostensibly used to hold and torture prisoners. The stench of human death lingered in the dark tunnels mingling with the smell of dust and concrete. The tunnels were also used as corridors to move weapons and supplies from house to house undetected.

Inside one home that turned it into a makeshift AQAP prison, we saw four three-square-meter windowless cells with heavy steel doors. As we made our way from cell to cell, I was struck by the sight of a pile of woman’s clothing, a prayer outfit, and a baby’s diapers, all piled into a morbid testament of the crimes committed here. I also found a note, a scrap of paper with the following scribbled onto it: ” I am Um Assamah, Why did you imprison me and my three daughters?” Samira is rumored to have been held in these same cells.

Residents who participated in the fight against the Saudi-backed militants told us that the place was a women’s prison that “from outside it looked like simple houses but when we entered, we found cells, tunnels, and implements of torture,” a 60-year-old man with a white beard recounted, barely holding back his tears and gripping the rifle slung over his shoulder. In Yemen, a woman’s incarceration is considered a great disgrace.

Other homes in Khazaf were used to make booby traps and explosives. In a small meeting room adorned with AQAP flags, 12 bags of high-explosive TNT lay piled against a wall. A hundred meters away, another home was turned into a makeshift workshop to produce vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. In the yard, a 1984 Toyota Land Cruiser lay abandoned, laden with a barrel of TNT in its last stages of preparation. The truck was most likely intended to be used against large gatherings according to local resistance fighters.

An attempt to coverup war crimes

There is little doubt that untold war crimes occurred in the forgotten desert villages and in a brazen effort to conceal their involvement, Saudi warplanes hit them hard last week. Khazaf and al-Marwan were pounded by barrages of Coalition airstrikes, it appears, however, that their hail mary may have come too late. Video filmed by local fighters and shared MintPress as well as with Houthi media document many of the crimes that took place as well as the forces behind them.

Local fighters told us that they weren’t even aware of the existence of some of the bunkers, laboratories and tunnels until after they were exposed beneath the rubble of the Saudi airstrikes which targeted specific homes.

Now, in a last-ditch effort to revive what’s left of their AQAP allies in al-Jawf, Saudi Arabia has renewed its battlefield campaign in the province of al-Bayda after over a year of relative quiet there. Al-Bayda lies close to Marib, where some of the most extremist militants allied with the Coalition reside. Backed by Saudi warplanes, AQAP carried out two operations in Nate’a and Qaniyah on Wednesday, lasting over 10 hours according to the Yemeni army.

“ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia”: Kingdom Reaches 800 Beheadings Under Salman

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/23/2020 – 22:45

Another grim milestone was reached this week, but not on the COVID-19 front. Human rights monitors have recorded that Saudi Arabia has carried out its 800th execution since King Salman bin Abdulaziz (and by extension MbS) began his rule five years ago — most being in the form of the kingdom’s ‘favored’ beheadings.

The British nonprofit Reprieve said the kingdom’s rate of execution in Saudi Arabia has doubled since 2015 when King Salman took over following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah. Of course, as Salman’s health was reportedly increasingly fragile from the start of his rule, it’s widely believed crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has remained the true power and day-to-day decision maker.

King Salman attending a 2016 ‘sword dance’ ceremony, via Saudi Gazette.

MbS was widely hailed as a ‘reformer’ – among other things promising to greatly reduce the number of annual executions, which include the ghastly methods of beheading and crucifixion. But this is nowhere near the reality.

So much for empty talk of ‘reform’, ‘modernization’ and ‘progress’ – as Middle East Eye reports of Reprieve’s findings:

By comparison, Saudi authorities executed 423 people between 2009 and 2014.

Currently, there are at least 13 juvenile defendants on death row – including Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher – who are “at imminent risk of execution”, Reprieve and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights said.

Saudi Arabia executed six young men last year who were children at the time of their alleged offences, in a mass execution of 37 people. 

Riyadh’s concerns no doubt now lie far elsewhere regarding the prior MbS rhetoric of reform, given the kingdom is now scrambling to bring oil prices back up after the historic global price crash this week. 

Reform vs. Reality — public beheadings as a form of political suppression: 

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Apparently ‘Chop Chop Square’ was busy as usual even amid the more pressing crisis of the accelerating oil glut. As of only last week, Amnesty International recorded 789 executions under the king, which only days later grew to 800.

As one Newsweek headline years ago aptly observed“when it comes to beheadings, ISIS has nothing over Saudi Arabia.”

عبد الرحيم الحويطي: بطل «مدن الملح» الجديد

مريم عبد الله 

الجمعة 17 نيسان 2020

«ذيك النخلة، الرابعة على اليسار، بعمرك يا وليدي، وكل ما تكبر إنت تكبر معك، وباكر إنت تزرع نخلة لابنك وابنك يزرع نخلة لابنه، وسنة بعد سنة ويظل وادي العيون أخضر، ويظل الناس يمرون بالوادي ويشربون من ماي الوادي، ويترحمون على الأموات ويقولون وهم بظل الشجر: الله يرحم كل من زرع نخلة وعرقاً أخضر».

(متعب الهذال، بطل رواية «مدن الملح» لعبد الرحمن منيف)
في رواية «التيه»، البطل الهذال اختفى ورحل غاضباً عن أرضه، تعبيراً عن رفضه للترحيل بحجّة الخوف من عنف السلطة. كان ذلك بداية «الخماسية» التي وثّقت تاريخ تحوّلات المدن والسياسة عقب اكتشاف النفط في صحراء الجزيرة العربية، وصولاً إلى سبعينيات القرن الماضي.

بعد أكثر من 30 عاماً على رحيل متعب الهذال (طبعة 1984)، وحوالى 100 سنة على بدء الحقبة النفطية، ظهر «بطل من هذا الزمان»، رفض الركون والخوف من ظلمات سيف الملك وأعوانه المسلّط فوق الرقاب ترغيباً وترهيباً، متحولاً إلى «هذال جديد» يرفض الحداثة النفطية والمدن العابرة للحدود حتى للإسرائيليين. يشهر، عبر مواقع التواصل، الكلمة والموقف رفضاً لـ«إرهاب الدولة»، ملوّحاً بصكّ ملكية أرضه في عالم بلا قيم، ويعلن المواجهة التراجيدية بوصيّة سجّلها قبل مقتله بساعات. يقول فيها: «أنا عبد الرحيم بن أحمد محمود الحويطي، أرفض الترحيل بالقوّة، ولا أخاف السجن أو الموت، فلا معنى للحياة في ظل حكم ابن سلمان». يهاجم «الجبناء» من رجال الدين التابعين للأمير، متوجّهاً إليهم بالقول: «بئس وعاء العلم أنتم». ويضيف: «ما أستغرب لو جو يقتلوني في بيتي ويرموا عندي سلاح زي ما يسووا في مصر، يقتلوا المواطن ويرموا سلاح عنده ويقولوا إرهابي». وهذا بالضبط ما أعلنته قوّات الأمن السعودي في بيانها الرسمي لاحقاً.

وقد حصلت عملية القتل بعد محاصرة القوّات الأمنية لقرية الخريبة، التي تسكنها قبيلة الحويطات، من أجل إجبار أبناء القبيلة على ترك منازلهم الواقعة في المناطق الداخلة ضمن مشروع «نيّوم». والأخير جوهرة «رؤية 2030» التي أطلقها ولي العهد محمد بن سلمان، وطريقه إلى الحكم، وهو بكلفة 500 مليون دولار على مساحة 26 ألفاً و500 كلم مربع شمال غرب المملكة، بالاشتراك مع مصر والأردن.

ليست المرّة الأولى التي يقوم فيها النظام بتهجير سكّان من مناطقهم

منظّمات حقوقية كانت قد حذّرت من أن المشروع المرتقب ينتهك حقوق السكّان الأصليين في عملية ترحيل قسري لأكثر من 20 ألفاً من أرض أجدادهم، وعلى رأسهم قبيلة الحويطات التي سبقت ملكيّتها للأرض قيام دولة آل سعود بفترة طويلة ولها فروع تتوزّع في الأردن وفلسطين ومصر، وذلك مقابل وعود بتعويضات سخيّة بدل الانتقال من أراضيهم، مع التهديد باستخدام القوّة في حال عدم الامتثال.

وأجبرت السلطات السعودية أعيان القبيلة على التبرّؤ من ابنهم واستنكار تصرّفه ضد من سلبه روحه وأرضه، بإصدار بيان جاء فيه: «تصرّف المدعوّ الحويطي تصرف فردي لا يمثّل القبيلة… نحن مع مشاريعنا التي فرح بها أبناء المنطقة، واستبشرنا بها الخير كلّه».

وفي حملة غاضبة على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، علّق مواطن سعودي عبر تدوينة على «تويتر»، بالقول: «بيان رئاسة أمن الدولة بخصوص مقتل عبد الرحمن الحويطي، إنما هو أحد الأساليب الأمنية، فعندما ترتكب الدولة خطأ ما بحق أحد المواطنين، وفي حال كُشف الخطأ وكثرت البلبلة بخصوصه فإن الدولة تلجأ إلى أسلوب «إحداث بلبلة مضادة» عن طريق تشويه صورة الشخص الذي قُتل أو حُبس، كذلك ما حدث مع الحويطي».

وأدانت «المنظّمة الأوروبية السعودية لحقوق الإنسان»، في بيان، عمليات الإخلاء القسري لأبناء قبيلة الحويطات وغيرهم من السكّان المحلّيين. وانتقدت المنظّمة الشركات الدولية التي تساعد وتحرّض على «الحملة الإجرامية»، داعية كل الشركات إلى الابتعاد عن المشروع حتى يتخلّى النظام عن «ممارساته الإقطاعية» ويتفاوض مع السكّان المحلّيين بما يحفظ حقوقهم المتواصلة والقديمة في أراضي أجدادهم.

وهذه ليست المرّة الأولى التي يقوم فيها النظام بتهجير سكّان من مناطقهم، إذ تشير المعلومات إلى أن السلطات السعودية الرسمية عملت على تهجير سكّان مكّة المكرّمة بحجّة توسعة الحرم المكي. وعملت بشكل ممنهج على تهجير قبائل جيزان، على الحدود مع اليمن، خلال سنوات الحروب السابقة والحالية مع «الحوثيين»، وبلغت حدّ التهجير بالقوّة وسجن الرافضين لترك قراهم وحقولهم مقابل وعود بتعويضات فورية لم تسجّل حتى اللحظة في ميزان المدفوعات.

ينسحب حال شمال وجنوب المملكة على شرقها، إذ قامت السلطات بتجريف أراضي السكّان في العوامية التي تحوّلت إلى ساحة حرب حقيقية في أيار / مايو 2017. والمشهد الأكثر قسوة، كان من نصيب تدمير حي المسوّرة التاريخي، الذي يتخطّى تشييده أكثر من 400 سنة، كما قامت بتجريف «وقف الرامس» الزراعي وطرد العاملين المحلّيين منه، انتقاماً من الاحتجاجات في المنطقة «الشيعية» ضد التهميش والغبن المستمرّين في عمر «مدن الملح».

MbS condition will get worse after Salman death: Paul Pillar

March 13, 2020 – 12:42

TEHRAN – Professor Paul Pillar, who was CIA intelligence analyst for 28 years, tells that the death of Salman and the need to select a new king will bring to a head the competition between MBS and those members of the royal family who oppose his acquisition of absolute power.

Pillar says “But he has been able to do what he has done because his father, King Salman, has permitted him to grab power.”  

He also adds that “Once Salman is gone, other family members may feel better able to challenge MBS.”

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: What were the reasons for the arrest of the Saudi princes, including the brother of King Salman, by the Saudi government?

A: The arrests were another step in Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) consolidation of power.  The announced charges against the arrested individuals probably are contrived.  Two of those arrested–Prince Ahmed and Prince Mohammed bin Nayef–are along those who would have the greatest claim to power themselves, and evidently MBS considered it necessary to eliminate them as competitors.     

