Sochi probes the Utopia of a multipolar world

October 20, 2021

Sochi probes the Utopia of a multipolar world

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

The annual Valdai Club meeting has always been positioned as absolutely essential when it comes to understanding the non-stop movement of geopolitical tectonic plates across Eurasia.

The ongoing 18th meeting in Sochi once again lives up to expectations. The overall theme is Global Shake-Up in the 21st Century: The Individual, Values, and the State. It expands on the theme of a “crumbling world” that Valdai had been analyzing since 2018: as the organizers highlight, this “has ceased to be a metaphor and turned into a palpable reality before our own eyes.”

Framing the discussions in Sochi, Valdai released two intriguing reports capable of offering prime food for thought especially for the Global South: The Age of the Pandemic: Year Two. The Future is Back, and History, to be Continued: The Utopia of a Diverse World.

The “Future is Back” concept essentially means that, after the Covid-19 shock, the notion of a linear one-sided future, complete with “progress” defined as globalized democracy enshrining the “end of history”, is dead and buried.

Globalization, as framed by neoliberalism, proved to be finite.

The slide towards medical totalitarianism and the trappings of a maximum security penitentiary are self-evident. As some Valdai participants noted, Foucault’s concept of “biopower” is no longer abstract philosophy.

The first session in Sochi went a long way in terms of framing our current predicament, starting with how the current – incandescent – US-China clash is unfolding.

Thomas Graham, from the Council on Foreign Relations – the conceptual matrix of the US establishment – recited the proverbial “indispensable nation” platitudes and how it’s “prepared to defend Taiwan”, even as he admitted “the Biden administration is still articulating its policy”.

It was up to Zhou Bo, from the Center for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University, to ask the hard questions: if the US and China are in competition, “how far are we from conflict?” He stressed “cooperation” instead of a slide into confrontation; yet China “will cooperate from a position of strength.”

Zhou Bo also clarified how Beijing is “not interested in bipolarity”, in terms of China “replacing the USSR during the Cold War”: after all, “China is not competing with the US elsewhere in the world.” Yet even as “the center of gravity is moving irreversibly to the East”, he admitted the current situation “is more dangerous than during the Cold War.”

Surveying the global chessboard, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim stressed “the absurdity of the UN Security Council deciding even matters related to the pandemic.” Amorim voiced one of the Global South’s key demands: the “need for a new institutional framework. The closer we get would be the G-20 – a little more African, a little less European.” This G-20 would command the authority the current UNSC lacks.

So Amorim had to tie it all to the centrality of inequality: his quip about “coming from a forgotten region”, Latin America, was very much on point. He also had to stress, “we didn’t want a Pax Americana”. A real, “concrete step” towards multipolarity would be “a big conference” which could be led by this “modified G-20.”

Togtbaatar Damdin, a Member of the Parliament of Mongolia, as he evoked “my great great great grandfather”, Genghis Khan, and how he built “that huge empire and called it Pax Mongolica”, focused on what matters to the here and now: “peaceful trade and economic integration in Greater Eurasia”. Damdin stressed, “we [Mongolians] no longer believe in war. It’s much more profitable to be involved in trade.”

A constant theme in this and other Valdai sessions has been Hybrid War and Shadow War, the new imperial instruments deployed against parts of Latin America, the “Greater Middle East” and Russia-China, in contrast to “a transparent system under the rule of law – and kept by international law”, as noted by Oksana Sinyavskaya from the Institute for Social Policy at the Higher School of Economics.

The discussions in Sochi essentially focused on the twilight of the current hegemonic socio-economic system – essentially neoliberalism; the crisis of alliance systems – as in the rot within NATO; and the toxic confluence of Hybrid War and the pandemic – stressing billions of people. An inevitable conclusion: the current dysfunctional international system in incapable of dealing with crisis management.

Enter rock star Lavrov

In the roundtable presenting the Valdai report on Year Two of the Age of Pandemic, Thomas Gomart, a director of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), stressed how hard it still is to analyze the geopolitics of data. With the Chinese privileging the concept of “ecological civilization”, questions of technological monitoring – as in how social credit is framed – are now on the forefront.

And as we delve deeper into “invisible wars” – Gomart’s own terminology – we face a toxic convergence of environmental degradation and hyper-concentration of digital platforms.

Gomart also made two crucial points that escape many analyses across the Global South: Washington has decided to remain the primus inter pares, and won’t abdicate from this position no matter what. This is happening even as Global Capital – heavily slanted towards the US – wants to find the new China.

That set the stage for Nelson Wong, the Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Center for RimPac Strategic and International Studies, to diplomatically shatter Divide and Rule tactics, and the US obsession with a zero-sum game. Wong stressed how China “does not hold a hostile attitude towards the US”; its aim is a “peaceful rise”.

But most significantly, Wong made sure that “the post-pandemic world will not be determined by the outcome of the confrontation between the US and China, or by splitting the world into two competing camps.” This hopeful perspective implies the Global South will eventually have its say – aligned with Amorim’s proposal of a tweaked G-20.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov could not but shine as the Valdai rock star, during a special Q%A session.

The Valdai discussions in Sochi significantly take place just as Moscow decided to suspend the work of its mission to NATO from November 1, and close the NATO information office in Moscow. Lavrov had already stressed that Russia no longer pretends that changes in the relationship with NATO are possible in the near future: from now on, if they want to talk, they should contact the Russian ambassador to Belgium.

So one of the questions at Sochi had to revolve on whether Moscow should expect NATO to take the first step to improve relations. Lavrov had, once again, to repeat the obvious: “Yes, we proceed from this. We have never started the deterioration of our relations with NATO, the European Union, or any other country in the West or any other region of the world. Everyone knows this story well. When Saakashvili in August 2008 gave the criminal order to bomb the city of Tskhinval and the positions of peacekeepers (including Russian ones), Russia insisted on convening the Russia-NATO Council to consider this situation. The then US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice categorically refused, although when creating the Russia-NATO Council, the Founding Act emphasized that it should act in any “weather”, especially when crisis situations occur. This is one example that marked the beginning of the current state of affairs between the US and NATO.”

So Russia has established the new game in (Atlanticist) town: we only talk to the masters, and ignore the lackeys. As for NATO now geared to create “capabilities” to be used against China, the Global South may collectively engage in rolls of laughter – considering the fresh NATO humiliation in Afghanistan.

With the inevitability of a EU more and more geoeconomically intertwined with China, dysfunctional NATO at best may keep on prowling as a bunch of zombie rabid dogs. Now that’s a Utopia theme for Valdai 2022.

Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

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“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Who Really Runs the Middle East?

September 25, 2021

Who Really Runs the Middle East?

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

Afghanistan is on many people’s minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others for deep concern, and then there are those who think it an utter disaster that justifies foreign re-entry.

Most of the western concern arises out of 9/11 and the Taliban’s supposed connection to this through Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, however, as Scott Ritter (who was the lead analyst for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade on the Soviet war in Afghanistan) wrote:

The entire Afghan conflict must be examined considering this reality – everything is a lie. Every battle, every campaign, every contract written and implemented – everything was founded in a lie…

Admiral McRaven, when speaking of the operation to kill Bin Laden, noted that there wasn’t anything fundamentally special about that mission in terms of the tactics. ‘I think that night we ran 11 or 12 [other] missions in Afghanistan,’ McRaven noted. Clearly there was a military focus beyond simply killing Bin Laden. It was secretive work, reportedly involving the assassination of Taliban members, that often resulted in innocent civilians beings killed.

It should be noted that, as of 2019, McRaven believed that this kind of special operations activity should be continued in Afghanistan for years to come. So much for the US mission in Afghanistan being defined by the death of Bin Laden. The mission had become death, and the careers that were defined by those deaths.

The fact is the war in Afghanistan did not need to be fought. We could have ended the threat posed by Bin Laden simply by negotiating with the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, providing the evidence we claimed to have linking Bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Any student of Afghanistan worth their salt knows the fundamental importance of honor that is enshrined in the concepts of Pashtunwali, the unwritten ethical code that defines the traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun people. If, as we claimed, Bin Laden carried out an attack on women and children while he was living under the protection of Pashtunwali, then his dishonor is that of the Pashtun tribes. To clear their honor, they would seek justice – in this case, evicting Bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan.

In fact, the Taliban made precisely this offer.

For America, however, this would have been an unsatisfying result. We needed blood, not justice, and we sent our troops to Afghanistan to stack bodies, which they did, in prodigious numbers. Most of these bodies were Taliban. We excused this by claiming the Taliban were providing safe haven to Bin Laden, and as such were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Which was a lie.

Scott Ritter (who was a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from ’91-98) had also played a leading role in bringing to the public’s attention the lies told to justify the illegal war in Iraq, which was based off of cooked British intelligence.

It was not just based on the illusion of “justice,” there was a deeper and much more disturbing agenda under the patriotic trumpet blaring.

In this light, Afghanistan is indeed an incredible American “failure,” not only in failing to install their puppet government; it has also failed the American people, however, not in the way most are talking about.

The 20 year, some say occupancy others say terrorizing, of Afghanistan, is estimated at $1-2 trillion. This is only for the case of Afghanistan, it does not account for the total cost thus far of the War on Terror. Such extravagant spending with really nothing to show for it but destruction, the slaughter of innocents, instability and chaos; you would think the United States must be a very rich country to afford such a budget with no clear goal or objective. Instead, what we find is that the American economy is tanking and the living standard is plummeting, while drug use and overdose rates are sky-rocketing and suicide is among the top causes of death in the United States, especially among their youth.

What is going on here? Have the Americans gone mad? Or is there something much much more sinister afoot?

This situation cannot just be explained away as incompetence or the money-making business of war, or even the crazed end-of-world ideologies of neo-conservatives or Zionists, although these are all major factors.

The reason for this is because there has been something operating within the Middle East for much longer, it is even the reason why we call the Middle East and the Far East by such a name, it is the reason for why many countries in this region have the boundaries they do, and was the originator of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

It is also found at the center of the origin and funding of Islamic terrorism as we see in its modern form today.

Whose “Arab Awakening”?

The renunciation will not be easy. Jewish hopes have been raised to such a pitch that the non-fulfilment of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine will cause intense disillusionment and bitterness. The manifold proofs of public spirit and of capacity to endure hardships and face danger in the building up of the national home are there to testify to the devotion with which a large section of the Jewish people cherish the Zionist ideal. And it would be an act of further cruelty to the Jews to disappoint those hopes if there existed some way of satisfying them, that did not involve cruelty to another people. But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.” [emphasis added]

– the concluding paragraph of George Antonius’ “The Arab Awakening” (1938), graduate from Cambridge University, civil servant in the British Mandate of Palestine

Much of what is responsible for the war and havoc in the Middle East today has the British orchestrated so-called “Arab Awakening” to thank, led by characters such as E.G. Browne, St. John Philby, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, and Gertrude Bell. Although its origins go as far back as the 19th century, it was only until the early 20th century, that the British were able to reap significant results from its long harvest.

The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, had been, to the detriment of the Arab people, a British led rebellion. The British claimed that their sole interest in the affair was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and had given their word that these Arab territories would be freed and allowed independence if they agreed to rebel, in large part led and directed by the British.

It is a rather predictable feature of the British to lie and double cross and thus it should be of no surprise to anyone that their intentions were quite the opposite of what they had promised and thanks to the Sykes-Picot Russian leak, were revealed in their entire shameful glory.

Once the Arab Revolt was “won” against the Ottoman Empire, instead of the promised Arab independence, the Middle East was carved up into zones of influence under British and French colonial rule. Puppet monarchies were created in regions that were considered not under direct colonial subjugation in order to continue the illusion that Arabs remained in charge of sacred regions such as Mecca and Medina.

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In central Arabia, Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the puppet leader of the Arab Revolt laid claim to the title Caliph in 1924, which his rival Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud rejected and declared war, defeating the Hashemites. Hussein (British Cairo Office favourite) abdicated and Ibn Saud (British India Office favourite), was proclaimed King of Hejaz and Najd in 1926, which led to the founding of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Al Saud (House of Saud) warriors of Wahhabism were a formidable strike force that the British believed would help London gain control of the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal (under the heavy tutelage of T.E. Lawrence, Cairo Office) was bestowed as King of Iraq and Hussein’s other son, Abdullah I was established as the Emir of Transjordan until a negotiated legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate occurred in 1946, whereupon he was crowned King of Jordan.

While the British were promising Arab independence they simultaneously were promising a homeland in Palestine to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917 states:

“His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

Palestine had been seized by the British during the so-called “Arab Revolt” on December 11th, 1917 when General Allenby marched into Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and declared martial law over the city. Palestine has remained occupied ever since.

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Britain would receive the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations in July 1922.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing thousands of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire. In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

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The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel’s “prescription” and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police.

Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947. Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

“We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.”

– Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

In 1869, a man named Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the intellectual founder of the Salafiyya movement, went to India where British led colonial authorities welcomed him with honors and graciously escorted him aboard a government owned vessel on an all-expenses paid voyage to the Suez. [1]

In Cairo he was adopted by the Egyptian prime minister Riad Pasha, a notorious enemy of the emerging nationalist movement in Egypt. Pasha persuaded Afghani to stay in Egypt and allowed him to take up residence in Cairo’s 900 year old Al Azhar mosque considered the center of Islamic learning worldwide, where he received lodging and a monthly government stipend (paid for by the British).[2]

While Egypt was fighting its nationalist fight from 1879-1882, Afghani and his chief disciple Muhammad Abduh travelled together first to Paris and then to Britain, it was in Britain that they would make a proposal for a pan-Islamic alliance among Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan against Czarist Russia.[3]

What Afghani was proposing to the British was that they provide aid and resources to support his formation of a militant Islam sect that would favour Britain’s interest in the Middle East, in other words, Afghani was offering to fight Islam with Islam to service British interests, having stated in one of his works “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.[4]

Although it is said that the British refused this offer, this is not likely considering the support Afghani would receive in creating the intellectual foundation for a pan-Islamic movement with British patronage and the support of England’s leading orientalist E.G. Browne, the godfather of twentieth century Orientalism and teacher of St John Philby and T.E. Lawrence.

E.G. Browne would make sure the work of Afghani would continue long beyond his death by lionising him in his 1910 “The Persian Revolution,” considered an authoritative history of the time.

In 1888, Abduh, the chief disciple of Afghani, would return to Egypt in triumph with the full support of the representatives of her Majesty’s imperial force and took the first of several positions in Cairo, openly casting his lot with Lord Cromer, who was the symbol of British imperialism in Egypt.

Abduh would found, with the hold of London’s Egyptian proconsul Evelyn Baring (aka Lord Cromer) who was the scion of the enormously powerful banking clan (Barings Bank) under the city of London, the Salafiyya movement.[5]

Abduh had attached himself to the British rulers of Egypt and created the cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood which dominated the militant Islamic right throughout the twentieth century.

In 1899, Abduh reached the pinnacle of his power and influence, and was named mufti of Egypt.

***

In 1902, Riyadh fell to Ibn Saud and it was during this period that Ibn Saud established the fearsome Ikhwan (translated as “brotherhood”). From the 1920s onward, the new Saudi state merged its Wahhabi orthodoxy with the Salafiyya movement (which would be organised into the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928).

William Shakespear, a famed British agent, forged the first formal treaty between England and Saudi Arabia which was signed in 1915, which bound London and Arabia for years before Saudi Arabia became a country. “It formally recognized Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of the Nejd and its Dependencies under British protection. In return, Ibn Saud undertook to follow British advice.[6]

Harry St. John Bridger Philby, a British operative schooled by E.G. Browne and father to the legendary triple agent Kim Philby, would succeed Shakespear as Great Britain’s liaison to Ibn Saud under the British India Office, the friendly rival of the Cairo Arab Bureau office which was sponsoring T.E. Lawrence of Arabia.

In Egypt 1928, Hassan al-Banna (a follower of Afghani and Abduh) founded the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), the organization that would change the course of history in the twentieth century Middle East.

Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood was established with a grant from England’s Suez Canal Company[7] and from that point on, British diplomats and intelligence service, along with the British puppet King Farouq would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a truncheon against Egypt’s nationalists and later against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. (For more on this refer to my paper.)

To get the Muslim Brotherhood off the ground, the Suez Canal Company helped Banna build the mosque in Ismailia that would serve as its headquarters and base of operation.[8] The fact that Banna created the organization in Ismailia is itself worthy of note. For England, the Suez Canal was the indispensable route to its prize possession, India, and in 1928 the town Ismailia happened to house not only the company’s offices but a major British military base built during WWI. It was also, in the 1920s a center of pro-British sentiment in Egypt.

