Friday, 20 July 2018

Putin Slams US Forces Ready to ‘Sacrifice’ Russia-US Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed “forces” in the US who were willing to sacrifice Russian-US ties, two days after a summit with his US counterpart Donald Trump who has since faced a storm of criticism.
“We see that there are forces in the US that are easily ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own ambitions,” Putin said in a speech to Russian ambassadors who gathered in Moscow.
Source: AFP
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Houthi forces fire ballistic missile at Saudi airport attack Saudi Aramco oil refinery in Riyadh

Houthi forces fire ballistic missile at Saudi airport

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 P.M.) – The Houthi forces launched a powerful attack against the Saudi military, today, targeting two sites belonging to the latter in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
The first attack by the Houthi forces began in southern Saudi Arabia, when their rocket battalion in the Yemeni province of Sa’ada fired a Badr-1 ballistic missile at the Jizan Airbase.
Saudi forces claim they downed the missile before it could hit their military installation in the Jizan region.
Following this attack, the Houthi forces fired another ballistic missile towards a Saudi military gathering in western Yemen.
According to the official media wing of the Houthi forces, their rocket battalion attacked the military gathering near the Hodeidah Governorate.
The fate of this missile was not stated.

Yemeni Unmanned Drone Strikes Aramco Oil Refinery in Saudi Capital

The Yemeni air force struck on Wednesday the Saudi capital with a drone which launched several raids on Aramco oil refinery in Riyadh.
In turn, Aramco announced that it extinguished the fire resulting from Yemeni air raid.
The Yemeni army spokesman stressed that the drone strike is a strong start on the track of deterring the Saudi aggression, vowing more military surprises in this regard.
The Yemeni army and popular committees destroyed an armored vehicle for the Saudi-led forces in Jizan.
Source: Al-Manar Website

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Yemeni Unmanned Drone Strikes Aramco Oil Refinery in Saudi Capital

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed “forces” in the US who were willing to sacrifice Russian-US ties, two days after a summit with his US counterpart Donald Trump who has since faced a storm of criticism.
“We see that there are forces in the US that are easily ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own ambitions,” Putin said in a speech to Russian ambassadors who gathered in Moscow.
Source: AFP
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Flip flopping Trump Backpedals on Russia “Meddling”. How can anyone take him seriously?

