Thursday, 23 November 2017

Syria, Russia & Iran shift to Diplomacy, While US and Allies Push for War


November 21, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – In a big week for Syrian peace talks, President Assad was hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, where the leaders of Iran and Turkey are also to convene. Fittingly, perhaps, the US had no input into the renewed effort for peace in Syria.
Putin said that with the defeat of ISIS (Daesh, Islamic State) and other terror groups in Syria now virtually achieved, the parties to the conflict must underpin the political means to win the peace. Significantly, the talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi reinforce the earlier Geneva accord which assents to President Bashar Assad and his government in Damascus as the sovereign authority of Syria.
The demand by Washington and its European allies for Assad to “stand down” has long ago expired. That void is a tacit acknowledgment the nearly seven-year covert war in Syria for regime change has been defeated or at least the covert war in its guise of Western-backed proxy militant groups.
The absence of US and European officials at the peace talks in Sochi this week speaks volumes about their pernicious role in the Syrian war.
While Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey endeavor to revamp the peace negotiations, it is significant that Pentagon chief James Mattis was last week saying that US military forces would be digging in further on Syrian territory.
The reluctance of US forces to pack up in Syria despite the demise of the terror groups is perhaps best viewed as part of a regional resurgence of an American military presence. Under President Trump – despite his election campaign promises – the level of US forces has increased substantially in Afghanistan and Iraq. Deployment in Syria fits into this pattern of a regional buildup.
The increasing level of US military strength in the region also underlines the ominous signs of Saudi Arabia and Israel ramping up hostility toward Iran and Lebanon.
Last week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said American forces would be staying in Syria despite the contradiction of terror groups being routed. Mattis’ claims that US forces have a legal United Nations’ mandate for their presence in Syria were dismissed by Russia and Syria as a flawed understanding of international law.
But even on Mattis’ own faulty reasoning, his claims are dubious. If US forces have a mandate to be in Syria to defeat terrorists, as claimed, then why are they there given the terrorists have been largely defeated?
Mattis said the new purpose of US forces were to “prevent ISIS 2.0” arising. Despite the fact that the Americans hardly ever engaged in fighting against ISIS, and indeed, as the BBC evenreported, gave the militants safe passage, including helicopter airlifting commanders out of harm’s way.
It was the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah who did all the heavy lifting to roll back the terror groups, which had been covertly armed and financed by the US and its NATO and regional client regimes. ISIS, Nusra, and all the other alphabet-soup terror groups were only ever a pretext for the US to deploy its warplanes and Special Forces in Syria – a presence which actually constitutes foreign aggression, as the Syrian government and Russia have repeatedly pointed out.
And yet here we have Mattis claiming that it was the US which defeated ISIS in Syria, and warning that the specter of this American asset reemerging as ISIS 2.0 is grounds for continuing to occupy Syrian territory. The Americans’ handy phantom-enemy is serving twice over. That is to “legitimize” the US intervening in Syria; and now to justify US forces staying there – just when the real victors against the terrorists, Syria, Russia, and Iran are trying to demilitarize the country.
‘There never was ‘revolution’ in #Syria, it was a premeditated war by foreign powers’ (Op-Ed by @EvaKBartletthttps://on.rt.com/8rai 

Absurdities of Syrian war propaganda — RT Op-Edge

Сorporate media continues to recycle accusations of starvation, chemical weapons, and more, in the propaganda war on Syria.
rt.com
Far from the public view, US forces are scaling up their presence in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Politico has called it an “official charade.” The Trump administration and the Pentagon are going behind the American people’s backs to deploy thousands more troops across the Middle East.
Much to the displeasure of Washington, Turkey disclosed last week that the US has 13 military bases in Syria. Russia, apparently, has only five bases, even though that country had a much greater military impact on defeating ISIS and other terrorist networks over the past two years.
One of the biggest US bases is near Kobani, about 140 kilometers from the northern city of Raqqa. This is the location no doubt where Mattis was referring to when he said last week that US forces would be digging in.
The US airbase at Kobani has been dramatically upgraded over the past year from what was a rough airfield accommodating only a select few types of aircraft to one now where “every type of air frame” in the Pentagon’s fleet can be landed, including the largest troop-carrying and cargo planes.
The US base at Kobani is also part of a chain of new airfields that connect from Qayarrah West in northern Iraq, to the Taqba Dam, also north of Raqqa.
Officially, there are supposed to be only 500 troops in Syria under the Pentagon’s Force Management Level policy. But as with Afghanistan and Iraq, the real numbers are believed to be much higher than what is officially acknowledged.
A large part of the false accounting arises because the Pentagon doesn’t count units which spend less than 120 days in the country. These units include engineers and troops who are charged with building bridges, roads, and landing strips.
There is a direct analogy here with how US and NATO forces underestimate force levels in the Baltic and Black Sea regions by arbitrarily not counting troops, warplanes and ships described as “rotating presence.” But if you rotate frequently enough, the force levels in effect become permanent and are much larger in practice than is officially admitted.
In addition to ensuring its proxies don’t come back as “ISIS 2.0” (how’s that for chutzpah!), Mattis also said that the expanded US forces were there to ensure the future peace talks in Geneva, resuming on November 28, would gain “traction.”
“We’re not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has traction,” said Mattis last week while in London meeting his British counterparts.
What this suggests is that Washington is using its illegitimate military occupation of Syrian territory as a way to leverage the political process. By forcibly holding on to Syrian territory, Washington is perhaps calculating that the Assad government might cede to its demands on standing down or allowing a defeated opposition more say in drawing up a new constitution.
If the US were genuinely committed to a political process in Syria, then why aren’t its diplomats giving momentum to the Russian-brokered talks in Sochi this week in preparation for the subsequent Geneva summit?
But even more sinister is the region-wide context of US force buildup – largely in secret unknown to the American public. With Washington’s client regimes, Saudi Arabia and Israel,pushing for a confrontation with Iran, directly or via Lebanon and Yemen, the expanding military presence in Syria indicates war in that country is far from over. Instead, it could be but a prelude to a more devastating regional conflagration.
Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.
This article was originally published by RT –