Q: The physical condition of King Salman seems to be inadequate and this has led to a power struggle in Saudi Arabia. How do you foresee the power equations after King Salman’s eventual death?

A: The death of Salman and the need to select a new king will bring to a head the competition between MBS and those members of the royal family who oppose his acquisition of absolute power.  MBS clearly has the insight track for becoming king.  But he has been able to do what he has done because his father, King Salman, has permitted him to grab power.  Once Salman is gone, other family members may feel better able to challenge MBS.

Q: Is Muhammad bin Salman also an American and Western option for the kingdom in Saudi Arabia?

A: The Trump administration seems to be satisfied with having a close relationship with MBS, even though this has meant largely looking the other way regarding the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This policy risks associating the United States with controversial policies of MBS, and antagonizing elements in Saudi Arabia that may yet successfully oppose him. 

Q: Given Mohammed bin Salman’s actions in domestic politics, including music concerts and sidelines on social and cultural reforms, will the clergy and traditionalists tolerate his actions?

A: Whoever is the ruler in Saudi Arabia will face competing demands from the conservative religious establishment and from other Saudis, especially younger ones, who favor a more liberal society.  There is no reason to believe that MBS will be any better at striking this balance than another ruler would be.  Probably MBS will follow he example of earlier Saudi rulers and grant concessions to the religious establishment over matters most important to them, such as education, in exchange for MBS getting some more flexibility in making changes in other areas.    

Q: In your opinion, what economic and social impacts of a fall in oil prices will have on a country such as Saudi Arabia, whose economy is dependent on oil?

A: The negative impact is substantial, and it is likely to get worse for Saudi Arabia before it gets better. Russia has indicated it does not intend to cut oil production to boost prices, and that it would be happy to see low prices for a while to try to hurt U.S. oil producers using fracking technology. 

UN NATO Klan in Rage State over Dr. Assad, SAA, Liberating Every Inch

Rumpelstiltskin was thwarted in his malevolent plan and “in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.” NATO klan at the UN seem to be on the verge.

February 20, 2020 Miri Wood

Meeting for the sixth time in twenty days, the NATO klan at the UN nearly did a collective Rumpelstiltskin demanding Syria cease and desist in its obligation to protect its citizenry from NATO armed savages. The tripartite aggressors also demanded magical fulfillment of the imperial UNSCR 2254 (2015).

This day’s meeting was likely prodded by the short declaration issued by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 18 February, as each member of the NATO klan took turns repeating his demand that Syria cease ridding itself of the human garbage dumped into it from more than one hundred GA members — garbage of the criminally insane variety, armed with hundreds of millions worth of NATO arms, and fueled with illicit Captagon, a form of enhanced meth (which should never be used by violent criminals).

NATO klan

Geir Pedersen led the NATO klan lamentations. He is the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, and he was especially annoyed that the Syrian Arab Army had secured the entirety of the Damascus-Aleppo Highway (which just happens to be in Syria). He appeared to have mistakenly reported the complete cleansing of terrorists from Aleppo by the SAA as ‘increased hostilities.’

Over-stressed Pedersen mistook celebrating Syrians in Aleppo as ‘hostilities,’ & somehow missed that the Aleppo Airport had finally been reopened after nine years — despite having been rehabilitated in 2017.

Pedersen made some mouth noises about the “legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” which, according to the prevailing colonialist thought of the NATO clan, do not include not wanting to be baked to death in an industrial bread oven, not wanting their children to be murdered by snipers that the west calls ‘moderates,’ not wanting their universities to be bombed, not wanting to be kidnapped.

Mark Lowcock, Under–SG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator continues to hear voices. His new ones are census takers who tell him that 50,000 persons currently ”shelter under trees,” which sounds a bit impossible. He also seemed to confuse some impossible statistics with those 72 mermaids for which Wahhabi suicide bombers have a fishy lust.

Lowcock also recently exhibited confusion about Saudi’s genocidal bombing campaign against Yemen, & about The Cave.

Karen Pierce — alas, not yet relocated to the UK Embassy in DC — ran through her standard litany about hospitals (that do not exist) and condemned veto power among permanent Security Council members who do not follow the NATO clan’s dictates.

Kelly Craft seems to have been so distraught over Syria’s success in riding its people of al Qaeda occupation, that she may have turned to Country Western music; what other explanation could there be for her inane claim that getting rid of al Qaeda is “the end of the world“?

NATO klan
Trump’s Craft promised to stand with al Qaeda in Syria.

Nicolas de Riviere was his typical strident self. France will never forgive Syria for kicking them out, nor for celebrating Evacuation Day annually. As with the rest of the UN’s NATO klan, France has armed takfiri savages in Syria. Riviere’s colonial enmity toward the Syrian Arab Republic is particularly foul, given that his country has engaged in massive suppression, maiming, including enucleation, of the Gilets Jaunes.

The House Servants did their standard groveling to the NATO klan, adding nothing new.

Turkey’s lies are lies; for their terrorist atrocities against the SAR, please use Syria News’ search engine.

Louay Fallouh again made clear that Syria is fulfilling its responsibility to protect its citizens from terrorists, and to return their country to its previous state of stability. He noted the recent increase in military aggression by Turkey, reminded the NATO klan that Idlib is part of Syria, a part that is occupied by foreign supported terrorists, and that Syria has the right to continue to defend the homeland against these killers.The first right of reply by Syria – 19 February 2020 – The video is also available on Bitchute

The NATO klan spoke as one imperial unit: Syria, not their terrorists, is supposed to lay down its arms.

syria every inch Assad
Syria President Dr. Bashar al-Assad: “Every inch of Syria will be liberated”

— Miri Wood

السعوديّة تفشل مجدّداً في تثبيت زعامتها الخليجيّة!

د. وفيق إبراهيم

الحصار الرباعي الذي أرادت منه السعودية خنق امارة قطر منذ العام 2017، فشل في إنجاز مهامه فالمباحثات بين البلدين وصلت منذ أيام عدة الى حائط مسدود، لذلك واصل الرباعي السعودي المصري الإماراتي والبحريني قطع كامل علاقاته مع قطر مشدداً عليها حصاراً برياً قوياً خانقاً وسياسياً لا يبدو أنه شديد التأثير حتى الآن.

لماذا لم تنجح مباحثات آل سعود مع آل تميم؟ الواضح من المطالب السعودية أنها ترمي الى مصادرة العلاقات الخارجية لقطر بكاملها باستثناء كل ما له علاقة بالأميركيين.

ما جعل مطالب السعوديين تبدأ من وقف قناة الجزيرة وكامل التحريض الإعلامي القطري الذي يستهدف الرياض وتحالفاتها من محطات محلية وأخرى تموّلها قطر في الإقليم العربي والدولي وهي كثيرة.

أما المطلب الثاني فيأمر بإقفال القواعد العسكرية التركية في قطر وسحب كامل العسكريين الأجانب منها باستثناء قاعدة العديد الأميركية وبعض الانتشار الأميركي في مناطق استراتيجية من الدوحة.

لجهة المطلب الثالث فيريد وقف قطر أي علاقة لها بالاخوان المسلمين في العالم بأسره ولكل أنواع الإرهاب، فيما يختم المطلب الرابع لائحة شروط المحور الرباعي بضرورة خفض علاقات دولة قطر بإيران.

كيف يمكن تفسير الأهداف السعودية من هذه الشروط؟

للتنبيه فقط فإن علاقات قطر العسكرية مع تركيا تعود الى عام ونصف فقط ولم تكن موجودة قبل حصارها في 2017، كذلك فإن علاقاتها بإيران تحسنت بعد استهدافها من الحصار الرباعي، وخصوصاً السعودي المحاذي لها من حدود برية حصرية لا تملك غيرها، فكان الانفتاح ذو الطبيعة الاقتصادية على ايران التي شكلت منفذها الوحيد لاستيراد استهلاكها الغذائي والحياتي والطبي ومعظم ما تستورده.

لقد انحصرت علاقاتها بإيران ضمن الإطار الاقتصادي من دون أي تغيير على المستوى السياسي، ويبدو أن الأميركيين تابعوا الانفتاح القطري على إيران ولم ينزعجوا منه، وربما أيدوه لأسباب تتعلق بالوجود العسكري الاميركي في قطر وعدم ممانعتهم من تطور الصراع السعودي القطري سياسياً لأنهم يريدون تعميم حالة الضعف الشديد على كل دول المنطقة.

ما يهمّ هنا من القراءة الدقيقة لمطالب السعودية الكشف انها تشكلت بعد الحصار وليس قبله باستثناء دعم الإرهاب، باعتبار أن الرئيس السابق اوباما وكثيراً من السياسيين الأميركيين والأوروبيين اعترفوا بأن دعم المنظمات التكفيرية في الشرق الاوسط تولّته السعودية وقطر والإمارات وتركيا بتكليف أميركي، فكيف تتهم السعودية قطر بدعم الإرهابيين فيما تؤكد كل التحقيقات أن داعش هي من سلالة القاعدة التي أسستها المخابرات السعودية في سبعينيات القرن الماضي وأرسلتها بمساعدة المخابرات الأميركية الى افغانستان ولاحقاً الى العراق مروراً بسورية وصولاً الى ليبيا ودول أخرى.

اذا كانت هذه المطالب جديدة، فما هي الاسباب الفعلية للخلاف السعودي القطري باعتبار ان مصر والبحرين والأمارات ناوأت قطر لتأييد الرياض فقط.

لا سيما أن آل سعود يعرفون أن الإعلام ملك مموّله فما أن تعود الامور الى طبيعتها بين البلدين حتى تنظم قناة الجزيرة ومثيلاتها شعراً في آل سعود ودواوين في السيسي وخليفة البحرين وآل زايد الإماراتيين.

المشكلة إذاً متموضعة في مكان آخر يعكس محاولة قطرية منذ مرحلة الأمير السابق خليفة لبناء حيثية خارجية لبلاده تتحرّر فيها من وصايات آل سعود، وهذا معناه أن قطر تحاول استعمال علاقاتها بالاخوان والأتراك والتأييد الاميركي لها لنصب زعامة لها في الخليج أولاً وفي العالمين العربي والاسلامي في مراحل لاحقة.

لكن هذا غير ممكن، من دون حليف قويّ، فكانت تركيا الدولة الإقليمية و»الاخوان» التنظيم الاممي وايران المنفذ الاقتصادي.

وبما ان علاقة الدوحة تعود الى اكثر من عقد ونصف العقد من الزمن مع الاخوان المسلمين اي منذ اندلاع الاضطرابات في الشرق الأوسط وبرعاية اميركية كاملة، فكان من الطبيعي أن تحلم بزعامة إقليمية خصوصاً أنها من كبار موزعي الاموال في المنطقة بإيحاء اميركي أو بغض طرف مقصود.

هذا ما فهمه السعوديون من النشاط القطري الإقليمي وتعاونهم مع الاخوان المسلمين وتركيا. والملاحظ هنا ان اشارتهم الى ايران في مباحثاتهم مع قطر ترد من دون إصرار عليها لأنهم يعرفون ان وقف الحصار عليها يذهب تلقائياً نحو عودة قطر الى استعمال المنفذ البري السعودي لتأمين مستهلكاتها.

لذلك يجد المتمعن في حروف الأوامر السعودية انها تريد نسف الصعود التركي في العالم الإسلامي لسببين: الاول انها تعتبر بلدها زعيمة العالم الإسلامي ولا تقبل بأي منافسة تركية مدعومة قطرياً؛ أما السبب الثاني فخوفها من انتشار عقيدة الاخوان المسلمين المناهضة للوهابية السعودية. وهذا ما تخشاه الامارات والبحرين، لكن لمصر إرهاباً قوياً من الاخوان المسلمين الأقوياء في مصر ما يبين مدى الرعب من الاخوان الأمميين الذين يعتبرون أنفسهم اهم قوة في العالم الإسلامي ويسعون لجمعه في اطار يقوده خليفة منهم وهذا يتطلب سقوط مملكة آل سعود والبحرين وإمارة آل زايد وجمهورية «السيسي ملك الرز».