In the post-WWI world, England reigned supreme, the flag of the British Empire was everywhere from the Mediterranean to India. A new generation of kings and potentates ruled over British dominated colonies, mandates, vassal states, and semi-independent fiefdoms in Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan and Persia. To varying degrees those monarchies were beholden to London.

In the half century between 1875 and 1925 the building blocks of the militant Islamic right were cemented in place by the British Empire.

Islamic Banking Made in Geneva/London

Islamic banking [that is the banking system dominated presently by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States] was born in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia and then spread to the far corners of the Muslim world. Eventually the Islamic banking movement became a vehicle not only for exporting political Islam but for sponsoring violence. However, Islamic banking did not get off the ground on its own, as Ibrahim Warde (a renowned scholar of international finance) explains in his book “Islamic Finance in the Global Economy,” Islamic banking:

operates more out of London, Geneva, or the Bahamas than it does out of Jeddah, Karachi or Cairo…Ideologically, both liberalism and economic Islam were driven by their common opposition to socialism and economic dirigisme…Even Islamic Republics have on occasion openly embraced neo-liberalism…In Sudan, between 1992 and the end of 1993, Economics Minister Abdul Rahim Hamdi – a disciple of Milton Friedman and incidentally a former Islamic banker in London – did not hesitate to implement the harshest free-market remedies dictated by the International Monetary Fund. He said he was committed to transforming the heretofore statist economy ‘according to free-market rules, because this is how an Islamic economy should function.’ ” [emphasis added]

Perhaps the best case study to this phenomenon is the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

BCCI was an international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. A decade after opening, BCCI had over 400 branches in 78 countries in excess of $20 billion USD, making it the seventh largest private bank in the world.

In the 1980s investigations into BCCI led to the discovery of its involvement in massive money laundering and other financial crimes, and that the BCCI had illegally and secretly gained the control of a major American bank, First American, according to Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA) who had been investigating the bank for over two years.

BCCI was also to be found guilty for illegally buying another American bank, the Independence Bank of Los Angeles, using a Saudi businessman Ghaith Paraon as the puppet owner. The American depositors lost most of their money when BCCI was forced to foreclose since it was essentially operating a Ponzi scheme to fund illegal activity of all sorts.

According to Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald’s book “The Valediction”:

Afghanistan offered the opportunity for BCCI to migrate the lucrative heroin business from Southeast Asia [Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam] to the Pakistani/Afghan border under the cover of destabilization. President Carter supported Brzezinski’s provocations into Soviet territory from the minute they got into the White House. He then sanctioned Brzezinski’s plan to use Afghanistan to lure the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam and lied to the public about it when they fell into the trap on December 27, 1979.

…The destabilization kills three birds with one stone. It weakens the Soviets…It acts as a cover for moving the heroin business out of Vietnam/Laos and Cambodia to a safe haven on the Pakistan frontier with Afghanistan – a trade that propped up the British Empire financially for over a hundred years.

…Afghan drug dealer and CIA asset Gulbuddin Hekmatyar…[then organizes] a deal with the renegade gangster, Afghan prime minister, and possible CIA asset Hafizullah Amin…to make Kabul the center of the world heroin trade…pays for the off-the-books operation with drug money brought in by Hekmatyar and laundered through a Pakistani bank…known as BCCI. Everything goes smoothly until the new US Ambassador Adolph Dubs launches a campaign against the destabilization…

US Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated, just seven months after taking his post, under an extremely suspect situation, on February 14, 1979, to which Gould and Fitzgerald do a superb investigation of, as well as what really happened in Afghanistan in 1979, in their book “The Valediction.

Investigators in the United States and the UK determined that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.[9]

This is an incredibly sophisticated operation, and interestingly, uses the very same methods that the City of London has been using for centuries and presently operates to a diabolical perfection today. There is no way that a solo Pakistani financier, even if he was financed by the Sheik of Abu Dhabi, could rise in less than a decade, operating on the turf of ancient banking channels that go back several centuries, to rise to become the seventh largest bank in the netherworld of finance without a little help from the big boys.

On July 29th, 1991, a Manhattan grand jury indicted BCCI on twelve accounts of fraud, money laundering and larceny. Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA), who was in charge of the investigation, has described BCCI as “the largest bank fraud in world financial history.”

Through the Rabbit Hole and Out Again

Today, the actions of the United States can best be understood in the context of the Anglo-American Empire, with Wall Street operating as an extension of the ancient banking channels of the City of London and Geneva.

The disastrous foreign policy of namely Britain and the United States in the War on Terror Crusade has been exposed multiple times. That is, that the very governments who have been shouting the loudest against Islamic extremism and for stability in the Middle East, are the very ones who have been weaponising, training and funding such terrorist groupings. The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS (and all its viral variants) would not exist today if it were not for namely Britain’s age old strategy.

So what is the goal?

Well, what does any empire seek? Global domination.

In this light, the War on Terror is exposed for what it truly is. It is meant to impoverish and destroy the national sovereignty of the people, not only of the Middle East (or more accurately Southwest Asia), but as we are seeing clearly today, it has also acted as a slow blood-letting of the western people, whose economies are much weaker today than they were 20 years ago.

While western countries are increasingly unable to provide a proper standard of living, with mass unemployment, lack of healthcare, increased crime and suicide rates, and increased overdoses and homelessness, and pretty much everything you would expect to rise during a Dark Age straight out of a Goya painting, these “first-world” governments are applying further austerity measures on the people, even after prolonged lockdowns, while openly pumping trillions of dollars into wars that not only fund the destruction of entire nations, but funds the global drug, arms and sex-trafficking trade. All of this dirty money then circles back into the London-Geneva fondi, benefitting a select class that has existed and thrived for centuries on this sort of backdrop.

Nobody has benefitted from this War on Terror except the global elite.

So stop getting sucked into the same old same old lies; stop being a slave to the system and let us finally unite and stand up against the true common enemy of the people of the world.

The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/

  1. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam” 
  2. Ibid. 
  3. The proposal to London from Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was reported by a British Orientalist and author W.S. Blunt, a friend of Afghani’s. It is cited in C.C. Adams, “Islam and Modernism in Egypt.” 
  4. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam.” 
  5. Ibid. 
  6. David Holden and Richard Johns, “The House of Saud.” 
  7. Richard P. Mitchell, “The Society of the Muslim Brothers.” 
  8. Ibid. 
  9. John Kerry “The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations.” 

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

 محمد صادق الحسيني

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

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

ويقولون للعرب كما لليهود:

‏دبّروا حالكم بأنفسكم وكل واحد يقلع شوكه بأظافره…

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

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

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

‏الكيان إلى زوال إذن ولو بعد لأي.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

فلسطين ترسم إيقاع المنطقة

ناصر قنديل

  يتوهّم كثير من المسؤولين في العالم والمنطقة أن الملفات التي يقومون بنقاشها، والسياسات التي يتولون رسمها هي ما يحدد إيقاع الأحداث المقبلة، فمنهم من يعتبر العودة إلى التفاوض حول الملف النووي الإيراني الإشارة الأهم لرسم طريق الاستقرار، ومنهم يعتبر أن تفاهماً روسياً أميركياً حول سورية قد يكون التطور الذي يحكم ما عداه، ومنهم من يعطي الأولوية للحوار الجاري بين السعودية وإيران بصفته المدخل الأبرز لتغيير وجهة العلاقات السياسية وعبرها إيقاع الأحداث في المنطقة، ومنهم من ينظر لما سيلي قمة بغداد على مسار العلاقات العربية والإقليمية مع سورية باعتبارها التحول المعاكس للمسار الذي بدأ قبل عشر سنوات وتسبّب بالاضطرابات التي شهدتها المنطقة، فيغلق المسار ويعكس الاتجاه نحو استعادة التوازن والاستقرار.

كلّ ذلك مهمّ بالتأكيد لكنه يتجاهل حقيقة وجود مسار انفجاري قادم له عنوان واحد هو فلسطين، ولا يوجد ما يستطيع وقفه، وفي حال حدوثه فلا شيء سيبقى على حاله في المنطقة، والانفجار في فلسطين لا يبدو مساراً للمستقبل البعيد ولا المتوسط بل للمستقبل القريب والقريب جداً، فحال الاحتقان ترتفع كل يوم، وما يجري في انتفاضة الأسرى والتفاعل الشعبي معها قد يكون شرارة الانتفاضة المقبلة، ولا يقابلها على مستوى الإجراءات والسياسات في كيان الاحتلال إلا ما يزيد فرص الاشتعال، حيث قيادة الكيان تنطلق في سلوكها ومواقفها من انسداد سياسي وعجز عسكري يضعانها في خانة السعي لاسترضاء المستوطنين ومجموعات التطرف التي تحوّلت منذ سنوات إلى قلب صناعة السياسة وتوازنات الانتخابات في الكيان، مع ضمور وتراجع كل الجماعات الأخرى، بينما على المقابل الفلسطيني فلا ثقة بكلّ حديث عن التفاوض، ولا قبول لكل مفاعيل التنسيق الأمني، وغضب وسخط على سلوك قيادات السلطة متصاعد منذ اغتيال الناشط نزار بنات، ويقين بأنّ المواجهة هي الوصفة الوحيدة لمنع العدوان وتخفيف ثقل قبضة الاحتلال، منذ نتائج معركة سيف القدس وما ظهرته من موازين للردع، واعتقاد بأن اللحظة الدولية المتميزة بالتراجع الأميركي فرصة لا يجب تفويتها، خصوصاً بعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان، والمناخ الإقليمي يسجل صعوداً مؤكداً لصالح محور المقاومة، خصوصاً بعد التأكيدات التي قدّمتها تجربة سفن المقاومة لفك الحصار والتراجع الأميركي- «الإسرائيلي» أمامها.

لحظة الانفجار الآتية حكماً ستتكفل بصناعة اصطفافات تغير وجهة كلّ ما يمكن فعله لصناعة الاستقرار في الملفات التي يعتقد المسؤولون الحكوميون أنها بوابات السيطرة على توترات المنطقة، فلا العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي بين أميركا وإيران، ولا عودة سورية إلى الجامعة العربية، ولا علاقات جيدة بين السعودية وإيران، أو بين واشنطن وموسكو، ستحول دون انقسام المنطقة والعالم حول فلسطين، فعلى الأقلّ لن تستطيع واشنطن ترك تل أبيب تتلقى الصفعات المؤلمة وحيدة، وليس وارداً بالنسبة لطهران ودمشق مجرد التفكير بالمساومة على اللحظة التاريخية الموعودة لنهوض فلسطيني قادم، والإيقاع الذي سيفرضه الحدث الفلسطيني هو الذي يفسّر التباطؤ في الخطوات المطلوبة في المسارات التقليدية نحو الاستقرار، ذلك أن واشنطن وحلفاءها يتساءلون عما إذا كان كلّ انفتاح وتقدم في العلاقات مع محور المقاومة سيتحوّل إلى جوائز مجانية إذا انفجر المشهد الفلسطيني، وليس خافياً حجم السعي لمحاولات مقايضة أيّ تقدم في مسارات الانفتاح السياسي بالحصول على ضمانات تتصل بأمن كيان الاحتلال، بينما لا يمكن تفسير ثبات وتشدّد حكومات وقوى محور المقاومة إلا من باب الحرص على التمسك بإيصال هذه الرسائل للداخل الفلسطيني بأن فلسطين ستبقى البوصلة التي تحدد الخيارات، والتي لا تقبل المساومة.

قد تتحرّك بعض المسارات السياسية ولكن الأرجح أن بلوغها نهايات حاسمة قد لا يكون متاحاً من بوابة مفاجأة فلسطينية كبرى مقبلة، وربما تكون المنطقة وتوازناتها بحاجة لجولة مواجهة تعيد ترسيم موازين القوى كمدخل للتفاوض المقبل بعدها وليس قبلها.

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Amirabdollahian: My Top Priority Is to Cement Ties with Neighboring, Asian Countries

August 25, 2021

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Iran’s new foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian eyes a balanced and active foreign policy during his tenure.

Iran's new foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Iran’s new foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian

The new Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian pledged, in his first statement since taking office, to pursue an active and balanced foreign policy.

Amirabdollahian stated that his diplomatic policy “will be based on the principles of dignity and wisdom, seeking concord and coinciding interests with neighboring countries and Asia.”

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov congratulated Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on his winning of vote of confidence from the Iranian lawmakers to become the Iranian Foreign Minister on Wednesday.

Besides, the Iranian Parliament granted confidence today to all the proposed ministers in the upcoming government of President Ibrahim Raisi, with the exception of the minister of education. 

In a public session, the Iranian president thanked the Islamic Consultative Assembly for reviewing the qualifications of the proposed ministers, saying that this is “a display of democracy, where deputies examine the qualifications of candidates with interest and sensitivity.”

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Russian Return to the Middle East

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21 Jul 21 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Alexander Dugin

Today it is common wisdom to claim that Russia is returning to the Middle East. Some regard it with hate, the others with suspicion, the third with hope.

But before any evaluation according to interests and positions of different players and observers, we need first to clarify how Russia returns? What represents contemporary Russia on the new map of balance of world powers – especially regarding the Middle East?

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In the last 50 years, Russia has thrice changed radically its geopolitical and ideological status. During the Soviet period in the context of a bipolar world, Russia was undoubtfully a geopolitical superpower, the stronghold of Land Power, and the center of universal communist ideology, seeking to gain the mortal fight with the capitalist system, for the global control on the human societies on a planetary scale. The opposite camp – NATO States – represented geopolitically Sea Power and liberal ideology. Geopolitics and ideology, interests and values were densely intertwined forming two totalities – two blocks, two projects for humanity claiming to evict sooner or later the opponent. 

During this period the Soviet Union effectively was present in the Middle East – both as the power geopolitically opposing the capitalist West in most of regional conflicts, but at the same time supporting movements and parties that had in their programs and doctrines something that resonated roughly with the Left – secularism, progressivism, anti-capitalism, and anti-colonialism. The concrete politic of USSR in the region with a mostly religious population varied from the direct support of communist and socialists parties (not too influential and powerful) to pragmatic alliances with nationalist and anticolonial movement when they were not too religious.

So the function of the USSR in the Middle East was based on this two side scheme: geopolitical interests of USSR as great continental power (realist approach) combined with orientation to reach the goal of promoting communist World Revolution (idealist approach). We should consider this paradigm carefully because it shows two distinct cornerstones in the Soviet strategy. They were merged and intertwined in the whole complex but they were nevertheless different by nature and structure.

For example, this paradigm explains why USSR avoided dealing with anti-Western and anti-capitalist movements in the Middle East that were deeply affected by Islam and has religious values at their core. Salafism, Ikhwans, or Shiits were regarded by Soviets by mistrust. For the same reason, USSR itself provoked the disbelief inside these currents.

The Western pole had during the bipolar period a symmetric structure. The pure geopolitical interests (Sea Power) with its inherent scenarios repeating more or less literally force lines of old British imperialism were coupled with liberal ideology, always choosing in regional issues, the opposite side to socialist, leftists or anticolonial forces presumably naturally supported by Soviets.

The crucial moment comes with the collapse of the Soviet Union. That was the fall of the geopolitics of Land Power. The zone of influence of the core Heartland of Eurasia has shrunk radically on three circles. 

·       The large domain of influence including Latin America, Africa, and South Asia

·       The Warsaw Treaty Organization

·       The Soviet Union itself split into 15 parts.

In the realm of ideology, the change was yet more profound because Moscow has totally abandoned Marxism and embraced liberal capitalist ideology.

It was the end of bipolarism – in geopolitics and ideology. Russia has refused to continue to represent the second pole as an alternative, and accepted with Eltsine the role of periphery of the Same.

We need to remember that collapse of USSR as an ideological system was not accompanied by the symmetric abandoning by the USA and Europe of their liberal-capitalist ideology. The end of the cold war happened by the voluntary self-annihilation of only one of the players – the Soviet East has rejected its ideology but the capitalist West did not. That’s how liberal globalism has shaped its form. The globalization in the unipolar world was necessary to the expansion of liberal ideology, accepted by all as some universal norm – hence human rights, parliamentarian democracy, civil society, free market, and other purely ideological dogmas have become necessary global standards, ideological standards secured and promoted by the globalization itself.

There was a unipolar moment (as Ch. Krauthammer called it) that started in 1991. 