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The Daily Beast- Innocent Rabbi attacked by an Antisemite Lioness in Africa (video)

A story brought to you by Gilad Atzmon
Everyone’s favorite Yiddish sage, Artie Fishel, and the Rabbi Yehuda Meshi Zahav make friends with lions in South Africa. Or, do they?
We learn from the Israeli press that rabbi Yehuda Meshi Zahav, was lightly injured after being attacked by a racist white supremacist lioness while on tour in South Africa.“For the first time in my life I felt fear, and the power of the lioness,” Rabbi Meshi said  before the bigoted Jew hating  beast “suddenly turned and attacked him.”
As I was  showing off to the camera presenting the harmonious  relationships between us, the chosen people, and the animal’s royal family, the meshugina lioness changed her mind all of a sudden.  She  “knocked me down and I couldn’t fall, because if I had fallen,” she would consider me a gefiltefish, and this would be the end. Rabbi Meshi explained to Yiddishe Geographic. “Then everyone started hitting her “with lulavs and their tzitzis and the terrorist lioness bailed for her life.Maybe Jews and Lions aren’t a perfect match after all, the Rabbi concluded. We also learned from the London Zionist outlet,  The Daily Kvetch that Campaign Against Antisemitsm’s  Gideon Falter and enforcement commissar  Stephen Silverstein vowed to travel to Africa and trace the bigoted lion as soon as they finish their business with prince Charles and princes Chabloz..
CAA in Africa
CAA in Africa

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Zionism’s Violent Legacy

Posted on 
[ Ed. note – The article below was originally published in January of 1996. It discusses, among other things, the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, which had occurred only a few months earlier. The author, Donald Neff, was a journalist who worked many, many years in the mainstream media, including a term as Time Magazine’s Jerusalem bureau chief.
But Neff was not your typical mainstream media presstitute. Over the years he began to experience a major shift in his views on the Palestine-Israel conflict, and in 1979 he left Time Magazine, his articles thereafter being published mainly by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. According to Wikipedia, Neff “wrote a retrospective piece in 1995 detailing the change in his pro-Zionist perspective during his years as correspondent in the Middle East.”
In the article below, Neff discusses what he refers to as “revisionist Zionism,” a particularly virulent strain of Zionism founded in the 1920s by Zeev Jabotinsky, who had a slogan he often used: “We shall create, with sweat and blood, a race of men, strong, brave and cruel.” It was a philosophy that ran somewhat counter to the “mainline Zionists,” who were concerned more with the pragmatic aspects of founding a state while maybe doing a little kibbutz farming on the side.
It was in the 1940s that the revisionist Zionists came into full prominence with the emergence of Jewish terror groups, one of which was the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin, a Jabotinsky follower who would later go on to become prime minister of Israel. Among the Irgun’s exploits were the bombing of the King David Hotel in 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948–while Begin, as prime minister, would go on to preside over the Sabra and Shatila massacre in 1982.
Neff discusses all this history in the context of the Rabin assassination–for while Jabotinsky died in 1940, and Begin left this life in 1992, revisionist Zionism has of course remained. Neff says the assassination, which took place on November 4, 1995 was carried out by the “spiritual heirs” of the Irgun…and of course the same ideology is pervasive in Israel today. In fact, Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the current prime minister, was another revisionist Zionist–one who actually served for a while as Jabotinsky’s personal secretary. ]
***

