Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Zionism is a narrative based on fabricated ideas’

Zionism is a narrative based on fabricated ideas’
Baroud: ‘Zionism is a narrative based on fabricated ideas’
Ramzy Baroud: ‘Why should we feel any way accountable to prove that we are not terrorists? We should not apologise for it.’
MEMO | November 18, 2018
The Palestinian case is a narrative as is Zionism, but the latter is made up “mostly if not entirely of fabricated ideas”, Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud told an international audience in Istanbul, Turkey, today.
Zionism, which is the basis of the state of Israel, “has been communicated to the Western world to be truth,” Baroud continued, but “it has so little to do with the truth or is the complete opposite of the truth. The Palestinian narrative is the truth.”
However, Palestinians “are losing” because “for 25 years we have been distracted by the narrative that is the peace process and anyone who deviates from this narrative is classed as either a radical, a terrorist or a terrorist sympathiser,” he said during a discussion on the “Global discourse of the Palestinian narrative”.
But Palestinians and those working to attain their rights “should not buy in to this nonsensical narrative that paints Palestinians as terrorists.”
Why should we feel any way accountable to prove that we are not terrorists? We should not apologise for it.
It is for this reason that “the Palestinian victim” was created, to spread another image of the cause in the media. Journalists, Baroud said, “are part of our resistance” and they “can resurrect once more the Palestinian unity … so we as Palestinian people can become whole again”.
Israel not only uses the Zionist narrative to serve its aims, the panel said, it also employs policies that create “a civilised us and an uncivilised them”, which “serve only one purpose and one purpose only: the apartheid state of Israel”, Palestinian historian and writer Johnny Mansour added.
“It is not sufficient for us to say it’s a racist state but that it’s an apartheid state which practices fascism,” former minister of the Bureau of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Qaraqe told the audience.
As part of its fascist policies, he explained, is the fact that “since 2015 Israel has passed more than 185 laws which are against Palestinians including 15 against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Which protects the ill treatment of Palestinian prisoners by law.”
The point of these laws is to place all activities by Palestinians as terrorist acts and make Israel an innocent bystander but Israel supports with wages and funding Jewish criminals while it bans support for Palestinian prisoners.
The occupation’s policies have emptied Jerusalem of its citizens, Deputy Director-General of Al Quds International Institution Ayman Zeidan said. “Jerusalem is emptying out of a main part of its identity; Christians. They are spreading all over the world.”
“This city will remain in conflict as long as it remains occupied,” he warned.

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Syrian War Report – Nov. 19, 2018: Government Forces Crushed ISIS-held Pocket In Southern Syria

On November 17th, the Syrian Army (SAA) and its allies regained control of al-Safa after the collapse of ISIS defense in the area. An SAA source told SouthFront that heavy rain had destroyed most of the fortifications and hideouts of the terrorist group during the last few days. The remaining terrorists fled towards the eastern Homs desert. The state news agency SANA confirmed that the SAA had made significant gains and that the highest positions in the are under army control.
On the same day, heavy clashes between ISIS militants and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) broke out around the strategic town of Hajin in the middle of the Euphrates valley. The SDF said that it had killed 20 ISIS terrorists during the attack.
Additionally, pro-government as well as opposition sources reported that US-led coalition airstrikes had killed more than 40 civilians, half of which reportedly children. The US-led coalition increased its aerial strikes in the Euphrates Valley to assist the SDF, which is still unable to deliver a devastating blow to ISIS there.
The Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) announced that its units in the western province of al-Anbar struck ISIS fighters in the Syrian town of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani in Syria. Kassem Musleh, commander of the PMU’s operation in the region said that the PMU had reinforced its positions along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The move was a response to the increased ISIS activity in the US sphere of responsibility on the Syrian side of the border.
On November 18th, SANA reported that the SAA foiled another infiltration attempt by opposition members in the northern Hama countryside. The terrorist groups were infiltrating from the direction of al-Bouaida and Ma’ar Keba at the same time. According to SANA, the SAA opened fire and launched bombardments inflicting heavy losses to the militants.
SAA forces shelled militant positions in the towns of al-Tamanah, Aziziya and Jarjnaz in the southern Idlib countryside. Pro-government sources said that it was a response to an attack by Wa Harid al-Muminin militants in northern Lattakia, which left 18 Syrian soldiers dead.
On November 16th, militants from the “Wa Harid al-Muminin” operations room targeted positions of the SAA in the areas of al-Harishah and Mazra’at Waridah in the southwestern Aleppo countryside with an armed drone.
On the same day, the al-Mayadeen TV correspondent in Syria Dima Nasir said that the SAA and its allies are preparing for a limited military operation in Idlib, in response to the repeated violations of the Russian-Turkish deconfliction agreement.
Besides this the situation within the opposition-held area in Idlib also remains unstable. On November 17th, Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants attacked a headquarters of al-Qaeda affiliated Horas al-Din in the town of Harim in the northern Idlib countryside and clashes with several French militants who were hiding inside it. According to Syrian opposition sources, 5 French militants were killed in the clashes, while 45 more are besieged inside the base.
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المقاومة انتصرت بردع إسرائيل وضعضعة نتنياهو... ماذا بعد؟

نوفمبر 19, 2018

د. عصام نعمان

من حق الفلسطينيين عموماً والمقاومة وحلفائها خصوصاً ان يبتهجوا للهزيمة المدوّية التي ألحقوها بالجيش الإسرائيلي في خان يونس مساء 2018/11/11. ألم يعتبر «إسرائيليون» وازنون من كبار القادة العسكريين السابقين والخبراء الإستراتيجيين، والإعلاميين، وأهل الرأي، ورموز الساسة الحاكمين، وفي مقدّمهم وزير الحرب المستقيل أفيغدور ليبرمان، بأنّ ما حدث هزيمةً عسكرية وسياسية نكراء للكيان الصهيوني؟ هؤلاء أنفسهم بادروا في اليوم التالي الى طرح أسئلة لافتة ومحرجة، أبرزها اثنان:

