Saturday, 19 May 2018

علم الصواريخ السورية المقارن .. صواريخ سورية تدك الاسرائيليين في الجولان

كل نوع من العلوم الانسانية لايتطور الا باطلاق دراسات مقارنة تعمل عمل ميزان ومعيار ومرايا عاكسة لتقدير ابعاد وأعماق العلوم الانسانية ونتاجاتها باجراء احتكاك مقارن بينها ..
 فهناك علم الأديان المقارن .. وعلم اللغة المقارن .. وعلم القانون المقارن .. وعلم أصول الفقه المقارن .. وعلم الحديث المقارن وعلم الثقافات المقارن .. وكل شيء له علم مقارن .. ولكن وفيما نحن نقارن بين الثوار السوريين والسخاء والعطاء الدولي والعربي في دعمهم القينا نظرة سريعة على مسيرات العودة السلمية للفلسطينيين والسخاء في تجاهلهم .. ولفت نظرنا اننا يجب ان نطلق فرعا جديدا في العلوم الانسانية والاجتماعية والسياسية سنسميه (علم الثورات المقارن) .. وقد نسميه (علم الخليجيات المقارن) .. او علم الخوذ البيضاء المقارن .. وطبعا لا خوذ بيض في غزة الآن ولا فلسطين .. ولااوسكارات ولابطولات ولاأفلام أكشن ولااكسسوارات ولا مسارح ولا اضاءات ولا غبار وأنقاض .. ولا أقلام حمرة ولا أصباغ على الوجوه .. ثم لا دموع ولا تأثيرات صوتية مفزعة ومؤثرة يعجز عنها ستيفن سبيلبيرغ في فيلمه الشهير (الحديقة الجوراسية) التي يجب ان يضع فيها أيضا مشاهد لعناصر الخوذ البيضاء وهم يصورون الديناصورات وهي تفتك بالبشر فيما هم ينقذون الأشلاء والأعضاء المبتورة .. ويصورون بمهارة أسنان الديناصور ودماء الاطفال تحديدا تقطر منها وتسيل على جواف أفواهها .. وتركز الكاميرات على عيون الديناصور الشريرة .. وعيون الأطفال المذعورة ..
دعونا نغادر علم الخوذ البيضاء المقارن ونعود الى علم الثورات المقارن .. لاننا نستطيع أن نقدم هذه المقارنة البسيطة كمدخل للبحث ونقول:
ان عدد من اصيبوا خلال الأسابيع الأخيرة من الفلسطينيين بالسلاح الاسرائيلي ربما يصل او يتجاوز الخمسة عشر ألف مصاب بين شهيد وجريح .. لم يرسل العالم برقية تعزية واحدة حتى الآن وصمت ترامب وابنته الرقيقة المشاعر ولم يغرد صاحبنا ولم “يتوتر” (من فعل “توتر” وهو فعل رباعي مشتق من تويتر) .. وبعد عشرة آلاف مصاب وجدت تيريزا ماي نفسها مضطرة للتدقيق في الأخبار والتحقق مما نمي اليها عن ضحايا مجزرة غزة !! .. فاذا كان عدد سكان غزة مليونا فاننا بحساب بسيط نجد ان اسرائيل اصابت تقريبا 2 % من السكان في قرابة اسبوعين .. أي انها في عشرين اسبوعا ستصيب 20 % من السكان .. وفي 100 أسيوع فانها ستصيب 100 % من السكان بأذى بين الموت والاعاقة والاصابة .. اي ابادة شاملة لشعب كامل خلال سنتين تقريبا .. حتى الهنود الحمر احتاج المستعمرون البيض الى 300 سنة لابادتهم نهائيا .. اما اسرائيل فانها اذا استمرت على هذا المنوال فانها ستتقوق على البيض وتبيد الفلسطينيين عشرين مرة في النصف الأول من هذا القرن الذي تعقد فيه صفقة القرن .. وهذا يفتح علينا بابا للعلوم اسمه (علم الابادات المقارن) و(علم صفقات القرون المقارن) ..
وبالمقارنة فان عدد من تم تصويرهم في دوما يستحمون بالماء من السلاح الكيماوي كما زعم العالم المنافق لايتجاوز عدد أصابع اليد الواحدة .. ولكن ارسل العالم الغربي 110 صواريخ توماهوك من أجلهم ولم تنتظر تيريزا ماي لتنتظر التحقق مما نمي اليها حتى خمس دقائق .. وكأن منخريها الكبيرين قد تحسسا رائحة السلاح الكيماوي التي وصلت من دوما الى لندن لشدة كثافتها .. وميزت غاز السارين الذي تصنعه بالتحديد المصانع السورية .. وهذا يفتح علينا المجال لاطلاق علم جديد انساني هو (علم الشم السياسي المقارن) ..
وهذا في علم السياسة والثورات المقارن يعني ان من حق الفلسطينيين ان ترسل اميريكا كل مخزونها الصاروخي
من توماهوك لضرب الجيش الاسرائيلي من مبدا المعاملة بالمثل كما انتصر ترامب لأهل دوما الذين كانوا بعدد اصابع يده .. وكي يكون عادلا فان سيحتاج أيضا كل المخزون النووي يضبه على رؤوس الااسرائيليين .. كي يتساوى المصاب الدوماني والمصاب الفلسطيني بالحنان الاميريكي والغضب الترمبي .. وهذا يفتح علينا بابا اسمه (علم التوماهوك المقارن) ..
واذا أخذنا علم الثورات المقارن ووضعنا في الميزان ماسمي الثورة السورية ومالقيته من ضخ للفتاوى بالملايين .. كل يوم خمسة آلاف فتوى ورؤيا ودعاء وركعة وسجدة وصلاة ووقوف على عرفة وهبوط للملائكة .. أما لمسيرات العودة فكانت الملائكة في اجازة .. والصلوات في سفر طويل .. وصدرت هزالى الفتاوى .. ولكنها من شدة الهزال والضعف واصابتها بالاسهال والتجفاف سقطت فيها التاء وحلت محلها السين .. !! وهنا تتفجر علوم جديدة من علوم المقارنات مثل (علم هبوط الملائكة المقارن) .. و (علم الفتاوى المقارن) .. و (علم الفـ*اوى المقارن) ..
واذا اخذنا ماأنفقته دول الخليج العربي بدليل اعتراف هوميروس الخليج حمد بن جبر آل ثاني في سورية لنصرة أهل السنة ووضعناه في الميزان بالمقارنة مع ماوضع في فلسطين لاحتجنا الى مجهر الكتروني لرؤية نصيب فلسطين من الذهب العربي لأنه بحجم الجراثيم .. ولو وضعنا ملايين قطع السلاح التي أدخلت الى سورية وتبرع بها أهل المال العربي في كفة مقابل ميزان غزة لوجدنا أنه لم تدخل بندقية واحدة الى غزة من أهل النفط العرب حتى بنادق الخشب لم تدخل .. وهذا مايعني ان علينا ان نفتش عن علم بنادق الخشب المقارن ..
واذا ماتأملنا في عدد البرامج واللقاءات والريبورتاجات المفتوحة في العالم ضد الجيش السوري وقيادته وساعات البث والتحليل والشتم واللعن والتعنيف والتخوين والبكاء ورفع الشعارات وكتابة القصص والقصائد والمقالات والاجتماعات في مجلس الامن .. ووضعناه في ميزان غزة اليوم لوجدنا أن غزة مجرد فاصلة او نقطة حبر في مكتبة بحجم مكتبة الكونغرس .. وهذا مايمكن أن يشجعنا على اطلاق علم التحريض المقارن .. .. أو علم التنقيط المقارن .. أو علم مجلس الأمن المقارن (او ماكان يسمى علم القلق المقارن للباحث اللامع القلق بان كيمون) ..
استطيع أن اكتب منذ اليوم الى يوم الدين عن مقارنات لانهاية لها .. مثل كم عدد المتظاهرين في الخليج المحتل دعما لحق الفلسطينيين في القدس بالمقارنة مع عدد المتظاهرين في شوارع اليونان ولندن ..؟؟ وعن الانتحاريين الجهاديين الذين يعسكرون في تركيا قبل الانطلاق نحو غزة بعد أن ينفذ صبر اردوغان .. الذي لم يتحمل بطش الجيش السوري يوما واحدا ولكنه نام على دماء مرمرة والحرية .. وهو بحق صاحب علم (نفاذ الصبر المقارن) أو علم العصملي المقارن ..
ولكن اسرائيل لاتمانع في أي من هذه الدراسات المقارنة التي تجعلها في شدة الحبور والرضا .. الا ان مايخيفها هو علم مفارن لاتريد اسرائيل منا ان نتعرف عليه ولاأن نحاول التطرق اليه هو ماافتتحته المقاومة .. فنحن لدينا علم التحرير المقارن .. وعلم النصر الالهي المقارن .. وعلم وادي الحجير المقارن .. وعلم الميركافا المقارن .. وعلم بيت العنكيوت المقارن .. ونحن أضفنا اليها علم الصواريخ المقارن .. وعلم الأيام المعدودة المقارن .. وعلم الجيوش العظمى المقارن .. وعلم الصمود المقارن .. وعلم نهاية القوى العظمى المقارن .. وعلم التضحية الذي لايقارن .. ولايضاهى .. ولاشبيه له في الوجود ..