Rabin’s Murder Rooted in Zionism’s Violent Legacy

By Donald Neff
It was 48 years ago, on Jan. 4, 1948, when Jewish terrorists drove a truck loaded with explosives into the center of the all-Arab city of Jaffa and detonated it, killing 26 and wounding around 100 Palestinian men, women and children.1 The attack was the work of the Irgun Zvai Leumi—the “National Military Organization,” also known by the Hebrew letters Etzel—the largest Jewish terrorist group in Palestine. The Irgun was headed by Revisionist Zionist Menachem Begin and had been killing and maiming Arabs, Britons and even Jews for the previous 10 years in its efforts to establish a Jewish state.
This terror campaign meant that at the core of Revisionist Zionism there existed a philosophical embrace of violence. It was this legacy of violence that contributed to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995.
The Irgun was not the only Jewish terrorist group but it was the most active in causing indiscriminate terror in pre-Israel Palestine. Up to the time of the Jaffa attack, its most spectacular feat had been the July 22, 1946 blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with the killing of 91 people—41 Arabs, 28 Britons and 17 Jews.2
The other major Jewish terrorist group operating in Palestine in the 1940s was the Lohamei Herut Israel , “Fighters for the Freedom of Israel,” Lehi in the Hebrew acronym, also known as the Stern Gang after its fanatical founder Avraham Stern. Two of its more spectacular outrages included the assassination of British Colonial Secretary Lord Moyne in Cairo on Nov. 6, 1944, and the assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden in Jerusalem on Sept. 17, 1948. 3
Both groups collaborated in the massacre at Deir Yassin, in which some 254 Palestinian men, women and children were slain on April 9, 1948. Palestinian survivors were driven like ancient slaves through the streets of Jerusalem by the celebrating terrorists.4
Yitzhak Shamir was one of the three leaders of Lehi who made the decision to assassinate Moyne and Bernadotte. Both he and Begin later became prime ministers and ruled Israel for a total of 13 years between 1977 and 1992.
They were both leaders of Revisionist Zionism, that messianic group of ultranationalists founded by Vladimir Zeev Jabotinsky in the 1920s. He prophesied that it would take an “iron wall of Jewish bayonets” to gain a homeland among the Arabs in Palestine.5 His followers took his slogan literally.
Begin and the Revisionists were heartily hated by the mainline Zionists led by David Ben-Gurion. He routinely referred to Begin as a Nazi and compared him to Hitler. In a famous letter to The New York Times in 1948, Albert Einstein called the Irgun “a terrorist, rightwing, chauvinist organization” that stood for “ultranationalism, religious mysticism and racial superiority.”6 He opposed Begin’s visit to the United States in 1949 because Begin and his movement amounted to “a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a ‘leader state’ is the goal,” adding:

At the core of Revisionist Zionism there existed a philosophical embrace of violence.

“The IZL [Irgun] and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.”
Ben-Gurion considered the Revisionists so threatening that shortly after he proclaimed establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948, he demanded that the Jewish terrorist organizations disband. In defiance, Begin sought to import a huge shipment of weapons aboard a ship namedAltalena, Jabotinsky’s nom de plume.7
The ship was a war surplus U.S. tank-landing craft and had been donated to the Irgun by Hillel Kook’s Hebrew Committee for National Liberation, an American organization made up of Jewish-American supporters of the Irgun.8 Even in those days it was Jewish Americans who were the main source of funds for Zionism. While few of them emigrated to Israel, Jewish Americans were generous in financing the Zionist enterprise. As in Israel, they were split between mainstream Zionism and Revisionism. One of the best known Revisionists was Ben Hecht, the American newsman and playwright. After one of the Irgun’s terrorist acts, he wrote:
“The Jews of America are for you. You are their champions …. Every time you blow up a British arsenal, or wreck a British jail, or send a British railroad train sky high, or rob a British bank, or let go with your guns and bombs at British betrayers and invaders of your homeland, the Jews of America make a little holiday in their hearts.”9
The Altalena was loaded with $5 million worth of arms, including 5,000 British Lee-Enfield rifles, more than 3 million rounds of ammunition, 250 Bren guns, 250 Sten guns, 150 German Spandau machine guns, 50 mortars and 5,000 shells as well as 940 Jewish volunteers. Ben-Gurion reacted with fury, ordering the ship sunk in Tel Aviv harbor. Shellfire by the new nation’s armed forces set the Altalena afire, killing 14 Jews and wounding 69. Two regular army men were killed and six wounded during the fighting.10 Begin had been aboard but escaped injury. Later that night he railed against Ben-Gurion as “a crazy dictator” and the cabinet as “a government of criminal tyrants, traitors and fratricides.”11
Ben-Gurion’s deputy commander in the Altalena affair was Yitzhak Rabin, the same man who as prime minister was assassinated by one of the spiritual heirs of Menachem Begin’s Irgun terrorist group. All his life, and especially in his last years, Rabin had opposed Jewish Americans and their radical allies in Israel who continued to embrace the philosophy of the Irgun and who fought against the peace process, thereby earning their enduring hatred.
Thus at the heart of the Jewish state there has been a long and violent struggle between mainline Zionists and Revisionists that continues today. Despite cries after Rabin’s assassination that it was unknown for Jew to kill Jew, intramural hatred and occasional violence have marked relations between Zionism’s competing groups.
The core of that conflict, one that continues to divide Israel and its American supporters as well, lies in the different philosophies of David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky…
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Putin is My Flunky (satirical essay)




Russia, Iran And Turkey Converge On One Point
Sputnik/ Igor Zarembo
Written by Dmitri Evstafiev; Originally appeared at eurasia.expert, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront
On November 22, in Sochi, an unusual summit will be held [SF comment: It already took place] – talks between the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey. At the centre of attention will be the settlement in Syria, where the three countries come out as guarantors of peace. Along with that, cooperation in the Moscow-Ankara-Tehran triangle can go beyond the Syrian scope. Professor of the NRU “Higher School of Economics” Dmitry Evstafiev assessed the prospects of the “axis” formed between the three countries and the accession of Azerbaijan.

