Friday, 22 February 2019

Balkan Report: The Macedonian Powder Keg Set To Go Off

by Stephen Karganovic for The Saker Blog
The way things are shaping up down south (viewed from Belgrade) the tiny, helpless, beleaguered new Balkan state of Macedonia could be the trigger for a wider regional conflict. It is well to remember the adage of veteran politician Franklin Delano Roosevelt, especially in the present context: If it turned out a certain way, it is probably because that is the way it was planned.
If the stage is indeed being set for a new Balkan conflagration, many signs suggest that Macedonia has been assigned a key role in the process leading up to it. Slightly under two years ago, Guaido’s Balkan precursor, Zoran Zaev, was promoted by non-Macedonian interests to unconstitutionally replace the less compliant but democratically elected long-time stooge Nikola Gruevski as prime minister. Procedural niceties were brutally cast aside when Macedonia’s Western masters concluded that Gruevski was getting too many independent policy ideas and that letting him remain in office was therefore risky. In a ruthless, Kiev 2014-style coup, coordinated from the embassies of all the usual suspects, Gruevski was unceremoniously ousted. (By a remarkable coincidence, ambassador Jeffrey Pyatt, of Kiev fame, is now accredited to the neighboring Greek government and undoubtedly supervises these affairs from his Athens command post.) Usurper Zaev was promptly installed, though lacking the required parliamentary majority and in disregard of president Djordje Ivanov’s strong initial refusal to officially appoint him. But that did not matter in Armenia, why should it now in Macedonia?
The masters’ game plan was soon revealed. One objective was to make sure that the Russian pipeline’s passage through strategically located Macedonia would be permanently blocked with the cooperation of a reliable lackey. The other items on the agenda consisted of (1) rearranging the internal political balance of power to overtly favor the aggressive and Western-supported Albanian minority, laying the foundations for Macedonia’s violent Yugoslav-style, ethnically driven breakup at some point, and (2) getting Macedonia into NATO and shoring up NATO’s southern front by “settling” the name dispute with Greece, also to be accomplished to Macedonia’s disadvantage.
Zaev’s first order of business was to implement the so-called “Tirana platform,” an agreement he reached with Macedonia’s Albanian minority while still a private citizen. (He is obviously lucky that Macedonia does not have anything like the Logan Act.) Significantly, the agreement involving the de facto federalization of the tiny country and the granting of extensive privileges to a foreign-backed minority within it, was negotiated by Zaev in the Albanian capital of Tirana. No one seems to be quite sure how many ethnic Albanians there exactly are in Macedonia, any more than it is known for certain how many of them reside in neighboring Kosovo. They are alleged to constitute a respectable 25 to 30 % of Macedonia’s population. But questioning that allegation or subjecting it to empirical verification is actively discouraged. As a result, the western, most densely Albanian- populated portion of Macedonia contiguous with Albania itself has now been turned into a state-within-a-state where native Macedonians enjoy a status similar to that of Indians in the US. The Albanian language has been made official alongside Macedonian and one may assume that smart and farsighted people in Skopje, who get their cues from the embassies that are running the country, are now busy taking Albanian lessons.
Zaev’s second major “achievement” was to negotiate an end to the Macedonian name dispute with his Greek colleague, equally contemptuous of popular sentiment, the perfidious phony socialist Alexis Tsipras. Since Macedonia’s independence from Yugoslavia in 1992, Greece has strongly objected to the country’s name, asserting that “Macedonia” is a Greek copy-righted geographical and historical concept, that Alexander the Great was Greek not Skopje-Macedonian, and all the rest of it, typical Balkan stuff that most readers would probably find utterly boring. The name dispute, however, got hundreds of thousands of people quite excited and demonstrating vociferously on both sides of the border.
It was important therefore to settle, or to at least paper over this issue to make NATO’s southern flank reasonably united in anticipation of the impending big war in the East. The analogy with the geopolitical situation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1941, when its politicians were cajoled into signing off on the Axis pact, and Macedonia’s today, with its accession to NATO, is striking. And yes, Macedonia was “rewarded” for changing its name not just by being generously accepted into NATO, but also with the privilege of being targeted by Russian missiles should hostilities break out in the future.
NATO flag already adorns government offices of “North Macedonia”
Should anyone be wondering why until just a few days ago Macedonia was known by the clumsy and ridiculous acronym FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) it was because of Greece’s refusal to countenance any other label. The need to form a united front against Russia’s “malign influence” in the Balkans now clearly superseds such puerile nonsense. Orders were issued to both puppets from on high to kiss and make up, which they dutifully did, of course.
Incidentally, Macedonia’s new official name of North Macedonia, which Wikipedia has already hastened to duly acknowledge, is rather underwhelming from the standpoint of idiomatic English. “Northern” would have sounded better, a detail that was not lost on the linguistically savvier Turkish partners when they were setting up their own satellite entity, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on the part of the island that they occupy.
So, the stage now seems to be set to plunge North Macedonia in a conflict its people clearly do not want, and to demolish it either by igniting ethnic warfare or making it disappear in a nuclear conflagration, whatever happens to suit global decisionmakers the best. I consulted my trusted Macedonian (I will not insult him by adding “North” to his sufficiently humiliated country’s cherished name) friend and local contact, journalist Milenko Nedelkovski, for his assessment of his country’s current situation.
First things first, I asked him about the current status of his widely watched, influential, notoriously patriotic, and therefore obviously politically misaligned television talk show and whether he was getting any heat from the new “democratic and Western-values” oriented authorities.
His response could not have been more dispiriting:
“Both the present-day authorities and the opposition which until two years ago ruled the country are under the command of the US Embassy in Skopje and ambassador Jess Baily. This is our 14th season. Three years ago, the American embassy ordered my show to be taken off the air by all television broadcasters. It was cancelled twice by TV Channel 5 and three times by Channel Alpha. Both broadcasters have a nation-wide frequency. We are being harassed by absolutely everyone. That is why I am posting my program on Facebook and YouTube. There, for the moment, we are not facing any restrictions and the viewing audience now exceeds anything we ever had in the traditional media.”
Considering that in the period preceding the degrading Zaev – Tsipras name change agreement mass demonstrations opposing it were being held throughout Macedonia, I asked Milenko why people seem suddenly to have given up in the face of the quisling fait accompli.
“The people have not suddenly gone quiet. Repression is such that the ordinary citizen is afraid. He is now articulating his anger through the social media and by boycotting presidential elections. At the moment in Macedonia, civil disobedience is the principal tool of resistance. And if by ‘going quiet’ is meant that the people are no longer out in the streets, that is because the opposition VMRO party is also collaborating with the American-Brussels occupiers, so they are not calling on the people to protest.”
Given the dismal conditions Milenko described, I asked him what the chances are for kicking the rascals out in the next elections.
His answer was: “Non-existent. In April we are due to have presidential elections the honesty of which is very dubious. Ballot boxes will be stuffed, there will be coercion… But under no circumstances will there be anything resembling an honest vote. And the result, of course, will be endorsed by the ‘international community’ as a great victory for democracy.”
My Macedonian informant’s answer to the question of what future he sees for Macedonia if the appeasement of the Albanian factor continues was most unsettling. These are his dark visions:
“Not just the future of Macedonia as a unified country, but the future of all of former Yugoslavia will be uncertain. The Albanians will press relentlessly their Greater Albania project. In practice that means the disintegration of Macedonia as we know it, but also the reduction of Serbia to the territory of the Belgrade district (пашалук) during the period of Ottoman rule. Kosovo and the southern areas of Serbia will be detached, and other parts of the country, around Novi Pazar for instance, might also be snatched away from Serbia. Bosnia will not remain in its present shape and within the present borders. Montenegro will also be required to sacrifice territories to the Greater Albania project. Some littoral and even inland areas will no longer form part of Milo Djukanovic’s little kingdom. The redrawing of borders in the Balkans at the expense of the Orthodox nations, including some Greek lands to which the Albanians aspire, is certain to occur. The only hope for us Orthodox is a large-scale international conflict, which might be sparked off by something that happens in Venezuela, the Kerch Strait, Eastern Ukraine, Syria, Kaliningrad, or North Korea, the consequences of which would be so grave as to cause the US to lose interest in interfering in other nations’ affairs. Things will get better for us when they stop supporting unconditionally the Albanian factor in the Balkans and the Albanian mafia world-wide.”
It could, of course, be said that Milenko’s remedy is worse than the disease. But this compelling cri de coeur, by a well informed and intelligent observer from the heart of the Balkan darkness that proud NATO (and who knows, perhaps soon even EU) candidate “North Macedonia” has been turned into, certainly ought not to be ignored.