Speaking at the White House Tuesday, US President Donald Trump attempted to walk back statements he made just 24 hours earlier at his summit in Helsinki, Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he questioned claims by US intelligence agencies that the Russian government “meddled” in the 2016 election.
Trump’s about-face followed a full-court press campaign by all US media outlets, the US intelligence agencies, the Democrats, and leading figures in the Republican Party, who demanded that he reaffirm the US government’s confrontational stance toward the world’s second most powerful nuclear power.
In the weeks leading up to Trump’s meeting with Putin, the Democrats treated him like an invincible colossus. It was impossible, they said, to seriously oppose his reactionary Supreme Court nominee, and nothing could be done to hold him to account for his criminal policy of breaking up refugee families, which was called child torture by the United Nations.
In fact, the Senate had just voted with overwhelming bipartisan support to approve his massive Pentagon budget increase, which included provisions for keeping open the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and allowing the fascistic demagogue to proceed with his unprecedented military parade in Washington.
But the moment Trump did something that cut across a central pillar of American foreign policy, the Democrats and the media ferociously sprang into action.
Trump’s questioning of the unproven narrative of the intelligence agencies was met with absolute hysteria and the implication that anyone failing to hold their unsubstantiated allegations as incontestable is nothing but a Russian agent.
In the post-World War II period, even within the tradition of American cold war liberalism, the activities of the FBI and CIA were always treated with extreme skepticism: as enormous and real threats to the survival of American democracy.
For nearly half a century, it was noted, J. Edgar Hoover ran a police state-within-a-state through the FBI. The FBI and CIA, functioning as a law unto themselves, spied on and blackmailed American political figures, carried out coups around the world and were widely believed to have been involved in the assassination of an American president.
The Watergate scandal, the Church Commission of the 1970s and the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, not to mention the intelligence agencies’ role in fabricating the “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction ahead of the invasion of Iraq, their criminal mass domestic surveillance and their role in drone murder, made clear that these are criminal organizations, willing to use any means to expand their own power at the expense of democracy.
But now, these organizations have been elevated by the media into America’s quintessential guardians, and their word declared to be the gospel truth. Any discussion of their role in torture, domestic spying and drone assassinations has been shelved.
Trump was denounced as a traitor, in language that seemed to invite a military coup. His conduct was squarely declared “unacceptable” and he was, so to speak “shown the instruments.” The warning last year by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer,
“You take on the intelligence community—they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” was demonstrated in practice.
Faced with implacable and universal pressure from within the political and media establishment, as well as the military and intelligence apparatus, Trump was forced to beat a retreat.
This entire sordid episode expresses the degree to which there is overwhelming institutional commitment within the US ruling elite for conflict with Russia, if necessary to the point of nuclear war. This war drive, which aims at the transformation of Russia into what would be for all intents and purposes a colony of American imperialism, has become an unchallengeable pillar of American foreign policy. Trump can commit any violation of human rights, can traduce constitutional norms at will, but he may not question this axial precept of American politics.
The universality with which this argument is accepted within the US political establishment makes clear, as the World Socialist Web Site has long insisted, that there exists no constituency for democracy within the American ruling elite.
It likewise vindicates the assessment by the WSWS that the fundamental dispute between Trump and the Democrats centers on foreign policy. What cannot be allowed is any divergence from what are seen as the key strategic interests of US imperialism.
In other words, the Democrats’ opposition to Trump is entirely from the right. On domestic issues, the Democrats are effectively in alliance with Trump. They support his tax cuts, his attacks on social spending, and, with minor caveats, his reactionary social and immigration policies. They distinguish themselves from Trump only in that they identify unconditionally with the US intelligence apparatus, and are more directly ruthless in the pursuit of US geopolitical interests, as opposed to Trump’s more transactional focus on economics.
The various factions of the ruling elite, in other words, are fighting out their differences through the method of the palace coup, of reactionary intrigue within the state. But one voice has not been heard in this ferocious, right-wing faction fight: that of the working class.
In addressing the crisis that has erupted within the state as the result of the coming to power of Donald Trump, the working class must bring its own methods to bear: those of the class struggle, animated by the socialist perspective of the International Committee of the Fourth International. Only through these means can the ruling class’s drive to war and dictatorship be averted.
Featured image is from NPR.
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A rare moment of lucidity from Trump "NATO Collective Defense Could Start World War 3"

NATO officials insist collective defense is ‘unconditional and iron-clad’
In a Tuesday night interview, President Trump once again stirred up fury among NATO nations, this time by questioning the wisdom of the alliance’s collective defense terms. He warned this was potentially risky because any small NATO member could quickly escalate the entire alliance into a world war.
Trump provided NATO’s newest member, tiny Montenegro, as an example. A nation of just 630,000 people, Trump warned “they may get aggressive and congratulations, you are in World War III.” Trump added that this was “very unfair.”
This is of course true, and not just of Montenegro, but literally any of NATO’s member nations. While Trump’s terming of Montenegrins as “very aggressive people”didn’t sit well with many, the potential for one smaller NATO member nation to provoke a war is not some new concern, but a frequent criticism of the NATO model for decades.
NATO officials were quick to criticize Trump, saying that NATO’s Article 5 provision for collective defense is “unconditional and iron-clad.” This only adds to concerns among NATO nations that Trump’s commitment to the alliance is by their standards imperfect.
NATO officials were already unhappy with Trump going into last week’s summit, and more so coming out of it. The latest comments are a reminder that the threat of World War 3 remains a serious concern for the US president, and one not easily dispelled.
Montenegrin officials were quick to fire back that they don’t intend to start any wars. Again, this misses the serious concerns of the alliance’s obligations, as NATO has no shortage of members liable to pick fights and then come running to the alliance for “defense.”
It’s not even just the current members of NATO. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted to express its support for “all” nations to join NATO if they want to. This means effectively any nation in the world with an axe to grind might join NATO with an eye toward using the alliance as its backup.
Trump is right in recognizing the dangers of NATO collective defense, something previous presidents have been loathe to publicly discuss. Yet in doing so he’s once again riled up angered foreign officials who didn’t like him in the first place