لماذا جرى تنفيذ عملية بالغة الخطورة في عمق 3 كيلومترات داخل قطاع غزة وفي منطقة كثيفة السكان، وبعد ساعات قليلة من مؤتمر صحافي عقده بنيامين نتنياهو في باريس أوضح فيه ضرورة بذل كلّ جهد من أجل التوصل الى تسوية في غزة وعدم الإنزلاق الى حرب؟

ماذا سيفعل نتنياهو وحكومته بعد هذه الصدمة الأشدّ وغير المسبوقة التي تعرّضت لها «إسرائيل» منذ حربها المفتوحة على غزة العام 2014؟

للإجابة عن هذين السؤالين، تتوجب الإحاطة بأهمّ الواقعات والسيناريوات والتداعيات السياسية والعملانية السابقة واللاحقة لعملية خان يونس الفاشلة. لعلّ أدقّ ما جرى استخلاصه في هذا المجال ما قاله رونين ايتسيك، القائد الأسبق للواء المدرّعات والباحث حالياً في العلاقات بين الجيش الإسرائيلي والمجتمع في صحيفة «يسرائيل هيوم» 2018/11/14 . ايتسيك لخّص النتائج والمفاعيل بالآتي:

اولاً، سيناريوات الرعب التي عرضها قادة الجيش أمام المجلس الوزاري المصغر كانت غايتها التحذير من مغبة الإقدام على مغامرة إعادة احتلال قطاع غزة.

ثانياً، التخوّف من اليوم التالي لإحتمال سقوط حكم «حماس» كان دافعه التحذير من صعود تنظيم آخر أكثر تطرفاً منها بكثير.

ثالثاً، انّ حرص حكومة نتنياهو في المحافظة على الإنفصال الحاصل بين غزة والضفة الغربية يرمي الى تمكينها من الادّعاء بأنه لا يمكن الحوار مع الفلسطينيين في ظلّ «فتح» و»حماس» العاجزَتين عن التحاور في ما بينهما.

رابعاً، تآكل النجاعة العملانية للجيش الإسرائيلي إذ من غير الممكن فهم كيف تنجح تنظيمات معادية في إطلاق الصواريخ بكثافة وفي وقت واحد وبوتيرة مدمّرة، بينما تقف متردّدة في مواجهتها منظومةٌ متطورة من سلاح الجو «الإسرائيلي»، والدفاع ضدّ الصواريخ، والإستخبارات…

خامساً، عدم قدرة «إسرائيل» على التخلي عن أسلوب متجذّر مفاده أننا نفعل كلّ شيء فقط كي لا تشعر «حماس» للحظة واحدة بأنها في خطر فعلي الأمر الذي أظهرنا ببساطة غيرَ مهمّين في مواجهة «حماس» وحلفائها.

سادساً، عدم القدرة على إعطاء سكان جنوب «إسرائيل» الثقة والإحساس بالأمن ما ولّد عدم ثقةٍ جذرياً بالجيش والحكومة وأساء الى خطة الحكومة الرامية الى زيادة عدد السكان في الجنوب وتوسيع المدن.

سابعاً، اننا ظهرنا أمام خصومنا جميعاً، وخصوصاً إيران، بأنّ حكومتنا مرتدعة، وجيشنا ليس لديه أجوبة، ومواطنينا يعيشون مع الإحساس بعدم الأمان.

حيال هذه الصورة القاتمة التي ارتسمت في وعي الإسرائيليين لأنفسهم ولأوضاعهم، ماذا يمكن ان يحدث على الصعيد السياسي؟

من الواضح انّ صورة نتنياهو، الملقّب بـ «سيد الأمن» لدى الجمهور، قد تشوّهت لدرجة انّ نحو 70 في المئة من المشاركين في استطلاعٍ للرأي غداة عملية خان يونس الفاشلة شجبوا موقفه المتخاذل، وقد تُرجمت هذه النسبة المئوية السلبية العالية بأنها مؤشر الى خسارة مرتقبة في عدد نواب حزبه لا تقلّ عن اثنين في حال جرت الإنتخابات الآن. لهذا السبب فكّر نتنياهو بإسناد حقيبة وزارة الأمن او الحرب؟ الى غريمه ومنافسه على منصب رئاسة الحكومة، رئيس حزب «البيت اليهودي» نفتالي بينيت، لتفادي استقالته وخروج نواب حزبه الثمانية من الإئتلاف الحاكم ما يُفقد حكومته ثقة الكنيست وبالتالي يُضطرها الى إجراء انتخابات مبكرة غير مأمونة النتائج. لكن معارضة أركان أقوياء في الإئتلاف الحاكم دفعته الى نبذ هذه الفكرة والاكتفاء بحكومة ضيقة يتولّى هو فيها وزارة الأمن تفادياً لانتخابات مبكرة، يبدو ان لا مندوحة من إجرائها.