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Trump, Erdogan and the buffer zone in Syria ترامب وأردوغان والمنطقة العازلة في سورية

Trump, Erdogan and the buffer zone in Syria

فبراير 21, 2019
Written by Nasser Kandil,

The statements of the US President Donald Trump about his decision to withdraw from Syria include that he grants all Syria to the Turkish President Recep Erdogan who was notified that by a phone call with Trump who published that later in a tweet. The US National Security Advisor John Bolton came to the region and he made number of statements after his meetings with Israeli officials, he said that he would inform the Turkish officials and the President Erdogan that attacking the Kurds; the allies of America is something unallowable. Therefore, all of Syria became for Erdogan except the areas under the Kurdish control. When Bolton arrived to Ankara, Erdogan refused to receive him and he told him harsh words that Turkey does not get orders regarding its national security and that Washington does not distinguish between the Kurds and the militants whom it supports. Trump replied that if Turkey attacked the Kurdish militants, its Turkish economy will be collapsed. The Turks responded that they do not care about the US threat. Then a phone call between Trump and Erdogan took place that was followed by an understanding on a buffer zone established by Turkey on the Syrian borders under the consent and the support of Washington. As a result, there was a Turkish promoting campaign about its intention to establish a security buffer zone.
This context is unbelievable as political and operational plans between a super power named America and a major regional country named Turkey. The Tweets and the phone calls by the US President and his issuing statements such as “All of Syria is yours” “Do not approach from the Kurds” “I will destroy the Turkish economy” and “we support a buffer zone” do not indicate only that he is funny, but also that the Turkish President is funny too, because their feeling of inability needs something in media to support them. It is not forgettable the positions which focused on  the American-Turkish serious research in the project of the buffer zone and how the considerations  of the American and Turkish forces lead to dismiss the risk of turning this wish into a realistic project.
Trump wants us to be convinced that he is able to support Erdogan to establish a buffer zone, while he is withdrawing from Syria, although he was unable to do so while his forces were in Syria. While Erdogan wants us to be convinced that he is capable to establish a buffer zone after he fled from the battle of Aleppo and left his group defeated moving to Astana understandings to get the Russian and the Iranian appeal to avoid the confrontation which he fears, although he was unable to establish it when he challenged Russia and dropped its plane while he was leading the armed groups which had control over half of Syria. He may think that after his failure in implementing his commitments in Idlib, he can barter the coverage of the military operation which became an inevitable duty on the Syrian army, with getting a consolation prize to enter to some of the Syrian border villages. He does not understand yet that the Syrian-Russian-Iranian understanding is based on the withdrawal of all the forces which do not have legal understandings with the Syrian country and not to bargain on the Syrian sovereignty and the unity of its territories.
One stable fact approved by the Syrian position towards Erdogan’s statements that the alliance of defeated will not get during in its weakness what he wanted to get during its strength and that the Syrian country is ready for all possibilities including firing if necessary to prevent affecting its sovereignty and unity. His foolish statements have one benefit; to convince the Kurdish leaderships of the nature of their American ally and that the Syrian country is their only guarantor of security of land and people.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ترامب وأردوغان والمنطقة العازلة في سورية 