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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US Complicity in Gaza Massacre


US Complicity in Gaza Massacre
EDITORIAL | 18.05.2018 | EDITORIAL

US Complicity in Gaza Massacre

The horrendous bloodshed this week in Gaza is directly related to US President Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the American embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.
The US bears responsibility in large part for the atrocity in which more than 60 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli military. This was a cold-blooded massacre.
Thousands of others were maimed from live fire. An eight-month-old baby girl, Layla Ghandour, was among the victims after she died from asphyxiation from tear gas fired at the protesters.
Washington’s shameless defense of Israel’s brutal use of lethal force as “restrained” and its subsequent blocking of an independent UN inquiry into the mass shootings only compound Washington’s culpability in the massacre. A massacre which threatens to add further tensions to an already combustible region.
The question is how much of US complicity was a deliberate calculation by Washington to provoke widespread violence, not just in the occupied Palestinian territories, but in the wider Middle East?
Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was implemented despite international warning that the move violated global consensus that Jerusalem should be a shared capital between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Trump’s decision recklessly snubbed Palestinian rights by symbolically siding with Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its “undivided capital”.
Not only that but the US embassy move was pointedly scheduled to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation as a state on May 14, 1948. The date is also marked by Palestinians as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, when millions of Palestinians were forced from their homes and ancient land by Israeli settlers.
Such a move by the Trump administration was bound to exacerbate already heightened Palestinian grievances after decades of injustice against their right to statehood and their right to return to ancestral homelands. Some 70 per cent of Gaza’s two million residents claim to be refugees who demand the right to return to their homelands in what is now Israeli-occupied Jerusalem and elsewhere in the modern state of Israel.
Trump’s blatant partisan intervention on the side of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory flies in the face of UN resolutions and international consensus which views Palestinians as having an inalienable claim to statehood. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory has expanded without relent despite countless UN resolutions condemning such expansion as illegal.
At least one thing is incontestably clear now. Washington’s role in the decades-old conflict no longer has the pretense of being “an honest broker” or “neutral mediator”. For decades, the US has tacitly sponsored Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. It is 25 years since President Bill Clinton oversaw the Oslo Peace Accords. Today, the so-called peace process is dead and Palestinians are further than ever from realizing their right to a state in coexistence with Israel.
Trump has made it clear that as far as the US is concerned there is no peace process, that there is no “Two State Solution”.
It is telling that Palestinian leaders no longer recognize the US as a mediator. The US is part of the ongoing problem of an illegal colonialism against Palestinian people. Israeli governments are not interested in finding an honorable peace settlement. Their tacit position seems to be one of relentless conquest and driving the remaining Palestinian population out of the entire land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
What is the solution? It seems now that the only decent arrangement is for a One State Solution to be striven for, in which all the people of the Holy Land are entitled to share equal rights. However, that is something that is anathema to the Israeli leaders who want only to create a solely Jewish state.
The international community must face up to the illusion of a Two-State Solution. The world must somehow muster the political will to advocate for the rights of Palestinians to live in the land which was formerly known as Palestine.
For seven decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the source of ongoing conflict in the entire Middle East. Without a proper, just peace settlement that recognizes and delivers on the rights of Palestinians the region will continue to be wracked by violence.
Washington’s brazen and reckless intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be recognized now as an incendiary role. The US has forfeited any claim to be a mediator. It is a malevolent actor.
Israel’s project of conquest is part and parcel with the wider US ambition to control the Middle East for its imperialist designs. America is not some benign player as its mythical image-making would pretend.
The mass murder this week in Gaza in conjunction with the US giving its stamp of approval to Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory is a fitting proof of Washington’s real role in the Middle East. Washington cares not a jot for democracy or peace in the region. It is motivated entirely by hegemonic control for American imperial power.
Chaos and conflict is the fuel for American presence and control. Dispossession of Palestinians goes hand-in-hand with Washington’s strategic planning to balkanize and destroy states. We have seen this nefarious policy with regard to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. Washington needs Israeli conquest in the same way it needs a cluster of other client despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab dictatorships. To crush indigenous democratic rights in order to project its power interests, chiefly for the huge oil wealth of the region, as well as for denying perceived global rivals from gaining influence, especially if that influence might be more progressive.
The US is hellbent on keeping the Middle East in turmoil and conflict. Forget about lofty claims of “democracy building”. Washington’s power relies on creating war and bloodshed. The Project for a New American Century, and other neocon strategy documents, have long prescribed this very policy of creative-destruction, in hoc with Israel, as a formula to consolidate US power, no matter the cost in millions of innocent lives.
Washington’s callous and criminal disregard for Palestinians is a piece of its strategy for mayhem. The renewed confrontation with Iran is also testimony to this pernicious policy.
The cynicism of the US is staggering. This week at the UN, the American ambassador Nikki Haley walked out when the Palestinian envoy, Riad Mansour, began his address to the Security Council about the atrocity in Gaza. For months, Haley has been denouncing Syria, Russia and Iran over alleged violations. Yet she had not the conscience to listen to how Israeli troops butchered unarmed Palestinians in cold blood.
Haley’s rank hypocrisy is closely matched by Western mainstream news media. Their saturated coverage and hysterical distortions over Syria blaming the Assad government and Russia for alleged atrocities was in stark contrast to their muted response to the US-backed cold-blooded murder in Gaza this week.
The criminal arrogance of the US and its complicity in mass murder was exposed this week. It was an object lesson on how the US is not a force for good, as it so often proclaims. Rather, it is evidently a force for destruction in the interests of its own selfish imperialist designs.

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!

Gaza: Crime Without Punishment

19-05-2018 | 10:36
Just imagine if the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had killed 62 unarmed protesters and injured thousands of others.
Palestinian protesters
Surely, the American response would be fierce. At the very least, the US would unleash a thousand cruise missiles – the number currently within range of Syria.
Better yet, imagine if Lebanon’s Hezbollah killed 62 Jewish settlers living on occupied Palestinian territory.
Within days, another US-led coalition would be on hand to provide unconditional support for “Israel”, as it indiscriminately obliterates civilian targets.
Of course, it wasn’t Bashar al-Assad that killed 62 unarmed protesters and it wasn’t Hezbollah that killed Jewish settlers this week. It was the “Israeli” military that fired into thousands of Palestinian demonstrators as they marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Arabic for ‘catastrophe’/’disaster’), signifying the Palestinian exodus from their own land in 1948.
For such an appalling crime, “Israel” is not only spared condemnation from Washington – it is applauded.
Support, justifications, and even praise for “Israel’s” actions, were key components of the US strategy when it came to dealing with the latest carnage in the besieged Gaza Strip.
US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley shamelessly commended the “Israelis” for acting with “restraint” in handling the protests. A few hours later, Haley walked out of a UN Security Council meeting when the Palestinian envoy began to speak.
But even though officials in Washington love to boast about how Russia, Iran, and Syria are isolated, no country on earth is as lonely as the US in its defense of “Israel”.
During Tuesday’s Security Council meeting, even Washington’s closest allies criticized Tel Aviv’s response to the protests, which happened to coincide with the opening of the new US embassy in occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Although most of Haley’s statements about the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict can be described as hypocritical, few are as outrageous as the one claiming that this week’s protests in Gaza had nothing to do with the relocation of the American foreign mission from Tel Aviv to al-Quds.
Richard Becker with the ANSWER Coalition described Haley’s claim as a “bad joke”.
“It had everything to do with it,” Becker said. “I think that [Nazi Minister of Propaganda] Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of Niki Haley’s performance. He would have said ‘that’s the way to go; turn everything upside down and just keep repeating the lie. Make it a big lie.'”
But even the big lies failed to hide the lack of international support for the embassy move. Testifying to just how isolated Tel Aviv and Washington had become is the fact that less than half of the 86 foreign dignitaries invited to attend the celebration in Jerusalem actually bothered showing up.
The joint US/”Israeli” effort to put lipstick on a pig also failed to disguise the fact that last December’s decision by the Trump administration to recognize al-Quds as the “Israeli” capital sparked the latest chapter in the “Israeli”-Palestinian conflict.
The bloodiest day of that chapter – and indeed since the 2014 “Israeli” onslaught on Gaza – overlapped with the inauguration of the new embassy.
“Israel” defined by one massacre after another
While some 750,000 people were originally forcibly expelled from historical Palestine, many became internal refugees.
About 70% of the Gaza Strip’s population of two million are descendants of Palestinians who became refugees in 1948.
They live under a decade-long land, sea and air blockade and cannot leave the Gaza Strip without hard-to-obtain permits from the Israeli military.
Over the course of the last seven weeks, Gaza’s residents staged rallies dubbed the Great March of Return.
The “Israeli” military responded by killing 111 Palestinians, including an eight-month-old baby girl, who succumbed to tear gas suffocation. More than 12,000 have been wounded.
Richard Becker believes that “it’s very appropriate that a massacre was carried out” on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba.
“‘Israel’ only came into being because of massacre after massacre that drove out the Palestinian population,” Becker adds.
Although international humanitarian law prohibits soldiers to use live ammunition in situations that do not constitute an imminent threat to life, “Israeli” snipers, safely ensconced hundreds of feet away, picked off one Palestinian at a time.
Perhaps the heavily armed “Israelis” felt it was a proportional response to the slingshots used by some of the protesters.
If so, “Israel’s” benefactors in the west seem to agree.
After all, Tel Aviv can be told politely that the slaughter of unarmed women and children in full view of the global media is not a ‘nice’ thing to do. So don’t expect any real pressure from western capitals, let alone another Anglo-Saxon ‘humanitarian intervention’.
Source: al-Ahed News