إذ تتخبّط «إسرائيل» في أزمة سياسية معقدة، يجد نتنياهو وقادته العسكريون أنفسهم أمام تحدٍّ آخر لا يقلّ تعقيداً هو ما يجب ان يقوم به، عملانياً واستراتيجياً بعد عملية خان يونس الفاشلة ومفاعيلها المحبِطة؟

ثمة شبه إجماع بين المعلّقين العسكريين والخبراء الإستراتيجيين «الإسرائيليين» على انّ عملية خان يونس لم تكن محاولة لإغتيال قيادي بارز في صفوف «حماس»، كما تردّدَ بادئ الأمر، بل «كانت عملية غايتها جمع معلومات استخبارية لها علاقة بالبنية التحتية العسكرية لـِ «حماس»: أنفاق وتطوير سلاح. وربما لها أيضاً علاقة بمشكلة أخرى تعانيها «إسرائيل» في غزة : الأسرى والمفقودون خلال السنوات الأخيرة. وتستغلّ «إسرائيل» عادةً الفوضى في العالم العربي للقيام بعمليات كثيرة مشابهة وراء الحدود، القسم الأكبر منها لا يجري الكشف عنه ولا يعرف به الجمهور». انظر: عاموس هرئيل في «هآرتس»، 2018/11/12 .

استنتاج هرئيل معقول، لكنّي أرجّح انّ الغاية المركزية لعملية خان يونس كانت تتعلق بما أسماه هرئيل «تطوير سلاح»، مضمونها محاولة الكومندوس الإسرائيلي تعطيل موقع مختص بتطوير صواريخ المقاومة لجعلها أطول مدى وأكثر دقة. ذلـك انّ نجاح «إسرائيل» فـي تعطيل هذه الرافعة التكنولوجيـة يساعدها على تحقيق الأغراض المتوخاة من مخطط التهدئة في غزة والتطبيع مع دول الخليج بقصد إقامة حلف «ناتو» إسرائيلي – خليجي لترفيع فعالية حملة نتنياهو وترامب لتقويض قدرات إيران.

في ضوء هذه الواقعات والتحديات والإحتمالات يستقيم الاستنتاج بأنّ القيادة السياسية والعسكرية العليا في «إسرائيل» باتت في حال ارتباك سياسي وعسكري شديد يحول دون اتخاذها قرارات حاسمة خلال المرحلة الانتقالية التي يمرّ فيها الكيان الصهيوني في الوقت الحاضر ولغاية إجراء الانتخابات في العام القادم.

المهم ان تحرص قيادات أطراف محور المقاومة على اغتنام حال الإرتباك الإسرائيلية والأميركية بغية هندسة ردود سياسية وعسكرية كفيلة بإحباط سيناريوات تكتيكية واستراتيجية تمور في عقول قيادات معسكر الأعداء.

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Khashoggi Part 2: A ‘reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran/Shia warmonger?