يناير 16, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– بعد تصريحات للرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في تفسير قراره بالانسحاب من سورية، تضمّنت قوله إنه يمنح سورية كلها للرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، بكلمات تبلّغها أردوغان على الهاتف في اتصال مع ترامب، نشر محتواها ترامب في تغريدة يقول فيها «لقد قلت لأردوغان إن سورية كلها لك»، جاء مستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون إلى المنطقة وأطلق بعد لقاءاته بالمسؤولين الإسرائيليين تصريحات يقول فيها إنه سيبلغ المسؤولين الأتراك والرئيس أردوغان بأن المساس بالأكراد كحلفاء لأميركا ممنوع، فصار الموقف الأميركي عنوانه سورية كلها لأردوغان ما عدا مناطق السيطرة الكردية، وعندما وصل بولتون إلى أنقرة رفض أردوغان استقباله وسمع كلاماً قاسياً مضمونه أن تركيا لا تتلقى التعليمات في ما يخصّ أمنها القومي، وأن واشنطن لا تميز بين الأكراد والمسلحين الذين تدعمهم، فردّ ترامب بأنه إذا مسّت تركيا بالمسلحين الأكراد فسوف يدمر الاقتصاد التركي، ورد الأتراك بأنهم لا يأبهون بالتهديد الأميركي، وتم اتصال هاتفي بين ترامب وأردوغان أعقبه كلام مشترك عن التفاهم على منطقة عازلة تقيمها تركيا على الحدود مع سورية بموافقة ودعم من واشنطن، وبدأت حملة تسويق تركية لنظرية قديمة جديدة عن عزمها إقامة منطقة أمنية عازلة.

– هذا السياق يقول إن ما أمامنا هو أقل من أن نصدقه كخطط سياسية وعملياتية بين دولة عالمية عظمى هي أميركا ودولة إقليمية كبرى هي تركيا، فالانتقال بتغريدات على تويتر واتصالات هاتفية من قبل الرئيس الأميركي بمواقف تراوحت من «قلت له سورية كلها لك» إلى «إياك والمساس بالأكراد» إلى «سأدمّر الاقتصاد التركي» إلى «ندعم إقامة منطقة عازلة» لا يدلّ على خفة الرئيس الأميركي فقط، بل وعلى خفة الرئيس التركي أيضاً، وشعورهما معاً بالعجز والضعف حاجتهما لـ»البهورات» الإعلامية لصناعة قوة ليس بين يدَيْ كل منهما، ولم تكن بيدهما معاً يوم كانا معاً، والذاكرة ليست ببعيدة عن المواقف التي شكّل محورها في بحث جدي أميركي تركي في مشروع المنطقة العازلة، وكيف كانت الحسابات المشتركة لمصادر القوة الأميركية والتركية تؤدي لصرف النظر عن المخاطرة بتحويل هذه الأمنية مشروعاً واقعياً.

– يريد ترامب منا أن نقتنع أنه قادر على تقديم المساندة لأردوغان لإقامة المنطقة العازلة وهو ينسحب من سورية، بعدما لم يكن قادراً على ذلك وقواته موجودة في سورية. ويريد أردوغان منا أن نقتنع بأنه قادر على إقامة المنطقة العازلة بعدما هرب من معركة حلب وترك جماعته تُهزم، واستدار إلى تفاهمات أستانة، باحثاً عن الرضا الروسي والإيراني تفادياً للمواجهة التي يخشاها، وهو لم يكن قادراً على إقامتها يوم تحدّى روسيا وأسقط طائرتها وكان في ذروة قيادته للجماعات المسلحة التي كانت يومها تسيطر على نصف سورية، إلا إذا كانت الخفة قد بلغت به حدّ التوهم أنه بعد فشله في تنفيذ تعهداته في إدلب قادر على عرض المقايضة بين تغطية العملية العسكرية التي باتت قدراً حتمياً هناك، على يد الجيش السوري، بالحصول على ما يسمّيه جائزة ترضية بالدخول إلى بعض القرى الحدودية السورية، وهو لم يفهم بعد أن التفاهم السوري الروسي الإيراني قائم على ركيزة على تراجع عنها هي، انسحاب جميع القوات التي لا تربطها تفاهمات قانونية مع الدولة السورية وعدم المساومة على السيادة السورية ووحدة التراب السوري في ظلها.

– الحقيقة الثابتة التي أكدها الموقف السوري من تصريحات أردوغان هي أن حلف المهزومين لن يحصل في زمن الضعف على ما فشل في الحصول عليه في ذروة زمن القوة، وأن الدولة السورية مستعدّة لكل الاحتمالات بما فيها إطلاق النار إذا اقتضى الأمر ذلك لمنع المساس بسيادتها ووحدتها، وأن لتصريحاته الحمقاء فائدة واحدة هي إقناع القيادات الكردية بطبيعة حليفهم الأميركي، وأحادية خيار وضع أوراقهم كلها في عهدة دولتهم السورية كضامن وحيد لأمن الأرض والشعب في سورية.

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What will Putin tell Erdogan and what was Netanyahu notified? ماذا سيسمع أردوغان من بوتين وماذا تبلّغ نتنياهو؟


What will Putin tell Erdogan and what was Netanyahu notified?