In this period Russia has completely withdrawn from the Middle East. It was entirely engaged in inner problems balancing in the 90th on the edge of further collapse of Russia itself. But by pure inertia, some connections established during bipolarity were somehow conserved, as well as the image of Russia as a geopolitical alternative to the West; this image was still living in the societies of the Middle East. The unipolarity left the Arabic population one to one with the Atlanticist liberal West, which was finally free to affirm itself as a unique global player and the highest instance of the decision making. That is unipolarity and it affected the Middle East during the last 30 years culminating in a chain of color revolutions sponsored by the West in order to drown democracy, human rights, and liberalism in “retarded societies”.

The final purge of secular nationalist and somehow socialist regimes (as Baath parties in all its versions – in Iraq, Libya and Syria) has become inevitable – in the unipolar paradigm, there was no global symmetric power that would be capable to contend such processes and support anti-Western political systems and leaders.  

Talking about the second pole – USSR from now on was the hole.

During the last 20 years of Putin’s rule in Russia, the country has restored partly its power. In the clear contrast to Eltsine’s contemporary first term in office, Russia didn’t follow unconditionally any order of the West and led its own sovereign politics. But this time, Russia restores its force only as great geopolitical power – as Land Power, hence the concept of Eurasia, the Eurasianism in general.

But in the field of ideology in Russia, there is a kind of vacuum. The gap left by rejected communism is filled with pragmatic and syncretic conservatism with no hard line. That makes Putin’s Russia much more flexible. Russia represents today’s only geopolitical entity – more and more clearly opposed to the West (Sea Power) but without any clearly defined ideology. 

At the same time, modern Russia cannot any more pretend to be the second pole in the bipolar structure. To play this role Russia is too weak compared with the aggregated potential of the USA and NATO countries. But there is new China whose economic growth has made it comparable with the American economy and threats to overcome it. 

Hence Russia reaffirms itself not as the second pole in the new bipolar system, but as one of the few poles (more than 2!) in the context of multipolarity. Today Russia (militarily and on the level of geography and natural resources) and China (economically) already are two poles of something like a tripolar system. But India, the Islamic world, Latin America, and Africa can one day form other self-sufficient poles. So, the Russian geopolitics of the Great State evolves now in the totally new context of multipolarity. As usual, Russia is still the Land Power opposing Sea Power, but China is also the Land Power having exactly the same global opponent – the liberal West.

So, Russia returns to the Middle East in totally new conditions and with different functions. It is not a second pole opposing the West, but one of the few poles struggling against unipolarity in favor of multipolarity.

By the way, I explained these changes in my book “The Theory of Multipolar World” which was recently published in the USA by Arktos Publishers. 

Final remark: The Western pole today, as before, is keeping its ideological content intact. More than that – during unipolar moment – when it yet looked like as something sustainable – liberal ideology seemed so powerful and indisputable, that globalists themselves – having no more formal ideological enemies – started to purge the liberal ideology itself, trying to make it yet more liberal. Hence, the disproportional volume of the gender problem raised in the last two decades. (I dedicated my book “Fourth Political Theory” to the discussion of this argument)

So now, I suggest the Middle East readers to compare the function of two global players in the contemporary regional balance of powers. The return of Russia in the Middle East is the coming of Land Power trying to resist the pressure of unipolar West, but this time without any ideological replacement of one secular materialist ideology by the other, of one form of capitalist totalitarianism with the other – communist. Modern Russia has nothing to impose on Middle East peoples on the ideological level. It is enough to regard Russia as an ally and to resist the pressure of the unipolar globalist West. No matter what is the reason for the rejection of the West by the Muslim population – religious, economic, national, or others. Russia is essentially in the Middle East to secure multipolarity not insisting on what should come in exchange for liberalism. This realism and this flexibility open totally new historical opportunities to Russian-Arab friendship.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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Does Resisting “Israel” and the US Benefit People of the Region?

22 Jul 21

Source: Al Mayadeen

Nassim Mansour

To address this issue, we need to breakdown a few key concepts to understand the interests of both the people and the governments in the region.

Does Resisting
Does Resisting “Israel” and the US Benefit People of the Region?

The answer to this question is the core focus in the ongoing media war between the Resistance Axis and the American-led Axis in the region.  All the countries that are within the Resistance Axis are facing dire economic difficulties, social divisions, and security issues (Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen). At a first glance, without digging too deep, one might ask that indeed, why not just make peace with “Israel” and the US and end all the chaos? Wouldn’t making peace end all the sanctions and economic pressure and make everyone’s lives easier? These are valid questions that young people in particular ask. To address this issue, we need to breakdown a few key concepts to understand the interests of both the people and the governments in the region.

Relationship between the West and the region

Let’s go back 100 years ago. The Ottoman empire that ruled the region for around 500 years was crumbling. This took place during the second industrial revolution in Europe. Cars, airplanes, ships, electricity, gas, oil, and communication systems were being created. The end of the Ottoman Empire led to the split of the region between France and Britain with the Sykes-Picot agreement. These events prevented various countries in the Middle East from engaging in the industrial revolution as their own independent nations. The owners of the technologies and the infrastructure builders were mainly France and Britain. They viewed the region as an investment for their own projects and a market for their industries. They built most of the region and became the main providers of various technological products. After World War 2, the Israeli entity was created by Western powers to be used as a foothold to project their power and protect their interests. Fast forward to the cold war, the leadership of the region was transferred from Britain and France to the United States of America. This was ratified in the 50’s with the creation of ARAMCO (Arabian-American Oil Company) and the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with Saudi Arabia, the Consortium Agreement of 1954 with Iran, which gives American, British, and French oil companies 40% ownership of the nationalized oil industry after overthrowing Mohammed Mosaddegh that nationalized the Britain-owned Anglo-Persian Oil Company, and other similar type of deals across the region. The US became the main weapons provider for the armies in the region, including “Israel”. This was in exchange for natural resources and compliance with American national security interests. Because of “Israel’s” usurper nature and its history of instigating friction, the USA had to make sure that “Israel” always had the upper hand over the rest of its regional allies. As a result, “Israel” became the policeman of the region. As Joe Biden has said before; “If there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one to make sure our interests were preserved”. By that time, the first world was engaging in the third industrial revolution (electronics, telecommunications, and computers).

Our region never took part in these industrial revolutions, as it relied on importing products and technologies from abroad rather than producing them. The capital required to import products and technologies coming from the sale of natural resources. With all this in mind, we can conclude that the relationship between the Middle East and the West is a relationship of “the buyer and supplier”. The West supplies technology, products, and armament while the region provides natural resources in return. This relationship exposes the region to extortion as it is unable to survive without foreign technology and products because it doesn’t have the industries or the knowledge. The Middle East region completely depends on the Americans and their allies to function. 

The Iranian revolution and independence

A major change came into the region with the Iranian Islamic revolution coming into play. Iran became the first country to break free from the “buyer and supplier” relationship by engaging in a local industrial revolution across many sectors, with the military sector being the most important one. Having an indigenous military industry is the key to true independence. It allows countries to truly rely on themselves for their security instead of relying on foreign powers that always impose conditions which limits sovereignty. 

Iran today creates its own vehicles, weapons, medicine, robots, satellites, food, energy, along with various other resources. Iran reverse-engineered what it could, sent students abroad to study technology and return to Iran with full knowledge and capability. The entire nation is engaged in being self-built. Iran is in the process of creating its own civilization, just like the US, China, and Russia are also doing. Any nation that breaks free from its client-status and elevates itself to self-sufficiency is seen as a threat to the United States’ dominance over markets across the globe. It is the reason why the US views China and Russia as enemies. 

The regional resistance

Regional resistance groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces were created by locals in response to the foreign Israeli and American invaders. Naturally, the only country that could supply them with weapons is Iran since its weapons are locally produced and not under the jurisdiction of the US like the rest of region. They also have the same interests as Iran, which is to break free from the American-Israeli hegemony. The initial stage in these resistance groups is always “The Armed-Struggle” which is necessary to their survival. 

The next stage of the resistance is working towards a revolutionary approach to gain independence from the foreign imposed buyer and supplier system. This quest for independence directly clashes with American security and economic interests in the region and the world. Given the buyer and supplier relationship between the US and the countries in the region, it automatically puts those countries in a collision course with Iran and any group or country that is seeking independence. Syria was one of the very few Arab countries that had local civilian industries – and they got intentionally dismantled by the NATO-backed mercenaries during the war; especially in Aleppo where thousands of factories were lost. 

The interest of the people

With the previous concepts in mind, we understand that the ultimate interest of any nation should be working towards as much self-sufficiency as its capability (utilizing the available resources it has, and working with other nations that are seeking the same goals). This is how nations contribute to humanity, share their cultures, and limit foreign powers from deciding their fate. 

Seeking these goals however comes at a great cost: the people must be ready to face sanctions and possible military actions. To limit the effect of sanctions, all the nations of the region that decide to take this path would have to fully co-operate with each other; to share resources and support each other. The region has enough natural and human resources to become independent from foreigners. A lot of sacrifices have to be made, but this is the key to long-term development, security, and prosperity. 

Role of the media

The media plays a large part in influencing and educating people about their own interests, which people are often unaware of. To achieve this revolution for independence, the people need to understand why they’re resisting “Israel” and the United States. Apart from the humanitarian and religious reasons, the ultimate goal of this resistance is to start the process of civilization and nation-building. The goal of the American hegemony is to prevent the rise of nations that will become future competitors in the international arena. There is still a big lack of awareness on such important subjects because the region is engulfed in religious, tribal, and ethnic wars. 

A lot of work needs to be done to raise awareness and to unite people towards these goals, which are way beyond religious, humanitarian, and justice considerations. These are goals that can unite the multi ethnic and multi religious region. It is definitely in the best interest of the people of the region to resist “Israel” and the United States. Although the revolution will take a long time, and although it comes at a great cost; if the revolution is achieved, the final outcome will be the rise of the Middle East and North Africa as global competitors.   The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

بكين وصلت إلى دمشق.. ماذا بعد؟

22 تموز2021

المصدر: الميادين

أحمد الدرزي

حملت زيارة الصين إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية.

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كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي نفسه، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها.

تعاطى السوريون مع قدوم وزير الخارجية الصيني في يوم القسم الرئاسي إلى سوريا، والذي حمل دلالات رمزية عميقة، بمشاعر متباينة بين التفاؤل والتشاؤم، وخصوصاً أن الوضع الاقتصادي ضاغط بشدة على القاعدة الأكبر منهم، التي تجاوزت 90% من مجموع السكان، فأي مسارات ستسلكها العلاقات بين البلدين؟ وما انعكاسها على الوضع السوري الداخلي والخارجي؟

لا يعدّ اهتمام قادة بكين بسوريا وليد اللحظة، إذ إنه يمتد إلى نهايات الألفية الثانية، مع صعود الصين التي بدأت نهضتها الحقيقية في العام 1978، بمجيء دينغ هسياو بينغ. وكان من المفترض أن تحصل قفزة كبيرة في العلاقة بين البلدين بعد زيارة الرئيس الأسد لبكين في العام 2004، ولكن المشاريع الاقتصادية التي كان من المفترض أن تقوم بها الأخيرة في مدينة عدرا العمالية تم إيقافها لأسباب غير معروفة.

مع مجيء تشي جينبينغ في العام 2013 إلى موقع الرئاسة في الصين، تم الإعلان عن مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” التي قُدّرت كلفتها بحدود 4 تريليون دولار. وكان اللافت للنظر هو استبعاد سوريا والعراق من المشروع، واعتبار شمال غرب إيران وجنوب شرق تركيا الممرَّ البري نحو أوروبا، واعتبار مرفأ حيفا في فلسطين المحتلة المرفأ المعتمد في شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط. 

أخذت السياسات الصينية تُظهر نفسها على المستوى السياسي بعد إدراك قادة بكين أن القدرات الاقتصادية الهائلة التي أتاحت لهم بناء قدرة عسكرية دفاعية، تتيح لهم ترجمة ذلك، لتحويل الصين إلى قطب دولي موازٍ للقطب الأميركي الأوحد، ما دفع الرئيس جينبينغ إلى الإعلان عن اعتباره أن العالم أصبح متعدد الأقطاب، ولا عودة عن ذلك، وذلك من منبر الأمم المتحدة في العام 2015.

ارتفعت نبرة التحدي الصيني بعد مجيء الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة بقيادة بايدن، واعتبارها كلاً من الصين وروسيا تهديدين استراتيجيين للولايات المتحدة، ما دفع الرئيس الصيني إلى الإعلان عن أنَّ “زمن التنمّر على الصين ولَّى بلا رجعة”.

كما أحدث الانسحاب الأميركي غير المشروط من أفغانستان، وتركه الفوضى والاضطرابات من خلال سيطرة حركة “طالبان”، قلقاً لدى دول الجوار، ما دفع 40 دولة إلى عقد مؤتمر آسيا الوسطى والجنوبية في مدينة طشقند في أوزباكستان بتاريخ 15 تموز/يوليو الماضي، بعنوان لافت للنظر هو “الترابط الإقليمي، تحديات وفرص”.

وكان من الواضح من خلال طبيعة تحركات وزير الخارجية الصيني أنَّ القرار اتخذ بضرورة تأمين منطقة غرب آسيا، التي تشمل المنطقة الممتدة من أفغانستان إلى شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط، وهو ما يقتضي بطبيعة الحال إخراج سوريا من منطقة الصراعات الدولية والإقليمية، فالتقى القوى الدولية والإقليمية المؤثرة في الملف السوري، ممثّلة بكل من وزيري خارجية روسيا سيرغي لافروف والمملكة العربية السعودية سعود الفرحان في اليوم الأول. وفِي اليوم الثاني، التقى وزير خارجية تركيا مولود جاويش أوغلو قبل التوجّه إلى دمشق.

كان واضحاً الحرص الصيني على الوصول إلى دمشق في تاريخ القسم الرئاسي، للدلالة على الدعم الكبير لها، وعلى أنّ بقاء الرئيس الأسد في سدة الحكم لم يكن سوى مظهر لنتائج الصراع الدولي والإقليمي وتحولاته الكبرى، وتأكيداً على دور الصين في المرحلة القادمة في تأمين الجغرافيا السورية كمنطقة آمنة، بالتعاون والتنسيق بشكل أساسي مع موسكو وطهران، وإشراك المملكة العربية السعودية التي تعتبر قاطرة دول الخليج، إضافة إلى مصر التي زارها في اليوم التالي، والتقى فيها الرئيس المصري عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومعالجة الدور التركي السلبي الذي لم يفِ بتعهداته لبكين بتسليم القيادات الإرهابية التركستانية، رغم الدعم الاقتصادي الصيني لها.

وكان لاتصال وزير الخارجية وانغ يي بوزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف في اليوم الذي زار فيه دمشق دلالة كبيرة، وخصوصاً أن بيان وزارة الخارجية الصيني أعلن استعداد الصين للعمل مع إيران على مواجهة السياسات الأحادية والهيمنة، وهو ما يعني بالضرورة التوافق مع استراتيجيتها بإخراج الأميركيين من غرب آسيا بأكملها، وخصوصاً سوريا والعراق، ما يمهّد الطريق لدخول مبادرة “الحزام والطريق” إلى كل من العراق وسوريا ولبنان.

حملت الزيارة الصينية إلى دمشق 3 أبعاد، فقد تم فيها دعوة دمشق إلى الدخول في مشروعها الكبير، أسوةً ببقية الدول التي وافقت عليه، وبدأ العمل فيها على البنى التحتية الضرورية. 

وللتأكيد على ذلك، وقعت على اتفاقيات الاستثمار في كل مدينة عدرا الصناعية واللاذقية، وعلى إنشاء خط بري من الشمال إلى الجنوب، يربط دول الخليج العربي وشمال أفريقيا بتركيا وأوروبا، وبناء خط لسكك الحديد يربط مرفأ طرطوس بالعراق وإيران وباكستان والصين، إضافةً إلى الاستثمار في قطاع النفط والغاز، والجانب الآخر يتعلق بالمساعدات التي يمكن أن تقدمها إلى سوريا.

وقد توج ذلك بمبادرة للحل السياسي وفق قرارات الأمم المتحدة، مع الدعم الكبير لتصورات دمشق في أكثر القضايا، وخصوصاً ما يتعلق بالإدارة الذاتية والاحتلال التركي، عندما لمّحت المبادرة إلى “رفض جميع المخططات المحفزة على الانقسامات العرقية تحت ذريعة مكافحة الإرهاب”، إضافةً إلى شرط أساسي: “ينبغي دعم حل سياسي شامل وتصالحي للقضية السورية” بقيادة السوريين.

