Thursday, 20 June 2019

Iran at the center of the Eurasian riddle



By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission
Iran at the center of the Eurasian riddle
With the dogs of war on full alert, something extraordinary happened at the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) late last week in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Virtually unknown across the West, the SCO is the foremost Eurasian political, economic and security alliance. It’s not a Eurasian NATO. It’s not planning any humanitarian imperialist adventures. A single picture in Bishkek tells a quite significant story, as we see China’s Xi, Russia’s Putin, India’s Modi and Pakistan’s Imran Khan aligned with the leaders of four Central Asian “stans”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani walk as they attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State in Bishkek on June 14, 2019. Photo: AFP / Vyacheslav Oseledko
These leaders represent the current eight members of the SCO. Then there are four observer states – Afghanistan, Belarus, Mongolia and, crucially, Iran – plus six dialogue partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and, crucially, Turkey.
The SCO is bound to significantly expand by 2020, with possible full membership for both Turkey and Iran. It will then feature all major players of Eurasia integration. Considering the current incandescence in the geopolitical chessboard, it’s hardly an accident a crucial protagonist in Bishkek was the ‘observer’ state Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani played his cards masterfully. Rouhani speaking directly to Putin, Xi, Modi and Imran, at the same table, is something to be taken very seriously. He blasted the US under Trump as “a serious risk to stability in the region and the world”. Then he diplomatically offered preferential treatment for all companies and entrepreneurs from SCO member nations committed to investing in the Iranian market.
The Trump administration has claimed – without any hard evidence – that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington brands as a “terrorist organization” – was behind the attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. As the SCO summit developed, the narrative had already collapsed, as Yutaka Katada, president of Japanese cargo company Kokuka Sangyo, owner of one of the tankers, said: “The crew is saying that it was hit by a flying object.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had accused the White House of “sabotage diplomacy” but that did not derail Rouhani’s actual diplomacy in Bishkek.
Xi was adamant; Beijing will keep developing ties with Tehran “no matter how the situation changes”. Iran is a key node of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It’s clear for the leadership in Tehran that the way forward is full integration into the vast, Eurasia-wide economic ecosystem. European nations that signed the nuclear deal with Tehran – France, Britain and Germany – can’t save Iran economically.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, right, in Bishkek at the SCO summit on June 14. Photo: Nezir Aliyev / Anadolu / AFP

The Indian hedge

But then Modi canceled a bilateral with Rouhani at the last minute, with the lame excuse of “scheduling issues”.   
That’s not exactly a clever diplomatic gambit. India was Iran’s second largest oil customer before the Trump administration dumped the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, over a year ago. Modi and Rouhani have discussed the possibility of India paying for Iranian oil in rupees, bypassing the US dollar and US sanctions.
Yet unlike Beijing and Moscow, New Delhi refuses to unconditionally support Tehran in its do-or-die fight against the Trump administration’s economic war and de facto blockade.
Modi faces a stark existential choice. He’s tempted to channel his visceral anti-Belt-and-Road stance into the siren call of a fuzzy, US-concocted Indo-Pacific alliance – a de facto containment mechanism against “China, China, China” as the Pentagon leadership openly admits it.
Or he could dig deeper into a SCO/RIC (Russia-India-China) alliance focused on Eurasia integration and multipolarity.
Aware of the high stakes, a concerted charm offensive by the leading BRICS and SCO duo is in effect. Putin invited Modi to be the main guest of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in early September. And Xi Jinping told Modi in their bilateral get together he’s aiming at a “closer partnership”, from investment and industrial capacity to pick up speed on the stalled Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, another BRI stalwart.
Imran Khan, for his part, seems to be very much aware how Pakistan may profit from becoming the ultimate Eurasia pivot – as Islamabad offers a privileged gateway to the Arabian Sea, side by side with SCO observer Iran. Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea is the key hub of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), much better positioned than Chabahar in Iran, which is being developed as the key hub of India’s mini-New Silk Road version to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
On the Russian front, a charm offensive on Pakistan is paying dividends, with Imran openly acknowledging Pakistan is moving “closer” to Russia in a “changing” world, and has expressed keen interest in buying Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets and Mi-35M attack helicopters.
Iran is at the heart of the BRI-SCO-EAEU integration road map – the nuts and bolts of Eurasian integration. Russia and China cannot allow Iran to be strangled. Iran boasts fabulous energy reserves, a huge internal market, and is a frontline state fighting complex networks of opium, weapons and jihadi smuggling – all key concerns for SCO member states.
There’s no question that in southwest Asia, Russia and Iran have interests that clash. What matters most for Moscow is to prevent jihadis from migrating to the Caucasus and Central Asia to plot attacks against the Russian Federation; to keep their navy and air force bases in Syria; and to keep oil and gas trading in full flow.
Tehran, for its part, cannot possibly support the sort of informal agreement Moscow established with Tel Aviv in Syria – where alleged Hezbollah and IRGC targets are bombed by Israel, but never Russian assets.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with his Russian counterpart on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek on June 14, 2019. (Photo by Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP)
But still, there are margins of maneuver for bilateral diplomacy, even if they now seem not that wide. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued the new rules of the game; reduce imports to a minimum; aim for less reliance on oil and gas exports; ease domestic political pressure (after all everyone agrees Iranians must unite to face a mortal threat); and stick to the notion that Iran has no established all-weather friends, even Russia and China.

