Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Ukrainian Aspect of the Information War – Russian Perspective



The Ukrainian Aspect of the Information War – Russian Perspective
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with
 www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-ukrainian-aspect-information-war/
source: ukraina.ru/opinion/20181214/1022085102.html
The joke about two tankmen on the Champs Elysée lamenting Russia’s defeat in the information war very accurately reflects the main national sport of Russians – sprinkling ashes on their heads for no reason and announcing their own successes as failures.
Moreover, this national entertainment is in demand at all levels — from taxi drivers to ministers. Sometimes it seems to me that Russia is indeed governed not by elected authorities, but directly by God, because everyone around is sure that during decades everything is being done incorrectly and the “information war is lost”, and as a result Russia in 20 years returned from the political garbage can that it was firmly entrenched in by the end of the 90’s to the category of world powers of the first rank. And this was achieved mainly due to the jewellery work of the diplomatic department and accomplishments on the information front comparable only with the great Persian campaign of the invincible Alexander III of Macedon.
It is possible to know nothing about the successes of the Russia Today channel, but the attempts to illegally block it that are periodically undertaken in the US and the EU, as well as the campaign of persecution against Margarita Simonyan – concerning who attempts are being made with enviable persistence not for the first year to try to promote her on the Russian Internet and social networks – is vivid evidence of the absolute successfulness of the information project that is purposefully working with the audiences of a probable, as was said earlier, and, as is customary to now say, hybrid opponent.
In the western information field RT feels as free as German tanks in the French rear in May, 1940. The West simply can’t do anything to oppose it.
The constant hysterics concerning “Russian propaganda”, “Russian hackers”, and “Russian interference in elections” are the best confirmation that the western information front has been penetrated and the units of its information army disperse in panic. In order to at least somehow stabilise the situation, the West is obliged to resort to non-conventional actions in the form of a physical ban on the Russian media. This is approximately like a nuclear weapon being used against a chess opponent for the sake of winning the World Championship.
And so in conditions when it is possible to discuss only the brand of champagne that should be opened during celebrations after the parade of information victory, it turns out that, according to the opinion of many, we lost the information war not only to the West, but also to Ukraine. And this is despite the fact that Ukraine prohibited the dissemination on its territory not only of Russian media, but also practically any printed materials; it doesn’t allow Russian journalists on its territory; and it represses its own journalists should they dare to express a point of view that is different to the officially approved one.
Whereas in Russia the Ukrainian propagandists who come to speak on the leading TV channels are even paid extra so that they aren’t too ashamed to show to the Russian viewer the brutal grin of “victorious democracy”. I.e., Ukraine, which lost the information fight, having switched to a deaf defense, tries via police measures to fence off at least its own population from the Russian media. Working with a Russian audience simply isn’t an option at all.
So where is this “defeat”?
I have such an impression that Russian people and many Russian politicians confuse the information and political front. They see that a Nazi-oligarchical regime still sits in Kiev, and understand that even Poroshenko’s departure won’t change anything in this regard – and if something changes, then it will only be for the worst, and for some reason consider this to be an information defeat.
But in reality this isn’t even a defeat political, but it isn’t yet a victory. A full and absolute victory in the Ukrainian direction today is unattainable for objective circumstances of a geopolitical nature.
Let’s look at things step by step.
Firstly, in the geopolitical arena Russia is withstanding not the incidental historical misunderstanding known as Ukraine, but the United States of America — a country that was recognised as a global hegemon only five years ago and consolidated the resources of the collective West and two-thirds of the planet controlled by it in its fight against Moscow.
As of the current moment the situation has changed for the better. Russia obtained numerous allies; the unity in the ranks of the opponent has been undermined and its seemingly inexhaustible resource base has seriously evaporated. But anyway,  the US’ total amount of resources available for mobilisation still considerably surpasses Russia’s.
Secondly, being objectively weaker, in order to not lose and be torn into pieces Russia had to define really important strategic points with an absolute precision and concentrate its limited resources exactly there, trying to achieve local superiority over the opponent.
Over the past 10 years Moscow has outplayed Washington in three such local campaigns:
  1. It landed a knockout blow in the Caucasus in August, 2008, having literally dispersed the Georgian army in only a few hours and having put the Georgian state, which was carefully created by the US, on the edge of collapse. In addition, it didn’t finish it off, not allowing the US to palm off its former active asset, which turned into a passive one, onto Russia.
  2. It operatively transferred Crimea to the Russian jurisdiction in 2014, having deprived the US of the main planned dividend from the Ukrainian putsch and having turned Ukraine, which was planned as a strategic active asset, into a passive one (moreover, in such a way that the US didn’t even understand immediately that there is nothing for them to gain in this direction and thus senselessly pumped resources into the Ukrainian black hole for 2 more years).
  3. It finishes the Syrian campaign not simply with tactical success in the form of keeping Assad in power and blocking the idea of the Qatar-Saudi gas pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea (which would give Russia serious competition in the European gas market by disrupting as a result Russian-European political-economic rapprochement), but by strategically squeezing the US out of the Big Middle East and filling the void left by the Americans there.
Thirdly, militarily-politically solving the Ukrainian crisis demanded from Russia at this stage to longly freeze a huge number of resources that, unfortunately, aren’t elastic. Russia would lose the possibility to pursue an active foreign policy in all other regions of the planet. It’s not a coincidence that the Russian pseudo-patriotic fifth column initially demanded to withdraw troops from Syria and send them to Ukraine. The best way to lose a war is to tie one’s resources down to a secondary direction, having handed over strategically important positions to the opponent.
The problem with Ukraine is that Russia initially has nobody to lean on there. Local elites differ from each other only by their degree of hostility towards Moscow. Some of them are overt about it, and others are more covert for a certain period of time but always betray.
I will remind that Yanukovych and all his government – half of which is now in Russia in exile, and the other half regularly serves the putschists in Ukraine – pursued the policy of European integration considerably more effectively than Poroshenko (by the way, more effectively than Yushchenko too), and in this regard was much more dangerous to Russia, although he was considered in Ukraine as a pro-Russian politician.
Not having the local elite to lean on, Russia would be obliged to assume the governance of Ukraine, which, proceeding from the sizes of the Ukrainian state and the population, is simply technically impracticable.
Fourthly, not having the opportunity at this stage to achieve an absolute victory in the Ukrainian direction, Russia frosted [partially froze – ed] the situation. Kiev is already not ours, but it’s not the West’s either. A wishy-washy regime is sat there, capable of surviving only at the expense of the West, compromising by the fact of its very existence the idea of the “western paradise” in the opinion of Ukrainians.
The actual state of affairs incontestably proves to most of the population: it was a nourishing, cheerful, and safe in the conditions of friendship with Russia, and the “breakthrough” towards the west turned the once prospering country into a bandit reserve, to live in which becomes more and more famishing, cold, and frightening year after year.
Fifthly, the information war is ensuring in relation to military-political operations. Its purpose can’t differ from military-political purposes. At this stage the task of militarily-politically destroying Ukraine hasn’t been set. On the contrary, there is a need to preserve its frosted [a partially frozen battlefield – ed] condition, which gives Russia the chance to reactivate the Ukrainian crisis when it will be favourable to it, but which in the meantime lets the Ukrainian regime remain on the balance sheet of the West. Therefore, efforts on the information front are also directed at this.
And should the need to shake-up the situation arise, then we will do it instantly.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