من الواضح أنَّ المساهمة الصينية في مساعدة سوريا اقتصادياً وسياسياً مرتبطة بتحقيق متطلبات أساسية، تتعلق بتغيير بيئة العمل الاقتصادي وتغيير التشريعات الاقتصادية، وهو ما تعهّد به الرئيس الأسد في خطاب القسم، عندما أكّد أن العمل في المرحلة القادمة سيكون على مكافحة الفساد وإصدار تشريعات اقتصادية جديدة.

أما الحلّ السياسي، فقد يذهب نحو مسار تشكيل منصّة للمعارضة السورية الداخلية بعنوان منصة دمشق، تكون مهمّتها الأساس إيجاد أرضية للحوار والتفاوض بين الطرفين في دمشق، وليس جنيف، وإنهاء دور المنصات التي تشكل امتدادات دولية وإقليمية.

بعد أن اختارت دمشق قرار التوجّه شرقاً، تطلَّب منها ذلك الشروع في تحقيق المتطلبات الثلاثة الآنفة الذكر، وهو ما ينتظره أغلب السوريين الذين طحنتهم الحرب، والذين يبحثون عن مخرج لاسترداد حياتهم السابقة واستعادة المناطق المحتلة في الشمال السوري وجنوبه، والبدء بإعادة إعمار ما تهدم على الصعيد الاجتماعي والاقتصادي، والّذي تعجز عنه الدولة السورية وحدها.  

Khatibzadeh: Iran’s Stance on JCPOA Not to Change with Administration Change

 July 6, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and lifting sanctions are among Iran’s principled stances, saying they will not alter with government change.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Khatibzadeh said if any agreement is made, the next Iranian government will abide by it.

Unlike the approach taken by other parties, compliance with commitments has always been considered as a principle for Iran, he said.

Despite the fact that some topics still need decisions, progress in Vienna talks is a reality accepted by all parties, he added.

In fact, the finalization of the agreement to revive the JCPOA depends on other parties’ political will, Khatibzadeh reiterated. adding that Iranian delegation is trying to conclude negotiations and to lift cruel sanctions against Iran.

He went on to say that no deadline will be set and negotiations will be underway until the agreement is achieved to meet Iranians’ interests.

He also said that as always mentioned, Iran is not in hurry to reach agreement but will not let erosive talks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh said 13 prisoners were recently released from Japan’s and Afghanistan’s prisons and have returned home.

Reacting to Western media claims regarding the US message through diplomatic channels to Iran on recent attacks again Syria and Iraq, he said Iran has always stressed that the language of threat and force will not help establish security in the region.

He advised the US to be aware of the fact that bullying approach not only will bring no result but will deteriorate conditions in West Asia.

ُStressing that Iran has never intended and does not intend to interfere in internal affairs of Iraq, the spokesman said that the US continuous attacks against Iraq and Syria forces’ positions on common borders were only in line with hurting those who stand against the ISIS and reinforcing this terrorist organization.

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that Iran’s opposes the Zionist regime’s membership in the African Union as an observer.

He urged members of the African Union to respect approvals of the international bodies like the organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on opposing granting membership to Israeli regime in regional and international organizations to show their political determination regarding commitment to Palestinian cause.

He noted that OIC Secretary-General Yousef al-Othaimeen in a letter to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had appreciated Iran’s commitments to the OIC principles and Iran’s participation in supporting the Islamic states’ joint efforts on issues related to Muslim Ummah.

He added that granting the observer position to the Zionist regime by the African Union would encourage the regime to continue its colonial and racist policies and to conduct military strikes and commit more crimes against the Palestinians.

Hailing truce In Ethiopia after eight-month war, Khatibzadeh congratulated the Ethiopia Government and nation for holding the 6th round of parliamentary election in a peaceful atmosphere.

Iran urges all sides to support the ceasefire to help establish peace and security in the region.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh said that Saudi officials should know that based on its principled positions, Iran has always been after preserving peace and security in the Persian Gulf by the regional states.

This approach has contributed ending existence of the ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq and preventing infiltration of Takfiri groups’ in the Persian Gulf littoral states.

Iran has always welcomed negotiations to achieve results and has had positive view toward talking to Saudi Arabia.

He also reacted to claims made by some Western media on Iran’s sports and its participation in Olympic Games, saying such claims are incompatible with the spirit of Olympic Charter and sports objectives.

Iran, with all its cultural considerations, is among pioneers of gender equality, and this year, the Iranian girls will have an effective presence in track-and-field category after 57 years.

Khatibzadeh went on to say that Iran’s consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif will resume activities after the situation calms down.

Regarding Azerbaijan initiative in line with creating a regional 3+3 cooperation context, he said that after liberating Azeri lands, grounds have been prepared for Caucasian states as well as Iran, Russia, and Turkey based on respect of territorial integrity of all regional states.

Thanks to its close ties with Caucasian states, Russia, and Turkey, Iran can take important strides in this regard, he noted.

SourceIranian Agencies

How will US disengagement shape the Middle East? “ميدل إيست آي”: “محور المقاومة” هو المؤهل لملء الفراغ بعد الانسحاب الأميركي

Iranians destroy a US flag during a demonstration in Tehran in January 2020 (AFP)

24 June 2021 10:54 UTC

Marco Carnelos

So far, the entity best positioned to fill the power vacuum is the ‘axis of resistance’ led by Iran

The Middle East has always proudly claimed its own culture and, above all, a certain resistance to so-called western modernity. But over the past two decades, reading its tea leaves has become increasingly difficult.

The past two decades have been cataclysmic, and those to come could be even more worrisome. A power vacuum is looming, especially amid multiple signals of a US political and military disengagement from the region. With the notable exception of Israel, it is not certain that Washington’s other local partners will be able to adjust to the new strategic environment.

In the summer of 2000, the Clinton administration believed for a moment that the circle of the historical Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be squared – only to discover, just months later, that this was not on the cards.

The so-called US-led peace process has become essentially an international PR strategy for managing the conflict

At the time, the Americans and Israelis concluded that, no matter how effective their marketing strategies, a bantustan could not be sold to the Palestinians as the state they had claimed and sought for decades to fulfil their unquestionable right to self-determination. Since then, the so-called US-led peace process has become essentially an international PR strategy for managing the conflict. It has given breath and time to a creeping Israeli annexation of the sliver of historical Palestine not yet under Israel’s control.

The Trump administration – more honestly, or less hypocritically, if you prefer – tried to solve the issue by siding openly with Israel, aiming to impose a “bantustan solution” under a different name: the Abraham Accords. To succeed, the formula required the formal adhesion of certain Arab countries, primarily Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Yet, while some Arab states quickly established diplomatic relations with Israel, the absence of Riyadh has left an aura of uncertainty around the ambitious project.

Turmoil in Israel-Palestine

The latest conflict in the streets of Jerusalem, inside Palestinian communities of Israel, and in the Gaza Strip, has likely buried the viability of such a “solution”. Most certainly, it has shown that the Palestinian question is still alive and kicking.

Israel is now in the paradoxical situation of being the strongest regional military and technological power, while facing a highly polarised political framework and a somewhat crumbling internal front. In order to finally remove former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power, Israeli politicians cobbled together the most heterogeneous coalition in the country’s history. The most extremist prime minister ever, Naftali Bennett, had to rely on the support an Arab party with Islamist roots in order to narrowly win power.

Palestinians protest in the occupied West Bank village of Salem on 15 May 2021 (AFP)
Palestinians protest in the occupied West Bank village of Salem on 15 May 2021 (AFP)

Meanwhile, Palestinians are mired between an increasingly ineffective official leadership in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority, and an increasingly popular but “terrorist”-designated leadership in Gaza, Hamas.

After 9/11, the main western political driver for the region changed. The US-led “war on terrorism” aimed to impose, once and for all, a Pax Americana in the region, focusing on Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen.

Two decades later, this strategy is crumbling. The US is withdrawing from Afghanistan without accomplishing anything significant, and after spending trillions in Iraq, the US has been asked by Baghdad’s parliament to leave. A tiny enclave in eastern Syria remains under US control, but all the “useful” parts of the country are again under the control of President Bashar al-Assad.

Spreading anxiety

US disengagement from the region, whether real or perceived, is spreading anxiety, with the sense of an incoming power vacuum that needs to be filled. So far, the only entity sufficiently organised and determined to do so appears to be the “axis of resistance”: Iran and its regional allies, including Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemen’s Houthis and Shia militias in Iraq.

Since its 1979 revolution, Iran has been the main opponent of western modernity and, particularly, a Pax Americana in the region. Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and regional activities have been a constant source of concern for Washington and its regional allies, both Arab and Israeli.

A temporary and partial truce, the 2015 nuclear deal, was quickly removed from the strategic equation in 2018. A heavy sanctions campaign, the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy, did not achieve its claimed objectives: Iran has changed neither its regime nor its behaviour.America Last: Coming to terms with the new world order

As another US administration now attempts to rejoin the nuclear deal, hoping to improve some of its clauses, Iran – with the recent election of Ebrahim Raisi as the country’s next president – is firmly under the control of conservatives, while also seeking a deal with the US and regional rivals. While Major-General Qassem Soleimani might have been eliminated, his regional master plan was not.

There are also other spoilers keen to take their slice of the cake. Turkey seems to be rediscovering its Ottoman past, and combined with its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, it is still viewed as an existential threat to many Arab ruling families.

Russia’s policy has been smarter and more effective, relying on diplomacy reinforced by military power – contrary to Washington’s approach, which used diplomacy only to justify the use of military force. Moscow has held its ground in Syria, obtained important leverage in Libya, and maintained good relations with all regional actors. Two decades ago, Russia was barely relevant in the area; now it is a player. It holds poor cards, but can use them far more effectively than others.

China, as usual, is approaching the region pragmatically, not ideologically. It aspires to leverage the power vacuum to smoothly build up the southern leg of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, aiming to create the world’s biggest economic and trading bloc outside of US political and financial control.

Looming pressures

On a regional scale, the so-called Arab Spring, an overdue and legitimate rallying cry by ordinary people exhausted by a systemic lack of governance, basic services and political rights, turned quickly into an Islamic awakening. It fuelled bloody civil wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen, while achieving only a single, partially accomplished political transition in Tunisia. The rest was an autocratic counter-spring, resembling the concert of powers mustered at the Congress of Vienna after the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.

The Middle East during the past two decades of American unilateralism has been a mess. Could it be even worse without it?

While the US seems engaged in naively challenging both China and Russia, Europe, as usual, is torn by the dilemma over how to position itself. The Middle East may descend further into chaos, with Covid-19, migration and environmental pressures presenting just a few of the challenges that lie ahead.

One self-proclaimed enabler of the vaguely defined “rules-based world order”, the G7, has again failed to display the necessary leadership, which requires not only power, but also intellectual honesty and self-criticism. Its latest communique outlines no inspirational vision for the Middle East, failing to address the bombs that have already exploded (in Israel-Palestine) or the ones still ticking (the forthcoming collapse of Lebanon).

The Middle East during the past two decades of American unilateralism has been a mess. Could it be even worse without it? That’s doubtful, but it would be best to fasten your seatbelts anyway.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Marco CarnelosMarco Carnelos is a former Italian diplomat. He has been assigned to Somalia, Australia and the United Nations. He has served in the foreign policy staff of three Italian prime ministers between 1995 and 2011. More recently he has been Middle East Peace Process Coordinator Special Envoy for Syria for the Italian government and, until November 2017, ambassador of Italy to Iraq.

“ميدل إيست آي”: “محور المقاومة” هو المؤهل لملء الفراغ بعد الانسحاب الأميركي

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القوات الامريكية تنسحب من افغانستان بحلول سبتمبر المقبل

الكاتب: ماركو كارنيلوس

المصدر: ميدل إيست آي


كتب الدبلوماسي الإيطالي السابق ماركو كارنيلوس مقالة في موقع “ميدل إيست آي” البريطانيا قال فيها إن الشرق الأوسط كان دوماً يدعي بفخر أنه يمتلك ثقافته الخاصة، وقبل كل شيء، أنه لديه مقاومة ما لما يسمّى بالحداثة الغربية. لكن العقدين الماضيين، كانا كارثيين، ويمكن للعقدين المقبلين أن يكونوا أكثر إثارة للقلق. 

وأوضح الكاتب سبب ذلك بأنه يلوح في الأفق فراغ في السلطة، خاصة وسط إشارات متعددة لفك الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ارتباطها السياسي والعسكري بالمنطقة. فباستثناء “إسرائيل”، ليس من المؤكد أن شركاء واشنطن المحليين الآخرين سيكونون قادرين على التكيّف مع البيئة الاستراتيجية الجديدة.

في صيف عام 2000، اعتقدت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي بيل كلينتون للحظة أنه يمكن تربيع دائرة الصراع الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني التاريخي، كي تكتشف، بعد أشهر فقط، أن هذا لم يكن مطروحاً على الورق. فقد خلص الأميركيون والإسرائيليون أنذاك إلى أنه، بغض النظر عن مدى فعالية استراتيجياتهم التسويقية، لا يمكن بيع “البانتوستان” للفلسطينيين كدولة طالبوا بها وسعى لعقود من الزمان لتحقيق حقهم غير المشكوك فيه في تقرير المصير. منذ ذلك الحين، أصبحت عملية السلام المزعومة، بقيادة الولايات المتحدة، استراتيجية علاقات عامة دولية لإدارة الصراع. لقد منحت هذه العملية نفساً ووقتاً لقيام “إسرائيل” بضم زاحف لبقية فلسطين التاريخية التي لم تخضع بعد لسيطرة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي.

وأضاف كارنيلوس: حاولت إدارة الرئيس الأميركي السابق دونالد ترامب – بصراحة أكثر، أو أقل نفاقاً – حل المشكلة بالانحياز صراحة إلى “إسرائيل”، بهدف فرض “حل البانتوستان” تحت اسم مختلف: اتفاقات أبراهام. ولتحقيق النجاح، تطلبت الصيغة الانضمام الرسمي لبعض الدول العربية، وفي مقدمتها السعودية والإمارات العربية المتحدة. ومع ذلك، في حين أن بعض الدول العربية أقامت بسرعة علاقات دبلوماسية مع “إسرائيل”، فإن غياب الرياض ترك هالة من عدم اليقين حول المشروع الطموح.

هبة القدس

وأشار الكاتب إلى أن الصراع الأخير في شوارع القدس، وداخل التجمعات السكانية الفلسطينية في الكيان الإسرائيلي، ومع قطاع غزة، قد يكون قد دفن جدوى مثل هذا “الحل”. لكنه بالطبع، أظهر أن القضية الفلسطينية لا تزال حية وتنطلق. فـ”إسرائيل” اليوم في وضع متناقض لكونها أقوى قوة عسكرية وتكنولوجية إقليمية، لكنها تواجه إطاراً سياسياً شديد الاستقطاب وجبهة داخلية متداعية إلى حد ما. فمن أجل الإطاحة برئيس الوزراء السابق بنيامين نتنياهو أخيراً، قام السياسيون الإسرائيليون بتجميع أكثر تحالف غير متجانس في تاريخ الكيان. كان على رئيس الوزراء الأكثر تطرفاً، نفتالي بينيت، الاعتماد على دعم حزب فلسطيني ذي جذور إسلامية من أجل الفوز بالسلطة بفارق ضئيل.

واعتبر الدبلوماسي الإيطالي أنه في المقابل، فإن الفلسطينيين غارقون بين قيادة رسمية غير فعالة في رام الله، هي السلطة الفلسطينية، وقيادة شعبية ولكنها مصنفة “إرهابية” في غزة، هي حركة حماس. وقال إنه بعد 11 أيلول / سبتمبر 2001، تغير المحرك السياسي الغربي الرئيسي للمنطقة، إذ هدفت “الحرب على الإرهاب” بقيادة الولايات المتحدة إلى فرض “السلام الطويل المدى” الأميركي في المنطقة لمرة واحدة وأخيرة، مع التركيز على لبنان وسوريا والعراق وإيران واليمن.

لكن بعد عقدين من الزمن، هذه الاستراتيجية تنهار. إذ تنسحب الولايات المتحدة من أفغانستان من دون تحقيق أي شيء مهم، وبعد إنفاق تريليونات الدولارات في العراق، طلب البرلمان العراقي من الولايات المتحدة المغادرة. لا يزال جيب صغير في شرق سوريا تحت سيطرة الولايات المتحدة، لكن جميع الأجزاء “المفيدة” من البلاد أصبحت مرة أخرى تحت سيطرة الرئيس بشار الأسد.