November 19, 2018
by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker BlogKhashoggi Part 2: A ‘reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran/Shia warmonger?
I wouldn’t want readers to think that I egotistically view Jamal Khashoggi’s anti-Iran stance as his most important flaw….
Part two in this 4-part series only focuses on Iran because they provide a distinct counterpart to “Khashoggi Thought”: By laying out the differences between these two we can see how Khashoggi relates to the Middle Eastern world; then in Part 3 we can see how Khashoggi relates to the larger Islamic World; and in Part 4 we can analyze Khashoggi’s intellectual relation to the West, China and the entire world. Hey – since 1979 hysterical anti-Iran warmongers have been a dime a dozen! We’re just expanding outward concentrically.
One of Khashoggi’s favourite journalistic topics was Iran, which everyone will agree is the Muslim country that has mostly successfully rebelled against the Western model and the West’s dictates. Those who know some of the details of the Iranian system will agree that Iran is also the Muslim country which has burst through the furthest into political modernity.
These are the very reasons why Khashoggi called Iran “our Great Satan”. He repeatedly wrote that the JCPOA agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy program is a “war project” and not a peace project, in clear contradiction with the vast majority of global public opinion.
He viewed Iran as the biggest threat to his own happiness and to Saudi Arabia’s happiness, and so he fanatically wrote article after article to cobble together a war coalition. This article examines the question: What compelled Jamal Khashoggi to be such a horrific warmonger?
Khashoggi can rest in peace – he got some wars started, at least
From a 2016 column (fanatically) titled, You are either with us, or against us:
“Our neighboring friends say they do not want a sectarian conflict. It is too late; we have all been pushed against our will into this conflict by Iran, which might not be speaking in a sectarian way but is acting as such.”
The claim that Iran is “sectarian” is absolutely false and easily disproven: Palestinians are Sunni and not Shia. Need more? Fine: As far away as the leftist Polisario Front in the Western Sahara Iran is supporting Sunnis, even though monarchical Morocco cut ties for that reason (at least officially). This is an argument does not withstand the barest scrutiny.
I dispel such nonsense to show Khashoggi’s own, real view:
“Therefore, today’s confrontation is not between Sunnis and Shiites, but between Shiite fundamentalism (he is referring to Iran) and Sunni fundamentalism represented by ISIS.”
The only people making such a preposterously false equivalence between Iran and ISIS are located in Riyadh, Israel, Washington, New York and in mosques where the preachers have trained by radical Saudi Arabians. Would ISIS have a constitution, women in parliament, and high voter turnout? LOL, of course not – the two are absolutely not comparable. However, if you want to get a job with The Washington Post you had better write a ton of copy claiming that they are.
Khashoggi’s dishonest claim that he himself was not a sectarian is contradicted by the fact that – in clear contrast with Iran’s foreign policy – Khashoggi openly opposed every Shia movement in any Middle Eastern country: he supported the war in Syria 100%, hated Hezbollah as much as any Israeli, and only stopped openly supporting the war on Yemen after he moved to The Washington Post.
Lede sentence from a pre-“WaPo” 2016 article titled, Saudi constance in its Yemen policy:
Operation Decisive Storm will emerge victorious because its demands are simple, moral, and supported locally, regionally and internationally.”
Our first question is: who is this “Constance” he refers to and how did she get such influence in Saudi foreign policy on Yemen? I have heard of “constancy”, but apparently ole Saudi Connie was deluded into thinking that forcing the greatest famine in modern history on Yemen was “moral”.
Errors from Al-Arabiya’s editors aside, the reality is that Khashoggi viewed any demand by Shia for democracy as “Shiite fundamentalists”.
How many “reformers” or “dissidents” are warmongers at the same time? Check Part 1 for an explanation of what type of thinker in the Muslim world does and does not deserve those monikers.
Modern Iran, like all socialism, is a social experiment which was long-repressed
The problem with Khashoggi’s obsessive anti-Iranian warmongering (apart from all the obvious problems, of course) is that revolutions are not made by powers or individuals, but solely by ideas.
Like the results or not, I think any objective analysis will agree that the idea behind the Iranian Islamic Revolution was, most simply, “modern Muslim democracy”.
But to the average Westerner “modern Muslim democracy” is an extremist idea; to the average Western leftist or intellectual it is an impossible contradiction; to Arab monarchs it is a terrifying threat to their elite status; to the Muslim People, this is exactly what has been repressed by all of the above for two centuries (and then the Muslim People are accused of being intrinsically anti-democratic!).
But, after toppling the Shah, and unencumbered by a legacy of colonialism like in Algeria, and also not seeking to deny a Muslim electoral victory as Algeria did in the 1990s, Iran did implement Muslim democracy more than any major Muslim nation in history. What resulted from this Muslim democracy is what I often refer to as “Iranian Islamic Socialism”.
But this revolutionary idea was not at all unique to Iran in the Muslim world, and that is something which Khashoggi himself recognized and feared. From a 2016 column titled Iran’s Regional Project:
“The leaders of Yemen’s Houthis, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Iraq’s Dawa party and Bahrain’s Al-Wefaq party seek to implement their sectarian fundamentalist project in order to spread Iran’s influence beyond its borders. Those leaders consider Iran a cosmopolitan system rather than a state with defined boundaries. They have pledged unconditional allegiance, waging war and declaring peace on Tehran’s orders without taking into account the interests of their states. They do not consider Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria or Iraq as countries.”
Therein lies Khashoggi’s fundamental error: especially given that Iranian patriotism was the single-most important spark to their revolution (and not something openly internationalist, like socialism in 1917 Russia), Iran is not really a “cosmopolitan system”. However, “Muslim democracy” definitely is; “Islamic socialism” definitely is.
Houthis, Iraqis and Bahrainis are not seeking to create some sort of new “Shia Caliphate/superstate”, nor make Farsi their new official language, nor throw out their cultures for the modern Iranian one – they would certainly resist such efforts violently. Due to his 18th-century-based political beliefs – what I define as “Salafist Liberal Democracy” in the next part of this series – Khashoggi cannot grasp this.