INTERVIEW WITH THE SAKER. RUSSIAN-ISRAELI RELATIONS AND THE CONFLICT IN SYRIA




River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

بين تصويت الكونغرس وتفاهمات السويد اليمنية



ديسمبر 14, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– بمثل ما يصعب الفصل بين حروب المنطقة التي خاضتها واشنطن وحجم المكانة السعودية فيها، يصعب تخيّل تراجع المكانة السعودية وعدم تأثر مسارات هذه الحروب، كما يصعب تخيّل عدم تأثر المكانة المعاكسة لقوى محور المقاومة، خصوصاً إيران التي برر الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بالمواجهة معها، تمسكه بمكانة قوية للسعودية، وبالتوازي يصعب تخيل تقدّم مسار تسوية منصفة في اليمن تحفظ لأنصار الله دوراً مستقبلياً وازناً وحضوراً فاعلاً راهناً في صياغة الدولة الجديدة، وتنهي الرهان على الحرب التي خاضتها السعودية والإمارات ودعمتها واشنطن، دون أن يؤثر ذلك على مكانة إيران الإقليمية، ودون أن ينعكس على المسارات الموازية لحرب اليمن في المواجهة بين المحورين المتقابلين بتحالف واشنطن والرياض من جهة، وتحالف موسكو وطهران من جهة مقابلة.

– لم يعُد صعباً توصيف ما يجري بصفته تكريساً لمسار مزدوج، ينتهي من جهة بمكانة جديدة للسعودية في واشنطن تختلف عن تلك التي رسمها الرئيس ترامب، وشكل ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان حصان الرهان فيها، سواء في المواجهة مع إيران أو في حماية «إسرائيل»، أو في المشروع الجامع بين المهمتين المسمّى بصفقة القرن، وينتهي من جهة مقابلة بتسوية يمنية تخرج عبرها السعودية أضعف، وتُعاد صياغة الدولة اليمنية وفقاً لمعايير التوازن الذي فرشه صمود اليمنيين بوجه الحرب التي شنها تحالف السعودية والإمارات بدعم أميركي، ولعل تصويت الكونغرس على وقف دعم الحرب السعودية الإماراتية على اليمن، إشارة مزدوجة لمكانة السعودية ومستقبل حرب اليمن.

– يتدخّل الكونغرس والمخابرات لتصويب المسار الأميركي، عندما تعيش الرئاسة حال الإنكار، وحيث يصعب التصويب في نقاط التعقيد بوجه روسيا من جهة، وفي نقاط التعقيد المتصلة بأمن «إسرائيل» من جهة مقابلة، فيقع الاختيار على الخاصرتين الرخوتين، السعودية الفاشلة في تحقيق التزاماتها، واليمن حيث صورة أميركا السوداء بفعل الجرائم الوحشية، لكن الهدف لا يمكن أن يكون معزولاً عن الصلة بتداعيات بائنة في المسارين، فلا وقف حرب اليمن ولا تعديل تصنيف مكانة السعودية الائتمانية سياسياً واستراتيجياً، بلا تبعات على التوازنات الإجمالية في مواجهات المنطقة، التي يتوقف عليها ترسيم حدود القوة الأميركية، وحجم تأثيرها في صناعة السياسة على مستوى المنطقة، التي تتشارك فيها الحضور مع إيران، وعلى مستوى العالم الذي تتشارك فيه الحضور مع روسيا والصين أيضاً.