ورأى الكاتب “أن فك ارتباط الولايات المتحدة بالمنطقة، سواء كان حقيقياً أو متصوراً، ينشر القلق، مع إحساس بفراغ القوة الذي سيأتي والذي يجب ملؤه. حتى الآن، يبدو أن الكيان الوحيد المنظم والمصمم على القيام بذلك هو “محور المقاومة”: إيران وحلفاؤها الإقليميون، بما في ذلك سوريا وحزب الله اللبناني والحوثيين والميليشيات الشيعية في العراق”.

منذ ثورة 1979، كانت إيران الخصم الرئيسي للحداثة الغربية، وعلى وجه الخصوص الهيمنة الأميركية في المنطقة. لطالما كانت طموحات طهران النووية وأنشطتها الإقليمية مصدر قلق دائم لواشنطن وحلفائها الإقليميين، العرب والإسرائيليين.

وقد تم إلغاء الهدنة المؤقتة والجزئية، الاتفاق النووي لعام 2015، بسرعة من المعادلة الاستراتيجية في عام 2018. ولم تحقق حملة العقوبات الأميركية الشديدة، استراتيجية “الضغط الأقصى” لإدارة ترامب، أهدافها المعلنة حيث أن إيران لم تغيّر لا نظامها ولا سلوكها.

وقال الكاتب إنه بينما تحاول إدارة أميركية أخرى الآن الانضمام إلى الاتفاق النووي، على أمل تحسين بعض بنوده، فإن إيران – مع انتخاب إبراهيم رئيسي كرئيس مقبل للبلاد – تخضع بشدة لسيطرة المحافظين، بينما تسعى في الوقت نفسه إلى إبرام اتفاق مع المنافسين الأميركيين والإقليميين. وفي حين أن اللواء قاسم سليماني قد اغتيل، إلا أن خطته الرئيسية الإقليمية لم تتم الإطاحة بها.

وقال الكاتب إن تركيا تعيد اكتشاف ماضيها العثماني، وإلى جانب صلاتها بجماعة الإخوان المسلمين، لا يزال يُنظر إليها على أنها تهديد وجودي للعديد من العائلات العربية الحاكمة.

وأضاف: كانت سياسة روسيا أكثر ذكاءً وفاعلية، حيث اعتمدت على الدبلوماسية التي تعززها القوة العسكرية، على عكس نهج واشنطن، الذي استخدم الدبلوماسية فقط لتبرير استخدام القوة العسكرية. احتفظت موسكو بموقفها في سوريا، وحصلت على نفوذ مهم في ليبيا، وحافظت على علاقات جيدة مع جميع الأطراف الإقليميين. فقبل عقدين من الزمن، كانت روسيا بالكاد ذات صلة بالمنطقة. الآن هي لاعب، تحمل بطاقات رديئة، ولكن يمكنها استخدامها بشكل أكثر فاعلية من غيرها.

أما الصين، فهي كالعادة تقترب من المنطقة بطريقة براغماتية وليس أيديولوجية. وتطمح للاستفادة من فراغ السلطة لبناء بسلاسة الجزء الجنوبي من “مبادرة الحزام والطريق” الطموحة، والتي تهدف إلى إنشاء أكبر كتلة اقتصادية وتجارية في العالم خارج السيطرة السياسية والمالية الأميركية.

ضغوط تلوح في الأفق

وقال الكاتب: بينما يبدو أن الولايات المتحدة منخرطة في تحدي كل من الصين وروسيا بسذاجة، فإن أوروبا، كعادتها، ممزقة بسبب معضلة كيفية التمركز. قد ينزلق الشرق الأوسط إلى مزيد من الفوضى، حيث يمثل فيروس كورونا والضغوط البيئية والهجرة عدداً قليلاً من التحديات التي تنتظر الأوروبيين.

وأضاف: لقد أخفقت مجموعة الدول السبع، التي نصبت نفسها بنفسها في تمكين “النظام العالمي القائم على القواعد” المحددة بشكل غامض، في إظهار القيادة اللازمة، والتي لا تتطلب القوة فحسب، بل تتطلب كذلك الصدق الفكري والنقد الذاتي. لا يحدد بيانها الأخير أي رؤية ملهمة للشرق الأوسط، وقد فشلت في معالجة القنابل التي انفجرت بالفعل (بين “إسرائيل” وفلسطين) أو التي قد تنفجر (الانهيار الوشيك للبنان).

وختم بالقول: كان الشرق الأوسط خلال العقدين الماضيين من هيمنة الأحادية الأميركية في حالة من الفوضى. فهل يمكن أن يكون أسوأ من دونها؟ هذا مشكوك فيه، ولكن سيكون من الأفضل ربط أحزمة الأمان على أي حال.

*ماركو كارنيلوس دبلوماسي إيطالي سابق. تم تكليفه بالعمل في الصومال وأستراليا والأمم المتحدة. وقد عمل في فريق السياسة الخارجية لثلاثة رؤساء وزراء إيطاليين بين عامي 1995 و2011. وشغل أخيراً منصب مبعوث الحكومة الإيطالية الخاص لعملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط إلى سوريا، وحتى تشرين الثاني / نوفمبر 2017، سفيراً لإيطاليا في العراق.

نقله إلى العربية بتصرف: هيثم مزاحم

Saudi-Iranian talks are an attempt to pre-empt the American return to nuclear deal, says sociologist

June 16, 2021 – 17:12

By M. A. Saki

TEHRAN – Head of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Lebanon says that the Saudi desire to negotiate with Iran is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal.

“The Saudi-Syrian normalization is a positive step and the Saudi-Iranian dialogue is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal,” Dr. Talal Atrissi tells the Tehran Times.

 “Saudi Arabia sees tangibly that all of its previous bets failed, and I assure that this step was by American encouragement and support, especially since Saudi Arabia failed in the war on Yemen and today it is trying to get out of the Yemeni quagmire at any cost,” Atrissi notes.

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you evaluate the ongoing talks over revitalizing the Iran nuclear deal?

A: Most of the statements, whether from the Iranian side or the American side, confirm that the negotiations are heading to yield results. The statements are optimistic, and the announcement of the formation of committees to study how to lift the sanctions implies that all sides are nearing an agreement. 

The statements of the Russian, Chinese and even European delegates indicate progress and seriousness in the negotiations. But this does not mean that things will go quickly. The United States, for its part, will not lift the sanctions so easily, and even not all sanctions will be lifted. It will try to negotiate to lift only parts of the sanctions in exchange for Iran’s return to full commitment to the terms of the nuclear deal.

As for Iran, it has an interest in negotiating and has a direct interest in lifting the sanctions, which have caused great damage to the Iranian economy, and for this reason, Iran has returned to the negotiating table. But Iran has no interest in prolongation of the talks. I mean, you go back to the negotiation table again, as if we need a new agreement. With regard to Iran, this is unacceptable, as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution warned about prolonging the negotiations, while America wants to extract the largest number of concessions from Iran before lifting the sanctions.

This is what is happening today in the successive rounds of the Vienna talks. 

Q: How would the revival of the Iran nuclear pact affect the region?

A: If this agreement occurs, of course, it will reflect positively on the relations among the countries of the region. I believe that Saudi Arabia’s desire for dialogue with Iran began with America’s encouragement, not on a self-initiative, meaning that the new American administration wants some kind of stability in the Middle East (West Asia) and mitigating Persian Gulf-Iranian tension. 

The main tensions have been from the Israeli side while the Biden administration looks forward to a kind of stability and dialogue, and this is one of the reasons for thinking about reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The biggest strategic challenge for the Biden administration is China, and this means that the United States is reluctant to get involved in the Middle East (West Asia) again. It is also withdrawing from Afghanistan. Afghanistan was a major failure for America and its policies in the world and the region.

So, if the negotiations for an agreement succeeds, the allies of the United States, including Saudi Arabia in the first place, will return to stable relations and understanding with Iran, and this could contribute to solving problems in Lebanon, Yemen and other countries of the region.

Q: What are Israel’s options to undermine the nuclear talks in Vienna? Do you think Israel will start a war to block the path for reviving the nuclear pact?

A: From the beginning, Israel and the U.S. administration have been at odds over the 2015 nuclear deal, and Netanyahu considered the agreement signed by Obama a “historical mistake” rather than a “historic achievement,” as Obama called it. Israel tried to obstruct the path of the agreement and worked with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to prevent the conclusion of the pact, but the agreement was achieved in 2015.

 When Trump came to power in 2016, Israel considered it a great opportunity to push America to pull out of the nuclear deal.

As for the possibility of Israel carrying out some kind of operation or sabotaging Iran’s nuclear facilities to change the balance and impede a possible revival of the nuclear agreement between Iran and America, I rule out that this would happen.

First, Israel faces a domestic crisis, and Netanyahu is accused of having failed in the battle of “the sword of Jerusalem,” and therefore the victory that has been achieved by the Palestinian resistance is a victory for Iran. The resistance in Palestine expressed its thanks to Iran for its role in supporting Palestine.

For Israel, it is very difficult to contemplate such an option, especially since Netanyahu has moved to the ranks of the opposition and is no longer prime minister.

Q: How do you read Saudi-Syrian normalization, especially when we put this alongside the Iranian-Saudi talks? What caused the Saudi policy change in the region?

A: The Saudi-Syrian normalization is a positive step and the Saudi-Iranian dialogue is an attempt to pre-empt the American return to the nuclear deal.
Saudi Arabia sees tangibly that all of its previous bets failed, and I am sure that this step was by American encouragement and support, especially since Saudi Arabia failed in the war on Yemen and today it is trying to get out of the Yemeni quagmire at any cost.

She believes that dialogue with Iran can help it get out of this war, and thus Saudi Arabia’s return to the negotiation table with Iran and Syria is an indirect acknowledgment of the failure of its previous policies.

I mean, the policy of toppling the government in Syria has failed, and the policy of forming an Arab-(Persian) Gulf-Israeli axis against Iran has failed, as well as normalization with Israel and the deal of the century, after what happened recently in occupied Palestine.

So, this step on the part of Saudi Arabia is an affirmation that Iran and the axis of resistance are in a better position than before and that the past decade was a period of steadfastness and resistance in the face of all attempts to ruin the region, Syria, and Yemen in particular.

 Today, after the battle of Palestine, the axis of resistance is in a position of strength, and this is what prompts the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to engage in dialogue with the parties to this axis.

Q: What is the significance of the Iran-China partnership for the region and the larger world?

A: The importance of the Iran-China partnership is that it opens up broad prospects for Iran at various levels of development in the areas of investment, oil and communications. On the other hand, this may be an alternative even to the nuclear agreement with the West. Even if the nuclear deal is not revived, Iran can be satisfied with the partnership with China.

 Even if Iran complies fully to the nuclear agreement and agrees with the United States, it will have balanced relations with East and West, with the preference of China, especially since China is not a colonial country and did not create problems in the region.

 So, the Chinese-Iranian partnership is an important strategic agreement that may block the way for the U.S. to put pressure on Iran.

In addition, the Iranian-Chinese partnership as an economic agreement is inseparable from China’s vision and its historical and strategic project to restore the Silk Road (One Road, One Belt). 

Iran will be a major station in this project. For this reason, China is counting on partnership with Iran and wants Iran to remain a strong and pivotal country in the face of the American hegemony, and this is not in the interest of the West and the United States in particular.

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Imagine what Gaza could become if the siege were lifted…

May 26, 2021 – 23:34

By Martin Love

Words are not sufficient to describe the horrors of what “Israel” (and the U.S. as an enabler) have done in the last two months around al-Aqsa, Sheikh Jarrah and across Palestine, and then Gaza for almost two weeks.

The price paid for the shift in worldwide perceptions about what the “Israel” actually is (a rabid Apartheid state!) has been horrendous for Gaza and across Palestine. Gazans celebrated a possible pyrrhic victory of sorts because not only were the Zionists forced to call a ceasefire but there have been profound changes in public perceptions even in the U.S. about how insidious and out of control Zionism has become and long been.

But it has not solved the problem because as soon as a ceasefire went into effect Netanyahu had managed to stay in power with the cancellation of a possible new government, avoided the resumption of his trial on corruption charges and worse has continued doing the very things that prompted a rain of bottle rockets over “Israel” with a resumption of military and police raids on al-Aqsa, hundreds of arrests including murders and further efforts to ethnically cleanse Sheikh Jarrah of Palestinians with other Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem lined up for the same treatment eventually. And Biden and Blinken did almost nothing about the carnage: they let it continue for a while until the demanded ceasefire went into effect.

For now, despite alleged promises by the U.S. to help rebuild the bombed infrastructure damaged in Gaza, Secretary of State Tony Blinken is headed to Israel and other countries for what? In the West Bank he is going to consult Mahmoud Abbas for one thing (who if not an outright quisling hardly gives Palestinians effective leadership and is the wrong person to talk to about anything). Blinken ought to be trying to go to Gaza, too.

As for Hamas in Gaza now, they literally cannot respond to the same Israeli moves that caused this most recent war on Gaza because they are probably running low on those home-made rockets even if the organization has managed to garner some modest praise and support across the world. Moreover, the Zionist defense establishment and Netanyahu has proclaimed that it will hit Gaza even harder if Hamas does anything now. Also, in Israel, the government has done nothing to reign in the right-wing mobs of “settlers” who now are openly calling for the razing of the lovely al-Aqsa shrine, Islam’s third holiest site. If al-Aqsa ever did fall, one would probably be looking at complete war in West Asia. All those “settlers”, including many Americans, would flee, cowards that they are looking for freebies in the West Bank with U.S. support.

If there has been any kind of “victory” for Palestinians, it resides solely for now in the awakening of public perceptions about Zionist Apartheid everywhere which may, in time, have an impact. The BDS campaign is bound to expand mightily and the ICC is definitely going to charge “Israel” and its craven leaders with numerous war and others crimes. But the court in The Hague has been way too slow mounting its prosecutions.

But there is another aspect of this crazed situation.

The two million Palestinians in Gaza have long ached for relief from the siege (and their martyrs abound, including almost 70 children slaughtered by IDF bombs this month). Real relief, however, is not likely to arrive anytime soon even if there are repairs to the damage done, but if it ever arrived, consider or imagine what Gaza might become if the siege were lifted.

This is something that the Zionists fear and despise and actually, prospectively, are extremely jealous of ever seeing. Gaza, if it could revive its port and repair its airport and other assets, could become a prosperous relative heaven for Gazans and for curious tourists from all over the world wanting to understand better Palestine and its people and history while enjoying Arab hospitality which the Gazans could deliver like few others. It’s not hard to imagine even Americans wanting a taste of the Middle East and especially a look at a (then former) victim of Zionist aggression (that stood tall despite the Israelis). If travelers had to choose between visiting a discredited Apartheid regime and an inexpensive beachfront Gaza, even if only for purely educational purposes, Gaza would be the place to go.

But the Zionists above all want to crush the Palestinians if not eliminate them altogether and give them no quarter for what could be a magnificent revival given their own creativity and industrious ways that have existed for generations.

The sole hope for now that has any chance for success is a burgeoning condemnation worldwide of Apartheid and its aggressions. One day, perhaps, even candidates aspiring to become a part of the U.S. Congress will be judged in part on their postures towards Zionism.

Peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for Global Peace.

Peace in the Middle East is a prerequisite for Global Peace.

May 28, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

Without going into history, how the Jewish State of Israel was created in the middle of the Arab World (Muslim World), let’s focus on the current issues and find a solution. As long as it was recognized by the United Nations in 1948, we have to accept this reality; either one likes it or not. The irony is that, since 1948, Israel kept on expanding and pushing Arabs out of their homes and lands and forcing them to leave their land and property, either to immigrate to other countries or live a miserable life in refugee camps.

After Eleven days of recent aggression, it is encouraging that the ceasefire has been implemented. There were multiple reasons for the truce, but the most important was public opinion, which was condemning Israel worldwide. Almost all big cities all over the World have witnessed mass protests, demonstrations, and agitations. It seems the whole World was standing in solidarity with Palestinians. Although few Governments, like the UK, US, and France, were supporting Israeli acts of brutalities, but the public in their own countries was against Israeli aggressions. Some of the biased Western Media was supporting Israel and fabricating lame excuses and irrational justification for Israeli aggressions. But Social Media has played a positive role and rectified public opinion globally. Of Course Russian, and Chinese pressure was also irresistible on the State of Israel to stop air raids. On the ground, within Israel, a civil war erupted among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Moreover, the Israeli defense system was not so much practical and could not save its territories from rocket attacks. There are reports that the Israeli defense system has shot down its own drones and fighter jets too. Also, there are reports that Israeli security forces killed one suspect within Israel, which was identified as American Jew later on.