فبراير 21, 2019
Written by Nasser Kandil,

The newspapers and media sites are filled with analyses and information attributed to “informed” sources about linking the Israeli raids on Syria with the Turkish seeking for a safe zone agreed upon with the Americans, and considering the ongoing movement in the southern and northern of Syria a way to weaken it by getting Iran and Hezbollah away from it, and the arrangement of the Turkish-Kurdish relationships under American-Russian consent. Those also support their conclusions with what they called the Russian silence towards the Israeli raids in the light of the resumption of the meetings between Israeli and Russian military delegations on one hand, and in the light of the American-Turkish agreement after a dispute on a safe zone and the Kurdish positive position towards it on the other hand.
After scrutiny, it can be said that these conclusions are a complementary part of the Israeli attacks and the Turkish threats. They aim at decreasing the threats resulted from the American withdrawal, to fill the gap resulted from it, and the seeking to distort the scene that foreshadows of the victory of the Syria and its president. The Turkish- Israeli alternation to occupy the political and military media scene under US sponsorship is an interpretation of that. To imagine that Russia is seeking to get the Israeli satisfaction after taming the Israeli military and deterring it is illogic especially at the time of the American withdrawal, and the focus on the Russian messages reported by the Israeli press to avoid the military and security tampering in Syria give signs for those who do not want to be victims of the media campaign. The scrutiny in the concept of the safe zone raises a fundamental question about how to set it through Turkish military incursion that is considered by Syria an aggression and occupation, and which is totally different from the Turkish presence in Idlib which was covered after the battle of Aleppo two years ago by Russia and Iran according to Astana path. Therefore, does Turkey have the will to prevent the Syrian army from the deployment in the areas from which the Americans withdraw through air embargo in the light of the Russian presence? And will Astana path remain after that?
What has been promoted by the “informed sources” means neglecting the facts of the past two years, If Turkey was in a state that can be adequate with American coverage, Astana path that culminated the defeat of Turkey and its armed groups in Aleppo would not be exist, and if Israel was in a state of being exclusive and sufficient with American coverage, the prevention of entering the Syrian airspace which culminated with the defeat of the armed groups backed by Israel in the Syrian south would not be achieved, as the situation of the Americans in Tanf base while they were seeing the strongholds of the armed groups in Ghouta falling in front of the strikes of the Syrian army without doing nothing, although their connection with Tanf base across the desert was dividing Syria into two parts. This was before the talk about the US withdrawal and before the achievement of the Russians, so how can Russia accept the division of Syria? in other words “the open war”, and how can Russia accept to end the alliance with Iran, Syria, and the resistance forces and take the risk of the defeat of its presence in the region while it is winning for fear of bothering Turkey or Israel, although it did not do so while they were at the peak of their strength.
Today the Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the Turkish President Recep Erdogan in order to discuss the issue of the safe zone. Erdogan will hear decisive Russian words about respecting the Syrian legitimacy represented by the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian army and refusing any military presence on the Syrian territory without that legitimacy. He will also hear clear words about the sticking to the unity and the sovereignty of Syria and about the controls governed by the path of Astana and the impossibility to violate them. Netanyahu heard the words of President Putin reported by the Russian officials that the Israeli movement will lead to a confrontation that will end with Israeli collision with Russia. So every party should be aware of its responsibilities and as long as the meeting will end with a clear statement it would be an appropriate opportunity for those who want to verify from that.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

ماذا سيسمع أردوغان من بوتين وماذا تبلّغ نتنياهو؟ 

يناير 23, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– تملأ الصحف والمواقع الإعلامية تحليلات ومعلومات منسوبة لمصادر «مطلعة» تدور حول ربط الغارات الإسرائيلية في سورية بالسعي التركي لمنطقة آمنة متفق عليها مع الأميركيين، واعتبار الحركة الجارية في جنوب سورية وشمالها لإضعاف مشروع الدولة السورية، وصولاً لإخراج إيران وحزب الله، وترتيب العلاقات التركية الكردية، بتوافق أميركي روسي، ويورد أصحاب «المصادر المطلعة» استنتاجاتهم بما يسمّونه الصمت الروسي على الغارات الإسرائيلية في ظل عودة اللقاءات بين وفود عسكرية إسرائيلية وروسية، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة بالتوافق الأميركي التركي بعد خلاف شديد على المنطقة الآمنة، والإعلان الكردي الإيجابي تجاهها.

– التدقيق في سياق المنطق الذي تُبنى عليه هذه الاستنتاجات، يمكن النظر إليها كجزء متمّم للاعتداءات الإسرائيلية والتهديدات التركية، الهادفتين لامتصاص بعض المخاطر المترتبة على الانسحاب الأميركي ومحاولة تقاسم ملء الفراغ الناتج عنه، والسعي لتطويق وقتل المناخ الذي يوحي بانتصار الدولة السورية ورئيسها، والتناوب التركي الإسرائيلي برعاية أميركية لتقاسم المسرح الإعلامي السياسي العسكري ليس إلا ترجمة لهذا البعد، فتخيّل روسيا العائدة لطلب الرضا الإسرائيلي بعد ترويض العسكرية الإسرائيلية وردعها، هو خروج عن المنطق، وأن يحدث هذا في زمن الانسحاب الأميركي، محض خرافة، والتمعّن في الرسائل الروسية التي نقلتها الصحافة الإسرائيلية تحذيراً من التمادي في اللعب العسكري والأمني داخل سورية، يقدم الكثير لمن يريد ألا يكون ضحية الحملات الإعلامية، والتدقيق في مفهوم المنطقة الآمنة يطرح سؤالاً جوهرياً حول كيفية إقامتها، بتوغل عسكري تركي تعتبره سورية عدواناً واحتلالاً، وهو مختلف كلياً عن الوجود التركي في إدلب الذي حاز بعد معركة حلب قبل عامين الغطاء الروسي الإيراني وفقاً لمسار أستانة، وهل تملك تركيا القدرة والإرادة على منع الجيش السوري من الانتشار في المناطق التي سينسحب منها الأميركيون بحظر جوي، في ظل الوجود الروسي، وهل يتبقى شيء من مسار أستانة إذا تم ذلك؟

– ما تسوقه «المصادر المطلعة» لا يعني إلا القفز فوق ما تقوله وقائع السنتين الماضيتين، لجهة أن تركيا لو كانت بوضع يتيح الانفراد، أو الاكتفاء بتغطية أميركية، لما كان مسار أستانة، الذي توّج هزيمة حلب لتركيا وجماعاتها المسلحة، وأن «إسرائيل» لو كانت بوضع يتيح لها الانفراد الموازي، أو الاكتفاء بتغطية أميركية، لما كان الامتناع عن دخول الأجواء السورية، الذي توّج هزيمة الجنوب السوري للجماعات المسلحة المدعومة من «إسرائيل»، كما كان الحال الأميركي في قاعدة التنف وهم يرون معقل الجماعات المسلحة في الغوطة يتهاوى أمام ضربات الجيش السوري تحت أنظارهم، من دون أن يقدموا لها شيئاً وهي التي كان اتصالها بقاعدة التنف عبر الصحراء يشطر سورية إلى شطرين، وكل ذلك جرى والأميركيون كانوا ما قبل حديث الانسحاب، والروس كانوا ما قبل تذوق طعم الإنجاز، فكيف يُعقل أن تقبل روسيا عملياً بتقسيم سورية، وتقاسمها بما يعني بقاء الحرب فيها مفتوحة، وهل تفك عقد التحالف مع إيران وسورية وقوى المقاومة، وتخاطر بهزيمة حضورها في المنطقة وهي تنتصر، خشية إغضاب تركيا و»إسرائيل»، وهي لم تفعل ذلك وهما في ذروة القوة، ترتضي فعله وهما مهزومتان؟