– الاتجاهات للمواجهة المتصاعدة داخل واشنطن للرئيس ترامب التي شكلت الانتخابات النصفية فرصة لتظهيرها كتعبير عن رأي عام شبابي ونخبوي يدقّ أبواب الانتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة، توازيها اتجاهات دولية في قلبها أميركا لتحجيم مكانة السعودية، واتجاهات تتساءل عن مستقبل ما تريده «إسرائيل» وما تستطيعه، في ظل تصاعد المقاومة الفلسطينية وتنامي الحضور الشعبي المتزايد الداعم للمقاومة والانتفاضة، إشارات تقول إن زمن التغيير الذي فرضته انتصارات سورية، وصمود اليمن، وثبات فلسطين، وصعود إيران، وتقدّم روسيا بقوة، وتنامي مقدرات الصين، هو زمن لا يمكن الالتفاف عليه بالتذاكي أو إنكاره بالعناد، بل يمكن التأقلم معه والتساكن مع نتائجه، والبحث عن تسويات الممكن معه، وحيث يستعصي ذلك يمكن ربط النزاع.

Related Videos
Related Articles

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Will India Help Iran Avert U.S. Sanctions-Related Medical Crisis?

ShutterstockShutterstock
by Aveek Sen, Mojtaba Mousavi, and Udayan Tandan
Zeinab, the mother of a four-year-old girl suffering from blood cancer, says that “Mina has been under medication for nearly five months. The doctor had prescribed her pills recently and Mina has to take them every night for three years straight.” Zeinab adds, “We are spending really difficult days both physically and emotionally. It’s okay if you have no food at home, but in hospitals, there should be medicine for patients, for children. Whatever sanctions you’re imposing, don’t restrict medicine.”
Restrictions on importing pharmaceutical active ingredients reduced Iran’s medicine production during the last round of U.S. sanctions in 2012. “I am a PSC patient and I need Mesalazine and Ursobil on a daily basis,” said Amir, 29 who was diagnosed in 2008 with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a liver disease. “In 2012, I couldn’t find enough Mesalazine and my colitis activated again. That was an awful experience. The doctors told me that without regular intake of the medicines, I face serious damage to my liver. It may overtime metamorphose into colorectal cancer.” 
U.S. officials have said repeatedly that the sanctions are designed to target the Iranian “regime,” and it has even issued a waiver for humanitarian goods. But in action, by imposing sanctions on Iranian bank transactions, the United States is effectively blocking the only way to buy medicine for Iranian patients.
“When banks are terrified to handle Iran-related transactions, it means we cannot even buy medicine, and if we do, we cannot transfer them into Iran since airlines won’t accept cargoes destined for Iran,” says a senior manager in an Iranian firm importing pharmaceuticals, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Fear is the main weapon that the United States is using to enforce its sanction policy against Iran. “The fact is that the banks are so terrified by the sanctions that they don’t want to do anything with Iran,” said French ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud to The New York Times. “So it means that there is a strong risk that in a few months really there will be shortage of medicine in Iran.”
On October 3, 2018, judges at the International Court of Justice ruled that the United States had to remove “any impediments” to the export of humanitarian goods, including food, medicine and spare parts, and equipment and services necessary for the safety of civil aviation. The United States argued the ruling was a “defeat” for Iran, saying it already allowed humanitarian-related transactions.
“Excluding medicines from sanctions is just a false claim,” says Iranian Health Minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi. “We have many medical cargoes need to be transferred quickly but there is no airplane or ship to transfer them into Iran due to US sanctions.”
“If imports of drugs into the country are stopped right now, we are able to meet 50 percent of the nation’s need for medicines,” says Akbar Barandegi, the director general for pharmaceutical affairs at the Iranian Food and Drugs Organization.
Iran faced a shortage of life-saving medicines in 2012-13 due to economic sanctions imposed by the EU and the United States. Medicines were exempt from the sanctions. However, Europeans were reluctant to supply pharmaceuticals, primarily due to payment concerns since Western banks were wary of handling financial transactions with Iran.
In these circumstances Iran turned to India for a supply of essential life-saving drugs. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is known worldwide for its quality generic drugs. Indian pharma majors like Cipla, Ranbaxy, and Glenmark supplied Iran with bulk drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients, and generic formulations of drugs used in the treatment of lung and breast cancers, brain tumors, and heart ailments, among others. In the cases of Cipla and Ranbaxy, they provided medicines to Iran despite having a major presence in the U.S. market.
With U.S. sanctions kicking in once again, Iran’s position has become precarious for it may face trouble importing essential items like food and medicine. Ajay Sahai, the director general of the Federation of Import-Export Organisations, remains cautiously hopeful since the United States has of yet not provided clarity on this issue. Also, he points out, if European companies bend to U.S. pressure, Indian pharmaceutical companies could again step in, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises with no exposure to the U.S. market. India has also already obtained a sanctions exemption on oil imports, and the payment mechanism between the two nations has been resolved. Sahai notes that Iranians will be eager to import from India in exchange for what India owes in oil payments.
Century Pharma is one Indian enterprise well-positioned to help Iran. It’s been in the business of manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients for the past three decades and has been regularly exporting to Iran, according to the company’s managing director, Janak Sheth. In fact, Century Pharma has already received two big orders from Iran in the last week.
Every time Iran faces tight sanctions from Western countries, its trade with Asian countries, especially southeast Asian states, increases until whenever Iran decides to expand its relationship with the West,” says Javad Aminian, an expert in Iranian relations with South Asia. “So, we expect Iran’s trade with Asia to rise again during the new round of sanctions.”
Aveek Sen is an independent journalist working on cybersecurity and the geopolitics of India’s neighborhood, focusing on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Bangladesh. @aveeksen. Udayan Tandan was a former legal consultant at the Enforcement Directorate and currently practices law in New Delhi. @udayantandan. Mojtaba Mousavi is the founder and editor of the Tehran-based analytical website, IransView.com. His writings on Iran’s foreign policy appeared in different Iranian and international media including Al-Monitor and Al-ahram weekly. @mousavimojo

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

The U.S. Has Always Backed Dictators. Trump's Support for MBS is no Different



In his steadfast support for MBS, Trump is following a long tradition of US support for Arab autocrats, which in turn is used as the reason for violent terrorist organisations to target the US
December 14, 2018 “Information Clearing House” –   Last week, US President Donald Trump announced that the close US-Saudi partnership will continue, even after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and a CIA report that pointed the finger at Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) as the one who ordered the killing.