Preparing to Redraw Maps

On the main agenda of the meeting of the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Sochi on November 22 are issues related to the necessity to start the political reconstruction process of Syria and the prevention of its transformation into a platform for the development of Islamic radicalism, however on an internal socio-economic basis. It is possible, if there are no effective political mechanisms created, reflecting the new system of interests and influence, which arose both inside and around Syria.
In addition, the three countries are concerned that in the issues of the Syrian settlement the United States are beginning to take a more and more unconstructive position, which can bring destabilisation. Especially considering that the USA in today’s Syria and Iraq will “lose” almost nothing, and they may not particularly care for the fate of their assets and allies.
It is difficult not to notice, however, that the tripartite summit of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Sochi has become a kind of an “answer” to the APEC summit of Da Nag (Vietnam) and the preceding Sino-American negotiations. Agreements between the United States and China stayed away from the “strategic partnership”, but were clearly marked as “pre-freezing” strategic rivalry between the two countries, which was seen as the epicentre of processes in the Asia-Pacific region over the last few years.
World politics abhors a vacuum, especially if politics are in a transition period. In conditions of stagnation in key economic and political terms, Asia-Pacific region (obviously in the absence of a force majeure by the DPRK) will intensify attempts to change the situation in other regions. At a minimum, approaching the new cycle of showdowns in the Asia Pacific region relations with new opportunities. And at a maximum, protecting oneself from possible economic and political destabilisation.
Neither Russia, Iran or Turkey claim for global leadership, but have the status and capacity substantially greater than what the term “regional power” attributes. Three countries, although Turkey to a lesser extent, were focused on the connecting processes for the formation of a new economic space in South-East Asia. Now comes the time for them to restructure their own relationships in order to approach the new “points of bifurcation” with the best outcome.

The Potential of the Moscow-Istanbul-Tehran «Axis»

And from this point of view the potential of the “troika” Russia-Iran-Turkey is much more than just cooperative interaction in Syria or even in the Middle East. Speaking of development prospects of the Moscow-Istanbul-Tehran “axis” it is necessary to note three conditions that makes this geopolitical project not just interesting but also potentially of leadership.
First, the basis of the Moscow-Istanbul-Tehran “axis”, without a doubt, is the economic interests. Primarily, it is the formation of the logistics corridor “North-South”, which now can be viewed in an operational way. There is sufficient transit and, most importantly, non-transit goods for it.
But beyond the economic factors the “axis” brings together a shared vision of military-political issues and security. Not only in Syria or in general in the Middle East, but also in the broader context of South Asia and partially in Africa, in the Horn of Africa.
As practice shows, political and military components of the coalition are now the most enduring elements of the partnership.
This is due to the deceleration of globalisation and preparation of key governments of the world to the significant redistribution of markets in the calculation of the new industrial revolution and the restructuring of global political institutions. As counter-examples we can cite the fate of the Trans-Atlantic economic partnership and NATO.
Second, challenges of industrial modernisation stand before the partner countries. And in circumstances when former concepts of development, based on the idea of connection to the centre of economic growth in the EU, with variations, they lose their relevance. Over a potential range of industrial goods the countries practically do not compete with each other with the exception of certain areas. But they do not appear crucial against the background and can be harmonised in the development process of foreign markets.
The countries are too different for the “intraspecific” competition to emerge. The industrial modernisation will allow to further “spread” competitive “zones”. The partner countries stand before necessary new industrial modernisation but for each it will be different at the sectorial and technological focus.
It is important as well that the “axis”, for the economic cooperation to be successful, becomes a community with a base population of over 300 million people, which is sufficient for the development and initial commercial implementation of technologically rich projects. The community potentially has good chances for the formation of self-sufficient financial investments and billing cycles, with a high level of resistance to external pressure. Problems with access to financial tools are experienced, at the least, by two of the three countries of the “core”, Russia and Iran, and it seems that in the near future, Turkey will begin to experience it as well.
Third, at the “core” the axis naturally formed its own “semi-periphery” and “periphery” countries, which objectively will be pulled in into the “core’s” economic processes and projects. Moreover, these countries are different as to their status and capabilities and development. This gives the “core” of the “axis” sufficient flexibility to secure economic and political interests at the national level.
Around the “core” partnerships can be built with other countries ranging from Syria (logistically important territories and valuable agricultural space) and ending with Qatar (financial resources and a favourable geographical position), not excluding Egypt, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and several other countries.
With such allies, each participant of the “core” can find its own specific niche interest, both political and economic. This does not mean that there will not be any conflicts. On the contrary, in such strong members of the “core” contradictions are inevitable. However, a compromise will be easier to find amid the multiplicity of opportunities, facilitating economic and political “exchanges”.

