The new Warsaw pact… but now against Iran حلف وارسو الجديد… لكن ضدّ إيران

The new Warsaw pact… but now against Iran

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The US Secretary of State wants to restore the image of a strong alliance “Warsaw Pact” which was the capital of Poland during the days of the Soviet Union by announcing an alliance that focused on Iran from the same capital, accompanied with a meeting in the middle of the next month during his tour in the region with the determination of the administration of the US President Donald Trump to prevent turning Yemen and Syria into another Lebanon according to Saudi Arabia and Israel. He tries to hide the mission which he talked about by saying that the efforts of all in the Middle East must be united against Iran, without mentioning the magical word which will be uttered at Warsaw Conference “the Saudi-Israeli alliance”.

Many countries will be invited as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Morocco, and some Latin American countries, but with the comparison with the Conference of Friends of Syria groups sponsored by Washington in 2012 to overthrow the Syrian country and which included all the European countries and most of the Arab countries, and Islamic countries as Indonesia, Turkey and Pakistan, where Israel was absent to ensure its success, Warsaw Pact will not be important because it will express the size of decline of the US influence not only in the region but also in the world. It is enough to notice the absence of the European allies of America and its partners in the NATO at their forefront Turkey. Therefore, the attendance will be restricted on marginal countries that cannot wage confrontations against Iran. Therefore, the conference will have one function; to crowd Washington’s Arab allies with Israel for confronting Iran and the forces of resistance.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jayad Zarif commented on the conference by publishing a photo that shows the participants in the Summit of Peacemakers-Sharm al-Sheikh 1996 for peace process in the Middle East and the fight against terrorism. It included former presidents as Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, Hosni Mubarak, and Shimon Peres; it was dedicated to confront Iran and the forces of the resistance. Zarif wrote under that photo “”Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last U.S. anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced, or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever.”

Pompeo may not pay attention that it is the first time the Arab anti-resistance rulers met the leaders of the occupation entity in the same conference, and he did not pay attention that the meeting 1996 was a presidential summit that will not be available in Warsaw Conference which will be held at the level of foreign ministers. Because the weakness and the regression of America, the Arab rulers, and Israel are enough to interpret the expectations of its abject failure, especially because what is revealed by the call to the conference is contrary to every speech; the inability to progress in any path that ends the Palestinian cause which the Americans betted on the deal of century to end it through a Palestinian partnership provided by the Arabs who are loyal to America. So this led to a radical change in the balances of the region. Therefore, the conference is recognition of despair of the success of the new formulas which remained targets without realistic roadmap.

Warsaw Conference will end and will not reap better results than Sharm Al-Sheikh summit 1996 or the Friends of Syria 2012 conference, since its attendances are the least and the situation of America and the participants is even weaker than before.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

حلف وارسو الجديد… لكن ضدّ إيران 

يناير 14, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– في استعارة للمكان يريد وزير الخارجية الأميركية أن يلعب على الذاكرة باستعادة صورة حلف شديد القوة كان يحمل اسم حلف وارسو عاصمة بولندا أيام الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، بالإعلان عن حلف يستهدف مواجهة إيران من العاصمة نفسها ليحمل الاسم نفسه، حلف وارسو، متوجاً بالدعوة للاجتماع المفترض منتصف الشهر المقبل زيارته للمنطقة التي ملأها كلاماً عن حزم وعزم إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب على منع تحول اليمن وسورية إلى لبنان آخر بالنسبة لكل من السعودية و«إسرائيل»، مخفياً المهمة التي تحدث عنها بالتلميح بقوله إنه يجب توحيد جهود الجميع في الشرق الأوسط بوجه إيران، دون أن يلفظ الكلمة السحرية التي ستظلل مؤتمر وارسو، وهي الحلف السعودي الإسرائيلي.

– بالنظر للدعوات التي وجهت والتي ستوجه، والتي طالت مصر والسعودية والبحرين والإمارات والمغرب، وما قد يعقبها من دعوات لبعض دول أميركا اللاتينية، والمقارنة مع مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية الذي رعته واشنطن عام 2012، لتنسيق الجهود لإسقاط الدولة السورية، والذي ضم كل الدول الأوروبية وأغلب الدول العربية، وغابت عنه إسرائيل لضمان نجاحه، ودول إسلامية وازنة كأندونيسيا وتركيا وباكستان، سيبدو مؤتمر وارسو هزيلاً، وتعبيراً عن حجم التراجع في النفوذ الأميركي ليس في المنطقة فقط، بل وفي العالم، حيث سيكون كافياً غياب حلفاء أميركا الأوروبيين، وشركائها الكبار في حلف الأطلسي وفي مقدمتهم مع الدول الأوروبية تركيا، وسيكون الحضور لدول هامشية في القدرة على خوض المواجهات المؤثرة على إيران، ويصبح للمؤتمر وظيفة واحدة، أن يكون الشكل الوحيد المتاح لحشد يضم حلفاء واشنطن من العرب مع «إسرائيل» لمهمة مشتركة عنوانها مواجهة إيران وقوى المقاومة.