St Petersburg, Bishkek, Dushanbe

Iran is under a state of siege. Internal regimentation must be the priority. But that does not preclude abandoning the drive towards Eurasian integration.
The pan-Eurasian interconnection became even more glaring at what immediately happened after Bishkek; the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. 
Bishkek and Dushanbe expanded what had already been extensively discussed at the St Petersburg forum, as I previously reported. Putin himself stressed that all vectors should be integrated: BRI, EAEU, SCO, CICA and ASEAN.
The Bishkek Declaration, adopted by SCO members, may not have been a headline-grabbing document, but it emphasized the security guarantees of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty, the “unacceptability of attempts to ensure one country’s security at the expense of other countries’ security, and condemning “the unilateral and unlimited buildup of missile defense systems by certain countries or groups of states”.
Yet the document is a faithful product of the drive towards a multilateral, multipolar world.
Among 21 signed agreements, the SCO also advanced a road map for the crucial SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, driving deeper the Russia-China strategic partnership’s imperative that the Afghan drama must be decided by Eurasian powers.
And what Putin, Xi and Modi discussed in detail, in private in Bishkek will be developed by their mini-BRICS gathering, the RIC (Russia-India-China) in the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka in late June. 
Meanwhile, the US industrial-military-security complex will continue to be obsessed with Russia as a “revitalized malign actor” (in Pentagonese) alongside the all-encompassing China “threat”.
The US Navy is obsessed with the asymmetrical know-how of “our Russian, Chinese and Iranian rivals” in “contested waterways” from the South China Sea to the Persian Gulf.
With US conservatives ratcheting up “maximum pressure” trying to frame the alleged weak node of Eurasia integration, which is already under total economic war because, among other issues, is bypassing the US dollar, no one can predict how the chessboard will look like when the 2020 SCO and BRICS summits take place in Russia.

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!

'To win, the Palestinians have to survive’

June 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon
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Gilad Atzmon: ‘To win, the Palestinians have to survive’