Yet the truth couldn’t be more obvious: What those parties – all murderously repressed – truly seek is democratic representation within policy-making. Such policy-making would inevitably be, I predict, Islamic socialist, but they would certainly not be “policies-to-benefit-Iranians”.
That is why Baathist (Arab nationalist/supremacist, secular, socialist) turned tyrant Saddam Hussein banned and massacred the Dawa Party in 1979…which only pushed back their (inevitable) democratic victory until 2005. That is why Yemen is in the midst of the latest iteration of its civil war for democracy and against monarchy, and via a Houthi movement which is republican and which also includes Sunnis (contradicting the constant Western media description of them as “sectarian”). That is why Bahrain’s poor – dominated by Shia, who live under the discriminatory and Riyadh-allied monarchy – want at least one valuable commodity: the ability to vote their conscience so that modern, democratic policy-making can finally begin.
Furthermore, against the idea of Iranian cosmopolitanism is the fact that anti-Arab feeling in Iran can be disgustingly strong – they were the invaders, after all. Iranian patriots (but especially Iranian jingoists) would love to talk to you for 2,500 years about the 2,500 years of rather distinct (but not too distinct…) Persian culture. Iranians honor and adore Imam Zayn al-Abidin – the originator of the Islamic sect of Zaidism – but he took firmest root in Yemen. Is “cosmopolitan” Iran going to uproot Yemenites’ 11-century long love for Imam Zayn and force them to publicly prefer Imams Ali & Hussain, the ubiquitous religious figures of Iran? That idea is impossibly absurd and would only lead to war.
Modern Iranians are much like modern Chinese – not inclined to imperialism following much Western humiliation and repression; maybe in a century that changes (devolves, becomes reactionary, etc.) but it’s just not true in 2018. However, both are inclined to defend their neighbors, cultural kin and distant cousins when attacked, which is not at all “imperialism”.
Iran-obsessing is only to repress intellectual & democratic debate
Despite all these core-rooted differences Iran has with other “Shia nations”, Khashoggi concludes:
The crises in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq should be linked and dealt with as one Iranian project that threatens all our cultural and political components, and our vision for the future. This project poses a serious threat to our region, and should be seriously confronted with a unified project before it is too late.
For Khashoggi “Muslim democracy” has been transformed into “one Iranian project” – very flattering to Iranians, but a false exaggeration.
Iran’s “project” was to liberate themselves from Western meddling and to democratically discuss and create a new society. What they decided was to: end monarchy, reject 18th century-based liberal democracy, not attempt a phony bourgeois Muslim liberal democracy, and to instead create what is accurately termed “Iranian Islamic socialism”.
However, all of that absolutely does threaten the monarchism, elitism and power-hoarding “vision for the future” which Khashoggi supports!
Khashoggi wanted the Saudi Arabian power structure to remain fundamentally unchanged – he merely preferred a different prince than current Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. Just ask his sons: “Jamal was never a dissident.”
Let’s define another key Khashoggi’s fear, which is the unique historical choice Muslims face in 2018: between monarchy and republican theocracy. It is a unique choice because – excepting a few islands in the Caribbean – it is only Europeans who still promotes monarchy, and they certainly appear to democratically reject theocracy.
Iran was not the first nation to prove that a monarchy is totally incompatible with socialism, but they were indeed the first to prove that in the Muslim world. That’s no small potatoes in a region full of kings….
More crucially, though, is this: Iran was the first to prove was that theocracy is not totally incompatible with socialism – this is Iran’s most radical contribution to modern history.
This is why Iran is such an electrifying, polarising example in the resolutely-religious Muslim World. It is also why those opposed to the political & economic democratic dictates of socialism, and those pushing capitalism, imperialism and monarchy – like Khashoggi – are trying so hard to destroy Iran.
What is certain is that Liberal Democracy is not compatible with socialism: Socialist Democracy is fundamentally different in structure, motivation and application, and the West will continue to totally oppose Socialist Democracy wherever it is found.
Khashoggi’s ‘cry of a Saudi prince’ in 2018: “I am not king….waahh waaahh!”
The reality is that Khashoggi himself admired and envied the Iranian Revolution. What did Khashoggi want to emulate? From his columnThe Alienation of the Saudi Legacy:
“I consider it the second most important book to tackle the crisis of Saudi identity and alienation after Egyptian researcher and journalist Mohammed Jalal Kishk’s book “The Saudis and the Islamic Solution.”
This book was published more than 30 years ago, when the question of an Islamic solution emerged with the return of political Islam and the victory of its sectarian version in Iran. It is time to put this book back on school shelves, so the current generation learns and feels proud…” blah blah petty nationalism blah blah Saudis are the best blah blah.
Per Khashoggi, he wants an Islamic solution to be promoted and to be a “victory”- like in Iran – only he wants a Saudi version.
First, an aside: the problem is that a just society according to Kishk was staunchly, resolutely anti-leftist. Khashoggi, like seemingly all Westerners, completely misses the socialist aspects of the “victory of the sectarian version” in Iran. Iran’s solution was both Islamic and modern; the latter is proven by its rejection of antiquated monarchy and the implementation of democratic structures, and Islamic because many of its rules which were inspired by Islamic knowledge. (That Iran’s government is not based on “religion” but based on “religious knowledge” is literally the first piece of ignorance I sought to overturn in my recent 11-part series on modern Iran.)
Many Muslims will say today that Khashoggi’s proposed monarchist, anti-socialist, sectarian and jingoist solution is not at all Islamic, but let’s play along anyway:
One cannot be both “modern politically” and a “monarchist”. Whoever heard of a socialist king? Now that is an impossibility. The only place you would hear such fake leftism is from Europe, Canada or Australia. Khashoggi reveals this contradictory absurdity when he refers back to the second-most important book, written by Saudi Prince (shocker, eh?) Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman:
“The book comes as an outcry from a Saudi prince…” stop right there Jamal: the worker of 2018 cares not for the “outcry” of any prince!
Neo-imperialist Europe may disagree with that, but any empowered, educated worker knows that there can be no princes in 2018 – to maintain doing so (or to return to doing so, perish the thought!) is what is accurately called “reactionary” in 2018. For God’s sake, even a devilish, bourgeois banker in New York City or Paris has enough political modernity (republicanism: popular sovereignty, instead of the sovereignty of a monarch) to know that!