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!

I Live In Gaza. I Want You To Know Why We’re Protesting.

19-05-2018 | 11:27
Zaheyya, 70 years old and tired after a long walk from Saladin Road to the “no-go” zone, looked among the huge crowd of protesters for a place to rest as she carried a Palestinian flag and her embroidered bag over her shoulder.
Palestinian protester
When I approached Zaheyya on Monday and asked if I could interview her to find out why she is participating in the Great Return March in spite of her age and sickness, she replied, “Shame on you, for asking me this question! I will come every day until UN Resolution 194 is implemented.”
The resolution Zaheyya recalled was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, and it called for the return of all Palestinian refugees to their lands. It was never adopted by the UN Security Council, and so it was never enforced. But Palestinians have not forgotten.
“I am a refugee from Huliqat village that was ethnically cleansed in 1948 by the hands of the Haganah [the Zionist paramilitary organization] and I have the right to go back,” said Zaheyya. “This is our day to show ‘Israel’ that the old will die, but the young will never forget… Yes, I will join my people and shout with all my strength, move on people, go back to your homeland, the land is waiting for you.”
It was inspiring, but then Zaheyya started shouting something else. “Tear gas, gas, gas! Run people, run!”
Tear gas cans began rolling between us and the crowds. Everyone ran from the area, while “Israeli” snipers on top of the hills and watchtowers started shooting randomly at the people protesting. At one point, I lost sight of my mom. I could not see her, because there was dark smoke everywhere. Do you know what that feels like? To not know if your mother is okay as snipers are shooting at you and everyone around you?
It took me half an hour to find her again – when the air cleared out from the tear gas bombs. After we did, my mom, as always, hugged me. “Calm down. I am okay,” she said. We started laughing and cursing the snipers.
Monday was hard, and it was heartbreaking. After a long day, I found out that my brother Mustafa, who is 29 years old, was shot. He was lucky, the bullet that penetrated his leg was not explosive.
At least 62 people were killed that day, and nearly 3,200 wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. Those injured included journalists, medics, and dozens of women.
Since then, all of the victims have been painted in the international media as martyrs for Hamas. All the protesters – me, my family, Zaheyya, thousands of others like us – have had our demands warped and our voices silenced by others for political purposes.
So let me be clear with you. Gaza is the biggest open-air prison on earth. Nearly two million people are denied the basic freedom of movement. Ninety-seven percent of the water here is undrinkable. The unemployment rate is 44 percent.
We have said over and over again that the right of return is the solution to all of our miserable problems. That is why we protested on Monday. That is why we have been protesting since March 30. Two-thirds of Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from lands stolen by “Israel” in 1948.
Palestinian boy
The Great Return March is the first time in my life that I have seen a huge number of people uniting and calling for right of return. It is the decision of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza, and it is the call for everyone who is concerned about humanity. There is only one flag that has been rising up in the marches, carried by kids, the elderly, journalists, nurses, doctors, and teachers. It is Palestine’s.
Issam, a 15 year-old boy from Khan-Younis, was injured with a tear gas canister that was dropped on his head on Monday. He rejoined the march the next day, while his head was still bandaged.
Asked whether he is already healed or still in pain he replied, “I am in pain, but I cannot leave my friends alone today, and we will fly our kites. We spent last night preparing it. We wrote on it: ‘Palestine, we are coming back.'” These are the kites that children fly near the buffer zone, the ones that have been deemed strategic threats by “Israel” and used as excuses to shoot children.
Last week, my 11-year-old brother Mohammed decided to take his bird to set him free at the buffer zone. He wanted his bird to cross the fence, even when he couldn’t.
Source: Think Progress, Edited by website team

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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OVERVIEW OF ANTI-ISIS OPERATION IN SOUTHERN DAMASCUS ON MAY 19, 2018 (VIDEOS, MAPS)

South Front
Overview Of Anti-ISIS Operation In Southern Damascus On May 19, 2018 (Videos, Maps)
Click to see the full-size image
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Liwa al-Quds, the Palestinian Liberation Army and other pro-government factions are developing their anti-ISIS operation in the areas of Taqdam, Yarmuk and al-Hajar al-Aswad in southern Damascus.
According to pro-government sources. army troops have captured new points in the eastern and western parts of the ISIS-held pocket. The current goal of the SAA and its allies is to isolate the Yarmouk refugee camp. These efforts have not resulted in a success yet. However, considering that ISIS is steadily loosing ground in the area, this scenario is inevitable.
Overview Of Anti-ISIS Operation In Southern Damascus On May 19, 2018 (Videos, Maps)
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عقوبات على نصرالله: رسالة أولية قبل تشكيل الحكومة


مايو 18, 2018

روزانا رمّال

تدرّجت العقوبات المالية الأميركية والغربية على حزب الله تباعاً في الأشهر والسنوات الماضية حتى وصلت الى رأس الهرم اليوم بعدما أعلنت وزارة الخزانة الأميركية فرض عقوبات على الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله وعدد من القادة البارزين في الحزب. بينهم نائب الأمين العام للحزب الشيخ نعيم قاسم، ورئيس المجلس السياسي إبراهيم أمين السيد، ورئيس الهيئة الشرعية محمد يزبك ومعاون نصرالله للشؤون السياسية حسين الخليل..

يتعاطى حزب الله غالباً مع العقوبات التي تطال عناصر منه بخفة كاملة على اعتبار أن أحداً منهم لا يتخطى الاعتبارات التي تمنع الحزب من القيام بأي عملية مصرفية طبيعية في بنوك غربية وعربية تابعة بخيارها السياسي للمنطق والتوجّه الأميركي السياسي والاقتصادي في المنطقة. وبالتالي فإن وقف التعامل مع أشخاص ومؤسسات تابعة لحزب الله مرتبط بالتعامل بكل ما لديه علاقة بالجمهورية الاسلامية الايرانية. وهو معروف سلفاً من قبل محور لا يتخطّى الممنوع، لذلك قام منذ سنوات بإنشاء بنوك مصرفية تابعة للدول التي تجمعها المشكلة نفسها وبنوكاً أيرانية موجودة في لبنان سهلت العمل بعض الشيء مع جزء من هذا الواقع. أما الأهم فإن حزب الله لا يتأثر غالباً بهذه القرارات بل يتأثر بما له علاقة ببيئته الشعبية، أي أن الضائقة المالية والاقتصادية التي تنشأ في هذه البيئة بسبب العقوبات تؤثر عليه وعلى سلوكه السياسي الذي قد يضطره في بعض الوقت على التخفيف من الهجوم في بعض الخطابات على دول خليجية محدّدة تحديداً السعودية أو البحرين لعدم التضييق على الشيعة في البلدين بعد أن تمّ طرد الكثير من العائلات، لكن بدون أن يعني ذلك ان الحزب التزم بهذا بل أداره بشكل تكتيكي بحت. وما لبث ان عاود استهدافه للمملكة العربية السعودية خصوصاً في سلوكها السياسي والعسكري في اليمن ومؤخراً في مسألة الموافقة على نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس ضمناً، لأن هذا لم يكن ليتمّ بدون تشجيع سعودي برأي حزب الله، خصوصاً أن الخطاب الديني على ما كشفه أمين عام الحزب في خطابه الأخير صار يعتمد على فكرة أحقية تاريخية لليهود في القدس.