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Trump: Meeting Putin better than that with the NATO

US President Donald Trump defended his summit with Vladimir Putin, saying the meeting was “even better” than his talks with NATO allies.
A day after Trump received a barrage of bipartisan criticism for what many said was a failure to properly challenge Putin over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and to undermine the credibility of his own intelligence officials, the president began pushing back, saying he was putting the “pursuit of peace” before politics.
Before leaving Finland, he said that while he had great confidence in the US intelligence community, he was seeing not to exclusively focus on the past.
On Tuesday morning, hours before he was due to meet Republican senators at the White House where he was likely to pressed on his meeting with Putin, the president tweeted once again.
“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia,” he said.
“Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy.”
Trump’s meeting in Helsinki, or at least the press conference he delivered afterwards, received almost unanimous condemnation from politicians from both parties and swathes of the American media, even including broadcasters from Fox News.
Republican House Speaker said there was “no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia”, while Senator John McCain said Trump’s comments represented “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
Trump’s former communications director Anthony Scaramucci, a man who was fired after ten days but who remains close to the president, told CNN: “He’s got to speak out about it, and he’s got to reverse course immediately.
“The optics of this situation are a disaster….If he doesn’t reverse course on this, he will eventually lose people who want to support him.”
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was among the handful of Republicans, along with Vice President Mike Pence, to defend the president.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Putin and Trump’s Unagreed Agreement – a Catastrophe for Europe