– اليوم سيستقبل الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين الرئيس التركي رجب أردوغان، والهدف التركي هو بحث المنطقة الآمنة، وسيسمع أردوغان كلاماً روسياً حاسماً حول احترام الشرعية السورية التي يمثلها الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد والجيش السوري، ورفض أي وجود عسكري على الأرض السورية خارج نطاق هذه الشرعية، وسيسمع كلاماً واضحاً وحاسماً عن التمسك بوحدة وسيادة سورية، وعن الضوابط التي تحكم مسار أستانة واستحالة التسامح مع انتهاكه، كما وصل لمسامع نتنياهو ما قاله المسؤولون الروس نقلاً عن الرئيس بوتين، بأن الحركة الإسرائيلية ستدفع المنطقة إلى مواجهة ستؤدي إلى تصادم إسرائيلي مع روسيا، وعندها يجب أن يكون كل طرف مدرك مسؤولياته، وثبات كلام الرئيس بوتين لكليهما يكفي إثباته بما يُقال لأحدهما، وطالما أن اللقاء اليوم سينتهي ببيان يمكن قراءة ما بين سطوره، سيكون مناسبة للإثبات والنفي لكل الذين يريدون التحقق.

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Babies And Children Are Main Casualties Of Global Wars – Report

Rebel Voice becomes nauseated every time a report emerges of further suffering heaped upon children around our world. Surely there can be no greater crime than to facilitate the abuse, whether directly or indirectly, of the young. Starvation, exposure, violence, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, preventable diseases, it appears to be never-ending.
As we observe the deprivations that the children must endure, do we ask ourselves if we, as a species, deserve to describe ourselves as ‘human’? After all, the term is used to define a people with certain admirable characteristics. To be human is not to be inhuman. So the ill-treatment of babies and children, is that human or inhuman? To watch and do little or nothing to intervene, is that human or inhuman? These are tough questions to read, and perhaps tougher for some to answer. Upgrade the phone or feed children? Buy new and expensive shoes…
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New Moscow after the Syrian war….and Venezuela موسكو الجديدة بعد حرب سورية… وفنزويلا

New Moscow after the Syrian war….and Venezuela

فبراير 21, 2019
Written by Nasser Kandil,

The American talk about the military intervention in Venezuela becomes obvious, after the failure of the bets on the recognition of the coup and the failure of the bets on separating the army and inciting it to take over power. The assertions of the American thinking of the military involvement have been reported by the journalists who covered the press conference of the US National Adviser John Bolton on Venezuela, they read in Bolton’s papers “five thousands US soldiers from the marines to Colombia” and the words of Republican Congressman Lindsey Graham after discussing the military intervention in Venezuela during his meeting with the President Donald Trump, he indicated that he warned Trump from the threats of that intervention and added that Trump’s zest to intervene is a matter of concern.
Implementing the American intentions is not as easy as their owners think. There is an exhausting distance between these intentions and their turning into practical steps in the light of the indicators shown in the stability of the situation in Venezuela in favor of the President Nicolas Maduro. The public prosecutor confronted the coup perpetrators, and the army has warned them from any tampering in the security, ensuring its support of the legitimacy of Maduro, and that the coup perpetrators themselves will not find the popular support among their bases to protect the military intervention contrary to the support on which they depended in the elections as “promises of well-being and economic solutions”. The external intervention is already hated in Latin America. And the wars mean disasters and devastation. Whenever the American intervention seems an option, the coup perpetrators lose some of their supporters. The Colombians whom the Americans want as a pretext for intervention will not bear the consequences. They expressed their denial of any information about any intervention hoping that that Washington takes into consideration that they do not want to be involved.
It is clear that the size of the resistance which will be generated and the danger of its expansion outside Venezuela after the reviving of the national liberation movement that belongs to the Bolivian roots in Latin America may lead to confrontation that will last for years, and will spread far from Latin America to the United States where there is a split between the white and the Latinos in the light of the racist rhetoric of the President Donald Trump and the spread of the fascist culture with the presence of weapons. The experience of Syria forms a source of inspiration to the Venezuelan leadership and the Venezuelan army. The talk about arming people and launching the resistance has spread after the assumptions of the American intervention.
The most important thing is that the Syrian experience in the war was in very difficult circumstances against wider alliances and bigger capacities, but it achieved a legendary victory that revealed the magnitude of the power of people under a courageous national leadership on one hand, and the size of the fragility reached by the American force on the other hand, but most importantly is that this experience  has mobilized Russia to wage the war and to restore its status as a superpower that is entrusted with the international law. Now it is reaping the outcomes of its international role, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed decisively the Russian position towards the American threat to Venezuela by saying that Moscow will do what it is needed to prevent the danger expressed by the threats of the American military intervention, since it will not take time that it took in Syria.
If the American military adventure occurred, Washington would hasten to end its imperial status.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

موسكو الجديدة بعد حرب سورية… وفنزويلا

يناير 30, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– الكلام الأميركي عن التدخّل العسكري في فنزويلا صار فوق الطاولة، بما يعنيه من فشل الرهانات على الصدمة الأولى للاعتراف بالانقلاب، ومثله فشل الرهانات على شقّ الجيش أو تحريضه على تسلم السلطة، وجاءت التأكيدات على مؤشرات التفكير الأميركي بالتورط العسكري عبر ما نقله الصحافيون الذين قاموا بتغطية المؤتمر الصحافي لمستشار الأمن القومي الأميركي جون بولتون حول فنزويلا، وقرأوا في أوراق بولتون الموضوعة على الطاولة عبارة، خمسة آلاف جندي أميركي من المارينز إلى كولومبيا، وجاء كلام عضو الكونغرس الجمهوري ليندسي غراهام عن مناقشة التدخل العسكري في فنزويلا في جلسة جمعته بالرئيس دونالد ترامب، مشيراً إلى تحذيره لترامب من مخاطر هذا التدخل، ومضيفاً أن حماسة ترامب للتدخل تثير القلق، بحيث لم يعد من داعٍ للتساؤل حول طبيعة النيات الأميركية.