Since 1848, Isreal was building its defense and spending lavishly. American economic assistance and Military aid were generous. Even during the recent 11 days conflict, the US was supplying the latest and advanced weapons to Israel, which is an open breach of the UN charter and all norms of the civilized World. Even the US was behind to postpone three times the UNSC statement to stop killings of innocent Palestinians.

Israeli defense capabilities are unmatched in the whole region. With Nuclear weapons, hi-tech, advanced systems, missiles, and the latest war techniques, Israel maintains hegemony. There is no comparison between the whole Arab World’s defense capabilities with Israel alone. Nothing to talk about Palestine or Gazza only, which is a fraction of Israel and that is too dependent on Israel for day-to-day life even.

Looking at the Israeli atrocities and brutalities against the Arab World since 1948, one can reach the conclusion that The Jewish State of Israel is Zionist, aggressive, and illegitimate. Based on its military might, it keeps on expanding and becoming bigger and stronger day by day.

This phenomenon is not new; history tells us there were Germany and Japan, two aggressive countries, and were held responsible for World Wars. But soon, they were brought to justice and held responsible for war crimes. They were made to pay war compensation, and their Military might was scattered and capped to revive in the future. Under the treaty, both Germany and Japan were prevented from rebuilding their Military power again. Both countries are still paying for war crimes, compensation as well as could not reconstruct their military might again.

Once it is established that Israel is an aggressive state and held responsible for killings of Muslims in millions, making them homeless in millions, and refused to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors. It is time for International Community to take action.

The international community must do more to safeguard the lives and fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, who continue to suffer under illegitimate foreign occupation. It should also not condone the violations of international law that underpin global and regional security.

For long-lasting and durable Peace in the region, it is imperative that the Palestinian people are granted their inalienable right to self-determination according to respective UN consensus. It is believed that a viable, independent, and contiguous original Palestinian State, with the pre-1948 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital, is the only just, comprehensive and ever-lasting solution to the Palestine issue in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions. All Arab lands occupied in 1967 and 1973 should be returned back to Arabs.

International Community should mobilize all possible humanitarian assistance for the devastated Palestinian population in Gaza and other parts of the occupied territories. In addition to the UNRWA emergency appeal, the UN Secretary-General should launch a comprehensive humanitarian aid plan to deliver succor and sustenance to the Palestinians. There is a dire need to provide medical teams, medicines, and other supplies, food, and other necessities to Gaza and other parts of the occupied Palestinian territories immediately. Egypt’s immediate supply of humanitarian assistance to Gazza is highly appreciated. Israel must open all the access and entry points to Gaza to ensure the timely and urgent delivery of international aid and end the siege of Palestine immediately.

The UN General Assembly should call for concrete steps to protect the Palestinians and should deploy an international peace force, as was called for in General Assembly Resolution ES-10/20 and as demanded by the Islamic Summit Conference held on 18 May 2018.

If the Security Council cannot approve immediately to send the safeguarding force, a “coalition of the willing” can be shaped to provide at least civilian observers to monitor a cessation of the hostilities and supervise the delivery of humanitarian help to the Palestinians.

The UN Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to offer safety to Israel’s Arab (Muslims and Christians both) citizens living within Israel who are being lynched and murdered by fascist Israeli gangs at the present time.

The UN General Assembly should condemn: Israel’s forcible and illegal eviction of Palestinians, including in Al-Jarrah district of Jerusalem and constantly construction of Jewish new settlements; the onslaught against Palestinian worshipers in Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa mosque, the first Qibla of Islam, during the month of Ramadan; and Israel’s brutal and indiscriminate aerial and land wild-bombardment of Gaza.

Israel’s crimes against humanity should not spurt accountability. There should be no exemption for violation of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and other human rights Conventions. The Human Rights Council, the ICC, the ICJ, and other avenues should be actuated to ensure Israeli accountability for its war crimes.

International Community should enhance concrete efforts to end Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and to dismantle the illegal settlements and the apartheid-like regime Israel has enforced in the occupied territories. The General Assembly should secure unconditional implementation of resolution 242 of November 1967 in which the Security Council declared the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and demanded that Israel withdraw its armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 war. It is, therefore, commanding to initiate bold steps to secure the implementation of the Security Council and General Assembly resolutions calling for the establishment of a viable, independent, and contiguous original Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. President of Palestine (Fateh Group) Mehmood Abbas’s call for an International Conference to secure a peaceful settlement must be appreciated.

The Palestine catastrophe is at the heart of the chaos and conflicts in the Middle East. It is also the principal root cause of the humiliation and irritation in the Muslim and Arab world – anger which breeds extremism and often spawns acts of violence. A just solution for Palestine is imperative for the preservation of regional and global peace and security. It is to be understood well that Peace and stability in the Arab-Isreal are vital for international Peace, stability, and prosperity. Our next generations deserve a peaceful and happy life; we must understand that the Peace in Middle-east is an energy-rich region and can play a vital role in the global economy and prosperity. Peace in the Middle-east is a prerequisite for international Peace

It is only through determined and significant action that this Assembly can reinstate the credibility of the United Nations and demonstrate its effective role in stabilizing world peace and global order based on equity and justice.

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

What makes the Palestinian catastrophe incomparable to any crime that has occurred for humanity?

May 15, 2021

By Batoul Sbeity

 Why is Palestine considered the core issue when it comes to human justice, such that Al-Quds Day- a day to raise awareness about the plight of all oppressed groups is done in the name and the sanctity of Al-Aqsa? 

1)  The perpetrating entities of the oppression:

The formation of Israel was a settler-colonial conspiracy project- the biggest of its kind in history that was founded by the hegemonic global ruling system solely to serve their interest. 

The reality is that the Zionists were hunters for sources of power in the world that could actualize their vision of a Jewish homeland, and wherever the imperialists place the Zionists, they will follow. 

During the beginning of the 20th century, imperial Britain was adamant about creating for itself an extension in the land of Palestine, which was specifically chosen due to the benefits of the strategic location and the history of the land that could be used as a justifying pretext to the world.

It is the responsibility of all of humanity to correct the biggest shame that have occurred. All nations need to apply pressure on their governments to sever ties with the occupying state and grant the right of return and compensation for all Palestinian citizens. The Zionists and their imperial masters weaponized the anti-semitism that existed within sections of the people and activated this into a slogan that was used to justify the containment of settler Jews in Palestine whilst blackmailing those resisting the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians into accepting this new reality.

The U.S.S.R was the first government to recognize the illegitimate establishment of Israel and sent a large number of settler Jews there, whilst the U.S. took over Britain’s role after rising to power in post-WWII, providing the bulk of financial, political, security, and military support to the occupying state- to the extent that its existence is purely dependent and linked to the U.S. 

Israel’s functional role is to act as a stick for the world superpower, namely the U.S., used in order to punish other entities in the region that fail to obey U.S. orders and for them to maintain a direct presence at the heart of the strategic Middle East (West Asia).

2)  The nature of the oppression: 

Israel is the only settler-colonial state existing today. This means the existence of the occupying Israeli settlers is predicated on the forced and violent removal of the land’s indigenous inhabitants prior to 1948.

During the 1948 Nakba, Israeli forces killed an estimated 13,000 Palestinians and forcibly evicted 700,000-1 million Palestinians from their homes and land. Five hundred and thirty-one (50%) of Palestinian villages were entirely depopulated and destroyed. 

The Nakba continues today. Palestinians are the largest and longest-suffering group of refugees in the world. One in three refugees worldwide is Palestinian and over 60% are registered for humanitarian assistance with the UN.
Within occupied Palestine, the occupying state has displayed no limits to their aggression in pursuit of their expansionist ideals while have not been held to any account for their crimes against humanity.  

3)  The magnitude of the oppression:

The perpetrators realize a great magnitude of direct force and violence is needed to prevent any rebellion movement since the thief understands the victim will resist with whatever they have, and they, therefore, seek to crush the spirit of this resistance. The occupying state has made it mandatory for every Israeli Jew to serve in the ‘IDF’, and they are indoctrinated from a young age to believe every Palestinian is a ‘terrorist’, whilst their survival is dependent on getting rid of the indigenous Palestinians. 

With over 2.5 million Palestinian’s living in the West Bank, an extremely densely populated region, Israel is not only seizing the best land and resources through annexing the territories and giving themselves false authority over the land, but they are striving to create an unbearable condition for the Palestinian’s living within, such that they become hopeless and would want to immigrate and abandon their own homeland. 

4)  Continuity of the oppression:

Since the financial and military existence of Israel is completely linked to the U.S., this oppression will continue until Israel loses its functional role due to the balance of powers that are increasingly not in the U.S.’s favor in the region.

Besides the axis of resistance and its proponents, all countries are turning a blind eye to the continuous oppression in Palestine, which is legitimized by the majority of the world since there is an overlap between their aims and they only account for what is in their interests. They seek to wipe the history of Palestine and grant legitimacy to Israel’s existence, although acknowledging its illegality should by any standards create an uprising.

It is the responsibility of all of humanity to correct the biggest shame that have occurred. All nations need to apply pressure on their governments to sever ties with the occupying state and grant the right of return and compensation for all Palestinian citizens. 

عودة الروح لفلسطين وانهيار القرن العشرين

ناصر قنديل


تميّز القرن العشرين بكونه على الصعيد الفكري والسياسي والاقتصادي قرن العقلانيّة، التي لا يرى البعض منها إلا كونها تبشيراً بالخير والعدل والسلام، توافقاً مع الشعارات التي رفعتها الثورة الفرنسية التي افتتحت عهد العقلانية في الفلسفة والسياسة والاقتصاد، لكن ما يتجاهله الكثيرون هو أن هذه العقلانية التي نهضت تحت رايتها إمبراطوريات الغرب الكبرى، تحوّلت الى إنتاج أنماط للدول والنظام السياسي والنظام الاقتصادي، والإفراط بمنح العقل تفويض التدخل لتعليب التاريخ والجغرافيا بإنتاج علب، يجري السعي لفرضها على شعوب العالم، بما يرافق فرضها من عبث إرادوي في التاريخ والجغرافيا، ولعل منطقتنا كانت خير مثال عن هذا العبث، الذي طال العالم كله، حتى أتاح انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي لنا رؤية روسيا تستعيد حيويتها وقوتها بمصادر حضور مؤسسة على عناصر تستمدها مباشرة من التاريخ والجغرافيا، وليس من وصفة وضعيّة اسمها الشيوعية، حوّلتها قوة عظمى لكنها سلبتها الروح، فعادت الروح الناتجة عن تزاوج الروح الإمبراطورية مع المسيحية الشرقية والقومية الروسية. كما أتيح لنا ونحن نرى تركيا كدولة ذات أطماع بجوارها ومخالب تمدّها في المنطقة، تفعل ذلك بعدما تزاوجت طورانيتها السلجوقية مع خلفيتها الإمبراطورية المتمثلة بالعثمانية، بعدما تحررت من الوصفة العلمانية القسرية المهجنة التي فرضت عليها لتحمي الخاصرة الأوروبية، وأتيح لنا أن نرى إيران المتطلعة لدور فاعل في آسيا تفعل ذلك تحت راية إسلامها بخصوصيّته المؤسسة على الكربلائية الرافضة للظلم، بنكهة إمبراطورية متصالحة مع تاريخ بلاد فارس، بعدما تحرّرت من القفص الشاهنشاهي الذي وضعت بداخله، وأجهضت لأجله ثورتها مرات عديدة، لتلعب قسراً دور شرطي الخليج وسند كيان الاحتلال.

في منطقتنا تم التلاعب بالتاريخ والجغرافيا بصورة شديدة المرضية، لدرجة غير قابلة للتصديق لمجافاتها كل ما هو طبيعي، فكيف تم تحويل مصر أم الدنيا وزعيمة العالم العربي الى دولة ضعيفة مهددة بالجوع والعطش، وتم تنصيب السعودية بقوة المال والنفط زعيماً بديلاً بلا أي مقومات موضوعية لدور الزعامة؟ وكيف تم الطغيان على دور اليمن التاريخي صاحب الفضل بنشر اللسان العربي وتأصيله، وأصل القبائل العربية وصاحب أكبر تاريخ عمراني منذ مملكة سبأ وسد مأرب، ليتحول مجرد مصدر للعمال في دول النفط الخليجي، وهو الذي يمثل أكبر كتلة بشرية في الخليج يتحوّل مجرد ملحق في السياسات والبحث عن مصادر الحياة؟ وبالعقلانية التي منحت الغرب تفويضاً من الإله الجديد، المسمى بالمصلحة، تم إطلاق الوهابية لتحل مكان الإسلام المتجذر في تاريخ الأزهر وعلماء بلاد الشام والأندلس، وبالعقلانية فرض شطب ابن خلدون وابن رشد وابن عربي من التاريخ العلمي الإنساني ومن التراث العربي، ليحل مكانهم مشعوذون يملكون فضائيات مفتوحة على مدار الساعة لتوزيع النصائح الفلكية للنجاح والتعويذات لمعالجة المرضى، لكن تبقى أكبر عملية عبث بالتاريخ والجغرافيا هي تلك التي شهدها المشرق العربيّ، حيث رسمت خرائط الكيانات الوليدة من اتفاقية سايكس بيكو، على قياس ضمان أمن وهيمنة الكيان المولود بقوة وعد بلفور، كوطن قومي لليهود الذين تمّ جلبهم بالشعوذة والتهجير والإغراء، لإقامة كيان يتحدّى كل ما يتصل بالتاريخ والجغرافيا، ليكون حارساً لأنابيب النفط وتقاطعاتها، وكل ذلك باسم العقلانية، فما يريده العقل وتسخر له الأموال والسلطات والأسلحة يمكن له أن يلغي كل حقائق التاريخ الموروث الذي تسهل شيطنته والجغرافيا العذراء التي يسهل تطويعها.

منذ عام 1990 مع سقوط جدار برلين الذي أسس لاستعادة أوروبا وحدتها التي مزقتها العقلانية، كما أسس لاستعادة روسيا لروحها خارج صيغة الاتحاد السوفياتي العقلاني، بدا أن القرن العشرين ينهار، لكن بدا بوضوح أن هذا الانهيار لن يكتمل إلا عندما يلامس حدود المشرق العربي، وخصوصاً عندما تهتز أركان الكيان الذي يحمل أعلى مراتب الدلالة على ماهية العقلانية التي أسست للسياسة والاقتصاد والفكر في القرن العشرين، والذي قام على أعلى درجات العبث بالتاريخ والجغرافيا، ومن هنا تنبع أهمية ما يجري في فلسطين، حيث يقوم الفلسطينيون بإبداع مثير للذهول بتفكيك الكائن الخرافي فرانكشتاين المولود الأهم للعقلانية، فقد ثبت وسيثبت أكثر أن المال والسلطة والسلاح التي أنجبت هذا المسخ العلمي هي مصادر قوة خرساء وتبقى خرساء عندما ينطق التاريخ وتتحدث الجغرافيا، فيتهاوى ما بدا أنه بنيان عصيّ على الرياح، وفلسطين المنتفضة من أقصاها الى أقصاها وفي قلبها القدس وأقصاها، تقول ذلك بما لا يحتمل التأويل، وتثبت أن ما توهّمه البعض من موت القضية الفلسطينية كان مجرد سراب، وأن الهوية الجامعة التي تشعل جذوتها فلسطين والقدس بين شعوب المنطقة لا تزال تحمل سحرها وكلمة سرها، رغم كل عمليات التخريب المبرمج للهويات، وأن الإسلام لا يمكن ان يكون تكفيرياً، وأن المسيحية ترفض أن تكون صليبيّة، فلا غورو المنتقم من صلاح الدين يمثل المسيحية، ولا أبو بكر البغدادي وأبو محمد الجولاني قادة بقر البطون وأكل الأكباد والقلوب يمثلون الإسلام. فالمنطقة اليوم تستردّ روحها من فلسطين، لتدفن الكثير الكثير من موروثات مرحلة العقلانية، فلبنان مأزوم وسورية مهدّدة والعراق تائه والأردن في خطر، ولا أمل بحلول عنوانها كذبة لبنان أولاً وسورية أولاً والعراق أولاً والأردن أولاً، بل الحل الجامع هو فلسطين أولاً، والتسليم بأن الحل الجامع هو بالعودة لمحاكاة المصير الواحد الذي عبثت به خرائط سايكس بيكو، ولو بصيغ تحفظ الخصوصيّات الناشئة.