Challenges for the New Coalition

The paradox of the relations in the Russia-Iran-Turkey triangle is that separately at the level of bilateral relations, the three countries are doomed to contradictions and the absence of long-term prospects, not to mention a strategic partnership. Any bilateral partnership will trigger a reaction not only from foreign players but also from the inside of the respective states. Indeed, the economic and political interests of partner countries are more than contradictory. This is obvious by looking at the confused and not yet successful cooperation of Russia and Iran, despite the good prospects.
But within the coalition, the objectives directed not against each other but on the “development” of the outer space, these three states may well create a relatively self-contained vector with a minimum of internal contradictions, which, of course, will not be able to completely avoid.
A key issue stands in front of the three “core” countries of the coalition. The answer to it depends on how the “troika” will be able to outgrow the framework of the situational alliance. The talk is about the formation of a new system of relations in the Caspian region. And the key issue will be the resolution, or at least long-term stabilisation, of the Karabakh conflict. Otherwise the level of political risks, limited investment processes in the “core” and around it, in the North-South corridor space, will be too considerable. But most importantly, the partnership system will not be able to include Azerbaijan, which in its potential in the future may become the fourth member of the “core”. The leadership of Azerbaijan clearly has the political will and common sense to do this.
The development of the “troika” partnership with Azerbaijan could significantly change the balance of power and relations not only in the Caspian region but also in the whole post-Soviet space.
And, of course, it must be understood that the potential geo-economic “axis” Moscow-Ankara-Tehran is highly vulnerable to information and political manipulations. This requires in-depth and thoughtful interaction at the expert and information level. Moreover, such manipulations are simply predetermined by the situation not only in Syria, but also in general in the Middle East.
The future of the Moscow-Tehran-Ankara “axis” is largely a matter of development and alignment of interests, not an immediate political institutionalisation. The formation of a new coalition will unlikely to resemble a geopolitical “revolution”. Its success will be judged initially by how and in what form the inclusion of the relative “semi-peripheral” countries will occur.
It is important as well that the new geopolitical and geo-economic “troika”, if its development is successful, will become a project, in many respects, an alternative EEU, at least because of the focus on the real industrialisation, not only the formation of the free regime and participation in logistics projects. For Russia, the economic success in filling the new coalition will be a real step towards not only political, but also a geo-economic multi-direction. This will be for the Eurasian states fundamentally a new challenge.
Dmitri Evstafiev, professor NRU “Higher School of Economics”

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أول استقلال مع «ميشال عون»

روزانا رمّال

نوفمبر 22, 2017

صودف أن عيد الاستقلال في لبنان يتزامن هذه السنة مع أكبر عملية ابتزاز يتعرّض لها، ومع أصعب اختبار دستوري وميثاقي لاستكمال ممارسة مهام المؤسسات العامة، فأحد لم يكن يتوقع بعد كل أيام السنة من الودّ والانسجام السياسي الحاصل جراء الصفقة الرئاسية الحكومية أن يكون حضور الحريري لملئ كرسيّه في جادة شفيق الوزان خلال عرض الاستقلال السنوي هو حدث ينتظره اللبنانيون والمراقبون الدوليون، لم يكن متوقعاً أن يصبح الواجب الوطني مفصلاً من عمر الدولة اللبنانية ولحظة يتنفس فيها الصعداء لبرهة ثم تنحبس الأنفاس حتى يقرّر الحريري اطلاع اللبنانيين على فحوى الابتزاز الذي اتفق عليه المعنيون عبر إرغامه على ما «لا طاقة له به».

إنه أول استقلال مع «ميشال عون» كما يناديه اللبنانيون. هذا الرجل الذي لا يعنيه لقب الرئاسة لأنه مناضل قديم… في أيام الاستقلال يظهر المناضل ميشال عون بشكل واضح او ربما أوضح. في ايام الاستقلال يقول عون للبنانيين والعالم لن أقبل بهذه المهزلة، وقفوا عند مسؤولياتكم، ومستعدّ للتضحية بالرئاسة. يعرف جيداً هذا المناضل أن تحدي المجتمع الدولي، وخصوصاً الدول العربية بقيادة المملكة العربية السعودية يعني «مقتلاً» في هذه الظروف التي تمر بها الرياض. وهي ظروف لا تقبل فيها المملكة المساومة وسط خيارات عمودية بين إقصاء أمراء كبار ورجال أعمال وقطع للعلاقات مع دول جارة مثل قطر، ونسف كل ما يتعارض مع سياستها بضوء أخضر أميركي. يعرف عون جيداً من دون أن يحتاج أحد ليذكره بما جرى سابقاً مع الرئيس اميل لحود عندما تمّ عزله بدعم أميركي مباشر وأول مَن عزلوه هم جزء من اللبنانيين الذين قرروا خوض غمار التجربة الى آخر الطريق فقاطعته الدول الكبرى والصغرى وصار قصر بعبدا خالياً من أي زائر يشير إلى أن الرئيس لا يزال موجوداً يمارس مهامه بشكل طبيعي ما خلا بعض الحلفاء.