ماذا تستفيد قطر من انتصار الاخوان؟

ما يهمّ آل تميم هو سقوط آل سعود فيصبحون على الفور دولة مهمة خليجياً وإسلامياً وبما أن تركيا بلد إسلامي غير عربي، فإن آل تميم متعمقون في قراءة الصعوبات التي تعترض طريق قيادتهم للعالم الإسلامي ويحتاجون لشرعية عربية، تجد قطر نفسها مؤهلة لأداء دور الصدر الأعظم في دولة السلطان أردوغان الاول.

للإشارة فقط، فإن كامل هذه الصراعات تندلع داخل عباءة الأميركيين وليس خارجها، ما يجعلها عرضة للابتزاز من الأميركيين في كل لحظة، لذلك يسمحون باستمرار الى اجل لا احد يعرف مدته إلا الادارة الاميركية.

قطر والسعودية إلى أين؟ يتصارعان على وهم ليس لهم بل لمعلمهم الأميركي فيبدوان كمن يكتب التاريخ بلا قلم مبدداً جغرافيا غنية بمصادر الوقود من أجل اوهام ليست حاضرة إلا في أذهان ضحاياها.

«خربة عمّو» صفقة للمرتزقة أم أكثر؟

د.وفيق إبراهيم

مجابهة الأهالي المدنيّين في قرية “خربة عمّو” في منطقة القامشلي السورية لدوريّة أميركيّة كانت تمرّ في المكان، تندرج في إطار الموقف الوطني السوري الرافض لكل انواع الاحتلالات الأميركية والتركية وغيرها.

هذا في العنوان العريض، أما في التشريح فتبدو صفعة مدوّية أصابت كل تلك الآليات الإرهابيّة التي تضمّ مرتزقة سوريين التحقوا بها عبر وسطاء أتراك وسعوديين واخوان مسلمين وخليجيين وأكراد.

وهي أيضاً ركلة بوجه المرتزقة كأحد قيادات المعارضة السورية الذي تنّجس وأصبح تركياً يحمل هويتين اثنتين وتعمل الدولة السورية على نزع جنسيتها عنه.

ما هو مهمّ في هذا الموضوع يتعلق بانطلاقة السوريين من مرحلة الصمود ودعم الدولة السورية الى مستوى تنظيم مقاومات مدنيّة مسلحة تتعاون مع الجيش السوري على دحر المحتلين الأميركيين والأتراك وقوات التحالف الدولي والإسرائيليين وآلياتهم الارهابية.

وهذا يشمل ما تبقى من ادلب وعفرين وبعض أرياف حلب والشريط الحدودي وشرق سورية وشمالها.

إن انتفاضة “خربة عمّو” تؤسس لانطلاق أعمال فردية تتحول تدريجياً إلى أشكال منظمة ما يحيل نهار المحتلين سواداً داكناً، داحراً ما تبقى من إرهاب منتشر في المناطق.

للتوضيح فإن انتشار الإرهاب في سورية استند إلى التحريض الطائفي والمذهبي والمناطقي بدعم مباشر وكبير من دول الجوار الأردنية والتركية والعراقية مع غض طرف لبناني، واستعمل المساجد لإضفاء شرعية دينية على غزو المناطق السورية، جامعاً بين الاسلام التقليدي المأخوذ بالخلل الذي حدث في توازنات القوى في 2011 وبين الإسلام الاخواني الباحث عن خلافة لأردوغان التركيّ والإرهاب الإسلاموي الداعشي العامل في سبيل نشر الوهابية وافكار النظام الملكي لآل سعود ومبادئ منظمة القاعدة.

هذا ما أنتج استكانة شعبية في المناطق التي غزاها الإرهاب، عاملاً على نشر فكره في أوساط الأطفال والمراهقين، ومحولاً النساء سبايا وفارضاً سلطته بالإمساك باقتصاد المناطق والقتل بالإعدام والتعزير والتقطيع.

هناك مستجدات أتاحت للسوريين الواقعين تحت الاحتلالات المختلفة، العودة الى مقاومة المستعمرين وأولها نجاح الجيش السوري في تحرير سبعين بالمئة من مساحة الوطن، واستمراره في التقدم لمجابهة المحتل مباشرة وليس عبر آلياته الإرهابية التي تضم قسماً من ارهابيين محليين.

فهل هي مصادفة أن يتصدّى أهالي خربة عمّو القامشلية لدورية أميركية في ما تندلع بداية مواجهات بين الجيش العربي السوري والمحتل التركي في إدلب بشكل قابل للتطور الى حرب واسعة النطاق؟ الأمر الذي يكشف أن السوريين شعروا بضرورة الالتقاء بين الجهاد العسكري الرسمي للجيش والمقاومة المدنيّة وذلك للإسراع بتحرير سورية بكاملها.

للإشارة فإن المقاومة المدنية التي بدأت بشكل فردي من دون تنسيق عام، ظهرت نتيجة لإيمان السوريين بضرورة مقاومة الاحتلال الذي كان طائفياً لمصلحته فقط، أي لاحتلال سورية باستغلال شعبها في خلافات وهمية، فكيف نصدِّق الاعلام التركي الذي يقدّم دولته التركية على أنها حامية لحقوق السنة في العالم وهي العضو في حلف الناتو الذي يحتلّ بأشكال مباشرة وغير مباشرة معظم العالم الإسلامي؟ وكيف نصدق النظام التركي الذي كان أول المعترفين بالكيان الإسرائيلي المحتل مطوراً علاقات تطبيعية عميقة جداً معه، انعكست تبادلات اقتصادية واسعة؟ لن ينسى السوريون ابداً مئات آلاف الإرهابيين دخلوا سورية عبر الحدود التركية وبإشراف من مخابراتها واركان جيشها، في اطار خطة وضعها الأميركيون بخيارين اثنين، اسقاط الدولة السورية او تفتيتها بواسطة الفتنة المذهبية وعقيدة الاخوان المسلمين وبعض هوس الأقليات.

هذا ما يشجع على الاستنتاج بأن خربة عمّو هي مقدمة للانتفاضة المدنية السورية على الاحتلالات، وهي بالتالي قابلة للتطوّر بسرعة تواكب اندفاعة الجيش السوري في تحرير المناطق المحتلة.

بذلك يمكن الجزم بأن مقاومات شعبية بدأت بالتبلور شرقي الفرات وبعض أنحاء الشمال والحدود للنيل من عناصر ثلاثة: الاميركيون والأتراك وآلياتهم الداخلية قد تحتاج هذه المقاومات الى بعض الوقت للانتظام لكن العمليات الفردية تلعب دوراً أقسى من تلك المنتظمة لأنها لا تتكئ على توقيت ومناسبة، بقدر ما تستند على توفر ظروف الهجوم بشكل مباغت.

ان عصر المقاومة المدنية، هو مثابة رسالة الى الأكراد بأن يتخلوا عن منظمة “قسد” التي تراهن على الأميركيين لتحقيق مشروعها التقسيمي في شرق سورية، وتحظى بتمويل خليجي ودعم لوجيستي اسرائيلي، أو أن تتخلى “قسد” عن الأميركيين وتعود الى الدولة السورية المستعدة لإيلاء “مواطنيها الاكراد” الكثير من “الإدارة المستقلة” انما من ضمن مركزية الدولة السورية الواحدة.

كما أن تطور هذه المقاومة الشعبية، هي رسالة واضحة لكل أنواع القوى والاقليات التي لا تزال تعتقد ان الأميركيين يوفرون حماية لها من الكلدان والأشوريين والسريان.

ألا يعلم هؤلاء أن لا مكان لعقائدهم الدينية عند منظمات الارهاب؟ وأنهم أهل سورية التاريخية؟

يتبقى الأتراك الذين يجندون قسماً من سوريي الارهاب الاخواني والتركمان في صفوفهم، فيجب على هؤلاء ان يعودوا الى حضن الوطن الذي استقبلهم قبل قرن ونصف القرن، إلا إذا قرروا العودة الى تركمانستان وهضبة منغوليا التي جاؤوا منها الى سورية والعالم العربي.

فأهلاً “بخربة عمّو” منارة ترشد المضللين وهي مقاتلة الأميركيين والأتراك في “سورية التاريخ” المعروفة منذ آلاف السنين وقبل تشكل تركيا والولايات المتحدة الأميركية بأكثر من ثلاثة آلاف سنة.

Our fundamental disagreement about WWII, Hitler, Jews and race


Our fundamental disagreement about WWII, Hitler, Jews and race

The topic of Russians and Jews is clearly a “hot” one. Over the past few years I wrote several articles on this topic including “Putin and Israel A Complex and Multi-Layered Relationship”, “Why Is Putin “Allowing” Israel to Bomb Syria?”, “Russia, Israel and the Values of “Western Civilization” – Where Is the Truth?” and “Debunking the Rumors About Russia Caving in to Israel”. And yet, for a while now I have felt that there is much more which could, and should, be said on this topic.

Recent events (including Putin’s and Zelenskii’s recent trip to Israel or the latest Polish-Ukrainian theory about the USSR being an accomplice to the Holocaust) again gave me that strong feeling that the way Jews are seen in the West is truly very different from how Jews are viewed in Russia. Yet, in the West, this difference is often (almost always, really!) overlooked and assumptions are made about Russia and Russians which are simply not warranted and which end up being highly misleading. This is why I will try to debunk some of these assumptions today.

First, a very quick and very short look into our recent history

The very best book to read on Russian-Jewish relations is “200 Years Together” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The problem with this book is that has never been officially translated into English. Yup, that’s right. A CRUCIAL book by a Nobel Prize winner can be so controversial that nobody in the publishing business has dared to print it. Happily, a number of websites offer unofficial “samizdat” translations, see herehere and here. I cannot vouch for the quality of these translations as I read the book in Russian, not in English. But yeah, in the “land of the free”, the putative “brave” do not get to read a book if that book debunks the western narrative about Russia and Jews. By the way, Solzhenitsyn’s masterpiece is not the only such book which exists only in Russian, there are many more including Andrei Dikii’s “Jews in Russia and the USSR” which can also only be found on the Internet Archive here.

I can’t even begin to try to summarize that most interesting, and controversial history here. All I will say for right now is that when we speak of “Russians” and “Jews” we need to separate these categories into 4 subcategories:

  • Russians from what would be considered Russia today, in other words, “Great-Russians” (here “great” does not indicate a superiority, but only a peripheral place of residence, meaning Russians who don’t live in central Russia). For our purposes I will from now on simply call them “Russians”.
  • Russians from what would be considered the Ukraine today in other words, “Small-Russians” (meaning Russians living near the cradle of the Russian civilization, Kiev). For our purposes, I will from now on refer to them as “Ukrainians”, but only in a geographical sense, not a cultural one.
  • Russian Jews (as opposed to Ukrainian Jews)
  • Ukrainian Jews (as opposed to Russian Jews)

These four subgroups have had a very different historical experience and they need to be considered separately, as lumping them all together really does not allow any analysis.

Besides, and as I have also mentioned it in the past, the Ukrainian nationalist propaganda does, in fact, have some truth to it. Yes, it is a grossly distorted truth, and it is mixed in with an avalanche of lies, but still, not all of it can simply be dismissed. For example, while there never was any “Ukraine” in history, and while what is called today the “Ukrainian language” is not really Ukrainian at all (the “surzhik” would be the real thing), it still remains an undeniable fact that the Polish occupation of southern and eastern Russia (which is what “the Ukraine” is – Russia’s southeastern “borderland” which is what the word “Ukraine” originally meant) left an extremely profound mark on those Russians who lived under the Polish-Latin occupation. I won’t go into historical details today as I already did that hereand here, but I will just say that this tragic history eventually inspired one of the favorite slogans of Ukrainian nationalists: “to drown all the Polaks and the Moskals in Kike blood” (or any variation of these three nationalities).

Charming, no?