Ayatollah Khamenei: Balance tipped in Islam’s favor, Zionist enemy in decline

Friday, 07 May 2021 10:12 AM  [ Last Update: Friday, 07 May 2021 10:58 AM ]1

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ayatollah Khamenei delivers a televised speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Photo by Leader.ir)

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has marked the International Quds Day, saying Israel is not a country but a terrorist base against the people of Palestine and other Muslim nations.

“Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations,” the Leader said on Friday.

“Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility,” Ayatollah Khamenei added. 

The Leader voiced confidence that the downward movement of the Zionist regime has already started and “it will never stop”.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively.

He said the policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism “have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.”

The following is the full text of Ayatollah Khamenei’s speech:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem Al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his pure and immaculate household, upon his chosen companions and upon those who follow them until the Day of Judgment.

Palestine is the most important issue for the Islamic Ummah

The issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein.

The logic behind the establishment of the Zionist regime

Can one find a logic weaker and shakier than that of the establishment of the Zionist regime? On the basis of their claim, the Europeans oppressed the Jews during the Second World War, therefore they believe that the oppression against the Jews should be revenged by displacing a nation in West Asia and by committing a horrible massacre in that country!

This is the logic which western governments have relied on with their wholehearted and blind support for the Zionist regime, thereby disproving all their false claims about human rights and democracy. It has been 70 years now that they have been sticking with this laughable and at the same time tragic story and every now and then, they add a new chapter to it.

Fighting against the Zionist regime is a collective responsibility

Since the first day, the Zionists turned the usurped Palestine into a terrorist base. Israel is not a country, rather it is a terrorist camp against the Palestinian nation and other Muslim nations. Fighting against this despotic regime is fighting against oppression and terrorism. And this is a collective responsibility.

Weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah prepared the ground for the usurpation of Palestine

Another noteworthy point is that although that the usurping regime was established in 1948, the ground for occupying that sensitive Islamic region had been prepared years before that. Those specific years coincided with the active interference of westerners in Islamic countries with the purpose of establishing secularism and excessive and blind nationalism and also with the goal of installing despotic governments who were infatuated with or controlled by the West.

Studying those events in Iran, Turkey and Arab countries stretching from West Asia to North Africa reveals this bitter truth that weakness and discord in the Islamic Ummah paved the way for the disastrous usurpation of Palestine, allowing the world of arrogance to deliver that blow to the Islamic Ummah.

Westerners and Easterners colluding with one another over the matter of usurping Palestine

It is instructive that at that time, the capitalism and communism camps colluded with the rich Zionists. It was the English who masterminded the plot and who persisted in it and then, Zionist capitalists executed it with their money and weapons. The Soviet Union too was one of the first governments that officially recognized the establishment of that illegitimate regime and later on dispatched a large number of Jews to that area.

The usurping regime was actually an outcome of that situation in the world of Islam on the one hand, and of a European plot, invasion and transgression, on the other.

In the present time, the balance has been tipped in favor of the world of Islam

Today, the situation in the world is not like those days. We should keep this reality within sight. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the world of Islam. Various political and social incidents in Europe and in the United States have laid bare the weaknesses and the deep structural, managerial and moral conflicts among westerners. The electoral events in the US and the notoriously scandalous failures of the hubristic and arrogant managers in that country, the unsuccessful one-year fight against the pandemic in the US and Europe and the embarrassing incidents that ensued, and also the recent political and social instabilities in the most important European countries are all signs of the downward movement of the western camp.

On the other hand, the growth of the Resistance forces in the most sensitive Islamic regions, the development of their defensive and offensive capabilities, their growth of self-awareness, motivation and hope in Muslim nations, the increasing tendency to follow Islamic and Quranic slogans and the growth of independence and self-reliance in nations are auspicious signs of a better future.

The necessity for Muslim countries to cooperate with one another on the pivot of Palestine and Quds

In this auspicious future, cooperation between Muslim countries should be a main and fundamental goal and this does not seem unlikely. The pivot around which this cooperation turns is the issue of Palestine–the entirety of that country–and the fate of Holy Quds. This is the same truth that guided the enlightened heart of the great Imam Khomeini (may God bestow mercy upon him) towards the announcement of International Quds Day on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Cooperation between Muslims around the pivot of Holy Quds is an absolute nightmare for the Zionists and for their American and European advocates. The failed project called “The Deal of the Century” and the effort to normalize the relations between a few weak Arab governments and the Zionist regime were desperate attempts to run away from that nightmare.

I tell you with confidence: These attempts will not get them anywhere. The downward movement of the Zionist enemy has started and it will not stop moving downward.

The decisive factors in the future: The continued activities of the Resistance in the occupied lands and Muslims’ support for the Palestinian mujahids

There are two determining factors in the future: First and foremost is the continued activities of resistance in the Palestinian lands and the strengthening of the line of jihad and martyrdom and second, global support, on the part of governments and Muslim nations throughout the world, for the Palestinian mujahids.

All of us–government officials, intellectuals, religious scholars, political parties and groups, the brave youths and people of various social backgrounds–should determine our position in this public movement and play our part.

This is what nullifies the enemy’s plots and it will be a millennial manifestation of this ayah: “Or do they intend a plot? But those who defy Allah are themselves involved in a plot” [The Holy Quran, 52: 42], and “And Allah has full power and control over His affairs, but most among mankind do not know” [The Holy Quran, 12: 21].

I also wish to address the Arab youth in their own language…

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Greetings be upon all liberated individuals in the Arab world, in particular Arab youth, and greetings be upon the resistant people of Palestine and Quds and the defenders in Masjid al-Aqsa.

Greetings be upon the martyrs of Resistance and the large number of the mujahids who laid down their lives on this path, in particular martyr Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, martyr Sayyid Abbas Musawi, martyr Fathi Shaqaqi, martyr Imad Moughniyah, martyr Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, martyr Abu-Mahdi al-Muhandis and finally, the most prominent personality among the martyrs of Resistance, martyr Qassem Soleimani. Even after their fruitful and blessed life, with their martyrdom, each of these personalities exerted a deep impact on the Resistance.

The endeavors of Palestinians and the pure blood of the Resistance martyrs have managed to hold up this auspicious flag and to increase the internal power of Palestinian jihad by a hundred times. One day, the Palestinian youth used to defend themselves by throwing stones, but today, they respond to enemy attacks with precision missiles.

Palestine and Quds has been described in the Holy Quran as the “Holy Land”. It has been tens of years now that the most impure and malicious human beings have been occupying this pure land: they are devils who massacre honorable human beings and then they confess to it with complete shamelessness. They are racists who have been harassing, for more than 70 years, the main owners of the land by murdering, looting, imprisoning and torturing them, but, thank God, they have not been able to break their willpower.

Palestine is alive and it continues to resist and it will finally overcome the malicious enemy with God’s assistance. Holy Quds and the entire Palestine belongs to those people [the Palestinians] and they will regain its possession again: “Nor is that for Allah any great matter.” [The Holy Quran, 14:20].

All Muslim governments and nations are responsible towards Palestine, but the Palestinians themselves are the pivot of the jihad and their population reaches about 14 million people inside and outside the land. The unity and the unanimous willpower of those people will work wonders.

Today, unity is the biggest weapon for the Palestinians

The enemies of Palestinian unity are the Zionist regime, the US and some other political powers, but if unity is not shattered from inside the Palestinian society itself, the extrinsic enemies will not be able to do anything.

The pivot of this unity should be national jihad and lack of trust in the enemies. The main enemies of the Palestinians-the US, England and vicious Zionists-should not be used as a source of support for Palestinian politics.

All Palestinians–including the Palestinians in Gaza, in Quds, in the West Bank, in 1948 lands and even the ones living in refugee camps–form a single unit and they should adopt the strategy of coalescence. Every part should defend another part and when under pressure, they should utilize the tools at their disposal.

Today, hope of achieving victory is stronger than ever. Today, the balance of power has swung in favor of the Palestinians. The Zionist enemy has become weaker year after year while its army, which used to describe itself as “the army which will never be defeated”, has turned into “an army which will never taste victory” after its debacle in the 33-day war in Lebanon and its experiences in 22-day and 8-day wars. As for its political condition, it has been forced to hold four elections in the space of two years. In terms of security as well, it continuously tastes defeat. Moreover, the increasing desire among Jews to emigrate from that country has become a source of embarrassment for that overconfident regime. Its serious endeavor to normalize relations with a few Arab countries, with the assistance of the US, is another sign of the decline of that regime. Of course, this will not help that regime in any way either. Tens of years ago, it established relations with Egypt, but since then, it has become much weaker and much more vulnerable. Therefore, will the normalization of relations with a few weak and small countries be able to help that regime? Of course, those countries will not benefit from the relations either, as the Zionist regime will transgress against their properties and their land and it will promote corruption and insecurity in their countries.

Of course, these truths should not make others forget about their heavy duty. Muslim and Christian ulama should announce the act of normalization as haraam from a religious perspective and intellectuals and liberated individuals should explain to everyone the results of this treachery, which is a stab in the back of Palestine.

Contrary to the downward movement of the regime, an increase in the capabilities of the camp of Resistance is a sign of a bright future: An increase in defensive and military power, self-sufficiency in building effective weapons, the self-confidence of mujahids, the increasing awareness of youth, the extension of the Resistance circle to the entire country of Palestine and beyond, the recent uprising of youth in defending Masjid al-Aqsa and the simultaneous promotion of the Palestinian nation’s spirit of jihad and innocence among public opinion in many parts of the world.

The logic behind the Palestinian cause, which has been registered in the United Nations documents, is a progressive and attractive logic. Palestinian warriors can bring up the idea of holding a referendum with the participation of the main inhabitants of Palestine. The referendum will determine the political system of the country and the main inhabitants, including the displaced Palestinians, no matter what their ethnicity and religion are, will participate in it. That political system will bring back the displaced [Palestinians] and will determine the fate of the foreigners inhabiting there.

This demand is based on the common democracy accepted in the whole world and no one can question its progressiveness.

The Palestinian fighters should continue their legitimate and moral fight against the usurping regime until it is forced to give in to this demand.

Move forward in the Name of God and know that: “Allah will certainly aid those who aid His cause” [The Holy Quran, 22: 40].

Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy


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Who Wags the Dog? Israel’s Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle East

Who Wags the Dog? Israel's Friends in Washington Mean Constant War in the Middle  East - Islam Times
Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

Philip Giraldi April 22, 2021

Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby.

Donald Trump, who was elected President of the United States in 2016, may have won due to voters attracted by his pledge to end many of the “stupid” wars that the American military was involved in worldwide. In the event, however, he ended no wars in spite of several attempts to withdraw from Afghanistan and Syria, and almost started new conflicts with cruise missile attacks and the assassination of an Iranian general. Trump was consistently outmaneuvered by his “experts” on the National Security Council and at the Pentagon, who insisted that it was too early to disengage from the Middle East and Central Asia, that America’s own national security would be threatened.

Trump did not have either the experience or the grit necessary to override his generals and national security team, so he deferred to their judgement. And as has been well documented he was under constant pressure to do Israel’s bidding in the region, which mandated a continued substantial US military presence to protect the Jewish state and to provide cover for the regular attacks staged by the Israelis against several of their neighbors. Motivated by the substantial political donations coming from multi-billionaires like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Trump conceded more to Israel than any previous president, recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital as well as Israeli annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights while also giving the green light to settlement expansion and eventual incorporation of all of the occupied West Bank into Greater Israel.

President Joe Biden has already indicated that he will if anything out-do Trump when it comes to favoring America’s persistent “ally” and “best friend” in the Middle East. Biden, who has declared himself to be a “Zionist,” is responding to the same lobbying and media power that Israel’s friends are able to assert over any US national government. In addition, his own Democratic Party in Congress is also the home of most of the federal government’s genuine Zionists, namely the numerous mostly Jewish legislators who have long dedicated themselves to advancing Israeli interests. Finally, Biden has chosen to surround himself with large numbers of Jewish appointed officials as his foreign policy and national security team, many of whom have close and enduring personal ties to Israel, to include service in the Israeli Army.

The new Secretary of Defense, former Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin has recently returned from a trip to Israel, where he confirmed one’s worst fears about the direction the Biden Administration is moving in. It was a first visit to Israel by a Biden Administration cabinet member. Austin met with his counterpart Benny Gantz and also with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both of whom warned him that Israel considered renewal of any nuclear arms limitation agreement with Iran to be a threat, only delaying development of a weapon. As Bibi expressed it, “Iran has never given up its quest for nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. I will never allow Iran to obtain the nuclear capability to carry out its genocidal goal of eliminating Israel.”

Austin responded by the usual two-step avoiding Israel’s expressed concerns, which might be considered a threat of an Israeli veto on Biden’s attempt to revert to the original 2015 JCPOA multilateral pact. He said that the Biden administration would continue to guarantee Israel’s “qualitative military edge” as an element in America’s “strong commitment to Israel and the Israeli people,” adding that “our bilateral relationship with Israel in particular is central to regional stability and security in the Middle East. During our meeting I reaffirmed to Minister Gantz our commitment to Israel is enduring and it is ironclad.”

Wrong answer general. The foreign policy of any country should be based on actual interests, not on political donations and effective lobbying, still less on what one reads in the Zionist mainstream media in the US. Netanyahu has stated that the Iran agreement is “fatally flawed” and has said recently that “History has taught us that deals like this, with extremist regimes like this, are worth nothing.” Israel, which uniquely has a secret nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, is one of the world’s leading violators of attempts to limit nuclear proliferation. It is also destabilizing to the entire Middle East region, an apartheid state – not a democracy – and its government is widely regarded as right-wing extremist. That Netanyahu should feel somehow empowered to talk down to the Iranians, and to the US, remains a mystery.

Beyond what goes on between Washington and Jerusalem, the real center of power, the Israel Lobby, consists of a large number of separate organizations that act collectively to advance Israeli interests. There is considerable corruption in the process, with cooperative congressmen being rewarded while those who resist are targeted for replacement. Much of the legwork on subverting Capitol Hill and the White House is done by foundations, which often pretend to be educational to obtain tax exempt status. “Experts” from the various pro-Israel groups are then seeded into the decision-making process of the federal government, serving as gatekeepers to prevent consideration of any legislation that might be objected to by Netanyahu.

One of the most active lobbying groups is the so-called Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) which is in fact closely tied to and takes direction from the Israeli Embassy in Washington. FDD is particularly focused on going to war with Iran and whenever there are discussions on Iran policy on Capitol Hill one can be sure that an FDD expert will be present and active.

And if you really want to know why America’s foreign policy has been so self-destructive, it has recently been learned that FDD was actually able to insert one of its employees into the National Security Council under Donald Trump. According to a report on Bloomberg, Richard Goldberg, an outspoken anti-Iran hawk and former associate of John Bolton, is leaving the council and would be returning “to [the Foundation for Defense of Democracies], which continued to pay his salary during his time on the National Security Council.”

The NSC exists to provide the president with the best possible intelligence and analysis available for dealing with problem areas, something that Goldberg, due to his conflict of interest, would have been unlikely to provide, particularly as he was still on the FDD payroll and was also being given generous travel expenses while working for the government. Whether he was also being paid by the NSC, which is referred to as “double dipping,” is not known. In any event, there is something very wrong about the appointment of a paid partisan who seeks war with a particular country to a vital national security position where objectivity is an imperative. Ned Price, former special assistant to President Obama on national security, commented “…we now know a White House point person on Iran policy was receiving a salary from and remained employed by an organization that has put forward some of the most extreme and dangerous pro-regime change policies.”

So Biden, like presidents before him, is caught in the trap between an extremist-dominated Israel itself and its demonic prime minister on one side and the all-powerful domestic Israel Lobby on the other. Unfortunately, one cannot expect the United States to get out from under the Israeli thumb no matter whom is elected president.