– ترجمة النيات الأميركية ليست بالسهولة التي يظنها اصحابها، فبين النيات وتحولها قراراً وخطوات عملية مسافة لا يبدو قطعها سهلاً، في ظل المؤشرات التي حملها ثبات الوضع في فنزويلا لصالح الرئيس نيكولاس مادورو، فتحركت النيابة العامة بوجه الانقلابيين، وحذرهم الجيش من أي عبث بالأمن مؤكداً وقوفه مع الشرعية التي يمثلها مادورو. والانقلابيون أنفسهم لن يجدوا التأييد الشعبي بين قواعدهم لحماية التدخل العسكري، بخلاف التأييد الذي استندوا إليه في الانتخابات بوعود الرفاه والحلول الاقتصادية. فالتدخل الخارجي مكروه أصلاً في كل اميركا اللاتينية، والأميركي الأبيض يحرّك ذاكرة سوداء مقيتة، والحروب بطبيعتها تعني الكوارث والخراب، وكلما بدا التدخل الأميركي خياراً فقد الانقلابيون شارعاً من شوارع مؤيديهم. والكولومبيون الذين يريدهم الأميركيون منصة للتدخل لن يتشجعوا لتحمّل التبعات وقد عبّروا عن إنكارهم أيّ معلومات عن تدخل أملاً بأن يصل صوتهم إلى واشنطن لعدم توريطهم.

– التدخل لن يكون نزهة، وهذا يعلمه كلّ عاقل، والواضح بأنّ حجم المقاومة التي سيولدها وخطر امتدادها إلى خارج فنزويلا بإنعاش حركة التحرر الوطني التي تنتسب للجذور البوليفارية في أميركا اللاتينية، والمواجهة قد تفتح جراحاً تمتدّ لسنوات، وتتنشر أبعد من أميركا اللاتينية إلى الولايات الأميركية حيث الانقسام بين البيض واللاتينيين في ظل الخطاب العنصري للرئيس دونالد ترامب، وانتشار الثقافة الفاشية بوجود السلاح، والتجربة التي مرت بها سورية تشكل مصدر إلهام للقيادة الفنزويلية والجيش الفنزويلي، والحديث عن تسليح الشعب وإطلاق المقاومة صار حديث اليوم مع الأنباء عن فرضيات التدخل الأميركي.

– الأهم في التجربة السورية التي تمّت المواجهة خلالها ضدّ الحرب التي قادتها واشنطن في ظروف شديدة القسوة، بوجه تحالفات أوسع، ومقدرات أكبر، وصنعت نصراً أسطورياً كشف حجم القوة المختزنة لدى الشعوب والدول في ظل قيادة وطنية شجاعة، من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة حجم الهشاشة التي بلغتها القوة الأميركية. وأهمّ المهمّ هو كيف فعلت هذه التجربة فعلها في استنهاض روسيا لدخول الحرب من بابها الواسع، واسترداد مكانتها كدولة عظمى مؤتمنة على القانون الدولي. وها هي اليوم تقطف ثمار هذا الدور على الساحة الدولية، وتقارب التهديد الأميركي على فنزويلا بروح مبادرة وبموقف حازم عبّر عنه وزير الخارجية الروسية سيرغي لافروف بالقول إنّ موسكو ستفعل كلّ ما يلزم لمنع الخطر الذي تحمله التهديدات بالتدخل العسكري الأميركي، ولن تحتاج موسكو لاتخاذ القرار الوقت الذي احتاجته في حالة سورية.

– إنْ وقعت المغامرة العسكرية الأميركية في فنزويلا ستكون واشنطن قد حفرت قبرها بيدها وسرعت نهاية مكانتها الإمبراطورية.

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From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela




From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela
MARTIN SIEFF | 21.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela


Just over 100 years ago, Mexico had a popular, much beloved democratically elected President determined to reduce foreign influence and obscene profits flowing out of the country and raise the standard of living for his people. The US financial interests on Wall Street orchestrated a military coup and made sure he was brutally murdered.
The president obviously was not Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who has been set up to receive the same treatment this year, but his name was remarkably close – Madero not Maduro. The parallels and contrasts between the two men are thought-provoking.
Unfortunately poor Francisco Madero, an idealistic reformer who ruled as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913 did not have the tough political street smarts and plain common sense that Venezuela’s Maduro has exhibited throughout his long, controversial but undeniably successful career.
Madero naively trusted in the army commander-in-chief he had inherited from his predecessor President Porfirio Diaz, General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta had prospered throughout the long 35-year rule of Diaz from 1876 to 1911 by carrying out genocidal campaigns for him against the Yaqui Indians and the Mayans.
In 1913, Wall Street interests enthusiastically supported Huerta when he carried out a coup against the innocent Madero. Woodrow Wilson, the US president of the day was an exceptionally ugly racist who despised the Mexican people and at first went along with Huerta’s coup.
The huge financial and mining interests in New York were eager to continue plundering Mexico’s resources while more than 90 percent of its people lived virtually as slaves in appalling poverty under Diaz.
In the last decade of Diaz’s rule – securely supported by the Wall Street financial robber barons, as historian Matthew Josephson called them and by the complacent administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – at least 600,000 people were worked to death as real slaves on the estates of Diaz’s supporters. Not a whisper of disapproval was heard from Washington.
Huerta ruled with his usual mindless thuggish brutality for less than a year and a half before provoking such national revulsion that he was ousted in a brief and bloody civil war. He fled of course to the United States but then made the mistake of alienating US business and military leaders alike by openly embracing Imperial Germany to plot his militaristic comeback.
Huerta died in loose US military custody in 1916 after a night of dining out and carousing. Poisoning by the Americans was widely suspected but the cause may well just have been heavy drinking. His autopsy revealed extreme cirrhosis of the liver.
To this day Huerta is reviled as the murderous mass killer and cowardly murderer and tool of cynical foreign interests he was while the well-meaning, but tragically ineffectual Madero is genuinely loved by the people of Mexico. The days from the start of Huerta’s coup to the president’s murder – gunned down by an impromptu firing squad of assassins by night along with his own brother and vice president are remembered as La Decena Tragica, The Ten Tragic Days.
In the years that followed, Mexico endured all the horrors of a collapsed state with rival feuding bands slaughtering each other and everyone else they came across. The population of the country plummeted from 15 million in 1910 to 11.6 million a decade later. Factoring in how many deaths were masked by the high birth rate, well over four million people, or more than 25 percent of the total population died in the years of anarchic violence that Huerta’s murder of President Madero set in motion.
La Decena Tragica continues to reverberate in Mexico to this day. When current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to withstand massive pressures from the Trump administration to recognize their preferred puppet, Juan Guaido as Washington’s preferred figurehead president of Venezuela, he is heeding his people’s reverence for martyred President Madero and remembering the bloodbaths and chaos that the hated Huerta unleashed in his place.
Madero naively trusted in the honor of his army commander, the murderous Huerta. By contrast, President Maduro in Venezuela, like his political mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez, has taken care to always have an army high command loyal to the democratically elected national civilian leadership. Nevertheless, today, US leaders have openly called on Venezuela’s military leaders to scrap their own cherished constitution and political processes and violently topple President Maduro – All of course in the name of their usual mythical and never-defined “freedom.”
However, Bloomberg News pointedly noted in a recent report that in a Venezuelan military establishment of more than 2,000 generals and admirals, only a single officer who did not even command any troops has sworn allegiance to National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido, the farcical boy toy whom the Trump administration is trying to set up as “president” of Venezuela in Maduro’s place.
It is just as well. The precedent of Mexico more than a century ago teaches us that if the US plot to topple President Maduro were to succeed, as the one to remove and murder President Madero did so tragically 106 years ago, then civil war, chaos and the violent death of multiple millions of innocent people would rapidly follow.
In the seven years following the murder of Francisco Madero, more than a quarter of the population of Mexico were slaughtered or starved to death. The history of states where 21st century US administrations have successfully orchestrated “regime change” makes clear that Venezuela would suffer a similar fate.
Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and Ukraine remain appalling object-lessons to the world in US criminal incompetence – at the very least – in “nation-building.” The consequences of the endless failed attempts to topple the government of Syria tell the same terrible story.
The bullets that slammed into gentle, naïve little President Madero more than a century ago continue to ricochet in our own bloodstained age.