By Teresa Aranguren,
Gilad Atzmon speaks in a torrent of words during our conversation on a sunny terrace in Madrid. He expresses himself passionately, neatly, but never runs over; he seeks to hit the nail and throws phrases like darts that aim to cross, penetrate and reach the other side, rather than hitting a target. I think he asks to be understood, and he makes an effort for it. It is likely because he feels or knows he is ‘misunderstood’.
Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel into a secular but actively Zionist family. He left the country in the early nineties, when he was thirty years old. He says it was the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 that opened his eyes to what Israel is, although it took him a while to leave the country where he was born and raised.
“It was not an easy decision. I left because I understood that I was dwelling in a land that belonged to others. Israel is Palestine. I have never returned, nor will I come back. “
 To say that he is a controversial author is to fall short. Gilad Atzmon is provocative, very politically incorrect and has the gift of bothering right and left, that is, from the right and from the left. He defines himself as a philosopher of politics.
 In his last book Being in Time, a Post-political Manifesto, published by Ediciones de Oriente and the Mediterranean and recently presented in Madrid, he attacks identity politics and what he describes as the tyranny of correctness, both phenomena that according to him are linked and feed each other “in the progressive circles that are so politically correct. People are encouraged to identify as a woman, as a gay, as a black, as a Jew or vegan, but not as a Muslim or White. This policy of exalting particular identities is very problematic and a serious danger, especially for the left, if you can still talk about the left … “
 The question of identity has been the central theme of Atzmon’s work and perhaps his vital and intellectual adventures as well. After all, he is a Jew who grew up in a Zionist family … and is accused by some of anti-Semitism.
In the past, anti-Semites were people who hated Jews, nowadays people who oppose Israel are labelled anti-Semitic. I’m in the same club as Bernie Sanders, George Galloway, Richard Falk or Roger Waters: the humanists of our time. They call us anti-Semites because we are against what Israel does and what has happened in Iraq and Syria, and the power of the Neocons and AIPAC in Washington … I have never criticized Jews for being Jewish, I am Jewish (GA: this is a mistranslation, I do not identify as Jewish), my wife is Jewish and … – he explodes in a laugh-, my mistress too. I want to be able to criticize Jewishness, the ideology that drives Jewish tribalism, the idea of a chosen people, as any intellectual criticizes Catholicism or as Weber criticized Protestantism, even though I know I’d pay a price for it. The essence of Jewish power is the power to silence all criticism of Jewish power. To say what I want to say, I had to renounce working in the academic world, although I fulfil all the requirements and have all the qualifications. I chose to live as a jazz musician, which is more difficult from an economic standpoint, but it allows me to speak freely.”
Many of his opinions irritate me, for example his contemptuous and ironic look towards the international brigades:
“most were revolutionary Jews who travelled to Spain because they wanted to give their lives in the name of the ‘international working class, but the real workers did not go to Spain, they stayed at home. Real working class people go to work in the morning the feel the urge to identify ‘as working class’).”
Nevertheless, understanding truth as what one believes is true, I recognize an authentic passion for the truth in what he writes and inquires.
Someone said (I think it was Kant) that more important than having the right answers is asking the right questions. In the writings of Gilad Atzmon it is not easy to find answers, but we always find new questions that worry, surprise, challenge the political consensus.
Gilad Atzmon does not accept taboos or the notion of sacred territory, where it is better not to enter. He refuses to let what the rest of us regard as unthinkable stay untouched. Sometimes, his opinions turn out to be impertinent, but their impertinence has to do with their boldness, undoubtedly a form of value.
Before saying goodbye, I ask him if he sees any way out of the drama of Palestine. He remains silent for a moment, searching for the precise words.
“I am not an activist, I do not like to tell people what they should or should not do. But I think the key is a matter of percentages and demographics. It is all about facts on the ground, when the Palestinian population reaches 70% of the total population in Israel, everything will start to change. To win, the Palestinians have to survive.”

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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!

توازن دولي جديد حققته الدبلوماسية الإيرانية


يونيو 19, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– حقيقتان بارزتان تتوقّف أمامهما مراكز الدراسات المعنية بالشؤون الاستراتيجية والدبلوماسية في العالم. الأولى صعود الدور الإيراني بالتزامن مع ما بدا أنه حرب عليها بالوكالة من بوابة سورية، كانتقام منها ومن سورية لدورهما في دعم قوى المقاومة، وما نتج عنه من تراجع إسرائيلي بدأ عام 2000 بالانسحاب من جنوب لبنان وتواصل عام 2005 بالانسحاب من غزة وتوّج بالفشل العسكري في حرب تموز 2006 على لبنان وحرب 2008 على غزة، والثانية أن النظر إلى هذا الصعود لا يجوز أن يرتبط بالتنبؤات حول الاتجاه الذي ستسلكه التوترات الناجمة عن الانسحاب الأميركي من التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني والعودة لنظام العقوبات ضد إيران، سواء انتهت بتصادم مباشر إيراني أميركي أو بتسوية او بتهدئة. فالقضية هي أن اللاعب الإقليمي الأقوى بات إيران على حساب تراجع كل من تركيا ومصر والسعودية و إسرائيل .