– علّق وزير الخارجية الإيرانية محمد جواد ظريف على المؤتمر بنشر صورة تظهر المشاركين في القمة الدولية بشأن التسوية الشرق الأوسطية ومحاربة الإرهاب والتي عقدت في شرم الشيخ المصرية عام 1996، بمن فيهم الرؤساء السابقون للولايات المتحدة بيل كلينتون وروسيا بوريس يلتسين ومصر حسني مبارك و«إسرائيل» شيمون بيريز، والتي خصصت يومها لمواجهة إيران وقوى المقاومة، وكتب ظريف تحت تلك الصورة: «أذكّر مَن سيستضيف وسيشارك في المؤتمر ضد إيران: هؤلاء الذين حضروا العرض الأميركي الأخير الموجّه ضد إيران إما ماتوا أو وُصموا بالعار أو هُمّشوا، في وقت أصبحت فيه إيران أقوى من أي وقت مضى».

– لم ينتبه بومبيو ربما إلى أنها ليست المرة التي يجتمع فيها الحكام العرب المعادون للمقاومة في مؤتمر واحد مع قادة كيان الاحتلال، بل لم ينتبه ربما إلى أن اجتماع العام 1996 كان قمة رئاسية، لن تتاح لمؤتمر وارسو، الذي سيعقد على مستوى وزراء خارجية، وأن ما تغير من يومها إلى يومنا هذا من ضعف وتراجع في حال أميركا وحال الحكام العرب وحال «إسرائيل»، كافٍ لتفسير التوقعات كيف سيكون الفشل مضاعفاً قياساً بالفشل السابق، خصوصاً أن أهم ما تكشفه الدعوة للمؤتمر هو خلافاً لكل كلام آخر، العجز عن السير قدماً بجدية في مسار ينتهي بحل القضية الفلسطينية التي راهن الأميركيون على صفقة القرن لإنهائها بشراكة فلسطينية يؤمنها عرب أميركا، لينتج عن المشهد الجديد تغيير جذري في توازنات المنطقة، فيأتي المؤتمر عودة للصيغ التقليدية اعترافاً باليأس من نجاح الصيغ الجديدة التي بقيت أهدافاً بلا خريطة طريق واقعية لتحقيقها.

– سينتهي مؤتمر وارسو، ولن يحصد نتائج أفضل من قمة شرم الشيخ عام 1996 ولا من مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية 2012، وهو أشد هزالاً من كل منهما على مستوى الحضور، وحال أميركا والمشاركين أشد هزالاً مما كانت في الحالتين.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Advertisements

Thanks to Martyr Omar, Treacherous Arabs Blatantly Exposed

March 20, 2019

Capture

Mohammad Salami

As a number of Arab regimes have been flocking to perform their political pilgrimage in Tel Aviv, bowing their heads to the Zion-American master, a Palestinian teenager screamed in the darkness to poke and remind the Umma that liberating the occupied lands and regaining the national rights is always possible and obligatory.

In Warsaw conference held last month, the representatives of a large number of Arab regimes surrounded the Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed their readiness to cooperate with ‘Israel’, underscoring its “right to protect its security”.

The long speeches of the Arab politicians at the various meetings and summits failed to liberate any inch of the occupied Palestinian territories.

A 19-year-old man decided to move in reverse of the direction of the treacherous Arabs’ river on its West Bank. Omar Abu Leila wanted to let his martyrdom be the example of patriotism, nationalism and faith.

Omar resorted on Sunday to only a knife to stab and kill an Israeli soldier and seize his gun before shooting dead a rabbi as well as settler and injuring a number of others.

The martyr, described as “Rambo” by Israeli settlers, was on Tuesday night killed by the Zionist occupation forces in Ramallah where he was out.

Media reports mentioned also that the martyr had clashed with the Israeli occupation forces before he embraced martyrdom.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in one of his speeches called on the Palestinians to launch just stab attacks against the Zionist soldiers and settlers in order to shake the occupation entity’s security.

Martyr Omar presented a shiny example of the Palestinian might which challenges the power imbalance with the Zionist entity and blatantly exposed the treacherous Arabs who claim that the military track in confronting the enemy is fruitless.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

Related Videos

Related News

What does Europe want from Cairo Conference? ماذا تريد أوروبا من مؤتمر شرم الشيخ؟

 What does Europe want from Cairo Conference?

مارس 18, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The Arab-European summit has been arranged by Arab initiatives, but it translated a European decision that expressed the threats resulted from the chaos that threatens the Mediterranean Basin, and the resulting consequences on the European security. This is after the summit which brought together the Arabs and the Europeans a year ago in the Dead Sea, in which they suggested to fix a regular Arab-European summit. Therefore, Egypt hosted the first summit.