July 17, 2018

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

Contradictions between Russia and the US are so substantial and common ground is so small that the vast majority of experts, recognising the importance of the fact of the meeting in Helsinki itself, nevertheless stressed that one shouldn’t expect some breakthrough in bilateral relations or at least reaching an agreement on one minor question…
Washington and Moscow have no minor questions and, taking into account the global level of the standoff, even such unnecessary and burdensome things for the US as Ukraine (which there is a need to first of all relinquish), can’t be handed over by Trump without any conditions (or at least not yet). This is an asset, even if it is garbage, and it is necessary to sell it, even cheaply. At least, Washington isn’t yet ready to throw Kiev into the political garbage heap, having recognised that in 2014 they mistakenly acquired rotten goods.
So, we have a situation where both parties even prior to negotiations knew that they wouldn’t be able to come to some arrangement, and they didn’t even prepare for such a thing (it wasn’t planned to sign anything following the results of negotiations). At the same time both parties needed the event to be successful. Trump obviously blackmails the European Union with a possible agreement with Russia. But Putin also needs to show Europe that there are other fish in the sea besides them. The Europeans, who were already abandoned by the US, have been turning towards Russia for too long and with uncertainty. Moreover, they constantly send signals to Washington about their readiness to more or less preserve their rigid anti-Russian position (in things that don’t concern the gas supply) if Trump stops“undermining transatlantic solidarity”.
The position of Europe is clear. It isn’t a coincidence that Trump, while enumerating the enemies of the US (the EU, China, and Russia) made it clear that he considers Russia to be the smaller problem, because there are practically no economic contradictions (“Nord Stream-2” doesn’t count) with it. It’s not China, with which the US has the biggest negative trade balance, but the EU, which Trump fairly defined as the main trade competitor receiving unjustified economic benefits from political agreements with the US, that is the main enemy of the US.
In these conditions, America hypothetically resolving its military-political contradictions with Russia reduced the value of the EU as an ally for Washington to zero. In this case Trump, who already threatened European leaders, could indeed end all military-political and economic agreements with Europe, which, in turn, would be fraught with a political and economic catastrophe for the European Union.
Neither the Russian nor the Chinese market can simultaneously consume in one fell swoop the entire volume of the EU’s export to the US. On the contrary, both Beijing and Moscow carry out profitable trade with the European Union. In this direction the EU covered its deficit thanks to making profit from trade with the US. Europe used (and hoped to continue to use it) its role of a springboard for the fight against Russia as an argument that was supposed to keep Trump away from making the last step (complete separation with the EU). In recent days, Merkel, after the NATO summit, started talking literally with Poroshenko’s words, declaring that Trump’s pretensions to Europe concerning the insufficient financial contribution to NATO aren’t justified, because Europe battles with Russia for the interests of the US.
For the EU it was crucial that this argument continued to work. Otherwise, Washington indeed would have more common ground with Moscow than with Brussels. And Europe isn’t ready for a sharp confrontation with the US. Having rested on its laurels, it wasn’t engaged (in difference, for example, from China) in the diversification of economic ties and appeared to be strongly dependent on access to the American market.
Without having risked to be ahead Trump in the question of normalising relations with Russia, EU leaders were fatally afraid that Trump and Putin, despite all difficulties, will do the impossible and reach an agreement, especially as both proved to be people who are ready to instantly make decisions that change the destiny of the world.
The position taken by the EU raised the value of the summit for Russia too. Concerning relations with the US, Moscow can wait until Washington is ready for reconciliation on its conditions. But, taking into account the obvious intention of Europe to manoeuvre between Russia and the US, trying to preserve the geopolitical configuration that is profitable for itself, but doesn’t suit either Trump nor Putin, Russia was also interested in showing to the whole world the success of the summit and good prospects for achieving definitive and comprehensive agreements.
And it is indeed this task that was the most difficult problem for both parties. Think about it. You know that you can’t reach an agreement. You also know that the whole world is afraid of your agreement, because playing on your contradictions helped many countries to rise, become stronger, and start laying down claims for the first roles. A Russian-American agreement would’ve immediately cancelled out half (if not more) these achievements. You know that everybody knows that you can’t reach an agreement, and everyone closely watches the results of your meeting.
It is possible to try to dupe observers and to present some communiqué that means nothing as an agreement. Hundreds, if not thousands of journalists and “experts” from hot-air shows would be deceived. They, in turn, would deceive millions of readers and viewers. But this will give nothing. Professional politicians and diplomats can’t be caught on chaff. They will immediately understand that you achieve anything and that you are simply trying to hide this failure, and will start to act in the corresponding manner. The opinion of ochlos in this case doesn’t play a role — international politics isn’t elections, decisions aren’t made by universal suffrage and are never transparent.
Trump and Putin were faced with the task of holding the meeting in such a way that nobody would be deceived concerning its results, but nevertheless selling to the world the absence of any decisions as a serious success. And this is what they did.
Just the phrase of Putin that he at first was sceptical about the meeting giving any result, but conversation was very promising and there is sense in having further regular meetings, is worth a lot by itself. Approximately the same assessment, only in other expressions, sounded from Trump’s lips.
For Europe this is a catastrophe. It means that in the near future Washington has to avoid strengthening the confrontation with Russia, because dialogue with it started to be outlined with the possibility of arriving at some agreements. What was so constructive about what Trump offered to Putin that made the Russian president sharply raise his assessment of the productivity of the meeting, nobody knows. But Europeans know the American tradition – brought to perfection by Trump – of solving their problems at the expense of former allies when their services become unneeded. And they are afraid and try to guess who (or what) Washington decided to sacrifice this time.
The absolute predictability of the results of the meeting played a mean trick on European politicians. They very much got used to a two-dimensional world where everything that isn’t a victory is a defeat; they very much expected clashes between the personal ambitions of Putin and Trump so much so that the elementary move – documenting the contradictions, discussing the versions of decisions proposed by the parties, and, without anticipating the result, agreeing to hold further negotiations – turned out for them to be an unpleasant surprise that is worse than if Trump had directly recognised Crimea as Russian and withdrew the US from NATO in Helsinki.
It would be at least some certainty. It would be clear for them what to do and how to react. And what to do in the circumstances? Where to run: to Washington or to Moscow? To remain loyal to an old suzerain or to try to adhere to a new one before the others do? How to solve the contradictions inside the EU? And there are still a lot of important questions that remain unanswered.
Moreover, unlike Russia, Europe can’t wait. By meeting Putin, Trump brought the US out of zugzwang, having handed over to the European Union the right to make this same move, which only its worsens position.
After all, according to the logic of how events developed that politicians and diplomats have to obligatorily take into account, consultations between Moscow and Washington must start for the purpose of arriving at concrete agreements. They can fruitlessly last months and even years, but can almost suddenly yield fruits.
If the EU wants to remain in the game, then it must formulate its position and its proposals before Moscow and Washington reach an agreement. Otherwise an agreement will be reached at the expense of the EU. In this case Europe won’t even be invited to the table, similar to how Ukraine hasn’t been invited for more than a year, and in passing, among really important problems, attempts were made to parr it off onto each other to supplement real bonuses received in other directions.