But I have not the power to stop Khashoggi, because he has all the powerful allies while Iranian Islamic Socialists and Muslim Democrats have only the lower classes. He continues:
“The book comes as an outcry from a Saudi prince calling for an awakening that revives what was inherited from our grandparents…” again I wrest control!
What I inherited from my two grandfathers appears limited to the shape of my hands and legs, the desire to respond to silly questions with silly answers, and the monetary fortune left over from a 95 year-old’s modest pension… after being divided with at least 10 other people. Contrarily, Khashoggi inherited more money than he could spend and the keys to the kingdom’s journalism! Thus, it is no wonder he espouses a reactionary, backwards-facing view…there is a reason most revolutions are started by the “barefooted”, as in Iran.
Instead of having a revolution to depose the anti-democratic, damned monarchy, Khashoggi – like all modern right-wingers from Europe to the US to Brazil and beyond – can only offer the dying light of the past as a beacon. It is mere nationalism – an ethos which was “modern” in 1848.
Contrarily, plumbing only the past for answers is the opposite of socialism, which demands that the People be empowered in their daily work to excitingly construct and maintain a new society where everyone can finally reach their full potential.
Khashoggi illustrates what Muslims have been fighting against ever since the Industrial Revolution proved to workers what their unified power could produce: Western-backed monarchists who fear the democratic judgment of their own people.
Nationalism produces racism but patriotism does not. No surprise Khashoggi pushed ‘Saudization’
Patriotism is what we are striving for, but Khashoggi reminds us that “patriotism” must necessarily be combined with something larger than just a “love for our land and our past”. Twenty-first century modernity simply must be combined with a multicultural ethos due to absolutely everyone’s recent history of immigration (which only excepts Japan, the Koreas, Tunisia (they were all trying to get into Ghadaffi’s Libya) and Yemen among major countries).
This why the West truly has no idea what patriotism truly is: they mistakenly think “patriotism” includes jingoism, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia.
Iran is a “cosmopolitan” system only in the sense that it speaks this long-suppressed but still vibrant anti-sectarian, leftist language both within and beyond its borders. Khashoggi constantly distorted this reality and told his readers that all Shia are “tools of Iran”, and that they cannot be trusted as citizens across the Middle East. All Shia have apparently renounced their nationalities and have no heart at all for their surroundings nor those in them…but this is all untrue.
Untrue, but normal to Western ears: this is undoubtedly exactly what is said in the centre and left across the West – “Shia” must simply be replaced with “Mexicans” or “Muslims” or “Roma” as needed.
This is scapegoating and racism, and verboten in socialism; China, Iran and Cuba have NONE of these “identity” problems. “Our country is losing its identity” is only a pathetic problem for those nations not inspired by socialism; socialist nations are making a new identity, and it is patriotic (inclusive of all within its borders). This short section is, sadly, necessary for many Western readers who are not true patriots but who falsely they think they are.
It is unsurprising that Khashoggi supported the monarchy’s “Saudization” policies to the hilt – all their migrant workers were only oil money-bloodsuckers, not people who helped build modern Saudi Arabia. The recent expulsion of 700,000 Yemeni migrants, along with other deported nationalities, is something many in the West would love to achieve.
A “reformer”, despite being anti-Iran, anti-Shia, anti-migrant….
2018 choices for the Middle East: democracy & religion or monarchy
Of course the West loves Khashoggi – just like they do, he hated Iran and sough to create a Sunni-Shia divide which has no precedent in Islamic history.
A Khashoggi could never exist in Iran – that is the glory of their popular revolution. Promote anti-democratic monarchy in Iran? That’s only among the lunatic exiles. Promote aggressive and obviously-imperialist war in Iran? War is only for self-defense against invaders, which is ordered in the Koran – Muslims do not turn the other cheek.
That Khashoggi is celebrated in the West is to their great shame, and I’m sure many Westerners are ashamed of that. These honest people instinctively know that Khashoggi is no “refomer”, but hopefully this series reminds us exactly why.
The Saudi People also know Khashoggi is no reformer. I recently covered a pro-Khashoggi demonstration in front of the Saudi embassy in Paris – there were twice as many journalists there than Saudis. Saudis know this guy was no hero – he was part of the system of Saudi oppression.
But I am well-aware that Westerners do not really care about Khashoggi – it’s just an interesting tabloid story.
Those who care about Khashoggi are the leaders of the Mainstream Media, Western politicians, and Western CEOs – sadly, this is who controls things in Western liberal democracy’s “rule of law”. They care about Khashoggi because he represented the possibility of bourgeois revolution within the Muslim monarchical world, which would create the opportunity for international high finance to legally wrest control of the Saudi Arabia’s oil from the Saudis – what else would result from installing bourgeois liberal democracy in Saudi Arabia?
Khashoggi has passed, and the push to prevent democracy for Muslim people – by protecting monarchs and their intellectual toadies – will continue. However, socialism and democracy cannot be denied in the Muslim world forever.
Please note that this entire Part 2 only discussed political ideas which the West can relate to – liberal democracy, republicanism, socialism, true patriotism, etc. Part 3 discusses a political concept which most Westerners cannot discuss intelligently – Salafism. It also discusses the very-unintelligent ideology Khashoggi promoted: what I term “Liberal Democratic Salafism”.
In 2018 Salafism is a politically-reactionary concept, and it is absolutely opposed in Iran for that reason, but it is so prevalent in the Muslim world and in Muslim history that it must be properly understood. Westerners must understand it because they have it too.
This is the 1st article in a 4-part series which examines Jamal Khashoggi’s ideology and how it relates to the Islamic World, Westernization and Socialism. Here is the list of articles slated to be published, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!
Khashoggi Part 2: A ‘reformer’…who was also a hysterical anti-Iran/Shia warmonger?
Khashoggi Part 3: ‘Liberal Democratic Salafism’ is a sham, ‘Islamic Socialism’ isn’t
Khashoggi Part 4: fake-leftism identical in Saudi Arabian or Western form
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.