بالعودة للعقوبات فجديدها عقوبات خليجية أميركية هذه المرة أما الأهم فهو تسمية نصرالله شخصياً ضمن هذه المجموعة. وفي ذلك رسائل هامة باختيار التوقيت الذي أتى بعد الانتخابات النيابية وتحقيق الحزب نتيجة مهمة أكدت أن أياً من البيئة المحيطة فيه أو التي تحتضنه كبيئة ناخبة وليس فقط مؤيّدة لم تتأثر بأي من مشاركاته الخارجية بحروب أبعد من الحدود اللبنانية ولم تتأثر أيضاً بما حققته هذه المشاركات من نتائج كلفته تقديم أرواح وجرحى كثر ضمن عقيدة القتال ضد الارهاب وبالمنطق او السلوك نفسه الذي تخصص فيه بمواجهة «اسرائيل» التي وجدها خصماً حاضراً في الميادين كلها.

هذه العقوبات تقول التالي للأفرقاء اللبنانيين الذين توجهت إليهم بشكل خاص.

اولاً: مخاطبة الأميركيين لخصوم حزب الله أي حلفائها الخارجيين من الانتخابات بمخاوف السيطرة التي يمكن أن تطغى على الموقف الاستراتيجي لملفات وطنية في مجلس النواب بتغير الأكثرية، مفادها عدم الخوف من نتائج الانتخابات وأن الدعم لا يزال موجوداً وأن الساحة لن تكون خالية لحزب الله أو فارغة من الأفكار ووسائل المواجهة أي أنه ليس عليهم الاستسلام للحزب.

ثانياً: هذه العقوبات تخفّف من وهج انتصار حزب الله بالساحة اللبنانية بعد الانتصار الانتخابي، فتزيح النظر عن هالته وتأخذ العيون نحو تذكير الحزب أن سيطرته على مفاصل البلاد اقتصادياً أو سياسياً ليست خياراً جيداً إنما هي خيار يعني العزل عن المجتمع العربي والدولي. وبالتالي فلا مناص من التحالفات والمشاركة مع حلفاء السياسة الأميركية في الحكومة والخضوع الى ما تمليه بعض الشروط لتسيير أعمال الدولة وإعطاء الأولوية لصورة حكومة منفتحة على كل الدول والإبقاء على شبكة المصالح السابقة والحفاظ عليها.

ثالثاً: العقوبات تؤثر مباشرة على تشكيل الحكومة التي يفترض أن يتم قريباً. فالمطلوب في أي تشكيلة مقبلة أن ترفع مصلحة الدول العربية، خصوصاً الخليجية التي انضمّت الى قائمة العقوبات بشبه إجماع إلى أعلى المستويات كما رفع أولوية المصلحية السياسية لهذه الدول وأخذها بعين الاعتبار، وإلا فعزل لبنان اقتصادياً عن محيطه العربي بعد أن اكدت نتائج الانتخابات قدرة حزب الله على تشكيل أكثرية وزارية حليفة مؤيدة لسياسته الخارجية.

رابعاً: تسويق تشكيل حكومة وفاقية جامعة بعيداً عن الاستفزاز. وهذا للإشارة لم يكن ليتمّ لو كان حلفاء الولايات المتحدة من الأحزاب اللبنانية هم مَن سيطروا على أكثرية المجلس بل كانت خطة السبهان المتمثلة بحكومة خالية من حزب الله هي المطلب المنشود، لكن وبما أن الدفة مالت لحزب الله وحلفائه فصار التوجه الى امتصاص الجولة مرتبطاً بحكومة وفاقية جامعة بما يشبه العودة لشكل الحكومة السابقة التي تحوّلت تصريف اعمال، وارتضت بها المملكة بعد فك أسر الحريري كأخف الشرور.

خامساً: بلا شك يبقى لرمزية استهداف نصرالله شخصياً مالياً وترتيبه على لوائح الارهاب حساباً اساسياً في العمل الأميركي الذي يستهدف دائماً النيل من صورته «الحكيمة» المتفق عليها في الشارع اللبناني.

سادساً: الاتفاق النووي الإيراني الذي انسحبت منه واشنطن رسالة مباشرة لطهران بالتضييق عليها وعلى حلفائها، منهم حزب الله.

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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!