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ترامب يعلن هزيمة بلاده من هلسنكي و»إسرائيل» تتجرّع طعمها في الميدان!

يوليو 18, 2018

محمد صادق الحسيني

لقد أصاب وزير الخارجية الأسبق جون كيري كبد الحقيقة عندما أعلن في تغريدة له نشرت على تويتر عند الساعة 22,56 من مساء 16/7/2018، وأعلن فيها أنّ ترامب «قد استسلم بقدّه وقديده» للرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، خلال القمة التي عُقدت بينهما يوم أول أمس الاثنين 16/7/2018.

حيث بدا الرئيس الأميركي في غاية الضعف والوهن، أمام الرئيس الروسي، المسلح بكمّ هائل من الانتصارات العسكرية في الميدان السوري، والتي ليس آخرها الانتصارات المتلاحقة التي يحققها الجيش السوري في ريفي درعا والقنيطرة، بمساعدة الجيش والقوات الجوفضائية الروسية، والتي ستتوّج قريباً، وقبل نهاية هذا الشهر، باستكمال الجيش السوري إعادة تحرير جميع المناطق التي يسيطر عليها المسلحون، بما في ذلك تلك الموجودة داخل ما يُسمّى المنطقة المنزوعة السلاح بين الجولان المحتلّ والمحرّر.

في هذه الأثناء فقد أصدرت وزارة الحرب الأميركية، عبر القيادة المركزية للمنطقة الوسطى والموجودة في الدوحة، أمر عمليات لغرفة العمليات الميدانية الأميركية في قاعدة التنف، نص على ما يلي:

1- يتمّ تسليم كافة أسلحة التنظيمات السورية المسلحة، أسود الشرقية، احمد العبدو، الموجودة في منطقة التنف، للسلطات العسكرية الأردنية فوراً ودونما إبطاء.

2- يتمّ نقل عناصر هذه التنظيمات الى مناطق الحسكة وشرق دير الزور فوراً ودمجها مع القوات الكردية التي تقاتل داعش.

علماً انّ مصدر استخبارات عسكرية أوروبية قد أكد انّ عمليات إخلاء القوات الأميركية ومعداتها العسكرية من شرق سورية قد كلّفت الخزينة الأميركية 300 مليون دولار حتى الآن!

وهذا يعني في ما يعني أنّ ما على «إسرائيل» الا أن تبلع لسانها وتقبل بالأمر الواقع والاعتراف بموازين القوى السائدة حالياً في الميدان السوري، خاصة أنها هي التي كانت قد سلمت هذه المنطقة للمسلحين، وبالتالي فهي التي تتحمّل المسؤولية الكاملة عن التغيّرات التي طرأت على الوضع في هذا الشريط!

ونحن نؤكد أنّ قادة «إسرائيل» العسكريين والسياسيين قد ذاقوا طعم كأس الهزيمة المرة، عندما أصدر رئيس الأركان المشتركة للجيوش الأميركية، الجنرال جوزيف دونفورد Joseph Dunford، أوامره لنظيره الإسرائيلي إيزنكوت، خلال زيارته الأخيرة الى واشنطن، بعدم القيام بأية استفزازات عسكرية قد تؤدي الى إلحاق الضرر بالتوجّهات الأميركية الخاصة بسورية، أيّ أنه أصدر له أمراً بالتزام ما يصدر له من أوامر أميركية فقط.