– الحديث يجري عن نجاح إيراني بتوظيف التموضعات التركية الهادفة لتخفيف الخسائر من الفشل في الحرب على سورية، بتعزيز المكانة الإيرانية عبر الفراغ الناتج عن خروج تركيا من المحور الخليجي الإسرائيلي وعجزها عن تشكيل محورها الخاص، وعن نجاح موازٍ بتوظيف تراجع مكانة السعودية في الخليج أمام اليمنيين لتصير إيران وسيطاً ضرورياً لأي استقرار في الخليج. وبالتوازي نجاح إيران بإدارتها ملفها النووي دبلوماسياً بوضع روسيا والصين في مكانة دولية متقدّمة يستدعي الدفاع عنها دعماً متزايداً لإيران، باعتبار التفاهم أول إنجاز متعدّد الأطراف يكسر الأحادية الأميركية التي تشكل العودة إليها هاجس الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، ويشكل دعم إيران الطريق الوحيد لتحويلها نموذجاً قابلاً للتعميم، وبالمقابل فإن أوروبا التي اعتادت السير وراء أميركا وجدت نفسها مع التفاهم النووي الإيراني ونتائج الحرب على سورية مدعوّة لقراءة أمنها القومي المهدّد بالقرب الجغرافي من المنطقة، بعيون غير أميركيّة، خصوصاً في قضايا الإرهاب والصواريخ والنازحين، ولو عجزت عن ترجمة التمايز بالتمرّد على المشيئة الأميركية، فيكفي إيران أن تجد واشنطن عزلة دولية في مبادراتها مقابل مكانة مرموقة لإيران في الحياة السياسية والدبلوماسية الدوليّة.

– تقدم القضية الفلسطينية نموذجاً كافياً لقراءة المسارين الدبلوماسيين لكل من واشنطن وطهران، فأميركا الراعي الدائم والوحيد لمشاريع التسوية للقضية الفلسطينية، تطلق مبادرتها لما سُمّي بصفقة القرن وتكاد لا تجد أكثر من عشر دول في العالم، تجاهر بتأييدها، مقابل معارضة واسعة تشترك فيها الدول الكبرى، وإيران التي كانت بنظر العالم مسؤولة عن محاولات تخريب مساعي التسوية، تقف اليوم في قلب صف دولي عريض يعترض على المبادرة الأميركية، والفلسطينيين الذين كانت أغلبيتهم السياسية تراعي الحسابات الأميركية بصفتها المرجعية الوحيدة القادرة على صناعة التسوية يتوحّدون اليوم بالقرب من إيران في مواجهة السياسات الأميركية.

– خرجت واشنطن من الاتفاق النووي لتضع إيران بعيداً عن المكاسب الموعودة وفي اعتقادها أنها نهاية المطاف، تبقى إيران مقيدة نووياً ومعاقبة مالياً، فصبرت إيران سنة كاملة وهي تخاطب الشركاء في التفاهم النووي مطالبة بالتصرف، لتقف بعد سنة وتعلن عزمها الخروج من الاتفاق، ويكون الحصاد بخروجها أنها عادت إلى ما كان الوضع عليه عشية توقيع التفاهم، لكن دون فرص عقوبات أممية عليها في ظل فيتو روسي صيني مؤكد، ودون قطيعة مع أوروبا. بينما واشنطن تعود إلى عشية توقيع التفاهم وقد خسرت الفرصة بعقوبات أممية على إيران وخسرت دعم أوروبا.

– مؤتمر المنامة مقابل يوم القدس العالمي، معادلة تكفي لمقارنة حجم النجاح الإيراني وحجم الفشل الأميركي.

– إنه الفرق بين حائك السجاد ولاعب البورصة.

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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!

An Award Winning Documentary Removed by Youtube



I have learned this morning that that the documentary film  Gilad And All That Jazz – by Golriz Kolahi  was removed from Youtube. It apparently ‘violates’ the company’s “guidelines.” Youtube writes that “content glorifying or inciting violence against another person or group of people is not allowed on YouTube.” None of the above can be found in the award winning documentary. “We also don’t allow any content that encourages hatred of another person or group of people based on their membership in a protected group.” Again none of that could be found in the film.
Kolahi’s film was broadcasted on TV around the world. It was screened in film festivals and won prices. The film indeed gave air to my views but it also featured the entire list of my detractors from Tony Greenstein to David Aaronovitch. It aimed at impartiality!
Youtube were kind enough to point out that “this removal has not resulted in a Community Guidelines strike or penalty on your account.” I guess that Youtube’s management knows very well that the film didn’t violate a single company’s guideline.
The film is still on the net and will remain on the net forever. Book burning and censorship is yet to suppress a single idea. It reveals instead what the oppressor is desperate to conceal.
Watch Gilad and All That Jazz:
My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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!