القلق لا يزال حاضراً، وعون كما اللبنانيين يترقبون المزيد من الخيارات باتجاه التعاطي مع لبنان، وربما الرئاسة، هو الذي يدرك ان استهداف الحريري هو استهداف للصفقة التي أتت به الى قصر بعبدا. يعرف أن التضحية بهذه الصفقة وارد. وهو بذلك يضع نفسه أمام خيارات صعبة ويعلن استعداده لخوضها، لا يبالي الرئيس اللبناني بمقاطعة الرؤساء العرب والأجانب له. هذا ربما بديهي فقد فهم خصومه قبل حلفائه ذهنيته والخلفية التي ينطلق منها في مواقفه، لكن الأهم هو شيء آخر وفي مكان آخر. الأهم ان الرئاسة اللبنانية لأول مرة من خلال عون استطاعت قلب مزاج المجتمع الدولي والتأثير عليه بتحدّيه وتصلّب موافقه. وهنا لا تتم مناقشة صوابية مواقف عون من عدمها بل تتم الإضاءة على تعاطي الدول الكبرى مع الرئيس اللبناني خلال الأزمة فقد كانت هناك إمكانية غير مسبوقة من حشد اهتمام غربي كثيف، بالرغم من اعتبار خصوم عون انه حليف حزب الله وإيران بمفهوم «التبعية» ما يدحض هذا الكلام جملة وتفصيلاً. فقد بدا ان الأميركيين والفرنسيين وهم أكثر من يمكن ان يقدّموا مؤشراً بديهياً عن الموقف من عون لحظة فشل خطة الاستقالة المفترض أن تخض البلاد والمؤسسات، فقد بدا الرئيس ترامب والرئيس ماكرون بعد أن ضبط عون إيقاع الازمة مجبرين على السير وراء الموقف الرئاسي اللبناني الذي أحرجهم وصار أمام الفرنسيين مسؤولية كبيرة في تلقي الدعوة اللبنانية في التدخل والبحث باسترجاع رئيس حكومة لبنان من منطلق التلويح بتدويلها أولاً وباعتبارها قضية حريات وخرق للدستور اللبناني ثانياً.

تسلّح عون بالشارع الذي التفّ وراءه يقول جزء كبير من اللبنانيين إنها المرة الاولى التي شعر فيها بالاستقلال الحقيقي، لأن رئيسنا استقلالي. ها هو «يخالف» خطط الغرب ولا يقاطعونه ويصادق الإيرانيين ولا يفرضون عليه عدم التعاطي مع المملكة، بل هو زارها فوراً لدى انتخابه رئيساً، بل هو غير مستعدّ لتلبية شروط أحد. ها هو يحالف الشيعي «حزب الله» ويحمي كرامة السنة «تيار المستقبل» وكرسي الرئاسة الثالثة.

الأكبر من الاختبار في زمن الاستقلال هو الشارع اللبناني الذي التفّ حول الرؤساء عون وبري والحريري والتفّ وراء الوحدة الوطنية. وقد اكتشف الكل أن اللبنانيين هم يد واحدة في لحظة صادقة تتعلق بمهابة وكرامة البلاد، وأن اللبنانيين ميالون او تواقون للتمسك بالثوابت الوطنية، إذا لم يتم العبث بأمنهم واستقرارهم وتهديدهم او فرض عليهم رؤساء كرسوا الرئاسة اللبنانية لخدمة مشاريع أو اصطفاف معين بدون التوقف عند مقام الرئاسة.

في زمن الاستقلال صار للرئاسة اللبنانية «قيمة». فبدون مجاملات او جدالات يعرف كل لبناني أنها كانت كرسياً فارغاً حتى ولو تمّ ملؤه فصلاحيات رئيس الوزراء طغت لفترة من الفترات، وتسلّحت بالجو السياسي الإقليمي الملائم. وهناك رؤساء أساؤوا استخدام صلاحيات رئاسة الجمهورية، لكن الأهم أنهم لم يدركوا او يلتفتوا إلى الحفاظ على مهابة هذه الكرسي وحدها أمام المجتمع الدولي.

أما عن خطاب الاستقلال:

فالاستقلال مع ميشال عون هو توضيح كل شيء وليس ترفاً أو عيداً ولا عرضاً عسكرياً.

الاستقلال مع ميشال عون هو وحدة الوطن.

الاستقلال مع ميشال عون هو التصدي لـ «إسرائيل».

الاستقلال مع ميشال عون الابتعاد عن الفتنة.

الاستقلال مع ميشال عون هو حماية الدستور.

الاستقلال هو نصيحة أبوية صادقة.

لبنان مع ميشال عون سيّد، حر، مستقل..


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سيناتور أمريكي: “اسرائيل” قتلت الحريري بمساعدة

سيناتور أمريكي: “اسرائيل” قتلت الحريري بمساعدة سعودية


اتهم سيناتور أمريكي بارز “الکیان الصهیوني” والسعودية باغتيال رئيس حكومة لبنان السابق رفيق الحريري، بعد أيام على إقرار الكونغرس الأمريكي قانون التشريع المعروف باسم “جاستا”.