The Myth of Peace in the Middle East: Deconstructing the Naturalization Narrative

April 16, 2021Articles,

American-Israeli delegation visit to Morocco in December 2020. (Photo: US Embassy Jerusalem, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Mohamed El Metmari

This critical essay deconstructs the political narrative surrounding the naturalization agreements that have occurred between some Arab countries and Israel formally known as the Abrahamic Accords or Jared Kushner’s plan for peace in the Middle East. It offers unique perspectives and analysis of these accords and their true geopolitical intentions. Primarily, it argues how the peace promised by these newly established ties remains just a myth as it explores the true objectives behind them. Interestingly enough, it also highlights the true goals behind the U.S’ mediations in these Accords.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of the hottest yet unresolved political issues of today. Whereas this conflict is not heading towards any resolutions soon, the recent naturalization agreements that have occurred between some Arab regimes and the apartheid state of Israel may mark a future shift in Middle East’s political scene.

Earlier to these agreements, boycotting Israel was these Arab nations’ approach to show support for Palestinians and their claims. Before 2020, only two bordering countries have had diplomatic ties with Israel; that is, Egypt and Jordan. This number has risen to six as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have set full diplomatic and economic relations with Israel as part of Jared Kushner’s plan for peace in the Middle East known formally as the Abrahamic Accords.

Celebrating the first occurrence of the Abrahamic Accords, Trump hosted a signing ceremony in the White House and had the following rash statement to announce: “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.” By this politically immature statement, Trump seemed as if he had finally found a solution to the conflict in the region.

As for peace in the region is concerned, Jared Kushner’s peace plans do not make any sense. Apart from Sudan, none of the countries involved with these accords are in conflict with Israel. On the opposite, Morocco and so the Gulf States have retained very healthy diplomatic relations with Israel, even if they were undeclared publicly. For instance, Morocco has had a fair share of intelligence-sharing with Israel since the mid-sixties. On top of that, the two countries had liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat from Sept. 1, 1994, to Oct. 23, 2000. Not to mention Morocco’s contribution in populating Israel by handing over its Jewish population to the newly established Jewish state during the reign of the Moroccan king Hassan II.

Granted, Israel supports the totalitarian regimes of the region mainly because these totalitarianisms do not demand accountability for its human rights and international law violations. Hence, most Arab dictatorships have been dealing with Israel on political and security levels; especially after the outbreak of the Arab spring where these regimes had to obtain the latest spying and security tech to topple every dissident in their population who desires regime change. Whereas the case of the Washington Post’s correspondent Jamal Khashoggi remains the most covered case, Amnesty International has reported that Moroccan journalist Omar Radi’s phone has also been infected with the Israeli Pegasus spyware.

The Myth of Peace: Deception, Expansion and Dispossession.

Each time an Arab country initiates full diplomatic relations with Israel, its local propaganda machine makes it look as a major historical event that has occurred in the country. Some media outlets have gone far with this. For example, they take the religious tolerance preached in the Muslim faith as a pretext for setting these normalization agreements with this ‘Jewish’ nation. Other media platforms, however, have beautified the image of Israel’s apartheid regime via elaborate historical descriptions of Jewish culture and heritage. This is not wrong at all, but what is wrong is to evoke this history only at this particular event ignoring Israel’s present violations of International Law and Human rights and most of all occupation of Palestinian lands. This is why it is easy to deconstruct the naturalization narrative and prove that it is just a myth.

First of all, the context of these agreements was preceded and controlled by the 2020 US elections. Trump’s administration had tried to convince the American public that it will be the first administration that ends the conflict in the Middle East and thus planning on gaining a potential leverage in the election race. But despite the occurrence of the Abrahamic Accords last year and even Trump’s administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6, 2017, it still was not enough to win Trump the approval of the devastated American public. This is mainly because Americans wanted Trump out of the White House at any cost; even if it meant choosing the lesser evil of the two candidates in the elections.

Meanwhile, these events come as a perfect opportunity to boost the reputation of the Likud party and more specifically the reputation of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose image has been stained by his corruption and monopoly of the Israeli political scene. Unlike Trump, the chances of him getting replaced in the upcoming Israeli elections are relatively low because of his firm grip on power and the lack of his equal in the Israeli political arena. Furthermore, with the massive press coverage that comes with such events, Netanyahu, similarly to Trump, wanted the spotlights on him to distract the public from his administration’s terrible handling of Covid-19 and thus gaining significant leverage in the elections.

Second, the biggest gain for Israel from these new ties with the Arab States and Morocco is that it reinforces its political influence in the Middle East. Not only this, but unlocking Israel’s geo-political isolation in the region as well. And since this newly granted influence to Israel is an approved one, it gives it freedom to expand and occupy more without any opposition. Of course, if Israel is gaining a legitimate influence in the region, this means that Palestine’s position will exacerbate. And thus the Palestinian cause will no longer have the leverage it has on the Middle Eastern political scene.

Furthermore, Israel’s decision to create ties with the Gulf countries in specific is not arbitrary. This move was motivated by economic reasons. As it is known, the Khaleeji people are the biggest consumers in the region. Hence the khaleeji market becomes a perfect destination for Israeli goods. Israeli products, foods in specific, can even replace other products coming from other countries because of the close distance and the low shipping costs. Additionally, Sudan may not offer much as markets are concerned, but it is definitely a great source of agricultural imports for Israel. Being the mediator between Israel and its “new” allies, the US benefits from these agreements as well since it is Israel’s biggest ally. After all, any ongoing political conflict between Israel and any of the Middle Eastern countries is primarily endangering US’ political and economic interests in the region. In other words, the mediation of the US in these so-called Peace agreements is not out of a sort of altruism because the US is only after its share of the pie.

Third, to say that these newly established ties will bring “peace” to the region is ludicrous and rash but not totally wrong. But for whom this peace is served; for Palestine, for the Arab States, or for Israel? To give a rather simple and short answer, it is apt to say it remains just a myth for the Palestinians in specific, but it means more security and power for the Israeli side in particular. To put it differently, with Israel having full diplomatic ties with these Arab countries and Morocco, it becomes easy for it to carry its annexation plans and dispossession of Palestinian lands without being held accountable. And the Palestinians are likely to be displaced gradually and implicitly to one of these countries. Apparently, Morocco and the rich Gulf states are the biggest fish that Israel could ever come to terms with. Since they provide financial comfort and political stability, some Palestinians may choose these destinations over their currently Israeli-occupied and war-inflected homes.

However, it is worth mentioning that the Emiratis as well as the Saudis despise the Palestinians. Hence, the Palestinians will never accept the reality of being displaced to one of these two countries. Meanwhile, this does not apply to either Kuwait or Oman in which do not have a strong political influence in the region. Apart from Morocco, they maybe the desired destination Israel is looking for to displace the Palestinians to after annexing their lands. Whether the two countries agree to normalize relations with Israel in the future or not, it does not really matter as long they are subservient to UAE and Saudi Arabia. Apparently, the Palestinians are likely to resist as they usually do.

Concurrently, Israel is likely to pressure them to accept this bitter reality as it has been doing for the last decades. Hence, Israel will possibly seek not only to increase its siege and pressure on the borders and checkpoints, but it may also instigate a war with Hamas as a pretext for a military escalation. Hamas, on the other hand, will be, as always, scapegoated for the whole thing especially that it is classified as a terrorist organization. Therefore, the peace that Israel is seeking is a peace with the Palestinians out of Palestine.

However, Israel is not the only benefactor from these agreements. Clearly, the Gulf States have paid for US military protection by signing these accords. But UAE in specific have had further arms deals and gained even more political protection against the Iranian influence in the Arab peninsula. Nonetheless, when a country signs a peace deal, it does not instantly demand acquirement of advanced F-35 stealth Jet, which is what this Gulf State did, because the two are paradoxical. Therefore, in opposition to the classic definitions of peace treaties, the brokered peace from these agreements is a purchased one like many peace agreements that have been signed before it in the region. After all, Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel so it is de-listed from the state-sponsors of terror, the Gulf States signed them as a payment for US military protection and Morocco got support for its sovereignty over Western Sahara.

Therefore, as all the purchased peace agreements the Middle East has witnessed over modern history- whether it is peace for land, peace in exchange of monopoly or what have you- this one is also doomed to be broken by conflict since it is not based on a balanced compromise where two equal parties meet in the middle. Rather, it is a political move towards accumulation of power where the main side of this conflict, meaning the Palestinians, is not even included in these agreements.

The US, Morocco, and Israel: A Geopolitical Chess Game over Africa

The fact that Israel has pursued diplomatic relations with Morocco- a country so far away from the Middle East’s political discourse- is by no means for peace as it is claimed by any of the Accords’ orchestrators. The moment it was announced that Morocco was to resume relations with Israel, Moroccan propaganda machines overshadowed the controversies that come with this event by preaching to the public about the Moroccan Jewish heritage and the coexistence of the Abrahamic religions in this homogeneous sphere. This normalization was depicted as a win-win situation for Morocco especially that Trump has rewarded Morocco’s approval of its resumption of relations with the apartheid regime by signing a presidential proclamation that recognizes Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.

The celebrations following this recognition covered up totally for the naturalization. This proclamation has even become an independent narrative of its own. The official discourse in Moroccan media has asserted that this recognition is the fruit of long-lasting diplomatic ties between Morocco and the US and not as a part of the Abrahamic Accords. Moreover, many factors influence politics, but altruism is not one of them. Taking the fact that Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the US in 1777, and the two countries long diplomatic relations, it stands as a surprise that it took so much time for the US to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara or at least support its claim diplomatically.

Meanwhile, political terminology is important here because Moroccan media had it intentionally mixed up to alleviate the Moroccan public’s rage. Trump’s presidential proclamation does not recognize the Western Sahara region as a Moroccan entity as they have claimed, but it only recognizes Moroccan sovereignty over it. These are two different things, because Morocco has already been practicing sovereignty over the region although with some difficulties mainly caused by intense altercations with the Algerian-backed Polisario Front. The only thing that Morocco has needed is legitimacy and this proclamation happens to be it. Obviously, this is a simple treat from the US for Morocco’s acceptance of the resumption of relations with Israel.

Nevertheless, the majority of the Moroccan public welcomed Trump’s move, but they abhorred Morocco’s establishment of ties with Israel. Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, has refused to call this an act of “naturalization” of relations. For him, normalization is a Middle Eastern term that does not apply to Morocco which is not a neighboring country to Israel. Indeed, Morocco’s North African location and its large indigenous Amazigh population make it hard to proclaim the country as purely Arab.

Bourita has preferred using the term “resumption” of relations instead. As mentioned earlier, Morocco and Israel had Liaison offices in Tel Aviv and Rabat before Morocco had to close their office in response to Israeli repression of the second Palestinian Intifada in 2000. Not to mention, there is a number of almost 800.000 Jews of Moroccan decent living in Israel right now.

Obviously, Israel remains the biggest benefactor from these naturalization agreements. However, the US did not take part in them without purpose. The existence of Israel in the Middle East protects American interests in the region. That is why Zionist lobbies in the US always do their best to empower this regime. And this is what AIPAC is doing and what Christians United for Israel and other Zionist lobbies are doing. As a result, this support for the apartheid regime enables the US to retain its firm grip on Middle East’s political and economic affairs. These are all facts now. But the case of Morocco is still a uniquely dubious one. Pressing Morocco – a country so far away from The Middle East’s frenzy and even terminology to sign these deals seems confusing to say the least; especially that Morocco is not a rich country like the Gulf States.

However, ever since Morocco’s rejoining the African Union in 2017, many countries and the US particularly have started to look for ways to intensify their relations with this African country more than before. To illustrate, Morocco’s main weapon supplies come from the US. Granted, the influence of the US embassy in Rabat has surpassed diplomatic lines to influencing Moroccan cultural context and even influencing Moroccan academia via its grants and many programs and English learning courses. This soft pressure changes the structure of Moroccan society with time. As of now, although French is the official second language in Morocco, the majority of Moroccan youth, many of whom have benefited from US grants and programs, speak English. This is not bad at all, but again, politics is the game of interests and not altruisms. Implemented in these courses and grants are soft ideologies that create sympathy and acceptance of US values and democracy in the Moroccan community. In the long run, acceptance of the US image rises even if its intentions in the region are not necessarily benevolent.

To connect this to the question at hand, Morocco remains the US’ key holder to the African Union and African countries. This strategic move to invest in Morocco politically and economically and then support its sovereignty over its full territorial land comes as the price for infiltrating a fertile network of rising African economies. Hence, these countries become perfect investment destinations for the US. And although China is the biggest player in Africa as economy is involved, not counting the previous colonial powers of Africa, the US is doing the best it can to take this role in the near future. After its degrading failure to do so under pretexts of humanitarian aid and war on terror, the UShas finally chosen this diplomatic direction to overtake Russian and Chinese influences in Africa. It is hence a perfectly played chess game over geopolitical expansion and power. Peace and human rights preached in these agreements however, are turned into industries that are used to further their dominance and hegemony.

Additionally, what makes Morocco exceptional is its officials’ diplomatic maturity and its political stability in comparison to the Middle East and other African countries. Also, Morocco’s ability to repay its debts boosts foreign investors’ confidence to embark on the Moroccan market. Not to mention, Morocco itself needs this kind of political and economic partnership and support as it seeks to take the lead as an African power. However, this pursuit remains far-fetched without having full sovereignty over its lands or without having strong allies.

Meanwhile, Moroccan King Mohamed VI has confirmed that Morocco’s position on Palestine remains unchanged. He has also affirmed that he places his country’s territorial issue and the Palestinian cause at the same level, and that the kingdom will use its new position to push for a conflict resolution in the region. Thus, Morocco is playing it as safe as it could as it is placing itself neither with the current, nor against it.

All in all, Morocco and the Arab regimes’ decision to normalize relations with Israel is not promising of any lasting peace between Palestine and Israel simply because Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories will gain significant legitimacy from the establishment of these diplomatic ties. Especially that these Arab States are not democratic themselves so they can account it for its infringement of international law and human rights. Granted, since the Palestinian question, the right of self-determination and the right of return are not included in the official discourse of these peace agreements, a resolution for the Palestinian- Israeli conflict remains just a myth that appears to be tangible with propaganda and exclusionary media narratives.

– Mohamed El Metmari is an independent writer and researcher affiliated with the faculty of Letters and Humanities of Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Martil, Morocco. He is an Open Hands Initiative’s Conflict Resolution alumnus. Currently, he is conducting a Master’s thesis centered on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. His articles have appeared on Aljazeera Arabic, SasaPost, and Countercurrents. He contributed this essay to The Palestine Chronicle.

A HARD LIFE FOR TURKEY AND ITS PROXIES IN NORTHERN SYRIA

 09.04.2021 

South Front

In the North of Syria, the Turkish armed forces and the factions backed by Ankara are attempting to move and are being punished.

This is the case in Greater Idlib, where a Turkish army convoy was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) as it was passing on a road between the towns of al-Bara and Ehsim in the southern part of Idlib.

Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq, a newly-founded al-Qaeda-linked group with unknown origins, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The IED attack was in response to insults to Muslim women in Afrin and Aleppo.

Meanwhile in Afrin, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense announced that two of its soldiers were killed.
The Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group also released a video showing the two Turkish soldiers being targeted with an anti-tank guided missile during a well-planned ambush in the village of Gobele.

In response, the Turkish Army shelled positions held by Kurdish forces in the town of Tell Rifaat and its outskirts.

Three Kurdish fighters were killed.

In Aleppo, the Turkish proxies are not without success. the Syrian National Army (SNA) shot down an armed drone that was flying over the Turkish-occupied northern part of the countryside.

The drone was a locally-modified copy of the commercially-available X-UAV mini-Talon, used by Kurdish groups.

While the Kurdish forces lose their drones, the Ansar Allah are putting theirs to good use in Yemen.

Early on April 8, the group announced that it had launched a Qasef-2K suicide drone at the Saudi King Khalid Air Base in the southern province of ‘Asir.

The Houthis (as Ansar Allah are more commonly known) said that the drone had struck its target successfully.

On the other hand, the Saudi-led coalition claimed that it had shot down the drone over the city of Khamis Mushait, near King Khalid Air Base.

In the late hours of April 8th, the Houthis targeted the Jizan airport in the southwest of the Kingdom with a Qasef-2K drone.

The airport contains hangars for Saudi warplanes used to carry out airstrikes throughout Yemen.

Additionally, a commander of the Seventh Military District of the Saudi-led coalition was killed in west of the city of Marib.

The Houthis are keeping up their pressure towards the city, despite constant airstrikes by Riyadh’s warplanes.

The Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes appear to be of little effectiveness.

The volatility in the Middle East continues, with rather small movements taking place in most locations.

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