The Europeans observe the Arab inability of abiding by the high rhetoric and political American ceilings practically whether regarding what is related to the future of the American visions of the Palestinian cause or the future of the relationships with Iran. The American positions coinciding with the decisions of the withdrawal are being implemented slowly and have Israeli ceilings. The Arabs did not find the basis that enables them to follow especially regarding the deal of the century which will end with the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. The Arabs failed in finding a Palestinian partner who provides the coverage to apply the American options.

The Europeans know that the adoption of Washington of its high ceilinged options towards the Palestinian cause and Iran which coincides with the decision of the withdrawal from the region spreading among Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan will lead to a chaos in this big geographical basin, moreover, the undisputable conflicts will turn into an open environment of confrontation among the fighters and will weaken the idea of the state and stability, furthermore, it will create a high level of security comfort  in which the terrorism becomes more rooted and the immigrants will increase.

The Europeans do not dare to think of building an alliance as Washington wants despite the emergence of such an Arab-European summit which its holding has been coincided with Warsaw Conference in which the European leaderships were absent. Therefore, Cairo Summit which was without America, but with the presence of the same partners of Warsaw to discuss the same issues seemed as a response to Warsaw, while what the Europeans want is to find a framework for America’s allies who were affected by its risky behavior, to deal with it without leaving America which threatens all due to the presence in Warsaw and Cairo summits.

The summit which was not attended by the French President or the German Chancellor in order to prevent provoking the American anger is an attempt to seek stability by the American who decided to deal with its allies, their interests, and stability carelessly. It is a simple attempt to draw Arab or European policy without affecting America as the way of Charles de Gaulle and Gamal Abdul Nasser, and to announce an independent decision and policy on the basis that; such of this geographic basin in the old countries world forms a geopolitical and geo-economic unity.

The rising of the American imprudence and the impasse alone can revive this summit and turn it into a salvation way accepted by Washington in such a state of aggravation of the inability. Perhaps Europe is waiting for this moment in a way that does not provoke Washington.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ماذا تريد أوروبا من مؤتمر شرم الشيخ؟

فبراير 25, 2019

ناصر قنديل

لا ينتظر البحث في القمة العربية الأوروبية من زاوية التفكير بمبادرات يقف الحكام العرب وراءها بحسابات التأثير في رسم المعادلات الدولية والإقليمية، والتحكم بمسارات ما يُكتب لهم من وراء البحار. فالقمة تمّت بدعوة عربية لكن ترجمة لقرار أوروبي جاء تعبيراً عن الشعور بالمخاطر التي تختزنها الفوضى التي تهدّد حوض البحر المتوسط وما ينعكس عنها من نتائج على الأمن الأوروبي، وذلك بعد قمة جمعت العرب والأوروبيين قبل عام في البحر الميت، واقترحوا خلالها تثبيت قمة دورية عربية أوروبية، وتولّت مصر استضافة القمة الأولى.

يراقب الأوروبيون العجز العربي عن السير بالسقوف الأميركية العالية كلامياً وسياسياً، والمعدومة القدرة والأدوات عملياً ومادياً، سواء ما يتصل بمستقبل الرؤى الأميركية للقضية الفلسطينية أو بمستقبل العلاقات بإيران، حيث المواقف الأميركية المتزامنة مع قرارات بالانسحاب تطبَّق على البارد، تتبنى سقوفاً إسرائيلية، لم ينجح العرب الراغبون بالسير بها في إيجاد الأرضية التي تمكنهم من مجاراتها، خصوصاً في ما يخصّ صفقة القرن التي تنتهي بتثبيت احتلال «إسرائيل» للقدس، وقد فشل العرب بإيجاد شريك فلسطيني يقدّم التغطية لتمرير الخيارات الأميركية.

يعرف الأوروبيون أن مضي واشنطن بالسير بخياراتها العالية السقوف تجاه القضية الفلسطينية وإيران، بالتزامن مع خيار مرادف يجري تثبيته هو الانسحاب من المنطقة الممتدة بين أضلاع مثلث سورية واليمن وأفغانستان، سينتج خلال سنوات درجة أعلى من الفوضى في هذا الحوض الجغرافي الكبير الذي يتوسطه العرب، وستتحوّل الصراعات غير القابلة للحسم بيئة مفتوحة على توازن سلبي بين المتقابلين في ساحات المواجهة، تضعف فكرة الدولة والاستقرار، وتنشئ قدراً عالياً من السيولة الأمنية، يتجذر فيها الإرهاب ويكثر منها النازحون.