وقال السيناتور تشاك غراسلي، الذي يمثل ولاية “آيوا”، ويشغل منصب رئيس اللجنة القضائية في مجلس الشيوخ وواحد من كبار السيناتورات الأمريكيين في مقابلة مع مجلة “بوليتيكو”: إن “بعض الوثائق التي تم الحصول عليها حديثا أظهرت أن “إسرائيل” نفذت عملية اغتيال رئيس وزراء لبنان السابق رفيق الحريري بمساعدة من السعودية”.

وقال غراسلي البالغ من العمر (82 عاما)،: “هناك بعض الأدلة القطعية تثبت دور المملكة المباشرة في العمليات الإرهابية الأخرى بما في ذلك اغتيال رفيق الحريري”… “السعودية أيضا لديها دور في تعزيز الإرهاب في الولايات المتحدة وأوروبا”.

يذكر أن رئيس الوزراء اللبناني رفيق الحريري اغتيل في 14 فبراير/ شباط عام 2005 مع تسعة من مرافقيه في الاعتداء الذي استهدف موكبه داخل إحدى المناطق الساحلية في بيروت، في حادثة هزت الأوساط المحلية والعالمية وشكلت بعدها محكمة للنظر في القضية.

وأكد السيناتور الأمريكي إلى أنه “سيسير حتى النهاية” في القانون الذي بات يعرف باسم “جاستا”، وأنه سيواصل العمل مع الزملاء في مجلس الشيوخ لدعم التشريع على الرغم من معارضة البيت الأبيض له.

ويجيز القانون لعائلات ضحايا هجمات 11 سبتمبر/أيلول 2001 مقاضاة المملكة العربية السعودية، على ما يقول إنه تورط منها في الهجمات. السعودية من جهتها هددت بتجميد أصولها المالية في أمريكا كوسيلة للضغط من أجل عدم تمرير القانون.


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سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

ناصر قنديل

سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد؟

نوفمبر 22, 2017

– ليست مصادفة تلك الحركة المتزامنة بين مجموعة مسارات عسكرية وسياسية سواء في الميدان السوري أو في الاتصالات الخاصة بسورية بين قادة العالم والمنطقة، أو في التحضيرات القائمة على قدم وساق في الرياض وسوتشي للخروج بما يتناسب مع متطلبات جنيف، وفقاً لما رسم في فييتنام بين الرئيسين الروسي والأميركي، فبعد البوكمال وتحريرها وتواصل الحدود الإيرانية العراقية السورية اللبنانية، مرحلة جديدة وميزان قوى جديد. وما تلقاه الأميركيون عن قرب رحيل قواتهم من سورية بعد سقوط الذريعة، تلقاه الأكراد عن أحادية المسار السياسي لاستيعابهم، بدلاً من مغامرة معلومة النتائج يدفعون ثمنها وأمام أعينهم المثال في كردستان العراق، والأتراك تلقوا بدورهم الرسالة عن مسار سياسي ينتهي بمسؤولية الدولة السورية عن الأمن داخل حدودها، معطوفاً على لا شرعية بقاء أيّ قوة أجنبية على أرضها.

– سورية التي تنهض دولتها كطائر الفينيق من تحت الرماد، وينتصر جيشها بمعونة حلفائه وفي طليعتهم المقاومة التي شيطنتها الجامعة العربية و«إسرائيل وأميركا، هي سورية التي لا يمكن تخيّل نظام عربي جديد لا يتأثر بالمتغيّر الذي تحمله إليه، وسط تراجع سعودي في المهابة والمقدّرات، وغرق في الفشل العسكري والسياسي من اليمن إلى قطر، مقابل صعود عراقي آتٍ من رحم الإنجاز في كسر الإرهاب وإسقاط الانفصال، ومع انشغال الجميع من البار بين العرب بحروبهم، عودة جزائرية لقوة ناعمة قادرة على لعب دور الوسط، وهي بعافيتها الاقتصادية والعسكرية، ليشكل الثلاثي السوري العراقي الجزائري قوة الجذب الجديدة في النظام العربي الجديد، متجهاً نحو مصر لاستنهاضها، وتشكيل رباعي القيادة الجديدة للنظام العربي الذي يلفظ أنفاس نسخته السعودية مع البيان الأخير للجامعة العربية الإسرائيلي المضمون، كما وصفه موشي يعلون، والمترجم من العبرية إلى العربية.