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!

Monday, 19 November 2018

#BREXIT – Finally Laid Bare For All To See

BREXIT - The Final Truth
By Graham Vanbergen:
The dream of Brexit, that of the so-called ‘ultras,’ the buccaneering Brexiteers is finally being laid bare for what it really is – a fantasy. The tally of Theresa May’s appointments who have walked out has now reached 18. The record-setting turnover rate in Theresa may’s government is only trumped in the democratic West by the master of chaos himself – Donald Trump, who to date, has lost 68 members of his Executive office staff – including the Whitehouse physician. And this is the man the ‘ultras’ are courting.
This dream has now turned into a constitutional and political nightmare – it is humiliating to witness. Britain, once a diplomatic titan in an uncertain world is now in catastrophic freefall. Political implosion is what now beckons.
The walkouts in the Tory party have one thing in common, it is what binds them. Not one of them has stated what they would do, or how they would replace Theresa May’s proposal. The only option they are providing – without being honest enough to say so – is a no-deal Brexit.
These political chancers include Boris Johnson – the ex-Foreign Secretary, ex-Brexit Secretary David Davis and Dominic Raab who has also abandoned his post as the Brexit Secretary and chief negotiator with the European Union. Then there’s Shailesh Vara, Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Jo Johnson – Transport Minister, Guto Bebb – Minister for Defence Procurement, Suella Braverman – another Brexit Minister, Esther McVey – the Works and Pensions Secretary.
Less well known are Rehman Chisti who left his role as Conservative vice-chairman, Ranil Jayawardena – Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, Nikki da Costa – the director of legislative affairs at Downing Street, Parliamentary Private Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative Party vice-chairman Ben Bradley, Maria Caulfield, vice-chairwoman of the Conservative Party, Scott Mann – a Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Treasury, and yet another Parliamentary Private Secretary, Robert Courts. Then there’s Andrea Jenkyns – Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and finally Chris Green, who was a Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Department for Transport.
Two and half years into negotiations and the sixth wealthiest country on the planet has proved just one thing – it is incapable of negotiating any deals whatsoever – even with itself.
More cabinet resignations will likely lead to a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. That vote, if successful will spark a Tory leadership battle right at the moment that crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on some sort of deal with the world’s biggest trading bloc should be done with smiles and handshakes all around.
The Brexiteers who promised us so much mislead everyone. John Redwood said – “getting out of the EU can be quick and easy – the UK holds most of the cards“. David Davis said – “there will be no downside to Brexit,” and my favourite bad guy of them all – Liam Fox, who famously said – “the free trade agreement that we will do with the EU should be one of the easiest in human history.” They were all ruinously misguided at best.
So what now? Well, if Theresa May does survive the next round with her knife-throwing colleagues, the chances of getting her deal through parliament now looks a bit belly up – euthanised by misadventure. In turn, a politically cataclysmic fight for a second referendum will open the doors to the proverbial abyss of chaos, as if we weren’t already most of the way there. And even if Ms May does win the day, what do we get? When politicians and political commentators were working through the options last year they spoke of EEA countries like Iceland, Liechtenstein or the Norway/Canada deal, but this deal is none of those. May has effectively put on paper a deal she herself said no British Prime Minister should do.
Throughout all of this – Britain has not taken back control. A hard Brexit might give us control but at an economic cost that would prove much worse than the effects of the 2008 financial crash where taxpayers bailed out a bunch of irresponsible louts in Lambougini’s.
To be fair to Theresa May she was dealt a bad hand but has proved beyond any doubt she is no card player. Her appointments, designed to keep enemies close – betrayed her, and her strategic decisions throughout have had all the hallmarks of political despair, like a cornered animal facing the final moments with its attacker.
Much as I dislike Theresa May for her bad form in the Home Office, she has at least stuck to her guns – unlike the pitiful shards of a political party that boasted about strong and stable leadership, now forced to the edge of its own cliff. The ‘resigners,’  those that have chosen to walk away from their self-imposed dilemma are much worse though. They have abandoned the people they represent and the country they serve and now wait like salivating wolves ready for the final slaying in the glory hunting hope of being the next leader of the pack.
This shambles all started with Britain’s worst ever Prime Minister, David Cameron, stating in some sort of ‘moment of Blairism’ that he “thought he was right all along” to call the referendum. He wasn’t. This hoodie-hugging pig lover’s other decision of delusion was to blow up the wealthiest county in Africa and turn it into a slave-trading nation, which created the migrant crisis currently destabilising Europe.
Today, the two main political parties of Gt. Britain have literally torn themselves limb from limb. The third has already been cremated and is now dust. Now we have thugs from the DUP calling the shots. Society is fully divided, the country has been reduced to the status of international laughing stock and the very union of Britain is now at threat.
Theresa May’s terrible plan is to make us subservient to a political union next door that is itself fracturing. The ‘ultras’ want to make us subservient to a political union across the Atlantic that would be even worse. Heads we lose, tails we lose.
Brexit is a politically generated crisis and a crisis of their ongoing mismanagement. In reality, it was a contest between the centre-right and radical right – now it’s turning into a fight for all of society.
There’s no way out of this crisis. No matter which way you turn it is a conundrum – like a riddle with no answer.
The fact that David Cameron, who let this uncontrollable genie out of its bottle, was so tragically mistaken is one thing, but the rest of this mess really only demonstrates that many of those walking the corridors of power are psychologically flawed and unfit for office.
This is not Brexit, it’s Brex-Shit – and nothing else.

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!

’We’re Feeding a Monster’ That Will Become Hezbollah’s Twin

Outgoing “Israeli” War Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Friday that he does not remember whether he tried to push his cabinet to assassinate Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.
About a month before being assigned in his post, Lieberman vowed to kill the resistance leader “in 48 hours” if the bodies of “Israeli” soldiers held in Gaza were not returned.
His Friday comments came as a response to a question from a Haaretz reporter during a tour of the “Israeli”-occupied communities near the Gaza border.
During the tour, Lieberman doubled down on his criticism of the Zionist government’s policy on Gaza, which prompted his resignation on Wednesday.
Lieberman accused cabinet members of being two-faced, torpedoing his moves in the cabinet meetings before attacking him in the media. Those cabinet ministers, he said, “who torpedoed any solid decision during the daily cabinet meetings, went on air the next day and said, ‘what about Haniyeh, what about the 48 hours?'”
Regarding the truce “Israel” reached with Hamas on Tuesday after three days of Palestinian resistance against the “Israeli” attacks, Lieberman said that
“we are feeding the monster and if we don’t stop it from getting stronger and gathering force, we will have Hezbollah’s twin in a year… we bought short-term quiet that will harm the long-term quiet.”
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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The Men Who Want to Push Britain Off a Cliff