Friday, 18 May 2018

Making sense of Russian political ambiguities

The Saker: Making Sense Of Russian Political Ambiguities

[This article was written for the Unz Review]
Introduction: the world is not Hollywood
The past couple of weeks saw a number of truly tectonic events taking place simultaneously in the USA, in Russia, in Israel, in Syria, in Iran and in the EU. I think that it would also be reasonable to say that most of those who opposed the AngloZionist Empire have felt feelings ranging from mild disappointment to total dismay. I sure did not hear many people rejoicing, but if somebody was, they were in the minority (uncharacteristically, Mikhail Khazin, for example). These reactions are normal, we all form expectations which can be, and often are, disappointed. Still, even when the news is clearly bad it is helpful to keep a number of things in mind.
First, people, countries and events are not frozen in time. They are processes. Processes, by definition, are subject to change, evolution and (even radical) changes in direction.
Second, each process carries within itself the seeds of its own contradiction. This is what makes processes dynamic.
Third, people are imperfect. Even good people make mistakes, sometimes with tragic consequences. Yet it would be wrong to separate them all into either “infallible hero” or “abject villain and loser”. In fact, I would argue that any kind of mistake, especially a serious one, carries within itself its own contradiction which, in turn, can end up “energizing” the original process by creating a different set of circumstances.
All this is to say that the real world is not like Hollywood when the outcome of the story is only 90 minutes or so away. The real world is at war with the Empire and in this war, like in any other wars, there are mistakes and losses on both sides Both sides make mistakes and the results of these mistakes affect the future course of the war.
I would argue that in the past couple of weeks Russia suffered not one, but several PR disasters. I would also argue that the Zionists have had some tremendous PR successes. I will list them further below, but I want to suggest to you that PR disasters and successes are not quite the same as real-world, tangible victories. Furthermore, PR disasters and successes can sometimes be useful, as they reveal to the world previously overlooked, or underestimated, weaknesses. Finally, PR disasters and successes, while existing mostly in the realm of perceptions, can have a real-world effect, sometimes a dramatic one.
The usual chorus of Putin-haters who immediately declared final victory is completely mistaken and their reaction is the reflection of an infantile understanding of the complex world we live in. In the real world, a person like Putin can, and usually does, commit mistakes (PR and real-world mistakes) and the enemy can mount very effective counter-attacks. But the outcome of the war is not decided on a single battle. Furthermore, in politics, like in regular warfare, tactical mistakes and successes do not at all imply operational or, even less so, strategic successes. During WWII the German military usually performed better than the Soviet one on the tactical level, but the Soviets were superior on the operational and strategic levels. We all know how that war ended. If you want to read a good analysis and debunking of the “Putin caved in” nonsense, I recommend the article ”Russia Betrayed Syria”: Geopolitics through the eyes of a fearful “pro-Russia” Westerner” by Ollie Richardson.
The other extreme is to deny, against all evidence, that there is a problem or that mistakes have been made. That kind of stubborn flag-waving is actually unhelpful as mistakes are inevitable, and the first step towards mitigating them is to recognize them. The extreme version of that kind of flag-waving (pseudo-)patriotism is to denounce a person brining up problems as a traitor or a defeatist.
It is with all this in mind that I would like to revisit what has taken place and try to gauge what the real-world consequences of these PR events might be.
Part one: Putin disappoints
Quick summary: Putin re-appointed Medvedev, appointed Alexei Kudrin as Chairman of the Accounts Chamber of Russia and Vitalii Mutko as Deputy Prime Minister in charge of construction, he then hosted Bibi Netanyahu in the Kremlin while the latter bombed Syria right before, during and after Netanyahu’s visit. Finally, there is the disgraceful zig-zag about the S-300 for Syria: first, yes we will do it, then, no we won’t. All these events can, and should, be carefully analyzed and explained, but I don’t think that it makes sense to deny that most people feel a sense of disappointment over it all (except, of course, the bright geniuses who will claim that they knew all along that Putin was “fake”, but this is precisely the “Hollywood-thinking” types on whom any real analysis would be lost in the first place).
I would argue that even those who think that this is no big deal and that nothing terrible happened will not, if they are honest, deny that Putin must have known, without any doubt, that his decisions would be unpopular with the Russian public and that, very uncharacteristically for him, he deliberately chose to ignore his only public opinion and favor other considerations. That is something very new and, I think, something important.
There are roughly two camps vying for power inside the Kremlin: I call them the Atlantic Integrationists and the Eurasian Sovereignists. The former group is a pure product of the 1990s. We can think of them as “liberals”, IMF/Washington Consensus/WTO/WB types; folks who came to power thanks to the regime of oligarchs which ran Russia from about 1990 to 2000 and which was both deeply pro-American and which had extremely close ties to Israel and the various political Jewish and Zionist organizations in the West. The latter group is primarily a product of the armed forces and the security services. The “bridge” between the two is, by the way, the Russian military industrial complex in which both groups are represented. Unsurprisingly, most Russian “elites” (defined simply as people who made their fortune or, at least, a good living in the 1990s and after) support the Atlantic Integrationists, while most “regular” Russian people overwhelmingly support the Eurasian Sovereignists. This is why Putin is so popular and Medvedev never was. What is interesting is to look into how these groups relate to Israel and Zionism.
In a past article, I have already looked at the complex and multi-layered relationship between Israel and Russia. At this point we need to look a little deeper and see how each of these groups relates to Israel and Zionism.
Atlantic Integrationists: unsurprisingly, they are pro-Israeli to the hilt. For them, Israel is a totally normal country, even to be admired, as they all have personal/family and business ties to Israelis in Israel and in the USA. While there is no official version of AIPAC in Russia, let’s just say that the ADL would give the Atlantic Integrationists a perfect score for loyalty and service.
Eurasian Sovereignists: here, things are much more complicated. Some Eurasian Sovereignists are profoundly anti-Zionist ideologically, while others don’t really care. But even for those who have no love for Israel, or who are deeply opposed to the Zionist influence in Russia in the 1990s or even today (especially in the Russian media), do not necessarily find it useful to say much about it. Why? Primarily because they think, and I would say correctly so, that being pro-Russian (in the sense of patriotic and wanting a truly sovereign Russia) does not have to entail being anti-Zionist, anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish. Furthermore, there are, and have always been, patriotic Russian Jews who have been an integral part of the Russian culture and history. Just like I often write that for Russians, Muslims are not “aliens” in the way many westerners perceive them, and Jews are not “aliens” for Russians either. This is why you can often meet the following Russian type: they will bitch and complain about all the Jewish “crooks and politicians”, but have “good” Jews as their closest and best friends. This is not blindness at all, this is the expression of the fact that to loathe an ideology is one thing, but to collectively feel hostility towards a group of people you know very well is a completely different proposition. I will never cease to repeat it: Russia is, has always been, and still remains a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society in which the presence of “others” simply is a fact of life.
Then there is the WWII factor, which the Israelis and Russians Zionists have been extremely skilled at exploiting to the max: Russians and Jew are united in a common memory of the horrors the Nazis inflicted upon them and they also often sense that West Europeans and US Americans are, well, maybe not quite as sincerely sympathetic to their plight even if political correctness forces them to pretend to be. As a result, you will find that most anti-Zionist Russians, while surely not “ADL compatible” in their views, hate the Nazis and everything western racism stands for no less than Jews would. If fact, when faced with the modern wave of rabid russophobia, many Russians say “we are the new Jews”, meaning that everything evil on the planet is blamed on them regardless of fact or logic. Like it or not, but that common memory does bind Russians and Jews in a profound way.
I can already imagine the rage and disgust my words above will trigger in western Jew-haters for whom the world is split into two groups: Jew-haters (good) and all those who “sold out” to “the Jews” (as if there was such monad as “the Jews”). All I can tell them is this: don’t project your reductionist world view on others, especially not on Russia. If you do, you will never “get” Russia and you will be stuck with the kind of proverbial nonsense like “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.
Part two: The Empire Strikes back
The past couple of years have been terrible for the Zionists, both in the USA and in the rest of the world. First, there was the crushing defeat of their candidate in the USA and the election of a candidate they rabidly hated. Then there was the Russian military intervention in Syria which prevented them from overthrowing the last secular “resistance” regime in the Arab world. In Russia, “their” Atlantic Integrationists were slowly but surely losing power and all in all, the western sanctions turned out to be a blessing for Russia. Putin’s popularity was soaring to new heights and the the global “Zionist house” was on fire. In the USA, the Zionists counter-attacked with lightening speed and with a devastating effectiveness, breaking Trump in about 30 days (as shown by Trump’s betrayal of Flynn and later Bannon). After that, Trump made appeasing AIPAC his full-time job.
But that left another problem: while the US was re-taken under control, Russia, in the meantime, had succeeded in developing the capabilities to completely negate the entire US ABM system, to make much of the surface fleet obsolete and severely to impair the ability of US airpower to operate in airspace contested by modern Russian air defenses. In other words, in purely military terms, this was “game, set, match for Russia”.
[Sidebar: to those shocked by this statement and who would dismiss this as “Russian propaganda” I will submit the following: US military power is predicated on the following:
  1. The ability to deploy a carrier strike group anywhere on the planet.
  2. The ability to protect that carrier strike group from any major counter-attack.
  3. The ability to strike any country in the world with enough missile and airstrikes to break its will to continue to fight.
  4. The complete and total control of the skies (air supremacy). US forces simply never train for a combat scenario where they don’t control the skies or, even less so, when their enemy does.
  5. The very strong belief that no enemy would dare attack major overseas US bases.
  6. The very strong, quasi religious, belief that US military technology is superior.
  7. The absolute certitude that the US mainland would never be hit in a counter-attack.