Ukraine will be coerced into making peace in Donbass



June 17, 2019
By Petr Akopov
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
Source
https://vz.ru/world/2019/6/15/982529.html
Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:D8-QWNWXYAAOUez.jpg
Ukraine is important for the US only in the context of their relationship with Russia, and blocks the path to their improvement. The latest statement of the national security adviser to the US President John Bolton became yet more proof of this. On the eve of Putin and Trump’s meeting in Osaka, Kiev ought to prepare for the US playing the Ukrainian card without paying attention to the interests of the Kiev authorities.
Washington tries to defreeze American-Russian relations – but in such a way that it does not look a concession made by the US. Donald Trump is not constrained by the case of “Russian ties” any more, however the Ukrainian crisis remains the main problem for his dialogue with Putin.
It arose during Barack Obama’s reign and is in many respects connected with the objective process of returning to Russia the status of a major world power. The events of 2014 became the most convenient reason for the US to transition to an active phase of “deterring Russia”. The policy of sanctions and attempts to isolate Russia on the world scene not only failed – their results were opposite to American expectations.
Having sustained pressure and not having changed course, Russia strengthened its reputation in the world. Everyone perceives it as the main geopolitical opponent to America’s attempts to hold onto world hegemony.
Trump’s election gave a chance to revise America’s tactics and even strategy. The new president was inclined to reorienting the US from the useless and losing policy of global domination to a policy of strengthening the US via strengthening the economic power of the superpower. The resistance that was shown to Trump by American globalists showed how the fate of the US as a national state is not important for them. But they managed to block the possibility of forming relations between Trump and Putin.
The “Russian case” regularly served this for more than two years. But now Trump received the opportunity to act much more freely. Now, in order to establish cooperation with Putin (and this is necessary for the American president in order to create a new configuration of US foreign policy), Trump “only” needs to deal with the Ukrainian crisis. I.e., remove the Ukrainian stone from the road of American-Russian relations. How can he do this?
Of course, the US is not going to “give” Ukraine back to Russia: the tearing of Ukraine off the Russian world remains the important aim of any American strategist. But the question of the speed and price of this process has principal importance. If the “hawks” consider that Ukraine must be Europeanised and Atlanticised as fast as possible – i.e., included not only in the sphere of influence, but also in the structure of the “western zone of responsibility”, then the “realists” point out that Russia will never agree with the “kidnapping of Ukraine”, and that the haste of the West will only provoke Moscow into solving the problem by force – a campaign to Kiev.
That’s why they consider the neutralisation of Ukraine as the optimum scheme, transferring it into a condition of a no man’s zone, a buffer state that is not used to put pressure on Russia. And after all, it is precisely this that is considered to be favourable by those “hawks” who, without trusting in the possibility of the Atlanticisation of Ukraine, support its use as a constant irritant against Moscow.
Such a neutral Ukraine would be more in the zone of influence of the West than in Russia’s. And although everyone understands that it is a temporary and suspended option, for the US it would be an undoubted success (even to suspend the situation for 20-30 years – it is all the same to deprive Russia of its historical cradle, to stop the reintegration of the Russian world, the Russian revanche). And the most important thing – this option would remove the Ukrainian topic from the agenda of relations between the US and Russia, allowing the US to count on searching for mutual understanding with Moscow in other international problems.
How to achieve this? To portray peace and progress in the Ukrainian settlement. Because in reality it is currently impossible to solve the Ukrainian crisis.
Implementing the Minsk Agreements, i.e., to return Donbass to the structure of Ukraine, is impossible as long as the Ukrainian elite continues to not realise that the road to Europe is closed and does not start to restore relations with Russia. This is a process for the next decade. And even in the event of its acceleration, returning Donbass to Ukraine is possible only after a full turn of Kiev towards Moscow and the inclusion of Ukraine in the structure of the Eurasian Union.
That’s why all that’s left to do is to give the illusion that there is a settlement process. Kiev will opt to really stop firefights on the border and to withdraw troops under the pressure of the West; to really adopt laws on amnesty in Ukraine as one more point of the implementation of the Agreements. And the most important thing – to really do it so that the topic of repulsing “Russian aggression”, as well as the topic of “returning Donbass”, in fact, leaves Ukrainian domestic politics, remaining a prerogative of the opposition.
Zelensky’s election is a step in precisely this direction. The cynical and cunning Ukrainian elite best of all understands that there won’t be any return. And all the game of Poroshenko on the topic “Ukraine is an outpost of the West in deterring Russian Aggression” was built on the conviction that the West waits for precisely this from Ukraine.
But the matter is that the West hasn’t wanted anything as such from Kiev for a long time. Europe very much groans from the need to play the “Ukrainian game”, which prevents it from doing business with Russia. And the US under Trump also does not want to raise the stakes in the “Ukrainian game”, or to in general pay much attention to it. The West needs Ukraine to know its place, i.e., to become imperceptible and silent, giving the illusion of a “road to peace”; to not get in the way of the big boys; to not go back to Russia, but also to not sit at the table with the real players.
It is precisely for this reason that Kiev will be shown its place. This will happen during the next month when Zelensky will go to see Trump in Washington. It will be done tenderly, but insistently: through coercion to negotiations with Russia and with Donbass, to reduce aggressive rhetoric (it has already subsided). But the most important thing – through an explanation of the expectations: “progress in the peace process”, allowing the US to remove the Ukrainian topic to a place more fitting for it – a place that does not prevent the establishment of American-Russian dialogue.
As a matter of fact, the national security adviser to the US President John Bolton wrote about precisely this on Thursday:
“[US] Ambassador [Kurt] Volker and I met today to discuss Ukraine negotiations and agreed that President Zelensky’s election creates new opportunity to push for peace in Donbass – a key step to improving US-Russia relations – but it’s critical that Russia do its part and engage seriously”.
Peace in Donbass is a key step for the improvement of relations between the US and Russia. Simply put, they want to hear from Ukraine that its relations with Donbass are if not very good, then they at least gradually improve. And there is no doubt that they will hear this – Kiev has nowhere to disappear to, simply.