– ليست مصادفة أيضاً أن يبدأ الأميركي مع التسليم بالوجهة التي تسلكها سورية، بالاستعداد للخروج في العام نفسه من أفغانستان، وقد مدّد لوجود قواته فيها ثلاثة أعوام مرّة مرّة، لأنّ رهاناته على الحرب في سورية كانت تمنحه الأمل بتغيير وجهة سورية. والرابط واضح من اليوم الأول، بلوغ الصين للبحر المتوسط عبر الحدود البرية المتصلة من أفغانستان إلى إيران فالعراق فسورية. وما دام الأمل بإغلاق الممرّ البري أمام الصين من مكان ما في الحدود بين سورية والعراق، أو في سورية نفسها، كان البقاء في أفغانستان ضرورياً، ومع تلاشي الأمل، لم يعد لهذا البقاء حاجة، وقد صار عبئاً لا يُحتمل. وفي هذه الحالة فقط يصير ممكناً طلب المعونة الصينية الكاملة في تسوية الملف النووي لكوريا الشمالية، ويصير التحرك الفرنسي بلسان أوروبا لحماية التفاهم النووي مع إيران حاجة أميركا لمخاطبة الكوريين بعدم حاجتهم للسلاح النووي أسوة بإيران، ومخاطبة الإيرانيين بعدم حاجتهم للنموذج الكوري ما دام الاتفاق بخير. وتصير هنا الأزمة اللبنانية التي فجّرها السعوديون لنيّة، فرصة للتوظيف بنيّة أخرى، وربما بنيّات، يكشفها تضمين الرئيس الفرنسي إيمانويل ماكرون للائحة اتصالاته التي شملت الرئيس الإيراني والملك السعودي والرئيس المصري، رئيس حكومة الاحتلال، فتحاً لباب ربط الأزمات تمهيداً لربط الحلول، وللمثل القائل الجمل بنيّة والحمل بنيّة والجمال بنيّة ، من دون أن يكون واضحاً مَن هو الجمل ومَن هو الجمال، إذا كان الحمل معلوماً وقد انتقل من السعودية إلى باريس، فالقاهرة في طريق العودة إلى لبنان.

– قال الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين في عام 2016 إن نظاماً عالمياً جديداً يولد من الحرب السورية، كما قالت غونداليسا رايس يوماً إنّ شرقاً أوسط جديداً يولد من رحم حرب تموز 2006. عشر سنوات حملت الكثير من المتغيّرات، كانت المقاومة، التي أرادت حرب رايس سحقها وسحق عظام قادتها لتسهيل المخاض على شرقها الأوسط الجديد، وقال السفير الروسي في بيروت إنها تستحق الشكر على دورها في تصفية دولة داعش والنصر على الإرهاب، هي الثابت الوحيد.

– 2018 سنة سلام سورية وولادة نظام عالمي جديد ونظام إقليمي جديد!


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With the USA’s help, Saudi War on Yemen Is Killing 130 Children a Day


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The Saudi-led coalition is waging total war on Yemen in a bid to defeat the guerrilla group, the Houthis or the Helpers of God. The Houthis took power in Sanaa in fall of 2014 and consolidated it in early 2015. By March-April, Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad Bin Salman, now the crown prince, had ordered air strikes on the country that have continued to this day. These strikes have been indiscriminate, hitting schools, hospitals, apartment buildings and key civilian infrastructure like ports, bridges and roads. Any one of these strikes is a war crime. In the aggregate they become crimes against humanity.
The Houthi gang is also guilty of war crimes, and of severe human rights violations and cannot be held blameless in the unfolding devastation of Yemen. But the Saudi-led war and the various forms of blockade Riyadh is imposing on Yemen are far worse. The Houthis are a radical group deriving from Zaydi tribes in Saadeh and other towns in rural north Yemen, who as Shiites deeply resent Saudi proselytizing for hard line Salafi Sunnism in Yemen. Houthi leaders have vowed to overthrow the House of Saud and have tried to imitate the rhetorical style of Hizbullah in Lebanon. However, Houthis are a local indigenous protest movement in Yemen, and are not a proxy for Iran. Houthi weaponry is mostly American and Iran does not give them much money or other support. The Saudis try to blame Iran for the Houthi revolt in order to shift blame from their own aggressive policies.
These political considerations should not allow us to forget what is being done to Yemen children. Save the Children writes,
“Severe acute malnutrition is the most extreme and dangerous form of undernutrition. Symptoms include jutting ribs and loose skin with visible wasting of body tissue, or swelling in the ankles, feet and belly as blood vessels leak fluid under the skin.”
* 130 children die every day in Yemen from extreme hunger and disease–one child every 18 minutes. The Saudi blockade on ports such as Hudeida will increase this death toll.
* This year, at least 50,000 children are expected to die as indirect casualties of the war (if food cannot be off-loaded at ports, and bridges are knocked out, children will die of malnutrition).
* Nearly 400,000 children will need to be treated for severe acute malnutrition in Yemen in the next twelve months. Aid organizations are being actively interfered with in this work by the Saudi blockade and bombing strikes.
* As a result of the Saudi blockade, aid organizations like Save the Children will be out of food and medicine stocks in the next two to three months.
* If left untreated some 20 to 30 percent of children with severe acute malnutrition will perish every year.
* It should be remembered that famines usually do not kill people because there is no food at all. What happens is that the food becomes too expensive for the poor to purchase. This situation now obtains in Yemen and obviously the Saudi blockade, by obese princes who are obviously getting three square meals a day, is driving up the price of food for Yemenis.
* A shocking 10,000 children are likely to die in Taiz district and another 10,000 in the Hodeidah district this year.
The aid organization concludes:
“Save the Children currently has five shipping containers full of life-saving food for sick and malnourished children stuck in Aden because of road closures. Our staff cannot reach communities to provide life-saving care and much-needed supplies and relief workers cannot enter the country. Essential medicines, fuel and food stocks could start running out in a matter of weeks. It’s utterly unacceptable to let children die of neglect and a lack of political will. Without urgent action the future looks bleak.”
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