من هنا، فإنّ عملية التسلل الجوي، التي نفذها التشكيل الجوي الإسرائيلي عبر الأجواء الأردنية ليلة 16/7/2018، وقام بمحاولة قصف بعض المنشآت العسكرية السورية شمال مطار النيرب، لم تكن إلا محاولة إسرائيلية فاشلة لذرّ الرماد في عيون سكان «إسرائيل» أنفسهم، وذلك لأنّ من أصدر الأوامر بتنفيذ الغارة هو نفسه الذي تسلم أمر العمليات الأميركي بعدم التحرّك ضدّ الجيش السوري، خلال هجومه الحالي في أرياف درعا والقنيطرة والذي سيكون من بين أهدافه السيطرة على معبر القنيطرة بين الجولان المحتلّ والمحرّر، كما أبلغ دانفورد نظيره الإسرائيلي.

لذا، فإنّ الضعف الذي لاحظه المراقبون والمشرّعون الأميركيون، قبل أيّ جهة أخرى، على رئيسهم خلال المؤتمر الصحافي الذي أعقب القمة، لم يأتِ من فراغ وإنما كان نتيجة منطقية لفشل المشروع الأميركي، ليس فقط في سورية وإنما على الصعيد الإقليمي والدولي، والذي شرع الأميركي بالاعتراف به وترجمته إلى وقائع على الأرض حتى قبل انعقاد القمة.

وذلك بعد أن أكملت وزارة الحرب الأميركية سحب قواتها وتجهيزاتها العسكرية من قواعدهم في مناطق شمال شرق سورية، التي يُقال إنها تحت سيطرة الأكراد، والإبقاء على عدد قليل جداً من «المستشارين» الذين سيتمّ سحبهم تدريجياً وفِي تطابق زمني مع عودة سيطرة الدولة السورية على تلك المناطق. وما الاتصالات الدائرة حالياً بين الحكومة السورية وجهات كردية بعينها في شمال شرق البلاد لترتيب عملية إعادة سيطرة الدولة، تدريجياً، على هذه المناطق إلا خير دليل على ذلك.

أيّ أنّ على الطرف الأميركي أن يجد نفسه مرغماً على الاعتراف بهزيمة مشروعه واضطراره الى وقف عبث كافة أدواته المحلية والإقليمية في الشأن السوري، بما في ذلك الإسرائيلي والأردني والسعودي والخليجي وغيرهم.

فها هو محمد بن سلمان، الذي كان يهدّد بنقل الحرب الى العمق الإيراني، صامتاً صمت القبور على الرغم من أنّ إيران قد نقلت الحرب الى العمق «الإسرائيلي» فيما هي تواصل صمودها في وجه التهديدات والحصار الأميركيين.

وها هو ملك الأردن، الذي كان يتبجّح بأنّ جيشه قادر على الوصول الى دمشق خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة، يهرب الى واشنطن ويغيب عن السمع والنظر منذ أكثر من شهر، وهو يتفرّج عاجزاً على سيطرة الجيش العربي السوري على الحدود الأردنية السورية، بما فيها معبر نصيب بين البلدين، ويقبر أحلامه المريضة التي كانت تراوده حول إمكانية استعادة «مملكة فيصل الهاشمية» التي أقامها المحتلّ البريطاني الفرنسي في عشرينيات القرن الماضي في سورية.

وها هو أردوغان يرغم على تحويل التفاهمات التي تمّ التوصل إليها في أستانة، مع كلّ من سورية وإيران، الى اتفاقيات رسمية ودون الإعلان عن ذلك، كما الموافقة على دخول الجيش السوري الى محافظة إدلب وإعادة انتشاره فيها، بالتزامن مع إعادة سيطرة هذا الجيش المنتصر على المناطق الخاضعة لسيطرة الكرد في شمال شرق سورية، وذلك لضمان ضبط الحدود بين البلدين ومن أجل الحفاظ على مصالح كلّ منهما، طبقاً لاتفاق أضنه، الموقع بين الدولتين عام 1999. ومن نافل القول طبعاً إنّ انسحاب القوات التركية من مناطق شمال غرب سورية لم يعد إلا تحصيل حاصل. وهو الأمر الذي سيتمّ تثبيته وتأكيده في القمة الثلاثية التي ستنعقد في طهران أواخر الشهر الحالي بين رؤساء كلّ من إيران وروسيا وتركيا.