The undeniable historical truth is that the centuries long occupation of the Russian eastern frontier lands by the Poles and their Latin masters created so much hatred between all the nationalities involved that it appears that every time they had a chance to try to persecute or kill each other, they immediately did so. Here area few examples of that kind of violence:

  • The (in)famous “pogroms”: these were spontaneous and violent uprisings and subsequent brutal riots against Jews by their resentful neighbors. By the way, during the Civil War, the Reds often were the worst perpetrators of these pogroms because they also saw the comparatively wealthy Jews as class enemies in the Marxist sense of the word.
  • The very high percentage of Jews among the first generation Bolsheviks (80%-85% according to Vladimir Putin; fwiw, I agree with this figure). These Bolshevik Jews were typically concentrated in the secret police organs and they typically spearheaded the massacre of millions of Orthodox Christians (which have since been gloried by the Russian Orthodox Church in Exile and, later, somewhat reluctantly and only partially, by the Moscow Patriarchate, as the “New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia”).
  • A very high percentage of Jews among the Party leaders during the (truly horribly brutal) collectivization and and dekulakization which took place all over the Soviet Union but which the Ukrainian nationalists (and the western propaganda machine) characterize as a deliberate anti-Ukrainian genocide they call the “Holodomor” (yes, I know, Wikipedia entries on all these topics are pure propaganda, but I link to them precisely so you can see what the Ukrainian propaganda writes).
  • A very high percentage of Ukrainians in the post-Stalin Soviet elites, many of whom participated in the bloody purges of the CPSU by Stalin; and since about 80%+ of the top Party officials were Jews, these purges necessarily involved a lot of repressed Jews (whether guilty ones who themselves were covered in innocent blood or innocent ones, who were simply repressed with the rest of them).

I could list more examples, but I think that these are sufficient for our purposes. What we can immediately see is that there are significant differences between what took place in modern Russia and in the modern Ukraine, including:

An example of a crucial geographical difference would be “pogroms” which, contrary to western propaganda, pogroms all took place in what would be the modern Ukraine today, never in Russia.

There is also a difference in time: Russians in the Ukraine were persecuted by Poles and Jews for centuries whereas Russians in what is modern Russia today were primarily persecuted by Bolshevik Jews “only” between 1917 and Stalin’s purges of the party in the late 1930s.

And then, there is the crucial, truly immense, difference which WWII made.

Next, a look at what happened during World War II and the Nazi occupation

When the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union there were a lot of Russians and Ukrainians who welcomed the Nazis, not necessarily because they liked the Nazi ideology but because many of them hated their Bolshevik oppressors even more than they disliked the Germans. After all, the horrors of the Civil War and of the Collectivization were still present in the mind of millions of people both in the (newly created) Ukrainian SSR and in the Russian SSR.

I would like to remind all those who nowadays try very hard to forget it, that the Nazi ideology characterizes both Russians and Ukrainians as subhumans (Untermensch) whose sole purpose would be to serve their Aryan master race overlords (Herrenvolk) in the newly conquered living space (Lebensraum). Simply put: Hitler promised his followers that they would be very happy slave owners! It is no wonder that the prospective slaves felt otherwise…

In the course of the war, however, profound differences began to emerge:

First, in the Ukraine, the Nazi ideology DID inspire a lot of nationalists for the exact same reasons that Nazi ideology inspired nationalist Poles (who were Hitler’s first most loyal allies only to later be betrayed by him). Over the centuries the Papacy not only created the Ukrainian nationalist identity, it then actively fostered it every time Russia was weakened (if that topic is of interest to you, see here). The bitter truth which folks in the West don’t like to be reminded of is that the regimes of Petain, Franco, Pavelic, Pilsudksi, etc. were all created and supported by the Papacy which, of course, also supported Bandera and his Ukronazi deathsquads. As for Hitler himself, he was initially strongly supported by the UK (just as Trotsky was supported by the Jewish bankers in the US). Indeed, russophobia has a long and “distinguished” history in the West: western leaders change, as do their ideological rationalizations, but their hatred and fear of Russia always remains.

In contrast, General Andrei Vlasov, who created the “Russian Liberation Army” (ROA) had exactly zero support in the West, and very little support in Russia proper. The ideology of the ROA was a mix of moderate nationalism with some no less moderate socialism. In hindsight, it never stood a chance of becoming truly popular in Russia simply because the sight of a Russian general wearing a Nazi uniform was not something that most Russians could serenely look at, whereas in the current Nazi-occupied Ukraine, Nazi uniforms and symbols are still very popular. Last, but certainly not least, the demented and outright genocidal policies of the Nazis in occupied Russia resulted in such a blowback that the war to liberate Russia from the Nazis became a war of national survival which the vast majority of Russians fully supported.

It is also interesting how differently the Anglo powers treated the Ukronazis and the Russians of the ROA: the West lovingly imported to the US and Canada all the Ukronazis it could get its hands on, yet at the same time the West forcibly repatriated millions of Russians, including POW and ROA members, with often horrible consequences for the repatriates. As for General Vlasov himself, he was executed along with other officers accused of treason.

For the Ukrainian nationalists, WWII began as a God-sent chance to finally bring about their dream to “drown all the Polaks and the Moskals in Kike blood”, and then this dream was crushed by the Soviet counter-attack and subsequent annihilation of most (about 80%) of the German military machine. And while many Ukrainians (and Poles) did see the Soviets as their liberators from the Nazi horrors, the Ukronazis obviously saw the Soviet Army solely as an occupation force which they resisted for as long as they could (after the end of the war, it still took the Soviets several years to finally crush the Ukronazi underground). And while most Russians felt like they were the real victors of WWII, the Ukronazi nationalists felt that they had been defeated. Again. The same goes for the Poles, by the way (this trauma gave birth to something I refer to as the “Pilban syndrome”).

Now for the self-evident truism about Jews: while many Russians remained acutely aware of the Jewish role in the Bolshevik revolution and, especially, in the class terror which followed, they did not see ALL Jews as enemies of Russia, especially not when

  1. There were plenty of patriotic Jews who loved Russia and/or the USSR
  2. That Hitler’s demented racism inevitably had to bring Jews and Russians together, even if only for a while and mostly under the “common enemy” heading.
  3. Many (most?) Russians know for a fact that Nazi concentration/extermination camps did, in fact, exist even if they did not kill 6M Jews, even if they had no gas chambers and no crematoria (except to deal with insect-born diseases). Why? Because it was the Soviet military which liberated most of these camps and because there were plenty of non-Jewish Russians/Soviets in these camps. Finally, besides the camps themselves, most Russians also know about the infamous Einsatzgruppen which probably murdered even more Jews (and non-Jews) than all the concentration/extermination camps combined. The fact is that Nazi atrocities are not seriously challenged by most Russian historians.

The bottom line is this: whatever (at the time very real) hostility history had created between Jews and Russians, World War II had a huge impact on these perceptions. That is not to say that the Russians have forgotten the genocidal policies of Lenin and Trotsky, but only that after WWII, most Russians justly felt that they were victors, not defeated losers.

The Ukrainian nationalists, in contrast, were “multi-defeat” losers: they were defeated by the Germans, the Russians and even the Poles (who rarely attack anybody unless their prospective victim is already agonizing or unless there is some “big guy” protecting them – Churchill was quite right with his “greedy hyena of Europe” comment!). And now, more recently, they were soundly defeated not once, but TWICE, by the Novorussians. That kind of “performance” will often result in a nationalistic reaction.

And that is true not only for the Ukraine, but also very much applies to the West of 2020.

Does the collective West also suffer from the same “multi-defeat” complex?

It seems to me that most people reading these lines already know that the “collective West” aka the “AngloZionist Empire” is in terrible shape. Just look at the political chaos in the US, the UK, France, Germany and all the rest of the NATO/EU countries. The West is not only losing militarily and economically, it is also agonizing culturally, socially, morally and spiritually. Furthermore, that which we all used to think of as “western values” is now being replaced by some insipid “multiculturalism” which seems to pious euphemism for the obvious plan to erase pretty much all of the western historical and cultural legacy. Like all forms of persecution, this one is also resulting in an increasingly powerful case of ideological blowback: a very dangerous and toxic resurgence of both Fascism and National-Socialism.

How could a person (Hitler) and an ideology (National-Socialism) be both declared uniquely evil AND, at the same time, undergo at least a partial rehabilitation in the same society? Simple! The only condition necessary to make that happen is to condition people to accept cognitive dissonances and not to be too troubled when they happen. The average citizen of the Empire has been conditioned to accept, and even embrace, such cognitive dissonances quite literally since birth and he has become very, very good at that. But there is also a historiographical blowback in action here:

Following WWII and, especially, following the 1970s, the Zionists made what I consider to be a disastrous mistake: they decided to present Hitler and his ideology as some kind of special and unique form of evil which supersedes any and all, past or even future, imaginable forms of evil. And just to make sure that this claim would stick, they decided to add some highly specific claims including the “official’” figure of 6 million murdered Jews, the gas chambers and crematoria being the most famous ones, but there were many more (including electrocution pools, human skin lamp shades and human fat soaps – but which had to be ditched after being proven false). Eventually these claims all came under very effective attack by the so-called “revisionist historians” who have since proven beyond reasonable doubt that these specific claims were false. That did not make these historians very popular with the rulers of the Empire who, instead of allowing for of a healthy historical debate, decided to make “revisionism” a criminally punishable thoughtcrime for which historians could be jailed, sometimes for years! The reaction to that kind of abuse of power was inevitable.

One of the most pernicious result of this policy of criminalizing historical investigations into WWII has been the fact that many people in the West concluded that since these specific claims were bunk, then all of the claims about Nazi atrocities were bunk too. Huge logical mistake! The fact that these specific claims have already been debunked in no way implies that OTHER widely reported atrocities did not occur.

For example, the fact that gas chambers were probably not used to kill anybody (at least not in significant amounts) does not at all imply that many hundreds of thousands, or even million of people, were not killed by execution, starvation or disease (typhus, dysentery, etc.). Just look at the death rates in Japanese POW camps, and they had no gas chambers or crematoria. As for the Soviets, they deported “class enemies” from their homes and simply released them in the middle of the Siberian taiga during the winter and with no survival gear: most of them also quickly died, simply from exposure.

The simple truth is that any modern state has the means to murder people on an industrial scale even without the use of such exotic (and, frankly, ill-suited) techniques as gas chambers or crematoria (in Rwanda, they mostly used crude machetes). But western historians are banned from even researching these topics!

This situation resulted in an environment in the West in which one cannot criticize (or even doubt!) Jews or things Jewish without immediately being called an “anti-Semite”. Ditto for anybody daring to present another version of WWII. That this kind of collective brainwashing would inevitably result in a massive blowback was easy to predict but, alas, the Zionists never had the foresight to see this coming. Either that, or they were quite happy to report a “surge in anti-Semitism” in the West to extort even more political power (and money!). Whatever may be the case, it is close to impossible in the current West to freely and openly discuss these topics.

Now a quick comparison with modern Russia

The political environment in Russia is radically different. For one thing, it is not illegal (or even improper) in Russia to criticize Jews, or modern “Judaism” (really a modern form of rabbinical Phariseism) or Israel or the Zionist ideology (which, by the way, the USSR did denounce and oppose as a form of racism). Yes, there are still (pretty bad) laws on the books forbidding the promotion of national hatred and “extremist speech”, but the truth is that as long as you only investigate historical topics (such as the real number of Jews murdered by the Nazis) and you do not advocate (or engage in) violence you will be fine. Not only that, but you can find pretty much any and all anti-Jewish/Zionist books on the Russian Internet for easy and free download. Finally, while a lot of Jews did leave the USSR, those who stayed (or have since returned) did that of their own free will and that strongly suggests that, unlike their brethren in Israel, many (most?) Russian Jews do not have feelings of hatred for Russia, the Russian people or even the Orthodox Church (some do, of course, but this is a minority).