None of the previous beliefs are based in reality anymore and, in fact, their opposite is true. This is why when dealing with a near-peer or peer enemy the US armed forces are more or less useless. The only very notable exception is the US nuclear triad and the US submarine fleet. The current situation in Syria (and by implication, Iran and Russia) is finally gradually bringing this new reality to the awareness of US decision-makers and military commanders.]
This is why Russia, albeit with only a tiny contingent, succeeded in turning the tide of the war in Syria and even now presents the AngloZionists with a frustrating challenge:
a (comparatively) tiny contingent of Russian forces completely derailed the Empire’s plans for the entire Middle-East: not only is there a real change of peace breaking out in Syria, but the situation is far from having the Takfiris and Shia killing each other in Syria and Lebanon (a key part of the Israeli plan for the region). Hezbollah, Iran and the Syrians are now in a victorious coalition on the ground with the “Axis of Kindness” forces roundly defeated.
So the Israelis decided on a simple, very effective and very dangerous counter offensive plan: 1) start a war between the USA and Iran by creating an acute crisis as a result of the US reneging on its legal obligations and 2) bait Iran into a counter-attack in response to Israel air operations against Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in Syria. But for that plan to succeed, Russia needed to stay out.
So far, at least, it looks like the Israelis have convinced the Russians to stay out. But is that perception really well founded?
Part three: factors inhibiting Russia
First and foremost, as I have already explained in great detail in the past, Russia has absolutely no legal or moral obligation to support, protect, arm, train or otherwise assist anybody in the Middle-East. None. Russia has already done more for Syria than the entire Arab/Muslim world combined with the notable exception of Iran and Hezbollah. As for the Arab/Muslim world, it has never done anything for Russia and still is doing nothing. So those who like to whine about Russia not doing enough simply have no case whatsoever.
Second, the Russian air defense and air forces in Syria have only one mission: to protect the Russian task force in Syria. Whoever got the idea that Russia is supposed to shoot down Israeli aircraft or missiles over Syria has not been paying attention to public Russian statements about this. The notion that the Russian task force in Syria is there to engage US/NATO/CENTCOM forces is just as ridiculous.
Third, and contrary to a frequently held misconception, the Syrian government, Iran, Hezbollah and Iran have different agendas in the Middle-East. Yes, they are de-facto allies. They also have the same enemies, they often work together, but they all think of their own interests first. In fact, at least in the case of Iran and Russia, there are clear signs that there are several ‘camps’ inside the Russian and Iranian government and the ruling elites which have different agendas (I highly recommend Thierry Meyssan’s recent articles on this topic here and here). To think that any or all of them will instantly come to the defense of any one of them is supremely naïve, especially when the aggressor (Israel) is backed by the full power of an already warmongering Empire run amok.
Fourth, the sad reality is that Russia, unlike Iran, never took a principled position concerning the nature and behavior of the state of Israel. I very much deplore that, and I consider it a shame, but I hasten to add that this shame is shared by every single country on the planet except Iran, Bolivia and, maybe, to some extent Turkey. Not to excuse anything, but only to explain, there is very little awareness amongst Russians about the true nature and behavior of the Israelis, and most of what makes it to the media is hopelessly pro-Israeli (hence the almost constant presence of the likes of Iakov Kedmi, Avigdor Eskin, Evgenii Satanovskii and other Israeli agents – they don’t even really bother to deny it – on Russian TV). The Russian media, especially the TV stations, could easily get a “ADL seal of approval”. Simply put: the vast majority of Russians don’t feel that the plight of the Palestinians or the constant Israeli attacks on neighboring countries is their problem.
[Sidebar: such a view can appear very self-centered until you recall the kind of “gratitude” Russia got in the past from her former interventions. There are countries out there who exist only because Russia decided that they should exist and which today are members of NATO. I won’t even go into the “Slavic brotherhood” or, for that matter, “Orthodox brotherhood” nonsense. The only people with whom Russia truly has a strong bond are the Serbs. The rest of them were more than happy to backstab Russia as soon as convenient. Thus history has taught Russia a painful lesson: give up on any naïve notions of gratitude or brotherhood. Very sad, but true. Today, even countries like Kazakhstan, Armenia or Georgia are showing a very ambivalent (and even ambiguous) attitude towards Russia. As a result the idea that Russia owes some form of protection to anybody out there has almost no support in Russia.]
Fifth, even the Eurasian Sovereignist’s analysts and media in Russia have this absolutely amazing “blind spot” about Israel and the Zionist ideology: I think of analysts whom I sincerely admire and respect (like Sergei Mikheev or Ruslan Ostashko) and whose analysis is superb on pretty much everything and who simply never mention the power and influence of what is clearly a powerful pro-Israeli lobby inside Russia, especially in the Russian media (even when they mention the power of the Israel lobby in the USA). Considering how different the tone of much of the Russian Internet is, the only explanation I have for this situation is that any public anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist statements are career-terminators in Russia (we also clearly see the same phenomenon at work with RT and Sputnik). You can completely forget about any Russian religious figures speaking up, and that goes both for the Orthodox and Muslims: they all take their orders from the Kremlin and have no personal opinion on anything (I am only talking about the “official” senior religious leaders – the rank and file faithful do not display this type of behavior).
Sixth, there are plenty of people in Russia who fully realize two simple things: first, a war between Iran and the Empire would be disastrous for the Empire (and therefore great for Russia) and, second, the Iranians are also “problematic” allies at best who have their own version of “Atlanticists” (remember the “Gucci Revolution”?) and “Sovereignists”, which means that tensions, or warfare, between Iran and the USA would be greatly advantageous for the anti-US camp inside Iran (just like the rabid russophobia of western politicians did more to re-elect Putin than any of his own campaign rhetoric). To put it crudely, if the Israelis are dumb enough to attack the Iranians, and if the US Americans are subservient enough to Israel to join into the fight – why should Russia take great risks and openly stand in the way? Finally, any conflict with Iran (which will most likely also involve the KSA) will have oil prices skyrocket. What do you think this will do to the Russian economy?
Seventh, the war which Israel is currently waging against Iran and pro-Iranian forces in Syria is entirely a symbolic war. Even the Pantsir which was recently destroyed by the Israelis (with the usual pro-Israeli PR campaign) was not even on combat alert: the unit was not even camouflaged and its crew was standing around and smoking. The Israelis are masters at making this look all very impressive and heroic, but in military terms, this is nonsense: they clearly hit a unit which was not even part of the action (whatever that “action” was).
The basic rule of warfare still remains valid today: unless you can put boots on the ground, your efforts will never have a decisive military effect. And thank God for the fact that nobody in the “Axis of Kindness” has any credible ground forces; not the Israelis (remember 2006?); not the Saudis (look at Yemen); and most definitely not the USA (when is the last time they beat somebody capable of resisting?). That is why the AngloZionist Empire always tries to use proxies like the Kurds or the “good terrorists” to fight on its behalf. Thus the Russian military specialists fully understand that even if the Israelis bombed Syria for the next several months, they would not be able to change the fundamental correlation of forces on the ground. Hence, the Israeli strikes are mostly about PR.
Still, for all these reasons, and more, we all have to come to terms with the fact that Russia is what I would call a “limited actor” in the Middle-East. I have been saying from day 1 – when some were having visions of Russian airborne divisions (supported by MiG-31s!) landing near Damascus – that “the Russians are not coming” (see herehereherehere and here). Furthermore, I tried to explain that the Russians are under no obligation whatsoever to protect or save anyone anywhere, including in the Middle-East (see here). Finally, I tried to explain that the Russian-Israeli relationship is a multi-layered and complex one (see here) and that Putin is facing some tremendous internal opposition which he has failed to successfully tackle (see here). But trying to describe a complex reality is often a futile task in a world in which simple, black and white, binary-kind of representations are the rule and where every complex argument is immediately turned into a long list of straw-man misrepresentations. This is still very much the case with the latest developments.
Those who say that “Putin sold out” are wrong, but so are those who think that “the Russians are coming” to save anybody. It is just not going to happen. Russia will not fight a war against Israel (unless she is attacked first) and Russia will only support Iranian operations and policies insofar as the Iranians negotiate a deal with the Russian and coordinate their efforts. As soon as Iran, or Hezbollah, make a move without prior consultations with Moscow, they will be on their own to deal with the consequences.
Part four: is Russia caving in to Western and Israeli pressure?
Setting aside the issue of the Russian role in the Middle-East, there remains the issue of why Putin failed to deliver on what was clearly a mandate of the Russian people to get rid of at least of the most hated personalities in the Russian government. Most folks in the West know how toxic Kudrin is, but the promotion of Mutko is nothing short of amazing too. This is the man who is most to blame for the gross mismanagement of the entire “Russia doping scandal” operation and who is absolutely despised for his incompetence. Now he is in charge of construction. There is even a good joke about this: Putin put Mutko in charge of the construction industry because the Russian construction market badly needs some doping. Funny, sure, but only so far. When I see Rogozin removed for his “poor management” (now put in charge of the Russian rocket and space industry) and Mutko promoted, I wonder if they have all gone crazy in the Kremlin.
We can all argue ad nauseam why exactly this has happened, but let’s first agree on one simple fact: Putin has failed to purge the Atlantic Integrationists. The big expectation of him getting a strong personal mandate from the people and then finally kicking them out of the Kremlin has, alas, been proven completely unfounded. There are a couple of interesting explanations out there such as:
  • Objectively, the Medvedev government has done a very decent, if not good job, with the economy. True, some/many believe that mistakes were made, that there were better economic policies available, but it would be hard to argue that the government completely failed. In fact, there are some pretty strong arguments which indicate that the Medvedev government (see this article discussing this in detail and it’s machine translation here and this article and its machine translation here)