اما «الإسرائيلي» فهو غارق في أزمته الاستراتيجية، الناجمة عن عجزه عن مواجهة قوات حلف المقاومة، على جبهتين في الشمال والجنوب، أيّ على جبهة قطاع غزة وعلى الجبهة السورية اللبنانية، وذلك في أية حرب قد ينزلق اليها اذا ارتكب أيّ حماقة على أيّ من هاتين الجبهتين. وهو العاجز تماماً عن مواجهة طائرات «ف 1» الفلسطينية الطائرات الورقية التي تنطلق من قطاع غزة والتي يطالب بتضمين وقفها في أيّ اتفاق تهدئة يتمّ التوصل اليه مع فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في قطاع غزة.

الأمر لنا من جبل عامل والجولان الى النقب وتيران.
بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله.
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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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Chief Rabbi Vs. Labour Party

labour rabbi.jpg
Reported by Gilad Atzmon
The BBC reports this morning that Britan’s chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has said Labour will be “on the wrong side” of the fight against racism unless it toughens up its anti-Semitism code of conduct.
Rabbi Mirvis said Labour’s new anti-Semitism definition sent “an unprecedented message of contempt to the Jewish community”.
Apparently the Chief Rabbi is not alone. The J Post reports this morning that “Sixty-eight British rabbis signed an open letter decrying antisemitism in the country’s labor Party and calling on the party to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.”
Labour has defended its new code as the most “comprehensive” of any party.
But one may wonder, why do we need a special definition for antisemitsm? Is a general and universal denouncement of racism, bigotry and discrimination of all kinds not sufficient?  Are Jews somehow special?
The new Labour code does endorse the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism and includes behaviours it lists as likely to be regarded as anti-Semitic – yet Jewish critics point out that it leaves out four examples from that definition:
*  Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than their home country
*  Claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour
*  Requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations
*  Comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis
Far from being surprising, Corbyn’s Labour see Israeli criminality as a problem and insists upon the right to criticise the actions of the Jewish State and its lobbies in political, cultural and historical contexts.
Rabbi Mirvis attacked the omission of these examples by the Labour and said it was “astonishing that the Labour Party presumes it is more qualified” to define anti-Semitism than the Jewish community.
The Rabbi could be slightly confused here.  Jews are more than welcome to define antisemitsm, as they like, but the labour party has the duty to define what it regards as an anti Jewish bigotry in accordance to its own alleged universal values.
Mirvis said Labour risked being on the “wrong side of the fight” against racism and intolerance
I would argue however that the Labour party, Rabbi Mirvis and most British Jewish institutions are on the wrong side of history here. If racism and Bigotry are defined as the discrimination of X for being X (X=woman, Jew, Black, Muslim, Gay, White etc.), then for Britain to move forward and to sustain the spirit of the common law, it must oppose all forms of racism and bigotry all together and equally.  
To fight racism we need to follow one simple universal guideline rather than looking for the specific demands of one group or another.

To support Gilad’s legal costs…

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Sitting ducks: Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by #Brexit