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!

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Trump-Bolton Duo Is Just Like the Bush-Cheney Duo: Warmongers Using Lies to Start Illegal Wars



Global Research, June 18, 2019
[False flag operations:] “The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it’s necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong to a certain group of people or to a religion or a nation.” James Morcan (1978- ), New Zealander-born Australian writer.
[Definition: A ‘false flag operation’ is a horrific, staged event—blamed on a political enemy—and used as pretext to start a war or to enact draconian laws in the name of national security].
Almost all wars begin with false flag operations.” Larry Chin (d. of b. unknown), North American author, (in ‘False Flagging the World towards War. The CIA Weaponizes Hollywood’, Dec. 27, 2014).
Definition of reverse projection: attributing to others what you are doing yourself as the reason for attacking them.” John McMurtry (1939- ), Canadian philosopher, (in ‘The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State’, Journal of 9/11 Studies, Feb.2013).
That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord, and cultivate prejudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.” Thomas Paine (1737-1809), American Founding father, pamphleteer, (in ‘The Rights of Man’, c. 1792).
I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, and we stoleIt was like — we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment. Mike Pompeo (1963- ), former CIA director and now Secretary of State in the Trump administration, (in April 2019, while speaking at Texas A&M University.)
***
History repeats itself. Indeed, those who live by war are at it again. Their crime: starting illegal wars by committing false flag attacks and blaming other countries for their own criminal acts. On this, the Donald Trump-John Bolton duo is just like the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney duo. It is amazing that in an era of 24-hour news, this could still going on.
We recall that in 2002-2003, the latter duo, with the help of U.K.’s Tony Blair, lied their way into a war of aggression against Iraq, by pretending that Saddam Hussein had a massive stockpile of “weapons of mass destruction”and that he was ready to attack the United States proper. On October 6, 2002, George W. Bush scared Americans with his big Mushroom Cloud analogy.  —It was all bogus. —It was a pure fabrication that the gullible (!) U.S. Congress, the corporate media, and most of the American public, swallowed hook, line and sinker.
Now, in 2019, a short sixteen years later, the same stratagem seems to being used to start another illegal war of aggression, this time against the country of Iran. The masters of deception are at it again. Their secret agents and those of their Israeli and Saudi allies, in the Middle East, seem to have just launched an unprovoked attack, in international waters, against a Japanese tanker, and they have rushed to the cameras to accuse Iran. They claim that the latter country used mines to attack the tanker.
This time, they were unlucky. —The owner of the Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, immediately rebuked that “official” version. Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, declared that the attack came from a bombing from above the water. Indeed, Mr. Katada told reporters:
The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel.”
His company issued a statement saying that “the hull (of the ship) has been breached above the waterline on the starboard side”, and it was not hit by a mine below the waterline, as the Trump administration has insinuated. —[N. B.: There was also a less serious attack on a Norwegian ship, the Front Altair.]
Thus, this time the false flag makers have not succeeded. But, you can be sure that they will be back at it, sooner or later, just as they, and their well financed al-Qaeda allies, launched a few false flag “chemical” attacks in Syria, and blamed them on the Syrian Assad government.
Donald Trump has too much to gain personally from a nice little war to distract the media and the public from the Mueller report and from all his mounting political problems. In his case, he surely would benefit from a “wag-the-dog” scenario that John Bolton and his friends in the Middle East could easily invent. As a matter of fact, two weeks ago, warmonger John Bolton was coincidently in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, just before the attacks!
Besides the Japanese ship owner’s denial, it is important to point out that  at the moment of the attack on the Japanese tanker, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, was in Iran, having talks with the Iranian government about economic cooperation between the two countries about oil shipments. Since Iran is the victim of unilateral U. S. economic sanctions, to derail such an economic cooperation between Japan and Iran could have been the triggered motivation to launch a false flag operation. It did not work. But you can be sure that the responsible party will not be prosecuted.
Conclusion
We live in an era when people with low morals, sponsored by people with tons of money, can gain power and do a lot of damage. How our democracies can survive in such a context remains an open question.
*
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This article was originally published on the author’s blog site: Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay.
International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”, of the book “The New American Empire”, and the recent book, in French “La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018“. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