  • Putin’s very ambitious internal economic growth program needs the support of the interests represented by the Atlantic Integrationists. In fact, internal development and economic growth are the core of his very ambitious political program. Possibly not the best time to purge the Kremlin from those who represent the interests of Russian big business.
  • The Medvedev “clan” has been weakened (see here for details) and now that it has been put on a much shorter “technocratic” leash, it is far less dangerous. In fact, it has been been subdued by Putin and his allies. Lavrov and Shoigu are both staying, by the way.
  • Trump’s reckless behavior is deeply alienating the Europeans to whom Putin is now presenting negotiation partners which they would trust (imagine Merkel and Rogozin in the same room – that would not go well!). Check out this excellent article by Frank Sellers in The Duran looking at the immense potential for Russia-EU cooperation.
Meh. I am personally unconvinced. How can Putin say that he wants serious reforms while keeping the exact same type of people in command? If indeed the Medvedev government did such a great job, then we is there any need for such major reforms? If Putin’s power base is indeed, as I believe it to be, in the people, then why is he trying to appease the financial elites by catering to their interests and agenda? Most crucially, how can Russia free herself from the financial and economic grip of the Empire when the Empire’s 5th column agents are (re-)appointed to key positions? And in all of Russia was there really nobody more qualified than Mutko or Kudrin to appoint to these positions?
Of course, there always this “Putin knows something you don’t” but I have always had a problem with that kind of logic which is essentially an open-ended universal cop-out. I hope that I am wrong, but to me this does strongly suggest that Putin is on the retreat, that he has made a major mistake and that the Empire has scored a major victory. And I will gladly admit that I have yet to hear an explanation which would explain this, never mind offer one of my own.
On the external front, has Russia caved in to Israeli pressure? Ruslan Ostashko offers a very good analysis of why this is hardly the case: (I don’t necessarily agree with his every conclusion, but he does make a very good case:
Yes, Netanyahu *did* with his repeated strikes on Syria, thumb his nose at Putin (that famous Israeli chutzpah at work for you!), and yes, Putin wining and dining Netanyahu was a painful sight and a PR-disaster. But on substance, did Israel get Russia to “betray Iran”? No, and not because the Russians are so heroically principled, but because Israel really has nothing to offer Russia. All Israel has is a powerful pro-Isreal lobby inside Russia, that is true. But the more they use that lobby the more visible it becomes, the more questions at least Eurasian Sovereignists will ask.
The Israelis sure don’t want to give the impression that the run Russia the way they run the USA, and Netanyahu’s reception in the Kremlin recently has already raised a lot of eyebrows and the impression that Putin caved in to the demands of this arrogant bastard are not helping Putin, to put it mildly. A lot of Russian analysts (Viktor Baranets, Maksim Shevchenko, Leonid Ivashov) wonder what kind of arguments Netanyahu used with Putin, and the list of possibilities is an outright uninspiring one.
Part five – another truism: there is a difference between excellent, good, average, bad and terrible
Even if the situation in Russia has changed for the worse, this is hardly a reason to engage in the usual “Putin sold out” hysteria or to declare that “Russia caved in”. Even when things are bad, there is still a huge difference between bad and worse. As of right now, Putin is not only the best possible person to be the President of Russia, Russia also continues to be the objective leader of the resistance to the Empire. Again, the black-and-white “Hollywood” type of mindset entirely misses the dynamic nature of what is going on. For example, it is quite clear to me that a new type of Russian opposition is slowly forming. Well, it always existed, really – I am talking about people who supported Putin and the Russian foreign policy and who disliked Medvedev and the Russian internal policies. Now the voice of those who say that Putin is way too soft in his stance towards the Empire will only get stronger. As will the voices of those who speak of a truly toxic degree of nepotism and patronage in the Kremlin (again, Mutko being the perfect example). When such accusations came from rabid pro-western liberals, they had very little traction, but when they come from patriotic and even nationalist politicians (Nikolai Starikov for example) they start taking on a different dimension. For example, while the court jester Zhirinovskii and his LDPR party loyally supported Medvedev, the Communist and the Just Russia parties did not. Unless the political tension around figures like Kudrin and Medvedev is somehow resolved (maybe a timely scandal?), we might witness the growth of a real opposition movement in Russia, and not one run by the Empire. It will be interesting to see if Putin’s personal ratings will begin to go down and what he will have to do in order to react to the emergence of such a real opposition.
Much will depend on how the Russian economy will perform. If, courtesy of Trump’s megalomaniacal policies towards Iran and the EU, Russia’s economy receives a massive injection of funds (via high energy prices), then things will probably stabilize. But if the European leaders meekly cave in and join the sanctions against Iran and if the US succeeds in imposing even further sanctions on Russia, then the Medvedev government will face a serious crisis and the revival of the Russian economy promised by Putin will end up in an embarrassing failure and things could also go from bad to even worse. As for right now, our always courageous Europeans are busy handing the latest Eurovision prize to an Israeli (Eurovision prizes are always given to countries the EU leaders want to support) while the self-same Israelis “celebrate” the new US Embassy in Jerusalem by murdering 55 Palestinians (and promised to kill many more). So let’s just say that I am not very hopeful that the Europeans will grow a spine, some balls, a brain or, least of all, acquire some moral fiber anytime soon. But maybe they will be greedy enough to reject some of the most outrageous US demands? Maybe. Hopefully. After all, the European supine subservience to the USA has to the EU billions of dollars already…
Part six: dealing with the S-300 fiasco
The entire S-300 business for Syria has been an ugly mess but, again, more in the PR realm than in the real world. The constant “we will deliver, no we won’t, yes we will, no we won’t” creates a terrible impression. The explanations for this zig-zag make things only worse. Let’s take a look at what those who do not disapprove of this zig zag are saying. Their arguments go more or less as follows.
  • The S-300s would place the Israeli Air Force at risk not only over Syria, but also over Lebanon and even Israel. This is overkill because Russia never moved into Syria to fight a war against Israel. So the entire idea of delivering S-300s to Syria was a bad idea in the first place.
  • Syria does not really need S-300s. Lavrov and others mention the S-300s as a threat (because the Israelis really fear these systems), but in reality what Syria needs are Buk-M2E (see analysis in Russian and it’s machine translation here).
  • The Russians made a deal with Israel and in exchange for the non-delivery of the S-300s (see analysis in Russian here and the machine translation here) they are getting something very tangible: Israel will stop supporting the “good terrorists” in Syria thereby making it much easier for Damascus to finish them off.
I don’t like these arguments very much except for the 2nd one. First, I do agree that the Buk-M2E is a very modern and capable system with some advantages over the S-300 in the Syrian context, but I would still add that the infamous sentence “Syria has got all it needs” is an absolutely terrible and ridiculous statement (read Marko Marjanović devastating critique of it in his article “Israel Took out a Syrian Pantsir Air Defense Unit, S-200 Radars. Russia: ‘No S-300 Transfer, Syria Has All It Needs’” for Russia Insider). I think that this “Syria has all it needs” is yet another of these self-inflicted PR disasters and an absolutely ridiculous statement until you take it one step deeper.
So, if by “Syria has all it needs” you mean “Syria has no need for any other help” or “the Syrian air defenses can deal with any Israeli or US attack” – then this is total nonsense. Agreed. But if you just rephrase it and say “Syria has all the types of weapons it needs”, then I think that this is basically true. By far the single most important air defense system for the Syrians is the Pantsir-S1, not the S-300 or any other system.
As early as June of last year I wrote a column for the Unz Review entitled “Russia vs. America in Syria” in which I had a section entitled “Forget the S-300/S-400, think Pantsir”. I wrote that at a time when most observers were paying no attention to the Pantsir at all, and the entire world seemed obsessed with the S-300 and S-400s. I still believe that the Pantsir is the key to the outcome of the struggle for the Syrian airspace. But Syria, and Iran, need many more of them. Basically, the ideal situation is numerous Russian, Iranian and Syrian Pantsirs all over Syria, all of them integrated with already existing Russian long radar capabilities and supported by modern electronic warfare. With enough Pantsirs deployed and on full alert (not like the one the Israelis recently destroyed) and fully integrated into a single air defense network, the Syrians would be able to mount a very robust air defense capability, at a relatively cheap cost, without offering the Israelis any high value and lucrative targets.
Pantsirs can deal with most of the US and Israeli threats even if, unlike their S-300/S-400 counterparts, they cannot engage aircraft at long distance (hence the suggestion to deploy some Buk-M2E’s to approximate that capability). The truth is that S-300’s were never designed to operate more or less autonomously or to intercept cruise missiles or bombs. Yes, they *can* do that, but they were designed to deal with long range high value targets and within a multi-layered system which included many other systems, such as the Buks, Tors, Pantsirs and even Iglas and Verbas MANPADs. That multi-layered air defense system is currently abscent in Syria and would take a lot of time and money to deploy. In contrast the Pantsirs can function completely autonomously, can detect any target up to 50km away, track and engage it 20km away, protect itself and others with its 30mm guns up to 3km away. Pantsirs can even do that while moving up to 30km/h on rough terrain. This makes it an extraordinarily effective and survivable air defense system, which is relatively easy to hide, deploy and engage with no warning for the enemy. By the way, the Pantsir can also use both its 30mm canons and its missiles against ground targets, including tanks. No current air defense system can boast such a combination of capabilities.
Russia needs to deliver as many of those Pantsir-S1 systems to Syria as physically possible. A large number of Pantsir’s in Syria would present Israel and the USA with a far bigger headache than a few S-300s. Currently there is something in the range of 40-60 of such Pantsir’s in Syria. This is far from enough considering the magnitude of the threat and the capabilities of the threat. That number needs to be at least doubled.
However, and regardless of the real-world technical and military aspects of the issue, the Russian zig-zags gave the world a terrible impression: the Israelis attack a Russian ally, then the Russian promise to do something about it, then Netanyahu goes to Russia, and Putin meekly caves in. This is all a massive self-inflicted political faceplant and yet another major mistake by Putin and other Russian leaders.
Frankly, the main Russian mistake here was to *ever* mention S-300s deliveries to the Syrians.
Part Seven: the lessons from the Divine Victory of 2006 – survival is victory