Some near sighted Jews regularly deplore that the political discourse in Russia is not as tightly controlled as the one in the West. I would simply like to remind them that the much more permissive intellectual environment of Russia has NOT resulted in an automatic fusion between patriotism and hostility to Jews, as is sadly the case in the West (unless, of course, we are dealing with what French philosopher and dissident Alain Soral calls “National-Zionism” which is a separate phenomenon which I discussed in some detail here).

True, when patriotism (love for one’s country) turns into nationalism (love of one’s ethnicity), then things typically go south, but that is a danger of which the Kremlin is acutely aware of and that is why Russian nationalists are, after Russian Wahabis, the most frequently jailed people in Russia under anti extremism laws (keep in mind that both Russian nationalists and Russian Wahabis typically not only disseminate “extremist literature” but they also are typically engaged in one form of violence or another, thus they are often jailed on terrorism charges too).

An increasing number of Russia are, however, puzzled by what they see as a slow-motion rehabilitation of Hitler and the Nazi regime. For example, while in the West the official doxa is still that Hitler and the Nazis were the worst evil in history, there is a rapidly growing “alternative” viewpoint, mostly found on the Internet, of course, in which Hitler is viewed as a much more complex person, who has been unjustly demonized and whose actions need to be placed in a “correct” historical context. And, in fact, there is some truth to that – Hitler was a complex personality and the Nazis were demonized beyond way beyond anything reasonable. Finally, the proponents of this “rehabilitation” will always point out that Hitler’s enemies were at least as ruthless and evil has he was. Again, there is also much truth to that. However, when the EU declares in a solemn vote that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were both equally responsible for WWII, then a fundamental red line is crossed, one which places an “equal” sign not only between the aggressor and the aggressed but also between those who were defeated and those who were victorious.

As I have often written in the past, under international law the ultimate, most evil, crime is not “genocide” or “crimes against humanity”. It is the “crime of aggression” because, in the words of the US judge who declared this principle, “the crime of aggression contains all the other crimes”, which is only logical. Thus by accusing the USSR of aggression, the EU is basically annulling them findings of the Nuremberg Tribunal, it makes the USSR every bit as guilty of all the atrocities of WWII as the Nazis.

Are the Russians correct when they say that there is a slow-motion rehabilitation of Hitler and his ideology in the West?


The fact that this slo-mo rehabilitation is still currently and mostly confined to the margins of the political discourse does not change the Russian awareness that no matter how much Hitler and his minions are disliked or even hated in the West, Russia and Russians will always be hated even much more. This is also true of what the West calls “Islamic extremism” which is only “bad” when it is not fully controlled by the West (terrorists!!), and which is “good”, axiomatically so, when directed against Russia or other Orthodox nations (freedom fighters!!).

Under these circumstances, is it really surprising that many (most?) Russians feel like the West is a much bigger danger to the Russian civilizational realm than any anti-Russian plans concocted by Jews, Zionists or the Israelis?

Absolutely not!

Not only do most Russians hate Hitler and everything he stood for, they also truly understand that the vast majority of Jews murdered by the Third Reich were simple, innocent, people whose only crime was to be of the same ethnicity/religion as some other Jews who did, indeed, richly deserved to be hated for their racist messianism (be it religious or secular). That is a fundamental injustice which Russians will never accept because accepting it would be a betrayal of truth (a hugely important concept for the Russian civilization) and no less of a betrayal of the memory of all the innocents murdered by the Nazis.

Conclusion one: history matters, a lot!

Whatever we all may think of Jewish identity politics or whatever our opinion of the Soviet Union, it is undeniable that Hitler’s policies inflicted unspeakable suffering upon both Russians and Jews. Western Alt-Righters, who still delude themselves into thinking that Russians share in their racist delusions, can deny and denounce this, but the fact is that history has forever created a bond between Jews and Russians: their common memory of the mass atrocities perpetuated against them by the Nazis. No amount of political gesticulations will change that.

That does not, of course, mean that Putin, the Kremlin or anybody else is an “ally” of Israel or that Putin and Bibi Netanyahu are working together (or for each other). This utter nonsense is a completely false conclusion resulting from a fundamental and profound misreading of Russian history and Russian culture. But it goes even further than that. I would argue that the history of the Russian culture is also fundamentally incompatible with any racist/racialist ideas.

The ideology of pre-1917 Russia can be described as “Orthodox monarchism”. This is not really correct for a long list of reasons (reality is always more complex than buzz-words and slogans), but by and large you could say that what was considered morally right or morally wrong was defined by the Russian Orthodox Church. Well, it just so happens that while original Christianity (i.e. Orthodoxy) was very critical of rabbinical “Judaism” (the religion and wordview), that same original Christianity was far less hostile to Jews (the ethnicity) then western Christian demominations. In fact, true Christianity has always been pro-patriotic but anti-nationalistic. This was also the practice in the Eastern Roman Empire (whose political structure Russia inherited). By the way, this is also true for the 2nd religion of Russia, Islam.

Then, after the 1917 Revolution, Russia was initially submitted to two decades of Jewish terror, especially a kind of terror directed against the Russian people and the Orthodox faith. With the coming to power of Stalin, however, major changes took place (and most of those who had drowned Russia in innocent blood were themselves executed during the famous “purges”). And while Stalin never was an “anti-Semite” (this is silly nonsense which both Stalin’s actions and writings directly contradict), his purges (and reforms) did profoundly change the nature of the Soviet regime, including the ethnic composition of the leaders of the CPSU which became much more diverse.

Speaking of the Soviet Union in general, it is also important to remember that the Marxist-Leninist ideology also rejects racial and ethnic differences and, instead, advocates a solidarity of all people against their class oppressors.

Thus neither the pre-1917 nor the post-1917 mainstream Russian ideology/worldview are a viable ground to try to promote racist ideas. And, thankfully, neither is modern (“Putin’s”) Russia.

The truth is that Russia which, as I mentioned above, is the political heir to the East Roman Empire (aka “Byzantium” in western parlance) has ALWAYS been multi-religious, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and pretty much any and all other “multi-something” you can think of. For all the many sins of the Russian people during their history, racism was never one of them!

For example, this is also why, while most people in the West see Islam (and Muslims) as “aliens”, most Russians are totally used to them and see them as longtime neighbors. That does not mean that Russian’s don’t remember the dozen or so wars Russia fought against the Ottomans, nor does it mean that Russia has forgiven the Wahabi atrocities in Chechnia. It simply and only means that Muslims, and even Turks, are not see as “national enemies” by Russians.

The same is true for Jews. Yes, the Russians do remember what Jews did to them during the early years of the Bolshevik regime, but that memory, that awareness, does NOT typically result into any kind of racism, including any type of anti-Jewish racism. Nor do the horrors committed by Jewish Bolsheviks obfuscate all the very real contributions of various Jews to the Russian culture.

By the way, it is important to remember here that while it is true that most first-generation Bolsheviks were Jews, it is not true that most Jews were Bolsheviks. In fact, Jews were found pretty much everywhere, including amongst Menshevik’s, anarchists, Bundists, etc…

So yes, Jews and Russians mostly lived together for about 200 years, and much of our common history is tragic, painful and even shameful, but at the end of the day, it would be false to think that most Russians either dislike or fear Jews. They do not. Even when they are critical of this or that personality, ideology or religion (original Christianity will always be the ultimate enemy of rabbinical Judaism, just as rabbinical Judaism will always remain the ultimate enemy of original Christianity; we can understand why that is so, or we can deplore it, but we should never forget or deny this!).

If any self-described anti-Semite reads these words and is absolutely outraged by what I just wrote, please also make sure to read “The Invention of the Jewish People” by Shlomo Sand” which will show to you that the very notion of “ethnicity” (whether Jewish or non-Jewish) is a modern invention with very little actual basis in history, especially in the history of multi-cultural empires. Simply put: in a culture which does not really believe in the importance of ethnicity no truly racist ideology can develop. It is really that simple!

Yes, I know about Dostoevskii’s and Rozanov’s dislike for Jews (and Poles, by the way), and yes I know about the Pale of Settlement (won’t touch this here, but it sure was not what western historians in the West think it was – just read Solzhenitsyn!). I also know about the “Blood Libel” (won’t touch this one either, but I will recommend you read the 2007 book by Israeli historian Ariel Toaff “Passovers of Blood”) and about all the other myths spread in the West (by Jews and non-Jews) about “Russian anti-Semitism”. But the truth is simple: while there were many instances in history when Jews and Russians clashed (including the 10th century destruction of Khazaria by Russian forces or the 15th century struggle against the “Heresy of the Judaizers” – which, by the way, Wikipedia does a very bad job describing: in reality this was an early attempt by Kabbalists to infiltrate the Russian Orthodox Church just as they had successfully infiltrated the Papacy). Yet, these conflicts did not resulted in any major hostility of Russians towards Jews (the inverse is, alas, not nearly as true).

Conclusion two: Putin, Zelenskii and the Israelis

The recent trip of both Zelenskii and Putin to Israel has, again, brought the topic of the Jewish, Russian and Ukrainian “triangle” to the front page news. The Poles also seized the opportunity to make things worse for themselves when they chimed in on it all. You read the stories, so no need to repeat it all here. What was most impressive about this event was that Zelenskii decided that he would travel to Israel, only to then declare that he would not participate in the commemorative events. Why? Clearly, he was terrified that the Ukronazis will denounce him for caving in to Zionist pressure.

Putin did the exact opposite, not only did he travel to Israel and he spoke at the event, he also reminded the (mostly Jewish) audience of the horrors which the Russian people also suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Clearly, Putin did not fear that some Russian nationalists would accuse him of caving in to Zionist pressure. Why not?

Why could Putin speak so freely?

For two very simple reasons:

First, and unlike the Ukrainians or the Poles, the Russians have exactly zero guilt about what happened in WWII. In spite of all the lies currently spread in the West, the Soviet Union did not start WWII – the Soviet Union pretty much single-handedly defeated Hitler and ended the war (the entire Anglo effort was worth no more than 20% and only came after the Soviets defeated theWehrmacht and the SS in Stalingrad and elsewhere).

Second, Jewish supremacism was very short lived in the USSR (roughly from 1917 to 1937) and neither Putin nor any other Russian political leader will let claims of exclusive “special” Jewish suffering go unchallenged. And while most Russian politicians don’t feel the need to express any doubts about the “official” 6 million figure, they do like to remind their Jewish friends that the Russian nation suffered anywhere between 20 to 27 million dead people during WWII, thus denying Jewish victims any superior victim status over non-Jewish victims.

Our fundamental disagreement about WWII, Hitler and Jews

Likewise, it is BECAUSE Russians have zero sense of guilt towards Jews, that Putin could mention this figure of 80-85% of Jews in the first Bolshevik regime in front of an assembly of Haredi rabbis (see the video here for yourself:

Can you imagine Merkel or Trump daring to say these things in front of such an audience?


Conclusion three:

Ever since Vladimir Putin came to power, Russia has been gradually and steadily separating herself from the collective West. This process is not so much about being “against” the West as it is about being “different” from the West, but unapologetically so! This is especially visible in the nature and quality of the political discourse in Russia which is truly dramatically different from the kind of hyper-controlled (and, of course, hyper-manipulated) political discourse in the West. Simply put, Russians live in a much more open and diverse intellectual landscape than their western neighbors. As a result, it would be a major mistake to assume, for example, that Russian patriots hold views similar to those held by western nationalists. Hence the existence of what we could call “Our fundamental disagreement about WWII, Hitler, Jews and race”.

The Saker

The Syrian Russian Turksih Idlib Stand-Of – Erdogan’s Last Stand?

February 06, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

Even though the Syrian Army, with the aid of its international friends and allies, especially Russia, has been able to score many victories and liberate most of Syria’s major cities from the control of terrorist groups, the fight is far from over.

Before the situation in the American-controlled North-East is addressed, the Western regions, including Idlib and its surrounds must be put back fully under the legitimate government control.