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Rouhani: Iranians Will Be The Ultimate Winners of Any War Against The Islamic Republic



Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed that Iran does not seek war with any state, but stresses that the Iranian nation will be the ultimate winner of any warfare against the Islamic Republic.
“We will not wage war with any nation, those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience,” said Rouhani, addressing an inauguration ceremony at the Imam Khomeini International Airport [IKIA] in southern Tehran on Tuesday.
Rouhani’s comment came a day after acting US War Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran.
Tehran has time and again said that it does not seek military confrontations with the United States, yet stands ready to defend its interests in the region.
Rouhani further slammed attempts by enemies to pile up economic pressure against the Iranian nation to create despair among the people.
He said the ill-wishers have launched a “war of hope and wills” against the Iranian nation, adding that the enemies are attempting to create despair among the Iranian nation through malicious schemes.
Iranians are, however, determined to defeats such plots and keep their hope alive, Rouhani said, stressing that the Iranian people “will be the ultimate winner of this war and pressure.”
Iran has been witnessing new economic and social progress despite all the enemy pressure, he added.
“Despite all of the Americans’ attempts in the region and their intention to cut off our ties with the entire world and their desire to isolate Iran, they have been unsuccessful,” Rouhani stressed.
The world community, he added, praises Iran’s stance in its face-off with America.
“Iran has been loyal to its signature, Iran has been loyal to international agreements, and the one standing against us today is the one that has trampled all pacts, agreements and international accords,” he noted, referring to Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Tehran.
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“Israelis” Not Invited To Bahrain Conference, Event to Be Kept “Apolitical” – White House



The White House decided not to invite “Israelis” to the Bahrain economic conference it is planning for later on this month in Bahrain.
According to an unnamed official part of the Bahrain planning team, i24NEWS stated that the Zionist government won’t be invited, nor will any “Israeli” organizations or companies. This confirms an earlier report from Reuters saying “Israeli” officials would not be invited.
“This is a workshop where we will present our economic vision for the Palestinian people,” the unnamed official told i24NEWS. “As such, we want the focus to be on the economic aspect, not the political.”
However, as far as the US organizers are concerned, individual “Israeli” investors will be welcomed to take part in Bahrain, media reports estimated.
With less than 10 days to go, the fortunes of the first crucial date of the Trump administration’s so-called “Deal of the Century” rollout are still uncertain.
Jordan, which was earlier announced to be attending by the US, denied the claims on Sunday, saying they were still making decisions.
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