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Nasrallah : the American era ended, and the end of the Israeli era has become close نصرالله: انتهى الزمن الأميركي… واقتربت نهاية الزمن الإسرائيلي


Nasrallah : the American era ended, and the end of the Israeli era has become close

فبراير 21, 2019
Written by Nasser Kandil,

The emergence of the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was not to reassure the followers of the resistance axis due to the Israeli and the Gulf rumors about his health, rather to invest this malicious campaign as a promotional campaign for what he will say. His emergence was not to announce positions towards the Lebanese situation, the governmental delay, and the political relationships, rather to ensure in brief the positive content of the resistance’s relationships, alliances, and its wise administration of the internal issues especially what is related to the relationship between Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Party.
It is clear that Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wanted to draw a new strategic scene in the region, under the title that the resistance axis from Iran to Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, to Syria has succeeded in thwarting the American project in all its military and political aspects. Neither the siege on Iran has affected its regime, nor the deal of the century succeeded, nor did the war on Syria change the victory which is in favor of Syria, its President, and its army. The US withdrawal from Syria is a part of all, as the American failure in Afghanistan, moreover, the relationship between the resistance axis and Russia is comfortable. Therefore, all these reasons have pushed the American to the political and military despair which was interpreted in the decision of withdrawal.
Because Syria is the main pillar in drawing this strategic scene, Al Sayyed Nasrallah has consolidated the path of victory which has not completed yet, despite the importance of Idlib and the Eastern of Euphrates under the title ” the spread of Syria’s domination on its territories in peace and in war, since the resolution is ready and the capacities are available”. The Israeli failure in changing Syria has become complete with the Israeli failure in besieging the resistance and preventing its access to the qualitative weapons, along with the Israeli failure in drawing new rules of engagement in Syria. Therefore the reckless act to impose them will change them but not in favor of Israel, and this will lead to open confrontation, because the resistance axis will respond in a strong way cannot be expected by the Israelis. The Arab rushing towards Damascus will continue despite the American tactical obstruction as the Kurdish-Turkish-Gulf rushing towards Damascus.
It is clear from the words of Al Sayyed Hassan that the clash with Israel is the interpretation of the American failure and the resistance’s confidence in its possession of a plan, capabilities, and comprehensive qualitative will in Galilee that was supported by the operation of the North Shield because the issue of tunnels is just a detail since not all the tunnels were discovered. But most importantly because the Israeli operation which made the settlers believe the seriousness of the resistance in the preparation for Al Galilee operation has spread panic among their ranks. Furthermore, the equation of “Hammer” has become terrifying enough instead of the missiles themselves, after Netanyahu’s operation under the title “discovering the tunnels and raising the morale of the settlers”. The precise missiles have become available, so it is enough for the settlers to know that Netanyahu’s war to neutralize the precise missile does not prevent the resistance to reach to the Israeli depth, rather to make the settlers human shields to protect the army and government installations which are the goal of the missiles. During the war to come which may be caused by wrong Israeli consideration or reckless electoral rigor the Israelis will witness surprises that will make them regret.
In the psychological war, Al Sayyed had three qualitative goals, the campaign of rumors about his health has granted the interview an exceptional presence and his messages a qualitative spread and effect. He was able to spread panic in the northern of Palestine due to his seriousness and credibility in analyzing the concept of Al Galilee operation comparing with the North Shield and led to a kind of displacement among the settlers. In the depth, he caused confusion between the political and military leadership on one hand and the residents of the big cities on the other hand, after he explained the real meaning of the interest of the Israeli leaders in preventing the resistance from possessing precise missile; which means leaving the people die instead of the leaders.
The one who understands the meaning of the Al Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s equations which mean that the resistance axis has ended successfully the American era in the region and is preparing for the end of the Israeli era knows the reason of calm and briefing in dealing with local and Arab issues that seem important at the first glance, but their importance is decreased comparing with the coming. So automatically there will be a change in the rules of equations.
Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

نصرالله: انتهى الزمن الأميركي واقتربت نهاية الزمن الإسرائيلي 

يناير 28, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– لم تكن إطلالة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله لطمأنة جمهور محور المقاومة، غير القلق أصلاً، بعد الشائعات الإسرائيلية والخليجية حول وضعه الصحي، بل لاستثمار هذه الحملة الخبيثة بصفتها حملة ترويجية لما سيقوله، ولم تكن الإطلالة لإعلان مواقف من الوضع اللبناني والتعثر الحكومي والعلاقات السياسية، بل للاكتفاء بإيجاز بتثبيت المضمون الإيجابي لعلاقات المقاومة وتحالفاتها وإدارتها الهادئة للملفات الداخلية، خصوصاً ما يتصل منها بالعلاقة بين حزب الله والتيار الوطني الحر، والاهتمام بالأهم.