لا يجرؤ الأوروبيون على التفكير ببناء حلف موازٍ لما تريده واشنطن، رغم ظهور القمة العربية الأوروبية بهذه الصيغة لتزامن انعقادها مع مؤتمر وارسو الفاشل الذي غابت عنه القيادات الأوروبية، فجاءت قمة شرم الشيخ بدون أميركا وبحضور شركاء وارسو ذاتهم بحضور أوروبي لمناقشة المواضيع ذاتها كأنها رد على وارسو، بينما الذي يريده الأوروبيون هو إيجاد إطار لحلفاء أميركا المتضررين من رعونتها لتنسيق كيفية التعامل مع نتاج هذه الرعونة، من دون الانعتاق من الحبل الأميركي الذي يطبق على رقاب الجميع من حضور وارسو وشرم الشيخ.

القمة التي غاب عنها الرئيس الفرنسي والمستشارة الألمانية منعاً لوقوعها في مكان يستثير الغضب الأميركي محاولة لاستجداء الاستقرار من الأميركي، الذي قرّر بوعي أنه يتعامل مع حلفاء لا يقيم لهم ولمصالحهم ولاستقرار بلدانهم أي اعتبار، محاولة خجولة لرسم سياسة عربية أوروبية، يخشى أصحابها رفع الصوت بوجه الأميركي على طريقة شارل ديغول وجمال عبد الناصر، والإعلان عن قرار مستقل وسياسة مستقلة، على قاعدة أن هذا الحوض الجغرافي لدول العالم القديم يشكل وحدة جيوسياسية وجيواقتصادية، يعرف أصحابها مصالحهم، وطالما قرّر الأميركي مغادرتها، فأهلها أقدر على إدارتها، وأعلم بمصالحها.

تصاعد الرعونة الأميركية والطريق المسدود بوجهها وحدهما قد يتكفلان ببث الروح في هذه القمة وتحوّلها خشبة خلاص ترتضيها واشنطن في لحظة تفاقم العجز، وربما تكون أوروبا تنتظر هذه اللحظة ببرود لا يستفز واشنطن قبل الأوان.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Trump Is Barreling Toward War with Iran, Congress Must Act To Stop

By Tom Udall, Richard J. Durbin**, The Washington Post

Sixteen years after the US invasion of Iraq, we are again barreling toward another unnecessary conflict in the Middle East based on faulty and misleading logic.

The Trump administration’s Iran policy, built on the ashes of the failed Iraq strategy, is pushing us to take military action aimed at regime change in Tehran. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past, and Congress must act urgently to ensure that.

Similar to the George W. Bush administration’s justification for the war in Iraq, the Trump administration has presented the false narratives that Iran is not meeting its obligations under the nuclear deal, and that it is somehow partially responsible for the rise of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] in Syria. It’s true that the leaders of Iran are deeply problematic. But if this were enough to justify war, other regimes in the region would also be in the United States’ crosshairs, instead of being recipients of US military aid.

On the heels of the recent Middle East summit in Warsaw, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no effort to hide their intentions. “You can’t achieve stability in the Middle East without confronting Iran,” Pompeo said. “It’s just not possible.” Netanyahu remarked that the participating nations were “sitting down together with ‘Israel’ in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

The Trump administration has also been attempting to create a strong link between al-Qaeda and Iran — based on vague suggestions, but no hard evidence. There is speculation that administration officials are considering striking Iranian territory or its proxies, using the al-Qaeda narrative to claim legal authority for military action under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force — the same authorization used to launch the Afghanistan war, now in its 18th year.

Before we embark on another irresponsible and costly war, we have the benefit of hindsight. We must heed the lessons of history, and Congress must exercise its constitutional authority to counter the president’s reckless march toward war with Iran. Congress alone has the authority to declare war — not the president. Congress must make clear to the president that the United States will not enter another conflict in the Middle East without its approval. It is up to Congress to end the growing threat of a national security calamity, return our country to diplomacy and rebuild international trust in US foreign policy.

That’s a tall order. While Iran is no innocent actor, the Trump administration’s policies and pronouncements have only increased tensions in the region. Ever since President Trump churlishly withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, the president has engaged in saber-rattling rhetoric meant to accelerate hostility. Today, the United States stands alone in breach of the agreement, bullying friends and foes alike with threats and sanctions. The lasting damage to our global standing has left us isolated with little opportunity to lead.

Nowhere was this new reality more evident than at the Warsaw summit. The gathering accomplished little of substance but did expose mounting frustrations among the international community with the Trump administration’s unilateral policymaking approach. In a sign of Trump’s waning influence abroad, key members of the Iran nuclear deal — including France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China — sent junior diplomats or did not participate, despite the attendance of both Pompeo and Vice President Pence.

The administration’s foreign policy apparatus is steered by two committed advocates of virtually unchecked interventionism. First, there is Pompeo, whose belligerent speech after the US withdrawal from the Iran deal was a thinly veiled attempt to set the stage for military action.