Theresa May has a Brexit deal. Now a group of feckless Conservatives wants to torpedo everything.
The pro-Brexit, Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking to the media outside the Houses of Parliament on Thursday.CreditCreditMatt Dunham/Associated Press
LONDON — I am scared. The markets are scared. The politicians I have been talking to are scared, or livid.
A few days ago, Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her deal with the European Union. Within 48 hours, Britain’s government spun into crisis. Mrs. May’s survival is threatened as furious prominent Brexiteers go public with their intention to unseat her. Four ministers have resigned, more resignations may follow and nobody believes that she has the votes to get her deal through Parliament. What happens after that is a conundrum.
The cause of this paralysis is the hard-line Brexiteers, a frighteningly powerful cohort within Mrs. May’s Conservative Party, a group that is heedless about economic damage to Britain in pursuit of a political goal.
The first minister to resign was Mrs. May’s Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, a cold-eyed man in a hurry, a flintily ambitious Thatcherite. The bid to topple Mrs. May was initiated by Jacob Rees-Mogg, a vain, drawling member of Parliament, a financier who once campaigned alongside his nanny in a Mercedes and has built a career as a political rock star and possible leader on the back of such affectation. They join an earlier defector, the flailing, floppy-haired Boris Johnson, a man who is half-crazed by his repeated failure to become the Conservative Party’s leader and who is desperate to grasp at his last chance, even if it means undermining the country.
Everything is up in the air in Britain’s tumultuous politics right now, but there is one certainty: There is no limit to the practical, economic and psychological damage these Brexiteers are prepared to inflict on the rest of us in the pursuit of their delusions or their demented desire for power.
They savage Mrs. May’s deal and offer no practical suggestions for anything else. This is an utter failure of responsibility. Yes, the prime minister’s deal is pitiful, an awkward compromise that will hobble Britain’s economy and diminish our power. But the truth is — and everyone knows this — there is no better, purer Brexit available without a permanent economic hit.
If they were reasonable people, the pro-Brexit faction would now be shocked into facing reality. But they are not. These are the same politicians who tricked voters out of Europe by promising them that leaving would be all gain and no pain. Britain would become proud, sovereign, powerful, more prosperous. It could slash immigration, enrich its health service, cut magnificent and profitable trade deals with the rest of the world, opt out of European Union laws and still trade with and travel freely in Europe.
It was always rubbish, marketed by people deliberately indifferent to facts. The European Union was never going to let us leave the club while retaining all the advantages of belonging, any more than a tennis club allows ex-members to use the facilities for free. It said so, patiently, repeatedly. The agonizing negotiations of the past 18 months proved that over and over
Mrs. May finally managed some wriggling round the edges, reducing part of the huge and unavoidable economic penalties of Brexit by keeping Britain in the European Union Customs Union and parts of the single market. It is a valuable concession, and one the European Union has agreed to principally in order to not inflame sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, which would otherwise have to rebuild a border with the Irish Republic. The price that must be paid for remaining in the market is that Britain agrees to faithfully track and follow its rules, while no longer having any voice in how they are made.
These restrictions have sent the hard-line Brexiteers into a cold fury, but they were inevitable. You can’t even join a tennis match if you insist on drawing your own courts and deciding your own scores. The Brexit fanatics blindly ignore that. They have learned nothing, acknowledged nothing.
Rather than accepting their shameful role in deceiving voters over what was possible, they are doubling down on denunciation. They accuse Mrs. May of betrayal, of trapping and binding the country, of breaking her word. It is sheer selfish manipulation, political destructiveness on a huge scale, because they cannot get what they want; indeed, they cannot agree among themselves on what they want. They want the prime minister removed, but while they may secure the votes to challenge her, they’re unlikely to get enough to unseat her.
Even if they succeed in wounding her so deeply that she decides to step down and a hard-line Brexiteer takes her place, a new prime minister cannot negotiate a harder Brexit; the European Union has made it clear that the withdrawal deal is closed. If these craven politicians did find their way to power and tried to force a “no deal” Brexit — leaving the European Union without any kind of agreement in place — Parliament and the country would revolt. Nearly four out of five voters thought Brexit was going badly this July. In some areas that voted Leave, there have been big swings toward staying in the European Union.
In their grab for power, these monstrous, preening egos, desperate for validation and vindication, are already steering the Brexit process out of control, knocking Mrs. May’s deal sideways, increasing the speed at which investors and businesses flee. This chaos could last weeks or months. But the group’s ruthlessness in mowing down the middle ground of a compromise Brexit may give them whiplash. For members of Parliament, who must pass the final vote on any Brexit deal, the recent Brexiteer extremism has made their choices far starker and has raised the stakes.
If Mrs. May’s deal cannot get through Parliament, and the nightmare of a no-deal looms, then it becomes much more likely that a decisive number of members of Parliament will resolve that the final decision has to be returned to the electorate, in a second referendum that is being called the People’s Vote. Last month, an estimated 700,000 people marched in London in support of such a referendum.
The People’s Vote could offer the British electorate three choices: no deal, Mrs. May’s deal and remaining in the European Union. A recent poll found support for such a vote is now running at almost 60 percent, while the Remain vote has shifted from 48 percent in the referendum to 54 percent now.
A few weeks ago, I feared that a second vote would feel illegitimate, that a compromise Brexit, though bad for the country, should go ahead. The dangerous intransigence of the hardest Brexiteers has changed my calculation, and may change that of many others.
These hard-liners are ruthless. They aren’t prepared to accept a compromise that the prime minister has constructed for them. Instead, they are blowing it up. By eliminating the center option, they intend to push Britain to the hardest possible Brexit, toward the wrecked economy and shattered lives that would follow. They have destroyed any sense that I — and many others — had, that we owe it to them to honor and accept the original referendum. They are polarizing and galvanizing us. If no deal is the Brexiteers’ preferred option, I can with a clear conscience campaign for Remain in a People’s Vote. Anyone else could, too.
It’s just possible that the crash the Brexiteers are engineering could also be their own.
Jenni Russell (@jennirsl) is a columnist for The Times of London and a contributing opinion writer.

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