– الواضح أن السيد نصرالله أراد رسم المشهد الاستراتيجي الجديد في المنطقة، وعنوانه أن محور المقاومة من إيران إلى اليمن إلى العراق إلى لبنان وفلسطين وإلى سورية خصوصاً، قد نجح في إفشال المشروع الأميركي بكل تجلياته العسكرية والسياسية، فلا الحصار على إيران أنتج اهتزاز نظامها، ولا صفقة القرن أقلعت، ولا الحرب على سورية بقي ثمة أمل لتغيير وجهة النصر فيها المحسومة للدولة السورية ورئيسها وجيشها، والانسحاب الأميركي من سورية جزء من كل، والكل هو الفشل الأميركي وصولاً إلى أفغانستان، والعلاقة بين محور المقاومة وروسيا مريحة ومطمئنة، ما أوصل الأميركي إلى اليأس السياسي والعسكري اللذين يترجمها قرار الانسحاب.

– لأن سورية حجر الرحى في رسم هذا المشهد الاستراتيجي ثبت السيد نصرالله، مسار النصر الذي يكتمل، رغم أهمية عقدتي إدلب وشرق الفرات، فالطريق أحادي الاتجاه فيهما، وعنوانه بسط سلطة الدولة السورية سلماً أو حرباً، والقرار حاضر والقدرات متوافرة، وبالتوازي مع هذا المسار الفشل الإسرائيلي في تغيير سورية يكمله الفشل الإسرائيلي في حصار المقاومة ومنع حصولها على الأسلحة النوعية، والتتويج بالفشل الإسرائيلي في رسم قواعد اشتباك جديدة في سورية، سيؤدي التصرف الطائش لفرضها إلى تغييرها فعلاً، لكن في غير صالح «إسرائيل»، لأن كل شيء سيصبح وارداً في مواجهة مفتوحة قد يتسبّب بها أي تصرف طائش للإسرائيليين، ومحور المقاومة سيردّ، ويرد بقوة ربما لا يتوقعها الإسرائيليون، والهرولة العربية إلى دمشق، رغم الفرملة الأميركية التكتيكية، ستتواصل وهي تتواصل، كتعبير عن التسابق التركي الكردي الخليجي نحو دمشق، مع الفشل الأميركي والإسرائيلي.

– الواضح من نسبة توزيع كلام السيد على المحاور أن الاشتباك مع «إسرائيل» هو ترجمة زمن الفشل الأميركي، وأن المقاومة واثقة من امتلاكها خطة ومقدرات وإرادة عملية نوعية شاملة في الجليل، في أوانها، زادتها عملية درع الشمال الإسرائيلية حظوظاً لأن الأنفاق تفصيل جزئي منها، وليست كل الأنفاق هي التي كشفت، ولأن الأهم هو الحال المعنوية للمستوطنين الذين ساهمت العملية الإسرائيلية بجعلهم يصدقون جدية المقاومة في الإعداد لعملية الجليل وزادت منسوب الذعر بين صفوفهم، مطلقاً معادلة «الشاكوش» بات كافياً للرعب بدلاً من الصاروخ، بسبب عملية نتنياهو تحت عنوان كشف الأنفاق ورفع معنويات المستوطنين، والصواريخ الدقيقة باتت متوفرة وبما يكفي، ويكفي أن يعلم المستوطنون أن حرب نتنياهو لتحييد الصواريخ الدقيقة لا تهدف لمنع قدرة المقاومة على بلوغ العمق الإسرائيلي، وهو قائم بصواريخ ثقيلة غير دقيقة، بل يهدف لجعل المستوطنين دروعاً بشرية لحماية منشآت الجيش والحكومة التي ستستهدفها الصواريخ. وفي الحرب القادمة، التي قد تتسبب بها حسابات إسرائيلية خاطئة، أو جموح انتخابي غير محسوب سيشهد الإسرائيليون مفاجآت تجعلهم يندمون.

– في الحرب النفسية سجل السيد ثلاثة أهداف نوعية، فاستثماره حملة الشائعات حول وضعه الصحي منح حواره حضوراً استثنائياً ورسائله انتشاراً وتأثيراً نوعيين، وفي شمال فلسطين خلق معادلة الذعر بجدية وصدقية تحليله لمفهوم عملية الجليل مقارنة بدرع الشمال، وضمن نزوحاً للمستوطنين مع أول «ضربة شاكوش»، وفي العمق ضمن ارتباكاً واهتزازاً بين القيادة السياسية والعسكرية من جهة وسكان المدن الكبرى من جهة أخرى، بعد كشف المعنى الحقيقي لاهتمام القيادات الإسرائيلية بمنع امتلاك المقاومة للصواريخ الدقيقة، وهو بوضوح ترك الناس يموتون بدلاً من القادة.

– مَن يدرك معنى معادلات السيد نصرالله، وملخصها أن محور المقاومة قد أنهى بنجاح الزمن الأميركي في المنطقة، وهو يستعدّ لإنهاء الزمن الإسرائيلي، يعرف سبب الهدوء والإيجاز في التعامل مع قضايا تفصيلية محلية وعربية تبدو مهمة للوهلة الأولى، لكن أهميتها تتراجع عندما تُقاس بحجم الآتي وما تتهيأ له المنطقة، بما يكفل تلقائياً تغيير قواعد المعادلات التي تحكمها بالتتابع والتداعي.

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