Second, there is national security adviser John Bolton, a far-right proponent of regime change who, for years, has been clamoring to go to war with Iran. Their machinations have empowered Trump’s most dangerous instincts even as he attempts to draw down US forces from Afghanistan and Syria. In 2002, President George W. Bush got congressional approval for the Iraq War, but Trump and his cadre of hawkish advisers are now inching us closer to an illegal war without constitutional authority or backing from the UN Security Council.

That’s why we plan to soon reintroduce draft legislation by a bipartisan group of senators that would restrict any funds from being spent on an unconstitutional attack against Iran. Our Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act would rebuke Iran while affirming congressional war powers and preventing the president from dragging us into another needless conflict.

Unless we demand that Congress act immediately and decisively to block the president’s path to war, we will be doomed to repeat the mistakes of our past. Once again, we would all pay the price.

**Tom Udall, a Democrat, represents New Mexico in the US Senate. Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat, represents Illinois in the US Senate.

PHILIP GIRALDI: “ATTACKING IRAN”

Written by Philip Giraldi; Originally appeared at The Unz Review

Observers of developments in the Middle East have long taken it as a given that the United States and Israel are seeking for an excuse to attack Iran. The recently terminated conference in Warsaw had that objective, which was clearly expressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it failed to rally European and Middle Eastern states to support the cause. On the contrary, there was strong sentiment coming from Europe in particular that normalizing relations with Iran within the context of the 2015 multi party nuclear agreement is the preferred way to go both to avoid a major war and to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

Philip Giraldi: "Attacking Iran"

There are foundations in Washington, all closely linked to Israel and its lobby in the U.S., that are wholly dedicated to making the case for war against Iran. They seek pretexts in various dark corners, including claims that Iran is cheating on its nuclear program, that it is developing ballistic missiles that will enable it to deliver its secret nuclear warheads onto targets in Europe and even the United States, that it is an oppressive, dictatorial government that must be subjected to regime change to liberate the Iranian people and give them democracy, and, most stridently, that is provoking and supporting wars and threats against U.S. allies all throughout the Middle East.

Dissecting the claims about Iran, one might reasonably counter that rigorous inspections by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirm that Tehran has no nuclear weapons program, a view that is supported by the U.S. intelligence community in its recent Worldwide Threat Assessment. Beyond that, Iran’s limited missile program can be regarded as largely defensive given the constant threats from Israel and the U.S. and one might well accept that the removal of the Iranian government is a task best suited for the Iranian people, not delivered through military intervention by a foreign power that has been starving the country through economic warfare. And as for provoking wars in the Middle East, look to the United States and Israel, not Iran.

So the hawks in Washington, by which one means National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, apparently President Donald Trump himself when the subject is Iran, have been somewhat frustrated by the lack of a clear casus belli to hang their war on. No doubt prodded by Netanyahu, they have apparently revived an old story to give them what they want, even going so far as to develop an argument that would justify an attack on Iran without a declaration of war while also lacking any imminent threat from Tehran to justify a preemptive strike.

What may be the new Iran policy was recently outlined in a Washington Times article, which unfortunately has received relatively little attention from either the media, the punditry or from the few policymakers themselves who have intermittently been mildly critical of Washington’s propensity to strike first and think about it afterwards.

The article is entitled “Exclusive: Iran-al Qaeda alliance May Provide Legal Rationale for U.S. military strikes.” The article’s main points should be taken seriously by anyone concerned over what is about to unfold in the Persian Gulf because it is not just the usual fluff emanating from the hubris-induced meanderings of some think tank, though it does include some of that. It also cites government officials by name and others who are not named but are clearly in the administration.

As an ex-CIA case officer who worked on the Iran target for a number of years, I was shocked when I read the Times’ article, primarily because it sounded like a repeat of the fabricated intelligence that was used against both Iraq and Iran in 2001 through 2003. It is based on the premise that war with Iran is desirable for the United States and, acting behind the scenes, Israel, so it is therefore necessary to come up with an excuse to start it. As the threat of terrorism is always a good tactic to convince the American public that something must be done, that is what the article tries to do and it is particularly discouraging to read as it appears to reflect opinion in the White House.

As I have been writing quite critically about the CIA and the Middle East for a number of years, I am accustomed to considerable push-back from former colleagues. But in this case, the calls and emails I received from former intelligence officers who shared my experience of the Middle East and had read the article went strongly the other way, condemning the use of both fake and contrived intelligence to start another unnecessary war.

The article states that Iran is supporting al Qaeda by providing money, weapons and sanctuary across the Middle East to enable it to undertake new terrorist attacks. It is doing so in spite of ideological differences because of a common enemy: the United States. Per the article and its sources, this connivance has now “evolved into an unacceptable global security threat” with the White House intent on “establishing a potential legal justification for military strikes against Iran or its proxies.”