In 2006 Hezbollah inflicted a massive and most humiliating defeat upon Israel. And yet, there is some pretty good evidence that it all began by a mistake. Not by Israel, by Hezbollah. Check out this now often forgotten statement made by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah:
“We did not think, even one per cent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude. You ask me, if I had known on July 11 … that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not”
Amazing, no? Hassan Nasrallah spoke these words after Hezbollah’s superb victory against the “invincible Tsahal”. The truth is that Hezbollah had underestimated the violence and magnitude of the Israeli attack. Not only that, but Israel did not lose a single inch of its territory while all of Lebanon, not just the south, was viciously bombed and scores of civilians died. Hezbollah did destroy a few “indestructible” Merkava tanks and almost sank the Israeli Navy’s flagship. But compared to the damage and pain inflicted by the Israelis, this was nothing. Even Hezbollah’s missiles had a comparatively small effect on the Israeli population (mostly just the typical Israeli panic). And yet, even if politicians did not want to admit it, it was as clear as can be for both sides:
Hezbollah had won a “Divine Victory” while the Israelis had suffered the worst defeat in their history. Why? For a very simple reason: Hezbollah survived.
That’s it and that’s crucial. Olmert and his goons had set out to destroy Hezbollah (or, at least, disarm it). This is what Trump will probably try to do to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and this is what the AngloZionist Empire is trying to do to Russia: eliminate it.
Once the goals are thus defined, then the definition of victory is also obvious: surviving. That’s it.
For Hezbollah, Iran or Russia to defeat Israel, the USA or the entire Empire, there is no need to plant a flag on the enemy’s main symbolic building like what Soviet soldiers did in Germany. All they need to do to win is simply to survive because the other’s sides survival is predicated upon their elimination, it’s really that simple. Israel cannot claim victory as long as Hezbollah exists, the USA cannot claim world Hegemony if Iran openly defies it, and the AngloZionist Empire cannot clain world hegemony over the our planet as long as the Russian civilizational realm openly challenges it. So while all the talk about the Iranians wanting to “wipe Israel off the map” is just a typical ziomedia invention, it is true that by their very existence Hezbollah, Iran and Russia do represent an existential threat to Israel, the USA and the Empire.
This is the biggest and the fatal weakness of the AngloZionist Empire: its survival depends on the colonization or destruction of every other country out there. Every independent country, whether big and powerful, or small and weak, represents an unacceptable challenge to the hegemony of the “indispensable nation” and the “chosen people”, which now try to rule over us all. This might well be the ultimate example of Hegelian dialectics at work in geopolitics: an Empire whose power generates it’s own demise. Many empires have come and gone in history, but the globalized world we live in, this dialectical contradiction is tremendously potentialized by the finite conditions in which empires have to operate.
Conclusion one: support for Putin and Russia must only be conditional
Over the past few years, Putin and Russia haters were predicting doom and gloom and all sorts of betrayals (or Novorussia, Syria, Iran, etc.) by Putin and Russia. Then time passed and all their predictions proved false. Instead of just talking, the Russians took action which proved the nay-sayers wrong. This time however, the Russians said and did a number of things which gave *a lot* of fuel to the Putin-haters and the only way to undo that is to take real action to prove them wrong. Right now as a result of these self-inflicted PR-disasters Russia looks very bad, even inside Russia were many Putin supporters are confused, worried and disappointed.
Externally, the Syrian and, especially, the Iranians need to come to terms with the fact that Russia is an imperfect ally, one which sometimes can help, but one which will always place its personal interests above any other consideration. In a personal email to me Eric Zuesse wrote “I think that Putin and Netanyahu are negotiating how far Israel can go and what Russia can accept — and what cooperation each will provide to the other — drawing the red lines of acceptability, for each side”. I think that he is spot on, but I also think that Putin is wrong in trying to make a deal with Israel, especially if a deal is at the expense of Iran. Ostashko is right. Objectively Israel has very little to offer Russia. But if this kind of collaboration between Russia and Israel continues, especially if Iran is attacked, then we will know that the Israel lobby inside Russia is behind these policies which go counter to the Russian national interest. We will soon find out.
In the meantime, Lavrov can’t try to get a deal going with Israel and, at the same time, whine about the “US Plan on Arab Troops Deployment in Syria ‘Sovereignty Violation’”! How about the never-ending violation by Israel of Syria’s sovereignty? How it is less repugnant than the one being perpetrated by the USA? Are such statements not fundamentally hypocritical?
We can observe a paradox here: Putin has criticized the evil immorality of the western society and imperial policies many times (most famously in Munich and at the UN). But Putin has never said anything about the evil immorality of the state of Israel. And yet Israel is the center of gravity, the nexus, of the entire AngloZionist Empire, especially since the Neocons turned Trump into their subservient lackey. In this, and in so many other areas, Russia needs to follow the example of Iran whose leaders have shown far more morality and principled policies in spite of Iran being much smaller and comparatively weaker than Russia.
In 2006 a thousand men or so of Hezbollah dared to defy the entire AngloZionist Empire (the US was, as always, backing Israel to the hilt) and they prevailed. Russian soldiers have shown time and again, including recently in Syria, they they have the same type of courage. But Russian politicians really seem to be of a much more tepid and corruptible type, and there is always the risk that Putin might gradually become less of an officer and more of a politician. And this, in turn, means that those of us who oppose the Empire and support Putin and Russia must imperatively make that support conditional upon a clearly stated set of moral and spiritual principles, not on a “my country right or wrong” kind of loyalty or, even less so, on a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of fallacy. Should Putin continue in his apparent attempts to appease the Israelis a new type of internal opposition to his rule might gain power inside Russia and new internal tensions might be added to the already existing exernal ones.
Right now Putin still has a lot of “credibility capital” left in spite of his recent mistakes. However, Putin recent decisions have raised a lot of unpleasant questions which must be answered and will so in time. In the meantime, as they say in the USA, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and settle for anything in the middle”. The Scripture also warns us not to make idols of leaders: “Trust not in princes, nor in the children of men, in whom there is no safety” (Ps 145:3 LXX). The worldly evil we are fighting, today in the shape of the AngloZionist Empire, is but a manifestation of a much deeper, spiritual evil: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). The young men and women from the Shia movement Amal got it right when they chose the name “Party of God” for their movement when they created Hezbollah in 1985. And Iran was right when it became an Islamic Republic: if we want to defeat the Empire we need to always let spiritual matters and moral crieria remain above any of our “pragmatic” worldly political considerations or national/ethnic loyalties: that is how we can defeat those who place a dollar value on absolutely everything they see in their narrow materialistic worldview.
Conclusion two: the quest for “Russian values”
Russian political ambiguities are the direct result of the fact that Russia, as whole, has yet to define what “Russian values” really are. The historical Russia was founded on Patristic Christianity and the Roman civilizational model and the Soviet Union on Marxism-Leninism. The 1990s marked the total triumph of materialism run amok. But unlike Hezbollah or Iran, the “New Russia” (as I like to call it) is not based on anything other than a Constitution written mostly by US advisors and their proxies and a general opposition to the western civilizational model (especially since 2014). Being against something is not an inspiring, or even tenable, political or moral stance (as the White Guards discovered during the Russian civil war). Furthermore, in her confrontation with an AngloZionist Empire which stands for absolutely nothing besides base instincts, Russia needs to stand *for* something, not just against something else. As long as Russia will not firmly define and proclaim a set of spiritual/moral values she stands for, the current zigs-zags will continue and Russian policies will prove to be inconsistent, at best.
[Sidebar: here I want to contrast the Russian society at large with the Russian armed forces who, besides having a lot of good equipment, have a very strong and clear ethos and a rock solid understanding and clarity about what they stand for. This is why Russian soldiers have consistently and spontaneously been willing to sacrifice their lives. The Russian civilian society still lacks that kind of clarity, and Russian politicians, who are no better in Russia than elsewhere, often make use of that. The Russian armed forces are also the one institution with the strongest historical memory and the deepest roots in Russian history. I would argue that they are the only institution in modern Russia whose roots truly go back to before the 1917 Revolution and even much further back than that. As descendant of “White Russians” myself I have always found it uncanny and, frankly, amazing how much closer I have felt to Russian military officers than to Russian civilians. To me it often feels as if there were two types of Russians simultaneously coexisting: the “new Russian” type (still in the process of being defined) and the military officer corps (Soviet or post-Soviet). That latter type almost instinctively made sense to me and often felt like family. This is hardly a scientific observation, but this has been my consistent personal experience].
There is a very high likelihood that Israel will succeed in triggering a US attack on Iran. If/when that happens, this will trigger a political crisis inside Russia because the space for the current political ambiguities will be dramatically reduced. On moral and on pragmatic grounds, Russia will have to decide whether she can afford to be a bystander or not. This will not be an easy choice as their shall be no consensus on what to do inside the ruling elites. But the stakes will be too high and the consequences of inaction prohibitive. My hope is that a major military conflict will result in a sharp increase of the power and influence of the military “lobby” inside the Kremlin. Eventually and inevitably, the issue of Israel and Zionism will have to be revisited and the pro-Israeli lobby inside Russia dealt with, lest Russia follow the same path to self-destruction as the USA. For this reason the concept of “true sovereignization” is the one patriotic slogan/goal that Eurasian Sovereignists must continue to promote (regardless of the actual terminology used) because it points towards the real problems in Russian internal and foreign policies which must be addressed and resolved. This will be a long and difficult process, with victories and setbacks. We better get used to the idea that what happened in the past couple of weeks will happen again in the future.

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