As a matter of fact, politically speaking, the situation now is perhaps more complex to deal with than nine years ago when the “War on Syria” took form. Almost exactly nine years ago, the enemies of Syria combined efforts to launch a joint attack. United only by their hatred for Syria, they had diverse agendas, but they combined efforts in order to capitalize on each other’s strengths. The Wahhabi version of Islamists, headed by Saudi Arabia, joined hands with the Muslim Brotherhood version headed by Turkey and financed by Qatar, and they all joined hands with NATO, Israel and Lebanese ultra-right militia among other vendetta groups, for the single purpose of deposing President Assad and replacing the legitimate secular Syrian Government with one that is sectarian and pliable to the will of the Western roadmap.

They failed.

They failed in achieving their combined objectives and some of the armies they created, such as Jaysh Al-Islam, headed by former Syrian Army officer Zahran Alloush, ceased to exist. Alloush was killed in a Syrian Army attack in December 2015, but the casualties also included conspirators who were sidelined and lost their careers; the most prominent of which is Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, who was perhaps the single biggest architect of the attack on Syria.

The tides began to turn in favour of Syria after the Syrian Army scored its huge victory in the Battle of Qusayr in mid-2013. This was a decisive battle that basically disabled the terrorists from linking the Damascus province with their northern supply lines. Without this victory, in retrospect, it would be arguable if Syria would have been able to earn much support from Russia; if any at all. Syria had to show a fighting spirit, resolve, determination and respect for her to reach such an echelon. After all, Russia does not only by tradition honour and respect those who stand up with dignity against all odds, but on the geopolitical scene, and after decades of being sidelined by the Western bloc, any Russian global move had to be fully and thoroughly assessed before any venture was to be undertaken.

It was crucial for Russia therefore, and for President Putin in particular, to ensure that the presence of Russian troops in Syria had very high chances of success.

The fragmentation of Syria’s enemies began to take form before Russian action in the skies and on the soil of Syria. The Saudi’s first and biggest disappointment was when the USA refused to level Damascus to the ground after Prince Bandar orchestrated the alleged Ghouta chemical attack in September 2013. That was Bandar’s last draw after the loss of Al-Qusayr and his attempts to blackmail Putin by threatening him to unleash Islamists in Chechnya.

From that point in time onwards, the Saudi role in the “War on Syria” dwindled and came to an end with the demise of Alloush. But as the tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia emerged in 2017, Qatar remained “represented” via its ally Turkey.

Erdogan was initially determined to victoriously pray at the Omayyad Mosque in Damascus early in the piece. But he is still determined to get a bite of the cherry, a consolation prize, despite all the setbacks that his former camp has endured.

After Turkey downed the Russian Su-24 in November 2015, the relationship between Turkey and Russia reached its nadir. But the pragmatist Erdogan soon apologized to Putin and eventually reached an agreement about how to deal with the deadlock situation in Idlib.

But Erdogan is not coming clean about his commitment to what became to be known as the Sochi Agreement. https://thedefensepost.com/2019/10/22/russia-turkey-syria-mou/.

Erdogan defiantly continues to wear the hat of a fully-fledged NATO member, a close friend and ally of Russia, the leader of the nation that is desirous to enter the EU, an Islamist who wants to rebuild the Ottoman Empire, and a nationalist who is willing and able to deal with Kurdish issue. What he does not see is that whilst those antics gain him popularity amongst sympathetic Muslim supporters, on the international scene, he is increasingly making a mockery out of himself.

His clear-to-see contradictions seem mind-boggling, but to the pragmatic Erdogan who is trying as hard as he can to be Sultan, his mind is fixated on Islamism and nationalism, and he is performing as if he has found himself a Fatwa that permits him to dance to the tunes of the devil to reach his ultimate objectives.

Among other things, to Putin, Erdogan portrays himself as Russia’s friend who is reconsidering his alliance with the US and even wants to buy Russian S-400 defence missile systems. To America, he remains as a NATO member and an American ally who wants to buy America’s latest state-of the-art F-35 fighter jets. On one hand, he makes verbal attacks against Israel, but continues to opt to have strong diplomatic ties with that state. He pledges support for the Palestinian cause but offers no evidence to put his words into action.

If Erdogan truly deserves any recognition and respect at all, it would have to be for his ability to meander his way through and survive amongst all the contradictions that he has deliberately and systemically implanted along his path.

He could be running out of options; at least in Syria, but this doesn’t stop him from making yet more contradictory statements within a few days of each other. By the end of January 2020 he threatened to take a new offensive in Syria over the Russian-backed Syrian Army offensive in Idlib. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202001311078189883-erdogan-threatens-new-offensive-in-syria—report/ A few days later, he made a U-turn and declared that he will not allow the situation in Idlib to sour his relationship with Russia. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202002041078225599-turkey-will-not-escalate-tensions-with-russia-over-syrias-idlib—erdogan/?fbclid=IwAR1X6tQuRrWsX5iQ3kJCJaxFoR11cnfJpj–VlYhuUu9ZXLK6OQal0kiHaw But in between the two statements which are only four days apart, the Syrian Army has shelled Turkish positions and purportedly killed six Turkish soldiers and injured about a dozen. Whilst such an unprecedented incident should have sent Erdogan firing up as one would expect, according to Palestinian veteran journalist, Abdul Bari Atwan, this wasn’t to happen this time.

In a translation-worthy article, Russia and Syria have decided to take action in Idlib and they are no longer waiting for Erdogan to abide by his promises and agreements.

Atwan’s article’s title translates as: “What does the Syrian shelling of Turkish troops in Sarakob and the killing of six Turkish soldiers signify? And, what is the Russian message to Erdogan? And, did the Russians and the Turks tear up the Sochi Agreement? And, who will emerge as a winner in the bone-crushing battle in Idlib?”

According to Atwan’s analysis, the Syrian shelling of Turkish positions signaled the end of the line of joint Russian-Syrian patience with Erdogan’s lack of commitment to the Sochi Agreement. Atwan argues that opinion polls within Turkey indicate that Erdogan does not have the support of escalating in Syria and neither that of sending troops to Libya for that matter.

Did Atwan see the end of the line of Erdogan’s lies and contradictions this time? I personally hope he did. I must admit that in my previous analysis I have predicted several times that Erdogan had made his final and detrimental mistake . Somehow he always manages to slither out of the hole he was in and keep going.

Has he made his final and lethal mistake or is he going to relent and let Syria be?
Time will tell.

الكيان الأردنيّ والسلطة الفلسطينيّة هدفان لنطحاتٍ أميركيّة – إسرائيليّة قاتلة

د. وفيق إبراهيم

تنتظر السلطة الفلسطينية منذ سبعة وعشرين عاماً تطبيق الكيان الإسرائيلي لاتفاق اوسلو الموقع بينهما، فيما اعتقد الاردن ان معاهدة وادي عربة التي وقعها في 1994 مع «إسرائيل» تزيل عنه أي خطر سياسي أو كياني ناتج من ارتدادات الاستيلاء على كامل فلسطين المحتلة.

فماذا كانت النتيجة؟

أعلن الأميركيون والإسرائيليون الطرفان الراعيان للاردن و»بلدية» محمود عباس في الضفة الغربية عن صفقة قرن تلغي سلطة محمود عباس وتنزع من الأردن الوظائف التي دفعت الانجليز في ثلاثينيات القرن الماضي الى فصله عن سورية وتحويله كياناً للهاشميّين الذين كانوا قد خسروا بالتتابع مشاريعهم في جزيرة العرب وسورية والعراق.

هؤلاء الإنجليز الذين كانوا يستعمرون المنطقة العربية من العراق الى اليمن، هندسوا ولادة الدول العربية الحديثة التكوين والنشأة لتلبية وظائف تسهم في تعميق المصالح الغربية.

فأسسوا دولاً حديثة غير تاريخيّة لتأمين وظيفتين: الأولى نفطية وتشمل معظم بلدان جزيرة العرب والثانية جيوسياسية لامتصاص قوة الدول التاريخية مثل مصر والعراق واليمن وسورية، فكان الأردن واحداً من هذه الدول التي أريد منها إضعاف سورية، ومنع اتصالها الجغرافي بجزيرة العرب، وإنشاء كيان أردني لا يُعادي «إسرائيل» وقابل للتحالف معها، هذا مع ارضاء الهاشميين المرتبطين دائماً بالاستعمار الإنجليزي في جزيرة العرب.

لكن البريطانيين فضّلوا الانحياز الى المشروع الوهابي – السعودي لاقتصار حركته على جزيرة العرب، حيث النفط الغزير والتخلي عن الهاشميين الذين كانوا يبحثون عن خلافة على مستوى بلاد الشام وجزيرة العرب والعراق واليمن. وهذا ما كان البريطانيون يخشون منه على الرغم من الارتباط الانصياعي التاريخي للهاشميين بهم.

لجهة السلطة الفلسطينية فتندرج في إطار حركة إسرائيلية أميركية أريد من تأسيسها إلهاء الفلسطينيين بكانتون صغير يُجهض تدريجياً القضية الفلسطينية دافعاً نحو صراعات فلسطينية لأسباب داخلية جغرافية (الضفة وغزة) او ايديولوجية (خليجية واخوان مسلمون، ومرتبطون بمحور المقاومة).

هذا ما حدث بالفعل لجهة صعود كبير للنزاعات بين منظمات فلسطينية، فمنها من رضخ منتظراً الغيث الإسرائيلي من أوسلو فيما ذهبت غزة نحو قتال دائم ورافض، واعتبرت أن تحرير فلسطين لا يكون بالاتفاق مع الكيان المحتل على مشاريع وهمية، لكن النتيجة هنا ذهبت نحو نتائج صاعقة على مستوى اتفاقات أمنية إسرائيلية مع سلطة عباس أوقفت الجهاد الفلسطيني في الضفة الغربية، على مستويي المنظمات المقاتلة والتظاهرات الشعبيّة.

فأصبح هناك «فلسطينان» الأولى مهادنة الى حدود الاستسلام في الضفة، والثانية مجاهدة الى مستوى القتال المفتوح في غزة من أجل كامل فلسطين.

لكن الإعلان الأميركي – الإسرائيلي لصفقة القرن، أبطل أحلام محمود عباس مؤكداً في الوقت نفسه على صحة تحليل منظمات غزة بضرورة القتال الدائم للكيان الإسرائيلي.

يكفي أن هذه الصفقة تلغي أولاً مفاعيل اتفاق أوسلو الذي كان ذاهباً نحو تأسيس دويلة فلسطينية لها حدود مع الأردن من خلال الغور والبحر الميت بسيادة نسبية وحق عقد الاتفاقات مع دول تجاوره اقتصادياً وسياسياً، وتشكّل غزة جزءاً منها على ان تكون المستعمرات الإسرائيلية في الضفة جزءاً من السيادة الفلسطينية.

هذا أصبح من الماضي، لأن صفقة القرن أطاحت بأوسلو وتطرح إدارة ذاتيّة لمنطقة فلسطينية مبعثرة تدير نفسها داخلياً من غير حدود وسيادة وأي نوع من العلاقات، مقابل تخليها لـ»إسرائيل» عن المستوطنات والأغوار والقدس والنازحين وكل أنواع العلاقات الخارجية مهما كانت تافهة، وتجريدها من السلاح.

بذلك تلغي صفقة القرن «اوسلو» التي لم ينفذها أصلاً الكيان الإسرائيلي.

فما العمل؟ إن أضعف ما يمكن لعباس فعله، هو إعلان التخلّي الفلسطيني عن اتفاق اوسلو الخائب وتحشيد داخلي نحو المقاومة الشعبية والمسلحة، ووضع العرب في موقع المسؤول عن هذا الانهيار من خلال الإعلام والمؤتمرات ودعوة الجامعات العربية والمنظمات الى تبني كل الأساليب لوقف السطو على فلسطين.

على مستوى الأردن فالوضع شديد التشابه، وهناك تغيير كامل لوظائفه القديمة الداعمة بعزل «إسرائيل» عن جوارها العربي وإضعاف سورية.

لذلك يبدو أن اتجاه صفقة القرن ينحو نحو اعتبار الأردن الجسر الحيوي التي تريده «إسرائيل» للوصول الى جزيرة العرب لتسهيل الاتصال الجغرافي والسياسي والعسكري مع الدول الخليجية الحليفة لها، من دون إهمال ما يطمح الكيان المحتل اليه من مواصلات برية تنهض بعلاقاته الاقتصادية مع جزيرة آل سعود ونهيان وخليفة وتميم وقابوس والصباح، فهؤلاء هم الهدف الإسرائيلي – الأميركي لإبقاء هذه المنطقة في القرون الوسطى، وتستطيع «إسرائيل» عبر الدور الأردني المواصلاتي قيادة المنطقة بتقدّمها العسكري والاقتصادي.

هل لهذه الوظيفة الأردنية الجديدة انعكاس على الكيان الاردني؟

إن المشروع الإسرائيلي الفعلي والعميق هو تحويل الاردن كياناً للفلسطينيين فينهون بذلك حتى الأمل الفلسطيني بقسم من الضفة الغربية مع غزة مجردة من السلاح لحي مغلق بشكل عنصري، وما يحتاجون اليه هو محمود عباس جديد يرث الهاشميين في الأردن الفلسطيني.

لذلك فإن مسارعة عبدالله الثاني الأردني وعباس الى إلغاء اتفاقيتي وادي عربة واوسلو، هو الوسيلة الضرورية لإيقاف مفاعيل صفقة القرن، وسحب اعترافيهما بدولة «إسرائيل».

فهذا أسلوب صاعق قد يثير غضب الرئيس الأميركي ترامب، لكنه يؤدي الى المحافظة على الحق العربي بفلسطين وسلامة الكيان الأردني من لعبة تغيير الوظائف التي تهدّد بتفجيره وسحبه من خريطة الدول العربية.

فيديوات متعلقة

عبد الباري عطوان كيف رد الرئيس عباس على الصفقة وهل سيكون الأردن الوطن البديل للمرحلة القادمة
عبدالباري عطوان أنيس النقاش وحديث حول كيفية افشال صفقة ترامب
لعبة الأمم | 2020-01-29 | خطة ترامب: صفقة التصفية

مقالات متعلقة

Willfully and Consciously Demonizing Shia: the Leadership of the Pious

Mansoureh Tajik for The Saker Blog

January 23, 2020

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, “In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” This essay may be billed as a companion to, or a rebuttal of, or a commentary on Pepe Escobar’s article titled, “The Roots of American Demonization of Shia Islam” posted here. I am uncertain about a suitable label. Perhaps the readers could formulate a mental tag & file as they deem appropriate.

The core thesis of Pepe Escobar’s article relates to “Shia Islam and the failure of the West to understand it.” It is stated, “the congenital incapacity of so-called US elites to even attempt to understand Shi’ism – thus 24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shias by also Shia-led governments.” Let’s suppose we know what is meant by “US elites” here. Let us suppose it means a network of formal and informal financial, military, and political entities that have the power and the means to influence and control the ultimate decisions and the actions of the United States as a collective. The statement, as structured, appears to suggest that “demonization and demeaning Shias and Shia-led governments” is a consequence, a product, an effect, if you will, of an “incapacity” by those elites “to attempt to understand Shi’ism”. In other words, they bash it because they do not have the capacity to understand it. No evidence was provided to support this causal link.

In the essay before you, I assert precisely the opposite and provide empirical as well as logical evidence that demonstrate the demonization and demeaning of Shia and Shia-led governments is because those elites understand EXACTLY what Shia is all about. I would go even further and explain, with evidence, what core elements about Shia make those so-called elites so scared and horrified that they have little choice but to continue their demonization campaign against Shia. Before filling these two very tall orders, however, it would be useful to first discuss and respond to several key points raised in Pepe Escobar’s article as a prelude to the essay itself.

Firstly, the article upholds there is a “congenital incapacity of US elites to attempt to understand Shi’ism.”  To the best of our knowledge, there is no congenital (present at birth) defects that adversely predisposes anyone to be incapable of understanding Shia. Nor is there any evidence of any genetic disorder or hereditary predisposition in the world and among people (elite or non-elite) that bars anyone from understanding Shia people and/or governments established based on the principles of Shia school of thought. If there is, we, the Shia, would like to see it.

Of course, this is not to disregard freedom and rights afforded by poetic license and/or to show that effectiveness of caricatured expressions to drive a point home are not appreciated. Rather, we do not wish to help corner anyone, not even figuratively, into any sort of inescapable trap of imagined incapacitation to understand Shia.

Secondly and with respect to “some serious academic research about the appeal of Shi’ism,” there is already a large body of serious academic research that explores and examines not only the appeal of Shia school of thought but also the essential features that make it an effective force. Indeed, these are the very evidence that when we look into and examine, we realize the animosity of the “Western elites” (with the US being its current façade and flag bearer) is not out of some misunderstanding or a random and/or institutionalized ignorance but a calculated, deliberate, and conscious malevolence. A few of these research is addressed in the essay as well.

Thirdly, regarding the suggestion for “visits to selected sacred sites across Southwest Asia: Najaf, Karbala, Mashhad, Qom and the Sayyida Zeinab shrine near Damascus,” by all means, this is an excellent advice. But those who visit should do so with an open heart in order to truly experience how it feels like to be welcomed with open arms by true patrons of those holy sites. Knowing who they are, how they lived, and what they did is paramount to gaining a better understanding about why they are so revered and avidly guarded by the Shia.

Fourthly, with respect to the statement by Dr. Marandi quoted in the article, “The American irrational hatred of Shi’ism stems from its strong sense of resisting injustice,” more needs to be said. It is true that resisting oppression and aggression, fighting against injustice, and defending those who are oppressed in the world are all core beliefs in Shia school of thought. Also, it is true that we have living examples of martyrs who sacrificed everything they had for their belief. However, that is neither the whole story nor unique only to Shia. There are other schools of thought that might be engaged in similar efforts but are not demonized as Shia is. Not only that, some of those ideologies are even propped up, by these very elites, as examples to follow in Shia’s stead and to even fight Shia. Since I am familiar with Dr. Marandi’s work, I presume the above statement may have been extracted from a much larger and more comprehensive context and explanation.

Fifthly, with regard to Blake Archer Williams’ argument titled, A Reaction from Tehran to the Martyrdom of General Qāsem Soleymānī,” it is evident that he provided his real-time reaction to the news of the martyrdom of Shahid Sardar Soleymani in that essay. An analytical response to the question posed to him at a time when he is not in the midst of grieving will certainly produce a more cogent and focused response. Nevertheless, he wrote, “So the role of the politician in democracies seems not to be to try to understand anything but simply carry out the agenda of the elites who own them.” This is a fair assessment of the referenced politicians. However, it does not directly answer the reasons behind a serious aversion of their elite handlers and the barrage of sustained multi-pronged attacks against Shia. The answer is somewhat hidden within layers elsewhere in the article in a reference to the history of the West and Muslim interactions in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Furthermore, martyrdom is cited as a key deciding factor. Yes, martyrdom, by its very nature and design, makes things easier for Shia to fight and resist earnestly and robustly. At the same time, it makes it costlier for the oppressors to regress further into their corrupt and criminal ways. But martyrdom explains only one part, albeit a critical part, of Shia’s effectiveness. It does not explain the full picture. And it does not explain it as cause for adamant aversion demonstrated by US elites against Shia.

Lastly, regarding Princess Vittoria who “would rather frame the debate around the unquestioning American attitude towards Wahhabism” and stating she does not think “this has anything to do with hating Shi’ism or ignoring it,” for the sake of clarity, I must first state that Wahhabism to Islam is what homosexuality is to nature: an anomaly and a deviance. Full stop. Without sustained propaganda and active support by the West to shove either of them as anything legitimate down people’s throat, neither will see the light of the day and neither will amount to anything more than arbitrary aberrations meant to be expelled.

Therefore I found it odd that real origin of Wahhabism, both as an ideological tool and as a movement, which was adopted and perfected by Western elites, particularly Britain, to counter Islam and Muslims is overlooked. Given that Shia is (and has been) on the top of the Wahhabies’ hit list, based on what logic it could then be deducted that this has nothing to do with Shia? Here, too, I imagine extraction of a few lines out of a much larger context might have made the statement a curious one.

As for “Iranian revolution and Shia groups in the Middle East are today the only successful force of resistance to the US, and that causes them to be hated more than others. But only after all other Sunni opponents had been disposed of, killed, terrified (just think of Algeria, but there are dozens of other examples) or corrupted.” The point is well taken but it raises two more serious questions: 1) What made Shia the only successful force of resistance (thus the target of severe hatred. as asserted)? 2) What made the other Sunni opponents so disposable, terrified, and corrupt? The answer to these two questions, too, are addressed in this essay.

With this brief forward, we attend to main aims of the essay. One is to show so-called US elites demonize and demean Shia and Shia-led governments because they understand EXACTLY what Shia is. And the second is to answer the question of what the absolute essential elements of Shia are that make those so-called elites so horrified that they have no other choice but to continue their demonization campaign against Shia. We begin attending to the two aims using a few relevant examples in recent history.

In November 1891, Seyyed Mohammad Hassan Husayni Nouri Shirazi, better known as Mirzaye Shirazi, issued a short fatwa which simply read:

“Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim, On this day, use of tobacco and tobacco products in any way and shape is equivalent to a war with Imam-e Zaman (May God Hasten his return).”[1]

Handwritten Fatwa by Mirzaye Shirazi regarding Tobacco Prohibition

This seemingly simple line began what is now known as “Tobacco Movement” in Iran. Immediately following the distribution of that fatwa among the public, the people of Iran burnt and destroyed any and all tobacco products and any related paraphernalia. The fatwa, in effect, made null and void a series of concessions made in secret by then corrupt king, Naseriddin Shah Ghajar, to the British company, Talbot. The concessions had given Britain the exclusive rights to everything that had anything to do with tobacco in Iran for a period of fifty years. In exchange, Naseriddin Shah would receive an insignificant sum which itself was to be used to pay back for an extortionate loan the king had received from Britain for his decadence and wasteful indulgences. All these at the expense of the Iranian nation.

Plenty of archived documents, books, and articles are produced in English around this movement.[2,3,4] A simple search in the literature using relevant key words produces hundreds of documents dating back to the beginning of the movement in 19th Century. Everything including the roles played by the clergy, the merchants, the devout Shia population, the women of the royal court, westoxicated[5] intellectuals[6], and more is studied by academic and not-so-academic centers in Britain, France, US, and others in the West. It would take a unique form of tenacity to flip through page after pages of these documents and not admit that the West knows what Shia is all about.

From our side of the hedge, it is evident that Iranians, especially the clergy, knew what challenges would follow. In his memoires, Ayatullah Seyyed Hasan Modarres (1871-1937), revered scholar and Mujtahid, wrote,[7]

“When I went to Najaf, I visited Mirzaye Shirazi who was in Samerah. I told him the story of our triumph over the tobacco event. I saw signs of worry appeared on his face. He remained silent and tears began rolling down his face. I was surprised by his reaction. I had expected to make him happy with that news. When I asked him about it, he said, ‘Now, the malevolent powers and enemies of Islam realize where the main power of this nation and the focal point of Shia movements’ strength is. I am now seriously worried about the future of the Islamic nation.” [Page 138]

Ayatullah Modarres further wrote about the dynamic interplay between the role of the people and the role of ulama (pious and learned scholars of Islam and Quran) and in bringing about an effective outcome,

“Mirza’s fatwa was a flame that was set in caches of gunpowder hidden deeply within the hearts of the Iranian people. If these hearts were not filled with such gunpowder, a piece of paper with a few broken lines written with a faded ink could not have possibly produced such blazing flames.”[8]

Elsewhere he wrote,

“The tobacco event was like a canon fired at dawn. It awakened an astute nation from its slumber and informed people that a relentless quake must follow. The masses of people had not been informed of the depth of the matter but they felt the danger since they trusted their ulama. So, they mobilized and followed them.”[9]

Tobacco movement, or Nehzat_e Tanbakoo as it is called in Iran, and what transpired thereafter were only an exercise and a practice run for the next nehzat (movement), Nehzat_e Mashrooteh, or Constitutional Movement[10] of 1906. The pivotal role ulama played in this movement, too, is well studied —indubitably more by the outsiders than by the insiders. Those interested could do a literature search and find plenty of sources to keep them busy for months. A note of caution though, the framing of various research in this area to examine the role various groups played (like any other research in the world) often betrays the hidden agenda of those who financed the research for exploitative purposes. Therefore, it is important to “follow the money” as part of your overall assessment of any document. Beware, as well, that they often pull “a Harvard”[11] or “a Reuters”[12] and the actual sources of funding may be kept hidden for decades.