One might reasonably ask why the United States cares if Iran is helping al Qaeda as both are already enemies who are lying on the Made in U.S.A. chopping block waiting for the ax to fall. The reason lies in the Authorization to Use Military Force, originally drafted post 9/11 to provide a legal fig leaf to pursue al Qaeda worldwide, but since modified to permit also going after “associated groups.” If Iran is plausibly an associated group then President Trump and his band of self-righteous maniacs egged on by Netanyahu can declare “bombs away Mr. Ayatollah.” And if Israel is involved, there will be a full benediction coming from Congress and the media. So is this administration both capable and willing to start a major war based on bullshit? You betcha!

The Times suggests how it all works as follows: “Congressional and legal sources say the law may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies should President Trump decide that Tehran poses a looming threat to the U.S. or Israel and that economic sanctions are not strong enough to neutralize the threat.” The paper does not bother to explain what might constitute a “looming threat” to the United States from puny Iran but it is enough to note that Israel, as usual, is right in the middle of everything and, exercising its option of perpetual victim-hood, it is apparently threatened in spite of its nuclear arsenal and overwhelming regional military superiority guaranteed by act of the U.S. Congress.

Curiously, though several cited administration officials wedded to the hard-line against Iran because it is alleged to be the “world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” were willing to provide their opinions on the Iran-al Qaeda axis, the authors of the recent Worldwide Threat Assessment issued by the intelligence community apparently have never heard of it. The State Department meanwhile sees an Iranian pipeline moving al Qaeda’s men and money to targets in central and south Asia, though that assessment hardly jives with the fact that the only recent major attack attributed to al Qaeda was carried out on February 13th in southeastern Iran against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a bombing that killed 27 guardsmen.

The State annual threat assessment also particularly condemns Iran for funding groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are, not coincidentally, enemies of Israel who would care less about “threatening” the United States but for the fact that it is constantly meddling in the Middle East on behalf of the Jewish state.

And when in doubt, the authors of the article went to “old reliable,” the leading neocon think tank the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, which, by the way, works closely with the Israeli government and never, ever has criticized the state of democracy in Israel. One of its spokesmen was quick off the mark: ““The Trump administration is right to focus on Tehran’s full range of malign activities, and that should include a focus on Tehran’s long-standing support for al Qaeda.”

Indeed, the one expert cited in the Times story who actually is an expert and examined original documents rather than reeling off approved government and think tank talking points contradicted the Iran-al Qaeda narrative. “Nelly Lahoud, a former terrorism analyst at the U.S. Military Academy and now a New America Foundation fellow, was one of the first to review documents seized from bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan. She wrote in an analysis for the Atlantic Council this fall that the bin Laden files revealed a deep strain of skepticism and hostility toward the Iranian regime, mixed with a recognition by al Qaeda leaders of the need to avoid a complete break with Tehran. In none of the documents, which date from 2004 to just days before bin Laden’s death, ‘did I find references pointing to collaboration between al Qaeda and Iran to carry out terrorism,’ she concluded.”

So going after Iran is the name of the game even if the al Qaeda story is basically untrue. The stakes are high and whatever has to be produced, deduced or fabricated to justify a war is fair game. Iran and terrorism? Perfect. Let’s try that one out because, after all, invading Iran will be a cakewalk and the people will be in the streets cheering our tanks as they roll by. What could possibly go wrong?

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

Former French diplomat to ST: ‘ME Stability’ from U.S. viewpoint includes the neutralization of Syria as long as it is not possible to destroy it

Source

The former French diplomat Prof. Michel Raimbaud has argued that it is very difficult to envisage a fighting alliance between the Gulf States with Israel and US against Iran, making clear that ‘Middle East’ stability from U.S viewpoint means the safety for Israel, the eradication of Iran and Hezbollah and the neutralization of Syria as long as it was not possible to destroy the country.

The professor’s remarks were made during an interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper about Warsaw Conference, Israeli-Gulf relations and France’s clash with U.S. over Iran nuclear deal.

Following is the full text of the interview:

ST-Why the US Administration has failed to get the world on board with Washington’s tough-on-Iran policy?

Prof. Raimbaud : Let’s note at first that this Warsaw Conference was competing with two important international meetings liable to attract the attention of observers and public opinions: the Munich Security Conference 2019, that is the annual meeting of the Western World enlarged to other Powers as China and Russia…and the tripartite Summit gathering in Sotchi around Vladimir Poutine the Presidents of Iran and Turkey about the Syrian conflict.

Anyway, the so-called spectacular performance that was shown on TV screens or delivered to the public or the World at large was remarkable indeed as it brought to the fore several discordant points:

The relative weakness of the reply to US invitation to the Warsaw Conference: about sixty States had been called, but much fewer came (it is very difficult to know exactly how many ones attended).