Photo by ijclark | CC BY 2.0
English nationalism as expressed by Brexiteers is a strange beast. Donald Trump gives an interview in which he assumes the right to intervene in the conflict between Theresa May and Boris Johnson over Brexit. He speaks with the same confident authority as he would in his own country, sorting out differences in the Republican Party over who should be the next senator for Alabama or South Carolina. His attempted roll-back later does not alter the tone or substance of what he said.
The aim of Trump’s intervention in the short term is, as always, to top the news agenda and to show up everybody, be they allies or enemies, as weaker and more vulnerable than himself. More dangerously for Britain, in the long term, his domineering words set down a marker for the future relationship between the UK and the US outside the EU which could be close to that between the colony or the vassal of an imperial state.
The terminology is the Brexiteers’ own: Johnson claimed in his resignation letter that the Chequers version of Brexit a few days earlier was so watered down that it meant that “we are truly headed for the status of a colony”. He cited, as concrete evidence of this servitude, the anger he felt towards the EU for frustrating his efforts to protect cyclists from juggernauts, though media investigation revealed that it was the British government that blocked the life-saving measure.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the fundamentalist Brexit leader, reached back far into the Middle Ages for a bizarre analogy to illustrate his point that Britain would entirely fail to escape the EU yoke under the terms envisaged in the White Paper on Britain’s future relationship with the EU. He described the intention to keep Britain within the EU rule book for goods and agriculture as “the greatest vassalage since King John paid homage to Phillip II at Le Goulet in 1200”.
The use of such an arcane example is presumably intended to show that Rees-Mogg has deeply pondered the great triumphs and betrayals of English history. In doing so he unintentionally reveals one of his many blind spots by choosing an event long preceding the creation of a British nation state incorporating Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
A problem about the whole Brexit debate, which has confused the issue since long before the referendum in 2016, is that discussion is focused on the economic connection between Britain and the EU when it should really be about the political relationship.
Trump says that the present Brexit plan rules out a US-UK free trade agreement, but even if it did not, there is a strong element of fantasy and wishful thinking in the Brexiteers’ vision of Britain’s economic future. Again it is worth looking at Johnson’s letter because it is almost touching in its naivety and wishful thinking about Britain’s future place in the world economy. We are to stifle “self-doubt”, and instead be more “nimble and dynamic and maximise the particular advantages of the UK, as an open outward looking economy”.
Apparently, the world is full of hermit kingdoms that have long been short of such vibrant economies and, once freed from the shackles of the EU, we will be able to meet their long unsatisfied needs.
It is easy to mock and the mockery is well-deserved, but it should be balanced with a much stronger part of the pro-Brexit case which is simply the pursuit of national self-determination regardless of the economic consequences. This demand for independence has usually preceded the formation of nation states, once imperial possessions, the world over. Most nationalist movements have claimed with varying degrees of truth or exaggeration that their economic, social and sectarian troubles stemmed from imperial misrule and independence would cure all. When this fails to happen few nationalist movements have had a realistic alternative plan.
Brexiteers similarly buttress their perfectly legitimate demand for self-determination with dubious assumptions about the degree to which EU regulations hobble the British economy. Most Brexiteers are on the right so they are neither familiar nor comfortable with anti-imperial arguments traditionally advanced by the left. They would not be happy to be reminded that much of what they say is the same as Sinn Fein – “Ourselves Alone” – says today in Ireland or Indian and Kenyan nationalists said before independence. A further cause of reticence is that focus on the economic benefits of Brexit masks the extent to which the result of the referendum – and the rise of populist nationalists in the US and much of Europe – are fuelled by opposition to immigration and racism.
But there is a price to pay for the Brexiteers’ skewed picture of Britain and its place in the world. If it leaves the EU, as seems inevitable, it will become a lesser power and no longer able to balance between America and Europe as, to a degree, it has hitherto been able to do. Dependence on the US will inevitably increase and we have just had a rude foretaste of what this means for Britain’s future in the Trump interview in The Sun. He knows that Britain has nowhere else to go and must bend the knee, something swiftly confirmed by the evasive British government response to his unprecedented intervention in the UK’s internal affairs.
The British government would clearly like the old post-Second World War order and Britain’s place in it to continue forever. The Cold War is being revived to serve as glue to hold Nato together and Russia is being boosted as an external threat as potent as the Soviet Union. Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki is portrayed as an ill-considered maverick action. Journalists, think tank “experts”, and retired diplomats vie with each other on CNN and the BBC in explaining how Trump is selling the pass to Putin and Kim Jong-un.
But it is not Trump, but the establishment on both sides of the Atlantic which are out of date. There was a twenty-year period between 1991 and 2011 when Russia could be ignored, though this was never wise because it always remained a nuclear super-power capable of blowing up the world. This changed in 2011 when Nato had the exceptionally bad idea of intervening militarily in Libya to overthrow Gaddafi with disastrous consequences for everybody. Russia restored its status as a great power through successful intervention in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad.
During this period Britain sought to reinforce its status as the leading ally of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, but failed politically and militarily in both wars. The extent and consequences of this failure have always been underestimated in UK where everything that went wrong could be conveniently blamed on Tony Blair.
What we are really seeing under the rubric of “Making America Great Again” is an American retreat from empire. Monstrous though Trump is in almost every way, he often shows a greater grip on the crude realities of power than his critics give him credit for. British politicians and civil servants are hoping that the Trump visit is a temporary bad dream but is in fact it an early sign of a post-Brexit reality in which Britain will play a lesser role in the world

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