Notable clerical figures[13] in the constitutional movement included Sheykh Fazullah Nouri, Akhound Khorasani, Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani, Hasan Modarres, and Seyyed Muhammad Tabatabei. The clergy, again, played a critical role in informing, mobilizing, and leading the masses in support of the constitutional movement. The basic rationale was that anything that limits the power of corrupt kings and cuts off the hands of foreign powers is a positive step forward.

However, once the clergy and believing people realized the influence of Western agents and their operatives, secular and westoxicated intellectuals in drafting the constitution, they began their open defiance.[14] Every single one of the cleric directly involved in the constitutional were killed.

Late Imam Khomeini (God rest his soul) in a couple of his speeches dissected this tragedy as follows,

“In the constitutional [movement] they saw one or a few mulla in Najaf, a few turban-headed mulla in Tehran turned the foundation of tyrannical and despotic rulers upside down and established constitutional limits. Here, those who opposed did not sit still. They were active, too. If we were to tell the story, it gets really long. But about this very constitutional limits, Sheykh Fazullah Nouri (God rest his soul) stood up and said, ‘the constitution must be based on the rule of God. The rules must agree with Islamic rules.’ At the same time as he was saying these things, he also worked on the addendum to the constitution. That was his efforts, too. His opponents and the foreigners, when they saw such power in the clergy they pulled such tricks that, in Iran, Sheykh Fazlullah who was a Mujahid and high status Mujtahid, they fabricated a show trial and they put a deviant cleric look-alike to try and convict him. Then they hanged him in the middle of Tupkhaneh and in the presence of a large crowd.”[15]

“You gentlemen have all heard about the constitutional period. A bunch of people did not want Islam to have any power in this country. And they were after turning the situation to their own advantage. They poisoned the atmosphere so much that someone like late Agha Sheykh Fazlullah who was a notable figure in Iran then, and was favored, they made such a poisonous atmosphere that they hanged him in the middle of a square and some stood around and clapped. This was a plot to cast aside Islam. And they did. After that, the constitution was not the sort of constitution that the ulama in Najaf wanted. Even the subject of late Agha Sheykh Fazlullah was portrayed in such a distorted way that not even a peep came out of there [Najaf]. This climate they created in Iran and elsewhere, this climate facilitated Agha Sheykh Fazullah’s conviction in the hands of some of these very clerics of Iran itself. Then they brought him into the middle of the square and hanged him. Then, they stood and clapped. They struck a blow against Islam at that time. And people were heedless. And even the ulama were heedless.”[16]

A series of similar movements that followed could be presented, dissected, and examined at length. The Iranian oil nationalization movement in 1951 to cut off the British hand[17, 18], for example, in which Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, then elected prime minister, was able to bring about (though it was very short lived) again with the help of very influential clerics such as Ayatullah Seyyed Abulghasem Kashani, Ayatullah Vaez-Zadeh Khorasani, Ayatullah Mohammad Taqi Khansari, and more who rallied the masses of people behind him. Once Mossadegh succeeded, however, he and his secular cabinet became too trusting of and too lenient toward another foreign power, the US. The coup d’etat of 1953 (Operation Ajax) by the US, followed by the Iranian Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954[19] gave foreign companies 40% of Iranian oil, effectively replaced Britain by the US as the master of the Pahlavi regime followed by decades of killing, imprisonment, torture, and sending to exile of thousands of people.

Imam Khomeini’s speeches in June 1963 and the uprisings that followed, his powerful speech in 1964 and the movement by the religious scholars, his exile that year and unrelenting struggles that led to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, have all been well examined and documented.

Finally, a fully functioning Islamic Republic based on tenets of Shia Islam was established thanks to two significant factors: 1) An active, aware, fearless, and devout Shia community ready to receive the message of its believing, pious, wise, and brave religious leaders; 2) An active, aware, fearless, and pious imam and leader. Article 1 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran confirms the establishment of an Islamic system of government based on “Iranian Nations’ long lasting belief in Quran’s authority in Truth and Justice following a victorious revolution under the leadership of eminent source of emulation, Grand Ayatullah Imam Khomeini.”[20]

Article 2 of the constitution clearly spells out the 5 pillars (primary principles) of Shia Islam and the responsibility of the Shia community as follows,

“Islamic Republic is a system based on a belief in:

  1. The Oneness of God (there is no god but God), the Governance and Laws belong to Him, the necessity to submit to God’s laws [Tawhid];
  2. The revelations and the essential role they play in describing the laws [Nubuwwah, or Prophethood];
  3. Mi’ad [The Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, Return of everything to God] and its constructive role in propelling human evolution toward God;
  4. God’s Justice [Adl] in all creations and rules;
  5. Imammat (the guardianship of infallible Imams) and uninterrupted leadership of the pious and their role in the continuation of the Islamic Revolution;
  6. Human dignity, human excellence, and liberty integrated with responsibility before God by means of: a) ongoing scholarship by the learned and fully qualified Faqih based on the Book and the tradition of the infallibles (God’s Peace be upon them all); b) use of science, technology, and progressive human experiences and struggle to move them forward; c) defiance of all oppressors, tyrants, and any form of oppression, and establishment of justice, equity, and independence in political, economic, social, cultural, and that which ensures national unity.”[21]

On March 21, 1979, nearly 98.2% of eligible voters in Iran said “yes” to an Islamic Republic. After 40 years, 9 months, and 13 days of sustained, relentless, and unparalleled multifaceted military, economic, and media attacks by so-called elites of the West, tens of millions of people poured into streets to mourn one of their most beloved soldiers of God. Why? Because he heard the commands of his wise and pious leader, his devoted wali, Seyyed Ali, and he obeyed in upholding the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the end. We congratulate and envy his martyrdom.

So, what is so special about this constitution? A lot but we will focus on what is more relevant to this essay. It contains the answer to the question why “24/7 demonization, demeaning not only Shias by also Shia-led governments by so-called US elites” that was posed by Pepe Escobar.

The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran says the leadership, the governance, the imamat, if you will, the guardianship of the people and nations of the world and their affairs cannot be and must not be entrusted to anyone other than pious, righteous, non-corrupt, just, wise, learned, fearless, and selfless leaders. For Shia, it would be an Imam. In his absence, his rightful Nayib or vice-Imam, the one who most closely resembles him in piety of thoughts, words, and deeds.

The so-called elites would have had nothing to fear if Shia, too, accepted any corrupt, depraved, and sinful jester as their leader and the guardian of their affairs. Only if Shia could have been a normal community and satisfied with the choice between bad, worse, ugly, or the lesser evils. أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْـطانِ الرَّجيـم (I seek refuge in God from the accursed Satan).


[1] Najafi M (1398). “Andisheh-ye Siasi dar Nehzat-haye Islami Tariq Mo’aser Iran” (Political Thoughts in Islamic Movements of Contemporary History of Iran). Special Collection No. 12On the Occasion of the 1st of Jamadi ul-Awal, the Anniversary of the Issuance of Fatwa in Prohibition of Tobacco. Available online at: http://moaser.iki.ac.ir/book/export/html/339

[2] Gillard D, Bourne K, Watt DC (1985). Great Britain Foreign Office. British documents on foreign affairs. Reports and papers from the Foreign Office confidential print. Part I, From the mid-nineteenth century to the First World War. Series B, The Near and Middle East, 1856-1914. Vol. 13: Persia, Britain and Russia, 1886-1907. Vol. 14: Persia, Britain and Russia, 1907-1914. University Publications of America.

[3] Keddie NR (1966). Religion and Rebellion in Iran: The Tobacco Protest of 1891-1892. Frank Cass & CO Ltd. Publisher. ISBN:071461971X, 9780714619712.

[4] Oxford Dictionary of Islam (2020). “Tobacco Protest (Iran): 1891 – 92.” Available online at: http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e2389

[5] Westoxification is a term used as a translation of the term “Gharbzadegi” coined by Iranian scholar, Jalal Al-e Ahmad in his well know book by the same name.

[6] Mahmoodi K & Jelodar ES (2011). “Orientalized from Within: Modernity and Modern Anti-Imperial Iranian Intellectual Gharbzadegi and the Roots of Mental Wretchedness.” Canadian Center for Science and Education. doi:10.5539/ach.v3n2p19. Available online at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272693398_Orientalized_from_Within_Modernity_and_Modern_Anti-Imperial_Iranian_Intellectual_Gharbzadegi_and_the_Roots_of_Mental_Wretchedness

[7] Najafi M, Isfahani Karbalaei H, and Ja’afarian R (1373 HS), Sade-ye Tahrim-e Tanbakoo (The Century of the Prohibition of Tobacco), In Persian. 1st Edition. Amir Kabir Publishing. Tehran, Iran.

[8] Ibid. Page 130.

[9] Ibid. Page 139.

[10] Oxford Islamic Studies Online (2020). “Constitutional Revolution (Iran).” Available online at: http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e450

[11] Camila Domonoske (2016). “50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat.” National Public Radio, September 13, 2016. Available online at: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493739074/50-years-ago-sugar-industry-quietly-paid-scientists-to-point-blame-at-fat

[12] Guy Falconbridge (2020). “Britain secretly funded Reuters in 1960s and 1970s: documents.” Reuters, January 13, 2020. Available online at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-media/britain-secretly-funded-reuters-in-1960s-and-1970s-documents-idUSKBN1ZC20H

[13] Hermann D (2012). “Akhund Khurasani and the Iranian Constitutional Movement.” Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 49(3): 430-453.

[14] Shirkhani A & Rezaei M (1390 HS). Naqsh_e Rohaniat dar Enghelab Mashrouteh (The Role of the Clergy in the Constitutional Movement). Islamic Revolution Studies, Summer 1390. In Persian. Available online at: http://ensani.ir/file/download/article/20120419195128-8054-21.pdf

[15] Sahifeye Noor, Collection of speeches, messages, interviews, decrees, religious permits, and letters by Imam Khomeini. Vol. 13, Page 175.

[16] Sahifeye Noor, Collection of speeches, messages, interviews, decrees, religious permits, and letters by Imam Khomeini. Vol. 18, Page 181.

[17] Keesing’s Record of World Events (formerly Keesing’s Contemporary Archives), Volume VIII, July, 1951 Persia, Iranian, Page 11569 © 1931-2006 Keesing’s Worldwide, LLC -All Rights Reserved. Available online at: http://web.stanford.edu/group/tomzgroup/pmwiki/uploads/3195-1951-07-Keesings-a-OEP.pdf

[18] International Court of Justice Reports of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Case (United Kingdom v. Iran) Preliminary Objection judgment of Jul 22nd, 1952. Available online at: https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/16/016-19520722-JUD-01-00-EN.pdf

[19] Heiss MA (1994). “The United States, Great Britain, and the Creation of the Iranian Oil Consortium, 1953-1954.” The International History Review, 16(3): 511-535. Taylor & Francis, Ltd. Publishing.

[20] Fathi M & Koohi Isfehani K (Editors.). Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran with Commentaries and Interpretation by Guardian Council (1359-1396). Guardian Council Research Center, Tehran. 1397. Article 1, Page 14. Available online at: https://www.shora-gc.ir/files/fa/news/1398/9/21/4354_236.pdf

[21] Ibid. Article 2, Page 14.

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