We must note the absence of some important countries. Iran was not invited, as being the target against which the Summit had been convened, Turkey was apparently represented by its ambassador to Poland, Russia and China having refused to participate. Iraq and Lebanon abstained, according to some reports.

It is obvious that many States were represented at a fairly low diplomatic level, for example the Ambassadors posted in Warsaw. This was the case with most of the European “partners” or guests that were underrepresented, as a mark of opposition or blame to the main purpose of the conference: to promote a holy alliance against Iran, for instance through America making pressure to bear on the European countries in order to incite them to withdraw from the Nuclear Treaty.

On the other hand, and by contrast, this discretion brought out the strong presence and overzealousness of the Gulf countries, including the envoy of Yemen. But we can take note of the low profile of countries such as Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, nevertheless anxious not to clash head-on with their US “partner”.

Israel, the great feeder of the obsession about Iran, was represented at the top level, one of the most prominent figures starring in the show being indisputably the Prime Minister Netanyahou who behaved as the Host, to the great satisfaction of the two Mikes, Pence and Pompeo.

But finally, the US administration has failed to reach the main goal of the conference: to mobilize the World around their tough-on policy. No common position against Iran, no reference to the fight or a War against the Islamic Republic and no final official statement.

ST-What does the open meeting between Israel and Gulf States reflect? Why has Israel unmasked its covert relations with Gulf States at this time??

Prof. Raimbaud: The meeting that took place in Warsaw was not a real innovation. But the fact of being an open meeting was doubtlessly something new. In fact, if there was somewhere a real success inside the whole Summit, it is to be attributed to Netanyahou, the Israeli Prime Minister. After all, two Arab States of the region have diplomatic relations with Israel, and it is common knowledge that the Gulf countries have been maintaining for some time semi-secret but well-known contacts and relations with the former “Zionist enemy”.

But it is sure that the show will strongly help Netanyahou to be re-elected in the forthcoming poll.

Having in mind the very special relationship between Washington and Israel that is the real “Beating Heart of America”, it is not far-fetched to imagine that this point was enough for Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo to consider the Summit as a big achievement: for the first time, the Israeli Head of Government was openly sitting in company of a team of Arab foreign ministers around the same table, in the same room, under the coverage of medias, and they apparently were very proud of their boldness and performance, laying it on thick, rivaling each other in kindness and thoughtfulness towards their new friend. For instance the Bahraini Minister affirmed that of course Iran was the threat number one for Arabs, and this was more important than the Palestinian cause…The Yemeni minister was also fairly effusive…

The whole operation looks like a trap for the Arabs, aiming at compromising them with Israel and making a routine out of this new relation.

ST- What can Gulf States do with Israel and US against Iran?

Prof. Raimbaud: In my opinion, it seems very difficult to envisage a fighting alliance between the Gulf States with Israel and US against Iran for various reasons related to geographical situation, religion, immigration. Let’s not forget at first that Gulf countries and Iran are very close neighbors, facing each other from both shores of the Oman Gulf and Persian Gulf.

Regardless of its conflict with the “Gulf Cooperation Council” Member-States, Qatar is duly condemned to maintain good and active relations with Iran, as far as it shares with this powerful neighbor a common huge gas-field that is the main source of its providential wealth. As to Oman, it was a tradition to nurse a wise and peaceful relationship with Iran, to make a distance with Saudi Arabia and to keep a specific go-between role in what regards the relationship of the Gulf countries and Iran. The Emirates, specially Dubai, welcomes hundreds of thousands of active Iranians… It is well known that most of the Bahraini population is Shiite as well as a strong minority in Kuwait. As a result, and even though the GCC was created in order to counter Iran, we might hardly imagine those countries waging a serious war against Iran. As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, I strongly doubt that the Saudi Kingdom could think of starting a War against Iran, given that the Saudi leadership must surely have drawn the harsh lessons of the still ongoing conflict and the military disaster in Yemen.

The fact of fighting alongside with US and Israel wouldn’t help, the populations feeding a very lukewarm sympathy for those two countries irrespective of their kings and princes feelings.

ST-What is the meaning of Middle East stability’ from the viewpoint of U.S. and its allies?

Prof. Raimbaud: At first, we must take into account the real meaning of the words being used today in the political and diplomatic language of US and, to some extent, US proxies. As an example, if we take for granted that the expression “Friends of the Syrian People” refers exactly to the whole group of the enemies of Syria, that the so-called “Rogue States” are those resisting the American and western “Rogue Rule”, that democratization and Human Rights are a mere pretext for destabilizing the countries where the regimes are considered as unsuitable to Washington and Israel views, it is quite clear that “Middle East Stability” means to say instability and disorder.