A longstanding US tradition

The president’s statement cited a combination of geostrategic and economic reasons to justify continuing his close alliance with a regime that had practised utter brutality at home and abroad. Trump highlighted the lucrative financial dividends of this partnership to the US economy, based on MBS’s promise of $450bn investment, including $100bn-plus of arms purchases.
The president also asserted that Saudi Arabia was central to containing Iran’s expansion in the Middle East and achieving peace with Israel.
Despite its shockingly frank nature, the president’s statement does not represent a major departure from previous US foreign policy but rather maintains a longstanding principle of supporting Arab dictators for specific strategic and economic reasons. What is different from previous US presidents is Trump’s uncomfortably explicit calculus.
No previous US president has flagged hard cash as the rationale for maintaining close ties with and even support for the Saudi leadership.
But rhetoric aside, Trump is remaining faithful to a longstanding tradition of US foreign policy that privileges economic and strategic interests over moral and ethical issues, sometimes referred to as realpolitik.
In the past, the US has occasionally expressed concern over severe human rights violations by their proteges but few would seriously expect President Trump to be troubled by the crimes of the Saudi regime.
Even if he admits that no one should condone such a murder, he was apparently comfortable endorsing the far-from-credible Saudi explanation for what happened at the consulate. He even provided a possible exit strategy for the Saudis when he said that the murder could be the work of“rogue killers”, thus providing a potential out for MBS, the de facto head of state and the security apparatus in Saudi Arabia.

Empowering dictators

Trump’s latest statement, that business as usual with Saudi Arabia is to be maintained, even if MBS “may or may not” have ordered the murder of Khashoggi, is certainly shocking for some American audiences. But for Arabs in general and Saudis in particular, the statement was expected, to say the least.
It confirmed their strong belief that the US prefers to work with autocrats than encourage them to democratise or at least restrain themselves from suffocating their people with draconian measures ranging from detention to murder.
US support for Arab dictators has been asserted as the casus belli by the most violent terrorist organisations to target the US. Osama bin Laden’s justification for hitting the “far enemy”, namely the US that supports the Saudi regime only echoed previous slogans of Arab nationalists, socialists and pro-democracy forces that blamed the US for the excesses of their regimes.
In their logic, US support empowers dictators not only through the transfer of the technology of death, surveillance and torture, but also morally and globally.
Even Trump himself admitted that without US support, the Saudi regime will collapse in two weeks. Former US intelligence officer Bruce Riedel confirmed that without US and UK support, the Saudis will not be able to continue the war in Yemen.
The likes of Bin Laden strongly believed this narrative long before it was uttered by the US president. Consequently, his network diverted its struggle against the near enemy to the far one and precipitated a global terrorist crisis that keeps resurfacing under different names. The Islamic State group (IS) was the most recent incarnation of this phenomenon but may not be the last.
Many Americans understandably feel uncomfortable with the president’s blunt words as they cling to a myth that American foreign policy should reflect American values, especially when a high-profile murder by a close partner is concerned.
However, like so-called ‘American exceptionalism’, American values, in the form of respect of civil, political and human rights, have not been an obvious principle guiding American foreign policy in the Arab world.
Also, such values are being eroded and undermined in the US itself under the ultra-nationalist and populist rhetoric of the current president.

The wrath of the people

Previous US presidents may not have liked Arab dictators but nonetheless lent them support, often in the form of military sales and assistance. The list is long.
Many Arab autocrats had the full support of previous American administrations despite the fact that domestically they violated their own peoples’ rights, including Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Zine Abedine Ben Ali of Tunisia, King Hamad bin Al-Khalifa of Bahrain, and at one moment Muammar Qaddafi of Libya came close to being an ally just before he faced an uprising in 2011
Until his fall in 1979, the US granted the Shah of Iran its ultimate support by making him the “policeman of the Gulf” to ward off and contain the spread of communism and nationalism at the time. His dramatic fall at the hands of his own people was shocking for both the US and its Western allies.
The message to the US at the time could not have been clearer: no amount of US support can protect a dictator from the wrath of his own people when the right moment comes. In fact, the US could not even protect its own Tehran Embassy where over 50 diplomats were held hostage for 444 days, an incident that four decades later still shapes and haunts US thinking about Iran.
Yet unconditional US support had always been the privilege of Saudi monarchs. The love affair with Saudi kings is based on expediency and interest rather than passionate conviction. US support was neither shaken nor reconsidered, at least in public, even after 15 Saudi hijackers attacked the Twin Towers in New York on 9/11
The US administration at the time meandered and left it to the US media and civil society to pressure the Saudi regime to change its policy of spreading lethal religious interpretations that had inspired a whole generation of Muslims across the globe and justified terrorism.
It is a cruel irony for the victims of this attack that Trump now considers the Saudi regime an indispensable partner against terrorism.

The face of Saudi Arabia

Even if Americans are not entirely comfortable with their government’s foreign policy of complete neglect for human rights and even direct support for MBS, despite his latest murderous adventure abroad, this is as nothing compared with Saudis living under the reality of one-man rule.
As MBS became the sole face of Saudi Arabia, in control of economic, military, security and social dimensions of government, he has exhibited complete disrespect for the basic semblance of tolerance towards critics, dissidents and activists.
Saudi Arabia has hardly been a safe haven for dissent but the magnitude of MBS’s ambition to reach the top of the royal hierarchy has turned Saudi Arabia into a murderous nightmare for anyone associated with dissent.
Under his orders, potential rival princes were detained, and a nascent feminist movement was stifled and its remaining advocates imprisoned and tortured according to a recent Amnesty report. Intellectuals and religious clerics were also imprisoned.


Prisoners of Conscie@m3takl_en
SEVERE TORTURE in the prison has caused lately the death of:
Shiekh Suleiman al-Dweesh
Journalist Turki al-Jasser
We warn of a possible deterioration and a possible death of one of the female activists who were tortured and sexually harassed !
97 people are talking about this
Vague charges such as communicating with foreign agents, treason, and undermining the image of the state are mentioned as justification for detention. These charges are more reminiscent of Stalin’s terror than a benevolent monarchy that Saudi propaganda would have us believe it is.
Almost all detained Saudi intellectuals are charged with treason and of being agents of foreign governments. From Salman al-Odah to economist Essam al-Zamil and feminist Lujain al-Huthloul, the word treason looms large and may lead to the death penalty. In fact, the Saudi public prosecutor called for such punishment to be inflicted on those detainees. The infamous office of the public prosecutor is also in charge of the investigation of Khashoggi’s murder.

Seeds of terror

Being “an enemy of the state” – to use Trump’s reiteration of what Saudi officials had told him about Khashoggi – is now a common crime investigated by appointed judges who enjoy no independence whatsoever. Trump seems comfortable with such a statement. Perhaps “enemy of the state” reflects or mirrors his own thinking about anybody who criticises a president, a king or a crown prince.
Saudis know very well that US support for MBS will not waiver as they are fed on propaganda that money buys everything – from mighty fighter jets used against their poorest Yemeni neighbours, to the US president’s silence over one of the most horrific crimes committed against a journalist.
Trump will cling to MBS even if the latter becomes more burdensome. If there is a chance for so-called “American values” to become relevant to foreign policy, it is the US Congress that will have to push for a reconsideration of the age-old US support for dictators. This should spring not out of concern for the safety and security of the Saudi people, but for their own American national security.
Congress must know that under the dark and repressive cloak of MBS, the flamboyant and illusory economic plans, and the veneer of social liberalisation, the seeds of terror are sown. In the past this terror has spilled over and reached the US itself. For the present, there is little to assure the American public that it won’t happen again.
– Professor Madawi al-Rasheed is a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. She has written extensively about the Arabian Peninsula, Arab migration, globalisation, religious transnationalism and gender. On Twitter: @MadawiDr
This article was originally published by Middle East Eye” 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

‘New World Order’ Wine Pompoured into a Pro-‘Sovereignty’ Rhetorical Bottle



‘New World Order’ Wine Pompoured into a Pro-‘Sovereignty’ Rhetorical Bottle
JAMES GEORGE JATRAS | 15.12.2018

‘New World Order’ Wine Pompoured into a Pro-‘Sovereignty’ Rhetorical Bottle


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his December 4 speech in Brussels at the German Marshall Fund with “a well-deserved tribute to America’s 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush,” whom he praised as “an unyielding champion of freedom around the world.” It was fitting that he did so. The heart and soul of Pompeo’s remarks extolling the return of “the United States to its traditional, central leadership role in the world” were little more than a rehash of Bush the Elder’s aggressive internationalism.
Pompeo (or his speechwriter) should be given credit for a masterpiece of misdirection. While the substance of his speech was a blast of stale air from the 1990s, the rhetoric was all Trumpism and national sovereignty – but only for countries obedient to Washington: “Our mission is to reassert our sovereignty, reform the liberal international order, and we want our friends to help us and to exert their sovereignty as well.”
What about the sovereignty of countries the US doesn’t count as “friends”? Well, that’s a different story: “Every nation – every nation – must honestly acknowledge its responsibilities to its citizens and ask if the current international order serves the good of its people as well as it could. And if not, we must ask how we can right it.” [emphasis added]
So according to Pompeo, the United States and our vassals (“we”) have an obligation (“must”) to fix international actors that in our infinite wisdom are not serving “the good of their people.” For example, “Russia hasn’t embraced Western values of freedom and international cooperation.” (Why should Russia care what “we” think of its values – and why should its values be “western,” anyway? Never mind! We “must” do something about it!)
This assertion constitutes not only a right but a duty of the US to dictate not only the external policies of every country on the planet but even their internal order as well if judged by all-knowing Washington to be insufficiently serving the good of their people. This means that some countries (the US and our “friends”) are sovereign, but countries we deem to be failing their people are not. Even Leon Trotsky would shrink from making such a declaration.
This alone gives the lie to the claims of the Swamp-critters Trump has put in charge of his administration that the US is “only” trying to impact behavior. (As in Pompeo’s “We welcomed China into the liberal order, but never policed its behavior.” So now we’re the police too.)
Would the Russians meet Pompeo’s standard if, say, they returned Crimea to Ukraine (presumably over the strong objections of the large majority of its residents who voted to join Russia)? Of course not. Russia would still be our No. 1 enemy.
What if the Russians “admitted” to Pompeo’s self-certifying accusations of violations of the INF Treaty and Chemical Weapons Convention, and then took the actions the US demands? Not good enough.
Admittedly, this arrogant attitude of being both the big player on the geopolitical field as well as the globocop referee (and enforcer) didn’t originate with Pompeo. Let’s recall how George H. W. Bush described America’s mission in his 1991 State of the Union:
‘What is at stake is more than one small country [.i.e., Kuwait], it is a big idea – a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle, and worthy of our children’s future. … The world can therefore seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order – where brutality will go unrewarded, and aggression will meet collective resistance. Yes, the United States bears a major share of leadership in this effort. Among the nations of the world, only the United States of America has had both the moral standing, and the means to back it up. We are the only nation on this earth that could assemble the forces of peace.’
Notably missing is any concern about the United States itself, the security of our own borders and territory, and the welfare and prosperity of the American people. Instead American “leadership” is needed to usher in a globalist utopia defined by Goodthink “universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law.”
One would think that at this point in the 21st century people would be wary of regurgitated Leninist claptrap, especially since it has dominated US policy for almost three decades. It’s all here:
  • Democratic centralism (which is NATO’s operating principle: there’s democratic debate until the US decides, after which there’s centralism; US “allies” in NATO have less independence than members of the Warsaw Pact did).
  • The bipartisan establishment would never admit that killing millions of people is a valid way to bring about utopia, but they have been willing to do just that in wars of choice in the Greater Middle East (including the Balkans and Afghanistan) and willing to risk far, far more deaths by pushing Russia (and China) to the brink. This is facilitated by sophisticated information control with features such as “atrocity porn” that acts as a transmission belt.
Not only is all of this Bolshevik to the core, much of it is specifically Trotskyite. That’s literally true at least for the influence of the neoconservative movement as it developed originally out of the exodus of Max Schachtman and his followers, who were expelled from the official US communist party in 1928, and then went through several party name changes, finally ending up as Social Democrats USA. As Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com summarizes it:
‘ …[T]here is plenty to see, first and foremost the Trotskyist DNA embedded in the neocon foreign policy prescription… The Trotskyists argued that the Communist Revolution of 1917 could not and should not be contained within the borders of the Soviet Union. Today’s neocons make the same argument about the need to spread the American system until the U.S. becomes a “global hegemon,” as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol puts it. Trotsky argued that socialism in one country was impossible, and doomed to failure: encircled by capitalism, surrounded by enemies constantly plotting its downfall, the “workers state” would not survive if it didn’t expand. The neocons are making a similar argument when it comes to liberal democracy. Confronted by an Islamic world wholly opposed to modernity, Western liberal democracy must implant itself in the Middle East by force – or else face defeat in the “war on terrorism.” Expand or die is the operative principle, and the neocons brought this Trotskyist mindset with them from the left.’
Very few Americans who don’t themselves come from far-left and émigré fever swamps have much of an idea of any this to this very day. Starting in earnest in the 1980s under Reagan, large numbers of neocons, who had previously styled themselves Henry “Scoop” Jackson Democrats, began to enter the governing apparatus on the strength of their intellectual and academic credentials and their strong anti-Sovietism. Regarding the neocons’s hostility to the USSR, originally an expression of their anti-Stalinism, “regular” Americans conservatives, whose own moral views were closer to ordinary Americans’, mistook it for simple anti-communism. Little did most of them suspect that the neocons were even more devoted to world revolution than was Brezhnev’s Politburo, and that to them the US was little more than a base of operations, just as the Bolsheviks had earlier viewed Russia.
The neocons’ influence leveled out but did not disappear under the presidency of George H.W. Bush (1989-1993), to whose credit also has some balance from relative “realists” like Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, and James Baker. However, neocons were able to make major gains under Bill Clinton (1993-2001) in alliance with so-called “liberal internationalists” like Madeleine Albright, Strobe Talbott, Richard Holbrooke – and of course Hillary Clinton. While reflecting somewhat different priorities (notably on the mix between America as the engine of world revolution vs. the role of the United Nations), the neocons and liberal internationalists found common ground in so-called “humanitarian interventionism,” notably in the Balkans. The neocons’ only criticism of Clinton’s in Bosnia and Kosovo (and later of Obama’s in Libya and Syria) was not being militant enough; accordingly the neocons (mostly outside of the Executive Branch in those years but well-represented on Capitol Hill and in think tanks) helped the liberal internationalists beat back partisan Republican and residual realist skepticism for Clinton’s wars.
When the GOP again controlled the White House under George W. Bush (2001-2009), the liberal internationalists returned the favor by whipping up Democratic support for the invasion of Iraq. By that time the neocons were in virtually total control of the Republican’s foreign policy in powerful alliance with representatives of the Deep State complex centered on the Pentagon and military industries. This latter group, known as the “Vulcans,” included people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice. Then, when the Democrats took over again under Barack Hussein Obama (2009-2017), the liberal internationalists’ militancy was championed by a “triumfeminate” of Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power (known as the “genocide chick”), under whom “responsibility to protect” (R2P) became a dominant principle of US policy, again with vocal neocon support.
With Donald Trump’s election, it was hoped by many of his supporters that his “America First” views and stated desire to get along with Russia and to get the US out of places like Afghanistan and Syria, as well as his criticism of NATO, signaled a sharp departure from the influence of the neocons and their liberal interventionist and Vulcan allies. Alas, that was not to be. As Pompeo’s Max-Schachtman-masquerading-as-Pat-Buchanan speech shows, the neocon/Deep State lock remains on a policy that hurtles heedlessly forward towards disaster.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

السلطة تقمع مناصري «حماس»... ويوم غضب في الضفة



السلطة تقمع مناصري «حماس»... ويوم غضب في الضفةقوبل قمع السلطة لمظاهرات «حماس» باستنكار فصائلي وشعبي واسع (أ ف ب )

ينما كانت الضفة المحتلة تشهد في مناطقها كافة مسيرات داعمة للمقاومة من جهة، واشتباكات مع قوات العدو الإسرائيلي التي تواصل عمليتها العسكرية في رام الله من جهة أخرى، أقدمت الأجهزة الأمنية التابعة للسلطة الفلسطينية على فضّ مسيرتَيْن دعت إليهما «حركة المقاومة الإسلامية» (حماس) بالقوة، في مدينتي نابلس (شمال) والخليل (جنوب). وسجل حقوقيون وصحافيون اعتداء عناصر من الأجهزة الأمنية بالعصي على المشاركين في المسيرتَيْن، كما اعتقلوا عدداً منهم، وأطلقوا النار صوب الشاب هشام بشكار، وهو شقيق الأسير فوزي الذي اعتقله العدو خلال اغتيال الشهيد أشرف نعالوة.

هذا المشهد قوبلباستنكار فصائلي وشعبي كبير، خصوصاً أنه يأتي في وقت اختفى الأمن الفلسطيني من رام الله بصورة شبه كاملة. وقال عضو المكتب السياسي لحركة «الجهاد الإسلامي» نافذ عزام، في تصريح تلفزيوني أمس، إن ما أقدمت عليه أجهزة السلطة «مدعاة للخجل، ولا يجوز أن يحدث هذا المشهد»، مضيفاً: «شعبنا ينتظر أن تدافع أجهزتها الأمنية عنه وتتصدى لقوات الاحتلال لا أن تقمع التظاهرات السلمية».

وجراء الاشتباكات مع العدو، استشهد شاب وأصيب آخرون جراء استعمال قوات العدو الرصاص الحي بكثرة. وأعلنت وزارة الصحة استشهاد محمود يوسف نخلة (18 عاماً) بعد وصوله بحالة حرجة مُصاباً بالرصاص الحي في البطن. ونخلة من مخيم الجلزون شمال رام الله (وسط)، وأصيب خلال مواجهات في محيط مستوطنة «بيت إيل» القريبة من المخيم. وبينما حاول جنود الاحتلال اعتقال الشاب بعد إصابته بجروح حرجة، تمكّنت طواقم الإسعاف الفلسطينية من تخليصه من أيدي الجنود.

أما في طولكرم، حيث منزل عائلة الشهيد نعالوة، فشهدت ضاحية شويكة مواجهات مع قوات الاحتلال لمنعها من الوصول إلى البيت. كذلك، اندلعت مواجهات في خمس نقاط تماس في نابلس حيث وقعت 56 إصابة، وكذلك في الخليل (منطقة باب الزاوية).

استشهد شاب في رام الله فيما أصيب جندي إسرائيلي بجروح خطيرة

في المقابل، أصيب جندي إسرائيلي بجروح خطيرة صباحاً جراء إصابته بحجر في رأسه داخل مستوطنة «بيت إيل». وذكر موقع «يديعوت أحرونوت» العبري أن شاباً فلسطينياً تمكن من التسلل إلى المستوطنة مسلحاً بحجر، واقترب من برج مراقبة مسقطاً منه جندياً إسرائيلياً ثم ضربه في رأسه مباشرة، قبل أن ينسحب من المكان.

من جهة ثانية، وعلى رغم حالة الهدوء العامة في قطاع غزة خصوصاً على الحدود، قرر الفلسطينيون التظاهر مجدداً مساندة للضفة. وقالت وزارة الصحة إن 75 مواطناً أصيبوا في الجمعة الـ38 لـ«مسيرات العودة وكسر الحصار» شرق محافظات القطاع. وأوضحت الوزارة أن من بين المصابين سبعة مسعفين وصحافيين. وجددت «الهيئة الوطنية لمسيرات العودة وكسر الحصار» دعوتها للمشاركة في جمعة «الوفاء لأبطال المقاومة في الضفة» الأسبوع المقبل.
وبالتزامن، تستعد «حماس» لإحياء ذكرى انطلاقتها الثلاثين غداً الأحد في غزة، بعنوان «مقاومة تنتصر وحصار ينكسر»، فيما أفادت مصادر إعلامية بتقدم أكثر من 700 صحافي فلسطيني وأجنبي، و117 وسيلة إعلام، طلبات لتغطية مهرجان الانطلاقة الذي سيقام في ساحة الكتيبة وسط مدينة غزة.

إلى ذلك، رفضت محكمة أوروبية أمس طعناً تقدمت به «حماس» لتصنيف الاتحاد الأوروبي لها

«منظمة إرهابية». وقالت ثاني أعلى محكمة أوروبية ومقرها لوكسمبورغ، إنها ترفض الطعن بخصوص قرارات المجلس (الأوروبي) بين عامي 2010 و2014 و(كذلك) في 2017، إذ سبق أن ألغت «محكمة العدل» الأوروبية، في تموز/ يوليو 2017، قراراً سابقاً للمحكمة العامة يقضي بإزالة الحركة من قائمة الكيانات الإرهابية.

استنكار فلسطيني لقمع السلطة الفلسطينية تظاهرات شعبية في مدينتي الخليل ونابلس

الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين تستنكر اعتداء الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية على مسيرة شعبية في نابلس والخليل، ومسؤول الإعلام في حركة الجهاد الاسلامي داوود شهاب يقول للميادين إن قمع السلطة للتظاهرات الشعبية بـ “العمل مشين، وفصائل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية تبرر بالقول إن الدعوة في محافظة نابلس للتظاهر كانت على أساس رفع العلم الفلسطيني فقط.
وأكّدت “الجبهة أنه بدلاً من أن تصوّب السلطة أسلحتها وتوجه أفراد أجهزتها الأمنية في الدفاع عن الشعب الفلسطيني والتصدي لاستباحة الاحتلال مدن وقرى الضفة، تنهال بالضرب على النساء والشبان والأطفال”.
ودعت الجبهة إلى “التحلل الكامل من نهج التسوية واتفاقية أوسلو المدمرة والتزاماتها الأمنية وفي مقدمتها التنسيق الأمني”.




Embedded video

شبكة قدس الإخبارية
✔@qudsn
الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية تعتدي على النساء وتعتقل العشرات وتحاول منع الصحفيين من التصوير خلال قمعها مسيرة لحركة حماس في .
من جهته، وصف مسؤول الاعلام في حركة الجهاد الاسلامي داوود شهاب قمع السلطة للتظاهرات الشعبية بـ “العمل مشين، مشيراً إلى أن تعرّض أجهزة السلطة للمتظاهرين ضد الاحتلال الإسرائيلي أمر مستنكر ومرفوض.
وأكّد شهاب في اتصال مع الميادين أن “على السلطة ان توجه سلاحها ضد المستوطنين الذين يعتدون على شعبنا”، مضيفاً أن هناء مسك التي تم الاعتداء عليها من اجهزة السلطة هي أسيرة محررة وأخت لشهيدين.
كما لفت شهاب إلى أنه يبدو أن السلطة مرتاحة تجاه هذه الممارسات خدمة للاحتلال، مشدداً على أن المطلوب إعلان واضح وصريح على وقف التنسيق الامني مع (إسرائيل).
كذلك، قال شهاب إن العمليات الفدائية والتحركات الشعبية في الضفة وسام شرف على صدر الأمة، موضحاً أن الجهاد الاسلامي وكل فصائل المقاومة في قلب الحركة الجماهيرية في الضفة الغربية.





شبكة قدس الإخبارية
✔@qudsn
فتاة تحاول منع الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية من اعتقال شقيقها خلال مسيرات نظمتها حركة حماس في ، تنديدًا بجرائم الاحتلال الأخيرة.

وقالت فصائل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية إن الدعوة في محافظة نابلس للتظاهر كانت على أساس رفع العلم الفلسطيني فقط.

وفي بيان لها يوضح ما حصل خلال قمع التظاهرات في الخليل ونابلس أوضحت الهيئة أنها “تفاجأت بوصول مسيرة لحركة حماس تحمل الرايات الخضراء فقط لا غير”.

ووفق الفصائل فإن حركة حماس رفضت الاندماج بالمسيرة تحت العلم الفلسطيني.

وتابعت الفصائل قائلةً إن “مسيرة حماس استمرت باختراق تحركنا والانفراد بخطاب خاص بها لوحدها”، مضيفةً أنه “نتج عن ذلك بعض المشاحنات التي تم السيطرة عليها سريعاً”.

وأكّدت “الجبهة أنه بدلاً من أن تصوّب السلطة أسلحتها وتوجه أفراد أجهزتها الأمنية في الدفاع عن الشعب الفلسطيني والتصدي لاستباحة الاحتلال مدن وقرى الضفة، تنهال بالضرب على النساء والشبان والأطفال”.
ودعت الجبهة إلى “التحلل الكامل من نهج التسوية واتفاقية أوسلو المدمرة والتزاماتها الأمنية وفي مقدمتها التنسيق الأمني”.




Embedded video

شبكة قدس الإخبارية
✔@qudsn
الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية تعتدي على النساء وتعتقل العشرات وتحاول منع الصحفيين من التصوير خلال قمعها مسيرة لحركة حماس في .
من جهته، وصف مسؤول الاعلام في حركة الجهاد الاسلامي داوود شهاب قمع السلطة للتظاهرات الشعبية بـ “العمل مشين، مشيراً إلى أن تعرّض أجهزة السلطة للمتظاهرين ضد الاحتلال الإسرائيلي أمر مستنكر ومرفوض.
وأكّد شهاب في اتصال مع الميادين أن “على السلطة ان توجه سلاحها ضد المستوطنين الذين يعتدون على شعبنا”، مضيفاً أن هناء مسك التي تم الاعتداء عليها من اجهزة السلطة هي أسيرة محررة وأخت لشهيدين.
كما لفت شهاب إلى أنه يبدو أن السلطة مرتاحة تجاه هذه الممارسات خدمة للاحتلال، مشدداً على أن المطلوب إعلان واضح وصريح على وقف التنسيق الامني مع (إسرائيل).
كذلك، قال شهاب إن العمليات الفدائية والتحركات الشعبية في الضفة وسام شرف على صدر الأمة، موضحاً أن الجهاد الاسلامي وكل فصائل المقاومة في قلب الحركة الجماهيرية في الضفة الغربية.





شبكة قدس الإخبارية
✔@qudsn
فتاة تحاول منع الأجهزة الأمنية الفلسطينية من اعتقال شقيقها خلال مسيرات نظمتها حركة حماس في ، تنديدًا بجرائم الاحتلال الأخيرة.

فصائل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية: حركة حماس رفضت الاندماج بالمسيرة تحت العلم الفلسطيني

وقالت فصائل منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية إن الدعوة في محافظة نابلس للتظاهر كانت على أساس رفع العلم الفلسطيني فقط.
وفي بيان لها يوضح ما حصل خلال قمع التظاهرات في الخليل ونابلس أوضحت الهيئة أنها “تفاجأت بوصول مسيرة لحركة حماس تحمل الرايات الخضراء فقط لا غير”.
ووفق الفصائل فإن حركة حماس رفضت الاندماج بالمسيرة تحت العلم الفلسطيني.
وتابعت الفصائل قائلةً إن “مسيرة حماس استمرت باختراق تحركنا والانفراد بخطاب خاص بها لوحدها”، مضيفةً أنه “نتج عن ذلك بعض المشاحنات التي تم السيطرة عليها سريعاً”.

Related Videos


Related Articles

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!