From this view point,” stability “means the safety and quietness for Israel, the eradication of Iran presence in the region, the eradication of Hezbollah and the neutralization of Syria as long as it was not possible to destroy the country or change the “regime”. Last but not least, the Middle East stability includes the leadership of the Gulf countries and Co, and their alliance along with Israel, under the supervision of America.

The creation of Israel is commonly considered by many analysts, historians and thinkers as a destabilizing event that occurred in the Middle East in the twentieth century. Many experts and commentators agree about the fact that this State, created by the “international community” but violating endlessly and restlessly all the rules of the international law, all the Security Council resolutions, became and remains the major destabilization stronghold in the Middle East at large and beyond. In those conditions, how to consider Israel as a stabilizing pole?

At the same time, many observers and analysts do think that America has become and remains – more and more – one of the main sources of instability in the World, including of course in the Middle East. Having in mind the exhibition of some high-ranking western representatives or ministers, speaking at the Security Council, we must say that the allies of US can hardly be accounted for their sense of responsibility in what regards the stability in any part of the World.

To sum up the question, to call a meeting on “stability” in this context and with such actors, sounds like a flash of humor.

ST-Why does France reject to withdraw from Iran nuclear deal??

Prof. Raimbaud : France is not the only party rejecting the idea to withdraw from the Nuclear Treaty. In fact four (out of six) of the Iran partners in the aforesaid Treaty do refuse (China, Russia, Germany, France). In 2015, the French authorities “inspired” by Fabius (the previous Foreign Minister) had been fairly reluctant to sign for various reasons I won’t elaborate here, but they found no other way out…There are strong economic reasons linked to US former pressures and sanctions that exasperated the French government, and the deep misunderstanding prevailing between Trump’s administration and many European governments. Some people will refer to the respect of international law and treaties, but there is no doubt that European governments, usually very tolerant to the abuses of power from the US, have finally come to the conclusion that “too much is too much”.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

Britain’s Role In The Aggression On Yemen: From Arming To Recruiting Fighters

Ali Al-Dorwani

Following nearly a four-decades-long hiatus from the Yemeni arena – more specifically since the British occupation left South Yemen as a result of the October 1963 Revolution – Britain has returned to play a major role in the war against the Yemeni people. This is a war that has destroyed everything and set Yemen back decades. Britain’s role was most evident at the UN Security Council.

In recent months and days, it has become evident that Britain is not only the chief author of Yemen resolutions at the Security Council, including 2216 through to 2452, but also a key partner in the aggression against the war-torn country and one of the most important pillars of the Quartet along with Saudi Arabia, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

This British position was clearly confirmed by the UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s latest statements stressing the continuation of what he called the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia to deal with the war in Yemen.  This in addition to the spike in British rhetoric on Yemen, which refers to the involvement of London and its interference in all Yemeni political and military affairs as well as other issues.

Looking at Hunt’s recently declared positions in addition to the statements he made after the Warsaw Conference and the Quartet meeting, it is clear that these moves are highly suspicious and raise serious questions about what the Quartet – headed by Britain – is planning for Yemen and its people, especially after trying to paint a different picture of Yemen and its people in Warsaw. That picture refers to the director of the Warsaw summit deciding to seat Yemen between the US, represented by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the “Israeli” entity, represented by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Although these statements are in stark contrast to the atmosphere of optimism promoted by the United Nations and its envoy to Yemen, they also coincide with the insistence of the London government to continue supplying Riyadh and Abu Dhabi with deadly weapons that have killed thousands of women and children while destroying Yemeni infrastructure. British and European organizations active in the field of human rights and anti-arms trade repeatedly called for a halt to this armament, which brings shame to the UK government. Repeated calls.

Britain did not stop here. On the contrary, it even attempted to try and influence Berlin to abandon its decision to prevent licenses to supply weapons to Riyadh. The German magazine Der Spiegel revealed deep British concern regarding the impact of the German decision on the British and European defense industries. The magazine reported the concerns of Britain’s foreign secretary over British companies failing to meet several contracts with Saudi Arabia, including a new model of Eurofighter Typhoon or Tornado fighter jets, one of the most prominent aircraft used to kill civilians in Yemen.

In the same context, new information revealed the depth of the British involvement in the aggression against Yemen. The British newspaper Daily Express reported that two British soldiers from SAS battalions, one of the most dangerous forces in the world, were injured in Yemen. They were part of a team of twelve British troops deployed in a top-secret mission to the war-torn country alongside a unit of the US green berets.

These facts and revelations further unveil the nature of the quadripartite aggression on Yemen, which enters its fifth year in nearly a month. Thus, it refers to the real objectives behind it. These positions also refute all the justifications that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have given for the past four years.

On the other hand, the people of Yemen are aware of the scale of the conspiracy surrounding them. They also recognize the steadfastness of the heroes of the army and the popular committees and the righteousness of the stance towards this aggression, the motives of which and the gravity of its objectives are being uncovered day after day.

%d bloggers like this: